William “Billy” Weiss is my grandfather who is 85 years old and was born in Hungary, but moved to New Your as an infant. His parents and other family members were Jewish and practiced their faith and traditions very seriously. He was raised in a Jewish section of the Bronx in which most of his friends and neighbors were Jewish as well. Synagogues were close by and a lot of the schooling was run by Jewish faculty. Therefore; a lot of his upbringing revolved around his Jewish heritage. He worked as a peanut salesman at Yankee Stadium in his adolescence, and later moved to Los Angeles were he became a very successful manager in the fashion industry in the 70’s and 80’s. His hobbies include gambling at the racetrack and spending time with his family whenever possible. He does not practice his Jewish religion often but expects to be buried in a Jewish cemetery with a traditional ceremony. My immediate family is Catholic, so he has learned that faith as well over the years and celebrates those holidays too.
William delineated, “Moses did not actually part the Sea. A more realistic view of the story, and what is believed to have actually happened has to do with the tides of the day. It is said that when Moses and the Israelites got to the Sea, the tide was low and allowed them to cross, and when the Pharaoh got to the Sea and tried to cross, the tide was rapidly changing and made it impossible to cross. Moses did not magically, with the power of God, move the waters and defy the laws of physics, but with faith and trust in God, leaving Egypt at that specific time was what saved them.”
My Grandfather learned this realistic translation of this Biblical story from belief of his Jewish relatives. This story is part of the Jewish Torah and the Christian Old Testament, and is one of the most popular texts in either of the religions. The story that is told by text and is meant to be an entertaining story, not necessarily historically accurate. Putting a more realistic view on the story allows for the point to get across just as well, but makes the important story in the religions history to be seen as historically true. My grandfather said that as a child, he was taught the original story that is written in the Torah, but as he got older and doubt naturally started to reside as it does for most, he was taught the new interpretation to keep his belief but in a more understandable way.
I think that this translation of the story is very interesting and important to both the Jewish and Christian religions, and those who simply have heard the Bible story. One may think that “changing” the story around so that it can be interpreted as realistic is wrong because it is changing the “word of God.” I disagree with this idea and think that a realistic interpretation allows for an even stronger faith and allows for the power of God to be seen differently.