A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson PDF
By Paul Johnson
A countrywide bestseller, this really good 4000 yr survey covers not just Jewish background yet he influence of Jewish genius and mind's eye at the global. through the writer of recent occasions: the area From the Twenties to the Eighties.
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Extra info for A History of the Jews
It became an overwhelming memory for the Israelites who participated in it. For those who heard, and later read, about it, the Exodus gradually replaced the creation itself as the central, determining event in Jewish history. Something happened, at the frontiers of Egypt, that persuaded the eye-witnesses that God had intervened directly and decisively in their fate. The way it was related and set down convinced subsequent generations that this unique demonstration of God’s mightiness on their behalf was the most remarkable event in the whole history of nations.
To kill a man is an offence against God so grievous that the ultimate punishment, the forfeiture of life, must follow; money is not enough. The horrific fact of execution thus underscores the sanctity of human life. Under Mosaic law, then, many men and women met their deaths whom the secular codes of surrounding societies would have simply permitted to compensate their victims or their victims’ families. But the converse is also true, as a result of the same axiom. Whereas other codes provided the death penalty for offences against property, such as looting during a fire, breaking into a house, serious trespass by night, or theft of a wife, in the Mosaic law no property offence is capital.
The earlier prophets, at least, were expected to perform, and often wore the magician’s apparatus. We read of charismatic cloaks or mantles, as worn by Elijah and inherited by Elisha. 110 All the same the Israelites were the first people to bring their reason systematically to bear on religious questions. From Moses’ day onwards, and throughout their history, rationalism was a central element in Jewish belief. In a sense, it is the central element, for monotheism is itself a rationalization. If supernatural, unearthly power exists, how can it be, as it were, radiated from woods and springs, rivers and rocks?
A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson