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the egg or the chicken? Reflection between holidays

What came before what - the "holiday" in the opening score, or the "holiday" in the Kametz score? The first - discusses a celebration, a time of joy on the occasion of a certain event and the second a somewhat geometric action, that is - drawing a circle, a circle, circling some object, a bird flying in the sky and more

The status of the audience in Jerusalem in ancient times. Illustration:
The status of the audience in Jerusalem in ancient times. Illustration:

The title of the article is seemingly strange and is concerned with the unresolved question - what came before the egg for the chicken or vice versa? And in our case - what came before what - the "Hagg" in the Fatah score, or the "Hagg" in the Kametz score? The first - discusses a celebration, a time of joy on the occasion of a certain event and the second a somewhat geometric action, that is - drawing a circle, a circle, circling some object, a bird flying in the sky and more of that kind.

And what if Ha Baha hanged? Chronological and practical. We were the holiday, the time of rejoicing included in it actions involving circling, turning and perhaps even circular dispersal, dancing accompanied by musical instruments.

From the somewhat circular "holiday" actions, terms and symbols were derived as follows: "The law of a holiday on the face of the water" (Job 10:22), "He who sits on the circle of the earth" (Isaiah 13:XNUMX), "He shall do it in professions and with a compass shall describe it" (ibid. D XNUMX).

From there and from this verb the following terms were derived, for example - "circle" - a group of people who gather for the benefit of some activity such as a music club, a reading club, etc. A "circle" is also the stretching of a circular, imaginary, and sometimes long and enormous line such as the "circle of Capricorn" and the "circle of Cancer" around the globe parallel to the equator. "hand" or "hand" for geometric activity. A "dial" is a ring or a circle in general that rotates around its axis, such as the old "telephone dial".

According to my assumptions, chronologically the action of rotation, the circumference, the circularity preceded the day of joy, the time... to the holiday in the pragmatic aspect, and lest they were integrated, they mixed with each other without recognition, when the action of the perimeters stood out on the days of the time and the holiday.

And we will continue, in the ancient religions, the circle occupied a central place, especially in the holidays, as evidenced by - the wheel of the sun in Egyptian and Mesopotamian mythology, the circularity in the worship of the Greek Dionysus and the Roman Bacchus, in the Roman pomerium (that is, in the area surrounding the city) and the zodiac/months in Judaism such as in Tzipori and Beit Shean, what which expressed completeness, cyclicality and of course personal and community/ethnic security.

It should be noted that the Roman "pomerium" was equivalent to a dike that they stretched around the city in order to indicate its expected fate beyond the dike's tactical role. At the end of the siege and in connection with the rebellious city, Carthage, Tarsus, Londinium and even Jerusalem, the Romans plowed a plowing ring around the city with a pair of oxen in order to cast the sacred saying of total destruction, perfect without a future of existence.

We are also reminded of the mythological story of the fall of the walls of Jericho under the direction of Joshua when the priests, seven in number, carried the ark of God's covenant and circumambulated Jericho seven times as they blew trumpets and the people with them, and at the end of this ceremony the walls of Jericho fell and collapsed. It was a sacred, ritualistic and somewhat mythological move, at the end of which the city was confiscated to Yahweh and became a boycott, and it is difficult not to associate this phenomenon with archaic events before and after the fall of Jericho, such as in connection with the aforementioned Pomerium.

The three Habits and the Tishrei holidays

The word, the term "holiday" in biblical literature usually expressed a well-known time such as Pesach, Rosh Hashanah, Shavuot and was mainly a technical terminus for the time of Sukkot, as will be seen immediately below. And sometimes we find the word "holiday" in a different context, and especially one connected to faith and mythology such as the famous story following the affair of the concubine in Gibeah, when the tribes of Israel made a vow not to marry their daughters to members of the tribe of Benjamin. Not many days later it became clear that this tribe might disappear from the map of the tribes, who therefore held a council among themselves and decided to allow the men of the tribe of Benjamin to marry girls from other tribes on the condition that the vow is "broken" by eliminating another sacred custom (= an equation that has a zero value). This solution is recounted in the book of Judges (23:19-135) as follows: "And they (the elders of the congregation) said, 'Here is the feast of Jehovah in Shiloh (Shiloh) from days to days... And they commanded the sons of Benjamin to say: Go and lie in wait in the vineyards (the days of the harvest) and see if the daughters of Shiloh have come out. to the sands, and you came out of the vineyards and abducted a man and his wife from the daughters of Shiloh, and you went to the land of Benjamin... And the sons of Benjamin did so, and they took wives for their number from the women who had plundered, and they went and returned to their inheritance, and they built the cities and dwelt in them." First, it is an ancient custom, sanctified in the "Holiday of Jehovah" in Shiloh, which was an important religious and ritual center, and from which the above custom gained sanctified legitimacy; Second - this is not an aggressive kidnapping in the style of the kidnapping of the Sabines in Rome (and perhaps there too it was a custom), but rather a kind of theatrical kidnapping (which we find among a number of tribes in Africa, among some of the Bedouin tribes in the south of the country, and even as I was told among Georgia; thirdly, the female prostitutes danced in a circle as was generally accepted in ancient festival rituals to mark the atmosphere of holiness, and here we have the connection between the holiday and the dance and circularity. Fourthly, this practice of "kidnapping" the female prostitutes (probably virgins) was practiced in Judah many centuries later and Sage sources testify to this in the name of the old president Raban Shimon ben Gamaliel, who preceded the destruction of the Second Temple or his grandson after the rebellion of Ben Kusaba (8 CE) regarding the abduction of the virgins: "Rabban Shimon ben Gamaliel said: There were no good days for Israel about fifteen years ago... And the girls of Jerusalem go out and are sick (dancing and crazy). And what would they say (to the potential suitors) - boy, open your eyes and see what you choose for yourself (probably in poetry)! (Mishna Ta'anit 2:XNUMX), in terms of a physical display full of hints and signs. And what would he say The Babylonian Talmud on this matter? - "The daughters of Israel go out and get sick in the vineyards. Tana (must be changed) - He who does not have a wife should turn there. Among the attributes in which (among the female genitalia) they would say (perhaps a song): a boy (may your eyes...). Let our rabbi - beauties among them, what would they say (servant and dressed)? Give your eyes to beauty, that there is no woman but to beauty..." (Taanit XNUMX p. XNUMX). The "POP meetings" (vacancies-vacancies) that took place during the harvest in the vineyard area is perhaps implied in the sources as the "vineyard dance" (a vacant place in the vineyard where the dances were held at the end of the harvest) - (from Klai'im year XNUMX XNUMX).

The reconstruction of the Temple from the Holyland performance, now in the Israel Museum. Illustration:
The reconstruction of the Temple from the Holyland performance, now in the Israel Museum. Illustration:

Before us, therefore, is a thousand-year-old preservation of an ancient custom, the interest of which for this article lies in the connection between the holiday and the dance, the dispersal and, importantly, the circularity, which is emphasized because it is a custom that has been celebrated from day to day, year after year.

Another evidence of an ancient, sacred, visual, somewhat choreographic custom, was conducted in the days of Nehemiah after his and Ezra's joint reforms, somewhere after 445 BC. The two celebrated the completion of the restoration of the walls of Jerusalem in the form of two processions, and in the biblical language "two thanksgivings" which surrounded the walls of Jerusalem and met at one point at the end of the circuit with the participation of the Levites " make Hanukkah and joy and thanksgiving and singing with cymbals, harps and violins" (Nehemiah 10:41) and with them my sons The poets, the priests on their trumpets and the representatives of the people for the most part, "And the priests and the mourners will purify themselves, and they will purify the people and the gates (around the wall) and the wall, and I will bring up the princes of Judah above the wall, and I will set up two great thanksgivings and processions to the right over the wall to the gate of the Ashpots... and the second thanksgiving going to Moel and me (Nehemiah) After her, half the people over the wall... and the two thanksgivings stood in the House of God (that is, the meeting in front of the gate to the temple itself) and I (Nehemiah) and half the lieutenants with me..." (ibid. 30-1) The circumambulation ceremony was concluded with the reading "In the book of Moses in the ears of the people" (ibid. XNUMX:XNUMX).

Here we have and before us a tremendous display of the sanctified coffee that is sealed with the reading of the Torah.

The thanksgiving ceremony

It should be noted that the ceremony of "thanks" surrounding the temple and its surroundings was also due to the desire to commemorate the expansion of the temple area. First they would surround it and then annex the area of ​​the circular, somewhat annular section to the area of ​​the temple and thus increase its area. 

And perhaps the two verses from the Book of Psalms, "A Song of Psalms for the Children of Korah" are intended as a continuation and continuation of this custom in this language: "Sobo Zion (that's how Jerusalem was called) and the Kippah." Migdaliya told. Set your hearts on Hilah (=to her wall) the summit of her palaces, that you may tell to the last generation" (Psalms 14:13-XNUMX). Did they sing and play these verses during the circumambulation of the city?

In 164 B.C. after the liberation of the temple from the control of the Hellenes during the Maccabean revolt and immediately after the purification of the temple in 167 B.C. (the date of Hanukkah from that time) because it was probably the first holiday that was canceled following the decrees of Antiochus IV "Epiphanes", the holiday was celebrated with great pomp and splendor. As the Feast of Tabernacles they remembered their sacrifice some time ago (during the decrees of Antiochus since XNUMX BC) on the Feast of Tabernacles in the mountains and caves as the animals of the field. And therefore in thick tree branches (with sticks of ivy - in Greek thyrsos - or of a vine wrapped in ivy leaves, which, by the way, appears in the celebrations of Dionysus to the Hellenic wine) and citrus branches (from Greek - oraios) and palm leaves (from Greek - painikas). And immediately later we will understand what is the connection between the holiday of Sukkot and the "holiday of Hanukkah" (which in fact in the days of Judah the Maccabee was celebrated in the winter and was called the "Hanukah of the Altar" lasting seven days.

Circularity in the sense of a sacred protection appears in connection with the circles of the generation of couples in the first quarter of the first century BC, who circled a cake/grasshopper/circle around him and refused to leave this drawing until God would allow rain to fall on the earth in the same year it was planted. And in other circumstances - in favor of stopping the quarrel between Yohanan Hyrcanus II and his brother Yehuda Aristobulus II at that time.

The symbolic meaning of the circle

The circle with the elements of holiness and immanent and spatial protection appears as a symbol in various cultures, modern and ancient, which has the purpose of protecting the group, the only one from evil, magical forces, and stone circles in very ancient cultures are probably related to this, from the sixth millennium BC in Portugal, to the Neolithic, to the biblical Joshua who founded a center Ritual from the dozen stones he took from the Jordan and what was his name? "Wheel" with a certain geometrical basis that appears in quite a few sources in the Bible such as a car wheel, a scroll, a skull and more. After crossing the Jordan, the Israelites established a primitive infrastructure for a ritual/temple center in the form of a circle of a dozen stones, to symbolize the unity of the tribes of Israel. We find King Saul during the confrontation between him and David - "And David got up and came to the place where Saul was lying and Abner son of Ner, the leader of his army, and Saul was lying in a circle and the people camped around him... And David and Abishai (son of Zeruiah) came to the people at night and behold Saul was lying asleep in a circle and his camp Crushed in the land from its beginnings and Abner and the people and the people lie around him" (7 Samuel 5:XNUMX-XNUMX). Also, a connection between the circularity and some kind of sacred protection will be mentioned, such as the Aztec temples, the British Stonehenge, holding hands in the séance process (raising the spirits of the deceased) and even the well-known scene from Proverbs. An-Ski is "possessed", when the mysterious hospital wants to remove the evil spirit from Leah's body and has a circle around her in order to protect her from that spirit.

A casual holiday in the Bible is usually associated in its terminology with Sukkot, considering one of the three habits. And not only that, but at this time, the moon of Bull, which is the eighth month, that is, the month of Cheshon, "the house was completed in all its words and in all its judgment, and they built it for seven years" (35 Kings 65:9). And of course this refers to the establishment of the Temple at the initiative of King Solomon. The completion of the construction was celebrated with great pomp and splendor by the majority of the people and it was called, no less and no more, by the nickname "Hag" and according to the words of the Bible - "And Solomon celebrated the Hag at that time, and all Israel with him, a great crowd from Hamath to the River of Egypt" (XNUMX Kings XNUMX:XNUMX). And in the book of XNUMX Chronicles (XNUMX) the seven-day holiday is mentioned as the "consecration of the altar".

We will now look at the subject of circumambulation in the temple in relation to the particular holiday, which is discussed here. We will open the tractate Sukkah in the Mishnah and read below the following illustrated lines: "Mitzvot Arab how? A place was below (south-east) from Jerusalem and called moza. They go down there and lower from there moravis (branches that are about eleven cubits high = over 6 m) and from that their heads are bowed/humiliated/bowed down on the altar) to the willow (so in the text), and in the bin and erect them on the sides of the altar, and their heads are bowed on top of the altar. Punch and cheer and punch. Every day they circle the altar once and say: 'Please God save me, please God make me successful'. Rabbi Yehuda says: 'I and him (perhaps this is how they conceived the words above, please save us.') And that day they surround the altar seven times. At the time of their death (when they finished and left the altar each day), what do they say? 'Beautiful to you altar, beautiful to you altar (Words of praise and kilos). Rabbi Eliezer says: "Let him go to the altar, let him go to the altar."

And we will continue in the same Mishnah - "the flute (which they played, blaspheming in the joy of the house of worship). This is the flute of the house (so in the wording) the Shuabah (it should be said and read - the Shoubah)... They said - anyone who has not seen the joy of the house of the Shuabah (at the end of Sukkot), has not seen joy in his days" (Sukkah 1:16). And later - "The followers and the people of action (who performed good deeds) would dance in front of them (before the priests who lit the oil lamps) with lighted torches (so in the text) in their hands and say words of service and praise before them. And the Levites with violins and harps and cymbals and trumpets and musical instruments without number over fifteen Ma'alot (at the front of the temple) coming down from the help of Israel to the help of the women against the fifteen songs of the merits in the Psalms, on which the Levites stand with instruments of song and say a song. And two priests stood at the upper gate, which comes down from the help of Israel to the help of the women, with two trumpets in their hands. Blow and cheer and blow. They came to help, blow and cheer and blow They were stuck and walked until they reached the gate going out to the east (and from there the priests and the people went to Shiloh to draw water for the Nisush). When they reached the gate going out to the east, they turned their faces to the west (to the side of the relief and the temple) and said: Our ancestors who were in this place 'behind them to the temple of Jehovah and their faces are in front, and what bows down to the front' To the sun' (Ezekiel 4:XNUMX)..." (Sukkah XNUMX:XNUMX). So far, it is probably related to the "thanks" in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah.

In the above context, we will mention the Greek "diadem", the wreath that surrounds the heads of the gods, meaning a sign of divine holiness and perfection, such as the ultimate prize for the winner of the Olympic Games was a wreath woven from the branches of the olive tree, a tree especially sacred to Zeus, and the winner of the Pythian Games was awarded a wreath woven from the laurel branch or the carp

To teach us how central the holiday of Sukkot was in the ancient Jewish concept, and as emphasized above in relation to the building of the Temple and its inauguration at the initiative of King Solomon, visual expressions appear that we might not have expected to see, especially with the participation of the president of the Sanhedrin, and we are talking about Rabbi Shimon ben Gamaliel, apparently the "old man" of Arabia The destruction of the second house. In the context of which it is stated in the sources as follows: "The act of Rabbi Shimon ben Gamaliel who danced with eight torches (clay candles) of light (of burning fire) and none of them touched (fell) to the ground (and) when he bowed, (he) placed his finger on the floor and stayed ( lingers) and kisses (the floor) and straight away" (Tosefta Sukkah 4:XNUMX). We have before us a solo performance of the leader of the Sanhedrin in the joy of Beit HaShuava and in the presence of an audience performing acrobatics, balance and showing excellent physical strength, and it is likely that this figure would have practiced at home earlier in order not to cause unnecessary embarrassment. The Babylonian Talmud follows suit and states first that this event took place at the end of Sukkot, at the feast of Beit HaShuava in the Temple compound. And secondly, he tells about the aforementioned flares, that "...and throws one and takes one (at the same time) and they do not touch each other". And adds that the term "staying and kissing" is nothing but "swimming and kissing", that is, performing a perfect physical posture. And the text ends with the sipa "and no creature can do that" (Sukkah XNUMX p. XNUMX), which may have tried to challenge his appearance and failed.

The Jerusalem Talmud adds another character - Ben Yehutzedek, who according to the Talmud "was praised in his leaps" (Sukkah chapter XNUMX, XNUMX, p. XNUMX) as a kind of addition to the festive atmosphere of the joy of Beit HaShuaba.

What does the above texts show for us? First - the regular arrangement of the laps around the altar and only for those with positions and authority. The circumambulation similarly marked the mythological event of the fall of the walls of Jericho in the days of Joshua; Second - the whole event was accompanied by instrumental and vocal use; Third - an interesting allusion about the worship of the sun practiced during the time of the First Temple and archeologically alluded to in the mosaic of the zodiac/months; Fourth - physical performances by sages, led by the president of the Sanhedrin, added to the festive event of Simchat Beit HaShuava and by the way encouraged physical activities among the public. And by the way, to this day it is customary among Hasidic courts to physically demonstrate the abilities of young people in the celebrations of the end of Sukkot.

The Hajj mitzvah in Islam - a pilgrimage to Mecca and circumambulation of the Kaaba rock. Illustration:
The Hajj mitzvah in Islam - a pilgrimage to Mecca and circumambulation of the Kaaba rock. Illustration:

The laps - the Muslim version

And I still seek to locate the golden vision, which may shed light on the connection between Hagg and the circumambulation, and especially seven in number. And for this purpose I will turn to the Arab Muslim culture, in which names, terms and customs that were accepted by the Jewish public in the ancient times sink, and perhaps I will find the root to dig in, literally, and for this there are clear archeological parallels, when behind the name of a place in the Arabic language there may be hidden names of Jewish places In the ancient era and this is due to the principle of preserving names throughout history. Well, I would like to ask here, in relation to our matter, to give an expression to the sacred Muslim custom of the pilgrimage to Mecca, what is known as "Hajj". Pilgrims to Mecca are obliged to circumambulate the Kaaba, the black, holy stone, seven laps (remember the seven laps in the Sukkot during Hoshana Rabbah events?!), of which four are slow and three are fast. The analogy between ... and ... is simply amazing.

It seems therefore that the circumambulation during the holiday was preserved in Muslim culture, and their very sacred purpose found expression in the Hajj in Mecca.

Although the expression, the term "pilgrimage", does not appear in the Bible, and it is possible to ponder and be puzzled, and under it is the expression - "Three (in this wording) legs shall be circumscribed to me in a year" (Exodus 14:XNUMX). That is, for every major holiday such as Sukkot or Pesach, the commandment of a celebration is intended, and perhaps the use of the term "leg", i.e. a similar leg, may allude to the narrow path of going back and forth to the temple and from there home.

And we will mention a custom in Judaism when the bride usually surrounds the groom 3 or 7 times under the veil.

I will end with two verses taken from the book of Isaiah as follows - "O Ariel, Ariel, Kiryat Hana David, count year after year the holidays will fall." And I bullied Ariel and there was Tania and Anya and I had Ka Ariel. And I aimed a ball at you and I besieged you, I set up an outpost on you of shapes" (3:1-XNUMX).

Ariel is a nickname for the temple and in general for Jerusalem and a completely pagan image is hidden in it, namely a lion-like idol, the symbol of the tribe of Judah as accepted in the ancient civilizations and if we refer to the cherubim in the temple we will not be surprised at its physical association with the temple, which arises from its very name and which appears visually in synagogues above the ark and today A symbol of the city of Jerusalem. Immediately following the above passage, it is about a cycle of years, a sort of circularity, and an interesting image for the destruction of the temple/Jerusalem/Judah at the peripheral/circular end of the siege (bullet, "I have created you...") and we are reminded in this context of the Roman pomerium associated with the end of each siege.

So what did we have? We asked from the beginning whether the egg came before the chicken or vice versa when the answer is two-sided. A holiday and a "circle" as if they came together are bound to the world, Ha Baha Tlia examination. The leading holiday, somewhat dominant, is surrounded by singing, instrumental effects, physical actions... and circumambulation with the circular image, which is somewhat perfect and undoubtedly sacred, from the ancient era to our present day. The two "thanks" initiated by Nehemiah may have had the greatest impact on the practice of "circling" Sukkot, with the fall of the walls of Jericho echoing in the background during the days of Joshua, and the sacred number - seven - was dominant in the events of the holidays. This image dominated the holiday of Sukkot and especially the time of joy at Beit HaShuava. The custom of going around on the holiday will find its later expression, and again in an interesting context to the ancient era, in the custom of the Muslim "Hajj" and here and there in Jewish wedding events.

More of the topic in Hayadan:

5 תגובות

  1. Pinchas Shalom. thank you for your response. The historian's examination is to check both the score and the historical and historiographical definitions, and this by a careful examination of the biblical, the Tanahite and the Amorite literature, and in light of this, I draw conclusions carefully, and of course in the light of the epigraphic and archaeological findings

  2. The holiday returns every year, it is circular in time.
    There is no need to assume a connection to circle dances.

  3. The difference between a holiday in Petach and a holiday in a handful:
    In the double division, when the middle letter of the root and the last letter of the root are the same: H.G.G. the word Hag, when it is not announced, is punctuated at the beginning.
    When the word "Holiday" is added to the word, the meaning of the word "holiday" will be punctuated with a pinch. XNUMX. The news will be dotted with purple (before a small letter). There is no connection between what is written in the article and the rules of grammar. The name Hag, in a pinch or in Petah, means make a circular movement. The hand of a clock is derived from it. A holiday is not a source of joy, it is called that because during the holidays, during the three Hajits, it is customary to surround some holy object. This is also the case in Islam: "Hag" comes from "almchaf" (the plural form, which also exists in the Arabic language).
    And so in the words from the division of the doubles: The poor is at the door, but the poor is a handful under the door, a people is at the door, but the people are a handful under the eye. Minister at Petah, but minister in a pinch below the Sheen.

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