Eitan Ingall

     An easy flight from Providence to Baltimore on Southwest--as always, on-time service, nice personnel, lots of room, and $60 round-trip. We went to the Thrifty-Rent-A-Car Counter, where my new best friend, Ligea Adsit, the Thrifty Customer Care Supervisor, had arranged a complimentary rental with "VIP service." The agent greeted us by name, and with no paperwork at all, sent us to Space#1, where a Volvo S40 was waiting for us. It was a bit small, but adequate. However, the grease on the floormats and seat will necessitate, however, yet another letter from Farklempt. we stopped at a mall across the street from teh hotel, where there was a Balducci's, and bought some lunch to eat in the room: gorgeous olives, wonderful native peaches, some Taleggio cheese, a ficelle, along with a bottle of Catena Argentine Malbec, a bit more than we usually spend, but worth four times the price. We checked into the Bethesda Marriott Suites, which was a lovely hotel, spacious, with excellent accommodations, including a nice pool. We rested up and watched "Blow" with Johnny Depp (about dealing cocaine) in the room. Johnny Depp is always wonderful--not quite as quirky as Christopher Walken, but he holds center stage. In the evening, we joined the Spinats and Hirschtritts at a lovely garden restaurant in Potomac (a community of suburban gentleman horsebreeders), where we dined al fresco. The word for the evening was "memorable." The appetizers were a bit disappointing--Caesar salad, asparagus with duck prosciutto and truffle oil, and melon with prosciutto that was finely diced and ruined the texture. The bread was superb. And the main dishes were memorable: pan broiled rib-eye steak with fingerling potatoes and fresh root vegetables, broiled whole branzino with chopped herbs, memorable rare tuna. The wines were an Alsatian Pinot Gris and a Côtes-du-Rhone. Desserts were also memorable--a white chocolate tulipe and a dense chocolate mousse pie.

     Saturday, we all went to Balducci's for breakfast, then on to the Conservative Temple in Silver Spring where Eitan had begun his studies years before. The service was a warm heimish one, and the place was packed. Eitan davened Shaharit, read the entire Torah almost flawlessly, chanted the Haftarah beautifully, davened Musaf, and gave one of the finest D'var Torah's that I have ever heard, taking the three things that he found most interesting in his Torah portion and applying them to current dilemmas. He used the commandment about putting a fence around your roof to keep people safe as a proof as to who was responsible in the Firestone-Ford rollover liability suits. (Ford, because they are the ones ultimately responsible for the entire vehicle). This is a special kid. He is bright, innocently charming without guile, genuinely interested in interacting with you, kind, thoughtful, very self-confident, without being self-concious. He's also good looking. Well, what can I say? He's an Ingall.I really don't think this kid is 13. He is like that Dominican pitcher from the Bronx who threw the no-hitter in the Little League finals. He's actually 23 years old. The rabbi spoke at length...nay, at very great length...about the rebellious and defiant son being stoned to death by the city elders (a strange subject for a Bar Mitzvah, don't you think?), but he spoke with a building passion, with a love for the people in his flock, especially for the kids, so that you forgave a lot. The kiddush was first-class and plentiful, and the entire congregation was invited.

    One of the most moving aspects of the ceremony was that the Torah that Eitan read from was found in a grave in Komenetz-Podolsk, hidden there from the invading Nazis. When Martin learned of it, he purchased it and commissioned its restoration. When it was almost finished, it was shipped to Wellesley, to the home of Manny and Roberta. Roberta has come down with ALS during the past year and could not attend. But she was there in spirit and in everyone's heart, for all knew that she had written a letter to finish off the scroll.

    In the afternoon, we hung out at the pool, then back to the room for some more nasherei from Balducci's (more olives, more bread, and cheese (Tomme des Pyrenées with green peppercorns), a bottle of Rioja Rosé, and another movie, this time "Heartbreakers" with Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ray Liotta, and Gene Hackman, a wonderful ensemble cast in a really funny movie.

    Saturday night, we went to the synagogue that both Martin and Carrie belong to, each with their second spouses. This was a very special evening. Here was a couple who had been divorced who co-sponsored all aspects of the Bar-Mitzvah, who remain friendly with each other, whose families remain warm and affectionate with each other. Here was an evening party with a DJ playing horrid kid's music, and an Israeli folk singer and folk dance instructor who worked side by side. Adults surrounded the kids and had a great time. The buffet was light and excellent. Only the beer (Israeli Maccabi--the world's very worst) was below par.


Eitan in chair..Manny in chair

Martin and Eitan..Carrie in chair

Happy spectators..Line dance

Ingall family..Nancy, Manny, Gilda, Michael

Eda & Nancy..Michael & Carol with lightsticks

Everyone was really glad to be with one another. Even those who were not blood.

Not blood

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