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Documenting The Plagues

Documenting The Plagues

Fortunately, I missed reading The Jewish Week until after the Pesach seder, but in catching up, I read “Passover Haggadah: Fact or Fiction?” (April 6) in which Diane Sharon expressed her opinion that the facts of the Exodus are a metaphor, which if believed would cause one to “base their belief on historical facts that are later falsified.” Rather than accept Sharon’s version, documentary filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici responded to these charges via a documentary entitled “Exodus: Decoded.”

The third century BCE Egyptian historian Manetho, whose work was cited by Josephus, equated the Hyskos expulsion with the biblical Exodus. These people were called “Amo” according to wall drawings. By placing the Exodus in the 15th century BCE, Jacobovici was able to show that the pharaoh of the Exodus was AhMose, whose monument describes darkness descending upon Egypt caused by God.

During that time the Santorini Eruption in Greece was responsible for many of the plagues which befell Egypt including a unique type of hail the Torah describes as being ice on the outside and fire on the inside. Unlike Diane Sharon, Simcha Jacobovici firmly believed that the pumice stone from 15th century Avaris, Egypt, which he brought to his seder table this year, was from the actual plague brought upon Egypt as described in our Bible.


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