Showing posts from March, 2012

THE Tong, THE Sound Machine, and THE Lost World

The word THE is THE most frequently used word in THE English language. I looked it up on THE internet. I thought that I might, just for fun, make note of THE wide use of THE word THE by capitalizing all THE letters in THE word THE that appear in this blog post. So, to get started, THE blog post is about an island in Sweden and, yes…, more. I saw a map of THE island THE other day that, when I peered into Google Maps to view it more carefully, caused my heart to stop for at least a beat and a half. It was an aerial view that some friends were showing me, friends that live in Sweden, but love Israel. They live in Malmo, which is THE same place that you hear about occasionally with regards to Muslim extremism, anti-Semitism, and Left-wing / Palestinian aggression 'towards' Israel. My heart skipped, because THE island reminded me of a lake that I used to visit when I was growing up, near Yosemite National Park, called Bass Lake. My father, you see, was really interested in b

Cultural Mathematics and the Truth of Humanity

I went to a Yemenite wedding this week. It was cool… I hadn't been to one in the 5+ years that I have lived here in the Middle East. Thinking back on it, all I can 'really' remember is the way they danced. It was very special (and they knew it too!) Each individual had their own personal style, but following the same basic steps. There was a little shuffle, building up the tension to bounce, then a step and another, followed by a kind of 'drunken' looking sway-step out to the left side and a return with the same flare, accept in a kind of recoil… I couldn't see the women dancing, as they were all behind the machitzah (a sort of barrier to keep wandering male eyes from ogling the moves going on in the other half of Eden). I hear, though, that the women folk were tearing it up thoroughly — evidently 'way' more than the male folk and ‘we’ even had a big stuffed elephant guy in costume on the shoulders of some poor schlep! The room was buzzing, as each sid

What is a Jew Anyways?

The Alter Rebbe This week, while buying our first 'real' car here in Israel, the car salesman, a surprisingly nice guy (as used car salesmen in Israel go), said he was a big fan of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who, for those of you that are just joining, was the seventh leader in the Chabad-Lubavitch dynasty that spanned generations in Eastern Europe and is now headed from Crown Heights, Brooklyn. This car salesman wasn't religious, but gave me a little card with the 'prayer for traveling' on it. The front of the card had a picture of the Rebbe and under it was the word "Mashiach (Messiah)." The strange part is that the name of the salesman's company was "Elbar (Son of God)." I kept thinking, "Is this guy a Jew for Jesus?" I guess it is possible, but, um, isn't that an oxymoron? I mean, what is a 'Jew' anyways? If anything, a Jew was someone like, yes, the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Chabad, fo