Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Jewish Grand Strand Reads W/ Rabbi Avi



 Temple Emanu-El, and the Jewish Grand Strand Reads organized a wonderful program with the book, Aleppo Codex by Matti Friedman.

We first had a wonderful lunch at Mr. Fish across the street from the Temple Emanu-El.  If you have not been there yet, I highly recommend it, if you are ever in Myrtle Beach.

We had a large crowd of about 50 people from Rabbi's Adult Education class, the Jewish Grand Strand, from the 38th Ave. Diva Book Club, and visitors of the Rabbi's.

We were  happy to see Rabbi Debbie at the program.  She and I started the Jewish Grand Strand Reads a few years ago.  We were just glad to see her. She has not been able to be involved this year because of her busy schedule.  Now, to talk about the program.

I introduced the program, talking about the history of the Aleppo Codex, after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, and  the mystery of how the " Crown"( other name of the Aleppo Codex) arrived in Israel, and where the 200 pages went, and who may have the pages.

Rabbi Avi talked about the religious aspect of the crown. Why the book is significant to the Jewish people. What it means to most of us that are Jewish. Did you know the book tells us the correct way to read from the torah? That the Hebrew is spoken the same way in every part of the world.

Why is that? The "Crown" is responsible for us to keep our traditions, and how we read from the bible, etc. The sad part, is it is the only one in the world. It wasn't copied.   Rabbi Avi went into a small part about the mystery of the book. The rest you will have to buy yourself a copy which I highly recommend.

To learn about the "Crown", you can find Matti Friedman in Texas, JCC talking about it. You can also find information about it at several Jewish websites, by doing a google search.  On a side note, Matti, sent me a message to have a bagel on him. We would have loved to chat with him on SKYE, but with the time zone difference, him in Israel, and us in SC it wasn't feasible at this time.

If you are interested in reading my review you can read it on my other book blog, at Bagels, Books, and Schmooze.

Thank you Rabbi Avi for co sponsoring the program with the Jewish Grand Strand Reads.  Below, you can see the large crowd that came. We hope Rabbi Avi will join us again.  We are always looking for speakers for the Jewish Grand Strand Reads. If you are knowledgeable about Jewish themes and are experienced talking to large crowds. Don't hesitate to talk to me about speaking engagements. Let's Chat.....


                                                   

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Book Club:Frankenstein



I learned about Mary Shelly when I was taking a Western Civilization class a couple of years ago. She is the daughter of a famous feminist. Before they even knew what feminism was.  Her mother was Mary Wollstonecraft, her father a famous poet, William Godwin.              

Mary Shelley's life, was not dull. There was so much upheaval since the day she was born. Her mother died a short time after Mary Shelley's birth. Her father, gave her a guilt trip from the early age of six, he constantly allowed her to look at her mother's letters.

There was so much abandonment from different times in her life. Which is symbolized, in Mary Shelley's, "Frankenstein". besides, her life sounded like a soap opera, before soap operas were known. I was never assigned in English class, Frankenstein, so instead we were assigned, Frankenstein" for our book club this past month.

Our book club had a special guest this month, from Coastal Carolina University, Professor Campbell. I also did my own homework, on youtube was a couple lectures of Mary Shelley, and Frankenstein. If you are interested, you should check it out. I also watched the original movie. A few of us, went to a local theater to see the play, Young Frankenstein as well( what fun).

 What you see in the movies is very different from the book.  The movie was set during the 1930's or 1940's it gives a very different tone than the book. The movie was made as a horror film. Which is very different than the book.

Frankenstein was written during the Enlightenment period.  Frankenstein starts out in the Artic, and ends in the Artic. Which was most likely my favorite part of the book, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, is the creator, not the creature. What most people think of. He is never referred as the monster.  Beside abandonment, there is the science, knowledge- too much, and medical ethics, nurture vs. nature.

Do you have a right to create something that is beyond accepted human limits.  There was parallels of Frankenstein vs. Walton, both pursuing higher scientific knowledge. One the creation of life, the other pursuing the exploration of the North Pole.

If something goes wrong should you, destroy it? or suffer the consequences?  Do you still love something that you made no matter how ugly, or hideous it is? Do you  live with it, and make the best of it. I actually was thinking of children with Down's Syndrome, or children that are emotionally challenged, and slow. Back in the 1960's these children were placed in institutions, because the parent's didn't want to deal with them.

 Because the creature didn't have nurturing, and was abandon constantly by Dr. Victor Frankenstein. He didn't  know better, the only thing he knew was to get back at Victor Frankenstein. The book is full of symbolism, and back story.  Victor was his parent, no matter if he was a good, or bad parent, he was still the mother.

What I found interesting, the women in Frankenstein, I expected to be stronger women. Because of Shelley's mother. I wanted to hit them in the head, how passive they were.

Also what our book group discussed was the format of the book. It was not a straight narrative. The novel, Frankenstein mixed with letters to his sister. During the time of her writing the novel, it was the end of writing novels with letters.

The novel was kind of slow at first, but once you finished the first 80 pages, it sped up. I enjoy books with hidden meaning, and symbolism, which the novel had a lot to delve into. I would recommend reading sometime in your bucket list to read.