36 and Yom Hazikaron Amerika’it

Not only is today the 36th day of the Omer, but here in the U.S. of A., it’s also Memorial Day.

I hadn’t planned on doing anything special for Memorial Day, but a friend my mother and I, Bob Fleischman, performed today at noon in the rotund of the Texas State Capitol with the Austin Chord Rangers barber shop quartet choir (don’t ask me how a choir is a quartet). They were quite good and they sang patriotic songs of all sorts and I got to thinking. Remember way back on day 18 of the Omer when I went to Radio City Music Hall for a Yom Ha’atzma’ut concert? Of course you do. When I was there I positively swelled with nationalist pride. I felt totally 100% patriotic that night.

Today was a different story. Songs about America didn’t move me at all. I was there with several other Jews who all noted feeling teary at several of the songs. I felt nothing. On the other hand, being at the capitol for the first time in a few years felt great! Looking at all of the Texan semi-pseudo-national imagery totally made me swell with Texan pride.

The weird thing about the Israel thing is that I don’t feel at all Israeli. But I do feel more Jewish than American. In full, I feel more Jewish than Austinite, more Austinite than Texan, and way way more Texan than American. Funny, ain’t it?

And now, the Omer:

2 Responses to 36 and Yom Hazikaron Amerika’it

  1. Glenda May 27, 2008 at 9:16 am #

    That ridiculously corny Lee Greenwood song always makes me teary; I fill with dread when it begins. I wish I could dissect it and figure out the mechanism.

    The rest was interesting, though. It was the first time I realized that the Navy service hymn is a drinking song and the first time I’d ever heard the Coast Guard’s. “Amazing Grace” is so lovely, but I struggle with the very idea of grace, so I’m never sure what to make of the lyrics. Surely you can’t object to “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land.”

    The Texas State Capitol is absolutely my favorite building!

  2. davidamwilensky May 27, 2008 at 3:21 pm #

    I can object to it and I will. “This land was made for you and me,” says a white performer to a largely white audience. If it can be said have been made for anyone, I’d say that would be American Indians. “Made for you and me” sounds like Manifest Destiny to me.