Who is more entitled to worship God? This is a question that often arises in arguments between representatives of different confessions. Whose profets are stronger, which religion claims to be the earliest, the most spread – prolific in number of faithful followers; finally which one is the truest, the most useful; and applied to the modern realia – the richest, richest in contributions and rituals, traditions. The earliest regular faith known with humanity was doubtless Judaism, from the name of the region and of the people living there. My personal experience is limited in knowing those people, though they have always seemed to me fascinating, really superior as a nation, race, by their cohesion among themselves, including in preserving the religious rituals as well as in miraculously keeping their thesaurus and genocode, blood pure (the Jewish Diaspora everywhere in the world has always been tied by the strongest bonds ever).
I’ve watched the recent movie “Exodus: Gods and Kings” and by giving the merited credit to the film director I want to point to the excellence of the execution of the film, mirroring historic-biblical events he succeeded not to fall into a customary religious pathos. The testimony looks veridical, and although I was expecting to have a succession of heroic deeds, martyrdom, sacrifice, betrayal, retribution and salvation through miracles – the film pretty plainly and simply was reeling off the parallel history of the profet Moses, intertwined with the one of the Egyptian kings – Ramses. It was more human history in the making, than religious miracles; at a certain moment I was so much impressed by the Ramses-father’s woe at the death of his little son so pitiful and real the theanthropic grief that when he confronted Moses holding the dead body in his arms, I wished compassion for him and I wished Moses would forgive his enemy and do a miracle to resuscitate the little dead pharaoh… Despite of the fact that Moses earlier had saved Ramses’ life in a battle – it was humanly possible through dexterity and strength; that time Moses turned the back with defiance and contempt rather than out of helplessness and incapacity. They were equal in powers, enormous in ruling, training militarily to boost their might, in creating grandiose buildings, architecture, dress, armours and weapons but no one could prevent the plague from festering and killing their people and cattle, even the royals had been touched, marked; they could stand and fight invaders, conquer and subjugate other peoples, but they could do nothing against the grasshoppers’ invasion that devastated their crops and let them starving. They could get gold but very often had no drinking water and died of thirst and drought. Even the most keenly expected by me, moment from the story: the separation of waters, the departion of the sea so as the God’s chosen people could escape the chasing them army of oppressors, seemed so fathomably natural, possible, believable – that Salvatory tide and ebbing!!! which lasted just enough for the exodus to happen but caught in the whirling waters the almost entire rest of Ramses’ army, after they, in their wreckless rush have caused inadvertently by themselves, driven a deadly avalanche of warriors and horses with chariots and all on the mountains narrow traces. The total desolation of the Pharaoh at the end when his army suffered the worst defeat at the hands of natural forces and Devine wish is another climax of the story: they all kings and profets without discrimination are God’s subjects at his mercifulness! That is the lesson that entails and comes into prominence for us, all as well.
The film’s story is more history than religious fervor, it leaves however much space for meditation and mysticism; even in modern times it keeps a place for sacred adoration and miracles.
Moreover, when in our global village we are mixing and exchanging, borrowing and using everything that we not necessarily associate with, or understand properly – we do organize masked carnivals on Halloween, that belongs to some other peoples, have symbols understood only by them, pagan significance that has evolved and transformed into something else, we trick and treat ourselves on that occasion; why not bridge our emotional gaps by penetrating ourselves with the philosophy and profound meaning of the great Jewish people’s holidays as well. They are celebrating the 9 Hanukkah days, everybody has been penetrated by the candid light of the holiday, the 8 days lighting of a candle has been almost more gratifying with this expectation and prayers, with giving alms to the less favored and suffering, almost the equivalent in high sensations of a month of Christmas frenzied dash after the holidays generous offers for sales and the since-November-till-January lit decorations of the glittering tinsel and globe-lights of Firtree. Let them let us worship with them just like they immerse themselves in the Christian faery! That Old Testament departing of the Red Sea is like a Time’s crossing, it is both separating and reunifying, Salvatory and destroying, purifying anyways.