Monday, June 22, 2009

Five Smooth Stones and a Little Faith

So, it’s summer time, which means 5 things:

(1) The Fantasy Football pre-season ridiculousness is well underway. And talks of successfully doing an auction draft have me giddy.
(2) I am officially a college graduate, or, more accurately, unemployed.
(3) Clothing is at a minimum.
(4) I watch a lot more television, including the NBC drama “Kings”, which, between episodes 1 and 5, went from “intriguing show with interesting Biblical allusions” to “unwatchable and...holy crap, that's Macaulay Culkin!”
(5) This blog will be updated more often. Potentially.

In last weeks Torah portion, God tells Moses, the Supreme Leader of the Israelites and self-proclaimed World’s Humblest Man, to send men to spy out the Promised Land. Moses obliges and sends off a “prince” from each tribe, including the tastefully named Gadi ben Sussi from the Tribe of Menasseh. They check out the land, and come back with what appears to be a pretty accurate description of the land. They went in front of everyone, and reported that, as advertised, the land was in fact flowing with milk and honey. Then they showed the people some fruit, told them where the enemies and giants lived, and that the task was impossible. For bad-mouthing the land, the people were punished with 40 years of wandering…wait…GIANTS?

Yes, the Torah talks about giants. They go by different names: Nephillim, Anakim (or Bnei Anak), Rephaim (or Bnei Rapha), Zamzumim, Emim and perhaps more that I’m missing. Well, they might be giants. All we know is how these words have been translated through the years. They are mentioned a bunch of times throughout the Tana’kh including, but not limited to: the pre-flood account, the aforementioned spies story, the Joshua land-conquering story, and in the epic David vs. Goliath showdown. Whether they were just a bunch of freakishly tall guys, or, as Genesis 6 implies regarding the Nephillim, the illegitimate children of “sons of God” and “daughters of man”, doesn’t really matter to me. It does matter that whoever, or whatever, these guys were, they were definitely intimidating. But also...defeatable.

Five smooth stones and a little faith. Sounds more like a Christian rock band than a formula for military success. But for one good looking, red-faced young man, that’s what it took to slay the mighty Goliath. An army full of soldiers and not one was willing to fight. So David, the shepherd boy, stepped up. The prize? A kingdom.

I spent the weekend in the modern day promised land for young Jewish adults: the Upper West Side. One of my favorite people of all time, and reigning fantasy football champ, got married yesterday, so I decided to spend the weekend with my boy Hecker. I’ve definitely enjoyed having readily available food available during my 40 days wandering Baltimore in between college and whatever it is that lies ahead. But I'm also aware that the comfort level that comes with sleeping late can eventually become detrimental. So I went to spy out the Land. Much to my delight, the flowing milk and honey of the Biblical Holy Land were replaced with fine scotch and cheap beer. Unfortunately, there are definitely a few giants that stand in my way.

I guess I just need to have a little faith. And if any of you guys have stones, or employment opportunities, for this red-faced young man, I’d love to slay the bastards.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Confront the difficult,
while it is still easy;
accomplish the great task
by a series of small acts.

-Lao Tsu

Anonymous said...

I don't know about any employment opportunities but I know a nice red-haired/faced young man that would love you to come... And teach you a little something about faith.

-Sheni

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