April 10, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
April 10, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

When I told my publisher Moshe Kinderlehrer that I was going to write an article about “counting” he reminded me that counting is a very Jewish idea. From Passover to Shavuot we count the Omer. We count the nights of Chanukah (or Hannukah or…however you spell it.) We count a whole bunch of stuff at the Passover Seder.

(Cups, plagues; How much longer until the food?)

Daf Yomi followers spend seven years counting towards a worldwide completion of Shas.

Sports fans count winning streaks because those lead to championships and championships lead to dynasties.

(And dynasties lead to bragging rights, which sometimes lead to arguments…)

As a society, we count how many tries it took to solve the wordle word. We count how many days until our next vacation. We count down our cell phone battery life, our Netflix/Prime/Disney+ binging, our birthdays!

We count…well, almost everything.

For some of us, it is the way we hold onto reality in an ever faster spinning world.

(You know that the earth is not spinning faster, right?)

It is spinning about 1,000 miles an hour.

(How did you get that?)

The earth rotates once every 23 hours, 56 minutes and four seconds. Its circumference is 24,901 miles. So, at the equator, the earth moves at a speed of 460 meters per second, or about 1,000 miles per hour.

(Your point is…)

I’ve been doing some counting of my own…

You see, I keep a physical copy of every article I have ever written for The Jewish link…and this is number 100.

(But The Jewish Link website list 113 items under your name.)

Hey, “all that glitters is not gold” and not all mentions were articles.

100 is a big deal, no matter what the topic.

I Googled “100” and got “about 25,270,000,000 results (0.58 seconds).”

(You do realize that a “Google” is 10 to the 100 powers, right?)

Yes, in fact, the word comes from a cartoon character named Barney Google with, wait for it…goo-goo-googly eyes.

(What does that have to do with exponents?)

The term was coined by Columbia University mathematician Edward Kasner.

(Columbia University mathematicians read cartoons?)

We live in a world where grown men plunk down money on cartoon characters called NFTs.

Kasner was walking with his 9-year-old nephew, Milton and the kid came up with the term, most likely from the cartoon.

(Why was a university mathematician discussing exponents with a 9 year old?)

I teach history, what do I know?

My point about counting is to look back to where this journey started when I first learned to write…back in the third grade.

(Why did it take you so long?)

I’m dyslexic.

(You write letters backward?)

No, my mind jumbles spelling like a bag of Scrabble tiles.

(But you write for this newspaper. How come your articles don’t look like encrypted spy code from World War Two?)

I use MS Word in Office 365 and then “wash” the article through Gmail to catch the other errors.

(But you are a teacher!)

And that is my point. Everyone is good at something…and not so much at a bunch of other things.

How often do we focus on the finished product and ignore the work it took to get there?

(You mean like how we remember the good memories of our childhood and filter out the bad ones?)

I always say that endurance athletes are either running towards something or away from something.

(Are you going to launch into a running analogy?)

100 miles of cycling is called a “century.”

Once I learned to read, I went through the classics: “Call of the Wild,” “Treasure Island,” “Time Machine,” “Dracula,” “Frankenstein,” “The Invisible Man,” but it wasn’t until I read my first Stephen King book while in eighth grade that I decided that I wanted to be a writer.

It wasn’t until the Internet gave me a canvas to paint on in 2005 with blogging that I embraced Epictetus’ famous saying, “If you wish to be a writer, write.”

(Who?)

A Greek writer who lived in Rome during the time of Nero.

(But how did you wind up here?)

I started blogging my Ironman training back in 2010.

I submitted one of those blogs to The Jewish Link and they were kind enough to publish it.

I continued to blog about my Ironman experiences…

(Cozumel 2010, Arizona 2012, Louisville 2014, Lake Placid 2016, 17, 19…)

And when I had something to share, I sent the story over to the paper.

I formally joined the paper’s writing staff in 2020.

(Why are you telling us?)

Because I am looking back at having written 100 articles for this newspaper as a milestone to pause and look back upon.

(So, to quote Guns and Roses, “Where do we go from here?)

I’m gonna continue to write….and that you can count on.


David Roher is a USAT certified triathlon and marathon coach. He is a multi-Ironman finisher and veteran special education teacher. He is on Instagram @David Roher140.6. He can be reached at [email protected]

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles