Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Deliverance: Part One of the Flavius Josephus Journal

Part One of the Trilogy
With the arrival of 2012, the release of my latest book is about to take place. In fact it's early release is on the publisher's website at http://sbpra.com/AllenEGoldenthal/ but the book is also available from Amazon Books and Barnes and Noble. Most people are aware of the history of the Roman Jewish War that ended fatally on the mountain top Masada after seven years of fighting. But history isn't about recorded events as they transpired. Real history is about the people that initiated those events, establiishing the patterns in which they unfolded. It is about the mechanisms behind the world stage, behind the closed and sealed doors, the raw emotions that led to both good and bad decisions. Amongst Jewish teachings, the reputation of Joseph ben Matthias, commonly referred to as Flavius Josephus is one of traitor, liar, and deceiver. Jewish analysts have blamed him for not only the loss of the war but for the end of Jewish civilization as it existed 2000 years ago. Harsh accusations to lay at the feet of a single person, and illogical if one actually studies the history and recognizes that the bitter squabbles, infighting, and selfish motivations of those pursuing control of the Jewish forces were actually to blame. But the rabbis had another motive for casting the blame on Josephus, a far more personal motivation. After all, he was born of a priestly family, his Sadducee inheritance was enough to condemn him in their eyes even though he professed to have Pharisee sympathies. But it was not the Sadducees that caused the downfall of Jewish civilzation. Throughout the war they stood as the peacemakers, desperately trying to find a peaceful solution between East and West. In reality, the people were inflamed by the Pharisees, the early progenitros of the rabbis, to resist any truce, leading them to falsely believe that God would intercede and provide the people with victory. And after these rabble rousing rabbis ultimately drew the blades across the exposed throat of the Jewish nation, they were the first to run from the battle, concerned with only saving their own lives, as evidenced by their illustrious sage, Yohanan ben Zakkai, concealing himself in a coffin to escape the doomed city of Jerusalem, leaving behind the victims of his rebellious incitements to face the final assault by Titus. As he and his students, specifically chosen to be the bearers of his coffin fled from the face of danger and thereby pass through the lines of the Roman army, a city burned and tens of thousands died.
Meanwhile, Josephus desperately tried to use his influence with Titus's father, Emperor Vespasian, to stay the hand of the young general from utterly destroying his people. Without concern for his own safety, he managed to secure the safety of several thousand. Two of those people that he rescued were Martha bat Elioneai, the widow of Jeshua ben Gamaliel and her son Joseph. My ancestors, who then headed east into Parthia where my family established itself for a further eight centuries. One might say I have a debt of gratitude to Flavius Josephus, for whom my family would not have survived and I would not have been born. It was he that insured my family survived, not Yohanan ben Zakkai and his band of cowardly rabbis.
But what kind of man would plead for the lives of thousands of Jews, risking his own safety, fully exposed to the arrows and stones shot down from the parapets and towers of Jerusalem by its Jewish defenders? What kind of man could transition from the greatest tactical general of the Jewish armies to the attempted peacemaker walking between two nations but accepted by neither. Who was this man that four years prior to the start of the war was sent on a secret mission by the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem into the heart of the Roman Empire? How did a young man move freely through the palaces of Rome, dine at Nero's table, watch the burning of Rome in August of 64 AD, only to lead an army that became the greatest threat to the survival of an Empire? Deliverance provides a view into those secretive years which ultimately changed the world.

The Prologue

I have attached the prologue to my book. I hope it will wet your appetites and give you a taste of things to come:
There is a stench to all that is Roman. A decaying, gnawing foul odour that eats at your innards until your belly is swollen with gall. For all that is Roman is not to be considered enlightened, or precious, or inspiring, or deserving to be praised and cherished. Instead it is a festering sore, which rots from the center outwards until there is no flesh left to feed upon. If ever there was a crime against humanity, it is their crime of ignorance, their inability to understand neither the world they rule nor the people they have conquered.
Its legions come offering gifts of civilization and Prometheus’ fire but they choose to never comprehend how those they have come to embrace find no solace or comfort in their offerings. This has truly been the sin of Rome’s emperors and senators from their time of conception. Though desired, they can never understand that which they have lusted can never be fulfilled because one man’s passion is another’s hatred. This is Rome’s true gift to the world, hate; a fiery, all consuming, unimaginable hatred that is destined to leave millions dead in its wake.
Remember well the day that wind from the west came to the far eastern shores of our great sea, not as an army to pillage but as a friend, specifically asked to give aid to a battered priest. Our priest-king Hyrcanus, embattled in a war against his own brother in a never ending struggle to wrestle the kingdom and the throne. And remember it well that when the dust had finally settled, there was no longer a kingdom, but a province, ruled not by either of the two brothers, but by a vassal that danced a merry jig to the songs sung by generals and imperators of the most powerful empire that ever ruled. And recall that when these vassals proved weak and inefficient, they were replaced by men of the equestrian order, knights of Rome, that were sent to this far corner of the world so that they could reward themselves with treasures, rape our women and desecrate our most holy of places. Remember them well, for they have reduced us to this pitiful state where we are beggars in our own land.
And none have shown us favor since the first of the procurators was gifted by Tiberius to herald our doom. Neither Caligula, nor Claudius, nor Nero that has followed saw it any differently. We are to be made to suffer by the hands of this breed of men that they have sent to rule over us as their procurators. Cruel and spiteful, bitter as this land of rock and hot sand that they have been rewarded with as their prize for all the years they have served dutifully. This bitterness has turned their hearts black and these men of the aristocracy, these nobles of ancient families have turned their venom against the very people they rule. They line our roads with crosses from one horizon to the other with the corpses of our people hanging until the flesh is eaten by the birds that dot the sky overhead.
Where are our leaders to raise their voices against such atrocities? Our messiahs to bring a strong right arm against such brutality. Too many have fallen beneath the mighty hand that these procurators wield, and too many have been clamped in chains and sent to Rome, to stand before the Emperor to answer for crimes they have committed against this evil and corrupt Empire.
Now is such a time. Now is the time for us to fight for all that we believe in. This is where our war begins. We are at the junction when all that lives under oppression will rise in a single voice to shout that we will not suffer any longer. We will not remain helpless victims of a foreign occupation. It is time for all men to finally look deep within themselves and find that inner strength that long ago separated us from the beasts of the field. There is but one word that whispers over and over in our heads until we cannot hold it inside any longer and have to shout it out loudly for the entire world to hear. We cry out for freedom, and when enough of the people shout that word together in unison, then we will become a force that will settle for nothing less than achieving that dream. There are those of you that say we are not ready. The time has not yet come. The Lord God has not sent us a sign. I say to thee, nay! He has sent us a thousand signs; a thousand upon thousands but we have been blinded by our own ignorance. And even if the Almighty has been deaf to our plight, when he hears the shouts of our voices for freedom, he will be deaf no longer! Let the Empire of Rome tremble in our wake. Let all who bring death and destruction to the seed of Abraham know that in so doing they curse themselves. We are the children of Israel, and we have no master to lord above us but God. And with a mighty hand He will crush our enemies. Hear me my brothers. The breath and spirit of the Lord shall lead you!
Jonathan Cayapha

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