Recently, someone who presents himself as a religious member of Jewish society told me that he feels it doesn't matter if the story of the Exodus actually happened, and can be viewed as a nice meaningful story meant to teach a lesson, not a fact. His exact words were this story is 'Meaningful, Serious, and Significant, but who cares if it actually happened'.
When I disagreed, he stated my opinion was based on a lack of knowledge of opinions concerning what is fundamental to believe in this religion. He dismissed my own literal opinion as an oness due to laziness of finding those said opinions, and told me not to worry about it. This is a seemingly intelligent person who when making a claim of sources, I cannot simply dismiss. However, the weight that our Torah put on the factual nature of this event and the duty incumbent upon us to Hashem based on this event makes it incomprehensible in my eyes to claim this event never took place.
I cannot defend his opinion and I don't intend to, I am just trying to find out if I am missing something. The only leeway might be is turning the story into a non-literal read the way many have done with the first chapter(s) in Bereishis. Both these accounts are tied to Mitzvos of zechira. Both these accounts are fundamentally connected to Shabbos and holidays. Yet only the creation account gets the imaginative treatment in society.
So, are there any mainstream Jewish opinions* stating the Exodus can be viewed as a 'meaningful story'?
*By this I mean a traditionally accepted as a Jewish opinion. I am not posting this to hear biblical criticism, whether or not the critic is Jewish.