Thursday, June 29, 2006

Tangents - They're Not Just For Math Class Anymore

This morning someone in a store wished me a good day and I told them to have a good one too. As I walked out I wondered if it sounded like I was saying have a good 1,2 - as in a 1,2 punch.

Reminded me of an episode in West Wing when an advisor says that people in a certain state don't hear that well. And someone clarifies that that was to mean that people there don't like a certain approach being presented, not that they have a hearing deficit.

Which reminds me of Brian Regan's routine about how sometimes he mis-speaks, like when a cab driver leaves you at the airport and says "have a good flight" and he says you too" then doesn't know what to add other than "I'm a moron" and then tries to save it with, I mean if you ever do fly.

I'm cooking fruit soup, something I haven't done for a long time. Brings back sweet memories of long ago, of people long gone... I love fruit soup. I love fruit. Some people call it compote when it's cooked. Call it whatever you want and Ill still love fruit soup. And the same goes for certain dear people.

I feel like I haven't freely written in a while. I'd like to take this opportunity, as I try to let it flow, to thank Mirty for her true kindness in helping me, most recently by archiving many poetry posts. I'd also like to thank all the readers and commenters. And I apologize to anyone that I hurt in any way by writing about or by not appreciating enough. I try to reply to all comments and I appreciate those who take the time to comment even if I slip in how I word my replies or neglect to reply. If anyone has the inkling to comment (in a polite way) please do so.

Every year in classes there are one or two idea that the students get. A few years ago that idea was Rav Hirsch's pshat on Eretz Zavat Chalav U'Devash. I drew a sink on the board and explained that according to Rav Hirsch it doesn't mean that milk always flows in Israel. He says that a zav is a flow that starts and stops like the stream from a faucet. And that Israel is unique because the produce is controlled by G-d like a faucet in direct correspondence to the behavior of The Jewish People.

This came to mind now, as Roseanne Cash serenades me about the flow of milk and blood.

I'm writing on a little table that I've pushed up against a bookcase for a change of pace. Staring me down from the shelf is Days of Awe. And I'm reminded of the time I walked into (the now closing) Eichlers and asked if they had Days of Awe in Hebrew and the response was, "it's been translated to Hebrew?!" (If you got that let me know).

Speaking of Roseanne Cash, did I tell you that I heard her interviewed recently. She said a lot of amazing things. Here's one story she told about her step-mother:

When June Carter-Cash was young she performed with the Carter Family. The shows included many acts from similar cuts of cloth. Once an act's banjo player didn't show up and they frantically asked if anyone from another group could fill in. June stepped forward, played the whole set with them and then sang with her family. When she heard this story Roseanne said to June, "I didn't know you play banjo." And June said, "I don't." So Roseanne asked the obvious follow up question and June said, "Oh honey, when I was on that stage I knew how to play the banjo!" There's a deep lesson there, and I will not belabor the point.

Today I wrote this while waiting for a friend:

Some people can't wait
I don't mean they look forward
I mean they can not wait
So they set up their lives
so that they're rarely early
and surround themselves
with friends who are never late.


Anonymous bob said...

I've always pondered about the waiting thing. I tend to always be early, so I get frustrated when others are late. I feel this most accutely in the doctor's offices. Sometimes you can wait for over an hour and this seems to be the norm. But heaven forbid that you come late!
Also, I find that doing something when you wake up is counterproductive (unless it is using the facilities). It wakes you up further and doesn't allow you mind to rest.
btw - how have you been?

June 29, 2006 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Nice poem. Better for me to wait than others. Tangents are good funny way of putting it. I love fruit soup but the second I hear compote I think of old fogies and prunes and I can't eat it.

June 29, 2006 at 8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A rabbi who watches t.v.? Interesting...

Are you a real Rabbi? Or a rabbi in training? Or are you considered a Rabbi just because your grandfather was a rabbi? Orrr are you just a want to be "rabbi" also know as a FAbbi (fake Rabbi)

Please don't take my questions as an insult. Just curious...

June 30, 2006 at 2:03 AM  
Blogger Shoshana said...

If you are making fruit soup - make sure to include strawberries. They are yummy.

June 30, 2006 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Yeah shoshana fruit soup aint fruit soup w/o strawberrys. bob since when these days aren't there rabbis that don't watch movies. All you need is smicha to be a rabbi, what age are you living in? I am sure a ton of guys with smicha watch tv. It means nothing much to have smicha. Maybe rabbi f's shows are on the cleaner side or not.

June 30, 2006 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Last things first Bob. Thanks for asking how I am. Thank G-d. One of the things about teaching is that there are intense starts and stops twice every year...

The doctor thing is just wrong of the doctors.

I find that doing something works if I can't sleep. It's me and Achashveirosh versus Bob.

Thanks SWFM - I prefer to be waiting than to be waited for, in theory. But I think there's something about bein early that's scary to me sub consciously. Amazing what a name can do as fruit soup nd compote are often the same.

Anon - I watch videos and dvds on a tv that came without an antena and's never been used as a tv. If you are who I think you are then I believe I answered these questions more fully in private correspondence.

Shoshana - the soup is done. Peaches, cherries, and grapes. But you're right strawberries are good, particularly with rhubard. Did you see the recent 5Q Tanach Quiz?

SWFM - I take my semicha seriously and try hard to live up to the name. It's amazing where a passing reference to West Wing can lead.

June 30, 2006 at 11:25 AM  
Anonymous bob said...

social worker/frustrated mom - I don't know why you addressed your Rabbi comment to me since I didn't make it. So please, I respectfully ask you to take your frustration elsewhere.

Rabbi Fleischmann - I am glad to hear that you are well. I understand what you mean in the second part of your comment. Who am I kidding anyhow. You know what my preferred middle of the night activity is.... Have a great Shabbos. It looks like you have a lot of new commentators on your blog....
Do you like intense beginnings or endings better in school.

June 30, 2006 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Shoshana said...

I did see the Tanach quiz, but since I must admit to not knowing any of the answers, I didn't chime in. But, and I know it's a bit mean, I was pleased to see that Steg didn't know them either. Sorry Steg :(

June 30, 2006 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

bob so sorry I meant it to anon and it wasn't a frustration just a comment. Rabbi F. I wasn't chas ve shalom saying you are not serious. Just saying it's not a big deal if a man with a rabbi title watches so it was taken wrongly it wasn't meant for the bad I was actually sticking up for you and telling anon that it is more normal than he thinks.

June 30, 2006 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Btw I am never early I don't think it could happen so I agree just don't want to keep ppl waiting like you said. Oh boy now I really feel bad my comments were taken the wrong way sorry yall. Don't know how I mixed up bob with anon.

June 30, 2006 at 3:13 PM  
Anonymous bob said...

Not to worry socialworker/frustrated mom, no harm done.

June 30, 2006 at 4:31 PM  
Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

ok good, glad you forgive the mistake.

June 30, 2006 at 6:40 PM  
Anonymous maayan said...

Hi Rabbi Neil- Hope transitioning is going OK.

Been a crazy, demanding couple of weeks and am having lots of Shabbat company, and you just helped me out. While enjoying catching up on your posts I realized I'll start with fruit soup! Maybe even chicken salad as one of the sides.

Any thought on dessert?

(For the post, "Tangents-They're Not Just For Math Class Anymore")

July 4, 2006 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Did I mention that chicken salad is my favorite? For the fruit soup, I recommend plums too (I used mostly peaches).

One of my guests made this cake that was easy to make and good, but fattening. I don't know the exact proportions but it included a bad of frozen mixed berries, stick and a half of margarine, flour, vanilla. It was good. If you want the exact recipe let me know. It goes well wit vanilla toffuti. (Brownies are easy and always a hit and go well with toffutit too) (even with the soup at the beginning, fresh fruit is always nice at desert time, as in cherries/grapes)

July 4, 2006 at 9:52 AM  
Anonymous maayan said...

Thanks so much! Good ideas!
Have a lot of people coming- adults and kids- think I will make both the cake and brownies (btw, is there any yummy cake that isn't fattening?).

If you come across the cake recipe -great- if not, don't worry about it; I'll just do in the kitchen what it sounds like you're really good at on stage, (in the classroom, etc.), improvise!

BTW, do you add sugar to your fruit soup?

(For 6/29 post)

July 5, 2006 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

let's continue talking on another post, i'm having trouble digging back to this one (or we can email).

I think some sweetener adding is needed for sure (I'm a fan of non sugar, but many people don't like that) (but theoretically one could use equal and nbot tell)

Thankyou for the naturally tucked in compliment.

Good luck with all the guests
(some jelly beans, etc, for the kids is a nice touch)

July 5, 2006 at 9:00 PM  
Anonymous maayan said...

O.K. Last time on "Tangent".

Since in Parshat Chukat the parah adumah is burnt, maybe your parsha post can be called, 'What's Cooking?' and we can continue our conversation there.

July 6, 2006 at 12:37 AM  

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