Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bat Mitzvah Update: Was the Torah Texted?

I'm reading: Bat Mitzvah Update: Was the Torah Texted?Tweet this!

My bat mitzvah is coming! My bat mitzvah is coming! I am just over a week away from my bat mitzvah. Earlier this week, my classmates and I practiced reading our parsha right from the Torah, which was one of my goals in the crazy 18-month journey.

But seeing a Torah up close makes me realize how open to interpretation those first five books of the Bible are. This is a copy from a book called a tikkun (Numbers 12: 1-3). It offers a close approximation of what one sees in a typical Torah. This may not be obvious to you if you don't read Hebrew, but there are no vowels, no punctuation marks and barely even spaces between the words! As if that doesn't make it challenging enough, it is supposed to be chanted with various tunes that are not noted in the Torah itself.So yes, a good deal of practice goes into my reciting these three lines at the upcoming service. Our teacher reminds us that we are chanting a prayer, not giving a performance, but who wants to mess up in front of their family and friends?

But back to that vowel-less, punctuationless text. It seems crazy, but I had an epiphany when I was texting (yes, texting, not sexting) DH earlier. I didn't bother adding question marks to my note because it's a pain and I've been known to leave out vowels because, you know, I'm a very busy woman.

And it dawned on my that my message was not unlike the writing in the Torah. What do you think that means?

Gosh, I might have worked this into my dvar (lesson based on Torah portion) if it wasn't already complete. I'll post it after the big day; wish me luck!

15 comments:

Melisa with one S said...

OMG, hilarious! That theory totally makes sense! I can't wait to share this post with my post b'nai mitzvah sons.

I'm really excited for your big day. I can't wait to read all about it.

Mazel Tov!

Laura (@chambanalaura) said...

I'm so excited for you! That is a pretty amazing revelation about Torah and modernity. Everything that is old is somehow new again. Mazel Tov, Kim. You are an inspiration!

Marketing Mommy said...

Mazel tov! I'm jealous of the brevity of your Torah portion. I've got 20 lines and I'm every time I see it without the vowels and cantillation marks my heart starts racing.

I'm sure you'll rock it. Will you be sharing your commentary on the blog?

Kim Moldofsky said...

Thanks ladies!

@marketingmommy we will have to talk about our bat mitzvah experiences. I sense our classes and prep were quite different. One advantage of being part of a large group (there are 11 of us in class) is we each only have to meet the minimum requirement of three lines of Torah (which still took me a long time to read).

The downside of a class of 11 is that the synagogue will be packed and I didn't get to invite y'all.

Yes, I will be back with my commentary next week. Not surprisingly, it reads more like a blog post than a scholarly examination of the text, but the rabbi gave it a thumbs-up, so I'm cool.

Next year... Number 1 Son's bar mitzvah!

PunditMom said...

!!! That's so exciting! I didn't know you were doing this! Does this mean I have to send you a fountain pen? (I hear from Mr. PunditMom that used to be a traditional gift!) xo

Donna said...

I think you are on to something with the texting/Torah relationship.

Mazel Tov on your upcoming rite! That is so exciting.

TheAngelForever said...

So does that mean that this blog post is another dvar Torah of sorts? Love the connection with yur Bat Mitzvah and the technological world that we live in. Mazel Tov in advance.

Condo Blues said...

How exciting Mazel Tov Kim!

I love how you linked the Torah and texting in your mind. I wonder how many other bat mitzvahs came to the same conclusion too.

Asha {Parent Hacks} said...

Kim! How exciting! Best of luck...I'm sure it will be an amazing experience for all. I admire you so much for doing this!

Sara @saving4someday said...

This is just all kinds of MazelTastic! Or would that be TorahTastic? It's hard enough doing a Bat Mitzvah when you're 13 and dealing with school, I can't imagine the personal sacrifices you've made to make this happen for you. Now, if only Beyonce or Lady Gaga would set each parsha to a good rhythm and video we'd have no problem remembering. And, we'd have a dance number to wow the kids!

While I don't know you personally, I'm truly overjoyed for you!

Naomi said...

A spiritual epiphany! Mazel Tov!

Jack said...

Mazal Tov. I think that it is great that you are doing this. It is an interesting parsha.

Shari said...

Congratulations. You should be very proud that you are so close to completing your studies.

Hillary said...

First, Mazal tov! Second, when I was a bat mitzvah, I had a hard enough time reading with the vowels that my Cantor switched to a reading without (I was a Yeshiva brat so I learned to read without the vowels). I helped my mom with her Bat Mitzvah portion. I truly commend you for what you're doing! I think it's great! Kol Hakavod!!

lisa oram said...

Mazel Tov. Glad to have found your blog. I had my Bat Mitzvah when I was 19 years old, and now we are setting the date for my oldest daughters! My blog is also a bit about "hormone colored days."