It’s entirely possible that celebrating the Passover, may be a bit like celebrating progress along the yellow brick road toward the fabled Emerald City. The odds that the exodus was an historical event is highly unlikely according to archaeologists.

In Egypt’s northern Sinai Peninsula, archaeologists have uncovered remains that coincide with the timing of the alleged exodus, but there is no evidence to support the Passover story. When asked about possible evidence that might give credence to the story of the exodus, Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass wasn’t encouraging … “Really, it’s a myth.”

A professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Benny Shanon, has another thesis that casts a different light on the story of the wandering Israelites and the ‘revelation’ on Mount Sinai. Shanon believes that Moses, if there was such a person, made use of mind altering drugs.

There is frequent mention in the Old Testament of preparations made from the bark of the acacia tree. Acacia bark contains the same molecules found in the powerful hallucinogenic, ayahuasca. It is made from one or more dimethyltryptamine (DMT) plants found in the Amazon region, and is usually taken as a potion, although the leaves can be dried and smoked. The effects of the drug are intense and include a type of sensory ‘magnification’.

Shanon believes that the Biblical reports of thunder, lightning and blaring trumpets when Moses was up on Sinai receiving the commandments from the alleged “Lord of Hosts”, was a drug induced vision experienced by people who were “high” on a powerful hallucinogen.

Shanon points out that those under the influence of the drug often report seeing bright light, and experience intense spiritual feelings. Users sometimes believe they can hear celestial music. The Biblical account of the “burning bush” if it in fact has any historical basis, was likely also a drug induced hallucination.

Perhaps the Passover celebration should include a ritual after-dinner toke.

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