Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Erev Rosh Hashanah Prize

Most of the shomrei Shabbat teachers, including professors, that I know have a subtextual contest with each other about who has a worse holiday teaching season. Because Labor Day was Monday, and Erev Rosh Hashanah is today, most schools started this week and the schedules have forced tzorris, schpilkis, and agita among the whole profession. I was present at a one-upsmanship session where I was able to present the winner of the worst teaching schedule prize, won by me by proxy for my wife:

My wife's first day of teaching is *today* and she's teaching until 5:00 pm.

Please, please, hold your applause. But send help.

Pic from here.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Top 5 Reasons to Make Aliyah

5. The dream of 2000 years has finally been fulfilled

4. Married to a Gush guy

3. Pesky Cossaks

2. Am a Jew born in any country besides Israel or U.S.

1. Want to avoid three-day yuntif

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Why We are Americans

I've heard of Canadians, Mexicans, and others who associate themselves with this hemisphere of the Americas protest why the residents of the United States refer to themselves as "Americans." The argument is that USAers shouldn't hog the name "American" - because everyone in North America and Central America and South America are also "Americans." (See the lyrics to the above song to hear the full set of whines).

So two reactions to this, and one answer:

Reaction 1: The impetus to this complaint seems to be envy badly disguised as pique.* Why else would anyone want to claim the title of 'American' if it weren't so cool/important to be from the United States? The whiners could claim that since they are also in the Americas, they are tarred with the same opprobrium of we in the U.S.

Answer: What is the country of Canadians? Canada. What is the country of Mexicans? Mexico. I could go on, but if you look at a list of the countries of the world, you'll see that there is only one place that has the word "America" in its name: the U.S.A.

Reaction 2: Given that logic states we should be called "Americans," and that the only reason to protest the name is pique or terminal whinging, I do need to ask what these fragile freaks suggest we call ourselves? Uniteds? Meh.

* L'havdil, it's akin to every aggrieved group claiming their particular tragedy is a 'holocaust.'