Sunday, January 11, 2009


Ok, so here's a puzzle. Let's say for some reason you think Genesis is a nice ancient anthology of naive yarns, not prophecy so much, per se. So who were the Jews who thought of themselves as The Many and needed to look back and know their father Abraham, way back at the beginning of Time? Having found your own origins, would you share that glory with your goyish neighbors? Who were the Arabs rubbing together in the wadis who needed a mother, and why did a Jewish talespinner give them Hagar1? Why were the other peoples in the vicinity not also mentioned, or were they simply edited out like the children of Keturah? When did all these people share the good earth? Clearly, it's easier to predict the future when your tale is set in the distant past. Think Wilma Flintstone in a babushka. Think Oggham's Laser2.

1Who's on First? Although slave Hagar's son Ishmael came first, all these illegitimate Arabs have no right to own land "because God says so." It's legalism, sleight of hand. Think Jacob, Esau and primogeniture. To add insult to injury, both Esau and Ishmael are described as hairier than Chewbacca. Maybe the mark of Cain was simply no hair on his forehead! These ancient Mesopotamians carried a curious set of recessive genes — and hairy kids never inherited.

2The sensible principle that it's better to be a scullery maid married to a witch's seventh son than a scullery maid with a master's degree in irony.



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