Not only is today the 36th day of the Omer, but here in the U.S. of A., it’s also Memorial Day.
I hadn’t planned on doing anything special for Memorial Day, but a friend my mother and I, Bob Fleischman, performed today at noon in the rotund of the Texas State Capitol with the Austin Chord Rangers barber shop quartet choir (don’t ask me how a choir is a quartet). They were quite good and they sang patriotic songs of all sorts and I got to thinking. Remember way back on day 18 of the Omer when I went to Radio City Music Hall for a Yom Ha’atzma’ut concert? Of course you do. When I was there I positively swelled with nationalist pride. I felt totally 100% patriotic that night.
Today was a different story. Songs about America didn’t move me at all. I was there with several other Jews who all noted feeling teary at several of the songs. I felt nothing. On the other hand, being at the capitol for the first time in a few years felt great! Looking at all of the Texan semi-pseudo-national imagery totally made me swell with Texan pride.
The weird thing about the Israel thing is that I don’t feel at all Israeli. But I do feel more Jewish than American. In full, I feel more Jewish than Austinite, more Austinite than Texan, and way way more Texan than American. Funny, ain’t it?
And now, the Omer: