Tag: Exodus

God Is an Accelerationist

At shul today, my eight-year-old daughter Carol asked about the parsha we were reading, from Exodus 10-11, which details the last of the three plagues before Pharaoh lets the Jews go. Up until that final moment, God is “hardening Pharaoh’s heart,” stiffening his tyrannical resolve so that he won’t let the Jews go. Which prompted this exchange: Carol: Why does God harden Pharaoh’s heart? Why doesn’t He soften it? Me: I have no idea. Why do you think? Carol: Maybe if He did, the Jews would get too comfortable and wouldn’t want to go. Me: That’s what people call “heightening the contradictions.”

From God’s Lips to Clarence Thomas’s Ears

Exodus 4: And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent…I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue….And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well….Thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee v. Federal Election Commission […]

Counterrevolutionary Backsliding, from the Golden Calf to Keynes

One of the elements of the Exodus story I’ve always been interested in is the backsliding; it fits with my interest in counterrevolution, I suppose. The Israelites flee Egypt, bondage, and Pharaoh, but while they wander in the desert, they’re constantly tempted to go back. Literally, to Egypt, and figuratively, to bondage, to false gods, to idol worship. The Bible often speaks of these “murmurings” of the people of Israel. And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron in the wilderness; and the children of Israel said unto them: “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, when we did eat […]

Employment Contracts versus the Covenant at Sinai

Here’s an excellent piece about how Amazon requires even its temporary employees to sign non-compete clauses that last a year and a half after their employment ends. The piece got me thinking a bit about employment contracts versus the covenant at Sinai (it’s Passover time). There are a lot of problems with contracts with employers, which Chris Bertram, Alex Gourevitch, and I explored in our “Let It Bleed” post at Crooked Timber three years ago. Among them are the imbalance of power between the two contracting parties and the fact that no employment contract can spell out all the terms of employment; there are just too many unknowns, both known and unknown, at the workplace. Interestingly, the covenant at Sinai, the […]