Written at the beginning of the millennium. Twenty years later, with the rise of vitriol and violence still in pursuit of a people as old as the Pyramids, a reprint is timely.

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With faith and family intact, they survive the crucible of cruel Egyptian bondage. Even as they watch the Red Sea roll over the remnants of Pharaoh’s army, little do they know that suffering in the shadows of the pyramids would be counted among the least of their trials.

After two score years of desert-wandering, and armed with a ten-point, divine mandate for living, they are delivered into a Land of Milk and Honey. Despite the apparent preciousness of their legacy, peace would be only a provisional respite in their exodus. Amid the many future plights of this people, there would burn brightly the eternal flames of the miraculous lamps in Jerusalem. Later, the sacrificed souls at Masada would serve as silent witnesses to the profundity of faith.

While attempting to retain their dignity under the Roman boot, there arises the fateful convergence, at Jerusalem, of the Sanhedrin, the Procurator of Judea and a popular, itinerant rabbi. From that point on, as their great temples lie in the dust, they are splintered as a people and dispersed to the four corners of the earth. This Diaspora is to be long and tedious, as callously they are driven from one nation to another.

This second wandering in a desert created by a mentality of uncomprehending humanity is made tolerable only through their unflinching faith in Yahweh and family. Of much importance would be those steadfast tenets, as they approach the twentieth century and the most devastating outrages ever perpetrated by humankind upon humankind. It is ironic that a century—which in the confines of its mere one hundred years would exceed all previous accomplishments to the benefit of man—also would be known as the low-watermark of human degradation!

After such a Holocaust, they again—and with a sense of finality—seek a renewal of faith and family in a long-ago-promised place. Again, peace proves to be petulant when pursued.

So, now, at long last, at the dawn of a new century, can we not heed the exhortation of their best-known son—the one a goodly part of the world embraces—

At long last, even as another conflagration threatens to again rend the world asunder, can we not heed his constant invocation to accept, also, the rest of his brethren?

Curtis W. Long

Curtis W. Long

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