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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tip of the Iceberg, or Should We Say Pyramid

There's a pretty weak joke making its rounds via email warning the Egyptians that if they destroy their pyramids, we won't rebuild them, signed, the Jews.  Yes, according to Jewish tradition we built those pyramids when we were slaves in Egypt.

My gut feeling is that the present "unrest" rioting in Egypt and the rest of the Arab world is more like the tip of the iceberg.  There's lots more underneath, yet to emerge.  And like an iceberg, it will float around, impossible to control.

That's one of the reasons that even United States President Barack Hussein Obama's latest, more carefully crafted statement about the revolt in Egypt and Hosni Mubarak's fleeing to Sharm Al Sheik may be as secure as the Titanic was before the iceberg punctured it.



Obama strongly sympathizes with the rebellion:
"...The Egyptian people have made it clear that there is no going back to the way things were: Egypt has changed, and its future is in the hands of the people. Those who have exercised their right to peaceful assembly represent the greatness of the Egyptian people, and are broadly representative of Egyptian society. We have seen young and old, rich and poor, Muslim and Christian join together, and earn the respect of the world through their non-violent calls for change. In that effort, young people have been at the forefront, and a new generation has emerged. They have made it clear that Egypt must reflect their hopes, fulfill their highest aspirations, and tap their boundless potential. In these difficult times, I know that the Egyptian people will persevere, and they must know that they will continue to have a friend in the United States of America."




Naive is my most optimistic reaction to his words. Thousands of miles safely protected in America, he won't be affected by the fall-out. It's interesting that the Mubarak family's first shelter is close to Israel, in Sharm Al Sheik and far from the United States. I wonder where they will permanently settle.



I also wonder what's next.  In no way do I share Obama's optimism.  I'm not comforted by the proper pc words of the present Egyptian rulers.  From my vantage point in Shiloh, the genuine original Biblical city, things do look very different.  No doubt, time will tell.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

i dont think the jews building the pyramids is really jewish tradition, but ill go with it.

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
I suppose not many Jews realize that their ancestors built the pyramids, but they should. It's only logical: We know that large numbers of Jews were slaves in Egypt when the pyramids were built. We also know that slaves built the pyramids.
Shmot/Exodus 1:11-14 is a good place to start examining what the Jews built in Egypt.

Batya said...

a, trust Hadassa, I've never known her to be wrong about things she can prove.

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
I'm actually not finding concrete evidence one way or the other, but most sources stating that the Jews weren't slaves at the time that the pyramids were built state that the Jews weren't slaves in Egypt at all. Some historians state in a rather scoffing matter that the only proof that Jews were slaves in Egypt is in the Bible. The Egyptians of today, even though they are not related at all to the ancient Egyptians, vehemently deny that the Jews had any part in building the pyramids, but they have their reasons... There's a big disagreement as to the level of skill of the workers and whether or not they were paid. On-site archeological research is not complete. I'll try to find my original source.

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
I've found more information, more mis/dis-information and scores of people who deny that major Biblical events ever happened. However, pyramids aren't specifically mentioned in the Torah and the only clear claim that Jewish slaves built pyramids is in Josephus' "Antiquities of the Jews", bk. II, ch. ix, § 1. That source is from a comment and I haven't checked it yet. What leaves me skeptical about many "facts" is the fact that in so much of the material I've been reading Jewish slavery in, and the Exodus from Egypt is declared a myth.

Batya said...

The denial of the slavery and exodus take things much too far. The text is so clear. I have my doubts about medrashim.

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
One interesting article brought Jewish proof AGAINST Jewish slaves having built the pyramids, and it didn't involve the timing. I'll look for an exact midrash, but the idea is worth posting. Part of the interpretation of "avodat parach/harsh labor" that the Sages give is that the Egyptians forced the Jews to build on muddy land so that the structures would frequently collapse and have to be rebuilt. The pyramids were definitely built with stone, and building with stone during Egyptian slave period is not mentioned in the Torah. There's so much bias in all directions that I wonder if even a combination of the history we know from the Torah, relevant midrashim and archeological evidence can yield 100% reliable answers.

Batya said...

Maybe you should prepare a blog post about it.

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
I don't have time to prepare one. A search of - Did Jews build the pyramids in Egypt? - yields many articles, most of which have sources. The debates in the comment sections are quite often very informative too.

Batya said...

can anything be proven?

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
Based on what I read, no. Nothing can be proven 100%. There are also still archeological digs being done at the sites of the pyramids so not even all physical evidence that could lead to an answer has been discovered. Bl'i neder I'll send you a few links to the best articles. I didn't save any of them, but it won't take me long to find them again.

Batya said...

thanks