Shabbos Torah with Schwartzie
In this week’s parsha of Shoftim, the pasuk says- just kidding. In this week’s parsha, Re’eh, God lays his cards right out on the table. “See, I’ve got here a blessing and a curse for ya,” He says (famous last words).
It should be noted here that it’s no fun playing cards with God. It’s not that He cheats, it’s more that He doesn’t have to.
Because look at this- it’s not as if we have a choice here. God has generously presented us with two options: blessing and curse. History will reveal that the Jewish people will experience both of these things, one more than the other (curse- it’s curse. We get a lot of that), but in general we are either living with one or the other. Why is God being so manic? He basically has set us up here, supposedly His chosen people, to live in a permanent extreme for all eternity.
“Why,” you may be asking at this point, “is it such a problem? We have the potential to live in blessing for all eternity, and you have to bet big to win big, right?”
Wrong. Because guess what. We’re playing by the House rules. Listen how it goes:
“The blessing is that you will listen to God’s commandments which I command you today.” Those are the words of the pasuk, verbatim. Now, I can analyze the language of the Torah more deeply and certainly draw from it an uplifting moral- something like, “so the blessing is that we will listen to the rules? It must be that the laws are so wonderful that they are in themselves a reward.”
But I’m not gonna do that. Do you want to know why? Because included in the rules just a few paragraphs later is the fact that if your mom, or sister, or wife, or best friend tries to entice you in private to go and worship idols, you are obligated to go rat them out to everyone, and then you must cast the first stone to kill them! George Orwell can suck it, no mortal writer of fiction is going to invent a society of informers who are constantly monitored by an invisible omniscient being twenty-four hours a day. God beat him to that punch three thousand yeas ago.
So I’m just going to say that if God thinks that virtue is its own reward, He’s nuts. Because “virtue” means turning my wife over to an angry mob of charedim to stone her to death because she whispered in bed one time that she’d like to try something new, like worship Ba’al, or whatever. So thanks for the “blessing”, Hashem, but You can keep it. Isn’t there an option for neutrality, like no blessing and no curse? Why can’t I live in mediocrity without having to turn my mother in to the avodah zarah police?
I’d like to cash in my chips and leave, the problem is that I can’t because my chips are the bris on my penis which is attached to my body.