Ecclesiastes: picking up

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Last night marked the beginning of Sukkot. Four years ago, on the holiday, I began the study of Ecclesiastes (or kohelet) which slowed as my blogging slowed over that winter, and eventually came to a complete stop. I have re-read the posts that I wrote before the study petered out, and I think (in my vanity) that it is worth picking it up again.

Sukkot are booths, temporary structures we set up to dwell in for a week, to remind us not to take life so serious, as it ain’t no how permanent (in the words of Reb Porky Pine). Your Humble Blogger didn’t build one this year, having taken the day that could have been devoted to it and gone to Rhinebeck. Well, and having taken the other day that could have been devoted to it and not bothering, to be quite honest. Anyway, the point of the thing is that you eat your meals for a week in a structure that wasn’t there last week and won’t be there next week—and which is at the same time a structure that has been there for a thousand years and will be there for another thousand. Just not there there.

I think the temporary/eternal nature of the Sukkah matches pretty well with the opening of Ecclesiastes: One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. The sense that all we can do is temporarily improve things a little, for a time. Put up a sort of a roof, a couple of walls. It’s a beautiful thing, what we can do, even if it won’t last.

In that spirit, I’m going to pick up the study of Ecclesiastes where I left off, in the second chapter. Here are the earlier notes:

I hope to have a new note up within a week, and proceed at the pace of one note a week until we get through the thing. I will say, if you enjoy out Scripture Study, commenting is the best way to keep me enthusiastic about it. And if not, then not—it’s all chasing the wind, anyway, innit?

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,

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