Prof_Rachel_Elior_Public_ Lecturer_Univ_Chicago_2014.mp3
“From The Sun To The Moon”  posted @ The Jerusalem Post - Israel News

09.28.2014 | 4 Tishri, 5775


From the sun to the moon

Prof. Rachel Elior explains how the sages invented Judaism as we know it.According to Prof. Rachel Elior of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Rabbis were involved in nothing less than a reinvention of JudaismThe short reason … she suggests, was “a dispute over the calendar… “scholars known as Pharisees who disputed the legitimacy of the Hasmonean priests and kings and who argued with the Zadokite priests about the solar calendar….

The scene could be out of the Haggada – a group of rabbis sitting on the floor in a circle through the night, probably reclining on pillows, scrolls scattered about them, engaging in heated disputation until the pale light outside signals that a new day is upon them. 

The fact that this particular gathering, mentioned in the Talmud, is held in an attic (aliyat gag) might suggest to a modern reader that there is something clandestine about it, perhaps a desire to take distance from Roman ears or even from the surrounding Jewish population. 

Clandestine or not, this meeting, and all the similar gatherings that preceded and followed, contained the seeds of revolution – the radical restructuring of Jewish religious thought and practice that followed the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. 

According to Prof. Rachel Elior of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the rabbis were involved in nothing less than “a reinvention of Judaism… They were closing an old world based on prophecy and angelic revelation and opening the sacred canon to human reinterpretation.” 

A glimpse into that intellectual ferment is provided in the brief depiction in the talmudic tractate Shabbat (13b) of the rabbinic gathering, perhaps in Yavne – which had become the major center of Jewish learning after the destruction of Jerusalem. 

“That man should be remembered with favor,” the passage says in reference to one of the participants in the meeting, “his name being Hanania son of Hezekiah, for if it were not for him the Book of Ezekiel would have been suppressed and withdrawn as its teachings contradict those of the Torah. What did he do? They brought him jugs of oil [for lamps] and he sat in the attic and expounded upon the texts [through the night].” 

What Hanania and his colleagues were engaged in was a culling of all the Hebrew religious texts composed until that time. The works they would choose from this library would constitute the Jewish canon which henceforth would be the only texts deemed to have divine authority. 

In the end, a consensus formed around 24 works, including the five books of the Pentateuch, which together would make up the Bible. But what of the works excluded from the canon? Many were of comparable literary and religious quality to those chosen, says Elior, a professor of Jewish philosophy and Jewish mystical thought. “To many of the Jews of the first millennium BCE, all the texts had been equally holy,” she says. 

“The [excluded] Book of Enoch or Book of Jubilees were certainly not considered less sacred than the [canonical] Book of Judges or Esther or Daniel.” Yet the excluded texts – close to a dozen major works – were not just abandoned but excised as if they were a malignant growth. 

“Whoever reads them,” declared Rabbi Akiva, one of the foremost sages involved in the process, “will have no place in the world to come.” Left to die, some of the expelled texts were rescued and adopted by another religion. 

Newborn Christianity, which regarded itself as the successor of Judaism, incorporated these texts into its own corpus of holy works along with the Old Testament, as the Hebrew Bible came to be called. In time, Jewish scholars would rediscover the repudiated texts of their ancestors in Greek, Ethiopian (Geez), Syriac, Armenian and Slavic church translations. 

These writings, known as Apocrypha (“hidden scriptures” in Latin) would never be reincorporated into the Jewish library but would remain for scholars to puzzle over as they tried to understand by what criteria the texts had been rejected.

HALF A century ago another lost library with a mystery attached surfaced on the shores of the Dead Sea, this one having been literally lost for 1,900 years after being hidden in the caves of Qumran. Many of these Dead Sea Scrolls would have been suppressed, says Elior, for the same reasons that the previously known apocryphal books were suppressed.

In her recently published (Hebrew) book, Memory and Oblivion – The Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, she offers a bold and coherent narrative to explain events about which scholars have long held contrary views. 

The short reason for the canon/Apocrypha divide, she suggests, was a dispute over the calendar. The more profound explanation involves a power struggle between the old priestly order that believed its rulings to be divinely inspired and an emerging class of rabbis espousing a different narrative, one which gave human reason and laws a role in shaping the religion. 

Elior demonstrates how mystic notions like cosmic calendars and heavenly chariots were part of a power struggle whose outcome would affect how Judaism is practiced to the present day. For centuries the Israelites had marked time according to a solar calendar drawn up by the priestly caste but regarded as divinely inspired. The calendar emulated the pattern set by God when He created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. The number seven would become a mystic measure of Jewish time. The Israelites adopted a seven-day week, apparently the first people in the world to do so, and they too rested on the seventh day. 

Every seventh year was designated a shmita year when the earth itself rested and lay fallow. Each cycle of seven times seven years, 49 years in all, would be followed by a jubilee year, a new beginning when indentured servants were freed and leased land reverted to its original owners. 

The time between the exodus from Egypt to Moses’s meeting with God on Mount Sinai would be remembered as seven weeks. Joshua would lead the Israelites across the Jordan in a jubilee year. There would be, until this day, seven days of mourning, seven days between birth and male circumcision, seven days of female menstrual impurity. 

Elior terms the priestly calendar an exceptional mathematical construct that reflected a presumed cosmic order revealed to Enoch (Hanoch, in Hebrew), an intriguing biblical figure central to the priestly narrative but shunted aside by the rabbis. In Genesis (5:18), he is mentioned briefly in the long list of descendents of Adam – the seventh generation of the patriarchs of mankind, and thus safely distanced from the incest that necessarily marked the earliest generations – but his listing is unique. As with all the others, it gives the number of years he lived – 365 in his case, not coincidentally the number of days of the year – and tells whom he begot – Methuselah, who lived 969 years and who in turn begat Noah. 

However, the thumbnail biography of Enoch does not end like all the others with the words “and he died.” Instead, it says “And Enoch walked with God, and he was not; for God took him.” The Bible does not elaborate on this, but the Apocrypha does. Several versions of the Book of Enoch preserved by the church have been found in different languages. (Several scrolls of Enoch turned up in Qumran as well, in Aramaic.) They describe Enoch being brought up to heaven and granted immortality along with a two-way ticket. At God’s direction, he is taught by angels to read, write and calculate numbers – the first human given this knowledge. He then returns to earth to share with humankind what he has learned, including the solar calendar. 

The priests, wrote Elior in an earlier book, The Three Temples: On the Emergence of Jewish Mysticism, viewed this calendar as “a cyclic reflection of an eternal divine order.” The priests were the calendar’s guardians, privy to secrets imparted by angels and, like Enoch, would serve as conduits between the heavenly and the terrestrial. It was members of the priestly caste and prophets, many of whom were priests, who wrote the books that would form the Bible, and they wrote the books that would become the Apocrypha as well. 

Everything the priests wrote was considered sacred because they were, in effect, taking dictation from the angels. They regarded the angels as their heavenly counterparts and saw themselves as working with them to ensure a synchronization of the cosmic order in heaven and on earth. 

THE MOST tangible earthly manifestation of the solar calendar was the priestly work roster on the Temple Mount. Twenty-four priestly families, the same number as the number of hours in a day, took weekly turns attending to animal sacrifices and other Temple rituals. Like army reservists today, members of one of these families would go up to the Mount on Sunday morning and officiate until relieved by the next family a week later. 

These priestly “watches” gave a time frame to the life of the entire community, says Elior. From the time the Temple was built by Solomon in the 10th century BCE, the High Priest was chosen from a family line descended from the priest Zadok, who had carried the Ark of God in David’s time and anointed David’s son, Solomon, as king. 

The last Zadokite (Sadducee) high priest was ousted during the political chaos that preceded the Hasmonean revolt in the second century BCE. The Hasmoneans, a priestly family but not of the Zadokite line, cast out the Hellenizers from Jerusalem but instead of restoring the Zadokite line installed their own members in the high priesthood. Some of the Zadokites and their followers challenged the legitimacy of the Hasmonean priestly leadership and seceded from Temple service. 

This conflict between the Zadokite “secessionists,” as Elior calls them, and the Hasmonean usurpers is the theme of many of the most interesting scrolls found at Qumran. Elior views the Qumran scrolls as a Zadokite library, not an Essene library as has been the consensus view. Amid the chaos and intense religious ferment of the Hasmonean period (152-37 BCE), new voices began to be heard –those of scholars known as Pharisees who disputed the legitimacy of the Hasmonean priests and kings and who argued with the Zadokite priests about the solar calendar and their claims to possess an open line to the divine. 

These scholars, who would become known as rabbis or sages, were unhappy about the exclusiveness of the priests and the power they had accrued through their claims to esoteric knowledge as confidants of angels. In a game-changing move, the rabbis declared that the age of prophecy had long since ended and that the priesthood had been severed from ongoing access to higher authority. According to one rabbinic tradition, prophecy had ended with the destruction of the First Temple in the sixth century BCE. 

According to another, it ended when Alexander the Great and the Hellenizers arrived two centuries later. The priests vigorously rejected this downsizing.The rabbis favored a lunar calendar, says Elior, because they saw it symbolically freeing the nation from dependence on a closed priestly caste locked into the solar calendar and claiming divine authority.

 They wanted to symbolize instead man’s share in the determination of time and of his own fate. “They declared that human understanding of sacred writings was a legitimate source of authority.” The month would now not commence according to a solar calendar precalculated for eternity but by mortals scanning the sky for the new moon, perhaps disagreeing about the sighting among themselves, perhaps even erring. 

A MODERN-DAY reminder of the rabbinic victory in their epic struggle with the priests can be witnessed outside Orthodox synagogues one night a month,when the congregation emerges to pronounce the prayer for the new moon. In choosing the works that would comprise the biblical canon, says Elior, the principle criteria of the rabbis was to exclude those which invoked the solar calendar and endowed the priests with ongoing divine authority. “They were saying by this, ‘The old age has ended and a new age has begun.’ ” Similar symbolic moves would follow the French Revolution when a radically new calendar, including a 10-day week, was adopted, and following the Russian Revolution when the Gregorian calendar used in the West was substituted for the Julian calendar followed by the Russian Orthodox Church. 

The issue was less the measure of time, notes Elior, than the measure of man’s sovereignty. Alongside the texts that the rabbis accepted into the canon, they created a parallel framework of oral law which they themselves – not the priests – would develop and which would become ever more relevant over the centuries to the evolving circumstances of Jewish life. The first major compilation, the Mishna, would be completed by 200 CE. In the following centuries, sages in Palestine and Babylonia would complete the Talmud. These compilations would remain oral – the ancients having a capacity for memorizing enormous texts – until the eighth or ninth centuries when they were finally put into writing. The sages represented a strongly democratic strain. Study was open to all Jewish men and was not a matter of dynasty and inherited privilege. Rabbi Akiva had been a shepherd. Other sages had been farmers and craftsmen. Resh Lakish was a reformed bandit. 

The Oral Law, says Elior, was “open to study and interpretation by the entire male Jewish population.” The meritocracy that emerged displaced the hereditary leadership of the priestly clans which had traced their dynasty, link by link, back to Moses’s brother, Aaron. “The rabbis transferred the center of gravity,” says Elior, “from a regular, priestly ritual, anchored in holy time and holy place, to an ever-changing order entrusted to sages from all classes of the population, who took charge of humanly declared time and taught a new perception of holiness.”

The debate between the sages and the priests ended abruptly with the Roman conquest. Following the destruction of the Temple, the priestly order was shattered and the rabbis were free to reconfigure the playing field. They not only discarded the apocryphal texts but, according to Elior, probably amended some passages in the books they would include in the Bible tominimize references to the solar calendar, to angels and to the story of Enoch. By doing so, the sages prepared the Jewish people for the long haul through the ages. The conduit to the divine was no longer a monumental building in Jerusalem served by a priestly caste. As they went into exile, the Jews took with them the Sabbath and the Bible but were no longer dependent on a specific holy place or on priestly intermediaries. From now on a quorum of 10 ordinary Jews assembling in the humblest of rooms, or in no room at all, could, anywhere in the world talk directly to God.


Prof Rachel Elior – Public Lecture At The Divinity School, Chicago University on The Ancient Faith of The Zadok Priesthood And How It Was Obliterated From The Religious Memory of Rabbinical Judaism

This lecture is a must listen – it summarizes much of the information presented by Prof Elior in her book entitled “The Three Temples” in a way that is easily understood.

This public lecture by Prof Rachel Elior, (Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Jewish Mystical Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) was given recently as a visiting scholar to the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. Prof Elior presents a very definitive lecture on how the ancient documents of the Qumran library testify to the ancient Zadok Temple Priesthood, their principles of faith and how their spiritual worldview dramatically contrasts with that of  Rabbinical Judaism.

For those seeking clarity and truth on the ancient history of biblical Israel, especially in regards to the biblical calendar, the Maccabean period and the 160 years immediately prior to the coming of Yahushua Melchizedek are extremely significant to understand precisely how the Pharisee/Rabbinics gained hegemony over the second Temple and exiled the biblical, lawfully constituted Temple Priesthood, ultimately resulting in a new “Judaism” which was consolidated over the subsequent 300 years after the destruction of the second Temple.

It is my personal  conviction that the revealing of the Qumran documents to the greater public domain is in truth a Divine herald and a last days Divine prophetic exhortation to the remnant of both houses of biblical Israel.    I am convinced that Prof Elior, being a leading Jewish scholar of Jewishreligious thought,  is presenting a message that not only calls Rabbinical Judah to examine their religious foundations but also calls the rabbinically influenced “messianic” and “Hebrew roots” movements to do the same. The result of a true examination of all the facts in the light of all the biblical scriptures will be a single conclusion to those who really seek Divine Truth – all evidence will point all once again to the identity of Yahushua of Nazereth being the  Melchizedek High Priestly Order of heaven and earth, and being the Lamb of YHVH that takes away the iniquity of remnant biblicalIsrael..

Given what we read in the biblical prophecies, I expect this last days herald of the ancient Zadok testimony will soon convict Judah once again in these very last days, to hear the testimony of John the Baptist who called all to repent and prepare for the coming of the Lamb of YHVH.  This is because of John’s biblical heritage was the last High Priest from the House of Zadok (of the biblically legitimateAaronic order over the ancient Temple Priesthood) and to hear once again John’s proclamation of the biblical identity of Yahushua Melchizedek.

As the prophets declare – and so all Israel will be saved – a deep spiritual repentant re-awakening in the remnant of the House of Judah to the historical identity and ministry of John the Immerser and his message, (who was declared by Yahushua to be a spiritual shadow type of the Elijah that was prophesied to come to proceed the Redeemer of YHVH, the Teacher of Righteousness and King of Biblical Israel who restores all things…) together with a deep spiritual  repentance to biblical truth in the remnant of the House of Israel to finally “come out of her”  will result in the birth pangs of the  new redeemed nation which is ultimately born through an exodus from out of the nations of the world, that will be greater than that which occurred in the time of Moses from ancient Egypt…

To hear the lecture click here , or to download the audio file right mouse click the link and save the file to your device:

Prof_Rachel_Elior_Public_ Lecturer_Univ_Chicago_2014.mp3

Favor, confidence and joy in the Name of Our Heavenly Father, The Elohiym of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!


Category: Audio Exhortation Prophecy Watch Yahushua




  1. Her observation that rabbinic Judaism do all they can to keep the truth hidden is a fact. Dr. Elior has made her connection and come to some conclusions some are self evident and others I think are stretches to fill in the gaps. I think what the main thrust of her many debates is rabbinic Judaism claim as being authoritive, is a hoax. Any study done parallel to this topic about the origins of the oral law illuminates that fact. My only criticism is her continued use of using Zadokite and Sadducee as interchangeable terminology. that I think can be miss leading to lay people.

  2. Barnabas says, So, my children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, will all such be
    brought to an end.
    What will be brought to an end is six days, or at the end of six thousand years? We must look
    to several scriptures strating at Barnabas:Barnabas 15:5 This he said, And He rested on the seventh day; that is, after his Son comes,
    the era of the lawless is to cease,154 and when he judges the unrighteous and changes
    the sun, moon, and stars, then he will rest well on the seventh day.
    In the seventh day, lawlessness is to cease. We are in the seventh day! But the end of the
    lawlessness is a process and described in the prophets,
    In the seventh day, the unrighteous will be judged. Judgement doesn’t mean condemnation
    or damnation. Yahshua said, Joh 5:29. And shall come forth; they that have done good,
    unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done ill, unto the resurrection of judgment.
    Yahshua says, Joh 5:30, I can of myself do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is
    righteous; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
    All the facts will be before the judge, and Joh 2:24-25 But Jesus did not trust himself unto
    them, for he knew all men, and because he needed not that any one should bear witness
    concerning man; for he himself knew what was in man.
    The scripture tells us what teerritory it is dealing sityh whnen it referes to geographic Israel:
    Joshua 1:2,4. Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and
    all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. . . . From
    the wilderness, and this Lebanon, even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of
    the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your border.
    Second, he changes the bodies in space (sun, moon, stars), which is a way of saying he
    changes the calendar back to that of the Davidic Kingdom. After all, is he not the Scion of
    David? What other way of keeping time would he choose but the way prophesied in
    Ezekiel 40:46: the keepers of the charge of the altar: these are the sons of Zadok, which from
    among the sons of Levi come near to YHWH to minister unto him.
    The Ancient Priestly Calendar will be restored in this day, missing since 162 BC. This
    calendar is still preserved in the Dea Sea Scrolls, and is based on the observations of Enoch,
    thus it is a SOLAR (not a lunar) calendar, and more and more are following it in anticipation of
    Mat 24:6-8. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for
    {cf15i these things} must needs come to pass; but the end (of eveil) is not yet. For nation
    shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines and
    earthquakes in divers places. But all these things are the beginning of travail.
    Yahshua us speaking of the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. But most also assume he is
    talking about the beginning of the Millennium as well. What kind of wars? We look toward
    Isaiah 12 – 19: we are talking about civil wars within the geographical location that Yahweh
    described in Joshua – civil wars that would decimate a heathen anti-Messianic population.
    We are seeing those right now in this geographical area.
    Isaiah 19:22-24 And YHWH shall smite Egypt, smiting and healing (civil war); and they shall
    return unto YHWH, and he shall be entreated of them, and shall heal them. In that day shall
    there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the
    Egyptian into Assyria; and the Egyptians shall worship with the Assyrians. In that day shall
    Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth.
    When I proposed that the sign of the Millennium would be an Egyptian civil war. People
    l.aughed at me, then it happened in 2013, and the Muslim brotherhood was cast out, bringing
    Egypt into allyship with Israel, as is it’s other neighbor, Jordan. Now we’re talking about a
    Millennial Kingdaom that encompasses the land between the Euphrates and the Nile,
    including these countries plus Iraq, Syria and parts of Arabia. The prophet tells us, in the
    LAST DAYS, theser lands will come into ally-ship, with a pathway running through the middle
    east – an Abraham Path Initiative:, a fulfillment or this millennial
    prophecy of Isaiah 19.

  3. Wayne Thibodeaux Reply

    Wayne Thibodeaux: Why do we need to reconcile the difference between what the world does and what scripture says?

    The use of equal day/night negates the four leaders of the seasons and their authority over the counting of days of the year. The four leaders of the seasons have been ordained as memorials to Noah and the events of the flood. When the days of the year are counted correctly, the four leaders of the seasons will always fall on the last seventh day Sabbath of each thirteenth week of a season.

    The use of equal day/night also negates the authority of the Chiefs of Thousands which witness to the four leaders of the seasons. The first Chief of Thousands, the constellation Aries begins our count of days and gives authority to the Captains of the three hundred and sixty who determine the days of the year.

    I have a couple of docs in the files section of the group page. One is titled “How the Ancients Determined the Equinox” the other is titled “The Eastern Orientation of the Temple”.

    The ancients didn’t have the technology to determine the difference of a few minutes between equal day/night, but they did know how to site the equinox.

    Kelly Isinthekitchen: So, is the moon still considered in all of this?

    Wayne Thibodeaux: The moon is not considered in the calendar of Enoch or Jubilees. In fact chapter 6 of Jubilees warns Israel to not follow the lunar calendar of other pagan societies.

    The moon does have it’s uses, though most are of an agricultural and marine nature.

    Wayne Thibodeaux: Jubilees chapter 6 also prophesies Israel would go astray and observe the moon in rebellion.

    Jubilees 6:36 For there will be those who will assuredly make observations of the moon -how it disturbs the seasons and comes in from year to year ten days too soon.
    37 For this reason the years will come upon them when they will disturb (the order), and make an abominable (day) the day of testimony, and an unclean day a feast day, and they will confound all the days, the kodesh with the unclean, and the unclean day with the kodesh; for they will go wrong as to the months and Shabbats and feasts and jubilees.
    38 For this reason I command and testify to you that you may testify to them; for after your death your children will disturb them, so that they will not make the year three hundred and sixty-four days only, and for this reason they will go wrong as to the new months and seasons and Shabbats and festivals, and they will eat all kinds of blood with all kinds of flesh.

    Kelly Isinthekitchen: Thank you!

    Wayne Thibodeaux: The moon also acts as a shield to protect the earth from incoming debris. NASA has photos taken from the Apollo missions of the backside of the moon. It’s quite beat up compared to the side we see.

  4. Bill Condoleon Reply

    Bill Condoleon

    The New Moon Calendar was the official calendar of the Greeks, and when “Alexander the Great” conquered the middle in the 4th century BCE, the Lunar Calendar was introduced and was gradually accepted by most of the people, except for the Hebrew people. In 172, King Antiochus appointed Menelaus, as Jerusalem’s High Priest, to introduce the Greek way of educating the young people, and to completely Hellenize the Hebrew people. He also sent a Senator from Athens to give the Hebrew people an ultimatum, to forsake the Laws of their God Yah and follow the Kings orders or to be put to death, so most of the Hebrew people followed the Kings orders to save their families, and many were put to death. King Antiochus forced the Hebrew people to celebrate the “Birthday of the Month,” every month, at the time of the moon’s first visibility.
    Hephaistio of Thebes was an astrologer in the 5th Century CE, who compiled the historical Hellenistic Astrology Records in his research work called “Apotelesmatics.” Hephaistio quotes King Antiochus saying that the New Moon is the time when the “Moon is Born” and is the “Birthday of the Month:”
    But Antiochus of Athens says also that this method has a certain truth to it. “Observe,” he says “On a given day that the Moon is Born” and to this number add 180 and always deduct 29 from the Birthday [γενέθλιον] of the Month.
    (Apotelesmatics, Hephaistio of Thebes, Book I,Vol VI, Compendium, tr. Robert H.Schmidt & Robert Hand 1994 p.82 lines 21-24)
    In 167 BCE, when King Antiochus returned to Jerusalem after his campaign in Egypt, he immediately banned the Hebrew religion and the Enoch Calendar, and prohibited all religious practices. He dedicated the Temple in Jerusalem to Zeus, the Lord of Heaven (Baal Shamen), and ordered the people to worship Zeus. Forty Five days later, he began sacrificing swine and making abominable offerings on the altar, and this began the Maccabean revolt (1.Maccabees Chapter 1 and 2.Maccabees Chapters 4, 6 and 7):

  5. I could not listen to all of the .mp3!
    Does the Prof. Rachel Elior! explain the 2 pillars of Solomons Temple?


    P.S. Who can explain them if she has not?

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