Eli just called to talk to Yerachmiel Meir. Like some other people in the family, YM is very good at hanging on the phone while Eli talks. I am NOT. Very not.
Usually I am so in the middle of things, and usually Eli doesn't even bother asking how things are here, even if there is someone audibly screaming in the background. Plus, I have no patience for his meandering trains of thought.
YM doesn’t mind. He’ll listen for a while, and then even has a trick for ending the conversation; I probably wouldn't mind much if the conversations (if they can be called that) weren't SO interminable.
Anyway, I told Eli that YM wasn't here, so naturally, Eli started giving me the "message" to pass along (though he said he told YM the same thing when he was 9) which was something urgent about "two ideas being close together."
He then stopped to mention that he was planning to come to shul on Shabbos (we’re sponsoring kiddush for my father’s yahrzeit), and bringing his Catholic girlfriend, Penny, into the men’s section. “Nobody would notice, would they?!?”
And then the message for YM continued... and continued... so I started typing along to pass the time.
"To we who don't want to be yahoos you know a treasure is a bunch of malarkey and a landscape is a place you would want to live if you could be a hermit.
Anyways, he was getting everything ackwards like that. The non-Jews are very mixed up people. I can see why your husband would want to convert. It wasn't all your charms! It was a real attraction for the truth value of the Jewish religion
I'm embarraassed. I don't like the nomenclature Hashem. I don't think Hashem is the same as Adonoi.
I think the reason - the joke, "that's my name don't wear it out" applies mainly to the consideration of not using God's name in vain and I think a lot of the new prayers - I miss the old books when you decided to ... I don't like the new editions.
I think they've neglected some of what is canon, and I think they have adopted some things that are complete bullcrap.
(me: “Well, the Hebrew hasn't changed. Maybe you're just talking about modern translations.”)
Ahh... (very deep weight-of-the-world sigh) I'm not worried about being unilingual.
It's an old language; I don't think it's the oldest language. Is it the language of the ancient kingdoms? It still is.
It's been a good adoption into the modern usage.
What's his name?
(me: “Ben Yehuda.” Yes, I knew instantly who he was talking about.)
Have a good new years'.
To me, this is not the beginning of 2010
This is the end of 2009
I see things declining so damn rapidly, I'm very, very disturbed.
Not chemically disturbed, but bothered.
Not hot and bothered...but disturbed.
Anyway - bye!
So tell Yerachmiel the two ideas can be close together, don't mention near-truths; that would just irk him.
It is a fact of the known universe that two ideas may be close together. I wasn't going to tell him about the tail wagging the dog and the non-Jews, but really they've got their comparisons and prioritis, their metaphors. A lot of the things the non-Jews say are bass-ackwards from reason.
Anyways - bye!"
This counts as a good conversation with Eli. He hung up after only a few false starts; he didn’t get angry, even laughed a few times. Sure, it kind of skirted what most of us think of as conventional reason. But at least he knows he can call and sometimes, when things aren’t too crazy here, I will listen.