Genesis Of A People

March 25, 2021 Category: History, Religion

[Author’s Note: This is the third in my “Dubious Origins” trilogy.  The first pertained to Islam (Genesis Of A Holy Book); the second pertained to Christianity (Genesis Of A Church).  This essay pertains to Judaism (Genesis Of A People).  Hence the central conceit of the three major Abrahamic religions.  This series illustrates that the object of fetishization can be textual, institutional, or tribal; and that fetishism of some sort undergirds all cult activity.]

The genealogy by which “Jewish” and “Hebrew” are touted as ethnic demarcations is spurious.  As Shlomo Sand points out in “The Invention of the Jewish People”, there was never any distinct haplo-group that might be considered “Hebrew” / “Jewish” as a function of direct ancestral lineage.

Let’s start with the etymology of “Jew[ish]”.  The term is an Anglicized version of the Old French “giu”, which was derived from the Gaulish “juieu”, which was derived from the Latin “Iudaeus”, which was derived from the Koine Greek “Ioudaios”, a variation on the Aramaic “Ya-hud[a]i”, meaning people of “Yehud”…which designated the tribe / kingdom of Judah (alt. those from the land of Judea). {5}  

The term “Yehud” comes from the Old Aramaic moniker for the Aramaean city-state of Sam’al (located in northern Syria during the early 1st millennium B.C.) at what is now referred to as “Zinjerli”…which, as it so happens, is alternately rendered “Ya’udi”. (!)  It makes sense that there may have been onomastic conflation.  After all, the Aramaeans [“Ahlamu”] intermixed with the Amorites–as well as with other Canaanites.  Indeed, the Book of Isaiah (65:11) states that Judeans were known to have worshipped the Aramaean god of fortune, Gad.  And some even shared the godhead, Hadad.  (Never mind the fact that “El” seems to have been inspired by the Canaanite godhead, “Ba’al”.)  Sure enough: “Ya’udi” is found in a (Phoenician) inscription on the Kilamuwa Stele from the 9th century B.C.  This was likely a reference to the godhead of Sam’al.  His name: “Ya’u”.

The transition for monolatry to monotheism seems to finally occur in the Book of Isaiah.

Hence the term “Yehudi[m]” in Hebrew for one of two things: someone of Jewish lineage or a practitioner of Judaism.  This dual semiotic has proven to be the source of confusion, as a racial demarcation and a religious demarcation are two different things.  Nevertheless, the two are often conflated by dint of a shared rubric (I topic I explore in “A Semantic Bait And Switch” forthwith).

It might be further inquired: On what might have the Aramaic term, “Y’hudai” been based?  As it turns out, the godhead of the Aramaean city-state of Sam’al (later known as “Zinjerli”) was “Ya’u”.  This explains why the Old Aramaic moniker for that city was “Ya’udi”.  This is attested by the Kilamuwa Stele from the 9th century B.C. (which used Phoenician script, on which Classical Hebrew would later be based).  And as mentioned above, the Hebrew name for the Abrahamic deity (“Y-H-W-H”) was likely derived from the godhead of the Shasu.

So what, then, of the term, “Hebrew”? This is a variation on a moniker coined by the Amorites [“Amurru”]. Notably, the Amarna letters of the 14th century B.C. (diplomatic correspondences between the Egyptian rulers and their vassals in Canaan), which refer to a group of people known as the “Habiru”–who seem to have originated from the ancient city-state of Alalakh; and may have been related to the Mitanni peoples.  Originally, the moniker did not refer to an ethnic group, or even to followers of a distinct Faith.  Rather, it seems to have referred to nomadic bandits who were not considered subjects of the kingdom (possibly corresponding to the “Shasu”).  In fact, “Habiru” was used throughout the 2nd millennium B.C. to refer to–as it were–outsiders.

Only later was the moniker put in service of the (fatuous) ideation of a “chosen people”–that is: a delimited group, elected by the Abrahamic deity, and delineated by patriarchal bloodlines.  Thus “Hebrew” was rendered an (endonymic) ethnonym for self-serving purposes.  (In other words: The ideation emerged in Judaic lore as a synonym for “Israelite”.)  According to this fanciful etiology: Even as the Shasu may have been their progenitors, “Hebrews” are descendants of [h]Eber, great-grandson of Noah’s son, Shem (ergo Shem-ites; a.k.a. “Semites”). {4}

“[h]Ebru” derives from the early Semitic term, “Habiru” (used by the Assyrians) for a group of nomadic Canaanites who worshipped a godhead named “Y-H-W-H”…likely corresponding to the “Shasu”.  But what is the account for the moniker, “Hebrew” in Judaic lore?  As the story goes: Shem begat Arpakhshad, who begat Shela[c]h [alt. “Salah”], who begat (h)Eber–who’s name would serve as the basis for the Koine Greek rendering, “Hebraios”.  (Shem’s other son, Aram, is considered the progenitor of the Arameans.)

It is telling that when Saul of Tarsus penned his letter to a community of Jews, the missive came to be known as the epistle addressed to the “Hebrews”: an ethnic designation rather than a religious designation.  During the Middle Ages, instead of (h)Eber-ite, the term was rendered “(h)Eber-ew”.  This is an etymological quirk that can be explained by the antecedent Semitic moniker, “Habiru”.  This semantic mutation attained in Judaic literature even though the ethnic designation (as self-identification) remains the equivalent of Abram-ite (descendants of Abraham).

According to Judaic lore, those who were traditionally designated as “Hebrew” (qua ethnic group) were exclusively the ancestors of (h)Eber’s son, Peleg.  Even more exclusively: they were held to be descendants of Isaac’s son, Jacob (a.k.a. “Yisra-El”).  (This is an irony, as Isaac’s favored son was Esau; and Jacob only seized the mantle of patriarch through deception.)  So the lineage thereafter is based on a STOLEN BIRTHRIGHT.  (For more on Jacob as “Yisra-El”, see my essay on “The Land Of Purple”.)

Meanwhile, (h)Eber’s other son, Yoktan, begat the Sabaeans (who hailed from the African horn (“Saba”; later referred to as “Abyssinia”).  They were NOT chosen…even though they were technically Hebrew (qua Eberites). {6}

To complicate things, the (Hijazi) people of “A[a]d” [later re-named “Thamud”] are alleged to have been descendants of Eber as well, thereby making western Arabians (including, eventually, Qurayshis) Hebrew (insofar as they are descendants of [h]Eber).  Unsurprisingly, in spite of this, Hijazis were not included within the demarcated “chosen” tribes of Judaic lore (as they were fashioned as “Ishmaelite”, the progeny of Abraham’s banished son, Ishmael).  Such a genealogical snafu is usually glossed over in BOTH Mohammedan and Judeo-Christian lore.

Note that the lineage from Shem proceeds thus: Arpha[c]hshad to Shela[c]h to [h]Eber to Peleg…who sired Re’u via Lomna of Shinar [Babylonia].  Then Re’u to Serug to Na[c]hor to Tera[c]h…who was the father of Abraham (as well as of [h]Aran and Na[c]hor II).

Other Semitic peoples (Shem-ites) who were NOT seen as “chosen” included:

  • Amalekites: descendants of Esau ben Isaac’s grandson, Amalek (by way of Esau’s son, El-i-faz’s union with the Horite maiden, Timna). They hailed from the Negev (the southern-most part of the Levant); and were also associated with the progenitors of the Arabs. At the request of the Abrahamic deity, Joshua exterminated them.
  • Elamites: descendants of Shem’s other son, Elam–who hailed from south-western Persia; and presumably accounted for the Guti and/or Medes (or, later, the Achaemenids).  (There was no account of the Manneans in the north.)
  • Sumerians / Chaldeans: descendants of Arpa[c]hshad–who hailed from Babylon
  • Assyrians: descendants of Ashur–who hailed from Nineveh
  • Ammonites and Moabites: Lot was the son of the above-mentioned [h]Aran ben Tera[c]h (Abraham’s brother).  His descendants, borne by incest with his daughters, hailed from Gilead (Ammon in the northern part, Moab in the southern part). {6}
  • Midianites: descendants of Midian, son of Abraham via his Egyptian concubine, Keturah.  They dwelled in Midian, which corresponded with southern Nabataea and the Hijaz.
  • Aramaeans: descendants of Aram–who hailed from northeastern Levant.  They were alternately said to have been the progeny of Na[c]hor II’s son, Beth-u-El [house of god] of Nahrima (sired via [h]Aran’s daughter)…who was, in turn, father of Rebekah of Nahrima (a.k.a. “Rebecca”, wife of Isaac, and mother of Jacob / “Israel”).  As this alternate account goes: Beth-u-El’s son, Laban, yielded the people of “Padan-Aram” [Aramaic for “Field of Aram”].
  • Kederites (i.e. Arabians / Sabaeans): descendants of Ishmael, son of Abraham via his wife’s Egyptian handmaiden, Hagar–who hailed from the further reaches of Mesopotamia and Arabia.
  • Edomites (Idumeans): descendants of Isaac’s favored (though inadvertently rejected) son, Esau–who hailed from southern Levant (northern Nabataea). {7}

Descendants of Noah’s other son, Yapheth (the “Japhetites”) were associated with the Caucasians and other Indo-European peoples. {8}  The most salient lineages proceeded from Yapheth’s eldest son, Gomer (ally of Gog, and sometimes associated with the Cimmerians / Sarmatians).  The Gomerites (who hailed from the farthest reaches of Asia Minor and beyond, past Urartu in the Armenian highlands, into the Eurasian Steppes) were divided according to the progeny of Gomer’s three sons:

  • Ashkenaz came to be considered Jewish even though they were not Shem-ites, simply by dint of the fact that they adopted Judaism as a religion in the Middle Ages.  Originating in the Pontic Steppes these Turkic peoples (i.e. the [k]Hazars) would end up settling in eastern Europe.  (For more on this, see my essay: “The Forgotten Diaspora”.)
  • Riphath yielded the (non-chosen) Paphlagonians / Galatians of northern Anatolia.  
  • Togarmah yielded the (non-chosen) Thracians, Phrygians, Armenians, Georgians, and various Turkic peoples (e.g. the Avars and Huns)  

So according to this taxonomy, Arabs are Hebrew while Ashkenazi Jews aren’t even Semitic, let alone Hebrew. (Good grief!) {9}

Descendants of Noah’s disgraced son, Ham (the “Ham-ites”) were associated with anyone who was black.  The racist view that Africans were “cursed” with dark skin due to the “curse of Ham” is a hold-over from this odious Biblical categorization.  Non-chosen tribes via Ham (a.k.a. “Ham-ites”) included:

  • Kushites, who hailed from Nubia and Abyssinia (alt. Aksum; now Ethiopia / Somalia)…and possibly as far west as Numidia (the Maghreb) and as far south as the Swahili coast.  Such dark-skinned people were later conflated with the Sabaeans.  Oddly, though, Kush’s son, Nimrod, was affiliated with the Assyrians / Babylonians.  How Nimrod got all the way from north Africa to north “Shinar” (Mesopotamia) is anyone’s guess.
  • Amorites, who originally hailed from Mesopotamia (Sumer; land of the Chaldees; often associated with “Ur”), yet eventually populated the Levant.  Thus their progeny became bifurcated between the Babylonians (qua Chaldeans) and the Israelites (qua proto-Hebrews).
  • Jebusites, who hailed from the Jordan River valley, and were the founders of the city that came to be known as Jerusalem (see my essay on the “City Of The Beloved”).  As with the Amorites, they may have been the (actual) progenitors of the Hebrews; though, in order to maintain alterity, they were often associated with Hittites and other pagan OTHERS.
  • Casluhites, who hailed from Egypt, were said to be the descendants of Ham via Mizraim (a name that was clearly concocted post-hoc, as it was simply based on the Assyrian / Old Aramaic term for Egypt: M-S-R-M).  They were the alleged progenitors of the Palastu (“Philistines”).  (Philistines from Gath, on the other hand, were considered Gittites.)
  • Hivites (descendants of Canaan), who hailed from Phoenicia.
  • Het[h]-ites (named after one of Ham’s grandsons via Canaan), who hailed from Anatolia (and so are sometimes conflated with Japhetic groups).  The descendants of Het[h] ben Canaan ben Ham ben Noah were retroactively associated with the Hittites.

Note that the most notable lineage via Ishmael were the Kedarites (alt. “Nebajoth”; often rendered “Qedarites”), who were associated with the denizens of Gilead / Edom / Idumaea / Midian / Lihyan / Hijaz…all of which which were referred to by the catch-all term, “Kedar” (which Muslims consider the name of one of Ishmael’s sons; and thus progenitor of the Ishmaelites).  (Early examples include the Kedarite vassal-queens of Assyria during the 8th and 7th centuries B.C.: Zabibe, then Samsi, then Yatie, then Te’el-hunu, then Tabua.  Later incarnations were Nabataeans and Arabians.)  What complicates this even further is that many South Arabians were in the tribe of “Hazarmaveth”, who was son of Joktan (and thus the grandson of [h]Eber).  So not only were Hadramites (the people of “Hadhramaut”) Semitic, they were HEBREW.  (See the Addendum to part 3 of my “On Mohammed” series for the genealogical shenanigans found in Mohammedan lore.)

And what of the Hurrians of Mitanni?  The Luwians in western Anatolia?  The authors of these farcical genealogies did not even know that the Eurasians, Indians, Chinese, Polynesians, Native Americans, or any other of the world’s many other peoples existed.  Their taxonomy was laughably myopic because their world ended at the Caucuses mountains to the north, Bactria to the east, the Maghreb to the west, and Upper Egypt to the south.  It seems, then that we are to suppose the patriarchs of the Nordic and Celtic peoples–and all the others–were stowaways on Noah’s ark. {10}

The entire topic is preposterous.  For it has long been understood that there has been so much miscegenation over the centuries that NOBODY is pureblood ANYTHING…let alone purely Hebrew…or Nubian…or Nordic…or Siamese…or whatever else one might fancy.  This is a good thing.  Indeed, if we go back far enough, we are ALL the descendants of African forebears.  So the concept of “race” is an inane one.  At best, it is a crude—and misleading—way to think about amorphous phenotypic populations; and to pretend that haplo-groups have distinct boundaries with discrete origins.

With respect to something that one is “born into”, all we can sensibly talk about are accidents of birth–be it ethnic background or socio-economic position.  Whatever racism still exists, it exists primarily in the form of some program for intra-tribal in-breeding; which is rationalized by racially-based exclusivity (as with “Birthright Israel” and White nationalism) or insular founder populations (as with Haredim / Hassidim and Mennonites / Amish).  This typically involves an obsession with bloodlines (replete with musings about pristine “stock”); and a sense of entitlement based on those bloodlines.

So what, then, of the ultimate basis for positing an Abrahamic lineage?  That is: When it comes to Yehudi[m] / Hebrews / Israelites, how are we to assay this etiological myth (viz. a singular figure: Abraham)?  Let’s use as our reference the fabled (read: entirely fictitious) “Exodus” event, which would have occurred in the early 13th century B.C. (if we are to grant the Biblical timeline).  This is the generation of Moses, Aaron, and Hoshea (alt. “Yeh-o-shua”; a.k.a. “Joshua”).  According to the genealogy being proffered, Joshua was of the House of Ephraim; as he was the son of Nun, son of El-i-shama, son of Amm-i-hud, son of Ber-i-[y]ah, son of Ephraim, who was the son of the patriarch, Joseph ben Jacob ben Isaac ben Abraham (via Asenath).  It was Joseph who first ended up in Egypt, after being ostracized in his native land (Canaan).  He eventually rose to become vizier of the Pharaoh.  Joseph, then, is considered the patriarch of the Hebrews, who–so the story goes–were enslaved in the land of Goshen (Lower Egypt, just to the east of the Nile Delta).

Joseph–along with Judah–was one of the sons of Jacob via the Aramaean maiden, Rachel.  Jacob, recall, had been anointed “Yisra-El”; and was the son of Isaac (via Rebekah), who was the son of Abraham via the Chaldean matron, Sarai of Ur (a.k.a. “Sarah”).  Sarah was Abraham’s half-sister; hence Isaac was conceived via incest–as attested in Genesis 20:12.

This succession would place Abraham roughly three centuries prior to Exodus–thus c. 1600 B.C. {1}

Per Biblical accounts, contemporaries of Abraham may have included: 

  • King Kedor-laomer of Elam
  • King Amraph-El of Sumer (who is sometimes equated with Noah’s great-grandson via Ham’s son Kush: Nimrod; who was himself probably inspired by Assyrian King Tukult-i-Ninurta)
  • King Yabin [alt. Jabin] of Hazor
  • King Arioch of Ellasar (sometimes equated with Hurrian King Ar-i-ukki)

All these figures indicate that Abraham may have lived almost a century earlier: as far back as the early 17th B.C.  However, if THAT had been the case, it is odd that (Amorite) King Hammurabi of Babylon was not also mentioned in Judaic lore–being as he was significantly more prominent (at the time) than any of the aforementioned potentates.  What is even more peculiar is that Hammurabi established his renown legal code–a landmark event in the history of mankind which, it might be noted, had nothing to do with the Abrahamic deity (see my essay on “The Long History Of Legal Codes”).  Yet the Abrahamic deity, so keen on informing mankind of his demands, sat idly by while the rest of mankind was grappling with these important matters.

Timing of specific events is difficult to pinpoint that far back.  Whenever it was, exactly, that Abrahamic lived, there was a lot going on in the world that is not accounted for in Abrahamic lore.  Hammurabi’s (Amorite) son was Samsu-iluna, who was king of Babylon in the late 18th century B.C.  This goes through Hammurabi’s great-great-grandson, Samsu-Ditana, who was the (Amorite) king of Babylon in the late 17th B.C.  (Major deities that were worshipped at this time included Ninurta, Marduk, [h]Adad, Enlil, Inanna / Ishtar, and Shamash.)  This was around the same time the Hittite conquerer, Murs[h]ili (of Hattusa) sacked Babylon.  That was followed by the Kassite period (early 16th century to mid-12th century, when it was overtaken by the Elamites).

The authors of the Bible seem to have been heedless of these developments.

Also note that Halpa / Halab (Aleppo), Mari, and Ebla were thriving (Amorite) cities to the north (in Nineveh and Syria) during this period; in which great temples to Ishtar / Astarte had been erected.  Apum and Gibeon (as well as possibly Rakisha / Lachish and Eglon) were other major Amorite cities at the time.  Even as he lived as a lowly shepherd in the countryside, Abraham would surely have been aware of these urban centers, as well as the city of Nineveh in northern Mesopotamia (where the main Assyrian temples were located).  (The dozens of major Sumerian / Assyrian cities in Bronze-Age Mesopotamia are listed in my essay: “Forgotten Cities”.)

The Abrahamic deity also neglected to mention the Minoans in Greece AND the great Indus Valley civilization AND the thriving Chinese civilization on the Yellow River (the Xia Dynasty).  This is rather odd…if, that is, Abraham was supposed to have lived that far back.  After all, was not Yahweh the godhead of ALL mankind; and concerned with the entire world?  That he didn’t address such major peoples is befuddling.

By the time Abraham would have lived, the Indus Valley civilization had already seen its heyday, and was on the wane.  It had endured for almost two millennia.  That’s THOUSANDS OF YEARS of a flourishing society at Harappa (i.e. Mohenjo-Daro), involving a people called “Arya”…where, for some reason, the Abrahamic deity did not see fit to intervene.

In any case, the Biblical timeline would position Abraham’s hypothetical lifetime at some point between the rule of (Amorite) Kings Hammurabi (followed by his son, Abba-El) of Halpa / Halab in the mid-18th century B.C. and the rule of King Sarra-El (followed by Abba-El II) of Halpa / Halab in the early-16th century B.C.  (Halpa / Halab was the capital of the kingdom of Yamhad, in northern Canaan, corresponding to what is now Syria / Lebanon.)  These locations were not especially close to where Abraham ended up settling (in southern Canaan), though their influence certainly would have stretched across the Levant.

It is telling that rulers of the Amorites were routinely naming themselves after the Semitic deity, “El”, by this time.  This may have been the basis for the godhead of the Shasu (“Y-H-W-H”), who’s monotheism was prevalent in southern Canaan at around that time.  (Note: Amorites were dubbed “Amurru” in Sumerian / Akkadian.)

Bottom line: This was period when Canaan was primarily populated by the Amorites.  Consequently, there is a good chance that the proto-Hebrews were a divergent Amorite group (and perhaps even the Shasu themselves).  If this were so, it would pose a fatal problem to Judaic genealogy, as the Amorites were Ham-ites, not S[h]em-ites (at least, according their own lore).  This would be ironic for other reasons.  For the demonized Babylonian Empire was essentially RULED BY Amorites for the first half of the 2nd millennium B.C.–thereby making the progenitor of the Hebrews a member of the same tribe as the kings of their putative nemesis, Babylon.  This actually makes sense, as the Babylonians were primarily Chaldeans; and Abraham is supposed to have hailed from Ur, in the land of the Chaldees.

Thus we are told of one group of Ham-ites persecuting another group of Ham-ites, the latter of which retroactively re-fashioned themselves as Shem-ites.  (Recall that the moniker, “Hebrew” for Abraham’s identity and progeny is based on their post hoc designation as the descendants of [h]Eber: the great-grandson of Shem.  Such genealogies were, of course, posited retroactively.)

Around the same time Abraham would have lived, the Rig Veda was being composed.  It is peculiar that the Creator of the Universe opted not to drop any memos on the peoples of the Far East when it was they who were supposed to have been the most concerned with figuring out the workings of the cosmos; and with finding ways to get in touch with the divine.  (One wonders if Yahweh was conversant in Vedic Sanskrit and Sumerian, or limited himself to Ugaritic and Phoenician.)

It is possible that Abraham–if he existed–would have been contemporaries with either Egyptian Pharaoh Ahmose or Amen-hotep (c. 1600). {2}  If we are to assume that Abraham was an Amorite, it should be noted that Yamhad, the Amorite Kingdom of the early 2nd millennium B.C., was primarily located to the north, in Tidnum (later dubbed “Aram” in Hebrew; in what is now Syria).  Its capital was Halpa / Halab (later dubbed “Aleppo”).  This would have been at least a century after the famed Code of Hammurabi had been compiled (in the early 18th century B.C.), placing us in the 17th century B.C.  Chances are that Yarim-Lim III, Hammurabi III, or Sarra-El was the ruler in Halpa / Halab at that time.

That last ruler named himself after the Canaanite godhead, illustrating that THAT particular deity was already well-established by this time, and revered by kings in the region.  So if this was the deity that proto-Hebrews (perhaps the Shasu) adopted, then the earliest theology of the Hebrews is not what Judaic lore purports it to have been (sui generis).  Sure enough, the Shasu used Y-H-W-H as a moniker for their godhead.

To reiterate: Abraham is described as a shepherd who hailed from the Sumerian city of Ur (that is: “Ur Kasdim”, understood to mean Ur in the land of the Chaldeans, in Mesopotamia); yet he purportedly spent the majority of his life in the Negev (southern Canaan), the land from which the Shasu hailed.  Because of this, he may have been aware of Yamhad (the Amorite homeland, in what is now Syria) and Mitanni (the Hurrian capital; a.k.a. “Hanigalbat”, in what is now Kurdistan), prominent kingdoms to the north; and possibly even aware of the burgeoning Hittite Kingdom (based in Hattusa), which was on the rise even farther to north, in Hatti (western Anatolia).  This is around the time that the “Anitta tablets” were composed. 

Abraham would have probably spoken a local Canaanite dialect (perhaps some variation of the proto-Semitic language of Ugarit or Ebla) rather than Hurrian or Old Aramaic (languages used by the Assyrians in the region); as attested by the Ebla tablets (written in Sumerian cuneiform) from the 25th century B.C.  Being in the midst of the Amorites, there is a good chance he spoke whatever language was used by them.  In any case, Abraham was likely illiterate–and so anything we’d know about him would have been purely anecdotal–apocryphal tales relayed exclusively via oral transmission by his ancestors.

This is, of course, how MOST folklore works.

A prime example of such an anecdote: One day, Abraham was commanded by a deity (perhaps the godhead of the Shasu) to slay his own son (Isaac, per Judeo-Christian lore; Ishmael, per Mohammedan lore).  The Canaanite shepherd obeyed; but then stayed his hand when the deity intervened at the last moment (thereby sparing the boy). {3}

As it turned out, the interlude was simply a test.  The idea was that such unconditional (blind) obedience proved his fealty to this newfound deity, Y-H-W-H; or so the story goes.  Other than being completely insane, the problem with this tale is that it is–obviously–farcical.  For if Abraham himself had relayed such an account to his contemporaries, they would surely have thought him bonkers.

If–on the other hand–his son, Isaac / Ishmael, had relayed the account (“One time, my father did such-and-such…”) to others, it probably would have been dismissed as a queer anecdote.  The reaction almost certainly would NOT have been: “Wow; that story is amazing!  This needs to be recorded for posterity, so that all mankind can be aware of it forevermore!”  (Surely accounts of incensed fathers almost killing their sons were not unheard-of at the time.)

AS PARABLE, the tale has been quite significant in theological musings for over two millennia–as best exemplified by Kierkegaard’s thought-provoking work, “Fear And Trembling”.  Though hallowed, the episode is almost certainly the product of confabulation.  For such an occurrence would have been no more significant than myriad other events at the time–none of which warranted an appearance in scripture.

One of the better explications that positing “Hebrew” as a discrete ethnic group is entirely spurious is Shlomo Sand’s “The Invention of the Jewish People”).  Indeed, most of Beth Israel today ISN’T EVEN SEMITIC (as I show in my essay: “The Forgotten Diaspora”, which addresses the Turkic ancestry of Ashkenazim.) {34}  This is the best argument against BOTH Revisionist Zionism (hereafter, RZ) AND anti-Semitism–as both forms of bigotry are based on racism (read: predicated on the positing of “Jews” as a discrete ethnic group, then singling them out from the rest of mankind).  The same problem occurs with the fatuous concept, “Aryan”, which is technically based on a half-baked association of Nordic / Germanic peoples with the people of ancient Bactria / Sogdiana.  In the end, we’re all Africans.  The rest is a spurious treatment of a massive homo sapiens diaspora going back tens of thousands of years–stretching from the Siberian tundra to Borneo, from Greenland to the Andes Mountains.  In this crucial sense, the Ummah (and Beth Israel, for that matter) is synonymous with all mankind.  Ergo the only “birthright” is HUMAN rights.

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