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Lord, Execute Judgment Against the New Pharaohs and Their New Pagan Gods

Jews around the world tomorrow hear Parsha Bo (Exodus 10:1 to 13:16) declaimed in the synagogue, recounting the last of the biblical plagues, the killing of Egypt’s first-born, and our midnight departure from Egypt. It is a solemn moment in our religious calendar. Our rabbis emphasize that God did not simply rescue us from Egyptian bondage, but brought a terrible judgment against their gods. Lord, hear our cry, and bring judgment against the pagan gods who are worshipped today!

God told Moses: “I will pass through Egypt on that night, and I will kill every first-born in Egypt, man and animal. I will perform acts of judgment against all the gods of Egypt: I (alone) am God.” (Exodus 12:12). Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks comments, “The plagues were not only intended to punish Pharaoh and his people for their mistreatment of the Israelites, but also to show them the powerlessness of the gods in which they believed. What is at stake in this confrontation is the difference between myth – in which the gods are mere powers, to be tamed, propitiated or manipulated – and biblical monotheism, in which ethics (justice, compassion, human dignity) constitute the meeting point of God and mankind.”

What was the upshot of Egyptian idolatry? The ruling elite wanted to live forever, and enslaved my ancestors to build grand tombs in which their mummified bodies would migrate to another life, surrounded by their wealth and some conveniently dead servants. A remarkably large part of Egypt’s economic output fed the fantasies of the Pharaohs, at which we laugh today. The desire for eternal life is not new, and hardly unique to Jews or Christians. Neanderthals buried their dead with grave gifts. Gilgamesh the Babylonian hero set out to find eternal life. The pharaohs built pyramids with our sweat and blood.

Today our progressive opinion-makers ridicule the concept of an eternal God and a world to come, but they believe that we soon will upload our minds to the Internet where our consciousness will continue intact. We laugh at the idea that the blessed would spend eternity strumming harps while seated on clouds, but enlightened opinion now believes that we shall maintain our conscious minds in Google’s cloud. Add to this a robotic body, and supposedly we can live forever. A lot of Silicon Valley billionaires take this seriously.

According to Wikipedia:

Mind uploading may potentially be accomplished by either of two methods: Copy-and-transfer or gradual replacement of neurons. In the case of the former method, mind uploading would be achieved by scanning and mapping the salient features of a biological brain, and then by copying, transferring, and storing that information state into a computer system or another computational device. The biological brain may not survive the copying process. The simulated mind could be within a virtual reality or simulated world, supported by an anatomic 3D body simulation model. Alternatively the simulated mind could reside in a computer that is inside (or connected to) a (not necessarily humanoid) robot or a biological body.