Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Should we kill them? They're so pretty.

We spent this morning picking strawberries for Table to Table, an organization that provides food for the poor, before enjoying a picnic lunch and heading to the beach in Netanya. The water, which is normally rough, was as placid as I had ever seen it, and we were able to see the sea bottom clearly.

While we were disappointed at first that we wouldn't have the chance to jump in the waves and fight the surf, we soon found a bunch of interesting seashells, which we normally don't find out on the sand or at the edge of the water. The shells were very pretty, and we collected a few and brought them to Veev, who was enjoying the sun and watching our stuff.

There was only one problem with these beautiful shells - they were still occupied by their original inhabitant. We were still in the water when we realized that there was something in the shell, and my oldest questioned whether or not we should kill these sea creatures. I assured him that God had put them here for us to enjoy, and we should take them out of the water.

And so we did. We were able to see the tracks these animals had left on the bottom of the sea floor, and from the point when we knew they were alive, my oldest would only take the ones that were not moving very far; the ones who looked like they were working down their earned a reprieve.

We put them on the sand next to Veev, after one in her hand brushed her hand as it tried to move. I did not realize that these animals wouldn't die upon contact with the outside atmosphere. I called the boys out of the water, and we watched as these shells tried to scoot their way through the sand and back to the water.

We didn't have much time at the beach; only about 90 minutes, and by the time we were ready to go we had captured eight of these guys. My middlest, who at 8 is the fondest of all living creatures and the child most likely to be a conscientious objector to the practice of human's eating meat, took the two that were still alive and released them back into the water. My oldest was annoyed, because he had found the last two, and besides, as he pointed out, they are probably going to get picked up by someone else anyway, so why shouldn't we keep them.

But as far as i know, those two are safe in their watery atmosphere, while six are dead downstairs. Now we just need to clean them out, and we will have some really nice sea shells.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Day One of the Omer

My sister in law called last night from the hotel in Tevariah. She was excited to be able to call after only keeping one day, a decision she and husband came to after consultation with their Rav, and reviewing the sources for why some people keep two days and some keep one when visiting Israel.

Keeping the second day of Chag while in Israel has always felt foreign to me, as does Israeli's keeping only a single day when traveling outside Israel. From a logical perspective, and based on the reasons for the original creation of the second day, it makes sense that one should follow the minhag of the place where they are spending their chag. Chutznikim in Israel should keep one day; Israelis in the diaspora should keep two.

But that isn't how it generally works. Admittedly, I have never looked into the sources for why Israelis keep one day when they leave Israel and tourists keep two days in Israel. I have seen, more and more, though, that when tourists come to Israel, they are keeping only one day of chag.

And I think its wrong.

Keeping one day is the privilege of those of us who are fortunate enough to live in Israel. Call it a motivating factor toward Aliyah, not a privilege purchased for a flight and two week hotel stay.

And so I told this to my sister in law when she called.

In retrospect, I was wrong to say it then.

I could have told her beforehand. But my timing was wrong here. They were excited about a big decision that they made, and I should have either said something before or not said anything at all. It was wrong to tell her what I thought minutes after Havdala.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Does everything need a title

So I am at the gym this morning, doing my regular routine on the elliptical machine. The A's Red Sox game was on TV, but since i did not have control of the TV I could not change the channel to watch the game, so instead I am watching this movie that this old lady put on the screen. Which wasn't so terrible. Except that the sound is of on the TV in the gym so that the crappy music can be blasting as loud as possible, but I digress. Anyway, The problem with watching movies here is that they have subtitles in hebrew, which again, isn't so bad if you can hear the English, so that you can learn some hebrew words but when you don't speak hebrew well and you can't read fast and translate, well, you know, it is tough to know what is going on. Not as tough as watching Dr Phil with subtitles and no talking, because they could be talking about anything, and with a movie, you know basically that someone is aboiut to get killed, because that is the kind of movie they show in the morning on the YES cable system.

Anyway, on to my point. So we are watching this movie, and it is very violent. Lots of people getting killed. And the police come to this house, and they surround it and this fat guy comes to the window and then they cut to another room in the house where this girl is getting out of bed. And she is topless. Which was nice. And they kepp cutting back and forth to her as she walks around the house, with these people in the house with guns, surrounded by people outside of the house with guns, and no one stops to stare at her. She was wearing a black bikini panty. Or is it panties? Since she was only wearing one pair.


Anyway, the fat guy standing by the window gets shot, and the topless girl walks up to the room, and kneels down next to him, and takes his watch off his wrist.

And the whole time she is taking it from him, I am thinking two things to myself. Nice Rack. And Nice Rack. But then I started to wonder where she would hide the watch she stole off the dead guy.

And that's all for now.