Sunday, April 24, 2011

Steven Fry on Language Pedants

I agree with Steve Fry here, quite a bit. Ah, if I were able to simulate a British accent!

h.t. TNC


There's just been one normal day this whole chag (i.e. that wasn't Shabbas/Yuntif or erev thereof) so we're going ga-ga. As such, I'd just like to say how much I like the word Farfel. Farfel farfel farfel.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Pre-Pesach Matzah Ban

According to custom, we're not allowed to eat Matzah 30 days before Seder night. The stated rationale for the minhag is that we're to abstain from Matzah so we can eat it at the Seder with gusto. I used to think that this was Rabbinically enjoined cognitive dissonance - i.e. everyone knows that Matzah is terrible, so by telling us we can't 'spoil our appetite' we're to think that Matzah is actually decent food.

Then I got to thinking about what makes transitioning to a Hametz-Free house ("making Pesach" as I now call it) so hard. And, at least for me, it's the delicate balance of eating Hametz while the whole house has to be cleaned for Pesach - and that it would be so much easier to prepare for Pesach if I could just eat Matzah for the few days beforehand...

Then I realized with a bolt outa the blue why my Rabbinic brothers invented this minhag! If we were allowed to eat Matzah before Pesach then my wife, and doubtless every homemaker since Eishet Rashi, would have converted the whole house to Pesadik a week ago! Why not? It's almost logical in a humra sense - two weeks of Pesach instead of one.

This minhag allows me to eat my pop-tarts today. Thank you unnamed rabbis!

Pic from here.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Scalia and Thomas: The Pure GOP

Whenever I want to describe the true face of the Republican party, and what voting for them will bring, just remember this case: Connick v. Thompson: Clarence Thomas writes one of the cruelest Supreme Court decisions ever. - By Dahlia Lithwick - Slate Magazine, and specifically this line: "Both parties to this case have long agreed that an injustice had been done. Connick himself conceded that there had been a Brady violation, yet Scalia finds none. Everyone else concedes that egregious mistakes were made. Scalia struggles to rehabilitate them all."

A vote for a Republican, any Federal office but especially the presidency, will yield more evil like this case.