God of the Forty Infants

By Eric Rozenman (November 2023)

Mother with Babies
, Roman Halter, 1974


In the name of their God
Who is no god
They beheaded forty infants
While the infants’ God
And the God of their fathers
Turned His head.
We returned to the God of our father
Grandfather and greater grandfathers
Back one hundred and thirty-two generations
Give or take a few
Since Moses descended Sinai
With the word of God
“Thou shall not murder”
Not because He hadn’t turned His head
Many times before
In two millennia
But because the worst of His silences
Seemed in the past.
Yet there are always some,
And often a great many,
Who hating God and His word
And therefore His children
Refuse to hear that word
His people saw at Sinai
But rather glory in the act
Slaughtering His children
On the altar of their obscene idolatry.
But we take heart
Believing those other words
That promise “the wicked spring up like grass
Only to be cut down forever.”
And we pray
May it be soon.


Table of Contents


Eric Rozenman is author of Jews Make the Best Demons: “Palestine” and the Jewish Question (2018, New English Review Press) and From Elvis to Biden, Eyewitness to the Unraveling; Co-Starring Nixon, Warhol, Clinton, The Supremes and Obama! (Academica Press)

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast



2 Responses

  1. Did God of the Babies disapprove of the manner of their muŕder?
    No, no, I’m speaking òf the million+ babies obliterated in the Holodomor, Holocaust, Mao’s reign, and those topped off in Israel by the latest crop of Odiophiles.
    We cannot be honestly believing in God as just and merciful when S/He is so negligent.
    If you disagree, state your evidence without blustering as God did with Job.

  2. Did he promise to give us mercy and justice in our own good time or his?

    Did he promise us safety, let alone paradise, in this world, or of salvation and eternal life in the next?

    Did he promise to protect us from our own folly or the malice of our fellow men, the both the products of the free will and knowledge of good and evil we presumably sought, desired, welcomed, and wished to act upon when we walked out of the garden? Or asked, by chosen deed, to be ejected from it.

    Then again, I did always struggle with the problem of evil, theodicy.

    To a basically secular mind, the question is pointless, scarcely even has any meaning at all. What is there to question? Nature is the product of evolution. It will be beneficial and fantastically dangerous to us, by times, or all at once. How not? And we, as all our fellow men, are products of the same process, evolved so far as to be alone among species in being consciously aware of it. That elevates the scale and sophistication and intent of our good and evil alike, including our ability to even imagine and name these concepts and argue about them.

    I can only approach the Christian perspectives indirectly. I would think the tale of the Fall answers all questions just fine. One can take it very literally, or as metaphor for the human will to power [which is also our will to create and accomplish], or as metaphor for the turn from hunter gatherer, itself no easy nor danger-free life but perhaps with attributes of the garden, to agrarian civilization with its shorter lives and many more diseases [albeit perhaps fewer injuries] and greater numbers, cities, kingdoms, and organized war.

    Literally or metaphorically, man dreams of glory. He defies the life that he finds himself in, seeks more in every way. He creates and destroys, seeks fame or infamy or both, loves and hates, thinks his hate is the servant of some other love, creates things both for the glory of creating and serving and for vanity, even to spite those who cannot create or his enemies, he destroys other things to spite his enemies or for envy, but also because those things he destroys threaten those things he has created, or their destruction will open the space for the creation he wishes.

    Taken literally, we started on this process when we ate of the tree. God punished us, the nature that once succored us without limit became both our succor and our peril, and we ourselves became as much enemies to one another as companions. And out we went into a wider world. His mercy was to come, live among us, feel it for himself, and then offer us the gift of salvation and eternal life at the end of it. What more shall we ask of our creator, against whom we rebelled most profoundly, and of whom we ought to be entitled to nothing?

    Taken symbolically, man set out on the paths of glory, not satisfied with the fruit of the trees or of the hunt. He wanted to master nature, to grow and create his plants, to herd and command his animals, to multiply his numbers, to spread over the earth, to imagine and build his high towers and all that followed. The reasonable price of all that is that he will find ever more among his number to quarrel over the proper paths, never to agree or find universal peace, or deserve or even want that. The mercy and justice is the promise that all will find their true level in death, and salvation and eternal life will be granted accordingly.

    How many would really wish to have stayed in the garden, whether two or few in number? What a waste of potential.

    The tl;dr of that would, perhaps, be, “What else were we promised? And how dare we expect more than we deserve?”

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