Monday, January 31, 2005
3. Hebrew school, part 1
The principal of my Hebrew school, a stuffy, suited, squinting man by the name of Rabbi N, spoke with the gravity and accent of Winston Churchill, except when he yelled and sounded like a bookie from Brooklyn. He yelled often, thanks to my classmate Marshall K, who had a perfect Bay City Rollers haircut and no fear of the wrath of rabbis. Marshall put tacks on the teacher's chair and threatened to jump out the window if we were given any more homework. I was a good girl and awed by these daring feats, which made those three afternoons a week bearable. They also gave me something else to think about when Rabbi S stroked my hair during daily brachot boot camp--"So you're eating a peanut butter sandwich! Quick, what's the blessing? Celery? Steak! Carrots! Faster! Faster!"--pulling my pony tail so I looked right up at the ceiling and, presumably, at him. I liked that I was his favorite student, but it was still weird. I never told anyone, because Rabbi S was a big, fat, round, serious rabbi with a beard, and so beyond reproach.