Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Midweek Musings

Wow, it's been a crazy few weeks since I last spilled my guts on Arbitribe. Sometimes I wish that I could write more times than I already do because there's always so much on my mind and so much I want to say. Then I have a week like I just did and wonder why I ever even signed up for this thing in the first place. There have been a lot of ups and downs since you last heard from me, but I'm going to try and narrow it down to two things that really stood out to me. The first happened 48 hours after my last post, and the second happened less than 24 hours ago. Neither of them is long enough to work into a whole post, so I figured I'd lay them both on you at once and see how that goes. They're completely unrelated as it stands now, but considering how my posts often write themselves without me, it's possible they'll find a way to connect to each other by the end of this thing. I declare bonus points for me if that happens. In the meantime, this:

Shabbat 3 weeks ago I stayed in Queens, but the wonderful couple I did meals with did not have room for me to sleep at their apartment, so they set me up with some friends a few blocks away. I had no idea who these people were beforehand, so I accompanied my meal hosts to a shalom zachar they had that night so I could meet my sleeping hosts. It was at this shalom zachar that I heard a little speech given by the paternal grandfather of the newborn boy which turned out to be as good a sequel as I ever could have written to Alex's little anecdote that I told you about in January. I forget the exact sources he cited, so my details are a little sketchy, but the message is what's important, so I'll try to convey that as best as I can.

The question he asked was "Why do we have a shalom zachar to begin with?" He then went over a few sources that never satisfactorily answered the question for him and then proceeded to tell us the answer he came up with. It's written somewhere in the Gemara (I think) that when a soul is about to be sent to Earth to start a life, it has choice of potential lives it could lead. What he took from that is that everyone who is a Jew chose to be a Jew, knowing all the while what that means in the world today. In that sense, we're all volunteers, like in the army (Oh hi Alex, I didn't realize you were here!). There's no draft in America, and everyone in the army is there because they want to be there. No one forces a soul to be part of a Jewish life, it chooses to be part of it. Additionally, no matter how much hazing the senior officers put the privates through at the beginning, when it comes down to it, they stick together and would take a bullet for each other at a moment's notice. In that same way, they Jews fight among themselves all the time, but when the expletive hits the fan (that's a direct quote, mind you), we're all in it together, looking out for each other.

Obviously this message hit home in a big way, seeing as I've only ranted about that on this blog a billion trillion times. It's gotten to the point that I'm not even going to go back and link to my earlier posts because I really don't have the patience to keep doing that every time I talk about it. Go back and find them yourselves, and read the rest of the site while you're at it. It builds character. In all seriousness though, this is self explanatory, and I'm not going to elaborate because there's only so many times I can say the same thing before I get drafted by the Department of Redundancy Department. It's just another metaphor to keep in your back pocket, and I thought it was a cool idea regardless.

The second thing I want to bring up is that yesterday was the two year anniversary of my first sick day i.e. it's been two years since my life got turned completely upside down. A few months ago I thought that by now I would be off the meds, but alas, that isn't the case. It's a poignant day, all things considered, and it's going to be marked in my calender every year as one of what will be three commemorative days where I thank Hashem that I'm alive, the other two being Remission Anniversary (September 7) and whatever day I get off the meds. Obviously I'll be doing that the other 362 days of the year as well, but you get the point.
However, yesterday I got another reason to commemorate February 28: my cousin gave birth to twins! I mentioned it to a friend last night and he rhetorically asked, "So now 2/28 gets its balance back?" Which is crazy because my entire life I've been a total hippy and have gone on about energy and vibes and the balance of all things in the world. It totally blew my mind; here's a day that I will remember forever as the day that began my personal hell and the self-destruction of my body, and two years later, a beautiful baby boy and a beautiful baby girl are born into this world, and the balance shifts back to the middle. And that kind of gets back to my mini-series on the Grand Master Plan. Most of the time we just don't know what's going on and the world seems random, but every now and then, the veil is lifted for a few moments and we get a glimpse of the inner workings of the universe, and stuff starts to make sense again. It's really cool stuff if you can get to a place where you recognize it when it happens and fully appreciate the magnitude of that experience.

Anyways, I thought those were some cool ideas to share, so I hope you enjoyed. Feedback is always appreciated :) And in the end I couldn't get those two things to connect, so whoever does it gets bonus points. READYSETGO!

Song of the Day: I Love NYC - Andrew W.K.

ps. Sim, I know you comment on the song every time it's something you recognize. Do me a favor and actually talk about the content of the post too, kay? :p


  1. All I can hear are the sounds of partying...

  2. Dont have time to read this but... iiiiiiiiii loveeeeeeeee new york citayyyyy!!!!!!!!! :D


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