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Why are 'Ya always picking on Israel, Lord?
by Julie Michaelson
01/31/08
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And the daughter of Zion
is left
like a booth in a vineyard,
like a lodge
in a cucumber field,
like a besieged city.
[Isaiah 1:5]
************************
"THAT'S weird."

[SILENCE.]

"Hey, LORD?"

[SILENCE.]

"I didn't know they
had CUCUMBERS,
in YOUR day."

"Which day, child?"

"I don't know;
I guess YOUR day."

[PATIENT SILENCE.]

"You know: I bet
a lot of people think
that salads are a TRENDY
thing; that they started
in the '90's, or somethin'."

[SMILE.]

"What about PICKLES?
Isn't a pickle, really just
a CUCUMBER, Lord?"

[MORE PATIENT SILENCE.]

"There's nothin' about
pickles in the Bible."

"Read My Word."

"Uh uh, Lord.
They didn't invent
pickles, till' Pittsburgh.
And, Pittsburgh wasn't
invented till, like,
the 1850's."

[PATIENT PAUSE.]
"Read My Word, child."

"IS a pickle a CUCUMBER,
Lord?
(thoughtful silence)
(squinting)
Can't You just TELL me?"

[UNBELIEVINGLY PATIENT
SILENCE.]

"Okay! Okay!
What does this Part MEAN,
anyway?"

"Tell Me, beloved."

"Eh......Isn't this about
Israel, being DESOLATE?"

[NOD.]

"Why, child."

"Eh......cuz, eh.....
'cuz, the leaders of
our country want it,
DIVIDED, now?
Oh, wait a minute;
I'm in the wrong century,
aren't I?"

[PATIENCE OF A DOTING FATHER.]

"Yeah, I thought so.
Plus, I already told 'Ya
I don't like discussing
politics, Lord: EVER."

[SLOW NOD.]

"Okay. Now,
about this verse;
isn't this about
the time.....eh,
You smacked Israel
upside the head,
'cuz, they had been BAD?"

[SLOW FROWN.]

"Well, that's the GIST
of it, AIN'T it?
'May as well get to the
POINT. I'd rather
talk about the pickles,
Lord."

[INFINITELY PATIENT SILENCE.]

(more squinting)
"LORD?
How come Israel's
always been in TROUBLE?
Ever since I was a little
kid back at Temple Judea,
that's all I ever HEARD!
What's WITH this little place,
and You, ANYWAY?"

"They are My people, child."

"Yeah.
I know.
(dispirited sigh)
I wish I was an Eskimo."

"I know, My child."

[frown]
[more sighing]
"Hey, LORD?
Can we talk about
the cucumbers, NOW?"

[SMILE.]
*************************
The vision of Isaiah
the son of Amoz,
which he saw
concerning Judah and
Jerusalem............
The ox knows its owner,
and the ass its master's crib;
but Israel does not know,
My people do not understand.
[Isaiah 1:1-3]
_____________________
In memories of Temple Judea,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

[Author's note: Around 2000 B.C.
cucumbers were brought from India
to the area discussed in the Bible.
Pickling began sometime later.
The Romans gave pickles to
their soldiers for strength, and healing.
Skip across the Atlantic, and a
couple centuries; Heinz, a new
company, displays pickles in jars
at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.

In 1754, George Washington secured
a British outpost in western Pennsylvania.
1758, the British capture Fort Duquesne,
and General Forbes names it Pittsburgh
after William Pitt (no relation to Brad).
Years later, it became the headquarters
of the Heinz Company, and it's famous
ketchup.....and, pickles.]














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