Categories
General humor Rabbinic

Creation: How it Really Happened

We are taught that when God created the world, it was by saying, “Let there be light!” And there was light.

Anyone who has ever been involved in a remodel knows that this isn’t how it happened.

First, God said, “Let there be light!”

Then the contractor responded, What kind of a light would you like?”

“You know, one that will be different from the dark.”

“Oh, there’s darkness, too? Then you need to have a light that will complement the darkness. What color is your darkness?”

“Darkness has color? Really? It just kind of looks dark to me.”

“Oh, yeah. You’d think all darkness was just the same. But really it’s not. And if you get the wrong color light to go with your darkness, it will look all wrong, and bother you whenever you look at this universe.”

“Okay, if you say so. Are there swatches or something I can compare my darkness to?”

The contractor pulls out a big book of swatches, thousands of swatches of darkness and hands them to God. “Here you go, come back when you know which one best matches your darkness.”

Some two and half weeks later, following many conversations with the heavenly hosts, many repetitions of the “there are different kinds of darkness?” conversation with each seraph, God got back to the contractor.

“I think we’ve selected “tenebrosity” as the shade of darkness that best matches what we thought.”

“Great,” the contractor responded. “Now, which kind of light would you like?”

“Oh, you know, a good basic light that goes well with tenebrosity,” said God, feeling sophisticated.

“Well, that’s good. That narrows down our choices. In fact it eliminates several infinite sets of light, leaving us with only this infinite set.” The contractor thumped another sample book down in front of God.

“I’ll get back to y0u,” God sighed.

And so God sorted the lights, dividing the neons from the incandescents, the full-spectrum from the infra-red. And God said, “let there be ‘resplendent’ light.” And the contractor placed the order, and some month later, the after the order arrived, and contractor’s workers were done with a couple of other projects they had been working on, there was light.

And God called the light “day”, and the darkness God called “night”. At which point God noticed that while there was light, there didn’t seem to be any particular sources for the light. So God called the contractor.

“Umm. The light seems to be sort of abstract, not actually coming from any particular point. It just sort of drifts around, getting mixed up with the darkness.”

“Of course it does. You didn’t order any light fixtures.”

“Light fixtures?”

“You know, lamps, or chandeliers, or fixtures set into the ceiling or something.”

“I kind of just assumed that when we ordered light, it would come with those.”

“Oh, no. That would never work. People get very picky about their light fixtures, so they need to be able to choose their fixtures separately.”

“Okay,” sighed God, “is there another catalog to look at?”

“Here you go.”

And God took the catalog, and he saw the catalog, and God saw that the catalog was big. And eventually God chose a sun, a moon, a strobing pulsar and stars of light for fixtures. And the contractor saw the selections, and said they were good.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament, a great light and a lessor light–”

“Just a second,” interrupted the contractor. “What firmament? And besides, you just ordered these lights. It’s going to take a while for them to get here. Which is just as well, really, cause if you want them put into a firmament, we’re going to need to build the firmament first. Oh, and by the way, they’ve discontinued strobing pulsars. Do you have a second choice?”

And God sighed, vowing never to create a universe again.

Categories
General humor Jewish Spirituality

A Psalm For Purim

Purim is coming up on Tuesday, and it is traditional  to celebrate with humor making fun of things we normally take seriously. With this in mind, I offer the following from the Notebook of King David:

A Psalm of David when he felt particularly low one afternoon, but felt like he needcd to get something on paper anyway:

Yea though I walk through the waters of the streams of  the left bank of the river of sadness
I shall fear no bad stuff, for you  are in the general vicinity are hanging out are my Main Man support me.

I praise thee with words, I praise thee with song,
I praise thee with harp. I figure even you are annoyed by accordion.

Lord, don’t hide your face from me.
I seek you in the morning, looking for solace.
I seek you in the afternoon, searching the cupboards of my heart.
Lord, you play a mean game of hide and seek.

Who may approach the mountain of  the Lord? Who may stand in God’s Holy Place?
Those with clean hands and a close shave good breath,
Those who  never swear before children or speak with a full mouth,
they shall find help from the Eternal.

How long, Oh Lord, How Long?
I have suffered the idiot advisers those who trouble me without killing anyone with a serene heart,
but I trust you have plan to make this all work out somehow in you for no good reason I can see because your “goodness” never ends.

Give thanks to the Lord, For it wins votes.
For God’s Love is everlasting.
Give thanks to the Lord, for it makes the chicks swoon.
For God’s Love is everlasting.
Give thanks to the Lord, cause it beats digging a ditch.
For God’s Love is everlasting.

From out of the depths have I called you, Lord.
In my time of travail did I write.
I have visited your shrine, and prayed at your holy mountain.
Do you ever  call? Do you ever write?

I have trod my paths through your world,
for all your ways are one way,
and all your paths are in need of some capital reconstruction. [note to self, must talk to chamberlain about infrastructure bond].

I praise you Eternal one, and sing out with words of song:
You are without measure, beyond compare.
No words can describe you,
So I guess I better stop writing.
KTHNX BAI

Categories
humor Jewish Spirituality knitting Rabbinic

Knitting and Purim

I have a special kippah (yalmuke) I wear for Purim: muppet-kipah.jpg

I made a it a few years back out of some Fun Fur, back when the only thing I knew of to do with yarn was to make a kippah.

Purim is a holiday that makes the most sense if one gives oneself over entirely to its frivolity of spirit. With this in mind, I give you an entirely frivolous post, which may be funny to no one but me, since it is a parody of rabbinic literature on the subject of knitting. The following is an excerpt from masechet seruga:

How long should one knit as a preparation for writing? Rabbi Hillel says one should knit until the words flow smoothly. Rabbi Shammai says, two rows.

“Two rows?” asks Rabbi Abuah, “not all rows are equal. How can it be two rows.”

Rabbi BagBag ben BarBar explains: it is the length of two rows for a scarf.

If it is the length of two rows of a scarf, why did Shammai not say how many stitches? Rabbi HooHaa replies: It is two rows of whatever project you are working on, because it is the turning that counts, not the stitches, as it is written, “turn it and turn it and you will find everything in it.”

Rabbi EZ* say: but I am knitting in the round: how do I know when I am to stop.

The rabbis teach that no rules apply to Rabbi EZ. But for those of us who are not of her merit, how do we know when to stop if we are knitting in the round.

The School of Shammai teaches that one should never knit in the round.

Never knit in the round? What about socks?

Rabbi Heyouse says in the name of his master, Rabbi Heyouguys: When I was young, I would go to the School of Shammai and they were all wearing argyle socks.**

“Are they then to be called Clan McShammai?” scoffs Rabbi EZ.

Anyone may wear Argyle says the school of Hillel.

Only those whose Torah learning is great and whose knitting knowledge is greater says school of Shammai.

Only those of Scottish ancestry may wear Argyle says the School of EZ.

Rabbi Hoohaa taught, “in the days of old, any might wear Argyle, but today, we do not wear it out of respect for the Holy One of Blessing, as it is taught, ‘ah, what a tangled web we weave.'”

Happy Purim Everyone .

*For the non knitters: Elizabeth Zimmerman (who is as Hillel to the knitting tradition).

**For the non-knitters: argyle socks are knit flat, and then sewed up the back: they are persnickety beyond belief are require handling between four and eight balls of yarn simultaneously.

Categories
Jewish Spirituality knitting spirituality

ParaSox

I am, once again, working on Eva’s socks. And I find myself increasingly confused by how they are turning out. I like them, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t understand how they are doing what they are doing.

evas-sock3-18a.jpg

Two key issues are confusing me: 1. how is it that when I spiral the ribbing, the purl stitches stick out further than the knit stitches? 2. I reduced needle size to make the calf a touch smaller…why does it not appear to have changed my gauge at all?

I could point out where I changed the needles on the picture, but really, what’s the point? When people looking closely in person can’t tell the difference in gauge, I figure there’s no way to see it from the picture.

So I am left with the knitters final option: acceptance. I accept that I do not control the knitting, but that I am the vehicle through which the knitting flows. The knitting will be as it wishes to be, and I will help it come into being. (It might be worth pointing out, Purim happens later this week; Purim is a holiday of frivolity, joy and humor).

And so, I wait as I knit to find out what is going to  become of these socks.