Posts Tagged ‘Morals’

Judge Cycle 5

Posted: January 14, 2019 by Ty in Brunch & Bible
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As you work your way through the stories in Judges, it can begin to feel like a never ending loop of a bad run of Coronation Street, when the writers ran out of a bit of oomph. I mean, the cycle itself can be rather tedious, and I can hear the reader going, well how does this apply to today for surely we are not that dense or in a theocracy.

Yes and no.

It applies because it begins to tease out a change cycle. Truly, what is the Deuteronic history stories but a story of change and evolution of a collection of tribes. From slavery, to wanderings to establishing norms, to trying to figure out life within family dynamics (as it seems each nation is a cousin’s descendants). In any change cycle fear is a major thing, and that is why I believe there is this cycle issue in Judges (and today) for we do not want to leave what is comfortable for us. We see this in Ambilech’s story (Judges 9-10) where he appeals to the fear in change. Okay, let’s get real, change is a grief cycle, and as such we work through the stages of grief. Whether you are a Kubler-Ross fan, or a Senge, U Theory fan it is a journey:

Image result for kubler ross grief model

Image result for u theory

Throughout the journey of Judges, the message back to the tribes, to the person remains the same. Here are our constants, trust in that. Move forward in what we know is right, and what we know is wrong is to be cast aside whether it is old or new. It becomes a cycle, and yes, we must release the past eventually, but the processes of the past that only serve no purpose (like the old idiom don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater).

I would state that the moments of peace at the end of a Judge Cycle is the nation crystallizing or prototyping yet just not ready to step into performing. They cycle back to try again, it may take several runs, but each time something new is performing, something new is discovered that needs to be let go, as with Jephthah’s cycle of being a judge (Judges 11-12).

What I love is that it shows the challenge of accepting the new, the first line is that he is a son of a prostitute. Now, many in the ancient world or even today will not admit this profession exists due to patriarchy and oppression. But definitely in the ancient times without a man to “own” them, it is the route women were left with. Jephthah’s very birth was casting light on the darkness the tribes refusing to move forward in care and equality was doing to their own brethren.

It lays out the horrors turning away from the Law had wrecked on the tribes. So is this a statement for the need for legalism? No, for what is at the core of the Law, this is what needs to be remembered for even in the Torah it comes down to the Shema, which is boiled down to Love.

Are our actions in society out of love for one another?

Is it rooted in compassion and kindness? Knowing that we all are created with inherent worth, or have we simply commodified ourselves. The challenge of the Judge’s lineage in this story showing that someone had fallen into a societal label game and was cast aside. Do we do that today? With our medical codes? Diagnosis? Territorial-religious-economic stratification? Race? Gender? All become points of those on the in and the out.

What is the truth? Something we have known for thousands of years. We are all in this together, all the same, and it is when we stray from love and create false labels that we are hit with war, famine, and death. When hate overtakes love.

And no, it is not a quick transition or change. For in change as it involves the ickiness of life, and those dastardly emotions. It is about being present, and understanding that things will not be as they have always been amen amen. Rather it is knowing whether in the transition is it healthy or not? Does it honour our shared humanity or not? Are we able to let go, and let in what is being formed?

After him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. He had thirty sons, and thirty daughters he gave in marriage outside his clan, and thirty daughters he brought in from outside for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years. 10 Then Ibzan died and was buried at Bethlehem.

11 After him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel, and he judged Israel ten years. 12 Then Elon the Zebulunite died and was buried at Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.

13 After him Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite judged Israel. 14 He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy donkeys, and he judged Israel eight years. 15 Then Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died and was buried at Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.

-Judges 12:8-15 (English Standard Version)

And a few more cycles of inquisition, fighting back against the letting in, holding on to that which needs to be let go of. For what is the stories of Judges, but the stories of individuals and groups wrestling with the answer to the hardest question in life:

Who am I (We)?

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Gary Hobson is the man with the cat he didn’t want, and the paper that is a curse or a blessing depending on your point of view. He is a man in a midst of a transition having quit his job as a trader, and his wife having divorced him (to marry his boss no less). He has his angel and devil caricatures, Marissa, his angel who gets him to think of the altruistic ways to use the paper, and Chuck, who seeks out what is needed for personal gain. But what is this paper?

Image result for early edition tv showCat: MEOwwwwwwwww.

[sound of paper landing on floor outside door]

Image result for early edition tv showIt is tomorrow’s news today.

What would you do?

Would you use it to build wealth? (Chuck’s P.O.V.)

To save lives? (Marissa’s P.O.V.)

 

Things have a way of working out in this life. One way or another, you usually get what you need. Those who need to be remembered, they get a moment; those who need to be heard, they get a voice. There’s no way of knowing how it’s all going to fall into place mind you, but trust me, it does. Justice may be blind, but that doesn’t mean there’s no one looking out for you.

-Gary Hobson, main character.

Hobson, after the philosophical-ethical dilemma after Hobson’s Choice, where you are given a bit of information to choose to make a little-big difference or remain safe. That is the premise of each episode, from Presidential Assassinations to medical neglect on Children to jury duty. The list goes on, but eventually there is a meow and a thump at the door for the mysterious sun-times paper for the next day appears, and he has 24 hours to change a headline.

They say things happen for a reason, but that reason may not always be clear. In time, with faith, the meaning may emerge. What was, what is, what shall be. Pieces of a puzzle, falling into place.

-Chuck Fishman

A fun show from 1996-2000 that made one ponder and think what you would do.

And in the course of the adventures it is seen that even, begrudgingly, Chuck helps. So what is your Hobson choice in life, it may not be tomorrow’s news today, but each and every day we are given information to make choices. Do we make choices that make the most good for us and our neighbour, or only for our own bank account?

 [voice over] It’s easy to be cynical. Especially today, when it looks like all our heroes are crooks, our role models frauds. Every now and again, however, when you least expect it, the real thing comes along: someone who can find the heart inside the cynic and give those who hold nothing sacred something to believe in. It’s not always easy telling the good from the bad, even if you do get tomorrow’s paper today. Why, is why. Sometimes, to find the answers, you have to look in your heart.

-Chuck Fishman

Cynicism is the easy choice. It can take more to look deeper, ask harder questions, and seek out what is right.

What is right inside your heart…