07 April 2009

The blessings of Abraham

Preservation takes on two forms: offspring -- the passing along of the mystery of vitality from one generation to the next; and land -- the stewardship and sustenance of the fertility of the soil despite the regular harvesting of its produce.

Family (offspring) and farm (land), community (offspring) and planet (land) -- these are Wendell Berry's categories. They are also the two elements of the blessings God promised Abraham, the incentives He offered him to leave his homeland and move to Canaan.

The one is mishpat, the other is choq. Both are crucial to the preservation of the society's culture.

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