Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A few different things, without a unifying message

First of all, about the magic bowl. Steg, I think you have found your niche. I was amazed by your skill at deciphering and translating the text. If you are looking for more magic bowls, these are my instructions. There is a nice little store in Jerusalem, the only useful place on Safra Square, called Kad Vachomer. You buy a white bowl, and spend an enjoyable afternoon painting it. You have to scrape out the letters first, and then go over them with black paint. I suppose there are such stores in other places of the world, where you can paint your own pottery, but clearly their magical efficacy would be inferior.

Talk in the Knesset (again) about closing down the Hesder yeshivahs. I don't do politics, but I will say this. Lo zu haderech ve-lo zo ha'ir. That is not the way - yeshivah heads were called in for questioning after Rabin's assassination. None were ever charged with anything. I remember a guy from Har Beracha telling me (while we were serving together in a hesder unit) how his teacher arrived at the police station, accompanied by several huge, gun-toting students. Which proved, for one, how misguided that rabbi was, and, for another, that this kind of investigation would quickly turn into a farce.

And that is not the goal. The yeshivot hesder provide a very good environment within which to serve the country. I have a lot to say about negative yeshivah experiences, and have said some of it in the past. But, without question, it is a good thing. For one, because the years after high school are crucial for personal development, and one of the deep reasons why Israeli society is messed up is because everyone spends their formative years wearing a uniform and being bored (which is, romance aside, the typical experience of the vast majority of Israeli conscripts). Hesder gives people an opportunity to give some attention to their minds and souls, without shirking responsibility. It would be good for the whole country if secular kids did the same.

According to the article, 24 Hesder soldiers refused orders. For sake of proportion, my original Hesder unit consisted of 40 young men. Hundreds of people are serving as Hesder soldiers at this very moment. Maybe, perhaps, Ran Cohen is overreacting, just a little?

And, back to more important things, I spent five minutes in a bookstore today. And found that Yehudah Felix has published, as promised, his new edition and commentary on the Palestinian Talmud, tractate Ma'aserot.

Also out is the collected studies of Moshe Samet, including his famous work on Besamim Rosh. I don't know whether the articles are copied verbatim from the original publications, or whether they have been updated.

Oh, and Mar Gavriel's blog is refreshingly obscure. Except when he veers off into strange discussions of silly questions. It is a shame that his contributions (and everyone else's!) to Reclaiming the Daf have ceased.

MyObiterDicta has launched an additional blog, in Hebrew. Not something I plan to do anytime soon. But it will be interesting to see what kind of audience he finds there.

Take a look at the Yakar Learning Community, which Mobius is promoting personally and intensively. His take on it is somewhat idiosyncratic, but if you are looking for an interesting, liberal-minded program that actually learns Torah, it's worth trying out. Or so I hear.


Blogger Mar Gavriel said...

What's the problem with my post on pilaghshuth? Not obscure enough for you?

11:10 PM  
Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

mar see this

8:12 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der ┼íteg) said...

I seem to remember hearing of Kad Vahhomer when i was in Jerusalem. I'll try and check it out next time i'm back there!

4:01 PM  
Blogger Mar Gavriel said...

Amshinover: Thanks for the link, but I don't think that there's anything on that site that I haven't come across in my lerning. It's a pretty meager site.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who is Mar Gavriel I read his Blog and he seems an interesting guy. is he doing an MA?

3:21 PM  

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