Parshah Noach: A Methuselah Sonnet (Gen 6:9 – 11:32)

This was a sonnet poem I composed a few years back on the theme of Methuselah and the flood. Enjoy.

This too-old skin drinks in the deluged sun
Adonai casts on this blighted shadow.
End, harsh mercy, what futile blood begun
Nine-hundred three score and nine years ago.
Earth now cleansed from our craft, our carnival;
Aborted genius, no wisdom imbued.
Contradict malice in sardonic call,
Its hubris’ tantrum, Eve’s nursery eschewed.
Evil, from good, we’ve for Adam derived
With intemperance, misstep and attack,
And now sins’ flood I’ve reluctant imbibed
This flesh drowned, this essence’s Eden intact.
And now in soaked disease I peacefully wrestle
Seeing shalom’s seed off in distant vessel.

God’s Chosen People, and Other Dangerous Occupations (Parshah Yitro: Exodus 18:1 – 20:23)

nuke workersThis week’s Parshah introduces the Asereth ha-Dibroth, the Ten Commandments. This would seem much more important than Moshe meeting with his Father-in-law Jethro, for whom the Parshah is named.  However, there is another very important principle at work in these chapters which Moshe’s meeting with Jethro illustrates.  If I wrote that this principle is “something just as important as the Ten Commandments” I would be incorrect and maybe a little irreverent, but such a hyperbole would convey the vital importance this concept has to Malchut Hashem and how God relates to man.

To show you what I’m talking about, it’s best to examine certain events of this Parshah in reverse order: Continue reading