Thursday, October 20, 2005

Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Maccabee Tel Aviv

I would have to say that my Yom Kippur was the easiest fast on record for me. This includes the previous week's Fast of Gedaliah, a minor fast for which I ate and drank immediately before dawn at around 6 AM. The easiness of the Yom Kippur fast may be attributed to the fact that I was in shul from 8:30 AM to Neilah, almost 11 hours and therefore wasn't anywhere near drink or food. I wasn't feeling the normal "Neilah-nillies" and could have probably gone on comfortably for quite awhile longer. I'm pretty confident I made it in the Book of Life.

On Sunday we took a trip to the Lower East Side to buy Lulavim. Due to the Lulav shortage this year, as well as the fact that it is October and harder to come by so late in the season, I feared there would not be a good selection. My luck was VERY good and I lucked out on each of the elements of the lulav I purchased. My aravot (willows) are still green AND attached, my hadas (myrtle) is not diseased and smells nice, my lulav is still long, hard and straight (oh, shut up...) , and my etrog, the first that I saw at the stand, mind you, is unique, beautiful and has the greatest smell that has ever emanated from a citron. I am reminded however of the Israeli movie Ushpizin and I live in fear that two chilonim will eat my beautiful etrog. Not really but that was an amazing film. Go see it...

However, the fun story is that I may not have had that etrog. Due to a miscommunication in which I thought the etrog I put in a large box with a group of people was going to be brought up to school by someone else. I left it in the box, went to lunch with a couple of people, and headed for the subway. As I was about to go on the train, I asked the the person who I thought took it for my etrog. She said she didn't take my etrog. I ran back on Essex street, and sure enough, the vendor still had it with my name written on it. This was scary but it all worked out in the end. Also, I didn't have to pay the fare for the subway again as the people in the booth recognized me as the person who ran out before getting on a train.

Sukkot has been great so far. Two dinners at JTS and one successful KOACH lunch later, and here we are at the first day of chol hamoed. I must say that I really enjoy Etrog Liqueur.

On a sad note, Baruch Dayan Haemet on the death of Rabbi David Kogen, a friend and the former roommate of my Grandfather in Rabbinical School.

I thought this was really cool:

Maccabi TA beats NBA's Toronto Raptors 105-103 in exhibition game

By Haaretz Service and The Associated Press

TORONTO - The Toronto Raptors became the first NBA team to lose to Maccabi Tel Aviv in 27 years when Anthony Parker's jumper with 0.8 seconds left lifted the Israeli club over Toronto 105-103 on Sunday.

Parker, who played in the NBA for Philadelphia and Orlando, had 24 points. Croatia's Nikola Vujcic added 21 points and 10 rebounds for Maccabi, the Euroleague champion.

Chris Bosh had 27 points and 12 rebounds in 45 minutes, and Jalen Rose had 18 points in 41 minutes for Toronto.

Maccabi hadn't beaten an NBA team since 1978 when they knocked off the
then-champion Washington Bullets. They had lost nine straight before holding off the Raptors, who played their starters most of the way.

Maccabi's Yaniv Green blocked Rose's layup attempt and Mike James' jumper before Will Solomon gave Tel Aviv a 95-93 lead with a 3-pointer - their first lead since the first quarter.

James' driving layup tied it at 103 with 19 seconds left.

But Parker - isolated with Morris Peterson guarding him- made a jumper with a hand in his face to give Maccabi the lead. Peterson missed a long 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

Toronto is expected to be one of the weaker teams in its league this season, and the team is still in the first stages of training for the year. Maccabi, on the other hand, will begin its season in Israel in earnest next week. All eight of Maccabi's exhibition games so far have ended in a win for the Tel Aviv team.

However, the win proves that the difference in the level of play between Europe and the NBA is negligible, compared to past seasons.

Many of the 17,281 in attendance were fans of Maccabi Tel Aviv. The consular general for Israel in Toronto slapped hands and joined the team in the celebration as NBA commissioner David Stern hurriedly walked off the court.

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