A recent Christmas assembly at The Ramallah Friends School
The Ramallah Friends School (RFS) was founded over a hundred years ago and was originally named The Girls’ Training Home of Ramallah. The name was changed to The Friends Girls’ School. Soon after The Friends Boys’ School was added in 1901. The RFS was originally run by Quakers and is located in Ramallah and El-Bireh. The School offers PreK-12 education and maintains a student body that is representative of Palestinian society.
It’s been a busy and chilly week. On Dec. 14 I attended Sisters’ in Crime Holiday party at the Salaam Restaurant on 13th Street. The food is homemade by people from the Middle East and Morocco. From the fried chickpeas and Spinach pie to Egyptian Bean Salad coupled with lots of fun, laughter and book news.
The West Village Chorale’s holiday concert this year, “Many Celebrations: New York Joy!” was held at Judson Memorial Church’s Meeting Room on Sunday, December 11. It was packed. It was also live-streamed.
The performance began at 3:00 pm and ended about 4:30. Seasonal celebratory songs from Christmas, Hannukah and Kwanza were sung heartily by the sixty something chorale. Henco Espag was the guest conductor. His popularity was evident in the resounding applause he received from the over-flowing audience. Other esteemed performers were pianist Elena Belli and percussionist Angelo Antinori.
Now that the Christmas season is upon us, I was thinking of snake handling. Recently, I spoke to a friend whose relative worships in a church that honors snakes. It’s a secret. One member of the family told another member who telephoned me. Many years ago, snakes and I got together when my mother briefly taught science in Loogootee, Indiana. She wanted to impress on her seventh grade or was it eight grade class that snakes were to be treated with respect. She did this by draping my six year old arms with snakes. Oddly, I wasn’t frightened. After all, she was my mother.
Through the years I’ve been bothered by the killing of snakes in wild places where they live. That’s not to say when I hiked I didn’t let out a scream or two when a serpent crossed my path.
As everyone knows you can find anything on the internet. My friend started searching for snake worshipping churches. There are about 125 churches that use poisonous snakes in their service. Of course, many are in the deep South. But hold on. There are also a number in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and West Virginia. My source, and I’m sure you’ve guessed it, is Wikipedia.
The snake in Genesis corrupted Eve. And its reputation has been down hill ever since.