Monday, November 20, 2006

Mittens and Minyan

(No, they don't have anything in common except alliteration.)

The Mittens-

I've gone through 3 or 4 different possibilities for my Warm Hands mittens and keep frogging. I was planning to just put the yarn and needles away for now and work on something else. Sort of let them simmer on the back burner, so to speak. But, well it's getting COLD here! It's about 38 degrees F now. Earlier today, I found these and since I have (almost) the same yarns - Louets Gem and Noro Silk (ok, so Noro isn't Koigu, it'll do), I'm going to give this pattern a try. I'll use the Noro Silk for the background and a light green Gem for the diagonals and diamonds.

And hopefully, this time, I'll end up with something wearable instead of froggable!

The Minyan -
I was at our temple's evening services not too long ago - minyan otherwise known as Ma'ariv everyplace else. Our services are 70-30 Hebrew/English, more or less. I'm not a good - or fast - Hebrew reader, but I can keep up with the parts recited together out loud (Hebrew or English). But, then there's the amidah which is said silently - Hebrew or English. Depending who's leading the services, I can make it through the Hebrew with shortcuts - I read the first and last 3 blessings in full, but the others I just do the "barach ata...." sentences.

At the service I was at recently, the person leading must've decided to go to speed-reading class. He raced through the other portions, so I figured there'd be less time to read the amidah - just SKIMMING the English I was one of the last ones finished, and that was being just barely finished before he went on.

I don't like feeling so rushed during services. And the services aren't long - 25minutes maybe - that day we finished in about 15. It seems like you're reciting prayer just to get them over with, there's no time to think about it. Maybe my problem is that I can't read the Hebrew well so I can't skim it like I can the English. Every time I go to services that run quick, I feel like I should be able to zip through them. Or that I should be able to read the whole Amidah in Hebrew when services aren't being done at warp-speed.

It's a new year (ok, if you're thinking of the Jewish calendar, the 'new' year is about 2 months old, on the secular calendar, it's about 2 months away), by next year, could I be reading the Amidah in full in Hebrew, in about 5 minutes? That's an interesting challenge. I'll have to time myself and see how long it takes now. Where's my stopwatch?

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