"Brit-Am Now"-161
01 Dec 2002 12:09:39 +0200
>1. Question on Ten Tribes and Circumcision
>2. NY Times: Troy
>3. Jewish Kingship by Prof. Paul Eidelberg
>4. We do not send Attachments
>5. Servers
>6.? New Find in North America?
>1. Question on Ten Tribes and Circumcision
>At 04:06 01/12/2002 +0000, ** wrote:
>>The one thing that the descendants of Abraham (through Isaac & 
>>have maintained through thick & thin is the covenant of the 
>>in one form or another. How do you explain the complete amnesia from 
>>collective memory of such a practice from all of the European peoples 
>>they really are of Israelitic origin?
>The Midrash says that the Lost Ten tribes stopped keeping Circumcision
>before their exile. See the Encyclopedia Talmudit.
>Anglo-Saxon nations such as Australia and the USA in the recent past 
>mostly keep
>circumcision and many still do. The greatest percentage of circumcised 
>Gentiles amongst
>Christians are to be found in these nations.
>They do not consider themselves obligated to keep circumcision but 
they do 
>it because it is
>good, healthy, and "Biblical".
>The keeping of circumcision at some level is associated with an 
>I know from personal knowledge that some British Gentile families have 
>practised circumcision for generations.
>Compare the following posting borrowed from the Origin of Nations 
>Subject: [origin of nations] British Royals and Circumcision
>Reply-to: http://us.f214.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=origin@yahoogroups.com&YY=79618&order=down&sort=date&pos=0&view=a&head=b
>See www.moheljoel.com/pdf/circ_decision.pdf:
>Queen Victoria, convinced that the British royal family was decended 
>King David, had her male offspring circumcised. This tradition 
>through Edward VII, the Duke of Windsor, and Charles, the current 
Prince of
>Wales, who was circumcised by a well-known physician and Windsor, 
mohel, Dr.
>Jacob Snowman. This tradition of British royalty has now ended, 
however. The
>young princes William and Henry are "intact," in keeping with current
>fashion. Currently, newborn circumcision is not a benefit covered by 
>British health service.
>See http://funspot.net/malka/:
>Crown Prince Charles Circumcised by a London Mohel
>London (JTA)-Crown Prince Charles, son of Princess Elizabeth and heir 
to the
>British throne, was circumcised in Buckingham Palace by Rabbi Jacob 
>official Mohel of the London Jewish community.
>See http://www.refsyn.org.uk/rsgb-artman/publish/article_253.shtml
>The permanent appearance change of the circumcised male has served as 
>mark, in different cultures, of different meanings. In the British 
>Family it is the mark of royalty, in the Jewish tradition, the mark of 
>covenant between man and God ( Genesis Ch 16).
>2. NY Times: Troy
>Was Troy a Metropolis? Homer Isn't Talking
>October 22, 2002
>(Extracts Only)
>A new Trojan War has broken out. In the warrior roles of
>Achilles and Hector are two respected professors on the
>same German university faculty who could not differ more
>fully and vehemently over what to make of the ruins at the
>presumed site in western Turkey of the legendary siege in
>the 13th century B.C. immortalized by Homer.
>One adversary, an archaeologist who has directed
>excavations there since 1988, contends that he has found
>telling evidence of Troy as a much larger and more
>important city than previously thought. Surveys and
>excavations, he says, disclose the outlines of a densely
>settled town reaching 1,300 feet south of the hilltop
>This greater Troy, with an estimated population of up to
>10,000, sizable for the time, is now being portrayed as a
>thriving center of Late Bronze Age commerce at a strategic
>point in shipping between the Aegean and Black Seas. It
>seemed to have been a place worth fighting over (if indeed
>there is any historical basis to Homer's "Iliad").
>Where is the proof, the other combatant, an ancient
>historian, demands to know. Accusing the Troy archaeologist
>of "willful deceit," he argues that excavations have turned
>up no firm evidence of such a large town outside the
>acropolis. At best, he insists, Troy in that period was
>only a princely seat, a castle and little else of
>The argument between the two professors at the University
>of T?bingen, Dr. Manfred Korfmann, the archaeologist, and
>Dr. Frank Kolb, the historian of ancient times, may have
>little direct bearing on some of the more hoary questions
>about Troy. Was Homer's Trojan War part history or all
>poetry? Was there ever a woman like Helen, whose face,
>however beautiful, could have launched a thousand ships?
>The dispute is an unsettling reminder to archaeologists
>that lapses sometimes occur in the proper practice of their
>field, where evidence can be ambiguous and the temptation
>can be great to overinterpret piecemeal findings to burnish
>their significance. Whether that has occurred now is the
>Controversy, though, is nothing new in Troy research.
>Heinrich Schliemann, the gifted amateur who was the first
>to conduct extensive excavations there, in the 1870's, had
>a habit of mixing fantasy with reality in his reports.
>Finding a lode of gold and jewelry, he announced it to be
>the treasure of Priam, king of Homer's Troy. Later, it was
>proved to be from a much earlier period.
>But Dr. Korfmann stoutly
>defended the research underlying his view of a greater
>"Our work is reviewed by independent scholars every year,
>and we have never got a negative review," Dr. Korfmann said
>in a telephone interview from T?bingen.
>The archaeologist has also defended as legitimate the
>practice of including conjecture and interpretation in
>reports of findings. In an interview last year with a
>German magazine, Dr. Korfmann said, "Without hypotheses,
>there can be no scientific and scholarly progress."
>Of course, Dr. Kolb responded. He accused Dr. Korfmann of
>presenting his conception of Troy as proved.
>Among Dr. Korfmann's allies is Dr. Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier,
>director of the German Archaeological Institute in Athens.
>In a recent article in Archaeology Odyssey, Dr. Niemeier
>said that even though Dr. Korfmann had exaggerated and
>oversimplified some points, his main interpretation of a
>greater Troy seemed correct. There was, Dr. Niemeier added,
>more to Troy than a citadel.
>Schliemann himself puzzled over the question at the core of
>the latest dispute. Digging in the castle ruins on a hill
>known locally as Hisarlik, he recognized the fortified area
>to be too small for a city of Troy's supposed wealth and
>power. The high stone walls encompassed an area not much
>more than 600 feet in diameter, about five or six acres.
>Since scholars generally agree that the site is where Troy
>should have been, Trojan War or not, later excavators
>looked for ruins beyond the walls, but with little success.
>Historians began to suspect, as Dr. Kolb wrote in 1984,
>that Troy was not a city, but a citadel. Dr. Korfmann was
>inclined to agree at the time.
>Then Dr. Korfmann organized the first systematic
>investigation of the site in more than 50 years, conducted
>primarily by researchers from T?bingen and other German
>institutions, as well as the University of Cincinnati. A
>decade ago, they began finding reasons for Dr. Korfmann to
>change his mind.
>That was when a magnetometer survey outside the visible
>fortress ruins disclosed what appeared to be buried
>remnants of an outer wall. Possibly it had encompassed the
>quarters inhabited by the population of artisans and
>merchants, the larger city beyond the citadel.
>Dr. Peter Jablonka, a T?bingen archaeologist in charge of
>the lower-city excavations, said the remains of the
>extended city reached as far out as the ditch, making the
>city at least 10 times as large as its previously estimated
>In making a case for Troy as an important trade center, Dr.
>Korfmann cited its position at the Dardanelles, the strait
>leading from the Aegean Sea into the Sea of Marmara, which
>then connects with the Black Sea where Istanbul stands
>today. The Trojans could have gained wealth by controlling
>shipping and collecting duties on all goods.
>Dr. Kolb, however, insisted that Aegean-Black Sea traffic
>was minimal in the Bronze Age.
>Another point of discord is Troy's possible ties to the
>Hittite Empire, which at the time ruled most of Anatolia,
>in what is now central Turkey.
>Dr. Gustav Adolf Lehmann of the University of G?ngen and
>Dr. Franz Starke of T?bingen argued that there was a "high
>degree of certainty" that Troy was a place that the
>Hittites called Wilusa. The name, mentioned in Hittite
>texts, is similar in sound to a Greek name for Troy.
>"Political opportunism," Dr. Kolb said, adding that the
>implication of close cultural ties between Troy and
>Anatolia was an attempt to please the project's Turkish
>Other Troy scholars are waiting on the sidelines to see
>who, Dr. Korfmann or Dr. Kolb, will be Achilles, the victor
>in Homer's Trojan War.
>3. Jewish Kingship by Prof. Paul Eidelberg
>In as much as Israel will soon elect its Prime Minister,
>it may be well to reflect on the meaning of Jewish kingship.
>Jewish Kingship
>By Prof. Paul Eidelberg
>The Hebrew term for king, melech, primarily implies a chief 
?counselor,? a 
>president whose intellectual and moral qualities warrant his elevation 
>authority. What follows is the Scriptural basis for kingship in Israel 
>(Deut. 17:14-15):
>?When you come to the land which the L-rd your G-d is giving you, and 
>shall have taken possession of it and have settled therein, you will 
>eventually say: ?We would appoint a king, just like the nations around 
>us.? You must then appoint a king from among your brethren; you may 
>appoint a foreigner ?? The last verse suggests that clause of the 
>Constitution which requires a president of the United States to be a 
>native-born American. Contrast Israel.
>In Israel, neither the president nor prime minister must be a Jew?this 
>a supposed-to-be Jewish State! Significantly, the draft constitution 
>submitted to a constitutional committee in 1948 contained a clause 
>required Israel?s president to be Jewish. The committee, dominated by 
>secularists, opposed the clause fearing it would be construed by the 
>gentile world as ?racist.?
>Fear of anti-Semitism prevented the founders of the State of Israel 
>establishing a government of the Jews, for the Jews, and by the Jews. 
>it not for this fear, Israel?s Arab citizens would not constitute a 
>to Israel?s future as a Jewish State, and all would understand that 
>Judaism is not a religion so much as a religious nationality.
>If Judaism were not a religious nationality, it would be unreasonable 
>unjust to exclude Arabs from political rule. But then it would be 
>to call Israel a Jewish State.
>Consider the role of a Jewish king. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch points 
>that the appointment of the Jewish king is not for conquering and 
>safeguarding the Land of Israel, and certainly not for developing 
>forces for external purposes. It is G-d Who gives this land to the 
>people. It is G-d under Whose support they conquered this land. It is 
>on Whom they ultimately depend for retaining this land and living 
>therein. For all this Israel required no king. For all this Israel had 
>only to be Israel, had only to prove itself the faithful People G-d?s 
>Torah, had only to win the moral victory over itself to be certain of 
>victory over any external force against it. Hence the purpose of a 
king of 
>Israel, and of Israel itself, is not to seek external glory but 
>It so happens, however, that when the Children of Israel demanded a 
>they wanted to be ?like all the nations [so that] our king may judge 
>[as well as] go out before us and fight our battles? (I Sam. 8:20). 
>they asked only for a king, or only for a king to improve their 
chances in 
>war, then, as Rabbi Nissim of Gorona explains, ?no sin would have been 
>imputed to them on this account. On the contrary, it would have been 
>considered a mitzva. Their sin lay in having said: ?Now make us a king 
>judge us like the nations.?? That is to say, they wanted a king, 
>than the Sanhedrin to be the highest authority of the State.
>In other words, the people wanted to concentrate all power in the 
>?executive? branch of government?the power to legislate and 
adjudicate, to 
>make war and conclude treaties, hence to rule independently of the 
>whose ultimate guardian is the Sanhedrin.
>This is why G-d tells Samuel (the head of the Sanhedrin): ?They have 
>rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not be King 
>them? (ibid., 8:7). For it is by the judgments of the Sanhedrin, the 
>guardian of the Torah, that G-d is King over Israel.
>Under the Torah a king of Israel is a servant, not a master. He may be 
>appointed either by the Sanhedrin, or by the people with the 
>approval. Under Jewish law, the Sanhedrin will not appoint a king (or 
>officer, for that matter) who is not acceptable to the people. ?We 
>not appoint a leader over a community without first consulting it? 
>(Berachot 55a, Exod. 35:30). On the other hand, the Sanhedrin will not 
>confirm any popular choice who is not qualified for the office. 
Therein is 
>how the Torah overcomes the perennial problem of democracy, that of 
>reconciling wisdom and consent.
>The Torah is the source of the democratic principle of ?government by 
>consent of the governed,? except that the Torah?it echoes in the 
>Declaration of Independence? posits the sovereignty of the people 
>G-d. The Torah does not deify the people, and it certainly does not 
>any king or endow him with absolute power. Indeed, any private citizen 
>bring a suit against the king before the Supreme Court which, 
depending on 
>the nature of the suit and the unimpeachable testimony of two 
>eye-witnesses, may strip the king of his office. (Therein is the 
>for impeaching a president of the United States.)
>The king?s paramount purpose is to win the hearts and minds of the 
>to the Torah by his own sterling example of a man whose every word and 
>deed is inspired by the Law of which he is nothing more than a 
>servant. This is why Israel?s king must be Jewish. But so too must be 
>ministers or council. Obviously this applies to members of the 
>to those who make and interpret the laws.
>Sooner or later Israel will be governed by the words of the Torah 
cited at 
>the outset of this article. Sooner or later Israel will have a Jewish 
>statesman who will dissolve the problem of Arab citizenship. Such a 
>statesmanship will be honored in Jewish history as a king of Israel.
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>Be warned.
>6.? New Find in North America?
>Cave skeleton is European, 1,300 years old, man says
>Archaeologist group wants a look at evidence
>Sunday September 29, 2002
>By Rick Steelhammer
>Sunday Gazette-Mail
>MORGANTOWN ? The man who first advanced the theory that markings 
carved on 
>in a Wyoming County cave are actually characters from an ancient Irish 
>alphabet has found human remains at the site, which tests indicate are 
>European in origin and date back to A.D. 710, he maintains.
>Robert Pyle of Morgantown says that a DNA analysis of material from 
>skeleton?s teeth roots was conducted by Brigham Young University. That 
>analysis, he says, shows that the skeleton?s DNA, when compared to 
>from Native American groups and an array of European sources, most 
>matches samples from the British Isles.
>Pyle says the DNA test, plus a radiocarbon test that dates the 
skeleton to 
>710, suggest the presence of a European visitor to the North American 
>continent nearly 800 years before the arrival of Columbus, and nearly 
>years before Viking Leif Erickson.
>Found near the skeleton was a bone needle etched with markings similar 
>those on the cave walls.
>Pyle says his findings and the test results help validate his 
>that the markings at the Wyoming County site ?were done by seafaring 
>people, probably monks, probably from the British Isles.?
>?Based on the available data, that?s doubtful,? counters Robert 
>president of the Council for West Virginia Archaeology, a state 
>association of professional archaeologists with research interests in 
>Pyle?s findings, Maslowski says, while ?interesting,? still need ?to 
>examined by the professional community. We would welcome the 
>to go over the evidence ? to look at the skeletal material, the 
>archaeological material, the radiocarbon data and the DNA data, then 
>our own conclusions,? he says.
>Pyle, who performed archaeological surveys for the state Division of 
>Highways in late 1970s and early 1980s, does not have a degree in 
>archaeology. He says he is a federally certified archaeologist who has 
>studied the subject at Northwestern University, and has taken geology 
>courses at WVU.
>He says he would be interested in having another group examine his 
>including additional DNA and Carbon-14 testing, which he paid for 
>privately raised funds totaling about $7,000.
>He also wants to raise money to preserve the site and continue his 
>Pyle first visited the cave, known as the Cook petroglyph site, in 
>while in the area to conduct archeological surveys for the DOH.
>?I was visiting my sister when someone mentioned some Indian 
>on the top of a nearby ridge,? he said.
>When he arrived at the site, ?I saw an elongated group of markings 
>the right side,? he recalls. ?I?d just read a book on Norse runes, and 
>first thought was that these were archaic runes.?
>He later read about carvings found in Ireland and Wales, usually on 
>edges of grave markers, that made use of an ancient Celtic alphabet of 
>connected lines and slashes known as Ogam.
>Joined by Dr. William Grant of Edinburgh University in Scotland and 
>John Grant of Oakland, Md., both Celtic linguists who had studied at 
>Catholic University in Washington, D.C., Pyle continued to study the 
>Wyoming County carvings, plus similar markings near Dingess in Mingo 
>County and in Manchester, Ky., eventually hypothesizing that they were 
>In the 1980s, Wonderful West Virginia magazine ran a series of stories 
>about the Wyoming County site and the carvings, and their links to 
>In 1989, West Virginia Archaeologist Magazine published an issue 
>to debunking that theory. Editor Janet Brashler, then an archaeologist 
>the Monongahela National Forest, concluded that the ?turkey foot? 
>carved in the rock are design elements ?in common with other 
>prehistoric Native American petroglyphs.?
>Pyle maintains the carvings contain crosses, rebuses and other 
markings unique to Ogam.
>He traveled to Ireland to study the markings in 1998, and in 2000, was 
>invited to take part in the examination of a newly found 8-feet-high, 
>20-feet-long Irish Ogam petroglyph panel, which closely resembles the 
>Wyoming County markings. The latter visit to Ireland was filmed for a 
>public television special.
>Pyle says his findings and the recent test results will make it 
possible to validate a hypothesis ?I didn?t think it would be possible to 
validate in a lifetime.?
>He says he expected his findings to generate controversy.
>?That?s science,? he says. ?No one totally, 100 percent endorses a new 
>idea. ... I?ll let science decide where to go from here. But I would like 
>to have credit for this discovery.?
>?We know the Vikings were here before him, but I wouldn?t stop celebrating 
>Columbus Day, yet,? Maslowski says. ?Hopefully, we?ll be able to go over 
>the findings and have this resolved by the end of October ? West Virginia 
>Archaeology Month.?
>Pyle plans to post his findings on the Internet at 
>www.prehistoricplanet.com/wv/. The site already contains material on Ogam 
>and the West Virginia petroglyphs.