Tuesday, October 04, 2005

For the New Year

My mother and her sibblings were raised in the Jewish Faith. But that didn't stop my mother and her two brothers from marrying Catholics. My mom's sister didn't marry as the government has forbidden it. Which I agree with. Insane people should not marry, but some of my aunt's ex-girlfriends are lovely people and I hope they've found sane people to share their lives with. I can out my 67 year old aunt as 67 because she doesn't read the blog.

My parents raised me Jewish and gave me my father's Italian last name. My one uncle married a woman who was half Italian half Greek. They raised their three daughters Catholic and gave them his Jewish last name-- see people America really is a melting pot of ethnic confusion. Just to make this clear my three cousins are 1/2 Jewish 1/4 Greek and 1/4 Italian. When my aunt and uncle christened their first child they invited the whole family to the ceremony to celebrate my cousin's avoidance of hell--well, reprieve until she had her first impure thought. During the ceremony the Priest gave the usual rote speech that included the phrase, "...And may there be no Jews or Greeks amoung us." Which was funny because he was surrounded by Greeks and Jews. In fact non-Greeks and non-Jews were the minorities. You'd think the priest might have thought of cutting that line when he discovered he'd be performing the Isaacson Christening. But I guess he was pretty serious about this because after he said it, he removed the effigies of effigies of Jesus and Mary from the church.

Shana Tova everyone, (or is it Shona Tova I really don't know how to spell hebrew in English.--which reminds me of another story.)

So my mother spelled my name Rachael as opposed to the more widely used spelling Rachel (notice the extra 'A' in mom's spelling.) She did this because that's how she thought the name was spelled. She had no other reason. The rabbi at the Reform Synagagoue we belonged to scolded my mother for her choice in spelling. He said it wasn't the Jewish spelling. First off, my parents joined the Temple when I was five, did he expect them to change my name after five years? Secondly, did I miss a meeting or a hebrew school class? Since when did the ancient Hebrews speak or write in English? The name Rachael, however you choose to spell it, is the Anglican pronunciation of a Hebrew name which I can't spell because I dont' have a Hebrew keyboard. Hell, the old Jews didn't even communicate in Latin or Greek which were the first languages the Torah was translated into. Then from those translations some English dude or monk or someone took those texts and translated them into English--Old English, (maybe middle English cut me some slack, I can't be that bright I'm only half a Jew.) By that time the Torah and Bible had already sold out, gone completely commercial--placing subtle ads for the Roman Empire. The religious guys who wear funny clothing edited the thing down, way down. Any divinity that may had once been there was now far gone.

Really the Rabbi was annoyed that my parents were a "mixed" marriage. Funny he disapproved of my mother's marriage. She has been married over 30 years to the same man. In fact both her brothers continue to be married to their goy wives. Meanwhile the Rabbi was divorced and remarried. Look, divorce happens and I'm not judging it well, I am but only in respect to Rabbi Franzel. And you'd think a Rabbi with his continuing study of a holy text would have found some solutions to the problems he's faced with his first wife. If a Rabbi can't find aid from his religion then how should anyone else be expected to? And no, the Jewish faith does not forbid divorce nor call it a sin. However, it does frown upon it. Jews can't just divorce on a whim. They've got to go through this whole rig-a-maroll and get a get, basically you can get a divorced but it's as much of a bitch as being married. Yet, there is nothing in the Talmud or Torah that discusses holy spelling.

Enjoy the Fast next week.

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