Monday, October 10, 2011

From a Few Friendly Blogs

Here's a short "round-up" of posts from other blogs.  I do it too infrequently.  It's a chance for you to read what I read.

West Bank Mama asks a good question.  Who's your hero?  And then she tells you/us why the late Steve Jobs isn't hers.  I've also been astounded at the media hype about him.

As a "BT," I hate that term, I feel more in common with friends who are gerei tzedek, righteous converts, than those raised frum or just plain Jews who live however.  Recently, I told a convert friend that in some ways I'm "jealous," because she, as a convert, was taught so much, and I, even after over forty-five 45 years of trying to be Torah observant feel that I'm an ignoramus.  In the blogging world, I'm frequently drawn to blogs or posts like this one by You're Not Crazy, which I found on Rafi's latest Interesting Posts.

My first teaching job in Israel was as a Creative Dance Teacher.  I was probably one of the very first in Jerusalem to call myself that in the very late 1970's.  From the age of three until I was about twenty, I took some sort of dance class every single year.  For five years, until I graduated and we moved away (same year,) I also went to Hebrew School two afternoons and Sunday mornings at the Oakland Jewish Center, Bayside, NY.  In my spare time, my friends and I had lots of freedom, living in a neighborhood that was so safe that it seems like a dream.  My children rarely went to any chugim, extra-curricula activities.  There were two good reasons for that.  One was that when they were growing up, there wasn't much of a choice, and secondly, we didn't have the budget for them.  My kids had the freedom to create their own activities, which they and their friends did.  Mother in Israel wonders if today's children go to too many chugim.

Our Shiputzim explains why Israeli kids aren't in school this week.  I wonder who's taking care of them.  It's very expensive for many families.  Not all parents are teachers on the same schedule as their kids.

Bat Aliyah's Yom Kippur experiences are very sad.  She may enjoy my shul better.  It's not that most Ezrat Nashim, women's section seats have better views of the "action" in the men's section, but the women sing and sing loudly.  It does make a difference.  And we all try to help each other navigate the unfamiliar and much too varied Machzorim, Holiday Prayerbooks.  I so miss the days of my youth when nobody had a private personal prayerbook and page numbers were announced, either verbally or with a sign that allowed the numbers to change as needed.

Voices' Sharon confesses, kapora.  Nobody tells a better story than Sharon!

Heshy rants in about cooking wine, mevushal versus the real thing.

And finally, acharon, acharon chaviv, saving the best for last, Isramom's short and to the point eulogy of Rabbi Chanan Porat.  As a political observer most of my life, I must say that Chanan Porat's changes in party affiliation were always done in the most principled way.  When he decided that one party more suited his ideals and ideology than another, he also resigned his Knesset seat, unlike every other Israeli politician I can think of.  He didn't use that position as a "dowry" to get join another party.

For those who understand spoken Hebrew, here's a short informal shiur (lesson) Rabbi Porat gave to some of Shiloh's most veteran citizens soon before his death, when they paid him a special visit.


Rafi G. said...

i agree with your feeling of being an ignoramus on many things, while baalei teshuva and converts know so much. They get taught it along the way, while by us who have been frum our whole lives, or for large parts of it, that information is taken for granted and expected to pass via osmosis.

Batya said...

Osmosis is a very poor method of educating. I was hoping that my kids would get a strong grounding in Yahadut just by living in holy Shiloh. It wasn't 100% successful.

I was also surprised at the variety of students in the Pardes classes I recently took. There were not only those totally new to Jewish life, but quite a few ffb's and bt's.

Mrs. S. said...

Thanks for the link.

I wonder who's taking care of them.
That's a very good question. As you correctly point out, unless they're teachers, most parents don't have off this week.

Mordechai Y. Scher said...

Thank you for finishing with a mention of Hanan Porat. He will be sorely missed by more than an entire generation of Torah v'Avodah and other Religious Zionists. I actually made him and some of his teaching the center of my Yom Kippur drasha to our hevra (posted on our website), though I fear it did not translate well in eeither language or cultural terms. Hanan was truly a poet of ahavat yisrael (People, Torah, and Land), and probably can't be understood outside his milieu.

mother in israel said...

I actually think that osmosis works quite well, certainly in previous generations where people were more sheltered.
Thanks for the link and roundup.

Batya said...

Mrs. s. This is now a very long "vacation" from routine. Not all the kids are busy with succah decorations.

Mordechai, Chanan Porat was a very special man and is already missed by many.

MII, osmosis may have been good before kids were exposed to so much. Now it's much harder.