By a show of hands, how many of you grew up reading “Olameinu” magazine?
/*counts hands and reaches number which roughly corresponds to the number of Our Shiputzim readers who were raised in Orthodox Jewish homes in the US*/
[Brief sociological observation: Israeli schoolchildren don’t raise their hands. They raise their pointer fingers. But I digress.]
And, again by a show of hands, how many of you always skipped the Hebrew-language page which inevitably appeared toward the back of the magazine?
/*counts hands again and comes up with the same number as before*/
Yeah, that’s what I thought. I mean, no one I knew ever read that page, and YZG reports the same thing about his friends and siblings.
In any event, a number of years ago, YZG’s parents cleaned out their basement and gave us – among other things – all their old Olameinus. We’re talking about a massive collection, spanning several decades.
When the magazines arrived, YZG and I were transported on a sentimental journey down Memory Lane. (“Ooh, look, Mendel the Mouse!” “Hey, I remember this! It’s about Mashiach, and all the shuls and schools fly to Israel. I loved this story!” “My favorite part was the comic strip on the back. Here’s one about R’ Aryeh Levine.”)
Our kids, in contrast, weren’t initially impressed. The older ones thought the magazines were juvenile, and the younger ones couldn’t relate to most of the content. Also, since most of the issues were produced without a computer, the layout and graphics just couldn’t compare to today’s sleeker children’s publications.
But the interesting part was that the kids even skipped over the Hebrew page. It’s not that they didn’t understand the words. Quite the opposite, in fact. The problem was that it was written in overly simple Hebrew with English definitions in the footnotes.
Nevertheless, we placed the stack of magazines on a shelf on the off chance that someone would want to read them.
And sure enough, over the years, the Shiputzim kids slowly made their way through the pile, and to their surprise, they enjoyed the magazines… almost as much as YZG and I did when we were children.
So, dear readers, if you happen to find yourselves here in TRLEOOB (i.e. the real life equivalent of our blog), you’re more than welcome to avail yourself of the Our Shiputzim Olameinu collection.
Just don’t forget to skip over the Hebrew page…
P.S. Two points to the first commenter who can explain what the title has to do with this post.
P.S.S. True confessions time: As a child, the phrase “second to none” baffled me. I couldn’t figure out if being second to none was a good thing or a bad one…