The machine generating the biggest conflicts after the Second World War is fed by an arsenal of ridiculous lies imposed on blood and, yes, money, a lot of money. This machine gun of lies is based on nonsense like these:
- The Jews are a race … LIE
- Jews come from Palestine … LIE
- It is only Jewish if the mother is Jewish … LIE
- The Jews dispersed in the diaspora … LIE
- Jewish nationalism is Jewish … LIE
- Judaism was not a proselytizing religion … LIE
- Moses took the Jews out of Egypt … LIE
- The Jews emigrated to Canaan … LIE
- David and Solomon reigned in Israel … LIE
- The Jews descend from the kingdom of Israel … LIE
- The Torah was written by the Israelites … LIE
- Monotheism is a religious concept … LIE
- The Bible is a religious work … LIE
- The Jewish people is an ancient concept … LIE
- The Jewish diaspora came after the destruction of the Temple … LIE
We could continue to spread lies about what is known about the Jews. Of the lying Jews.
First of all, we must explain the different «types» of Jews who, although they are called Jews, do not resemble each other and there are even supremacist attitudes against one another.
Most Jews belong to the Askenazi group, which accounts for 75% of the total. They are of Germanic language, Yiddish, and with their own traditions and customs. They are Jews of the German rite.
In contrast, there are the Sephardim, or Jews of the Spanish rite, which include both the Sephardi of origin in the Iberian Peninsula and those from the Levant, the Middle East and the Maghreb, the Mizraim, who adopted this rite of the Sephardic Jews when they left. from Spain and Portugal and merged with these communities.
The Yiddish language is more than 1,000 years old and incorporates German, Slavic and Hebrew elements. The prevailing view states that Yiddish has a German origin, while the opposite view postulates a Slavic origin with strong Iranian and weak Turkish substrates. One of the main difficulties in deciding between these hypotheses is the unknown geographical origin of Ashkenazi Jews of Yiddish (AY) speech.
An analysis of 393 Ashkenazi, Iranian and mountain Jews and more than 600 non-Jewish genomes showed that the Greeks, Romans, Iranians and Turks exhibit the greatest genetic similarity to the AY. The Geographic Population Structure analysis located most of the AJ along the main primary trade routes in northeastern Turkey adjacent to the primitive villages with names that can be derived from «Ashkenaz».
The Iranian and mountain Jews were located along the shops on the eastern border of Turkey. The loss of maternal haplogroups was evident in the YA that did not speak Yiddish. Our results suggest that the AY originated from a Slavic-Iranian confederation, which the Jews call «Ashkenazic» (ie «Scythian»), although these Jews probably spoke Persian and / or Ossetian. This is consistent with linguistic evidence suggesting that Yiddish is a Slavic language created by Jewish-Turkish-Slavic Jewish merchants along the Silk Road as a cryptic business language, spoken only by its creators to gain an advantage on trade.
Later, in the ninth century, Yiddish underwent relexification by adopting a new vocabulary consisting of a minority of German and Hebrew and a majority of newly-coined Germanic and hebroid elements that replaced most of the original Eastern Slavic vocabularies and sorbios (The Sorbs are a Western Slavic people recognized in Germany as a national minority, in Upper and Lower Lusatia in the federated states of Saxony and Brandenburg), keeping the original grammars intact.
Language is the atom of a community, the molecule that unites its history, culture, behavior and identity, and the compound that unites its geography and genetics. Therefore, it is not surprising that the origin of the AY remains the most enigmatic and least explored topic in history.Since the linguistic approaches used to answer this question have so far provided inconclusive results, we analyzed Yiddish and non-Yiddish YA genomes in search of their geographical origins. We tracked almost all the AYs to the main primary trade routes in northeastern Turkey adjacent to the primitive villages, whose names may be derived from «Ashkenaz». We conclude that the YA probably originated during the first millennium when the Iranian Jews Judaized the Greco-Roman, Turkish, Iranian, South Caucasus and Slavic populations that inhabited the Ashkenaz lands in Turkey. Our findings imply that Yiddish was created by Slavic-Iranian merchants of Jewish religion who travel the silk routes between Germany, North Africa and China.
This clashes head-on with the lie that sustains what they believe they are: a people that, although dispersed, share an ethnic-racial bond rooted in their common ancestral ancestry of the indigenous Jews of ancient Judea or Palestine, as the Romans called it after conquering the Jewish homeland.
It was Elhaik, an Israeli Jew from Beer Sheva, a postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins University, who has demonstrated that the roots of Ashkenazi Jews are found in the Caucasus – a region on the European and Asian border that lies between the Black seas and Caspian – not in the Middle East. They are descendants, according to him, of the Khazars, a Turkish people who lived in one of the largest medieval states in Eurasia, who became en masse to Judaism in the eighth century and emigrated to Eastern Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
The widespread conversion by the Khazars is the only way to explain the explosive expansion of the European Jewish population to 8 million at the beginning of the 20th century from its small medieval base. The accounts maintain that the few Jews who emigrated from the Middle East to Central Europe began to make children compulsively.
The genetic data published by a team of researchers led by Doron Behar, a population geneticist and chief doctor of the Rambam Medical Center in Israel, in Haifa shows that, on the contrary, the Mizrahi Jews are closely related to other non-Jewish populations of the Levant. , or of the Eastern Mediterranean.
«Before, to say that the Jews were a race was anti-Semitic, now to say that they are not a race is anti-Semitic,» when what really happens is that the YY, Ashkenazi-speaking Yiddish of Turkish origin are oppressing the Palestinian Semites. In short, it turns out that three out of four Jews are not Semites, but simply anti-Semites.
Another obvious proof of the genetic differences is the Mongol spot.
Mongolian spot (MM), also called congenital dermal melanocytosis, usually appears at birth or during the first weeks of life. It increases in the first 2 years and then disappears gradually. At 10 years of age, most of these spots have subsided; if the stain remains in adulthood, it is called persistent MM (3-4% of Orientals). Its frequency, similar in both sexes, varies among different racial groups. The term «Mongolian spot» is due to its high frequency in Eastern races, especially in the Mongols, who appear in 90% of newborns.
Clinically, it appears as one or several maculae of angular, round or oval morphology. The size varies between 1 and 20 cm and the edges are ill-defined (the larger ones are better defined). They have a homogeneous blue-gray coloration that is not accentuated in Wood’s lamp exploration.In people with dark skin it adopts a greenish tone. The classic location is the lumbosacral region and the buttocks. It is known as aberrant MM when it occurs in atypical areas, such as the back, shoulders, scalp and extremities. This is more likely to persist into adulthood.
Percentage of babies born with Mongolian spot according to the origin:
- Asian ethnicity, between 85 to 90% of newborn babies.
- Black breed between 85 to 90% of newborn babies.
- Native Americans, between 80 to 85% of newborn babies.
- This one in Africa, (in this area of Africa decreases the number of cases for the black race), between 80 to 85% of newborn babies.
- South America, about 45% of newborn babies.
- Europe, Mediterranean area, about 40% of births.
- Rest of Europe, in 20% of births.
- Caucasian race, from 5 to 10% of cases, being the least affected.
The Mongol spot was detected in the area of Mongolia (between East and Central Asia) by Erwin Bälz in the 19th century, and he is the one who baptized it as «Mongolian spot» because of the area where I detected it and because it was more common in this area than other parts of the world. At the moment the index has varied increasing in the black race equaling thus to the Asians.
Well, the AY do not have MM, while it is prevalent in the populations of the Middle East and among the Mizraim Jews.
Therefore, most Jews do not come from Palestine, and in the past there have been massive processes of Judeization, such as that of the Khazars, and also during the Roman Empire. There was no such diaspora as is said, but the Jews who appear scattered along the shores of the Mediterranean are mostly people who embraced the Jewish religion.
Jewish nationalism is an Ashkenazi fashion contagious of German romantic nationalism with which it shared physical space in the nineteenth century, with the difference that they set their eyes on Palestine as a land of «return» or national home. It is impossible to return to where you have never been (you could return to the Turkmen Central Asian steppes or so), but romanticism has what it has. This idea has turned out to be a bad idea, dangerous and that has brought death, destruction and poverty to humanity. There is also born the idea of »anti-Semitism» without Semites, another curious lie.
These lies, grouped in what is called «Zionism» whose founders are anti-Semitic Khazars rely on the monetary dominance that gives them being the owners almost exclusively of the Federal Reserve. This is a club of private banks, almost all Khazars, and that holds the sovereignty of money in the United States. They are the owners of the American dollar, a currency whose value is determined by the obligatory nature of its use for the world oil trade and supported by the military might of the United States.
On the other hand, being the largest owners of the debt of the United States serves to keep them kidnapped and parasitized in that country, and is the reason for their immense volume and growth. It is not surprising that Khazar members in the Government and in Congress are the majority, being a marginal minority population.
Contrary to modern conceptions, from the second century BC to the beginning of the fourth century AD, Judaism was a proselytizing religion, dynamic and expanding, and currently there is no data that can contradict this. The withdrawal of the community was a much later phenomenon, when the persistence of the Jewish minorities, within the now dominant Christian and Islamic worlds, was contingent upon the complete cessation of any proselytizing work, but, in the «pagan» regions, the Judaism continued to attract new followers and this brings us to the subject of the Khazars.
Every modern nation-state has a narrative of its origins, transmitted both by official and popular culture; among such national histories, however, few have been as scandalous and controversial as the Israeli national myth is. The well-known story of the Jewish diaspora of the first century AD and the claim of a cultural and racial continuity of the Jewish people to this day resonate beyond the borders of Israel. Despite their abusive employment to justify the settlement of Jews in Palestine and the Great Israel project, very little academic research has been done on their historical accuracy.Shlomo Sand wrote the Israeli bestseller «The Invention of the Jewish People» where it shows that the national myth of Israel sinks its origins in the 19th century, not in the biblical times in which many historians-Jews and non-Jews-reconstructed an imagined people with the purpose of modeling a future nation. In it, Sand reveals the construction of the nationalist myth and the consequent collective mystification.
The great historian Marc Bloch described the Jews as a «group of coreligionists originally assembled from every corner of the Mediterranean, Turkish-Khazar and Slavic worlds.»
The question must be posed: the slow emergence of increasingly extensive and reliable lines of communication through which populations began to be forged as peoples, in the context of centralizing realms and early nation-states, created a Jewish people?
The answer is no. With the exception of Eastern Europe, where the demographic weight and the exceptionally distinctive structure of Jewish life jázara fed a specific form of popular culture and vernacular language, no Jewish people ever appeared as a single, cohesive entity.
The Bund party, which represented one of the «protonational» expressions of the Jewish population of Eastern Europe, understood that the borders of the people, whom it sought to represent and defend, coincided with those of the Yiddish (AY) language. Moreover, it is interesting to note that the first Zionists in Western Europe set aside Palestine to place the Jews of the Yiddish (YY) world, and not for themselves; they in turn sought to be authentic English, Germans, French or Americans, and even passionately joined the national wars of their respective countries.
If in the past there was no such thing as a Jewish people, in modern times Zionism has succeeded in creating one? In all parts of the world where nations were formed, in other words, in all the parts where human groups claimed sovereignty or fought to preserve it, peoples were invented and endowed with long antecedents and distant historical origins. The Zionist movement did the same. But, if Zionism succeeded in imagining an eternal people, it failed to create a world Jewish nation. Currently, Jews everywhere have the option of emigrating to Israel, but most of them have chosen not to live under Jewish sovereignty and prefer to retain another nationality.
If Zionism has not created a world Jewish people, let alone a Jewish nation, however, it has given birth to two peoples, and even two new nations that it unfortunately refuses to recognize as illegitimate offspring.
There is a Palestinian people, a direct creation of colonization, who aspires to their own sovereignty and desperately struggles for what is left of their native land. And there is also an Israeli people totally willing to defend their national independence with total commitment.
The latter, unlike the Palestinian people today, does not enjoy any kind of recognition, even though it has its own language, a general education system and an artistic heritage in literature, cinema and theater that expresses a vigorous and dynamic secular culture.
Zionists around the world can make donations to Israel and pressure the governments of their countries in support of Israeli policy, but mostly they do not understand the language of the nation that is supposed to be theirs, they abstain from joining the «people who have emigrated to their homeland »and declined to send their children to take part in the wars in the Middle East. Today, the number of Israelis who emigrate to Western countries is greater than that of Zionists who settle in Israel. We also know that, had they been able to choose at the time, the vast majority of Jews who left the USSR had moved directly to the United States, as did the Yiddish-speaking Jews a century ago.
Would the State of Israel have come to light if the United States had not closed its borders to migrants from Central and Eastern Europe in the 1920s, a policy implacably maintained in the following decade against refugees fleeing from Nazi persecution, and still in the post-World War II period, towards Jews escaping from Europe?
Well, no. There would have been no Holocaust or Jews to relocate, and they would all be in the United States.
The Middle East is currently the most dangerous region in the world for those who consider themselves Jews. Among the reasons for this is the refusal of the Zionists to the existence of an Israeli people, whom they consider simply as the bridgehead of a «Jewish people» committed to a colonization that must continue, and to which the Zionists prefer to involve themselves in a self-centered ethnocentric ideology.
The Jewish people, like many others, base their identity on their founding myth, according to which Moses coerced the Egyptian pharaoh to free the enslaved Jews and took them on a 40-year march through the desert to Canaan. And like all foundational myth is a lie. For starters, there is no archaeological trace or any writing on this subject, in a culture like the Egyptian that recorded every last bag of wheat in a freight. But the most hilarious are not the 40 years of desert (which today are covered in 15 hours of car or 3 days walking according to Google Maps) but in the eleventh century BC, the pretended time of the Exodus, Canaan was dominated by the still powerful pharaohs Does this mean that Moses led the freed slaves out of Egypt … to take them to Egypt? You can not escape if you do not even bother to leave,
According to the biblical narrative, the people who for forty years led through the desert included 600,000 warriors, who would travel with their wives and children, which is a group of around three million people. Apart from the fact that it was completely impossible for a population of this size to wander so long in the desert, an event of such magnitude must have left some epigraphic or archaeological traces. The ancient Egyptians carried a meticulous record of each event and there is a large amount of documentation about the political and military life of the kingdom. There are even documents about nomadic group incursions. However, there is not a single mention about any kind of «Children of Israel» who lived in Egypt or who rebelled against him, or who left the country at some point.
In the Sinai desert no traces of any significant movement of population have been found during that period, and the location of the famous and biblical » Mount Sinai » has yet to be discovered. Etzion-Gever and Arad, mentioned in the account of Jewish wanderings, did not exist in that period and appeared much later as prosperous permanent settlements.
After «wandering for forty years,» the Children of Israel came to Canaan and took him by assault. Following the divine orders, they annihilated the majority of the local population and forced those who remained to serve as lumberjacks and water carriers. After the conquest, the people who had remained united under Moses were divided into separate tribes (like the last Greek settlements in 12 City-States) and the territorial booty was divided among them. This ruthless settlement myth, described in the Book of Joshua with colorful details as one of the first genocides, never happened in reality. The famous conquest of Canaan was the next myth to fall with the skirmishes of the new archeology.
For a long time, Zionist historians, accompanied by Israeli archaeologists, ignored well-known findings. If at the time of the supposed Israeli conquest the country was ruled by Egypt, how is it that there is not a single Egyptian document that mentions it? Also, why does the Bible make no mention of the Egyptian presence in the country? The archaeological excavations carried out in Gaza and Beth Shean had already revealed the Egyptian presence in the times of the supposed conquest and after it, but the old national text was too precious to renounce it, and scholars learned to cover up these problematic inconveniences with evasive and vague explanations.
New excavations in Jericho, that powerful walled city that the Children of Israel supposedly captured with trumpet fanfare, confirmed that by the end of the 12th century BC, Jericho was an insignificant hamlet, without walls of course. The same happens with most of the other cities mentioned in the story of the conquest. Traces of destruction and fire have been found in Hazor, Lachish and Megiddo, but the collapse of these old Canaanite cities was a slow process that lasted a century and was probably caused by the arrival of «the peoples of the sea,» like the Philistines , that at that time invaded all the Eastern littoral of the Mediterranean as it testifies an abundant Egyptian documentation and of other sources.
New Israeli archaeologists and researchers were less concerned with political exploration oriented towards the event and more by socioanthropological research, conducting regional research and exploring ancient living conditions, means of production and worship practices in large areas-and they showed a certain number. of discoveries and new working hypotheses regarding colonization in the highlands of Canaan. In the lowlands, after the decline of the Canaanite cities, local nomads probably settled in the land and gradually and with many intermediate stages formed sedentary agricultural communities. The initial population from which the kingdoms of Israel and Judea would gradually emerge was probably the Canaanite autochthonous population, which slowly emerged from under the Egyptian rulers as they withdrew from the country between the 12th and 10th centuries BCE. The pottery and work tools of these new peasants were no different from those of other Canaanites, except in one cultural feature: the absence of pig bones in their settlements.
This is a significant fact, but it does not indicate either the conquest of Canaan by a foreign ethnos or that these farmers were monotheistic. The development of scattered communities of cultivators, which produced the rise of cities based on their production, was a long and extremely gradual process that culminated in the appearance of two small local kingdoms.
As a result of the new archaeological discoveries the following biblical account in losing its scientific historicity was the jewel in the crown of the long national memory. From Graetz, through Dinur and the Israelite historians who came next, the united national kingdom of David and Solomon was the glorious golden age of Jewish history. All future political models were fed by this paragon of the biblical past and removed from it imagery, conceptualization and intellectual euphoria. The new novels integrated it in their plots; Poems and plays were written about the imposing Saul, the valiant David and the wise Solomon. The excavators discovered the remains of their palaces, and detailed maps completed the historical panorama and drew the borders of the united empire that stretched from the Euphrates to the border of Egypt.
Then came the archaeologists and scholars of the Bible after 1967, who began to question the very existence of this powerful kingdom that, according to the Bible, grew rapidly after the period of the Judges.Excavations in Jerusalem in the 1970s – that is, after the city had been «reunified forever» by the Israeli government – weakened the fantasies about the glorious past. It was not possible to dig under the Haram al-Sharif, but the explorations in the rest of the places around it failed to find any trace of an important tenth-century kingdom, the supposed time of David and Solomon. No vestige of monumental structures, walls or grand palaces was ever found, and the pottery that appeared was sparse and quite simple. At first it was argued that the continued occupation of the city and the massive construction in the reign of Herod had destroyed the remains, but this reasoning collapsed when impressive traces of earlierperiods of Jerusalem’s history were uncovered.
Other alleged remnants of the United Kingdom also began to be questioned. The Bible describes Solomon’s reconstruction of the cities of the north, Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer, and the archaeologist Yigael Yadin placed the city of Solomon the Wise in the great structures of Hazor. He also found palaces from the time of the United Kingdom in Megiddo, and discovered the famous Solomonic doors in the three ancient cities.Unfortunately, it was later found that the architectural style of these doors was later than the tenth century BC; They looked a lot like the vestiges of a palace built in Samaria in the 9th century. The technological advance of the carbon 14 test confirmed that the colossal structures of the area dated not from the kingdom of Solomon but from the time of the kingdom of northern Israel. Actually, no trace of the existence of that legendary king has been found, whose wealth is described in the Bible comparable to that of the powerful imperial rulers of Babylon or Persia.
The inevitable and problematic conclusion was that, if there was a political entity in the 10th century Judea, it was a small tribal kingdom, and that Jerusalem was a fortified stronghold. It is possible that the tiny kingdom was ruled by a dynasty known as the house of David. An inscription discovered in Tell Dan in 1933 supports this assumption, but this kingdom of Judea was much smaller than the kingdom of Israel to the north, and apparently much less developed.
The documents of el-Amarna, dating back to the 14th century BC, indicate that there were already two small city-states in the highlands of Canaan -Shechem and Jerusalem- and the stele of Merneptah shows that at the end of the 13th century BC the north of Canaan an entity called Israel. The abundant archaeological finds unearthed in the West Bank during the 1980s reveal the social and material differences between the two mountainous regions. Agriculture flourished in the fertile north supporting dozens of settlements, while in the south there were only a score of small villages in the 10th and 9th centuries BC The kingdom of Israel was already a stable and strong state in the 9th century, while the kingdom of Judah was only consolidated and strengthened at the end of the eighth. In Canaan there were always two distinct and rival entities, although they were culturally and linguistically related; the inhabitants of both spoke variants of the ancient Hebrew.
The kingdom of Israel under the Omri dynasty was clearly greater than the kingdom of Judea under the house of David. The first is the one with the oldest extrabiblical evidence: the inscription of the so-called Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III of Assyria, the famous Mesha stela and the inscription found in Tell Dan. All the great structures previously attributed to Solomon were in fact later projects of the kingdom of Israel. At its peak, it was one of the most populous and prosperous kingdoms of the land between Damascus in the north, Moab in the east, the Mediterranean Sea in the west and the kingdom of Judea in the south.
Archaeological excavations at various sites have also shown that the inhabitants of the mountainous northern region, like the peasants of Judea, were polytheistic devotees. They worshiped the popular Yahweh, who gradually became, like the Greek Zeus and the Roman Jupiter, the central deity. but they did not renounce the cult of other divinities, such as Baal, Shemesh and the beautiful Asherah.
That is, Yahweh was the main god of a typical polytheistic pantheon.
The authors of the Pentateuch, who were fierce monotheistic Judaes very late, detested the rulers of Israel, but envied their legendary power and glory. They stole his prestigious name – » Israel » – which was probably well established, although they never stopped denouncing his moral and religious transgressions.
Of course, the great sin of the people and the rulers of Israel was the fact that their kingdom was defeated by the Assyrian Empire in the second half of the seventh century BCE, that is, long before the fall of Judea in the SAW. In addition, they did not leave agents of divine remembrance with whom to dress their ardent religion with attractive pseudohistorical garments.
The conclusion accepted by a majority of the new archaeologists and scholars of the Bible was that there never was a great united monarchy, and that King Solomon never had great palaces in which to house his 700 wives and 300 concubines. The fact that the Bible does not name this great empire strengthens this conclusion. It was later writers who invented and glorified a powerful united kingdom, established by the grace of a «One Godhead.»
His fertile and distinctive imagination also produced the famous stories about the creation of the world and the terrible flood, the wanderings of the ancestors and the struggle of Jacob with the angel, the exodus from Egypt and the separation of the waters of the Red Sea, the conquest of Canaan and the miraculous stop of the sun in Gibeon.
The central myths about the original origin of a wonderful nation that emerged from the desert, that conquered a spacious land and that raised a glorious kingdom, lent a great help to the growing Jewish nationalism and Zionist colonization. For a century they provided a textual fuel of canonical quality that fed a complex politics of identity and territorial expansion that demanded self-justification and considerable sacrifices.
Archaeologists and biblical scholars, in Israel and beyond, undermined these myths, which at the end of the 20th century seemed to be on the verge of being relegated to the category of fictions with an insurmountable gap between them and real history. But, although the Israeli society was no longer so committed, and so in need of the historical legitimation that had sustained its creation and its very existence, it still had difficulties accepting the new findings and the public stubbornly resisted the change of direction in the investigation. .
In short, the Israelites did not arrive in Canaan, but were already there in the 12th century BCE, sharing space with the Canaanites. The Israelite villages are distinguished from the Canaanites in that no remains of pig bones were found. The pig was the food taboo of the proto-Israelites and what distinguishes them from the rest of the tribes in the area that consumed large quantities of pigs. This is the first identity taboo that still remains today.
The fall of the Canaanite kingdom caused the Israelites to simply occupy the Canaanite cities, in what was the germ of the kingdom of Israel to the north, which flourished on the basis of agriculture in its fertile valleys, in front of the Jews that did not exceed they were primitive semi-nomadic tribal groups that only resorted to agriculture in times of crisis when they could not change their cattle for grain.
The Assyrian invasion of northern Canaan destroyed the kingdom of Israel and gave the Jews the opportunity to expand and grow economically.
As it happened in other kingdoms of the region, the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judea are more likely to leave detailed administrative chronicles and boastful inscriptions of victories made by obedient scribes of the court, such as the biblical Shapan, son of Azaliah. We do not know and we will never know what those chronicles contained, but in all probability some were kept in archives of the kingdoms that survived, and after the fall of the kingdom of Judea the authors of the books of the Bible used them, with amazing creativity, as raw material to compose the most influential texts of the birth of monotheism in the Middle East. To these chronicles they added some parables, legends and myths that circulated among the intellectual elites throughout the region, and produced a fascinating critical discourse on the status of the earthly ruler from the point of view of a divine sovereignty.
In the sixth century BCE, the agitation of exile and «return» may have allowed the educated Jewish elite-former court scribes, priests and their offspring-greater autonomy than they could have had under a direct monarchy dynastic A historical contingency of political breakdown and the resulting absence of a demanding authority gave it a new and exceptional opportunity to act. In this way a field of unique literary creativity was born, whose great reward is not found in power but in religion. Only a similar * situation could explain, for example, how it was possible to sing praises to the founder of the dynasty (David) and at the same time describe him as a sinner punished by a superior being divine. Only thus the freedom of expression, so rare in pre-modern societies, produced a work of theological art.
We can therefore propose the following hypotheses: the exclusionary monotheism that stands out in almost every page of the Bible was not the result of politics-of the policy of a lesser king who sought to expand his kingdom-but of culture. It was the result of the exceptional encounter between the Jewish intellectual elites, in exile or returning from exile, and the Persian abstract religions.
The source of monotheism is probably in an advanced intellectual system, but it was removed from it and, like many revolutionary ideologies throughout history, was leaked to the margins by the political pressure of the conservative center. It is not by chance that the Hebrew word dai(religion) is of Persian origin. This first monotheism would be completely developed with his later encounter with Hellenistic polytheism.
Monotheism found utility as Judean political chicanery to achieve political cohesion and isolation.
The theory of the Copenhagen school proposes that, in effect, the Bible is not a book but a large library, written, revised and adapted over the course of three centuries, from the end of the sixth century to the beginning of the second century BC It should be read as a multi-layered literary construction of religious and philosophical nature or as theological parables that sometimes employ quasi-historical descriptions with educational intentions, especially aimed at future generations (since the system of divine punishment often penalizes descendants for the transgressions of their ancestors).
Its diverse and remote authors and editors sought to create a coherent religious community, and generously resorted to the glorious policies of the past to prepare a stable and lasting future for a center of worship in Jerusalem. Concerned about isolating him from the idolatrous population, they invented the category of Israel as a sacred, chosen town, whose origins were elsewhere, unlike Canaan, a local anti-village of lumberjacks and water carriers.
The textual and group appropriation of the name of Israel was perhaps due to their rivalry with the Samaritans who saw themselves as the heirs of the kingdom of Israel.
This literary policy of self-isolation, which began to develop between the «small province of Yahud» and the centers of higher culture in Babylon, fit in well with the global identity policy of the Persian Empire, whose rulers took the trouble to separate communities, classes and linguistic groups to maintain control of their vast possessions.
Some of the leaders, judges, heroes, kings, priests and prophets (especially the latter) who populate the Bible may have been historical figures. But his time, his relationships, his motives, his real power, the boundaries of his mandate, his influence and the form of worship-that is, what really matters in history-were the product of a later imagination. Similarly, the intellectual and religious consumers of the biblical story cycles-in particular the first communities of the Jewish faith-formed much later.
Knowing the work of Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, tells us little about ancient Rome but much about the England of the late sixteenth century and that is its value. Our attitude toward the Bible should be the same. It is not a narrative that can instruct us about the times it describes, but an admirable didactic theological discourse, as well as a possible testimony about the times in which it was composed. It would be a more reliable historical document if we knew with greater certainty when each of its parts were written.
For a long time the Bible has been considered by the three monotheistic cultures – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – as a work inspired by divinity, evidence of the manifestation and pre-eminence of God. With the rise of nationalism in modern times, it began to be considered more and more as a work elaborated by human beings as a reconstruction of its past. Even in pre-nationalist Protestant England, and still more among the Puritan settlers of North America and South Africa, the book became, through anachronism and fervent imagination, a certain kind of ideal model for the formation of a religious community. modern politics. In the past, Jewish believers tended not to delve into it, but with the rise of Jewish enlightenment a growing number of cultivated individuals began to read the Bible under a secular prism.
However, it was only the emergence of Jewish pre-nationalist historiography that gave the Bible a leading role in the drama of the rise of the modern Jewish nation. The book was transferred from the book of theological treatises to the history section, and the adherents of Jewish nationalism began to read it as if it were a reliable testimony of processes and events. It was truly elevated to the status of mitohistory, representing an incontrovertible truth. It became the center of secular sanctity that should not be touched and from which all consideration of people and nation should begin.
Above all, the Bible became an ethnic marker that indicated the common origin of individuals from different backgrounds and secular cultures, although all of them were hated for following a religion they barely observed. That was the meaning that underlay in this image of an ancient nation, that went back almost until the Creation, and that was recorded in the minds of people who felt dislocated by the turbulence of modernity. It was recorded in his consciousness of the past. The cozy bosom of the Bible, in spite of its miraculous and legendary character (or, perhaps, thanks to him), could provide a long, almost eternal sense of belonging; something that the vortex of the present could not give them.
In this way, the Bible became a secular book that children in school read to learn about their ancestors, children who would later march proudly as soldiers, fighting in wars of colonization and independence.
The Bible is a political work whose purpose is political and where religion is used to give legitimacy and political coherence and has played this role over time.
The last time it was used for this purpose, it resulted in the invention of the Jewish people.
A close examination of the historical event that apparently engendered the «second exile» in 70 AD, together with an analysis of the Hebrew term golah(exile) and its connotation in later Hebrew, indicates that national historical consciousness was a mosaic of disparate events and traditional elements. Only thus could it function as an effective myth that gave modern Jews a path to ethnic identity. The ultraparadigm of deportation was essential for the construction of a long-term memory in which an imaginary exiled people-race could be described as a direct descendant of a previous «people of the Bible.» As we will see, the myth of uprooting and exile was fostered by the Christian tradition from which it derived to the Jewish tradition, and grew to be the truth recorded in history, both general and national.
The first thing to note is that the Romans never deported entire peoples, nor did the Assyrians and Babylonians do so. It was not worth it to uproot the people of the land, those who produced the food, those who paid taxes.But even the effective policy of deportation practiced by the Assyrian Empire, and later by the Babylonian one – with which entire sections of the administrative and cultural elite were deported – was not continued by the Roman Empire. Here and there in the western countries of the Mediterranean, local agricultural communities were displaced to make room for the establishment of Roman soldiers, but this exceptional policy was not applied in the Middle East. The Roman rulers could be completely ruthless in suppressing rebellions of subject populations: they executed the combatants, took captives and sold them as slaves, and sometimes sent into exile kings and princes. But in no way did they deport entire populations from the countries of the East that they conquered; they did not have the means to do so either, the trucks, trains, or large ships available in the modern world.
Flavius Josephus, who wrote the history of the Zealot rebellion of AD 66, is almost the only source of this exile, apart from the archaeological finds dating back to that time, and his book, The Wars of the Jews , describes the tragic result of that period of conflicts. The devastation did not spread throughout the kingdom of Judea, but mainly affected Jerusalem and several other fortified cities. Josephus calculated that, in the siege of Jerusalem, and in the great massacre that followed, 1.1 million people died, another 97,000 were taken prisoner and thousands more died in other cities.
Like all ancient historians, Josephus tended to exaggerate his numbers.Currently, most researchers consider that practically all the demographic figures of antiquity are exaggerated, and that a good part has a numerological meaning. Josephus states that before the uprising a large number of pilgrims had gathered in Jerusalem, but the assumption that more than a million people died is not credible. The population of the city of Rome at the top of the Empire, in the second century AD, may have approximated the size of a modern medium-sized conurbation, but in the small kingdom of Judea there was no such metropolis. A prudent estimate suggests that Jerusalem at that time may have had a population of 60,000 to 70,000.
Even if we accept the unrealistic figure of 70,000 prisoners, it still does not mean that, after destroying the Temple, the evil Tito expelled the «Jewish people.» In Rome, the great Arch of Titus shows Roman soldiers carrying the candelabra of the Temple as booty; no, as is taught in Israeli schools, to Jewish prisoners taking them on their way to exile. Nowhere in the abundant Roman documentation is a deportation from Judea mentioned.Nor has there been any trace of large refugee populations by the edges of Judea after the uprising, as there would have been if there had been a mass flight.
We do not know exactly the size of the population of Judea before the Zealot rebellion and the war against Rome, but the whole area could not support more than a million inhabitants.
The wars of annihilation against the Zealots and their uprising against the Romans dealt great blows to the country, and the demoralization of the cultural elites after the destruction of the Temple must have been profound. It is also probable that the population of Jerusalem and its surroundings was diminished for a time. But, as has already been said, the population was not expelled and did not take long to recover economically.Archaeological discoveries have shown that Josephus exaggerated the devastation and that by the end of the first century AD several cities had recovered their population. In addition, the Jewish religious culture was about to enter into one of its most admirable and fruitful periods.Unfortunately, there is little information about the systems of political relations during this period.
We also have little information about the second monotheistic revolt that shook the history of Judea in the second century AD. The uprising that broke out in the year 132, during the reign of Emperor Hadrian and popularly known as the rebellion of Bar Kokhba, is briefly mentioned by the Roman historian Dio Cassius and by Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea and author of Ecclesiastical History. Echoes of this event appear in Jewish religious texts, as well as in archaeological finds. But unfortunately at that time there was not a historian of the stature of Josephus, so that any reconstruction of events can only be fragmentary.
Therefore, the question arises: would it be that the traditional story of the expulsion was due to the traumatic consequences of that rebellion?
When describing the end of the rebellion, Dio Cassius wrote:
«50 of its most important strongholds and 985 of its most famous towns were destroyed. Five hundred and eighty thousand men were killed in the various assaults and battles, and it is difficult to know the number of those who perished by hunger, disease and fire. Thus, almost the whole of Judea was devastated. «
The usual exaggeration is evident (figures used by ancient historians always seem to call for the deletion of a zero), but even this bleak story does not speak of deportations. Jerusalem was renamed Aelia Capitolina, and circumcised men were for some time banned from entering the city.For three years severe restrictions were imposed on the local population, especially around the capital, and religious persecution intensified. The captured fighters were probably sent out, and others had to flee the region.But the Jewish masses did not go into exile in 135 AD
The name of Province of Judea was changed by the one of Province Syria-Palestine (later Palestine), but in Century II dC its population continued being mainly Judea and Samaritan, and began to flower again during one or two generations after the end of rebellion. By the end of the second century and the beginning of the third, not only had the majority of the agricultural population recovered and production stabilized, but the country’s culture reached what became known as its Golden Age in the time of Rabbi Judah. -Nasi. The year 220 AD saw the completion and final disposition of the six parts of the Mishnah; a much more decisive event for the development of Jewish identity and religion than the rebellion of Bar Kokhba.
So, what was the origin of the great myth about the exile of the Jewish people after the destruction of the Temple?
In numerous contemporary rabbinical sources that, in the second and third centuries AD, the term galut (exile) was used referring to a political subjugation rather than a deportation, and that both meanings were not necessarily connected. Even other rabbinic sources after the fall of the Second Temple refer to the Babylonian exile as the only galut .
Israel Jacob Yuval, a historian of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, went further. He proposed to demonstrate that the renewed Jewish myth about exile is very late, and that it had its origin mainly in Christian mythology that spoke of the exile of the Jews as punishment for their rejection and crucifixion of Jesus. It seems that the anti-Jewish source of the exile discourse is found in the writings of Justin Martyr (apocryphal character created by Lactantius) who in the second half of the century related the expulsion of the circumcised men of Jerusalem, after the rebellion of Bar Kokhba, with a divine collective punishment.
With the creation of Christianity at the beginning of the fourth century AD, which led him to agree to the religion of the Empire, Jewish believers from other parts of the world also began to adopt the idea of exile as a divine punishment. The connection between uprooting and sin, destruction and exile was imbedded in the various definitions of the Jewish presence throughout the world. The myth of the wandering Jew, punished for his transgressions, was rooted in the dialectic of Christian-Jewish hatred that was to mark the frontiers of both religions during later centuries.
However, what is more significant is that from then on within Jewish traditions the concept of exile took on an open metaphysical connotation, reaching far beyond the fact of being far from the homeland. Like belonging to the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, it was essential to proclaim himself a descendant of the original deportees of Jerusalem;otherwise the position of the «Jewish believer» as a member of the «chosen people» was not assured. Furthermore, being in «exile» became an existential situation. Exile, in fact, was anywhere, even in the Holy Land.The Jews were exiled, although they did not move from their land.
Exile was a political argument given by anti-Jewish Christians to identify a mythical people who, wherever they were and who they were, came from the same root. Thus, the Khazars were covered as part of, and majority of, the supposed «people of Israel.»
However, all these accounts of dispersion contain an unsolved question.How could an agricultural people, who had turned their back on the sea and who had never established a far-reaching empire, produce so many emigrants? The Greeks and Phoenicians were seafaring people with a large percentage of merchants, so their expansion was a logical result of their occupations and their general way of life. They emigrated and established new colonies and cities throughout the Mediterranean Sea. These spread and grouped around him like «frogs around a puddle,» in the expressive phrase of Plato. Their commercial activity put them in contact with many other existing societies and influenced their cultures, and later the Romans did the same. But we must bear in mind two facts:
- Despite all its expansion, the homelands of Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans were not suddenly empty and desolate.
- In their diasporas, they generally continued to use their own language.
On the contrary, as Josephus reiterated, most Jews in their own country were not merchants but sacred soil workers: «As for us, therefore, we neither inhabit a maritime country, nor delight in commerce or mix with other men that arise from it, but the cities that we inhabit are far from the sea ». Despite the existence of merchants, mercenaries and political and cultural elites in Judea society, they never reached more than a tenth of the population. If at the height of the Second Temple period there were altogether about eight hundred thousand inhabitants in the kingdom of Judea, how many of them would emigrate? At the most a few thousand.And why did the Jewish communities not speak their own language, Hebrew or Aramaic, in their migrant communities? Why, in general, did their names in the first generation not be Hebrew? And, if they were farmers, why did not they even found a single Judeo-Jewish agricultural community in their diaspora?
A few thousand or even tens of thousands of Jewish emigrants could not, in two hundred years, have become a population of several million Jewish believers spread throughout the cultural universe of the Mediterranean.They were no more prolific than their neighbors and murdered their children just like everyone else.
It is generally assumed that Judaism has never been a missionary religion and, if some proselytes joined it, they were accepted with extreme reluctance by the Jewish people. The famous sentence of the Talmud, » the proselytes are a disgrace to Israel, » is invoked to put an end to any attempt at discussion on the subject. But when was it written?
The period between Ezra, in the fifth century BC, and the revolt of the Maccabees in the second century was a certain kind of dark age in the history of the Jews. The Judean population must have been very small then, because the inquisitive Herodotus, when he crossed the country in 440 BC, completely ignored it.
What we do know is that, although the abundant biblical texts of this Persian period promoted the tribal principle of an exclusive » sacred seed «, other authors wrote works that go against the hegemonic discourse, and some of these works entered the canon. The second part of the Book of Isaiah, the Book of Ruth, the Book of Jonah and the apocryphal Book of Judith, all called for Judaism to accept the Gentiles, and even for everyone to adopt the «religion of Moses.»
All monotheism contains a potential missionary element. Unlike tolerant polytheisms that accept the existence of other divinities, the same belief in the existence of a single god and the denial of plurality leads believers to propagate the idea of the divine singularity they have adopted. The acceptance by others of the cult of the one god is a proof of the strength and unlimited power of his god over the world.
Despite the tendency of isolationist caste implanted in the Jewish religion in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, which would later return in response to the harsh restrictions of the triumphant Christian Church, the Jewish religion was not as exceptional at propagating monotheism as many think.The reason for the great increase of the Jews was mass conversion. This process was driven by a policy of proselytism and a dynamic religious propaganda that achieved strong results amid the weakening of the world’s pagan vision.
Hellenism injected into Judaism the vital element of anti-tribal universalism which, in turn, strengthened the leaders’ appetite for propagating their religion, leading them to abandon the exclusivist commandments of Deuteronomy and Joshua. The Hasmoneans were not considered descendants of the house of David and saw no reason to emulate the story of Joshua, the mythological conqueror of Canaan.Perhaps this was the first time in history that a clearly monotheistic religion combined with a political government: the sovereign became a priest. Like other religions with a unique deity that would come to power in the future, the Asmonean theocracy used the sword to extend not only its territorial domain but also to increase its religious followers and, with the historical option of cultural Hellenization, came the possibility of conversion to Judaism. The borders opened in both directions.
In the year 125 a.EC Juan Hircano conquered Edom, the country that extended to the south of Beth-zur and Ein Gedi arriving until Beersheba, and judaizó to its inhabitants by force. This is how the ruling Hasmonean high priest annexed an entire people, not only to his kingdom but also to his Jewish religion. In the future, the Edomite people would be considered an integral part of the Jewish people. At that time, joining the religion of another group was considered as joining their people, their worship community. But only the progress of monotheism allowed such a commitment to faith to be as important as the traditional association with the origin.
This was the beginning of the slide into Judaism of what we might call judeanity -a cultural-linguistic-geographic entity-a term that denotes a broader class of religion-civilization. This process would evolve until it reached its apogee in the II century d.EC.
Who were the Edomites? Ptolemy, a dark historian of Ascalon, was probably more correct when he said: «The Idumeans, on the other hand, were not originally Jews but Phoenicians and Syrians; Subjugated by the Jews and forced to submit to circumcision, to follow their own customs to be part of the Jewish nation, they were called Jews. «
Their number is unknown, but it could not be insignificant since their territory was about half the size of the kingdom of Judea. Jewish converts of Edomite origin married the Jews and gave Hebrew names to their children, some of whom would play an important role in the history of the kingdom of Judea. Not only Herod came from them; some of the disciples of the strict Rabbi Shammai and the more extreme Zealots who participated in the great rebellion were also of Edomite descent.
The Jews probably lived before in Galilee, but the country was populated and governed mainly by the Itureans who had the center of their kingdom in Chaléis, in Lebanon. Its origin is dark, probably Phoenician and possibly of Arab tribes. The territory annexed by Aristobulus extended from Bet She’an (Scythopolis) in the south to beyond Giscala in the north, that is, most of the current Galilee without including the coast. The original inhabitants of Galilee were assimilated into the growing Judean population and many became devout Jews. One of Herod’s associates was Sohemus el Itureo.
Hircano, father of Judas Aristobulus, had to face a complicated conversion problem. When he conquered the region of Samaria in the year 111 (or 108) a.EC, he was unable to convert by force the Samaritans, who were in part descendants of the ancient Israelites. They were already monotheistic, rejected pagan customs, observed the Sabbath and practiced circumcision.Unfortunately, it was forbidden to marry them because their liturgy was slightly different and they also insisted on holding ceremonies in their own temple. For this reason Hircano destroyed Shechem (Nablus), the main Samaritan city and erased the temple of Mount Gerizim.
The current Palestine in the Hellenistic era had the Jewish core and the areas of Idumea, Samaria and Galilee conquered and its Judaized population.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that had it not been for the symbiosis between Judaism and Hellenism that, above all, made the former a dynamic and expanding religion for more than three hundred years, the number of Jews in the world today would be approximately the same as that of the Samaritans. Hellenism altered and reinvigorated the high culture of the kingdom of Judea and this historical event allowed the Jewish religion to ride on the Greek eagle and cross the Mediterranean world.
The conversions made by the Hasmonean kingdom were only a small part of a much more significant phenomenon that began at the beginning of the second century BCE. The pagan world was already beginning to rethink its beliefs and values when Judaism launched its proselytizing campaign and became one of the factors that paved the way for the great Christian revolution. Judaism still did not produce professional missionaries, as Christianity would soon do, but its encounter with the philosophy of the Stoic and Epicurean schools gave rise to a new literature that showed a strong desire to win souls.
At that time, Alexandria was one of the most important cultural centers of the Hellenistic world, and it was there, already in the third century BC. The initiative was born to translate the Bible into Koine, the current and generalized Greek dialect. The Babylonian Talmud and the work later known as the Charter of Aristeas would attribute the initiative to King Ptolemy II Philadelphus. It is likely that the entire Old Testament was translated over many years by a large number of Jewish scholars, and the company witnessed the important symbiosis that was taking place between Judaism and Hellenism, through which the former was becoming a multilingual religion. The purpose of translating to another language that was not national was obviously to propagate Judaism among those who did not speak it, that is, Gentiles. The Septuagint was the hesitant beginning of the missionary work of Judaism for works known as the books of the Apocrypha.
The large number of Gentiles who were attracted to Judaism and the full conversion of many of them were joined by the presence of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of Jews throughout the southeastern Mediterranean. Damascus was a flourishing Hellenistic center only surpassed by Alexandria, and there the conversion to Judaism was even greater than in Egypt. The popularity of Judaism, came to the kingdom of Adiabene in modern-day Kurdistan and Armenia, where his crown prince was Judaised and upon reaching the throne he imposed his faith against the nobility who rebelled against him. The kingdom of Adiabene was the first political entity outside Judea to convert to Judaism, but not the last.Nor was it the only one that gave birth to an important Jewish community that would survive until modern times.
If the conquests of Alexander the Great created an open Hellenistic sphere, the expansion of Rome and its vast empire completed the process. From then on, all the cultural centers around the Mediterranean basin would suffer the dynamism of the mixture and the forge of this new phenomenon. This emerging world opened a new perspective for the propagation of Judaism; At its peak, between 7% and 8% of the inhabitants of the Empire professed Judaism. The word «Jew» stopped pointing to the people of Judea to include the masses of proselytes and their descendants.
The first mention of Judaism in Roman documents has to do with conversion, and some of the references to Jews who were not inhabitants of Judea address this key issue. If the hostility to the Jews occasionally broke out, it was mainly due to their religious preaching. The Romans were, in general, typical polytheists, tolerant towards other beliefs and Judaism was legal ( religio licita ). But they did not understand the exclusivity of monotheism and even less the urgency to convert other peoples and lead them to abandon the beliefs and customs they had inherited. For a long time, conversion to Judaism was not illegal, but it was evident that the converts rejected the gods of the Empire, and this was perceived as a threat to the existing political order.
The great Roman poet Horace made a humorous reference to the Jewish missionary impulse in one of his poems; «Like the Jews, we [the poets] will force you to join our large party.» The philosopher Seneca thought that the Jews were a cursed people, because «the customs of this detestable race have gained such influence that they are now received throughout the world. The vanquished have given laws to their winners »
The crisis of hedonistic culture, the absence of an integrating belief in collective values, and the corruption that infected the administration of the imperial government seemed to call for stricter normative systems and a firmer ritual framework, and the Jewish religion fulfilled these needs.The rest of the Sabbath, the concept of reward and punishment, the belief in a later life and, above all, the transcendental hope in the resurrection were tempting characteristics that led many people to adopt the belief in the god of the Jews.
In addition, Judaism also offered a rare communal feeling that seemed to lack the spread of the imperial world, with its corrosive effects on old identities and traditions. It was not easy to follow the new set of commandments, but joining the chosen people, the sacred nation, also provided a precious sense of distinction, a true compensation for the effort. The most intriguing element of this process was its gender aspect: it was the women who led the long-term Judaization movement.
The » God-fearing » were semi-converts, people who formed wide peripheries around the Jewish community, took part in their ceremonies, attended the synagogues but did not fulfill all the commandments.Josephus mentions them on several occasions and describes Nero’s wife as a God-fearing woman. The term can also be found in many existing inscriptions in synagogues, as well as in Roman catacombs and is referenced in the New Testament.
It was precisely in these ill-defined areas of a paganism with problems and a partial or total conversion to Judaism that Christianity made progress.Driven by the impulse of Judaism in propagation and by the flourishing of syncretic religious varieties, an open and more flexible system emerged that deftly adapted itself to all those who accepted it. It is surprising to what extent the followers of Jesus, the authors of the New Testament, Lactantius and Eusebius of Caesarea were aware of the competition between the two market policies.
The strictness of the commandments, which produced that gloomy sphere of the «God-fearing» was cleverly used by Lactantius and Eusebius in his design of Christianity in the fourth century. His new faith better interpreted the sensitivities of the quivering polytheistic world, and he knew how to offer a more sophisticated and manageable approach to the monotheistic deity.
The first goal of newly-designed Christianity was to stop Jewish proselytism in its tracks so that it could grow at their expense. In fact, the edicts approved by the same emperor Constantine I explain why Judaism began to close in on itself in the Mediterranean region. The Christianized emperor ratified the 2nd century edict of Antoninus Pius, forbidding the circumcision of males who had not been born Jews. Jewish believers had always judaized their slaves; this practice was forbidden, and it did not take long for the Jews to be forbidden to have Christian slaves.Constantine’s son intensified the anti-Jewish campaign by forbidding the ritual immersion of proselytized women and forbidding Jews from marrying Christian women. The legal status of the Jews was not drastically altered, but a Jew who circumcised his slave was condemned to death; In addition, possessing a Christian slave could be punished by confiscation of property, and any damage done to a Christianized Jew was punishable by burning at the stake. On the other hand, the new proselytes, if there were any, ran the risk of losing all their properties.
Judaism in the pagan world, although harassed, was a respectable and legitimate religion. Under Christian repression it gradually became a pernicious and despicable sect. The new Church did not seek to eradicate Judaism; he wanted to keep it as an old and humiliated creature who long ago lost his admirers and whose insignificant existence exalted the victors.In these circumstances the large number of Jews throughout the Mediterranean inevitably descended at an accelerated rate.
And meanwhile, what happened to the Judeans?
If the Jews were never exiled from their country, and if there was never a large-scale emigration of their agrarian population, what was the historical destiny of the majority of its inhabitants? As we will see, the question arose in the early days of the Jewish national movement, but it faded into the black hole of national memory.
Taking into account the mass uprising led by Bar Kokhba, as well as the prosperous Jewish culture and agriculture in the times of Judah ha-Nasi, its Golden Age, and even afterwards, we can easily agree that «the Children of Israel »They did not suffer exile after the destruction of the Temple.Most scholars also agree that, between the fall of the kingdom, in 70 AD, and the Muslim conquest six centuries later, it seems that there was a Judean majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.
In the year 324 CE, during the time of Constantine, the province of Palestine became a Christian protectorate and a large part of its population became Christian. Jerusalem – from which the circumcised males were expelled after the Bar Kokhba rebellion – gradually became a predominantly Christian city.
The list of participants in the first Christian council of Nicaea in the following year reveals that there were also Christian communities in Gaza, Jabneh, Ashqelon, Ashdod, Lod (Lydda), Beit She’an, Shechem, Gadara and other places. It seems that the disappearance of the Jews of the country coincided with the conversion of many of them to Christianity.
Even so, the evidence shows that the spread of Christianity did not eliminate the Jewish presence in the country, and that the population was a varied mosaic of many new Christians, a solid block of Jewish believers, a strong Samaritan minority and, of course, the pagan peasantry that would persist for a long time on the margins of monotheistic religious cultures.
The tradition of Rabbinical Judaism in Judea, reinforced by its strong connections with Babylon, limited the capacity of dynamic Christianity to win souls in the Holy Land. Nor did the Christian repression of the Byzantine authorities succeed in extinguishing the faith and the Jewish cult or stopping the construction of new synagogues, as the last uprising in Galilee clearly demonstrated in 614 AD, led by Benjamin of Tiberias.
Baer, Zinur and other Zionist historians were not wrong in stating that the important Jewish presence was radically reduced after the Muslim conquest in the seventh century, but this was not due to the Jews being uprooted from the country, something that was not There is the slightest historical evidence. Palestine, the ancient Judea, was not destroyed by masses of migrants from the Arabian desert who dispossessed their indigenous inhabitants. The conquerors did not have that policy, nor did they exile or expel the agrarian population of Judea, whether they believed in Yahweh or in the Christian Trinity.
The Muslim army that between 638 and 643 AD swept like a typhoon from Arabia and conquered the region was a relatively small force. Its size is estimated at 46,000 soldiers, and the bulk of its army was later sent to other fronts on the borders of the Byzantine Empire. Although the troops stationed in the country brought their families, and probably seized the land to settle there, this could hardly provoke a major population change: it could reduce some of the residents to agricultural tenants. In addition, the Arab conquest interrupted the flourishing Mediterranean trade, leading to a gradual demographic decline in the region, but there is no evidence that this decline led to the replacement of a people.
One of the secrets of the Muslim army was its relatively liberal attitude towards the religions of the defeated peoples, of course as long as they were monotheistic. The commandment of Muhammad to treat Jews and Christians as » peoples of the Book » provided them with legal protection. The Prophet insisted on a well-known letter to the army commanders in southern Arabia: «Every person, whether Jewish or Christian, who becomes a Muslim is one of the Believers, with the same rights and obligations. Anyone who clings to his Judaism or his Christianity will not be converted and must [pay] the tax imposed on every adult, male or female, free or slave ». It is not surprising that the Jews, who had suffered a severe persecution under the Byzantine Empire, greeted the new conquerors and even rejoiced at their triumph. There are Jewish and Muslim testimonies that show that they contributed to the victory of the Arab forces.
During the Byzantine period, in spite of the persecutions, a good number of synagogues were built. But after the Arab conquest the construction gradually ended, and the Jewish houses of prayer became scarcer. It is reasonable to assume that in Palestine / Land of Israel there was a process of conversion, slow and moderate, which explains the disappearance of the country’s Jewish majority.
Between Judaism and Christianity there was an irreparable schism caused by the division of divinity that made the latter and that aggravated the rivalry between the two, and the abyss widened with the myth of the murder of the Son of God that intensified mutual hatred.
Apart from Syria and Egypt, Arabia was one of the regions closest to Judea and therefore the influence of the Jewish religion came very soon. The Arab kingdom of the Nabataeans that was bordering the kingdom of Judea disintegrated in 106 AD, not long after the fall of Jerusalem. Behind him stretched the Peninsula, inhabited by nomadic Arab tribes and crossed by merchants carrying goods from south to north. Jewish merchants also reached the oases of the main routes and some of them chose to settle there. Along with their earthly goods they brought the belief in a single god, and their spiritual offerings – an omnipotent universal creator and the resurrection of the dead – began to reap followers among the various idolatrous sects.
Before the advent of Islam-IV century or early V-in the so-called «era of ignorance» of Arab historiography, the Jews settled in Taima, Khaybar and Yathrib (later called Medina), in the heart of the Hijaz. Not long before the rise of Islam, Judaism began to break through the powerful tribes that inhabited these centers. The best known, because Muhammad collided with them at the beginning of his campaign, were the qaynuqa, the quraiza and the nadhir in the region of Yathrib.
The spread of Jewish monotheism, which was not yet rabbinic, must have helped to prepare the spiritual ground for the rise of Islam. Although the new religion clashed strongly with its predecessor, the Koran testifies to the decisive role played by the ideological preparation of Judaism. The Muslim holy book contains several phrases, stories and legends taken from the Old Testament and seasoned with local imagination. From the Garden of Eden, to the Shekhina, from the stories of Abraham, Joseph and Moses, to the messages of David and Solomon, who are called prophets, echoes of the Old Testament resound throughout the Koran (although it does not mention the great prophets like Jeremiah and Isaiah and, of the later ones, only Zechariah and Jonah). Judaism was not the only religion that penetrated the Arabian Peninsula; also the Christianity competed in the search of believers and in some places it was successful, although finally the Trinidad was not incorporated to the Muslim canon. Moreover, in the territory between these two well-defined religions there were some animated syncretic sects, such as the hanifs, all of which contributed to the bubbling crucible from which the new monotheism arose.
The triumph of Islam, at the beginning of the seventh century CE, limited the spread of Judaism and led to a gradual assimilation of the proselytized tribes. In addition, the new religion forbade Muslims to convert to Judaism, and anyone who propagated these conversions was condemned to death. As noted in the previous chapter, the privileges granted to those who joined the religion of Muhammad were difficult to resist.
However, before the uprising of Muhammad in the center of the Arabian Peninsula, the Jewish preaching work had led to the amazing conversion of an entire kingdom in the south. This mass conversion gave rise to a stable religious community that resisted the temporary victories of Christianity, as well as the subsequent triumph of Islam, and which survived to modern times, Happy Arabia.
The success of the propagation of Judaism in the Magreó was probably due to the presence in the region of a Phoenician population. Although Carthage had already been destroyed in the second century BCE, not all of its inhabitants perished. The city was rebuilt and soon returned to be an important commercial port.
Where did all the Carthaginians – the African Phoenicians – who populated the coast go then? Various historians have suggested that a large number of them became Jews, which explains the distinctive strength of Judaism throughout North Africa.
It seems reasonable to suppose that the close resemblance of the Old Testament language to the ancient Phoenician, as well as the fact that some of the Carthaginians were circumcised, facilitated the mass conversion to Judaism. The process could also be stimulated by the arrival of captives from Judea after the fall of the kingdom. The old population, originally from Tire and Sidon, had long been hostile towards Rome, and probably greeted the rebellious exiles and adopted their particular faith.The philo-Jewish policy of the majority of the emperors of the Severa dynasty, originally from North Africa, could also contribute to the popularity of the Judaization. North Africa was one of the most outstanding successes in the history of proselytization in the Mediterranean region until the 4th century.
Probably Judaism began to germinate in the Iberian Peninsula in the first centuries after Christ, mainly among proselytized Roman soldiers, slaves and merchants, just as it did in other imperial colonies in the northwest of the Mediterranean. The decisions made by the synod of bishops in Elvira provide evidence of the monotheistic syncretism that was still strong in southern Western Europe during the fourth century CE. Later, the severity with which the Visigoth rulers treated Jewish believers and new proselytes, mainly in the seventh century AD, led many of them to flee to North Africa.His historic revenge would not take long to occur.
The Jews were Unitarians as well as the Arians and, therefore, political enemies of the Trinitarians (Catholics), who were harshly repressed after the betrayal of Recaredo and until the arrival of Wamba. Upon the death of the latter and having left an heir too young, the trinitarian camp led by Roderico gave a coup before which the Unitarians, both Christians and Jews, asked for help from their brothers in North Africa, specifically Tarik.
The unitary conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, which began in 711, was mainly carried out by Berber regiments that could have included many proselytes, which increased the demographic size of the old Jewish communities. Contemporary Christian Trinitarian sources condemned the treacherous behavior of Jews in various cities who greeted the invading forces and were even recruited by them as auxiliary troops. Indeed, the flight of many Christians led the Jews, their rivals, to be appointed governors of many cities.
The subsequent arrival of the Muslims in the peninsula found a unitary land as was their faith, which produced a historical coexistence between the three religions of the Book.
In short, the Sephardic Jews were not Jews either.