Monday, January 28, 2008

On the Way into Work.

I'd like to think that my morning was my "Big Fat Jewish Morning."

I got on the train and after being thrown around by this woman with too many bags with too many things protruding from them. At about the third stop a man gets on, full beard and had, and my initial instinct was that he was probably Orthodox or the like. I notice a few stops later that he's reading a little maroon book that says "RASHI" on the cover with some Hebrew. I really wanted to strike up a conversation, but I didn't really know what to say to him. I didn't want to sound like a moron -- "Oooh! I love Rashi, too!" Obviously he is a learned man, reading Rashi on the El. So I sort of tried to figure out what he was reading and kept looking over his shoulder. I'm sure he caught me staring, but it was the ONE morning I wish I had had one of my many Jewish texts with me that I'm in the middle of. Instead, I had a book of NYT crossword puzzles, inspired by the movie "Wordplay." What he had, as I have searched tirelessly to discover, is the Sapirstein Edition of the Torah with Rashi's commentary (in the softcover, though). So guess what Chavi wants and is now going to try to locate? You betcha. I never did talk to the guy, despite sitting next to him later on the bus. I did, however, pull up this week's portion on my BlackBerry and as I sat there reading it, thought: It's like two very different generations of Jews right here on this bus on the south side. One with a long beard, black hat, and a paperback copy of the Rashi commentary and a brieface, and a girl with a short, spiky cut wearing a T-shirt, jeans and chucks and reading Torah online.

Then I got to campus and no kidding it seemed like every third person I walked past had on kippot and tzitzit.

I tried to take it as a sign that I needed to find my zen moment as I approached work. The bliss of being surrounded by Jews and Judaism quickly turned though and I now feel sick to my stomach.

The horror of this job never ends. I feel like I should write a tell-all article and submit it to some major publication to express how horrible the person I work for truly is -- that it isn't just a rumor. But I know how horrible that would be of me. Believe me, I'll pray for the person who has to take over this job.