Thursday, October 22, 2009

How we achive Immortality and AirVenture 2009

In my piece about Judaism being the most child centered of faiths, I concluded that Adam realized that  since he was mortal he had to have children. But there is a significant difference between personal immortality and the immortality we gain by those we bring to life and who will live on after us. The latter cannot be achieved alone. Until he became aware of his mortality, Adam could  think of his wife as  a "suitable helper" (in Hebrew a "ezer kenegdo). He thought of her as his assistant, not his equal. "She shall be called 'woman' (ishah in Hebrew), for she was taken from man (ish in Hebrew). She was in his eyes an extension of himself. Now he knew otherwise. Without her, he could not have children--and children were his share in eternity. He could no longer think of her as an assistant. She was a person in her own right--more even than he was, for she, not he, would actually give birth. In this respect she was more like G-d than he could be, for G-d is He-who brings new life into being.

Once he had thought these thoughts, recrimination ended, for he saw that their physical being, their "nakendness" was not simply a source of shame. There is a spiritual dimension to the physical relationship between husband and wife. At one level it is the most animal of desires, but at another it is as close as come to the principle of divine creativity itself, namely love that creates life. That is when he turned to her and for the first time saw her as person and gave her a personal name, Chavah or Eve, meaning "she that gives life". The significance of this moment can not be sufficiently emphasized. It was not that previously Adam had not given his wife one name and now changed it to another. It was that previously Adam had not given her a name at all. He  called her ishah, 'woman' a generic noun and not a proper noun (incidentally, he himself had not had a proper name until now either. He was simply called ha-adam, 'the man'. Not until he confers on the woman a proper name does he acquire a proper name for himself, ADAM.

Love Yehuda



Good video of an air show.