Fribble Friday: Movement of Jah People (Exodus 10:1–13:16)

OK, I had this mostly-written on Tuesday, and then I had a converence that kept me busy for a few days. Really, I am not slipping. Well, not much

We come to פָּרָשַׁת בא (“Go!” portion), which includes most of the actual exodus from Egypt. From here on it’s gradually moving into dull legalities, so enjoy the narrative while you have it. This week there’s a special treat, too, in that I’m using a Fox Bible, which eschews the English-language poetry in favor of greater accuracy of translation.

The quick snarky summary: Doubling down on stupid, Pharaoh fights to keep the Jews around, and the entire nation suffers until finally Pharaoh lets them go. During these trials, Moses instructs the Jews in protective sacrifices, and in commemorative feasts, which these days are trendy even if you’re not Jewish.

Why is this group of seven nights different from all other nights?

Wibble Wednesday: Signs and Portents (Exodus 6:2–9:35)

We move very quickly through the part of Exodus people remember, which is to say, the actual Exodusing part of it. This is פָּרָשַׁת וארא (“And I appeared” portion), getting us midway through the Israel-in-Egypt narrative.

The quick snarky summary: God tells Moses to repeat his demands, in the hope that maybe the second time around will work, but specifically engineers this attempt to fail just so that he can show off with flashy parlor tricks and malicious muschief.

We pour seven drops for, er, the first few plagues upon Egypt

Wibble Wednesday: Who is this Moses Guy, Anyways? (Exodus 3:1–6:1)

We’re continuing פָּרָשַׁת שמות (“Names” portion), which I stopped about a third of the way through last week. God damn, a lot happens in this section. We get a lot of the major pre-Plague events right away.

The quick snarky summary: Moses is extremely reluctant to leave his cushy shepherding gig to act as a labor organizer, so God has to poke him with signs and portents until he finally gets off his ass and hits the road. Then God tries to kill him for obscure reasons, and probably would’ve felt a bit foolish if he’d succeeded. Moses meets up with the leaders who have actually been in Egypt, and together they ask for back vacation time. This has about the same effect that labor-management disputes usually had up until quite recently in history.

If he’d taken a twig from the burning bush we’d have an infinite power supply

Vifon Hủ tiếu nam vang (“Phnom Penh” Style Rice Noodle)

I like a lot of Vifon’s products — I’ve enjoyed their porridge, and I remember this one being a pleasingly garlicky soup, so when it showed up on a shopping trip for less than $1 per bowl, I snapped it up.

Subjective snapshot

Quality: 3.5/5 stars
Spiciness: 0/5 chilis

Review

It’s not quite as garlicky as I remember, and they’ve added little globules of TVP which don’t actually do much for the soup, but this one’s quite recommendable it. The rice noodles cook up wonderfully, and are much tastier than the more traditional noodle-cup freeze-dried muck. Even thoguh it’s weaker than I remember, the broth is still assertive and rich. My only real complaint would be that this soup tends towards the thin side: I make it with less water for a richer flavor and for a less empty-looking bowl: the TVP bits don’t really bulk the soup up in any real way.

Statistics and photographs

Wibble Wednesday: Timeskips (Exodus 1:1–2:25)

Genesis is over! We pick up at the beginning of the Book of Exodus (a.k.a. ספר שמות). We’re now at פָּרָשַׁת שמות (“Names” portion), which introduces us to the Israelite nation a few generations later. A lot has changed, in both narrative scope and style, so I might need to focus on those things. This is a big parsha, with a lot happening, so I’m only going to look at the first two chapters now, and round it out next week.

The quick snarky summary: The Egyptians have forgotten about Joseph somehow, and wake up one morning and wonder what the hell all these Semites are doing there. They decide to use this mysterious new labor force, and commit appaling acts of genocide for no apparent reason. A baby slips through their net and ends up being raised as Egyptian royalty, runs away, and marries a Midianite. This unlikely cultural pastiche is selected by God to lead Israel.

Archaeology vs. Biblical literalism