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Recent History.

Guess I haven't updated in a substantive way lately, huh?

First, here are some cute cats:





.

Now then.

Today I went to Birkat Hachamah services. Birkat Hachamah only happens once every 28 years, so I figured I didn't want to miss the chance to do it. I was glad to have gone, but it was pretty confusing. Observant Jews tend to have this free-form style -- everyone praying at their own pace -- and there was a lot of cross chatter. The leader was somewhere I couldn't even see, broadcasting over a loudspeaker. People were following along using various aids -- books, photocopies, some random handouts -- but I'm guessing everyone brought them from home, because I didn't see anyone handing them out. The only thing I remembered from what I read at home was that you were supposed to stand at attention, feet together, and look at the sun. Unfortunately, this morning was pretty cloudy, and the sun was mostly hidden. I know there were special rules for overcast days, but I didn't remember what they were, so I just kept staring until the sun poked through the clouds.

The other thing that I remembered was that, because the Shehechiyanu (my favorite prayer) is recited, you're supposed to wear new clothes (if possible). So I took this as an excuse to wear my new dress:





















Yaay polka dots!

I also met a little girl there -- maybe 10 years old? -- who had my exact same glasses. I said hello to her and pointed out that we were eyeglass twins. She, like me, said she'd never met anyone else who had the same pair.

Must be a Jew thing, eh?

Along with Birkat Hachamah, they also did the traditional pre-Passover burning of the chametz. I don't anticipate observing Passover this year (though I will be joining bishopjoey and last_girl_guide for a seder on Saturday night), but I did have some seriously stale bread in my fridge, and I like when I get the chance to be a part of stuff like that. I don't like the fact that I'm working tonight. Even though I'm not at all Observant, working on the first night of Passover just feels wrong. Then again, at least I get to go to a seder this year -- my mother won't even be getting that much.

I wonder if I went in to work now, if I could leave early?

Well, at any rate, on my way home I passed through Bloomfield. As those of you in Pittsburgh certainly know (and many of you outside of the area may have heard), this past Saturday, three police officers were killed in what basically amounted to an ambush. Today, the public memorials start in full force.

Once of the officers, Paul J. Sciullo, II, was from Bloomfield, and his funeral was this morning. Here's what I saw as I drove past the church:









Hmmm... maybe I will go to work early ...

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
furious_mold
Apr. 9th, 2009 06:07 am (UTC)
I love the dress - and, I know I asked this, but where did you get your frames? I desperately need new glasses and some snazzy frames.

Some of my other LJ friends have been writing about Birkat Hachamah - I think it's very interesting.

hopita
Apr. 9th, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC)
Medical Center Opticians on Fifth Avenue in Oakland.

They're kinda pricey, but not like Optique pricey. Somewhere between LensCrafters and Optique, if that makes any sense.

Also, they give discounts for local hospital employees and maybe students as well? If you cry poor, they're likely to try to find a way to work with you.
furious_mold
Apr. 9th, 2009 03:42 pm (UTC)
Maybe I can put on a Mr. Magoo act and they'll take pity on me. Heh, which isn't far from the truth - my eyesight is getting worse.

Once I get a prescription, I'll check them out.

Thanks again!
hopita
Apr. 9th, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
Also,

I hadn't even heard of Birkat Hachamah until I saw the post in the pittsburgh community two days ago.

I thanked the person for posting the info and asked them to be sure and post about similar stuff in the future.
furious_mold
Apr. 9th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
It's just nice to see the sun being appreciated - nature in general.
hopita
Apr. 9th, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
I forget how old you are, but do you remember The Harmonic Convergence? It happened when I was a ... junior in high school? I remember it was billed at "that dawning of the Age of Aquarius that they sang about in Hair." The rhetoric (if memory serves) was that everyone was supposed to go out into the woods and celebrate the earth/the sun/nature in general, or else we were all doomed. Much like yesterday, I didn't necessarily believe that the world was going to end if I didn't go dance in the woods, but I'm always in favor of any excuse to go dance with the hippies, so I went. I remember we danced around in Frick Park in Squirrel Hill, and that the TV news was there, asking us all why we were being such hippies.

At any rate, the concept of Birkat Hachamah kind of reminded me of that.
furious_mold
Apr. 9th, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC)
I do not remember that...I'm 27. Sounds like an awesome time though!

Oh, hey...did you see this?

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/224061/april-08-2009/birkat-hachama---stephen-frees-his-jews
furious_mold
Apr. 9th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
Added...
I started doing my dance-in-the-woods-with-hippies-and-other-strange-folk around age 13-15.

Good times. I'd still do it.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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