Thursday, April 6, 2017

Random Musing Before Shabbat–Tzav/Shabbat HaGadol 5777–Payback: An Excerpt from the Diary of Moses (Updated)

Dear Diary:

Oy, what I day I had today. It's not like I didn't have a million other things to do and take care of. You-know-who eats up hours of my day with yet more instructions for the rituals of sacrifice. I couldn't pick a Deity with a simpler system?

I'm usually willing to accept the burdens of my role as leader and communicator for this rabble, and I don't mind so much when You-know-who is giving me instructions to pass on to the whole group. That, I can handle. But today, You-know-who goes on and on and on and on, well you get the drift -  with even more instructions than what I've already gotten for my dear older brother and his kids. Priests, You-know-who had to make them. (Oh wait, I asked for that – didn’t I? – see from about a month ago.)  Yeah, Aaron was helpful as my spokesperson when I was negotiating with Pharaoh, but was that enough to earn him this bonus? And I'm not forgetting, though I am surprised You-know-who seems to be forgetting) what my schmendrick of a brother did while I was up on the mountain the first time. Avodah zara is bad enough, but avodah parah? (Get it? Sometimes, I crack myself up!) Sheesh! A freakin' calf of gold he makes for them.

And those lame excuses he gave me afterwards. "I was just trying to buy time and keep the rabble happy." Yeah, right. Today, at least, I got a little payback. More about that in a minute.

So after chewing my ear off for hours-finally getting to some rules for the whole community and not just my wacky brother and his peanut gallery, You-know-who says it's time to do the initiation rites for the priests. Hoo-boy, I thought, this is not gonna be fun. Then again…

To begin with, I gave Aaron a bath. Then like those little dolls I used to play with, I dressed him up in his official wardrobe (don’t say a word – I was raised in the royal household of Egypt, you know. We played with dress-up dolls.) It was kind of fun, adding layer after layer of stuff. At times, I thought he was gonna collapse under the weight of it all. When I stuck the urim and thummim in the breastplate (you know, those auguring stones) I made sure to slam the cover closed over them nice and hard. You shoulda seen the look Aaron gave me.

Anyway, what he and all the people didn't know was that, for once, You-know-who, specific as You-know-who often gets, actually left me a little leeway in this ordination ceremony. So I improvised a bit. I mean, there was blood everywhere. Just call me bloody-bloody Moshe. I made the whole ceremony as messy and cumbersome as I could. Oh, it was a little gross for me, hacking up those animals, gutting out their organs and fat, even having to gather up the poop and taking it outside the camp. (Well, that part You-know-who told me to do.) Nevertheless, I put on quite a show. You-know-who had told me to use the ram insides to make a burnt offering that also had a pleasant odor, so when I had the sacrificial ram all cut up and on the altar, I washed all the entrails with water and stuck them back on the grill--er I mean altar, which made a lot of smoke and smell. I hope You-know-who found it pleasing. I know I didn't, and neither did Aaron (chuckle.) Now I get why we’re going to need all this incense.

When it was time for the second ram, the one of ordination, I got really, really creative. I took some of its blood and dabbed it on Aaron's ears, thumb, and big toe. He looked so ridiculous, I just couldn't resist doing the same thing to all the rest of the clan. I was having so much fun, I just couldn't stop. I scooped out all the fat I could find from the carcass, grabbed some matzah from the bread basket, placed it on top of the fat, and them dumped some into all of their hands, and told them to hold them up as elevation offerings. They had a heck of a time keeping the stuff from falling out of their hands. I was laughing so hard on the inside. Aaron shot me a look that could kill. But the people were all watching. This was serious business. I had Aaron and his kids just where I wanted them.

I couldn't resist one last jab, so when the time came for the official anointing with oil, I also grabbed some of the blood and spattered it all over them and their nice white vestments. I tell you, it was hilarious. Sort of artsy-farsty, too. I'll bet someday someone will figure out how to just spatter stuff on fabric and sell it for lots of silver.

I decided I'd been cruel enough, so I wanted to finish off being nice. Or, better yet, maybe I could lure them into a false sense of security and then hit them with one final whammy! I told Aaron and the boys to go boil up all the leftover meat and have some of the leftover cakes. I told them to burn up anything that was leftover after they ate. This was just a setup before the coup de grace - my final stroke of genius. I saw this great big loophole and took it. I told Aaron and the boys that they'd have to do this again -  every day for the next 6 days. You-know-who hadn't been specific about that, and I figured seven days sounded about right. I sealed the deal, as usual, by announcing to the whole community that everything that was done today had been commanded by You-know-who. Even better, they were going to have to do this on one of those days of rest You-know-who commanded us to observe. So not only was I sticking it to Aaron, I was secretly sticking it to You-know-who, too.

I know I took a few liberties, but so far You-know-who hasn't said or done anything about it. Maybe You-know-who was enjoying it, too.

Omigosh, diary. I've been telling this cock and bull story about being chosen by You-know-who, in order to get back at my no good "brother" of a Pharaoh so long, I'm starting to believe it myself. Still, there have been some unexplained things-like that unconsumed burning sneh, all those plagues, and that business at the sea of reeds. I thought I was putting on a pretty good show, even though I really didn't have a good plan at that point. But man, when those waters parted, I just went with it. Then there were those quail, and that sweet, gooey stuff on the plants every morning, except once every 7 days. And the timing of that rather cooperative bad weather at Sinai.

Hmmm, whether I believe in a You-know-who, or whether I just made it all up, there just might be a You-know-who looking after us after all. I could use the help--Korach and a couple of his friends are up to something, I'm sure of it.

Well, catch ya later, Diary. I got six more days of fun ahead. ;-)




Shabbat Shalom,

©2017 (portions ©2009) by Adrian A. Durlester

Other Musings On This Parasha:

Tzav/Shabbat HaGadol 5775 - Two Way Street (Revised)
Tzav/Shabbat Zachor 5774 - Does G"d Need a Shrink?
Tzav/Shabbat HaGadol 5773 - The Doorway to Return
Tzav/Shabbat Hagadol 5772 - Not Passive
Tzav (Purim) 5771 - A Purim Ditty
Tzav 5768 – Jeremiah's Solution (Updated from 5761)
Tzav/Shabbat HaGadol 5767-Redux 5762-Irrelevant Relavancies
Tzav/Shabbat HaGadol 5766 - Dysfunction Junction
Tzav 5765 (updated 5760)-Of IHOPs, Ordination and Shabbat
Tzav/Shabbat HaGadol 5764-Two Way Street
Tzav 5763 - Zot Torahteinu?
Tzav 5761/5759-Jeremiah's Solution

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