Your RDA of Irony

The Morey Code

I am learning Hebrew or at least its alphabet.  Worshipping only one God, the Jews had that extra time to come up with 21 vowels.  Those underachieving Greeks and Romans thought five vowels would suffice.  Well, let me say “Eh!’ in 40 different ways.  Yes, my ancestral 21 dashes, slashes and dots are more than aspirates and glottal grunts:  they were the original emoticons!

Using the Morey Code you can express your mood, your health, what you had for dinner–and its phase of digestion.  Knowing the vowels gives a precise interpretation of the Ten Commandments. 

“I am the Lord Your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”  Vowels–disbeliefMr. Big Shot!  Probably messhuggah, but if He picks up the check, you play along.

“You shall have no other gods beside Me. You shall not make for yourself any graven image.”  Vowels–derisionFine, save us a fortune in marble.  Besides, who wants a God who looks Jewish.

“You shall not take the name of the Lord Your God in vain.”  Vowels–bewildermentAs if you even had a name.  You’re no Apollo in more than one sense.

“Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy.”  Vowels–sarcasmFine, the sheep are going to herd themselves.  Maybe you don’t have a busy season but some of us do

“Honor your father and your mother”.  Vowels–ironyObviously, you never met my family!

“You shall not murder.”  Vowels–indignationTry telling this to the Gentiles.

“You shall not commit adultery.”  Vowels–amusementOf course, thinking about it is another matter.

“You shall not steal.”  Vowels–resignationThen try not to raise the Temple dues.

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”  Vowels–martyrdomLying to him is different.  He really thinks his daughter can play the piano.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, nor his wife, his man-servant, his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor’s. Vowels–suspicionDidn’t we already cover this?  Is ten Your lucky number or are You spreading rumors about me and Marcia Weinblatt?

Amen (ironically).

  1. Leah says:

    Although I am venturing into Jerome Vered territory here, I believe the vowel notations were developed in the diaspora, when Hebew was no longer a first language. I’m pretty sure that written Hebrew in ancient times was like a shorthand; it was meaningful to someone who knew the language but meaningless if you didn’t know what sense to make of the consonant clusters because you didn’t know the context. Obviously it was spoken with vowel sounds (Locust Valley Lockjaw is not a Jewish phenomenon; and I once heard a famous architect, Denise Scott-Brown of Venturi, Rauch, and Scott-Brown, who was from Rhodesia, pronounce the word “determinism” with no vowels at all), but I think Hebrew was originally written only with consonants except for aleph and yud, and you had to know how to pronounce them case by case from the meaning/conjugation of the word in context.

    • Eugene Finerman says:

      Leah alludes to a Jerome Vered. He is her imaginary friend: a 7-foot-tall Rabbi. We believe that he started materializing after Leah got a concussion in a Lacrosse match with Dartmouth. (Laura Ingraham was penalized for wearing jackboots–at least before September.) According to Leah, this Vered is one of the greatest Jeopardy players as well as an expert on linguistics. He is so revered an authority that she was willing to let him adjudicate a dispute whether or not Leslie Howard looked Jewish. (However, when the allegorical Mr. Vered disagreed with her, Leah denied his existence.)

      Eugene (who thought that Leslie Howard looked it)

      p.s. And thank you for the edifying comments.

  2. Rafferty Barnes says:

    I appreciate a written language that favors us left-handers, though some might think it sinister.

  3. Renee Keats says:

    I LOVED THIS! As a fellow sufferer, there are times when I think that this language was made up as another way to test the Jews. Perhaps God is saying “Oh yeah? You say you are a believer: well read this collection of symbols and then tell me how you really feel!” in a French accent of course!

    • Eugene Finerman says:

      Ma Chere Renee,

      From my first five lessons in Hebrew, I can understand why Jesus preferred quoting the King James Bible.


  4. Cindy Starks says:

    Yuyeniel — God should be so funny as you! 🙂 Cindy

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