Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Special Tu BeAv Edition!

Tu BeAv is a great day in Jewish history for shidduchim. It's a great day for me, as well, for I got married on Tu BeAv. Today has actually been eerily marriage-oriented so far.

I like to learn gemara on the subway. Since I work and go to school, the hours spend commuting comprises the only time I really have to study gemara independently. And one thing I've noticed is that when you are visibly Jewish (wearing a yarmulka) and doing a visibly Jewish or out of the ordinary thing, you tend to attract attention. Thus, when I spend a week on the subway last summer tying the techelet (blue strings) onto my tallit, I became approachable and people with nominal connections to Judaism and even non-Jews who were somewhat interested in Jewish topics approached me and initiated conversations about tzitzit, about Torah, etc. Two weeks ago I was learning yerushalmi eruvin and someone asked my about the tetragrammaton, and what I knew about it, and how it related to things he was learning in (possibly new-agey) Sanskrit spirituality.

So today I was reading my Artscroll Bavli Eruvin and I was approached by Kareem, who asked if I knew how to write Hebrew. He wanted me to write down on a piece of paper the Hebrew ktav ashuri (assyrian script) for "one flesh." He saw I could read the gemara which had Hebrew looking words. He wanted to put the text as an inscription on his and his wife-to-be's wedding rings; they were to be married in about a year from now. The words "basar eched," one flesh, are meaningful in that they describe the marriage bond between man and woman in the beginning of Bereishit (Genesis). And so I obliged.

I transferred from the 1 train to the 3 train, and then at 42nd Street to the 7 train for one stop. I sat down next to a woman, who glanced over at what I was reading asked asked me about the different types of English/Hebrew gemaras out there, how she could obtain one, what the price of one or a set was, and what the best one was for someone who had not studied it before and was not familiar with Aramaic and Hebrew. She was getting married, and her husband-to-be had never studied gemara but wanted to start.

We shall see how the day develops.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin