I've intended, for a while, to mention that I've set this blog up to accept comments. If you have any, just click on " x comments" at the end of the blog, and post what you have to say.
The last blog was cut short when I was startled by the phone and pressed the buttons I use to save work in my wordprocessing program. Turns out those same buttons will post a blog. It seemed sort of an abrupt ending, but I sort of liked it, so there it stands.
My classmates and I are in the midst of our week-long Aramaic Intensive. At the end of this week, we'll be equipped to stumble blindly through the Talmud, recognizing words here and there. Genuine reading will take a bit longer, but this is a good beginning. Long days, though: we start at 8:30 and go to 2:30, and I think most of us (including the teacher) are putting away massive amounts of caffeine in order to stay alert. The stories are good, though -- have you ever heard the one about the Zoroastrian magus, the dead rabbi, and the live rabbi? Seems that there was a Zoroastrian magus who was trying to dig up a rabbi who had been buried. This may have been for nefarious purposes (the text doesn't say why he was digging) but may also have been an attempt at a Zoroastrian mitzvah [good deed] -- long story. Anyway, when he started to dig, a hand reached up from the grave and grabbed him by the beard. He was trapped until another rabbi came along and cut his beard. The moral of the story appears to be, "don't mess with rabbis, even dead ones."