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Bestseller shakes up Jewish Diaspora
Skeeve
What if the entire tale of the Jewish Diaspora is historically wrong?


What if the Palestinian Arabs who have lived for decades under the heel of the modern Israeli state are in fact descended from the very same "children of Israel" described in the Old Testament?

And what if most modern Israelis aren't descended from the ancient Israelites at all, but are actually a mix of Europeans, North Africans and others who didn't "return" to the scrap of land we now call Israel and establish a new state following the attempt to exterminate them during World War II, but came in and forcefully displaced people whose ancestors had lived there for millennia?

What if the entire tale of the Jewish Diaspora -- the story recounted at Passover tables by Jews around the world every year detailing the ancient Jews' exile from Judea, the years spent wandering through the desert, their escape from the Pharaoh's clutches -- is all wrong?


Full writeup at Alternet

This idea has been around quite awhile. Many know that most of the "returning" Jews were European converts, but that fact is mostly glossed over when the story is told.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
jayon
Skeeve wrote:
....


lol, I like it. Yeah, like they said these ideas aren't new, but it's funny that they can't really argue it. They want real proof. We have all this DNA tracking technology. Find out who is from where, that will give a more difinitive proof. Either way, even with that, they still have to learn to live together or at least in close proximity.
 
Bob of QF
What always bothered me about the whole thing, is the simple accident-of-birth that it all represents.

That is, that they have the ego to imagine that the creator of the universe cares which tribe a person is born to.

It is the very example of playing favorites: the rest of the world's tribes are akin to the kid with glasses, when choosing up sides for dodgeball. He gets picked last, by accident of his birth.

Do you *really* want to see such biased behavior in a creator?


Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
jayon
My bad... I was kind of taking it on the standpoint of who was there longest, but yeah, religiously, I see your point. Who wants a deity that plays favorites simply because you are born into this or that. The problem is that many people don't see it as that, they see it as religion is a choice. Granted maybe not in this case...

Edit: well, of course religion is a choice, but people don't realize that they conveniently 'choose' the religion they are born into. That's what I meant.
Edited by jayon on 01/28/2009 15:15
 
catman
Bob of QF wrote:It is the very example of playing favorites: the rest of the world's tribes are akin to the kid with glasses, when choosing up sides for dodgeball. He gets picked last, by accident of his birth.

Do you *really* want to see such biased behavior in a creator?

Apparently so, since all believers think they are the lucky ones. Fairness never had anything to do with it. Quite literally, to Hell with everyone else!

His ways are not like ours...:laughcat:
Edited by catman on 01/28/2009 15:59
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
General-Pryce
Well the fact that the entire Jewish exodus is a Biblical story, is there any reason to believe that Jews really were driven out of their land?

Its a thought I've had for a while and there is certainly no evidence to back up the 40 days in the wilderness.

I know the exodus from Egypt is not the same as the exodus from Judea, but neither has major historical support to my knowledge and the facts are based upon the Old Testiment.
 
Doubting Thomas
40 years, you mean, and there's no archaelogical evidence in the Sinai desert to support the story. I mean, a tribe of people wandering around in the desert for 40 years would have left some kind of evidence of their existance behind.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
General-Pryce
Yeah, 40 years. Oops! Absolutely there would be some proof and theres nada, zip!
 
Doubting Thomas
I think what you were probably thinking about was Jesus supposedly being in the desert for 40 days without food while being tempted by Satan.

Which is where the Catholic church came up with the idea of Lent and why I always dreaded the season before Easter (and still do, with a bunch of Catholics in my family who still refuse to eat meat on Friday during Lent).
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
Kallistie
DT, pretty sure it's forty years, too, wandering around in the desert. And I fear the Lent also (it's coming! Run for your sanity!).

What kind of artifacts would the supposed Sinai wanders have carried? Linen, wood, and other perishable materials, mostly. Trash (the best bet for potential evidence) would have been left open air, right? Anything metal would have survived probably, but that wouldn't have been dumped. Linen and wood probably wouldn't survive in the open desert air for all that long, especially not ~3200 years of wind and sand.

We would also have to have some way to KNOW that any evidence found was really Jewish. I don't think we have anything to compare it against and this isn't a newly discovered culture to examine now and connect to historical accounts later. We'd have to have something to compare it against, and I don't think the Bible gives indications as to how pots were made and what they looked like, what their clothes really looked like, what they ate, what they cooked with...details we don't get from historical/Biblical sources.

Even stuff found around potential sites in Canaan at potential dates doesn't seem to suggest an Exodus. Jewish art and life would have some sort of Egyptian influence for Exodus to even have a germ of truth in it (though what, exactly, it would have been influencing I don't think we can know), right? One culture doesn't live under the thumb of another without picking up SOMETHING from the thumb.
The sites recognized as the earliest Israelite settlement is around that ~3200 year mark don't have that.

Come to think of it, are there any contemporary accounts that mention something like the Exodus? A wandering (and presumably marauding) band of around 20,000* men, women, and children would certainly be noticed by the locals, especially once we move into Mesopotamian territory. You'd think a group that size would be noticeable and mentioned somewhere, even if they were wandering in groups of a couple hundred.

What I want to see from this guy is proof that the "returning people" concept rose with Zionism and that there is no mentions of it previously - or at least so few it can be chalked up as a madman's idea. If that evidence is presented in the book (which it should be), he should mention it in the article, if only in passing.

On a side note, I can't think of many Palestinians who would accept the idea he's suggesting. Some of them might, intellectually, but not emotionally, even if it punches holes in the never-gonna-happen two-state solution.

*Considered within the historical potential for such a movement.
 
seeker
Jezebel - 20,000? Try a couple of million according to the biblical story. They would have left tons of trash and waste, especially around the few places were there was water in the desert. These would have been pretty large campsites but there is just no evidence of such a large group.

The funny part is that Egypt ruled Palestine during this era, to escape from Egypt the Hebrews would have had to go all the way east to Babylon or north to either Assyria or Phoenicia. The 'promised land' was firmly under Egyptian control until a couple of centuries later.
 
General-Pryce
Doubting Thomas wrote:
I think what you were probably thinking about was Jesus supposedly being in the desert for 40 days without food while being tempted by Satan.

Which is where the Catholic church came up with the idea of Lent and why I always dreaded the season before Easter (and still do, with a bunch of Catholics in my family who still refuse to eat meat on Friday during Lent).


Yeah. Days and years seem interchangable in the Bible!
 
Bob of QF
General-Pryce wrote:
Doubting Thomas wrote:
I think what you were probably thinking about was Jesus supposedly being in the desert for 40 days without food while being tempted by Satan.

Which is where the Catholic church came up with the idea of Lent and why I always dreaded the season before Easter (and still do, with a bunch of Catholics in my family who still refuse to eat meat on Friday during Lent).


Yeah. Days and years seem interchangable in the Bible!


I have it from an actual bible-scholar (I'm sorry, I forget his name) that to the ancient Israelites, "40" was one of those "gosh" numbers.

You know--"magically significant" like 7, 3 and 12.

40 was a common expression that, in today's lingo would translate as "lots" or "ga-zillions" or "huge" or similar.

In fact, repeating the number, as in "40 days and 40 nights" is akin to saying "billions and billions" in today's vernacular.

Neither number is specific, both are meant to indicate a nebulous concept: "a lot".

Thus the "wandering for 40 years in the desert" translates into "a very long time". Actual numbers are both unimportant and not required for the tale's meaning.

After all, these stories *were* camp-fire tales, told to give meaning and purpose to the campers; told to give "life lessons" and "who we are" and other significance.

Sadly, and unfortunately, some idiot wrote them down, and some *other* idiot decided they would be a good basis for a religion. (I'm looking at *you* St Paul...you misogynistic bastard).....

....*sigh*

And so, we are stuck with bronze-age mythic tales, and trying to fit them into a 21th century mental outlook.

The results do not fare well, for the bronze-age stories.... we are apt to loose sight of the real meanings [if any], by fussing over the obviously-wrong details.

....

Okay, so I'm being in a philosophical mood today... Grin
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Kallistie
seeker wrote:
Jezebel - 20,000? Try a couple of million according to the biblical story. They would have left tons of trash and waste, especially around the few places were there was water in the desert. These would have been pretty large campsites but there is just no evidence of such a large group.

The funny part is that Egypt ruled Palestine during this era, to escape from Egypt the Hebrews would have had to go all the way east to Babylon or north to either Assyria or Phoenicia. The 'promised land' was firmly under Egyptian control until a couple of centuries later.

I pulled that from an article about this topic. The 'millions' bit would require a gigantic whallop to the Egyptian economy, which just didn't happen.
While I'm going to note that water sources today probably aren't located in the same areas as they might have been 3200 years ago, I do agree that SOMETHING would have survived.
I think I came to that conclusion but got so caught up in details else where I didn't mention it. Sad Sorry.
 
catman
Bob of QF: I heartily concur with your observations concerning St Paul. What a jerk.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
schmoo
Bob, addressing your point near the top of this page-If the creator of the universe did indeed create it all, why in the world did said creator , create a tribe from which he wanted no worship?

Because there is no evidence of any such creator-just a bunch of mythology invented by heat-addled sheep herders specifically to argue over this tiny worthless spit of land. It must have had the best grazing at one time, that's all I can think of. Centuries of conflict over sheep food.
Edited by schmoo on 02/01/2009 13:31
 
Bob of QF
schmoo wrote:
Bob, addressing your point near the top of this page-If the creator of the universe did indeed create it all, why in the world did said creator , create a tribe from which he wanted no worship?

Because there is no evidence of any such creator-just a bunch of mythology invented by heat-addled sheep herders specifically to argue over this tiny worthless spit of land. It must have had the best grazing at one time, that's all I can think of. Centuries of conflict over sheep food.


Why, indeed!

If it truly represents reality, what does that say *about* such a creator?

Nothing that is *good*, certainly!

Such a being would be evil incarnate....

...which is something I like to point out to fundies.

It literally makes their pointy heads explode..... Grin

I know it does, because of the trash-talk I get in "response" to my question.

Makes me chortle, it does.
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
schmoo
LOLGrin

Well their pointy little noggins can't take the stress of being pushed into the huge void of nothingness that makes up the bulk of their "proof" for their religious beliefs.

I suppose chortling at them does more good than pounding them, point down, into the earth like a human tent peg.
 
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