From Yhosua to Hai

(Vere, Stein Atle. ©2011. “Comment: From Yhoshua to Hai”. brakha.blogspot.com.)

To compare the response letter on the topic of The Salvation by the school of Hai Gaon האי גאון (circa 1000s) and the New Testament by the school of Yhoshua יהושע (Historical Jesus circa 00s) is instructive. Despite almost one thousand years separating them, the similarity between their views is striking.

Obviously Hai Gaon and Yhoshua belong to the same tradition of Tora תורה . The Tora is the first five books of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible). “Tora” can also mean all of the commentary on it, thus be a synonym for “Judaism”.

These two teachers of Tora share the same unique technical terms and organize them according to the same conceptual paradigms. Allowing for the different concerns of their day and the different texts under scrutiny, these same elements recombine to form equivalent meanings.

For example, both Hai Gaon and Yhoshua use the technical term “salvation” ישועה to mean simultaneously:

• the return of the Children of Yisrael to the Land of Yisrael,
• the liberation of Yisrael from Non-Yisreli governments,
• and the personal resurrection of each meritorious member of Yisrael.

Indeed, both portray “salvation” as a national resurrection event.

Moreover, regarding paradigms, both insist there are, not one, but two separate resurrections. The first at the beginning of the Age of Mashiakh, and the second at the end.

For some reason, reading this unusual prediction from Hai Gaon about two resurrections filled me with intense joy. In any case, the common opinion of separate resurrections is remarkable.

They both refer to the same ongoing Tora tradition.