Because it has been a while since I last updated, I'll do a few quick hits:
If you want to lose weight, start to keep Kosher.
I honestly don't think I've been this thin since middle school. It's startling really, and not necessarily a good thing. I didn't really expect this to happen, but trying to keep kosher* has let my picky-ness run amok. And when I'm being picky, I eat less. Sure this has it's benefits (I'll be able to fit into that wedding gown for sure), but I don't really like being this thin. I don't feel especially healthy in my eating habits (which I won't go too much into but let's just say Thursday night's dinner was pretty much all desserts). I turned to tried and true Amazon and bought this book for inspiration:
I'll keep you posted.
Plant a Tree
This Tuesday is not only President Bush's last State of the Union; it's also Tu Bishvat, which celebrates the new year for trees. From Judaism 101:
Tu B'Shevat is the new year for the purpose of calculating the age of trees for tithing. See Lev. 19:23-25, which states that fruit from trees may not be eaten during the first three years; the fourth year's fruit is for G-d, and after that, you can eat the fruit. Each tree is considered to have aged one year as of Tu B'Shevat, so if you planted a tree on Shevat 14, it begins its second year the next day, but if you plant a tree two days later, on Shevat 16, it does not reach its second year until the next Tu B'Shevat.
It is a modern tradition to have a Tu Bishvat Seder, during which you eat 10 types of fruit. Some treat it as a Jewish Arbor Day and plant trees or pay for trees to be planted in Israel.
Ryan and I joined a synagogue this month (finally). Ryan attended services Friday and I went by myself Saturday. I could tell Ryan really enjoyed services Friday by the way he described everything and all the people he met.
I learned (and re-affirmed) several things this morning:
1. Don't ever stress about getting to services on time. No one else does and if you're on time, you're probably early.
2. There are several Shabbats throughout the year that are considered special for a variety of reasons. This Shabbat was one of them. Shabbat Shirah's Torah portion is the parting of the Red Sea and contains the Song of the Sea, which is written in the Torah in a way that symbolizes the maze-like path Moses and the Israelites took across the sea.
The Song of the Sea is also sung by the cantor in a different melody.
From Judaism 101:
Tradition teaches that there are only ten true Songs (Shirot, the plural of Shirah) in the history of the world. These true Songs are not mere melodies; they are expressions of the harmony of creation and mark monumental transitions in history. Another of these Songs appears on the haftarah portion for the week (Judges 4:4-5:31): the Song of Deborah. The Song of Songs is, of course, one of the Ten Songs. Interestingly, the Tenth Song has not yet been sung: it is the Song of the coming of the Moshiach, which will be sung at the End of Days (see Isaiah 26:1).
3. Bar/Bat Mitzvahs are just as hard to schedule as weddings. And football games make it nearly impossible.
4. I still really don't know Hebrew -- at all. And it frustrates my know-it-all self that children a fourth of my age probably know it better than me.
5. The Torah scroll isn't as heavy as it looks. Rabbi Jack passed it around instead of parading it around today, so I have officially carried the Torah (for a few seconds) for the first time ever.
Well, I think that's it for now. More later (and hopefully sooner) I'm sure.
* our way