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Such was this rabbinical Judaism protected by the empire, that had made its eschatological compromise with the world as it is, and aspired neither to the self-sufficiency of nation states nor to dissolution in new forms of rule: retribalized and, in its adherence to the preaching of Ezra and Nehemiah, racist. But it was not without contradictions. For a long time yet, messianism and monarchism continued to cast a shadow over this peaceful reconstruction. For their part, the sects pursued their paradoxically missionary activity outside Palestine.

They knew not only the urban islands scattered over it but also the civilizations whose shores it bathed: they were sailors, not fishes. Since earliest antiquity, the desert, bounded on the south by the fertility of 60 \ 61 The Domain A History of the Jews Ancient and Modern populations of the Middle East, in varying degrees, the result of ancient and continuous mixings. Neither genealogical myths, on whose credibility the Bible provides some striking evidence, nor the linguistic crytallizations that emerged from this common base, give any credence to the idea that these populations or the nations of this cultural area constituted a race.

Especially to the Spartan model. See Pierre Vidal-Naquet's work, especially his preface to Josephus' Guerre des Juifs (Paris, Editions de Minuit, 1977), and the historical essay on this period in the collection, Les Juifs, la mémoire et le présent (Paris, Maspéro, 1981). ) Hellenism and the Rise of Rome (London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1968). 15. Máxime Rodinson, " F r o m the Jewish Nation to the Jewish Problem"; see note 1, chapter one in present work. 16. André Neher, L'existence juive (Paris, Editions du Seuil, 1962) p.

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