ANECDOTE of the DAY (a Rabbi on God's slaying of humans)
ANECDOTE of the DAY
I spoke with a certain Rabbi every morning for over a year and a half.
We were at a Starbucks along with a table filled with all sorts of fellows. They were mostly immigrants. Interesting people, one and all.
This Rabbi was a particularly interesting guy.
Conversations were never about religion. It was usually politics and world events.
One time, however, the subject of God and His penchant for slaying people was passed around. Each person had an opinion.
The Rabbi, in a very matter of fact tone, said something which almost made a lot of sense--compared with the other's opinions.
He told us:
"When I was a boy, I used to go over to my grandfather's art studio. He was a painter. His work was wonderful. He let me watch as long as I wanted. Sometimes he'd let me ask questions; sometimes he just wanted to work in silence. Anyway, he had a stack of older canvas paintings he had done in the corner. None of them was framed. I watched him pick one of them up and start a new painting right over the surface of the previous one! Since the previous image was quite wonderful to my eyes--I protested."
"Why are you ruining it--I like it very much?"
He stopped in mid stroke and turned to look at me with a surprised, unhappy expression on his face. I realized I should have stayed quiet.
He regarded me for a long, long minute. Then, he took a deep breath and laid his brush down on the easel and walked over to where I stood and crouched down until his eyes were at the same level as mine.
He looked directly at me and said with a kind voice:
"Amateur painters keep everything they paint because they imagine what they are doing is always worth saving. Only the creator knows that; only he has the right to decide."
Now then, when I became a Rabbi, I remembered my grandfather's words and I sometimes think I know what he meant; sometimes not--but, it's useful, I think, to apply those words to God."
I repeat this story--not because it solves anything--but because from a certain point of view--it gives me a way of seeing a difficult question from a different light.
Now, you as well.
Interesting analogy. I guess that makes amateur gods then.
As an artist, I find old drawings and such. Sometimes I keep them for one reason or another and other times they are tossed because there are so many that are attempts that failed.
Sometimes I'm amazed at what I drew back then. Recently a stippled picture that I spent hours and hours on, slipped out of the pad it was being kept in. This picture had been done on Bristol smooth paper that was supposed to be acid free, archivel etc. Well the one time I bought this expensive paper for several important pieces, was all for nothing. I have kindergarten paper that has lasted better than this. So the picture slipped out and fell to the floor - and turned into a mosaic. Crummy paper was like chalk and shattered. I occasionally look at it on the floor. All that time wasted because of the paper. But I don't equate paper with people.
I'll never buy another piece of paper by Bristol. That's my lesson. As for as the painter - he can paint over stuff if he wants but why not buy or make another canvass? I would have given it to the boy. Art is after all, in my opinion, something that is found in the eye of the beholder and an experience unique to the viewer. Haha sorry, I often get carried away from the topic.
" Only the creator knows that; only he has the right to decide."
Since Yahweh decided to whack all of humanity and saved but one single family during the great flood, it would be reasonable to conclude that God has an inherent case of bad judgement.
The grandfather was suggesting that he, as a professional painter, was superior to and amateur painter because he didn't foolishly imagine that all of his work were masterpieces worth keeping. As a professional, he held himself to a higher standard.
If the (imperfect human) Grandfather/Painter were an imbalanced man, he'd have painted a big red X across the original painting and thrown it in the corner where it was of no use to anybody. He may have even, in a fit of rage, put his fist through some of the canvas that he especially disliked and rendered them forever useless. This kind of behavior would have frightened his family and made them question his sanity. Thankfully the Grandfather/Painter, being a balanced man, realized that he could choose to see the value in the existing painting and simply touch it up to make it more to his liking, or, he could chose to simply start over.
Christians base their belief in the existence of God on the Bible where it tells us he is a supreme ,just and loving being, incapable of error....he is not an amateur. Since we are comparing him to the Grandfather/Professional Painter, if he were truly just and loving God, he could have chosen to "touch up" the first human pair and improve their flaws or he could have simply started over. Instead, he chose to curse them and to render them in even worse condition than before. He tossed them in the corner (so to speak) and left them there to fend for themselves. Later he filled his art studio with water that ruined most of his work. A few of the paintings that he "sort of liked" floated to the top and survived this insane action. However because they weren't entirely perfect, he tossed them in the corner and eventually forgot about them too and vowed that one day, he would be back to burn his entire studio down.
Eisegesis and Exegesis are perhaps mankind's most under-rated talents. If only we could know which it is we are doing!
I'm reminded of the potter who smashes the pot and reuses the clay.
I'm not a Rabbi, but I have made up a silly joke.
What happens when you invite a Rabbit to Tea?
Rabbi + T = Rabbit
So I woulda said, "We are not each just a worthless canvas. Parents do not have the right to slaughter their children. If you think it's more than that, then I would have to say the creator of something more than feelingless canvas has some responsibility to reveal himself to the ones he is about to slaughter in order for them to defend their actions or change them if that were proper."
I'm glad I'm not a Rabbi.