I read where some thoughtful Jews were thinking of terminating a contract with God. The contract between God and Abraham certifying the Jews as “The Chosen People.”
The contract was entered into some 5,000 years ago when a wandering Iraqi sheep-herder named Abram (the Abraham of the contract) was going through Canaan. This stretch of land at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea came to be known as the Holy Land. The Chosen People’s Holy Land is about one-seventh the size of Missouri. Small as it is, it has been fought over and ruled over by everybody but the Japanese. Genghis Khan’s sons got to the gates of Jerusalem once.
Rabbis later joked about Abraham’s choice of land. The land had no oil, nor did it have a nice California climate.
The Hebrews (an old name for Jews) claimed the contract was up for renewal and in their official papers, and advised: “After these many millennia of consideration, we, the Jews (The Chosen People) have decided that we really do not wish to renew.”
They pointed out to God that the only written record of the contract is in a very old book with the generic name of “The Beginning” (Genesis in English). This book is disputed by some people as only myths. To others, every word is sacred. How could such a contract making the Jews the Chosen People be creditable? It should have expired any number of times, but the tourist trade kept the economy growing.
The Jews, so the document goes, have not really benefited too much from the arrangement. Going back to the early years of the contract, things got off on the wrong foot. After Abraham died, Moses led them to the Promised Land, but would not go in.
Did he know something the others didn’t? The local people were not welcoming as they ventured across the Jordan. No candy bars or flowers at Jericho.
The locals did not know about any contract making these refugees from Egypt the Chosen People.
After the Jews subdued most of the natives, the “ites” (the Hittites, Edomites and Moabites) kept snapping at their heels. According to the Hebrews own books of Kings and Chronicles, preemptive strikes were annual events. Pogroms followed them in their migrations.
As if murder and pillage were not enough, the Chosen People began to fight among themselves. This was really a bad idea as it ended the kingdom they called Israel. That is until the British got it back for them in 1948. They had to push the local natives (their ancient cousins) out again.
(There was a footnote in the financial records that the Jews had been at great expense to build two enormous temples only to have them destroyed. The expense of keeping the Western Wall as a tourist site was also noted.)
The Chosen People really got on a roll when they recounted the era of the Crusades. The Pope in Rome sent European Christian knights and the Arabs sent the Muslim extremists. An old timer wrote in his journal: We were caught for centuries in the middle by Christians or Muslims, remaking the Holy Land in their image.
The Chosen still wanted out, in spite of getting another $30 billion U.S. over next 10 years for military hardware (Aug. 16, 2007, newspaper report).
“Enough is enough,” shouted the Hebrews when they heard some American Protestant preachers were predicting that Russia and Iran would invade the Holy Land soon, “We want out of this Chosen People contract.”
Britt Towery recently “discovered” this tale and re-wrote it in his own Texan-opinionated style. His column appears in the Bulletin on Fridays. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.