Monday, January 19, 2009

The TRS inaugral special: W we love thee

After all the stress I've been under the last few weeks preparing for the test I thought I'd take today a little easy. Naturally that found me beginning Taaruvos. First thoughts? These beis yosef's are huge! The typeset in these shulchan oruchs isn't half as good as in the bassar b'challavs! And the maareches hashulchan is no shaarei yoreh deah. Man, I'm going to miss that. What a great Sefer. Rabbi Brod, if by some odd chance you're reading this, do the world a favor and continue the series, because even though Rabbi Chaim Schapiro argues with you a bit, you still made a great Sefer.

Meanwhile, several people asked me today if I'd be blogging about the inauguration. At first I thought not to, because truth be told I don't really care about it too much, but it is a historic occasion (Dick Cheney in a wheelchair!) and anyway it's nearly 1:00 AM and I don't really have anything else to write, so why not?

Barack Obama is about to become leader of the free world. That's a pretty cool job. And how will he assume these responsibilitys? With a mighty expensive party. Not that I begrudge him that. Still, it makes you think. Jews also have an inaugration of sorts every once in a while. Actually, it's a coronation. And some would claim that Mr. Obama is being corona ted right now, but again, I won't get into that. Point is, how do we crown our king? We pray mighty hard. Starve until lunch. Don't even get mezonos faren davenen. It's funny, because the snags all get to eat before shofar, but we don't. And once again I won't get into that.
So there we are, about to accept G-d upon us as king, all solemn as synagogue mice, listening to the blasts of the shofar and praying that we should be inscribed for a good year. And how does it work here in USA land? The guy's gonna give a big speech, which will probably not be among his best (he may think he's Abraham Lincoln, but trust me...), and there'll be all sorts of balls and parties and environmentally responsible stupidity. Where's the solemnitude? The reflection? All right. I'm sure it's there. I was just trying to form a comparison where none should have been attempted.
And yet. And yet tomorrow night, for the first time in eight years, there won't be a Republican in the White House. That is a bit depressing. I really like the guy who's leaving now. He never pandered to the public that placed its trust in him. He did what he thought was right, not what the public opinion pollsters thought was right. And he stood his ground when the whole world was arrayed against him. And now? How does it feel to be, what, sixty years old, and know that the most important thing in your life is now done? After this, it's all downhill.
But we can learn from our forefather Jacob, who saved his best years for last, that it doesn't have to be like that. Because if you're still alive, then you still have a job to do in this world. For our retiring president, that'll mean figuring out a way to get a Republican not named Bush (unless by some miracle Jeb decides to run) into power for the first time in what will be nearly a quarter century. That's a long time. So yeah, Mr. Bush, keep the faith, because I still believe you got it in you. And Mr. Obama? Do the right thing. As Americans we expect it of you.

And after all that political twaddle, how can you not be inspired folks?

46 comments:

Nemo said...

Wasn't the basic philosophy of democracy to heed public opinion?

Anonymous said...

I am once again breaking my cardinal rule of no comments on Blogs, Facebook et al, however, Nemo’s observation on democracy requires some response and I do so appreciate his cynical and/or legalistic take on life. So here goes …. In South Africa we sure do heed the opinion of the masses and as such are about to have foisted upon our democratic society, a President who has no formal education; is facing serious corruption charges; a squashed rape charge; a message to a Public with the highest incidence of AIDs that showering is a good antidote to HIV. Notwithstanding all of the above, the same popular president-to-be has 5 (or is it 6) wives which makes the choice of First Lady a little awkward. Long Live Democracy!!!
CAPE TOWN FAN

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Obama looks better than he did during the campaign. Basically it's axiomatic that a politician can't keep his campaign promises so since he promised to be a socialist mamzer and wreck the country (really he wasn't quite that bad but close enough) he has to be fiscally responsible now.

LE7 said...

That's happening today?

For many people I know, today is better than X-mas.

I forgot about today. I forgot about X-mas.

Here's to sticking it to the man!

Leo de Toot said...

Dear Mr. R.S.:
I am indeed gratified and impressed that you have not bowed to prevailing public opinion and have acknowledged the virtues of our soon-to-be ex-president. I suspect that when historians look back on his presidency they will recognize that his decisions, unpopoular though they might have been to certain segments of the population, were in fact the correct ones. On another note, I'm impressed that TRS has become international (see, Cape Town Fan above). Review of recent South African newspapers indicates that CTF was not exagerating - amazing! Keeping the faith as always,
Leo d T.

city chick said...

As Nemo mentioned, the point of a democracy is that the president doesn't just follow his own gut-feeling! Although I think Bush was okay, he hasn't done much in the way of making himself popular...

I came to the conclusion that a president is pretty much just the puppet, his advisory board play a much bigger role... the prez only has to look good on a dollar bill, have a good speech writer and inspire confidence in the American folk. Obama fits those criteria...
G-d bless America and peace on earth!

LE7 said...

Not a puppet, a figurehead.

I wish people put as much thought when they voted for congress.

I was sorely disappointed, since this was my first presidential and congressional election. My congresswoman was up for reelection and the only person running against her was some nobody from the Purple Party. The Purple Party! (Truthfully I voted for the bloke out of pity. I knew he wouldn't win. He garnered 13% of the vote).

The Real Shliach said...

Nemo: the masses are asses.
Cape town fan: at least you have bries, right?
Modeh: yes, I've been quite impressed by him so far. Really, I have.
LtD: the far reaching affects of this blog age mind-boggling.
City chick: ahh, cynicism.
LE7: what does the purple party stand for?

LE7 said...

From purpleparty.com

Welcome to the Purple Party – the world’s most colorful new political movement!

The Purple Party is a new party for a new millennium. It aims to be a social movement — starting here and now, on the Internet — for caring people who are sad about all the terrible things happening on this planet, but still have hope for humanity and believe our world can become a better place.

Primary objective: for the historic moment when humanity can rejoice in living sustainably and equitably on a post-military planet to be realised within the 21st century.

Major political parties around the world have lost their way. And their sway. They have little meaning or relevance as they seem blind to the potential for basing societies on the simple ideals of love and kindness instead of selfishness and hatred. They have such narrow focuses and can't see beyond the battlefields on which they struggle for power and squabble over irrelevant, outdated ideological allegiances such as Left and Right, Democrat and Republican, Liberal and Labor.

The Purple Party seeks a return to basic human values and aspirations. Peace. Love. Understanding. Kindness. A generosity of spirit. A desire for all beings everywhere to be happy.

People with love in their hearts cannot do horrible things. Why are so many sickening crimes against humanity – and against all forms of life – constantly happening all over this magnificent blue-green planet? It doesn't make sense.

This world deserves better. We deserve better. We can do better, for others and ourselves. The Purple Party is a new beginning. If there's love and hope in your heart, and a desire for peace and happiness for everyone, then please consider becoming part of a new international social and political movement — the Purple Party. Imagine that.

Crawling Axe said...

The President was very good about netzach, but messed up somewhere along the line about hod, yesoid and — most importantly — malchus. Which cost him. Nevertheless, he is the one who should be compared to Lincoln; after all, he fought and won a war amidst the cries of hysterical sniveling liberals — all it took was finding the right general.

Bottom line? In the oilam ha’ze, looks, chitzoinius and propaganda are sometimes important. Sometimes crucial while dealing with idiots. Something all Lubavitchers and especially shluchim should always keep in mind. The idiots are watching your every move.

city chick said...

Purple Party sounds cool, but our Pink party will kick their butt.
The philosophy of the pink party is that my encouraging members of the public to replace all black clothing with pink, violence and crime will drop drastically and we will live in a happier society. Taking a trip down to your local prison, how many dudes or dudettes were arrested whilst wearing pink?


Vote Pink!

The Real Shliach said...

LE7: Idiots.
Crawling Axe: Good points.
City Chick: You liked my pants then, eh?

LE7 said...

I find it beautiful. The extreme ridiculousness of the whole thing can't but inspire joy.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

I watched the ceremony in a room full of screaming liberal sheep. It was hilarious. I might revive my dead blog for a blow-by-blow of his speech. Then again, he talked for fifteen minutes and said nothing we hadn't guessed already so there isn't much point.

The polka-dot party: We stand for the abolition of all political parties in America. All they do is cheapen political discourse to the level of soundbites, and keep people who refuse to kiss certain tucheses out of office. Remember, don't ask about who's running: vote the polkadot party line.

The Real Shliach said...

I heard the speech on the way to CH. I hate how he breathes.

Nemo said...

Ehh, the only thing truly memorable about the whole thing was when Chief Justice Roberts screwed up the constitutional oath. Not too impressive when a billion people are watching you ...

Nemo said...

That's like saying the wrong thing for "harei at mekudeshes" except that no one can hear you or knows any difference at a chuppah.

LE7 said...

So Obama and the American people got married today?

The Real Shliach said...

The thought is rather revolting. I mean, if I was married to Bush, isn't this bigamy or something?

LE7 said...

You've got to talk to your political mashpia about that one...

city chick said...

Lehavdil during Matan Torah G-d married us, at his inaugeration Obama is married to the 2 billion odd Americans... heck that's a lot of birthdays to remember and a lot of presents to get.
If the vows were messed up it's not the best start..

LE7 said...

(That's where I was going with this).

Nemo said...

2 billion odd Americans

I just have to call you on this.

city chick said...

notice the 'odd'! Couldn't be bothered checking the exact figure...
though that would mean that approx a third of the world's population lives in the states which may be the slightest bit unrealistic.

LE7 said...

Aren't we at 256 million or something?

The Real Shliach said...

We're actually right around 305 million.

LE7 said...

That just proved I didn't look up that statistic I guess.

Nemo said...

City Chick: "odd" implies there's slightly more than the estimated number. You overestimated about 7 times the number, which is no small amount when dealing with billions of people.

The Real Shliach said...

Well, America is worth at least 1/3 of the world.

city chick said...

Math was never my strong point, though a 7 time overestimate is pretty much!
In what way is America worth at least a 1/3? The economy was never that strong and now it's definitely in a pretty bad position... We're the most powerful country, but rumour has it China will be overtaking us within a couple of decades. Ah well. G-d bless America.

LE7 said...

Our GDP is still pretty d*** high if I'm not mistaken.

Nemo said...

City chick: I recommend you stop making bad excuses. This isn't a mathematical question, it's a factual one. No body sitting in college in this country should believe that there are 2 billion citizens in this country.

city chick said...

chill Nemo I don't believe there are 2bn citizens in this country! I threw a random figure off the top of my head.
LE7 our GDP would give us almost a quarter of the world's value which is the highest in the world. I was referring to the value of the dollar which is not the strongest currency, though it is the most widely recognised.
And with a population of 1.25bn odd (this is not off the top of my head) and their recent increase in opportunities, rights and education, it's not far off that they will surpass us the most powerful country in a couple of decades/

Nemo said...

Just doing my job policing comments.

chaniekess said...

self-apointed or oficial?

(Wouldn't want for you to be out of work now, would we?)

nemo said...

It was at TRS' behest.

The Real Shliach said...

Nemo, never happened. Policing is e's job, not yours.
Re: USA powerful: What are you people smoking?

LE7 said...

What is that supposed to mean? Them is fighting words.

The Real Shliach said...

It means that anyone who doesn't think the USA rocks the house etc is a moron.

LE7 said...

Oh. That is totally true. Go USA.

Nemo said...

What better authority can I bring than by citing your own words?

If you really want to bring back TRS from the brink of banality, then it would be a good move to start policing the commenters obsessively. It would also be entertaining. I can't do it myself, since as you correctly pointed out I welcome all and sundry, but a dedicated purist like yourself...

Mon Jan 19, 11:25:00 AM

The Real Shliach said...

Sorry, I didn't trust it was you. Why weren't you signed into Google?

Nemo said...

TRS: Lame excuse and irrelevant. This isn't the first time I've signed in without Google and it probably won't be the last. I've done it so many times and you haven't questioned it. Besides, I think the answer was a very characteristic of my responses. Your just to much of a sissy to be mean to people on your own blog, afraid to scare them off.

The Real Shliach said...

You are correct. I am too nice a guy.

Cheerio said...

wait 20 years and see what they say about Bush then.. oh wait, Moshiach will be here, and politicans/politics will be eradicated from the earth...

The Real Shliach said...

Chas V'shalom! What kind of paradise would it be without politics? Without politics life is not worth living. Especially Lubavitch politics.