05 April 2016

Some Favorite Moments from Samuel I, part 2

2:13 “...the servant of the kohen would come while the meat was cooking, and the three-pronged fork would be in his hand.”
Q. I asked my husband, who knows his way around the Mishkan, Have we heard of this fork before? No, he said. All right, I said, why is it called the three-pronged fork, using the definite article, as if we all know what this fork is?
A. In that generation it was an infamous fork. Here comes that three-pronged fork.

2:19 “His mother would make for him a little robe...” – lots of them.
Back in 1:6, Penina would vex Chana by asking her about sewing garments for the children she did not have.
Now she has one and so, say Chazal, it was an especial pleasure for her to sew for him.

2:21 Students tend to forget this: Chana went on to have more children. So nice.

2:23-25 I think the tone of Eli's rebuke is fascinating. Differences of opinion about whether it was the best thing to say or not.

2:26 The Meam Loez cites a story from the Sefer Chasidim about a man who made a point of always carrying small change with him, in order to be able to do a favor for any passersby who needed to change a larger denomination; and, asked about this practice, he would quote this pasuk and say that he, too, wished to find favor “with G-d and also with men”.
I told my students about a time I was walking past Tachana haMerkazit and found urgent need of a safety pin; hailed the first passerby to ask for one; she gave me a funny look like how did you know? and pulled from her knapsack an entire chain of safety pins, kept for the purpose of just such emergencies.
My students suggested that keeping a stash of hair elastics would be another good example. Or being a smiley person.

2:27 The man who has to come give Eli this message, say Chazal, is – Elkana. Oof. He has to go to the shofet of the generation, the role model who is now raising Elkana's son, who has been there for his family all along and participated in that early nes of Chana's having that son, and deliver this message.

2:29, Midrash: not that they literally kicked, but they would point with their feet instead of their fingers, which is not respectful.

What Did Jewish Women Wear in 12th Century Germany?

The answer -- more or less -- to that question.
This post is about clothes.