Let us make Bricks

Let us make Bricks

For us who accept  the Biblical stories as the accounts and recordings of the Intervention of G-d in human history and not mere myths, the account of the Tower of Babel lends great insight into what is taking place today in modern history. Particularly, in regards to the social and political evolution we are witnessing. According to the biblical account, a united humanity of the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating from the east, came to the land of Shinar, where they resolved to build a city with a tower “with its top in the heavens”… And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.  And they said one to another, Go to, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

G-d came down to see what they did and said: “They are ONE people and have ONE language, and nothing will be withheld from them which they purpose to do… Kind of sounds like this ONE new Government we are hearing about had its conception back then!!

It is interesting and revealing to note that the order of events concerning the building of the Tower are reversed in as much as the inhabitants first say “let us make bricks” then “let us build us a city and a tower” and “let us make us a name.” As a former bricklayer it is “normal” to first decide what type of house to build and then decide what materials to use rather than the reverse. You see the emphasis was not on the “Tower” but on the “Bricks.”  The significance of making bricks rather than using “Stones” is in the fact they are the “work” of men’s hands that is to say their abilities, wisdom, initiative and most of all the bricks “Uniformity”….ALL the same while “Stones” are all “Different” and speak not of “Uniformity” but “Individuality.”

An underlying fact in this story is the attempt of man to “elevate” themselves bettering society apart from G-d but in order to do that their FIRST task is to make everyone the SAME…bricks from the same “mold.”  Their intentions are to do away with the “Stones” because the “Stones” represent individuality and creativity which become a threat to the builders plans.  We see this happening today in our Political, Social and even Religious arenas where those that are in power are destroying the individuality of the people and trying to force them into a “socialistic” mold. Where there are no more distinctions between economic, social, religious and racial classes thereby “molding” us into being all the same bricks in order that they can build their Tower.  Their “motto” is CONFORMITY is UNITY and anyone who thinks otherwise is an enemy and not ONE with them so they must be discredited, put away or destroyed. Part of what makes any Society, whether nationally or religious, great is their INDIVIDUALITY and DIFFERENCES where being of varying opinions whether they are political or even religious are not a detriment but a plus. 

As a master mason laying “bricks” was boring as EACH one was the SAME and all laid to the “LINE” (put in line) while “stonework” gave me opportunities to be creative as I looked at each “stone” and determined its beauty and value before I placed it.  The G-d that we serve in His Infinite Wisdom was responsible for breaking up the “party” so to speak by confusing their speech so that they could not understand each other making them “different” which required them to learn how to communicate “in spite” of their “differences.” 

Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of G-d. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great strength of hand. His ultimate motive is expressed in these words, “Let us make a name for ourselves.”

From that day on this has been the motto of humanity, “Let us make a name for ourselves.” I am always amused to see how many public and even religious edifices made a plaque somewhere on which the names of all the officials who were in power when it was built are inscribed: the mayor, the head of public works, pastors, evangelists etc. “Let us make a NAME for ourselves,” is a fundamental urge of a fallen race. It reveals one of the basic philosophies of HUMANISM: “Glory to man in the highest, for man is the master of things.” That is the central thought of humanism whether it be spread from the mouths of social elitists or television evangelists, the message is the same… glory to mankind!!! It is the TOWER of Babel all over again. 

May the Great and Mighty G-d who caused the intentions of man with  their “building” project  to FAIL once again thwart today’s Nimrods in the making of “bricks” in this present day society and allow the “individual stones” to rise up into a Holy habitation made by His own Hands.

Rabbi Matt