The God of the five books of Moses does not just mellow out. The God of the five books of Moses does not stop speaking out loud because people aren’t interested in listening. The God of the five books of Moses is a vengeful, wrathful god who frequently speaks of His own capacity for wrath. The God of the five books of Moses is merciful, but only so merciful as to offer discuss in the great detail the clothes of His priests, mercifully sparing the sons of Abraham, Issaac, and Yaakov the tedious business of the manufacturing and distribution of vaccines. The God of the five books of Moses does not simply decide to walk away from his self-directed-if-improvisatonally-free-will-acted movie. The God of the five books of Moses would not tolerate the world as it is today, not if his behaviour throughout is to be believed; to think he brought then ten plagues against Pharoah and the Ancient Egyptians, but gave Hitler’s death camps a pass (didn’t even send some locusts, or hailstorms, or a ghostly spirit that kills all the Nazi first born male children).
What world are we expected to believe we live in? I was always told that my fantasy worlds were a waste of time, a waste of my mind, my thoughts, but how is this less wasteful, this forced belief that the world I inhabit is a fantasy no more true than those? How can I navigate a world that has never been what I’ve been told it is, when sifting through truth, whatever truth is even possible to glean from a world broken from its own history, how does one move away from the above, from the fear of retribution for imagined sin, made up prohibition and calls to action? And how does one separate the religious from the historic from the cultural from the familial? Where is the actualization in any of this? What purpose can there be when one cannot come to terms with existence? Like finding out there’s no Santa, but not just Santa, toys don’t exist, poof. Beyond the removal of Christmas, the removal of Christ —if we will allow another altogether unbelievable storybook reference.
They will say I am unlearned. They will say that I am not holy enough to understand. They will say that I chose gashmeus over ruchneus, tarfus over kedusha, work over Shabbat. They will say I am heathen, apikuros, the wicked son.
I say we are all the four sons (and daughters), the four children, we are all each of them in bits and pieces and torn to shreds, the broken pieces of yesterday’s life, and yesterday’s yesterday, until three and five thousand generations, amen, HAL-LAY-LOOO-YEEEEAAH. We are all the four, the one who asks nicely, the one who asks mockingly, the one who is too young to ask, and the one who doesn’t know there’s a question, we are all these, we are all lost and found and hidden at the same time, and we will never find ourselves because we’re not even lost but we don’t know it yet, and we never will because that is what being lost is.
But, no, El ma’aleh rachamim, indeed.