web analytics
April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Home » Sections » Books »

Title: Exodus and Emancipation


Title: Exodus and Emancipation

Author: Dr. Kenneth Chelst

Publisher: Urim Publications

 

 

   Each year, at the Pesach Seder, we enumerate the kindnesses that Hashem bestowed upon our ancestors. Has there ever been a population of slaves that was redeemed in so glorious a way – their oppressors punished, their physical exertion remunerated, their system of beliefs revealed Divinely, their nationhood established in the land they were promised centuries before? For all that we proclaim “Dayenu” at the Seder, we must wonder nevertheless whether it would have sufficed to have been granted less. Would we have been able to serve as a light unto the nations, leading the battle against slavery and oppression throughout the ages, had we not been prepared for the privileges and obligations that come with freedom?

 

   Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Chelst’s book, Exodus and Emancipation reviews the slave experience in Egypt, from the selling of Joseph into bondage to the triumphant entry of the Israelites into the Promised Land. He offers a deft analysis of relevant Biblical and Midrashic texts that he enhances by discussing an array of commentaries, ranging from the classical exegesis cited in Mikraot G’dolot to the writings of such modern scholars as Thomas Mann.

 

   The author then applies the lessons gleaned from the Biblical narrative to the history of the Atlantic slave trade, from its inception in the second half of the 15th century to the struggle for Civil Rights that continues to this very day.

 

   Chelst examines the institution of slavery, distinguishing between political and personal enslavement as well as between a society with slaves and a “slave society.” He demonstrates the role played by physical abuse and humiliation in the subjugation of a people – whether in Egypt or in Dixie.

 

   Chelst also addresses the importance of faith in uniting even a subjugated people and inspiring them to rise above the misery of day-to-day existence. He deals with the emotional and psychological needs of emancipated slaves – their need for retribution, for remuneration, for a single, shared ideal, and for strong leadership – and points out how these needs were met for the Bnei Yisrael when they were redeemed from Egypt by God’s strong hand and outstretched arm.

 

   Indeed, the lyrics of “Dayenu” catalogue these needs and remind us how very blessed we are to have had them met. It is this blessing that gives us the strength to go on as a people, that gives us the compassion to care for others who have suffered in a comparable way.

 

   Exodus and Emancipation is a scholarly book, replete with tables, illustrations, and primary source material. It is, nevertheless, written in a style that is accessible even to those who lack Dr. Chelst’s erudition. It is a book that will be a welcome addition to any private Judaic library, but it is not one that should remain on a shelf. Rather, this book belongs at the Shabbat table – especially when the weekly parasha deals with the issues that Chelst discusses – at the Pesach Seder, and anywhere that people gather to exchange ideas and opinions.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Title: Exodus and Emancipation”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), co-sponsor of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.
Iran Legislative Compromises may Cause Nuclear Explosion in Washington
Latest Sections Stories
Teens-Twenties-logo

“I was so inspired by the beautiful lessons I learned and by the holiness around me that I just couldn’t stop writing songs!” she says.

Reidel-042415

Several thousand Eastern European Jews had escaped Nazi death and Soviet persecution by fleeing to Shanghai, China.

Something-Cooking-logo

Now that we’re back to chometz, it’s just the right time to give thought to our wellbeing. Who doesn’t want to lose a few bulky matzah-and-potato pounds? Who wouldn’t like to eat smarter and feel better? If you’re like most people I know, these are probably the first things you’d like to address. It’s time […]

Respler-logo-NEW

My mother-in-law and I have had our problems since the beginning of my marriage.

It was Lia van Leer who changed the image of filmmaking in Israel so that it is now seen as an expression of culture and not mere entertainment.

“People who never buy cookbooks are getting this one,” said Victoria. “They read it cover to cover and find it so interesting.”

We have recently witnessed how other minorities deal with even perceived danger aimed at their brothers and sisters. They respond in great numbers.

The Hebrew Academy students took part in all categories and used successful and innovative techniques to achieve their goals.

“The objective behind establishing small communities as places for relocation was a remedy for the excessive cost of housing and education in the large New York metropolitan market,” Mr. Savitsky explained.

Jewish Democrats did not entirely trust the son of Joseph Kennedy, a man broadly considered to be both anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi.

The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.

Every moment was a gift. I held each one, savoring.

We arrived in Auschwitz on Thursday, January 30, 2014. My seminary was taking us to see where the prisoners were kept. When we got there, I stepped off the bus in complete and total silence. I was in the back, and when we got to the gate I hesitated and started shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t […]

More Articles from Pessie Busel Novick

Each year, at the Pesach Seder, we enumerate the kindnesses that Hashem bestowed upon our ancestors. Has there ever been a population of slaves that was redeemed in so glorious a way – their oppressors punished, their physical exertion remunerated, their system of beliefs revealed Divinely, their nationhood established in the land they were promised centuries before?

Each year, at the Pesach Seder, we enumerate the kindnesses that Hashem bestowed upon our ancestors. Has there ever been a population of slaves that was redeemed in so glorious a way – their oppressors punished, their physical exertion remunerated, their system of beliefs revealed Divinely, their nationhood established in the land they were promised centuries before?

“The eight finalists include Elizabeth Goldmeier, Yeshivat Akiva, Southfield, Michigan; Dovi Nadel, Yeshivat Akiva, Southfield, Michigan”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/title-exodus-and-emancipation/2010/03/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: