Friday, August 06, 2004

Updated

What's next a woman's minyan?

An RN who heard me plumping for a girl's event asked me this question today. For real. I hope he didn't miss the incredulity on my face

Then again, someone who imagines that a group of girls playing together leads irreversibly to woman in talitot(1) might not have a talent for spotting details. Then again, too, this is the same clever chap who asked me why I wasn't giving my son an upshurin, "after all," said he,"your wife covers her hair."

I must remember that morons are like mushrooms. Even the best lawns have them.
____________________________

N.B: Officially, this blog has no objection to woman davening together, and will cast no aspersions on their motives. Spiritual crises, like midlife crises, strike us all, and we cope in different ways: Some get tattoos, some buy fast cars, some purchase beckeshas and begin mispronouncing Hebrew (2) and some form davening groups for women. The middle-aged man in the brand-new beckesha is not maligned. No one suggests that he has ulterior motives. Instead, he's congratulated for finding a way to bring himself closer to God. Women who daven together deserve the same courtesy.

That said, women in talitot, swaying like men, creep me out, but still: Zeh ne'ehneh v'zeh lo chash-ser.(3)

Updated, note to self: No more editorial ramblings. They distract from the story line.

(1) I write and say "talitot" because "talaysim" is not good Hebrew, and "talitos" sounds stupid. Updated: Jah tells us it is good yiddish. The Ayshes Chayil says it surely began as an error before becoming accepted.

(2) Yes, yes: Some of us also join shteebles, or in my case, yo-yo indecisively between a shteeble and a shul and blog about it.

(3) This one benefits, this one loses nothing.

From the Comment Bag
Mochassid said: There is nothing wrong with saying talaysim. Unless you're sfardi, you're father said it; your grandfather said it, your greatgrandfather said it..... and, on your substantive point, I totally disagree with your premise that no one loses from women's tefilah groups. And with you analogy which is 180 degrees off. But I don't have time right now.

Can't wait to read about it on MOChassid. :) Note: If anything not halachic occurs at a woman's prayer group I withdraw my official agnosticism on the subject. But if it is halachicly parve, why care?

As for talitot/s vs talaysim... I rather doubt the holy ancestors said "talaysim" -- or "shabbosim" for that matter. They knew hebrew, or if not hebrew, they at least knew the liturgy: "... shabbasos l'mnucha, changim u'zemanim l'soson..."

For the record, not all of my own personal holy ancestors spoke Yiddish. Many did. Not all. Western Europe had Jews, too, Once upon a time, so did Germany. And the city Jews in places like Vienna and Budapest and Prague didn't speak Yiddish either. And what about the holy ancestors own holy ancestors? Rashi, and the Ramban certainly said "talitos." It's right there in their books.

As my entry itself tries to suggest, we all have little affectations (talitot might be mine; objecting to talitot might be yours.) They are just that - affectations, and not charecter flaws, and certainly not betrayals of those who came before us.

Updated 8/9

A reader said: Hi - Interesting blog. In a recent posting you implied that Jews outside Eastern Europe didn't speak Yiddish. FYI, there was a Western dialect of Yiddish, spoken in places like Germany, the Netherlands, etc., in the past (although it became almost or totally extinct at some point). So Yiddish wasn't only an Eastern European thing. Please mention it to your readers. Thanks.

I appreciate your comments, but I can't say I'm familiar with this Western dialect of Yiddish. There's no mention of it here, where Yiddish is described as an Easten European phenomenon from the 13th century onward. Many of my own relatives came from Germany. They spoke no Yiddish. If you can tell me more about this, please write again.

Comments:

You probably also say shabbat shalom.

There is nothing wrong with saying talaysim. Unless you're sfardi, you're father said it; your grandfather said it, your greatgrandfather said it.....

It may not be correct but it's a lot less goofy than talitot. yech.  

and, on your substantive point, I totally disagree with your premise that no one loses from women's tefilah groups. And with you analogy which is 180 degrees off.

But I don't have time right now.  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.  

"I totally disagree.."

Can't wait to read about it on MOChassid. :) Note: If anything not halachic occurs at a woman's prayer group I withdraw my agnosticism on the subject. But if it is halachicly parve, why care?  

Nope, I say "good shabbos." But "shabbat shalom" doesn't make my skin crawl. As my entry itself tries to suggest, we all have little affectations (and talitot just might be mine.) They are just that - affectations, and not signs of charecter flaws.

And, anyway, I rather doubt the holy ancestors said "talaysim" -- or "shabbosim" for that matter. They knew hebrew, or if not hebrew, they at least knew the liturgy: "... shabbasos l'mnucha, changim u'zemanim l'soson..."  

then, whatever the yiddish equivalent of talaysim is. but not talitot or talitos.  

Not all of my holy ancestors spoke Yiddish. Many did. Not all.

Western Europe had Jews, too, once upon a time. So did Germany. And the city Jews in places like Vienna and Budapest and Prague didn't speak Yiddish either.

And what about the holy ancestors own holy ancestors? Rashi, and the Ramban certainly said "talitos." It's right there in their books.  

Taleysim is Yiddish. And the phrase is Zeh Neheneh, Ze lo Chaser.  

Oh and by the way, it is an idiotic question.  

You mean the RN's? Yes.

Note to self: No more editorial ramblings. They distract from the story line.  

I see no difference, aside from the conjunction "v," between what I wrote and what Jah wrote. Who can explain?  



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