Something to Ponder for Shabbat
In a very intimate communication i say hello to my family. Because i know no matter how hard you avoid posting you wander over here occasionally. So i've finally finished my moed alephs (first test dates) and in two weeks i'm presenting my seminar paper and then i''m pretty much done with my degree. (Not that I won't moan and groan any more in the process.) But that realization just hit me today and i feel very accomplished.
Today, the New York Times ran an article reporting the results of a major study showing that low fat diets do absolutely nothing for people. The evidence is overwhelming, but nevertheless, some people refuse to believe.
Even though I rarely post comments specific to Life in Israel I really am always trying to find incidents that reflect on my life here. And in that respect this story is appropriate. On the other hand I don't want to write it so that everyone else in the family can feel self-righteous and dismiss all Israelis as bigots.
About three weeks ago I started helping out this family. I'm supposed to give the 6 year old daughter one-on-one attention but in the end her three brothers usually end up tagging along with us. Last week I decided to write a story with the girl and her brothers. In the end we got caught up drawing a map of America and describing why Stalin was such an evil person. (Who was the Communist leader with the goat beard because that's how I drew Stalin and when I looked him up on the internet all his pictures were with a kibbutznik moustache.) And then her 9-year old brother had an idea for a story: One clear day everyone laughed at G-d. G-d punished them.
Today, we were eating dinner with some mustard. Tom started pointing at the mustard and saying "da" --- he clearly wanted the mustard. He was becoming very upset about this. When we gave him some mustard, he did not want to eat it. When we gave him the jar of mustard to play with, he seemed happier but then gave it back to us to do something with.
What is the cutest move of the kids.
On January 1rst, Illinois changed the income limits for Medicaid, so now me and Shmuli can get free health insurance. Obviously, as an economist I agree this a completely stupid policy, but it would be even stupider not to take advantage of it. However, I had problems applying, because the computer program insists on asking about income received in the last 30 days. As a student, I'm paid irregularly, so that often I'm not paid at all in a given month, but when it's more than the monthly income limit. I've tried reasoning with the bureaucrats, but they always say that the computer system does not allow people to have irregular pay.
Pictures of the boys are up at the linked website (just click on the title). These pictures are the first pictures of the parents taken with new millenium technology (a digital camera).
Chanukah season has begun here marked by really pretty looking doughnuts that are suprisingly doughy and if they have filling its just a small blob. But the beauty of the confectionary sugar sprinkled on top. Every time it fools me into buying them.
I need the family's opinion on a minor etiquitte point. I had 15 minutes to kill before picking up Chaim from school, so I went to Main pizza and ordered fries. While there, I noticed that the table next to me had left a meal virtually untouched. I asked the guy cleaning it up whether I could take it and he said okay in a doubtful sort of way. Despite the less than glowing recommendation by the purchasers, the food was actually very good, much better than my undercooked fries.
Yesterday, Shmuli got a new Veggietales movie. It was "King George and His Ducky", and it was a remake of David and Bathsheba, except he stole a rubber ducky, and the guy survived, so he was able to apologize and give back his ducky. Otherwise, it was extremely close.
As you may know the Yeshiva has Night Seder until 8:00 three times a week. On Thursday we have, in addition, a 20 minute speech on various topics. This week it was given by a rabbi known for giving short speeches based on gematriot. These are usually dubious but to give you a feel of what we use the time for here's a partial transcript (from memory) of what the speech was.