AboutLindsey is Reform and Ashkenazi and lives in New York, which probably makes her the most likely ever to make this sort of a blog. She does comics and is best, Jewwise, at 20th century history and Israeli snack food.
For a group of people so concerned with the proper treatment of victims, Tumblr is surprisingly okay with people who want to know what ‘the Jews’ have learned from the numerous attempts to completely slaughter them.
As a final example of the areas into which religious imagery can extend, we can look at the phrase sheyne moyshe ve-arendlekh, beautiful little Moses-and-Aaronses. Inevitably preceded by the words zi hot, she has, the idiom means “stacked.” Moses and Aaron sneak in by way of the Song of Songs, which is recited every Friday in much of the Yiddish-speaking world and every Passover throughout the whole of the Jewish world, and was thus familiar to large numbers of people who were not especially scholarly. One of its verses reads: “Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle, that feed among the lilies” (Song 4:5).
Since the time of Rabbi Akiva, every traditional commentary on the Song of Songs has been at pains to prove that it has nothing to do with erotic poetry or physical love. It is generally taken as an allegory, usually of God’s love for the Jews. The popular Artscroll prayer book, which is rapidly becoming standard issue in all sorts of synagogues and temples, provides an easily accessible illustration of this sort of interpretation. In their introduction to the Song of Songs, the editors state quite openly that “a literal translation would be misleading—even false—because it would not convey the meaning intended by King Solomon.” In this spirit, the second verse—“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for thy love is better than wine”—comes out as “Communicate Your innermost wisdom to me again in loving closeness, for Your friendship is dearer than all earthly delights.” The misleading version of Chapter 1, verse 12—“While the king sat at his table, my spikenard sent forth its fragrance”—is corrected to: “While the King was yet at Sinai my malodorous deed gave forth its scent as my Golden Calf defiled the covenant,” which sounds a lot dirtier to me.
To be fair to the editors, they aren’t making this stuff up. They are following Rashi’s commentary fairly closely, and it’s important to stress that Rashi’s commentary has been indispensable to traditional study for nearly a thousand years: Jewish learning without Rashi is like pop music without the Beatles.
In his comments on the first verse quoted, Rashi refers to the medresh on the Song of Songs: “Your two breasts, which give you suck. That is, Moses and Aaron.” The two things that sustain the Children of Israel are the law, as given by Moses, and the sacrifices performed by Aaron the High Priest and his descendants. Of course, there is no mention of any of this in the text, and generations of schoolboys have noticed the disjunction between what the words are saying and what grown-ups insist that they mean. Over and over again, kids—boys in this case—took the commentary on its own terms, then extended those terms beyond the sacred page: now that we know what “breasts” really means, it “would be misleading—even false” to call any breasts “breasts.” Where the Boers were read into a text, Moses and Aaron are being read out of one. The commentary has been applied to the things described, not to the literary description of those things, but it has also kept its character as a commentary on a specific verse of the Bible. If the breasts of the woman in the Song of Songs are Moses and Aaron, then all women’s breasts are Moses and Aaron, and all the really good ones are beautiful Moses and Aarons—and now we know what Hooters will be called if the company ever goes kosher.
michael wex (born to kvetch)
i was not making that up
כ-3,000 בני אדם משתתפים בשעה זו (שבת) בהפגנת השמאל בכיכר רבין. בחלק אחר של הכיכר מתקיימת הפגנה של פעילי ימין ובה כמה מאות בני אדם. כוחות מג”ב מפרידים בין הצדדים כדי למנוע עימותים
Some 3,000 people are participating right now (Shabbat) in a leftist demonstration [for a ceasefire in Gaza] in Kikar Rabin. In another part of the square there is a right-wing demonstration with a few hundred people. The police are keeping the two sides separate to avoid confrontations.