Idan Raichel Project: an Israeli group with members from around the world. The song is "Im Telech" ("If You Leave"):
If you leave who will hug me like this
who will listen to me at the end of the day
who will console and calm me
as only you know how
And if you leave who will I wait for by the window
in a festive dress
to come hug me so,
when you arrive
When you leave go, I'll go out to the sun,
in the golden field, morning and evening,
the moon will light up my face
which dreams all day long of you
When you come back,
you'll carry me in your arms,
from the field to the river,
you'll wash my face and tell me words
as only you know how.
Translated from Hebrew by Vered Klinghofer of Chicago, Illinois, USA.
I have finished Hidden Figures. It was interesting and I am glad to have read it, but I wasn't enthralled. I realize that one of the factors in that was the lack of images. Most histories of recent times have photos and so on. This had absolutely none. I'm puzzled. NASA could have supplied a number of them, because you can find them online (examples here and here).
Next, I should start the book I just got in preparation for the Days of Awe: This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transfiguration, by Alan Lew (1944–2009). The author was a rabbi who was also an adherent of Buddhist thought: he's been called the "Zen rabbi."
However, I am sure that instead, I will start with volumes 2 and 3 of A Silent Voice, the manga I started last week.
We have had beautiful weather this weekend, but I haven't taken that much advantage of it. We did walk out for gelato (the Mr.: dark chocolate and hazelnut) and sorbet (me: grapefruit) yesterday afternoon at the neighborhood place (Dolci Gelati), and today we walked to Busboys & Poets for brunch (which has become a near-weekly habit).
I have just finished making 6 quarts of chicken stock. I think this is the best I've made. I used more or less this recipe, which I have bookmarked for later. The main difference between this and what I have made previously is far more carrots (6 instead of 2 or 3) and peppercorns (2 teaspoons); also, leaving the skin on the halved onion, which has an effect on the color. And darn I should have known that (it's one of the common natural fabric dye ingredients, for a golden yellow), and in fact, I remember my late mother doing the same.
The chicken stock is for matzoh ball soup for second seder at my sister's place this coming Saturday. I am the official Matzoh Ball Maker on our side of the family. The first seder will be at our friends Michael and Sharon's. They have asked me to bring a fruit platter, which should be easy, except that I will be working most of Friday. I will try to pick up fresh fruit the night before, I think.
And the Mr. is upstairs doing the taxes, because yes, it's spring. *sigh*
I just had a serious medical procedure (on Rosh Hashana, ironically, but that's when it could be scheduled). I am on a new medication and on a greatly increased dose of one of my accustomed medications. And I am a diabetic.
I will be consuming a small amount of food today and some water, not fasting entirely, as is the commandment.
I still feel guilty about it. But that's tradition too. :-\
My twin niece and nephew, Ilana and Sam, became b'nai mitzvah this morning. We are at a break in the raft of family events that have been arranged to celebrate this event: a family dinner last night at the hotel where most of the out-of-town guests are staying, the service this morning (where Ilana in particular knocked our socks off with LOTS AND LOTS of singing in Hebrew) followed by a Kiddush luncheon, tonight's fancy dinner party, and then brunch at my sister's in-laws' house tomorrow morning. The Young Lady and I had our aliyah and managed to get through it, and The Mr. read the "Prayer for Our Country."
So far so good, except that for some reason the ankle-strap dress shoes I wore this morning had both heel caps (a/k/a top piece or top lift) fall apart by the middle of the morning. It was the most bizarre thing. They are about 8 years old, but I have only worn them some half dozen times, and I always pack them back up in their box, wrapped in tissue, once they have aired out. These are not cheap-ass shoes, either.
Also, by the time the weekend is over, I may have had enough chocolate cake for a while.
May our pleas rise to You in the evening
May You receive our cries during the day
And may you confirm our rejoicing by evening.
. . .
Is this the kind of fast I wanted, a day whose focus is self-affliction? Do I really want you to bow your head like a bullrush, to wear sackcloth and ashes? Is this what you mean by a fast, a day to obtain God's approval? Hello, this is the kind of fast I want: Loosen the bonds created by wickedness, untie the cords that keep people enslaved, snap all the yokes of the oppressed, and let them go free. Share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless into your house; provide clothing for those who lack it, and do not turn away from those in need.
Then your light will break through like the dawn, and your healing energies will quickly spread .... Then when you call, God will answer; you will ask for help, and God will respond 'Hineni – here I am." - Isaiah
. . .
"And Adonai said, 'I have forgiven them [the people] as you have asked.'"
So, here we are, half a week past the Vernal Equinox, and the forecast is calling for snow/rain.
March is supposed to go out like lamb, right? This seems to be the Killer Rabbit version of said lamb ... .
And tomorrow night is the first night of Passover, and we're invited to a Seder at my sister's. Which means we'll be traveling through the weather mess during Rush Hour, because Nice Colleague is out all next week (her young daughter's school is on spring break), so I can't really leave early.
I need to get my act together and go off to the grocery store, to get chicken to make stock, because I have been requested to do matzoh ball soup. I already picked up some fresh dill for it at the Farmers Market.
Just a few flurries, but it was very seasonal for the Winter Solstice today.
We'll have a late Hanukkah celebration with my sister Amy's family and our stepmother tomorrow. There will be cheese (goat brie, lemon Stilton, mustardseed gouda, and cordobes) and crackers with fig jam and red grapes; latkes (shredded potato pancakes) with applesauce and sour cream; beef brisket made with beer; fresh spinach cooked with scallions and parsley; cucumber sunomono (made by smillaraaq); chocolate Hanukkah gelt (coins); and iced gingerbread cookies (made by The Young Lady) ... .( Cut for cookie picture )
who at will may finish it or reshape it
So are we in Your hand, source of compassion
Please focus on our covenant, not on our flaws.
For imagine a gem in the hand of a jeweler
who at will may split it or leave it whole
So are we in Your hand, source of life and death
Please focus on our covenant, not on our flaws.
For imagine iron in the hand of a blacksmith
who at will may shape it or melt it down
So are we in Your hand, source of support
Please focus on our covenant, not on our flaws ... .
The fifth sentence on page 52 of the book closest to me:
We "knock at the gates" in the evening, we present our prayers and we conduct our self-examination during the day, and we anticipate that by evening we will have made our case, a case that is acceptable to both ourselves and to God.
(OK, the explanation: My nearest book was Machzor Eit Ratzon, a prayer book for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It's still on my desk after Rosh Hashanah so I won't have to search for it for Yom Kippur next week. The text is from a discussion of one of the traditional prayers.)