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Skulls in Jewish Rituals - varnamvarnam
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Skulls in Jewish Rituals

Around 20 CE, Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee and a contemporary of Yeshua who played a part in his execution as well as the excution of John the Baptist, built a new city called Tiberias in honor of his mentor, the Roman emperor Tiberius. His father, Herod the Great, was known for building beautiful cities and the son wanted to match that. Some scholars suggest that Yeshua, who was from the nearby Nazareth, must have worked in the construction of the this city between 18 and 23 CE.[1]

But the son’s construction projects did not rival the father’s accomplishments which included expanding the temple at Jerusalem, building the fortress at Masada and the port city of Caesarea Maritima. There was another problem too with the city of¬† Tiberias. During the construction of the city, they hit upon a cemetery, which was destroyed. But when time came to move in the residents, devout Jews stayed away, since they considered this impure. So some Galileans and poor immigrants were moved in.[2]

According to Jewish religious law, it is forbidden to touch human remains. In the film The Body, when Olivia Williams finds a skeleton, supposedly of Yeshua, there is a scene where conservative Jews make a huge issue about it and start pelting her and Antonio Banderas. Thus it is odd to see a news item with the title Jews used human skulls in Talmudic era. Jews were not supposed to be Kapalikas.

BAR readers already know about the more than two thousand magic incantation bowls that have survived from third – seventh-century C.E. Jewish communities in Babylonia. The incantation bowls were made at the same time and in the very communities that produced the most intricate, complex and revered accomplishment of rabbinic Judaism, the Babylonian Talmud. Although some have deemed the incantation literature to be inconsistent with the spirit of the Talmud, recent research has shown it to be, rather, complementary and representative of aspects of life reflected within the Talmud. [Rare Magic Inscription on Human Skull]

It is believed that these skulls were used in ceremonies – to scare away ghosts and demons – though it violated laws.

But violating Jewish laws is not new. For example, even though the Israelites were supposed to worship Yahweh only, they worshipped the fertility goddess Asherah and the Canaanite God Baal. Even Jesus violated the sabbath law

References:

[1] Jesus the Galilean By David A. Fiensy
[2] Herod Antipas By Harold W. Hoehner


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