Isaac Kaplan

"Is it any wonder I've got too much time on my hands?"

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Shavuos '04 In Review

Yes, this is my first post since Tuesday. And after getting ready to receive the Torah by setting up this blog and putting up the first few articles, it was time for the 'ol Festival of Weeks:

1) This Shavuos marked an addition to my list of people that need good beatings. Now on the list "People who sing during the schacharis the morning after staying up all night" and "people who just plain shlep during davening the morning after staying up all night." Any time a davening like this ends after 7 AM, it's either a cruel, sick joke, or.... well, I guess it's just a plain cruel, sick joke. If not because I hate starting machlokes, I'd put up a petition calling for the gabbai's resignation.

2) At two of the meals that I ate, I saw one of the silliest things I've seen in my life: pareve cheesecake. Can anyone explain this to me? At last check, there's only a point in eating dairy products. I've never heard anyone say anything about cheesecake, unless, of course, it is a dairy product. Funny thing is, however, I kinda like the parve type better than the real thing. (Which is kinda weird; like my buddy who says he thinks diet coke tastes better than regular. whatever.) Problem with the real thing is, the cheese is just too heavy. And if you have too big a piece, does it ever do a number on your stomach! But because parve is fake, the texture is lighter, it tastes almost as good, and I think there's just more flexibility in the recipe. Interestingly, my good friend Joey Levin is a big cheese danish fan. Those I agree on; the texture is just right. Problem is, they're too small and I end up eating way too many of them. Best cheesecake overall, in my opinion: Entenmann's crumb cheese cake. The key there: more dough than cheese.

3) The way things worked out this year, I had no dairy meals. Which, for me, worked out just fine. Dairy meals are like kissing your sister: nice, but no effect. What do you serve? Fish- not filling, and very hard to do right. One of my worst childhood memories is that nasty fishy salmon smell that filled our house every Wednesday night. Pasta- I like, but I think you need a fish/meat dish on a Shabbos meal for the full effect. Blintzes- my personal favorite, but they only cut it for a side dish. I think that essentially covers it. Bagels, pizza, and cereal are a pathetic excuse for a yomtov meal. This isn't Tuesday lunch: we should be able to do better than that!

4) Staying up all night: is it just me, or does it get harder every year? This year, I couldn't sleep the night before or the afternoon before. This brings to mind a story I once heard:
One of my Rabbeim told us a story of how, when he was a kid, his Dad, also a great Rabbi, said to him: "you're staying up all night tonight, and I'm not. Now, let's see who ends up learning more hours this Shavuos." After yomtov, they made a tally, and, needless to say, the father trounced my rebbi.

Gotta point there!

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