He’arat Shulayim 1:3

What have I been doing to prepare for this project?

In my first post, I said that I would explain how I have been preparing for my project and talk about the books/supplied that I have gotten*. So here is that post!:

In my about page, I list the books that I have decided to consult. Below, I have listed them again and under that list, I’ll explain why I have chosen them.

  • JPS English-Hebrew Tanakh
  • Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentary on the Hebrew Bible
  • The Woman’s Torah Commentary: New Insights from Women Rabbis on the 54 Weekly Torah Portions
  • The Contemporary Torah: A Gender-Sensitive Adaptation of the JPS Translation
  • The Torah: A Women’s Commentary
  • The Jewish Study Bible: Featuring The JPS Tanakh Translation

Bonus:

  • Fifty Shades of Talmud: What the First Rabbis Had to Say About You-Know-What

I received the JPS Tanakh as a bat mitzvah present from a Rabbi/family friend about eight years ago. During my first week of owning it, I attempted to read through it, starting at the beginning. I actually got pretty far, all things considered, but then I think I kind of forgot about it.

The Torah Queeries book is something I got right before my gap year between high school and college, so about three years ago. As I grew into my queerness, I got nervous about losing my connection to Judaism. So I did some research and brought this book along with a handful of others to learn about the LGBTQ+ sides of Judaism. I read parts of Torah Queeries by myself for a little while, but then towards the end of the gap year, I decided to try to share it with the other people in my program. We read through the commentary on that weeks parasha along with a chabbad.org summary and I prepared a few questions for us to answer. It happened infrequently, but it was always nice when it worked out. We even included one of the reading for Pesach (which was about liberation and transgender Jews) in the haggadah that a few of us put together. I’m excited to read this book more closely and in a different context!

I chose the other books for my project after deciding what I wanted this project to be. I talked to the director of my Hillel who helped me find the two Women’s Commentaries and the Hillel rabbi who lead me to the Gender-Sensitive translation of the Tanakh. The Jewish Study Bible I found when researching how exactly to begin to study Tanakh – there is this pretty interesting online recording of a Hebrew Bible 101 type class from Yale and this book is the textbook for that class. I am hoping to also continue to follow the online recordings of the class as I continue this journey. The Fifty Shades of Talmud book is just something that I found randomly and I think it’ll be fun to flip through.

Along with books, I got myself a lot of journaling supplies.

Not only will I be reading parashot from the Tanakh and commentary, but I will be journalling as I do it. At the very very beginning of this process, I accidentally stumbled upon this Bible journaling thing which are books that have pages where one side is the bible and the other is a column of lines for people to write in. I thought it was really beautiful the way that people who used a bible journal interacted with the text physically by writing and artistically engaging with it.

I looked for something like that but Jewish and came up empty. In talking to people about it, I think the reason there isn’t a Tanakh journal is because usually people who study the Tanakh do so with other people, in chevruta or bigger groups. A Tanakh journal with the Hebrew and English translations does not exist though you can purchase a printed Tanakh with bigger margins, which I assume you can use to take notes. So I decided to just get a notebook and journal along with the texts I’ve decided to read.

So here is my supplies list as it stands [all ordered through amazon.com]:

  • 51641994340__C891F74F-78E8-4FF3-A1BC-AD342EFB5BB8
    [purple journal not included in project]
    Leuchtturm1917 A5 Dotted, Emerald, Hardcover Notebook
  • Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pens, .3mm (20 color pack)
  • Pilot Juice Gel Ink Ballpoint Pens, .38mm (12 color pack)
  • Zebra Mildlighters (15 color, 3 pack set)
  • BUBM Double Layer Tavel Organizer (Large, Black)
  • Mono Multi Liquid Glue .88 oz
  • Planet Washi Tape
  • 10 Roll, Rainbow Candy Color Washi Tape
  • Great Explorations Milky Way Adhesives
  • 9 pack Solar System Sticky Note set

I’ve been really into the whole space, stars, galaxies, etc., so the supplies that I got reflect that. I’m hoping to eventually get myself washi tape that is astronomy/astrology-themed. Most of these things I fund when watching youtube videos about keeping journals. I tried to find the best pens and highlighters and a good-quality notebook – and I was able to pick these based on what I learned from other people.

I really want to emphasize that this is all new to me – reading religious texts in this manner as well as keeping a journal. So I’ve done a ton of research and I’m going to be learning as I go. I’m really excited for all my supplies to be in and this semester to be over so that I can really get started!

*Just wanted to add this footnote to my Footnote in order to say Thank You Grandma Sue and Grandpa Alan who have made it possible for me to get most these books and supplies – without you, I think this project would be shaping out a lot differently ❤ ❤ ❤

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