Ask The Rabbi

Where Have All the Years Gone?

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Topic: Greek Historical Recoreds, Discrepancy in Dates with Jewish Calander

Baruch Roi Garcia from San Antonio, Texas wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

Now that it is the new year a friend of mine from Israel says that we are not really at 5759, but that we lost some 240 years during captivity, according to his Rabbi in Netanya. True or not so true?


Dear Baruch Roi Garcia:

There is a discrepancy of about 165 years between Greek historians and Jewish historians.

The Greeks maintain that Jewish historians omitted a number of Persian kings from the historical accounting, and that the combined reigns of these kings add up to about 165 years. We, on the other hand, maintain that the people the Greeks mistakenly count as kings were actually only dukes or princes who ruled concurrently. The fact they were known as kings and not as "king of kings" is evidence of this.

We, the Jews, lived in Babylon and Persia for over 1000 years; whereas the Greeks sent scribes to gather their historical information. I believe, therefore, that our history is accurate and that the Greek account is mistaken. We had first-hand knowledge of Persia and are therefore more reliable.


Speaking of what year it is, we thank David Olesker for forwarding the following:

Last year, in my computer class, a student asked me before Rosh Hashanah what year we were entering. I said 5758. He paused for a moment and said, "Well, I guess you guys solved the Year 2000 problem!"


 
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