Today's blog post takes us to what was for aviva_m undoubtedly the highlight of our time in Japan: the small island of Okunoshima in the Inland Sea, home to over eight hundred rabbits, all wild but sufficiently accustomed to visiting rabbit fans that they might as well be tame.( Prepare for an overdose of cute )
It's been a while since we've had an adventures with the rabbits post. So what have they been up to all this while?
Well, mostly same old, same old. Here's Bar Navi giving a shiur to the other rabbits in the household:
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But the most exciting piece of news is of course the wedding of the year, between Bar Navi and Jane. They held this immediately before the Wandering Jews event aviva_m and I hosted as part of our . All of the other rabbits in the household were guests (though none of the photos seem to have more than two or three in), as well as those who had managed to get to ours for Wandering Jews before Shabbos came in.
In this photo, you can see the happy couple at the right, along with Ginger and Monty, the other established rabbit couple in our household. The two white rabbits wearing taleisim are the witnesses at the wedding (and were a wedding present to us from curious_reader).
( View piccy )Under their chuppah, the rabbits exchanged ring equivalents. There's no insistence in Judaism upon a wedding being performed with a ring; it merely has to be something belonging to the giver worth above a certain value; which is most convenient when you're a crocheted rabbit with no fingers. So Bar Navi gave Jane a silver necklace with a silver carrot pendant; Jane gave Bar Navi a tallis clip also with silver carrot pendants. Here are the happy couple wearing them under the chuppah (with one of the guests visible in the background).
( View piccy )Of course, they had a kesuba for their wedding too, which you can see here, along with the used in the wedding service:
( View piccy )When you're a rabbit, your wedding bouquet (made, unknowingly, for the rabbits by someone at our wedding) can conveniently double as part of the wedding feast...
( View piccy )And here's a last photo before Shabbos of both happy couples:
( View piccy )Phew, what an exhausting day; time for rabbit bedtime [shot, of course, on another day]:
( View piccy )Thanks to Frauke Ohnholz as official rabbit wedding photographer; you can see full-size versions of all her photos here, along with a short video of us singing סִימָן טוֹב וְמַזֶל טוֹב to the rabbits.
Arnie the rabbit seems to have really taken to it; I don't know where he learned to play so well!
See video (I don't think I can embed this).
...although possibly this explains something:( View piccy )Right, that's enough excitement for one evening; time for bed:( View piccy )
In a few days time it will be Succos, concerning which the Torah says:
Leviticus 23:40 ויקרא כג מ And you shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים וַעֲנַף עֵץ־עָבֹת וְעַרְבֵי־נָחַל וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם לִפְנֵי ה׳ אֱלֹהֵיכֶם שִׁבְעַת יָמִים׃
Here in northern Europe, one doesn't exactly find palm or citrus trees growing, so we have to import these at some expense, but in the southern Mediterranean in which Judaism originated, it's quite a different matter. aviva_m and I were recently in the beautiful Kolymbetra Gardens in the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, Sicily; and, seeing a section devoted to citrus trees, got excited at the thought of seeing esrogim growing on trees. When we found in turn each one of the Four Species, we wanted to find a rabbi to check if they were kosher, but since there were no rabbis around, we asked a rabbit instead.( The Four Species, illustrated with rabbit photos )
Now that we've got all four species, we bind the last three together with
willow leaves, with the myrtle on the right and the willow on the left, take
them in our right
hand paw, with the citron in our left, and
wave them like so:
( View piccy )...and daven in a chareidi shul:
( View piccy )(This is not a photomontage; I really did photograph him there!)
However, in amidst all that, he did have time to pose for a third birthday card for my niece:
( View piccy )The little rabbit we haven't seen here before. His name is Arnie the (rabbit).
Jane again got Bar-Navi a present for Tu BəĀv this year. So what do you get for the rabbit who already has , tallis, tefillin and Talmud volume? Answer: A Sefer Torah!
( View piccy )(aviva_m, on helping Bar-Navi open the present: "Oh, you didn't!" (even though she originally suggested it). Actually, the scroll has been sitting on my shelf in Newcastle, largely ignored, for twenty-five years; I thought Bar-Navi might get more use out of it than me.)
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The green patches on it are actually felt stuck onto the T-shirt. Bar-Navi the rabbit, however, disagrees with the sentiments on it:
( View piccy )Speaking of which, what did Jane get Bar-Navi the Talmud scholar for Chanukah?
( View piccy )It's a rabbit-sized copy of מַסֶכֶת אֲרְנְבוֹנִים (Tractate Rabbits) of the Babylonian Talmud.
( View piccy )As you can see, it's from the Vilna edition.
( View piccy )Hands up if you didn't think there was a Tractate Rabbits in the Talmud!
( View piccy )Actually, there's not even a word for "rabbit" in the Hebrew and Aramaic of Talmudic times, because rabbits were not then to be found in the land of Israel or Babylonia, but don't tell Bar-Navi; he's very pleased with his present!
( View piccy )In exchange, Bar-Navi gave Jane a dreidel for Chanukah, and the four of us enjoyed playing dreidel with it, even if Bar-Navi did end up winning all our money. It was the first time I've actually played the dreidel game, rather than just idly spinning it, since I was a kid.
On the first night of Chanukah, I saw lots of people posted on Facebook photos of their lit menorah, which I suppose constitutes one way of פִּרְסוּמֵי נִסָא (publicising the miracle of Chanukah). I wasn't originally going to join in, but then posted the following:
I'm not posting this because everyone else is posting photos of lit menoros, but, as will be obvious to aviva_m if no one else, because nobody else's features a rabbit.I originally intended that as a one-off, but then things suggested themselves to me:
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It's the second night of Chanukah; that means two rabbits. (And two candles.)From then on, the pattern was established. I think the following two are my favourite photos:
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( View piccy )The candles in the above photo are larger, to be lit before Shabbos comes in, and still be burning until half a halachic hour into the night. They're actually the results of my first bout of candle-making, when I was a teenager, and are made from dental wax, courtesy of my father. As you can see, they're all different shapes. The green one is a triangular prism.
By the fifth night, it was beginning to resemble a Nativity scene:
( View piccy )That was my last night in Berlin, and I don't have enough rabbits at home to continue, so I asked aviva_m to continue for me:
( View piccy )Hmm, the left-most rabbit seems more interested in the camera than the menorah.
Seventh night - and this can only mean one thing:The seventh rabbit is actually a radio; that's why it has things on its toe pads.
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( View piccy )I was intrigued to see what she'd use as the eighth rabbit, since she only has seven (and indeed turned down the opportunity to acquire an eighth on Sunday). Can you see the eighth rabbit? I couldn't, initially! Here's a close-up:
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( View piccy )I considered making a little modification to give her pupils, but thought I'd mock the results up before I did anything about it:
( View piccy )The results, as you see, are so freaky I decided to just leave her as she was!
The daughters of Jerusalem would go out and dance in the vineyards located on the outskirts of the city. Everyone who didn't have a wife would go there. And what would they say? "Young man, lift up your eyes and choose wisely. Don't look only at physical beauty; look rather at the family: 'For charm is false, and beauty is vanity. A G-d-fearing woman is the one to be praised...'" [Proverbs 31:30]In modern times, it's become a kind of Jewish Valentine's Day, and Jane the grey rabbit got a Tu BeAv present for Bar-Navi:
( Read more... )
It's a while since we've had an "adventures with the rabbits" post; what have they been getting up to recently? Not getting too big for their boots, apparently:
But soft, what light through yonder rabbit burrow breaks?
( View piccy )It is the East, and Jane is the sun!
( View piccy )He's such a romantic, Bar-Navi:
( View piccy )"Oh, how sweet!" No, Jane, don't eat it!
( View piccy )Eat this instead:
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The carrot was a present from Jane to Bar-Navi; he's grown quite jealous of it, and has been known to be distracted from his Talmud study by it...
Meanwhile, Jane is all ready to go cycling with me on Sunday:
( View piccy )Wish us luck!
Then inspiration struck.
The result was this T-shirt:
The German reads: "My boyfriend wanted to get me my dream book..."; the book's title reads Famous Rabbits in the Talmud.
With thanks to Albrecht WINOLJoDW for providing me with German after curious_reader told me mine was all English idiom literally translated.
Let's take a closer look at the book mock-up, so you can see the author and cover clearly:
( View piccy )(The German for "rabbi" does not, of course, normally feature a T.)
aviva_m wasn't the only one getting a present. Jane (so-called because she's Jane Doe, but also because being a grey lady rabbit, that makes her Lady Jane Grey) made a present for Bar-Navi:
( View piccy )"What is it?" ( Cut for suspense :o) )
I forgot who it was that suggested that curious_reader, who made בַּר־נָבִיא the pink rabbit, should make a
lady doe friend for him so he could have a girlfriend. When curious_reader actually did so, I had the idea of getting a new rabbit as a surprise gift for aviva_m, but it was too late, unfortunately: she'd already seen curious_reader's photo on Facebook.
Still, בַּר־נָבִיא was happy to make a new friend, though they took a little while to get comfortable with each other:
A couple of days later, aviva_m, בַּר־נָבִיא and I went out for cocktails (noch) with a friend. We invited the grey rabbit too (who has not yet got a name), but she was busy washing her
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(She needed it: my one-year-old niece had put various parts of her into her mouth.) בַּר־נָבִיא consoled herself by reminiscing over their first date:
( See piccy )aviva_m's comment on first seeing this: "Ah, young love!"