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View Diary: D'var Torah: Vayeshev (Golden Child, Scapegoat, Rebel, Hero, and Mascot) (59 comments)

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  •  the 4 sons came to my mind too with the reflection (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eowyn9, ramara, Batya the Toon

    that they --and in this drash these 5 other concepts of sons-- are both examples of thinking that is NOT limited to polarity nor even continuum, but rather is matrix.

    it's odd that current western thinking seems to have regressed to the disastrous oversimplification that designating one person or event or idea as "good" results in looking for and designating some other as "evil" as if there is nothing 'good' in isolation, or as if good is not good enough without the contrast of a polar opposite. i've read the suggestion that mammalian bilateral symmetry (right vs left) and the two apparent (if not really actual) genders, etc, inclines human thinking in this either/or way and though many cultures outgrow that childish concept of analysis, we certainly seem to tend to return to it easily.

    one of the recurrent discussions in the seders of my childhood and youth onward into early adulthood was the reframing of the actual roles of the 4 sons, that since each fulfills a constructive function in teaching us how to teach, as well as modeling to us that there are multiple emotional outlooks that we as teachers must embrace (e.g., the "wicked" son [I'm not certain what's the precisely accurate translation of the word for him in the hagadah] in posing a valuable question but from an external outlook suggests an individual who is suffering alienation, marginalization, exclusion,, loneliness, as sense of being adrift, yet stillseeking to understand therefore it appears seeking to learn and to change himself).

    instead of polarized thinking, this is 3 dimensional.  not childish oversimplification but mature grasp of the reality illustrated by the drash, that life is complex and we are constantly in the process of change.

    (i wonder how all this might be different if daughters had been the model of multi-dimensional thinking instead of sons, of course...)

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