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Opinion: What is the history?

Why were aspects of historical events forgotten or forgotten, even though there is written and certified evidence of them

Gate of Titus in Rome
Gate of Titus in Rome

At the beginning of each academic course, I turn to the student body and ask them to define what history is (or more correctly - the study of history and research), and after real and more or less successful attempts, when some of the "bold" ones offer their suggestion, something like the template: to know the past, To learn from him for the benefit of a better future and other well-known references, I am explaining to the public my Mishnah of the series, after many years of teaching and research, and I say to them as follows: Imagine before us the definition as a split sentence whose parts depend on each other and yield each other, considering a visual image of a clock- Sand whose bases are wide and whose sides are narrow and well compacted.
And this is as follows: history is what was, everything that was ..."from then until...", or in the Hebrew - "from the Bible to the Palmyra", and seriously - from the prehistoric times to the present day. In other words, we are dealing with an unfathomable, uncontainable load of knowledge.

But ... the shrinking of the previous sentence makes room for the next sentence - history is all that remains of what was. And all that remains is a microscopic grain from one Mount Everest.

further. The third sentence is formulated as follows: "History is everything that is written, that is documented (from the word document, say some archeologist) about what remains of what was". And then we turn the aforementioned grain into such that only a nuclear particle of it can be felt in our hands. In other words, there is almost nothing about anything.

The fourth sentence forms the broad basis of the same hourglass-like structure above, and its wording - "What do we think about what was written about what remains of what was", embodying within it millions of studies - books and articles - (the writer of these lines is also a sin and a sinner in doing so) that came to the bridge Across the chasm between the tremendous abundance of the first sentence and the microscopic grain of the third sentence, and this in terms of a huge puzzle that must be filled, but the number of its parts is tiny.

And the fifth sentence, regarding the fairy who is not invited to the ball and destroys it (much more than the previous sentences in the form of that simulated hourglass) says this - "What are we commanded to teach from what we think about what is written from what remains of what was". That is to say, our little ones... Our adults and in fact the entire society are hostages to the alienation of history, to its chaining into the frameworks of narratives dictated from above, and as a result a new history is created, dictated from above, a kind of Zhdanovist, that develops a "truth" that lacks an intellectual, original, creative confrontation on the one hand And the reflections are sometimes very sad on the other hand.

I will start here from a personal starting point, that everything I will present and suggest may have nothing and a half to do with the historical truth (is there such a thing at all?), but in any case it requires thinking, a kind of inner reflection.

The example I will give concerns the great rebellion, the one that took place against the Romans between the years 66 and 73 CE. And this is what is perceived as the war of the few against the many, the war of the sons of light against the sons of darkness (as the title of the well-known essay The Battle of the Judean Desert), the war of the zealous heroes against the Roman Kalges, and more such titles steeped in national-nationalist romance (and patriotism, as we know, is the villain's last refuge).

I will present in this article one point, interesting to me, which is in terms of the few holding the many, that is, Jerusalem in rebellion, and also in this matter I will only deal with flashes of sentences due to the brevity of the canvas.

I mined the whole crucible with the information taken from the writings of Josephus, mainly from his collection "The Wars of the Jews", or as it is better known by its name "The History of the War of the Jews in the Romans" (and I used the new edition translated by Prof. Liza Ullman, Carmel Publishing, Jerusalem, 2009). I will not go into the intricacies of the question of whether this is a reliable historian or not (from Roman cooperation?!) although it is accepted by most modern researchers that we are indeed dealing with a reliable historian. But what can we do, we have no other information except archaeological remains of controversial research reference, and anyone who wishes to find some solid and extensive enough reference to the rebellion discussed in the Sage literature is likely to be greatly disappointed, and the reference to the silence of the Sage sources is already another opera which I discussed in one of my articles in "Hidan" ". But exemption for nothing is impossible. The silence of the conventional and Talmudic sources is based on several assumptions: first - the rebellion was not that big and maybe even minimal; Second - the human blow that Rome inflicted on the Jewish public and especially on its leadership is intended to teach a lesson to the future: we must not encourage, especially the young, to rebel against the Romans and on the other hand we must signal to the public about the importance of maintaining a normal and balanced relationship with the Roman government; Third - shame and shame about what happened in Jerusalem during the siege, those who are comfortable with silence. And we are talking about shame towards all the human messages that lie in Judaism and were trampled one by one in besieged Jerusalem. And that's why the following sentences will come to support this position of mine.

Let's start with the famous sage saying - "The second temple... Why is there a sword?" Because there was gratuitous hatred in him" (Talmud Babli Yoma XNUMX p. XNUMX), which to this day is seen as an expression of the defeatism of the moderate camp, especially in Jerusalem, the one that opposed the rebellion, in the face of the stance and activities of the zealous heroes. In other words, if they had all united as one man, Jerusalem would not have fallen into the hands of the Romans and the temple would not have been destroyed and burned.

And it turns out, through the writings of Joseph, that what brought about the destruction was precisely the crazy chaos caused by those "heroes" - the zealots such as Yohanan of Gush Halab (I wrote an article about him in Hidan 25.2.2005), Elazar Ben Yair, Shimon Bar Giora (I wrote an article about him in Hidan, 25.3.2005) and other types of lunatics such as (such as followers of the ideology of the fourth philosophy). And this is perhaps one of the reasons that this revolt, known as the Great Revolt, was hardly mentioned in the literature of sages. These dragged the rebellion to dark, apocalyptic corners, especially in Jerusalem.

We begin with the article of the Sage taken from the Babylonian Talmud (Tract Gitin Nu, pp. XNUMX-XNUMX) which tells us the stages of the departure of Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai from Jerusalem to the place of the Roman Vespasian and from there to Livna). From the text there are clear hints about the horrific behavior of the fanatics in Jerusalem, and especially the murderous, gang-like group, the Sikriim, the spear-carrying ones who fold their coats in order to eliminate opponents and confiscate their property, which appears in interesting descriptions in Josephus ben Matthew. There is also a hint from that sage article that the groups of fanatics burned the food warehouses in Jerusalem, as if they wanted to starve the public in Jerusalem.
From the same text we also learn that the gatekeepers in Jerusalem, are they the zealots, in their desire to make sure that Jews found in Jerusalem dead on stretchers are indeed dead and therefore would stab their bodies in the passage, on the way out, in order to "certify a murder". And if this is not serious zilat in the deceased and his family, I don't know what zilat is. More than that and these gruesome descriptions appear in detail in Josephus, when the stabbers would also pour out the intestines of the deceased to make sure that no valuables were smuggled into their stomachs. Just can't believe it.

Well, groups by groups, groups by groups, the zealots arrived in Jerusalem, some of them before the siege and "simply" turned it into an arena of multi-sided skirmishes between them, with each group taking control of a different quarter of Jerusalem and fighting its "villains", while the Romans stood on the opposite side A righteous man, his work is done by others." And it was actually the same "gratuitous hatred" that the sage literature talks about and laments.

I will bring here, right on the tip of the fork, horrific descriptions of the activities of the fanatics in Jerusalem.
The zealots killed the Reds in the Jews of the city. These opened the gates of Jerusalem to them and a terrible massacre was carried out in the city in brutal collaboration between the Reds and the Zealots, when the number of victims reached about 8500 people. Immediately afterwards, a terrible looting was carried out in the city as well as an indiscriminate murder of priests. The massacre continued and their bodies were counted 12,000 young Beni-Tovim.
Moreover, the zealots refused to bring the fallen to burial, and Yosef ben Matatiyo adds and says: "The zealots trampled on all the laws that were established by human hands, mocked the commandments of God and mocked the prophetic words of the prophets, as if they were the fabric stories of impostors" (Wars of the Jews 387 VII 386-XNUMX).

The Sikri fanatics operated in the Judean desert and engaged in actual robbery, collecting sponsorship fees and murders of Jews, such as the sad affair in Ein Gedi whose acceptance was supported by archaeological evidence (I wrote about this in Hidan, 30.12.2002).

The zealots, as mentioned, burned the food warehouses and its sources in the city until a severe famine reigned in the city, accompanied by terrible epidemics, and Yosef ben Matatiyo writes as follows: "Desperately, old men and women prayed for the coming of the Romans and eagerly awaited a war from outside that would deliver them from the evils of their home" (Ibid. A. 28). And more - "Meanwhile, the rival factions (groups of fanatics) were fighting with each other, trampling on the barbed wire of the corpses, and their rioting ("boasting") grew louder and louder as if they were cleaning their madness from the corpses at their feet" (ibid. 34).

And if this is not enough, it is known to Lehi that Yochanan of the Zealot Halab used the holy trees to build war machines and fighting towers in order to attack rival zealots in the area of ​​the temple, and thus the author marks another serious damage to the sanctity of the temple.

The signs of hunger, as mentioned, began to give their signals - "The insanity of the rebels intensified along with the hunger... When no grain was found for the many mouths, the rebels broke into the houses and conducted a thorough search of them. If they found something, they abused their residents for denying its existence. And if they didn't find anything, they would be tortured with torture for hiding it so successfully. The evidence of the presence or absence of food in the hands of the poor was the appearance of their bodies. They were of the opinion that a person whose appearance is confirmed has plenty of food, while the emaciated were not touched, because in their opinion there is no point in killing those who are about to die of starvation in the near future... no table was prepared in any house. They (the housekeepers) snatched the bread from the fire and swallowed it half-baked... Terrible were the types of torture they (the zealous rebels) planned in their search for food. They plugged the holes in the shame of these unfortunates with beans and inserted pointed rods into their backs. People were tortured with appalling tortures even out of earshot so that they would admit that they possessed even one loaf of bread, or so that they would discover the place where they had buried a handful of barley. The tormentors did not suffer hunger... they shamelessly exposed their madness and stocked up on food for the days to come" (ibid., 436-424).

Moreover, "while the poor are tormented by such horrors at the hands of the bodyguards, the respectable and rich were led to the tyrannical leaders of the rebellion. After being accused of false accusations, some of them conspiring, others because they were about to hand over the city to the Romans, they were executed... Those who were looted by Shimon (Bar Giora) were transferred to the possession of Yochanan (from Gush Halab), and those who were robbed by Yochanan were transferred to the possession of Shimon. The two drank, for each other's lives, the blood of the townspeople and divided the (property of) the corpses of the unfortunates between them" (ibid., 440-439).

And this is how Yosef ben Mattheyo sums up the "achievements" of the rebellious zealots: "We cannot tell in full, one by one, the atrocities committed by these people, but we can say briefly that there was no other city in the world that knew such suffering. And there has never been a generation so prolific in inventing evil deeds. Finally, they made the smell of the Hebrew people stink, thus admitting what they really were - slaves, mobs and scum from the people's nausea. They were the people who brought about the destruction of the city. They forced the Romans to give their name to this dismal success, and they themselves almost drew the lingering fire to the temple, and indeed when they looked from the upper city to the burning temple they were not saddened to their hearts nor did they shed a tear" (ibid., 445-442).

The horrors only escalated into horrific incidents of severity such as the abuse of bodies by stabbing them and throwing them over the walls into the surrounding ravines. The events of the famine led to acts of cannibalism and the shocking case where a mother ate her son's flesh (I wrote about this in an article in Hidan 28.1.2007).

further. During the Roman siege and the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem, Shimon Bar Giora "finds time" to assassinate Matthieu the high priest and other dignitaries. And if that wasn't enough, Yosef ben Matatiyo continues and says that "When there was no more left to rob from the people, the zealous Yochanan (from Gush Halab) resorted to looting from the temple the offerings of idols that had been given to him, and he melted them and many utensils used for the worship of God - jugs, pankhots and tables. Even from the jugs of pure wine sent by Augustus (Caesar) and his wife he did not withdraw his hand. After all, the Roman (imperial) kings always honored the temple and added splendor to it. But now this Jew came and uprooted even the foreigners' gifts from their place. To his friends he said (Yohannan) that they are allowed to use without fear the sacred things of the temple for the sake of the divinity, and to support the warriors for his sake from the tools of the temple. Therefore, he emptied the holy wine and the oil that the priests had kept to consecrate it on the perpetual altars, and which were kept inside the temple and distributed them to his warriors, and they took the holy wine without fear and drank it (as a reward) and anointed their bodies with the holy oil" (ibid., 565-562). We think to ourselves what was the attitude of the Jewish tradition towards the Romans, if they had done like the scoundrels of the fanatics. And it is enough for us to recall the attack of tradition on Antiochus, Pompey, Hadrian and their ilk.

And the burning of the temple and its destruction, after all, are the product of zealots entrenching themselves on the Temple Mount, in the temple, which in itself is sacrilege, and waging a face-to-face war against the Romans. And in general, the explicit instruction of Titus not to harm the temple, as was accepted by the Romans, and this for various reasons, was not respected by one of the soldiers, or a small group of the warriors.

Unnecessary rebellion? Niha Crazy acts of the fanatics-rebels? "Who does not". But to sell to the public?

And the harsh ones are - the clear portrayal of the rebels as heroes, as brave, as warriors of God's war and other such superlatives.

How did it happen?

It all began with the growth of the Zionist movement at the end of the 19th century following many national movements that operated throughout Europe. Those movements developed myths of heroism and courage in the face of controlling and oppressive empires. It is enough to look at one or two excerpts from the fiery speech of Max Nordau, Herzl's right-hand man, at the Second Zionist Congress in 1898, called "Muskuljudentum", in which the young Jews in Europe happened to be strong and revive the generation of the Maccabi and Bar Kochba. Speeches of this type that found tracks to the hearts of the young people in the Land of Israel and nurtured the various Aliyah leaderships, created a distorted infrastructure for the past stories of Korot Am Yisrael. The various information systems were harnessed to serve the national as well as the nationalist goals and thus the historical truth was trampled on, corrupted/butchered and made way for a history that is worth digging into.
And so all the crimes of the kings of Judah and Israel were forgotten, research studies of the Maccabean revolt and the Hasmonean kingdom disappeared, and so the fate of the exploits of the zealous "heroes" in the Great Revolt, and so Ben Khosva became a controversial figure in which, among other things, traits of terrorism and real estate tycoonism were embodied To a national hero, to a figure worthy of imitation and admiration.

By the way, some of us are familiar with the description from the books of the Sages of how Ben Kusba was brought before the Sanhedrin on the charge of impersonating the Messiah and was executed by order of the same Sanhedrin.
And how many of us are familiar with the cry of the Sanhedrin against Ben Kusva who sinned against God with the sin of arrogance, the sin of hubris.

And some of us are aware of the cry of the Jews after the great revolt. A cry to God, who allowed the events to happen as they did, namely - the destruction of the temple. And above I brought the protest of the Sanhedrin against the wickedness of the fanatics during the siege of Jerusalem.

These facts are hidden from the eyes and ears of the public, because it is not suitable for the same romanticization and glorification, and if you will - for the tribal fire, which have been cultivated among us for many decades, when nationalism and especially nationalism are the ones who guide the indoctrinations in our places.

6 תגובות

  1. It is interesting to recognize how the same pattern repeats itself even after 2 bytes. The messianic conduct and not according to the rationale.

  2. To "Toha" and "Nostradamus".

    If Dr. Sorek would have brought only the words of Ben Matityahu, one could understand the doubt.
    But it turns out that even people who lived near the events have similar stories.
    So who to believe? To the Sages, to the Sanhedrin and Ben Matityahu - or to Max Nordau who lived
    Almost 2000 years later?
    Interestingly, the books of the Bible knew how to tell about their short-sightedness, their cruelty
    and the greed of the rulers. You can learn from them that a little more criticism of
    The heroes of the past (and of today..) may not have been harmful.

  3. Distinguished historian... have you forgotten that those who dictate the good-bad stories are the winners?

    To remind you, the Romans won.

  4. The right hand prophet's comment is one of the most redundant comments ever written here.
    Where exactly is there a mistake in the article? What is denied? What's wrong? What is the relationship with the Palestinians? What exactly is "credible Jewish nationalism"? Nationalism based on lies? If this is "true Jewish nationalism"
    The main thing is to whine. What about housing prices, have you resolved yet? What about the name? It's been 48 hours, hasn't it?

  5. What is this leftist bullshit propaganda? It is interesting that the leftists are always against real Jewish nationalism and in favor of invented Palestinian nationalism. Against Jewish self-determination and in favor of Palestine. Against Jewish independence and in favor of Palestine. The leftists are trying to eliminate Jewish identity and history. A Greek Arab who will erase himself from the history he is trying to erase

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