LOLCat, Shakespeare Abridged and Tehillim
This LOLCat Bible touches on something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. If anyone has seen the play The Great Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), then you understand how poking fun at a great work of art can be so educational. But this is also more insidious than simple entertainment: its aim is to make esoteric language accessible to the un-initiated. I think a great swath of American Jewish life could benefit hugely from this comedic approach.
Thus, for the longest time, I’ve wanted to create the Great Works of Judaism (Abridged). The LOLCat Bible is way more thorough than this intends to be. On its face, Judaism (Abridged) would be a series of short one-act skits to be produced by Hebrew school kids. But of course deeper than that, it’s a chance to explore what the meaning of the prayers are, rendered in so direct a way that it can only be funny.
So here goes the Hazti Kaddish (Abridged):
Chazzan: Oh dear God: You are big. Really big. And by big, I mean huge. You just gotta be damn near the biggest, most grandest, most hugest thing out there, and boy don’t we know it. I mean, you made it all, so you gotta be bigger! Right, folks? Amen.
Congregation: He is Big!
Chazzan: God, you are super-big and super-cool and we just think that’s downright awesome and righteous and knarly-rockin’-sweet. We just can’t say it enough. Everybody with me? Amen.
Blasphemy is illusive; I don’t think this counts. After all, we should all pray in both the words of our ancestors and in our own — if one believes the Old Man Upstairs* is for real, then surely street slang works just fine and the Old Man can recognize the sacred in a little humor. I personally won’t be able to say this in shul without chuckling a little after posting this. If kids (or us’n growed-all-ups) had to write out their prayers as they understood them, then maybe (a) they’d learn them more personally and (b) we might get insights with no fear into how the next generation will reinvent our tradition.
*By no means do I imply that the Infinite is male.