Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart
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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Heard In The Office

So I'm sitting with a patient, a young Muslim woman of Pakistani extraction who is in to talk about the depressed feelings she's had since breaking up with her boyfriend of seven years.  Seems he had emotionally moved on and she's been heartbroken ever since.  In addition she belongs to a fairly small Muslim sect so shidduch possibilities aren't the greatest. Despite being in her very early twenties and a nice looking girl she's genuinely worried that she'll be single for the rest of her life.
I ask her how she deals with her fears and she says that her religion gives her strength.  Then she pauses.
"I don't know if you'd understand."
I ask her why.
"Well, um, I don't want you to think I'm being offensive but..." (long pause) "do you believe in God?"
Now it's my turn to pause for an instant.  Then I point to my kippah.
"I'm Jewish. We came up with the idea of Him in first place."
"Oh," she says, "I didn't know that. Wow.  Anyway..." and on she goes.

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In one of the ER's I work in there is an older lady who is an African nun.  She's also a good ER doc and she's always interested in talking with me when our shifts overlap.  I think she's looking for another religious person to talk to and there aren't that many in this ER (or any others I've worked in, come to think of it).
So the other night I come in to replace her for the overnight shift and she stops me and says: "Lord Ironheart,  there are Jewish Chrisians, right?"
I pause because my first answer has at least two offensive words in it and she's a nice lady who clearly didn't mean anything insulting so it wouldn't be fair to unleash them on her.  So I rephrase as best as I can and say "Um no, none at all."
"But why?"
"Well," I say knowing that I have to tread carefully, "you know all that stuff about God in a body, dying for our sins and the Trinity?"  She nods vigorously.  "Yeah, well we don't believe in any of that.  In fact, it's against our faith to think of God doing anything like that."
She looks stunned.  "You don't believe in J----s?"
I shake my head.  "Nope."
"That's incredible!  I never knew that!"

7 comments:

Princess Lea said...

The first story is upsetting because as Jews, who "came up with the idea of Him in the first place," why are we saying things like "shidduch crisis"? Is God taking care of things, or not?

As for the second . . . this nun doesn't realize the fundamental difference between Jews and Christians? She thought we were being persecuted for more than 1,000 years because we had different haircuts?

Has she been living under a rock?

JT said...

Many years ago, a colleague asked me what Jews believe about Jesus. I told him that he really has no place in Judaism at all. He was shocked - "But Jesus was a Jew!" I pointed the many historical Christians who do not figure in Christian theology. He had never considered that before.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Princess, it's amazing what even educated Chrisians don't know about us.

JT, I once was at a function in December next to a Hindu doctor who was complaining about being wished "happy holidays" when he didn't have any holidays at that time of year. I said "tell me about it" and he asked why. I explained that I was Jewish and that we also didn't celebrate X-mas and he almost fell off his chair. He thought only Muslims and Hindus didn't.

ZP said...

I love speaking to strangers. And specially after I speak to Hispanic people and they discover I'm Jewish AND Hispanic (GASP!) they ask me a ton of questions. Some of them are so ignorant, a guy once said me, "I heard Jews don't shower" I laughed, "Do I smell good?" lol

There is a lot of ignorance and in some cases it is quite scary (i.e. anti-israel/pro=palestine). It is ridiculous the ignorant and untruthful statements they spew. But alas, that is a different subject.

On a different note, it is also fascinating to see how much we have in common with other cultures. One of my classmates' parents are Indian, so she was telling me about dating for her etc. It was so interesting to see how beautiful her culture is and how similar to ours.

Adam said...

Yes, it is truly astonishing how many educated people think that Jews are Christians with unny little hats.

By the way did she really call you 'Lord Ironheart'. If only I could have such kavod!!

Mr. Cohen said...

Xmas is a pagan holiday.

frum single female said...

yes, a lot of christians find it hard to believe that i don't believe in jesus or celebrate christmas. unfortunately there are few jews who have wished me merry christmas and when i tell them that i am jewish and know that they are as well but they say they celebrate anyway. then i am at a loss.