In Those Days, At This Time
D A N I E L P I N N E R
Archaeologists digging in Jerusalem in recent weeks discovered an ancient scroll, written on parchment in Greco-Hebraic letters. It appears to be an excerpt from the Hierosolymos Postos [Greek for “Jerusalem Post”]. Carbon dating has reliably determined it to have been written in 166 B.C.E. Translation of the scroll is still proceeding; here is the lead article on the front page.
The High Priest in Jerusalem, Menelaus, has expressed his “shock, anger, and dismay” at the continued terrorist attacks that the maverick Priest, Matityahu, and his terrorist organisation, “the Macabbees”, are committing throughout the Seleucid province of Judea.
“This kind of terrorism has no place in the Jewish psyche”, Menelaus said at a press conference yesterday. “As the High Priest, I have ultimate jurisdiction over Jewish values, and I unequivocally condemn the terrorism that these hooligans are perpetrating against innocent Hellenists throughout the country”.
His words come as the Macabbees attacked yet another Greek military unit early yesterday morning, this time in Joppa (Jaffa).
Menelaus was appointed High Priest by King Antiochus IV five years ago, and his tenure has been marked by constant progress towards ever-greater Hellenistic beauty and art. Perhaps his greatest achievement has been his revamping of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, which he has cleansed of the old, worn-out, out-dated superstitions such as sheep and goat sacrifices (which no one believes in any more anyway), and replaced them with modern progressive artefacts such as pig sacrifices and prayers to Zeus.
In a press conference yesterday evening, the Jewish Governor of Jerusalem, Binyaminos Netanyochus, condemned the dramatic rise in Jewish attacks against Hellenists throughout the country in recent months, including here in Jerusalem. He also deplored the systemic campaign of incitement from certain extreme elements among the Hellenists, including libels about the Jews attempting to change the status quo on the Temple Mount, and even wild allegations that the Jews are planning to destroy the Temple of Zeus and cleanse the area of the Greek gods.
“In a press conference yesterday evening, the Jewish Governor of Jerusalem, Binyaminos Netanyochus, condemned the dramatic rise in Jewish attacks against Hellenists throughout the country in recent months, including here in Jerusalem.”
“These are false accusations”, Netanyochus insisted, “absolute fabrications. Judea is fully committed to the status quo. We respect all religions’ rights to worship all gods in any way they see fit.
“The status quo on the Temple Mount guarantees the Greeks’ right to worship Zeus and to sacrifice pigs, while protecting the rights of other religions to visit. The Temple of Zeus is a holy site for the Greeks, in addition to its tremendous historical importance for us as Jews, and we will continue to guarantee their religious freedom at their holy site.
“Jerusalem shall remain united and shall remain the undivided capital of Judea, while guaranteeing freedom of worship for all pagans”.
The status quo in the Temple of Zeus (what Jewish extremists call “the Temple Mount”) has been in force ever since the war in which Seleucid forces conquered the holy site.
The Minister of Education, Naftalos Benedictos, also condemned the attempts by Jewish radicals to worship in and around the Temple of Zeus. “Of course we pray several times every day for the Jewish Holy Temple to be restored, but this can happen only through peaceful means”, he said. “The Seleucids worship the same G-d that we do: We call Him Hashem in Hebrew, the Greeks call Him Zeus in Greek. These are simply different names for the same Supreme Deity whom we all worship. Greeks and Jews – there’s no reason for us to be enemies”.
The Minister of Internal Security, Gilados Herodion, has assured the government and the general public that his police forces are fully equipped and trained to keep the peace in the Temple of Zeus, as well as combating Jewish terrorism throughout the country.
“I am aware that Jewish terrorism, these attacks by the Maccabees, are a major problem”, he announced at a press conference late last night. “However, we have the forces necessary to defeat this ugly phenomenon. It is important to remember that the Maccabees are just a few wild weeds, and that the vast majority of Jews are loyal to King Antiochus IV.”
In response to a question from the press corps as to the long-term future of Israel, Herodion confidently predicted: “When we build our temples, we’re building for eternity. The Maccabees and their terrorist cohorts are just a passing phenomenon. Progressive, enlightened Hellenism is here to stay, it is the ideology of the entire civilised world and the ideology of the future. A thousand years and more from now, King Antiochus IV and his achievements will still be celebrated – and who will even remember the name of the Maccabees?”.
Daniel Pinner was born in England, and has lived in Israel for more than half his life. He served in the Tank Corps of the IDF, has a degree in Jewish History, and lives in the Shomron with his wife and three children. When he is not writing, he works as an electrician, translator and teacher.