Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blu Greenberg's book may be more my speed

I got up to about page 114 in Forst's The Laws of Kashrut (see here) and gave up (or, at least, took a break)--the charts that Larry recommended are about the only things I can understand. I decided to read Blu Greenburg's How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household instead--and already, on pages 45 and 46, I learned two things that I didn't know. On page 45, Greenberg says, concerning Erev Shabbat/Sabbath Eve (Friday evening), that "There is no partaking of food from the time candles are lit until Kiddush is recited at dinner . . ." Apparently, this is not just a chumrah (extra stringency not required by halachah/Jewish religious law), as I thought it was when our last rabbi, the Yeshivish one, complained about not being able to eat before our 8 PM Friday service--if someone as famously *Modern* Orthodox as Blu Greenberg follows this rule, I think it's reasonable for me to assume that the acceptance thereof is probably widespread in the Orthodox community. Next Friday, remind me to grab a handful of nuts before two minutes until z'man l'hadlik nerot/licht bentchen/candle-lighting time. I also learned, on page 46, that just because we switched from using tea bags to using tea essence (made by brewing a bunch of teabags in much less water than you would usually use, so that you can dilute the essence with pre-heated water for hot tea) on Shabbat out of concern that dipping the bags on Shabbat might constitute cooking, that doesn't mean that we're allowed to put the tea into the cup first--we must still pour the pre-heated water into the cup or teapot first, then add the tea essence.

Hmm, maybe I just need the right teacher.


Anonymous Chicago said...

The funny thing is I thought of recommending that book as well, but didn't think it would be what you were looking for. I really like that book a lot, and I have learned so many new things from it.

Sun Nov 21, 11:45:00 PM 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, that is such a great book! i learned SO SO much from her, and own a copy myself. i love how Blu intertwines the explanations of the laws/traditions with all those great stories from her life.

Mon Nov 22, 10:29:00 AM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Chicago, it's not a kashrut book, per se, but it contains information about the Orthodox lifestyle that I need to know in order to make an informed decision.

Anon., I'm enjoying the stories, too.

Mon Nov 22, 11:11:00 AM 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that book! Although I don't live an orthodox lifestyle, I find it really helpful to know what is done and why.

I don't know if it has the same appeal to men, but I think it's wonderful for women.


Mon Nov 22, 11:37:00 AM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"I don't know if it has the same appeal to men,"

Kathy, I'll find out soon enough, I hope--when I finish reading this book,I'm going to ask my husband to read it. I'm not the only one who needs to make an informed decision--it takes two.

Mon Nov 22, 11:51:00 AM 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm about halfway through this book too and I've quite enjoyed it. I grew up without any Jewish education whatsoever so I need a ton of help. I expected to be overwheled by Greenberg but not at all.

Wed Dec 01, 02:38:00 AM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Dena, I, too, find this book informative but not intimidating, unlike Forst's kashrut book.

Wed Dec 01, 10:52:00 AM 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like that she tells little stories. It makes it very "real" and applicable. It also gives little hints to her personality, which I enjoy.

Fri Dec 03, 02:26:00 AM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Dena, I was amused by her tale of how her daughter "scandalized" a yeshiva bocher (male Jewish day school student) when she told him that she'd chanted the same Torah reading for her Bat Mitzvah celebration as he'd chanted for his Bar Mitzvah celebration. I can just see the look on his face--"A *girl,* leining Torah?!" :)

Fri Dec 03, 12:04:00 PM 2010  

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