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Happy I am an exile: exile in the service of the people and the nation - Yahyam Sorek

Yesterday we quoted on this website the article of Yehiam Sorek: "Yehuda the Maccabee was a cruel religious zealot and a thirst for power. His successors were no better than him", which was published in the newspaper Haaretz and which attacked the myth of the heroism of the Maccabees. Sorek responded to the editor's request and sent us an equally hot article, this time he calls Sorek a challenge to the myth of exile

The following list seems to me without a doubt to be a hot fudge. On the one hand, there is a kind of silence between researchers of the history of the people of Israel, which confirms that the myth of the forced exile is a mirage, and on the other hand, not a single one dares to say this openly, and certainly no scientific journal, one that benefits from a state budget, will have the courage to grant accommodation for such an apostate idea. To tell the truth, the person who looks at scholarly master literature will come across a veil of fog when it comes to the subject of (forced) exile, however, he will not find a single brave-hearted author willing to admit its "fallibility". It therefore follows that in the silence of the muses the cannons of myths thunder, and they are backed by overt and covert state policies, and in the end it seems to all of us that we have indeed been "raped" from our country. And not her.

Happy I am an exile, or: exile in the service of the people and the nation

The article in question may certainly arouse quite a bit of interest among readers, and in the best case raise an eyebrow and be puzzled. Many eyebrows were raised when I developed the subject of the list discussed at scientific conferences in Israel and abroad, and throughout the presentation of the things and their lecture, the eyebrows were lowered and straightened. In my opinion, the topic under discussion is of enormous importance in terms of the very understanding of the history of the people of Israel, currents that developed among them and even pointed questions regarding its very essence, path and vision up to our present day, because this greatly changes the very historiological attitude towards the Jewish people whether or not there was an exile. We are a kind of product of a mythological mantra that has been shaken into our veins throughout history, to the point of a kind of bond of silence among researchers, scholars, educators, including the people of Shem, as if the topic of exile is axiomatic, that does not need proof, and apparently it does need proof very much. This episode also has an added educational value because of the deep embedding of the myth of the exile in curricula and textbooks.
The article in question comes to shatter a sacred myth that concerns us: an exile that has been imposed on our people for many generations. For many years now, we have been exposed, directly and indirectly, in an official and even informal way, to the "mantra of exile", just like a thorn burned into our flesh, and never, to our dismay, have scholars been asked to deal with the very correctness and reliability of this mantra. I would like to attack in this list the myth of the exile, especially the one that was imposed on our people.

Who does not know the expression: "after two thousand years of exile". This is a mantra with the light of which millions of Dardaks were educated, in our country and abroad. This mantra dictated education programs, national projects, Zionist visions and basically what not. A simple arithmetic operation of subtracting those 2000 years from a casual historical event (or not) in our nation's history, will bring the curious mathematician to a fundamental, historical dilemma: when did it start and of course why from this "when" and not from another "when". The historical-chronological needle can be stuck in one of the traumatic events in the history of our people since the enslavement to the Hellenistic kingdoms (Ptolemaic Egypt - 312 BC, Seleucid Syria - 198/200 BC), the enslavement to Rome (63 BC), the destruction of the Second Temple ( 70 per cent) and more. The old textbooks "did" for us, the laymen, an easy job, but, alas, wrong and fictional, when according to their method it is as if the history of the Israelite people ceased to exist after the Bar Kochba revolt (135 AD) and from that time the period of exile began. It is a bit difficult to come to terms with the date discussed as the beginning of the era of "two thousand years of exile", otherwise we will fall into the future: 2000 + 135 = 2135 AD (oops!!), but this is really marginal and irrelevant.

The burden of exile has been on the shoulders of our people for "two thousand years," and found its poignant expression carved into the rock of our country's Declaration of Independence: "In the Land of Israel the Jewish people arose, where their spiritual, religious and political image was shaped, where they lived a life of state communism... after the people were exiled from their country by force of arms He kept faithful to her in all the lands of his dispersion...". First, if we add together the number of years of sovereignty of the people in the Land of Israel, in view of the period of its enslavement to foreign kingdoms (Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome and Byzantium), we will arrive at a number of years that is not at all flattering, and out of that it will be difficult for us to agree with "Hai Chai State Communism" , but it's really not that relevant to our case; Second - the box: "The people were exiled from their country by the force of the arm" is wrong, wrong and misleading, a myth is a myth, and that is the main point of the discussed saying; And what about "keeping faith with her"? This was indeed the case throughout history, and from the majority who "kept faith in it" in all its diasporas and diasporas, he did not bother to ascend and stick to it, physically and productively, but instead developed the myth of messianism, from which one cannot reject any effort to ascend, but rather expect that redemption will come by way of a miracle. A kind of tangled and complex situation was created in which the myth of messiahship fed the myth of the exile from rape and vice versa, and both of them also deepened the roots of the people in their exile, considering "Blessed am I, an orphan." I would like to assert that for many years there has been a kind of silence among our teachers and even among researchers of the history of our nation regarding the identification of exile as an element-institution in the historical memory of our nation. The source of the silence is rooted, it seems, in ignorance of this and impure and unwanted intentions, somehow mobilized, intended to raise the next flag: we left our country by force, we asked to return but they prevented it from us and therefore our ascension and holding on to the addiction that was stolen from us is legitimate, and since when? Well, of course, from two thousand years ago.

My argument is that the whole idea of ​​forced exile is nothing more than a figment of the imagination and delusions of a people who have lost the sense of historical examination and shackled themselves with myths mobilized for the perverse message of: forced exile and redemption from heaven. And no less sad is the attempt to claim that since that forced exile the return of the people to their country has been prevented. The avoidance originates from the same belief, relatively convenient, because only a supreme redeemer will bring ransoms and miraculous balm to the people who wander the world.
I will not be able, of course, within the framework of this list, to lay out the whole canvas and present a systematic sub-section on this matter, but content myself with a few points of time and interest.

First, in front of the ancient Babylonian exile stands the legendary return to Zion of the sixth and fifth centuries BC, which "neutralized" the first. Moreover, the number of exiles following the enslavement of the Hellenistic kingdoms and Rome as well as after the destruction of the Second Temple and the suppression of the Ben-Kosva (Bar-Kochva) rebellion was relatively small, what's more, some of them will be lost in the course of time (as part of the "Redemption of Captives" for example), and for our purposes - the majority of The Jewish settlement in Israel did not undergo a demographic upheaval during the historical events mentioned here. (So ​​where is the exile?). It is true that the events of our people in the Land of Israel during the days of the Second Temple and after the Great Revolt were accompanied by decrees, restrictive laws and sometimes by the cruelty of one ruler or another, but these moves were not accompanied by deportation orders, malicious emigrations or any kind of demographic, trans-pristine upheaval, and not long ago the Jews enjoyed privileges, From remedial instructions and even status upgrades (for example, the deportation of all the Jews of the Roman Empire in 212 CE). Following the Great Revolt (66-73 CE) it was indeed decreed to expel Jews from Judea, but from May? The dimensions of the demographic upheaval were tiny. It was about rebels who were captured and had "blood on their hands", and their number was known to be small.
Until recently, a significant part of the textbooks that unfold the history of the people of Israel ended with the failure of Ben-Kusba's rebellion (135 AD) just as the events of the people in their country ended and the period of exile began with "luck". In recent years, the writers have weaned themselves from this misleading judgment, but on the other hand, they did not properly examine the correct dimensions of the results of the rebellion and did not put the mythological bias and deception in their place, that is - the whole matter of the dramatic, massive, irreversible exile has nothing to rely on. The end of Ben-Kosva's rebellion was not easy at all, except that they tend to lose quite a few proportions. The country was not affected by a demographic, economic and social crisis, except for the specific areas where the rebellion took place, and this is a small part of the population concentrations in the country. Also, the total rehabilitation of Israeli society, a relatively short time after the uprising, also dwarfs the dimensions of the disaster as it used to be presented. In any case, there is nothing to talk about about the exiles that sealed the chapter of Jewish history in Israel and started the chapter of exile in our history. It was not and was not created. Those who doubt this assumption are invited to examine the silence of the foreign, non-conventional sources, such as the Roman sources in relation to any demographic phenomenon. More than that, if the dimensions of the demographic fluctuation were real, we would be expected to have been informed about it in the evidence embedded in the Sage literature about the expansion of the Babylonian community, it was said almost immediately after Ben-Kosva's rebellion. Evidence of this kind is not available.

Second, we do indeed find, and usually during periods of economic, social, political and certainly military crisis (such as war or rebellion), a phenomenon of Jews leaving the country (but that is to say, neither being deported nor forced to leave) and settling, some in Egypt and some in Babylon. Some of them returned to the land of the people for anger, or on the occasion of their trade, and some of them settled in the Jewish communities that prospered there, such as in Alexandria (until the Diaspora revolt in the days of Trianus) in Egypt, in Babylonian Sura or Nahardea and even in Rome.

Thirdly, between these two centers of exile (mainly Babylon) and the center of the Land of Israel, there were close ties throughout history, which facilitated the movement of Jews between these centers. The movement was on an economic-commercial, political and cultural basis, and it certainly did not leave a mark of forced, forced exile on the centers outside the Land of Israel. Throughout the Second Temple period and throughout the Roman imperial rule, ups and downs are reflected in the attitude of the leadership in the Land of Israel to the Jewish leadership and society in the Diaspora. Sometimes an attitude of condescension, irritation and even indifference is demonstrated and sometimes consideration, solidarity and empathy. This attitude is derived from historical elements concerning the Jews of Israel and/or the Jews of the Diaspora. In any case, with the exception of faint and vague allusions, there is no joy for Id and there is certainly no evidence, even vague, that suggests a forced, massive exile, the result of the authorities' policy.

Fourth, despite the fact that the number of years of sovereignty, the Jewish commune in the Land of Israel was limited, after all, even under the Greek and certainly the Roman conversions, the Jews of the land enjoyed autonomy, and sometimes very extended, economic prosperity, political-internal stability and cultural momentum (it was not for nothing that the signing of the Mishnah and the Talmud were held in Israel the Jerusalemite-Tiberian). The Land of Israel was therefore a clear and stable center. At the same time, of course, Jewish communities existed outside the Land of Israel, but not on the basis of deportation or forced population dispersion.

Fifth, even in the difficult days of the anarchy era in the Roman Empire (third century CE) and of the Roman-Christian emperors as well as the Byzantine rulers of the seventh century CE (the eve of the Arab conquest), such as the days of Heraclius (629 CE), no expulsion orders were published And no Jews were exiled from the Land of Israel, with the exception of phenomena of Jews fleeing due to the difficult situation, and even these did not amount to a "state plague".

Sixth, from the year 632 AD, the beginning of the Islamic conquests and the establishment of the Arab empire as far as Spain in the west, the Land of Israel was exposed to all the Jewish communities that had existed until then, and many Jews actually visited the gates of the land and were absorbed into it. On the other hand, the Islamic conquests caused a very interesting phenomenon of Jews integrating themselves into the results of the conquest and its fluctuations, throughout the Mediterranean basin, either directly (on Arab missions) or indirectly (on "own missions"), and manning urban and even agricultural centers in the Mediterranean basin. Deportation? Is exile forced? "Not at our school!"
In 694 CE, the Visigoth authorities (in pre-Muslim Christian Spain) discover a conspiracy of Spanish Jews who were preparing to overthrow the Christian monarchy. According to the Christian claim, the Jews of Spain contacted their brothers overseas, in North Africa, and planned a military invasion that would free them from Christian rule. Even if the accusation in question is not properly substantiated, it has something to point to the special weight of the Jews in Spain and North Africa, the fruit of many years of hard work. And by the way, they did nothing to examine a return to the Holy Land. The massive aid provided by the Jews of Spain to the Islamic conqueror, in Córdoba and other cities, also shows the flattering demographic data of the Jews of Spain. The establishment of Islamic rule in Spain, the beginning of the economic and security prosperity of this country served as a magnet for the arrival of many Jews to Spain from places near and far as the origin of much loot. Here is the beginning of "exile". A similar situation is developing in the Maghreb, in North Africa, such as in Kairouan and its surroundings, where Jews were attracted in the eighth and ninth centuries. And where did they come from? Long before the Arab conquest, a Jewish revolt took place in the days of the Roman emperor Trianus (114-116 AD) and following it, a Jewish wave began to wash over the center of North Africa and the west (by the way, these Jews could have raided the gates of the land, but it "wasn't in their minds" "). So where did the exile come from?!

Seventh, a starting point for the breakthrough of Arab-Islamic into history was the growth of the centers of Jewish genius, in Egypt on the one hand and Babylon on the other, and even in Germany and France (Hargamha Warsashi). The importance of the center in the Land of Israel gradually decreased at the expense of other, new and developing centers, and there was a negative migration from the Land of Israel to those centers of attraction in the Mediterranean basin. Deportation from the country? Exile from rape? Judge for yourself.

Eighth, the feeling of exile is strongly expressed, and for the first time, from Rav Saadia Gaon (tenth century), and it is that exile is a guarantee of redemption. Since then, different traditions have developed regarding the exile and its documentation, and slowly the consciousness and the feeling, distorted as mentioned, that the exile came by force and the end of the exiles will be redeemed by Heaven. This feeling deepened the roots of the people who lived in exile and were widespread in the diaspora, considering "I loved my Lord", or "Blessed am I in exile". This messianic hindrance almost closed the door on the possibility of taking the initiative and immigrating to Israel, during those "two thousand years of exile".

So my teachers and gentlemen said to me, where is that exile "that the people were exiled from their country by force of arms" (from the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel)? Where is that exile, which can be explicitly pointed to? Where is that exile, which can be argued to have taken place on a certain date and following a certain historical course? The myth of the exile arose, it seems, from two reasons: exile and national, that is: to justify the dispersion of the people of Israel in the various diasporas (that is, the "doctrine theory"), considering "God the Almighty did charity to the people of Israel who were scattered among the nations" (from the words of Chaz "l) And waiting for the miraculous, experimental redemption on the one hand and a desire to explain the Zionist enterprise of renewing the life of the people in their country, which reaches its end after being expelled from it by the force of the arm, was a search for legitimacy for the "Zionist redemption" on the other hand. It is interesting to note, by the way, that Zionism almost sanctified a basic principle of the "negation of exile" as an integral element in its construction and in its very existence, but the "negation of exile" was intended to serve as a driving force for abandoning exile, immigrating to the land, and conducting the looting of systems in the immigrant-settler, who is "emptied-exile" : engaged in productive professions, strong in body and spirit, well connected to the land and the production line and our religion - Zionism. The myth of the exile is intended to shrink and reduce "apostate" trends among groups of Zionists who have begun to doubt our right to the land, and to be puzzled by the trend of Zionist condescension towards the local Arabs. The myth of the exile was intended to attract Jews to immigrate to Israel and not to paint them, God forbid, as sitting on the historical meat pot. The exile was imposed on them and the country, addicted, simply calls her sons to return, the lost chicks to visit the nest. In any case, the myth of the exile is intended to blow clouds of fog over the "false" myth, as if the people of Israel were not expelled from their land and were not condemned to exile. Otherwise, how will he prove the righteousness of his return, "suddenly" and his settlement in lands not owned by him.
The reference to discovering Kabbalah has a very interesting dimension with the establishment of the State of Israel. The state, led by its not-so-liberal leader, David Ben-Gurion, sought to further strengthen the myth of the "Zabar" - the new Zionist - the sturdy, tanned, rough, a little blunt and a little mischievous, and all this after the war and towards War, stabilization, assimilation, melting pot and other national-nationalist tasks. The "Zabar" is anti-exile and anti-exile, but what to do when exile has existed for thousands of years. What to do? Cultivating and developing the principle of "we were raped", "they threw us away", and therefore it is possible to forgive this, because we did not run away, we did not leave for reasons of convenience, and when we came to Israel we were given the opportunity to be as "savers".
In the textbooks, as mentioned, it was possible to be exposed to the phenomenon of historical distortion, and what is it? The students would end the days of antiquity with the revolt of Ben Khosba (Bar-Kochba) and the "exile" that followed and that was it: an era ended, the continuation of which was not so comfortable, to say the least, for the rough, forceful, sturdy mantra of the "generation of XNUMX and beyond". The books skipped over the hundreds of years that have passed since then and raced to the growth of Jewish nationalism, Zionism, embraced its beginnings and its continuation, in the settlement, in the war against the British, dragged the children to embrace the Roaring Lion statue of Trumpeldor in Tel-Hai and brought up the tardaks to smear themselves on the steel surfaces of the tank In Dagenia, because it is well photographed and from the time they got to the Holocaust, the voices of the books were silenced until the Eichmann trial, because it is not comfortable and pleasant to present a Jewish diaspora of "sheep to the slaughter", and especially against the background of the silence of the settlement in Israel in the face of the horrors of the Holocaust that took place in Europe. And when the topic was rehabilitated, a twin term was immediately attached to it, so that it wouldn't get cold in the anti-Saber rain and it was called "Holocaust and Heroism". Simply amazing.
The myth of the exile was therefore mobilized in favor of internal trends in the people of Israel and did not reflect factual historical truth.

* Dr. Yehiam Sorek, Historian, Beit Berel College, Sokolov 99 Herzliya, 9584165-09

4 תגובות

  1. There is a difference between "devoid of any scientific basis" and "political agenda".
    The article is not devoid of any scientific basis. The article is historical and based on historiographic research according to all accepted research rules. Why is archeology a science and historical research is not a science?
    If the author of the article wants to test old documents in a laboratory, he will have to do so using scientific methods. See the article I published once:,7340,L-3753888,00.html
    and also:,7340,L-3762142,00.html
    Regarding a political agenda. Here we are talking about historiographical questions and that is what the debate is about - about the interpretations, whether they are based and what they are based on.

  2. I will explain myself, Yachiam Sorek agrees with Shlomo Zand's book "When and how was the Jewish people invented", according to which he supports him and his research.
    And I conclude that if so these two foolish theories combine.
    Zend's was disproved by studies in the field of biology, therefore I assume that Yechiam Sorek should also check the assumptions on which he is based.
    By the way, I did study at school about the period after the revolt and before XNUMX.
    Apparently Yahyam Sorek is as knowledgeable about the curriculum of the Ministry of Education as he is knowledgeable about history
    Publication of such a political manifesto is a certificate of poverty for "Yaden"

  3. I don't understand how a site like the scientist who deals with science publishes an article like this which is devoid of any scientific foundation, many assumptions and political agenda of our time, but most of all why an article is published here whose basis has been completely refuted by many genetic studies which are of course from a scientific place Much purer, natural science!
    I don't understand why the editor chose to do the readers such a bad service and mislead the public after scientifically unfounded things!

  4. After you ran out of all the arguments regarding the existence of a "Palestinian" people, you started looking for new ways to convince the Jews that they are a myth themselves and that because they supposedly left the land voluntarily they have no right to it..
    What is certain is that none of us would be happy to remain in the country in a state of civil war under the threat of an empire of a large order like the Roman...
    And to the best of my knowledge, only the people were exiled (as in the Babylonian exile) and only the people of the land remained here who assimilated under the Arab occupation and converted to Islam for the simple reason that they did not know how to read and write.
    A small part of the "Palestinians" is indeed a remnant of those Jews who stayed in Israel to work the land for the empires that ruled it...
    Nor am I aware of any support by the Ottoman authorities for the return of Jews to Israel. On the contrary. The Ottomans deliberately neglected this area for hundreds of years and prevented Jewish attempts to immigrate there. The rest and most of the "Palestinians" immigrated to Israel with the beginning of the Zionist immigration from the Arabian Peninsula with the support of the Turkish occupation in order to create a balance between the Zionists and the Arabs and of course to have someone to do the dirty work...

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