Sunday, August 29, 2010

God is in the Details


The Creation Museum, a  $27 million, state-of-the-art 70,000 square foot museum opened in 2007 is devoted to the “young earth” movement, which holds that the Book of Genesis is a literally accurate historical record. The museum, which rejects evolutionary theory, maintains that the earth is 6,000 years old and that humans coexisted with dinosaurs. Jennifer Siegel headlined her review  in the Forward "God Is in the Details at Creation Museum." 


What is the origin of this saying?

“God is in the details” is famously attributed to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
(1886-1969), a German born American architect. The Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996) shows this phrase as a variation of “God is in the details— Whatever one does should be done thoroughly; details are important.” The saying is also generally
attributed to Gustave Flaubert (1821–1880), who is often quoted as saying,
“Le bon Dieu est dans le detail” (God is in the details). Other attributions
include Michelangelo and the art historian Aby Warburg.

“The Devil is in the details” is a variant of this proverb, referring to a catch hidden
in the details. ”Governing is in the details’’and “The truth, if it exists,
is in the details” are recent variants. The quotation is listed as an anonymous
saying in the 16th edition of Barlett’s Familiar Quotations, edited by
Justin Kaplan.

Judaism is certainly "detail-oriented," as observance of commandments holds central position.

So as the Jewish world prepares to inaugurate the year 5771 anno mundi with many detailed practices and observances, let us hope that God is, indeed, in the details.

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