Category Archives: judaism

Tisha B’Av

Tisha B'Av (Hebrew: תשעה באב‎ or ט׳ באב, “the Ninth of Av,”) is an annual fast day in Judaism, named for the ninth day (Tisha) of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar. The fast commemorates the destruction of both the First Temple and Second Temple in Jerusalem, which occurred about 490 years apart, but on the same Hebrew calendar date. Accordingly, the day has been called the “saddest day in Jewish history”.
Five Calamities [of the Ninth of Av]

According to the Mishnah (Taanit 4:6), five specific events occurred on the ninth of Av that warrant fasting:

  1. The twelve spies sent by Moses to observe the land of Canaan returned from their mission. Only two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, brought a positive report, while the others spoke disparagingly about the land. The majority report caused the Children of Israel to cry, panic and despair of ever entering the “Promised Land“. For this, they were punished by God that their generation would not enter the land. Because of the Israelites' lack of faith, God decreed that for all generations this date would become one of crying and misfortune for their descendants, the Jewish people. (See Numbers Ch. 13–14)
  2. The First Temple built by King Solomon and the Kingdom of Judah was destroyed by the Babylonians led by Nebuchadnezzar on July 11, 422 BCE (in Jewish Calendar av 9, 3338) and the Judeans were sent into the Babylonian exile.
  3. The Second Temple built by Ezra and Nehemiah was destroyed by [Titus] on August 2, 70 CE (in Jewish Calendar av 9, 3828), scattering the people of Judea and commencing the Jewish exile from the Holy Land. According to the Talmud in tractate Ta'anit, the destruction of the Second Temple began on the Ninth of Av and the Temple continued to burn throughout the Tenth of Av.
  4. The Romans crushed Bar Kokhba's revolt and destroyed the city of Betar, killing over 100,000 Jews, on July 8, 13[5] CE (in Jewish Calendar av 9, 3892).[3]
  5. Following the Roman siege of Jerusalem, Roman commander Turnus Rufus plowed the site of the Temple and the surrounding area, in 13[5] CE.[4]
2011 dates: sunset August 8th – nightfall August 9th, via Wikipedia
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Posted by on August 8, 2011 in judaism


Zoroastrianism – the World’s Oldest Monotheism

The Persians who freed the Jews from exile were Zoroastrians. The Persians instilled their own priestly elites to re-establish the kingdom of Judah. These Persian elites who settled in the renewed “Judah” called themselves “Judaites” or “Jews”, and crafted a religion mixed with the old Yahwist/Elohist religion of the “Israelites”/Hebrews with Zoroastrian monotheism and thus the most recognizable iteration of Judaism was born.

Angels, heaven and hell, demons, the eternal battle between agents of good and agents of evil is the Zoroastrian influence on the Judaite/Israelite religion. The earliest Israelite texts shows a polytheistic religion that is very monistic – god creates both good and evil, and is not a god of benevolence in some eternal struggle against the forces of evil.

Zarathustra (Greek Zoroaster): legendary religious teacher from Bactria, founder of Zoroastrianism.
Hardly anything is known about Zarathustra’s life. For example, it is uncertain when he lived. The ancient Greeks speculated that he lived six thousand years before the philosopher Plato and several scholars have argued for a date at the beginning of the sixth century BCE. Other scholars accept that Zarathustra is the author of the Gâthâ’s (a part of the holy book of the Zoroastrians, the Avesta), which they date, on linguistic grounds, in the fourteenth or thirteenth century BCE.

It is also unclear where Zarathustra was born and where he spent the first half of his life. Every tribe that converted to Zoroastrianism made up legends about the prophet’s life, and nearly all of them claimed that the great teacher was “one of them”. On linguistic grounds, we may argue that author of the Gâthâ’s belonged to a tribe that lived in the eastern part of Iran, in Afghanistan or Turkmenistan. This fits neatly with a tradition that connects Zarathustra with the ancient country named Bactria and a cypress at Kâshmar (below), but it hardly proves Zarathustra’s Bactrian origins.

The Gâthâ’s are not a great help either. They contain some personal information, but are hardly the stuff that biographies are made of. The Denkard, a late Avestic text, contains a summary of an older biography. It contains many legends and the reliability seems not very great. The following reconstruction of Zarathustra’s life is, therefore, not to be taken as the very truth.

Zarathustra was born in Bactria (or Aria) as the son of a not very powerful nobleman named Purushaspa and a woman named Dughdhova. Zarathustra was the third of five brothers. He became a priest and seems to have showed a remarkable care for humans and cattle. The family is often called Spitama, which is a honorary title meaning ‘most beneficient’, but was later taken for a family name.

Zarathustra’s life changed when the god Ahuramazda granted him a vision. A spirit named Good Thought appeared and ordered Zarathustra to oppose the bloody sacrifices of the traditional Iranian cults and to give aid to the poor. In one of his own compositions, Zarathustra says:

Thee I conceived as holy, O Ahuramazda, when thy Good Thought appeared to me and asked me: ‘Who art thou? And whose is thine allegiance?’ […]
Then I answered: ‘Zarathustra am I; to the false believers a forthright enemy, but to the righteous a mighty help and joy. […]
Thee I conceived as holy, O Ahuramazda, when thy Good Thought appeared to me. […] A difficult thing it seemed to me, to spread thy faith among men, to do that which Thou didst say was best.
[Yasna 43.4]

Zarathustra started to preach that there was a supreme god, the “wise lord” Ahuramazda, who had created the world, mankind and all good things in it through his holy spirit, Spenta Mainyu. The rest of the universe was created by six other spirits, the Amesha Spentas (‘holy immortals’). However, the order of this sevenfold creation was threatened by The Lie; good and evil spirits were fighting and mankind had to support the good spirits in order to speed up the inevitable victory of the good.

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Posted by on November 16, 2009 in ahura mazda, judah, judaism, zoroastrianism


The Christian Christ is the Jewish anti-Christ

Here are the basics for what the Jewish Messiah (Christ) is supposed to do in order to earn the title of [king] Messiah:

1. Ezekiel 37:26-28: Build the Third Temple
2. Isaiah 43:5-6: Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel
3. Isaiah 2:4: Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.”
4. Zechariah 14:9: Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel – uniting the entire human race as one: “God will be King over all the world – on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One”

The Jesus of Christianity did not accomplish any of those. As a matter of fact, the arrival of Jesus the Nazarene has meant nothing but calamity for the Jews. According to Ezekiel 37, the Messiah is supposed to build the third Temple. What happened when Jesus arrived on the scene? The Second Temple is destroyed.

According to Isaiah, the Messiah is supposed to gather all Jews back to their promised land and usher in an era of peace. What happened after Jesus? The Jews are evicted from their promised land and had it renamed to “Palestine”. Also, what has Jesus’ Christianity done to the Jews? Definitely not world peace. On the contrary, Jesus’ religion resulted in endless evictions of Jews from all around Europe: pogroms, holocausts in Protestant Germany, crusades, inquisitions – nothing but war and destruction focused against the Jews.

Contrast the actions of Jesus’ religion with another messiah that Isaiah describes in chapter 45. Cyrus the Great was considered the Messiah in Isaiah – he gathered all Jews back to Israel after the Babylonian exile and had their Temple rebuilt.

According to Zechariah, the Messiah is supposed to spread universal knowledge of the god of Israel. Jesus’ Christianity actually did the opposite: Jesus himself is worshipped as a god, and not YHWH. Of course, Christians say that they are one and the same, but YHWH had no qualms about having personal interaction with his chosen people prior to Jesus. Now all of the sudden he needs a “mediator” in his supposed literal son. It seems like an after the fact ad hoc rationalization of this disparity.

Also, Christians changed the role of God and the messiah in Judaism. In the Tanakh, YHWH makes a covenant with the Jews and ensures that they will be prosperous and have their own land. That is the one theme running throughout the Tanakh. When Christianity came along, this theme was dropped altogether and now YHWH no longer cares about the promised land or prosperity for the Jews, but is now offering the hitherto unheard of “eternal life”. And “YHWH” says that if you don’t believe in his supposed son, then you will be thrown into a firey furnace (Matt 13:50) for all eternity. The role of the Jewish messiah, an instrument of YHWH’s promise of land and prosperity for the Jews (the model of which was the Biblical Joshua, which is Jesus in Greek), was changed into a spiritual savior offering eternal life.

Now for a nice bit of irony. Tisha B’Av is the day of mourning in Jewish tradition for the destruction of both the first and second Temple. Tisha means “ninth” in Hebrew. Christianity, being a Greek and Roman religion, was originally penned in Greek. The name “Jesus Christ” in Greek is Ιησου Χριστου; Christians copying their holy books by hand would abbreviate the “sacred name” Jesus Christ as IX. And what is IX in Roman numerals? An odd coincidence…

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Posted by on November 2, 2009 in anti-christ, christ, judaism, messiah

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