Monday, April 20, 2009

Which Type Are You?

There are a few different factions of Jews during the Sefira. Not being able to listen to music is the pits. We all know it. So, during this mournful time of year, when we can't listen to joyous tunes, different people develop different strategies to tide them over until the happy days return.
There are some people who become very spiritual during the sefira. Because they can't listen to music, they play Shiurim instead. They suddenly become the biggest fans of sites like torahanytime.com and aishaudio.com. This was me last year. I actually joined a new gym during sefira last year, and was all enthusiastic about going. Suddenly, I found myself listening to three to five shiurim a week! Impressive, no? (Are there any shadchanim reading this? Please contact my PR rep at 1-800-AWESOME.)
Then there is another kind of passing time during the sefira. Listening to the radio. Or, in some cases, you can get specific. For example, in some past years, during the sefira I became the biggest Yankee fan this side of the Hudson. I would not only listen to games, but, when I wanted background noise, I'd turn on some sports talk-show and hear them hocking about what they THINK is going to happen in tonight's game. Up until lag beomer, I'd be able to recite batting averages for all of the Yankee's batters, as well as ERA's for the pitchers. Thankfully, I've gotten a life since then.
Which leads me to the next kind of sefira-Jew, which I am trying out at the moment. This year, as I got into the car, reached for the power button on the car's audio system, I came to a realization: It's ok to have quiet sometimes! What a revelation!
Problem with that is...sitting in a quiet car gives me more time to think...which can lead to posts such as these. ;)

Anyway, which type of sefira-Jew are you?

19 comments:

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Yeah man, I feel that it's that constant need for entertainment that prevents young people from spending any time in thought and contemplation. Lack of contemplation, in my opinion, is the enemy of knowledge and the enemy of religion.

For example the bathroom. I see that many people read while "in the bathroom". I never considered it the most normal thing to do so I used to come out of the bathroom with these deep thoughts and observances of the world (I once told my mother I was thinking of compiling a book with all my bathroom novelties called "חידושי בית הכסא"!).

I also think that is why people in the past were more intelligent; they had more time to think (though listening to shiurim and other thought-provoking things can obviously also be beneficial at times).

Jessica said...

I'm the turn the power off type of Jew. A few years back (when Bush was up for re-election) I would listen to political talk radio, but I just can't bear it anymore.

I think you did forget one kind though -- the a cappella Jew.

nmf #7 said...

I actually love Sefira music- so I listen to it all year round! But, my stock of shiurim and Sefira songs on my Ipod are the ones I listen to.

tembow said...

I'm a combo between the shiurim sefira-Jew and the quiet sefira-Jew. When i exercise, I listen to shiurim and when i'm on long trips in the car. when i'm just driving around doing errands, i enjoy the quiet. i actually do some of my best thinking!

harry-er than them all said...

I keep second half.
but i listen to classical or shiurim...

Scraps said...

I'm a cheater who listens to a capella during sefira. ;-)

Dude with hat (aka BTS) said...

Back in yeshiva days I was listening to an audio book on when the way. Other years I can't recall listening to anything on the road.

Also for past three years I was watching movies during work because I needed some noise. I would end up watching one movie per sfira over and over and that was really distracting me from work that I had to do. Three years ago that was a Russian movie "Sisters", two years ago that was "The Warriors", last year it was two seasons of "Prison Break". Two years ago I was talking using quotes from the warriors for few months after sfira ended.

There were two years when I end up also with one concert per sfira which was watched over and over too. Had same effect on me - bad quality of work. Five years ago that was Rammstein "Live aus Berlin". Three years ago that was Metallica's concert in Germany in August 1997. This one I had for many years on the tape and I was looking everywhere for it's digital copy. It reminds me of my father.

This year I don't know yet what's gonna happen, but I know for sure that there would be some music at work when I can't concentrate.

Something Different said...

Ok, firstly, I can not believe that I left out the sefirah music part. That was half of my post. I was going to edit the post, but I didn't want it to look like I am covering up for something... ;)

WYNI- Your right. It kinda scares me cuz I think coming to this realization is a sign of maturity, which is not something I ever intended to get to.
You are mistaken about the bathroom though. The point of the books is so that you shouldn't die of boredom when you disappear into there just as there is helping to do, cuz you can't come out till it's done. That is according to my brothers, who are all masters at timing it... (Er, was that TMI?)

Jess- I think I did the political talk show thing one year too. Can't remember if it was before or after the baseball kick though. Politics sicken me though, make me wanna become a nomad or a hermit or a hunter gatherer or something. (Actually, I think the last one was because of taxes, but I think the IRS would probably tax the stuff I hunted or gathered so I dunno if it would be much use...)

NMF- NO WAY! Gosh I can't listen to a cappella for a minute without covering my ears and running from the room screaming...

TB- I guess you could call me in-between too. I did load up my ipod with lots more shiurim than normal, but so far I haven't had enough time to listen.

HTTA- I think first half is shorter. My brother has a whole science about it... I can't remember what his conclusion was though.

Scraps- I don't think of it as cheating. I think of it as inflicting torture on yourself. Though I don't think my father holds by it.

BTS- I don't think anything works. Sorry to be a killjoy... ;)

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

...I'm sorry, I have to respond to that: that's the whole point; there IS nothing to do there but think. You're forced to think. People who automaticaly get board in such a situation are proving that there is, and can never be, anything in their heads.

Something Different said...

WYNI- My point is that they are not in there for the bathroom. They are in there because my mother can't force them out. If we had a lot of guests for a meal and there is a lot of cleaning up to do it can be over half hour. With nothing to do? I dunno...

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Hm. ...I've never really thought of the bathroom as much of a hangout. ..but I'm not too inticed; that's just stupid. (Feel free to relay the message to them!)

Something Different said...

WYNI- Are you kidding? Of course we have relayed the message to them. Multiple times. After much trial and error, we (the sisters) have come up with a fool proof plan. We "save" work for them to do when they get out. I mean...we don't want to deprive them of the mitzvah! Funny, their bathroom stays got shorter since we've developed that strategy.... ;)

nmf #7 said...

SD- There are some really good a capella groups out there- not just the Chevra and Lev Tahor. I have Six13, and soma AKApella, along with Kol Zimra, Yehuda!, Solomon, and more...

yoni said...

i almost never listen to any music!

so sefira is really not a problem for me. . .

Scraps said...

Believe it or not, I actually like most a capella music. I have issues with the stuff that doesn't sound like it's a capella, and I don't like the chassidish "sefira music" but I like regular a capella.

Inspired said...

Between sfirah music and quiet. I didn't get a change to upload my ipod so it's quiet for now...

Something Different said...

NMF- Doesn't matter how good they are. If they are acapella I don't like them. Maybe if there would be a recording of some bochurim singing I would like it...

Yoni- well then you spoil all the un-fun of sefira!

Scraps- well you like PFSGJ so I don't see how you are gonna shock me... :-p

Insp- are you liking the quiet? ;)

David_on_the_Lake said...

I'm a podcast guy...
I download short stories...poetry..radiolab...
anything butttt silence..

I love the way u describe sports radio...
its mind boggling how people can talk for weeeks about a game thats gonna happen..

Something Different said...

DOTL- yeah, but that's just radio- in a high tech form. And why not silence? What are you afraid of?
And bout the radio- yeah, around the time of the superbowl I should listen to some of it and write a whole post on the topic. If you ask me, the whole industry is such stupidity. I can't believe I have ever been into it. But then again, political talk shows are MUCH worse and I went thru a phase of that too... [ashamed]