professor yonatan adler’s origins of judaism posits that on or about time of the maccabean revolt and the hasmonean dynasty the practice of modern day judaism emerged among the masses. in essence, torah law became widely practiced in part due to the establishment of the new government.
the origins is an excellent read. it is well cited and there is much to learn from it. so far, i anticipate using it a piece of valuable reference material.
professor adler’s position of the hasmonean period for the time of common practice of torah observant judaism among the citizenry reminded me that the beta israel, the jewish ethiopian community which allegedly had separated from the levant post first temple destruction did not celebrate chanukah. worldreligionnews.com
besides the beta israel, there is the bnei menashe of india. they as well fall into this post-first temple period of religious practice. michael freund in an article touches on a wide range of practices which include observance of the sabbath, circumcision, kashrut as well as purity. according to mr. freund, beyond other practices, they also celebrated passover and chanted a prayer strikingly similar to that of “miriam’s song” from the torah. this “song,” along with deborah’s song, are considered by scholars to be some of the earliest writings in the torah.
both communities may have many similarities worth exploring. they both had priests as opposed to rabbis as their religious leaders.
in sum, professor adler may wish to take research to explore the existence of some core practices from these pre-hasmonean communities. these core practices could be compared to his assessment of what pre-torah observant judaism was in the levant. this blog, of course, would be interested as to whether populace had specific knowledge and observance of the ten commandments as opposed to other mitzvot or other torah commandments.
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