Thursday, June 2, 2016

Egypt's Self-Hating Jewish Family; Tiberius Julius Alexander; Who Razed Jerusalem

Nadene Goldfoot                                                        


Antiochus
Immediately upon assuming power, he decided to pursue 
the conquest of Egypt,
 which no other Seleucid king had been able to accomplish.
 In setting the scene, Antiochus was a Greek king.  In the 1st century CE, the Jewish population was large, and many gentiles attended Jewish worship.  At the time of the revolt against Rome from 66 to 70, conditions deteriorated, and for a time, Jewish observances were suppressed.  
                                                                              
One of the Greek Kings was another Antiochus who had transferred 
2,000 Jewish families from Babylon to Lydia and Phrygia. 
Image result for lydia babylon egypt
 He captured Jerusalem in 198 BCE and treated the Jews with understanding.  Along came another Antiochus IV Epiphanes who reigned from 175 to 163 BCE and he occupied Jerusalem, but plundered the Temple treasure and hellenized Judea by force in order to convert it into reliable frontier-province. This started an uprising which he suppressed with great cruelty; thousands of Jews were killed and many were sold into slavery.   He brought in Genitle settlers into Jerusalem and turned Acra into a Hellenizing stronghold to dominate the city.  Then he began to attack Judaism and forgade curcumcision and Sabbath rest.  He desecrated the Temple altar and set up pagan altars in the surrounding towns.  He compelled the Jews to participate in pagan ceremonies.  His excesses caused the Hasmonean uprising that we remember today as Chanukah.  The Jewish homeland had to deal with the generations of Antiochus  down to Antiochus IX Cyzicenus who reigned from 125 to 94 who fought the Jewish army from Samaria in 107.  This was the state of the remains of Israel when Egypt's Jews were becoming immersed into another culture.  
                                     
Sacking of Jerusalem 70 CE by Romans 

Our Jewish Temple, built first by King Solomon,  (961-920 BCE), was being razed by fire in 70 CE by a Roman Jew, of all people.  Tiberius Julius Alexander owed his allegiance only to the Roman Empire.  In studying Bernie Sanders of today, I see similarities in that Bernie has very little good things to say about our present Israel. He fell into Noam Chomsky's philosophy and political feelings about Israel and who was also another self-hating Jew.  

Alexander served Rome from before the year 46 CE to 70 CE when Jerusalem was destroyed by the invading Romans who had been taking over Jerusalem as occupiers for over 100 years.  This very assimilated Jew was the ruling Praetorian prefect of the Romans.  He had served in the Roman-Parthian War of 58 to 63, the Battle of Delta, Alexandria of about 68, and then the Siege of Jerusalem in 70.  
                                                                                
Vitellius- Roman emperor for 8 months in 69.  "Once he realized his support was wavering, Vitellius prepared to abdicate in favor of Vespasian but was executed in Rome by Vespasian's soldiers on 22 December 69.  They had had 4 emperors during his period of service.  

Alexander served as the equestrian governor and general in the Roman Empire.  He was born into a wealthy Jewish family of Alexandria, Egypt.  He had either neglected or completely abandoned his Jewish faith as he rose to become procurator of Judea in about 46 to 48 CE. while under Claudius.  He became Prefect of Egypt from 66 to 69 when he had his legions fight against the Alexandrian Jews in a brutal response to ethnic violence.Nero had appointed him in May 66.  When he took the office, outbreak of the 1st Jewish-Roman War happened in Judea which spilled over into Alexandria.  The Greeks took prisoners and the violence had escalated which lead to the Jewish side threatening to burn the Greeks there to death.  Alexander sent mediators to calm the Jews and told them he could have used the Roman legions if violence continued.  Josephus, famous Jewish-Roman historian,  has described the outcome in his writings.  Alexander did bring in 2 Roman legions who brought 2,000 soldiers from Libya and let them kill the Jews and plunder their property and burn down their houses.  The Jews stood shoulder to shoulder with their most heavily armed men in the front and held their ground, but when the line gave, they were completely demolished.  . The Romans slaughtered the Jews, feeling nothing even for the infants or aged.  All were slaughtered.  50,000 were killed.  Finally Alexander gave the order to stop.   

  He was the instrumental in Emperor Vespasian's rise to power.  Then in 70, he fought in the Siege of Jerusalem as Titus' 2nd in command.  Who would think a Jew would help bring down Jerusalem!!
                                                                       
Alexander's son was Livius Julius Alexander Jr. " Tiberius Julius Alexander was born as the son of a rich Jew from Alexandria, who was also called Tiberius Julius Alexander.Father Alexander served as chief customs officer and had offered financial help to the mother of the emperor Claudius;  Antonia. His brother was the philosopher Philo (c.15-c.50), and his younger son was Marcus, the husband of  princess Berenice, the daughter of the Jewish king Herod Agrippa. In other words, the younger Tiberius Julius Alexander belonged to one of the most influential families in the Roman East, a family that stood in three cultural traditions: Jewish, Greek, and Roman. They had the status of Roman knights." 

Tiberius Alexander was born in about the year 14 during the reign of Emperor Tiberius. His father was also named Alexander, an Alexandrian Jew who held the office of Alabarch, which could have been a senior customs official.  His father was a Roman citizen which was a rare privilege among the Jews of Alexandria-or anywhere then for that matter.  This was passed on to his sons.  

His father also had business connections with Agrippa, grandson of Herod the Great, and with Antonia, mother of the emperor Claudius. 

 Another family member that gained importance was his uncle, the philosopher, Philo (20 BCE-after 40 CE).  He made a visit to Eretz Yisrael (it wasn't called Palestine yet till after 135 CE).  

He had participated in the deputation of Alexandrian Jews to Caligula during the anti-Jewish outbreaks in 40.  His family was one of the wealthiest in Egypt.  He had a Hellenistic education and his writings showed his familiarity with Greek literature, philosophy, etc.  He spoke Greek well from his acquaintance with their philosophers, especially PLATO. 
Image result for lydia babylon egypt
 He had just a touch of Jewish education and is doubtful if he could read Hebrew.  His knowledge of the Bible seems to come from the Septuagint and from Hellenistic commentaries current among Alexandrian Jewry.  These commentaries were allegorical and he adopted this approach in his own writing.  He wrote much including metaphysics, ethics, and Bible commentary.  He also wrote a historical work of which some things still survive.  He wrote about the persecution by and retribution of Flaccus, governor of Egypt during the anti-Jewish riots, and in a vivid description of the deputation to Caligula.  

Philo taught that God created the world from external matter with much influence.  The logos mediates between G-d and the world.  The human soul comes from the Divine Source, capable of attaining a conception of the nature of Divinity by self-immersion by mystic mediation or spirit of prophecy.  He thought that Judaism holds the instrument enabling man to attain moral and philosophical perfection and the Torah opens the way to union with the Divine.  Philo felt that Jewish law was the purest  revelation of Divinity.  He fused Greek and Jewish elements into one system.  His teaching affected not Jewish thought but the Church Fathers and in Neoplatonism.   

This is what can happen in any age when our own people become ill educated and are enveloped in another culture who wants to take over Jewish land, ideas and properly,  ending with a destruction of our people.  Beware. 

Resource:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiberius_Julius_Alexander
 http://www.livius.org/articles/person/julius-alexander-jr/
www.myjewishlearning.com409 × 600Search by image  Antiochus 
http://jewishbubba.blogspot.com/2013/11/when-greeks-owned-syria-and-attacked.html
http://www.jpost.com/Blogs/Past-Imperfect-Confronting-Jewish-History/Tiberius-Julius-Alexander-The-Jew-Who-Destroyed-Jerusalem-436073



2 comments:

  1. Someone, George W, on facebook wrote a comment "Jews fled there from the First Temple churban, taking Yirmiyah Ha-Navi against his will forcibly." of which I found this: It's from the Midrash-When Nevuchadnetzer exiled the remaining Jews in Eretz Yisrael after the Beis Hamikdash had been destroyed, Yirmiyahu planned to accompany them. However, Nevuzaradan removed his chains, and gave him the choice of remaining in Eretz Yisrael or being exiled Hashem instructed him to remain in Mitzpah with Gedaliah ben Achikam, who had been appointed as governor by Nevuchadnetzer over the remaining Jews in Eretz Yisrael.

    Shortly later, Gedaliah was assassinated and Yirmiyahu conveyed Hashem's message to the small remnant of Bnei Yisrael that they should remain in Eretz Yisrael. However, instead they fled to Mitzrayim; Yirmiyahu went with them and eventually died there. Some say that the Jews stoned him to death when he warned them not to go to Mitzrayim. Others say that Nevuchadnetzer took Yirmiyahu to Bavel, where he eventually died. In either case, Yirmiyahu died in exile, after dedicating his life to conveying Hashem's message to a nation who refused to heed him.However, Nevuzaradan removed his chains, and gave him the choice of remaining in Eretz Yisrael or being exiled Hashem instructed him to remain in Mitzpah with Gedaliah ben Achikam, who had been appointed as governor by Nevuchadnetzer over the remaining Jews in Eretz Yisrael.

    Shortly later, Gedaliah was assassinated and Yirmiyahu conveyed Hashem's message to the small remnant of Bnei Yisrael that they should remain in Eretz Yisrael. However, instead they fled to Mitzrayim; Yirmiyahu went with them and eventually died there. Some say that the Jews stoned him to death when he warned them not to go to Mitzrayim. Others say that Nevuchadnetzer took Yirmiyahu to Bavel, where he eventually died. In either case, Yirmiyahu died in exile, after dedicating his life to conveying Hashem's message to a nation who refused to heed him. It was when the 1stTemple was destroyed, not the 2nd one of 70 CE. I think he was saying that Jews went into Egypt at this time. http://revach.net/tanach/yirmiyahu/Sefer-Yirmiyahu-Introduction-And-Overview/3458

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  2. You have made some unintentional repetitions in your above comment. Please go back and read what you write before and after publishing it, to prevent this in future. It is better to move slowly and surely than to write quickly and publish with mistakes. I agree with your material in general, and this is a friendly comment.

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