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Does anybody think Zoroastrianism inflenuced Judaism, cause online people say Zoroastrianism was the first monotheistic religion http://avesta.org, and that Judaism copied it, also that Zoroastrianism was the first to have Angels, messiah, resurrection of the dead, etc http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Religions/iranian/Zarathushtrian/zoroastrianism_influence.htm , and that Judaism copied that as well, Zoroastrianism is wrong because the Torah is true, enhance fourth Judaism was the first monotheistic religion., Also The Zoroastrian claim Ezra was a Zoroastrian priest, and that supposed the priests in the temple were Zoroastrian priest that pretended to be Cohens.

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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya. Could you edit in some links to where people are saying this? – Scimonster Jan 15 '15 at 12:39
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    I would dispute your presumption that Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion. Although it claims a supreme god, Ahura Mazda, he is opposed by a second entity, Anghra Mainyu (Phl. Ahriman), that is all evil. If the god of good can't defeat the evil entity, the evil entity is some kind of god, too. That is also one reason I would say that Christianity is also not wholly monotheistic because it makes God incapable or unwilling to defeat the Devil. Judaism believes God creates good and evil, and there are no other gods. Isa. 45:7. That is monotheism. – Bruce James Jan 15 '15 at 20:21
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Unfortunately due to lack of definitive timelines (just try to find out when Zoroaster lived) and lack of written evidence which scholars and and historians would accept, it would be hard prove who influenced who.

What we do know is that Chazzal were very honest when they did accept anything from anywhere and when there was actual change. See for instance Sanhedrin 21b where a possible change of language and alphabet from ancient times is discussed.

Concerning some of the points you raised, the Talmud Yerushalmi in Rosh Hashana chapter 1, right in the beginning of the gemara on halacha 2, tells us that the names of the angels and the months came up from the Babylonian exile. Again, honest and straightforward.

See now the begining of the last chapter in Sanhedrin called Chelek. Chazzal spend a lot of time telling us how important belief in the messiah is and that it's not enough to believe in the concept. We must also believe that this is an ancient belief hinted to multiple times in the Torah. This would mean that under no circumstance can one think this idea came from an outside source. Also, as mentioned before if it would have come from an outside source, chazzal would have told us.

  • "What we do know is that Chazzal were very honest when they did accept anything from anywhere and when there was actual change. " How do you know this? Are you generalizing based on a single case? Why do you assume Chazal would have even known had there been external influences many centuries earlier? – mevaqesh Jul 28 '16 at 18:48
  • "and that it's not enough to believe in the concept. We must also believe that this is an ancient belief hinted to multiple times in the Torah" Actually Chazal say no such thing AFAIK. I assume you are referring to a mistaken later text of the Mishnah, proposed by a commentator mistakenly assumed to be Rashi. Even he does not mention anything about multiple times. – mevaqesh Jul 28 '16 at 18:50
  • @mevaqesh i brought three cases. You of all people shouldn't be falling for a marginal gloss quoting a be'er sheva(iirc) claiming rashi didn't write what he wrote. Which was about techiyas hameisim, btw. And it's not just rashi. Is the mishna with the gemara and Rambam in at least one place. Chassam soffer has a tshuva where he uses ramban's textual hint at moshiach to justify it being a fundamental belief, something he would have dismissed without that textual hint. Please read more carefully and do better research before downvoting. It's getting annoying already. – user6591 Jul 28 '16 at 19:12
  • @user6591 Chazal might show hints to something. That in no way supports your claim. You are correct that the B'er Sheva noted that Rashi did not write that commentary. The fact that someone from outside the world of contemporary scholarship says something does not invalidate it. In this case modern scholarship confirms it. Thank you for implying that I would not accept a historical claim merely because a rabbi said it. Luckily I lived up to your expectations and did not do so. You don't seem to have read what I wrote, so I repeat; that is a mistaken later text of the Mishna. It is not [cont.] – mevaqesh Jul 28 '16 at 19:21
  • @user6591 [cont.] Rambam either. His text of the Mishna does not include that later edition, nor does he mention its content. I am well aware of the Chattam Sofer. Besides for the fact that Rambam would be displeased (TTBOMK) at being treated as the source (rather thinking that if it is true it does not need his approval, and if not his approval does not help), the Chattam Soffer has no bearing on your claim. He only states that it is hinted to in the Torah and therefore authoritative. Not that if one accepts the concept, but disagrees with the source that there is anything wrong with this. – mevaqesh Jul 28 '16 at 19:21
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Reading the definition of Zoroastrianism in different places seems to imply a belief in tw "gods" with one being good (creator) and one being evil (destruction), even though modern people claim that it is monotheistic. In any case, people living in a society have been influenced by that society in the way they think and act, as we see nowadays. However, the statement as you give it or, as places like Wikipedia seem to try to imply, that Zoroastrianism influenced the foundation of Judaism is incorrect.

Since the Jews were part of the Persian Empire (as in the time of Purim or in Bavel in the time of the gemora), then there would have been influence in the same way that we are influenced by the nonJews today. However, since the Jews were not under the influence of the Persian Empire before Persia conquered Bavel (after the destruction of the first Temple), Zoroastrianism could not have had any influence on the Jews before then. Thus they had no influence on the inception of Judaism or any other point in Jewish history until then.

While it is theoretically possible that a dualistic religion arose during the 292 years between the flood and the birth of Avraham or during the 752 years before the Bnei Yisrael went down to Egypt, They would not have had any influence on them during that time.

Wikipedia

In Zoroastrianism, the creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil originates from him. Thus, in Zoroastrianism good and evil have distinct sources, with evil (druj) trying to destroy the creation of Mazda (asha), and good trying to sustain it. While Ahura Mazda is not immanent in the world, his creation is represented by the Amesha Spentas and the host of other Yazatas, through whom the works of God are evident to humanity, and through whom worship of Mazda is ultimately directed.

Zoroastrians believe that there is one universal, transcendent, supreme god, Ahura Mazda, or the "Wise Lord". (Ahura means "Being" and Mazda means "Mind" in Avestan language).[8] Zoroaster keeps the two attributes separate as two different concepts in most of the Gathas and also consciously uses a masculine word for one concept and a feminine for the other, as if to distract from an anthropomorphism of his divinity. Some Zoroastrians claim Ahura Mazda as the uncreated Creator to whom all worship is ultimately directed, thereby formulating a panentheistic faith with a transcendent divinity, widely believed to have influenced the theology of Isma'ilism.[9] Other scholars assert that since Zoroastrianism's divinity covers both being and mind as immanent entities, it is better described as a belief in an immanent self-creating universe with consciousness as its special attribute, thereby putting Zoroastranism in the pantheistic fold where it can be easily traced to its shared origin with Indian Brahmanism.[10][11] In any case, Ahura Mazda's creation—evident is widely agreed as asha, truth and order—is the antithesis of chaos, which is evident as druj, falsehood and disorder. The resulting conflict involves the entire universe, including humanity, which has an active role to play in the conflict.[9]

and Zoroastrianism

The Zoroastrian concept of God incorporates both monotheism and dualism. In his visions, Zarathustra was taken up to heaven, where Ahura Mazda revealed that he had an opponent, Aura Mainyu, the spirit and promoter of evil.

  • I'm not following why its incorrect that zoroastrianism predates judaism. Can you elaborate further? In your first paragraph. – Baby Seal Jan 15 '15 at 15:05
  • @Baby Seal The Zoroastrian influence on Judaism would have been when the Jews lived in the Persian Empire, after the Persians conquered Bavel. This was after the destruction of the first Temple.I will rewrite the sentence show that the statement that Zoroastrianism had an influence on the foundation of Judaism is incorrect (since it is theoretically posibble that the dualism at the base of Zoroastrianism could have arisen between the Mabul and the birth of Avraham). – sabbahillel Jan 15 '15 at 23:09
  • +1 and a recommendation to add ", since Zism originated in persia, the culture of which Jews were not exposed to until well after Judaism's inception." to the end of your first paragraph, just to clarify that. – Baby Seal Jan 16 '15 at 17:10
  • @BabySeal That is what the last sentence of the second paragraph says – sabbahillel Jan 17 '15 at 23:34
  • I didn't get that from your wording until you explained it in your comment. – Baby Seal Jan 17 '15 at 23:35