Mark Twain Essay On The Jews

And as if foretelling two thousand years of reactive racism, the Passover story developed a new Pharaoh who realized that he was in danger of becoming the tool of his predecessor’s tool (Genesis ; Exodus 1:7-10): Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt and they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful …

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Few 21 publishes an article based on the work of Israel’s most authoritative archaeologists, from Ze’ev Herzog to Israel Finkelstein, explaining that the story of Israelite enslavement by Egyptians is equally mythological, a torrent of outrage is unleashed.

Some commenters even draw analogies to Holocaust denial. Because even though both enslavement stories come from the same source and are part of the same story within that source, unlike the myth of Egyptian enslavement by Joseph, the myth of Jewish enslavement by a Pharaoh still serves cherished self-identity purposes for many Jews, and although by a smaller percentage, for a much larger number of Christians.

They give each believer a piece of self-image that can be recognized by compatriots.

National creation myths make compatriots feel related, as though they came from the same place, even if they have never met and none of them came from that place.

That kind of in-group morality festers at the crux of the most deplorable aspects of Israeli and American foreign policy. during an era when almost all literate Christians and Jews read every word of their respective Bibles.

So Clemens should not be held to account for his opening assertion in the passage below, that “We have all thoughtfully—or unthoughtfully—read” the Passover story.Given the vicissitudes of credibility granted to stories based on how they make us feel about ourselves, Samuel Clemens should also be forgiven for not having known that both enslavement stories are as fictional as Nevertheless, fiction can reveal truth about human nature.And no matter how fanciful, foundation myths serve a purpose. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes. By making family out of strangers, national myths grease the wheels of cooperation in pursuit of national objectives and they foster in-group morality.So we can gain insight into contemporary cultures by examining their retained myths, especially ancient whole-cloth myths.That issue notwithstanding, and understanding that Clemens used the word ‘corner’ to mean ‘corner’ a market or create a monopoly, the following introduction to his 1899 article warrants more thoughtful consideration than a knee-jerk judgment that Clemens was anti-Semitic.“We have all thoughtfully—or unthoughtfully—read the pathetic story of the years of plenty and the years of famine in Egypt, and how Joseph, with that opportunity, made a corner in broken hearts, and the crusts of the poor, and human liberty—a corner whereby he took a nation’s money all away, to the last penny; took a nation’s livestock all away, to the last hoof; took a nation’s land away, to the last acre; then took the nation itself, buying it for bread, man by man, woman by woman, child by child, till all were slaves; a corner which took everything, left nothing; a corner so stupendous that, by comparison with it, the most gigantic corners in subsequent history are but baby things, for it dealt in hundreds of millions of bushels, and its profits were reckonable by hundreds of millions of dollars, and it was a disaster so crushing that its effects have not wholly disappeared from Egypt today, more than three thousand years after the event.”A hundred years of intense archeological investigation have failed to find credible evidence that the story of Joseph enslaving Egyptians is based, even loosely, on events that actually occurred.That absence of evidence is so conspicuous that it justifies the conclusion of every dispassionate pre-historian: the story was a whole-cloth fabrication.And when the money was all spent in the land of Egypt, all the Egyptians came to Joseph, and said, “Give us food; why should we die before your eyes?For our money is gone.” And Joseph answered, “Give your cattle, and I will give you food in exchange for your cattle, if your money is gone.” So they brought their cattle to Joseph; and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses, the flocks, the herds, and the asses: and he supplied them with food in exchange for all their cattle that year.

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