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Who moved the mezuzah and when did it become holy?

 This list comes to present an assumption, perhaps somewhat innovative, regarding the mezuzos on Israel's doors. It all began with the sign of the sacrificial blood on the eve of the Exodus (according to the sources), moved to some kind of writing on the sides of the temple gates, from there to an undefined form at the entrance of the temple hall of the Second Temple and to the Jewish residences after the Holocaust as a kind of closing of a historical circle.

Mezuzah in the United States. Since when was the obligation to determine the mezuzah in the houses of Israel in the ancient era, since archeology does not support this at all. Perhaps the answer to this will be found in a later era, only from the eighth century AD during the Genius period, when evidence of mezuzah card writing was found. It seems that the matter arose somewhere after the destruction of the Second Temple, when the leaders from the time of Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai onward sought various factors for the public's sense of security in Judea, and perhaps sought to accustom the Jewish public to the situation of not having a temple. Photo: / Wikimedia.
Mezuzah in the United States. Since when was the obligation to determine the mezuzah in the houses of Israel in the ancient era? After all, archeology does not support this at all. It seems that the matter arose somewhere after the destruction of the Second Temple, when the leaders from the time of Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai onward looked for various factors to increase the sense of security of the public in Judea, and perhaps sought to accustom the Jewish public to the situation of not having a temple. Photo: / Wikimedia.

We open with a certain bewilderment, seemingly of course, which may be explained in the light of the continuation of things, and its essence - the absence of any physical sign - in an inscription, an engraving or in an internal or external "mezuzah house" - in Judea and outside of it neither during the First Temple nor the Second Temple, but in a very late era There in the eighth-ninth century CE, which empties the sanctity of the mezuzah from Daoriyata of all content and essence and even spurns them, and not to mention pseudo-pagan customs such as kissing mezuzahs and the like.

It opens in the classical, biblical source of the book of Exodus, a few "minutes" before the "Exodus of the Israelites" from Egypt, and this is his language: "And they took of the blood (the blood of the slaughtered lamb) and put it on the two mezuzahs and on the lintel of the houses in which they would eat it (the lamb) ” (Exodus 7:23). And our issue later - "And you took a bundle of moss and dipped it in the blood that was on the threshold and you came to the doorpost and the two mezuzahs, and Jehovah passed over the door and did not allow the destroyer to come to your houses to destroy" (Is. 22-XNUMX).

The above-mentioned symbolic marking and it alone, and not some miniature structure on the door, may have an etiological, mythological connection between it and the Parshat of Akkad Yitzchak, the sacrifice of the ram and the redeeming angel, it was therefore created so that the destroying angel could distinguish between the houses of Israel and the houses of Egypt - who is for life and who is for death. But we are left with the problem: what is that mezuzah? What are those two mezuzahs? It is a vertical surface on both sides of the side door frame that forms a hinge for the two doors, and not as is customary today to place it to the right of the door, on the door frame. And in general it is about its origin on a blood mark, without connection to the type of building, a mezuzah house that is accepted today. Indeed, it is not for nothing that the name "Mouse" is derived from the words "Move", "Move", "Move" in the context of opening and closing a door. Moreover, the ear of the slave was pierced to the mezuzah, to the door frame. And we will not suspect that there is any connection between a "ritual mezuzah" and the act of burning, unless it is about the surface closest to the door axis.

Something ritualistic, ritualistic, was created here, intended to indicate to the destroying angel, God's emissary, who lives in the house, the Israelites or the Egyptians. After all, God and his messengers do not need signs, and in particular that according to the story, the exodus from Egypt was conducted at God's initiative, commandment and blessing. This parsha is a request to perpetuate the relationship between God and the Israelites in terms of faith in holy fear. It is also reasonable to assume that legendary stories of this type were composed in a late period, even very late, to cast a mixture of fear of God on the one hand and belief that he can save the Israelites on the other. Indeed, the Bible testifies to this explicitly: "And this day shall be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a festival to Jehovah throughout your generations as a perpetual statute" (Exodus 14:XNUMX).

Is there any historical delusion in the following conclusion, I am not sure that it is not delusional at all. It is known in ancient cultures, the Mesopotamian one and the Egyptian one, that the smearing with blood is related to a ritual being, in some way, since color identity is inherent in the blood of this and in the wine of this, is an integral part of the personal and communal worship and an affinity to the slaughter of sheep and goats. And let us apply solid logic: if, according to the scriptures, despite being a legendary tradition, the Israelites intended to leave Egypt secretly, without unnecessary noises and without "incriminating" signs, then why were they ordered to smear their door mezuzahs with signs of blood that could raise questions among their neighbors -Jews? Unless it is a matter of conducting customary sacrifice rituals, redeemed with blood, which may remove any fear and suspicion among their neighbors. Moreover, even the date of the exodus from Egypt in this context is interesting - in the middle of the month, when it is white, and this date is against any secret operation due to the illumination of the full moon, unless this date is associated with pseudo-bacchanalian celebrations as is customary in ancient civilizations, in which animal slaughter and bloodshed were a part integral of them. And perhaps-perhaps the sign of the blood was wrapped in the first stroke that was inflicted as part of the ten strokes, which is the stroke of blood.

Tana D helps, if only indirectly, to the above arguments, the "illusory" is found in the external literature of the days of the Second Temple, and in this case in the Book of Jubilees (Matt, 6.9), where the author describes the Egyptian Passover, that Israel sat and ate the Passover and drank wine, and praised and sang a song. And so in the book Hakmat Shlomo (9:22) and the Tosefta Pesachim (XNUMX:XNUMX) - "The Passover of Egypt is full of song and the Passover of generations is full of song."

It is not for nothing that to this day we saturate the Passover order with songs and melodies, which originates from the same exodus from Egypt that was made with somewhat pagan sacrificial ceremonies. Moreover, the afikoman is known in the sources of the Sages and finds its expression in the Haggadah in the form of "And there is no meftirin after the Passover afikoman" (Pesachim 8:XNUMX). The afikoman originates from the Greek and concerns feasting and rejoicing of the young (and I published an article about it at the time in "Hidan"), with the source, it seems, in the same vocal gathering and perhaps even in the instrumental accompaniment of the exodus from Egypt, when the blood played a central role in it.

An illustration of the anointing of the blood of the Passover sacrifice before the slaughter of the firstborn. Source: Wikimedia.
An illustration of the anointing of the blood of the Passover sacrifice on the lintel before the beating of the firstborn. source: Wikimedia.

And we will continue with the biblical references. In the book of Leviticus, almost the entire chapter deals with the work of the priests in the temple and how they would sprinkle the blood of the sacrifices on the altar and it is not about garbage and waste. These phenomena, ritually sacred, are also expressed in the following chapters up to chapter 24. For example, Moses sprinkles the sacrificial blood on the four horns of the altar not only of the sacrificial bull but also of the slaughtered ram. And what's more - "Moshe took some of his blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron's right ear and on the toe of his right hand and on the toe of his right foot. And bring the sons of Aaron near, and Moses will put some of the blood on the lobe of their right ear, on the toe of their right hand, and on the toe of their right foot, and Moses will sprinkle some of the blood on the altar around it" (Leviticus 23:XNUMX-XNUMX) distinguish them as saints. But nevertheless the blood remains blood and the ritualistic, mythological connection, also in connection with Israel leaving Egypt, is self-evident, which eliminates the reason for applying the blood to navigate the way of the corrupting angel, and with a smile what - the waze at that time.

Before his death, Moses recited his poetry before the people, and in one of the columns it was sung that "And the blood of a grape shall drink clay" (Deuteronomy Lev 15). It is true that this is allegorical language, but nevertheless the use of a blood box is significant in my opinion.

In the book of Deuteronomy (9:6-5) there is a different, somewhat new reference to the Mezuzah, as it is written - "And these words were (from verses 4-XNUMX: "Hear Israel, Jehovah our God Jehovah is one. And you shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind ”) which I myself will place on your heart today. And you memorized it for your children and spoke to them when you sat in your house and when you walked on the road and when you lay down and when you got up. And you tied them to a sign by your hand and they were drops between your eyes. And you wrote on the mezuzahs of your house and on your gates."

There is no dispute that the book of Deuteronomy was written in a later period, perhaps even during the Jewish reform of Josiah (late seventh century BCE), who wanted to center the worship in one place, that is, the temple in Jerusalem and glorify his name as the leader of the centralist process in Judah. If so in his generation and maybe later, at the beginning of the Second Temple period. In any case, the instruction is to write these two verses on the door frame, when at this stage it is not about the home frame, but, as we will see later, about the hall frame. In the meantime, the taste of writing beyond the teaching of memorization is not indicated. There is no reference to physical movement such as passing the hand over the scripture or any other ritual action.

In the book of Judges, it is told about the heroism of Samson in Gaza in this language: "... And he got up in the middle of the night and one at the doors of the city gate (Gaza) and at the two mezuzahs and he drove with the bolt and put it on his shoulders..." (Judges 3:XNUMX). The mezuzahs here represent the hinges of the door, without any connection to any religious accessory and certainly not in any Yahwistic context.

Does the temple context appear in the book of Samuel 9 (8 XNUMX): "And Hannah got up after eating at Shiloh and after she had drunk, and the priest sitting on the throne, on the mezuzah of the Temple of Jehovah (at Shiloh)"? Or does the "mezuzat of the hall" point to the threshold area, very close to the lintel, to the axis of the gate. And so it is read in Isaiah (Nez XNUMX): "And after the door and the mezuzah thy memory died, for whence didst thou come?" Even here it is difficult to distinguish between the ritual context and the local one - "after the door"?

In the book of 31 Kings, the structure of the temple built by Solomon is described in detail, and for example - "And to the entrance of the sanctuary he made doors of ram oil wood with a fifth mezuzah (the surface of the door)" (33. XNUMX), "And he made for the entrance of the hall with mezuzades of oil wood with a fourth mezuzah" (ibid. XNUMX) . And so Solomon behaved in the house of the Lebanon forest. That is, the essential context, especially the physical one, involves a sacred building and not a private house. And so it is clear from the following sources.

For example, it is said in the book of Proverbs that "Blessed is the man who listens to me (to God) to guard my doors (of my temples) day by day, to keep the mezuzah of my doors" (Proverbs 34:XNUMX), when the temple-faith context is not so clear, beyond the simple, simplistic, visual sign .

Even with Ezekiel when he comes to describe the details of the tabernacle it is difficult to distinguish between the ritual side and the locational side, but in any case the association with the Holy Hall is clear. In one of his verses it is written that "And the priest took some of the blood of the sin and gave it to the mezuzah of the house (the temple) and to the four corners of the altar and to the mezuzah of the inner gate of the court" (Ezekiel 19). And here, in the context of the "sinful blood", it does not seem that there is a reference to some kind of holy mezuzah, and perhaps even to the gateposts.

In the biblical literature of the First Temple, we therefore did not find a clear connection, and we even "risked" and said, not only unclear but also problematic, between the mezuzah and some religious accessory. The textual context in the vast majority of the biblical evidence alongside the ritual is very problematic and far from reaching an interpretation beyond the locational indication.

Moreover, beyond the testimony of the book of Deuteronomy, in terms of memorizing the text, there is no hint as to the importance of fixing mezuzahs, if at all, and their necessity.

Moreover, in all the archaeological sites attributed to the First Temple period there is not a shred of insinuation that they were indeed set in gates, doors and mezuzahs, and as we know there is no more reliable and trustworthy source than the archaeological one.

We will look for the presence of mezuzahs from the beginning of the Second Temple, since Ezra and Nehemiah, those who renewed/built the Second Temple in 516 BC and the external literature, and we will not find it. We look at the parables of Shimon ben Sira which describe in detail the work of the high priest in the temple and we try to come across a mezuzah but in vain. We will search in the factory of Judah the Maccabee who cleanses the temple and renews the work in it, we will look for mezuzahs there and we will not find them.

And perhaps we will ask for the mezuzos in the description of the magnificent temple built by Herod. We ask and we don't find. On the other hand, something else is found such as: "At equal intervals, warning stone tablets were placed in the grid, some in Greek letters, some in Roman letters - regarding the law of purity according to which Gentiles are not allowed to enter the Holy of Holies" (Yosef ben Matthieu, The Wars of the Jews in the Romans, 194:XNUMX). Even in a detailed description of the many temple gates, there is no mention of mezuzahs, and on the other hand, there is a mention of the golden vines that stretched over the temple gate.

There is no mention of mezuzos in the description of the magnificent temple built by Herod. Drawing: James Tissot, from Wikimedia.
There is no mention of mezuzos in the description of the magnificent temple built by Herod. Drawing: James Tissot, from Wikimedia.

In vain we will also look for signs of identification for the presence of mezuzahs in the archaeological site of Qumran. Many buildings, mikvahs, 7 in number, many residences and hundreds of other items were uncovered there, including a "tefillin ball", and mezuzots. It should be noted that the residents of Qumran were slightly or severely strict about the mitzvahs and duties and especially the laws of purity, and as a result the winemakers expect to find mezuzahs there but none of them. Even in the Masada that was inhabited between the time of Herod and the outbreak of the rebellion by zealous elements and where a spacious synagogue and a mikva were uncovered, no signs of a mezuzah were found.

Tractate Midod in the Mishnah discusses in detail the structure of the temple, its composition, its various parts and accessories. Let's look at this tractate (IV 1) and examine the matter of mezuzot. Well, "they opened that the temple (so in the text) was twenty cubits high (an cubit = 56 cm) and ten cubits wide, and it had four doors: two inside and two outside. The outer ones open into the opening to cover the thickness of the wall (so in the text), and the inner ones open into the house, to cover the doors, the whole house is plastered with gold, except for the doors. Rabbi Yehuda says: They would stand inside the opening, and they would fold back like an astermite (in another wording: astropomata. That is, the doors were like something that rotates backwards, they would fold in the middle, the two halves, one on top of the other, behind them) these are two and a half cubits, and these are two and a half cubits . Half a cubit is a mezuzah from here and half a cubit is a mezuzah from here, as it is said (Ezekiel Ma 24): And two doors to two doors are turned two doors to one door and two doors to the other."

I'm sorry, but this text is not saved either. The measurement of the half of the forearm, i.e. 28 cm, may clarify the location of the sliding axis on the one hand and perhaps the location of the pair of mezozus on the other hand.

Moreover, we were confident that after the destruction of the Second Temple, when the sacred was "moved", over time, to the synagogues, mezuzahs would be found in the synagogues and would be echoed both in the literature of the Sages and, above all, in the archaeological remains, and quite a few remains were found, but In vain! The explanation I find for this is rooted in the fear, expressed in a number of quotes from the books of the Sages, that the synagogue, and in particular its prevalence throughout Judea and the Galilee, could dim the sanctity of the temple, and divide, at least geographically, among those who need it, and that is why the mezuzah was not associated with the synagogues. As well as, and for example, the engraving of the seven reed lamp.

A very interesting phenomenon took place here, the main one being the 360-degree cartwheel - from the ancient teaching in connection with the Exodus from Egypt in the personal-private aspect in the residences, through the detour of the temple mezuzah and the herd of the ecclesiastical house mezuzah, back to the residents' homes. And this may have been expressed in the next text in Mishna Midod.

Well, Meshnat Minchot opens a window for us to a turning point, perhaps the revolutionary one in the matter of mezuzot. Let's read the relevant text as written and worded: "Two passages in the mezuzah hinder each other and even one writing (writing one letter that is not according to the law) hinders them (disqualifies the entire mezuzah)" (Menachet 7:XNUMX). Here, for the first time, it can be said that the mezuzah is nothing more than a religious, ritual accessory, which was established, perhaps even then on one side of the side frame or on both sides of the door.

The Babylonian Talmud comes, responding and explaining: "Give our rabbis - the beloved of Israel, whom God surrounds with the mitzvot, a tefillin on their heads and a tzitzit on their arms and a tassel on their clothes and a mozuza on their mouths... Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov says: Whoever has a tefillin on his head and a tefillin on his arm and a tzitzit on his clothing and a mozuza on his mouth, all this is fortifying that he will not sin" God's help even from the Exodus)" (Minachot Mag p. XNUMX). The innovation in the words of the text, the condition must be said, is based on the teaching of the religious explanation in determining the mezuzah, as well as the tefillin and the tassel. That is, the practice according to the above mitzvah will win God's love and more than that - this practice seeks to bridge over thousands of years of history from the Exodus to the era of the Holy Bather. And this is the first time since the saying in the book of Deuteronomy that the obligatory mitzvah rewards the one who set up a mezuzah in his home with an important blessing - winning God's love.

And perhaps the historical conclusion that emerges from this text, considering the totality of what they learn about Law, is that many disregarded the mitzvah, therefore it must be brought before the public while it is wrapped in an attractive veil - won God's love.

And in another text, which teaches about non-observance of the mezuzah mitzvah, the person is warned that his life will not be life (Pesachim Kig p. XNUMX).

It should be noted that in the second generation after the destruction of the Second Temple, the procedures for the Passover order were shaped by the initiative of Rabbi Gamliel, the president of the Sanhedrin, somewhere in the year 112 AD. However, not a single word was said there, not even a hint about the matter of the mezuzah, and even in the Mishnah there is no reference to its sanctity. interesting!

In the Passover Mishnah (v. 5) it is said that "What is the difference between the Passover of Egypt (which was sacrificed in Egypt) and the Passover of generations (that is, from then until the days of the Mishnah, and in this case until about the middle of the second century AD)? The Egyptian Passover was taken from Ashur (taken on the 15th day of the month of Nisan) and charged with zeah in the Moss Association (sprinkling/smearing with moss branches) on the doorframe and on the two mezuzahs (that is, the door hinges and blood) and eaten in haste in one night (in general, the holiday does not take place, but the first night is the night of Yom Tu per month), and Pesach Dorot practices every seven days" (seven days of the week). An interesting conclusion can be drawn from this text: the practice of baptizing the blood, from the blood of the Passover slaughter, which is the Passover sacrifice, on the door frame and on the two hinges of the door, i.e. the mezuzot, has lasted for many hundreds of years. But here comes the Tosefta, with its interpretation of the Mishnah and says firmly: "The Passover of Egypt is said in it: 'And you came to the crossbar and to the two mezuzots.' , which is not the case in Pesach Dorot" (Tosefta Pesachim 22:XNUMX). That is, over time they chose not to follow the biblical source, i.e. the dipping of the door frame and mezuzos (door hinges) in blood, in order to maintain the purity of the holiness of the biblical event and distinguish it (and as the Jerusalem Talmud declares - Pesachim Chapter XNUMX, page XNUMX - which compares the blood on The lintel and the two mezuzahs are no less sacred than the temple altar) and perhaps even seeing baptism in blood as a barbaric act. However, the songs and chants have not been corrupted throughout history, as the aforementioned Tosefta article states: "The Passover of Egypt is full of song and the Passover of generations is full of song" (Tosefta Pesachim XNUMX:XNUMX). And the Jerusalem Talmud (Pesachim XNUMX:XNUMX, p. XNUMX) is misleading regarding the importance of the celebration, and who knows if the matter of the afikomen is not involved in this?

It should be noted that this is about the period after the destruction of the Second Temple, when, in the absence of a temple, the customs and ceremonies were transferred to the individual's home, in order to preserve ancient customs.

However, customs were probably known that were intended to sanctify the mezuzah, and contrary to the position of the sages of the Sanhedrin. This move, it seems, originated in pagan customs. These took pains to emphasize and some actually emphasized the sanctity of the mezuzah, such as Onclus Hagar, formerly Achilles, who was captured in the rebellion of Ben Khosva by Hadrian's soldiers and was expected to be imprisoned when he passed his hand on the mezuzah. They asked him for clarification on the matter, and his allegorical answer was: a king of flesh and blood is lying in his palace and his servants guard him from the outside, while the Almighty sits outside and watches over his servants who stay inside (Talmud Babylon, Avoda Zerah XNUMX p. XNUMX). That is, the value of the mezuzah is that it protects the members of the household from trouble. And perhaps this serves to complete the historical conclusion raised in the previous section. And maybe-maybe in terms of closing the circle from the anointing of the blood before leaving Egypt.

And we will end with a somewhat "brutal" statement, one that is repeated throughout the article: in the strongholds of Ben Kuseva's rebellion - in the caves of the Judean Desert and in Beit Ter - no remains of mezuzahs were found, archaeologically. And it should be noted that this is apparently surprising in view of Ben Kusva's great care and meticulousness in observing the mitzvot of Judaism and its obligations such as the four species in Sukkot. On the Pleia Helaza river, a bridge was given in light of the assumption that Ben Khosva wanted to renew the construction of the temple and therefore return Ataret to its former glory.

In conclusion, it is difficult to put one's finger on the question: since when was the obligation to determine the mezuzah in the houses of Israel in the ancient era, since archeology does not support this at all, and perhaps the answer to this will be found in a later era, only from the eighth century CE during the Genius period, when evidence was found of writing Mezuzah cards.

It seems that the matter arose somewhere after the destruction of the Second Temple, when the leaders from the time of Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai onward looked for various factors for the public's sense of security in Judea, and perhaps sought to accustom the Jewish public to the situation of not having a temple, as we find in the series of Rabban's regulations Yohanan ben Zakai and his successor-continuing president Raban Gamliel. However, I am bothered by the fact that what was supposed to distinguish the houses of Israel from pagan houses has become a ritual accessory, thereby removing the courageous embrace between the people and their temple. Moreover, if-already-then-already: the ancient marking was on the two mezuzahs (the hinges) and on the lintel, so why was the location of the mezuzah of faith determined on one side only? But as mentioned, apparently the mezuzah teaching took hold much, much later. During the time of Maimonides, in the 12th century, it was probably clear that a mezuzah was placed at the door of every Jew's house and he himself formulated the "laws of tefillin and mezuzah". And there was a reason for this beyond the lack of the temple and a significant geographical distance between the Jew and Judah.

More of the topic in Hayadan:

Pesach: the holiday in the service of politics

28 תגובות

  1. A pile of factual errors. without going into interpretation. on the site You will be able to see scans of mezuzahs from the days of the Second Temple. According to Sages, a mezuzah rots and therefore needs to be inspected twice every seven years, and tefillin do not rot and therefore do not need to be inspected, and this explains why many more tefillin than mezuzos were found. A synagogue and a mikvah are exempt from mezuzahs, so why did you expect to find mezuzahs there?

  2. Unlike stone gravestones, or tefillin patties that move from place to place - the mezuzah mentioned in the Mishnah are a parchment placed inside a small "house" on the side of the door frame. How exactly can a mezuzah be preserved for thousands of years? Are Jews expected to travel with mezuzahs? Maimonides in the Laws of Mezuzah clarifies that only very specific houses were required to have a mezuzah from the Torah, and not every apartment. I don't understand what the author expected to find?

  3. It is unfortunate to read an article plagued by serious inaccuracies. Those interested in reading about the mezuzahs found in Qumran can find an article on tefillin and mezuzahs in Qumran in the file "Qumran scrolls - introductions and studies", first volume, published by Yad Ben Zvi

  4. Just can't believe it!
    This "god" kills children (first-borns) in order to free the other from slavery.
    This god kills almost every living thing (the flood) just because they didn't fulfill our desire.
    What are you doing?!?
    You are all worshipers of "God" / "Gods"!
    And to think that there is so much to explore and discover and still "man" deals with mysticism.

  5. The blood mark on the doors in Egypt was to identify the houses of the Jews
    To prevent the angel from accidentally harming the Jews,
    According to all the sources, mezuzos in the plural are the hinges of the door and there is nothing between them and the blood mark,
    At the same time, the assumption was accepted that the mezuzah alone constitutes a shield for the house
    like a garlic or horseshoe association among many populations,
    Therefore, there is no doubt that the phenomenon of "kissing on the doorstep" is a combination of
    The story of the blood mark in Egypt
    together with a copy of pagan customs.

  6. As soon as I got to this sentence "pseudo-pagan customs such as kissing mezuzahs and the like" I stopped reading because I realized that everything the pseudo-doctor will say here actually stems from his pseudo-anti-Semitic position and nothing else.

  7. If we do not allow an opinion different from that of the majority, extreme in today's terms, it will not be possible to place our truths on a solid foundation.
    It is agreed that my father has the opposite opinion of Dr. Sorek, but he is also angry at the sounding of the information and claims that there is no information in theology.
    My father's right to believe his opinions and the doctor's right to express his opinions. I personally believe that the mezuzah predates the days of the Bible, at least from King Josiah, and placing parchment in the mezuzahs of the house (frames) is a mezuzah in the conventional sense. It is true that a mezuzah is recorded in the Gemara which is 200-300 CE. My reference - the theory of the scrolls dating long before King Josiah.
    Yes, there is room to question what is considered the majority position, or orthodoxy.

  8. The response of Dr. Yehiam Sorek:

    Dear friends, you missed my point
    First - I did not come, as usual, to determine rivets, but to illuminate a somewhat remote corner of my speculations
    Second - there is no archaeological source that supports fixing a mezuzah in the door frame and in dry or semi-dry places we might find evidence of some kind of parchment scroll
    Thirdly - all the relevant sources such as in Proverbs or Ezekiel support the connection between the kiddush of the mezuzah in the context of Passover and its appearance in the Temple
    Fourth - in almost all references to the mezuzah, it appears in the plural and in the context of a simple identification of the hinges of the door
    Fifth - the rare finding of tefillin also shows that a directive, a recommendation and sometimes an instruction, remained in the possession of a recommendation only and at least in the eyes of the public and so did the issue of the tassel and more

  9. It's a shame that the author of the article does not respond at all to the objections I raised regarding the article

  10. my father
    I see that you have little knowledge about Judaism. The problem is that it is only a little knowledge and you add the rest yourself.
    The processional meticulousness existed long before the Shulchan Aruch. Maimonides didn't deal with grammars? Didn't the Mishnah and the Gemara deal with this?
    The revolution of Shulchan Aruch is a final ruling between different opinions. It is about An ongoing process that does not begin and does not end at a table.
    Regarding the mezuzah. It is not a Kabbalistic mitzvah at all. The reason for the mitzvah is the remembrance of the obligation to serve God and not a mystical reason. Even in Rabbi Elazar's words that appear in the article it is written only that the purpose of the mezuzah is to make a person not sin. And not to stop demons as you wrote (even though it sounds much sexier to us) only in much later stages the mezuzah is treated with virtues of protection.
    The whole claim that the mezuzah is late is delusional. She is mentioned in the Mishnah and the Gemara, so how can it be argued that she was not even in the second house? You are completely delusional that you say that only during the Shulchan Aruch period. It is enough to doubt whether there was a mezuzah already in the first house, it can be discussed.
    In general the practice of the article is delusional. Every mishna or brita that says something he brings as proof of the existence of the opposite. There is a Mishnah that mentions the differences between the sacrifice of Egypt and that of the Temple, among them the smearing of the blood on the lintels. How can one say that it is possible to extract from a map that the victim's blood was smeared?!

  11. Abi, your additions are interesting and acceptable to me, bottom line. Today, the belief that everything is given at Mount Sinai has become so entrenched that they do not allow a single iodized element of innovation to enter.

  12. I made a mistake - not a Mozan (it's an expert on the words of the days of Rome) and Hausen and Hegel - are the creators of the theory of the scrolls of Deuteronomy and books in the Bible in general.

  13. I was happy that apparently religious people also respond here without slandering and blaspheming - scientific debate culture, it's healthy.
    It is possible to think completely differently about the world and reality and still respect each other.
    Shulchan Aruch is accepted as the final ruling on the Spaniards. As far as I remember, the Ashkenazim go all the way to the Gemara. The rest is acceptable to me - indeed, the arrangement, and the prayers and mushna and Talmud were compiled in the days of the Second Temple, although on the basis of scrolls written by human beings as the secular scholars believe - the Momzan school, Yehezkel Koipman.
    There is great beauty in our sources, but today it also has racial superiority and a fear of renewing interpretation, which is not good for me.
    In no source in the literature of the nations is there a sentence like Isaiah, for example, "and beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks." A Gentile shall not bear a sword against a Gentile, and they shall no longer learn war" or in the Gemara when Rabbi Meir Ba'el Hanes offers to extend his protection in the upper sefirot for his Rabbi Elisha ben Abuya - the other one, thereby allowing him to enter the Garden of Eden: "May the heavens protect him or I will protect him in vain." A rabbi who challenges the divine ruling and manages to convince. It is clear that everything is only through the parable.

  14. The entire Orthodox Jewish religion that exists today with all its commandments and diction was established and finally consolidated only in the Middle Ages and actually after the writing of Shulchan Aruch.
    Today it is accepted by all orthodox rabbis that the Shulchan Aruch is the basis, a sign of this was the demand of the rabbis to convert the Ethiopians and the basis for this demand was that the Ethiopians did not know the Shulchan Aruch.
    Shulchan Aruch all the mitzvahs and the grammar of the mitzvahs that are written there are based on the previous scriptures but also on Kabbalah, the mitzvah of a mezuzah is to protect the house and the inner rooms of the house from evil forces such as demons, etc. is a Kabbalistic belief and a Kabbalist commentary on the mitzvah "on the mezuzahs of your house and at your gates" .
    Therefore, it is expected that there will be no mezuzahs on houses from the First and Second Temple periods, and perhaps also in a later period, and the custom only took shape later...
    Just to mention that all the mitzvots of the Orthodox Jewish religion were formulated only at the end of the Second Temple period. Before that, there was a Torah that there were no prayers - the mitzvots of the religion as they are today and the prayers were put together by a large Knesset.
    In addition, during the Second Temple period there were several sects in the Jewish religion, there were the Sadducees - these were the priests who ran Herod's temple, and later during the Roman period (there were big differences in faith, for example, the Sadducees did not believe in the afterlife), all religious worship was conducted at that time only in the temple, there were no prayers outside To the Temple, the sect that opposed the Sadducees was the Pharisees who developed different arts than the Sadducees, and they are the ones who developed the Jewish religion that exists today. Thus it is written in the Mishnah: "Moses received the Torah from Sinai, and delivered it to Joshua, and Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the prophets, and the prophets delivered it to the people of the Great Knesset" = it should be noted that in the Mishnah they omitted the priests as the transmitters of the mitzvot of the religion, because the priests are the Sadducees. that the members of the Great Knesset, who are the sect of the Pharisees, opposed them.
    The Pharisees opposed worship in the Temple during the Roman period because of the tendency of the Sadducees to foreign rule and the adoption of customs foreign to Judaism. And so the Pharisees claimed that the religion was given to them through the prophets and the elders and not through the priests...

  15. Until the last generation, the mezuzahs were fixed on the mezuzah of the opening inside a reed or even just dug a little in the wall and covered it with mortar (probably an end reed, as appears in some rulings), and the walls were made of mud and mortar, and for this reason they had to check every two or three years that the mezuzah had not rotted - And you want to find evidence after thousands of years?

  16. Yosef
    I don't agree with you that everything the Dr. says is "wonderful thinking outside the box" if it were literature or modern biblical interpretation. I would agree to accept that as an interesting point of view.
    The problem is that it is presented as an article about history. So if you want to write about history you have to give evidence for your assumptions at least partially, and if they are partial you have to state it prominently.
    The author has no basis for the link between the blood from an Egyptian sacrifice and a mezuzah, but it is presented as a fact.
    There is no justification for continuing to apply blood to the entrance in Israel (there is also no reason for them to do such a thing because it is intended to prevent the death of Israel's firstborn during the firstborn slaughter, so there is no reason to continue every year when there is no firstborn slaughter. Another thing, at least since the centralization of worship, it is unlikely to be a custom Such because the Passover is not slaughtered in homes but in the vicinity of the Temple in Jerusalem.
    There is also no evidence of a connection between the destruction of the mezuzah and the temple which, as mentioned, did not include a mezuzah (the mezuzah is a household thing and only later they put it in public buildings, even today every rabbi will say that there is no obligation to put it in a house that is not a residence) if it really was part of the great reform of the destruction, it would be a shame no They would hide it like they didn't hide other things. (like praying three times a day and taking lulev throughout the country)

  17. By the way, I am a researcher in the fields of physics, electricity and electronics and not in the Bible and history. In the Bible I am only an amateur. It was possible to make a profession out of it, but I chose otherwise.
    What is beautiful about the Jewish sources is that even though they take the position of who is wicked and who is righteous, the historical truth can be identified between the lines. For example, Ahab, who is identified as a bad king, in his last battle against Pharaoh, he was hit by an arrow and remained on the battlefield so that his army would not be dispersed, and he paid for it with his life. And he has a strong army and an iron chariot, probably much more than David according to the Tel Megiddo finds studied by Finkelstein. And the Bible mentions it. And Saul in modern terms is humanitarian and spared the life of the king of Amalek. and goes to a lost battle with the Philistines in the Gilboa mountains, even though the end is clear. In Tanach he is presented by the prophets as not good, because he strove for the separation of religion and state, but his actions are described as their own. Athaliah is seen as guilty, actually killing the 2 twins of the House of David, preventing an Israeli and Aramaic invasion and allowing the Jewish people to survive another 2800 years. And Yeshua is actually a fairly pious Pharisee rabbi (Hanina ben Theridion had a student named Yeshua who was perceived as corrupt), he and six of his students are mentioned as rabbis in the Talmud. He clashed with the mainstream because of 2 things: he preferred a mitzvah between a man and his fellow man over keeping the Sabbath. He spoke in Buddhist terms: I am. The greatest in the Talmud among his students is Petros - Rabbi Shimon Kifa (Kifa in Aramaic Sela in Hebrew Petros in Greek) who had a famous polemic with Rabbi Akiva. Although the Talmud illuminates them in a negative light, it preserves details. There is a difficulty in using this as a reference - because the Talmud and the New Testament were written about 200-300 years after the events and are organized, but the New Testament can be considered as a non-Talmudic reference and then they confirm each other. The Talmud Jesus and the New Testament the Talmud.

  18. Professor Yehezkel Koipman's view is interesting in his books The History of the Israeli Faith, Volumes XNUMX-XNUMX, and Gola and Nicher. He has not been with us for several decades. He did not dedicate several volumes to his view, and this is his life's work, although it is possible that the theory of the scrolls is partially correct - the Torah was written by different people in different periods. The belief in one abstract God among the priests and prophets is very ancient. The faith as having a strong foundation in the entire nation of Israel, in light of the majority around the pagans, is a gradual process that took time. Against the background of this contrast, there are researchers who believe that the origin of the Israeli faith is
    Pagan - for example to a leg god. Hence the pilgrimage. And that the mezuzah begins with the smeared blood and drinking it. And Judaism as we know it, has a historical basis from the destruction of the Second Temple. But I personally believe that most of the historical background that the Bible presents is authentic, and is only revealed slowly historically.

  19. Voicing opinions outside the box as Dr. Sorek does is acceptable to me as I have just provided evidence that the mezuzah is of ancient origin. I belong to a school that analyzes the Bible and the Talmud academically and not only Torah.
    It is good that there are those who will challenge the concept even if it is wrong, it makes us rethink fundamental truths.
    As Israel Finkelstein came and claims that King David ruled over the Kingdom of Jerusalem only and that there was not a united kingdom but two kingdoms: the strong Israel and the small Judah, but with a pantheistic priesthood system, which prevailed in a historical perspective: 3 monotheistic religions grew out of it. At this point I realized that non-biblical evidence is the best acceptable way for me to prove the antiquity of the Jews. In summary: I think the mezuzah was there much earlier than Dr. Sorek says, but it is customary for me to shake the bows of the ship to force me to rethink things.
    Mentions of a mezuzah in the Bible without an extra-biblical reference are not academically satisfactory. An extra-biblical reference to critical points in the Bible confirms the Bible as a historical source.

  20. It seems that the first half of the chapter talks about the fact that a mezuzah is a lintel. Completely unnecessary and also known to all and agreed upon.
    All the talk about a mezuzah in the temple is ridiculous that even the writer does not mention that according to Hazal sources the temple did not contain mezuzahs at all. In general, it should be understood that the temple was conducted halachically in a completely different way from what we are familiar with and also from the halacha of that time, for example on Shabbat they slaughtered sacrifices and lit fire on the altar and the candles of the menorah, and in general violated almost every prohibition of Shabbat. Or, for example, the priests did not wear a tassel (and this is despite the fact that one of the high priest's garments had 4 wings and required a tassel if it were not a priestly garment) so it is really not surprising that there is no mezuzah. In general, it should also be remembered that a mezuzah as a principle is intended only for permanent residences and over the years they used to compile and install it almost everywhere. In every room and every building (except bathrooms).
    The whole connection that the writer tries to make between the mezuzah and the Passover sacrifice is devoid of foundation, as is the connection between the mezuzah and the temple or the ruin which, as mentioned, did not include a mezuzah at all.
    In connection with the fact that no mezuzahs were found in the excavations. It should be remembered that no more than a few tefillin were found either and this does not necessarily indicate rarity. The tefillin that were found were also in the Judean desert which is known for the special weather that allows the preservation of such things. In general, there aren't many findings from this period on parchment (which is known to be organic material and decays over the years) and most of what we have is a stone inscription and coins (apart from scrolls from the desert in caves, where there is no reason to have a mezuzah). It is worth mentioning the blessing of priests which was attributed (mainly based on a linguistic structure) to the end of the Second Temple until it was found on a gold amulet from the First Temple.
    In general, the writer jumps to firm conclusions in a baseless way. As for example a condition that guarantees protection from sin to those who have a mezuzah, already constitutes proof to the author of the article that this was not common. A little understanding of the genre would have known that Hazal scattered promises of this kind left and right about almost every mitzvah.
    It's also not clear how the author raises the hypothesis that the mezuzah only spread during the time of the Geniuses or Rambam when the Mishnah and the Gemara are full of mezuzah laws.

  21. Exemption from a mezuzah in a holy place. Tractate Yoma, 3 XNUMX - XNUMX XNUMX. Issue number XNUMX. Gemara. Rabbi Tano: All the chambers that were in the temple did not have a mezuzah, except for the Perhadrin chamber, which had an apartment for a high priest.
    That is why there is no mezuzah in the temple.

  22. There are two extra-biblical testimonies to David: the Tel Dan inscription that mentions the House of David ("Beit David") and the Misha monument that mentions his carrying and being taken captive to Moab by "Arel Doda" which may be directed at one of the heroes of the House of David. Although it should be noted that these are inscriptions from the ninth century BC, about two hundred years after the period attributed to David. If the house of David is correct, and even 200 years after it (800 BC), the formation of Judaism as we know it cannot be attributed only to the days of the Second Temple destruction and the Bar Kochba revolt. In general, the scrolls that are the foundation of the five Torah Pentacles - are of ancient origin.


  23. The oldest tefillin that have been preserved are from Qumran, as far as I remember, from the Essenes, but already in the days of King Josiah, which is widely agreed upon, the book of Deuteronomy is described, and as mentioned, it is no later than 620 BC. Apart from this, there is an allusion that I have also seen in other (new) historians that the Jewish people only came into being during the Hasmonean period plus. In my opinion, even if the Bible is not committed to historical truth, there is more than enough evidence for its correctness from the House of David (the Tel Dan inscription in which an Aramean king - in the days of Jehoram ben Ahab (820 BCE), announces the cutting down of the House of David, on the Golan Heights - to teach us that the House of David is considered great It is enough to brag about it. In complete accordance with what is narrated in the Bible, the killing of the twins by Athaliah, in order to prevent the conquest of the kingdom of Judah by Aram and Israel. In the last two decades, 2-3 testimonies have emerged of the House of David as a kingdom not only over Jerusalem, contrary to the opinion of Professors I respect like Israel Finkelstein.

  24. I am not one of the angry religious people, I am more identified with scientific secularism and with Jewish thought when it is deep in my view. I am not identified with accepting the Bible as its own language, or not as a book written by humans.
    In the four chapters of the tefillin it is said: And they were to be sprinkled between your eyes (meaning mainly parchment) and you wrote them on the mezuzahs of your houses and on your gates. (Deuteronomy XNUMX, verse XNUMX).
    Even if we take the extreme secular interpretation, the one that says that the book of Deuteronomy was supposedly discovered in the basements of the Temple by the priests of Josiah in the Temple and a reform was carried out according to it, and that after the destruction of Israel the way to take over the kingdom of Israel in the field was to claim that it had always belonged to the House of David until the division of the kingdom, even So the Mezuzah is late at most, to the year 620 BC, for the perception of the secular scholars of the Bible and the formation of Israel.

    Second issue there is a complete and severe prohibition on tasting blood in Judaism also in the Book of Leviticus which is ancient even according to the theory of the scrolls of the German school known as Momzan. Even in the laws of cooking - there is an obligation to remove the blood, in order to differentiate from the pagan religions that were the majority. ""It is an eternal law for your generations in all your colonies that you shall not eat any milk or blood" "For the blood is the soul" (Vicera). Not that there were no pagan practices in the Jewish religion: animal sacrifice. But in terms of historical rigor on the subject of the mezuzah - I am presenting what is accurate in my opinion, and out of respect for Dr. Sorek - at least as an alternative position.

  25. It really doesn't matter if the custom was a thousand or two thousand years old,
    Any custom (logical or not, usually not) that has existed for so long deserves to be appreciated and lingered over
    We have nothing but to complain about our ancestors who for many hundreds of years continued to uphold it
    If a person wants his descendants not to complain about him - he will stop observing these customs

    Sometimes a person finds himself doing a unique thing that his parents used to do (and not anyone, a custom of one generation for the purpose of the discussion). Why do we sometimes continue to do the same thing, probably some kind of human trait/respect for our origins

  26. How is "and you wrote on the mezuzah of your houses and on your gates" interpreted as "and you wrote on the mezuzah of your dirt"?

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