Sunday, February 10, 2008


Nu? What's Wrong with Helen? She's Good People ...

In spite of my relative secularism and liberal religiosity, I tend, as y'all no doubt have notice, to come down on the Jerusalem side of the Jerusalem vs. Athens debate. Indeed, I am wont to point out how a lot of what we think of as being part and parcel of the "Jerusalem side" is really the Athens side.

But Athens really is good enough for Jerusalem, so to speak. In last week's parsha, note, for example, what the word used to describe the calyx-type decorative motif on the M'norah is "caftor". Is it indeed the same root as "Crete"? Is this an example of Japheth (or is it even, in Biblical geneology, Ham?) dwelling in the tents of Shem?

C.f., theories about the tribe of Dan.

Then there must be some other reason for the falling away from the justice tradition in what became Christianity. I'd always figured it was due to the attempts of snobs to mix Platonism in with what the earliest part of the Jesus movement would have been sure was being observant Jews. Blaming Paul and others might not have been very original but it was an attempt.

But the more you look at things like that the more complicated it gets. It always seems as if things are more complicated than we can deal with.
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