The first ten generations, culminating in the generation of the Flood, were guilty of theft, immorality, murder, all sins rooted in the excessive worship of the individual. Desire, whim and impulse ran wild. In essence, they denied heaven: they denied any obligation to a higher calling a calling larger than their individual desires. The essential sin of the next ten generations, from Noah to Abraham, and culminating in the Generation of the Tower of Babel was the diametric opposite. They denied all individuality. If a person died during the process of building the Tower of Babel they paid no attention, but if a stone fell they mourned over the great loss. The Tower became the State, the center toward which all individuals gave up their individuality in order to perpetuate its existence. In essence, they denied the earth the human part each of us has consisting of individual ambitions and desires. The Generation of the Flood denied heaven. The Generation of the Tower denied Earth. Both extremes frustrated the purpose of creation. Abraham came along and preached the synthesis of heaven and earth. He told people that there was a G-d in heaven. At the same time he told them that the earth was not just a temptation or illusion. Earthly, individual ambitions and desires were there to be harnessed for the good and used in the service of G-d. Abraham's message was that it was possible to align on our earthly life into a mirror image of heavenly values. As in Heaven so on Earth. And, so, too the message of this book. Using real life examples, interspersed between short chapters and subchapters, even the person with "no head for philosophy" will find the reading gripping, thought-provoking, and uplifting. Whoever you are, As in Heaven and Earth will help you improve the quality of your life in the here and now by showing you just how interesting and relevant hashkafah can be.
by Rabbi Ezriel Tauber
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