New York City has had a snowstorm in the past week that was supposed to be huge, but in most parts of the city it turned out to be an inconvenience that wasn't monstrous in size. Having stated that, we are supposed to receive more of the wet, white stuff while the big sporting event of the winter, the National Football League's 49th Super Bowl, will take place. Not the greatest of timing.

This past Tuesday, however, public schools in New York City and most other schools in the city were closed. Roads were being plowed and public transportation was not run for several hours. Thus my two daughters had the opportunity to wake up later than usual on a weekday, lounge around in their pajamas, and do relaxing activities. I encouraged them to go outside and romp in the snow, but they turned that down. However, they did engage in some tandem fun, by baking a blueberry pie, making fruit salad and mixing together a special fruit drink. They prepped most of it from scratch and had fun, and I was pleased to see them involved in this.

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But they did not go outside, nor build a snowman or any other snow creature. They did not go outside and have a snow ball fight. They did not mix some food coloring and water in a spray bottle and spray paint our snowy front lawn, as they did some years back.
And I noticed that no one else on our block did these things either. There are a few other houses on our street with children, and none of the kids were outside, frolicking in the snow.

What a squandered opportunity! Allow me to wax nostalgic: when I was young I loved doing things like that, and I know that when my girls were younger, they did have fun making snow men, doodling rainbows in the snow, cleaning our car with their toy shovels, and making snow angels.

Okay, so at least they did their kitchen craft. And my older daughter practiced on her guitar for a while. They both played at length with our pets as well. Still, no snow fun? And no one else on our street, nor on the next two blocks, seemed to indulge in these winter classics either. Is my Brooklyn neighborhood a lackluster crowd?

This brought to mind some news I had read recently in the Jerusalem Post, about a Saudi Arabian cleric who forbade the creating of snowmen. Then some Muslims took to posting photos of snowmen (and snowwomen) they had made, in defiance of this anti-snowman decree. I also searched online for responses to "Are Jews allowed to build snowmen?" Most of the sources say that it is okay because, among the reasons, snowmen do not last long and people do not bow down to them. A few sources did state that we should not build snowmen because they could be classified as idolatry. At least don't make them on Shabbat; but the snowfall was Monday and Tuesday, this time around.

So, nu, why were there no snow peeps in the 'hood this time? I think that if we do get enough snowfall next time, I will make a snowperson on my lawn. I will plop a kippah on it and stick a thin carrot in its head, for a nose. Maybe I will set a pair of cheap sunglasses on its dear little head as well. And I will invite my daughters, and other members of the community at large, to create their own ephemeral snow creatures. For we should enjoy the snow, not just curse at it.

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