[b-hebrew] Zoroaster and Judaism
Ethel Jean (Kowan) Saltz
macnietspingal at airmail.net
Mon Oct 16 16:09:27 EDT 2006
Strange: I was pondering what kind of clothes the authors of
Torah/Pentateuch wore in the Middle East. I've always thought of them as
wearing skirts/drapes. One source led to another and there seems to be that
trousers/pants started with the Persians. Then there's a reference somehow
that Zoroaster influenced Judaism. This is another path that I've seen a
lot of attention paid to by scholars of TaNaKh. The Wikipedia says "In
addition, the various religions of the Iranian peoples, including
Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism, were important early philosophical
influences on Judeo-Christianity." I have a couple of problems with this.
1. the term Judeo-Christianity is meaningless to me. 2.
Doesn't this article date the Torah/Pentateuch? I also scanned the
teachings in this article and it doesn't jive with my reading of Torah at
all. For me this is quite a stretch. Help!
When I looked up Zoroaster I don't see how it could be, given the dates.
The Torah could not have been composed before he lived, okay here's a quote
from the Encyc Britannica:
born c. 628 BC, probably Rhages, Iran
died c. 551, site unknown
Old Iranian Zarathushtra , or Zarathustra Iranian religious reformer
and founder of Zoroastrianism, or Parsiism, as it is known in India. (See
A major personality in the history of the religions of the world,
Zoroaster has been the object of much attention for two reasons. On the one
hand, he became a legendary figure believed to be connected with occult
knowledge and magical practices in the Near Eastern and Mediterranean world
in the Hellenistic Age (c. 300 BC–c. AD 300). On the other hand, his
monotheistic concept of God has attracted the attention of modern historians
of religion, who have speculated on the connections between his teaching and
Judaism and Christianity.
I think the Torah was written before Zarathushtra was born. So maybe
it should be the other way around, the Torah influenced Zoroaster? Help,
again. There's a difference between saying "influence the Torah" and the
influences of national customs, which abound in the entire TaNaKh, given the
historical holocausts both self-imposed and from external peoples that are
illustrated in TaNaKh. Of course I define Judaism as essentially Torah
directly. Rabbi David Stern of Temple Emanu-El once told us in a
pre-Shabbat discussion that he thought of it as Torah and the rest of TaNaKh
is about making the Torah fit. That fits my reading of the entire Bible:
TaNaKh, Apocrypha, New Testament, Koran.
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