The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Two Tales of Tefillin and Other Photos of White Nights

in which I meet old friends and make new ones

Click on the link for the photos and text . . .

The other day a group of Iranian Jews came to the synagogue. Living in Los Angeles, I am rather familiar with Persian Jews and their various customs -having spent time visiting Persian merchants in LA's fashion district on a weekly basis to don Tefillin with them- and thus called the group over for little inspiration and spirituality.
Soon Shmueli and I had them all putting on tefillin . . . Suddenly, from the corner of my eye, I noticed a familiar face -one of my close friends from Down Town LA!

One can not describe the joy and surprise of traveling half way around the world, only to see the face of a longtime acquaintance!

Putting tefillin on with my buddy Mr. M -the farther we are apart, the closer we ultimately see we are together.

The Shul

That evening the Rabbi told us to stroll around the city and visit some of the hotels in order to locate to locate various vacationing members of the Tribe.

As we walked down one of main thoroughfares, passing the acclaimed Мариинский театр (Mariinsky Theatre), we stopped briefly in a 24 hour convenience store to pick up a calling card (Called Hallo Mama, it costs 150 Rubles and gives rates to call Palestine[sic], but not Israel). Besides calling cards, they sold fruit, bread and a sickening amount of alcohol . . .

. . . including these 3 liter bottles of beer.

Putting on Tefillin 10 minutes to Ten:

In the Astoria, one of Petersburg's nicest hotels, we met a lovely couple from Denver resting in the hotel's lounge after a long day touring the city.
Joining them, we spoke for over half an hour about various topics of interest -Jewish history in Russia and S. Peterburg, the holocaust, life in Colorado and the discovery of natural gas of the coast of Haifa -
Before Petersburg they had been in Lithuania, where Colly, the husband, had roots. We spoke about the community there, what was, what could have been and the recent blossoming Jewish life after the Holocaust and Communism . . . Concluding that we needed to do something practical, I suggested putting on tefillin.

It was already 9:50 in the evening, but with the sun shining outside, it hardly could be called night.

I'm sure the tefillin made things even brighter.

White Nights:

Walking through the streets in the eerie evening light, everything took on a surreal, dreamlike state. My senses told me that I was tired from a long day's work . . . but it just seemed too bright outside.

My thoughts exactly (I'm only kidding calm down)

The Mariinsky Theatre

The shul in Reflection

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Nemo said...

Don't forget to stop by the Kever of Fyodor Dostoevsky, whose book Crime and Punishment I am currently reading.

Anonymous said...

My cousin says he saw you near Munchies.

Anonymous said...

Awesome pics, and keep up the great work!
Does it get dark at all? When I was in Alaska, I loved the lack of darkness. It's nice to have so many daylight hours no?

Mottel said...

-Nemo: You're reading that thing? I found it beyond tedious.

-Anon: Who? and When?

-Me: Thanks. The White notes are actually over -they ended about three days before we came, so it gets dark(ish) by 12:30. Day light hours are nice, but collapsing from exhaustion, when it's still nice and sunny out . . . is odd.

Nemo said...

Honestly, it's a little tedious at this point in my life.

It's not a book which was meant to be knocked off, which is basically how I'm reading it, due to the fact that I need to get to more crucial reading.

Anonymous said...


I had Dostoevsky as required reading when I was sentenced to prison in Russia...I mean when I was studying Russian history and culture years ago LOL!

Anonymous said...

Crime & Punishment rocks
though I would avoid "The Idiot" at all costs
Mottel I don't think you gav C&A enough of your time

Anonymous said...

meant C&P

Mottel said...

Yankel -I don't go for über long books like that -a conversation should not take 100 pages! (That's in the Idiot, but you get the idea)
I want Romance (Epic Romance, Space Opera, Naturalism that is -as in the movement, not as in trashy novels)

Anonymous said...

I believe you stole über from me
imitation is the greatest of flattering
sounds like you dig Tom Swift