Re: [gang8] Geoffrey's query re Hillen
- What a super analysis, Michael.Geoffrey----- Original Message -----From: Hudsonmi@...Sent: Thursday, November 28, 2002 11:07 PMSubject: [gang8] Geoffrey's query re HillenDear Geoffrey,
Re your query about Hillel, your comment is quite right, as is my statement. The practice of debt cancellation began when the palace was the major creditor, for advancing goods to merchants and land to sharecroppers. It was easy to cancel barley debts after crop failures, as the rent that was anticipated obviously could not be paid.
By Hillel's time, credit had passed into private hands, and took the form of money-loans rather than in-kind advances. Lenders would not lend money subject to the Jubilee Year. The times had changed drastically from the earlier condition.
Furthermore, as Baruch Levine has shown, the idea of the Jubilee Year arose following Ezra's and Nehemiah's resettlement of Judea from Babylon in the 4th century. Under these circumstances the "return to the original owners" constituted grabbing it from the existing holders. It is as if Israel today were to "return" the Palestinian lands to the new invaders.
Not too idealistic, I suppose, but pragmatism often uses idealism as a guise, pretending to return to "the old order."