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I have no issue with your dating Judaism one thousand years less that the accepted 3500 years. If you base that assumption on the preponderance of evidence dating from that time period, then it's probably accurate. The millennium prior also contained history applicable to the Hebrew people but not necessarily to the religion known today as Judaism - and certainly not "rabbinic Judaism."

With regard to slavery, Judaism definitely abhors it in general, and proscribes inhumanity in its application. This approach was definitely unique in its time period - even when compared to other Semitic people. This is in stark contrast to Muslim Arabs who not only were a major part of the African slave trade, but they also treated their slaves quite cruelly, least of which by castrating many of their male slaves. (Unlike today's "religion," women have no testicles!) Moreover, slavery is still in full force in countries like Mauritania and Libya - not that the Left would ever admit or protest it. The Arabic pejorative for a black person, today, is "abid," or slave! Similarly, although the Hammurabi code also contains the principle of "an eye for an eye," according to the Talmudists, that law was not meant to be taken literally. The penalty for damaging another person was typically monetary. Not only was that different than what was practiced in surrounding civilizations, it also made sense. What benefit does the injured person attain by the poking out the eye of his assailant?

Finally, although you base correctly much of your narrative on slavery in various civilizations, I am always amazed and astounded on the Left's penchant today to condemn people who lived in the 17th and 18th centuries as morally deficient because they may have owned slaves. I call it my "Noah principle." The story of Noah in the Bible begins, "This is the story of Noah, Noah was a righteous man - in his generation." The Jewish exigists explain that had Noah lived in another time he may not have been considered "righteous." The main principle is that people must be judged by the civilization in which they live. If slavery was acceptable in your society then you weren't necessarily evil if you practiced it - unless you were particularly cruel. Washington and Jefferson deserve the respect they earned... and it should not be diminished because they owned slaves!

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I have wondered for a long time now where the hatred of jews comes from. Thank you so much for enlightening me, among others. Much respect!

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I am amazed about the depth of your knowledge in history and the way you make connections that make real sense and are hidden from canonic history that I believe is more likely archived propaganda .. I am very curious about what are your thoughts on Akhenaten and the Amana period. Thank you Professor, really looking forward to studying your courses

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You always display a sweeping and accurate view of history with an uncluttered appreciation of what really has transpired. We all knew of how slavery was an integral part of Roman civilization, but few viewed Greek civilization as perhaps even more heavily laden with slavery, which apparently it was. The contrast to earlier Semitic civilizations, and particularly to the Israelite civilization which began around 3500 years ago is vivid. It certainly explains, in part, the antisemitism which probably began after 70CE, and certainly after Hadrian's renaming Judea, Palestina, in 135CE. I look forward to your next installment.

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