I was at a super-long bat mitzvah Saturday (almost three hours) and I flagged a bit in the final stretch, so I began reading Genesis. Made it through most of Adam and Eve, along with Cain and Abel.
The thing that struck me was how the omniscient God pretended not to know what Adam and Eve had done. He — let’s just use “He,” as it’s as the Bible would have it — has to know, of course. The Judeo-Christian God just loved testing. He was, in some ways, the original Jewish mother.
The reading for the bat mizvah girl was drawn from the passage of Genesis that deals with the fall of Sodom. For those who don’t know, some angels came to visit Lot and the townspeople began clamoring for them to be sent outside, so the townspeople could be “intimate” with them. (“Rape,” according to the helpful footnotes.) Lot sends two daughters out instead. Later, Lot is fed alcohol by his surviving daughters, so they can be intimate with him and bear children, an option they feel will otherwise be denied them.
I have to say, I think that’s a tough draw as bat mitzvah readings go.