12 April 2006

The smote and the smitten: traditional post-Seder blogging

Then came the Holy One, blessed be He,
And slew the angel of death,
That killed the shohet that slaughtered the ox
That drank the water that quenched the fire
That burned the stick that beat the dog
That bit the cat that ate the goat
My father bought for two zuzim.
One little goat, one little goat.

Thus ended our tiny seder tonight. No one had sauntered in through the open door.

This afternoon, Dana and I visited my mom, dad, and brother in the cemetery up in North York. And then we went to Regina's, the wonderful Jewish foodery at Wilmington and Sheppard. The sign said they closed at noon, but it was nearly two and the place was packed. Everyone was so cheerful and helpful in this little place. I remember that when I was a kid (not a goat, not a goat), I used to walk the kilometre or two to Regina's, from Pannahill Road, and buy myself a kosher egg roll. They were 35 cents. And then, a few doors over from Regina's, was DeHavilland Books, the first used bookstore I ever knew. Musty old paperbacks. I bought some MAD paperbacks, and once I bought a Man from U.N.C.L.E. paperback there, and I also bought a Conan the Barbarian book. I think I also bought my first Mickey Spillane novel at DeHavilland Books. The place was run by an old couple with a son who I guess we called then "retarded." They were orthodox. I can picture them exactly, though the place has probably been gone for 30 years.

Those kosher egg rolls sure were good.

When I get back from out west, I'm going to make a trip to Pannahill Road, and drop by 179, and give them (probably leave in their mailbox) a copy of Henry Kafka And Other Stories. There's a story in there called "The Story of My Family," and it takes place in the driveway of that house. Maybe the current owners of the house would like a copy.

There's some stuff in the Haggadah that you read after the seder meal. I think that after all the grandparents were finally gone, we skipped that part in our family seders. But even when we included it, it was read in Hebrew. Now Dana and I read it in English, and there's a bit of pretty ugly stuff in there, calling for the wrath of god against enemies. Not only enemies, but those who don't believe the same as we do.

I guess they were pretty desperate and scared back then, getting chased all over the desert, with only time to eat matzoh. It was hot and bloody. There've certainly been similar times for Jews not all that long ago, and similar times for others, too, but I don't think this smoting business is really the answer. Better that everyone on earth simply be smitten than anyone gets smoted.

Over and out.


At April 13, 2006 2:47 am , Anonymous rox. said...

"Pour out Thy wrath upon the nations that know Thee not, and upon kingdoms that did not call upon Thy name. For they have consumed Jacob, and laid waste his habitation. Pour out Thy rage upon them, and let Thy fury overtake them. Pursue them in anger and destroy them, from under the heavens of the LORD."

agree stu...i'll pass on this too.

At April 13, 2006 10:47 am , Anonymous rox. said...

heard, leaving the door open rationale is two-fold:
1. in case eli wants to drop in
2. to make sure no one's eavesdropping.

did you dance?


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