In the first century BCE, the Hasmonean King of Judea, Alexander Jannaeus was conducting sacrifices in the Temple of Jerusalem during Succot.
But some of his subjects were less than convinced about his High Priestly credentials and they conveyed disapproval in a novel form of protest: they pelted him with etrogs.
Judaism has “a rich history of rifts,” observes Professor Martin Goodman in A History of Judaism, published this week. But while there may have been controversy and confrontation down the ages, that is not the central theme of his 650-page book.
“It is easy to write a story of conflicts,” says the 64-year-old president of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, “but that would be terribly misleading”.
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