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. OURadio.org 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

parshah beshalach v’nach

I feel much much better this morning. My back is quite sore but I seem able to move with more mobility. The cold has good and bad moments but I’m definitely on the mend. Thank you to everyone for such kind get-better wishes.

This week we read Beshalach, Sh’mot [Exodus] 13:17-17:16. Please note that I’m using Jewish chapter/verse markings. I know that there are some differences but I’m not sure where those fall (I think mostly in Tehillim (psalms)).

This morning is the first chance I’ve had to even attempt to read the English. This parshah is special as it includes the Song of the Sea, we receive Manna, and learn about Shabbat, the day of rest. Chabad’s summary may be found here.

Regarding Nach, I’m halfway through Joshua now. I’m just taking the simple reading of the Nach at this point; if I have the ability to learn any of it in more depth I will do so, but for now I desire just to read it through (even in English) once. Bli neder, I hope to finish Joshua and start on Judges by next week.

שׁבּת שׁלום

parshah bo

In this week’s parshah, the final plagues are inflicted on Egypt and we are driven from that land … some mitzvot are introduced (not in “order” of the parshah): to keep a calendar, the pesach offering, to remember the exodus, and to wear t’fillin. [nutshell]

Bo means come. In this parshah, Hashem says to Moses, “Come to Pharaoh”. As I’ve written here and elsewhere, names are important. Why isn’t this parshah which memorialises the moments that cause us to leave that land of Egypt and progress to the land promised to us? As we are commanded to remember the exodus each year through the holiday of Pesach, we confronted Pharaoh … well, please read this children/parent d’var torah. I liked it: Bo: Liberating Your Child.

To that end, we are now in the month of Sh’vat and upcoming is Tu B’Sh’vat or the New Year for Trees.

Nach Yomi ? I read a chapter [the 9th] of Joshua this morning. I realized I don’t really have this scheduled into my day and week so I will fix that shortly. I’m not sure the best method but something is better than nothing.

שׁבּת שׁלום

parshah va’aira

I had planned to continue similar to some of what I spoke about last week, but my random meanderings through that thing known as the ‘world wide web’ led me to two articles which made me think a little now, and I’ll continue to ponder them through shabbat and the coming days and weeks.

OU.org‘s “Mishnas Chayim – Va