Archive | April, 2009

Shabos Zmiros – Deleon on Godcast!

Crossposted to Jewschool.

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This week’s Shabos Zmiros comes to us from Godcast, the weekly animated d’var torah. I guess it’s really less a song than it is a rambling musical narration of the parsha. But never has strange fire, divine retribution and fins and scales been so catchy! This week’s Godcast is musically narrated by one of my favorite Jewish musical acts around, Deleon.

Amen! Selah! Shabat Shalom.

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Morid hatal!

I’ve probably written about this before, but I just love it when the flip-flop line in G’vurot (Morid hatal in spring/summer and Mashiv haruach umorid hagashem) actually lines up with a chnage in the weather within a few days. We changed to Morid hatal last week with the coming of Pesach, and today is a damn fine spring day!

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Feminist Seder: To attend or not to attend. That is the question.

I received a Facebook invitation to a “Feminist Seder” today. It’s being run by people I know and like, yet I’m highly suspicious. There is minimal, it seems, actualy involvement of real life Jews in planning this thing, which only compounds by skepticism.

If I go, I’ll probably be upset the whole time.

On the other hand, if I go, I’ll probably get a real humdinger of a blog post out of it.

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Midrash? Or blasphemy? Or… BRAAAAIINS!

Crossposted to Jewschool.

Google Reader has delivered two new *ahem* midrashic projects into my life this week. On the less blaspehmous end, there is This American Life contributor Jonathan Goldstein’s new short story volume, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible! and on the more blasphemous end, there is The Zombie Bible.

I’ll begin with Ladies and Gentlemen. This new book, which I’m now really eager to read, came to my attention via this week’s Nextbook podcast. In the podcast, it is revealed that Goldstein has filled this book with short stories that play with the notion of funny and poignant, three-dimensional versions of biblical characters. For instance, Adam becomes, in this telling, a sort of childish doofus, spending whole days rubbing his face in the grass. Though there is no retelling of the Binding of Isaac in this collection, its memory haunts the old shell of a man that Goldstein presents Jacob and Esau’s father as. Sounds really cool and I’m really excited to read it.

On to the blasphemy. The Zombie Bible is an online wiki project, so it’s open source for those not afraid of lightning bolts to play with and add to. Rather than explaining about this project, I’ll just give you the first five verses of Genesis, according to The Zombie Bible.

1:1 In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth and the Zombies sprang forth from the roiling foam of creation, barking in uncontrollable rage, hungry for human flesh to eat and pestork, giving pause to our Lord who shat himself and uttered ‘Oh, f[EDIT]ck’ amidst the primordial celestial gloom.

1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And God was, like, what am I going to do with all these Zombies, they chew up my shoes and make a mess of the place generally.

So the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And the Zombies went shithouse, screeching like their eyes were being burned out, turning away and howling in seething rage. And said the LORD unto the shambling dead, what is with you guys, there’s no pleasing you, is there?

1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good for his hydrangeas : and God divided the light from the darkness.

1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day, so he had a coctail.

God goes on to celebrate the second day with absinthe. Enjoy

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How puking ruined Birkat Hachamah and how matzah saved me from puking

If you’re someone who reads anything in the jblogosphere, you already know about Birkat Hachamah-the blessing we say every 28 years when sun returns, according the Talmud’s goofball math, to the place in the sky where it was at the moment of its creation. You can read about it at Jewschool, Wikipedia, Mah Rabu, Dov Bear, and just about everywhere else these days.

It was my plan to drive down to the Jersey Shore at 4:30 am this morning with my friend Joey. We were gonna bring sidurim, do shacharit, and make the brachah for the creation of the sun. It was gonna be great.

Then I got sick. I was so feverish last night that my lips turned blue off and on. I’d had a headache for three days. Things weren’t looking good. But, ritual trooper that I am, I was determined not to miss this twice in a lifetime event! Then I puked.

I was about to ask someone to go out and get me some saltines or something. Then I remembered that I had boxes of matzah in my room! So I had some matzah, took some nyquil, went to bed, and woke up 9. Halachically, it is still permissable to say the brachah at this point, but it seems so much more lame.

I’m still not well, so I had to call my host for tonight and tell her I can’t lead her seder–sadness.

I guess I still have second seder and the omer to look forward to. And I just have to wait till I’m 48 to Birkat Hachamah again. Shit.

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Shabos Zmiros – Shir HaShirim from Diwon, Dugans, and Benyamin Brody

A new album featuring some old words came out a week or two ago. It’s called “Shir HaShirim,” and it’s aptly name. The lyrics of the CD are the entirety of the biblical book of Shir HaShirim. The artists are Shemspeed favorites Diwon, Dugans, and Benyamin Brody.

Below, a few minutes of their arrangement of Shir HaShirim performed live.

It’s particularly apt for the CD to be released at this time of year. Although in the Sfardi tradition, Shir HaShirim is recited every Friday evening, in the Ashkenazi tradition, it is read aloud on the Shabat in the middle of Pesach. I will observe this tradition this year by popping this CD in.

Shabat Shalom. Amen. Selah.

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Mishkan T’shuvah?

The following e-mail arrived in my life via the iWorsphip e-mail list today.

Just wanted to let you all know that the CCAR is beginning a process which will culminate the publication of a new Machzor (High Holy Day prayer book) in several years. It will be modeled after Mishkan T’filah.

A zisen Pesach-a sweet Passover,
Sue Ann

Rabbi Sue Ann Wasserman
Director, Department of Worship, Music and Religious Living
Union for Reform Judaism

That’s right, folks. So much I could say. But maybe I’ll just uncharacteristically bite my tongue here.

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