Give Me A Sign
n ancient times, soothsayers (and
what is a sooth, anyway?) would
slaughter animals and read the
"signs" of the various entrails that
were inspected. Thus, Caesar was
warned to beware the Ides of March,
which is what gave our former tax dead-
line such an ominous background.
Then, of course, there were actions
MANELLO that could be taken as "signs of unrest"
(the mattress people should
about that); physi-
cal characteristics that
were "signs of old
age" (of course, I've been gray-
ing and bald since youth,
NOT); climate changes that
were "signs of a storm" or
winter or — you fill in the
Today, to aid the number of
folks able to get to countries
where their language is not the pri-
mary one, there is a great reliance on
signs to provide everything from safety
notices to directions. I was reminded of
this the other day by a friend who
had to get her license renewed
and was studying the handbook
so that she could be up on any
changes in signage that might
be problematical to a driver.
(Considering that most people
today do not read signs with
words, I guess that the pictures can be
I must admit that the one showing a little truck on
what looked to be a door wedge was curious. I found
out it meant a steep incline and was a warning to truck
drivers. What is with these signs showing a "prancing
deer"? And do the deer really know to look for those
signs to cross the road at those points? There are also
signs that caution us to yield to sheep, ducks, kanga-
roos, golfers and the elderly.
Then there are the problems that arise from people
altering signs. One example I found was in a dumb TV
ad (Yes, I do know the meaning of redundancy). It
shows a group of adults on vacation at a resort, and
they are standing around the beach building that hous-
es changing rooms. They are leaning on one sign so
that it seems to. say MEN, when in
reality it is WOMEN. Once they
trick a man into entering they
run off, giggling. And this is
the best fun they can find to
have on vacation? I mean, if they
were kids I could understand —
not accept, but understand.
On Storrow Drive in Boston, Mass.,
there is a sign showing a tilted truck with
a crushed roof; that warning of a low over-
head is much more sensible than the ones
listing height clearance since so many
truckers seem not to know how tall their
Visitors to one beach may have seen
a sign in red showing a head with
waves under the chin; arms
were raised overhead. The
wording advised "Danger
— No Swimming." That
seems pretty clear.
Drivers on Prince
Edward Island are treated
to an interesting combina-
tion of signs at the end of one road.
Below the Dead End sign there is posted a Stop sign.
Yes, that says it all.
It seems that these are the best of signs and the worst
of signs. 0
—Shoshana Pollack, Oak Park, mother
he Sabbath and festival
prayer book used in most
synagogues contains prayers
in Hebrew with English
translations. A few prayers are in
Aramaic, the language of the Middle
East in Roman times. One prayer is in
still a third language. Can you name
the prayer and the language?
.tis!ppix UT SI c(qvivpavH)
tweqqus ay Jo DDIA.TS 2ulpnpuoD
ay 2u!Inp pus cnke.Tcl (uretreaqy Jo
poD) utpqatay uood 4oD au :JaAtstry
"There is a kind of existential loneliness
of living in the city. I found it very simi-
lar in an odd kind of way to being in a
small town where you're one of the few
Jewish families. You're one of the few
Jewish Southerners here, and that's a
very unique identity. Its more unique
than people can imagine."
— Eli Evans, author of "The Provincials-,"
a landmark personal history about grow-
ing up Jewish in the South; he's now a
New Yorker; as quoted in the Forward
There once was a woman from
Who issued her husband a warning ...
"If you leave this fight
To preggle* all night,
You'll have a real tsimmis** by morn-
"When I light Shabbat candles, I ask God to bring redemption to the
Jewish people and to allow us to raise children who are God fearing and
will grow to do His will."
Sponsored by Lubavitch
To submit a candlelighting
message or to receive
and information on Shabbat
candlelighting, call Miriam
Anizalak of Oak Park at
(248) 967-5056 or e-mail:
Martha Jo Fleischmann
* (literal) fry
(figurative) simmer; stew
** (literal) vegetable or fruit stew
(idiomatic) big deal; federal case
Pleasure, great enjoyment, a real joy.
Friday, May 23, 8:37 p.m.
Friday, May 30, 8:43 p.m.
Saturday, May 24, 9:48 p.m.
Saturday, May 31, 9:55 p.m.
Source: From The New Joys of Yiddish
by Leo Calvin Rosten, edited by
Lawrence Bush,. copyright 2001, by
the Rosten Family LLC. Used by per-
mission of the Rosten Family LLC.