Meanwhile, Vicki is curious to know more about the Steins' daughter, Chaya, so she starts digging around for information and it turns out, despite the Steins saying she's dead, she's actually alive. [cue dramatic prairie dog]
Well, she meets up with Chaya and they talk about her last conversation with Chaya's christian friend, Tom. And Chaya talks about how her parents would have reacted if she had told them she had become a Christian.
"Becoming a heretic. Believing lies. Turning your back on everything you've been taught. I could have robbed a bank, gotten pregnant--whatever--and it wouldn't have been as terrible as becoming a Christian. A couple of years ago a friend of the family became a Christian, and I thought my parents would sit shivah for him on the day he was baptized."
Once again, I am handicapped by the fact I am a Christian and therefore, am ignorant of much of Jewish culture, but right now I'm going, "O RLY?" at the whole they'd rather have me rob a bank than become a Christian. Because it seems like Ellanjay's perception of Jews is that of some guys with beards going "Oy Gevalt." all the time. I bet if I were to ask Ellanjay what Jews eat, they would answer, "Bagels," and they probably think that Jews spend all their time, sitting around denying that Jesus is the Messiah, when in reality, they have their own traditions and own scriptures to debate.
Now to the next chapter. It turns out Judd has decided to leave for Jewishstan, aka Israel. Great show of leadership, genius, leaving a thirteen-year-old and a twelve-year-old to look after each other. Before you ask, Bruce "Useless" Barnes is going with him.
Anyway we get the Athiest Inquisition round deux, but it turns out that Coach Handlesmen was pretending to be on their side. He was the one who returned Mark and John's bibles to them and he has taken all the blame for the YTF's paper.
Anyway to make a long story short, at the end of the second chapter, Bruce and Judd are on their way to Israel and Vicki and Chaya are on the run from the eeevil athiests.
Now to the third chapter.
Bruce and Judd are on the plane and we finally get a brief discussion of dating, though both of them pussy-foot around the subject a little. You just know that Judd is dying to get into Vicki's pants but wants permission from the Pope of Mount Prospect, aka Bruce, and to Bruce's credit, he doesn't exactly say no but neither does he say yes. I guess part of him realizes the old scare stories they use to scare kids into not having sex aren't going to work when the world has less than seven years to live and both Bruce and Judd know it. Still rather than suggest that Judd just marry Vicki and get to shagging, Bruce tells him to work on his relationship with Zod.
Okay, so they get to Israel and meet with Token Jew's wife and kids. Naturally, they are all Christians and they decide to give Judd a tour of Israel. In the hands of a good writer, the telling of all the sacred sites they see and their reaction to it, could take up several pages, but unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, we're in the hands of Ellanjay who delegates all this to one paragraph.
Judd was amazed to think that Jesus had actually walked these same roads, carried the cross, was crucified, and rose again in this ancient land. He was awestruck at the Garden of Gethsemane. That afternoon, the Bible came alive to him.
It's times like this that I wish we were in the hands of a real hack writer like Dan Brown or anybody besides Ellanjay. Reading this passage is like watching a slide show with someone standing in front of the screen the whole time, blocking the view. At least a hack writer would let us see the sites a little.
So Judd goes to Teddy Kollek stadium where Moishe and Eli are proclaiming their message.
"You have been gathered from the twelve tribes of Israel, the chosen ones of the Almighty. And we have been given the high calling of proclaiming his name to every nation, every tribe, every tongue--"
This is supposed to be inspiring but I can't help but wonder which twelve tribes they're talking about. I also doubt that any of the Jews could say for certain which tribe they belong to, because after centuries and centuries of marriages, it would be impossible to distinguish one from another. Not to mention, the bible can't even agree on the tribes. As Fred put it, if I was a Danite, I'd be highly insulted.
They go on to recite basic scripture which anyone remotely familiar with the Bible would know, but Ellanjay realizes they don't have the talent needed to write the words of a prophet so they just quote bits of scripture and have the other characters say how inspiring they are in hopes of covering the deficit.
Anyway, the chapter ends with Vicki being arrested after breaking into Judd's house and I headdesk at her stupidity and decide to let you all discuss Ellanjay's latest failings in the comments section.