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RLG341H1 Lecture Notes - Immortal Sins, Essenes, Seleucid Empire

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La Grone

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January 21, 13
Jewish Life in Babylon
- 535 return from exile in Babylon
- They were allowed to practice their religion
- Couldn't own property
- The synagogue surrogate for the Temple - doesn't originate in
- Fasting and prayer took place (in private homes)
- Some issues with assimilation and acculturation (adopt some habits
of the dominate culture w/o sacrificing your worldview in general).
- Isolation/enclave culture separatist culture (a sort of Amish of our
time type people).
- Ways in which Jews acculturated - Jews adopted Babylonian names,
took on the Babylonian calendar, etc.
- Cyrus allows them to go back to Israel many Jews don't return
they got comfortable.
- 520 515 rebuilding of the temple
- Reformers of Jewish life Ezra (religious reformer ban on
interfaith marriage, restores public reading of Torah… called the
“Second Moses”) and Nehemiah (Political reformer) 5thC BCE
- Busteney Oded Babylonian scholar 1) remarkable that Jews as a
group survived (others quickly assimilated) group survival. 2)
Disappearance of political sovereignty Israel was wiped off
the face of the map never any political sovereignty always
under the rule of some empire.
- What helped the Jews survive 1) Monotheism (very distinctive),
2) Covenant (usually if you lost then your god was defeated, but
they stuck to theirs), 3) Historical consciousness (public record of
themselves The Torah public books No other religion has a
record of their history), 4) Genealogy (It’s about the group and not
the land it’s portable also keeping track of their ancestors) 5)
series of national festivals (Passover, etc…), 6) Traditions/Customs
of the fathers/ancestors these rites mark a group as different all
things are tied into each other. 7) Hebrew preservation of the
historic language, 8) Contact with the land of Israel
- Story of Esther
- 323BCE Alexander Converts Israel Selucid and Ptolomaic 198
- Nebuchadnezzar is a rod of G-d’s anger
- Maccabees revolted.
- The Maccabees become Hellenized (Hellos Ancient Greek anem
for Greece) Hellenism was seen as a threat to Judaism you can
easily convert to Hellenism Jews tried to actively missionize
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