“On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me five golden rings…”
Symbolism: The five golden rings stand for the first five books of the Old Testament, also called the Pentateuch (pronounced “PENT-ah-toook”). In Jewish tradition, these books–Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy–are called Torah, and contain the history of mankind’s fall from grace as well as the laws required to redeem its relationship with God.
Your Mission: Pick one of the books and read it straight through this week. Genesis is full of fascinating stuff–the creation of the world, the Fall of Man, Noah’s flood, Abraham’s covenant with God, Jacob’s ladder, and more. Exodus tells the story of the Israelites in Egypt as well as their miraculous escape. Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy all give specific instructions about worship, daily ritual, cleanliness laws, how to build the Temple, and more. These books can be tedious at times but give a really interesting snapshot of what life in the Ancient Near East was like.
Bonus Points: Shoot me an email or message me through the Newman Center’s new Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TheNewmanCenterKeene, and tell me which book you’re reading! We can get together sometime for coffee or lunch to talk about the book, its cultural context, or any questions that your reading has brought up (cause if the sixth chapter of Genesis doesn’t make you raise your eyebrows, nothing will!).