Monthly Archives: March 2013

Tefillin and kids

Anyone want to tell me about their experiences with kids and tefillin? In particular: If they lay tefillin, why you got them started doing it and when you started them What you told them about why we do it. If you lay tefillin and they don’t, how/why that works. Whether they play tefillin. Who in […]

DRBR 19: In which music is read from right to left

This is an illustration from a larger poster paying tribute to the Jewish composer, Zavel Zilberts, special call number DR8-R22. The poster’s from Lodz, 1918; it’s in Yiddish, which is why I didn’t photograph all of it. What caught my eye–and hopefully also caught yours–was that the music is written right-to-left. Makes sense, given that […]

DRBR 18: In which more Nuptials feature

This is from the wedding of Julius Lorsch and Rebecka Cahn, special call number DR6-R36. A Hochzeits-Hagada, dated 1911, Fulda. I like the little photos stapled to the top here. Julius has a very traditional German Yekkish k├Ąppchen, and Rebecka looks like she has those over-the-ears buns that were in style in the 1920s. Julius […]

DRBR 17: In which I am rendered speechless

Regard, if you will, this photograph of a Torah scroll. That’s a Metro card under there. A Metro card is the same size as a credit card. This is a real handwritten originally-kosher sefer Torah, and it’s smaller than a credit card. It’s three inches high. Here’s another picture: Speechless? I was. When I took […]

DRBR 16: More concerning the Adlers

Today we have a Shtar Halitza, which we might translate Contract promising release from levirate marriage. If you recall, Torah says that if I marry Reuven and he dies childless, I have to marry his brother Shimon in order to have children in Reuven’s name. If Shimon isn’t keen on that idea, he does halitza […]

DRBR 15: In which the Years are Marked

DR8-R12b is a Tribute to Nathan Marcus Adler, from the Jewish community of Hanover. (Check out Wikipedia; he has an epic hat, and even more epic sideburns.) The Tribute is dated 1879, the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination (according to the JTS catalogue). As well as the numerical date, it has a nice Hebrew chronogram: […]


At Whole Foods the other week, I found this…It smells exactly like an etrog, but it looks like no etrog ever. Sniff it and become Cthulu!

From the Megillah repair mines

Sometimes you see letters which look broken, pasul: But don’t freak out. Tilt it up, see what you can see. Candlewax tends to gleam. Candlewax you can generally crack off with a scalpel, or X-acto knife, or a plastic spoon if you’ve really got nothing else handy. Then you can take a blurry picture. A […]

DRBR 14: In which we Muse upon Transience

Today’s picture is of someone’s bar mitzvah invitation, from the early 1980s. Note how the invitation is printed with blue stripes and trimmed with fringe trim exactly like the scarfy tallitot beloved of Reform shuls. Can’t decide if this is sort of cool or dreadfully cheesy. The point of bringing you this, though, is that […]