There we were, driving along New Bridge Road towards Hackensack, when suddenly the traffic in our direction slowed down. On the right sidewalk, further ahead, we saw a man jogging in place and just staring. We wondered what was going on. In the other direction, the traffic was at a total standstill and then suddenly we saw what this was all about. A humungous turkey was standing in the midst of the road halting the traffic and no one seemed to know what to do. We chuckled about it throughout the day.
It reminded Nina of the Motzei Shabbat that she was driving with our daughter Dena from Montreal to North Conway, New Hampshire. New Hampshire is a tax free state and North Conway is a shopper’s paradise with nothing but discount stores lining the streets throughout the small city. She had left Montreal about 8 p.m. and expected to arrive in North Conway around midnight. As they drove through some winding roads once they left the main road Nina noticed in the pitch black that there seemed to be cows lining the sides of the road. She could not understand what they were doing there and began to beep her horn constantly trying to make sure that they would see her and not go in front of her car. Eventually she realized that the “cows” were moose. Signs once she got closer to North Conway made it very clear “Moose Kill.” Dena was so frightened that she put her jacket over her head so that she could not see and begged to return home. Suddenly she no longer needed to go shopping. Although Nina’s original tactic was to blow her horn and speed by the animals as quickly as possible, once she realized what they large blobs of black-brown actually.were she slowed down considerably with her horn continuing to blast away. Eventually they safely reached their destination and their return to Montreal was absolutely going to be during daylight hours.
Once while driving from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon and then on to Las Vegas we passed many signs which warned us to beware of wild horses. We looked at each other and thought that these must be old signs from the days of the wild wild west. Lo and behold that was not true as a posse of horses went jovially riding by—one following the other (no riders).
Everyone should make the effort to visit the Canadian Rockies. The area and views are breathtaking. Be sure to watch for the elk. As you are walking or driving in Banff State Park there are signs constantly warning you to stay away from the elk and to absolutely not feed them. In the city of Banff itself the elk walk along the streets next to the stores as if they owned the place. Rightfully they were probably there long before the population grew to make it one of the most successful tourist sites in Canada.
Returning to the gobbling Teaneck turkeys: Let’s enjoy the excitement of sharing our community with another one of Hashem’s special creatures. We are sure that turkeys must serve another purpose other than feeding us in November. Perhaps they are students at a school called Turkey U and are doing a case study on the human psyche in Teaneck. Let’s show them who we really are. Accepting neighbors, cordial and friendly and always giving them the right of the way when they decide to meander across major thoroughfares. Let’s warn them, however, that the local police are diligent about giving tickets for jaywalking—they should try to stick to crosswalks.
We hope that we do ourselves proud in their study on our human behavior. We certainly seem to spend hours in conversation trying to figure them out. Maybe they have chosen this community because Hashem wanted us to understand that we are not the only ones on this earth. There are lots of others in many different shapes and forms and we all have a place. Every plant, tree, human and animal was put here for a purpose. The question of how those turkeys got here, where they sleep at night, where they were in the winter, how long they stay is great conversation. We certainly talked about them for several days and obviously it still fascinates us!
By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick