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Monday, Monday | blog.deanland.com

Monday, Monday

Monday, Monday

It is with great pleasure that I can say that this has been the most productive Monday, more so than any in recent memory. Loose ends getting neatly tied up, progress made on a variety of projects, and clarity coming into focus on some of those fuzzy areas. The ones that can be so troublesome, becuase the fuzziness, the lack of clarity, can sometimes obscure the core issue.

I also did a few good deeds, and have some more to complete over the next day or so. That is always a nice feeling.

I hear that old Mama's & Papa's song in my head. Despite the depressing lyrics, as harmonious cranial background music, it sounds pretty good.




Attack of The Black Hats




Yesterday I was accosted by some Hasidim, possibly Lubavitchers. Maybe not Lubavitcher, only in that they had no finesse whatsoever. Most of the Lubavitcher Mitzvah Missionaries ("Mitzvanaries") have had some training and are not as totally obnoxious and in-your-face as had been the case a good many years ago.

There I was, after driving home from the Yankee game, stopping off at the local grocer to pick up an item or two. It being the tail end of the first two days of Rosh Hashanah, the store was relatively empty. This was the prime impetus for going at that moment: lots of stock, no crowd, no line, in and out in a flash. And I like to see the weekly flyer, although lately I've been reading it online.

As I leave the store I see that a few of the gaggle of Black Hat orthodox lads (seemed to be in their early 20s) that had been part of a group of about twenty I nearly ran over driving into the parking lot --those guys are in their own world, pedestrian rules mean nothing to them-- were milling about, waiting to stalk as people exited the store.

The automatic door opens. I roll my cart out, walking with the aid of a single crutch on my right side. One of these Black Hatted types accosts me, practically making physical contact, and says, "Excuse me, do you happen to be Joosh?" No, not "Jew - ish," as it is pronounced, but "Joosh," the way these guys choose to pronounce it.

Long time readers of DeanLand may recall my telling of a similar incident from many years ago. This was different. Indulge me.

Beware the Black Hatted Orthodox -- if they are looking at you and then start to talk to you, the main focus will be to get the hell away from them!This Black Hat was asking me the "are you Jewish?" question as part of his quest to do what he thinks is a mitzvah, a good deed, a blessed activity. Some orthodox groups feel that if they bring another Jew around to their type of prayer, they've done a worthy deed, and will be looked upon with greater favor by he who judges all. Or judges them, in their opinion.

This is the problem with self-righteous fundamentalism, no matter what the religion. The arrogance, the conceit, the audacity this exhibits: this black hat is telling me how I can be a better Jew? He has some better version? He, therefore, is somehow more pious, or holier, or in tune with religious matters? HOW OBNOXIOUS!

This self-assured attitude, a smugness that "their way" is the "correct way," they have the inside line, they know best. And how big of them to accost me as I am coming out of the market, asking me about my religion, and then wanting to visit upon me a little "better version" of how they think I should be living.

I told the guy to not even continue the discussion. He gave me this woeful look, and with a touch of superciliousness said that wished me a happy holiday, anyway (except he said it in Yiddish). Part of me wanted to haul around, and bash him with the crutch. I thought better of that, and went to the car. I also thought about engaging him in an argument about his actions.

I can carry my own quite well with most of these guys. As it happens I am very well educated, well versed and well spoken in these matters. The general assumption made by the orthodox is that an assimilated Jew is not at all learned or possessing any knowledge in these matters they hold so dear, and in so rigid an interpretation. But that, I figured, would be an even bigger waste of my time and energy.

So off I went to the car, just across the way in the parking lot.

As I was getting into the car I saw that the Black Hats had ambushed a woman and were sounding a shofar (a holiday observance, making certain "tooting" noises, using a ram's horn as a wind instrument) and taking her through some prayers in Hebrew. When they were done, the three Black Hats had a look of great satisfaction, as though they'd shown her the light. The woman walked away, looking as though she'd just met three Jewish martians. Freaked out, actually, I believe, is the clinical term.

Moral of the story: fundamentalists of all types and their obnoxious attitudes can go soak their heads. And are best off keeping away from me. Be it orthodox Jewry as in this case, be it Jerry fallwell or Oral Roberts, or Lewis Farrakhan, or Osama --- they can all take their "holier than anyone else." "my way or the highway: attitude and shove it where the sun is not apt to be shining.

Bottom line: I felt some satisfaction in my own restraint. These self-impressed smug accosters are just not worth too much exertion of energy on my part.




What's The Story?




The big story in Blogville this week is the coming of BloggerCon this weekend.

This being a blog, and that being a story, I thought it might make sense to put what I would write about the coming BloggerCon in the "stories" section of the blog.




Well then, having established that, go ahead and click on this link and read the story.