by Evropa Soberana
The Jews, in many ways, were the exact antithesis of the Romans, but they had something in common with them: ritual rigidity and loyalty to customs. In the Jewish case, the character was tinged with certain fanaticism, dogmatism and intransigence. The Romans considered such religiosity sinister: the Biblical religious background, which is the matrix of Judaism—also of Christianity and Islam—, comes from an ancient Syrian-Phoenician-Canaanite-Semitic tradition, which among other things sanctioned human sacrifice, including the one of first-born children.
Jewry, which had a long record of nomadism, slavery, persecutions and expulsions from Egypt and the Mesopotamian civilisations, had maintained, despite its great swings through a thousand deserts and a thousand foreign cities, its essentially undisturbed idiosyncrasy.
From the remotest antiquity, the Jews proved to be an unassimilable and highly conflictive people, endowed with an unprecedented ability to climb the social positions of other civilisations, undermine their institutions and destroy their traditions and customs from a parasitic and advantaged position; enrich themselves in the process, take whatever was useful, become increasingly sophisticated and, finally, survive the fall of the civilisation they devoured, taking a baggage of experience and symbols stolen to the next civilisation destined to suffer the repetition of the cycle.
In all the countries that welcomed them, the Jews were accused of appropriating the riches of others without working (usury), of exercising vampirism over the economy, of being sycophants with the nobility and openly hostile to the people, of indebting the States and to mortally hate, in secret, all the non-Jewish humanity.
Those who held power among the Jews were the rabbis: priests who had spent their lives learning the Torah and exercised firm psychological control over their people by threatening the wrath of Yahweh and manipulating the individual’s fears and feelings such as guilt or sin. The Greek historian Strabo would end up describing the Jewish priests as ‘superstitious and with the temperament of tyrants’.
This is the first temple in Jerusalem, also called the temple of Solomon or Zion, built on the esplanade of Mount Moriah, around the year 960 BCE. It was razed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, and rebuilt seventy years later by those Jews who, led by Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah, returned from the deportation of the so-called ‘Babylonian captivity’. It is a rather modest structure and, of course, following the fundamentalist Semitic tradition, lacked images or representations of the human figure: literally, Judaism was a religion without idols. The Carthaginians, associated with the presence of haplogroups J and who had been crushed by Rome in the course of the Punic wars, had also been heirs of the Phoenician tradition of child sacrifice.
But to be a ‘barbarian’ and ‘third-world’ people, despised and considered destined for slavery, the Jews had a very high literacy rate and, because of their experience, they handled themselves extremely well in urban environments, since from all over the world they were the people that had lived the longest in civilised conditions.
There were also among them, without any doubt, extremely smart and astute men, good doctors, accountants, fortune tellers, merchants and scribes; and their radical monotheism, almost sophisticated in its total rupture with everything else, differentiated them well from any another people.