Loki, Coyote, Eshu, Brer Rabbit... (lehavdil*) YHVH?
And the mixed multitude that was among them became lustful; and the Israelites also went back and cried, and said, "Who will feed us meat? We remember the fish we would eat in Egypt for free — the zucchinis, the watermelons, the leafy vegetables, the onions and the garlic. But now our throat is dry, there's nothing; the only thing before our eyes is the manna!"
And God said to Moshe, "...And to the people say, 'sanctify yourselves for tomorrow and you will eat meat — for you have wept in the ears of God, saying, "Who will feed us meat? For it was better for us in Egypt!" Therefore God will give you meat, and you will eat. Not one day only will you eat it, nor two days; not five days, and not ten days, and not twenty days — but for a full month, until it comes out of your nostrils, and you become sick of it, since you have rejected God who is among you, and you cried before him, saying, "Why, now, did we leave Egypt?"'"
&mdash Bemidbar 11:4-6,16-20
In other words, what God is telling the People here amounts to "OH, SO YOU WANT MEAT? MY MANNA ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU? WELL THEN, FINE, I'LL FRIKKIN' SHOW YOU MEAT, YOU UNGRATEFUL #&*#%)@*%!!!!"
In the study of Religion, Folklore, and Literature there's something called the Trickster archetype. Tricksters are cunning. Tricksters are humorous. Tricksters are too smart for their own (or others') good. And lately, it has become increasingly clear to me that the God of Israel is a trickster divinity.
The first Jewish blog i ever discovered was Mobius's Orthodox Anarchist, and one of his posts,
God, like those archetypical girls in that Cyndi Lauper song, just wants to have fun. And God is going to have fun with us whether we think it's fun or not. God likes to challenge us, to throw crap our way to teach us not to be complacent, to see how we deal and learn to overcome it. And just for kicks, of course. And sometimes we're wise enough to the ways of the universe to laugh about it afterwards ourselves. Not that i think God expects or wants us to just sit there and take it - i feel that God wants us to challenge God when we think there's a little too much smirking going on at our expence up in heaven. Or when we think God's been watching a bit too much "Jackass" on MTV...
Us rationalist types like to think the world makes sense. That, for instance, if carbon dating, geological stratigraphy, and biological and genetic studies come to certain conclusions about the age of the Earth, the evolution of life, and similar topics, they're probably right. God wouldn't just plant fossils and isotopes in the earth to fool us into believing in biology, geology and astrophysics if all God really did was flip a few switches 5765 years ago!
Unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on how you look at it — as a "Tricksterist" i can't actually say that for sure.
I mean, of course it makes no sense.
Sure, it wouldn't be right.
But damn, wouldn't that be the Best Practical Joke Ever?
* and that's not any old lehavdil, that's a full blown lehavdil elef alfey havdalot bein hahhayim levein hameitim i'll have you know! (nobody accuses me of monolatry!)
UPDATE: LATE-BREAKING NEWS!
The story of Hhoni Hame‘ageil — Hhoni the Circle-Drawer — from the Mishna, Ta‘anit chapter 3:
Once upon a time, they said to Hhoni Hame‘ageil, "Pray for rain to fall." He told them, "Go out and bring the Pesahh ovens inside, so that they don't get water-damage." He prayed, but rain didn't fall. So he drew a circle, stood inside it, and said, "Master of the Universe! Your children have looked to me [for help] since i am like a member of your household. I swear by your great name that i am not moving from here until you have mercy on your children!"
Rain began to drip down. He said, "This isn't what i asked for! I meant rain [that will fill] cisterns, pits, and caves!"
The rain fell violently. He said, "This isn't what i asked for! I asked for rains of goodwill, blessing and graciousness!"
The rain then fell properly, [and continued] until Israel went up from Jerusalem to the Temple Mount because of all the rain.
They said to him, "Just as you prayed for [the rain] to come, so pray for it to go away."...