Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gut Vuch (GNAGB Haiku Included)

Had a wonderful Shabbos in Stamford Connecticut, decided to stay over tonight. The Rabbi and Rebbetzin Krimsky are talking with a guest doing the post op review. They have the cutest little boy. (He's a year and a half old and is sitting on my lap on and off, watching Barney and enjoying a horsey ride as I go back and forth between playing with him and adding to this post). It was a singles event and I was the speaker at Shalosh Seudos and opened for Marc Weiner after Shabbos. He is a master. I told him after that I liked a joke that I heard him tell on Pesach years ago. He didn't think it was his line, but I know it was. He believed me. I told him he should take it back, he appreciated that, and took me up on the offer. Maybe you'll hear him tell it on Pesach. It was a thrill to open for him and even a bigger thrill that he liked my act. The Shalosh Seudos was well received and that makes me happy because I think the ideas I shared are important, and because I like when I'm well received.

I liked the rabbi's talk this morning. I don't know about you but a speaker doesn't have very long before I buy in or check out. Rabbi Elly Krimsky started with "When I grew up," which got my attention. He continued with "I was only allowed to watch TV if it was PBS, and even then - only certain shows." It was looking good. He went on to talk about how much he enjoyed Mr. Rogers and how he vividly recalled "the costume changes." That was his intro for a drashah about the importance of clothing, highlighted in Parshat Tetzaveh by the special requirements for the clothing of the kohein. He spoke of the Hebrew homonyms ohr (with an aleph)and ohr (with an ayin). When it says that G-d made clothes for Adam and Chavah it says he made ohrot for them, when could mean that he clothed them in light. Beged (garment) relates to the Hebrew word for rebellion, showing that clothing can be used that way. Also, beged uses the second, third, and fourth letters of the Aleph-Bet. Letter number one represents G-d, and this hints to the idea that through clothing ourselves appropriately we bring G-d in (or G-d forbid, vice versa). He also cited the Malbim, saying that with what we wear we clothe our souls. Rather than man being made by clothes, his point was that man makes clothes as a statement of how he views himself. He gave credit for many of his ideas to Rav Meir Goldvicht.

After kiddush R. Krimsky gave a little talk on Asher Yatzar. He said that Asher Yatzar is about the body and is followed in the morning by Elokai Neshamah, which is about the soul. I think often about the balance between body and soul. I was taught in my formative years that we are our soul and our bodies are just shells that one day will fall away. As R. Krimsky read through Elokai Neshamah in English it dawned on me that in this prayer we speak of our bodies as our selves. Clearly the "I am exclusively my soul" approach is incomplete.

In the same talk Rabbi Krimsky mentioned that when he was learning in Israel he was once discussing with a chavrusah why it is that in the morning (as opposed to before bread) we alternate the hands we wash, one pour at a time. Rav Nebenzahl passed by, overheard, and suggested that each hand is struggling to become pure now that the soul is returned, so we give both equal attention in terms of cleaning them up real nice asap.

It feels like Motzai Shabbos/Saturday night to me and that's why this post says says that it's Saturday night. Yet it's really early on Sunday morning and I have to cut myself off.

We each have our words
We each have our parting lines
Good night and G-d Bless


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