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June 25th, 2005
the guest explains goy

Commentary on Jewish Spirituality

This morning I attended my weekly morning class on “Chasidis,” the study of Jewish Spirituality. Today’s discussion was about operating on the spiritual level despite living in a physical world.

Rabbi Grossbaum explains how the physical world is incidental to the spiritual world. For example, he explains, when a true Chasid gets hungry he satisfies that hunger only in spiritual obedience to providing for his body without regard to the physicality of the nutritious experience.

My stomach gurgles. I think to myself. “HAM SANDWICH.” Thank G-d I don’t have to keep kosher. My friend Jonathan seems to be thinking the same thing I am. He argues that the physical and spiritual are intertwined, how can we separate the two? The Rabbi counters, “you miss the point” he says. Jonathan is about as Chasidic as one can be while still being a goy*. (Some Jews actually claim he’s more knowledgeable than many Rabbis but he’d never admit it.)

The discussion continues. My stomach gurgles again. Jonathan continues to disagree. Jonathan is also not Jewish. Like me, he finds Jewish studies to be interesting.

The discussion comes to a close. Jonathan and I agree to go get some breakfast.

We order our food.

We talk about operating on the spiritual level. Our food is served.

We both look at each other. “Wow, this bacon is delicious!”

*Goy – Jewish word meaning “not Jewish.”

posted in: guest musings — @ 5:59 am

June 25th, 2005
the guest entertains part deux

Dear Mouse,

I’m sorry I flushed you down the toilet.

Here’s the thing. I was asleep last night when Calvin caught you. (You remember Calvin, he looks like a cow with whiskers).

I was tired. She was freaking out. Perhaps my judgment was off. “Burial at sea” seemed appropriate.

I honestly wasn’t prepared for you to start doing the backstroke in my toilet. I’m sure you can understand that I was alarmed. I reacted. The silver handle was right there. I saw you swimming for it. Once I realized my error I was honestly hoping you would survive the whirlpool.

If I had known you were alive I would have set you free.

I am so so sorry.

Sincerest apologies.

posted in: guest musings — @ 5:57 am

June 25th, 2005
the guest entertains

The mouse that got away.

She emails me. Stuff’s broken again on the sites. Somehow fixing the PHP templates broke something else. And to top it off, comments aren’t being posted.

At this point I feel compelled to tell you that I have three cats. It will all make sense in a moment.

Calvin is a domestic medium hair mouse hunter. He’s a bruiser. He weighs in close to 15 pounds these days and it’s ALL insulation. Despite this he manages to be quite adept and catching mice. Despite being so threatening to mice, Calvin is very friendly with people. (He knows how to play “fetch” too).

Georgio is a Persian (He’s brown, but my wife calls him “Mocha”). He’s human hunter. If you’re human he wants to bite you. He’s rather sly about it. He’ll pretend that he likes you and that he wants you to pet you. Then when you least expect it he sinks his teeth into you. He doesn’t bite me anymore, but that’s another story.

Then there’s Isabella. She’s a white Persian. She hates everybody. (The feeling is mutual). I once saw her hiss at her own shadow. She does not like to eat anything except for cheerios in milk. No tuna or liver for her. ‘Nuff said, she’s “different.”

So I’m looking at broken templates. Five thousand nested div tags. Great, this will be easy to figure out.

I hear something to my right. It’s Georgio. He’s found a mouse. He doesn’t know what to do with it. The Persian inbreeding seems to have rendered him “confused.” It’s not human. He doesn’t want to bite it. He paws at it a little and it runs away.

Isabella is nowhere to be seen. Not that it matters, she’s pretty much useless as cats go. She would never get her paws dirty and did I mention she only eats cheerios? (She does eat cat food occasionally, but she definitely prefers cheerios).

And Calvin you ask? Our resident mouse hunter? I quickly go to find him. He’s on the couch napping. OK big guy, I’ve got a job for you. I say the word “mouse.” His ears perk up a little and he licks his chops. He actually knows the word. Then he yawns. He’s not moving. I pick him up and feel his fat rolls consume my hands. It still amazes me that he can catch mice. I take him back into the kitchen where I saw the mouse.

After setting him down he just kind of stands there dazed and confused. “Didn’t you hear me? – MOUSE.” No can do. Apparently Calvin does not hunt mice when interrupted during his nap. The mouse is nowhere to be seen.

Calvin finds a nearby basket to resume his nap.

I resume working on the sites.

Calvin is still napping even as I write this. He must be saving his energy for later. Either that or he’s working on further improving his layer of insulation.

I still have a mouse in my house. To the feline species: You disappoint me.

posted in: guest musings — @ 5:56 am
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