"Brit-Am Now"- 462
October 12, 2004
1. How many Jews Belief in Brit-Am type truths?
2. Ohr Sameach Unrepentant?
3. Medieval brain-surgeons?
4. Death of a scholar
5. Reply to Criticism from South Africa

1. How many Jews Belief in Brit-Am type truths?
>From: bob wood
>Subject: hi
>Hi I would like to know how many Jews believe the ten lost tribes of
>Israel are in northwest europe. I
>I am of anglo saxon celtic blood but how many Jews believe the celts and
>anglo saxons are the lost tribes ? Im a american by the way.

Not many but at least several thousand. We have presented our case to very
many people including leading Rabbis and the like
and so far no-one has come out against us.
You have to understand that for many Jews the concept is new. Also Jews
look for the practical evidence and implications.
How many celts and anglo saxons would want to be Jewish? etc.
We try to explain that for the moment at least such questions are not pertinent
but the very need for such explanation makes our task a little harder.
Yair Davidiy

2. Ohr Sameach Unrepentant?
just a quick note on something you are probably already well aware of
this week's Jewish Press ran a feature that was advertised on the first
page on the lost tribes quoting Ullman's recent writings from ?Ohr Someach
at length re those people's in the east;
David M

3. Medieval brain-surgeons?
The Scotsman
Wed 6 Oct 2004

Skull reveals how cranial surgery saved life of 11th-century peasant


ARCHAEOLOGISTS revealed new evidence yesterday which shows complicated
cranial surgery was being performed in Britain 1,000 years ago.

An 11th-century skull, found at the abandoned ancient village of Wharram
Percy in North Yorkshire, shows the scars of a near-fatal blow by a blunt
weapon. But, thanks to a "life-saving" procedure performed at the time, the
victim, aged about 40, survived the injury and made a good recovery.

Scientists say the man was a peasant who lived between 960AD and 1100AD in
Wharram Percy. More than 700 skeletons were unearthed there during one of
the longest digs in British archaeological history, between 1950 and 1990.

Analysis of the skull, found by English Heritage, shows he underwent a form
of surgery known as trepanning. The procedure involved lifting a
rectangular area of the scalp measuring 3.5in by 4in and scraping away at
the skull beneath to remove bone fragments and relieve pressure on the brain.

The peasant not only survived his ordeal but seemingly lived on for many
years, eventually dying of other causes, according to the scientists. They
say the skull is the earliest discovered in the country showing conclusive
signs of this kind of treatment, although skulls dating back to Neolithic
times reveal that trepanning was performed on individuals who had no head
wounds - presumably to treat other problems such as mental illness.

Simon Mays, a skeletal biologist at English Heritage's Centre for
Archaeology, said: "This skull is the best evidence we have that such
surgery to treat skull fractures was being performed in England at the
time. It predates medieval written accounts of the procedure by at least
100 years and is a world away from notions that Anglo-Saxon healers were
all about spells and potions."

"It seems most probable that the operation was performed by an itinerant
healer of unusual skill, whose medical acumen was handed down through oral

The patient might have received opiates or herbal concoctions to numb the
pain or could have been unconscious throughout the surgery, which would
have taken more than an hour. Afterwards, a layer of thick skin would have
grown over the wound to protect the brain.

4. Death of a scholar
Michael C. Astour did research we found of great value. He able to
represent what would normally be considered revolutionary and controversial
notions in a way that was accepted by the academic world and his findings
helped Brit-Am.
He is best known perhaps for his book, "Hellenosemitica" which describes
how the ancient Greeks were influenced by Western Semitic culture.
Apart from that he published numerous short articles on many aspects of
ancient history and those articles of his we saw were very helpful.
The following extracts from his obituary are in appreciation of the help we
received from his works.

[ANE] SAD NEWS: Michael C. Astour

Jack Sasson ane@listhost.uchicago.edu
Fri, 8 Oct 2004 08:58:29 -0500

With deep sadness, I report that Michael C. Astour died this afternoon,
Thursday, October 7, after emergency abdominal surgery at a St. Louis
hospital. He would have been 88 this coming December.

Astour had a long career, as Professor of Yiddish and Russian Literature
at Brandeis University and as Professor of History (Classical cultures and
Ancient Near East) at Southern Illinois University (Edwardsville)....
Michael C. Astour was born in Kharkov on December 17, 1916, the only child
of Joseph Czernichow (a lawyer) and Rachel Hoffmann (a historian). The
family moved to Vilna (Poland) in 1924, where Michael was educated in the
heavily secularist Yiddish schools...

Michael's life is the stuff of fiction, elating as often as harrowing, and
it is a pity that he successfully resisted the many pleas to commit it to
writing. His years in Paris (1934--1937) coincided with the initial
publications of great discoveries at Ugarit, Nuzi and Mari, and he studied
with such great ancestors as Charles Virolleaud, Edouard Dhorme, Roman
Ghirschman, Raymond Weil, Pierre Roussel, and Jerome Carcopino. He
traveled widely in the Middle East, spending much time in Palestine. Those
were tense times, with rising anti-Semitism; but for a young man absorbed
by the lure of the past, also very exciting.

The war fragmented his family...
The Nazis murdered his mother in Vilna (June 1941) and the Russians shot
his father on a forced march (July 1941). Michael was sentenced to years
of hard labor and moved from one work camp to another. He was not to find
relative freedom until 1950. Even in prison, where inmates kept him alive
for his capacity to recite poetry in Russian, German, and French, he
managed to receive books from distant libraries and busied his mind with
comparative studies.

Released and settled in Karaganda, Michael met Miriam, and they
experienced a happy marriage that lasted almost half a century.
Repatriated to Poland in 56...Moving to Paris in 1958,
he resumed his contact with his old teachers and was librarian for the
Hebrew Yiddish Library, translating works into French. He moved to the
United States in 1959, accepting a Brandeis post in Yiddish and Russian
literatures...he submitted
Hellenosemitica (later published by Brill) for a doctorate in
Mediterranean Studies (1961)...  Astour accepted a post at SIU in 1965.
 From that
time, Astour only occasionally returned to Yiddish themes, but invested
his prodigious energy to unravel the many mysteries of the Ancient Near

Astour's contributions were many and they can be partially reviewed in a
1997 Festschrift, honoring him on his 80th birthday (Crossing Boundaries
and Linking Horizons Studies in Honor of Michael C. Astour, edited by
Gordon D. Young, Mark W. Chavalas, and Richard E. Averbeck, CDL Press). He
wrote broadly: on chronology, on mythmaking, within and across cultures,
on prosopography and on ethnic identity, on historical episodes, political
and military, real or imagined, on cultural interconnection, among and
across continents, especially in the Late Bronze Age, but also in later
periods. His canvas was vast, including Mesopotamia, Canaan, Hatti, Egypt,
Mitanni, Greece, and Israel. He wrote on our newest discoveries such as at
Ebla, but also gave new life to obscure theories buried in forgotten
journals. Increasingly, he came to be absorbed with toponymy and with
geographical history, often expressing shock at our literature's cavalier
treatment of such matters.
... he was a warm and generous person, with
ready laughter and an incredible storehouse of stories, anecdotes,
proverbs, and, above all, poetry. He was blessed with a phenomenal memory,
both deep and detailed that was hardly compromised by age....
He told, with hardly any bitterness, of brutal conditions experienced by
his kin but also of remarkably humane treatment accorded to him by
strangers. I left him with a copy of a recent volume on Mari history and
had scarcely returned home when he peppered with sharp questions.  For all
I know, he is just now busy shaping a critical review of it. May he
complete it in deserved peace.

5. Reply to Criticism from South Africa
From: Claudette Mellin
Subject: Brit-Am Now 461 statement

Hello, Mr. Davidy,

I would like to respond to a comment you made in your Brit-Am Now
newsletter, # 461.

You wrote:

"The Boers of South Africa were also dominated by anti-Jewish elements and
prevented South Africa from being used as a place to which Jewish refugees
could be directed for safe-keeping."

I wonder if you are aware that the Boer-dominated National Party did not
come into power in South Africa until 1948? Before that, the country was
run by the British.  Very few Boers were in positions of power in the 30's
and early 40's and the ones that were, worked directly for the British.
Therefore, during the second World War, the Boers would not have been in a
position to make decisions about who could or could not enter the country
or any other decison of national consequence, for that matter. If, in fact,
a conscious decision had been made in South Africa to bar the Jews from
entering the country as a safe haven as you claim (another assertion which
I find questionable) then it would have been the British who made it and
not the Boers.

I also fail to see why you mentioned this at all. The reason that the Boers
entered the discussion at all was because Mr. Selikow mentioned that the
English had treated the Boers and the Irish and other groups of people
worse than dogs. Then, in your rebuttal, you made the above statement. What
is your point?  Are you saying that because some Boers may have had some
anti-Jewish sentiment, just like a lot of other people at that time,  that
they deserved what the English did to them?

The British did treat the Boers worse than dogs in the early history of the
country and continued to do so right up until the time in question. Do not
forget that it was the British who first used concentration camps as a
means of mass extermination and they used them against the Boers. The
emotions over this and other injustices that the Boers suffered at the
hands of the English are still quite raw with some people, something that
you, as a Jew, I would hope, would understand.

I think that no one who follows your work would dispute that the British
are part of the tribe of Joseph. On the whole, as you say, they were a
great nation and they did  marvelous things and accomplished great feats
that no other nation could match, just as the Bible prophesied they would.
As someone who also has some ancestors who hailed from the British Isles, I
am very proud of British history and the significant role they have played
in the world. They certainly did more good for the world than bad.

However, I think the point that  Mr. Selikow might have been trying to make
is that they were not saints, and numerous times in history, they displayed
a remarkable capacity for cruelty, even towards fellow Israelite
peoples.  In your writings, it seems that you do not wish to acknowledge
this and as a result, you come across as a bit biased, an impression that I
am sure you do not want to leave with your readers. I have always found you
to be very fair and impartial in your search for truth and I hope that you
would not, at this stage, allow bias to creep into your arguments. Please
understand that the Boers are a people who have already been much maligned
and treated with much contempt in the world, for reasons that do not differ
greatly from what the Israelis are going through now. Please do not add to
this.  If you are going to mention  things in your discussions such as the
above, then, at least, please be fair.

Cordially yours,

Claudette Mellin

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