First, may I wish to all who celebrate a joyous Easter and a Chag Sameach – so nice when Passover and Easter overlap. And, of course, this year Ramadan is also part of that overlap, that Venn diagram of faith and longing, so let me add a Ramadan Kareem. When I lived in Turkey, Ramadan took place in March and, in fact, my students threw me a rather sad birthday party as they would not eat! There was also this man who rolled through the streets at dawn, shouting through a bullhorn to get everyone up so that they would eat before the sun rose. After a few days, I was sleeping through it, but it was quite jarring at first. Somewhat related to all of the above, is this beautiful scene from a mosque in Algeria. (Sorry – can’t embed for some reason.) It was earlier this week, during Ramadan prayers. I love how the Imam does not miss a beat, and plus, he is gentle with the kitty. Continuing on our religious feline theme, Christopher Smart’s magnificent I Will Consider my Cat Jeoffry, from the Jubilate Agno. I won’t print the whole poem, but here is a snippet:
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger.
For he has the subtlety and hissing of a serpent, which in goodness he suppresses.
For he will not do destruction, if he is well-fed, neither will he spit without provocation.
For he purrs in thankfulness, when God tells him he’s a good Cat.
For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.
For every house is incomplete without him and a blessing is lacking in the spirit.
So true. Please click on both links above.