Monday, June 7, 2010

Ṣiṣith, tekheleth, and free speech


Jewish date:  25 Siwan 5770 (Parashath Qoraḥ).

Today’s holidays:  Monday of the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time (Roman Catholicism), Edtors’ Day (Church of the SubGenius), Feast Day of Carl Kellner (Thelema).

A set of tzitzit with blue techelet threadImage via Wikipedia
Topic 1:  Another translation error in the King James Version (KJV):  In Numbers 15:37-41 is the commandment of ṣiṣith, which are macramé tassels put on the corners of four-cornered garments.  The people who created the KJV were apparently not familiar with Jewish practice, since they translate ṣiṣith as “fringe” and is under the impression they are supposed to be on the borders of garments, not the corners.  Furthermore, the ṣiṣith are supposed to contain a string dyed with tekheleth, a specific blue dye produced by murex snails.  The KJV, following the Septuagint, translates this as “a ribband of blue”.  The moral of all this:  it pays to know the original language of religious texts.

FYI:  I actually wear ṣiṣith with tekheleth every single day.  The Torah was not given to be ignored.

Topic 2:  “16-yr old "Daniel" confronts lion's den of haters to stand for the honor of Israel”:

This is a video about a protest following the Mavi Marmara incident which I have been kveching about lately.  The student with the Israeli flag going up against a mob of hostile, anti-Semitic protestors has not only got guts, but he has the epistemology right.  The fact that there are more anti-Semites attacking Israel than just him does not make them right, and the fact that they probably want to hurt him does not make them right either.  Furthermore, he has his civil rights right, too.  In the United States there is the civil right of free speech, even to say things no one else agrees with, and this lone pro-Israel protestor is exercising them even in the face of hostility.

Topic 3:  For today’s religious humor at the expense of the Free Gaza Movement: “Top Ten Signs The Cruise You are On is a Flotilla” and “Top 10 Flotilla Dating Profile Headlines”.


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