Tuesday, March 06, 2007

"When the Torah Doesn't Mean What it Says"

First off, I only offer this transcript portion that you might be moved to then listen yourself to get an idea of where my Mabul offerings might fall. He doesn't mention Spero's piece, but I'm sure other bloggers have connected them. R. Weider is far more cautious about where he would fall, and repeatedly clarifies his own position about the Avot, Yetziat Mitzraim, Maamar Sinai, that he accepts them as historical, etc.

R. Jeremy Weider (R. Yeshivah, MYP) 11/20/2005;

(at 51:30-51:57)“…and whatever you do with the next seven chapters until the beginning of Lech Lecha …you can discuss…whether you think the Mabul, whether there’s really geological evidence against it or not, whether the issue of linguistic evidence in the story of the Dor ha Palaga…it’s a question of what the scientific evidence is, how solid it is, and if it’s solid, so then one can reinterpret”.

The “sense of text” in the section regarding the Mabul, at least according to some sources that suggest “confined” application of the narrative to the earth (not all mankind, not all the earth, etc), may make better sense of “what the text says” the literal readings (some of them standing alone from scientific kashias).

(55:38-59:00)“Assuming that these passages in Scripture are not to be taken literally…’Why are they there, or what do they mean?’...and I believe that the answer lies, and…I’ll say this carefully, what the way I might term the story of Bereshis is a Divinely-dictated creation moshol [clarifies use of “myth” and “moshol”, etc, over the course of the last half, esp. 45:00 to 46:10; I think he could have done a better job]…HKBH told us metaphysical truths, in whichever of these stories…whether it’s Bereshis…parts of Bereshis, Parashas Noach, that were meant to teach us fundamental truths…[gives Moshe Greenberg {Israeli Orthoprax scholar?}, source, examples idiomatic and oriented according to historical context of delivery, then comments;]…Chazzal clearly understood that…certainly Maasei Bereshis was esoteric not exoteric…they should be read as a response to the times and as a polemic, and…containing within them eternal metaphysical truths”.

[the following edited I"H by end of the week]
In hinting that “Esoteric” may include dimensions (shared more by other cultures) more discernable to us than to Chazzal might make way for selective application of ‘mythic’ readings/comparisons of Tanach with concepts from the Perennialist School; Ananda Coomaraswamy, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, etc (recent defense against a recent "attack").

Cognizance of man as not like animals; Zohar, etc, and indication of animal consumption as differentiating man in a new manner from animals after the Mabul; if people acted as people in a manner generally familiar to us, but do not - ultimately - differentiate, are they acting as fully-qualifying people, for the purposes of the Mabul narrative?

Also a Yeshivish rabbi of mine from Ohr Somayach Monsey made a link proffering my “Consolidated Mabul" post!!! It’s not a haskamah, but I haven’t really been asking for one.


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