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|The Ten Highly Recommended Suggestions for Living a Better Life:
1. Don't kill. People or other animals. There's no "nice" or "humane" way to kill an animal- don't do it.
2. Don't lie. It's unseemly and demonstrates lack of character.
3. Don't steal unless you have to, from a greedy hoarder. Try not to covet too much either, but if you don't act on it, it's probably OK.
4. Honor those who earn your respect. Respect yourself.
5. Help others. That includes people and other animals. Always consider it your personal responsibility to alleviate suffering if you can.
6. Resolve conflicts peacefully and sensitively.
7. Celebrate diversity. Respect otherness.
8. Celebrate life. Have colourful holidays, festivals and special occasions.
9. Love. But no more than you are loved, because that is how men get away with so much nonsense.
10. Don't proselytize. It's obnoxious. Mind your own business.
|The Council of Wise Women carved their ten suggestions in a sturdy boulder and invited anyone who wanted to view them. They organized gatherings to discuss them and celebrate life. They deliberated on them together in groups and extrapolated a central theme to the suggestions, which was: treat everyone as you wish to be treated. (Do unto others as you'd have done unto you.)|
|Meanwhile, Moses spent so much time making up idiotic, impossible rules, such as, "whosoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death" (that'd sure solve the population problem if it were strictly enforced, especially if you followed Old Testament definitions of working on the sabbath), that the people of the tribe lost patience with him and got Aaron, his brother and priest of the group, to fashion a golden idol around which to focus their revelry, while he was up on the mountain practicing asceticism.|
|So, here came Moses down the mountain with his brittle, clay tablets full of dictums, and he threw a tantrum when he saw the revelries of his tribespeople and smashed the tablets to pieces.
According to Moses, Yahweh was so pissed that he called the Israelites "a stiff-necked people". Frankly, you'd think an Almighty could coin a worse epithet than that. Maybe it loses something in translation. So, that's what Moses started calling the Israelites whenever they displeased him. Yahweh threatened to destroy the stiff necks, but Moses intervened, he claimed, and reminded God that he had promised Abraham an everlasting covenant, strangely failing to mention Noah, to whom God had promised never again to destroy the people of the Earth. But what a great power play, huh? Moses tells the Israelites, "You misbehaved and God was gonna kill you, but I saved you. Now, you better listen to m
|But hey, just in case there was some hard head who didn't believe in the ability of Moses to perform divine interdiction, he had his Levite guards slaughter 3,000 Israelites to set an example, and then commenced guilting the people out about how bad they were. He preached that every misfortune they experienced was a result of their evil ways bringing about the wrath of God (even though it was Moses' wrath that seemed to cause the slaughter of the 3,000 Israelites), but when good things happened, Yahweh got all the credit. Pretty handy political system. It's been working for millennia on The Gullible.
So, after smashing the clay tablets in his little hissy fit, Moses went back up the mountain where God instructed him ad nauseam on xenophobia and animal sacrifices. He came back down the mount with his rules etched into stone tablets (which Miriam and Zipporah got right the first time, and didn't have to behave like spoiled brats to figure out), and he had his face made up with lime powder to shine, which awed the naive Israelites. Miriam and Zipporah laughed out loud at that tidbit of cheap histrionics, but it worried them that the silly ploy worked.
Moses proceeded to spend all the tribe's wealth and energy on building a container in which to carry the stone rules around, while Zipporah and Miriam spent their time and energy building community.
Moses won over the people who were impressed by flashy material objects and rituals that conferred power on a specific few individuals. Moses' system was all about consolidating power over people. It was all political.
Zipporah and Miriam won over the people who were interested in learning to live together and find fulfillment and happiness. Their system was all about finding meaning in life. It was all spiritual.
|END OF THE BOOK OF EXODUS|
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