Thursday, April 9, 2009

Let us honor Passover

Though I am not myself Jewish, I recognize - and think we should all recognize - the incredible influence Judaism has had on western history. Not merely the idea of one God, but of social justice, liberation, and the value of the individual person. These ideas all come to us via the Jewish people.

Let us honor therefore the Passover. Passover is the celebration of freedom, of liberation. Perhaps then the best way to honor it, is to ask ourselves to what we are in bondage? And then to ask how we can break free? We might also want to ask ourselves what freedom really means?

Enjoy the following video clip to that effect:

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  1. Hi Doc,

    As a student of history and government I learned years ago that war are generally fought over economics or religion. I didn't get it then and I don't get it now, that we should kill one another in the name of God. And, if there is a God, I am not sure he would get it either.
    Passover? I'm wondering myth or legend.

  2. I agree with Del or Alice. In looking at the whole of world history, I believe that more harm than good has come from organized religion. More good has come from rational thought and empirical science.

  3. I think you both raise a fine point: a great deal of harm has - and still does - come from Organized religion and religous fanaticism.

    Despite that, I still think religion can be a force for good in the wold and sometimes is. However, it always seems to be a positive force in those religous people who are (a) most aware of the separtion of religion and state, and (b) most open to rational thought.

    I'm not sure that organized religion has done more harm than good. Although that may be so. It's done both harm and good, that's for sure.

    But religous belief can be a powerful motivator for doing good: take Martin Luther, or Gandhi, both powerfully motivated to fight for justice and peace.

    About Del's point on Passover being a myth. I'm quite sure that most of the story of the Exodus and the first passover is mythical There is probably a core of historical truth there, most likely some of the groups that later became the Jewish people were once in a lower class position in Egypt, managed to leave and merged with some of the peoples in the land of Israel. But all the miracles like the plagues and parting the red sea are clearly legendary. In fact, the figre of Moses may very well be entirely a legendary figure.

    But that is not really important to Passover. Passover idetifies religion with justice. The story of Passover implies that God is not on the side of Pharaoh and empire, but on the side of the oppressed slaves whom Pharaoh has burdened. It conceives of God as a force for liberation and freedom from bondaged.

    In other words, religion in its positive aspect, and not its more negative ones.

  4. There are no myths in God's Word. Who are we to decide what is true or false in His divine revelations. When God commanded Moses to do something, that was no myth.


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