Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Six, Five Before Seven

Two weeks ago I published my predictions for the final Harry Potter book, which is now only five days from release - can it really be that soon?!? Tonight, for what will certainly be my last HP-related post before book seven arrives, I move from expectation to aspiration, from guess to want. There's a big difference of course, as any sports fan readily understands; e.g., I very much hope the Washington Nationals will make the World Series this year, but certainly don't much expect it.

So along those lines, here are my final magical wishes, a half-dozen scenes that I'd very much have liked Rowling to have included somewhere in the series. (A couple of these were referenced in an earlier post):

1) A meeting between the Dursleys and the Grangers. It would be very neat to see how Vernon and Petunia would react to professional, well-to-do, non-magical parents, who far from being ashamed of that their child is a Wizard, are happy and proud of her.

2) On a somewhat related note, how about a support group for Muggle parents and siblings of magical children, led by volunteers from the Ministry of Muggle Affairs? I'm picturing a hilarious parody of group therapy. "...and how did it make you feel when Billy turned your new baseball mitt into a giant spider?"

3) A Slytherin student who is a neither sadistic, malevolent, dishonest, racist, nor the child/relative of a Death Eater. One who, in fact, wholeheartedly supports the good side in the war against Voldemort, yet remains fiercely loyal to his own house's history and style.

4) The discovery that Dolores Umbridge is part goblin, thus explaining her overwhelming need to debase, and thus distance herself from, other "half-breeds". I almost put this in my predictions post, but decided it's just too unlikely. Love to see her "outed", though.

5) An explanation of how owls can locate anybody, even people whom the most skilled Aurors in the magical community can't find; e.g., Sirius Black in book 4. Why didn't they just send him an owl, and then follow it on their brooms?

6) A Jewish, religiously observant Hogwarts student - or any Wizard for that matter. Imagine the questions! Can "Incendio" be used to light Chanukah candles? Can you Apparate to shul on Shabbos? Where do you get kosher-certified ingredients for potions?

Got a wish list of your own? Last chance!


At 7/17/07, 6:03 PM, Anonymous Danny Geretz said...

Do you care to discuss the "halacha of opening Harry Potter package from Amazon.com on Shabbat afternoon" question?

At 7/18/07, 12:30 AM, Blogger Ezzie said...

I really like 3 & 5. 3 I've been wondering about for a while - though I'll note that the former heads of school in Dumbledore's office were - while to some extent agreeable to Malfoy et al - still helped the headmaster. And of course there's Snape.

5 I've always questioned - there must be a catch.

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At 7/18/07, 10:17 AM, Anonymous Elie said...

Danny: Good topic, be glad to discuss. Some of the sub-issues would be:

- Opening mail on Shabbos, either oneself or via asking a gentile to do so. This is assuming the package arrives sealed; I know with one of the previous books, our packages were unsealed when we got them. May have been a smart delivery guy knowing his clientele in this Jewish neighborhood!

- Utilizing an object delivered from outside the Eruv on Shabbos. Some don't read the Saturday newspaper delivered on Shabbos for the same reason. Some good discussion on this issue in the mail-jewish list a few years ago. See the following among other editions:


- The "shabbosdik" issue; which I would consider to be fundamentally subjective, and not subject to "psak" on a global basis.

At 7/18/07, 10:24 AM, Anonymous Elie said...

Ezzie: Thanks! Actually the best example of what I'm looking for in #3 is Professor Slughorn in book 6. But AFAIK there's never been a Syltherin student depicted in such a three-dimensional manner.

At 7/18/07, 2:40 PM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

I am re-reading #6. I hadn't realized how much I had forgotten.

Number 6 on your list is intriguing.

At 7/19/07, 10:13 AM, Anonymous Danny Geretz said...

Re: opening the package on Shabbat, see the Hirhurim blog, where Gil Student has discussed this:

http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/ dibbur hamatchil “Harry Potter on Shabbos”

At 7/19/07, 11:39 AM, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Just saying hi since I don't know much about this topic.

At 7/22/07, 3:43 PM, Anonymous Kylopod said...

I have just finished Book Seven, but I will not say a word. I avoided reading any of the blogs which discuss it until I had finished the book. I didn't even want to hear other people's predictions. I wanted to go into the book with as few preconceptions as possible. I am pleased that I succeeded.

All I want to say now is that, in anticipation of the book's release, I wrote two posts on my blog that are tangentially related to Harry Potter. One is a philosophical meditation on the fantasy genre; the other is about a Modern Hebrew translation of one of the earlier books. Here are the links:



At 7/25/07, 10:23 AM, Blogger SS said...

I have also finished book 7 already, but I want to point out something that I thought about before I finished. Draco Malfoy also wasn't able to take his apparition test when Hermione and Ron were. In other words, he also has a spring/summer birthday, perhaps in late July? I know that DD didn't mention him as one of the possible foils for Voldemort, but perhaps, as has been suggested regarding Neville, Draco will also play a role in VM's downfall? Especially considering his seeming change of heart as DD speaks to him atop the Astronomy Tower in the DD death scene in book 6... What say you?


At 7/25/07, 10:35 AM, Anonymous Elie said...

Thanks for your additional comments, Jack, Danny, SWFM, Kylopod, and SS. I still have about 200 pages to go in the book, and in that intermediate stage I don't feel it's very relevant to still be addressing "predictions", while it's premature for comments on the actual book. Hope to have a followup post on the book when I finish.


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