MORE ON STORIES
And, speaking of stories, there’s a terrific article in the December 16, 1981 issue of Christian Century entitled “Rabbinical Stories: A Primer On Theological Method” by Belden C. Lane of Saint Louis University. He gives a very helpful presentation on the form of Haggadah “the way of story,” as opposed to Halakah, “the way of reasoned reflection” in the Rabbinical teachings. As he says in the opening sentence of the article: “Ask a Rabbi a deep theological question and you’ll likely not get an answer; you’ll be told a story.” He discusses the relationship between the use of story and the love of paradox in the Hebrew mentality. And in the process he shares a number of very good tales to illustrate the various uses of story. I particularly like the one he uses about Rabbi Akiba, from the Talmud. “In the turbulent first century, the rabbi once traveled in a strange country where mystery still dwelt. He had taken with…
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