N'giynah mi'ha'Lev
by The Eighth Guardian

SETTING: Lawndale, spring of Daria and Janes' junior year.  Jane is dating Tom, Daria is dating no one, and Quinn is dating everyone else.

SCENE: Morgendorffer breakfast table.  Helen, Jake, and Quinn are all at various stages of breakfast.  Daria comes downstairs and enters the kitchen.

Helen: Oh, Daria, good.  I was beginning to think you weren't going to wake up today.

Daria: Oh.  (turns around)  I didn't know it was an option.

Helen: (coldly) It's not.

Daria: (returns) Okay, then.  (starts preparing for breakfast)

Helen: Girls, your father and I have been talking-

Quinn: Oh no, not another one of your harebrained ideas!  When will they end?

Helen: (glowers)

Quinn: (small voice) Um, did I just say that aloud?

Helen: (rolls her eyes) Anyway, we were wondering how you girls felt about going to temple again.  I know we've been too busy to do it the last few years, but now that we've settled in here at Lawndale, we thought we might like to try again.

Daria (thoughtfully) Well, it's a good time for it.  All the spring holidays are good.  Well, except for Lent.

Jake: But we don't celebrate Lent!  (aside, to Helen) Do we?

Helen: (rolls eyes and sighs) No, Jake.

Daria: Just so long as you remember that, it should be fine.  (Helen sighs)

SCENE: sidewalks of Lawndale, Daria and Jane walking to school.

Jane: Hey, if you're going back to church, maybe we can go caroling next Christmas!

Daria: (slight wince) Um, we're not exactly the caroling type of family, Jane.

Jane: Aw, come on!  We'll sing "Jingle Bells," or (horribly off-key) "Deck the halls with boughs of holly!  Fa la la la la la la la la!  'Tis-"

Daria: No offense, Jane, but I can't see anyone paying to hear you sing.

Jane: That's the beauty of it!  People generally pay carolers to go away!  We'll be perfect for the job.

Daria: Speak for yourself.

Jane: What, you expect me to believe that Miss Monotone can hold a tune without a bucket?

Daria: (Stops and frowns at Jane for a moment, then sings, loudly and perfectly on pitch) Glo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-oria in excelsis Deo!  (continues walking, leaving a dumbstruck Jane in her wake)

Jane: (hurrying to catch up, we can now see the school in the distance) Since when can you sing?

Daria: Since always.  I got musical training young, though I dropped flute in third grade, dancing in second, and voice in eighth.  But that's not what I meant when I said my family wouldn't be much into caroling.

Jane: Yeah, I know.  I really can't see anyone in your family going door-to-door singing.

Daria: (shaking head) That's true, but that's not what I meant either.

Jane: So what did you mean?

Daria: I meant that while you're butchering "Silent Night," I'll be singing "I Have a Little Draedl."

Jane: (pause) You're Jewish?

Daria: Just don't expect me to start saying "oy" all of a sudden.

Jane: Hey, that's cool!  Can I come over for Passover or something?  I've never seen a Jewish holiday before.  Or would your parents object to having a schiksah over for a holiday?

Daria: That's Yiddish, not Hebrew.  And no, I think my parents would love to introduce a gentile to Pesakh.  Though I'd recommend Purim instead.  You get to wear a costume, watch a farcial pageant, and wield noisemakers.  Plus teach songs about hanging people to the little kids with full parental approval.  (opens door and holds it for Jane)

Jane: (pumps fists exitedly) Count me in!  (walks in, and Daria follows)

Daria: This does mean that I'll be missing some Friday nights and Saturday mornings for temple services, you know.

Jane: Well, I'll just go out with Tom on Friday nights or something.  And I probably won't be up yet Saturday mornings.

Daria: True.  (notices Kevin making out with Brittney on her locker (yet again)) (mutters) Mavet l'tipesh.

Jane: What?

Daria:  Just brushing up on my Hebrew.  "Death to idiots."

Jane: (laughing) Sounds like any other day to me.

SCENE: Lawndale High hallways; the Fashion Club are walking in a group.

Sandi: So, we'll have to make an early start if we want to be the first people at the sale on Saturday.  Since Cashman's opens at eight, I think we should be there by seven AM, just to be sure we're ahead of anyone else.

Stacy: Wow, Sandi, I just love the way you plan ahead!

Sandi: Well, Stacy, that's just one more reason why I'm the president of the Fashion Club.

Quinn: (hesitant) Um, Sandi, I don't think I can make it this Saturday.

Sandi: Oh?  And why not, Quinn?  You don't have anything more important to do, do you?

Quinn: Well, um, no, it's just something my parents want me to do.  You see, they've been really busy the last few years, too busy to deal with religion, but now that they're getting a little time off, they want to start going to temple again, and they're making me come, too.

Sandi: Oh, is that all?  Well, then, there's no problem.  The sale is Saturday morning, not Sunday.

Quinn: Um, Sandi?  I'm going to temple, not church.  The Jewish sabbath lasts from sunset on Friday to dawn on Sunday.

Sandi: (stands still for a moment, obviously trying to absorb a fact that does not compute) Are you saying that you're a Jew?

Quinn: Um... Yeah?

Sandi: I can't believe it.  I've been hanging out with, like, a heretic!

Quinn: (approaching Sandi) Sandi, I'm not a heretic.  Heretics are people who say they're Christian, but are really devil-worshippers or something.

Sandi: (as if Quinn had not spoken) Get away from me, you damned heathen!

Quinn: (as if Sandi were joking) Sandi...

Sandi: We haven't killed enough of you yet, damn Jews infiltrating our schools!

Quinn: (shocked) Sandi!

(COMMERCIAL BUMPER: split screen of Jane pumping her fists excitedly on the way into school and accusing Quinn of heresy.

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Duck: Aflack!
Woman: I agree.  Say, wasn't there a great insurance company I heard of once?
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Man: Yes, me also.  Now what was the name of that insurance company?
Duck: (screaming so hard it knocks itself off its precarious perch) AFLACK!
Woman: I just can't remember...
Duck: (groans from its splat-spot) afllaaaack....
(Blue screen): Call 555-555-5555 to pay Aflack lots of money for insurance.  What does insurance do?  Well... we, uh... Just pay us if you want any, 'kay?

COMMERCIAL #4: Chrysler commercial: Buy cars from us 'cause we're the only ones offering regular customers an employee discount!)

SCENE: Streets of Lawndale.  Daria and Jane are walking home from school.

Jane: Who ever knew religion was such a big deal?

Daria: You don't watch the History Channel much, to you?

Jane: I meant today!

Daria: You don't watch the news much, do you?

Jane: (slightly irritated) I meant in this country!

Daria: I reiterate: you don't watch the news much, do you?

Jane: (truly irritated) I meant in Lawndale!

Daria: Conceded.

Jane: (sarcastically) Thanks.

Daria: I will admit that I never expected to see Sandi Griffin hauled off to the principal's office screaming about demons infecting the chool.

Jane: Not without proper medication, anyway.

Daria: Speaking of which-

Jane: I was with you the entire time, remember?

Daria: Damn!

Jane: (notices they are approaching the Morgendorffer home) Your place or mine?

Daria: Um...  How about both?  I've got something I'd like to take care of, then I'll meet you at your house.

Jane: (slightly dubious) Okaay...  I'll just, ah, do my afternoon run, then we'll watch TV or something.

Daria: Sounds good.  (enters Morgendorffer house.  The living room is empty, as is the kitchen.  Daria leavs her backpack on the couch, climbs the stairs, braces herself, and knocks on Quinn's door.)

Quinn: (OS) Go away!

Daria: (sighs) Much as I'd like to, I think my sisterly affection has temporarily overcome my prediliction to despise all you stand for.

Quinn: (OS) What?

Daria: Just open the damn door!

Quinn: (opens the door.  It is obvious she has been crying) What do you wnat?

Daria: Odd as it may sound, I'm concerned about you.  I wouldn't wish Sandi's blind fanaticism on anyone, and to discover that she's an even more fanatical Christian...  Well, let's just say I'm glad I wasn't on the receiving end.

Quinn: She called me a demon.

Daria: Don't worry, she's just projecting.  Did you try telling her Christianity came from Judaism?

Quinn: (nods) She accused me of murdering Jesus.

Daria: (chuckles) Not even Mom's that old.  (Quinn cracks a smile.)  How did the rest of the club take it?

Quinn: I'm not sure.  Stacey was crying too much to understand, and I just wasn't up to taking the time to listen to Tiffany.  What about your friends?

Daria: Well, Jane wants to come to the Purim Spiel, but, then, she's so curious and artistic that she takes anything in stride if she thinks she can paint it.

Quinn: Plus she'll probably like hearing five-year-olds sing about hanging Haman.

Daria: (smiles) That, too.  Kevin and Brittney somehow managed to hold onto something we learned in class and are now on a rabid search for Nazis, and Jodie is delighted to have someone to commiserate with about racial discrimination.  I won't even mention O'Neal-

Quinn: You just did.

Daria: ... and Mack asked me to teach him to say "I love you" in Hebrew so he could say it to Jodie.

Quinn: But no bigots.

Daria: In a way, they were all being bigoted except for Jane who just wants to learn about it.  But no, nothing like Sandi.  (pauses for a beat) To be honest, Quinn, I'm very surprised Sandi reacted the way she did.  There are religious zealots of all kinds in the world: Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, hell, even Wiccans and Buddhists and probably Zarathustrans, and many are as bad as Sandi or worse.  However, they're few and far betweeen, and I'd be even more surprised if your other friends support Sandi over you in this case.  Hell, Joey, Jeffy, and Jaime'll probably start studying Hebrew to please you.

Quinn: What!  But I hardly speak it!

Daria: Don't worry.  Chances are they'll screw up and learn Yiddish instead.  (shakes head) Football players....

Quinn: But the only Yiddish word I know is "schtupp!"

Daria: I think they'll like that...  Where did you learn a word like that, anyway?

Quinn: Dad told me once when he was watching "Blazing Saddles."

Daria: Ah.  (grins) Me, too.

SCENE: Lawndale High, the next day.  Stacey and Tiffany are waiting for Quinn.

Stacey: Hi, Quinn!

Quinn: Hi Stacey.  Tiffany.  Where's Sandi?

Stacey: Umm...  She's sorta suspended.  Ms. Li said she's got a zero-tolerance policy on racism.  Sandi and her mom both said she'd rather not be in a school with a, um, kyke...  Sandi told me that she'd be transferred before the suspension was over, and if I was smart I'd get a transfer, too.  (holds head up high) I told her that if she was so not-understanding, it was no wonder she didn't understand my fashion needs, and I didn't want to follow her anymore!

Quinn: Stacey!  You did that for me?

Stacey: Well, yeah.  Sandi was being such a jerk!  Way more than usual.  Though, I guess there's no more Fashion Club now.

Quinn: Why not?  Sandi can't take the club with her to a new school.  W'll just start a new Fashion club.  How's that sound?

Tiffany: I'd like that.

Stacey: I say Quinn should be president!

Quinn: Now, guys.  We've got to make rules and stuff.  Under Sandi we always had to do what she wanted, and it was just the four of us.  If we write rules, it'll be more fun because the president can't boss everyone around like Sandi did, and if more people join and there's rules - maybe even a school charter - then the club won't die when we graduate!

Tiffany: Wow!  That's sooo smart!

Stacey: I'm so glad we elected you president!

Quinn: (long-suffering-and-expecting-more sigh) This is gonna take a lot of work...

(pan to Daria and Jane, watching)

Jane: So, you went to all that trouble just to keep the status quo.

Daria: Talking to Quinn's gotten to be less trouble lately.  Besides, it's not quite the status quo.  I'm actually interested to see how this pans out...


AN: N'giynah mi'ha'Lev (pron nehgeenAH meehahLAYV) means, so far as I can tell, "Music of the Heart."  I am a relatively new student of Hebrew, so I don't really know the words for music or heart.  These seemed to be the best of the choices offered to me by my Hebrew-English dictionary.  To see it written in Hebrew, go to http://dendarin.anifics.com/trans.jpg.  Remember to read right to left.

I can't write Tiffany-drawl.  Please read the words that she's supposed to say and use your imagination to figure out what it would sound like with Tiffany saying it.  "Schtupp" is Yiddish for "fuck," (explains Daria's reaction to it) and is also the name of a character in "Blazing Saddles:" Lily vonSchtupp.  Finally, I didn't expect Sandi to react so harshly to Quinn's announcment, I really didn't.  I wanted her just to be confused and unsupportive.  Somehow that came out as fanatically anti-Semitic.  (As a side note, Arabs are a Semitic people, too, so is it really possible for Arabs to be anti-Semitic?)  I kept it that way because, quite frankly, Sandi refused a rewrite (I'm sure some of you have had characters do that to you before), and it seemed like an interesting idea to have Daria, preternatural outcast, be accepted while Quinn, Miss Popularity, was rejected.  I know ! that this didn't flow incredibly well, and I may rewrite it somewhere down the line, but for now this is as good as I think I'm going to get.

Oh, yes.  Purim is a real Jewish holiday which takes place shortly before Passover (Pesakh).  It celebrates Esther (yay!), a Jewish queen of Persia and her cousin, Mordechai (yay!), a minor advisor to King Ahashueros, outsmarting the king's top advisor, Haman (boo!).  When the king gave Haman some powers so as to lighten his own work load, Haman announced that all but the king and queen had to bow to him, but Mordechai said that he would bow to none but God.  Haman convinced the king that all Jews were dangerous (Esther had never bothered to mention that she was one) because they followed their own laws, and made a decree that on a certain date, all Jews were to be killed and their property given to their murderers.  Esther told the king that someone was plotting to kill her, whereupon the king said he would execute any who would contemplate such a thing.  Esther revealed that she was Jewish and ! that Haman was, therefore, trying to kill her.  The king sorta reversed the decree (for political reasons, he couldn't repeal it, but he did allow the Jews to fight back and said that the killers couldn't take their victims' possessions, so no one really bothered to kill anyone anyway), and had Haman hung.

We celebrate with a Purim Spiel (like a Christmas pageant, but with the story of Esther instead of the story of Jesus) in which we boo and wave groggers (those spinny noisemakers) whenever Haman's name comes up, and cheer when Esther or Mordechai is mentioned.  We also eat hamen-taschen (lit: Haman's hat) which are triangular cookies that supposedly represent Haman's tri-corned hat, and sing songs about Haman being hung ("For Haman he was swinging / While Mordechai was singing / In shu-Shushushan long ago" (Shushushan was the capital city at the time)).