…on the train, into MS Word, since there were outlets for the computer but no wireless. Just as well, I got some OK work done.

Central Pennsylvania is woodsy and pretty. The leaves are bright yellow, burnt sienna, crimson. I haven’t lived someplace with a real autumn in a lot of years. I kind of miss it.

On the train to Harrisburg (the closest train stop to my collegiate destination) a group of Amish folk got on, and my very first thought was, Hey, Hasidim! I know you guys! Obviously there are a lot of real differences between Anabaptists and Yidden, but it was amusing to see how clearly it felt like I already had a category in my brain for these guys. They were schlepping a bunch of bags, and when I asked if they needed help, I almost actually did so in Hebrew.

The talk and class were fun. The class this morning involved a lot of talk about the difference between gender essentialism and egalitarianism/social constructivism, some interesting questions about my writing style, how secular feminists deal with me (not that I really have any clue) and why I think this Judaism thing is a good idea in the first place. And for some reason we talked about the Garden of Eden a lot.

The lecture last night was the first time I’ve really spoken in any depth on Jewish sexual ethics, a notion I’ve been noodling with for ages–so test-driving some new ideas. It was interesting to see who looked excited and interested and who shut down every time I used the word “God” or implied that perhaps the faith-engaged path didn’t necessarily involve disassociated, drunken one-night-stands with people you ordinarily can’t stand. I quoted some of the Talmud’s racier bits (as some of you know, it can get very racy), which is always a good trick for confusing people into paying attention. They said… what??!?

The folks at Dickenson were really good to me. Thanks, Andrea!

Two more flights and one more Shabbat before I get on the plane heading east. Today I did some solid editing and (Lord have mercy) actually broke the safety seal on Chapter 7. Not a lot of progress, but sometimes starting is the hardest part.

Well, one more flight and then the big flight. I am sick of airports. Have lovely Thursdays!

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