On the great day of judgment, all of humanity was gathered in a celestial banquet hall. It was a huge space, with a massive round table in the middle. The table was so big that it accommodated what seemed to be hundreds of thousands of people, probably more. As one looked to the left or the right, there were people as far as the eye could see. Yet somehow, by some supernatural optical phenomenon, one had no trouble seeing clearly everyone seated directly across the table. In a position of prominence was the Almighty herself, who interestingly had an appearance not unlike the way God was portrayed in Monty Python’s “Life of Brian,” yet whose Voice was unmistakably feminine. After a while, some grumbling was to be heard, as people began to take notice of who was present. Finally, a lone voice cried out, a voice with a thick Brooklyn accent, saying, “Hey God, I’m happy to be here, of course, but I see my old neighbor Moshe sitting over there and I know that rotten sonofabitch rascal ought to be in the other place. What gives?” And the Almighty replied, in soft mellifluous tones reminiscent of Lauren Bacall (who was seated to my left, by the way): “Well, just as I asked all of you to love your neighbors no matter what, and to forgive others over and over again, why would you expect me to do any less?” As those words sunk in, heads nodded around the room, and some were heard to say: How can one argue with divine logic like that? The Almighty continued: “Don’t allow your eye to be filled with envy because I am generous.” More murmuring and head-nodding. “As for the other place,” the Almighty said, “there is no other place. Being here with Me is all there is, all there ever was, all there ever can be. What a horrible notion to think I would send anyone away forever. That’s punishment out of all proportion to the crimes, is it not? In any case, it doesn’t matter, because I’m now going to render my Final Judgment. And here it is: I judge you, each and every one of you, every single human being who has ever lived, to be my children, my friends, my lovers, whom I cherish with all my heart. I welcome you to this special banquet, prepared just for you.” And there were audible gasps, and many sighs of relief, to be heard around the room.
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