Sunday, May 08, 2005

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The Circus and Security

During Chol Hamoed Pesach (the days between the beginning and end of the Passover week), I took the family to the circus, specifically Ringing Brother's in Philadelphia. Nothing quite like travelling with the whole family in the mini-van (are we there yet?). But that's another story (probably a more interesting one actually).

It's a perennial favorite, with my wife having fond memories of watching the circus while munching matza in her childhood...

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The particular show we attended was specifically targeted at the religious Jewish community, with numerous small modifications to create an atmosphere that would draw this audience. (Those being, Jewish community entertainment following the main show, only kosher for Passover snacks and drinks sold during the show, and no scantily clad female performers during this performance.)

Having attended a few large events over the last year or so in New York, including the Siyum HaShas in Madison Square Garden and a Yankee's game, I had certain expectations of security. You know, at the Garden they were wanding everyone coming in, at Yankee Stadium they check all backs (and make everyone put their stuff in clear plastic bags they give out). Hey, it's not Israeli or airport level security ('please put your shoes on the belt'), but it's at least the appearence of security.

But the stadium in Philadelphia, the Spectrum, had nothing. Just walk right in, no problem. Carrying a giant duffel bag sir? Go right in. Nothing, nada, zip, zilch, shum da var.

While in this day and age it's hard to say who's not a target, I can't say I was the most comfortable being in a crowd of 20,000 Jewish attendee's with no security. Baruch Hashem, there wasn't any problem. But my expectations of security are higher and I'll be asking about it next time.

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Yes, that man on the right is every Jewish family's (with young children, at least in the U.S.) favorite Uncle, it's Uncle Moishy. Before I was married I used to occasional catch a ride with a rabbi who, even when he was alone, played Uncle Moishy CD's all the time. I thought he was crazy, but he said the tunes just get in your head.

Seeing my younger kids jump up and down with excitement, I finally understand what he meant. (Of course, my oldest two, who are early teenagers, just kind of humf and complain about little kids music.)

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