Monday, November 4, 2019

The Tower of Babel and "The Twilight Zone." Parshat Noah

This past Shabbat's Torah Portion of the Week was Noach, or Noah. There are lots of topics in this Parsha, the flood, rainbow, Tower of Babel, antecedents of Abraham and Sarah and more. At our "Parshat Shavua Group," led by a neighbor, we discussed the sin that angered Gd in the "Tower of Babel" story.

In all honesty, I can't quite remember all the details, since my mind kept exploding with inspiration and ideas as she and others spoke. She read from an article that the late Rav Neria had written about it in which he mentioned the difference between  אחדות ואחידות, achdut viachidut, unity and uniformity. Unity is good, but uniformity אחידות achidut isn't. In both Hebrew and English both words seem almost the same. They are from the same linguistic roots meaning "one."

I was warned not to get into politics. You must know that a mantra of mine in recent years is:
Liberals aren't liberal.
We see this all over the world. Those who ascribe to the Liberal philosophies are horrendously intolerant. Socialism evolved into Communism which ran countries with very tight fists and forbade religions. And today Leftist leaning universities, politicians etc call those who disagree with their philosophies and leaders "wrong" rather than respecting the rights of others to other opinions.

When I was still a rather impressionable youngster, I'd watch the iconic and legendary television show The Twilight Zone. One episode has stayed strongly rooted in my mind for over half a century. It was set in the "future." This was a very regimented time, when even home libraries were limited to "approved books only." And not only were books censured, but people had to dress and look in the required way. At a certain age everyone was to choose a certain face from a catalog and submit to surgery. The episode told of a family of rebels which had forbidden books, and their daughter refused to submit to the surgery. They refused to conform to the uniformity of society. Finally the authorities seized the daughter, brought her to the hospital and operated. As I remember it we were shown her reactions as the bandages are being removed. She looks in the mirror for the first time at her new face:
"Oh, how pretty I look." She said sounding amazed and pleased. Then she looked at the woman who was holding the mirror for her and continued. "And best of all, I look just like you."
Light faded; the show ended. I'll never forget it. When they gave her the uniform catalog face, they also changed her brain, her independent mind implanting something to make her a complete law-abiding conformist.

Gd created us humans with Free Will, even though it meant that not all humans would follow Gd's laws. We're challenged by Gd to overcome our Evil Inclinations, which tempt us to conform to human philosophies and ideologies, rather than Gd's laws.

We're supposed to be united under Gd, for Gd and help others. The Sin of the Tower of Babel was that they made their own language, laws and morality. By creating a new language and building a tower they considered godly, they rejected Gd as Supreme Being and Commander.

We must unite under Gd not unify to defy Gd.

In Matan we learn as one, unified, united but not in a uniform. No uniformity


Anonymous said...

Frightening times. There are so many uninformed and they are being indoctrinated by the left wing medias (all over), and falling for the propaganda, because many are people brought in from foreign lands and do not understand what's going on. They are promised free-be's to lure them in to believing all the mumbo jumbo and in the meantime, freedoms are being taken away and there are many who are too dumb to know what's happening in front of their faces. It's all about power and control.
When G-D is taken out of the equation, anything goes. This is a repeat of the Tower of Bavel, and it will have the same ending for them.

Batya said...