Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday Kavvanah, 10/27/2011 - The Glorious Dysfunctionality of Genesis

It's been quite some time since a regular, non-holiday-related kavvanah has appeared in this cyber-spot.  The Modern Rabbi has been quite busy with matters of teshuvah and the unadulterated joy of Sukkot and Simhat Torah.

But now we're back in business.  With the return of the Torah to the beginning, we get to dig once again into the fundamentally human, flawed lives of the characters of Bereishit / Genesis: the serpentine seduction of Eve, the brotherly love of Cain and Abel, the boozy escapades of Noah and his family, and so on.  There is so much here to mine regarding our own imperfect lives and society that I am reminded of that old rabbinic standard about the Torah from Pirqei Avot (5:24)

בן בג בג אומר, הפוך בה והפך בה, דכולא בה
Ben Bag Bag omer: hafokh ba vehafekh ba, dekhola ba.
Ben Bag Bag taught: Study it and review it, for everything can be found in it.

Why do we re-read the Torah each year?  Because analyze ourselves through its tales, and especially through the very human lens of the Bereishit narrative.  Let the good times roll (again)!

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