Tonight we remember the struggles of our people throughout history. Archeologists, historians, and religious scholars all tell us that the story of Exodus is best seen as metaphor and not history — we were never literally slaves in Egypt, and when we talk of our oppression by the Egyptians, we should be careful to remember that no such oppression ever took place. But ancient and modern times are filled with real histories, from the Inquisition and diaspora of 15th century Europe to the Russian pogroms that drove some of our recent ancestors to this country. Most of all, through the personal histories of family and friends, our own lives are still touched by the events of the Holocaust — a time in which three times as many Jews were murdered as were alive in the time of Exodus. While here today we are free to celebrate the Passover in whatever way tradition and personal preference dictate, people in other parts of the world may not be so fortunate. While we sing, others still weep; while we recline like kings, others are still in bondage. So while the story of Passover is not a literal retelling of past events, it cautions us to remember that what happened before can happen again.
Remember that what we do here tonight is metaphor, and keep in mind how you would feel if some other culture had a tradition of telling a story, presented as truth, about how they, as a culture, were oppressed by the Jews, and let this night be a lesson in the dangers of that kind of story.
Citing the Torah, Dr. Hilmi is demanding, presumably on Egypt's behalf, the return of "gold, jewelry, cooking utensils, silver ornaments, clothing and more," not to mention interest thereon, taken by the ancestors of today's Jews "in the middle of the night" -- a "clear theft of a host country's resources and treasure, something that fits the morals and character of the Jews."
Nope that was the pagan Romans.
Scholars of the Hebrew Bible have in the last decade begun to question the historical accuracy of the Israelite sojourn in Egypt, as described in the book of Exodus. The reason for the rejection of the exodus tradition is said to be the lack of historical and archaeological evidence in Egypt. Those advancing these claims, however, are not specialists in the study of Egyptian history, culture, and archaeology. In this pioneering book, James Hoffmeier examines the most current Egyptological evidence and argues that it supports the biblical record concerning Israel in Egypt.
The plagues as they appear in the Bible are:
1. Water, which turned to blood and killed all fish and other aquatic life (Exodus 7:14–25)
2. Frogs (Exodus 8:1–8:15)
3. Lice (Exodus 8:16–19)
4. Flies or  wild animals (Exodus 8:20–30)
5. Disease on livestock (Exodus 9:1–7)
6. Unhealable boils (Exodus 9:8–12)
7. Hail and thunder (Exodus 9:13–35)
8. Locusts (Exodus 10:1–20)
9. Darkness (Exodus 10:21–29)
10. Death of the first-born of all Egyptian humans and animals. To be saved, the Israelites had to place the blood of a lamb on their door. (Exodus 11, Exodus 12)
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