Thursday, December 6, 2012

ǝɯoɥ ʎɯ oʇ ǝɯoɔlǝʍ

Yesterday, I made mention of the African-American women, usually wielding a sun umbrella and a copy of The Tower, who show up regularly at my doorstep to pitch me their version of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Lord of Lords. You take your pick.

I also referenced the mezuzah that, for no good reason, hangs on my doorframe in the correct 38 degree angle. This article purports to explain why it is hung at an angle, but like a lot of scripture, I was more confused after the explanation than I was before I had wasted three minutes of my life.

Several months ago, we were having a problem with the circuit breaker box and so we called out an electrician. An olive-skinned man and a thick middle eastern accent showed up at my house. He was very gruff so you can imagine how the many hairs on my back stood up at attention when he turned to me and said,

"You, Jew?"

Uh, yes, I replied, already indexing everything I knew about the Balfour Declaration, The UN Partition of 1947 and Abdel Nasser, in preparation for a spirited verbal combat.

"Me too" he said, sensing my apprehension.

And with that he explained how he and his family had moved here from Israel.

He also pointed out that the mezuzah I had carefully hung on the front doorpost, was upside down. And he was right. I had never noticed it before. But reading the Hebrew letters, and it's amazing that I still can, I saw that it says ya-rush-a-lay-em, or Jerusalem, upside down.

Before the electrician left, he handed me an invoice for the work and scolded me. He said I should yank the mezuzah out and hang it right side up. I didn't tell him, but me, hammers and nails make for an awful combination. That's why we keep an ample supply of Spackle around the house.

As soon as Rabbi Edison left the house, I dashed to the back to check the orientation on the mezuzah on the door to the patio.

Hebrew, as many of you know, is read right to left. But if you're trying to read this, which says sha-lom, Shalom, you will once again have to read it from the bottom up.


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