Our Midrash on the Tower of Babel

by Alisa Nathan, and Naomi Scheinerman, and Rachel Berkowitz

When the people of Babel began to build their tower, God looked down and grew worried. God thought: What will they do when they finish this tower? What will their King, Nimrod, do? How will he treat his people then?

God knew that if Nimrod finished the tower, he would think of himself as the mightiest power in the universe, stronger even than God. Nimrod would undoubtedly brag and say, "I'm even more powerful than God. In fact, I am God!" Then Nimrod would begin to change the laws. He would decree that everyone had to bow down and worship him as the greatest power in the universe. Those who refused would be severely punished. They might be sent to prison, or even killed. Then Nimrod would pass terrible laws. Finally, God knew that Nimrod would try to take over the world. He would start wars to expand his power so that he alone, ruled over all people.

God could not allow this to happen. God knew that no one person should have so much power. And so God confused the language of the people of Babel. No longer could they speak together and work together. The work on the Tower slowed down and, eventually, came to a stop. People moved away and lived in small groups, and chose for themselves new leaders. There were many leaders among the people of earth and no one had all the power.