ROI 120: Tightrope Walkers, Half-Naked Trapeze, and the Future of the Jewish Community

By | Tagged: culture, Israel

Heshy Fried, better known as Frum Satire, is one of 120 participants in the Schusterman Foundation’s initiative ROI 120, a conference of 120 of the top young Jewish minds in the world. In this daily roundup — his second — he’s going to tell us how it is, lay down the law, and let us in on the secrets of the Jews that control the world — or, at least, the Jews of tomorrow who will control the world of tomorrow.

roiI couldn’t sleep last night. It may have been the excitement, or maybe it was the fact that my roommate took the good bed and I had the couch. I don’t mind couches much, especially ones with big flatscreen TVs facing them and nice comforters that stay cold in summer, but there was this flashing smoke detector light giving me fuzzy green visions every time I was about to fall into a blissful sleep.

All of this was on my mind as I struggled to arise and hang up the automatic wakeup call that was incoming at 7 A.M. Breakfast wasn’t until 8 anyway, and they hadn’t announced that there would be minyan — which I was disappointed about. It seemed to me and one other person that Jewish events of this sort focus on Jewy things but leave God or concepts of God out of the picture – and really, what’s a Jewish event without random breakaway minyanim in the middle of lunch?

I slept until 7:40 and then peeled myself off the couch, donned tefillin, spoke to the Lord like a deranged drunkard and hobbled off to breakfast. Today we didn’t have to dress in business casual, because we were doing an outdoor “activity.†So what was that, like a singles event kind of thing? I was curious.

Breakfast was complete overkill. Even as a food lover and official pig at formal and non-formal food eating events, I couldn’t take in what lay before me. First of all there were a bunch of Asian businessmen, but Asian businessmen aside there was a long table with really pimp looking deserts and this colorful array of salads and fruits and veggies, cheeses were lined up like soldiers and smoked fishes, caviar and baskets of bread. Granola with fruit and yogurt, and one of those chefs with the really tall hats making eggs to order, next to the egg station was a mini-IHOP situation with waffles, pancakes and French toast, complete with sugar-filled artificial maple syrup. Do maple trees even grow in the Middle East?

Posted on June 30, 2009

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