Friday, October 23, 2009

Parashath Noaḥ and The Golden Compass

Greetings.

Jewish date:  5 Marḥeshwan 5770 (Parashath Noaḥ).

Topic 1:  In the interest of staying topical, I would like to note that I have done two reviews relevant to this week’s parashah:  one for Evan Almighty and another for the horrifically bad made-for-television movie Noah’s Ark.

Topic 2:  Chapters 14 and 15 of The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) by Philip Pullman.  In these plot-intensive chapters, the heroine Lyra Belacqua and her dæmon Pantalaimon reach the facility where the General Oblation Board is holding the missing children.  The children are kept in fairly comfortable conditions and regularly measured for a much mentioned microscopic particle known as “Dust” which is somehow connected with other worlds.  Lyra and Pantalaimon get to play heroes by rescuing a number of dæmons which have been separated from their children for purposes which still have to be explained, and they plan on breaking the captive children and their dæmons from the facility.  Severed dæmons could be a reflection of the concept of ghosts.  What any of the rest of this has to do with religion as conceived or practiced by real people is still up in the air.

Shabbath shalom.

Aaron