One relates to existential reality through the lenses that one's culture supplies. The culture of each society, in turn, includes the way it relates to time and, as a result, to history. Time as a physical quantity would appear to be a neutral concept, but its measurement is arbitrary. Time is certainly not neutral in any culture. It assumes various qualities, depending on the symbolic meaning that persons attribute to it. One therefore finds different approaches to history or to the writing of history in different cultures. The Greeks in the Classical and Hellenistic eras and the Romans in the ancient world attempted to write history for its own sake and to satisfy intellectual curiosity. On the other hand, the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Egyptians wrote chronographies, but not history in the western sense. Ancient Israel lies between these: one finds historiography in the Bible, but not history for its own sake. The Bible presents a view of divine providence in history, with God's essence being visible through historical deeds. Great importance thus attaches to remembrance through various rituals, in prayers and in celebrations on the Shabbat, festive days, and mourning and fast days. These do not, however, require those remembering to be historians. On the contrary, a society that molds its members in accordance with unequivocal memory patterns does not permit them to examine its history in a critical fashion; it constructs in them a collective memory, which transmits a single incontestable message.