Community – Biblical


Deborah Williger


Everybody separately and all together – United in diversity Bible Passage Genesis 6.18 – 8.19 and Psalm 130.

Introductory remarks:

Hebrew for community = העדה) Haada) The regeneration of body or nature requires rest time, Shabbat. Resting in Hebrew means “noach”. Purifying separation guarantees survival as on Noach’s ark, Teva. The violent and immoderate egotists are poured off the earth by the great flood, Mabbul. What water can cleanse our world today, since water and time are in short supply and polluted? Noach together with his family, I call them “the Noachides” can be seen as our “archetypes of biodiversity”. United in diversity forms fierce resistance and a strong community: Creation 2.0 survived Mabbul. All creatures on the Teva survived as archical not hierarchical community, living together like in the Garden of Eden. A war on Teva would have destroyed all creation. There is a development: Guilt that is not repented of, needs generations until it is expiated. Without maturation time souls cannot be cleansed.

The community of Israelites and company needed forty years of wandering in the wilderness in order to be able to appreciate the freedom following the exodus. By forming bonds, a union can be forged for life.

It is fitting that integration of the other into a peaceful coexistence doesn’t harm; but variety strengthens and enriches life. “…That which is hateful to you do not do to another; that is the entire Torah, and the rest is its interpretation. Go study.” (Shabbat 31a).

To become one community, we must undergo a process that I call the “En-tender Process” (entender = Spanish: to understand). I derived the Entender Process from the philosophy of Cohen de Herrera when he described the divine absolute independent self- centered reaching somehow out (extender) towards God`s creation and from a Torah verse (Ex 24.7) “we will do, and we will understand/ listen”. Act first then you will understand. In the En-tender Process people use their capacity to draw near to what is foreign (tender = Spanish: to approach). Coming near leads to understanding. Further approaches follow and still more understanding. Meet with all creation on eye level. You are not alone. The other might be your sister, your neighbor, your foreigner or your cow. Come close to yourself through closeness to the other.