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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Will the Real Muslim Please Stand Up?

ISIS spiritual leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi - Is this the face of Islam?
Does this not warm your heart? From the Washington Post:

The headlines have been grim. Europe's Jews face "rising anti-Semitism"; in some countries, many are leaving in "record numbers." In separate incidents in recent months, gunmen have targeted Jews and Jewish institutions in Paris and Copenhagen. Even the Jewish dead have not been left in peace, with reports of graves being desecrated.

But the future of tolerance and multiculturalism in Europe is far from bleak. The bigotry on view has been carried out by a fringe minority, cast all the more in the shade by the huge peace marches and vigils that followed the deadly attacks. And some communities are trying to build solidarity in their home towns and cities.

One group of Muslims in Norway plans to form a "ring of peace" around a synagogue in Oslo on Saturday. On a Facebook page promoting the event, the group explained its motivations. Here's a translated version of the invite:
Islam is about protecting our brothers and sisters, regardless of which religion they belong to. Islam is about rising above hate and never sinking to the same level as the haters. Islam is about defending each other. Muslims want to show that we deeply deplore all types of hatred of Jews, and that we are there to support them. We will therefore create a human ring around the synagogue on Saturday 21 February. Encourage everyone to come!
According to the Times of Israel, Ervin Kohn, a leader of Oslo's small Jewish community, had agreed to allowing the event on the condition that more than 30 people show up — a small gathering would make the effort look "counter-productive," Kohn said. Close to 1,000 people have indicated on Facebook that they will attend.

"We think that after the terrorist attacks in Copenhagen, it is the perfect time for us Muslims to distance ourselves from the harassment of Jews that is happening," 17-year-old event organizer Hajrad Arshad said in an interview with Norwegian television.

"If someone wants to attack the synagogue, they need to step over us first,"posted another of the event's organizers on Facebook.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Happy New Year

As those who are paying attention already know, today is Tu B'Sehvat  - the 15th day of the Hebrew month Shevat. It is the new year for trees. In honor of that I present the following. Enjoy. (Don't forget to make a Shehechyanu on a new fruit.)


Friday, January 23, 2015

Is This the Real Amy Farrah?

Mayim Bialik (Kveller)
One of the sitcoms I watch regularly is The Big Bang Theory. It is a funny show and I love comedy. But that isn't the only reason. I am a big fan of the award winning actress who plays actor Jim Parson's girlfriend on the show, Mayim Bialik.

Mayim is a Baal Teshuva. Anytime a celebrity becomes observant, that is big news. It makes them an example to her fans and followers, many of whom are Jewish. And that makes me a fan too. Not only of her talent but of her commitment to her beliefs in a field that often makes that very difficult. Big time.

There was an article published on her blog, Kveller,  (which I commented upon) that spoke about the horrors a non observant mother has gone through with her newly observant daughter. Mayim has taken the time and trouble to write a response to this article. It is very revealing about her commitment to observant Judaism. It follows:

Karin Brooke’s post on Kveller about losing her daughter to religious fundamentalism struck a chord with me for a few reasons.

First, I am technically a baal teshuvah–a person who took on Jewish observance later in life. I struggled a lot in college regarding how to introduce my parents (especially my mother, who was raised Orthodox but chose not to be as an adult) to my new found faith and observance. It was hard. It pains me that Karin’s daughter and she did not find ways to connect positively about her daughter’s transformation. (My own parents eventually, on their own, started lighting Shabbat candles regularly and keeping Passover with more care, which has made it really lovely for my sons to see all of us observing similarly.)

Second, the writer says things about Orthodoxy that might be interpreted as what “all” Orthodox sects practice or believe in. Some of the things she mentions are very far outside of the mainstream Orthodox box, and I think most Orthodox people would find some of the practices she describes her daughter taking on as fringe, and not consistent with standard Orthodox practice.

The post got me thinking about the misperceptions I grew up with about Orthodoxy, many of which were because my mother was raised by Eastern European immigrants and a lot of their “old world” ways she assumed were synonymous with “Orthodoxy” but they weren’t.

For example, my grandparents were very superstitious, but that’s not Orthodoxy, per se. My grandparents also had some very, shall we say, strong feelings about how girls and women should and shouldn’t behave, and deviation from that was not welcomed. Orthodoxy by definition doesn’t have those beliefs; they did. But my mom, since childhood, had assimilated these things into her perception of Orthodoxy in general, which made my taking on observance–as well as her sister’s decision to become even more religious when she got married–difficult for her.

Here are a few things I eventually discovered were quirks rather than norms of Orthodoxy, or simply urban legend. I thank Allison Josephs (my chevrusa [study partner] who I met through Partners in Torah), known online as Jew In The City for contributing to the truths behind these things.

Disclaimer: The answers Allison provides are simply snapshots into very complicated issues in Judaism. Her answers are by no means definitive, but she and I both work hard to try and separate misperceptions from truth about Orthodoxy, and we hope this piques your interest and challenges some of your misperceptions! 

MYTH: Orthodox women have to shave their heads at their weddings.

TRUTH: Jewish law requires a married woman to cover her hair, not shave it. (In fact, the Torah, when discussing the “captive woman” in the book of Devarim seems to indicate that head-shaving makes a woman less attractive.) Nevertheless, there is a percentage of Hasidic (non-Lubavitch) woman who do so.

MYTH: Orthodox women can’t be artists or draw pictures of any kind.

TRUTH: I once heard (in the name of Rav Kook–an Orthodox Israeli rabbi) that God left the world “unfinished” when creating it, and that when we make art, we are “partnering” with him in the creation of the world. Women are not excluded! There is a Torah prohibition against making a graven image. Everyone says you can’t make a statue to use for a god. There are some who say you can’t make a statue that looks like a person. There is a very minority opinion which says you can’t draw or paint a picture with a face. There are many Orthodox female artists–even some who have gained acclaim like Elke Reva Sudin.  There are also schools and associations which support religious Jewish women who want to make art.

MYTH: Orthodox women aren’t respected by their husbands and are virtual slaves.

TRUTH: The Talmud says that a man is supposed to love his wife as much as himself and honor her more. In the Jewish marriage contract (which is thousands of years old) a man is required to provide his wife with clothing, food, and sexual satisfaction–a unique document historically; no other ancient contract guaranteed such rights for women. There are, of course, lousy men in the Orthodox community, just as there are lousy men in every community. There are unhappy women in the Orthodox community as there are in all communities, but most women I’ve come in contact with (in over 15 years in the Orthodox world) seem to be quite happy. There are also a huge number of Orthodox women who work and the variety of fields they are in is ever-expanding. In fact, there are even some examples in the Hasidic world where men work for their wives!

MYTH: Orthodoxy sees women as lesser in general.

TRUTH: According to the Torah, man and woman were created as one being to show us that men and women are two halves of one whole and that a husband and wife are different (in a yin yang sort of way) and are meant to complete one another. While it’s true that in Orthodoxy women are not obligated to time-bound commandments (meaning those designated as being performed at dawn or dusk, for example), we are told that women have merit which men do not have. The Talmud says that the Jews of Egypt were redeemed because of the righteous women and that the ultimate redemption will come about due to the righteous women. There are areas of Jewish law which seem to be skewed in men’s favor–such as Jewish divorce–but then there are Orthodox Jewish rabbis who have made innovations in Jewish law in order to protect women from such imbalances.

MYTH: You can’t wear any nice clothes when you’re Orthodox because it might be perceived as too 
sexy.

TRUTH: Basic Jewish law requires women to cover their upper arms, upper legs, and chest (men have their own requirements in modesty to save their eyes only for their wives’ bodies and to dress modestly as well). Different communities have different ideas about how stylish clothes can or can’t be, but you’ll find (as in all communities) women who are more stylish and women who are less stylish. Interesting colors, textures, accessories, and shoes are allowed vis a vis basic law and are implemented by women like these.

MYTH: You can’t be a dancer if you’re Orthodox. Orthodox people don’t let their kids even start dance classes because they will just have to give it up when they hit puberty.

TRUTH: According to Jewish law, for modesty reasons, a woman can’t dance in front of a man who is not her husband (or close blood relative). But there are all female dance troupes which only perform in front of women. There are all women’s zumba and dance classes and many Orthodox Jewish girls go to dance class while they are young and the issue of modesty is not relevant. As with all of these topics, different communities do different things but many things are allowed in terms of basic law or can be done within an all female settling.

Allison and I hope that we have expanded some misperceptions while simultaneously showing how multi-faceted the jewel of observance can be. It’s not always simple to figure out where Orthodoxy and modernity meet, but things are not like they used to be. The world of Orthodoxy is broad and colorful and there is a lot of beauty in it.

Partners in Torah is a free organization that pairs you with a study partner for whatever you are curious about in Judaism. Check it out if you want to learn more!


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Great Humanitarian - Mark Wahlberg

Mark Whalberg in the just released movie The Gambler
The following letter written to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick was written by Yanky Ostreicher on behalf of actor, Mark Wahlberg. It was first published in the New York Observer and republished in Matzav. It follows in it's entirety.
Dear Governor Deval Patrick:
I respectfully write to you today in support of Mr. Mark Wahlberg’s petition for pardon for a crime to which he pleaded guilty in 1988.
My relationship with Mark is unique, in that he can literally be credited with saving my life. Last year I was under house arrest in Bolivia following nearly two years of incarceration at Palmasola Prison, the only American among 3,500 of the world’s most dangerous criminals, despite never being formally charged with a crime. The details of my ordeal are complex, but for one to appreciate the magnitude of Mark’s actions, which eventually helped save my life, I must provide you with context, beginning with my time inside one of the world’s most horrendous prisons.
A routine business transaction inexplicably turned my world upside down. One day I was a successful businessman—a family man living the American dream—who was pursuing a venture in Bolivia. The next day I was plunged into an indescribable hell that will haunt me until the day I die. To most, hell is an abstract concept. To me, hell is an experience that has left me in a state of perpetual emotional struggle, fraught with isolation and discord. I must accept that, ultimately, I will never be able to sufficiently articulate my ordeal to another person. No frame of reference exists to communicate the Kafkaesque experience of being wrongfully incarcerated in a foreign country under such deplorable conditions.
During my nearly three years of captivity in Bolivia, many efforts were made on my behalf, including a petition to the White House, signed by over 35,000 citizens. Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey traveled to Bolivia to meet with government officials and upon return led multiple hearings in front of Congress to call attention to my situation. And hundreds of supporters attended a rally at New York’s Bolivian Mission in 2012. Sadly, all of these efforts proved futile against the deep-seated corruption within the Bolivian government and legal system, which virtually ensured that, despite my complete innocence, I would remain incarcerated for the rest of my life. My family and I lost hope that I would live to see another day of freedom. Nevertheless, the efforts on my behalf continued.
A young rabbi, Zvi Boyarsky of the Aleph Institute, began reaching out to anyone with influence who might be able to assist, and mentioned my plight to Mark Wahlberg. Mark felt instantly compelled to act on behalf of a complete stranger, his sole motivation being the desire to help an innocent American rotting in a Bolivian prison. Mark decided to make every effort to pursue my release. One of those efforts was a call to his friend, Sean Penn.

Mark considered Sean Penn’s relationship with various Venezuelan leaders—including then President Hugo Chavez—as potentially useful on a diplomatic level. He implored Sean to use his relationship as a tool toward opening a dialogue with the Bolivian authorities. Having thoroughly researched every facet of my imprisonment, Mark briefed Sean on the intricacies and persuaded him to take a dedicated interest in the matter. Like Mark, Sean was deeply affected by the insanity of my situation. Together, they agreed that inaction was simply not an option. My life was at stake, and regardless of the fact that I was a complete stranger, they could not stand by and allow a miscarriage of justice to perpetuate itself. Sean immediately initiated a dialogue with the Bolivian government.
Actor Sean Penn with Yanky while still in Bolivia and confined to house arrest
After Sean’s meeting with the President of Bolivia, I was released to a hospital weighing 107 pounds (down from 180) and subsequently confined to house arrest, still never having been charged with a crime. Over the course of the next year, while remaining under house arrest, 15 Bolivian officials—prosecutors for the Bolivian Minister of Government, an official in the Ministry of the Presidency, the Head of Internal Affairs, the judge who arbitrarily decreed my imprisonment, and many others—were arrested for their involvement in what is now understood to have been a widespread government extortion ring. As I write this, the criminals involved remain in prison.
Despite the fact that the corruption was being exposed, I remained under house arrest in Bolivia. Moreover, as additional Bolivian officials were implicated, threats against my life, as well as my attorney’s life, became increasingly frequent. I was in danger, and waiting for a release was not an option. For me to survive to see my family again, to return to US soil, I would have to escape. With the aid of experienced professionals, a plan for my escape was constructed and painstakingly executed, the understanding being that failure would almost certainly result in my death. I wish I could elaborate in greater detail, but the sensitive nature of the information prohibits me from doing so. I can simply state that I would soon find myself on a plane back to America, arriving in California on December 16th, 2013, a free man after nearly three years in hell.
This letter is written near the one-year anniversary of my return to the US, the day that I reclaimed my freedom. One year ago my parents, elderly Auschwitz survivors, put their arms around me and with tears streaming down their faces told me they were convinced they would never see me again. My children, my grandchildren, my entire family and my friends had all become resigned to the fact that I would die in Bolivia, never again to experience the gift of life together with them.

Recent photo of Yanky Ostreicher (Times Union)
I am alive today in large part because of Mark Wahlberg. That is not hyperbole. Had Mark Wahlberg not dedicated himself to pursuing my release, I would still be in that hell today, without a semblance of hope or a reason to live. I thank G-d for Mark’s efforts.
It is extraordinarily difficult for me to recount and articulate this most devastatingly harrowing experience. The mere thought of Bolivia, of a single moment in prison, is traumatizing. But this is a matter of urgency that supersedes my own struggles, because I am cognizant of the fact that without the aid of Mark Wahlberg, I would be living said trauma, rather than describing it in writing.
At the age of 16, Mark made a mistake that has haunted him each day thereafter. The assault of two young men was an unconscionable act that ought never be minimized or trivialized. However, Mark has never hid from the mistakes of his youth. He has confronted the issue time and time again, expressing not only his contrition, but an understanding that accepting and admitting one’s mistakes is necessary if one is to learn from them. How one responds to one’s mistakes is what defines us as individuals; it’s what demonstrates our character.
I know Mark Wahlberg through his efforts on my behalf. We do not socialize regularly, and I’m not a member of his entourage. I don’t attend dinner parties at his home or sit courtside with him at Lakers’ games. Rather, I know him through his actions, which are in fact the truest indicator of one’s character and one’s essence. Following my escape from Bolivia, Mark visited me, expressed his concern for my well-being and insisted that I not hesitate to contact him if I needed “anything.”
Mark has committed himself to myriad philanthropic and charitable causes over the years. He founded the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for inner city youth. He is actively involved with the Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women and Children, St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters, The Wounded Warrior Project, The Red Cross, and several other organizations and causes. He strives to be a dedicated husband and father as well.
Mark went way beyond any imaginable limit to help save the life of a complete stranger, and did so with the purest of motives. That speaks to his innate compassion and the type of person he has become since the unfortunate episode of 1988.
The Hebrew word ‘L’chaim’ translates as “to life.” It’s used as a standard toast at Jewish gatherings and celebrations, “to life!” Mark Wahlberg saved my life. He is the reason that, after four years, I lit Hanukkah candles with my children and grandchildren last month. Together, we celebrated the true meaning of Hanukkah—freedom—which had special symbolism this year given my personal struggle. I will forever cherish those moments with my family, and I have Mark Wahlberg, among others, to thank for it.
I was given a second chance at life because of Mark Wahlberg. I respectfully ask that you consider granting Mark with an official pardon, a symbolic second chance. Mark Wahlberg will continue to be a man of integrity with or without a pardon. In my opinion, his countless positive acts over the past 25 years have eclipsed the mistakes of his youth. Especially in light of the fact that the victim, Johnny Trinh, publicly declared his unconditional forgiveness, I believe that a pardon is appropriate. A pardon will serve to officially recognize 25 years of positive growth, and given the spotlight under which Mark is forced to live his life, will underscore how change is possible, and provide a source of inspiration for others who strive to better themselves.
I thank you for your time.
Sincerely yours,

Jacob “Yanky” Ostreicher

Friday, January 2, 2015

'Today's Kids Face Greater Spiritual Challenges'

NCSY International Director, Rabbi Micah Greenland
My son in law has it right. Here is an interview with Rabbi Micah Greenland in Arutz Sheva.

Rabbi Micah Greenland, International Director for NCSY, explains to Arutz Sheva why Jewish identity - not observance - is now a key issue.

Orthodox Jewish leaders met in Tarrytown, New York last week for the OU International Convention, to discuss the future of the Jewish people in Israel and abroad. 

To understand what the Orthodox Jewish community leaders have planned for instilling Jewish values into the next generation of children and teens, Arutz Sheva spoke to National Council of Synagogue Youth (NCSY) International Director, Rabbi Micah Greenland. 

"Spirituality in our teens really depends on exploring multiple avenues with them," Rabbi Greenland stated. "It starts with thinking outside the box:what are the avenues we can introduce our own teens to real spirituality?" 

Rabbi Greenland explained that, in his view, the foundation for a strong Jewish identity begins at home - and with the parents' example. 

"It starts with our own willingness to integrate spiritual experiences into our lives, that then we involve our kids in," he said. 

The point is not a matter of the technical details - how to keep Jewish law - but more a matter of instilling within the younger generations why it is they observe Torah law, so that their practice doesn't "fall by the wayside" after children leave home. 

To that end, he noted that today's generation faces greater challenges than before, as "we live in a socioeconomically very strong world" and "the more material wealth our kids are growing up with, the more difficult it is to focus on spiritual areas.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Antisemitic Graffiti in West Rogers Park

A lot of people seem to be panicing about this. I'm not sure this incident has risen to that level yet. In any event, this was the report on NBC in Chicago this morning.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Exodus the Movie - A Disgrace

source: the Aish website
I was kind of looking forward to seeing the new biblical movie about the great exodus of our ancestors from Egypt. I of course realize that no movie, no matter how faithful it tried to be, could ever truly depict the biblical narrative accurately. But I am always curious to see how Hollywood will treat them. 

The Ten Commandments staring Charleton Heston was such a movie. I enjoyed it, even though it had a fictional and silly story line injected into it. One that gave Moses a love interest before he met his wife Tziporah. That was a ridiculous and in my view stupid insertion to the movie - insulting to the honor of our greatest prophet. 

Nonetheless, if one factors out that part of the movie, it was a more or less faithful and reverent retelling of the story. Moses depiction was treated with the honor one would expect to give Biblical figures. The rest of the movie, I thought, tried to be as faithful to the bible as possible.

The new movie starring Christian Bale as Moses is not only irrelevant, but according to reviewer, Rabbi Benjamin Blech is a travesty and disgrace that turns the biblical story on its head and apparently makes Moses into terrible person. How sad. With Hollywood's current special effects capabilities using CGI to replicate the ten plagues, this could have been an amazing move. Instead, if what Rabbi Blech says is true, it is a piece of garbage. His review (published at the Aish Website) follows.

According to Hollywood insiders, this year has been unofficially designated as “The Year of the Bible.” As 2014 comes to a close, Ridley Scott’s just released blockbuster Exodus: Gods and Kings is just the latest in a series of major movies based on biblical themes to make their appearance these past twelve months.
In February, 20th Century Fox made the first move with a Christian biopic based on the history Channel’s hit 2013 miniseries The Bible – a hugely successful miniseries which racked up about 100 million cumulative viewers over a six-week period, making it the third most-watched cable series of 2013. Paramount followed soon after in March with Noah, Darren Aronofsky’s reimagining of the biblical story of the flood and its survivors. April brought usHeaven Is For Real, Sony’s movie based on the best-selling book that purports to tell a young boy’s after death experience meetings with God and biblical heroes. Now, just in time to be considered for Oscars, comes Exodus: Gods and Kings, hoping to capture the huge interfaith market for whom the Bible is sacred.
What explains this sudden revival of Hollywood’s interest in the Holy Book? No, Hollywood hasn’t suddenly become transformed into a religious mecca. There’s a simple reason why the Bible today is almost as “cool” as Kim Kardashian. It’s the same reason that Willie Sutton famously gave when he was asked by an FBI agent why he chose to rob banks. “Because,” he explained with succinct honesty, “that’s where the money is.”
The Bible is the best-selling book of the year, every single year.
Here’s the result of a remarkable study. How many of the top 15 highest-U.S.-grossing movies of all time,adjusted for inflation, star comic-book characters? None. How many are based on the Bible? Two: The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur.
The New Yorker recently pointed out an amazing statistic: The Bible is not only the best-selling book of all time – it is the best-selling book of the year, every single year. Where else in the world could one find subject matter for a movie that already occupies a place of respect and reverence in the minds of so many millions of people?
And that is why what Hollywood has all too often done with biblical themes – and is most explicitly guilty of in its latest exploitation of the Bible in the filmExodus – is beyond inexcusable. It is nothing less than profaning the sacred and making a mockery of the holy.
According to a 2014 poll of 1,200 adults nationwide, 79 percent of Christians say that accuracy is important to their ticket-buying decisions when it comes to movies dealing with questions of religion. While Jews weren’t part of the poll, I would imagine that these numbers would be at least the same. Simply put, moviegoers want a biblical film that sticks to the text and gets at least most of the facts right. Watching it could strengthen their faith and add a visual component to their reverence for the text. More, parents could feel good about having their children see a faithful depiction of stories that form the basis of their life’s values and moral judgments.
So let’s get to Exodus, the movie. Moses, the man we’ve always thought of as the hero in the biblical story of the redemption of the Israelites from the slavery of Egypt, is played by Christian Bale. (I’ll say nothing about the irony that only Hollywood could have turned a Christian into the greatest Jew of history.) In analyzing his role, the Hollywood Reporter quoted Bale as calling his character “schizophrenic” and “barbaric” during a press interview. Based on the script’s development of Moses’s leadership, Bale concluded that “I think the man was one of the most barbaric individuals that I ever read about in my life.”
And that’s just for starters. Wait till you see the first 20 minutes of the film – Moses the warrior in Pharaoh’s army and his aide-de-camp; Moses the big- shot in Pharaoh’s cabinet; Moses in a Cain and Abel relationship with another of Pharaoh’s sons; in short, Moses the cartoon figure of the directors imagination – a director who has no qualms whatsoever in substituting Hollywood fantasy for holy book facts.
How about the miracles, though? Those who remember how Cecil B. DeMille, in an age before the amazing effects produced by digital photography were possible, managed to leave us with the powerful imagery of the splitting of the sea and the drowning of the Egyptians will be gravely disappointed to discover that this wasn’t really a miracle after all. According to Ridley Scott, the parting of the Red Sea wasn’t achieved by the hand of God but just the coincidental result of an earthquake whose timing proved exceedingly fortunate for the fleeing Israelis. And of course the plagues which preceded the Israelites departure were all similarly comprehensible as products of natural phenomena.
God is portrayed as a petulant, temperamental and impatient preteen boy.
But that still is not the worst of it. What is sure to inflame many audiences, even those willing to forgive parading fiction as fact, is the incredible decision to portray God as a preteen boy, played with the voice of eleven-year-old British actor Isaac Andrews as a petulant, temperamental and impatient deity. Representatives for the marketing firm, Faith-Driven Consumer, felt that “The portrayal of God as a willful, angry and petulant child in Exodus will be a deal breaker for most people of faith around the world.”
The film deserves to have it prefaced with a bold warning that “Any resemblance between this and the book suggested by its title is purely accidental – and improper.” But if the producers were honest they wouldn’t get the benefit of the built-in audience thirsting for Divine wisdom.
I couldn’t help thinking of the classic story about a boy coming home from Hebrew school and Grandpa asked him "What did you learn about today?"
"Well," he said, "teacher told us about Moses and the Children of Israel and the Red Sea!"
"What about them?" Grandpa wanted to know.
"You see, gramps – – the Jews were slaves in Egypt for a long time when Moses came along and organized them. They had sit down strikes and demonstrations. To make it short, they made so much trouble for Pharaoh that he finally gave up and let them go. They got as far as the Red Sea and pitched camp to rest. Moses sent up some of his reconnaissance planes – – he didn't trust Pharaoh. Sure 'nough they spotted Pharaoh's army. The pilots judged that there were about 600 tanks with high powered rifles, backed up by a large number of half tracks, artillery and infantry. All of this was reported to Moses immediately. He ordered his engineers to throw a pontoon bridge across the Red Sea. He set up road blocks to slow down the tanks and armed a rear guard with bazookas to hold up Pharaoh's forces as long as possible. When the Jews were all on the other side and the Egyptians were half way across the bridge, Moses ordered his demolition squad to dynamite it. The Egyptians and their tanks were drowned in the waters and the Jews were saved."
"Oh come on, Abie, is that what your teacher told you?" Grandpa protested in amazement.
"No..." Abie replied, "but Grandpa, if I told you what the teacher really told us – – you'd never believe it!"
And that’s how Hollywood thinks it needs to handle the Exodus.
A recent Gallup poll reveals that three quarters of the American population believes that the Bible is the word of God. To sell Exodus the movie as an incarnation of that book is a lie that needs to be severely disowned. The conclusion is clear: Exodus the book is holy; Exodus the movie is Hollywood looking for a way to make a bigger buck by masquerading its inanities as sacred.