about us     |     subscribe     |     contact us     |     submit article     |     donate     |     speaking tour     |     store     |     ePaper
    Events    Issues    Tradition    E-Paper
 
2022 more..

2021 more..

2020 more..

2019 more..

2018 more..

2017 more..

2016 more..

2015 more..

2014 more..

2013 more..

2012 more..

2011 more..

2010 more..

2009 more..

2008 more..

2007

Hello Soul My Old Friend
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

The Secret of the Dreidel
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Do You Hate Your Brother?
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Ten Challenges
Simon Jacobson

 

Before You Save the World
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

When Cynicism Replaced Innocence
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

How to Confront Anti-Semitism
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Why the Obsession with Sacrifices
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Religiou and Cruel?
Dov Greenberg

 

Rebel With a Holy Tear
Dov Greenberg

 

You Can Tell a Man By His Shoes
Aaron Moss

 

Free Choice
Aaron Moss

 

Once a Year Jew
Aaron Moss

 

Three Layers of Human Identity
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

How Jews View History
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

aered p
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Let Us Dream Together
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Intimacy In Flames
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

A Tzaddik Weeps
Simon Jacobson

 

Stalin Vs. Schneersohn
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

De pie p:
Mendel Jacobson

 

wo Face of Ineniy
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e G-d of abi
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Ignorance p
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Go ome! p:
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

FROM BOREDOM... O FREEDOM
Simon Jacobson

 

Good Morning oul
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Will My Cildren are My Beli
Aaron Moss

 

e Digniy of acrifice
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Plao' Miake r
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

uffering p
Simon Jacobson

 

The Voyage of a People
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Broken p://
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Doub -- e ilen Killer
Simon Jacobson

 

Beyond e Moon r
Yanki Tauber

 

e Angel and e Drunk
Yanki Tauber

 

e Inner ief r
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Are You Jealou?
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Diovering Your Dep
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

A Georgian Eavedrop On A Gal
Mendel Jacobson

 

A oul a Never op Burnin
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Enemy Wiin
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

A Lile ier r
Simon Jacobson

 

2006 more..

2005 more..

 

Click here for a full index

email this article       print this article
 
I e Exodu a My?
By Aaron Moss
 

Question:

How authentic is the story of the Israelite Exodus from Egypt? From the Aztecs to the Athenians, every nation has myths about their origins. Is the Exodus story not just a Jewish legend, our nation's attempt to glorify its beginnings?

Answer:

Mythology is a great image booster. There's nothing like a good legend to lift a nation's confidence. That's why most peoples of the world claim to have powerful forebears, like great kings and mighty warriors. Some go so far as saying that their forefathers were demi-gods, born from cosmic mixed-marriages between divine beings and humans. These stories are self-serving, with little resemblance to actual history. But they are useful. During the lower points of a nation's history, at least they can reminisce on their noble and powerful past.

But imagine a nation claiming to come from lowly and ignoble origins. What purpose would that serve? Why would people invent an embarrassing legend about themselves? Yet the Jews proudly declare a most undignified beginning: we began as a slave nation. Every year we retell the Exodus saga, and say: "We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt." Certainly not a great pedigree.

Even the escape from Egypt cannot be accredited to our own power: "G-d took us out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm." G-d had to "reach out" and save us. What an unheroic heritage!   People don't make up stories like that, certainly not about themselves. It must be true. And we can be proud of it. There's no need to cover up our humble beginnings. The Jewish belief is that greatness is not a thing of our past; it lies ahead. The Jewish story has the power to inspire, not by glorying in an illustrious past, but rather by promising a brighter future. We were slaves, but we have a destiny to bring freedom to the world.

The children of demi-gods are today subjects for archeologists and historians. The children of Israel, descendants of simple slaves, are alive and thriving. No matter where you come from and how low your starting point may be, G-d can reach out to you. You too can transcend your limitations, and become free.

~~~~~~~ 

Posted on April 3, 2006
email this article       print this article
Copyright 2005 by algemeiner.com. All rights reserved on text and illustrations