The Secret Things

“The secret things are for the Lord your God, but the revealed things are for us and our children forever; to do all the words of this Torah”. An enigmatic sentence made all the more striking because of the two sets of dots over the Hebrew words for us and our children which are never adequately explained. On its own, the sentence seems to vaunt the inscrutable knowledge of the divine, far more profound than anything we humans aspire to. But, set in the context of the entire passage, the sentence becomes something of a conundrum. Continue reading “The Secret Things”

Ritualised Confession

Chapter 26 of Deuteronomy discusses two offerings that are to be brought to the Temple by farmers and landowners.  One was an annual event: each year villagers would stream into Jerusalem in a colourful and noisy procession, bearing the first fruits of their crop. Fruits which they had marked out on the plant as soon as they had appeared by tying a ribbon around them. Continue reading “Ritualised Confession”