Friday, August 24, 2007

Love in the Time of Christiane Amanpour

After a thankfully uneventful flight home to the metro NYC area from Tel Aviv, I am writing. I might as well -- I've been up since 4 a.m. and am now updated on all the football scores from Europe and the Middle East.

Of course, I'm still kvelling over this...

...but I have been advised by those who truly love me and care about me that it's best to get over it, move on and start concentrating on things like Yona's bat mitzva, our new business and office space, the start of a new school year and our immense social and family obligations.

But before I get too distracted by being focused, here's a word or two about what else you might have missed if you were not in Israel this summer, or if, like me, you were napping on the plane.

I missed what was apparently the jihad that Christiane Amanpour has unleashed via her CNN series on religion. It would be surprising if any level-headed Moslem or Jew were grateful that at least their side was fairly depicted in a most balanced way. Thankfully there was no plain evidence in view of anything that had been created for the CNN screen.

Has Beckham made an impact, Stateside? Can anyone tell me? I'm really in the dark on this one.

Israel is insanely loyal to its football, as evidenced by a public service commercial on TV, which shows a fervent couch potato ignoring the whole family and shooshing everyone who strays in front of his treasured team on the little screen. Finally, it's his wife who pays the ultimate price when he swats her to the floor for tresspassing on his match, in front of all his kids. "If you have a problem, get help," the ad cautions. The drama surrounding players, coaches, leagues and violent donnybrooks in the stands is fueled further by the occasional outburst of anti-semitism in the stands of other countries between the Israeli fans and the other team loyalists. In other words, we Jews have attained our equality, at least in the football arena.

I confess -- I am a Maccabi Tel Aviv fan. My dream match would be:

Maccabi Tel Aviv v. Widzew Lodz.

And since I know that a Teaneck v. Toronto game is not likely anytime soon, that would be the closest thing to my two alter egos duking it out on the field.

All this random and very luxuriant rumination was made possible thanks to my eight-hour nap on the plane. And that was made possible thanks to the fabulous company of my friend Marissa James in Jerusalem. She is in Jerusalem for a year on a cantorial study program at the Jewish Theological Seminary. We sang together in the Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus this past June. I could rave about her forever, but while I was peacefully snoozing at 38,000 feet, Marissa blogged about our day together. I could not say it any better. So here's her entry.

Back to laundry and unpacking..................


Monday, August 06, 2007

Bragging rights:
I did it! I won first place in the Tel Aviv Open Scrabble tournament!

Check out the tourney details here or here, if you prefer: Tee hee!