Tradescantia Zebrina .:. The Wandering Jew


tales and opinions of the wandering Jew

Here's to 5768!

So welcome to 5768, “Shmitty’s year.”* In which this is the 7th or sabbatical year, which means there’s a whole lot of agricultural laws to follow or at least argue about; Purim will be three days long in Jerusalem (and other walled cities); February has 29 days, and there’s an extra month of Adar; no double parshas (weekly Torah readings) on Shabbat (which is the last time it’ll happen for 44 years for communities that follow 2-day holidays and 8 years for 1-day holidays); Passover will start on Saturday night (which always leads to craziness and weird procedures like flushing crumbs down the toilet because you can’t burn anything due to Shabbat); Cyprus and Malta are adopting the Euro; it’ll be the earliest Easter since 1913; and the change of the clocks in Israel meant that we fasted for Tzom Gedaliah an hour less today – or something.

*So named by yours truly because the Hebrew term is שמטה (sh’mitah) (the seventh year in a seven-year cycle during which land in Israel must lie fallow and debts are canceled) and there’s so much going on this year that I thought it would be exhausting. Thus sh’mitah because an old, friendly but exhausted, man named Shmitty.

* * * * *
The hag (holiday) lasted two days, or three days, depending on your calendar. Rosh Hashanah is a 48-hour day, and Shabbat is a normal-length day. Which meant that Wednesday late-afternoon through Saturday night was filled with davening (at 5 different minyans; only one of which was the minyan belonging to the synagogue we were in), good food, great people, a cold with lingering cough, a hitbodedut walk at night which was quite helpful for me, singing, conversations, simanim, and naps.

* * * * *
A year ago, I was in New York for the haggim, with some of the same people. Which only helps to highlight how much things can change in a year, yet still feel familiar.

* * * * *
It’s clearly autumn here, or something resembling autumn. The nights are crisper, dropping to a “cool” 15C/60F; the wind has picked up; and unlike the first two weeks I was here, there are now clouds in the skies. Another end of summer is the end of Summer Clock (what Israel calls daylight savings time). The clocks went back an hour last night, making the time difference between here and home either 9 (Vancouver, Seattle) or 6 (Montreal) hours, until North America changes their clocks in November. (I would say more on this topic, but it looks like BZ already has.)

* * * * *
And I’m still house hunting. I have a few more options now: el-cheapo apartment for one; cheap roommate situation; or a 2+ bedroom apartment to share with Mr. and Mrs. LastTrumpet. So if you know of any great, furnished apartments, let me know.

Filed under: home, israel, judaism, religion, seasons

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