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We alienate you Israel/Dr. Yehiam Sorek

A historical phenomenon that begins at the beginning of the nation of Israel and continues throughout the period of the First and Second Temples and even after the destruction is folded in relation to the foreigners.

Dr. Yehiam Sorek

A historical phenomenon that begins at the beginning of the nation of Israel and continues throughout the period of the First and Second Temples and even after the destruction is folded in relation to the foreigners. The presentation of everyone who does not belong to the people of Israel as "alien", that is, a foreigner, someone who comes from abroad, from the outside, from afar, is intended to serve as a purposeful and moral justification for the people's hold on Canaan, for the conquests, deportation, killing and murder that began to be carried out through the gangs of Yehoshua ben-Nun. The Bible was written and edited many years after the occurrence of the events, sometimes several hundred years later, when the necessity of finding justification was quite burning in terms of shaping the identity of the Jewish people and their attachment to the region. There is nothing easier than this, when you want to cover up all the crimes of the earlier Jewish settlement and its failure to recognize it as earlier than the other peoples, than to attach the label of "strangers" to the foreheads of the people of Canaan in order to present them as foreigners, as not belonging, as distant.

However, the Bible Keeper is still on a position that is not too predatory towards foreigners. However, from time to time another message was "released" to him, such as: "You shall pressurize the stranger" (Deuteronomy 3:21), or "You shall associate with the stranger (depends on interest) and you shall not associate with your brother" (Deuteronomy XNUMX:XNUMX).

The negative, disapproving, condescending, suspicious and sometimes blatant use begins to receive a more prominent literary expression from the beginning of the Second Temple, and becomes more and more intense with time into the depth of the period and especially after the destruction of the Second Temple.

Why from the beginning of the second stanza? The groups of exiles returning from Babylon arrive in Judah. These groups constituted a small part of all the exiles to Babylon, since the Assyrian exile of the eighth century BC. These, led first by Zerubbabel, Yehoshua and Shebzer and later by Ezra and Nehemiah, arrived from Babylon imbued, it seems, and at least their leaders, with an obsessive ideology of religious fanaticism, a certain condescension towards the Jews they did not discover, paternalism towards the Samaritans, even though they wanted to participate with them in the establishment of the temple and even sought to prove the innocence of their Judaism and displays of enmity against foreigners. And who are those "strangers"? Ammonites and Edomites for example, who lived in the area for many hundreds of years, even before the creation of the Hebrew people.
The groups that came from Babylon, backed by the Persian monarchy, began to cultivate a kind of local-patriotism towards the establishment of an autonomous entity, and certainly in such a situation there is no place for the pagan locals. These were called "Gentiles", "Nochrim" and more, and a trend began to displace them from the "pure", "holy" area, i.e. Judah, or in Persian terminology - "the state (=city) of Dihad".
The collapse of the Persian government as a result of the Macedonian military campaigns under the leadership of Alexander of Macedonia brought to Judea, as an integral part of the entire Persian kingdom, the Hellenic, Hellenistic culture, and as a result of attempts at reform to deepen Hellenism, such as Jason's initiative to turn Jerusalem, or at least part of it into a Hellenistic polis, sharp criticism arose Against the Macedonians (Greeks), the Greeks (Hellenism) and the Greeks (Hellenization). Zealous elements saw with great and deep concern how the principles of Judaism were being trampled against the "modernization" of the time - Hellenization, and developed hostility towards those who were defined in their terminology - the "foreigners", "the Gentiles", "the foreigners", and - then the term Nochri-Goy - Stranger is a negative characterization, almost completely different from its meaning in the biblical-Biblical period.
Moreover, in the Jewish external literature of those years, it is possible to find, "puzzling", but very consistent with the position of the Jewish groups, how the articles of the Bible are deliberately disrupted. For example, in the book "Wisdom of Solomon" the Canaanites are slandered (which are a kind of ancient symbol for "strangers"). The "Book of Jubilees" changes what is said in the Bible, according to which the land was given to Canaan son of Ham, and according to the "Book of Jubilees" version, the land belonged there from the beginning, while Canaan conquered it in Hams. The entire story detailed in the book of Joshua about the conquest of the land and the expulsion of the Canaanites is seen in the thinking of the Second Temple fanatics as a reverse move: first the Canaanites brutally conquered the land, and by whom? from the hands of heaven
The term Gentile-foreigner became for that fanatical, extremist group, as a factor endangering Judaism on the one hand and the desire for political sovereignty on the other. Under these circumstances, they found it difficult to understand how the Hellenistic polis cities arose in front of their eyes, with a mixed population of Macedonians, Greeks, Phoenicians, Semites and other peoples working in them.
The main result of this anxious concern was the outbreak of the Maccabean rebellion led by Matthias and Judah his son. Indeed the two, and especially Yehuda, declare a holy war and a massacre of Gentiles-strangers-foreigners. This was manifested in the expulsion of populations, their murder (including old men, women and the disabled), in acts of destruction and burning, and in the domination of Judaism in the ever-growing Kingdom of Judah. His successors will also deal with forced conversion.
And those who seek justification for these difficult moves will find them in external literature such as the "Wisdom of Solomon": "Who will condemn you for destroying nations that you have created" (12:XNUMX). In other words, before us is justification for murdering peoples, the "tainted" as "foreigners", who are God's creatures, and at his will he will live them and at his will he will destroy them.
When Antiochus VII, "Sidtes", demanded that Shimon the Hasmonean withdraw from his conquered areas on the coastal plain, Shimon answered him: "We have not taken foreign land, nor foreign property have we conquered, but the property of our ancestors that was torn from us by the hand of my enemies, which was not according to religion (and law). And now, when the hour has come, we have kept the inheritance of our ancestors in our hands" (Maccabim 34:33, XNUMX-XNUMX).
The term gentile-foreign-foreigner "stares" in all the Maccabean-Hasmonean movements, although it should be said that the third generation to Matthew and the second to Judah and his brothers behaved according to Hellenistic standards, from the Hasmonean royal house down.
The humiliating and offensive association with the term "foreigners" continues to exist in the external literature that reflects the Roman period in Judea (from 63 BC onwards), but it is "balanced" by the writings of Joseph ben Mattathias, the historian of the Second Temple, whose approach is primarily historiosophical and not emotional or theological. jealous In the period that lasted from the Roman occupation until the destruction of the house (70 CE), the suits under the leadership of the Sanhedrin - the highest academic, legislative and judicial institution in Judah - were dominated by two opposite trends ("opposite" in our case in relation to the treatment of foreigners): while the priestly-aristocratic-Zadokite group manages the affairs of the Sanhedrin The attitude towards the foreigners takes a more matter-of-fact and not a little humane position, while the Pharisees take the lead from the official position towards the foreigners. The foreigners are seen by the Pharisees as a theological, settlement, economic and certainly state danger.
During the Great Revolt, and especially since the extreme fanatics are leading it and are responsible for the bloodbath in Jerusalem ("the feud between the brothers"), the attitude towards foreigners, who are perceived, in the eyes of the rebels, of course and mainly, as serial collaborators with the foreign government, and we add to this the jealousy that has accumulated among those fanatics, and together with them Poor villagers, towards the rich, alien cities of the polis, we will understand the killing, destruction and deportation that the rebels imposed on the aliens during the rebellion period.

Let's stop here for a second to put some order in the "mess". The attitude towards everyone who was not Jewish during the Second Temple period, and especially in the first part of the Roman period (63/67 BC - 73 AD) was negative and stemmed from the following reasons: first - the tradition of the Hellenistic period - the foreign occupation; Second - Greekization and its effects; Third - replacing a foreign conqueror (Macedonian-Greek) with a foreign conqueror (Roman); Fourth - the searing crisis of the decline of the Hasmonean monarchy on the eve of the Roman conquest; Fifth - the economic success of the polis cities; Sixth - affixing distorted labels of malicious collaboration between the inhabitants of those cities and the Roman government; Seventh - the development of Jewish fanatical teachings; Eighth - the great rebellion that gave a platform to the extremist, Jewish and messianic movements.

In the second Roman period, after the destruction of the Temple and the fall of the stronghold of the Sicarii rebellion (Mesada), the Pharisaic movement dominates Judea, and it is she who mans the seats of the Sanhedrin in Yavneh (inheritance of Jerusalem). This movement adopts a pragmatic, inevitable and very real-political line of forced compliance with the Roman rule (and even to such an extent that it deliberately forgets the historical and "contemporary" Jewish rebellion and dwarfs any anti-Roman rebellious trend), and at the same time, And in my humble opinion, as a corollary to this, it is sent to the foreign population of the area under Roman control - in "Provincia Palaestina".
It is important to note that Judah is licking its wounds after the great rebellion and is undergoing important steps of rehabilitation, at the same time as the thawing of relations with the Roman government. The restoration was problematic for several reasons: the first - the Romans were in no hurry to restore to the Jews their political and personal/ethnic status after the Great Revolt; Second - the temple was destroyed and with it the hope for a good and worthy future, to the point of sometimes falling at the feet of despair; Thirdly - at the time, the Temple reflected on the sanctification of the actions of the Jewish leadership before the destruction and thereby gave it authority and a special aura, and from the destruction of the Temple the Sanhedrin was severely damaged, and even though it invented an alternative for itself in Yavneh, during the days of Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai and Rabbi Gamaliel, it did not return to the way it functioned in the days of the Temple The second; Fourth - the status of the polis cities was strengthened and many Jews found themselves, for pragmatic reasons, and as a consequence of the above, more and more in need of the courts and municipal institutions of the polis cities. This phenomenon deprived many of the status of the Sanhedrin in its structure; Fifth - the revolt of Ben Khosba (Bar Kochba) between 132 and 135 AD raised the issue of resistance to Roman rule, and indirectly - to the leadership of the Sanhedrin.
These moves and factors led to the fact that the Sanhedrin began to form a much stricter line for itself than the one that prevailed during the Second Temple period towards the foreigners, and this is well expressed in the literature of the Sages. True, we will admit the truth that here and there we find a trend of consideration of foreigners and even of cooperation between them, as appears in mixed, foreign and Jewish cities, but the prevailing image embodies condescension, sometimes blatantly, and rejection of foreigners. This Sanhedrin line sought to present a state-oriented and visionary trend: how Jewish society will look in the future and how statehood will be realized - without non-Jewish elements, pagans and Christians alike.
It is worth noting that the religious Jewish society, however modern it defines itself, derives its source of life from the ancient tradition and the integration of its essence is connected to the literature of the Sages, cannot, by definition, tolerate, consider and show sympathy to anyone who is defined as a foreigner.

to part B of the article

2 תגובות

  1. indeed..

    Tobiah the milker also tore a rift and expelled Hav'la when she married a Gentile. There was no "on the other side" like with his other daughters, even though that gentile was handsome, educated and progressive.

    In my kibbutz, on the other hand, more than half of the families are a mix of natives of Haaretz and beautiful Scandinavian girls.

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