menwhochangedjudaism

menwhochangedjudaism - Men who changed Judaism Mark...

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Men who changed Judaism Mark Eldridge Pol 493 Professor Goodhart
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Judaism, just like other religions, is echoed by its stories, history, and teachings. Throughout its history Judaism has had its fair share of ups in downs from the holocaust to the creation of Zionism. Its history has a foundation built by a select group of men. Three of these men have changed the history of Judaism forever. Abraham, Hitler, and Herzl are men who created the foundation of Judaism through both the good and bad. This essay is going to look at each of these men from the perspectives of bibliographers, Leonard Woolley, J.P. Stern, and Steven Beller. First up is Abraham from Leonard Woolley’s book Abraham: Recent Discoveries and Hebrew Origins . In the first chapter Woolley begins by outlining what an important figure Abraham is. He goes on to explain that three of the great religions Jewish, Christian, and Moslem consider Abraham to be a chief prophet. (Woolley pg.19) It is during this time that scholars argue about the value of oral tradition. Woolley states that they found clay tablets at Tell Hesy and Tell Mesilim that prove that written documents existed during the time and were widely used mainly for business correspondence. (Woolley pg. 25) This proves that even if Moses five books took their present form as late as the fifth century, the writers had documents of the events that took place. However, of all the thousands of documents uncovered none of them portray the five books of Moses. So Woolley states that the story of Abraham was carried on as an Oral tradition. (Woolley pg. 30) This causes a problem because it does not help solidify any hard evidence of Abraham’s existence. Even in the uncovering of Ur which is considered Abraham’s birthplace has not revealed any hard evidence of Abraham. Woolley finishes the chapter by sharing that the seventh chapter will be his conclusion and summary of the evidence given about Abraham’s life. However, He states that there is “no direct evidence” but there is “indirect evidence” to support claims about Abraham’s life. (Woolley pg. 52)
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The second chapter begins by talking about the confusion of the exact location of Ur. Previously, on many biblical maps Ur was placed on the spot where Urfa stands today, however, Woolley goes to great lengths to show that is not the case. He states that Urfa was never called Ur. He also states that Ur was a Chaldaean city and there has never been a time in Urfa’s history where it has been described as a Chaldaean city. Also, Urfa’s geographical location just doesn’t make sense to where Ur should be. (Woolley pg.60-61) Woolley then describes the tale of J.E. Taylor, who was investigating ruins in southern Mesopotamia where he discovered the true site of Ur. He found texts and artifacts that described the city as Babylon. However, over time the change in the flow of the Euphrates’ has caused the ruins of Ur to erode away making it harder for any kind of excavation’s to continue. (Woolley pg. 67)
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menwhochangedjudaism - Men who changed Judaism Mark...

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