Aired Oct. 29, 2011 on Dave’s Gone By. YouTube clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91jvDZjIAOc
Shalom Dammit, this is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of October 30th, 2011.
Well, winter has come to Greeley, USA. It’s only the end of October, but this is Colorado, so of course, we get snow before Halloween. Who knows? Maybe by Lincoln’s Birthday we’ll have beach weather.
But this being the first snowstorm of the season, all genenna breaks loose. You’d think Northern Colorado had never seen snow before. It’s one thing when Florida gets a dusting, and cars go sliding across the road – mostly Jews leaving the dinner buffet to get home before noon.
And in the northeast, the TV weatherpeople go berserk. “First winter blast! Mothers ambushing the supermarket! Buy rocksalt, find your candles, don’t park your car on alternate sides of the street Tuesdays, Thursdays and every fifth Sunday when there’s a full moon and Jupiter is rising in the guest house of Saturn!” Two inches of snow, and you’d think polar bears were threatening to galumph down Fifth Avenue.
But Colorado? Without snow, the only thing Vail would be known for is Walgreens and syphilis. You don’t need Nostradamus to predict that an early season storm will dump white stuff on trees, roads, backyards, powerlines. Snow and Colorado go together like borscht and sour cream. Like David and Bathsheba. Like Pakistan and duplicity.
So why does it take two and a half days for Xcel Energy to get the lights back on? Did they not glance at a weathermap a week before the storm? Monks in Bangladesh knew there would be blizzard in Colorado before the local energy company did. Honest to God, Swami Poopoopadoola in Rangpur was on the Weather Channel a week ago saying, “Ganesh advises you should hire extra tree-removal crews – and I don’t even know what snow is.”
And so, for the past three days of my visit to Greeley, I have lived without light, heat and hot water. Which is why I smell like a giraffe in a sweat lodge. If I want to get warm, I have to crawl into the refrigerator. There’s no television, so I have to engage with these big, unwieldy black-and-white things our ancestors once called “books.” And there is no internet, so I can’t spend my usual afternoons downloading doctored nude photos of Mayim Bialik.
Now the more rugged among us would hail this return to an older way of life. How good it is, they would say, to be disconnected from intolerable inboxes, cacophonous commercials and the twaddle of Twitter tweets. Enjoy the silence, reflect and recharge. Breathe.
I can’t breathe, I’m Jewish! I’m lucky if I can groan and wheeze. I want my MTV! I miss my spam! I can’t build a cozy fire without getting splinters in my groin.
It may be sad, but technology is here to stay, so when it is taken from us, however briefly, the loss feels like a phantom limb. From Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs, we have been blessed by people who have made our lives so convenient, we can no longer endure inconvenience. If that means we’re spoiled, so be it.
And now, speaking of spoiled, there’s a kosher flank steak in my freezer that needs to be handled with rubber gloves and a gas mask.
This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches. (sings) “Walking in a winter wonderland…dammit.”
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