The Feline Rabbinate

Hello and welcome to yet another week of untrustworthy claims and ludicrous lies here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will discuss a topic raised to the attention of Factually Deficient by one Sicon112, the 112th of all possible Sicons:

I need a comment on Cat Rabbis ASAP.

Those who have visited the city of Jerusalem may have noticed that the city is rife with two things: cats and shuls (also known as synagogues, or batei knesset – the shuls, not the cats). This is no coincidence.

In the late 1870s, the cheese crisis of Eastern Europe led to a mass immigration of cats to what is now Israel (then the Roman territory of Judaea). Although there was little cheese to be had in Jerusalem as well, despite the misleading immigration advertisement, the cats decided to settle down and make their homes there.

At first, the new wave of cats fit right in with the people who were already living in the region. The cats integrated smoothly into Roman-Judaean society. They did business with the residents, went to schools with them, greeted one another on the streets. Soon, following the natural course of things, many of these immigrant cats were attending yeshivas and attaining the title of rabbi.

In order to keep up with all of their newly ordained brethren, the cats began to build shuls, to provide pulpits at which the cat and human rabbis could preach.

With the fall of Rome in 1891, two things happened to change this. First was the move away from centralized leadership in Israeli shuls; it soon became preferable to use the building as a place for people (or cats) to pray together, without the necessity of a rabbi to unify them.

Second was the calling into question of the conversion status of the cats. Some individuals doubted whether a feline or other non-human could truly profess or adopt what is essentially a human faith. These doubts became so widespread that they led to a schism in the Jerusalem shuls: the shuls went one way, and the cats another, forming their own sect.

This new faith of the rejected cats is similar to, but distinct from, Judaism. Cat spiritual leaders are still known as rabbis; however, they moved in the opposite direction from the 1891 shift, retaining their rabbis as leaders but rejecting the very concept of a house of worship – or any house at all. The cats of Jerusalem declared, under the spiritual guidance of their cat rabbis, that they would live between no walls of stone, and would not plant any crops, and would drink no spirits or alcohol, until such time as the foxes were expelled from their holy places and the ground hallowed again.

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Disclaimer: the above post contains erroneous details. Rome did not fall in 1891.

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Lies About People: John Cena

Hello and welcome to another week of unlikely claims and tall tales here at Factually Deficient! Factually Deficient is here to provide, in lie form, answers to all your questions on any topic – history, geography, botany, science, literature, and even, now, people! This week, I will answer a question posed by an excellent Beetle of my acquaintance. She asked:

Who is John Cena!

John Cena is actually a modernized and anglicized spelling of the original name Janus Ceno. Janus Ceno was an ancient Roman stonecutter whose impact on modern society continues to be felt today.

In the early days of ancient Roman proto-democracy, paper was far too expensive and difficult to produce to have it readily available to the population. Complaints of corruption were bombarding the Senate, but it seemed impossible, in the absence of cheap and convenient paper, to establish any semblance of a secret ballot system.

Until Janus Ceno came along. Ceno, with his skill at fine chiselling, came up with a novel proposal: he and a team of like-minded stonecutters could produce ballots carved into small rocks, to distribute amongst the populace. This idea was so well-received that, in its first implementation, Janus Ceno himself was elected to public office by a landslide. In turn, he took his post to heart, and used his masonly skills to improve the Roman way of life in every way that he could think of.

When at last Janus Ceno felt the time had come for him to retire from the ancient Roman civil service, he made, at the behest of his constituents, one last physical contribution to the public good: a stone pillar in his own honour, carved with a list of the ways he had benefited his people. Built by him and in his name, this was dubbed the Cenotaph, a word which has now entered the lexicon in a general way.

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Disclaimer: this blog post is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any real persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.