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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Scribbles

I attended a mourner's minyan this a.m. I never know if they'll have enough prayer books, so I brought my own. This one was sent to me by NCSY about 18 years ago. Worn and dog-eared, it has traveled around the world with me, gone on long roadtrips cross-country, spent time in dark hospital call rooms, but for the most part has sat on my dining room table, which is where I used to daven before they started the 5:45 minyan.

Obviously, my kids have had access to it while I was at work. I think each has contributed his or her own scribble.

I took it out as I began to get ready for the service. The minyan was attended by a variety of Orthodox Jews, Lubavich, Black-hatters, and me. The owner of the house came over to me and looked at the siddur, and smiled.

"This page speaks volumes to me."

What does it say to you?

22 comments:

AMSHINOVER said...

your kids are very frum, they don't want you reading the english translation

Essie said...

Although I am a little sad at the desecration of a siddur, I do think it's cute, and it brought a smile to my face. Your kids wanted to remind you to keep them in mind when you daven! :)

PsychoToddler said...

Amshi: I noticed that too. There are scribbles on multiple pages, but always on the English side!

Essie: I think they want to remind me not to leave my siddur lying around.

Air Time said...

I think your kids could use some drawing lessons...

Mirty said...

Hmmm....When I was a kid that would have meant a serious butt-whipping.

(Not to mention a guilt-inducing lecture on how Zeida's Zeida once risked fire, flood and bullets to keep a siddur from falling on the ground.... etc.)

Eli said...

You'r lucky that your kids are marker kids, mine prefer scissors.
I keep taking them away and hiding them in high places, but it's no use.

Wickwire said...

Eli my child is scissor happy too. No matter how good I hide the scissors, he finds them.

PT, to me all is sacred, including the scribbles.

PsychoToddler said...

Yonina is a scissors kid.

PsychoToddler said...

BTW, Eli, I hope your family was ok in Beersheva over the weekend with the terrorist attack?

torontopearl said...

PT, why the reference to "and me" in your description of the morning minyan?
Do you stand apart from your community? Do you not fit in?
In any case, the scribbles are in purple: a royal color. (someone else is ruling the household it seems) Concentric circles = the circle of life, ie. life cycles.
You've had that siddur around 18 years -- your child's scribbles are a reminder of how your life has changed in those 18 years; the scribbles can't be erased, are a permanent fixture in the siddur, as the children (& wife) are in your life.
Is that enough psychoanalysis for you?

PsychoToddler said...

Pearl:

"Do you stand apart in your community? Do you not fit in?"

Does a chicken have lips? Scratch that one. I'm neither Chassidish/Lubavich/Black Hat, and some would say I've strayed to the right of Modern Orthodox. I don't think it's possible for me to fit in anywhere.

If I did, I'd have to conclude that community was full of nut jobs.

Nice analysis. I've prepared a nice post on all of my kids and what I plan to use as 'blog aliases' instead of their real names. After you've had a chance to look that over (maybe I'll post it tomorrow), get back to me and see if you can figure out which kid did that particular scribble.

torontopearl said...

Can I guess now? I'd assumed it was the youngest Skier psychotoddler. But perhaps it's not a recent addition to the siddur, and is indeed the fine artwork/penmanship of your son who did that beautiful artwork that you posted a short time ago.

PsychoToddler said...

try again tomorrow ;-)

Eli said...

P.T. everyone is OK
BTW, just for the record I was a scalpel kid, scissors are just not precise enough ... (please don't mention this around my mom)

callieischatty said...

Well it says to me that your children don't fear you.

A child who was really afraid of her father would not dare to scribble that way!

I believe thats a good thing, love without fear, dicipline without excess.

Thats what I see.

MoChassid said...

PT

You would fit in PERFECTLY at my shul, Aish Kodesh (which Dov Bear, in one of his rare great moments once described as the Nassau Community College of Shuls). And, yes, it is full of nut jobs who don't fit in anywhere else. Pack your bags.

PsychoToddler said...

Eli: Scalpel? I don't think I want to know...

Callie: While it's pretty fair to say my kids don't fear me, the kid that scribbled that was 2 or 3 at the time. Scribbling in a Siddur was definitely a step up from scribbling on the wall or table.

MO: Let's see, an endorsment from DovBear and a shul full of Nutjobs... You're not exactly winning me over here ;-) Maybe you need to try Beth Jehudah.

BTW my sister lives in Woodmere. Maybe she should try it.

Zisha Pinkus said...

somebody with too much siddurim at home donated it to the shul

tuesdaywishes said...

What it says to me is that the siddur was in use in a house with kids. Our sefarim aren't all in great shape, but every dog-ear, scribble and tape-mended binding means to me that the sefer is not just for display. When I go into a house and the sefarim are all in neat rows, complete sets, in order, I can't believe they are being used. I do assume those houses have a den, office or study with a stack of unmatched Gemaras full of notes, chumashim like my hubby's Torah Temima that is wearing through its binding, and a siddur with fingermarks on all the weekday morning pages. I hope they do, anyway.

Kiki said...

this siddur could fit in very wel in our house. I remember when our eldest at the age of 3 designed his art on a sefer tehillim. Out of all the sifrei tehillim we have in the house that is the one I prefer to use. It tells me that I am raising my kids well. It's reassuring in a very strange way.

Shira Salamone said...

I've always felt funny about writing in sifrei kodesh, except maybe in pencil in the margins, if absolutely necessary. Mostly, I use Post-It Notes to make notes in my chumash or siddur these days. Both my Birnbaum siddur and my good old Hertz chumash lost their covers years ago from heavy usage. I've been davvening from my relatively-new ArtScroll lately instead, mostly for the "stage directions" (e.g. "release the tzitzit here"), so I expect that one to share the same fate in about another decade.

Shira Salamone said...

"I don't think it's possible for me to fit in anywhere."

Another "perpetual misfit." Been there, done that. Welcome to the club.

"PT, why the reference to "and me" in your description of the morning minyan?
Do you stand apart from your community?"

Nope, not as long as you're still davvening with the rest of the minyan. You know what they say in Pirkei Avot: "Al tifrosh min hatzibbur (don't separate yourself from the community.)" Well, you haven't. So maybe you're an "inside agitator." So what? Been there, done that, too. It's not the easiest thing, but it's manageable.