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November 22, 2019 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Friday, October 11, 12:00-1:00
The Noon Study group will NOT meet on Friday, October 11.
Last week we discussed Chapter’s 10 and 11 Rabbi Sacks’s To Heal a Fractured World. Several of us agreed that these were the most lucid chapters that we’ve read so far–provided that we accept that the Hebrew Bible is a foundational text for Western Civilization. Sacks contends that the Hebrew Bible is an “extended essay on human responsibility.” These chapters begin his chronological demonstration of how biblical stories direct human ethics starting with the Book of Genesis. Adam and Eve denied personal responsibility, shifting blame to one another and God. Cain denies that responsibility is an imperative, asking “Am I my Brother’s Keeper?” Noah acted as though he were responsible only to himself and his family, not others. The builders of the Tower of Babel usurped the role of God, thinking they were answerable to no one but themselves. It is not until Abraham and his plea for the inhabitants of Sodom that we see moral responsibility exercised. This continues with the generation of Moses and the Israelites’ acceptance of the covenant at Sinai: “We will do everything that the Lord has said.” With that pledge human initiative combines with divine initiative–God may have begun the work, but we are asked to complete it.
When we resume on October 18, we’ll take up Chapters 12 and 13: “The Holy and the Good” and “The Monotheistic Imagination.”
Our informal discussion group meets every Friday from 12-1, in the CBI Library (or the Social Hall if our group is too large). All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise or attendance at previous Friday study group sessions. Copies of Rabbi Sacks’s book are available at a variety of internet outlets. If you have questions, please contact Jay Jacoby at email@example.com.
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