Ben Zuckert | Straight Out of the Bible
Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 09:09
Have you ever wondered, “Is the Bible still relevant?” Neither had I, until this semester when I did the unthinkable: I enrolled in the “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible.” I’m not really sure why I’m taking the class, but it gave me the idea for this column, so I think it’ll be worth it.
Throughout this semester, I’m going to try to answer one question: Is the most popular book of all time applicable to the Tufts experience? I can’t say I paid any attention in Hebrew school or understand the Bible at a profound level, but that doesn’t matter. This column must be heard.
This week, it’s Genesis 29. Here’s the gist of it. Jacob has a huge crush on Rachel, so huge he agrees to serve her dad, Laban, for seven years in return for her hand in marriage. But after the seven years of servitude, Laban switches Leah out for Rachel on their wedding night. Jacob, however, loves Rachel more, so he works an additional seven years and finally gets to be with his true boo.
Now, the first thing I asked myself after reading this passage was, “Is that chicken I bought a week ago from Trader Joe’s still edible?” Then I dug down a little deeper and realized 14 years is an absurd amount of time to wait for a girl. In a way, it’s unbelievably romantic. In another way, it’s insane. I respect a man who holds out for someone he knows is the one, but fourteen years? That’s unheard of. It’s not like the whole time he was writing poetry under a tree; he was doing work (the passage doesn’t specify what type of work he did — but it had to have involved sheep).
It’s unclear if marrying two sisters can be applied to Tufts, but it’s worth a shot. Let’s say you’re a freshman and you have a huge crush on Sally, this cute girl on your floor, but she’s still in a relationship with Brett, her illiterate boyfriend from high school. Her roommate, Debbie, is single and really into you. You like Debbie, but you know Sally is like no other girl you’ve ever met. She speaks three languages, can solve a Rubik’s Cube in two minutes flat, and loves “Parks and Recreation.” Debbie’s cool, there’s no doubt about it, but it’s just not the same. The problem is if you start hooking up with Debbie it could ruin your chances with Sally.
So what would Jacob do? Or as we’ll say, WWJD. In all likelihood, he would probably wait. After all, those 14 years only felt like “a few days” (seems impossible, but hey, the dude was in love). But does that mean you should wait fourteen years till Sally breaks up with Brett? Definitely not, but maybe a few months could be worth it. For one, you already have a leg up because you can read and Brett can’t. And two, Thanksgiving break, AKA “turkey drop,” is right around the corner. If Sally’s still with Brett after break, then maybe you should give Debbie a second chance (she also loves “Parks and Recreation”).
Let’s skip ahead to after Jacob’s 14 years of servitude. Jacob has children with not just Rachel, but also Rachel’s maid, Leah and Leah’s maid. That can only mean one thing: Waiting it out is great for sex. That being said, are you ready to be a father?
A lot of big ideas this week — marrying two sisters, high school boyfriends, edible chicken — but we’re just getting started.