Peter Beinart’s Bible Study Body
Prompted by this disgrace of an article.
Scene: Hebron, 1800 B.C.E
Abraham: Oy vey ist mir! My beloved Sarah has died! Efron the Hittite, please let me bury my wife here.
Efron the Hittite: Fine, fine. Pick a cave. Mi cave es su cave.
Abraham: Efron, you are a real tzadik. But let me drop some shekels on you. How does 400 silver sound?
Efron: plus VAT?
Abraham: Yeah sure, plus VAT. Also, maybe we could cut a deal on recurring maintenance and….
(A stranger approaches)
Abraham: Can we help you?
Stranger: So that’s it? You think you can justify the Occupation with a few shekels?
Abraham: Sorry, but who the hell are you?
(Abraham raises his staff to smite Peter)
Abraham: Why you little….
Peter: Well isn’t this typical? Resorting to violence? When my only crime is speaking truth to power? While you employ your asymmetric privilege against Efron the Hittite, who clearly has been stripped of his dignity through your patriarchal system of oppression? Where is Efron’s justice?
Efron (nodding his head): Yeah, what he says.
Peter: Honestly, it’s as if you don’t know the first thing about Progressive Judaism. Don’t you even read the Forward? +972? Tikkun?
Abraham: Dunno. Are they published in Akkadian or Sumerian?
(Peter sighs audibly and hands Abraham and Efron clay tablets covered in cuneiform letters)
Peter: Here, let’s get started. OK, this is Haaretz. It’s published on the coast, a day’s journey to the West….
(An hour passes. Abraham, Peter, and Efron finish reading their clay tablets. Abraham’s eyes are glazed over. His beard seems somehow more hipster. He’s now wearing horn rimmed glasses. And a keffiyeh.)
Abraham: Efron, this stranger has taught me so much. About my colonial mindset. Also about my carbon footprint. And mansplaining. I will now depart your land and sojourn to my new life in the kingdom of Brooklyn, where I shall purchase a dunam of land in Williamsburg.
Peter: Whoah! Whoah! Gentrification anyone? Maybe you should stick to Park Slope.