Monthly Archives: November 2012

Visual halakha

This is one of my favourite letter-halakhot, from the rules of how to make straight nun: אות נו”ן פשוטה תואר צורתה כמו זיי”ן וג’ תגין על ראשה אך שהיא ארוכה כשיעור שתהא ראויה להעשות נו”ן כפופה אם תכפפנה Its form is like a zayin, with three tagin on its head, but it is long, such […]


What is writing?

What does it mean to write? is a question that has always been part of the Torah-writing rules. Could you, for instance, embroider the Torah? Is that writing? What about carving letters into plaster-covered monoliths? Embossing them onto metal headbands? What about printing? Jewish communal narrative recognises these processes as producing letters, more or less, […]


This is the book of the generations of mankind

This is based on a talk I gave a few weeks ago, on Shabbat Bereshit. It concerns the reading for the second year of the triennial cycle, which starts in chapter 4, in which God creates beings with plurality, male and female. זה ספר תולדות אדם ביום ברוא אלקים את האדם בדמות אלקים עשה אותו, […]


Hurricane Sandy

We had Weather here this week. You might have heard something about it in the news. My bit of Manhattan is fine, so am I, and so is your Torah. Despite our apartment building swaying in the wind, which is unnerving because we aren’t Californians and therefore not used to buildings wobbling about. These scrolls […]