Philo, Legatio ad Gaium 311-316

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טקסט

311

"And though I might be able to establish this fact, and demonstrate to you the feelings of Augustus, your great grandfather, by an abundance of proofs, I will be content with two; for, in the first place, he sent commandments to all the governors of the different provinces throughout Asia, because he heard that the sacred first fruits were neglected, enjoining them to permit the Jews alone to assemble together in the synagogues,

312

for that these assemblies were not revels, which from drunkenness and intoxication proceeded to violence, so as to disturb the peaceful condition of the country, but were rather schools of temperance and justice, as the men who met in them were studiers of virtue, and contributed the first fruits every year, sending commissioners to convey the holy things to the temple in Jerusalem.

313

"And, in the next place, he commanded that no one should hinder the Jews, either on their way to the synagogues, or when bringing their contributions, or when proceeding in obedience to their national laws to Jerusalem, for these things were expressly enjoined, if not in so many words, at all events in effect;

314

and I subjoin one letter, in order to bring conviction to you who are our mater, what Gaius Norbanus Flaccus wrote, in which he details what had been written to him by Caesar, and the superscription of the letter is as follows:

315

CAIUS NORBANUS FLACCUS, PROCONSUL, TO THE GOVERNORS OF THE EPHESIANS, GREETING. "'Caesar has written word to me, that the Jews, wherever they are, are accustomed to assemble together, in compliance with a peculiar ancient custom of their nation, to contribute money which they send to Jerusalem; and he does not choose that they should have any hindrance offered to them, to prevent them from doing this; therefore I have written to you, that you may know that I command that they shall be allowed to do these things.'

316

"Is not this a most convincing proof, O emperor, of the intention of Caesar respecting the honors paid to our temple which he had adopted, not considering it right that because of some general rule, with respect to meetings, the assemblies of the Jews, in one place should be put down, which they held for the sake of offering the first fruits, and for other pious objects?

הערות

שם היצירה באנגלית: On the Embassy to Gaius

הזכויות המתוארות בקטע זה, שליחת מתנות לבית המקדש והיתר ליהודים להתכנס בבית כנסת, לא היוו מקור לבעיות או מהומות אלא לחינוך. פילון מציג מכתב שקיבל פלאקוס מיוליוס קיסר, שמורה לו לא למנוע מהיהודים לשלוח מנחות לירושלים.

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