The Jubilee Calendar Essay Research Paper THE

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The Jubilee Calendar Essay, Research Paper THE JUBILEE CALENDAR A Major Point of Contention between the Zadokite Priesthood and the Hasmonean Priesthood INTRODUCTION Halachikally the Torah Law we follow today is according to the School of Hillel. The School of Hillel and the School of Shami were so far apart that the Talmud expresses fear that the One Torah might end up as two torot (”Sanhedrin” 88b). Medrashim say that when Moshiach comes we will follow the School of Shamai. In other words, the School of Hillel will become lower, and the School of Shamai higher. This is difficult, because “in holy things we only elevate and do not lower (maalim bakodesh veein moridim).” This is because conflicting opinions in the Torah are considered complementary rather than

exclusive — and the words of both Hillel and Shamai, even though they apparently contradict each other, are considered “the words of the Living G-d”: “Eleh VaEleh Divei Elokim Chaiim” This is difficult because the “Oral Tradition”, now called the Mishnah or the “Oral Law”, developed as a sage was assigned to teach in an Academy during Shabbat, where he expounded the Scriptural lesson. His ideas then became known to all the others and what he said became part of the stream of an Oral Tradition passed on from one to the other and from generation to generation. Later, to enforce observance of the sage’s teaching, it was taught that the Oral Tradition Law was given at Sinai. It was not written down until the beginning of the Third Century CE, by Judah ha-Nasi

(Judah the Prince). This was more than a thousand years since the giving of the written Torah. The truth is that the Mishnah developed over a period of a thousand years. We surely need the Mishnah, but to say it was given at Sinai is an unacceptable stretch. The tradition of the Mishnah is vital to our understanding; but now we must consider the evidence of a tradition more than a thousand years older, and that which properly explains the words of the Torah Itself: the calendar of the Sadducees. In even earlier times there were also two schools of thought, that of the Sadducees (the Zadokite Priesthood), and that of the Pharisees (the Hasmonean Priesthood). Both the School of Hillel and the School of Shamai are of the Pharisees, who in times past, did not consider “conflicting

opinions in the Torah complementary rather than exclusive” with regard to the Sadducees. Because of error and political hatred between these two groups the Holy Temple was destroyed. In this time of the “Restitution of All Things” we must heal this error before we begin to build the Third Beit HaMikdash. A proper analysis of the relationship between our world and that of the ancient Sadducees requires the type of thorough survey only a Torah scholar, fluent in the Hebrew language, could provide. I do not possess these tools. The paradox herein is that one possessed of the proper qualities and tools would be so steeped in negative prejudice towards an objective study, that he would be unable to pursue an investigation from an unbiased viewpoint. It is only natural that,

starting from childhood, we carry with us cultural baggage (obviously with profound historical roots) which portrays the Sadducees as enemies. As a result, this culture is usually drawn in broad, ugly strokes, identifying Sadducee culture and tradition in general with crude ideas largely unsupported by fact. The disadvantage of such an approach is in fact twofold. Firstly, it does not enable us to get to the crux of the issue and prevents us from understanding the full significance of the conflict between the two divergent subcultures in a profound way. Turning the opponent into a “straw man” makes it easier for us to deal with him, but the real battle – in terms of faith and belief, philosophy and culture – is never addressed. “Eleh VaEleh Divei Elokim Chaiim” In