Saturday, April 23, 2016
A PASSOVER MEANING
It is now Passover the eight day celebration of the escape of the Israelites from the Pharos slavery in Egypt which occurred sometime around 1446 BC.
It was during the period of that the Israelite wandering in the wilderness that the Israelites received the convenient with God at Sinai without which there would never have been a Jewish religion. If there had never been a Jewish religion Christianity could not have developed.
There is some belief that it was only the Levites that were in Egypt and that the other 11 tribes of Israelites already dwelled in lands adjacent to Canaan. The 12 tribes, the twelve tribes of Israel, came from the twelve sons of Israel. “Israel” is the name that God gave Jacob His twelve sons are Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin When the tribes inherited the Promised Land, Levi’s descendants did not receive a territory for themselves. Instead, they became priests and had several cities scattered throughout all of Israel. Joseph’s tribe was divided in two—Jacob had adopted Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, essentially giving Joseph two potions of the Promised Land.
Like all religions Judaism was not always a coherent single faith, there were over the years various subsects with varying dogma; Similar to present day Christianity and Islam and today’s Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed, Reconstructionist Judaism each with subdivisions.
In Jesus time the major sects included the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Essenes the Zealots as well as the Ebionites and the Sicarii, but the majority were just plain common folks.
It is believed that Jesus was originally a member of the Essenes who accumulated his own Jewish followers. His disciples spread his teachings to the gentiles.
That is why we all should in our own way celebrate Passover. However, there is a meaning to this holiday which should be a lesson for all of us in today's full of hate racial ethnic religious economic bigoted dominated society.
More important we should better understand the truth of our society’s individual freedom and what the escape from slavery means.
Ruth R. Wisse wrote Friday in a WSJ OP-ED these words which I have extrapolated: “a people is not defined by its experience of slavery, but neither does self-liberation happen once and for all. The temptation of slavery is always there, the part of us that wants to return to a stage of dependency, to the relative security of having the overseers regulating life. Those who do not reinforce the responsibilities of freedom will be returned to the house of bondage.”
“Free people tend to focus inward on their self-improvement and have no need for an enemy, no need to imagine a malevolent Other. But a free, energetic, self-reliant people that creates and builds and innovates and does not want war is precisely the people that gets targeted by others. This is what Jews learned at tremendous cost over the centuries, and it is the most important lesson that they have to share with America.
The history of America is not the history of slavery but of slavery overcome, of having escaped from slavery into freedom. The descendants of slaves and slave-owners alike should not be trying to erase the shameful aspects of the past but to take the measure of all that has been achieved and to celebrate it with humble pride.”
These words must be meaningful for every one of us Americans.