Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Wandering Jew

In honor of this past Halloween where I did absolutely nothing, I have decided to tell my "scary story" that my family used to tell me to scare the everlovinglasting shits-n-giggles outta me...

'Tis the story of... THE WANDERING JEW!!!

*muah ah ah ahhhhhhhh!* [Cue scary music]

In the high & far off Biblical days, in the city of  Jerusalem there was a man named Jesus H Christ who was to be crucified for declaring himself King of the Jews and the Son of God.

Amidst the dusty streets surrounded by cobbled houses and Roman legionnaires Jesus was whipped, and beaten. He was fit with a crown of thorns and a heavy wooden cross was given to him to carry. The Romans then forced him to walk, step by step, to the place of his crucifixion.

Along the way, Jesus encountered many people. Some who supported him, who believed in him. To these he gave blessings and assurances of life after death, of paradise for their loyalty. Some who neither supported him nor condemned him. To these he gave no note of save his suffering gaze. Then there were those who condemned him outright, for daring to bring the wrath of the Romans upon the beleaguered Jewish people, and for the hubris to deny his family and declare himself a son of God.

One of these was a poor shoemaker named Ahasver. He had lived all his life under the rule of the Romans. Since he was a young boy he had seen the cruelty to which they oppressed his people. His father had died during the sack of the second temple. His mother had been raped and murdered by bored legionnaires. He himself had been beaten many times for merely walking past a Roman without giving the "proper respect".

After being raised by his grandparents, Ahasver took up the cobbler's trade. Kept to himself. He had no friends, and with women he was too shy to ever secure a wife. Ahasver's life was one of solitude, filled to the brim with his inner-anger, and hate.

But somehow he had secured a precarious existence. His shoes were remarkably comfortable, and lasted far longer than his competitors. Selling to the Romans, Ahasver had made himself a steady living that required nothing much of him while giving him ample free time to study Torah and devote himself to the religion of his people.

Then came Jesus into the city, and all at once his life was thrown into chaos. What once was sacred, Jesus made profane. What once was treasured, Jesus made worthless. And Jesus angered the Romans with his arrogance, with his divine claims and purported rule over the Jews, who had been the only people the Romans had failed to subdue completely.

This angered the Romans, and forced Pontius Pilate, who was the governor at the time to take harsh measures to enforce their rule. Among these were suppressions of the Jewish people's religion, activities, and also an increase in taxes.

For Ahasver, this meant his poor shoemaking business was ruined. His trade with the Romans finished, and his life virtually over.

Meanwhile, Jesus was incarcerated for his crimes, and Jews all over the region quarreled over the truth of what he had said.

"Son of God? More like Son of None."
"The only King of the Jews is God!"
"Maybe he's right? Maybe our religion has become idolatrous."
"Are we sinners who can only be saved by this one man?"
"You fools! The only path to salvation is through Christ."
"You're the fool! The only path to salvation is through study of the Torah."
"These heretics will bring the Romans down on us."

All of this, and more, echoed in the ears of Ahasver. He wandered the streets of Jerusalem, begging for scraps and cursing the day that Jesus was even born.

On the day that Jesus was to be crucified, Ahasver was in the crowd watching Christ's steps burdened by the cross. Ahasver looked into the pained eyes, and watched the blood drip down Christ's eyes as more poured from the wounds in his back. Ahasver's uncontrollable rage grew with each drop. In his anger, he ran forward and cursed Jesus, mocked him, taunted him as the Christ stumbled.

He said, " Oh, Lord of the Jews! Why do you stumble? Oh, King do the thorns pain you? Does the cross weigh you down? Oh, Son of God, Go on quicker! Go quicker! Why do you loiter?"

And Jesus turned from the ground, and looked upon Ahasver with a stern countenance. He said, "I shall stand and rest in heaven with my Father, but you shall go on till the last day." And so Jesus cursed Ahasver for his anger with the Mark of Cain.

Never to rest, never to reap a harvest, never to know peace. Ahasver knew his fate, as did all Jews who had read the Torah. And in that moment, the greatness of his pain was such that he threw himself off a building... but to no avail. He was made immortal, to live with his grief until the Last Days of the Judgment when Jesus would return to cast the sinners into hell.

In time, word of Ahasver's fate spread, and he was called The Wandering Jew by gentiles. His beard grew long, and coarse, as the years turned into decades into centuries! And in all that time, Ahasver saw death, saw ruin, ate no food nor slept a wink that was not troubled with nightmares.

And to this day Ahasver walks the earth, like a phantom, with dark eyes and brittle bones sticking through thin skin. He follows in the steps of anti-Semites, killing them slowly for their persecution of our people as the Romans had done. His hands retain the abnormally strong fingers of a cobbler's, and he often removes the eyes of his victims, so that they cannot see his ancient suffering face, and so that they might never see the return of Christ on Judgment Day.

To Jews he is the anti-hero. The one who dared act against Jesus for all that he brought upon our people, but he is also a monster who will find no peace and share no lovingkindness. Until the end of time Ahasver will wander, never to find what he seeks...

The End.


2 footnotes:

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, this is scary!

Zek J Evets said...

the scaries are going around recently, i guess ; )