On the 75th yahrtzeit of Levi Yizchack Schneerson passing this world

Today, Wednesday, the 20th day of the Jewish month of Menachem Av (August 21), marks 75 years since the untimely passing of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, of righteous memory, father of the Rebbe, of righteous memory. Rabbi , was respected as one of the greatest Talmudic and Kabbalistic scholars of his generation. He served as [...]

Fallen angels and pagan ideas food for stories

Mankind may find the cradle of civilization in Mesopotamia which gave us a treasure of many valuable inventions, discoveries and stories. Many may say that it was here that agriculture began, but they should know that already long before that age, people tried to cultivate the earth to extract edible products from it. Several people [...]

Between gods and animals: becoming human in the Gilgamesh epic

To remember

  • The Epic of Gilgamesh = Babylonian poem composed in ancient Iraq, millennia before Homer = tells story of Gilgamesh, king of the city of Uruk.
  • gods create a friend for him > Enkidu, wild man,
  • woman Shamhat seduces Enkidu=> transforming Enkidu from beast to man => strength diminished + intellect expanded =>able to think + speak like a human being.
  • Enkidu goes to Uruk to confront Gilgamesh’s abuse of power > wrestle with one another => form passionate friendship.
  • Gilgamesh’s beginning number of different editions <= began as cycle of stories in  Sumerian language > collected + translated into single epic in Akkadian language. > earliest version of the epic written in dialect Old Babylonian > revised + updated in Standard Babylonian dialect
  • Gilgamesh story comes to us as a tapestry of shards, pieced together by philologists to create a roughly coherent narrative
  • newest discovery = tiny fragment lain overlooked in museum archive of Cornell University in New York, identified by Alexandra Kleinerman & Alhena Gadotti + published by Andrew George in 2018. => tablet seemed to preserve parts of both Old Babylonian + Standard Babylonian version, = two scenes not identical,
  • Gods depicted as opposite of animals = omnipotent + immortal
  • human placed somewhere in the middle = not omnipotent, but capable of

+

Preceding

Stories of the beginnings, and one Main book composed of four major sections

Gilgamesh

++

Additional reading

  1. Genesis Among the Creation Myths
  2. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 2 Mythic theme 1 God or gods warning
  3. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 3 Mythic theme 2 Hebrew story of the flood
  4. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 6 European myths
  5. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 8 South America

Recortes de Oriente Medio

Tablet V of the Epic of Gilgamesh Tablilla V de la Epopeya de Gilgamesh. Museo Sulaymaniyah, Irak. Foto: Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin / Wikimedia Commons

Por Sophus Helle
Publicado originalmente en Aeon bajo liciencia Creative Commons

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a Babylonian poem composed in ancient Iraq, millennia before Homer. It tells the story of Gilgamesh, king of the city of Uruk. To curb his restless and destructive energy, the gods create a friend for him, Enkidu, who grows up among the animals of the steppe. When Gilgamesh hears about this wild man, he orders that a woman named Shamhat be brought out to find him. Shamhat seduces Enkidu, and the two make love for six days and seven nights, transforming Enkidu from beast to man.

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Gilgamesh

To remember

  • Gilgamesh Mesopotamian half god & half man > wreaks havoc in town fighting  conquering women.
  • people upset => ask the gods to do something about it => gods create Enkidu = match = almost as strong as Gilgamesh
  • sacred bull killed by Enkidu + Gilgamesh => Enkidu is poisoned.
  • Gilgamesh searches for immortality > meets Utnapishtim.
  • Gilgamesh similarities to bible & greek mythology

Diamonds or Light?

In Mesopotamia Gilgamesh is half god and half man. He is the most handsome man. He wreaks havoc in the town fighting and conquering the women. The people are upset and ask the gods to do something about it. The gods create Enkidu so Gilgamesh has a match. Enkidu is almost as strong as Gilgamesh, but when they fight Gilgamesh wins. Gilgamesh and Enkidu travel and have to fight Humbaba so they can be remembered throughout history. They defeat him. A god sends down the sacred bull. Enkidu and Gilgamesh kill it. The goddess of love tries to seduce Gilgamesh, but he does not marry her. One of them has to die for killing the sacred bull and it is Enkidu. He is poisoned. Gilgamesh searches for immortality. He meets Utnapishtim. Utnapishtim says humans cannot be immortal but he was granted immortality after a flood that wiped away most of…

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Egypt, Moshe and Those who never felt they belonged there

Along the Nile River the river’s annual flooding ensured reliable, rich soil for growing crops. Having people cultivating the lands around this rich water made that in ancient North-eastern Africa the Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BCE (according to conventional Egyptian chronology) with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh [...]

2019 Purim March 20

Remembering the day many years ago, Jehovah God delivered His people from slaughter from the wicked Haman in the days of Queen Esther of Persia.

The one who breached the wall of the academy

Jacob Neusner (July 28, 1932 – October 8, 2016) American academic scholar of Judaism who had an exceptional prolific publishing output and was known both for his highly acerbic nature to some and his deeply affectionate loyalty to others.