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Noah: The Flood and the Rainbow
Video 16 of 22
So if you take a look toward the top of the Sabbath right after this introduction over here; Speak to the children of Israel and tell them to keep the Sabbath. So I'm going to call this the blue element over here and see if we can find something like it down here at the bottom, that's what we'll look for in a chiasm. [With A' 1:03] and we're looking for kind of concentric circles going towards the middle. So we're going to start with the outer bands of the hurricane, as it were, and over here, here's this idea, the idea is that the Sabbath is an oath, the Sabbath is a sign, a sign between two parties. Between the Jews on the one hand and between G-d on the other hand, between Me - in this case G-d - and you, the people of Israel throughout the generations. So it's a sign between G-d and the Jewish people, and it's a sign that lasts for a very long time, for generations.
Do we see anything like that at the bottom? Well lo and behold we do, and we can just color code it blue over here. A sign - there's that word again - a sign between who? Between Me - between G-d that is, between the Jewish people, that's really - virtually identical to what we had up here. What the sign is about is a little bit different, it's a contrast. Over here we're talking about a sign that G-d is the one who has sanctified them and over here the sign is a sign that G-d has created the heavens and the earth in six days and on the seventh day He rested.
But you have that same sort of idea, the Sabbath as a sign at the top, the Sabbath as a sign at the bottom; clearly these two ideas are playing off of each other. Which is to say, that even though they're different, they're different in a way that's the same. It's the same but different so to speak. In both cases there's this idea that it's a sign, the significance of the sign changes from top to bottom.
So then the next question is, is there another element over here which is going to mirror something down below? So let's see what we find. So the next element we're going to call beige just like before, and that's the idea that we should keep the Sabbath. Do we have an idea that we should keep the Sabbath at the bottom over here? The fact is, yes we do, we have that same sort of idea, and that is; V'shomru benei yisrael et HaShabbat. Which is over here they're commanded; U'shemartem et HaShabbat - you SHALL keep the Sabbath, and over here the children of Israel HAVE kept the Shabbos. I don't know what wherefore means, that's kind of strange English. But in Hebrew; V'shomru benei yisrael et HaShabbat - the Jews either shall keep or in past tense have kept the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath for generations forever. So here's this idea keep the Sabbath over here mirrored by keep the Sabbath over there.
We go to the next element, a green element, why should we keep the Sabbath? Ki kodesh hi lachem - because it is holy to you. So is there an idea of holiness in here anywhere? Lo and behold there is. Holiness towards the bottom, right over here; Kodesh laHashem - the Sabbath is holy to G-d.
Next element; prohibition of labor and its consequences; Mechalleleha mot yumat - anybody who desecrates the Sabbath capital punishment, over here in the top. Now is there consequences in the bottom? There are consequences for the prohibition of labor on the Sabbath met by this terrible consequence; Kol ha'oseh melacha b'yom HaShabbat mot yumat - and then again the idea of capital punishment for anyone who profanes the Sabbath by committing prohibited labor.
Leading us towards the center, and the center over here is; Sheshet yamim ya'aseh melacha ub'yom hashevi'i Shabbat Shabbaton - six days you should work but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest.
So fascinatingly you have the same sort of structure which we found in rainbow - right over here, we'll just like paste the rainbow in over here - we're finding with the Sabbath as well. Which is, that all of these chiastic elements we're finding a similar kind of chiasm with the Sabbath. So it's really quite fascinating if you think about it. Because as we saw before both of these stories are intertextually connected, there's all this language which is linking one story to another story over and over again. Not only are they linked in the kind of language that dominates both of these stories, the covenant, the sign for generations between Me and you, cutting off - all of that language, but they're also linked in terms of structure. Which is, that the same sort of chiastic structure you have over here, you've got over here as well.
Now what does that lead us to? What it leads us to, I think, is the last and kind of final question, which is, that okay, fine, if these stories are intertextually connected in all these different kinds of ways, and they're both chiastic, which means that they both have centers, the grand question is, how do these centers relate to one another?
Or to put it this way, if you look at the chiasm of the Sabbath, the center of the Sabbath boils down to this; Work six days but the seventh day is the Sabbath. If we go back to the rainbow, which this was intertextually connected to, all that language was going and connecting you to the rainbow, and then what was the center there? The center there was these words; It will be a sign of the covenant whenever G-d convenes clouds. To understand really how the rainbow connects to Sabbath, we need to understand how these centers connect to each other. Is there any kind of relationship we can define between these apparently two completely unrelated ideas or sentences? (A) work six days but the seventh day is a Sabbath, (B) it will be a sign of the covenant whenever G-d convenes clouds. What could these things possibly have to do with each other?
That, I think, is a great, grand mystery, and I think the answer to it will help us understand how possibly the rainbow is helping us understand the meaning of the Sabbath in a very deep way.
What we're going to do when we come back is we're going to put this question on ice for at least a few minutes. We're going to try to think kind of deeply about the Sabbath and about its meaning, and just ask some kind of commonsense kind of questions about the Sabbath. Then I think to answer those questions we'll come back to the relationship between these two ideas; working six days, seventh day is the Sabbath; sign of the covenant whenever G-d convenes clouds, and I think we'll see something pretty astounding. I look forward to seeing you in our next video.
1. Water, Water Everywhere
2. Parallel Universes
4. The Sixth Day
5. Brave New World
6. Noah's World
7. Is There a 'Sabbath' in Noah's World?
8. Sabbath Echoes
9. Rainbows Have Seven Colors
10. A Bow In the Clouds
12. Chiasms: More Than Just a Pretty Face
13. Colors of the Rainbow
14. Numeric Centers; Thematic Centers
15. Taking Stock: Where Are We Now?
16. Sabbath's Center
17. How Tiring Was It To Create a World?
18. Rest As the Purpose of Work?
19. Positive Rest
20. What If a Parent Never Lets Go?
21. Conclusion: Two Ways to Destoy a World
22. Epilogue: Why the Rainbow Covenant is a Two-Way Street (Premium)
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