The Babylonians destroyed the First Templewhich was central to Jewish culture at the time. The Bar Kokhba revolt caused a spike in anti-Semitism and Jewish persecution. The ensuing exile from Judea greatly increased the percent of Jews who were dispersed throughout the Diaspora instead of living in their original home. Nasi — who never converted to Islam   [notes 1] — eventually obtained the highest medical position in the empire, and actively participated in court life.
I mentioned that I myself had come to very similar conclusions some time before, and he asked when that had happened. I told him it had been inand I think he found my answer quite surprising.
I got the sense that date was decades earlier than would have been given by almost anyone else he knew.
My own perceptions of the Middle East conflict drastically shifted during Falland they have subsequently changed only to a far smaller extent. As some might remember, that period marked the first Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and culminated in the notorious Sabra-Shatila Massacre during which hundreds or even thousands of Palestinians were slaughtered in their refugee camps.
But although those events were certainly major factors in my ideological realignment, the crucial trigger was actually a certain letter to the editor published around that same time. A few years earlier, I had discovered The London Economist, as it was then called, and it had quickly become my favorite publicationwhich I religiously devoured cover-to-cover every week.
And as I read the various articles about the Middle East conflict in that publication, or others such as the New York Times, the journalists occasionally included quotes from some particularly fanatic and irrational Israeli Communist named Israel Shahak, whose views seemed totally at odds with those of everyone else, and who was consequently treated as a fringe figure.
In Israel Defense Minister Ariel Sharon launched his massive invasion of Lebanon using the pretext of the wounding of an Israeli diplomat in Europe at the hands of a Palestinian attacker, and the extreme nature of his action was widely condemned in the media outlets I read at the time.
From what I recall from that time, he made several entirely false assurances to top Reagan officials about his invasion plans, such that they afterward called him the worst sort of liar, and he ended up besieging the Lebanese capital of Beirut even though he had originally promised to limit his assault to a mere border incursion.
The Israeli siege of the PLO-controlled areas of Beirut lasted some time, and negotiations eventually resulted in the departure of the Palestinian fighters to some other Arab country.
Shortly afterward, the Israelis declared that they were moving into West Beirut in order to better assure the safety of the Palestinian women and children left behind and protect them from any retribution at the hands of their Christian Falangist enemies.
And around that same time, I noticed a long letter in The Economist by Shahak which seemed to me the final proof of his insanity. He claimed that it was obvious that Sharon had marched to Beirut with the intent of organizing a massacre of the Palestinians, and that this would shortly take place.
When the slaughter indeed occurred not long afterward, apparently with heavy Israeli involvement and complicity, I concluded that if a crazy Communist fanatic like Shahak had been right, while apparently every mainstream journalist had been so completely wrong, my understanding of the world and the Middle East required total recalibration.
I stopped paying much attention to foreign policy issues during the s, but I still read my New York Times every morning and would occasionally see his quotes, inevitably contrarian and irredentist. Finally, about a decade ago, my curiosity got the better of me and clicking a few buttons on Amazon.
He had spent many years as an award-winning Chemistry professor at Hebrew University, and was actually anything but a Communist. My casual assumptions about his views and background had been entirely in error. Once I actually began reading his books, and considering his claims, my shock increased fifty-fold.
Throughout my entire life, there have been very, very few times I have ever been so totally astonished as I was after I digested Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years, whose text runs barely a hundred pages.
In fact, despite his solid background in the academic sciences and the glowing testaments provided by prominent figures, I found it quite difficult to accept the reality of what I was reading.
My own knowledge of that religion is absolutely negligible, mostly being limited to my childhood, when my grandmother occasionally managed to drag me down to services at the local synagogue, where I was seated among a mass of elderly men praying and chanting in some strange language while wearing various ritualistic cloths and religious talismans, an experience that I always found much less enjoyable than my usual Saturday morning cartoons.
Essentially almost everything I had known—or thought I had known—about the religion of Judaism, at least in its zealously Orthodox traditional form, was utterly wrong. For example, traditionally religious Jews pay little attention to most of the Old Testament, and even very learned rabbis or students who have devoted many years to intensive study may remain largely ignorant of its contents.
Since these commentaries and interpretations represent the core of the religion, much of what everyone takes for granted in the Bible is considered in a very different manner.
And given that so many parts of the Talmud are highly contradictory and infused with complex mysticism, it would be impossible for someone like me to attempt to disentangle the seeming inconsistencies that I am merely repeating.
ORDER IT NOW On the most basic level, the religion of most traditional Jews is actually not at all monotheistic, but instead contains a wide variety of different male and female gods, having quite complex relations to each other, with these entities and their properties varying enormously among the numerous different Jewish sub-sects, depending upon which portions of the Talmud and the Kabala they place uppermost.
But large numbers of other Jews believe this declaration instead refers to achievement of sexual union between the primary male and female divine entities. And most bizarrely, Jews having such radically different views see absolutely no difficulty in praying side by side, and merely interpreting their identical chants in very different fashion.
Furthermore, religious Jews apparently pray to Satan almost as readily as they pray to God, and depending upon the various rabbinical schools, the particular rituals and sacrifices they practice may be aimed at enlisting the support of the one or the other.
Once again, so long as the rituals are properly followed, the Satan-worshippers and the God-worshippers get along perfectly well and consider each other equally pious Jews, merely of a slightly different tradition.John Locke (b.
, d. ) was a British philosopher, Oxford academic and medical researcher. Locke’s monumental An Essay Concerning Human Understanding () is one of the first great defenses of modern empiricism and concerns itself with determining the limits of human understanding in respect to a wide spectrum of topics.
It thus tells us in some detail what one can legitimately claim. The Puritan Dilemma – Essay Sample Introduction One of the most enduring works of Edmund Morgan, ‘The Puritan Dilemma’, which was published in , is still regarded as a good starting point for the understanding of the motivations or reasons behind the migration of the Puritans to America and the political and ideological challenges they encountered when they arrived.
Well, there things are less obvious: actually, some people kept believing some of Lysenko’s claims after explicitly trying to verify them.
There was a paper published in Soviet Union with reproduction of Mendel’s experiment on relatively small populations, which alleged to contradict the Mendel’s laws.
Massachusetts Bay Colony was organized in by Puritans and in , five ships carried the first Puritan settlers to their first settlement, Salem, (Bremer, 34). Most of the Puritans settled in the New England area as they immigrated and formed individual colonies, their numbers rose from 17, in to , in (Bremer 45).
A collection of scholarly works about individual liberty and free markets. A project of Liberty Fund, Inc. Facsimile PDF MB This is a facsimile or image-based PDF made from scans of the original book.
Kindle KB This is an E-book formatted for Amazon Kindle devices. EBook PDF KB This. Valuable anthologies of primary sources that can be of use to students of the period include Alden T. Vaughan, editor, The Puritan Tradition in America, (New York, ); Alan Heimert and Andrew Delbanco, editors, The Puritans in America: A Narrative Anthology (Cambridge, Mass., ); and the still valuable two-volume collection edited by Perry Miller and Thomas H.
Johnson, The .