This past week I eviscerated eight essays that seemed fine when they were blog posts and installed all new plumbing so they would speak to one of the moral themes in the first chapter of my Genesis book:
How do we know whether something is good or evil?
When should we obey God?
How do we act ethically toward family members? Toward the earth?
What subverts our ability to choose the good?
These themes continue to be questions in the rest of Genesis, along with a few more questions about ethics.
Now I just need to revise my Torah monologue from the viewpoint of Cain, and I’ll be ready to tackle my chapter on the Torah portion Noach. I don’t expect this next chapter to call for as many essays as the two creation stories and the narrative of Cain and Abel. But the story of Noah and the story of the tower of Babel certainly do address questions of moral psychology.
Meanwhile, the Jewish cycle of Torah readings covers the Torah portion Vayeira this week. Here’s a post I wrote in 2012 about how Abraham and Lot deal with men who turned out to be messengers from God, also known as angels: Vayeira: Seeing Angels.