Log in

No account? Create an account
Mama Deb
.:::.:....... ..::...:
Mama Deb [userpic]
So, this is December 25th, and what have you done?

I spent the day in a synagogue, myself. It's something that Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan does every year - hold a Day of Learning.

It was interesting. We had a lecture about using history as a.. um. I took notes. Way of looking at movements, as opposed to using philosophy, and touching Spinoza and...okay. I stopped taking notes, and wrote a detailed outline for an essay on kingship in TTT, and then I wrote a bit of a Jim/Blair story. He was a nice guy, and not a bad teacher, but I had a pen in my hand and a notebook, and...

So, I switched tactics and hauled out my cross stitch between lecturers, and it was much better. The second was about Moses Mendelsohn (Felix's grandfather) and his translation of the Torah into German and the reasons behind his doing that and the reaction to it. And then we had lunch, and I got to hear my father-in-law tell me a couple of bad jokes. The second was about Modern Orthodoxy and decorum and otherwise trying to fit modern society, and I now want to buy the lecturer's upcoming book, so that was good. And I kinda concentrated on my embroidery during the round table because my attention span? Not wonderful. Besides, my family had it well in hand.

I am not joking. Between my in-laws and my husband, it's a wonder any one else got a chance to speak. Precept hogs, the lot of them. Okay, I'm one, too, but I didn't have much to say this time.

And then. Well. Timing is everything, and this time I had to go to the mikveh. I've gone on Christmas before, but it's really awkward to be visiting someone when you have to go, because you're not supposed to say where you're going. But.

"I know it's snowing and cold out, and there is nothing open because it's Christmas and it's nice in the apartment and you're playing Bach on the radio, but I still have to go out. For an hour. I'll be back in time for dinner." So. I told. And I went out into the cold and wet in my new boots.

I love my new boots. I really do. They're pretty and they're comfortable and they have good traction and they're warm and they're waterproof except around the zipper, and I love them.

Did the mikveh thing,and in deference to the weather, actually blew my hair dry before leaving. Walked behind a couple when I crossed Broadway. She was holding on to him as they made their way through the snow and slush. This is because she was wearing spike heeled pumps.

And got back and hugged and kissed Jonathan because it's been two weeks. And dinner was roast beef and roasted potatoes and broccoli, and so was major yum. She over cooked it for their tastes, so it was done to mine. Yay.

And we took a subway home because the roads looked nasty. And now we're home.

The End

Current Mood: gigglygiggly

Sounds like a nice day. Me? I went to morning minyan and then came home and went to sleep.

Oh. And I finally saw The Two Towers.


Of course you saw TTT. Everyone's gone to see it. Brilliant marketing, that. Three hours of pure escape just when we need it.


I'd be curious to hear more about Moses Mendelssohn translating the Torah into German. I'm generally on both sides of the vernacular debate -- which is to say, I firmly and staunchly believe both that a) G-d doesn't care what language we pray/read in, and that translations into the vernacular are a Good Thing because they enable us to read and pray without the additional distancing effect of havng to translate into or out of a foreign tongue, and b) translation automatically entails losing something (and/or gaining something one might or might not want, given the vagaries of connotation), and therefore reading/praying in the original is a Good Thing.

Anyway. Did the lecturer cite anything in particular on that topic? I'd love to learn more...

Re: Vernacular

I like using Hebrew, if only because it means that I can walk into any Ashkenaz nusach synagogue anywhere in the world, and just pick up a siddur. I might not be able to follow a d'var torah, but that's minor. In fact, the idea is, vernacular is fine if and only if it is your vernacular - that you understand it - but Hebrew is *always* fine. Which is a good thing in my case because my Hebrew is lousy.

Rabbi Mintz's discussion was about Mendelsohn's particular translation, and his reasons for making it and so on, not about translations in general. Perhaps the most intersting part is that the language was German, but the characters were Hebrew.

My husband, jonbaker, has written a transcript of R'Mintz's talk. It's here, on his website<>/a>.

Re: Vernacular

Well, it was as a study tool, not for liturgical use. Although, it was printed in a format meant to be used in synagogue, so presumably one could glance at it while the torah reader was doing his thing in Hebrew. Most modern-oriented synagogues have a bible with translation for the congregants, to glance at between readings. But then, that has been the case since late antiquity. The Torah used to be read a verse at a time, and then repeated by a translator (meturgeman) in Aramaic, which was the vernacular at the time. As Aramaic fell out of use in the early middle ages, the custom of the simultaneous translation fell out of use, except in a few isolated areas like Yemen.