The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Online When I Shouldn't Be

We interrupt this Day of Atonement for one of those parental dilemmas: what do you do when your son's favorite writer is in town from overseas, for one afternoon only, and it happens to be right between the end of the family service and the gathering to break the fast, and the author is going to be speaking as well as signing and greeting kids?

Brian Jacques (pronounced "Jakes"), the author of the Redwall books, at the kids' toy and bookstore practically around the corner from my house, here from Liverpool.

He had anecdotes about knowing a teacher in common with George Harrison...

...told wonderful stories about getting the idea for the moles from folk in the north whose English even he can't understand and similar stories about the mice and other creatures in his books...

...described writing as painting pictures with words, and admitted he hated school because they made him do math...

...and talked about the value of imagination. He was extremely funny -- kids and adults all clapping -- and did not appear to take himself overly seriously.

Now we have these all signed. If, unlike many people there, we had not obeyed the rules about two books per person and only hardcovers at that, we might have had the entire collection signed.

Due to a friend's extreme generosity (and possible insanity, heh), I had the opportunity tonight to have a fan experience of a lifetime. And I bailed, because it's Yom Kippur, I have family obligations, and a host of other practical reasons. Am now wondering whether I will eventually have an "OH MY GOD! WHAT WAS I THINKING!" moment, particularly since going to see a children's author one's son loves seems rather like a fannish activity. And, I mean, if Russell Crowe was in town and I had an invite to see him, I'd go whether it was Yom Kippur or the Day of Judgment. Speaking of whom, from tomorrow's Parade section, which we always get delivered a day early:

Eep. To make this entry somewhat relevant to the day, another feminist version of a traditional prayer. The "Al Chet" recitation, performed several times during Yom Kippur services, is intended to start the task of repentance and humbling oneself before God. The lines of the prayer are a list of sins, mistakes, errors, missed obligations -- "for the sin that we have sinned before you." But Judith Plaskow suggests that women already spend enough time humbling themselves all year long, and that prayer for women would do well to affirm their deeds as well as than their failings.

Al Mitzvah Sheki Y'amanu
By Judith Plaskow

For the mitzvah we fulfilled by loving ourselves
And for the mitzvah we fulfilled by loving our partners, our friends and our families.

For the mitzvah we fulfilled by affirming our own strengths
And for the mitzvah we fulfilled by affirming the strengths of others.

For the mitzvah we fulfilled in our work
And for the mitzvah we fulfilled by eating healthy food.

For the mitzvah we fulfilled by supporting Jews
And for the mitzvah we fulfilled by supporting all peoples.

For the mitzvah we fulfilled by working for justice and peace
And for the mitzvah we fulfilled by preserving the environment.

For the mitzvah we fulfilled by being honest
And for the mitzvah we fulfilled by living our values and beliefs.


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