Yesterday… and Today

Yesterday, a mile and a half, hot breakfast, more words (yay!), pleasure reading from The Cowley Fathers, and some family time (construing ‘family’ to include dogs).

Today, just a mile, out of gentleness to my body in the heat, fruit breakfast which might as well not have happened as far as my appetite is concerned, some marking paperwork, quick gardening before the day reaches full heat, research to support marking, various interruptions (mostly to do with four-legged residents), and a bit more reading.

Since I Was Looking…

Today I was searching for a half-remembered baraita to the effect that if all Israel were to keep the Law for a single day, the Messiah would come — but I couldn’t call to mind enough of the exact words for G***** to be of any help. Finally I came up with some unattributed quotations of the principle (shame on you colleagues whom I will allow to remain anonymous), but Margaret spotted one iteration of the principle:

Said R Levi, “If Israel would keep a single Sabbath in the proper way, forthwith the son of David will come. [y. Taanit, 1:1, toward the end]

Just before that, a slightly different alternative:

R. Aha in the name of R. Tanhum b. R. Hiyya, “If Israel repents for one day, forthwith the son of David will come. [again, y. Taanit 1:1]

By then I’d forgotten why I was looking for the passage, but that didn’t stop me from being distracted from the work I needed to do — oh, no! So I also came up with

It is taught in another baraita that Rabbi Eliezer says: If the Jewish people repent they are redeemed, as it is stated: “Return, wayward children, I will heal your iniquities” (Jeremiah 3:22). [b. Sanhedrin, 97b]. (By the way, Sanhedrin 97b is a wonderful illustration of how richly controverted, and how variously imagined, the coming of the Messiah was imagined in Judaic antiquity — contra the countless commentators who treat Judaic culture as a homogeneous unanimity.)

None of these reflects what I thought I remembered (which is actually, as I discovered almost exactly what several NT scholars have said in print, without citing a source), but they’re close enough for me to move on… for now.

Where Did I Put That Day?

Yesterday: a mile and half, fruit breakfast, and more research reading on the Bible in Catholic England.

Today: two miles, hot breakfast, more research, but also a couple of paragraphs of writing (would have been more, but other responsibilities intervened).

Beautiful Morning, Hopeful Day

Two miles, plus reading.

I realised this morning while I was running that I’m trying to master pre-Reformation hermeneutics, and that’s not really the pivot of this essay. The difficulty (for me) is that when I study a topic and construct an argument, it’s the details that give me traction toward my conclusion. Again, the easy way forward of just rehearsing a series of thinkers — ‘he said X, that fellow said Y, this other said Z’ — doesn’t make much of a contribution. On the other hand, there’s something to be said for providing comfortably familiar material as a medium for introducing my distinct approach. (And that is more like what I suggested to my editor when we discussed my contribution.)

And time to read and think without the sense that an avalanche of obligations is about to descend on me in September would make it all sweeter and more readily imagined. Alas, that doesn’t make avalanches of obligations go away. It does conjure dreams of retirement, though.


Two mile run this morning, with a view to fitting in another two mile run later in the week — gradually escalating, I hope, to making two miles my daily norm. I was reminded this morning that one reason for running every day arises from my feeling, first thing on stepping out, that I might on the whole prefer to regain weight, lose breathing capacity, and just skip the running altogether. (That’s also probably why I ran the extra half mile this morning, as a reminder that it’s important that I keep at it.)

Breakfast at Rick’s, then more reading about pre-Reformation and Elizabethan hermeneutics. I know, you’re jealous.

Going to Rome

Not me, neither for a holiday nor ecclesially, but only the Euro Championship — well earned, as the Italians gave a clinic in patient pressure on England’s defence for most of the game. And full marks to Jordan Pickford, who kept England in the game in the face of pressure that hardly lessened through most of the two regular periods, the overtime, and the shootout.

I didn’t run this morning because of rain; I was surprised that that seems to have made me a little cranky, at least till after fruit breakfast and second coffee. After I settled into a more productive frame of mind, I spent most of the day working on my essay on Anglican hermeneutics, partly in reading for research, partly in deliberating about how best to structure my argument, and partly caring for dogs who don’t give a fig about Anglican hermeneutics. I think I may have shifted my approach from an easy but lazy angle to a more adventuresome but more original angle.

Sunday Summary

Two-mile run; hot breakfast; Sunday Mass; some reading, some weeding, a long walk with Minke and Flora. The dogs were restive and irritable, though, and it was difficult to settle them for more than a few minutes. The only thing that calmed them was watching a film on television, so I revisited Blazing Saddles. Then, of course, there was the football game….

Saturday Accounts

Short run, since it was raining (about a mile); hot breakfast; long midday walk with Minke and Flora; reading in The Cowley Fathers; but mostly taking things easy and caring for the dogs.

Irrelevant Title

Mile and a half; fruit breakfast; ‘Twelve Miracles,’ ‘Phinehas Rewarded’ in Legends III; time spent reading The Cowley Fathers; Long walk with Minke and Flora; Diego|Maradona in the evening, warming up for tomorrow.

Is It Coming Home?

Mile and a half; fruit breakfast; ‘Balaam’s Wicked Counsel,’‘Phinehas, Zealous for God’ from Legends III; research reading on pre-Reformation biblical interpretation in England; a fair amount lot of editing/revising my Greek textbook.

Take That, Balaam!

Yesterday’s tick-list of accountability includes my morning mile and a half, hot breakfast (at Rick’s, for the first time in months; Minke and Flora behaved very well); some reading on hermeneutics (Wittgenstein and Derrida); some structural work on an article; ‘Balaam Extols Israel’; and some weeding. Not a greatly productive day, but some unwinding compensates for less intense work.