tagNon-EroticDerby Line Marriage Ch. 25

Derby Line Marriage Ch. 25


Hanna approached Saint Peter's Roman Catholic Church in the Finance District early in the morning on election day. She hesitated in front of the church entrance. The stone carvings of saints and angles that adorned the entrance were foreign to her. Jewish prohibitions against idolatry prevent any similar ornamentation on synagogue walls. As per her tradition, Hanna usually avoided admiring Christian churches, let alone entering them. Now, she was about to attend Catholic mass for the first time. With a sigh, Hanna mentally strengthened her resolve to enter. This is an important part of Jovita's life. I should share it with her.

Jovita greeted her in the church foyer. "Hi Hanna. Was it easy for you to get here?"

"Hey Jovita. I took the 1 line down here. It wasn't too crowded," Hanna replied.

"Good. Let's go in. The mass is about to start," Jovita said.

Once inside the sanctuary, Hanna sat in the backmost pew. Jovita followed her lead. The mass was unfamiliar to Hanna, but she could at least follow the services, because they were in English. Hanna stood and sat along with the congregation during the mass, but she declined to kneel when the rest of the laity did. The mass started with singing. Then the priest entered the sanctuary and greeted the congregants. Prayers about sin and forgiveness followed. Next came scriptural readings and more hymns. During the priest's sermon, Hanna let her mind wander and her eyes take in the stained glass windows of the church. More prayer preceded the Eucharist. As the priests prepared the bread and wine, a collection plate made its way through the pews. Then it was time for holy communion. Jovita went up to take communion while Hanna waited for her in the pew. The service ended with everyone wishing peace to his neighbors in the pews.

After the mass, Hanna and Jovita went to a cafe for a breakfast of coffee and pastries. "What did you think of the mass?" Jovita asked.

"It was different," Hanna answered.

"How so?" Jovita asked.

"Sin and forgiveness was a major theme. In a Jewish service those topics only occupy a brief prayer," Hanna said. "Jesus also plays a big part in the ceremony."

"Of course he does. Jesus is central to Catholicism. Through him, we are forgiven for our sins, because he sacrificed himself. He is our lord and savior."

"In Judaism, we loot to Hashem for salvation. Jesus was just another Jew who was killed by the Romans for challenging their authority just like thousands of Jews were at that time," Hanna explained. "As a Jew, Jesus is my brother. All Jews are siblings, because Jacob is our father. Christians are our first cousins, because they descend from Esau, and Muslims are our second cousins, because they are descended from Ishmael."

"That sounds very tribal to me," Jovita countered. "Why keep track of who begat who just to decide which groups are related to you and by how much? I see all humans as my brothers and sisters."

"Judaism is more than just a religion. It's a nationality with a long history," Hanna insisted with a hint of irritation in her voice.

Jovita changed the subject. "I have to rush to work soon. What are your plans for the day?"

"I'm going to the Democratic headquarters to make calls to get out the vote."

"I don't see how you can align yourself with those Socialists," Jovita said.

"The Democrats are much better than the Republicans are on LGBT issues," Hanna pointed out.

"There's more than two parties, you know," Jovita told Hanna. "Vote Libertarian. Capitalism has a much better track record when it comes to gays. During World War II, the National Socialists sent gays to the gas chamber, and Russia still has anti-gay policies thanks to it's Communist past. Russia recently passed a bill limiting free speech and freedom of the press in the name of stopping 'gay propaganda'."

"I vote here in America and in the present. The American left has the best track record among mainstream parties here and now. That's what matters the most to me. Why waist my vote and efforts on a Libertarian candidate with no chance of winning?" Hanna asked.

"I have to run now, before I'm late," Jovita announced. "Let's not leave on a bad note."

"OK," Hanna agreed. "Are we still getting together this Shabbat?"

"Definitely. I'll see you Saturday around noon." Jovita kissed Hanna squarely on the lips before heading off to work. Hanna leisurely enjoyed the rest of her coffee and then left for home.

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