Friday, April 28, 2006

Culture clash

It was some kind of Asian stringed instrument
He held it vertically, one end resting on his knee,
and played it with a bow
This was on the subway platform, down below
While up above, somewhere on the mezzanine
Someone was playing a cello
The two most certainly didn't go

They weren't even tuned to the same scale

Earlier that day,
I'd had a similar problem, too,
At J 2
The pizzeria
I'd grabbed a laminated card
with Birkat haMazon, Grace After Meals, printed on it
Well, so many words were different
that I'd ended up stumbling my way through it
mostly from memory
Afterward, I'd checked the card
Sure enough, it said
Sefardi/B'nei Edot HaMizrach
at the top of the front page, in plain Hebrew
(heaven forbid they should provide a translation for beginners)
Talk about culture clashes,
I only know the Ashkenazi version

Maybe sometime, I'll try doing Birkat HaMazon
in accordance with the Sefardi/B'nei Edot HaMizrach tradition
just out of curiosity
I'm curious to see
whether my Hebrew has improved enough
to be up to the challenge



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