The Tables of the Law

The Tables of the Law (Cans, 70 x 50 x 16 cm)

“There is no water except Torah !”

Babylonian Talmud, Bava Kama 17a

In exploring other planets for life, space scientists look for signs of water. No water, no life ! Torah is as vital to Jews as water to humans. They are both indispensable sources of life. Water as a metaphor for Torah became a staple of rabbinic literature.

“Water actually stands for Torah, as it is said “Ho, all who are thirsty, come for water.” (Is 55,1). Having gone for three days without Torah, the prophets among them stepped forth and legislated that the Torah should be read on the second and fifth days of the week as well as on Shabbat so that they would not let three days pass without Torah” ().

Babylonian Talmud , BavaKama 82a

Isaac’s efforts to restore the wells built by his father. « Isaac dug anew the wells which had been dug in the days of his father Abraham and which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham’s death; and he gave them the same names that his father had given them » (Gn 26, 18) is resumed by the sentence Maassé Avot Siman lebanim : “Father’s actions are a sign for their children”.

It is no accident that the first time Isaac perceives the G.od who addresses him as the G.od of his father occurs directly after the restoration of the wells (Gn 26, 24).

All generations drink from the same well of the Torah, which must be reactivated by each generation.

« What you have inherited (passively) from your ancestors, take hold of it (actively) in order to make it your own. »

Goethe

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