Myth of the Rise

If you believe Earth was created as a paradise meant to remain perfect, but made imperfect by human wickedness, every flaw will be viewed as an example of corruption that should never have happened.

If you believe Earth was created brutal but has over time raised itself out of brutality in a semi-steady process of development toward something better, every flaw can be viewed as a project for improvement.

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Some people look at the United States of America as a place where the Civil Rights Movement was able to happen, and this is one more reason to honor and love it.

Some people look at the United States of America as a place where the Civil Rights Movement was needed to rectify inexcusable injustices, and this is one more reason to despise and condemn it.

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I have always instinctively disliked the myth of the Fall.

Last week’s pasha was Bereshit. (Happy Simchat Torah.) The rabbi who facilitated Torah Study commented that Judaism has never read the story of the Edenic exile as a catastrophe or a matter of regret. For Judaism, the book of Genesis is stage setting for the main act, Exodus: a story of liberation from bondage, a cause for perpetual celebration.

Two points of departure: an Exile and an Exodus.

Two trajectories: a Fall and a Rise.

My faith feels truth in a myth of the Rise.

 

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