Stoker—244–Winds of Change

Heather

Mother, knitter, spinner, writer, wife, weaver, host...not necessarily in that order...

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7 Responses

  1. Kate says:

    Still listening to the initial commentary on the episode, but Renee seems seriously confused about Jewish/Biblical ritual impurity, although she may well be right about the Christian interpretations relevant. For a start she has conflated several very different types and levels of impurity, most of which have NOTHING to do with breaking a commandment, which in itself is not the same as the Christian concept of sin. Impurity really only means that the person cannot enter certain areas of the Temple, apart from menstrual impurity, which also temporarily physically separates husband and wife, but does not affect any other relationship.

    Modern Jewish practice in these matters is absolutely in an unbroken tradition from Biblical times, although obviously we cannot fulfil various aspects specifically related to the Temple. Being ill in the normal way does not make one impure, although there are some types whose symptoms are physical/medical, eg tzara’at and zav. Eating non-kosher food (which doesn’t need to be ‘declared’ in either way – it is or it isn’t) is a prohibition, but I’ve seen no source suggesting it makes one impure. As you (Heather) point out, it is mikva/ritual immersion which removes impurity in the case of menstruation, and, in fact, most other types, and for that it is not necessary to go before a Rabbi, although one may be consulted in case of a question. Only a few very certain types of the most severe category of impurity can be spread from one person to another (eg by touch), that is, NOT most of them. Certain types of blood loss (eg menstruation) can make one impure, but just getting a cut does not.

    • Kate says:

      Oh, a scar doesn’t make one impure either. It might (depending on its type and severity) stop a Cohen (priest) fulfilling specific roles in the Temple, but it wouldn’t make even them impure.

  2. Sarah Mitchell says:

    I thought the discussion about euthanasia was very thought-provoking. I have listened twice now and both times I heard the euthanasia statement of Seward’s as a comment on the word only. I thought he was perhaps saying that the term “euthanasia” was gentler and easier to ponder than “stake,” “behead,” “murder,” or even “kill.” Perhaps it was less painful to think of euthanizing Mina than killing her.

    Anyway, your comments on euthanasia really made me think. Thanks, Heather! I adore this podcast.

    • Heather says:

      I think you’re right. It’s certainly a word that carries weight, though. Even back then. It’s interesting that Stoker used it!

  3. Christine Guest says:

    While very few of us will ever have a vampire bitten companion to kill if necessary, we are all going to die, and have lots of sick relatives to visit.

    Here are some podcasts that can help with the distinctions between euthanasia and avoiding onerous treatments (I do think there is a distinction).
    http://cbhd.org/category/issues/end-life

    The sound quality can be iffy, but boy can these people make you think!

    • Heather says:

      Thank you for the link!
      It seems we can all use a little support when thinking through the trickier aspects of the topic. I know until we were with my Grandfather in the Hospice it was all rather academic.

    • Heather says:

      Thank you for sharing that link, Christine! It’s so so so important to understand that difference—and to respect it.
      Thank you!