Dear Marty and George,

I answer you together since you had some questions about translation.

Regarding your question, Marty, I think you should embrace whatever
interpretation of Exodus 3,14 that is most meaningful to you. Maybe,
as you suggest, God could identify with Frank Sinatra singing "I faced
all and I stood tall / and did it my way". Otherwise you can interpret
it in many other ways. One, let's call it the philosophical mode,
could be that God is just equal to itself and cannot be defined
otherwise. (This ties nicely with the self-referentiality discussion).
Another possibility is to interpret it in a dramatic sense: God is
just about to reveal his true name to Moses -YHWY- and verse 14 is a
way to increase and prolong the dramatic tension.

Regarding your question, George, in Genesis 1,4 "ki-tov" I would not
read it as if it was modern Hebrew ("because it was good"). In this
case, "ki" refers to an object clause. I would therefore translate it
as usual with the words "And God saw the light, that it was good". You
are entitled, of course, to make your own interpretations and
midrashim. That's what the text is there for!

Regarding your comment:

"Too much information is no information at all and a white sheet of
paper carries just as much information as a black one. So
overstimulating one's mind with a barrage of letters may achieve the
same results as understimulating it."

I think you are completely right. Abulafia's personal accounts point
in this direction, too. That is also the message in Borges' "The
Library of Babel". In principle all possible books are contained in
the library, but since they are mixed with an overwhelming majority of
books filled with gibberish, the result is that the library is useless
and contains no information at all. There is a tension between
information and noise. Too much information becomes noise. The library
is flooded with noise and the librarian that writes the story seems
disheartened and pessimistic. The inability to make sense of the
library is bringing humanity to extinction. On the other hand,
Abulafia filled his mind with noise (overstimulation) and came out
with an ecstatic experience, full of joy and bliss. Why is it so that
we have two outcomes so opposed to each other?

Yours truly,

R. Rabbit

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