Friday, June 01, 2007

KB24 and the Kosher Connection (B'haalot'kha)

During the last few days, Los Angeles Laker and best-player-in-the-L (LeBron disagrees) Kobe Bryant found himself so unhappy with Laker management that he demanded a trade. Then he didn't. Then he did for real. Then again, maybe they can work something out. In short, KB24 was feeling a little Jewish.

Wait, what?

How does Kobe flip-flopping harder than John Kerry McCain make him an honorary Member of the Tribe? Simple: He had a Moses moment. One need only browse this week's Parsha, B'haalot'kha, to see how.

As the Israelities march from Sinai to Kadesh, they begin to complain at Kibroth-Hattaavah. Bemoaning the all-manna, all-the-time diet God provides to insure the Chosen People don't become malnourished ones, the peanut gallery clamors for the meat, fish, cucumbers - anything, all of which they had while living in Egypt, conveniently forgetting the harshness of that whole slavery deal. (Num. 11:4-6)

This, of course, incurs the wrath of the G-O-D, which combines with the burden of leading a people dissatisfied by a situation that while not ideal, frequently offers moments of transcendence and forces Moses to challenge the management:
And Moses said to the Lord, "Why have You dealt ill with Your servant, and why have I not enjoyed Your favor, that You have laid the burden of all this people upon me? Did I conceive all this people, did I bear them, that You should say to me, 'Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries an infant,' to the land that You have promised on oath to their fathers? Where am I to get meat to give to all this people, when they whine before me and say, 'Give us meat to eat!' I cannot carry all this people by myself, for it is too much for me. If You would deal thus with me, kill me rather, I beg You, and let me see no more of my wretchedness!" (11:10-15)
So Moses (Kobe) is starting to crack under the pressures of leading a people (the Lakers) to the Promised Land (an NBA Championship) and feeling like God (Jerry Buss/Mitch Kupchak) isn't giving him the resources (good teammates) to make this all possible. While it remains to be seen how things develop for our basketball-playing friend, B'haalot'kha reveals God first spread Moses' burden upon 70 elders (11:16) before providing a slew of quail outside the borders of the camp, for people to collect and eat as they wish. (11:31) But the meat was tainted, and plague struck anyone to imbibe. (11:33)

The Biblical Recommendation

The Lakers should assuage as many of Kobe's people as they can to ease the pressure he's feeling, and then trade him for spare parts to teach their fans a lesson. One should note, however, it took 40 years for God to get the Jews to the Promised Land ...


Valerie said...

One thing that Kobe and Moses do not share is humility, and in this parasha Moses shares the "ball" - not Kobe's forte. Maybe Kobe should read Bamidbar. But I don't like the Lakers, anyway, Brooklyn Boy. Go Pacers!

The Brooklyn Boy said...

valerie - Clearly, Kobe needs an "Aaron" and "Joshua" he can trust to help take the Lakers to the Promised Land. I'm all about some Knicks myself. Go New York, go New York, go!