Friday, June 8, 2018

Random Musing Before Shabbat – Sh'lakh L'kha 5778 — Okay

[Ed. Note: This musing started out as “Another Missed Opportunity” in 2006. It has morphed into this greatly expanded version with a somewhat different focus at the end. As was its predecessor, it has but a slight connection to the parasha with one brief reference, and is otherwise a truly random musing.]

Scene 1:

G''d: "Hey, Noah! Go build an ark and get your family and all these animals into it because I'm gonna flood the earth to wipe up this mess you people have made of my creation."

Noah: "Okay."

[Editor's note: This "second chance" doesn't yet seemed to have worked out as well as anticipated by G''d.]

Scene 2:

G''d: "Hey, Abraham! Pack up your stuff and take you and your family to a place I will show you."

Abraham: "Okay."

Scene 3:

G''d: "Hey, Abraham! Circumcise the foreskin of your penis as a sign of the covenant between us."

Abraham: "Okay."

[Editor's note: needless to say, that hurt! And in the middle of his recovery, G''d sends these three angels to see Abraham...]

Cutaway Scene A:

Sarah: (laughing hysterically) A baby! Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...

Scene 4:

G''d: "Hey, Abraham! The sins of S'dom and Gomorrah are too great. I am going to destroy those two wicked cities and all the inhabitants."

Abraham: "Uh, hold on a second there, big guy. You gonna wipe out the innocent with the guilty?"

G''d: "Hmmmm. I hadn't thought about that. OK. You show me 50 good people there and I will spare the cities for their sake?"

Abraham: "What makes 50 so special? What about 45? 40? 30? 20? 10?

G''d: "Okay. Even for 10 good people I will spare the cities and their people."

[Editors note: G''d destroys S'dom and Gomorrah anyway. While the Torah intimates through its illustrations of the behavior of the people of S'dom, and Gomorrah to these two visiting angels the obviously high rate of depravity, we're never definitively shown there weren't 10 good people there.]

Scene 5:

G''d: Hey, Abraham! Send Hagar and Ishmael away. Don't worry. I'll take care of them.

Abraham: "Okay."

Scene 6:

G''d: "Hey Abraham! Take your son, your beloved son, Isaac, and bring him to this mountain I'll show you and offer him up as a sacrifice to Me."

Abraham: "Okay."

[Editor's note: Okay. So G''d provided a ram for the sacrifice in place of Isaac. Assuming that's what "takhat" really meant in that situation...]

Cutaway Scene B:

Scene 7:

Abraham: “Let me buy this cave so I may bury my wife.”

Ephron: (after a little ritual negotiating) “Okay.”

Scene 8:

Assembled elders: “Rivka, will you go with this servant of your great uncle to go and marry your first cousin once removed?”

Rivka: “Okay.”

Scene 9:

Rivkah: “Yaakov - my sweet son. Here! Quick! Put on these hairy skins and go bring this food to your father and pretend to be esav so you will get your father’s blessing.

Yitzchak: “Okay.”

Scene 10:

Yaakov: “Okay guys. Cut off the tips of your penises and you can marry our daughters.“

The Men of Shechem: “Okay.”

Scene 11:

Shimon: “Yo, bro. Let’s go kill all the men of Shechem while they’re recuperating from the tip snipping. Dad will be so proud of us!

Levi: “Okay.”

Scene 12:

Pharoah: “Joseph, I rename you ‘Zaphnath-Paaneah’ and make you Vizier over all my Kingdom, second only to me.” [leans over to whisper to Joseph] “Which really means if you succeed, you live - otherwise, you’re the fall guy. Got it?”

Joseph: “Okay.”

Scene 13:

G''d: "Hey Moses! Go tell Pharaoh to let My people go!"

Moses: "Who? Me?"

G''d: "Just do it, will ya?"

Moses: "Well, if you insist, But I'm not much of a talker. And Who, by the way, are You? They' re gonna ask me."

G''d: "OK, your brother can do the talking for you. And you can just call me Que sera, sera."

Moses: "Okay."

Scene 14:

G''d: "Listen, Israel! I am giving you these commandments!"

Israel: "We will do and we will see understand." [ Ed. note: in other words, "Okay."]

Scene 15:

Moses: “Chill with the hissy fit. G”d. If you strike us down or abandon us now, after all You have done for us, what will the neighbors say? They’ll say you’re a fake, a sham G”d!”

[A light bulb appears above Moses’ head]

Moses: “The LORD! slow to anger and abounding in kindness; forgiving iniquity and transgression; yet not remitting all punishment, but visiting the iniquity of fathers upon children, upon the third and fourth generations. Pardon, I pray, the iniquity of this people according to Your great kindness, as You have forgiven this people ever since Egypt.”

G’d: “Okay.”

Scene 16:

Moses: "Hey, G''d! The folks found this guy gathering wood on Shabbat? What's the penalty?"

G''d: "Take him outside the camp and stone him to death."

Moses (and the people:) "Okay."

Epilogue 1:

G”d: “Rabbi Eliezer is correct.”

Rabbis: “The Torah is not in heaven.”

G”d: “Okay.” [Ed. Note: Well, G”d actually said “My children have defeated me” but that’s close enough.]

Epilogue 2:

About 70 generations of Jews: “How do we know how to be Jewish?”

Rabbis: “Do what we say!”

About 70 generations of Jews: “But sometimes even you disagree!”

Rabbis: “Do what we say!”

About 70 generations of Jews: "Okay."

Epilogue 3:

Modern, freethinking liberal Jews: “Why should we follow what the rabbis say?”

Traditional Jews: “See Epilogue 1.”

Modern, freethinking liberal Jews: “But the rabbis wrote this story just to justify their usurpation of the right to interpret Torah.”

Traditional Jews: “See Epilogues 1 and 2.”

Modern, freethinking liberal Jews: “But...”

Traditional Jews: “See Epilogues 1 and 2.”

G"d: "Okay."

Traditional Jews: “Wait a minute. How do you know it's okay with G"d?”

Modern, freethinking liberal Jews: “G"d told us. You were so busy listening to the rabbis who now claim the sole authority to interpret G"d's Torah that you didn't hear”

Epilogue 4:

Young Jews: "How do I know what to do?"

Traditional Jews: “Consult your LOR”

Liberal Jews: “Choose wisely”

Jews of the Future: [Ed. Note: they get to write this one.]

G"d: "Okay."

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Shabbat Shalom,

©2018 (portions ©2006 by Adrian A. Durlester)

Other Musings on this Parasha:

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