The Book of Job
January 1, 1970Dear Readers,
We are, first of all, readers, and for anyone who is interested I frequently update a “widget” on my Web site (http://jeknowles.com) showing the books I am reading, with links to independent bookstores. For what seems like a very long time, I have been reading the books of the Old Testament, and what takes me so long is that I only keep up with my Hebrew by reading a few lines a day, painstakingly, with dictionary to hand. It’s a useful habit, and one I’m grateful was suggested to me in 1997 when I completed my course—but as you can see, it’s now 2010 and I’m still working my way through! (Cousin Adam was impressed, in 1997, to see how far I’d gotten in the Hebrew Bible, only to realize that Hebrew is read right to left and so I’d actually barely begun...)
Anyway, today I finished Job. “The patience of Job,” a most unfortunate choice of words, is what has passed into our language; but what Job is known for is suffering incredibly, in spite of the fact that he had done everything right. It’s a classic problem, and the book gives no easy answers. A professor of mine at the University of Chicago, whose field was experimental psychology but whose passion was the tough books of the Hebrew Bible, taught a whole class just on Job and Ecclesiastes. I wish I could share with you all the wisdom and insight Howard Moltz gave his students on Job’s steadfastness, and how Job was rewarded for talking back to an unfair God. Sadly, Mr. Moltz has gone on to the great academic symposium in the sky. And I hope it is a little bit like that, because death and unfair suffering do seem to cut a wide swath through our lives, more at some times than others.
In the interest of doing something against this, on Sunday, 3 October, I’ll be running my first 10K on behalf of Cancer Research UK (http://www.run10ksponsorme.org/jacquiknowles). Not in my author capacity, but as a daughter-in-law, and friend...
Thank you, as always, for reading.