It was a terrific evening at the synagogue. The weather was cold and clear, not raining for once. The social hall was decorated gaily, with tongue firmly in cheek, in Christmas-bush type decorations, a reference to the cultural milieu of the American Jew, who, at Christmas time, finds a way to participate in a half-assed sort of way in the general celebration going on around him. This upset some rather humorless sorts in the community, who thought it was terrible that a synagogue would concede any ground at all to a Christian holiday. But I thought it was funny, and suitable to the light-hearted mood of the evening.
The food was mediocre--a vegan take on Chinese food, with overcooked, steam-table vegetables. But the company was congenial. Many of us from the choir clustered around one of the back tables. The film was hilarious... just what I needed at this time, a silly 70s French comedy called The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob.
No one makes silly comedies like the French. Before the age of cinema, it was theatrical farces, and this film came straight out of that tradition, with completely nonsensical physical comedy and other silliness. There were children with their parents, elderly people, people like me, and young adults from all around, and we all rolled on the floor in laughter at the sight of people coated in chewing gum chasing each other around the roads, fields, and streams of France. Add to this a season-friendly message of multicultural friendship and everyone went away happy.
I drove home with a smile on my face, to the light of a gigantic 3/4 moon, streaming silver light onto the empty roads and hills before me.