Judaism’s Ancient Revolution

Nov. 18 2014

In the 2nd century BCE, after centuries of living in a province of one or another empire, Jews won themselves a powerful independent kingdom. In the ensuing period under the Maccabeans, Judaism, too, underwent a major internal change. According to most scholars, this is when such notions as the afterlife, the apocalypse, and martyrdom first appeared in Jewish writings, and also when the major sects of the first century CE—Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes—came into existence. Nor was that all, according to Philip Jenkins:

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Read more at Patheos

More about: Afterlife, ancient Judaism, Eschatology, Jewish history, Maccabees, Pharisees

Why a Government Victory in Southwestern Syria Is Bad News for Israel

Sept. 17 2021

Last week, Russia negotiated a ceasefire between the Syrian government and rebel forces in the city of Daraa, where the initial protests that sparked the uprising against Bashar al-Assad began. The agreement ended a 75-day assault on the city, located near the country’s southwestern border, by Russian, Iranian, and Syrian forces. Jonathan Spyer explains the significance of these events:

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Read more at Jonathan Spyer

More about: Golan Heights, Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, Syrian civil war