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Re: One Thousand Scribes

>>If the Qumran site was not a "residence" but instead a
>"headquarters" or place to go for purification, every Essene in
>the country could have been required to go there.  It may very
>well have been a transient Essene "motel." <
>I read the BAR article advancing this hypothesis, but found myself unconvinced
>for practical reasons recognizable by every orthodox Jewish woman who must trek
>to the mikveh once a month for ritual purification.
>Qumran is simply too far away for men who would have had to purify themselves
>after every nocturnal emission (if they followed Lev. 15-16 or some equivalent
>rule of their own).  Particularly in the case of celibate men, I'm betting that
>that phenomenon occurs considerably more than once a month!

Even without that, there are many conditions that require immersion,
that today we don't think about, but at that time would be prevalent.

>They could have built their mikveh anywhere outside the city walls, if it was
>intended as nothing but a mikveh!  Why on earth would they trek all the way
>from Jerusalem to Qumran just to take a dip (even if the procedures took
>several days, their motel could still have been built closer -- it takes too
>long even by car today!).
>It makes no sense that this was the only (or even the primary) purpose of
>the buildings at Qumran.  The mikveh was obviously there because the people
>were there for some other primary reason, and had to build it because of their
>strict purity rules.

Maybe this community was the one that originated going to the country
for the summer? :)

   |            /\           |                         |
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   |        \/ /  \/ /       |     Moshe Shulman       |
   |        / /\__/_/\       | mshulman@ix.netcom.com  |
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