Wednesday, October 21, 2009

From Dust you come and Funny Billiard Video

Judaism is the most child centered of faiths. And why?  

Here is Rabbi Sacks (the chief rabbi of England) reasoning. When Adam heard the words "dust you are and to dust you will return", for the first time Adam become conscious of his mortality.  There is no more profound self-knowledge than this--that the world will one day be without us, and we without the world. Much of civilization has turned on this single fact, that our lives are finite, a microsecond in the context of eternity; that however long we live, our time is limited and all too short.

The bible is silent on what Adam's thoughts were in the wake of this discovery, but we can reconstruct them ourselves. Until then, death had not entered his, consciousness, but now it did. What, if we are mortal, will live on? Is there a part of us that will continue, even though we ourselves are no longer here? It was then that Adam remembered G-d's words to the woman. She would give birth to children-in pain to be sure, but she would bring new life into the world.

Suddenly Adam knew that though we die, if we privileged to have children, something of us will live on: our genes, our influence, our example, our ideals. That is our immortality. This was an idea that eventually shaped the character of the whole of Judaism in contradistinction to most other cultures in ancient and modern times. The Tower of Babel and the great buildings of Egypt (Ramses II)--the two most significant glimpses the bible gives us of empires of the ancient world--testify to the idea that we defeat mortality by building monuments that outlast the winds and sands of time. Judaism had a different idea, that we defeat mortality by engraving our ideals on the hearts of our children, and they on theirs, and so on to the end of time. Where the Mesopotamians and   Egyptians thought of buildings, Abraham and his decendants thought of builders (the bible says "call them not your children but your builders). Judaism from Adam down to Abraham bcame the most child-centered of faiths.

Rabbi Elazar ben Arzayah said "It is impossible  for there to be a sesson in the house of study without some new interpretation" I hope this looking at the issue of death and rebirth has had some enlightenment for you. I will continue with this thought in future articles.

Love Yehuda 

Very Interesting Video