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Showing posts with label historical_fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label historical_fiction. Show all posts

Friday, April 14, 2017

Future Article: "Pioneering Infinity Pool Not So Infinite After All: Glass Break, Water Spill Bring Pool's End And Infinite Costs, Including Fatalities"

Patrons of the Sky Pool at Houston's Market Square Tower died when the pool's plexiglass floor could not hold steadily, despite its thickness of eight inches. Investigators say that at least two patrons were horseplaying, somehow causing the floor to break—and they were among those whom fell to their deaths from 42 floors above the Market Square Tower entrance and 10 feet into Houston.

On condition of anonymity, a Houston Police Department official and one of the HPD's contacts at the Houston's Coroner's Office stated the following:

"We know that none of the swimmers survived—and you'd have to imagine that they wouldn't have survived, given that they fell from half-a-thousand feet and away from anything onto which they could've grabbed, used to break their falls, or what have. They also fell from 42 floors which make up 40 stories of the Market Square Tower—so, they fell from a height of 10.5 floors per story—no way were they going to survive that, even if the pool had been just on the first story."

As for other decedents, they had this to say:

"We are investigating to see whether anyone fell from the balcony itself—if, for example, anyone was hanging on to one of the pool walls, walking over to the pool to see what was happening, or even about to get into the pool—and either fell with the pool or fell when it was longer joined the balcony."

They also talked about whether anyone died on the ground below:

"We haven't heard, though we're looking into that—as glass and water rained down, and some glass and water rained down together as if rain and ice rained down during a winter storm, we have to see whether anyone was even just hurt as a result of anything such as an instant rush of glass and water falling on them. At a rate of 10.5 floors per story, though, the fall speed would've made likely that nobody who was hit by any glass or water would've survived—especially with so much glass and water rushing."

They additionally noted, "Some of the decedents may have died by drowning as they were falling, as if they were being rushed away in a current or down a waterfall."

The Houston Housing Authority and Houston Permitting Center, meanwhile, are looking into whether the Market Square Tower builders, maintenance personnel, and owners violated any structural-integrity or other building-code ordinances, thus causing the pool to be unsafe and unable to hold up from 10 feet out into

The Houston DA's Office will run its own investigation and will work with the police department, Housing Authority, Permitting Center, and possibly even the mayor's office and Texas gubernatorial staff.

In the meantime, the mayor's office and the governor's office have been notified, and the release of the names of the decedents is pending confirmation of their identities and notification of their deaths to their loved ones—and the impending release hinges especially on, per a rumor that is going around in Austin circles, whether one of the decedents is a loved one of the governor.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"Imma Rize": A Short Story About a Nun With a Humorous Name (And a Cousin With a Sense of Humor)

Her name was actually Khava Reisz. She was from Obudai, Magyaroszag. However, she took the name "Ima Reis" ("אמא ראיס", "Mother Reis") when she left Obudai after she had become a nun and went to Bremen. From Bremen, she immigrated to Baltimore as "M. Eva Reis"; and she didn't use "Eva"—much less "Khava" ("חוה")—otherwise.

Therefore, nobody knew how to mark her gravestone—much less her makeshift gravestone for the time being—when she lived out her full years and died at the age of 110 years. What they could clearly write on the stone, however, was "1802 to 1912", since they knew that much.

Otherwise, they had to write what they could write about her. Thus, they wrote "Imma Rize". Similarly, they wrote "Earl Lee Rizer" on her cousin's gravestone. Earl, too, by the way, lived a long life. However, he lived to only 91 years of age.

Nonetheless, he could fill them in on the details of his years before he died, and he made an attempt to fill them in on what he could of his cousin's life.

"...And on my matzevah—the thing that you gentiles call a gravestone—simply mark 'Earl Lee Rizer'. I've left the other instructions in my will. As for my matzevah, that isn't the really-fancy part. After all, I can fill you and everybody else in at the Resurrection—if there even is one. Nonetheless, all you and anyone else need to know in this lifetime is that my name was 'Earl Lee Rizer'; I had a sense of humor, and I lived for 91 years.

"As for my cousin—the one that you call 'Mother Reis'—she'll probably die soon, too. I was born in 1806, and this year's 1897. So, she'll probably die in this 95th year of hers—after all, I'm younger than her and dying in my 91st year.

"Anyway, you asked me to fill you in on the details about her—since we all figure that she's going to die, and she is obviously quite secretive. Then—and spare me, for I haven't much breath—here are the details for which you asked—or at least which I can provide, anyway.

"After she became what everybody else considered a meshumadah—a Jesus-following apostate—I was the only one who was willing to take her in when she emigrated from Bremen. She came here in 1850, and I was already here since 1847. Thus, she lagged only three years behind me.

"After she immigrated, she and I went our separate ways once I took her in and she was processed by the immigration authorities. I went to Temple; she went to the Hebrew Christian church and convent up on only-God-knows what street. I lived out my life as a regular man and Temple member; she lived out her life as a Jewish Mother Superior—though such seems a contradiction, when it is actually just quite a paradox—at least she was a Jewish mother! Incidentally, she did remind me of the verse wherein the prophet states that a husbandless woman has more children than a husbanded one; and she believed that, that applied to all nuns, and not just abbotesses.

"I must relate this anecdote as well: she and her community celebrated Yom Kippur—the Jewish Day of Atonement—in the most-fascinating way. We believe in fasting for our atonement; she believes in Jesus as hers. Nonetheless, she—with her community, and like us—fasted on Yom Kippur. However—and this is the fascinating part—she and her community would prepare for Communion after sunset in a fashion similar to how the priests made atonement in the days of the Solomonic and Zadokite Temples. Whereas the priests would enter the Holy of Holies and perform all of the atonement rituals and rites, the Hebrew Catholic priest would wave incense before the cross on the wall behind the altar and then sprinkle all of the vestments, articles, and furniture with some of the wine that was to be used in the Communion ceremony. Then, at sunset, the priest and his deacons would administer Communion to the congregation.

"I cannot say that she did not live an interesting life—perhaps living interesting lives is within our family. After all, I lived an interesting life—part of my life, of course, includes my having changed my name from 'Berl Ari Reisz' to 'Earl Leo Riszer', to just 'Earl Lee Rizer'. I was an early riser, by the way—I took the advice of the American founder Benjamin Franklin seriously. Also, Benjamin Franklin himself knew what I know—that, as King Solomon observed, only the sluggard will not rise at all, for he will even make the excuse that a lion roams the streets!

"Perhaps that's why 'Ima Reis'—'Mother Reis'—may, as I have heard, change her name to 'Imma Rize'—as I alluded to being an early riser, so she will allude to her belief in the Resurrection of the Dead. Also, she—from what I understand—heard a Negro man singing something along the lines of 'I'm-a rise when Jesus calls-a me up from the ground....'—and that had her thinking."

With that said, Earl Lee Rizer breathed his last breath and died at the age of 91 years. Thus, his gravestone read as he stipulated that it should read: "Earl Lee Rizer". However, the stonecarver also engraved Earl's birth and death dates. Therefore, the gravestone read in full, "Earl Lee Rizer, 1806 to 1897".

As for Mother Reis' gravestone, it read:

"אמא ראיס, 1802-1912, עם 62 שנות בעבודה לישוע אדוננו"—
"Mother Reis, 1802 to 1912, with 62 years in the service of Jesus Our Lord."

This was all forgotten, however, when a flood came through the cemetery and left the gravekeepers to put up makeshift gravestones. Thus, Mother Reis' makeshift gravestone read as her cousin Earl suggested that her gravestone should read—with, of course, the death date being different than the date that Earl supposed:

"Imma Rize
"1802 to 1912".





Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Imagining(?) An Ancestor In Al-Andalusia in Medieval Mediterranea, Full

Imagining(?) An Ancestor In Al-Andalusia in Medieval Mediterranea
Prologue And Introduction
Prologue
      I first became interested in my topic for this paper when I came across a poem of the Medieval poet al-Ghazal[i]. I really had no choice in becoming interested in the topic—much less in writing the paper—, since I had to write the paper for Dr. John W. Birkenheimer’s History 362—Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean World—class. Therefore, I had to be interested in one or another way[ii].  So, as I was reading through my class textbook (Barbara H. Rosenwein’s third edition of A Short History of the Middle Ages[iii]), I found the inspiration for my topic and a source to for it to boot[iv]— the topic being the life of a Jew in the time of Al-Andalusia[v].
By the way, I did not use the term “Muslim” (“submitter”) or “Islam” (“submission”), given that those two Arabic words did (and still do) not exclusively belong to Muhammad. Besides, if and since I—as a Christian—can call myself by what was originally a Syrian pejorative for a talmid(ah)-HaDerech (follower of The Way), I am sure that Mohammedans can handle being called what they were called by others up until recently[vi][vii].  In fact, I, in reading the parts of The Legacy of Muslim Spain[viii] that were relevant to my topic, was actually a little surprised to find that even Maimonides—who did not like Messianic Jews or Messianic Judaism—found Mohammedism more dangerous than Messianic Judaism[ix] [x]. Nonetheless, Maimonides and I agreed on something.
      This is important to note so that I can be in full disclosure and not unnecessary offend anyone by my (if you will) political incorrectness. In the same vein, I used “Vaticanists” to refer to “Catholics” (“Universalists”). By the way, my dad’s relatives (and some of my mom’s relatives) were “Catholic” Anusim[xi], so I can speak about Vaticanists as such[xii]. Also, I have no reason or motive to lie about any of this—and I cited what was not knowledge that I had prior to writing this introduction and the rest of the paper, just so you know[xiii].
      I furthermore hope that you understand that, since this paper is called “Imagining(?) An Ancestor In Al-Andalusia in Medieval Mediterranea”, my writing was informed by my family history (See the endnotes.). As I stated before, the topic of this paper is the life of a Jew in Al-Andalusia—namely, one of my imagined(?)[xiv] ancestors in Al-Andalusia. Therefore, I had to contextualize my paper by prologuing[xv] my topic with a summary of part of my family history. Thus, I ask you to bear with me as you read this following part.
      My dad’s ancestors were Ashkenazi Jews, perhaps of Sefardi descent. For example, the Levitical Foczkos used the Arabic name “Halva” (meaning “sweetmeat”) for one of their children[xvi]. Also, Dad’s dad’s parental grandparents (né Czernecki and née Andrulewiczówna) baptized their son as “Antoni Jan Czarniecki”, who shared his birthday (October 24th) with to-be Vaticanist saint and notable Spanish clergyman Anthony Claret—Julian and Aleksjondria Alicja Andrulewiczówna Czernecki[xvii] were well aware of the events in Sefarad[xviii].
The Foczkos resigned to living as Anusim in Aranyida once they were banished from Warszawa by Foczko relatives who had not become Anusim, and some Anusi relatives were already in cities such as Gelnica. The Andrulewiczówna-Czernecki family did not become Anusim until the pogroms, although some Andrulewiczes had been Anusim and living in Gmina Sejny in Suwałki Gubernia, Polish-Russian Pale[xix] when Aleksjondria was born in Bose, Sejny[xx].
As I aforestated, I hope that you understand that my writing of “Imagining(?) An Ancestor In Al-Andalusia in Medieval Mediterranea” was informed by my family history. Therefore, I had to contextualize my paper by prologuing my topic with a summary of part of my family history. So, I thank you for bearing with me.



Introduction
As I stated in the prologue, I hope that you understand that my writing of “Imagining(?) An Ancestor In Al-Andalusia in Medieval Mediterranea” was informed by my family history. As I also stated, the topic of this paper is one of my imagined(?)[xxi] ancestors in Al-Andalusia. I have no records or access to any records of my paternal ancestors who were born prior to the 1700s or outside of Ashkenazi[xxii] Europe before then—if any were born there at all[xxiii]. My family were P’rushi[xxiv] Jews, so making my ancestor a Qara’i[xxv] Jew would have been pointless, anyway. Besides, I do not remember the Al-Andalusian  Qara’it[xxvi] instructor’s name[xxvii]; and I was going to mention her through my “ancestor” if I had remembered her name on my own. Also, while few—if any—P’rushim did follow Qara’i practice in terms of tzitziyot[xxviii],  most Sefardim[xxix] still do not use techelet[xxx] unless it comes from the chilazon or what is possibly the chilazon. What I did recall was that tallitot were not worn until the 13th Century or the 1300s[xxxi]tzitziyot were just worn on one’s outfits, and even tallitot katanot were not a concern until then.
By the way, there were natural fabrics such as linen and wool—and silk and cotton if one was lucky enough to have access to those kinds of fabrics. Thus, acrylic and other synthetic fabrics did not even exist. Furthermore and in short—and as my mom imparted to me—life was basically the same across time until the Space Age/Age of Technology[xxxii]. Even the Ages of Exploration  and Colonization[xxxiii], and the Industrial and Scientific Revolutions[xxxiv] were precendented and precendental compared to the Space Age. Keep in mind, nonetheless, that the Medieval/“Dark” Ages came before and transitioned into the  Even the Ages of Exploration  and Colonization, and the Industrial and Scientific Revolutions.
As a result, you will already have at least somewhat idea of what my “ancestor”’s life was like in the 10th-11th Centuries if you truly keep the Medieval Ages in mind and think about Medieval Spain and Portugal, Medieval Jewry, and Medieval Mediterranea. Specifics about my “ancestor”’s life and lifetime will become clear to you as you read this paper (and pay attention to the endnotes!).
To give you a general idea, nonetheless, I will tell you that my “ancestor” lived in Al-Andalusia for 120 years (929-1049[xxxv]), before the First Crusade. She, who was named Rachel Miriam HaLevit bat Yosef Ele’azar HaLevi v’Miriam[xxxvi], also kept kashrut, wore tzitziyot, lived in a patriarchal household and society, was a Levit, married a Levi cousin, and was a stay-at-home daughter and wife who—with the mandate of her family—could read and write. She followed even the “positive mitzvot”—which P’rushi women are exempted or even prohibited from doing by the P’rushi clergymen[xxxvii][xxxviii]. She followed Sefardi P’rushi minhag v’nusach, knew the Tanakh and halachah, etc.. She lived in Córdoba, attended a synagogue and sat on the women’s side of the mehitzah, was not allowed to make aliyot to the bimah, and provided for her own and her family’s necessities by gardening, cooking, sewing, and doing whatever other household activities Medieval and Sefardi Jewish women did.


Imagining(?) An Ancestor In Al-Andalusia in Medieval Mediterranea[1][2]
            Shmi[3] Rachel Miriam HaLevit bat Yosef Ele’azar HaLevi v’Miriam. I am the widow of my cousin Mikha’el HaLevi ben Mikha’el HaLevi v’Miriam. I am also the bereft daughter, cousin, aunt, and ima[4] of many—a daughter of two, though the whole kehillat[5] helped them raise me; a cousin to Mikha’el dodi[6], an aunt to numerous sons and daughters of my brothers, and ha’ima[7]to Mikha’el and Rachel, and their respective b'nei v’banot[8].
            They have all left me to make aliyah[9]or died here b’HaGalut b’Qordova b’Sefarad[10]. My brother Ferdinando, for example, became a meshumad[11] and assimilated into the kehillat-hagoyim[12]—among which there are other meshumadim, might I add. My other brother, Ya’akov, became a Mohammedi[13] and took the name “Yaqub ibn Yahudi”, meanwhile. Both died among their respective kehillatot[14].
            The hutzpah meshuga of Ferdinando, by the way, still strikes me—he dropped his Hebrew name, Mikha’el HaLevi ben Yosef Ele’azar HaLevi v’Miriam, and took “Ferdinando” for his meshumad uncle “Ferdinando”. “V’l’ma?”[15] I asked him when he had done so.
            “Uncle Ferdinando took that name, and that is all that I shall say to you about that—for is to honor that he found Yeshua first not right?”
            Yeshu[16]—may I not even broach that subject! In fact, the Mozarabs wisely dropped Yeshu, or “Isa”, when they decided to follow Mohammed HaNavi—not that Mohammed was really a navi, but he was more of one that even Yeshu. Actually, we even helped haMohammedim when they conquered Qordova and took it m’yadim-haNotzrim[17].
            I will add, though, that I was not even born when haMohammedim took Qordova. I was born in 4691 AM, which was a long time after the taking of Qordova. However, as the rabbis exhort, “All of Israel is responsible for one another.” “Israel” includes kol hatoldot Yisra’el—past and successive generations—, and I therefore count myself as a conqueror of Qordova. After all, did we not take it from vile yadim-ha’Ashkenazim?
Might I clarify that I do not mean achimenu v’achoteinu[18]in Khazaria and the rest of Ashkenaz—including Sin[19], I suppose, since that is from where the Khazars came? I do not intend to disparage our achimenu v’achoteinu b’Ashkenaz, since they are called “Ashkenazim” to mean that they are identified as “Yehudim b’v’m’Ashkenaz[20]. I also do not intend to commit lashon hara[21] against the gerim tzdukim[22] m’haQazarim.
            I intend to rightly judge the vile barbarians who took Rome—who, incidentally, blasphemously renamed Israel “Palestina”. While I also, if I may note, find that the barbarians themselves rightly took Rome—as the Bavlim sadly took Yerushalayim when we were in the wrong and judged by HaShem (B”H[23])—, I find that the barbarians had no right to take Qordova—after all, we were b’Sefarad for much time when Hannibal lost Carthage, and we had never disturbed haRomim (at least mishpachti[24]did not—though I heard that some Yehudim Qordovim joined the various rioters and uprisers during the different insurrections against Rome).
They even tried to force us to become Notzrim—“Over our dead bodies—even if we must die b’HaGalut!” one of my avot[25]is reputed to have declared. Some, however, did become Anusim[26]—and there is still debate among the rabbis to whether or not they are meshumadim of old, though they (as the rabbis unanimously agree) are certainly not meshumadim in the sense that Ferdinando is a meshumad. Zichronam l’bracham[27], even if they do not make aliyah b’HaTechiyah-HaMetim b’HaAcharit-HaYamim[28]and see Yerushalayim—after all, what of Non-Anusi Jews like me? Should I die b’HaGalut and not see Yerushalayim because I could not make aliyah? After all, some of our sages ruled that those who die b’HaGalut v’lo b’Yisra’el[29]will roll from their graves and still under the ground all the way to Yerushalayim—even if they are to found on the farthest points of the four corners of the earth (B”H)—would HaShem not have rachamim on hagalutim?
Ferdinando and Yaqub, on the other hand, will be among those who do not awake—or, if they do awake, they will awake to eternal punishment in Gehenna—since they willingly abandoned the mitzvot v’mishpatim that were given to us at Har Sinai. They will not see Mashiach ascend onto Har Tzion. Especially Ferdinando will not see Mashiach, for he abandoned me in my old age and my widowhood—and even his Yeshu exhorted his talmidim to look after the widow and the orphan, and to show kavod to their elders.
I could not make aliyah if I wanted to do so, for I now have 120 years of age and have been bereft of Mikha’el since I had 91 years of age—which was b’HaShanah 4781, when he had 98 years of age. Hashanah hazot, zot 4811[30]. I have been blessed to live 120 years—after all, HaTehillim read that a man has only 70 years, and even only 80 years if by the fortune of his strength. Mikha’el, on the other hand, blessedly lived around the expected number of years.
I married Mikha’el when I was aged 23 years, and he aged 20 years—when he was old enough to be counted in our censuses of old, for klal Yisra’el was to be counted when they had 20 or more years of age. We were married for 78 years, and I look forward to when we are reunited at HaTechiyah. After all, those were 78 shanot tovot—and Mikha’el was an ish tov, and I was honored to be his ishah.
In fact, Mikha’el humorously recited two poems for me, and the recitation of the poems was meant for my convincing of avi v’imati[31]to have me marry Mikha’el and not—as they had desired—my uncle who became hameshumad “Ferdinando”—after all, the rabbis wrote down specifically in HaSefer Yevamot that for one to marry the brother of her father is good. Mikha’el also noted that since Torah states that since a man must not copulate with his father’s or mother’s sister, or his aunt’s husband, a woman must also not copulate with her relatives of their equivalence. Avi dismissed Mikha’el with the following:
“The sages (Barikh atem), as our rabbi has told me, would obviously want you to infer that, that is a paradox—that is, the paradox that a woman must not copulate with her uncle, yet must do so provided that he is her (and only her) husband (and her only husband, for would there not be a possibility that some women may observe the minhag shel hagoyot[32] and take more than one husband for each of their selves?). On the other hand—if it is not a paradox—, it is only that a man may not copulate with his aunt. After all, does not HaSefer B’Midbar recount that the daughters of Israel were to marry the sons of their fathers’ brothers? How much more so would a daughter of Israel be fulfilling the mitzvah if she married her father’s brother—provided, of course, that the marriage is levirate at  least and even purer at most? After all, a levirate marriage is one in which the daughter of Israel has copulated with her husband and yet been left a childless widow.
“As for the purer marriage—and let us concern ourselves with this, since this is the kind of marriage for which ishati[33]and I have initiated shidduch[34]—, it is not even a levitate marriage—for neither has the daughter of Israel copulated with any other son of Israel, nor has the son of the same copulated with any other daughter of the same.”
“If I may, ach shel avi,” Mikha’el replied, “I will have Rachel recite the poem for herself.” So, the discourse continued as follows, then I recited the poems—which I can still recite to this day, even though the strength of my mind has greatly diminished:
“Of course you may—she is learned. After all, are not kol banot Yisra’el b’Sefarad—at least b’Qordova—learned? After all, if she is to keep a vow that her father hears her speak and mandates that she must, is she not to speak for herself in regards to a vow which she would like to make?”
“Have our sages not stated that a woman is to concern herself with only the matters of the house and of the family? After all, a man is be the spiritual one—and what did HaShem (B”H) warn Chavah imenu? ‘Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall lord it over you.’ She is, therefore, to concern herself more with the temporal than the spiritual—as Chavah did. Obvious is the converse—that a man ought to be more concerned with the spiritual than the temporal—as was Adam avinu.”
“Yes—what you have said is the case. But was not Devorah—zichronah l’brachah—a shofetet over Israel, including over Barak? Also, does not the Mohammedan sage lament the following, oh sage Mikha’el? ‘Our society allows no scope for the development of women’s talents. They seem to be destined exclusively to childbirth and the care of children, and this state of servility has destroyed their capacity for larger matters. It is thus that we see no women endowed with moral virtues; they live their lives like vegetables, devoting themselves to their husbands. From this stems the misery that pervades our cities, for women outnumber men by more than double and cannot procure the necessities of by their own labors.’
“A Mohammedan sage did not lament such—yet, anyway, as I will concede. You have talked to the prophet who sits among the graves of the Quarter.”
“He will lament such, and this navi has HaRu’ach HaQodesh upon him—as did the nevi’im of old. Qordova will fall, as you as well have heard from hanavi.”
Ken[35], and hanavi advised that I should speak for ishati.”
“She is not ishatikha[36]—yet, anyway. After all, what would make you a better husband to her than her uncle would be to her?”
“Then let her speak for herself—Rachel, come.”

            So, I came and recited the following poems, as the Mohammedan sage al-Ghazal wrote them—and they surely convinced avi, for he congratulated me with “Mazel tov! May you and Mikha’el be married for 120 years b’ha’olam hazeh v’b’ha’olam haba[37].”:
                        “She said, ‘I love you’; ‘you’re a liar’, I said,
                        ‘[C]heat someone else who cannot scrutinize
                        [T]hese words which I can’t accept!
                        [F]or truly I say, no one loves an old man!
                        [I]t’s like saying, “We have tethered the wind,”
[Or] like saying, “Fire is cold” or “water is aflame”.’”
[Of course, avi had to interject, “Do not the mamzerim Yavanim[38] have what they call ‘ha’esh Yavani’? That makes that ‘water is aflame’.”
[Mikha’el replied, “Well, al-Ghazal did not foresee that abominable esh m’Gehenna—after all, whose business is such but that of HaShem (B”H) to make water aflame? After all, only HaShem could make the bush aflame and not have the bush burn—therefore, what business do the mamzerim Yavanim have to make water aflame? To do so is avodah zarah in the sense that it is sorcery.
            [“Therefore, let Rachel finish. She has more to say.”]
                        “Her father asked to choose between an old man
                        [A]nd rich, or a poor young man.
                        She said: what a difficult choice, but I should have to
                        [C]hoose, then anything is happier for me
                        [T]han an old man’s face.
                        A man might be poor, but become rich.
                        [B]ut the other one will never again be young.”
            “Mazel tov! May you and Mikha’el be married for 120 years b’ha’olam hazeh v’b’ha’olam haba..”
            “Toda, avi.”
            “Hashidduch between you and Mikha’el is initiated—you shall get married b’bayit l’li o b’bayit haqodesh[39].”
            At the time, hashanah was 4713. The time within hashanah was also HaYamim l’Chag Hanukkah l’4713[40]—and I still wear the tzitziyot that were given to me as a wedding gift, and they are aged 97 years. Meanwhile, Mikha’el was buried in a linen kittel on which the chevra kadisha[41] re-sewed the tzitziyot that he received as a wedding gift. After all, hanavi came to our wedding and warned us of the following:
            “Rachel and Mikha’el, firstly, let me say that Adonai (B”H) did not reveal to me that when Mikha’el was to speak on behalf of Rachel, he would have Mikha’el summon Rachel to speak and her behalf—mazel tov, and may you and Mikha’el be married for 120 years b’ha’olam hazeh v’b’ha’olam haba. Secondly, let me also warn you that while you joyously celebrate your shidduch in the mist of Qordova, Qordova will surely fall and you will not be married for 120 years—you will be married b’ha’olam hazeh for only 78 years, though you will be remarried when Mashiach comes. When Mashiach comes, you will be remarried b’Yerushalayim—so, rejoice that you are married in a temporal city and will remarried in the Eternal City. Wail, meanwhile, that you are married for only 78 years in the temporal city.
            “As one Ibn Idhari will write, ‘Weep for the splendor of Córdoba; for disaster has overtaken her;/Fortune made her a creditor and demanded payment for the debt./She was at the height of her beauty; life was gracious and sweet/Until all was overthrown and today no two people are happy in her streets./Then bid her goodbye, and let her go in peace since she must depart.’
            “So are you ‘two people’ to be unhappy when ‘she must depart’—or rather, you are to depart from her. Through your descendants, you will depart and make aliyah, for Mikha’el will die here when he is trampled in 4791—for the Berbers will trample him underfoot during their revolt in 4774, and he will die as a result of being trampled—he will be dying for 18 years.
            “You, Rachel, will have to stay in Qordova to care for Mikha’el—and only your son’s son Mikha’el ben Mikha’el will stay to care for you in turn. The rest of your family—your son, Mikhael; and the rest of his b’nei v’banot; your daughter, Rachel; and her b’nei v’banot; and your son’s and daughter’s respective spouses—will make aliyah.
            “Whether this precedes the coming of Mashiach, Adonai (B”H) has not told me. Nonetheless, Adonai (B”H) told me to tell you about this. After all, the hearts of the Qordovim will be hardened even long after Qordova has fallen—in one case, one Ibn Sa’id will write, ‘Spanish Muslims are the cleanest people on the earth in respect of their person, dress, beds and in the interior of their houses.’ This Ibn Sa’id will neither consider nor take to heart the Jews who go to the mikvot daily, wash their garments when even a spot of filth—such as dirt or blood—gets on them (for are the garments, on which tzitziyot are sewn, not to be sanctified and kept holy?), do not copulate while their women are b’niddah[42], and clean their houses thoroughly during Pesach and at other necessary times during the year.
            “You are not to be toward what I have spoken as Ibn Sa’id will be toward Yehudim Qordovim—you are to consider and take to heart what Adonai (B”H) has spoken through me and to you. You, Rachel, are the bride of Mikha’el. As you are the bride of Mikha’el, so Yerushalayim is the bride of Israel—and Israel is the chosen of Adonai. Do not consider or take to heart that Qordova is—as haminim v’koferim[43] like to call Qordova—‘the bride of  al-Andalus’—for Sefarad will fall, and Qordova will bereave Sefarad her groom. Also, curse the name of the Eisiyit Notzrit[44] who is called Hroswitha—for she has blasphemously called Qordova ‘the ornament of the world’. Only Yerushalayim is ‘the ornament of the world’, and all of the nations will flock to it—and from the nation of Israel, your descendants will flock back to it. As hanevi’im of old prophesied, Israel will be gathered from all nations—including Sefarad—whereas those who are not among the remnants of the nations will fall along with their nations.
            “For example, the Sefardim—not Yehudim Sefardim, but the goyim Sefardim—will fall with Sefarad. Again, Adonai (B”H) has not told me whether this precedes the coming of Mashiach. Nonetheless, Adonai (B”H) told me to tell you about this. Also again, may you and Mikha’el be married for 78 years b’ha’olam hazeh v’b’ha’olam haba.”
            With his prophecy—“kol hamegillah[45]”, as avi deridingly and derisively called it—hanavi departed and went back among the graves of the Quarter. Meanwhile, avi did not live to see Mikha’el ben Mikhael v’Rachel and Rachel bat Mikha’el v’Rachel born—and since we were all known Levi’im, to denote “Levi” and “Levit” in our names was not necessary—avi died and was buried under a tombstone that was marked with the Levite symbol, which is next to the tombstone of imati.
            The tombstone of imati, meanwhile, was marked with a palm tree—in remembrance of a Mohammedan king who planted the first palm tree in Sefarad—and had a poem of Rav Dunash ben Labrat, a talmid of Nasi Hasday ben Sharput, inscribed onto it. The poem goes as follows, and it will soon be inscribed onto my own tombstone:
                        “There came a voice: ‘Awake!
                        Drink wine at morning’s break.
                        ‘Mid rose and camphor make
                        A feast of all your hours,
                        And low anemones
And the palm tree skyward towers,
Where lilting singers hum
                        To the throbbing of the drum,
                        Where gentle viols thrum
                        To the plash of fountains’ showers.
                        On every lofty tree
The fruit hangs gracefully.
And all the birds in glee
Sing among the bowers.
The cooing of the dove
Sounds like a song of love.
Her mate calls from above—
Those trilling, fluting fowls.
We’ll drink on garden beds
With roses round our heads.
To banish woes and dreads
We’ll frolic and carouse.
Dainty food we’ll eat,
We’ll drink our liquor neat,
Like giants at their meat,
With appetites aroused.
When morning’s first rays shine
I’ll slaughter of the kine
Some fatlings; we shall dine
On rams and cows.
Scented with rich perfumes,
Amid thick incense plumes,
Let us await our dooms,
Spending in joy our hours.’

I chided him: ‘Be still!
How can you drink your fill
When lost is Zion hill
To the uncircumcised.
You’ve spoken like a fool!
Sloth you’ve made your rule.
In God’s last judgment, you’ll
For folly be chastised.
The Torah, God’s delight.
Is little in your sight,
While wrecked is Zion’s height,
By foxes vandalized.
How can we be carefree
Or raise our cups in glee
When by all men are we
Rejected and despised?’”

            By the way, hanavi prophesied this to my grandson Mikha’el before he died:
“You have stayed long enough to care for your grandmother, for she shall die soon—and only shortly before her shall I myself die. Do not stay in Qordova any longer. Do not make even aliyah, for achimikha m’Ashekenaz need you. In fact, you shall marry a Yehudit Ashkenazit—and with ishatikha, you shall have b’nei v’banot. Among hatoldot b’neikha v’banotikha, one of them shall be a Yosef Ele’azar who is surnamed ‘Nagy’—he shall be named for your grandmother’s father, and his name shall honor the memories of Sh’mu’el HaNagid v’Hasday HaNasi. Indeed, his name shall be a play on words—for the meaning of ‘Nagy’ is ‘gadol[46] in the tongue in the part of Ashkenaz which toldot b’neikha v’banotikha shall make their home until HaTechiyah-HaMetim b’HaAcharit-HaYamim. After all, are Sh’mu’el HaNagid v’Hasday HaNasi not ishim gedolim and worthy of having their memories honored? Besides, your grandmother and her mother requested that a poem of a talmid of Hasday HaNasi be inscribed on their respective tombstones.”
            This comforts me indeed, and while I die in, hopefully, shalom.


Epilogue
Mikha’el ben Mikha’el ben Mikha’el HaLevi went to Ashkenaz—specifically, Magyaroszág—after his grandmother died in 4810 AM. He became an av of Yosef Ele’azar “Joseph Lazarus” Nagy, and so—according to the family tree which I have been able to trace with the help of Ancestry.com—is Joseph’s line down to me:
            Also with the help of Ancestry.com, I used Dad’s autosomal-DNA (atDNA) test results to trace our family’s route from Israel to Non-Sefardic Europe. By the way, keep in mind that the test results are those from AncestryDNA 2.0—so, results that show that Dad has more Jewish atDNA than he seems to have could come out. Also, atDNA is different than YDNA and mtDNA:
                           



                       






Bibliography
Prologue And Introduction
Jayyusi, Salma Khadra, ed. The Legacy of Muslim Spain, Volume 1. Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill, 1994.
Jayyusi, Salma Khadra, ed. The Legacy of Muslim Spain, Volume 2. Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill, 1994. Index.
Rosenwein, Barbara H.. A Short History Of the Middle Ages, Third Edition. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004.

Imagining(?) An Ancestor In Al-Andalusia in Medieval Mediterranea
 Jayyusi , Salma Khadra, ed. The Legacy of Muslim Spain, Volume 1. Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill, 1994.
Jayyusi , Salma Khadra, ed. The Legacy of Muslim Spain, Volume 2. Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill, 1994. Index.

Rosenwein, Barbara H.. A Short History Of the Middle Ages, Third Edition. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004.
Rosenwein, Barbara H, ed. Reading the Middle Ages: Sources From Europe, Byzantium, and the Islamic World. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006.
“ 2010.

     


[1] Citations in bibliography, following example of Jayyusi 113-135.
[2] Particularly from Jayyusi 113-135, 188-200, 515-545. Prior knowledge—e.g., sources not consulted for this paper (i.e., not in front of me and/or on the Internet) and glanced at previously (e.g., for personal learning—e.g., JewFAQ, which states that the Essenes might have affected Christianity, and one that stated that John the Baptist was an Essene) also used. As I state, I have Obsessive Compulsive/Generalized Anxiety, Major Depressive, and Attention Deficit Disorders; and I did and will not kill myself with obsessive citing.
[3] Hebrew, “My name [is].”
[4] Hebrew, “mother” or “matriarch”.
[5] Hebrew, “community” or “congregation”
[6] Hebrew, “Michael my love”.
[7] Hebrew, “the mother”. “Ha” means “The”.
[8] Hebrew, “sons and daughters” or “male and female descendants”.
[9] Hebrew, “going up” (in this case, going up to Zion and Jerusalem—more generally, Israel)
[10] Hebrew, “in the Exile in Cordoba in Sefarad [Iberia].”
[11] Hebrew, “baptized apostate”
[12] “Goy” means “nation” or “gentile”.
[13] “Mohammedan”.
[14] Hebrew, “communities” or “congregations”. Unless the Hebrew that I use cannot be clearly understood from context, I will explain it no further.
[15] “And for what”? or “And to what [end]?”
[16] Pejorative for “Yeshua”— acronymistic for “yemach shemo u’zichrono [or u'v'zichrono]”—“Damn his name and memory”.
[17] “From the hands of the Christians”.
[18] “Our brothers and sisters
[19] Here, all of Asia
[20] “M’” here means “among”.
[21] “badmouthing”—literally, “evil tongue”.
[22] “righteous converts”
[23] Abbreviation for “Barikh hu” or “Barukh hu”—“Blessed is [or “be”] He”.
[24] “My family”
[25] “Fathers” or “patriarchs”.
[26] “Crypto Jews”—literally “hidden ones” or “forced ones”.
[27] “May their memories be blessed.”
[28] “In the Resurrection of the Dead In the End of Days”.
[29] “In the Exile and not in Israel
[30] “The present year is 4810.”
[31] “My father and my mother”.
[32] “Custom of the gentile [or pagan] women”.
[33] “My wife”
[34] “A match [or betrothal, etc.].”
[35] “Yes”
[36] “-ika” denotes “your” in Biblical Hebrew”—for example, in the “Shema”, “Eloheika” is “your God”.
[37] “In the present world and the world to come.”
[38] “Greek [i.e., Byzantine] bastards”. “Ha’esh” is “the light” or “the fire”.
[39] “At my house or in the holy house [the synagogue].”
[40] “The days of the Feast of Hanukkah 4713”.
[41] “Burial society [or group].”
[42] “In menstruation”.
[43] “The heretics and apostates”
[44] “Nazarene Esseness”—in this case, a female nun
[45] “The whole scroll [or schpiel, in a figurative sense].”
[46] “Big [or large or grand].”



[i] Barbara H. Rosenwein, A Short History of the Middle Ages, Third Edition (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009), 114. Cited on Roseinwein 137.
[ii] In other words, I was going to be either positively interested (writing about a topic which I liked—since I was actually free to choose the topic) or negatively interested (obligatory, so to speak, dragging my feet through writing a college-class paper and hopefully receiving a good grade for what work I begrudgingly did).
[iii] Barbara H. Rosenwein, A Short History of the Middle Ages, Third Edition (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009).
[iv] The source being (as I later found out, two volumes of) The Legacy of Muslim Spain (Salma Khadra Jayyusi, ed., The Legacy of Muslim Spain, Volume 1 (Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill, 1994), 327. Also see Rosenwein 114 and 137.). 
[v] Today, Portugal and most of Spain. See Roseinwein 115 and 148.
[vi] I even read The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin once, and religiously-tolerant Deist Ben Franklin called self-identified “Muslims” by the name “Mohammedans”.
[vii] Also, I—as a Jew and a “Muslimah” to “Isa” (submitter to Jesus—the real Jesus, not Mohammed’s perversion of Jesus)—find Mohammedism (especially the more that I learn about it) offensive (and one of the tenants of Mohammedism that I immediately and especially find offensive is the idea that Ishma’el and Esau [the Arabs] replaced Isaac and Jacob).
[viii] Salma Khadra Jayyusi, ed., The Legacy of Muslim Spain, Volume 1 (Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill, 1994).
[ix] Ibid., 195-197.
[x] Christianity; and nowadays, many—if not most—make historical Jews seem like they favored Mohammedism over Christianity—or at least saw it as the lesser of what they saw as two evils, anyway.
[xi] Some still are—Dad’s, for example, being Roman and Byzantine. If you need more information on this, by the way, feel free to do a Google search for my family tree on Ancestry.com and my blog on Blogspot/Blogger.
[xii] To make a long story short (and to get back to my point), Vaticanists (similarly to Mohammedans after them) used a form of Replacement Theology (what I call “Replacementism”)—specifically, they replaced Mount Zion (G-d’s “holy hill”, as He says in the Old Testament) with Vatican Hill (and if you care to look at the Wikipedia entry on Vatican Hill that I once read, feel free to do so.).
[xiii] Incidentally, that whole copyright and citation drek and schpiel did not start until Queen Anne Stuart’s Copyright Act back of 1708-1710—nothing is new under the sun (as Ecclesiastes makes quite clear); but I could get my tuchus sued by feinshmekers for one little—even one little unknown—mistake in citation because of Her Royal “Highness” (or shall I say “Macher”ness or “Feinshmeke”ness?). Also, I hope that you can tell that I come from an Ashkenazi Jewish family and have some working (albeit, basically-self-taught) proficiency in Yiddish, though (given that my proficiency is limited) I am letting you choose between “Mache”ness (“big-shot”-ness) and “Feinshmeke”ness (“high-falutin”-ness) to describe the monarchical ancestor of the Modern Language Association, the American Psychological Assocation and its publication manual, and Kate Turabian and her Chicago/Humanities style.
[xiv] Or, perhaps, not so imagined if G-d really works through me in a similar way that He worked through the Bible scribes. In the Gospel writers’ cases, they were writing down the very Word of G-d. In my case, I was  writing down history passed onto me by the Holy Spirit—e.g., who knows if I did not actually write down one of the names of my ancestors?—and history based on my sources (which, as I stated, I cited).
[xv] “Prologuing” was used here as a gerund of “prologue” as a verb.
[xvi] See "Hungary Catholic Church Records, 1636-1895," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XCPB-VHH : accessed 20 Sep 2013), Halva Wyzkiewicz, 1895.
I found this record way before and seized on this fact. Although the name does have a Greek meaning as well, the Foczkos/Fockos were Roman—not Byzantine/Greek—Vaticanist Anusim in Slovakia (including Zlatá Idka and Košice—then Aranyidka and Kassa, when Slovakia was a part of Hungary) and Hungary (including Miskolc and Diósgyőr, where my great-great-granduncle Frantisek György “Frank George” Foczko was born and baptized in October of 1888, shortly before his cousin Halva). Incidentally, my grandmother Joan Gaydos Czarnecki (whose maternal grandmother was Juliana Foczková Rusznaková) followed Sefardi custom by naming my aunt “Mary Joan” for my dad’s grandmothers (Mary Czarnecki née Trudniak and Mary Gaydos née Rusnak) and herself (Ashkenazim generally did and still do not name children for living relatives, though those who follow Sefardi and Biblical custom do. Keep in mind, for example, that Absalom named his daughter “Tamar” after his sister; and John the Baptist was almost named “Zachariah” for his dad.).
[xvii]  With the latter having a brother named Ignacy Andrulewicz—perhaps for Saint Ignatius or Ignacio de Loyola, unless his parents used the common name “Ignacy”/”Ignatzy” for him
[xviii] Including what was Al-Andalusia. Sometimes, many or even all Non-Ashkenazi Jews (including Mizrahi Jews) are labeled as “Sefardim Yehudim”.
[xix] Our branch was pretty much the holdout. There was a Rochla Andrelewitz whose family did not convert, and a Jacob Androlowicz who identified as Jewish and was buried in a Roman Vaticanist cemetery—his next of kin at the time, according to his Jewish World War Two Soldiers’ card, was Mary S. Strout née Andrulewicz. By the way, a Rusznak in-law cousin tells me that “Maria” was used as a variant of “Mariam” among Jews in Hungary.  Also, I have a Foczko cousin named Mariama Focková Valková—and there was a cousin named Miriam Fockowa who was a victim of the Holocaust back in Poland.
[xx] Her parents, an unknown Andrulevičus and an unknown Morgevičutė from Stakliškės, moved from Stakliškės when her cousin Shmuli Morgovich died in April of 1882. She was born in Bose on June 26, 1882.
[xxi] See the prologue.
[xxii] Eastern, Central, and Non-Sefardi Western (e.g., German) Europe. In fact, Eastern and Central European Jews are descended from Diasporan Jews who came from places such as the Rhineland, Sefardi Jews who escaped the Inquisition and (as I cited) who escaped Al-Andalusia and the Reconquista, and “Khazar” Jews who escaped the fall of the Byzantine Empire (Sidenote: Kevin Alan Brook’s Khazaria.com is where I got a substantial amount of my prior knowledge. When I first encountered the “Khazar Theory”, I was—figuratively and literally—pulling my hair to prove that Ashkenazi Jews are Jews and not, as Anti Semites and Self-Hating Jews like to claim, Khazars and Edomite posers.).
[xxiii] See the prologue. If nothing else, the Foczko Wyzkiewiczes and Andrulewicz Czerneckis were well aware of Sefardi Jewish experiences and history.
[xxiv] Pharisee, “Rabbi”nate, “Rabbi”nical, Talmudic. “P’rushi” literally means “self separating” or “self cutting off”.
[xxv] Karaite, “Scripturalist” (“Kara” or “Qara” means “Scriptualist”, viz. “Tanakh-only”). At your own risk, see Nehemia Gordon’s Karaite Korner website (I qualify my statement with “at your own risk” because he is Anti Messianic/Anti Christian—not Anti Christ—, as I learned the hard way when he twisted my defense of his argument that “Rashi” (Shlomo Isaacides) was not Messianic. For more on this, see my YouTube video “Verbal Abuse From Nehemia Gordon And Evidence Thereof”—which Nehemia even managed to get removed with a false cyberbullying report until I uploaded it again and explained that he is a public figure. As knowledgeable as Nehemia Gordon is, he is not a trustworthy person—which is why I qualify my statement regarding Karaite Korner with “at your own risk”. A better website is http://www.karaitejudaism.org/, especially because the person does not seem to be abusive as is Nehemia Gordon. You may also want to look at http://kahana.hubpages.com/, which is maintained by a Karaite kohen and has at least some good content. Also keep in mind that Qara’im, like P’rushim, generally do not believe in Yeshua (Jesus)—though Nehemia Gordon’s affirmative “No” to the question “Do Karaites believe in Jesus?” is false, as some Qara’im (including Tzdukim— “Zadokians”, “Sadducees”, literally “Righteous Ones” [cf. Ezekiel 44:15-16, 48:11]) and P’rushim have believed in Yeshua throughout time.
[xxvi] “Karaitess”
[xxvii] All I remember is that Nehemia Gordon stated that she was in Spain in the 10th Century and that her name began with “al”, and was something like “al-Malmudah” or “al-Malhudah”. Besides, I am not going back to Nehemia’s website ever again if I can help myself.
[xxviii] And other matters as well; such as the calendar, Torah parshot, and eating the fat of the tailbone (included among chelev, or forbidden fat).
[xxix] Most Sefardim, like most Non Sefardim, are P’rushim. Even many Messianic Jews are P’rushi or follow P’rushi minhagim v’nusachim—Pharisee traditions and customs (e.g., from the Talmudim Bavlim v’Yerushalayimi).
[xxx] E.g., When I used to shop at Eichlers.com, Sefardi tallitot did not include the option for techelet. In full disclosure, by the way, I use the Microsoft® Word 2003 “Research” bar or (if I could not find what I wanted in the Research bar) Google to double check my Hebrew, prior knowledge, etc.; so I did not cite what I double checked and/or corrected unless I needed to absolutely cite it. I did not want to be compulsive about citing. By the way, as I stated before, nothing is new under the sun—so much for the MLA, the APA, Kate Turabian, and others paying attention to (if not the Word of G-d itself, at least) the wisdom of Solomon, though. Also, I have Obsessive Compulsive/Generalized Anxiety, Major Depressive, and Attention Deficit Disorders; and I did and will not kill myself with obsessive citing.
[xxxi] I cannot remember which. I just remember reading it. I have read a source that have said that tallitot were used back in the days of Sh’mu’el.
[xxxii] My mom was born in the 1950s in the United States of America, by the way.
[xxxiii] 15th-20th Centuries
[xxxiv] Including the “Age of Reason/Age of Enlightenment”; beginning with Galileo Galieli, 15th-20th Centuries
[xxxv] P’rushi years 4689-5709 AM. The Qara’im generally follow the Biblical calendar, and there are 165 missing years—thus, the years are actually probably closer to 4853/4854-4973/4974 AM. (Today is Tishri 18, 5773 AM/5774 AM; perhaps 5938/5939 [September 24-25, 2013].). The Jewish New begins for P’rushim in Tishri, and for Qara’im in Aviv.
[xxxvi] I could not write out her Hebrew name in Hebrew lettering, as Word kept giving me problems pasting it from when I typed and checked it with http://www.linguanaut.com/hebrew_keyboard.htm, translate.google.com, http://alittlehebrew.com/transliterate, and even Notepad and Blogger (to see if I could paste it unscrambled from one of those two sources).
[xxxvii] I even wrote a blog entry, “And the Problem With Being Spiritual Is? Tracey R. Rich Is A Classical P'rushit Chauvinist..." to criticize the “rabbis” and Ms. Rich for this.
[xxxviii] Not “rabbis”, “Chazal”, or “sages”. See Jeremiah 8:8-9 and Matthew 23:8-10.