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Thursday, August 03, 2017

a brief but helpful guide to the holy people (being everything you always wanted to know about judaism but were afraid to ask in case you'd get fired)

In the wake of the Kevin Myers controversy in Ireland, Uncle Jayums explains the Jews from A to Ezekiel, so none of the rest of you ever make the mistake of mentioning them in your syndicated newspaper columns and get canned.

Here's what you need to know.
The Top Ten Jews
Among the Holy People the most revered Prophets and Patriarchs are:
(1) Abraham. A wandering nomad Aramean from Ur of the Chaldees in what is modern day Iraq. We consider him the first ever Jew. One night looking up at the skies he was communing with God. He said: "What use are your gifts since I am going on my way childless?" God answered him that his children would be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and that he would father a great nation, and that all nations would call themselves blessed because of him.
(2) Moses. He led the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt into the land God had promised them. He was the greatest Prophet but for reasons not entirely clear, God did not permit him to enter the Holy Land himself. He died on a mountain nearby but was granted before he died to look down from it onto the land of milk and honey which his people would inherit. There had never been a prophet in Israel as great as Moses. His life may be in some way analogous with the destiny of the Jews themselves. God has favoured them more than all other nations and has used them to make himself known to all nations. Yet he has been harder on them than on any other people. They have been refined in suffering for thousands of years. The devil has been permitted to attack them but never to destroy them. They suffered and overcame so that they might be a testimony to all people's of God's truth incarnate in a nation. This is why the devil and his servants hate them so much. By God's grace, they have endured and will always endure, and will always overcome. God is toughest with those he loves most. Similarly we see God making Moses greater than other Prophets but denying him the triumph of entering the promisered land. The greatest prophet who ever lived. God did not change his mind about that. Yet in life he was not permitted to enter the promised land only to see it from afar and know that it had been bestowed forever upon Israel.
(3) Jacob. The father of Israel who eventually became known simply as Israel.
(4) King David. Among other accomplishments he defeated while still a shepherd boy the warrior giant Goliath in single combat, rose from shepherd boy to become King, established Jerusalem as his capital,  chose the site for the first temple, and wrote the Book Of Psalms. He is also a proverbial example of the mercy of God. The Bible describes him as being perfect in God's eyes. Old atheistic communists in the Soviet Union used to point to this description as an inconsistency in the Bible since David is earlier described as having committing the lousiest of sins, sending a soldier to die in battle merely so that David could take the soldier's wife.. Lutheran Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, himself a Jew by birth, replied to the communists that the verse about David's perfection in the eyes of God was not inconsistent but showed clearly the mercy of God, in that when God forgives sins it is not done in a half hearted, mean minded, conditional way. When God forgives sins, they are completely forgiven, washed away, gone. If God forgives your sins, you are sinless.
(5) Judith. An heroic leader of Israel. Her beheading of Holofernes has been immortalised in works of art by Caravaggio and by me.
(6) Esther. Another heroic and this time also providentially beautiful princess. Perhaps the prototype for all the Jewish princesses we know and love today.
(7) Joseph. Favoured by God with the insight to interpret dreams. Avant garde taste in coats. His brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt. Joseph by the grace of God promptly became Prime Minister of Egypt and used his influence to help Israel through a time of famine. He also forgave his brothers.
(8) Isaiah. Prophet whose writings Christians claim foretell the coming of Jesus as "wonder counsellor mighty God."
(9) Claudia Winkleman. Presenter of Strictly Come Dancing for the BBC.
(10) Vanessa Feltz. Presenter of The Morning Show on BBC Radio.

The reason there are only four women among the Top Ten Jews is because God is not an equal opportunities employer. An anti discrimination case against the Deity is due before the European Court Of Human Rights shortly.

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