Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Swirling Thoughts #144 - the undisputed king... of hassidic rock

A pit-stop in Abu Ghosh - like a blip on the radar
Almost forgotten and not sure if it really even happened – I’m carrying around a vague memory of visiting an Elvis Presley museum in Israel some 20 years ago. Where was that place? Did it really exist? Do Israelis really love Elvis? A Bob Marley museum would make more sense, no?

When I first came from Brooklyn people here would ask me if I knew Shwekey.
Which Shwekey? I would ask, wondering if they meant the Shwekey who lived down the block from me or the Shwekey whose kids were in school with mine or the Swekey from shul or….
Yaakov! They would shout. Yaakov Shwekey, the singer!
No. I don’t know him personally. (disappointed look follows)
But I have heard of him! I quickly add (smiles return)

Just like Elvis – EVERYONE knows Shwekey. In Israel, anyway. And his concert is coming. And everyone knows it. And everyone’s talking about it. And everywhere you look there are signs announcing the news: Shwekey!!!

You don’t want Shwekey? No! You mean you DO want Shwekey!
On my first visit to Shefa Shuk, once it became clear I’d spent enough money to be eligible for a special gift offer (this was before Shefa Shuk was pushing their moadone – club membership), the sales clerk got excited and explained to me I could purchase a Shwekey CD at the customer service counter for just 30 NIS. When I said no thanks she repeated herself because obviously I did not understand that she was offering me SHWEKEY for only 30 shekel. I was scared of supermarket gifts in the beginning so I held my ground and walked out, to her shocked dismay, without Shwekey. I felt a little bad, I'll admit.

My next trip in was different. I was more familiar, more comfortable, more open to all things Israeli. And so when my total again qualified me for a special gift, I agreed to purchase the Shwekey CD. See, I’m like everyone else. I’ve got Shwekey.

Now all I need is club membership…

Speaking of which....
As we unloaded our overflowing wagon of groceries yesterday, the Shefa Shuk clerk asked for our moadone card and was astonished (there was a dramatic deep breath as she took a step back) to hear that we did not yet have club membership. When Bob said, “No, no. No need.” it was simply too much to bear. She stopped ringing and started picking up grocery items to show us exactly where we would reap our tremendous savings. In a rare move I overrode Bob and authorized the club membership. And then I asked Bob to please fill out the paperwork. What a sport!

As a form of passive protest he filled it out with all made-up information – a fake Teudat Zehut number, our Brooklyn address – I think he put his age down as 85 – but whatever! We saved ourselves 130 shekel plus we never have to dodge the ‘hard sell’ in line at Shefa Shuk again! Until they start offering up 30 shekel Elvis CD’s...

This is not your mother’s Chinese Auction
When a friend called me up to see if I could sell ticket packages for the school’s Chinese Auction I said, “no problem.” But when I told her I may not be able to attend unless I could find babysitting she told me I had it all wrong. The auction starts at 6, she said. It’s over by 8:30. There’s pizza. A magic show. And lots and lots of kids.


And so it was. Exactly as she described it. A totally kid-friendly event with all the excitement and anticipation that accompanies dropping tickets into prize boxes. Minus the fancy.

As we left the Chinese Auction we found full color Shwekey flyers adorning all the cars. As my kids grabbed up as many as they could I tried to remember the last time I saw so much paper frivolously strewn about in Israel. Shwekey is no frivolous matter. We now have Shwekey flyers throughout my house. And the countdown is on. T minus 1 day until…Shwekey!

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