Friday, June 27, 2014

Small, Small Jewish World

This afternoon I spent time wandering leisurely through the Mel Bochner: Strong Language exhibit at The Jewish Museum. Bochner's word art spoke to me.  The bright colors, the straight lines the perfectly painted letters, the messy lines, the slanted, paint-dripping-from-them letters, the Yiddishisms, the blah, blah, blah, blah, blahs...I loved each piece more than the one before it.

On my way out, I stopped to browse in the small gift shop, where I couldn't help overhearing this conversation among three Canadians who previously had discovered their shared nationality:  an older couple from Montreal and the young Torontonian saleswoman who was helping them:
Couple:  "How do you like living in New York?"
Saleswoman:  "I love it!"
Couple:  "Do you know Holy Blossom Temple?"
Saleswoman:  "Yes."
Couple:  "Is Elyse Goldstein still the rabbi there?"
Saleswoman: "No, I don't think so.  It's Yael Splansky now, I think."
As I walked past them on my way out, I considered chiming in to tell her that she was correct, but it didn't seem worth the effort.  I'm neither a Torontonian nor a Montrealer, and, heck, I'm not even Canadian.  There would just be too much explaining to do.  Instead, I walked out of the shop and out of the building.

Small, small Jewish world.