In this post, we’re going to start making the links between ‘Alexander the Alabarch’ and ‘Alcimus the Kohen Gadol’.

And in the meantime, we’re going to start uncovering more real Jewish history, to figure out WHO has been oppressing the Jewish people, for 2,000 years, behind the scenes. And how exactly the same modus operandi is happening today.

Ready?

Let’s begin.

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First, a word about Wikipedia.

The fact that I take a lot of snippets from Wikipedia doesn’t mean that I’ve ‘bought in’ to the idea that Wikipedia is a great, impeccable source of information. It isn’t. I use it, perhaps lazily, as a starting point that is easy to quote some of the information from, as I’m piecing things together here on the blog.

Of course, Wikipedia is not telling the whole story, or anywhere close.

But, it’s often a good ‘jumping off point’, that enables me to catch a drift that will lead to more of the information that is being ‘memory holed’.

That’s all.

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So with that intro, let’s take a closer look at ‘Alexander the Alabarch’, the brother of the Greek-Jewish philosophy Philo.

Here’s what I learned, since that first post HERE, where we started to unpick how Philo and Josephus are connected to the ancient Roman mafia.

‘Alexander the Alabarch’, Philo’s brother, was also the business partner of a woman called Antonia Minor.

Antonia Minor was the daughter of that same Roman Emperor ‘Mark Antony’, whose grand-daughter is meant to be the ‘Mary Magdalene’ / Mary of Bethany who married the NT’s character of ‘Jesus the Nazarene’.

You can read the ‘standard history’ about her on Wikipedia, HERE.

This is the bit I want you to pay attention to, for this post:

Having inherited properties in Italy, Greece, and Egypt, she was a wealthy and influential woman, who often received visitors to Rome. She had many male friends, including Alexander the Alabarch, a wealthy Jew, and Lucius Vitellius, a consul and the father of Aulus Vitellius, a future emperor.

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‘Alexander the Alabarch’ was way more than just a ‘male friend’, whatever that actually means in immoral Roman terms.

He was actually Antonia Minor’s business partner and estate manager.

And he was also Rome’s tax collector for Alexandria – which made him fabulously wealthy, and also very closely connected to the Roman Emperors and ‘aristocracy’.

To briefly recap, one of ‘Alexander the Alabarch’s’ sons is called Tiberius Julius Alexander. He’s the second in command of Titus, and helps to destroy the Second Temple, before becoming the Procurator of Judea, under the Emperor Claudius.

Meanwhile, he’s got a brother called ‘Marcus Julius Alexander‘, who marries into Herod the Great’s family.

Apparently, like this:

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  1. Is Philo, the philosophy who put together the foundations of the new religion that came to be known in our days as ‘xtianity’ (more on that in another post.)
  2. Is his brother, ‘Alexander Lysimachus, Alabarch of Alexandria’ – notice his name.
  3. Is Alexander Lysimachus’ son, Marcus Julius Lysimachus, who marries ‘Julia Berenice, Princess of Judea‘.
  4. Is Tiberius Julius Alexander, the guy who helps destroy the Second Temple with Titus, then becomes the Roman Procurator of Judea.

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You can read a lot about this ‘Julia Berenice’ HERE.

She also had a few husbands, was the lover of that same Titus who destroyed our Second Temple – and is seriously suspected of committing incest with her own brother, Herod Agrippa II, ‘last Herodian king of Judea’.

Lovely family!

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But before we continue, there is already some strange things going on here.

For example, ‘Julia Berenice’s’ father has two names.

He’s commonly referred to as ‘Herod Agrippa I’ – best friend of the Emperor Claudius.

Claudius’ mother is…..Antonia Minor, the business partner of ‘Alexander the Alabarch’.

And as a child, guess where all the ‘child captives’ from Judea’s royal family were being held, while they were being ‘re-educated’ in Rome?

Yes, you got it: at the home of Antonia Minor.

So ‘Herod Agrippa I’ grew up with what become the Emperor Claudius.

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Now, what is the second name of ‘Herod Agrippa I’?

This is a screenshot from geni:

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There seems to be a lot of hellenized Jews called ‘Marcus Julius’ with tight links to the Herodian royal family and Rome going on here.

There were strict naming conventions in Rome, and perhaps that explains it. But, there is something ‘niggling’ me about all this, not least because the details for this period of time, and Herod’s family, have been manipulated non-stop, the last 2,000 years.

Let’s park that for now, and continue.

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This snippet comes from HERE – a site that used to be called ‘historyhuntersinternational’, but which disappeared off the web a few years ago, and now you can only find it on the WayBack Machine.

Philo and later, Ptolemy, used the Royal Library of Alexandria to develop their syncretic theme, starting with the first christology, then developing Greek magic, from which spring the divine men of Classical Antiquity.

The Lysimachus sought power and that is expensive. Jewish merchants dominated trade with the East and tax on trade became the single most important source of imperial funds after the Roman conquest of Britain, which stablised the imperial border and ended the instant revenue derived from the slaves and gold of conquest.

The alabarch financed Jewish kings and the Temple in Jerusalem, as well as the Flavians. Their wealth depended on stability, giving them the urgent motive to resolve the threat to Pax Romana of Messianic Judaism.

They also sought to return to the old stamping ground of the general Lysimachus, in Thrace and Asia Minor, which is the context for the marriage of Marcus and the campaigning of Tiberius with Corbulo in Armenia.

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In 1838 an inscription was found in Aradus, in which the council and the people of Aradus pay homage simultaneously to Pliny the Elder and to Alexander (Corpus Inscriptionum Græcarum, iii. 1278, No. 4536 et seq.).

The dignities of Alexander are stated in this inscription as follows: inscription1 The Lysimachus Dynasty (this appellation is found here only, and is equivalent to vice-procurator; see Mommsen in “Hermes,” xix. 640); eparch of the Jewish host; governor of Syria; eparch of the twenty-second legion in Egypt. The stone bearing this inscription was brought to Paris in 1864 (Renan, “Mission en Phénicie,” 1864, p. 29).

Over the last century, many inscriptions and documents from this period have been found, of which most have yet to be understood fully. Even so, we may expect in the near future for more flesh to be added to the Lysimachus prosopography.

Two specific areas of this dynasty I suggest could be beneficial to study are:

  1. The syncretisms of Cleopatra and Philo and if any relationship exists between them.

  2. Possible confusions between the histories of Alexander, son of the alabarch, and Alexander, son of Herod the Great. The account by Josephus of a pretender to the Herodian prince may be a hint at something more.

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I’m not expecting you to understand all this totally.

I am still figuring it out myself.

But the point is, this ‘Alexander Lysimach, the Alabarch’ is VERY connected with the Romans, and financing and controlling Herod’s royal family in Judea, exactly when the temple is destroyed.

And then, his brother Philo just happens to be raiding the Library in Alexandra to put together the bones of a new ‘Greek-Jewish’ syncrestic religion that we come to know as ‘christianity’.

Just at the same time that Rome is trying to stamp out ‘Messianic Judaism’, for political reasons.

(There is way more to that story, but I am saving it for another post, so as not to overwhelm you.)

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OK, so now, how does all this tie in with the other stuff we’ve been unpicking here, about that family of ‘rogue Kohanim‘, related to the Hasmoneans and Shimon HaTzaddik, who started up their own rival Temple in Heliopolis?

Let’s turn to that side of the equation now.

And here’s where the tale zooms off into even more interesting.

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In the stories about what happened to spark off Antiochus Epiphanes’ harsh decrees against the Torah and the Jews, that in turn led to the Hashmonaim revolt and the Chanuka story, there are a lot of ‘missing details’.

Here’s that ‘standard story’, from Wikipedia:

Menelaus was a high priest and a Greek Jewish leader during the Second Temple period and the Hasmonean Revolt, between 163 and 172 BC.

Menelaus, under the reign of Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) the Seleucian, caused the desecration of the Temple and the waste of its treasures which were the property of the people, thus laying the groundwork for the decrees of religious persecution of Antiochus IV in 168 BC.

Menelaus, along with his brother Shimon and the two rulers of Israel close to him in the leadership dynasty, Jason and Alcimus, are the central figures identified with the phenomenon of degeneration and its significance in the Jewish tradition.

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The ‘Jason’ mentioned here is the brother of Chonyo / Onias / Yochanan III, the Kohen Gadol mentioned in the Gemara Tractate Menuchot 109b.

Read more about that HERE.

Chonyo III’s son, Chonyo / Onias VI (or other’s say, Onias V) goes down to Egypt, starts up his own rival ‘Temple’ in Heliopolis, and gets very cosy with the Egyptian rulers:

When Ptolemy Philopater dies, it’s Onias IV, head of his army, and his Jewish mercenaries, who save the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra when a civil war erupts.

I am now thinking that ‘Chonyo / Onias VI’ is the ancestor of this same ‘Alexander the Alabarch’, and his family, including Philo.

We’ll see if that pans out.

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In the meantime, there’s a ton of confusion about where this ‘rival’ corrupt Kohen Gadol, Menelaus, came from.

Josephus claims that he is also another brother of Chonyo III and Jason.

Modern historians don’t like that idea. But while I was tootling around, I found more details, in Russian, that started to open up some very interesting possibilities of what was really going on.

It started when I found an entry on ‘CycloWiki’ called: Jewish Revolt against Lysimachus

I’d never heard of this particular ‘Jewish Revolt’ before, but the name ‘Lysimachus’ caught my eye.

Snippet:

Menelaus, who received the title of high priest for a bribe, left his brother Lysimachus in Jerusalem as a kind of “acting” high priest when he was summoned to Antiochus Epiphanes to pay for his position.

This Lysimachus decided to use his power to enrich himself, and with 3 thousand soldiers began to plunder the people.

These forces were not enough, and the Jews, armed with sticks and stones, defeated Lysimachus ‘ army, and lynched him in front of the Temple:

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“But when many blasphemies were committed in the city by Lysimachus, with the permission of Menelaus, and the rumor spread, the people rebelled against Lysimachus, for many golden vessels were stolen. 

When the people rose up in anger, Lysimachus armed up to three thousand men and began lawless violence under the leadership of a tyrant who was old in years and no less old in madness. Seeing this violence of Lysimachus, some seized stones, others stout stakes, and others, snatching up dust from the ground, threw them all together at Lysimachus ‘ men, and thus wounded many of them, struck others, and put them all to flight, and killed the sacrilegious man himself near the treasury.” – Book of Maccabees II, 4, 39-42

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So.

This corrupt, money-grubbing ‘Lysimachus’ was apparently also a Kohen.

Also a ‘Kohen Gadol’ – number 45, according to the Russian Cyclowiki site.

And it was while he was trying to steal stuff out of the Temple Treasury that the revolt began that lead to Antiochus Epiphanes believing the Jews were revolting against Greek rule, so he came back at them with the decrees that three years’ later, led to the Hasmonean revolt, and Chanuka.

In fact, ‘Chonyo III’ (aka ‘Yochanan Kohen Gadol – from the ‘Bnei Zadokim’ line) is the guy that tries to prevent ‘Lysimachus’ from doing what he’s doing, only to be deposed, and then later murdered by Lysimarch’s brother ‘Menelaus’, presumably taking revenge for the death of his brother.

And it just so happens that ‘Alexander the Alabarch’ is also called ‘Lysimachus’ a couple of generations later, and it’s his son who destroys the Temple with Titus.

And his brother, Philo, that comes up with the philosophy that became ‘christology’.

Coincidence?

There’s more.

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Now, let’s take a closer look at another Kohen Gadol called ‘Alcimus’, to see how he is meant to fit into this picture.

These snippets come from CycloWiki HERE:

Alcimus (or Joiakim) was a leader of the anti-national Hellenistic party in Judea, who was appointed high priest of the Jews by the Syrian King Demetrius Seleucides and installed in this position by his general Bacchides in 161 BC…..

Following Demetrius ‘ accession to the throne in 162 BC, Alcimus appeared as a defender of the impending fall of Syrian rule in Judea; he went to Antioch to petition for the appointment of himself as high priest and to ask for help against the revolutionary party of Judas Maccabeus.

Demetrius sent Bacchides, the ruler of Celes-ria, to Jerusalem and instructed him to appoint Alcimus as high priest.

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In Judea, Alcimus by trickery managed to gain the confidence of the scribes and strict legalists (Hasidians), who did not sympathize with the political uprising in general and therefore asked Alcimus to bring the matter to a peace agreement between Judea and Syria.

However, despite his promise of security, he executed several of the Hasidim in order to intimidate the others.

Bacchides himself killed all the followers of Judas Maccabeus who fell into his hands, and having provided Judea with a sufficient garrison force, which he entrusted to Alcimus, he returned to Syria.

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Alcimus, united with his fellow Hellenists, launched a war against the Maccabees and fought for the primacy in Judea and for the αρχιερωσύνη (office of high priest). However, he was not able to resist and turned to the king for help.

To support Alcimus, Demetrius sent his general Nicanor in 161 BC, who was defeated and killed in a skirmish with the Jews; the day of this victory, 13 Adar, was celebrated annually in Jerusalem under the name of Nicanor’s Day.

Shortly afterward, Alcimus approached Jerusalem with Bacchides, who attacked Judas Maccabeus at Eleasa with such a large force that Judas was defeated and killed. Alcimus and the Hellenists then seized control of Judea and enjoyed the persecution and murder of nationalist Jews. Bakkhid greatly assisted them in this, continuing the war with the Hasmonean leaders Jonathan and Shimon and establishing a large number of fortresses in Judea.

Alcimus ‘ name does not appear in reports of the Maccabean Wars; only his death in 160 BC is recorded in connection with his attempt to destroy the wall surrounding the Temple courtyard.

He held the position for three or four years, having been appointed to it by Antiochus V as early as 163 BC, as the successor of Menelaus.

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There is a lot to unpick here.

First, I realised that this ‘Alcimus’ is meant to be the successor to Menelaus.

And then, I realised that ‘Lysimachus’ was also meant to be the successor to Menalaus.

And then I realised that A-L-C-I-M-U-S is effectively an anagram of LYSIMACHUS.

I.e. they are the same person.

Now, let’s take a look at R’ Yose ben Yoezer, nasi of the Sanhedrin at this period of time.

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R’ Yose ben Yoezer was known to be a ‘Hasidean’, i.e. part of that group that were against the Hasmonean’s military revolt, who were ‘tricked’ into aligning with ‘Alcimus Kohen Gadol’, before Alciums turned on them and had a bunch of them crucified.

This from Wikipedia:

Jose was probably among the sixty pious men who, at the instigation of the high priest Alcimus, the son of his sister, were crucified by the Syrian general Bacchides.

The Midrash reports the following dialogue between Alcimus and Jose ben Joezer while the latter was on the way to execution:

Alcimus: “See the profit and honors that have fallen to my lot in consequence of what I have done, whilst thou, for thy obstinacy, hast the misfortune to die as a criminal.”
Yose, quietly: “if such is the lot of those who anger God, what shall be the lot of those who accomplish His will?”
Alcimus: “Is there any one who accomplished His will more than thou?”
Yose: “If this is the end of those who accomplish His will, what awaits those who anger Him?”

On this Alcimus was seized with remorse and committed suicide:

“He went and subjected himself to all four modes of execution inflicted by the Beth Din: stoning, burning, beheading, and strangulation. What did he do [to accomplish this]? He took a beam and stuck it in the ground, attached a rope to it, set up logs [in front of it], and built a stone wall around it. He then made a bonfire [with the logs] and stuck a sword in the middle. He then hanged himself with the rope, and while he was strangling the rope burnt through and snapped, he fell on the sword, while the wall [of stones] fell upon him and he burned [in the fire].”

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You can read more about ‘Alcimus’, the wicked Kohen Gadol who was actually leading the war against Judah Maccabee and the Hashmonaim on the Jewish Encyclopedia site, HERE.

As usual, there’s massive confusion over whether he was really a Kohen Gadol, or not, but the book of Maccabees relates this:

[Alcimus] mentions his ἀρχιερωσύυη to the king as being inherited from his ancestors (II Macc. xiv. 7); yet, without question, the members of another family up to this time had had uninterrupted possession of the high-priesthood.

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The ‘Biblesearchers’ site combines a bunch of cobblers about the descent of Yoshki, with some interesting details gained from ‘official history’ and research from that period of time in Jerusalem.

The trick is trying to sort the fact from the fiction. To say that’s not easy is quite the understatement.

But I checked back on their ‘Kohen Gadol’ genealogy, to see if I could shed some more light on where these ‘Menelaus / Lysimach’ brothers actually came from. HERE is what they show:

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A lot of this seems to pan out (until we get down to Yoshki – more on that another time.)

And they show ‘Menelaus and Lysimach’ as the cousins of Chonyo III and Jason-Jesus.

Which makes a lot of sense.

And not only that, they have ‘Menelaus’ with his original name as ‘Chonyo IV’ – which would also make sense, as his grandfather was the same ‘Chonyo II’ (‘Yochanan’) that ‘Chonyo III’ is named for.

And then, these two sets of cousins – both from ‘Beit Chonyo / Bnei Zadokim’ – start fighting it out, leading to civil war, mamash, to see who gets to ‘rule’ in the Temple, and act as the Greek governor of occupied Judea.

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What is very strange here, is that ‘Judah Maccabbee’ is not included in this list of ‘High Priests’, even though he apparently served for three years, before the Hellenising Jews under Alcimus managed to kill him.

Clearly, there are still more mysteries to solve.

But for now, let’s finish up with Alcimus, and what he did to his uncle.

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R’ Yose ben Yoezer, a Kohen, and head of the Sanhedrin, and a ‘Hasid’, was effectively crucified by his own nephew, ‘Alcimus the Kohen Gadol’.

And ‘Alcimus’ = ‘Lysimachus’.

One more detail, for now, and then we’ll wrap this up for today.

(There’s always so much more to say, but slowly does it.)

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In the book I have by Allen Goldenthal, the Sadducee-Karaite-Kahana descendant, who has clued me into how these ‘Sadduccee-Karaites-Kohens’ have continued to rule and corrupt the Jewish community from behind the scenes for the last 2,000 years, there is a family tree, where he traces his own descent from this ‘Alcimus’.

That family tree shows that ‘Jesus the Nazarene’, ‘James the Just’, Caiaphas the Kohen Gadol (from the NT account), and last but not least, ‘Josephus Flavius’ – all descend from this Alcimus.

And ALCIMUS = LYSIMACHUS, who is also the presumed ancestor of ‘Alexander Lysimach the Alabarch’, tax collector of Egypt, business partner of Antonia Minor – guy who was effectively financing all of Rome’s ‘puppet royalty’ after their indoctrination at Antonia Minor’s place, as children.

Coincidence?

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I have a lot more unpicking to do.

But, I think we came a big step closer to figuring out who these people really were, and more of what was actually going on in the lead up to the destruction of the Second Temple.

And once we know what that sin of ‘sinat chinam’ actually really was, tachlis, then we can really start doing the teshuva required to fix it, and to have geula and the rebuilt Third Temple.

Amen!

TBC

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You might also like this article:

Buckle in, because this post could be the most mind-blowing yet.

It all started when one of my readers read last week’s epic posts starting to figure out the true identity of ‘Jesus the Nazarene’, and sent me this:

Piso is also Josephus, a fictional Judean general turned roman sympathizer and apologist… just type in Josephus was Piso (pronounced peso) and see for yourself…

https://www.tektonics.org/lp/pisocake.php

Read this
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That link takes you to the xtian ‘Tektonics’ website, that was exploring the bizarre idea that there was a Roman noble named ‘Arrius Piso’, who made up the New Testament.

Oh, and he also had an alter ego that was called ‘Josephus Flavius’ – the guy who wrote the War of the Jews, and Antiquities, amongst other things.
Of course, the Tektonics website tried to tear that idea to shreds (writing in 2009….) as one of the more bizarre conspiracy theories out there. But I spent a few hours actually trying to bottom out the idea, and what I can tell you is that truth is now shaping up to be stranger than ‘conspiracy theory fiction.
And with some huge consequences for Jews and xtians alike.
Read on.
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First, let’s set out the basic premise, snippet from the Tektonic site:
Judaism’s ethics and morality were incompatible with the hallowed Roman institution of slavery on which the aristocracy fed, lived and ruled.
They feared that Judaism would become the chief religion of the empire…Repeatedly, religious-minded Judaean zealots were staging insurrections against the Herodian rulers of Judaea who were Piso’s wife’s relations. Piso wished to strengthen his wife’s family’s control of the Judaeans.
The Pisos searched for a solution to the two problems. They found it in the Jewish holy books, which were the foundation both for the rapid spread of the religion and for the zealot’s refusal to be governed by Rome’s puppets.
The Pisos mocked, but marveled at, the Jewish belief in their holy books. Therefore, they felt a new “Jewish” book would be the ideal method to pacify the Judaeans and strengthen their in-laws’ control of the country.
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The member of the Piso family who started it all was Arrius Calpurnius Piso.
He was the Roman general who captured the city of Jerusalem for Rome in 66 CE (Common Era), and who, collaborating with Titus (a relative) destroyed the temple there in 70 CE.
In fact, both Zela (religious center of Pontus) and Jerusalem were the sites of temples that were destroyed: Julius Caesar destroyed the one in Zela in 47 BCE.
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First, let’s get the obvious lie pinned down, and out of the way:

‘Arrius Calpurnius Piso’, if he did indeed exist, was NOT Josephus Flavius.

With all this stuff, there is still a birur required, and while I’m totally sure that the Piso family of Romans were probably scumbags and almost certainly part of the ‘invisible hand of evil’ running the Roman Empire from the shadows, I’m also totally sure that ‘Arrius Calpurnius Piso’ was NOT Josephus.

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Now, we have the obvious red herring out the way, we can look at what’s really going on here, because if anything, it’s even more mind-blowing, and it will clue us in to ‘Josephus’ real identity – and way more.

Let’s start with this clue:

the Roman general who captured the city of Jerusalem for Rome in 66 CE (Common Era), and who, collaborating with Titus (a relative) destroyed the temple there in 70 CE.

That wasn’t a Roman called ‘Arrius Calpernius Piso’.

Titus’ second in command was actually an Alexandrian Jew, called: Tiberius Julius Alexander.

Snippet from Wiki:

Tiberius Julius Alexander (fl. 1st century) was an equestrian governor and general in the Roman Empire.

Born into a wealthy Jewish family of Alexandria but abandoning or neglecting the Jewish religion, he rose to become the 2nd procurator of Judea (c. 46 – 48) under Claudius.

While Prefect of Egypt (66–69), he employed his legions against the Alexandrian Jews in a brutal response to ethnic violence, and was instrumental in the Emperor Vespasian’s rise to power.

In 70, he participated in the Siege of Jerusalem as Titus’ second-in-command.

He became the most powerful Jew of his age, and is ranked as one of the most prominent Jews in military history.

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Remember that Egyptian Temple built by ‘Chonyo / Onias IV, or V’, that we talked about HERE?

Here’s the relevant snippet:

By a unique coincidence, an interesting alliance was formed between the son of a Jewish high priest who fled to Egypt from political persecution and the desecration of the Temple, in order to fulfill an ancient prophecy about a new temple in Egypt, and the supreme ruler of Egypt.

Ptolemy [Philopater] enlists [Chonyo / Onias IV] sons and supporters as allies and as a military force in exchange for land and permission to establish their temple there.

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These ‘Bnei Zadokite’ priests, whose immediate family were serving in the Temple in Jerusalem, not only set up a rival Temple in Heliopolis, Egypt – they were also the military leaders of the Egyptian rulers.

I am willing to bet good money that Tiberius Julius Alexander, above, descended from this same family of Kohanim, because that’s the family who had the real power, the real connections, and the real ‘military muscle’ in Egypt, already for a few generations.

And there is nothing new under the sun.

But there’s more.

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The brother of ‘Tiberius Julius Alexander’ is called: Marcus Julius Alexander.

Snippet from Wiki here:

He was betrothed to Berenice, daughter of Herodian King Agrippa I,…

His ancestors and family had social ties and connections to the Priesthood in JudeaHasmonean Dynasty; Herodian Dynasty and Julio-Claudian dynasty in Rome.

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Now, let’s remind ourselves what else is claimed for ‘Arrius Calpurnius Piso’, putative author of the New Testament:

Repeatedly, religious-minded Judaean zealots were staging insurrections against the Herodian rulers of Judaea who were Piso’s wife’s relations.

Piso wished to strengthen his wife’s family’s control of the Judaeans.

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Bingo!

Let’s recap as we go along.

  • There’s a claim that Josephus Flavius was actually a Roman non-Jewish noble called ‘ Arrius Piso‘. This is not true.
  • What IS true, is that there was a family of very wealthy, connected Kohanim in Alexandria, descendants of the ‘Bnei Zadok / Beit Chonyo’ family of high priests who also gave us the Hashmonaim kings and high priests. This family were heading the Egyptian military for generations.
  • At the time of this ‘Piso’ story, the most important Jew in Alexandria was called ‘Alexander the Alabarch’. As well as being the main tax collector for the Romans in Alexandria, he also had very tight connections to the Roman Caesars, and also the Herodian Kings (more on that in a moment.)
  • Alexander (HaKohen)the Alabarch has two sons, Tiberius Julius Alexander, and Marcus Julius Alexander.
  • Tiberius Julius Alexander: “was the Roman general who captured the city of Jerusalem for Rome in 66 CE (Common Era), and who, collaborating with Titus (a relative) destroyed the temple there in 70 CE.”
  • Meanwhile, Marcus Julius Alexander was married to Berenice, the daughter of the Herodian King Agrippa I, which ticks this box, attributed to ‘Arrius Piso’: “the Herodian rulers of Judaea… were Piso’s wife’s relations.”

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OK, let’s learn a little more about ‘Alexander (HaKohen) the Alabarch’ now.

I’m going to quote most of what there is on Wiki (not much….), so you can see just how ‘connected’ he was:

At some unknown date, Alexander was appointed Alabarch of Alexandria. The alabarch was a magistrate responsible for customs in Alexandria.

Later Alexander became an administrator for the extensive land estates in Egypt, owned by Antonia Minor.

Antonia Minor was a Roman noblewoman, who was the niece of Emperor Augustus and the youngest daughter of the triumvir Mark Antony.

Alexander had been a long-time friend of Antonia Minor’s youngest child, the future Emperor Claudius.

As an indication of Alexander’s great wealth, he had nine gates at the Second Temple in Jerusalem “overlaid with massive plates of silver and gold.” (War, 5.205)

In around 32-35 AD, the Herodian Agrippa I was indebted to Rome for 300,000 pieces of silver. (Evans, pp. 578–9)

Agrippa escaped Judea and sailed to Alexandria to beg Alexander to loan him 200,000 drachmas. Alexander refused to give the money directly to Agrippa, but agreed to loan Agrippa’s wife Cypros the money because Alexander “marvelled at her love of her husband and all her other good qualities.” (Antiquities, 18.159-160)

Sometime between 37 and 41 AD, the Emperor Caligula ordered Alexander to be imprisoned in Rome for an unknown reason.

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First, pay attention to the dates.

We are slap, bang, in the middle of the ‘Yoshki timeline’ in Jerusalem.

Second, notice that Alexander (HaCohen ) the Alabarch is adminstering the estates for Mark Antony’s daughter, Antonia Minor.

She is the half-sister of ‘Alexander Helios’, Mark Antony’s son with Cleopatra that we wrote about HERE, who strangely goes missing out of history….

Except there are a lot of xtian genealogists claiming that an ‘Alexander Helios III’ is Yoshki’s maternal grandpa.

Next, notice that this guy is also lending a huge amount of money to the Judean King, Agrippa I (who know really owes him, because if he hadn’t have repaid his debts, he would have been forced to ‘commit suicide’, according to Roman rules).

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Agrippa was the King of Judea up until 44 CE – again, slap, bang in ‘Yoshki timeline’ country.

When Agrippa I dies in 44CE, Judea returns to ‘direct Roman rule’.

And who is appointed it’s Procurator (Roman administrator) in 46CE?

Why, Tiberius Julius Alexander!

Fancy that!

====

Here’s another snippet from Wikipedia:

Claudius appointed him procurator of Judea in 46 CE….

Despite the opinion of some fellow Jews that he was a turncoat, his period of office as Procurator in Judea was marked by peace, as Josephus himself writes.

He did condemn James and Simon, sons of an earlier rebel named Judas of Galilee, to crucifixion.

It was also at this time that Judea was afflicted by a severe famine. In 48 he was succeeded by Ventidius Cumanus.

====

Again, remember this guy descends from the ‘Bnei Zadok / Beit Chonyo’ kohanim, and had close family members who were the High Priests serving in the Jerusalem temple, and also his brother married ‘Julia Berenice’, King Agrippa I’s daughter.

But there’s more.

====

‘Alexander the Alabarch’s has a famous brother, who you probably heard of.

His name is: Philo of Alexandria – the famous Jewish philosopher, who ‘merged’ Greek thinking with Jewish philosophy.

And here’s where the story starts to take another mind-bending turn.

Snippet from Wiki:

[M]uch attention was paid to his teaching by Christian theologians of the first centuries, who used his system to justify Christianity.

The main points of his philosophy are:

  • Dualistic opposition of God and the world, finite and infinite;

  • God as the only active principle;

  • Divine intelligence inherent in the world;

  • Forces emanating from God and diffused throughout the world;

  • Struggle as a driving principle;

  • The theory of dead, inert non-existent matter;

  • The world that has neither beginning nor end;

  • Divine creative activity and the very act of creation beyond the limits of time;

  • Numerical symbolism;

  • The body as the source of all evil; the soul as a divine emanation.

====

In other words….HEL-LO, philosophical founder of ‘Jewish-Christianity’!!!!

You can go read more about what he taught, and what he believed, if you can be bothered, but this snippet kind of sums it up, for our purposes:

“Philo’s teaching continued to influence Jewish teachers of the law, on the one hand, and pagan neo — Platonists, on the other.

But most of all, Philo’s teaching influenced the development of Christian dogma.

Even in the Gospel, there are clear traces of Philo’s Wisdom, and almost all the Greek church fathers of the first centuries, apologists and Alexandrians, Gnostics and their opponents, as well as Greek theologians of later centuries, to a greater or lesser extent, directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously, used his system to justify Christianity.”

====

 

 

OK, let’s sum up again.

  • Alexander (HaKohen) the Alabarch of Alexandria is very connected to Roman Emperors, and the Herodian Royalty, and also (by blood….) the ruling family of High Priests in Jerusalem (all ‘Sadducees), who descend from ‘Beit Chonyo / Bnei Zadok.
  • He is administering the Egyptian estates of Mark Antony’s daughter (and the mother of future Emperor Claudius), Antonia Minor.
  • His sons are marrying Herodian princesses, destroying the Second Temple as Titus’ second in command, and also ruling Judea as Procurator shortly after the whole ‘Yoshki’ episode is meant to have happened (and crucifying Jewish rebels…)
  • Judea at this time is a hotbed of nationalistic ferment, and there is one rebellion after another, against ‘Roman rule’ and their Herodian puppet royalty.
  • Alexander (HaKohen) the Alabarch also has a very famous brother: Philo the Jewish philosopher.
  • Philo comes up with a syncretic philosophy that ‘mixes’ orthodox Jewish teachings and beliefs with heretical Greek beliefs, and ‘scientific ideas’ about the creation of the world.
  • Philo’s philosophy becomes the founding pillar of what shortly afterwards transforms into ‘christianity’.

So far so good?

====

OK, so now how does ‘Josephus Flavius’ fit into this hot mess?

It’s hard to know – because the main person writing about all these people is none other than….Josephus Flavius.

THIS is a very interesting document I turned up, that shows that:

a) Josephus FOR SURE knew this family, and was a close relative – if he wasn’t a direct descendant, himself (more on that in a moment.)

b) Philo visited Jerusalem at least once.

c) Even some academics are coming to the view that these ‘Alabarchs’ were actually closely related to the Hasmonean High Priests in Jerusalem.

====

In fact, let’s quote one pertinent snippet here, because it has a direct bearing on that other issue that we’re trying to bottom out, namely who the heck was ‘Jesus the Nazarene’, in real life?

(If he was a ‘discrete’ person, and not just a mish-mash of a few different people, written up in the New Testament, which is becoming an increasingly plausible possibility.)

====

Here‘s that ‘Gaius Julius Alexander’ on geni:

====

  1. Is Alexander II (married to his cousin, Alexandra II) – both grandchildren of King Alexander Yannai / Yochanan Kohen HaGadol (who became a Sadducee after 80 years, as discussed in the Gemara.)
  2. Their daughter, the Hashmonaim Princess Mariamne, who marries Herod the Great.
  3. Their son, ‘Alexandros III’ (who Herod has killed, in 7 BCE).
  4. Their son Gaius Julius Alexander, AKA, ‘Alexander the Alabarch‘.
  5. And his son is Titus Julius Alexander – who destroys the 2nd temple, as Titus’ second in command.

====

Now, here is where things get even more interesting.

Philo, the philosophical founder of ‘Jewish-xtianity’ is the older brother of ‘Alexander the Alabarch’, aka ‘Gaius Julius Alexander’.

But, they seem to have different fathers.

Who is ‘Alexander the Alabarch’s’ mother?

Glaphyra of Cappodocia. 

Who else does she marry?

King Juba II of Numidia – whose first /other wife is Cleopatra Selene, the daughter of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII.

Who is their daughter? According to Wilson and Blackett, ‘Mary Magdelene’, who marries ‘Jesus the Nazarene’….

(That’s not sounding so ‘out there’ anymore, is it?)

====

OK, so where does ‘Josephus Flavius’ fit into this hot mess?

According to the ‘official history‘, Josephus is a sixth generation descendant of Matityahu father of the Maccabees, via his son John Apphus.

Like this:

YOCHANAN KOHEN GADOL > MATITYAHU [CHANUKA STORY) > JONATHAN APPHUS > D? M MATHIAS EPHLIAS > MATTHIAS CURTIS > JOSEPH > MATTHIAS > JOSEPHUS FLAVIUS.

The mothers are all unnamed, but we know these families just married each other, mostly.

But even just via the fathers, we can see a close family connection between ‘Josephus’ and ‘Alexander the Alabarch’ and Philo the proto Jewish-Christian (who descend from Jonathan Apphus’ brother, Shimon Thassi, via John Hyrcanus I / Alexander Jannai).

====

There is a ton more to tell you, but slowly does it.

In the next post, we’re going to compare all this with the ‘official genealogy’ of ‘Jesus the Nazarene’ to see if we can figure out a few more things about who Yoshki and his mother might have been (spoiler alert we can….)

But let’s finish this post where we began, with this ‘ridiculous conspiracy theory’, namely:

Judaism’s ethics and morality were incompatible with the hallowed Roman institution of slavery on which the aristocracy fed, lived and ruled.
They feared that Judaism would become the chief religion of the empire…Repeatedly, religious-minded Judaean zealots were staging insurrections against the Herodian rulers of Judaea who were Piso’s wife’s relations. Piso wished to strengthen his wife’s family’s control of the Judaeans.
The Pisos searched for a solution to the two problems. They found it in the Jewish holy books, which were the foundation both for the rapid spread of the religion and for the zealot’s refusal to be governed by Rome’s puppets.
The Pisos mocked, but marveled at, the Jewish belief in their holy books. Therefore, they felt a new “Jewish” book would be the ideal method to pacify the Judaeans and strengthen their in-laws’ control of the country.
==
The member of the Piso family who started it all was Arrius Calpurnius Piso.
He was the Roman general who captured the city of Jerusalem for Rome in 66 CE (Common Era), and who, collaborating with Titus (a relative) destroyed the temple there in 70 CE.
====

Did ‘Arrius Calpernius Piso’ really exist?

I don’t know.

But we’ve learnt a lot about WHO was running Judea on behalf of their Roman masters at this time.

And their very strong connections to both the individuals and the philosophy that became ‘Jewish-Christianity’ – and to the evil Romans that wanted to keep the whole world enslaved to them, anyway they could.

And there is still more to discover.

====

UPDATE:

Always by the end of these articles, I have more information that sheds more light then when I started typing this stuff up (about four hours ago….)

Now I know that ‘Alexander the Alabarch’ = Gaius Julius Alexander, the son of ‘Alexandros III’, I can tell you that his first cousin was the King Herod Agrippa (named above), who needed to borrow 200,000 drachmas from him, to pay off the Romans.

And Herod Agrippa’s wife, Cypros, was ALSO a cousin of both Alexander the Alabarch, and Herod Agrippa. They were all grandchildren of Mariamne I Hasmonean, and Herod the Great.

As usual…. they all just married each other.

There is nothing new under the sun.

====

You might also like this article:

How’s that for a title?

So, basically what is going on here is that by comparing a whole bunch of sources, based on our Gemara, and then ‘branching out’ into all the xtian historical details that orthodox Jews never engage with (for obvious reasons….) and then comparing that with ‘real, secular history’ – I’m figuring a whole bunch of astounding things out about ‘Yoshki’ and his royal family.

It’s a little hard to know where to start with all this, so I’m just going to kind of ‘tell you the story’ of my researches, and I will try to sum up as we go along. I have the profound feeling that once this biggest of big lies about real Jewish history is finally ‘out there’ – a lot of very good things are going to start happening.

Ready?

Let us begin.

====

My mum and dad came to visit last week, and while they were here, I asked my mum to have a look at the book ‘Moses in the Hieroglyphics’, by alternative historians Alan Wilson and Baram Blackett.

Long story short, they claim and demonstrate in the book that you can accurately read the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics using…. old Welsh.

My mum’s native tongue is Welsh, so I asked her to have a look – and she basically confirmed that Wilson and Blackett’s premise holds up.

Wilson and Blackett also claim that at least part of the lost ’10 Tribes’ made it out to the British Isles.

I haven’t got around to investigating that part of Jewish history yet, to try and bottom it out, but be aware that is their premise.

====

Wilson and Blackett also claim, rightfully, that from the time the Hannoverian ‘George I’ ascended the British throne, the English establishment stepped up their ‘war’ against the Welsh, and tried to obliterate the Welsh language, and also more of the ancient Welsh records that clearly show the links between the Roman Emperors, and ‘aulde British’ Royalty.

That much is definitely true, and we covered some of why that matters to us Jews in this post:

Welsh Royalty, Roman Emperors – and us.

Go back and read it, if you didn’t already.

====

So then, I ordered more of Wilson and Blackett’s books, including one called:

Where Jesus is Buried: How the holy family came to Wales AFTER THE CRUCIFIXION and Britain became the world’ first Christian country.

I finished reading that book yesterday morning, just as I was putting this post together, about the tomb of ‘Jason-Jesus’ in Rehavia, and how ‘Yochanan Kohen Gadol’ mentioned in the Gemara is exactly the same person as both ‘John Hyrcanus I’ AND ‘Alexander Yannai’.

The two-faced, ‘dual personality’ hypocrisy that I thought was just the hallmark of the Sabbateans and the Frankists  has actually been going on for a very long time…

====

So, let’s first try to sum up what they say in that book, and then this post will take off into ‘fake history busting incredibleness’.

First, there’s a whole big discussion about who the Essenes of Qumran really were, and how they connect to all this. We will park that part of the story for now, and revisit it in more detail in a different post.

Long story short: The Essenes seem to overlap with James the Just’s ‘Jewish-xtians’. And they were also communists, who believed strongly in the idea of ‘you will own nothing, and be happy.’

====

So.

I am summing a lot of things up here, but Wilson and Blackett have been going through a lot of ancient Welsh texts, including documents like the ‘Song of the Graves’, and they’ve discovered that many things were hidden in these lists.

For example, including specific instructions for where the graves of Jesus the Nazarene and Joseph of Arimathea can be found, even today, in Wales.

Basically:

  • Yoshki is taken off the cross after just four hours after being ‘drugged’ to appear like he’s dead, with the tacit agreement of the High Priesthood (who are actually his close family), and a big bribe paid to the Romans to look the other way.
  • He’s then taken to Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb – who is also a close relative. (It’s at least possible that this is the tomb in Rehavia… more on than in a mo.)
  • There, he’s revived by the Essene medicine men, and their huge sack of aloes – known to heal internal bleeding (as stated in xtian gospels).
  • After a few days, he meets some of his followers on the way out of Jerusalem, heading into exile in….Wales.
  • He is married (of course….), and has children.
  • Many of his descendants marry Roman Emperors, Welsh royalty – and from there, become the ‘holy bloodline’ that all the royals of Europe want to have a bit of.

====

This sounds incredible.

Until you actually start to stand up the genealogy, follow the ‘clues’ in the ancient Welsh manuscripts, and compare and contrast to ‘real Jewish history’.

So, why did Yoshki and his family escape to Wales?

  1. It was not part of the Roman Empire.
  2. Apparently, some of the Ten Tribes had been living there for 500 years, already:

Snippet from p103:

We know that the Khumry of the Ten Tribes moved from areas in northern Assyria and Armenia to Britain in an epic journey from circa 687 BCE to 504 BCE.

====

OK, let me now set out some of the genealogy from Wilson and Blackett’s book, then we’ll start trying to pin more of it down from our end of ‘real Jewish history’.

They say that Roman Emperor Mark Antony married Cleopatra VII, and had a daughter called Cleopatra. (This is true.)

They say that this Cleopatra married King Juba II of Numidia. (This is true.)

Then, they say that Cleopatra and King Juba II (who was a Berber Prince taken to Rome as a child, where he became very ‘Romanised’ and close to Julius Caesar and Augustus) had a daughter. (This is true.)

They say that daughter was ‘MARY MAGDALENE’, who then married Jesus the Nazarene (or really, the ‘Nazirite’. More on that when we get to the Essenes another time.)

And that they had a son, ‘Lazarus’, who is probably the same Lazarus described as being ‘raised from the dead’ in the gospels, who apparently came from a very choshuva Jewish family.

Could this possibly be true?!

Let’s find out.

====

Over on Wikipedia, this is what we’re told about ‘King Juba II’s’ wives and descendants:

====

Notice that they definitely had a daughter – and that the name of this daughter is conveniently missing.

But even more importantly, notice WHO ELSE King Juba II was marrying, and connected to:

Glaphyra, who was the widow of Alexander Hashmonaim, son of Herod the Great by his Hashmonaim princess Mariamne I.

We are exactly back in Yoshki’s Hashmonaim family tree, as we are about to set out in more detail.

So, I can already see that it’s at least possible that the daughter of King Juba II could have married a choshuva Hashmonaim in Judea.

Let’s unpick this some more.

====

Wilson and Blackett then state that Yoshki’s grand-daughter via his son Lazarus, called ‘Anna’, then marries the Welsh King Gweirydd, aka, King George.

Remember, when George Bush became president, and then George W. after him, and we all started talking excitedly about ‘George and from George’, aka ‘Gog and MaGog’?

I think we may have stumbled upon that ancient root, here.

====

So, back to Jesus the Nazarene’s real family tree.

While I was reading Wilson and Blackett’s book, I saw this footnote, from the Gospel of Luke (which otherwise, I would never read…):

Luke 3:23:

And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being the son of Joseph, who was the son of Heli.

That word ‘Heli’ really jumped out at me, because of all those ‘Bnei Zadok / Bnei Chonyo’ zadukim Hashmonaim priests, serving in a pagan Temple down in Heliopolis (aka ‘sun city’).

And that is where this story really takes off.

====

Let’s go back to the ‘Jewish side’ of the story, to set out what we are told was going down in Egypt, with the ‘Sons of Chonyo’ and their fake Temple.

 

EXHIBIT 1: ‘The Land of Onias’ in Egypt:

(Snippet from HERE🙂

The Land of Onias is the name given in Hellenistic Egyptian, Jewish, and Roman sources to an area in Ancient Egypt’s Nile delta where a large number of Jews settled.

The Land of Onias, which included the city of Leontopolis was located in the nome of Heliopolis.

While accounts differ on the details, it is known that the Jews of Leontopolis had a functioning temple, distinct from and contemporary to the one in Jerusalem, presided over by kohanim (priests) of the family of Onias IV, for whom the “Land of Onias” is named.

This is the temple of the sons of ‘Chonyo’ (aka Onias, aka Yochanan), discussed in Tractate Menachot, 109b  , as we brought in detail HERE.

====

EXHIBIT 2: The very close links between these ‘Kohanim of Heliopolis’, the Egyptian royalty, and ‘Alexander Yannai’ of Judea:

Snippet from HERE:

Ananias the son of Onias (in Hebrew, Hananiya ben Honiyyahu) was the son of the Jewish high priest, Onias IV, who founded a Jewish Temple at Leontopolis in Egypt during the persecutions of Antiochus IV. [The Chanuka tyrant].

Onias won the favor of Ptolemy VI [King of Egypt, married to Cleopatra III], who gave permission for the building of this temple.

Ananias and his brother Helkias were held in high esteem by Cleopatra III.

Owing to her regard for them, the Judeans of the province Oneion, between Pelusium and Memphis, remained true to her when she was abandoned on the island of Cyprus by all her soldiers.

When she went to Judea to help the Hasmonean king Alexander Jannaeus against her son, Ptolemy Lathyrus, and succeeded in dislodging him (about 100 BCE), Ananias and Helkias were her generals; and Ananias dissuaded her from incorporating Judea as an Egyptian province, at the same time inducing her to form an alliance with Alexander Jannaeus.

====

Let’s sum up:

In ‘the real world’, we see a ton of very close links between this Oniad family of ‘Bnei Zadok / Beit Chonyo’, the Egyptian monarchs Ptolemy Philopator and Cleopatra III, and the Hashonaim kings and high priests, especially our old friend Alexander Yannai / Yochanan Kohen Gadol / John Hyrcanus I.

In Wilson and Blackett, they suggest that Jesus the Nazarene (who we know to be a Kohen, and somehow linked to the choshuva Hashmonaim rulers of Judea by blood) marries the grand-daughter of Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony, via the union of Cleopatra Selene, and King Juba II of Numidia.

Back in ‘the real world’, we see that King Juba’s daughter is strangely unnamed; and that King Juba II himself marries the widow of the Crown Prince of Judea, Alexander Hashmonaim, after his own father, Herod the Great, has him killed.

Meanwhile, we have another clue from the Gospel of Luke that the real dad of ‘Jesus of Nazarene’ is one ‘Joseph, son of Heli(o)’.

So far so good?

Let’s continue.

====

Because I spend so much of my time looking on Geni, my browser now automatically lists those results very high, when I start searching for people.

That’s how I got to THIS family tree for one ‘Heli ben Matat’.

I start looking around, and I see so many of the familiar names we’ve been looking at, including ‘Simon the Just’ (aka Shimon HaTzaddik). Then I go and read more of the bumpf stuck up under his profile (obviously by xtians…) and this is a bit of what I read:

The days surrounding the birth of Jesus, it was not safe to be recognized or be known as a descendant of the House of David.

The Davidian princes were hunted by the Romans, and were despised by the jealous Jewish temple leadership, who were Zadokian cousins presiding as high priests.

The ruler of Judea was Herod the Great who at his best, sought to manipulate, or at the least destroy every Zadokian priest that allied himself to Davidian princes. King Herod also targeted every Prince of Israel, who was of the royal House of David, and heirs to the throne of David.

==

The seduction of power and authority was equally at home with the Sadducee based family of the House of Boethus, who were rightful inheritors of the office of the high priest, were equally zealous to rule like the “kings” of the Jews, and oppose any Davidian who depicted any aspirations of royal leadership.

It was to the one family, the Patriarch and High Priest Ananus of the House of Boethus had a special hatred, the Princes of David, Joseph and Yehoshua, who was the legal heir to the royal House of David, yet preached a anti-globalist message of emuna (faith) in the Sovereignty of His Father in heaven.

Before the reign of Herod was over, his progressive paranoia in his advancing years, history testifies that more and more of the Princes of David were executed by Herod the Great. They were hunted down by the Roman armies as royal rivals to the Caesar of Rome.

As this reality begins to sink in, we have to ask, were the Davidian princes of the family of Jesus truly a non-historical family or were they a part of the messianic, Davidian, Hasmonean, Zionist, or Zealot parties seeking to regain the sovereignty of Judea away from the arena of Roman global power?

====

Let’s pause, and understand what this is really saying.

  1. We know from our own tradition that ‘Herod the Great’ was paranoid, married Mariamne, the great-granddaughter of ‘Alexander Yannai’, and had his wife and both his sons (Alexander and Aristobulus) killed off, fearing they were going to usurp his throne. (This is totally true.)
  2. King Juba II marries the widow of this Alexander, who was killed by his father Herod (totally true).
  3. King Juba’s first wife is the daughter of Cleopatra VII and Emperor Mark Antony of Rome, who is then engaged in a civil war with Emperor Augustus, to see who will control the Roman Empire (totally true).
  4. Apparently, Yoshki’s wife (aka ‘Mary Magdalene’), is King Juba II’s daughter. King Juba’s daughter is one of the few remaining living descendants of the now deceased Emperor Mark Antony.

What this stuff about ‘Heli ben Matat’ is telling us, that on the one hand, Herod the Great was going on a rampage to kill off any potential Hashmonaim claimants to his Judean throne.

And that is totally true.

And on the other hand, the Roman Emperor Tiberias – the son of Augustus Octavian –  was also going on a rampage trying to kill off any potential descendants of his father’s rival Mark Anthony, who could claim leadership of the Roman Empire.

And that is also true.

So now, where does ‘Jesus the Nazarene’ actually fit into all this?

====

Cleopatra Selene has a twin brother, called ‘Alexander Helios’.

Records show that while Octavian Augustus killed both his brothers (including Caesarion, the son Cleopatra had with Julius Caesar) – no-one knows what happened to ‘Alexander Helios’.

Snippet from Wiki:

The fate of Alexander Helios is unknown….

The only further mention of Alexander Helios and Ptolemy Philadelphus comes from Cassius Dio, who states that when their sister Cleopatra Selene II married King Juba II, Octavian (then named Augustus) spared the lives of Alexander Helios and Ptolemy Philadelphus as a favor to the couple.

After Helios arrived in Rome, he disappears from historical records.

====

(Let me just state at this stage, that we are feeling all this information out, here. I don’t know what’s true and what isn’t, but I’m sharing the information as I find it, and you pray on it, and come to your own conclusions.)

Back on that Geni entry for ‘Heli ben Matat’, the father of Joseph, the father of ‘Jesus the Nazarene’,  it continues like this:

Prince Alexander III Helios… was the son of the future Maccabee Queen Alexandra II, who at this time was known by her Jewish name, Esther of Jerusalem.

Heli, the shortened nickname for Helios (“The Sun”), was a descendant of both the Maccabee Kings of Judea and a prince of the House of David, for his father was Matthan ben Levi, a Davidian Prince who was first married in his youth to the vivacious royal princess, Elizabeth of Jerusalem.

====

OK, so here is where we press ‘pause’ on all this, to go and see if any of it stands up ‘in the real world’.

First, I took a look at the family tree being proposed for ‘Joseph of Arimathea’, the wealth relative of ‘Jesus the Nazarene’ who apparently arranged for him to have a ‘fake’ crucifiction, put him in his own tomb to be revived and healed, and then spirited him away to Wales, out of the clutches of the  Roman Emperor.

Who is very probably buried in Cardiff – Wilson and Blackett identify his tomb precisely, and it’s still there today.

You can see that HERE.

It shows that ‘Joseph of Arimathea’ is actually the brother of ‘Heli ben Matat’. Which would actuallly make him the great uncle of ‘Jesus the Nazarene’.

Even more weird, is that this Joseph of Arimathea is shown descending from ‘Shimon HaTzaddik’ – and again, we see that phenomena we noted in so many of the Sabbatean family trees, of aunts marrying their nephews, which is contrary to halacha:

====

If you keep going back on the male line for ‘Joseph of Arimathea’, you hit Zerubavel, the Exilarch of Babylon and descendant of King David.

(Again, I’m not saying this is true. The truth is what we’re all trying figure out, here.)

Long story short, it now seems I will be spending more time trying to figure out more family trees, to see where the truth really lies.

Let’s move on, there is still more to share today.

====

If we go back to the family tree of the ‘Beit Chonyo-Onias’ Kohanim who went down to Egypt, built a temple in Heliopolis, and got all cosy with Ptolemy Philopator and Cleopatra III, we see this:

====

  1. Is ‘Shimon HaTzaddik’, the one mentioned in the Gemara as being the father of ‘Chonyo and Shimi’, aka Onias III and his brother Jason-Jesus.
  2. Is Onias III, aka ‘Yochanan Kohen Gadol’ who sealed the cruse of oil used in the Chanukah Story (and is probably the father of Matityah ben Yochanan Kohen Gadol, father of the Maccabees.)
  3. Is ‘Onias IV‘, who went down to Egypt to escape the persecution occurring in Jerusalem and built a temple in Heliopolis. His sons are the ones who became the leaders of Cleopatra III’s army, and arranged a treaty with King Alexander Yannai – the son of their first cousin, Shimon Thassi / Hashmonaim. (You see there is also an ‘Onias V’ listed as his brother…. That’s a standard tactic in these family trees, to try to ‘split up’ descendants, so you don’t see just how closely all the different ‘actors’ are related.)
  4. Is one ‘Hanameel the Egyptian High Priest’.

====

Let’s take a closer look at that last guy.

This snippet comes from the Jewish Encyclopaedia:

After assuming the government of Palestine, Herod surrounded himself with creatures of his own; from among these he chose one Hanameel to fill the office of high priest made vacant by the ignominious death of Antigonus (37 B.C.). Hanameel (Ananelus) was an Egyptian according to the Mishnah (Parah iii. 5), a Babylonian according to Josephus (“Ant.” xv. 2, § 4); though of priestly descent, he was not of the family of the high priests.

This Hanameel was shipped in by Herod from the ‘Beit Chonyo’ temple in Egypt, to replace Aristobulus the Kohen Gadol – who was Herod’s brother-in-law, Mariamne I’s brother, and drowned on Herod’s orders in 35 CE.

IT’S THE SAME FLIPPING FAMILY!!!!

====

Now, who is ‘Hanameel the Egyptian’s’ son?

His name is ‘Boethus’. He is the 57th ‘Kohen Gadol’ of the Kingdom of Judea.

He’s also a Sadducian heretic – both in terms of being a ‘Sadducee’, and also in terms of being from the ‘Bnei Zadok’, the sons of Zadok priestly family, which is the same as the ‘Beit Chonyo’ priestly family that EVERYONE, including the Hashmonaim royalty, descend from.

This Boethus has a son, Simon, who also becomes the 60th Kohen Gadol.

Five of his brothers are also ‘Kohen Gadols’, one after another, because they just don’t last very long. Either they are dropping dead in the Holy of Holies during the Yom Kippur service, or Herod is busy killing them off, or something else is going on here.

====

So, this ‘Simon ben Boethus’, the 6oth Kohne Gadol, is recorded as having a beautiful daughter named Mariamne (II).

And this Mariamne II becomes Herod the Great’s third wife. Here’s how Josephus describes it:

There was one Simon, a citizen of Jerusalem, the son of one Boethus, a citizen of Alexandria, and a priest of great note there; this man had a daughter, who was esteemed the most beautiful woman of that time; and when the people of Jerusalem began to speak much in her commendation, it happened that Herod was much affected with what was said of her; and when he saw the damsel, he was smitten with her beauty… he thought it best to take the damsel to wife.

And while Simon was of a dignity too inferior to be allied to him, but still too considerable to be despised, he governed his inclinations after the most prudent manner, by augmenting the dignity of the family, and making them more honourable; so he immediately deprived Jesus, the son of Phabet, of the high priesthood, and conferred that dignity on Simon, and so joined in affinity with him [by marrying his daughter].

====

It’s obvious Josephus is lying here, about the real reason Simon ben Boethus replaces ‘Jesus ben Phabet’ as high priest.

Now, what’s really interesting is what you read on the Geni profile for ‘Jesus ben Phabet’ – who was actually Simon ben Boethus’ nephew, the grandson of the original ‘Boethus son of Hanameel the Egyptian High Priest’:

Snippet:

Jesus, son of Fabus (also known as Jesus, son of PhabetJesus son of Phiabi or Joshua ben Fabus) was a Jewish High priest (ca. 30 – 23 BCE) in the 1st century BCE.

He succeeded Hanameel the Egyptian but was removed by King Herod when Herod appointed his father-in-law, Simon ben Boethus, to the high-priesthood.

Fictional Connections

Some modern genealogists erroneously identify Jesus ben Fabus as a Hasmonean, a descendant of John Hyrcanus.

According to one modern fiction, Jesus ben Fabus was the father of three daughters: Joanna, St. Elizabeth, and St. Hannah (Anna). He became the grandfather of Jesus of Nazareth, John the Baptist, and Zebedee. See, e.g., Biblesearchers.com, visited May 30, 2013.

====

I am at the stage that whenever I see Geni strenuously stressing ‘fictional connections’, that is now the first place I go and look.

That daughter of ‘Jesus ben Phabi’, Hanna / Anna happens to marry none other than… Heli ben Matat, the grandad of Yoshki.

Is this ‘Heli ben Matat’ actually descended from Zerubavel, as claimed by the xtian geneaologists?

Or, was he one and the same as ‘Alexander Helios’, son of Mark Antony, and sister of Cleopatra Selene, who married King Juba II and had an unidentified daughter who Wilson and Blackett say was Mary Magdalene, the wife of Yoshki?

And THAT would explain why the Roman Emperor was also so keen on tracking down these potential claimants to the Imperial throne, and destroying them?

====

As you can see, there is a lot more unpicking still required, until this gets properly firmed up (if that is ever going to be possible….)

That xtian genealogy site referenced above can be found HERE.

While there are inevitably some red herrings and xtian nonsense mixed in to their research, most of the details appear to be broadly sound to me, after spending an hour looking through it.

There is some ‘truth’ in those early Jewish-xtian sources, about who people really were, and who they were really related to, before the Catholic church came and started covering everything up with massive lies about ‘immaculate conceptions’.

Here’s a screenshot, to whet your whistle:

====

We’ll leave this here for today.

The next thing we need to take a look at is the links between the mysterious group called the ‘Hasideans’, and the Essenes of Qumran, and their links to all these Jewish-xtians.

But I will probably have a few days off, in the meantime, as all the ‘truth’ coming out this week has been epic!

Who knew that challenging ‘helio-centrism’ would lead us to a fake Temple served by Kohanim in Egypt, and now also the grandpa of Yoshki, all in the family tree of the Hashmonaims.

Geula is in the air!

TBC

====

PS: Whilst looking for something to illustrate this post, I came across this weird article, in Russian, pointing out that ‘Alexander the Great’ also called himself  ‘Alexander Helios’. Whilst in Egypt, he claimed he was the son of the Egyptian god Amun-Ra – whose son was ‘Helios’, the sun god….and the rest is history.

There is nothing new under the sun.

Oh wow….

I just found another massive part of the puzzle, about who Yoshki really was.

But you’ll have to wait for that until next week.

 

====

You might also like this article:

 

It’s making me so happy, how more and more of us here on the blog are starting to piece together things.

As I probably should state more often, I don’t know everything, anything but.

I am a journalist, and my strength is in tracking down new sources of information, and sharing them more widely. I get a lot of help from Upstairs when it comes to making connections, but I am not pretending to have all the answers here, not at all. So, I’m very grateful for all the tremendous input I’m getting from readers, to try to ascertain the truth, and continue the birur.

In this post, we’re going to continue trying to track down what happened to those descendants of Shimon HaTzaddik, ‘Chonyo-Onias-Yochanan’ and ‘Jason-Jesus-Shimi’.

And I’m also going to share more information about the strange connections between Jews in biblical Judea…. and Wales.

Ready? Let’s begin.

====

Commentator Yosef mentioned there is a strange, fancy tomb of someone named ‘Jason’, slap-bang in the middle of Rehavia.

I took a look on Google maps, HERE, and this is what I learned from the comments there:

Amazing feeling to find a small pyramid in Jerusalem!!!

And this, written by an official tour guide called Richard Johnson:

Tucked away in the neighborhood of Rehavia, Jason’s tomb is unique find.

A tomb of a Hasmonean king of Judea. This tomb displays hellenized influence, with an inscription written above the door in perfect Greek verse. The pyramid at the top is called a nefesh, due to the belief that this is where the soul would wait until the end of days.

====

Do you remember any Hasmonean ‘kings’ called Jason?

Nope, me neither.

Here’s some more specific details of ‘Kever Yason’, from the madainproject.com website:

The tomb is considered to date from the time of Alexander Jannaeus (reigned circa 103-76 BCE)…. Coins found at the site date to the first third of the first century CE. The tomb was finally blocked in 30/31 CE.

The architecture of the tomb not only holds uncanny parallels with the contemporary Alexandrian tombs, it also shares clear prototype-architectural-elements for the structure in older tombs from Deir el-Medina at Thebes, on the western bank of the Nile in Egypt.

====

We have yet more links between this person and Egypt, where the renegade ‘Bnei Tzadok / Beit Chonyo’, descendants of Shimon HaTzaddik ended up.

But the standard dating of this tomb sets it in the time period of ‘Jesus Number 2’ (around 31 CE), not Jesus Number 1 around 171 CE).

So let’s see if we can figure out a few more things, before moving on to the Wales side to this crazy tale.

Here’s a few more descriptions from inside ‘Kever Yason’:

Another inscription states that Jason sailed to the coast of Egypt….On the walls of the tomb were charcoal drawings of ships, one Greek and several Aramaic inscriptions – some of which are still (barely) visible.

====

Yet again, I am coming across this weird ‘time warp’ for these people, and this period of time, when I try to track down who this ‘Jason’ actually was.

Coins at the site, from Alexander Janneus and his son, John Horcanus date the tomb to the Hasmonean period, 37-167 BC.

If you to to this story from 2019, in Hebrew, you get a few more details:

Above the northern wall of the vestibule is painted a ram with antlers, and on the eastern wall is an engraving in the shape of the seven-branched menorah…. On the western wall of the inner courtyard is the Palm of Tamar.

This article floats the idea that this ‘Jason’ was perhaps the head of Alexander Yannai’s navy, or some sort of pirate:

Some claim Jason was the most feared pirate in the Mediterranean. Legend has it that Jason had a very large treasure and in order for it to never be found he decided to bury it in the most distant place from the sea – in Jerusalem.

What I can tell you, is that these murals are being left to rot into oblivion. Always a sign, there’s something there they authorities don’t want people to know about.

====

So, is this the tomb of ‘Joshua-Jason-Jesus’, the hellenising High Priest and son of ‘Shimon HaTzaddik’?

It’s at least possible.

Again, let’s sum up as we go along what we know about ‘Jason-Jesus’ and his brother, Chonyo-Yochanan-Onias III’  because I know this is a lot to take in.

(Take a look at the Hebrew Wiki page for more details)

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  • Beit Chonyo’ and ‘Beit Zadok’ were used interchangeably, to refer to this family of priests.
  • ‘Onias III’ is one and the same as ‘Yochanan Kohen Gadol‘, who apparently hid the pure flask of oil we hear about in the Chanuka story.
  • He has a brother, ‘Joshua-Jason-Jesus’ who is a helleniser, and takes over from him as High Priest, and starts ‘hellenising’ the Holy City of Jerusalem in a big way for the three years he ‘Kohen HaGadol’. Jason is later pushed out of the High Priesthood (in 171 BCE) by someone named ‘Menelaus’, who is even more hellenising, immoral and greedy. (See below). This fits with the earliest dating of ‘Kever Yason’ in Rehavia.
  • Yochanan Kohen Gadol (Onias III / Chonyo) had three sons, one of whom had a lot of secular authority in Jerusalem and got into a power-struggle with another official called ‘Shimon’.
  • This ‘Shimon’ tells the Syrian-Greek King Seleucus to go and grab all the money in the Temple treasuries. Yochanan / Onias III apparently prevents this from happening, setting the scene for what happens next.
  • This Shimon then informs on the ‘sons of Chonyo’ to the Greeks, that they are engaging in ‘anti Seleucid’ activities. This led to Yochanan Kohen Gadol (Onias III) being ‘demoted’ and shipped out to Daphne, where he was later killed by someone called Andronicus, apparently prompted by that same Menelaus the High Priest, above.
  • Meanwhile, Yochanan / Chonyo / Onias III’s son, Onias IV – the one who argued with ‘Shimon’, above – is next in line to become the ‘Kohen Gadol’, but apparently gets pushed out of Jerusalem, to Egypt.

====

Here’s how Wiki sets out the list of High Priests from this time:

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But there’s a lot of funny business going on here, possibly involving the ‘Essenes’.

Snippet:

It is unknown who held the position of High Priest of Jerusalem between Alcimus’ death and the accession of Jonathan Apphus.

Josephus, in Jewish Antiquities XX.10, relates that the office was vacant for seven years, but this is highly unlikely, if not impossible…

In another passage (XII.10 §6, XII.11 §2) Josephus suggests that Judas Maccabeus, the brother of Jonathan, held the office for three years, succeeding Alcimus. However, Judas actually predeceased Alcimus by one year… The Jewish Encyclopedia tries to harmonise the contradictions found in Josephus by supposing that Judas held the office “immediately after the consecration of the Temple (165-162), that is, before the election of Alcimus”

  • It has been argued that the founder of the Qumran community, the Teacher of Righteousness (?159-153 BC). was High Priest (but not necessarily the sole occupant) during the inter-sacerdotium and was driven off by Jonathan.

====

I have at least one ‘Kahana’ family tree that shows that Jesus II, his brother ‘James the Just’, first Jewish-xtian ‘Bishop of Jerusalem’, Josephus and Caiphus, the Kohen HaGadol at the time of Yoshki’s apparent crucifiction (note the spelling…) all descend from this same guy, Alcimus.

====

One more thing here, and then let’s move on to ‘Jesus and Wales’.

In Brachot 29a, it says this:

“[W]e learned in a Mishnah: Do not believe in yourself (i.e. trust that you are safe from the evil inclination), until the day you die, for Yochanan the Kohen Gadol served as Kohen Gadol for 80 years, and in the end became a Sadduccee.

And Abaye said: He is Yannai, he is Yochanan, i.e. Yannai and Yochanan were one and the same person.

Rava, however, said: Yannai is separate and Yochanan is separate, i.e. they were two different people.

====

The Artscroll notes are very interesting. Let’s quote them, then I’ll try to ‘sum up’ why this is so astounding – and what it might mean, for our Hashmonaim family tree:

(Note 7):

“Yannai and Yochanan are names of Hashmonean kings cited in various places in the Talmud.

About Yannai, it is related in Kiddushin 66a that he massacred the Sages for questioning his fitness to serve as Kohen Gadol. 

Abaye asserts that Yannai and Yochanan were in face one and the same person.

(Note 8):

[The story of Yannai killing the Sages occurred early in his reign.] 

He later repented only to return to his evil ways in his later years (Rashi; see Menachem Meishiv Nefesh).

(Note 9):

He was righteous until close to the end of his life, when he became a renegade.

(Note 10):

Since Yannai and Yochanan were one and the same person, and Yannai is known to have been bad from the start, we must say that his eighty years as the righteous Yochanan Kohen Gadol reflected a repentance from his former ways.

When he became a Sadduccee towards the end of his life, he was merely reverting to his original character.”

====

You see?

This problem of ‘good people’ and ‘tzaddikim’ being one and the same as ‘bad people’ and ‘immoral, murderous heretics’ has been going on for a very long time….

Let’s try to stand this up, in real time.

====

Here’s a list of the High Priests from this time, from HERE:

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‘Simon Thassi’ is Shimon the Hashmonean, one of the five sons of Matityahu ben Yochanan Kohen Gadol, of the Chanuka story.

He’s the last son left standing, and starts stabilising the country.

Snippet from Wikipedia, HERE:

He became the first prince of the Hebrew Hasmonean Dynasty. He reigned from 142 to 135 BCE.

The Hasmonean Dynasty was founded by a resolution, adopted in 141 BCE, at a large assembly “of the priests and the people and of the elders of the land, to the effect that Simon should be their leader and high priest forever, until there should arise a faithful prophet”.

In February 135 BCE,] Simon and his two sons Mattathias and Judah were assassinated at a banquet at Dok by his son-in-law Ptolemy, the Seleucid governor at Jericho. Simon’s third son John Hyrcanus succeeded him to the high priesthood and rule over Israel but proved unable to capture Ptolemy, first because he held John’s mother hostage and then because of his army disbanded due to the custom at the time of resting every seventh year.

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So, ‘John Hyrcanus’ mother IS held hostage, and also tortured and killed by her captors, albeit apparently after he was already born…

Now, let’s go over to Geni, to see if we can work out a bit more.

Screenshot from HERE:

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1: Is ‘Yochanan Kohen Gadol’.

2. Is his son, ‘Matityahu ben Yochanan Kohen Gadol’, of the Chanuka story.

3. Is his son, ‘Simon Thassi Maccabeus’ (Hasmonean), who finally gained independence for Judea from the Seleucids, and become High Priest and ‘ethnarch’.

4. Is his son, ‘John Hyrcanus I’.

====

This snippet comes from the Torah Musings  HERE:

1. The Rambam (Introduction to Commentary to the Mishnah) and Roke’ah (Hilkhos Hanukah) are of the view that [the famous Yochanan Kohen Gadol’ was the son of Matisyahu, of Hanukah fame, evidently named after his own grandfather.

2. Sefer Yuhasin (1:16) and Seder Ha-Doros (2:Yohanan Kohen Gadol) state that Yohanan the High Priest was Matisyahu’s father and is the one mentioned in the “Al Ha-Nissim.”

3. Later scholars, including Doros Ha-Rishonim (part 2 p. 442) and Toledos Tanna’im Ve-Amora’im (vol. 2 p. 688), are of the view that Yohanan the High Priest was the grandson of Matisyahu and the son of Shimon.

====

That last source seems to make more sense, especially in light of the discussion in the Gemara from Brachot 29a.

And then, that tells us this:

John Hyrcanus I = ‘Yochanan Kohen Gadol’ (who reigned for 80 years before becoming a Sadducee) = King Alexander Yannai.

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Let’s see if we can stand this up a little more.

According to this from the Jewish Virtual Library:

Although the king is named “Alexander Yannai” by Josephus and “Yannai the king” by rabbinic literature, his full name was “Alexander Jonathan” (or “Yehonathan“) as attested to by his coins.

Maybe this is also a good time to point out that ‘Yannai’ is the Hebrew version of the name ‘Janus’ – referring to the two-faced pagan god.

Coincidence?

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So, John Hyrcanus I / Yochanan Kohen Gadol is born in 164 BCE (3596).

He is said to rule between  134 BCE until his death in 104 BCE.

Meanwhile, ‘Alexander Yannai’ is said to rule between 103 to 76 BCE.

I can’t seem to find anything with an official birthdate for him, which of course makes sense, if he’s the same person as John Hyrcanus I / Yochanan Kohen Gadol.

So, we’re told in the Gemara that Yochanan Kohen Gadol ruled for 80 years.

Let’s do the maths: If he was born in 164 BCE (3596) and died in 76 BCE (3684) – that makes him 88 years old.

It’s definitely within the range being discussed by the Gemara – and more to the point, there is no other ‘Yochanan Kohen Gadol’ who even comes close to this length of time.

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So now, here’s more interesting stuff.

We have no idea who the wives of ‘John Hyrcanus I’ are.

Snippet from the Jewish Women’s Archive HERE:

No woman of the Hasmonean family is mentioned in the two books devoted to the Hasmonean rebellion—Maccabees I and II, the authors of which showed no interest in the families of the Hasmonean brothers. Yet Hasmonean women seem to have played a decisive role in the history of the dynasty, particularly as regards the succession process.

Most of the information was coming from Josephus, and Josephus descends from Alcimus the High Priest, and is very close family with ‘Jesus the Nazarene’.

Perhaps we’ll get to him another time.

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For now, you should know that the only named wife for all of these Hasmonean rulers is ‘ShlomTziyon-Salome’, the sister of the head of the Sanhedrin, Shimon ben Shetach, who we are told marries ‘Alexander Yannai’ when he is 13 – and she is 30!

This footnote sums up the problem:

Josephus’ statement (Jewish Antiquities xv. 6, § 3), that Hyrcanus II, Jannaeus’ eldest son, was eighty years old when he was put to death by Herod, in 31 BCE, is probably erroneous, for that would set the year of his birth as 111 BCE, and Jannaeus himself was born in 125 BCE, so that he could have been but fourteen when Hyrcanus was born to him. It is difficult to understand how a thirteen-year-old boy married a widow of thirty.

But we know he didn’t.

Queen Shlomtzion-Salome-Alexandra was probably at least his second wife.

And if John Hyrcanus I / Alexander Yannai was born in 164 BCE, and ShlomTzion-Salome was born in 142 BCE, that makes HIM 22 years older than HER.

And that makes way more sense.

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ShlomTzion eventually outlives him, and become a righteous Regent Queen in her own right, before the nation plunges into civil war upon her death, as her two sons fight it out to be King.

Here’s a couple more things to note, and then we will have to leave it here today, and return to ‘Jesus in Wales’ in a different post.

In the course of figuring this bit out, I’ve actually tripped over even more information that fills out the picture of who Jesus really was, and what really went down here, with all these two-faced ‘Tzaddik-heretic’ Hashmonaims.

Snippet 1:

According to some versions of the Toledoth Yeshu, a medieval alternative-Christian life of Jesus, Salome is connected with Jesus of Nazareth, placing the death of Jesus 150 years earlier.

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Apart from Josephus, ShlomTzion is also mentioned in the Gemara, as the sister of Shimon ben Shetach.

These snippets come from the ‘Whitewashing Yoshki‘ post:

[The original] Yeshu lived in the time of Shimon ben Shetach, who had Yoshke killed for being a false moshiach and utilizing the Shem haMeforesh….

Shimon ben Shetach and Yehuda Ibn Tabbai were preceded by the ‘zug’ of Yehoshua ben Perachya and Nitai HaArbeli.

Yehoshua ben Perachya is known as the ‘rebbe’ of Jesus, who was one of his students who went astray.

Go back and read that post, if you didn’t already, because it has a lot of pertinent information.

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Queen ShlomTzion  is also mentioned, very unfavorably, by the Essene community, in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Snippet from the JWA site:

Queen Shelamziyyon is mentioned by name twice in the Dead Sea scrolls, in an astrological fragment (4Q322–4Q324).

Reference to her reign is probably also found in Pesher Nahum. These allow a glimpse into the Dead Sea Sect’s attitudes to the queen. Pesher Nahum first describes the reign of her husband, during which the Pharisees were crucified, referring to a well-known event in the days of King Alexander Yannai (88 BCE) described in the writings of Josephus (Ant. 13:380).

It then goes on to describe the rule of the Pharisees, obviously during the queen’s reign.

Jerusalem under the rule of the new queen is described as “the bloody city” and the queen herself is described in the words of the prophet Nahum: “Because of the countless harlotries of the harlot, the winsome mistress of sorcery, who ensnared nations with her harlotries and peoples with her sorcery.” (Nahum 3:4).

For the sectarians of Qumran, the queen’s change of policy in Jerusalem did not seem to make much difference. They hated the Sadducee rule of Alexander Yannai, and they detested his heiress’s Pharisee rule no less.

====

I am more and more coming to the conclusion that ‘Yoshki’ and his brother James the Just, as well as being Kohanim, were closely aligned to the Essene community in Qumran, after all.

And that they were the sworn enemies of the Hashmonaim rulers, in both of their guises as righteous ‘Pharisees’ and wicked ‘Sadducees’.

This snippet comes from HERE:

Another group of texts, mainly Pesher Habakkuk, recalls the way the “Wicked Priest” persecuted the “Teacher of Righteousness,” the head of the Dead Sea sect, and his group.

The phrase “Wicked Priest” seems to aim at the High Priest living in Jerusalem, contemporary of the Teacher of Righteousness. Thus some scholars identify this figure with Alexander Yannai, while other scholars seek to identify him with one of his predecessors or successors.

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I will start to piece that bit of the story together soon, BH.

But we’ll stop here for now.

Another epic post!

But at least now we’ve figured out the true identity of that ‘Yochanan Kohen Gadol’, we’ve figured out that he is one-and-the-same as ‘Alexander Yannai’ and ‘John Hyrcanus I’ – and that is the exact same period of time that this ‘Kever Yason’ was built in the Jerusalem necropolis that was located in Rehavia, with all its ‘Egyptian’ hellenistic stuff going on.

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In the next post, we’ll try to get to ‘Jesus in Wales’.

And then, you’ll hopefully start to see why so much of what was going on with the Hashmonaim rulers has been deliberately distorted and covered up.

It’s properly mind-blowing.

====

You might also like this article:

This is the follow on from the post about Heliocentrism, Sadducees and Sabbateans.

To recap, briefly, (for people who can’t read more than two sentences before the brain fuzz descends – i.e. everyone….), in the last post we learnt that:

  • Zadok was the first Kohen Gadol, appointed to Solomon’s Temple.
  • His descendants, the ‘Bnei Zadok‘, figure large in Yehezkel’s prophecy about the rebuilt Third Temple.
  • They also figure large in xtian prophecies about the end of days, and have the job of ‘serving Yoshki’ when he comes back after his second coming… in the Third Temple.
  • According to my historian correspondent, the ‘Bnei Zadok’ were heliocentrists, and very knowledgeable about the sun and planetary movements. The last of them, Onias III, actually went down fighting the hellenizers.
  • At the same time, we know there are a bunch of heretics who deny the validity of the oral Torah and who were against Chazal, and rabbinic Judaism, from the start.
  • These people are also called ‘Zadukim‘, or the anglicised version, ‘Sadducees’. The Sages used ‘Zadukim’ interchangeably with ‘Boethesian’ in the Gemara when talking about these heretics.
  • They got their names from the two students of Antigonus, Zadok and Boethus, who went OTD. Both of them appear to have been Kohanim, and heretical thinking appears to have been extremely pronounced amongst the Kohanim of that time. (See Pirkei Avot 1:3).
  • Antigonus got the tradition from Shimon HaTzaddik.
  • These ‘Sadducees-Boethesians’  are somehow connected to the problem of Jewish-xtians, Karaites, Sabbateans, Frankists and Jews-for-Jesus who have been plaguing our community, and trying to dismantle Judaism from within, for the last two millenia.
  • And the last place we got to, was the account in the Gemara where we learned about the strange case of ‘Chonyo’ and his brother ‘Shimi’ – two sons of Shimon HaTzaddik – who were battling it out to see who would become the Kohen Gadol.

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As we learnt in the last post, ‘Chonyo’ and ‘Shimi’ are battling it out to be the Kohen Gadol, after the death of Shimon HaTzaddik.

Depending on if you follow R’ Meir’s view (that Chonyo was the victim) or R’ Yehuda’s view (the Chonyo was the aggressor) – either way, Chonyo the son of Shimon HaTzaddik ends up in Egypt, where he builds some sort of temple – totally against halacha – and starts offering sacrifices there.

Again, the Gemara is split as to whether Chonyo was really ‘serving Hashem’, or really serving idols in his temple.

In the note at the bottom of Menuchot 109b, we learnt this:

Josephus Flavius reports that it was a smaller and poorer version. Josephus writes further that Chonyo [whom he calls ‘Onias’ and describes as a descendant of Shimon HaTzaddik] appealed to Ptolemy Philometer and his queen Cleopatra, who ruled Egypt from Alexandria, to allow him to develop a certain stretch of land for a Jewish Temple.

Josephus states that this land was in an area known as ‘the Nomus of Heliopolis’

We also learnt that:

Rambam adds that the Copts and their associates were attracted to Chonyo.

Chonyo encouraged them to serve Hashem and they listened to him. His statements were much esteemed by them and they made him their priest and honored his temple.

They served Hashem there and brought offerings according to what Chonyo had instructed them. The temple stood for hundreds of years.

====

According to the ‘standard’ Jewish history we’re all told, Shimon HaTzaddik stopped Alexander the Great from conquering Jerusalem in the year 3448 (313 BCE).

This snippet comes from the Chabad website HERE:

In 3448, the Jewish people entered a time of great turbulence, both in the spiritual and material realms. Prophecy had come to a close, and Alexander the Great was conquering the known world.

Fortunately, a great leader, Shimon HaTzadik, deftly steered the people through uncharted waters. As Kohen Gadol and head of the Sanhedrin, he embodied both religious and political power. (In the absence of the monarchy, the Kohen Gadol represented the nation to the outside world. Previously, it was a purely religious office.)…

In 3448, Alexander marched through the land of Israel, bringing Persian rule to an end.

Filled with trepidation, the Jews sent a delegation of Kohanimled by Shimon HaTzadik, all dressed in their priestly raiments. Upon approaching Alexander, they were astounded when the great conqueror prostrated himself before Shimon! When asked the reason for such inexplicable behavior, Alexander replied that before his battles a vision of Shimon appeared to him promising victory.

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(See the full account in the Gemara, Tractate Yoma 69a.)

There’s just one problem with this: the dates don’t add up, historically.

When you ask the simple question ‘when did Shimon HaTzaddik actually live?’ you get the same sort of tremendous confusion that bears all the hallmarks of a massive cover-up. So, let’s start unpicking things by laying out a clear timeline, below.

I’m going to stick with the Hebrew dating, because ‘secular dating’ is by no means as solid and reliable.

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3338 – The First Temple is destroyed, and the Jewish people go into exile in Babylonia. (442 BCE, according to the Seder Olam).

3408 – Darius II succeeds Ahashverosh (of the Purim story) and gives the Jews permission to return to Israel and start rebuilding the Second Temple.

3412 – The rebuilt Second Temple in Jerusalem is completed.

3426 – Nehemiah is given permission to become the official governor of the Jews, in Israel. He rebuilds the wall surrounding Jerusalem.

3448 – Alexander the Great sweeps over the Middle East, and conquers Israel, bringing it under Greek rule.

So far so good?

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Now, let’s try to fit in the dates for the Chanukah Story.

3538-3574 – Antiochus III reigns in Judea, after wresting control of the country from King Ptolemy V Epiphanes of Egypt. (222-186 B.C.E)

3575 – Antiochus III dies, and his son Seleucus IV Philopator takes over as Greek ruler of Judea.

Around this time (the secular date given is 187 BCE, which equates to 3573) Seleucus decides to ransack the Temple treasury in Jerusalem, at the time that ‘Yochanan Kohen Gadol’ is the High Priest – the Yochanan from Chanuka, whose son Matityahu launches the rebellion against the hellenists:

[A]  man named Simon (…) reported to him [Apollonius] the treasury in Jerusalem was full of untold sums of money, so that the amount of the funds could not be reckoned, and that they did not belong to the account of the sacrifices, but that it was possible for them to fall under the control of the king. When Apollonius met the king, he told him of the money about which he had been informed. The king chose Heliodorus, who was in charge of his affairs, and sent him with commands to effect the removal of the reported wealth.

— 2 Maccabees 3:2-4, 6-7 (NRSV)
====
NOTE: We have a firm time here for when ‘Yochanan Kohen Gadol’ was the High Priest, at least between 3575 and 3585.
3585 – Seleucus IV Philopator is assassinated by that same Heliodorus, above, who becomes regent of Judea for a short while, Seleucus’ brother claims the throne. This is the Greek King of the Chanukah account, Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
====

Now, things get interesting.

When does the revolt of ‘Matityahu ben Yochanan Kohen Gadol‘ start?

3592 – 168 BCE.

(Note: is really hard to find a Jewish date for this, from authentic Jewish sources….If that seems surprising, I think you’ll start to see why this information is so hard to come by, shortly.) This snippet comes from Wikipedia, HERE:

Seleucid King Antiochus IV Epiphanes launched a massive campaign of repression against the Jewish religion in 168 BCE.

The reason he did so is not entirely clear, but it seems to have been related to the King mistaking an internal conflict among the Jewish priesthood as a full-scale rebellion. Jewish practices were banned, Jerusalem was placed under direct Seleucid control, and the Second Temple in Jerusalem was made the site of a syncretic Pagan-Jewish cult
====

So…. who was the ‘Kohen Gadol’ at this time?

Let’s head over to Chabad, who excel like no other Jewish site, when it comes to finding priceless nuggets of information that give more clues about what was really going on, in real Jewish history – however much they try to cover it up.

Snippet from HERE:

Seleucus was killed and his brother Antiochus IV began to reign over Syria (in 3586 – 174 B.C.E.).

Desiring to unify his kingdom through the medium of a common religion and culture, Antiochus tried to root out the individualism of the Jews by suppressing all the Jewish Laws.

He removed the righteous High Priest, Yochanan, from the Temple in Jerusalem, and in his place installed Yochanan’s brother Joshua, who loved to call himself by the Greek name of Jason.

For he was a member of the Hellenist party, and he used his high office to spread more and more of the Greek customs among the priesthood.

====

I know a lot of people get lost in all the info, so let’s sum this up as we go along:

  • The Kohen Gadol at the time Antiochus IV Epiphanes (the Chanuka tyrant) takes over as ruler of Judea is one ‘Yochanan Kohen Gadol’. We know this, because he is the Kohen Gadol who attempts to stop Antiochus IV’s brother, Seleucus, from stealing the Temple treasures, a few years’ earlier, (and because Chabad tells us….)
  • Antiochus begins his extremely harsh repression of the Jewish people – when circumcusion, Shabbat and the New Moon is outlawed – at this time, apparently mistaking an ‘internal conflict among the Jewish priesthood as a full-scale rebellion’.
  • The Gemara in Tractate Menuchot 109b tells us of a dispute between two sons of ‘Shimon HaTzaddik’, the Kohen Gadol, over who was to become the next Kohen Gadol. These two sons are named as ‘Chonyo’ and ‘Shimi’. There is a conflicting account over who is the good guy, and who is the bad guy. But both accounts agree that ‘Chonyo’ ends up fleeing Jerusalem, and goes to Egypt where he starts his own temple
  • Josephus tells us ‘Chonyo’ is also known as ‘Onias’.
  • The rebellion is begun by one ‘Matityahu ben Yochanan Kohen Gadol‘ – i.e., the son of the High Priest at the time of Antiochus’ usurping the Judean throne.

====

OK, now let’s unpick some more.

Here’s some more clues from the Chabad website, HERE:

At this time the Kohen Gadol was a righteous man named Chonyo, a nickname for Jochanan.

His Hellenized brother Jason, the Greek version of Joshua, bribed Antiochus with vast sums of money to be appointed in Chonyo’s place.

Once installed as Kohen Gadol, Jason built a gymnasium close to the Temple Mount. Sadly, many of the Kohanim and Jewish youth flocked to the hedonistic entertainments provided by Jason, complete with offering sacrifices to the Greek gods….

Jason’s associate Menelaus, who may not even have been a Kohen, bribed Antiochus with even greater amounts of money to depose Jason and appoint Menelaus himself as Kohen Gadol.

Once in power, Menelaus stole the holy vessels of the Bais Hamikdash to raise the vast sums he needed to pay his bribe.

When Chonyo protested this brazen behavior, Menelaus had him murdered.

The Sanhedrin then sent a delegation to Antiochus accusing Menelaus of great excesses, but Menelaus bribed the king’s advisors and had the sages executed.

====

So, now more of the story is coming into focus.

Yochanan = ‘Chonyo’ = Onias.

This would appear to be the same ‘Chonyo’ described in Menuchot 109b, who is fighting with his brother ‘Shimi’ over who will be the next High Priest.

Jason = Joshua / Jesus = ‘Shimi’

He’s the Hellenised brother, who builds a Greek gymnasium right next to Har HaBayit…. and apparently, he’s also the son of Shimon HaTzaddik.

And now, we also have two versions of that same story of Yochanan / Chonyo / Onias trying to stop some evil Hellenist from ransacking the Temple treasury. Except in one version, the villain is meant to be Seleucus’ agent Heliodorus, who apparently fails, and in the second version, it’s the arch-hellenist ‘Menelaus’ – who apparently succeeds, and has Yochanan / Chonyo / Onias killed when he’s deposed from being High Priest, and sent into exile in Daphne.

====

Now, let’s see if we can track down ‘Yochanan / Chonyo / Onias’ and ‘Jason’ more in the real world.

This comes from Wiki HERE:

Jason was the High Priest of Israel from around 175 BCE to 171 BCE during the Second Temple period of Judaism.

He was of the Oniad family and was brother to Onias III, his predecessor as High Priest. Josephus records that his name was originally Jesus or Joshua before he changed it…

Onias III ruled as High Priest for an unknown length of time prior to Jason’s accession. Both Onias III and Jason were sons of Simon II, an earlier High Priest.

====

Who is this ‘Simon II’?

This from Wiki, HERE:

Simon II (219–199 BCE) was a Jewish High Priest during the Second Temple period. He was the son of Onias II.

Some identify him with Simeon the Just.

I.E., he is ‘Shimon HaTzaddik’.

Notice that ‘Simon II’ apparently only lived for 20 years… that’s baloney.

We know that Shimon HaTzaddik served as Kohen Gadol for 40 years, so if it’s the same person, he must have lived at least a few years more than that.

As usual, the dates here are deliberately all over the place, but it’s at least possible that all these repeated ‘Shimons’ and ‘Onias” are actually just the same person, split into multiples to deliberately confuse us all, that the main ‘enemy’ leading the Hellenisers in Judaea was none other than ‘Jason -Jesus’, the son of Shimon HaTzaddik.

====

OK, so let’s just finish up this particular post trying to trace what happened to ‘Jesus the Kohen Gadol’, son of Shimon HaTzaddik.

Remember, he descended from the same ‘Bnei Zadok’ as his apparently more righteous brother Yochanan / Chonyo / Onias III, and we know that the ‘Zadukim’ were the hellenizing Sadducees, who were against the Sages, (aka ‘Pharisees’).

We also know from the Gemara that there are conflicting accounts of what happened to ‘Onias’, and his brother, but that someone from this family went down to Egypt, and started a temple there.

And just to make things even more confused, Josephus says that the really, really  bad High Priest, Menelaus, was actually also a brother of Jason-Jesus, and Yochanan / Chonyo /Onias.

====

As always, let’s go back to the ‘facts’ we do have, to see if we can stand more of them up with secondary sources.

There is more biographical details about Jason-Jesus from the Jewish Virtual Library site HERE, citing Maccabees 4:7–29:

Antiochus also granted him authority to establish in Jerusalem a Hellenist polis whose citizens were selected and registered by Jason himself.

Armed with this authority, he established within Jerusalem a city-state called Antiochia, whose citizens he chose from the Hellenized aristocracy of Jerusalem, and erected a gymnasium in the capital. His actions led to a strengthening of Hellenistic culture in the city and to a weakening of the traditional way of life and of religious worship (II Macc. 4:7–15).

This policy of Jason and his supporters was the chief cause of the Hasmonean revolt which broke out afterward, and which finally freed Judea from the rule of the Seleucids and gave birth to the Hasmonean dynasty.

Jason sent envoys and gifts to Tyre in honor of the festivities to the Tyrean god Heracles. He also welcomed Antiochus when he visited Jerusalem in 174 B.C.E.

However, three years later he was dismissed from the high priesthood by the king, and Menelaus, who offered Antiochus a larger sum of money for the office, was appointed in his stead.

==

A few years later, in 168 B.C.E., when a false rumor spread that Antiochus was dead, [Jason-Jesus] attempted to return and seize power in Jerusalem.

He was unsuccessful, however, and was compelled to leave the city after instituting a slaughter of the inhabitants.

For a while he was imprisoned by the Arabian king, Aretas.

His last years were spent wandering from place to place, and he was not buried in the family sepulcher.

====

So, it seems it was Jason-Jesus’ attempt to seize power in Jerusalem in 168 BCE that actually caused Antiochus Epiphanes to ratchet up his campaign of persecuting the Jews, and outlawing Jewish practice and circumcision.

Our biggest enemies always come from within.

On the Wikipedia page, (quoting more of the Book of Maccabees II)  we learn that he also spent at least some time in Ptolemic Egypt – where that temple was built, mentioned in Menuchot 109b.

====

Getting back to that temple, it definitely did exist.

But there’s a question of whether it was actually built by Yochanan / Chonyo / Onias III, Jason-Jesus’ brother, or by his son, Onias IV.

Snippet from HERE):

The temple was probably built by Junio IV, son of Junio III between 170 and 154 BC, in Egypt. The dynasty of Honio’s sons served as high priests in the temple for its 243-year existence and in fact continued the dynasty of the priests of Zadok.

====

Snippet from HERE:

After being removed from the ministry of the high priesthood, he went down with his family and supporters to Egypt, sometime between 166 and 162 BC… Upon his arrival, Honio [IV] sent a letter to Ptolemy VI Philomator and his wife Cleopatra, as noted by Josephus Flavius in Antiquity of the Jews, Book 13: 64-68.

More:

By a unique coincidence, an interesting alliance was formed between the son of a Jewish high priest who fled to Egypt from political persecution and the desecration of the Temple, in order to fulfill an ancient prophecy about a new temple in Egypt, and the supreme ruler of Egypt.

Ptolemy [Philopater] enlists [Chonyo / Onias IV] sons and supporters as allies and as a military force in exchange for land and permission to establish their temple there.

====

Chonyo / Onias IV gets VERY cosy with the Egyptian rulers.

When Ptolemy Philopater dies, it’s Onias IV, head of his army, and his Jewish mercenaries, who save the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra when a civil war erupts.

I’m starting to think that ‘Onias IV’ may be one and the same as ‘Jason-Jesus-Joshua’, the hellenizing High Priest from Jerusalem, who sparks them massive Greek oppression of the Jews, then basically scarpers. He has a lot of military experience and is basically an immoral git.

It kinda makes sense that ‘Jesus the power hungry Kohen Gadol’ would build his own temple down in Heliopolis, and start his own religion.

I am going to stop here, for now, because I have some more mind-blowing information linking the ‘Bnei Zadok’ with Yoshki, xtianity – and also the Ptolemy family.

But that deserves it’s own post.

TBC

====

PS: Once all this information is finally shaken out, some more, I will do a post setting it all out very clearly.

I know it’s not always easy to follow the progression of these posts, but each one is a stepping stone clearing more of the confusion out of the way.

So bear with me.

The end is finally looming into sight.

====

You might also like this article:

 

 

This is probably going to be one of those wild posts.

So buckle in, grab a cup of tea, and let’s begin.

==

The story begins when one of my readers sent me an email exchange he’d had with a friend who is both a historian and a mathematician (amongst many other things.)

This is the part that particularly caught my eye:

Not only did Bnei Zadokim (the priestly line known as the sons of Zadok) know that [the earth] was a sphere, but they actually knew very specific things about its orbit around the sun, and they also knew details about its axial rotation.

====

What?!

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that the working theory that is developing about real Jewish history is that the ‘Zadokim’, aka the heretical ‘Sadducees’ never really went away.

They most probably gave us Yoshki, and ‘Jewish-xtianity’, in whatever way that occurred; they for sure gave us Greek assimilation and heretical ideas, and they almost certainly continued to ‘subvert the Jewish community’ from within, not least as Karaites, and more modern ‘Jews for Jesus’.

The working theory is that these families of ‘Sadducees’ (who were mostly corrupt Kohanim) also gave us Shabtai Tzvi (aka Shabtai HaKohen, the SHACH), and that of course devolved, at least partly, into the Freemason-Frankist-Reformers,  while the ‘old school Sabbateans’ remained outwardly ‘ultra-orthodox’.

This is the working theory for the mess our Jewish community is currently in.

====

So, it hit me like a thunderbolt that these same Zadukim / Sadducees were also big into heliocentric heresy, and ‘sun worship’.

When you think about it, that makes perfect sense. They were hellenising heretics, who wanted a more ‘moderate and modern’ Judaism that would enable them to stay ethnically Jewish, while tossing most of the mitzvot and Torah away.

Does this sound familiar?

====

So the first thing I did was to try to pin down a bit more about who these ‘Bnei Tzadukim’ actually were.

And this is where the story gets really interesting – and also really confusing.

Let’s have the basic intro, from Wikipedia, because it’s only going to get more wild from here:

The Sons of Zadok are a family of priests, kohens, descended from Zadok, the first high priest in Solomon’s Temple.

The sons of Zadok are mentioned three times in the Hebrew Bible, as part of the Third Temple prophecy in the final chapters of the Book of Ezekiel, and are a theme in Jewish and Christian interpretation of these chapters.

====

These Zadokite priests descend from Pinchas the Zealot, who killed Cozbi and Zimri in flagrante delicto, and was then ‘rewarded’ with the High Priesthood.

Pinchas was the grandson of both Aaron HaKohen, via his son Eleazar, and also of Yitro, via his mother, ‘the daughter of Putiel’. (Putiel was another name for Yitro – see Rashi’s commentary to Parshat Vayeira, 6:25).

After the whole thing with Jephta’s vow to sacrifice the first thing he saw when he came home after doing battle at Gibeah – which happened to be his daughter – Pinchas-who-is-Eliyahu drops out of view, and the High Priesthood is now given to the sons of Itamar, Aaron HaKohen’s other surviving son.

Eli HaKohen who we know from the story of Hannah, descends from Itamar HaKohen.

And of course, his sons Hophni and Pinchas are the corrupt Kohanim who have put the whole of Am Yisrael off from ascending to Shilo, to the Tabernacle, for the three festivals.

(There is nothing new under the sun).

====

So, under King David, Zadok is appointed High Priest, and he comes from the lineage of Aaron’s son, Eleazar.

This Zadok is very holy, he arranges the Kohanim into 24 ‘watches’, and according to Sotah 48b, David appoints him as Kohen HaGadol because the Urim v’Tumim actually work for him:

Rav Nachman said: When the Urim v’Tumim were consulted in the days of King David, sometimes it worked out for them and sometimes it did not work for them. For we find that Tzadok consulted the Urim v’Tumim at David’s behest and it worked out for him, while Aviatar consulted the Urim v’Tumim and it did not work out for him.

The Artscoll notes that this is based on the account in Samuel II, 15:24.

Having read it through, quickly, I can’t see anything about the Urim v’Temum specifically, but it does say that Zadok and Aviatar are David’s Kohanim, and describes how they bring the Ark of the Covenant out to travel with him, when he’s fleeing from his son Absalom, but David tells them to return to Jerusalem and act as his spies and informers.

Which they do. Zadok’s son Ahimaaz is the one who informs David that the rebellion has been crushed.

And later on, Solomon appoints Zadok as the first High Priest in the Temple.

====

So, the Zadok family are holy, important and strongly connected to royalty.

The next time the ‘sons of Zadok’ show up is in the prophesy of Yehezkel – also a Kohen, but from the line of Ithamar – in his vision about the Third Temple.

Here’s a little of what it says (Yehezkel 40:46):

“[T]he chamber that faces North is for the Kohanim, the guardians of the charge of the Altar. They, who are the descendants of Zadok, are the ones from among the sons of Levi who approach Hashem, to serve Him.”

====

The next notable mention of the ‘Sons of Zadok’ comes from fragments found amongst the Dead Sea scrolls.

Snippet from Wikipedia:

Various documents of the texts found at Qumran mention the teachers of the community as “kohanim Sons of Zadok“, leading some scholars to assume that the community at Qumran included kohanim (Jewish priests) who refused to participate in the Hellenization of the priesthood then taking place in Jerusalem.

Already by this point, I started to get the feeling that a big piece of the ‘real Jewish history’ puzzle was starting to swim into view.

Let’s continue.

====

So now, there are a lot of later commentaries on the status and function  of these ‘Sons of Zadok’ in the Third Temple.

These include:,

  • Jonathan Eybeschutz,
  • Isaac Abrabanel, and
  • Meir Leibush ben Yehiel Michal (the Malbim)

In fact, Eybshutz wrote a whole big pamphlet on the role of these ‘Bnei Zadukim’, called ‘Ahavath Yonatan’.

I haven’t read these commentaries myself, but according to Wikipedia, they state that the:

Status of the sons of Zadok after the coming of the Messiah will be that of “semi” high priests….there is Rabbinic documentary that describe the future high priest from the sons of Zadok as having certain priorities, or at least being equal to the future Jewish Messiah King. 

====

Now, go back and re-read the post I wrote a while back, called The Rod and The Sceptre.

====

As always, I’m getting sidetracked from what I actually wanted to write about, but take a look at this, from HERE:

Rabbi Chaim Vital… introduces an idea that in the Age to Come (Hebrew LeAtid Lavoh “the Messianic era”) the souls belonging to the spiritual rootsource of Kayin, which are essentially the souls of the firstborn and Levites, will become clear and purified and will thus merit to serve in the Third Temple.

This idea is exegesized from the verse “אם תטיב שאת” (if you will better yourself you will be uplifted) explained as when you will better yourself you will merit to the priesthood which is titled “שאת” (uplifted).

This idea is echoed by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi in his book The Tanya, as by his son and successor The Mitteler Rebbe.

Surprise, surprise, the Chabad Rebbes are right in the middle of all this.

While we are on this subject, let me just note that from what I can tell, at least the last five rebbes of Chabad actually descend paternally from Kohanim.

What that means is that none of them could ever have been ‘Moshiach ben David’ – unless there was some strange idea that “the sons of Zadok =  at least being equal to the future Jewish Messiah King. “

Let that sink in, while we move on with the main story.

====

So now, we have a conundrum to try to resolve.

Here, we have a description of ‘Zadokim’ that seems to suggest they are holy and pure, and will be back serving Hashem in the Third Temple.

Meanwhile, we also have all these Sadducee-Jewish-Xtian-Karaite-Sabbatean-Frankists, who are also named for ‘Zadok’.

So, what’s going on here?

====

Notorious Frankist-Reformer Abraham Geiger is the one who first says that ‘Sadducees’ descend, specifically, from Zadok the first Kohen HaGadol.

That doesn’t mean he’s wrong, necessarily, because as we’ve seen all along, the most evil people keep coming out of the families of true Tzaddikim – and vice-versa.

Our authentic Jewish tradition (via the ‘Avot de Rabbi Natan) teaches that ‘Zadok and Boethus’ were two students of Antigonos of Sokho, who went off the derech when they misunderstood his statement in Pirkei Avot Ch.1, Mishnah 3 that there is no reward or punishment.

Here’s that mishnah:

Antigonos of Sokho recieved the tradition from Shimon HaTzaddik. He used to say: “Do not be like servants who serve their master for the sake of recieving a reward; rather, be like the servants who serve their master without a reward in mind, and let the fear of Heaven be upon you.”

====

And here’s a translation of the Avot de Rabbi Natan:

[H]is two pupils, Zadok and Boethus, repeated this maxim to their pupils. In the course of time, either the two teachers or their pupils understood this to express the belief that there was neither an afterlife nor a resurrection of the dead and founded the sects of the Sadducees and the Boethusians.

They lived in luxurious splendor; using silver and golden vessels all their lives, not because they were haughty, but because (as they claimed) the Pharisees led a hard life on earth and yet would have nothing to show for it in the world to come.

====

Priestly families usually only used stone vessels, because of issues with tumah (spiritual impurity).

So we see that these ‘Sadducees and Boethesians’ were clearly storming off the derech.

Here’s a few more examples of their heretical ideas in action, from HERE:

 The Mishnah, as well as the Baraita, mentions the Boethusians as opposing the Pharisees in saying that the sheaf due at the Passover (compare Omer) must be offered not on the second feast-day, but on the day after the actual Shabbat of the festival week, and, accordingly, that Shavuot, which comes seven weeks and one day later, should always be celebrated on Sunday.

In another passage it is narrated that the Boethusians hired false witnesses in order to lead the Pharisees astray in their calculations of the new moon.

Another point of dispute between the Boethusians and the Pharisees was whether the high priest should prepare the incense inside or outside the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur.

====

This was the real start of all the nitpicking and ‘disagreements’ between the Sages, that has put so very many people off yiddishkeit down the ages, including in our days.

And remember, there is nothing new under the sun.

====

Boethus and Zadok were both from priestly families.

Apparently, the Talmud was using the words ‘Boethusians’ and ‘Tzaddukim’ interchangeably, to denote a bunch of wicked, hellenising heretics who were trying to subvert Judaism from within.

For example, there is an argument in Shabbat 108a between ‘a Boethusian’ and R’ Yehoshua HaGarsi, where the Boethusian heretic is asking him:

From where is it derived that one may not write tefillin on the hide of an animal that is not kosher?

All these Boethusian, Sadducees and proto-xtians heretics sound the same in the Gemara.

That’s probably not a coincidence.

But according to my historian, above, there were two groups of ‘Zadukim’, one holy, and one really not, that Chazal could no longer distinguish between.

Let’s explore a little further.

====

This snippet comes from the Encyclopaedia Brittanica, HERE:

Because of evident similarities, some scholars tend to view the Boethusians as merely a branch of the Sadducees.

Both parties, they point out, associated with the aristocracy and denied the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the body, because neither of these doctrines was contained in the written Torah, or first five books of the Bible.

The Boethusians testified to their disbelief in the “world to come” by living lives of luxury and by ridiculing the piety and asceticism of the Pharisees….

Still other scholars have argued that the Boethusians should be identified with the Essenes and Dead Sea Sect and that the word Boethusian may not derive from the name Boethus but from Beth Essaya, or Essenes.

====

There’s a link to Qumran again.

Let’s continue.

====

While I was pondering all this, the Rav, Rav Eliezer Berland, started making a bunch of references to ‘Shimon HaTzaddik’, and the strange account of what happened with the High Priesthood, when two of his sons started fighting with each other.

You can find that account in Tractate Menachot, 109b (this is the Artscroll translation):

“At the moment of his passing, [Shimon HaTzaddik] said to them, ‘My son Chonyo should serve as Kohen HaGadol in my place.’

Shimi, his brother, became jealous of him, because [Shimi] was two and a half years older than [Chonyo]. Shimi then schemed to have Chonyo killed, so he could assume the post of Kohen Gadol.

[Shimi] said to [Chonyo], ‘Come, and I will teach you the order of the Temple Service.’ He dressed him in a leather blouse and belted him with an attractive sash. Both of these were feminine articles of clothing. [Shimi] stood him next to the Altar. Shimi then left him there and went to speak to a group of Kohanim who were in the Temple at that time.

[Shimi] said to his brothers the Kohanim, ‘Look at what this [brother of mine] vowed and carried out for his beloved wife! He swore to her, ‘On the day I first serve as Kohen Gadol, I will wear your blouse and belt myself with your sash, to demonstrate my love for you.’

His brothers the Kohanim believed this story and wished to kill [Chonyo]. [Chonyo] ran away from them but they ran after him. He went to Alexandria in Egypt, built an altar there and brought sacrifices upon it for the sake of idolatry.”

====

Remember, both these Kohanim are meant to be the sons of Shimon HaTzaddik.

But wait, there’s more. The Gemara account continues  like this:

“This version of the story reflects the words of R’ Meir. R’ Yehudah said to him: ‘That’s not how the story went’.

Rather, after Shimon HaTzaddik named Chonyo as his successor, Chonyo did not accept this upon himself because his brother Shimi was two and a half years older than him. Nevertheless, Chonyo regretted his decision and plotted to have Shimi killed, so he could become the Kohen Gadol.

[Chonyo] said to [Shimi], ‘Come, and I will teach you the Temple Service.’ He dressed him in a woman’s leather blouse and belted him with a woman’s attractive sash. [Chonyo] stood [Shimi] next to the altar and left him there.

[Chonyo] said to his brothers the Kohanim, ‘Look at what this [brother of mine] vowed and carried out for his beloved wife! He swore to her, ‘On the day that I first serve as Kohen Gadol, I will wear your blouse and belt myself with your sash, to show you the depth of my love.’

==

His brothers the Kohanim believed this story and wished to kill him.

He asked them to wait until he spoke and then they could do whatever they wished. [Shimi] told them the entire incident. The Kohanim investigated the matter with the greatest scrutiny until they clarified Shimi was innocent and it was Chonyo who had dared to make the Kohen Gadol, the avodah and the Altar into a joke.

[The masses] then wished to kill Chonyo. [Chonyo] ran away from them, but they ran after him. He ran towards the King’s palace, but they ran after him. Whoever saw him as he ran would point at him and tell his pursuers, ‘That is him! That is him!’

When he reached the palace, the king could not protect him because he was sought by the entire Jewish people.

[Chonyo] went to Alexandria in Egypt, built an altar there and brought offerings upon it for the sake of Heaven.

He therefore fulfilled a prophetic promise to Isaiah from years earlier, for it says: ‘On that day, there will be an altar to Hashem in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to Hashem near it’s border.'”

====

If you are feeling confused by all this, don’t worry!

I also am.

But certain threads are starting to tie together here, in a big way, between real Jewish history, the Hashmonaims, the Sadducees, and the first ‘Jewish-xtian’ heretics.

Let’s set out a few more details, and then we’ll pick this up in part 2, because it’s too much info to stuff into one post.

The note on the Artscroll translation says this:

Rambam states that Chonyo built a temple that was structurally similar to the Beit HaMikdash.

Josephus Flavius reports that it was a smaller and poorer version. Josephus writes further that Chonyo [whom he calls ‘Onias’ and describes as a descendant of Shimon HaTzaddik] appealed to Ptolemy Philometer and his queen Cleopatra, who ruled Egypt from Alexandria, to allow him to develop a certain stretch of land for a Jewish Temple.

Josephus states that this land was in an area known as ‘the Nomus of Heliopolis’.

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“Helio” = sun.

“Polis” = city.

Back to that footnote:

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Rambam writes (following the view of R’ Yehudah) that the Temple of Chonyo was not a pagan temple, but Chonyo did transgress the negative commandment against offering sacrifices outside the Beit HaMikdash.

Rambam adds that the Copts and their associates were attracted to Chonyo.

Chonyo encouraged them to serve Hashem and they listened to him. His statements were much esteemed by them and they made him their priest and honored his temple.

They served Hashem there and brought offerings according to what Chonyo had instructed them. The temple stood for hundreds of years.

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I have that strange feeling I sometimes get that we may have just tripped over the historical account of the original ‘Yoshki’.

You know, that guy who went ‘bad’ and mislead a whole bunch of people to start worshipping idols, even though he himself was apparently still a devout Jew… who went down to Egypt and learnt black magic there…. who was very connected to ‘royalty’ back in Jerusalem, and who descends from a family of priests…

Remember, the Coptic Church is probably the oldest ‘official’ xtian church in the world. This comes from Wikipedia:

The Egyptian Church is traditionally believed to be founded by Mark the Evangelist around AD 42, and regards itself as the subject of many prophecies in the Old Testament.

Isaiah the prophet, in Chapter 19, Verse 19 says “In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border”.

The first Christians in Egypt were common people who spoke Egyptian Coptic.

There were also Alexandrian Jewish people such as Theophilus, whom Luke the Evangelist addresses in the introductory chapter of his gospel. When the church was founded by Mark during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero, a great multitude of native Egyptians (as opposed to Greeks or Jews) embraced the Christian faith.

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This is the exact same verse quoted in our Gemara, Tractate Menachot 109b, in connection with Chonyo’s temple!

If the original ‘Yoshki’ was actually the son of Shimon HaTzaddik… we can already start to understand why all this has been so covered up.

So now, we have to ask the question:

Who was ‘Shimon HaTzaddik’, really, and how did he connect to the Hashmonaim rulers?

For sure, he’s a massive Tzaddik, there’s no question of that.

But, what is the context surrounding him, and his family, and how does all this mesh together with what we know of ‘official Jewish history’?

We’ll try to explore that more, in the next post, BH.

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In preparation for the next post, I highly recommend you go back and read this one:

A lot of the pieces are starting to come together.

Over Shabbat, I re-read a book called ‘New Heavens and a New Earth’.

I first read it a couple of years ago, but each time I go through all this stuff again, I glean more useful insights. While the author, Jeremy Brown, clearly believes ‘Copernicus was right’, I give him very high marks for actually trying to write the book in as ‘neutral’ a mode as he can.

And he brings a ton of relevant Jewish sources.

Let me set out the basic things I learned, and then we’ll get down to the sources themselves.

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  1. There are authentic Jewish sources for both a ‘flat earth’, a spherical earth ‘celestial sphere’ (more on that shortly) and also Rebbe Nachman’s ‘dreidel’ earth.

Today, I realised that the SHAPE of the earth is not where the main argument is at all, and you can believe any of the above and be in line with authentic Jewish sources (you’ll see why, in a moment.)

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2. There is ABSOLUTELY NO AUTHENTIC JEWISH SOURCE FOR BELIEVING THE EARTH REVOLVES AROUND THE SUN.

This idea was Copernicus’ big ‘chiddush’ – and there is not one credible Jewish sources from before the last 200 years that supports this idea.

(More on ‘who is supporting heliocentrism in Jewish community’ shortly).

If you believe in ‘heliocentrism’ as opposed to ‘geocentrism’ – you are have a big spiritual problem on your hands.

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3. Whether you believe the earth is spinning around in place – like a dreidel – or is totally stationary, either of these ideas have authentic rabbinic support.

But, there is ABSOLUTELY NO SUGGESTION THAT THE EARTH IS ‘SPINNING AROUND THE SUN’ OR ANYTHING ELSE.

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These are the basic ideas I learned from our authentic Torah sources.

So now, let’s take a look at some of them, including what the Rambam actually said, about ‘spherical earth’ (the really interesting bits are bolded).

(From ‘Mishneh Torah’, Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah, Chapter 3, 1-4):

The heavens are called shamayim, rakia, zevul and aravort, and they contain nine [concentric] spheres.

The sphere that is closest to us is the sphere of the Moon. The second sphere beyond that is of Mercury, the third is of Venus, and fourth sphere is that of the Sun. The fifth sphere is that of Mars, the sixth that of Jupiter, the seventh that of Saturn.

And the eighth sphere, called rakia, contains all the stars seen in the sky. The ninth sphere is that which turns each day from east to west, which encircles all the others and which moves all of them.

The explanation for the fact that all the stars appear as if they are in the same sphere – even though they actually lay one above the other, is that the spheres are absolutely clear as glass, so that a star in the eighth sphere could appear to be in the first.

All these spheres that orbit the Earth are spherical, like a ball, with the Earth suspended in the center.

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So much for all those who like to claim Rambam as somehow ‘supporting’ Copernicus and heliocentrism.

Now, take a look at the Gemara, Pesachim 94b, where there is a whole, very complicated, discussion about the thickness and properties of the rakia, as well as the properties of the zodiac.

Here’s a very small snippet from the footnotes in the Artscroll version – I highly recommend you take a look yourselves:

“The Gemara below (94b) records a dispute between the Jewish and the gentile [i.e. Greek] Sages regarding the movement of the sun.

The Jewish sages maintained that at night, after the sun sets in the west, it passes through the thickness of the rakia (i.e. the celestial sphere), emerges behind it and travels back from west to east, obscured from the earth by the opaqueness of the sphere [i.e. the rakia].

In the morning it reaches the East, passes back through the thickness of the rakia, and emerges inside it, where it becomes visible on earth as it rises over the horizon.

The gentile [i.e. Greek] Sages on the other hand, maintained the the sun rotates around the earth, passing below the earth at night.”

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There is a ton of info there, but it’s very complicated, I don’t really understand most of it, other than to tell you that it’s the furthest from Copernicus and ‘heliocentrism’ that you can get.

But try and apply what I brought above to the ‘flat earth’ map of Gleason, and see if you get anywhere:

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Here’s a few more sources in the Gemara to check out:

  • Tractate Yoma 54b: “R’ Eleazar opined that the world was created from the center outward, while R’ Joshua declared that the world was created from the edges inward. This dispute is only intelligible if the world is flat.
  • Chagigah 12a-b: A whole discussion about the creation of Heaven and Earth, and the Seven Heavens. This is just a brief snippet – please take a look yourself:
    • “Reish Lakish says: There are seven heavens and they are the following: 1) VILON (curtain), 2) RAKIA (sky), 3) SHEHAKIM (mills), 4) ZVUL (residence), 5) MAON (abode), 6) MACHON (arsenal), 7) ARAVOT (plains). [Reish Lakish begins to explain each] The first heaven, curtain, serves no purpose except that it enters its enclosure in the morning and emerges to cover the sky in the evening and thus renews the work of Creation every day.”

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And there’s a bunch of references in Psalms and elsewhere about the ‘fixed’ nature of the earth, like this, from Pirkei DeRabbi Eleazar, Chapter 3, which jibes nicely with the ‘flat earth’ model, and the ice wall surrounding the oceans:

“The beams that hold the sky are embedded in the ocean. The waters of the ocean stand between the end of the sky and the end of the Earth, and the ends of the sky are spread over the ocean.”

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In the discussion about the rakia from Pesachim 94b, the Sages there Jewish give various measurements for the thickness of the rakia that range from about 1,000 miles to 2,500 miles….

I was pondering that, when I remembered a strange set of experiments carried out by the USA in 1962, called: Operation Fishbowl.

They basically sent a massive amount of nukes up into the rakia, trying to blow a hole in…. what, exactly?

Snippet from Wikipedia:

Johnston Island was a remote location, more distant from populated areas than other potential test locations. In order to protect residents of the Hawaiian Islands from flash blindness or permanent retinal injury from the bright nuclear flash, the nuclear missiles of Operation Fishbowl were launched generally toward the southwest of Johnston Island so that the detonations would be farther from Hawaii.

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Hawaii just happens to be the place nearest to the ice wall, when you look at Gleason’s map, above.

Coincidence?

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In the next post, I have a ton of information to share about where this anti-Torah ‘heliocentric’ idea came from, specifically in terms of how it started to infect the Jewish world.

It’s going to be an epic post.

But in the meantime – lots more to think about, but hopefully lots more clarity, about what the real issue is.

Again, it’s not so much the shape of earth – flat plain suspended in a crystalline ‘sphere’? Spherical earth? – but a question of Torah-true  ‘earth centric’ or heretical Greek ‘sun centric’.

TBC

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UPDATE:

A reader sent me this, and I really liked it, so I’m sticking it up here.

That ‘bottom point’ of the dreidel is the Tzaddik Yesod HaOlam.

And then, we have the 36 (or some say 72) Lamed Vav Tzaddikim.

And then, the Jewish people – who are so, so, so on the bottom, but this is the ‘olam hafuch’, the upside-down world, where those on the bottom are really on the top, spiritually, and vice-versa.

And the whole world revolves around our connection with Hashem – i.e. our spiritual level and Torah learning, and prayers, and mitzvot, and working on our emuna and on overcoming our bad middot is truly keeping the world spinning around. The whole world is made for us! And what we believe, and how we act, affects the whole of creation, mamash.

Think about what’s written here – it’s awesome. No wonder the heretics are trying to obscure this fundamental truth, about the true nature of the world.

==

 

 

You might also like this article:

It’s interesting to me, how many of us are worried that believing in a ‘flat earth’ may somehow go against the Torah view of the world.

In this post, I’m going to try and bring as many of the sources I can find (easily!) together, so we can see ‘what is Torah thinking’ and ‘what is Greek thinking’.

Again, our job is to really engage with these sources, and to continue to ask God to show us the truth.

While that sounds easy, it’s actually way, way harder than most of us think. Because we have certain assumptions about how the world works that were inculcated in us from childhood. And it takes a very brave person, to really be willing to follow the truth wherever it might take them.

Let’s begin.

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Let’s start with the idea of the ‘spherical world’.

I found THIS article that brings together a lot of the original sources, apparently from a more ‘Torah’ perspective. (Pay attention, to how much our Torah world is being deeply colored by ‘Greek thinking’.)

It’s called: What the Sages Knew About the Shape of the World.

But they start by bringing the ‘real science’ from the Greeks:

The first to recognize the spherical nature of Earth was Pythagoras, who lived in the 6th century BCE; see Encyclopedia Hebraica, entry “Pythagoras,” p. 805….

Eratosthenes, who lived in the 3rd century BCE…even calculated the circumference of the planet Earth; see in Encyclopedia Hebraica, entry Eratosthenes, p. 801, about how brilliantly he calculated it.

Thus it is written about him: “Eratosthenes’s calculations — despite their inexactitude, inescapable in the conditions under which his measurements were made — are one of the most amazing astronomico-geographical calculations, and it gave science an (approximate) idea of the planet Earth’s size.”…

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Let’s just pause a moment to point out the obvious:

There is NO WAY Eratosthenes could have taken any measurements, in the real world, or got any data, in the real world, that would have enabled him to ‘calculate the circumference of the planet Earth’, no matter how ‘brilliant’ his equations might have been.

This is pseudo-science.

In case you were wondering how Eratosthenes pulled all this off, here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

He is best known for being the first person known to calculate the circumference of the Earth, which he did by using the extensive survey results he could access in his role at the Library; his calculation was remarkably accurate.

He was also the first to calculate Earth’s axial tilt, which has also proved to have remarkable accuracy. He created the first global projection of the world, incorporating parallels and meridians based on the available geographic knowledge of his era.

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In plain English: all those calculations were theoretical, made-up.

And today, there is still not a single shred of evidence in the real world that prove those calculations about the circumference of the earth, and the ‘Earth’s axial tilt’ is true.

Here’s how Eratosthenes is meant to have come to his conclusions:

Eratosthenes described his arc measurement technique, in a book entitled On the measure of the Earth, which has not been preserved. However, a simplified version of the method has been preserved, as described by Cleomedes….

The simplified method works by considering two cities along the same meridian and measuring both the distance between them and the difference in angles of the shadows cast by the sun on a vertical rod (a gnomon) in each city at noon on the summer solstice.

The two cities used were Alexandria and Syene (modern Aswan), and the distance between the cities was measured by professional bematists.

A geometric calculation reveals that the circumference of the Earth is the distance between the two cities divided by the difference in shadow angles expressed as a fraction of one turn.

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There is a lot on the web debunking the empirical nature of this experiment, but this one point should suffice to demonstrate the problem:

For Eratosthenes to be able to measure the Earth’s circumference, even assuming that he knew that the Earth was a sphere, he MUST also have known the size of the Sun and the distance between the Sun and the Earth.

And he didn’t. Nobody did.

But a bunch of heretical Greek philosophers had basically decided ‘the earth is a sphere’, and they spent the next few centuries making theoretical calculations basked on pseudo-scientific ‘experiments’ to prove themselves right.

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Let’s get back to the article about What the Sages Knew About the Shape of the Earth.

It continues like this:

Earth’s spherical shape was clear and known to the Greeks, as we stated above, but to our rabbis these matters were not at all clear and unambiguous, as we will show.

Bottom line: spherical earth is a GREEK idea, not a Torah one.

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In the Gemara, Chagiga 12a, it is written:

“Rabbi Elazar said: Adam reached from the earth to the firmament, as it says, ‘From the day G-d created Man upon the earth’ (Deuteronomy 4:32). But since he became corrupted, the holy One, blessed be He, placed His hand upon him and made him smaller, as it says, ‘You shaped me before and behind, You laid Your hand upon me’ (Psalms 139:5).

Rav Judah said in the name of Rav: Adam reached from one end of the world to another [Rashi: When he was prone, his head was in the east and his feet in the west], as it says, ‘From the day G-d created Man upon the earth and from one edge of the heavens to the other edge of the heavens….’ 

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The Gemara explicitly states that Earth is flat, for the first man laid prone from “the end of the world” in the east to “the end of the world” in the west.

Thus is written in the Shvut Ya’akov responsa (by R’ Jacob Reischer, born c. 1670), part 3, paragraph 20: “The words [of the Greek astronomers] are based on the notion of Earth as a sphere, in contradiction to what the discussion of this topic in our Talmud (Chagiga 12a) implies.

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Here’s another source that article brings (and then basically mocks….):

R’ Zerachiah HaLevi of Gerona (12th century) wrote in his commentary HaMaor HaGadol on tractate Rosh Hashanah 20b (found in regular editions of the Talmud on the pages of the Rif’s commentary), explaining the secrets of intercalation of years:

“The first [point] is the eastern edge [of the dry land]; its inhabitants live at the ocean’s edge in the east. The second point is opposite the first, at the western edge [of the dry land]; its inhabitants also live at the ocean’s edge, but in the west. The third point is between the first two and is called the navel of the earth; its inhabitants are those who live in Jerusalem and all of the Land of Israel. And the fourth point is opposite the third, under the earth; it is also between the first two points, and is called the navel or the heart of the sea, or the point of the depths.

Between each point of these four and the one opposite it there is a distance of 12 hours…and from each point to the next one there is a distance of six hours…When it is morning for the residents of the east, it will not be morning for Jerusalem residents until six hours later.”

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Let’s pause to take a look at this:

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This is Gleason’s New Standard Map of the World, put together in 1892.

Yesterday, I spent an hour reading through THIS – it’s a detailed PDF looking at 16 ’emergency landings’ made by airplanes, that make no sense on the ‘spherical globe’ model of our earth, but perfect sense when you use Gleason’s ‘flat earth’ map, above.

Go take a look at it yourself, come to your own conclusions.

But in the meantime, you can find a high-res version of that map HERE, and I recommend you take a look, and compare this with R’ Zechariah HaLevi Gerondi’s account, above.

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Next, we have this very interesting source, from the Jerusalem Talmud:

In the Jerusalem Talmud, tractate Avodah Zarah, chapter three, fol. 42c, it is written:

“That the earth is made as a ball. R’ Jonah said: when Alexander of Macedon wanted to rise above the earth, he went up higher and higher until he saw the world as a ball and the sea as a bowl.”

So R’ Jonah considered Earth as floating in a bowl of water, though it is not completely clear whether, in his opinion, Alexander “saw” the world as an actual ball or as round (like a ball) in circumference only, but otherwise flat like a coin.

From the words of Radak (on Isaiah 42:5) it is evident that he understood the world to be round at its circumference only, as a coin is:

“So the earth was round like a ball, but when the Lord gathered all the water which was on the face of the earth into one place for plants to grow on it — which is implied in the word vtzeetzaeyah  He made the earth, which is the dry land, as though it were flat, for people to sit upon it, like a man who spreads something and flattens it, like a silversmith who flattens metal plates.”

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Now, the article What the Sages Knew About the Shape of the Earth skips around 1700 years, to bring us a ‘definitive’ answer on the shape of the earth from a Rav we’ve been discussing at length, here on the blog, for a bunch of other reasons:

And now we will bring you the words of the Chatam Sofer, who lived close to our own time (1762-1839). He is one of those who taught his students “suitable” things without checking their veracity, sitting, rather, in his study hall and discussing the Earth’s build based on the words of Chazal and their conjectures. He did this instead of opening a science book and studying it to prevent tripping his students into error.

In his Responsa (Responsa Anthology, section 26, s.v. perek sheni) he wrote: “Now, some things and data suitable for students need, with G-d’s help, be clarified; they are about the foundations of this world, its build and the processes which it undergoes.

First: on the day when the Lord created the earth, He made the world of four elements: fire, wind or air, water, and ground. They have four natures: hot, damp, cold, and dry.

The earth is made of ground, and is the coarsest and thickest of all, rounded like a true sphere, and the waters surround it on all sides — there is no part empty of them, and the earth is not seen at all from any side.

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Moving on – because we still have a lot of ground to cover, and I’m deliberately keeping my ideas out of this post, as much as possible, so you can engage with our source material, and come to your own conclusions.

Next, the article brings the translation of the Zohar (part of which we also translated in detail, HERE).

But pay attention! There are two conflicting accounts about how the world is shaped and functioning here – and the Zohar says both are true!

Now we will cite the words of the Zohar, vol. 3, on the portion of Vayikra, fol. 9b-10a (according to the translation of the Sulam, sections 134-145):

“R’ Judah started: ‘And G-d said, Let there be a firmament in the water…’ — come see: when the holy One, blessed be He, created the world, He created seven firmaments above and seven lands below…and all these firmaments are one on top of the other, like the skins of onions which are one on top of the other…So, too, are the seven lands below.

All are settled, but some are above and some below, and the Land of Israel is above all of them and Jerusalem is the highest of all settlements.

The scholars who live in the south saw in the books of the early sages and of Adam that thus all those countries are divided. They are all below as the firmaments are above, that is, stacked one above the other.

Between each two countries there is a firmament which divides between the two, and so all the lands are specified by name, and amongst them are heaven and hell.

There are in these lands creatures different one from another as there are above [in the firmaments], some of which have two faces, some one, and the looks of one are not like the looks of another…Just as the worms in the earth have red skins, black, and white, and some have many colors, so too are these creatures different one from another, and they live only 10 years.

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In the book of Rav Hamnuna Sava it is explained in more detail that all the world rolls in a circle like a ball, these down and these up [that is, the creatures on the sphere are in opposition to each other, and the seven parts of the ball are the seven lands (the Sulam commentary)], and all the creatures in six lands are different in their appearances in accordance with the differences of air in each place, and they stand on their feet as other humans.

Therefore there are places in the world that when it is light for those on one side of the sphere it is dark for those on the other side of the sphere, for these it is day while for those it is night; and there is a place in the world where it is always day and there is no night, except for a few moments.

And what is said in the early sages’ books and in the book of Adam [that the seven lands are one beneath the other, with firmament between them (Sulam)] — thus it is [we do not disagree with it, although it says that the whole world is a single sphere divided into seven parts (Sulam)], for it is written: ‘I praise You, for I am wondered by awesome things; Your work is wonderful,’ and it is written, ‘How numerous are Your works, O Lord.’

So both accounts are fit [for both are the words of the living G-d, and one should not ask how both can be correct if they contradict each other (Sulam)]. This secret has been handed to the masters of wisdom and not to those who travel to distant borders [naturalists (Sulam)], for it is a great secret of the Torah. 

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Last quote from that mocking ‘What the Sages Knew About the Shape of the Earth’ article, then we’ll sum up what we’ve learned.

[W]hat does the Ramchal say about this?

In his book Adir BaMarom, part one, BeSha’ata DeTzlota DeMinchah DeShabta, he brought the above section from the Zohar and wrote: “And about these things Rabbi Simeon bar Yochai said (on Leviticus, fol. 10a):

‘This secret has been handed…not to those who travel to distant borders,’ for they [Gentile researchers] perceive only the external features, but of the internal nature, which is the main one, they know nothing.”

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In a ‘materialistic’, secular, atheist world, the true spiritual dimension, the ‘internal nature’ of the words of the RASHBI in the Zohar simply can’t be grasped.

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Ok, this is a screenshot of Matan Gorodish’s chapter with more Jewish sources on the shape of the earth, from HERE (the 20 min mark):

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And then, let’s end with this, which I found on Quora, which gives perhaps more of an insight into how the ‘inner dimension’ of the authentic Torah tradition can be badly misunderstood, when dragged down soley into secular, atheist, ‘scientific’ terms:

What is the shape of the Earth according to the Torah?

This is very clearly understood as a sphere.

The entire cosmology of Judaism is bases around spheres and spaces. The cosmology and physica of Jewish tehology is best presented by The Ramak. The dimentional perspective ie the psychological perspective is given by The Ari Zal. Both are explaining the same thing without debate.

The aproach of Ramak states that there is an initial state of energetic light manifestation that manifests as a sphere and then it creates a hollow center that is less bright.

This is Keter and inside Malchut.

The internal light then shines and manifests a yet darker sphere with three lights shining therein.

This is Chochma and Bina.

In Bina one side allows the light in and one side is darkened allowing lighy to leave outwards.This causes one side to be bright and the other to absorb light. The center is a balance sphere that is less bright.

The Bright side is Hesed, The Dark-Absorvant side is Gevurah and the center sphere is Tiferet.

Inside Tiferet the process repeats. One side is bright, the other causes light to be absorved and pass to Gevurah.

The central sphere is Yesod.

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Yesod is the sphere that we exist in.

Yesod can grow in brightness or get dimmer. Yesod has two parts that work together to allow this. The upper part is connected to The First Heaven and the Temple Mount of Jerusalem as well as to Israel as well as the entire area above it at all times. The airspace above Israel unto the end of the physical universe is part of this upper Yesod

The lower part is the Malchut shel Yesod and is connected to the area outside of Israel. This area and its airspace above. This is the purely physical universe.

Together they are a sphere.

The earth is most certainly a sphere in Jewish cosmology.

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In the next couple of days, I’m going to take more of a look at who actually introduced this idea of the ‘sphere earth’ in Judaism, as an actual, physical reality.

(Spoiler alert: It’s all the same people we’ve been talking about here on the blog for years, as trying to subvert Judaism from within…)

Watch out for that.

TBC

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PS: Two more sources that came to me as I was writing this, over email:

Isaiah 40:22, Hebrew original:

הֲל֤וֹא תֵֽדְעוּ֙ הֲל֣וֹא תִשְׁמָ֔עוּ הֲל֛וֹא הֻגַּ֥ד מֵרֹ֖אשׁ לָכֶ֑ם הֲלוֹא֙ הֲבִ֣ינוֹתֶ֔ם מוֹסְד֖וֹת הָאָֽרֶץ׃
כבהַיֹּשֵׁב֙ עַל־ח֣וּג הָאָ֔רֶץ וְיֹשְׁבֶ֖יהָ כַּחֲגָבִ֑ים הַנּוֹטֶ֤ה כַדֹּק֙ שָׁמַ֔יִם וַיִּמְתָּחֵ֥ם כָּאֹ֖הֶל לָשָֽׁבֶת׃

I bolded the words ‘chug ha’aretz’, as this is the bit up for discussion.

Morfix translates ‘chug’ as:

class, group activity; group, circle (of people); (geography) tropic, sphere

In the Artscroll translation of this verse from Isaiah, we find this:

Have you not contemplated the foundations of the earth?

It is He who sits on the circumference of the earth, with its inhabitants like grasshoppers.

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So, not exactly conclusive.

A second source is from Job, 26:7:

נֹטֶ֣ה צָפ֣וֹן עַל־תֹּ֑הוּ תֹּ֥לֶה אֶ֝֗רֶץ עַל־בְּלִי־מָֽה׃

Artscroll translation is this:

He spreads out the North over a void; He suspends the earth upon nothingness.

The ‘void’ is actually the word ‘tohu’ – as in the tohu and vohu that existed before Hashem created our physical planet.

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This verse was sent to me as proof of the spherical nature of earth.

But what’s really interesting, is if you read on a little. Like this:

He spreads out the North over a void; He suspends the earth upon nothingness…

He drew a boundary around the water’s edge, until light and darkness come to an end.

The pillars of the heavens shudder and are astounded by His rebuke….

By His breath the heavens were spread;

His hand fashioned the [earth]-girdling serpent.

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Go back and look at Gleason’s map, with the sentences bolded above in mind:

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And as always, draw your own conclusions.

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UPDATE 1:

Shimshon in the comments brought more information about the translation of the word ‘tohu’ in the quote above, that I think rounds out more of the picture, so I’m adding it here, too:

“The ‘void’ is actually the word ‘tohu’ – as in the tohu and vohu that existed before Hashem created our physical planet.”

Chagiga 12a (if you read on from the section you quoted), notes the use of “tohu” here like follows, also confirming the literal reading of Iyov (from Sefaria):

It was taught in the Tosefta: Tohu is a green line that encompasses the entire world, and from which darkness emerges, as it is stated: “He made darkness His hiding place round about Him” (Psalms 18:12), indicating that a line of darkness surrounds the world.

Vohu; these are damp stones submerged in the depths, from which water emerges, as it is stated: “And He shall stretch over it the line of tohu and stones of vohu” (Isaiah 34:11), which demonstrates that tohu is a line and that vohu is referring to stones. (Chagiga 12a)

Tohu and vohu are tangible things, not concepts (“formless and void” is the usual translation).

Tohu is a ring of darkness surrounding our world. Vohu, rocks that exude water, also exist, in the depths, exactly where the Talmud says they can be found:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane_clathrate

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You might also  like this article:

Here’s a detailed English translation of some of the passages from the Zohar, talking about whether the earth is a ‘circle’ or ‘ball.’

***Reposted from 2021***

I can’t take any credit for this, it was sent to me by two of my friends, who spent half a day painstakingly doing it. Thanks, C and C! As with all things ‘Zohar’, even with a good English translation, it’s still not very easy to understand. But I thought I’d put it up here – and I’m including their photocopies of the original Aramaic text below – and let you, the reader, decide for yourselves, what to make of this.

One translation note: Some of these words can not be easily rendered into English, so they’ve been left as Hebrew transliterations. But rekiah usually means ‘firmament’, and rekiim is just the plural term, for ‘firmaments’.

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Zohar translation – Vayikra 9 amud aleph and 10 amud aleph

Rabbi Yehuda began “And Elokim said – Let there be a rekiah (firmament) inside the water etc.” Come and see the time that Hashem created the world (עולם). He created 7 rekiim above, He created 7 lands (ארצות) below. (The Matok MiDvash says that these lands were created below in the belly of the adamah and their names are: ארץ, אדמה, גיא, נשיה, ציה, אקרא, תבל and תבל is the biggest of them)

7 seas, 7 rivers, 7 days, 7 weeks, 7 years 7 times. 7000 years that the world is to be, Kudsha Brichu is in the 7th of all.

==

7 rekiim above and in each and every one of them there are stars and mazalot and servants that serve each and every rakiah.

And in all of them there are chariots, these above these to receive upon themselves the yoke of the Kingdom of their Master. And in all of these rekiim there are chariots and servants and they are different these from these and some are above the others. Some have six wings, some have 4 wings. Some have 4 faces. Some have 2 faces and some have one. Some are burning fire. Some are water. Some are wind. As it’s written (in Tehillim 104 verse 4): “He makes winds His messengers, burning fire His ministers”.

==

All of these rekiim those above those are like the skin (כגלדי) of onions, some are below and some are above.

And all of these rekiim shake and tremble from fear of their Master. On His mouth it’s taken and on His mouth they are sustained (Matok MiDvash interprets this pasuk in the following way “According to His mouth they travel and according to His mouth they stand). And above all of them there is Kudsha Brichu that takes all with strength and force.

==

In this way are the 7 lands below, and all of them are in the yeshuv, only that some are above and some are below.

And Eretz Israel is above all and Yerushalayim is above all yeshuv. (The Matok MiDvash is adding in this paragraph that according to the reasoning that the Zohar brings earlier these 7 lands are 7 climates and they are together with us in the yeshuv haaretz)

[RIVKA NOTE: The Matok MiDvash commentary on the Zohar was written in modern times, by Rabbi Daniel Frisch (1935-2005), of the Toldos Aharon community. It’s at least possible that some hint of the modern ideas about our solar system may have crept into his explanations.]

==

And our friends, the sages who sat in the south, saw in the books of the ancients and in the book of Adam HaRishon that this is how he divided all these lands.

And all of them are found below.

(The Matok MiDvash explains here that now the Zohar refutes the explanation above and is saying that all these lands are found below mamash in the navel of the land הארץ – and they are not 7 division of the land called climates. They are mamash complete lands in which there are different creatures and they are found in the navel of the land, this on the back of this) .

==

In this manner just like the rekiim above, some above the others and others above the others.

And between each and every land there is a rekiah that separates between them. So too all the lands are divided according to their names. And between them there is Gan Eden and Gehenom. And there are between them different creatures just like above. Some of them have 2 faces, some have 4 and some have one. And the appearance of these are not like those.

[RIVKA NOTE: This appears to be a direct reference to ‘extra terrestials’ – but not from outer space.]

==

(Translator’s note: I skipped here a part where it’s talking about Adam HaRishon and if he birthed children in all of these lands. It’s a cryptical paragraph, so I decided to skip it since I didn’t find it relevant to the earth subject.)

==

In the book of Rabbi Hamnuna Sava it’s explained more, that all yeshuv roll (מתגלגל) in a circle (בעגול) like a ball (ככדור).

[RIVKA NOTE: THIS SEEMS TO BE THE KEY SENTENCE TO PONDER, IN TERMS OF WHAT THE ZOHAR IS REALLY TELLING US ABOUT HOW THE WORLD OPERATES.]

Some below, some above and all the creatures are different in their appearances according to the change of avirah (atmosphere) that there is in each and every place. And they stand in their lives like other human beings.

[RIVKA COMMENT: WE KNOW FROM CHAZAL THAT DEMONS ALSO APPEAR TO BE ‘HUMAN’ BUT HAVE ‘CHICKEN FEET’, AND A FEW OTHER CHARACTERISTICS THAT MAKE THEM UN-HUMAN. SEE HERE FOR MORE DETAIL.]

(The Matok MiDvash adds in this paragraph that Rav Hamnuna Sava was of the opinion that the 7 lands are the 7 climates and the sages of the south disputed with him and Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was a citizen of the south and was of the opinion like the sages of the south).

==

And therefore there are places in the yeshuv, whenever some are illuminated others are in darkness.

In this it’s day and in this there is night. And there are places where it’s always day and there is no night except for a few hours. And there is a place that is entirely day. And this is what is written in the book of the ancients and in the book of Adam HaRishon. As it’s written (in Tehillim 139 verse 12): ” I shall thank You for in an awesome, wondrous way I was fashioned; Your works are wondrous.” And it’s written (in Tehillim 104 verse 24) “How wonderous are Your works Hashem”.

==

And about this everything fits perfectly.

And this secret has been granted to the masters of wisdom and not to those who divide the limits. Because this is a deep Torah secret.

==

According to this is the sea in which there are many creatures different from each other.

As it’s written (in Tehillim 104 verse) “This sea-great and wide; there are creeping things and innumerable beasts, both small and large. There the ships go; this leviathan.” And everything depends these on that and everything is according to what is above.

And in all of these worlds nobody rules except for man and Hashem above him.

==

Rabbi Nehorai Sava went on a voyage to the sea.

(According to Matok MiDvash this is the Mediterrean sea).

And there was a storm in the sea that sank the ship and a miracle was made for him and he went down with the known paths to the heart of the sea.

And he went out from underneath the sea to a certain yeshuv and he saw many creatures that were tiny.

And they were praying a prayer. And he didn’t know what they were saying. A miracle was made for him and he went up.

[RIVKA NOTE: I.E. BACK TO DRY LAND ABOVE THE SEA].

==

He said, fortunate are the righteous that toil in Torah and know the supreme hidden secrets.

Oy vavoy to those that disagree with their words and don’t believe in them. From this day onwards whenever he went to the beit midrash and the sages would expound the Torah he (Rav Nehorai Sava) would cry. They asked him why are you crying. And he answered because I transgressed the emunah of the words of the sages. And I am fearful of the din (judgment) of that world.

(The Ramak explains it’s the olam habah)

==

Lots and lots to think about here.

What struck me, is that the Zohar doesn’t seem to be talking about the ‘shape’ of the natural world at all, just its composition.

For example, this sentence is frequently quoted to justify the position that the Zohar says the world is shaped like a ball:

In the book of Rabbi Hamnuna Sava it’s explained more, that all yeshuv roll (מתגלגל) in a circle (בעגול) like a ball (ככדור).

But when I read it, it seems to just be describing the ‘motion’ of the yeshuvim, or the lands, that they roll around in a circle, like a ball.

==

Also, pay attention to the Zohar’s description of ‘extra terrestials’.

I know I’ve mentioned this a few times, but a fake ‘alien invasion’ seems to be on the cards soon, which is why the media in all its formats has been priming us for years, to prepare for the UFOs from ‘outer space’. If you read THIS post, then you know that the UFOS are really just ‘black’ technology developed by the Nazis that came over to form the West’s ‘deep state’ post WW2 – and who have been happily experimenting upon humanity, in a million demonic ways, ever since.

But why would the ‘deep state’ want to fake an alien invasion from ‘outer space’?

Great question!

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If you go HERE, you’ll find a PDF of a short book that was put out by the Dial Press in 1967, called:

REPORT FROM IRON MOUNTAIN: ON THE POSSIBILITY AND DESIRABILITY OF PEACE

To make a very long story very short, this report detailed how ‘war’ is actually the key way that societies maintain their economic and social control over the population. If there was no ‘war’, no external ‘threat’ posed by other militaries trying to take over your country – then who the heck would pay all these taxes, or give away so many of their human rights and personal freedoms, or let all these corrupt politicians dictate to us how to live?

NOBODY.

====

Ad kan.

I will bring more sources as we go along, but apart from this Zohar and the Rambam, nearly every other Torah source seems to be describing the world more as a flat plain.

TBC

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It’s amazing how much real Jewish history I’m learning from translating some of Rav Berland’s old classes.

Before we dive in, I just want to state up front that I am trying, very much, to adopt a more ‘neutral’ approach with this information.

That means that I will share all the information I’m coming across with you, but with the caveat that we should assume wherever feasible and not ridiculous, that people are making teshuva all the time.

Also, just to restate the obvious, that just being in the same family tree as a bunch of Sabbatean-Frankists, Roman Emperors and George Soros doesn’t automatically make someone ‘bad’. It all comes down to each person’s individual actions and free will. As always.

And with that, let’s begin.

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First, there’s the stuff I was in the middle of translating for the Rav, about shalom bayit, when all of a sudden he digressed to the topic of who came up with the idea of creating a ‘Jewish State’ in modern times.

Here’s what he said:

Chareidim built the State of Israel

Yavniel was built by the chareidim.

Afterwards, there was a centre of the Palmach there, and also in Rosh Pinna and Petah Tikva. All of these places were built by the charedim. The idea of having a Jewish State didn’t belong to Herzl at all, this was all happening a long time before.

Already between the years of 5580 and 5760 (1820-1840) they were talking about this.

==

The voice in the desert

There was Rabbi Eliyahu Guttmacher, and Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Kalisher, and Rabbi Yehuda Alkali, who were great geniuses, and who said that we had to ascend to Eretz Yisrael.

It was like a kol koreh b’midbar, a proclamation from the midst of the desert, but we didn’t merit it for the chareidim to ascend to the land.

And then there was in 5630 (1870) Rabbi Akiva Yosef Shlesinger and Rabbi Hillel Kolomeyer, who ascended to the land already in 5630. Rabbi Akiva Yosef built Petah Tikva. Afterwards, it was destroyed by a flood that came up from the Yarkon.

There was malaria there, and people died from it, and only a few people remained. So they said that it looked like Hashem didn’t want it to happen. Afterwards, another person came along called Yehoshua Shtumpfer, who rebuilt Petah Tikva anew, and the main road there is called by his name.

Rothschild was also busy building up the land of Israel. Amongst other things, he built Metulla. They asked him: Why are you building in a place that that?! He replied that he knew they were going to create a Jewish State, and that the border was going to be there.

And so it was.

==

Long before Herzl

It was only after the Dreyfus affair, that happened in 1894, and when Herzl saw all of the hatred towards the Jews, that he started promoting the idea of a Jewish State, in 1896, a year after the Dreyfus affair.

The whole story with Dreyfus happened after France lost the war. So they slandered Dreyfus that he had sent a letter to an enemy country. They forged a letter and then libelled him, that he was a spy.

But the whole idea had been widespread a long time before this. They were talking about a Jewish state, and they even said that Rabbi Nachman of Tulchin would be the Finance Minister. They were talking about a state, and they were already distributing the positions. But we didn’t have the merit that this would come about via the chareidim.

After the Balfour Declaration, the Ohr Sameach said that those who were scared of the ‘three oaths’ that Hashem swore about knesset Israel (abjuring the ingathering of the Jewish people, back to the land of Israel by force) – that now there was no problem.

Because now, it was being done with the agreement of the nations. The biggest countries in the world agreed with the Balfour Declaration.

====

There is always so much to unpack, in even the Rav’s most ‘throwaway’ comments.

So, I’d never really heard of most of these people, excepting R’ Tzvi Hirsh Kalisher, so I started looking them up, to see what I could learn about these chareidi ‘Hungarian Halutzim’.

In the middle of doing all that, one of the commentators, Simon, posted something up about how billionaire Hungarian financier George Soros is also related to the Chatam Sofer, indirectly, on the bottom of THIS post about Roman Emperors and Welsh Royalty.

I took a quick look – and that’s when I saw the same names I’d literally just typed up when I was doing the translation for the Rav.

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Long story short, this is Akiva Eiger’s tree, that has been repeatedly tied to known Sabbatean-Frankists.

(Now, remember the caveat above, that just appearing in this tree doesn’t mean someone is a Sabbatean-Frankist, but it does tell us that these people were growing up in families that were deeply compromised, in terms of their religious beliefs and teachings. But of course, it was still open to each person to change course, and make teshuva – as so many baal teshuvas in our days have also done.)

So, George Soros’ g-grandma was one Jittel Raizel Schlesinger, who descends from R’ Akiva Eger the Elder, amongst many others.

Her brother, or half-brother is one Tzvi Dov Schlesinger – and he is the father of the ‘Divrei Yehiel’, who in turn was the father of Akiva Yosef Schlesinger, one of the main people the Rav spoke about as being ‘chareidi halutzim’ of Eretz Yisrael.

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So, I took a closer look.

These snippets come from YIVO, here.

(1837–1922), pioneer of ultra-Orthodoxy, early Jewish nationalist, and Yiddishist.

Akiva Yosef Schlesinger’s father, Yeḥi’el (1814–1891), a close disciple of Rabbi Mosheh Sofer, was a minor rabbinical functionary in his hometown of Pressburg.

After attending the yeshiva of Avraham Shemu’el Binyamin Sofer in Pressburg, Schlesinger studied briefly with Ḥayim Sofer and Mosheh Schick.

He then went to Leipnik in Moravia to the yeshiva of Shelomoh Quetsch (1798–1856).

This was an interesting choice, as yeshivas in Moravia had a reputation for openness to general culture that was rare in Hungary. Schlesinger would later write that at this stage in his life he seriously considered the path of modern Orthodoxy, and that the experience granted him insight into the mindset of those tempted to succumb to its temptations….

==

[I]n 1860 he married Liba (1842–1917), the daughter of Hillel Lichtenstein, who was then serving as rabbi of the small community of Margareten in eastern Hungary.

When Lichtenstein became a widower, he then married Schlesinger’s younger sister Fradel, at his son-in-law’s urging. Until the Schlesinger family moved to the Land of Israel in 1870, the two couples lived together.

====

This ‘Hillel Lichtenstein’ is the same as the ‘Hillel of Kolomiya,’ referenced by the Rav in the piece I translated.

Already by the third par of this YIVO piece, I was getting that niggling feeling that something is a bit off here….

Let’s continue quoting from the YIVO piece:

At a time when Hungarian Orthodoxy was entering a period of deep crisis, the two men, along with Ḥayim Sofer, were close ideological collaborators, laying the foundations of ultra-Orthodoxy.

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You can read more about Hayim Sofer HERE.

YIVO tells us that he was not a relative of Moshe Sofer, the Chatam Sofer, despite being very close to him and learning in his yeshiva. You can see his family tree HERE, and there’s quite a few strange things that seem to me something is being covered up there. (‘Nathan Ashkenazi’ happens to also be the name of ‘Nathan of Gaza’, Shabtai Tzvi’s main prophet who was raised in Eretz Yisrael.)

Over on the Jewish Encyclopaedia, we learn a bit more about where else Hayim Sofer learned:

He studied at Presburg and at Ungvar, where he attended the celebrated yeshibot of Ḥatam Sofer and Meïr Ash (Meïr Eisenstädter).

For now, let’s can that side of things, and go back to Akiva Yosef Schlesinger and Hillel Lichtenstein of Kolomiya.

====

More from YIVO:

Schlesinger argued passionately for the need to safeguard the most basic markers Jewish of identity and culture such as namelanguage, and dress. The acronym of the three words shem, lashon, and malbush—shalem—encapsulated for him the ideal of the complete Jew, the “Hebrew” possessed of staunch integrity.

In this way, he redefined the battlefront of the culture war. In its metaphorical trenches, no longer did the Orthodox face a Neolog (Reform) foe, but rather the lines of confrontation were drawn between the authentic Orthodox and the enemy within, the counterfeit Jews, the modern Orthodox.

====

In 1870, Schlesinger moved to Jerusalem, and he started fighting against a lot of the corrupt organisations here in the Holy Land:

The ḥalukah system, distributing charity from abroad, controlled by corrupt overseers, the memunim, could not provide a satisfactory economic solution to the rising tide of immigration from Eastern Europe. Many of the kolels sought to discourage immigration by denying the ḥalukah during the initial years of stay in Palestine.

To Schlesinger’s mind this state of affairs was not only criminally unjust and economically disastrous, but it also ran counter to his messianic expectations.

He had by this time fully internalized Tsevi Hirsh Kalischer’s activist messianism, which called for the restoration of Jews to the Holy Land and the creation of agricultural settlements as a means of both fulfilling religious commandments and solving pressing economic problems.

In 1873, he wrote a pamphlet setting out his vision of:

[A]n Orthodox utopia with many elements of a modern Jewish nation-state—Hebrew language, Jewish attire, a flag, a militia, an elected assembly—that would best secure traditional Jewish culture. Yet nowhere in the pamphlet was there an outright call for a Jewish state.

That came a year later, in a letter to Moses Montefiore, in which Schlesinger made explicit his goal to establish a Jewish state, albeit under Ottoman suzerainty, in Palestine.

====

Just stop for a moment, and understand what we’re dealing with here.

This is one of the main guys behind the whole ‘ultra orthodox’ insistence on Yiddish, no secular education, retaining the black and white clothing of 250 years ago, ‘no changes to anything’ – agitating to create a Jewish State in the land of Israel, that speaks Hebrew, has an elected parliament of some sort – and an army.

This is mind-boggling.

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Ultimately, it didn’t happen.

Schlesinger was running an ongoing war against his arch-enemy, ‘modern orthodox Trojan horse’, Ezriel Hildesheimer, and a bunch of other secular Frankists, too, plus the existing corrupt overseers of the ‘haluka’ charity system then in place supporting the orthodox communites of Israel.

(Notice: there is nothing new under the sun. Also remember, most of those ‘established’ orthodox communities in Israel had actually been built and maintained by Sabbateans who flocked here to await ‘the second coming’ of Shabtai Tzvi, in 1700.)

Schlesinger was over-stretching. Here’s what happened next:

In 1875, disaster struck. Schlesinger published a work, Bet Yosef ḥadash, that went beyond all previous vilifications of acculturation and reform, but also contained a sensational proposal to suspend, in Palestine, Rabenu Gershom’s ban on marriage to two wives…

His book was banned and publicly consigned to the flames, his reputation destroyed overnight. Though his life was threatened, he refused to heed calls that he return to Hungary.

====

Well!

The weirdness continues.

So after that, Schlesinger put all of his energies into trying to buy land for agricultural colonies in Eretz Yisrael.

He convinced his father-in-law [Hillel Lichtenstein] to help raise money, and the first Jewish agricultural settlement, Petaḥ Tikvah, was purchased in 1878 in no small part with these funds.

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Now, let’s take a closer look at Hillel Lichtenstein of Kolomiya.

Remember, he put up a lot of the money to buy the agricultural colony of Petah Tikva, in the land of Israel, in tandem with his son-in-law and brother-in-law, Akiva Yosef Schlesinger, above, who had published a widely known work calling for a Jewish state in Israel.

So, read this snippet from an Arutz 7 news story from 2015, when Hillel of Kolomiya’s grave in the Ukraine was repeatedly vandalised, and spot the inconsistencies yourself:

Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein was the outspoken leader of the ultra-Orthodox in Hungary. He was an ardent admirer of the Hasidim and made pilgrimages to the  Rebbe of Sanz, the Divrei Chaim.

Rabbi Lichtenstein was a preacher and a popular writer who denounced not only secular education, but even the playing of musical instruments and social games like chess and checkers.

He was an opponent also of all agitation for the political emancipation of the Jews, saying that it is the duty of the Jews to suffer the tribulations of the Exile until God finds them ready for Messianic redemption.

====

Except…. that’s not true.

At least, his actions in real life were not at all matching these words ascribed to him, above.

So, what is really going on here?

Let’s see if we can shed some more light on this.

(In another strange thing, take a look at THIS article, describing how Hillel of Kolomiya and Akiva Yosef Schlesinger came into possession of the ‘Holy Sword of Hungarian Jewry’, dated to the 15th century. This tale is getting stranger and stranger.)

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Here’s some snippets from YIVO, here:

Lichtenstein gloried in his distinguished rabbinic lineage: he was a descendant of both Mordekhai Yafeh and Yesha‘yahu Horowitz (known as Shlah)….

He married Rezi Kolman, the daughter of a wealthy man in nearby Galanta. Supported by his in-laws for five years, he opened a yeshiva in Galanta that became famous for the piety of its students. He also taught householders and poor workers, anticipating his future publications geared toward the lay public….

He would travel about the countryside, his fire-and-brimstone jeremiads arousing great religious passion among the common people, especially attracting female audiences. In Margareten, he also encountered Hasidism at close quarters and came to view it with great sympathy.

As his own reputation as a holy man grew, Lichtenstein adopted some of the trappings of a Hasidic rebbe. In time, his amulets were sought from as far away as Baghdad.

====

Well, the weird bell is starting to ding off pretty loudly again.

But in the meantime, here’s the real kicker:

 He insisted that Jews not be tempted by emancipation, but rather retain their status as tolerated aliens.

Their fatherland was not Hungary, he claimed, but Palestine.

Smart readers will already have spotted the problem: this is diametrically opposed to what was said above, i.e. “it is the duty of the Jews to suffer the tribulations of the Exile until God finds them ready for Messianic redemption.”

====

More from YIVO:

Lichtenstein was the architect of the ultra-Orthodox manifesto, the famous nine-point pesak din of Michalowitz issued by 24 rabbis from northeastern Hungarian communities in the autumn of 1865…Not only neo-Orthodox rabbis, but almost all the leading mainstream Orthodox authorities in Hungary as well were scandalized by what they viewed as the pesak din’s distortion of halakhah, and refused to join the signatories….

==

…He is probably the only Hungarian rabbi to have had several passages of his work (in Jüdisch-Deutsch!) read into the [Hungarian] parliamentary minutes.

One member of parliament interpolated with sarcasm that Lichtenstein’s views denying that Hungary could be a Jew’s fatherland and his denunciation of assimilation seemed to be in full accord with the antisemite Gyözö Istóczy’s plan to have Hungary’s Jews immigrate to Palestine….

====

Remember, this is a good 70 years before Hitler rose to power, and basically started saying the same thing as Gyozo Istoczy.

And clearly, Lichtenstein must have said Hungary could never be a Jew’s real homeland, because it was actually recorded in the Hungarian Parliament’s minutes.

But it seems that the plan to create a Jewish state in Israel only started to solidify a little later:

As late as 1863, Lichtenstein wrote that he preferred militant activism in the Diaspora to a life of learning in the Holy Land, but he later came to espouse the active messianism preached by Tsevi Hirsh Kalischer.

We’ll get to Tzvi Hirsh Kalischer in a minute.

Before we do, let’s just find out who helped Lichtenstein buy Petah Tikva, and then what actually happened to that Hungarian-ultra-orthodox-owned agricultural settlement:

[I]n 1876, [Lichtenstein] wrote a letter endorsing the Society for the Settlement of the Holy Land (behind which stood his son-in-law), wherein he expressed the view that such activities marked the first stage of the messianic era.

He was induced by Schlesinger to raise money (mainly from the Frankfurt Rothschilds) to buy land in Palestine.

The purchase of Petaḥ Tikvah, the first Jewish agricultural settlement in modern times, was funded substantially by Lichtenstein in 1878.

However, he soon came under enormous pressure and was threatened with blackmail by the Hungarian kolel in Jerusalem, which viewed the entire project askance as siphoning off funds that by rights belonged to them.

He was compelled to yield his shares to the kolel, which promptly sold them off.

====

So.

One of the main ‘planks’ used to support the view that Jews should just stay in the diaspora and wait for God to bring them to the Holy Land…. didn’t actually hold by that.

(Take a look at THIS piece on the ‘TrueTorahJews’ anti-aliya website, to see how Hillel Lichtenstein’s words are being routinely twisted.)

But in fact, he himself bought land in Eretz Yisrael for agricultural settlement, way before ‘the secular Zionists’ even existed as a movement, and he wrote a  letter in 1876 where he publically said about buying and settling land in Israel:

“[M]arked the first stage of the messianic era.”

====

This is astounding!

So, how did we get from there, to where we are today?

First, let’s just do some housekeeping.

The Frankfurt Rothschild who probably put the money up for Lichtenstein to buy ‘Petah Tikva’ was almost certainly Wilhelm Carl Von Rothschild.

Snippet from Wiki:

In 1855 von Rothschild became joint head with his brother Mayer Karl of the Frankfurt house. When his brother died in 1886, he became sole head. As he and his brother left no male heirs, the Frankfurt house was discontinued at his death.

Von Rothschild, who was religious his entire life, was eulogized by Eliyahu David Rabinowitz-Teomim at the Yeshivas Knesses Beis Yitzchak-Kaminetz in Kaunas as הצדיק השר הטפסר (the righteous, the nobleman, the aristocracy)

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Eliyahu David Rabinowitz-Teomim, aka the ADERET was the father-in-law of R’ Avraham Yitzhak Kook, the first ‘chief rabbi’ appointed by the secular zionists.

Rav Kook famously had an ongoing dispute with R’ Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, co-founder of the Edah HaCharedit in Jerusalem.

R’ Sonnenfeld was apparently one of the people who put the pressure on Hillel Liechtenstein to ‘donate’ his shares in the Petah Tikva agricultural colony to his kollel – which were then sold.

Also this from Wikipedia:

Sonnenfeld was a student of Rabbi Samuel Benjamin Sofer (the Ksav Sofer), the son of Rabbi Moses Sofer (the Chasam Sofer).

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You can see the geni tree for R’ Sonnenfeld HERE.

It bears all the hallmarks of having being deliberately truncated. If you look closely, you’ll see that his mother was one ‘Zelda Rosalia Deutch’, whose father was a ‘Rabbi Aharon Deutch’ who appears to be floating in space. But when you look for possible fits for this ‘Rabbi Aharon Deutch’, you get to THIS tree, and this person:

Chief Rabbi Aaron David Deutsch or Aharon David Deutsch (also known as Rabbi David Prag) z’tl was born in 1812, in Raudnitz, Bohemia (today Roudnice nad Labem, Czech Republic) – died at Balassagyarmat, on 26, April 1878….

He received his early education under his grandfather, Joseph Emanuel ben Menachem Deutsch, who was district rabbi (Bezirksrabbiner) in Raudnitz, and then frequented the yeshivot of Prague and Pozsony (Pressburg, today Bratislava, Slovakia) being one of the favored disciples of the famous Moses Schreiber (the “Chatam Sofer”).

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He fits the time, he fits the place, he fits the circumstances, to be R’ Sonnenfeld’s actual maternal grandfather.

It’s highly unlikely that anyone could have risen to be the head of the Ashkenazi Jewish community in Jerusalem, without being a full-blooded member of ‘the cabal’.

Again, remember the caveat that it’s not the yichus that makes the difference, it’s the person’s own actions, for good and bad.

But also understand, so much of the story we’ve been told about what happened before the founding of the secular State of Israel is a lie.

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Meanwhile, Carl Wilhelm von Rothschild’s daughter Adelheid married her cousin, one Edmund James de Rothschild.

And he is the guy who went around buying up loads of bits of Eretz Yisrael, and whose money and land holdings basically launched ‘secular’ Zionism and the secular State of Israel:

He became a leading proponent of the Zionist movement, financing the first site at Rishon LeZion.

In his goal for the establishment of a Jewish homeland, he promoted industrialization and economic development. In 1924, he established the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association (PICA), which acquired more than 125,000 acres (50,586 ha) of land and set up business ventures.

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Are you starting to see that the ‘problem’ with the idea of settling Eretz Yisrael was not so much a religious one, as has been portrayed by so many ‘ultra-orthodox’ leaders in the diaspora, but  more a political issue over who got to control the country and the money and the land?

This has massive implications for the whole subject of making aliya today.

I’m not going to go into that here, but let’s see if we can just pin down a little bit more of this.

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HERE is what YIVO has to say about Tzvi Hirsch Kalischer, the person whose ‘messianic’ vision for a Jewish State in Israel apparently inspired all these ultra-orthodox Hungarian halutzim:

(1795–1874), rabbi and the most prominent “harbinger of Zionism.” Tsevi Hirsh Kalischer was born in Leszno (Lissa) in western Poland. He was a disciple of Ya‘akov Lorbeerbaum of Lissa and of Akiva Eger.

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There is a TON  of weirdness around the family tree of Ya’akov Lorbeerbaum, a great-grandchild of the Chacham Tzvi.

And Akiva Eger’s tree we’ve already ascertained contains hordes of known Sabbatean-Frankists.

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Kalischer was a leader of the Jewish Company for the Settlement of the Holy Land, founded by Ḥayim Lorje of Frankfurt am Oder (1860), which was the first group to propagate the idea of renewing settlement in the Land of Israel….

Kalischer remained in close contact with contemporary Jewish leaders, both rabbinic and lay.

He corresponded with Moses Montefiore, Anschel Rothschild, and Albert Cohen; with rabbis in Germany (Esriel Hildesheimer, Samson Raphael Hirsch, and Seligmann Baer Bamberger); with rabbis and public figures in Russia (Yitsḥak Elḥanan Spektor, David Friedmann, Yehoshu‘a Heshel Levin, and Eliyahu Krotinger), and with Rabbi Me’ir Auerbach in Jerusalem.

He had a hand in every initiative connected to the Land of Israel, whether sponsored by the Alliance Israélite Universelle (in Paris), the Jewish Company for the Settlement of the Holy Land (in Germany), or the Dorshe Tsiyon vi-Yerushalayim society (in Grodno).

In particular, he gave his support to the mission to various Jewish communities of Hungarian Rabbi Yosef Natonek on behalf of the Company for the Settlement of the Holy Land.

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When I was looking at the YIVO entry for Yosef Natonek, the man entrusted by Tzvi Hirsh Kalischer to raise and distribute most of the funds via the ‘Company for the Settlement of the Holy Land’, a very strange paragraph caught my eye:

Natonek’s most important work…’Messiah, or Discourse on Jewish Emancipation: A Study Equally Pleasing to Jew and Christian; 1861′, was published in Hungarian under the pseudonym Ábir Amiéli, “an Orthodox Jew” (igazhitü izraelita). The pseudonym, as he explains (p. 30), hints at the restoration of national independence (‘ami) that the spirit of Talmudic Judaism (el) is meant to direct to…

In Mesiás, he presents himself as a liberal Orthodox Jew who nevertheless would not permit his religious zeal to overshadow his humanity, nor his liberalism “to swallow up my Israelite nationality.”

His wide-ranging critique of Jewish society and religious indifference includes a harsh condemnation of both the Orthodox and their opponents, focusing upon their purposeful abandonment of hope for “the restoration of Israel’s national independence in Palestine.”

He concludes his essay with puzzling Christological references to a separate work wherein he claims to have demonstrated that the Talmud considered Jesus the genuine Messiah and that according to Talmudic reckoning the Messianic era was imminent in the second half of the nineteenth century.

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In other words…. Natonek was a Jew-for-Jesus.

As always, each post on this subject takes our knowledge a huge jump forward…. but also leaves us with a lot more questions to ask, and a lot more research to do.

But I have the feeling this was a very important post, especially in light of what we’ve discovered about what was actually going on in the land of Israel, and with the idea of ‘aliya’, even before the modern secular Zionist movement began.

Lots and lots to think about…

And lots and lots still more to research and uncover.

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