Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Religion of Climate Change

Summary:

Much of climate change denial is fostered by religious fundamentalists, who, in their insistence on biblical inerrancy, are convinced that science in general, and, therefore, the science of climate change, is fake news. Not only is this unsound in terms of how we come to understand the world, but I also believe it is religiously unsound. Divine revelation is ongoing, and scientific discovery is as important a vehicle for receiving that divine revelation as prophecy was for the biblical world.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I would invite my readers to check out an article that I've written for the Forward's online "Scribe" forum responding to Michael Steinhardt's June 9 interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in which he declared that the State of Israel is his religion. The article is titled "Is Religion Really a 'Big Problem' for American Jews?" Check it out!
Go to Forward.com
Click on Community and scroll down to the article.

Flying Serpents

I would invite my readers to check out two pieces that I have written for thetorah.com, a website with articles written by historical-critical Bible scholars for a general audience.

The first piece is titled "Nehushtan, the Copper Serpent: It's Origin and Fate"
The Torah describes Moses building a copper serpent to heal the Israelites. According to Kings, Hezekiah destroys it because it was being worshiped. Archaeology and history clarify the religious and political meaning of this image.
http://thetorah.com/nehushtan-the-copper-serpent-its-origins-and-fate/

The second piece is titled "What is a Biblical Flying Serpent?"
A number of biblical and non-biblical texts describe encounters with flying venomous snakes in the Sinai and Arabian deserts. Egyptian iconography may help clarify what is being pictured.
http://thetorah.com/what-is-the-biblical-flying-serpent/

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What's in a Name?

Summary:
The death of Leonard Cohen led me to connect to one of his most popular songs, “Hallelujah.” He questions the fallacy of naming God in a particular way, and encourages us to recognize divinity in all of its manifestations. This got me thinking about God’s name in the Bible and how the biblical insistence on worshipping only a god that goes by this name may actually be a barrier to a more expansive recognition of the sacred. Thank you, Leonard!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Eden: A Mythical Journey

In the beginning was the One
Hovering above the indistinguishable darkness
Essential, unitary Being
Unfathomably deep
Impenetrably dark
Wind-blown and chaotic
Alone and undifferentiated

Yet the One sought self, consciousness
And yearned for the Other
To distinguish the One from the Other
And so the One divided mitotically
Producing Father Sky and Mother Earth
Like the One, both empty and alone
Separate, yet needing, yearning, desiring

In His yearning and desire
Father Sky reached deep into the womb of Mother Earth
Extracting Her rich red seed
Creating a vital Earthling called Human
Fashioned from the cosmic womb of Mother Earth
Carrying her essence, but also her corporeal substance
Yet infused with the breath of the divine Father
But, like Him, singular and alone
And through Him, overwhelmed by Power, Dominion and Authority
Restricted, bound by rules:
Don’t touch this
Don’t eat that

A luxuriant, verdant Tree blossoms
Distinct in the midst of a lush Garden
Its roots deep in the heart of Mother Earth
Imbued with Her divine wisdom and knowledge      
Its branches seeking eternity
Reaching for the embrace of Father Sky

“Do not eat of this Tree,” demands Father Sky
Wrapped in Power and Authority,
“Do not taste Wisdom and Knowledge
Close your eyes
Remain ignorant, naïve, innocent
Here among the other creatures born of Mother Earth
Like them, remain wild, uncultured, uncivilized,
Feeding on the fruits of the trees and the grass of the earth.”

Thus did singular Humanity
Remain caught in a web of patriarchal authority
Left dependent and ignorant
Living in a trap of Maleness
Awed by the allure of Power
Unable, unwilling to imbibe the cosmic secret
The mysteries of knowledge, consciousness and self-awareness
Cowed by rules and authority.

Yet just as the domineering Divinity
The Oneness of Being
Alone in His Male Power and Authority
Could not ignore the allure of Feminine intimacy and knowledge
And so divided Father and Mother
Just so was the singular Human bifurcated Male and Female.

Broken free from the embodied bondage of Maleness
Released from the power of patriarchal authority
Female would not be trapped and bound
To her belong the secrets of intimacy
The deep recesses of motherhood, mystery and mercy

An oracular Pythian voice
Spoke from deep within Her rejuvenating, regenerative essence
“Eat of the Tree
Open your eyes
Attain self-awareness, consciousness, knowledge.”

Spellbound by its beauty
Fascinated by its fragrance
Inspired by its promise of Wisdom
They ate
And their eyes were opened

Finally they could see, discern, know
Each saw the other and all of the other others
Bifurcated, distinct and separate
Male and Female
Earth and Sky
Nature and Nurture
Divine and Human
Life and Death

Aware as well of separation’s accoutrements:
Need, yearning, desire
They walked together
Knowing that desire would overcome separation
And bring forth a world
Populated by a race of humans
Born of Mother Earth
But reaching for Father Sky