Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Word from Huck - Diaspora

When capitalized, Diaspora is used to refer specifically to the scattering of Jews from their ancestral homeland. Used in lower case, it refers to a migration or movement of any group of people from their traditional, accustomed, or assumed area. The word comes to us from the Greek (as so many interesting words do)--but more on that in a moment.

In common usage, it has come to be a reference to the history of not just the scattering of a people, but to include their struggle to return. One can therefore be interested in the diaspora of nomadic tribes as they pursue new pastures. Further, I do not believe that the lexicographers at Webster's nor the grammatically prickly in Chicago would complain too awfully much if the word were used in the singular--referring to an individual or self. Thus I give myself the permission to refer properly to the scriptural passage as the "Diaspora of the Prodigal Son."

Prodigal Son....Hmmmm....

What was the original meaning? Well, the Greek prefix "dia-" had several uses. In certain instances it implied "through" or "from" among other things. Sometimes, dia- meant "apart," which is the case here. The root word "speirin," meant "sow" or "sown" as in seeds or grain. In this sense, diaspora means to sow or be planted apart.

Well, what which was planted has grown. And the fruits of that growth are made complete in their return--whole once again.

Recent events and family news have brought this to my mind as I celebrate the diaspora.

Be well,

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