Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Fire Next Time

Abraham and Lot separate because their household servants and herdsmen won't stop fighting with each other, Genesis 13:7. Etching by Wenceslas Hollar (1607-77), via fandom.
Shorter David Brooks, "Harvey, Irma, Jose, and ... Noah", New York Times, September 12 2017:
In this fearful season of wind, storm, and flood, we naturally find ourselves asking whether humanity can learn anything from these events, in the form of questions like, Who was the best biblical patriarch, Noah, who had to deal with a worldwide flood, or Abraham, who didn't? Clearly, as many rabbis have said, Noah, who failed to argue with God and try to stop him from drowning all of humanity except for the Noah family, lacked the leadership qualities of Abraham, who protested against the destruction of Sodom. It is possible that Noah drank out of survivor guilt. Noah took an attitude of blind obedience, whereas Abraham had what Rabbi Sacks calls a "hearkening mentality". This is why Noah failed to recreate the world successfully, because he wasn't a strong individual willing to link himself to collective institutions. What, did I say that?
Bonus snuck-in climate change denial:
Today we live amid many floods. Some, like Harvey or Irma, are natural. Others are man-made.

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