Yoni Leviatan
How to be Jewish: Be good. The end.

It takes two to divide

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / frenta
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / frenta

This god of ours has a wicked sense of humor. It keeps playing the same joke on us over and over and over again. It can’t get enough. No matter how many times we repeat the cycle, it still can’t get enough of how gullible we are.

Who can blame a god with a funny bone? It’s hard not to poke at someone when they keep falling for the same prank. I’d do the exact same thing if I were god. I would look at all these people who generation after generation are blessed with nature’s highest intellect, they would be too smart to ever consider they might be falling for something in the first place, let alone actually fall for it.

They would never expect it. They wouldn’t see it as an option. I would rope them in like a hustler. I would give them every bit of knowledge, every fact in the world, millennia worth of DNA encoded with all the data necessary for how to think, act, talk, feel and live their lives as Jews – then sit back and watch with a chuckle as they continue to fuck it up all over again.

I would make it so incredibly easy to be Jewish, they would never consider the possibility it could be as easy as a binary option. Good or bad? Righteous or immoral? Ha. That’s brilliant. It’s so simple no one would believe it for a second, even if I sent a guy named Hillel to deliver the message personally.

Honest integrity vs. dishonest corruption? I could send messenger after messenger, sign after sign, guys with funny names like Maimonides and Spinoza to make complex cases requiring high degrees of philosophical inquiry just so they would agree to listen in the first place – since they won’t ever listen unless there are built-in complexities – and they still wouldn’t get how easy it really is.

Some people like to play games. What can you do?

Mah la’asot?     מה לעשות?

What to do?

They would search and search and search until they needed a search engine to search some more, building anthologies of scholarship and commentary, laws, rituals, traditions and cultures, without ever stopping to wonder – is it really supposed to be this hard?

Actually, they would probably think it’s supposed to be that hard on purpose. Jews need a challenge, something to keep their perpetual neuroses busy so they don’t have to deal with them to begin with. They would convince themselves the only life worth living is a life worth fighting for. Then they would fight and fight and fight and fight with everyone they met, everywhere they went, right or left, all over the internet, wherever they saw red or felt the burn.

I would toy with them along the way. I’d send them all kinds of messages to let them know they were behaving in ways that are going to get half of them killed again. In fact, I’d even tell them about all the other Jews in previous eras going back thousands of years who were slaughtered like cattle whenever the world got mad cow and blamed it on the Jews.

Again.

I’d make sure they had plenty of centuries notice for what happens when Jews are too busy fighting for what they believe in, they refuse to believe they’re fighting with their only ally, the only one they can trust for sure.

That way my hands would be clean. They could never come back and say “Hey, you didn’t warn us!” I’d be innocent of any false claims of withholding evidence. No one could accuse me of being without compassion or empathy this time. No one would dare say they don’t believe in me anymore. They would understand I exist.

They would understand, finally, after so many golden calves and searing catastrophes:

I exist.

I always existed. I simply wasn’t meant to be idolized. I was only meant to be an advisor, a signpost saying which way is good and which way is bad. It’s not my fault they misunderstood the directions. They chose to see the fork in the road as a choice between left and right. How many times and how many ways can a god come up with to show them the light?

At that point, any outside objective observer would look at the situation and say, “Yeah, you did everything you could. What do they expect, some kind of messiah to part the sea again?”

That’s when our god would shrug its shoulders, open its hands out wide with palms face up, nod its head back with a smug lift of the eyebrow tethered with that smirky look of resignation which says all you need to know without ever saying a word: “What do you want from me? What more can I do?”

Ein mah la’asot            אין מה לעשות

There’s nothing to do

A Jew is born every minute. They always insist on learning each lesson for themselves, no matter how many times it’s been learned before.

They’re way too smart to believe it could be so simple.

 

About the Author
Yoni Leviatan (in chronological order of passports and professions) is a British-born, American-raised, Israeli-blooded musician, content producer, brand marketing strategy consultant, on-camera presenter and political analyst who loves to think out loud. Especially about Israel. Originally from Coral Springs, Florida, Yoni has been living in Tel Aviv since 2009 when he returned to water the roots his grandparents planted in 1948. He has a BA in Criminology from the University of Florida, an MA in Political Science & Political Communication from Tel Aviv University, and a PHD in living your life the way it was meant to be lived. Click here to see him on video. Click here to hear his music.
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