Serendipity

On Friday, I posted about Ancient Near East culture and how understanding it can help us understand the context for Exodus and Leviticus. In the comments section of that post, Rachael raised a question about the origin of animal sacrifice, which naturally leads to questions about the origin of “clean” and “unclean” animals.

Serendipitously, the very next day Alistair Roberts posted a video about clean and unclean animals and what exact criteria seem to be used to distinguish them. He also touches on one possible reason the Israelites were forbidden to eat meat with the blood still in it. Don’t miss the discussion near the end about how the way that we eat helps make us human.

A few days later, I discovered another Alistair Roberts video that relates to my ANE post. In it, he discusses the differences between ritual, natural, and civic law. (Some are arbitrary, and others are not; some are universal, others are particular to culture.) It is just as sensible and insightful as we’ve come to expect from Alistair Roberts. There’s a reason I link to him from my blog.

If you have time, check out one or both of these videos.

Now, Please Enjoy This Delightful Navajo Legend

“[This episode] is often part of the Navajo emergence stories. It usually takes place in the fourth world, the one immediately below the present world. Domestic strife, adultery, and quarreling between the sexes characterize the relationship between men and women throughout the emergence journey. It is finally decided that men and women must separate and get along without one another. The men cross the river, leaving the women on one side while they go to live on the other.

“At first all goes well. The women live by agriculture, the men by hunting. Eventually the women experience crop failure and begin to starve, while the men realize they are all growing older and that their existence is threatened because they cannot reproduce themselves. … In time, each sex realizes that its existence is interdependent with the other and they are happily reunited.

“Hopi and other tribes have similar stories.”

Source: Dictionary of Native American Mythology, ed. Sam D. Gill & Irene F. Sullivan, Oxford University Press, 1992, pp 265 – 266

I love men. I am married to one. I have also given birth to a few of them. But nevertheless, this story makes me laugh because I can relate. Can you relate? Sometimes dealing with the opposite sex is just difficult.

In this video, Alistair Roberts talks about why women and men need each other and also about why when we get together in same-sex groups, our group cultures are very different.