Friday, April 22, 2011

WOTD 43- CROWD


 The air was dense with sweat and spices and heat, dust rising like incense smoke. As his leathered feet throbbed against the old skin of the earth it swirled around his ankles and was shaken away, swept clean in the walking by the blue-fringed hem of his robe. Blue fringe, dancing its holy dance; a token of covenant and reminder of his birthright and his blessed appointment with fate. He had come home, across the water to the place where they knew his name. They had heard of the drowning swine, of the cleansing. Jairus, who had left the synagogue and wept at his daughter’s deathbed, had found him and fallen at his feet, imploring him to come.

News of his coming drew a crowd. Jairus brought him credibility. Soon the narrow passages of the town were steaming with the curious, the faithful, and the infirmed. They pressed against him as he walked, layered themselves like mud along the shores of the sea. He moved with haste, pulled along by the grieving father and his family, but the crowd pressed harder and thicker around him.

She heard he would come. She had washed herself and dressed, wiped the blood and anointed herself with oil. She rose from her kneeling, covered her head, and opened the door to the crowded street. Skimming along the edges of the buildings, working her way toward the hub of the crowd, she followed the chanting and the aura that rose above it. Weak with loss and with shame, she could not keep up. Renewed by some spirit, some force from her center, she pressed on nonetheless. Every eye was focused, even hers. Pushed by the throng she fell to the earth, pressing her eyelids tight against the dust. When she opened them, helpless and hopeless, she saw that he had turned. She felt him turn toward her, and yet she could not rise. Reaching, stretching, bleeding, she found the fringe laughing at the foot of his robe. Touched it. And the fountain within her ceased.

He knew he had been touched, that some part of him had been removed that he could not compel, that must only be taken. He felt it go, and she felt it come. She rose and fell again, this time at his still feet; weeping, chanting, clutching her waist and rocking like a childless mother.

“Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole. Go in peace.”

14th century Byzantine Mosaic, Istanbul, Turkey

Note:  The above painting by Del Parson was altered by someone to include the tzitIzit. In the Old Testament God commands the Jews to weave tassels or fringes (tzitzit) on the corners (kanaf) of their garments. By looking at these tassels, they would be reminded to obey all God’s commands (Num. 15:38-40). These reminders both visual and tactile, were sewn into the hems of shawls or robes of Rabbis and other faithful Jews.

The Bible makes note of these fringed shawls in a number of places. Even today there are many Jews who wear a prayer shawl to obey this command.

This woman, unclean for 12 years, was forbidden to touch other people. (a bleeding person was considered unclean).  The fact that she touched the fringe of Jesus' rabbitical robes (a symbol of priesthood power) indicates to me her obedience as well as her faith. 
I love this story.

CLICK HERE  for and explanation of the symbolism in the fringe (tzitzit) which was commanded to be placed on the four corners of a robe.  (Not an endoresment of anything, just FYI)

3 comments:

  1. simply beautiful! thank you my faithful sister.

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  2. It is my favorite story. Never heard it told better. Cori, you have so much power, so much power behind that smiling, beautiful face of yours.

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  3. It is beautiful. The Hebrew woman, raised in the scriptures, knew that the coming Messiah would heal by His Tzitzit (fringes) from the reading in Malachi 4:2 "the sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in His WINGS [Kanaph]", or 'Tassle'.
    This woman knew this, and "by faith" she acted and grasped hold of the Messiah's "tassle" and was healed.
    The WORD commands us (all who follow the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob [Israel]) to wear the tzitzit. Moses did it, and he wasn't even a Jew. Messiah did it, and He IS our example. If He did it, then we should do it also. After all, He is the flesh embodiment of the WORD, or scriptures, and He never changes, so it is with His WORD...It never changes.

    Shalom Alecheim.

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