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FISSURE: A Life Between Cultures


Often it is not we who shape words but the words we use that shape us.
~ Nina George, The Little Paris Bookshop


In 1952 our family lived in Shiprock, a village in the Navajo Nation. We lived there because my father was a missionary, something I told people with pride until my early twenties. Something I didn't want to admit for a long time after that. We lived in a large two-story house on top of a hill that overlooked Jack's Trading Post. On that same hilltop, not far from the house that the mission board provided, lived my first Diné playmates, Bobby and Rudy Yellowhair. Every day the boys and I met in a spot of shade between my father's garden and a small wooden garage. My father had spread apricot and peach halves on the garage roof to dry. Every once in a while a breeze brought us the faint sweetness of drying fruit.

We stole soft dirt from my father's squash and melon hills, and from it we created miniature Diné home sites. We snapped thin elm twigs into short pieces and poked them upright into the dirt to form corrals. Tiny pebbles inside the fold became our sheep and goats. A little pile of earth with a bit of twig pressed into the top for a stovepipe became a hogan—a traditional Diné home. Outside the hogan we heaped dried, platinum-colored grass to make an outdoor cook fire. Finally, we peopled our homes with imaginary characters, and then we talked for them.

We started off speaking what linguists have called Dummitawry English. At that time, most Diné who spoke English used this creole, which meant speaking with a Navajo accent sprinkled here and there with Diné words. Often it also included modified syntax. At some point in our play, the Yellowhair brothers would almost always switch to speaking Diné bizaad. I might not notice at first, but when I did, I felt poverty-stricken; I owned only a small bag of Diné words. I closed my mouth for a little while. Then, under my breath I started speaking the longest bit of Navajo I knew—the Apostles Creed. I just wanted the boys to be able to hear that I was speaking Diné bizaad; I didn't want them to hear my actual words because I was ashamed of what I didn't know. I repeated the creed again and again, imagining the little mother flipping fry bread and laying it in a pan on the cook fire. As she told stories to her children, I was saying, "God ataa' t'áá bí t'éiyá alaahgo..." I believe in God, the Father Almighty... .

It had been easy for me to start speaking Dummitawry English. I was learning to speak Diné bizaad at the same time, but that involved conscious thought. In the Diné worldview every person, every animal, every star, is related—connected through a kinship system called k'é. I caught on to the most elementary k'e as I learned the language. When I greeted someone in Diné bizaad, using the right kinship term was simply part of it. If a woman was old enough to be my grandmother, I called her shimásání. If she was my mother's age, she was shimá.

I became versed in small social skills, like shaking hands with a soft passing of palms, rather than the firm clasp-and-shake of the dominant culture. I could see that my father was proud of me, and Diné who visited our home laughed with apparent pleasure when I served them coffee and spoke Diné bizaad to ask what they took in it. "Abe' nínízinísh? Áshiiłikan sha'?" I was pleased, too.

During our first summer in Shiprock, my father went away to learn how to read the Diné language. Early missionaries had created a Navajo alphabet, wanting people to read the Bible for themselves. Later, the Diné-White linguistics team, William Morgan and Robert Young, refined and standardized the written language. When my father came back from his training, he could read the Navajo New Testament from the pulpit pretty well, and he could teach others to read. He taught me at the same time I was learning to read English. I thought this was the natural order of things. More accurately, I probably didn't think about it. Like the rest of my life, it just happened back then, the way life does for children. Our lives don't seem special or unusual because they are ours and we are perhaps more present in them than we will be at any other time. Though I wasn't aware of it, reading in Diné bizaad helped increase my vocabulary. My father's mission thus became some of my earliest lessons in a language that would surround me and return to me for the rest of my life, though it would never be fully part of me.

Less than a year after we settled in Shiprock, our family moved to Teec Nos Pos, deeper within Dinétah. This tiny place was close to the Four Corners—the exact spot where the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah meet. I kept on building tiny Diné home places, now on the floor of the sandy bottom of the arroyo across from the mission. I played with my brothers and sister and with Sally and Carol Belone whose mother was the matron at the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) School. I kept on speaking Dummitawry English with my friends and classmates.
Sometimes Dummitawry English slipped out at the dinner table. One of us might say, "Pass da brat, please."

My mother, a vigilant language cop, would correct us immediately. "You mean, 'Pass the bread please.'"

"Say it." We did.

She corrected little oddities we picked up at school. We all called the tallest of my friends Mareeta. "I'm sure her name is supposed to be Marietta," Mom said when she heard me talking about her.

"No, it's Mareeta."

But when Mareeta came for cake and ice cream when I turned seven, my mother called her Marietta. Mareeta, of course, had no idea who she was talking to.

I brought a game home from school and taught it to my sister and brothers. "Whoever's it says, 'Rilla, rilla, rilla, I see something. It is rat. What is it?'"

"You mean, 'Riddle, riddle, riddle. I see something red.'"

I conceded to red instead of rat, as we would say it in Dummitawry English. But, "No. It's rilla, rilla, rilla."

I was interested in language, in traversing more worlds than one, although at the time I saw both worlds as part of my one world, my only world. I have no doubt that I would have become fluent in Diné bizaad on the playground except for the language policies in the schools on the Navajo Nation. Speaking Diné bizaad, even when children came to school with no knowledge of English, was forbidden. Teachers and dormitory matrons punished children if they caught them speaking their own language. The most natural and efficient way for children to learn a second language is from their peers, so at the same time my friends' language was being ripped from them, I was being denied access to that language. I would feel that loss keenly as the years passed. My loss, however, would never be as great a loss as Diné children's was. Knowing how my insufficiency paled next to the costs my friends paid set me further apart from people to whom I wanted deeply to belong.


© Anna Redsand, 2024. All rights reserved.


To be continued on Friday, 4/19/24.

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Humans tell stories to explain why Earth is covered by so many tongues. The Tower of Babel is the story I heard as a child. A cautionary tale about folks building a tower into the sky to reach the Holy One. The Holy One got mad because humans were overreaching. Suddenly the builders couldn't understand each other anymore, so they had to stop work. Too many tongues. But why shouldn't we want to touch holiness? With our hearts. With our tongues.


At the Pike Place Market, I stopped to admire the vibrant scarves the artist was laying out on her table. She caressed each silk beauty with her fingers, but for me, it was a tongue thing. "I want to lick them," I said.

"Then they're doing what I want them to."

We smiled.

Gorgeous colors, gleaming smoothness––round and glossy beads, jewels, small stones from beside a trail. They all look so licking-delicious. There must be some neurons that link the pathways between the eyes and the tongue.


The tongue is an organ formed of eight muscles in humans. Four of them are attached to bone, and four are not. We share the presence of this organ with all other tetrapods––four-legged beasts. The tongue is replete with nerves and blood vessels, and its surface is covered with papillae, the tiny bumps we call tastebuds. It is the main organ of our sense of taste, and it enables digestion by helping us chew. It empowers humans to speak and four-leggeds to vocalize.


I played trombone in high school and college and for a while afterwards. Inserting the tongue repeatedly and rapidly into a brass instrument's mouthpiece creates separate notes on a sustained tone. It's the same with a digeridoo, the long, hollowed, wooden instrument made and decorated with pointillist paintings by Australian Indigenes. I had one once, and it was made from a long, hardened section of hollowed cactus. Having played trombone helped me learn my digeridoo, and tonguing into it had the same effect––breaking up drone notes into short bursts. Played well (by others, I might add) the music raises goosebumps on my skin.


The average human tongue in men weighs about 2.5 ounces, and in women, about 2.1. For such a small organ, it performs a hefty load of work. It is an organ of sense, of connection through language and human intimacy. Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing the praises of the tongue.


So much of my life is about language and always has been. Different tongues pique my curiosity: How have they been formed? How do people use them or not use them? My parents used Dutch to exclude––when they didn't want us to know what they were talking about. My identity is wrapped up in tongues and in the spaces between tongues. Human identity is ever bound to our Mother Tongue. Having language is about connecting, communicating, knowing people more deeply. The purpose of language is not exclusion.

Diné who don't know me, when they realize, I am not even close to being a fluent speaker, considerately switch to US English––another way of using language. My friends who know that I have some knowledge, speak both US English and Diné bizaad when they're with me. The minuscule size of my little bag of Diné words is a reflection of the In-Between identity I struggle to embrace.

I have in my possession a bag of tongues. I imagine it is a bag I have sewn from a royal blue and orange and green Pendleton blanket. In this bag lie my two most well-developed tongues––US English and Danish.

The tongue I wish I knew fully is Diné bizaad. When my Diné friends were denied their language, it was denied me, too. Government and mission policies made it so I couldn't learn the language from my peers.

When we take something from one group of people, everyone loses.

I can read German, so it's also in my bag of tongues. I used to be able to speak it. I can read Norwegian because it's so similar to Danish. I understand quite a bit of spoken Swedish but can barely read it, which shows how differently we may pack diverse tongues into our language bags.
I traveled to Poland because I needed to see Auschwitz. While I was there, I picked up a tiny bag of ten Polish words. In New Zealand, I learned a few Maori words. I read a lot of Jewish literature and lived with a Jewish family once, so I know a smattering of Yiddish. High school Latin helps me with Spanish.


Our tongues are attached to the floor of the mouth by the frenulum, a mucous membrane. When the frenulum is too short and too thick, it renders speech, eating, and swallowing difficult. We say someone with that kind of frenulum is tongue-tied. The solution is to snip the frenulum to loosen the tongue.

On the other hand, tongue-tied is when you can't find your words.

By contrast, a teller of secrets has a loose tongue. Too many words.


The Latin word for "tongue" is "lingua," which is also the Latin word for "speech." Many everyday English words come from "lingua"––language, linguist, lingual, bilingual, multilingual, cunnilingus, lingo, to name a few.


My mother was rarely given to silliness, but sometimes we would tease her, and then she would stick out her tongue at us, and we would all laugh. Her too.

After living in New Zealand, which the Maori call Aotearoa, The Land of the Long White Cloud, I am always deeply moved when I hear and watch the Maori haka. The haka is a group war dance or challenge. It touches me most profoundly when it is performed to honor someone of warrior character––for instance, when a firefighter has died. Their companions execute a haka for them. Loud, energetic chanting and roaring are accompanied by the dramatic sticking out of tongues. It can show prowess, challenge, intimidation, bravery, or honor.

My Mother Tongue is the US variety of English. I also heard Dutch and Diné bizaad before I left my mother's womb. Dutch from my father's parents and sometimes from my mother and father. Diné bizaad from the Diné man who was my father's big brother, his mentor, at Bible School, and especially from Ed's wife, Ella, who talked more than Ed.

The church of my youth was not a shouting church. Members scoffed at Pentecostal churches, where people spoke in tongues. "Holy Rollers," they called them. Once, when I was ten years old, I went to that kind of church with my friend. It was loud and mysterious, fervid. The worshippers were heirs of the biblical apostles who had tongues of fire land on their heads at Pentecost. All that emotion scared me, but I sure hoped I would get to see tongues of fire.

The tongue of a cow makes a delicious sandwich. It's been a long time since I saw a beef tongue in the meat section of a supermarket, but one place I shop has real, live butchers, and I can purchase a tongue if I ask. A cow tongue weighs three to four pounds. I bring one home and simmer it in salted water with lemon slices, cloves, coriander seeds, and peppercorns. When it is tender, which comes after hours of cooking, I slice it thin, and the slivers are smooth on my tongue.

The tongues we speak bring us the taste of words. The muscles wrap themselves around teeth and cheeks and lips to make the sounds. The tongues we speak also present us with lavish food flavors. From US English, mac and cheese. When I am being Dutch-American, I eat moes, a peasants' mix of mashed potatoes or rice with bacon fat, kale, and bacon pieces. At Christmas, my grandmother mailed us the flaky, buttery, Dutch almond pastry, banket. In Diné bizaad, I can never get enough dahdíníilghaazh––puffy golden fry bread and with it, mutton stew. My friend Pita says my ris alamande, the Danish Christmas rice pudding, made with almond slivers, whipped cream, and cherries, is food from the gods. In Jewish homes, at Passover, I eat brisket and matzoh ball soup, charoset, and bitter herbs.

When she was in middle school, my daughter asked if she could get her tongue pierced. I had by then learned that it was useful to say no by saying yes––little to no resistance from a teen. So I said, "Yes, but you will have to save enough money ahead of time for the piercing and for treating any infections that could result." She never brought it up again.

Conquerors, colonizers, and occupiers the world over have, through concerted effort, including physical and cultural violence, erased Indigenous tongues. Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic were nearly eradicated by the takeover of the British colonizers. It happened through violence, through the perceived prestige of speaking English, and sometimes through more benign intercultural contact. Scottish Gaelic is now an endangered language. Irish Gaelic is making a comeback through revitalization efforts.

I dream sometimes that I am speaking Diné bizaad fluently with one of my friends. I feel overjoyed. Then, before the dream is over, I realize I am speaking Danish, the only language other than US English in which I am fluent. The power of my disappointment wakens me every time.


In Chinese medicine, the tongue is used to diagnose health problems. Is the tongue coated? What color is the coating? Does the tongue tremble when at rest? Are there tooth impressions on the sides of the tongue? Once, when a Chinese medicine doctor had been treating me for a while, as always, she took a look at my tongue and exclaimed, "Oh! What's happened?" She went to work right away prescribing a new set of horrible-tasting herbs for me to make into a foul-smelling tea.


Throughout the US, the government and missionaries have tried to obliterate Indigenous languages. For more than a century, the speaking of US English was forced on school children. They were severely punished for speaking their Mother Tongue.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) estimates that half of the approximately 6,000 tongues spoken around the globe today are in danger of disappearing. By UNESCO standards, Diné bizaad is one of them.

The UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger asks, "Why preserve language diversity?" In the Diné Language Teachers' Association (DLTA) handbook for a Diné language revitalization project, Louise Benally gives this answer: "Diné bizaad and, through it, the cultural beliefs and practices that it imparts, is valuable because it is our identity. It makes us who we are. We have pride in the teachings, the beliefs, and the traditional songs and stories that provide us the foundation for being a Diné person. When we listen to Diné bizaad, it makes us feel good. It brings us home. When we listen to a Diné song, it moves us to cry, to laugh or just to be silent in awe."

The desire to lick things that are not food must be what makes adults tell children not to lick a metal pipe in winter. Otherwise, why would anyone even think of it? A tongue frozen to a pipe is consequently forever fixed within the repertoire of slapstick humor. Has anyone ever done it in real life?

And why is a wagon tongue even called a tongue? Who first named it that? I haven't been able to find out.

Tongues eating, speaking, playing grant us sampling tongues, twisting tongues, coding tongues, frozen tongues, lashing tongues, flaming tongues, reclaiming tongues, sly tongues and honest tongues, faltering tongues, silver tongues, licking tongues. (After Ross Gay on "skateboarding eyes" in Inciting Joy)


© Anna Redsand, 2024. All Rights Reserved.


"Tongues" was first published in 

Fertile: An Anthology of Earth Poems and Prose from the High Desert and Mountains of the Four Corners Region.

Fertile, with its richness of diverse voices is available for purchase at https://www.annaredsand.com/contact 


by contacting me in a message through the Contact page.

You can read more about Fertile and sample some other writers from the anthology at https://www.annaredsand.com/blog/posts/43466.

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Collage by the Author


Something unexpected happened when, preparing for Torah study, I read the parasha about the original Passover. I had always found it easy to imagine that I was an Israelite, preparing the lamb in a mud hut, sprinkling the doorposts with blood, eating on my feet, dressed for a journey. Reading the story this time was different. I didn't imagine being an Israelite; I was one. The story was about me. I told Lakme, "This week I read Torah as a Jew. It meant something completely different to me. I can't describe it."

Lakme was delighted. "That's because when you read it as a Jew, you know that God is protecting you."

I hadn't analyzed the meaning, and I still haven't. It was something I experienced, that I felt rather than thought about. The next week I called Lakme to say I needed some distance from the process. I put away everything Jewish and stopped thinking about religious community. For a few weeks. Then books on Jewish spirituality fell off shelves into my hands again. Jewish magazines found their way to my mailbox.

My thoughts had taken a turn, though. I was disturbed to think that possibly I wanted to become a Jew in the same way I'd wanted to be other things I wasn't. I recalled a conversation years earlier with Lily Roanhorse. I'd said, "I'm always careful when I'm with Diné friends because I don't want them to think that I think I know it all, all about Diné life, that is. Sometimes I hide what I know."

Lily looked straight at me. "You have an identity crisis, just like we do."

Gratitude spread through me, and I nodded. But I felt guilty accepting her recognition. She was too gracious. We in her statement referred to college-educated Diné. It wasn't just college that had separated them from their people and ways. The alienation started way back in childhood when they were sent to boarding school. Today mainstream American culture still batters away at Indigenous identity.

"You don't know who you are," Lily said, "and neither do we."

I was so hungry to be seen, to belong, that I didn't argue. But I felt like I was cheating. I knew it was different to be White, wanting to be Brown, even feeling sometimes like I was Brown, and to know acutely that there was no way I ever would be. I knew I benefited from all the privileges our society grants to Whites.

Now, as I considered converting, I had to ask myself if something was missing in me that made me want to be other than self. At this time in the evolution of Earth's peoples, it may be important to cross these distinctions, to become other and self, thus one. Today there is a polar pull between distinctness and unity. Maybe the drive toward distinctness comes from frailty of identity, the deep need to assert who we are. Paradoxically, if we are to cross the lines and create oneness, not out of neurotic need but from a place of strength, it is necessary to first have a strong sense of self.

Despite my curiosity, my feelings for the mystery of my summer lullabies, of the magic circles of the Yé'iibicheii, I have not been drawn to explore Native spirituality. Maybe it's because I had to struggle so hard to establish an identity apart from the Diné world. And in the end, it was the struggle for selfhood that informed my decision about converting to Judaism.

Over the millennia since Abraham and Sarah walked the Middle East, countless people who were not born Jewish have become Jews. I wanted my roots to be Jewish. The late Renewal rabbi, Zalman Schacter-Shalomi, looks at the big picture and says that more people want to convert to Judaism today than have in a long time. He believes it's because the world needs more Jews after the great losses of the Holocaust. For a time, I grasped at that belief to justify my desire.

But I kept returning to the fact that I was not born a Jew. I went back to Lakme and asked her to tell me again about a concept she had mentioned in passing at our first dinner. I thought I remembered an approximate definition, friend to Jews, but I couldn't recall the Hebrew phrase. At the time, I had thought the designation was a pallid substitute for conversion, probably why I forgot the words.

Lakme told me the phrase, ger toshav. Its literal meaning, she said, is good stranger. It refers to a non-Jew who has the knowledge of what it means to be a Jew. That person would support rather than disrupt Jewish life. A non-Jew who is married to a Jew and is raising his or her children Jewish, without converting, is ger toshav. There is no ceremony for becoming ger toshav; it is something you are, something you can declare yourself to be. I am ger toshav. Some of my deepest spiritual learning comes from Judaism. I celebrate holy days and times with my Jewish friends as often as I am invited.

Ger means stranger, outsider. Since my early days in the Navajo Nation, I have worn the identity of an outsider. I have wondered if being ger toshav may not only entail living on the edge of the Jewish community. Maybe claiming to be ger toshav means claiming the religious identity of an outsider, taking on marginality as my spiritual identity. Outsiders have, from time immemorial, served as seers, storytellers, prophets, artists, writers, gadflies, healers, voices crying in the wilderness. If I accept the identity of an outsider, I will not be alone; I will join a great cloud of witnesses, scattered throughout society, who willingly, reluctantly or joyfully live with ambiguity and mystery. It seems that when I ran away from the church in my dream and toward religious identity, the journey took me to where I was all along, back to myself, the destination of all mystical journeys. Happily, it has given me acceptance of myself as an outsider. And it has given me a name for who I am, A Good Stranger.


© Anna Redsand, 2024. All Rights Reserved.


This is the final installment of "A Good Stranger," which was first published in Isthmus.

On Friday, Chapter VIII, "Tongues," a short, experimental essay will post in its entirety.

If you are just joining the serialization of Fissure: A Life Between Cultures, you can use the Table of Contents to go to the beginning and read in order.


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I left our church when I was twenty-five. I don't remember any pangs of conscience, and in the beginning I felt little grief. There was no joy, either. There was only dying. My soul was like Ezekiel's valley of dry bones, picked clean by vultures and hyenas, bleached white. Then, after seven years of baking in the sun, the dry bones of my soul, took on new flesh through meditation practice. My spirit breathed once more. My connection with God, tenuous at first, grew deeper and more alive than before, unbound by the rules of orthodoxy.

In Ezekiel, after being revived, the valley of bones becomes a great liberation army. In my imagination, the throng danced with the joy of breath blown back into it. Either way, new people came together for a common purpose. As with Ezekiel's bones, reconnecting with God on my own wasn't enough for me; I wanted to join with others. I began to grieve the loss of religious community, the feeling of belonging. The summer I dreamed of running from the church, I set out to recreate what I had lost.

The first time I had other White kids as classmates was at the mission boarding school, when I was eight. I spent most of my time during recess and after school behind the big gray Navajo girls' dorm. In the classroom I used Standard English, but on the playground I automatically switched to Dummitawry English. Playing marbles one day, I called out, "Hey you kits, dit chew saw my rat marvel?"

Katie Van Boven, who had never lived in the Navajo Nation itself, pointed at me, laughing and shouting, "Hey, who do you think you are? You think you're a Navajo or something? You're White, you know. Don't you know that?"

My stomach tightened. Tears threatened to spill. I turned without saying anything, leapt up to the monkey bars and crossed them, three bars at a time, back and forth, back and forth.

Once in a while, when I lived with Sylvia and Abe, I went to Shabbat services at Temple Emmanuel. The first time, I sat next to Sylvia's mother, a diminutive silver-haired immigrant from Russia. There came a point in the service when everyone turned to greet a neighbor. Ruth turned to me and said, "Good Shabbos," her eyes twinkling. I hesitated and she said, "Come on, you can say it. Good Shabbos."

It wasn't that I couldn't. I was "good" at languages, after all, but I was afraid it might be presumptuous, as if I thought I could be one with them. All I needed was Ruth's encouragement. When I said the words, I was filled with the blessed feeling of belonging.

Under a blue autumn sky in Shiprock, when it was time for the Northern Navajo Fair, my father prayed, "We ask for rain, Father, that the Yé'iibicheii dances may not be performed, that the people may turn from their heathen practices to serve thee, the only true God." The sky looked nothing like rain, but I knew, of course, that God could work a miracle if he wanted to.

The fair's parade introduced a panoply of color into my black-and-white Dutch Reformed world. Turquoise, gold, scarlet, maroon, hunter green, plum, royal and navy blues, tangerine—satin, velvet or corduroy—shirts, blouses and long gathered skirts. Layers of turquoise and silver—hat bands, squash blossom necklaces, earrings, bolos, bracelets, rings, bow guards, belts and buckles, spurs, trim on bridles and saddles. There were hand-woven saddle rugs, striped Pendleton blankets, green and orange wagons decorated with blankets and juniper greens.

After the parade, we went to the fairgrounds. I smelled mutton ribs, fry bread, and mutton stew. My father bought us kneel-down bread, and I peeled away the rough, damp cornhusks to get to the compact, moist Indian-corn cake. I savored the mild nutty sweetness, rolling each dense bite over my tongue before swallowing. I picked and licked the last crumbs from the narrow crevices of the husk.

To the south of the booths lay the forbidden. I kept looking, knowing it was where the Yé'iibicheii dance would be held. I took on faith my parents' assertion that the ceremony was of the Evil One, but still I wanted to see and hear, to feel the mystery my summer lullabies tendered.

I only saw that place afterwards, when the fair was over. The booths and corrals were empty, the earth packed hard again, and at the south end of the grounds stood rounds of tall juniper branches stuck in the soil, their tips leaning in toward the centers of the circles. Beside them were great orbs of black ash. The green and black rings slipped their magic into my imagination. I closed my eyes and saw a starry sky lit orange by huge leaping bonfires. I saw a crowd of people, wrapped in Pendletons, the ladies with scarves on their heads and men wearing tall black hats, their backs to me, hiding the dancers from my view. I couldn't push through to see, and I heard only silence. I opened my eyes and saw just the wheels of green and black on the hard cream-colored earth.

Lakme and I began Torah study at my request. I stopped often, needing to talk about my process. Lakme listened, salting her responses with midrash and with the deeper meaning of the original Hebrew.

I talked with her about my efforts to return to my own religious roots and how I'd been unsuccessful. Every time someone mentioned Christ, my reaction told me that the flesh had not returned to my spiritual bones with the same hollows and curves as before. I couldn't go back to believing that Jesus was the awaited Maschiach, the Messiah. I saw him now as a gifted rabbi who brought with him the message, "You are all Maschiach. You all have an obligation to redeem the world from destruction, to perform Tikkun Olam." I felt that Christianity was a mistake, that it had departed on an unintended two-thousand-year detour. And there were so many Christian travesties—the Crusades, the Inquisition, pogroms, cultural genocide through worldwide missionary activity—that I abhorred the idea of calling myself Christian.

"Maybe you have to go further back to claim your roots," Lakme suggested.

"You mean to Judaism?"


"I've thought of that," I said.


© Anna Redsand, 2024. All Rights Reserved


To be continued on Monday, 4/8/24

If you're just joining, you can use the Table of Contents to find your way from the beginning.

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