Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Moses

Myth feeding on myths; (Feb. 19, 2010)

            I was reading a special issue of a French magazine on slavery and black literature and was taken aback by this strong and inevitable tendency of black intellectuals and black soul songs paying particular attention to the myth of Moses leading “his people” from Egypt to freedom.  This myth appears to form the cornerstone for what slaves in America wished to be a replica process to their emancipation.

            Without any exception, all black authors, intellectuals, orators, preachers, political and social leaders, from Olaudah Equiano (1745-97), to Frederick Douglas, to Du Bois, to Langston Hughes, to Frantz Fanon, to Martin Luther King, to Stokeley Carmichael, and even Malcolm X could not help but regurgitate the Moses myth to expressing their yearning for emancipation and human dignity.

            I don’t mind that a culture resurrects a myth to be upon their set of values.  Actually, the basic characteristic of a myth is that it is beautiful, especially the awesome imaginative creations, expressions on life, and good finally vanquishing evil. I have problem when people fail to recognize a myth and take it at face value as real story in history.  I have problem when black Protestants and Baptists go beyond the myth into coinciding it with Zionist movement ideology.  This is very odd since Zionism chased out people from their land and ended up establishing an apartheid “homeland”

            It is important to recognize that the story of Moses is a myth, a fantastic and emotionally encompassing myth, where slaves flee to freedom and survive hardship of desert climate and the multitude of tribal revolts under the guise of worshiping other Gods and a variety of multiple semi-Gods.  It is a myth even though we may fabricate reasonable conjectures to constructing feasible occurrence. One of the conjectures is that not all the fleeing people were slaves and not all were non Egyptians.  People fled when the ancient class of priesthood who adored God Amon overturned the only God Aton (the Sun) that King Akhenaton instituted.

            The story of Moses is a myth since there are no tangible proofs either in writing (in any language) or existing artifacts that may shed any bit of reality. If we know that the Old Testament was written in around 200 BC in Alexandria then what has been transferred as oral stories should not constitute factual happenings but smart stories reflecting customs, traditions, and set of values of people.

            Faith in one God, creator of man and the universe, has nothing to do with considering stories and sayings of assigned “prophets” to be adopted as act of faith.  You may like or dislike a few stories; you may adopt in actions and behavior what a few “prophets” said but there are no harms admitting that these myths describe reasonable ways of living, attitudes, and behaviors.

            I can understand why Malcolm X had to talk about Moses: he was a black Moslem and Islam combined the Jewish and Christian Books as intrinsic part of Islam faith.  I got into thinking. If it was not for Islam that sheltered and protected Jews from persecution of the Byzantium Empires then the Jewish religion would have disappeared.  The Zionist movement is a scorpion that could not help but sting its benefactor and protector from extinction.  The Zionist movement through its racist and apartheid system has driven many Moslems into extreme tendencies to be freed from occupation and apartheid domination in Palestine.

            I got into thinking that the limited and racist Neo-Conservative “Christians” in south USA got impressed by the beautiful and soul searching Negro soul songs and music referring to Old Testament stories; those tight-assed conservatives revised the fantastic lyrics and rhythms into petrified ideology.  It is unfortunate that diamonds, more often than not, fall on pork’s ears.

I demand freedom to pay tribute to my Idol

People are more inclined to be loyal to a saint, a shrine, or an honored Imam, or apostle.

People have need to use their senses to get connected to a spiritual entity: you cannot expect human to think exclusively on abstract notion without the intermediary of their senses of seeing a representative picture, of smelling incense, of touching a bust, or of listening to a hymn.

One God who created man and the universe is fine, but is not sufficient for man.  Several Gods doing the job is more convincing and pragmatic: specialization is highly valued.

Monotheism is a totally abstract concept that no human was yet able to feel physically loyal to a one, all encompassing God.

Ever since man descended from his tree, his prime concern was struggling for his freedom to pay tribute to his favorite Idol God.

Fear of the many dangers threatening his survival forced man to seeking a much more powerful ally to protect him and come to the rescue.  Depending on his wide spectrum of phobia, man wanted the total freedom to worship and be loyal to his “loyal” companions in times of imminent dangers.

Man would not take for granted Idols imposed upon him; he wanted his personal choices that most satisfied his psychological world.  Freedom of belief is not a modern concept; man fought all his life and for millennia for this natural right and is continuing the struggle.

I noticed lately that my dad, at each pass in front of the Virgin Mary or Mar Charbel (a Lebanese National Saint), has to touch these pictures in the house with his index, kiss his index, and then sign the cross.

Dad is 85 years old and has refrained attending mass for years.  Mother is also devoted to the Virgin and all the national female saints such as Rafqa; she never misses an occasion to get in the car or a bus going to pay tributes to shrines; she pay money, that she has not, for the Saint so that the church make “good” use of it.

Obviously, Mar Charbel is in her pantheon too, along with the newly beatified Hardini.  Interestingly, miracles have a way of occurring at election times.

In all ages, whether a religion claim to be monotheist or polytheist people end up selecting a particular idol to pay allegiance to and write ex-votos to Him in order to be cured, enjoy prosperity, safety to the family, and safe travels.

Indeed, people are loyal idolater to whom they perceive to be pretty much handy, accessible, and an excellent intermediary to the One God.

For example, in Latin America people are loyal to the Virgin Mary and cannot think of any other Saint to turn to in time of distress; thus, St. Mary of (name a city or a village), or the Virgin of (name a city or a town) and you have hundreds of Virgin Maries, tailored made to a specific locality, ready to come to the rescue.

The Greek Orthodox Church cannot think of more than three female saints to name girls at baptismal ceremonies: it must be either Mary, Ann, or Elisabeth; as for male kids you have an assortment of complicated and long Greek saints with plenty of X and Ch.

In predominantly Moslem Egypt, and generally in North Africa, you have St. Fatima, Aicha, Ali, Hussein, the Imam of the regional legal sect, or the shrine of the veneered Sheikh of a locality is paid more attention and visits to any other worshiping figures.

Pictures of Moslem saints are prohibited in public places or in mosques but that do not prevent homes to hang pictures of their preferred saint as relevant to current standards of beauty for both genders.

There is this myth that the Jewish religion is the first to adopting monotheism; it is just a myth. 

Ancient civilizations were never monotheists; they all had an overall God, nominally superior to the other demi-gods but that nobody paid much attention to or prayed to Him or even remembered asking his help in ex-votos.

God El was the all encompassing God in the Middle East as was Allah in the Arab Peninsula or Zeus for the Greeks, but He never generated a dime to tribes that had exclusive rights to his worship.

People converged to more palpable and understandable demy-gods; cities and towns adopted one of them as symbol and recognition of their trades or power.  In general, more weight was given to the “messengers of a God” (they were written in plural) than to a specific God.

Yahweh (God of thunder) was one of the Gods to the Jews after Moses introduced Him during the long crossing of Sinai and the worship of the “golden cow”: the Jews had, before and after Moses, many regional demy-Gods who did exist even if at periods they were forbidden to be worship.

Jews might have converged to a unique God in Judea in the second century BC.  Many of Canaan demy-Gods were far more beneficial and interesting than this newly created Yahweh that came into the picture during war periods. In war time, Jewish mercenaries were asked to support Baal under the banner of the dusted off Temple and bust of Yahweh.

Salomon worshiped Ashtarout (the Goddess of Sidon in Lebanon), and idol Baal had many Temples in Jerusalem while Yahweh had only one.

One common denominator to all salafist or extremist religious sects (Christian, Jewish, Moslems, or cults) is being totally peeved and obfuscated that the One True God is being sidetracked for substitutes.

Joshua offered the Jews choices of keeping Yahweh as sole God or accepting other demy-Gods.  When the Jews decided to keep exclusively a “tribal” God then Joshua ordered all strangers’ Gods destroyed. In ancient time, destroying the bust of a God didn’t mean that he no longer existed, but that the local God was to be more efficient to the survival of the tribe or community.

When Prophet Mohammad entered Mecca without a fight, after 9 years of taking Yathreb as his headquarter for his companions, he ordered all the 160 idols destroyed or effaced (pictures) save two: Allah and the Virgin Mary.

Mary was not bestowed virginity at all but she was veneered as the mother of the latest great prophet Jesus (Issa).  In Islam, idols were no longer Gods and never existed as was the case in ancient cultures.

The early Protestants erased pictures and destroyed busts of all Saints except crucified Jesus.  For the Protestants, erasing pictures of Saints didn’t mean that Saints didn’t exist but they were not that worthy to be worshiped and supplant God through the interceding process.

The most honest monotheists were the “heretic” Christian sects that the Orthodox Christian Church during the Byzantium Empire persecuted relentlessly.  Most of these sects would not even bestow a divine nature to Jesus, and Marie was not virgin by any means; no pictures or drawings were permitted for any Saints.

The farthest that these sects could indulge in is to veneer the apostle whom they claimed to have written the “true” Testament they adopted and read in.  The Nestorian sect proselytized in China and translated its Bible in Chinese in around the year 600; it built churches all along the “silk road”.  Thus, you don’t need to create saints along with pictures and busts to have the faith that travels to China.

I have noticed that:

1. centralized churches promote many saints with pictures and busts; it is a tactic to please the people so that it may enjoy total control over their temporal existence;

2. that these centralized churches inherited pagan religions aided a lot to the widespread propagation of multiple idols for each locality.

Decentralized religions have no urge to promote idols and pictures such as in Islam: it is the temporal power at every state that appoints clergies, Imams, and sheikhs.

I don’t see why all that fuss for monotheism.

If a few tribes still refuse to believe that it is earth rotating around the sun or that earth is flat, why then submerge them with an extra abstract notion?

Killing and committing suicide attacks in the name of a God is not an abstract act; this does not mean that human mind cannot reach a level of distortion that far surpasses the mere abstraction of a One God, creator of man and the universe.

Note 1:  This is a revised version of my post “Mono-idolatry (monolatry) or monotheism? (Nov. 6, 2009)

Note 2: The Christian Greek Orthodox is the church of Byzantium that persecuted the “heretic” Maronites in the year 1,000 and forced them to settle in the northern mountain chains of Lebanon. Decades later, the Maronite allied to the Church of Rome  and has been a steady ally to France since then.

These persecutions took place at a period the Moslem Arabic empire was disintegrating into small fiefdoms and Byzantium re-conquered the coastal portion in Turkey and Syria. The second crusade campaign burned Constantinople and occupied the lands of Byzantium in Turkey, Syria, all the way to Jerusalem.

Note 3: The various Protestant sects have similarity with the Wahhabi Moslem sect by discarding icons and pictures of saints in their place of worship.  The Wahhabi makes it a trend to demolish any worshiping place that is decorated with pictures, icon, and shrines, whether they are Christians or Moslems…

“They read from the same Book…They come to me for mediation; why?”

 Note: I posted this essay on April 10, 2009 under the title “The Unpublished unifying Book” and decided to re-edit and abridge it.

 Historical Context

 Before Moses there was no such religion as Jewish.  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob worshiped El, the all-encompassing God of the Land from Mesopotamia, to Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob paid the tithe to Melki Sadek, the highest grand priest and King of Jerusalem.  The mother of Melki Sadek had a revelation and her son Melki was dedicated to the temple; this story is repeated exactly through the ages such as with Hanna (mother of the Virgin Mary), Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist), and to the Virgin Mary; they all dedicated their sons and daughters to the temples (nazeer, and thus nazarean). The title of Virgin given to Mary is an earned sacerdotal label to virgins who served the temple from age of 3 till marriage.

            The Bible mentions many prophets who were dedicate to temples as revelations descended on their mothers.  It was common to the noble and sacerdotal families to dedicate sons or daughters to temples.  The rank of Melki Sadek was the highest and it was for life and he could transfer that rank to anyone of his choosing by anointment (mesheeh), thus Messiah.

            The scribes of the Bible in Alexandria (in the second century before Christ) mentioned that Moses received a revelation and the Ten Commandments from Yahweh (Jehovah); thus (Yahood or Jews).  Again, it is the same repetition of revelations and the descent of written messages and commandments through the ages to the chosen prophets.  Moses’ commandments had to be given by a supreme being for ignorant nomads who constantly needed to rely on a supreme being to alleviate their fears; these commandments and hundreds more were already included in the civil codes of laws of the Land since before King Hamourabi of Babylon.  The relatively urban towns and cities in the Levant and Mesopotamia had more sophisticated abstract concepts that could sustain diversities in belief systems.

            Invariably, religions would like the believers to understand that their Prophets were illiterate in order to prove that only God could have interceded with the prophet for the message.  These allegations are pure fabrications. Abraham was educated, Moses was highly educated and a grand priest and Muhammad aided his uncle parson Warkat bin Nawfal in translating into Arabic the Aramaic versions of the New Testament of Mathew and the Bible.  All the prophets had read in the Books of their times.  Jesus was highly educated and was a “nazeer” in the Great Temple of Mount Carmen since the age of six; but Jesus didn’t need translated versions of the Books because he was Aramaic and a messenger of the Land.

            Translation of Books to another language was not done literally; the meaning was retained as honestly as desired but the context and style were compatible with the cultures and customs of the targeted people for better understanding and memorization.  That is why reading in Books was done by chanting (tarteel) so that musical intonation could support the retention process.

            Jesus mission was to win over “the lost sheep among the tribes” in Judea, Benjamin, and the Hasmonides because they staunchly continued to worship Yahweh, their non-spiritual God for earthly dominion by the sword. Jesus wanted to unite all the tribes of Israel (Tribes of El) and not of Yahweh.

            Around 325 AC the Byzantium Emperor Constantine proclaimed Christianity to be the religion of the empire. Patriarchs and Bishops from around the empire met in many conclaves to unify the dogma of the new religion.  At each conclave serious cleavages would separate the bishops and schisms were created and were labeled “heretics” for not abiding by the “Orthodox” Byzantium dogma of the conclave.  By the 5th century there were two major categories of Christian sects: those on the western side of the Euphrates River (part of Byzantium) and those on the eastern side (belonging to the Persian Empires).  The western sects believed in the Credo, the duality of Jesus, the Trinity, and the Virgin Mary. The eastern sects believed in the one physical nature of Jesus (either man or son of God) and would not consider Mary as virgin or to be honored. 

            It is the eastern Christian sects “the heretics” that ventured as far as China and erected churches and monasteries along the “Silk Road”; they also reached the Arabic Peninsula where three of these sects were highly respected and honored in Mecca. Only the Christian-Jews three main sects (Ebyonites, Cerinthe, and Elxai, see notes) were referred to as “Nassara” (those Christian nazeers who were dedicated to monasteries to pray, read the Books, and meditate) and they read in the Book of the only and unique God and followed the Jewish daily laws and customs.

 

The Koran of Mecca:

The purpose of the Prophet Muhammad was to gather common denominators for the belief systems among the main Christian and Jewish sects in the Arabic Peninsula: they all worshiped One God, the Creator of all things, and they believed in Heaven and Hell.  In that direction, the Prophet accepted the premise that the monotheist sects shared Abraham (who was neither Jewish nor Christian) as their first prophet who had the Orthodox “haneef” belief.

            Muhammad acknowledged all the prophets that succeeded Abraham. Muhammad accepted in their integrality all the mythical stories in the Bible of the Creation, Noah, the Deluge, Joseph in Egypt and all the rest (these stories were indeed the myths of the Land for thousands of years before Abraham).  Muhammad was apprehensive that one of those diverse sects might think that he particularly biased toward one of Israel’s sects since they are all Moslems in God.  The prophet said “You are not believers until you value the Bible and the New Testament and what were descended on you. The Book descended on two previous religions but we were not aware of them” (because not written in Arabic)

Muhammad proclaimed Jesus as one of the latest and most spiritual prophet of all because he carried the Holy Ghost of Allah. Muhammad avoided the corny issues of the Trinity, the Virginity of Mary, the crucifixion and death of Jesus that divided the Christian sects. Muhammad venerated the Virgin Mary as the mother of the prophet who received revelations as well as John the Baptist.  In fact, Mary is the only female name mentioned in the Koran and Jesus (Issa) was mentioned as “Son of Mary”, thus “Issa ibn Mariam”.

In the Koran Muhammad proclaimed that the Christian-Jewish sects in Arabia were Moslems, years before he started his message: the teaching of the Koran was initiated because they relied on a unique God and didn’t admit that anyone else is part of him (shareek) such as Jesus or the Holy Ghost. The word Koran “Kuraan” has Aramaic roots “kuru” which means reading, reciting from a book.

            During the Mecca period of proselytizing (about 13 years), what is known as the Koran of Mecca, there were Jewish sects and Muhammad never mentioned the Jews in these verses.  In fact, after Muhammad settled in Yathreb (Medina) the Christian Nassara sects would pay him visit from Mecca to mediate among them. The Prophet Muhammad was taken aback and said what amount to “They read in the Book that can answer all their questions and yet they come to me for mediation”

            The Prophet did not face any obstacles from the Christian Nassara sects in Arabia simply because the Koran of Mecca was almost a carbon copy of the Books they read in: it was mainly an Arabic translation from Aramaic.

 

The problems with the Jews

The Jews in Yathreb and in Khibar revolted against the teaching of Islam who accepted Jesus as a prophet and got apprehensive of the growing power of Moslems in their midst.  The non-Moslem tribes of Mecca asked the Jews of Yathreb to cooperate with them and the Jewish leaders descended to Mecca to plot against the Moslems. Armed struggles decided the difficulties to the advantage of the Moslems.  The Prophet considered the Jewish sects as tyrannical and not behaving with charity toward the orthodox religions, complicating the belief system, and blasphemed the Virgin Mary and Jesus.  “God created man weak and He wants to make it easy on him and not complicate his life. We have sent a prophet to every nation” so that nations can read the message of the One God in their own language.

 All the sects in Arabia were united around one religion that was made easy (khefat) and economical “moktassadat” to be comprehend by nomads and desert people who lacked knowledge of abstract theological concepts and it was easy to memorize by short rimed sentences and disseminated by chants.  Thus, Muhammad warned the Christian sects (such as the Jacobites, Nestourians, and Melkites) who believed in the divinity of Jesus, of the son of God, the trinity, and the resurrection to desist in their exaggerations and overestimation in religious beliefs (ghelou fi al deen) and accept the simple fact of One God as a unifying reality that unite the tribes of the believers in One God.

 

The genesis of Islam

In Mecca, Khadija, the first wife of Muhammad, and the parson Warkat bin Nawfal, the patriarch of the Christian-Jew sect of the Epyionites, transcribed Muhammad’s revelations and verses during his epileptic fits.  In Medina, Aicha bint Abu Bakr, the educated and most beloved wife of the Prophet, was almost exclusively in charge of recording the revelations when the Prophet Mohammad had his bouts of seizures. She would cover him with warm blankets and write down the verses until he falls asleep.  Aicha has dedicated her life into gathering, organizing the revelations and meeting with scholars and close friends of the Prophet to keep a complete record. Aicha saved her copies very jealously until the third Caliphate Othman bin Affan ordered the archive to be handed over to him. Aicha didn’t trust Othman and she kept copies of all her documents.  At the time, only rich people could afford to write down documents because they were recorded on special leather in the Arabic Peninsula. Thus, rich educated people had the task of transcribing the verses for better retention, memorization, and an act of devotion.

By the time Othman decided to issue an official Book for Islam (The Koran of Medina) most of the Byzantium and Persian Empires were conquered; Egypt was part of the Arab Moslem Empire. The formal or official Book had to take these political realities into accounts, realities of victors and vanquished.  The Caliphate Othman sorted out the verses and selected what suited the political interest of the new Islamic Empire; many verses were burned and disappeared, others were tampered with such as adding “nassara” (Christian) after Jews though the sentence would break the rhyme (sajaa). 

Othman arranged verses by order of length, the longest verses first, and the gathered book was considered the official Koran. For example, the shortest revelations or verses are the first chronologically and represent the message of Islam in the first 13 years or the Koran of Mecca before the relocation to Medina or Yathreb in 633.  The longest verses dealt mostly with civil management, daily routine, penal codes, and organization of the converts to Islam.

It is my contention that Aicha bint Abu Bakr had hidden and distributed copies of her complete archive.  If there is the will there is a way to reconstitute the message of the Prophet Muhammad in its historical and chronological contexts taking into account the fundamental principle of working on the common denominators in the belief system among the majority of the monotheist religions; and hopefully discovering a copy of the original archive as the work is in progress.

The Prophet Muhammad was crystal clear in his message: making the religion easy, light, acceptable to most sects, and readable by the language of every nation.  It is about time we focus on the value of life and let the abstract limiting and restrictive theological concepts (ideology) to the few power monger sacerdotal castes.

Note 1: The Epyonite Christian-Jew sect was discussed and commented on by the early Christian scholars and Bishops like Irene, Epiphane, and Origene.  The name Epionites refers to the “poor” in Aramaic such as “Blessed be the poor”; this sect considered Jesus one of the great prophets. Jesus was not God or Son of God who received the revelations after John baptized him and thus, the messiah spirit entered him till he was crucified.  Jesus message was teaching and preaching the revelation but didn’t include saving or forgiving our sins. The Aramaic Testament of Mathew is their only book in addition to the Bible; this New Testament of Mathew used by the Epionites was revised slanted and distorted according to Epiphanous. This sect persevered on frequent washing for purification, not eating meat, and to focus on aiding and feeding the needy, widowers, and people of passage.  After the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, many of the priests in Komran immigrated to Hijaz in the Arab peninsula.

 

Note 2:  The Christian-Jew Cerinthe sect proclaimed that Heaven resembled life on earth where the body will get its fill of every passion it needed to satisfy; that the role of Jesus was to free his people from the Romans; that Jesus message was political and social.

 

Note 3:  The Christian-Jew sect Elxai was Gnostic (knowledge).  It preached that Jesus is another human and the Messiah in him vacated his body before martyrdom.  The Holy Ghost is the mother of Jesus and the Angel Gabriel depending on events. Jesus received the Bible from the angel and Gabriel taught Jesus wisdom and the ability to foreseeing the future.

Lebanon and Palestine: Same and Different (April 28, 2009, Part 1)

 

Brief ancient history:

Lebanon is a recognized State by the UN, in 1946 (2 years before Israel). Palestine was partitioned in 1947 between Palestinians and the minority Jews. Currently, all of Palestine is under occupation by this Zionist State called Israel.

Lebanon and Palestine were throughout antiquity under the domination of neighboring Empires such as in Egypt, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq (Mesopotamia).  The people in the two tiny stretches of coastal lands on the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea were mainly mariners, traders, middlemen among Empires, and skilled artisans.

Under the nominal or explicit domination of Empires, Lebanon and Palestine had autonomous administration of their society as City-States that were highly democratic within the city limits as Athens emulated in the 7th century BC. 

The famous City-States from north to south are Ugarite, Tripoli, Jubail (Byblos), Saida, Sour (Tyr), Akka (Acre and Haifa), and Askelan. 

The City-State of Jubeil (inventors of the alphabet) built Saida; Saida built Sour and dominated the sea routes; and Sour built Akka and relayed Saida in sea domination and expanding the trading posts to Spain.  These City-States were the masters of the sea and traded with all Empires and build trading towns; they have resisted many overwhelming sieges, sometimes for years, and occasionally managed not to be entered and devastated.

Every empire that conquered Syria resumed its drive by dominating Lebanon and Palestine.  In general, when more than one empire co-existed at the same period and when the empire in Egypt was powerful enough then it governed the southern half of Palestine while the other empire governed the upper half, including Lebanon.  The strip of Gaza to Yafa was mostly under Egyptian cultural influence.

The coastal strip from north actual Syria to the Sinai was called Canaan. Then, the upper stretch to Akka was called Phoenicia or even Saida (in reference for the main City-State). The Sea People, called Philistines and probably coming from the Adriatic Sea, destroyed Greece fleet, devastated many coastal cities, and conquered Egypt before they were driven out and settle in Gaza and the southern part of Canaan, called Palestine ever since.

Moses (this mythical story) arrived with an amalgam of nomadic tribes and his successors attempted to occupy part of south Palestine.  These tribes worshiped Yahwa, thus, yahoud and Jews for the Latin people.  These tribes under Moses reverted to worshiping the all encompassing God of the Land called El., except a few tribes such as Judea and Benjamin.  During the Roman Empire, Tyr administered the upper half of Palestine.

 

Modern History:

            In the beginning of the 20th century, the military in Turkey deposed the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and started policies focused on Turk Nationhood.  Many in Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine immigrated to Egypt. 

During the First World War famine fell on Lebanon along with a devastating wave of locust; they immigrated to the USA, Brazil, Latin America, and many were dropped in Africa by unethical ship captains. After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War, Britain had mandate over Palestine and Iraq; France had mandate over Lebanon and Syria.

Consequently, the bilingual Palestinians spoke English, and their counterpart in Lebanon spoke French. In 1930, Haifa grabbed the center of trades and many Lebanese flocked to Haifa and Palestine.  The reverse wave occurred when the State of Israel was recognized by a majority of one vote at the UN in 1948.  Lebanon received Palestinian refugees who were installed in camps on the ground that their stay is temporary!

 

In one chapter of “World Adrift” Amine Maaluf said “The western powers are now paying the price for failing to apply their values in the colonies”  The European colonial powers of Britain, France, Germany, and the  Netherlands had no intentions of spreading their moral values to those they considered not worthy of their pearls and gems.

The indigents were to be enslaved, exploited, and humiliated; the indigents who adopted the western values of equality, liberty, and democracy were persecuted and harassed and imprisoned; the colonial administrators negotiated with the conservative conformists who were ready to strike deals and cohabit with lesser human rights.  Dictators in Europe are abhorred but readily accepted in under-developed States.

Human values had different quality and flavors according to the whims and interest of the exploiting colonial powers.  Britain used astute diplomatic policies to subjugate their colonies more frequently than France did; France of the French Revolution had no patience negotiating and communicating with their colonial people and never skipped an occasion to stating its true purpose for domination.and exhibiting arrogant military posturing.

            The colonial powers installed infrastructures that were appropriate for exploitation of the colonies; they established the required administrations for smooth and efficient exploitation.  The other administrative offices for legislation and justices were carbon copies of the ones in their homeland but these codes could be disposed off and trampled at the first occasion that short sighted interest called for swift and immediate actions.

 

Contemporary history:

Current Lebanon was created by France during its mandate period and cut out from Syria; it is now a recognized State by the UN since 1943.  Palestine was divided but the Zionist movement conquered the allocated portion for the Palestinians by the UN in 1948. 

The Palestinians are now located in the West Bank of the Jordan River and in Gaza where Israel has built 150 Jewish-only colonies and increasing every year. 

The Palestinians who fled their towns and villages in the State of Israel are refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.  The UN resolution 193 demands the repatriation of these Palestinians to their hometowns but Israel has been rebuffing that resolution since 1948.

Lebanon suffered many civil wars and calamities for not being capable or unwilling of absorbing the Palestinian refugees; Israel has waged four devastating wars against the State of Lebanon on flimsy pretexts based on the Palestinian resistance trying to regain their rights for a homeland.

Who are the Israelites?  From Abraham to the Macabe Kingdom (Chapter one); (March 19, 2009)

 

Note: It might turn out to be a lengthy essay: I will split it in a series of small chapters.

 

There is huge confusion and out of matter relations between the abstract belief concepts among the Christians and the context of their religion.  No wonder that Christianity generates as many splits as abstraction can sustain.  Without firm comprehension of the customs and traditions in the Levant and the geographical, historical, and religious context the Christians, in the entire spectrum of sects, will stay disoriented and out of touch with their identity.  It is beneficial to set the geographical and historical background of the Levant (mainly, current Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria).

I will have, reluctantly, to skip thousands of years of major civilizations in the Near East and Mesopotamia in order to focus on the subject.  Thus, I start from the period that Abraham and his successive clans settled in the Land of Canaan, then the period that the Hebrews of Moses sneaked in Palestine, then the Kingdom of David and Salomon that lasted less than a century, then the split of Salomon’s Kingdom into 12 districts or tribes, then the schism between the Samaritans and the Hebrews of Judea, then the deportations of the Samaritans and then the Hebrews of Jerusalem to Babylon, then the contribution of Cyrus of Persia to the reconstruction of the temple of Jerusalem in the 6th century BC, then the Seleucid Dynasty that lasted two centuries, then the revolt of the Macabeans and their Kingdom that lasted less than a century, then the conquest of Pompeii, the Roman General, to the Levant, then the advent of Jesus Christ, the first Christian communities, the conclave of Nicee (Turkey) in 425 during Emperor Constantine, then the establishment of the Ashkenazi Hebraic Kingdom in the Caucasus till its destruction in 950, then the schism between Papal Rome and Constantinople around the year 1000, then the Crusaders’ campaigns that lasted a century, then the schism between Papal Rome and Martin Luther and Calvin in late 15th century, then the emergence of the various sects in England and then in the USA such as the Mormons, the Jehovah Witnesses, the Baptists, and the New Conservative sects in the south of the USA, and finally, the re-colonization of Palestine by the Central Europe Ashkenazi Zionists in the 20th century.

 

Period one: Abraham was very familiar with the customs, traditions, and culture of the Land when he decided to settle in Canaan. Abraham was a genuine leader of the Land.  He paid the tribute, the tithe, to the highest priest of the Land Melki Sadek and recognized the high sacerdotal rank of Melki Sadek who worshiped El (pronounce Eel) as the all unifying God of the Land. Issac and Jacob also paid the tithe to the highest priest of the Land.

For example, Abraham had no piece of land in Canaan; his clan let their goats and sheep graze in unclaimed lands. As there was a death in the family Abraham resolved to prepare for his burial; he sent a third party to ask Afroun son of Sohar of the tribe of Hath for a small piece of land to bury the dead. Abraham said: “I am a guest in your land. Could you give me a swath so that I may bury what is in front of me?”  Every village had a burying ground facing east and guests, by the custom of hospitality, could be enjoying the same facilities. Afroun replied: “Abraham you are a reverend and I shall bury the deceased in the best of our graves” Abraham had set his mind to settle in Canaan and wanted his own burial ground, thus he asked to buy a piece of land.  Afroun replied: “A land of no more than 400 silver shekels should not be an obstacle” Abraham got the hint and sent the amount.  This polite and diplomatic negotiation is part of the Levant customs thousand of years before Abraham came to Canaan.

 

Period two:  Moses led all the strangers in Egypt who were ordered to leave because they supported the previous monarch Akhenaton. The tribes of Moses were swelled by other foreigners who left in a hurry with “unleavened bread”, meaning at night. Those Egyptian Hebrew tribes were not familiar with the culture and traditions of the Land.  They occupied land by the sword and committed genocide in every town they entered. For example, “Joshua (Yashou) son of Noun entered the town of Makid, and exterminated its inhabitants as he did with the king of Hebron (Ariha), then progressed to Lebna, then Lakish, then Horam, the Ajloun, then Habroun, then to Dabeer and killed the kings, destroyed the towns, slaughtered the handicapped, the babies and even the animals; any breathing inhabitant was massacred in these towns and villages”

The God of the Hebrew was called Jehovah, sort of a totem to discriminate themselves from the tribes of the Land.  The God of the Land was El and all the other minor Gods were sorts of patron saints to syndicates and towns that felt the need for an identity.  The Hebrew wanted Jehovah to establish a Kingdom on earth in any way available because their culture was different from the culture of the Levant.

Solomon got to appreciate the culture and civilization of the Land.  He cooperated and negotiated with the King of Tyr Ahiram to build the temple in Jerusalem and also to build a sea fleet.  The fleet was wrecked at its first attempt to take to the sea; they say “Les Hebraiques n’avaient pas the pied marin” (they had not the mariners’ feet). In fact, no Kingdom in Judea ever controlled the sea coast.

The Hebrews in Judea sank into abject materialism and developed 640 Laws to regulate their daily life.  Thus, the Hebrews of Moses viewed the inhabitants of the Land as their enemies to be subjugated and cowed into submission for the loot. The detailed gory tales in the Bible are mostly from that bloody period.

 

Period three: The original Jews of the Land and the indigents before the settlement of the Hebrews of Moses where chased out of Judea.  They regrouped in Samaria and Galilee “of Nations” and formed their own fiefdoms which were called Israel or the “Tribes of El” in Aramaic.  The “tribes” of Asher, Zebulon, and Naphtali settled in Galilee and merged with the culture of the land. 

The Hebrews of Judea considered the districts of upper and lower Galilee as “Goyim” or gentile of many “Nations” but they viewed the Samaritans as Jews hostile to the strict Hebraic Laws and worshiping El instead of Jehovah. For a palpable political appreciation you may consider the split between the Sephardim and the Ashkenazi in current Israel. The Ashkenazi of Central Europe dominate the economic and policy making; a fresh immigrant from Europe can contemplate to rise quickly in the political and economic landscape while the Jews of the Arab and Moslem World have to fight the good fight for the crumbs. It is of no wonder that the Ashkenazi decided for Hebrew to be the national language that in no way compared to the versatile and rich Yiddish German/Slavic language they used to write and communicate with.  Hebrew was simply selected for its political connotation.  Galilee generated four prophets though the Pharisee caste mocked Jesus saying that “no prophets can come from Galilee”.

 

Period four: In 167 BC, the Seleucid King Antiochus IV Epifanus banned the worshiping of Jehovah, forbid circumcision, and ordered burning the Bible; those decrees were executed efficiently and occasionally by harsh measures. Only the Hebrews of Judea revolted against these decrees; they were led by the priest Matatia of the Hashmonid tribe. Matatia’s son Judah, nicknamed Macabe (the handler of ax), resumed the revolt until he vanquished the Seleucid King.  From 166 to 63 BC the zealot Macabe Kingdom ruled the Land. In 103 BC, Aristopoulos, son of Simon Macabe, ordered every citizen to be circumcised and to abide by Moses’ Law.  Consequently, the non-Jews of Galilee were subjected to these rules, including the ancestors of Jesus Christ who lived in upper Galilee (current south Lebanon).  It is worth mentioning that much later, in 132 AC, Emperor Adrian banned circumcision and the Hebrews in Judea revolted; the revolt of Barcoba (son of the star) was squashed and the remaining Jews experienced the greatest dispersion.

During the Hellenistic period, God El was called Helios (the Greek added an H before an E at the beginning of a word; for example Heliopolis means the city of El)


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

August 2020
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