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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]

Back in September, I began to do things to enhance my religious life. Today is a very big day in it.

One of the things I began was reading a seder of Mishnah. The Mishnah is the codification of the Jewish Oral Torah, which was passed on from teacher to student for two thousand years, until it became necessary to write it down (various conquerers thought it would be a good thing to kill scholars, which weakened the chain.) It covers pretty much every area of living, from personal lives to criminal law. The whole body is divided into six sections or "seders" (orders). The one I'm learning is Kodashim (holiness), which deals with the Temple service and, incidentally, things like kashrut.

I'm trying to read a chapter a night. I don't always succeed, but I'm trying. And before anyone gets too impressed, I'm using an English translation of the Kahati (a major commentator on the Mishnah.) I maybe glance at the Hebrew sometimes.

Last night, I finished the third book in the seder, which completes the first volume in the series I'm reading. I have two more volumes to go. When I finish, we'll have some sort of celebration. We're thinking about sponsoring a kiddush in our synagogue.

The other thing I've been doing is reading a mussar work. Yes, that's right - Improving Literature about Proper Behavior. I read a chapter on my way to work - also in English. I only do it on the days I work, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and if the chapter is very long, I'll read it in more or less five page sections per day. Then I'll pull out my latest paperback or fanfic printout or just plot my latest story until the final stop.

I finished the book this morning. I start a new one next Monday. I'm not sure it's done much for me, but the concepts are in my head, and we'll see where that takes me.


Yashar koach.

If you come across a book on mussar that you would recommend to someone without much background, please let me know. The topic interests me, but I don't know where to start.

It sounds like a very satisfying accomplishment; I'm happy for you. :)

If you time it right, you could finish just before Pesach and help sponsor that siyum. (Or does that not apply for women at your shul? I'm a firstborn, so I always try to be finishing up some treatise or other right around then.)

My shul doesn't do a daily minyan, unfortunately. If it did, it would be the only one in my area that would accept a woman's siyyum.

As it happens, though, I'll probably be finished before Purim.

My shul doesn't do a daily minyan, either, and I don't think my Master Plan For Coordinating Adult Ed will be fully in place by Pesach 2004. In 2005, though... well, see, my theory is that if you run the Talmud study you can control the timing. ;)

wish i could kick my yetzer hara's butt when it comes to learning :)

random question:

what do you think of living outside the jewish community in a cheaper area with no other jews so that you are able to afford full tuition for dayschool? think NO MORTGAGE on a 5 br 2 bath house

It's up to you, and affording day school is very important.

But. I have friends who have sold houses at a loss to move to Jewish neighborhoods after their kids started school. Why? Because their kids had no one to play with on Shabbat. None of their school friends were in walking distance and there were only a limited number of kids their age in the one Orthodox synagogue. And if you're out of the Jewish neighborhood, your kids won't even have shul friends.

Yes, there will be kids in the neighborhood, and there is nothing at all wrong with having non-Jewish friends and much positive about it.

But what happens on Shabbat when the kids next door want to play baseball in an unenclosed place? Or video games? Or do other things not possible on Shabbat? You'll end up with a lot of visiting - your kids staying with friends; their friends staying with you.

I lived in an area with a very small Jewish community and I was very unhappy, and I don't have kids.

On the other hand, day school tuition is, indeed, a factor. As is having a big house. So you have to weigh it all.

i never thought about shabbos firends..........its only 3 miles from the jewish community. chances are we'd have to walk far where e live in the community now, theres very few young couples