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I have a vague notion of hearing in various places that America or Western culture in general is Edom and that this final exile is called Galus Edom. Also as in reference to the blessings in Genesis 27, when one is in power (Esau) the other (Jacob) isn't. Anyway, is Western culture considered Edom?

If so, why them (when Europeans existed during the time of the Kingdom of Edom) and not whoever still lives in southern Jordan (where the Kingdom of Edom actually was)?

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Related, lots of of overlap (possible duplicate?) judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/6076/are-europeans-edomites – HodofHod Jul 9 '13 at 23:34
@HodofHod Hmm, kind of, but I kind of want to know why Jordan lost its "title" of Edom (that is, if Edom is considered some other vague notion of Rome or America or Western culture or Christianity). – A L Jul 10 '13 at 0:04
Because of where they settled. – Seth J Jul 10 '13 at 1:28

Edom is considered by the Rabbis to be the Roman Empire, and while contemporary Western culture isn't Roman per se, it is directly descended from Roman culture and ideas.


It's stated here - http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0006_0_05562.html - that the late Tanaic and Amoraic Rabbis identified Edom as the founders of the Roman Empire. Such comparisons are also scattered across the Gemarah.

This question - Are Europeans Edomites? - echoes this view as well, and describes the differences in opinion as to whether the comparisons of Rome to Edom are literal or metaphorical.

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MarkN, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks very much for contributing an answer! You could make this even more valuable by editing in a source for your point about the Rabbis' equation of Edom with Rome. I hope you'll look around and find other material here that interests you, perhaps including our 19 other questions about exile. – Isaac Moses Jul 9 '13 at 22:04

See Tshuvas Yaavetz Chelek 1 Siman 46 where he asserts that the assumption that Italy is Edom is so strong and well known (even to all non-Jews) that he suggest against marrying a convert from Italy and surrounding countries until the third generation.

Also see the Gemara in Avoda Zara 11b, the bizarre spectacle performed in Rome to symbolize Esav defeating Yaakov. The Soncino brings a different pshat on the Gemara, but Rashi and everyone since learns as mentioned.

I do recall hearing a tape from Rabbi Avigdor Miller saying that the leaders of Rome were from Edom, not the commonfolk.

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People like to darshan that america is the child of rome. In truth the medrash rabba 75 9 says that yaakov avinu davened for the creation of barbaria and germania (not to be confused with the modern Germany, wiki it, it compromised southern germany and neighboring countries) to keep eisav, rome, busy so they wouldn't be free to slaughter the jews completely. (According to this medrash we now read the gemara in megila 6b 'germania shel edom' as germania the nemesis of edom, as the gemara does with the rabbanim lihavdil 'rabi yehuda shel hachachamim' meaning rabi yehuda who argues with the chachamim.) So considering that America was founded mainly by British immigrants and its religious and educational practices refaced by the southern germany immigrants (the largest immigrant group in america) i would venture to say America is the modern day realization of yaakov avinu's tefila, the country to save us from the horrible antisemitism rampant in all countries formerly of the roman empire, namely the entire europe. Not to say barbaria, Britain, or germania like us jews, but they are not eisav.

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Hi. You've answered this question twice, and I can't tell how your answers relate to each other. If you want to add further information to an answer, please use the "edit" link below it to do so. This one doesn't look like a stand-alone answer, so later I'll delete it (after you've seen this). – Monica Cellio Jun 13 '14 at 14:12
The question seemed twofold. First the connection of western culture to edom, second how or why to assume they moved. My first answer addressed the second point, not answering it but addressing it. My second answer pertained to the issue of correlation of cultures. – user6591 Jun 13 '14 at 14:47
Ok. It would be better if you were to do both within one answer -- two-fold question calls for a two-fold answer rather than two one-fold answers. Thanks. – Monica Cellio Jun 13 '14 at 15:21

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