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Days of Uncleanness

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Daegaer wrote, @ 2003-11-25 09:53:00
Brain clearly not working
Because of the brain not working, I thought biascut's birthday was today. It was yesterday. *blush* Happy belated birthday, biascut!

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Yohanan had a son, whose name he called Abiner, after his own father. And Naomi, Yohanan's wife, conceived again, and she bore another son, Simeon, who was named after her father. And after many years, she conceived a third time and bore a daughter, and when Yohanan looked upon his daughter a very great love overthrew his heart and he cried 'How this child has added glory to us this day!' and so the girl was called Abigail.

Now Yohanan and Naomi loved all their children, but they loved Abigail best, for she was the child of their old age. And when Yohanan felt illness take hold of him he called a scribe and he wrote a document, dividing all that he had into five portions. Two portions he gave to Abiner, his eldest son, one portion he gave to Simeon his second son, one portion to Naomi to maintain her after his death, and one portion to Abigail, saying, 'I lay it upon my sons Abiner and Simeon, that they use the portion that I bestow upon my daughter Abigail, and increase it, and so when she has come of an age to marry she may be dowered richly.' And Yohanan died and was gathered unto his fathers.

And Abiner and Simeon considered, and took the dowry of Abigail their sister, and bought a field, and hired men to work it. And at the time of harvest they sold the grain and added to the field and hired more men. And so they did with their own inheiritance also, until their family owned many fields. And Naomi died, being old, and Abigail grew up in the house of her brother Abiner, and Abiner and his wife Mariamne comforted her for the death of her mother.

And Abiner and Mariamne loved Abigail, and treated her as the eldest of their children, and Mariamne thought often of how her sister in law would be a beautiful woman, and how she would have the finest wedding of any woman in the town. And she laid by rich material, that she might make a gown for Abigail to wear to celebrate her womanhood, and sent Abiner her husband to buy a bracelet to put upon his sister's arm on that day.

And Abigail became a woman, being twelve years old, and the tokens of her virginity came upon her, and Mariamne danced around her singing, and promised that after the days of her purification were fulfilled that the whole family would celebrate and feast. And her brothers laughed and cried and said their little sister was not so little anymore, and went aside to discuss the prospects of the young men of the town. And after seven days, Abigail was still in a state of uncleanness, and Mariamne shrugged, saying these things took their own time. After fourteen days she began to look at her sister in law in alarm. After another seven days, Mariamne disobeyed her husband Abiner, who did not want the family shamed, and she fled from the house and brought back the first of many doctors.

At first Abigail did not understand, and waited patiently for the days of her uncleanness to pass, swallowing the draughts the doctors gave her. But after a year she despaired, and threw herself down from the roof. And Jewish doctors having availed her nothing, Abiner went out and brought a doctor of the gentiles, who bound up her leg and said it would heal, and who said moreover that her womb crept about her body like a little animal and had inflamed her brain, and made her smell evil smells to chase it back to its proper place. And Abiner thanked him and paid him and slammed the door behind him, railing about charletans who thought to mock decent people.

After the third year Abiner and Simeon went to their sister Abigail, and looked at the ground as they spoke and said they could no longer afford to pay for doctors, for they were eating up the maintenance of their children. And Abigail wept, for she would never get better, and Abiner and Simeon looked with great shame at each other and proposed that they use her dowry to pay for the doctors she needed. And they brought doctor upon doctor to her and she grew no better but rather grew worse, and became thin and racked with pain from the attention of the doctors. And when her dowry was entirely gone, she lived in a corner in her brother's house and tried not to touch anything. And Abigail lifted up her voice and cried, 'If it is thus with me, why do I live?' And so she continued many years.

After she had been thus twelve years, Abigail and Mariamne heard a great noise in the street and Mariamne looked out and saw a crowd pressing along, lifting up their voices and shouting. And she ran out and took the arm of her neighbour and asked what was happening, and her neighbour answered and said, 'A healing! The leader of the synagogue has asked for a healing for his daughter!' And Mariamne laughed scornfully and cursed all doctors, and her neighbour cried, 'No! It is the healer from Galilee!' And Mariamne looked at the crowd and saw the rich men leading along men in rough country clothes, and she thought in her heart that it could at least do no ill, and she ran back into her house and lifted up Abigail from the ground where she crouched. 'Arise!' she cried, 'a healer is outside!' And she thrust Abigail out into the crowd.

The neighbouring women drew back in distaste from Abigail, and she looked around in fear, for she never went outside the house anymore. And she timidly went through the crowd, and she cursed her uncleanness, and thought, 'I will not say anything, I will not let him touch me, I will touch only the hem of his tunic.' And she made her way along, and bore the shame of strange men touching her in the crowd and reached forth her hand and the tip of her fingers brushed against the garments of the man they were all looking at. And at once the pain in her belly ceased and the clenching of her loins also, and the smell of blood was lifted from her. The healer stopped and looked around, saying, 'Who touched me?' And his friends laughed and said, 'Every man in the crowd has touched you.'

And Abigail crept forward and said in fear, 'This woman touched you,' and she told him everything. And one of the rich men cried out against her, saying, 'The leader of the synagogue's daughter lies on the point of death, and you have made the teacher unclean! You filthy bitch!' And he lifted his walking stick to beat her, but the friend of the healer caught his hand and pushed him back into the crowd. 'Thank you, Yehuda,' the healer said, and he still looked upon Abigail, who began to weep, for she had become used to being as one dead, and now she had surely caused the death of another. And he said to her, 'Why do you weep?' and she answered and said, 'As for me, I am nothing, my life has passed me by. But now you will not heal this child, whose life is beginning.' And he smiled and said, 'I wouldn't be so sure of that,' and winked at her like a boy. And as she stood amazed a man pushed his way to the most richly dressed of the men and whispered in his ear and the man cried aloud and rent his garments and raked at his cheeks with his nails. The healer quickly took his arm, saying, 'The report is mistaken, quickly now.' And he looked back at Abigail and said, 'Go in peace, you are set free,' and the crowd passed on, leaving her in the middle of the street.

And Abigail the daughter of Yohanan and Naomi stood straight for the first time in years, and she walked freely for the first time in years and she lifted up her voice and sang as do girls when they have become women, and she danced after the manner of a girl who celebrates the passing of her first uncleanness, and she laughed, and ran in joy into the arms of her sister in law while the neighbour women clapped and sang.

Mark 5:24-34
And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus, and behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, 'If I touch even his garments I shall be made well.' And immediately the hemorrhage ceased and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone forth from him turned bout in the crowd and asked, 'Who touched my garments?' And his disciples said to him, 'You see the crowd pressing around you and you ask "Who touched me?"' And he looked round to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had been done to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, 'Daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace, you are healed of your disease.'
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