A blog, mostly about my work making Jewish ritual objects, but with detours into garment making, living in New York City, cooking and other aspects of domestic life.
It's time for me to get started on the tallit I'm making for my youngest son. And although the expression in Yiddish is that "Shoemaker's children go barefoot", my two older kids each have a lovely tallit that I made, each with it's own brand of obsessive hand work.
My kid's Torah reading is the beginning of Leviticus. It's really kind of grim. I know that some folks disagree with me, but you have to agree that it is lacking in narrative. The Haftarathough is great. It's from Isiah and hard to go wrong.
I asked my kid to look at his Haftarah and see if any phrases struck him as especially lovely, something he would want on his tallit. His first choice was great text, but I thought not so wonderful for a tallit "It is I, who erases your sins". The phrase which is so familiar from the High Holiday liturgy seemed a little grim to see each time you put on your tallit.
So then he came back with "k'aravimalyivleimayim" "...like willows by the side of the water."
He wanted stripes that looked like water, and stripes that looked like leaves.
I cut a stencil out of an index card and did one strip of leaves yesterday, rubbing a paint brush over Shiva paint sticks and then painting the fabric through the stencil. My kid looked at my work when he got home from school and vetoed it.
Today I cut a new stencil and got back to work. He loved the new version. So here is the quiz. here is the picture of both sets of leaves. Which one did my son love, the fat leaves or the skinny ones?
You even get two views, to help you decide. Let me know. The answer will be here on Sunday.