Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My father, who studied the Kabbalah,  would have appreciated all the numeric coincidences connected to his date of death. First, the 30-day period after death is the fixed time for mourning in the Jewish tradition.  Thirty days after his death happened to be his 75th birthday, and also the end of the Mayan long-count calendar, and finally the Winter Solstice.

In Eastern Christianity, the soul is said to wander the world for 40 days after death, so there is a traditional service at the end of 40 days to mark the final passage to the afterlife.  For my father, that date fell on New Year's Eve.  So the whole world celebrated his passage.

Finally, something not quite as neat as those:  my father was 25 when I was born, I am 50 and he was 75 this year - so we have a rough-edged set of thirds marking our lives together and apart.

I seem to be the only one of my siblings who shares my father's interest in religious spirituality or mysticism.  We both of us took up religious study for pure personal enrichment.  I began a program of study of Eastern Christianity with his encouragement and support in my late 40's, and we enjoyed discussing the shared roots of modern religions, particularly in the liturgy.

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