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Author Topic: Ornery U - History of Judaism
Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
Paladine, Pete - Lisa will probably just say "cause god said so"

And that's not a bad answer, since God arguably does say so in the Torah. My point is rather that the prohibition on prostelyting is not only a new innovation, but one that conflicts with principles of the Torah.

quote:
but Judaism, among many other things, is an experiment in controlled breeding. Bene Gesserit, like, just with a set of rules doing the selecting. [Smile]
That is true of all cultures, Ricky. The difference is that the Jewish rules-set seem to be one of the most successful survival strategies, while the Muslim strategy is also highly successful in its own way.
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starLisa
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
Here, found this , which I'm surprised you didn't find first, M'lady, given your interest in the subject.

First of all, it's Missing_years_(Hebrew calendar). The link you gave won't work. Second of all, that didn't matter, because that page has been on my watchlist at Wikipedia for a long time.

quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
Also I see that quite a few perfectly orthodox scholars acknowledge the gap and come up with nice theories to explain them that don't give up any belief in Judaism, AND don't require we just take one version's "word for it" OVER multiple cross-referenced sources and various methods of dating.

You're mistaken. The only two they cite are Rabbi Schwab and the guys who wrote the "Y2K" article. Rabbi Schwab can't be used as support, because he wrote an article years ago addressing the question of "what if we were totally stuck with the Greek dates?" In that context, he hemmed and hawed and said, "Well, maybe we could say this." When he learned that there were people using that theoretical discussion as a source for the long chronology being acceptable from an Orthodox POV (as you did just now), he wrote another article retracting the idea with extreme prejudice.

As far as the Y2K thing is concerned, you should really read their paper. It's laughable. As much as you think the long chronology is correct, I think you'd still get quite a laugh out of their suggestions. I've been meaning to write a rebuttal paper for a while now. I just haven't gotten around to it.

quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
I think that about wraps up the subject of the missing years, and shows one need not believe that the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed anywhere near 421 BCE in order to be a good Jew.

If that makes you feel good. You're still wrong. That extra 166 years snaps the chain of tradition right between Jeremiah's disciple Baruch and his disciple Ezra. Once you do that, what you have isn't Judaism any more. But you go right on thinking that it's been "wrapped up".
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starLisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Ah! You dispute that Samaritans were Jews that intermarried with pagans. Interesting.

Well, yeah. The Bible says so rather explicitly. Other than Samaritan claims to the contrary, which contradict the Bible on a lot more than that, I can't see any grounds for seeing them as Jews who intermarried with non-Jews.

quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
For example, are Christian women less attractive to your men than Jezebel was, or do you concede that they are less "idolatrous" than Jezebel was, if idolatry can be calculated by degrees? [Big Grin]

Jezebel was only attractive to Ahab.
That was enough, neh? Today, a shiksa only has to be attractive to one Jewish man for his fellows to start mourning the loss of his progeny. Do you need me to link you to a few discussions for examples? [Frown]
I'm not sure what you mean. Yes, a Jew who marries out has committed just about the worst crime against our people that he or she can. If the person who does it is a man, his children are non-Jews [/QB][/QUOTE]

Hold on, Lisa. According to what you just said, they aren't even *his* children.[/QB][/QUOTE]

Right. And that branch of the Jewish nation ends. It's as though a world has been destroyed.

quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
and that branch of the Jewish family tree ends. Dies. That's something to mourn, don't you think?
Not according to the value system that you laid out on this forum. If he's not observant, then wouldn't it be far worse to have him raise Jewish children who would (according to what you said above) be unable to live up to God's particular expectations for them?
What he should do is raise Jewish children who do live up to those expectations. It's hard for us to measure whether one bad thing (raising his children wrongly) is better or worse than another bad thing (marrying out). But in the former case, at least there's the chance that the child will return. My great-grandfather was anti-religious. Strongly so, from everything I've heard. It'd probably have ticked him off to no end to know that his great-granddaughter would become religious. But God works in mysterious ways.

quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
But it has nothing to do with whether the non-Jew is Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Wiccan or secular.
Really? What if the non-Jew was Noachides?
It still wouldn't matter.

quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Would it make a difference to the story of David whether Uriah the Hittite was a convert to Judaism or a Noachides?

A Noachide, you mean. He was singular.

But Uriah was neither. When I lived in Israel, I worked with a guy who was French. That didn't mean that he was descended from Gauls. It meant that he lived in France. The same is true of Uriah. And Ittai.

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starLisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Paladine:
quote:
I'm not sure what you mean. Yes, a Jew who marries out has committed just about the worst crime against our people that he or she can. If the person who does it is a man, his children are non-Jews, and that branch of the Jewish family tree ends. Dies. That's something to mourn, don't you think? But it has nothing to do with whether the non-Jew is Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Wiccan or secular.
Why is it? You said before that you didn't seek converts because (as I understood it) they gained nothing by converting and stood to possibly harm you and themsevles by so doing. Why is it more desireable to have people born into Judaism rather than to have people seek it for themselves?
Because it's the place of Jews to carry on what God has given us. "And you shall teach them diligently to your children" is a fundamental concept for us. Jews are obligated to procreate and continue the Jewish people.
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starLisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
Paladine, Pete - Lisa will probably just say "cause god said so"

And that's not a bad answer, since God arguably does say so in the Torah. My point is rather that the prohibition on prostelyting is not only a new innovation, but one that conflicts with principles of the Torah.
It doesn't, though. Proselytizing implies that God wants us all to be Jews. He doesn't, any more than He wants all Jews to be Kohanim. There's supposed to be Jews and non-Jews. But they're all supposed to acknowledge God and the Torah. Jews are supposed to be the teachers.
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starLisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
So if R. Meir is right in the Midrash, they are descended from Issechar, and thus fit Lisa's definition of Jewishness, which is of Israel.

Midrashim are not necessarily to be taken literally. Rabbi Meir was not seriously claiming that the Samaritan was from Issachar. He was mocking the guy. There are many midrashim where Rabbi Meir debates Romans or apostates, and he basically shows them that they're being foolish. In this case, he was simply saying that if the guy wanted to claim Israelite ancestry, he would have been better off using Issachar, because at least he could then make a case that Shomroni was derived from Shimron.

II Kings is explicit. Or do you also accept the possibility that Eli was a schismatic who wrongly stole the priesthood from a bunch of priests at Mount Gerizim?

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by starLisa:
quote:
quote:
[qb]Yes, a Jew who marries out has committed just about the worst crime against our people that he or she can. If the person who does it is a man, his children are non-Jews

Hold on, Lisa. According to what you just said, they aren't even *his* children.

Right. And that branch of the Jewish nation ends. It's as though a world has been destroyed.
But there are lots of Jewish men who never have children, by choice or by lack of opportunity. I don't see anyone mourning a lost world there. It kind of feels like sour grapes when the guy's only a lost world if he makes babies with a shiksa, as opposed to just not making babies.


quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
quote:
and that branch of the Jewish family tree ends. Dies. That's something to mourn, don't you think?
Not according to the value system that you laid out on this forum. If he's not observant, then wouldn't it be far worse to have him raise Jewish children who would (according to what you said above) be unable to live up to God's particular expectations for them?
What he should do is raise Jewish children who do live up to those expectations. It's hard for us to measure whether one bad thing (raising his children wrongly) is better or worse than another bad thing (marrying out). But in the former case, at least there's the chance that the child will return. My great-grandfather was anti-religious. Strongly so, from everything I've heard. It'd probably have ticked him off to no end to know that his great-granddaughter would become religious. But God works in mysterious ways.
Yes, but he works with the goyim too, neh?

quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
quote:

[qb] [QUOTE]But it has nothing to do with whether the non-Jew is Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Wiccan or secular.

Really? What if the non-Jew was Noachides?
It still wouldn't matter.
Even though the Noachide-Jewish match would be more likely to have kids that would convert ... you really value converts (and only technical converts in this case) less than you value another Jew's children?
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by starLisa:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
So if R. Meir is right in the Midrash, they are descended from Issechar, and thus fit Lisa's definition of Jewishness, which is of Israel.

Midrashim are not necessarily to be taken literally. Rabbi Meir was not seriously claiming that the Samaritan was from Issachar. He was mocking the guy. There are many midrashim where Rabbi Meir debates Romans or apostates, and he basically shows them that they're being foolish. In this case, he was simply saying that if the guy wanted to claim Israelite ancestry, he would have been better off using Issachar, because at least he could then make a case that Shomroni was derived from Shimron.

II Kings is explicit. Or do you also accept the possibility that Eli was a schismatic who wrongly stole the priesthood from a bunch of priests at Mount Gerizim?

I don't know the story; I'd just been raised on the assumption that Samaritans were apostate intermarried descendants of Jews. I'm not familliar with the II kings reference you speak of. As for stealing the priesthood, I was about to say that's not possible, but then I remembered Jacob stealing the birthright so I dunno. [Wink]
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Pete at Home
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I have to say that I'm relieved that you disclaim those rabbis, Lisa, and that they do not represent mainstream orthodox Jewish thinking. If one holds to those writers' presumption that everything that David did was justified because Solomon came through him, and through that son, the future messiah, then they'd also need to work out a justification for Lot's conception of Moab with his daughter, since that's part of David's genealogy as well.
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starLisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
But there are lots of Jewish men who never have children, by choice or by lack of opportunity.

And they're in violation of God's commandments. Every Jewish man is obligated to procreate.

quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
I don't see anyone mourning a lost world there. It kind of feels like sour grapes when the guy's only a lost world if he makes babies with a shiksa, as opposed to just not making babies.

You misunderstand. It's also a lost world if he doesn't have kids at all. In both cases, he's violating God's law. In the latter case, he's doing so in a way that spits in the face of Judaism and the Jewish people.

quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
But God works in mysterious ways.
Yes, but he works with the goyim too, neh?
Not like that. Not through violations of His Torah.

quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
quote:

[qb] [QUOTE]But it has nothing to do with whether the non-Jew is Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Wiccan or secular.

Really? What if the non-Jew was Noachides?
It still wouldn't matter.
Even though the Noachide-Jewish match would be more likely to have kids that would convert ...
I disagree with that. Actually, I disagree with the premise and with the conclusion. A decent Noachide would never marry a Jew. Because a decent Noachide would understand and accept the necessity of following God's law, and wouldn't deliberately choose to participate in that sort of violation.

I disagree about the likelihood of the children converting, because having a parent and role model who clearly doesn't give half a damn about the Torah is unlikely to result in a child who wants to convert.

And thirdly, we don't seek converts. Why would we want those children to convert?

quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
you really value converts (and only technical converts in this case) less than you value another Jew's children?

It isn't a matter of valuing converts less. It's a matter of the simple fact that Jews are obligated to have Jewish children, and we don't seek converts. The reason I gave for why we don't seek converts isn't the reason. It's a reason. Bottom line is that we just don't.
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starLisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
I don't know the story; I'd just been raised on the assumption that Samaritans were apostate intermarried descendants of Jews. I'm not familliar with the II kings reference you speak of.

II Kings 17:24-41:
quote:
And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Avva, and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof. And so it was, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not HaShem; therefore HaShem sent lions among them, which killed some of them. Wherefore they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying: 'The nations which thou hast carried away, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the G-d of the land; therefore He hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the G-d of the land.' Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying: 'Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the G-d of the land.' So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Beth-el, and taught them how they should fear HaShem. Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt. And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima, and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. So they feared HaShem, and made unto them from among themselves priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places. They feared HaShem, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away. Unto this day they do after the former manners: they fear not HaShem, neither do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after the law or after the commandment which HaShem commanded the children of Jacob, whom He named Israel; with whom HaShem had made a covenant, and charged them, saying: 'Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow down to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them; but HaShem, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm, Him shall ye fear, and Him shall ye worship, and to Him shall ye sacrifice; and the statutes and the ordinances, and the law and the commandment, which He wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods; and the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other gods; but HaShem your G-d shall ye fear; and He will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.' Howbeit they did not hearken, but they did after their former manner. So these nations feared HaShem, and served their graven images; their children likewise, and their children's children, as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.
In fact, the name by which the Samaritans were known in the Talmud is Cuthites.
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hobsen
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Having had some connection with an Orthodox Jewish rabbi with 23 children, I can say some Orthodox Jews still take that commandment to be fruitful and multiply very seriously today.
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hobsen
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The Wikipedia account of the Samaritans does not really contradict the account in II Kings. The Assyrians certainly brought in settlers from other areas, as was their usual policy with regions they conquered, but they probably did not succeed in carrying off every single Jew resident there either. And quite a lot of Jews over the centuries since that account was written were less than fully observant; there was probably intermarriage. Even the interesting detail of the lions rather proves some contact; if the new settlers did not have contacts with Jews, how would they know which god they had offended?

[ February 28, 2008, 11:52 PM: Message edited by: hobsen ]

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RickyB
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Yeah, need to fix the link
That should work. At least it does for me.


"First of all, it's Missing_years_(Hebrew calendar). The link you gave won't work. Second of all, that didn't matter, because that page has been on my watchlist at Wikipedia for a long time.

And you neglected to share it with us because....?

Second, in addition to Schwab and the Y2K business, they cite Rabbi Azariah Dei Rossi, Rabbit Nachman Krochmal, Rabbi David Zvi Hoffman an a guy named Lerner. All with explanations on what's up. All refraining from "fixing the history books" [Smile]

"That extra 166 years snaps the chain of tradition right between Jeremiah's disciple Baruch and his disciple Ezra. Once you do that, what you have isn't Judaism any more. "

Ahhhhhhh, so we can believe in the unbroken chain, but only if Baruch, who was already an active person at the destruction, was the direct teacher of Ezra, whose career was still in full swing a century later? This gets more and more bizarre. Where does it even sy that Ezra studied from Baruch? Does it in the text? Or only half a millenium later as received by the unbroken chain?

I, as I said, have gotten all I want or need out of this sidetrack. Obviously I can't and don't want to stop you from believing whatever flights of fancy you choose, but it seems beyond argument that other orthodox Jews have managed to accept the same dating the rest of the flawed world uses, and retain their faith nonetheless. If you want to go all Takfir on them, that's your business and has little to do with the definition of who is an orthodox Jew and what one such may or may not believe in.

For the purposes of this class, only gregorian dates will be used unless the Jewish date is material.

[ February 29, 2008, 03:47 AM: Message edited by: RickyB ]

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RickyB
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Pete - of course you're right. Even I sometimes forget that those exiles could possibly have been complete and total. I should cut down on the amount I write here and go over what I write more carefully [Smile]
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RickyB
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"In fact, the name by which the Samaritans were known in the Talmud is Cuthites."

Yup, and their land was known diplomatically as "the suspending strip" (separating, as it did, the Galilee from Judah). Less diplomatically, it was known as "The Cuthites Washcloth". [Smile]

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Jesse
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There is no reason to favor the Jewish story of the origin of the Samaritans over the Samaritan version of their own origin, other than belief that one and not the other was divinely inspired.
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RickyB
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Agreed. Plus, Jews cannot be seen as an objective source. Neither can Samaritans, but again, despite my foot in mouth moment about "no research" (it was late, i was stoned), it is simply impossible that the assyrians exiled an entire population. They didn't have the transport capacity nor did their roads have the capacity to do such a thing, definitely without leaving any record. The Samaritans are almost certainly (or at least were at the time) a mix of original non exiled Israelites and replacement population. I don't know much about genetic research done among them. Must be interesting.
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Jesse
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They've been inbred for so long, and there are so few of them, that it would be interesting to know how valid such research would be.

Of course, I have no idea how possible it would be to define old bodies as Samaritan and try to get DNA from their teeth, or they would feel about that. I'm guessing they wouldn't find it exactly respectful.

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RickyB
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"I'm guessing they wouldn't find it exactly respectful."

Ya think? [Razz]

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RickyB
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OK, as for proselytizing - In the torah we find no encouragement of proselytizing whatsoever, and quite a few injunctions to hinder same. Moses did not really want his experimental community mingling.

Throughout the biblical era we see no signs of proselytizing effort, despite indications that quite a few gentiles at various times sought spiritual guidance from the Hebrew god and the temple.

Ezra again tightens the restrictions on intermingling with gentiles, and rejects the desires of various groups to align themselves with the reborn nation.

After Alexander Judaism is drawn out of its cocoon by the insatiable curiousity of the Greeks. The Torah is translated somewhere around 250 BCE. However, this is not through the initiative of the Jewish establishment, and in Jewish historiography this is considered a very unfortunate event.

As the Hellenic period progresses and turns to the Roman period, you see more and more apologetic Jewish writings, attempting to explain Judaism to a Hellenic audience and at times even reconcile the two world-views (philo).

Rome was an endlessly fertile ground for religious fads. The advent of Christianity was preceded by several centuries of mounting spritual crisis, as Romans found their religion, devised for a mostly rural monarchy cum-republic (no cum jokes!) insufficient for the realities of metropolis and empire. Many different religions made very nice livings off the bored Roman elite. Isis was especially big in Rome for a while. Judaism had its cerebral appeal, and had antiquity on its side, which the Romans greatly respected. So bunches of minor temple officials would go around Rome, making converts and getting donations to the temple. Until one day they pulled too big a sting on too important an old lady, her son complained to the emperor and Rome's 4,000 Jews were exiled for a few years. True story, as they say.

Anyway, this period, of the early first century CE, was the only period in which there was active Jewish proselytizing, as far as I know, but during this period it most certainly did exist. Most of the converts made this way - with an eye more on padding the numbers and the temple coffers and the missionary's cut, rather than spiritual conviction) did not stay true, and the vast majority apparently opted, following the destruction of the temple, for the emerging less stringent version of morality-based monotheism called... you know [Smile]

Anyway, this lesson is what caused one of the sages to remark that "converts ("gerim") are like a skin affliction unto Israel"

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Jesse
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The Kahzars converted in the Seventh Century, and more than a few tribes in Arabia converted in the wake of the Diaspora.
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hobsen
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khazars

quote:
In the 7th century CE, the Khazars founded an independent Khaganate in the Northern Caucasus along the Caspian Sea. Although the Khazars were initially Tengri shamanists, many of them converted to Christianity, Islam, and other religions. During the eighth or ninth century the state religion became Judaism, and the Jewish religion became widespread among the population. At their height, the Khazar khaganate and its tributaries controlled much of what is today southern Russia, western Kazakhstan, eastern Ukraine, Azerbaijan, large portions of the Caucasus (including Circassia, Dagestan, Chechnya, and parts of Georgia), and the Crimea.

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RickyB
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Doesn't mean there was proselytizing. [Smile]

I also forgot to address the Idumean episode, which was different from all other cases.

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Jesse
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However it went, they were some right bastards once converted, running around chopping off peoples wickerbills against their will.

The Khazars, that is.

[ February 29, 2008, 08:20 AM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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RickyB
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Yeah, not much doubt that the Khazars practiced, um, proselytizing. [Big Grin] I don't really count them when talking about the evolution of Judaism. Some think we should. I've yet to be convinced. [Smile]
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hobsen
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Having no opinion either way, why should the Khazars be or not be counted? It sounds as if there were a lot of them, and they spread over territory where there were a lot of Jews. If the groups stayed mostly separate, they may have had very little influence on Judaism; if the groups intermingled significantly, they did. And it does seem the Khazar history has nothing to do with proselytism by Jews; their rulers needed a state religion and picked one.
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RickyB
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Because there's no indication that the Khazars influenced Judaism outside their boundaries or after their time. The legends of the strong Jewish kingdom remained, and there's a seminal work of religious apologetics called "The Book of the Kuzari", by Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi (also a great poet), who dramatizes the Khazar (Kuzari) choice of Judaism over Islam and Christianity, in the form of an ecumenical debate. Beyond that... nothing, really. It was a sidetrack, an offshoot, a divergence. Like the guy on the flowchart who's only connected to the rest by a single one-way branch. [Smile]

BTW, my guess would be that the choice of Judaism allowed the Khazars to remain independent of aligning with either Muslims or Christians, and yet avoid being regarded as heathen by same. Just a guess.

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hobsen
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Thanks for the explanation, Ricky. That sounds reasonable.
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hobsen
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Concerning the Dead Sea scrolls, RickyB, you seem to agree with the following:
quote:
Schiffman (1995) accepted the conclusion, expressed by many biblical scholars, that the Qumran Sect was intrinsically linked to the scrolls found in the caves. The most widely adopted view is that the Qumran Sect was a small branch of the larger Essene movement (Sukenik 1955; VanderKam and Flint 2002). Scholars believe that this sectarian group was responsible for gathering together, copying (mostly between 150 B.C.E and 68 C.E.), and depositing documents in area caves.
But why do you think the scrolls - or the Qumran Sect - important to Judaism? So far as I have heard, modern Judaism descends from the Pharisees rather than the Essenes.
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RickyB
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Modern Judaism is undoubtedly pharisee. However, it is most instructive to know what the alternatives to the pharisees were, so we can appreciate the choices they made and have better insight into many of the many obscure passages in the mishna and talmud [Smile] Also, if Dr. Elior is right, and the dead sea sects split with mainstream Judaism due to their insistence on older theologies and principles, obviously the study of the scrolls gives us invaluable insight into the early Hebrew religion.

Plus, beyond Judaism, the scrolls are invaluable for studying the eschatological philosophies from which Christianity drew a large part of its original inspiration.

[ March 01, 2008, 05:12 PM: Message edited by: RickyB ]

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hobsen
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quote:
Also, if Dr. Elior is right, and the dead sea sects split with mainstream Judaism due to their insistence on older theologies and principles, obviously the study of the scrolls gives us invaluable insight into the early Hebrew religion.
Yes, you said that; and I missed its importance. That in itself answers my question.
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Everard
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My mother actually "treated' a Khazar in the hosital about a year and a half ago. (She does chaplaincy work very frequently).
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hobsen
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Arthur Koestler seems to have done a lot of harm by arguing, in The Thirteenth Tribe: The Khazar Empire and Its Heritage (London: Hutchinson, 1976 and New York, NY: Random House, 1976), that Ashkenazi Jews are primarily descended from the Khazars. But there is historical evidence that Khazars practicing Judaism spread to other areas after the fall of their country, and probably some of these left descendants. A more reasonable assessment comes from genetic studies, which were of course not available to Koestler:
quote:
The population geneticist Nathaniel Michael Pearson worked with the Human Genome Project a few years ago and helped to collect DNA samples from North Caucasians, Turks, Sino-Tibetans, and other groups. Pearson is of Ukrainian Jewish background and compared his paternal Y-chromosome sample to those of men from other groups. His DNA matched with an Uzbekistani Uzbek, an Uzbekistani Tajik, and two men from New Delhi in northern India. Pearson believes that the Central Asian haplotype he has could be connected to the Khazar Turks. However, he told me that this haplotype "appears at only a couple percent frequency in a large Ashkenazi sample (and strangely shows a slightly higher, but still very low, frequency among Moroccan Jews)". In other words, this particular possibly-Khazar ancestral strain represents a minority rather than a majority of Eastern European Jews. And while maternal DNA (mtDNA) studies have shown substantial links between Ashkenazi Jews and the peoples of Europe, these non-Israelite inputs into the Ashkenazi genepool still do not represent the majority of total maternal and paternal Ashkenazi ancestry, and probably only some of these European inputs come from Khazar women.
http://www.khazaria.com/khazar-diaspora.html
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RickyB
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AS for Hobsen's question bout the great revolt, over on Lisa's thread - a little background will be necessary.

In 63 BCE, Pompey the Great conquers Jerusalem and ends about 80 years of actual self rule in Judea (which at its height was about as large as modern-day Israel, making up for most of the Negev which it lacked (nabateans) in territories in modern-day Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.)

Pompey, Crassus and Caesar, who were all the strong Roman in the area for a time, all vacillated between various Hasmonean contenders, with an Idumean named Antipater (the only person who fully grasped that the days of independence were over, and that Rome's favor was the only key anymore) playing a major role behind the thrones. Eventually, following a brief interlude of Parthian conquest (40 BCE), Herod, son of Antipater, helped restore Roman rule over Jerusalem and Judea and became king under the Romans.

Skipping his fascinating story, he dies in 4 BCE (shortly after the birth of a certain pipsqueak, allegedly in a manger in or near the godforsaken hamlet of Bethlehem). In his will, he divides his large kingdom in three: Golan and adjacent district to his son Phillip, Galilee and adjoining part of trans-Jordan to Antipas, and Judea to Archelaus. Unlike his brothers, who were highly capable rulers and ruled for 38 and 43 years respectively, Archelaus was a moron and managed to annoy both Jews and Samaritans and get himself removed by the Romans, who decided to rule directly through governors.

The governors mostly did poorly at containing the religious and demographic problems plaguing the land, which at this point was torn between observant Jews and a population that lived a Hellenic lifestyle.

In 37 CE things changed when a Romanized adventurer, scion to both Herodian and Hasmonean lines, becomes king in Israel - first over Phillip''s vacant fief (Phil done kicked the bucket in 34 CE), then over uncle Antipas's part in 39 (following some particularly devious play), and finally, with the ascent of childhood pal Claudius in Rome, JUdea as well in 41. Herod Agrippa's reign was glorious, but all too short, ending in mysterious death after a 5 day illness in 44 CE. In the long run, his reign did more harm than good, as it basically teased the Jews with the possibilities of freedom, only to make them return to underclass status quickly.

Also, following his pal's death (which possibly spared Claude the need to face an insurrection led by Agrippa), Claude made a mistake. Rather than go back to Roman governors, from the Knight class, he turned to his Greek advisers and secretaries. Th difference was that while Roman governors were still much closer in outlook to Hellenics than to Jews, they still viewed both as natives and subjects. The Greek governors didn't even have that much balance. Jews (who were already in the grip of a religious doctrine which mae them hostilely disposed to all foreigners, particularly those they perceived as contaminating their holy land), were increasingly marginalized economically in favor of the Hellenic population. Violence between the two populations became increasingly common under the last governor, a real moron named Gessius Floros (Roman again, now that Nero was in charge). Finally, in 66 CE, the powder keg caught fire. The casus belli happened to be a right-of-way dispute in Caesaria. Full fledged civil war broke out between Jews and Hellenics al over, with Floros dealing in particularly bad faith, massacring Jews after they had been talked, with great pains, into letting him into Jerusalem and treating him as the authority. The Jews Massacred floros's garrison and took hold of the city. Then they managed to ambush the higher-ranking governor of Syria, Cestius Gallus, who came down to impose order in late 66, and the revolt was on.

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hobsen
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Oops, I meant to ask the question on this thread, of course.

I had never even heard of Herod Agrippa's brief reign. But the information about Claudius appointing Greek governors does seem to be a surprising mistake. The Romans knew quite well Judea was a likely spot for trouble; and it deserved the best governors they could get, Romans with as much stature as possible.

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RickyB
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Well, it was kind of a backwater for a Roman. Caesaria was nice (Herod built it specifically as refuge from Jerusalem's religious stress, with nice pagan temples, baths and all trappings of Roman good life), but it wasn't considered a plum appointment. Judea was a subdivision of grater Syria. Unlike the governorship of Syria, Judea wasn't considered a fitting proconsular gig, for instance. But yes, Rome's neglect was shortsighted. Claudius just didn't trust Romans much. Most of them had cultivated contempt for him most of their respective lives [Smile] Nero went back to knights, but picked bad ones and failed to redress Jewish grievances when petitioned.
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RickyB
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OK, the professor is baaaaaack. Thanks, Paladine.

Don't feel bound to the extant discussions. Start new ones [Smile]

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RickyB
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OK, about the Khazars - while I can't see any cultural or religious impact (we know they were regarded as religiously lite by at least some significant contemporaries, but treated with respect cause, well, ya know [Smile] ), there can be little doubt they had quite a genetic impact.

Ben Zion Di-Nur, a holoaust survivor who was a pre-eminent scholar of Jewish history, stated flatly that the Khazar empire was "the mother of Eastern-European diasporas". So wossname with his 13th tribe isn't off his rocker, but merely overstating. There is an unbroken chain of evidence of Jewish presence in Western Europe from way before the Khazars. Those are also what you call "Ashkenazee" and have nothing to do with the Khazars.

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hobsen
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quote:
Those are also what you call "Ashkenazee" and have nothing to do with the Khazars.
That seems to be supported by some genetic evidence. Looking at the Wikipedia article on Ashkenazi Jews, I was struck by the following study:
quote:
Both the extent and location of the maternal ancestral deme from which the Ashkenazi Jewry arose remain obscure. Here, using complete sequences of the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), we show that close to one-half of Ashkenazi Jews, estimated at 8,000,000 people, can be traced back to only four women carrying distinct mtDNAs that are virtually absent in other populations, with the important exception of low frequencies among non-Ashkenazi Jews. We conclude that four founding mtDNAs, likely of Near Eastern ancestry, underwent major expansion(s) in Europe within the past millennium.
None of those four women were Khazars, and the significance of the study is increased by the fact that the Jewish population in Germany probably also included descendants of single Jewish men who migrated to Germany and then married native-born German women who converted to Judaism. So the study says at least half, and probably a lot more, of Ashkenazi heritage did not come from the Khazars. Further studies will surely cast more light on this question, although I cannot see what it matters today, other than that it refutes hate groups who claim the Jews of Germany were not really descended from the Jews of the Bible. This genetic evidence strongly suggests that most of their remote ancestors were Middle Eastern in the first century, and thus almost certainly Jews from that region.

[ August 07, 2008, 12:26 AM: Message edited by: hobsen ]

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