Friday, May 25, 2007

(Fall into) The Generation Gap

As I was reading Megillat Ruth on Shavuot (and yes, the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting was a hit) I noticed something I'd never realized before. The lineage of King David listed at the end includes Nachshon ben Aminadav, the intrepid guy from the tribe of Judah who waded into the Sea of Reeds up to his nose till it parted for the Israelites leaving Egypt. It doesn't surprise me that he's in there; there was clearly a leadership gene in that family. (Guess who Olmert and crew are NOT descended from.) But I digress.

What struck me was that he was Boaz's grandfather. (Boaz is the elderly Judge who marries the Moabite convert Ruth and is great-grandfather to David.) That means that he would have heard from his own grandfather and/or father about was it was like to be a slave in Egypt, the aforementioned parting of the Sea, the giving of the Torah at Sinai, the 40 years in the desert, and Joshua's conquest of the Land of Israel. If Nachshon was over 20 when the spies came back with a negative report on Israel then he didn't make it out of the desert (all men over 20 died in the desert as punishment for believing not nice things about the Land) but then his son must have already been born and borne witness to the rest. So far, fine.

The thing is, the time period of the Judges was 400 years. They were incidentally, the time period seen as very socially fair and egalitarian as evinced by archaeological evidence of similar sized homes, too, but that's another story. Boaz was likely one of the earlier ones, which my sources tell me he was and which makes sense since his granddaddy was an adult at Sinai and you have the 40 years and those of conquest so even if he was old with Ruth he was one of the openers. Now, only Oved and Yishai came between him and David according to the Megilla, so sure as heck not only did these men not smoke but they lived and procreated, er, begat, till very ripe old ages. You have to cover a few hundred years in just a couple of generations because we know that David is born at the time of the Kings, after Judges (see Book of Samuel).

I never had put all this together and was excited and thought I'd share. If anyone out there has anything to add please do so. When you read a fairly short book every year you start assuming you know the story; it's so cool to figure out something new. At least for me.

Off to cook for Shabbat, the kids have friends over so chickens will be consumed. Maybe I'll get Amiad to barbeque when he gets back from the pool and has thighs and breasts on his mind anyhow......

It's hot here in Judea, my impatiens flowers will suffer on a waterless Shabbat morning. Oh, well. Have a good one.

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