Friday, August 25, 2006

Livyatan Unchained - Mishmeret

I used to sing to G-d. At night. In the candlelight. Wrapped in a white sheet. Swaying to the sounds of the eternal flame.

Not anymore. I stopped about a decade ago. I stopped praying a few years after that.

When I was in 8th grade, in middle school, I got a full back brace and had to wear it for over 4 years. I used to lay in my bed during those years at night thinking - if I can only make it through this, things will be alright.

Well, I made it through those years, but things have never become alright. The suffering has only changed form through the years, year after year. I used to say, with each new trial - if I can just make it through this, things will be alright. I stopped saying that last year.

Things will never be alright.

I'm 45 years old now, but the suffering hasn't stopped yet. And I know now that it never will.

Right now, I am sitting in the same room where I spent so many nights so many years ago in my back brace, thinking now - it doesn't matter anymore if I make it through this.

with nothing, only pain
thrown down through time
a shattering prism through ages and worlds
torn, battered, beaten and abused
curled in the corner, step away, stand back
horror flies with the ark within the skies
of desolation and ice
made with years of tears
a prayer dies, forever

the words of the prophets
are written on the subway walls and tenement halls,
and whispered in the sounds of silence ...

Simon & Garfunkel, Sounds of Silence

do not abandon the levi'im, the cost of doing so may be land

the levitical - feminine mystique

6 mishmarot & the temple:

In the Babylonian Talmud (Taanit 29a) we are told that exactly the same events occurred at the destruction of both the First and Second Temple. The First Temple was destroyed during the mishmeret [guard] of Yehoyariv from which we could deduce that the Second Temple was also destroyed during the mishmeret of this family. But the sources are not all concurrent on Yehoyariv. In Taanit 27a-b, it is even suggested that this family did not come back at first from Babylon (see Rashi there). Only four priestly families, among the 24 who were charged with mishmarot of the First Temple, returned at first to Palestine. Each of these families was divided in six and was in charge six mishmarot. In the Babylonian Talmud (Arakhin 12b), it is stated that if and when Yehoyariv will return to Israel from Babylon, that family will be included in the group of Yedayah. Rabbi Adin Steinzaltz’s commentary on Taanit 27b suggests that the four families who came back from Babylon were divided in six and the name of a family who did not come back was given to the five groups from their clan. If that is the case, the mishmarot from the Second Temple were not the same as the one in the first Temple even if they had the same name. Rabbi Monique Susskind Goldberg

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