Saturday, June 27, 2020

Time Travel back to 70 CE (AD) Jerusalem

Nadene Goldfoot                                     
70 CE Romans Burn down Jerusalem and 2nd Temple 

The city of Rome itself had an abundance of people, and one way to survive longer was to join the army.

In the census of 70 BCE, prior to the major civil wars of the late Republic (and considerably more conquests in Gaul and the East), some have estimated the population of the 'Empire' at a more considerable 55 to 60 million people. This falls more in line with estimates at the height of imperial power in the mid 2nd century AD, and might be inflated. The census of 70 BC showed 910,000 men held citizenship.  
"73–63 BCE: The Roman Republic extends its influence into the region in the Third Mithridatic War. During the war, Armenian King Tigranes the Great takes control of Syria and prepares to invade Judea and Jerusalem but has to retreat."

63 BCE: Roman Republic under Pompey the Great (106-48 BCE-Roman General) besieges and takes Jerusalem and the Temple from Aristobulus' supporters.  Judea was made a tributary and stripped of the territories acquired by the Hasmoneans.  Pompey ended the Jewish independence they had had since Simon the Maccabee.   

Pompey sacked Jerusalem and installed Hasmonean prince Hyrcanus II as Ethnarch and High Priest but not as king. Some years later Julius Caesar appointed Antipater the Idumaean, also known as Antipas, as the first Roman Procurator. Antipater's son Herod was designated "King of the Jews" by the Roman Senate in 40 BCE but he did not gain military control until 37 BCE. During his reign the last representatives of the Hasmoneans were eliminated, and the huge port of Caesarea Maritima was built.

Leading up to Jerusalem and the 2nd Temple's destruction, Antipater ruled Judea from the year 63 to 43 BCE.  He was the son of the ruler, Antipas of Idumea, (Edom-also called Mt. Seir) of the 1st century BCE.  The land of Edom lay South of the Dead Sea and bordered on the Red Sesa of Elath and Ezion Geber.  They were of Semitic origin, traditionally descendants of Esau, twin of Jacob,  sons of Isaac, son of Abraham,  and were hunters.  He grew rich from trade with Arabia.  He helped the Romans.  He was the father of Herod.  Esau had become his twin's enemy, and they were not identical twins.  

 1st Emperor Augustus reigned from 31 BC to 14 CE.  He was grandnephew of Julius Caesar.  

Herod as a young man

Herod the Great had a campaign to take the throne of Judea.  He took siege of Jerusalem in 37 BCE.  Mark Antony (Marcus Antonius) helped him by providing him with the necessary Roman forces that were successful.  Herod captured the city and got rid of Antigonus II Mattathias which brought an end to the Hasmonean rule of many years since 166 BCE. Judah hadn't had a proper king since Zedekiah who ruled from 597  to 586 BCE who had been appointed king by Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king  to succeed the exiled Jehoiachin when he was 21.  His mistake was in conspiring with the Egyptians which brought in the Babylonians who captured Jerusalem.  

Jews were living in Rome in the year 66 and had been there since 139 BCE.  The Great Revolt began in the year 66 CE, during the twelfth year of the reign of Emperor Nero( reign from 54 to 68- the last ruler of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius, thus becoming his heir and successor. Like Claudius, Nero became emperor with the consent of the Praetorian Guard.), originating in Roman and Jewish religious tensions. The crisis escalated due to anti-taxation protests and attacks upon Roman citizens by the Jews. The Roman governor, Gessius Florus, responded by plundering the Second Temple in Jerusalem, claiming the money was for the Emperor, and the next day launching a raid on the city, arresting numerous senior Jewish figures. This prompted a wider, large-scale rebellion and the Roman military garrison of Judaea was quickly overrun by the rebels, while the pro-Roman king Herod Agrippa II(28-93-last king of the house of Herod, son of Agrippa I.   

 Father Agrippa I (10 BCE -44 CE)  was king of Judea, son of Aristobulus and grandson of Herod.  Agrippa was educated at the court of the emperor Tiberius .  He was involved with Caligula and imprisoned by Tiberius for suspected treachery.  Freed with the title of king, he ruled over Galilee, S. Transjordan and after 41 CE by decree of the emperor Claudius, over Judea and Samaria.  He was beloved by his Jewish subjects because of his respect for the Jewish religion.  The governor of Syria was suspicious of him.  He died suddenly while attending the games in Caesarea.  After his death, his kingdom was again converted into an annex of the province of Syria.  

When his father died, Judaea reverted to the rule of the Procurators, but in the year 50, he received the principality of Chalcis and was made responsible for supervising the Temple in Jerusalem.  Emperor Claudius gave him the title of king.  he quarreled with the priests.  He had just gone to Jerusalem to restore alm from the 66 rebellion but had to flee for his life.), together with Roman officials, fled Jerusalem.

 The Hasmonean Dynasty was started by Mattathias, a Cohen,  and his 5 sons who directed the popular revolt against the Hellenizing policy adopted by the Syrian king, Antiochus Epiphanes. We remember this history with Chanukah.  The Syrian Greeks had put statues of their gods in the holy Temple. Mattathias rebelled physically.  

  It was in 166 to 164 BCE that the Hasmoneans fought many battles, inventing guerilla tactics against the Syrians and by 164, Judah retook Jerusalem and rededicated the Temple.  This was followed by many raids to rescue the Jewish populations of Ammon, Idumea, Gilead and the Galilee.  

 Josephus, a Judean general captured by the Romans, saved his own life by becoming the Roman's scribe of this history, painting Rome in good light as that's who was keeping him alive.  He had to choose his words carefully.  
Herod the Great-a Killer b: 73 BCE d: 4 BCE
Herod became king of Judea, son of Antipater the Idumean by his Nabatean wife, Cypros.  He was appointed governor of Galilee by his father and liked to execute those breaking his laws.  The Sanhedrin called him on this.  He was spared punishment by intervention of Hyrcanus and Sextus Caesar, governor of Syria.  The Roman Senate made him king of Judea.  He married the Hasmonean Jewish princess, Marianne, granddaughter of the high priest, a Cohen, Hyrcanus II.  He murdered all those rivals to his power including his own brother in law.  One good thing he did was to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem on a magnificent scale and built 2 cities, Sebaste and Caesarea.  Herod had turned against the Nabateans and defeated them.  As a result of palace intrigues, he put to death his wife, Mariamne, their 2 sons, Alexander and Aristobulus, and even his firstborn, Antipater.

 Immediately following the deposition of King Herod Archelaus in 6 CE who had ruled from 4 BCE to 6 CE, son of Herod and Malthace the Samaritan, Judea was turned into a Roman province, during which time the Roman procurator was given authority to punish by execution. The general population also began to be taxed by Rome. The province of Judea was the scene of unrest at its founding in 6 CE during the Census of Quirinius, the Crucifixion of Jesus circa 30–33 CE, and several wars, known as the Jewish–Roman wars, were fought during its existence. Archelaus's rule was marked by such severity that he was removed from office by Emperor Augustus and he was exiled to Gaul where he died in 16 CE.  
                        Sitting is Pontius Pilate, the Roman Procurator

There was a Joshua, born before the turn of the century, called Jesus in Greek who died in  29 CE at about the age of 35, who was the founder of Christianity.  He was said to be a Jew from Nazareth.  He was one of thousands of Jews who died on the one of the Roman crosses used for the final punishment of death. 

 He had been arrested and was crucified by order of the Roman procurator, Pontius Pilate, Judea's 5th Roman governor, serving from 26 to 36 ."  He appears to have belonged to the well-attested Italian Pontii family of Samnite origin, but nothing is known for certain about his life before he became governor of Judaea, nor of the circumstances that led to his appointment to the governorship.  (The Samnites were an ancient Italic people who lived in Samnium in south-central Italy. They became involved in several wars with the Roman Republic until the 1st century BC. An Oscan-speaking people, the Samnites probably originated as an offshoot of the Sabines.) " A procurator was a governor of Judea and was under the Roman emperor of which 14 served between years 6 to 66.  They were subordinate to the Syrian legate who exercised his authority over the procurator if he was charged with abusing his office; as  if he was charged with being unduly extortionate in his treatment of the population or in the event of rebellion.  These procurators had the status of members of the equates class in administrative status.  They governed in place of the legate of Syria.  They really were independent governors armed with full administrative authority.  They enjoyed the "right of the sword," so had full powers to inflict punishment that included the death penalty.  This was enforced on people who were not Roman citizens.  If a Roman, they had the right to transfer their trial before the Emperor of Rome.  They lived in Caesarea, the administrative capital of Roman Judea.  
   What Jesus had been preaching was closely akin to that of the Pharisaic preachers.  The Pharisees were a Jewish religious and political party during the 2nd Temple period who opposed the Sadducees.They were two groups who interpreted their Mosaic laws in slightly different ways.  I see their differences being a matter of teaching-style much more than content, for our laws from Moses were pretty concrete.  Many striking parallels exist between the sayings of Jesus and those of the rabbis.  They both had made use of parables.  Jesus put greater stress on the imminent end of the age and expected their present  social order to disappear swiftly.  It didn't take but about 300 years afterwards for Christianity to view Jews as competitors of their new faith and outlawed the practice of Judaism. 

 The Jews had been living since 63 BCE, over 70 years under occupation of Romans and were surrounded by these foreigners who were ruthless with a different morality than they who had been trying to change their beliefs ever since the Syrian-Greek days when then Hasmoneans fought against them and regained control.  The Jewish leaders feared for their very lives as well as losing their young people to these monsters.  Their religion was already over 1,000 years old.  They could not allow it to end, and were fighting hard to keep it going under these occupied conditions where they had no freedom.  
                            1st Emperor Augustus  (born Dec. 30, BCE —died Sept. 13, 81 CE), Roman emperor (31 BCE to 14 CE), 

The Imperial Roman army was the land-traveling armed forces deployed by the Roman Empire from about 30 BC to 476 AD.  During this period, Augustus was the Emperor who ruled from 31 BCE to 14 CE.  His attitude toward the Jews of Jerusalem and Judea and the Diaspora was not a friendly one.  He was he one who confirmed the kingship of Herod and returned to him the areas which had been taken away through the influence of Cleopatra.   He converted Judea into a region governed by a procurator living in Caesarea.  

Under Augustus, the European borders of the empire he inherited from his grand-uncle Julius Caesar were considerably expanded. During the first half of his sole rule (30 BCE–9CE), Augustus' central strategic objective was to advance the Roman border from Illyricum and Macedonia to the line of the Danube, Europe's greatest river, in order both to increase strategic depth between the border and Italy and to provide a major fluvial supply route for the Roman armies in the region.

Rioting had been going on since the year 66 that was led by Judean rebel factions, when the Judean provisional government was formed in Jerusalem.  Jerusalem was occupied by the Roman army.  

                                  Emperor Titus and Emperor Tiberius           
Here Titus leads his army with Jewish captives who carry loot from
the Temple back to Rome as is show on the Arch of Titus in Rome.  
The Roman army was led by the Roman's future Emperor, General Titus (79-81 CE) and his 2nd in command, Tiberius Julius Alexander. 

Tiberias became the 2nd emperor from the year 14 to 37 and was the stepson of the 1st, Augustus.  Titus would become the 10th  emperor from 79 to 81.  It was Tiberius who expelled the Jews from Rome in 19 because of a fraud perpetrated on a Roman matron sympathetic to Judaism.  4,000 young Jews were sent to Sardinia to fight the brigands.  Palestine was hardly administered under his rule when the crucifixion of Jesus happened.  

 Titus  started the siege 3 days before the holiday of Passover on April 14, 70 CE.  It lasted for 4 months, ending in August with the burning and destruction of the 2nd Temple.  That day is now remembered as Tisha B'Av.  People were starved to death.   Titus was the son of  the 9 th Emperor Vespasian (69-79).  Titus took over the command of the Roman army in Judea from his father in 70 CE when he destroyed Jerusalem after a 5 month siege.  The Romans deliberately destroyed the Temple with the object of eliminating the national religious center of the Jews.  

 3rd Emperor Caligula  reigned from 37 to 41.  He was the grandnephew of Tiberius.  He gave Agrippa, grandson of Herod, the tetrarchy of NE Judea and the title of king.  He insisted on being worshipped as a divinity and this caused a big problem among the Jews and was used as an excuse for anti-Jewish disturbances in Alexandria on the occasion of Agrippa's visit in 38.  Philo headed the Jewish delegation sent to intercede with Caligula, and has recorded a graphic impression of his court.  Caligula was assassinated which prevented serious consequences in the Jewish world.

4th Emperor Claudius reigned from 41 to 54 and was the uncle of Caligula.  He became emperor due to the help of his friend, Herod Agripia I, whom he approved as king, adding Judea to his Kingdom and uniting under him the whole area ruled by Herod.  Claudius issued edicts at once reaffirming Jewish religious autonomy in Alexandria.  When Agrippa I died in 44, Claudius put Judea under a procurator, but in 49 gave Agrippa's son, Agrippa II, regions of Judea to rule.  In 49 and 50 he expelled a number of Jews from Rome because of a Jewish-Christian conflict.  

5th Emperor Nero reigned from 54 to 65 or 68 and was the stepson of Claudius.  His reign coincided with a period of turmoil in Judea culminating in the outbreak of the war against Rome.  HIs wife, Poppaea, was sympathetic to Judaism.  Nero is not unfavorably represented in talmudical legend.  

6th Emperor Galba reigned from 68 to 69.
7th Emperor Otho reigned from January to April of 69.
8th Emperor Aulus Vitellius reigned from July to December of 69.  
Roman Empire by 100 CE after Jerusalem's Destruction
They surrounded the Mediterranean Sea 

The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

THE RETURN: Our Special Israel: What Makes It As Unique As It Is

Nadene Goldfoot
We're in the Time of Return
This is Joseph and some of his brothers, of the 12 Tribes of Israel
Judah (Jews) are here in Israel, probably some are of Benjamin,
and we know where the other 10 might be-places like
Afghanistan and Pakistan (Pashtuns) , and other places and they've been
entering already.  

Israel is the only Jewish country in the world out of the 195 countries here.  It is the 99th in population and size.  Today the population is 8,655,535 and the land is only 21,640 km sq.  Jews from every corner of the world have already arrived and have been living here, maybe from all 193 at least!    

          Their 2 national holidays are Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  

 It's borders will never be closed to Jews.  Jews happen to make up on 0.01% of the world population!  We have only about 6 million in Israel, 6 million in the USA and 2 million scattered throughout the world-mostly in Europe and S. Africa.  So let's look at Israel and see who lives here.
When I made aliyah in 1980, I took a cab from the airport to Haifa, where I would attend 10 months of classes at an absorption center in Hebrew and prepare to teach English to children who read from right to left. All new immigrants do this, either for a term of 3 months for the general public to 10 months like me, professionally a teacher.  

 In this city one would see the Bahai golden domed Shrine and gardens. 
                              I saw the Bahai Center in Haifa.   

Bahai is a religion that started in Iran in the 1800s.  It was an offshoot of Islam that became its own separate religion as it taught the unity of all religions and the need for world peace.  It's people were persecuted and declared an illegal religion in Iran.  The people were exiled. 
They have their new home in Haifa. Evidently people of this faith are citizens here.   
Haifa reminded me of Portland in that it's a port city, but on the sea.   I walked every day for an hour with my German shepherd and everyone wanted her. I had to get used to not having a car, but bought one later on that came over directly from Italy.  It was a red Fiat.  Such a life caused me to lose a lot of weight, which I needed to do.  Oh, life in Israel was very healthy!  
Here I am with my dog, Blintz
and my our red Fiat.  This is the building we live in
on the bottom floor.  I have a huge patio outside my door
where I can hang clothes.  

Druse live in Israel.  They are a large population who also broke away from Islam in the 900s.  Israel was the 1st state of having an autonomous religious community.  They even have their own religious courts who administer Druze religious law.  
Druze IDF

They felt that since they are full citizens, they should accept the responsibilities of other Jewish citizens as well and they serve willingly in the IDF.  We see many bravery in these soldiers who have fought in Israel's many wars with people who will not accept a different religion;  Judaism  in their midst.  I met a lady who was a Druse who was here as a speaker for Israel and she was wonderful!  She impressed me so much as a gung-ho Israeli and I'm sure she did a wonderful job as a speaker for Israel.  She and her people are the ones who know just how amazing Israel is compared to all the other countries in the Middle East as far as freedom of religion goes.  
In Jerusalem, which sits on a mountain top,  you see the Dome of a Mosque and the cross of a Christian church.  Somewhere down there is the Western Wall  where Jews pray.  This city dates back 3,000 years to King David.  The city had been walled, built about 45 years after Columbus discovered America.  

There are Christians living in Israel.  They are a small minority and are very diverse, most being Eastern Orthodox that belong to churches of Eastern Europe and the Middle East that split with Roman Catholicism in the Middle Ages of the 1100s and 1200s.  This group is joined with other Catholics, Protestants, Copts (from Egypt) and others.  Most are Arabs.  Lots of tourists come each year that are Christians and join them in Jerusalem, visiting shrine in Bethlehem and the tomb in the Church of the HOly Sepulcher.  

Arabs are the largest minority in Israel.  Most are Muslims who also enjoy freedom of religion as well as having control of their holy places, though Jordan does control the Temple Mount, especially the rules about anyone's prayers there.  And that's a long story dating back to Moshe Dayan.  Arabs are not required to serve in the IDF.  Israel does not expect them to fight their brothers.
They serve in the Knesset and have full citizenship; not treated like 2nd class citizens.  


Women serve in IDF
IDF female soldier

Unlike Islam, Israel's law of marriage is that a man can only have one wife at a time.  Child marriages are illegal.  Women have equal rights.  It's like the USA.

It's a Jewish country, making up about 80% of the population, but these Jews are from every corner of the world.  There are a few who are either secular or orthodox and from the West and most likely speak English and are from England, USA, Australia, etc.  Some are descendants of a small segment remaining whose ancestors were from Jerusalem and never left, being children of the Halutzim.  There are Holocaust survivors' descendants and descendants of Arab oppression of the Middle East.  Getting into religion, there are Orthodox Jewish sects that are strong Zionists and those who believe that a Jewish state can only be created by Divine intervention and refuse to recognize the government which is Iran's stand, and possibly still all of Israel's neighbors.  There are 2 off-beat Jewish groups, the Karaites and the Samaritans who separated from the main body of Judaism over a thousand years ago but still practice their own way of Judaism.
Kurds spoke an Aramaic dialect up to modern times.  It's similar
to the language of the Babylonian Talmud and of the Nestorian
Christians in Kurdistan.  in the late 1800s the Jewish community
was estimated to number 12,000 to 18,000 scattered in many villages and townlets and were merchants, peddlers, and craftsmen.  In the 1900s the numbers increased so those living in Persia numbered from 12,000 to 14,000.  

Kurds live in Israel.  Kurdistan was a high mountain region between Turkey, Iran and Iraq and in the times of Ezra some of these Jews wandered into land of Kurdistan.  After 1948, many of the Kurdish Jews from all over emigrated to Israel and settled in or near Jerusalem  

Joining with Israel in these days of returning finally are the Ethiopian Jews. 
They came first when I was living in Safed and saw them move in right across the street from my apartment.  They spent time in the hospital first, getting ready to join our community.  They called themselves the Beta Yisrael (House of Israel).  They became Jews, according to their own tradition, by descending from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.  A group of them put on an art show in our community center.   Pretty soon these shy, slender and beautiful people with their fine features were acting just like the Sabras (born in Israel), pushing their way into lines in the supermarket.  They knew the laws of the Torah literally, but had no knowledge of the Talmud and traditions that followed it as they were isolated from the rest of the world.   All this time, they have believed they were the only Jews left in the world.  Operation Solomon and Operation Moses brought over  Ethiopians.  Others have still been coming.  
Natan Sharansky on Right, the prisoner in Russia
that Sarah, the Hebrew teacher was helping He's
with his wife.  He'is an Israeli politician, human rights activist and author who, as a refusenik in the Soviet Union during the 1970s and 1980s, spent nine years in Soviet prisons.

Russian Jews entered Israel with me in 1980.  My Hebrew teacher had been writing to one who became very famous in Israel, but then he was in prison in Russia.  He was there for trying to learn Hebrew.  So now, teacher Sarah was sending letters that were helping him.  We English speakers in our Hebrew classes were joined by about 40 Russians who were also preparing to teach English !  We were all studying Hebrew so we could exist easily in Israel.  They learned much faster than I did!  Russians were used to studying languages and I was not.  They could not return to Russia and I could return to the USA with dual citizenship, so Israel helped them out financially.  All these years, churches and synagogues were closed in Russia, a land unfriendly to religion.  Communism is a political system that negates religion.  When the Soviet Union collapsed, the doors opened for the Jews.  By 1968 there were 4379 immigrants from the Soviet Union in Israel.   In 1969-following the Six Day War of 67, there were more than 6,000 Russians per month!  By the end of 1993, the number exceeded 470,000.  Most were highly trained professionals looking for freedom--and good job!  Before, most immigrants were impoverished, war refugees, poor and illiterate.  This was a switch!  

People of full or partial ethnic Russian ancestry number around 300,000 of the Israeli population from the immigrants from the Soviet Union and post-Soviet states, and the number of Russian passport holders living in Israel is in the hundreds of thousands.
Most ethnic Russian people in Israel have full Israeli citizenship and are involved in the country's economy on all levels.

I know  a Masai Jew who is the rabbi of his people as well as a lawyer in Israel.  He carries the Cohen gene, discovered in a DNA test.  He was serving in the IDF before he moved permanently to Israel with his family!  That's dedication for a cause.  

These immigrants had to have the shock of a lifetime for there were no jobs for all these people.  Whether they were doctors or opera singers, they had to accept jobs as street sweepers and garbage collectors.  Soon things improved.

  Probably all the men had to serve in the IDF.  I know my husband, a former air forceman in the USA, was turned down for having a rare medical problem, but another friend with a bad heart had to serve in the IDF.  This is a country where women are also expected to serve, too, for lack of enough men.   My husband and I did 3 days of training with M1 rifles for the Guard, and did that every month after we had moved to Tzfat (Safed).  Also, everyone gave blood at least once.  If you want blood, you have to have given blood.  You never know when you'll need it.  
Here in Jerusalem is where our morals stemmed from.  It's where the Knesset resides.  It's why there is freedom and acceptance of man's various religions.
This menorah with image from Jewish history stands outside the Knesset (Parliament) building in Jerusalem.  It's an ancient Jewish symbol, older than the star of David.

A Young Person's HIstory of Israel by David Bamberger
Letters From Israel by Nadene Goldfoot--telling of my 5 plus years in Israel as a teacher at jr high