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“When I went for my 37-week pregnancy checkup, my doctor informed me that I was walking myself straight over to Labor and Delivery for an induction. While I waited to be admitted, my husband ran home to walk the dog and check off items on my birthing “to do” list, which included packing my hospital suitcase.
As he frantically completed these errands, my husband also found time to prepare something else for me: a Hebrew amulet with a protective prayer. Perhaps this wasn’t on your packing list, but my husband, a lawyer by day, also trained as a sofer, or Jewish ritual scribe. In his spare time he is writing a Torah. So on that November morning he just happened to have parchment, ink and quills on hand in our small Manhattan apartment.
Although the word “amulet” makes me think of dragons and “Game of Thrones,” the word — both in English and Hebrew (“kamea”) — really just means a small ornament used to give protection or ward off danger. In fact, many people have amulets without really thinking about it – a chai necklace, with the Hebrew letters for the number 18, which represents “life,” is a kind of amulet; a mezuzah, which Jews are commanded to place on their doorposts, is a kind of guardian for a home’s entrance.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Have world leaders really got the will to bring peace to Yemen? We hear much about Yemen’s crisis, but far less about the hypocrisy of states fuelling the very conflict they condemn."
"No poll so far in our database has tested Trump against the relatively unknown Weld... Indeed, Weld seems like one of the weakest candidates that anti-Trump Republicans could put up in a national campaign. "
"An initiative by the mayor of Tiberias for the municipality to help provide public transportation on the Sabbath has caused the issue of the social status quo to the forefront of public discussion."
"Like “30 Rock,” “Kimmy Schmidt” obviously slanted leftward, but most always exhibited a similar eagerness to skewer politics more generally than just the GOP."
"Yes, we’re all overwhelmed with email. One recent survey suggested that the average American’s inbox has 199 unread messages. But volume isn’t an excuse for not replying."
"... platforms now have a stranglehold over publishers who, individually and even as a group, have little-to-no bargaining power when it comes to algorithmic changes, ad rates, and much else."
"[There's] a subgenre known as National Socialist black metal, which espouses neo-Nazi views and has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as aiming to recruit youth to white-supremacist causes."
"“The Ideas That Made America” by Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen is an anomaly in the genre. Its brevity is a point of pride, yet it aspires to do a little of everything."
"My wish is to die in my own bed, cared for by people I love—clean, comfortable and relatively free from pain. I hope to have time to say my goodbyes and give my final blessings."
"A diet for fast weight loss is a pipe dream. Many of us want to lose weight without making permanent changes, because we view thinness instead of health as a success."
"Opportunity casts a long shadow over all subsequent Mars rovers, setting a gold standard of JPL engineering. Customized versions of its mobility software are used on the rovers Curiosity and upcoming Mars 2020."
"Biblical scholarship has deepened our understanding of the Torah and at the same time challenges us to consider the implications of our declaring the Torah to be emet. What is emet and what does it mean to say that the Torah is emet?"