Essay on What Does The Jews Have Affected Western Society?

1056 Words Nov 25th, 2015 5 Pages
Thomas Cahill argues that the Jews greatly affected Western society. Although the Jews are small in number, their contributions affect the way all people - both Jewish and non-Jewish behave. Firstly, Judaism introduced the concept of democracy to the world. In the book of Shmot, when G-d defeats the demi-god Pharoah, He proves no political figure can be a god. Furthermore, the 10 plagues are a direct attack against Egyptian gods: the transformation of the Nile river into blood an affront to the Nile-god, while the impenetrable darkness offended Ancient Egypt’s central god, the Sun-god (Ra). Absolute rulers may continue to exist and be accepted by their subjects, but Judaism took the first step in rejecting religious figures as politicians. Secondly, Judaism introduced many people’s sole reason to wake up every morning: the weekend. As written in Bereshit, G-d chose to create a day of rest to end each week. Not only does the Story of Creation establish a seven-day week, but it also provides rationale to take at least one day off each week. Prager himself says “those people who work seven days a week ... [are] slaves”. This does not mean a day off from physical work (known in Hebrew as Avodah), but from creative work (Malcha). A day’s rest from creative work allows the human mind to reflect and recuperate, allowing them to be much more productive and creative workers the other six days. In fact, studies have shown those who schedule rest time for themselves to be much more…

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