Just in time for the Seder… so that we can approach the questions that are really bothering so many people.
Many religious Jews are troubled by the findings of modern academic studies of the Bible. And few issues can be as fraught with emotion and angst as the question of whether Yetziat Mitzrayim – the Exodus from Egypt – actually happened. After all, the reality of that event is the backbone of so much of Jewish belief; our entire relationship with G-d is largely predicated upon it. So when Bible professors question or doubt whether it happened at all, or whether it happened precisely in the way that the Torah describes, the believing Jew may find himself confused and distraught.
Rabbi Joshua Berman, Professor of Tanach at Bar Ilan University, who has been a guest on this podcast before, doesn’t shy away from these issues; he confronts them head-on. What’s especially fascinating is that his approach is far from apologetics. He explains that in defending the Torah, we often have it backwards: that instead of seeing other ancient documents and artifacts echoing the Torah, we should expect the Torah to echo ancient documents and artifacts. In so doing, not only does Rabbi Berman explain why the Torah is believable despite the findings of archeology, but he also uses these discoveries as evidence that the the story is historical. Moreover, some of his ideas can shed new light in fascinating ways on what the Torah is trying to tell us. Plus: he describes his amazing trips to Egypt and how they provided him with insights into the Exodus.
Please listen to and share this podcast, and let us know what you think on the Orthodox Conundrum Discussion Group on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/432020081498108).
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Music: “Happy Rock” by bensound.com