Friday, September 18, 2015

To Bee or Not to Bee

The goal of this email is to create... yes, some buzz at your Shabbat table.... please print and share.
In honor of Todd and Calla's recent anniversary and Kyle and Shelli's upcoming anniversary. Mazal tov - you guys are amazing models of how to do a marriage right!

YellowjacketShana tova - happy new year.

Before I tell you about the lady on your left, it has come to my attention that some people out there in Email Land have lost their copy of my world-famous "25 Questions to Think About Between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur".

Here's the download link.

This year, you can also get the Yom Kippur Prep worksheet: here's the link.

(And if you'd like to hear the audio from San Francisco last week on how to use these two tools, shoot me an email.)

So now to the main story and question for your table....

Kids returning to school always hear that profound question, What's your best memory of the summer?

How come nobody asks, What's the worst memory of your summer? ??

Just askin'.

All that honey this week and an email in my inbox asking about the Jewish take on environmentalism reminded me of my own worst memory of this summer.

It was just a little bee sting.

But it wasn't an ordinary bee sting.

It was in fact a horrible, vicious, nightmare-inducing wasp sting.

Here's how it happened.

You'll undoubtedly be pleased to learn that your e-rabbi (iRabbi?) has a pretty good environmental record.

He conserves water.

He brings a reusable shopping bag.

He composts.

He plants trees.

He walks to work....sometimes.

He even sends out his annual Rosh-Hashana-Yom-Kippur mailer electronically (you're reading it right now) - think of how many trees did not have to die in order to send you this email.

(He does not hug trees.)

So now try to imagine him this summer, mid-July, innocently emptying the kitchen waste into the compost bin one early evening.

He goes to the shed to get the shovel. You may know the routine: good compost needs greens, browns, air and water.

He innocently shovels from the pile of last fall's leaves.

Evidently, a dead brach at the back of that pile is touching a wasp's nest behind the bin.

When the pile is shoveled in a certain way, the branch is distrubed, bumping the next.

This displeases the wasps.

Suddenly an insanely fast yellowjacket appears out of nowhere and aims straight for his head.

papabeesIt chases your unfortunate rabbi across the backyard like poor Papa Berenstain Bear, trying to defend himself with a heavy spade against an absolutely relentless vespula.

Fresh out of hap, your iRabbi ends up with a sting to the left ear that swells for three days and starts oozing puss on day 4.

And that's only the first time. Don't ask about the second time.

So this summer memory leads to three questions.

1. When I somehow disturbed their nest, I would have expected the entire colony to come out and attack me like Papa Bear in the picture above. Instead, it was one solo wasp. How did they decide which one would go out and sting?

2. The obvious next step is to call the Brody Brothers exterminators (their motto  is "nice Jewish boys with a license to kill"), but then I read that wasps like to eat those critter that have been eating my tomatoes. What do you think? Exterminate or accept our new insect overlords?

3. The first time I was stung in my left ear, the second time in my right ear. Is there a message in that?

Please let me know what the latter-day sages at your Shabbat table have to say about these three pressing issues.

l'Shabbat Shalom and l'Shana Tova!

May you and yours be sealed in the Book of Life for a sweet, healthy and restful-but-never-boring year.

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