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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Jewish Self-Loathing and denial

By Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo




Want to make sense of what seems inexplicable? Here's a historical analysis with modern-day implications


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One of the most common psychological defense mechanisms used by human beings is denial. We all repress unpleasant experiences and do not want to be confronted with reality when it is too uncomfortable. Sigmund Freud was the first to postulate the theory and draw attention to it.

In the Torah we read about a bizarre complaint brought against Moses. After the Israelites had witnessed the 10 plagues and downfall of Pharaoh, and then left Egypt, Moses was accused by his own people of having brought disaster upon them. Once they realized Pharaoh was chasing them, they said:


Are there not enough graves in Egypt that you have brought us here to die in the desert? How could you do this to us, bringing us out of Egypt? Did we not tell you in Egypt to leave us alone and let us work for the Egyptians? For it would have been better to be slaves in Egypt than to die in the desert (1).


A most remarkable distortion of what actually took place! What skepticism, arrogance and utter lies: "We told you so in Egypt!" Even more surprising is the fact that after witnessing the unprecedented miracle of the splitting of the Red Sea, the Jews once again resorted to these falsehoods:


Then, in the desert, the entire Israelite community began to complain against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the Lord's hand in Egypt. There, at least we could sit by pots of meat and eat our fill of bread. But you had to bring us out to this desert, to kill the entire community by starvation!" (2).


This argument is astonishing—a fabrication of huge proportions! Was that really the choice? Living a life of tranquility in Egypt or dying in the wilderness? Moreover, the Divine's name is invoked so as to make the argument stronger.



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There are several ways to understand this phenomenon of extreme self-deception. Obviously, the Israelites were very well aware that their past was certainly not one of tranquility, sitting by pots of meat and eating their fill of bread. So, what were they saying?

I would like to suggest that they did not intend to deny the past, but rather the future—not that it did not happen, but that it would not happen again!

They said to themselves: Now that Pharaoh has been without us for some time, he has surely realized that we are a great asset to his nation and the future of his government. He needs the "yiddishe kup" (Jewish brains) to run and develop his country. So let us return home in triumph! We shall be received with dignity and prestige. Don't you realize, Moses, that Pharaoh's chasing after us is really a clear indication of his desire to escort us peacefully back to Egypt and offer us comfortable homes and food? We are afraid of them only because your refusal to allow us to go home will lead to chaos and pandemonium, and they will kill us out of frustration. Pharaoh has learned his lesson, and from now on we will indeed live in contentment, partaking of Egypt's bread and pots of meat! Why can't you see this?

Even after the splitting of the Red Sea, this argument is still convincing. The Divine only split the Red Sea to show Pharaoh and the Egyptians what a glorious people we are. We are protected by the Almighty and therefore of invaluable importance to Egypt. We will be given the most prestigious offices in the country. This has opened up a new world and it is time to realize that. And if you, Moses, ask us how we know that this is exactly what He has in mind, we respond that He would otherwise have given us plenty of food in the desert, and we would not have been chased by Pharaoh. The Divine would have crushed Pharaoh's chariots the moment he left Egypt. So, all that is happening to us is a clear indication that we are ethically, and even halachically, obligated to return to Egypt!

The reason why Pharaoh did all these terrible things to us is because his astrologers told him that a male child would one day be born to the Israelites and would rescue them from their plight (3), and therefore he started killing our boys. But if we would have made it clear that we wanted to stay, and if no dreams of freedom would have tempted us, nothing unpleasant would have happened. We would have remained and been part of the Egyptian kultur gesellschaft (cultural society) and everything would have been fine. But now, since we acted out of double loyalties, we are paying the price.

This may very well have been the reason why Moses, standing at the burning bush, shied away from His command to be the redeemer, claiming that he had a speech impediment (4). He did not want to take this task on himself, because he realized that when he would return to Egypt the Jews would say to him: It all started with you. Because of you, our children were killed. So leave us alone and forget your aspirations to be our redeemer. That would indeed have rendered him speechless.

The complaints of the Israelites after leaving Egypt were only the beginning of a long history of grandiose Jewish self-deception. To this day, these attitudes often create the foundations of Jewish self-repudiation and self-loathing, which become the root of animosity towards anyone who does not join this self-imposed denial of the Jewish cause.

Looking back through Jewish history and now at current events, including in Israel, we recognize the above arguments as being all too familiar.


1. Exodus, 14:11-12.
2. Ibid., 16:2-3.
3. Rashi on Exodus, 1:16.
4. Exodus, 4:10.

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JWR contributor Rabbi Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo is a world-renowned lecturer and ambassador for Judaism, the Jewish people, the State of Israel and Sephardic Heritage.

© 2012, Rabbi Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo

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