The story you are about to read is true. Some names have been changed to protect the guilty. Some names have been omitted to protect us from the grumpy. The story first started thousands of years ago, when the world was young...

An angel descended heaven to sell the Torah to the world and his first drop was high in the Tibetan mountains.

"It's a Torah," he told the Master as the llamas looked on.

"We appreciate new teachings," intoned Master. "Tell us your wisdom."

"I am L-rd Your G‑d. Have none before me."

The master smiled sympathetically; the llamas rolled their eyes.

"All is One. Truth has many forms. Form changes." the master recited solemnly, taking the angel's hand in his own. "Love your knowledge. Live your knowledge. Do not allow one knowledge to negate a world of expression."

"For I am a jealous G‑d," remembered the angel aloud, more to himself than to the master. No, this won't work. They shook hands and the master bowed in deference.

The angel came to Khyber Pass. A band of blond, chiseled men galloped furiously, their women following in tow. The angel started telling them about his wares. "I tried the master, but he rejected me," said the angel, feeling a bit down.

"Master? What master? We are the master of all races, not those blabbering, dark people. What does your Torah say in it?"

"You shall not murder."

"Humph!" answered the loudest mouth among them. Curiously, he was not blond and evidently he had nipped himself above his lip while shaving. "So why didn't that idiot in the mountain take your book? Isn't that the gibberish he goes for?" The loudmouth's voice and passion were growing. "Isn't it clear that only by the survival of the fittest do we go forward?" He climbed on a sack of soap roots so all could hear and continued drawing in the people with his charisma and passion. "Is it not the destiny of the strong to live and conquer and not to be conquered by the weak, ugly, feeble-minded and miserable?" he crescendoed.

"Yawol! Seig!" thundered the handsome crowd. The angel was ready to leave, but he had one question: How come all of you are so handsome? Don't you have any ugly people?

"Oh no, we have no ugly people," said one resolutely.

"We did before," answered the man's wife, "but we tied them to the trees before we left the forest. My brother Heinrich and sister Helga were there."

"This way we have more food," she added cheerfully.

Came the angel further west, along the Seine did he rest.

How romantic is this view, how divine is this nest.

"Merci monsieur!" the locals sparkled when the angel announced he had a most intriguing gift. "Mais, quest-qu'il ya dedans? Can we have a peek inside?"

You shall not commit adultery.

"Oh no, we never would! To be unfaithful to one we love? To break a vow? Non, jamais, mon cheri! You must love life and live to love. To see someone living without love or loving without life, now that is unforgivable! That is the greatest breach of faith, the ultimate rebellion against raison d'etre! A man must always be happy. Joie de vivres! Taste these snails and you will see!"

"Vay iz mir," mumbled the angel.

He came to a bustling bazaar where everyone was selling something. Anything. Now I'll make a sale.

"Ya Habibi!" cried a stubbly-cheeked vendor with a checkered headdress, "but first let us have tea."

After three cups, two of which were noticeably laced, the conversation ever so subtly eased towards the merchandise at hand.

You shall not steal.

"Ah waja waja!" the vendor gesticulated wildly. "Never, ever take what belongs to another man. Especially land! For then he will come back with a bigger stick and get back at you. People are sneaky like that."

"What I do," the vendor added in whisper, "I kill him. I kill his wife. I kill his children. Then, no problem of revenge! Then build a big house on the land. If anyone challenges you, look weepy and keep saying my-land-my-land!" The vendor laughed heartily and insisted on another round of hospitality drinks before the stranger left.

The angel flew due north and was able to get into a mahogany-paneled boardroom where (he was told) issues of import are negotiated.

The chief peered through his pince-nez down the table. "So tell us young chap, why have you requested my time today? A Torah, you say? My subordinates have reviewed the documentation that you were good enough to supply."

The chief pushed the scroll back to the angel. A red-markered circle encompassed the words "you shall not be duplicitous."

"We are in agreement that treachery has no sanction, nor does deceit have virtue." The chief executive officer took off his specs and wiped his brow from impeccably concealed exasperation. "You're obviously new to the world of finance and will undoubtedly prosper once you master financial protocol." The meeting was winding down and chief allowed himself to end on a fatherly note. "While it is true that money makes the world go round, one must be cognizant of the lubrication applied." He laughed.

The angel flew away. So loaded with pomp it's a wonder their bridges don't collapse under them.

He flew to a place that called itself united. He met up with a time management wizard who insisted that the honor-father-mother obligation be compartmentalized to two days per annum and delegated to the office assistant if possible.

Then the angel came to Moses' people. For once they didn't bargain. They said if it comes from G‑d, we accept it. All of it. At face value. Unconditionally. Immediately. And perpetually. When asked, they said that when you are in love you accept. You have no business bargaining.1