From Yahweh to Zion by Laurent Guyénot

Gaby

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It was the last chapter of this lengthy book (492 pages). It's really loaded with details, has 808 references and is highly recommended.

The marranos information was quite eye-opening. I never read that point of view and research when I read about them in the past. I got the book just to read the rest of it and now that I caught up on it, the book is definitely in my reading list. Thanks for sharing.
 

Harmony99

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Laurent Guyénaut has also a few articles in the unz website: Laurent Guyénot Archive - The Unz Review
After reading From Yahweh to Zion, it became clear that the pathology of Judaism (a matrialist religion!) and its offspring didn't start with talmudism or islam but the seeds were there from early on.

Thank much mkrnhr for your link above. Very good information to digest until the book arrive.
 

Navigator

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Genetic discoveries and common sense should therefore have caused the extinction of Darwinism among the credible theories of evolution. Yet this was not the case. On the contrary, since it was less a scientific theory than a theology of the death of God, a new form of speculative Darwinism was coined under the name “the synthetic theory of evolution.” It relies entirely on the idea that man has developed purely accidentally from the first bacteria, without the intervention of any intelligent design, by the simple combination of “chance and necessity.” Darwinism today synthesizes the idea that modern man is supposed to have of himself and that is inculcated by orthodox education. It is both a doctrine of the essence of man and a myth of the creation of man. Darwinism is the heart of nihilist theology. For this reason, it will probably also resist the new challenge of epigenetics, which proves the genetic inheritance of acquired characteristics, as Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck had theorized.

In the light of the recent discussions here on this forum, articles on SOTT and shows in Mind Matters, this interpretation is pretty amazing.
 

l apprenti de forgeron

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The marranos information was quite eye-opening. I never read that point of view and research when I read about them in the past. I got the book just to read the rest of it and now that I caught up on it, the book is definitely in my reading list. Thanks for sharing.
Really fascinating.
One problem with converts-marranos is that the vast majority of European Jews (eg, Ashkenazim and Sephardim) are descended from converts who have nothing to do with the original Jews of the Middle East. That is, they are mostly Europeans who have become Jews at a certain moment and for political reasons. And many of those converts then turned something else for political reasons: in Christians. The converts are something to study, because they are a kind of new subjectivity at the dawn of modernity. They do not belong to public Jews, nor are they assimilated to the Christian social majority with which they live. They are something doubly hybrid, and that may have given them great power (in potential) also on European Jews without conscience of the converts.
From what I have read in this thread, Christian elites have used Jews to prey on peasants. But things were changing, and the Jews (public and converts) were managing to displace the monarchs and Christian aristocrats, even ending the feudalism and the privileges of the lords. It seems that there has been a mixture, or directly, a replacement of the upper classes in Europe, and that has led to a change of ideological orientation in all the important institutions, making materialism, transhumanism and usury triumph. The Catholic Church, which was a weak guide for souls by continuing to talk about spiritual matters, was trampled underfoot. No message of transcendence of materialism was allowed for the majority of human beings anymore.
Here is a video (in Spanish) of Federico Rivanera Carlés, a historian who explains the important role played by the converts to destroy the Spanish Catholic empire from within. It is like a political vampirism in action, since the Spanish empire was broken predominantly from inside rather than by interference from outside of the English empire, and later, the American empire.

It seems that the question of the converts can lead to a huge field for new studies.
 

genero81

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Absolutely Fascinating! After reading that last excerpt I went to Amazon to check on the book and it's available for free with Kindle Unlimited, which I have. I think I'll toss aside the other books I'm reading temporarily in favor of this one. Thanks Altair!
 

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Here is an audio with Guyenot (Kevin Barrett) - not listened to yet "How I Discovered 'the Jewish Question'": Laurent Guyenot, author of From Yahweh to Zion (audio only - levels adjusted)

"How I Discovered 'the Jewish Question'": Laurent Guyenot, author of From Yahweh to Zion: Jealous God, Chosen People, Promised Land...Clash of Civilizations

Laurent Guyenot's From Yahweh to Zion may be the best book ever written on what used to be called "the Jewish question." In this interview Dr. Guyenot explains how his study of the Deep State, specifically its role in 9/11 and the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers, led him to a historical re-examination of Judaism and Jewish identity politics. From Yahweh to Zion raises many "Jewish questions" including:
Is Judaism/Jewishness a religion or an ethnicity? What is the Jews’ relationship to God, and to Jesus and the prophets? What accounts for the Jews’ ability to maintain tribal cohesion over more than 2500 years? Why have Jewish communities so often been at odds with their non-Jewish neighbors? Why have Jews been over-represented—in many non-Jewish societies throughout history—in positions of wealth and power? Why does this over-representation seem to be increasing today? Why is this issue off-limits for discussion in polite company (including the mainstream media and the academy)? Is Jewish tribal cohesion an important factor in the Deep State? And what role does the creation and endless expansion of Israel play in all of this?
The eminent theologian John Cobb writes of From Yahweh to Zion: "This is a remarkable book in many ways."
Dr. Cobb explains: "There is no question of the extraordinary gifts and achievements of the Jewish people and of their enormous contribution to American culture and intellectual life. Also, we all know that Zionists play a large role in United States in the media, in finance, and in international policy. In addition we know that there is rather tight censorship with respect to what may be said about these matters without ad hominen response. The fact of Gentile crimes against Jews throughout history is used to justify this censorship, much, but not all, of which is self-imposed. In my view, through their role in this censorship, Jews are paving the way for the rise of anti-Jewish feeling and perhaps much worse.
"This book may be simply dismissed as anti-Jewish, but it would be far better to engage it in a scholarly, rather than an ad hominem, way. Instead of discouraging scholars from considering the evidence of Jewish crimes, I wish that Jewish scholars would support freedom of inquiry and explain their reasons for disagreeing in open discussion. Otherwise those of us who seek uncensored truth may be misled by errors and exaggerations in what is usually hidden from us and is presented only at the margins of our society.
"Much in this book is offensive to Christians and Muslims as well as to Jews. As a Christian, however, I find the offense to be a stimulus to fresh thinking and repentance. What is selected to be said about us is certainly not the inclusive truth. But it has its truth, and the truth it has should not be neglected." John B. Cobb, Jr.
 

genero81

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Chapter 22 of the second book of Kings tells how Deuteronomy, the heart of the biblical canon, was “discovered” during the reign of Josiah. It was during renovation work in the Temple that the high priest Hilkiah found a “scroll of the Law (Torah)” that he identified as having been written by Moses himself. Historians interpret this narrative as a legend fabricated by priests to pass their new law (Deuteronomy) as the mere reenactment of an old law. Therefore, according to the most conservative biblical science, Deuteronomy dates to the age of Josiah around 625 BCE. The story of its discovery is a pious fraud. From the same period come most of the six historical books following Deuteronomy (Joshua, Judges, Samuel I and II, Kings I and II), which recount the history of Israel from Moses to Josiah. They form what is known as “Deuteronomic history,” as they are cast in the same ideological mold as Deuteronomy—what I more simply call Yahwism. But this dating is now being challenged. According to Philip Davies, a representative of the “minimalist” school, the “reform of Josiah” is itself “bound to be regarded as a pious legend, just about possible perhaps, but extremely improbable.” Indeed, it is hardly conceivable that Deuteronomy was written in a monarchy, let alone under the authority of a king, because it is a law code adapted to a theocracy, a country ruled by priests. The entire Deuteronomic history minimizes the royal function, which it depicts as having been only grudgingly granted by Yahweh to the Hebrews: “It is not you they have rejected but me,” Yahweh complains to Samuel when the Hebrews ask for a king (1 Samuel 8:7). The idea that a king would sponsor a priestly code of law limiting his power, to which he would then submit voluntarily, makes no sense. On the other hand, the Deuteronomic ideology perfectly corresponds to the regime that Ezra and Nehemiah wanted to impose: the reign of a caste of priests, with a weak king or no king at all. This does not mean that all the contents of the Bible were invented in this period. There was an aggregation of oral and written materials: chronicles and legends of kings, warriors, and holy men, as well as religious and secular songs, visions, and prophecies. But “the ideological structure of the biblical literature can only be explained in the last analysis as a product of the Persian period,” the time when Ezra drafted his project of reconquest.19 The tale of the “discovery” of the “Law of Moses” in the Temple under Josiah is a double deception. This Torah supposedly written by Moses, abandoned and then revived two centuries later by Josiah, then becoming obsolete again as the country was ravaged, then finally returned by Ezra to a people who, it seems, no longer remembered it—this Torah had in fact never been known or applied before Ezra, but was invented by him and the Levitical families who intended to make it the instrument of their new power over the Palestinian population. The biblical text was designed to establish Ezra’s legitimacy based on Moses the mythical ancestor, as well as Josiah the last king before the Exile. It is built on a mise en abîme that goes like this: First, Moses receives from Yahweh the Law (of Deuteronomy) and urges the Hebrew people to “faithfully obey the voice of Yahweh your God, by keeping and observing all his commandments” (Deuteronomy 28:1–20). Secondly, Josiah receives from the high priest that same “Book of the Law,” the “Law of Moses” (that had once fallen from the sky but now emerges from the dust), and summons “the whole populace, high and low” to hear it being read (2 Kings 23:2). Thirdly, Ezra brings back from Babylon this very “Book of the Law of Moses” and summons the families of the settlers to read it to them “from dawn till noon” (Nehemiah 8:1–3). The first two episodes are mythical, only the third is historical. For a historian critical of his sources, the only near-certainty is that, around 458 BCE, a clan claiming to issue from a lineage of Yahwistic Judean priests and installed in Babylon won from the Persians the right to establish a semi-autonomous state in Palestine; and that in order to dominate the local population, they developed a version of history presenting themselves as legitimate heirs of an ancient tradition.

Guyénot, Laurent. From Yahweh to Zion (pp. 27-29). Kindle Edition.
 

genero81

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When reflecting on biblical literature, it is important to understand that it is not a product of the “Jewish people.” The romantic illusion that people create their national mythology has been debunked; a literature that gains national status is always the product of an intellectual elite patronized by a political elite. It is today admitted that the heart of the biblical corpus, with its code of laws and its “history of Israel,” is the work of a small group of skillful priestly scribes. They produced much of the Bible in Babylon, while jealously preserving their pedigree records, intermarrying (often between cousins or uncle and niece), and making circumcision a distinctive sign (it was not practiced in Mesopotamia).24 They developed a highly effective strategy to survive and thrive by infiltrating spheres of power. Even if the stories of Joseph, Daniel, and Esther are postexilic, they convey the same culture of exile inscribed from the beginning in the genetic code of Judaism. After having probably helped the conquest of Babylon by the Persians, the Judean exiles obtained new high offices at the Persian court, as well as military and financial support for their theocratic project in Palestine. The Torah is the instrument crafted by these master propagandists to subjugate and control the Palestinian population. By writing a book purporting to cover the whole history of mankind, from the creation of the world to its apocalyptic end, and a history rolled out by the hand of the Creator, the priest-scribes assured their book a millennial success; they made it “the Book” par excellence. They gave it, moreover, a semblance of unbeatable seniority by pretending it was written by a Moses who had to be situated in the thirteenth century BCE. Several Alexandrian Jewish authors even attempted (with little success) to bluff the Greeks about the age of the Torah, insisting that Homer, Hesiod, Pythagoras, Socrates, and Plato had been inspired by Moses. This is the case with Aristobulus of Paneas in his Explanations of the Scripture of Moses (around 170 BCE) or with Artapanos in On the Jews, where he presents Joseph (son of Jacob) and Moses as the “first inventors” who taught the Egyptians everything they knew, from astronomy and agriculture to philosophy and religion.25 The same extravagant claims appear in The Wisdom of Salomon, composed in Egypt in the late first century BCE, then in Philo of Alexandria two centuries later. They would again be taken up by Flavius Josephus in Roman times. Yet no Greek or Latin text from a non-Jew offers any evidence that these claims ever impressed the pagans. In reality, the Hebrew Bible is much more recent than is commonly believed. With the exception of some later additions, its final redaction probably dates from the Hellenistic period, a time of great literary production. It is therefore roughly contemporary with its Greek version, known as the Septuagint.

Guyénot, Laurent. From Yahweh to Zion (pp. 40-41). Kindle Edition.
 

Altair

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In reality, the Hebrew Bible is much more recent than is commonly believed. With the exception of some later additions, its final redaction probably dates from the Hellenistic period, a time of great literary production. It is therefore roughly contemporary with its Greek version, known as the Septuagint.

That reminds me of this:

Q: (L) You have often stated that the Bible is corrupted, I would like to know who, exactly, corrupted the Bible and when and how they did this?

A: Illuminati brotherhood for a thousand earth years.

Q: (L) Does this mean that up until a thousand years ago the Bible was fairly accurate?

A: No.

Q: (L) Is there any possibility that the Catholic church had anything to do with this corrupting influence?

A: Yes.

Q: (L) Does the Catholic church have in its possession actual original texts of the Bible that have not been corrupted?

A: No.

Q: (L) Were there ever such texts in existence?

A: No.

Q: (L) Who wrote the book of Matthew?

A: Greek enforcers.

Q: (L) What are Greek enforcers?

A: Like your FBI.

Q: (L) Who wrote the book of Mark?

A: Same.

Q: (L) Luke and John?

A: Same?

Q: (L) Acts?

A: Same?
 

genero81

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There is an obvious symmetry between the Egyptian myth of Osiris and Seth, and the biblical story of Cain and Abel. Cain, the elder, is sedentary and cultivates fertile lands like Osiris, while Abel, the younger, is a nomadic shepherd inhabiting arid lands like Seth. Yet the biblical god acts opposite to the Egyptian pantheon: he upsets the social order by favoring the younger brother, thus provoking the elder’s legitimate sense of unfairness. As in a mirror image of the Egyptian myth, the Bible has the elder brother kill his younger brother. The epilogue added to the Cain-Abel story reinforces the symmetry. Like Osiris, the murdered Abel gets a new life of some kind, when Yahweh grants to Adam and Eve “another offspring, in place of Abel.” And this third son, a substitute or alter ego of the second, is named Seth (Genesis 4:25). This homonymy cannot be a coincidence, but rather strong evidence that the Cain-Abel story, in the form that has come down to us, is dependent on the Osiris-Seth myth. This fits the hypothesis of a biblical redaction in the Hellenistic period. The Yahwist scribes have deliberately reversed the Egyptian myth, by shifting the good role to the younger brother Abel, and naming his resurrected alter-ego after the Egyptian god Seth. Must we conclude that the Levites, motivated by their incurable Egyptophobia, have chosen to redeem the mortal enemy of Egypt’s national god and identify with him? We are encouraged in this conclusion by the many other biblical stories built on the inversion of Egyptian ones that we shall encounter further on.

Guyénot, Laurent. From Yahweh to Zion (p. 51). Kindle Edition.
 

genero81

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How can Yahweh, a male god who tolerates no female counterpart, help men grasp the mystery of womanhood? Yahwism reduces the divine to the masculine, and ignores the most universal and mysterious of all human experiences: the complementarity of genders. In the Garden of Eden, natural law itself is reversed when the woman is declared to have come out of the man, rather than the reverse. If the function of myths is to express in narrative form universal truths, are we not here dealing with an anti-myth? Historical exegesis has long understood that the biblical story of the transgression of the first couple was meant as a polemical attack on Eastern traditions that exalt sexuality as a holy experience and a divine encounter, through initiatory or marriage rites. These rites have long been misrepresented in Western traditions by the calumnious rumor of “sacred prostitution.” The lack of any “metaphysics of sex” in Judeo-Christian culture has led to a judgment of obscenity passed on the whole iconography of hieros gamos in Asian sacred art.61 In Genesis, the first sexual act of Adam and Eve (of which the consumption of the forbidden fruit is the obvious metaphor) is the source of all evil, the “original sin” in Augustinian terms. No transcendence, no positive value whatsoever is attached to it, since even the knowledge that it is supposed to grant is denied. On this ground, Yahwism is an anti-Osirism, since the myth of Osiris and Isis magnifies the power of love over death. The Egyptian myth has parallels in countless myths and tales foreign to Judaism and Christianity, in which a lost soul, a victim of a bad death (Osiris) is saved in the afterlife by the sacrificial love of his soul mate (Isis).62 This type of mythical imagination is totally foreign to the Bible. No biblical narrative encourages Jews to conceive of sexuality as anything other than a natural function. The paucity of Jewish reflection on the supernatural power of human love can be contrasted with the rich traditions of India, where the erotic and the sacred go together. See for example how the Creator Brahma creates Dawn, radiant of youth and vitality, and himself succumbs to her charms, according to the Kalika Purana. One of the lessons of these myths of Hieros Gamos, according to Indologist Heinrich Zimmer, is that a man may find his own soul by adoring a woman, and vice versa.63

Guyénot, Laurent. From Yahweh to Zion (pp. 74-76). Kindle Edition.
 

genero81

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Biblical Materialism Unlike the Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, or Roman traditions, the Hebrew religion is hostile to any imaginary form of the hereafter. In the Hebrew Bible, one would search in vain for the idea that the dying man will meet his Creator: the life of each of the patriarchs ends simply by mentioning their place of burial. About Jacob, it is said that, “breathing his last, he was gathered to his people” (Genesis 49:33), but nothing suggests here anything more than a conventional euphemism. Jacob, in any case, does not join Yahweh. In fact, Yahweh does not seem to reside in any other place than the earthly Jerusalem Temple. Reflecting a Sethian vision of life and death, the Judaic tradition knows nothing of the funerary myths so popular in other cultures, whose heroes explore the Other World. Hope of a better life and fear of divine retribution in the hereafter are absent from the Bible. When, in Isaiah 38, King Hezekiah “fell ill and was at the point of death,” he supplicates Yahweh to lengthen his physical life, not to welcome his spirit. “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears,” Yahweh answers. “I shall cure you: in three days’ time you will go up to the Temple of Yahweh. I shall add fifteen years to your life” (38:5). The Song of Hezekiah that follows clearly states that Sheol holds no promise of any real life and that it is not even under the rule of Yahweh. Once dead, Hezekiah laments, “I shall never see Yahweh again in the land of the living.” “For Sheol cannot praise you, nor Death celebrate you; those who go down to the pit can hope no longer in your constancy. The living, the living are the ones who praise you, as I do today” (38:11–19). We note in passing that biblical materialism goes together with the absence of any transcendent conception of the complementarity of the sexes. In the Bible, the male-female relationship is entirely absorbed in the conjugal and the parental, that is, the social realm. Yahweh does not say to Adam and Eve, “Let love open your hearts and unite your souls,” nor anything of the kind, but instead, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). Such an implicit devaluation of Eros, elsewhere celebrated as potentially magical, initiatory, or mystical, puts a damper on one of the most beautiful promises of the human experience. This is in turn, of course, related to the injunction of endogamy, since the transcendence of Eros is one of the foundations of exogamy. Consanguinity is not conducive to rapturous infatuation. The so-called polytheistic peoples place their fundamental hopes in an otherworldly Promised Land. It may be represented as a remote island, a high mountain, a subterranean or underwater world, but the point is that it is not accessible to mortals, to fleshly beings, except for the handful of mythical heroes who have ventured there and come back alive. This otherworldly Paradise is often endowed with a miraculous spring or a “tree of life,” that provides eternal life and youth. It is Mag Mell, “the Plain of Happiness” where we remain young and beautiful, in Irish mythology; or the “World of the Living, where there is no death, no lack, no sin.”83 No such hope is given by Yahweh to his people. The Promised Land of the Jews is an accessible geographical place situated between the Nile and the Euphrates; it is a destiny that is exclusively terrestrial and collective. Yahwism has focused all his people’s hope on this earth, where, obviously, neither milk nor honey really flows. After the Jealous God and the Chosen People, the Promised Land is the third pillar of biblical Judaism. In fact, the Yahwist scribes have taken the universal mythic theme of the blessed afterlife for the virtuous dead and turned it on its head; they have transferred this paradise (Pardès, the Garden) and its tree of life, the future hope of each man, into a past lost forever for all mankind. And there they have staged the drama introducing into the world the double scourge of death and labor; for death in their eyes bears no promise, and labor produces no spiritual merit. It is only in punishment of his transgression in the Garden that Yahweh declares to Adam: “By the sweat of your face will you earn your food, until you return to the ground, as you were taken from it. For dust you are and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). By the same spirit of contradiction, the serpent, associated throughout the Near East with the chthonian divinities but also with revealed or intuitive knowledge (the gnosis of the Greeks), is likewise the object of an inversion: when it offers to the first humans the means of acquiring knowledge and to “be like gods” (Genesis 3:5), it borrows the language of initiatory mysteries; but the Bible presents the serpent as a liar. Yahweh is hardly a god, if we define a god as a creature of the Other World. He is heard strolling in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8), but that’s because the Garden is an earthly place, just like the Promised Land. Yahweh is more a king than a god, which is precisely why the biblical Levites are always in conflict with the Judean and Israeli kings. According to the Levites, Yahweh alone, ideally, should be king (an invisible king speaking through his appointed ministers); human kings are tolerated as long as they strictly conform to Yahweh’s will (that is, to the Levites’ command). The Yahwist denial of the afterlife is linked to the Egyptophobia that permeates the Torah. But it is also historically linked to the rejection of Baal, who was for the inhabitants of Syria what Osiris was for the Egyptians: both god of fertility and lord of the dead. This is why the persistence of the cult of Baal is associated in the Bible with necromancy: “The history of the ancient Israelite conceptions of afterlife is closely related to the struggle between Yahwism and Baalism,” Klass Spronk explains. The absence of any speculation on the afterlife in the Hebrew Bible is due “to the fear of becoming entangled in the Canaanite religious ideas about life and death.”84 Nevertheless, these religious ideas seem very much alive among Hebrews resisting Levitical orthodoxy. It is said that the Israelites worshiped and offered sacrifices to a bronze serpent called Nehushtan, supposedly built by Moses, until Hezekiah “smashed” it (2 Kings 18:4). “They committed themselves to serve Baal-Peor, and ate sacrifices made to lifeless gods,” we read in Psalm 106:28. The prophet Isaiah condemns those who “consult ghosts and wizards that whisper and mutter” or “the dead on behalf of the living” (8:19). Yahweh chastises his people for “constantly provoking me to my face by sacrificing in gardens, burning incense on bricks, living in tombs, spending the night in dark corners” (65:3–4). Deuteronomy expressly forbids the activity of “soothsayer, augur or sorcerer, weaver of spells, consulter of ghosts or mediums, or necromancer. For anyone who does these things is detestable to Yahweh your God” (18:11–12). Leviticus confirms: “Do not have recourse to the spirits of the dead or to magicians; they will defile you. I, Yahweh, am your God” (19:31). Whoever breaks this rule must be put to death (20:6–7 and 27).85 In the eyes of the historian, the prohibition proves the practice; all these passages leave no doubt about the reality of the cults of the dead condemned in derogatory terms by the priests and prophets of Yahweh. These practices included offerings of food to the dead, incubation on graves, and other means of communicating with the hereafter. According to a likely etymology, “religion” (from Latin religare, “to bind”) serves to bind man to the transcendent. It holds him upright by pulling him heavenward. Man therefore exists in vertical tension between the natural and supernatural worlds, between his biological destiny (survival through progeny) and his spiritual destiny (survival through death). Yahweh is the god who cut this vertical bond and turned man’s attention exclusively toward the material world. This fundamentally materialistic nature of ancient Hebraism has often been pointed out by historians of religion: the rewards promised by Yahweh to those who “fear” him are entirely material—to be “full of days,” to have numerous offspring and a great fortune. Man’s only survival is through generation, or blood descent, according to the Torah. This explains the asymmetry between the myth of Osiris and its biblical reflection in the story of Cain and Abel: it is not Abel’s soul that suffers, but rather his blood “crying out to God from the ground” (Genesis 4:10). Nor is there any resurrection, since Seth-Yahweh is the god of death—meaning annihilation, not resurrection. Therefore the assassinated Abel must be “replaced” by a third offspring of Adam and Eve. Circumcision reinforces this primacy of the physical. God said to Abraham: “You for your part must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation after generation. This is my covenant which you must keep between myself and you, and your descendants after you: every one of your males must be circumcised. You must circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and that will be the sign of the covenant between myself and you. As soon as he is eight days old, every one of your males, generation after generation, must be circumcised, including slaves born within the household or bought from a foreigner not of your descent. Whether born within the household or bought, they must be circumcised. My covenant must be marked in your flesh as a covenant in perpetuity. The uncircumcised male, whose foreskin has not been circumcised—that person must be cut off from his people: he has broken my covenant” (Genesis 17:9–14). Circumcision, as “the sign of the covenant,” perfectly symbolizes the unspiritual nature of Yahwism. As a mark in the flesh somehow transmitted from father to son, it is like a superimposed genetic trait, a Yahwist gene. Spinoza was on the mark when he wrote: “I attribute such value to the sign of circumcision, that it is the only thing that I esteem capable of assuring an eternal existence to this nation.” Certainly, in the Hellenistic period, Greek dualism infiltrated the so-called Jewish “wisdom literature,” which features the voice of Sophia, sometimes assimilated to the Logos. Thus, the Book of Wisdom, written in Greek in Alexandria in the first century BCE, asserts that “God created human beings to be immortal,” and criticizes those who “do not believe in a reward for blameless souls” (2:22–23). But such texts are the exceptions confirming the rule. They form part of the brief parenthesis of Hellenistic Judaism, which was vigorously repressed by Talmudism and would only be saved from oblivion by Christian copyists. And even within this Hellenistic Judaism, the materialist viewpoint prevailed. According to Ecclesiastes, “The living are at least aware that they are going to die, but the dead know nothing whatever. No more wages for them, since their memory is forgotten. […] there is neither achievement, nor planning, nor science, nor wisdom in Sheol where you are going” (9:5–10). In fact, “the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same: as the one dies, so the other dies; both have the selfsame breath. The human is in no way better off than the animal—since all is futile. Everything goes to the same place, everything comes from the dust, everything returns to the dust” (3:19–20). The book of Job conveys the same message: there will be no hoped-for consolation when Job’s suffering finally ends. “If man once dead could live again, I would wait in hope, every day of my suffering, for my relief to come” (Job 14:14).86 Alas! “There is always hope for a tree: when felled, it can start its life again; its shoots continue to sprout. […]. But a human being? He dies, and dead he remains, breathes his last, and then where is he? […] A human being, once laid to rest, will never rise again, the heavens will wear out before he wakes up, or before he is roused from his sleep” (14:7–12). As the only reward for his fidelity to Yahweh, Job gets a 140 year reprieve on earth, numerous offspring, “fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand she-donkeys” (42:12). It is true that between the first century BCE and the first century CE, the idea of the “resurrection” of the dead made its entry into Maccabean literature, written in Greek for the greater glory of the Hasmonean dynasty founded by the Maccabees. The Greek word anistanai literally means “to rise, awaken, get up,” and anastasis means awakening. It is therefore the opposite of “to lie down/fall asleep,” the conventional Hebrew euphemism evoking the death of kings (“he fell asleep with his ancestors,” 1 Kings 14:31, 15:24 and 16:6, or 2 Kings 14:29), while the Greek texts prefer koimao, also “fall asleep” (as in the case of the stoned Stenus of Acts 7:60). The notion of resurrection was applied to the horribly tortured martyrs of the resistance against the Seleucid emperor Antiochus. Then it was extended to all mankind and postponed till the end of time in the book of Daniel: “Of those who are sleeping in the Land of Dust, many will awaken, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting disgrace. Those who are wise will shine as brightly as the expanse of the heavens, and those who have instructed many in uprightness, as bright as stars for all eternity” (12:2–3). Such a vision is taken directly from the Greco-Roman ideal of the hero, right down to its vocabulary. The transfiguration of the good dead into a “body of light” is a common religious motif in Hellenistic culture and beyond. But the rabbinic imagination will mostly ignore that aspect, and rather stick to the idea of the coming back to life of the physical corpse out of its tomb, with its limbs reconstituted. In such a grossly materialistic expectation, there is no need, and hardly any space, for an immortal soul. Besides, even the resurrection at the end of the world has always remained somewhat marginal within the rabbinic tradition, which accepts the authority of the book of Daniel, but rejects the books of Maccabees. In the twelfth century, the great Maimonides evokes the “resurrection of the dead” at the end of time, in the last of his thirteen articles of faith, but this belief has never been developed in the Talmud. Eventually, by another of these inversions, which are the trademark of Judaism, after the birth of Christianity, Talmudic rabbinism adopted by imitation the belief in the immortality of the soul, but in a restrictive form: only Jews have a divine soul, the soul of Gentiles being “equivalent to that of animals” (Midrasch Schir Haschirim). If “God created the akums [non-Jews] in the form of men” rather than beasts, says the Talmud, it is “in honor of the Jews. The akums were created only to serve the Jews day and night without being able to leave their service. It would not be appropriate for a Jew to be served by an animal; instead, it should be by an animal with a human form” (Sepher Midrasch Talpioth).87 There were always Jewish scholars to defend the immortality of the soul in a less polemical form, but they still borrowed it from Christianity. Here is what Jewish historian Heinrich Graetz said of one of them, Joseph Albo, a native of Soria in Spain in the first half of the fifteenth century: “It is a remarkable fact that Albo, who thought that he was developing his religio-philosophical system exclusively in the native spirit of Judaism, placed at its head a principle of indubitably Christian origin; so powerfully do surroundings affect even those who exert themselves to throw off such influence. The religious philosopher of Soria propounded as his fundamental idea that salvation was the whole aim of man in this life, and that Judaism strongly emphasized this aspect of religion.” On the other hand, Albo is fully Jewish when he gives obedience to 613 religious prescriptions as a recipe for eternal happiness.88 Finally, when in the eighteenth century Moses Mendelssohn defended belief in the immortality of the soul—a necessary condition for the elevation of humanity according to him—he would in no way rely on the Jewish tradition. Instead he produced a dialogue in the style of Plato, entitled Phaedo or the Immortality of the Soul (1767). Biblical versus Heroic Cultures

Guyénot, Laurent. From Yahweh to Zion (pp. 101-108). Kindle Edition.
 
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