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Busy Weekend

I had been planning to post about this past weekend, but Nomi already did.

Although I suppose I could add a few details to what Nomi said...

Our new place is, as she points out, closer to our synagogue and therefore an easier walk. It's also a nicer walk because we no longer have to climb up a steep hill, and most of the streets are quiet, residential ones. The only annoying thing about the walk is that the town installed pushbutton walk signals when they renovated Beacon Street, and we can't use those buttons on shabbat.

Since shabbat was Mom's yahrzeit, I made a point of getting to the shul on Friday evening as well as Saturday morning so I could recite Mourner's Kaddish. We had some guests for dinner, which allowed us to begin paying various people back for the times they hosted us. We're still not ready to do that for all the people we want, as what with boxes around we're not quite ready to have families over with children. But we're working on getting those boxes unpacked so that will no longer be an issue.

As I mentioned last week, I was the speaker for shalosh seudos and I spoke on "Superman and Moses." Actually, my talk was more on the Jewish roots of Superman, and much of it was based on things I had read in two books: Up, Up, and Oy Vey!: How Jewish History, Culture, and Values Shaped the Comic Book Superhero by Rabbi Simcha Weinstein and Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero by Danny Fingeroth. I gave them both credit, and brought their books with me, so there's a possibility that both authors are about to make a few more sales. (Anyone who is interested in the topic might want to check out Weinstein's essay Superman: From Cleveland to Krypton.)

Sunday we did some unpacking, went to a birthday party for a friends' one-year-old daughter, and then changed plans abruptly for dinner with relatives when we found out that there had been illness in the house earlier that day. But I was in the mood for chicken, so Nomi and I went to Rubin's so I could have chicken. (Which is probably more than anyone really wants or needs to know...)

Comments

I've struggled mightily to come up with one thing that I like about the renovation of Beacon Street. I do like that they have more sensors embedded in the pavement to detect cars, and yes, even bikes. And I like that they repaved some rather bumpy sections. But they could have done those things without the extensive redesign.

I don't like the extra traffic lights they've added at several intersections -- and that's speaking as someone who uses those intersections from all different directions, and with four different modes of transportation (foot, bike, car and trolley). I suspect that someone high up in town government has a brother who owns a traffic light factory. I don't like the relocation of some of the u-turn places. And the best thing I can say about the bike lanes is "they could have been worse".
"The only annoying thing about the walk is that the town installed pushbutton walk signals when they renovated Beacon Street, and we can't use those buttons on shabbat."

Forgive my ignorance of the rules and regs for shabbat, but could you explain this one a bit further for us heathens? :) I am curious about the details, and in a so-very-not-judgmental way.
The buttons are part of an electrical system, and we don't use electrical switches on shabbat.
Thanks. I knew there were some rules about motorized vehicles or something (I remember something about Joe Lieberman's observances from the 2000 presidential election), but I wasn't sure how far that extended.
Can one get a copy of your talk? Sounds very fun.
Most of what I had to say is taken from the article I linked to above. I did add a few things about Superman and Jewish ethics, but I didn't type any of it up before I spoke.
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