Saturday, November 5, 2016

Oy Vey, It's That Time Again

Jews keep time differently than other people. Here's how it all starts. You sit in temple, fidgeting. You're a kid. You want to get out of there, already. All you keep hearing throughout the service is this: "There was evening, and there was morning." Let's be honest. It's a little vague. You figure, "Great, I'm stuck here for eternity." A few specifics would be helpful, but do you get them? No. "It was 6 p.m. and Moses said, 'My God, these tablets are heavy.' " You don't get that. "It was 7:15 a.m., astern Biblical Time, and King David turned to Queen Esther and said, 'You call this breakfast?' " You don't get that, either. This explains so much, historically, that I'm surprised I haven't been asked to help craft an updated Old Testament. I'm convinced this iffy approach to time has permanently rejiggered the internal Jewish clock to one, and only one setting:

Run. Run for you life. Keep running.

This makes for an anxious people. It is and has always been the Jewish objective to get up and get the eff out of whatever situation we're in that might be a little dangerous. Seriously. Why stick around? Get. Out. Now. This internal setting may also explain why Jewish time tells us to arrive early, so we can sit there and worry till you finally show up, then make some excuse and leave early, so you have to sit there, feeling bad about yourself.

This internal setting may also explain why even if we're not running late, we still call and tell you we might be late. We know we're not going to be late, but we'd like to punish you, somehow, for always keeping us waiting.

So. If I'm ever late to meet you, start worrying. I'm never late. Something is wrong. Please notify TMZ, immediately.

Which brings us back to the main reason for today's Torah portion. Tonight we turn the clocks back one hour. Not me. I plan to turn the clock back two hours. That way, I'll be even earlier for everything and can spend even more time fretting about my own existence and maybe yours, if there's still time.


What, you expect me to come up with something new every time we change the clocks?