Tag Archives: Bible

Sacred Study Saturdays, Aaron as Watson Reparation, and extended Adulting

The common good, or the general welfare, requires that Adults see the need for restitution, or other kinds of reparation to restore trust,  as earlier generations saw in the book of Exodus.  Those two types of repairing go hand in hand with our need, today, to become a more fully inclusive society.

The first reparation happens in last week’s traditional cycle Torah reading.  This week’s parashah (Torah reading) continues with Aaron and Moses dealing with Pharaoh, and with the enslaved People of Israel.  Last week’s parashah, VaEra, however, started by repairing one problem:  Moses’ privilege.   It dealt with Moses’ attempt to refuse on the grounds of slowness of speech, yet one article argues that that slowness may have been all in his mind, kind of an inverse to Sherlock Holmes’ concern about arrogance: his own.  Both men see potential flaws in themselves, and both seek responses.  Moses gets it in his brother Aaron, who has grown up as a slave, unlike Moses’ palace upbringing.  Sherlock Holmes gets his remediation in-waiting by asking Dr. Watson to be a brake on any perceived arrogance via a one word reminder of his (imho) most beautiful story, Yellow Face: “Norbury.”

The second repair is made this week, in Parashat Bo.   Reparations for 400 years of enslavement by the Egyptians:

דַּבֶּר־נָ֖א בְּאָזְנֵ֣י הָעָ֑ם וְיִשְׁאֲל֞וּ אִ֣ישׁ ׀ מֵאֵ֣ת רֵעֵ֗הוּ וְאִשָּׁה֙ מֵאֵ֣ת רְעוּתָ֔הּ כְּלֵי־כֶ֖סֶף וּכְלֵ֥י זָהָֽב׃

Tell the people to borrow, each man from his neighbor and each woman from hers, objects of silver and gold.”

 

These reparations happened in cash, so to speak, but there are other ways to repair generational damage, such as scholarships, acknowledgement of the truth of systemic wrongs, help with finding family history, free tutoring, etc, and creation of a floor on poverty for all, which in effect helps most those who have historically been wronged the most.  Such a safety net in the long run helps us all.

Action Items:

1.) Search for two different sources related to the concept of restitution

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how a study of restitution might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking,

4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses your thoughts, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. If you write a book, once published, please consider donating to your local public library.

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
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GR button:

     ! שָׁלוֹם

ShiraDest

December, 2020 CE = December 12020 HE

(The previous lesson 20/67 published since this post, and the most recent lesson 21/67…)

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

Thoughtful Thursdays, From the Depths on a New Moon, and self-Health Care

On the 14th (but starting last night, on the 13th at sundown), began the new month, and the month of Rosh Chodesh Sh’vat, on the Jewish calendar.  Months on the Hebrew calendar begin on the new moon, and this day is traditionally a women’s half-holiday, with no housework being done, in theory, by women on that day.  How I wish that every day would become a day of recognition for women, and for all of those who labour for the benefit of us all.  Our society must come to recognize the work that all people do, to care for others, to keep a safe and clean environment for our families and communities, and our society must become more fully inclusive for all of us.

later update:  Oops!  I forgot to connect those dots: this Psalm is one of those sung as part of Hallel, which is chanted and sung in the morning service of Rosh Chodesh, and most other full holidays. 

Action Items:

1.) Search for two different sources showing the Psalm that contains the words “from the depths,” or “Min haMetzar” ( מין המצר ). 

2.) Share your interpretation of those words with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how we can help build a more inclusive world, and more inclusive thinking, in our society, please, and then,

4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses those thoughts, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. If you write a book, once published, please consider donating to your local public library.

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
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GR button:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

ShiraDest

partly scheduled in December, 2020 CE = December 12020 HE

(The previous lesson published since this post, and the most recent lesson (41…)…)

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

Sacred Study Saturdays, TV shows for Torah reading, and Adulting Ed.

Part of Adulting, which is part of Phase I of the Four Freedoms movement, is learning how one learns best independently, both to keep learning, and to help others to learn.  I learned that some of my favorite science fiction shows can help me learning the difficult names found in the Torah!  🙂

2012-12-02
Star Trek and B5 helped my Torah Chanting, come discuss more SF and ethical values, bring a TV!  Yesterday’s portion had lots of names in it, which I found easier to learn, I argue, because of my experience with words and names in Klingon, and then in Narn and Minbari!  Who says Science Fiction is not practical? 🙂
Kashering Party immediately upon move-in,  kitchen will be kosher pareve-dairy (milchigs …) : I use soy milk.
First Babylon 5 party to be held on the first Sunday in January, provided a TV arrives before then!
Peace,

So, it turns out that there was not enough interest in Bablyon 5 among my friends for the party to happen, but I did get some lively comments on how Star Trek and B5 helped my leyning! 

Action Items in support of learning:

1.) Tell us your favorite TV show,

2.) Share with us how it has helped you learn something important.

3.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses that learning method, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, if you wrote a book, please consider donating to your local public library.

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
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GR button:

    ! שָׁלוֹם

ShiraDest

December, 2020 CE = December 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

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

Dinah

This week’s Parashah has been VaYishlach: And He Sent (messengers to his brother Esav…).

 

The 5th aliyah/reading of the Annual cycle makes up much of this year’s Triennial Cycle reading, and that is mostly the story of Dinah.  She went out to socialize with other girls, and got brutally assaulted.  I have one comment -it’s based on Listening to my Heart:

her brothers, Shimon and Levi (from the words for to listen, and my heart), should have given Dinah a sword to let her deal with Shechem as he deserved. 

In fact, who knows: maybe they did.

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

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

And he left! -and why we sometimes must leave…

…because for safety’s sake, sometimes, one has to leave, well, almost everything…

This week’s portion is Parashat Vayetzei / פרשת וַיֵּצֵא traditionally covering Genesis 28:10-32:3, and this year’s Triennial cycle covers readings Revi’i & Chamishi (4th and 5th readings of the Annual Cycle ). It’s the famous Stairway to Heaven parashah, but many of us read that part last year.

Parashat Vayetzei 5781 / פרשת וַיֵּצֵא
Triennial – year 2
  1. 1: 30:14-16
  2. 2: 30:17-21
  3. 3: 30:22-27
  4. 4: 30:28-36
  5. 5: 30:37-43
  6. 6: 31:1-9
  7. 7: 31:10-16
  8. maftir: maf: 32:1-3 (3 p’sukim)

I think I can sum these two aliyot (readings) up in two words: family feuds.

The 4th aliyah has Rachel and Leah competing in the womb wars, jealous of one another, explaining the names of the boys, but just naming poor Dinah, full stop.

Then, after a few spotted sheep, Rachel and Leah’s entire family seems to be jealous of them, or rather, of their husband.  And they feel like outsiders to their family, and to each other.  The commentators say that they felt sold  to Jacob by their father Laban.

So, it was time for Jacob to leave: with his wives and kids.    So, he decided, after discussion with his wives, and a dream confirming that it was a good idea, to get going.

Leaving often does not go over well with a bully who wants your time/labour/resources/honor for his own.

We see what happens next, next year…

Shabbat Shalom     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items:

1.) Consider your times when you may have had to leave a potentially dangerous domestic situation, or just had to leave the place you’d lived for twenty years.

2.) Share your thoughts about them with us in the comments, here, if you wish.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of 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
Read, Write

Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

November, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Sacred Study Saturdays, Adulting Ed., and parents?

Turns out that earlier in this week’s Torah portion is where the fateful dish of lentils is served up in payment of a birthright (Aliyah Rishon, Annual cycle). Did I mention that impulse control is a big part of ‘Adulting,’ and is a skill that helps to be taught from an early age? Is patience more of a mother thing?

This week’s portion is Parashat Toldot / פרשת תּוֹלְדוֹת which traditionally covers from Genesis 25:19-28:9 (this year’s Triennial cycle covers readings 4 & 5 on the Annual Cycle, so the pottage of adashim and dubious birthright sale were read last year, in most synagogues…).

Triennial Year 2
21 Nov 2020
  1. 1: 26:23-29
  2. 2: 26:30-33
  3. 3: 26:34-27:4
  4. 4: 27:5-13
  5. 5: 27:14-17
  6. 6: 27:18-23
  7. 7: 27:24-27
  8. maf: 27:24-27 (although, where I leyn, the maftir is the Annual cycle Maftir…)

 

This part that is read in most non-Orthodox congregations has the stories of Isaac meeting HaShem, making the treaty with King Abimelech, and then ‘mistakenly’ giving the birthright to his younger son Jaacob, rather than to the elder man of the fields, Esav.  With a bit of help from their mom.

The commentators mention the Z’chut Avot, or merit of the ancestors, as Abraham’s protection and promises pass down to Isaac.

This makes perfect sense in the context of the times, yet, just as Harry Potter both paid for his father’s sin of bullying, and inherited Snape’s protection of his mother, I must say that parental merit is overrated.

The Torah later mandates that sons shall not pay for the sins of their fathers, nor vice versa, yet it seems human nature that this happens rather often, and to the detriment of all of us.

This is where community comes in, I believe, to help orphans and emotional/effective orphans, deprived of parents to protect them.

Shabbat Shalom     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items:

1.) Consider your ideas of how each generation affects the next.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, if you please.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of 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
Read, Write

Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

 

ShiraDest

NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

November, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Sacred Study Saturdays, libraries, and Reconstructionism

This was the R. Kaplan whose writings I recall blowing me away a few years ago: a history, literature, separate language, and communal institutions, etc, constitute a separate civilization rather than a nation. R. Kaplan advocated developing all of these to a greater extent than ever, as components of a separate Jewish communal system within the US.

I initially got this book from a private library, in what city, I don’t recall. It brings back to mind the problem of how often I look for a book in the public library system, ask for that book to be ordered, and then get a reply to the effect that the book I’m requesting is too out of the ordinary interest to be worth the Public Library system’s effort. Yet, it is just such books that build a lively interest in curiosity, imho.

The very first paragraph which I saw of his seminal writings began as a paraphrasing of the preamble to the United States constitution, which I’ve not been able to find again! Yet, I was certain that it was in this book:

Kaplan cites Samson Raphael Hirsch as “practically the only one who made an effort to restate the…practical philosophy underlying traditional Judaism as a whole in terms that reckoned with the challenge of modern thought and life.” (P. 135)    Kaplan then proceeds to cite precedents from Rashi, the Amoraim and the Tanaim to show that that reckoning, along, later, with those of the newly formed Conservative movement, were not self-consistent.  Apparently, Solomon Schechter was also not comfortable with modern Biblical criticism, leaving a level of inconsistency in what became the Conservative/Masorti movement.

Judaism as a Civilization: Toward a Reconstruction of American-Jewish LifeJudaism as a Civilization: Toward a Reconstruction of American-Jewish Life by Mordecai Menahem Kaplan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While this book is very dated, it is still also very much worth reading for the action items, the program that he lists, and  for the structure in which he lays out his vision of civilizations in general, and Judaism in particular as a civilization.
His call for Judaism to become even more social justice oriented is extremely crucial in these days.

View all my reviews

So, it turns out that this is not the book in which I saw that amazing Declaration or Constitution of Jewish America, yet I was told that this was in fact the book in which it was found.  Maybe a different edition.  I updated my review upon reading it again here.

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different ways to build world peace.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Write a blog post about your ideas and share them with us, please.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of 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
Read, Write

Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

 

ShiraDest

NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

November, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Sacred Study Saturdays and transit -by camel!

This week’s Torah portion has been Parashat Chaiyei Sarah, reading shlishi and rvi’i (the 3rd and 4th) aliyot from the Annual cycle, this year, for those of us on the Triennial cycle. It’s the 2nd year of the cycle.

  • from Hebcal:
Triennial Year 2
14 Nov 2020

This week, Abraham’s unnamed servant puts the ‘water the camels test’ to … well, everyone, and it works!

Etz Chaim commentators mention, however, that some of the early rabbis had a problem with this test, so don’t try this at home, folks.

Also, I don’t know about anyone who has actually ever seen a camel up close or touched one, which I have not, but I’m not crazy about the idea of riding a camel several hundred miles, well, anywhere.  I’ll take a nice sturdy little horse, thank you very much.  Not that I’ve ever had the pleasure of taking any trips with any horses, either.  Yet, a pilgrimage with just the company of a nice and sensible little horse (I’d like a Mustang or an Arabian, if you please), though less practical, I guess, than a camel, seems like a nice appealing way to spend some time.  What do you think, dear readers?

Shabbat Shalom!    ! שָׁלוֹם

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of 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
Read, Write

Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

November, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Moody Mondays and critical thinking about Biblical (im)migration as part of Health Care for all?

Mental and emotional Health Care, that is…

This excerpt from my first practice novel comes as a response to a discussion about the reasons for the destruction of Sodom and G’morrah, from an ancient Rabbinical point of view (at least from one of the prevailing opinions). I incorporated part of this midrash (an allegorical or story-based explanation of the Biblical text that often seems rather fanciful) into my 2012 work, in which one can readily see which characters represent which Biblical personages, I imagine (clearly more anti-info-dump editing was needed, but I beg you, good Readers, to forgive me for the moment, and read the essence of the text…)

Here is the original post (Cities of the Plain: Torture in Sodom as anti-immigration policy):

 

from my “Creator: Friend or Foe?” practice-novel series based on Midrashim which I began as a sort of stream-of-consciousness NaNo novel…

Cities of the Plain

“So you are back, Young Light Bearer. To what do we owe the honor of this visit? Come to renew hostilities?”

“No, you are quite good enough at that yourself. I am here to bring a certain set of cities in a low-lying plain to your attention, since you seem not to have noticed. Down in the valley between that lovely nearly inland sea and the two rivers.”

Not wanting to seem out of touch with his creations, the Ancient warrior asked, expecting her not to know of the other civilization:

”Do you refer to the two rivers with the valley which is watered by the large platteau, between the rivers and the largest ocean, on the eastern side?”

“No, as you know very well, I refer to the smaller town-states in the western set of cities the human beings are developing. The ones from which you must be getting growing numbers of reports of the lawlessness they are instituting.”

-”Lawlessness? On the contrary, they are doing quite well with the legal institutions on the western side of that platteau. They have independent kingdoms which are making cooperative alliances, you should like that, and developing more individually than their eastern counterparts, who are building their civilizations more along communal lines, putting their people in a situation requiring them to go along with the group or risk being the nail that sticks up and must be hammered down. What could be so bad about allowing each person his freedom, withing the set of laws they all have to obey? You yourself as I recall seemed to advocate some such system, no?”

“How dare you, you Ancient Hypocrite, turn my words against me. Listen, this city is taking individual freedom way too far, letting people do whatever they want to those who are not part of their group, and severely abusing their guests, whom they know they ought to be respecting. These laws you seem to admire that they are passing are requiring things which make a mockery of legal protections, like the law that says that any guest in the town must fit in a bed of a standard size, and be comfortable in that bed.”

”And what objection do you have to making a guest comfortable, pray tell?”

“You really have not been keeping up with all of the reports, have you? Their idea of comfort is to ensure that each guest fits the bed by placing shorter guests on the rack, to stretch the body until it is long enough, and dead enough, to fit the bed, or doing their taller guests the favor of amputating both feet, and the legs, inch by painful inch, until the formerly tall guests is short enough to fit comfortably as you say, in the bed. All quite lawful, and all quite dangerous. If this type of behavior spreads, then eventually both of the developing sets of civilizations, west and east, will eventually come to legalize such crimes against outsiders, possibly even requiring every citizen of the town, as a new law now proposes there, to personally involve himself in torturing any guest allowed into the town borders. They think that this tactic will frighten all strangers away from visiting, spying out, and potentially attacking their towns, and that is how their so called Town Fathers are coercing the population into passing this new law. The torture can be inflicted on the stranger even if that stranger is a guest of an inhabitant of the town, and is especially recommended to take the form of rape, in the case of male visitors to the town, in order to reduce the stranger´s social status to that of a slave so that he can never lead an army against them. That is if any strangers to the town survive their visits at all.”

”Well, this has not been in my reports. So the proposed laws must not have taken effect yet. If they are using sexuality as a torture tool now, then I will investigate…”

Interrupting the ”which part of this did you miss in the reports from the first newly born human man?”  He was doing it back then already! Why else do you think his sister, whom you allowed to take as his so-called wife, ended up reviving the Virgin thought-form?”

”But this is different, this is a legally instituted form of sexual torture specifically meant to prevent my code of hospitality from being practiced! That is wrong!”

”Oh, yes, it is wrong when your precious laws are used to torture a man, but not when a man tortures his so-called wife in the privacy of his own home! You Great Hypocrite! This experiment should be ended for the sake of all of our decency, both yours and mine and theirs. These human beings are getting to be almost as bad now, as immoral, torturing maiming and killing as they were before that fortuitous Great Death they had a short while ago. This needs to stop now before all of the human beings are required by law to torture one another, or shall we say before the strong are required to torture the weak, in the name of your developing legal system and your precious non-interference.”

”Yes, you are quite right, I must go down and see about this. I will consult with some humans on the ground there, and as you can see you are not the only one to have taken a human being for a friend. I have my own friend there with whom I shall consult, note. If this is so, then I will take steps to remedy the situation.”

”Be sure you do, because if you do not, then I will be sure to have it taken care of in some other appropriate manner.”

Perplexed, the Ancient Warrior sent for the Light Bearer through one of the supervising guardians:

“How could this have happened, that not even one native or long term resident of the city was good? Not all could have developed this way, surely. What went wrong, that only the recent visitor newly taken up residence was able to be saved, and that not even with the woman he married from the town. How did it come to this? Even my friend argued that there must have been at least 10 decent people in the city. This is inconceivable.”

“It happens with places like this, concentrated power and wealth attracts a certain type of person, keeping them there, building up a culture of competition and dominance. After a while,” the Light Bearer replied,

“When a culture of a place becomes the norm, however wrong, over time, it is taken as immutable. There are simply too many ingrained patterns, too many people of power setting the standard, too many people accepting the status quo, unable to reverse the dominant culture. After a while, even the kind people, who want to do good, come to believe that things cannot be changed. So many of the residents, such a high proportion of the policy and trend setters are so callous that the very culture of the city, the standards of kindness and hospitality, upon which morality is built, are set so low that even the smallest kindness becomes a great burden in the eyes of all those who have been raised or lived for a long time in that place. Callousness becomes so natural that it is taken for granted, and a small gesture of good will is first suspect, then taken for granted, then seen as weakness, and the standards of living become set in what appears normal, even right. When everyone around you was killing, Ancient Warrior, was it not natural to kill? When all whom you know are brutal, does not kindness seem to be weak, or foolish?” the Light Bearer paused, awaiting the acknowledgment of his experience before continuing, “So it was with this place, so influential that all of the towns around it took on the same culture of mean-spirited, callous rushing around, a constant hurry to do first one thing, then another, to keep up with all that had to be done, lest their lives fall into the constantly threatening calamity of debt and powerlessness, in a place where the vulnerable had neither food to eat nor a place to live. The fear became pervasive, even for those who were relatively well-off. In the end, even those who wanted to be kind, believed themselves to be good people, in the end behaved with cruelty. However kind in their eyes, by other standards, more universal standards, they were cruel, but they could not see things that way, and in the end, not knowing any differently, with the standard of kindness at so low a level, even ended up defending the system under which they lived. When that was what they were taught to be good and practical, they could not believe in any other way, and thus sealed their doom.”

(Hopefully some insights may be gleaned from it, if anyone is interested.)

ShiraDestinie

Universal Date: Tuesday, October 3. 12014 H.E. (Holocene Era)

 

So, I meant to use the midrash about Sodom having been condemned because of their mistreatment of travelers, upon the famous bed which one size was made to fit all either using a hack saw or the rack, as an analogy for our treatment of immigrants. I’m not sure I managed it, but I am curious to hear your thoughts, dear Readers. 

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of 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
Read, Write

Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

 

ShiraDest

NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

November, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Sacred Study Saturdays, going back to Parashat Noach, and language learning for Human Rights

…and worker’s rights, which are also Human Rights. (But why do I keep hearing Soon and Very Soon, from when I was in 3rd Grade?!!)

I wrote a story which seems to resonate now, given the passing of prop 22 in California, which I feel takes us further down the road of valuing money over lives. I’ve edited it some, but more anti-info-dump edits are needed. I just want the gist to be seen now, while the iron of economics over saving lives, is still so clearly hot.

A friend who read the original version of this story remarked that this story made her think of worker’s rights (she is an HR recruiter) in a new light.
Worker’s right are also Human Rights…
Shira,
larger original story written in November, 12015 HE (the Holocene Calendar)

Babel

Shouting to make himself heard over the din of the other workers, the new finisher introduced himself to his coworker, whom he had not yet had time to meet.

Benim adım Kahraman. Yeni geldim bu gün buraya.” While introductions took time away from getting the job done, they sped up the process of work over the long time, since work teams tended to work more quickly and fluidly together when they knew one another and which sets of words each person preferred. The protocol in introducing oneself was to use his own preferred words, in the order he liked, and the reply would tell him what the new coworker´s preferred words and word order were. It might be hard to figure out how to order words sometimes, but in general this system worked well for showing politeness while getting the job done simultaneously. That reduced the need for work breaks and small talk among the workers, improving production dramatically. They were all keen to get this job done as soon as possible. At least all of the human workers were. Their Guardians were mostly less than thrilled with this idea, since their charges kept dying in rather large numbers. The directives against interference made it very difficult to do anything to protect their charges, for those Guardians who cared to try to do so, since their original ‘minimal interference’ directives had shaped most of the currently existing Guardians. The newer guardians, instantiated with the new generation of human beings born after the Great Death, had a slightly different set of instructions than the oldest Guardians, who were instantiated for the handful of human beings still living who had been born before the Great Death. These more wide ranging instructions allowed a bit more leeway, but most guardians did not use that leeway, since the supervising guardians discouraged initiative. Now that the human population was beginning to recover from the Great Death, more and more new guardians had to be instantiated for the new baby human beings. If this guardian did not know better, it would seem that report reception acknowledgment times were slowing down, and that the new guardians were taking longer after conception reports to be instantiated. Whether this was a result of the Great Death or not, who could say. Most human beings told the story as one of a great flood, although a small number preserved the more accurate version, including the two great storms which had come together at the same time that a sea quake in the ocean closest to the two great rocks sheltering the sea from the western ocean produced a great tidal wave which overwhelmed even the great civilizations on the largest islands in the eastern section of the sea on whose shores the humans had clustered. When the flooding was compounded by a great tsunami a few days later, from the other side of the two great rivers, overwhelming both of those rivers which watered the crescent shaped land between them, to the east of the original warm human settlement area further south, nearly all of the cities which the human beings had ever built were lost. Some few survived in the mountains, isolated human settlements to the north, but so many of these died out that eventuality nearly all of the humans alive had ancestors whose homes were destroyed by these coincidental storms and waves. Such a shame that they had not yet invented ways to save themselves. It might yet happen that this experiment could fail simply because the humans might not advance quickly enough to avoid being wiped out by the freak accidents of their home planet environment. Then again, they could also wipe themselves out by altering their environment too much, as they were already beginning to do. But at least the spirit of cooperation was beginning to grow amongst them, even if for the wrong reasons. The ethical code to which the Creator was allowing the newly instantiated guardians to encourage the newly born human beings to adhere to was, as the Light Bearer was rumored to have said (no one had seen her, outside of the guardian of the very first newly born baby girl, now a woman, who was under direct orders from the great Creator himself not to speak to the newly instantiated guardians) that this ethical system needed strengthening and far greater levels of encouragement and interference on the part of the guardians. This was becoming a source of controversy among the newer guardians, now that greater levels of free will and autonomy were also being allowed for newly instantiated guardians. As the human population grew, the Creator was taking a more and hands off approach, it seemed, to the new human beings. He decided to send a welcome message to the guardian of this newly contacted human being, to find out how things would go. The response was “Look to your own charge.” Ok, that settled that.

Bana o matkap verir misin, yanındakı adamı söylebilirmisin acaba? Sesim onu gelmiyor benden çünkü.” Leaning into the ear of his fellow finisher.

They were working up on the highest floor that had thus far been completed by the basic workers, who had laid the bricks on this level and moved on to lay bricks on higher levels, while the finishers came behind them, mounting beautiful polished stone and olive wood ornamentation as a facade in front of the brick-filled exterior walls of the rising tower. King Nimrod paid the finishers more, as long as you had the skills and did not mind bowing down and burning incense to the King and his favorite celestial deities, some of whom demanded renunciation of honors to the Light Bearer as a prerequisite to honoring themselves. It could be a high price to pay if your only wife was one of the few left who insisted on honoring the Light Bearer as an equal partner and Creatrix along with the Creator, whom everyone knew was the great father of all of the gods. They had all taken oaths, upon being inducted into the Guild of Finishers, that they would neither honor any of the forbidden deities, such as the Light Bearer, or the Black Maiden that some called Artemis, and others called Athena, who was a virgin, but paradoxically also a fertility goddess and protector of women, nor allow members of their households to do so. Those deities required their followers, who could be men, but usually were all women, to train girls and women in the military arts, and even in the riding of horses, which was new, and a difficult feat, generally reserved for only the greatest of the warriors. They even had the gall to claim that it was women who had first learned from the Light Bearer how to cultivate and press olives, and even how to sail and navigate in ships which everyone knew were direct gifts from the Ancient Warrior himself to King Nimrod, upon the event of Nimrod´s apotheosis. Such silly woman-worship was going too far even for a cultivated and enlightened fellow like himself, who allowed his wife to honor such silly female deities. One had to humor his wife if he was not yet rich enough to support another wife or concubine. At least his only wife knew how to cook adashim. That dish would be worth selling your birthright for, if you were someone who had a birthright to sell. Here, unless you were an astrologer, only King Nimrod got the privilege of inheriting land, and also of favoring every new bride with his divine royal services on the night of her wedding, if she was a virgin. That made the institution of the birthright pretty useless, as well as making the new bride more difficult to please. Brides always boasted about how wonderful the King had been on the wedding night, but then, it was worth both of your lives if she did not boast about the King, really. King Nimrod paid well if you were a good skilled laborer on this tower project, but he was also known for occassionally throwing couples into the furnace if he thought they were making him look bad. So, deserved or not, thought, her new husband then had to try to measure up to the King´s reputation, that is, if the King did not decide to keep his new bride for the royal harem. Many women claimed they were glad to be too homely to keep the King’s interest, since he was not rumored to treat the women of his harem with much kindness. While the harem floor was rumored to be paved with gold, it was also said to be a gilded cage from which many women wished to escape.

Feeling a poke in the arm disturbed him from his revery:

Eh, şey … o istedigim matkap bana verir misiniz, lütfen?

Oh Right! He had forgotten all about the drill his neighbor was asking for. He was happy to ask the guy next to him for the drill if only he could make himself heard above the din of the other workers. Looking over, he saw that there were two drills within reach of the other worker. The closer one was a simple hand drill with a small crank, good for making holes in the olive wood ornaments which they were hanging on the facade face. But the drill that was slightly farther away had a larger crank handle, was heavier, and could make holes in even the polished stone they were using to make the facade. Asking a person for something like that, which takes away from his own work productivity, was always best to do using the favorite words of that person, if you knew which words he liked. It also helped to make you look more cooperative, which boosted one’s chances of getting to become a supervisor. He could reply using his own favorite words, so that the man feel like he was creating a bond with his coworker. This was encouraged on this project because the King wanted to building to be complete within his lifetime, if possible, which was a daunting undertaking. So, using his favorite words, he asked his coworker which drill he would like:

Claro que sí. Yo me llamo Sueño. Cual de los dos taladros quieres -lo que está más cerca, o el otro que es capaz de hacer huecos en la piedra tanto como en la madera?” switching words, out of politeness to his daydreaming coworker, Kahraman patiently responded:

lo más cerca por favor.

Sueño responded with a nod, to which his Guardian sighed, worrying that Sueño´s daydreaming might bring him to a bitter end. As Sueño leaned over to speak with the worker next to him, to ask him to pass the drill, a brick from the level above them fell on his head, dazing him, causing him to lose his balance and begin to fall. Since there was no rail or safety net on or below the scaffolding, due to the fact that the wrok could be done faster that way, his neighboring coworker, the newest finisher, Kahraman, reached out to grab him and prevent him from falling.

“Well Done, Sir!” beamed Sueño´s guardian with pleasure, and recieving a:

“Just look to your own charge, and do not interfere!” response from the guardian of Kahraman.

The human foreman on that level also saw Kahraman reach out to support Sueño. Seeing this act of cooperation, which was also forbidden on the grounds that the priority in this workplace was on speedy production, and thus anything which slowed down the work was forbidden, the foreman shouted

You, there! Leave that daydreaming idiot be to fall and get out of our way, and you get back to work, if you wish to remain part of the Finishers Guild!

As Kahraman turned his head to see what the foreman was saying, he too lost his balance, and then both Sueño and the heroic Kahraman, still clutching the arm of Sueño while reaching for the edge of the wall, nearly grabbed a handhold, but instead his hand reached a brick, which broke loose from its still wet mortar, and both dreamer and his would-be rescuer fell to their deaths.

As the two men were falling to their deaths, a worker shouted:

Oh, now, look, a brick has been lost from the finishing level! Damn it, now we will have to waste time to re-lay that brick, and slow down our progress!

at this all of the foremen began to shout at the workers, saying:

Yes, yes, the lost brick is a shame, and so is the brick that we lost from the upper level, but stop worrying about them and get back to work now!

As workers, lamenting the loss of the two bricks, resumed their work, the bodies of Kahraman and Sueño lay crumpled at the base of the tower, each man moaning in his death agony, unheeded by the workers moving bricks, mortar and finishing materials around them. The bodies would be buried after dark, when no more work on the tower could be done.

Kahraman and Sueño´s guardians each reported the fall, each waited beside his human charge, recording the last breaths these two human beings would draw.

“Relax,” One guardian whispered in the ear of his charge, deciding to offer encouragement, “have no fear, your pain will soon be ended, and you have done well in your life, cooperating and helping others. Go in peace back to teh clay from which you are formed.”

The other guardian, as his charge breathed his last, only recorded and reported on the dimunition of the human population. Both of their deaths went unmourned.

As this was happening at the base of the tower, the foreman at the top of the tower, heedless of the tradegy playing out far below, was giving orders to raise the standard of the King:

“Now we will install the new tool which the King´s wise men have created to see what the gods are talking about. Now we shall begin to become one of them ourselves.”

A strange looking stone wrapped in coils of iron was hoisted to the top of the King´s standard. At once, the guardians began to hear static on several frequencies at once, as if someone were attempting to broadcast across a wide band but with too little power to have a clear signal. Upon reporting this, the Ancient Warrior decided at once to investigate in person. This was a far more advanced technology than they should be able to come up with yet. Either they had a genius working for them, which was possibe, or the young Light Bearer was interferring again, this time far too much. As the Ancient Warrior observed the humans at work, and noted the high level of cooperation in the building of the tower, he had an idea. If the young Light Bearer had helped them, by creating a tradition going back to the first woman, of cooperating, then perhaps it was time for him to see what these human beings would do when an obstacle to that cooperation was placed in their path. Reaching in, so to speak, electromagnetically to the original plane separating the corporeal part of the universe from the rest of the experiment-box, he sent a pulse, stretching his essence around the experiment-box universe, making a small change which separated the neural pathways of every human being then alive, and flipping a bit in the DNA to ensure that newly born human beings would also have this change. He waited to see the result.

-”Bana o matkap verir misin acaba?” one worker asked the other, who looked at him oddly, and then replied, with a shrug:

-“Bueno no sé por que, pero es que no entiendo lo que quieres decirme. Me puedes repitir en otras palabras, por favor?”

and the original worker looked, a quizzical and confused look on his face, and replied

“Fakat anlamiyorum size, neden hiç bilemiyorum?”

Chaos began to spread throughout the tower. Workers and foremen unable to understand one another began to shout and curse, and even bricks began to fly through the air.

The Ancient Warrior, hearing the reports of the guardians and seeing the chaos for himself, felt satisfied that the human beings building this tower would not be able to resume work for quite a few generations to come. He was not the only one to hear the reports and see the chaos.

Suddenly, the Light Bearer appeared beside him, clearly furious at his actions.

”What have you done?!  They no longer understand each other!” The Light Bearer had beamed a broad spectrum pulse message directly to the Ancient Warrior from the corporeal side of the experiment-box and then flown to see for herself.
“Oh, that.  Nothing, really, I simply closed off some of the language circuits in their neural pathways. It does not even affect them if they decide to learn to speak the other languages anyway. It merely requires them to exert a little bit more effort to understand one another. I decided that their  languages needed to be confused because they  were getting along too well.  You know whether they like it or not they need to be forced to spread out and fill the entire Earth. Remember that you, Young Light Bearer, did agree to this.”

  More on my continuing striving with empathy through Hebrew next time, friends:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different sources to translate the word “work” (feminine form) into Hebrew.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how you like each of the sources you found,  perhaps as an update on your GoodReads reading,

4.) Write a blog post or tweet that uses a Hebrew word, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of 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
Read, Write

Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

November, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)