Nah nah. You're all too late. Four people read my previous post and received geekgold (or declined). They're my real fans. The rest of you can retake the test later this year.
I was hoping my sickness would be a transitory thing, but I wake up every day feeling just about the same. Just on this side of not being able to go to work, but not enough not to be able to work from home.
Let's see. Saarya had been sick for about 36 hours and had gotten better. Rachel appeared to be sick for only twelve hours and had also gotten better. But ... more on that later.
As luck would have it, not only did we have guests for the entire weekend, but we also had a group of girls for dinner. These girls had just arrived on the March of the Living, a program for twelfth-graders from America (these ones were from Baltimore) and other countries.
March of the Living takes kids to Poland and has them visiting numerous Holocaust sites, such as Auschwitz and so on. They see mountains of ash, rooms full of eyeglasses and teeth, and so on. They see the ghettos and the burnt synagogues. Perhaps just as important they see ice cream stands selling outside the concentration camps, worthless, genericizing, and desensitizing museums in places where the real articles would have been more powerful, and disdain or naked antisemitism on the faces of all too many Polish people today.
We had a non-Jewish Polish person over for shabbat a few months ago who told us that she thinks that it is a shame that the kids see only this part of Poland, and that part of the disdain of the Polish people comes from the fact that the kids are shown nothing else of Poland. Obviously someone is missing something, somewhere.
After this harrowing week, the kids come to Israel for another week or so. In this case, the girls had arrived at 4:30 am without sleep, had gone to the Western Wall and then come to us for dinner, still without sleep. But you know young 'uns; they were still vibrant and full of energy.
They all said that it was an incredible experience and very meaningful to them. They also said that Israel was so much more beautiful than they had realized.
I coughed and hurfed through dinner, but they were all very nice about it. I found out that when it takes a long time to say anything, it is only worth saying things that don't take a long time to say.
We sent them off at 9:30 pm and hopefully they made it back to their hotel without plotzing on the way.
Our shabbat guests were the non-gamer variety. Their kids play, but only the youngest one came, a girl about 13. We played Set, Yinsh twice, the Menorah game, and China Moon. She lost all but one game of Yinsh, but the Yinsh game that she won was extremely well played. I was certainly trying my best.
I did manage to get the mother to play "shabbat Boggle" with us, which consists of simply finding words on a Boggle grid for as long as possible. In theory, you take turns and the last one to call a word wins. Our game just disintegrated into calling out words as people found them, however.
After shabbat, I was called over to the neighbors, as I'll be narrating a Purim "shpiel", or humorous play. This one is a musical where we make fun of all of the streams of Judaism. Unfortunately for me, not only was I sick, but the play organizer still hadn't written all of my narration (the play is Tuesday night), what he wrote was, um, not so good (but the songs are what's important, so no big loss), and the musicians were still trying to figure out how to sing the songs. I guess we call this amateur theater. I'm sure it will all work out, but it's funny to watch.
Rachel had banished me to one of the other rooms to sleep since I was coughing so much. Undoubtedly as a form of divine retribution, she awakened early in the night with severe heartburn-like pain. Ariella accompanied her to the hospital. In the morning we found out that she has an inflamed gall bladder and may have had a very small kidney stone. She is feeling totally ok right now, but is getting pumped with anti-biotics in the hospital until tomorrow, at least.
The next week should be interesting.