New PDF release: A History of the Jews

By Paul Johnson

ISBN-10: 0060915331

ISBN-13: 9780060915339

A countrywide bestseller, this terrific 4000 12 months survey covers not just Jewish background yet he influence of Jewish genius and mind's eye at the international. by means of the writer of Modern instances: the realm From the Twenties to the Eighties.

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Moses replies wearily: ‘Because the people come unto me to inquire of God! ’ To this Jethro replies: ‘The thing that thou doest is not good. 74 Moses, as he comes to us from the Bible, is a deeply appealing mixture of the heroic and the human, who dealt in tremendous certitudes which concealed all kinds of doubts and sometimes sheer bewilderment. Because of his position, he had to keep up a brave front of omniscience; because he had to keep his fissiparous horde together, he was obliged to thunder confidently, even when unsure, and to display publicly a relentlessness he did not feel in his heart.

But the tradition eventually lapsed and the site fell out of memory, and it is most improbable that the early Christians went to the right place. All the same, this dramatic place, with its fierce and terrible beauty, has poetic aptness. It is the right setting for the formative act of a revolutionary people who did not recognize the cities, power and wealth of the day, and who were able to perceive that there is a moral order superior to the order of the world. 119 With their long experience of being strangers and sojourners, for the Israelites their exodus from Egypt and their wanderings in the desert and mountain country of Sinai were nothing new.

104 The Sabbath was the other great and ancient institution which differentiated the Israelites from other peoples, and was also the seed of future unpopularity. The idea seems to have been derived from Babylonian astronomy, but its rationale in the Books of Exodus and Deuteronomy is variously stated as commemorating God’s rest after creation, the liberation of Israel from Egyptian slavery and the humanitarian need to give labourers, especially slaves and beasts of burden, some respite. The day of rest is one of the great Jewish contributions to the comfort and joy of mankind.

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A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson


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