Today, I put the cover on the Torah backwards.  Now you my be thinking: “Hahaha nyah nyah,” In which case you are probably being quite nasty and should knock it off. But what I want you to think about is the fact that we all make mistakes. And we are usually quite nasty when it isn’t us who goofed up this time, or if it isn’t us having bad luck. I could go on and on about the nastiness of the kids in my grade, and anyone who wants this particular tangent can make a comment asking for it. But even G-d makes mistakes. Remember the story of Noah? How about when G-d thinks: I will take these people out of Egypt and into Israel… Oops! they aren’t ready. And in the grand scheme of of things, even G-d can fix his mistakes. But sometimes, mistakes aren’t fixable, and you can’t go up to the ark and turn around the Torah cover and pretend like it never happened. I can’t produce another Playmobil grappling hook to replace the one I broke. (For which I am still very sorry.) And that is just a thing we’ll have to work around. So the problem with mistakes is that people are bad at figuring out which ones are and aren’t fixable. I often find myself looking for a pencil, pen, piece of paper, or other thing, when my time would be better spent getting another thing to replace it. I also freak out about the most easy things to fix. (Just ask my 6th grade reading teacher about the time[s] I burst into tears over my lunchbox. Or my parents. Or my art teacher about that time I lost my recommendations for the NJHS application. Or my typing teacher about when I lost a test that I got signed. Though that was justified, as I got a weeks worth of “Didn’t turn in homework” highlights. But I digress.) Well, Shabbat Shalom!

By: Me, with help from G-d.



  1. I come from a structured liturgical tradition, too, and while I am EXTREMELY ANTI-MISTAKE, sometimes human error in performing the choreography of the service can remind people that what is going on is bigger than our dance. The Torah exists with the backwards cover, and no one is getting smited, and maybe you think about why it has been decided that the Torah should be arranged in that particular way. In my church, sometimes someone drops a piece of bread during the Eucharist, and there are measures in place to react appropriately to respect the consecrated host, because we have thought about the fact that people are going to mess up. It’s infuriatingly inevitable; you’d think we as a species would be better about it by now.

    • That is very interesting. If everything was perfectly perfect and nobody ever messed up, life would be rather boring. The thing is, you get all these weird traditions from people planning for human error. Did you know that a Torah that is dropped (the scroll, not if someone drops the book form of it) must be burnt and then mourned as a person? Just another reason to be EXTRA EXTRA careful on Hagba. No pressure…

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