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Paper - 1 Western Cultural Tradition Professor Behnegar 20...

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1 Western Cultural Tradition Professor Behnegar 20 December 2007 Abraham as Part of God’s Project Throughout the Torah, God sets up the foundation and laws for his Chosen people, the Israelites. In the process, he calls on many people to help Him and be leaders for His people. Abraham is specifically told he will be the founder of God’s great nation, and becomes a Biblical example for how the Chosen people, and all others who wish to be with God, should serve, love, and give honor to God. In general, the Torah consists of most of the Hebrew Bible. It establishes Jewish law, including things such as going to temple on holy days, and gives the promise of a savior with the fall of Adam and Eve from God’s grace. More specifically, the Torah can be viewed as the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the Bible, which are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Genesis begins the creation of the line of people who will eventually become the Chosen people, as well as presents covenants and fundamental laws of human nature necessary to serve God. Exodus expands on this with Moses as the liberator of the Israeli people from the Egyptians, and with the Ten Commandments. In Leviticus, God sets down many more rules and laws one must follow to serve Him, including sacrifices and religious rites, and Numbers proclaims the suffering the Israelites endure as they travel through the desert to reach their holy land. Finally, Deuteronomy shows Moses talking to the Israelites, explaining how they must continue to follow the laws and commandments set down for them, to honor, serve, and love God.
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2 This is God’s main project throughout the Torah. He created a community of Chosen people, and the nation of Israel, to serve as examples for the rest of the world. God ultimately is looking to populate Heaven, and blesses these Chosen people so they may know and serve Him, and eventually be with Him in Heaven. It is explained through all of God’s actions and the actions of the humans in the Torah how this community is set up, along with the civil and religious legislation the community must follow to be with God. Literally, the Torah tells the story of God’s Chosen people, the Israelites, from their beginning with Adam and Eve, to the appointment of Joshua as Moses’ successor and the Israelite entry into the Promised Land of Canaan. It seems as though the scheme of the Torah is a culmination of the Israelites’ struggles. God’s project is the creation of a community which would serve as an example to all other nations in the world, and the Torah shows the foundations of this community. In Genesis, as Joseph is about to die, he tells his family “God will surely take care of you and lead you out of this land to the land that he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac,
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