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Miryam 115

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  • Frank Thomas Smith
    Yes and no. I heard him speak a few times. You could understand him so, or so. How so or so? Well, we understood him to be on the side of the landless and poor
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 23, 2005
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      Yes and no. I heard him speak a few times. You could understand him so, or
      so.

      How so or so?

      Well, we understood him to be on the side of the landless and poor and
      against the rich and the whole fine society that can do what it wants, and
      extort taxes and take away land, and lock up the people who can't pay in
      debtors prison. The way he talked made us think that he wanted the uprising.
      But then: No, not that way, no violence. How then? Neither fish nor fowl. I
      prefer Yehuda any time.

      Yehuda?

      Yes, you always know where you stand with him, he is clearly on the people's
      side.

      Then you don't know?

      What?

      He killed himself - by hanging.

      What! But Why?

      Because he thought as you do.

      What do you mean?

      He thought you can obtain peace, freedom and justice by fighting with
      weapons.

      That's so. It's the only way.

      The Rabbi Yeshua said that it's not the way. Violence only begets more
      violence. And because the rabbi was against violence Yehuda wanted him
      killed. Briefly said. Do you understand?

      I understand. And now they're both dead. So what happens now? Can anything
      more happen? Anyway, I'm fed up with it all. I belonged to the rebels for
      years. But now I want to rest. I don't want to be crucified. What do you
      care about all that? It's not a woman's thing.

      Later a group of pilgrims arrived. I recognized them from their accent as
      Galileans from the Kineret Sea. They sat aside and made a small fire in the
      courtyard. I greeted them. But they were taciturn.

      We don't know anything.



      One said: It's all over.

      What?

      The feast, what else?

      I understood. Should I have said: Nothing is over, our rabbi lives?

      My heart burned, the words strove on my tongue to come out. But how could
      they have believed me. They'd have had to take me for a madwoman.

      We left early in the morning. Such a beautiful morning, and spring, and
      Yeshua's words in my ear: Go to Galilee, I will be there.

      But of course always the doubt: it can't be true that someone returns from
      the kingdom of the dead, it can't be true that you can see and touch him,
      that doesn't happen, we have fooled ourselves, over-stimulated as we were we
      imagined something for consolation.

      But why then my happiness? Where does the feeling come from that HE is near
      to me?

      It was near Sebaste that we met a troupe of riders. It was a whole cohort.
      Romans. They rode to south. They rode in a great hurry. Was something
      happening in Yerushalayim to cause them to be ordered there. Had unrest
      broken out? Had Bar Abba been able to bring about the uprising? If now the
      great uprising too place? If Yeshua's death had been the signal? If the
      uprising in Yerushalayim meant an uprising in all Yisrael?

      Yochanan, do you remember Yeshua's words: I throw fire on the earth and wish
      nothing more ardently than that it burn.

      But not that way. Not as an uprising, not as violence, not as a battle
      between peoples!

      Yes, but you told me the story about that Prometheus who stole fire from the
      gods in order to give it to men, and that he was cruelly punished for it.

      Do you think that? How difficult it is for you and for us all to escape from
      the old images: Zeus, Jupiter, Adonai: violent rulers, strict judges, hard
      fathers. Miryam, Yeshua didn't need to steal the fire from a jealous god: he
      stole it from himself, HE is the fire, and that fire is spirit, and whoever
      lets it burn in him is godlike.

      That evening we were already near the border of Galilee. We looked for an
      inn there. Then we met Shimon and Andrew. They acted half crazed. Are you
      drunk? What are you saying? We don't understand a word. Shimon, you tell us.

      We saw the rabbi! And he ate supper with us, here, an hour ago! There's the
      cup he drank out of, it's still half full, and there, that half a piece of
      bread! We met him underway.

      From the beginning. Underway. Where, how?

      We were going along and suddenly, we didn't hear any footsteps, someone was
      alongside us who asks: You are sad, friends, why? We say: Yes, why: because
      something happened in Yerushalayim that affects us. What? He says. The Rabbi
      Yeshua, who they hanged. So? He asks. And what else? What else: he's dead,
      do you understand? He looks at us so curiously: Is he really dead? I say:
      Yes and no. He says: What's that supposed to mean, is he dead or not? Yes, I
      say, that's just what we can't handle. He says: You'll never be able to
      handle it, friend. I say: He died, that's for sure, but then the tomb was
      empty and some women claim to have seen him, alive! But that's women's talk
      due to grief.

      Shimon! I said.

      He felt ashamed.

      I don't want to tell the stranger everything at once.

      All right. Go on.

      Yes, well, meanwhile it was evening and I say: We're going to the inn there.
      Come along, friend. It was very strange. I didn't want to let that stranger
      go away for anything in the world. He stayed, and we ordered food and drink.
      He says: Do you have money, I have none. Yes, yes, we do. Then he smiles and
      the smile seems familiar to us, but we still don't think anything more. And
      then he asks: Who was the man they crucified, and why? Why, that's a long
      story, and who he really was, we don't know that. Don't be angry, but we don
      't want to talk about it, it pains us. He smiles again and I kick Andrew and
      indicate the face of the guy to him, and we stare at it, and the man keeps
      smiling and we're warm, but do you think our eyes were opened? No. The food
      is brought. Sea fish and bread, and wine, and the stranger eats and drinks,
      why not, why shouldn't a man eat and drink. But then, now it's coming: then
      he takes the bread and breaks it in three pieces, and dips a piece in the
      wine and hands it to me, and then one to Andrew. Then it dawns on us, it
      dawns on us like a bolt of lightning, and at the same moment he disappears.
      Simply gone. The serving girl said: Where's the third one gone, I didn't see
      him leave and I was always here. Yes, look, there's his cup, half full, and
      his piece of bread, let's share it! Let's do as he did.

      It was Shimon who first celebrated the supper with us, and we were all in
      tears.

      The next day we went on together, and I kept looking back to see if someone
      was following. Wasn't his promise to be seen again also for me? Or couldn't
      I expect it after the encounter at the tomb?


      Frank Thomas Smith
      http://SouthernCrossReview.org
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