Saturday, October 29, 2011
And Noah Had Four Sons...
This Shabbath we read the Torah portion on Noah and the Flood.
This is also the Torah portion where after the flood, Noah gets plum drunk and naked. Ham, Noah's son sees his father naked and according to Chazal defiled him. Noah, upon discovering the misdeed, utters a curse.
Yes, the curse.
The 'curse of Ham' where everyone but everyone hands over to Black people b/c Ham is considered Black.
For years, I took this view as truth without ever digging deeper. I am really embarrassed to admit that. And really, what are Black folks supposed to do with that? "oh, yes, I am cursed. Ok,so what's for lunch today?"
Even if we brush it off, this lingering thought remains in the back of our minds. "I am cursed. I am black. I am not white."
But, readers, open up the Chumash again with me and see Noah's words, "and he said, cursed is Canaan; a slave of slaves shall he be to his brothers." (Bereshit 9:25)
Why curse Canaan instead of Ham? Briefly, I'll mention that some say that cursing Ham would implicate Noah's own wrongdoing. So he remained silent on that point. Secondly, it's said that he could foresee that this particular negative trait in Ham was magnified in Ham's son Canaan.
The curse is on Canaan. It says nothing of the curse being on Cush, Miztrayim, or Put, the other sons of Ham. (But it doesn't excuse Ham!)
In fact, the following story is regarding Nimrod, a mighty hunter before G-d and son of Cush. Bereshit 10:10 states " The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar."
But there are those that want to propagate the idea that all Blacks are cursed. It can be in mainstream media. It could even be in your local synagogue, history class, or the 'fake friend to the Blacks.' They are all pollutants that encourage us to believe what 'they' want us to believe and to lull us into a stupor of low self-esteem, passivity, and illness. Illness of body and soul.
It's easy to recognize the poison after awhile. In the meantime, I am here to tell you that we are not slaves! (unless we choose to be one 'cuz it really takes a lot LESS brain power) The African/Black race have made/are making contributions to humanity, through the arts, music, literature and sciences like other people. And we are going to work, paying bills, reading books, going to school, etc. Are there things that need improvement? Most certainly. Like in most people.
I'll share something else. In Midrash Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer, it writes that Shem, Noah's son was dark.
I doubt you'll read that in mainstream media...
But let us not get trumped over color issues. It is because haters use this color card that we are often on the defensive and hence, become too focused on color. The fact is: there are other issues. The color card is merely a means of distraction.
Distraction from the true purpose of life.
Yo, what IS the purpose of life??!!!
Ah, but this is for another blog post....