The Qu’ran calls Jews, Sabians, and Christians “People of the Book.” In Judaism’s case, the Prophet didn’t know how right he was, I think. My four-volume set of giant books, The 39 Melochos, by Rabbi Dovid Ribiat arrived today. These things are huge. I think the Amazon page said they were two thousand and change pages, which makes me wonder how I’m ever going to get through them in any reasonable amount of time, despite reading pretty fast.
And I still have a bunch more books on order. Those, at least, weren’t thirteen pounds in weight and didn’t cost $300 and change, including the shipping. (Wow.) Fortunately, I’m gainfully employed and can afford an expenditure like that.
I’ve been to grad school, but I didn’t realise that converting would entail essentially doing a PhD in Applied Judaism. (I can hear an Israeli friend of mine, a PhD in Religious Studies, laughing from here. Even over the rocket fire.)
On the upside, these things are apparently the comprehensive guide to Sabbath observance. I don’t know what more I’ll be able to do in my current living arrangement, but we’ll see, I guess.
A Language Note
As I mentioned in my previous post, there are two main ways of pronouncing Hebrew (there are others, but I’m not going to get into that now) — Ashkenazi and Sfardi. The title of the book above is a classic example of the t/s substitution and the vowel changes, as I’d pronounce that same word ( מלאכות ) melachot.