A little Torah study – Silicon Valley style

We’re just back from Torah study and Shabbat Minyan services, waiting for the kids to arrive for Jeffrey’s belated birthday party.

At Torah study, we finished discussing Parashat Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32), spending most of the time on the story of the Tower of Babel. We were talking about the somewhat interesting order of events in chapter 11, verses 3 and 4:

They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them hard….Come, let us build a city, and a tower with its top in the sky….”

where first, they make the bricks and only then decide what to do with them. And it occurred to me that this was very much like the VC frenzy of the last couple of years:

They said to one another, “Come, let us gather venture capital…come, let us build a company, and a business plan with its top in the sky….”

where the funding seemed to come first, and only then a decision about what to do. But this time, instead of burning the bricks hard, it was the investors and employees who got burned.

At services, of course, we heard the regular weekly portion, Ki Tisa, and the accompanying Haftarah (I Kings, 18:1-39). The major action in the Haftarah takes place atop Mount Carmel — and, if all goes well, that’s where I’ll be in less than 48 hours (Haifa, to be more contemporary). It’s a small world sometimes!