The History Of Mankind And The Jewish Nation
Journalist & Writer
Adam & Eve – Pinnacle of the creation of The God. As of this year on the Jewish lunar calendar (For that is how we Jews mark time.) this earthly couple was created some 5769 years ago. Our Holy Writings in the book known as “Bereishet” or “Genesis” state that The God planted a Garden and placed this man, Adam there to dwell with Eve.
Birth of Noach (Noah/Noe) – After the fall of man many generations passed. The inspired writer of Genesis refers to Noach (Noah/Noe) as “eesh tzedek” or translated “man righteous.”
The great flood over all the earth began and Noach (Noah/Noe) saved himself, his wife, his sons and their wives by following the instructions of The God and building the ark. When the rain began, Noach and his family entered and it is written that The God sealed the door. After the flood waters finished, the rain subsided and the ground became habitable again for those saved in the ark, Noach left the ark with his family and the animals. After leaving the ark Noach received the Seven Noachide Laws. These are the Laws which Noach obeyed and these Divine Laws are still in effect today for all non-Jews who wish to obey The God. Please see summary section at the end of this article for further details on these laws.
Birth of Avraham - Through Abraham, the man who left Ur of the Chaldees the Jewish Nation was born. The God made a covenant with Abraham, signified by circumcision. From the time Abraham was circumcised, he and all of his household until this day, Jews circumcise their sons on the eighth day as a sign of that covenant between ourselves and The God.
Birth of Yitzak (Isaac) - The blessing of The God, to make the generations of Abraham as innumerable as the sand or the stars was continued through Yitzak (Isaac), son of Abraham and Sarah.
Birth of Esav and Yaakov (Esau & Jacob) - These twin brothers born to Rivkah (Rebekah) the wife of Yitzak (Isaac) were competitors for the blessings of their parents. This resulted in Yaakov (Jacob) receiving the blessing of Yitzak (Isaac) by deception through his mother’s instruction. As a result Yaakov (Jacob) fled the wrath of Esav (Esau) and served Laban the father of Leah and Rachel. These two women and their concubines have the honor of being the acknowledged mothers of the twelve sons of Yaakov (Jacob) which became identified in Holy Writ as the twelve tribes of Israel.
Yosef (Joseph), the favored son of Yaakov (Jacob), birthed by Rachel – was sold into Egyptian slavery by his own brothers. After much hardship Yosef (Joseph) was elevated to the status of Viceroy of Egypt by Pharoah when Yosef (Joseph) was able to tell Pharoah the meaning of his disturbing dreams and save Egypt from the forthcoming decimation of famine.
During the famine – Yosef’s (Joseph) brothers journeyed to Egypt in order to purchase food to survive the famine. When Yosef revealed himself to his brothers as the one whom they thought dead, his instructions for his father and kinsman to come to Egypt were obeyed and Yitzak (Isaac) came with his entire household of seventy to Egypt.
Moshe (Moses) was born during the time of a wicked Pharoah who did not know Yosef (Joseph) and who had enslaved the Hebrew people. After being raised in Pharoah’s own palace Moshe (Moses) fled Egypt when it was publicized that he had slain an Egyptian who was hurting a Hebrew slave.
Moshe had returned to Egypt with a God Ordained task of taking the Hebrew people out of Egypt. This was accomplished after plagues were experienced by the people of Egypt and their Pharaoh. Many of the plagues experienced by the Egyptians were a direct testimony against things which they served in idolatrous worship.
The monumental event after our exit from Egypt is the “Mattan Torah” or “Gift Torah” and it was at Mt. Sinai where we received the commandments from The God.
After an evil report of the twelve spies we wandered in the dessert for forty years. The two spies who gave a good report were Joshua ben Nun and Caleb. Only these two original spies were permitted to enter The Land. Joshua ben Nun was the appointed successor of Moshe (Moses) chosen to take the Children of Israel into The Land which Abraham had been promised centuries earlier.
Year 2533 through Year 2871
During this time frame Israel was guided by nine different Judges. The first being Othniel (Judges 1:13) and the last being Samuel (1Samuel 1-5).
Samuel anointed Saul as King over Israel. The Divine appointment of kingship was removed after Saul failed in his God given task of entirely destroying the nation of Amalek. The famous words of Samuel to Saul announcing that “…obedience is better than sacrifice and to hearken is better than the fat of rams…rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft and disobedience is like the iniquity of idolatry,” are recorded in I Samuel 15:22.23.
David, the shepherd boy was anointed king over Israel by Samuel in 2883 but did not begin his reign until after the death of King Saul in battle. David is remembered as the “Singer of Israel” and as having not assassinated King Saul when the opportunity was in his hand to do so without recrimination. He refused the opportunity even though he was encouraged by the men in his army, respecting the position of King as a God Ordained office.
Solomon, son of David and Bat Sheva (Beersheba) was anointed as King over Israel by the Prophet Nathan and David declared prior to his own death that Solomon was King over Israel.
Under the reign of King Solomon the construction of the First Holy Temple began.
During the reign of King Solomon the First Temple was finished and dedicated. It is recorded in I Kings 8: 62 that he and all of Israel (The Nation) sacrificed 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep. It is suggested that the reader examine the entirety of the Holy Text recorded in the chapter referred to above for further description of the celebration of the dedication and the blessings which King Solomon secured for Jews and Gentiles who turn to Jerusalem and pray with the conviction that The God of The Jews is The God of All The Earth.
After the death of King Solomon the kingdom was divided. There was now two kingdoms. The Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah. A sketch of that history may be read in the Jewish Holy Writings of the Book of The Kings and The Chronicles of The Kings.
The First Holy Temple was destroyed and thousands of Jews were marched out of Jerusalem and taken into captivity by the armies of King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar.
After being ordered back to Jerusalem by King Cyrus the Jewish exiles rebuilt the Holy Temple. Notable Jews during this time period include Daniel, Ezra and Zechariah – all appointed by The God as prophets to the Jewish people.
Year 30 C.E.
(C.E. = Common Era also known as A.D. = Anno Domini or after Jesus Christ’s birth)
Christianity began under the auspices and occupation of the Romans.
Year 3830, Av 9 Year 70 C.E., August 4
On the ninth of Av under the flag of Rome, Titus and his Legions finally breached the walls to the holiest city on earth, Jerusalem. It was Jewish blood which drenched the hooves of horses ridden by those terrorizing Legions. It was the Jews Second Holy Temple which was defiled by the Romans and then destroyed. Of the citizens of Jerusalem which survived thousands were marched to Rome with vessels committed for worship of The Only True & Living God, The God Of The Jews. We are depicted there alongside the Temple menorah, the Temple Table of Shewbread, and the Silver Trumpets employed to call we Jews to Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year Festival). Albeit the marble arch in Rome is intended as a singular testimony to the grandeur of Titus and his defeat of we Jews, this monument bears the truth of Gentile testimony to the existence of the Jewish Second Temple in Jerusalem and the Jewish population in Jerusalem through proclaiming our defeat and subsequent captivity. This ancient marble monument commissioned by Gentiles and executed by Gentiles, stands in Rome for all the world to see. It has stood there since the Year 3841.
Year 132 C.E.
This year marks the Jews being banned from Jerusalem by Hadrian Caesar. Some historians believe that hundreds of thousands of Jews were executed, expelled or enslaved, though definitive numbers are unknown. During the reign of Hadrian Caesar Judea was officially named “Palestina”.
Year 1740 C.E.
Jerusalem and the region during the centuries witnessed many conquerors and insurgents. In this year Rabbi Haim Abulafia was invited by Ottoman Sultan to return and rebuild the city of Tiberias. In a revival of Messianic hopefulness Jews began to return by the thousands.
Year 1799 C.E.
During the Napoleonic Campaigns into the Near East, Napoleon himself was in the region. He issued an edict in the form of a letter stating that Palestine would be reestablished as the Jewish Homeland. However, Napoleon suffered defeat and he withdrew from the Near East, thus his plans collapsed.
Year 1844 C.E.
The Jerusalem Census yielded the following demographic statistics; Jews – 7,120 Muslims – 5,760 Christians – 3390
Year 1860 C.E.
The Jewish settlement of Mishkenot Sha’ananim was established just outside of The Old City Walls.
Year 1878 C.E.
The Zionist settlement Petach Tikva was established.
Years 5640 through 5662
Years 1880 through 1902 C.E.
A wave of aliyah (or “going up” to the homeland) was undertaken and almost 25,000 Jews returned to Palestine. Settlements were established and most of these were funded by Baron Rothschild.
Year 1897 C.E.
The First Zionist Congress was held in Basel, Switzerland. The Congress was promoted and organized by Theodore Herzl, the Jewish father of modern Zionism.
Year 5678, Cheshvan 17
Year 1917 C.E., November 2
This marks the day of the “Balfour Declaration” by the British suggesting that Palestine be considered a “National Home” for the Jews. In Year 5699 (1939) however, in this year the British actually restrict Jews from returning to Palestine.
Year 5708, Nissan 6
Year 1948 C.E., May 15
The United Nations declares Israel a Nation and recognizes the legitimate claim of the Jews to establish, promote and protect the Sovereign State of Israel. Arab ruled countries including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Egypt declare war on Israel. The subsequent aggression toward and invasion of the modern Nation of Israel advanced through Egypt, Jordan and Syria.
Year 5709, Nissan 4
Year 1949 C.E., April 3
An armistice (truce) between the Sovereign State of Israel and her aggressors is reached. At this juncture Israel held through the Rules of Victory almost fifty percent more land mass than when She was first welcomed into the Community of Nations by the United Nations.
Year 5727, Iyyar 26 – Sivan 2
Year 1967 C.E., June 5 - 10
To intercept an imminent planned attack, the Sovereign State of Israel undertook a complex preemptive strike against Egypt. This action secured the Sinai, Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Heights.
Year 5734, Tishrei 10
Year 1973 C.E., October 6
The countries of Egypt and Sinai engage in a joint attack against Israel. Initially, the attacks were successful. However, in less than thirty days the tide of battle had changed and the Sovereign State of Israel had not only pushed the Syrians out of the Golan Heights again, but were threatening to enter Damascus itself. On the Egyptian front Israeli commanders cut off the Egyptian 3rd Army by crossing the Suez Canal.
The transitions from the Jewish Calendar date to the Gregorian Calendar date was accomplished thanks to the aish.com Kaluach software.
The Jewish Nation born out of Egypt with miraculous Angelic Escort has almost always believed in the concept of the Jew Messiah. This stated, it is here that we part with the theology of other systems of faith in their own beliefs about a Messiah, even though those faith systems did in fact spring from Judaism or a faith system which has its roots in Judaism. The Jewish concept of Messiah goes all the way back to Egypt. And surely, if there was ever a "Messiah" for we Jews, it was Moshe (Moses) Rabbeinu. (Though no doubt even some Jews would declare this statement as false.) Nonetheless it is written that none greater than Moshe Rabbeinu will ever arise. Logically, this leaves very little latitude for the expected Jew Messiah or the followers of the Jew Messiah in terms of theology. While reading the work of Flavius Josephus - Jewish Priest, scholar and historian living during the Roman siege of Jerusalem and subsequently became a citizen of Rome prior to his death - the reader becomes very familiar with the concept of the Jewish Messiah. Even so, reading Josephus in English the reader is learning from a third hand translation. It was originally written in Hebrew and then translated to Greek. This English translation from the Greek is the one from which I learn. Josephus himself acknowledges that the Messiah concept was at fever pitch when the Romans laid siege to Jerusalem. And it is this concept which gave rise to rumors of a Messiah in those days. We have record of the Jew, Bar Kochbah whom many, many Jews (including some of our rabbis) believed was the Messiah or that he had the possibility of being our Messiah. And in our contemporary days we Jews have seen through the process of theological evolution the springing forth of an acclaimed Messiah in these days. This acclaimed Messiah is or rather was the son-in-law of the founder of the Chassidic movement now known as Chabad. Yes, during the lifetime of Rabbi Shneerson he performed many wonders and some even say miracles. This is not unusual for a Jew of Rabbi Schneerson's spiritual stature. We Jews are accustomed to and expect miracles....... Nonetheless, Rabbi Schnnerson after a long illness was taken from this earth. And during that time he was declared as The King Messiah by some of his followers. A few years later some of his followers even deified him posthumously. And this is quite sad, for that rabbi was a righteous individual in his own right and had no need of this posthumous 'honour'. Nonetheless, the Jewish Messiah has not arrived and those who understand the promise surrounding his arrival know this to be True. The concept of Messiah to a God fearing Jew is one which involves quite simply a man, not a man who becomes God, not God in the flesh. Anything beyond this is anathema to the identity of The Almighty and His own unalterable characteristics. This appointed Redeemer will bring Peace to Jerusalem and it will emanate to the entire Earth. It will be a Peace which lasts forever, which is unshakable and which will be accepted gladly by all living humanity at that time. There will be a third Temple and many aspects of The Law which we Jews do not observe without a Temple will be restored. The "Season of Messiah" or the time of the arrival of Peace which will emanate from Jerusalem is the Festival of Sukkot (Feast of the Tabernacles). This is clear in the Writings of The Prophets. There is much which must happen to pave the way for The Jew Messiah. Gentiles who love Peace will in fact recognize The Jew Messiah and will come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast. Many however, will leave their emotionally generated 'belief' and abandon Jerusalem due to the heat. This is prophesied. The two unalterable prophecies which provide exegetical proof for occurrences during this day are very interesting. One - the Peace the Jew Messiah establishes will last Forever. It will be worldwide and will never cease. Two - Aspects of The Law given to we Jews at Mt. Sinai will be observed and this is recorded in the very last verses of the Record of The Prophet Isaiah. It is written there that the Festivals of the New Moon and the Holy Shabbat will both be observed still during the reign of The Jew Messiah. This language is undisputable even when translated. Translated the verses read: "It shall be that at every New Moon and on every Shabbat all mankind will come to prostrate themselves before Me, says HaShem. And they will go out and see the corpses of the men who rebelled against Me, for their decay will not cease and their fire will not be extinguished, and they will lie in disgrace before all mankind. It shall be that at every New Moon and on every Shabbat all mankind will come to prostrate themselves before Me, says HaShem." (Isaiah 66: 23,24)
The only instances in all of Holy Writ that a Gentile is constrained to observe the Law given at Mt. Sinai is if that Gentile decides to live in Israel or if a Gentile converts to Judaism. (This is Written in The Torah. However in the modern Sovereign State of Israel there are many Gentiles who live here who are not observing The Torah.) This is between them and He who gave The Law. I am not their judge. The Gentiles on Earth since the time of Noah have had seven Divine Laws to obey. These were given to Noah when he left the ark and was on dry land. Those Laws are Written there for anyone who wishes to learn. In Judaism they are known as The Noachide Laws.These are the seven laws given to mankind before the Jews accepted the 613 commandments given to us at Mt. Sinai. The observance of these seven laws is what The Almighty requires of Gentiles. However, these are not the only references to those laws for Gentiles. Judaism recognizes the six Laws for Gentiles as given to Adam - the first man - and the seventh additional Law actually given to Noah when he came forth from the ark. In so much that 'the world was destroyed by the flood' it is inferred that these sayings were given again to Noah with one additional Law. These sayings together came to be called "the Seven Noachide Laws" by the writers of the Talmud.
In the context of the Holy Writings the Laws are as follows:
1. Do not commit idolatry.
2. Do not commit adultery (or by inference -various other deviant sexual relationships)
3. Do not murder.
4. Do not steal.
5. Do not commit blasphemy.
6. Do not eat the limb of a living animal.
7. Establish Courts of Justice.
The Sages of Judaism have also written that these Laws were later 'embedded' in the Torah as it was given to Jews at Mt. Sinai. The Sages have further written, that it is these Laws which we are to teach Gentiles in fulfilment of the command that Jews be a Light unto the Nations. Hence, Gentiles can live in a manner which is totally accepted by God by obeying only seven laws, without converting to Judaism, wherein Jews are divinely obliged to obey all of the 613 commands as given over at Mt. Sinai.
On Salvation - The Jewish concept of Salvation is a bit different from Gentile theology, whether Christian or Islam. Jews in general believe that there is a reward for everyone. As Jews we are obligated to say "Kaddish" (prayer) for the deceased family member. And some believe that during the first eleven months following a Soul leaving the body that there is an elevation which can be exalted through prayer and charity and the learning of The Torah. Frankly, as I have no cognizant experience of life after this one, I do not rely on the mystics for my faith. I do say "Kaddish"at the prescribed times and I hope and pray that my children and friends will say Kaddish for me when the time comes.
There are a few theological items which to my understanding have over the ages and due to theological evolution been attributed to Jesus the Jew. May I please give you the Torah reference to help you to ascertain that these beliefs and rituals were in fact given at Mt. Sinai? Perhaps this will be helpful in your understanding of Judaism as my system of faith. It is my understanding that many, many Gentiles believe that when Jesus the Jew said, "Love thy neighbor as thyself..." that he had given some new concept to his followers which was foreign to Judaism. (I have even seen this in print with my own eyes). A German journalist here several years ago told the Jerusalem Post that this was in deed a new concept and exclusively promoted by Jesus. Little did he know evidently that nothing could be further from the Truth. Jesus the Jew was in fact quoting Leviticus 19:18 -"You shall not take revenge and you shall not bear a grudge against the members of your people; you shall Love your fellow as yourself." Furthermore, it is Written that Our Sage, Rabbi Hillel, responded to a Gentile seeking conversion to Judaism as follows: 'Love your fellow as yourself. This is the Law. All else either hangs on this Law or is commentary.
Most of the Gentile commentary on The Torah was learned, even in contemporary universities - from our Writings and the chief respondent learned is now doubt Rashi. Rashi is the French Jew who in the 11th Century C.E. wrote, compiled and presented his lone Commentary on the Jewish Sacred Texts. His writings are accepted and studied to this very day by Jew and Gentile alike. The chief difference being that Jewish children begin learning Rashi well before they graduate from their primary studies – whereas most Gentile children are not exposed to Rashi until they enter University – and then only if they are students of Theology.
May I also mention how Baptism came into Christian ritual directly from Judaism. One need not read much of The Law to understand that 'baptism' is the ordained ritual of spiritual purification as prescribed in The Law from Mt. Sinai. It is indeed the final ritual through which a Gentile passes in the conversion process to be acknowledged by we Jews as a Righteous Convert, or in other words a convert to Judaism. However, this ritual is replete through The Written Law and is observed even unto this day. We Jews immerse ourselves often. Men and women alike. Most assuredly, this ritual was not new to Jesus the Jew or his followers or the Jews in that era.
As to the translation of the Tanakh, and other ancient Jewish Holy Texts into English; no doubt just as with all translations – there is an essence lacking once it is translated. There are no doubt also flagrant errors. This simply cannot be helped. There are errors even in the modern Artscroll translation of our Holy Texts and these were undertaken by very pious Jews. So, there is no reference here to ulterior motive. It is more a question of the nuance of language and the loss of meaning due to the very act of translation.
No Jew faithful to his system of faith would try to convert a Gentile, nor condemn a Gentile who refrained from converting to Judaism. In fact conversion is strictly discouraged. This is partly because we know the difficulty in being known as a Jew and partly because The Law as given at Mt. Sinai was for the Jews. No where in Holy Writ does The Almighty prescribe a penalty for a Gentile who does not observe the Jewish Law. On the other hand (it is written in the Torah as declared by God) that Jews as individuals and as a Nation have been given the heavy responsibility since Mt. Sinai - to be a light unto the Gentile Nations. And in my mind, we have done that communally, even though we have in some instances failed, and failed dreadfully as individuals. May God forgive us all.
Journalist & Writer