Did A Science Fiction Story [Sort Of] Capture a Non-Fiction Moment? A Ten Commandments’ Tale

after reading professor yonatan adler’s book, the origins of judaism‘s conclusion concerning when wide-spread torah based judaism began, i was reminded of the star trek original series episode the omega glory.

in discussing this topic, dr. alder identifies the period of the jewish-greek rebellion as the point at which wide-spread judaism observance occurred. the rebellion’s victory is celebrated with the chanukah holiday. dr. adler, in lectures identified that torah as serving the purposes of the declaration of independence and the us constitution.

at the time this victory, the following elements were present: there had been a battle against both an outside and inside forces; greeks and hellenized jews being the opposition, the jewish priesthood in effect, the existence of the torah and other religious texts, and the need for a stable government and society post conflict.

stark trek’s omega glory touches upon these elements as well. the uss enterprise encounters a planet sharing a parallel world history. the difference, however, is that apparently the cold war between the west and communism was extended and the planet devolved. the episode portrays this as united states fought against communist asia.

the omega glory’s crescendo is when captain kirk and his crew come to the realization that the uncivilized yangs were actually yankees and that the defeat was over the kohms(communists.) at the point of this victory, the yangs were essentially illiterate and possessed “holy word.” these “holy words” were not ones upon which they understood. these “holy words” and text were in the sole possession of the tribal chief. captain kirk, present at the victory ceremony, comes to this understanding as a which a tattered united states flag is presented. he realizes that this parallel universe and these people were part of the planets united states.

at the ceremony, the priest pronounced the “holy words.” they are incomprehensible. captain kirk, putting the pieces together, realizes what the “holy word” were.

with this, there is the following exchange:

“CLOUD: When you would not say the holy words, of the Ee’d Plebnista, I doubted you.
KIRK: I did not recognise those words, you said them so badly, Without meaning. [kirk takes the paper to hold]
ELDER: No! No! Only the eyes of a chief may see the Ee’d Plebnista.
KIRK: This was not written for chiefs. (general consternation) Hear me! Hear this! Among my people, we carry many such words as this from many lands, many worlds. Many are equally good and are as well respected, but wherever we have gone, no words have said this thing of importance in quite this way. Look at these three words written larger than the rest, with a special pride never written before or since. Tall words proudly saying We the People. That which you call Ee’d Plebnista was not written for the chiefs or the kings or the warriors or the rich and powerful, but for all the people! Down the centuries, you have slurred the meaning of the words, ‘We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution.’ These words and the words that follow were not written only for the Yangs, but for the Kohms as well!” chakoteya.net

in sum, the omega glory shares notions of conflict, unification, a priesthood, and the revival of “holy words” to create a new chapter in the history of a nation. the revival of the “holy words,” in hasmonean time may have been the transmission of the torah from the scribal community to the greater public as scholars have opined. with this in mind, was there some moment lost in time when something of this nature occurred during the hasmonean dynasty? was there a captain kirk-like figure to inspire the masses? did the words, “breisheit barah elohim” serve as a rallying cry as “we the people?”

be well!!

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Published by biblelifestudies

I am a practicing lawyer and long term admirer of the bible

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