Two Performances

My Son "Jacob"

My Son “Jacob”

Last evening I attended three events: My son’s end-of-the-year party celebrating the completion of the book of Bereshith (Genesis), a get-together in a local cafe, and my book club.

The party was planned well, but overly ambitious. A choir made up of the four second-grade classes sang three songs. Then the children learning the recorder played two more songs.

The parents were seated at tables divided according to the twelve tribes. Each family had to fill in four pages, answering questions about what the children had learned. For the first exercise, a teacher held up an object related to an event in Bereshith. The children needed to write the name of the object, the midah, or positive trait, related to it, and the Torah portion it appeared in. We got into a debate over whether a striped cloth was Rivka’s (Tamar’s?) tzaif or Joseph’s coat of many colors.

A few parents from each class presented scenes from Bereshit for the children to guess. One group did the story of Abraham sending Hagar away, portraying Sarah as a jealous old hag and Hagar as a pitiful but beautiful young woman. We found it inappropriate.

Finally, each class performed a dance based a biblical dream. Readers may recall that last year my son refused to participate in the siddur party. This year he was excited to get the “starring” role of Jacob. His job was to walk around the stage for a bit and collect some “stones” to use as pillows. He then lay down and “slept” while the girls danced around a ladder—they weren’t  actually allowed to go up and down.

My friends and I were treated to another “performance” as we sat at an outside café at the downtown midrechov plaza. The word midrechov is a cross between midrecha, sidewalk, and mid-rechov, or mid-street. I had nearly finished my glass of juice when a man of about 30 tiptoed over to our table and, with a flourish, removed the straw from my glass and walked quickly away.


  1. “I had nearly finished my glass of juice when a man of about 30 tiptoed over to our table and, with a flourish, removed the straw from my glass and walked quickly away.”
    not the waiter? what was his concern?

  2. I like the “kippah-on-the-keffiyeh” look!
    We also had a siyum on Sefer Breishit last night and have one on Sefer Bamidbar tomorrow night IY”H.

  3. He took your straw? How completely bizarre.

    Glad your son found his mojo this year.

  4. I’m glad the performance went well. My complaint about certain school performances is that they’re presented to impress incoming parents (as you mentioned in your previous post), or to shake down parents and grandparents. In my new frugal mode, I told my daughters’ mechanechet (sort of an assistant principal) that I would not pay $68.00 for myself, my mother, and my daughters to attend the mother-daughter-grandmother brunch, where the performance was taking place. I really don’t think my kids minded — they felt that the performance was geared to the younger grades. Nonetheless, the older one decided to perform anyway, because she had already been set up with a dance partner. The mechanechet graciously did not demand payment to allow her to attend. What irked me was that the invitation, with price tag attached, didn’t arrive until rehearsals were well under way.

  5. mominisrael says

    Tesyaa: It’s unheard of here to sell tickets to school functions/performances.

  6. It is possible the reason for selling tickets is to help the school buy things. Anyway, thats what happens here.

  7. Is there a group somewhere that has a religious objection to women drinking from straws, maybe?

    • mominisrael says

      Good one, Gila. I think I read on a blog (serandez?) that in some Beis Yaakov schools it’s not considered tzniusdik to drink *without* a straw.

  8. I was with MiI at the cafe. I think the proper word is “sniff” cocaine, or possibly, “snort.” Anyway addicts apply a straw to a nostril to help inhale the stuff off a flat surface. And now we know how to do it.:0) I couldn’t think of any other reason a total stranger would do that.

    It was pretty funny in a way. The guy just loped up, lifted the straw out of her orange juice, and loped away again without a word. We sat there so astonished we couldn’t say anything, and the look on MiI’s face was priceless. At least he waited till she’d drunk most of her juice…

  9. (flapping her hand)I know, isn’t it essential these days?

    But I still don’t know what a “bong” is. Or the verb associated with it. Can I live without knowing? 🙁

  10. mazal tov.
    this is no. 8 on my list of reasons to live in israel. kids finish an entire sefer of tanach by second grade

  11. mominisrael says

    LOZ: Nu?

  12. nu, you’re not interested in what’s no. 8 on my list of reasons to live in america? 🙂 (or rather 🙁 ?)