Thursday, December 24, 2009

Can you do ANYTHING???

I'll make this quick. None of the usual 'I was minding my own business when...' stuff.

This morning at the end of Shacharis, my davening chavrusah across the table from me asked me, "Yossi, can you tie tzitzis strings tonight?"
I don't talk while wearing tefillin, or in between rashi and rabeinu tam's, so I shook my head No. I used to know how, but in my old age...
He looked at me, and asked, "Can you do anything???"
Now, I was taken aback. This boy was normally very friendly with me. I couldn't speak, so in my mind I made a very big Tzccchhhhh! (If you're not sure what that is, it's my fault I didn't know how to transliterate the sound properly. Basically it's the arrogant sheesh.) Seriously, what's his problem with me? What's his beef? Oh, so I can't tie tzitzis, it means I stink at everything? Didn't I learn sichos with him after seder? Before getting further upset, I realized that life is tough for lots of people, and it could be he had hard things he was going through, hence his quick attitude.
So I just smiled guiltily, shrugged, and shook my head No.

It took me a second to realize that he was asking because of nittel nacht (and no, nittel doesn't mean 'nothing'. It probably means birth, like in the words prenatal, and neonate.). He was asking if one could do anything, he didn't really mean me specifically.