Diet God

A friend from out of town came to visit our synagogue and said she wish there was a synagogue that is God-free. I told her that our synagogue is sort of God light, or diet God, but it was still too much God for her diet.

  I don’t know whether God exists or not, but I honestly don’t understand why human beings spend so much time thinking and arguing about that. I mean we’re going to find out when we die anyway so why bother about it now? ‘What is God’ is a more of an interesting question to me than whether it exists or not, since it has so many different answers than just yes or no.

  I do believe that acts of loving kindness count more than type of faith though.

  What I love about our synagogue, BHA, is that there are about as many different views of Judaism and of God as the number of members, if not more (two Jews, three opinions, so it says).

בדרך לפגוש את מיקי

בדרך לפגוש את מיקי

מנסה לצאת מתחנת הרכבת התחתית של כיכר ההסתדרות (יוניון סקוור) אל עבר מיקי שמחכה לי בכדי לצפות בהופעה. אני עולה במדרגות מהרכבת אל עבר היציאה ובדרך נמצאים –
א. קבוצה של כעשרים אנשים השרים בקול ובדבקות ניגוני הארי קרישנה 
ב. אחד עם כיפה, מורה לביולוגיה שתלה שלטים שיש משהו שמוצא את הפתרון למשהו, משהו עם התנ”ך המשהו שהוא מנסה לפתור לו את המשהו. או יותר נכון התנכ”ב, הוא התכוון לברית החדשה.
ג. זמרת אופרה ששרה זמירות מתקופה אחרת. 
  עם שניים מבין שלושת אלה אני נקלע לפגישה.

בדרך להופעה אני עוצר בפלאפל. אני חושש שהבעלים ישראלי אבל לכל העובדים יש מבטא הודי כבד וזה הפלאפל הראשון שאני אוכל בארה”ב שמגוון האפשרויות העומדות בפני הסועד מרגיש דומה לזה שבארץ (אכלתי כבר פלאפלים טעימים כאן אבל לרוב אין אפשרות לבחור סלטים). העובדים בעלי המבטא ההודי לא מבינים את המבטא שלי ואני לא מבין אותם. דומה לארץ אמרתי? אפשר לבחור בין חמישה סוגים של חומוס, הפלאפל אפוי ולא מטוגן (זה הרבה יותר טעים ממה שזה נשמע ומרגיש הרבה יותר נעים בבטן) ובין התוספות השגרתיות יש גם פסטו, אבוקדו, ביצה קשה, זיתים, אגוזים, זרעי חמניות, קינואה, גבינה בולגרית ועוד. בקיצור – בלגן בפיתה מחיטה מלאה. אבל זה מה שפלאפל אמור להיות, זה מה שניו יורק אמורה להיות, זה מה שאני, זה מה שכל אחד ואחת עמוק בפנים. וזה נורא טעים.

image

On statuses and other thoughts

   Recently I tried to post some creative writing on Facebook, as sort of a writing exercise. Basically I’m trying to improve my writing skills using this addictive website. I don’t know if that happened but I think I learned a few things by this exercise.

    There’s a “like” epidemic. One can like every single post and comment he sees on his feed and it would have no consequences at all. You can like pro life and pro choice posts, pussy riots and homophobic posts at once and nothing would happen. It’s like going to the casino with unlimited amount of money or voting for both candidates, there is no real value or anything to lose with the “like” button.

   Yet, when I posted something, I checked how many likes I got, often obsessively. However good or bad my writing was, it never beat the amount of likes a photo of a cute illiterate baby received almost instantly. Therefore, the fact that a divisive and uneducated post about two food vendors in Beacon gained ten times more likes than a (I hope) thoughtful and interesting post about a tragic and symbolic massacre doesn’t mean that one is more important than the other. On the Facebook stage, however, that might be the impression you get. But how can one “like” a massacre?

   Facebook is one of the main ways people communicate today. I don’t know of anyone who is in love with it, many people are a little upset to admit that they are addicted to it. I find that being more “active” on it, using it as a tool to improve a skill rather than to pass time, was actually quite gratifying. I have less complains about it now since I feel that by using it I actually gained something. It’s far from being perfect, I have no idea how and why Facebook decides which posts it will show me or which posts of mine others will see. I still don’t trust Facebook and suspicious about its motives.

    Whether you see the world with a scientific, religious, artistic, Buddhist, optimistic or pessimistic point of view, Facebook doesn’t “represent” anything. It’s a mixture of thing’s people share and that you see some of them in order that was made by an algorithm that is like the secret ingredient of Coca Cola. It’s an obvious fact, but one that’s important to remember.

    Usually only literature lovers will read literature magazines and only politics lovers will read about politics in depth. Facebook does offer an interesting stew where all of these melt into one feed, someone’s grandma and another one’s cat and the food industry and the war and the water and art and social issues and more. It’s interesting to think about it, I never saw such thing. It’s beautiful, humane, ugly and addictive at the same time, very different than the average news station.

   I thought of gathering what I wrote into a blog post but I find it useless. Facebook posts, however good or bad, are just Facebook posts. Maybe it’s a writing genre of itself since I don’t know how else to define it. Many times I experience something and think in advance about how to phrase it on Facebook. It may be silly, it probably is, but that’s how it goes. What I wrote was meaningful to me, as any writing, however dumb it is, important to its writer. I don’t think I mastered the status genre but I do consider it a form of writing, like non fiction, prose or others. Probably a less noble one but still a genre or at least a form. I didn’t use to think that way before I started this exercise.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image
Facebook statuses, an experimental booklet made with repurpusrd record covers and personal anecdotes to the addressee.
image

On humor

Recently I made a few attempts to write funny things. To my surprise, it seemed to work. I’m not a funny person, or at least when I tell a joke about 43% of the times it’s too long and I forget the end. Most kids do find me funny though, especially the illiterate ones.

I’m a religious person, in a sense that I find humor to be holy. I find humor as one of the most magical things about life. Like birth, death, love and music its meaning and secret can’t really be understood. It is one of the only things that can unite people from different cultures in a positive simple way. It gives hope to life that is too often full of suffering. I believe people like Chaplin, Stewart and Baron Cohen, or at least their characters are one interpretation of faith according to this religion.

So the fact that a rant about baby stuff we want to get rid of or a facebook comment made someone laugh makes me very happy. Much happier than if I’d make someone cry with my words. Ideally, If I may wish for a writing skill, I’d like to be able to get both reactions at the same time with one piece of writing. And that’s probably a little too serious thing about humor what I just wrote.

image