Theirs was an agricultural civilisation centred around the sun and the seasons, the plants and the trees, the animals and the leaves.
They didn’t have our achievements, but nor did they have our anxieties. But their worries on a human level were clones of ours – or was it the other way round?
God didn’t command them about material or scientific concerns but about how to live with each other. Symbols of society told them what to do, and all these centuries later the ethical agenda has not changed.
Building a sukkah that waves in the wind tells us, as it told them, not to measure achievement in material but spiritual terms.
Taking four plants that look and smell radically different from each other tells us, as it told them, that it takes all sorts to create a society. Nobody matters more than anyone else in the eyes of God.
Saying these things sounds like mere Motherhood but actually it is immensely topical with a resurgent religion that thinks the Pope should become a Muslim and the world should be under their domination. Jews are under threat, Christians too. It’s all said in the name of God.
The question is whether anyone has asked God for His opinion. It is likely that He would quote the Hebrew prophet who said, “Has not one God created us all?”
Can’t there be a range of trees in the forest?