different language


Yesterday, a rabbi and I were discussing different forms of a pronoun, as I had questions about it. He told me that, with the Babylonian exhile, more and more Aramaic was introduced into the bible so that is why there are differnt forms – one Hebrew and one Aramaic.

He also related a story about visiting the Dead Sea Scrolls and taking a tour. The above picture is one he sent from that trip. He was familiar with both languages and saw (at the time) that there were several four letter words with no vowels. He wondered and commented privately to his wife – if that was their word for Hashem, (or G-d), if they had carried on that practice of not writing a name so holy in its fullness, just as they say Adonai instead of Y-hw-h.

Later he found out that is exactly what it was.

He told me that there is also Aramaic in older books like Daniel.

The story jumped out at me and stuck with me in a way that took me by surprise. For Lent I gave up Facebook and took on praying more for Christians around the world, especially the persecuted ones. The idea of carrying on the same practice, even when the language changes, seemed to echo in many questions I have for Him that I’ve not been able to formulate as I learn about Judaism and stay Christian. For example, the Sabbath on a Sunday instead of a Saturday could be seen like that, doing the same thing externally, based on the Father’s principles, just in a different language.

It also spoke to me about the endurance and irrepressibility of truth. In the Catholic transfiguration reading, the phrase about the white beyond bleaching (Mark 9) spoke of this work only He did, does. Only He can transform a heart.

You can change how you say something but not what you mean by it. You can change the language it’s said in but not what it’s meant to convey. You can pay lip service to what you want to convey, but your heart’s motive will remain. Only He can do His work there to purify and cleanse.

I know I don’t have to write G-d and that most Christians don’t and I don’t even think that they should if they don’t know why they are doing it or feel obligated to. I do it out of the freedom He’s given me to accept how He works and because it reminds me of His unfathomable holiness.

It also reminds of a tradition I have fallen in love with because my Savior was brought up in it. I also trust in His plan for Israel and am so thankful for Romans’ outline of that plan.

Father G-d, thank You for your promises. Your truth, and Your incredible company on this journey. Continue to speak to my heart and to Your people that are around me and may we create a haven here in this house that will serve to build up Your kingdom. May it be a refuge like You are a refuge, to heal, to learn, and to go forward forever changed for the better, just as You used my marraige to do that for me. Lead on, Lord. Lead us on.