Throne, Heel, and Holidays

And whenever God sits upon His Throne of Glory He immediately thinks of the blue thread of the fringes worn by Israel, and bestows upon them blessings. — footnote in Soncino edition, Chullin 89a Does the color sapphire [sapir] somehow remind God of tekhelet [the blue of ritual fringes]? Or are the blues and God’s […]

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Something Borrowed, Something Blue: prayer shawls and fringes

Rami bar Tamri, a traveler from another town, engaged in behavior contrary to local custom and apparently contrary to Jewish law. He was brought before R. Hisda. After inquiring into several other matters, R. Hisda asked Rami bar Tamri why his coat was missing tzitzit [required ritual fringes]. [Rami] replied. ‘The coat is borrowed, and […]

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Who Is a Jew and how would the Forward recognize her?

UPDATE, 11/15, 13:36: Both the Jewish Telegraph Agency and the Forward have replaced the original photo with different ones: JTA’s article is now accompanied by a photo of an open Torah held by jacketed arms, adorned with a prayer shawl; the Forward‘s new photo shows three males in kippot (head coverings) with dreidels (Chanukah tops). […]

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Find a scroll? Read, or at least roll, it every 30 days

MISHNAH. IF ONE FINDS SCROLLS, HE MUST READ THEM EVERY THIRTY DAYS; IF HE CANNOT READ, HE MUST ROLL THEM. BUT HE MUST NOT STUDY [A SUBJECT] THEREIN FOR THE FIRST TIME. NOR MAY ANOTHER PERSON READ WITH HIM. — Babylonian Talmud, Baba Metzia 29b The Mishna passage goes on to include care of other […]

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Blessings and Distance

R. Joshua b. Levi said: One who sees a friend after a lapse of thirty days says: Blessed is He who has kept us alive and preserved us and brought us to this season.* If after a lapse of twelve months he says: Blessed is He who revives the dead.** — Babylonian Talmud, Berakhot 58b […]

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30 Days to Obligation for a Town’s Poor

An individual who resides in a town for 30 days is “liable for contributing to the soup kitchen [התמחוי, tamhui], three months to the charity box [קופה, kuppah], six months for the clothing fund, nine months of the burial fund, and twelve months for contributing to the repair of town walls.” — Babylonian Talmud, Baba […]

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Cucumber Magic, Cucumber Illusion

some notes/resources on the planting and reaping of cucumbers (by magic or illusion), “worship of stars,” R. Eliezer, and Christianity. (posted here for Temple Micah’s Hebrew Poetry group and anyone else interested — and to make use of WordPress’ memory, which is better than mine).

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