Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Shavuot Revelation

So here I am, erev Shavuot, I go to the lunch buffet around the corner from my office and fill up on treif: shrimp salad, roasted pork loin, barbecue pork ribs. Just a little taste, but I knew I had a 2 day dose of religion facing me.

Well, about quitting time. my tummy began to feel queasy. This feeling intensified on the commute home, and then the Ms. and I rushed around making dinner, which didn't make me feel any better. I don't think the rum punch I had before dinner, or the glass of chablis helped, either. Anyway, by the time we got to shul for the tikum leayl shavuot, I was zonked and not feeling too good.

As you might guess, B'nai CA doesn't make you stay up all night, but by the time the first lecture was over it was 10:30, and I had been up since 4 that morning. So they put out the cheesecake, and, of course, I had some, which helped a little, but not much. It didn't help that the rabbi's lecture was total boredom, nonsense pilpul that attempted to teach a totally different message than the plain text of the Torah. So between by indigestion and fatigue (not themtion the uncomfortable chairs), I was starting to doze off.

As I entered the twilight realm between the rabbis droning and blissful sleep, I noticed the background getting sapphire blue. Oh crap, I thought, it wasn't enough that I had to stand at Sinai 3,000 years ago, I'm going to have to get my own personal revelation tonight, when I'm really not in the mood to get preached to while nauseous. And even worse, the sapphire was tinged with red at the edges, which means that I was going to get a visit from Right-Wing Fundamentalist Orthodox God.

Sure enough, the booming voice echoed through my head:

"CA, you've been a bad boy."

As usual, I answered this excuse for a Deity with well chosen words: "Huh?"

"Don't get funny with me CA." The Holy One was not going to let me off the hook. "I saw what you had for lunch at Wang's Downtown Buffet. Pork, shrimp, crab salad, oy, I mean I've given up expecting that you would only eat from restaurants with rabbinic supervision, but Mr. Wang does have a good choice of chicken, beef, and vegetarian stuff. Well, buster, you wonder why you're not feeling so hot this evening? Figure it out! I, the Lord of din, true divine justice, have made it so!"

"Right," said I, "maybe it was just the case that Mr. Wang didn't cook the pork long enough..."

"Believe that if you want, kofer," snarled the Abishter, who for a flash of a moment seemed to bear and uncanny resemblance to Dick Cheney, but know that Mr. Wang is very scrupulous about observing the Safe Food Handling Guidelines. Much more scrupulous than you are about observing Torah! Ha Ha! You feel like you want to barf, don't you? That will teach you to eat pork!"

And indeed, I did feel my stomach churn and start to heave.....

And the the red edges seemed to dim, and a pleasant, soft voice filled the room.

"CA, don't worry about what you just heard. God is not just a God of Justice, He/She is also a God of Mercy. Besides, why should I waste my time setting up special punishments for all 6 billion people on earth? I'd rather spend my time sitting in a mountain meadow and smoking pot. And why would I want to punish you by preventing your learning some Torah? Your tummy troubles are because you don't eat a balanced diet and don't get enough sleep. And the wine and cocktail you had with dinner didn't help. As for your violating my mitzvot, well, it's true, and I really wish you would stop being so childish and deliberately pick out pork and shrimp at Mr. Wang's buffet just to spite the Bray of Fundy, but then again, you do show up at shul, and you're not molesting any kids, and you are mostly honest in your business dealings and do your best to refrain from lashon hara, so maybe I'll spot you a couple of pork and shrimp dinners." With that, Laid-back, Egalitarian, non-Orthodox God, stretch forth his/her arm....

Poof! Snorrrt!! I suddenly woke, probably because my sleep apnea had resulted in oxygen starvation of my brain. I quickly looked around. No one seemed to notice my dozing off, probably because I wasn't the only one. Then I belt the fullness in my belly release itself by means of a very quiet, yet effective burp.

Well that was some revelation. And I have to admit that my rabbis is a wonder-working miracle man (well, miracle woman). Who needs to go the chasidic rebbe? All I have to do is listen to one of her lectures, and I fasll asleep and the Holy One blessed be He/She cures my illness.

Amen, Selah

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