The Jews could not have done very well against the Romans!
Revisit Titus and the horrific burning of Jerusalem.
Revisit Masada, for that matter.
The distillation and order I suggest for the uptake of a Judaic monotheism, which we all share (whether we like it or not) starts with the jurist Hillel the Elder (35-BCE to 10-CE), who produced decisions and an outlook that made Judaism less ethnic, more evolving around principle, and more accessible to conversions (uh oh). smile emoticon So: Hillel the Elder –> Jesus and Paul –> General Constantine –> General Muhammad.
We may agree on the unity (and sanctity) of life and of a natural life well lived, but our disagreements on scripture, the composition of extended works and exegesis, devolve to our ethnolinguistic cultures once more separated by geospatial relationships and by time. In retrospect, here at the advent of a new world interlaced with Internet-based communicating, our enmities seem cultivated in fear and dreadfully superficial and malignant narcissism.
At this point, no one need have the last word — not Moses, not Jesus, not Muhammad, nor our overlooked link in the end-of-the-Roman Era family guy Hillel the Elder. What we may need are new words resonant with the more noble aspects of our common humanity.
Artists and assorted creative types needs must submerge themselves with object-projects: book, essay, play, poem, screenplay. That’s what it takes to pioneer thought and fashion ideas and insights into transmissible forms, and that auto-constructed isolation may go hard on the soul — it certainly has on mine, and the desktop has added its own layer of interference with the experience of what is proximate in the way of events and people. Nonetheless, “chatyping” in response to what others spell out online proves always stimulating while the cyber-environment — global, politically across cultures, across political boundaries, across languages and religions — provides a glimpse at what today is possible and perhaps needs to become a new reality in conversation.
The Awesome Conversation itself has been nothing less than miraculous.
What comes next?
This blog has stated its six most irreducible virtues at the top of the sidebar to the left.
Those ennobling characteristics, however, may be brought to bear against a world rife with cruel and despotic leaders and their deeply manipulated and misguided (start with “state-controlled press” and end with “absolute political suppression”) followers and the messes made by related widespread conflict, diminishment, ignorance, and impoverishment.
Rome was neither built nor taken apart in a day, and while Latin has become a “dead language” — useful to the Catholic Church and to science for its stability, Hebrew has been returned to life and with it, so one may hope, interest in the preservation, survival, and evolution of some approximately 7,000 still living languages and the cultures and subcultures each represents in the global tapestry.
Posted to YouTube January 2, 2015.
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