gentiles on this website: “The Old Testament God is cruel and vengeful!” actual Jews in my synagogue yesterday: “My favorite part of the reading is when it says the Torah is not in heaven so it’s too far to reach, it’s not across the sea so we can’t get it, but that it’s in our hearts… the idea of having that be so close, of being so close to something divine, that thrills me.” “And here, where it says ‘the Lord will delight in you as he did in your fathers’, that’s such a beautiful thing. You know, God is this all-powering being, and God delights in us.”
gentiles on this website: “You can’t be an atheist and religious!” actual Jews in my synagogue yesterday: “I’m just not buying any of this. I was born during the Holocaust and I could never wrap my mind around this omnipotent all-seeing God, and usually I’m a little moved by this, I try to be hopeful, but when I look around the world now, I just don’t buy it! If I really believed there was a God, I would resent him.” [still wears a prayer shawl and attends synagogue regularly]
gentiles on this website: “Religious people never question what they’re told, they just followed blindly!” my actual rabbi: “Sometimes the Torah can be like an older relative whom we love dearly, and who has a lot of wisdom to give, but who also says things that cause us pain, that we find offensive or wrong. And I think the wrong instinct would be to pretend we don’t hear what they’re saying, or to cut them out entirely, or to be guided by them into thinking and behaving in offensive ways. What we need to do is engage the Torah. We need to wrestle with it, and try to understand it, to figure out where it’s coming from and learn how we can progress from it, because the Torah is not unchanging. It belongs in each of our hearts, and it changes for us as we study it, as each generation challenges its old assumptions.”
During the days after Here There Be Gerblins, Lup absolutely refuses to be let go of by her brother under any circumstances. However, due to her limited power in this situation, this manifests as the Umbrastaff falling over and rolling in Taako’s direction whenever he tries to set it down. Taako, presently in his Simple Idiot Wizard phase, fails to recognize that this is Not Typical Spellcasting Focus Behavior.
During the boys first night at the Bureau, the Umbrastaff won’t stop falling against the ladder to his bunk no matter how he sets it back up again and eventually, when he reaches down to fix it yet again, it turns and hooks around his wrist not letting him go. His reaction is simply, “Oh hey little buddy, wanna sleep with ol’ Taako do you? Hey I can’t blame you, who wouldn’t!” and pulls it up into bed with him and sleeps with the Umbrastaff like it’s a teddy bear.
It takes days before Lup lets Taako put her down and several weeks before she lets him out of sight when he’s not holding her. She almost panics when they ask for the boys weapons upon boarding the Rockport Limited and was never happier that she made her magic-absorbing superwand an inconspicuous umbrella than she was at that moment.
Everyone else just sort of accepts that Taako now has a magic umbrella that he has to hang on the towel rack when he takes a shower so it doesn’t constantly knock against the door of the bathroom for the entire time he’s in there. The best guess anyone has is there’s some charm on it that tied the Umbrastaff to it’s owner and a bit of that charm transferred over to Taako. (Lucretia secretly wonders if Lup had it charmed to find Taako if she perished, or if she charmed it to return to her and with Lup not present, the Umbrastaff thought Taako was close enough. Either way Lucretia is glad some part of Lup found Taako again after all these years, even if it’s not under the most desireable circumstances, unaware of the true extent to which she is correct.)