The beginning of innovative thinking in human history: I am fascinated by Thomas Cahill‘s book „The Gifts Of The Jews: How A Tribe Of Desert Nomads Changed The Way Everyone Thinks And Feels“.
Cahill describes how with Abram leaving Ur in Sumer the idea arose that tomorrow could be a little better than today. At a time when there was no awareness of development in history, but life was perceived in circular concepts, here’s the first departure for a new future.
„The Gifts Of The Jews is a roadmap that opens up the path of western history, enabling us all to trace our cultural heritage back to its ultimate source – the religious ideas and feelings of ancient Israel.
Taking us first to Sumer in the third millennium, Cahill explores a civilisation in which life is seen – as it was in all ancient societies – as part of an endless cycle of birth and death: time perceived as a wheel, spinning ceaselessly, never altering its course – until the ancient Jews dramatically change that perception.
When Abram hears the voice of God speaking the unexpected words „Go forth“, the concept of an unknown future takes hold and western civilization is born. From this insight the Jews evolve a new vision of men and women with unique destinies – a vision that thousands of years later will inspire the Declaration of Independance and our hopeful belief in progress and the sense that tomorrow can be better than today“