The 11th Floor

A Perpsective Overlooking Jerusalem, Israeli Life, and Talmud Torah

Friday, November 10, 2006

"We sell forbidden objects from places men fear to tread. We also sell frozen yogurt, which I call 'Frogurt!' "

If you read friday's post, you'll see I predicted a dire day, but other events prevented us from having to see if the confrontation between the marchers and the Haredim led to bloodshed. And there would have been bloodshed: one Haredi teen had sacks of road spikes, which can slow a parade float- or cause it to loose control. Other teens were found with weapons of various sorts, includidng brass knuckles and one loaded pistol. But the conflict did not happen.

Sadly, what it took was the errant shell lauched by IDF artillery that took the lives of 20 Palestinians as they rested in thier homes. This horrible accident has triggered a wave of security alerts, and there was not the thousands of police needed to keep brother from attacking brother here in Jerusalem. So the parade was turned into a rally and the Haredim turned towards home and towards a shabbat of prayer, as is fitting.

The outcome, it seems to me, is worse for the members of the ultra-Orthodox world; even those communitites that thought no reaction was best, such as the Ger community, must now deal with explaining sexuality- and homosexuality to the children who are now asking about why people were so angry. The Haredi community must now also come to terms with the number of students who rushed towards violence and vandalism- and away from Torah Study.

And to what should be the shame of Jews in the United States, yeshiva students from the USA were found to be participating in the violence. Students sent to learn at yeshivot as prestigious as Mir were being sent out to burn and riot with impunity- see the section titled "Enjoying every minute" in this article for the distubing interviews.

The parade never happened- and there will be, in time, another parade. The steps must be taken now to make sure there is dialogue between the Haredim and those they find so abhorrent. The burden is thiers, and if they refuse to meet this challenge, then Jerusalem must take steps to do more than send riot police to be targets. If the Haredi leaders let thier young men embrace hatred again next year and do not hold them accountable to the laws of the Torah, Jerusalem must be ready to hold those who would burn her homes and streets accountable under the Laws of the State of Israel.


Blogger Berzerkomandor said...

Hello from Cleveland


If there was a downside to Zionism, it MAY be that in the ingathering
of the elect in Eretz Yisrael, a regrettable happenstance has come
about in that the remainders left in the benighted Diaspora are
imbecilic (I myself am of the mentally ill contingent) in their
retardation and ancient in their obsoleteness: Case in point; at
Franks Hebrew book store, way point for Jewish Cedar Center
enthusiasts, an unfortunate occurrence of an automobile accident in a
compound form was recounted : A lady, who will remain nameless,
visited Franks in an overzealous manner-- she ran through the glass
front of the store. (You have to admire customer loyalty) On a subsequent visit, the same lady backed into
the same storefront and on still another, (sometimes business is not measured in traffic) she clipped my mom's car
along with some others in the lot en route to another compromising of
Frank's .

Reluctant to make a fuss, mom phoned her husband and tried
not to take an adversarial tone to address insurance issues. She's a
member of the Emanu El congregation after all... Its not for us to
laugh, mom insists. Oh-- but it is, and I do. All parties will be
presented with complimentary PrePaid Legal informative brochures and
media. The Diaspora flails on.

Come Run after the ways of Torah'

but don't run into the storefront, please...

--Mathis Amer (Berzerkomand)

come visit the be-all and end-all of everything, the powderkeg of the internet; everything Al Gore left out originally; the Proud Home of the New Electron: FusionRuhn...

5:15 AM  
Blogger ranger said...

Okay, thanks for the story! Delightfullly wacky. But please only place it in ONE comment. I have left this version untouched as a courtesy, but please respect the blog and don't post something nine times.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Matt Maier said...

sorry Ranger-- didn't think it went thru. Here's another tale from the woebegotten a courtesy I have reworded some of the more obtrusive words...

--The Other Side Of the Family: Paschal Edition:-- _

"We have to get some food, Baby Tess, because its Passover and we is about to get passed over."

The Kitchen refinishing had left the windows in the same precarious
condition and compromised the plaster in the kitchen wall opposing the bathroom. The neighbors across the way moved out and bequeathed me an
air conditioner. I wish them well. I tried to install it into the
window and held it over the window, screws at hand. The window didn't accommodate the fasteners on air conditioners it seems.

"I have a bad fncking feeling about THIS."

Domestic tranquility is one commodity beholden to resources.

If you feel like your in a stampede, you're not alone.

The market place is a humongous Jungle.

I lodged myself behind a Jewish man and wife making Passover
purchases, and looking like a monk among Vikings in the crowd of
delineated non Jews and a large Jewish turnout. I love watching their worried expressions, buying this stuff they will be forced to eat.

The couple had some difficulty with the self check out job, and I
waited patiently. I understand you're doing Passover shopping-- so
am I. I pointed with a capped red pen at the labels on my parcel of
frozen Clam Chowda and did not hurry them.

This is an occasion fraught with pressures, familial and digestive.

If only the rest of society could be as sometime serene as the cat
kingdom. Practically any animal is less neurotic about food that the
greatest of apes. When people worshipped cows, did the pantheon deign not to chew cud for a week?

This Passover season, I ran the gamut: I attended Seder, and
performed some of the neglected rituals that make me a favorite of the Lord of Hosts; Disturbing the Universe is never so easy as when the Universe falls into your lap.

I drove Ms. Lillian Goldberg to Pesach stocking-up way points Marc's discount Drug mart, and Ungers. My role is to get her there and back and assist with recitation of labels and price tags. I made my appearance for the first time in a car deserving of less disdain even from a blind person. Yes just this day, the Crapola bit the everliving dust. The American diabetes association did the honor of divesting us of the rust carcass that was my default transportation
unit for many a year. I was looking forward to attaching a towing rig to my new car and hauling the Crapola to the scrap yard, for complete
incineration. The idea was shot down by the Old Man.

"That's a stupid idea. Absolutely not. You can't even use a screwdriver."

The remainder of the shunned car in the driveway corner, broken glass still littering the back seat, was now on his watch and not mine. Which rendered it as a biatching point of his to me quite laughable, if not ironic. I endeavored indeed to make his and mom's life a living hell for the months of the Crapola's demise. Even after the car was robbed and the heat rendered inoperative I was pressed to keep
the course and make my way with basic transportation. You don't
really need a radio... you really don't need a right nut...

It barely got me 5 minutes on Mayfield road, and the only destination I could pursue was the house of my parentage. Adhedonia has its purposes-for I could it turned out endure the misery easier than poor
dad and mom.

I am bidden now to seek all and every employment. So my
service to Ms. Goldberg (wife of my father's employee) was to
continue. The element of traversing the stretches of Heights road work was of much less dire concern now than times previous when we two comrades of mental illness and victims of Judaism would take to the road to
call on the bustling afternoon life of suburban retail and
restauranting locales. The sun was shining again, and as I arrived at
the Goldberg residence and made my way up the stoop, I spied a flower
pushing up through the old earth: it was a striking white violet with
striations of violet up and down the petals and a gold apparatus in
the middle. A good omen. As long as the omens stack up, I can make
my way in the world.

Marc's is the best junction in Cleveland to observe firsthand the
degeneration of the race. In their droves, the co-mingling of the
old and the cheap descend on the venerable Cedar Center to cull
foodstuffs from the duct work, such as it is. The shopping frenzy was reaching fever pitch as we hit the scene. A lady departing the store recognized Lillian and greeted her neighbor.

"My name is Lillian"

"Oh, I know who you are."

Before the day was out, the notorious Lillian Goldberg would make her presence known to all. The first thing in the store was a crate of yams, and they caught her eye. The entree flow crumpled as the yams were considered. Or were they sweet potatoes? The verdict was mine to render...

The ultimate reason I remain an employee of the most cantankerous
biatch on wheels to ever hitch a ride is: Lillian Goldberg knows how to INFLICT herself in the most aggravating salvos conceivable. You
couldn't write this stuff, although I'll attempt to for the Family's sake...

As we penetrate into the catacombs of the food jobber, the items
sought after are related and the hunt is promulgated for various brand name boxes and cartons. As we proceed, The sight challenged shopping cart pilot clears a path by shoving the cart into on-coming lesser biatches on wheels. The initiative is always hers' as she has no compuncture about laying asunder any unfortunate in her path ... a path of destiny.

I amble behind and wait for the on comers to try to make passage.

She is able to find just the right angle to clip a
shopping cart to grate the other pilot to the core. And of course no
is made.


I have a hitch step ready at every turn as pandemonium
is wrought on the hapless on- comers.


A sudden stop as a can display beckons...


And the interest wanes as we press on... I often step
away to traverse in parallel a stretch of adjacent aisle when the jam up gets overbearing. I am not Responsible; I am a servant of the blind.

I enjoy the sound of the clash most as I drift in no particular
hurry only making myself available when we reach the destination.

'Where are you?! What does it say? How much is it?"

My reports are thorough and concise. And it is over my dead body that a scrap of chomus would make its way to her cupboards on my watch. I know the drill.

We cut a wide swath along the floor making aisles as we traveled.

Sometimes, I try to catch groceries as they are knocked to
the ground and upended.


I like replacing them in more considerate displays.

We were in pursuit of a disposable pan and a bin of some sort. The supply was dissected as she pulled each kind of heavy tin foil
contrivance from the wall. I lingered down stream and made
observation of the creases of a Tupperware example.... An employee
with a gurney hauling a full stack of packed craps stopped short and
just did keep from losing his charge as Lillian fretted over the bins.

Two fellows,somewhat out of place, as was I, conversed that "some of the assorted crap" LOOKED worth buying, but they hadn't any money".
You guys just need real jobs... \

Two shoppers became trapped between the escaping gurneyist and Ms. Goldberg, still dead to the
human world, bless her heart...

I read the price tags and stepped aside. The shoppers eyed me with
ire as they were /physically irreleventized.\

"Oh, let's go." She exclaimed at last.

"I know a BETTER place to get this. We extricated ourselves from the shrapnel and made for the check out."

No one tries to cut us in line.

We ran into a fellow I knew from PLAN, the venerable case management
and social supplementation outfit... David Weider-- here he stated to procure stamps (I guessed to continue his thoughtful one way correspondence with select actresses. Once before I had broken down in the road approaching Cedar Center and ran into him-only briefly as
at that time he surmised that after procuring a greeting, he wished to part company hearing my circumstance, and left me to continue walking to a pay phone on the street. He has a hearing aid, but seems to hear quite well at certain intervals, and last I'd heard, he had been housed in Meyer's Home ...

"It was the Devil that did that..."

Today he greeted me with a fist bop, and then another, and finally I responded with a left bop. He was clad in a mock fatigue styled
sweater, jeans and smarm. There is a code I try to live by: try to
appreciate people of whom you don't approve...

"My grandmother is in Meyers now", I conversed.

"Is she still alive?" was David's counter-intuitive response.

Lillian voiced herself in irritation to the surprise of David who did not fathom what I meant by my introduction of my employer crammed in the line ahead of us.

("I'm here working.")

"Of course she's alive."

What could there be to bring us all together??? Gripes about
Psychiatry of course...

"Have you read the news story about Zyprexa that came out?" A class action suit has been rendered because of adverse health reactions from the standby anti psychotic from Lilly Co. It is likely by now I have diabetes, or what ever the infirmities from years on Zyprexa-- I can't
bring myself to know the particulars. At least I made a contribution to the Diabetes Association. A cure must be in the works. If I die from anti-psychotics I'll be martyred to a good cause...

"I get Haldol." recollected David, and Lillian chimed in with some
grousing about her medication administration. There wasn't time to go into the whole story... She'd been force fed Lithium which ate one of her kidneys. Her daughter benefacted one to her.

The encounter ended as the cash register was occupied by Lillian
Goldberg. I inspected my wallet for prop. I wouldn't be making any
purchases. But for my pay I would have run out of gas.

David assumed the spot at the cash register, which may
have been for naught, and we departed through the Marc's influx.

I couldn't be more proud of myself fomenting public awareness on the
matter of Zyprexa's legal status.

I bought nothing and on the way out I thought I'd use
the 50 cents I had in my wallet to buy Tesla and Mars a bouncing rubber ball from the dispensary.

The machine was thoroughly jammed.


Ungers. The grime is 100 percent Kosher. Pass-over at Ungers... a
mission unto itself.

I am not sure why I am not acknowledged in the Tribe of my heritage.

Although I am a Bar Mitvah and a Confirmee of a Reform Temple, some
how I don't find too much down home care from my kinfolk. These were not exactly kin folk at Ungers, the Orthodox grocery. More like kin ilk.

Still, where's the love?

"Wham!" She don't need Kosher salt, get the smelling salts. Because she got knocked the FnCK out.

Yet again I lingered near enough to do my job reading
things, and just out of harms way. The first employee caught in her proximity got an ear full about the variety in yogurts. I listened behind him, as she pointed out possible purchases.

A complete traffic jam ensued by the dairy shelf. Some one made to
grab some milk, and Lillian boxed him in as two other carted shoppers
ran aground at the milk. I observed the dairy trolley: some of the milk had gone to cheese.

I picked up some of the other grumblings of Ungers- goers...

"Is this your only salami?..."

Much anguish was being metabolized as the Orthodox menagerie
ingathered the faux foods of the holiday soon approaching. The ritual of Pesach consists of replacing the normal supply of food with ordained Passover Food. Cakes made out of dust, garnishes with odd lumps, extra Gefilte-defiled fish... compote. Tis the season.

The dutiful Jewish womenfolk were rising to the occasion. The primary occupation of the enterprise seemed centered on gossiping aboutothers' failings of the whole of the devotionalism. No leavened bread, but the air went out of this thing many moons past.

Our search now resumed for a disposable pan. Lillian
seemed to think that a pan was included in one of packaged Passover brownies. I was
incredulous, but not in an outward manner, as I CONTINUED navigation
of the shelves of Unger's regalia. Extra small portions, extra
cost, EXTRA kosher.

"What does this say?"

I read three brownie labels and found one with French on it.

"Mélange' de...--" ... pan included.

A better place indeed. Live and learn.

We turned to Matzos. I don't think there's enough competition in the
matzos industry. Some though were not only motzahs but
mitvahs-produced in Israel proper.

We were about to go with a package of plaster based mostly on price
consideration. I took one last look at the drywall display on the

I ventured a suggestion as I handled one more parcel of motzah... "King David Brand." Made in Israel, and some cents cheaper than our first choice.

"I'll take it."

I switched packages and we were off to the standstill at the checkout.

I wonder who among the piouses on the premises had accomplished such

The wait at the checkout was intense. People swerved in and tried to make me back into the shelves. One employee, a shikza extraordinaire who handled the bread, was hard to avoid ogling. From Russia with love... I took it upon myself to dress for the occasion. Browns cap,
five pointed star white on black t shirt, and the customary neckware
of mine: a strand containing two fobs with homunculus contents, an
African basket bead, a green LED on a hook, a Peruvian nacerima flute,skull beads and a wolf triscalion pendant (-slightly- different than a

I put on my 3D sunglasses and endured the menagerie. Each to her own tent... Why don't we have a Seder right here and save the production?

The conveyer belt (which was a dwarf sized arc, going around and back to the cashier) was laden with prizes which in just a few days would be desiccating the spit from Jews unseen.

At long last, Lillian arrived at the console. I dodged exiting
shoppers and waited to remove the purchases to the car. Before I
could move to intercept Lillian pronounced in my general direction

"He'll carry it."

A porter to the last, I lifted the box of groceries aloft and made to
exit along with my benefactor. As we returned to the parking lot, a
vehicle with an irate man at the helm stopped and laid on the horn as he made entrance, at what I did not see for certain. As he blared the horn, I halted, holding the box at an unobtrusive pitch and waited, glaring at him. He eventually continued into the lot.

"What a delightful place." I remarked to Lillian as we
weaved toward the car.


Our exit was not quite to be had though. I was at the lot terminus
waiting for traffic to recede to hang a Louie onto Taylor. A triad of yeshiva men in black hat and books of import in hands were
dramatically arguing some point of something. They were blocking my
right hand view. I kept looking, wondering why they had to carry on
in so rude a manner. I was near exasperation and ready to get out of the car and solve the argument for them.

A van with a notebook paper sign of some sort stopped in my way.

I was just about lose it.

"What is this PERSON doing?" I asked. Lillian screeched in
double irritation.

We made it back and I tended her cat, clipping her claws to save a
trip to the vet. A cat that actually makes me money-an enchanted creature indeed.


--Journey's End: Sojourn to Solon:

I would not be surprised to learn that the Temple Mount itself had
been relocated to Solon.

I wear my mojo strand under concealment. But the
contents of the fob,
a neodymium magnet grouping with select personal samples so as to makea homunculus ferment, and so on.

It is there, none the less. The scion of Solomon relies on me
to get it in range of some of the most reclusive Jews.

I came through in spades. We Sedered at the home of our
cousins on my mom's side. The guests were a contingent from out of town, and the
senior crowd consisted of my great aunt and the other of the matrons a lady of impeccable complaint. She was seated next to me.

"The great USA." She lamented over Seder meal-the accelerated service
was done to perfection by the anointed head of the family, Steve. I made sure to mention the Zyprexa travails so as to distinguish his pharmaceutical ties as "not Lilly".

"There used to be a place to go down town..." The two
club women commiserated.

Her rotator cuff injury was expounded upon-a tale often
sung by Major League pitchers facing a career ending injury.

"So you can't pitch any more..." the son demurred."

To liven things up, the woman co-hosting along with my
cousin Wendy, seated next to my mom (who had broken out the faux tiger pattern print outfit befitting a maven of wedding daughter) included plastic insects
(the plagues) and small mirrors with pink splotches-boils... and a bunch of ping pong balls which she tossed in the air and down on the table to symbolize hail. I flipped one back over the table at her,
thwapping her forehead.


Men do not run this house, Wendy assured us.

The guest to my right described how much funeral plots run these days.

"You know, some women didn't want to be buried with their husbands.
They suffered through hell in life-why should they suffer hell after
ward? She said, so as to answer her own question. She had, it was
announced made the Mongol bread, a favorite of mine (except on
Passover where the pastries are made out of Matzoh dust).

I saved two ping pong balls and readied to throw them
across the table at mom and or dad.

No-I must use discretion. I would wait, biding my time until the most
unsavory utterance from the parentage... It came at last.

"I hear you can sing the hokey pokey, Howard", Wendy goaded.

"If you want to do the Hokey Pokey, we can do it."--my
father (clad in a provided pink Yarmulke) began in his painful monotone melody...

"...--....--... ... ... ... you put your left foot in
and..." I chose my mark...
in an arm motion deft from baseball practice, the ping pong ball passed over the
Passover table and thwapped dad in the yarmulke. The ball kept going
of course, glancing off my aunt and was chased down by the originator of the ping pong ball idea--quite a good idea I MUST say.


"What happened? Who threw a ball?"

"I don't know", I answered my aunt.

"This is really very good mongo bread I assured the matron
to my side.

When everyone got some food in them, a din of gossip about
the behind the scenes enterprises of various business concerns was elucidated by the savvy crowd over the table. The young man from California who was a student at Case Law school carried on extensive conversation with my
sister. I said not a word to him except

"hello", and

"that's my mom"...

I had nothing to say and things to eat. But finally the wine-
compromised state of my mom gave way to the information I sought: The Temple Emanu El sale had been snafued... The Orthodox concern who had bought the property to develop it in some questionable fashion had sat on their heels after agreeing to the purchase. The Temple decided
to put the property back on the market. The Orthodox concern had
filed suit against Temple Emanu El.

"So, they're still looking for a buyer?"

"Yes." My mom hesitated and then acceded. They are looking for a
buyer. Do you know one?

As a MATTER of fact I do.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Matt Maier said...

The "Other Side of the Family" is a contuing episodic extravaganza provided by Berzerkomand. The Disturbance Continues... FusionRuhn

10:31 AM  
Blogger Berzerkomandor said...

Coming soon:
The Other Side of the Family; Matrimony Edition

8:42 PM  

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