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In the Tapestry of Patriarchy
The Profound Impact of Ancestral Souls on Jewish Continuity [Beshalach]

Pharaoh sends various groups out of Egypt in Parashat “Beshalach”. Three are called "the people," and two are named "the children of Israel." This may signify different levels of Israeli identity, paralleling the five levels in the Talmudic tradition—soul, spirit, breath, life source, and unity (there is much more depth to be explored about these concepts). The first three groups are labeled "the people," leaving Egypt with less elevated motivations. The first, "It came to pass when Pharaoh let the people go," refers to those who needed expulsion; otherwise, they wouldn't leave, echoing instances when Jews awaited anti-Semitic pressure to vacate their diasporas. The second, "God did not lead them [by] way of the land of the Philistines for it was near, because God said, Lest the people reconsider when they see war and return to Egypt" includes those who want to leave but would retreat in the face of difficulties like wars. The third group, the one God led through the desert to the Red Sea, demands a spiritual journey, hinting at their insistence on receiving the Torah during the exodus, intertwining their physical and spiritual redemption. These are the three groups referred to as "the people," identified as an 'Erev Rav' in Kabbalistic tradition.

In contrast, two groups are explicitly named "the children of Israel." The first, mentioned in "And the Children of Israel went up armed out of the land of Egypt," signifies those willing to fight and conquer, fulfilling the national destiny of leaving Egypt for the divine promise of the land of Canaan. The second, more surprising group in and the children of Israel were armed when they went up out of Egypt" leaves without fear, believing in their historical destiny, ready to depart without conditions or preparation, following Moses. The motivation to escape bondage and reach the land of Israel can differ, but what matters is that they leave. Some may say, "It's essential to leave Egypt, but the time hasn't come; I'm not ready." In historical times, one is not asked if they are ready, but whether they are coming or not. Israel has left Egypt, and those who didn't go with them have exited history.

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A Bridge between Faiths
An Open Letter to Islam
[Part 1]

Rabbi Oury Cherki's "A Bridge between Faiths: An Open Letter to Islam, Part 1" delves into the intricate dynamics between Judaism and Islam post the 2023 Hamas attack on Israel. The piece probes the philosophical and legal facets of Islam's status in Jewish literature, uncovering points of unity and contention. Cherki scrutinizes Islam's potential for spiritual progress and calls for a nuanced understanding amid the unique historical context. The article accentuates the scarcity of literature exploring Judaism's stance on Islam, presenting itself as a contribution to fostering mutual comprehension.

Cherki elucidates the shared beliefs in monotheism, rejecting God's corporeality and idolatry, while acknowledging differences in their understanding. Notably, he highlights the significance of the Seven Noahide Laws, urging Islam to embrace them more unequivocally for enhanced cooperation. Judaism's recognition of Islam as a sister religion and the potential for collaboration are explored alongside historical perspectives, celebrating the initial affinity between the two faiths.

However, the article confronts substantial disagreements, including Islam's assertion of the nullification of the Mosaic Torah and claims of corruption by Jews. It underscores the necessity for Islam to acknowledge the eternal validity of the Torah and the divine promise of the Jewish return to their homeland. Cherki posits three prerequisites for Judaism to accept Islam as a legitimate religion for all, calling for recognition, abandonment of claims of corruption, and acknowledgment of the divine promise.

Concluding with a call for peace, Rabbi Oury Cherki sets the stage for Part 2, promising an exploration of Muhammad's status, Judaism's potential contributions to Islamic faith, and more. This open letter seeks to build a bridge between the believers in the One God, urging Islamic religious leadership to engage in dialogue on critical issues for future harmony.

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