So begins “The Song of the Red Cow,” one of 54 strange and delightful Torah commentaries in Unscrolled, a motley collection of essays, memoirs, cartoons, and shticks. Each is as unique as the poor red heifer, who we come to see as young, beautiful, unblemished…and tragically doomed.
Unorthodox? For sure, in both senses of the word. No straight commentary here. For example, see Aaron’s defensive take on the sin of the golden calf: “For starters, it was not a calf. It was more like a pig.” Or check out Murray, God’s tailor, lamenting the colorful priestly garments: “Crazy ostentatious. The taste level…is fresh off the boat.” Then there’s Moses’ father-in-law, who’s drawn wearing a Jethro Tull T-shirt, and counsels Moshe to “stop wasting your time with small-time crap. Delegate!” Not to mention their clever solution to building the Tabernacle in land-starved midtown Manhattan. (“Think vertical.”)
The book is a product of Reboot, a national network of young, creative Jews. They’re making sure you never look at the weekly Torah portion the same.