Three miles north of Jerusalem rises a considerable hill named Gibeah -- you may have seen it out the train window when taking the commuter from Bethany to Michmash. The word gibeah (or geba) is Hebrew for "hill" and thus makes a very apt name for a small mount, one must say. The particular mount of which we write is rocky, covered in wiry desert grass and goat turds, and much afflicted with ravines and gullies. And at Gibeah the Lord God worked one of His major military campaigns of the Old Testament.
This is how it went.
A Levite named Jerry Dreckschlepper went to visit his in-laws at Bethlehem. They partied for five days, and every time Jerry put on his shoes and vowed it was time to go his father-in-law twisted the cap off another bottle of schnapps and his mother-in-law handed him another schnitzel. "Nu, what, you got a hot date with the dentist already?" they said.
Finally, late in the afternoon of the fifth day Jerry finally got his shoes on. He and his wife -- alright, she was his concubine, so common-law wife -- went off toward Ephraim. But it was late, they were a little drunk, and they ended up only halfway home, at the Gibeah bus station surrounded by a bunch of layabouts and worthless farshluginers. These were the infamous Sons of Benjamin, the rowdiest and most disreputable of the tribes of Israel. It was a bad scene. But an old pickle-shop owner, Leo Dimplemeyer, took pity on Jerry. "Look," he told the crowd of Benjaminites, "this nice guy you don't want to bother. He's a real mensch. Instead, take my daughter. Take his wife. Take the next plane to Nashville, only don't disturb this nice guy."
Well, to make a long Torah short, the crowd voted to ravish Jerry's concubine. "Okay, good choice," Jerry said. "She's got a nice little thing that I just know you are going to love." And he went off to bed in the back of Leo's pickle shop and slept like a baby.
But when they got home to the hills of Ephraim, he got all Biblical on his concubine's ass. "I am so pissed!" he said. "I am OLD TESTAMENT pissed!" And to prove it he chopped her up. He just grabbed a bronze hatchet and started whacking. Then he put various bits of her in manila envelopes and mailed them second-class postage to the rabbis of the Tribes of Israel. (The Sons of Levi got the prime cuts of meat -- baby back ribs and the tenderloin).
The recipients of the gruesome little packages were not outraged at Jerry, they were mad at the Benjaminites. Go figure. But they were very, very religious men.
And so the Eleven Tribes declared war on the Twelfth Tribe, the Sons of Benjamin. And, as we shall see, this is just what God intended.
The rabbis of the Eleven Tribes called everyone together in a Grange hall in Mizpeh. Rabbi Arnie Klebberson called the meeting to order. "Ok, ja, just you sit down there in the back. What? No chairs left. Ok, ok, you can stand up den. You can stand there in the back. Now Reb Gnarlo he bring us some pretty stout brännvin so don't drink too much so you end up passing out under the table den."
Many of the Children of Israel questioned the Swedish-American accent of Rabbi Klebberson, but Rabbi Humding Xiang reassured them. "Is velly surrealist," he said. "Make one velly-fine Uncycropedia articar."
So I guess we'll just have to put up with the bad accents.