Parshas Chukas-Balak
July 4, 2009 - 12 Tammuz 5769


     Voices From the Ezras Nashim 

Last week I did not prepare comments for this section. Dov and I took a bit of R and R and traveled to the west coast of Florida. It was an interesting experience in many ways. In the late 80's and early 90's I worked as a consultant for Collier County. During my trips to the county I was generally housed at The Cove Inn. This charming condominium hotel is the only one on Naples Bay. Boats of all description are berthed directly behind the hotel so that all rooms facing the bay have both a water and boat view. The unique thing about the hotel is that the rooms are owner furnished. Each room has the character of the owner. We had a lovely studio on the bay and if memory goes back to the last time I stayed at The Cove Inn I was in the same room.

One of the things that Dov and I planned to do while in Naples was to take a segway tour of the city. Segways look so neat as a means of personal transport and the tours are one of the features of the city. On our first morning in Naples we headed off to the segway establishment. We signed up for a tour and waited with the other couple who would join us for the instructor to arrive.

The first lesson we learned was that segways as many other things are not as easy to operate as would first appear. We watched a safety video and it seemed that the animated figures in the video could just not remain on their segways. The illustrations showed animated figure after animated figure falling off. The instructor then gave us further instructions and fitted each of us with helmets. The five of us marched out to the parking lot. We were given more instructions as we watched the instructor climb aboard and segway through the parking lot. Gradually each of us was assisted in mounting our own segway and we began a practice session in the parking lot. When the instructor deemed us ready we lined up single file and began our tour.

For those of you interested in the outcome of the experience let me say that the segways were enormous fun and the tour through the city interesting. But that is not why I wanted to write about them.

Segways run on batteries and their motion is governed by body movements which impact on the gyroscopes within the segways. By leaning slightly forward, bending the knees or turning the handle bars the direction and speed of the segway changes. They literally turn on a dime. Coming to a complete stop is somewhat difficult. The slightest movement on the segway platform causes a movement response. As we toured my mind wandered to how like life controlling a segway is. Standing upright and motionless causes the segway to be as close to still as we are when we have not found the direction to our lives. The slightest body movement, however, causes a response that propels forward, sideways or backward. On the segway it was easy to see the direction and focus we had chosen. Sometimes in life we are not so lucky as to always know the response our actions bring. Just the same forward is forward. Precision in movement brings arrival at the chosen destination and nothing ever comes to a complete stop as long as we are alive. Our sages have long noted that the ability to perform mitzvot ceases with death. It is up to us to determine if we will take the actions, however slight, to move our lives into a mode which will take us upright to complete the next mitzvah that lies before us.

Elk's Menu
Parshas Chukas-Balak
July 4, 2009—12 Tammuz 5769

Whole Wheat Challah
Baked in the merit of a child for a childless couple—for this week's names please call Yehudis Halberstam—718--972--4793
Papaya, Mango and Banana Fruit Cup
Parve Chicken Soup (((recipe))) 
Salmon en Croute with Sauteed Spinach and Onions
Salmon with Whiskey Marinade
Onion Quiche
Challah Stuffing
Turkish Green Beans
Quinoa, Corn and Basil Salad (((recipe)))
Lettuce Salad with Fine Herbs and Homemade Dressing
Banana Cake with Orange Frosting

July 4, 2009—12 Tammuz 5769

Egg Salad
Tuna Salad
Gefilte Fish
Israeli Salad

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