The Children of Abraham By David Grebow
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Rated "G" by the Author.
They knew death was coming, much sooner than any of them had expected. Huddled in their shaking tents, listening to the wind howl, understanding what the nomads called “Kitab Al Azif “, as the wall of sand, deeper and darker than anything you could call a storm, descended upon them…
And when it was done, there was only one. And he was to find the Great Secret hidden from the world for over 2,000 years.
The Children of Abraham
They knew death was coming, much sooner than any of them had expected. Huddled in their shaking tents, listening to the wind howl, understanding what the nomads called “Kitab Al Azif“, as the wall of sand, deeper and darker than anything you could call a storm, descended upon them…
And when it was done, there was only one.
He entered the old man’s tent and sat on the cushions again. They had added more since his last visit, when he most ungracefully plopped into his so-called seat. It was a Bedouin style tent, with colorful, sand dusted old rugs covering the floor, mounds of tasseled pillows in bright silks and brocades carefully arranged in a circle near the center post. And in the middle of it all was the ornately carved shining brass tray, steaming with the ever present brass tea set. Filling the tent with a hint of jasmine.
“May Allah be with you.” intoned the old man in a voice just above a whisper
“En’s Allah as well.” Jacques warmly replied.
He had grown fond of the old man and his spotless white robes. They had saved him from the storm. Everyone was gone. There was no one to share this with except those who were here. He looked past the old man, through the open tent flap. Though the ever present mist of fine blown sand, watching the sun darkened children play hide and seek among the numerous date palms. He looked hard at their mothers and fathers, trying to understand how this was possible, how it had been kept from the world for so long.To someone who had not been looking for them, who had not learned the truth, it would appear to be but another normal day.
“You still do not believe it” asked the old man softly. His name was Ibn Bin Azar. He meant The Shepard.
“I am trying. But it is difficult” said Jacques. “I just see children and parents. I was looking for something else I guess, something… special.” He paused.“They just seem like children and parents anywhere.”
“They are both. They are children and parents. And,” he added quickly,” they are the sons and daughters of Allah.”
“We thought it was another myth, another desert story until we found you.” His smile faded as he remembered there was no one left but himself.
“You did not find us, we found you. No one ever finds us. And those who know what we are, have carefully guarded us and our secret for over a thousand years.”
He looked at Jacques carefully. He had been washed and dressed, and his bruises were healing. He would want to leave soon.“As you must do if you are to ever leave.” he added,smiling, in a tone more a statement than threat.
He looked again, this time scanning their features, the color of their clothes, their hair, trying to see their eyes again. It was the eyes that held him when he first awoke in his tent, eyes that were clear and beautiful light blue. Not the dark eyes of the desert people.
A young child of six or seven suddenly ran into the tent. Jacques stared in astonishment as he ran to The Shepard, threw his small arms around the old man’s neck, whispered something in his ear and began to run out.
“Joseph” called the old man “we have a guest, where are you manners.” He said softly. There was no hint of reproach, only a teacher reminding a student of a lesson.
“Sorry,” the boy said,skidding to halt by the opening. He turned towards Jacques, his blue eyes made even bluer by the darkness of his skin. “Peace be with you,” he added quickly, and continued to run outside.
Jacques laughed. The child spoke so quickly it had sounded like ‘peas be with you’. He turned back to the old man who was smiling, his teeth white and almost perfect, almost laughing, his eyes laughing for him.
“And that is our greatest secret. One that is stranger than even the Children of Allah.”
“Who was that?” asked Jacques.
“That was Joseph.”
“Not an Arab name or child. He was a Jew?”
“As was his father and mother. You have perhaps heard of Timothy?”
“Timothy, the brother of Christ?”
“So you believe that Mary had other children.” He said not so much a question as a fact.
“Yes. Many believe that Mary and Joseph had several other children including Christ.”
“Do you think Christ has any children?” the old man asked and his smile told the answer.
The wind stopped outside and Jacques turned to look at the children playing.
“Wait,” he said turning back to face the old man, “You’re trying to tell me that Jesus had children and they are here as well? Out there, playing with the Children of Allah?”
The old man paused to take a sip of tea.
“It is beautiful to watch, yes? The Children of Allah and the Children of Jesus. Playing together. Like their mothers and fathers before them, for hundreds of years.
The old man leaned forward and lowered his voice even more.
“I will tell you the story. Jesus was a young man who had come of age. After his barmitzpha, he, like all good young Jewish men married, and lived in Jerusalem, practicing his trade as a carpenter. He had two sons and a daughter.
His wife was named Sarah. His sons were named Abraham and Jacob, and his daughter was named Sarah after her mother. According to your church and their Gospel, this all happened during his nineteen years wandering alone in the desert.”
The old man smiled and took another sip of tea .”In a sense, as the Son of God, he did disappear.”
“’When the early church formed, Peter and John decided that it would be too difficult to explain how Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God, could have a wife and children. So they sent paid assassins, Arabs, to kill them. Romans to kill Jesus, Arabs to kill his children. It was very neat when you think about it. There was only one problem.”
He paused again, and began to lift the cup and stopped.
“The Arabs could not find the family,” He added. “We did. And they joined the Children of Allah. So what you see are not only the Children of Allah, but the Children of Jesus as well.”
Jacques was speechless. He stared at the children playing outside.
“Have you told them? Do they know?”
“Only that their greatest of grandfathers were special and tried to help the world live in peace and love. They do not know that they were used to create two of the greatest religions on the planet and that they have been responsible for more death and destruction in the name of their fathers than they could ever imagine. No. They do not know.”
“What would happen,” he almost whispered to himself, “if the world knew?”
The old man barked a short laugh. “Oh the world knows, or the few people who have seized the opportunity to control the churches and the mosques. They have always known, and always sought us. That is why we are constantly moving. Just another Bedouin tribe. There are even records, old scrolls and parchments, locked away.”
“Where” asked Jacques, mentally taking note.
“ In the darkest recesses of The Vatican, a place known only to La Società Della Chiave, The Society of the Key. The keeper of the key is The Pope himself, always worn around his neck on a leather cord. And there are others of the order as well, a few Priests, Bishops, even an Archbishop, who have sworn a sacred oath to protect the living secret. And more.”
“What do you mean by more?”
“To bury the living secret here in the desert forever and destroy the key.” The old man’s voice was unchanged, yet his eyes were filled with determination and anger. “That will never happen. We also have powerful friends.”
Jacques sat there trying to take it all in. The trek through the desert, the storm that came from nowhere, like a rogue wave at sea, burying all his friends. All of them gone. Now this. “Can you imagine what would happen if the world knew? If those documents were made public?”
“They will never see the light of day. Even if one could find and get them out of that locked room, one would be killed. Even if one was not killed, they have the power. They would make sure no one believed the story or the person. Then they would be killed. Either way, some secrets are too dangerous for the world.”
“I cannot imagine a secret that would be too dangerous,” replied Jacques.
The old man smiled and was quiet for a few moments. Then he spoke in a tone so serious that even Jacques was taken aback.
“Since you will be gone soon, and will never find us again, and since no one in the world will believe you, and even if they did you would be killed, I will tell you what we call “Enmduranki “. It relates to the Book of Enoch or The First Secrets.”
Jacques could not take his eyes off the old man as he signaled for all the others to leave and secure the tent flaps.
“I will tell you what we found one day. It was shortly after discovering the scrolls and finding the children … the children then, now the great, many times great, grandfather’s of these children you see playing here today.
We found a single scrap of sheepskin parchment sealed in an amphora, the oldest we had ever seen. It was written in a tongue none of us, scholars or students, had ever seen. It took us many years to decipher.”
“What was the language,” Jacques whispered.
“It was a language no one has or will ever hear. It preceded Aramaic by a thousand years. It was probably never meant to be spoken. It was the secret written language of the first priests.”
“In the beginning … let there be light,” Jacques whispered to himself, sounding as hoarse as the day they found him.
“Yes,” added the old man, “In the beginning … there are many beginnings that have been passed down to us. In the beginning the Torah written in black fire on white fire, in the lap of God, and in the beginning was the heavens and the many earths and in the beginning were the Seraphim and so on … there was even darkness and then light in the beginning, according to the vulgate version of which you speak. Only those words had nothing to do with the original Torah or any other book from God. What we found was the real beginning of the Breetah, what you call The Book of Genesis”
“What did it say?”
“Something you will never hear as part of any of the holy books. It said, very simply, that God hated the Human Spirit so much that he created Death, eternal death. And to make us appreciate how awful was his gift, he would grant each of us, each human spirit, a moment of Life.”
Nothing was said for what seemed an eternity to Jacques. It would be months before his mind could grasp the meaning of the words and years before he even dared believe them.
“”I don’t believe it,” he said. “ How can you prove this was from the first language and the first priest, we don’t even know who that was.” he added more forcefully. His mind was fighting and reeling from the words the old man spoke.
“Oh, we know who wrote it. Those of us who finally deciphered the language, we saw the beginnings of Aramaic and earliest Hebrew of the 6th century Jewish common people in the text. And we finally figured out the name of the person who wrote them.”
“So in the beginning was death …” said Jacques more to himself than anyone.
“Yes, and the great gift we received was Life.” Said the old man with a sad smile
The old man’s eyes took on faraway look.
“The text was written by one who called himself Abu-ramu.” he simply said.
“Abu-ramu “repeated Jacques “Abu-ramu is Assyrian for … Abraham”
“Yes, Abraham, the first patriarch, the first priest of God, at the headwaters of all the great western religions we have today.”
The noise from outside then tent invaded the quiet and the old man looked up to see two of the children standing in the entranceway.
“Grandfather” the blue-eyed one spoke first. “We are preparing to leave.”
“Thank you Joseph”, he spoke. “I’ll be with you soon.”
He turned towards his guest and said “Well, we are moving, and you must leave. We will make sure you reach the nearest Oasis and have everything you need to get there. When you arrive, give them this and they will help you return to your …civilization.”
He smiled as he handed Jacques a small piece of parchment sealed with a purple colored wax with an intricate symbol he had never seen before. He looked at it as the old man spoke.
“It is the mark of our tribe. It is the imprint of my ring.” He said holding his hand out for Jacques to see the ring. “The Bedouins who see it will understand. There are circles within circles, protecting us from the world. They will also take it from you so no one else sees it.”
They stood as if it had been any day and said their goodbyes. As the camel they provided rode away, seeming to steadily follow a hidden track in the desert, Jacques turned to look and saw noting but dunes and blowing sand.
Nothing but sand, and the purple seal on the old parchment held in his hand.