[DB: This is funny, but false, and I do not endorse it. Happy Rosh Hashana]
As you can imagine, I was more than a little startled
"CA," began the Divine Entity, "You've been a bad boy... "
"Yeah, I know," I replied. "First I made a margarita to drink before dinner. Then some kiddush wine, and after that, a half a bottle of merlot. And the two shots of slivowitz after dinner as a digestif. It's not a good idea to mix drinks, and now I have a hell of a headache, not to mention a queasy tummy...."
It seemed that the face of the KBH grew red with anger as He said, "No not that, you alcoholic nudnick! I mean your posts in the comments section at DovBear! I mean the way you always go out of your way to look for pork and shellfish entrees at the lunch buffet! I mean the way you're always arriving at shul just in time for the kiddush! I mean the way you act as though the Orthodox (or even Conservative) Jewish Mesorah was just a foolish fantasy! Well, I've got news for you, mister: That Orthodox mesorah is all true, and not only am I, G-d, Orthodox, I'm RIGHT-WING FUNDAMENTALIST ORTHODOX! But I'm still a merciful G-d, so I'm giving you one more chance to do teshuva. "
With that, He lifted me out of bed with His supernatural powers, and took me straight to Gehenna for the deluxe tour. The Pain! The freezing cold! The burning heat! The agonizing boredom of having to re-experience every moment I ever spent in Hebrew School! As I was writhing in the uttermost degradation while lying on my back on a bed of spikes, the Divine Presence towered over me, glowing red with righteous indignation."Well, CA? Do you see what you will face if you don't repent and become a frum black hatter? "
I weakly nodded my assent, my mind numb with terror and regret at the wrong turn my life had taken...and yet...
"You know what I require of you? That you immediately resign from that evil House of Conservative k'firah where you now pray..."
"Actually," I replied, "I don't really pray there, because I usually arrive too late, but in time for kiddush..."
"Shut up," said the Almighty. "And you must re-kasher your kitchen to meet the exacting humradik standards of the most right-wing rabbi in your city, not that he'd ever agree to eat by you, anyway. And you must take your children out of that "community" day school and place your son in the yeshiva that I will show you and your daughter in Beis Yaakov. There's no need for either of them to waste their time with "college preparatory" courses, as they shall never attend college. Your son shall go to Israel, attend a yeshiva, and learn full time for the rest of your life. After all, you have a generous pension plan and can afford to support him. As for your daughter, all she needs to learn is enough to get a shidduch with a nice yeshiva boy who will also learn full time for the rest of your life. You do have that pension, after all, which should be enough to cover the tuition payments for your 50 grandchildren. And your wife must throw away all that Modern-Orthodox style pritzidik stuff she now wears and only buy official z'niyusdik beged Isha approved by the rabbis. Plus, she'll need to wear a wig, AND a snood, AND a hat. As for you, you will spare every free minute you have either you will be learning Torah with a proper rabbi or you will write comments in DovBear in support of the fundamentalists. And you will make friends with the Bray of Fundie and agree with him always!!Thus sayeth the L-rd!!"
As the Ineffable One was listing His non-negotiable demands, the rational part of my mind was finally starting to recover its function. True, Hashem had shown me all of my flaws and warts, and I had reason to regret many of the choices I made with my life. But always agreeing with the Bray of Fundie? No! That was too much for anyone to ask. All of a sudden it became crystal clear. I knew what I had to do, and I was no longer afraid of the consequences
"No." I croaked."
No?" repeated the KBH. "You dare misuse the Free Will I gave you?"
"Yeah. I dare. And it's not "misuse." Go Cheney yourself you sorry excuse for a Deity. Who do you think you are -- God or something.."
The Abishter cleared his throat-equivalent with evident displeasure.
"..oh, yeah, yeah, OK, so you're God. Well then who the Hell made you God? What right do have to claim Divine rulership over me?"
I could tell that He was getting a little peeved.
"My Kingship prevails because I created the Universe, and I am Omnipotent...""
Oh..." I said, "That's it? The source of all 'Morality?' The great and Holy YHVH is just another Tinpot Dictator operating on the principle of 'might makes right?' What should I call you, 'El Presidente?' 'Il Duce?' 'Mein Fuhrer?' or 'Mr. Giuliani?'"
"No fair!" sputtered the L-rd. "I invoke Godwin's Law! I win!""
'Godwin's Law?'" I repeated. "Using the name of Rudolf Guiliani doesn't invoke Godwin's Law.."
"You know what I mean!"
Now G-d was showing his blazing wrath, indignation, fury, and a band of messengers of evil, but He also sounded frustrated. "Well I gave you your chance, but now you will burn in Gehnna forever!..."
"Go ahead," I said, amazingly calmly considering what I knew would be in store for me. "You think that you prevail when You cast me into the pit, but you're wrong. When You win, You really lose. Look, You have revealed Yourself to me in all Your glory and clearly demonstrated Your power over me. And You could do was punish me and make me feel bad until the cows come home, but in the end, You were unable to convince me to use my free will to do Your will. You might be all-powerful, but You're still a Loser."
"In fact, I'll bet that every year during the High Holiday's you see all the Jews praying and outwardly repenting their sins, but You know it's all a crock. That the vast majority of Jews don't even believe in You as a Right-Wing Fundamentalist God and blow off Your commandments accordingly. Most of the few who do only do Your Will out of fear of punishment. You call that 'Free Will?'. I'll bet that the number of people who actually follow Your rules by choice and with joy and acceptance is so small you can count them with the fingers of one hand! Nobody wants the snake oil you're selling, and I'll bet it must really bother you! So go ahead! Send me to Hell! Fat lot of good it will do YOU..."
And with that a huge frustrated cry broke out that shattered my mind. It seemed as if all the air in the Void were being sucked out and I was choking, choking....And my wife was shaking me as I suddenly snorted awake. The glowing numbers on the clock by the bed said that it was 3 in the morning
."Jesus!" she said, "CA, don't scare me like that, you stopped breathing again, it was for, like, 20 seconds! Oy, when will that damn Central Medical Supply come and deliver that CPAP machine you ordered? I can't take your snoring and your stopping breathing and all. And when you're not doing that, you're talking in your sleep! And who is this "Bray of Fundie," anyway? I hope he's not one of those nudnik commentators on DovBear who get you all upset. Really, you spend too much time reading those blogs, it puts you in a bad mood. Why bother, because God is really a laid back Feminist egalitarian who's dedicated to religious pluralism. Why read fundies whose beliefs just make you feel bad?"
Well, Mrs. Apikoris is a wonderful partner, and I know she means the best for me, but I also know that I must continue to uphold my principles of "I'm an apikoris, not a goy!" and continue to engage with the fundies. And now that I've encountered the worst, I can do it without fear that I'm wrong, because even when He wins, He really loses.