There is an aural part to this post, and I will this time have both my voice and the written words to illustrate and promote the post forward. I had intended to write this post a few days ago, but had a few other salient ideas for posts which came up first.
So, when I say “evening and morning” in reference to this post, I am actually quoting from a line from the מוסף (musaf) service. That particular fraction of the sentence (and yes, I am going to sing it and then translate it):
ערב ובוקר בכל יום תמיד, פעמיים באהבה שמע אומרים
(Evening and morning every single day, they say the sh’ma with love.)
When I went to services on Saturday this last weekend, there was an adult בר מצוה (bar mitzvah), and he spoke about the שמע, going word-by-word with the different interpretations that he found, in rediscovering Judaism from atheism. I found it to be pretty interesting, and I am always fascinated with word-by-word (or line-by-line) interpretations. In fact, I have done some of that myself in at least one previous blog post.
The reason, however, that I wanted to make this post, was because the idea of “evening and morning” has been salient to me when I have listened to a certain Israeli radio station at night.
The reason that this is: During times when Israel and Chicago are both on standard time or both on daylight saving time, there is an eight-hour discrepancy between the times. For example, when it is 22:00 in Chicago, it is 06:00 in Israel.
A minute or two before 22:00 in Chicago, if I listen to קול ישראל רשת גימל (Kol Israel Reshet Gimmel), any song that is playing might stop in the middle, and be replaced with a soft wind instrument (can’t tell what it is, but it sounds like a flute), and then the שמע (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) is recited without being sung. Of course, since I have made this a post with an audio supplement, I should probably include a recording of it now, and in the comments, you can let me know if you can identify the instrument. (I just hope that there is no royalty that I am violating by recording and playing this back. For once, the voice you are about to hear is NOT mine.)
שמע ישראל השם אלוקנו השם אחד
ואהבת את השם אלוקיך בכל לבבך ובכל נפשך ובכל מאודך
והיו הדברים האלה אשר אנוכי מצוך היום על לבבך
ושננתם לבניך בדברת בם בשבתך בביתך ובלכתך בדרך ובשכבך ובקומך
וקשרתם לאות על ידך והיו לטטפות בין עיניך
וכתבתם על מזוזות ביתך ובישעריך
So, when I listen to the radio station and hear this, it is evening in Chicago, but morning in Israel. Therefore, in some sense if I speak along with the recording, I am fulfilling my obligation for the evening prayers due to the time shift! A similar recording is not played at any point during the evening in Israel, however, at least on this station. (I know this since 08:00-22:00 in Chicago corresponds to 16:00-06:00 in Israel, so I would definitely hear its “night version” in the early afternoon if it happened.)
I will mention, however, that when I was getting back into Jewish practice after my freshman year of college, I did attend Monday and Thursday morning services and made a habit of saying the bedtime שמע. That lasted about a year or so, but it is never too late for me to pick it up again.
These give me more ideas for other blog posts, but for now, I don’t want the audio to drag on too long. But, I’ll have the Counts on the end of the audio.
Today is the two-hundred and twenty-fifth day of M.M.X.I.V. That makes thirty-two weeks and one day.
Today is the thirtieth day of the Character Building Trial. That makes four weeks and two days.