The articles in this blog represent my own belief, thoughts and walk with Adonai and the things He teaches me. Do not copy or publish any of my articles without my permission.

Thank you for your understanding,
Bat Melech בת מלך

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Prayer



Skeletons of past dreams stare me in the face.
I stare right back, my fears to chase,
Their mocking eyes are my disgrace
But I still know my place.

For I was born not once but twice,
My fate is not decided by some dice,
Regardless of how doubts my heart entice:
The King has looked me in the heart and paid the price.

You’re silent Adonai. My mocker’s loud
‘Where is your God?’, he taunts me proud
And I am mute, my head is bowed
Trying to remember everything I’ve vowed.

A coward under a sky made of steel
From thin air forgotten promises I unseal
Only to not lose hope or kneel
To smoke and mirrors that claim to be real.

Hear me HaShem, my faith is frail,
My prayers falter and my water’s stale,
I’m under siege, don’t let my enemy prevail,
Don’t let me fail You now… don’t let me fail…

If You but listen maybe I’ll walk a little further this time
And I won’t stop to make my non-sense rhyme.
If You but reach out, I know I’ll make the climb,
And tear down my regrets’ shrine.



Bat Melech בת מלך
 Cristina כריסטינה





Monday, March 13, 2017

Weirdo



“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” – Tehillim/ Psalms 139:13-16


I am weird. There is no way to sugarcoat it. I know it. People around me know it. Basically it’s not a secret. 
 I read a banner once that said “Sometimes I get so weird, I even freak myself out.” And I thought, ‘Yes! I’m not the only weirdo out there!’

Now, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t set out to be a weirdo. I just turned out to be one. Whether it’s because I was made that way or worked myself out into being one it’s anyone’s guess, but the fact remains, I am one.  And I’m OK with it. For the most part. I guess it becomes a problem when I’m in a group of people and they all seem to agree on some amazing truth or idea and I am always the one with the ‘yes, that’s true, BUT…’ And it’s amazing to see all eyes turn on you like ‘what is wrong with you?’ and instead of pointing out the obvious I choose to own it. I’m a weirdo. Get over it! 

For the longest time I tried to change. I thought, “I need to fix me. To make whatever makes me wrong, right.” So I began to search for people that I could look up to and imitate them. I tried to borrow things I admired about them and tried them on. That was a fiasco. I felt like David HaMelech when he tried on Shaul’s armor on. It didn’t fit. That just made me upset with HaKadosh Baruch Hu (The Holy One, blessed is He). I was like, “Was it such a struggle to make me normal? I can’t walk like other people, or talk or reason. Basically I can’t do anything like other people. I try to be kind and it comes out offensive. I try to be good-natured and it comes out angry. I try to be loving and it comes out harsh. I try to smile and I look like I’m in pain. Seriously Adonai, what were You thinking?” And HaShem, blessed be His name forever, didn’t smite me on the spot for my audacity, but instead gave me time. Yes, time. Unimpressive as that might sound to untrained ears, it was time. And I chose to employ it but looking at all things I deemed weird. I thought, I will not look at people I think are weird because maybe they became that way because of their sins so maybe HaShem didn’t make them weird. So I looked at things in nature. And my goodness, there are a ton of weird creatures out there. You know for sure that Adonai has a great sense of humor just by looking at some of His creation. 

It stands to reason to conclude that if He created such diversity in fauna, flora and wild life in general, He also created humans diverse and some of them, let’s face it, just plain weird. 



 

 
Every now and then, just to make myself feel better I’ll read articles about strange creatures. Last week I was reading on Frozen Planet an article about the Woolly bear caterpillar. It’s got a fancy Ancient Greek name Gynaephora groenlandica, because of course if you give whatever species an Ancient Greek or Latin name, it immediately elevates the creature. 

Anyway, the Wooly bear caterpillar.

It’s always the first insect to appear after the snow retreats and the story of how it does so is truly astonishing. At the start of spring, the caterpillar eats as fast as it can, as indeed it must, for this far north, the season will be brief.
The days shorten only too soon, but the caterpillar has not yet got enough reserves to transform into a moth. It can’t leave the Arctic, for it can’t fly, so it settles down beneath a rock. The sun’s warmth rapidly dwindles. Beneath the rock, the caterpillar is out of the wind, but the cold penetrated deep into the ground. Soon, its heart stops beating. It ceases to breathe, and its body starts to freeze – first its gut, then its blood.
The following spring. After four months of darkness, the Arctic begins to thaw. And the caterpillar – rises from the dead. By the time the first shoots of willow appear in the early spring, the woolly bear is already eating. But no matter how fast the woolly bear eats, it will not have time to gather enough food this year, either, and the cold closes in once again.
Year after year, the caterpillar slows down in the autumn and then freezes solid. But eventually a very special spring arrives. This one will be its last. It’s now 14 years old – the world’s oldest caterpillar. Its remaining days now become frantic. It starts to weave a silk cocoon. Inside, its body is metamorphosing into one that can fly and search, abilities that will be crucial in the days ahead.
It’s waited over a decade for this spring and now, its time is near. All across the Arctic, moths are emerging. After completing their 14-year preparation, they now have just a few days to find a partner and mate.
No life illustrates more vividly the shortness of the Arctic spring or the struggle to survive in this most seasonal of places. – Borrowed fromThe Frozen Planet, written by David Attenborough

This caterpillar is unlike any others. It dies 7 to 14 times before it lives once. It knows it’s got wings somewhere inside itself, but regardless how hard it wishes or struggles it can’t make them appear. It can’t leave anywhere because it can’t fly away. So it dies every autumn and gets back to life every spring, hoping against all evidence of past experiences that this year might be the year it lives, only to die again. But one spring its hope is rewarded.
It might be dead for most of its life (yes, I am aware of the paradox) and utterly useless, but it’s got strength. Unbelievable strength. It has the ability to endure arctic cold. It’s got the ability to endure death time and time again. This caterpillar is amazing! Probably it feels every death as yet another failure. It doesn’t even know how amazing it is. Someone decided to take a look at it and record all its struggle and understand that it is amazing everything that this little creature endures and I can promise you, that one day someone will decide to take a look at everything that you endured or are enduring and think you're amazing.
If you judge this creature by its ability to fly when it is still just a caterpillar, you’ll be disappointed. If you judge it by its ability to travel great distances, you’ll be sorely unimpressed. It wasn’t made to travel great distances. It’s a little weirdo in a frozen place and it does the best it can to be what it’s supposed to be.
Adonai is wise. (I know you’re impressed by my exceptional observational skills. I’m trying, OK?)
I learn a lot about the way He is by looking at what He made. It’s like looking at a painting and getting a feeling about the artist.
He’s OK with creating things that are different. But He’s always just and merciful. He doesn’t place anything in an environment without equipping that creature with everything it needs to be what it has to be.
I might be weird. And my weirdness makes some laugh and others run for the hills, but that’s alright. HaShem knew what He did when He made me. So, I don’t need to look, or act, or think like everybody else. I am beautifully made the way I am. I don’t need to fix my weirdness, because there’s nothing to fix.
You might judge a bird by its ability to swim and you’ll notice its disappointing because it wasn’t made for that. You might judge me by whatever ability you think I should have and I can assure you I’ll disappoint you every time, because I wasn’t made for that.
I might admire people’s abilities in their environment and even learn from them, but I can’t be them. I am just me. And I am His. And I am weird. And that’s alright.

Bat Melech בת מלך
 Cristina כריסטינה

Monday, March 6, 2017

What's in a name?



A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth. – Kohelet / Ecclesiastes 7:1

Shakespeare wrote in his famous play “Romeo and Juliet”:

“What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Sounds like such a deep statement. I often hear people saying, ‘I’m not into labels’ and by that they mean that they don’t want to be defined or called a certain way because that’s not all they are. But following that logic, nothing is just one thing so nothing should be named or defined in any way. 

A potato is a word we use to describe a tuberous crop (had to google that one) or even the plant itself. Now, that’s not all there is to the potato. They come in all shapes and sizes and if you care to know more about the complexity that is the potato, you can look it up. The word potato doesn’t describe everything that plant is, but it’s the label we use for it. When you use that word in conversation, the person hearing it will know exactly what you mean. 

There is a need in humans to name things, or define them in order to make them real for ourselves. When we don’t have the definition for something, that thing is dead to us. It’s non-existent. 

People who raise animals for meat rarely give them a name. In many cultures, babies are not considered real,
not whole people, until they are named. Villains in books and movies are often left unnamed or given euphemisms like Dr. Claw, The Joker, or Scar; they are never called Ruben or Mary. In all of these cases, real names make the person or animal multi-dimensional, capable of feeling, worthy of empathy.
Names give people something to hold onto.

My sister has a name for everything she owns and cares about. For example, her phone – she calls it Asher, her tablet – Ilinca (Romanian name, don’t ask!), her laptop – Yaffa (Heb. Beautiful), their car – Gorgo (queen of Sparta), did I leave anything out? Oh, wait and her suitcase is Alana.
Beautiful quirky little thing, my sister. I love her to bits and even though some might think she’s weird (which she is, bless her!) she just cares about every little thing and so she’ll name it as a way to make it her own, to claim it. It’s a need that we all have even if it’s not to that extent. 

In Judaism names represent one’s identity not simply because they are a convenient way to allow us to be distinguished one from another. It is because they define a person. The names are not accidental. They are to some extent prophetic. They capture one’s essence. They are the keys to one’s soul.
The Hebrew word for soul is neshamah. Central to that word, the middle two letters, shin and mem, make the word shem, Hebrew for ‘name.’
In Hebrew every letter has a numerical value as well. The numerical value for the word shem is the same as for the word sefer – book.
Names are a book. They tell a story.
Humans didn’t come up with names by themselves. In the Torah the first One to use names was Adonai. And He used names not for the sake of identification, but rather for creation.
When the Torah says, “HaShem created,” it doesn’t suggest that He worked with what He fashioned by labor, but merely that He spoke – and the very words describing the object came into being. Adonai said, “Let there be light and there was light.” The Almighty merely gave it a name, and the very letters defined its atomic structure.
Names are very important in the Scriptures.
Names are not just what we use to differentiate between objects. Names are responsible for the differences between all things on this earth. 

Things really are what they are called despite what Shakespeare said. 


In the Talmud it’s written: "Three names are given to a man. One by his parents; a second by the world; and a third by his works. Which, of these is the best?”

I believe that the name that Adonai gives you is the best. In Isaiah 56:5 it is written:

“I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.”

Yeshua promised in Hitgalut/ Revelation 2:17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.”

“A good name is better than great riches.” – Mishlei / Proverbs 22:1


My parents gave me a name. When I grew up I had many nicknames. I was called names by Jews and non-Jews because I was never good enough for either. I try my best to make a good name for myself and never shame Adonai by my actions and I don't know how successful I am with that, but I know He gave me a name and that's the only one I value. 

Bat Melech בת מלך
 Cristina כריסטינה