Tisha B'Av

Sunday, August 14th, 2016 01:23 pm
chanaleh: (sleeping)
The 10th of Av is Aria's Hebrew birthday. Last year, like this year, it was the observed date of the fast of Tisha B'Av since the actual 9th of Av fell on Shabbat. Last year I missed the candlelight reading of Eicha because I was at the hospital in hour 17 or so of "early" labor. (I was reliving my own version of Lamentations though.) Last night I missed it because it was competing with baby bathtime/bedtime and I just couldn't face the logistics of driving 40 minutes each way to shul and back. But it's still on my mind.

I'm not fasting, either, to be honest. I thought about trying, but my brain is so foggy already these days that I just can't face spending a day in the fasting zone. I need to be able to do things.

Wishing a meaningful fast to those who are observing, though.
chanaleh: (sleeping)
I was about to say "belated con report", but it's really only been two days since I got home, even though it feels like about 6.

Things that were awesome about this Arisia for me: lots )

Things that were less awesome: few and minor )

But, seriously, that's kind of all I can think of. It was pretty fab all around.

So I've pretty much made up my mind to sign up for vending at Lunacon in mid-March. :-)
And now I have done three loads of laundry and it's time to go to bed.


Sunday, August 26th, 2012 09:24 pm
chanaleh: Muffin the Vampire Baker: "It's him, Muffin! You have to protect him at all costs!" "I'M ON IT!" (i'm on it!)
T&V (the synagogue which, incidentally, I have now officially joined) just announced a 6-session mini-course in beginning ASL! I signed up immediately! Besides Russian, ASL is the #1 language I have taken an interest in acquiring next. It runs Wednesday nights, Oct. 10-Nov. 14. I am psyched.

Oh, and since someone was asking when last I mentioned it, they have free community tickets for the High Holidays. I can't find a link to info about it online, but [update:] here is the note they mailed out with the actual tickets:
For Members of the Greater Community:

The Community Service is open to all. We again this year are asking members of the community to help us cover the costs of providing the services and maintaining the synagogue, each according to their means. We are recommending a contribution/gift of $180 for each ticket. We expect that some will not be able to do this and others will give more. No one will be turned away, unless we are filled to capacity.

If you know people in the community who need a place to worship over the holidays, please invite them to worship in our Community Service. For security reasons they will need to provide us their names and addresses before the High Holidays. Please ask them to call the synagogue office at (212) 677 8090 ext. 21.

... Or I expect you could use the central office email address, townandvillage@aol.com.


Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 12:14 am
chanaleh: (leaves)
I'm joining the synagogue choir at Town & Village this year, and the first rehearsal was tonight! It was great.

I went there for Day 1 of Rosh Hashanah last year (diligent readers may recall that [livejournal.com profile] justom has close family friends who belong there and invited me/us). And in addition to really liking the service and the rabbi (who later, in a classic "small Jewish world" moment, turned out to be a childhood buddy of SCO#1, but that's another story), I actually really enjoyed the cantor and the choir. Which is a big thing for me because I normally am turned off -- almost by definition -- by anyplace that has a cantor, let alone a choir. But this cantor was a terrific young(ish... younger than me, anyway!) woman with great kavannah and an amazing voice that just, I don't know, fits really well with my personal davening style. And the choir was a lay choir performing from the bima (no microphones, no instruments) for just a few selected sections of the liturgy... which, not for nothing, happened to include two or three of my favoritest pieces from my own longstanding High Holiday choir gig back in Boston.

Sidebar on my High Holiday choir history )

And we did one in that category right away tonight: Samuel Naumbourg's "Ana Tavo" (a.k.a. Ono Tovo) -- though I don't know if I'd have heard it there on Rosh Hashanah, because it's particular to Yom Kippur, the introduction to the Vidui, or confessional.
Ana tavo l’fanecha t’filateinu v’al titalam mi-t’chinateinu, she’eyn anachnu azei fanim u-k’shei oref lomar l’fanecha, "Adonai Eloheinu v'elohei avoteinu, tzadikim anachnu v’lo chatanu" -- aval anachnu chatanu.

Let our prayer come before you, and do not turn from our pleas. We are neither so arrogant nor so stubborn as to say to Your face, "Lord our God and God of our fathers, we are righteous and have not sinned" -- rather, we have sinned.

It's a poignant little passage that often gets zoomed past on the way to the Vidui, and the musical setting here lends all the more poignancy to the text. I'd link to it for you all if I could find a sample. Maybe Cantor Shayna will send me the MP3.

(Or, y'know, if anyone needs a place to go for holidays, you could come and hear it.)

Shabbat dinner?

Thursday, May 31st, 2012 11:12 pm
chanaleh: (mandala)
If I decided to hold an impromptu Shabbat dinner, anyone interested? 8:30ish, 116th St. (NYC that is)? I've been meaning to host one for months and can never seem to get it on the calendar.

Mind, I'm not 100% sure this is really the week either (kind of too underslept to face it), but OTOH I do have salad fixings and 2lbs of fish on hand. And [livejournal.com profile] wildblueyonder2 has already mentioned being available, and [livejournal.com profile] justom said it's OK with him...


ETA: Yes, apparently we're doing this. Doors at 8:30, but we'll send down scouts every 10 mins or so thereafter until 9ish, and try to start at 9pm depending on who actually tells me they're coming and from where. Ping me if you don't have the address. :-)
chanaleh: (mandala)
Some weeks ago, [livejournal.com profile] msmidge was asking about recommendations for Jewish fiction. So I started putting together a list. (I also started annotating it with links, but I got tired of that, so it's not as thorough as it might be. Check the usual places: your local library, Google Books, or Amazon, depending on your political leanings.)

As a jumping-off point, I found some published lists of the best Jewish books of 2011 and 2010, re[tro]spectively:

And it's not hard to find lists of "Great Jewish Books", but as a rule, I have almost never read anything on them. The only Philip Roth I've actually ever read was Portnoy's Complaint, which I would probably read very differently now than I did in high school ;-) or was it freshman year of college? I distinctly remember taking it out of the Valparaiso Public Library. In any case, I should probably read Goodbye, Columbus.

Gosh, maybe this isn't such a short list after all. )

In general, I highly recommend all of Howard Schwartz's collections of Jewish folklore: Tree of Souls,  Lilith's Cave, Gabriel's Palace, etc.

In terms of nonfiction, my single favorite reference book is Blu Greenberg's How to Run A Traditional Jewish Household. Lots of practical explanations about kashrut, Shabbat, holidays, etc. And my favorite Bible translation to date is Everett Fox's The Five Books of Moses.

What are your favorites?

Shabbat shalom, y'all.
chanaleh: (chanukah)
In honor of the last night of Chanukah! Actually, this is not necessarily my top 8, but it is the 8 I will bring to your attention for this year. :-)

1. Aish HaTorah's Chanukah Jewish Rock of Ages - Official Hanukkah Song (Video):

2. The Maccabeats do Matisyahu's "Miracle" (in conjunction with Be the Match):

3. Six13's "Chanukah Rights!":

4. Ein Prat Fountainheads' Matrix-themed "Light Up The Night":

5. My new-favorite solstice-themed Chanukah song, "Banu Choshech":
(take your pick of the intelligible yet cheesy family-sung animated version or the hot hot Israeli folk-rocker version; both have their merits)

6. Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert Sing About Hanukkah (just for [livejournal.com profile] justom):

7. The South Park Dreidel Song (you'll never hear it the same way again):
(but see this one for the assembled lyrics)

8. Tom Lehrer's "I'm Spending Hanukkah In Santa Monica" (oft-covered by a cappella groups, but I'm sending you to actual Lehrer):

.... and a very happy [livejournal.com profile] chanaleh to you all!
chanaleh: (tom + erica)
Here's the Rosh Hashanah postcard I sent out. Let me know if I forgot to send you one!
Note to [livejournal.com profile] vettecat: I fixed the typo you pointed out. :-}

Click for larger image, or you can also view the PDF.

L'shanah tovah, everyone!

*scurries off to JTS*
chanaleh: (leila)
So, lately, I've been doing and seeing some awesome stuff, performance-wise.

Two weekends ago, I went and did the [livejournal.com profile] negass 35th Anniversary Sing-Out marathon, wherein they sang through (no dialogue) all 13 extant Gilbert & Sullivan operettas in two days. Oh, it's too much happiness! )

Also, at the Sing-Out, MLC was advertising the Longwood Opera's annual G&S Scenes Night (co-sponsored by [livejournal.com profile] negass), and I wrote afterwards and asked her if I could be in it (probably with "When A Merry Maiden Marries"), and she said yes! And asked if I wanted to recruit people to do an ensemble as well! Does anyone want to go in on a madrigal or something? It sounds like they especially need men to round out the program, so I'm going to send an email to some of those personally, but talk to me in any case. Or, y'know, Marion, or anyone you think relevant. :-)

There are also Monday-night sing-throughs of Mikado, Pirates, and Iolanthe scheduled for July.

Audience-wise: A week ago Thursday, I took the yeshiva bochur to this pop-music adaptation of Song of Songs at the BCA. I am the rose of Sharon... ) If you're curious, you can get the soundtrack here. I certainly had to, because there was at least one piece I thought had potential for a good Menschen arrangement. :-)

This is not even to mention [livejournal.com profile] theatreatfirst's Equus, which was remarkably (would you all be offended if I said "surprisingly"?) well done and of course deeply thought-provoking, and ASS's Midsummer Night's Dream, which I enjoyed very much despite its provoking no thought whatsoever. ;-)

Is anything going on tonight that we should go see?? (Assuming I make some headway on my website rebuild, which is my major goal for this weekend.)

P.S. In non-theatrical news, my workplace is looking to hire a school social worker OR clinical psychologist for grades K-5. (They're -- by which I mean I'm -- also still looking to replace me, in case anyone interested missed that memo.)
chanaleh: (mandala)
... of the Jewish(ly knowledgeable) sort.

As I'm averaging one or two weekends a month in NYC this year:
Where should I go to services when visiting the Upper West Side?

(1) Conservative (or at least using the full traditional all-Hebrew liturgy)
(2) Egalitarian (or at least affording me the possibility of reading Torah or leading Kabbalat Shabbat on occasion)
(3) Lay-led (ditto)
(4) Not so Orthodox that there is more muttering than singing of prayers
(5) Orthodox enough that there are no musical instruments and the shaliach tzibur stands facing Jerusalem, not facing the congregation
(6) Did I mention the Upper West Side? (though recommendations in other localities would also be good to know about)

I hear that the UWS is rife with every kind of davening experience one could want, but I don't know how to *find* them. I need names, addresses, start times, websites. :-)

Back in October, we went to the much-vaunted Congregation B'nai Jeshurun (where Sarah Jessica Parker married Matthew Broderick, dontchaknow). I'd heard that it was large, and vibrant, and it was indeed both of those, ) but I don't know that it's the place for me on a regular basis.

Somewhere I got or found a recommendation for the Shul of New York, which also sounds warm and vibrant, but (I deduce) a little too liberal-Reform for my personal taste. ETA: Oh -- on further research it seems I heard of them because they booked [livejournal.com profile] ellen_kushner for their 2010 family Chanukah party, which made me think that they must be a cool place. :-)

I've gone once or twice with [livejournal.com profile] mbarr to KOE, which is certainly traditional and small enough for my taste and has the advantage that I'm getting to know people there, but -- I'm still taking suggestions. At least, I'd like to have a better sense of what my options are.


*hits Post and runs off to the dentist*

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