Monday, August 20, 2007

Mourning on the Inside

So I've been doing this mourning thing for a number of months now, pestering my rav with unending inquiries about the laws, customs, and philosophies of aveilut.

And tonight, me and my learning-partner come across a discussion of mourning practices in our study of masekhet Sanhedrin. So we pull out the Rambam's Mishneh Tora, the Shulhhan ‘Arukh, and other halakha books, looking for later expressions of the discussion in the Talmud, and as I'm skimming through the laws and customs of mourning, it hits me — I've never actually seen them "inside".

I was hit in almost every paragraph with a flash of "oh, so that's why he told me that" or "so that's where that comes from" — my life and my father's death, in black ink on white paper.


Blogger thanbo said...

I learned this with R' Mayer Twersky at Lincoln Square. He did the second perek of Moed Katan, which is where most of the aveilut stuff is found (because a lot of it is analogous to chol hamoed restrictions). He based most of it on one of the yahrzeit shiurim given by the Rav, which is in the published collection - so you might want to try to learn that shiur while looking into the various quoted sources.

R' Twersky taught it the year he was in aveilut for his father, R' Dr. Isadore Twersky ztvkll"h.

8/24/2007 6:08 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

"my life and my father's death, in black ink on white paper"

that line hit me as poetic with potetial for more to grow out of it.

8/28/2007 12:57 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...


thanks for the suggestion, sounds interesting

R' Neil:

in college i wrote a short prose-poem for a creative writing class about a pen "erupting like an upside-down volcano across the page" or something like that, also using black-on-white imagery.

8/28/2007 7:03 PM  

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