Salvation: one way or an other


(Stein Atle Vere ©2012. One way or an other. brakha.blogspot.com)


Tora תורה (instruction) (Judaism)
Ha'Tora התורה (“The” Tora) (Five Books of the Tora Scroll)

Talmud Bavli תלמוד בבלי (Book of the Babylonian Talmud)
Sanhedrin סנהדרין (Talmud Section of Sanhedrin)
Brit Khadasha ברית חדשה (Books of New Testament)
Matityahu מתתיהו (New Testament Book of Matthew)

Rabi רבי (Rabbi)
Rabanim רבנים (Rabbis)
Rabani (Rabbinic)

Rabi Yhoshua Ben Khananya רבי יהושע בן חנניה (Rabbi Joshua Son of Hanania)
Yhoshua Ben Yosef יהושע בן יוסף (Joshua Son of Joseph) (Historical Jesus)

Mashiakh (Anointed King) (an official representative of an ideal government of Yisrael according to Tora)
Tshuva תשובה (Return to God) (Repentance) (Returning to the way of Tora)


The Book of the Talmud agrees with Rabi Yhoshua Ben Khananya. God will make the Days of Mashiakh happen. This is a future time when an ideal government prevails for a thousand years. One way or an other.

One way, is by Tshuva. Humans returning to God, doing Tora, optimizing compassion and justice, and trusting God to allow this effort to succeed.

An other way, is by humans veering away from God. If humans do not return, God allows their fear and lack of trust to spawn cruel governments. Eventually humans cannot survive such oppression, except by returning to God and trusting in God to press on.

But even if humans continue to veer away from God, God guarantees the Days of Mashiakh will happen. Ultimately, there is a deadline at the beginning of the seventh millennium. No matter what, God ensures the thousand years of this ideal government will happen by this time. God creates the universe in a way that makes the age inevitable.

If this optimal government begins with return, then it can start early - even today. It is possible for humans to get a headstart, to enjoy life now, with even miraculous assistance.

If this optimal government begins without return, by defaulting to the deadline at the start of the seventh millennium, then sadly, humans undergo massive suffering before that deadline. Moreover the “holy one”, the government official that accomplishes this ideal government does so under total humiliation.

Nevertheless. The thousand years of joy will happen. Either way.

Talmud, Sanhedrin 97b
(Stein Atle Vere 2012. Translation to English. brakha.blogspot.com)
(Talmud Bavli. Organization: Mechon Mamre 2002. mechon-mamre.org):

Rabi Yhoshua (Ben Khananya) said to (Rabi Eliezer):
If theres no (Yisrael) doing a return (to God),
(then) theres no being redeemed,
but the Holy (God) - that one is blessed! - makes a king stand (with hostility) to them,
that his decrees are (as) cruel as Haman.
And (thereby) Yisrael do a return (to God).
And (God) makes them revert to doing well.
And is it not already being said?:
(Yhoshua 49'):
God the redeemer of Yisrael said thusly:
And (with regard to) his holy one,
lifeforce is to despise (him),
a (foreign) ethnicity is to abhor (him).
(He is) to (be) the servant of (foreign) rulers.

אמר ליה רבי יהושע
אם אין עושין תשובה
אין נגאלין אלא הקב״ה מעמיד להן מלך
שגזרותיו קשות כהמן
וישראל עושין תשובה
ומחזירן למוטב
והלא כבר נאמר
כה אמר ה׳ גואל ישראל
וקדושו לבזה נפש למתעב גוי לעבד מושלים

According to the Talmud, God guarantees to redeem humanity.

God will ensure humans enter this thousand years of Mashiakh. Either by the difficult way of humans returning to God and doing their part in Tora. Or by the painful way of humans veering from God and defaulting to a cruel life that is with fear and without trust.

But even if humans choose the painful way, God empowers a holy leader who can withstand the predatory instinct of foreign governments and can succeed in establishing a holy government among the Kinship of Yisrael. When this government succeeds, all of the governments of humanity will ratify treaties to participate in it.


The Book of Matityahu, portrays Yhoshua Ben Yosef teaching Tora. Yhoshua evidences an early form of the understanding of the Talmud, about the arrival of the thousand years of Mashiakh.

This is a new age, when all of humanity enters an ideal government of holiness, compassion-and-justice, that persists for a thousand years.

God will accomplish it, one way or an other. If humans do Tora and optimize a difficult life of sharing, wisdom, and trusting, then humans can achieve and enter this miraculous government - even now. Early. Without tragedy.

Alternatively, if humans veer away from Tora and default to a “convenient” life of fear, shortsightedness, and predation, then humans manifest the governments of oppression and death.

Nevertheless, both of these “entrances” inevitably lead into the Kingdom of the Heavens. Ultimately. God guarantees this ideal government will happen one way or an other.

Book of Matityahu 7'13-14
(Stein Atle Vere 2012. Translations from Greek to Hebrew to English. brakha.blogspot.com)
(Novum Testamentum Graece. NA27 1998):

Come (in) by the narrow entrance.

Because broad is the entrance.
And spacious is the way leading to destruction.
And masses are the ones going (in) by it.

And narrow is the entrance.
And pressed is the way leading to lives.
And few are the ones (even) finding it.

בֹּאוּ בַּפֶּתַח הַצָּר

כִּי רָחָב הַפֶּתַח
וּמְרֻוַּחַת הַדֶּרֶךְ הַמּוֹלִיכָה לַאֲבַדּוֹן
וְרַבִּים הַהוֹלְכִים בוֹ ׃

וְצַר הַפֶּתַח
וּלְחוּצָה הַדֶּרֶךְ הַמּוֹלִיכָה לַחַיִּים
וּמְעַטִּים הַמּוֹצְאִים אוֹתוֹ ׃

εἰσέλθατε διὰ τῆς στενῆς πύλης ·

ὅτι πλατεῖα ἡ πύλη
καὶ εὐρύχωρος ἡ ὁδὸς ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ἀπώλειαν ,
καὶ πολλοί εἰσιν οἱ εἰσερχόμενοι δι αὐτῆς ·

τί στενὴ ἡ πύλη
καὶ τεθλιμμένη ἡ ὁδὸς ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ζωήν ,
καὶ ὀλίγοι εἰσὶν οἱ εὑρίσκοντες αὐτήν .

There are two ways for humanity to enter paradise. The difficult way or the painful way.

The way of Tora discerns useful limits, to channel the energy of selfish desires toward altruistic goals. Both compassion and justice are important. The optimal way is subtle, involving balance - even hard to recognize.

Alternatively, the painful way results in death and destruction for most of humanity.

Nevertheless, ultimately, both entrances lead into the Kingdom of the Heavens, the government of paradise.

God desires a great destiny for the human species.

One way or an other, humans will learn to avoid future errors.


Timeline of Archeology


(Stein Atle Vere ©2012. Timeline of Archeology. brakha.blogspot.com).

brakha .blogspot .com consults the following Archeology Timeline:

Clink the link to the Timeline page here - OR - click the link in the Pages list (top right sidecolumn).


(−3400) Early Bronze 1 Period
(−3000) Early Bronze 2 Period
(−2700) Early Bronze 3 Period
(−2200) Intermediate Bronze Period
(−2000) Middle Bronze Period
(−1550) Late Bronze Period

(−1200) Early Iron Period
(−1009) Late Iron Period

(−538) Proto Classical Period
(−331) Early Classical 1 Period
(−166) Early Classical 2 Period
(−36) Middle Classical 1 Period
(220) Middle Classical 2 Period
(324) Late Classical 1 Period
(425) Late Classical 2 Period

(638) Early Medieval Period
(1099) Middle Medieval Period
(1250) Late Medieval Period

(1517) Early Modern Period
(1917) Late Modern Period

(2240) ;-)


Here appear considerations for the Archeology Timeline above.


Archeologists debate when activities happen, or what dates define new trends in culture. Naturally, the periods that seem most important provoke the most interest, and the most challenges.

If compelling information comes to light, the Timeline updates to accommodate it.


The names of the periods strive for neutrality: Bronze, Iron, Classical, Medieval, Modern.

Neutral names work in a variety of contexts. For example, to periodize political trends for government structures, the name “Late Medieval Period” corresponds to the “Mamluk Period”. Alternatively to periodize spiritual trends for Tora (Judaism), this same period, “Late Medieval Period”, corresponds to the publication of the Zohar, and the flourishing of Kabala across the Tora World. Neutral names organize and coordinate a diversity of trends.

Neutral names reduce distortion. For example, to periodize by political names - thus to list those foreigners who oppress the Land of Yisrael - such as “Persian”, “Roman”, “Arab”, “Crusader”, and so on - seems to make some archeologists forget: the aborigines of the Land are still here - alive and well - and have been here since the dawn of human history. Most foreign rulers never visit the Land of Yisrael. For the aborigines of Yisrael - Yhudim (Jews) and Shomronim (Samaritans) - life goes on. Often the main difference is who they pay their taxes to.

The name “Proto” signals an ambiguous transition between between ages.

Here, the “Proto Classical Period” corresponds to the Persian Period. Archeologists usually separate it out as its own distinctive period. Some lump it with Iron Age, calling it Iron Age 3. Some lump it with the Hellenistic and Roman Periods, calling it the Second Temple Period. Here, the Persian Period is “Classical” in a sense similar to its contemporary neighbor, “Classical Greece” (−478\−322).

Similarly, the “Early” Modern Period corresponds to the Ottoman Period. It is “Modern” in a sense similar to the Renaissance Period of Europe.


An “age” divides into “periods”. Each period subdivides into “eras”.

The period is the basic measure of time, about a century or more. A period distinguishes the features of an evolution in culture.

Periods lump together into an age, about a millennium or more. An age is a panaroma to see the massive trends of the human species.

A period splits into eras, each about a decade or more. An era is a closeup to notice the developments of a vibrant generation.

I am keen to “metricize” the passage of time, also for neutrality. The keywords correspond roughly to magnitudes of 10.

Epoch: a million years or more (1m)
Eon: ten thousand years or more (10000)

Age: a thousand years - a millennium - or more (1000)
Period: a hundred years - a century - or more (100)
Era: ten years - a decade - or more (10)

Year: one year (1)

These keywords convey the scope of a comment, whether broad generalizations or narrow specifics, to help navigate thru time.

Age, period, or era.

Highlighting the amount of time that an activity involves helps show how it fits in the big picture.

Ideally, an “age” is a thousand years or more. However, conventional periodization makes this goal difficult for certain ages. For example, here the “Iron Age” is only six hundred plus years. Its brevity inspires doubt about it being useful as an “age”. Perhaps it makes more sense to think of Iron as periods within the Bronze Age. Perhaps a new name is more helpful, such as a “Law Age” beginning from the Middle Bronze Age with the Code of Hammurabi onward. Yet, the term “Iron” entrenches within the archeological tradition. So there are few options to rethink it. Oppositely, the Early Bronze Age is awefully long. All by itself it spans over a thousand years. Probably it is more useful to think of it as its own “age”. It might make more sense to split it off, to emphasize what makes it differ from the later other timespans.

Note, I lump the “Proto Classical” Persian Period with the “Classical Age”, rather than with the Iron Age. Among vast empires, the Persian Empire is at least as sophisticated as its Greek contemporary that defines the Classical Age. Indeed, the “Early Classical” Hellenic Periods exist because the Greek Empire blends with the Persian Empire. This transnationalism characterizes the Classical Period.

In any case, as is, cutting off timespans at magnitudes of ten, where possible, intimates a sense of scale. there are inconsistencies with this “metric” methodology.

Measuring by tens isnt perfect, but it is still good.


Archeology already uses a “year zero” for astronomical years, radiocarbon dating, and so on.

This year 0 equals the year 1 BCE in the common calendar.

By extension, year −10 (“year minus ten”) equals 11 BCE.

To remember: The “minus” date is “one less” than the common date BCE.

Note, dates that approximate round numbers, such as the “Copper Age” (−4500) remain round.

The invention of the common calendar, during the Medieval Age, lacks the mathematical discovery of the zero. But when exploring the distant past, calculations and comparisons become friendlier with a year zero.

Our hero, zero.


Modern numbers replace Roman numerals, for example, for archeological excavations (Early Bronze 2) and for dynastic names (Thutmose 3).

MCMXLVIII. Nuff said.


Usually, the meaning of a slash or backslash is obvious in context.


The slash signifies an uncertainty or a dispute about when an event happens, thus alternative dates.


A slash can signify if the year according to different calendar system overlaps two common years. The event might happen in the later part of one year or the earlier part of the next year. But not both.

For example, the phrase, “in the fourth year of King Shlomo”, referring to a regnal year in the ancient Yhudi (Judahite) calendar system. According to some chronological calculations, it overlaps two common years: −968/−967. Thus either date might be the actual one, but not both. In this case, it happens in spring, thus the beginning of the year, thus year −967.

Sometimes archeologists dispute a date. There are different approaches to define when the Bronze Age begins: −3600/−3500/−3400.


The backslash signifies an activity that takes place during an extensive span of time.

“both\and”, “from\to”, “begins\ends”.

For example, with regard to the Copper Age (chalcholithic):

−4500: begins in year −4500
−4500\−3400: begins −4500 and ends −3400
\−3400: ends in year −3400
\−4000\: an activity flourishes in year −4000, but its beginning and ending remain unsaid

Bio dates for a leader might look like so:

Hilel Ha'Zakan (−110, Reign −30\10)

Read this as “born in −90, and reigning from −30 to 10”, reigning until death in year 10, traditionally at age 120. In this case, Hilel reigns as one of the Zugot (“pairs”), probably two co-presiders over the Sanhedrin, analogous to the two Consuli of Rome.

Unless notes say otherwise, treat ALL ancient dates as “circa”. Even accurate dates may be one year off. Many dynasties can stretch earlier-or-later by several years, depending. Radiocarbon dating is vague. Astronomical synchronisms are rare. And so on.


In sum, brakha.blogspot.com uses timeline that strives to be accurate, convenient, and easy to understand.

Birkat Ha'Kohanim - 70000!

See last year at brakha: Birkat Ha'Kohanim

This year:

About seventy thousand people attended the Kotel (Outerwall) of Har Bet Ha'Mikdash (the Mountain of the House of the Holy Place) to manifest Birkat Ha'Kohanim (the blessing of the priests). One of the biggest turnouts for the blessing ever!

Birkat Ha'Kohanim

(Image: Priestly Blessing. Israel news photo. Journal: Arutz Sheva. ©2012 4/9. Digital: IsraelNationalNews.com.