Tag Archives: life

The Disconnected Life of a Common Man

Religion is one of those subjects best left off the table.

You keep to your beliefs and I’ll keep to mine and we’ll get along just fine, yes indeed.
But years go by…

Beliefs evolve and mature, as an aging soul takes stock. The outcome: a realization that time is slipping ever so quickly past and that what there is left is all there is.

Time to make the best of what I’ve got.

I find that I no longer care to get along. Haven’t, in fact, cared for almost two decades. But I’m polite, sociable, so I’ve kept my mouth shut for the most part. Carried my beliefs in my innermost being and trudged along like everything was just fine on the exterior.

I’m saddened, you see.

I’m bereft and disconnected.

My people, my community, is not to be found.

I’m a functional silo, like the others who believe as I do, with our only support system one that is as tenuous as the continued strength of the electrical grid and the satellite system.

Our “community” is who we are – individuals pocketed and scattered hither and thither, singular souls taking stance in a world of difference and indifference.

It creates a sorrow like no other, an ache for what has been lost since before the first Israelite temple was built, before the first king was chosen:

The community of the Hebrews, comprised of twelve tribes and the Levites, all ruled by the Priests. The Aaronic priests, who were the sole recipients, the sole keepers, the sole instructors for God’s words. A community whose rules included full acceptance of strangers, like me, who stumbled across and took as oath the wholehearted beauty of a system entirely dependent upon the Rule of God.

Mesmerizing in its perfect simplicity, it has created a longing, a desire for a thing that I don’t believe I will ever live to see.

There.

That’s the reason for the sorrow, the ache.

Detachment.

Unfulfilled dreams.

Dreams dependent on people who are blind to their roles.

My role is to be a common man, the role of the twelve tribes and the stranger – no gender bias, just simplicity – and to fulfill my daily role of living a life commanded by God through Torah, relayed by the Priests, sons of Aaron.

I’ll keep my role. I’ll not waver from it.

But damn, it’s lonely out here.

Gross Abuse

I’m not going to write this to be popular, to look for agreement.  I’m not expecting to turn heads, or make people take a closer look for themselves.

I’m aware that this is highly controversial and may piss off everyone.

I’m saying it anyway.

There are a few issues on which I stand my ground, those proverbial mountains upon which I would die, the fight that I’ll take to my grave.  What follows is one of those.

You’re free to exit the page now,

go on –

I’ll give you a second.

Still here?  You can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Predominantly, when there is a leader, the position has been granted with the expectation of specific results.  The guidelines are established and the leader has some leeway, but must produce the intended results or lose the leadership position.

This post is about a specific, well known, and much loved leader:  Moses.

Most people would readily agree that he was chosen for a major leadership role, given a specific set of instructions, and given the tools to accomplish the assigned tasks.

Most would say that Moses did his job, completed the task, since the end result of leading the Hebrews into Canaan was accomplished.

I contend that Moses grossly abused his role, and would go so far as to point out that his transgressions while in the leadership role are evidenced by the fact that he was not allowed to put one foot into the ‘Promised Land’.

close reflection

The common perspective is that it had to do with splitting the rock.  I thought the same for years, the text leads us to believe that.  That’s abuse, but not a gross abuse, not of the magnitude that I am about to present.  Granted, when you’re in the position of representing Almighty, you’d better give credit where it is due – Moses’ neglect to honor Almighty was enormous.

I’m talking about another abuse, an interwoven thread of corruption that makes the rock event pale by comparison.  I’m talking about taking the Laws into his own hands and reforming them, refashioning them, adding to them in a manner that seemed not only allowable and acceptable to Moses, but to an entire populace for thousands of years.

It’s not a new thing in religion, it’s truly not.  We’re pretty gullible if there’s a word encased within the bindings of a cover titled ‘The Bible’ — would even go so far as to call every single word Holy, immutable, penned with the absolute permission of Almighty, even directly attributed to Almighty.

I warned you –

you should have left sooner…

you still have that opportunity –

fire moon

Where was I?  Oh yes.

Holy, immutable, every word.

Let’s look at Proverbs 31.  The favorable woman.

I’ll first agree, the characteristics described are seemingly good ones, mannerisms and fortitude that are not bad aspirations.  But they are not commanded.  Yes, I said that – Not Commanded.  Not even attributed to Solomon, to the wise man himself.  Look it up.  Lemuel, likely a king, quotes words or vision from his mother.  Not attributed to Solomon – and most definitely not attributed to Almighty!

Okay.  There may be some of you who concur, who have made that connection.  I give you credit for your learning.

I’ll offer one other example.  This is a big one, are you ready?

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh”

Attributed to…

Adam.

Not Almighty.

So, back to Moses.  Back to the corruption, the gross abuse of the powerful role of leadership that he was granted.  Back to the extreme punishment he received.

Forty years.  Forty years of leading a large, grumbling mass of humanity through a rough terrain.  Forty years of knowing that there was an ultimate goal in sight, a promise of a land bountiful beyond anything seen before.  Forty years of the same foods, the same people, the same views, the same routines.  Forty dull years that followed a year of monumental, earth shaking events.

Then a firm denial.  Look, see what was within your grasp.  Take a long distance peek at what you’re going to miss, you’re excluded from, denied entrance.  Lay yourself down and die, your options are no more.  Almighty would perform the final act, would remove the leader and take firm credit.

I’ll not question if the punishment fit the deed, as Almighty has clearly cast that Judgment, rightly so.

altar rock stack

I’ll propose that there’s more to the story, and it’s in the text, it’s available to any who cares to read, should they accept it for its worth.

Look at the words attributed to Almighty, those immutable Laws, directions, instructions, conditions.  Take care – if you’re not paying attention, you’ll get too relaxed in thinking you know which words fit the category.  Do what Almighty instructed and look for the voice of Almighty (see Ex 15:26 or Ex 19:10 for examples).

Now, look at those words attributed to Moses.

The entirety of Tanakh has been fashioned after those words, the words of Moses.  In fact, the entirety of the New Testament could not hold water if the words of Moses did not exist.

Abuse of Power.

To the Highest Degree.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.