Friday, May 11, 2007

I Love The Smell Of Blogging In The Morning

Once upon a time I wrote scraps, it was an upgrade from thinking all the time. Then I wrote on full sheets, then in notebooks. Then in diaries. At some point thinking in poetry and jotting it down started. And about two years ago the blog came about. When I started I had no idea who would read or how. In time comments started. I still remember the first comment, although I don't remember the name (but I do remember that he hasn't commented since). I don't know why I'm writing this. Sometimes I think that writing about blogging is like what they say about teaching teachers - that writing about blogging is what you do when you can't write. Or don't feel like it. Or don't know what not to say.


Though No-One Likes Mistakes

Little boy looks up
from Brachos book
"I made mistake"
scared he says

Mom misses no beat
looks at son straight
states truth
she believes
"It's OK
makes mistakes"

If someone ever asks
have you ever seen
someone save a life
I'll tell them yes

"It's OK
everyone makes mistakes"

That poem came to be based on something I witnessed 15 years ago. It was Friday night in YU and the guest Rosh Yeshiva was holding court in Rubin Shul. On my way to the facilities I passed the rabbi's wife and son. He was looking at pictures of foods like fruit and cake in a book and naming the matching bracha. And his mother was saying that he was right for each one. Then he got one wrong and was devastated. I was touched by how his mother handled it instinctively, beautifully. It's been simmering for some time. I'm glad I got it out.


I think the thunder woke me. Or maybe it was the bad dream that seemed to last all night. The radio man is talking about weather that will become muggy, then turn to sunny. While I'm writing, I keep pausing to erase a few of my accumulated (27) messages. I may go in to work very soon, I mean early. Once I went in too early and even though the fingerprint reader (really) read my index finger just find, after I opened the door the alarm went off. So, we'll try to avoid that today. I think that people who are very neat and /or prompt think that people that are late or sloppy are that way all the time. I don't have an issue with being on time or neat, sometimes I'm extra good with each. I have a hard time being consistent. I guess the answer is - one day at a time.


The Times had an interesting piece on ping pong, last Thursday. That link's not so helpful, unless you want to pay up. The nice thing about the article was the aspect of friendship and community that comes about through the ping pong club. "It's hard to make friends when you're a grown up..." - Peter Applebome aptly writes.


On our hearts, our souls
G-d says to put His Words there
not our intellect

That struck me regarding Shema.


Poetry is not easy
just because it's short
No more so than
a short life is easy



A part of life
that resonates
something that
we agree
makes sense


There's been a lot going on - one way or another there always is. But I haven't felt like writing about my day to day. Speaking of things I don't feel like doing - the radio is beeping in the other room. But I don't feel like going over to shut it.

Yesterday I bumped into an old friend. Remember when I bumped into you on Broadway about 3 years ago? he asked me. Yes! - I said, almost shouting. It was a nice moment. Yeah, you looked pretty terrible then - he adds. I wonder why he said that. I asked him if three years from now he'll tell me - Remember when I bumped into you on your way home and popped in to your apartment to chat?...

Time to make the doughnuts.
Have a great day everyone.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a nice poem and memory.

You probably need to know the alarm code to disarm it if you're the first one in, even with the reader letting you in. (We have that system at work, but with a card reader. Fingerprints! That's serious security.)

May 11, 2007 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Pesach Sommer said...

Some say that Chovos HaLevavos are the duties of the mind, as they understood the heart to be seat of the intelect. I like your idea, but I suspect they would say the same over here.

As for making friends as an adult, I am glad to find mine largely within the world of chinuch. I am also glad that you count me as a friend.

Good Shabbos

May 11, 2007 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger Jack Steiner said...

I always enjoy this sort of stream of consciousness post.

May 11, 2007 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Thanks tothe thgree of you who've livened up this post and turned it from monologue to dialogue.

M- Yes, you got it correctly, that's the story. The finger print thing is rarely really used - buyt after 9/11 they felt like they wanted high security installed.

P - I'm glad you agree with me. I don't get how one can say that heart means mind. I'm glad you count me as a friend. Most of my best friends are rabbis.

J- Thanks for saying that. I like the stream of consciousness ones too. I need to be relaxed and in a quiet place and let them flow.

May 11, 2007 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der ┼íteg) said...

i think i appreciated every part of this post. especially the poem about saving a life and making mistakes, and the explanation.

May 12, 2007 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Thanks Steg - as Nathan Englander said to Vin Scelsa, You're a kind man.

May 13, 2007 at 1:22 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der ┼íteg) said...

thanks. sometimes it's not such a benefit, though, ;-) , as a friend once told me:

i was asking one of my friends if she was intersted in u
and she said
no. steg is too nice. hes one of these ethical humanistic people.

May 16, 2007 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Sigh. That "too nice" story has a familiar ring to it.

May 16, 2007 at 9:22 PM  

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