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Friday, April 21, 2006

Long time no... anything!

When I said I was taking 'a few days off for passover' perhaps I should have been more specific.  Unfortunately I didn't have any idea if I'd have the time or inclination to write during my vacation so I left it intentionally vague.  My bad.

I have tons of things to share and lots of pictures for future Photo Fridays... but for today I'll just ease back into things with some short topics that don't really deserve a post of their own (for now, anyway):

1.  Under the general genre of 'too much information' is my sincere desire to reacquaint myself with the wonders of indoor plumbing... or any plumbing for that matter.  When Moses said 'Let my people go' he was being more prophetic than even he knew at the time.  Oy, matzoh!

2.  A petty, self-serving religious request that will be lost on those who don't participate in organized Jewish religious rituals:  Would those of you who insist on squeezing your eyes closed and making pleading/imploring gestures with your upraised hands/fists during prayer please stand in the back of the synagogue where you won't distract the hell out of the rest of us who clearly don't enjoy such a close personal relationship with The Creator?  Much appreciated.

3.  On having bad neighbors:  Longtime readers of this journal will remember that we live in a wonderful neighborhood full of warm, caring neighbors... with one notable exception.  Any hope on our part that time, divine intervention or other influences might result in even a tiny improvement in the status quo have thus far remained, er, unfulfilled.  Yes, that is one of the largest understatements of the new century... and no I can't elaborate.  For now.

4.  The Golan Heights and upper Galilee (where we spent most of our vacation camping, wine tasting and touring) are national treasures.  Anyone who visits or lives in Israel without taking in these breathtaking areas cannot claim to have really 'seen the country'.  There is a world out there beyond Dizengoff, Ben Yehudah and Eilat, people.  Go experience it!

5.  There is a tradition among observant Jews to conduct a ritual counting of the days between Passover and Shavuot.  This counting is done each evening, and if no interim days are missed, is preceded by a blessing.  I have a personal tradition of missing the second or third evening of this counting, therefore denying myself the privilege of including the blessing before the rest of the 47 or 48 days.  Miraculously, I haven't yet missed a night of counting.  Standby for the inevitable report of failure.

6.  More to follow on Sunday, Monday and beyond... but for now I hope that the links in my pre-Passover post provided an opportunity for you to meet some new and interesting people... and the blogrolls on each of their sites even more so.  We tend to fall into ruts in our online reading. Following new links on your regular reads is the virtual equivalent of 'taking the road less traveled'.  We all need to do that much more often than we do... even if it means not coming back to where we started.

Shabbat Shalom and thanks for coming back to visit after having been abandoned for so long.

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Posted by David Bogner on April 21, 2006 | Permalink

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I totally emphasize with the neighbor problem. Mine is a renter with aggressive pit bulls and an unsafe fence.

Posted by: Jerri Swinehart | Apr 21, 2006 4:05:55 PM

Welcome back! You can sign up for a sefira e mail reminder at ou.org.
When we are in Israel this summer we will get 3 days sans kids, any suggestions on where to go would be appreciated (especially if there is wine tasting involved).
Shabbat Shalom

Posted by: Chedva | Apr 21, 2006 5:04:00 PM

Welcome back Trepp...hope you had a wonderful holiday.

Posted by: Randi(cruisin-mom) | Apr 21, 2006 5:06:00 PM

2. Some guy behind me at ma‘ariv at the end of Peisahh insisted on singing the silent Shemoneh-‘Esreih! Singing to himself! gaaah! And he was too into it to understand my umblinging, hissing and shshshshing hints.

4. the Golan rocks. Did you go to Gilgal Refa'im?

5. I just barely remembered day #2 :-P

Posted by: Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) | Apr 21, 2006 5:13:52 PM

I recently davened behind a guy who thought that he was a member of Stomp.

He was shuckling and muttering, moaning and groaning and more.

It is not an exaggeration to say that he was imitating Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally.

Welcome back.

Posted by: Jack | Apr 21, 2006 6:31:03 PM

I just got back online after 11 days away--relieved to see you're back and blogging--and VERY touched that you linked to me. I want you to know that I have discovered a whole new list of bloggers to read through your efforts to post all your readers and correspondents. What a tremendous amount of work--and deeply appreciated.

Posted by: aliyah06 | Apr 21, 2006 6:38:46 PM

That one bad neighbor seems to be a universal problem no matter where ine lives. Mine tries to use my lawn as his personal driveway!

Shalom Shabbat!

Posted by: seawitch | Apr 21, 2006 7:19:14 PM

Welcome back... I can't wait to see those wonderful places! (Minus the wine-tasting). : )

Posted by: Irina | Apr 21, 2006 7:55:47 PM

Welcome back! Since Mom & Dad didn't make the list, I have to assume that they're doing ok!

Can't wait to see pics and hear more about what you've been doing with yourself and the family.
Kisses to all!

Shabbat Shalom!

Posted by: val | Apr 21, 2006 8:49:31 PM

I can appreciate the distractions - hands/fists raised, etc. When our boys were toddlers we started sitting up-front so they could see all the action; it seemed to keep them occupied. And the nice side-effect is that we don't have to look through all those distractions!

But, getting two toddlers up & ready so we could get there early enough to get a seat up front was challenging!

Posted by: Steve Bogner | Apr 21, 2006 11:54:16 PM

Welcome Back! Sounds like you had a very nice Yom Tov. Good luck with the sefira counting. I almost forgot the 6th night but so far I am going strong. Shabbat Shalom!

Posted by: Essie | Apr 21, 2006 11:59:52 PM

Jerri... I don't know if you're clairvoyant, but if you were thinking of investing in a lottery ticket today... buy a handful!

Chedva... I tried the email thing one year but the problem is that it requires that I see the email during the evening. Invariably I would see the email during the day and forget to count in the evening.

Randi... Very nice holiday, thanks. Hope yours was also well.

Steg... Hope you enjoyed the 'concert'. As to the trip, we were in Horshat Tal.

Jack... Did you ask G-d to give you what he was having? :-)

Aliyah06... It was a labor of love. Treppenwitz would be nothing but my private ravings if not for the wisdom and input from visitors like you.

Seawitch... Perhaps you should use such opportunities to brush up on your auto mechanical skills. ;-)

Irina... You don't like wine? The Golan Heights Winery was fantastic and the wine was fantastic!

Val... Mom and dad will have plenty of stories with which to regale you. Trust me.

Steve... Thus my request that the hand-waving crowd sit in the back. :-)

Essie... Thanks. I'm still on track, but I need to come up with a system of some sort since I often get back after Ma'ariv in the evening.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Apr 23, 2006 12:01:31 AM

just wondered if you can help, a young soldier, who is visiting Leeds for Pessach and is going back to Israel tomorrow is a 'chayal boded', unfortunately there are no adoptive families who are shomrei Shabbat in the Yerushalaim region (I found that hard to believe). Adoption of a chayal boded, entailes hosting him one shabbat a month (maximum), as he serves in the South and is a young man with social life, it may mean even less. Please let me know if you or somebody else in your Yishuv is interested. He had quite a chice of mishpachot chiloniot - but it does not suit him of course. He is a great kid, university graduate, I have known him all his life as well as his family.Details to follow if you and Zehava can help, either by meeting him or by giving me somebody elses address. many thanks. (nice to have you back ) yaffa

Posted by: savta yaffa | Apr 23, 2006 12:02:29 AM

Waddaya mean you were in Horshat Tal?? We camped there for three days...nary a Treppenwitz family member in sight! You missed two great nights loaded with BBQ's, bonfires, marshmellows (kitniyot or not, your choice), guitar sing-alongs and other fun stuff. Did you catch the Neviot festival?

Sorry we missed y'all - Welcome home.

Posted by: yonah | Apr 23, 2006 12:46:33 AM

David, have you tried signing up for an email reminder for Sefirah counting?
I use this one:

http://www.torah.org/learning/yomtov/omer/sefira.php3

and I also have a brilliant little program on my Palm that pops up a reminder every evening.

Plus, being a belt and braces type person, I leave a siddur on my pillow with a page tucked in to the sefirah counting pages.

So far I've made it through the 49 using this combination over the last few years. Before I used the reminders, I too never got past week 1.

Glad you enjoyed the Golan and Galil.

Posted by: Judy | Apr 23, 2006 2:21:29 AM

Methinks you missed this one:
http://layasplace.blogspot.com/2006/04/i-dont-want-to-know.html

By all means, sign up for an e-mail reminder for Sefirat HaOmer. I've been using post-it notes in my siddur--I just move 'em down every night after we count. But that only works if ya remember ta count in da foist place! (Good luck. We didn't do so hot last year.)

Thank you so much for linking to my blog in your last post.

Posted by: Shira Salamone | Apr 23, 2006 7:05:41 AM

David, you are SO RIGHT about the treasure you can find when you follow links from other folks blogrolls. That's how I found YOU way back when! :) I'm certainly guilty of being in a reading rut lately. I haven't had time to read the blogs I already love, much less add more. So many blogs, so little time... *sigh*

Posted by: jg | Apr 23, 2006 8:35:13 AM

Savta Yaffa... Of course, please put him in touch with me when he returns to Israel. Additionally, when I mentioned this to a British immigrant family who lives nearby, they also expressed interest in meeting your young Chayal Boded.

Yonah... That is too funny! We were there Monday/Tuesday. We really need to coordinate our vacation plans!

Judy... as I said earlier, email reminders only work if you get them when it is time to count. too early and you set them aside to be forgotten... and too late and you end up counting without a blessing anyway.

SHira... Yes, I am aware that many people don't want to know... but it's my journal and I'm starting to feel a bit like Dooce!

jg... And you are a perfect example of why people should drop a comment once in a while on their regular reads. After you left your first comment I went to check out your blog and have been hooked ever since. How's that for a mutual admiration society? :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Apr 23, 2006 11:09:51 AM

Welcome back! My apt did not burn down this year, so that is a major improvement! Glad you had a nice chag.

Posted by: Faye | Apr 23, 2006 7:22:39 PM

Nope, don't drink alcohol of any kind. But do appreciate good grape juice! : )

Posted by: Irina | Apr 23, 2006 8:16:20 PM

Nope, don't drink alcohol of any kind. But do appreciate good grape juice! : )

Posted by: Irina | Apr 23, 2006 8:21:44 PM

Not to worry, I was just joshing anyway. I've been know to kvetch about matzah-related problems, myself.

I wish you continued good luck in keeping up with Sefirat haOmer.

And thanks again for the link. :)

Posted by: Shira Salamone | Apr 23, 2006 10:54:53 PM

When I visited Israel a few years ago, we saw the entire country. My favorite area was the Golan Hts/upper Galilee area. I will never forget the whistling winds and the beautiful countryside.

Posted by: Stacey | Apr 25, 2006 5:56:52 AM

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