This is an update, for tonight’s holiday, my favorite, of studying overnight, with a link to the class I taught on it some years ago. I forgot to mention that we read the Megillah of Ruth on this holiday, as well, with the famous story of Ruth and Naomi becoming family, used by the Rabbis for the conversion process, and the idea of Na’aseh ve Nishmah by all of those who would ever accept the task of wrestling with the divine, and of Tikkun Olam, before the mountain, this day.
As we come up to the holiday of שָׁבוּעוֹת Shavuot, for the seven weeks, or 50 days counted down between Passover and Shavuot, we naturally think of the pleasures of staying up all night long to study languages, er, em, that is, to study Torah, in our Biblical languages of Hebrew and sometimes also Aramaic, with the occasional reference to another Semitic language like old Arabic, or Ugaritic, etc, for difficult words.
Great, so where do the loans come in, and what could the thief Aladdin and the prophet Elisha possibly have in common, apart from having spoken sister languages, you say.
Thank you! I am so glad you asked. It turns out that Aladdin and Elisha had quite a bit in common, being literary figures, young men of action, and you could even say financiers: they both gave Free Financial Assistance in their communities!
We know who and how Aladdin helped in stealing to survive, and in solidarity with other poor souls living in the streets. We also know how the prophet Elisha helped the widow by multiplying her oil and telling her to sell it, saving her and her sons from enslavement by their creditors. But how much better could it have been for both Aladdin, Elisha, and their communities , if crushing long-term debt didn’t exist in the first place? Isn’t that why we were commanded to release debts (and slaves) every seven years, and return property to original owners every 50 years?
This is where the Pro-bono legal aid, free debt and financial consumer education piece of our #PublicDomainInfrastructure is crucial. Knowing your rights and obligations is the first step toward taking responsibility for your own house, and then toward contributing to your community. Our financial and economic infrastructure must help create ways to rectify the structural biases inherent in our system, and encourage both individuals and communities to do the same. One tool for accomplishing this is debt-forgiveness, in circumstances of structural or personal inequity. Another tool is locally created currencies, such as Ithaca Hours or Time Banks. These are most effective when encouraged by local government as a supplement, or a means of complementing the existing federal currency. While local or community issued currencies are useful, they can be more useful in a society that has more fully included all of the population in the economic life of the community. For this reason, local currencies are more fully discussed in conjunction with Phase III of Project Do Better. These tools provide some short and long term solutions to problems that inhibit our democracy from building to full potential. Such solutions can further our ability to encourage every human being to live, contribute, and create to the fullest potential possible.
original version posted in May, 12020 HE
updated just a wee bit Erev Shavuot, 5782/12022 HE
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B5, Hakan:Muhafiz/The Protector, Lupin, or La Casa De Papel/Money Heist Reviews,
Holistic College Algebra & GED/HiSET Night School Lesson Plans,
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Thoughtful Readers, please consider reading about #ProjectDoBetter.
Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil
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