Oy vey, it has been a long time coming. I have waited for the right person to make the quantum leap of history. I floated along until Noah plucked me from obscurity, but he was not the right man. I was passed on to Shem to Arpachshad to Shelah to Eber to Peleg to Reu, to Serug to Nahor to Terah and then it happened. I knew he was the one. I knew that this person was destined for greatness. He was going to change the story.
It started with me in a rather humiliating position. Terah had not recognized what I was, that I was The Mateh. To him I was just a stick. He attached straw to me and used me as broom. Me, whose origins are from the Garden of Eden itself, who came from the Tree of Life and Knowledge, I was a broom. And what did I sweep everyday, I am ashamed to admit it. I swept our Terah’s idol shop. If a Mateh could blush, I would be blushing. Then one day Terah left the shop in the hands of his son, Avram.
It was so amusing when that woman walked in all self-important, looking down her nose at Avram son of Terah who was minding the store for his father.
“Oh, boy,” she exclaimed. “Fetch me a nice idol for the niche next to my door!”
Avram was confused. He asked the lady politely: “Madame, didn’t we sell you one of our finest idols only last week?”
“None of your lip boy,” she responded harshly. “Well, if you must know, my cat jumped up into the niche and knocked it over. I need it replaced.”
I noticed the gleam in Avram’s eye, he was coming to one of those revelations that changes lives. He asked again being very polite; “Madame if the idol could not defend itself from a pussy cat, how will it protect your entire home from harm. Isn’t the idol merely an ‘eye-doll,’ something you keep to please your eye and assuage your superstitions!”
The woman was in shock and walked out in a huff, or maybe it was a minute and a huff. No matter, she left. And then I saw Avram do the most amazing thing. He grabbed me pulling off all the straw. I am so glad that he did, that stuff itched. Then he swung me again and again, shattering all of the idols. I knew he was going to get it for that. His father might find another demeaning use for me, in the woodshed as an implement of retribution. But then I noticed that Avram left one idol, the largest, intact. He rested me in the arms of the idol. I did not understand until later when his father came home. Terah was livid. “What have you done,” he screamed. “I didn’t do it,” replied Avram (this is not your George Washington and the cherry tree story). “Then who did,” cried his father. Avram pointed silently at the idol in whose hands I lay. I wish at times that I could laugh and that was one of them.
- Breaking 20 idols: $100.
- Ruining a broom: $10.
- The look on Terah’s face: Priceless.
Well needless to say Avram never was allowed in the store again. And soon after that. G emanated to Avram: “Get going from this your homeland to a land that I will show you. You will become the father of a nation!” I felt so good, such a fit when Avram picked me up and with me led his wife and friends out of his father’s shadow and into history, the beginning of the history of the Jewish people. Now I was truly on my path with the two-leggeds. I would be able to serve. I would become an implement of mass construction.