24 December 2016

The Feast of Dedication as Celebrated in an English Synagogue,” uncredited illustration in “Historical Sketch of the Jews Since Their Return from Babylon,” by Bernhard Pick, The Open Court, May 1897, 273. (In the public domain.)

01 April 2016

In Loving Memory of Joe Doyle

📷 In loving memory of Joe Doyle, a well‐known member of the community, who died on 22 March. 😢

(All photographs by Elyaqim Mosheh Adam, under a Creative Commons BY‐NC license.)

24 March 2016

Purim and Anti‐Semitism

🖼 The legend central to the holiday of Purim depicts a situation wherein allegations of anti‐Semitism are taken seriously and not categorically dismissed.

The illustration: “Esther confond Aman,” illustration by Gustave Doré from La sainte Bible, 1866, reprinted as “Queen Esther Accuses Haman Before the King” in “Haman Is Hanged on the Gallows Made for Mordecai,” The Bible Panorama or The Holy Scriptures in Picture and Story, Arranged for the Instruction and Entertainment of Children, as Well as Older Persons; Illustrating the Principal Events of the Old and New Testaments, with Descriptions of Them in Easy Words, [by William A. Foster,] Philadelphia: Charles Foster Publishing Co., 1891, 205. (In the public domain.) (Internet Archive) (Flickr) (Also Wikimedia Commons)

03 March 2016

Looking Serious in a Playful Winter Hat

🌬📷 By some ways of reckoning it, winter is over, but the weather here is certainly still wintery. Here are some of my recent photos showing that people in New York City can manage to look serious even when wearing a playful winter hat. And I write that as a New Yorker often in a mood as playful as my hats. (Photographs by Elyaqim Mosheh Adam, under a Creative Commons BY‐NC 4.0 license.)

11 February 2016

Swollen Bear Is Swollen

My keratocystic odontogenic tumor was finally cut out of me earlier this week, and now I have a large gap where it used to be that needs to slowly fill with the appropriate tissues. The procedure was carried out by three surgeons and was rather intense, including carefully separating my exposed inferior alveolar nerve from tumor tissue, but they put me back together so well that my jaw did not need to be wired and I can even speak fairly well. I am now recovering quite comfortably thanks to good medication. I am on a liquid diet for a few days but will be on a soft diet before the week is over. Also of note: At no point in time did anyone at the hospital ask me which three oral surgeons I find the sexiest in the whole clinic, yet those were coincidentally the very three who did the job.

The illustration
“Mr. Bear Came Down with the Mumps,” illustration by L. J. Bridgman for “The Strange Story of Mr. Dog and Mr. Bear—The Christmas Tree,” by Mabel Fuller Blodgett, St. Nicholas, Dec. 1915, 185. (In the public domain.) (Internet Archive) (Flickr)

09 February 2016

My Surgery Is Nigh

The time has finally come when the keratocystic odontogenic tumor (KCOT) about which I have been complaining for more than a year will be cut out of me. A few facts about my procedure:

— The tumor extends from my left wisdom tooth down my jawline to the further (right) side of my chin. Over the course of my long treatment, it was hoped the tumor would shrink. Although it has indeed shrunk, it got flatter and narrower but not significantly shorter. This means I still need quite a long incision for it to be excised, which I estimate from a tape measure held to my face to be at least six inches.

— Because this type of tumor is particularly aggressive, every last little bit of it needs to be scraped out, which necessitates removal of bone tissue at least a millimeter deep from parts of my mandible that are in contact with it. I will also need annual visits to an oral surgeon for the rest of my life to ensure the tumor doesn’t recur.

— There will be direct manipulation of my inferior alveolar nerve by my surgeons. Such intimate interaction with the nerves may leave me with some paresthesia on my face, possibly for the rest of my life. I admit I am concerned about whether my verbal articulation will be affected, and if so, how much.

— My jaw may be immobilized after surgery, and I will eat only a soft diet for a time. In preparation, I have stocked my apartment with soup, sauce, baby food, ḥummuṣ, yoqurt, butter, sour cream, cottage cheese etc.

I have great confidence in my surgeons’ abilities so I find I am not fearful. I will write about the recovery in the upcoming days as I expect to have more time to be online than ever before. See you later.

The drawing
Fig. 88, “Patient with dentigerous cyst,” uncredited illustration in Injuries and Diseases of the Jaws: The Jacksonian Prize Essay of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 1867, 3rd ed., by Christopher Heath, Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co., 1884, 192. (In the public domain.) (Internet Archive) (Flickr)

29 January 2016

After the Blizzard

Snow on 72nd Street between 35th and 37th avenues after the blizzard, Jackson Heights, 24 January 2016. (Photograph by Elyaqim Mosheh Adam, under a Creative Commons BY‐NC license.)

Taken with Nikon Coolpix S6900, edited with PicMonkey.

27 January 2016

After some of my friends requested information on my health and others expressed some confusion over it, I offer this health update.

• As you may remember, the x‐ray I had in August for sciatica incidentally revealed evidence of kidney stones, which led in October to a visit with a urologist who ordered another x‐ray and a CT scan so he could properly diagnose me. Much of November and December was spent correcting multiple billing, scheduling and authorization errors made by the health providers’ offices and by the insurance company, but I finally received the x‐ray and CT scan on different days earlier this month. When I was again seen by the urologist, the test results showed, not surprisingly, that I do indeed have kidney stones, and they are large enough that he recommended laser lithotripsy. Because I am in no pain and because I am facing significant oral surgery in the near future, we postponed my next urology visit until springtime.

• The last time I was seen by the oral surgeon in October, x‐ray and CT scan results showed that I had good bone tissue regrowth, but that the tumor itself hadn’t shrunk significantly. The aforementioned billing, scheduling and authorization errors, as well as the snowstorm, delayed the following visit, but it will be tomorrow (Wednesday), and based on our telephone conversations, the removal of the tumor on my jawbone is imminent, possibly within the next two weeks.

24 January 2016

🌳 A picture of an almond tree in the Land of Israel, in honor of the Jewish New Year of the Trees (ראש השנה לאילנות‎).

Uncredited illustration in Palestine: The Physical Geography and Natural History of the Holy Land …, by John Kitto, London: Charles Knight & Co., 1841, 212. (In the public domain.)

04 January 2016

Taken in by the Propaganda

The only thing that marred my otherwise wonderful extended New Year’s/Perihelion weekend was hearing in conversation that two different intelligent Jewish‐American atheist friends of mine have apparently fallen for the propaganda of fanatically religious Islamic extremists and their allies: One of them was accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing” for issuing identification numbers, and the other was saying that radical Islam is no more a problem than extremism in any other religious group and that terrorism has nothing to do with Islamic doctrine but instead with economic disadvantages and a loss of “dignity” that make terrorists turn to terrorism in order to “shake things up.” This was saddening and disheartening but is also quite rare in my social circles.