Archive for the ‘Noah’s Ark’ Tag

Noah’s Wife

Maybe you have been in the Paperlessworld before. Maybe you have read about the Akdedah. What has never been brought up until now is the connection of Noah to the story. Oh, there has been mention of who was Abraham, as well as who was Sarah.

“Welcome to the Dormady Academy of Detection. This semester we will be using as text The Lost by Daniel Mendelsohn. As your will read, Mendelsohn is fond of quoting a twelfth century rabbi, on the meaning of the Book of Genesis. ‘The key issue for Rashi is that the wrong reading suggests an incorrect chronology of Creation: That God created the heavens and then the earth, then light, and so forth.  But this is not how it happened, Rashi says. If you get the small details wrong, the big picture will be wrong too.’”

Noah's wife It is Daniel Mendelsohn who observes, “The story which began with Creation which is and was the story of the acts of distinguishing one thing from another, but ends by alluding to the… distinction between a man and a woman knowing God.” This is the most crucial distinction of all.

To unquestioningly buy it: war, slavery, religion, if not God. And so the Akedah in which the real main character is Isaac. The story begins with Creation which is the story of the acts of distinguishing. When we inherit and accept things, and eventually one day our sons and daughters quit the act of distinguishing.

And so the story of Abraham, when who is gonna remember another death, like Isaac’s? And why would you make this stuff up? With God somehow sharing in Abraham’s suffering. When in the words of Gene Tiffany, discerning the dignity of suffering, as suffering delivers us to a new place, and suffering is never below a creature of God.

When suffering brought its own dignity, even to a nomad like me. Note all the things which allow a nomad to travel, not unlike the things which allow a man to retire: money, food, wheels, or some form of transport. And so Abraham, the descendant of Noah. So who was Noah? What do you know about Noah?

Daniel Mendelsohn adds much to the picture of Noah, by reviewing each and every word of the story.

Marked. Noah’s wife. Abraham. The connection of self-esteem to work,or the lack thereof. The connection to slavery. The sweat of the brow, and the suffering.

There was a recognized everyday need, when you were marked, by what others saw. With all the seem-to-be ends in the stories… of Cain. Or of Noah’s world. Not much different than the moments when the Akedah story seems about to present the end of Isaac, if not of God, as revealed to Abraham.

Was there not a missing interest, by the majority of other folk alive at the time, in the God of Abraham? And was this not a threat to the future, in the apathy in a world when everybody spanked their kids?

The seen and the unseen. Like a ghost stealing your consciousness, the clouds really did get in the way of a spiritual journalist.

Most surprises are negative. Creation and the always differences between what you set out to make and what you make. Ask a parent. It cannot be all in technique. You gotta try to say something.

Recognizing the theme in the first chapter of Genesis “to separate,” note from the stories how heroes attempt to separate “my creation” from the rest of creation? And thus the developing concept of “CHOSEN” from all the rest. If there had not been a need for a connection to Cain, was there a need in the stories for a connection to Noah’s wife who was the one descendant after the story of the second creation connected back to Cain? In a world where most surprises are negative, did you ever wonder if Cain got spanked?

Note the marked fertility. Why had Abraham marked his slaves, Hagar’s son, and Sarah’s son? Just like Cain had been marked. And just liked Noah’s wife had been marked on her forehead which was the first thing any stranger would remember about her. So had the real appeal of Noah, to God, been in his wife? Or had the over-powering appeal of Noah to God been, as the just man of his generation, connected to whom he had chosen as his wife? And at this point, there was not enough attention to the story, at least by Christians like me who had embezzled the story of Noah, but had never thought enough about the inside meaning in the story.

“Noah, if you want to do mankind a greater service, tell funnier jokes.” Because Noah sure comes across as rather bland.

Somehow that line is connected to Allen Konigsberg. But hadn’t it been Noah’s wife who first asked Noah why the chicken had crossed the road?

A nomad who had been born of Noah’s nameless wife, without laws and commandments, but only norms. The movement in the story of a man without borders, moving amid strangers with danger. Note the insiders and the outsiders in the story of migrant nomads, after the ark landed, in a world without borders. Trace the connection of blood to bonds. The sons of Noah’s wife all had names. And so much like her forefather, Cain, it is said that the wife of Noah had a large distinguishing mark on her forehead, since the time of birth. Like Gorbachov? But in times of greater illiteracy and belief in luck, did the neighbors believe — with group thinking and collective behavior — this was some kind of mark of a witch?

And so the story of Noah’s wife, when who is gonna remember another birth, or the mother’s over-powering pain of childbirth, unknown, unreflected upon? The unreflected upon pain of over-powering sacrifice which seemed to cross the line, if not the road which perhaps Abraham had so quietly inherited, from the nameless wife of Noah?

For the blood detective, this seen and the unseen.  To be marked just a little more invisibly.  And so the connection of the two – between a distinguishing past and a future of the WORLD – of the nameless wife of Noah to not only Abram but to Sarai.

Had it been about what was fashionable at the time? Maybe if you had attended the Dormady Academy of Detection you would also have recognized the blood associated of Noah’s wife to Sarai, whose name after all would come to mean “laughing” — or, rather, her son’s name did.  With a great need maybe for funnier jokes.

Did you note the nameless wife of Noah, who had outlived the nasty neighbors, knew why the chickens were crossing the road. Because it was gonna rain like hell.

Copyright © 2013.

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Aseret Yemei Teshuvah

Oh let all who thirst,…
And let all who have nothing…
without money, without price.
And let all who seek…
And let all who have nothing…

Bring the ones who are laden,
bring them all to the Lord:
bring the children without might.


Over and over in the New World, there are those who desire more temporal power, crying out to the newcomers, “GO BACK TO FROM WHERE YOU CAME!” Did they cry out to Noah? Was there anyone to cry out to Adam? And then to Jacob, in all the stories of nomads like Abram who gave up home.

In stories of Passover, who would ever dare to cry out, “GO BACK TO FROM WHERE YOU CAME!” Like Moses.


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#Rabbi Abraham Skorka


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  ADDENDUM: Birthmarks. It is said that STYLE is a way to say who you are without having to speak. And so Noah’s wife. Yes, the mark on the face of the nameless wife of Noah.

As we inherit and accept things, eventually one day our sons and daughters quit the act of distinguishing.

Did you note the strangeness of not having a name? So I should remember Noah’s wife less for her name but as a descendant of Cain. And if I ever figured out the reason why Abraham had marked his slaves and two sons, I might figure out why God had left a mark on Noah’s wife.

Beware of characters who didn’t want to be identified/named because of the sensitivity of valuation. Because they would be leaving, or because they might acquire a new identity, with their own power to create and change the world. And you thought these place-names had always been, as you were born into.

And so The Akedah, from the story which began with Creation – a story of the acts of distinguishing. But when we inherit and accept things, eventually one day our sons and daughters quit the act of distinguishing. After The Splitting, what of the story of the acts of distinguishing, in a LAND?

The splitting. The Unsettling splitting. If you cannot find, after being told you needed proof/documentation, it makes you look harder.

Isaac, after the story of Abraham. Who is gonna remember another death, like Isaac’s? And why would you make this stuff up, with God somehow sharing in Abraham’s suffering?

The franchise. Without ownership – like Ishmael – in the franchise. The young man who was going to, at a perspective forgotten, become the builder of the franchise? Like your favorite sports team? The first born son of Abraham, who had sacrificed the home, out of The Call.

Ishmael. In the words of Gene Tiffany, discerning the dignity of suffering, as suffering delivers us to a new place, and suffering is never below a creature of God, suffering brought its own dignity. Even to a nomad like Ishmael?

Saving….after being saved. Note all the things which allow a nomad to travel, not unlike the things which allow a man to retire: money, food, wheels, or some form of transport. And so Ishmael, the descendant of Abraham who had been the descendant of Noah. So who was Noah? What do you know about Noah?

Daniel Mendelsohn adds much to the picture, by reviewing each and every word of the story. Marked. Noah’s wife. Abraham. His sons. Both of them. [did you even know the names of his sons, by way of Keturah?] What “we” once knew. So the real main character in The Akedah , from the perspective of Sarah is Isaac. The story of the acts of distinguishing one from another was to end by Abe distinguishing his son from all the rest. Like through a circumcision. Or at the point when, in the act of distinguishing, he quit? If he ever quit?

#Rakistang Nars

#Lakwatsera de Primera


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“Feeling secure in one’s ‘papers’ in a paperless world,” said Captain Obvious. “How did we ever miss this before?”


In What Direction to Take An Ark To Safety?

The view of those who run Europe is that the truth is that its single currency must be saved. And so the story about what rain-makers and bailouts, and a flood of money …in a flood of new money — do to stave off impending doom, like in the 2008 financial collapse.

Before the time of Homer was a story of Noah, when the world was destroyed by flood. In the story of the second creation. In the book Sages and Dreamers, Elie Wiesal wrote of the world in which Noah was swimming in the polluted air of the earth which had resulted after ten generations of creation. In the story of Noah, God was still very conscious of the goings on in the world. The crimes of humanity, the corruption, which Noah was above, are never explained in the lines. Who did what to whom? Noah, who is all that others are not. Creation had become chaos. And the story of Noah, like most of the Genesis stories, dealt with the themes of fertility. Fertility and the pairing up — the fertility that you tried to control, just as your tried to plan your own future. It would be what you would leave behind, way beyond your control. All others die, yet Noah lives. There is a certain irony to read the perspective of a Jewish author who lost each and every one of his relatives in the Holocaust — a man who at war’s end tried returning to his hometown, which had done nothing to help the Jewish population, perhaps feeling like Noah where all he had left was family.

So what had Noah ever done to deserve his role, to save humanity? Little ever is said. All that the Good Book says is that Noah submits to God’s will and nothing more. God has chosen to talk to him. And he built his ark. To save humanity.

The NYU economics professor (former derivative trader) known as Dr. Doom, Nassim Taleb, who had predicted the 2008 crash, in a January 2009 speech about bailouts: “I want them poor. And they deserve to be poor. You cannot have capitalism without punishment.”

And so the stories about what the flood of money in our times has done, and the belief that someone ought to be punished. Because at least money was one value everyone understood. Through a medium of exchange which conveyed a sense of belonging. To a group of people. And then the attempt to pass on that culture. With a sense of belonging, through the stories. Where there were so many problems. About where to go with your money. For safety.

When you shared a heritage, or a culture. But your leaders attempted to form a union with the neighbors. And so the new stories about what a shared heritage, or a culture, pairing up, to save humanity. My fertility as a medium of exchange, which conveyed a sense of belonging. To a group of people. To a land. And then to pass on, in like the eggs. Or the euro.

“One reason the eurozone is tottering is that markets know that its members (by which they mean Germany) could produce the mere two trillion euros required to calm things down, but are refusing to do so.

In Europe “one crisis leads to another crisis unless you find a really effective circuit breaker,” said PIMCO’s El-Erian. The creation of the new government in Italy “is certainly not sufficient. You fundamentally have to convince the people that they have to sacrifice and come up with a set of policies that allows the economy to grow and not just austerity. Europe so far hasn’t come close.” PIMCO continues to favor sovereign debt of nations including the U.S. and U.K. where central banks are keeping interest rates low and embarking on monetary stimulus programs such as debt purchases, said Bill Gross during today’s interview. Canadian and German debt also remain attractive.

Nancy Lazar of Ed Hyman’s ISI Group makes it clear that the Germans are exhibiting an uneasy awareness of the limits of their own less-than-vibrant economy. Expressed as a percentage of Germany’s GDP, German bank exposure to debt from France is 6.1%; Spain, 4.8%; Italy, 4.4%; Ireland, 3%;Portugal, 1%; and Greece, 0.9%. As she comments, the total of German banks’ exposure to peripheral and French debt is equivalent to 20.2% of Germany’s GDP, “high by any standard.” About Germany, Lazar posits that even without capturing fully the fiscal drag and contagion from the crisis, inflation-adjusted gross domestic product, which in the September quarter rose 2.5% year-over-year, will head for zero growth next year. That rather glum prospect is in keeping with recent weak readings of, among other indicators, German business expectations and slowing consumer spending.

Since something like 70% of German exports go to the rest of Europe, German exports have softened. Paced by a 12.1% plunge in demand from the rest of the Continent, September German factory orders were off overall by 4.3%. Corporate earnings have begun to give, with a one-two punch of a weaker economy with the rise in unit labor costs. Retail sales, with diminished consumer confidence, are destined to suffer this holiday season and thereafter.

There was so much irony to read the quote of a French leader that the European Union was set up so that religion would not be the basis of war among nations again. And so the secular nature of Europe, in post war Europe. The EU as the defining instrument of the times, with the euro. When spokesmen for a system of government spent so much time disseminating illusion on issues of unity, if not union. What happens when the confidence is gone? And so the devaluations, the corruption, which came out of one means of exchange for the all nations. And the downward spiral.

Nov 16 (Bloomberg) – Europe has as little as day or weeks to act to avoid a default by a euro-region country, Citigroup Inc. chief economist Willem Buiter said today, “Time is running out fast.” In an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Surveillance Midday” with Tom Keene, Buiter said, “I think we have maybe a few months – it could be weeks, it could be days – before there is a material risk of a fundamentally unnecessary default by a country like Spain or Italy which would be a financial catastrophe dragging the European banking system and North America with it. So they have to act now.”

The irony in the story of this flood of money and ancient Greece. And the mottled German leadership role in all of this, seventy-five years after the Third Reich. When money helps to create the illusion of grandeur in this life. When money was a DEFINING INSTRUMENT OF THE Culture. It was the language we communicated, in western civilization. It was how we exchanged things, beyond words. It was a way of understanding. Money reflected the values of a community. Systems of money were created. Capitalism. Communism. We fool ourselves with the systems of grandeur. By nationalism. Fascism. In castes. Or in Aryan supremacy. In the debates about theologies, and the defining instruments of communication, so often stifled by popes, or about radical authoritarianism, with a missing collegiality. With the missing debate not so much over valuations — about buzzcuts on those holding Greek debt, or just needed pruning back — but how to measure valuation. With a meaningful DEFINING INSTRUMENT of the culture.

You cannot have capitalism, the one size which is supposed to fit all, like really the one size that fits Germany. As people without their own currencies, or their own language, cannot correct their own errors, as their debt compounds. As Germans overvalue their currency and the remainder of the EU’s along with them. Without punishment.

Yeah, up until one month ago the view from Europe was that its single currency must be saved. At all costs. Was there an irony, a certain sense of satisfaction, to see the currency pain in Italy and in Germany at the same time, with their real pain in a devaluation in the use of dynamic equivalence. As old men from Italy led by a German, put in place this currency adjustment, at all costs, affecting the way I prayed? In English.

This devaluation, the change in translation, was not about just prayer but about the medium that I used, that all of us within these borders use. So now comes the change. It was a currency adjustment, a devaluation in the use of dynamic equivalence. As these things happened in international systems of exchange. And with it, a change in the spiritual lives of many in these united states. Mindful of the intense suffering and pain which is part of fertility, it took more than 10 years for all of this to bear fruit. And after the translation comes the real life interpreting, as a church’s true mission has been in the field of interpreting and translating, just like in those services offered for interpreting and translating, to lawyers and court services. With my own ignominy watching the story of the euro play out, I had a certain response – like that found in Germany – that the pain in places all over Europe would not happen here. And I now understood the Occupy Wall Street protest which was now leading to a world-wide movement, about leaders who had no idea where or how they were leading people. The protest like the one over the leadership of the financially chosen people.

From the economic discussion of “Too Big to Save,” came me. Questioning who these leaders were and what they hoped to accomplish — who they thought they were really serving. I felt that somehow my prayer life was caught up in the European wholesale sovereign debt mess, and I was part of the write-downs. It was being packaged as The New Evangelization. And I was a part of the write-offs. And in the aftermath, there was a disproportionate size of Europe’s biggest cathedrals relative to their real life use which would be coming to America. As Germans overvalue their currency and the remainder of the EU’s along with them, there was the missing debate over sovereignty. And like the feelings of animosity towards a distant far-away authority, I empathized so much like the Greeks today and the Spanish tomorrow.

Before the time of Homer, when the world was destroyed by flood, except for the story of a man named Noah. When one man was responsible for carrying on. It was what happened in a world during a devaluation in the use of dynamic equivalence. This was the same story later played out in the past, among Chosen People. Like the perverted story eighty years ago with anti-semitism. And members of a church – the ones who see themselves as chosen people concerning issues of salvation – can, in discovering the subtleness of God, play a critical role. Or not. In interpreting the meaning of Creation. Like Noah. Like my own priest, who in navigating closeness was above all the petty human politics, with a perspective in the broken world about the truth that its single currency cannot be saved. Without punishing the poor in spirit. With his services carried out, like that by the seasoned and professionally trained interpreter, far from the Holy See and its philosophy based upon a single currency.

“In very ancient Greece, Homer tells us, the giants tried to scale Heaven by piling Mount Ossa on top of Mount Olympus, and then adding “wooded Pelion”, another mountain in those parts, on top of that. They failed, of course, and “piling Pelion on Ossa” became a by-word for reinforcing failure.” –Charles Moore in “The Left and Right Should Join Forces Against the Great Euro Take-over”
Copyright © 2011.