Archive for the ‘Passover’ Tag

Hostility: Out of Plagues to Exodus

 No one is a born story-teller. With words, in translations, there was such a long learning curve that cut into you. In words and borders and getting across time. With power and dominion. And BONDS which came from stories.

 I am this descendant of island people. People who lived in one place, mostly in rural areas for hundreds and hundreds of years. My blood is all Irish. I am reading Richard White’s book, Remembering Ahanagran: A History of Stories. White explains in this book what a homeland means, when you burnt the peat and ate only local produce. And saved the produce. For hundreds of years, before refrigeration and before imports. He is the son of an Irish mother and a Jewish father, after exodus.

 Richard White writes about memoirs and history, about belief or disbelief, in dealing with loss, as your own world was coming to an end, in exodus. After all the lateral moves, but still the connections. Settling down, marrying outside the tribe.

 When you were born into something: what had a homeland meant as a place you burnt the peat and ate only local produce? And, living within the tribe, learning the mystery, you had to save something.

 In exodus. The movement in the stories was not so much to change the world, but only the people in it. Note the outsiders, exiled from the world of theory, living at some point with now only memories but somehow wanting to make them your own. In immigration, like Jacob’s.

 In exodus. Like Rebekah’s. Jacob’s mother, living within a tribe, learning the mystery, as an outsider. Did you feel a hostility as an outsider? The holiness, either within or not. Crime and punishment, and stolen birthright. It was the outsider in the story – Rebekah – who was involved in the stolen birthright (but a birthright from only one side of the family) which would so much involve the future. What had been the birthright from Rebekah’s family? What she had been born into? She was the brother of hoodwinking Laban, the ultimate of hoodwinkers. So what was the the inheritance from Rebekah who was from a family of hoodwinkers, which Jacob would later come to so intimately know. So was it Rebekah who wondered what could be wrong with stealing a misunderstood birthright?

 Note the future in the story, in this marriage, arranged by Abraham. Like the project of becoming a wife, there was the known and the unknown; the visible and invisible; the practical and the impractical. Speaking of choosing and of the chosen. There was a theme of “knowing” or not knowing, the birthright. One oh so very personal experience, about the right way, like in any relationship. Living in captivity, in an arrangement of the times, what had been Rebekah’s experience of the God of Isaac, before any idea about how to raise two kids? What was her personal experience of – based upon scarcity, limits, and human needs — sacrifice. When you lived under a dominant culture, like Rebekah.  From one side of the family, would there have been some lingering hostility to the special attention given to the God of Abraham, with Isaac’s post traumatic stress since the moment on Mount Moriah? Rebekah, coming from a different family, with a different concrete examples of marriage — one visible, the other invisible. And her fertility as the outsider was what needed by all the descendants of Abraham.

 Private and public lives: the inheritance of Jacob from his mother was as the outsider — after his forced immigration to just survive? Just as Richard White writes about memoirs and history, about belief or disbelief, in dealing with loss, so the stories of people to whom I was related – or maybe over what it meant to be chosen, and to live with birth right. If you had figured out what Isaac’s birthright had been, which would be passed on to Jacob.

 Stories of drought and birthright and barren women, after the flood, as outsiders in the world. Like from the emergence from the rectangle that Noah lived in for forty days. The movement in the stories: Exodus. Freedom. Numbers. Like the twenty years that Jacob had gone away — if it had been twenty years, living in a different culture with his stolen birthright? And in these stories about the book of numbers, there was always the threat of outsiders to Chosen People, if not the earth. So in stories about insiders and outsiders, as a descendant of immigrants, I was so much like Rebekah or Jacob. When the twenty years signified the years of Jacob’s fertility which had come to an end. And then the movement in the story, again, long after mother and son collaborated over this stolen birthright.

 From the emergence from the rectangle that Noah lived in for forty days, note the forty in the story. Or the twenty years that Jacob spent with Rachel’s father, living in another culture, with a climate change. Did he feel a hostility as an outsider? Would there be a loss of spiritual power learned by marrying into an outside culture? Jacob, circumcised as his father, living away from the kosher type-rules? Living as outsiders, living with birthright, which of his own sons had been circumcised? How, if circumcised, had these boys felt living in a world of public baths? Would they always feel to be outsiders? Were the twin sons of Rachel better than the sons of the other women whom Jacob fathered children with? And which of the twelve tribes of Israel was most pure, most really Jewish?

 Chosen? Jacob with this undeserved birthright. Trying to hang on to an undeserved birthright. In words and borders and getting across time, with power and dominion, and BONDS which came from stories. With favored sons, if not real favorites. With the strangeness in this Living God of Abraham. Did Jacob think in only one dimension, with his multiple wives, about the meaning of his birthright every day? Over his different way of life, when his grandfather was still alive?

 Insider or outsider? The gestation period of forty. Darkness and light. When did Rebekah feel used over her forty weeks of gestation, living amid the strangeness of the family of Abraham with his God? The pride in fertility: like Rebekah in the story, there was the deep emotion in the story for every woman on earth, when my God is perceived to be threatened, along with the excitement when God is with us – now.

 So which of the two twin sons was most like Rebekah? And is not a mother allowed to have favorites, and bestow a birthright? In the outside world, feeling so shut out -– maybe feeling so much like Cain had?  Did you feel a hostility which grew from the pride of either outsiders or insiders?

 Inheritance. Chosen. Feel the hostility as an outsider, to the holiness — either within or not — so much like fertility. Crime and punishment, and stolen birthrights. When mothers had favorite sons, before fathers had favorites, like Joseph. With a shame in these stories. Learning the mystery, as outsiders. Feel the hostility as an outsider, learning the mystery only at home.

 Chosen? Remembering Ahanagran: A History of Stories. There is this spatial change, in the size of things, as a child grew. In the perspective about size, in both public and private lives. So what was the change in the spiritual direction in the dénouement of the story of Rebekah, in the movement in the story of outsider, as her younger son married into her very same family? What was her shame after her son left with the stolen birthright? And did you recall why Rebekah with Isaac did not like the women that her older twin was bringing home?  So hw many years did it take Jacob to discover the meaning in the birthright?

 From living outside his tribe, somehow learning the mystery, to ever so slowly discover the shame in this story. Abraham had married his father’s—but not his mother’s —daughter. Sarah. Oh, those crazy biblical relationships. And Jacob had then married into Rebekah’s family in the same way in a largely pagan world, with nomads migrating in large numbers. In his lateral moves, in exodus. But still somehow connected, settling down, marrying outside his father’s tribe.

 Those crazy relationships. And you wanted others to have the same experience. “Mostly they are the same lives. The same stories, over and over,” wrote David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker. When we endow our lives with stories, did you notice the same perceived threat of outsiders to the free worship by Israelite slaves, with a missing hope in the world, when Moses was born. Moses, the descendant of Jacob — the grandson of Levi? The perceived threat was proved true, generation after generation, leaderless, powerless in the outside world, unless somehow united in belief which came out of stories, in a passed on perspective of spatial change.

So compare the life of Moses to the life of Jacob.  After he had grown, from living outside his tribe, somehow Moses had come to learn the mystery. Children gradually learning to recognize a shame in living unquestioning lives. Like for Isaac, after what had once happened on Mount Moriah to Isaac, or after killing an Egyptian. Truth is not a property of thought which guarantees validity to my thinking, in either politics or religion. In the outside world. As proven, as, one by one, these great prophets had violated the Ten Commandments, before the Ten Commandments were placed on stone. In words. In stories about a powerless people. But since the beginning, in all of human history there were people who felt that they could annihilate other tribes. Like Abraham thought he could sacrifice his own sons. And a wife who came from the outside must have had some inner feelings about getting out. About escape. In explaining a motivation to write, to “cover” events through people, in stories about leaders, note the fear and anxiety over which human will lead us, or save us, next? Like Moses. Jut like Rebekah tried to save her one son? In stories about powerless people, Moses like Joseph somehow had come to know the Pharaoh.

 So what had Moses come to know with his time in the Egyptian world, growing up so close to the Pharaoh, in a world of power, after facing his own extinction. Until he was rescued by the Pharaoh’s daughter, in a story about human power structure. What had ever been passed on to Moses of his own culture? Had Moses even been circumcised? And what had happened to the birth right by now?

 There is holiness which come from story-telling. In the realness of the mystery stories of people to whom I am related even in exile, like in Irish fertility, as written about in Remembering Ahanagran: A History of Stories. Movement. The leaving, the coming back informed and engaged in the world. And the anger and blame which went towards those who left you.

 Who could, who would ever believe in Moses – like on one dark Egyptian night when so suddenly the Israelites picked up and left? Like Jacob. All of them this time, to the Promise Land. Who would ever believe so strongly in the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. Who would ever so strongly believe in such a Living God?

 Truth and story-telling, with words. Feel the BONDS which came from stories. Did you ever realize how personal this all had been — maybe a lot like the act of reading is — or even worshiping can be? Power. Restlessness. Shame. The visible and the invisible. To take something so private public, in a world of power. Was that the lesson of the invisible birthright, passed on in the family? From a new inner shame over letting Jacob go? Everyone’s anger at Jacob, not so much for stealing the birthright as much leaving across the desert – this dry bowl of never ending bitter tears – with the birthright.

 There was the personal transformations in the movement in the story, reduplicating Truth, in the dénouement of the story. In the shame of Rebekah, over the lost power at home? The innocent in the story was in Esau, who is lost sight of for twenty years. How did Rebekah ever reconcile with Esau over what she had done to him, with her collaborations? Rebekah who had not liked the women that Esau brought home, which resulted in a favoritism toward Jacob. Or was it about the gods of the women who Esau brought home?

 Chosen, for the next generation. Note the outsiders in the story. Note the fertility of all the barren women of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

 Truth and reconciliation: shame could not be inherited — neither Rebekah’s shame, nor Abraham’s shame, nor the shame of the twelve tribes of Israel could be passed on; nor could the transformation from guilt. There was such emotion which come from collisions of public and private lives, in dealing with life and death and goodness, when you lived under a dominant culture. So was it the genes from Rebekah that allowed Moses, that had allowed Jacob, to sense the hostility either at home or in Egypt, over who was really chosen? Sensing the frozen hostility as an outsider, in the wrongful detention, and asking the others: “Are you ever gonna go?”

Note the movement in the “Let my people go”story.   The  movement in the story is in the power passed on in stories in the long learning curve – visible and invisible – about “where are you taking us?” About who really chose whom.  With a vision of prayer and a better life.  A people set apart, with the first idea of an afterlife. In a Promise Land. For a place to freely pray. And to somehow, with a spiritual dimension, with a bond, to just survive.

 


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The Seder

Tuesday this goy was invited to a Seder dinner, as a family tries to comprehend their own tradition and its meaning in their own lives, in the reality show called daily life, with the movement in the story – the movement in the story of Passover and Jews. What did it mean, this Jewish identity? With your DNA, within this creation, you were related to Him, in your image and likeness?

How can you know God, without understanding Judaism? Tuesday night I learned about the customs of a Seder dinner, in removing all leaven from a home – and maybe all the other things which inflate the egos in the rest of the year – in preparation for this day. That preparation had taken the host’s father seven days, in the old days, in removing the leaven from his home. Recognizing an underlying spirituality, about the ego in the story of Moses, about being Chosen People – perhaps because of the issues of inflation and bubbles of our times – I recognized the underlying spirituality about Chosen People, taming their egos, sharing so much with the rest of the world. Part of the ritual of the dinner was to read of the origin of Jewish women and people “like us,” not, as told in Greek myth or like the story of Romulus and Remus in Rome, as a people descended from on high. From the start, there was this sprinkled blood on the doorstep, as you let your God into your home … or in this case, a guest had dropped a bottle of red wine there, unexpectedly. When you married within the culture, with a tradition of blood in animal sacrifice.

With the always present issue of blood, in a living arrangement, as you marry someone within your tradition and passed a tradition on. You come to realize the continued existence of the tradition – your tradition – was up to you. As you made the discovery that the institution was somehow you. When you had somehow become the school, the temple…. the Chosen. You discovered the social meaning, in the age of social networking, when the conflict in the story was over more than shared belief, but shared blood.

The conflict in the story. With all of the movement in the stories comes the fear. And the primary fear was over fertility. Every fear concerning the next generation, about survival… and maybe the survival of tradition. Like the Passover story. When you go in Exodus, a bit uncertain when it came to your direction, after four hundred and some years in Egypt, and trying to get traction in the sand. In a certain involuntary cognitive state, and with high emotions over the intense unfairness in a system of slavery. But commanded with your life to know your God. With all the unknowns about would happen to the tradition, being caught in the desert. And all the emotions over survival… In Exodus.

The emotions of life over survival. Over the Promise Land, and your loved ones. In the Age of Divorce. Surrounded by other clans, which had such difficulty with concepts of union, in the your present day lives. And the primary fear was over fertility. In the earlier chapter.

Sarai. The laughter of Sarai, who needed a new name after the circumcision of Abram, in a scene which only Bob Newhart could try to explain. Over the phone. So because I always wanted to be a comedy writer:

Abraham, coming home after a long day at work, explaining circumcision to Sarah, at the age of 99 or 100. Like a Bob Newhart script, as Abram undresses.

“Uh, Abram. What’s eating you? You are moving kinda slow.”

“Well, I had minor surgery for something that had been causing me some trouble. “

“What is this word ‘surgery?’

“Well, I went under the knife.’

“Where?”

“Just outside Hebron. Away from the crowd. In a need for privacy.”

“No…I mean WHERE. Oh my God…. who did this to you?”

“I… um…. got circumcised yesterday.”

“You did what?”

“I am calling it a circumcision.”

“Really? Are you crazy? And who exactly did this for you?”

“I did it myself.”

“You? You? You can’t even fix the latrine. Why, in God’s name, did you do that? You know, we are gonna need new names after this, Abram. Both of us. New names.”

There had to be a reason for Sarai’s infertilty…and Abram thought it was due to him? So with a certain pagan view of the world, he took extreme measures? Maybe to remove something that was coming between him and his wife. To live and communicate now unconditionally. When you knew something and wanted to leave to the world this knowledge. The knowledge that took a lifetime to acquire. When something had been missing. Maybe when you were fertile. Maybe missing in your own childhood, or in your own neighbors. When something had been missing, and the plan then was to try it over. This time with maybe some spiritual direction. And maybe change, Norman Borlaug-like, the world.

The developing bonds. The lifelong challenge in the bond of a relationship. With the anguish that came to those who spent time trying to know, taking it to the deepest level within. And then creating something out of that knowledge. Before you died. Stories about the different levels of comfort, in relationship. When you wake up one day and hear that your wife wanted more in the relationship? And you did not have a clue what the heck she meant.

The movement in the unsettling stories. About Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The stories about the different levels of comfort, in relationship. Emotional stories about life and death. Over the Promise Land, and your loved ones. Stories generation after generation about fertility,about leaving and coming back, and death. Did you ever note the ages of Adam, Noah, or Seth? To recognize the anguish which came out of the search for God, and the attempt to get comfortable with each other. For eternity. When prophets climbed mountains, with all of the emotions in a relationship. Or in one dimensional relationships. Over the quality of union. Or not. When perhaps God had not been ready quite yet to be around Adam, Noah, Seth, forever.

Union. Enhancing connectedness. To this world. Developing a common point of view. Union. When there had been something missing in the union, if not my life. About an overall aim of the relationship, with a delicate balance between separate identity and a connectedness– when the going gets rough, to stay together.

Fertility. The emotions. Fear. Death. God. Coming to an acceptance of God, like the acceptance level a couple reaches with each other. “Lord, let me get on with my business. Because I am not fertile.”

And so the fertility of Sarah, at the age of 89 or 90. “Laughing” was the meaning of the name of her first born son. Like Eve, nothing ever belonged to Sarah of this creation until she had kids. And so the battle within for any woman, over pride, when she was yet to have kids, with a man who wanted the the old world back, after the banishment.

Like a nomad, navigating closeness, with a degree of cognitive love, beyond the involuntary cognitive and emotional state of intense romantic desire, when you were just for the most part unconscious … or really just trying to figure it all out. With American men too often just numb. When those neurons just did not feel the things we were supposed to, about the hard questions, beyond the involuntary cognitive and emotional state of intense romantic desire. For men too often just numb, about the hard questions, like greed. All men had it … some women. People throughout the world wanted to live like I had lived, like they saw in the movies. Greed fueled by media, for money and modern conveniences. Where It seemed there was not enough to be fairly divided.

SO after the public spectacle, for Eve and the apple, there was need for a wider audience. For Eve and her wider perspective about creation? Was there a need all along she felt to get out of the Garden? When nothing ever belonged to you of this creation until you had you firstborn child?

Passover. The unsettling story really more about the descendants of Sarai. With all of the work that went into this commemoration. The discomfort in the story about fertility. With the developing concept of sacrifice, of the best animal of the flock. Concepts over shared blood. Maybe why the blood of animals had been used in worship. To hear the story in Exodus, one year later, where the lamb was sacrificed and the people were to eat, “in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.”

Keeping kosher. The anguish of keeping kosher. To recall the time during those four hundred and some years when virtually every aspect of daily life was connected to your life being a slave. With the sprinkled blood on the doorstep, when you let your God into your home. When you tried to keep things somehow sacred. With the always present blood, and issues of orders, when you marry someone within your tradition. With an origin of Jewish people “like us,” not, as told in Greek myth or like the story of Romulus and Remus in Rome, as a people descended from on high. With the tradition of blood in animal sacrifice, the so very personal commemoration of Passover as a vehicle to celebrate the very nature of God, and His work in the world. Through fertility.. . shared.

With all of the anguish. Maybe like childbirth. Or in the 613 orders related to keeping kosher. With all of the dishes and pots and pans. The sacrifice that comes trying to maintain a tradition. With a certain amount of discomfort if not pain. When you work all week and came home to prepare the Seder. The anguish in being Chosen People, generation after generation.

Passing it on.  The work of deliverance of the next generation. Nietsche wrote that the meaning in life, the memory of loved ones, is conveyed only through real stories about palpable heart-beating pain. Stories of deep love, of deep hate, with layers of suffering that would lie in memory forever. Great literature of a civilization was based upon such stories carrying a people, somewhere.

The unstated part of Passover, in the setting, if you were lucky enough to have inherited a tradition, is in this unsettling.The Call to leave!

The carrying, of a people, like the ones you were related to by blood. Measuring the progress, one generation to the next. Passover was the paramount generational thing, THE family thing, not just a family thing. In the beginning. The movement in the great unsettling story. With all of the first born dead, and the blood on the doorstep saved you. On the original Passover. After Moses asked the the Pharaoh, at the Lord’s stated request. “Let my people go to worship me.” With all of the firstborn dead, concerned about the unraveling of the next generation – the one which seemed to be losing hope, or looking to the identity of the dominant culture, like in the Egyptian world.

For Chosen People, and the fertility part of the story. Generation after generation, in stories about this inheritance, carrying a family somewhere — with a way of life –not so much as protection from the plagues, but about the solemnity of worship. To be deeply moved by worship by this God to whom you somehow were related. When children ask questions, to get things moving. To try and do right, generation after generation. With a certain anguish over knowing God. And to then try and do right, in virtually every aspect of daily life. Somehow carrying a burden of God, in a living tradition, with food. With a degree of anguish in being Chosen People, in trying to remain kosher, in the ever changing world. Not a story of survival, Passover was the story of freedom and salvation: how a people, in a story of first-borns for a people whose identity was repeated in the story of the first born sons of Abraham, of Isaac, were saved for history.

Passover. “And you shall tell your child,” …..about Passover and then this issue of inheritance. The reason why this night is different. Looking for meaning in it all.

The underlying tempo of movement, in all of these sacred stories, of the unsettling movement toward a freedom potentially as vast as all the stars in the solar system, against a conspiracy of the systems of the world they were born into. Children gradually learning to recognize a shame in living unquestioning lives. With memory of Passover conveying only through the personal anguish, the reason your were different. At one home defining Passover, the significance of a visible God and the significance – in bloodlines- of a Chosen People, to their God. And in the unsettling sacrifices freely given to this God.
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The Tiller Man

In the beginning. The solemnity, in the beginning. Before the unraveling.

Girls. Girls, looking for attention. With their self image, and all. In the unraveling world, she spent a lot of time on her self-image. And she looked great.

I had not given enough thought . . . about the old paradigms unraveling? The change in the story…. to the garden. To me. About the unraveling world. About the speed of the unraveling. Of my world? And what it was that would be downloaded to replace it.

The solemnity. Of this young woman. The one that I met last week. Or was it 20 years ago? What are you gonna do with these gifts? Over time? The ones I downloaded before there was an internet

“I want to reach the deepest part of your inner being.” If she had one. So I bought this Tea for the Tillerman 8 track. For my car.

In the beginning…..just one bite of the apple. The ambition in the story …of the characters.. The ambition of a man, the ambition of a woman. In the world. Even in the garden. The story about the future. About time.

The solemnity….with an awareness of the solemnity, in the beginning. In a relationship. In the search for the divine. Who could see the unraveling, as it happened? To my world. With just one bite. Where was my attention? Where was her attention? Wanting a piece of me. She wanted a piece of me. And I wanted a stake of her. Despite the doubts about what seemed most true.

All those questions. In the beginning. No real answers … in the beginning. Who knew the solemnity, in the beginning? With just one bite? When it was not enough to encourage, to applaud. When there was the need to act. On love.

Man in Search of Woman. Woman in Search of Man. Winter into spring. The radical change. In the beginning, no real answers. Abraham Joshua Heschel titled a book, God in Search of Man.

In the Torah, the point of view … “Then the Lord called to the man and asked him, ‘Where are you?'” How fast things happen. The winds of change, after just one bite of the apple.

The point of time … in these stories. Since the days of the perfect tenses, in the past. Before all the unraveling …the keeper of flocks, the tiller of soil. The first job descriptions. Cain and Abel. When they both honored God from the work of human hands. And then what happened? In the story? When the future was now. As boundaries were set.

The Promise Land. What happens in the Promise Land? What was supposed to happen there, in the garden? To the garden. With the winds of change. When somehow the tomatoes, the old-fashioned tomatoes, became organic tomatoes. Was this tort reform? With an increased price? How fast things happen to the Law. Once the Law was passed down. The anger at the unfairness. Of systems of slavery, or new systems that replaced them. In the Promise Land, have you seen the price of organic fruit and vegetables?

To move populations through righteous anger…to a promise land. Emigrants having to leave. Through no fault of their own, refugees. With a desire for freedom. And safety.

What was the point of view of the next generation, in the search for the divine? In the point of view of Cain, the tiller of soil. The first born. Trying to work on becoming more worthy. In the beginning. In sacrifice. Freely trying in worship, bringing an offering to God from the fruit of the soil. Thoughtfully, in worship, what else could a tiller of soil have brought? As the keeper of flocks had brought the best firstlings of his flock, God looked with favor on his brother and was not impressed with Cain. The best offerings from the soil never really stood out. The point of view was all about God’s. Cain deeply resented God’s point of view. Or maybe he resented that he had been asked to be the tiller of soil? When his work never would stand out. The bonds developed in relationship, through sacrifice. In kinship to God, and thoughtfully passing on that kinship. Maybe it was the missing bonds which never developed in relationship, through sacrifice. With sincerity in content. And Cain took out his resentment in his relationship with God on Abel.

Content, much like the view from Ontario in the 17th Century, from an Ojibwe: “Where there is much grass, even in the month of the flowers.”

Beyond the reach and vocabulary of the masses, there is content. The high priests with their Office, starting their day, all over the world … priests who were instructed to thoughtfully read the same thing –in a sense, praying for content in the day. With implications, in the beginning, a priest in worship, reads his Office.  Over what is inside…. what else might a priest have brought …. but words? Reading his Office, over what is inside.

Looking for the human “fragment of salvation,” in the search for the divine. Note all of the conflict over points of view. Where was my self-image in all of this, and how could I prove something about myself ….through my work? Where exactly was I needed — like Abel had been needed? Who exactly was ever worthy of this inheritance?  When the firstborn actually had the land, it had been Abel who was forced to live like a shepherd.

“I’m Just a Kid, Caught In the Middle.” In these stories that were so much alive, about Cain. Did he become the keeper of the flocks, when Abel was gone? After the moral outrage of murder of his brother? When Abel was gone, from the point of view of God, was there moral outrage? In the days before the great famine and all of its implications, there was still Cain, responsible for growing the crops. The crops connected to the fatted calf that Abel had been sacrificing. So had Cain gotten what he set out for, after the murder — a job change to his own self-image? And in the content of his self-image, how had the world changed?

Where were you in these stories?  Like all these people in the Torah who had multiple wives? Esau. Jacob. Or Abraham, with his wife’s servant girl willing to do anything. The seemingly holy men of the Torah. In the times, in a world without specific laws about sex or even commandments about murder. After Cain, what would be the point of view of the next generation, in the search for the divine? About fertility?

Live. Work. Love. Pray. Where were you in “this’ story? In “this?” Did you feel the restlessness of a young man? Did Cain ever see his own part in the food he was eating every day. In this work? In this family? From the crops which had been so alive. “This” food. Had Cain inherited something else from Eve and from Adam? Was it the “Let me out of here” feeling as a 21-year old: Let me out of this school, this garden? And let me into the real world.

The food that he needed. That every free young human needed. That came from his work. Enslaved by so much work?  Each day because of the sweet apple…because of his father. Or had it been because of his mother?

Passover.  Wanting a pass in this life?  When there was so much work, too much work, to be done?  Do you see all the people who are enslaved by all the work?  Who has time to worship or look for God? Where was I in the story? Enslaved by what Egyptian in my life?  In my job?  In the ongoing story of my family? About all the unraveling in my world.

It was all about the content.  The networks … whether television, or the internet. Beyond the hardware and the software, it is about the information. And self-image.

Content, relevant content, in the world of current events. There is need for content, in search for the divine, with the internet.  Would relevant content survive, in the point of view of the next generation?

Sex is to violence as beginnings are to endings.

The challenge in this love, in the challenge Eve presented in the Apple to Adam, in that choice which was made before I was born, in order that the existential crisis of the Creator could be overcome, “Choose me or choose institutional religion.” The hell with the stupid rule about the Tree, imposed by the Creator which really was not going to get Creation going again?

Adam choose Eve. And Creation was then back to a point where people could live with either no rules, or their own human rule of law. Did you ever see how much Augustine of Hippo, with his Confession, messed up the world of contemplation….all Christians had to believe in the Augustine theory about Original sin which steals so much Creativity from children brought up, in the beginning, as orthodox Christians.

Shared dominion. Thee distant king. The rule of law. Sex and violence. In the beginning. In the unraveling world. About this speed of the unraveling. Of my world? So with all the suddenness, what it would be downloaded to replace the Law?

The solemnity …of the Law? For your lawless son left? The only son left?

 

 

 

 


“Let my people go to worship me.” Beyond the reach and vocabulary of the masses. In the search for the divine. Like Cain before him, Moses had killed, and now what? When you shared a heritage, or a culture, what would be the point of view of the next generation? When you had lost everything, or you seemed to have suddenly lost everything. Like Eve and Adam were banished from their home … and then Cain. With the suddenness in these unsettling stories, now Moses, trying to work on becoming more worthy, in the point of view, with sacrifice in self-image and solemnity.

With all of the movement in the story, like Cain, having to move again, perhaps with awareness in if not an understanding of the missing bond — like the later missing bond between Isaac and Ishmael, between Jacob and Esau, the first recorded twins. The content of Passover was through sacrifice and hard times, developing a kinship to your God, as a people developed a point of view which had once been God’s viewpoint alone. Bonds which developed in relationship, through sacrifice, to God’s point of view, when His work, His creation, had never once stood out to that tiller of soil, but now would to these one-time slaves? Stories like the one about Cain, about Noah’s wife, about Abraham and Sarah, and now about Moses, to inspire an audience to forestall species extinctions. The one with the echo of an inner hollowness of death. Or the aching involved to get out –of an egg. Passover was not so much a protection from the plagues, but about the solemnity of worship. In the beginning … as the ultimate profession of love.

When you had lost everything, what would be the point of view of the next generation about stories read for free, with no mention of financial assistance? Like the lack of assistance from the Pharaoh, until the death of his own firstborn? In the book Writers on Writing written and published by Bread Loaf Anthology in 1991, Richard Ford begins one chapter in this book called “Reading,” stating that he really learned to read at the age of 25 as he prepared to teach English in college. Ford’s problem was teaching young students in the relevancy business — who demanded relevancy in everything — how to read carefully. Once hearing complaints of a young student who objected that in the study of history — there are no people her age in the stories which made her feel so “invisible,” as though she did not, would not, qualify as a real — the study of history mostly involves the pain of adults, in what has been lost about the First Creation, and what must be done to bring back the missing bond which led to the first of all murders — after the beginning, with a solemnity, after the unraveling, with all the resulting shame.

Could you compare the number of generations that the Hebrews spent in slavery to the number of generations between Adam and Eve until arriving at the point of the story of Noah? In an approach of numbers to the Book of Genesis …. if you approached God, as presented in those 30 foot scrolls of the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, to one developing character, in what has been lost about the First Creation, and what must be done to bring it back? Ford’s problem was teaching young students about character, point of view, with authors showing growth and change of the character. Even with God, in the stories in the Book of Genesis, characters are presented having to answer for themselves the questions: How did He affect you? Did He frighten you? Did you love Him? What was He after? Did He change much during the time that you knew Him? What most impressed you about Him?

To bring it back? The Culture once here and lost? Did you grasp The Great Comeback story of Passover, when Moses was leading these sons of Abraham back to the Promise Land, from where Abram, Sarai and Lot had originated. Rushed out of Egypt. Six hundred thousand men on foot, not counting the children, set free. Along with their numerous flocks and herds … with no mention of the women, during the lambing season. After 430 years not in slavery to the Egyptians, but away from the place of origin, now wanting a stake in the world again, beyond that place of slavery. In the Promise Land. Freely trying in worship, bringing an offering to God in the desert. With a sincerity in content. Thoughtfully, in worship? With all of the radical suffering in the world, along with the radical love, maybe with a developing bond which a slave could never quite develop in relationship. Did you feel Hagar in the sorrowful mystery involving so many handmaids? Through sacrifice and hard times, when a people developed a point of view which had once been God’s viewpoint alone — God’s point of view, when His work, His creation, had never once stood out to that tiller of soil, but now would to these one-time slaves? Setting the captives free! In bonds which developed in relationship, through sacrifice. In kinship to God. A viewpoint thoughtfully passed on through that kinship. In answer to the question. ‘Who in the name of God do you think you are?’

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