Culture Wars

Define Culture

 

Freedom!

No more slavery.

No more Egypt.

The yoke of Pharaoh is lifted.

Then this happens…

 

“When the people saw that Mosheh was taking a long time to come down from the mountain, they gathered around Aharon and said to him: “Get busy; and make us gods to go ahead of us; because this Mosheh, the man that brought us up from the land of Egypt — we don’t know what has become of him. Aharon said to them, “Have your wives, sons, and daughters, strip off their gold earrings; and bring them to me.” The people stripped off their gold earrings and brought them to Aharon. He received what they gave him, melted it down, and made it into the shape of a calf. They said, “Israel! Here is your god, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!” Shemot 32:1-4.

 

“In Choreb they fashioned a calf, they worshiped a cast metal image.”

Tehillah 106:19

 

I dare not put on airs of pretentiousness, or attempt to be condescending toward my Israelite ancestors. I try to put myself in their sandals. Walking 40 years in the wilderness: Would I have murmured, after going 72 hours without water? Would I have loathed the bread from heaven? Manna, again?! Anything else on the menu? Bamidbar 21:5. Would I have soared and risen above the peer pressure, rejecting a V.I.P. pass to the golden calf party? Regarding Shemot 32:1-4, I ask: In this moment, what culture had the most clout and dominion over my Israelite people? Israelites in Mosheh’s generation heard the audible voice of Yah, and received a new culture. A new way of life: Torah. My Israelite ancestors entered into an eternal Torah Covenant with Yah in Shemot 24:7. Surely, we are not simply Yah’s chosen, covenant people, on a nominal level, right? 

Some learned Bible commentators who are way smarter than I, along with Philo of Alexandria, posit that this artisanal idol is from the Egyptian pantheon. Either being Arpis of Memphis, or Mnevis of Heliopolis. Yah saved us Israelites from Egypt, but why was Egyptian culture, still in Israel? 

“And said to him, “Look, you have grown old, and your sons are not following your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. Shemuel was not pleased to hear them say, “Give us a king to judge us”; so he prayed to Yahweh. Yahweh said to Shemuel, “Listen to the people, to everything they say to you; for it is not you they are rejecting; they are rejecting me; they don’t want me to be King over them. They are doing to you exactly what they have been doing to me, from the day I brought them out of Egypt until today, by abandoning me and serving other gods.”

Shemuel Aleph 8:5-8.

“This came about because the people of Israel had sinned against Yahweh their God, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, out from under the domination of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They feared other gods, and lived by the customs of the nations that Yahweh had expelled ahead of the people of Israel and by those of the kings of Israel.”

Melekim Bet 17:7,8

There are a panoply of extant cultures today: Black culture. Hip Hop culture. Pop culture. Watchtower culture. Church culture. American culture. Greek culture. Ethiopian culture. Chinese culture. Korean culture. Israeli culture, and the like. As a Believer in Yahshua, whom Yah has called out of darkness into His wonderful Light; which culture tabernacles within me? Which way of life is currently dominating my thoughts, speech, actions? Since I am in the world, but not of this world, which culture is Yahweh calling me to promote? 

 

א

 

To be continued…

 

יואל

 

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