#BlogExodus 4: Free

The Egyptians ruthlessly imposed upon the Israelites the various labors that they made them perform. Ruthlessly they made life bitter for them with harsh labor at mortar and bricks and with all sorts of tasks in the field (Exodus, 1:13-14).

#BlogExodus promptsAs a free person, one of the great joys in my life is the ability to create. Whenever I knit or write or make wire kippot, I partake of my freedom to craft things for reasons of my own. Although even free people must sometimes labor for the goals of others, my creative drive is not sapped utterly by molding brick after brick for any Pharaoh, ancient or modern.

I think I’ll set aside some time this afternoon to work on my Rainbow Dash-worthy afghan before Shabbat. When I have completed all one hundred squares with my own hands, I’ll enjoy the fruit of my freedom to make something for no reason other than the fact that it makes me smile.


Hue Shift Afghan in progress

The colors are crazy-bright, but they delight my inner six-year-old.

#BlogExodus, the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, invites participants to chronicle the weeks leading up to Passover through blog posts, photos, and other social media expressions.


Tu BiShvat Crafts Smell Awesome

Sara Rivka of Creative Jewish Mom has more delightful craft ideas to celebrate the New Year for Trees than I will ever be able to accomplish, so I selected just one for the upcoming holiday: a heavenly-smelling clove-studded orange called a pomander ball. The one I planned to make wasn’t the pretty kind with swirls and spirals of cloves, but rather the sort where the orange is completely covered in cloves and rolled in dry spices with an eye toward preserving it.

It was supposed to be, anyway, but I ran out of cloves. Rookie mistake.

Now it looks like a half-assed beach ball.

Now it looks like a half-assed beach ball.

If I hold it this way, I keep seeing the Eye of Sauron.

Animated Eye of Sauron pomander ball. Yessss.

Mordor never smelled this good, of course.

Maybe it could be a really fragrant bow tie.

It could be a little more symmetrical.

It could be a little more symmetrical.

Had I done it properly, my pomander might have kept for several months or a year. Oh well, at least my house will smell amazing through Tu BiShvat.