Xiphias Gladius (xiphias) wrote,
Xiphias Gladius

How I spent my Yom Kippur, and What I Found Out

So, Lis and I usually just go to services in the morning on Yom Kippur, and don't leave all day.

Basically, roughly speaking, services on Yom Kippur go in three chunks. You've got stuff at nightfall, when it begins. Then you go home and sleep, and come back for the morning section, and the Torah reading, and the service to remember dead friends and family, and the service to remember martyrs, and the service to remember how we Used To Do Yom Kippur Sacrifices Back In The Good Ole Days When We Had A Temple.

Then there's a break. If you have kids, that's a good time to take them home and feed them. And you come back for the afternoon service, the closing service, the evening service, and finishing off the day.

During the break, most people go home to rest. But some people don't.

In most communities I've been in, during the break, you find people resting in shul -- a couple people sacked out on benches; maybe someone asleep on the bima, or in the classrooms -- you've basically got people stretching out wherever there's a reasonably comfortable piece of floor or chair, and taking it easy until it's time to pray again.

Now, Lis, of course, gets her superpowers from libraries. The bigger and more impressive the library is, the more power she gets from them, but ANY library will recharge and energize her. And, downstairs in the shul is a room where we have books, and a card catalog system, and a sign saying "Library."

It's not a BIG library, but it's enough for Lis's superpowers to work. So, we just sacked out there, so Lis could soak up enough energy to make it through the fast.

She spent the afternoon reading various Jewish books from the library; I'd brought Lis's Tanakh from home.

There are three major parts to the Jewish Scriptures. You've got the "Torah", which is Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, (or, as we Jews say, B'reishit, Sh'mot, Vayekra, Bamidbar, and D'varim). Then you've got the Nevi'im, or Prophets -- Joshua, Judges, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, Isaiah, Jerimiah, and Ezekiel, and the Twelve Minor Prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The third part is the Ketubim, or "Writings" -- Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, I Chronicles, and II Chronicles.

Torah, Nevi'im, and Ketubim: you take the first letters of those, in Hebrew, and you get Tav, Nun, Chet, which you can pronounce "Tanakh." Lis has a book with all these in translation; I took it with me to read and study in the afternoon.

See, this is embarrassing to admit, but I've not read most of the Tanakh. I mean, I've read bits here and there, but not anywhere near as much as I should have. My plan was to read psalms for the afternoon, and I did that, some.

But see, um, I'm supposed to be teaching Prophets this year.

So I figured it was about time I actually READ it.

I mean, I know some stories from it -- the ones that everyone knows -- Jericho, Samson, Yael (or Jael in most English translations -- you know, the one with the tent peg), the anointing of Saul, David and his lyre, David and Goliath, that sort of thing.

But I don't know them in context. I've never just sat down and read Prophets.

And I learned something important.

The Book of Joshua is maybe a little messed up, but the Book of Judges is just totally fucked. I mean, it's just twisted.

It's just people attacking defenseless towns, slaughtering the inhabitants, worshiping false gods, sacrificing their own children, murdering people and stealing their clothes because they lost a bet . . . and that's all the good guys.

I have no fuckin' CLUE how I'm going to teach this stuff. . .
Tags: judaism

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