By Paul Johnson
A countrywide bestseller, this excellent 4000 yr survey covers not just Jewish historical past yet he effect of Jewish genius and mind's eye at the international. by means of the writer of contemporary occasions: the realm From the Twenties to the Eighties.
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He was clever, quick, perceptive, imaginative; a dreamer, but more than a dreamer, a man with the creative ability to interpret complex phenomena, to forecast and foresee, to plan and administer. Quiet, industrious, able in all economic and financial affairs, the master also of many forms of arcane knowledge, he knew well how to serve power and exploit it on behalf of his people. 64 Joseph occupies a great deal of space in Genesis, and he clearly fascinated the early scribes who first sorted out these many tales and then blended them together with considerable art and symmetry.
Not only is man, as a category, created in God’s image; all individual men are also created in God’s image. In this sense they are all equal. Nor is this equality notional; it is real in one all-important sense. All Israelites are equal before God, and therefore equal before his law. Justice is for all, irrespective of other inequalities which may exist. All kinds of privileges are implicit and explicit in the Mosaic code, but on essentials it does not distinguish between varieties of the faithful.
In a sense, it is the central element, for monotheism is itself a rationalization. If supernatural, unearthly power exists, how can it be, as it were, radiated from woods and springs, rivers and rocks? If the motions of the sun and moon and stars can be predicted and measured, and thus obey regular laws, how can they be the source of unnatural authority, since they too are plainly part of nature? Whence, then, comes the power? Just as man learns to lord it over nature, animal and inanimate, must not divine power, a fortiori, be living and personal?
A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson