"Cruithne's Son" by Stoned and Hedged, March 2012

Disclaimer: All characters presented here are product of fiction. Any resemblances to real characters are of a pure coincidence. No intention was made to insult anyone for any reason.

AN: This story is an act of fiction. No one should attempt to act in the same manner as described.

AN2: None.

Summary: Cruithne is not really a moon, because Earth and Cruithne are not gravitationally bound. Unlike asteroid 3753, or 1986 TO, "Luna" IS a real moon. But Cruithne is locked into a 1::1 resonance with Earth.

Cruithne's Son

After having enormous amount of sex with Katya and Khara, Matt Sullivan, Josh Hartnett, Paulo Costanzo and Adam Trese wondered how it would feel to have sex with Nicole.

Hey Josh …, Matt's harsh baritone broke the silence.

What? Josh croaked, surprised his newest tattoo was in color. "I can see colors!", he pondered for himself in bewilderment.

What would sex with Virgin Mary feel like? Paulo and Adam gave off some sounds that were between barking of an old dog and scratching of metal against metal.

Did you know that Albertus Magnus ascribed thirty-five Virtues to the Virgin Mary, on all of which he elaborates at length, such as humility, sincerity, benignity, omnipotence, and modesty.

Who the hell is he? Matt interposed, realizing it was already daylight outside.

Another Jainist like us perhaps? Adam's tremolo chirped from some dark corner of the room.

After an hour they were all having a "brunch" – something that was between breakfast and a lunch.

Do you know that "unimaginable" and "beyond imagination" is not the same? Adam offered in order to break barbiturate silence.

Nyayoparjit dhan

Money should be earned by honest, legal and morally right methods.

A "polyomino" is a generalization of the domino to a collection of n squares of equal size arranged with coincident sides.

Uchit Vivah

One should marry a girl …

… or a boy …, Khara added, still feeling satisfied.

… of his own or her own cultural and religious back- ground.

Polyominos were originally called "super-dominoes" by Gardner.

35 Virtues that guide us on the path of life … ha, ha, ha, ha! Paulo dipped piece of bread in his broth.

The year 5000 began on September the 1st, 1239.

I think Matt is obsessed with his ex-girlfriend, Nicole …, Katya watched Matt in secret.

Shishta Prasamsa

Giving respect to the cultured and noble people.

I think his roommate, Ryan made him adore Nicole like Virgin Mary …, Katya felt she developed some "extra-sensory perception" feelings towards Matt.

Shatruta Tyag

One should not have enmity, hatred or spite against any one.

Celibacy is not easy Matt …, Josh sneered.

Do you know that Vinessa Shaw just got engaged? Khara winked and giggled at Katya.

Indriyajay

Exercising control over one's sense organs.

I heard that John is training to become a Catholic priest.

Certain principles and codes of conduct and rules are absolutely essential for social life and for co-existence.

Anishta sthan tyag

Giving up a place where the health of the body and the mind can be spoiled.

Did you know that mineral springs are good for "victory metal"?

Victory metal?

Uchit grih

Limiting the desires relating to home and being cautious in adhering to the norms of culture and religion.

Josh … you and Matt used to be co-workers at that San Francisco's company, right?

A hexomino is a 6-polyomino.

Pap bhay

Making an attempt to get free from sins. Having a fear of sin.

Someone knocked at the door. Matt opened it, some cold air rushing in. It was the postman. Matt paid him and he left.

What is it?

Who is it from?

It's from Rebbe.

Desachar Palan

Conforming to the proper codes and customs of the society and the nation.

What does it say?

Rebbe received a brand new Cadillac …

Wow!

From whom?

Apparently …, Matt scratched himself on the buttocks, … from a wealthy follower …

Lokpriyata

Winning a place in the heart of everyone; and captivating everyone's mind.

What else does she say?

Rebbe's got some business problems …

Number 35 can be partitioned in 14883 ways.

Uchit Vyay

Spending money within one's income.

Rebbe will soon make use of the new library and sumptuous offices next door …

35 can be partitioned 18 times with each term no larger than 2.

You like math, don't you?

Uchit Vyavahar

Acting according to the time and situation.

Hey!

What?

Lubavitch House 770 is now only a small part of the five or six huge buildings on Eastern Parkway owned by him!

Mata Pita Pujan

One should take care of one's parents and give them absolute protection …

… and render service to them.

35 can be partitioned 120 times with each term no larger than 3.

Are you referring to our numerous schools and yeshivos in New York perhaps?

35 can be partitioned 441 times with each term no larger than 4.

Satsang

Maintaining familiarity with people who are cultured and noble.

Although we always refer to. Matt winked at Katya.

Hexonimo … how many can you make free?

35.

Ha! There you go! "Mystical number"!

Kritagnata

One should not have enmity and grudge for benefactors at any time …

… one should be grateful to them as well.

Katya and Khara picked up empty plates and started to wash dishes. Men tried to relax, scratching their balls, staring at the snow outside.

- Who wants to join me in the hunt? Matt eyed his "companions".

- I would. Paulo Costanzo winked at Matt.

- What about you guys? Josh looked at Adam.

- We'll do some choppin' and splintering …

- Sledging, eh?

- We'd appreciate the effort! Katya threw from the kitchen, giggling.

After Matt and Paulo went hunting deer, Josh and Adam were using axes, chopping wood for some cozy fire.

How about one-sided?

Hexomino?

Mhm. Sound of wood breaking broke through the mist.

60.

Did you know that in the year 35 AD Tiridates III became king of Parthia …

And that's …

In today's Iran area. More wood being chopped.

They listened to some lumberjacks singing on the road down below, probably intoxicated as well.

Back in the log cabin, Katya was wiping off dishes with a cotton cloth.

Did you know that one new yeshiva costs $3 million to build.

Really?

You know what …

What?

I don't think that a society can ever be strong and stable if it is divided by disorder, anarchy, and distortions.

What do you mean? Khara stopped wiping the dishes, staring outside at Josh who was smiling.

The thirty five virtues of the Marganusari life that illustrate the Jain system of life which is characterized by imagination and wisdom ...

Yes? … Katya continued with her house duties.

I don't really think that either one of those are … wise

They looked at each other and then started to laugh aloud.

As the sun was setting down, all of them were busy by butchering the deer.

Hey!

What?

I can believe my eyes? Matt stared at Katya.

Deer is properly field dressed and cleaned!

Yup! Matt did it before we left the kill site.

A polyomino with n squares is known as an n-polyomino or " n-omino."

Ajirna Bhojan

Not taking more food when one has not digested the food taken; and fasting at such a time. Katya made three sharp knives available before they started to butcher.

How many fixed hexominos can you get?

216.

Uchit ahar

Taking food according to the health of the body and its condition.

35 can be partitioned 1115 times with each term no larger than 5. Josh a good sharp skinning knife. Adam was holding a wet stone.

35 is the total number of parts in all partitions of 6.

Gnani Puja

Having devotion for and worshipping scholars and men of knowledge. Paulo was playing with a hacksaw. Matt scorned him.

35 is centered cube number as well.

Did you know that fixed polynominoes …

… also called "lattice animals" …

… are considered distinct if they have different chirality or orientation.

Nindit Karya

Renouncing all actions that are objectionable in the eyes of society and religion. They all checked if they had rubber gloves on their hands.

What's that for?

Chronic waste disease?

Ah … Josh made sure cutting boards were firm.

Bharan Poshan

Endeavoring to support and maintain the members of one's family and those who seek our aid and refuge. Matt rremoved the rump from the animal.

35 is a pentagonal number as well.

Lucky guess? Katya smiled at Josh. He pursed his lips, eyeing her in a "special way" …

Dirga-darshita

Taking a step after thinking of the consequences of one's action.

Are you sure about that one? Paulo examined the rear legs that were jointed, wondering how much time it will take to find the joint. Sun was getting low.

If you move the leg before you start cutting you may have a better feel of where the joint is actually located. Matt grinned at Paulo. Paulo winked at Khara's tits.

What about "Hearing only such things as will purify and perfect one's life"?

I forgot the name …

Anyone? … No one bothered to answer him,

Hey, hey, hey …

What?

Don't rush this step, take your time and find the joint first! Paulo snorted at Josh. Cut around the joint and remove the ham shaped rear leg.

Remove the ham shaped rear leg …, Paulo repeated in cartoon-tone of the voice.

35 is a tetrahedral number too …

Daya

Showing kindness to creatures in distress.

And … try to make smooth cuts and not jagged cuts … Matt was overlooking the whole operation, still feeling proud they caught a deer.

Free polyominoes can be picked up and flipped, so mirror image pieces are considered identical.

35 is the number of hexominoes.

Ha! I knew it!

Suddenly Sheriff's car parked and they all stopped, staring in disbelief, wondering if they were going to get punished.

But Sheriff was a nice gut, had a beer belly and some moustaches as well. He did not give them the citation or banned their carcass.

Bunch of weirdoes …, Sheriff made a comment, driving away.

Buddhi …

What?

Buddhi

Observing the eight rules that make the intellect well developed and sharp and subtle. Josh removed the front legs by following the round part of the leg up and once it entered the chest area, Matt continued by cutting with his knife between the leg and the chest muscles.

One-sided polyominoes may not be flipped, but may be rotated, so different rotational orientations are the same, but pieces having different chiralities are considered distinct.

Gun-pakshapat

Having high respect for virtues …

… and trying to get free from faults. Katya helped Matt remove the ribs before starting making chops. Sun was almost invisible now, tree shadows getting extremely long.

During dinner they noticed that it began to snow again.

- I double wrapped and mark the contents of each wrapper. Katya smiled at Matt.

- You mean like "steaks", "loin", "pot roast", etc.?

- Yes.

- Excellent!

- Oh … remember to rotate your wild game in the freezer so you eat the older meats first and the fresher meats last.

- Good idea!

- Duragrah Tyag

- Thinking thus, "Mine is not the truth …

- … but that which is truth is mine". Josh smiled at Khara, Dipping his piece of bread into a broth.

- The chemical element bromine has an atomic number of 35.

- If the society is not strong and disciplined, the nation also becomes weak.

- Is that …

- Marganusari Gun …

- In the year 35 AD Artaxias III, king of Armenia died.

- Jnanarjan

- One must attempt every day to acquire new knowledge.

- Life can become disciplined, orderly and progressive in proportion to the extent to which this foundation is strong and sound.

They listened to the howling sound of wind, checking on fire in the fire area.

- Every year, for 40 days, pro-life christfags protest in front of Planned Parenthood.

- And …? Paulo played with his spoon.

- Last month … it was … Saturday, April the 16th …

- … 2011 …

- … yes … was their second-to-last day of doing so until next year.

- And? …

- Seva Bhakti

- Rendering service to great men and benefactors.

- Well …, Adam cleared his throat, … me and my friend put on suits, ties, and masks and went with water bottles …

- … and bendy straws for us …

- … yes! And bendy straws too and … signs, eager to be written on.

- As a teenager in 17th-century France, Blaise Pascal seemed destined for mathematical greatness.

- Is this about number 35 and polyominoes again?

- The only reason this protest piqued my interest enough to crash was because I've heard that they were harassing an innocent, 15-year-old girl trying to get in. Adam swallowed, staring at Katya's breasts. This pisses me off!

- Trivarg Sadhan

- Trying to achieve the objectives of religiousness …

- Righteousness …

- Arth …

- … which is Money and …

- Kama …

- or … Desire.

After the dinner was over, Katya and Khara picked up dirty dishes again and made themselves busy in the kitchen. Matt was playing the guitar and Josh harmonica. Other two were either tapping on wood or whistling, enjoying themselves.

You mentioned Blaise Pascal earlier? They stopped playing, Matt still continuing in some soft accords.

Oh, yes. Well …, Adam made sound with his lips, … he wrote a genius-caliber treatise on geometry at age 16 and invented a rudimentary computer to assist the calculations of his tax-collector father. But …, they listened to Katya and Khara laugh their heads of for some reason, … as an adult …, Pascal was seduced by religion, forgoing math to produce a series of philosophical musings assembled …

Is this after his death?

Yes. Into a book called Pensées.

When did he die? He died at 39, leaving a legacy, in the words of the mathematician E. T. Bell, as "perhaps the greatest might-have-been in history."

They paused, waiting for Katya and Khara to join them, preparing "Merry Chain".

Desh Kal gnan

Thinking of place, time, and the perception.

The four horsemen of the Apocalypse are described in just eight verses of the book of Revelation, which is the last book in the Bible. They listened to Matt's soft melodies, enjoying themselves. The four horsemen appear when the Lamb …

That's Jesus?

Of course! Let him finish!

Take it easy, eh?

Lamb opens the first four seals of a scroll with seven seals …

… which is described in Revelation, Chapter 6.

Jesus! Khara frowned. Let the man finish!

As each of the first four seals are opened a different colored horse and its rider is seen by the apostle John as described in … help me out please …

Rev 6:1-8?

That's right!

Balabal Vichar

Estimating one's ability before plunging into any action. They enjoyed the scent, getting "high".

First seal is opened : a white horse appears, its rider held a bow …

… it's actually a conquest.

Let the man finish! Josh made sure fire was large enough to keep them warm. Katya took over her blouse.

I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, "Come!"

I looked …, Paulo frowned, Matt smiled at interruption, … and there before me was a white horse!

Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

They all laughed a bit, wind become more scarce.

Lok yatra

Co-operating in activities that bring about the welfare and development of society.

Second seal is opened : a red horse appears, its rider holds a sword …

… or war …

… or war …, Adam threw some bolts and lightnings at the "intruder" …

When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" …

Then another horse came out, a fiery red one.

Paropkar pravinta

Being benevolent to the helpless and the destitute.

Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword. Khara winked at Matt and he licked his lips in secret.

Third seal is opened: a black horse appears, its rider holds a pair of scales …

… or famine …

When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a black horse!

Lajja

Giving respect to elders, spiritual superiors, disciplined People and the virtuous.

Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.

Matt started a familiar tune and they stated to sing, clapping with their hands, eyes flashing, feeling "high" and "happy". Soon Matt finished the song with some theatrical guitar ending and they all clapped with their hands, Katya kissing Matt after he finished. They all "oooooh"-ed her. Fire was crackling pleasantly.

Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!"

Was that the third one?

Yes.

770 = 30 + 413 + 31 + 296.

?

Saumvata

Being always cheerful and being soft and sweet-tempered.

Fourth seal is opened : a pale horse appears, its rider is called Death.

When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!"

Sae - Mi Lahs …

770 = Sav = 400 + Lamid = 30 + Mem = 40 + Sin = 300

I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

They all kept quiet for a while, each pondering on its own thoughts.

I didn't get that about the number 770.

The Gematria for Kee - Vaw See - Ehl - Haw Aw Rehetze meaning "that I have arrived in the land" is 770.

Ah!

This Gematria is the proclamation of our arriving in Eretz Canaan. They all looked at Josh. It also is the Gematria for Sae - Mi Lahs, meaning, "garment" as in reference to the garment that Hashem covered us with and the garment that did not wear out in the BaMidbar!

So … we have the connection between our arriving in Eretz Canaan and the clothes that lasted 40 years during our existence in the BaMidbar in the Gematria of 770?

Exactly!

I just remembered something …, Katya's vision was blurred.

Go ahead …, Khara tossed her hair carelessly.

As part of the process of getting the law passed, one modern-day slavery victim, Florence Medlin, testified before California's legislature last year about her experience of being enslaved.

No kiddin'?

It's a true story! In the winter of 2001, she became a victim of slavery in the garment industry in Los Angeles. She was an easy target for a trafficker …

Why?

Because she was a desperate mother who had just lost her baby because she didn't have the money to take her to the hospital when she got sick.

Katya paused, Adam checked on the flare.

Ha!

What?

I just remembered my attempt to go 100 days without drinking a beer … or having a glass of wine …

And …?

It did not erase my tendencies to drink for the wrong reasons and it certainly did not give me any moral ground to stand on if I am ever indeed successful. Paulo grinned wildly. I just want to see if I can do it again.

Oh, c'mon now …

Matt yawned, Khara still checking on him in secret.

When Jesus was circumcised on the 8th day, did the nurse or doctors who performed the circumcision when holding the tiny Jesus penis and foreskin …, someone snorted, … did they think that they were circumcising The Christian God Almighty's penis?

No one made a comment. Josh laughed at his own words, feeling still "high" and "lite".

I'm tired …, Katya faked a yawn.

Me too …, Khara massaged her breasts, checking in secret some possible victim of her sexual desires.

All right …, Matt took of his t-shirt, … let's prepare beds then?

Next morning, Matt was up early, Adam joining him outside for some physical exercises.

Jainism …

What about it?

Well … one of the Acharyas has classified the directives into four groups - obligatory duties, derogations which ought to be discarded …

I know, I know …, Matt intercepted, still working out, trying to warm himself up on cold air, … virtues to be cultivated and …, he leaned forward, stretching his arms, … endeavors to be carried out with diligence.

There you go …

They continued to work out in silence, early birds singing.

During breakfast everyone seemed to be ready enough to challenge another day of their life.

How about ignorance?

You mean …, Khara played with her fork, mouth smeared from eggs, … of God perhaps?

Yes? Josh's mouthpiece slipped from his fork and he got angry on himself.

To what then does ignorance of God lead? I mean … we can always begin here, for this is where, as you will recall, we finished yesterday.

Did we? I though we were discussing … the riders? They ignored Josh's comment.

What does it lead to?

I believe I've already told you: despair.

I agree. Totally. Katya passed more pieces of hot toast around.

Now … why not explain how?

All right …, Paulo smacked with his lips, … imagine a man who decides to take stock of his way of life, who, …, there was a rifle shot outside, echoing through the woods, … unhappy in his sinful conduct, wants to reform and abandon his evil and carnal ways.

Ha, ha, ha, ha! Adam laughed, almost spilling tea from his mouth.

What?

Never mind, Adam waved with his hand to ignore him.

If he …, Adam excused himself and got up, shaking his head, … if he does not know how good God is, how kind and gentle, how willing to pardon, … will not his sensually-inspired reason argue with him and say: "What are you doing?" or … "Do you want to lose this life and the next?"

How about …, Khara added with her mouth full, giggling, … "Your sins are too grave and too many?"

Ha, ha, ha, ha! Katya agreed. Or … "Nothing that you do, even to stripping the skin from your flesh, can make satisfaction for them." She ended her speech with "masculine voice. Other laughed as well, enjoying morning's sun rays.

Or … "Your constitution is delicate, … you have lived softly, a lifetime's habits are not easily conquered." Khara excused herself, laughing, holding hand underneath her mouth, dripping contents all over the floor.

Right! Why not? Dismayed by these and similar arguments, the unhappy man quits the struggle, not knowing how easily God's omnipotent goodness could overthrow all these obstacles, since he wills that no man should perish. Yes! Instead …, Adam returned to the table the started to giggle and laugh again, moving away as if drugged, excusing himself, shaking head vigorously. Instead … there is final impenitence, … the greatest crime of all, an unforgivable blasphemy.

They listened to some logger's truck making its way up to the place of work.

Go ahead … it sure sounded interesting …

In his "agitation" …, sounds of knives and forks on plates, … he is either swallowed up by excessive sadness and lost in a deep depression from which he will never have the consolation of emerging, in accord with scripture's saying that …, Adam tried to stay serious, his face red, … the wicked man shows only contempt when caught in the midst of evils. Adam looked at Matt and had an inspiration for laughter again, rising up from the table for the zillionth time. Or … he will dissimulate, … flatter himself with false reasonings and, … as far as in him lies, … surrender irrevocably to the world, to find his pleasure and delight in what advantages it offers. Khara returned as well, trying to compose herself, staring at Adam in secret. Adam did not dare to approach the table yet. But … just when he believes that he has peace and security, misfortunes of all kinds will overwhelm him and he will not escape.

Ah! I see your point now … Thus despair … right?

Correct? Despair, the greatest evil of all, follows on ignorance of God.

They continued to eat in silence, Adam still shaking from uncontrollable laughter.

After a while they were strolling along the wood path, sunshine piercing through the evergreen, making them squint from time to time.

According to ancient Greek Mythology … Cyprus is the birth place of the goddesses of love and beauty, Aphrodite.

William Shakespeare's play Othello has Cyprus and Venice as its settings. The play starts when Turkey …

… you mean Ottoman Empire …

… that's right … it's still "Turkey" in a way … threatens Cyprus and the Senate of Venice charges … There was a sound as of some large animal.

… yes? Charges?

Did you hear that?

Probably some wounded bear.

Bear?

Go on …

Charges Othello to defend Cyprus and to become the new governor. Othello was a highly esteemed … There was repeated sound, only now it was even closer. There … again?

Oh, c'mon now … afraid of some … bears? Khara burst into laughter for no reason.

Continue … Othello

He was highly esteemed general in the service of Venice.

They listened to some more rifle shots and stopped, looking at each other. Matt produced a pistol and other winked at him. Since there were no more sounds of "danger" … they continued.

The mineral copper was named for the island of Cyprus, being a corruption of the name, for Cyprus means copper …

That's right! The copper mineral took its name from the Greek word "kyprios", of Cyprus, the location of ancient copper mines.

On Latin it is "cuprum".

And from the beginning of mining there, about 4000 BCE, Cyprus of furnished copper from its rich mines to the ancient Mediterranean world. The Old Testament name "Isles of Chittim" refers to Cyprus and to …, sounds of hound dogs, … the people who …, more rifle shots, … inhabited the island. Long before Rome held sway, copper ore and cast ingots were exported from the island Mavrovouni mine, near Lefka, held veins which were first mined about 3000 years ago. Some birds sprang into air in their vicinity. They became more watchful. By the middle of that century … Hiram II, King of Tyre, had a representative at Citium, and Phoenician merchant communities were soon established in other cities also, most notably at Tamassus, with its copper mines.

Perhaps the single outstanding event that occurred under the Roman control of Cyprus was during the reign of Claudius. In 45 AD, the great Christian authority, Paul, arrived on the island to practice and spread the faith. He and along with the apostle Barnabas, were highly influential in setting of Christian foundation on the island …

Cyprus?

Yes, Cyprus. And he even succeeded in a Christian 'first'. The Roman proconsul, Sergius Paulus, …, they listened as dogs were fighting with someone or something, … was apparently …, more rifle shots, … converted and has become recognized by scholars as the first Roman of noble birth to do so. By virtue of his position, he also must've been the first Christian governor of a Roman province …

… and probably of the whole world.

That's true …

Soon they were facing some hunters with dogs, bloody carcass of a bear in the middle. Some dogs barked and tried to sniff them out. After exchanging some greetings they learned that the bear was attacking local population and it was a "menace" as well … so it needed to be shot dead. By the professionals like hunters in front of them, of course. They managed to hide their sarcasm.

As they were leaving them, Josh has some prickling sensation on his back, almost as if expecting a bullet any time soon.

As of 1974 Cyprus's capital, Nicosia, is a divided city due to the Turkish invasion and occupation.

Copper …

Yes? Khara giggled, Adam joining her.

It is also koper and kupfar …

On Latin it is cuprum

… or Cyprium

On Greek it is Kyprios or … as we mentioned earlier … "Cyprus".

I think originally it was "copper," but this was extended to its alloy with tin …

You mean bronze …?

That's right! Matt and Josh noticed an airplane above them. And …, Airplane was flying low, almost as if taking some pictures, … as this was far more extensively used than pure copper, … the word's primary sense shifted to the alloy and a new word evolved for "copper," from … the Latin form of the name of the island of Cyprus, where copper was mined …

In Latin, aes was the common word for "cash, coin, debt, wages" in many figurative expressions.

And this has to do with …?

With those previous words … coper … kupar … koparr …

Oh, I see now! You add this and then …

That's right.

They listened to the birds, enjoying morning.

After finding a proper place for their picnic, they brought out their sandwiches, trying to accommodate as best as they could on the logs around.

Experts in historic buildings said Tuesday say they may have found in an old townhouse in the eastern German city of …

Erfurt?

That's right, Erfurt. Adam paused.

Yes? Found what? Katya eyed him.

The oldest domestic interior in continental Europe north of the Alps.

Oh, I know! The interiors located in a room of the first-floor of the house, called Steinernes Haus, has been kept intact since it was first erected in about 1250.

Ah! I remember now! Are the outlines of flowers still painted on the oak-beamed ceiling, and … and an original candle niche is still let into the thick plastered masonry walls of … of the eight-meter-square room?

That's right! My God … we've got enthusiasts here?

And …, Paulo swallowed, staring at some mountain peaks covered in snow, … the room has had a few coats of paint but almost nooo fix-up, because for centuries it was used to store grain. Katya winked at Matt in secret, Josh grinning at Paulo's accent.

That's right. Only the floor has rotted away in fact … it was replaced 20 years ago with concrete before the city of Erfurt realized the room's significance.

And Erfurt is …? Khara winked at Matt, sunshine getting into her eyes.

Oh, Erfurt is in former East Germany, … also soon to seek UNESCO recognition as a medieval Jewish centre.

Jewish centre? Mhmm … Khara wiped surplus mayo from her mouth, squinting.

Town records show a Jewish merchant owned Steinernes Haus in 1293. Erfurt's other Jewish buildings are an 11th- century synagogue and a mikvah ritual bath documented since 1248.

They continued to eat, listening to some loggers in the distance.

Menschikoff, Alexander Danilovitch, Russian soldier and statesman, … born in humble life at Moscow. Matt paused, catching remnants with his tongue. Became servant to Lefort, on whose death he succeeded him as favorite of …

Peter the Great? Adam opined blatantly.

That's right! Peter-the-Great. Matt winked at Katya. She ignored him. Peter the Great …, airplane flew over them again, …, whom he accompanied to Holland and England. He paused, swallowing. In the Swedish War …

… and that would be … wait! I used to know … oh … 1702 to 1713?

That's right. He …, woodpecker was carving some tree in the vicinity, … won renown, and was created field-marshal on the field of …

Pultowa perhaps? Everyone applauded to Katya and she bowed theatrically.

Pultowa. He was introduced to the Czar Catharine, afterwards czarina, …, Katya was nodding like a mule, … whom he captured at Marienburg, and when Peter died secured the throne for her. Matt winked at Katya and she giggled.

There's nothing in the name.

What do you mean?

Well … when looking over a list of men's names in a foreign language, … as of military officers or of authors who have written on a particular subject, … I realized that there is nothing in a name. The name Menschikoff, for instance, … has nothing in it to my ears more human than a whisker, and it may belong to a rat. Katya eyed Josh in a sinister way. As the names of the Poles and Russians are to us, so are ours to them. Khara stared towards Katya in secret. It is as if they had been named by the child's rigmarole - Iery-wiery ichery van, tittle-tol-tan. Josh burst into laughter, excusing himself. I see in my mind a herd of wild creatures swarming over the earth, … no offence to anyone …, Katya felt instantly better, … and to each the herdsman has affixed some barbarous sound in his own dialect. The names of men are of course as cheap and meaningless as Bose and Tray, the names of dogs.

Most of them finished their easy lunch, looking around, enjoying sunshine with no wind around.

If there was no snow … it would have been much more enjoyable …

Hey, what about your "40 days of life"?

Well … I went mostly to counteract their damage. I wasn't planning on engaging them in conversation at all, as I generally find that it only ends up making me upset, and nothing changes. But when I showed up and walked over a woman came up to me and asked if I was there for 40 days of life.

Ha, ha, ha, ha! You're frogging us, right?

Actually, no. I guess I felt like ... she asked for it.

Ha, ha, ha, ha! Matt rose up.

So I looked at her puzzled and said "What? Of course not." Katya and Khara joined with some simmering. She seemed obviously bothered by my response and she walked over to the rest of the protesters. I felt kind of bad for giving her a terse response without an explanation so I walked over and offered an apology, and then asked if I could talk to her.

And … then? Khara got interested immediately.

So we sat on the curb and I just calmly told her that I couldn't help but wonder why she feels like she's doing something good. So she first brought up "God" and the "Bible". I didn't really feel like arguing specifics in the Bible …, sounds of dogs again, … it simply would not help, so I just suggested that she accept the fact that since the Bible reflects only one of many different religious viewpoints in the world and could potentially be wrong. Josh winked at Katya. She reluctantly agreed that there is a small possibility. So then I asked, without the Christian belief set, do you still think you're doing something helpful?

They picked up their trash and continued on the path.

And … then?

Well … she was quiet for a bit, and then mentioned suicide rates …

Suggesting …? Josh grinned.

Suggesting that abortion is ruining women's lives. Matt broke into laughter again.

Ha, ha, ha, ha! Get out of here!

And …, Khara pursued.

So I asked her, … how many women she saw this morning walk into Planet Parenthood with a boyfriend or a partner, … or a friend or … or a parent. He looked around. The answer was small, … maybe one. I explained that many times, women come here because it's the only place offering them support and information without bias, and many times their families or friends will have similar viewpoints to yours and disapprove. So …, Matt was almost rolling on the snowy ground from the laughter attack, … they come to the one place that will offer them support and they first have to walk by a group of strangers calling them murderers. I said …, ha, ha, ha, …, Matt looked like some dog, acting "dead" on the snow, … so I said that after all that hatred being thrown at me, I'd be a suicide risk too.

After a while they exposed themselves on a clearing, splendid view stretching for miles around. Moon was visible on the sky.

Does anyone know when will be the next "alignment" of the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Cruithne and Mars perhaps?

I've never heard of that one before Mars …

Cruithne? It's not actually a planet it's more like …

… an asteroid? Adam offered.

That's right! An asteroid.

Like a "knotted rope" …

What?

That "alignment" of yours …

Anyone? Others kept silent. There was no answer.

They enjoyed the view, some soft breeze coming from the west.

During dinner time, as they were enjoying spaghetti, another spontaneous conversation developed.

Adam … tell us more about your school.

You're working in school? Josh grinned, looking at Adam.

Didn't you know? Khara winked in secret at Matt.

Go ahead, young man …, Katya's voice changed into a deeper tone, imitating some masculine form.

Well … in our Religious School, we begin teaching Hebrew in kindergarten using developmentally appropriate activities within the curriculum. Matt's eyes flashed for a moment. In the 4th grade through 6th grade, … our Hebrew program moves into high gear with a two-day-a-week integrated program. Within this program, it helps our students get properly prepared for the challenge of becoming a B'nai Mitzvah and then continuing on to our Snay Teen Academy where our teens get the opportunity of choice of study that further engages them in learning and developing their Jewish identity. Adam paused, staring in secret at Katya's tits. Their last year of Snay Teen Academy, they will have the opportunity to work with the Rabbi for one year of intense study before becoming confirmed.

I heard there used to be some "inner" misunderstandings among the Jews? There was a slight tension, sound of plates, forks and knives becoming more distinctive.

What … what exactly do you mean?

You know …, Paulo swallowed, feeling suddenly as if exposed under the great light, … the Karaites and the Rabbinites …?

Oh … Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! They watched Adam laugh. That's … that's entirely different "area" if you know what I mean … He paused while the others still expected "some" kind of explanation. The readiness with which vows were made and the facility with which they were annulled by the scribes gave the Karaites an opportunity to attack the Rabbinites, and forced the Geonim to minimize the power of dispensation.

Geonim … isn't that the ancient times of …

I know! Everyone looked at Josh, his heart thumping wild, eyes glistening with excitement. The rise of Islam changed the history of the world and had a profound effect upon the Jewish people. He was staring at his plate as if worried. Most of the Jews of that time …, he grinned at Adam, then looked around, … in the seventh century, … lived in Babylonia and the Land of Israel.

That's right! In fact … Yehudai Gaon of Sura …

… and that's … eight century BC perhaps?

Year of 760 to be precise, … Yehudai … author of the "Halakot Pesuḳot," went so far as to forbid any study whatsoever of Nedarim, the Talmudic treatise on oaths …

Alfasi on Nedarim?

That's right! Everyone laughed at his "lucky guess". Thus the "Kol Nidre" was discredited in both of the Babylonian academies and was not accepted by them …

Wait! Let me guess … "Ḳebuẓat … Ḥakamim"? … Warnheim, … 1862?

1861. You were close, though … Everyone started to laugh even more nervously, trying to overcome slight tension that developed spontaneously. As is affirmed by the geonim Naṭronai … years would be … 853 to 856 … and Hai Bar Naḥshon ….

Müller?

That's right.

They continued to eat in silence, listening to some soft wind and some dogs barking at the moon.

Where were we? Josh looked around, giggling.

Amram Gaon in his "Siddur" … calls the custom of reciting the "Kol Nidre" a foolish one …

Wait! It's … "min … minhag … sh … shet … minhag sheṭut"?

EXCELLENT! Other applauded immediately, throwing some cheering along the way.

Well … according to Naṭronai, however, it was customary to recite the formula in various lands of the Jewish dispersion, and it is clear likewise from Amram's "Siddur" that the usage was wide-spread as early as his time in Spain. Adam paused, staring outside, feeling suddenly lonely and afraid. But … the "geonic practice" of not reciting the "Kol Nidre" was long prevalent. He chewed on minced meat, sipping some wine as well, Matt's eyes checking on him in secret. It has never been adopted in the Catalonian or in the Algerian ritual. He paused, looking around as if the matter was grave. And there were always many congregations in lands where the "Provençal" and Spanish ritual was used which did not recite it …

"Orḥot … Ḥayyim"?

EXCELLENT! Adam could not believe his ears and was fascinated almost immediately.

What does it say though?

Oh … it is said …, Adam paused, his fork still filled with wrapped up spaghetti, … "There are some congregations which usually recite the 'Kol Nidre' on the Day of Atonement".

They continued to eat in silence, soft jazz in the background making the atmosphere "lullable".

Strange …

What?

That number … 760 …

What about it?

Well …, Matt looked aside, wiping his mouth with a napkin, … the British resistance to immigration after 1939 was dramatically illustrated in 1941 by the loss of the ship named Struma with EXACTLY 760 Jewish passengers, a tragedy that was …, he exhaled, playing with a toothpick, … entirely caused by British authorities' unmitigated enforcement of their … policy …, he leaned back, eyeing quickly Adam, … against the "illegal" Jewish immigrants fleeing from Hitler's war against them.

Another silent stance. Katya helping Khara with the empty dishes. Adam was still eating, feeling slightly "guilty" for being … "slow" …

A coincidence … nothing more …, Josh concluded, noticing a calendar on the wall.

Katya and Khara returned to the table this time, not meddling with the dishes. Their gesture resembled some "secret congregation" or perhaps even "alien abduction" of their bodies …

What about number "770"?

What about it?

Well …, Adam cleared his throat, finishing his meal, … we know the year 5770 is a special year for redemption, not just because of the cute thing that 770 happens to be symbol of Lubavitch and the Lubavitcher Rebbe …, he winked at Katya unconsciously, … King Moshiach … and please don't take that statement at face value! …, he giggled but stayed lonely in that, … 770 is also a very important structure in Kabbalah …, his eyes flashed for a moment as he leaned back, … which is epitomized by the sefirah of "Hod". Matt's eyes flashed for a moment. This is why it's so fitting that today's "Thanksgiving", which is the non-Jewish term for Hod, …

What about it? Matt's voice sounded almost metallic.

Well … the term for "Thanksgiving" and the beginning of Divine service to give thanks to Hashem for the good that He has bestowed … upon us. Adam glanced at Katya's breasts in secret again.

I don't get it though …, Katya played with a toothpick, placing her feet underneath herself on the chair, … why is this day such a special day for revelation?

Well … to start off the answer …, Adam cleared his throat, Paulo adding more wine to his glass, … before we look at the sefirah of Hod, … let's take a look at the concept of 770. He winked at Josh. It's a very special number as we all know. Matt had a puzzled face, grinning in secret. 770 is the eighth century, and …, he drank more wine, … we started the eighth decade in this eighth century. Why? Adam leaned back with a "thump". Because we're in the year 770, … which is going up to 800, which means that we are in the eighth century of the sixth millennium, which corresponds to …

Yesod?

That's right. Within that "eighth century", … we started a new decade … the eighth decade. In short, …, Adam noticed some nervous movements around him, … we are holding in the "eighth of the eighth".

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

What?

Nothing… you remind of Ryan sometimes …

They listened to the tap water dripping in the background, dirty dishes waiting for "someone" …

Now that you started … Everyone looked at Matt. The eighth "sefira", … from the top down, starting from Keter, … is Hod. Adam made a slow nod, feeling ridiculous since Matt just repeated what he said previously. We are holding "Hod of Hod".

That's what I meant! "Eight of eight"?

That's right. Matt looked around. This is the sefirotic representation for this time period. He made some "smacking" like sounds with his mouth.

Well … we're actually teaching a little bit of how to look at the cycles of time from a "Kabbalistic perspective", …, Adam interposed carefully, … which is a model of looking at creation within sequences. He paused, waiting for someone to add something. They kept quiet, feeling full in their stomachs. We are looking at it as time representing "sefirotic" rectifications. Khara giggled in secret, winking at Katya. Katya raised her eye brow not understanding the "connotation". Within that, … the year 770 represents the very beginning of a ten year process of the rectification of this attribute of … Hod sheh b'Hod, …, Adam glanced at Matt, … the "eighth sefira of the eighth sefira".

Music switched itself to some "swing" jazz in the background.

Does anyone know the approximate date of this next "planetary alignment" perhaps?

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

What?

Nothing … you remind of a girl I know from the Congregation "Dor Tamid".

Dor Tamid?

That's right.

They still sat as if waiting for some special event to take place.

Well?

Well … what?

Does anyone KNOW when is this "next knotted rope" event?

With or … without Cruithne? Paulo coquetted with Katya.

With … please …

Ah …

Another pause.

So … you don't …

On the next … Tish'a B'Av perhaps?

Ha, ha, ha. Very funny. Katya winked at Khara and they went to wash the dishes.

Matt got up lazily and took his guitar. Others joined him in the "living area" of the log cabin.

Monomino … Domino …, Matt started to full around with some improvised lyrics, looking at the crucifix on the wall, … Triomino …, Josh started to laugh.

Pentomino? Adam offered shyly.

… and … hexomino …, Paulo added following the rhythm.

Them Matt suddenly switched to a fast rhythm and they went wild, girls laughing their heads off from the kitchen, their hands all soapy and wet.