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High Holidays in Eden

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Jews have been stressing about “G-d’s will” vs. free will, and the ideal vs. the pragmatic ever since G-d expelled humans from Eden for eating a Tree of Knowledge apple. Now here come the High Holidays again, when we take stock of our past year’s performance, and pray that we’ll be inscribed in The Book of Life for a good new year.

I think we’ve got a shot at it, if we play our environmental cards right.

Let us compare G-d and Eden to planet Earth. Humans have eaten the apple, gotten free will, and now cling, white-knuckled and screaming for dear life to Eden, which is trying to throw us out.

Unlike in the Torah, humans facing expulsion from Earth have nowhere else to go.

And unlike G-d in the Torah, Earth communicates non-verbally, with earthquakes, storms, tsunamis, floods, droughts, famines, fires, glacier melts, methane releases, acidifying oceans, and species die-offs.

It reminds me of that joke about the guy who repeats, “G-d will provide!” as flood waters rise around him, and he refuses aid from a police car, then a boat, then a helicopter.

After he drowns, he meets G-d, who irritably asks, “What else did you want me to provide?!”

The rest of this article is available in the IJN's print edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at (303) 861-2234 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 March 2012 10:41 )  

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