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Re: The Essenes and War

Jim West wrote:
Let me reply with 2 presuppositions:
1) the word "essene" is the anglicized form of "hasid".
Jim, this is as big a leap as any and should not, by any means, be taken as
even a solid assumption. Philo is only guessing when he states that the term
Essene may be related to Hosaioi.  Hosaioi, does not mean Hasidim. I argued
for what I believe is a closer connection to the term, calling them
Isaiahites or in Greek, "Hessaioi." One should not jump to the conclusion
that the word "essene"= hasid.
Jim West wrote:
2) The hasid of the Qumran documents describe themselves in their documents.
In that they logically considered their own arguments to be righteous, they
considered themselves righteous ones. They may even have considered
themselves pious, because of this as well, but these terms do not require
that they called themselves by the name Hasidim.
Jim West wrote:
With these 2 presuppositions in mind I will simply point to those places in
the DSS where the putative Essenes (not because so called by Josephus, but
because they describe themselves as Hasidim)....
Where is it obviously that they refer to themselves by the name "Hasidim" as
opposed to using that adjective. In fact, please tell me where they use that
adjective. I don't have my resources handy to check.
Jim West wrote:
If, on the other hand, one were to suggest that the Essenes DID participate
in the Jewish War, one must present evidence of the fact.
In my view, the Essenes were related to the Oniad High Priesthood and whoever
deposited the scrolls at Qumran was also. We know from Josephus that the
Romans destroyed the temple in Leontopolis, I believe in War VII, though I am
not sure of the passages. Therefore, I would argue that the Essenes did
participate in the war and did no better than anyone else who battled against
     However, even if the "Essenes", nor the Qumranites, were related to the
Oniads, I do not see how they could have avoided fighting against Rome. Rome
did not stop fighting when they destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, they
destroyed that in Leontopolis later. Furthermore, they probably attacked
every large Jewish settlement that they encountered in Palestine. In my view,
the only way that the descendants of those who wrote the scrolls, did not
become involved in the war against Rome is if they fled.

Just a few thoughts,
-David Jay Kaufman
HUC-JIR Jerusalem
Rabbinical Student