ex post fasto post – Tenth of Tevet

Hanoch Ne’eman 11 Tevet 5775  Jerusalem (c)

Today was one of four annual fasts – the Tenth of Tevet, the day siege was laid to Jerusalem in the days of Jeremiah and the First Temple.

The morning hours of a fast are ripe for teshuva, and the afternoon hours for tephilla – prayer.

I usually end up doing house cleaning on fast days, for some reason. That is also a sort of teshuva. First you clean up the outer space, and then the inner. Though one does not always imply the other. I know people whose homes are neat and clean and they are still lunatics. That is why Rabbi Gamliel only wanted to let students into the Study Hall whose inside was as their outside.

So I was fixing the door to my second bedroom, and was testing the lock when the key, one of those simple keys, breaks in the lock, leaving me locked in the room. So to joy of fasting I added the joy of unintended incarceration.

There were no phones in the room, but there was my computer. This was at about 10 am. I checked to see if I had the email of my downstairs neighbor. Perhaps if he had a key like that he could throw it up to me. No luck, no email for him.

So then I thought – maybe I can climb from the window of this bedroom to the window of my other bedroom next door. So I take out the two sliding windows and am able to reach the other window with my arm. Each window has a wide ledge but there is a non ledge wall, the exterior wall of the building, between them. My work clothes were in this room where I was so I changed into work pants, and also put on a pair of close fitting orange palmed work gloves. Beside that I had on a white long sleeve undershirt, my socks, and kippa. Fortunately I had left the other bedroom window slightly open. I managed to take the screen out and pull it into the second bedroom. Now I prepared for the – climb shall I say?

My bedroom overlooks a busy intersection, three floors below. I was concerned that people seeing me might think I was a burglar and call the cops. I must have looked like a haredi spider-man, and I felt like one. The move went smoothly. My rock climbing outings in the past year stood me well in being able to trust my hands for the seconds of leg moving.

What do you think the significance of this happening was?



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