Monday, February 06, 2006

Two New Mitzvot

First of all, happy 16th birthday to my brother, Zach.

I can do some mitzvot that you folks in America can't do!

Today I bought carobs at the shuq that is next to my school every Monday. They were very good, I gave many away, and have a lot left. However, when I offered some to my Hasidut professor I realized that there may not have been a Teudah, a certificate of kashrut. Now in America this would not be an issue. A carob is fruit, completely unprocessed and right from the tree. However, in the Land of Israel, according to the Torah, all produce must have gone through Trumah, the priestly tithe. Today we don't give it to a Cohen because we must unfortunately assume that all Cohanim have tumat hamet, defilement from a dead body. Therefore we somehow dispose of the holy Trumah in a dignified manner, though it is prohibited for human benefit. Since I didn't know whether or not Trumah was set aside (and it very well may have been, I just don't remember seeing (or looking) for a sign. Therefore the status is demai, questionable, and I have to give Trumah without a blessing, which my professor showed me how to do. The plot thickens when I notice a millipede which is not moving by the piece of carob we set aside for trumah. As such, from what I learned in Talmud Tractate Yevamot, it becomes tamei, impure, and you must give what is known as Tashlumin, which in modern hebrew is what appears on your receipt as the total payment, but in Amoraic hebrew means replacement trumah. The impure trumah I took off remained consecrated, and the Tashlumin I set aside also attained holiness and so all the carobs are doubtlessly fine for the eating. I buried the Trumah and Tashlumin in the dirt. I followed that with shehechiyanu as I was performing these mitzvot for the very first time in my life. Burial's dignified (as suggested by my professor Levi).

In today's Scribal Arts class we learned four more letters, doubling our total known up to eight. I'm on my way...

Finally, I missed the Super Bowl, but am about to watch some of the ads on IFILM. I can't miss these.

Post-finally (I realize I could rearrange this but am too lazy and am instead making it longer with this present explanation), I found this place which makes a cross between a parfait and what Humphreys Yogurt in LA does: they take plain yogurt and frozen fruits of your choosing and blend it together in a machine. Really tasty and probably healthy. That's the same reason I've been snacking on carobs. Watch when I find out that carobs have 1000 calories apiece...

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