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Noah-The Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel

 

Regarding the Tower of Babel, the Torah states:
“And they said, ‘Come, Let us build a city and a tower with its top in Heaven, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered across the face of the whole earth.”(Genesis 11:4)

 

The Midrash (Pirke D’Reb Eliezer 24) tells us that while building the tower, the following occurred: If a builder fell off the tower and was killed, he was ignored and the work continued unabated. However, if a brick fell and broke, there was tremendous upheaval and the workers sat down and wept.

The Midrash is a salutary lesson in how easy it is to get sidetracked from your main goals. They wished to benefit mankind by the building of a tower but they got so obsessed with their project that the project itself became the goal and the lives of people were considered unimportant.

 

All too often people start of being involved in undertakings for the good of others and they become so involved with the technical details of the challenge that they are discourteous to others. Whilst wishing to act for the benefit of mankind, the good goal becomes so important that anything in the way is discarded and individuals are treated unsympathetically or are trampled upon and all ethics forgotten.

The lesson of the Tower of Babel may be that the ends must not justify the means.

 

 

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