America’s Fascinating Love Affair with Moses

While Jews across the world celebrate Passover, it’s an opportune time for many to re-familiarize themselves with the story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt. The incredible story has been told in countless ways, perhaps none more famous than in Cecil B. Demille’s epic 1956 film, “the Ten Commandments,” which later got the animated treatment in 1998’s “The Prince of Egypt.” In fact, the story has proven so endearing in the United States that Moses has become revered in a way not seen in many other countries.

Aside from being Charlton Heston’s most famous role, Moses actually has a profound influence over the course of America’s history. While not everyone is fully aware of his historic significance in this country, Moses was absolutely revered by the Founding Fathers. Not only did they insist that Moses appear on the U.S. seal, but one of his quotes is actually engraved on the Liberty Bell. A model for the Statue of Liberty, he was considered a heroic figure for countless American slaves, who referenced Moses in one of their most famous spirituals, which later became a popular Passover tune.


That influence has continued unabated today. Upon announcing his candidacy for the presidency in 2007 in Selma, Ala, Barack Obama, in the presence of several civil rights pioneers, declared he was “in the presence of a lot of Moseses,” later making reference to the “Moses generation” that didn’t “see the promised land.” This was simply the latest reference to Moses when it came to the American presidency. George Washington has been compared to Moses, as was Abraham Lincoln when he died. And the debate over Moses’ birthright must have resonated with President Obama, who this year held his second White House Seder. Even Superman was modeled partially after Moses.

Over the course of American history, Moses has become fully embraced by America. A number of researchers suddenly taken by Moses’ place in American history point out how Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. compared himself to Moses. Even George W. Bush said he was inspired to run for president by a sermon about Moses. Brigham Young was also commonly considered an “American Moses.”

Writer Bruce Feller made it crystal clear last year while promoting his book, saying Moses was bigger than Jesus. But this kind of reverence has produced some debate in America as well. The idea of displaying the ten commandments in America’s courthouses has been a divisive concept for years now. In New York, a schoolteacher even generated debate when he named a teddy bear Moses. But despite some controversy, Moses has continued to be a key piece of American iconography that has managed to transcend religion in a country he never knew existed.

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to good health and well-being

Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.

Image courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
  • As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
  • If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
  • Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
  • By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Keep reading Show less
Sponsored

22 months of war - condensed in a 1-minute video

No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap

Strange Maps
  • The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
  • This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
  • Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
Keep reading Show less

Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
Technology & Innovation

Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

Keep reading Show less

How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.

content.jwplatform.com
Videos
  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
  • There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
Keep reading Show less