Repost- Long Livers

B.N. Before Netflix- our days of Mary Tyler (give us Moore.) ”Oh G-d” (1977) The “2000 year old man,” enters the pearly Gates Laughing. Estelle Reiner, his wife said it best at Katz’s Deli, “I’ll have what she’s having.” She was married for 64 yrs. to the controller at Rancho Conejo.
98 years funny he certainly had “The Thrill of it All.” When Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie reworded phrases to get the rhythm right on The Alan Brady show Carl Reiner called it a Wrap. So as Rob Petrie tripped into our living rooms each week on the eponymous “Dick Van Dyke Show” it was really his “Show and Shows.”
Norman Lear’s line in Carl Reiner’s 2017 documentary on aging, “If You’re not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.” So today Carl, we’ll have your coffee with cream and a little oatmeal in your honor. His credo was “ find your hammock and live in the now. The transition of time in between “ok, it’s over, to what’s next, is when his productivity kicked in. HBO featured the documentary- “on demand” it if you can.The cast of characters the best of the best. Mel Brooks is hysterical, Dick Van Dyke dances, Norman Lear is brilliant and Carl Reiner’s direction and hosting ever so warm and welcoming. When it was filmed in 2017 they were all Nonagenarians. One thing distinctly portrayed in this work of long livers is that they were passionate and fell in love with lots of things.
So Carl we imagine as your enter the pearly gates we will hear you say to G-d, “so Divine One, if you were commanding a performance your timing was propitious as “The Russians are coming, The Russians are coming”- in this “Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. I will pass the baton on to my son Rob and remind him of the line written in 1963 for “it’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. “And in a democracy, it don’t matter how stupid you are, you still get an equal share.”RIP Mr. Reiner well done!

Papa Can You Hear Me? Repost with a “single secret tear.”We would run into their home always overflowing with the smells of Shabbos on the stove, cookies in the oven and ripped toilet paper in a box, next to the toilet bowl. Symbolic of a Jewish Home on the week-ends. Zada sat on his over-stuffed chair surrounded by prayer books. We would fall into his smile, his warmth. He particularly cuddled my sister Roberta. She was the youngest and so curly haired adorable. We watched him read, we observed him in prayer. Our backs were covered as G-d had to be listening, he did it so well.Rabbi Irving Gottlieb presided over a congregation in a shul in the Canarsie section in Brooklyn. In the 50’s, early 60’s it was a predominantly Jewish and Italian “good” neighborhood. He also owned a rabbinical artifacts shop on Rivington Street on The Lower Eastside. We would visit him on Sundays and once again was greeted with a big smile. He couldn’t wait to hand us a hard candy from a dish he had on the counter. What fun we had. In our early days growing up we were traditionally observant. My mother kept a kosher home. Her father was a kosher butcher. We were frum, Devout and pious Jewish people. On Passover mom koshered the kitchen from head to toe. She changed the dishes and utensils.She lined the refrigerator and cabinet shelves with oak tag. The food strictly kosher for Passover. Matzoh Brei our favorite, was our biggest request. All we knew is that the dishes were not as pretty as our every other day dishes. Green glass was just not my taste.My memories are of very long Seders where we were so hungry that eggs dipped in salt water tasted so good. I cherish those days.And then it all changed. Our taste of orthodoxy, our world as we knew it was over. We moved from Brooklyn to New Jersey and our affiliation to strong observation paled. My father was the only son of an orthodox Rabbi. He had 5 sisters.We moved from our solid roots and he radically decided to join a reformed temple. Our lives would change forever in how we observed Judaism. Somehow we followed his lead, as we respected our father. We all stayed strong to tradition. Holidays and their loveliness have resonated throughout our lives. We came together for dinners, we worshipped and practiced our faith in a different format.What is the “chosen” people in G-d’s eyes? We sang and we prayed to him in our own hearts, albeit in a different format but not in a different way.As fate unfolded I am blessed to have 8 grandchildren. They are orthodox and very observant. I have moved much closer to my very observant roots now. We live life sequentially. Fate brings us to situations at different times in our lives. There are no coincidences. I strongly believe in G-d and a divine order. I feel my faith so intensely thru the blessings of grandchildren who run into my house threaded with familiar smells and traditions. They fall into our smiles, our warmth – as I did on Rabbi Gottlieb’s lap in 1958. Zada, I smile big as I hand them candy sitting prominently on my counter. I wish this on everyone.

Les Miserables No More🙏

I dreamed a dream in time goes by

When life returns to more forgiving

I dreamed that masks were out of sight

Except on Halloween with candy giving

When we were young and unafraid

When hugging Grandpa posed no limits

Our days galore of fun and games

When looking both ways before we crossed our aim But the virus came along

The impact soft as thunder

As our world fell apart

And our days left without their wonder

We lived our year while stuck inside

Our hopes and prayers put on back burners

It wasn’t gone as autumn came

With dreams of life returning

We slashed our plans to party on

Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs without the music

We had a dream of brides in white

Children praying at the bema

And still we dream our life will be

Pulling our chairs up to the table

We will share a cup or two

Maybe Bruce, will bring the bagels

The days are growing longer

Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow

We’ll grab a moment to reflect

And know we emerged so much stronger.