Part 4: Episode 6 - Is This Kosher?So I got a ways into arranging the bonus video when I realized it was a pretty stupid idea. Everything I want to say in it I can, and should, be saying in the LP proper. It wasn't a total waste, though; I learned a few things about the game while I was recording the bonus footage.
Episode 6 - Is This Kosher?
Bible Study Time!
Let's hear about Ishtar already!
The name Ishtar shows up most predominantly outside Biblical Apocrypha. Ishtar is the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility, war, love, and sex. Hugely associated with sexuality and the sanctification thereof, her cult even held prostitution as a sacred ritual of worship. Ishtar's sexual conquests included Tammuz, the god of the harvest, and, according to the Epic of Gilgamesh, a lion and a horse.
So what does this have to do with our Ishtar? Nothing directly, but it kind of relates in a completely backwards way. Let me explain.
Actually, first let me finally explain something else.
Back in Episode 1 I said that Shemyaza's name could be translated as "He Sees The Name". It is thought by some that he was privy to God's true name.
So our Ishtar, or Istahar, comes from another really old tale, possibly older than the Book of Enoch. In it, God is beginning to have regrets about creating humans, since they're collectively acting like a bunch of shitheads. Two angels, Shemyaza and Azazel, remind God that they were opposed to humans in the first place. God retorts by saying that everything on Earth is subject to "the Evil Inclination", and that even angels couldn't resist it. The two protest, and ask to be allowed to prove themselves. God relents, and the two head to Earth.
Now, of course, the angels were completely wrong. As soon as they catch sight of human women, they get big nasty angel boners and set out to use them. In particular, Shemyaza wants to take a woman named Istahar as his bride, because she is the last virigin. Seriously.
From here I've seen two versions of the story. The first has Istahar ask Shemyaza to tear his wings off and give them to her, so she can use them to fly. He doesn't want to, but she pouts and winks and teases until he does. She then just flies away, and Shemyaza is left looking like a chump.
The second, and better, ending, is that Istahar says she will not give in unless Shem tells her God's True Name. He refuses at first, but she mocks him, postulating that he doesn't actually know it, and maybe he isn't really even an angel. He gives in and tells her.
She then says the God's Name aloud, flies up into the heavens and is thus removed from sin, and is transformed by God into one of the brightest stars in the sky. Shemyaza sees this and hangs himself upside down between Heaven and Earth.
What a chump.