Monday, November 07, 2011

Idiot's Guide

I aspired above my grade level by purchasing "The Complete Idiot's guide to Jewish History and Culture". It occurred to me that there might be a market for a version even simpler, for those like me, so handicapped they couldn't complete such a tome. But no - an idiot is the bottom of the IQ barrel - on some old psychology scales indicating an IQ of from 0-25 while an imbecile was rated at 26-50 and a moron, the top of this sad heap, at 51-70. From a classical marketing standpoint the Idiot's Guides should have been a total failure  - as little chance for success as would be the "Impotent Man's Guide to Sex".  Not so. Apparently we have no problem on the whole admitting we are idiots. The guides have been a roaring success from the get-go.

We're leaving for Tel Aviv tomorrow and I'm only halfway through the complete guide - ergo, a half-finished idiot. Those of us in the food business would say "half-baked idiot".  Summarizing the summary of the summaries, there are really only 198 bullet-point essentials I'm hoping to get through while it's raining.

The last Idiot's Guide I read was for the Civil War. Not bad. Illuminated much about Gettysburg. The Jewish History and Culture guide is written by a rabbi with a great sense of humor. Of course, there's endless material to work with and a host of Jewish comics to quote. Keeps the text lively.

We're doing the usual tourist route: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Galilee, Golan Heights, Caesarea, Tiberias,  Masada, Haifa.  We rented a small apartment in Jerusalem where we'll spend the most time. Stretching ourselves too thin as always we're arriving back to SFO on Thanksgiving day where we'll rent a car and drive to our nieces in Orinda for the annual family Thanksgiving dinner.


  1. Have a safe trip! Can't wait to hear about it soon.

  2. Excellent. Have a great time. My father was born in Tel Aviv. I lived in Gesher Haziv in the Western Gallilee. You might enjoy Safad. Definitely visit the Cumran/Ein Geddi area, the setting for the Song of Solomon.