Thursday, October 27, 2016

We're Losing Our Jewish Youth: Engaging the Wilderness Generation, 2nd Millennium BCE

A Conversation with Moses: Engaging the Wilderness Generation, c. Late 2nd Millennium BCE
“Big Tabernacle Judaism: Embracing Manna, Expanding Torah”

As Conceptualized by
David Hartley Mark

Based on Imaginary
Quantitative Methods,
Qualitative Methodology,
And Torah Midrash

            Big Tabernacle Judaism began a project around Shavuote, late 2nd Millennium BCE (taking into consideration that Shavuote was probably begun much later, following the Conquest of Canaan, or the Gradual Infiltration thereof), to see whether the Dor HaMidbar (Wilderness Generation), as opposed to the Dor HaYetziah (Exodus Generation—those who had actually witnessed the Alleged Miracles of the Plagues, the Exodus, and the Sea of Reeds) had the same allegiance to the Israelite Lord God.

            What, exactly, do these young people, born in the Wilderness and fed on manna, do, that makes them feel Hebraic, beyond attending services and sacrifices at the Tent of Meeting (Ohel Mo’ed), keeping kosher, or celebrating proto-holidays?

            The study was chaired by Moses (of course), but the actual work was done by Joshua, assisted by Betzalel and Oholiab, with some advisory work by Caleb ben Jephunneh, and contractual advice from Jethro, Moses’s father-in-law, who had done similar work among his congregation in Midian, where he served as high priest. Interested readers and graduate students from Cairo University of the Priests of On or the Floating College of Philistia may go to


            Here are the results that we achieved, following nearly forty days and nights of queries, carried out by the Sons of Izhar and those Sons of Korach who did not go down alive into Sheol, Hell:

·         Wilderness Generationites (“WilGens”) are less in awe of Moses, since they did not witness the “signs and wonders” which he carried out “in the Name of the Almighty God,” but only heard about from their parents and grandparents
·         WilGens are less likely than Exodus Generationites (“ExGens”) to remain faithful to Moses, and, afterwards, to Joshua; this is probably a natural decline. However, it does not bode well for the future of the People. Ways must be found to increase WilGen loyalty; possibly, through additional Signs and Wonders. Perhaps a Committee of Priests and Elders could approach God--?
·         WilGens do a great deal of introspection regarding the future of the People. They often report temptation to join with Moabites or Hittites, who have a better-established civilization, as well as “flashier” modes of worship—orgies, tastier sacrifices, better music, fewer restrictions, etc.
·         Even those who are Hebraically active report that Hebraism is not sufficient for their spiritual needs; it is dull, restrictive, repetitive, and “too much like Grampa’s Hebraism”
·         WilGens enjoy experimentation, and tend to shy away from the Tabernacle-only mode of Hebraism. They don’t see Aaron or his sons as “relevant to today’s happening spirituality,” and are particularly drawn to the Cult of Dagon, the Philistine corn-fish-god, with its orgies, dance, song, and half-clad priestesses. The Philistine Open House Temple Approach to other faith- and ethnic groups has been very successful; perhaps we should have a Study Committee to examine this approach.
·         WilGen girls and young women report that they feel suppressed in their worship, and desire more self-expression, as, for example, among the Greek Amazons. There is a report that the Amazons have sent missionary-style messengers to our young female folk, and this represents a danger to our progeny’s future.
·         Finally, what is Hebraism? We don’t really have a written code or law, other than the Torah, and this has yet to be completed. Just one book—Vayikra, or Leviticus, the Priestly Code, and some smatterings of Beraysheet, Genesis, is hardly sufficient.


Recommendations:

·         Do Outreach to WilGens and offer them—limited, of course—leadership positions. A National Wilderness Generation Youth Fellowship Organization (NeWiGYaFO) is a good idea, provided that it does not affect the main direction of the Hebraism Movement, which must remain under the complete control of Moses, Aaron, and the Elders.
·         Try to work with the wealthier members of the community to fund educational trips within the Tabernacle for deserving Israelite Youth, to create the impression that Priests and Levites are willing to share certain aspects of their privileges, but don’t let this get out of hand.
·         Try to include Moabite, Hittite, and Philistine members of the community within the worship model, within the parameters of Hebraic Law, as articulated by Moses. This is a delicate area, and should be coordinated with the Elders.
·         Work on Social Justice, always a safe zone, to involve other faith groups.
·         Emphasize different aspects of the Harvest, to underplay the temptation for WilGens to participate in foreign faith orgies. This is crucial.
·         Finally, be open and transparent, while not too too.


Signed,

Rabbi Moses
General Joshua

For the Wilderness Generation Outreach Committee
Desert of Zin
2nd Millennium BCE