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IT’S ONLY MY OPINION - Hava Nagilah...You’re 100 years old!

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Go to a party – any party for any reason. Step up to the band and request that they play a Jewish song – any Jewish song. Even if there’s not one Jewish musician in the band the odds are ten to one that they’ll break out into the most celebrated, best-known Jewish tune of all – Hava Nagilah. The lyrics themselves translate to “Let us rejoice. Let us celebrate.” This year the song has a celebration of its own. Happy One-Hundredth birthday, Hava Nagilah. Experts, if there really are experts on this, are divided on how old the song actually is. Most of these “experts” tell us the song was written one hundred years ago by twelve-year-old Moshe Nathanson. It is believed that he wrote the lyrics to an old Hassidic melody. Then there are those who say Hava Nagilah is only ninety years old. An early 20th century entertainer, Abraham Zvildelsohn, wrote it in 1918, at the close of World War I. So as the argument continues, Hava Nagilah continues to be the most celebrated Jewish song sung and played at parties everywhere. Who really cares if it is 90 or 100 years old? What would be so terrible if the birthday centennial was celebrated twice? Now let’s first taste the chopped liver and then we’ll dance. ******** One of the worst words to come out of the District of Columbia is “pork” as in “pork barrel spending”. “Pork”, according to my Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary is defined as “government funds, jobs or favors distributed by politicians to gain political advantage.” Yes. It is as dirty as it sounds. To overcome the many public objections our representatives in the Nation’s Capitol didn’t bother to reduce much of the spending. Those sneaky lawmakers merely changed the name. Instead of “pork” the expenditures are now known as “earmarks”. Is it any wonder that Congress has such a low approval rating? ******** Users of the Internet Movie Database voted the Paris Hilton flick, The Hottie And The Nottie, the worst movie ever made. Not to worry. A Film with reviews this bad might eventually become a cult classic with audiences visiting midnight showings, wearing costumes and reciting loads of the dialogue along with the actors on screen…..maybe. ******** As a licensed pharmacist I was especially pleased when my dear friend, Adrienne, emailed me the following: Calling an illegal alien an “undocumented immigrant” is like calling a drug dealer an “unlicensed pharmacist.” Thanks, A – You’ve got me grinning from ear to ear. ******** Put twenty people in a room and make them all promise with their hands to God that discussing politics tonight is a no-no. Yeah, right! So the first argument to stimulate conversation, spoken by the hostess, was the question – which is the better soft drink – Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi? After ten minutes the conclusion was – Who cares? Then someone brought up another extremely important dispute of the day – which is better – the Big Mac or the Whopper? Ten minutes of this along with a warning not to change the subject to politics and the result was another outstanding, exceptional – Who cares? I then thought I would stimulate the brains in the room with another inspiring issue – which is better – BJ’s or Costco. It wasn’t earth shattering but it did wake people up. Here are the results of this stimulating debate. With the exception of a few minor details both are about the same. The prices are very close. The merchandise in both is similar. The meat in Costco is slightly better while the rotisserie Perdue chickens in BJ are far superior. For the most part, with the exception of one thing, it was a draw. That exception? The folks that work in Costco could use a few lessons in human relations while those that work at BJ’s are a whole lot nicer. I could attest to that personally. Supervisor Andrew at Costco is one of the biggest goldbricking, goof-offs I’ve ever witnessed. I had an issue with him. He was supposed to do something for me but stopped to talk to everyone along the way keeping me waiting an extra 20 or 25 minutes. He’d rather walk around and BS with people than actually work. His co-worker, Kevin, another genius, defended him. Me? Whenever possible I head for BJ’s. That debate ended, someone mentioned the name Hillary, and the real argument began. So much for trying to not discuss politics. ******* “I Love A Piano” is the title song of a six-character revue filled with sixty-four Irving Berlin tunes. At this moment there are several road companies crisscrossing the United States entertaining cheering audiences. The plot revolves about a 1910 upright with a broken key, the different homes and places in which it lives, and via six decades of Irving Berlin music, it does live and will live on forever. Songs like “White Christmas,” “Easter Parade,” “God Bless America” and a list of favorites much to long to print here has audiences across this nation humming along. Fans feel like jumping up out of their seats to dance to “Cheek To Cheek,” “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “Blue Skies” and a long, long inventory of all-time, All-American, toe-tapping, hand-clapping standard hits. I caught the show the other night way out of town and my hands are still hurting from clapping. I am StanGershbein@Bellsouth.net and I’m convinced that “I Love A Piano” it is a must-see if only to remind us that once upon a time there was great music in America. ******** All letters and Emails are the property of this newspaper and may be published. For verification purposes all correspondence must contain your real name, address and telephone number.

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