I Don’t Care If You’re A Muslim

I don’t care if you’re a Muslim, or a Christian, or a Jew. I don’t care if you’re Yann Martel writing a novel as a donkey and a monkey (as Beatrice and Virgil), as if avoiding human critics panning the book, as a story of remembrance, as a novel holocaust story, novel also because you’re neither a Nazi yourself nor a victim of the unspeakable, horrors. I don’t really care if you’re me either (because I also read Martel’s other novel, believing all the way through that the boring loneliness in the boat could be reasonably called “Life,” as in Life of Pi, a sort of pun, if you will, on a mathematical formula for circles, until the end makes you, I mean me, start all over again, at the beginning). Doesn’t the past meet our present? Doesn’t our future need forgiveness now, as then? Doesn’t our story sound familiar when we read another’s, others’ stories, now differently all over again?

Now, that’s my zany introduction to what isn’t at all a review of a sermon I heard this morning.

Or is it a poem? A translation? A retelling of a story, of Atonement, that is telling to the end? That starts fresh? Listen for yourself:

after these things
the sweet and the bitter
God tested Avraham

Did she say, “the bitter God”? (I had to read that twice, a hundred times, so you tell me.)

But what about us listening to this tale
again, wishing for the hundredth time
that our ancestors weren’t so familiar

Is “us” we, you and me? Muslim, Christian, Jewish, unbelieving, imagining, listening, wishing humans, with ancestors?

Imagine a different story
…………………………………....to seek forgiveness
………………………..remember

Is this so different from Eid al-Adha? Is it so unlike Good Friday? Isn’t it at least Genesis 17-22? Is it so very novel, the familiar horrors, our final-frequent need for Atonement?

I don’t care who you are; you might like to listen. It is “The Akedah Cycle: a sermon in poetry for the second day of Rosh Hashanah” by Rachel Barenblat, the Velveteen Rabbi.

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One response to “I Don’t Care If You’re A Muslim

  1. Pingback: You May Care When I’m Arrogant | Mind Your Language

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