Monthly Archives: August 2010

Place Me As A Seal Upon Your Heart

For the Jewish holiday of love, Tu B’Av, Ima 2 Seven was tagged in a meme where you have to post your favorite Jewish love song.  She then tagged Immahlady, who has now tagged me.  It’s been a week and a half since we celebrated Tu B’Av, but I’m always in favor of prolonging celebrations, especially one as feel-goody as this one.

Back in 1979 I was in Israel for the first time, and I fell in love with the country.  Back then, Ofra Haza came out with her Love Song, and it was the perfect soundtrack for my heart over heels falling in love with my home.

The lyrics aren’t lyrics at all.  It comes from Solomon’s Song of Songs, chapter 8, verses 6 and 7:

Place me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; because love is as strong as death is, insistence on exclusive devotion is as unyielding as She′ol is. Its blazings are the blazings of a fire, the flame of Jah. Many waters themselves are not able to extinguish love, nor can rivers themselves wash it away. If a man would give all the valuable things of his house for love, persons would positively despise them.

Are we still tagging?  In that case, I tag Avital of This and That, and Toby of A Time of the Signs.

I received a complaint or two that my last post didn’t have any food in it, not really, so to tie this all in to my love song subject…

Sara and Chaim -- may you have a long life together filled with love, happiness, much laughter, good food and wonderful friends!

This is dedicated to Sara and Chaim Azoulay, who got married on Tuesday night.  We’re making Sheva Brachot for them tonight together with the Lovely Linder and her Miiiiiiiichael, and here’s a photo of the Sgulah Challah I’m bringing.  The recipe can be found here.  I used one whole recipe for this challah, braiding it with six strands, and used 4 kinds of seeds on top as sgulah for fertility.

!מזל טוב חיים ושרה

Rapunzel

With my mom on the evening I made aliya — 2 March 1983

As I’ve posted before, last October my mother passed away.  One minute I was worriedly calling her social worker, the next I was an orphan.

My father's picture from his Hungarian identity card, dated 1938

Hanging with my dad in Norway, 1970

I have now lost both my parents.  I really do hate that term, lost.  I didn’t lose them, they are always with me.  I constantly find my father in his sifrei kodesh (holy books), which I inherited, especially in his tikkun, which, as the ba’al koreh of his synagogue, he read from every day.  One Friday night not long ago, Ju-Boy was asking Biblical trivia at the supper table.  I disagreed with a certain interpretation and was able to prove my point by taking out my father’s book of Bereshit (Genesis) and show him the exact Rashi commentary that proved me right.  The father/daughter team was triumphant!

Dvirkeh, Baylkeh and Maishkeh (Dora, Baila and Yakov Moshe), Vilna, circa 1933. My mother, Dora, was the only one of her siblings to survive.

I find my mother in her kitchen utensils which I now proudly use regularly.  I use the same hochmesser and wooden bowl she used to chop onions (and liver).  I even cut my fingers in the same places she did.  I can imagine as I reflexively place my wounded finger in my mouth that my mother is kissing it all better.

The Courtship of Miriyummy's Parents -- Goteborg, Sweden, 1948

My parents' Coolness Moment -- Haifa, Israel, August 1983

In Judaism, when you “lose” a parent, you enter a one year mourning period.  There are many traditions one can adopt as to how to spend this year in both honoring and mourning your parent.  Some of the traditions I have adopted are:

  • I don’t go to the movies or attend concerts or other live performances
  • I keep a yahrzeit candle that lasts for seven days going all year long, lighting a new one each week on Friday as I light the Shabbat candles
  • I don’t attend any kind of celebration (I’m missing some good ones this year, including tonight’s wedding of the daughter of dear friends)
  • I am not cutting my hair for the entire year of mourning

People are usually surprised by that last one.  It’s a rare tradition, although not unheard of.  And it’s driving me crazy.  I feel I need to do this, just one way to honor my mother, who loved my long hair, loved to brush and braid it.  She would spend hours detangling my long, knotted hair after a bath.  While my mother would have thought I was insane to miss out on parties on her behalf, I know she would have appreciated the effort I’m making in not cutting my hair.

Long, glorious hair -- back then it was my mother's problem

I have been blessed with a head full of thick, wavy, unruly, very much a-mind-of-its-own hair.  It grows like a weed, it’s already halfway down my back.  Every day I try to coax it into some kind of order.  When I clean my brush I pull out more hair than most people have on their entire heads.  And it gets everywhere.  I try to clean out the drains before the family gets totally grossed out, but some a lot escapes, only to remind me later by completely clogging up the sink.

A solution my mother used to use for as long as I can remember…

Drain Cleaner and Declogger

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
    1. Pour baking soda into drain.
    2. Follow with vinegar.

    Photo courtesy of Marg (CaymanDesigns) of recipezaar.com

    Haveil Havalim at Jewish Boston Blogs

    This week’s Haveil Havalim is hosted this week by David Levy at Jewish Boston Blogs.  My Good Mourning post is part of the carnival, and I have to admit, I like being a hero, anyone’s hero…

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