When Moses led the Hebrews out of captivity in Egypt, the plan was straightforward.
First, to travel to Mt. Sinai to “serve” the G-d of their forefathers. This trip was only a few days travel.
Then, at Sinai, Moses and the Hebrews were to receive the Torah; a covenant unique to their role, and complimentary to the Noachide Covenant (after the Flood) binding on all of Mankind. This preparation would take forty days.
Thereafter, another eleven days travel would bring them to Canaan, the land promised to Abraham and his descendants, at which Moses would erect the Holy Temple to G-d.
Finally, properly refined and instructed, the Hebrews were to, by following the Torah, create a model society, teach and, by their example, guide, the World back to their Father. Thus they would be completing G-d’s creation.
But, it did not work out that way.
Despite an amazing array of miracles (the Plagues, the Parting of the Sea, the Pillars of Fire and Cloud, the Manna, etc. ) wrought by G-d on their behalf, complaints and rebellion were constantly occurring. This was especially true of the “mixed multitude” who had opportunistically accompanied the Hebrews out of Egypt.
Nonetheless, the massive group arrived at the foot of Sinai.
G-d, enveloped by a thick cloud, spoke directly to the people below, declaring the Ten Commandments, as the core of this new and special covenant.
The interface of G-d with mere mortals was so overwhelming that their souls left their body. The Hebrews accepted the entire covenant; written, oral, and mystical, at once. Facing G-d was so intense that Moses ascended the mountain to receive further instruction on their behalf.
G-d had just spoken directly with over a million people at the same time. An event such as this had never before happened in human history, and has never happened again, since. One would think that this would have removed any doubt. Steeled the people against any challenge. Cured any shortcoming.
But, it was not to be.
Many of the multitude encamped below (There were six-hundred thousand adult Hebrew males, alone! ) soon resumed agitating to give up (again) and return to captivity. By the fortieth day, the rebellion below had reached a fever pitch. Moses brother, Aaron was the temporary leader. He and Miriam’s son Hur argued strenuously for patience, but to no avail. Hur was killed by the mob.
Aaron; understanding that Moses would be back by morning, decided to play for time. Convinced they would refuse to part with their treasure, he told the people to collect their gold for the construction of an idol. To their eternal discredit, they readily agreed.
Stuck; Aaron built the pagan idol. Debauched rituals and sacrifices commenced, as many of the people, the “mixed multitude” and many Hebrews, as well, actually celebrated their impending return to degradation and enslavement.
G-d informed Moses that, despite all that they received, all they had witnessed, including the Torah itself, these people had turned away from Him. They had not just failed. They had rushed to refuse and abandon their destiny. Like those before the Flood, they would now be destroyed.
Distraught, Moses begged G-d to allow him to take the just-formed Tablets down the mountain. There he hoped to prevail upon the people, and thus save both them, and their holy mission, from destruction. Joshua met him as he descended.
Upon hearing, and then seeing the depraved pagan orgy of his people; the contrast with his last forty days in loving embrace and tutelage by the Creator of the Universe was too much for him. In boundless despair, Moses threw the Tablets, written by the finger of G-d, to the ground, shattering them. He could not save them.
Who are these “Stiff-Necked” people, just freed from hundreds of years of enslavement under the Pharaohs of Egypt?
How did they end up there?
Why are they now free; granted the escape of millions of people from the absolute control of a regional superpower?
Why are these ragged and debased people given protection, guidance, and even nourishment through a series of dramatic and unrelenting miraculous interventions? All lead by a convicted murder who, after years on the lam in the desert, returns as their spiritual and physical shepherd?
The Israelites had lived in their tribal lands in what is now most of modern Israel, and adjacent portions of today’s Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, since a very unusual man and his wife traveled all the way from Ur Kasdim, in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates, through mountains and deserts, to purchase and settle their family and make a home.
This man, Abraham, rebellious son of an idol maker, challenged all the prevailing beliefs of the time, asserting that all of the universe was from the act of, and under the absolute dominion of, but ONE, unique, all encompassing, incorporeal, limitless, G-d.
This man, Abraham, was directly communicated to by this G-d, first, while being raised hidden in a cave, as a young child, and many times thereafter.
Abraham was a descendant of Shem; the youngest son of Noah a witness to the Great Flood, and the Covenant renewed at its end
Shems’s grandson, Eber, unique among his siblings, refused to participate in the construction of the Tower of Babel, and thus he retained not only what he learned from Shem, but the original language in which he was taught. This language is Ivrit, what we call in English, Hebrew.
Abraham was the great-great-great-grandson of Eber.
Eleven generations of this family in all had been taught by Shem, before he died. From Shem, via Eber, through Abraham, all the way to Jacob.
Abraham and his wife Sarah braved many challenges, and yet prospered. Together they developed a reputation among the great and small alike for intelligence, morality, and gracious hospitality to all who sought out their tents. Abraham and Sarah recognized that all mankind’s blessings, indeed all of existence, came from G-d.
So, when challenged by G-d with a terrifying, soul-wrenching test; to sacrifice his adult son, Isaac, to this same G-d, both father and son were nonetheless willing. At the last moment, Heaven stayed Abraham’s hand.
This event, known as the Akedah, established an eternal promise, from G-d himself, to Abraham, Isaac and (through Jacob) their descendants to have title to this good land forever. So long as they loved G-d, and followed his guidance, they would multiply and prosper. A nation of priests; witness to the World that Hashem is G-d and He is “One”.
Indeed, through Isaac and his children, and their children, and their children, the message, devotion to G-d, and their promised prosperity was solidified. So was the unquestioned title to their land. Their HOME. The People of Israel dwelt in the Land of Israel.
Thus it was, that, facing a terrible drought, the children of Jacob; now known as Israel, sought permission of their neighbor, the Pharaoh of Egypt, to feed and water their livestock ,to sojourn, in the outlying fields of Goshen, on the Nile Delta, only a few days walk from their home, TEMPORARILY.
Next: Seduction, Debasement, and Slavery on the Nile
When Jacob and his family returned to the lands of his father, Isaac and grandfather, Abraham, he had a huge family already. He purchased land from the Canaanites and openly worshiped Hashem.
His first ten sons were known for being strong willed and hard-working, but also tended towards rash action and violence. It served them well (tactically) in retrieving their sister from the forced affections of a Canaanite prince, but created new problems in their wake. They were brave soldiers, as well. They loved and respected their father, but did not always follow his guidance.
Instead, their passions ruled them.
The eleventh son, Joseph; the first-born of Jacob’s wife, Rachel, was very different in personality and aptitude. Favored by his parents for his love of learning in the academy of Shem & Eber, Joseph soon developed into a handsome young man with good character, manners, reasoning, and perception. His elder brothers thus were jealous of him, in varying degrees. Sometimes Joseph helped that jealousy along.
Joseph had begun having strange dreams. Despite his father’s warning to keep them to himself, he, parading in a brightly colored coat his mother made him, prodded his brothers with these dreams. One day he related a dream, which his brothers took to mean that he would lord over them as a master.
Not long thereafter, sent to find his brothers tending their flocks in the hills of Shomron, his increasingly angry brothers decided to be rid of Joseph and his “dreams”. They dug a deep pit, grabbed him, and put him in it.
The eldest brother, Reuben, knew this was terribly wrong, but afraid of his brothers’ wrath, did not stop them. Instead, he planned to return later and retrieve Joseph safe and sound. When he did so, Joseph was gone.
The other brothers had sold him to Ishmaelite traders. The Ishmaelites resold Joseph to Midianite traders heading to Egypt. In Egypt, Joseph was spotted by Potiphar, aide to Pharaoh, as being an unusual value. So Potiphar bought Joseph to be a servant in his household.
Joseph’s looks and breeding were noted by the roving eye of Potiphar’s wife. An opportunity came for her to act on her desires, but Joseph refused her advances and fled, leaving his cloak in the rush.
Potiphar’s wife, spurned by a mere slave and, furious, claimed attempted rape. Potiphar knew both of Joseph’s good character and his wife’s proclivities, but he determined to side with his wife’s “honor” even over a valued servant. Joseph was thrown into prison and awaited death.
While in prison, Joseph had more strange dreams. Increasingly, he, and others, found them to be instructive and prophetic. Joseph also had discovered he had the ability to interpret the dreams of others, in much the same way. Eventually, this reputation came to the notice of Pharaoh, himself. Pharaoh was greatly troubled and, having had no relief from his advisors, sought out Joseph.
Saved from death, retrieved from imprisonment, and now in the court of Pharaoh; Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams. In so doing, Joseph predicted a coming drought and famine. He advised that during the times of plenty preceding it that vast quantities of grain be stored away to weather the times of want. In so doing, Pharaoh would preserve his people and his rule. It was a bold plan, and wildly unpopular. Nonetheless, upon the advice of Joseph, and his interpretation of dreams, the plan was executed exactly as advised.
The predicted drought came, and the crops withered to nothing. It lasted years. But, there were years of emergency food available to preserve their nation. And so they did. Pharoah was the salvation of Egypt, and Joseph was his greatest advisor. He titled Joseph, “Zaphenath-Paaneah”. Egypt was not merely saved, but became a food exporter to their starving neighbors, becoming all the more wealthy and powerful.
So far had Joseph come: From his father’s house, to a hole in the ground, to a slave auction, to the house of a nobleman, to prison awaiting death, to a national hero and grand vizier to Pharaoh.
One would think, given his power and wealth, that Joseph would have endeavored to return to the hills of Shomron; to the tents of his father. But, he did not. As a great and powerful man, Joseph had made Egypt his new home. He married an Egyptian girl, the daughter of his former master, Potiphar and had two sons by her, Ephraim and Menashe.
Meanwhile, Jacob mourned the loss of his beautiful son, Joseph. The brothers, had deeply regretted their brutal and rash act but, could not find, much less retrieve Joseph. When asked by Jacob where Joseph was, they concocted a story of their brother being killed by a wild animal. Over time, they must have concluded Joseph was indeed dead, or as good as dead. How could this ever be made right?
Years later, drought came to Canaan. The grasses were dry and sparse. The herds suffered. Jacob’s household, numbering in the many hundreds, faced very dire times. Jacob sent his sons to Egypt, to lease grazing land in the lush borderlands of Goshen, on the Nile Delta, until the rains returned and restored their own lands.
When they came to Egypt to negotiate the lease, the man they had to see was a vizier to Pharaoh. So “Egyptian” was this powerful man that the brothers had no idea that he was their “dead” brother. On the other hand, Joseph knew exactly who they were. Joseph determined to test his brothers and give them a taste of what they had put him through. He set them up as thieves. Held his little brother as a “guarantee”. Joseph generally put them through the gauntlet, before finally revealing who he really was.
The Israelites came to sojourn in Egypt, initially as guests of Pharaoh, through his vizier, Joseph. The incredible prosperity of the land was seductive. Despite living on the edge of the kingdom, and largely preserving the teachings of their forefathers, the connection with their land made it harder to maintain a closeness to G-d. The pagan culture of Egypt was everywhere. Still… they stayed… in this foreign land of wealth, of prestige, of power. They assimilated.
They stayed. And stayed.
Until… one day, “ a new king who did not know of Joseph arose on Egypt.”
Now, they COULD not return to their Promised Land.
They could not leave AT ALL.
Israel has returned the Jew to the ghetto mentality
At Atlas Shrugs, Pamela does an incredible job of taking apart both the Israeli government forplaying the role of dhimmiand the Bush administration for putting Israel in a position to play it:
Submitting to Saudi demands, the Americans prohibited Israeli representatives from entering the hall through the same door as the Arabs. VILE, all of it. Sanctioned and insitutionalized by the President of the United States. I thought Bush was a Christian, A man of faith? Shocking. He has squandered his second term, betraying our fight against the war on terror and betraying the reason d’etre for the State of Israel, home of the Jews. We did not elect him to carry Condi's water.
It is unfathomable to consider this kind of behaviour occurring with any other race, creed or color. Imagine separate entrances for the leader of an African nation because a "white" leader refused to walk through the same door as the black man? Because it would be unclean.
And Israel, Israel took it like the ghetto Jew. They should have walked out like any self respecting human would have done. But no, they lowered the bar yet again. Offering all, and getting nothing, the Sheba Farms, Golan, Jerusalem - all of it in play. The post Oslo Jew has returned to the pre- Holocaust mentality of the 'ghetto' Jew. The Jew that doesn't want to be noticed, the Jew who will do anything to appease those that hate us, just to live in peace. Instead of asserting OUR rights, OUR will that we have a right, are the rightful heirs of Israel and Jerusalem, we are acting as if we have no rights and instead are begging, begging, our enemies to recognize us and accept us!" Behaving like beggars! And the silence of American Jews, well it's the ghetto mentality mixed with those that have assimilated into American culture, the let's not rock the boat crowd.
Appeasing and continuing in this tragedy, Condi Rice later proclaimed," 'I know what it's like as a Palestinian.'" Such willful stupidity is unacceptable in a US Secretary of State. Rice knows little about the history of the Middle East, the politics, the Koran, the Jews, none of it. This ignorant remark says it all, the Palestinians are not the blacks of the Civil Rights movement or era, Abbas is not the great non-violent civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King (what an insult to even think this!) and Dr. King was a Zionist, lover of Israel and the Jewish people's right to it. The Jews are not the KKK or police with the dogs either, this is not the old South, this the very violent, blood lusting Middle East.
She doesn't know what it means to be a Jew, to watch innocent people, babies, children, the old, the young, the tourist, being blown to bits, shards of flesh flying in every direction, blood, guts strewn everywhere, missing body parts and the survivors, with nails, nuts and bolts throughout their bodies, marred for life. My dear friend wolf nailed it she said “Rice doesn't know what it's like to have monsters throwing rocks at your car as you drive, to have bombs thrown at you, to live under constant mortar fire and have to spend the night in a bomb shelter. She doesn't know the feeling of the parents who lost their sons that went on a hike near where they lived, only to find that their children had been brutally murdered by these barbarians who had bashed in their heads beyond all recognition and left alone to be discovered in a cave . She knows rein, nothing...”
First, it's got to use the actual word in Arabic for "peace," not the phony substitutes.
For it turns out there are three different words in Arabic for "peace." Only one of them is for real. And it's not the one used at Annapolis, just like it wasn't the one used at Camp David II, Oslo, or Camp David I. All failed a linguistic test, a test which any real Arab-Israeli agreement must pass, the Test of Suhl.
The three Arabic words translated as "peace" in English are salaam, hudna, and suhl.
Salaam is the peace of submission. It's the drawn out pronunciation of "slm" in "Islam," (written Arabic has no vowels) the Arabic word for submission and obedience, and in "Moslem" or "Muslim," the Arabic word for "one who submits."
There is peace, salaam, among Moslems when they submit to Allah and the teachings of the Koran. There is peace, salaam, between Moslems and kafirs, infidels, only when the latter submit to the rule of the former.
Hudna, the second Arabic word translated in English as "peace," means cease-fire, a temporary truce.
When the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, for example, proposes a hudna with Israel, it's hailed in the Western media as a peace proposal. It is instead a tactical, temporary break in hostilities, giving Moslems time to re-organize, re-arm, then renew the Jihad against the kafirs when they can be most caught off-guard.
A line in the sand was crossed last week. And anyone that claims that Annapolis was a big yawn and that nothing would come of it is living in the land of unicorns and moonbeams. The Jew as dhimmi was made official and the world was there to bear witness. Morever, Israel laid down. Sheba Farms, Golan, Jerusalem was thrown on the table like so many marbles, all of it in play.
Bat Yeor was dead to right when I asked her what had become of the people of Israel, "Israel is unworthy of her ancestors."