Saturday, February 25, 2023

Cheap manufacturers, or anything to save a buck :(--updated rant

Here’s the original, copied from my Sunday, November 14, 2010 blog post:

No wonder all of my newer blouses gap open between buttons at exactly the spot where I don't want them to gap open between buttons--my newest blouses have only seven buttons rather than eight. The photo illustrating this post should give you a pretty good idea of what I'm kvetching (complaining) about. (Cynic that I am, I wonder whether the trend toward so-called "split-necked" tops is just a money-saving move--notice that there's absolutely nothing where the top two or three buttons should be.) Thank you so much for keeping a woman's modesty in mind. Not. :(

Bottom (or top) line: Since I have fairly narrow shoulders, either I can buy a size 12 blouse and look like I'm wearing a potato sack, or I can buy a size 10 and risk ending up with, you should pardon the expression, a visible means of support.

Here's the update:

What are ankle pants, other than a manufacturer’s plan for saving money on fabric by cutting their long pants 1-3 inches shorter?  Customers can accomplish the same thing simply by tossing their pants into the dryer a few times too many, or, better yet, by watching their kids outgrow their clothes.  😊

As for three-quarter sleeves, while they, like ankle pants, have been around for years, it’s only recently that they’ve started replacing long sleeves to such an extent that it’s actually a bit challenging to find tops with long sleeves.  What a boon for manufacturers to be able to save the cost of about five inches of fabric on each sleeve, or 10 inches of fabric per top!  I imagine that many Orthodox women are pleased to see the new popularity of three-quarter sleeves, but I, for one, am not exactly thrilled by the prospect of freezing my forearms in February.  😒

It has not escaped my notice that two out of three of these cheapskate-manufacturers’ tricks apply to women’s clothing exlusively.  I’ve never seen a three-quarter-sleeved shirt for men.  As for the missing-button problem, no manufacturer in their right mind would dare eliminate three buttons from a men’s dress shirt.  That may be because society does not practically demand that men be sexy at all times, expecting men who wish to be sexy to know to leave some buttons unbuttoned, but not even giving women the option of buttoning up.  😒

Monday, February 20, 2023

Songleader Boot Camp 2023

Enjoying Songleader Boot Camp #SLBC23 partly in front of my computer and partly flat in bed listening on my phone--COVID is really kockin' me out. The good news is that I still have enough voice to be able to sing along at least some of the time. Can't guarantee that I'll be able to participate in any more break-out rooms, so talk amongst yourselves. 🙂 Meanwhile, my husband is taking my place, which is good for his sanity, since this is his 3rd time in COVID quarantine in less than 2 months. Shout-out to Melissa Geneviève Baden--saw you on camera! Howdee to Rick Dinitz, Tyler Dean with the dogs, Heidi Keith, Michael Battat, and all the other fine folks on Zoom with me.

The music is wonderful, the talks are thoughtful. Never thought about inclusiveness necessitating stipulations in employers' regulations that no one can be fired for reasons of sexual orientation &/or gender identity. Should be obvious, but . . .
Everybody, keep singing, strumming, talking! I'm getting a lot from what I'm awake enough to hear. Also, laughing over the name-play fun--of course Naomi Less is really More. 🙂

Thursday, February 16, 2023

My turn--I just tested positive for COVID

I wasn't consistent enough about wearing a mask, so I caught COVID from our son.  Will call my primary care doctor first thing tomorrow.

Can an 'apples-and-oranges' Jewish community pray together?

Here’s a treat for those who attended this morning’s Songleader Boot Camp session (and those who didn’t)—this is a recording (courtesy of Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein) of the first time we heard Rabbi Josh Warshawsky’s Riverdale Niggun, at the Rising Song Intensive in December 2019.  Those who don't use Facebook can check out the studio version here.

My husband and I were left with more questions than answers after this morning’s/early afternoon’s Tefillah and Shira Kallah session with Eliana Light and Rabbi Josh Warshawsky.  We are dealing with, essentially, two different Jewish communities in our neighborhood.  One consists mostly of older people most of whom know their way around a siddur (prayer-book), but have been “trained” to leave the leading to experts.  Most of them have little idea how to run a service by themselves and little interest in new Jewish music.  The other consists mostly of younger people some of whom have ritual skills but many of whom barely read Hebrew, if they read it at all.  These folks try, nevertheless, to run services with or without the assistance of “experts” and with plenty of singing.  One group insists on a full service conducted almost entirely in Hebrew (with few songs).  The other prefers services that are short and sweet and full of songs, with texts that include transliteration.  The service that Eliana and Rav Josh conducted would have been perfect for the latter group, but completely unacceptable to the traditionalist group.  Is it even possible to serve such disparate groups in one service?

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

We're back in quarantine--our son has COVID

My husband finally recovered from COVID, round 2 (his "Paxlovid rebound)" about a week and a half ago, so our son went to hang out with some friends over Superbowl Weekend--he came home yesterday, and tested positive for COVID tonight.  He called a local Urgent Care/medical drop-in center's 24-hour phone line and they sent a prescription for Paxlovid to our usual pharmacy, to be filled tomorrow.  I guess we're *not* going to synagogue in person this Shabbat.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

A new melody for Ein Kelokeinu by Eitan Kantor

This new melody for Ein Kelokeinu by Eitan B Kantor is certainly different--as a long-time folk-dancer, I'm guessing it's a Balkan version (7 beats to a measure?). I like it! ❤️

I really love a trend that I'm seeing lately--some better-off synagogues are now sponsoring the writing of new Jewish music. This Ein Kelokeinu comes to us courtesy of Congregation B'nai Amoona's Shirei Amoona project (Creve Coeur, MO). Also onboard are Beth El Synagogue Center's Shoresh Halev Center for Jewish Music (New Rochelle, NY), Ahavath Achim Synagogue's Sonia Project (Atlanta, GA), and Temple Beth Am (Los Angeles) and Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, who co-sponsored February 2022's Kol Tefilla concert. I probably missed a few. The more, the merrier!

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Second-hand Rose, or Judaism by proxy—my problem with a rabbinic interpretation of Sh’ma

I’ve been taking a class on Sh’ma with Rabbi Reuven Kimelman and Eliana Light, and it’s been fascinating—I’m learning different ways of interpreting the text that would never have occurred to me.  But the more Rabbi Kimelman talked about the tefillin functioning as reminders to give credit to HaShem, not the ancient rain god Ba’al, for rain, the more I kept thinking that something was missing.  Or, rather some*one.*

I realize that I’ve getting ahead of the curriculum, since we’ll be discussing the third paragraph of Sh’ma *next* Wednesday, but the issue is basically the same.

Here’s a quote from a comment posting on my blog some years ago [links added by me]:  “What is the purpose of a woman putting on tefillin/tzitzit? Is it to be like a man? is it to be closer to God? There is a story(I think is true) of a woman who asked R. Soloveichik if she could put on a Tallit. He told her to try wearing a pasul one(one fringe cut off). After a few weeks, he asked her how she felt wearing the Tallit, and she responded that she felt closer to God. He told her she could not wear it anymore and could not wear a tallit, because a pasul tallit should not have any effect on how she felt.(she was not fulfilling any commandment with a known pasul tallit, and any benefit she felt would have come from just the act of wearing the cloth and being like a guy.) So motivation is a prime issue.” 

Rabbi Soloveitchik *may* have been correct from a halachic (Jewish religious law) point of view, but I’ve always thought that he was totally incorrect in assuming that “any benefit she felt would have come from just the act of wearing the cloth and being like a guy.”  I’ve always felt that, assuming this story is true, the woman may have felt closer to God because it was probably the first time in her life that she’d ever worn a garment that was specifically intended for prayer.

To the best of my knowledge, the rabbis of old interpreted the tallit and tefillin as being either “beged ish” (men’s garments) forbidden to women, and/or as garments restricted to those obligated to observe time-bound commandments. They seem not to have given any thought to the needs of women to have our own religious lives apart from those of our fathers, brothers, husbands, and/or sons. As far as I know, there was never any Jewish religious garment intended for wear by women. (Head scarves and the like are also worn by nuns and Muslim women—modest dress is not exclusive to Jewish women.) So what’s a *woman* supposed to do when Sh’ma says that you should bind HaShem’s words on your hand and between your eyes as a reminder to give credit to G!d, not Ba'al, for rain--shouldn't this reminder also apply to women? And when Sh’ma says that you will see the fringe and remember all HaShem’s mitzot, what’s a *woman* supposed to look at?

I have now been wearing a tallit for 51 years, and I don’t feel as if it’s a real Morning Service until I recite the b’rachah and put it on.  For me, reciting the b’rachah and laying tefillin is just what I do when I pray the Weekday Shacharit.  I have zero interest in letting my husband be my “surrogate Jew.”  I insist on owning my own Judaism.

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

74 and going for more

Happy birthday to me.  :)

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