Sunday, December 31, 2017

I'm just sayin -- four thunbs down

The last time I remember believing three tech products deserved thumbs down was in the days of MS Windows 3.1 and the pre-standardization CD chaos. I forget what the third one was. It must have been so horrible I wiped it from my mind. Anyhoo.

Do not get Windows 10 on a laptop. Cortana is a power hog. It will decrease your battery life because you will have to charge more often. You will need somebody technie enough to edit registers to get rid of it.  Get Windows 7 Pro for as long as you can. The reason I stuck with Windows at all is that two of my main work applications will not run under Chrome.

Do not get Microsoft Edge. I like to keep Favorites pinned, but in MS Edge you cannot adjust the width of the favorites menu and it covers up one side of every tab. Like the buttons to reject Facebook Friend proposals. Which is 99% of them now that I have Friended a lot of my family.

Google Oreo on a Nexus 5x has a big problem with notifications. I am getting notifications from Google Play at midnight and at 5 a.m. an hour BEFORE my alarm is set to go off.  If I roll over and hit the button to see what time it is, I get a notification from Google Play. If I walk into a building that has WiFi, I get a notification that there are available WiFi connections. It's too much. I've sent two complaints to Google about this.

Do not share Google Calendar with anybody. It will corrupt your email. I know somebody who works for a school system and he regularly has to make employees bring in their work phones. They thought they could share calendars with their families and instead their emails started getting rejected for "too many IP complaints". So he has to unshare all the calendars and tell them "don't do that again".

So Google, don't take any pride to yourself that you are somehow superior to Microsoft. You both have fundamental problems in my opinion.

I'm just saying....

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, December 29, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- Reuss' sources

Reuss makes two claims about Jewish scholars that are typical of Christian scholars.
First, he claimed that the Jewish scholars misunderstood Torah.  He said that the Jewish scholars thought that the issue of not cooking a kid in its mother’s milk had to do with the verse about leaving it with its mother for seven days.
I have looked at Mekhilta Parshah Mishpatim Nezikin Section 20, Sifri Parshah Reh Section 51, Mishneh Torah Hilkhot Maakhalot Asurot 9, Bavli Chullin 108bff, Bavli Shabbat 130a, Tosefta, Rashi on Bavli Chullin 113b, Tosafot on Bavli 103b and 113b, and Midrash Rabbah.  There is no such connection.  If any of you know what source Reuss was looking at, ante up.
I suspect that he used a peripheral work, not in the mainstream, or that he copied from a non-Jewish scholar. I have seen the former in the source criticism of David Strauss (about whom I have a funny story and I’ll tell it if you ask), and the latter, of course, is endemic in the work of Philo, such as in his discussion of the Zodiac.
The second canard is Reuss’ claim that the author did not understand his material, that is, that Reuss understands Hebrew better than somebody who could use it spontaneously enough to invent Biblical text.
The problem, however, is with Reuss.  He claims that in Leviticus, where it lays down the rules and then names animals, it first names a wild animal and then a domestic animal.
The problem is that the sequence of animals is: camel, rabbit, hare, hog.
Camels in Torah are always domesticated, naturally enough, for it happened about the 2700s BCE.  Hares are well-known in Europe as wild game.  Europe held wild-boar hunts in medieval times, as well as hunting wild rabbits.  Reuss’ language may be misleading about what he means, but on the face of it, he seems to have thoroughly mixed up the European understanding of the animal world.  Nevertheless, he claims it’s the Jewish authors who don’t know what they’re talking about.
The canard that the Jews don’t understand their own literature occurs in contexts trying to claim that if they did, they would accept Jesus. Everybody I have known to express this canard knew precious little about Hebrew and nothing about 21st century Biblical Hebrew.
Notice that I’m not claiming Falsus in Uno, Falsus in Omnibus. That would mean Reuss wrote knowing that he was wrong. The secret to urban legends is that they propagate because the transmitters don’t realize they are wrong.
It’s been the same for DH these many decades that its transmitters did not realize they were propagating an example of the conjunction fallacy.

So much for the history of DH.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, December 28, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- plural nouns

Genesis 1:14
יד וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי מְאֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם לְהַבְדִּיל בֵּין הַיּוֹם וּבֵין הַלָּיְלָה וְהָיוּ לְאֹתֹת וּלְמוֹעֲדִים וּלְיָמִים וְשָׁנִים:
Transliteration: Va-yomer elohim y’hi m’orot birqia ha-shamaim l’havdil beyn ha-yom u-veyn ha-laylah v’hayu l’otot ul’moadim ul’yamim v’shanim.
Translation:     Gd said let there be lights in the raqia of the heaven for separating between day and night; from now on they are for the purpose of signs and warnings and days and years.
Letters in this lesson:
Vocabulary in this lesson:
So far, I’ve addressed gender in verbs. Lesson 12 on construct state also shows the indefinite of both singular and plural, masculine and feminine nouns.
The plural endings for those also are the plural endings for adjectives. As with most other languages that have such distinctions, the gender and number of nouns and the adjectives that modify them have to agree.
How do you know the gender of nouns in BH? Well, natural gender applies. Things that are masculine have masculine gender and things that are feminine have feminine gender.
Aside from that, most verbs ending in a consonant other than heh are masculine; the name Yehudah falls under the natural gender case.
Nouns that end in qamats plus heh tend to be feminine.
Nouns that end in patach plus chet tend to be feminine in grammatical gender, but they may be masculine in natural gender if they are masculine names.  Noach and Shelach are two examples.
Erets and nefesh have feminine grammatical gender; you’ll notice it when they are used with verbs and adjectives.
Some nouns take either gender and sometimes the meaning changes. Yad means “hand” when it is masculine; it means “support, financial means” when it is feminine.
There are some irregular nouns: daughter is bat and the plural is banot, the construct is b’nat; house is bait, the construct is bet and the construct plural is batey.
I won’t give a list of nouns like this. Harkavy’s dictionary is online free and it shows gender. Download it and place bookmarks for the start of the sections to make it easier to look things up.
Just realize that BH is a lot easier on this subject than Arabic.  You must learn the plural of Arabic nouns with each and every noun, because most of them don’t have the endings in BH, which are called “external plurals”.  A number of Arabic nouns have “internal plurals” of which there are five classes, but a lot of them have “broken plurals” which cannot be predicted.  Count your blessings.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, December 22, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- a maven he's not

Edouard Reuss embodies the same principles of “higher criticism” that Astruc does. He makes his claims based on what he thinks are the principles, applying his “axioms” inconsistently and without regard to the data. His problems come out most clearly in two locations that should have signaled to a person thinking logically, that he was constructing a tower of rubble.
Exodus 23:19 says “you shall not cook a kid in its mother’s milk.” Deuteronomy 14:21 has the exact same phrase. What does this mean to DH?
There are several ways that DH could jump with this. One is to claim that the phrase in Deuteronomy is, predictably, D, and that it was interpolated into Exodus from D.
There is also a possible claim that both phrases are from P. Why? Deuteronomy 14 is a partial paraphrase of Leviticus 11, leaving out the vermin and adding this phrase at the very end.
Or they could both be assigned to J, because Deuteronomy 14 uses the combined Names of Gd, but it would get no support in Exodus where neither name appears. We don’t have to get wrapped around the axles about this since we know the Names of Gd axiom is based on false facts, as well as being applied inconsistently.
Which way did Reuss jump? He made a circular argument.
He claimed that since Leviticus is from the Babylonian Captivity, it discusses rules applying from then on, and that is why it discusses insects. He cited to Matthew to make this claim. What Matthew says has nothing to do with what happened during the Babylonian Captivity six centuries earlier, unless Matthew is writing a history of the Captivity.
Then Reuss claimed that since Deuteronomy is from the time of the destruction of the temple, people would have ignored insects because they could eat domestic animals whose owners had been taken into captivity. D is actually attributed to Josiah’s reign, 30 years before the Babylonian conquest. Bleek’s Einleitung which established the DH claim about D, was published when Reuss was 24. It’s hard to see how Reuss could get this wrong and still claim to be an expert in the DH version of Jewish history.
Again, Reuss had made up his mind as to what he thought, and he retrofitted his reasons to correspond, but they are illogical or have no factual basis.
The modern assignments are: Exodus to E (despite the absence of either Name) and Deuteronomy to D.
In these locations, however, Reuss makes two claims consistent among Christians and particularly Protestants.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, December 21, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- "hayah" idioms

Genesis 1:14
יד וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי מְאֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם לְהַבְדִּיל בֵּין הַיּוֹם וּבֵין הַלָּיְלָה וְהָיוּ לְאֹתֹת וּלְמוֹעֲדִים וּלְיָמִים וְשָׁנִים:
Transliteration: Va-yomer elohim y’hi m’orot birqia ha-shamaim l’havdil beyn ha-yom u-veyn ha-laylah v’hayu l’otot ul’moadim ul’yamim v’shanim.
Translation:     Gd said let there be lights in the raqia of the heaven for separating between day and night; from now on they become signs and warnings and days and years.
I’ve talked about va-y’hi, based on the imperfect of hayah, as meaning something quite different from what translations say.
The same thing is true for v’hayu based on the perfect aspect, and all the forms like it in every person and number and gender.
This will become clearer in later verses where you will see it, but what it does is mark a point in time when something comes permanently into existence or usage. The translation for that is “from now on”.
In the last lesson, I translated this verse to bring out the fact that l’ has similar meaning every time this verse uses it.
The translation above brings out another feature of hayah l’ in every aspect – and even with the aspectless verb hyot. Hayah l’ means “become”. So if Torah has li-hyot l’, it means “for the purpose of becoming”.
It’s not clear to me why there is no l’ with the last word. I know from studying the rest of Torah that yamim with no number means “year”, not “days”; it’s a solar year, a specific number of days. When it has a number like “forty”, it’s more like “days”; there’s one place that has shnataim yamim, “exactly two years in days”.
It’s important that the heavenly bodies were not set up until now. The passage of time was known by alternation of light and dark, not by the heavenly bodies, for three days. The number three is a “magic number” in oral traditions, like in Grimm’s fairy tales. Axel Olrik wrote about the “magic number” principle as The Law of Three because that number is so prevalent, but he included under it numbers like seven or twelve.
Putting the creation of the heavenly bodies after the first set of three days de-emphasizes them. They are not gods. Gd did not need them to do His work. While the calendar can run from now on, it is more important to give light to, for example, the newly created plants.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, December 17, 2017

I'm just saying -- trending shmending

So I just confirmed why I have no interest in buying a microwave.

I was staying with somebody and went to fix myself some rice and veggies.

It took 20 minutes to cook in the microwave what I could cook on my stove in 10 minutes. Microwaves don't save time and because of their electricity demands, they don't save money. They're not trendy any more and they are not only not indispensable, they're a waste.

I bought the veggies at the grocery because the restaurant food was hopeless. It took me 5 meals to eat up some General Tso's chicken and there were only two measly pieces of broccoli in the entire order. Restaurant food is not healthy and it's too expensive. Create the experience in your own home instead of beating your brains out trying to get a table in a trendy restaurant.

I heard a real estate advisor talking out of both sides of her mouth on the radio this morning, one second admitting that trends change fast and the next saying you have to keep up with trends when selling your house.

Her other problem is she had to point out that trendy stuff isn't high quality. Bamboo floors -- NOOOO.

Then she talked about a trend to use wallpaper not paint. Do you know how much it costs to replace wallpaper, even if you're going to stay with wallpaper instead of paint? MUCH more than just  painting over a paint color you don't like, because you should take off the old paper first.

Why? Because mold and mildew breed in every imperfection in the wallpaper. You MUST get rid of the mold and mildew and replace the wallpaper, not just put another layer on. Unless of course you like spending months with a doctor finding out why you're so desperately sick or experiencing mental disturbances.

And you have a kitchen and bathroom. NEVER wallpaper these high-humidity rooms.

When a real estate "professional" tells you to spend $$ following the trends, fire him or her. Paint the walls light colors because it won't show through when the next person comes in and does a fresh paint job. Take out the nylon carpet and put down hardwood tiles. HARDWOOD. Not bamboo or pine. Except the kitchen and bathroom which get linoleum. Plant cheap hardy bright flowers for curb appeal. Bring plumbing or wiring up to code so it's not a money pit. Get an inspection to catch any stoppers that the buyer's inspector would find.

But don't get wrapped around the axles spending YOUR money to suit somebody else's idea of what's trendy. That's crazy talk. No matter what you're talking about -- food, decorating, clothing...

I'm just sayin'...

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Friday, December 15, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- Reuss and the Third Pillar

Edouard Reuss, teacher and colleague of Graf, clarified that his role in the process of “higher criticism” was to advance French Protestant scholarship. He waited until the 1870s, possibly assuming that the Catholic church and French monarchy would not allow him to publish. But after the Franco-Prussian war, when his home of Strasbourg became part of Prussia, he began to publish his History of the Scriptures, about the same time as Wellhausen published.
Reuss, like Graf, operated on the premise that a science is a study; he did not at all pretend that he practiced Cartesian science, he admitted he was pursuing theological studies. His avowed purpose was to let the French public in on what the theologues had been discussing amongst themselves for about 30 years. This jumps his readers over Astruc and into the heat of battle. Which could have been a good thing but…
Reuss adopted the Names of Gd criterion, which you know is false.
One of his specialties was the third pillar, repetitions, which he said was a sign of differing documents.
Reuss betrayed his own principle, however. He uses the first repetition of the concept of sefer toldot in Genesis 2:4 as a conclusion of text from E, while assigning the next part to J. He uses the repetition sefer toldot in Genesis 5:1 as an introduction to a part of E, after material that comes from J. They are dividing marks, but they divide differently.
He uses the eleh toldot of Genesis 6:9, 11:10 and 27 as introductions for material from E.
But he says Genesis 25:19 is an interpolation to E by an editor who realized that such a thing was missing.  That redefines this repetition as NOT marking a changeover from E to J or anything else – it’s inside a section from P.
He also makes a different claim for Genesis 37:1-2. He claims that it is an interpolation, “Yaaqov lived in …K’naan, this is the history of Yaaqov”. (This is not the modern assignment.)
What’s more, Reuss does not see eleh toldot in Genesis 25:12 as a change in documents. (It does change documents in modern assignment.)
It’s obvious that Reuss believed in repetition as a signal of a change of documents only when he believed that a particular part of Torah is a different document from what preceded it. It is a sign that Reuss split out the documents, then went back and decided that certain phrases have significance for splitting. This is the same bad methodology used by Astruc.
Since Reuss did not apply the “repetitions” axiom consistently, these claims have to be ditched. I don’t say that DH has to adopt the definitions and descriptions I will give later. I say that there’s a doctoral dissertation in examining DH claims about other repetitions to see if they are based on fallacies, outdated information, or inconsistent application of axioms. If so, they have to be ditched.

But bad methodology isn't Reuss' only problem. I'll discuss another one next week.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Thursday, December 14, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- infinitives and beyond

Genesis 1:14
יד וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי מְאֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם לְהַבְדִּיל בֵּין הַיּוֹם וּבֵין הַלָּיְלָה וְהָיוּ לְאֹתֹת וּלְמוֹעֲדִים וּלְיָמִים וְשָׁנִים:
Transliteration: Va-yomer elohim y’hi m’orot birqia ha-shamaim l’havdil beyn ha-yom u-veyn ha-laylah v’hayu l’otot ul’moadim ul’yamim v’shanim.
Translation:     Gd said let there be lights in the raqia of the heaven for separating between day and night; from now on they are for the purpose of signs and warnings and days and years.
Letters in this lesson:
Vocabulary in this lesson:
Here we go again rejecting more western terminology that has been foisted onto Biblical Hebrew and interferes with understanding what is really going on.
The bolded words in the translation correspond to l’havdil. Hebrew teachers tell you this is an infinitive. That’s not true and teaching you otherwise now will help you avoid misunderstanding grammar in the Bible that has confused the classics scholars who applied a term from Latin to Hebrew.
Just as Semitic languages have agentless structures, they have aspect-less structures. There is meaning in Torah that none of the three aspects will suit. This is one of them, but there are more extreme examples all over Torah; two special ones are in Exodus and another in Deuteronomy.
Why won’t perfect aspect work here? Because the separation is not one and done.
Why won’t imperfect aspect work? Because that’s for an action and here we need a status.
Why won’t progressive work? It comes close, but we would want vihi as in a previous verse.
Why not use vihi?  We already had the deontic y’hi, the lights now exist, and we are now explaining what they are for.
L’ doesn’t just mean “to”, it also means “for the purpose of”. Progressive aspect is not used with with prepositions and we need something that will work with l. The only thing that works in such a situation is an aspectless verb.
The aspectless verb is gerundive, as the translation shows. As a result, it can be used adjectivally or substantively. There are important places in Torah, one in Exodus, where this substantive usage is required to fit the grammar that brings out the meaning of the situation.
Arabic has aspect-less structures, and because of their function, they too got slapped with the term infinitive – by westerners. Arab grammarians have a different name that is less confusing.
Western scholars have also slapped the name “infinitive” on one use of the Assyrian perfect aspect. If they would think in terms of what it is doing, and not what to call it, they would probably find that it is behaving substantively. The fact that they have also used “participle” in the same context supports what I’m saying, because participles can have substantive force, being closely related to the progressive aspect.  Assyriologists have a lot of re-thinking to do, because Assyrian was a direct descendant of Akkadian, and Arabic grammar has a lot more in common with Akkadian than Hebrew grammar does.  Since “infinitive” is a bad label for the Arabic structure, it’s probably a bad label for the structure in Assyrian.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2020 All Rights  Reserved

Sunday, December 10, 2017

DIY -- sausage

No, I'm not going to tell you to go out and buy a grinder with a sausage casing attachment.

What I want you to do is a price comparison. If it doesn't work out for you, ignore everything else in this post.

Check how much your store charges for extra lean ground beef, for ground lamb and ground turkey. Then compare to the same weight of American breakfast sausage, chorizo, bratwurst, merguez, Italian or Polish sausage, bologna (mortadella), and salami. And can you even get Rookworst in the U.S. without going to a fancy specialty shop?

In my case, which is kosher, the figures are, an average $14.50 a pound for the fancy sausages, compared to $6/lb  for turkey, $10/lb for lamb, and  $7.29/lb for beef. Bologna (mortadella) and salami are cheaper if you buy them because they are high-volume -- but they are also higher in fat than mine because I deliberately buy extra lean ground beef.

I have found recipes online for all of these (although the mortadella and salami are generic), and you can package them in plastic wrap and consolidate them in the fridge, then bake them or run them through a hot smoker, instead of using fussy sausage casings.

I was even able to fake Lebanon bologna, a product of the Amish around Lebanon PA. Some websites tell you to ferment it, but I've talked to the product specialist at Seltzer's where they still make it the old-fashioned way, and I think what he said is that fermentation is a chemical way of doing what happens when you cold smoke it for a few weeks.  If you can't cold-smoke, you can still get close to the flavor without the chemicals.

The downside? Your mortadella and Lebanon bologna will turn out stiff like meatloaf instead of flexible like what you buy at the deli counter, but that's because you used lean ground beef. You can use "regular" or get the meat cutters to give you some of their suet (you might get it free!) but you would need a grinder so you can stir it evenly throughout your product. The last thing most of us need in our diets is fat. I'm down with flavored meatloaf. YMMV.

Now, if SHTF you won't have plastic wrap or aluminum foil that you dare use with raw meat but you will have the intestines of the animal for natural casing, you just have to wash them carefully. Sausage is only useful so that the stray scraps of butchering don't go to waste.  You could always cook the scraps down and cook cornmeal in the broth. It's another Amish product called scrapple.

So save the equipment money and DIY your sausage, and if S does not HTF you'll spend less on flavored scrap meat.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Friday, December 8, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- Wellhausen's other brother

I didn’t mean to send you screaming from the room at the end of the last post, but there was an up side to that. It meant you realized that DH’s current assignments are a conjunction with something like 6,000 terms, and the probability is infinitesimal that they are all correct  because they are based on bad facts and fallacies.
If you go on from here, either you’re not convinced that DH has an insignificant probability of being correct, or you want to see how much more dirt I can dig up, or you want to find the point at which I drop the other shoe.
Edouard Reuss, teacher and colleague of Graf, stated that his role was to advance French Protestant scholarship. He waited until the 1870s, when he was about 70 years old, to publish his History of the Scriptures. Until 1870 Strasbourg, where he taught, was part of France; in the Franco-Prussian war, it changed hands. It was part of Prussia by the time his Bible was published.
Those of us who know something about history think “repression” when we think of Prussia. But it was in Prussian-led Germany of the 1870s that Wellhausen was publishing. Whatever Reuss felt about what happened to France, the political change gave him a new intellectual lease on life.
Reuss claimed that he had been asked to provide a French Protestant version of the Bible. It’s possible that the majority of French Protestants had other things on their minds. They were helping the Republicans disestablish the Catholic church, supporter of the monarchy.
He claimed that the problem was an official Bible that was not a perfect translation. You know that any translation is not going to be perfect, unless the translator knows enough about the culture of the source document to explain terms that the audience of the translation will not understand.
But Reuss did not produce the kind of translation that would improve things. When he translated Leviticus 11, he erased verse divisions so that his translation combined the verses telling what signs to watch out for in kosher animals, with the four verses naming some animals that are not kosher. This is fundamental to an issue I will discuss shortly.
For now, you have to understand that the versification of Torah is well understood despite the fact that Torah scrolls are written without punctuation. The Neuchatel, for example, does not give verse numbers but its punctuation clearly separates these verses.
It seems pretty clear that Reuss did not consult the Neuchatel French translation. If Reuss had access to it, he could not use it in his work because it did not support what he did.
Or Reuss deliberately ignored the Neuchatel because it contradicted his work. Or else Reuss relied on his readers not checking up on him. YMMV.
So fundamentally, Reuss did two things wrong: he used a translation, which means he wasn’t analyzing the Hebrew Bible. That’s a strawman argument, pretending that Torah says things it doesn’t say, and a strawman argument is a fallacy.
And he performed sampling bias, another fallacy and a rejected practice in any scientific or scholarly study. Everything Reuss wrote has to be ditched because it relies on fallacies.

Including his  work with the third pillar, repetitions...
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, December 7, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 1:14, pop quiz on noun gender

Genesis 1:14
יד וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי מְאֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם לְהַבְדִּיל בֵּין הַיּוֹם וּבֵין הַלָּיְלָה וְהָיוּ לְאֹתֹת וּלְמוֹעֲדִים וּלְיָמִים וְשָׁנִים:
Transliteration: Va-yomer elohim y’hi m’orot birqia ha-shamaim l’havdil beyn ha-yom u-veyn ha-laylah v’hayu l’otot ul’moadim ul’yamim v’shanim.
Translation:     Gd said let there be lights in the raqia of the heaven to separate day and night and they shall be for signs and warnings and days and years.
Letters in this lesson:
Vocabulary in this lesson:
Quick quiz:  Which of these four words are masculine gender and which are feminine gender?  This is not a trick question.
Usually moadim is translated as “seasons” because of its relationship to the phrase chol ha-moed which means the days of Pesach and Sukkot which are not “holy convocations.”  That is, some work is permitted on them, though the religious do not go to their jobs on those days.  You can cook on them, you can light lights, and so on.
It is related to legal notice of a problem, something I will discuss in a later lesson.  When the celestial signs are in a given configuration, you are on notice that a holy convocation is approaching.  Every 7th sun is Shabbat; every 29th or 30th day is New Moon; every 12th or 13th New Moon is Rosh Ha-Shanah; the 10th day after that is Yom Kippur; the next full moon is Sukkot; every 6th New Moon after Rosh Ha-Shanah is Adar; if this Adar comes so early in the year that the barley will not be ripe 6 weeks later, then the New Moon after it is Adar II and the New Moon after that is Nisan; the Full Moon of Nisan is Passover; the 50th day after Passover is Shavuot.
A year has 12 or 13 New Moons in it; they alternate.  This used to be determined by visual observation, which was easy in the Holy Land and within a 12-hour ride. Then bonfires would be lit to send word.  Some of the outlying diaspora would get the word late and they would observe two days of some special days (but not Yom Kippur or Tisha B’Av) as a result.  We still do, but the State of Israel does not. 
When enemies started faking the bonfires, the rabbis decreed that we would shift to a calculation that they had known of for centuries, and it’s been like that ever since.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Knitting -- Palette and fingering weight

This is the stitch count for a pullover in fingering weight yarns like Palette.

7 stitches and 8 rows each make one inch on size 3 needles.
The body is 280 stitches around.
Work 150 rounds of body.
The underarms are 14 stitches per side.
Above the underarms, work 70 rounds.
Knit off 30 stitches at the shoulder on each side.
I made a turtleneck with 50 rounds of k1/p1 rib so that the inside and outside look the same, and bound off in rib.
Pick up the armhole stitches (see below) on size 3 circular needles with a 16 inch tether and cut the steeking.
Work a total of 182 rounds.
When you're down to 66 stitches, do your normal cuff OR do 3 rounds k1/p1 rib so you can push the sleeves up when you need to, and bind off in rib.

There are two  ways to pick up the arm stitches.
a) You can cut the steeking and use a crochet hook to pull the yarn through every stitch beside the steeking, putting these stitches on your knitting  needles. This means more stitches to decrease, and you'll probably want to decrease every third row. But you will still wind up with a poufy sleeve. Do this if you're making a top to go over something, unless it's a Fair Isle.


b) You can leave the steeking alone and use the knitting  needle to pick up the horizontal bits of yarn around the armhole, as I discussed about the middle of another post.  You'll pick up about every OTHER stitch. Then cut the steeking when you're done, knit one stabilizing round, a decrease round and continue. You'll probably decrease every 9th row, every 10th or 11th toward the end. This will fit closer to your arm. This is what you need if you're going to wear the turtleneck under an Oxford shirt or if you're knitting a Fair Isle top.

The calculation is: #stitches at armhole - #stitches at wrist = #stitches to decrease.
#stitches to decrease divided by 2  = #rows where you do a  decrease.
#rounds in arm (182) divided by #rows with decreases = #rounds BETWEEN decreases.

This is a great bottom layer on cold days when you're doing housework. For example, I have no dishwasher except my two hands and a sink. I can push up the sleeves on this while doing dishes. When I'm done, I dry my hands and put on a pullover with cuffs for warmth. I can't get there with T-shirts either long or short sleeved; the ends of the long sleeve ones get wet and my arms get cold with the short sleeve ones.

Down side: Palette is soft and will pill away with heavy wear. So I'm going to have to knit these in a lot of colors to keep ahead of the wear.
Palette comes in 150 colors.
Oh, pleeze throw me in that briar patch!

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, December 1, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- Splitting Graf

Graf said one thing which ought to have been a warning to Wellhausen and his successors. Graf did not believe in verse by verse assignment.

He said this could never end in a satisfying and convincing delineation of the sources, and that the criteria for it were often subjective.
Nobody listened. Why should they? Graf himself split Torah up in other ways than by the Jewish aliyot, and also without regard to the chapters. Splitting one verse of a chapter from another authorizes everybody to do so and you can’t exactly influence people after you’re dead unless they let you.
What Graf thought of as subjective was meat and drink to his successors. Without relying on physical finds, without basis in logic, without facts that turned up in the 20th and 21st centuries, DH could give itself a pass as being descriptive, an issue I’ll come back to later. In fact there are no objective grounds for Graf’s conclusions. There are only the claims he feels like making.
His successors went further. And so we get things like this in the online assignment of Numbers 16:27. Note that the assignment is based on the KJV, another bad translation which copies errors made in the Septuagint. This translation implies that Qorach had his own tabernacle, which is false and a classic sign of a bad translation.
27 So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children.
The sky blue and dark blue text (from “and Dathan” to “their tents”, the dark blue picking up at “and their wives”) is from E and J respectively; notice that no name of Gd appears in this verse. No worries, since we know that the “name” axiom is based on bad facts and sampling bias. Somebody needs to dig up the other reasons for those assignments.
The red (the first occurrence of “Dathan, and Abiram”) is supposed to have been added by a redactor who is superfluous unless DH is true, and we have evidence that it isn’t.
The purported source is called “the book of generations”, first proposed by Frank Moore Cross in 1973, about the same time as other writers were realizing that DH had serious problems. The “book of generations” is also the source that the redactor used to fill in his fragmentary P. Cross dates this “book” to the Captivity, but his argument is based on the “repetitions” pillar similar to the work of Graf’s student Reuss, whom I will discuss next.
The olive green (everything else) is supposedly from P, some claims for which are based on the invalid mischsprache concept.
So despite getting his name on the concept, Graf did not affect DH for the better. Where he was right, later writers ignored him. Where he was wrong, he doomed DH to fail in an environment of active scientific inquiry.
By the way, this is the worst-case scenario I told you about some time back. The probability that the above verse has been correctly analyzed is the probability of correctness of every split, multiplied together. DH also has to justify keeping verses together since Graf allows splits between them (though not turn and turn about). There are 5,888 verses (that’s the worst-case, some say 5,845) in Torah.

Do you dare go further?
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, November 30, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 1:13, "do" perfect aspect

Genesis 1:13
יג וַיְהִי־עֶרֶב וַיְהִי־בֹקֶר יוֹם שְׁלִישִׁי:
Transliteration: Va-y’hi erev va-y’hi voqer yom shlishi.
Translation:     There must have been evening and there must have been morning, a third day.
Letters in this lesson:
Vocabulary in this lesson:
There’s nothing new here, folks.  Remember that the va-y’hi is a timing expression and notice that we are halfway to the end of this narrative.
Let’s move on to the perfect aspect of asah, “make, do,” in qal. Memorize this because you will see it a lot.  
First person
Second person/masculine
Second person/feminine
Third person
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, November 26, 2017

I'm just saying -- it's not your fault

You know how you pick out a size 10 and it doesn't fit? Well, it's not your fault.

A retailer admitted to me something I suspected for decades.

Clothing manufacturers do not sew to standards.

They do not say ok we're going to label this size 10 so it has to come out to x inches in the (bust/waist/hips).

They just parcel it out and get it sewn up as fast as possible.

They don't even test random items and retrain or fire whoever did the sewing.

That's only one third of the problem.

The next third is the wholesaler who buys this crap. They have a contract with retailers to accept so many items at such a price. No standards enforcement.

The retailers are the third  part of the problem. Their buyers don't give a hoot how small a  percentage of purchases actually wind up in the customer's closet.

They are selling an image and it doesn't look anything like American demographics.

One retailer near me went out of business decades ago. They consistently had sales racks full of sizes 2-8 but almost nothing for sale either full price or less, in the actual size demographic of 12-16. At last they couldn't stand the shoddy work their buyers, wholesalers, and manufacturers were doing.

So first with brick and mortar stores, and now with Internet sales, it's a crapshoot whether that size ten will fit you.

But it's not your period, the doughnut you had for breakfast, the time you decided you were too tired to work out.

Yes, work out, yes, eat right, losing the weight this way will keep you from getting diabetes and having other deadly health problems.

But if you're doing it to fit into a given size clothing, it will never work because the clothing makers don't care if it fits.

It's not your fault.

I'm just saying....

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, November 24, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- walling in DH

Karl Heinrich Graf gets credit from Wellhausen for fundamental work in DH, although neither called it that at the time.  Graf’s introduction to his Historical Books of the Old Testament suggests a number of reasons why DH has gone so wrong.
While claiming to extract Biblical study from monocular shackles of both Judaism and Catholicism, Graf claims his Protestant perspective is the only way to find the truth.  He claims the other two have been stymied; this is an example of the general ignorance of Judaism previously demonstrated by Astruc.  In the 1860s, when Graf wrote, two trends were continuing.  One was migration of Jews to America, the forerunner of migrations which brought challah and bagels to the American kitchen.  Another was purchases of parcels of the Holy Land from the Ottomans, the foundation of the modern State of Israel.  At this time conflict between Orthodoxy and Chassidism died down, allowing both of the more traditional movements to use their energy in other ways. 
Graf’s standpoint marks a written version of DH’s isolationism.  Whybray credits Wellhausen for thickening the walls around DH. This is one more thing that locks DH into its conjunction, without the mutual support of which real sciences, soft or hard, take advantage.  Perhaps DH proponents intended it to become a monolithic empire of religious thought, which  is borne out in  the 1918 work of Edgar Brightman. He performs the redefinition fallacy to say that “scholar” only applies to those who agree with DH.  Using a fallacy discredits Brightman. 
Graf was relying on an ancient connotation of “science” as meaning study.  Herodotus called his work archaeologos, but there’s no way that in the 400s BCE, he meant the kind of work done by Cyrus Gordon or William Dever in the 20th century CE.  What Herodotus meant was studying the history of nations.  He did it from his armchair, through the reports of others.
Graf views his work as study and that’s why he says Wissenschaft.  Unfortunately, as with “hypothesis,” he was crashing into a new world where ambiguity in the understanding of Wissenschaft misled his successors to believe that they were building on a scientific foundation.
This is an SWLT issue.  The people who think DH is a science, or that it is a proven theory, don’t understand how science works and that they are failing the test of Occam’s Razor or using fallacies at every turn, on top of rejecting the support of other fields.
The problem is not that Graf was a product of his times.  The problem is that he could not see outside his own times, that he was blind to the implications of what he said, that he didn’t even have the wisdom to see that everything he criticized in other scholars, he was about to impose on his own branch of studies.  The problem with Graf is that he was a product of his prejudices.
But he did say one thing that could have made DH less of a problem – if his successors had recognized him as the authority he thought he was.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- progressive habitual

Genesis 1:12
יב וַתּוֹצֵא הָאָרֶץ דֶּשֶׁא עֵשֶׂב מַזְרִיעַ זֶרַע לְמִינֵהוּ וְעֵץ עֹשֶׂה־פְּרִי אֲשֶׁר זַרְעוֹ־בוֹ לְמִינֵהוּ וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים כִּי־טוֹב:
Transliteration: Va-totse ha-arets deshe esev mazria zera l’minehu v’ets oseh-pri asher zaro-vo l’minehu vayar elohim ki-tov.
Translation:     The earth brought out grass, herbs seeding seed of its kind and tree making fruit that has its seed in it of its kind; Gd must have manifested, ki-tov.
Letters in this lesson:
Vocabulary in this lesson:
brought forth (v)
make (v)

Here is the progressive aspect of asah. What you see happening in this verse is another use of progressive: what the trees are doing is habitual with them. This is an adjectival use of the progressive, comparable to “the baking pan” where “baking”, a gerund, modifies “pan,” a noun.

Now look at totse. The root is yatsa, but this is partly a hifil; I know that because of the long “o”. However, if it was the hifil imperfect, it should look like the table below, and you will see these forms in later verses.
You might think that totse would be an imperative but that starts with heh. I will discuss a permissive/prescriptive form in a later verse. If that’s what’s going on here, I suggest that this verse is permitting/requiring the dry land to bring forth plants and that’s why Gd had the seas withdraw to reveal it.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved