I know it’s been a very long time. Too long. It’s not that there’s been little happening, or little thought about what’s been happening – at home, in community, in Israel-Palestine, or in the world …. It’s just been a period in which Jewish study, or at least theorizing applied tikkun olam, has been a challenge. It’s as if I’ve been holding my breath since Passover, waiting to see what might follow from the Annapolis “summit”, trying to find a way back into enthusiasm after the challenges of Purim and Pesach.
One significant project since falling into the abyss of sharmouta has been a new endeavor: a “Minyan Project”, in which I’ve tried to use knitting to repair my own links broken by that video. The challenge of sorting out a route to relationship even with the most outrageous of Hebron’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish women led me to my knitting needles and crochet hook. I’ve been busily engaged with, inter alia, working out the extent of Jewish community through the medium (conceit?) of the minyan, the “ritual” (or ritually-acceptable) community of the many streams of Judaism. For weeks I’ve been making Jewish headcoverings – countless kippot (traditional, rainbow, lace, etc), snoods, even a streymel (Hasidic fur hat) and sheytel (Orthodox woman’s wig), in the effort to explore the breadth of the Jewish community and its relationship to “cover”. I figure the best way to try to bridge the enormous distance I feel from those involved in the traditional streams is to investigate them textually and materially. There’s no way to know the final form this project will take, but at present it feels like a path forward from sharmouta block.