17 April 2014

The annual housecleaning in search of ḥameẓ (חמץ), a tradition associated with Passover, has a sort of parallel in spring cleaning. 🏠

🎤 Robert Barr, “Downsizing Is No Simple Task,” podcast, Barr’s Banter, Our Jewish Community, 19 Apr. 2014.

16 April 2014
🔗 “Winter will never end: Snow falls across NYC on Tax Day”

📰 Aaron Feis, “Winter will never end: Snow falls across NYC on Tax Day,” New York Post, 16 Apr. 2014.

16 April 2014
🔗 “Snow in April? Tri‐State Wakes Up to Coated Windshields, Icy Streets”

📰 Storm Team 4, “Snow in April? Tri‐State Wakes Up to Coated Windshields, Icy Streets,” NBC New York, 16 Apr. 2014.

15 April 2014

Thank you, Yahoo! Weather, for telling me there’s a 0% chance of rain. At least I had an absorbent skullcap. ⛆😣

14 April 2014

For a number of complex reasons, it’s not entirely clear to me whether I qualify for Judaism’s Fast of the Firstborn (Taʻănît Bəkôrîm תענית בכורים) but I am not aware it was observed at all in my family anyway. Nevertheless, a Jewish‐American friend and I (two Semites) went out to lunch together today for Mexican food and flouted the fast. We ordered cemitas of course but neglected to order flautas.

14 April 2014
🔗 “Man Kills 3 at Jewish Centers in Kansas City Suburb”

📰 Emma G. Fitzsimmons, “Man Kills 3 at Jewish Centers in Kansas City Suburb,” The New York Times, 13 Apr. 2014.

12 April 2014

I get a $63 state tax refund but paid $28.90 to file electronically. Also, I got my insurance card from the letter box today thanks to NY State of Health. 💰📨

12 April 2014

Rats! I’ll need to miss the Persian Parade again this year, due to a schedule conflict with New York Bear Den’s anniversary potluck tomorrow.

11 April 2014
🔗 “Finding My Family’s Kabbalistic Roots in India”

📰 Sigal Samuel, “Finding My Family’s Kabbalistic Roots in India,” Forward Thinking, The Jewish Daily Forward, 7 Apr. 2014.

10 April 2014

Rats! My computer’s optical drive seems to have broken down. 😞

9 April 2014
🔗 “Passover—An Evolving Holiday”

—Rabbi Adam Chalom, “Passover—An Evolving Holiday,” Secular Culture & Ideas, JBooks.com, 2008.

8 April 2014
Passover mythology
How does Eliyyahu (a.k.a Elijah/Elias) manage to get to absolutely every Passover seder? Why it must be with his chariot of fire drawn by horses of fire (rekeb ēsh wə‐sûsê ēsh רכב אש וסוסי אש)! The Greeks identified Elias with the sun god Helios due to a superficial similarity in their names and in their conveyances (although their names are etymologically unrelated, אליהו Ēliyyāhû being Afro‐Asiatic and Ήλιος Hēlios Indo‐European), and Eliyyahu is frequently portrayed in a fire chariot not unlike Helios’ sun chariot.
This is a detail of a fresco in Rila Monastery, Bulgaria, portraying Eliyyahu (Saint Elias) and his chariot of fire (from a larger picture on Wikimedia, in the public domain).
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[I]t is easily seen how, by a scarcely perceptible change of sound, the great god Helios could be transmuted into Elias. Helios drove round the world in his fiery chariot, drawn by horses. Elias went up to heaven in a similar conveyance. Helios produced rain and storm, and so did Elias by the fervor of his prayer on Mount Carmel. Elias brought down fire from heaven and so did the great sun‐god. Hence the parallel between the two was too tempting to be passed over.

—J. Theodore Bent, “Paganism in England,” The Gentleman’s Magazine 262, Jan. 1887, 36.

Passover mythology

How does Eliyyahu (a.k.a Elijah/Elias) manage to get to absolutely every Passover seder? Why it must be with his chariot of fire drawn by horses of fire (rekeb ēsh wə‐sûsê ēsh רכב אש וסוסי אש)! The Greeks identified Elias with the sun god Helios due to a superficial similarity in their names and in their conveyances (although their names are etymologically unrelated, אליהו Ēliyyāhû being Afro‐Asiatic and Ήλιος Hēlios Indo‐European), and Eliyyahu is frequently portrayed in a fire chariot not unlike Helios’ sun chariot.

This is a detail of a fresco in Rila Monastery, Bulgaria, portraying Eliyyahu (Saint Elias) and his chariot of fire (from a larger picture on Wikimedia, in the public domain).

──────────────────────

[I]t is easily seen how, by a scarcely perceptible change of sound, the great god Helios could be transmuted into Elias. Helios drove round the world in his fiery chariot, drawn by horses. Elias went up to heaven in a similar conveyance. Helios produced rain and storm, and so did Elias by the fervor of his prayer on Mount Carmel. Elias brought down fire from heaven and so did the great sun‐god. Hence the parallel between the two was too tempting to be passed over.

—J. Theodore Bent, “Paganism in England,” The Gentleman’s Magazine 262, Jan. 1887, 36.

8 April 2014
🔗 “Top 10 Commonly Used Middle Eastern Spices and Herbs”

🍴 Saad Fayed, “Top 10 Commonly Used Middle Eastern Spices and Herbs,” Middle Eastern Food, About.com, n.d.

7 April 2014

According to my supermarket receipt, I apparently purchased “Premium Sweet Butt.” 💵

6 April 2014

As I left my building one day last month, there were two women in the lobby with a big paper shopping bag filled with multiple boxes of Girl Scout Cookies. One said to the other “I can’t believe we ordered this much; it’s ridiculous.” 👧👧🍪🍪

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