Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Infertility, Jealousy, Slavery and Exile

When I was young, I often heard the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac, of sacrificing what you love for God and then not having to because you are willing to do it. This story is one close to my heart, the whole lose your life to gain it thing which I understand instinctively as a writer -- all writers know the heartbreak of having to get rid of things you love in your work, of a calling that demands copious amounts of your time and blood. But the side story of Hagar and Sarah wasn't one that got referenced a lot, the story of infertility and jealousy and slavery and exile. Before Isaac, Abraham had a child with Hagar named Ishmael, and Sarah so consumed with misery over her own inability to produce an heir until late in her life, drove them away.

As a grown woman, I think about that one just as much, the way that our lots in life make us feel sad and jealous about someone else being so much luckier, giving way to massive amounts of schadenfreude when something bad happens to our object of envy. I once tripped in the hall; I'm always falling everywhere no matter what the shoes or the landscape and someone said to me, Serves you right for wearing those high heels all the time. I'd seen her often, a squat woman with the kind of suitcase on wheels that you see flight attendants wheeling through airports. I'm the kind of person who carries everything in a bag and shit is constantly falling out; I lose things left and right. I envy the organized and the light -- I will never wheel a bag or be a person who says, I only need lipstick and a credit card! I saw the woman who made the comment again; her bag had opened and papers flew everywhere, like confetti in a parade, the careful giving way to the ecstatic at least for the moment.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"In every person we meet there's this little piece of God in them and that's who you talk to. And that's the only person that you allow to talk to you. When something else is speaking, you walk away from that. If it's not good, if it's not love, you walk away from it." Terrence Howard

Cocktail Hour
Drinking make-up suggestion: Urban Decay's eyeshadow -- Uzi is my favorite at this moment.

Benedictions and Maledictions
My Aunt Barb, my dad's older sister, died yesterday. She was a big part of my younger days, all those summer trips to Wichita, and I remember visiting her and my Uncle Mac and their dog Snookums like it was yesterday. They had the happiest marriage I can remember witnessing in my youth, totally enthralled with each other and they'd been married forever! Uncle Mac died years ago and I'd like to imagine that today is a very happy day for both of them, reunited at long last. And my deepest condolences to my wonderful cousins, Mike and Pat, and their families.


Cheri said...

It's hard to resist the urge to point and laugh at that person, isn't it?

the walking man said...

First condolences to you for the loss of your aunt, at least there is comfort in knowing she sleeps comfortably with her ancestors.

Second remember Ismael and Hagar were driven out only after Isaac was born, Ishmael becoming the father of all of the Arab nations while Abraham through Isaac became the father of the twelve tribes of the Jews, which according to their own book makes them brothers, and that is part of why I don't understand why they have so much hatred towards each other. They are the supreme definition of dysfunctional family. I don't know what i would do, maybe i would send a crazy e-mail to one or the other to try to make peace between brothers.

Thirdly MISSY even though I am sure you had a smirk on your face did you go and help the tree stump woman gather her papers or did you shine her on forgoing an opportunity to perform a random act of kindness? There is no need to answer for it is between you and God as your spell of the day indicates. But i certainly would like to have been privy to the e-mail God sent you according to what action you took as the confetti flew up to the faceworld o sphere.

Much Peace


Marks Musical Musings for the day:
on the evening train ; Johnny Cash

eric1313 said...

"I envy the organized and the light --"

So do I.

When I try to organize, everything gets wrecked that much worse. You ever put something away for safe keeping and not be able to remember where the hell it was that you put it? That's me.

btw--remember the viking fertility rune that was lost, and you let me pick another, but it was the first, true pick that counts?

Found it! It was in my bookbag all along. I glued it to my desk in front of my monitor. That'll teach it!

And you know how I feel about that particualer old testament story.

Great writing. Take care and we'll all talk again one day in the promised land. Heaven is so nigh!

eric1313 said...

And I'm glad to see you have an upbeat grief response. May it stay that way and add to your life. That's what they would want more than anything.

that dood bix nood said...

Sorry to hear about your loss, but she is now better off than all of us.

Still, that Terrance
Howard quote is a pretty dim insight and kinda humourous.
Was he on ecstasy or something??

ugis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Charles Gramlich said...

I try not to crow when someone gets what they deserve. I often fail miserably.

Anonymous said...


Please note this is not a competition between faiths but an attempt to decipher fact from fiction.

Genesis 21:14 Contemporary English version se below link;&version=46;

Early the next morning Abraham gave Hagar an animal skin full of water and some bread. Then he put the boy on her shoulder and sent them away.

And Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ish’mael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ish’mael to Abram.

Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

At Genesis 22 Abraham had only 2 sons others came later. The Quran mentions that it was Ishmael that was sacrificed hence the reference in genesis 22:2 your only son can only mean someone has substituted Ishmael names for Isaac!!

NOT ROMAN NUMERALS (I, II, III,IV,V,VI,VII,VIII,IX,X) NB no concept of zero in roman numerals.

100 years old – 86 years old = 14 ADD 3 YEARS FOR ISSAC’S WEANING


Carefully read several times the above passage and then tell me the mental picture you get between the mother child interactions what is the age of the child. If the mental picture is that of a 17 year old child being carried on the shoulder of his mother, being physically placed in the bush, crying like a baby, mother having to give him water to drink, than the Islamic viewpoint is null and void. Why is there no verbal communications between mother and (17 YEAR OLD) child?

GENESIS: 21:14 - 21
So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the (17 YEAR OLD) child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the (17 YEAR OLD) child under one of the bushes. Then she went, and sat down over against him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, “Let me not look upon the death of the (17 YEAR OLD) child.” And as she sat over against him, the (17 YEAR OLD) child lifted up his voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the (17 YEAR OLD) lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not; for God has heard the voice of the (17 YEAR OLD) lad where he is. Arise, lift up the (17 YEAR OLD) lad, and hold him fast with your hand; for I will make him a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the (17 YEAR OLD) lad a drink. And God was with the (17 YEAR OLD) lad, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

The age of Ishmael at this stage is crucial to the Abrahamic faiths. If he is 17 than the JUDEO/CHRISTIAN point of view about the Abrahamic covenant is correct. This has devastating theological consequences of unimaginable proportions.

This makes the conflict between Ishmael and Isaac and there descendants a work of fiction. I would strongly suggest it is clear cut case of racial discrimination and nothing to do with god almighty. The scribes have deliberately tried to make Isaac the only son and legitimate heir to the throne of Abraham??

Please can you rationally explain this anomaly?

I have asked many persons including my nephews and nieces - unbiased minds with no religious backgrounds but with reasonable command of the English language about this passage and they all agree that the child in the passage is an infant.

For background info on the future religion of mankind see the following websites:





HOLY QURAN CHAPTER 37 verses 101 - 122

101. So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.

102. Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: "O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!" (The son) said: "O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills one practising Patience and Constancy!"

103. So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah., and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),

104. We called out to him "O Abraham!

105. "Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!" - thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

106. For this was obviously a trial-

107. And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:

108. And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times:

109. "Peace and salutation to Abraham!"

110. Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

111. For he was one of our believing Servants.

112. And We gave him the good news of Isaac - a prophet,- one of the Righteous.

113. We blessed him and Isaac: but of their progeny are (some) that do right, and (some) that obviously do wrong, to their own souls.

114. Again (of old) We bestowed Our favour on Moses and Aaron,

115. And We delivered them and their people from (their) Great Calamity;

116. And We helped them, so they overcame (their troubles);

117. And We gave them the Book which helps to make things clear;

118. And We guided them to the Straight Way.

119. And We left (this blessing) for them among generations (to come) in later times:

120. "Peace and salutation to Moses and Aaron!"

121. Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

122. For they were two of our believing Servants.

Therefore the claim that god gave the land to Israel is destroyed without the need of any WMD’s.

Volume 4, Book 55, Number 583:

Narrated Ibn Abbas:

The first lady to use a girdle was the mother of Ishmael. She used a girdle so that she might hide her tracks from Sarah. Abraham brought her and her son Ishmael while she was suckling him, to a place near the Ka'ba under a tree on the spot of Zam-zam, at the highest place in the mosque. During those days there was nobody in Mecca, nor was there any water So he made them sit over there and placed near them a leather bag containing some dates, and a small water-skin containing some water, and set out homeward. Ishmael's mother followed him saying, "O Abraham! Where are you going, leaving us in this valley where there is no person whose company we may enjoy, nor is there anything (to enjoy)?" She repeated that to him many times, but he did not look back at her Then she asked him, "Has Allah ordered you to do so?" He said, "Yes." She said, "Then He will not neglect us," and returned while Abraham proceeded onwards, and on reaching the Thaniya where they could not see him, he faced the Ka'ba, and raising both hands, invoked Allah saying the following prayers:
'O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Your Sacred House (Kaba at Mecca) in order, O our Lord, that they may offer prayer perfectly. So fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allah) provide them with fruits, so that they may give thanks.' (14.37) Ishmael's mother went on suckling Ishmael and drinking from the water (she had).
When the water in the water-skin had all been used up, she became thirsty and her child also became thirsty. She started looking at him (i.e. Ishmael) tossing in agony; She left him, for she could not endure looking at him, and found that the mountain of Safa was the nearest mountain to her on that land. She stood on it and started looking at the valley keenly so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody. Then she descended from Safa and when she reached the valley, she tucked up her robe and ran in the valley like a person in distress and trouble, till she crossed the valley and reached the Marwa mountain where she stood and started looking, expecting to see somebody, but she could not see anybody. She repeated that (running between Safa and Marwa) seven times."
The Prophet said, "This is the source of the tradition of the walking of people between them (i.e. Safa and Marwa). When she reached the Marwa (for the last time) she heard a voice and she asked herself to be quiet and listened attentively. She heard the voice again and said, 'O, (whoever you may be)! You have made me hear your voice; have you got something to help me?" And behold! She saw an angel at the place of Zam-zam, digging the earth with his heel (or his wing), till water flowed from that place. She started to make something like a basin around it, using her hand in this way, and started filling her water-skin with water with her hands, and the water was flowing out after she had scooped some of it."
The Prophet added, "May Allah bestow Mercy on Ishmael's mother! Had she let the Zam-zam (flow without trying to control it) (or had she not scooped from that water) (to fill her water-skin), Zam-zam would have been a stream flowing on the surface of the earth." The Prophet further added, "Then she drank (water) and suckled her child. The angel said to her, 'Don't be afraid of being neglected, for this is the House of Allah which will be built by this boy and his father, and Allah never neglects His people.' The House (i.e. Kaba) at that time was on a high place resembling a hillock, and when torrents came, they flowed to its right and left. She lived in that way till some people from the tribe of Jurhum or a family from Jurhum passed by her and her child, as they (i.e. the Jurhum people) were coming through the way of Kada'. They landed in the lower part of Mecca where they saw a bird that had the habit of flying around water and not leaving it. They said, 'This bird must be flying around water, though we know that there is no water in this valley.' They sent one or two messengers who discovered the source of water, and returned to inform them of the water. So, they all came (towards the water)." The Prophet added, "Ishmael's mother was sitting near the water. They asked her, 'Do you allow us to stay with you?" She replied, 'Yes, but you will have no right to possess the water.' They agreed to that." The Prophet further said, "Ishmael's mother was pleased with the whole situation as she used to love to enjoy the company of the people. So, they settled there, and later on they sent for their families who came and settled with them so that some families became permanent residents there. The child (i.e. Ishmael) grew up and learnt Arabic from them and (his virtues) caused them to love and admire him as he grew up, and when he reached the age of puberty they made him marry a woman from amongst them.

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