Thursday, November 20, 2014

Numbers: Chapter 29

An arc from many to one

countdown to closing

Back to the promise 
of the every day

(For full chapter, click here
This chapter is a direct continuation of the last, completing the detailed list of the offerings for the "appointed seasons of Meeting." Here, we focus on the clustered  holidays of the "seventh month" (commonly known as the High Holy Days). Once again, there is a repeated refrain of the basic beat of the quotidian. Whatever the offering, it is always in "addition to the 'always' offering". 
The structure is highlighted here, with the opening festival on the new moon. A double beat of the ordinary underlying the start of the holiday season: "beside the offering of the new moon...and the always offering."
The structure then takes a sine-curve of growing intensity echoing the moon's wax and wane. At the full moon, we reach the apex of 13 offerings to  "celebrate the festival" of the first day of Succot. From there begins a slow waning to 12, 11, 10... until we reach the single offering of the "eighth day"--the final, extra festival that eases back into the day-to-day pattern of "your vows and free-will offerings."
The canon-like literary structure, with its repetitive pattern of naming the day, and then detailing its steadily declining offerings, echoes the pattern of the "times of Meeting": the careful confluence of repetition and change, the steady beat of "always" with the shifting melody line of appointed days.]

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