Monday, April 03, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me

My English birthday, that is. My Hebrew birthday is the night of the start of Passover.

I came into the world causing trouble.

In America, the first two days of Passover both have major holiday status, which means that no "work" can be done on them, exactly like Shabbat (with the exception of certain food preparations). "Work" here includes driving, turning on or off electrical things, lighting or dampening fires, writing, using money, and so on. If you want to know why, you can send me an email.

Why do I tell you this? Because the year I was born, Passover fell on a Wed evening, which means Wed evening/Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were all "non-work" days. Which made my imminent arrival into the world on Wed evening so much fun for my Mom.

In the case of danger to human life, which birth is considered, you are allowed to do most types of work. That meant that they could drive me to the hospital, Long Island Jewish hospital to be exact.

However, there was no such danger to human life that permitted my father to then drive home from the hospital to our house again. Which left my 4 year old brother Ben and 7 year old brother David to do the Passover Seder with my grandmother. She basically fell asleep, and I hear the Seder consisted of whatever David had learned in school followed by the Passover cake.

My father walked home on Thursday, as the hospital was only a few miles from our house and all part of one urban continuity. My mother spent three days in a hospital that didn't know what Passover food was other than matza, which is what she ate for three days (perhaps fruit, as well).

All in all, I established my role as a pain-in-the-butt early on.

Now I'm thirty-seven: a prime number, the body temperature in Celsius, the unassigned UHF channel, the number of Shakespeare's plays, and, of course, the number of hexes in Settlers of Catan.

Send me a Magic: The Gathering card for my birthday to

Yehuda Berlinger
7/5 Hayarden St
Jerusalem, Israel

and I'll send you one back in return. Then you can put the words "I swapped MtG cards with Yehuda!" somewhere on your site.

Peace and love now,
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