Cultural Canon Project Israel Essay

1732 words - 7 pages

At night there is silence in this land of history, and its people sleep patiently. They know of the multitude of nights before, dark but bright red lights of fire and war besieging the earth and sky. They know of burials, the indescribable weight of carrying their children taken from them as casualties of war. They know of hate and its bond with history, of the land and of their people; eternal minds with the rejection of outsiders permeating through generations.
But in the morning, as the herald of illumination bears her gift to the world, light burns away the temporaries of war and suffering and the fragility of life, purifying into a new crystalline memory of the oldest civilizations on earth, and of its people who have endured. Above all things, they have endured, and shall always remain. This land, holy land, is known as Israel, although depending on whom one asks one may find a different mentality on the title or ownership of the land. As outsiders, our analytical and empirical resources and guides will paint a thin imperfect picture of the land, and even innumerable codices regaling multiple millennia of humanities and literature, we can only learn so much from our perspectives. Only by completely knowing their world, the amalgam of cultural and peoples, of suffering and strain, of hate and love, of church and state, and of eternity and memory, can we begin the Jewish people and their nation of Israel.
To know the history of the Israel is to understand the nature of all people in the Middle East, once small tribes struggling to survive in a hostile and unforgiving land. We must know the history of the land, to a time even before Abram cast down his pagan name and replaced it with Abraham. In the early waking moments of mankind’s history, only now past the point of conception, we see the Sumerians, rising over the land in ziggurats of clay, great temple towers of praise to Tiamat and the marvel of their own existence. These first people would be the precursors to the dominant Abrahamic religions and the countless ethnicities, including the Jews. The Epic of Gilgamesh is a testament to the knowing the massive scope of this historical land and its eternal people, written over thirty-three hundred years ago, chronicles the heroics of the great superhuman king Gilgamesh who rules over the city of Uruk. (Sanders). Symbolically it illustrates the universal desire of all men on this earth to achieve ultimate longevity, or immortality. Through this journey, we see the longevity of a culture unmoved by time or outside invaders, as well as a comprehensive testament to the nature of early man throughout the world, and their relationship to supernatural forces.
Time passed, thousands of years, full of turmoil and progress, but the people always remained the same. The Jewish people fought against persecution from misunderstanding from Muslims, expulsion from the Christians, and overwhelming hatred from the Nazis. Yet despite countless centuries of...

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