Your RDA of Irony

Chronology and Theology

It is Rosh Hashanah. In the Jewish chronology, the new year will be 5767. Of course, that is just retail. Between us, I’d settle for 3400 or so.

No Pharaoh would recognize the culture or language of modern Egypt. Pericles would not identify or understand the modern Greek. Julius Caesar might recognize the aquiline nose and the hedonism in the modern Italian, but he’d be mystified by the loss of the imperial identity. Hillel, however, would find in the modern Jew a consistency and continuity in religion and culture. When you consider the great empires and civilizations of Antiquity, it is a remarkable irony that the sole surviving culture would be a humble, parochial, tribal society.

The Jews are Western Civilization’s longest running show. Once, while comparing heritages, a Greek colleague mentioned that her people could make a similar claim. I replied, “Yes, but you changed management in the 4th century.”


copyrighted 2006

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