The Tale of the Tower of Babel

By Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP on 08-03-2010

According
to an old Jewish tale, God was angry at the builders of the Tower of Babel and
decided to punish them, not because of their pride and arrogance, but because
God saw many of the construction workers falling and dying by accident. As the
tower grew taller, accidents became more common and many lost their lives.
Every death, however, was treated just as a routine, a normal part of such a
tall project. But by contrast, when a brick fell from the hand of a mason by
accident, he was severely punished because bricks were very rare and costly
those days. Thus God was angry at the fact that his own dear children were
valued less than the bricks made of the soil of the earth! He would not
tolerate such a terrible devaluation of human life and decided to punish those
responsible for building the Tower of Babel.

While
this interpretation differs from that of the Bible scholars, it tells how
precious every human person is to God! He created humans and endowed them with
a dignity and value that has no parallel. However, often man treats man as a
commodity, not as a human being with dignity. The greedy and selfish ones
exploit, oppress and even destroy the weak and the indefensible ones like the
poor, the unborn children, the physically and mentally challenged, the aged and
the terminally ill.  Little children are made to toil in hazardous working
conditions, inflicting deep wounds in their body and mind, depriving them not
only of their childhood, but their dignity and any hope for a decent future.
The tale of the Tower of Babel reminds us that God loves us too much to
tolerate such inhuman and brutal treatment of his people.

About The Author

Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP

Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP is a Catholic priest of the Society of St Paul. He has been engaged in media activities for several years as General Editor of ST PAULS Mumbai. He believes in God's gift of beauty and goodness in every human being, in nature and in every religious tradition, and shares his views and opinions with others.