Friday, September 5, 2014

Leviticus: Chapter 26

A sky of steel
A world of bronze

Chased by a driven leaf

Soul sickness

In a fall
Will you rise?

Don't turn your soul away
O turned face!
What happens in the spaces

[For full chapter, click here
We continue the covenant from "Mount Sinai" seamlessly, in an ever more emphasized structure of "sevens": "I will repay  you seven for all your sins..." Here, it becomes clear that this covenant sums up the structure of the book as a whole, returning to the repeated emphasis on "walking" "doing" "guarding" and the leitmotif of eating.
But here, the focus on the all-subsuming Land becomes ominous. Ignoring the rights of the Land to its sabbaths causes you to be driven off, as the Land completes its own cycles: "then the Land shall have her sabbaths, all the days of desolation when you are in your enemies land." The rejecting land will turn to "bronze" while Israel itself becomes the "seed" to be "eaten" by other nations. 
A terrifying dance of closeness and rejection, carelessness (keri) and a fury of carelessness. The tension between close and far that animates the book becomes clear. Too great an intimacy leads to "soul sickness", as the life force revolts in "nausea / revulsion" ( ge'al nafshi), God against Israel, Israel against God.
Ultimately, the somber hope of redemption is that "I will not be revolted by them (ge'al ) to utterly destroy them.I will remember for them the primal covenant."] 

No comments:

Post a Comment