Rachel Elior

Rachel Elior

One of the nice things about the Raphael Golb story (the man who used pseudonyms to attack scholars) is that many sites and blogs have been covering it. As a result, I have discovered some interesting resources that should interest our readers.

1. Our own Grandmuffti reports that an Israeli scholar, Rachel Elior, denies the existence of the Essenes:

Elior theorizes that the Essenes were really the renegade sons of Zadok, a priestly caste banished from the Temple of Jerusalem by intriguing Greek rulers in 2nd century B.C. When they left, they took the source of their wisdom — their scrolls — with them. “In Qumran, the remnants of a huge library were found,” Elior says, with some of the early Hebrew texts dating back to the 2nd century B.C. Until the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the earliest known version of the Old Testament dated back to the 9th century A.D. “The scrolls attest to a biblical priestly heritage,” says Elior, who speculates that the scrolls were hidden in Qumran for safekeeping.

Fascinating! If this is true, then the Scrolls were written by priests who were banished from Jerusalem to Qumran. If “Charles Gadda” was still posting, would he have attacked her for saying this? I will gather up some of the sites that mention her and put up a post.

2. Robert Cargill has been updating his site Who is Charles Gadda. He has been keeping track of interviews Norman Golb (the father of Raphael) has been giving to the press. While the father has not implicated his son in the criminal activity of which he is accused, he has admitted that he knew his son used pseudonyms, wrote blogs attacking others and was indeed “Charles Gadda,” the alias who visited our site.

Cargill quotes:

“As far as I’m concerned,” he [Norman Golb] said, “these developments have all to do with the efforts of various traditional … scholars to block the expression of my views.”

Norman Golb goes on to state that his son, Raphael, used aliases to blog in defense of his views, and for the first time confirmed that the alias was indeed alias “Charles Gadda”. The article states:

Norman Golb told The Chronicle that he was “aghast and horrified at these charges. My son’s only interest has been to follow my work, and—since he is a blogger and I am not a blogger—to engage in debate with other bloggers.” The elder Mr. Golb added, “He used a pseudonym because that’s what he preferred to do.”

When a Chronicle reporter asked if that pseudonym was Charles Gadda, the older Mr. Golb replied, “Yeah, that’s right.”

Norman Golb admits that “Charles Gadda” is definitely Raphael Golb. Unbelievable.

I don’t understand Norman Golb’s claim about his views being “blocked.” He’s a holder of a chair at one of the top universities in the country. If Rachel Elior can get her alternative theory that there were no Essenes out there – see book #14 (she has written 14 books!!!!) in her bio,Memory and Oblivion, The Secret of the Judaean Desert Scrolls (Hebrew), Zicharon ve Neshiya, Sodan shel Megilot Midbar Yehuda, Jerusalem: Van Leer Institute Press and Tel-Aviv: haKibbutz ha-Meuchad, 2009” – what was blocking Golb?

It’s funny, John Mearsheimer is also from University of Chicago and while he was going on talks and interviews across the country, not to mention getting coverage in most major newspapers and cutting a publishing deal with a top publishing house, he was complaining that he and Walt couldn’t get their original article published in the US. I guess some University of Chicago scholars believe that claiming to be victims while they are actually the ones apparently attacking others helps to market their theories.

3. The best coverage of the Golb story, other than Robert Cargill’s is at Jim West’s site. He appears to be interested in ancient history as well as Christianity.

I bring him up because he posted about an inscriptions site that has been put up. It looks like a resource that could be of interest to people who want to investigate some of what has been discovered from the writings of, uh, our forefathers…

Here’s the site. Its description reads:

The Inscriptions of Israel/Palestine project seeks to collect and make accessible over the Web all of the previously published inscriptions (and their English translations) of Israel/Palestine from the Persian period through the Islamic conquest (ca. 500 BCE – 640 CE). There are about 15,000 of these inscriptions, written primarily in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin, by Jews, Christians, and pagans. They range from imperial declarations on monumental architecture to notices of donations in synagogues to humble names scratched on ossuaries, and include everything in between.


4. Tzvee’s Talmudic Blog points us to a Chabad site where you can download almost 1000 different hagaddas for Pesach. It’s an incredible resource! Thank you to Tzvee for posting about it. Maybe one day he and I will meet in person so he won’t have to worry about my anonymity.

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