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Jen Taylor Friedman
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10th-May-2015 06:41 pm - fr and eng
Oh! I forgot to say. I was at the bank the other day and one of the service windows was closed, so it had a notice, "Guichet suivant svp." And the translation was "Next wicket please."

Which was weird, because I would never think of calling a service window a wicket.

But then I realised it's the exact parallel in French/English because of that whole Gu->W thing, and then I remembered wicket gate, and later I looked it up and it does basically mean a service window.

This made me very happy indeed.


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5th-Apr-2015 09:15 pm - Texts from a pothead kabbalist
Recanati, on Exodus 13:9

וטעם הנחת תפילין של יד קודם של ראש, ארמוז לך בו סוד גדול במשנה תורה בגזירת האל, כי העולה עולה מלמטה למעלה והיורד יורד מלמעלה למטה, על כןתפלה של יד ראוייה להיות קודמת בהנחה ומתאחרת בשעה שחולצן.

I've got a big secret for you man
really
secret of the UNIVERSE
you're stoned again aren't you
the one who ascends, right
he goes from low to high
and the one who descends
he goes from high to low
a profound statement indeed
and that's why you should put on the shel yad first and take it off last
of course, yes
fundamental truth of the universe man
you got any snacks?
I bet you've got snacks
I'm coming over


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20th-Feb-2015 02:32 pm - Term paper time :)

Some people expressed an interest in reading this paper. Here it is:

The Variegated Career of Exodus 13:16, being a summary of the antics real and perceived of a biblical verse from antiquity until the rabbinic period

Bear in mind that it’s a term paper, not a polished publication or anything, ok? But some of the content is pretty interesting, regardless.

Mirrored from hasoferet.com.


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"The Hellenistic Jewish sermons On Jonah, another fragment bearing the same name, and On Samson would be a downright sensation, had the Greek originals survived. Now they are only preserved in a 6th cent. Armenian translation which groups them among the works of Philo. This translation is so slavishly literal that it cannot be understood by readers of Armenian either, except if they guess the underlying Greek."--Folker Siegert, Early Jewish Interpretation in a Hellenistic Style, in Saebo.


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21st-Dec-2014 11:32 am - snooo
Well. You know how plastic christmas trees, wreaths, cakes, etc, often have white spray-paint (or sugar, in the case of cakes) sneezed over them, to make it look like a dusting of snow?

It actually looks like that for reals here today. #winterincanada. It's very beautiful, and surprisingly difficult to photograph.


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3rd-Dec-2014 11:36 am - a thing
Click image to see bigger.

My piece for Torah Stitch by Stitch, the cross-stitch Torah, illuminated in good manuscript style.

Six hares, representing the six hundred thousand Jews, meander through the wilderness. They are frequently distracted, even destructive, but on the whole they progress towards the Promised Land. In their midst is the Law, represented by an elephant. Paradoxically, God protects God's people while threatening retribution; the flowing ribbon border which appears to protect and surround the text also forms into a ravenous beast, the consuming wrath promised in the text.

For the symbolisms of Jews as hares, the Law as elephant, and the dragon-serpent in Jewish tradition, see Marc Michael Epstein's book Dreams of Subversion in Medieval Jewish Art and Literature.


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2nd-Dec-2014 09:19 am - reflections on refractions
AAARGGH new glasses

things are no longer fuzzy, which is good

but

things in glasses are closer than they appear to be

quite emphatically

such that my laptop screen is now disturbingly trapezoid

because the top edge is further away than the bottom edge, what with it being a laptop

and the new glasses rather magnify the effect

I put my old glasses back on and observed that with the old glasses it also appeared trapezoid, just less so, so this is probably Something Normal To Get Used To

but yipe

also the floor seems further away than normal

this must be what it's like being tall

it's very disorienting, especially doing stairs.


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6th-Sep-2014 08:06 pm - Perils of not being trilingual
Throw a ball for the dog. Sentence in head: "Elle ratzah lakahat et ha'bal!"


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4th-Sep-2014 05:14 pm - Ibexes!
Reading Historical Perspectives : From the Hasmoneans to Bar Kokhba in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls - 1999 Goodblatt, David Pinnick, Avital Schwartz, et al.

Article: THE GENETIC SIGNATURE OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS GILA KAHILA BAR-GAL,' CHARLES GREENBLATT,' SCOTT R. WOODWARD ,2 MAGEN BROSHI,S AND PATRICIA SMITH*

Some of the dead sea scrolls were written on ibex!


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30th-Jul-2014 05:41 pm - interns
I am a big softy sometimes, and when people don't have money, I swap them lessons for labour. Of course, there isn't much scribal labour someone in Boston or rural New Zealand can do for a soferet in Montreal, but...

...but the graphic designer is editing and formatting a textbook for me; the student who sorely needs practice deciphering Rashi script is typing up a halakhic text as she learns her way through it; the student who wants to create quizzes to test herself is using the typed-up text (and will also share the quizzes with those who come after her)...this is starting to work the way I intended it to. This is great.


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