what is ashes in the form of a what?

We were in Manhattan today for a few hours.  Very few.  Earlier that day, at daughter #1’s house, I took the baby because the oldest had thrown up and the middle one had put his wet pants from yesterday back in his drawer which made all the other pants wet, so he had to change his clean though wet pants and my daughter was going to go downstairs to get the toaster oven because he wanted to eat a waffle for breakfast and she had put the toaster oven away the night before because she had a house full of people for dinner for the husband’s birthday.  And she wanted me to go downstairs away from the throw-up, so I did, but fell down the last few stairs.

Holding the baby.

So, hysteria ensues.  I pretty much had no idea if he hit his head or not.  I know I fell on my arm that was holding him and I know he started crying.  And I know I thought I broke my arm for a moment, and then maybe just my elbow, but of course, what about the baby?  The EMT guys were there in 2 minutes or less; I went to get dressed.  They were just as worried about me as they were about the baby, who they thought looked good, but I was also going to be fine, just badly shaken and bruised.  They took the baby to the hospital, just in case (can you blame them?), the husband followed in order to bring them back, and I stayed with the big girl.  The middle one ate cereal, by the way, and then went to school.  He told me that I didn’t fall down the stairs; just a few of them, because he saw the whole thing.

So, after things calmed down and everyone came back, thank G-d fine, we thought about resuming our plans to go into the city to do some touristy artsy thing.  We like Manhattan for that.  Last year we saw the Chagall exhibit at the Jewish Museum, which was amazing.  And so we wanted something like that today.   We ended up going to the Museum of Arts and Design at Columbus Circle.  It’s apparently only a year old, so we’ve never been there before.  Besides one amazing floor of paper art (papercuts and beyond; see this for an example), there was also a fascinating floor of crafts, including a collection of silver jewelry from all over the world.  You would not believe the weight of some of these pieces.  I over heard a couple of women trying to read the word “fibulae”.  That’s when I got interested.

Wouldn’t you know, it’s a Jewish thing?  Here’s an example of what they showed, not even the most amazing one.  Do you see the triangle form?  Part of a Jewish star, you think?  Actually, according to what they wrote, it’s the feminine form, but okay, we could draw from it to be the Jewish star, why not?

And what is a fibula?  Basically the choshen of the Kohen Gadol…timely, of course, for the parashah.

So a wonderful time was had by all, and then I realized I was exhausted emotionally, more than physically.  On our way back to the parking lot, we saw a lot of people with shmutzy crosses on their foreheads.  For the last million years, I usually have gone food shopping on Wednesdays, and always am hit with the shmutz on other people’s foreheads there.  Now I do my shopping on Thursdays, because I’m not working normal people’s hours and that’s when they have my fresh fish.  But even so, I know that at home they don’t do the cross shape with their shmutz; just a dab will do ya.  I don’t know why Manhattan insists on a full cross.  But I realized it’s more than likely because forms matter more here in the city, so I guess they have to spell it out.

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