I recently attended the CCAR Rabbinical Convention in New Orleans. I love learning and connecting with colleagues; I love making fun of my kvetching colleagues. Here’s my top ten list. Incidentally, when it comes to kvetching, there should be no limits (thus 10 morphed into 17):
- No buttons inside the elevators. This hi-tech system requires us to push in the number on a keypad outside the elevator banks; it then tells you which elevator to take. Main kvetch: what if I don’t want to take Car B? This is so deterministic.
- Being forced to choose between looking at the speaker vs. looking at the screen. More problematic when the speaker is not good to look at and his/her words are boring.
- Having to choose between listening to what the speaker is saying vs. reading the tweets about what the speaker is saying.
- Some of the pretzels were moist/wet and I don’t like chocolate on my nuts.
- Our colleagues don’t seem to know the difference between kvelling and kvetching. Kvelling is when one finds something to say that is nice or will help make the program better. Kvetching is what the rest of you do.
- The room is too warm.
- Green is a foolish color for the siddur (translation: prayerbook); it makes me want to recycle it. Especially since with Visual T’filah, we don’t need them anymore.
- Rick Jacobs being chosen as URJ president-nominee evidences the ascendency of a previously sidelined, but tireless and powerful shadow interest-group within our movement: men with full heads of hair. We all thought (hoped) that Steve Fox was an anomaly.
- All those numbered PowerPoint lists. Very discriminatory against those of us who can count on our own.
- The room was too cold.
- Because there are so many rabbis in this city now, many of whom know each other, means that we can’t hang out on Bourbon Street and do what we really want.
- 7:00 am breakfasts. Talk about East Coast-centric programming!
- Sheraton mints are chalky and bland. Ayelet mints were way better and they put out other candy.
- The water dispenser on the 5th floor, near the elevators, was out of water.
- There are so many younger colleagues here that it forces me to acknowledge being one of the middle aged rabbis. As it says in the Talmud, “That sucks!”. I liked the olden days when i was young enough to be making fun of the AKs.
- The room is too warm.
- The CCAR program committee chairs don’t seem to care about the fact that the room was too hot/cold/humid/warm.