Yesterday I had an errand to run towards the city center, so I decided to nip over to Mea Shaarim as long as I was in the area. Dressed in a long skirt and such, I wound my way over to that one street where I always buy books (I forget what it’s called–the one just off Mea Sharim St.) and went to work. Actually, I was pretty restrained, all told. I got a teeny tiny Shulchan Aruch–12 paperbacks of just theMichaber and the Rema, none of the other commentaries. I’ll keep poking around the used bookstores to see if there’s a set that wants to come home with me, but I’ll be back to Israel often enough (as is what happens when you get hitched to one of the locals) that I can pick up a proper, large set sometime in the future–and in the meantime the commentaries on my CD-ROM or books in the beit midrash are just fine. I don’t have that frenzied feeling of needing to complete my library today.
The tiny Shulchan Aruch is really cool, though. I have a weekly hevruta working on the problems of kiddushin, and we were going to explore the halakhic ramifications of a particular issue today, so I just grabbed the relevant book (really, the size of a regular paperback) and put it in my backpack–no back injuries pulling the book off the shelf required! (BTW, I’ve been updating my kiddushin site, so check it out if you’re into that sort of thing. I’m backdating the newer entries so that the welcome post is the first one, so don’t go by the dates–it’s one of the downsides of doing this in blog format.)
Anyway, so I got my wee law code, and then wandered into another store I like and went home with three Hasidic commentaries on the Torah, chosen by my very scientific method of reading random chunks of the books and buying the ones that I liked. I hadn’t even heard of one of the books/authors that I bought, but he was smart, so what’s not to like?