Friday, July 3, 2020

A Jewish Alternative: Attempt 2

In our last post we suggested a possible outline for a Jewish parallel to the Chronicles of Narnia based on the Talmud’s astrological predictions of those born on certain days of the week. The accuracy of these predictions is of no more import to us than the reality of the Roman gods. Rather, the Talmud’s statement implies that the seven days of Creation leave a permanent signature. If God’s relationship with His world on Sunday was via the creation of extremes (light and darkness) then He must consistently relate to the world in that way (at least on Sundays). On an astrological level this means that people born on that day will have the theme of the day inbred into their personality. On a theological level, this provides a framework for understanding God’s interactions with creation.


Honestly, I’ve been going back and forth as to whether this framework is appropriate. Do people feel that Thursday is a day of kindness and Friday a day of seeking to fulfill the words of God, while Monday is a day of anger? I do not believe anyone feels it consciously. Still, if the mark of Creation still exists on these days, maybe we feel it subconsciously. And, after all that is the point. C.S. Lewis never revealed his secret, but Michael Ward posits (correctly I believe) that people felt the themes of the Chronicles anyway, because the themes represented by the wandering planets (and their mythological cohorts) are innate and universal.

The Talmud, however, rejects the astrological signs of R’ Yehoshua and posits an alternative: we need not pay attention to the day, but to the hour. And each hour is representative of a different one of the wandering planets.   

One who was born under the influence of the sun will be a radiant person; he will eat from his own resources and drink from his own resources, and his secrets will be exposed.

One who was born under the influence of Venus will be a rich and promiscuous person. What is the reason for this? Because fire was born during the hour of Venus, he will be subject to the fire of the evil inclination, which burns perpetually.

One who was born under the influence of Mercury will be an enlightened and expert man, because Mercury is the sun’s scribe, as it is closest to the sun.

One who was born under the influence of the moon will be a man who suffers pains, who builds and destroys, and destroys and builds. He will be a man who eats not from his own resources and drinks not from his own resources, and whose secrets are hidden. 

One who was born under the influence of Saturn will be a man whose thoughts are for naught. And some say that everything that others think about him and plan to do to him is for naught.

One who was born under the influence of Jupiter [tzedek] will be a just person [tzadkan]. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: And just in this context means just in the performance of mitzvot.

One who was born under the influence of Mars will be one who spills blood. Rav Ashi said: He will be either a blood letter, or a thief, or a slaughterer of animals, or a circumciser. 

Here the concentration is not on the day and its theme based on the Creation story, but on the hour which is influenced by one of the wandering planets. These planets inherently manifest certain themes based on their name or astronomical position and this has influence on the time period under its aegis. 

Following this path would create a Jewish Narnia based on the planets, as Lewis himself did.  

Thursday, June 25, 2020

A Jewish Alternative: Attempt 1

At the end of the last post, I argued the need for Jews to understand and support the non-Jewish quest for God. Unlike Jews who experienced the Sinaitic revelation, the non-Jewish world must come to God on their own. This is an arduous, step-by-step process, each step building on the one before. This process is encapsulated by the Chronicles of Narnia. In each book Lewis constructs an atmosphere colored by a pagan God and shows how it is merely one of a myriad of projections or manifestations of the true, one God. To know God, demands (at a minimum) an understanding of each manifestation.


This interpretation of the Chronicles, however, does not provide us with a path for creating a Jewish Narnia. If anything it appears to close down the possibility since, in the thought of R’ Lipschitz, Jews who experienced (forced) revelation, never climbed the mountain from paganism to monotheism. Nonetheless, there may still be hope of constructing a Jewish Narnia, not via the archetypes of the pagan, Roman gods, but directly via the planets or similar concepts.

The seven wandering planets and the zodiac play an important role in the workings of the Jewish calendar.  Furthermore, the regularity of the path of these bodies across Earth’s sky, are demonstrative of God’s glory, and, in the view of Maimonides, provide a primary means to achieve fear and love of God. Nevertheless, the simple movement of the planets does appear to be a useful means of writing works that provide insight into God’s providence in the same way as Narnia. Instead we turn to Jewish astrology. 

The concept of Jewish astrology may be somewhat unsettling. After all, the Torah explicitly commands against magic, necromancy, and divination. Still, it is to be noted that practically until modern times there was no differentiation between astronomy and astrology. Thus, the Talmud speaks of the influence of the heavenly spheres, and the great majority of Medieval authorities (excluding Maimonides) assumed astrology to be true. Our goal is not to weigh in on this debate, but to use the Talmudic view of how God interacts with humanity via the heavenly spheres or other time-related concepts to design atmospheres for stories from which we internalize knowledge of God. 

Our primary text for this astrology is a discussion in the Talmud. The Talmud tells us that some students read the following in the notebook of R’ Yehoshua the son of Levi (this is my summary of the Talmudic statement):

One born on Sunday will be completely good or completely bad, for on that day light and darkness were created.  

One born on Monday will be short-tempered, for on that day the upper and lower waters were divided. 

One born on Tuesday will be rich and promiscuous, for on that day vegetation was created. 

One born on Wednesday will be wise and enlightened, for on that day the heavenly spheres were hung. 

One born on Thursday will perform acts of kindness, for on that day the birds and fish were created (who are sustained by the kindness of God).

One born on Friday will seek out mitzvot (fulfillment of the commandments), for on that day people prepare for the Sabbath. 

The thought process of R’ Yehoshua is clear. The creation story of Genesis 1 imparts a theme to each day of the week. This theme lives on to permanently color occurrences on that day Hence, any person born on that day will similarly manifest those themes. 

The themes of days of the week appear elsewhere in Jewish lore. For example, the Talmud (Ta’anit 26a) discusses that the Temple service was performed by different groups in rotation every week (each group consisting of 1/24th of the population). However, only some of the population actually went to Jerusalem. The rest remained home but gathered together for special prayer services. What made them special was the reading from the Creation story and specified prayers appropriate for that day of the week. Thus, on Monday the people prayed for those on sea voyages (for that was the day the water was divided). On Tuesday the people prayed for those on dangerous land journeys (for that was the day dry land first appeared). On Wednesday the people prayed that croup should not infect children (for that was the day the heavenly spheres were hung and in Hebrew the word for light is similar to the word for a curse referring to croup).  On Thursday the people prayed that women should not suffer miscarriages and that nursing women should be able to continue nursing their babies (for that was the day fish were created). 

With the above we could suggest an outline for a series of books based on manifestations of the days of the week.  The Sunday book would be a story of extremes: pure good versus pure evil, light versus darkness. The Monday book would highlight divisions, water, and anger. And so on for each of the days. 

In our next post we’ll comment further on whether this would capture the same lessons as the Chronicles of Narnia.

Monday, June 22, 2020

From Paganism to Christianity: Climbing the Mountain

We ended our last post positing that Lewis’ desire in writing the Chronicles of Narnia was to recreate an atmosphere of each of the seven planets and their pagan god representative. His readers should then look along the beam he created via each chronicle to perceive God from the perspective of that atmosphere. Thus, the seven books entice us to experience God (as Aslan) as seven archetypes (in the description of Ward), “King, Commander, Light, Son, Word, Life, Mystery (in the order of the books’ publication).”  

The need to perceive God from so many diverse perspectives is obvious, and is similar to what I attempted to do in my article Four Facets of the Love of God (following Lewis’ models of the Four Loves). It is impossible to fully comprehend the essence of God. The best we can do is know Him via His interactions with humanity. Each archetype of pagan god, as conscripted by Lewis, is a two-dimensional description or projection of a multi-colored, three dimensional object. Formulating as Plato, we see shadows and from them try to understand what it is that casts the shadows. By studying each shadow in isolation we can then hope to meld them into a more complete picture of God.      

One may think it surprising, or even blasphemous, to utilize pagan gods as the shadows to reflect monotheistic theological concepts. However, Lewis certainly did not. We have already referenced Lewis’ belief that the planets in the Ptolemaic model held permanent value as spiritual symbols. Furthermore, he followed the paths of the great Medieval writers such as Dante and Chaucer who had, as described by Ward, “Christened the planetary gods.”

Our goal however, is to determine whether a similar model could be followed in creating a Jewish Narnia. In our next post we will examine whether there is Jewish precedence in utilizing planets, pagan gods, or other astronomical bodies to convey theological truths. For the remainder of this post, I will outline an approach, formulated by R’ Yisrael Lifschitz, as to why Judaism may encourage an endeavor like that of Lewis. Furthermore, I would posit that Jews may benefit by studying and understanding these works. 

R’ Yisrael Lifschitz (1782 - 1860) was born in Poznan and served as rabbi in a number of communities including Dessau (Germany) and Gdansk. He is chiefly known for his commentary on the mishnah (the earliest part of the Talmud) which is divided into two parts: one which serves to explain the text and the other to expand on the text into further areas of Jewish law, philosophy, and theology. R’ Lifschitz had a very positive attitude towards general studies and was aware of scientific discoveries of the day. He comments favorably on the discovery of dinosaur bones (which he claimed supported traditional Jewish teachings on Creation) and was one of the first to address the question of prayer times in geographic areas where the sun does not rise or set. R’ Lifschitz also had a novel understanding of the difference between Jews and non-Jews which we now review. 

The famed R’ Akiva is quoted in the Ethics of the Fathers as saying, “Beloved is man who was created in the image of God. (Ethics 3:14)” Man, in this context, refers to all of humanity and R’ Lifschitz uses this as a springboard to discuss the difference between Jews and non-Jews. 

Jews and non-Jews, explains R’ Lifschitz, each have a unique preeminence over the other. The preeminence of the non-Jew is that whatever they have accomplished spiritually was done on their own free will and through their own efforts. This is unlike Jews who were essentially forced to accept God’s commands and can therefore claim no credit for any spiritual heights they may reach. Jews, however, received God’s Torah and therefore can fulfill all of God’s desires. Non-Jews, on the other hand, do not fulfill all of God’s commandments (nor are they required to) because their intellect and spiritual growth can only take them so far. 

One can compare this (R’ Lifschitz does not) to the parable of a man who spent years attempting to climb a very tall mountain. When he finally succeeded in reaching the summit he was welcomed by a small population who themselves had reached the top of the mountain and had formed an exclusive community. The man was understandably very proud of his accomplishment and glad to be part of this select group. As he was congratulating himself, he took a tour of the mountaintop and saw a young child. He was incredulous! How could such a young child have climbed the mountain? Quickly, he went over to the child and with wonder asked, “How did you get up here? How were you able to survive the struggles of climbing the mountain?” The child looked at him and said, “Sir, I know nothing of such struggles. For you see I was born here.” 

The non-Jewish religious world is aiming to reach the top of the mountain in understanding and fulfilling God’s desires. History bears witness to how the non-Jewish civilizations are climbing the mountain, how they have evolved positively from idol-worship and paganism to monotheism and Christianity. Lewis understood that Christianity is built on paganism. Not in such a way that it cheapens Christianity, but because the process of finding God is a long and arduous one and each step is built on the one before it. The pagans were not wrong to seek a higher power, they were only incorrect in to whom they attributed that power. On the way, the Greeks and Romans (who, by abstracting away from worshipping the sun or moon itself, were a step higher than earlier pagans) created manifestations of how immortal creatures interact with mortal ones. Many of the  interactions themselves are, of course, totally rejected by monotheism. But the perspective itself has value and Lewis demonstrates this to us via the Chronicles are Narnia.   

Continuing in the path of R’ Lifschitz, the Jewish experience is very different. Jews did not climb the mountain but were “born” on top. Jews deserve no credit for this, and it does not allow Jews to be arrogant or feel superior. Rather, it charges Jews with the responsibility to help others, by acting as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” To do this properly Jews must understand the mountain and how difficult a climb it is and thus the Jewish need to understand Narnia.  

(On this point I agree for the moment with the conclusion of David Goldman’s article on why there is no Jewish Narnia)         

Thursday, June 18, 2020

A Pagan Narnia?

Having acknowledged the motivation for having a Jewish Narnia we must address the question of how to write one. Perhaps the best way to do this is to determine how C.S. Lewis wrote the Chronicles of Narnia. If his method is particularly Christian our work becomes more difficult. If, however, the method is religiously agnostic, perhaps the path ahead is already partially travelled. 

Critics have long pointed to the lack of an overarching framework of the seven books of the Chronicles of Narnia. While three of the books are clearly Christological: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe where Aslan is resurrected, The Magician’s Nephew where Aslan is the Creator, and The Last Battle where we have the antichrist and apocalypse, the other four are not. As if that was not sufficiently strange, the stories introduce a hodge-podge of mythological characters, with Bacchus and Silenus on the same pages as a modern day depiction of Santa Claus complete with reindeer and presents. J.R.R. Tolkien was especially dismissive saying that the series was carelessly and superficially written. Others simply stated that the works were written by an author who was a novice, especially in children’s literature. Even Lewis’ supporters were left struggling to understand these seeming inconsistencies.    

The search for a unifying theme encompassing the seven books of the Chronicles of Narnia (and the criticism of its lack) underwent a monumental shift with Michael Ward’s publication of “Planet Narnia.” Ward’s thesis addressed all of these charges and more, satisfactorily answering: (1) why the Chronicles were written, (2) why they are not uniformly allegorical, and (3) why they are so popular. No summary of “Planet Narnia” can do justice to Ward’s majestic work and I strongly urge everyone to read it. Nevertheless, I will attempt to concisely highlight the main aspects of the work that will help us achieve our goal: creating a Jewish Narnia.

Ward posits that each of the seven books in the Chronicles of Narnia is a manifestation of one of the seven wandering planets in the Ptolemaic model of the solar system. This model sees Earth at the center of the universe surrounded by increasingly larger concentric spheres or heavens. Each sphere is home to one of the seven wandering stars. In order of closest to furthest they are: the moon (Luna), Mercury, Venus, the sun (Sol), Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Outside of the sphere of Saturn is the heaven of the fixed stars and beyond that the Primum Mobile, the sphere that conveys movement to the other spheres. God is the Unmoved Mover, who moves the Primum Mobile but Himself is not moved. While Lewis was fully aware that this model is not scientifically accurate, he believed that the planets in this model had permanent value as spiritual symbols.

Ward then details how each of the Chronicles of Narnia is permeated with symbolism representative of that planet. Not the astronomical body that we associate planets with today, but the pagan God of Roman mythology. Therefore, in the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which manifests Jupiter, we read of Aslan as king of the beasts, Peter as the High King, and that “once a King in Narnia, always a King in Narnia.”  In the Magician’s Nephew, a manifestation of Mercury, we read of the need for swiftness of Shasta and Rabadash, and that the lion (Aslan) was swift of foot. And The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, manifesting Sol, is a tale of sailing to the utter east where the ocean becomes liquid light. 

However, it is not just thematically that the books reflect the chief characteristics of Roman deities, hints, references, and oblique innuendos of the appropriate god’s characteristics permeate each of the books. Thus, if in the militaristic Mars-manifesting chronicle Prince Caspian we see an emphasis on trees and forests it is due to Cato the Elder’s usage of Mars Silvanus (from which we get the English word sylvan). If we find twins in the Mercurial The Horse and His Boy it is because Mercury as king of the Gemini is exerting his influence. And if we find moonlit nights and silver chairs in The Silver Chair it must be that Luna is riding her silver chariot across the skies of Narnia.  

In each book Lewis attempts to create an atmosphere or environment of the particular planet/god. In this, his goal is not to identify the particular planet, but to have us live the planet. When we read The Lion the Witch, and the Wardrobe we should live and be Jovial and when we read Prince Caspian we should live and be Martial.

Lewis did not tell us what he was trying to create because then we would study how well he created it. Instead he wanted us to become permeated with the atmosphere of the book and look all around us from the point of view of the atmosphere he created. Reformulating, Lewis wanted us to look ‘along the beam’ and not at the beam. When we look along the beam we do not pay attention to the beam itself but to what it enlightens.

In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Lucy looked along the beam and saw God. Lewis wants us to look along the beam, and see God from the perspective of each of the seven planets. We will expand on this in our next post.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Should There be a Jewish Narnia?

Ten years ago, in the inaugural issue of Jewish Review of Books, Michael Weingrad wrote an article entitled “Why There is No Jewish Narnia.” In the article, Weingrad asks why there exists a Christian Narnia, but no Jewish parallel. After a brief introduction, Weingrad subdivides this initial question into two, "(1) Why don’t Jews write more fantasy literature? (2) Why are there no works of modern fantasy that are profoundly Jewish in the way that, say, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is Christian?" 

Weingrad mainly concentrates on the first question and immediately finds himself in hot water. After all, Jews created fantastical creatures such as golems and dybbuks, and produced authors such as Franz Kafka and Isaac Bashevis Singer to write about them. In response Weingrad narrows his definition of fantasy as literature to works, “connected with a world, with a place of magic, strangeness, danger, and charm; and whether it is called Perelandra, Earthsea, Amber, or Oz, this world must be a truly alien place.” Weingrad suggests that the lack of Jewish authors in this narrowed field is due to the different histories of Jews and Christians in the Middle Ages, "the conventional trappings of fantasy, with their feudal atmosphere and rootedness in rural Europe, are not especially welcoming to Jews." In the remainder of the article, Weingrad goes on to identify some modern Jewish writers who he feels have taken up their fantasy pens with respect to both the first and second question.

Weingrad’s article made quite a splash with a slew of Jews, Christians, and others wading into the fray. In response to the first question many pointed to Jewish authors such as Isaac Asimov (obviously a science fiction writer but also an author of fantasy), Avram Davidson, and others as first rate fantasy writers. Others noted the various comic book characters created by Jews and the Jewish themes manifest in their stories. Still others agreed with Weingard’s main point but questioned the need for Jewish-themed fantasy. 

Over the next few posts I would like to address my own interpretation of Weingard’s original question - Why is There No Jewish Narnia? In addition, I would like to suggest a recipe for creating one. However, before doing so, we need to ask ourselves the following: should there be a Jewish Narnia? Should Jews desire that there come into existence a Jewish parallel to Lewis’ Chronicles? Of course, in order to address that we need to ask yet another question: what is important and worthwhile about the Chronicles of Narnia that Jews should want to replicate? 

What first and foremost makes the Chronicles of Narnia important is that they are popular and not only amongst Christians. Therefore, the Chronicles spread the ethos and ethics of Christianity to the entire world in a way that perhaps Jewish authors have not. A corollary to this is that the popularity of the Chronicles suggests that they contain eternal and universal truths. C.S. Lewis encompasses these truths within a Christian worldview. Second, the Chronicles of Narnia are easily read and assimilated by children (they are children’s literature) while clearly conveying highly important themes. 

In parallel, a Jewish (and similarly popular) Narnia would spread the ethics of Judaism to the entire world. Of course, one may argue that this is not desirable. Jews are not a missionizing people and this is certainly true. Nevertheless, the purpose of Jewish Nation is very much to educate all humanity in moral virtues and the knowledge of God and thus a Jewish Narnia would help fulfill that role. In addition, a Jewish Narnia would manifest eternal truths as part of Judaism thus allowing people to see Judaism as the source of proper moral values. Finally, a Jewish Narnia would be able to relate these values to children. For these reasons, I would argue that there is immense value in a Jewish Narnia. 

In the next post we will start discussing how C.S. Lewis wrote the Chronicles of Narnia. This will be used as a guide as to how to write a Jewish parallel which we will expand upon in subsequent posts.  

However, before doing so, let us return to Weingrad’s question. With the above analysis I would suggest that the importance of Narnia is not in its fantasy per se, but in its ability and success in engaging people of all ages and of all religious mindsets. A Jewish parallel must do the same, but with Jewish values at the front and center. Such novels would encompass eternal and universal truths as integrated into a Jewish framework demonstrating the truth and eternity of Judaism.  

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Tradition Podcast: Four Facets of the Love of God

As a post-script to my article in Tradition on "Four Facets of the Love of God" I had the opportunity to discuss the theology and literature of C.S. Lewis with R' Mark Gottlieb, a member of Tradition’s editorial board. The podcast of that conversation is now online. We discuss a number of Narnia-related topics including the question of "Why there is no Jewish Narnia." I hope to expand on that topic over the next batch of posts. Stay tuned!

In the meantime I hope you enjoy listening to the podcast as I much as I had making it with R' Gottlieb! 

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Countering Corruption

In "Screwtape Proposes a Toast," C.S. Lewis outlines how to corrupt a democracy. The key, says Lewis (through Screwtape, a very senior devil), is to transform in people’s minds "equality," as defined in a political sense, into equivalency, in all aspects of life. This transformation is actuated when people look at others and declare them “undemocratic” because they act differently, think differently, or have different tastes than them. As Lewis writes:

Here is someone who speaks English rather more clearly and euphoniously than I — it must be a vile, up-stage, lah-di-dah affectation. Here's a fellow who says he doesn't like hot dogs — thinks himself too good for them, no doubt. Here's a man who hasn't turned on the jukebox — he's one of those goddamn highbrows and is doing it to show off. If they were honest-to-God all-right Joes they'd be like me. They've no business to be different. It's undemocratic.

After all, such a person would say, I am as good as they are and I don’t act like that! In this way jealousy, greed, and avarice are mutated from negative character traits into a “proper” demonstration of democratic values. 

Should this take hold more generally, society as a whole will insist on conformity. This, in turn, will cause individuals who could have achieved greatness to, on their own accord, decide not to for fear of being different. Lewis notes that dictators would allow no preeminence amongst their subjects to avoid rebellion. In a corrupted democracy, the proletariat will attack preeminence without need for a dictator. In fact, even those who could achieve preeminence will work to not do so.

The result is as follows: “For “democracy” or the “democratic spirit” (diabolical sense) leads to a nation without great men, a nation mainly of sub-literates, full of the cocksureness which flattery breeds on ignorance, and quick to snarl or whimper at the first sign of criticism.” 

If such a process can happen in a democracy, it can surely happen in a monarchy. In a monarchy, citizens are aware that the words of the monarch are the law. Even under a good monarch, where people are generally free, citizens know that their freedom comes from their sovereign. To corrupt such a monarchy is easy: convince the monarch to change the law, or change the monarch. People can then straightforwardly be turned into a nation without great men, as they look to the government as their only way to achieve success. 

In a constitutional monarchy like Narnia it becomes a little more difficult. Because the king is under the law, one cannot change the law simply by changing the king. Instead one must change the law via some higher authority. If the constitution is theologically based, that authority is God. Thus, for Shift and Tash, dedicated to corrupting Narnia, it is necessary to have a fake Aslan. In this way the tool of the antichrist (Shift) temporarily gains his oranges and bananas, and the true antichrist (Tash) has destroyed a formerly freedom loving country. Had the Calormenes not attacked so soon, Narnia would have evolved in a way similar to that described by Screwtape. Most Narnians would be peasants working for the benefit of Shift and his elitist cohorts. Many would be killed (like the dryads) or sold into slavery (like the talking horses) for the “good” of society. Religious worship in the name of Tashlan would have been “updated” to promote these atrocities. Instead the Calormenes came in and, presumably, brought about the same results in a shorter time.  

What does any of this have to do with Torah? 

Judaism calls upon its adherents to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exodus 19:6). This requires each individual to strive to be a model and teacher of Godliness, and for Jewish society as a whole to achieve holiness. Perhaps the rationale behind this command is to avoid the above corruption mechanisms. One intent on greatness must recognize greatness in others and a nation bent towards holiness will not allow its ethics and laws to be substituted for the commonplace and mundane.

At times, Jews have done their best to fail in both areas and in part they have been successful. There have been throughout history, and continue to be today, Jews who have thrown off the yoke of God and have become moral degenerates (sometimes while still appearing to accept God). During the time of the Judges and during the First Temple era idolatry was rampant and the nation, far from being holy, fell to the deepest levels of un-holiness.

What is amusing, however, is how unsuccessful Jewish attempts to "fit in" have been. The United States offered Jews freedom from tyranny and antisemitism. Many Jews also used their freedom to escape from Jewish religious practice and traditions. Yet, despite these assimilationist tendencies, something back-fired. This less than 2% of the population somehow continues to make its mark in the sciences, entertainment, business, and academia. Rather than assimilating, individual Jews continued to achieve greatness. On a national level, Jewish hopes for the normalization and acceptance of the Jewish nation started with Emancipation and continues to this very day in the modern State of Israel. Yet, all hopes of reversing the words of Bila’am “They are a nation that dwells alone (Numbers 23:9)” have come to naught. The nation remains separated and distinct from all others. 

This is not to say that Jews are protected from the corruption foreseen by Lewis. Assimilation is without question a major challenge facing the Jewish people. It does however suggest a means for all people of avoiding the consequences Lewis suggests. Strive for greatness and holiness and demand the same from your children, your community, and your country.

A Jewish Alternative: Attempt 2

In our last post we suggested a possible outline for a Jewish parallel to the Chronicles of Narnia based on the Talmud’s astrological predic...