Re: Noah and Genesis
- Rwstutler writes:
> I was not positing a world wide flood, I was suggesting a realflood
> in the floodplain between the two rivers with a real individualwho
> predicted a flood and a real boat.Rick replies:
Nor did I say otherwise. However, if we allow it to be any one of a
thousand floods, what kernel of truth is there? Does that mean that
there's a "kernel of truth" to the Odyssey because there were many
wars at Troy? If we allow historicity to fit such a broad
understanding, what value does it have?
> If the world is bounded by two rivers and they both flood, theworld
> can indeed be inundated by water.Rick replies:
Okay. And? I never mandated a global flood, I mandated strong
correlation between common parts.
> The point being, the story is more easily understood in culturaland
> historic terms, rather than litteral ones.Rick replies:
Hmmm. Actually, I'd think the story is best understood as just that-
-a story. It didn't happen. As I've noted previously, the "point"
of the story is to teach a lesson, not to recount events. To draw a
parallel to other "lessons", would you look for a "kernel of truth"
behind the Tortoise and the Hare?
Exodus lies within a
> known historical framework - largely errected by the hebrew tribebut
> reflected in Egyptian history also. The flood is hebrewprehistory -
> a tale they adopted and adapted from the native peoples of thelong
> region. People whose ancestors lived between those rivers for a
> time before the hebrews came along.Rick replies:
"Those people" *were* the Hebrews. Judaism was a polyglot of
peoples--an amalgamation of various assimilated neighboring tribes.
One of those tribes happened to have carried this particular flood
myth with them. Judaism didn't "steal" the tale, as is so often
contended in more popular forums, they *wrote* the tale. It just
adapted as their culture did.
Incidentally, there's no evidence of a mass Exodus from Egypt.
What's more, the Jews supposedly fled Egypt, to settle in an
Egyptian port town in an Egyptian province. The Exodus doesn't fit
any firm historical context--indeed, even the Pharoah remains
The Egyptian slaves were predominantly Canaanite--the Egyptian word
for Canaanite and slave were in fact the same. Herein lie
the "kernel of truth" I alluded to earlier--some of the early
Hebrews likely were descended from Canaanite slaves (again, a
polyglot of cultures). Perhaps their ancestors escaped, perhaps
they were simply freed. Either way, I'd suggest that the rest of
the burgeoning Jewish culture liked their tale so much that it
became a national story.
And thus a religion was born.
- A journalist heard about a very old Jewish man who had been going to the Western Wall to pray, twice a day, every day, for a long, long time.
So she went to the Western Wall to check it out and there he was, walking slowly up to the holy site.
She watched him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave, using a cane and moving very slowly, she approached him for an interview.
"Pardon me, sir, I'm Rebecca Smith from CNN. What's your name?"
"Morris Feinberg," he replied.
"Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?"
"For about 60 years."
"60 years! That's amazing! What do you pray for?"
"I pray for peace between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims."
"I pray for all the wars and all the hatred to stop."
"I pray for all our children to grow up safely as
responsible adults, and to love their fellow man."
"How do you feel after doing this for 60 years?"
"Like I'm talking to a fucking wall."