We Semites

A Canto

"I Am The Lord Thy God," TheName did say
"No other gods before me," He proclaimed.
(Well, yes, but after Me find those who'll stay
The surrogates to wrath who could be blamed....)

Thus would a cast of lawyers form our show
Interpreting such laws as holy writ
"From God's own lips to Moses' hand," we crow.
(And lawyer-priests excelsior do flit....)

But how'd it start and how will all this end?
The mystery upon us now is strong.
What answers could that bring us which might send
The ken to calculate what's right and wrong?

And might the system thus in place outpace
The baser notions which we'd haste erase?

Our time upon the stage was brief, indeed,
First Saul did set the tempo as our king.
Yet why on earth did David him succeed?
Were Saul's great victories too short a string?

That David was fantastastic is well known.
He conquered all our foes both near and wide.
So Jonathan's true legacies unsewn
Might matter little to our peoples' pride.

And then, the pinnacle of all occurred
As Solomon his temple great would build.
Yet churches need their priests, a fact not blurred,
As dared they rule of law to be enstilled.

But when the glory days of yore sail short,
We need some hook to bring us back to port.

The buildings crashed and burned but in our flight
The learned kept our myths and gods and laws
Imposing where hegemony might 'light
The wisdom of our forbears 'mong our flaws.

From Asia Minor trudged our ancient souls
And Bedouins became where'er we flew.
But always at the top of all our goals
Was keeping totems sacred as we grew.

A nasty lot who others did outsmart.
Unpopular though we tried not to see
Destroying any ties as we did part.
How could the goyim not wish we might flee?

Yet all our gruesome tales some did inscribe
As artists great evolve would from this tribe.

Returning from the Babylonian camps
With sanctions for a second schule secure
Our poets, priests, and leaders with their lamps
Ambitiously researched a long-term cure.

The convocation bloomed in session full
With those who represented Elohim
Quite anxious for some compromise to pull
To ne'er forsake their YisraELi dream.

The priests their cushy lot wished to secure
So their agenda was not crystal clear?
While hosts from dear old Judah felt most pure
Desiring Y'ohweh, sole, the God to fear.

The meetings lasted endless days and nights
And witnessed many knock-down, drag-out fights.

Too many gods - they all agreed - were not
Conducive to a universal norm
Whereby all those in this contentious lot
An equal base for governing could form.

The diff'rent tribes traditions held as gods
With Yeoah and El and Baal as well
But Yeoah did vanquish Baal's nimrods
And Baal's subservience did duly dwell.

And so the gods were whittled down from three
But when the tribal elders met to chose
'Pon just one candidate they'd not agree-
And Yeoah and El conjoined through ruse.

Thus one tradition firm emerged from two
And 'monotheist' doctrines muddled through.

The code of Hummurabi we did steal,
Chaldean myths of floods and Eden too.
Then we the laws of Moses did reveal
As strict religious doctrines conquered though.

But wand'ring stock needs somewhere to unwind
And that requires kicking others out.
And as we weren't always none too kind
That they mistrust us there is little doubt.

And add to that self-righteous fervent zeal
Forever telling gentiles how to act
A recipe disastrous we reveal
For understanding others sure we lacked.

Are nastiness and genius closely linked?
How else can one explain why no one blinked?

Our knees unto no mortal could we bend
Our heads unto no lesser minds would yield
Our hearts just unto Zion must we send
(From empty shells amidst some distant field?)

Returning to our homeland one more time
We hoped to learn a bit from our mistakes
And to rebuild a temple so sublime
That all the world might love (for heaven's sake.)

But only lawyer-priests could profit there
As many sects emerged to right the wrongs
And from the mighty Romans in their flair
Discord was sown from togas to our throngs.

The time was ripe for messianic zeal
The Roman registration to repeal.

Conservative and lib'ral factions grew
In Sadducees and Pharisees alike
And some Essenes did simmer, stake, and stew.
As Righteousness its Teacher met his mike.

"That which is noxious unto thee, thyself,
Do not unto thy neighbor thus behave,"
To Hillel was the Pharisaic shelf
Upon which stood what ev'ry Jew should crave.

"Do unto those as you'd wish done to you,"
The Righteous Teacher to Essenes did preach.
A subtle diff'rence, yet profound and new,
Would cast a cult that could the Goyim reach.

But what four generations was before,
Did Anno Domini become the lore.

The Teacher taught the meek would rule the earth.
He raised the poor, the lon'ly, and the child
To stature, He said, more than priests were worth.
And priests who heard this might just go off wild.

Monastic in its style was His sect
-The simple life prized 'bove all earthly wealth.
Mosaic rules to all were felt correct,
But Roman law prevailing, sired stealth.

Interpretation of Mosaic laws
Were also done by other teachers great.
The Essene sect did consternation cause
As Mishnah then the Rabbi's did create.

The righteous Teacher died a martyr's end
And Essenes all bemoaned their mighty Friend.

Yet did not Matthew to the Jews proclaim,
"Mashiach's here to free the Roman yoke"?
Would Matthew Jesse's seed from Mary blame -
To therefore make His lineage a joke?

For messianic roots a Jesus must
To Jews from Joseph be directly kin.
Yet Son of man to Son of God did trust
Make Joseph cuckold through some Ghostly sin?

So history, rewritt'n, that the Church
Might trinity with myst'ry base its ship
Would eons later cause some minds to lurch
That brilliant, sweet Naomi Gross, could quip,

"No matter how for Truth we try to fight it,
All hist'ry's cast by those who fin'lly write it!"

A second time the Temple was destroyed
As Romans tried to squelch our folks' revolt.
And then the hell which broke out sure deployed
Aggressive tactics injuring insult.

Between oppressor and oppressed no love
Was lost as vengeance brutally applied
Resulted in diaspora that shove
Which managed two millenia to bide.

Yet how our strong identity survived.
Is to Midrashic scholars sure the blame.
Our love of questioning had thus arrived
And gave our sense of humor its good name.

And so you wonder why are Jews so smart?
Who says we have to to remain apart?

The conscience of humanity some say
Is how we Jews have always seen our role.
Yet in the seventh century a tray
Was offered pagan Semites as a dole.

Mohammed had Islam our brethren given
In hope Allah to all would be assured.
But when fanaticism e'er so driven
Took hold it seemed we never might be cured.

Our youth and ignorance their blissful prey
They slowly turn our world upon its side.
And God's good name forever lost this day,
Can we not bring our brothers back with pride?

To family, to friends, to all as well
We must be nicer else we'll rot in hell!