Wednesday, January 12, 2011

101227 YEDIDYA’S UPSHERIN AT KEVER YOSEF

video

While visiting Kever Yosef,  I was caught up in the joyful celebration of Yedidya’s first haircut. It is a tradition among the religious for a boy’s hair to grow for the first three years and then have a hair-cutting ceremony known as upsherin. Members of the family who are present each cut a wispy lock of hair, leaving the peyot at the sides.
Yedidya read the honey-covered letters of the Hebrew alef-bet, and licked off the honey, which represents that studying Torah is ‘sweet as honey’. This event marks Yedidya’s induction into Jewish education and he will officially begin the study of Torah. A kipa was then placed on the shorn head.
The first haircut of a Jewish boy from a religious family is the 3 year-old’s rite of passage into Judaism and is a special sign of maturity. One of the mitzvot that Yedidya will be expected to keep is wearing the tzitzit under his shirt to remind him of the 613 mitzot he will gradually learn.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

110105 NEW YEAR’S EVE 2010

I desperately needed a day out just to relax and release myself from the captivity of mundane things. Besides it was the New Year’s Eve day. So, I crammed my faithful partner, Gypsy, into the back seat and abducted a friend who was in the doldrums also, and headed to parts unknown for a cup of java and whatever else we could participate in.
Judy is not as adventuresome as I, but curiosity got the best of her and she said, “Why not!” that is, until I bypassed Jerusalem and headed for the Judean hills, having warned her not to plan on returning home for 3 or 4 hours.
I couldn’t have picked two worse traveling companions to celebrate New Year’s Eve with. Gypsy hates crowds and doesn’t like anyone mauling her as if they want to be her best friend in this present world and the olam habah. Judy on the other hand, doesn’t know up from down if she gets over 2 miles away from her caravan – she is a genuine ‘home-body!” I mean, she could write her own book entitled “HOME ALONE AND LOVING IT!”
For me personally, it was a very short but fun day trip since we wanted to get home before the night crew of celebrants hit the streets for New Year’s Eve. As we sat at the Pit Stop enjoying our coffee, a group of motorcyclists came crashing in upon the serenity from all directions. Finally, the noise subsided and was replaced by a rowdy bunch of guys dismounting from their bikes and sat down at the table right next to ours. As they removed their helmets, the ‘boys’ got older and older!
One of them came over and struck up a conversation with us while petting Gypsy who had made rapid pace to get under the table. The man then asked: “Do you girls know why animal activists throw red paint on fur coats but not on leather jackets?”
Both of us shook our heads negatively and inquisitively said: “NO!”
And with a broad grin on his face, he said: “Because they would rather fight off rich women than deal with Hell’s Angels!”
The ‘boys’ geared up and blasted out the same way they came in. On the heels of their leaving another group came rolling in on their toys only with less noise pollution. This time they were Bicyclists, yet still around the same age.
On the way back to familiar surroundings, we stopped for Judy to purchase a fawn that she felt she just could not start the New Year without. And she has plenty of room for a deer in her yard. She really got it for a good bargain and it doesn’t eat much!