The meaning of the flag.


A Major Point of Contention between the Zadokite Priesthood and the Hasmonean Priesthood?

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 God:" "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 addition, erecting a wall between us and this portion of our "roots" can lead us to voluntarily cutting ourselves off from its considerable wealth.

Consider the evidence in the MMT Scroll and the Manual of Discipline. For example, the Sons of Zadok (Sadducees) maintained the tradition of the white linen garments of the priesthood even in their exile to Qumran. The wicked (Pharisee) priest of Jerusalem had forsaken Torah commandments of wearing the white linen garments of the priesthood.

In light of the current preparation for the reinstitution of the Temple Cult we must investigate all areas of the conflict between the Sadducees and the Pharisees; so that errors of the past be not repeated.

As a point of departure, I have chosen one specific subject. This aspect - one of the most central ones - in the debate between these two groups - regards the calendar: a subject which is central to Judaism to this day. In doing so the reader must realize the importance of the calendar to Judaism; and that the writer's intent is not to discredit, but that it is to properly build for the future.

In our future lies a time of Restitution. This restitution must not be built on the errors that were causes for the events of the 9th of Av and the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash. Truth must survive, whatever the cost to the memory of either the School of Hillel, the School of Shamai, the Sadducees or the Pharisees. After all, the underlying truth is that these became, in the end, little more than opposing political parties using the same tools which political parties use today. In the end, they both became caricatures much like the elephant and the donkey are today. In the beginning, the first had sought spirituality for Israel; the second came to promote strong central government and legislation to fight against Hellenism.

Toynbee wrote in his book about Greek culture, that the cardinal sin of Greek culture - from the Christian point of view - was its humanism. Hellenism held man in high esteem and viewed the world through human lenses. Together with abandoning all the primitive feelings of fear associated with paganism, the transition to this Greek humanism had done irreparable harm to the concept of holiness to which the Sadducees held.

Within the Greek Hellenism the sense of awe - not the primitive fear of the early pagans, but true religious fear, the awe associated with "Holy, holy, holy is the Hashem of Hosts," the G-d on High - this diminished and disappeared. When we see gods as humans (only slightly more sophisticated, perhaps) or as philosophical abstractions, then there is no longer any room for a sense of fear, awe or majesty.

This led to the obliteration in Greek culture of a category fundamental to us: commandments. In our world, man sees himself first and foremost as someone who is commanded, as the bearer of a Divine mission, as carrying upon his shoulders a task which must be fulfilled. This concept is generally lacking in the classical Greek world of Plato and Aristotle, and it was to fight for this concept that the Pharisees became a political force.

It appears that the REAL justification for the Oral Law being "inspired" -- is that it teaches the lunar-solar calendar. It also appears that the REAL justification for the lunar-solar calendar -- is that it is defined in the Oral Law. When these two justifications are taken together, they offer little confidence in either. When posed the question, "Is there any REAL justification for the teaching that the Talmud (Oral Law) was given to Moses at the same time as the Torah was given? What part of the Oral Law REALLY WAS given when the Torah was given?" Rabbi Mordechai Becher and the Rabbis at Ohr Somayach Institutions, Jerusalem, give us the following answer, which confirms the above conclusion:

"Good question, which is hard to do justice to in an email piece. I suggest a book called "The Infinite Chain: Torah, Mesorah and Man" by Rabbi Natan Lopez-Cordoza. I will try to answer your question briefly - In order to even read the Written Torah which is without vowels or punctuation requires an oral tradition. In addition for emphasis, emotion, pauses and continuity as well as for legal definitions, such as Work on Sabbath, affliction on Yom kippur, life, day, etc. In other words the Torah is incomprehensible without Oral traditions. Was the author being cruel? Or did He provide additional explanations? We say that the Oral Law is the Author's explanation of the Written Law In fact, it is mentioned in the Torah itself - "And you shall slaughter your flocks and cattle... as I have commanded you" - Deuteronomy 12:21 even though nowhere in the written law is the method of slaughter explained. In addition there are a number of pieces of evidence that indicate an ancient oral tradition."

  1. "Uniform acceptance of basic principles. (Even Karaites and Sadducees) by worldwide Jewish communities throughout history.
  2. "Artifacts predating redaction of Mishnah. e.g. Tefilin, Mikvaot - that conform exactly to the oral law requirements. (Yadin, Qumran, Masad
    c) "Septuagint's Greek translations. e.g. tashbitu = destroy (Exodus 12:15, B.T. Pesachim 21a - is usually in concurrence with the oral "day after Shabbat" (Leviticus 23:11) = "day after Passover".
    Hellenistic works.
    d) "Prophets accept Oral Law as given. E.g. Carrying and commerce on Sabbath (Jeremiah 17:21-22)
    e) "Judah the Prince lived in the Roman Empire, most Jews live in the Persian Empire. Nevertheless the Mishnah was universally accepted.
    f) "Consistency and universality of complex calendar among all communities, even without communications. And the entire calendar is based mainly on Oral tradition.

" RECENT FINDINGS At Qumran in 1947, there were apocalyptic scrolls found, and among them the Books of Jubilees and the Second Mikdash writings of Enoch I which discuss the calendar and dating system by which these people lived. Scholars had been attentive of the Apocryphal Calendar before this find, but interest was renewed with the discovery of these scrolls by which the Qumran sect lived. It is based on 364 days per year. The year is divided into four periods (to correspond to the four seasons of the year), of 13 weeks or 91 days in each period. There are 12 months in each year or a total of 52 weeks. By using this exact measure and beginning the year on the Wednesday just after the vernal equinox, the holy days fall exactly on the same day, in the same month, every year.

This calendar warrants extensive study, as there are now numerous proofs it was the calendar used by Abraham, King Solomon, King David, and High Priest Zadok in the First Holy Mikdash. A different calendar was used in the Second Commonwealth, but that Mikdash had no Presence, no Ark of the Covenant, and no means for its apostate priesthood to communicate directly with Hashem. In fact, it is recorded that 300 high priests during the second Mikdash period, died when they went into the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur. Something, perhaps many things, were wrong with the Second Mikdash Cult.

A team of scholars was appointed to study the scrolls in 1952. They became an elite and secretive clique. In 1991 this monopoly was effectively broken when the Huntington Library in California announced it would allow public access to its collection of Dead Sea Scrolls photographs. This was soon followed by the publication of a Facsimile Edition by the Biblical Archaeology Society in Washington, D.C. Until this time scholars previously controlling access to the Scrolls had been publicly contending that there was nothing interesting in the remaining unpublished Scrolls and nothing throwing further light on Judaism and Christianity's rise in Palestine. (The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, Professor Robert Eisenman & Michael Wise).

The Talmud does not explain this calendar exactly, but does mention the argument of the calendars between the Pharisees and Sadducees.

The Torah tells us that as the Second Mikdash was dedicated, the joyous noises of the happy Jews were drowned out by the grief-stricken cries of those older people who remembered the glory of the Solomon's Mikdash. There was not a lot of money in Jerusalem in those years, and worse still, there were not a lot of Jews; most had decided to stay behind in the strong Torah-communities of the exile rather than face the dangers and discomfort of settling the Holy Land. As if that wasn't enough, the local political climate at the birth of the second commonwealth was far from stable. Kussim (Samaritans), struggling for the favor of the Persian king, fought physical and political battles against the fragile Jewish community. The community itself was small and at times badly weakened by ignorance of Torah's commandments and even intermarriage

(Nechemiya 9, 2). The result of all the turmoil was a Mikdash that - while grand - couldn't compare to its predecessor. How could it be otherwise? The builders literally had to go about their work with sword in one hand (Nechemiya 4,15) and tools in the other. This second Mikdash lacked the ark (it had been buried decades before the previous destruction to protect it from the hands of the enemy); the high priest had no breastplate from which to consult G-d's advice (either the stones were missing or, according to another opinion, were there, but did not light up in response to questions); there were fewer open miracles with which to see the Divine presence and the materials and architecture of the building itself were disappointing. But it was better than exile.

The fact was, the whole period of the second empire was anyway a kind of half-exile. The sages, led by the 120 members of the Anshei Knesset Hagadol (Men of the Great Assembly), actually used the years of the Second Commonwealth as a preparation for the longer exile they knew would come. It was this body which, among other things, instituted much of the siddur (prayerbook) that we have today.

These were declining years for the Jewish people. Just over the horizon lay a seemingly endless exile. The future was bleak and the world's various powers (The Persians, Greeks and Romans) would not leave the little land and its people to enjoy its present either. But for the existence of our great leaders, like Shimon Hatzadik, Shemaya and Avtalion, Hillel and Shamai and Rabbi Akiva, our people would long before have been swallowed up by the sands of time. It was only the Torah - the Torah of those leaders - that acted as a beacon in the dark night to define us as a nation and show us the path to follow.

One of the earliest high priests of the Second Mikdash, Shimon Hatzadik was also one of the most famous. It was Shimon who was shown the image of a holy man clothed in white every Yom Kipur as he left the holy of holies (on the fortieth year, the last of his life, the image wore black - TB Menachos 109b). It was Shimon who, throughout his term as high priest Godol, merited that the oil in the "western" cup of the menora burned longer than any other (even though it was lit last) a clear, yet daily, miracle (TB Yoma 39a).

It was a very young Shimon who, at the head of a procession of Jerusalem's sages, set out to greet the great emperor, Alexander. The Greek, as far as anyone knew, was planning to destroy Jerusalem and end what he saw as its opposition to his rule. At the head of his huge army, astride his tall horse, Alexander was not likely to give the Jews much time to plead their case. But it was the face of Shimon that inspired the king to dismount and kneel on the ground before the Rabbi. "This face," explained Alexander, "appeared to me before every battle which I won..." (TB Yoma 69a) It was Shimon who strengthened the walls of the Holy City, and with them, the hearts of the dispirited Jews who had given up everything to live near the Mikdash. Shimon Hatzadik, A Sadducee of the Line of Zadok served as High Priest for 40 years. It was he who, as much as anyone, built the foundation for Jewish life in Israel for the next four hundred years, and by extension, set the tone for Jewish life until this day yet he, too, endured a personal struggle.

In one of the great ironies of history, Shimon Hatzadik, one of our people's greatest teachers, seemed to have had at least one son who was somehow ignorant in Torah-matters. The Talmud (Menachos 109b) leaves us with the story of Shimon, who, nearing death, instructed his younger son, Chonyo, to take over as high priest. Chonyo, it seems, wished not to embarrass his older brother, Shimi, and gave up the position. But as the day approached for Shimi to take on his new responsibilities, Chonyo regretted his generosity. He plotted to have his brother expelled from the position - and perhaps even killed! How did he do it? Knowing that his brother knew little about the Mikdash service, Chonyo offered to instruct Shimi on the details of the induction service. "Put on these clothes," he told his older brother, handing him women's clothing, "and meet me tomorrow morning in the Mikdash courtyard." The next day, Chonyo waited with all the rest of the priests for his brother's arrival. When Shimi came, dressed as he was, Chonyo pointed and shouted: "Look at that man! He promised his wife that as a sign of his love for her, he would wear her clothes the day he became high priest!"

The other priests chased Shimi, intending to punish him for disgracing the Mikdash. But before they could do anything, Shimi managed to figure out what had happened and told the whole story. Now the priests' attention turned back to Chonyo, the real culprit... By the time all the dust had settled, Shimon Hatzadik's brother, Eliezer, was Kohen Godol and Chonyo was in Alexandria, Egypt. Once there, Chonyo built an altar and began to attract a following among the local gentiles, his goal, to teach the people about the true worship of the One G-d. No Jew offered sacrifices on this altar as Jewish sacrifices outside of the Mikdash in Jerusalem were (and still are) strictly forbidden. Eventually, Chonyo returned to Jerusalem and took up the position of high priest he had lost so many years before. Three generations later, another Chonyo (a direct descendent of Shimon Hatzadik's son) travelled to Egypt. He too built an altar - actually a replica from the Mikdash in Jerusalem - and there Jews offered their own (forbidden) sacrifices. Such was the strange state of the Jewish community of Alexandria.

...And if you think a Jewish Mikdash in Alexandria was strange, wait 'till you hear about Yeb! Around ninety years ago, archaeologists working near the present-day site of the Aswan Dam (on the Nile River) discovered a collection of perfectly preserved papyrus letters. The letters seemed to be the correspondence of the soldiers of a Persian garrison stationed in the area towards the beginning of the Second Mikdash period. What is interesting to us, is that these paid soldiers - and their families who lived alongside them - were Jewish! They lived in the garrison town for generations, cut off from Jewish life. Reading the letters (written originally in Aramaic) we can learn a great deal about the Jewish life of the period. For one thing, these Jews had a temple dedicated to idol worship. Apparently, some Egyptian vandals destroyed their temple and the Jews applied to the Persian governor in Alexandria for permission to rebuild it. They were unsuccessful. Later they wrote to the Jewish governor in Jerusalem from whom they received the permission to do what they wanted. In another letter, the high priest in Jerusalem found it necessary to inform the people of Yeb that the festival of Passover was approaching and that it was forbidden to eat chometz for the whole week. It is hard to imagine the ignorance that plagued such Jews EVEN WHILE THE MIKDASH STILL STOOD!

The majority of Jews chose not to follow Ezra up to the Holy Land to rebuild the Second Mikdash. While the communities of the exile contributed funds and resources to the project, they were noticeably missing from the shattered city. Ezra, the leader of his generation, spoke harshly about those who stayed behind and on some of them, even invoked curses. The Jewish world was much bigger than one might think:. Babylonia: (modern-day Iraq) was the main Torah community and was host to the greatest Jewish population in the world. Already at the time of the destruction of the first Mikdash, the Babylonian community was strong and ready to receive and support the new exiles. It was one of G-d's many kindnesses that He arranged for Torah leaders to be brought to Babylonia to prepare a home, decades before the mass of Jewish exiles would arrive. North Africa: To this day, the island of Djerba is home to an ancient Jewish community. Strangely enough, they are nearly all priests (kohanim, a few yisroelim and no leviim at all. Legend has it that Ezra cursed the leviim of Djerba for not going to Jerusalem when they were needed. There is also a legend that any levy who goes to Djerba, will die within a year. don't personally know anyone who's put it to the test. France: France, four hundred years BEFORE the building of the first Mikdash.

There is a tradition from the Sefer Meiros Eynayim (a commentator on Shulchan Aruch, quoted by She'eris Yisroel), that there were members of the tribe of Benjamin who escaped from the Jewish civil war - fought just one hundred years after the exodus from Egypt (see Judges, chapters 19 and 20) - and ran to France. One of the communities they founded was the famous city of Worms (Rashi's home). The Sefer Meiros Eynayim contends that one of the reasons the city of Worms suffered so badly at the hands of the medieval crusaders was because their ancestors had failed to answer Ezra's plea for immigrants to the fledgling Jewish community in Jerusalem. The hand of the old sage, Ezra, reaches far indeed.

The name Sadducee is derived from that of Zadok, the high priest of the Jerusalem Mikdash in the time of Solomon. But what proof have we that these Zaddikim were, in fact the rightful priesthood, expelled from the Mikdash by an apostate sect? What proof have they offered to us that their laws and customs bear the mark of authenticity?

Proof of the Zaddikim's authenticity lies in the evidence that they were the keepers of the true implements of the Mikdash Cult from the First Temple (Mikdash). Since the time of King Solomon, virtually without interruption up until the time of the Hasmonean Revolt, the Zadokite Priests had been in control of the Jerusalem Mikdash. They trace their ancestry back to the high priest Zadok, who officiated in King Solomon's Mikdash. It was members of this group who were to become known as Sadducees to the Pharisees. In other words, the Sadducees were the priestly aristocracy, The prophet Ezekiel (Ezek. 44:9-16) assigned the priestly duties exclusively to this family.

In fact, according to the T'nach, only the sons of Zadok (the Zaddikim or Sadducees) will have the right to make sacrifices in the New Mikdash; see Ezek. 40:46. This means that the Dynasty of Zadok, the First High Priest in the Mikdash, will be restored. These items would include such items as the Mikdash incense, the anointing oil of the priesthood, the ashes of the Red Heifer, and the Ark of the Covenant.

Josephus, himself a priest of the Pharisees who had no knowledge of the Oral Law being given on Mt. Sinai, relates that the Sadducees reflected the traditions of the Fathers, which seems to have been the forerunner of the Oral Law, and was also observed as law by the Pharisees. It follows then that at the time of the First Holy Mikdash, it was not taught that the Oral Law was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai. On the contrary, a smaller body of law was, at that time, referred to as TRADITION. Both groups adhered to this tradition. To justify and venerate their own rulings, the Pharisees began to call their own legislation the very Word of G-d. In this way they set themselves above their vanquished foe, the Sadducees, and rewrote history. The truth, however, has come back to bite them in the form of the Dead Sea Scrolls of the Sadducees.

Dr. Lawrence Schiffman, Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University in the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and also in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Literature, focused on the unique Halakhah peculiar to the Dead Sea sect. He began his study of the legal material with is doctoral dissertation in 1974, which dealt with "The Halakhah at Qumran."

A year later, in 1975, his dissertation was published in a volume by the same name, that dealt with the "conceptual framework behind the legal material in the Qumran corpus, how the sect derived its law, and how its members perceived this process. In 1991, he was appointed to the team publishing and researching the Dead Sea Scrolls. Dr. Schiffman has the respect of his contemporaries in Dead Sea Scrolls research as evidenced by the comments of Herschel Shanks and Emanuel Tov on the cover of his recent book, "Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls". Regarding the Qumran Sect, he tells us that: "The earliest members must have been Sadducees unwilling to accept the status quo establishment in the aftermath of the Maccabean revolt. The Maccabees, by replacing the Zadokite high priesthood with their own, reduced the Zadokites to a subsidiary position for as long as Hasmonean rule lasted. Even after leaving Jerusalem, the Dead Sea sect continued to refer to its leaders as the 'Sons of Zadok'. These were indeed Sadducees who protested the imposition of Pharisaic views in the Temple under the Hasmonean priests."


From the text of the Zadokites Fragments found in the Cairo genizah, we learn that "in ancient times Israel went astray." As a result G-d "hid His face" and allowed the destruction of the First Mikdash in 586 BCE, "yet a remnant of the defeated people remained," and it was they, who ultimately formed the sect." The Sadducee sect at Qumran, by their way of life and beliefs, claimed to be this remnant and the true Israel. The text below is telling us that the sect arose from Israel (the people) and from Aaron (the priesthood).

It also presents a chronological date for the formation of the Qumran Sadducee sect: "And in the period of wrath, three hundred and ninety years after He handed it (the Mikdash) over to Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon, He remembered them (Israel) and caused to grow from Israel and Aaron the root of a plant (i.e. the sect)." Zadokite Fragments 1:5-7.THE PHARISEES Modern Rabbinic Judaism is descended from the Pharisees, who appeared (by name) suddenly in history as a distinct entity during the Hasmonean period, in the time of Jonathan Maccabee (150 BCE). These "Rabbinic sources trace their history back to the 'Men of the Great Assembly', who are said to have provided the religious leadership for Israel in the Persian and early Hellenistic periods.

" When the "Pharisees appear in Hasmonean times, they are part of a governing council that serves in coalition with the Sadducees, with whom they sought to advance their vision of how the Jewish People should live and govern themselves." Encyclopedia Judaica informs us that the name Pharisee is derived from the Hebrew word "perushim"; which means "cast out". Originally the Sadducees cast the perushim out of the Sanhedrin for their heretical ideas. These "cast out" Perushim, usurped the Zadokite Dynasty with the Hasmonean Dynasty -- and only 35% of the time did they come out of the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur, alive.

The Gemara (Yoma 9a) states that the first Holy Mikdash where the Dynasty of Zadok served and which stood for 410 years, only had 18 High Priests who served in it. Tosafot state that Divrei Hayamim (I Chronicles 5:36) itemizes only eight High Priests who served.

In the second Holy Mikdash, which abided for 420 years, more than 300 Pharisee priests served. If you subtract the 40 years which Shimeon the Righteous served, the 80 years which Yochanan the High Priest served, the 10 years which Yishmael b. Fabi served or, as some say, the 11 years of Rabbi Eleazar b. Charsum, and then count the number of High Priests from then on -- you will find that none of them completed his year in office. The Jewish Press, Friday, May 9, 1997 states: "They all died when they entered the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur to pray for a good year for all Jews. This happened because they were corrupt. They bought the high priestly office for money and also accepted bribes."

The people were so accustomed to see the priests die that they tied a rope around them and, when they didn't walk out from the Holy of Holies, the people knew they had died and they were then pulled out, for no one else was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies.

With the release of 4QMMT ("The Halakhic Letter" from the Dead Sea Scrolls) in 1985, the Sadducees exiled to Qumran once again spoke from their graves. The letter asserts that when an upper vessel, the source of a liquid stream is pure and the lower vessel is not, if the stream connects both liquids, then the impurity is also in the upper vessel. This assertion is even found in the Mishnah: "The Sadducees say: 'We complain against you Pharisees, for you declare pure the (poured out) liquid stream'". M Yadayim 4:7. The laws regarding the Red Heifer are also explained according to the Sadducean position.

One reason for HaShem to strike dead these 300 Perushim, who usurped the Zadokite Dynasty with the Hasmonean Dynasty; was called "deliberate contamination to undermine the influence of the Sadducees". Rabbi Chaim Richman, in his book The Mystery of the Red Heifer - Divine Promise of Purity (vanity published, 1997) describes this deliberate contamination (making the High Priest unfit) before he officiated the burning of the red heifer: "...Meanwhile, the elders of Israel left the Temple earlier, and already reached the place on the Mount of Olives prior to the arrival of the priest and his entourage. They embarked across the bridge by foot, as opposed to riding, to demonstrate how much they cherished the commandment of G-d. (sic)

"At the Place of Burning, they await the arrival of the procession. The Mishna records that an unusual procedure took place once the priest reached them: After the entire week during which he was so carefully guarded from the slightest shadow of impurity, the elders would deliberately contaminate him! Once again, this was done on account of the serious dispute between the Sages (sic) and the Sadducees. The traditional Mosaic law which states that immersion is sufficient purification for the attending priest, and that it is unnecessary for him to wait until after sunset, was not accepted by the Sadducees. By not accepting any traditional laws, the Sadducees declared war on the system established by the G-d of Israel Himself. (sic) In order to prove and maintain the authority and authenticity of these laws, the sages were careful at such an important and public occasion as the burning of a new heifer, to undermine the seditious Saduccean influence with the greatest publicity, and in the most ostentatious manner, as possible.

"The sages (sic) of Israel placed their hands upon the priest's head. (Some opinions hold that it was by this laying of the hands that they made him impure; other authorities maintain that they touched him with some other source of impurity). To facilitate the purpose of immediate purification from this contamination (so that he would burn the heifer directly, without waiting, as per the prevailing opinion of the sages), there was a special mikveh built at this spot for the kohen to immerse himself before beginning his task. With their hands upon his head, the elders declared: 'My master, the High Priest! Immerse yourself once!'

"The priest descended into the Chamber of Immersion and purified (sic) himself, and came up and dried himself. Through this act of contamination and purification, witnessed by a large assembly in the presence of the elders of Israel, the influence of the Sadducees and their illicit, unfounded rulings was silenced. At the same time, with the exception of this necessarily deliberate device which had its emphasis on the one specific halachic point of not waiting until sunset, the hallmark of the entire procedure was purity in the highest degree (sic). The most elaborate precautions had been taken for that purpose, as we have seen throughout." (emphasis added).

Of course, all who were sprinkled from the resultant impure ashes were rendered unclean, and when the ritually impure High Priest from the usurping Hasmonean dynasty entered into the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur, he was struck dead and pulled away from the Presence with a rope. This being the case, one must wonder if a prudent priesthood would venture to use the ashes from the Second Holy Mikdash; even if they were found! To do so would bring the curse which fell upon the apostate Hasmonean Dynasty.If the Third Holy Mikdash is to be built and the priesthood purified and restored: It is of major importance that the ancient Halakhah and calendar be restored, and the Priesthood and Temple worship be kept pure.

The Copper Scroll from the Qumran Community offers this proof, for researchers studying the Copper Scroll have already located The Qetoret (Mikdash Incense) found in 1992 dig:
An estimated 600 lbs. of what looked like "reddish earth" was uncovered at the North entrance of the Cave of the Column by excavation volunteers in the late Spring of 1992. Team members reported detecting the smell of cinnamon present in the substance. Preliminary analysis by Dr. Marvin Antelman of the Wiezmann Institute revealed that the find was indeed, organic. "Density indicates that the material which is lighter than water is excluded from the category of red soil or red minerals......also the high percentage of ash is typical of plant source." Dr. Antelman later told the Jerusalem Post in a story dated May 1, 1992, "I'm very excited about this find. He added that he had positively identified borit karshina (karsina lye) which is one of the ingredients spelled out in the Talmud."

Recently, Dr. Terry Hutter performed a more exhaustive analysis and stated that, "the red-brown spice sample is composed of nine different and unique plants. The plants are recognizable both by pollen and organic maceral types." Dr. Hutter listed these as: Three kinds of Cinnamon, Saffron, Balsam, Myrrh, Galbanum, Cassia, and Frankincense.

The quantity of the Incense is also significant. It corresponds to the amount prepared for one year of daily Temple service. The Torah only lists four ingredients for the Qetoret. The Mishna lists eleven, in addition to Sodom salt and Karcina lye. The latter text also tells of the Avtinas family and how they were charged with the secret of compounding these precious spices. The fragrance of the Qetoret was said to be so powerful that that when it was being prepared, one could smell it as far away as Jericho, 12 miles to the north of Qumran.
Curiously, when young Muhammed edh-Dhib, discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, only two of the ten clay jars contained anything. One of the pots held the Scrolls and the other was filled with "reddish earth"; Shemen Afarshimon.

The Shemen Afarismon, the Holy Anointing Oil, from the Holy Temple, was found in April, 1988 by the VJRI excavation team. After intensive testing by the Pharmaceutical Department of Hebrew University, financed by the VJRI, the substance inside the small juglet was verified to indeed be the Shemen Afarshimon of Psalm 133.
The oil was used as the fragrance on the oblation for a sweet smelling savor on the sacrifices. It was also used as the Holy Anointing Oil for the priest, prophets and kings.

The finding of the oil was important for two reasons. It is the first item to be found from the Second Temple period and is one of the items listed among the treasures in the Copper Scroll.

On February 15, 1989, the news of the find was broken to the public by the New York Times newspaper. During the ensuing few weeks, most major news media institutions, ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN, carried the story on national and international television. In October, 1989, National Geographic Magazine featured the find, followed by Omni Magazine in December of the same year. Countless other news sources carried the story for their publications. Few scholars indeed have admitted the significance of this find in relation to the identity of the Qumran Community, nor have they considered the possibility these were the rightful Mikdash Priesthood. Still, Allegro makes it abundantly clear that until the first Exile, Israel observed the solar Jubilee Calendar as the Zaddikim teach (while speaking of the Qumran Community as "Essenes". -- The scrolls themselves, however, speak of the Qumran Community as the Sons of Zadok, the Zaddikim (the Righteous Ones). The Hebrew term "Zaddikim" is translated to English as "Sadducees". These were the rightful lineage of King David's anointed high priest, the Kohen Gadol.

"It is clear from the Scrolls and certain apocryphal works like the books of Jubilees and Enoch, long known but now recognized as having emanated from Essene circles, that the sectarians observed their religious festivals according to a solar-based calendar, whereas the official Temple cultus [during the Second Temple Era] was regulated according to lunar observations. It has been shown that, in fact, the Essene system was the more ancient and traditional, traceable in literature to the time of the Exile at least, and, as with so much of Essene thinking, having its roots in the very heart of the old agricultural life of ancient Israel. The official adoption of a 'new-fangled' lunar reckoning may have been no older than the later Maccabean leadership, when it seemed more important to integrate Judaism closer into the Hellenistic world... If some form of dual-calendar compromise had ever been tried, the Hellenistic lunar arrangement being followed for diplomatic and commercial purposes, and the traditional solar reckoning being maintained for cultic use, it did not apparently satisfy the purist inclinations of the Essenes" (Allegro, Myth, p. 34).

Originally, Israel reckoned time and set festivals according to the ancient solar calendar the Sumerians or Babylonians used only for astronomical purposes. This calendar was very similar to the solar calendar used by the Egyptians during Israel's 430 year captivity there. Since the Karaites and Falashas did not follow the direction of the Pharisaic school during and after the Babylonian Captivity; they retained the solar "Jubilee" Calendar. The lunar calendar originally was useful only to the Babylonians for purposes of the Babylonian Mystery-Religion. By observation of the dates in the T'nach that the ancient patriarchs labored and began journeys you may arrive at what calendar they used. Only if they were keeping the Jubilee calendar did the dates they began journeys fall on all days of the week but Shabbat. All those who observe the Rabbinic lunar calendar celebrate the High Holy Days at the wrong time.

In fact, during the Babylonian captivity after the first Commonwealth the Jewish people abandoned not only the Hebrew Calendar and customs - but also the Hebrew Alphabet. What we today consider the Hebrew Alphabet, Customs, and Calendar - is in truth Babylonian, and Assyrian (in the case of the modern alphabet, the Ksav Ashuris: Munk, p. 233). The modern Hebrew script is called Ksav Ashuris because it is of Assyrian origin ("Sanhedrin", 21b- 22a). The Torah was first written in Ksav Ivri (Ancient Hebrew Script). It was from this ancient script the Greeks derived their alphabet. Rabbinic Judaism abandoned it to the Samaritans (calling them the Cuthites) supposedly because it was "mundane" and "ungainly" ("Sanhedrin", 21b). Even the Torah's command to wear tassels (tzit-tzit) with a thread of blue is by and large ignored today. Only a few orthodox Jews have begun again to wear the tekhelet.

But regarding the calendar, the Torah teaches the sun is to govern "their appointed days" and the moon, the season. The days are determined by the travel of the sun's annual circuit through the 6 gates of the eastern horizon.

"It was an ancient custom among the Israelites to observe the new moon as a semi-festival, because the moon, being of dark substance and having to receive light from another planet, reflects the fate of Israel in this world (Fisch, p. 161). Obadiah Ben-Jacob Sforno (1475-1550) showed this to be the reason for "your"(Num. 28:11) in relation to the new moon and not to other festivals, and is undoubtedly the original "justification" used for adopting the Babylonian lunar calendar - which must have existed alongside Moshe's "Jubilee" calendar until into the Hasmonean Dynasty.

Notice that Moshe was instructed to give no changes to the then extant calendar, other than when the new year was to begin. At the time they left Egypt, after their 430 year sojourn there, they could have been using no other calendar than the Solar Calendar. Since this calendar was accurate, certainly much more so than the Babylonian lunar calendar (remember that the Babylonians used the solar calendar for astronomical purposes), Torah did not institute another. The Egyptian calendar was solar in nature, with 12 months of 30 days and five intercalary days added.

The Encyclopedia of Religion And Ethics records that even into the 9th Century C.E. remaining Zaddikim observed Solar months of 30 days, similar to this Egyptian Solar Calendar. The Zaddikim (called the Sadducees in the English Bible) were a sect formed of Priests, merchants, and aristocrats. Their name derives from Zadok, the high priest in the days of King David. Y'chezkel (Ezekiel 40:46; 43:19 & 44:10-15) selected this family as worthy of being entrusted with the control of the Mikdash. They were the conservative priestly group, holding to the older doctrines.

The Qumran Community, composed of these Zaddikim observed the Solar Jubilee Calendar.
Moshe had been educated as a prince in Egypt. His knowledge of the solar calendar was evidently passed to his brother Aharon; and this knowledge remained with Aharon and the priesthood. Egypt kept a year of 365 days. Every four years this calendar would fall one day short of the solar cycle. The Jubilee (solar) calendar, with 364 days, would fall five days short in the same period of time. However by observing the Biblical command concerning when to begin the year, this calendar would remain correct - and the High Holy Days would fall on the same day of the week every year.

Originally then, it seems observation of the New Moon was not for the purpose of determining the calendar - but only so that the New Moons might be observed as Hashem had instructed.
Even the Mishna ("Tosefta Nazir") acknowledges the existence of the solar year and sets its length at 364 days. Jehuda the Persian, in the 9th Century CE, wrote that the Jews "had always reckoned by solar months (Sachau, p. 69). This would seem to indicate Israel was doing exactly as Babylon: reckoning the year by the solar calendar, but using a lunar calendar for religious purposes.

"The distinguished scholar Geza Vermes has written 'To the (Qumran) Community this (the Lunar calendar) was an abomination of the Gentiles and directly counter to the certain Law from the mouth of G-d. It had itself (the Qumran Community) inherited, probably from priestly circles, a solar calendar based on the laws of the Great Light in heaven (Gen. 1:14) in which the year was divided into fifty-two weeks exactly; into, that is to say, four seasons of thirteen weeks'" (Pfeiffer, p. 75; Levy, 1983). Hebrew University Professor S. Talmon's book, "The World of Qumran from Within," contains a table outlining the Jubilee solar calendar, which, unlike the lunar calendar of Rabbinic Judaism, is remarkable for its regularity. Professor Talmon shows the first day of the New Year always falls on Wednesday. This meant that the Day of Atonement always fell on a Friday; Sukkot on a Wednesday; Pesach on a Wednesday; and the Feast of Weeks on a Sunday. Shemaryahu Talmon. The World of Qumran from Within (Jerusalem, 1989).

Found among the other scrolls at Qumran were the Book of Jubilees (Sefer Yobel) and the Book of Enoch; both of which explain the Hebrew version of the solar calendar. Until these scrolls were found at Qumran they had been only extant in the Ethiopic and Greek, since the early 1800's. The Temple Scroll from Qumran affirms that this was the calendar used by the Community; besides being the calendar used by the Zaddikim (Sadducees). The Encyclopedia Judaica advises that the Falasha Jews use the calendar of the Book of Jubilees, and base their ritual observances on it (Vol. 10, p. 326). Kenneth A. Strand (Strand, pp. 33-45) advances persuasive arguments that "the 364 days fixed solar 'priestly' calendar... could well have been adopted by a segment of early (messianic Jews)." Since Shavuot/Pentecost always falls on "Sunday" on this calendar, Strand sees a possible inference in some gentile minds for the observance of "Sunday."

If we can consider the Book of Jubilees as midrash, as it was undoubtedly intended, we find that the solar calendar consisted of 364 days, divided into four seasons of three months each, thirteen weeks to a season. Each month had thirty days, with one day intercalated for each of the four seasons. There were exactly fifty-two weeks in the year, the first day of the first month always falling on Wednesday. Thus the festivals would always recur on exactly the same day of the week each year.

The year began on the fourth day of the week (Wednesday) because it was explicitly written in the opening chapter of Genesis: "And Elohim said, 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years...' And it was so... And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day" (vs. 14-19). A traditional explanation for beginning each year and season on the 4th day of the week is found in the Talmud ("Rosh Hashanah" 11a): according to tradition the world was created in the (first month - Abib), and as the recognized era is reckoned from that event, an attempt was made to calculate the date of the conjunction which began the first month of Abib. The result arrived at was 4d, 9h, 642p,... i.e. Wednesday, 3h. 35'40" after midnight.

So then, the ancient Hebrews, believing the first day of the first year would have begun on the 4th day of the week - began each calendar year on this day of the week. When Ex. 34:18; 9:31 is observed no calculation is necessary, since observance of the barley each spring would keep the calendar in proper season and initiate one intercalated week approximately each Sabbatical and Jubilee year. The Jubilee year then, begins on "Wednesday" and always ends on "Tuesday."

The only annual changes to this calendar would be the lunar phases, which would simply be affixed to the "Jubilee" calendar as they are to the Julian calendar today - making the "Jubilee" calendar preferable to the calendar commonly in use today all over the world.

One might compare this with the present Rabbinical calendar, which only 40% of the time honors its own rule of being a lunar calendar because of these "postponements":

A. "Yom Kippur can not precede or follow a weekly Shabbat.
B. The last feast day of Sukkot can not fall on Shabbat.
C. Pesach can fall only on the 2d, 3d, 6th, or 7th day of the week."

These postponements (dehioth) dictate that the months will not begin on the exact day of the New Moon. In other words the Rabbinical calendar is based not on the moon or Torah. It is based on the Babylonian Mystery-Religion, and on the Talmud, compiled by the Pharisees.

The Zaddikim taught that the four quarters of the Solar- Jubilee Calendar are the four seasons of change in climate and vegetation; that the universe moves in perfect numerical harmony; and that any other reckoning of the year is wrong. They stressed that there are exactly 52 (4 x 13) weeks in the year, and that those who use a lunar calendar observe the Festivals on the wrong dates. They also taught that Shavuot is the 15th of the third month. This date on the Jubilee calendar always falls on the first day of the week. Also, the first and last days of Pesach are always the 4th day of the week.

The Pharisees and rabbis today understand "Sabbath" with regard to the counting of the Omer, as referring to first festival of Passover. Hence count began on 16th day of first month, but not on a specific day of week. Therefore Shavuot would fall on sixth day of third month, but not on a specific day of week.

Samaritans understood the "Sabbath" to always be the Saturday within and ending the Passover week while using the Jubilee Calendar. The fifty-day count began on Sunday, the 26th and Shavuot turned out to be always on Sunday, the 15th day of third month.

Rabbis, following the tradition of the Pharisees emphasized that the Omer should be harvested even on the Sabbath. The Pharisees would stage an elaborate ceremony as follows:
"[When the sheaf was harvested] on the Sabbath he would say to them: Is today the Sabbath? and they would respond: Yes! Is today the Sabbath? and they would respond: Yes! Should I harvest it? And they would respond: Harvest it! Should I harvest it? And they would respond: Harvest it! Each item would be repeated three times. Why so much? Because of the Boethusians who used to claim that the harvest of the sheaf was not on the morrow of the festival." (Mishnah Menahot 10:3).

Physical Evidence of Priestly Use of the Jubilee Calendar

The antiquity of the Jubilee Calendar is proven by the 7th Century BCE plaque shown in Biblical Archaeology Review (March-April, 1983, p. 37). This smooth bone plaque measures just over two inches long and one inch wide. Evidently a peg was moved each day of the month from one to the next of the 30 holes arranged in three rows of ten holes each. In the fourth row of 12 holes, another peg would be moved to mark off the beginning of each month. The last day of the first three quarters or seasons was marked by a peg within the Proto-Aeolic capital at the top of the plaque. Similar plaques have been found at other sites in Israel.

Until Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, "Christianity" was considered to be merely another Jewish sect - observance of "Easter" was tied to the date of the "Jewish Passover." The Jews in Palestine employed the year count of the Seleucids, calling it Minyan Shetaroth (Count for Contracts). Those in the Diaspora awaited the arrival of messengers from Palestine with news of the determinations of the Sanhedrin each year before they could proclaim the annual calendar. The Gentile Christians had to wait to be told each year (by the Jews) when to observe "Easter."

The Missing 187 Years
The Rabbinic calendar of today belongs to the same family of calendars as those of the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians. All three stem from the much earlier calendar of the Sumerians - the people of southern Mesopotamia (today's Iraq) who developed Man's first known high civilization nearly 6,000 years ago. These calendars were used for religious purposes, as the sun and the moon were worshipped in ancient Mesopotamia. For astronomical purposes they relied on a second calendar, the solar or astronomical calendar (Parise, 1982).
Abraham, the first Hebrew Patriarch, migrated to Canaan from Ur - a metropolis which in his time was the royal capital of the Sumerian empire. In his days, Nippur, the religious-scientific center, had been established for many years; and was one of the main centers of moon worship. Zecharia Sitchin (linguist and biblical scholar) suggests that by calling himself Ibri ("Hebrew") Abraham simply identified himself as one born in Nippur, whose Sumerian name was Ni-Ibru -- "The Watered Place of Crossing". It was there, scholars have found, that one of Mankind's first calendars, the Nippur calendar, was devised and introduced 3760 BCE. It became standard during the golden age of ancient Babylon under Hammurabi (New Catholic Encyclopedia; Vol. 2, p. 1068).

Rabbinic years had no sequential number until the Eighth Century, CE. But the Jewish year corresponding to 1987 bore the number 5747. 5747 years since what? The traditional answer is: "Since the world was created." But we know that Earth and the solar system came into being billions of years ago. Actually, Rabbi Hillel worked through the calendar backward, from year one of the Common Era. Working out the complex calculations without the benefit of computers, he concluded the First of "Tishri" of the "first year" occurred 4,119 years earlier - in the year 3760 BCE. It was supposedly the number of years that had passed since the count of years had begun in ancient Babylon.

It was in reaction to the steps taken at the Council of Nicaea, and the new challenges facing the Jews of the time as a result, that the Sanhedrin, under the presidency of Rabbi Hillel (the Second), fixed and released to all the Jewish communities a permanent calendar (the Mundi Calendar). Along with that, the count of years was also determined. It was called Minyan Olam, "The Worldly Count". The word or connotation of Creation does not appear at all until the tenth century, in the writings of Rabbi Sherira.

In recent studies it has become evident that the Rabbinic (or Mundi Calendar) is off by a considerable number of years. It is a well known fact, for instance, that the First Mikdash was destroyed in 586 BCE and the Second Mikdash was consecrated in 516 BCE, and destroyed in 70 CE. The Second Mikdash, therefore, stood 585 years (not 586), while according to Jewish chronology, it stood only 420 years (See Yoma 9a and Yerushalmi Megilah I, 12). According to the Seder Olam and Ab. Zar. 9a, during the Second Commonwealth the Persians reigned 34 years, the Greeks 180, the Hasmoneans 103 and the Romans 103 years, which gives us a total of 420 years, a difference of 165 years. This mistake seems to lie in the time of the Persians which was much longer than 34 years (Edgar Frank: Talmundic and Rabbinical Chronology: The Systems of Counting Years in Jewish Literature; Feldmheim Publishers, NY, Jerusalem, p. 9).

This accusation is not difficult to check. The Babylonian exile ended in 538 B.C.E. with Cyrus' edict allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Mikdash. This date is supported by Ptolemy's Canon which recorded the occurrence of lunar eclipses during the Nabonasser Era, and which is verified by computerized astronomy. According to the Jewish calendar this was in the year 3410 AM (Aryeh Carmell: Aids to Talmud Study; 4th Ed., V. IX: The Roman Republic; 133-44 BC; Pompey's Later Campaigns, p. 382).

The following calculation will demonstrate the problem:
1987 CE + 538 BCE = 2525 years 5748 AM - 3410 AM = 2338 years 2525 yrs. - 2328 yrs. = 187 yrs. difference in the calendars

The Persians, Greeks and Romans were all foreign rulers. The Hasmoneans were Jewish rulers of the priestly class, but not of the line of Zadok. They also ruled as tyrants. Rabbinic sources as well as Flavius Josephus described them as tyrants who oppressed the people of the Second Commonwealth. It is not surprising to find them listed here among foreign rulers. The duration of each rule, from beginning to end, is what is recorded here, not the length of time that the Second Mikdash stood.

The Persian rule began with Cyrus' capture of Babylon in 538 BCE. Greek rule began with Alexander's conquest of the region in 333 BCE. Judas Maccabee took over the rebellion against the Syrio-Grecian Empire in 166 BCE. The Romans first extended their influence over the region when Pompey took Jerusalem in 63 BCE. By applying this information to the data recorded above we arrive at some very interesting results:
538-Cyrus - 34 yrs. = 504 BCE 333-Alexander - 180 yrs. = 153 BCE 166-Hasmoneans - 103 yrs. = 63 BCE 63-Romans + 103 yrs. = 40 CE

It is interesting that the end of the Hasmonean Era matches the beginning of the Roman Era. According to this record the Roman rule ended in 40 CE. However, it was in the spring of 41 CE that Emperor Claudius restored rule of Judea and Samaria to Agrippas I (The Cambridge Ancient History; 3d ed., V IX: The Roman Republic; 133-44 BC; Pompey's Later Campaigns, p. 382). Agrippas, unlike his grandfather King Herod, enjoyed the support of his countrymen and the rabbinate.

The solution to this enigma lies in the manner in which the rule of a king was calculated. Or, more important, when that rule was considered to have begun.

The rule of a Jewish king always began on the first of Nissan, which was the New Year of the Kings (Yom Teruah). This was in accordance with Exodus 12:2, "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you..." A foreign rule (which is what we are considered to be under today) was counted from the first of Tishri (Rosh Hashanah 2a).

The Mishna states in Rosh Hashanah Chapter 1, Mishna 1: There are four new years. On the first of Nisan is the New Year for Kings and for Festivals; on the first of Elul is the New Year for the tithe of animals - R. Eliezer and R. Simon say, on the first of Tishri - on the first of Tishri is the New Year for the years, for Sabbatical Years, for Jubilee Years, for planting and for vegetables; and on the first of Shevat is the New Year for Trees, according to the view of the School of Shammai, but the School of Hillel say, on the fifteenth thereof.

It was Annias who changed Rosh HaShanah to the 1st day of the 7th month as it remains on the Rabbinic calendar today. This was the disputation between the writer of the MMS Document found at Qumran against the ruling Pharisee Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. Babylon and many other contemporary cultures reckoned the Autumn Equinox as the first day of the 7th month, as the beginning of the year. Other more ancient calendars, however, agreeing to that stated in Exodus 12:2, reckoned the Spring Equinox as the New Year.

The Jewish scribes used what is today called an antedating, non-accession system of reckoning regal years. In this system, if a king began to rule before the first of Nissan, even by only one day his second year began that New Year of the Kings. Since the Roman Era was considered to have ended in 40 CE, then he must have come to power before the first of Nissan; and thereby, was accredited with all of the preceding year.

The Hasmonean Era is here calculated from the beginning of the career of Judas Maccabee in 166 BCE. However, the Grecian Era did not end until 153. The wars of the Maccabeans were brought to a close by a League of Friendship between Jonathan of Judah and Bacchides (Josephus: Complete Works; translated by William Whiston, A.M.; Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan; 1982. Book XIII, Chapter I, part 6). Bacchides was commander of the forces of Demetrius I, a son of Antiochus Epiphanes, who ruled from 162 to 150 BCE. Here we find the date 153 for that pact of nonaggression.

The Second Mikdash was consecrated in the sixth year of Darius I (Ezra 6:15) which is identified as 516 BCE. What could have happened in 504 to give it special importance to the Rabbinic chroniclers?
In Ptolemy's Canon a Lunar eclipse is recorded as having taken place on Sept. 19, 503 BCE. This was the 246th year of the Nabonassar Era and the 20th year of Darius I (Edwin R. Thiele: The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings; The University of Chicago Press; 1955, Appendix H). According to the Jewish system of reckoning the rule of a foreign king, Darius I began his 20th year in the fall of 504. The only Biblical text that could possibly be linked to this date is Nehemiah's arrival in Jerusalem in the 20th year of Artaxerxes (Nehemiah 2:1). When discussing the Persians one comes across many problems. Not least among these is the number of honorary names given their kings. For more information on this subject see the commentary on Rosh Hashanah 2a (Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz's) and on the Books of Nehemiah, Ezra and Esther. The dates of Nehemiah and Ezra are still unclear and hotly debated by scholars.

In 504 the Jewish people began an Era of Independence under the Great Sanhedrin. This lasted for 171 years, or until Alexander entered Jerusalem. A second period of self-rule began 40 CE under Agrippas I. His son, Agrippas II, was a puppet-king. The harsh realities of the remaining years of the Second Mikdash were those of tyrannical Roman rule. What is implied here is that these chronological notations preserved in the Seder Olam, were made during the life time of Agrippas I. Since the remaining 30 years are not recorded, the indications are that this may well be part of the Mikdash archives thought destroyed when it was burned by Titus.

What of the missing 187 years?
From the beginning of the Persian rule in 538 until the rebuilding of the Mikdash in 516, there had passed 22 years. From the rebuilding of the Mikdash until independence in 504, there had passed 12 years. The period of the Great Sanhedrin lasted for 171 years. The Greeks dominated the region for 167 years. The Maccabean wars lasted for 13 years. The Hasmoneans were in full control for 90 years. The Romans ruled for 103 (Sivan 63 BCE to Nissan of 40 CE). From the beginning of Agrippas I's rule to the destruction of the Second Mikdash in 70 CE, there had passed 30 years.

The full amount of time covered here is 607 years. If you take from this the 420 years that the rabbis of the Middle Ages mistakenly thought accounted for the period, then a difference of 187 years is discovered.

Since the current Jewish year is determined by adding 3760 to the secular year between January 1st and Rosh Hashanah, and 3761 between Rosh Hashanah and January 1st: the Jubilee calendar year would be determined by adding the numbers 3947 or 3948 (respectively). 5760 should have been 5948.

Each jubilee period consists of seven "weeks" of years, and naturally each of the weeks includes seven years. When dating events the Book of Jubilees almost always specifies the number of the jubilee, the week, and the year in which it occurred. The year, though solar, has only 364 days, not 365 and a fraction. The solar year of 364 days has certain obvious advantages: every date occurs on the same day of the week each year because 364 is precisely divisible by seven, and each year begins on the same week day. In the calendar that later became normative in Judaism, the holidays move through the days of the week, sometimes occurring on the Sabbath, while in the Jubilees calendar they never migrate. Thus, there never arises a conflict regarding which laws take precedence - those of the Sabbath or those of a festival that happens to fall on the Sabbath in a particular year. Several of the Dead Sea Scrolls employ the same calendar. This was one of the causes why the Qumran Community eventually separated from Jerusalem in mid second century B.C.E.

The Book of Jubilees and those in the Qumran insisted the celebration of festivals whose origins the Torah traces to the time of Moses, were in fact practiced by even Noah and Abraham. One significant example is Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks), which occurs fifty days after Pesach (Passover). Jubilees states it was not Moses and his contemporaries who first celebrated the holiday; rather, it was Noah and his sons who did so after the flood waters had dried from the earth. Moreover, though Noah and his sons were the first humans to mark the occasion, the festival had actually been celebrated since creation in the heavenly world. When Moses and the Israelites came along, they were merely renewing a holiday that had been neglected for some time (Jubilees 6:17-22) and entering a covenant on the anniversary of earlier pacts with Hashem. The same holds true for Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement. Further, there is every reason to believe that the author of the Book of Jubilees was himself a priest -- as were the whole community -- the rightful Holy Mikdash priesthood.

Jubilees appears to have been written in a time much like those years in Germany when Jews were raising questions about the laws which made their way of life different from that of all other peoples. Those years gave birth to the "Reform" and "Conservative" movements in Judaism. First Maccabees, which describes events that happened in the 170s-130s B.C.E., reports that some Jewish people wished to discard their legal system for one that more nearly aligned itself with the practices of the nations with whom they came into contact. Their case, if it resembled an approach that seems to have been popular elsewhere in the Hellenistic period, was that there had once been a time of legal purity or innocence for their people but that it had ended when the national lawgiver imposed narrow, ethnic rules on his people. It may be that the Jewish opponents of the traditional Mosaic laws wanted to return to what they surmised were the simpler conditions of patriarchal times, when great Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not celebrate the festivals, follow kosher law, or encumber the Sabbath with a multitude of crimping laws. All of that came only later, when Moses appeared on the scene. Would it not be better to imitate Abraham's practice and thus remove those barriers separating Jew from gentile?

Jubilees refutes this viewpoint and argues that if one reads Genesis properly it shows that the special Jewish practices did not arise in a later time but can be traced to earliest days - to the eras of Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Those who wished to imitate the ancestors would simply find themselves behaving in those distinctive ways which always differentiated the Hebrew people from gentiles. There was no pristine period of simple worship; Moses continued what had been in place long before. If the numerous copies of Jubilees in their library are any evidence, it certainly appealed to the priests at Qumran who wrote and copied the Dead Sea Scrolls. It also caught the fancy of some Christian groups who may have had strong legal interests and who appreciated how it supplemented the information in Genesis and Exodus.

The rediscovery of this book in relatively recent times has thus revealed ancient debates and approaches to the biblical text. Jubilees illustrates the kind of milieu from which the community of the Dead Sea Scrolls was to take its inspiration when its leaders decided to separate from normal Jewish society and form an isolated community in the Judean wilderness. It suggests that those in the Qumran Community were strict interpreters of the law, avid students of scripture, and a group who looked eagerly to the final divine intervention in human affairs.

Recently Ze'ev Ben-Shahar obtained his doctorate in Philosophy with his thesis on "The Calendar of the Judean Desert Sect" wherein his confirms that the Jubilee calendar is the same as the "Apocrypha" or Jubilee Calendar. It may be seen from his thesis, that not only does the correct time for the keeping of the Feasts depend on the Solar Calendar; but only through use of this calendar does the third tithe support the keeping of the Sabbatical Year.

When Did The Year 5757 Begin In The Jubilee Calendar?

Disregarding the 165 year discrepancy this is the year 5757 in the Torah Jubilee Calendar (March 26, 1997, through March 24, 1998 by our present day "CE" dating). Last year was the 19th year of that 19-year rhythmic cycle used in the solar/lunar system.

New Year (Rosh Hashanah) in the Jubilee Calendar always begins at sunset on the Tuesday evening following the vernal equinox, March 22. That is the day of the earth's turning point in its elliptic orbit around the sun. So, March 26, 1997 is the first day of the first month in the Torah Jubilee Year 5757. The Solar year always ends at sunset on the Tuesday following the vernal equinox. Once in about each 6 years an extra week is added to the old year. The insertion of this special week among 12 months, based on observation of barley crops in Israel aligns the monthly circuit with the solar year. This relationship is significant for achieving an annual monthly calendar that is usable year in and year out.

There are four Jewish "new years" representing the beginning of each of the four seasons: spring equinox, summer solstice, fall equinox, and the winter solstice. These are designated in the Jubilee Calendar by the added 31st day to the third month of each season. The meaning of the word Equinox is midway, half way, center, or Median of the year. The first day of the seventh month is specified as Yom Teruah a "Day of Blowing [Trumpets]" in Leviticus 23:24. It is half way through the year starting from just after the vernal equinox in March. It was not, however, to be considered the beginning of the year or Rosh Hashanah in the Torah reckoning of years, but rather the "new year" of the third season.

The Departure of The Presence of Shechinah from Israel

The writers of the Copper Scroll were Shimur HaLevi, Hizkiyah, Zekiyah, Haggai the Prophet and Zacharia the Son of Ido the Prophet. They wrote the Copper Scroll in the Jewish Year 3331 or 2,425 years ago. These men, under the command of Jeremiah (II Maccabees 2: 1-6), had removed the treasures of the Holy Mikdash 22 years before its destruction and hidden them in the Year 3331. Ezekiel had his vision of "The departure of the Presence of Shechinah, the Glory, of the L-RD from Israel" in the Year 3332. [See Eliezer Shulman's "Sequence of Events in the Old Testament" page 135].

The Shechinah, the Glory of HaShem, never returned to Israel. It was one of the 10 things in the First Holy Mikdash that was absent in the Second Mikdash. According to the "records" mentioned in II Maccabees 2:1-8, the Glory of HaShem will return after the Mishkan (Tabernacle) is recovered and raised-up.

"It is also found in the records that the prophet Jeremiah ordered those who were carried away to take some of the fire, as has been described, and that after giving them the Law, the prophet charged those who were carried away not to forget the L-rd's commands, and not to be led astray in their minds when they saw gold and silver idols and their ornamentation. And with other similar exhortations, he told them that the Law should not pass from their hearts. It was also in the writing that the prophet, in obedience to a revelation, gave orders that the tent and the ark should accompany him, and that he went away to the mountain where Moses went up and beheld Hashem's inheritance. And Jeremiah came and found a cave-dwelling, and he took the tent and the ark and the incense altar into it, and he blocked up the door. And some of those who followed him came up to mark the road, and they could not find it. But when Jeremiah found it out, he blamed them and said, "The place shall be unknown until Hashem gathers the congregation of his people together and shows his mercy. Then the L-rd will show where they are, and the glory of the Lord will appear, as they were shown in the days of Moses, and when Solomon asked that the place might be made very sacred." (II Maccabees 2:1-8)

These Prophets who hid the first Mishkan (Tabernacle) followed the Torah Jubilee Calendar. Half a millennium later, the people who lived at Qumran, also used the Jubilee Calendar. In fact, there were 18 copies of the Book of Jubilees found at Qumran. Until the Qumran discovery of these scrolls of the Book of Jubilees in Hebrew, we only had them written in the Coptic Ethiopian language. The MMS document found at Qumran deals explicitly with the issue of the Jubilee Calendar and the Lunar Calendar.

But in Jerusalem, in the Mikdash, the Glory was gone. "The force of vitality for the Jewish Soul is the great yearning for the building of the Beit HaMikdash and returning its splendor, with the purpose of ideal perfection. Only this expectation elevates the spirit of all generations to know that there is an exalted purpose to their lives and a historical continuation. In this high point is hidden the Tree of Life of the connection of the Nation to Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel), and all the commandments dependent on the Land, however they apply, guard the moisture of this fundamental dew." (Ginzei HaReiyah, p. 154)

Will the ancient Jubilee Calendar be used by the priests when the building of the Beit HaMikdash takes place? From the evidence, this writer believes it is imperative. Further, it is the "time" for rabbinical Judaism (the descendants of the Pharisees who changed the calendar) to begin the "restoration" of all these things. The Sons of Zadok (Sadducees) can not, they have all been laid to rest.

How is the Year of Jubilee Determined?

We are told that a year of Jubilee occurred in 5752 or 1992-1993. If true and according to the Torah, the land would be returned to its original tribal inheritance. The Torah portion for the counting the Jubilee years is in Leviticus 25. There are several opinions among the rabbis when they should occur. Some teach the 15th and 65th year of each century in the Jewish Calendar was a Jubilee. There are, however, several opinions about the reckoning of the Jubilee. We learn from Joshua 4:19 that Joshua and Israel entered the Promised Land on the 10th day of the first month in the year 2449* (
typographical error? 2489 AM?).

In Leviticus 25:2, "... when you come into the land which I give you...", seems to indicate that the counting of the Shmittah or Sabbatical years should begin on the 49th year and the and seven years succeeding, on the 55th year would be the first Sabbatical Year.

Then in Leviticus 25:8-11, "And thou shalt number seven Sabbaths of years to thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven Sabbaths shall be to thee forty nine years. Then shalt thou cause the shofar to sound on the 10th day of the 7th month, on the Day of Atonement shall ye sound the Shofar throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the 50th year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants: it shall be a Jubilee for you; and you shall return every man to his possession, and you shall return every man to his family. A jubilee shall that 50th year be to you...."

Since we entered the land on the 10th day of the 1st month in the year 2489*, some have assumed that the counting of the sabbatical year and the Jubilee would start on that year.   (
Vendyl Jones:  2488) However, they spent seven years at Gilgal in the conquest of the land, and another seven years in dividing the land to the tribal heirs. They did not enter into the "possession of the land" until fourteen years later in the year 2502. That was the first year of the counting of the seven years as the first sabbatical (shmittah) year.

Seven sabbatical years later, or the 49th year would be the year 2551. The following year was the Jubilee in 2552. The following year 2553 was the 1st year of the sabbatical year counting. Therefore, the 2nd and the 52nd year of each century would be sabbatical years. Thus, the year 5052 would have been our 19th Jubilee.

In actuality a Jubilee can not be observed today because there is no Mishkan (Tabernacle) or Mikdash (Temple). Moreover, the Urim and Thummim have not been recovered. So no priest can stand with the Urim and Thummim to determine exactly to which Tribe each head of an Israelite family belongs. Therefore, the Jubilee cannot be observed until those hidden treasures are returned which are the things described in the Copper Scroll.
Before the Holy House (actually, the Mishkan with the Ark and Ashes of the Red Cow, etc.) can be returned, there must be at least a symbolic return of the observant Jewish people to the Land of Israel for Torah reasons and not for mere political Zionist motivations. Within Israel, there must also be at least a symbolic and serious turning of the Israelis to Hashem and His Torah.

That first symbolic return of the Jews to the Land of Israel for Torah reasons really only began to happen in the years from 1984 to the present. This return was greatly the result of the efforts of Menechem Begin.

The Present Influence of Rome

By what calendar do we calculate what year this is? When did this year's calculation presently begin? Also, it is imperative to compute The New Year, the Sabbatical years and Jubilees according to the Jubilee Solar Calendar.
The most difficult thing for most of us is to completely divorce ourselves from the BCE and CE or BC and AD Calendar. One has the same problem in trying to learn the metric system. One must forget inches, feet, yards and miles. Until we do we will always be confused in our minds and unable to think metric freely. I never contemplate about what the BC or BCE date is.

Let me explain why.
Today we reckon time by three different calendars. We have the Christian Calendar, the traditional Lunar Jewish Calendar and the Jubilee Torah Calendar based on the Sun and Zodiac.

We are accustomed to the Christian system of reckoning dates using the Gregorian Calendar. This system was established by Pope Gregory XIII, in the year 1582. England, by the way, did not adopt this new calendar until 1752. Another change wrought by this new method was to mark January 1st as the beginning of the New Year. The monks computed time based on the year that they thought to be the birth of Christ. They designated that year as the year "0". The year before was Before Christ, or the year "0" was the year "1" BC. Whereas, the year after "0" was the year "1" Anno-Domini AD "1". This means from BC "1" plus the year "0" plus AD "1" is three years. Some church historians just add the 2+2=4 years.

These monks were better theologians than they were mathematicians, astronomers or historians. In view of mathematics, there was no year "0". If there was a year zero then it was a year nothing --zero -- happened. History and astronomy have no account of a year zero. So then, would the years BC "1" and AD "1" equal only two years?

No! If their system were logical (and it is not), the year one is the year "1". The Year "1" is neither BC nor AD. The year "2" BC would be the year before the year "1" and "2" AD would be the year after "1". Hence there is only one year between BC "2" and AD "2". Not four, not three, not two -- but only one year!

If the monk's time transit was off by two, three, or four years from zero degrees in the pivotal triangulation point, how much discrepancy would accumulate through the centuries both BC and AD? It took several centuries for them to acknowledge that: "Jesus was actually born four years Before Christ."

Now let us look briefly at the traditional Jewish Lunar/Solar Calendar

And they, teachers of lies and seers of falsehood, Have schemed against me a devilish scheme, To exchange [Thy] Law engraved on my heart by Thee For the smooth things (which they speak) to Thy people. And they withhold from the thirsty the drink of Knowledge, And assuage their thirst with vinegar, That they may gaze on their straying, On their folly concerning their feast days, On their fall into their snares. (1QH 4:9-12; p. 175)

This Calendar was adopted during the Hasmonean period. It was introduced by the High Priest Hannan, or Annias. He changed the months from the simple Biblical numerical designations of the 1st month, the 2nd month, and so on, to the names of the Babylonian months. The names of the Babylonian months were the names of the pagan Babylonian gods. We have like designations for the pagan names of the months and days of the week in the Christian System.

Hannan also changed Rosh Hashanah (New Year) from the first month that begins at Aviv, the Spring month, to the seventh month at the Autumn Equinox. The word, 'equinox' means equidistant, halfway or middle. The 7th month, Tishri, is the beginning month half way through the year from the 1st month of Aviv in the Spring.

Therefore, the New Year in the Jubilee Calendar is 6 months after the New Year in the Lunar Calendar.

The MMS document found at Qumran brings 24 charges against the Upper Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. Several of these charges relate to the use of the Lunar rather than the Solar Jubilee Calendar used in biblical times. Among those charges is the allegation that the Torah is very specific that the first day and the first month of the year is the Spring Equinox, or the month of Aviv (Spring) is the beginning of the year to the Nation of Israel. Exodus 12:2; "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months. The first month of the year [Rosh Hashanah] shall it be unto you."

One can easily see the point of dissension that the writer of the MMS Document made against the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. The Lunar system requires the addition of 7 extra months in each 19 year cycle to keep it at least close to the Solar system.

In Genesis 1:14-18 and 8:22 the sun, moon and stars were set in their order to govern the earth.
The Sun was set to determine days and years. The sun is called the "Day Star". Since the sun is a star in the Galaxy, it is also sequenced to the Zodiac. The Moon was consigned to govern the night, seed-time and the harvest.

The Stars, [Zodiacs or the 12 constellations] were designated to govern the signs and seasons. In Genesis 8:22, [after the flood], the Zodiac also controlled "Heat and Cold" which literally means "Warmth and Cool", [Spring and Autumn] and "Summer and Winter."

Babylon and many other contemporary cultures reckoned the Autumn Equinox as the first day of the 7th month, as the beginning of the year. Other more ancient calendars, however, agreeing to that stated in Exodus 12:2, reckoned the Spring Equinox as the New Year -- the Zodiac Sign of Aries (the Lamb) having fully entered into the Gate of the Sun, is the beginning of the Torah Jubilee year.

Annias [Hannan] changed Rosh Hashanah to the 1st day of the 7th month as it remains until today. This was the disputation between the writer of the MMS Document found at Qumran against the ruling Sanhedrin in Jerusalem.

300 Hundred High Priests Died keeping Yom Kippur by the Lunar Calendar
The Gemara (Yoma 9a) states that the first Holy Mikdash (Temple), which stood for 410 years, only had 18 High Priests who served in it. Tosafot state that Divrei Hayamim (I Chronicles 5:36) itemizes only eight High Priests who served.

After the Babylonian captivity the Jews carried back with them the Babylonian solar/lunar calendar and used it to determine the dates for high Holy Days. A small bit of math, along with recorded history, reveals a startling fact:

"In the second Mikdash (temple), which abided for 420 years, more than 300 High Priests served. If you take off therefrom the 40 years which Shimeon the Righteous served, the 80 years which Yochanan the High Priest served, the 10 years which Yismael b. Fabi served or, as some say, the 11 years of Rabbi Eleazar b. Charsum, and then count the number of High Priests from then on -- you will find that none of them completed his year in office. They all died when they entered the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur" [by the "lunar" reckoning] "to make the atonement and pray for a good year for all Jews. This happened because they were corrupt. They bought the high priestly office for money and also accepted bribes." (Rabbi Sholom Klass, The Jewish Press, p. 5, May 9, 1997.)

"The people were so accustomed to see the priests die that they tied a rope around them and, when they didn't walk out from the Holy of Holies, the people knew they had died and they were then pulled out, for no one else was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies."

Qumran documents suggest that the founder of the sect (the Teacher of Righteousness) fled Jerusalem over calendar question. One of the "crowning accomplishments" of the Second Mikdash era High Priesthood was when the "high priest" there actually attacked the "Teacher of Righteousness" (who was probably the rightful high priest) in the Qumran Community, on what was the true (Jubilee Calendar) Yom Kippur. Since not even an apostate high priest would consider such a deed on the date he observed Yom Kippur, it is obvious that the two communities were observing Yom Kippur on different dates -- while using different calendars.

The Restoration of All Things

Then Hashem will heal His servants. They will rise and see great peace, He will expel their enemies. The Zaddikim [Righteous, Sadducees] will see (this), offer praise, and be very happy forever and ever. They will see all their punishments and curses on their enemies. Their bones will rest in the earth and their spirits will be very happy. They will know that Hashem is the One who executes Judgment but shows kindness to hundreds and thousands and to all who love Him. (Jubilees 23:30-31). One might ask "Why do the Rabbis not go back to the Original Jubilee Torah Calendar?" They answer that the Lunar Calendar was established by the recognized Sanhedrin of that day. No rabbi or group of rabbis have authority to change a decision of that Sanhedrin. They cannot change it even if that Sanhedrin was wrong! Today, many rabbis do hold that when the Messiah comes and the Third Holy Mikdash and Sanhedrin are reestablished, the Torah Jubilee Calendar will be restored. Perhaps it is time to begin using this calendar now.

(This writing is offered as a source of information. Qumran Bet does not necessarily agree with all the contents. Take what is of value and discard the rest)






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