POEM LX: BRING THE LIGHTNING

At some point in the development of any adult Jewish consciousness,
it’s going to dawn on you
that Yahweh is a real asshole.

Jealous, wrathful, insecure,
a seething monster God,
prone to fits and rages
and the occasional genocide
when he doesn’t get his way:
you’ll realize, at some point,
that loving this nightmare is impossible.

Don’t worry.
This is normal.
Judaism has room for this realization.
In fact, it encourages it.

If you live long enough to be an old Jew,
you won’t give a crap about God.

He’s the spiteful,
angry maniac in the sky,
a toddler throwing thunderbolts–
most old Jews don’t talk about him much at all.

And any rabbi who hasn’t given God
the finger, double-barreled,
isn’t much of a rabbi at all.

Instead, you’ll find them intensely interested in
what you do. How much you pay your employees.
What kind of time they get off work when they become parents.
How much you give to charity.

The real, quantifiable work of being a good person
of helping other people
putting bread in their mouths
and shoes on their feet.
Decency measured out in flour and water and salt.

Hospitality becomes a very big deal.
Food, even more so.
Go to our houses, you’ll see.

It’s cause we’re from the desert.
It’s cause our dad was an asshole.
It’s cause we don’t believe in reward and punishment.

Just the right here, right now.

So, could you eat?

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