Minbari Mondays, TKO, and Health Defense: physical and spiritual

This is the continuation of our fictional letter (reviewing each film and episode of Babylon 5) that I receive each week from Ranger Mayann.

Here is her 16th report:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa, Greetings from Tuzanor:

In this report, in your Earth year 2258, it is just past the middle of the second year of operation of the station. The Anla’Shok has no official records related to the private life of Lt. Commander Ivanova at this point in the station’s history, although the title fight related to the Sho Rin Gior and Walker Smith of Earth is, of course, a matter of interstellar record.  While the two incidents which I have been asked about are undoubtedly important as individual experiences for both Humans, they are considered private, and thus not a matter for discussion, nor reporting.   Nevertheless, we Minbari consider rituals of this nature to be sacred.  Leave-taking rituals, such as sitting Shiva, and terror-facing rituals, like that of The Sands of Blood, as they call the arena of the Mutai.  Our Religious and Warrior castes both have many rituals, some like these two.  All rituals serve a purpose.

From the city of  Tuzanor, on Minbar

Earth year 2278,

Anla’Shok Mayann

  Addendum to Ranger Mayann’s report, by Shira: What the Rangers did not report on was one of the very few and very best examples of religion being dealt with extremely well in science fiction television, and I always cry my eyes out at the end as Ivanova says Kaddish (the Mourner’s Prayer), after so much resisting.  As Walker Smith needed Gior to show him where his heart was, so Susan needed her Uncle Yossi, R. Koslov, to show her where her heart was.

Before that, though, she shares an anecdote about her father, for whom she has finally being persuaded to sit  Shiva, which provides a fascinating glimpse into what she was like as a growing and inquisitive young teenager.  With, I must add, some rather exquisite language!

“…out of diapers.

… and I’d been out of diapers for many years, but the quality of his writing had yet to rise above the contents of those garments!”

Beautiful retort!

This is a fundamental episode for the Lt. Commander, as we see more of why she is so private, how she tends to deal with things.  We’ll see her strength really start to shine in the next year or so, sadly, being polished like a diamond after the pressure of years in a coal pit.  And we see a bit about Garibaldi, and more about the often uncomfortable relationships between Earth and the other worlds in the galaxy.  This episode in particular feels like Earth standing in as a proxy for critique of the US regarding our relations with developing countries, especially. 

This episode has always been a very uncomfortable one for me, but still a very fulfilling one, oddly enough.

That was part of Ranger Mayann’s letter on the history of the Babylon Project. It can be seen from another point of view by watching the Babylon 5 Season 1, Episode 14, which I  highly recommend seeing, with two boxes of tissues at the ready!


See Ranger Mayann’s report from last week on questions and context, and next week will examine Quests, Seeking, and Seekers…

To see all of her reports as an on-going PDF version: B5EpsThr10.

-Shira Destinie

Action Items:

1.)  Share your thoughts on the many possible forms of physical vs. emotional (or spiritual) self-defense, and the difference, and then:

2.) Share your thoughts on how we Human Beings might start to build a more fully inclusive society for all of us, and how this episode of Babylon 5 could help that process.

3.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses these thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
ReadWrite, Vote, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plan Book)

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.

and my Babylon 5 review posts, if you like Science Fiction,
a proposed Vision on Wondering Wednesdays: for a kinder world…

Shira Destinie A. Jones, BsC, MAT, MPhil

our year 2020 CE =  12020 HE

(Day 1 of GED lesson plans…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free copies at: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

-one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call  for free via this GoodReads link.  Please leave a review, if you can make a bit of time.


Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

15 thoughts on “Minbari Mondays, TKO, and Health Defense: physical and spiritual

  1. This episode has vexed me since I first saw it. The two stories are good, but the juxtaposition of them does not work well. Ivanova’s story held my attention more, and the rabbi was a wonderful character.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Likewise, Neatnik: I never liked the fight story line, but I saw it as an important one, in some ways, and I do believe, personally, that it holds up well, as a way of juxtaposing the internal struggle of grieving with the external struggle of … something testosterone-laden, I guess. I loved Ivanova’s story, too, much more, but I can see how some would have argued that it was a bit too ‘touchy-feely’ to stand alone. Still, I really hate that idea that physical combat is needed or even useful, because I believe that it is neither, and merely caters to our baser instincts, while glorifying combat in a way that is unhealthy for society.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hey, btw, Neatnik, on a different episode, back in episode number 3 of this first season (Born to The Purple), it suddenly hits me, have you any idea whether the name of “The Fresh Air” restaurant is related to the NPR show of that title?


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