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The Future of Israel Hardcover – October, 2004
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The Rabbis who stood by the people in their efforts to negate the crushing weight of Roman rule such as Rabbis Akivas and Ishmael were eventually killed for their principles. With their deaths the pacifist movement took over.
The peace movement basically did flips and flops to try and keep peace with the current govt by using the mentality of "Render unto Caesar"
Even so when post 73 revolts broke out, their kumbaya style of diplomacy and gun control ended with whole villages being destroyed and people murdered by the thousands, since for the Romans a Jew was Jew was a Jew.
He dosent judge the participants. He states he cannot walk in the shoes of those that suffered thru all of the grievous tumults from 68 to 135 a.d. and does not mock or scoff or belittle those Rabbis he feels were wrong, in fact I think he feels very sad for them, but he does state that he thinks their politics was misguided and led the nation to further calamity.
Using quotes from the Talmud and Greek and Roman historians in particular Dio Cassius as his sources, the author presents a thesis that you may well disagree with but cannot ignore.
Thank You Devin Sper for such a thought provoking book.
Sper begins by noting that many people have enemies that persecute them. Some overcome them. Others succumb. The Jews have done neither.
He then gives an unforgettable example of Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai, who berated a starving Jewish girl but gave gifts to the Romans who persecuted her.
After that comes a section on Jewish history which I think is a little biased and misleading. I think Jews often overestimated their strength and suffered the consequences. In my opinion, Sper also overestimates the potential of the Jews to compete against the Roman Empire. Still, I think it is worth reading what he says.
The author makes a good point about truth: some folks have sacrificed it in favor of convenience. And that has led to some great absurdities, such as terrorists being called "freedom fighters" (although the only fighting they do is against freedom) and Yassir Arafat getting a Nobel Peace Prize.
Sper discusses the Jewish right to the land of Israel. He mentions that Arabs left the land desolate. I think that's a very good point! Mongols left Russia desolate, and that was a big clue that Russia, not Mongolia, was going to have a better claim to the land. He also mentions that Arabs have 500 times as much land as Israel. That means that Israel can afford to buy its land while the Arabs can not afford to buy theirs. Another good point!
Some Arabs say that they want the land of Israel. But when they did have the West Bank, they used it for little more than a base from which to try to destroy Israel.Read more ›