Challenge 2 Winners!

Hey everyone!

Sorry for the delay. I’ve been waiting for someone to send me a video I wanted to post, but now it’s been several days and I’m assuming you’re all dying to know the results of the last Challenge of Biblical Proportions because I’m sure that, like me, you have nothing more interesting going on in your life than looking for poorly drawn eggs next to goats.

For that, indeed, is where it was, in the Flock, Raper, Spitzers, FRUIT! post.

Congratulations to everybody who rose to the challenge! Here are the Honorable Mentions:

Kristin B
Gracie H
Ruth H
Ashley K
Elizabeth H
Rebecca M
Eli K
Arun V
Cissy H

So what have we learned here? We have learned that having a last name beginning with H makes you a winner. If you are stuck with an inferior last name, I recommend that you get it legally changed and/or marry a luckier person as soon as possible so you too can start winning. Because correlation implies causation. That’s the main thing I’ve learned from college, and by college I mean stories by people who claim to have witnessed miracles.

Next, we have our runner up. Now, I don’t usually give prizes to the runner up (although we’re all making this up as we go along, so maybe that can be a thing). But the winner graciously ceded the candy portion of her prize to the second placer. So Adam G will be receiving a candy bar of his choice! Adam, email me at to claim your prize.

And, finally, the winner of the second-ever-but-first-realistic Challenge of Biblical Proportions is…

Nora M!

Those are radiating streaks of everlasting glory, because I did promise everlasting glory to the winner after all. I have also sent her, as promised, a very special certificate of completion. If you want to see what it looks like, I guess you’ll just have to win the next challenge!


Unleavened Eggcellence

Happy Eastover!

1) Exciting news for my ego – this blog is currently featured on FlyBy, the Harvard Crimson’s blog! Huge thanks to my friend Seth Riddley for pitching the story to them. Not only does he belong to History & Science (the best major), he also spends his spare time working with Harvard Smiles, an organization dedicated to promoting mental health on campus. While he is busy destigmatizing discussion about emotional challenges, I sit around drinking tea and making fun of the Bible. Seth is a better person than I am.

2) As mentioned in the FlyBy piece, I will be speaking at morning prayers at Memorial Church in Harvard Yard tomorrow (Monday) morning. It’s a fifteen-minute service, from 8:45-9:00. If you are a Harvard student and/or you happen to live in the Cambridge area, please come! I would love to see some friendly faces in the pews!

3) I’ll be writing my church talk (sermon…?) today instead of babbling about the Bible. So, both as a consolation prize and in order to welcome the Elijah Bunny as an adult in the Jewish community, I am hereby announcing the second-ever and first-actually-achievable Challenge of Biblical Proportions!

*drum roll*

I have hidden an Easter egg somewhere on this website. I don’t mean an “Easter egg” in the sense that technically competent computer whizzes use that term. I mean a literal picture of an Easter egg that I clumsily drew in Paint just now. The first person who emails me at with the location of the egg will win the grand prize: everlasting fame and glory, a certificate of accomplishment, and a candy bar. Much like the Biblical God, depending on whom you ask, the grand prize is triune: it has three components, but they are all blended together into one delicious compound. But don’t try to eat the certificate of accomplishment. It will be made of paper. Only eat the candy bar. But not the wrapper it comes in. Also, EVERYBODY who finds the egg and reports its location to me by the next time I post will get an honorable mention on the blog! So that’s like getting the everlasting fame and glory part without the other two-thirds of the Holy Prize Trinity. Which is still pretty cool!

Happy hunting!

Queer Eye for the Straight Priest + READER CHALLENGE!

Dragons? I love dragons! Drinks all around!

Fun fact: I saw a Gutenberg Bible today! I mean, I’ve seen it before, because it lives like a mile from where I do. But this was the first time I actually attempted to sort of read it. A friend from high school was visiting Harvard, so I took him on the obligatory here-are-some-old-things tour, finishing up at Widener Library, where Henry Elkins Widener’s Gutenberg Bible is in a glass case. While we were staring at it, I wondered what part it was opened to. (The Gutenberg Bible is in Latin, which I studied for two years in middle school. I retain just enough of that to make pretty decent guesses at etymology and orthography, and to immaturely tell people “semper ubi sub ubi.” This phrase, incidentally, does not appear in the Bible, so I was rather at a loss.) So I stared at the page for a while, scanning for some words I might know – which was extra difficult because the letters were all fancy and curly and full of themselves. After a lot of squinting, I spotted a “draconem,” a “Judeum,” a “Daniele,” and the phrase “Bel destruxit.” I figured I had enough for Googling, and sure enough, I was not only able to identify the specific passage, but to pretty well read along with it (especially since the friend I’d brought with me knew significantly more Latin than I did, but also not quite enough to read fluently without Google’s help). Apparently the story of Bel and the Dragon is part of an extended version of the Book of Daniel, which not all Christians consider legit. So basically it’s like one of the extra scenes on the special edition of the Return of the King DVD that the hardcore Tolkien aficionados drool over but most people just want to see the cinema version.

I also learned from the story of Bel and the Dragon that there is a prophet named Habakkuk, which I’m pretty sure is the official transliteration of the sound of throwing up.

ANNOUNCEMENT: While doing my usual image-searching routine for this post, I discovered that there is a pub called Bel and the Dragon in Cookham, in Berkshire, England (see the pub sign to the left). I’m not sure if I’ve got any readers over in the UK, but in any case, I am hereby officially announcing the very first Challenge of Biblical Proportions! If you take a picture of yourself at this pub and post a link to it as a comment, I will reward you with 1) everlasting fame and glory, 2) a certificate of accomplishment, and 3) a candy bar. Yes, I will physically mail you a candy bar. It’s your choice whether to eat it or save it for posterity.

I recognize that this is probably never going to happen. But I like the idea of reader challenges, so look out for more! (And if you have any ideas for a future challenge, drop a comment or shoot me an email at!)

OT: Exodus 25-28

Exodus 25

God commands Moses to collect gifts for him (God) from the Israelites, which I think stretches the definition of the word “gift.” Although he does give specific instructions about what gifts he wants, so maybe this is actually like the world’s first wedding registry. Where God is getting married to the Israelites.

He also gives very specific instructions about how to build the temple where he will come chill with them, and how to build the Ark of the Covenant, which is basically the box that’s going to hold the tablets with the commandments on them. He also explains how to make a table for food and drink offerings, and a special solid gold lampstand for the temple.

Exodus 26

Next God tells Moses how to make curtains for the temple-tent-thing that will hold the gold lamp and the special table and the box holding the tablets. For all these things, he specifies exact dimensions, what materials to use, how to decorate them, what color everything should be, etc. It’s basically Trading Spaces in book form. Do you remember that show? I remember that show. Maybe it’s even still on. I don’t know. But I really liked Ty, one of the carpenters. He was friendly. I wish he were a character in the Book of Exodus. It could use some more smiling and also some elegant bookcases.

Exodus 27

God explains how to make an altar, and how to make a courtyard for the tent-temple-thing. And he says that all the Israelites for the rest of time will have to provide fresh olive oil to keep the lamp burning constantly.

Exodus 28

God tells Moses that his (God’s) brother Aaron and his (Aaron’s) sons will be his (God’s) priests, and then explains in great detail what kind of clothes they are going to wear. We’re leaving Trading Spaces behind and moving into Queer Eye for the Straight Guy territory here. My favorite part of the specified priests’ clothing is the “chest pendant used for making decisions” (described in verses 15-30). How exactly one uses a chest pendant to make decisions is unclear, but it sounds useful and also extremely realistic and not at all like something that teenage girls might learn how to make out of amethysts and faerie dust in a Silver Ravenwolf book. God gives some more fashion advice, and then explains that “Aaron will wear the robe when he ministers as a priest. Its sound will be heard when he goes into the sanctuary in the LORD’s presence and when he comes out, so that he will not die” (35). Does this imply that God is planning to snipe anybody who enters the church silently? Because if so, I’m pretty sure people have been doing this all wrong. I always feel awkward if I even make a sound setting down my backpack when I go into a church (which, as I’ve mentioned before, I frequently do). I guess from now on I’ll roll in singing.

Nat, if you’re reading this: Don’t worry. I won’t actually do that. Usually.


The chest pendant used for making decisions sounds awesome.


I wish I knew how it worked.