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The Eclectic Pen - When Moses went to the mountaintop a second time

By: Paul H. (nessus19) - ,   + 43 more  
Date Submitted: 4/17/2008
Last Updated: 4/18/2008
Genre: Uncategorized
Words: 915

  Disclaimer: This is an attempt at creative writing, which sometimes has an edge both the writer and the reader can nick their fingers on. How else do we learn and experiment? It is not hate speech—however it is defined these days—nor is it intended to be a diatribe focused at shaking the foundations of the faithful. Faith—ditto—tends to be pretty impervious stuff. If it offends yours, it is time to re-examine your faith, not these words.

And in those days when the Hebrews had been freed from bitter bondage in the house of Egypt, and were wandering in the wilderness, G-d once again choose to speak with his servant, Moses.
In the form of a roiling cloud of fire and thunder, the Most High appeared before the tent of Moses and said unto him, “come away from My people and their possessions to a distant mountain top that I may speak to thee.

Moses took up his staff, and went away from his people so that he might climb the mountain and heed the command of G-d. And when he reached the summit, Moses did purify and abase himself, then knelt with arms outstretched and his head touching the ground.

And again the whirlwind of flame and thunder descended from the heavens and appeared before Moses. And from the whirlwind the voice of G-d could be heard like the sound of a thousand cymbals and ten thousand horns. And the Most High spoke.

“Moses, hear me, for there is another task I will set before thee. Go down from this place to My people who camp below, and seek out the scribes and the stone cutters. Tell them to bring forth their scrolls and the Tablets of the Law I have given unto thee so that I might add to the words I have burned upon the stone and upon their minds.

And Moses, trembling before the whirlwind, said “Tell me these words, Lord, that I might do your bidding.”

And the Lord spoke, saying “Upon the Tablets of the Law, its living rock given unto thee from My own hand, there shall be written an Addendum.”
And the Holy One spoke saying: “Where it is written ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ add these words “Unless I command thee to do so, and then thou shalt draw thy swords and butcher those who stand before thee. Whole tribes and cities of men may stand against thee, but you may slaughter these to the last, pull down the stones of the city, scatter flocks, befoul the land, and tread upon the ashes of the vanquished. Leave no widows to weep, nor children to wander amid the ruins. Thou shalt show no mercy nor stay thy hand because the Lord you G-d is with thee and will make you great and feared among the nations of the earth.”

And the Holy One spoke further saying: “Where it is written ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me,’ add these words “Because the Lord your G-d is capricious and mercurial, slow to anger but forever desiring the worship and awe of His people. And also praise, everlasting. Let them not consider reverence and respect for the world and its people save through words that first praise G-d and in a manner pleasing to My ears. Let them not question the ways of the Most Holy, nor the wisdom of the ways I set before thee. Though I have given thee a heart to feel and a mind to reason, thou art a grain of sand upon the world I have created, and dust upon the expanse of my handiwork. Because of this, let them stand in awe of Me and banish from their minds all yearning to know more than is right for them to know.

And the Holy One spoke again saying: “Where it is written ‘Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's,’ add these words “Though great storms may tear down your house and destroy the crops of thy field, and pestilence cast its shadow upon your household and its servants, thou shalt not wish for the good fortune of thy neighbour. I say unto you, your path may be made hard by me and I may cause all manner of sorrows to you so that your voice utters only lamentations, but thou shall not wish for the bounty I have provided your neighbour nor the good countenance I have chosen to shine down upon him. I will permit all manner of suffering to fall upon men like a hard rain, but no heart shall feel weary and no eyes gaze longingly upon the blessings I bestow others…yea, even those undeserving in thine eyes. If I place thee in shadow, do not strive to move beyond it, nor seek the help of others to lighten your burden.

When G-d had finished speaking unto Moses, and rose again to the heavens, Moses held fast the words he had heard, and descended the mountain and came upon the place his people had camped.

Seeing that he was greatly troubled and sadness upon his brow, the people drew back in fear and bade Moses not speak.

But Aaron did not draw back and approached Moses.

“Moses,” said Aaron “what troubles thee? What hast thou heard that causes you pain?”

And Moses spoke saying, “Aaron, it is an unwise thing to make a god of your god.”

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Comments 1 to 2 of 2
Marta J. (booksnob) - 4/17/2008 6:01 PM ET
Once again, well done Paul. And right on time for Passover! What I love about this piece is the same thing that I love about (my) Judaism; that you can challenge thought without fear of castigation and still be a Jew. Once again I say--well done--you are a wise man indeed.
Daniel S. (efreak) - 5/7/2008 5:54 PM ET
heh...God seems kind of a bit perverse here
Comments 1 to 2 of 2