Parshat Vayakhel, Nach, Purim

This week we read parshat Vayakhel, found at Shm’ot (Exodus) 35:1-38:20. In this parshah we are reminded of the commandment to observe Shabbat and are given the instructions to build the mishkan. Because so much is donated, Moses must tell people to stop. (summary, text with Rashi.)

Hmm… sounds a bit like knitters …

I am mostly caught up on Nach Yomi. Why do I say mostly? I have learned on my own the Nach, and am very slowly catching up on the podcasts. I’ve listened through the shiurim on Shmuel that i successfully downloaded and am about to commence on Melachim. Wow. I’ve missed a good deal learning on my own and studying with the little bit of the commentators I can. I’ve greatly enjoyed the ‘lecturers’ I’ve learned from and am very pleased to have this opportunity to delve into Nach. I asked E if he had ever done this sort of learning for Nach and he replied that he hadn’t. I continue to have iTunes download issues, but I think it’s me (they download eventually).

Purim is coming! [chabad, ou, aish]

Which also means that Pesach is coming (and the stores will be stocked with foods I can easily eat!)

שׁבּת שׁלום

parshah tetzaveh

This week we read Tetzaveh, Sh’mot (Exodus) 27:20-30:10

Last week we learned about the building of the Aron, Shulchan, Menorah, all of the parts to the Mishkan.

This week we learn about the garments of the Kohen: the kutoness, the mitznefes, the avneit, and the michnasayim. The Kohen Gadol also wore: the eiphod, the choshen, the me’il (with it’s hem of (pomegrantes of turquoise, purple, and scarlet wool), and the tzitz. The initiation for Aaron and his four sons is also detailed.

Here are two links with pictures (or colouring book line images) of the various garments.
torah tots (terrible web design, imho, but lots of links to pictures)

In Nach, I’ve completed the first book of Shmuel (Samuel) and am making my way through the second book. I could see myself caught up by next week.

I would possibly have been today, but I cast on for a pair of bulky house socks because my feet have been so cold I’ve not been able to enjoy or focus on many things. Mostly because I can’t keep my slippers on my feet. The kitchen is going well. I’m still overwhelmed by figuring out what goes where. We’re purging a few items and making a list of what we need to keep the kitchen organized and clean. My goal is to clear off enough of the dining table so we can enjoy shabbat tonight.

שׁבּת שׁלום

parshah terumah

This week (wow what a week) we read parshah terumah, Sh’mot (Exodus) 25:1-27:19

Honestly, I’ve not yet learned (again this year) this week’s parshah. It was generally one of those weeks. I try to reserve Friday for bookkeeping and research, continuing ed type things at home so I can also take care of bits of housework and things if necessary [but trust me, I do Work on Friday]. The past few weeks have been so busy that I am doing intense work on Fridays too (which is fine, they pay the bills, if I ever had time to invoice). Today had me rushing out to deliver something … which gave me additional knitting, but was a little stressful.

I have, however, had a bit more luck with Nach this past week. I’m not yet caught up but am closing the gap. I’m in the beginning-but-middle of I Shmuel [Shmuel is just about to anoint Saul]. When I arrive at the second book I will also gain the many podcasts I’ve already downloaded to my iPod. I’m finding new minutes to catch up by learning from a print volume (published by the Foundation I have mixed feelings about but mostly because it combined both Shmuel’s into one volume which I could schlep home from the Uni easier) and by this online Tanach. I don’t know what deal was struck between the two organizations, but it is one I’ve benefit greatly from. I like Chabad’s layout of their website and can find what I want quickly and easily. It’s long established that I like the Judaica Press. Learning Torah online is not the same for me as learning from tangible paper, but I am happy to now use a few spare web moments to a better purpose.

I’m now going to enjoy my stove which is across the apartment from the sole water source and find a place where I can chop up the vege’s for dinner without being on my hands and knees.

שׁבּת שׁלום

ps Purim is coming. eek!

parshah mishpatim, chillul hashem, v’nach

Chillul HaShem first. I have written out the rant I had a few times already this morning and deleted it. I’m just really really sad of those who focus more on their outward appearances do not think about the words that come out of their mouths, their behaviour when in the community at large or the lessons they theoretically learned as children.

I am even sadder that I did not school my reaction and returned a remark this morning while at the grocery store. I am sad because if I had bit my tongue (as I generally do, today was not the first time I’ve had experiences like this) it would have shown that while I do not fit the local outword uniform perfectly I have the desired lessons internally. I must say that I’ve sort of been waiting to see what event would break me and cause me to not bite my tongue and let loose a remark. Where I live there is a very large disconnect between people who “claim” to be all good by the clothing they wear, the food the eat with the labels it has [and I don’t mean organic], the appearances they give versus how they really behave. My tongue hurts from the constant biting back of remarks, my arms hurt because I’ve stopped shopping locally because of these people, my insides hurt because they make me sad. All of that said I am going to try to do better to avoid certain places at certain times. I know what the people are like and my reactions to them.

And that is why I prefer the term Observant to describe me, if you must.

Ok. Moving along. Mishpatim is this week … Sh’mot (Exodus) 21:1-24:18. So can I take the experience that happened to me earlier this morning, read the parsha, and come away with something? Perhaps. In skimming through various pages in response to this week’s parshah, I decided to look at items geared toward children. I found this Mishpatim Roundup and a girl’s comment made me go back and think about this. The actual text (here) even with Rashi is a bit difficult [for me this morning, anyway]. But she brings up a good point, treat people as people. My brain is swirling with parables and stories of all sorts which boil down to think before you speak and treat everyone well. I could probably tie in something with guardians but I still feel terrible about not fixing Devorah’s wheel before I returned it (I’m slowly looking for the parts) so I’ll leave that …

I tend to evaluate people by their behaviour in the grocery store. Yes, we all have bad days, but I’ve found I can learn a good deal about people. It’s changed here in the past six years. Not for the better. Ask me about driving shopping carts some day… [or don’t, I’ll rant for weeks].

Can you tell I’m still sad that I stooped to her level?

Moving on to other things, Nach. I’m still behind but I’ve been trying to read one “dose” a day. Because of my linkage to the program and that google finds it, I was asked to provide some comments about the program, even though I’ve fallen behind. While I writing them up (I still need to turn them in), I discovered some additional tools while researching. actually does distribute some of their programming through podcasts and you can subscribe through iTunes. They do not publish the full feed and I seem to be having difficulty downloading the Nach Yomi podcasts but I’ve had networking woes lately so I think it could be me. It also seems that “A Daily Dose of Torah” has not been updated for several weeks and that makes me sad too.

Thank you for putting up with this rantish post.

שׁבּת שׁלום

parshah yitro v’nach

This week we learn Parshah Yitro, Sh’mot (Exodus) 18:1-20:23 (chabad summary)

Hmm.. where or how to start in the parshah that includes Aseret HaDibrot (The Ten Commandments)?

I think the best thing to do is to link to two lists and let you think about the rest:

1) Seven Laws of Noach
2) Rambam’s – Sefer HaMitzvot – from: silchosinenglish, Jewish Virtual Library, and Chabad (for children) [I can’t find the link I thought existed. These must suffice.]

In Nach Yomi, I finished Joshua this past week and have started Shoftim (Judges) and hope to complete it over shabbat. I’m learning from different publications and editions and am forming opinions on what I like and what I don’t. I’ve found that the English translations I like are not in those with Hebrew typography that I prefer. I like maps, but we knew that. I hope to catch up (they’re in II Samuel now) but I won’t hold my breath.

שׁבּת שׁלום