Tag Archives: Old Testament

How the Internet Started (according to the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament)

In ancient Israel, it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a healthy young wife by the name of Dorothy.
And Dot Com was a comely woman, large of breast, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com.
And she said unto Abraham, her husband, “Why dost thou travel so far from town to town with thy goods when thou canst trade without ever leaving thy tent?”
And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, “How, dear?”
And Dot replied, “I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale, and they will reply telling you who hath the best price. The sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah’s Pony Stable (UPS).”
Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums.
And the drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever having to move from his tent.
To prevent neighboring countries from overhearing what the drums were saying, Dot devised a system that only she and the drummers knew. It was known as Must Send Drum Over Sound (MSDOS), and she also developed a language to transmit ideas and pictures – Hebrew To The People (HTTP).
And the young men did take to Dot Com’s trading as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Sybarites, or NERDS.
And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to that enterprising drum dealer, Brother William of Gates, who bought off every drum maker in the land. Indeed he did insist on drums to be made that would work only with Brother Gates’ drumheads and drumsticks.
And Dot did say, “Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others.” And Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel, or eBay as it came to be known.
He said, “We need a name that reflects what we are.” And Dot replied, “Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators.”
“YAHOO,” said Abraham. And because it was Dot’s idea, they named it YAHOO Dot Com.
Abraham’s cousin, Joshua, being the young Gregarious Energetic Educated Kid (GEEK) that he was, soon started using Dot’s drums to locate things around the countryside. It soon became known as God’s Own Official Guide to Locating Everything (GOOGLE).
That is how it all began.
And that’s the truth.

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The Boss

Blessing or curse? Bruce Springsteen is now the subject of a theology course
At Rutgers University in New Jersey students will examine how the singer ‘recasts biblical stories into the American landscape’

theguardian.com, Tuesday 12 November 2013

Article of faith … Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics refer more commonly to the Old Testament than the New, with redemption a dominant motif. Photograph: Jemal Countess/Getty
As befits a singer whose fans greet him with religious fervour, whose songs often contain references to faith – and many of whose female characters are called Mary – Bruce Springsteen has become the subject of a theology course at Rutgers University in his home state of New Jersey.

Professor Azzan Yadin-Israel, who teaches courses in early rabbinic literature in the department of Jewish studies, is to host a one-semester course on the theological underpinnings of Springsteen’s lyrics, looking at how he has interpreted biblical texts in his work.

“Interestingly, Springsteen refers more often to the stories of the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) than the New Testament,” Yaddin-Israel told Rutgers Today. “On a literary level, Springsteen often recasts biblical figures and stories into the American landscape. The narrator of Adam Raised a Cain describes his strained relationship with his father through the prism of the biblical story of the first father and son; Apocalyptic storms accompany a boy’s tortured transition into manhood in The Promised Land, and the first responders of 9/11 rise up to “someplace higher” in the flames, much as Elijah the prophet ascended in a chariot of fire (Into the Fire).

“Theologically, I would say the most dominant motifs are redemption – crossing the desert and entering the Promised Land – and the sanctity of the everyday. Springsteen tries to drag the power of religious symbols that are usually relegated to some transcendent reality into our lived world. In his later albums he also writes very openly about faith.”

As Consequence of Sound notes, it not the first time Springsteen has popped up on a college syllabus. Princeton offered a course on Sociology from E Street: Bruce Springsteen’s America, and other institutions have also given students the chance to study The Boss.
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Finding God

A legend is told of how the emperor Trajan asked a Jewish Rabbi about God being present everywhere. “If he is everywhere, why don’t mortal eyes see him? I want to see him.” The Rabbi replied that “God is everywhere, but no mortal eye can see him.” Trajan was not satisfied with the answer. He insisted that the Rabbi must have a better way of explaining the teaching about God’s presence.

So the Rabbi brought the emperor outside in the noonday sun. “Now look straight at the sun.” “I can’t. The light blinds me.” “You see. You can’t bear the light of one of God’s creations. How do you think you could look directly at the Creator? If the sun blinds your eyes, would not the light of the creator annihilate all of you?”

The teaching about God’s presence has been used to help people strengthen their moral behaviour, do a better job in their profession and develop the arts of hospitality.

  • The scientist, Linnaeus, wrote over his door, “Live innocently. God is here.”
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  • The Greek sculptor, Phidias, created a reclining statue of Theseus. His patrons told him the statue would be placed up in a prominent place in the Temple. Then they noticed the back of the statue looked as polished and perfect as the front. “Why did you waste your time and energy on the part of the statue no one would ever see?” “People may not see it,” said he. “But the gods will.”

 

The Old Testament states that no one can look into the face of God and live. At the same time, the Bible teaches that the mystery of God’s presence can be experienced in many ways. The heavens make known the glory of God. The masterpiece of creation discloses the divine artist. Just as tracks in the forest give us some idea of the presence of the animal pursued, so also the traces of the divine in the cosmos open our eyes to his presence.

For the biblical mind, one of the easiest ways to sense God’s presence is through hospitality. For example, Abraham once received a guest who told him that his aged wife would bear a child to be named Isaac. The stranger, to whom he showed hospitality, turned out to be God.

Jesus tells us this day that a cup of water given to a stranger is given to him. Hospitality both to those in need, to strangers and to those whom we call friends is the easiest way to get a glimpse of Christ.

No simpler method of practising the presence of God can be found than to serve others with welcome hospitality. The Catholics of Austria like to say, “The guest is Christ.” Thus these simple acts of kindness both make others feel better and also afford us the basic possibility of the religious experience of God.

 

Maybe we are not expert at reading the hints of God’s presence in nature and history. Perhaps we have no time for that. But we are always near people to whom we can show a little courtesy. Don’t bother looking at the sun. It hurts your eyes. Take a look at the people around you. The Son of God is there waiting to be cared for. He won’t hurt your eyes. Quite the opposite. He will warm your heart.

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