The Exodus from Egypt was one of the most central events in the Jewish faith. This is because of the fact that the Jews looked at the Exodus even in present times as a movement in history that they could look up to for inspiration…
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This was instrumental in the creation of the country of Israel. The Zionist movement derived its inspiration from the Exodus that is described in the Old Testament of The Holy Bible. This then becomes the point in history that provided the Jews with an incident to look up to and a precedent to live up to. This paper shall look at the different aspects of this historical connection and the relationship that Yahweh had with the Hebrews. According to Rabbi Irving Greenberg, the main aspect of the importance of the Exodus is the fact that it can be connected to the modern secular concept of upliftment. The Jewish idea of liberation from Exodus can be applied, according to him, to the modern concepts of economics that seek to look at development and justice for the poor and the weak. This is exactly what God had attempted to do during the Exodus. The Exodus had provided an opportunity for the poor and the weak to migrate from a tyrannical Egypt to the Promised Land where they could then attain a standard of living that would be humane and just. The idea of justice is thus, what God promises in return for faith. Greenberg’s ideas are a bit far-fetched in as much as they equate faith and economics. However, it is also true that the ideas of empowerment of the weak are present in both modern economics and the ideas of religious justice. The Exodus is remembered in present times through acting out the exodus in one’s own life....
In this sense, the exodus has a greater significance. It can also be seen in a metaphorical sense whereby the exodus becomes a movement for personal fulfillment and personal empowerment. This then also becomes for the Jews of the present, a call to create a better world. It becomes a call to utopia in the world, in the way that the God of the Old Testament envisaged it. The collective action of the Exodus is then looked upon using the lens of personal religious involvement. The conflation of the personal and the religious then becomes an important part of the observance of the remembrance of the Exodus. Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, during the Exodus, made it clear that he would provide protection to them during their movement from Egypt to the land that he had promised them (Berit). This concept of the protection of Yahweh always being present is then an important part of the life of a Jew even in present times. The basis of the Zionist movement has remained this implicit faith in the protection that would be offered by god to the people who have faith in him. The people who migrated to what is today known as Israel too had in them this faith. They were confident of the promise that Yahweh had made to them. Their identity was based largely upon this promise and this bound all Jews into one group. This then has been instrumental in the creation of an identity for the Jews of modern times in different parts of the world. The importance of this lies in the fact that a moment in history that had passed much earlier is held up as important for the creation of the identity of a later generation. The religious significance of the Exodus and the relationship between the Hebrews and Yahweh lies in the bond that is created between
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