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Reply #212: I think it is more like you wish that "they" would not accept that Moses did not exist [View All]

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Meshuga Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:21 AM
Response to Reply #177
212. I think it is more like you wish that "they" would not accept that Moses did not exist
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 07:25 AM by Meshuga
The Jews in this thread who find the holiday important are not claiming that Moses existed and would not be in the least concerned if he didn't. No matter how much you try to attribute the belief and approach to help your thesis and personal beliefs about what Jews might or might not realize.

If we rely on FACTS, rather than your anecdotes, we will see that there is no such thing as Jewish dogma about the exodus story. There is a mitzvah to observe it but if you start looking for facts about the characteristics of the religion (as opposed to relying on ignorant generalizations and belief that all "Abrahamic religions" have the same approach merely because they share a set of books) you will realize that there is no Jewish equivalency to the Christian approach to the story. No matter what is the perception you gathered from your family at the several seders you've been to, Jewish tradition teaches that torah is not literal and that only fools can't see beyond its surface. There is a mitzvah to follow it and this mitzvah supports the main goal in Judaism: Am Yisrael Chai (the survival of the Jewish people).

I understand your OP is a questions but the problem is that you make assumptions with the question and it becomes clear that you are making assumptions (not only because of the general and vague nature to the question but) because you seem to be using your personal anecdotes to back up your assumption. However, that is not the proper way to go about generalizing what supposedly "silly Jewish believers," in general, realize or do not realize.

Passover is the STORY of Jewish survival and it is told every year as part of the tradition. Jews observe this "festival of Jewish freedom" because of their identity and because it is the Jewish thing to do. The bottom line is that we want to pass the tradition to the next generation so its observation is key to the tradition and Jewish heritage. An equivalent story is the minor Jewish holiday of Purim which is observed by Jews everywhere even when, in reality, the story of Esther was obviously borrowed from Pagans. But if we get stuck in the root of the story we miss the point since it does not really matter because the book of Esther has become part of Judaism. It is just another glue and glue is important to Judaism to keep it going.

How Jews approach the bible and believe in its stories are consequence from the society/place where they live. If a Jew here in the US is unaffiliated and just observe Passover and/or some other Jewish holidays, it would be very likely that he/she would adopt the Christian view of the story since it is the most influential here give the majority Christian population. And since there is no dogma, Jews believe (or don't believe) as they wish. But if these Jews go to a Torah class in a synagogue they will be pretty surprised since the participants in these classes realize that Torah is not a work to be believed in. Torah is the root of living a Jewish life. It is the body of work where we derived (and still derive) the huge amount of literature, law, customs, culture, etc. that is part of the Jewish people and Jewish life.

A good source of the Jewish approach is the "Judaism for Dummies" book (no pun intended). The books is a good summary that looks at Judaism without the Christian goggles like you seem to be doing. It would answer a lot of your questions and perhaps will help you get rid of your prejudices and misconceptions. ;-)
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