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New Modern History of Judaism

Discussion in 'Alternate Histories and Timelines' started by Classicalfan626, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. Classicalfan626

    Classicalfan626 Moderator/Visionary Premium

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    Although the description of the forum of this thread is “Timeline shifts and parallel universes. Looking at the past and asking 'What if?'”, indicating that the material here is not how it actually happened, it will be made so. In other words, the fiction written in the following paragraphs will eventually become nonfiction.

    Here’s the first of my many revised histories, in a nutshell.

    The modern history of Judaism begins in the 6th century A.D. with the reforms of Simon of Rome. Simon was born in 500 A.D. into a close-knit Jewish community in Rome. He grew up a normal Jew living at that time, but was orphaned by the time he was 15. He then opened to contemporary Roman Italian culture and mastered medieval Italian. He also identified his nationality as being Roman and his religion Jewish following his studies.

    Simon became ordained as a rabbi at age 20 and rose to a prominent one by age 22. Outside his temple three years later, Simon announced to his congregation his four-fold reforms, which in many ways radically transformed Judaism.

    Jews living there began to seek converts, and successfully converted around 2% of Roman gentiles. When the Pope banned further Jewish missionary activity, Simon and some of his fellow Jews moved east to what is now western Russia. After settling, they resumed proselytizing, and 30% of all Eastern Slavs converted from their native pagan religion to Judaism. Simon settled near what is now Smolensk and died in that area of a blood infection in 551.

    The massive number of Eastern Slavic converts to Judaism contributed to Eastern Slavic nations’ religious tolerance and a rich Jewish heritage. Eastern Slavs were reduced to being 25% Jewish following the coming of Christianity to Eastern Slavic lands, but after Vladimir’s death, many Eastern Slavic Jews became missionaries and gained many more converts to Judaism. By the Mongols conquered Kievan Rus’ in the early 13th century, about 35% of all ethnic Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians were practicing Judaism, but the process of seeking converts came to a virtual halt.

    The Mongol Invasion cut off contact with the West until 1395, with the coming of the Renaissance. By 1400, the Renaissance was in full swing throughout Europe and the Mongols were ousted from Russia. The discovery of the 1290 Jewish expulsion from England and the spirit of the Renaissance prompted many of Russia’s Jewish missionaries to seek converts to Judaism throughout Europe. As a result, approximately 18% of gentiles in each European region or nation outside Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus converted to Judaism.

    As a result of all this, Jews in exile were welcomed back to England. A policy of religious tolerance (particularly for Jews) swept throughout Europe, despite the Holy Inquisition in Italy, which didn’t affect Jews. From the time of the death of Simon of Rome to the early Renaissance, Jews throughout Europe, especially Russia, were granted titles of nobility.

    To this day, most Jews have been of ethnic European descent. Virtually all European Jews have adopted names familiar to their respective regions or nations. However, two-thirds of Russian-American Jews belong to a group called Ashkenazim, while one-third do not and are of ethnic Russian descent.

    In the late 1800s and early 1900s in Russia, non-Slavs, especially Ashkenazic Jews, were subject to “Russification.” This policy was especially enforced upon Ashkenazic Jews, and those who refused to follow the policies were persecuted. The ancestors of American Jews of Ashkenazic-Russian descent fled Russia to the U.S. to escape these persecutions, while American Jews of ethnic Russian descent fled because they considered Ashkenazic-Russian Jews who fled there to be linked to them like a spiritual family.

    Ethnic-Russian Jews have maintained virtually all Russian cuisine (with the exception of foods related to Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter) of their gentile ancestors, but since the early Renaissance have absorbed the cuisine of Ashkenazic Jews migrating to Russia at that time. Before long Russia’s Orthodox Christians absorbed Ashkenazic cuisine as well.

    I was unable to upload the original Word document on which this revision of history is based on. The document contains more thorough details of the revision. But if any of you have any questions or comments about the revision or its additional details, feel free to post them in this thread.
     
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  3. Classicalfan626

    Classicalfan626 Moderator/Visionary Premium

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    If you'd like, I'll show you guys the more thoroughly detailed revision of the modern history of Judaism straight from the Word document. Now, does anybody here have any questions, comments, or concerns about this abridged version of the revision? And would any of you like to see the revision in full?
     


  4. Itheblaze

    Itheblaze Senior Member

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    Most Jews live in the USA and Israel. Why don't the Jews own Israel? Their ancestors the Israelites founded it. Jerusalem is named after the Jews. Italian people own Italy. Spanish people own Spain. The French aren't going over to Russia trying to own and kick out the Russians. Why isn't it an accepted fact that the Jews/Isrealites own their own land?
     
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  5. TnWatchdog

    TnWatchdog Senior Member Premium

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    You could write an interesting book on alternate histories and timelines. Each chapter containing a new topic...then the series on the tube.
     
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  6. Classicalfan626

    Classicalfan626 Moderator/Visionary Premium

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    I agree with that statement! Israel belongs to Israeli Jews. After all, the Israelites were there first, and they were Jewish. I have a plan I'll mention later on that will finally allow Israel to belong to Israelis (Jewish ones, that is).
     
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  7. Classicalfan626

    Classicalfan626 Moderator/Visionary Premium

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    Alright, here's the full revision of the modern history of Judaism:

    The modern history of Judaism among Eastern Slavic peoples began in the 6th century with the reforms from Simon of Rome. Simon was born January 1, 500 into a close-knit Jewish community in Rome. He grew up just as any normal Jew at that time would. However, Simon’s mother (483-514) died when he was 14, and his father (480-515) died when Simon was 15. He then opened to the outside world where things were much different.

    He learned to understand, read, write, and speak medieval Italian dialects fluently. What he found perplexing was that the people there considered their nationality as Roman and their faith as Christian. He always identified himself as Jewish, not Roman, and did not even know the word “religion.” Over a period of trial and error, he concluded that his nationality was Roman and that his religion was Jewish.
    Simon was known to have a photographic memory. He became ordained as a rabbi at age 20 and rose to become the head rabbi of his community by age 22. Outside his synagogue three years later, Simon announced to his congregation his four-fold reforms.

    First, he would have his people come in contact with the outside world, where the Roman Italians were Christians.

    Second, he would have his people assimilate into Roman Italian culture (i.e. adopting Latin names, Italian dress, and especially Roman nationality); thus, Simon adopted the Latin equivalent of his name, Semeonus.

    Third, he would nullify certain Jewish laws, including numerous “commandments,” especially dietary laws. He believed that too many commandments were overabundant (And the commandments he would later emphasize would be reduced to the ten now known as the Ten Commandments). This reform permitted Jews to eat foods that were formerly forbidden to them, such as pork and shellfish. Simon believed that the dietary restrictions were not essential and considered them null and void. Also for the first time, they were allowed to eat meat with dairy products like cheese, though a Jew could not boil meat in milk or fry beef in butter, taking literally the interpretation that one can’t “boil a kid in his mother’s milk.”

    Fourth, Simon proclaimed that it was the duty of the Jews to seek the conversion of as much Roman Italians as possible to Judaism. He reinterpreted the meaning of “God’s chosen people” to mean both that Jews were God’s treasured people, and that they were chosen to spread their morals through proselytizing. Although Simon’s reforms were far-reaching, he still had his people maintain core practices such as circumcision and observance of Jewish holidays.

    Despite the apparent shock of these announcements, his congregation remained as connected to him as they were before Simon announced his reforms. They followed all that Simon said. After his successful attempts within one year to convert 2% of Italians in Rome to Judaism, the Pope issued a decree banning further Jewish missionary activity in order to keep Rome predominantly Christian.

    Following this, Simon and his fellow Jews, including some Roman Italian converts, decided to move far away from Rome. They did this promptly, traveling progressively east until they reached what is now western Russia. There, they met Eastern Slavic peoples who welcomed them into their territory. In return for the Jews adopting Eastern Slavic culture, which included growing long beards at that time, 30% of all Eastern Slavs converted, within a period of ten years, from their native pagan religion to Judaism.

    Simon settled and remained living near what is now Smolensk, Russia until he died of a blood infection, on August 28, 551, at the age of 51. Recent studies have shown that he probably had Asperger’s Syndrome, a slight form of autism.

    The massive number of Eastern Slavic converts to Judaism contributed to Eastern Slavic nations’ religious tolerance and their rich Jewish heritage that they have maintained to the present day, excluding the Soviet era. A few centuries later, when Vladimir, prince of Kiev, converted to Orthodox Christianity, he had most people living in Kievan Rus’ converted as well. While virtually all pagans converted to Christianity, only one sixth of Eastern Slavic Jews converted with them. The rest of the Jews remained with Judaism. This left the Eastern Slavs 70% Orthodox Christian, 25% Jewish, and 5% other faiths.

    After Vladimir’s death, many Eastern Slavic Jews became missionaries and subsequently gained many more Eastern Slavic converts to Judaism. The Mongols invaded and conquered Kievan Rus’ in the early 13th century. By that time, about 35% of all ethnic Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians were practicing Judaism (about 60% were practicing Orthodox Christianity), but the process of seeking converts came to a virtual halt. The Mongol Invasion had also cut off contact with the West until Ivan Petrov (my creation I'll mention later) brought the Renaissance to Russia.

    Prior to the coming of the Renaissance, Russians were unaware that Jews had been expelled from England in 1290. By 1400, the Renaissance had come into full swing throughout Europe and the Mongols had been ousted from Russia. The Russian discovery of Jewish expulsion from England and the spirit of the Renaissance prompted many of Russia’s Jewish missionaries to seek converts to Judaism throughout Europe. As a result, approximately 18% of gentiles in each European region or nation outside Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus converted to Judaism.

    The subsequent persecutions of converts to Judaism in England helped inspire even more English people to convert to Judaism, resulting in the policy of a virtual religious tolerance in England. Jews in exile were welcomed back. This policy of religious tolerance swept throughout Europe. However, Roman Catholic Church officials tried to intervene and frequently spent time devising tribunals against people accused of heresy, such as the Holy Inquisition in Italy, which didn’t affect Jews, as they were considered a completely different religious group. From the time Simon of Rome died in 551 to the early Renaissance, Jews throughout Europe, especially Russia, were granted titles of nobility.

    To this day, most Jews have been of ethnic European descent. For instance, most Jews in Russia are of ethnic Russian descent, and most Jews in Germany are of ethnic German descent. Also, virtually all European Jews have adopted secular names, such as Vladimir in Russia and Heinrich in Germany. Both are the legacy of the sought conversions to Judaism from Simon of Rome and his followers. However, two-thirds of Russian-American Jews belong to a group called Ashkenazim, while one-third do not belong to Ashkenazim and are of ethnic Russian descent.

    Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s in Russia, non-Slavs, especially Ashkenazic Jews, who refused to adopt Russian given names and sometimes Russian surnames, in place of Jewish given names and Ashkenazic Jewish surnames, were subject to “Russification.” This was a nationalistic process instituted by the czars assuring that citizens of the Russian Empire would accept the Russian language as their language and their nationality to be Russian as well. The czars forbade given names alien to them and insisted on those of Slavic origin.

    These policies were especially enforced upon Ashkenazic Jews, and if they refused to follow the policies, they were persecuted. The ancestors of American Jews of Ashkenazic-Russian descent fled Russia to the United States to escape these persecutions, while American Jews of ethnic Russian descent fled Russia to the United States because they considered Ashkenazic-Russian Jews who fled there to be linked to them like a spiritual family, a concept essential to all practicing Jews. Likewise, American Jews of Ashkenazic-Russian descent have an Ashkenazic Jewish heritage, while American Jews of ethnic Russian descent have a Russian heritage. Thus, both Russian Orthodox Christians and ethnic-Russian Jews share many characteristics.

    Ethnic-Russian Jews have maintained virtually all Russian cuisine (with the exception of foods related to Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter) of their gentile ancestors, but since the early Renaissance have absorbed the cuisine of Ashkenazic Jews migrating to Russia at that time. Before long Russia’s Orthodox Christians absorbed Ashkenazic cuisine as well. For instance, bagels and bialys have been a few of the common staples in a Russian breakfast, and knishes and potato and cheese blintzes have served as a Russian lunch for centuries. Fruit-filled blintzes, such as those filled with apples, cherries, or blueberries, have become common desserts in Russian cuisine.

    What do you guys think of all this? Any further concerns, comments, or questions?
     
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  8. TnWatchdog

    TnWatchdog Senior Member Premium

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    You put a lot of work into this Classical...you must be a history buff with a 'what if' to go along with it. I quickly read your post but will reread it later as I got to run now.
     
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  9. Classicalfan626

    Classicalfan626 Moderator/Visionary Premium

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    Thank you to all who read and commented here! :)

    Next changing history topic: Founding Fathers of the Renaissance in six European regions/nations.

    Note: For those of you who missed reading and commenting before this post, don't be fooled by the last paragraph. In other words, still feel free to post and/or like anything you want here, as long as it's on-topic and unoffensive.
     
  10. TnWatchdog

    TnWatchdog Senior Member Premium

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    In the modern history of Judaism you indicated that Simon of Rome eliminated some of the initial Commandments bringing them down to the present-day 10...what were the Commandments that were eliminated?
    Also Simon would say this and that to his followers...question, in this timeline was this the origin of 'Simon Says', which became a popular game?
     
  11. Classicalfan626

    Classicalfan626 Moderator/Visionary Premium

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    @TnWatchdog - The commandments Simon eliminated are in three-digit figures, and they include a lot of unnecessary stuff like kosher "laws" (no pork, shellfish, and mixing meat with dairy), as well as other old rules such as one not to shave your beard with a razor. Somewhere along the line, it became dogma in ancient times to be hundreds of commandments rather than the initial ten that Moses came down with on Mount Sinai.

    Essentially, the point I was trying to convey was, Simon reformed Judaism to a point where Jews would only be distinguished from other religious groups such as Christians in religious traditions and rituals, and not cultural ones. In other words, Jews ceased to be an ethnicity at that point, and they only differ from Christians in terms of religion, but not in terms of the more vast aspects of culture.

    As for shaving the facial hair with a razor, eastern Slavic Jews initially don't shave with razors, because long beards were still popular with eastern Slavic gentiles at that time. But all this changed when Ivan Petrov brought the Renaissance to Russia in 1395. Soon after that happened, all Russian aristocratic men got haircuts and had their facial hair shaved off. This group of men included Grand Prince Basil I of Moscow, who was born in 1371 and reigned from 1391 to 1435. To top that off, Grand Prince Basil decreed a heavy tax of facial hair to all men who refused to shave and could afford it. Peasant men were encouraged to shave, but were exempt from the tax. So if you wanted to be exempt from the tax while you could afford it, you were required to shave your beard.

    As for the Simon Says part, I'm going to roll the dice on that one, but I figure it might lead to that game coming out sooner than it originally did, come to think of it.

    Does all that answer your questions?
     
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