Episode 102

How do we mark the passage of time, and how do we encounter the divine within it? From Shabbat to the Eucharist, our religious rituals play with time in unexpected ways. Take some time with us and explore the many ways that you can create sacred time wherever and whenever you are. 


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produced by Zack Jackson
music by Zack Jackson and Barton Willis 



This transcript was automatically generated by www.otter.ai, and as such contains errors (especially when multiple people are talking). As the AI learns our voices, the transcripts will improve. We hope it is helpful even with the errors.


Zack Jackson 00:05

You are listening to the down the wormhole podcast exploring the strange and fascinating relationship between science and religion. This week our hosts are


Kendra Holt-Moore 00:15

Kendra Holt, more assistant professor of religion at Bethany college and my favorite TV show all time is Avatar The Last Airbender


Zack Jackson 00:25

Zack Jackson, UCC pastor and Reading Pennsylvania and my favorite TV show of all time is Dr. Joe


Ian Binns 00:31

Ian Binns Associate Professor of elementary science education at UNC Charlotte. And I got a lot of TV shows that kept popping up, but the one that just keeps coming to mind right now, I would say is probably Ted LA. So


Rachael Jackson 00:45

Rachel Jackson, Rabbi Agoudas, Israel, congregation Hendersonville, North Carolina and favorite TV show of all time is the Big Bang Theory. Yeah, that's a good one is a good one. And this question is sort of a, you know, a little bit of an in and an intro to what we're talking about today, because it's our favorite TV show of all time. And that's what we're going to be talking about today. Thanks, like,


Zack Jackson 01:15

I segue. I like that even smoother.


Rachael Jackson 01:23

So we are talking about time. And unlike the the last two episodes, where we actually I think at this point, we'll have three episodes where we've talked about time, I wanted to talk about more of a corporeal human time and the experience and really just add the Jewish lens to this. We are saying before we really started recording that. Wow, I love being Jewish, and I have no problems talking about it and sharing it. I don't use that and present that as the lens. But that's really where my focus is going to be today. Because that's how I really understand time and its meaning. And so I'm going to give several examples of what that's going to look like. But I want to start with sort of a poetic read. This comes from reformed judaism.org. They have a blog series, and this comes from almost 10 years ago, but time doesn't matter. And words like this, get held thanks to social media and the internet. We can listen to them 10 years from now or 10 years from when it was written till now. So, but just giving it a little bit of a frame, this was written by Stacy's does Robinson, Zoho Nam live Aha. So she died. Not too not too long ago, and she died of COVID, unfortunately. But she's an incredible author and incredible poet. And so this is what she tells us. When my son was born, I cradled him against my heart, arms wrapped to gently get surely around his small and fragile body, I would stand holding him. Our breaths mingles our hearts beating in an elegant call and response, one beat to the next. And I would sway a slow and gentle side to side rock that lasted for the eternity, that exists between heartbeats, I could feel his body relax into the motion, like oceans, like drifting, like peace, above the simplicity of that rhythm, the warmth of him the smell of his newness and his infinite possibilities. As he drifted as he gem told my own body would react in kind, and I followed him, these moments became our own Fibonacci sequence, the delicate curve of our bodies in motion at rest, in motion again, twined in an eternal spiral, more intimate than a lover's kiss repeated again and again. And again. There's so much time that passes. Now, this is me, that is the end of what I'm going to share of hers for now at least verbatim. But I'll reference a little bit that too. There's so much time that passes in a heartbeat. If you ask someone, how long does this take? There cannot possibly be a single answer. It depends. But what were you how are you getting there? How old were you? How long has COVID lasted Technically speaking, technically, I can remember March of 2020. March 9, we did Perot, I, this is how I'm wound in Jewish time right now. So we did Param. And we had these Inklings. And there was something happening to the west to the east of us and something in a different country. And we weren't quite sure what was happening. And we did Param. And then we didn't come back to the sanctuary for 15 months, but in open the building for 15 months. And that's still been, that was still nine months ago. And here we are. My son, seven years old, finally got vaccinated in December. And there's still people here on this podcast and here who are listening, whose children have not yet been able to be vaccinated. So how long is this pandemic is still going on param for us is in three weeks. We'll be back in our sanctuary together. And we'll be wearing our masks, because that's what perm is about wearing masks. The problem is we'll be wearing two masks, the ones over our nose in our mouth and the one over our eyes, the ones that is a custom and the one that is for protection. So how long is COVID My son was in kindergarten when he got sent home. And he was at home in first grade. And he did virtual in second grade. And when I went and saw him this morning for STEM week show Intel he was in his classroom, five feet away from all the other students still wearing his mask, just like they all did. Not having any playdates. Because it's COVID. So how long is COVID for him? His whole life. He doesn't know times before COVID existed. That wasn't part of his memory. How long is COVID for me? A very, very long time. But something that I can see a life before and a life after. Because time, while quantifiable is meaningless. If we only use a clock, we have to use a relative understanding of time and how we relate to it. And in Judaism, it's I find it so beautiful. That we create time. So let me ask you, the three of you. When is Hanukkah


Ian Binns 07:49

right before Christmas.


Rachael Jackson 07:51

Right before Christmas.


Ian Binns 07:55

The winter season?


Rachael Jackson 07:57

Winter season.


Ian Binns 07:59

Typically when What's the date?


Kendra Holt-Moore 08:02

Is this a trick question?


Zack Jackson 08:03

No. It's never the same day all the time. What if we lived every day like it was


Rachael Jackson 08:15

a miracle. Clean up your stuff, rededicate yourself to your people and your God


Zack Jackson 08:22

and slaughter some solutions and


Rachael Jackson 08:25

don't forget to pick up the pig guts. Like that's just messy. Could we not? That's right. Yeah. So what is Hanukkah?


Ian Binns 08:33

December actual real


Rachael Jackson 08:35

true. When


Zack Jackson 08:36

I mean, it's different every year, right? It's the lunar calendar.


Rachael Jackson 08:40

The 25th of Kislev. You're giving me What's this? 25th of Kislev? Ah, that's the same every year the 25th of Kislev. It doesn't change. I know exactly when it is. But


Zack Jackson 08:54

does it change according it only changes from my perspective,


Rachael Jackson 08:57

right? It only changes from our calendar because the majority of our calendar is the Gregorian calendar, not the Jewish calendar. So when is Hanukkah in December, ish this last year, it was in November this coming year, it's going to overlap with Christmas and if we thought it was bad last year where there was nothing Hanukkah, nothing's gonna happen this year because Christmas will win out. There will be not even inkling of Hanukkah wrapping paper. That is what it is. Yeah. So when is it? Well, it depends whose perspective you're asking. And it depends how excited you are. I don't really care that much about Hanukkah. It's kind of a tiny little nothing holiday I only get excited because I have a child. We have the same question of when is Passover? When is Purim when is Rosh Hashanah, I have an exact date for when those things are. But that's not how I live my life. When is Shabbat? The Israeli calendar is marvelous. I love it. So Jews are terrible at naming things like absolutely terrible. Imagine if all of our holidays in America were named similar to July 4. Like if you didn't know, and you came into America and everyone's like, Whoa, it's July 4. And you have no idea what that means. It is just a date on the calendar. Right? It doesn't tell you Oh, it's independence day. It's Memorial Day. It's Veterans Day. It's Presidents Day. You know what the day is? Almost all of the Jewish holidays are to Shabbat of the ninth of have to have the 15th of have to be Shabbat, the 15th of the month of Shabbat like this is not helpful. Except for some biblical holidays. Where, you know, Rosh Hashanah isn't actually called Rosh Hashanah. Yom true on the day of the sounding it's the day you get to go make noise with the kazoo marvelous. So when we name the days of the week, we don't use Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, right? Those are Greek and Roman gods. Those are not the days of the week. It's yom, Yom Sheni, Yom slushy, Yom obra, day one, day two, day three, day four, day five, day six and Shabbat. We don't say Yom seven, we don't say the seventh day we say Shabbat. It is different in and of itself. Because our frame of reference is not that it's Saturday, our frame of reference is that this day is completely set apart from all other days. When we look on our calendars as Americans, we look on the calendar and go okay, Monday through Friday, those days are particular and then oh, Saturday, Sunday. That's what we're gearing for. we frame our mind differently because of our response to time. One other sort of piece that I want to add for how we then mix time, so I've only been talking about my time, right? I, in this day and age, I'm looking forward to you know, this next upcoming poram Or this upcoming PESA or this upcoming Shabbat, right like we're recording this on a Friday, and I'm going home, oh boy. I have to lead services and five hours and I haven't written my sermon. Oh, boy. Right. That's so exciting. So how do I? How do I understand that time, like not just freaking out that it's five hours from now, and I haven't finished my sermon or started it. Tell people. But when I think about Passover, which is the story of the Jews leaving Exodus, or leaving Egypt in the Exodus, and we can talk in chat, we can check on chat on our Facebook groups about how literal we might take that. Right, we can that's not the conversation that we're gonna have at this moment, though, did did the Exodus actually happen? So that's not going to be part of my conversation. But there is the question of not the question. I shouldn't frame it that way. When we celebrate Passover and commemorate the Exodus, there are four children. The wise child's this simple child's, the child's who is so simple, they do not even know how to ask, and then the wicked child. Okay. So if the why the y's child says, Tell me all about this and what is the purpose of these greens? And what is the purpose of this and ask all these questions? What do you think the wicked child is? Non rhetorical? There's no wrong answers.


Zack Jackson 14:32

I feel like there's a few wrong it's


Rachael Jackson 14:35

a right answer, but there's no wrong answers.


Zack Jackson 14:37

Okay, cuz I'm thinking an Egyptian child would be pretty bad. But that's probably not the answer here.


Kendra Holt-Moore 14:45

Kendra, ah, I'm trying to remember because I've been to


Rachael Jackson 14:50

a few. Save right because you've been to a few supreme


Kendra Holt-Moore 14:53

Yeah. And the wicked child when we go around the table. There's always like handful of people that are like, I think I'm the wicked child. So, I'm trying to remember because I think there's a couple that I get confused, but isn't the way your child, the one who, like asks too many questions or just is like a little bit. Like, out of the status quo of how they, like, think and problem solve. And so they're more disruptive, which is not, you know, I mean, it's like the wicked child, but in different contexts. It's not necessarily about like being good or bad. It's just different.


Rachael Jackson 15:31

Okay? It's kind of you're kind of mixing several of them in together. I, there's


Kendra Holt-Moore 15:35

two that I'm always like. So the


Rachael Jackson 15:37

wise one is the one who's always asking the questions. This is what we want, right? Yay. Asking questions. The wicked one asks, but a single question. And he says, What does this have to do with me?


Zack Jackson 15:54

Huh? Okay.


Rachael Jackson 15:57

Yeah. Whoa. And when we read the text, when we go through the Haggadah, and we we read, we asked, we say my father was a wandering Aramean. Okay, spoiler alert. My dad wasn't my dad was born in Australia. Like, he was not a wandering Aramean. But we say it in the present tense. God took me out of Egypt with an outstretched hand, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah, right? I was there. I wasn't, I was there. I am there. I am going through this. And when we sing the same song, who is like you, Oh, mighty when Myka mocha by alien. I don't know who is like you're among the gods who? Who was this? Who took me out of this place? Who is taking me through redemption? Not going through the theology piece here today, just looking at time. Well, that exists in the Bible that exists in the Torah. That was theoretically, you know, 3300 years ago, I wasn't there. I'm only 41. But I was there. This is my story. This is my understanding of how time works, that it's now so even though it happened at one point, I was there and I am now and it is now. So that there's a meshing of while I might be looking at particular days in particular ways as how am I going to write my sermon? And when am I going to have for dinner? And who am I going to dress up as for Purim? Right. Am I going to be varsity this year? Or am I going to be I'm always a good character, by the way, always. I'm never the evil one.


Ian Binns 17:48

I think that's fitting.


Rachael Jackson 17:49

Thank you. I think so. Yeah.


Ian Binns 17:52

No, I thought him were here. He was he Yeah,


Rachael Jackson 17:54

he'd be Haman. Okay. Yeah, without a doubt he'd be or he'd be the guys. That's moto. Hi, spies. eavesdrops, on, where he's kind of there. But he's not really there. But he's totally a bystander. Now, I love Adam. He's much more of an upstander than any of those characters. He's just, he's easy to pick on. So time is not just what am I doing? It's about how do I go back and forth. And so my final thing, as I'm just like rambling at all, is, I understand time, Jewish type specifically, and my my life living a Jewish life as a slinky. So imagine your slinky, and I hope you've had the chance to play with a slinky recently because they're awesome. And it's closed. So imagine a closed slinky. And you're at the very start, and just go down one rung, it doesn't feel like anything has changed. It's the same time as last year, you're the same person that you were last year, not a whole lot. It's been different. But now imagine you're a slinky on a stair, and how far the distance is between one rung and the next rung. When it's opened like that. It's so much different, but it's the same time. So it allows us to come back together and allows us to check in with ourselves and say, Okay, I've been here before, but I'm completely different, or I'm not so different. It just asked us questions. So that's my sort of brief, very long sort of Drush on what time looks like and how we understand it quarterly.


Kendra Holt-Moore 19:56

The, the thing that I I keep thinking of As you're talking about, I mean, it wasn't really like the central piece of what you're saying, but totally like thinking about time in Judaism. I'm blanking on the name of the, the, the book or like the essay that Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote about, like time was like the, the tabernacle of time, where like in Judaism, what is you can think of architecture as marking something off that is holy, in like, if you go to like a cathedral, like a Catholic Cathedral or something, there's way of using materiality to mark off space as designated, like holy locations. But I Abraham Joshua Heschel published a collection of like essays talking about how in Judaism, we have these really beautiful examples of, you know, not not so much like architecture, marking off holy space, but Shabbat as like a marker of holy time. And it's like, you know, he's like, using the metaphor of, like, the tabernacle of time, I think, is what he calls it. And so that's what I kept thinking about, because it's such a, like, the, the rhythm of Shabbat, being, you know, it's not just this, you know, it's more than just like something you take for granted, every week as a celebration, or like a time of rest. But Hashem just talks about it in this really beautiful way as being, like a marker to orient you to time itself as this special, special thing that is, it's, it's part of our rhythm of, you know, our bodies and our communities and our calendars. And I just love that metaphor of like, a tabernacle of time, in addition to or as a different thing from, like, a tabernacle in space.


Rachael Jackson 22:11

I so glad that you brought that up. So I think the essays that you're referring to are contained in a book called The Sabbath.


Kendra Holt-Moore 22:20

Yeah, yeah.


Rachael Jackson 22:22

It's straightforward, straightforward. Again, we don't really, you know, mince our title is very much. You want to talk about time, the Sabbath. So one of the things that Heschel talks about and is actually in pretty much all Jewish books that talk about the tabernacle, or let's just use English, the sanctuary, a church, a synagogue, the place that you go, it doesn't matter. And that's, I know, we talked a little bit about this a year ago, maybe two years ago, when we're really talking about COVID. And not being in our spaces, and how that really isn't as challenging for Jews, as it is for other cultures and other religions. Because while we like our space, we don't define holiness, by the space our holiness is divided is defined solely by time, which means it can happen anywhere, it can be in the wilderness, it can be with ice cream, it can be with your child's it can be in a sanctuary, it can literally be anywhere. And that sacredness of time as opposed to sacredness of place is something you know that I love about Judaism, I'm not gonna say it doesn't exist in other religions a because I don't know all other religions be because I think that's a little too narcissistic, as, as a culture to say that we're the only ones to do it. But it does feel that it really doesn't matter where we are. It's about when we are so much so. I'm gonna poke fun of us for just a second. There are these rules that you there are things you can't do on Shabbat, right? Like you can't turn on light switches and you can't create a fire and you can't drive and you can't cook and you can't ride an elevator and I could keep going on and on about the sorry juice. Some of the extremely ridiculous things that we do in the name of Jewish law haha. But one of them that's been around for a long time is fire because we've had fire for a very long time. And so we're not supposed to light the Shabbat lights like fire is not fire is prohibited. You can't do that on Shabbat. But you have to light Shabbat candles. So how do you do that? Like how do you light Shabbat candles on Shabbat? We fool ourselves. We fool ourselves. It's beautiful. So what we do is we strike the match. We light the lights, we then cover our eyes, say the blessing. Open our eyes and go, Oh, look at that. candles are lit and now it's Shabbat. It's amazing.


Zack Jackson 25:26

Whatever. Right? Okay, so


Rachael Jackson 25:30

if you ever see somebody, right, I'm sure when you've seen Fiddler on the Roof, there's two sections when they're doing the Sabbath prayer, right? May the Lord protect and defend you that whole thing? Seriously, nothing. I'm looking at the three of you, and there's no recognition there. It's amazing. Well, but


Zack Jackson 25:49

it's been a long time ago. Sorry.


Rachael Jackson 25:52

Oh, Kendra, that's your homework. That is your homework. So anyway, so she's their blessing their family, and they like, do this whole, like waving the candle flames, and then they cover their eyes, and they say this beautiful blessing. It's because we're fooling ourselves of when that happened. Which leads me to sort of another question for you all, if we're looking at what time is, who decides? Who decides? So let's use a Shabbat as an example. In modern America, secular America, most Jews are not politically religious, in the sense of okay, Shabbat is when the sun goes down, and I have to be home and I'm not doing like etc, etc. Most Jews in America are not that way. And so, when is Shabbat at our particular synagogue, right now, we're having services at 530 on Friday night. And in three weeks, when we go through a time change, it's still going to be bright outside when we leave, and we're done with our service. Right? So we then have to say, well, when is Shabbat? So when is something actually happening? When we say it's happening? When we engage in activity? When the culture says it's happening, like when is or if we take also the majority of Jews. Question seven already, many Jews? Never. They don't observe Shabbat. So is Shabbat Shabbat because we observe it is or is it just a Saturday? So I'd ask the same question Quantum. Yeah. So I'm asking that question, again, using Shabbat as the example or the Sabbath as the example. But for anything, is it your birthday? Right? Again, we're all adults here. My birthday is technically March 2, because that's the day that I was born. I have four meetings on March 2, and it's a Wednesday. I'm celebrating my birthday on March 1. So when is my birthday? When should somebody say to me happy birthday, when do I open my cards


Ian Binns 28:17

all of March. That's what I do. Like my, my birthday is on April 3, and this year, it's a it's a Sunday, so I'm good. But even like when my birthday is on the day that I have class. Oh, I tell my students, I let them know what y'all know. It's my birthday. Just Just saying. The class goes.


Zack Jackson 28:46

So at the time of recording, and this obviously is going to go out in a couple of weeks. There's something similar going around in Christian circles. You may have seen in your Facebook feeds, that this one priest had been baptizing children incorrectly. One word wrong. He had, instead of saying, I now baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son of the Holy Spirit, he had been saying, we now baptize you, in the name of the Father, the Son of the Holy Spirit. We instead of I, we instead of I. And through a number of higher ups, having councils and discussing whether or not this actually changed the intent of the baptism itself, they decided that enough had been changed in the intent behind that word change that invalidated every baptism he had done for 20 years. Because the congregation present does not do the baptism. So their affirmation of it is irrelevant. Of course, according to the Catholic theology, God is the one that does the act, the actual, like sanctifying grace disposing act on dispensing not just those. No disposing of children, please. We go into that theology and the priest is the conduit by which that happens. And so the I in that sentence is the priest speaking through God. And so by saying, We, then you're just, it muddies the waters a little bit, and the priest has resigned and he has offered to re baptize anyone who's feels that their baptism is no longer valid, because technically, it's not valid anymore. And in all of the circles that I run in, between all Protestant circles, we were all people who were like, hey, nothing magical happens here. Our act of baptism is that it is not something that is happening in that moment. Nothing changes about that person in that moment. What is happening is it is a an A outward affirmation of an inward and invisible reality that a child is born. Beloved, already, a child is born already a part of the family of God, a child is born already having been awash in God's grace, and mercy and goodness. And the act of baptism is an act in which the community gathers together to affirm that truth that already existed time immemorial. And so whether that child is baptized on the day they're born, or when they're 99 years old, whether it is done using the right magic words, or some other totally different vernacular a bad thing? This is a good thing for me. I made something of the way goes, giant. I can't wait to see you're trying to Okay. Could you hear it? I want to


Ian Binns 31:59

see his giant castle.


Kendra Holt-Moore 32:00

Did he say the banjo is not a bad thing. It's a good thing.


Zack Jackson 32:04

He says this is not a bad emergency. This is a good emergency. I made a giant Castle that's important. And I'll be up in a few minutes to come see it. Okay,


Kendra Holt-Moore 32:14

got to work on your definition of emergency.


Zack Jackson 32:19

Timing. I say one thing and that's when he descends into the basement and comes and plays the banjo in the back of this little studio.


Rachael Jackson 32:28

And you were done such a


Zack Jackson 32:29

train of thought was? Well. So you know, it's almost ironic, though, that my child were to come in here when talking about during the time in which I'm talking about in which God has granted God's blessing on to children before they were born. And before they had a chance to identify it, or have it be given to them from an exterior source because, man oh man, we need to be reminded of that sometimes when you are in the middle of something like recording a podcast and your four year old decides to play a banjo in the room you're recording it in, because that child has already been a Washington grace and goodness and forgiveness. And I too, have been a Washington that very same spirit and me to learn how to honor and forgive and appreciate the toddler's giant Lego Castle he wants me to see. But the point being in their theology, there was a particular moment in which Grace was dispensed in a special way from God on to that child, it can happen one time, you cannot be baptized again. In fact, they they murdered quite a bit of Anabaptists in the Reformation because of that, there's one time only that it can be done. And when you believe that there's one time only that this can be done then there's a whole lot of now stricter rules that have


Ian Binns 33:59

to come with it. And the ramifications for this like I saw the headline and read a little bit about the situation with this you know the Catholic priests making an error with the use of the word we instead of I and you know I didn't spend too much time Reading an article about it but it just seemed like that there was there's some speculation I guess that this could have bigger impacts depending on how the whoever the powers that be decided on the rules, right? Like um, like, if you're not baptized, considered baptized, can you get married in the church? The Catholic Church are there certain rules that you cannot like you have to be baptized Catholic will do certain things in Catholic churches I thought or something along


Zack Jackson 34:48

not to be married. No, at least one of you has to be Catholic but you can be baptized Protestant and still be married in a Catholic church as long as one of the other ones Catholic you can take promise to raise your children me Catholic You can't take communion? No. Okay. But if you promised to raise your child as a Catholic, then they will let you be married in a church.


Ian Binns 35:08

Yeah. But anyway, I just remember seeing that and just being amazed by it.


Rachael Jackson 35:13

Right. And I appreciate that you brought that that piece in Zach, because it's really talking about when does something happen? Right, when? Yeah, when does it happen? And there are a few, there are a few moments in life that give us those very definite, this is when it happened. When are you born? Well, let's, let's just go with the medical piece there. When you exit the womb, right, that's, that's when you're born


Zack Jackson 35:48

when. But when the head exits? Well, because some children


Rachael Jackson 35:51

are not born head first. Right? So, you know, but when someone puts on their birth certificate, What time were you born? Right? It's when you scream. Right? That's what time you're born when you scream. So your heads got to be out whether or not that was first or not. But you have to scream. And that's when you're born. Now modern medicine that feels modern medicine


Zack Jackson 36:16

when you are first alive.


Rachael Jackson 36:19

Yeah, that all happens within a minute, right? Even with even with babies or especially with babies that are not born headfirst. Right? They're just out.


Zack Jackson 36:28

Rachel, I have a question for you about religious time. So as we're as we're talking, I'm remembering a concept. From I think I'd first read it in something written by Mircea Eliade, I'm sure I'm butchering the pronunciation of his name, about the importance of an axis mundi in religion, the center of the world, as it were, and that in the same older Israelite religions, that was the temple on mountain Zion, that was the, the place that connected the underworld with the heavens, that, that sort of central location to the world and every religion has that, right. That's, that's Mount Olympus, that's, you know, all the holy mountains, usually in the ancient world. And then the temples gone in 70 ad, and people are scattered, both Christian and Jewish people scattered to the winds. And the Christians later do find other centers at that point right in Rome especially becomes our center forever, and what becomes the Vatican and all of that the Jews don't get a center for arguably, even now don't really have a center, at least religiously. Christians seem to have then gone back to their being physical spaces, physical centers, as opposed to the temporal centers. As but what from what I hear you talking about? The Sabbath kind of becomes the temple. It does that does that track with kind of the the history of the development of the two religions?


Rachael Jackson 38:26

I think so. And you're, I think from a point of interest you very much like second temple times, right? That's that's where that's where you thrive? First, yes, yes. Like you, like that's just sort of you, you really gravitate toward that time period. That is my least favorite time period in Judaism.


Ian Binns 38:49

Why? And remind myself and those of us who are not familiar with the time frame, your calendar time frame, yearly time frame, what


Rachael Jackson 39:01

Thank you. First Temple first Temple was destroyed 586 BCE. The Jews were then allowed to come back 60 years later reconstruction it reconstructed the tempo plus or minus 520 BCE. It was then destroyed 70 C. And so second temple is considered, you know, 520 BCE to 70. C, by the way, I'm using C as common era or Before Common Era, Zack used ad, which translates to a year of our Lord, which is pretty common, or BC, you know, typically understood as before Christ. And so, for those that do not use Christ as a center point in time, but we still need to communicate that this is the year 2022. We just have communicated as BCE and see.


Zack Jackson 39:57

It also is a little problematic that Jesus was likely born between three or four BC, so Jesus was born before


Ian Binns 40:04

I use, but


Rachael Jackson 40:05

that makes a lot of sense. You know, I was born before I became something too, so.


Zack Jackson 40:10

So why don't you like that period of time.


Rachael Jackson 40:13

Um, so just generally speaking, I find that there's just, it's uncomfortable for me, because it feels very inviting. And that's to reminiscent of today. As far as Jews are concerned, I think that there's a lot of us and them within the Jewish world nowadays, just like, and I see that as an us and them when we look at Second Temple times. It's great Hanukkah started as a Jewish civil war. And I just don't, I don't like that. It just, it just makes me too sad. Frankly. That's why I don't like it. It makes me too sad. The


Ian Binns 40:48

split with the northern kingdom,


Rachael Jackson 40:50

the what split? Oh, that was. So the United Kingdom. Again, if we look at this, from a literal standpoint, the United Kingdom was 1000 BCE. And it was only united for three kings. So really not very long. And then the 10 tribes were theoretically lost, also known as probably the leaders got taken away and they got split up because, you know, bigger, better competitors came along, and that was 722 BC. Yeah, very, very different time period


Zack Jackson 41:27

of sort of civil wars, totally different. There's the influence of the Greeks after Alexander comes through which there's a whole Hellenized wing aspect of, of that region, and then you've got the Jews and Alexandria and the Jews and Babylon and the Jews in Judea, not to mention the Samaritans and the rise of Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes zealots, a whole Christians, the whole gamut of splintering, and it's very traumatic, which might be why I like it.


Rachael Jackson 41:58

And that's why I don't Yeah, it's too much. It's like, are you reform or conservative? Well, I'm Reconstructionist. And I'm humanistic. And I'm Orthodox, but modern Orthodox, but open Orthodox, but just regular Orthodox, just ultra orthodox, and you're not even Jewish to me. And it's just, it's just to


Ian Binns 42:15

all connected to this god.


Rachael Jackson 42:20

Right. So it's just talking to somebody theoretically, I was just talking to somebody about you know, the prayer, the Shema, which comes from Deuteronomy, here, O Israel, the Lord is God, the Lord is One, etc. I like it better in the Hebrew, right Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai. God. I said, Well, kind of person who's not Jewish say that. So Well, sure. Right. It's, it's in the Bible. Lots of people say it. It's just sort of what your intent is. So what does it mean for God? I said, well, it it's a statement of if you believe in up to one god up to one god yeah, so yes, and Ian. But to go back to Zacks to go back to Zags, a whole point of where and when, and does that track? Yes, I think that totally tracks for it's not a when, and frankly, let's look at Judaism from the scriptures itself. Were like where, where was Judaism in the Torah? Nowhere, which means everywhere. So the Torah was given in the wilderness, the Torah wasn't given in Jerusalem, the Torah was given in Israel, the Torah was given in the wilderness, they were just wandering. They didn't know who or where they were. And that's when we get the tour. That's quite literally what's happening in this week's post shocky Tisa, like this week, we're Reading about when Moses goes up onto the mountain and God's like, Here have some stones that I carved and Moses is like, sweet, and then God's like, he should go back down there because they made an idol out of gold, and it turned into a calf and perhaps you should control that better. And Moses comes down and she's like, Are you kidding me? And pearls, the tablets and all that stuff? Like that's literally what we're Reading this week. So now y'all at home can check when we recorded this. So there is no place in Judaism. It's all about time. And in this exact same portion, it talks about the Sabbath. Like this is what you should do. And let me just also clarify one other piece when I'm talking about Sabbath and we talk about rest. We're not resting because oh my god, the other six days are so hard. That's Saturday. I that's what a Saturday is. It's a whole boy, I had so many meetings and so many emails and these kids are driving me nuts. Like, I just need a day like that Saturday, that's a day of rest. Mazel Tov, we all 100% need that Shabbat is, I am not resting to recover or prepare for I am resting simply to acknowledge that I exist now in this time, not for what I was or what I will be for right now. That's why Jews also still need a two day week right? We still are Americans. We still need a Sunday. We need a day that does not do. Right. That's our Sunday but that's not Shabbat. Shabbat rest is not weekend rest. It's a it's a complete wholeness of right now. And being connected to the text that was 3000 years ago and 3000 years from now. But really, it's just this moment. And we don't, we don't need a place for that. So our centrality? Yeah, wherever you want to be. Which is why a shout out to Rabbi Jaime Korngold who was the rabbi who had my did my bat mitzvah with her. She's the adventurer, Rabbi, I've talked about her a couple of times, right? She has Shabbat on the ski slopes, right? Shabbat on the slopes, they keep talking about mountains, Zach, great, go skiing and then have a Shabbat together. Right 15 minutes and the Shema say a few other prayers and go back skin. That's amazing. It was good enough for Israelite ancestors is good enough for us.


Ian Binns 47:10

One, so some of the readings you sent. Yeah, it makes me like I want to get the whole book. First of all, you know, like, the rejoice in your festivals, the Jewish year, sacred time in the Jewish calendar, just Reading some of that, but you know, the whole it is the when and not aware of prayer that counts the most in Judaism. Judaism is a religion. Indeed, the first religion and by and large the only religion that sanctifies time over space. And I just, I just find that really interesting. So it's not it's not the where you do it. It's the the time that you stopped to pray, is that right?


Rachael Jackson 47:59

It's not even stopping to pray, necessarily. It's a time of connection, whether that's connection. And so this is why I say up to one God, because when you pray, there's this idea that you're praying to God. Right? That's a very Christian.


Ian Binns 48:17

Yeah, please. So I guess what, I just keep thinking back to the, what we continue to find ourselves in with this pandemic. Right, and how, you know, we, you know, the whole world obviously went, has gone through time periods, some still going through it, and around the world have not been able to do like, go into places of worship, they want to people, you know, places around the world where people don't worship at all, they have no faith at all, in any kind of deity that we consider. Right? But that they're still limited on where they can go. How about that. So places, you know, that's still occurring around the world, and in some spaces in the US as well. And so, you know, but I remember when this first started, you know, and, and everything happened and people initially came together when everything was shut down. But then finally, it was, especially in our state, Rachel, in North Carolina, the you cannot shut down our churches, you cannot shut down our churches, like if we cannot be in our church, then we are not able to worship and I did not instill do not hold to that view. You know, I? Yes, when I go into the sanctuary of our church, it is a very, it has a very profound and powerful impact on me. It becomes very inspirational. I mean, there are many times where I start I'll take my phone out, start writing notes, and just things because it just inspires me every time I'm there, because I feel that connection, right. But I was I still felt to me it was like, I think especially with me, as one of the The lay leaders of the church of trying to help, you know, offer up worships at worship service every week on faith on Facebook for almost a year. I took it as like, almost like a, not a test of my faith, but as they making sure I understand, at least to me, the true meaning of all this and the faith is that it's not necessarily in that building. That's, that's not where it should occur for me. Right? It needs to be within me my time I, wherever I am. Right? It does not matter, I guess. And so that's why Reading that just really has such a profound impact on me, because it's just like, to me that's beautiful, of recognizing that it's more than the bricks and mortar that we find ourselves in. That should be bigger than that. Right? And that's, again, goes back to the whole limiting thing, I think back to our first episode in this miniseries on time, and we talked about how do we think of God? And how if we think of God as within the human concept of time, how that limits the power of God. And, you know, what God can or cannot do, is greatly limited by our our understanding of how time flows, right? Or at least the way we think about it, I think


Rachael Jackson 51:16

our connection? Yeah, and I think our connection, not again, I'm trying to keep this, I love that you keep bringing it back to God, I'm like, Nah, leave God out of the conversation. Bringing it back to community, and culture and connection, that it's not, right. I think the building can be beautiful. And I think that there can be holiness in the building. But were for those of us that may not have an interventionalist God concept. What was missing is that we weren't next to pitfalls, that the issue wasn't, Oh, I missed seeing the BMR. And then there to me, the eternal light, and I missed being physically in the presence of the Taurus. It was that I didn't hear the other people singing. I didn't, I didn't watch their faces as they prayed and cried, and that was hugged.


Ian Binns 52:11

And, yeah, that was a struggle for me with the way we did the Facebook worship, and the way Facebook Live works. Because I cannot see the people, right, you don't see the other people, but then also to one of the struggles that I dealt with. And again, it wasn't the space, it was that, as you said, a community of being together and worshiping as one, right. And so I started really struggling when people would, when it was just me and one other person live, knowing that, you know, people would then tell me, but even you so many people watch the video later, you know, and they take time later, which is something to be appreciative of, but at the same time to it, it was like, right, but I don't feel that community. Like, and there was a it wasn't just about offering it to other people it was also offering it's myself. Right, and so I needed that community, and I at times didn't feel it. And that's nothing against anyone of any of the my fellow church members go, you know, listen, that's nothing against anybody. It was just a recognition of, you know,


Zack Jackson 53:17

you know, Rachel, you say that nobody in your context said that they miss seeing the tour miss seeing that. But in my context, in which we are much more concerned with sacred space than sacred time, we, I was recording the services in my dining room for the first six months. And then after Nicole and I kind of parted ways as it were. I started recording services in the sanctuary. And I had dozens and dozens of people tell me how comforting it was, for them to see the stained glass to see the cross to hear the Oregon to, like, see the things in the sanctuary they weren't allowed to be in. And I think about the people who were really excited to be able to just go to the sanctuary, like open sanctuary hours, you can come in and just sit there in the space at any time. And like that was really important for them to connect spiritually, more so than it being on a Sunday morning. Like the time was just like that was just almost accidental. It was like a habit that it was going to be at that time. But the space is what mattered. People found it very hard to worship from their hallway. And


Ian Binns 54:31

so I want to make, you know, I want to clarify, sorry to interrupt, I want to clarify something that, you know, I still highly value that space. Right? And so I feel exactly what you're talking about Zach but the very first time that Father Greg, led a service from our church and our sanctuary. Shout out to one of our huge supporters that when the very first time he got one from there during the pandemic, it was a very powerful moment. I remember being very emotional because I could see it again, right? So yes, I have that deep connection to that space. But for me, what I found fascinating, were those who would advocate that the only way they felt they could worship was in that space. Like that was it. And it wasn't about the words, the connection outside of that space at a different time. That was they had to be in that space where they were not actually worshiping. And I struggled with that. Because to me, that seems limiting.


Zack Jackson 55:30

The only bit of our worship that is connected to time, specifically to time and not to space is the act of communion, or the Eucharist. It is, by its, by its elements in the way it's constructed in the words that you say, of institution around it. It is a a recreation of an event that happened 2000 Some years ago, that you're bringing into the present, and that you are looking into the future of a final reconciliation, we say the words and communion, all together as one people Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. And in that way, the act of communion acts as a sort of temporal Axis Mundi to us, you know, big old fancy words. But just like it stakes us in eternity, in that moment, reaching to the past, being in the present, pulling the future towards us. But aside from the act of communion, we are all about space. And we all care about time. So I am, I have learned so much from you, Rachel, today, and I've gleaned so much wisdom from you in this time. As you all didn't struggle the same way we did during the beginning of the pandemic, you struggle in the different ways, but not in the way that we struggled.


Rachael Jackson 56:49

Yes, so true. I love I love talking about this stuff. I love our ability to share and find appreciation in our differences and find commonalities. And that we all are seeking to find something sacred, whether that's time or space, whether that's now or eternity. So I appreciate my dialogue.


Zack Jackson 57:19

So welcome to a bonus edition of the dead Christian story hour. I think we're going out of order a little bit, but I have one prepared today. And we're not going to ask Rachel to talk more about about something and Ian has something but it's going to save it until the next time because and you'll see why then it's going to be great. So I'm going to go out of order because I have a fun story to share with you today about a dead Christian that I think is great. So our story today takes place in the little community that St. Francis had put together sometime in the early 1200s, late 1100s. Somewhere in there in Assisi in Italy. They were a wild and crazy group of people who left society because they thought it was getting too. Too rich, too wealthy, too disconnected. They were they ran away from their their family's prosperity from all of the wars and all of that stuff that was happening and they went out and they made their own communes out in the middle of the of the woods in the fields. And they lived this peaceful, happy sort of a life and they had some wild stories that are contained in a book called the little flowers of St. Francis. And now like all good hagiography, this takes this you take this with a grain of salt. Because all of our stories about our heroes of faith, a little bit of a comic book, sort of a bend to them. So this story, there was a there was a good fellow named Brother Rufino i Brother affino was in the woods and he was praying fervently. And suddenly, Jesus Christ appears in front of him. He's got the holes in his hands and all that stuff. He's like, look, it's me. It's JC. I'm here to talk to you. And brother finos. Like, wow, what is the great, this is great is the guy this is the guy rose talking about and he's right here. And he's got something to say to me. And so Jesus opens his mouth and says to him, Oh, brother Rufino. Why do you afflict yourself with penance and prayer? Since you are not among those predestined to eternal life, believe me, because I know who might have chosen and predestined and don't believe in that son of Pietro that St. Francis, if he should say the opposite. You know what, don't even ask him about this matter? Because neither he nor others know it, but only I know, because I'm the son of God. Therefore, believe me, you are certainly among the number of the Damned. And the son of Pietro This again is St. Francis As your father, and also his father, they're all damned as well. And whoever follows him as being deceived. Brother Ruffino at this point, he just met Jesus. And Jesus just told him, he's damned to hell. And sorry, dude, that's just the way it goes. And don't tell anyone about this, by the way. So kids, if you're listening out there and a grown up tells you don't tell anyone about this. That's a red flag. So he, he goes off and he's so sad and he's so despondent, and he says, I knew it. I knew it all along. I am an imposter. I really, I don't belong here. Everyone else is so much more righteous than me. And I am damned from the start. But God's like, I saw that. I saw that sneaky thing there. And tell St. Francis, hey, the devil just showed up. It was wearing my clothing, and is pretending to be me. I need you to go talk to brother Rufino. So St. Francis goes to Brother Rufino and he says hey, look, I know what you just saw. That's not Jesus. You can always tell it's Jesus because of the sorts of things he says that's the kind of words that the devil would say, Brother finos, like, wow, really? All right, if you say so. I'm just Dude, you're you're St. Francis. So San Francis says to him, go back out to the woods. And when this imposter Jesus shows up to you again, I want you to say these words to him verbatim. You say, Hey, open your mouth again. And I'm gonna take a minute. And I'm gonna bleep that out. But that is your King James II and translations may say, I shall expel dung upon thee or something like that. But there's a four letter word. So, brother afina, goes out into the woods again. And then, you know, Jesus, the fake Jesus shows up to him again. And because I thought I told you to go home. You are a damned soul. You have no place being here. What on earth are you even doing trying to pray? Stop wasting your time. And brother fino goes, Look, I'm gonna let you finish. But first, open your mouth again. And I'm gonna take a kid in it. And the devil at that point, you just bust out of his Jesus costume. And he's like, wow, you found me. How dare you speak to me like that. And he basically explodes and flies off into the distance and knocks the top of a mountain off. And there's this massive earthquake in like all of the region that everyone reported hearing, and seeing and a huge landslide that came down off of that mountain that other people saw and can attest to and totally definitely happened and was because the devil was so offended by brother Ruffino because he caught him in his in his traps. And that is the story of how brother Ruffino caused an earthquake in a landslide and destroyed the top of a mountain because he talked back to the devil. That's amazing. Okay, very good.



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