Thursday, June 5, 2014

Personality Traits and Why They Differ in Muslims and Jews:

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                           

                                                  Abraham as pictured back in the 2nd millennium BCE

As I was fixing an egg for a late breakfast after writing an article for my other blog, I had an epiphany about why Muslims and Jews are so different from each other even though they only believe in one G-d.  It stemmed from a discussion on facebook with others, including a dear Muslim friend, as to why we Jews do discuss facts about Mohammad yet won't become Muslims.  I explained back that  we do think differently even though we both believe in just one G-d and that Moses, who Muslims accept as a prophet, told us not to accept prophets easily.  We've had lots of false prophets in our history already.  We couldn't accept Jesus and then we couldn't accept Mohammad.  We revere Moses.

Then it dawned on me that Abraham's sons, Ishmael by Hagar the Egyptian and Isaac by his own relative, Sarah, were so entirely different in personality, most likely due to their genetic makeup.  Sarah was Abraham's niece and was his legitimate wife. You see, by this she had coh-ach, or strength and power.    Her father was Haran who was Abraham's brother.   Abraham had come from Ur which is in today's Iraq.  He had moved to land made up up Canaanites and Philistines.   Ishmael was actually sent away by Abraham who was persuaded to do so by Sarah who saw that their living arrangement wasn't working out.  Abraham had 2 women in his tent; his wife and his paramour, both with sons.   Hagar was being hurtful to Sarah since she was the younger one but not a legitimate wife with the due respect coming with that title.   There was a lot of friction going on between the children and the women.
  Ishmaelites buying young Joseph, son of Jacob and Rachel,  from his brothers who were jealous of him

Obviously Hagar and Ishmael went back towards Egypt to join up with the culture she had left.  According to Islamic tradition, she was an Egyptian princess and is dearly loved by the Muslims.    Ishmael did not get the continued lessons from Abraham on behavior and goals in life because he had to leave the fold. Had he received enough to be on his own and act wisely?  Wouldn't  he now be living in Paran where the Canaanites were idolaters?  Paran was the desert, the wilderness in the Negev desert.  Israelites traveled through it after they had left Mt. Sinai where they received the 10 Commandments.  It is in the NE of the traditional Mt. Sinai, south of Kadesh and goes from the shores of the Gulf of Elath and the Arabah.   As it is, Ishmaelites also had 12 tribes from Ishmael and they had settled in Northern Arabia between Egypt and the Assyrian border.  They traded with Egypt.  Modern Arabs claim this descent.  Abraham had left his family in Charan who also worshipped idols as well.  More likely, Abraham was worried about the morality of the Canaanites.  They did not have the same morality, ethics and modesty that affects one's entire nature.  That's why he didn't want his own sons to marry such women.    He wanted them to marry a woman of kindness and sensitivity.
Then we have the twins that Isaac fathered by Rebeccah;  Esau and Jacob,  who later had his name change to Israel.   Rebecca's mother was  Bethuel, sister of Laban.  Bethuel and Laban were Arameans from Paddan-aram.  They were Semites who invaded the Fertile Crescent in the 2nd half of the 2nd millennium BCE and roamed between the Persian Gulf and the Amanus Mountains.  Israelite patriarchs were of Aramaic origin and had ties of marriage with the tribes of Aram.   So Abraham was her great granduncle.   The two boys were as different as day and night.  Here I cannot blame the mother for the differing genes, so I figure that Abraham already had a bundle of different types in his genetic makeup to pass on.  No wonder Ishmael turned out differently from Isaac!

Esau was born first.  He surprised his family by having red hair and a ruddy complexion and was pretty hairy all over.  So he was the elder brother with special rights as the very first born, even though the difference in the 2 boys couldn't have been more than a few minutes, maybe 30 at the most.  He was to receive a birthright and a blessing, and in those days blessings were like words from the will, amounting to gifts received that Jacob would be denied.  Jacob tricked Esau into selling him his birthright, so I think he was the wittier one.  Esau fell for it because it wasn't something of value to him in the first place, not being a material thing, and because the sale brought him food and he was starving to death after doing a lot of hunting.

They had different personalities and interests, unlike the usual twins born today.  Esau was a hunter and furnished his family with meat.  Jacob was more introverted and hung around the tents thinking and cooking that we are told about.  Jacob is described as being more wholesome.

Esau and Jacob became enemies which ended up with Esau trying to even kill Jacob, his own twin!  We know today of twins who mourn and suffer and cannot even function when a twin dies, yet Esau had this hatred, this animosity toward Jacob for some pretty darn good reasons.  Jacob had tricked Esau out of his inheritance through knowing of Esau's attitude towards his father's philosophy about a G-d and not being impressed about it and not being able to wait but needed the instant reward of food.  Being Esau's twin, he knew his twin's mindset.

The birth of the twins was foretold to Rebecca by G-d.  "Two nations are in your womb.  Two regimes from your insides shall be separated.  The might shall pass from one regime to the other and the elder shall serve the younger."   So she understood they would have problems before they were even born.  It turned out that she did favor the younger, Jacob,  even though Isaac favored the older, Esau.  Being Rebecca was around them more in taking care of them, she was the one who watched how they behaved.

The story is a symbol written in Genesis of the two nations of Israel and the Arabs, specifically with Edom which Esau represents. Edom, (Idumea) was a country in the SE section around Mount Seir and was a mountainous area with fertile land.  It is south of the Dead Sea and bordered on the Red SEa at Elat and Ezion Geber.  They were hunters.   So already back when Moses wrote this, he was told, as it came to him through G-d, that there would be animosity between these 2 people and this is the explanation for it.   It's a true example of prophecy come true.

Jacob wound up out of fear of his twin's deadly hatred,  having to leave his homestead and go to his uncle Laban in Haran where he married his cousins  Leah. and then Rachel, his true love.    Later he had sons by their handmaids, Bilhah and Zilpah;  just like Abraham had done with Hagar.

I see that our 12 Tribes of Jacob were made up of 12 sons originally who had an assortment of genes, both from their father and from their assorted mothers.

We have found that both many of the Arabs and the Jews have the haplogroup J1c3d in their genetic makeup.  Scientists can see which is the branch of Arabs and which is of the Jews.  As in the past, we are still having a terrible time seeing eye to eye on situations other than there is but one G-d.  We're still as different as Esau and Jacob in our outlooks.  The world will turn on its heels when we finally really unite as one .

Resource: Tanakh, Genesis
New Jewish Encyclopedia

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