Omer Day Thirty-Three
It's Lag B'Omer and the heavens didn't open.
Nathan and I had a long walk this morning, though to celebrate the 33rd day of the Omer, he took from me a few hundred yards from the Picnic House and when I finally caught up with him ten minutes later, he was happily immersed in the dog pond with three tennis balls in his mouth. In a lame attempt at mysticism to celebrate the day, I calculated 3 into 33 and then came up with 11 (impressive, I know) which is a number I've always enjoyed, though not in a mystical sense.
I came back home before everyone was yet awake, tuned in Israeli radio to see what the musical mood was in the Land for the big day and got lots of American hits from the seventies and then a whole Bowie-Aviv Gefen tangent, which, truth be told, I appreciated.
No success in getting a haircut at my barbershop--the observant Jews from abutting neighborhoods had filled my barber's calendar, so I proceeded through the day untrimmed, which had me feeling generally unfulfilled, since I had this neighborhood Lag B'Omer idea that I got too busy to make happen this year but I hope to make happen next year. It was inspired by an event our students at NYU did one year--hired a few West Village hair stylists to offer their time to cut people's hair on Lag B'Omer in Washington Square Park for "Locks of Love." It was a an admirable way to teach people about this minor festival which comes with the tradition of a child's first haircut and the easing of certain mourning practices for adults so that they can hear live music and cut their hair as well--and perform this deed of lovingkindness by having those with enough hair to donate to, well, donate their hair for the production of wigs for cancer patients.
I imagined an event in Prospect Park, a couple bands, good food, and the neighborhoods top stylists donating their time for the day in an effort to provide some comfort for those with cancer.
I traded the would-be haircut for a run in the park with one of my kids, tried a daring maneuver of imprudent acrobatic intent, and earned a first-rate back spasm. To ease the pain in the car ride on the way to the airport, I focused on news of the Times Square bomb attempt, a conversation with my Venezuelan driver on the merits of being an immigrant in New York over Arizona, and took it on the chin like a man when I had to hear it on 1010 WINS that the Bucks had their heads handed to them by the Hawks today in Atlanta.
Nothing a spicy tomato juice and bag of chips for $7 at Laguardia Airport couldn't solve. (At least the wireless could be free.)
To ease things here in the waiting area, a debate has broken out among 8 teenagers sitting across from me attempting to determine whether or not the Bar/Bat Mitzvah is "worth it," which included the classic question, "Why the hell would I want to spend all that time studying the Hebrew language?" You can guess what answer she received. After the tried and true description of a kick-ass party and lots of money, the previously reluctant student of the ancient tongue of our people announced, "Maybe I'll reconsider."
The future of the Jewish people hangs in the balance.
I'm ready for the 34th day.