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2004-01-03 | 12:34 p.m.

Jinx, who is five, picks up a gold foil-wrapped chocolate coin. "Can I have this? Or did the word 'chocolate' escape your lips?"

I laugh. Then he asks me if he can jump from my chair to the bed. "Or did the word 'jump' escape your lips?"

I ask him, "Where did this 'escape your lips' stuff come from?"

He explains that he is paraphrasing Wallace Shawn's character, "the bald guy," from The Princess Bride.

He delivers a long string of dialogue a la Wallace Shawn to Andre the Giant, which concludes: "Do you want me to send you back to where I found you? Unemployed? In Greenland?!"

***

Of course, they are no longer merely foil-wrapped chocolate coins to me. They are gelt. Jinx's new best friend is Jewish and when Jinx discovered that Jude doesnít celebrate Christmas, like, at all, but rather Hanukkah, Jinx asked if we could do Hanukkah, too.

Did I already write about this? I canít remember. He asked me and I said, "Sure, I think we can find a little MenorahÖ" and he interrupted to remind me about the real meaning of Hanukkah: "Eight! Days! of Presents!"

So we did Hanukkah. But we did not do eight days of presents. And I still don't know the blessings you're supposed to say, or even if Iím allowed to say them. I'll try to get caught up by next year.

I have been thinking an awful lot about Jewishness, Judaism, Jews. Several different threads of my life have been coming together: my new friendship with Jude's mother, Gaby; reading Leo's essay about Yiddish and remembering his funeral kaddish; remembering how strongly I identified with the Jews as a kid reading everything I could find about WWII and the Holocaust; and a new story my mother told me about my grandfather being declared an "honorary Jew."

More later. I'm being paged. (Ooh, my first oh-four entry! I think.)

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