Lessons Learned In Hebrew School

At the outset, let me make it clear that I was not the best student in Hebrew school. In fact, it was well established that my best friend in that school and I were in a race to the bottom of the class. However, I did retain some of the knowledge my teachers attempted to impart.

One Biblical passage came back to me today when I commented that the Republican Party was the ignorant and stupid party. One of the listeners objected that I was painting with too broad a brush and that there were some Republicans who weren’t all that bad. At that point, a portion of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah set forth in Genesis, Chapter 18, came back to me. Here’s that portion, lightly edited and brought up to date.

And the Lord said, “Since the cry of the GOP has become great, and since their sin has become very grave,

I will descend now and see, whether according to her cry, which has come to Me, they have done; [I will wreak] destruction [upon them]; and if not, I will know.”

And the men turned from there and went to the White House, and Abraham was still standing before the Lord.

And Abraham approached and said, “Will You even destroy the righteous with the wicked?

Perhaps there are fifty righteous men in the midst of the GOP; will You even destroy and not forgive the place for the sake of the fifty righteous men who are in its midst?

Far be it from You to do a thing such as this, to put to death the righteous with the wicked so that the righteous should be like the wicked. Far be it from You! Will the Judge of the entire earth not perform justice?”

And the Lord said, “If I find in the GOP fifty righteous men within the party, I will forgive the entire party for their sake.”

And Abraham answered and said, “Behold now I have commenced to speak to the Lord, although I am dust and ashes.

Perhaps the fifty righteous men will be missing five. Will You destroy the entire party because of five?” And He said, “I will not destroy if I find there forty-five.”

And he continued further to speak to Him, and he said, “Perhaps forty will be found there.” And He said, “I will not do it for the sake of the forty.”

And he said, “Please, let the Lord’s wrath not be kindled, and I will speak. Perhaps thirty will be found there.” And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

And he said, “Behold now I have desired to speak to the Lord, perhaps twenty will be found there.” And He said, “I will not destroy for the sake of the twenty.”

And he said, “Please, let the Lord’s wrath not be kindled, and I will speak yet this time, perhaps ten will be found there.” And He said, “I will not destroy for the sake of the ten.”

And the Lord departed when He finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.

I take from this that the days of the Republican Party are numbered.

4 thoughts on “Lessons Learned In Hebrew School”

  1. To a modern sensibility, Abraham comes out of this exchange better than his God. But his admirable efforts to bargain down the retribution are to no avail. There aren’t even ten righteous, and Sodom dies.

    Jack Miles suggests we should read the required sacrifice of Isaac in a similar light. The story does not tell us whether Abraham would have gone ahead with it. In the end the Lord settles for the unlucky ram, and Abraham’s heirs can bar human sacrifice.

  2. Ezekiel (16:49) has an apposite comment: “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy” (NIV).

    In response to NCGatSmFcts, it does seem that a great many of the Republicans who might have mounted some kind of rebellion have officially left the party, weakening whatever loyal opposition remains within the party.

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