Friday, November 16, 2018

Tempus Fudge-it

The purpose of this blog is to speed up time at the Shabbat table. Please print and share.
Sending deep sympathy to those suffering in Southern Israel and in Calfornia.

How+To+Make+A+Dali+Inspired+Decorated+Cake?format=1500wMost people we know are generally on-time.

(Most airlines, too.)

Some people we know are notoriously "always late".

Question 1 for your table - Do you know anyone who is always precisely on-time? How about someone who is always early? How does that fact affect your feelings about that person?

Question 2 - How does it feel when you are on time and the person you are meeting is also punctual?

Question 3 - Do always-late people usually miss their flights, or do they manage to be on time when it comes to travel? How do you explain someone being on-time for a plane, but late for every meeting?

When we moved back to the Bay Area in 2000, I started networking and making daily meetings from San Jose to Marin.

(Life lesson learned - don't do this in a leased vehicle.)

The first week on the job, I decided to repent of my past sins, overcome my habit of procrastination, and be punctual.

Life lesson learned: it wasn't that hard.

The outcome? Many people commented. They found it unusual for someone to be so punctual.

More important - it pleased them.

Question 4 - Were you ever embarrassingly late, but the person you were meeting was even later? How did that feel?

Question 5 - Could there be a down-side to being punctual?

Question 6 - What's worse, being late or not showing up at all?

Question 7 - Would a more spiritual person be more punctual (because they are concerned about other people) or less punctual (because their head is full of lofty thoughts and they don't want to be bound by pettiness)?

Shabbat Shalom

PS - Want to kick the tardiness habit (or help someone do so)? Click the pic above.

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Friday, November 09, 2018

One-and-t'Others & Skin-and-Blisters

The purpose of this blog is to leverage the dinner table rivalry. Please print and share.

Lisa v BartLast week I suggested asking at your table, Are you a Jew first or an ______ first (pick your nationality).

This week, a similar convsersation-starter, with a twist:

Are you a child first or a sibling first?

Now, before any only-child protests, let's talk for a moment about the word sibling. The modern meaning of "a person who shares one or both parents with me" is actually quite recent - only about a hundred years old.

The older meaning is any relative. But no one knows how it came into the English language and there are competing theories.

I suspect it comes from Hebrew: the SB root (or SV) has something to do with wisdom. The L is probably a truncation of EL which means God. So this person who torments me, who doesn't nourish me like a parent and I can't walk away from like a peer - why am I stuck with this relationship? Chalk it up to God's wisdom.

(Typical of the English to come up with a tongue-in-cheek word. Reminds one of the Cockney slang skin-and-blister for sister.)

So a sibling is basically a peer that you happen to be stuck with. Gotta remember their birthday, gotta invite them to your simchas, no matter how seldom you actually talk.

So back to today's question - are you the person you are primarily due to your parents, or primarily due to your siblings (again, as broadly defined as you want).

And should you wonder why it matters, I can think of two reasons.

1. Appreciation - the good that's in me came from somewhere (someone). I should thank them.
2. Change - my personality imperfections came from somewhere - if I can ID the source, it's so much easier to change myself.

Maybe you can think of more?

Shabbat Shalom

Friday, November 02, 2018

What Are You

Jude badge
The purpose of this blog is to Jew-up the Friday night dinner table. Please print and share.

As you know, this weekly space generally avoids current events.

But sometimes they are unavoidable.

And as you know, this email tries to be more about questions than answers.

So.... I would like to suggest four related questions for your table:

Question 1 - What's more shocking:

That there are such hardboiled antisemites among us, or that one of them decided to act on his hatred?

Question #2 - What about you:

Would you call yourself a Jewish American or an American Jew?

[substitute other nationalities as needed, including Israeli]

Question #3 - What's the ideal:

Should we be striving to live as Jewish Americans or American Jews?

Question #4 - What about now:

When an American Amalek hunts down Jewish people with the mindset of an exterminator trying to clear his world of vermin, how does that impact your answer to Q2 and Q3?

Shabbat Shalom