On The Fast

 Posted by on July 29, 2012
Jul 292012

God is upset because Jews are on hunger strike on Tisha B'av

Guest Commentary by God

O Harken,

What is up with you peeps? Seriously, what is it you want? Such a ruckus. No eating and all that wailing, wailing, wailing. For what? Has anyone been water-boarding you, torturing you, mistreating you, forbidding you from seeing your family, expelling your from your homes? Have any of my unchosen people afflicted you with an injustice that warrants my intervention? Do you want to improve your lives by asking for billions in riches and seventy two in virgins? Is that it?

O, hear ye Israel, you’d think YOU would know what this is about. You’d think if you would organize a massive hunger strike and the alarm of a tsunami that you would be clear in your message. But alas, it’s an Occupy by the disgruntled .000099% of my constituency. I sympathize with the urge to protest, all-good God that I am, but don’t you think you should have a plan, a message, an idea of what this is about? You sit there in the synagogue, tears rolling down your face, tearing at your hair and stomach and ridiculous slippers, crying and promising to improve. You lie there after 24 hours without food, dreaming of kokosh-n-tzimring cake. Is that what you want, cake? Cake? Good grief, then let them eat cake!

I’ll tell you what irks me, O children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You don’t know the first thing. You don’t know much about the time of the temples, you don’t care to know, you like your comfortable cocoon in the modern world. You are neither interested in your history nor in the status quo to be changed. You don’t care about temples. You don’t care about Messiahs. You care about twenty-first century bubbles, about doing the same thing over and over again every year. You worship tradition, not me. I was thinking to myself yesterday, after my conversation with King Solomon about some more concubines he ordered (he’s accustomed… lived in the time of the temple, you know), that maybe it’s time to rebuild the temple. Maybe it’s time for me to send the Messiah and ship off some more of my high-maintenance celebrities here. Maybe, the time has come?

Oh Behold, I thought the time has come. The Messiah, though, began bargaining on the number of concubines. Which delayed the process. But as I began to think about sending the Messiah I thought about it some more. Imagine the Messiah descends upon New York today. Really? C’mon! Who would believe he is the Messiah? Who would really pack their bags and desert their homes and leave for Israel? Who would care about my grand Temple that can’t hold a candle to Trump’s? Who would stop fasting and crying and whining and making a ruckus about the destruction?

Some of you who fast today are intelligent, well meaning, well educated. You are no superstitious fools. But still you suffer hours without a drink to your dry lips. You shed some tears, then shuffle home in your furry footwear with a solemn face. You are good people, good Jews. I want to answer your pleas. But whom are you kidding? I am God, after all, and I see your heart. You don’t believe the first thing that there will actually be reincarnation or a Messiah and you would very much prefer to not have to bother with flying donkeys to the promised land. You don’t want me to bother you with relocating your business and children’s schools. You don’t want to rule all countries and learn Torah all day. You don’t want food to grow ready on trees, you want them served in china dishes with delicate cutlery. You don’t want to bring me a lamb for sacrifice, you want to have it yourself, barbecued, to break the fast.

So you don’t want anything from me. You want to revel in your self-imposed exile. I hear you, and that’s okay. But just remember to keep the damn noise down and leave others alone. Give a tenth of your freshly-baked cake to the poor and needy: Shpitzle.

Take it easy and be good to yourself.



On Mormons

 Posted by on July 26, 2012
Jul 262012

Mormon wives riding with their husband on a tandem motorcycle to meet a new wife


I am fascinated by the FLDS Mormons. If I ever think I had it hard in life (every day. Self-pity-party is observed midnight, regularly) I think about what it would be like to be the third wife to a forty-year old man. I’d be the greenest, angriest, loneliest and most outraged wife in the world. Heck, I’d probably get so infuriated by this lunacy I’d make peace among the wives by cutting Mr. Forty Year Old into three equal slices for each of us. Two slices, actually. I’d generously give away the butt and leg that should rightfully be mine.

Maybe not. It’s hard to imagine what you’d do in a situation in which you are conditioned to act a certain way, and in a social environment in which a hundred emotional-manipulation cards are played to keep you dancing the polygamy waltz, along with the other evil sister-wives. I know first-hand that when your sense of self is broken and you are made dependent enough, you have no capacity to rebel. Sometimes not even the will.

But recently, I’ve been rethinking what I know about the FDLS Mormons. I’ve read all their memoirs, news headlines and I watched several videos, but I haven’t read any scholarly work, and that makes me wonder. As a history student, I’ve learned to look at memoirs with very different eyes. I don’t take it at face value anymore. I also know that in today’s worlds the competitive book-selling business encourages people to sensationalize. So I wonder, are polygamous marriages with older men really the norm? Do most girls indeed share their husband with a few other women? What is the real situation in there? I am fascinated and I must know.