Wednesday, 30 September 2009
From Habiru to Hebrews: The Roots of the Jewish Tradition
by Robert Wolfe (October 2009)
I come from a secular Jewish background, the son of Jewish parents who belonged to the Communist Party during the 1930s. They left the Party in 1939, around the time of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, and also left each other, getting divorced when I was about two years old. I was raised in the home of my mother in Washington Heights, a neighborhood in Manhattan which at that time was about half Jewish. Most of my boyhood friends were Jewish, and so too were most of my mother’s friends, who tended to the same “progressive” point of view as she did. My father too remained a “progressive”, meaning someone who agreed wiith many of the positions of the Communist Party without necessarily belonging to it. So from an early age I received a heavy dose of Jewish secular culture along with a sense of identification with the progressive current in American life. more>>>
Posted on 09/30/2009 5:36 PM by NER
20 Jul 2010
irving d. cohen
Bob, thank you so much for the article; it IS long, but worthwhile.
I was as interested in your background as I was in the article. I lived through the period of your personal history that you described, when, as a student at CCNY I fitst became aware of so-called "progressive" thinking.
I have always admired your opinions and had the idea that you are a scholar; thank you for proving me right.
I will need a shortened form of this arfticle to share with friends.
28 Jul 2010
Mr. Wolfe doesn't accept that never has existed a people called as Hebrew, that word has origin in the semitic Abiru, in arabic is used yet ?????, it means passersby, is not an specific people is only a social condition, hebrew people was a greek invention, because they trastocate the word abiru to ebraios and it was to trasctocted to english hebrew to spanish hebreo to italian ebraico. greeks considered to everybody from middle east as hebrew, and the jewish religion had origin in judah of canaan, jewish was people from judah and they spoke canaanite and were aramaized by arameans during 6 century before jesus. the jewish which went to palestine they are not descendant from these jewish. the azkenazis from khazaros from the caucasus, the sephardies descend from berebers from northern africa which were involved in the arabian troops to the iberian conquest.
28 Dec 2010
Robert Wolf is just another reason why Jews cannot be trusted to write the truth about anything. He takes Biblical studies, archeological studies, historical studies and wads them all up into a propaganda screed for the State of Israel. His monogram is full of wrong conclusions based on his Marxist and Israeli prejudices.
15 Jul 2011
In Arabic, the closest one gets to old Hebrew, the word 'Hebrew' is derived from 'crossing.' It is derived from the stem stem: "'Abara." Many historians tend to consider the name indicative of their migration of bands, for some reason, across the Euphrates. These bands cannot be sizeable. If they were, they would need to settle, and good pasture and hunting grounds exist already in Mesopotamia proper, or at worse, on the banks of the Euphrates.
This favor considering them runaway slaves.
'Apiru,' however, cannot be a generic term. The use of the term existed even on Egyptian stele in reference to bands of raiders who crossed Sinai and were caught and punished.
They are not to be confused with the Egyptian slaves who frequently escaped from Egypt through the Sinai, and one band, following exposure to the Edomain YHWH, carried it over to Palestine, and the rest is history, according to other historians.
2 Sep 2011
I lived through the same days that you did. I remember when you and your fellow students took over the Courant Institute. Those were heady days of social protest and challenge to authority. Where is it now?
Thanks for a thoroughly research, comprehensive article on Jewish origins. I have always thought that most of the early history of the Israelites in Egypt, the Exodus and conquest of Canaan was either in error, distorted, enhanced, or just mythologized.
I've explored around Israel in the Negev mostly. It is a most fascinating place.
10 Oct 2012
Mr Wolfe, I appreciated your article and found it very informative. I've read much about this topic and have done a fair amount of my own research on the topic. One must always be careful when he sets out to investigate a topic with a preconcieved notion in mind. Evidence is always as such that it lends us the leeway to paint our portraits in any light we choose. This is most often, and perhaps most easily accomplished by the omission of some fact or another that tends to shine the light in a way that is unbecoming to the portrait we wish to present. In your essay the fact that is overlooked is certainly not without its own controversies. However, this fact, even with those controversies unsettled, certainly bends the light in a rather uncomplimentary fashion to the portrait you choose to present. This fact that I wish to bring to your attention is the Hyksos. For those of us that simply choose to ignore the biblical apologists, and get on with solving historical puzzles in the old fashioned scientific manner, have long since moved on from the mythological tale of Exodus, Moses, and Jewish slaves. Josephus tells us who these Hyksos were, as does Manethos. It's a shame, though completely understandable, that you left such an amazing relative piece of history out of your essay. However, certainly your retrospective conclusion would have suffered some scissor marks had you included the conflicting truth of these Shepherd Kings. Face it, without the Exodus myth the Habiru simply cannot evolve into the poor, perpetually persecuted, pious, and God fearing men that, above all else, strove to serve the one true God. Nevermind that they stole this God (Amen), along with everything else they could, from the Egyptians. From Habiru to Habiru: Some Things Will Never Change. John