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Torah QueeriesWeekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible$
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Gregg Drinkwater, Joshua Lesser, and David Shneer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814720127

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814720127.001.0001

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Into Life: The Humanism of the Exodus

Into Life: The Humanism of the Exodus

Parashat Beshalach (Exodus 13:17–17:16)

(p.89) Sixteen Into Life: The Humanism of the Exodus
Torah Queeries

Jay Michaelson

NYU Press

This chapter argues that the reading of Parashat Beshalach of Exodus represents one's transition from slavery to liberty and upholds the value of life. However, Western religious fundamentalists teachings today—especially those that concern queer sexuality—disparage the value of life in this world in favor of the life after death. In contrasts, humanism embraces the value of life by embracing gay liberation. This acceptance is a fundamental affirmation of the goodness of human life and a rejection of the claim that the basic human impetus to love, and to express that love in an embodied way, is to be subjugated to something else.

Keywords:   Parashat Beshalach, religious fundamentalists teachings, queer sexuality, gay liberation, humanism

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