© 2019 Drew T. Noll

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Rest



What a fabulous life Hashem has given me. I whine a lot, but really, when I add up the blessings (&)+(*)+($)+(#)+(2)+(^)+(@)… they equal (=) fabulous! What does that word actually mean, anyway? I looked it up and it seems that it is derived from the Latin word: fabulosus, meaning celebrated in fable or rich in myths. Etymology is a great thing. It’s fascinating how you can see how concepts evolve from one society to the next by tracing a word back to its origins. Speaking of origins, I originated on the planet as a human being that contained 5 levels of soul (I sort of understand 3 of them) almost 51 years ago, depending upon which calendar you follow. Generally, for everyday stuff, I follow the Gregorian calendar, also called the Western calendar and the Christian calendar. This calendar used to be the Julian calendar, but in 1582 it was reformed in order to time Easter with the spring equinox, keeping it from drifting all willy-nilly around the planet, or at the very least to make its mark in history, as it seems it has...

You see, in the year 325, the Council of Nicaea (an accepted body of theologians that canonized what most refer to today as the Christian religion) hadn’t taken into account - for easy math, I'm going to wrongly assume - that a year is actually about 365.242 days, which is 8765.81 hours, which happens to be 525,949 minutes, just for fun. What that means is that .242 of a day per year would overlap the following year by exactly that much of a day, or, for more easy math, 5.808 hours… or, just for fun, 348.48 minutes. International institutions, such as the United Nations and the Universal Postal Union, one day, were obviously going to need a standardized calendar, so the Roman Catholic Church, which originated as the Holy Roman Empire from the time of Emperor Constantine (306 to 337), made it so, as I said above, in 1582.

There is a lot of speculation, but we’ll never truly know for sure, about why Constantine changed the official faith of the Roman Empire, whether he was besotted by his mother, who’s faith was Christianity, or whether he felt that his good fortune was due to his belief in the One True God… um, which to me is confusing as a Jew, since we are talking about Christianity here. I mean, Yeshu (Jesus) is kind of worshipped as God in Christianity, you know… oh, Christ: the word in Greek for anointed one, which comes directly from the Hebrew word: Mashiakh, of the same (literal) meaning (but with no philosophical connection in terms of a shared theological entity), might be rolling in his grave, that is if he hadn't left it... on Easter, I think.

Anyways, what we do know about Constantine is not why he subjected his empire to Christianity, but how. Constantine gave great amounts of support to the Church in wealth and property, built many public structures to commemorate the Church, gave tax exemptions and special privileges to Church clergy, and also promoted these clergy members to high ranking positions. If you can imagine, it must have been all-the-rage at the time to be seen as a member of the Church.

So, why do I consider my life to be so fabulosus, fabled, and steeped in mythos? Let’s talk about Noakh, which happens to be the parsha of the week. The word Noakh comes from the Hebrew word Menukha, which actually means ‘rest.’ It doesn’t really seem like Noakh had a very restful life, I mean he spent 120 years building the Tevah (loosely translated as ‘Ark,’ but what really means something more akin to, ‘box that protects / saves from water’). Noakh worked his tukhas off… So, why was his name “Rest” then? As it turns out, Noakh invented the plow, the hoe, the shovel, and all kinds of digging tools for harvesting and planting that made everyone else’s work much easier, giving all of ‘them’ more rest. This is strange, since we all know Noakh best for a form of carpentry to build a large water resistant box out of, arguably, Gopher wood, reeds, or a bird’s nest to protect the earth’s variety of land dwelling creatures from the great flood caused by 40 days of rain.

Yeah, why 40…, right? Well, we’ll begin with this: The parsha states that the earth was corrupted in front of God, and that it was filled with robbery (gezel in Hebrew). The people of the time were full of bad character traits, things like murder, etc…, but robbery was singled out. So, as it turns out, the numerical equivalence of the word gezel is 40, which is strange, since just this week (remember, Parshat Noakh) I truly felt a robbery that I have been experiencing since my father lost his job by corporate downsizing, contracted cancer, and died, leaving my mother with half of a wit, no place to store it, and eventually causing her demise, as well… but, it seems, I am complaining again… Think blessings, blessings, blessings…

Life is so, so… awesome!! I am steadily employed at my day job, building websites and writing cool stuff for them! I was asked recently to write some marketing collateral for the food website and I gotta tell ya, I get so hungry writing this stuff!! Check this out: Easy, delicious, and versatile, Aunt Berta’s Honey Mustard Vinaigrette is perfect for dipping bread in or a great all-purpose dressing for almost any salad, tossed green or otherwise. The pleasing sharpness of mustard, combined with the smooth sweetness of natural honey, makes it a good match for slightly bitter greens, such as chicory, radicchio, escarole, or Belgian endive.... You get the idea...

You know what? I’m not really hungry, I'm tired; I think I need a rest… And besides, I have to get busy with a painting that seems to be beckoning to me from across the studio…

Shabbat Shalom!!

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