This past week in America was down-right rotten.
But not a one-off.
Our nation regularly spawns racially motivated riots.
Nate Turner’s Rebellion, John Brown's raid, the 1871 Chinese massacre,
the Red Summer of 1919, Attica, Watts, South Central LA, Kent State,
Mississippi Burning, etc., etc., etc.
And now Baton Rouge, St. Paul, Dallas.
Same old same old, some said, and turned away,
while others turned to art, like the many Twitter users
(at a loss for words against the violence, the injustice)
who voiced their anger and despair by sharing poems.
Like Tired, from the late Langston Hughes, published in 1931.
I am so tired of waiting,
For the world to become good
And beautiful and kind?
Let us take a knife
And cut the world in two -
And see what worms are eating
At the rind.
In 1972, Madeleine L’Engle wrote in A Circle of Quiet: “We can surely no longer pretend that our children are growing up into a peaceful, secure, and civilized world. We've come to the point where it's irresponsible to try to protect them from the irrational world they will have to live in when they grow up. The children themselves haven't yet isolated themselves by selfishness and indifference; they do not fall easily into the error of despair; they are considerably braver than most grownups. Our responsibility to them is not to pretend that if we don't look, evil will go away, but to give them weapons against it.”
What, exactly, are the weapons, Madeleine? We’re plotzing to know.
But Madeleine is dead, so her answer is unavailable unless we access a wrinkle in time.
Instead, let’s copy the 16th century Rabbi Judah Lowe and build a giant super hero protector who won’t need even a BB gun or cap pistol to keep our children safe. What could it hurt? Protests, candles, prayers and moments of silence haven’t worked yet.
You’ll find the super hero blueprints, and results of his actions, below, in today’s blog. Suspension of disbelief required.
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With Thanks to Rabbi Judah Loew, the Rabbi of Prague
Ten-year old Nadia Shapiro, tired of vacuuming broken glass from the living room carpet, decided life would improve if she had a Golem. The Golem, Nadia figured, could rub out Mike McPhee (the punk), and (as a bonus) make her brilliant, popular, and prettier than Belinda Vandergelt. So Nadia chanted ancient mystical incantations, kneaded a lump of clay into a Golem and dragged him to school for Show & Tell.
The fourth-grade class, mute, stared at the shapeless hulk.
“This is my Golem,” explained Nadia. “His magic powers can protect me from bad stuff.”
“Bull shit,” said Mike McPhee from his desk in the back row where he sat making spit balls.
Nadia pointed. The Golem lumbered toward Mike McPhee, lifted him up and pinched his nose. After the air left Mike’s body, the Golem folded the remains and stuffed them into the pocket of his black overcoat, along with the rocks that had fallen from Mike’s backpack.
Belinda Vandergelt giggled nervously and, with perfect teeth, chewed on a strand of her curly blond hair. Nadia clapped twice. The Golem plodded towards Belinda, put his huge hands on her face, zapped it with zits and gave her braces.
The teacher dove under his desk. Nadia snapped her fingers.
The Golem pawed through the papers on the teacher’s desk, found the grade book, ate it and all of Nadia’s Fs.
“Like I said,” said Nadia, “my Golem is real powerful. Even when you can’t see him, he’ll still obey and protect me. And that’s my Show & Tell.” Nadia whistled. The Golem shuffled to Mike McPhee’s empty desk and plopped down. After school, Bernard Vandergelt the Third, Belinda’s golden-haired twin brother, carried Nadia’s books, the Golem close beside him.
That night, Nadia hugged the Golem and said, “Thank you, Yossele. Life is good. Time to spread goodness around.” Then Nadia chanted the ancient mystical incantations backwards, returned the Golem to a lump of clay and made a flower pot into which she planted seeds that grew grew grew mighty lak’ a rose.
Copyright © 2016 Ozzie Nogg. All rights reserved.