Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Lift Up your Hands?

Yesterday, as I was sitting in an overly warm classroom raisin(g) my hand and watching classmates raise theirs, I wondered: from where did the custom of raising one's hand when wishing to speak come? Then I wondered why, oh why, do I want to know weird things such as this.


Blogger Baruch Grazer said...

It probably comes from the ancient Near Eastern cultic practice of "lifting the hand" to the deity when approaching in prayer, especially supplication.

The student, in raising the hand, recognizes the godlike power of the teacher, conceding that supplication is the only appropriate mode by which to initiate contact with such superlative sovereignty.

Properly, the student ought also to precede his/her question with, "To the teacher, the omniscient one who is given intelligence from sunrise to sunset; the lord of knowledge, the king of the sweet waters, the god who begot me; your servant says..."

Okay, I can dream.

10:26 AM  

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