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Judaism


CHAPTER I
THE LEGACY FROM THE PAST
The aim of this little book is to present in brief outline some of the
leading conceptions of the religion familiar since the Christian Era
under the name Judaism.
The word 'Judaism' occurs for the first time at about 100 B.C., in the
Graeco-Jewish literature. In the second book of the Maccabees (ii. 21,
viii. 1), 'Judaism' signifies the religion of the Jews as contrasted with
Hellenism, the religion of the Greeks. In the New Testament (Gal. i. 13)
the same word seems to denote the Pharisaic system as an antithesis to
the Gentile Christianity. In Hebrew the corresponding noun never occurs
in the Bible, and it is rare even in the Rabbinic books. When it does
meet us, _Jahaduth_ implies the monotheism of the Jews as opposed
to the polytheism of the heathen.
Thus the term 'Judaism' did not pass through quite the same transitions
as did the name 'Jew.' Judaism appears from the first as a religion
transcending tribal bounds. The 'Jew,' on the other hand, was originally
a Judaean, a member of the Southern Confederacy called in the Bible
Judah, and by the Greeks and Romans Judaea. Soon, however, 'Jew' came
to include what had earlier been the Northern Confederacy of Israel as
well, so that in the post-exilic period _Jehudi_ or 'Jew' means an
adherent of Judaism without regard to local nationality.
Judaism, then, is here taken to represent that later development of
the Religion of Israel which began with the reorganisation after the
Babylonian Exile (444 B.C.), and was crystallised by the Roman Exile
(during the first centuries of the Christian Era). The exact period
which will be here seized as a starting-point is the moment when the
people of Israel were losing, never so far to regain, their territorial
association with Palestine, and were becoming (what they have ever since
been) a community as distinct from a nation. They remained, it is true,
a distinct race, and this is still in a sense true. Yet at various
periods a number of proselytes have been admitted, and in other ways
the purity of the race has been affected. At all events territorial
nationality ceased from a date which may be roughly fixed at 135 A.D.,
when the last desperate revolt under Bar-Cochba failed, and Hadrian drew
his Roman plough over the city of Jerusalem and the Temple area. A new
city with a new name arose on the ruins. The ruins afterwards reasserted
themselves, and Aelia Capitolina as a designation of Jerusalem is familiar
only to archaeologists.
But though the name of Hadrian's new city has faded, the effect of
its foundation remained. Aelia Capitolina, with its market-places and
theatre, replaced the olden narrow-streeted town; a House of Venus reared
its stately form in the north, and a Sanctuary to Jupiter covered, in the
east, the site of the former Temple. Heathen colonists were introduced,
and the Jew, who was to become in future centuries an alien everywhere,
was made by Hadrian an alien in his fatherland. For the Roman Emperor
denied to Jews the right of entry into Jerusalem. Thus Hadrian completed
the work of Titus, and Judaism was divorced from its local habitation.
More unreservedly than during the Babylonian Exile, Judaism in the Roman
Exile perforce became the religion of a community and not of a state;
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