Monday, February 23, 2015

Blame Me for Saturday's Snow and Other Observations

Most of you in the Northeast are probably pretty tired of all the snow this season. I can’t say I’m happy about it but I have to reluctantly acknowledge some responsibility for this weekend’s dumping. You see, snow seems to fall wherever I am when I celebrate the anniversary of my bar mitzvah. 

Even before this February of perpetual snow I could have told you February 21 would be a snow day. February 21 commemorates the Jewish calendar date of my bar mitzvah 53 years ago. The Saturday in Brooklyn in 1962 that I became a man I awoke to snow, maybe three to six inches deep. When I decided to celebrate my bar mitzvah 30 years later in White Plains it snowed 20 inches. 

I had not planned to celebrate my bar mitzvah this year but my brother Bernie intervened. He turns 70 on Tuesday; late last year he decided to commemorate the 57th anniversary of his bar mitzvah on Saturday, February 21. Naturally, Gilda and I traveled down to his home in Rockville, MD, to share the moment, which you might recall from the second paragraph, was actually the true anniversary of my coming of age. Bernie’s real date is next Saturday, but as to why he chose to push up the celebration that’s a story for another time. 

Anyway, snow fell in the Northeast, a dusting in most places except six to 10 inches across the DC metro, where I was, effectively shutting down the region. For those who favor long-term planning for future years, keep in mind my bar mitzvah falls on the portion of the Torah reading titled Terumah (Exodus 25-27). 

Some observations that have been on my mind lately:

New York drivers are becoming more lawless and dangerous. Based on my six times a week drive to and from Manhattan I can report more motorists are going through red lights and more are making left turns from the right lane …

News stations were agog Sunday and Monday with reports the Islamic extremist  group Al Shabaab of Somalia is encouraging attacks on American shopping centers, particularly the Mall of America in Minnesota, similar to what its adherents did at an enclosed mall in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2013. 

Security, naturally, has been heightened, but I wonder if Al Shabaab will pick its targets based on the concealed weapons laws of each state? NRA members no doubt are locking and loading in anticipation of defending the homeland ...

The debate over gay marriage rights elicited a petition against homosexual unions by the Alabama Policy Institute, a group dedicated to “free markets, limited government and strong families,” and the Alabama Citizens Action Program, which promotes an “ethical, moral and responsible lifestyle based on biblical standards.” 

Biblical standards? Does that mean polygamy is okay? Or the public stoning of adulterers? Or arranged marriages only? Or not eating pork? 

Do those groups realize biblical standards often parallel sharia law? 

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