After reading some sociological studies, I found myself amazed at the information they could tease out from the most mundane and random of sources. I hope this collection of SMS messages may provide a similar snapshot of my year, the undercurrents, etc. These are not 2nd-hand conveyances like all my other posts (See "Amitai's Introduction") -- these are primary sources removed in situ.
"I like the Daf Yomi shiur, I like the food, and the guys are very friendly, but if I don't exercise soon, I'm going to have a cow"
- To Orahn, from when I was in KBY pre-Army, morning, 21 JUN 05. What I really meant was that I didn't know anyone there, and I was going sitr-crazy.
"If you start sucking up to me, I'm going to fart on your precious hallot. You're not still in seminary, and from my french you can see I'm not yet a rabbi. I'm not mochel you, shorty. :p"
-To Rachel, after she said something really frum regarding our shabbat meal plans, and the hallot I graciously offered to bring, 24 JUN. And by "frum," I mean that I think she was insincere, since I know her for many years now.
"Loser, maybe i'm working on being a nicer person and being careful about what i say to people. You suck"
-Rachel, to me. So it seems I was right, but wrong. hatati.
"Pull my finger. Dinner will be me'en olam haba."
-To Rachel. I express my contrition.
"I realized that if I'm going to be a modern Orthodox philosopher, I'm going to have to learn all of Shas. [What's up with] you?"
-To Orahn, 25 JUN
"Hormones acting up from [lack of] sleep, bad cold, and sabbath's stimuli...I am going to take a cold shower and go learn, it helps. I passed my time online by eating, reading 3 different things, and random mass SMS'ing. Keep me posted." 3rd JULY
"ah, hormones. I am sitting in a hallway full of lithe 18 year old girls"
-***, on his visit to the army base to defer his service, 3rd JULY
"R' M.J. Broyde, Journal of Halakha and Contemporary Society 39: showering on Yom Tov clearly mutar, smoking 99% assur. Gotta love yeshiva!"
-To myself, 6th JULY
"I just saw a 'Tobishi' TV for sale, and I nearly pooped laughing. Tell me if you ever spy a Magnabox or Sorny."
-Mass mailed 10th JULY - If you've never seen that particular episode of The Simpsons, you'll never understand.
"Only in subjectivity is there Decision. To seek objectivity is to be in error. -Kierkegaard"
-mailed to 4 selected friends, 13th JULY - this is all pre-army reading...
"Note that Kermit's girlfriend was also a greedy capitalist swine..."
-To Batya Rutter, one the subject of pinko Kermit's song "The Rainbow Connection"
"Mass mail is so 2004! Mass TEXT messaging is all the rage! You too lass..."
-To Debra Moher, a brit. I don't remember why I sent this. 3rd OCT
"Ah, it's good to be back where I belong."
-Me, to Orahn on returning to the army after weekend leave. Can you believe I was so gung ho? Well, by the end, I had lost -- and regained -- my gungy hoedom. 20th NOV
"Deep Thoughts, with Jack Handy: I was on shmirah and suddenly wondered: Why is there a disproportionate dearth of [God-fearing, of course, but also] cute girls amongst my NCSY [peers]?"
-Me, to Orahn, bored outta my mind near, not on, the Lebanese border. 1am, 22nd DEC. Present readersjip excluded, of course.
"I have actually thought about that before. pretty girls are less kind?
-Or*hn, 22 December
"I realize that this is a potentially touchy question, but are you home for Shabbat?"
-Me, to fellow soldier serving in Nahal infantry, Dave Rosenbaum. 17th FEB. It's always nice to get together.
"No. Okay!" -Dave R., 17th Feb
"Spanks alot" -Dave R., ditto
"It's hilarious. They can't understand a word I'm saying on the radio."
-Me, to fellow North American tank soldiers Uri and Mike. I think it speaks for itself. 19th FEB.
"I'm sure they think its funny too. (the pazamnikim came! Help!)"
-Uri Westrich, 19 Feb. They might have thought it was funny, but they weren't laughing with us, Uri... ;)
"Honk if you'll be up at 2am..."
-Me, to a girl I dated while in the army. 19th Feb
"I finished thinking through the implementation of Church & State in Israel. Can you give me something else to think about on shmirah?"
-Me, before I completely caved into reading on duty, to my intellectual friends. 21st Feb
"Your Daily Moment of Zen: I just taught an Israeli soldier How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Try it [yourself], and have [your Israeli] perform for your sick friend. She'll laugh that bird flu right back to the Galut where it came from! ;)"
-Me, to that same girl I was dating. Aren't I a smoothie?...Don't answer that. 27 Feb.
"the active future of the Jewish ppl lies in this country.it's fast forward vs rewind.the upward spiral leads to Israel i wanna be a part of that.:)"
-introducing Batsheva, 8 March.
"As long as the Greater Jewish Nation [i.e., that lives in Israel] is housed and taught in buildings called Azrieli, Wexner, and Schottenstein, then perhaps they [in the Galut] deserve to be included in that label [of a GJ Nation]?"
-Me, to Batsheva, again, on shmirah.
"Can you get me Continental Airline's Israel number pronto?"
-Me, to any friends with internet, 15 March
"Continental 03 511-6777" -Uriel Weisz, 15 March
"Hey amitai! Dont think i've filled u in on recent events though its possible word has spread...I got engaged 2 Shalom Ozarowski lastg wk.Hope ur doing well!"
-Bryna Billauer, 16 March. Thanks for keeping me in the loop...a week later! That's how it is in the army barmy.
"Wonderful! May it be under a favorable Zodiac sign [be-sha'a tovah]! When will be the first in the series of Free Food Fests?"
-Me, to Bryna Billauer, 16 March, on her engagement
"Next week's leave has been cancelled. We'll be doing tank drills instead. So I won't be home, really."
-Me, to Pritzker and Batsheva, 16 March
"Can you look up "phronesis" for me?"
-To Orahn, 16th March. I had no dictionary with me. [shrug]
"Amitai (my new #)! You're very trusting with other people's numbers"
-Me, to Miriam Deutsch, 20 March, on giving me a friend's phone number without knowing she was giving it to me, since I had SMS'ed her from a new phone #.
"The bad reception in our armored car makes it difficult to be expressive. Thanks for the info, seeya there, tfu tfu tfu. :)"
-Me, to Miriam Detusch, 20 March - I sent an SMS because the steel plates were breaking up the call.
"Mass Text - I'm off to my bro's BM in the US; if you want a book or H&H bagel or Leatherman, etc, just email me!"
-Me, to everyone on my list, 23 March
"You, quite frankly, rock, my dear."
-Me, to Batsheva, on baking me cookies since I am a soldier, 4 May. Very patriotic of her.
"What happened to Midnight Musings [sic]?"
-From Sarah Zacks, 6 July. ha!
"Hey flexi, whats up? I'm sure you can tell who this is. So what do u click to make the 'www' and '.com' appear instead of it? peace out brother"
-From Dov Jacobs, 10 July
"I see you're beginning to see how the army works. What do you need from the store? Also, did you get the lease approved [from the army] yet?"
-Pritzker, 28 August. This on fenegiling out a long weekend from the army.
"635 smooches" -Dena Weiss, timeless
"Shmuel Eliyahu was niftar 3 hours ago."
-Orahn, 30 Sept. He was a highschool friend of ours who got cancer. He will always be missed.
"o,don't worry,ill have some food for u.just cus u were part of the best machal ever.machal '03 was definitely the best!u like coke too?"
-Dov Jacobs, 7th October
"Your sandals (and 2 stray towels) r still here. Ask people if they lost a towel (they'll need to return it when they finish the army)"
-Yeshayahu Hurvitz, 19th November. UPDATE: I just got my sandals back, 9 months later.
"My nephew just had a brit. They called him Amitai!"
-Debra Moher, 19th December. And she immediately thinks of me... [Another punny one: a brit for a brit]
"You are definitely something else....."
-Dave Rosenbaum, 24 Dec. You heard it here first.
"Hey! Heard you're protecting a strategically vital mall. Can i call whenever?"
-Merm, 25th Dec , on visiting Israel. I was protecting a vitally strategic mall.
"U 2. hope u'll call sometime, and come whenever u want..."
-Sari Moskowitz Holz, 27 Dec. We worked together on Torah Tours, before she became a Holz.
"Party was really great, we'll show you pictures. When you coming home next?"
-Pritzker, 7 Jan. No. Okay! Spanks alot!
"How did you get a date with your mom.She is in america isnt she in america"
-Zecht, 2 Feb. According to Zecht, everything has to do with Your Mom. It's funny because it's true...
"Please, brother! This was my mitzva, for me. Blessed me His name, and may only Good things come your way." [trans. from Hebrew]
-random soldier, 2 Feb, who returned my tefillin left on an army transport. Ooops.
"I'm a spoon i'm a knife. Good shabes!" -Gropey, 3 Feb.
I taught him that camp cheer when he was bored out of his gourd on shabbat shmirah. And his name isn't Groupy, or Gropey, but Jeh'rufi, a temani.
"Impossible timing. Still proud of you." -Dave R., 8 Feb. Fellow soldier from the US, couldn't make my tekes.
"Not in yerushalayim but DEF In tel av...Interestd? Love to have u! :-)" -Bobo, 1 March. Sackler friend. Apparantly with benefits.
"You win." -Ariel Irwin, 1 March.
"Um...Amitai? Very sneaky..." -Rebecca Winter, 2 March. I win again.
"That's great - take me with you!" -Elisha L., 20th April. When he heard I'm getting out May 7th instead of Yom Kippur, like him. He liked the army, then didn't like it, and last I spoke to him, he was just tired. Great soldier though.
"Thank G-d don't worry i'm letting you off for the day we'll do it some other time [that] you have time[.] thank you by the way[,] again i truly appreciate your help" -Abbey, 10 May. Out of the army, and I'm learning Torah again!
"For sure. but id call it Superhero chug" -Jonny Steiner, 10 May. Out of the army, and I'm going back to Camp Stone again!
This was just a sampling, but I think it reflects something. Discuss.