6 December 2016:
Share your favourite scripture place on social media, is the challenge of today. Now, I do not really have ONE favourite scripture place, like my daughter has. She phoned from Cardiff and read it up from memory. No, I have too many, to mention here. But, something interesting happened to me, the other day. And I really don’t know how it all started. I was sitting on my iPad as usual and I can not even remember how or what I was actually searching for, but suddenly I was on a site called israelblessing.com. Curious to what it was all about, I started looking at all the pretty things they are selling.
Last week, I went to the doctor and found out that I basically can forget about loosing weight, ever. She is not going to send me to an endocrinologist, since she blames ALL my hypothyroid symptoms on stress, age, genes and anemia. And without Liothyronine, I can not get rid of the symptoms, that is just the way it is. When I told her that I have never had to take off my engagement ring and wedding ring, during all my eight pregnancies, with the accompanying weight gain, but that I have not been able to wear either for the past five years, she just told me: “SO why don’t you just have them stretched?”.
Right, the jewelers told me that you can only stretch a plain ring. Anything else will be VERY costly. They have to take out the diamond on the engagement ring, fill in with extra gold and dip it in white gold, before putting the diamond back in. Forget about doing anything to the wedding band. It is out of the question all together. I can never wear my wedding ring again, nor my engagement ring. In one way, I do not care. Why wear such rings in the first place? Telling the world that one is OWNED by someone? When I could not wear my rings anymore, my husband happily took off his wedding ring and does not wear it anymore. So obviously it was a burden to him, to wear it. Or he is trying to send me a secret message?
Which ever, I sat and looked at the israel blessing site and found these beautiful wedding bands, called comfort bands, since they have welded two rings together. The outer one, has a Hebrew writing on it, and I do not know why, but I just love it! No, I am not Jewish nor do I speak that sacred language, but the Lord was and did! So to me, it is very, very special and I would love to have a ring like it.
Not only is the ring beautiful with its simplicity and writing, the prospective buyer, gets to choose what they want written on it, and I read through the list and knew exactly what I would love on mine, if I ever got one:
“The Lord bless you and keep you” from Numbers 6:24. A very short and unassuming little verse/saying, but I reacted to it at once and thought it was very beautiful, the nicest of the lot actually, suggested on the site. What a nice thing to say to someone, on a ring. And it made me think of a film I love. “Fiddler on the Roof”.
For those of you who have not seen it, you must. The songs are wonderful. The storyline is beautiful. Tevje, whom the story is really about, starts the film by saying, that what has kept the Jewish people together, is tradition. None of them know why they do things the way they do, but it gives them stability in life and it makes them survive in an all too unsure world. Throughout the film though, poor Tevje has to question his traditions. His oldest daughter refuses to marry the man her parents and the matchmaker have chosen for her. A thing unheard of! She has fallen in love with her old playmate, the village tailor. And Tevje has to trick his wife, to be able to make his daughter happy. Then his second daughter, falls in love with one of the new communists. A man who speaks of education, of throwing traditions out of the window, and who ends up being deported to Siberia by the Tsar. Tevje, has to accept that his daughter will leave home, without being married, going to the man SHE loves, in Siberia, a cold place where Jews do not usually go. Tevje feels that he has stretched as far as he can. Now he can not accept more new things. But then his beloved third daughter, the one who has spent all her years with her nose in books, wants to marry a Christian peasant. Tevje, is devastated. But he does not have any choices anymore. All the Jews are driven out of the little village of Anatevka, where they have lived for hundreds of years. Their neighbours have started a pogrom, on the Tsar’s orders, and they are no longer welcome.
At the end of the film, when they all leave with the few belongings they can take with them on hand carts and hay carriages, the village fiddler stands by the side, waiting to see if he is welcome to come with. Because he symbolizes tradition. Tevje motions for him to come with, even though, his entire world has been thrown upside down. I do not know why I get so emotional when watching the film or hearing the music, which of course brings pictures from the film to my mind. But it does. Because life did not turn out at all like Tevje expected it to become. And how often does it? How often, today, are we not forced to question our traditions and our way of living?
At particularly two places in the film, I cry. At the wedding scene, between the oldest daughter and her poor tailor, which starts out very touching and ends with the Christians riding in, destroying both the wedding party and the few wedding gifts. But also, during the Sabbath scene, when Tevje has come home, with lots of thoughts in his head, asking his wife is she loves him. (And she answers that he must be having indigestion and should lie down.) They start the Sabbath singing a Sabbath blessing over their five daughters and it is such a beautiful blessing. I know that the REAL prayer said, uses other words and names etc. But all Jewish prayers are very beautiful, and so is this pretend prayer:
May He always shield you from shame,
May you come to be in Yisroel a shining name.
May you be like Ruth and like Esther.
May you be deserving of praise.
strengthen them, Oh Lord, and keep them from the strangers’ ways.
May God bless you and grant you long lives.
May the Lord fulfill our Sabbath prayer for you.
May God make you mothers and wives.
May He send you husbands who will care for you.
May the Lord protect and defend you.
May the Lord preserve you from pain.
Favour them, oh Lord, with happiness and peace.
Oh, hear our Sabbath prayer. Amen.”
For some reason that ring above, with the scripture place from Numbers, reminds me of the film and that very tender scene, when the parents lovingly pray for their daughters, hoping all the best for them. Is there anything more dear, than wishing a loved one to be kept safe by God and blessed by him? So this, is one of my newest favourite scripture places!
I meant to have finished the post here, but the story about the above ring and its Hebrew writing, does not end here. Saturday, after we had been to the Autism Christmas party, I stood and looked at some cheap silver rings, in a jewelry shop window. These being the only kind of rings I can afford, to replace my wedding ring and engagement one. It does feel very naked without a ring, when I have worn rings on that finger since I was 12.
Walking out to the car, we started talking about jewelry, my husband, my son “Kitty” and I. My husband stating that he will not buy jewelry for anyone, since everyone has different tastes and my son asking his father what sort of jewelry, he likes. My husband’s answer “I would have liked that ring your mother showed me with Hebrew writing on it. But I do not want to be beaten to death!”. I asked him, what one earth he meant and his answer is very sad, very tragic and I’m afraid very true: “The Muslims would kill me. They are all over downtown Helsingborg and there is no way to avoid them. They would kill me for wearing a ring like that. You ask the Jews how safe they feel in Sweden!” That is how far it has gone though, in this country. You can’t display anything Hebrew or anything associated with Jewishness. The hatred among the Muslims have joined the Swedish anti-Semitism, and is allowed to roam free in my country. And it makes me SO mad! If a Jew want to wear a Chai sign around his neck or a star of David or if I, a Christian would like to wear a ring with a Hebrew text on it, we should be allowed to do so, without having to fear for our lives! Is this really the kind of society Swedes or anyone wants to live in? Where you are not allowed to wear what you want, nor believe in what you want to believe in?