Inheritance


We endow our lives with stories. “Mostly they are the same lives, the same stories, over and over,” wrote David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker.

Expanded school days. Expanded school years. The president wanted the urban society to abandoned the agrarian tradition of long summer vacations for kids. Because the world had evolved.

Evolution. Charles Darwin and his theory of survival of the fittest. Because the world had evolved. I had read the news story on the eve of Yom Kippur.

Theologians and economists. They were a lot alike. Really addressing human concerns about inheritance. Really addressing human fear. About the future.

Those Days of Awe. That August 2008 walk…..To Know God. Thinking about passing on what was most important in my own life. and now those Days of Awe. With the start of a new year, the Days of Awe about the depth of feeling between fathers and sons, wives, daughters, with God. A day of remembrance. Passing along this day of remembrance. With the question in the rabbinical school, “Why would God not evolve?”

In these Days of Awe, what does it mean to be bound? Bound by depth of feeling. And then, how tightly bound in relationship, to God? This year? And then passing on the inheritance. In a world when so many people had difficulty saving anything, there was the conflict over the spending with the saving. In the rabbinical school, where the questions were asked. About the conflict. Between generations. Was the God of Abraham really any different than the God of Isaac, in the monotheistic world of Judaism? What did it mean in the Akedah story? Was Abraham going to kill his son because he realized the time was fast approaching that God was going to take Abraham’s life. What should be spent? What should be saved? How to pass on what had been saved? Was the actual mystery in the Akedah story about Abraham challenging the meaning of his life, the part he remembered at this point, challenging God for all that He had given to him? Was the story about sacrificing his son, the Akedah, any different than the same challenge Isaac would one day face over the issue of inheritance. When Isaac was blind and was fooled by both his wife Rachel and his son Jacob. The same stories, over and over. Over passing on what had been saved. And who to pass it on to.

The conflict in the Akedah story was over an act of dementia, over a pragmatic act of sacrifice which went entirely against the passing on the inheritance? Was Abraham in this case really trying to fool God over this obsequious sacrifice, which ultimately may have been deferential but was not well thought out?

Was Abraham, in his story, just a little more surreptitiously coming to grips with the question of inheritance, little different that the same challenge Isaac faced over the issue of inheritance. Coming to grips with authority over the truth in the world? As Isaac had to come to grips with the authority of what might have been at this point a father with dementia. Ah, dealing with loss of memory in different ways. The perspective of an old man. The perspective of a son maybe 30-years old, who might never come to know, as Abraham had come to know, God. In the Akedah story, what was his real point of view over revelation of the truth that might be lost? The same stories, over and over, in dealing in subtle ways with God. As an old man late in life given finally a child, a son, but asked to sacrifice Isaac, facing the end of his line?

In the pagan world, neighbors all around were using burnt offerings to various gods and goddesses. Sacrifice, to never get too comfortable about the things of this world. Jewish guilt. Or was sacrifice an Irish thing. Because good times were bound to turn back into disaster.

Perhaps Isaac had ignored all his life the things that Abraham deemed important? Perhaps Isaac seemed much too comfortable with riches. Perhaps Isaac seemed even much too comfortable about his relationship with God. When for Abraham it had always been a struggle.

Stories. Mostly they are the same lives, the same stories, over and over, wrote David Remnick. With expanded school days. Expanded school years. As the old paradigms unravel? Yeah, theologians and economists were a lot alike. Really addressing human concerns about inheritance, and studying the signs. The signs of change.

Looking for the change in the story. To Isaac. To Abraham. To God. To me. About this unraveling world. My world. About the speed of the unraveling. And what it was that would be downloaded to replace it. With survival of the fittest, just a little more surreptitiously coming to grips with the question of inheritance and guilt. The changing point of view.

Because the world had evolved, from the same stories, over and over. With a changing point of view over revelation of the truth, about things humans deemed important Yeah, the president wanted this urban society to abandoned the agrarian tradition of long summer vacations for kids.

Passing on the inheritance. With too little thought about passing on what was most important in life. In the summer, where traditional activity could be ignored, for new things deemed important? This change, if this idea went through, would not really be addressing human concerns about inheritance, in about public schools.

Because the world had evolved. Though the academic world had evolved, with institutional public education, it was now, in this evolving society, with a changing point of view, all about money.

Mostly the same stories, over and over,” wrote David Remnick. In the changing world. Evolution. Not unlike printing more money, to solve problems. Bailouts in this evolution. Creating something out of nothing. The president wanted the urban society to abandoned the agrarian tradition of long summer vacations for kids, for expanded school years. In days of expanded currency, wanting kids to work harder. And because the world had evolved but not changed, parents would also have to stay home and work harder.

With the changing point of view, of this generation. Vacation time based on religious tradition would one day become a thing of the past? Not unlike honoring the Sabbath. Vacation time based on religious tradition would be renamed? In the age of diversity, where there was all this conformity to nothing. With too little guilt over the inheritance. Ignoring the inner need to be re-created. With recreation. But in the summer of daylight savings time, amidst the conflict over the spending with the saving, there was this new need for expanded school days, an expanded school year, in a world when so many people had difficulty saving anything?

Summer vacation. In an evolving world where more people will wonder the reason to save anything. Saving for what? Or to work harder for what?
Would summer vacation really become a thing of the past? Or just renamed? In these Days of Awe. Ready to sacrifice the kids.

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