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By Paul Johnson

A countrywide bestseller, this wonderful 4000 12 months survey covers not just Jewish historical past yet he effect of Jewish genius and mind's eye at the global. by way of the writer of contemporary occasions: the area From the Twenties to the Eighties.

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How can man be made in God’s image, if the image of God is unimaginable, and therefore forbidden? Yet the idea of man as conceived in the divine image is as central to the religion as the ban on idols. 113 As man is in God’s image, he belongs to God; the concept helps man to grasp that he does not possess real and permanent ownership even over himself, let alone over anything else he receives from God’s bounty. His body is a leasehold; he is answerable to God for what he does to and with it. But the principle also means that the body—man—must be treated with respect and even dignity.

Artapanos credited him with organizing the Egyptian system of government and inventing all kinds of warlike and industrial machinery. 76 Not surprisingly, Jewish writers of antiquity endorsed this tradition of Moses as a leading architect of ancient culture. 79 The ancient writers were not merely convinced of Moses’ existence: they saw him as one of the formative figures of world history. But there was also a tendency among pagan writers, from the second half of the first millennium BC, to see Moses as a baleful figure, the creator of a form of religion which was strange, narrow, exclusive and anti-social.

Ehud took out his home-made weapon, thrust it into the sheikh’s belly ‘and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out’. ’137 Not only poor, left-handed men, but even women rose to heroism and so to command. Deborah, another figure from the oasis-country, was a fiery religious mystic, who prophesied and sang. She ‘dwelt under the palm tree’ and local folk ‘came up to her for judgment’. This extraordinary woman, married to one Lapidoth (though we hear nothing of him), organized a coalition army against Jabin, one of the senior kings of Canaan, and destroyed his army.

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