Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Missing the Old Catskills Hotels on the 17th Day of Tammuz

 
Today is the Seventeenth day of Tammuz, the start of a three week period that ends with the Ninth day of Av (this year, on August 6). During this period Jews worldwide lament the destruction of the Holy Temples in Jerusalem so many years ago.

It's hard for us to feel the sadness and desolation of the destruction because we never personally felt the joy of experiencing the celebrations and rituals that took place in the Temples.

But we have a modern counterpart of sorts that we can relate to by recognizing the desolation that has come to the hundreds of once-regal Catskills hotels that brought pleasure and recreation to American Jews in the 1960s through the 1990s.

Not that we're comparing the hotels to the Temples, but in a sense the hotels were temples of Jewish life in their heydey. Now with the razing of Kutsher's Resort in Monticello, only two hotels are left to  cater to Jewish summertime vacationers.

Here's a nostalgic video made up of postcards showing the facades of many of the older Catskills hotels, some of which you may remember visiting, or at least seeing the directional signs posted at highway exits. The music in the background is the Yiddish song Vus is geven, is geven, un nit do (What was, was, and can never be again.)
 
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)