The purpose of this blog is to provide the larger context to the situation in the Middle East. The history will be provided through video and audio recordings of my late father, Dr. David Neiman –an expert on the history of the ancient near east and the relationship between the Church and the Jews. He based his theses on historical records, linguistics and a deep understanding of the Bible and its origins.
Father Felix F. Talbot, SJ was a colleague of my father’s in the theology department at Boston College, a Catholic university outside of Boston. “He likes to make up clever little devices to help his students remember things”, my father told me. “The lord, the land, the law” was the mnemonic device Father Talbot used to help his students remember the three elements that define the Jewish people: the conception of one god, a connection to the land of Israel and the law of the Bible.
Simple, but it works. The following video clips explore the history and concepts behind these elements.
The Jewish people are uncompromising when it comes to the idea that there is only one god, with no half-god/half-man manifestations. This concept was radical when it was conceived and remains a point of contention to this day.
There is a historical connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel. The connection goes back over three thousand years. The land of Israel is continually mentioned in prayers, literature, art and song. The Hebrew language, alphabet and archaeological evidence further cement this strong historical link to that geographical area. Whether or not you feel the connection between Israel and the Jewish people is legitimate, that fact remains that it exists, and Genesis 15 is the chapter that made it all happen.
The Talmud is a 16-volume legal code. Up until recently, Jewish communities the world-over were governed by Jewish law as interpreted in the Talmud. Having a set of governing principles has helped Jewish communities survive and thrive, no matter where they may be in the world.