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Nachlaot is the Greenwich Village / Haight Ashbury of Jerusalem - rhymes with "rock the boat, skin the goat"


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cafe Hafuch

Cafe Hafuch - "Upside-Down Coffee" - is what Israelis drink b'derech claal (normally), that is when they're not living in denial and ordering cappuccino, espresso or some other frothy drink.

All real Israelis know the truth - that we're living in an upside-down world. Our standard choice of caffeinated beverage (whose origins are rumored to have sprung from the pre-espresso days in Israel, where a little instant coffee was poured into milk) - all "Hafuch" drinks are a reversal of this method, a symbolic reversal of what was once the norm.

What to do when things are upside-down? Learn to walk on the ceiling, like Fred Astaire?

Speaking of politics (oh, were we?) we commemorated the results of yesterday's U.S. Election during our "Morning Dew" show with music from the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young, and other artists who so expressively illustrate well-earned skepticism about the political system. "Meet the old boss - same as the new boss," says The Who - and they also say: "We won't get fooled again!"

Or will we? Are we freyers (suckers) or idealists, do we want to believe so badly that we'll believe anything at all?

At least we know we'll be getting some right-side-up Torah this afternoon - we'll hear Rabbi Chaim Richman's "Temple Talk" at 1pm, Parsha Shavua (Todelos) at 5pm, accompanied by the Parsha Poetry of Chaya Kaplan-Lester, and at 3pm we'll have Part 2 of Dov Laimon's series on Bereshis (that's "Genesis" to you non-Hebrew speakers).

In-between and framing all this great Torah will be music from Israeli artist David Ziv, our friend & Moshav Modiin resident rock star Aryeh Naftali, and our favorite American Jewish Garage Band Made Good: BLANKET STATEMENTSTEIN. Really worth listening to.

Tonight at 8pm we're playing our new "Not For Drag Queens Only" Showtunes Show, featuring MY FAIR LADY - the original London Cast Recording (Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison).

Eliza Doolittle,the heroine of My Fair Lady, certainly found herself in the world of Cafe Hafuch - an upside-down world where rigid class systems could be broken through simply with a change of accent, clothing and deportment. Of course it wasn't that simple at all - Eliza Doolittle was, in fact, a "Fair Lady" long before Henry Higgins got a hold of her and made her the subject of a bet and a science project. It only took the costume change, accent and lessons in table manners to make others see it as well.

Whether walking on the ceiling is a better way of adapting to an upside-down world than elocution lessons, only time will tell. If only elocution lessons also brought forth a truth-telling tongue from politicians ... ahh, now that would be something to talk about.