Posts Tagged ‘Jewish Year’

Erev Rosh Hashana

Wednesday, 8 September 2010
blowing the shofar (by Alphonse Lévy)

Image via Wikipedia

So, it’s just a few short hours till Rosh Hashana begins, and thus I’ll be offline for the next three days. For those of you celebrating, have a wonderful chag, leading into the best of new years. For the rest – enjoy the rest of the week!


In the Nine Days

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

I haven’t been thinking enough about the significance of the Nine Days, but so far I seem to have been unconsciously avoiding the questionable stuff anyway. We’re vegetarians anyhow, and we finally seemed to catch up on the laundry on Sunday, and to be honest I haven’t actually been crafting this week either (not that I’ve asked our Rav about the last, and from what I’ve seen online and heard in person there is a lot of variation in what people are told is good/bad to do in this regard). Still, though, avoiding such things should be for a reason, rather than just by default, so perhaps this afternoon I’ll pull out (at very least) The Book of Our Heritage by Eliyahu Kitov and reread the appropriate sections.

One of the places I took my mother to see was the Jerusalem Archaeological Park, which covers the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount and the southern end of the Western Wall (officially I believe it’s larger, but that’s what’s on this site), and that’s definitely an appropriate place to visit/see before and during this period. I have more pictures (see bottom of this post) from when I went in February with a friend however, although none of them are specifically of the Second Temple era remains. It’s a fascinating place to visit even if you aren’t especially interested in the religious aspects. The Byzantine, Ottoman, Crusader and other buildings being all practically on top of each other really gives a sense of the history. The information centre has some good displays too, as well as a couple of rather cheesy videos that nevertheless give a sense of what went on in and around the Temple, and the archaeology undertaken on the site. (The latter is still going on, by the way, and in February my friend and I got a few minutes chatting with one of the women working on it.)

Here’s the thing: being Orthodox Jewish in Jerusalem (especially living in a religious area in Jerusalem) is very easy in very many ways, but sometimes that makes it too easy to forget what we’re missing, all the aspects of Judaism that we just can’t do, that in so many ways we’re still in exile. This is far more philosophical than I generally get on the blog (or often enough IRL either), but if not now, when?
looking at western end of Southern Wall of Temple Mount from the outer city wall

Reconstruction of Roman catapult

Southern Wall, looking towards Hulda Gates

steps and buildings in front of the Southern Wall

Water cistern

Good beginnings!

Monday, 1 March 2010

It’s Shushan Purim today, so I was either going to have to post early or late. I don’t think anyone will mind having the first instruction of the mystery pattern up early in the day, will they?

UK: 1. Ch 22 in A, and 21 dc back (or 21 fdc). Turn.

US: 1. Ch 22 in A, and 21 sc back (or 21 fsc). Turn.

Don’t forget to use one terminology consistently, and to look on the pattern page for the complete (so far) instructions. There is now a pattern page on Ravelry too, to which to link your projects.

Appropriately Timed

Friday, 26 February 2010

So at least I’m going to talk about one book at the right time! One of the ones we got yesterday was Purim and the Persian Empire: A Historical, Archaeological, & Geographical Perspective by Rabbi Yehuda Landy. (Purim, for those who don’t know, is celebrated in most of the world this coming Sunday, but in Jerusalem on Monday.) I haven’t yet had the chance to do more than skim through the pictures and a couple of their captions, but it looks like it’s going to live up to the title. It’s beautifully laid out, with fabulous photos from museums around the world, as well as archaeological sites in what was the Persian Empire.

I expect to be reading this over Shabbat, and if the text lives up to the quality of the production values, I’ll learn a lot more about Jewish and world history of the time. The book even has the megilla (plus translation) in a nice large clear font at the back, so I might well take this to shul if I haven’t finished reading it by then. (I like to arrive with enough time to get settled before the actual reading starts.)


Monday, 11 August 2008

Tisha B’av is over for another year (although we still have a few hours of official mourning) and I spent most of the day in my synagogue, where I could get an appropriate atmosphere and lots of inspiration. I did read an appropriate book while I was at home, and actually finished it (I know I haven’t been doing much of that lately). I’m planning on doing some crocheting tomorrow too, which should be fun.

229. The Kingdom Didn’t Fall by Meir Baram

This is the story of two boys/young men (the main fictional characters) from outside Jerusalem who end up there among those defending it from the besieging Romans. There is no secret that they will ultimately be overcome, and the city and the Temple (the Second) be destroyed – which is much of what we mourn on Tisha B’av, the anniversary of the destructions of both temples, as well as several other tragedies of Jewish history – but it’s a well done recounting, which clarified some things for me (an overview of the sources used is given in the introduction, and then they are listed chapter by chapter at the end of the book) and is  very readable as a novel. It’s aimed at younger readers, but that never stops me.

Unfortunately I can’t link you to it, as the only reference I can find online is riddled with inaccuracies, so I don’t see the point. Tvuna Publishers put it out in 1989, without an ISBN, so it would appear to be well out of print, I’m afraid.