Sunday in Library with Friends
No, "library" is not a euphemism for a neighborhood pub. I did indeed hit the freeway to come to work on Sunday for our annual Friends of the Library celebration of Jewish Book Month. This year, our speaker was Dr. Dvora Weisberg, HUC faculty and bibliophile.
When I heard that her topic was going to be Levirate Marriage, I sighed and anticipated a rather dry lecture. Instead, Dvora gave us a lively glimpse of the changing views of the Jewish family. She said that she wanted to examine the family at a time when it was the most vulnerable - at the death of a husband who did not have any children. She touched on the tension between the wishes of the dead and the needs of the living ; the rights of the individual vs. the obligations to the extended family; kinship terms; and the way the rabbis instituted change while appearing to uphold tradition. Well, when I describe it, it does sound dry - but she spoke with a lot of humor and delight in her topic.
Of course there were goodies served. Our guests were very amused to be allowed to bring their snacks and drinks into the library for the lecture. Hine ma tov u-mah naim shevet students, staff, faculty, and community, gam yahad (how good and how pleasant when ... sit together) Thanks to our BFFs for another great library event!