I decided to write a humorous allegory as Channukah and Christmas are approaching and a darker season. Hopefully, you will get a chuckle out of it.
Depending on upbringing and denomination, at some point, you noticed some things in your Bible’s that did not align with what was being taught from the pulpit. This led to questions, frantically reading, studying, and then bravely getting enough courage to ask those in leadership a few questions. The questions ranged from ” Why do we keep Sunday morning as Sabbath instead of Saturday? Why are we yelling at Satan? Why are we keeping the holidays and not the feasts days listed in Leviticus 23? These questions led to strange and uncomfortable looks from the said person in authority and answers that seemed not to line up.
The next stage involved googling everything pagan. Gasp– “PAGANS are everywhere!” You make popcorn and frantically studying all night.
You begin to wonder if you are the only human on the planet seeing the verses in your Bible. The only one? Eventually, you land in cyber world on a minister’s site talking about Jesus and calling him by his Hebrew name Yeshua while teaching on the Sabbath.
There are more people!
You sigh with relief but are still terrified. You binge-watch videos for days.
No bacon? Say it isn’t so.
Finally, you are invited to a Messianic congregation. You scurry to find what to wear. What are those fringe things hanging from men’s cornered shirts? Do you wear make-up, a headscarf? You decide to dress casually and wonder if you should leave your large-size King James Bible in the car? You decide to leave it because you didn’t just fall off the turnip truck.
You take a deep breath and enter and are instantly greeted with “Shabbat Shalom!” You mouth an almost silent “hello.” And walk with head down to the back of the assembly. Shofars start blaring, and prayers are being said in Hebrew, then English. People are turning to face in a direction. Meanwhile, you are frozen with two left feet. You make a note to look up the word “Shema” and oneg, because people keep inviting you to come after the service to oneg– whatever oneg is?
You think, Wow, they are really taking this Jewish thing seriously.
You decide you don’t fit in here. You wonder if you can sneak out and make it to your car without being noticed. Finally, you make a run for it and peal out of the parking lot, flinging your King Jimmy into the floorboard. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. You vow never to go back, and the following day, Sunday, you return to the normalcy of your Sunday morning service. You enjoy the worship, the prayers, and familiar faces.
Once again, you follow along with the sermon on prosperity, blessings, grace, and a loud retort of how we are not under the law because it was nailed to the cross. “The law is weak and beggarly,” says leadership. You pray silently for truth and randomly open your Bible and land on Psalm 119. David is passionately saying, “Oh, how I love your law! It makes me wiser than my enemies.” You sigh some more and decide the pastor is all broth and no beans. Since God has sent you, you decide you better sit down with the pastor and show him how the apostles kept the feasts and how they are God’s feast, not Jewish feasts. This new knowledge was learned recently from a bearded man with fringe hanging from his garment, who spoke with an Eastern KY accent.
You start to approach said pastor, but you lose courage.
You go home and continue googling and reading. You recount 3 days and 3 nights, the sign of Jonah given by Jesus/ Yeshua. You rethink Easter and Christmas. You stumble on a website that tells you about a goddess who dyed eggs with her menstrual blood. WHAT? You continue to read: The word Easter is where estrogen cream comes from and Play Boy bunnies. HUH? Easter is derived from Ishtar, a pagan bare-breasted goddess who is an abomination to our Creator.”
You reminisce about family easter mornings with baskets full of eggs and candy and your husband wearing an Easter bunny costume.
“I did this to my kids! I even used red dye!”
You pace and repent. You walk some more. Loudly you yell, “I placed my children on a giant bunny’s lap. No wonder they screamed!”
Like a recovering alcoholic, you breathe in and out of a paper bag until you calm down a bit.
You are led to a blog on Constantine and begin down several rabbit trails from one topic to the next. You don’t check sources. You just google over and over like a crack head. Finally, after reading a lengthy blog on the queen of heaven spoken of by the prophet Jeremiah, you decide you need a drink because what you are reading is waking you up to things you never knew before. Of course, if your pastor was wrong about all this, surely he was wrong about wine and beer. Hiccup.
Next week You get the courage to go back to the Hebrew/ followers of the Way congregation. Thanks to your degree as a googleologist, you are a tad more prepared. You say, “Shabbat Shalom!” not really understanding its depth. You repeat the Shema and then follow along in the Torah portion, which you’re still trying to figure out.
Whew wee, you are glad you remembered to google the word oneg but realize you have brought no food for the occasion. They bring out funny-looking bread, say another prayer, shake salt on it, and rip it apart. You partake of it and pronounce it like a true gentile, “This chaaaalaa bread is good.”
During oneg, you fellowship and learn that there are people just like you but who have been seeing these things much longer. They make you feel a tad uncomfortable because you need to google many things they say, but you realize this would be rude while they are talking.
You race home and buy a bull horn, bright orange, and a Mr. microphone and proceed to tell your friends and family that they are doing all things pagan. “You Christians are all pagans,” you yell in tears! “And Santa is really satan,” and then quickly add the goddess Ishtar and menstrual blood with easter eggs to make it more horrifying for them. They decide you’ve joined a cult and feel pity for you but continue to invite you to the easter/Christmas party in which you go but feel conflicted afterward.
But you decide every person at your old church needs to know what you know, which isn’t much really, just enough to be dangerous, but you don’t know you are immature. You think perhaps God has sent you to lead His people out of darkness. Maybe you are like Moses. “Come out of her, my people!”
You have carefully marked some passages in your King James Bible, and set up another appointment with pastor. He shakes head sadly and shows you Paul’s writings. “I suffer not a woman to teach!” Holy smokes, you are in shock. You present Deborah, a judge and spokesperson but are quickly pointed to passages again from Paul that seem to say something different than the assembly you’ve been visiting. Old Pastor warns you that you are in bondage and need to leave the cult.
“Come back to the fold,” he says. “You need a covering,” he says.
You realize you do not have tools in your toolbox to debunk Pastor and go back home and try and armor up. Your brain hurts. But what if your mom, friends, and the pastor are right and you are in a cult? Even though you’ve only been to the Hebrew roots assembly a few times, you have been wrong before, and these folks are a tad peculiar. I mean, no bacon?
Suddenly, you notice bacon is on everything, from pizza to donuts and even chopped in tiny bits for salads. There is bacon icing on cakes and bacon shampoo, and well, you understand now how blind you’ve been. Bacon is swine, and swine is unclean. I mean demons get sent inside pigs. You must wake people up, so you get your microphone and jump back on social media where you find other terrorists like yourself. Many of these folks have made memes and blogs and have pictures of the said goddess, the original dates of Christmas, and the actual name of Jesus and his Father. He has a Name. His name is not god. There is only one God. YOU MUST SHOUT IT TO THE WORLD!
After you post and post and fill your whole Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feed full of this new knowledge, you notice many are unfriending you, and now your family is acting strange.
At this point, you have stopped going to Sunday morning church, but you don’t feel ready for full-blown Torah shouting service with tzitzits, headscarves, and Hebrew words you don’t understand, so you stay home and feel guilty like you’ve done something wrong.
After Christmas and New Year’s is over, you decide you should be following the creator’s calendar and repent again. Then you realize no one can agree on the said calendar, and you must study this out. You begin to mark your calendar and search for the new moon. You practice pursing your lips on a shofar and blowing like raspberries you blew on your babies’ tummies when they were small. After a lot of attempts, and much slobber, you make a sound like a cat dying and feel proud of yourself. Wow, this is a peculiar people.
After a few months practicing indoors, you stand outside, spot the new moon, and blow the shofar with all force you can muster. Your neighbors’ dogs begin to bark and porch lights turn on. Mrs. Kravitz phones the police. You hurry back inside and wonder where your people are.
You begin to learn about Adonia’s feasts and run back to social media to ensure people know what the season is about, and it’s not bunnies and ham—not Ashtaroth trees and minions you shout to an ever-depleting friends list. You attend your first Passover Seder, and decide you should keep Unleavened Bread although you are behind on getting rid of the yeast in your home. You have a new word to google, chametz
You grab the extra-large black trash can and throw your toaster in it first. Although you just purchased it a few months back, and it makes toast with your initials engraved on it, you wonder how you could ever get every crumb out? After inspecting your cupboards, you decide you will need another can for all the bread in your house. You still don’t understand how yeast is in the air. Under complete stress and a holy fear of HaShem, you throw away every box of crackers, an unopened bag of flour, all your pasta, and any label in your refrigerator-that has anything that might be yeasty. Frozen pizzas, frozen burritos, frozen lasagna, etc. It all must go!
Your mother calls during this time and tells you, “Cassie Renee, children are starving and you are throwing perfectly good food away? You’ve joined a cult. Get out while you can!”
You try and explain and ramble through the spring feasts quickly, but your mother softly whispers, “we are praying for you honey, and I’m making an easter ham on Sunday. See you at 2 o’clock.”
You hang up and envision ham dripping with brown sugar and pineapples and cherries held on by toothpicks in glaze made from one 12 coke bottle poured over before baking. It’s overwhelming. You throw your hands in the air, look up to heaven, and proclaim, “You’ve got jokes don’t you!”
You’re reminded of a prayer you prayed. “I want the whole truth, Father, and nothing but the truth from Your Word!” Suddenly a Jack Nicholson meme appears before your eyes.
Oh, my, you realize it’s a hard pill to swallow, but boldness rises up in you. You raise your hands to heaven right there in front of a pile of trash cans filled with food and say, “I will walk as my Messiah! I will follow Him, even if all forsake me, mock me, and think I am in a cult, and I will not eat what my Father says is unclean”
You get back to the chametz–Now to clean and disinfect your whole house and burn all your items containing yeast. You fill up both trash cans to the top, grab kerosene and lighter but the fire becomes out of control. You accidentally catch the patio furniture on fire which is spreading to the yard. You call the fire department. Mrs. Kravitz calls the fire department.
The fire chief approaches you after they spray down your patio, fence, and trash containers.
“Now, Mrs. Manning, can you explain to me why you were burning your food, your bread, pizza, tacos, and pouring out your husbands’ beer?”
“Yes, sir, I learned that Bud-lite has pork juice in it. I googled it and read the ingredients. I think my husband might be a tad upset when he gets home. I think its game night. Can you stay a bit?”
“Ma’am, Are you one of them Hebrew rooters?”
To be continued: Maybe? LOL
I hope you got a good chuckle out of this. 😊
Have a blessed Celebration of Chanukkah.