Jewish History, Jewish Religion - Israel Shahak's shocking revelations

JEEP

The Living Force
Just as I was opening the downloaded file to print, Pierre walked in my office and announced that he had just read confirmation from Gershom Sholem that Jews had fomented the French Revolution and he was gobsmacked by that; he had long suspected it, but to hear from a Jew, that it was Cabbalistic Jews behind it all, was astonishing. He then commented that it is the Cabbalistic business that was pure Satanism.
Somewhere along the line - and I'm thinking a TV presentation/perhaps History channel - there was a recounting of the role of Jews in the lead up to the French Revolution. Unfortunately, the only thing that still sticks in my mind was the villification of Marie Antoinette via tales and 'pictures' of a pornographic nature of the queen so as to rile and infuriate the peasants against her. The only other thing I recall is that the King refused to allow his soldiers to fire upon his rebellious subjects even though failing to do so would mean being overrun by them. Not sure if that is actually factual.
 

Evster2012

Padawan Learner
I remember when I was in Jerusalem, an orthodox Jew approached me just after the Sabbath ended - in front of the Wailing Wall, no less! - and asked me whether I'm a Jew; when I said no, he asked me for a lighter so that he could smoke, because orthodox Jews aren't even allowed to carry a lighter on Sabbath. Talk about weaseling and deceiving your God! I witnessed quite a few instances of this "Goy shabbat" thing, not to mention programming systems in advance to avoid having to switch on stuff on Sabbath and so on. Thinking about it, this is really insane! It's like saying "oh, God doesn't want me to have sex outside marriage, so let's come up with a way to get an instant marriage for one night and an instant divorce the next morning".

I wonder what it does to a person's brain to be told your entire life not only that you are speshful and part of a superior race, but also that your God accepts and even likes the most blatant, idiotic weaseling out of his laws and coming up with all sorts of "clever" deceptions!!
Reminds me of a memory. When I visited the Wailing Wall, while standing outside the gate I was approached by an aged rabbi in his tallit who asked for a few shekels as “a mitzvah”. A few hours later I was walking down Ben Yehuda Street and there was that same rabbi, passed out in the middle of the walkway in a puddle of his own urine with a bottle of wine. It was Friday evening.

I suppose not really relevant to the topic, I just felt compelled to share the story.
 

romochar

Jedi Master
About all the images and qualities described in Kaballah books from yesteryear to now, as far as I understand are SPIRITUAL QUALITIES. And never physical or otherwise... A description of spiritual ACTIONS in a world that is creator of our "worlds". It is described as sparks. It was only in the 19th century, with BAAL HA SULAM, that Kabbalah found a physical equivalent, by proposing to create bigger groups, and translating the material, etc.. There are many centers worldwide that carry on the modern teachings.

The literature is all based on teachings of great Kabbalists through time. There are key books (sepher) like the SEPHER YETZIRAH, the book of creration. Part of which has the incantations to create a Golem. (No kidding) Just as there are books describing numerous spiritual actions in superior worlds that make little sense to a person today. Yet studying them in groups for hours on end are proven to have an effect on the student. Even though they dont truly know the power of the words they are using and studying?!

In th tree of Life, of ten sephirots, there is a secret sephirot called DAAT (knowedge) situated between the 2nd-3rd and following branches. and many a Kabbalist have been shown! And I'm not being flakey... Wether in DAAT, we are in 4D or 6D??? Now that would be my question! The human/ kabbalist is a spark, next to the spark of all of creation. And when he/ she desires, he/ she strikes it's spark against the bigger spark of all of creation and sparks shower down creating matter on their way "down"....
 

Altair

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Well, yeah, Peterson needs to get a handle on that. But I notice so many conservatives going whole-hog for Jerusalem and Jews in general. That's one place where I have to part company with them. That's what makes things so maddening these days: I agree with some things on several different "side", but not with everything. I'm just not a "party line" person; each issue has to be considered on its own merits.

Perhaps we could get that referenced 3rd chapter of McDonald's book up here? I have the three volumes in hard copy, but maybe someone has a text copy and can get it that way?
I found chapter 3 from A People That Shall Dwell Alone here. It might be an abridged version though they don't say it specifically.

Chapter 3 Evolutionary Aspects of the Tanakh
And ye shall not walk in the customs of the nation, which I am casting out before you; for they did all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. . . . I am the Lord your God, who have set you apart from the peoples. (Lev. 20:23-24)
There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of thy kingdom; their laws are diverse from those of every people; neither keep they the king’s laws; therefore it profiteth not the king to suffer them. (Esther 3:8)
This chapter has three purposes. The first is to show that the Tanakh (the Jewish term for what Christians refer to as the Old Testament) shows a strong concern for reproductive success and control of resources. The second purpose is to show that there is also a pronounced tendency toward idealizing endogamy and racial purity in these writings. Finally, it is argued that the ideology of Judaism as an evolutionary strategy for maintaining genetic and cultural segregation in a diaspora context is apparent in these writings.

The General Importance of Reproductive Success and the Control of Resources in the Tanakh

I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore. (Gen. 22:17)
The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. (Prov. 22:7)
Baron (1952a) notes that Judaism is often referred to as a “this-worldly” religion. While there is very little concern with an afterlife, “both early and later Judaism . . . continuously emphasized a firm belief in the survival of the group and in the ‘eternal’ life of the Jewish people down to, and beyond, the messianic age” (Baron 1952a, 9). Throughout the long history of Jewish writings, there is a strong emphasis on “the duty of marriage and the increase of family” (p. 12) and “a religious inclination toward aggrandizement of family and nation” (p. 31), as seen, for example, by numerous Biblical injunctions to “be fruitful and multiply” and injunctions to the effect that one will obtain reproductive success by following the precepts of Judaism.

The descriptions of the patriarchs return “over and over again to accounts of theophanies associated with blessings and promises of territorial possession and descendants” (Fohrer 1968, 123). For example, God says to Abraham: “‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars, if thou be able to count them.’ and He said unto him: ‘So shall thy seed be.’ And he believed in the Lord; and He counted it to him for righteousness” (Gen. 15:5-6). Conversely, the result of not following God’s word is to have diminished reproductive success: A portion of the extended curse directed at deserters in Deuteronomy states, “And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou didst not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to cause you to perish, and to destroy you” (Deut. 28:62-63).

This concern with reproductive success became a central aspect of historical Judaism. Baron (1952b, 210), writing of later antiquity, notes the “rabbis’ vigorous insistence upon procreation as the first commandment mentioned in the Bible . . . and their vehement injunctions against any waste of human semen.” Neuman (1969, II:53) makes a similar comment regarding Jews in pre-expulsion Spain, and Zborowski and Herzog (1952, 291) note the absolute obligation to marry and have children among the Ashkenazim in traditional Eastern European society, again based on the recognition that procreation is the first commandment of the Torah. “To be an old maid or a bachelor is not only a shame, but also a sin against the will of God, who has commanded every Jew to marry and beget offspring.” Having many children was viewed as a great blessing, while a woman with only two children viewed herself as childless.

All of the Talmudic regulations regarding sexual behavior were aimed at maximizing the probability of conception (Zborowski & Herzog 1952, 312). Intercourse was prohibited during the woman’s menstrual period and for one week thereafter so that it would occur during the woman’s fertile period and at a time when the man had a high sperm count because of his abstinence. Friday evening was thought to be the most auspicious time because people were relaxed and festive during the Sabbath celebration.

Moreover, “the main stream of the Law sanctified daily pursuits performed in a spirit of service to the family or nation . . . approval, and not mere tolerance of economic activity, finds numerous formulations in the teachings of the rabbis” (Baron 1952a, 9; see also Baron 1952b, 256ff). Similarly, Johnson (1987, 248) notes the equation of economic success and moral worth in the Tanakh, the Apocrypha, and the Talmuds. He also points out that the Talmuds contain detailed discussions of business problems, so that Jewish education combined practical economic and legal education with what is more commonly viewed as religious.

Besides these general pronouncements regarding the importance of reproductive success and obtaining resources, there is good evidence for the importance of polygyny and sexual competition among males in the Tanakh.[17] Evolutionary anthropologists (e.g., Betzig 1986; Dickemann 1979) have noted a strong tendency for wealthy males in stratified societies to accumulate large numbers of wives and concubines and to have large numbers of offspring, while males with lesser wealth were restricted to one wife or none at all. Such behavior conforms to the theoretical optimum for individually adaptive male behavior.

On the basis of the presumptions of the law and the behavior of the leading personalities of the Tanakh, Epstein (1942) argues that polygyny is the primitive marriage form among the Israelites. Polygyny is assumed throughout the Tanakh (e.g., Exod. 21:10) and appears repeatedly in the behavior of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For example, Jacob fathers 12 sons by four different women—two wives and two concubines.

While the early patriarchs engaged in the low-level polygyny made possible by their pastoral, nomadic life style, the settled agricultural society of Israel allowed for much greater differences in access to females and in reproductive success. Gideon is said to have had 70 sons, Jair the Gileadite 30 sons, Ibzan of Bethlehem 30 sons and 30 daughters, and Abdon 40 sons. King David clearly had a large number of wives and concubines, and at least 16 children, although it is difficult to determine their numbers. At 2 Samuel 15:16 he is said to have left 10 of his concubines in Jerusalem, with no implication that this was the total number.

King Solomon is the extreme example of this tendency for the wealthy and powerful to have large numbers of wives and children: “And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines” (1 Kings 11:3). Solomon’s descendants also had very high reproductive success: Rehoboam is said to have had 18 wives, 60 concubines, 28 sons, and 60 daughters. Moreover, after the division of the kingdom, Rehoboam “dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his sons throughout all the lands of Judah and Benjamin, unto every fortified city; and he . . . sought for them many wives” (2 Chron. 11:23). Abijah, Rehoboam’s son, is said to have had 14 wives, 22 sons, and 16 daughters (2 Chron. 13:21).

Reflecting the reproductive value of females, wives were considered legitimate spoils of war: Thus, King David obtains Saul’s wives after his victory (2 Sam. 12:8), and the Syrian king Benhadad states his demands as follows: “Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine” (1 Kings 20:3).

Competition among the wives in a polygynous household is expected and found. Elkanah has two wives—Peninnah and Hannah, but only Penninah had children. As a result, Hannah received a lesser sacrifice during religious observances “and her rival vexed her sore, to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb” (1 Sam. 1:6). The key to status and happiness for a woman in a polygynous household was to have children.

The Importance of Consanguinity and Endogamy in the Tanakh
And it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the alien mixture. (Neh. 13:3)
There is an extremely strong concern for endogamy (i.e., marriage within the group) throughout the Tanakh. From an evolutionary perspective, endogamous marriage results in a relatively high average degree of genetic relatedness within the group as a whole, with implications for the expected degree of within-group cooperation and altruism (see Chapter 6). To the extent that a group prevents gene flow from outside the group, the fitness of individuals becomes increasingly correlated with the success of the entire group, and this is especially the case if the group has a high level of inbreeding to begin with. At the extreme, consanguineous marriage (i.e., marriage with biological relatives) results in the offspring being closely related to parents and each other, again with theoretical implications for familial and within-group solidarity. It is an extremely important thesis of this volume that Judaism has, at least until very recently,[18] been immensely concerned with endogamy—what is often referred to as racial purity; moreover, Judaism has shown relatively pronounced tendencies toward consanguinity, especially in comparison with Western societies (see Chapter 8).

Powerful tendencies toward consanguinity can be seen in the behavior of the patriarchs. Thus Abraham marries his half-sister (Gen. 20:12), and his brother Nahor marries his niece (Gen. 11:29).[19] Amram, the father of Moses and Aaron, married his aunt (Num. 26:59). Moreover, Abraham sires Ishmael by the Egyptian slave Hagar, but he makes his covenant with Isaac, the son of his half-sister Sarah, clearly a far closer genetic relationship than with Ishmael. When Sarah wants to cast out Hagar and Ishmael, Abraham is distressed, but God tells Abraham that Sarah is right and that he should indeed favor Isaac over Ishmael.

From an evolutionary perspective, God and Sarah are correct. It is in Abraham’s interest to favor Isaac because Isaac shares more genes with him than does Ishmael. Later, it is stated that Abraham had six children by another woman, Keturah, and it is stated that “Abraham gave all he had unto Isaac. But unto the sons of the concubines, that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts; and he sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country” (Gen. 25:5-6). Thus, Abraham practiced the optimal evolutionary strategy of unigeniture, while favoring a child with a closer genetic relationship to one more distantly related. Clearly, his best strategy was to concentrate his resources in Isaac, who will then have sufficient resources to be polygynous himself, while allowing his other children to descend economically and hope for the best.

Similarly, Isaac is given an Egyptian slave as a wife in his youth, but his heirs are his children by Rebekah, the daughter of his first-cousin Bethuel (whose mother, Milcah, had married her uncle, Nahor [Gen. 11:29]).[20] Abraham makes very clear his desire not to have Isaac marry a woman of the Canaanites, whom he was presently dwelling with, but rather to return “‘unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son, even for Isaac’” (Gen. 24:4).

Esau, the elder son of Isaac, offends his parents by marrying two Hittite women: “And they were a bitterness of spirit unto Isaac and to Rebekah” (Gen. 26:35). Later, realizing that Isaac and Rebekah disapprove of his marriages, Esau makes a consanguineous marriage by taking Mahalath, the daughter of Abraham’s son Ishmael,[21] as an additional wife (Gen. 28:9). Rebekah clearly abhors the thought of Jacob also marrying a local woman and sends him to her relatives with the advice of marrying a first cousin “of the daughters of Laban thy mother’s brother” (Gen. 28:2). Jacob ends up marrying two of his first cousins, Rebekah and Leah. Although Esau was quite successful, the chronicler of Genesis ignores him to concentrate on the more consanguineous line of Jacob.[22]

The split between Esau and Jacob is theoretically significant. Because Jacob is denied any inheritance, he comes to marry his cousins without any bridewealth—quite unlike the situation where Abraham provided enormous bridewealth to the same group of kin in payment for Rebekah. As a result, Jacob must work many years and his relationship with his uncle Laban is filled with deception on both sides. When Jacob finally absconds with his family, Laban chases them, and they agree to remain separate.[23] After this point, there are no further marriages with Laban’s branch of the family, and all of Jacob’s sons have no choice but to marry foreign women. The consanguineous link with the other branch of Abraham’s family is ended, and instead of concentrating the family within one highly inbred stem, Jacob’s 12 sons become the founders of the 12 tribes of Israel.[24]

The importance of endogamy, at least from the standpoint of later redactors, can be seen in the treatment of the conquered peoples whom the Israelites displace after the Exodus (see also Hartung 1992, n.d.). The policy described in the Books of Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua is to commit genocide rather than permitting intermarriage with the conquered peoples in the zone of settlement. The chronicler of Deuteronomy states as a general policy regarding the displaced peoples that the Israelites “shalt utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them; neither shalt thou make marriages with them: thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son” (Deut. 7:3).

As recorded in the Book of Joshua, this policy is then scrupulously followed when the Israelites cross the Jordan and eradicate the peoples there. Moreover, the emphasis on the need to exterminate other peoples in order to avoid intermarriage is repeated: “Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you; know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive these nations from out of your sight; but they shall be a snare and a trap unto you, and a scourge in your sides, and pricks in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you” (Josh. 23:12-13). These instructions are carried out: “So Joshua smote all the land, the hill-country, and the South, and the Lowland, and the slopes, and all their kings; he left none remaining; but he utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded” (Josh. 10:40).

For peoples living outside the zone of settlement, the policy proposed in Deuteronomy is to kill only the males and to keep the women and children as spoils of war. However, although captured women can become wives, they have fewer rights than other wives: “If thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will” (Deut. 21:14). Moses is said to have commanded the Israelites to kill not only every male Midianite (including children), but also all non-virgin females. In light of a previous passage in which Moses condemns marriage between Israelites and Midianites (Num. 25:6), there is the suggestion that the captured females will be slaves and/or concubines for the Israelite males. Their children would presumably have lower status than the offspring of regular marriages, and, as pointed out by Patai and Patai (1989, 122), there is no mention of converting female slaves in the Tanakh.

There are two post-settlement instances in the Tanakh where children of foreign concubines rise to positions of power within the Israelite community. Both of these instances are instructive in showing the generally low status of such individuals. In the Abimelech story, the mother is from Shechem, and Abimelech succeeds to his father’s inheritance only by killing his father’s 70 legitimate children with the help of his mother’s kinsmen, who are reminded of their blood relationship to Abimelech (“remember also that I am your bone and flesh” [Judg. 9:2]).

In the Jephthah story, a very salient fact is that he is expelled from the household by his half-brothers because he is viewed as having no inheritance (presumably also the fate of Abimelech, had he not taken matters into his own hands). As a result Jephthah is forced to live with a group of “vain fellows” (Judg. 11:3) with whom he eventually achieved military success. Moreover, it is not even clear that Jephthah’s mother was a foreigner, since she is described only as a harlot. These stories hardly support the idea that the offspring of foreign concubines were readily absorbed into Israelite society.

Further indication of the low status of the offspring of foreigners comes from the very negative attitudes toward Solomon’s many foreign wives. Solomon is cursed with the fragmentation of his kingdom after his death as a result of this practice (1 Kings 11:11; see also Neh. 13:26). Epstein (1942) notes that the offspring of Solomon’s foreign wives had a separate status within Israelite society below the pure Israelite stock even into rabbinic times.[25]

Sexual relationships with the women of the surrounding peoples are invoked as a major source of evil within Israelite society. Thus, Moses orders the execution of Israelite men who consort with Moabite women (Num. 25:1-13). The men are executed and God also sends a plague because of the offense. Later, the Israelites are said to be living among a variety of peoples, “and they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods” (Judg. 3:6). As a result of these practices, the Israelites were said to be dominated by the Mesopotamians for eight years.[26]

The origination of the Samaritans as a separate Jewish sect was also the result of a general abhorrence of exogamy. When the northern kingdom fell to the Assyrians and its elite were taken away, the remnant intermarried with the new settlers, creating a “mixed race” (Schürer [1885] 1979, 17). The intermarriage with aliens meant that “the Samaritans were not ethnically what they claimed to be” (Purvis 1989, 590), the Pharisees going so far as to refer to them as kûtîm (i.e., colonists from Mesopotamia). Their racial impurity was then “used to deny the Samaritans their original Israelite heritage. From that point onwards, their claim to be part of the chosen people . . . was never again acknowledged by the Jews” (Johnson 1987, 71).[27] The returning exiles rejected the offer of the Samaritans to help in rebuilding the Temple (Ezra 4:1-5), and intermarriage with the Samaritans was regarded with horror. Thus, Nehemiah comments on the marriage of the son of the high priest Eliashib to the daughter of the Samaritan Sanballat: “Therefore I chased him from me” (Neh. 13:28).

The apotheosis of the abhorrence of exogamy appears in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah which recount events and attitudes in the early post-exilic period. The officials are said to complain that “‘the people of Israel, and the priests and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, doing according to their abominations. . . . For they have taken of their daughters for themselves and for their sons; so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the peoples of the lands’” (Ezra 9:2).

The use of the phrase “holy seed” is particularly striking—a rather unvarnished statement of the religious significance of genetic material and the religious obligation to keep that genetic material pure and untainted. The result was a vigorous campaign of what Purvis (1989, 595) refers to as “ethnic purification.” Nehemiah states, “In those days also I saw the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab; and their children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people. And I contended with them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God: ‘Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons, or for yourselves” (Neh. 13:23-25).

All who have intermarried are urged to confess their guilt and give up their foreign wives and children. Ezra provides a list of 107 men who renounced their foreign wives and their children by these women.[28] These books also refer to genealogies that were used to deny access to the priesthood to some of the returnees from the Babylonian exile because there was a question regarding the racial purity of their marriages. The result was a hierarchy of purity of blood, at the top of which were those who could prove their status by providing genealogical records. This group married into priestly families, and its members were politically and socially dominant within the Jewish community. If doubt remained after genealogical investigation, the person could remain an Israelite, but was removed from the priesthood and no pure-blooded Israelite would intermarry with him. People with definitely impaired genealogies (including the offspring of mixed marriages) formed a third category. They married among themselves “and felt themselves fortunate if admitted to marriage with a Jewish family of doubtful record” (Epstein 1942, 164).[29]

The clear concern regarding intermarriage after the return from Babylon so evident in Ezra and Nehemiah may well be due to the fact that the returnees were forced to live among foreigners to a much greater degree than when they had political power. Prior to the exile, the issue of separation from neighbors could be treated relatively casually, since there were natural political and geographical barriers to intermarriage and the offspring of foreign concubines could be easily relegated to a low status. However, after the exile, the maintenance of genetic and cultural separatism created enormous problems, since the Israelites could not have complete political control over their area of settlement in Palestine. “Prohibitions against intermarriage, occasionally recorded and apparently fairly well enforced before the Exile . . . became an urgent necessity for the preservation of the Jewish people in Exile” (Baron 1952a, 147). The apex of concern for family purity among the Jews occurred in the Babylonian captivity and thereafter: “Purity of family was valued in Babylonia as never in Palestine before or after. For centuries the Babylonian Jews kept careful records of all significant family events so that they might be able to prove at any time pure descent from priestly or other distinguished stock. As late as the Talmudic age genealogical accounts . . . are frequently referred to. They must have been composed on the basis of records often covering a whole millennium” (Baron 1952a, 125). Thus, the data are compatible with the hypothesis that the almost obsessive concern with endogamy really coincides with the difficulty of maintaining genetic barriers within an exilic (diaspora) context.

Finally, as Neusner (1987, 37-38) emphasizes, it is important to note that Ezra was attempting to prevent intermarriage not only with foreign tribes like the Ammonites and Moabites, but even with the Israelites who had been left behind during the Babylonian exile. Although one can interpret this exclusion in purely ideological terms as a matter of the “cultic impurity” of these people who had been cut off from the aristocratic elite who had been exiled,[30] an evolutionary perspective suggests that it was the intermarriage of these settlers with surrounding peoples that was really the issue that determined their exclusion. As Purvis (1989, 597-598) notes regarding the Samaritans, some at least had undoubtedly retained a high level of cultic purity. The problem was that the ethnic purity of the Samaritans and the other ‘am ha-ares (“people of the land”) was at best doubtful.[31]

After all, if doubts about religious practice had been the sole issue, it would have been easy to accept any individuals from any tribe (certainly including the non-exiled Israelites) into the cult if only they agreed to participate appropriately in the cult. One wonders why Ezra was so intent on forcing Israelites to abandon their alien wives and racially impure children if the only blemish on these individuals was cultic. Participation in cultic rituals without ethnic commonality is the basis for the ideology that conversion to Judaism would be possible at any stage in history. From the data described in Chapter 2, however, we know that Judaism has always retained its ethnic core, and we shall see in Chapter 4 that conversion to Judaism has always been problematic. In this sense, Ezra and Nehemiah are indeed the lawgivers to subsequent Judaism, and in fact Ezra has often been viewed by the Jews as “a virtual second Moses” (McCullough 1975, 49; see also Ackroyd 1984, 147).[32]
For Thou didst set them apart from among all the peoples of the earth. (1 Kings 8:53)
For thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be His own treasure, out of all peoples that are upon the face of the earth. (Deut. 7:6; 14:2)
The root of Judaism—and of anti-Semitism—is in the very essence of the Ten Commandments [“I am the Lord your God”; “You shall have no other gods before me”]. (Arthur Hertzberg 1993b, 69).
Israelite Monotheism as an Ideology of Separatism

The ideology of the separateness of the Jews is apparent throughout the Tanakh. Many of the statements encouraging separatism were inserted into the earlier passages by redactors during and after the Babylonian exile, and, indeed, recent scholars have emphasized that the entire Pentateuch[33] must be seen as a statement of the priestly group writing during the Babylonian exile
(e.g., Neusner 1987, 35). The importance of circumcision and the Sabbath as signs of separateness were contributions of the Priestly (P) source stratum from the exilic or the post-exilic period, and the entire Book of Leviticus, which describes elaborate rituals that separate Jews from others, derives from this stratum (Ackroyd 1968; Fohrer 1968; Schmidt 1984). Schmidt (1984) also notes that the P stratum emphasizes the importance of reproductive success by the repeated use of the phrase “Be fruitful and multiply” and also shows a strong concern with genealogies. (After the exile, genealogies were used to determine who could be a member of the community and a candidate for the priesthood. See above and Chapters 4 and 8.)

Moreover, the P stratum is responsible for the exclusive covenant between God and Abraham’s descendants (Gen. 17), complete with the mark of circumcision. There is thus an indication of an increased emphasis on the importance of practicing endogamy, maintaining separateness, and tracing purity of descent during and after the Babylonian exile. “The net effect of the Pentateuchal vision of Israel . . . was to lay stress on the separateness and the holiness of Israel while pointing to the pollution of the outsider” (Neusner 1987, 36). Neusner (1987) emphasizes that the elaborate regulations for holiness in the Pentateuch, and especially Leviticus 19:1-18, are really to be understood as means of separation from surrounding peoples. “Holiness meant separateness. Separateness meant life” (p. 43). Judaism had become an ideology of minority separatism.[34]

The nature of the Israelite God is also a mark of separateness and is closely linked with an abhorrence of exogamy and with aggression against foreigners.[35] The following passage from the P stratum links the jealousy of the Jewish god not only with aggression toward other gods, but also with cultural separatism and fear of exogamy:
Take heed to thyself, lest thou make covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest they be for a snare in the midst of thee. But ye shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and ye shall cut down their Asherim. For thou shalt bow down to no other god; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God; lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go astray after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and they call thee, and thou eat of their sacrifice; and thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go astray after their gods, and make thy sons go astray after their gods (Exod. 34:12-16; see also Deut. 7:3-8).
The function of promoting separateness can also be viewed as an aspect of monotheism. The groups that surrounded Israel appear to have been polytheistic and the different gods served different human purposes (Johnson 1987; see also (Baron 1952a, 47). Indeed, at the time of the writing of the Tanakh, the religion of Israel was the only monotheistic religion (Goitein 1974).

For the Israelites, there was really only one purpose for God—to represent the idea of kinship, ingroup membership, and separateness from others. Supporting this view of Israelite monotheism, there is evidence that monotheism became more important in the exilic period—precisely the period in which barriers between Jews and gentiles were being created and enhanced. McCullough (1975, 14), discussing the writings of Deutero-Isaiah (i.e., Isa. 40-55) during the exilic period, states that “unqualified monotheism was to be a basic feature of Hebrew thought from this time on.” Similarly, Soggin (1980, 317) finds that “it is not that Israel had not known monotheism before this period, but rather that only with Deutero-Isaiah was the faith changed to certainty,” and there began for the first time to be a polemical attitude against polytheism. Schmidt (1984, 133) sums it up by stating that “the oneness of the people corresponds to the oneness of God . . . Yahweh Israel’s God, Israel Yahweh’s people.” Or as a well-known rabbinic saying has it: “God, Israel, and the Torah are one” (see Baron 1973, 191).

Significantly, Ezra, whose abhorrence of intermarriage was a major influence on subsequent generations and who was revered among the Israelites as “a virtual second Moses” (McCullough 1975, 49), views intermarriage as a “great sin against Israel’s God” (McCullough 1975, 48), a comment indicating the close connection between ethnic purity and the Israelite concept of God. In a very real sense, one may say that the Jewish god is really neither more nor less than Ezra’s “holy seed”—the genetic material of the upper-class Israelites who were exiled to Babylon.

Unlike the gods of the Greeks and Romans, a major function for Israelite theology was not to interpret the workings of nature or to bring good fortune in various endeavors, but rather to represent the kinship group through historical time—clearly a unitary concept at least as an ideal, and especially so in a diaspora context. Israelite theology is intimately bound up with Israelite history. Moses “linked God with the fate of Israel in history in an inseparable way” (Baron 1952a, 47). There is a general lack of interest in cosmogony and anthropogeny, but “the history of man serves as a background for the still more significant history of Israel” (p. 47; see also Johnson 1987, 92-93). It is not Creation that is the most important event in early Hebrew history, but rather the Exodus, in which the Israelites successfully flee from Egypt after a successful sojourn as a minority in a foreign land.[36]

Finally, there are several allegories that stress the idea that separatist behavior resulting from worshiping the Israelite god may result in persecution, but there will eventually be rewards. In the Book of Daniel, Daniel and his three co-religionists remain faithful to the dietary laws, thus separating themselves from the other servants in the Babylonian court, and are rewarded by God with wisdom and understanding. Later, there are two incidents in which Jews are accused of not worshiping the gods of the Babylonians and the Persians. The Jews acknowledge these practices, but God saves them from punishment and improves their status so that, like Joseph and Nehemiah, they can use their status and power to help their co-religionists during their sojourn among the gentiles. As in the case of the Esther allegory, these stories clearly emphasize the idea that keeping the faith and remaining separate will eventually be rewarded. As Fohrer (1968, 479) notes, “the book seeks to strengthen the patience and courage of the devout who are suffering persecution, to give them new hope, and to exhort them, like Daniel, to remain loyal to their faith to the point of martyrdom.”

The Indestructibility of God as an Aspect of Diaspora Ideology

When the Israelites conquer other peoples (as recounted in the Books of Numbers and Joshua), they destroy the people and the representations of their gods. But Israel’s enemies can never destroy representations of God because such images are forbidden. Israel’s God is thus spiritual and can be understood as a representation of the continuation of the kinship group, even in the face of the destruction of all religious artifacts. Therefore, the destruction of the Temple does not destroy God. This aspect of religious ideology is thus ideal for sojourners with a precarious existence: The writers of Deuteronomy clearly anticipated that the Israelites would be subjected to oppression by others (e.g., Deut. 30:3, 31:21), but these oppressors could never destroy the Israelite God. Only the destruction of the Israelites themselves could accomplish that. Johnson (1987, 77) notes that Jeremiah emphasizes that the Israelite God is indestructible and intangible, and can thus survive defeat. Jeremiah “was trying to teach them how to become Jews: to submit to conquering power and accommodate themselves to it, to make the best of adversity, and to cherish the long-term certainty of God’s justice in their hearts.”

Related to this is the idea that there is no fixed abode for God. God is portable and resides in the Ark of the Covenant or inside a tent and can be moved from place to place. Fohrer (1968; see also Schmidt 1984, 183) notes that the idea of a transcendent god connected to a tent sanctuary is a product of the post-exilic P stratum of the Pentateuch. God is no longer to be associated with a specific site in the Temple—an assumption which presupposes a permanent settlement.[37]

The god of the diaspora had been created. Johnson (1987) notes that the concept of a movable, indestructible God easily accommodated to the period after the fall of the Temple and “reflects the extraordinary adaptability of the people, a great skill in putting down roots quickly, pulling them up and re-establishing them elsewhere” (p. 42).

Understanding Evil: The Consequences of Straying

One of the unique aspects of Judaism long noticed by scholars has been the emphasis throughout much of the Tanakh on the idea that all of Israel’s misfortunes come from rejecting God. The result is that being conquered or oppressed by another people with different gods is not viewed as a vindication of another god, but only as a sign that the Jews have been unfaithful to theirs. The Books of Deuteronomy, Judges, 1 Samuel, Joshua, Kings 1 and 2, and Chronicles 1 and 2, although they are clearly historical, also have a moral that is endlessly repeated: Worshiping other gods and straying from strict religious observance will lead eventually to destruction. For example, lack of strict adherence to religious orthodoxy is blamed for the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel and for the Babylonian capture of Jerusalem. Fohrer (1968, 213) describes a “cycle of apostasy, punishment, conversion, and deliverance” imposed on the Book of Judges by the Deuteronomistic writers during the exile. “The whole pattern of history is seen portrayed in rebellion and forgiveness” (Ackroyd 1968, 75). “If Israel kept the Torah, God would bless his people, and if not . . . God would exact punishment for violation of the covenant” (Neusner 1987, 21; see also Ackroyd 1968, passim; Moore 1927, I:222; Schmidt 1984, 143).[38]

Reflecting the obsession with reproductive success characteristic of the writers of the Tanakh, the punishment for those who stray will ultimately be a lowered reproductive success: According to Hosea, “they shall commit harlotry [i.e., worship other gods], and shall not increase” (Hos. 4:10). Moreover, there is an implicit association between worshiping other gods and the crime of exogamy. When the returning exiles commit the crime of exogamy by intermarrying with the local people, Ezra states, “Since the days of our fathers we have been exceeding guilty unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to spoiling, and to confusion of face, as it is this day” (Ezra 9:7). Exogamy is a crime against God—a belief that makes sense if indeed, as argued above, God simply is another way of denoting an endogamous, unitary ethnic group—the holy seed of Israel.

Also reflecting the idea that exogamy is a crime against God, a particularly revealing and very common analogy for worshiping other gods is to “play the harlot.” In Ezekiel 23, Jerusalem is compared to a harlot who has Assyrians, Babylonians, and Egyptians as lovers. In Egypt, she “doted upon concubinage with them, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is the issue of horses” (Ezek. 23:20). Not only are the offspring of these alien lovers grotesque monsters, but also God out of jealousy turns the lovers against the Israelites, who then ultimately pay for their crime with lowered reproductive success: “[T]hey shall deal with thee in fury; they shall take away thy nose and thine ears, and thy residue shall fall by the sword” (Ezek. 23:25). “These things shall be done unto thee, for that thou hast gone astray after the nations, and because thou art polluted with their idols” (Ezek. 23:30).[39] Worshiping other gods is like having sexual relations with an alien—a point of view that makes excellent sense on the assumption that the Israelite god represents the racially pure Israelite gene pool.

The ideology attempts to increase group solidarity in the face of group failure. Recent psychological research on group identifications has indicated that group members may actually identify with the group even more strongly following group failure under circumstances in which there is a strong prior commitment to the group. But if prior commitment is weak, there is a tendency to identify with the group more strongly after success than after failure (Turner et al. 1984).

Given the virtual universality of anti-Semitism and the commonness of persecutions and expulsions in Jewish history, Judaism as a group strategy clearly requires a very strong prior commitment from group members. Interestingly, anti-Semitism is clearly anticipated in the Tanakh (e.g., Deut. 28: 64-67; see below). The ideology may be said therefore to be an attempt to rally group loyalties even in the face of the repeated disasters that were anticipated as a consequence of the strategy.

The expected outcome of the defeat of a group with very intense group identification is stronger group identification. In fact, defeat and persecution have not tended to result in Jews defecting from the group strategy. It has often been noted that the Jewish response to persecution has been increases in religious fundamentalism, mysticism, and messianism. “Judaism’s response to historical events of a cataclysmic character normally takes two forms, first, renewed messianic speculation, and second, a renewed search in Scripture for relevant ideas, attitudes and historical paradigms” (Neusner 1986c, 26; see also Johnson 1987, 260, 267).

Thus, the rabbinic interpretation of the destruction of the Second Temple was that it was punishment for the sins of Israel (Alon 1989, 536), and Avi-Yonah (1984, 255) notes that the Jews regarded their persecution under the Byzantine Christians as a sign that the Messiah was coming. This was also the pattern in Yemen where persecution was particularly prolonged and intense. Following an expulsion in 1679, Ahroni (1986, 133; see also Nini 1991) comments, “As in all disasters, the Jews of Yemen responded to the Mauza calamity with an outpouring of self-flagellation. They saw in their sufferings trials imposed by God as a result of their sins. The note of Jeremiah’s proclamation, ‘Your ways and your doings have brought these [disasters] upon you’ (5:18) rings through their poems, which call for penitence and repentance.” The persecutions were followed by beliefs that the coming of the Messiah was imminent as well as by a powerful attraction to the mystical writings of the Kabbala.

Fischel (1937, 124-125)) notes that following the persecutions in Mongolian Iraq in the 13th century, “as so frequently happened in Jewish history, the destruction of political and economic influence led to a spiritual revival and to a period of internal growth. The birth of Hebrew-Persian literature falls in that gloomy political period . . . .” Kabbalistic writings, characterized by Johnson (1987) as “xenophobic, nationalist and inflammatory” (p. 195), became more common during the period of the persecutions of the 15th century (Johnson 1987; Neuman 1969, II:144).[40]

This phenomenon can also be seen in the modern world. For example, Meyer (1988, 338) notes that the response of liberal Reform Jews to the increased anti-Semitism of the Hitler years in Germany was increased identification with Judaism, increased synagogue attendance, a return to more traditional observance (including a reintroduction of Hebrew), and acceptance of Zionism. Following World War II, there were upsurges of religious observance and/or ethnic identification among American Jews in response to the Nazi holocaust and as a reaction to crises in Israel. The response to persecution is therefore a tendency to stress a unique Jewish identity, rather than to assimilate.

Throughout history, Jews who were less committed to the group undoubtedly had a tendency to worship the gods of their more powerful conquerors, neighbors, and persecutors.
Indeed, Ackroyd (1968) emphasizes that the diatribes against idolatry in Ezekiel and Deutero-Isaiah are directed against Israelites who have begun to worship Babylonian gods during the exile, and Bickerman (1984) notes that some of the exiles had indeed begun the assimilation process. The ideology of the Tanakh can be seen as an attempt to lessen the normal tendency for such individuals to defect under these circumstances by blaming all sufferings on the fact that Jews have not adhered rigorously to the group strategy.

The ideology is non-falsifiable (and thus self-perpetuating) because it explains both success and failure in terms that imply continued allegiance to the group. Moreover, since adversity is always attributed to failure to obey religious practices, blame is always internalized. The result is to prevent a rational appraisal of the reasons for the adversity by examining the Israelites’ behavior vis-à-vis their neighbors. Again, the typical response of Jewish populations to persecution has been a renewed intensity of religious fervor, often with strong overtones of mysticism.

The Future Rewards of Faith: Judaism as a This-Worldly Messianic Religion

Unlike the Christian conception of an afterlife of happiness, the Tanakh makes clear that the rewards of keeping the faith and obeying religious regulations will be a high level of reproductive success, a return to power and prosperity in Israel, and the destruction and/or enslavement of Israel’s enemies.
(Recall Baron’s [1952a, 9] discussion of Judaism as a this-worldly religion; see above.) As Neusner (1987, 41) states, the Torah presented the loss and recovery of land and political sovereignty as “normative and recurrent.” “[T]he nation lived out its life in the history of this world, coveting the very same land as other peoples within the politics of empires” (p. 46). In the centuries following the Biblical period and the failed rebellions during the Roman era, the belief developed that “only by the immediate intervention of Almighty God could the might of the heathen kingdom be annihilated and the world made ready for the coming undivided and undisputed reign of God, or, in its national expression, the worldwide and eternal dominion of the holy people of the Most High” (Moore 1927, II:331; see also Schürer ([1885] 1979, 514ff).

A return to power in Jerusalem after being scattered is a prominent theme throughout the writings of the ancient period.[41] Often the enslavement or destruction of enemies is envisioned. “And the peoples shall take them, and bring them to their place; and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and for handmaids; and they shall take them captive, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors” (Isa. 14:2). Fohrer (1968, 384) states that Deutero-Isaiah “contains questionable nationalistic and materialistic traits.” The relationship between Israel and foreigners is often one of domination: For example, “They shall go after thee, in chains they shall come over; And they shall fall down unto thee, They shall make supplication unto thee” (Isa. 45:14); “They shall bow down to thee with their face to the earth, And lick the dust of thy feet” (49:23). Similar sentiments appear in Trito-Isaiah (60:14, 61:5-6), Ezekiel (e.g., 39:10), and Ecclesiasticus (36:9).

Perhaps the epitome of worldly messianic expectations can be seen in the Book of Jubilees, where world domination and great reproductive success are promised to the seed of Abraham:
‘I am the God who created heaven and earth. I shall increase you, and multiply you exceedingly; and kings shall come from you and shall rule wherever the foot of the sons of man has trodden. I shall give to your seed all the earth which is under heaven, and they shall rule over all the nations according to their desire; and afterwards they shall draw the whole earth to themselves and shall inherit it for ever’ (Jub. 32:18-19).
Reflecting these messianic expectations, around 100 a.d. the Shemoneh ‘Esreh prayer, said three times a day by traditional Jews in the following centuries, was finalized (see Schürer [1885] 1979, 456ff). It asks for a gathering of the dispersed in Jerusalem and the reestablishment of national authority.

The Assumption of a Diaspora in the Tanakh

There are numerous references in the Tanakh to the scattering of the Israelites throughout the world. We have noted that the final form of the Pentateuch emerged during and in the period after the Babylonian exile. A prominent goal of these writings is to emphasize Israel’s history as a sojourning people and those aspects of a religion that fit well with a sojourning life style while remaining separate from the host peoples (see also Chapter 8).

The Priestly (P) stratum, composed in exilic and post-exilic times, essentially prescribes a set of religious practices with no role for a state (Fohrer 1968). “P contains a program for the divinely willed reconstruction of the community after the Exile or for a reformation of the community in the postexilic period. This program is retrojected into the past in order to legitimize it and give it authority” (p. 184). In this new community, the priests become substitutes for earthly rulers: Schmidt (1984) notes that “anointing and other symbols of royalty now become distinguishing marks of priesthood (Exod 28f)” (p. 98).[42]

There are also a great many specific instances in the early history of the Israelites that involve sojourning among foreign peoples, most obviously the long sojourn in Egypt. In each case, the sojourn ends with the patriarchs or Israelites leaving the host society with great wealth and increased numbers.[43] There are also many sections in which there are positive attitudes toward living among strangers. Leviticus 25:23 states that the Israelites are sojourners with God. The land is God’s and the Israelites are only sojourners. King David says, “For we are strangers before Thee, and sojourners, as all our fathers were” (1 Chron. 29:15), and the phrase is repeated in Psalms 39:13. Deuteronomy repeatedly states that God loves the sojourner and that the Israelites are expected to be kind to the sojourner, as they should be toward widows and orphans (e.g., Deut. 27:19).[44]

There is some indication that the authors of Deuteronomy did not believe that living among foreigners was ideal. Part of the curse on those who stray from the word of God is that they would be among foreigners, “[a]nd among these nations shalt thou have no repose, and there shall be no rest for the sole of thy foot” (Deut. 28:65). Nevertheless, provision is made for Israelites who are sojourning: By following the word of God, God will “return and gather thee from all the peoples whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee” (Deut. 30:3). Indeed, Deuteronomy 31:18ff, written in the exilic period (Fohrer 1968) implies that disasters will happen to the sojourning Israelites because they fail to follow the word of God. Later, Nehemiah cites this passage, noting that God had told Moses that “[1]f ye deal treacherously, I will scatter you abroad among the peoples; but if ye return unto Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though your dispersed were in the uppermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to cause My name to dwell there” (Neh. 1:8-9).

The reality of scattering (as well as the prediction of eventual reunification in a powerful state) is also assumed by the prophets. Isaiah speaks of recovering the remnant and gathering “the scattered of Judah From the four corners of the earth” (Isa. 11:12). “I will bring thy seed from the east, And gather thee from the west; I will say to the north: ‘Give up,’ And to the south: ‘Keep not back, Bring My sons from far, And my daughters from the end of the earth” (Isa. 43:5-6).[45] Indeed, Baron (1952a, 107) cites this passage and notes that “o many and so specific are the references to a really world-wide Diaspora, that they cannot be explained away as lavish interpolations. . . . Such utterances were no mere propaganda or eschatological wish dreams. They must have had some relation to actual facts. Even the ‘back to Palestine’ movement . . . could not check this steady, inevitable growth of the Diaspora.” Moreover, the texts often use the plural, indicating that the authors suppose that the Israelites will eventually be scattered among many countries, not just Babylon.[46]

Finally, as described more fully in Chapter 8, a strong current of “Exodus ideology” in the exilic writings views the Babylonian Exile as analogous to the original sojourn in Egypt, with the expectation that God will provide for them in the end as He had done before. For example, Jeremiah writes, “Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say: ‘As the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt’; but: ‘As the Lord liveth, that brought up and that led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all the countries whither I had driven them’; and they shall dwell in their own land” (Jer. 23:7-8).
Indeed, Ackroyd (1968, 234) finds that during the Exile there was a general reworking of older materials so that all of Israel’s previous history was seen from the standpoint of the Exile. The Exile was accepted as the result of turning away from God’s ways and was viewed as part of a larger purpose. This larger purpose necessitated the establishment of elaborate legal codes, which separated Jews from gentiles, and the purification of the community: “[W]e are shown the community being purified, undertaking the response which testifies to the need for purity, purity of race, freedom from contamination with alien influence, so attesting its real nature as the people of God” (Ackroyd 1968, 236-237).

Conclusion

The ideology of the Tanakh is a blueprint for an experiment in living in the sense utilized in Chapter 1. It was obsessed with the history of the Jewish people because one of its essential functions was to rationalize that history and provide a hope for a successful future. The religion of the Tanakh was greatly concerned with reproductive success, endogamy, and cultural separation from surrounding peoples within a diaspora context. It was a religion with powerful sanctions on individuals who worship other gods or stray from group goals, and one in which lowered reproductive success is the result of deviation from life within the confines of the kinship group, while those who continued in the kinship group would be rewarded with great reproductive success and eventual revenge and domination.

From an evolutionary perspective, the purpose of this ideology is to ensure the continuity of the kinship group, even within a diaspora context in which there are enormous pressures for assimilation and gradual loss of contact with other members of the group
. The results have been extraordinarily effective: As indicated in Chapter 2, Jews have maintained a significant genetic distance between themselves and their host societies for centuries. Indeed, they are the only group that has successfully maintained genetic and cultural segregation while living in the midst of other peoples over an extremely long period of time. Johnson (1987, 3) calls them “the most tenacious people in history.”
 
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Evster2012

Padawan Learner
I found chapter 3 from A People That Shall Dwell Alone here. It might be an abridged version though they don't say it specifically.

Chapter 3 Evolutionary Aspects of the Tanakh

This chapter has three purposes. The first is to show that the Tanakh (the Jewish term for what Christians refer to as the Old Testament) shows a strong concern for reproductive success and control of resources. The second purpose is to show that there is also a pronounced tendency toward idealizing endogamy and racial purity in these writings. Finally, it is argued that the ideology of Judaism as an evolutionary strategy for maintaining genetic and cultural segregation in a diaspora context is apparent in these writings.

The General Importance of Reproductive Success and the Control of Resources in the Tanakh


Baron (1952a) notes that Judaism is often referred to as a “this-worldly” religion. While there is very little concern with an afterlife, “both early and later Judaism . . . continuously emphasized a firm belief in the survival of the group and in the ‘eternal’ life of the Jewish people down to, and beyond, the messianic age” (Baron 1952a, 9). Throughout the long history of Jewish writings, there is a strong emphasis on “the duty of marriage and the increase of family” (p. 12) and “a religious inclination toward aggrandizement of family and nation” (p. 31), as seen, for example, by numerous Biblical injunctions to “be fruitful and multiply” and injunctions to the effect that one will obtain reproductive success by following the precepts of Judaism.

The descriptions of the patriarchs return “over and over again to accounts of theophanies associated with blessings and promises of territorial possession and descendants” (Fohrer 1968, 123). For example, God says to Abraham: “‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars, if thou be able to count them.’ and He said unto him: ‘So shall thy seed be.’ And he believed in the Lord; and He counted it to him for righteousness” (Gen. 15:5-6). Conversely, the result of not following God’s word is to have diminished reproductive success: A portion of the extended curse directed at deserters in Deuteronomy states, “And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou didst not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to cause you to perish, and to destroy you” (Deut. 28:62-63).

This concern with reproductive success became a central aspect of historical Judaism. Baron (1952b, 210), writing of later antiquity, notes the “rabbis’ vigorous insistence upon procreation as the first commandment mentioned in the Bible . . . and their vehement injunctions against any waste of human semen.” Neuman (1969, II:53) makes a similar comment regarding Jews in pre-expulsion Spain, and Zborowski and Herzog (1952, 291) note the absolute obligation to marry and have children among the Ashkenazim in traditional Eastern European society, again based on the recognition that procreation is the first commandment of the Torah. “To be an old maid or a bachelor is not only a shame, but also a sin against the will of God, who has commanded every Jew to marry and beget offspring.” Having many children was viewed as a great blessing, while a woman with only two children viewed herself as childless.

All of the Talmudic regulations regarding sexual behavior were aimed at maximizing the probability of conception (Zborowski & Herzog 1952, 312). Intercourse was prohibited during the woman’s menstrual period and for one week thereafter so that it would occur during the woman’s fertile period and at a time when the man had a high sperm count because of his abstinence. Friday evening was thought to be the most auspicious time because people were relaxed and festive during the Sabbath celebration.

Moreover, “the main stream of the Law sanctified daily pursuits performed in a spirit of service to the family or nation . . . approval, and not mere tolerance of economic activity, finds numerous formulations in the teachings of the rabbis” (Baron 1952a, 9; see also Baron 1952b, 256ff). Similarly, Johnson (1987, 248) notes the equation of economic success and moral worth in the Tanakh, the Apocrypha, and the Talmuds. He also points out that the Talmuds contain detailed discussions of business problems, so that Jewish education combined practical economic and legal education with what is more commonly viewed as religious.

Besides these general pronouncements regarding the importance of reproductive success and obtaining resources, there is good evidence for the importance of polygyny and sexual competition among males in the Tanakh.[17] Evolutionary anthropologists (e.g., Betzig 1986; Dickemann 1979) have noted a strong tendency for wealthy males in stratified societies to accumulate large numbers of wives and concubines and to have large numbers of offspring, while males with lesser wealth were restricted to one wife or none at all. Such behavior conforms to the theoretical optimum for individually adaptive male behavior.

On the basis of the presumptions of the law and the behavior of the leading personalities of the Tanakh, Epstein (1942) argues that polygyny is the primitive marriage form among the Israelites. Polygyny is assumed throughout the Tanakh (e.g., Exod. 21:10) and appears repeatedly in the behavior of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For example, Jacob fathers 12 sons by four different women—two wives and two concubines.

While the early patriarchs engaged in the low-level polygyny made possible by their pastoral, nomadic life style, the settled agricultural society of Israel allowed for much greater differences in access to females and in reproductive success. Gideon is said to have had 70 sons, Jair the Gileadite 30 sons, Ibzan of Bethlehem 30 sons and 30 daughters, and Abdon 40 sons. King David clearly had a large number of wives and concubines, and at least 16 children, although it is difficult to determine their numbers. At 2 Samuel 15:16 he is said to have left 10 of his concubines in Jerusalem, with no implication that this was the total number.

King Solomon is the extreme example of this tendency for the wealthy and powerful to have large numbers of wives and children: “And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines” (1 Kings 11:3). Solomon’s descendants also had very high reproductive success: Rehoboam is said to have had 18 wives, 60 concubines, 28 sons, and 60 daughters. Moreover, after the division of the kingdom, Rehoboam “dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his sons throughout all the lands of Judah and Benjamin, unto every fortified city; and he . . . sought for them many wives” (2 Chron. 11:23). Abijah, Rehoboam’s son, is said to have had 14 wives, 22 sons, and 16 daughters (2 Chron. 13:21).

Reflecting the reproductive value of females, wives were considered legitimate spoils of war: Thus, King David obtains Saul’s wives after his victory (2 Sam. 12:8), and the Syrian king Benhadad states his demands as follows: “Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine” (1 Kings 20:3).

Competition among the wives in a polygynous household is expected and found. Elkanah has two wives—Peninnah and Hannah, but only Penninah had children. As a result, Hannah received a lesser sacrifice during religious observances “and her rival vexed her sore, to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb” (1 Sam. 1:6). The key to status and happiness for a woman in a polygynous household was to have children.

The Importance of Consanguinity and Endogamy in the Tanakh

There is an extremely strong concern for endogamy (i.e., marriage within the group) throughout the Tanakh. From an evolutionary perspective, endogamous marriage results in a relatively high average degree of genetic relatedness within the group as a whole, with implications for the expected degree of within-group cooperation and altruism (see Chapter 6). To the extent that a group prevents gene flow from outside the group, the fitness of individuals becomes increasingly correlated with the success of the entire group, and this is especially the case if the group has a high level of inbreeding to begin with. At the extreme, consanguineous marriage (i.e., marriage with biological relatives) results in the offspring being closely related to parents and each other, again with theoretical implications for familial and within-group solidarity. It is an extremely important thesis of this volume that Judaism has, at least until very recently,[18] been immensely concerned with endogamy—what is often referred to as racial purity; moreover, Judaism has shown relatively pronounced tendencies toward consanguinity, especially in comparison with Western societies (see Chapter 8).

Powerful tendencies toward consanguinity can be seen in the behavior of the patriarchs. Thus Abraham marries his half-sister (Gen. 20:12), and his brother Nahor marries his niece (Gen. 11:29).[19] Amram, the father of Moses and Aaron, married his aunt (Num. 26:59). Moreover, Abraham sires Ishmael by the Egyptian slave Hagar, but he makes his covenant with Isaac, the son of his half-sister Sarah, clearly a far closer genetic relationship than with Ishmael. When Sarah wants to cast out Hagar and Ishmael, Abraham is distressed, but God tells Abraham that Sarah is right and that he should indeed favor Isaac over Ishmael.

From an evolutionary perspective, God and Sarah are correct. It is in Abraham’s interest to favor Isaac because Isaac shares more genes with him than does Ishmael. Later, it is stated that Abraham had six children by another woman, Keturah, and it is stated that “Abraham gave all he had unto Isaac. But unto the sons of the concubines, that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts; and he sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country” (Gen. 25:5-6). Thus, Abraham practiced the optimal evolutionary strategy of unigeniture, while favoring a child with a closer genetic relationship to one more distantly related. Clearly, his best strategy was to concentrate his resources in Isaac, who will then have sufficient resources to be polygynous himself, while allowing his other children to descend economically and hope for the best.

Similarly, Isaac is given an Egyptian slave as a wife in his youth, but his heirs are his children by Rebekah, the daughter of his first-cousin Bethuel (whose mother, Milcah, had married her uncle, Nahor [Gen. 11:29]).[20] Abraham makes very clear his desire not to have Isaac marry a woman of the Canaanites, whom he was presently dwelling with, but rather to return “‘unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son, even for Isaac’” (Gen. 24:4).

Esau, the elder son of Isaac, offends his parents by marrying two Hittite women: “And they were a bitterness of spirit unto Isaac and to Rebekah” (Gen. 26:35). Later, realizing that Isaac and Rebekah disapprove of his marriages, Esau makes a consanguineous marriage by taking Mahalath, the daughter of Abraham’s son Ishmael,[21] as an additional wife (Gen. 28:9). Rebekah clearly abhors the thought of Jacob also marrying a local woman and sends him to her relatives with the advice of marrying a first cousin “of the daughters of Laban thy mother’s brother” (Gen. 28:2). Jacob ends up marrying two of his first cousins, Rebekah and Leah. Although Esau was quite successful, the chronicler of Genesis ignores him to concentrate on the more consanguineous line of Jacob.[22]

The split between Esau and Jacob is theoretically significant. Because Jacob is denied any inheritance, he comes to marry his cousins without any bridewealth—quite unlike the situation where Abraham provided enormous bridewealth to the same group of kin in payment for Rebekah. As a result, Jacob must work many years and his relationship with his uncle Laban is filled with deception on both sides. When Jacob finally absconds with his family, Laban chases them, and they agree to remain separate.[23] After this point, there are no further marriages with Laban’s branch of the family, and all of Jacob’s sons have no choice but to marry foreign women. The consanguineous link with the other branch of Abraham’s family is ended, and instead of concentrating the family within one highly inbred stem, Jacob’s 12 sons become the founders of the 12 tribes of Israel.[24]

The importance of endogamy, at least from the standpoint of later redactors, can be seen in the treatment of the conquered peoples whom the Israelites displace after the Exodus (see also Hartung 1992, n.d.). The policy described in the Books of Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua is to commit genocide rather than permitting intermarriage with the conquered peoples in the zone of settlement. The chronicler of Deuteronomy states as a general policy regarding the displaced peoples that the Israelites “shalt utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them; neither shalt thou make marriages with them: thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son” (Deut. 7:3).

As recorded in the Book of Joshua, this policy is then scrupulously followed when the Israelites cross the Jordan and eradicate the peoples there. Moreover, the emphasis on the need to exterminate other peoples in order to avoid intermarriage is repeated: “Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you; know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive these nations from out of your sight; but they shall be a snare and a trap unto you, and a scourge in your sides, and pricks in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you” (Josh. 23:12-13). These instructions are carried out: “So Joshua smote all the land, the hill-country, and the South, and the Lowland, and the slopes, and all their kings; he left none remaining; but he utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded” (Josh. 10:40).

For peoples living outside the zone of settlement, the policy proposed in Deuteronomy is to kill only the males and to keep the women and children as spoils of war. However, although captured women can become wives, they have fewer rights than other wives: “If thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will” (Deut. 21:14). Moses is said to have commanded the Israelites to kill not only every male Midianite (including children), but also all non-virgin females. In light of a previous passage in which Moses condemns marriage between Israelites and Midianites (Num. 25:6), there is the suggestion that the captured females will be slaves and/or concubines for the Israelite males. Their children would presumably have lower status than the offspring of regular marriages, and, as pointed out by Patai and Patai (1989, 122), there is no mention of converting female slaves in the Tanakh.

There are two post-settlement instances in the Tanakh where children of foreign concubines rise to positions of power within the Israelite community. Both of these instances are instructive in showing the generally low status of such individuals. In the Abimelech story, the mother is from Shechem, and Abimelech succeeds to his father’s inheritance only by killing his father’s 70 legitimate children with the help of his mother’s kinsmen, who are reminded of their blood relationship to Abimelech (“remember also that I am your bone and flesh” [Judg. 9:2]).

In the Jephthah story, a very salient fact is that he is expelled from the household by his half-brothers because he is viewed as having no inheritance (presumably also the fate of Abimelech, had he not taken matters into his own hands). As a result Jephthah is forced to live with a group of “vain fellows” (Judg. 11:3) with whom he eventually achieved military success. Moreover, it is not even clear that Jephthah’s mother was a foreigner, since she is described only as a harlot. These stories hardly support the idea that the offspring of foreign concubines were readily absorbed into Israelite society.

Further indication of the low status of the offspring of foreigners comes from the very negative attitudes toward Solomon’s many foreign wives. Solomon is cursed with the fragmentation of his kingdom after his death as a result of this practice (1 Kings 11:11; see also Neh. 13:26). Epstein (1942) notes that the offspring of Solomon’s foreign wives had a separate status within Israelite society below the pure Israelite stock even into rabbinic times.[25]

Sexual relationships with the women of the surrounding peoples are invoked as a major source of evil within Israelite society. Thus, Moses orders the execution of Israelite men who consort with Moabite women (Num. 25:1-13). The men are executed and God also sends a plague because of the offense. Later, the Israelites are said to be living among a variety of peoples, “and they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods” (Judg. 3:6). As a result of these practices, the Israelites were said to be dominated by the Mesopotamians for eight years.[26]

The origination of the Samaritans as a separate Jewish sect was also the result of a general abhorrence of exogamy. When the northern kingdom fell to the Assyrians and its elite were taken away, the remnant intermarried with the new settlers, creating a “mixed race” (Schürer [1885] 1979, 17). The intermarriage with aliens meant that “the Samaritans were not ethnically what they claimed to be” (Purvis 1989, 590), the Pharisees going so far as to refer to them as kûtîm (i.e., colonists from Mesopotamia). Their racial impurity was then “used to deny the Samaritans their original Israelite heritage. From that point onwards, their claim to be part of the chosen people . . . was never again acknowledged by the Jews” (Johnson 1987, 71).[27] The returning exiles rejected the offer of the Samaritans to help in rebuilding the Temple (Ezra 4:1-5), and intermarriage with the Samaritans was regarded with horror. Thus, Nehemiah comments on the marriage of the son of the high priest Eliashib to the daughter of the Samaritan Sanballat: “Therefore I chased him from me” (Neh. 13:28).

The apotheosis of the abhorrence of exogamy appears in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah which recount events and attitudes in the early post-exilic period. The officials are said to complain that “‘the people of Israel, and the priests and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, doing according to their abominations. . . . For they have taken of their daughters for themselves and for their sons; so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the peoples of the lands’” (Ezra 9:2).

The use of the phrase “holy seed” is particularly striking—a rather unvarnished statement of the religious significance of genetic material and the religious obligation to keep that genetic material pure and untainted. The result was a vigorous campaign of what Purvis (1989, 595) refers to as “ethnic purification.” Nehemiah states, “In those days also I saw the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab; and their children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people. And I contended with them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God: ‘Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons, or for yourselves” (Neh. 13:23-25).

All who have intermarried are urged to confess their guilt and give up their foreign wives and children. Ezra provides a list of 107 men who renounced their foreign wives and their children by these women.[28] These books also refer to genealogies that were used to deny access to the priesthood to some of the returnees from the Babylonian exile because there was a question regarding the racial purity of their marriages. The result was a hierarchy of purity of blood, at the top of which were those who could prove their status by providing genealogical records. This group married into priestly families, and its members were politically and socially dominant within the Jewish community. If doubt remained after genealogical investigation, the person could remain an Israelite, but was removed from the priesthood and no pure-blooded Israelite would intermarry with him. People with definitely impaired genealogies (including the offspring of mixed marriages) formed a third category. They married among themselves “and felt themselves fortunate if admitted to marriage with a Jewish family of doubtful record” (Epstein 1942, 164).[29]

The clear concern regarding intermarriage after the return from Babylon so evident in Ezra and Nehemiah may well be due to the fact that the returnees were forced to live among foreigners to a much greater degree than when they had political power. Prior to the exile, the issue of separation from neighbors could be treated relatively casually, since there were natural political and geographical barriers to intermarriage and the offspring of foreign concubines could be easily relegated to a low status. However, after the exile, the maintenance of genetic and cultural separatism created enormous problems, since the Israelites could not have complete political control over their area of settlement in Palestine. “Prohibitions against intermarriage, occasionally recorded and apparently fairly well enforced before the Exile . . . became an urgent necessity for the preservation of the Jewish people in Exile” (Baron 1952a, 147). The apex of concern for family purity among the Jews occurred in the Babylonian captivity and thereafter: “Purity of family was valued in Babylonia as never in Palestine before or after. For centuries the Babylonian Jews kept careful records of all significant family events so that they might be able to prove at any time pure descent from priestly or other distinguished stock. As late as the Talmudic age genealogical accounts . . . are frequently referred to. They must have been composed on the basis of records often covering a whole millennium” (Baron 1952a, 125). Thus, the data are compatible with the hypothesis that the almost obsessive concern with endogamy really coincides with the difficulty of maintaining genetic barriers within an exilic (diaspora) context.

Finally, as Neusner (1987, 37-38) emphasizes, it is important to note that Ezra was attempting to prevent intermarriage not only with foreign tribes like the Ammonites and Moabites, but even with the Israelites who had been left behind during the Babylonian exile. Although one can interpret this exclusion in purely ideological terms as a matter of the “cultic impurity” of these people who had been cut off from the aristocratic elite who had been exiled,[30] an evolutionary perspective suggests that it was the intermarriage of these settlers with surrounding peoples that was really the issue that determined their exclusion. As Purvis (1989, 597-598) notes regarding the Samaritans, some at least had undoubtedly retained a high level of cultic purity. The problem was that the ethnic purity of the Samaritans and the other ‘am ha-ares (“people of the land”) was at best doubtful.[31]

After all, if doubts about religious practice had been the sole issue, it would have been easy to accept any individuals from any tribe (certainly including the non-exiled Israelites) into the cult if only they agreed to participate appropriately in the cult. One wonders why Ezra was so intent on forcing Israelites to abandon their alien wives and racially impure children if the only blemish on these individuals was cultic. Participation in cultic rituals without ethnic commonality is the basis for the ideology that conversion to Judaism would be possible at any stage in history. From the data described in Chapter 2, however, we know that Judaism has always retained its ethnic core, and we shall see in Chapter 4 that conversion to Judaism has always been problematic. In this sense, Ezra and Nehemiah are indeed the lawgivers to subsequent Judaism, and in fact Ezra has often been viewed by the Jews as “a virtual second Moses” (McCullough 1975, 49; see also Ackroyd 1984, 147).[32]

Israelite Monotheism as an Ideology of Separatism

The ideology of the separateness of the Jews is apparent throughout the Tanakh. Many of the statements encouraging separatism were inserted into the earlier passages by redactors during and after the Babylonian exile, and, indeed, recent scholars have emphasized that the entire Pentateuch[33] must be seen as a statement of the priestly group writing during the Babylonian exile
(e.g., Neusner 1987, 35). The importance of circumcision and the Sabbath as signs of separateness were contributions of the Priestly (P) source stratum from the exilic or the post-exilic period, and the entire Book of Leviticus, which describes elaborate rituals that separate Jews from others, derives from this stratum (Ackroyd 1968; Fohrer 1968; Schmidt 1984). Schmidt (1984) also notes that the P stratum emphasizes the importance of reproductive success by the repeated use of the phrase “Be fruitful and multiply” and also shows a strong concern with genealogies. (After the exile, genealogies were used to determine who could be a member of the community and a candidate for the priesthood. See above and Chapters 4 and 8.)

Moreover, the P stratum is responsible for the exclusive covenant between God and Abraham’s descendants (Gen. 17), complete with the mark of circumcision. There is thus an indication of an increased emphasis on the importance of practicing endogamy, maintaining separateness, and tracing purity of descent during and after the Babylonian exile. “The net effect of the Pentateuchal vision of Israel . . . was to lay stress on the separateness and the holiness of Israel while pointing to the pollution of the outsider” (Neusner 1987, 36). Neusner (1987) emphasizes that the elaborate regulations for holiness in the Pentateuch, and especially Leviticus 19:1-18, are really to be understood as means of separation from surrounding peoples. “Holiness meant separateness. Separateness meant life” (p. 43). Judaism had become an ideology of minority separatism.[34]

The nature of the Israelite God is also a mark of separateness and is closely linked with an abhorrence of exogamy and with aggression against foreigners.[35] The following passage from the P stratum links the jealousy of the Jewish god not only with aggression toward other gods, but also with cultural separatism and fear of exogamy:

The function of promoting separateness can also be viewed as an aspect of monotheism. The groups that surrounded Israel appear to have been polytheistic and the different gods served different human purposes (Johnson 1987; see also (Baron 1952a, 47). Indeed, at the time of the writing of the Tanakh, the religion of Israel was the only monotheistic religion (Goitein 1974).

For the Israelites, there was really only one purpose for God—to represent the idea of kinship, ingroup membership, and separateness from others. Supporting this view of Israelite monotheism, there is evidence that monotheism became more important in the exilic period—precisely the period in which barriers between Jews and gentiles were being created and enhanced. McCullough (1975, 14), discussing the writings of Deutero-Isaiah (i.e., Isa. 40-55) during the exilic period, states that “unqualified monotheism was to be a basic feature of Hebrew thought from this time on.” Similarly, Soggin (1980, 317) finds that “it is not that Israel had not known monotheism before this period, but rather that only with Deutero-Isaiah was the faith changed to certainty,” and there began for the first time to be a polemical attitude against polytheism. Schmidt (1984, 133) sums it up by stating that “the oneness of the people corresponds to the oneness of God . . . Yahweh Israel’s God, Israel Yahweh’s people.” Or as a well-known rabbinic saying has it: “God, Israel, and the Torah are one” (see Baron 1973, 191).

Significantly, Ezra, whose abhorrence of intermarriage was a major influence on subsequent generations and who was revered among the Israelites as “a virtual second Moses” (McCullough 1975, 49), views intermarriage as a “great sin against Israel’s God” (McCullough 1975, 48), a comment indicating the close connection between ethnic purity and the Israelite concept of God. In a very real sense, one may say that the Jewish god is really neither more nor less than Ezra’s “holy seed”—the genetic material of the upper-class Israelites who were exiled to Babylon.

Unlike the gods of the Greeks and Romans, a major function for Israelite theology was not to interpret the workings of nature or to bring good fortune in various endeavors, but rather to represent the kinship group through historical time—clearly a unitary concept at least as an ideal, and especially so in a diaspora context. Israelite theology is intimately bound up with Israelite history. Moses “linked God with the fate of Israel in history in an inseparable way” (Baron 1952a, 47). There is a general lack of interest in cosmogony and anthropogeny, but “the history of man serves as a background for the still more significant history of Israel” (p. 47; see also Johnson 1987, 92-93). It is not Creation that is the most important event in early Hebrew history, but rather the Exodus, in which the Israelites successfully flee from Egypt after a successful sojourn as a minority in a foreign land.[36]

Finally, there are several allegories that stress the idea that separatist behavior resulting from worshiping the Israelite god may result in persecution, but there will eventually be rewards. In the Book of Daniel, Daniel and his three co-religionists remain faithful to the dietary laws, thus separating themselves from the other servants in the Babylonian court, and are rewarded by God with wisdom and understanding. Later, there are two incidents in which Jews are accused of not worshiping the gods of the Babylonians and the Persians. The Jews acknowledge these practices, but God saves them from punishment and improves their status so that, like Joseph and Nehemiah, they can use their status and power to help their co-religionists during their sojourn among the gentiles. As in the case of the Esther allegory, these stories clearly emphasize the idea that keeping the faith and remaining separate will eventually be rewarded. As Fohrer (1968, 479) notes, “the book seeks to strengthen the patience and courage of the devout who are suffering persecution, to give them new hope, and to exhort them, like Daniel, to remain loyal to their faith to the point of martyrdom.”

The Indestructibility of God as an Aspect of Diaspora Ideology

When the Israelites conquer other peoples (as recounted in the Books of Numbers and Joshua), they destroy the people and the representations of their gods. But Israel’s enemies can never destroy representations of God because such images are forbidden. Israel’s God is thus spiritual and can be understood as a representation of the continuation of the kinship group, even in the face of the destruction of all religious artifacts. Therefore, the destruction of the Temple does not destroy God. This aspect of religious ideology is thus ideal for sojourners with a precarious existence: The writers of Deuteronomy clearly anticipated that the Israelites would be subjected to oppression by others (e.g., Deut. 30:3, 31:21), but these oppressors could never destroy the Israelite God. Only the destruction of the Israelites themselves could accomplish that. Johnson (1987, 77) notes that Jeremiah emphasizes that the Israelite God is indestructible and intangible, and can thus survive defeat. Jeremiah “was trying to teach them how to become Jews: to submit to conquering power and accommodate themselves to it, to make the best of adversity, and to cherish the long-term certainty of God’s justice in their hearts.”

Related to this is the idea that there is no fixed abode for God. God is portable and resides in the Ark of the Covenant or inside a tent and can be moved from place to place. Fohrer (1968; see also Schmidt 1984, 183) notes that the idea of a transcendent god connected to a tent sanctuary is a product of the post-exilic P stratum of the Pentateuch. God is no longer to be associated with a specific site in the Temple—an assumption which presupposes a permanent settlement.[37]

The god of the diaspora had been created. Johnson (1987) notes that the concept of a movable, indestructible God easily accommodated to the period after the fall of the Temple and “reflects the extraordinary adaptability of the people, a great skill in putting down roots quickly, pulling them up and re-establishing them elsewhere” (p. 42).

Understanding Evil: The Consequences of Straying

One of the unique aspects of Judaism long noticed by scholars has been the emphasis throughout much of the Tanakh on the idea that all of Israel’s misfortunes come from rejecting God. The result is that being conquered or oppressed by another people with different gods is not viewed as a vindication of another god, but only as a sign that the Jews have been unfaithful to theirs. The Books of Deuteronomy, Judges, 1 Samuel, Joshua, Kings 1 and 2, and Chronicles 1 and 2, although they are clearly historical, also have a moral that is endlessly repeated: Worshiping other gods and straying from strict religious observance will lead eventually to destruction. For example, lack of strict adherence to religious orthodoxy is blamed for the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel and for the Babylonian capture of Jerusalem. Fohrer (1968, 213) describes a “cycle of apostasy, punishment, conversion, and deliverance” imposed on the Book of Judges by the Deuteronomistic writers during the exile. “The whole pattern of history is seen portrayed in rebellion and forgiveness” (Ackroyd 1968, 75). “If Israel kept the Torah, God would bless his people, and if not . . . God would exact punishment for violation of the covenant” (Neusner 1987, 21; see also Ackroyd 1968, passim; Moore 1927, I:222; Schmidt 1984, 143).[38]

Reflecting the obsession with reproductive success characteristic of the writers of the Tanakh, the punishment for those who stray will ultimately be a lowered reproductive success: According to Hosea, “they shall commit harlotry [i.e., worship other gods], and shall not increase” (Hos. 4:10). Moreover, there is an implicit association between worshiping other gods and the crime of exogamy. When the returning exiles commit the crime of exogamy by intermarrying with the local people, Ezra states, “Since the days of our fathers we have been exceeding guilty unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to spoiling, and to confusion of face, as it is this day” (Ezra 9:7). Exogamy is a crime against God—a belief that makes sense if indeed, as argued above, God simply is another way of denoting an endogamous, unitary ethnic group—the holy seed of Israel.

Also reflecting the idea that exogamy is a crime against God, a particularly revealing and very common analogy for worshiping other gods is to “play the harlot.” In Ezekiel 23, Jerusalem is compared to a harlot who has Assyrians, Babylonians, and Egyptians as lovers. In Egypt, she “doted upon concubinage with them, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is the issue of horses” (Ezek. 23:20). Not only are the offspring of these alien lovers grotesque monsters, but also God out of jealousy turns the lovers against the Israelites, who then ultimately pay for their crime with lowered reproductive success: “[T]hey shall deal with thee in fury; they shall take away thy nose and thine ears, and thy residue shall fall by the sword” (Ezek. 23:25). “These things shall be done unto thee, for that thou hast gone astray after the nations, and because thou art polluted with their idols” (Ezek. 23:30).[39] Worshiping other gods is like having sexual relations with an alien—a point of view that makes excellent sense on the assumption that the Israelite god represents the racially pure Israelite gene pool.

The ideology attempts to increase group solidarity in the face of group failure. Recent psychological research on group identifications has indicated that group members may actually identify with the group even more strongly following group failure under circumstances in which there is a strong prior commitment to the group. But if prior commitment is weak, there is a tendency to identify with the group more strongly after success than after failure (Turner et al. 1984).

Given the virtual universality of anti-Semitism and the commonness of persecutions and expulsions in Jewish history, Judaism as a group strategy clearly requires a very strong prior commitment from group members. Interestingly, anti-Semitism is clearly anticipated in the Tanakh (e.g., Deut. 28: 64-67; see below). The ideology may be said therefore to be an attempt to rally group loyalties even in the face of the repeated disasters that were anticipated as a consequence of the strategy.

The expected outcome of the defeat of a group with very intense group identification is stronger group identification. In fact, defeat and persecution have not tended to result in Jews defecting from the group strategy. It has often been noted that the Jewish response to persecution has been increases in religious fundamentalism, mysticism, and messianism. “Judaism’s response to historical events of a cataclysmic character normally takes two forms, first, renewed messianic speculation, and second, a renewed search in Scripture for relevant ideas, attitudes and historical paradigms” (Neusner 1986c, 26; see also Johnson 1987, 260, 267).

Thus, the rabbinic interpretation of the destruction of the Second Temple was that it was punishment for the sins of Israel (Alon 1989, 536), and Avi-Yonah (1984, 255) notes that the Jews regarded their persecution under the Byzantine Christians as a sign that the Messiah was coming. This was also the pattern in Yemen where persecution was particularly prolonged and intense. Following an expulsion in 1679, Ahroni (1986, 133; see also Nini 1991) comments, “As in all disasters, the Jews of Yemen responded to the Mauza calamity with an outpouring of self-flagellation. They saw in their sufferings trials imposed by God as a result of their sins. The note of Jeremiah’s proclamation, ‘Your ways and your doings have brought these [disasters] upon you’ (5:18) rings through their poems, which call for penitence and repentance.” The persecutions were followed by beliefs that the coming of the Messiah was imminent as well as by a powerful attraction to the mystical writings of the Kabbala.

Fischel (1937, 124-125)) notes that following the persecutions in Mongolian Iraq in the 13th century, “as so frequently happened in Jewish history, the destruction of political and economic influence led to a spiritual revival and to a period of internal growth. The birth of Hebrew-Persian literature falls in that gloomy political period . . . .” Kabbalistic writings, characterized by Johnson (1987) as “xenophobic, nationalist and inflammatory” (p. 195), became more common during the period of the persecutions of the 15th century (Johnson 1987; Neuman 1969, II:144).[40]

This phenomenon can also be seen in the modern world. For example, Meyer (1988, 338) notes that the response of liberal Reform Jews to the increased anti-Semitism of the Hitler years in Germany was increased identification with Judaism, increased synagogue attendance, a return to more traditional observance (including a reintroduction of Hebrew), and acceptance of Zionism. Following World War II, there were upsurges of religious observance and/or ethnic identification among American Jews in response to the Nazi holocaust and as a reaction to crises in Israel. The response to persecution is therefore a tendency to stress a unique Jewish identity, rather than to assimilate.

Throughout history, Jews who were less committed to the group undoubtedly had a tendency to worship the gods of their more powerful conquerors, neighbors, and persecutors.
Indeed, Ackroyd (1968) emphasizes that the diatribes against idolatry in Ezekiel and Deutero-Isaiah are directed against Israelites who have begun to worship Babylonian gods during the exile, and Bickerman (1984) notes that some of the exiles had indeed begun the assimilation process. The ideology of the Tanakh can be seen as an attempt to lessen the normal tendency for such individuals to defect under these circumstances by blaming all sufferings on the fact that Jews have not adhered rigorously to the group strategy.

The ideology is non-falsifiable (and thus self-perpetuating) because it explains both success and failure in terms that imply continued allegiance to the group. Moreover, since adversity is always attributed to failure to obey religious practices, blame is always internalized. The result is to prevent a rational appraisal of the reasons for the adversity by examining the Israelites’ behavior vis-à-vis their neighbors. Again, the typical response of Jewish populations to persecution has been a renewed intensity of religious fervor, often with strong overtones of mysticism.

The Future Rewards of Faith: Judaism as a This-Worldly Messianic Religion

Unlike the Christian conception of an afterlife of happiness, the Tanakh makes clear that the rewards of keeping the faith and obeying religious regulations will be a high level of reproductive success, a return to power and prosperity in Israel, and the destruction and/or enslavement of Israel’s enemies.
(Recall Baron’s [1952a, 9] discussion of Judaism as a this-worldly religion; see above.) As Neusner (1987, 41) states, the Torah presented the loss and recovery of land and political sovereignty as “normative and recurrent.” “[T]he nation lived out its life in the history of this world, coveting the very same land as other peoples within the politics of empires” (p. 46). In the centuries following the Biblical period and the failed rebellions during the Roman era, the belief developed that “only by the immediate intervention of Almighty God could the might of the heathen kingdom be annihilated and the world made ready for the coming undivided and undisputed reign of God, or, in its national expression, the worldwide and eternal dominion of the holy people of the Most High” (Moore 1927, II:331; see also Schürer ([1885] 1979, 514ff).

A return to power in Jerusalem after being scattered is a prominent theme throughout the writings of the ancient period.[41] Often the enslavement or destruction of enemies is envisioned. “And the peoples shall take them, and bring them to their place; and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and for handmaids; and they shall take them captive, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors” (Isa. 14:2). Fohrer (1968, 384) states that Deutero-Isaiah “contains questionable nationalistic and materialistic traits.” The relationship between Israel and foreigners is often one of domination: For example, “They shall go after thee, in chains they shall come over; And they shall fall down unto thee, They shall make supplication unto thee” (Isa. 45:14); “They shall bow down to thee with their face to the earth, And lick the dust of thy feet” (49:23). Similar sentiments appear in Trito-Isaiah (60:14, 61:5-6), Ezekiel (e.g., 39:10), and Ecclesiasticus (36:9).

Perhaps the epitome of worldly messianic expectations can be seen in the Book of Jubilees, where world domination and great reproductive success are promised to the seed of Abraham:

Reflecting these messianic expectations, around 100 a.d. the Shemoneh ‘Esreh prayer, said three times a day by traditional Jews in the following centuries, was finalized (see Schürer [1885] 1979, 456ff). It asks for a gathering of the dispersed in Jerusalem and the reestablishment of national authority.

The Assumption of a Diaspora in the Tanakh

There are numerous references in the Tanakh to the scattering of the Israelites throughout the world. We have noted that the final form of the Pentateuch emerged during and in the period after the Babylonian exile. A prominent goal of these writings is to emphasize Israel’s history as a sojourning people and those aspects of a religion that fit well with a sojourning life style while remaining separate from the host peoples (see also Chapter 8).

The Priestly (P) stratum, composed in exilic and post-exilic times, essentially prescribes a set of religious practices with no role for a state (Fohrer 1968). “P contains a program for the divinely willed reconstruction of the community after the Exile or for a reformation of the community in the postexilic period. This program is retrojected into the past in order to legitimize it and give it authority” (p. 184). In this new community, the priests become substitutes for earthly rulers: Schmidt (1984) notes that “anointing and other symbols of royalty now become distinguishing marks of priesthood (Exod 28f)” (p. 98).[42]

There are also a great many specific instances in the early history of the Israelites that involve sojourning among foreign peoples, most obviously the long sojourn in Egypt. In each case, the sojourn ends with the patriarchs or Israelites leaving the host society with great wealth and increased numbers.[43] There are also many sections in which there are positive attitudes toward living among strangers. Leviticus 25:23 states that the Israelites are sojourners with God. The land is God’s and the Israelites are only sojourners. King David says, “For we are strangers before Thee, and sojourners, as all our fathers were” (1 Chron. 29:15), and the phrase is repeated in Psalms 39:13. Deuteronomy repeatedly states that God loves the sojourner and that the Israelites are expected to be kind to the sojourner, as they should be toward widows and orphans (e.g., Deut. 27:19).[44]

There is some indication that the authors of Deuteronomy did not believe that living among foreigners was ideal. Part of the curse on those who stray from the word of God is that they would be among foreigners, “[a]nd among these nations shalt thou have no repose, and there shall be no rest for the sole of thy foot” (Deut. 28:65). Nevertheless, provision is made for Israelites who are sojourning: By following the word of God, God will “return and gather thee from all the peoples whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee” (Deut. 30:3). Indeed, Deuteronomy 31:18ff, written in the exilic period (Fohrer 1968) implies that disasters will happen to the sojourning Israelites because they fail to follow the word of God. Later, Nehemiah cites this passage, noting that God had told Moses that “[1]f ye deal treacherously, I will scatter you abroad among the peoples; but if ye return unto Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though your dispersed were in the uppermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to cause My name to dwell there” (Neh. 1:8-9).

The reality of scattering (as well as the prediction of eventual reunification in a powerful state) is also assumed by the prophets. Isaiah speaks of recovering the remnant and gathering “the scattered of Judah From the four corners of the earth” (Isa. 11:12). “I will bring thy seed from the east, And gather thee from the west; I will say to the north: ‘Give up,’ And to the south: ‘Keep not back, Bring My sons from far, And my daughters from the end of the earth” (Isa. 43:5-6).[45] Indeed, Baron (1952a, 107) cites this passage and notes that “o many and so specific are the references to a really world-wide Diaspora, that they cannot be explained away as lavish interpolations. . . . Such utterances were no mere propaganda or eschatological wish dreams. They must have had some relation to actual facts. Even the ‘back to Palestine’ movement . . . could not check this steady, inevitable growth of the Diaspora.” Moreover, the texts often use the plural, indicating that the authors suppose that the Israelites will eventually be scattered among many countries, not just Babylon.[46]

Finally, as described more fully in Chapter 8, a strong current of “Exodus ideology” in the exilic writings views the Babylonian Exile as analogous to the original sojourn in Egypt, with the expectation that God will provide for them in the end as He had done before. For example, Jeremiah writes, “Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say: ‘As the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt’; but: ‘As the Lord liveth, that brought up and that led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all the countries whither I had driven them’; and they shall dwell in their own land” (Jer. 23:7-8).
Indeed, Ackroyd (1968, 234) finds that during the Exile there was a general reworking of older materials so that all of Israel’s previous history was seen from the standpoint of the Exile. The Exile was accepted as the result of turning away from God’s ways and was viewed as part of a larger purpose. This larger purpose necessitated the establishment of elaborate legal codes, which separated Jews from gentiles, and the purification of the community: “[W]e are shown the community being purified, undertaking the response which testifies to the need for purity, purity of race, freedom from contamination with alien influence, so attesting its real nature as the people of God” (Ackroyd 1968, 236-237).

Conclusion

The ideology of the Tanakh is a blueprint for an experiment in living in the sense utilized in Chapter 1. It was obsessed with the history of the Jewish people because one of its essential functions was to rationalize that history and provide a hope for a successful future. The religion of the Tanakh was greatly concerned with reproductive success, endogamy, and cultural separation from surrounding peoples within a diaspora context. It was a religion with powerful sanctions on individuals who worship other gods or stray from group goals, and one in which lowered reproductive success is the result of deviation from life within the confines of the kinship group, while those who continued in the kinship group would be rewarded with great reproductive success and eventual revenge and domination.

From an evolutionary perspective, the purpose of this ideology is to ensure the continuity of the kinship group, even within a diaspora context in which there are enormous pressures for assimilation and gradual loss of contact with other members of the group
. The results have been extraordinarily effective: As indicated in Chapter 2, Jews have maintained a significant genetic distance between themselves and their host societies for centuries. Indeed, they are the only group that has successfully maintained genetic and cultural segregation while living in the midst of other peoples over an extremely long period of time. Johnson (1987, 3) calls them “the most tenacious people in history.”
Thank you Altair for that extensive overview. Having grown up in a Jewish household (I was adopted at birth by a reformed Jewish couple who were not devoutly religious, but who sent my brother and me to temple as children), I’m familiar with all of those biblical passages, but never really looked at them from that aspect. At least not to that degree. I must agree with Laura, how threatening to the world indeed is such a thing.
 

Evster2012

Padawan Learner
I would like to add a bit about my experience of being raised loosely Jewish. I was, by nature I suppose, an obstinate child. I was skeptical of the religion stuff from the start, and was from early on pegged as a troublemaker by the teachers and the rabbis. I very strongly felt that it was indoctrination, though I couldn’t define it as such at that age. I felt I was not part of the tribe and they knew it too. I’m sure that I being a tow-headed Welsh-English kid and obviously goyim didn’t help! Unlike the Christian kids and parents around me, the “Tribe” had no interest in rescuing or saving my cause. They didn’t want me and more than I wanted to be a part of them, and they were rather menacing toward me from my earliest memories. I eventually bailed out at the age of twelve during my Bar Mitzvah training. I felt it was pointless (and indecent) for me to conduct a service in front of the congregation when I personally thought the whole thing was a crock of ****. To me it was no different than the Greek or Norse mythology I was reading about in public school.

I later began searching for some sort of spiritual truth, and even lived briefly in a Coptic monastery. Then I stumbled upon Sitchen’s books and got really into that trip. One thing led to another and I heard Clow on Art Bell, bought a few of her books, which led to Marciniak and from there to Cassiopaea. Finally, something that this son of an astrophysicist could relate to which rung, and continues to ring true to his sense of the physical world, its illusions, and the matters of soul and consciousness.:clap:
 

luc

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Just a note that I read in Betty's afterlife book that Jewish scripture doesn't really recognize an afterlife; or at least it's very ambiguous. I don't know enough about the various forms of Jewish theology to judge that claim, but if true, that's pretty weird. A religion where death is the end of everything? That can only lead to pathology IMO.
 

BlackCartouche

Jedi Master
Thanks for your insight BC :-)
Your welcome
What I found interesting was that DNA testing is being used in Israel if you want get the official Jewish Marriage certificate (religious).
I should point out I did make clear my lineage is rather distant, it'd be my great great grandmother or something, that would make me no more than 6.25% Jewish if that. But it didn't faze the Rabbi if the trace can be verified through the maternal line. This, I came to learn is the be all and end all of "Jewishness". Jewish lineage traced through the maternal line however faint always supersedes the paternal line of descent no matter how strong direct and recently "Jewish" the lineage via the father. In fact, according to Talmudic Rabbinical Judaism (mainstream 'Classical' Judaism) it absolutely insists on following matrilineal descent ONLY. Patrilineal lineage via the father means diddlysquat! (Though there are, however, complex processes made in special cases for conversion under extensive in-depth review by the high Rabbi's. I'd be interested to know how that works exactly)
This is curious, not because Judaism is patriarchal but because the strictness of determining "Jewishness" maternally is so voracious in its extremity as to be beyond simple "biological certainty" (ie a mother can always be absolutely sure a child born of her is hers, whereas a father can never be 100% certain a child is of his seed).

We know the Lizzies are obsessed with genetics targeting particular bloodlines, primarily for self-preservation issues to stave off 'dying', and it would seem Jews are notably "chosen" the most favoured of all Earth's stock (hence the C's remarking the apex of Israeli Government blurs with 4D STS).

I looked more into this...

First, its important to ascertain that, historically, Judaic ethnic determination through matrilineal descent was not always so, and at some point switched over from following patrilineal descent to following matrilineal descent.
Also, Jews today that DO agree don't all agree to WHEN this transference was supposed to have actually happened. Given historic accord for genetic obsession concerning "Jewish heritage" one would think this would be easily and accurately pinpointed under universal agreement. But not so.

Matrilineality in Judaism - Wikipedia

Virtually all Jewish communities have followed matrilineal descent from at least early Tannaitic (c. 10-70 CE) times to Modern times.[1] The origins and date-of-origin of matrilineal descent in Judaism are uncertain. Orthodox Jews, who believe that matrilineality and matriarchy within Judaism are related to the metaphysical concept of the Jewish soul,[2] maintain that matrilineal descent is an Oral Law from at least the time of the Receiving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai (c. 1310 BCE).[3] Conservative Jewish Theologian Rabbi Louis Jacobs suggests that the marriage practices of the Jewish community were re-stated as a law of matrilineal descent in the early Tannaitic Period (c. 10-70 CE).[1]

Not all Jews agreed to this. The Sadducee 'old guard' priesthood-elite bloodlines of aristocratic lore insisted on continuing the patriarchal line.
Just to jump in quickly with what whitecoast said as I think it ties in:
And it is interesting that the both the Talmud and Koran were compiled specifically to negate Christianity and its tenants.
Couldn't agree more. The Sadducees were disbanded and 'dissolved' at the time of budding Christianity. I don't buy it! I think they melted themselves into early Christian communities to sabotage the "Christ" consciousness to subvert Christianity from within, plunging it into the dark corrupt religion we have all come to know and love today... The pomp and circumstance of the ruling patriarchal priesthood-class which rules with near-impunity the Church today is a dead giveaway to the influences of the patriarchal Sadducee priesthood-elites - both of emanating pharaonic royalty.
I couldn't help notice the word "Sadducee" is similar to the Latin-root word "seduce" which also has its root-derivative in its meaning to "set apart". It is thought, not verified, that "Sadducee" comes from the high-priest "Zadok". That may be, and "set apart" may well have something to do with the opposing the Pharisee clan of which "Pharisee" means "apart" or "separate"... However, I have a suspicion the word "seduce" may well in turn derive from "Sadducee" with an insidious connotation to its root-meaning "apart" or "lead away" to "seduce" Christianity away from Light in realizing its full potential to deliver unto mankind its true "Christed" message.
The old-guard patrilineal Jews didn't become obsolete, no, they simply went underground for the sole purpose to destroy the Christ-conscious. The stalwart system of patrilineal Judaism was coming to its useful end and had to be circumvented before the next phase of ethno-religious semantics begins. It provided the 4D STS overlords the perfect opportunity to have the old stock given a very special and very important task to carry out... Waste not want not.
Talking of 'dissolved' patriarchy, it is said the highly patrilineal Karaites suddenly popped up in and around Baghdad - fully emerged bright eyed and bushy tailed I might add - during the 7th or 8th centuries CE. In doing so, they did so in time with the explosive birth of Islam - at the very heart of the newly burgeoning Caliphates... Very suspicious indeed!
From what i can make of it, the Karaites, by their own assertions, are essentially the re-branded continuation of the Sadducee patrilineal tradition given a make-over. I see the abrupt end of patrilineal tradition tags the take-down of a potential STO-oriented 'belief-system' (for lack of a better term) only for the same tradition to then re-emerge lifting up with the sudden rise of a rather inexplicably-powerful STS-oriented "Religion" to keep Christianity - and by association those timeless glowing embers of its "Christ" potential it may well muster - off-kilt kept thoroughly in check through the constant competitive 'clash of civilizations'.
I also don't think its a coincidence "Kaaba" and "Allah" is literally "Kabbalah" split in two halves.

Anyway, putting that aside... Here is further testament (...heh) to show how recent the patrimonial-observed descent was adhered to within Judaism itself:

Karaite Judaism - Wikipedia

Karaite Judaism follows patrilineal descent, meaning a Jew is someone whose father is Jewish, or who has undergone a formal conversion, since almost all Jewish descent in the Tanakh is traced patrilineally.
As can be deduced, the Tannaic period (10 - 220 CE), and in conjunction with the 'demise' of the Sadducees, would certainly clarify "when" the hammer's final blow struck down to set in stone matrilineal law owing to the fact the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) supposedly written/complied the years immediately prior, and up to, the Tannaitic period shows in its writings Jewish descent was almost entirely followed patrilineally.

Jews DO ALL agree patrilineal descent was definitely observed up to the time of Abraham. "Abraham" incidentally means "father of nations" and from him came about the founding of "The Matriarchs" or "the four mothers" (Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Leah) so there could be something there to the first flickers of matrilineality.

Running through what constitutes history in Scripture, the first inception for matrilineal descent came about either; from the time of Abraham, from the time of Moses receiving the covenant, or during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah whom together "purified" the Jews before codifying unto law matrilineal descent carried by the Pharisees culminating the Zugot period which formatted the Rabbis following on into the early Tannaitic period of which birthed Talmudism.

Here is the timeline of the Rabbinic Sages beginning from the exclusive switch-over to following matrilineal descent only. The Chazal (red) represents the establishing of matriliniality up to the birth and establishment of the Talmud.

Chazal - Wikipedia
29712

What also becomes apparent in all this; it is UNCLEAR to exactly why such a switch-over should have occurred at all -? Again, given the neurotic obsession Judaism has with identity, so much so as to be made codified unto law, it stands to reason such a decision must have been a very important decision to make.

Irrespective of "when" or of how much biblical-history is even true, it is, nevertheless, apparent a switch-over likely did occur at some point fundamentally changing the direction of the developmental stage of Judaism on a profound level. I can only presume by doing so changes the evolutionary gears of machinery to further define the Jewish soul-pool.. Further more, the very last time matrilineality was certifiably stamped unto law and adhered to by ALL (non-heretical) Jewish bloodlines thereafter, was done so in conjunction with making available, in a far greater and inclusive way, the Kabbalah. This is a critical development I will get to in a later post as it interconnects. But first lets get back to the genetic importance of motherhood...
Why was it deemed necessary to make such a drastic change-over from patrilineality? I mean... If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Patrilineality was a big thing rooted deep, the importance of the decision to switch-over to matrilineality in light of what Yahweh aka 4D STS know about our biology and soul-fitting, mustn't be overlooked.

'Yahweh' was traipsing about during chaotic times of great confusion, historic events during BCE (Before Common Era) are confusing not least because early history of Judaism (and history in general) are, more often than not, stories pieced together that may or may not have any basis in reality at all. Even so, I would suggests there are definitely 'truths' concerning a genetically-determined developmental phase instructing the formulation of a "Jewish peoples" as instructed by Yahweh (4D STS) keeping to a set predetermined program to be cultivated over multiple generations - as do the Sages map out like an instruction manual for bespoke tailor-made 3D STS genetic-consciousness evolution.

First, I want to get out the way the more mundane reasoning according to more secularist philosophizin' because they do make valid points worth covering briefly. This article sums up well enough:

Roman vs. Jewish law: Whatever happened to patrilineal descent?

Essentially the switching over to matrilineal descent is chalked up to an assurance and insurance of maintaining Jewish law in contrast to patriarchal Roman Law that abounds and surrounds... And/or due to the resultant internal political infighting between 'old guard' Sadducees and the contrasting Pharisee 'new-kids-on-the-bloc'... And/or with some pedestrian-level biological-certainty politics thrown in too.
Altogether it is a convincing-ish explanation if coming from a strictly secularist viewpoint grounded in the trifles of mundane 3D ethno-politics.
However, given what we can infer regarding 4D STS attentions and intentions toward shaping particularly as a whole the Jewish 'ethno-religio' identity mitigated against the hyper-dimensional backdrop - vis-a-vis the meddling of intra-biological-cum-spiritual interface governing our perception of reality - the secularist reasoning simply doesn't go far enough.

Delving a little deeper using the pseudo-theological postulating of this article in Chabad.org written by Rabbis Tzvi Freeman and Yehuda Shurpin, is their attempt to explain the issue grappling deeper metaphysical aspects.

Why Is Jewishness Matrilineal? - Maternal Descent In Judaism

Their thesis opens up a few things I think are quite telling. For instance, the circumstances that led to codifying matrilineal descent is argued via the justification of a particular event recorded in the Book of Ezra and the way its enactment came about through an extreme case of self-afflicted psychopathology - made unto law - commanded by Ezra himself under authority of Yahweh (aka 4D STS). It was this event fundamental to creating the Great Assembly also known as "Ezra and his court of law" responsible for the ethnic "purifying" of the tribe of which the Rabbinic tradition gives its credence to (I can see Altair has already covered the raw history very extensively, so I hope I can add to it by introducing a different angle to looking at it).
The rationalizations by Rabbi's Freeman and Shurpin is simply stunning and really goes to expose the mindset of ethno-religious Jewish ethos to this day:

There’s clear evidence of the rule of matrilineal descent in Biblical times in the story of Ezra and the returning exiles. The Book of Ezra tells the story of the Jews who returned from Babylonia to finish rebuilding the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Upon their arrival they found that many of the Jews who inhabited the land had taken non-Jewish wives. Ezra was heartbroken, tearing his garments in mourning and prayer to G‑d. A large crowd gathered, and joined with Ezra as he prayed and wept.

Next, the verse states:

And Shechaniah, the son of Jehiel, of the sons of Elam, raised his voice and said to Ezra, "We have betrayed our G‑d, and we have taken in foreign wives of the peoples of the land, but there is still hope for Israel concerning this.”
“Now then, let us make a covenant with our G‑d to expel all these women and those who have been born to them, in accordance with the bidding of the Lord and of all who are concerned over the commandment of our G‑d, and let the Torah be obeyed.”2
If the child of a Jewish father is Jewish, why did Shechaniah suggest expulsion of the children born to these women? How was it that Ezra and all the people agreed to his advice? Jewish people historically were greatly attached to their children. How is it that they agreed to send them away?

Obviously, it was a given that these children were not Jewish. Furthermore, note that Shechaniah states, “and let the Torah be obeyed.” Apparently, everyone understood that this was not a new edict, but a call for obedience to the Torah as it had always been understood by the Jewish people.
I mean... Straight up WOW! - If this is what really happened, I can't get my head around it! Lets reiterate that: It demands all its Jewish menfolk to disavow and cast out not only their wives, but their very own children born of them - their own flesh and blood! - To cut off and discard into the wilds the most powerful and intimate bonds through biology, and of connected spirit, and most powerful love-bond attachments in such a way has to be the most extreme case of collective self-afflicted soul-group mutilation to be found in all of Scripture! Cold callous and psychopathic as it was it was considered acceptable and right - and the Jews of Ezra did duly abide! From that time on the law was codified and rigidly enforced to this present day under the now institutionalized Talmudic Rabbinic *Kabbalist* Judaism. This decisive event determined the basis for the codifying of the Judaic law of progeny, and it came about under circumstances demonstrating such cold callous and pathology-of-mind in action - as to be completely alien to humanity.
Establishing this law; in doing so was to demonstrate an extreme case of self-induced psychopathology. It has all the hallmarks of a "programming is complete" scenario - albeit on a minute localized scale. I believe it is the verification by 4D STS overseers to have proven beyond any reasonable doubt the surest sign their chosen 'stock' hath willingly adhere "the rule of psychopathy". The ramifications of the imprinting upon the remainder of collective genetic-memory locking in hard the psychological make-up of a soul-group are far reaching - if it can be sufficiently sustained.
It is also this event argued as "clear evidence" going against presumably an already existing 'law' forbading any such union with foreign/gentile women - whom are deemed the primary cause for damaging the very core 'Being' of "Jewishness".
However, there is confusion about this, for it was from Ezra - and with Nehemiah - whence Rabbinic Judaism primarily harks back to, yet his existence is shrouded in much mystery even within Judaism.
This could be a clue for finalizing "God's chosen" formula before "separated apart" as "Pharisee" means, in fact, TO "separate" or "apart", to separate away from patrilineal Judaism of the Sadducee priesthood elites, perhaps. Or does it have something to do with an ulterior genetic process of some sort? And why the process for developing and establishing such a "chosen peoples" is a bit complicated and took 'the long way round' spanning many generations - rather than overtly direct genetic tampering which would yield more immediate results such like the gypsies "the slaves of the dark forces".
A clue is the "separation" came after the Zugot "pairs" period. To be paired and then to separate. This appears to be indicative of the stepping back of direct involvement of Yahweh walking among his peoples, around the time of Ezra and Nehemiah - whom by the way was said to be a eunuch. This could also be symbolism to the switching to matrilineal law. The point is 'history' is murky when Yahweh walked among his people. The head-honcho of Judaism at any one time were 'paired' with Yahweh. It appears to me Ezra is the bridging between largely falsified history of early diaspora Judaism under direct orders from Yahweh, and with the start of more concrete chronology of Judaism thereafter with Yahweh in absentia.

Evidently, Jews are indeed a very speshul case to hold the title "Gods Chosen People" as is reiterated not only throughout the tomes of its own volumes, but also the follow-ups of both Christian and Muslim doctrine as well.
It is clear Jews have been given extra special supreme attention, and it has been sustained over millennia. They have been 'horticultured' if you will; relentlessly 'guided' 'harangued' 'punished' and 'rewarded' by a "jealous God" right down down through the ages initiating mini "programming is complete" scenarios along each step of the way marking the end and beginning of a 'new Sage' in conjunction with 'thereafter progeny' birthed of 'therein copulation', key to maintaining the upkeep of soul-pool's established STS FRV in preparation for its final phase: For what I can best term "inversive-individuation".

Back to lineage. The Rabbi's' article promulgates thustly:

Here’s another common question: We see many figures in the Hebrew Bible that married out of their people. Joseph married an Egyptian woman. Moses married a Midianite.14 King David took a Philistine wife and King Solomon also took wives who were not from the Jewish people. Why is there no mention of any conversion?
But then, neither is there any mention of Divine admonition for these intermarriages. For Joseph and Moses, we can answer simply that they were married before the Torah was given. The prohibition of marrying out did not yet exist. But for David and Solomon, that answer does not work. Besides, the story of Pinchas and the Midianite women also makes it quite clear that this sort of union was divinely prohibited.
We see here, the days before the Torah allows inter-marrying by the patriarchs seed, this suggests the male line only is afforded here. It could be Yahweh (4D STS) decided the amalgamation of key STS bloodlines infused with the sacred seed, were first necessary to have gathered patrilineally, has reached a sort of genomic 'critical mass', and is now ready to move on to the next stage for genetic cultivation.

You shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughter to his son, and you shall not take his daughter for your son. For he will turn away your son from following Me, and they will worship the gods of others, and the wrath of G‑d will be kindled against you, and He will quickly destroy you.8
Read those verses carefully. G‑d is warning the people not to intermarry with the people of the land they are about to enter. Neither their sons nor their daughters should intermarry.
What would you expect next? “For he will turn your daughter away from Me.” Or “She will turn your son away from Me.”
The message put forth during the era the Torah applies now admonishes the patriarchs sowing of wild oats, he must keep verily within the genetic progeny therein as instructed for both male and female members of the flock to ensure the uniqueness of "Jewishness" carries over into the next Sage...

And lastly... Nearing the end of the Torah timeline we come to Ezra and Nehemiah rigorously enforcing the law of genealogy, but specifically honing in on strict observance of the matrilineal descent ONLY - and to do so is to do so in total disregard to *any and all* genealogy traced through the fathers' line - and vehemently! This is in stark contrast to the early forming of Judaic heritage seeded through founding patriarchs, which was done so whilst holding Yahweh's proverbial hand. Then, progeny becomes genetically 'sealed' through both male and female descent with Yahweh hovering in the background. Then, the finished result is 'nested' down within the female to be passed on down through the female line. Its as if the Jewish genome is 'ring-fenced', before Yahweh steps back from view altogether.

Going back to the Wikipedia page opening credits for 'Matrilineality in Judaism'...

Virtually all Jewish communities have followed matrilineal descent from at least early Tannaitic (c. 10-70 CE) times to Modern times.[1] The origins and date-of-origin of matrilineal descent in Judaism are uncertain. Orthodox Jews, who believe that matrilineality and matriarchy within Judaism are related to the metaphysical concept of the Jewish soul,[2] maintain that matrilineal descent is an Oral Law from at least the time of the Receiving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai (c. 1310 BCE).[3] Conservative Jewish Theologian Rabbi Louis Jacobs suggests that the marriage practices of the Jewish community were re-stated as a law of matrilineal descent in the early Tannaitic Period (c. 10-70 CE).[1]
The "metaphysical concept of the Jewish soul" really jumped out here. And back with this;

How does a child know if he or she is a Kohen, Levi or Yisroel? That goes by the father. That’s what I meant when I said that Judaism is patrilineal, even though Jewishness is matrilineal.
So, that's the "race and religion in one" issue wrapped up. The father determines theology ie the direction of mind through matter, and the mother determines genealogy ie the direction of biology through spirit... Combined make for the most powerful efficacy.

I then came across this:
Thousands of Jews May Be Recognized With New Genetic Determination of Jewish Status

In a groundbreaking Responsa B’mareh Habazak Volume 9 ruling by the Eretz Hemdah Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, a collection of dayanim (Rabbinic judges) ruled that it is possible to determine one’s Jewish status based on genetic testing of the mitochondrial genome.

“Some 40% of European Ashkenazi Jews carry a genetic mark that suggests they are the offspring of four mothers who immigrated to Europe from the Middle East a millennium ago. Chances are high, statistically speaking, that anyone able to prove that they are the offspring of those four mothers is Jewish according to halakha,” said Rabbi Carmel.
This echoes "The Matriarchs" aka "the four mothers".

However, Perry and Freund are skeptical of the halakhic acceptance of DNA tests.

Perry told Breaking Israel News, “I don’t see acceptance of this ruling happening at the moment because we are a people who go by tradition: if a mom Jewish, her kids are Jewish. One could have 99 percent of the DNA markers, and that doesn’t mean that they are halachicly Jewish. They could be 1% Jewish on a DNA test and be halachicly Jewish.

“Jews have been oppressed because of our blood, with the Nuremberg laws and times in the inquisition and afterward. We have a very complicated relationship with the idea of blood demonstrating one’s lineage. But maybe we can turn it on its head use it for the positive rather than negative.”

“DNA testing is becoming an increasingly large part of the puzzle in terms of helping people to uncover their historical or genetic link with Jewish people,” he concluded, “It’s a complex issue because it involves genetics, and most don’t understand the full complexities of genetic research. Because in halakha, you need a siman boucah (clear sign) of someone’s Jewishness; it will be up to other rabbinical authorities to decide and study the issue and whether to adopt this approach or not.”

Likewise, Rav Chaim Amsalem, a prominent Sephardi rabbi, recognized authority on halakha (Torah law), and former Knesset member, believes that the DNA test has halakhic limits. “I do not see it being used as proof of Jewish status,” he told Breaking Israel News. “But if the test shows that someone has Jewish paternal roots, we can use this to determine that if they choose to convert, the process should be done in a more positive manner. If the genetic testing shows that the person has maternal Jewish roots, if they choose to convert, it should be a much shorter process that fulfills the basic requirements. Genetic testing is a blessed development that will be an enormous aid when we go out into the world. It helps us determine who is connected to the Jewish people and in what manner.”
Again and again, the way Rabbanic Judaism so incessantly focuses on maternal lineage despite now able to determine Jewish heritage proven paternally through modern DNA testing, I would find extremely odd if coming from a secularist POV.

It is made clear, here, DNA testing verifying Jewishness through the mother no-doubt fast-tracks the process - but not so paternally, still incurring a more complicated process and even then it implies a 'No go!' But more compellingly, it still smacks of shunning the long-dowsed flames of patrilineality belonging to the priesthood elites of old. What gives?

Its the first paragraph that really clinches it for me... "[...]a collection of dayanim (Rabbinic judges) ruled that it is possible to determine one’s Jewish status based on genetic testing of the mitochondrial genome."

With everything relayed thus far, it is clear there is an important 'something' definitive within genetics that only the female line carries, I can only conclude all this must have something to do with Mitochondria... Over to mitochondrial DNA:

Mitochondrial DNA - Wikipedia

Mitochondrial DNA is the small circular chromosome found inside mitochondria. These organelles found in cells have often been called the powerhouse of the cell.[1] The mitochondria, and thus mitochondrial DNA, are passed almost exclusively from mother to offspring through the egg cell.
(Ironically I used the term "ring-fenced" prior to learning mitochondria DNA are circular)

Mitochondria in humans is passed from the mother to her offspring, though recently there is some evidence of patrilineal mitochondria (which is interesting in and of itself particularly if it can be shown to be a recent development in hand with rising emasculation, likely primarily spiked via 50+ years of oestrogen in water supplies - and may go some way to the more recent developments to being more open of accepting paternal heritage - as with the very stubborn Karaites now allowing converts as of 2006).
Reading up on Mitochondria always lays out, in so many words, how "it is thought to be rather curious" for many a reason or other. It is clear we still don't know all too much about mitochondria and how/why it works in ways that it does, but we know its coded 'chain' is broken if direct line of lineage skips the mothers ancestral descent:

Home | Wellcome Trust Centre For Mitochondrial Research

"This form of DNA consists of a tiny ring of hereditary material that actually lies outside the nucleus of the cell and is passed solely through the maternal line. It is not recombined between generations, as is nuclear DNA, and it seems to accumulate changes quite rapidly, which makes it ideal for analysis of recent evolutionary events."
This certainly gives weight to the obsession Jews have with matrilineality, or rather, 4D STS obsession with Jewish matrilineality.

Another aspect of mitochondria I found particularly compelling is; it is an organelle that holds its own DNA apparently "evolving" separately, separately from the nucleus that is, before later "evolving" together, symbiotically, within the cell housing nuclear DNA as its host - sending the nucleus information. In fact, in the beginning the mitochondrial genome was originally thought to be a parasitic. Not that's necessarily a negative in and of itself, a parasitical symbiosis can grow to become a beautify thing, a mother and unborn baby.

Mitochondria is also considered the powerhouse of the cell responsible for releasing massive energy. It gives a lot back. In which case, it is no longer strictly a parasite.
But, if its original fundamental design-principle by 'nature' was to infiltrate and 'coerce' its "host", then the disposition of its fundamental design-principle, at least after the fact, could be used nefariously as a kind of biological Trojan horse... Something fundamentally an STS-centric principle, at least here in our 3D reality. My point is, 4D STS could tap into that 'Trojan horse' aspect of mitochondria's original fundamental nature.

Here this article states: https://www.livescience.tech/2018/07/09/mitochondrial-dna-and-nuclear-dna-not-so-independent-after-all/

“Mitochondria have their own DNA that presumably comes from ancient bacteria that joined our cells a long time ago. We didn’t know that our mitochondrial DNA encoded messages to control the nucleus. In fact, the nucleus has been long thought to hold all our genetic blueprint for building and operating a cell,”Lee stated. “This is a fundamental discovery that integrates our two genomes as a co-evolved genetic system and may have a lasting impact for a broad range of scientific and medical fields.”
The metabolic term is best described as "Symbiogenesis". I have yet to read up on it properly, but I find it to be a lovely term with many connotations in the way 4D STS might infiltrate and interact with 3D DNA.

This article from The Skeptics Guide sums up mitochondria further in an easy-to-understand way: https://www.theskepticsguide.org/so-why-do-mitochondria-still-have-dna

A new biological simulation solves a long-standing mystery why mitochondria still have DNA.

cell-organelles
Mitochondria are my favorite organelles. Organelles are the specialized nanomachines floating within eukaryotic cells and carrying out the critical tasks of cellular life. Examples include the Golgi apparatus, lysosomes, the endoplasmic reticulum etc.

Some organelles are extra special, like our own mitochondria or the chloroplasts found in plant cells. They did not evolve with the cell from the beginning like the other organelles. It is thought that 1.5 billion years ago, they were independent single-celled organisms that early eukaryotic cells absorbed. I’m not saying they were eaten. These ancestral mitochondria somehow permanently ensconced themselves within the host cell. They then evolved together into quite a wonderful symbiotic relationship. This is called the endosymbiotic theory and it likely changed the course of evolution on the planet by being one of the key evolutionary developments leading to multicellular life

This is because mitochondria are powerful biological batteries in a sense. Using oxygen, they create the energy currency of biology. This takes the form of ATP or Adenosine Tri-Phosphate. ATP transports chemical energy within cells and anything important that happens likely needs ATP. This runs the gamut from a simple eye-blink to the whole of metabolism itself. People typically create and use 40kg or 88 pounds of it in a single day. An athlete can use an astounding 70kg or 154 pounds in the same period of time.

Mitochondria have their own genes, which is just one of the primary reasons why we think they were absorbed into what became modern eukaryotic cells. They have not remained static over all this time however. They could have had as many as 2000+ genes initially, but over the eons, many of those genes were outsourced into the nuclear DNA of our genome. Some genes remain however. Humans for example have 37 genes remaining in each of our mitochondria. Why? Why didn’t they transfer permanently into the probably safer nucleus like the others? That has been a mystery for many decades.

Ben Williams, a postdoctoral fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Iain Johnston, a research fellow at the University of Birmingham and others decided to try to answer this question in a way that had never been done before. They accumulated much of what’s been learned about mitochondrial DNA into a computer simulation. That’s more than 2000 different mitochondrial genomes from plants, animals, fungi, and protists like amoebas. Using this, they created an algorithm that determined when each gene likely jumped ship.

This analysis allowed them to conclude a couple of things

The genes that are retained are critical for constructing the mitochondria’s internal structure. These are responsible for keeping the genes together and resist breaking apart. The creation of ATP essentially turns each mitochondrion into a hazardous environment. The free radicals that are created are a byproduct of metabolism, but they also can wreak havoc. Without those critical genes right there in the mitochondrial genome they many never have survived for long.

The local DNA also can help regulate the production of energy to an exquisite degree. The cell is able to control each individual mitochondrion as needed. Instead of having to make a sweeping change to all the 100s or 1000s of mitochondria in a cell, the changes can be made on an individual basis resulting in far better control and fine tuning of energy production..

[Energy production via Order out of Chaos on a molecular microcosm level]

This pattern of gene outsourcing closely matched many of the different organisms the researchers studied. They all transferred similar genes over similar timeframes. This means that certain aspects of evolution can follow the same path multiple times instead of being random. This makes evolutionary prediction much easier.

[If this is where thought-made-unto-matter comes in, then "yes" to evolutionary prediction - if the 4D consciousness is predictable, that is. It would also equate "Evolution" is "order" = NOT random = Intelligent Design, even if after the fact]

Says Johnston:

“If we can harness data on what evolution has done in the past and make predictive statements about where it’s going to go next, the possibility for exploring synthetic biology and disease are massive”
In the future, this algorithm that they developed could help elucidate other endosymbiotic organelles like the chloroplasts of plant cells. We can also learn about devastating mitochondrial diseases.

So the next time you’re running, blinking, or just digesting, give a special thought to those little bacteria we absorbed long ago that make it all possible.
Much to ponder... particularly in light of the C's latest session...
Below the article I came across a response from a commenter (funnily, he was responding to another commenter who had made a quip remark referencing Reiki... Could be something there too) Here's the relevant excerpt:

[...] Basically this is about chemical bonding, where chemistry meets physics. It’s all about electrons dropping to a more stable state, releasing energy in the process.
Nicely surmised... So mitochondria "power cell" energy production is of chemical bonding "where chemistry meets physics" as the result of stabilizing unstable electrons. This sounds like it coincides with that of the universal stable-unstable gravity-waves principle; a sort of STS-entropy vs STO-creativity on a sub-molecular level, the governing of polarized forces held in 'Ordo ab Chao' equilibrium.
Like the Cs say: "The battle is fought through us"... Metabolically quite literally!
I think its some-point during the process "electrons dropping to a more stable state" whereby 4D STS 'hook in' and infiltrate and coerce 3D genetic metaphysics - just like mitochondria does to nuclear DNA which holds paternal DNA and probably governs genetic-memory - and this is what the core of matrilineal Jewishness is all about: A 4D STS Design to keep its foot in the door into 3D physicality, and its to that 'finite moment' hijacked where "soul marries to DNA".

Given the penchant for Star Wars themes on this forum, thought I'd round off with this for now

Mitochondria Were ‘Parasites’

Which links to this (scroll down to "conception and development" and "Controversy"):

Midi-chlorian

To round off, I am more than convinced there is definitely a link between mitochondria and the genetic and metaphysical concepts of the "Jewish soul" in relation to 4D STS infiltration. It is apparent mitochondria play a supreme role within the deep world of sub-molecular metabolic genetics, and I think the relationship between nuclear DNA within the nucleus and mtDNA is crucial to understanding the way 4D STS 'hooks in' and manipulates us and our 3D reality.

I also stumbled upon the following book in Hebrew, titled "Kabbalistic Writings on the Nature of Masculine and Feminine", where basic Kabbalistic concepts are explained. And indeed there is an explanation that there are 10 Sefirot or emanations that are part of The Tree of Life.
As I have touched on, another very important point to all this is the adaption of the Kabbalah running in the background, in tandem. In particular, the importance of influence the dualist 10 Sefirot "Tree of Life" and the demon realm of 4D STS represented by the opposing Qliphoth, the Zugot period of "pairs" and of doing things "in pairs" with its very serious charges associated with demonology - in tune with the growing adaption of Kabbalah coinciding with the retraction of Yahweh's (4D STS) openly direct hand in such matters...

I will follow up more in due course. I hope I explained my points well enough thus far... I have a lot of unrefined info tangled up in my head at the moment, with other things going on I'm having a job to getting round to untangling it all (maybe its my 4D STS blood-cells running through my faintly-Jewish veins trying to stop me :lol:)

I just want to say with all that said: Those Jews especially of matrilineal descent whom have broken free of all this are to be highly commended! :cool2:
 

BlackCartouche

Jedi Master
In th tree of Life, of ten sephirots, there is a secret sephirot called DAAT (knowedge) situated between the 2nd-3rd and following branches. and many a Kabbalist have been shown! And I'm not being flakey... Wether in DAAT, we are in 4D or 6D??? Now that would be my question! The human/ kabbalist is a spark, next to the spark of all of creation. And when he/ she desires, he/ she strikes it's spark against the bigger spark of all of creation and sparks shower down creating matter on their way "down"....
I think its more than that. I think the Da'at is a spirit-well into the Qliphoth Qliphoth - Wikipedia

They call the secret Sefirot "the crossing of the DAAT". It combines all 10 Sefirot-in-one to become the eleventh Sefirot, kinda like 7D All is One concept I guess. I think it is, in fact, the STS spirit-well placed to 'over' to 'suck in' the Tree of Life which are epithets to the governing-forces of 3D creation-force governing physicality. Once all 10 Sefirot are collated, it sucks it all down, drawing into the opposing Qliphoth.

The Qliphoth speaks of "Shells" encasing Creation to prevent it "dissipating". Shells used here in this context are also obvious epithets of imprisoning knowledge Kabbalists like to rationalize as necessary to 'lock in' creative dispersal to prevent it from altogether dissipating. It may have sounded 'profound' to me not long ago, but I since understand know Love is Light is Knowledge. It can never be contained or coveted.

The Qliphoth also speaks of "husks". That's what 4D STS are/become. Its all about 4D demonic entities residing within the Qliphoth. Thats why Jews where forbidden to do things in pairs because they once-knew dualism resides one-half in demonology (not the light 'n dark shtick newy-agers faun over). So its interesting the Zugot was known as the "pairs" Sage - of which there were 5 successive pairs: 2 x 5 = 10 Sefirot.

The Kabbalah is a trap. It is most likely the way 4D STS replenishes their soul-husks tricking participants to "choose" to embark upon a sort of STS version of 'individuation' through initiated mysticism to have 'filled' with 'creation-force' their hollowed black-hole shell-like husks.
 

Chu

Administrator
Administrator
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I would like to add a bit about my experience of being raised loosely Jewish.
That's very interesting Evster! It's good that you were skeptical from the beginning.

In my case, I have my paternal grand-father to thank: his family emigrated to Argentina in the late 1800s, and they were strict Jews, from what I heard. Unfortunately, I could never talk about my grand-father about all of this, because he died when I was only 6 y.o. (and my dad hardly wanted to talk about it until a few years ago). But I was told this little: He basically rebelled against Judaism (not even sure it was Judaism or the nonsensical rules, or both). He became a doctor and worked for free for a long time, traveling from one province to another. That made his family super upset. Later, he met my grand-mother, a catholic from Spain. They were both volunteering at a shelter for refugees from the Civil Spanish War. When they got married, my grand-father's father "announced" that from that point onward, my grandfather was "dead". He forbade his mother and his 5 sisters to ever see him again. As a consequence, my dad and his sister knew of a "Jewish family who considered them bastards", and that was it (except for one aunt who disobeyed secretly and met them). Fortunately they lived in a small town, and their real family became friends and neighbors. My grand-parents decided not to talk about it ever.

I wish I had more details, but nobody knows anything and my grand-father was the youngest child, so by the time I got interested, almost every person who might have been able to tell me more had already died. This little I know from finally begging my dad and my aunt, and from finding one of my dad's cousins who corroborated this story and more. She herself was quite a jew! (She married a man with the same last name a her, a distant cousin). But she said she knew that what my great-grand-father had done was "a bit too much" (understatement), and she wished she had been allowed to meet with my grand-father who, before all the mess, had been her favorite uncle.

My grand-father's brother was also considered "dead", and nobody knows exactly why, but my guess is that it was something similar.

So, when I read things like this:

The religion of the Tanakh was greatly concerned with reproductive success, endogamy, and cultural separation from surrounding peoples within a diaspora context. It was a religion with powerful sanctions on individuals who worship other gods or stray from group goals, and one in which lowered reproductive success is the result of deviation from life within the confines of the kinship group, while those who continued in the kinship group would be rewarded with great reproductive success and eventual revenge and domination.

From an evolutionary perspective, the purpose of this ideology is to ensure the continuity of the kinship group, even within a diaspora context in which there are enormous pressures for assimilation and gradual loss of contact with other members of the group.
I see it applying to entire families like mine, and not in ancient diasporas, but at any time and in any place. It never stopped, unfortunately. Brainwashing, cruelty towards those who don't comply, "continuity of kinship" at any price and setting themselves apart in a foreign land, forgetting even the most simple forms of respect and caring.... Creepy, indeed.
 

Evster2012

Padawan Learner
That's very interesting Evster! It's good that you were skeptical from the beginning.

In my case, I have my paternal grand-father to thank: his family emigrated to Argentina in the late 1800s, and they were strict Jews, from what I heard. Unfortunately, I could never talk about my grand-father about all of this, because he died when I was only 6 y.o. (and my dad hardly wanted to talk about it until a few years ago). But I was told this little: He basically rebelled against Judaism (not even sure it was Judaism or the nonsensical rules, or both). He became a doctor and worked for free for a long time, traveling from one province to another. That made his family super upset. Later, he met my grand-mother, a catholic from Spain. They were both volunteering at a shelter for refugees from the Civil Spanish War. When they got married, my grand-father's father "announced" that from that point onward, my grandfather was "dead". He forbade his mother and his 5 sisters to ever see him again. As a consequence, my dad and his sister knew of a "Jewish family who considered them bastards", and that was it (except for one aunt who disobeyed secretly and met them). Fortunately they lived in a small town, and their real family became friends and neighbors. My grand-parents decided not to talk about it ever.

I wish I had more details, but nobody knows anything and my grand-father was the youngest child, so by the time I got interested, almost every person who might have been able to tell me more had already died. This little I know from finally begging my dad and my aunt, and from finding one of my dad's cousins who corroborated this story and more. She herself was quite a jew! (She married a man with the same last name a her, a distant cousin). But she said she knew that what my great-grand-father had done was "a bit too much" (understatement), and she wished she had been allowed to meet with my grand-father who, before all the mess, had been her favorite uncle.

My grand-father's brother was also considered "dead", and nobody knows exactly why, but my guess is that it was something similar.

So, when I read things like this:



I see it applying to entire families like mine, and not in ancient diasporas, but at any time and in any place. It never stopped, unfortunately. Brainwashing, cruelty towards those who don't comply, "continuity of kinship" at any price and setting themselves apart in a foreign land, forgetting even the most simple forms of respect and caring.... Creepy, indeed.
What a story Chu! It’s pretty crazy how much some of the people cling to some of that stuff. Even my grandmother considered my parents’ marriage to be mixed. She didn’t approve because my mother was a Polish Jew, and my father was a Russian Jew. Can you imagine that? All four great-grandparents Ashkenazi Jews whose parents came through Ellis Island fleeing from Eastern Europe, and “she’s not good enough”!

On a side note, she and my great-aunt was smuggled out of Russia across Poland in a hay wagon. They would be routinely stopped and the hay prodded with bayonets, as the story goes. Her story was published in Life Magazine in the 1950s. My mom has a clipping of the article somewhere in her house. I’m not sure if that experience had anything to do with my grandmother’s disapproval of the marriage, as certainly among the many Russians Jews in the Pale of Settlement who desired the affluence of the German Jews, already the Polish Jews were regarded with contempt. Imagine that at biblical level! Wow barely says it. As bloody a group as has ever been known.
 

BlackCartouche

Jedi Master
Imagine that at biblical level! Wow barely says it. As bloody a group as has ever been known.
You know, all these years I've rationalized to others and to myself that Zionism and Judaism are not the same thing. This entire thread has hammered home more than anything: They are very much one and the same thing.

Simply put, Zionism is proactive Judaism being true to itself.
 
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