23 February 2019
Daily Dozen Gratitude List #34
In no particular order.
1. A big purse with enough compartments and space to hold a Kryptonite U lock while my bike is being repaired, my tallit bag, a change of shoes, and Kleenex.
For years, I eschewed purses in favor of backpacks, or I’d call them “bags,” because, I don’t know, purses seemed too girly, or whatever. I was not a purse person. A purson. Backpacks, bags. Larry even gave me a leather backpack – nicer than the kind kids use for school but not a PURSE (it was a purse). I am finally, now, coming to terms with it being OK with calling a purse a purse. I still use backpacks too, tho.
2. An oversize backpack.
Especially useful as my carryon bag when traveling by plane. I discovered a couple years ago that I can carry as much in a backpack as in one of those roll-on carryon suitcases, but am never questioned as to the size and if it will fit, whereas periodically my roll-on suitcase was challenged. Yeah, the roll-on is easier on my back, but it’s nice to never be challenged. (Note: JetBlue never challenges. See DDGL #4:2)
3. A bicycle with two fully functioning air-filled happy tires.
4. Parshat Ki Tisa.
Today’s parsha is a powerful one. There’s the mystical scene of Moshe spending one-on-one time with God, getting the Ten Commandments and the Torah, and him being gone so long, the Israelites end up making and worshiping the Golden Calf. Lots here. But what caught my attention today were two words in verses at the end of Exodus Chapter 34. Each appears just three times in the whole Torah, right here: קָרַן ( KARAN, shining, glowing) and מַּסְוֶה ( MASVEH, covering, veil).
Moshe is unaware of the physical aftereffects of spending all that time with the Divine. He doesn’t eat or drink for the 40 days it takes to receive the Torah. And then, when he descends form the mountain, his face is literally glowing. The word קָרַן, which sometimes gets translated as “horns” (hence that old stereotype thing about Jews having horns), because the word for horn has the same root letters. But this is the only time in the Torah it is used with this vowel structure, as a verb, rather than a noun. In Shmot 34:29
וַיְהִי, בְּרֶדֶת מֹשֶׁה מֵהַר סִינַי, וּשְׁנֵי לֻחֹת הָעֵדֻת בְּיַד-מֹשֶׁה, בְּרִדְתּוֹ מִן-הָהָר; וּמֹשֶׁה לֹא-יָדַע, כִּי קָרַן עוֹר פָּנָיו–בְּדַבְּרוֹ אִתּוֹ.
And it came to pass, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tables of the testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face glowed since He talked with him.
It’s also an odd structure, that Moshe’s name is repeated three times in this verse, in an almost awkward construction. His name is used, rather than a pronoun.
The glowing is too much for the Israelites to see, and they pull away from Moshe – so Moshe covers his face with a unique kind of veil, a covering. While there are other words that get translated as “veil,” this is the only time this Hebrew word מַסְוֶה is used in the Torah, which makes me think it is a unique kind of covering for just this circumstance – divine holy glowing. Whenever Moshe goes to speak directly with God, he removes this veil, then puts it back on when the direct holy work is done. In Shmot 34: 33
וַיְכַל מֹשֶׁה, מִדַּבֵּר אִתָּם; וַיִּתֵּן עַל-פָּנָיו, מַסְוֶה.
And when Moses had done speaking with them,
he put a veil on his face.
5. Having a Google Voice number.
So I can use it to find my phone, since I no longer have a landline.
6. Traveling in China and Hong Kong with my daughter because she speaks Chinese.
(I want to learn Chinese.) Did this last year, hope to return again.
7. Queen Anne’s Lace.
I suppose I should save this for the summer, but it’s a flower/weed I’ve always liked, that it really lives up to its name. Makes me think of the fields at the side of the road in upstate New York, where my grandparents lived. I like this tile with an embedded image of Queen Anne’s Lace, made by New Hampshire artist Robert Rossel of Symmetry Tile Works.I got it with Larry – the company had a cart at a N.H. mall. As we walked to where we knew the cart would be, we passed several storefronts whose display windows had been shattered, with glass scattered in tiny pieces all over the floor. Turns out, moments before we entered the mall, a man had run through with a hammer, bashing storefront windows as he went along. Fortunately no one was hurt, and they caught him. We just saw the aftermath.
8. Bedlam’s Pygmalion at Central Square Theatre.
Go see it now! Thank you Janet Kolodner for the tickets!
9. Receiving an unexpected phone call.
10. Walking instead of biking for a change.
11. Neon Buddha blazers with fun buttons.
12. Having a brother who is not a computer person by training, but who is a tech whiz who is able to rescue seemingly deleted photos from my camera.