Stephen Berer
the Eternal Jew's biographer

The Eternal Jew’s Tale, #87, A Lost Lamb

Miriam/Mariam; image colorized and modified by the author, obtained from Wikimedia Commons -- Ophelia, by Arthur Hughes -- in the public domain.
Miriam/Mariam; image colorized and modified by the author, obtained from Wikimedia Commons -- Ophelia, by Arthur Hughes -- in the public domain.

In this episode, we see how facts all come with a point of view.

The Eternal Jew’s Tale
Fourteenth Era, Part 21, ~1190 C.E., Mtskheta
A Psycho-analytic Interlude, 1b

…There was a child, a favorite of the local priest, a lamb-eyed girl, curly her hair who took the wafer and chirped with psalms; sweet her smiles and girlish wiles. And who can tell what thoughts prevailed in his fraught and fervent mannish feelings, as father or suitor or despoiler, or all.

And this he writ for the prosecutor…

Deposition to the Ecclesial Court:

To this court of Christ from a man of Christ: This dear young girl, this Mariam, this flower grown in a troubled plot, soil tramped by filthy beasts. Her father worked in a tannery owned by a Jew, a viper’s nest. And there they poisoned her innocent heart, and stole her out of the bosom of Christ. Baited, seduced, tangled her in to their synagogue of Satan, eternal sin, where the light of Jesus cannot penetrate. And this we know is a capital crime. Bound and naked they baptized her in the blood of a goat while the elders leered. Then brought her up to their devil’s Ark and married her to a demon child. Though raped and abused perpetually she finally escaped, pursued and mauled by their men who entered the bodies of dogs. Rape and blackest magic too, Yea, these and other capital crimes this child suffered in the Jew’s maw. Thus she threw herself from a bridge and drowned in the river. God save her soul. Sworn and sealed before our Lor by Holy Father, Cristome Tammay.

Deposition of the Chief Rav:

To the Honorable Bishops and Reverends. This child we know as Miriam, a tanner’s daughter, him, Mordokh, a Christian man, trustful and good. He works in a kosher tannery, and there in fear and trembling secretly confessed his mother is a Jew, and he inclined to return to his folk. His daughter, too, though raised in the church, devoted herself to Moses’ Law. Having come of age, with her father’s consent she sought to betroth the foreman’s son. That foreman and son were quick to agree, seeing these children were goodly and kind. But the child’s confessor demanded the girl be taken by force and against her will, as she be Christian by law and by God. One night he came with men of arms, smashing the door of Mordokh’s house, mutilating his tender son, and trying to capture our Miriam. She fled in terror, and as they neared, she threw herself from a bridge and drowned. Many a neighbor, Christian and Jew witnessed this awful tragedy. Their signs below, one and all, and some will stand your cross exam. This my testimony hereby sworn, I, rabbi and butcher, Resh, of the eighth generation in Georgia’s lands.

Things Unsaid in the Priest’s Report:
1. The priest was served a reprimand for failure of duty by his church.
2. Hour and day Tammay paced the streets searching for Mariam’s where-abouts, and finding her in our Jewish street many a time he accosted her.
3. Mariam confessed to father and son, the priest had touched her privily and great her shame in flood of tears.
4. Others say that priest cursed Mariam as a wicked whore. Still others say he spake of her as Magdalene who washed his feet. And others still, as a prodigal yet to return to the love of Christ.

This case of many layered feelings I offer you as evidence.


In the next episode, one more case to show that emotions shape our thoughts and guide our steps unknowingly.

About the Author
I am a writer, educator, artist, and artisan. My poetry is devoted to composing long narrative poems that explore the clash between the real and the ideal, in the lives of historical figures and people I have known. Some of the titles of my books are: The Song uv Elmallahz Kumming A Pilgimmage tu Jerusalem The Pardaes Dokkumen The Atternen Juez Talen You can listen to podcasts of my Eternal Jew posts on my personal blog, Textures and Shadows, which can be found on my website, or directly, at: I live just outside Washington, DC with my bashert, and we have two remarkable sons. Those three light my life.
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