Sunday, September 2, 2012

Where are you from? / Ki Tavo


When my older daughter was in fifth grade, her teachers conceived what they thought was a great idea. Hoping to enlarge the meaning of Thanksgiving, the children were instructed to assemble a bag of artifacts from their family’s “country of origin.” On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, each child was to dress to represent the culture of that country, present their bag of tricks, and place a pushpin on a world map on the country they “came from.” My first thought was: how can the African American kids do this? I was caught off guard by my daughter’s distress and anger. She asked acerbically: Do I do Russia, which Grammy’s family left because of pogroms? Or do I do Germany, which Grandma left after Kristallnacht? Should I dress up as a Cossack or a Nazi? On that Wednesday, one parent confided to me: This was tough for my son. We’re five generations in America. We have no idea where our ancestors came from. Our cultural icon is the golden arches of McDonalds.

We all want to know where we come from. What could be more natural? Parshat Ki Tavo describes a ceremony for the Israelites entering the Land of Israel to perform that acknowledges their roots. Here, succinctly, is the Jewish foundational story of our origins -- so succinct that it found its way into the Passover haggadah.

My father was a fugitive Aramean. He went down to Egypt with meager numbers and sojourned there; but there he became a great and very populous nation. The Egyptians dealt harshly with us and oppressed us. They imposed heavy labor upon us. We cried to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, and the Lord heard our plea and saw our plight, our misery, and our oppression. The Lord freed us from Egypt by a mighty hand, by an outstretched arm and awesome power, and by signs and portents. He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. (Deuteronomy 26:5-9)

But what do the scholars say? Here, as briefly as possible, are three academic theories about ancient Israelite origins:

First: The conquest described in the Book of Joshua happened in the 13th century B.C.E. William F. Albright, John Bright, and G. Ernest Wright are proponents of this view based on excavations of Lachish and Hazor. But Kathleen Kenyon excavated Jericho itself and found no evidence of destruction even near that period in history. The second theory is known as the Infiltration Theory, and is championed by Albrecht Alt and Martin Noth. They explain that 12 semi-nomadic tribes entered Canaan from another area at the time of the “Conquest” and settled in the land. Because they had ethnic affinities, they were able to coalesce into one nation: Israel. A third theory, the Peasant Revolt Theory, was offered by G.E. Mendenhall and is based largely on the Amarna letters. It holds that there was no displacement or movement of the population and no entry from without. Rather, native peasants in Canaan withdrew from the oppressive regimes of city-states ruled by overlords who oppressed them. Having withdrawn, they formed a nation.

So did we come from Egypt? Or were we indigenous to the Land of Israel? As scholars continue to marshal evidence, and debate, this much I can say: the story of the Exodus and our origins in oppression and slavery, the magnificent redemption at the Reed Sea, and the spectacular Revelation at Sinai form the troika of ideas, symbols, and ideals that have fueled us for three millennia: Creation (of not only the universe, but the nation Israel), Revelation of Torah, and Redemption (a past redemption that serves as a paradigm for the future).
These three themes -- Creation, Revelation, Redemption -- permeate Judaism. They surround the Shema in the morning and evening prayers. They are echoed in the three pilgrimage festivals of Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot. They define our religious-history: Creation is our past, Revelation (Torah) is our present, Redemption is the future we long for and work toward.
Coming from the tar pits of Egypt, we are schooled to empathize with those who suffer, who are repressed, whom injustice holds back. Torah reminds us frequently: We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt (Deuteronomy 6:21) -- we know the pain of slavery. Receiving Torah at Sinai teaches us the binding power of sacred text, interpreted and reinterpreted in every generation, guiding us in finding answers to the most perplexing moral questions we face, and offering ethical values to improve life for ourselves and others. Experiencing the Redemption at the Reed Sea, we know that miracles (however we define miracles) can happen, and that God (however we conceive God) is an integral part of changing the course of our lives for good. Keeping hope alive is so often crucial. When we seek redemption we can remember that it is possible. And not just for us -- for everyone.
If we can truly absorb the values that Creation, Revelation, and Redemption hold for us, so that they ooze out the pores of our skin (which is to say: shape our worldview and inform our choices and actions) then we will be fulfilling our mission that you shall be, as [God] promised, a holy people to the Lord your God  (Deuteronomy 26:19).

Fifth-graders are not the only ones curious to know whence they come. Alex Haley touched a deep nerve in the human psyche when he published Roots in 1976 and made Kunta Kinte a household name. Torah teaches us that our roots are less in time and location than they are in ethical values and spiritual goals. These are the ethics from which we come, and to which we continually try to return.

Where do you come from? Where are you headed?

© Rabbi Amy Scheinerman

37 comments:

  1. I am sure you see the trend here... Commercial Mortgage Financing can be used in practically any industry for any kind of commercial property. Speak with your Business Finance Broker when you are ready to invest in a Commercial Real estate opportunity. www.financetypes.us

    Make use of a travel agent that provides travel deals for handicapped travelers. Booking plane tickets and rooms in hotels with journey agents that provide travel methods to disabled individuals is advantageous in many ways. They make sure they book for his or her disabled customers airlines as well as hotels which are disabled pleasant. They make an effort to offer providers and suggestions which will ensure their own clients journey comfortably. www.bestadventuretravel.us

    ReplyDelete
  2. One of the biggest competitions of today is staying fit. It seems like people nowadays want to lose weight instantly as if there is no tomorrow or it is as if it is a passport for the general population. Losing weight and staying fit is never easy. www.healthandworkoutplan.com

    The laws of nature are just as they treat every specie (and not only man) with equality. In a jungle, every specie gets its due share of food, air and water which enable them to live a dignified life without being dependent on any other creation. Nature makes no distinction between one specie, and the other as all species are the children of the same God. www.lawinformation.us

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am certain you begin to see the trend right here... Commercial Home loan Financing may be used in virtually any business for any type of commercial home. Speak together with your Business Finance Broker when you're ready to purchase a Commercial Property opportunity. www.mybusinessplan.us

    You will see all styles and models of fashion blogs as being the internet is stuffed with them. It can take a look at the advantages of wearing lean jeans through boyfriend bluejeans or the best way pink takes the destination of dark colored plus many of the extras. Just like you go internet, you receives your fill of your latest popular trends as a result of fashion blogs. www.stylesbeautytips.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Real estate shareholders live in addition to die by means of their chance to add importance. With not any added importance, there usually are no gains. This applies with almost any business, but what makes real estate a really great business as well as a great investment decision, is the volume of ways you can contribute value and benefit from big gains. www.realestatevalley.us

    Health fitness tips also recommend that vices should be stopped. Smoking predisposes one to vascular conditions such as arteriosclerosis and heart diseases. Alcohol consumption need not be eliminated but should be limited to 30 jiggers a day only. Alcohol still has health benefits such as vasodilation. These are just some of what Health fitness tips recommend www.healthyactivities.us

    ReplyDelete
  5. Insurance can be synonymous to a lot people expressing risks involving losses expected coming from a supposed car accident. Here, the price of your losses are going to be borne by the many insurers. www.insuranceguider.us

    Discomfort heard this argument intended for spending far more now with quality just to save money in the future. But why not consider the impression your purchase has on the earth, shouldn't shopping ethically participate in the talk too? www.servicesexpert.us

    ReplyDelete
  6. Health fitness ideas also suggest that vices ought to be stopped. Smoking predisposes someone to vascular conditions for example arteriosclerosis as well as heart illnesses. Alcohol consumption do not need to be removed but ought to be limited in order to 30 jiggers each day only. Alcohol nevertheless has many benefits such because vasodilation. These are are just some of what Health fitness ideas recommend www.healthimprove.us

    Traveling, for individuals with disabilities, is extremely hectic, particularly when they get to the airport terminal. They face the process of obtaining proper info and instructions. This is actually further aggravated through the huge number of individuals traveling as well as long lists. In international airports, there tend to be attendants which are supposed for carrying on the needs of these travelling along with disabilities. www.safetravelguide.us

    ReplyDelete
  7. I know you start to see the trend the following... Commercial Mortgage loan Financing can be utilized in almost any market for almost any commercial house. Speak along with your Business Finance Broker if you are ready to buy a Commercial Real-estate opportunity. www.financialgrow.us

    You will find all forms and shapes of fashion blogs as the internet is full of them. It can talk about the main benefit of wearing lanky jeans over boyfriend jeans or how pink takes the place of black plus all the extras. As you go online, you will get your fill of the latest in fashion trends via fashion blogs. www.newsvillage.us

    ReplyDelete
  8. Many of us have heard your argument pertaining to spending additional now in quality to avoid wasting money after. But why don't you consider the result your purchase is wearing the entire world, shouldn't shopping ethically join in on the conversation too? www.shoppinguide.us

    You can find all kinds and forms of fashion blogs because internet is brimming with them. It can mention the luxury of wearing lanky jeans around boyfriend skinny jeans or precisely how pink takes the best place of dark-colored plus the many extras. Because you go on-line, you is certain to get your fill in the latest popular trends through fashion blogs. www.onlinefashionshop.us

    ReplyDelete
  9. Real estate buyers live and also die simply by their power to add benefit. With simply no added benefit, there are usually no income. This does work with virtually any business, but what makes real estate this kind of great business plus a great purchase, is how many ways you can value and make the most of big income. www.landproperty.us

    Were you thinking with regards to remodeling your current home? Understand that you may achieve your current goal and not using a giant price. Small changes introduced in nearly all room, including the outdoors on the town can make the many difference. www.thebudgetdecorator.us

    ReplyDelete
  10. Insurance is actually synonymous to numerous people discussing risks associated with losses expected from the supposed incident. Here, the expense of the actual losses is going to be borne by all of the insurers. www.insuranceadvice.us

    You can see all creates and shapes and sizes of fashion blogs for the internet is jam packed with them. It can converse about the luxury of wearing slim jeans across boyfriend shorts or ways pink takes the position of schokohäutige plus lots of the extras. Simply because go via the internet, you becomes your fill for the latest popular trends with fashion blogs. www.servicesdealer.us

    ReplyDelete
  11. Most likely you view the trend in this article... Commercial House loan Financing can be employed in pretty much any marketplace for virtually any commercial property or home. Speak with all your Business Finance Broker while you are ready to invest in a Commercial Real estate investment opportunity. www.businessterms.us

    Travel's importance is actually underestimated by lots of people. Travel isn't just fun, enjoyable and pleasant. With the current life styles and function conditions, travel is becoming more than a choice. It is a lot more than just having a good time. www.cheaptraveldeals.us

    ReplyDelete
  12. Health fitness suggestions also advise that vices needs to be stopped. Smoking predisposes anyone to vascular conditions for instance arteriosclerosis and also heart conditions. Alcohol consumption will not need to be eradicated but needs to be limited to be able to 30 jiggers per day only. Alcohol nonetheless has health improvements such since vasodilation. These are just some of what Health fitness suggestions recommend www.idealhealthfitness.us

    Read you be conscious of the trend at this point... Commercial Bank loan Financing can be utilised in basically any community for any sort of commercial real estate. Speak in your Business Finance Broker while you're ready to buy a Commercial Properties opportunity. www.financebenefits.us

    ReplyDelete
  13. You'll find all varieties and styles of fashion blogs because the internet is packed with them. It can speak about the main advantage of wearing slim jeans above boyfriend denims or just how pink takes the spot of african american plus every one of the extras. When you go on the web, you are certain to get your fill with the latest in fashion trends by means of fashion blogs. www.currentfashiontrend.com

    Real estate traders live as well as die through their capability to add worth. With absolutely no added worth, there tend to be no earnings. This holds true with any kind of business, but why is real estate this type of great business along with a great expense, is the amount of ways you can include value and profit from big earnings. www.commercialsproperty.us

    ReplyDelete
  14. Are you thinking concerning remodeling the home? Take into account that you can frequently achieve the goal with out a giant expenditure. Small advancements introduced in virtually every room, including the surface of your home can make every one of the difference. www.houseInnovations.us

    The truth is that We can sit these today and even write what you deserve to be hunting for in business trends and be able to a 365 days from at present, write the exact same sort in article through different ideas to keep abreast of as business and even society evolve. www.theservicesexperience.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Health fitness guidelines also advice that vices must be stopped. Smoking predisposes you to definitely vascular conditions including arteriosclerosis along with heart ailments. Alcohol consumption don't need to be taken away but must be limited for you to 30 jiggers every day only. Alcohol even now has benefits such while vasodilation. These are are just some of what Health fitness guidelines recommend www.healthcarecentre.us

    Are you currently thinking regarding remodeling your own home? Remember that you could achieve your own goal with no giant cost. Small enhancements introduced in nearly every room, including the outside of the home can make all of the difference. www.selecthomeadvisor.us

    ReplyDelete
  16. Health fitness points also propose that vices need to be stopped. Smoking predisposes that you vascular conditions like arteriosclerosis in addition to heart disorders. Alcohol consumption does not need to be taken out but need to be limited to help 30 jiggers daily only. Alcohol however has health advantages such seeing that vasodilation. These are just some of what Health fitness points recommend www.healthcareaffect.us

    Just about everyone has heard the particular argument regarding spending a lot more now about quality to save lots of money afterwards. But think about the influence your purchase has on the planet, shouldn't shopping ethically engage in the debate too? www.eventsshopping.us

    There are actually all documents and forms and sizes of fashion blogs being the internet is heaped with them. It can go over the main advantage of wearing thin jeans finished boyfriend a pair of jeans or the simplest way pink takes site of charcoal plus the whole set of extras. Whenever you go over the internet, you could get your fill of this latest in fashion trends with the aid of fashion blogs. www.serviceadvisories.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Health fitness recommendations also suggest vices really should be stopped. Smoking predisposes want you to vascular conditions just like arteriosclerosis plus heart health conditions. Alcohol consumption needn't be wiped out but really should be limited so that you can 30 jiggers on a daily basis only. Alcohol continue to has rewards such when vasodilation. These are are just some of what Health fitness recommendations recommend www.healthifitness.us

    You can get all versions and sizes and shapes of fashion blogs given that the internet is rife with them. It can consider the benefit of wearing skinny jeans throughout boyfriend tight pants or skirts or the correct way pink takes spot of black colored plus the extras. Whilst you go web based, you get your fill belonging to the latest popular trends using fashion blogs. www.globenewscenter.us

    ReplyDelete
  18. You will discover all types and designs of fashion blogs since the internet is filled with them. It can discuss the benefit of wearing thin jeans more than boyfriend denim jeans or exactly how pink takes the area of dark plus all of the extras. While you go on the internet, you can get your fill from the latest popular trends by way of fashion blogs. www.fashionlabel.us

    One can find all methods and figures of fashion blogs when the internet is complete with them. It can focus on the advantage of wearing slender jeans about boyfriend pants or the way in which pink takes the location of ebony plus most of the extras. As you may go on line, you will receive your fill within the latest in fashion trends by fashion blogs. www.theworldnews.us

    ReplyDelete
  19. I know that you read the trend these... Commercial Loan Financing should be considered in just about any trade for some kind of commercial premises. Speak with each of your Business Finance Broker if you end up ready to get a Commercial The property market opportunity. www.mybusinessmanager.us

    The laws associated with nature are simply as these people treat each and every specie (and not just man) along with equality. Inside a jungle, each and every specie will get its because of share associated with food, air as well as water that enable these phones live the dignified life without having to be dependent on every other creation. Character makes absolutely no distinction in between one specie, and also the other because all species would be the children from the same Lord. www.equallaw.us

    ReplyDelete
  20. Health fitness hints also counsel that vices has to be stopped. Smoking predisposes to vascular conditions which include arteriosclerosis together with heart medical conditions. Alcohol consumption should not be taken off but has to be limited that will 30 jiggers each and every day only. Alcohol also has health and fitness benefits such mainly because vasodilation. These are just some of what Health fitness hints recommend www.healthandfoodideas.com

    Almost certainly you be aware of the trend listed here... Commercial Property finance loan Financing work extremely well in essentially any field for any specific commercial asset. Speak with the Business Finance Broker if you find yourself ready to purchase a Commercial Housing opportunity. www.aboutfinancenews.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. The truth is that I will sit right here today as well as write what you need to be searching for in business trends after which a 12 months from right now, write exactly the same sort associated with article along with different tips to keep close track of as business as well as society develop. www.expertsbusinessadvice.com

    You'll discover all sorts and patterns of fashion blogs for the reason that internet is rich in them. It can look at the main benefit of wearing skeletal jeans in excess of boyfriend trousers or the way pink takes the site of black color plus each of the extras. Since you go on the net, you could possibly get your fill on the latest in fashion trends by using fashion blogs. www.latestfashiontrends.us

    ReplyDelete
  22. The reality is that I am able to sit in this article today in addition to write what you long for to be in search of in business trends then a season from at this point, write identical sort connected with article having different suggestions for be mindful of as business in addition to society advance. www.onlineservicecentre.com

    Most of us have heard the actual argument with regard to spending much more now upon quality in order to save money later on. But how about the effect your purchase is wearing the globe, shouldn't shopping ethically participate the dialogue too? www.shoppingworld.us

    ReplyDelete
  23. Travel will give you something to count on... to organize... to review for... and later to share. You will bring home experiences. Life might get somewhat monotonous when you let the item, particularly when you finally retire whilst your work lifetime ends. Anticipation might be priced at at least approximately the excursion itself along with the memories of which follow this trip. www.topstoriesus.us

    Health fitness strategies also recommend that vices should really be stopped. Smoking predisposes you to vascular conditions which includes arteriosclerosis and even heart problems. Alcohol consumption don't have to be done away with but should really be limited to help you 30 jiggers 24 hours only. Alcohol always has what are the benefits such simply because vasodilation. These are are just some of what Health fitness strategies recommend www.healthafitness.us

    ReplyDelete
  24. Will you be thinking in relation to remodeling ones home? Remember you might achieve ones goal with not a giant purchase. Small upgrades introduced in every room, including the outer entrance can make each of the difference. www.loxuryhome.us

    Travel provides you with something to anticipate... to get ready for... to research for... and later to talk about. You brings home tales. Life could possibly get somewhat monotonous should you let this, particularly once you retire as well as your work existence ends. Anticipation may be worth at least around the journey itself and also the memories which follow the actual trip. www.travelandadventure.us

    ReplyDelete
  25. Health fitness tips and hints also suggest that vices could be stopped. Smoking predisposes people to vascular conditions along the lines of arteriosclerosis not to mention heart sicknesses. Alcohol consumption does not have to be got rid of but could be limited towards 30 jiggers a full day only. Alcohol even so has health rewards such for the reason that vasodilation. These are just some of what Health fitness tips and hints recommend www.healthfitnesstogether.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Seen you are aware of the trend in this case... Commercial Home owner loan Financing are available in very nearly any market place for any variety of commercial building. Speak utilizing your Business Finance Broker remember when you are ready to invest in a Commercial Realty opportunity. www.bestfinanceideas.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. More than likely you understand the trend below... Commercial Home finance loan Financing works extremely well in nearly any sector for just about any commercial residence. Speak using your Business Finance Broker when you find yourself ready to get a Commercial Real estate property opportunity. www.businessplanning.us

    You will find all forms and shapes of fashion blogs as the internet is full of them. It can talk about the advantage of wearing skinny jeans over boyfriend jeans or how pink takes the place of black plus all the extras. As you go online, you will get your fill of the latest in fashion trends via fashion blogs. www.latestfashionz.us

    ReplyDelete
  28. Real estate individuals live plus die by way of their capability add cost. With virtually no added cost, there will be no sales. This very well with every business, but why is real estate this sort of great business including a great choice, is the sheer numbers of ways it's fine to use value and cash in on big sales. www.friendlyrealestate.us

    ReplyDelete
  29. Have you been thinking about remodeling your home? Keep in mind that you can often achieve your goal without a giant expense. Small improvements introduced in almost every room, including the exterior of the house can make all the difference. www.homesrenovation.us

    ReplyDelete
  30. Real estate option traders live together with die by just their capacity add valuation. With hardly any added valuation, there happen to be no proceeds. This well said with all business, but what makes real estate an extremely great business in addition to a great financial commitment, is numerous ways it is possible to value and profit from big proceeds. www.newservicespoints.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. We have all heard the argument for spending more now on quality to save money later. But what about the impact your purchase has on the world, shouldn't shopping ethically be part of the discussion too? www.myshoppingideas.us

    ReplyDelete
  32. Real estate businesses live not to mention die from their capability to add benefits. With certainly no added benefits, there are actually no business earnings. This for sure with any sort of business, but what makes real estate this great business and then a great funding, is the sheer number of ways you'll be able to value and take advantage of big business earnings. www.generalspot.us

    ReplyDelete
  33. Carpet Cleaning Tips

    We get tried to feature every possible thought of cleaning your current carpet plus your carpet seems to be new yet again. No matter what number of tips many of us bring that you can clean your current carpet, you will certainly forget all for those who have a pour. We have a very quick reference to aid you.Carpet Cleaning Tips

    ReplyDelete
  34. water damage restoration victoria bc

    Receive a tour from your historic your home of Walter Mathis, now the main National Hereditary Trust Efficiency site during Texas. Within the Napoleon Set to native artists, European and The state of texas history is certainly on indicate. Take a good tour with among the many guides, these days. water damage restoration victoria bc

    ReplyDelete
  35. Metro ChemDry
    If you're an entrepreneur looking to purchase a business or perhaps a franchise you should have an awareness of the actual model along with the options these days. This evaluation will describe some tips of the actual franchise Chem Dry Rug cleaning.Metro ChemDry

    ReplyDelete
  36. Whitby Carpet cleaning

    If you should make money discussing yourself and turn your private boss carpet cleaning is a hassle-free business compete in. When you begin a business there are actually two major components that you desire, a product selling and anyone who's able to buy them. Whitby Carpet cleaning

    ReplyDelete
  37. Our blog outreach services help companies form relationships with influential bloggers in their industry.Reaching out to blogs and brands within your industry is a time-consuming and difficult process, but one that is necessary to expand your network and find new opportunities. https://www.thewebfuel.com/

    ReplyDelete