“It Is Written!”

That Cosmic Celestial is pretty serious about his shofar.

That Cosmic Celestial is pretty serious about his shofar.

Once again, I want to point out how hard it is to draw like Jack Kirby. Last year, on rosh Hashanah, I paid homage to one of his final pieces of art, which I have refiltered a bit below. That posting had a lot of clever sounding stuff about struggling with my Jewish identity and so forth. This one is a whole lot simpler, although I’m less happy with the art. It’s not bad, and in fact, it’s pretty fun…but for some reason, I’m not thrilled.

Still, this year there is less of a visual struggle. I think that’s because I’m more at ease with my position as a member of the Jewish community, if only because I was given a reason to stand up and be counted. Darth caused that, by being really inappropriate a couple of weeks into his start, effectively Christianizing our public school. Even now, he relentlessly refers to the Rosh Hashanah day off as the “District’s Unassigned Day.” Come December, I will certainly hear about Christmas and have decor everywhere about it, with a token six pointed star or dreidel. Because, of course, that’s Jewish Christmas, right?

Still, this artwork reflects my current feelings in a new way. there is this towering, faceless, monolithic figure, ready to give the judgement “thumbs down.” That’s all the tradition that I deal with, that doesn’t care too much for me, but expects respect because of its sheer size. Our hero is floating, looking kind of apprehensive…kind of like she doesn’t WANT to disrespect the giant Cosmic Celestial, but also might not go with the ruling. Pony, on the other hand, is floating nearby, openly disapproving. Mostly because Pony is about friendship, and faceless monoliths of any kind almost can’t be about that.

This year, the confrontation isn’t all that physical…it’s more of a “Hey…shouldn’t we all be kind of on the same side, at least for some things?” It’s more that the Judging Celestial is kind of on one side, it’s own side, and the protagonist and Pony have to figure out how, or if, they fit in on that side at all. Still…it is a day off to figure that out.

Considering the Mad Max-like environment of my campus on Wednesday, a day off for any reason is much appreciated.

Last year's art, remastered.

Last year’s art, remastered.

Again, if either Kirby style art was included in my Sunday school, I would have paid much, much more attention in my youth. Still, for the non-Jews out there, a definition is in order. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year….and a very big deal. Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration, which begins on the first day of Tishrei. Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar (a hollowed-out ram’s horn) and eating symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a “sweet new year”.

Despite the two-day holiday, the District only gives one day off. During Winter, there are three weeks off surrounding Christmas. Go figure.

Still, the point of the holiday is to sort out the good from the bad, in terms of people, for the new year. Most people take the ten days until Yom Kippur reflecting on how to be a better person. Even very “hands off” Jews like myself often take the time to think about the year, and how they could have been a better person…which is the point. There’s no harm in trying to figure out how to be a better person, I think.

The slogan around that is “On Rosh Hashanah it is written, on Yom Kippur it is sealed.” That gave me the heavy text for the Judgment Celestial, since it straight up sounds like Jack Kirby dialogue. I guess our her and pony have to take a bit of time to think about being better superheroes.

Couldn’t hurt.

Of course, some of that time might be spent at Duke’s by the beach in Malibu, or at the Mall looking at new ponies, or even getting new nails done. Sounds reasonable to me.

Next Issue…A Day’s Rest Amidst the Chaos.

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