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The Medieval Empire Of Jews

THE MEDIEVAL EMPIRE OF THE ISRAELITES

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       The idea of "empire" (Latin imperium is authority) in modern historical science denotes the name of huge monarchist states of various epochs, which unified various ethnic societies. It is correlated with Persia and Rome, Byzantium and Russia, Britain and Spain, with different dynasties of the European, Indian, South American and Chinese monarchs.

   Never and nowhere has this meaning been used for the designation of some kind of a state formation of a Judaic sense:  the facts of history are unknown, when would a small people, living at the meeting point of Africa and Asia, have been creating their empire? In other words, would they have conquered neighboring and far-away countries, asserting their authority and might by force of arms, while imposing tribute on the vanquished and demanding submission and obedience?

    On the contrary, in all the available sources it is firmly established that the Israelites were steadily persecuted, that they practically at all times over the centuries and millennia went from one captivity to another, from one enslavement to another, and always were subservient to someone.  At the same time, however, they in a mysterious way maintained their national uniqueness, often, in defiance of their own practicality; they were true to the faith of the fathers and in any empire achieved striking successes in economics, politics and culture.

    Depending on sympathies for or antipathies toward the Israelite Jews, the authors of works have explained and explain this real social phenomenon of them by special positive or negative qualities.   The impression is being created, that it is not about ordinary people who possess the very same advantages and disadvantages as others, but about some kind of extraordinary subjects, which were engendered either by divine or by dark forces. In any case, nowhere, unfortunately, is there a clear and scientific explanation of this phenomenon, which actually has a place in the history of European and in part of Eastern civilizations.

     The uniqueness of the Israelite people is affirmed, most of all, by the authority of the world's religions and writings which could make up an enormous library.  As asserted by theologians, their faith in a single God and union with the Lord, fortified by a number of rituals and rules and covenants, allegedly played a primary role in the destiny of the Israelites.    The fundamental features of this faith lay too at the basis of Christianity, and Mohammedanism, which have united hundreds of millions of people in all the world, and therefore, indirectly, they have played a determining role in the spiritual history of modern mankind. 

   In his book "The Meaning of History," the views of the classical Russian historian, Nikolai Berdyaev, who virtually surrenders scientific positions and transitions to religious mysticism as soon as it becomes a question of the Israelites, are typical in this regard:

   "To the Jews belonged an absolutely extraordinary role in the origin of the perception of history, in an intense feeling of historic destiny, namely the start of the 'historic' was introduced into the worldwide life of mankind.  And I want to address myself seriously to the most historic destiny of the Jews and their significance in world history as one of the continuously functioning worldwide beginnings even to our time, who possess their own specific mission   The Jews have a central significance in history.  The Jewish people are, predominately, a people of history, and in their historic destiny is felt the inscrutability of the Divine will.  When the materialistic sense of history attracted me, when I was trying to test it for the destinies of peoples, it seemed to me that the historical destiny of the Jewish people was the greatest obstacle for it.  It must be said that from any materialistic and positive historic point of view, this people should have ceased to exist.  Its existence is a strange, mysterious and wonderful phenomenon, which shows that special designs are connected with the destiny of these people.  The survival of the Jewish people in history, their resistance to destruction, their endurance as one of the most ancient peoples of the world under completely extraordinary conditions, that fateful role which these people play in history - it all points at the particular, mystic foundations of their historic destiny. ...  A particularly strained dramatic quality of history plays out around the destiny of the Jews."              

   Per se, such is the logical plan practically of all positive arguments about the role of the people of Israel in the development of mankind.

    As regards the negative, then they are united by the notion of "anti-Semitism."  Researchers have produced hundreds of works in attempts to understand their nature.   They have searched for the roots of hatred toward the Jews in their national character, in appearance, in customs and way of life, and in devotion to their religion.  Many authors have been struck by mysticism, by genetics and by heredity.   Even so-called "instinctive" anti-Semitism is considered as a serious scientific hypothesis. That is, hatred for the Jews which supposedly lies in the genes of the anti-Semite.

   The medieval Christian description of Jews as "devils" is documented at length in the work of the historian Joshua Trachtenberg, The Devil and the Jews (Yale University Press, New Haven, 1941.) 

     The rather well-known early 20th century historian, Flavien Brenier, in his book "The Jews and the Talmud, wrote:

     "Of all the tribal and religious questions which have been proposed by history, there was not one more constant or more universal and insoluble than the Jewish question.  No matter how far we have dug into the past, since the time of the settling of the Jews among the other tribes, we always meet them in an unceasing struggle with the peoples who have taken them into their midst.  Part of ancient history and all of the Middle Ages are filled with the repercussions of this age-old struggle.   At the present time, if this struggle between the Jews on the one hand and the Christians and the Moslems on the other, outwardly has obtained a semblance of fewer harsh words, then it only is because Israel skillfully has concealed its, in the past almost always straightforward and open, hatred.  But lift up any of these so cunningly fabricated masks, and beneath the threat of national security, material well-being, religious freedom or social structure of every people you almost always will meet the Jew. 

 The Jews have caused anti-Christian persecutions in many countries in order to appease the ancient hatred of this tribe toward the servants of Christ.  It is the Jews who have laid the fire under the social structure, sowing in the world the ideas of collectivism thanks to their agitators and Jewish theorists, the names of whom are:  Karl Marx, Lassalle and Singer in Germany; Neumayer, Adler and Aaron Lieberman in Austria; Frieburg, Leon Frankel and Haltmayer in France; James Cohen in Denmark; Dobrogeanu-Gherea in Rumania; Coen, Lyon and Samuel Gompers in the United States.

   In the whole world, behind the scenes of all attempts of moral corruption in the area of literature and the arts, you again come across Jews.  Finally, the Jews constantly serve as spies against all states, which carelessly have given them refuge."

Professor Steiner in his article in the magazine, Psychology Today, (February 1973) notes:

 "The triple appeal of the Jews for perfection (through 1/Jewish Ethical Monotheism; 2/Christianity and Islam; 3/messianic socialism) gave birth to a deadly ill-will in relation to the Jews in the social consciousness.  The Jews were transformed into the 'guilty conscience' in the history of Western civilization."

   One can quote both the admirers of the Jews and their persecutors for as long as one likes.  The 20th century is especially rich in such "research."  It is marked by the savage outburst of Nazism, an extreme expression of racism and xenophobia, and simultaneously - by the vast sympathy of the worldwide community for the Jews, who had endured the Holocaust and with the support of the countries victorious over Fascist Germany had created the state of Israel.

   Such are the two basic stereotypes of the appraisal of Judaism and its native peoples of Israel.  And it is extremely difficult to shake them, because there is not one serious scientific work which explains the origin and functionality of the world's Jews as a social phenomenon.   Meanwhile, history is full of facts which are contrary to the existing ideas, both positive and negative.

     It is not only a question of Judaism and Jews, and so it makes sense to determine from which positions in general historians assess that which does not correspond to their views and beliefs.  Sadly enough, but one and the same principle is operative:  if the facts are not in keeping with generally accepted concepts, then so much the worse for the facts.  They hush them up.  If it is impossible neither to avoid, nor silence them, then they attach the label that they are erroneous. There is no end of writings of the historians and philosophers of the past which have been declared unscientific only because they are not in keeping with the prevailing historical patterns.

     But these very patterns, you see, are based on extremely shaky and questionable sources.  Everything that supposedly was written by the historians in the early centuries is well-known to us mainly from copies and scraps of copies of a later time, and that too is just from references of 17th and 18th century authors to the works of predecessors who they, in their words, read or of which they had heard from their teachers and colleagues.  The originals, as a rule, are considered lost, and most often - burnt.  Not one library of the world has in its archives the original writings of the ancient writers and historians and the works of the scholars of the early Middle Ages.

      The works, proclaimed as copies, appeared in a mass way in the world only in the late Middle Ages, as if appearing out of thin air. Some of them were, to the amazement and joy of the historians, in beautiful condition and contained the most detailed reports of the events and the heroes of history of centuries ago. It is enough to recall for example, the works of Josephus Flavius, who describes the Judaic wars in every detail.

     There arose, however, a paradox which required explanation:  before the Middle Ages, no one knew anything about these works. In other words, history in the past for some reason was interrupted for a thousand odd years and a temporary vacuum was created between antiquity and the Middle Ages.    Where were the originals in this period, how were they able to be preserved for so many centuries in order to emerge suddenly from non-existence and there and then, unfortunately, burn up or be lost?

    The adherents of official historiography have introduced into scientific use the terms "the Dark Ages" and the "Renaissance." They mean that after the Roman Empire, which was destroyed by the barbarians, savagery and neglect dominated over the expanses of the planet for centuries, and no one kept chronicles and did not fix the events worthy for the memory of descendants. And only after the extermination of paganism and the complete victory of Christianity in a refreshed Europe did the rebirth of culture begin in the full meaning of this word.

   There remained, it is true, the unexplained question about how nonetheless were the writings of the ancients able to be preserved over the extent of so many centuries of the raging of barbarism. But it already interested only a few:  a plan of development was created which was convenient for all who were concerned with history. More precisely, it composed a history which responded to the spiritual needs and practical interests of society of that time.

    Since then, historians talk about events of great antiquity with steadfast confidence based on the "copies."  With fantastic precision, they cite data about the dates of birth and death of kings and emperors, about the locations of battles, and even the dialogues and expressions of heroes of the past. Everyone has heard the immortal words, somehow uttered by the ancients, of the type: "The Rubicon has been crossed," "I came, I saw, I conquered," ((1)) "Et tu, Brute?" ((2)) There are few who meditate over how they became known to the descendants, who wrote them down at that moment when they were spoken, and whether someone was writing them down in general.

    As before, there is no deep, objective analysis of the authenticity of the historic data, and this results in a steady regulation of history for the political interests of today's states.    And what is more, for the momentary needs of one or another ruler. The writing of history continues even in our days.

    The technology for fabricated historical facts and events which was used widely in the later Middle Ages and which has become the basis for contemporary historiography recently has become understood.

    The well-known contemporary mathematician A. Fomenko has performed the following research.  If one takes the biography of any person and writes down the dates of the primary events of his life, taking the birth date as 0, then a definite series of dates will result:

0 -- birth.

12 -- serious illness.

22 -- marriage.

27 - a war.

29 -- birth of a son - an heir.

.......  and so on.  

    The resulting series has an interesting property - individuality.  With a sufficiently large quantity of dates, the probability of the coincidence of any two biographies is practically equal to zero. There are a thousand times more chances to win a million playing the lottery than to get even one such coincidence.

  Fomenko, a mathematician with a worldwide name, is an honorary member of many mathematical societies, and he has put into a computer the dynastic data of many of the royal families both of Europe and of Asia and has compared the results. They have turned out to be amazing.  The biographies coincided when it was a question of rulers who lived earlier than the 17th century.  After the 17th century, the coincidence is not observed.  

       This has forced Fomenko and his colleagues again and again to check the method and the conclusions, but there were no errors.  For example, the biographies of all the Chinese emperors earlier than the 17th century duplicate with precision the biographies of the medieval European rulers.            

   Besides the duplication of the one and the same heroes under various names, huge shifts in time of the events described have been detected. Among the most significant examples are the numerous coincidences of the numerical characteristics of the biographies of the Egyptian pharos and the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire.  Analyzing the writings of the Roman historian Josephus Flavius on the computer, and he is one of the classics, the works of whom describe solid periods of history both of Israel and of ancient Rome, the scientists have discovered that, from the point of view of the implacable computer, it is simply a retelling of the Old Testament with the shuffling of the names and geography of events.  Or, conversely, the Old Testament was adopted from Flavius.  With only the difference that in the Old Testament they are talking about the Judaic kings and Flavius is writing about the Roman emperors. 

     The conclusions are unexpected and absolutely unusual for any person educated in the historic traditions of Western civilization. Meanwhile, they reinforce themselves with strict scientific calculations and rely again after all on facts which neither can be refuted nor concealed. But there is talk ahead about them.

    For the time being, let's examine such a question as the uniqueness of the people of the Israelites. So much has been said about it both by supporters and detractors, that, it would seem there isn't even anything else to say here.  However, let's not be in a hurry.  There are serious grounds for thinking that there wasn't such a secluded ethnic group in antiquity.  In general there wasn't. And there is evidence for it. At that, they, which is paradoxical, are conspicuous to everyone who will not consider it worth the effort to see them. It is enough to look at a map of the world and read the descriptions of the customs, ceremonies and rituals of peoples which inhabit the planet.     

      The map shows graphically how widely Judaism was spread among the most diverse of people, located at times thousands of kilometers from each other. They belong to various races; they have different skin color and an outward appearance which is evidence of Mongoloid, Negroid and other roots. They speak in languages which have nothing in common with Hebrew.  Their way of life, habits and art are radically different from everything that is peculiar to European Jews. 

     Nonetheless, they maintain that they are descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, of those very same that, according to traditional ideas, at some time were dispersed throughout the whole world as a result of the aggressive wars of neighbors and the devastation of their historic homeland.

    The legend about the lost tribes is interesting mainly in the fact that it is the only version assumed by official history which explains why Judaism is so spread out. It allows one not to reject the usual dogma as regards Judaism, and in this its value is in the eyes of the theologians. For them, the principle racial distinctions between the Jews of the various continents do not have any significance, that which people who belong supposedly to one nation cannot be so different from each another. Belief in the truth of what is said in the Old Testament about the dispersion of the Jews muffles all arguments.      

    But here is what the facts say.   

  In the mountainous regions situated along both sides of the border between India and Myanmar (formerly Burma) live the Menashe (Shinlung) people, which numbers up to two million people.  These people look like the usual inhabitants of China or Burma.   Let us recall that one of the twelve tribes of Israel was called Menashe. 

     According to their version, the ancestors of these people were exiled to Assyria in 722 B.C. with the other tribes of Israel.  Later Assyria was conquered by Babylon (607 B.C.) which also was subsequently conquered by Persia (457 B.C.)  Greece conquered Persia under Alexander the Great (331 B.C.)  Exactly in this period the Menashe tribe was deported from Persia to Afghanistan and other regions. 

With the advent and expansion of Islam, many of them turned to this religion.  But during the whole time, the Torah scroll was found with the tribe, kept with the elders and priests.

From Afghanistan, the route of the people lay to the east, to China and the valley of the Wei River.  This happened in 231 B.C.  The tribe has religious holidays which are marked at the very same time as the Jewish.  A traditional song about crossing the Red Sea which was written by the ancestors has been handed down from generation to generation:  "We shall celebrate the Passover festival; we have crossed the Red Sea. By night our way was lit by fire, by day a cloud showed us the way. Enemies tried to catch us, the sea covered their chariots, and they became food for the fishes. And when we experienced thirst, the rock gave us water to drink.  ((3))"

   In every village there was a priest, the name of whom was supposed to be Aaron.  Included in the duties of such priests was supervision over the life of the villagers and the fulfillment of religious ceremonies.  The office of the priest was handed down. 

  The scrupulous precision of the dates is striking in the tale of a traveler who visited the Menashe relatively recently. A shepherd tribe, which migrated for centuries from one place to another, entirely illiterate and not having either a calendar or a tradition to fix the birth dates of their own children, nonetheless knows with precision to the year the time of the Assyrian and Babylonian captivity, the period of Alexander's conquests of Macedonia and the date of their own arrival on Chinese land. And this doesn't surprise anyone! Neither the traveler nor the publication that published his story.    
          In that very same
Burma, in the Mizo tribe, which has not been disturbed by numerous missionaries and has had no contact with the Menashe people, is observed a great number of Jewish ceremonies and rituals:  circumcision, Shabbat, various holidays, etc. 

    Kashmir Five to seven million people live in this region who also consider themselves descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, although all of them are Moslems.

   Here are place with names of obviously Judaic origin:   Har Nevo, Beit Peor, Pisga and others.  The same thing concerns men's and women's names, and also the names of some villages.  The Udu language used in this region includes a great number of Hebrew words.. 
The priest Kitro in his book, "A General History of the Mughal Empire" declares that the population of Kashmir is descended from the ancient Israelites. The Arab historian and traveller El Bironi made the following record:  "In the past, permission to enter Kashmir was given only to Jews." 
The priest Monstrat has said that during the times of Vasco da Gama in the 15th Century, "all the inhabitants of this land are people who have been living here since ancient times...  they trace their ancestry from the ancient Israelites.  Their features, external appearance, build, clothing, way of conducting business all show that they are descendants of the ancient Jews."   The people who live in these places light candles before the start of the Sabbath, wear curls (resembling forelocks), and beards; they also have the image of the Star of David. 
In the area of Kashmir which borders with Pakistan and is called Yusmarg (Handwara), there lives a national group which to this day calls itself Bnei Israel (the Sons of Israel.)  Many inhabitants of Kashmir say that Bnei Israel is an ancient name for all of the population of Kashmir.  

Also in this region exists a strange legend about the fact that Jesus Christ did not die on the cross, but reached the Kashmir Valley in search of the lost ten tribes and lived there right up until death.  The local population says that his grave is found here and some inhabitants somehow know where it is located. 

In one of the small Kashmir villages, alongside the Wallar Link, exists a belief that Moses himself is buried in this location.  Moreover, some believe that none other than King Solomon came to the Kashmir Valley.  Two historians - Mullah Nadiri, who wrote "The History of Kashmir," and Mullah Ahmad, the author of "Events of Kashmir," did not doubt that the origin of the Kashmiri people comes from the ancient Israelites. 

The Pathans

    This society numbers nearly 15 million people, who live on the territory of Persia, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. As the Israeli anthropologist Shalva Weil notes, the Pathans have preserved a tradition that their forefathers are all representatives of those same lost ten tribes of Israel.  Numerous Jewish traditions are observed by these people to this day.  For example, the Pathans circumcise their children on the eighth day of their life.  The Pathans have something similar to the small Jewish Talit called a "Kafan."  This is a four-cornered covering on the corners of which are attached tassels.

         The Pathans honor Shabbat.  For them, this day is a symbol of rest; on Shabbat they do not work, they do not prepare food, and they are not involved with housekeeping.  Before each Shabbat, they bake 12 Challahs in order to glorify this day, as was done in the ancient Jewish temple.  The Pathans also have the tradition of Kosher.  Thus, they don't eat horse flesh and camel meat, which are very popular in the region, but forbidden for any Jew. Many men bear the names Israel, Samuel, etc.  There are practically no such names in the Moslem's world. 
    The Pathans prey toward Jerusalem in the mosques. The Shield of David is almost in every home.  The richest inhabitants make it from valuable metals; those who are poorer manage with simple wood.  One may see the Star of David on towers, schools, chains and bracelets.   In Minerajan there are schools where they are attached to the doors or even suspended above them.

ETHIOPIA. The Falasha lived in the country all the way to the very last decades, another supposedly lost tribe of Israel. As the Czech African researcher Zdenek Polacek ((4)) testifies, up until resettlement to Israel, the Falasha lived (and the rest of them still live) scattered between the largest northern Ethiopian ethnic groups (the Amhara and Tigrean) in the Begemdir and Tigray provinces. 

 The Falasha called themselves "The Home of Israel" (Beta Israel) or in their native language of the Cushite group they have used the self-designation of "Kayla."  Generally the Falasha did not know Hebrew.  One may consider the "Sabbath Instructions" (Tehezaze Senbet) as an original work of Falasha literature.  In this book, Shabbat is personified - it is understood as a female being, which embodies a heavenly light.  In it the legends which relate to Shabbat are set forth in an engaging form.  The Judaism of the Falasha is peculiar.  It contained a series of elements of the epoch of the first temple (the sacrifice of animals, the institution of the priesthood.)  The Falasha didn't know either the Mishnah or the Talmud. A synagogue was in every village or hamlet where at least one priest lived.  Falasha priests (cahenat, singular - cahen) were descended from Aaron.  The whole community selected a candidate for the position of priest.  According to the instructions of the Torah, circumcision (gizret) was done to children on the eighth day after birth. 

ECUADOR.

      As regards the South American Indians and their possible relationship to the lost tribes of Israel, an article was published in the Israeli newspaper "Maariv" (December 1974) with the following content:
"In 1587, the Jesuit Nicholas Delltsu was sent to South America by the King of Spain for missionary purposes - to convert the Indians to Christianity.  In Argentina, Nicholas discovered a people who bore Jewish names, namely:  Abraham, David, Moses and so forth.  To the question about whether they were circumcised, these people answered thus:  'Yes, just like our ancestors.'  In this same region were found stone knives used for circumcision.  Sharpened stone knives are mentioned also in the Bible as special instruments for completion of the rite of circumcision.
The Argentine tribe where a stone slab with three commandments was found causes no less interest:  'Do not steal,' 'Do not lie' and 'Do not kill.'  One may assume that these commandments are from the Old Testament, and they appeared in these lands before the arrival of the Spaniards. 
In 1974, in this very same region were found round stone slabs with a Jewish menorah (a seven-pointed candlestick) on them; along the sides of the menorah in the Aramaic language was the inscription 'Passover.'  The Aramaic language, we recall, is the language of the ancient Jews. 
Alongside the slab was found a long stone, in a shape which resembles a brick, with an engraving of a ship (the emblem of the Zevulun tribe) and with the engraved word 'Zipporah' (the name of Moses' wife, and perhaps, the name of the ship.)
Does this mean that the Jews sailed here on a ship?
... Scientists think that this stone is nearly 3,000 years old."

     It must be said that the problem of the South American Jewish Indians was occupying minds in Europe as early as the 17th century. The Amsterdam rabbi Manasseh Ben Israel devoted many years to it. A deeply religious man, he believed that there existed on earth the mysterious Sabbatical river Sambation which is mentioned in the Talmud. Its miraculous property is that it, rough and pushing along stones, is absolutely insurmountable on week days, but with the advent of the Sabbath rest it calms and becomes quiet.  The Jews who live on that side of the Sambation have no possibility of crossing the river, inasmuch as its would be a violation of Shabbat, and they can only exchange words with their fellow tribesmen on this side of the river, whenever it becomes calm.  The ancient historian Josephus Flavius ("The Judaic War") and Pliny the Elder ("Natural History") wrote about the Sambation.

Manasseh Ben Israel emphasized in his book that many learned men believed that the ten tribes of Israel settled on the other side of the river.  He also quoted many authors, for example, Josephus Flavius, who in his own works had maintained that supposedly the Emperor Titus himself had seen this river.  
Later, after a meeting of Manasseh with the missionary Antonio de Montezinos, the rabbi finally was convinced that the American Indians in particular were the descendants of the 10 tribes of Israel. 
Manasseh learned from Montezinos that in 1642, when the latter was traveling in the mountains of Ecuador, four Indians met him, who greeted him with the Jewish prayer, "Shema Israel."    "Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one." 
The traveler said that the Indians spoke with him in Hebrew and called themselves the descendants of Reubin and Levi. 
 Here even Manasseh came to the conclusion that the American Indians are the descendants of the lost tribes of Israel.   On 23 December 1649, he wrote to John Drury, the Puritan divine:  "I think that the descendants of the ten tribes live not only in America but also around the whole world.  These are those Jews who have not seen the second temple; they, possibly, will be dispersed until the prophecies of their reunification are realized."

     Traces of the influence of the lost tribes of Israel are found even in Japan. The Japanese writer Arimasa Kubo has performed special research and come to the conclusion:  a great number of the local ceremonies testify to the fact that the Jews arrived at some time on the territory of this country and settled here. Shinto, the traditional religion of the Japanese, bears strikingly pronounced features of Judaism.      Arimasa Kubo has collected extensive ethnographic material in support of his conclusion.

Here are some of Arimasa Kubo's conclusions.

The large Suwa-Taisha Shinto shrine is in Nagano prefecture.  The traditional Ontohsai festival is held here each year (when the Japanese, as also the Jews, used the lunar calendar, the holiday was held in March or April).  During the festival there is a certain activity which illustrates something very similar to the story of the sacrifice of Isaac.  

Japanese "Shofar"

At the festival, right up to the last century, the following happened:  they tied a boy to a wooden column and they placed him on a bamboo cover.  A Shinto priest, holding a knife in the hand, approached the boy and menacingly cut off a piece of the upper part of the column.  Suddenly a messenger (another priest) approached the priest, and they set the boy free. 

     At this same festival the sacrifice of animals took place, in particular:  of 75 does.  In ancient times in Japan there were no sheep, and this may be the reason why they used does in this practice (the doe is a kosher animal.)  Even in ancient times the tradition of bringing does to the offering seemed strange, since the sacrifice of animals is not a Shinto tradition.     

onie-bashira

Today the custom has been preserved symbolically to depict how they intend to sacrifice the boy, and then let him go free. There is a wooden column called "onie-bashira," which signifies the "sacrificial column." 

Yamabushi with a Tokin

The Japanese religious "Yamabushi" priests put small black boxes (tokin) on the forehead the same as the Jews' phylactery.  This custom existed in Japan much earlier than Buddhism spread through the country (the 17th century.)  The size of the tokin is practically the same as the Jewish phylactery.  The only difference is in the shape:  if the Jewish phylactery is square, then the Japanese tokin is round. 
.

Yamabushi with tokin and shofar

The Yamabushi has one more thing in the arsenal:  a large sea shell which he uses as a horn.  This horn is reminiscent of the Jewish shofar from a ram's horn.  Even the sounds produced by both instruments are similar to each other. 

In Japan there is the legend of "Tengu," a legendary being who possesses supernatural capabilities. The essence of the legend is:   A Ninja, while carrying out the wishes of his master, goes looking for Tengu in the mountains in order to receive the same capabilities.  Tengu not only endows the Ninja with special powers, but also gives him the "tora-no-maki" (a scroll of the torah.)  This "scroll of the torah" is given to the Ninja as a very valuable, almost magical book which is capable of helping in any situation.  The phrase "tora-no-maki" has become a Japanese idiom and is widely used to the present day.

    The clothing of the Israelite and Japanese priests is very similar to each other.  Marvin Tokayer, a rabbi who has lived in Japan for 10 years, has written: "The linen clothing which the Japanese Shinto priests wear has the same shape as the linen clothing of the ancient Israelite priests." 

   The construction of a Japanese Shinto shrine is similar to the construction of the Tent of Revelation in ancient Israel. Inside, the Tent of Revelation in ancient Israel consisted of two parts.  The first is the Sanctuary; the second is the Holy of Holies.  The Japanese Shinto shrine also is divided into two parts. The internal arrangement of the Japanese shrine is similar to the arrangement of the Jewish portable temple.  Only the Shinto priests or special people have the right to enter the Sanctuary.  Priests only enter the Holy of Holies of Japanese shrines during special festivals.  Precisely the same as how the Jewish temple was arranged. 

Opposite a Japanese shrine there usually are two statues of lions, known as "komainu."  They sit on both sides of the entrance and play the role of guards of the shrine.  There was the very same tradition in ancient Israel, too.  In the temple of the Most High in Israel and in the palace of King Solomon there were statues of lions (Melachin (Third Book of Kings) 7:36, 10:19). 

Generally, in ancient Japan no lions were to be found.  Nonetheless, there have been portrayals of lions in Japanese shrines since ancient times. 

   The Japanese have a tradition of using salt for purification and consecration of something.  Sometimes people sprinkle salt after the presence nearby of an unpleasant person..  It is possible the ancient Israelites had the very same tradition.  For example, when Abimelech destroyed Shechem, he "sowed it with salt."  (Book of Judges (Shoftim 9:45). 

    Although Shinto is a polytheistic religion, Kubo thinks that he has the reasons to propose that at some time Shintoists believed in Yaweh. "Amenominakanushi-no-kami" is considered to be the very first Shinto god.  The Japanese believe that he was born before all the gods, lived in the center of the universe, had no form, was eternal and, being the invisible creator of the universe, was the sole god.

   The colossal geographic prevalence of those or other forms of Judaism leads to definite conclusions:  either the Jewish Israelites are the ancestors of nearly all mankind, or there never existed a Jewish people, and the followers of the faith of Abraham called themselves Jews, to which tribal clan they would not have belonged.

    In connection with this, the words of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, a contemporary Jewish theologian and spiritual mentor of Russia's Jews, are recalled:    "The Jews are not a nationality. They are a metaphorical essence of a people who bear a defined mission and are called upon to become an instrument for the execution and realization of the divine plan" ("Exodus" magazine, 2003.)

    Adin Steinsaltz is resolving the problem of the present definition of the Jews along a maternal line using a comparison of the Jews with noblemen. The nobility has been and is hereditary and is conferred for any kind of services. The Jews go along the very same paths. Some Jews are defined according to maternal lines; others go through a rite of dedication and conversion.

  In our opinion, the comparison of Jews with nobility has a deep historical sense, and A. Steinsaltz, it is possible, doesn't even suspect how right he is.

                                        go to chapter 4   go to chapter 19

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