Monday, January 03, 2011

My Shabbos d'var Torah

Forgot to share with you my special d'var Torah. Aviva said that in honor of her birthday, she had wanted to prepare a d'var Torah to share with us at dinner. However, she had to prepare chicken, salad, and a bunch of other things, so she wasn't able to study this week's Torah reading and come up with a relevant and timely message.

I had read bangitout's "Torah on One Foot" for parshat Vaera:

Moses: Let us go

Pharaoh: Nope

PLAGUE begins

Pharaoh: Yup

PLAGUE goes away

Pharaoh: Nope

Repeat 10 times

So I stepped up and used that as a jumping-off point. "You know," I said, "I've dated a lot of men who were like Pharoah."

"They wanted to enslave you?" asked Aviva.

"No," I said. "They didn't know what they wanted. They pursued me, then I showed interest and they retreated. If I backed off, then they pursued again. And it's understandable -- it's human nature. People always want what they don't have, and when they get it, they don't always like it as much as they thought they would. It definitely applies to dating."

The women at the table agreed with me. The sole male (husband of one of the women) preserved a judicious silence. I shared the d'var Torah at the girls-only lunch the next day -- it went over big -- and with CY Saturday night. He was amused.

"But this week's parsha only covers the first four plagues," he corrected me.

"So I can use it next Shabbos as well," I said. "Rock on." CY still wanted to go out with me on Sunday, so I think it was a useful way of getting my point across. And he did email me this morning to wish me a great day -- apparently he's learned that I don't like to see a week go by without any communication from him.

But again: how weird is it that we both love dangerous fish? We actually spent some time arguing about which fish was cooler.

"Piranhas can adapt to any environment," said CY, "and they'll wipe out the entire ecosystem."

"They can survive in salt water?" I asked. He thought so; I looked it up later and apparently that's not true. "Well, bull sharks can, too."

"Who do you think would win in a fight between piranha and shark?" CY asked.

"If it's a single piranha, the shark," I said. "The fish can't eat its way out of the shark once it's been swallowed. But a shoal of piranha would probably devour a shark." Interestingly, CY was very taken with the cookie-cutter shark we saw in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life at the museum. It takes bites out of larger fish and animals.

The question is, do I tell him that piranhas can't live in salt water? I don't want to come across as a know-it-all. While we were in the museum, he sometimes made an effort to tell me things he knew, or thought he knew, about the exhibits. Sometimes I didn't agree with him, and I found it mildly annoying. I know I do the exact same thing. I would have been impressed if he was always right.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Another thing you might not want to tell him is that seven plagues appear in Vaera, not four ... (Parshat Bo has the last three)

  2. It's possible I misremembered the number he mentioned. Or that he's wrong. And ultimately, neither really matters.

  3. I'm a (40something, never-married) man and often I don't know what I want- so I can relate!