DIVIDED LOYALTY

 The country is the center of contemporary knowledge and progress.  Its Jews have contributed mightily to its success, strength and prosperity.  They are living in peace, minding their own business, doing the right thing and trusting that they are appreciated and safe in their adopted country.
 Then, a new regime rises to power.  The new ruler is looking for a way to unite the people around him.  He invents a crisis, spreads the word that the Jews are too powerful, but cannot be trusted.  Their loyalty to the country is questionable, because they are actually foreigners whose loyalty is divided.  Who will they support in times of conflict and war?  They are declared Public Enemy, resulting from their heritage and bloodline.  The people is now joined against a common enemy, united in support of the new leader.  The groundwork is complete and a plan of systematic annihilation is enacted, with popular acceptance and participation.
 Welcome to the Egypt of the Pharaoh kings.  The blueprint to this plan is outlined in the first chapter of the book of Exodus.  Joseph, who had managed the Egyptian economy through long years of drought and saved its people from a horrible famine, died, and so did all that generation.  Their descendants stayed in Egypt, multiplied and prospered.  "And a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.  And he said to his people: ‘Behold, the people of the Children of Israel is numerous and more powerful than us’".  In one verse (Exodus 1:9), two principles of the "plan" are outlined: 1. division into ‘they’ versus ‘us’, and 2. ‘they’ are too powerful.  Pharaoh continues: "Let us outsmart it, lest it become numerous and, if a war occurs, it will join our enemies, fight against us and rise from the land".  By now, a crisis scenario has been developed, ‘their’ loyalty has been questioned, and then, out of self-defense, a plan of annihilation is decreed: hard labor shall be forced upon ‘them’, so that ‘they’ will die while helping ‘us’ in the national efforts, and ‘their’ weak (male newborn babies) shall be exterminated, so that ‘they’ will vanish.  This plan shall solve the problem for ever.
 Until, after many years of terrible suffering, God intervenes and brings salvation and freedom to God’s people.  In the Promised Land.

-- Judah Ari-Gur

 

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