Sitting Twenty-Three

Pada was finding it difficult to sleep, brought on by the absence of Jubal dwelling in his household.

The disappearance of his son had also stirred old memories—bittersweet. When he was a boy, his father was living in the Sinai Peninsula in 1948, when Israel was granted statehood. Their family joined with a few others to form a small fellowship of Muslim men converting to Judaism. They named themselves the Sons of Rahab.

Part of their defection was due to spiritual searching and internal awakening. But mostly, it was just the desire for a new beginning. After all, there was new land, new opportunity and new people. A wandering soul could escape the sting of the past, the scrutiny of unforgiving neighbors and disappear into the enthusiasm of a burgeoning dream.

So Pada was born a year-and-a-half later, in the new state of Israel—a Jewish lad. His father was an austere and harsh disciplinarian—stringent and orthodox in the principles of Judaism, perhaps due to a guilty conscience over abandoning his native faith.

Punishing the children with his hands, harsh words and leather straps was the protocol of the household. Pada learned of God but it was a Deity whose face grew dark and cheeks reddened with anger, voice shrill and condemning. The punishment declared “divine” was always bruising and painful.

When he was sixteen, he left home to launch on his own. After failed businesses and shattered dreams, for a season he took work as a salesman. Insecure and lacking social graces, he found it difficult to choose the words to cajole patrons. He left in frustration and disgrace, realizing he needed a profession that would soothe his child-whipped soul while he was still able to earn a wage.

He became a tailor. The attention to detail and the simplicity of sewing, repairing and weaving suited him well, and eased his tormented mind. Yet when he returned home at night, Pada maintained the severity he had learned from his father.

Now, lying sleepless in his bed, he still found it difficult to reflect on young Jubal with thoughts of tenderness. Instead, he fought off fits of rage over being betrayed and dishonored.

He was undecided. For a while he remained stagnant. Yet in a moment of brief humility, he considered taking an uncharacteristic action. It had been years since he had crossed the city to a neighborhood where Allah ruled instead of Jehovah God. At first, he pridefully resisted the idea of reaching out, but after much deliberation and consternation, he concluded it was time to make the trip to meet the father of the young boy who shared a desert space with his Jubal. 

Join us on Sundays for another gripping sitting of this Novel in the making!

Published by Jonathan Cring