Touching

I let my entire being take you in
Surround you like  it were second skin
I made an astral cloak to give your peace
Where I could  share the burden and release

How hard it is to find the  words that say
How we live and die  afresh each day
When we  get a foothold on the hill
We must not hurry , pressed on by  our will

Every instant,every time we breathe 
Eternal life  is here, we’re not deceived
God appears and disappears ,he flames
The Burning Bush, the  prophet and their rage.

Enlightenment  comes after we  have crossed
The  avenues of suffering   and  the cost

I dreamed I rode a tricycle last night

I dreamed I rode a tricycle  last night
Large and painted blue without  a bell
Then I met my doctor,what a sight

He told me he had lately seen the light
And wished to be a monk inside a cell
I dreamed I rode a tricycle  last night 

Ted Hughes had gone out fishing for a pike
The army in my head was doing drill
Then I met my doctor,what a sight

I see the almond  blossom, what delight
My sister thinks I’ve left her in my Will
I dreamed I rode a tricycle  last night 

Yet I am weary with my oversight
I am rarely mad enough to kill
Unless I met a doctor  out on strike

Because of such a strike I lost my sight
The Eye emergency  was  left too late
They say  that if I sue I’ll feel a chill
Surgeons  with knives on my window sill

 

 

Eternal love and hate

Everyone wants to be normal
But nobody knows what it is
It must be ouside of us
Or we’d feel what it was
So is it that we are all God?

Why do we want to be normal
Instead of being ourself?
We want acceptance
For sure and not by chance
Not to mention we all want  more wealth

Maybe there is nobody normal
The median, the mean or the mode
We all need to deviate
From  eternal love and hate
See  here what the Greek Gods still owed

Charles Hermite and transcendental numbers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The story of numbers is enough to make one believe in a Higher Power or even a transcendental Power?

A Concise History of Mathematics [Fourth Revised Edition] Paperback – 1 Nov 1987

 This topic  will take your mind off Brexit and help you regain a sense of awe and wonder.This cartoon has an equation on it.But some numbers are never found as the answer to such an equation.And that can be proved.And some of the proofs are quite easy.

920mini-08

http://mrburkemath.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/x-why-mini-algebra-problems.html

Reggeo1601-21.png

 

http://www.britannica.com/biography/Charles-Hermite

Hermite  might not have succeeded nowadays as passing exams was not easy for him.I suspect he was a person who preferred to  spend his time  on his own  interests in Mathematics and to neglect his wider studies

I have referred in some of   my  Stan  stories to the number “e”.Hermite was the first to prove  that e is not an algebraic number.

http://www.mathsisfun.com/numbers/transcendental-numbers.html

{ see the article].

It may surprise many people that there are different kinds of numbers  ,beginning with the integers 1.2.3…… and the rational numbers  [fractions like 1/2 4/5   89/54 etc.]
The Babylonians discovered  the  ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter was fixed regardless of the size of the circle.We call it pi.It is not an integer nor a raional number.The number of integers is infinite.

“The ancient Babylonians calculated the area of a circle by taking 3 times the square of its radius, which gave a value of pi = 3. One Babylonian tablet (ca. 1900–1680 BC) indicates a value of 3.125 for pi, which is a closer approximation.” [from link below]

They used 3 as an approximation and  in the Hebrew Bible 400 BCE the Temple was  made using 3 as an approximation. Archimedes got closer.But.   like e, pi cannot be expressed as a fraction.
Some other numbers like the square root of 2 are irrational  [ that is,not fractions[ but they are algebraic.As in x squared =2

Relating to Solomon’s temple.They used pi =3.It is in the  Hebrew Bible

maxresdefault.jpg

Real numbers are all numbers from integers to the transcendental and they are uncountably infinite
Pi and e are called transcendental numbers.We don’t know many other
Yet
“The set of transcendental numbers is uncountably infinite. Since the polynomials with rational coefficients are countable, and since each such polynomial has a finite number ofzeroes, the algebraic numbers must also be countable. However, Cantor’s diagonal argument proves that the real numbers (and therefore also the complex numbers) are uncountable. Since the real numbers are the union of algebraic and transcendental numbers, they cannot both be countable. This makes the transcendental numbers  uncountably infinfte

Quote from article below {Euler is usually credited with this]

:In 1706 a little-known mathematics teacher named William Jones first used a symbol to represent the platonic concept of pi, an ideal that in numerical terms can be approached, but never reached.

William Jones, mathematician from Wales, 1740

William Jones, mathematician from Wales, 1740

The history of the constant ratio of the circumference to the diameter of any circle is as old as man’s desire to measure; whereas the symbol for this ratio known today as π (pi) dates from the early 18th century. Before this the ratio had been awkwardly referred to in medieval Latin as: quantitas in quam cum multiflicetur diameter, proveniet circumferencia (the quantity which, when the diameter is multiplied by it, yields the circumference).

– See more at: http://www.historytoday.com/patricia-rothman/william-jones-and-his-circle-man-who-invented-pi#sthash.4bbJtftH.dpuf

2012-05-12 10.31.12-44

 

 

http://www.historytoday.com/patricia-rothman/william-jones-and-his-circle-man-who-invented-pi

https://www.exploratorium.edu/pi/history_of_pi/

 

http://mrburkemath.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/x-why-mini-algebra-problems.html

This is meant to be humorous

The King’s Head!

applewe

You’re looking well, the doctor said ironically as I stumbled into his office
Don’t mention it,I replied,It’all Greek to me
Are you drunk, he said solicitously
No and I am not a tart either,I lied truthfully
What a pity,I fancy an apple, he shared
Doctor, keep you voice down.The patients will think you are a pervert.
Well, one tart is as good as another to a dead man
Is that a trope or a simile?
What a pointed question.
But not disappointed?
Who was Adonis?
Mrs Thatcher’s husband  with a Lancashire accent
No, it DIS I am thinking of
You seem to be imitating a racist film
Fancy  that, without even knowing!
Well, you are a real doctor,I hope
No, but I am rational
I’m afraid you can be counted
But who could count an infinite set?
It’s in theory
That’s intellectuals for you.It can be done in  Theory.But where is Theory?
Where intellectuals hang out using their imaginations.
Well, blow me down
Why can’t you jump?
I can only do it in theory
Well, better get on with the surgery.Which head are we cutting off today?
The King’s Head
!
Well, it is his turn now….how  will he take it?
Under his arm
Like a deodorant?
I can think of better alternatives
Not a pig’s head?
No, an apple in his mouth
See,apples again.Why not go to an Art Class and paint some?
Because  my wife won’t eat them painted
How will  she know?
Because I have no artist’s palate
Well, it’s never to late to grow your own
I have my own palate
How is that?
It’s like  a bed before beds were invented
How come?
It is a bag of straw
But nowadays  they don’t sell straw
In case it’s  china?
How can  one sleep on china?
Go to a Tea Service and ask the Vicar
Ooh, you are artful
You do look well today
Am I the doctor or not?
I don’t know Not
You know Nothing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a load of old tropes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhttps://english.stackexchange.com/questions/94634/what-is-a-trope-and-how-does-it-differ-from-a-metaphor

Extract

Metaphor is only one kind of trope. Trope is any rhetorical technique that describes something in non-literal ways.

For example, metonymy is a technique where one word is replaced with a phrase that is related but is literally different, such as “the law” for police.

Synecdoche is using a part to describe the whole: “Can you give me a hand?”.

Irony is the use of words with opposite meaning, such as saying “You’re looking well.” to someone who is clearly quite sick.

There are also some expressions that are not considered as fully fledged tropes but as sub-tropes.

Here are two websites to get started on tropes: http://users.aber.ac.uk/dgc/Documents/S4B/sem07.html http://www.academia.edu/3793667/The_Fourth_Master_Trope

(The latter website may explain the information you have been given: “The late-twentieth-centurywidespread reduction to one master trope, metaphor, especially under the influence of Lakoff and Johnson (1980), is the most radical (and absurd) of these projects.”

Some shelled shore

Walking to the bus stop from our door
We fell into a subtle harmony 
Like little children   dawdling  on the shore

No haste, no chiding, wanting nothing more
Like swimming in a balmy pale blue sea
Or walking to the bus stop from our door

Who is known and which one is the knower?
What is here and what is yet to be
For little children   dawdling  on the shore?

Setting aspirations ever lower
No competing, rush nor victory
Just walking to the bus stop from our door

Though human   who gave us creative power?
Who has loved and who evoked in  me
The feel  of   dawdling  on the sea, the shore?

Who  hears the sorrow, plangent , of the sea
Where earth and stars  reflect  so rhythmically
Walking with you touching nevermore
Oh, that I were with  you on some shelled shore

 

Quivering in the meadows of the heart

We saw the cows at Easter freed from barn
We were on a hill beside our lane  
They were running in the meadow’s  fresh green charm

Renting a small cottage on a farm
Dorset  has its literary fame
We saw the beasts at Easter freed from barn

Beasts will share their feelings  and their heart
Not for them the clever,wordy games
But dancing  in the meadow’s   alien charm

These images annihilate the harm
Suffered by the sick and by the lame
We saw the beasts at Easter freed from barn

The green of spring, the green thoughts, the great calm
Thus poverty brings us emptiness for gain
Running  to shelter of your arms

Was it not a right to be insane
Freed from prison  when the summer came?
We saw the cows at Easter freed from barn
They were  quivering in the meadow while I yearned

 

The unthought known

photo1401
There is a very strange concept now in psychoanalysis called
” the unthought known”,
I think it refers to something in the patient which they experienced and so know but they had not then learned words ,so if it was too painful it constantly bothers them  yet they can’t explain it or tell anyone.This is why psychoanalysis takes so long and even then I am unsure if a therapist can supply what the mother couldn’t
Perhaps if we know that we will never understand some of our feelings and worries but can accept them even if we don’t want to. then we can live with them

The churchbells shuddered

When God came down , the rivers overflowed
Great trees were floating ,angled and exposed
The houses broke up like a loaf to crumbs
The hearts of humans  trembled  till they hummed

The winds deceived, the gusts unmeasured stung
The churchbells shuddered then untimely rang
The power was cut and all our screens were dark
Where were the rulers, where the saving Ark?

The women  giving birth were paralysed
The babies in the womb took ill and died
Their cradles rocked the world,  they swung so fast
And in a moment all of life had passed

In the void, God started  his new  world
Rich and strange,  the grit and then the  pearls

 

When God came down

We may know what’s right and still do wrong
Greed and envy run our inner world
Like a crazed drunk bee we like to sting

Even as the blackbird is in song
The darkness of the heart will on it fall
We may know what’s right and still do wrong

We love to think we are the Queen or King
Perfect in our power , oh iron the walls
Yet crazed drunk bees can float on high to sting

The hurt inside the heart can last too long
The self retreats , the matador has failed
We know the end , the bull will kill the throng

When God came down, our spies soon had him nailed
The burning bush , the little voice, the tales.
We may know what’s right and do the wrong
Take pleasure in our violence, kill and sting

Your sacred smile

fritillaria_pontica2016-1

Embraced  entire , your sacred smile held me
Until we  both were one deep in  our souls
As still as a white dove  held tenderly

 

For a little time so warm and free
As if your smile contained  me, made me whole
Embraced and loved , your sacred smile  touched me

As  we  cross together the  dark sea
I wish this sacred love could  always hold
As  gently as a dove ,as tenderly

And if I felt the  brilliant light  touch me
My eyes would weep,my tears would turn to gold
Embraced and loved, oh sacramental  tree

Would that humankind were truly free
That in the darkness, we could find our home
As dies  the  fragile Word on Calvary

We fear  the Tempest and we hear the Storm
The still small voice  will whisper , not perform
Embraced  entire , your  smile   encompassed me
As still as a white dove, as tenderly

Take your love and in your arms enfold.

Did anyone believe blind rage expressed
Could benefit the agent without harm?
Did anyone read Freud and then digest?

Feelings need the heat of blacksmith’s fires
Held inside until they find their form
An image worthy of our right desire

As well as rage, we should mistrust love too
Be backward in expression till more’s known
Or risk an avalanche of cruelty.

Take care of others, they are not our fools
From sacred meetings all mankind has grown
We misuse folk to test our worth and tools

Holding in the inner fires our wish
The blackness of the heart can turn to gold
No contradiction hides such sacredness

Take your love and in your arms enfold.
The future of the world is growing cold
We liked to have the choice for rage and death
Until we found the charred remains of bliss

The hidden workings

mountains nature arrow guide

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2008/nov/29/nick-laird-poetry-religion

EXTRACT:

 

Though an atheist – in that I believe we’re here only by happy accident – my sensibility is religious. I like ritual and heightened states. I like mind-altering drugs. I believe in invisible forces – radioactivity, magnetism, sound waves – and I’m more than willing to sit for an hour listening to a church organist practice, which I did just last week. And I’ll let myself shiver along with the immense chord changes. I don’t like faith but I’m fond of its trappings- the kitschy icons, the candles, the paintings, the architecture and, especially, the poetry. Though many great religious figures, from Augustine to Screwtape, have taken prose as their instrument for confessing or cajoling, when it comes to praise, poetry’s the usual choice. I’ve been reading Robert Alter’s magnificent new translations of The Book of Psalms, and “My heart is astir with a goodly word”.

The relationship between poetry, those goodly words, and religion is hard to quantify. Both involve the hidden, working at the borders of the sayable. They share an experiential dimension. Personal religion involves a private speech act (prayer), chanting (psalms), heightened states achieved by ritualised words. The Lord’s prayer is one of the first poems I learned. Leached of its import by years of mindless recital, it’s almost a Sitwellian sound poem to me.

 

On a poem by Sylvia Plath about her baby son

Bucknell_Valesina-uns

Photo by Mike Flemming 2017 copyright

 

 

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/143643/sylvia-plath-nick-and-the-candlestick

 

“In “Nick and the Candlestick,” a woman walks through a dark house toward her sleeping infant, and this ordinary action becomes fused with a metaphoric descent into a ghostly otherworld. Addressed to Plath’s son, Nicholas, the poem belongs to the tradition of poems such as Coleridge’s “Frost at Midnight” and Yeats’s “A Prayer for my Daughter” that directly address a poet’s sleeping infant. “Nick and the Candlestick,” however, teems with evocations of the speaker’s pregnancy and continually merges these images with descriptions of the baby himself. Like the poem’s opening fusion of metaphor and reality, this conflation collapses the boundaries between two things: past and present, memory and experience. In the poem, pregnancy is, itself, a time when two individuals are contained in one strangely altered body. As such, pregnancy, like metaphor itself, becomes emblematic of both the tenuousness of distinctions and of the inevitability of transformation.

As in many her poems, Plath borrows language and imagery from nursery rhymes, harnessing their peculiar mixture of menace and cheerful, linguistic playfulness—a juxtaposition that mirrors the poem’s insistence that seemingly disparate emotions or states of being are often closely entwined. This poem’s title recalls an old rhyme:

Jack be nimble,
Jack be quick,
Jack jump over
The candlestick.

If Jack is not nimble, after all, he risks setting himself on fire

Where are men when I need buttered bread?

I broke three back teeth while in my bed
I  prefer to love  but where’s my choice?
What nonsense am I chewing in my head?

I  once had a husband,but he’s dead
Now and then I seem to hear his voice
I broke three back teeth while in my bed

Where are men when I need  buttered bread?
Can I have one  here, I would rejoice?
What nonsense am I stewing in my head?

I used to keep my husband so well fed
I thought he’d never go ,I am annoyed
I broke three back teeth while in my bed

I guess he’s chosen Raphael instead
So I am free to  go out with a buoy
What rubbish am I brewing in my head?

  1. If I am your mistress,  am I coy?
    Andrew Marvell, whom did he employ?
    I broke three back teeth while in my bed
    What substance am I grinding in my head?

When you’re lonely

img_20200128_105515Mary was feeling lonely on Sunday so she decided to go to the Urgent Care Centre in a cab.There were not  many people there but enough to give her  2 hours  in the Waiting Room.Having signed in ,by claiming to have a  UTI, she took off her red coat  bought  in 1992 in  a Sale, and opened her phone.What to read?

Hitler’s Downfall
Quick Cakes
A few novels by Margaret Drabble
Freud the Fraud
Sex  crimes in  therapy
The rise of Fascism in Europe
How to care for a husband
The Second Sex
Feminism and Sexual Orders
How to enjoy your body before it is too late
Differential operators and their followers

After 2 hours Mary went to the Unisex toilets.While inside she hear her name called
I’m in here, she shouted.
Take your time
She handed the kind doctor her sample which was very pale
He went out and came in again
You have a nasty infection, he said calmly
What shall I do?
We have some antibiotics here on Sundays.The pharmacy is shut
Thank goodness
He went to see what he could find and  handed her a box of pills
It wa nice to meet you doctor, thank you.No wonder I felt odd
Yes, it makes you feel confused and  less smart
Indeed.I  meant to  go to Church but came here by accident
How lucky
Mary went outside and  ordered a cab
Well, that was a blessing, she told herself until she saw Annie dressed in purple velvet running down the corridor followed by Emile on a bicycle
Well, that’s what I saw before I took those pills

No words

If we had no language,we’d be good
No communication but by sense
What devil conjured up the  demon word 
Made our dealings complex and intense?

No Tower of Babel, nothing but mud huts
Caressing,kissing,kicking,  real contact
Boxing,wrestling,killing the unjust
No law except the fist. no guilt.no wrack

No religion but  a sense of awe
The rising sun, the moon, the distant stars
Oh,bow before the Cedar and the Oak
Anything that is taller than we are

No  books, no news no media,no war
It makes me wonder what live words are for

Banal to hide the strife

Wandering roung the local brancb of Boots
Shall I buy  a moisturising cream
Maybe Astral, or E45 ?
Many choices, who  can bear to dream?

Shall I wear  red lipstick  dye my hair
Boots or shoes, a skirt or velvet shorts
Trousers of black wool  or  sky blue tights
Shall I keep the baby or abort?

Shall I take an M.Sc. in Art?
What about my car,shall I replace?
Which man shall I marry or repulse
Will the baby  now have  grown its face?

Underneath the common wastes of time
The real concerns are pushed out from the mind

 

Happiness was like a golden shawl

The pebbled beach  on which we walked at dawn
The sun was dancing  singing  stone to stone
The sea was pale as silk and gently ran
The tide was coming in, the day began

Why is my memory so deficient here?
I remember little but you near
I remember Portland Bill at dusk
The sea was wilder then with many thrusts

Happiness was like a golden shawl
A  world like Eden, man before the Fall
Today they say, illusion, I say, no
What matters  is where this insight makes you go

The fruits of meditation are its test
May we be generous, may our souls be blessed

No defeat

Letting go of all my self defence
As if I might touch all of you at once
I opened up my body to the winds
And covered you  by lying skin to skin

In the cradle of my  being held
Like an infant  needing mother’s aid
I did not move to break the chysallis
Both of us were melting in that space

Whose the hand and whose the mind  that work
Metaphors may  guide  and also hurt
Remorseless is the process that goes on
Until the new forms break this one to one

At last the work is done,  the task complete
Dead or living, this is no defeat

The astral body

Tenderly I held him  took him in
As though we touched each other skin to skin
Dying is what everyone must do
Even when it splits the Me from You

What we took for granted  every day
Had its end like any mortal’s play
The length of life is just enough to lie
It’s not here forever, don’t you cry

We are on no plateau   but a slope
Slight at first, so we don’t  see and note
Gently we are led to where it ends
Beautiful and foolish  like ourselves

How can we be split when we are one?
In deep darkness dies the winter sun

Like babies

Sunday dinner. roasted  spuds and meat
Yorkshire puddings, gravy,pepper,salt
These are what the English like to eat
Though microwaves  may bring it to  a halt

Roly poly,syrup sponge and cream
Apple dumplings,marmalade on toast
Men adore hot puddings gently steamed
Though who will  have the time to be a host?

Now we buy sponge puddings ready made
Bread and butter custard ,raisins,hot
How did  women manage in past days?
Spotted Dick, brown sugar,that’s the lot

We seem to love the sweet yet we are rude
Still like babies, ignorant  and confused

The labour and the  hurt that life will cure

I found a pair of knickers on the chair
They must be mine,oh dear, that is bizarre
I did not take them off,I am quite sure
They make the entire room seem quite impure

Yet why are knickers   thought to  be like porn
When they adorn the  place where life is born?
If you  hung the washing out to dry
You might see an angel in the sky

Most of us traversed the  holy path
We suffered pain but hope it did not last
Mothers too have struggled and endured
The labour and the  hurt that life will cure

The simplest items, pretty, well designed
Tomorrow I shall hang them on the line

Fortunately, he cannot bite

I dream  at nights of my old friends
My husband and his loving hands
I dream of all the cats we  had
Alfred who slept on  the bed
He laid his head upon my foot
As I wrote  a poem of love
Jimmy who was small and black
She  bit my hand if I got up
I did not wish to wet the bed
She did  not understand  a word I said
The last night  here she gazed at me
I think she knew  she would  not be
Lucky was the nervous  one
Black and white , apartheid none
He liked my husband’s shoulder dear
He draped  himself  and lost all fear
Now the cats have all gone off
I am frightened by a cough
My husband comes to me at night
Fortunately he cannot bite
He  touches me with tenderness
Smiles and wished me,God Bless.
When I waken I feel lost
So I have to wear a watch
I seem to have no solid self
I feel nervous of an elf
I don’t mind an angel sweet
He could rub my aching feet
I will have no other man
They  are frightened of women
They don’t like to lose at Chess
They don’t like  to wash my dress
They will brush my winter coat
Never ask me what I wrote
I do not wish to anger men
They might shout  and bawl again
I think maybe I will turn gay
Ask a lady, what to say?
They may not understand my needs
Killing flowers to  help the weeds
Talking all the weary night
On the whole they’re parasites
Also they may menstruate
I can’t  give them seeds  to  take
So they will leave and  get a man
This is where it all began
Eve and Adam,God and man
Cain and Abel, apple flan
Noah and his Ark so fine
I wish I had one in the rain
I wonder when the world will end?
I am old so be my friend

Beyond

Of Genocide.  who could sing or write
Just silence,impossible and stark
Yet was transmuted in a   poet’s mind
Into a dance of final light and dark

Walking to their death by Mozart’s  sound
Their special prayers were offered,what great trust
In Cohen’s mind   the source of love  engraved
Like Job  before, he knew the sacred dust

Mysterious is the Lord with his demands
Christians went to  Mass, reviled the  Jews
Few of us  will suffer, understand
Past pure reason ,feeling…God  help who?

Beyond  that flickering  candle  flame called God
We see the shadows lost, we see the Dead.

Cliches

He got his hooks into my   bleeding heart
He trapped me with a  stone which had no moss
In Plato’s Cave I saw but shadows long
I wondered why I let him be my boss

All my eggs were in one ovary
I had no baskets  in my abdomen
More haste has made me  backwards in my tasks
I did not know my husband was a man

Innocence prolonged  led me astray
The early birds  had stolen all the worms
Well,  let tomorrow be another day
My utter foolishness has made me squirm

The time for preparation is  a need
Not much good has come from haste or speed.

Awesome  now means  medium at best

Rubbish is  just something we don’t need
Or something  not worth mending   we believe
Where nonsense may be foolish talk or jest
Or English humour at its lethal best

There is no Judge, it’s people who decide
Whether it is nonsense to deride
The  message of the media  online
Which like the Consecration, is divine

Awesome  now means  medium at best
That is, you have barely passed the test
What a lot of stupid people say
Appears on someone’s T shirt the same day

Nonsense can give pleasure,make us loose
Sometimes it can make us feel confused.

What is nonsense in the modern age?

To write nonsense one   must think it first
Then translate thought into a  little verse
But what is nonsense in the modern age?
The more I hear, the more I feel enraged.

Yet Lewis Carrol made a lot of notes
Jabberwocky is a  poem he wrote
Where  time was always brillig  in his day
And mimsy was the passion for the stray

And Alice went behind a looking glass
She got trapped and missed the IT class
When she saw the minus and the plus
She said, Oh, my,I thought it  merely glass

Mirrors are a vital  need  we  have
Especially when we lead a  dog to bath
Lacan and Winnicott each  state
The mother’s face will mirror  and emote

So if  your mood swings  are too much
It never helps to go inside a church
Try  a  little dose of opprobrium
The shock is less  if you have  got a chum

I wonder why  the  head is so attacked
Electric shocks, brain surgery from quacks
When massage with essential oil of rose
Curies hysteria and warms the running nose?

I  hate the doctors and their ignorance
I really  ought to  learn to love a  dance
For it’s the entire body that needs aid
It is for this that many people prayed

What is nonsense but a better world
Where babies laugh and little girls have curls?

 

 

 

 

History’s oldest hatred?

http://theconversation.com/antisemitism-how-the-origins-of-historys-oldest-hatred-still-hold-sway-today-87878

Extract

Yet Justin’s concern was not really with Jews. It was with his fellow Christians. At a time when the distinction between Judaism and Christianity was still blurred and rival sects competed for adherents, he was striving to prevent gentile converts to Christianity from observing the Torah, lest they go over wholly to Judaism.

Vilifying Jews was a central part of Justin’s rhetorical strategy. He alleged that they were guilty of persecuting Christians and had done so ever since they “had killed the Christ”. It was an ugly charge, soon levelled again in the works of other Church Fathers, such as Tertullian (c.160-225AD) who referred to the “synagogues of the Jews” as “fountains of persecution”.

The objective of using such invective was to settle internal debates within Christian congregations. The “Jews” in these writings were symbolic. The allegations did not reflect the actual behaviour or beliefs of Jews. When Tertullian attempted to refute the dualist teachings of the Christian heretic Marcion (c.144AD), he needed to demonstrate that the vengeful God of the Old Testament was indeed the same merciful and compassionate God of the Christian New Testament. He achieved this by presenting the Jews as especially wicked and especially deserving of righteous anger; it was thus, Tertullian argued, that Jewish behaviours and Jewish sins explained the contrast between the Old and the New Testament.

To demonstrate this peculiar malevolence, Tertullian portrayed Jews as denying the prophets, rejecting Jesus, persecuting Christians and as rebels against God. These stereotypes shaped Christian attitudes towards Jews from late antiquity into the medieval period, leaving Jewish communities vulnerable to periodic outbreaks of persecution. These ranged from massacres, such as York in 1190, to “ethnic cleansing”, as seen in the expulsions from England in 1290, France in 1306 and Spain in 1492.