God, omniscient, comprehends all tongues, but the official language of the celestial court is Hebrew, and unfortunately the angels are monolingual (or, it may be, if they do have knowledge of foreign languages they choose to ignore communications addressed in them.)
Jewish Magic and Superstition
THIS SI MY NEW FAVORITE ANGEL FACT,,,,, IM DYING, angels why are u so snobbish
Tonight I got to go to the San Francisco Arcanum Unbounded signing with the magnificent Sebastian @flowercrownsandshardblades and the lovely Silver @valkyriesneverdie (btw, Silver, when I finally got to get my book signed he had that super cute Shallan you gave him propped up on the table and I was like ah yes Silver did an art)
I don’t know if a video of the q&a etc has been posted yet (probably not! I like, just got home practically!), but I did get to ask a question!
I actually wrote myself out a script beforehand because otherwise I knew I’d forget what I wanted to say, it reads: The fact that Vorinism was partially inspired by Judaism and Jewish mysticism means a ton to me, a Jew. So that you so much for that! It’s not often that my people get fantasy representation other than, like, dwarves, and that’s all stereotypes. On that note, could you please elaborate on some of the specific influences Judaism had on Vorinism?
This is definitely not an exact transcription, and he expanded a lot on most of these, but he listed
*numerology *the Double Eye of the Almighty is inspired by the Sephirot *the names/phonology are very Hebrew, and he cited the fact that Kholin is pronounced properly with the Hebrew ch/kh sound (at which point I interjected to ask whether Kholin was deliberately similar to kohen/Cohen and I got a resounding yes, so congratulations me)
And then he pretty much said that he was going to stop talking now because otherwise he would not stop
During the signing line, though, he recognized me as the excited Jew in the grey sweater, and he gave me a few more examples! (also, like four different people came by and complimented me on my question and they were probably all Jews, but that’s neither here not there)
*most notably, he said that the Vorin outlook on the afterlife is very Jewish, the whole what you do while you’re alive is what matters, the afterlife is less important, just do your best to live in accordance with the Ten Names of the Almighty *and tying into that, he mentioned that Journey Before Destination is, in that sense, very Jewish! which I totally agree with! *then he talked about the influence that the laws of Shabbat (well, he said the Sabbath, but like,) had on the rules in Shadows for Silence, most notably the law against making a fire (it’s work!) and also he mentioned the eruv, the line that serves as a symbolic extension of the home on Shabbat (though, it’s been ages since I’ve read Shadows, so I can’t quite place where it ties in) *I actually saw someone post a quote about the Shadows thing a couple days ago in the tag, but hey! may as well type it up here too!
Anyways, I had a great time, it was great seeing him and also seeing Silver and Sebastian! I had fun!
I want a Wander who is ageless, who has been alive as long as the universe or nearly so, and who remembers the formation of galaxies, but who is still struck by wonder every time they witness the birth of a star.
A Wander who, when they say “in my past,” can be talking about fifty years ago or fifty-thousand or ten billion, but who never clarifies because it’s all the same to them, because after so many years the whole of history is an endless string of memories and the exact when of something matters so much less than that it happened.
A Wander who spent those first few millennia alone and purposeless, and then who, the first time they saw someone else in pain, thought: I will not let anyone else feel the way I did. (They feel an echo of that helplessness every time they are faced with a villain they cannot convert, a situation they cannot make better, a friend they cannot keep.)
A Wander who never had a name, who doesn’t refer to themself as anything but me because the entirety of a person cannot be summed up by a single word, but who knows how much names mean to others and who graciously accepts the ones they are given. (Wander is one of their favorites so far, because it hits closer to their purpose than almost anything else they’ve been called.)
A Wander who existed before gender, and exists outside of it, donning whichever neutral pronouns are commonplace and shedding them as the move on, as transient as names.
A Wander who is themself before anything else, who existed before words and can exist without them.
A Wander who needs to see everything, to know, to find out and explore, who fixates on possibilities and cannot rest until they have looked around the corner, peeked into the box, known and listened to and soothed the insecurities in the mind of a friend or an enemy or a stranger in need.
A Wander who gives everyone the benefit of the doubt and believes in their goodness even when they don’t, first as a simple instinct and then as a conscious choice.
A Wander who remembers the face of every person they have ever helped, who observes and who catalogs and who makes lightning-quick plans with creativity and astute imagination, who hides those plans behind coincidence and distraction and excitement and their genuine desire to help.
A Wander who is a bad liar, certainly, but who has had years to practice misdirection, and who knows when and how to use it. (Who uses it almost too much, as a veil and as a hiding place, because they love the universe but they have no concrete faith the universe will love them back.)
A Wander who is always unsurprised to hear stories spread about them because it has happened before, who could hate the legends because they set unrealistic expectations (I can’t help everyone, no matter how hard I try), but who tolerates them instead because they give hope, which is even more important.
A Wander who refuses to be jaded, to lose hope, because the universe is vast and wide and beautiful and they know that what it needs most is simply as much love as their heart can give.