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Posts from elsewhere for reuse

Posted 02-06-2021 at 09:02 AM by jbgusa
Updated 03-16-2021 at 12:01 PM by jbgusa

From a DM to Rachel NewYork 3-16-2021

Originally Posted by Rachel NewYork
Originally Posted by jbgusa
I couldn't rep you but I appreciate it. I had never thought of the importance of the open display of the menorah in the window. That alone removes it from the category of a minor holiday, if only in the English-speaking countries and Israel. I put most of the other countries (Denmark and a few others possibly excepted) in the category of one's pet snake, which will at some point bite.
"pet snake" -- LOL

Thanks for appreciating the emotional significance of Chanukah for families of European Jewish immigrants to America (before the establishment of Israel).
Both sides of my family arrived pre-1914. I wish I could say that they had emotions on the subject but I doubt, at least at the "grandparent" or parent level that they did. I suspect that all of those generations were more interested in fitting in to the new country than displaying their heritage. At that time in Jewish history, survival in a new, unfamiliar country took precedence.

The great-grandparents on my maternal grandmother's side were Orthodox. I suspect that was more genetic than anything since in their photos (the only ones from circa 1896 on I have seen) there was little indication of Judaica. My wife's side, quite the contrary. When shortly after my maternal grandmother's marriage to my maternal grandfather, my grandfather deliberately mixed up the milk and meat dishes from what I have heard no one cared. My mother and her brother, my uncle, attended religious and Hebrew school (uncle only for latter) but did not take it seriously. My mother and her friends actually sneaked out of class.

My natural father's family was even less attached to the religion though my father and his brother were apparently Bar Mitzvahed. I do remember my mother lighting Chanukah candles but the menorah was placed on the kitchen counter, not in windows.

I was placed in Hebrew School and Bar Mitzvahed, along with most of my school classmates. Though I went to a public school I was in the "Jewish" portion of the district, and about 80% of my classmates were Reform Jews. As I have posted I happily exited Hebrew School on May 4, 1970, two days after my Bar Mitzvah. My mother was happy to have one less carpool, and I couldn't care less. I was the only one that "circled back" to active involvement.

Two things happened that caused that: 1) meeting for the first time a fellow student, in October 1972, that is now my close friend, the one with double my IQ, who said, in response to a bad joke I told to others (since I did not know more about him than his non-Jewish last name at the time), "Jim, are you Jewish" and then "don't you have any pride in your heritage"? and 2) my father's death, on January 5, 1973 and my preparation with the Rabbi for the eulogy. This was my first meaningful discussion involving religious topics (other than the mechanics of Bar Mitzvah prep) with my Rabbi or for that matter any clergy. I saw the logic in the death rituals and from then on it was a "learning curve." My soon-to-be stepfather, who I had previously met but became more involved with after my mother and he started dating, was a little, but not much more spiritually interested.

In sum, that is why the importance of menorah display would never have occurred to me. My wife started our tradition of placing it in the window. I'll ask her tonight, after I get home from work (I am one of the few working normally from an office), if the reasons you mentioned are any part of it.

From FB 2-26-2021



Rainy Day People is my vote. No matter how amazing a song "Talking in Your Sleep" is (and it is one of his hidden gems) Rainy Day People goes in the category of one of my favorite songs, period. Not just one of my favorite Lightfoot songs. The best thing someone can be is a "rainy day person." People have lots of friends for the periods that times are good. It is a test of the genuineness of a person when they stick around when times are desperately bad for that person. In either my professional or personal life (I can't go into details) I feel that people I am close to, and myself, have done this for more than one person. People who are down need to know which side you're on.

From Huffpost 2-21-2021


When I was in grade school and middle school, 1964-71 I was picked on a lot. We would now call that bullying. A big element though not necessarily the "cause" was my lack of being athletic. Enter "Michael", one of my worst tormentors. I'll admit that when he made fun of me I made fun of his long hair, which he was early in getting.

We didn't see each other after we graduated Middle School. We maintained a common friend, Dave. One day during the summer of 1988 when we were 31, we played a beach football game in Westhamptom. Dave knew my athletic abilities had grown over the years. Michael was assigned to "guard" me during that game. He was barely looking since he assumed I would never be passed the ball. When Dave passed the ball to me, I caught it and was a good 10-120 yards down the beach before Michael knew what happened.

Thoroughly humiliated, he challenged me to tennis the following weekend. When we played it was a scorching 98 °, common during that famously hot summer. I beat him 6-0, 6-1. Two summers later, we were at a summer camp for adults in the Berkshires. Dave was there with his (then) wife. I was there with my girlfriend (soon to be fiance, soon to be wife). Michael asked to share the other bedroom in my girlfriend's and my cabin. Far from the strapping bully of 1971 when we were 13, he was almost intimidated by us. We saw each other a few times. T Hen, in 1999, I attended his bachelor party, That marriage did not last long. i am now married 30 years.

From Facebook 2-12-2021


Carefree Highway - I have to echo the comment of Deb Radwan
about "the theme of wondering if past loves ever think of you." Did She Mention my Name, another favorite of mine, reflects this same theme. In general, the theme of the past being gone but one's still having ties to it is a perpetual theme of literature and indeed humanity. I am sure that theme echoes through the ages.

From Quora 2-6-2021

People of the AOC mindset, and not just AOC, thrive on hysteria. There are other hysterias which as better illustrations than this phony “bathroom” episode, including but not limited to the following: 1) Covid; and 2) “Climate change.” Everyone party to the hysteria of the day demands “action” yet are unwilling to make sacrifices themselves. Gavin Newsome attending an unmasked large dinner at the French Laundry, see Newsom embarrassed by French Laundry dinner ...is one example, with Covid. John Kerry’s trip to Iceland on a private jet, see John Kerry took private jet to Iceland for environmental award ..., is another, on climate.
Covid is definitely a real problem and climate change is likely overblown. People feel very good about themselves by signalling their virtue. AOC feels good about herself by playing victim. It’s all part of a patter.
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