Gedlya Goldfinger holstered his PsalmRay.
Whereas the rest of the Goyishe Velt used neutron chips and nanotechnology to power their zappers, the psalm ray, engineered by The Conglomeration of Rabbis Against Advanced Technology, had been constructed mechanically.
It was very steampunk, if Gedlaya had only known what that was, or how cool.
For a mechanical zapper, the PsalmRay did a very decent job. Those folks at The Conglomeration sure knew what they weren’t doing.
Bodies were strewn all over the saloon, an underground speakeasy where gays and other unsavory sinners congregated in secret.
It hadn’t always been this way. Gedalya’s grandfather had regaled him with tales of “despicability parades” that “those people” used to throw. Back then, you were limited to just an angry protest on the sidelines while the Zionist police protected “the others”.
Or maybe the occasional zealous stabbing.
You didn’t have the rights that Gedalya had today, as a member of The Purity Protection Police, to step into a crowded bar, abuzz with silent murmurs, and open fire on everyone in sight.
“The zelots may strike him,” permitted the Mishna, regarding people who married non-Jews, or served a blemished animal offering to God. But for so many years, over 2,500 in fact, all you could do was dream of the day when you could walk in the footsteps of Phineas, the original fanatic who shoved a spear right into that Midianite woman’s cunt.
It had all changed one bright morning when the Messiah actually showed up on an actual fucking donkey. The people, actively praying for just that exact scenario, looked up in surprise. Their prayers had come true, but, as is so often the case, it was difficult to believe considering how rare such a scenario was. “We’re supposed to just want you to come, you’re not supposed to actually be here.”
Yet here he was.
Security at the Western Wall gave him a real hard time. Between the donkey, the long white beard, and the dark compassionless look in his eyes, it was only fair that they thought him a terrorist.
But he was no terrorist, similar though he might have looked to those Taliban you used to see on TV, if you owned a TV, which you didn’t. He wasn’t a terrorist because he was a freedom fighter on the right side of the only correct religion.
Muslims are terrorists.
One of the first things he did, obviously, was blow up the Dome of the Rock, erecting the Jewish temple there instead. It was pretty magnificent, as Jewish buildings go, funded by Jews all over the world. Chrystal chandeliers, extravagant marble. It was built to be fancier than any Chassidish Rebbe’s tish, even Viznitz’s. It was so flashy, so full of bling, you just knew it was God’s House you were strolling through.
At first, there was a great unification, as promised by the Late Prophets. He fought wars with merciless vengeance. Even the US backed down when he reminded them he slept with one finger on the big black nuclear launch button (Inscripted with the word “Givald!” in block white letters). Jews made Aliyah in droves, inspired by the temple and the unification and the putting America in its place and all.
But then Messiah grew old. He started needing people to lean in close and shout the latest tactical briefings in his ear. His responses became more garbled, more frequently punctuated by recurring calls to “kill them all in the name of The Almighty Merciful One”.
Along with this deterioration, and eventual death, of the Messiah, came the usual fragmentation, the default chemical reaction of any two Jews left to their own devices on the same continent. Opposing powers began vying to shout in his ear and misquote his responses. Factions broke out based on their ethnic origins – first just Middle Eastern vs. European, then segmented by country, region, and village.
This of course then manifested in the running of the entire country.
It fragmented governmental offices: the Chalabies overtook the Ministry of Marriages and Abominations, while the Grodetzkers assumed control of the Ministry of Fences and Limitations.
It fragmented the government itself: There were now 72 parties in a 120 member parliament, resulting in the Zayin “no fucks given” party and the Triple Daled “Boobs Begone” consortium.
The Purity Protection Police, to which Gedalya belonged, was itself widely supported by some (“give them what they deserve!”) and deeply condemned by others (“You’re killing people to painlessly!”).
The temple itself fractured, with each faction taking over their own little corner, customizing it, embellishing it with crude architectural add-ons. Gur took over the public bathrooms, charging 10 shekels a shit and 5 shekel a piss. Satmar created an intricate drink dispensing system, distributing 7 different flavors of Super Drink via a vast network of crisscrossing metal pipes screwed to the outside of the formerly glorious marble walls.
The temple lost its luster beneath an ever-growing hodgepodge of modifications, customizations, and egos. Even the animals slaughtered there were second-rate, much like Kain’s original biblical offering – thin, gaunt, malnourished. It used to be you would wade in blood up to your knees during the time of the Passover offering. Now it was up to your ankles at best.
“Still,” Gedalya mused, rebuttoning his Fast-draw Kapote while stepping over a still-smoking body. He could see the sunlight streaming through the half open saloon door. “What a time to be alive.”