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Monday, February 7, 2011

A Jewish Geography Moment

It happens so often that I hate to bring it up. I'm sure a statistician could explain why it isn't uncommon. We had a Jewish Geography Moment last week at Astronomy Israel. We met Leslie Weinberg and her daughter Sharon (and Sharon's boy friend Ariel) at Chez Eugene to go up for an astronomy tour. As I discovered on the phone before we met in person, Pam (my wife) was good friends with Leslie's mother and father who, among other things, had helped found the nursery school at the Tenafly, NJ JCC where Pam was the 2-year old director for many years before we moved to Israel. (Was that too hard to follow?) In any case, Pam insisted on my giving Leslie a card for her Mom, together with a soap made in Mitzpe Ramon's own soap factory, all packaged in a tidy little brown bag with handles, which made me laugh at Pam because who has room for such things in their suitcase? However, the joke was on me since Leslie's suitcase was empty as she had just brought a bag full of goodies to her daughter who had recently moved to Israel.

The point of all this is that we already had the basis of a relationship before we even met, so we had a rollicking good time on the plateau where I take our guests. Just by chance, it was night in which we saw many sporadic meteors and random satellites. This is always a thrill and resulted in a contest between Leslie and Sharon to see who could count the most. This is when I keep reminding our guests to "keep on looking up". You can't see anything if you're not watching the sky. I think Sharon trounced her mom, or perhaps my memory fails me. In any case, it got so heated that they began accusing one another of cheating. What fun!

Sharon, Ariel, and Leslie Weinberg on site with Astronomy Israel.

Sharon's beau, Ariel, came up with one of the best back handed complements I have ever heard. Being familiar with Hubble Telescope photos he said, upon looking through my 4" refractor, "I will lower my expectations to increase my pleasure." A rather wry comment that got a good laugh from us all and an admonition from me that he might not want that sentiment to linger in the mind of his possible future mother-in-law.

Keep on looking up!
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