Monthly Archives: June 2010

17 Tammuz – a snippet of liturgy

(Joint post from me and MarGavriel) I don’t know about you, but when someone says “Selihot,” my heart sinks, because in my experience, selihot are Hebrew Text Walls of Doom, muttered incomprehensibly and far too fast, punctuated by wails of Divine Attributes which are the only bits I actually recognise. Sound familiar? Apparently (who knew?) […]


This is the piece of artwork I was working on the week before last, a little piece of illuminated poetry. I had the most glorious time with it; waking up in the morning and bouncing out of bed going “ooh!” with anticipation, working long, long days at it because it was so delicious I didn’t […]

Fun with markers

Here’s a rudimentary calligraphy worksheet, which you can use with ordinary calligraphy markers. To do things like this: Clicky for more…

More from Gabriel

Another interesting titbit from Eisenberg, absolutely courtesy of Gabriel, because Jen is not in the habit of reading long Hebrew introductions to random books, and Gabriel is. Remember that Eisenberg dissed Edomites, and said that they were sexually iniquitous. Well, there is an “Important Disclaimer” (מודעה רבה) in the front of the book: To anyone […]

Parashat Hukkat

Joint post from Jen and Gabriel Part 1 – Gabriel writes: When Moses sends messengers to the King of Edom, requesting passage for the Israelites through his land, their message includes the following line: נעברה נא בארצך, לא נעבר בשדה ובכרם ולא נשתה מי באר May we please pass through thy land? we will not […]

A Lady’s Guide to Headcoverings

Very egalitarian, my synagogue. Ladies can do practically anything on the bima. Anything that gentlemen can do. And since we’re so very egalitarian, our dress rules are egalitarian too. Gentlemen on the bima must sport headcoverings and therefore so too must ladies. The headcovering of choice for your standard American Jewish gentleman is a kippah. […]

Ketubah drafting part 4 – fitting to shapes

Fitting text into shapes, the bane of ketubah artists everywhere. First thing with funny shapes is to check them out with the officiant. Some officiants are DEAD AGAINST funny shapes – anything that doesn’t have four sides and right-angled corners. Others are okay with it so long as the lines are horizontal and any added […]

Halakhic string theory, part 4

A couple of days ago, I said this episode would deal with considered selection of wires and strings – that is to say, how we assess what parts of our halakhic lives are (or should be) immovable, and which parts are more easily adjusted. But then I thought about some stuff, and actually I want […]

Halakhic string theory, part 3

Zevahim 107b discusses the concept of Temple zones. The sacrificial cult that was Temple-based Judaism was centred on the Temple. More specifically, the Temple’s courtyards and the walls of Jerusalem define concentric zones in which sacrifices may be offered, particularly holy sacrifices may be eaten, and lesserly holy Temple foods may be eaten (respectively). History: […]

Halakhic string theory, part 2

Yesterday, we saw a midrash which links the act of adultery to every single one of the Ten Commandments. I said then that this is showing that halakhot are all interconnected with one another in ways you mightn’t expect, and today we’re going to explore a graphical representation of that idea. Halakhic data points. They […]