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The Hasmoneans

A biblical history of the Jews

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The Hasmoneans: A biblical history of the Jews

The Hasmoneans form a band of guerilla fighters called the Maccabees to defeat the wave of Hellenistic assimilation. After their miraculous victory, however, new troubles arose that would ultimately lead to the destruction of the Second Temple.
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History, Sadducees, Antiochus, Maccabees, Chanukah, Hellenists, Miracle of Chanukah

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Joseph Mandel Monsey, NY July 22, 2020

What we call Chulent today derives from the Hebrew word of שלוק Shaluk which stands for any long cooked food. Reply

Livni NYC July 23, 2020
in response to Joseph Mandel :

I thought it derived from the French "chaid lent", pronounced "sholent", meaning cooked slowly. Reply

Joseph Mandel Monsey, NY July 27, 2020
in response to Livni:

It could be the French word originates from Hebrew. Reply

Ezra Texas November 8, 2018

R.Dubov, what is the Hebrew transliterated into English for "hellenist" b'vakashah? Reply

Anonymous April 8, 2019
in response to Ezra:

Misyavnim or Mityavnim that is plural, not sure singular Reply

Livni NYC June 20, 2014

Rabbi Dubov,
Thanks for the efforts to summarize our history.

About Josephus, as said below he was born Joseph ben Matatyahu. He became Josephus Flavius because the Flavian dinasty adopted him (especially Titus Flavius), after his betrayal of his own people, brought him to Rome, and had him writing for them. The veracity of his writings is only partial according to most historians, and we must keep in mind that Christians manipulated his texts to fit in JC. Indeed, Prof. Atkins has shown that Josephus' description of Titus conquest of Judea parallels the tales about JC in the Christian bible. So we should all be careful about what Josephus wrote, he was paid by the Romans.

Another thing: someone in the audience asking when the Tanakh came to be called bible. Bible = Biblos = Book in Greek. Another consequence of the profound Greek acculturation that happened. Reply

Anonymous December 21, 2013

Kohen Gadol How did Jason last as Kohen Gadol for more than 1 year? Wouldn't he die upon entering the the holy of holies? Reply

Mendel Dubov Sparta February 6, 2013

Josephus In response to Anonymous, LA: Yes you are right. Reply

j. warner Memphis TN February 6, 2013

Josephus Yes anonymous from LA. He did fight against the Romans He was a traitor, as well as a student, statesman and a military officer. He actually became a Pharisee. When he saw that Israel was headed for war with Rome, he actually fought in the Galilee. When he saw they were about to be defeated, he did a dastardly thing. Because they preferred death with honor rather than surrender, he devised a plan for them all to commit suicide. But Josephus himself didn't do it. After all his soldiers committed suicide he and a companion surrendered to the Romans.

I ask myself, what did he tell the Romans? He was brought before Vespasian and predicted he would become emperor. This put him in a very good position when Vespasian did become emperor and he liberated Josephus. Reply

j. warner Memphis TN February 5, 2013

Josephus His father was Mattathias and he was of priestly nobility. He was related to the Royal Hasmonean House. His name was originally Joseph and Romanized his Jewish name. Reply

Jonathan Lieberman February 1, 2013

Hellenized Judaism Outside of Judea, the Jewish diaspora in the western world represented 10 percent of the entire population. Hellenistic Judaism was not a small movement. They identified themselves as being part of their host nation, just like American Jews identify with being American, and also identify with being Jewish. The Greek culture was polytheistic and tolerant of all faiths, including the Jewish faith. We were intolerant of their faith which caused anger and persecution. Reply

Anonymous Los Angeles February 1, 2013

Josephus Josephus was a Judean aristocrat who fought against the Romans in the northern portion of Israel, but when captured, collaborated with the Romans in the Jewish Roman war. He was a Jewish Hellenist. He was not a Roman gentile. You might say he was a traitor. A Jewish Roman loyalist.

I'm really enjoying your history lesson! Reply

Anonymous san francisco January 30, 2013

Also, what is written as a decree in Talmud to destroy all foreign Idols and in general any idols at the time that the Roman Empire were not afraid to exploit and force upon the pre Israeli nation! The Maccabees were out numbered and soon resulted in idolatry to ultimately take over the synagogues and the Jewish population thus resulted in the fast of 10 of Av... Reply

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