This week in Tablet magazine, I ponder shatnez, the rule in the Torah that prohibits wearing clothes containing both wool and linen. In the past, I only thought about shatnez when thinking up retorts to intolerant religious people yelling about Adam and Steve. (To wit: Dude, if you’re so into Leviticus and the Bible as the literal word of God, are you checking the content of every single item in your wardrobe? Are you sure you have NO sweaters with linen thread, say, stitched in the label or in a seam? Because the sacred texts take that just as seriously as homosexuality, and I don’t see you people getting furious about people wearing linsey-woolsey.)
But now I think about shatnez a lot, because I have a child whose rules for clothing are far stricter than those in the Torah. Maxie’s sensory issues mean I make choices about clothing all the time, and my daughter ascribes moral value to clothing. Anyway, I think it’s kind of an oddball interesting piece, one I could only do for Tablet. Check it out.
1. Above is the art that was NOT used for the story. (Images from iStockphoto, collage by Abigail Miller at Tablet.) I think I like it better than the one the editors chose?
2. My original title for this was “Hit Me With Your Best Shatnez.” It was too long for the magazine’s title template. I could not think of another play on the word “shot,” or a Shatner joke.
3. At the Tablet office I caressed the National Magazine Award in the EIC’s office. I have held an Ellie (the copper-colored, heavy stabile designed by Alexander Calder) before, but this was the first time I was really comfortable fondling it to my heart’s desire, and I have just succeeded in grossing myself out, sorry. But I mostly write for women’s magazines, which tend not to win many Ellies, so it was thrilling to be part of a enterprise that won the most prestigious award in the industry. And in its first year out of the gate! Sassy was nominated for an Ellie for general excellence, but didn’t win, and other ladymags I’ve written for have been nominated or have won for “personal service journalism,” but not for pieces I wrote, so I haven’t felt much connection. I write for Tablet magazine every week, and I think it’s an incredibly good publication, and Alana offered to let me take the Ellie home to babysit it for a while, and I put a picture of the Ellie and me on my Facebook page. So I felt really good about having my way with that Ellie and it felt like a sacred union and I’m totally gonna buy it breakfast.