Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memories...

His name was Feldman. He belonged to our temple when I was growing up.

Feldman was the most boring guy in the world. Anonymous desk job. Anonymous life. One of these guys who was always on some boring temple committee (I still don't understand people who live to be on committees- temple, church, hospital, whatever).

Like these people do, he eventually became temple president one year. As such he was the guy who traditionally makes a few announcements during the high holiday service on Yom Kippur.

Sadly, taking the podium that day, with an insanely bored reform congregation full of 1-day-a-year-Jews, was the highlight of Feldman's life. He wasn't going to let it go. And we'd all been sitting there for 3 hours (there's a reason we were reform - make the services REALLY short, so we can go out for bacon cheeseburgers afterwards).

He was supposed to make a few generic announcements: "The children's service starts at 9:00 tomorrow morning. Thank you to Irma Goldblat for stacking the prayer books. Remember to put your yarmulkes in the bin on the right as you leave."

But that wasn't good enough for Feldman. This was his lifetime ambition 5 minutes in the spotlight, and he'd prepared a fucking speech. Not even a good speech. Just a boring-as-hell speech in which he thanked EVERY FUCKING PERSON on EVERY FUCKING COMMITTEE by name. And the lady who did payroll in the office. And the guy who set up the chairs. And the guy who was going to put away the chairs. And the people bringing food to the children's service. And the lady who made the lovely cake for the Silverman Bat Mitzvah. And it went ON AND ON AND ON.

As he passed the 30 minute mark of this insanity, my mother's friend Corkie, seated toward the back of the auditorium, said LOUDLY, "You have to wonder what he's like in bed!"

Feldman stopped. Then walked off as the congregation fell into hysterics.

The Rabbi needed another 10 minutes before he could coherently say the closing prayer.

26 comments:

bobbie said...

Sounds like something I would do!!

Cape Cod Step-Mom said...

Totally made the 30 min. worth it.

Anonymous said...

Our family refer to ourselves as "Lox and Bagel Jews!" Who can afford to belong to a Temple anyway? With an annual membership @ at least $4000+ a year and High Holiday Tickets @ no less than $150 per service....how? So, we go on High Holidays! Love the bacon cheeseburger reference! And don't forget......All doctors please inform the ushers and don't forget to silence your pagers. The announcements from the Sisterhood, Brotherhood, and if it's a service where you have to read the dreaded "red print," your there for @ least 12 hours. And why dors the Rabbi always get to sip on water on Yom Kippur? LOL!

Li'l Azathoth said...

"Not for nothing, pal, but if you keep going on and on like this, I'm going to have to charge you for another hour."

Hildy said...

I just love the Corkies of this world!

Anonymous said...

(reads above comments) You have to PAY to go to temple?

Fizzy said...

OMG, you're Jewish???
:P

Anonymous said...

anonymous @ 7:31 PM

YES! And in addition to yearly dues you pay for the High Holiday Service Tickets, separately and it's VERY expensive especially if you have a family. And if you want to have your kids Bat/Bar Mitzvah Holy Lox and Bagels, Batman. In the last year I checked six temples around my area (NSEW of my house, and 10-45 minutes away; growing up we drove 90 minutes round trip) and the prices start @ $4000 (current as of amount 2010) and rose from there capping @ 10,000. High Holiday Tickets (Rosh Hashanah aka Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur aka Day of Atonement) ranged from $150 capping at $500 per service. One Holiday is one night, one day and some go a third day, and the other is one evening and an entire day. At each service, every family member needs a ticket. You get your Bat/Bar Mitzvah Date four years in advance (about age 13) and you pay more as you get closer! And then you are expected to help fund raise but Jews don't Tithe. To worship @ a Temple, as a Jew, is expensive and IMPOSSIBLE for many. It doesn't mean you can't worship @ home? Anyone else out there who can weigh in on this subject?

Lisa said...

Well, at least it ended on a high note. Wish Corkie was Plymouth Brethren.

Spooky said...

What's he like in bed? He must be boring, my dear Corkie. Very, very boring. But there's something to be said for turning a 5-minute nothingness into a 30-minute spectacle when it comes to matters of the boudoir.

Lou de B said...

You have to PAY to belong to a temple??!! Oh my gosh! Anyway, this totally cracked me up, while also making me die inside a little for that poor committee joining man.

CrownedwithVictory said...

I thought that was a really mean and hurtful thing to do.

Julie said...

got to remember that next time i'm seated through a boring speech ..

Anonymous said...

Yes, have to agree with "Crowned." Mean and hurtful

But, funny.

Of course, I'll do you one better, Dr. Thanksgiving Day services at a Roman Catholic church somewhere in the midwest. The lector is making announcements and falls over. Several MDs and my Mom, the R.N., go forward to help. CPR is started. I rushed to the rectory (this was before cell phones were pocket-sized , kiddies) to call 911. Hey, I was 13 and this was the most help I could give.
Unfortunately our lector was not going to make it. I knew it when I heard Mom hiss at the priest, "Get your stole, Father." BTW, Dr. G, the cardiologist had already given up while the dermatologist and internist and Mom were still trying.
For non-Catholics, this is the purple stole a priest wears while giving what was called then Extreme Unction (Last Rites, or now, the Anointing of the Sick.)
We all knelt and prayed while the sacrament was administered. Father finished up as the EMTs (or what ever they were called then) came in. Mom and the other MDs were still trying. Cardiologist had slunk back to his seat.
EMTS took a couple of looks and shook their heads. Internist pronounced the victim.
Thanksgiving was a quiet affair at our house that year.

jojotogo said...

I work at a synagogue, so I get to see the business side. First, no one is turned away for inability to pay. More than HALF of our 900 members pay reduced dues. Second, Jews can't "pass the plate" at services because we dont handle money on the Sabbath or festivals. Third, synagogue dues are merely a reflection of operating budget - the average amount per member needed to keep us afloat. Regular dues at my synagogue are $2200 per year (which, BTW, isn't anyhere near 10% of my income, a tithe, required at some churches - not as dues, but to "demonstrate your faith in God"). I happily pay dues to keep my synagogue in existence, much like I pay my real estate taxes ($5000/yr) to keep the public schools, library, and fire department in existence!!!

Anonymous said...

Grumpy:

I belong to a fairly large Christian denomination (think guys in skirts as my nursing school friend called them) and we don't pay a fee, but we do donate regularly (not quite 10%...we try but fail).

It's all fine and dandy since Uncle Sam gives us receipts to deduct on the taxes. We like what they do so we support the outfit for the initiatives funded.

Cafeteria folks in our denomination only show up on Easter and Christmas, so you have to leave an hour early before some services (even if you live reasonably close) to get a seat (goes to standing room for Christmas if you're late).

BTW since the cafeteria folks only come once in a while, that's why some places of worship close. Everyone things somebody else is supporting when no one really is (on the scale needed.)

You want to be in any club, you pay in one way or another. I like the subject, most of the people and the clerics, so that's what keeps me going back.

Besides, I'm not taking any chances later on.

Anonymous said...

My family tithes 10% of their income to their church. One year they donated their old car to the church as well. We got audited by the IRS that year and had to prove that our church was a real church because they didn't quite believe people would donate that much. sigh.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious!! Not the kind of comment that could've safely been made in a Roman Catholic church, however... .

pharmacy chick said...

BACON CHEESEBURGERS? am I the only one who noticed this??

LOL

Anonymous said...

Usually, when I want a male to go away, I start talking about menstruation. Works every time.

Debbie said...

PC, I noticed too! Didn't know that's why some are reformed!

To the rest...well, yes, some of us Christians tithe. And tithe gratefully. God wants me to learn to be a giver, like Him. So I try to cooperate.

23 Skidoo said...

I noticed the bacon double cheeseburgers. I spent one summer in the Catskills as a lifeguard at one of the kosher hotels. At lunch time I loved to torment the waiter by ordering a bacon double cheeseburger... I knew better... did it anyway...
I was the only lifeguard in the Catskills with Saturdays off, since no one got in the water that day...
I never understood why folks would drive like mad up from NYC for a weekend, have to get there before sunset Friday, sit and do nothing Saturday and then leave Sunday after brunch. Oh well....



www.southgeek.blotspot.com

Kim said...

I once worked for a group home that housed several developmentally disabled adults. The family of one of the women who lived in the group home insisted that she go to Synagogue every Saturday evening, and one evening the job of taking her there and sitting with her fell to me. Off we went to the place, went in and sat down. The Rabbi starts talking, everything was very serious. The woman I have accompanied to the synagogue jumps up and loudly yells 'HOT DOG!'. She sits back down. 5 minutes later she jumps up and yells 'HAMBURGER!'. She sits back down. A few minutes after that she jumps up and yells 'HAMBURGER HOTDOG HAMBURGER CHEESEBURGER HOTDOG HAMBURGER!!!'. By that time I just couldn't stop laughing - I was laughing so hard tears were streaming from my eyes, I just couldn't help myself. I somehow managed to get her out of the building and I drove her back to the group home and informed everyone there that I was never again going with her to Synagogue.

Shalom said...

Not all synagogues are that expensive. I worship at a fairly large Orthodox congregation (used to be Conservative, upgraded in Feb 1998) where family membership is $600.00/year, including two free seats to the High Holidays services (all other services are free, and you don't even have to be a member to attend). Singles pay $300.00/year and get one seat free. If you want to attend the annual dinner, a contribution of another $300 gets you two places, but you aren't required to attend. That's it, although voluntary donations are certainly welcomed, and I think that's pretty typical for an Orthodox shul in this city. (For comparison, one nearby synagogue is $750/family/year with 3-5 HH seats included or $360/single; this one, incidentally, is located in a building that once belonged to a Conservative temple which had gone out of business because of lack of membership. A third nearby synagogue charges $1100/family with HH seats, $600/family without seats, or $250/single.)

I don't see why Reform should cost more than Orthodox. Our services are longer, more frequent, and have Kosher food at the collations to boot, all of which ought to increase the price.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Crowned. It sounds funny, but think of how Feldman must have felt - pretty awful.

Anonymous said...

Ms Corkie sounds a lot like the whippy comeback mom on the birth control/daughter eval a few weeks back....

 
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