History of the Book to 18OO (my zero key is not working) this week spun cuneiform tablets around my current paradigms of Abraham and Terah. Abraham was part of the priestly class in the land of Ur. His family dealt with interpreting the sky for expensive rites and rituals. Getting any of that wrong, according to the last paragraph of “Books and Professional Identity in Hellenistic Babylonia” was tantamount for family heresy and professional suicide. Terah, Abraham’s father, grew up in that culture: rich, educated, small social network, etc., but he somehow figured out that there was more life than what he’d been shown. There had to be more, but not in a graspy, greedy version of life. He had to look for the Divine. Perhaps this brought Abraham to attempt prayer beyond the rituals taught to him. He was part of an astronomically-based Priesthood. Unfortunately, the rituals were expensive. His family made a living by being advisors to either the king or the people. Normal people are not attempting to kill each other on a regular basis. This is the norm in a JudeoxChristian society, and is the basis for many interactions. Most people don’t think about it (if living in America and under favorable circumstances.) For Terah to try to kill Abraham indicated a massive threat to everything. Livelihood, prestige, family honor, continuation of descendency, loss of lands and likely the cancellation of all social and other contracts for the family for Abraham to follow God versus following the family business. That was a lot to give up. It was everything. Moving as a stranger to a strange land and literally leaving behind everything he knew for something that he could and would not deny as Truth is what made the difference. Young writers often see themselves in their characters or heroes it is said, and I am no different. I have given up everything I knew to follow God to a land of strangers not having any idea whether there would ever materialize the proper blessings that I longed for and that were promised. But, knowing that Abraham made it, and that he survived long enough for his family to write down his story on papyrus, another ancient-origined writing stock due to Abraham’s move is a big deal.I do not know whether the Egyptians would have taught his people, but I do know that someone was around to write the papyrus, they knew how to write, and expected someone to know how to read and to make the pictogram worth it. Both indicate levels of expectation for the writer and reader, which are further fascinating things to consider regarding literature. I think that Abraham did well, with the moral of the story being to follow God, have patience and persistence, and H ewill restore all good things to a person, and much much more.