Gefilte Fish Out of Water

Quality Nap Time
April 28, 2009, 9:19 pm
Filed under: School


In Israel they do something very interesting:  they take Independence Day (“Yom Ha’atzmaut“, which celebrated on the day it originally occured according to the Jewish calendar so it jumps around year to year, like Hanukkah, Pesach, Rosh Hashana and all the other holidays do) and they make Memorial Day (“Yom Hazikaron“) always occur the day immediately before it. 

So one day is very sad.  The radio only plays sad songs.  In Tel Aviv, people gather in Rabin Square and sing only sad songs.  Once in the evening (remember, all Jewish holidays start after sundown the night before) and once the next day a siren goes off and EVERYBODY stops what they’re doing and stands still and looks up at the sky.  Busses and cars stop on the road and people get out of them, people get off bicycles and do this, it’s really, really – there’s just nothing like it.  And EVERYTHING is closed for that first evening.  It’s actually the law.  Even the mini marts and stuff that stay open on Shabbat are closed.  Zip.

Today in school, we had an assembly about Memorial Day.  Everyone was supposed to wear white shirts and blue pants (I’m not sure if this is for all of Israel, or just our school).  I was mainly excited to see the auditorium and that the img_1842whole school would be gathered there together.  The program included poetry readings, speech readings, and *you guessed it!* sad songs, played on guitar and sung beautifully in a deep voice by a dykey looking, buzz cutted K.D. Lang wannabe (I can say that, b/c I’m gay).

Anyway, I mean no disrespect to Israel, to the holiday or the 22,570 soldiers and terrorism victims killed since Israeli statehood in 1948, but I fell asleep.  At first I was trying to see how many words I could recognize in the speeches and see if I could comprehend any of it (and I could, some), but it was just too boring, sorry.  Look, I don’t like synagogue services, I used fall asleep in the larger AA meetings back in New York all the time….my belief is: as long as you don’t snore and ruin it for anybody else, it’s fine to fall asleep.  In fact, it’s quite wonderful that you feel safe and comfortable enough to do so, and obviously some rest was what I needed at that moment if I’m falling asleep, so I’m giving myself what my body needs. 

Although I did wake up for the sing-along.


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