Why did God flood the world?

By popular demand, I asked Jewish Theological Seminary Provost and Professor Alan Cooper for a summary of his answer to the question: Why did God flood the world? It was the subject of Dr. Cooper’s lunch-and learn presentation at Temple of Aaron in St. Paul on Saturday. He has responded to my inquiry: “The easiest thing to do might be to link to an online d’var Torah [Torah talk] of mine that uses the same sources I used Saturday here.” He adds:

And thanks for your friendly post. One of the commenters asks about forensic linguistics. There was a New Yorker article on the topic featuring Rob Leonard (ex-Sha Na Na), and it’s available online here. The New Yorker article about the sister of Sha Na Na drummer John (“Jocko”) Marcellino—the “cheese nun”—is here, but is behind the New Yorker subscription paywall.

Concerning my Union Theological Seminary appointment, lots of JTS professors (including Abraham Heschel) have taught there as adjuncts or visiting professors (and vice versa, Union profs teaching at JTS), but I actually held a dual appointment, with my time and salary split 50/50 (more like 75/75 as it turned out—SIGH) between the two institutions. Something I do have in common with Heschel (there isn’t much!) is that I held an appointment at Hebrew Union College prior to joining the faculty of JTS. Only one other person can claim that distinction, as far as I know.

I thank Dr. Cooper for his gracious response to my inquiry.

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