Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

I sooooo dig words. Last night, I learned something new about a word I have heard for years--Abracadabra. It is far more than just a nonsense stereotypical word used by magicians. It actually comes from Aramaic translated back into Hebrew as avra kedabra, with the literal meaning when one recites it of "I create as I speak." (Hmmm. Does this mean the first stage magicians were Jewish?)

It was considered a Kabalistic charm, and if written out in the fashion below...
...could be used as an amulet to ward off toothache, bloody flux, fever, and all manner of aches, pains, and maladies. It was considered a "magic word" in the mystical world of Hebrew numerology because it contained Hebrew letters ascribed to the monotheistic God, the meshiach, and Ruach, the divine wind. (Hmmm. Not too far from early Christianity's notion of the Trinity.) But somehow over the years, it morphed into a silly nonsense word used by the stereotypical stage magician. What once was "magic" became "trite." What once was powerful became nonsensical.

This is one of my problems with Biblical literalists. I believe in the Bible as the inspired word of God, but not the literal word of God. I really don't think anyone was taking dictation. History tells me many of the stories in the Bible were oral accounts for millenia before anyone bothered to write them. My understanding of ancient Hebrew culture is that the context and message in their history was more important than the literal facts. It just simply does not work to hold ancient Hebrew works to the same standard as modern Ph.D. theses. Yet to buy the beliefs forced upon us by the literalists, to take these stories absolutely literally, at best reduces them to trite feats of stage magic, and at worst becomes a form of biblio-idolatry. It takes a powerful message like "I create as I speak" and reduces it to a word some dude in a top hat utters while performing a parlor trick, accompanied by a lady in a sequined swimsuit and feathers sticking out of a tiara on her head.

What a powerful turn of phrase that is..."I create as I speak." It speaks to God's miracles of old. It speaks to the years Christ walked on this earth. It speaks to the conversions, big and small, of our own hearts. It speaks of the power of our own prayers. We create as we speak. Wow. We create energy. We create a road to the divine. Our speech, when we pray aloud, is an act of creation, no less miraculous than God creating the world, and we all know that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

It makes me wonder if we should start our prayers this Easter season with an "Abracadabra" and end them with an "Alleluia!"

2 comments:

Oh Please...end your prayers with Wah-Lah...that´s how God works his ¨will¨ (I thought you knew that already).

Abrazos,
Leonardo Ricardo

Interesting information about abacadabra. That triangle way of writing it is fascinating.

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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