I’ve been thinking a lot about compassion in Judaism, and being kind. In that light, I would like everyone to know that my current favorite Jewish supernatural headcanon is that, instead of driving vampires away with crosses or stakes through the heart, we say the Mourner’s Kaddish for them. I mean, that’s just so adorable. You see this threatening undead creature, and instead of yelling murder, you feel bad for them, and you mourn for them. Imagine being a vampire at the receiving end of that, having been chased away for years and years and told you’re a monster when you come across someone who sees you and your existence and accepts that you’re in a pretty bad place and offers help in the best way they can. I’m actually tearing up about this a little. If someone adds to this post I’ll love them forever.
It doesn’t work for zombies.
This is one of the hardest things she learns, in the business. Saying the Mourner’s Kaddish will slow a vampire, to stare at you with wide shocked eyes (and once, memorably, to weep blood-tinged tears), unable or unwilling to lift a hand against you. It will calm a dybbuk, enough to make it stop whatever destruction it’s begun, and almost always enough to start a conversation about why it clings so desperately to the world of the living, what it’s left undone, how it can be freed to move on. You have died, the Kaddish says, and we mourn you as we would mourn our own dead, because someone must.
But there is no soul and no mind left in a zombie, no vestige of the self it once was, nothing left for the Kaddish to speak to.
She says it anyway, with every head-shot, with every flung grenade.
Not because she still hopes one might hear her, but because they are dead, and the dead should be mourned.
…this is gorgeous.