Monday, September 29, 2008

New Year Sounds.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year is almost upon us. Preparations for this holiday are extensive, physical (cooking, cleaning) and of course spiritual as we consider how we can be better people in the coming year.

Central to the religious celebrations is the blowing of the shofar which is made from a ram's horn. The sound is to inspire us, but actually getting a sound out of the thing is a trick - you don't actually blow, you sort of purse your lips and spit.

It is a trick my son intends to master. So he has lengthy sessions spitting into my shofar. He can get a sound, but instead of the pure and clear inspirational note, it sounds like a herd of very sick alpacas.In fairness, I'm not much better.

We also went to our synagogue and helped set up the hundreds of chairs needed for the services. My son was great, working harder - pound for pound - than anyone else. However, he also learned a few things about human nature as he watched a few dozen grown-ups argue about how to best arrange the chairs to maximize comfort vs. seating capacity vs. aesthetics. Then, after rows of chairs were set up, competing factions would adjust them, changing spacing - creating new access rows...

Watching this, anyone who believed in the Zionist Conspiracy would have been quickly disabused of the notion.

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