girl growing

and a space for her to play in

Saturday, September 30, 2006

thinking slightly jew...ish

ever since the season premier of 'grey's anatomy' i've been thinking like a jew. well, kind of. i don't really know exactly what that means, but my thoughts keep going back to them.
in the first episode we find izzy lying on the floor. her fiance has just died and can't remove herself from the floor. the roommates all lie next to her trying to convince her to get up and change out of her prom dress (you have to see the episode). finally christina, the ultra-competitive hard-ass asian jew goes in. she's lying there on the floor with izzy and begins to tell her that maybe they could do shiva...the jewish practice of mourning which includes only sitting on low stools or the floor and no...clean clothes.
i remember taking my first judaism class and being completely infatuated with it. i loved my professor and his 2 sons. i took the class when we all read in the news of the terrible things being done to jewish synagogues-all the mean writing on their buildings and vandalization. i connected with my professor. i felt as if he understood the beginning of our story and i understood part of the end. together...we were family.
i'm taking greek right now and totally loving it. it's one of the hardest classes i've taken but so worth it. i really enjoy my professor too...he's helping do a new translation of the bible. for some reason, i like that. i like that i go to a school that isn't afraid of that.
he told us about the 'christian shema' and made us read it in greek out loud.
the jewish shema comes mostly out of deuteronomy and the key verse most of us may have heard is: 'Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.'
and this is the follow up for those of us that believe in jesus: 'For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.'
i've been reciting to myself in the greek all week. i like it...a lot.
and lastly i've been thinking about shabbat. it's a hard concept for me, as i'm sure it is for most americans. for us, the jews have more restrictions on shabbat than any other time. we think how hard they must have it...having to obey all those rules, but if you ask one, you get quite a different answer. this is the day they look forward to. although it is a day of prayer...they pray everyday. they consider it a day of feasting-they eat more luxuriously than usual and the same is said about's luxurious. it's freedom. they are to worship and just........
i'm remember my judaism professor telling us about what was prohibited on shabbat...'melachah'. this word is usually translated as 'work', but for jews it holds a deeper meaning: the kind of work that is creative, or that exercises control or dominion over your environment. God rested from creating...from controlling.
i want that.
i want to have a day where i don't control.
yesterday i was driving to school (i leave the house at 6:45am which is early for us college kids) and i saw one of the most beautiful sunrises. you know what rain looks like when it's coming down in sheets far off in the distance? you can see it moving and its as if lines were flowing at an angle from the sky? that's what the sunlight looked like.
it was raining sunshine.
it wasn't just in one place though, it was everywhere out in the distance. every direction i turned my head i saw sunlight filtering through the clouds.
as i turned down 59 almost to school i found that i couldn't seen the shards of sunlight anymore...i was in it. i was driving in the rain i had seen before and it was amazing.
it was a present...something much bigger than i orchestrated that, and i'm thankful for it.
i'm thankful for shiva...shema...and shabbat.
i'm thankful for being in a place that allows me to appreciate aspects of my neighbors culture.
i'm thankful that right now...on this saturday (or this sabbath) i'm stuck in a house with a napping kiddo upstairs. we're going to the park to play when he wakes up and maybe a swim in the pool. i have nothing to do but play with him. nothing to contol...nowhere to go.
i'm thankful that today i can


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