He wrote the words, “My mother is a pure woman.” He looked up at this other woman standing in their midst.

She was the wisest woman he had ever known. His father worked with his hands all day, and she had taught him to read and write. He loved words, and when at play would draw the letters in the mud, sand or dust. Sometimes he would dip his finger in the water first, allowing the letter to darken and keep form. 

She would sometimes see him at this, and would guide his little hand to keep the lines straight. She was a completely pure woman, and shone for him as if the moon had gifted her its light, and a pale fire now moved about them in the desert. But there had been a time when rumors had hounded her, though he had been too little to hear or understand.  Because she was his mother, he loved all women, no matter how faint the light of purity shone in them.

The crowd edged closer, hectoring him to reply, and curious to see his work. He looked up again at the woman now before him, and stood.

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

He knelt again and wiped away the letters. He began to write again, and the crowd watched him. This time he wrote the words upside down and backwards, so they could see and understand, all the while never breaking eye contact with them.

“Mene Mene Tekel.”







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