In a post which has nothing whatsoever to do with Torah: my brother had another baby! Laura Grace. Isn't that a pretty name? Now they have Hannah Brigid and Laura Grace. I'm looking forward to getting to go home and see them.
But on the subject of family relations, we had a pleasant shabbat at Shaarei K'shishim, our assisted-living-facility-congregation in Flushing, Queens. W did a splendid job with the five columns of Torah reading, considering he'd only really started learning it Friday. Which is to say, he winged it, but with flair :)
He is awfully good with them. They absolutely adore him, which is terribly sweet. It's rather fun sitting in the corner watching your husband being all smart and besuited leading services and knowing that basically everyone in the room thinks he's super.
To persons in Britland this weekend: please can someone snag a copy of the JC? They're apparently running an article about Tefillin Barbie, and I'm curious to see what Anglo-Jewry has to say. I don't have a subscription to the online version, so I'm relying on you, people!
More restoring Torah today. All I can say about that is: crikey Moses it takes it out of you. Fixing lettering is hard work; much more so than writing. At least, after six hours of writing I'm happy and perky, and after six hours of lettering I'm mainlining chocolate just to stay vertical.
On a different note, you remember the student I raved about the other day? Well, today she invented musical notation (for those to whom that doesn't mean much: the collection of lines and tadpoles you see in front of musicians) whilst trying to find a way to write down the music so that she could remember it. I mean really, how awesome is that?
But it does mean I'm back awfully late and awfully tired, which doesn't lead to very interesting blogging. Sorry, folks. Come back next week, when the various Torahs which need fixing will have been fixed, and normal service will with any luck be restored.
Oh, my sister is in town. This is Good.
I thought that bringing my Torah to the UK would be a really smart move, because I'd be able to work on it in a cool temperate clime with balmy breezes drifting about me. But no - now it's boiling hot here as well, and Brits don't do air-conditioning. Boiling hot, as I've said before, is bad sofrut weather, because your hands are a) warm and b) damp, and putting them anywhere near parchment in that state is a Bad Move.
So I'm doing some translating instead - more Lishkat ha-Sofer - and I'll do some writing when the sun goes down.
Today, column 89:* Moses hoofed around on the mountain a bit, and then the people brought lots of pretty things and God gave some directions on what to do with the pretty things - quantities of cedar wood and beaten gold and cherubim all over the place.
It never fails to amuse me** that the word for "cherub" is the same as the word for "cabbage." Linguistically it's not a surprise, but conceptually it's sort of amusing - winged brassicas by Michaelangelo, that sort of thing.
Tomorrow, column 90: more of the same, but describing the candlestick and the curtains.
In other news: my sister made some awesome ginger cupcakes, and I have been eating them like there's no tomorrow. Ginger is very good for you.
* Column 88 was Friday and Sunday
** It doesn't take much.
These high latitudes. Shabbat goes on forever. You have supper at the usual time on Friday night, and somewhat after bedtime you have a little snack involving wine and rolls. You have to wait until long past bedtime on Saturday to go to bed.
In between...there was no shul to go to this week, so I walked into town with my sister. It's quite a substantial walk and she'd normally drive, so it was nice of her to walk so that I could come with. We walked through a French market that was randomly in the high street (one of the benefits of living near the ferry ports) - memorable mountains of garlic. She was buying binoculars.
The garden here smells deliciously of honeysuckle - spent the afternoon reading trashy novels (got through four of them, that's what long shabbats do for you) and migrating between the rocking chair by the french windows, the sunny bench in the garden, and the nap zone in the bed. And watching the fish and playing with the gerbils.
I have internet! Yay yay yay. I love wireless and connection sharing and having internet!