By Douglas Rushkoff. Published in on 1 January 2004

AND AVRAM TOOK SARAI HIS WIFE… AND THE SOULS THAT THEY HAD MADE IN HARAN. Rabbi ‘Leazar observed in the name of R. Jose b. Zimra:… It refers… to proselytes [which they had made]. Then let it say, “That they had converted”; why THAT THEY HAD MADE? That is to teach you that he who brings a Gentile near [to God] is as though he created him. Now let it say, “That he had made”; why THAT THEY HAD MADE? Said R. Hunia: Abraham converted the men and Sarah the women. Midrash Rabbah-Genesis 39:14

“Making souls” is a tricky construction. Genesis already has traces of narrative where Divine beings — nephelim — interact with human women to create the “men of fame” who were undoubtedly our patriarchs. Sharing the central Judaic insight that grace is not simply bestowed but earned through good action — is the active, spiritual, and ideological equivalent of passing on one’s special seed. In a sense, this passage is about transcending the racial logic of passing on a blood or genetic heritage, and passing on something through language, thought, and conduct. It “makes” a holy human being from something that is otherwise closer to an animal.
-Douglas Rushkoff