Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Starting Assumptions

People will find whatever they want to find in Torah, if they're willing to be flexible enough. This is because texts are very hard to extract firm evidence from - they're pliable, especially if, like Torah, they're messy and schematic in some areas, and verbose and repetitive in others. If you start out with the assumption that G-d wrote it no matter what, you'll find it inside (especially with Chazal's helping hand). Let's try starting with some other assumptions though:

Let's try a reading of Tanach with the assumption that god is evil. This shouldn't be too hard :) also, I think it's already been done by the Gnostics.

Creation: obviously this world was created to do evil in. While it is a bit of a Kashya that God says he saw that 'it was good', notice that this expression is outside of God ie. God is external to good, remarking about it and quite possibly not very happy about it.

Adam and Eve: Where did the snake come from? Isn't he God's creation? God has no control over snakes? Clearly this was a setup to cause them to be tempted, so God could so some punishin' (which he loves to do). The 'tree of life'... good one. And then God walks around the garden all innocent-like asking "where are you?"... please, give me a break. This one's so obvious.

Cain and Abel: Is God really angry at Cain? Doesn't seem like it. He gives him a slap on the wrist, a so-called punishment to walk the earth, and the very next thing Cain does is settle down. Clearly God wasn't really angry. He wasn't that fond of Abel, but he did like all that cow and sheep-killing, so he tolerated him for a while.

Noah: Tzaddik clearly doesn't mean what we think it means. Look, God saves him, and then all he can think of is getting drunk! But God definitely enjoyed wiping out all those people. It's almost like he set them up to do it... Especially by sending the children of God to marry the wives of men and pollute the land... hmm

Abraham: Sets up two kings for a fall by giving them his wife (pretending she's his sister - nice) so God can punish them! It's true that he wanted to save Sedom (a city of evil people - nice again), but let's remember he had to argue with God all the way. (Even though they were evil, God still wanted to do some killin')

Yitzchak: God nearly had him killed. Totally traumatized this guy. And then later on God allowed him to be duped by his own son and wife, too!

Yaakov: God's favorite, and the progenitor of the Israelites. He lies, steals, cheats and kills his way out of everything: Lavan, Esav, and Shchem to mention a few.

12 sons: Now these are the kinds of things God likes. They kidnap Joseph, pretend he's dead, ship him to Egypt. Notice God doesn't protest against any of this or even tells Yaakov what really happened to his child.

Moshe: God allows Pharoah to 'forget' what Joseph did for Egypt. Why? So the Israelites can be tortured. And then God finds that to be a compelling reason to kill and torture Egyptians too! Why else would God be 'hardening Pharoah's heart'? Let's not forget little Moishe's a killer as well!

Desert: Could it be any clearer? Taking a slave nation, allowing it to starve/die of thirst, then smiting it. It's 'almost' like God took pleasure in the complaining/smiting process.

OK you get the picture. I could go on and on, and I could bring you all sorts of literary devices to prove my point. The literal words don't matter that much, because I can always construct devices from the 'dominant word' of different chapters, or read into silences in the narrative etc.

Just for the fun of it, though, let's try a different assumption: God is really a vampire. Yep, a vampire.

Creation: OK this one's a toughy since I don't know if there's a vampire myth that vampires created the world. But maybe there is, and this one's an obvious allusion to it. Notice how we go through, creating the different animals. The sixth day represents the highest part of creation, and animals are in it. God could have fed off of animals... But that's not enough, so he created man, to have the ultimate feeding source.

Sons of God: A clear term for the race of vampires coming to human settlements and mingling in, at which point they're undetectable by humans. Their offsprings are 'heroes' - since vampires and vampire-spawn were so much stronger than average humans.

Noah: God got sick of humans and their nonsense, but he needed to preserve a food source, preferably with as much variety as possible ie. the animals.

Skipping ahead to Egypt (not that Avraham to Joseph is hard to explain of course, I could fill pages and pages with drashot about their contribution to creating the ultimate race of semi-vampires and how it's pashut in the text) notice the first plague - blood. The frogs were simply turned into crazy vampire frogs (some say they were crocodiles). Some of the plagues though were clearly not meant literally. Makat Bechorot is an easy and fun one for vampires to do.

Desert: Notice the repetitive theme of blood. Who else but a vampire could want so much blood and so many dead animals? 'The soul is in the blood...' How could God smell the sweet scent of a sacrifice unless He was a vampire? What about the law against looking at God? Clearly God doesn't want to be seen because of what he is. It's pashut in the text that God was physical when he had the big feast with the elders and Moshe at the end of Parshat Mishpatim. Also, Moshe's 'aura' -- yep, he was turned.

Once again, I think you get the picture.