01 October 2006

I have this bad habit of putting off my homework as much as I can. As I child, this was understandable--what kid likes to do schoolwork? As an adult, though, I've fought hard to overcome this. Sadly, I haven't had and overwhelming amount of success. Because Yom Kippur starts at sundown tonight, I've been working my butt off to get as much work done as possible, and working at the library yesterday didn't exactly help. I have two half-written blog posts saved, as I keep getting pulled back to school stuff and completely abandoning the train of thought.

There are prohibitions on what can and can't be done on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. Normally, this isn't the hugest concern for me, as we're usually in services the vast majority of the day. This is also helpful when it comes to the 25 hour fast, as you wouldn't dare breaking your fast with a building full of cranky Jews wishing they had some coffee and bagels, too. Its just that I was informed this morning that my husband forgot to get tickets for us for services. Much like Christmas Eve, where churches are packed with Christians-for-a-day, Yom Kippur services are full of the 1 and 2 day Jews. Having your name on a list, or having some kind of ticket, means that you have a seat. No ticket means no room for you.

I know I sound panicky (and I might be whiney). I thought I could deal, really. That is, until I decided to look up (due to my fuzzy memory) what can and can't be done on Shabbat and Holy Days. I read this article which lists these forbidden actions:

"From this, the rabbis concluded that the work prohibited on Shabbat is the same as the work of creating the sanctuary. They found 39 categories of forbidden acts, all of which are types of work that were needed to build the sanctuary:

1. Sowing
2. Plowing
3. Reaping
4. Binding sheaves
5. Threshing
6. Winnowing
7. Selecting
8. Grinding
9. Sifting
10. Kneading
11. Baking
12. Shearing wool
13. Washing wool
14. Beating wool
15. Dyeing wool
16. Spinning
17. Weaving
18. Making two loops [more than 1, that is]
19. Weaving two threads
20. Separating two threads
21. Tying
22. Untying
23. Sewing two stitches

24. Tearing
25. Trapping
26. Slaughtering
27. Flaying
28. Salting meat
29. Curing hide
30. Scraping hide
31. Cutting hide up
32. Writing two letters
33. Erasing two letters
34. Building
35. Tearing a building down
36. Extinguishing a fire
37. Kindling a fire
38. Hitting with a hammer
39. Taking an object from the private domain to the public, or transporting an object in the public domain.
(Mishnah Shabbat, 7:2)"

If you could see me right now, you'd see a very twitchy individual about three seconds from crawling under the bed and curling up in a fetal position. What do I do???

Dragon asked me how observant I am, and how observant I want to be. I don't know. But I really do wonder at 12 of the 39 prohibitions being fiber related.

[Edited to add: Mr. CygKnit just made a phone call, and found that the synagogue we're going to has *plenty* of room for us tomorrow, though we missed the start of tonight'. Regardless, the freak out is officially over. Still, I find it amazingly interesting that spinning, knitting and weaving are specifically prohibited. Was it set down this way to give these folks (those that spun or wove as their profession) an Official break? Or was there another reason? I won't be online tonight or tomorrow until sundown. If you have any ideas, though, I'd love to see them, then.]

6 Comments:

At 6:06 AM, Anonymous jessie said...

Interesting post on the prohibitions. I'd like a holy day where laundry, dishes, and vacuuming are strictly forbidden.

I have just GOT to get religion.

Have a great holiday! (Oh, and I think procrastinating on homework is part of the human condition. If you ever meet a person who does their homework days before it is due, you can guess that person is maybe not a lot of fun. :-) )

 
At 8:55 AM, Blogger swan/dragon said...

Jessie, I think that every day is the holiday with no laundry, etc., in my house. Come on over.

And Cygknit, I am wondering as to why you are questioning the prohibitions. It's not like when these rules were made anyone did these things as a hobby; it was genuine work. Did they have hobbies back then? I demand a research paper. So, hah! Have some homework.

And a good Yom Kippur to you and yours, even though you won't read this until it's over.

 
At 9:06 AM, Anonymous JessaLu said...

I hope you're surviving... ;o)

 
At 11:41 AM, Blogger Leigh said...

Very interesting. I think the fiber related stuff was because back in the day, this was work. Worldly work was set aside to honor the Almighty. It all boils down to, what are one's priorities! Today, most of us see fiber and textile activities as relaxation, so it's more curious to us. But I still think it's a matter of priorities.

 
At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Jo said...

Wow, what a detailed list of prohibitions! I wonder if the Ramadan prohibitions mention anything fiber-related?

 
At 2:05 PM, Blogger The Purloined Letter said...

It does give someone something to think about during services, doesn't it?

 

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