[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: orion Hanukkah civil holiday?; Etc.

Dear Russell Gmirkin.
	Previously, you attempted to separate out "civil" observances. Now
you attempt, apparently, to separate "religious" ones from "sacred" ones.
Any dictionary would caution you about this.
	Here is a simple observation: with over 850 manscripts manifesting
pervasive religious concerns--including festival prayers, calendars, and
texts of more genres and sources than you seem to wish to allow--the
absence of any mention of Hanukkah is indeed an indication of interest to
historians. Added to clear disapproval of Hasmonean temple administration
and the absence of any copy of 1 and 2 Maccabees, the non-participation in
this observance is striking, and  not likely to recede after mere proposed
imposition of artificial categories.
	If, as is probable, the Hasmonean Alexander Jannaeus is the Qumran
ms wicked priest, and if, as is probable, Judah, an Essene mentioned by
Josephus, is the Qumran ms teacher of righteousness, and if, as is
possible, Shimon ben Shetah is the Qumran ms man of the lie, these further
accord with the above observations.
best wishes,
Stephen Goranson
fax 919 660 3530

>     In light of Martin Jaffee's insightful comments, perhaps the following
>analysis will prove generally agreeable.
>     We may properly distinguish between holidays with a sacred mandate
>(Torah, 11QT) and those with a civil; mandate (e.g. those inaugurated by the
>Hasmoneans).  Having a civil mandate does not necessarily exclude a holiday
>from the sphere of the religious.  By the same token, holidays that are
>religious (in whole or in part) do not necessarily thereby fall into the
>sphere of the sacred.  Hanukkah, originally possessing a civil mandate, and
>later a rabbinic mandate, had both religious and nationalist overtones (in
>various mixture through time).  However, Hanukkah never possessed the status
>of a sacred holiday alongside those of the Troah or 11QT.  That being the
>case, Hanukkah's absence in the Qumran calendar texts is only to be expected,
>and is not useful in determining the attitude of the scrolls authors toward
>the Hasmoneans.
>    Russell Gmirkin
>For private reply, e-mail to RGmyrken@aol.com
>To unsubscribe from Orion, e-mail to majordomo@panda.mscc.huji.ac.il with
>the message: "unsubscribe Orion." Compatible (not AOL or CIS) mailers may
>click on the following:
>mailto:majordomo@panda.mscc.huji.ac.il?body=unsubscribe orion

For private reply, e-mail to stephen goranson <goranson@duke.edu>
To unsubscribe from Orion, e-mail to majordomo@panda.mscc.huji.ac.il with
the message: "unsubscribe Orion." For more information on the Orion Center
or for Orion archives, visit our web site http://orion.mscc.huji.ac.il.