Monday, August 31, 2009

Ennismore, Ontario

My good buddy James Williams brought me up to Camp Moshava outside Toronto for my first ever Bnei Akiva experience (Bnei Akiva is a worldwide religious zionist youth movement) and I couldn't be more grateful. The welcome could not have been warmer, though the weather gave me the cold shoulder. And not only did I get to teach and learn with an amazing group of new friends, and experience prayer with a special vigorous enthusiasm, and spend a nice Shabbos in the woods, I also got to hear some dynamite stories. Did you know that there is a contractual obligation in the Orthodox Jewish community in Toronto that if you are a pulpit Rabbi, you must have a beard? I did not know that and it is my favorite new fact. Also, I heard a great story about a family that moved to America and decided to give themselves absurd names...all ending with Berkowitz. My favorite: Just Berkowitz. Brilliant.

"Your name sir?"
"Just Berkowitz."
"Yes, and your first name?"
"I'm sorry sir, just what?"

I've already written several pages of dialogue (quite thrilling and pedestrian when read from an existential point of view). I think it will be all part of a new play about a babyfaced guy named Berkowitz who comes to Toronto to accept a position as a pulpit Rabbi. Obviously the catch would be that he can't grow facial hair, or that when he does his face resembles the butt of a bald monkey - something like that. But the congregation will have hired him sight unseen! So, like Buddy Holly at the Apollo, it'll be quite a show. Who's got two thumbs and thinks this is a great idea for a play? That's right Michael Feldman: This guy.

1 comment:

  1. An amusing French movie, "The Dinner Game" (a Francis Veber film), has a character named Juste LeBlanc, which is the same joke, but in French. [Though Juste is more realistic of a name in French than Just in English.]