I try very hard to keep politics out of my column. My goal, as I often have said in the past, is to get at least one chuckle per column, if not more. I know that I annoy some, am enjoyed by others, and remain nonexistent to many. In any event, sometimes I need to delve a little deeper.
I would be both remiss and a terrible Jew if I didn’t at least mention the hate that has been spewed with words and violence in recent times. What is going on? How can it be stopped? Is there an answer? Are we destined to have the past be repeated? Should we be scared to go into a kosher supermarket? A synagogue? To cover our heads with religious paraphernalia? Is this how it started all those many, hateful, horrifying years ago? Many questions, and no good answers.
Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, the rabbi of the Boca Raton Synagogue in, well, Boca Raton, recently posted something on Facebook that I am now quoting. “A pogrom in Monsey does not mean that God is telling everyone to move to Israel any more than a terror attack in Israel means God is telling everyone to move to the diaspora. Instead of playing God, in this time of crisis, let’s focus on two important truths that aren’t contradictory.
1. Jews deserve and have the right to live in peace and safety anywhere in the world and it is our duty to fight for that reality, period. 2. Independently, it isn’t if, but when we should all be moving to Israel, not out of fear, but out of love and a sense of responsibility to be a part of our holy nation, fulfilling our holy Torah, in our holy Homeland.”
Man, I love that rabbi. Of course that quote probably has nothing to do with the questions I asked before, but it resonated so deeply in me that I had to share it with all of you. I am an American. Three of my grandparents were American. I love this country. I don’t want to leave my country (unless, of course, my three monkeys leave me and I am left alone in this country). I want to feel safe in my country. That is all I got.
And now, I will talk about donuts. Which are a lot less scary than reality these days. Unless, of course, you are a diabetic, and then this whole column is really going to bug you.
We just finished celebrating the holiday of Chanukah, a time for light, miracles, and food fried in the oil that was left over in the Temple. (Man, that is some old oil.) Donuts seem to pop up everywhere this time of year. I still think back to the first kosher Dunkin Donuts on Long Island. It was like we were let out of a cage… “Must. Get. Donuts.” And then they became kosher in Elizabeth, and that was a much easier drive.
But during Chanukah, donuts become a whole other delicious monster.
My friend brought me some home from Israel, and the thought was beyond considerate and the donuts were beautiful and delicious. But then I was at another friend’s house, minding my own business, dropping off some baby gifts. And there, before my eyes, were donuts the likes of which I have never seen before. Chopped nuts and cheesecake filling, wafer-thin milk chocolate with oreo cream… I put back 20 pounds just inhaling the aroma. I gave in and sampled some, because after falling on your head you throw caution to the wind and just say yes to temptation (well, the temptation of donuts, anyway) and they were heavenly.
I had to have them. I had to get Husband #1 to Monsey. Under the guise of paying a shiva call (which we actually did — but that is for another column) I got Husband #1 to the land of the beautiful donut. The scene was from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but with streimels and sheitals and black hats, oh my! The donuts were pricey. I could see “the look” in Husband #1’s eyes. That “Oh no, you are NOT spending that much money on a donut” look. But then I think he realized that 1. It was the 25th anniversary of our engagement and 2. He is still a little worried about my health and 3. He knew that it was going to be a column…so, he let me buy four of them.
Don’t worry, I shared — just not with him, because he doesn’t eat donuts.
So, in conclusion, let’s stop the hate and eat a donut. Life is just too short.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck really appreciates all of the messages of concern that have been sent to the Jewish Standard. After all, she is a middle child and is constantly seeking attention, affection, and adoration…