04 April 2011

159: Celebration

Look, let's just deal with this as quickly and painlessly as possible.  The Milwaukee Brewers lost again today.  That makes four in a row to start the season.

Among my many enjoyable responsibilities today was a lunch & learn session centered around a text study about one teaching from the Vilna Gaon's Haggadah and in it we explored some of his rationale for why the number *4* is significant to the structure of the Passover Seder, I can affirmatively tell you that there is no direct correlation between said text and disgraceful losing streak.  In fact, it's beginning to be clear that when the Messiah comes, he very well may stroll right past Miller Park with hardly a nod.

Such is life.

But I did meet with a couple working out issues of faith and family in the run-up to a wedding; make phone calls to a couple congregants who are sick and in mourning; attend several meetings; plan two trips to Israel; research some good texts for two talks--one to our Board about our annual budget and another for the Living Wage Campaign Rally at Beth El Baptist in South Brooklyn.  I filled the tires on my bike with air, thanked God and civic activism for our blessed bike lanes (totally pro, people!) and shot off an email to Shannon Sarna for a nice mac and cheese recipe, since Monday night is my night to cook.  (For the discerning reader:  I didn't use pumpkin squash but subbed onions and garlic, heavily sauteed.  Tov m'od.)  I also made an arugula, mint, avocado salad with a Meyer lemon vinaigrette--all while listening to Brewers relief pitching collapse and late inning bats go silent (given new meaning to the adage, "If a tree falls in the forest...")

Set up the meal for the wife and kids; rode said bike to church; enjoyed copious amounts of Gospel Music while reading the introduction to Miryam Segal's book on the invention of the Modern Hebrew Accent (note:  the reason I had time to read is that the only people who *don't start on time* better than Jews are African Americans:  Well-done!) Loved the Church; loved the Music; loved the People.  AND got to read.  And then deliver an invocation about the inherent justice of the Living Wage.  There are so many reasonable and rational ways to have this argument but since I'm nursing a four game losing streak here, let me put it this way:  There are people who live and work in South Brooklyn who make less money per month than the cost of some strollers I've seen on 7th Avenue in Park Slope.  And that's a simple two-wheeled ride away, with or without lanes.  So in the clarity of a gloriously beautiful spring evening, let's get it right.

Hustle over to Shul for the Board Meeting.  Reports.  General civility.  A couple unsavory outbursts of incivility.  Hopefully they're nothing more than a side skirmish on the Children of Israel's sometimes contentious journey to the Promised Land.

And home to watch UConn and its pathetically abysmal graduation rates win a championship.  Feh.

Luckily, our pal Andrea Ruesing's new cookbook, Cooking in the Moment, was waiting in the kitchen, having been delivered in the last UPS run of the day.  On a day like to today, I simply ran from moment to moment, folding texts with Rachel and quick exchanges with the kids and responsibilities to the community into one made dash after another (and I missed one appointment--failure, after-all, is a part of each day.)

So what better way to end with Andrea's words as metaphor:

She writes:  "I think of 'cooking in the moment' as focusing on one meal at time--an icy, spicy cucumber soup on an August night, a glass of tangerine juice on a frosty morning, or soft, braised shortribs with horseradish on a gray fall day.  Cooking and eating in the moment allows food in a season to become reason for celebration."

1 comment:

DP Greenberg said...

I'm completely with you on the living wage as an essential concept. As a long time member of the congregation and former officer, I'm concerned about the wages we pay some of our staff, most notably maintenance and our nursery school teachers. Even assuming that the wages of both groups meet the living wage criteria, I still wonder if we pay them sufficiently and fairly. I've never been satisfied by the argument that they are paid within the going rates for their professions. Our standards of setting compensation should be objectively ethical, not merely "competitive."