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יום שלישי, 1 בינואר 2013

Cain and Abel – Rebuilding Eden

I haven't (yet) read Yoram Hazony's book "
Philosophy of the Hebrew Scripture"; this post is a response to his promotional video.

In the said video Hazony makes the following interesting claims:

(1)  God has commanded Adam and his descendants to toil and be involved agricultural work, while the land produces only thorns and thistles.

(2)  Cain is the more pious of the two brothers: he obeys God's decree (1) and it's his idea to bring sacrifices.


(3)  Cain is the archetype of the submissive mankind, that makes dictators and the like (I believe Ayn Rand would have named him 'collectivist')

on the other hand

(4)  Avel (Abel) is the shepherd, who, using his intelligence leads an easier life.

(5)  He refuses to follow Gods decree (1) and has his herds do the work for him.

(6)  Avel is the archetype of the individualists, who break away from submissive societies, while also promoting and bringing blessed change to mankind.

(7)  God likes Abel types, more that Cain types.

I would like to challenge some of these claims in order to present a broader view of this and other Biblical narratives.


וְהַחָכְמָה, מֵאַיִן תִּמָּצֵא; וְאֵי זֶה, מְקוֹם בִּינָה.
אֱלֹהִים, הֵבִין דַּרְכָּהּ; וְהוּא, יָדַע אֶת-מְקוֹמָהּ.
אָז רָאָהּ, וַיְסַפְּרָהּ; הֱכִינָהּ, וְגַם-חֲקָרָהּ.
וַיֹּאמֶר, לָאָדָם--הֵן יִרְאַת אֲדֹנָי, הִיא חָכְמָה; וְסוּר מֵרָע בִּינָה. (איוב כח')