Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Feb. 12 "What Ballam's Ass Said, and What the Women Answered

Next meeting:  February 12

3:00 at International House

Unitarian Barbara Beach (joined by her husband Kim): "What Balaam’s Ass Said, and What the Women Answered”

Kim will speak briefly about "Balaam’s  Ass" work he has been doing.  Barbara will talk about her February activities(and about Unitarians)  in the Philippines (primarily in Negros) as well as about  the forthcoming gathering of Unitarian women in Romania (Transylvania) in October. Barbara after a career in business and consulting has become the president and powerhouse behind the International Convocation of UU Women which seeks to more efficiently (especially thru the internet) link up women's social activism and insights to empower women across the globe. She was the dynamic keynote speaker at the International Ass of Liberal Religious Women in Kerala, India in September 2010.  

Peggy Kanada, moderator


PS  Your moderator had to reread about Balaam.  

While not wishing to spoil the intriguing title and their presentation here is a little background. Although there are several interpretations of the story of 'Balaam and his Ass [or Donkey]' found in the Old Testament/Torah (Bk of Numbers) it is told that Balaam is an evil non-Israelite diviner [some scholars say with possible links to Zoroastrianism]  who  attempts to curse the Israelites but Yaweh (God of Israel)  instead puts blessings/affirmations in his mouth making him nearly as famous a prophet as Moses.

In this episode--greedy Balaam (riding his ass) is on his way to collude with another tribal king to hurt the Israelites when angry God sends his Angel to stop him. At first only the donkey can see the Angel [truth] and refuses to go forward. Balaam beats it mercilessly. The ass is given divine power to speak [power of truth] about the Angel's sword about to cut them down and suddenly Balaam can now see the Angel who tells him it was only thanks to his ass's hesitation that he was not killed.  Balaam repents for the moment. 

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