The Bible Meets a Stand-up Comic

Dear Friends,

One of the most interesting studies of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) that I know is a book by Evan Eisenberg, The Ecology of Eden. It is a fusion of history, anthropology, ecology, and archeology with his own spiritual exploration.

It gives an ecological grounding to the spiritual struggle of the Western Semitic peoples in the face of the emergence of imperial monocrop agriculture in Sumeria. That spiritual struggle resulted, Eisenberg suggests, in the birth of Torah.

The Torah does not include Eco-Judaism; the Torah IS Eco-Judaism.

Eisenberg casts a sardoniceye not only on ancient empires, but also on those in seats of power today. (In this he echoes one book of the Bible: the Scroll of Esther, which is a funny and bitter critique of arrogance in power.) Below is his sardonic Torah commentary on Shofetim and on passages from Genesis, the Gospels of Matthew and John, and Ecclesiastes -- which he calls "THE KING GEORGE VERSION" of the Bible.


"And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them…" — Deuteronomy 17:18-19.

Genesis 1:1-28

In the big inning God created the Prescott and the Bush.

And the Bush was uninformed and void, and darkies was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of Dad flew over the water.

And God said, Let them be white. And they was white.

And God saw the whites, that they were good. And God divided the whites from the darks.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our whiteness; and let him make his millions over the oil of the sea, and from fouling the air, and over the battle, and over net worth, and over every creepy thing that creeps do on earth.

And God dressed him, and God said to him, Eat Fruit Loops and multiply, and drill the earth and undo it; and have your minions over the executing ranch, and the vegetative ranch, and the prejudicial ranch.

Matthew 5:1-9

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a broadcast booth; and when he was set, and made up, his advisers came unto him:

And he opened his mouth, and read the prompter, saying,

Blessed is the boors and nitwits, for theirs is the kingdom at present.

Blessed is they who are well-born, for they shall be comfortable.

Blessed is the cliques, for they shall inherit the perch.

Blessed is they with a hungover thirst after rightwingness, for they shall be filled.

Blessed is the purseful, for they shall obtain purses.

Blessed is the sure in Karl, for they shall succeed Dad.

Blessed is the warmakers, for they shall be called the children of Saud.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

To every thing there is a fleecing, and a dime to every purpose under the heaven.

A dime for trees shorn, and a dime to mine; a dime to plant fibs, and a dime to talk up that which is planted;

A dime to kill, and a dime to make squeal; a dime to make drown, and a dime to build YUP;

A dime to weep, and a dime to smirk; a dime to yawn, and a dime to prance;

A dime to get tapped for Bones, and a dime to gather Bonesmen together; a dime to scapegrace, and a dime to retrain for scapegracing;

A dime to pet, and a dime to schmooze; a dime to grease, and a dime to fax DeLay;

A dime to pretend, and a dime to snow; a dime to keep silence, and a dime to leak;

A dime for mud, and a dime for hate; a dime for war, and a dime for Reconstruction.

John 3:16

For Dad so loved the world, that he gave his first begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not flourish, but have desert-blasting strife.



Torah Portions: