So for the last few days, I’ve spent my time at the event my organization holds every two years on the border of three states, Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. Apparently, the bridge that I saw every day from the Convention Center window marks the border of two of them going along the mighty Mississippi river.

What can I say about a place if I’ve spent most of my time freezing indoors while the weather was perfect for walking around and enjoying myself? I have only a few observations:

First, of course, is about food. So it turns out that Memphis has exactly 2 kosher places to eat – one in the Memphis JCC that has very friendly staff. The other – in the Senior Center. Let’s just agree that either one is not too inviting to spend, let’s say, a nice romantic evening in regardless of food quality. They do have some amazing cookies made by a cookie company. Again, not a dining experience. Meanwhile, I did get to try real Memphis barbecue. We spent some time at the Graceland and had an event-wide barbecue dinner, so I decided that if I do eat meat once in a while, I should try it there. And, I wasn’t disappointed at all. Something like a shredded brisket in special sauces was really delicious. I did my best to eat only tiny amount though – very proud of myself.

It seems that the whole city smells of barbecue, these places are all over. So, maybe it’s good that none are kosher? How would I resist?

Graceland itself was interesting, but I kept thinking that even a guy like Elvis did not think of luxury the way we think about it now. I would have never called Graceland a “mansion”. It’s a nice size house, of course, with some extravagant details, but if you compare it with the houses of contemporary celebrities, even minor of them, or just some wealthy folks, his is very modest. and he was BIG! Also, one sentence in the audio guide really made me laugh. While looking at the dining room thinking how small it was, it was said something like “sometimes Elvis had as many as 12 guests for dinner”… I am like “many Jewish mothers have twice as many every Shabbat” 🙂


There were, of course, some interesting rooms, and the music was playing all the time reminding me that I actually, love his songs.

Elvis came from very humble beginnings, and was a very loving son, it seems, taking care of his parents. It’s a pity that he ended this way and so early.

Since we are almost at Shabbat, I can’t live you without a couple of very interesting comments on this extremely hard Parshah that closes the book of Vayikrah וַיִּקְרָא

One is from Partners-in-Torah:

And, the other – from Rabbi Sacks:


I hope you like both as much as I do.


Shabbat Shalom!


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