Next Exodus

You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. – Deut. 5:15

We were given freedom, not all at once, but in stages. Even after leaving bondage in Egypt, we were still commanded to work 6 days a week. However one day was free for us to relax and enjoy and feel holy. Similarly we were given a Jubilee Year, which occurs every 50 years, on which all slaves are freed. This commandment is the origin of the Liberty Bell quote: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof.”

Frederic Schopin; The Children of Israel Crossing the Red Sea – 1855

Robots now threaten to take away our work. This is of course a blessing and a curse. We have finally the opportunity for true freedom. But how do we navigate the transition to such a world without violence and destruction? After all, we were expelled from the Garden of Eden and cursed with work, punishment for the sin of eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil – the knowledge of genocide. This is clearly the obstacle to our return.

Alexandra Ocasio Cortez reassures us: “We should be excited about automation, because what it could potentially mean is more time educating ourselves, more time creating art, more time investing in and investigating the sciences, more time focused on invention, more time going to space, more time enjoying the world that we live in, because not all creativity needs to be bonded by wage.”

Of course she’s right that the goal is freedom from work, so that we can stroll in the Garden in peace and relaxation, like G_d once did. However socialism will surely destroy us, as it always does.

The solution is capitalism, in which we work hard to amass wealth, and then retire. The problem however is that many people don’t retire, often because they want to maintain power and authority as a brace against political instability. To overcome this conundrum, capitalism must be vindicated and socialism must be vanquished in all its forms including universal healthcare, minimum wage, open borders, etc. Then people will have the confidence to stop working and be free.

But in order for this to happen we must trust each other. That is not possible now, with so much enmity between people causing endless strife. Thus there must be a process of repentance and mutual forgiveness. In the time of Jesus, sinning was rampant and epidemic. However we’ve managed to get a handle on this problem, much to our credit. We are ready to share the “Holy Spirit”, and this will assuage mutual resentments.

Medieval western illustration of the Pentecost from the Hortus deliciarum of Herrad of Landsberg (12th century)

Similarly, we are forbidden to worship idols, and while we are mostly successful in modern times, there is now another problem: our attachment to genocidal political ideologies. We deny this, but it is obvious: everyone’s a schemer.

Jews are attached to the disastrous myth of antisemitism. The idea is that non-Jews have an irrational, genocidal hatred of us that inevitably results in our destruction. However the true danger is the myth itself. We only end up polarizing all other social groups against us. We must finally let it go.

Thus the question is not “Why do they hate us?” But: “Why do we need to be so hated and despised?” What are the sins that our people are so desperate to atone for that we would sacrifice even ourselves? Why do we need to antagonize other societies to destroy us? We must instead reconcile with other social groups. Of course, the pushback will be furious: “You are going to get us all killed! You can’t ignore antisemitism! That’s what Jews said 100 years ago and look what happened!”

But of course this is nothing new. Moses endured this refrain for the entirety of the 4 decades of the Exodus:

They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” – Exodus 14:11

We stand again on the precipice of eternity. The people are anxious and terrified and quarrel bitterly. Moses had to wait for a wicked generation to die off before they could enter the Promised Land. Hopefully with practice under our belt, we won’t have to wait as long to enjoy freedom in the Garden of Eden.

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. – Exodus 14:14

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