Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Thoughts On Judaism Without Research

  • Oy.
  • I will get a lot wrong, and leave a lot out.
  • So many rules to learn, so many countries to be chased from.
  • The original Israel, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Poland, Russia, let’s just say all of Eastern Europe, Belgium, and the entire Middle East other than the new and improved Israel.
  • Those are the big ones: many other city-states and provinces and whatnot also threw the Jews out.
  • Although, you know: maybe we’re just blamable.
  • I’ve gotten ahead of myself, and become self-loathing; let us start at the beginning.
  • Picture it: 5000 years ago.
  • The Bronze Age.
  • Baby shoes everywhere.
  • There was a guy named Abraham.
  • Well, there actually wasn’t, or at least probably not: Abraham was a real person in the sense that Homer was a real person.
  • Abraham’s level of fictionality notwithstanding, the story is what matters.
  • “Abe. Abe. Wake up.”
  • “Five more minutes.”
  • “Minutes haven’t been invented yet. Get up.”
  • “Who are you?”
  • “God.”
  • “Which one?”
  • “We should talk.”
  • And so on.
  • Then God made Abraham slice off the tip of his dick and nearly kill his son.
  • A more cynical man might see God as a dick, or a YouTube prank personality.
  • There was begatting.
  • Pages and pages and pages of begatting.
  • Occasionally, angels wander into a town and are immediately raped to death by the entire town; this annoys God.
  • Other stuff happens: there are giants, and Esau is someone’s brother, and maybe Joseph and his coat of many colors, but there’s also a good possibility that the Joseph story is from a different holy book altogether.
  • King Solomon cuts a baby in half with a sword.
  • I did not pay attention in Hebrew school.
  • Then, Jews built the pyramids.
  • (This did not happen: there is not one shred of evidence to support Jews being slaves in Egypt.)
  • Luckily, Superman shows up.
  • Excuse me: Moses.
  • It’s easy to confuse them: they have the exact same origin story.
  • Moses was a community organizer, and he went to the Pharaoh and said “Let my people go.”
  • And the other Jews said, “Your people? We’re your people now?”
  • And “Who died and made you Pharaoh?”
  • And “This man does not speak for me. I have retained my own counsel.”
  • So Moses said, “Holy fuck, could you shut up for a second and let me deal with this?”
  • And the Jews said, “I should shut up? I should shut up? You got a lotta nerve, putz.”
  • That went on for most of the meeting.
  • At the end of the presentation, Pharaoh went “Myaaaah, myaaaah,” because he was Edward G. Robinson.
  • Moses, though, refused to take no for an answer, and went to God and asked him to help.
  • The next day, frogs fell from the sky.
  • “God, did you do that?”
  • “Of course.”
  • “Awesome. Perfect. The best. You are my guy.”
  • “I got one for tomorrow that’s gonna top it.”
  • “Don’t tell me, don’t tell me. I wanna be surprised.”
  • The next day.
  • “Did you see what I did?”
  • “Dude. Moses. Did you see what I did?”
  • “So many dead children.”
  • “Should I not have done that?”
  • “No. No, you should not have killed the children, man. The answer to the question ‘How many children should I kill?’ is always none.”
  • “Huh. Pharaoh didn’t respond to the frogs.”
  • “You could have escalated more gradually, I’m thinking. There are many steps in between raining frogs and a dead kid in every house.”
  • “Okay. Note taken. You live, you learn. I’ll do better next time. Fewer murders.”
  • “None is what you want.”
  • “I’ll shoot for none. None will be the goal. That’s the plan, none, but sometimes things turn into situations and the world ends up flooded or some shit.”
  • “You are a terrible God.”
  • “Y’know what, Abe? Suck my balls. Used to be a whole cadre of gods, now it’s just me. There’s a lot of work! I’m swamped, man. Used to be a god of weather, god of hunting, god of war, god of the sun: that’s all my responsibility now.”
  • “Wow.”
  • “Hold on: you’re God. The alpha and the omega. You are that You are.”
  • “True. I’m awesome.”
  • “Why didn’t you just make Pharaoh let us go?”
  • “How?”
  • “Psychic whammy-jammy? Telepathic deal, I guess.”
  • “Like Professor X?”
  • “Sure.”
  • “Completely did not occur to me.”
  • “Wow.”
  • “Could have murdered less.”
  • “Or not at all.”
  • “Probably would have turned a town into salad dressing or something.”
  • “You’ve got to work on this wrath, God.”
  • “I get real mellow in a few thousand years when I have a son.”
  • And so on.
  • Naturally, surrounded by frogs and dead children, Pharaoh tells the Jews to leave.
  • But then he turns around and sics his army on the fleeing Hebrews, which never made any sense, but makes for a good action scene; the Jews escape thanks to the power of rudimentary special effects.
  • They get lost.
  • And then Moses goes up a mountain, because all religious figures have to go up mountains, and brings back the Commandments, and then back to Israel but Moses doesn’t get to go into Israel because symbolism.
  • Several millennia followed, and the story of the Jewish people switches–gradually–from fiction to history until you get to today; Jews have lived all over the world, but today there are two distinct breeding groups: America and Israel, with the numbers split evenly.
  • Shockingly, there are disagreements of both the inter- and intra- variety.
  • We start with America because America is number one and fucking rules.
  • There are three varieties of American Judaism that act right (mostly), and then a bunch of jackasses in beaver hats making us all look bad.
  • There’s Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform; the first wear yarmulkes every day and go to their own schools and observe the Sabbath; the Conservatives have the fanciest temples; and Reform Jews are barely even trying and are pretty much just Protestants with a love for kugel.
  • There’s also a new sect called Reconstructionist, but the congregation is allowed to vote on stuff; that is some bullshit right there.
  • There’s no voting in religion.
  • Jews do not proselytize, and it is difficult–but not impossible–to convert.
  • None of that dunking your head in a river nonsense: there is homework involved.
  • These denominations get along, or at least pretend to in public, because each knows that fighting might expose the deepest secret of the non-fundamentalist American Jew.
  • Can’t read Hebrew.
  • Not a clue what’s in that Torah, the vast majority, maybe 90%.
  • Maybe they’ve read the English version, but it’s not the same: translations are to books what cover versions are to music.
  • It ain’t the same.
  • There is also a difference in keeping Kosher between the three groups: Orthodox Jews keep Kosher, Conservative Jews keep Kosher during Passover, and Reform Jews send their children to school with matzoh sandwiches during Passover just to keep up appearances but otherwise eat all the bacon-wrapped shrimp they want.
  • Passover is  a holiday celebrating the child-killing I alluded to earlier; there are other holidays: Sukkot, in which lunch is eaten outside for a week; Yom Kippor, in which lunch is not eaten at all; Purim, when cookies are eaten; Rosh Hashanah, which is Geddy Lee’s birthday; and Hanukkah, which sucks.
  • Christmas is just better.
  • Hanukkah is the GoBots to the Christmas’ Transformers.
  • Alternately, there are Jews who continue to take religion seriously.
  • They are worse than Hanukkah.
  • All ultra-religious people are terrible, but I take ultra-religious Jews personally.
  • Ultra-religious Jews are convinced they’re the real Jews, even though there’s a ton of splinter sects within the sect itself: Hasids and Satmars and Lubavitchers and Kaschka Varnishkas and others.
  • True Jews who wear beaver hats, just like they did in the Levant.
  • Religious scholarship is prized amongst the ultra-religious Jew, both here and in Israel: to study Torah is the highest calling.
  • The diamond and garment industries a close second and third.
  • Some might say that the Torah has been studied enough.
  • “Hey,” this hypothetical heretic might wonder, “hasn’t that book had the ever-loving fuck studied out of it? Maybe move on to a different book? How about Finnegan’s Wake? That book needs some studying; it is very hard to understand.”
  • But you shouldn’t say that a guy in a black suit in Williamsburg because he and his friends will spit on you.
  • Oh, the damage books have done.
  • That’s it for the American Jews, and when I say “America” I only mean three or four places: New York, South Florida, LA, Boston, and Chicago.
  • And pockets in other cities, but otherwise you could go three states without hitting a Jew.
  • And then there is Israel, which should be its own post.

3 Comments

  1. If you do thoughts on Israel without research, these IDF tank instructors might be inspirational.

    http://thebrigade.com/2013/01/06/idf-female-tank-instructors-of-the-school-of-infantry-professions-16-hq-photos/

    Nothing says Israel, like goofing in the dessert, on the tank with the team.

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