On being a Jew, and the 24 hour day (an open thread, if you’d like)

Here’s a thing that a lot of non-Jews, and Jews who might not be particularly observant, don’t know: Being an observant Jew takes a hell of  a lot of time.

This is true even when one is surrounded by Jews — cleaning for Passover is no less time-consuming in Israel or Flatbush than it is here in Gentile-ville, Illinois — but it’s even more true when one is not surrounded by Jews. Entire weekends go on the bar/bat mitzvah celebrations of loved ones, whole chunks of spring and fall go on our holidays, prayer services that last for two and a half hours, toting the kids to and from Hebrew school twice a week, not to mention essentially arranging one’s life around Hebrew school… it goes on and on and I mostly love it, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that it’s more than a little time-consuming. And all this is going on right on top of all the other stuff that the world expects of one, whether or not the world has any idea that all this is going on. Oy!

All this by way of saying: I’m trying really hard, but it’s going to be hard for me to be here this week. I have a little bit of work, a class that starts tonight (Museum Education, if you’re curious), and the holiday bearing down on me at top speed. When sundown comes on Friday, that’s it man. Either my house and I are ready – or we’re not.

So for today I’m just going to say: Hey, check out my blogrolls! And really, I mean that. There are a lot of really good, interesting blogs listed there, not a one of them an echo-chamber of anything.


*********************** HUZZAH AND HOORAY! ***********************

The Angry Black Lady Chronicles, at which I regularly crosspost, has moved Uptown! Or, in this case, to Raw Story, which is a pretty awesome site in its own right. Please visit ABLC at its new digs! Everyone there (and it’s about 11 of us at this point) is cool, smart, and knows his or her way around a keyboard. Give ’em some love, people!

PS If folks want to turn this into an open thread, please feel free! If you get stuck in moderation, I’ll get you out as soon as I can.



  1. kckitty

     /  April 3, 2012

    I had no idea, and I dated a Jewish guy who I thought was fairly “observant”…lol.

  2. Hello! we missed you! If you have a chance, you should check out Tunes for Tuesday today. to a band called Abraham Inc, and if you don’t know about them, you should.

    Also you saw the emilylhauser bait, yes?

    I think the time consuming factor has been one of the big deterrents in going full Jew and shacking up with one. As long as I live with a goy, I can always use him as an excuse as to not kosherize for pesach.

  3. dmf

     /  April 3, 2012

    • Dex

       /  April 3, 2012

      Thanks for this. I hadn’t seen it in awhile. I love everything about it. The concept, the tune, the sound, the light.

      • dmf

         /  April 3, 2012

        my pleasure, too bad it was an ad but if that’s what it takes to finance art…

        • Dex

           /  April 3, 2012

          (Yeah, somehow I’d forgotten about the ad part until it got to the end. I was actually letting it cache for a bit and commented before watching it.) It does remind me of another commercial, which is beautiful in its own right:

          There’s a lower-def version that says, I think, that it took 607 attempts before they got a clean take.

  4. dmf

     /  April 3, 2012

    Fragile, provisional, it comes unbidden
    as evening: the children on the block
    called in to dinner that for tonight
    is plentiful, as if it had cost nothing
    either in money or worry about money.

    Then evening deepens and the street
    turns silent. There may be disasters
    idling in driveways, and countless distresses
    sharpening, but all that matters
    most that must be done is done.

    “Contentment” by Michael Ryan

  5. Dex

     /  April 3, 2012

    Speaking of Religious holidays, my wife and I are completely clueless about them and need to get better. Good friends of ours often invite us over for feasts. The first time, we were about two hours in before we realized that it was for a specific holiday (Passover, I think?). Another time, we were invited over at Thanksgiving and thought we should bring a dessert and decided on lemon meringue. We couldn’t figure out why people were so excited, but apparently it’s an incidentally Kosher or almost-Kosher dessert (I feel like I’m breaking all kinds of rules by even saying that) that was a special treat for some of the people there. (I think they’re from New Jersey; I had no idea that this was a thing, so I think it might be regional or something, the way that Chinese takeout at Christmas is for many people in that area).

    In my defense, I grew up in a Christian church and I just realized last night that it’s Easter weekend this weekend, and the only reason my wife knew was that — get this– the India-based office at her work sent an email to the American office reminding them that the Indian office would be closed for Good Friday.

  6. watson42

     /  April 3, 2012

    Ah, that pre-Passover cleaning frenzy. My sister is in the throes of it in anticipation of her in-laws visiting. I, on the other hand, am busy planning a menu for Easter brunch while simultaneously wondering if I am going to go to NYC for Baisakhi next weekend. It’s not that my family is religiously confused, we’re just….inclusive?

    So, Easter brunch. Right now brioche, fruit salad, and mimosas are definitely on the menu. Weighing the alternate merits of souffle vs. quiche and considering creme puffs vs. creme brulee. Anyone have any preferences?
    No matter what, I need to get to the store to buy eggs and cream. And hopefully Russo’s will have some ripe pineapple.

    • Cream puffs! Cream puffs!

      But can you make them in a week, too? Because I can’t eat them on Sunday.

      Because Passover.

      (This afternoon, a friend who’s about to move rang my bell, her arms laden with food from her freezer, to see if I wanted it — frozen pizzas, frozen waffles…. It was all I could do not to throw her bodily from my porch).

      • chingona

         /  April 3, 2012

        Last year, at my in-laws’ mid-Passover Easter brunch, there were two quiches. One had bacon and one was vegetarian. One had a potato crust and one had a flour crust. And the bacon one was in the potato crust and the vegetarian one was in the flour crust. Curses!

        • aaron singer

           /  April 4, 2012

          I don’t keep Kosher, but I do try and keep pesach. Thus, I find nothing wrong with eating a BLT on matzo! 😉

  7. chingona

     /  April 3, 2012

    So, I’m totally screwed. I was out of town the weekend before last and then had a guest this weekend. Knowing this, I did a tremendous amount of cleaning before we went out of town, and much of the deep cleaning is still in effect (though not quite as shiny and new anymore, alas) However, the house is now very dirty in the superficial sense (books, junk mail, toys, clothes in the typical disarray and distribution), and there is still that final push of Passover cleaning. I just got home from covering a late meeting, and I’m debating whether I should stay up and get a bunch of stuff done or whether I go to bed and just pull an all-nighter tomorrow. I am seriously out of time!!! To make matters worse, I also procrastinated on, of course, my taxes, and we have an appointment with the accountant, who is 40 minutes away near where we used to live, tomorrow at 6 p.m. After I work all day. Did I mention I am out of time!!!??? Of course, the worst thing I could do is stay up late procrastinating on the Internet and then be really tired tomorrow with not a dent made on the house. (Do not ask me where my husband is in all this. He is sleeping. And the sink is full of dirty dishes. Grrrr.)

    • I so identify with the staying up late thing. I did that on Sunday because I couldn’t face the combined cleaning/work load on Monday – and then of course, Monday was that much worse for it!

      Good luck! And chag pesah kasher to you and yours!

      • aaron singer

         /  April 4, 2012

        Although she doesn’t keep kosher and thus doesn’t have to worry about cleaning (plus we go to my cousin’s for passover), there is still a lot of cooking to do before friday; chicken soup for the family seder; homemade gefilte fish. That the Chicago schools are currently on spring break is a good thing.

        Another fun thing this time of year is going to the nearby Jewel, which has a huge Kosher section catering to West Rogers Park/Lincolnwood/Skokie clientele, and seeing just how crazy things get and the incredible variety of Kosher for Passover products on offer.

  8. stephen matlock

     /  April 4, 2012

    In case any of you in Seattle are interested in a Word Jazz/Poetry Slam hosted by Yours Truly, Tuesday April 10th I’ll be the MC of the SnoValley Writes 3rd Annual Festival: “Three Is the Magic Number.”

    It’s our third anniversary, and they asked me to host because I’m witty and fun and no one else wanted to do it. 10 authors will read their works, 2 winners of our writing contest will be announced (we had entries from maybe a half dozen countries this time), and we will have audience participation in our Poetry Slam. Plus beer and wine and dinner.