In advance of this year’s Hazon Food Conference I’ve prepared a source sheet packet containing text arranged to elucidate what I’ve called the Mythic Arc of Predatory Desire in Jewish Legend.
It’s intended to accompany other primary source text studies in Jewish Animal Ethics by presenting the legendary material informing Jewish cultural attitudes towards hunting, meat eating, and sexual predation. The vision of the work spans this world and the next, an etiology (origin myth) for creatures consuming one another in the nature of this world, a mytho-theological explanation of tactics used to circumscribe predatory appetite, and an eschatology (myth of the end) describing the birth of a new world where predatory nature is overcome.
The work is meant to accompany in-person teaching on the subject, so it is not entirely comprehensive and doesn’t provide thorough explanations for every source text. Working on it, it’s impossible for me not to consider this a draft to be added to and revised. However, I think it may already be useful in its current condition, especially for those who have sought for the purpose of the eldritch covenants at Mt. Ararat and Mt. Sinai in Jewish literature, and how the rivalry with Amalek and the prophetic dream of a just world might fit in with those.
As always, I invite comment and feedback.
A personal note: while I have tried to keep an impartial voice, my personal view is implied in the selection, arrangement, and explanation for the texts. So this should be read less as an academic study and more in line with a religious passion to educate and share sacred teaching.
“The Mythic Arc of Predatory Desire in Jewish Legend: primary sources on the origin and end of predation” is shared by Aharon N. Varady with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International copyleft license.