Saturday, April 16, 2011

Shavua Tov

8:37 PM - Motzai Shabbos Kodesh - Just back from shul. Vin Scelsa is talking about the songs he just payed in his unique way. He's now marveling about Paul Simon's young man's voice which doesn't seem to have dropped in octaves. Next he talks about a song he played from the soundtrack of Wings of Desire, a film which he says changed the way he views life. He is also caught up in Cry Me a River, written by Arthur Hamilton, and its unique rhyme scheme and phrasing:

You drove me, nearly drove me, out of my head
while you never shed a tear. Remember? - I remember, all that you said,
you told me love was too plebeian,
told me you were through with me and...

Next Vin's taken by These Days and it's line about Jackson not needing to be reminded of his failures because he has not forgotten them. I'm taken by that too.

Recently a dear friend of mine, one of the most level headed, good hearted, and smart people I know told me that a his shul rabbi told him that he once asked a big rav about someone with mental health issues. The first question that the rav asked was if the person in question was over weight. My friend - who is working on losing weight - was impressed by that story. That story is not to my taste at all. I wonder if that rav would have asked the same thing if he himself were not fit and trim. Perhaps if he was overweight he'd have asked the opposite. For the past three weeks I've gone to Weight Watcher meetings. I'm down five pounds. Last week I lost one and didn't think it was much. Then the group leader passed around a simulated pound of fat. It's substantial - and gross. One skinny member was talking about how she wishes she didn't have to work so hard at it - how she sees other people and envies it being easy for them. She finds it hard to get that when people who are struggling see her they don't see her struggle, they just see a skinny person and probably wish it was easy for them like it is for her. One never knows, do one?

At one of my Shabbos meals a rabbi presented the gist of his shiur on the movie The Counterfeiters. He discussed the debate between two characters in the film as to whether or not it was allowed to help the Nazis counterfeit British currency in order to save their own lives. He had many sources to say that the answer was no. In the end - lamdus myriad mekoros aside - the answer is yes, of course it's allowed to do anything other than than the big three, to save your own life.

I read some Zelda over Shabbos. I wish I could have had a moment of her time, live - in person:

Distant Shame (excerpt)

I am bound in gratitude
to a pale green leaf -
for a leaf
is a hand
that pulls my soul from the abyss
with a simple, silky affection,
with no judgment about my life;
for a leaf is a startling story of freshness
and revival of the dead

Vin just played a song by Universal Thump. This group takes it's name from Herman Melville's Moby Dick (page 6). He's saying that one way or another we're all slaves and maybe it would be better if we could all be nicer to one another instead, but for now everyone is someone is someone's slave and someone else's master."

"Who ain't a slave? Tell me that. Well, then, however the old sea-captains may order me about- however they may thump and punch me about, I have the satisfaction of knowing that it is all right; that everybody else is one way or other served in much the same way- either in a physical or metaphysical point of view, that is; and so the universal thump is passed round, and all hands should rub each other's shoulder-blades, and be content. "

Lately I discovered the work of Max Gerson. It seems extreme but the way people (I) live is extreme the other way. What's considered normal is so unhealthy. It's ironic that on the holiday of freedom so many of us will continue to be enslaved to overeating and/or eating unhealthy foods, not to mention not exercising (oops).

Shabbos was restful. Thank G-d. Thank G-d. Thank G-d for everything.

Shavua Tov.


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