Monastic History

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Monastic History Class

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We're looking at Qumran and then we're going to look a little bit at the Therapeutes, another minor group of Jewish monastics, before we enter into the whole thing of Christian monasticism. Okay, we can pass these around while I'm talking. These are just photos of Qumran, and I think most of you have seen photos before of Qumran. You've probably even read something about the Dead Sea Scrolls and or Qumran before. I'd be surprised if you haven't. There's something somewhere on it. The monastery itself is or was on a raised plateau, basically between a rather precipitous cliff and the beachhead on the western side of the Dead Sea. Just


in general, that's a geographical pinpoint. Ten miles south of Jericho and fourteen miles east of Jerusalem. So it isn't that far, huh? It isn't that far from centers of activity, and yet it's isolated and way out there and incredible. Now, how many of you have been there? Who's telling me they've been there? Maybe it was Martin. Oh, it was somebody who was just here, who had been there four times. Ah, Ray Rowe, the benediction from Slow. He just came back from his fourth time there, and I said, had I known that he was there here the day of class, and I would have had him come in and just do a little description for first-hand experience. The monastery itself wasn't all that big. It was like a hundred


yards by eighty yards in general. It had a rather elaborate and large water system and a whole series of cisterns for gathering water. Every drop that fell, they had ways of—they had an elaborate system. That was probably the most advanced thing of all and the most intricate, was to collect water. Well, it makes sense, huh? If you're living on a cliff next to the Dead Sea, there's going to be a water problem probably. And so a lot of their effort went into gathering as much water as possible during the wet season. Remember also, this isn't just for drinking and cooking. They are into this whole thing of ablutions and baths and what not, so they needed a lot of water, and they collected a lot in their system, because the ritual baths had to be done. This wasn't an and-or thing.


This was part of the daily routine. And so all they had was what they could gather from the Wadi Qumran itself, so the ravine of that area, and only during the rainy season. So whenever they had any kind of moisture at all, there would be something coming through the Wadi Qumran, because these wadis are basically erosions, geological erosion areas, where the water course would run through off the various parts of the desert terrain. That's what wadis are. They're like ravines, and that's all they had. The only way they could get water was that, that way. They had a tower connected to the monastery. They had a bakery. They had various offices for the officials of the community. They had a rather


large kitchen and a grand hall. You've looked at the maps, I take it, between now, between last class and now. The grand hall, the pantry near the kitchen, the scriptorium. They had an area for dyeing, that is D-Y-E, dyeing cloth, that sort of thing. Not unusual at that time to have that in a settlement. They had a stable, they had a library, and they had a cemetery with some 1,000 graves. They were a large group. We're not talking about that big of a place, but what they had, they elaborately developed, like monasteries have throughout the centuries in all traditions. What were the living quarters like? Do they have any idea? That I don't know.


They didn't house that many people. That I don't know. Maybe even levels, yeah, stacked up like in the submarines, or on ships, you know, in the contemporary navy. And so we're talking about the period between basically 150, remember, 150 BC, and that famous date, AD 68. That's the period we're talking about. This is when the 1,000 graves came from. And at its height, there were 4,000, 4,000 kumrun. So they must have been tightly packed. And there may very well have been some living caves nearby, all that sort of thing, connected to the community. You know, often in these ancient times, the numbers aren't all that reliable, because they're using them symbolically, or they're exaggerating. Not hypothetical, hyperbolic


language common, you know, nobody was expected to take it exactly. Here, yes, this is a reliable figure, 4,000, about 4,000. That's men and women? That's men and women, and that's for the whole span of, what, 200 years that we're talking about. But still, I wouldn't have expected that large, you know, before I read my, did my research. Oh, we're all married. It surprised me. Married? Yeah. No, no, we're, well, we'll get into that. But there, not kumrun, but there were settlements, or there were provisions made for married, married essenes. Again, we're not saying kumrun was necessarily a scene. They can't really say that, although they certainly were very, very close and somehow connected to these scenes. But they seemed a little more


rigorous and a little more developed than the other scenes, even though they mirror, in many ways, you know, the main thing. How do you get into kumrun, then? How did one get into kumrun? Well, there were certain classes, and this is certainly typical of Jewish life in the days of Jesus and before. There were many ways to disqualify yourself. If you think of some of the, in the days of Jesus, how the Pharisees would consider certain people unclean, and you couldn't, so some categories, besides tax collectors and prostitutes. Anyone who handled dead bodies, morticians. Anyone who tended pigs. So usually the Arabs did that. Pig flesh. But also for kumrun,


remember what kind of system they have. We talked about dualism and everything's white, black, white hats and black hats. But when you get deeply into a system like that, you find it permeating your whole outlook on things. And so from their standpoint, for the sons of light, sons and daughters of light in kumrun, waiting for this gathering for the messianic battle and whatnot, people who were deaf, there's a problem there. There's something wrong. You run into the whole array of how various peoples in the ancient times, and even within the Jewish spectrum, how they looked upon sickness, or suffering, or misfortune, or lack of money, or you lose your property. The whole thing from God hates you, to your great-great-great-grandfather


did something and you're being punished, even though you're a just man, to the point where it's just, it has nothing to do with... Did any of you take my course in wisdom literature? Okay, remember, the whole theory of retribution we talked about. Okay, well, the whole development through, if we follow the theory of retribution, that is, anything goes wrong, it's because you're being punished or somebody did something and you suffer the consequences in the bloodline. Okay, well, throughout the history of wisdom literature, you find a progression of how the Jewish people came to grips with the whole business about suffering, and afterlife, and all of that, and that theory of retribution keeps coming up, and the answers that the prophets and the wisdom people give throughout the centuries, as you get closer to Jesus, transforms. It changes to the point where, by the time of Jesus, they can say, hey, there is an afterlife,


and I'm not being punished because my great-grandfather did something, and if something does happen to me, it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm a sinner and damned. And, you know, so it took centuries to develop to that point where they could make those statements. Well, here, I don't really know why Qumran would knock off the name, the blind, the deaf, the people who were retarded, so mentally handicapped, certainly the insane. One can understand why they wouldn't take insane people, and that's going to be a problem in the community, you know. But anything, if you limped, you weren't taken into the community. Also minors, you had to be a certain age. As to why they had those particular, I don't really know, except that it makes sense for me to know that people who are strongly dualistic


black and white are going to have that, you know, permeating all their levels of existence in one way or another. You get to that point where it's the pure, the elect, and the others, which is like 99.9% of the human population. Of course, that's out of control, but dualists often go out of control at some point in their history. It's just almost a natural progression. Look at any strongly dualistic philosophy and or religious group. Look at, well, even in the Fan-Franciscan tradition, you have a strong dualistic period there, where they got involved with the Northern Italian Waldenians and the Spiritualists, and then you have the Albigensians in France at the same time, and all the different Catharist groups, and these are all coming through


the Bogomil philosophy and slant religion out of Bohemia a couple centuries before. Who can trace their things back to Mani, Manichaeus? It just keeps coming through. And this dualist thing is nothing old or nothing new. I mean, it's always been there. There are certain people who are drawn to this sort of thing, and they inevitably go into left field, one way or another. Did you want to say something? You looked excited all of a sudden. I thought you were going to say something. We'll talk more about these Catharists when we get to that point, because it's a really exciting period in history. Also rather sad from a monastic standpoint, since one of our monastic leaders was involved in slaughtering the whole group's assertion that he run. So you had all these impediments to admission. In many ways, you could not. You better have


everything under control. You better not limp. You better not have a missing toe or anything like that. You better be all there. And then you can get in, as long as you're the right age. Ironically, it's all those classes of people whom Jesus came out strongly for as entering the kingdom of heaven before anyone else, all those who are hurting, all the little ones and the poor ones and the sinners. Jesus' message is given to them publicly, and these are the ones whom the Qumran people had all cast out from their possibility. After a preliminary examination of conduct by the one in charge, that is, the Mevbaka, right? I don't know how to pronounce this. Mevbaka is what I'll call it. I don't know


where the accent goes. There is a postulancy period for the one coming in, and that person, that postulant, promises to obey the law of Moses. He's the overseer. Well, it's more than that. Isn't that the postulant? Right now, with the postulants, he's the postulant master, but he's also a prior. He's the spiritual leader of the group. And during this time, then, there's instruction for the postulants on all the rules of community, and they're big into rules. We're talking rules capital R with an S at the end. I mean, their whole thing is, everything is just intricately thought out and developed, and there's just one way to do anything. If you make it through there, and you still


want to be part of it, you will be admitted as a novice if the community votes favorably. Now, when you are a novice, this is more than just one year. The first year of novitiate allowed the postulant to keep property. Let's say he, I think most of them were male. They supported themselves. They kept their property. They think that this is because it was a way to root out freeloaders. This is a good life. Hey, at that time, to get three squares and a place to sleep, you could put up with anything, because we're talking luxury. So they think it was to not rule out, to weed out


freeloaders, people who couldn't take care of themselves too bad during that first year. They could have no contact with the community during that first year, other than the one who's in charge of giving them work details or making sure that they're at what they need to be. So they're isolated during that time. So they're just sort of like observers. The first year of novitiate is like an observership and held way off. Right. This is the first year of novitiate. And why can't they have anything to do with the community? Just logically. They're not. Exactly. It would defile those in the community. Remember, black and white, pure, impure, everything is... Once you get there, you are living like an angel. And so certainly, these first-year novices could have nothing to do with preparation of food. No


kitchen, no KP duty, maybe washing pots or something afterwards, but no cooking. Because the baths and pure food prepared by the right ways, at the right times, by the right people who are clean are the most important things in their daily lives. And so these people have nothing to do with the food. The community wouldn't have been able to eat if they had, because they would have defiled themselves and they would have had to go through elaborate repurification ceremonies. At the end of that year, there's a second vote. And this second vote is a little more detailed. It's just not, well, I like this person, or this person's made it this far and let's continue. This second vote gets a little more stringent in the weeding out, because they look at how intelligent the novice is, how well this novice has understood all the rules and how this novice


has observed the rules. Those that make it through this vote have to give all their property to the overseer, the mebacher, and any wages that they've gathered or any wages that they've been getting for work done. I don't know how they managed that. Maybe they mean past wages. But all of this property and wages and the whole business of things is written down in the book of the community, the book of accounts. So the community register. There's a record for why? Because the novitiate is still not over. So this is, okay, second vote, second year. And if the novice eventually leaves, all of this will be given back to the penny, to the shekel, all of it.


To just kind of store away somewhere. Yeah. Or at least they might have used it, but the community would have reimbursed. Right. So during the second year, after the second vote, they can have something to do with the community. They have contact with the community. It's a gradated thing. And they can be involved in the preparation of the community's food, but not the drink. The drink for the community is even more sacrosanct than the food. So until they are full members, they can't go that far. They can help prepare the meal, but they can't do anything at all with whatever's going to be drunk for the meal. After that year, there's a third vote. We're still novitiate. There's a third vote regarding full voting membership. So there really isn't a third


year and such, but there's a third vote. If the vote is favorable, the novice takes an oath of obligation. That is obligation to what? The laws. The laws of the community and to the moral code. Law is a slant moral code. What does that mean? What did that entail, that promise? Well, that one is going to live a perfect life according to the Torah. According to the Torah, the law of Moses. So there's something obviously there. I mean, you know, the Torah. This isn't just a vague thing, and there's many ways to sin against the Torah, and they better know which ways you would sin


against the Torah. The customary of the community, so they make an oath of allegiance to that customary. All little practices, all little traditions lived at Qumran. They had to make an oath of allegiance to that, including praising God by night and by day. So we're already having night office before Christ, religious night office. They promise in their oath to keep all the feasts. We're talking here basically of the seven main solemn feasts. And they promise or they take an oath to be good, just, kind, firm, be a man. And what kind of man? A man of light.


Sons of light, not sons of darkness. That was the term. Sons of light. Humble, meek, discerning, enlightened. Enlightened how? Obviously there has to be some kind of standard for this enlightenment. Enlightened, so knowledgeable against evil in your life, against deceit, against lust or base conduct. So this is just the shadow side. So it's a statement against things also. Against strife within the community, against anger, against chatter or slander, murmuring. Okay, it sounds familiar. Okay, we're still not done. We're still not done. They also in the oath promise to be dependent upon God. They promise all of their property to the community.


And they promise to obey the community code, but that goes along with the observance of all the laws. And this community code is not just overseen by the mubaraker. All the people, all the members of the community who are full members have a solemn duty to make sure nobody else is infringing any of the rules. And if they are, immediately they're called on the carpet. Oh, you mean in that sense? I don't know. But certainly while they were there, they were constantly checking up. Yeah, we got some coming up. Just the good stuff still coming. The married scenes. So now we're talking not necessarily kumran, but we're talking of scenes.


And we can, again, parenthetically assume that kumran is probably a scene. Married scenes lived in separate camps. They did not live at kumran. There may very well have been some nearby in camps, but it's not allowed. Philo of Alexandria wrote that marriage was perceived as the chief agent for breaking up the fellowship. Well, if you ever talk about monks being able to marry, and you hear this coming up once in a while, what's the first thing that's said regarding the practicality of all of us having wives and children? Well, it'll fall apart, practically. Practically, you have wives against wives, children, the whole thing. The whole thing. Because in the context of a commune and communal money and communal problems, well, that was their concern too. But why is it just


that Philo points this out? And why does Philo point to marriage? The reason I'm saying this is people, scholars, look upon this particular statement as probably overstressed, hyperbolic, that kumran was not necessarily anti-marriage as such. It's just that that's the way it was set up for practical reasons. Why does Philo put the thing about marriage in there, in a very dark way? Because he was a neoplatonist. And? Dualist. And? And Greek, physical being. Okay, take that a step further. Yeah, if physical is bad, then what? Sexual relation. Yeah, and then one step further? Matter is bad. What does it take for sexual relation? Procreation. Two people. Two people of different sexes?


Sex. Well, in those days, no, I can't say that either. But for procreation? Eh. Women! Women! Philo hated women. He is a notorious misogynist. And so because of that, scholars look upon this particular thing as, eh, we don't know if, you know, really, that kumran was necessarily misogynistic, but that the married people, just for practical reasons, worked their own thing out in camps nearby. And also, women were harder to keep pure and clean, too. Ah, because of the bleeding. And yet Philo's the one who writes about the therapies. But Philo kind of writes about them in a tongue-in-cheek. Yeah. But anyway, I'm just giving you what I got in my secondary sources. This isn't my hypothesis, although it makes sense to me. Although I didn't know Philo was a notorious misogynist, but they say he was. There was a community council within the framework of kumran.


So there was a domestic council. And this domestic council was like, it paralleled the setup in Jerusalem. So what was the council in Jerusalem called? Exactly. Sanhedrin. So if you know anything about the Sanhedrin, or if you remember just that Jesus was called before the Sanhedrin, all this sort of thing, that's the type of thing you've got in kumran. Same parallel. Remember, this is where they're coming from. These people are coming from that tradition, many of them from that city and that setup. So naturally, there's going to be a lot of parallels. There is very strict observance of the law. The members meticulously copied the Torah in the scriptorium as part of their asceticism. They copied out the Torah in the scriptorium and studied it day and night


in three round-the-clock shifts. Now, if you know anything at all about kluni and the rotating choir, 24-hour choir, you put in your eight-hour shift in choir, and then the next shift came in. We'll get to that, of course, in the Middle Ages. Ah, you've got it here at kumran. They're not chanting a divine office around the clock, but the Torah, and of course this makes sense because the Torah is what their sons of Torah is what they are, sons of light, sons of Torah. They have people studying, reading the Torah every minute of the day, round the heckle, and they work in shifts to do this. Why are they so, wow, the end is coming. The end is coming, and so obviously we need to get into this as much as possible in a very concentrated way and prepare ourselves to recognize the signs and to usher in the messianic kingdom. They even went to extremes in their observance of the law,


which shouldn't surprise you if you know they're dualistic. That is, on the Sabbath, you could not go pee-pee. You could not relieve nature. You had to hold it all day on the Sabbath. Now, that is an extreme. I mean, the Hasidic will go to the bathroom. They might have laws about how you go to the bathroom, but here you couldn't even go to the bathroom. Couldn't turn on the lights, drive a car. That's right. That's right. Couldn't drive your chair. And there was a very strong penal code. The Celtic penitentials, by the way, I've now gotten three different sources in our library for when we get to the penitentials. We're going to read some of those things. I'll translate them. The Celts have nothing over Qumran regarding what you can get punished for and where to go with that. They had all kinds of punishments


ranging from fasting—they're big on fasting—all the way to being kicked out and exiled. E.g., examples. If you happen to butt into a conversation within the community context, if you butt in, you have ten days of fast. They're not talking you go without carrots. I mean, they're talking fast. Everything is extreme. You butt in, you're fat. You don't have sleep, and you're caught at it in a public assembly. You have 30 days without food. Now, they might have gotten you a piece of bread or something like that, but hard fast, strong fast. This is nothing compared to anything the Celtics will have. A, wonderful things. If you laugh out loud, Celtic monks said this, if you laugh out loud


and you're kicked out, 30 days again of fasting. That's Celtic. No, no. This is all Qumran. But it'll be worse than some of the Celtic stuff. Although the Celtic monks tended to—anything to do with sex, that's where they really went wild. 30 years of exile. If you looked at a cow lustfully, they have stuff like that in their penitentiaries. If you happen to think sex thoughts with a cow, 30 years, go off into another foreign country. But it got so overdeveloped. We'll talk about this when we get there. It got so overdeveloped that they had to develop this whole system. How do you get out of the punishments? And so you had other people. You paid other people to do it for you. Or you could say a certain number of prayers that made up for the exile. Or you'd go up to your neck in icy water and recite the whole


Psalter three times through, and that way you didn't have to fast for four years. They developed this whole system of how to get around the things. Good can of lawyers in development. We're back to Qumran. If you spoke, if you said something bad, excuse me, if you said something untrue about another, about a monk, a member of the community, you would be exiled from the community for one full year. I have to say one thing that's not true. Did you find any good things there? I don't know what you're talking about. That was the last one I have here. Murmuring equals expulsion.


There ain't no griping. Anything about cows? No. You know, the Celtics, if you were a priest, there were exceptions made, not to be anti-clerical. But I think if you had sex with a woman, it was like five years in chains in the middle of the courtyard or something like that. But then you were released and welcomed back into the community. Although with the Celtic monks, as long as you did what you did your duty, um, everything was made right. You just said that it's personal intensive. When you bring the spirit of love, you will be accepted back. So maybe we'll make a vow to that. Up to three times, does it say? Would that make it up? It doesn't say three times. Um, this whole thing about purity of life, which again is very


consonant with any kind of dualistic situation, with Qumran was taken to the extreme. And why is this such a big thing with them? Why are they so hyped up on being pure and clean? Again, we talked, we mentioned it last week. Why is it a thing for them at all? Aren't all Jews clean and pure? There must be a problem. Why did they have to go to the desert to do that? Why? Because there was so many influence by the Hellenizers. Ah, the Hellenizers, exactly. Their fellow Jews were not, we're not obeying the laws. We're not even obeying the spirit of Moses in many cases. And we're bringing in other religion influences. Echo, they go to the extreme. And so how do you get pure? Well, we've got all kinds of rules about how you get pure and how you stay pure. And some of these main facets of being pure is that you, first of all,


have nothing to do with novices. No contact at all with novices. That is, the impure novices. So novices during the first year are the impure in your midst, and you have nothing to do with them. You have absolutely nothing to do with any monk who is a delinquent. So if some have been expelled or whatever, you don't become the mediator. You don't have anything to do with them on the outside. They are verbal. They are shunned, totally. You take many, many baths, and they have elaborate bath systems. Again, have any of you read any novels of Potok, you know, the Hasidic Jews, the whole ritual bath? Well, here it's every day. And for some of the Hasidic, they start their day that way, and they end their day that way, taking ritual baths. Here, you take a bath any time you finish work,


any time before you eat food. You have to take a ritual bath. Now, this isn't just clear off the dirt. This is ritual bath. So you're doing more than clearing off physical dirt. Was it a metaphor, or did they really believe that the water was cleansing them in some physical way? I presume they believed it, that it was more than just, you know, a symbol for them. It had to be fresh, running water in the bath. It couldn't be spilled. Yeah. The whole thing about baths symbolically did imply ongoing conversion, and spiritual journey, and repentance, and all of that type of notion, which goes into purification. That was intentional. How do you show that you're among the pure? You wear habits.


And what color are the habits? White. Not black! Told ya. White habits. And another aspect underlying all of this is that they're very, very, again, eschatological in tone. All their aspects of the line. There's a lot of angelology in their work, again. A lot of stuff about angels. Writings about angels. Developed mythology of angels, yeah. So did they, these people then, expressly believed in an afterlife? Yeah. Well, yes, yeah. But, like, they don't have a strong description, for instance, of what that afterlife is. They're more concerned with the coming of the Messiah, and what that kingdom is going to be like. And it's filled with angelic spirits. But they weren't going to die during this Messianic,


after the end of the Messianic. They were going to continue on in their battle? I don't know. I mean, they expected a physical battle, that some would die. But whether they felt there was going to be a resurrection, or somehow that they would go on, I don't know the answer to that. What this stuff got caught up into with Kabbalah later on, and the Safed community in Jerusalem in 1400s, 1500s, is set up almost exactly like this. They believe that there are 13 different levels of reality. It's not necessarily that you die. Qumran believed 13? I'm saying that if what eventually became Jewish mysticism came from this, there's that notion within the Jewish mystical tradition. Oh, yeah. But what about Qumran itself? I don't know. But I'm saying there's a possibility that you're not in an afterlife, but that you're moving up. You're going to move into different levels of reality. Somehow, the reality that you're in is going to be transformed. I don't know how far you've developed at this time. In one of the, there's a fragment, it's titled The Messianic Vision,


in one of the phrases that it says, that talking about the Messiah, he shall heal the wounded and resurrect the dead, and to the poor now it's glad tidings. So they have some concept of resurrection. Whatever that meant to them, yeah. I just remembered you talking in the end, about how few people thought in terms of a real afterlife. Of? Of a real afterlife. Yeah, it depended what time, yeah. Although we're to the point now where you have who became Pharisees. You have the development of that up to Jesus' time and during Jesus' time. And you have them grappling and arguing about it. So it makes sense that, especially an extreme group off in the desert, could very well be part of the ushering in of this sort of thing which develops. Makes sense to me that they would believe in some kind of afterlife.


Although I think they had it more in terms of on earth, in a messianic kingdom. Did they have a mystical prayer tradition when they were in contact with these angels? Were they receiving sort of, I don't know, messages or revelations from them? I don't know. Because that became very important when everyone was Jewish. Because now the angelology was real important. Well the whole thing with messianism, huh? You can just take messianism and fill in the blanks and they had it. Their whole life was imbued with all of that stuff. I think there's this more of seeing things in terms of a positive conflict with angels. In the event of not necessarily contact between individual people and angels sort of a revelation, right? One thing that makes sense also that happened to these Essenes is that they had periods of laxity, as short-lived as they are. Because they're all at such a peak and hyped up


and there's so many ways you can go wrong that they're all being very careful. And this is in order to usher in the messianic kingdom. And just like in early Christianity, it didn't come. I mean, the second coming hasn't come yet, that type of thing. Where it became a real crisis for many people in the early church because Jesus still hadn't come back. Well, for these people also, this messiah who's going to raise up the, you know, all get your swords and slaughter the rest of the earth, you know, the sons of light, it didn't happen. So they would slack off and then they'd have to have a reform movement and again it would slack off because it just didn't happen. It didn't. You kept going on and on and on. Their daily rhythm for life at Qumran basically can be put in this structure. Prayer, slant. Work, slant.


Take a bath in cold water. Get dressed in white and eat your morning meal. Okay. Here's the afternoon. Prayer, slant. Work, slant. Take a bath in cold water. Get dressed in white. Eat your evening meal. Go to bed. Would they need to wash their clothes as often as they did? Oh, I bet. I mean, I don't have that down here in the night. I'm sure it was. Everything was just, you know, they were very, very conservative climbers. Was it a communal shower or did they have to each? They had a communal area but I think there were separate, like, plunges or pits where they did their thing. And they had people who worked as the attendants of, you know, the water bearers and that type of thing. But again, it's not necessarily baths as we're thinking baths.


It is that movement, trickle of water, and ritual movements with it that was important. Not necessarily having it five feet deep and plunging in and that sort of thing. I don't know. Does it say anything on the, how deep they were? Dead sea desert. To be having the, your main thing is baths. Baths. It just seems so ironic. No wonder they were so successful. God. I mentioned before that one of the promises you made was to keep the seven principal feasts. Can you name those seven principal feasts? Passover. Purim. Shabbat. Which one is the new year? Day of Atonement?


Yom Kippur? Yeah. And weeks, the Feast of Weeks. That's the second Passover. And then you have a Pentecost. Echo. Those are the, you know, these main, seven main feasts at that time were extremely important for them. But there were others. That is, and they promised, you know, full observance for all these. All the Sabbaths, for instance. Every time there's a new moon. Hey. The four days of commemoration. These are seasonal things. The harvest commemoration. The first ten shuts come up after the planning at this sort of spring festival. The summer fruits festival. So when everything's blooming and blossoming, you've got your fruits growing and stuff like


that. And the actual sowing itself. Sowing of the seedlings. They had feasts around these events. Well, it makes sense. All the peoples of this time did, in one way or another. Even if they had made them into elaborate religious festivals, the roots of them were these agricultural realities and seasonal changes. Also, the Feast of Oil. I don't know what the Feast of Oil is. Does anyone? Well, anyway, they had this Feast of Oil. Perhaps it was connected with, after doing the olive process and whatnot, the celebration and blessing of the oil for the coming year. Because remember, the Elseviers were on oil for 19—well, not crosses, of course, but 19—and also for health reasons, oil was always seen in that context. It would make sense, too, if now, when there's a chore, with light, because oil lamps would


have been extremely necessary through the ritual, through the night. And just calling themselves the Sons of Light. I don't have anything more on Qumran, so let's just open it up to anything. What did Hanukkah stand for? Because that's the festival of lights. I don't have that listed. I don't have that listed here. They obviously must have—people must have been able to live afford to call this ridiculous stuff, and they had 4,000, and they were successful. So people survived. I don't—personally, I don't know if the total of 4,000 referred to all the married camps around there, too, as well as the Qumran people, or just—I'm understanding it's


just Qumran at its peak, but that could mean settlements in the caves and stuff around there. Why not? How does a person support himself during his posthumous eve? He's out in the desert, and you can't put him back and put it together. Also, they had certain people who dealt with the outside. And those had to be very careful, and had to be extra pure, and go through a lot more purification ceremonies, because of the contamination business. We still have five minutes, if anybody wants to say anything or react to the maps. No. No, we still have five minutes. We can react to the maps, or any questions at all that someone might be aware of regarding


Qumran. Next time, we'll begin with the therapeutes, then. Also, I will go in to begin the Christian—the theory for Christian monasticism. So we'll talk about desert, the figure of the desert, and the desert spirituality. Did they buy their supplies, or did they raise them? I believe they did both. They had these people who dealt with the outside regarding supplies, but they tried to do as much as they could. But the area they were in was very bleak, very bleak. It was highly developed, but one would think they probably couldn't have raised enough for a peak of 4,000 people to, you know, eat on a daily basis. Was there any admiration for the Jewish people in the general area, or Jerusalem, and was there some kind of monetary support?


There must have been, in a certain sense. One period of assignment, not any monetary support, but at least they got the okay. But— They were separated from the Temple. They're just on their own, basically. There was support in the sense that they kept getting conference. They kept getting people coming to them who were fed up with the status quo. But how are they? Yeah. Which is the majority, right? And the ones that got the power. Jewish people were supposed to be married to fundamentalist groups in this period. Well, they would have looked down upon somebody who wasn't. But see, you always get into this thing with monastic groups. And that's why the monastic groups are always on the fringe. Because it's always a— It always seems like they're going against nature in order to be more concentrated, or more pure, or more fervent in any system, in any religious system.


So they would have— Even if there were people on the outside who thought a lot of them, because they've got to be strong people to do that, to move that way, they certainly would have been thought of as weird by Jews, by the fellow Jews. Now, in the same way, they have gone to the temple. No, they're on their own. They want nothing to do with that whole business. They're bringing in a new temple. They had plans to build a new temple, and they had just completely closed themselves off from it. What's going on? I know all the visions. They had their, you know, religious duties run that business. And up until the time these scrolls were discovered, people really didn't know that much about the Kunaanites in the U.S. Well, we had a little bit from four sources, a little bit of description.


Were the people who started Christian monasticism, would they have had any sort of knowledge about this sort of— I mean, the similarities between the similarities— Oral tradition within Palestinian monasticism, surely. So there was some influence that passed down. I would assume so, at least the oral tradition of some of the great desert monastics. Because the setup was so much the same. So next time, or tomorrow, we'll talk about the therapies. And I just have a few, 10 minutes worth of the therapies. We don't have a lot of the therapies. Then we'll start the Christian thing. For next Wednesday, those of you who have not read The Life of St. Anthony before, The Life of St. Anthony, you need to read that for next Wednesday's class. You don't have to use the one in your reader. You can pick it. We have all kinds of different translations. I don't care what you read, which one you read.


But read The Life of St. Anthony. Real important document.