Mama Deb (mamadeb) wrote,
Mama Deb


So. I had a lovely Shabbat. Because our synagogue starts Shabbat early, at 7PM, Jonathan has been going to other shuls on Friday nights. In this neighborhood, he could probably go to a different shul every Friday night and not repeat for months, but he likes two or three close in ones. (I don't go to synagogue on Friday nights. Most women around here don't bother, although customs do differ in other places.)

He started out going to a shtible (those are very small synagogues based in a private house) that he likes, but he had an unpleasant encounter with this guy who's been...well. There's a major disagreement in our area about the...kosherness of the local eruv. An eruv is a rabbinic device to permit carrying on Shabbat in areas that fall under a *rabbinic* definition of public place. There are places that fall under the Torah definition of private place, and no eruv will help there. (It's sort of a virtual wall.) Anyway...we hold by the local eruv, but most people around us *don't*, and even build little minieruvim around their homes so the kids can play ball out back. So, twice this guy yelled at my husband, in Hebrew, for carrying his tallis bag on Shabbat. Then he disappeared.

But there he was last night. And he started in again, so Jonathan told him, in Hebrew, that there is an eruv. Guy settled down for a moment, and then started in on Jonathan's *hair*. Jonathan has extremely long hair in back - his ponytail reaches halfway down. He seemed to believe that Jonathan's hairstyle is forbidden. Now, there *are* forbidden male hairstyles, but Jonathan has researched it, and his isn't one of them. They seem to be things like shaving one's head completely or growing extremely long bangs - like Trowa on Gundam Wing.

So, tired of this, Jonathan got up and went a couple of blocks to his other Friday night synagogue. Where he found his Talmud teacher ( lovely, lovely man) and someone else from his Talmud class, and they chatted and Jonathan came home with a lunch invitation.

So, I went to synagogue that morning, for a change. Went there very late and missed services completely, but that's more than I have done. and we stayed for our rabbi's class on midrash. We have a remarkable rabbi - learned, erudite, a good speaker. He's the dean of the men's division of Touro College, which is an Orthodox school. He can be more radical around us than his students, and we both profit. So I enjoyed the class, and then had a lovely lunch with Jonathan's teacher and his family.

I finished my mishnah and the siyyum was just lovely. This is something that my old synagogue simply could never do, and this is the fifth time this one has done so. It's wonderful.

And then Shabbat was over and my older brother called to give me hell for not being there with mom over Shabbat. *sigh*

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