Thursday, July 20, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- "call, give a name"

Genesis 1:5
ה וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה וַיְהִי־עֶרֶב וַיְהִי־בֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד:
Transliteration: Va-yiqra elohim la-or yom v’la-choshekh qara lailah va-y’hi-erev va-y’hi-voqer yom echad.
Translation:     Gd named the light day and the darkness He named night; there was evening and there was morning one day.
Vocabulary in this lesson:
call (to), call by name, name
Indirect object preposition, genitive preposition, possessive
We have another lamed alef verb in this verse, and we have it in narrative imperfect.  Here’s the qal imperfect aspect, on which the narrative imperfect is built.  Memorize this; you will see it again.
BUT notice that when He names the darkness, it’s perfect aspect.  Why?
The perfect aspect here closes off this episode in the creation story.  Something else is going to happen after this, nothing to do with light at all.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Garden -- feeding the birds & bees

I planted lots of things in my garden and fostered others to attract birds and feed bees.

This thing with the yellow flowers, I planted years ago. I think the seed packet said Korean Dill which certainly tracks with the leaves, but I can't find new seeds for it. It was open-pollinated and not only survived but self-sowed.

I planted it for the lacewings because they destroy harmful insects. But this month the bees are all over it and that is a Good Thing.

This is chicory. I planted it from open-pollinated seed some  years after the dill.
The goldfinches mob it and tear the petals off to get at the green seeds, but enough survived to keep the plant going.

This is something you probably have never seen because you prune your euonymus in summer instead of at the end of winter like you should. The little four-petal yellow-green things are the flowers.
If you leave your euonymus alone next summer, you will get these and they will develop into pretty pink berries that are favorites of mockingbirds. This particular bush is shaded all year long and its berries don't ripen well. Luckily I got my mockingbird to take raisins last winter and he has developed an addiction to them.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Friday, July 14, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- the 8 step program

So let’s look at the math. What is the equation for the probability that all those steps happened?
“All” ought to be a sum, right? A total? Add up the probability of each step and you should know how likely it is that JE existed, right?
A1 + A2 + A3 + A4 + A5 + A6 + A7 + A8 = Σ = probability.
When you’re evaluating a set of proposals for their combined truth, a truth table can be useful. If you’re adding them up, the truth table you have to use is this.
A1       A2       A1+A2
T          T          T
F          T          T
T          F          T
F          F          F
Some of you just had an “a-ha” moment. You know that this is a truth table for an OR function in logic. “Or” means alternatives. If you want to calculate the probability of DH this way, all of the steps have to be options. Producing JEDP went through one of those steps to the exclusion of the others.
Notice that, since the total probability can’t be greater than 1 (100%), the total is split up among the options, none of which has a probability of 1 (100%). You have two options flipping a coin; each of them has a 50% probability. If you have a die, each of the six sides has a 16.7% probability of coming up on any given throw. If you’re going to calculate the probability of JE this way, each of the 8 steps has to be an option. Once you pick one of the options, you’re done. Since none of the optional steps has a probability of 1 (100%), the probability of DH being true is limited to something below absolute fact.
But if those steps are all required, you need a different truth table.
A1       A2       A1 AND A2
T          T          T
F          T          F
T          F          F
F          F          F
If you replace the letters with “0” for F and “1” for T, you will see what is happening here.  The zeroes in the rightmost column reflect a multiplication, not an addition; anything multiplied by 0 is 0. If a required step is false, and you have to multiply it by another required step, it doesn’t matter if the “other” step actually happened. The probability of both steps happening is 0, or No, or False, because one of them didn’t happen.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Thursday, July 13, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 1:5 -- dagesh 2

Genesis 1:5
ה וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה וַיְהִי־עֶרֶב וַיְהִי־בֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד:
Transliteration: Va-yiqra elohim la-or yom v’la-choshekh qara lailah va-y’hi-erev va-y’hi-voqer yom echad.
Translation:     Gd named the light day and the darkness He named night; there was evening and there was morning one day.
Letters in this lesson: ק
Vocabulary in this lesson:
call (to), call by name, name
Indirect object preposition, genitive preposition, possessive
Notice that in the first word, after va with the patach, the yod takes dagesh. Also notice that toward the end of the verse, after va-y’hi, it’s not boqer, it’s voqer. But notice after the other y’hi, there’s no dagesh in the ayin. Ayin is a letter that never takes dagesh. (What are the others?) Also notice that after voqer, the yod in yom does NOT take dagesh. The word before the yod ended in a resh, not a vowel as at the start of the verse. Are you starting to see a pattern?
The word, parsed to produce CVC or CV syllables, is vay-yiq-ra.
Then you have vay-hi-vo-qer.
And in the third case, listening to the audio, I can hear vay-hi-[gh]e-rev.
At the start of words, ayin has a slight [gh] sound which probably led to calling it a glottal stop, and which supports its not taking dagesh by letting ayin serve as the consonant BH requires at the start of a syllable. You can hear it in audio files that I’ll give you a link  to later.
It probably also led to the name “Gomorrah”. In BH, this name starts with ayin. When the Septuagint translators heard it, they matched it to the Greek gamma which has a somewhat similar sound. And the rest is history.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Sunday, July 9, 2017

DIY -- yeast

WHAT is THAT you ask.

That is my first batch of home-brewed yeast with no little packets. See the bubbles?  They're just like the ones you see when you feed flour and warm water to the yeast from the little packets.

There are websites with the formula but basically, you need:
1 cup rye flour
1 cup warm water
1 very clean glass bowl
1 very clean spoon
4 days
On the first day, you mix 1/4 of the flour and water. You don't need to beat it smooth.
Leave it uncovered overnight.
Each of the following days, you stir the mixture smooth and add 1/4 cup each flour and water.
It might have a skin when you take the next step but just stir that into it.
On day 3 you should see bubbles when you start stirring.
On day 4 you should have bubbles of different sizes.
Some websites say repeat step 2 each day for two more days. Whatever.

I use rye flour because it naturally has more sugar in it than wheat flour and that makes it a better growth medium. You can smell this sweetness as your rye bread bakes, and it's the reason you don't need to add sugar or honey to rye or pumpernickel bread but you do to white. It's also why your rye whisky has that sweet little kick at the end.

Here is the end of the second build from this starter. It's about two inches deep, having nearly doubled in size. I made the dough with 1 cup warm water, 1 TBSP caraway seeds, and 2 cups bread flour to start with. Oh yeah, and salt. Tastes horrible without salt. It came out to about the same amount of dough as in the book recipe which DOES use packaged yeast in the starter..

             BEFORE                                                                        AFTER

This stage is called "proofing" because it's the evidence that your yeast is still alive and kicking. I let them rise a half hour before shaping and an hour after shaping. I scattered sesame on the bottom of the pan and cornmeal on the "tops" of the rolls.

I used a 400 oven for 20 minutes with a broiler pan on the bottom rack and I put in 8-9 ice cubes during baking. Here are the baked rolls, all dozen of them, and a photo of one cut open to display the fine texture of the inside.

I ate one of these halves with butter. It was just what it should have been, tender with a chewy crust. Had the other at night with some cheddar cheese. Froze six of them and kept the others in the fridge to make SURE they wouldn't go bad.

This starter was so active that I made sourdough pancakes next day because the starter was trying to climb out of the jar after a night in the fridge.

This past week I took the jar of starter out of the fridge and started feeding it again. Thursday I put half of it back in the fridge and used the other half to build sour and make dough. Here's how the dough looked after one rising. The bowl is about as deep as the width of my hand. I'd say that was a pretty fine batch of starter.

Clockwise from top right are 4 sourdough doughnuts with powdered sugar, 4 bagels, 4 hamburger rolls, and 4 hot dog rolls. Other options were to take out  1/3 of the dough for pizza, and make a loaf with the rest.

This is cheaper and more reliable than the packaged yeast because you don't have to worry about expiration dates as long as you can get flour to feed your starter. (You also get back whatever fridge space you used for the strips of yeast packets.) The side benefit is that if the power goes off, don't worry about your starter staying active. Just get yourself a couple 10-pound casks of flour and start selling your baked goods.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Friday, July 7, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- Structure of Torah

Do you  realize that this blog has been going for four years now?  And YOU have been with me all the way!  Thank you!
The rest of the blog starts with a subject that may get you angry.  Once again, if you want to argue against my conclusions, you will have to follow the rules you followed if you wanted to prove that Talmud does refer to Jesus.  Use source documents not translations or commentaries, pay attention to context when discussing meaning, don’t use fallacies, etc.
In this part of the blog, I’m going to start with one of the fallacies because it’s not a matter of me criticizing the facts.  It’s me showing a mathematical way of evaluating the probability that Documentary Hypothesis is true.
Documentary Hypothesis might be one of the world’s most misunderstood concepts ever or at least for the last 400 years.  I’ll discuss later how ambiguities and features of SWLT might play a role in the misunderstanding.  I will also discuss, not one, but two alternative descriptions of the structure of Torah and what makes them different from DH, as I will call it from now on.
DH says that Torah first came into existence as written material.  It was written to support specific philosophical, political, or religious positions at specific places at specific times and it bears in its language the trace of those times.  There were four inventions, each at a different time, and each produced a piece of written material, the famous JEDP.  At some point it all was combined into one work, erasing everything that would point to its previous fractured existence.  Even those most expert in it, the Jews, didn’t figure it out.  Only in the 1700s CE did scholars begin to decode its secrets.
One claim of DH, as I will call it from now on, is that Torah resulted from a series of discrete events.  The following are some of the events required to produce Torah.
           Somebody had to create the E text in writing.
           Somebody traveled from the Northern to the Southern kingdom, or south to north and back.
           The traveler(s) took the E text south.
           Somebody created the J text in writing.
           Somebody gave the E text to authorities in the southern kingdom.
           The authorities read the E text.
           The authorities evaluated the E text as equally meaningful with J.
           The authorities combined the two texts into JE.
I’m going to stop here and give all of you a week to tell me that I have one or another step wrong, or that there are steps I haven’t covered.  I know there are steps I haven’t covered; I haven’t talked about D or P.  If I can show that JE has a low probability, I can show that it doesn’t matter what D and P are, DH is probably not true.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Thursday, July 6, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- et

Genesis 1:4
ד וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאוֹר כִּי־טוֹב וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים בֵּין הָאוֹר וּבֵין הַחֹשֶׁךְ:
Translation:     Gd must have manifested the light for it was good, for Gd separated the light and the darkness.
And now for a little word that you’ve seen in this verse for the third time, et. It has driven grammarians and translators crazy for years and I only developed my explanation of it in the last 12 months or so. Here goes.
Et is the transliteration for two different pronunciations of a particle used in Biblical Hebrew only with the direct object of a transitive verb.  However, it is not always used when a direct object is expressed nor are there any specific words that always use it.
One pronunciation of this word is with a short “e” marked as segol, the triangle of dots standing on its point. This version is always written with NO tonal markings or trop, and it is ALWAYS followed by a dash and then the word it goes with.
I will show from now on that this version marks a distinction from something else being discussed.  In some places, it has the nuance of falling short of a standard. We’ll come across one later. When used with kal, it means “every, each one of.”
So in this verse, Gd manifested et the light. What’s the distinction? We’re distinguishing the light from the dark.  Remember, the dark was all that was perceptible before (if there had been people to perceive it), but now Gd has made light perceptible.
By contrast, verse 1 uses a form of et with the two horizontal dots under it, tseire, which is a sort of “ey” sound. This version of et is collective in many cases and we will come to some “soon”. When used with kal, it means “all, the entire group of.”
R. Shimon bar Yochai (100s CE) said that creation of heaven and earth was like creating a pot with a lid. One ball of clay was formed and then the lid was marked off distinct from the base. This image of Gd as being like a potter runs throughout Yom Kippur liturgy and it will become important in a few verses. Whether R. Shimon considered et as the basis, we can’t tell because that metadata was not recorded.  But the point is each was an entire entity.
There is another connotation to using this form of et which I'll discuss if there is a new example. If not, I’ll do a lesson where I give some examples. The connotation is that there’s a reciprocal relationship between what happened and its result. The action would not have been taken if it weren’t for the sake of producing the direct object. So when you think about Gd’s omnipotence, you realize He could have created people as beings that didn’t need heaven and earth to survive. There’s something Gd had in mind when He created heaven and earth. He has never explained to us what that was and we may never figure it out for ourselves, because it’s possible the only way to figure it out is to be omniscient, another of Gd’s characteristics.
Why use et at all if it’s not used all the time?
I was looking something up for my book, Narrating the Torah, and a Chabad web page came up with answers to a question about sacrifices. The word et (I forget which version) was used, and the Chabad answer said that this had to do with the importance of what was going on.
Well, how important is light?  Seems like a dumb question, doesn’t it? Same for heaven and earth, what is so important about them that et should be used?
Well, as I always say, it’s the context and this will come out more clearly when we get to verse 2:4.  This is the first mention of heaven and earth, and they are mentioned because they are being created. They are the whole point of the first verse. 
So now, the importance of light is, it’s the only existing contrast with darkness.  I mean, we had the contrast of tohu va-vohu to tell us that the earth just created wasn’t like it is now. What else wasn’t like it is now? Well, darkness; there is no longer any unrelieved darkness in the world (remember, these people had never been down the Marianas Trench). As for the heavens, we’ll get around to them but for now, what just happened is that Gd made the world perceptible through light.
When I’m done with the verses I intend to discuss sequentially, I will not have covered all the examples of how et works so I’ll have a later lesson that goes over them.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Knitting -- borders and edgings

Now I'll show you how I added the border and edging on the last samples.

Traditionally, you knit all the edging, then all the border, then all the center, then graft them together. In the Bantam book, they are knitted with diagonal sides that you then graft together.

My question was, what if you knit the center first.  Well, when you work the ends, it's easy.

The video above has you knitting onto a live edge, that is, one that you haven't bound off.  I did that when I had finished the center. To make this possible at both ends, you can do what is called a "provisional cast-on" especially in a different color, which you then pick up your body stitches from and get rid of.  Here's a video of one way to do it.

So for the ocean wave, I would have to make a chain of single crochets 88 long to do the center before I did any knitting.

When I was working the finished sides, this second video was helpful.

Notice her two tips.

First, when you're picking up at the side, don't pick up across the selvage of the stitch. Pull that out, find where that stitch attaches to the rest of the work (which will be perpendicular to the edge), and knit into that.

Second, notice how at the bound-off end, she went a half stitch too far for the second  pickup and she called it a hat.  What she meant was that she had an upside down V or a sort of roof. When she had picked up the correct place, the two loops ran parallel.

I have looked for ways to keep the ends of the rows alive but haven't found one yet.

But that doesn't take us around the corner.

This website has my favorite explanation for how to go around corners.

But as usual I had to do it before I understood what she was saying. (I'm a muscle learner, not a visual or auditory learner.)  I took pictures of what I did at EVERY row instead of the crucial ones, and at the risk of boring some of you, here they are so you can see it in excruciating detail.

So here I am two rows before the corner with my border in paler blue. I have my favorite waste yarn markers for the three corner stitches you need. My border is 14 stitches, 5 of a bind-off, 7 of pattern, one spare, and one to knit with the edge of the lace to make it an attached border. (0)


Here is the return to the lace where I knit the edge stitch. (1)

Here I have turned the work. (1a)

The yarn is in front and I have inserted the needle so as to slip to it purlwise. (1b)

Here it is with the sky blue stitch slipped. (1c)

Here is the knit out to my bind-off. (2)

Here is the knit back in. (3)

Notice that I DO NOT ATTACH TO THE EDGE of the lace, I just knit that last border stitch.  This is like knitting a short row. (3a) 

TURN THE WORK. The yarn will be on your side.  Now work back out. This is me working back out. Notice that dark blue stitch on the right needle. It is the corner stitch. I have not attached the border to it. (4)

Next you will knit back in to the lace and ATTACH TO THE LACE THE SECOND TIME which will take that extreme corner stitch. So here I am ready to knit that corner stitch. (5)

Go through this whole routine two more times and you are around the corner.

Now, here I am ready to pick up the first stitch on the other side of the  corner and I  want you to notice something. The darker blue yarn that is over the horizontal needle is NOT worked through the loops at the edge. I pulled those out, found the yarn that is PERPENDICULAR to the edge, and put the needle through that. This is what the knitter was talking about on that video above. (6)

So here I am with the needle through both  loops. (7)

And I finish that stitch and I go back out to the edge of the border.

Here I am, back at the edge again and you can see that I've picked up all the edge stitches on my left needle to work into toward the next corner. (8)

And here is the first time I have ever knitted border that goes around the corner of a piece of lace. (9)

Two things.
1. You can see a little pucker at the corner where there's lots of yarn. This is worsted weight yarn. Your fingering or lace weight yarn won't look like this.
2. You can see a little pull in the outer edge. I have a fairly solid edge there and that's part of what's doing that. You can start your fake short rows TWO stitches before the corner to relieve that pull.  So here's my second corner and you can see there's not so much pull at the outer edge. For symmetry, you should do this at the second stitch AFTER the corner, too.

You can also see the bottom border stitches picked up onto the vertical needle, and not a "hat" among 'em.

If you want to learn real short rows around the corner knitting, here is another site. Just notice that your border pattern won't go around the corner with you. You will need to calculate the dimensions so you can fit whole patterns into each side, then go around the corner and start the motif all over again. This is more like what the Bantam book shows.

I hope this helps. Everybody needs different things in explanations, so use your search engine and maybe you'll find something that makes the light go on for you.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Friday, June 30, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- scholarly writing

There’s a basic problem with all academic work that came out in papers I ran across while researching this blog.  Sources.
When academics write for other academics, part of that work has to be a review of the literature.  If you leave out a source, your peers will send you comments such as “why didn’t you include the seminal work of X?” 

One of the problems of doing academic work is getting access to all the sources.  Some of them are only in the stacks of a university on the other side of the country, the ocean, or the globe.  Sometimes you can get them through interlibrary loan.  Sometimes you can get them by travel.
What also happens is that your peers haven’t read some of your sources and can’t get access to them.  They can’t check on whether you understood the conclusions or how the conclusions were supported.  They have to accept that you did good work.
Posting your work on the internet is a good technique to encourage peer review.  It also gives access to your work for average people.
And average people not only won’t have access to all your sources, they will have access to hardly any of them.  The vast majority of people with internet access don’t live near your university, and the majority don’t live near any university.  Those who do, have lives and they have no time to go to the stacks to review your sources.
Academic work plays to academics.  The rest of us ignore it.  Sometimes with good reason.
The sources may be full of fallacies such as quoting out of context, using translations as if they prove something about the primary document (this will come up again soon), using refuted “authorities”, and so on.  An academic has to do more than just collate snippets of information from this book and that study.  He has to drill down and make sure that his sources don’t have problems of these types BEFORE he cites them.
If he understands that they are problems.  Finding fallacies in academic work suggests that not all academics understand how to put together a logical basis for their claims. 
And that, ultimately, is why I have been encouraging you to study Hebrew and Aramaic, and giving you links to primary documents that are free online.  When you can access them directly, you can ignore all the academic work produced, which piles up an exponential amount of pages compared to the primary documents.  You don’t have to use your local university library.  You don’t have to try to get an interlibrary loan.  You don’t have to budget for travel.  You can stay home and learn the material more accurately than anybody who relies on translations and commentaries, which is what academics sometimes have to do if they think their reviewers don't know the language.
And as I have shown, the meaning of a primary document easily gets lost in translation, and still more so in commentary.
You have the power.  Use it.
Next week I start posting on the subject I have been leading up to for almost exactly four years. If you have read the other posts on this blog page, the direction I take will not surprise you.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Thursday, June 29, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- idioms

Genesis 1:4
ד וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאוֹר כִּי־טוֹב וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים בֵּין הָאוֹר וּבֵין הַחֹשֶׁךְ:
Translation:     Gd must have manifested the light for it was good, for Gd separated the light and the darkness.
Idioms. Translators hate idioms. They are usually multi-word, and until you get used to the language, they can be hard to look up in a dictionary. First you have to pick a word to look them up under. Then you have to find the part of the entry that gives the idioms.
The one you are looking up might not be there.
This verse should be a test case for any translation you are thinking of buying.
What it should have is “between X and Y”.
If it has “between X and between Y”, it is probably touted as “literal” by the publisher.
In English we never say “between X and between Y”. X is one thing, and we can’t say between one thing. Y is a different thing and we can’t say between one thing, even if it is different from something else in the sentence.
The English idiom is “between X and Y”. Physically, it means there’s a space between them, and what we’re talking about falls somewhere in that space.
Here, we’re creating a space between them.
Actually, you know as well as I do that there’s no physical barrier between light and dark; there’s a perceptual barrier. Here it’s light; there it’s not light.
It’s a standard aphorism in many cultures that you cannot have a single thing without its opposite. You would not know what light is, but for the contrast with darkness. So while Gd manifested the light ki tov, the fact is that we can’t perceive light except as a difference from darkness. There’s nothing bad about darkness, not inherently; it’s just that light was selected as evidence of creation and how it came about – and Who did it – because, having originally been mixed with the darkness, there was only one Person who could perceive that and make the distinction manifest.
Ki-tov is another idiom. It appears in other places than the creation narrative. It’s hard to tell whether manifesting the light was the good thing, or whether the light was the good thing. Most commentators say it was the light that was good, but obviously, the manifesting had to be good too because without it, we wouldn’t perceive the light.  Modifiers usually refer to whatever is closest to them so I’ll say it’s the light.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Sunday, June 25, 2017

I'm just saying -- tools

I have a new sympathy with guys and their tools and their complaints about tools.

Tools have been dumbed down for people who don't bother to read the manual or take classes on how to use them.

So the tools have become  useless for people with real work to do.

It has hit the kitchen, too, and that's where I come in.

I replaced a peeler/corer with a grocery store product. It was marginal at peeling and broke in a year. The old one lasted like 15 years under the same workload.

So I went looking for a new replacement on a website (not Amazon) that has been reliable.

They had something that looked right from a reputable company, Ekco, famous for nonstick cooking sheets and pans.


It's marginally better than the grocery store peeler and looks sturdy enough to last.

But it's too blunt to work on eggplant. I love eggplant. I pickle it, fry it, stew it, etc.

It's like trying to use children's blunt scissors to make a dress.

It's a sad day when real cooks can't cook because the companies making the tools are catering to people who shouldn't even be in the kitchen since they won't learn how to do the job right.

How many carpenters, electricians, and remodelers have said the same thing in the last thirty years or so?

I'm just saying...

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved