October 3, 2012
- 12 Chapter of Genesis– Jews come in –
- Attempt to deal with the question – where did we come from? – The
firs chapter attempts to answer.
- No proof of G-d
- No formal demonstrations or ethical teachings, we don’t begin with
the relationship with a certain people or divine law.
- Maimonides (Rambam = Rabbi Moses ben Maimon)
- Rashi (Rabbi Solomon itzchaki)
- (Rambam) The Guide of the Perplexed – Creation is the
fundamental doctrine which contrasts the religious view point from
a secular viewpoint.
- (Rashi) – Why did the bible begin this way? The 12 chapter of the
second book of the Torah – the first law.
- Creation is not just about cosmology – also the subsequent
- Fundamental questions – Where did our world come from? Why do
we have to engage in hard work? What’s the reason that women
have to undergo painful childbirth? Why do people murder one
another? Where do cities come from? Who made natural disasters?
Why do we speak to each other? Why are there nations? Why do we
wear clothing? Why are the relations from the sexes so
- Language of myth
- Myth in its original form are stories about gods.
- They relate to the heroes (elevated to a god-like status)
- Egypt, and Mesopotamia (Sumer, Babylonian)
- Myths are there as propaganda
- Ex. Enuma Elish – Babylonian creation story
- Justify their way of life, religion, cause, culture, etc…
- Reflecting things that are true about the culture – what are their
concerns or wants and locations.
- The cultural ethos of the people
- Ex Marduk – rules with a council of the gods.
- 2 methods of creating the world – 1) reproduction (sex between
gods) and 2) war
- We aren’t told how this god came in to being. So sexual
desire/sexuality in the production of the world.
- G-d speaks and it comes to be (there’s no resistance)
- Little physical dimension
- Creation out of nothing (Creatio ex niholo)
- Who’s telling us this?
- No divine beings are created
- Separating/dividing (logical distinction/characterization)
- ^natural things
- after every single day G-d looks at what he has done and he says it
- At the 6th day he says very good – all encompassing for the
- The sky/the heavens aren’t labeled good
- End of 6th day man doesn’t get labeled good.
- 1) Creation is orderly, structured, and well articulated
- 2) It’s the work of one god.
- 3) Constantly praises it
- 4) Man is made in the image of G-d – dominion over the animals
(rules and names) He is G-d’s representative on Earth.
- What does it tell us about what goes on. – Done for G-d’s own glory.
– demonstration of G-d’s power.
- Omnipotent – G-d – All powerful – no limit
- Last day he takes a break
- ^Symbol of completion – nothing left to do.
- Invention of the week
- The 6 days G-d labors
- ^new attitude towards labor
- Man created in G-d’s image – man has free will
- Man is like G-d because he is the creator of worlds
- Man has a mind/intellect – a capacity to understand the world,
which no other beings have.
- Not the physical – our physicality also limits us – a powerful G-d
cannot have a limited body.
- Let US make man in OUR image in OUR likeness (Gen 1:26) – who
is the us?
- 3 answers:
- 1) Royal “us” (royal “we”)
- 2) G-d and angels (consulting with…)
- in Christianity – Trinity
- Things have reversed themselves (heaven and earth in the first
chapter and then in the second its earth and heaven)
- Middle of a garden
- Forbidden to eat from the 2 trees (knowledge of good and evil and
- A man composed of breath and dust
- No mention of image
- Magic seems to be going on (with the trees)
- Magic implies that there are impersonal forces superior to man and
the gods – they are the highest forms – he can make the gods do
- Much more child-like – G-d sets a limit for man – choices one can
make – teaching man that he cant have his cake and eat it too.
- Man was lonely – creation of women.
- One unit of man and female – a need for each other – we are not
meant to be alone.
- Man is not a being that can live alone
- High value Judaism puts on marriage and family.
- Deepest problem of human life – Boredom (idle hands are the
devil’s workshop) – might be a background to the man and women
in the garden.
- They are naked and not ashamed
- What appealed to Eve of the fruit
- 1) aesthetically pleasing
- 2) Good for food
- 3) The tree is desirable as a source of wisdom
- The trees have – Knowledge of good and evil and immortality
- The psychological play – internal drama – in which humans want to
have the thing they can’t (transition from childhood to adulthood).
- Not that we couldn’t have had that choice but you need to give up
one thing for another.
- Ex. you cant live in the child’s world when you’re an adult
- This is part of our education
- Their eyes were opened and they were ashamed of themselves
- The text is narrating a theology by showing us a story
- Shows us that man has an innate tendency that they want to be
like the gods.
- Why is the serpent there?
- The world would not be perfect – man is a beings that has to be
- The lesson seems to be – man cannot be like one of the gods
- A being that has no knowledge of good and evil – how can you say
you cannot eat from the tree?
- Man has from his innate constitution a prior knowledge of good and
- Educational process
- Learn to negotiate our relationships with others.
October 10, 12
Patriarchs and Matriarchs
- 1) Historical validity
12 chapter of genesis jews come in . No formal demonstrations or ethical teachings, we don"t begin with the relationship with a certain people or divine law. Maimonides (rambam = rabbi moses ben maimon) (rambam) the guide of the perplexed creation is the fundamental doctrine which contrasts the religious view point from a secular viewpoint. The 12 chapter of the second book of the torah the first law. Creation is not just about cosmology also the subsequent chapters. Myth in its original form are stories about gods. They relate to the heroes (elevated to a god-like status) Justify their way of life, religion, cause, culture, etc . Reflecting things that are true about the culture what are their concerns or wants and locations. Ex marduk rules with a council of the gods. 2 methods of creating the world 1) reproduction (sex between gods) and 2) war. We aren"t told how this god came in to being.