Friday, December 01, 2006

Home Sick

But that's ok. I've just discovered

So far, I've learned

1. How to build and play a Theramin.
2. How to build a straw bale house.
3. How to tell the differences between wildcat and coyote tracks.

This website kicks ass. I can actually use the tracking information, too, as there are often this sort of tracks after a rain when I hike the local trails.

I'm learning stuff from, but that's not why I feel like I'm in college again. That's because of Rabbi Joe in Jerusalem's NP3 podcast. which is well over an hour a week on each Torah portion. I am learning a lot and also managing to keep up each week and read each portion. Past five years I've always petered out, read for a few weeks, forgotten, so this year I'm keeping up better. Not reading the Haftorah each week, but hey. Small steps. So it's like I'm taking a class because I listen to Rabbi Joe each week, read the material, think about it, and then post my observations and thoughts. Then, because so far, few people are posting, Rabbi Joe responds to what I put. It's cool, but I hope that soon there will be too many people commenting and it's too popular, beacuse people would get a lot out of it.

This week's portion, Va-Yetzei, is chock full of stuff we deal with in modern life and rabbis use it to talk about how we have to deal with the messiness off the world -- people like Laban that are going to cheat and swindle and try to take advantage, and we have to act like Jacob and have dignity and do our best anyway. Jacob has struggled all his life in one way or another and now he must have to struggls to keep up with the demands of starting a people and keeping all these women happy while raising mostly boys and selectively breeding sheep. Chaotic stuff! And I can't get around thinking that Jacob would be seen by the average American guy as the luckiest guy ever. He is married to two women and he's always having sex with them because they are always trying to have kids. And the moment they stop, they are offering up their handmaidens for him to have sex with so they'll have kids. But once you get past the sex, you see that Jacob has to be one tired guy. He's having relationships with four women. Even if it's the most patriarchal of relationships, there's still an awful lot going on, plus all the inevitable jealousies and competition and having to guard against what happened to his grandmother Sarah and her issues with Hagar... anyway. I've read this stuff before but never thought about it enough to get inside their heads a bit.

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