When I first entered Yeshiva, black or blue velvet tefillin bags, with 770, Crowns or (oddly) Sheaves of Wheat were the standard for teffilin bag art. These bags were then shoved with a chitas and a pushka into a plastic vinyl bag.
Suddenly, though, double bags - like mini-tallis bags that could hold both Rashis and Rabeinu Tams - came on to the scene. At first they were velvet, but soon leather bags became the standard.
I desperately wanted one - but for whatever reason, it never came to be.
|Holding my original, velvet, tefillin bag.|
Flash forward to the time before my wedding. Now, at last, I could get real double bag. This one would be for my tallis of course . . .
At first my shiny, black new bag was very exciting. Soon, however, I began to notice various flaws in its design. As anyone who followed me on Twitter may recall, the shoulder strap for the bag was attached by a snap. One wrong turn or the like, and the snap would come undone - leaving the tallis bag to fall to the ground. What was more, the leather was of poor quality. It felt stiff and the suede on the side quickly tore.
When Chana surprised me with a new Tallis bag as an anniversary present last year, I was more than ready to switch.
The bag, designed by Aliza Judaica Creations
, was worlds beyond the previous one.
The shoulder strap attaches to the side with swivel snap hooks - so no worries about it falling.
As to the bag itself, made with soft Corinthian leather
, it still looks remarkable after a year of use. The custom embroidering on the bag still looks sharp as well. While this bag doesn't fall, thanks to an actual working shoulder strap, it still gets considerable millage between all the trips to shul, in the car and on the plane. The fact that it's held up so well is truly a testament to its remarkable craftsmanship.
This is the second product we've gotten from Aliza (the first being the gorgeous challah cover I gave Chana for her birthday) and we can't recommend her work more highly.
|My Grandparent's wedding at the East London Synagogue|
I wonder some times about the passing of time. At times it feels like a never-ending continuous loop, day in day out, a winter's night and a summers day . . . and suddenly - moments there are clarifying moments . . . When the house is silent, and I sit by my computer, awake as I procrastinate on some random assignment . . . I wonder when things came to this moment.
When did the baby that was born yesterday learn to walk and (begin to)talk? When did Poland suddenly become 6 years ago - or my first day in Yeshivah a decade ago?
When a gigabyte go from an awe inspiring amount of storage capacity on the computer I got for my Bar Mitzvah become virtually negligible space on a storage card the size of a coffee bean?
|My sister and me - on the set of The Net, 1994|
I look at the cars from my youth, and they look like shoe boxes . . .
And I realize this is all only a blip. Suddenly the Sixties went from being in the past . . . to an era closer to my own birth than to the present.
|My father on the set of Echoes of a Summer. This photo was taken 10 years before I was born. My father is younger than I am now in this photo.|
I think to the youth of my parents.
I think back to my grandfathers - the world they were born in and the questions I never asked. My paternal grandfather fought in WWII. My maternal, stationed on a US base as a dental technician during the Korean War.
So many questions I never asked.
How the different the world was then . . .
My maternal grandfather was born in Williamsburg, before anyone outside the working class would ever call it home. He grew up in the Village where his fathers sold Yiddish Newspapers near Washington square. Here he grew up in the greatest city in the world . . . and we never spoke about it. Did he root for the Yankees or the Dodgers? (My guess? The Bronx Bombers) What is it like to visit Cooney Island when it was the
place to visit on a hot summers day?
What will my children think of me? Of my writings and experiences? Will my grandchildren look at my birth at the turn of the century with the same wonder that has always made 1895 seem so much further back in our past than 1902?
My only solace is the eternity of Torah. When nothing else is a constant . . . when culture changes by the hour and looks so foreign by the end of the day . . .