In Readers Choice on November 7, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Roma rights campaigner jailed for £2.9m benefits scam

Lavinia  Olmazu
Lavinia Olmazu admitted a fraud charge in July

A woman who helped more than 170 Romanians illegally claim £2.9m in benefits has been jailed for two years and three months.

Lavinia Olmazu, a leading campaigner for the rights of Roma (Gypsies), helped mastermind the scam involving 172 members of the Romanian community.

Olmazu, of north-east London, gained access to them through her work with Haringey and Waltham Forest councils.

The 31-year-old admitted a fraud charge at Southwark Crown Court in July.

As well as working as an outreach worker with the councils, the university graduate was involved with the Big Issue.

She set up companies with her boyfriend to help facilitate the frauds they carried out as part of a gang.

‘Abused position’

“You have now lost your reputation by involving yourself in this fraud”

End Quote Judge Deborah Taylor

Sentencing her, Judge Deborah Taylor told Olmazu, of Woodford Green, her role in the fraud was “made easier” by her involvement with the local authorities and charities which granted her access to people within the Roma community.

She added: “You identified individuals who wished to be involved in this scheme and in doing so, abused your position with a number of charities.

“You were a previously well-respected woman working in human rights. You have now lost your reputation by involving yourself in this fraud.”

Immigrants from Romania are not entitled to a National Insurance number, and therefore a number of benefits, unless they can prove to the authorities they have been employed.

The court heard Olmazu and her partner, unemployed Alin Enachi, would offer false documents for money to the migrants purporting to be from their employers, and also provided them with fake references.

Alin Enachi
Olmazu’s partner Alin Enachi was also jailed

Migrants would pay in cash for help with their applications before going on to receive benefits, such as child tax credits, working tax credits and child benefit, if their applications were successful.

Olmazu, who has an 11-year-old son, admitted one count of conspiracy to supply articles for use in fraud between November 2007 and August 2009.

Enachi, 30, also of Woodford Green, was jailed for two years and eight months after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to supply articles for use in fraud between November 2007 and August 2009.

Olmazu and Enachi were part of a gang of eight, all of whom have now been sentenced for their part in the fraud.

A police spokesman said even though £2.9m had been claimed illegally, the scam would have defrauded the UK of more than £10m if the authorities had not intervened.

A confiscation hearing will be held at a later date, but the court heard £40,000 had passed through Enachi’s account.

Det Con Melanie Groves, from the Metropolitan Police, said: “This is a clear case of Roma families who wished to improve their lives but were prevented from doing so by being exploited by their own people.”


The One Percent

The One Percent is a 2006 documentary about the growing wealth gap between America‘s wealthy elite and the citizenry on the whole. It was created byJamie Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, and produced by Jamie Johnson and Nick Kurzon. The film’s title refers to the top one percent of Americans in terms of wealth, who controlled 38% of the nation’s wealth in 2001.[1]

The film premiered on April 29, 2006, at the Tribeca Film Festival. It was reported to have been purchased by HBO and a revised version of the film, substantially re-edited and incorporating footage shot since the 2006 festival screening, premiered on Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 6:30pm ET/PT on HBO’s Cinemax.

It was stated in the Page Six column of the New York Post that Warren Buffett had written a letter to Nicole Buffett, daughter of his son Peter’s ex-wife from another marriage. In response to her participation in the film, distancing himself from her, he wrote “I have not emotionally or legally adopted you as a grandchild, nor have the rest of my family adopted you as a niece or a cousin.”[2]


Brixton riot:

Report blames racial tension

Last April’s riots in Brixton, south London were caused by serious social and economic problems affecting Britain’s inner cities, a report has said Lord Scarman‘s inquiry into what he called the worst outbreak of disorder in the UK this century also blamed “racial disadvantage that is a fact of British life”. The report criticised police and the government, but it said there was no excuse for the violence and praised officers for their conduct during the disorder. Hostile crowd. The investigation found the rioting was caused by a spontaneous crowd reaction to police action – rightly or wrongly believed to be harassment of black people – and had not been planned.

On the night of 10 April two police officers were attempting to help a black youth who was bleeding from a suspected stab wound when they were approached by a hostile crowd.

The local community was already aggravated by “Operation Swamp” – during which large numbers of black youths were stopped and searched – and the confrontation quickly escalated.

Over 300 people were injured, 83 premises and 23 vehicles were damaged during the disturbances, at an estimated cost of £7.5m.

Community policing

Lord Scarman called for a new emphasis on community policing and said more people from ethnic minorities should be recruited to the force.

He also advised the government to end racial disadvantage and tackle the disproportionately high level of unemployment among young black men – as high as 50% in Brixton.

The report has been widely welcomed by senior policeman and government ministers.


News From Ireland

Nine people have been arrested after a massive garda operation targeted suspected drug gangs.

The operation aimed to disrupt organised crime in Sheriff Street and Oriel Street in Dublin, while raids were also carried out in Cork, Wexford, Kildare and Cavan.

Nine men were arrested and were taken in for questioning at several garda stations across the country. The detained men include a 20-year-old in Cork and a 48-year-old in Enniscorthy, while three men aged 17, 23 and 61, were also arrested.

Meanwhile, a 23-year-old and a 41-year-old were detained at Bridewell Station, and a 40-year-old in Mountjoy and a 20-year-old in Whitehall were also held.

A garda spokesman said the raids were co-ordinated from Store Street Garda Station as part of an ongoing intelligence-led investigation into drug trafficking.

Up to 300 gardai were drafted in for the massive crackdown to search homes, business premises and other properties at 33 locations.

Seven of the suspects were being held under tough anti-gang laws passed last year. They were arrested on suspicion of participation and contribution to activities intended to enhance the ability of a criminal organisation.

A number of garda divisions were involved in the operation, including the Criminal Assets Bureau, the armed Emergency Response Unit, the Organised Crime Unit, Air Support Unit, dog handlers and the riot squad.

It is understood the operation was aimed at the gang’s drug distribution network.

The raids targeted those suspected of moving the drugs hauls around the country to dealers.

The crime gang is involved in heroin, cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy trafficking.


भारत दौरे पर आए अमेरिकी राष्‍ट्रपति बराक हुसैन ओबामा ने संसद के दोनों सदनों के प्रति‍निधियों को संबोधित करते हुए सबसे पहले तो धन्‍यवाद दिया और कहा, ‘मैं दुनिया के सबसे पुराने लोकतंत्र की ओर से आप सबके लिए शुभकामनाएं लाया हूं.’ उन्‍होंने कहा कि भारत में ब‍हुत प्रगति हुई है.

ओबामा की यात्रा के पहले दिन की झलकियां

ओबामा ने कहा कि भारत के लोगों द्वारा मुझे और मेरी पत्‍नी को बहुत सम्‍मान दिया गया इसके लिए बहुत धन्‍यवाद. ओबामा ने यहां तक कि हिन्‍दी में भी ‘बहुत धन्‍यवाद’ कहा. उन्‍होंने कहा, ‘मैं अमेरिका का कोई पहला राष्‍ट्रपति नहीं हूं जो यहां भाषण दे रहा हूं, लेकिन यह अमेरिका से बाहर की मेरी सबसे लंबी यात्रा है.’

दूसरे दिन की झलकियां

उन्‍होंने कहा कि भारत बड़ी उभरती ताकत नहीं है बल्कि वह बड़ी ताकत बन चुका है. ओबामा ने भारत और अमेरिका के संबंधों को मूल्‍य आधारित बताते हुए कहा, ‘मैं भारत के मूल्‍यों का सम्‍मान करता हूं. आपकी सभ्‍यता बहुत पुरानी है ओर मैं इसका सम्‍मान करता हूं. 1 अरब भारतीयों को संबोधित करना गर्व की बात है.’


“Villarán desconoce o repite argumentos de la dirigencia del Sutep”

En entrevista con El Comercio, el primer ministro José Antonio Chang también sostiene que hay una ambigüedad en decir si Patria Roja o el Sutep estarán en el manejo educativo

Lunes 08 de noviembre de 2010 – 07:45 am

Por Mariella Balbi

¿Podrá hacer un buen ‘premierato’ teniendo dos cargos (presidente del Consejo de Ministros y ministro de Educación)? Ambos requieren trabajo.
Hay estilos y estilos. El ‘premierato’ es la capacidad de coordinar las acciones de los diferentes ministerios en temas transversales a ellos. Yo siempre he creído que cada ministro debe asumir su responsabilidad al frente de su cartera. El presidente del Consejo de Ministros no tiene que cargarse los problemas de un sector. Solo en los casos en que haya que dirimir en una posición de Estado entre tres, cuatro sectores, el primer ministro puede intervenir. Cuando tuvimos los conflictos con el sindicato de profesores en mi sector yo no incomodé al presidente del Consejo de Ministros de entonces ni al presidente Alan García ni a nadie.

Pero su agenda para llena. Confiep, por ejemplo, está buscando una cita con usted y le es difícil.
No he recibido ninguna solicitud formal al respecto y coincido en algunas reuniones con dirigentes empresariales. No me han dicho nada.

¿Diría que es un primer ministro mudo o callado?
No, hay que hablar en la oportunidad necesaria. Mi estilo es más de accionar y hacer cosas que estar en los medios de comunicación.

Probablemente permanecerá en el cargo hasta el final del Gobierno. ¿En qué centrará su gestión?
Este es un gabinete de 10 meses. Tenemos que garantizar al país un proceso electoral transparente, en el cual el Gobierno mantenga una actitud de absoluta neutralidad.

¿Incluso con la publicidad estatal?
Absolutamente. He conversado con todos los ministros sobre la necesaria neutralidad. Habrá otra tónica para difundir las obras, ya no será un ‘recordaris’ de todo lo que estamos haciendo. En los próximos 15 días ofreceremos un planteamiento. También hay que dejar un país estable económicamente, sin bombas de tiempo. Además, vamos a fortalecer todo lo relacionado a la seguridad ciudadana.

La Defensoría del Pueblo ha mostrado que las comisarías están desvencijadas.
El ministro del Interior, Fernando Barrios, es una persona ejecutiva. Hará una inmediata intervención para mejorar las comisarías por un monto de 33 millones de soles. Además, ya entró en licitación el plan para unificar las redes de comunicación en la policía.

Eso se lo he escuchado a varios ministros del Interior.
Seguramente, pero a fin de año la comunicación será integrada.

La incapacidad de gasto del Ministerio del Interior es constante. ¿Los sucesivos ministros del Interior no han sido buenos gestores?
Entiendo que hubo fallas, mucha lentitud o procesos engorrosos. El presidente García nos reunió y solicitó disminuir los procedimientos, sin afectar la transparencia. Es posible que haya habido falta de experiencia en el manejo administrativo. Estoy seguro de que el ministro Barrios mejorará el tema de la seguridad ciudadana. Otro punto es la lucha contra la corrupción. Hemos fortalecido el Plan Nacional Anticorrupción. Anteayer se destinaron 3’755.954 de soles para agilizar la aplicación del Código Procesal Penal en lo que son delitos de corrupción de funcionarios. Hemos presentado proyectos de ley para sancionar de modo definitivo a los funcionarios que cometan actos de corrupción para que no vuelvan al sector público. El Congreso debe aprobarlo. Esas son básicamente las líneas de acción; también el fortalecimiento de algunas reformas importantes: la educativa, la descentralización y la dotación de servicios básicos. Se trata de consolidar estos avances y que puedan ser continuados por el siguiente gobierno.

¿Y de paso se ayuda a la candidata aprista (Mercedes Aráoz)?
No, de ninguna manera. Tenemos que seguir trabajando, no podemos paralizar las obras.

Está por aprobarse el presupuesto. ¿El anunciado incremento de sueldos a las Fuerzas Armadas y policiales implica necesariamente eliminar la cédula viva en este sector?
El presupuesto debe mantener los indicadores macroeconómicos que nos han dado reconocimiento internacional. En el tema puntual de las FF.AA. y policiales, la posición del Gobierno es que la cédula viva no debe continuar. Es un régimen exclusivo para ellos y no debería haber regímenes de excepción. Hemos planteado una mejora de remuneraciones.

Se critica que se recortaron 800 millones de soles del presupuesto del sector Defensa para destinar la cantidad a las remuneraciones.
No es tan así. No hay recortes, sino redistribución de los recursos de Defensa por 200 millones de soles. El resto sale de la caja fiscal.

¿Si el Congreso no anula la cédula viva no hay aumentos para Defensa e Interior?
Ese es el planteamiento del Gobierno. Si hasta el 15 de noviembre surge una fórmula que, sin romper el equilibrio fiscal, pueda aumentar sueldos y mantener la cédula viva, la estudiaríamos. Pero no existe. Si el Congreso no corta la cédula viva, no se puede aumentar sueldos al sector Defensa e Interior porque el presupuesto no estaría equilibrado.

Un gran punto de conflicto, ¿no?
Es un conflicto, sí, pero los ministros de Defensa, Interior y Economía se reunieron con la Comisión de Presupuesto para buscar una solución.

Hablemos de su gestión como ministro de Educación. Usted dijo que la alcaldesa Susana Villarán ignora la Ley de Carrera Pública Magisterial (LCPM).
Yo he dicho que ella demuestra un total desconocimiento de la LCPM, o está muy mal informada. Las frases que repite son las mismas que utilizó el Sutep para desprestigiar la LCPM. Ella dijo que la evaluación de los maestros es solo una prueba objetiva de marcado, en la cual se pregunta por Napoleón y Elba. Para un profesor de historia universal esto sería básico. No menciona que, adicionalmente al examen de conocimiento, los profesores son sometidos a evaluaciones de tecnologías de la información, de idiomas y están obligados a dar una clase magistral, de su desempeño en el aula. El Sutep sabe que es así, pero lo omite porque quiere desacreditar la LCPM. Por eso digo que la señora Villarán o desconoce o repite los mismos argumentos de la dirigencia del Sutep. Yo, encantado, estoy a su disposición para informarle cómo es la evaluación.

¿Ya ha tenido un acercamiento con la alcaldesa Villarán? ¿La llamará?
No. En el momento que ella considere me podrá llamar. Entiendo que ahora está en su proceso de transferencias; entonces, yo la dejo tranquila.

El ministro del Interior sí la llamó.
Seguramente, es una política de él, por la necesidad de ver lo de la seguridad ciudadana.

¿No hay una hostilidad de su ministerio para transferir las funciones de Educación a la región Lima Metropolitana?
Pero yo no tengo ninguna hostilidad. Sí tengo que desmentir cosas que se dicen. Como la señora Villarán tiene a su alrededor a un grupo vinculado a la dirigencia del Sutep no tengo que aceptar que se digan cosas que no son ciertas de la LCPM.

Ella dijo que el manejo de la Educación en su región no estará en manos del Sutep sino a su cargo y de asesores como Gloria Helfer y Manuel Iguíñiz, que no están vinculados al Sutep, ¿no?
Habría que ver qué cosa hicieron cuando fueron autoridades frente al Sutep. Desconozco sus gestiones mayormente. No tengo mayor información de acciones concretas de sus gestiones.

El desempeño en el aula no tiene un gran peso en el conjunto de la evaluación. El criterio de su ministerio es que los directores, que la califican, pueden ser subjetivos. ¿No sería bueno darle más puntaje?
También participan los padres de familia. Es discutible. Pesa 15, pero hay muchas evaluaciones: la manera como usan las tecnologías de la información en el aula, los idiomas. Si compara tiene un peso importante. La que tiene más peso es la prueba de conocimiento, 40%.

¿Por qué no variar eso?
Se ha evaluado bastante. Se le puede decir a un profesor mañana es tu evaluación de desempeño y puede preparar la clase extraordinariamente. Pero no sabemos si eso fue producto de la presión del examen y no es una constante. No se puede negar que sí hay evaluación en el aula.

El Consejo Nacional de Educación afirma que se debe revisar la evaluación.
No, no, quien dice eso es la señora Villarán y algunos miembros afines a su pensamiento, como el señor César Barrera Bazán, Edmundo Murrugarra o discrepantes del gobierno como León Trahtemberg. Los hemos incorporado para escuchar sus voces. No hay ningún documento del consejo que diga lo que usted afirma. Es fácil criticar, pero cuando hay que evaluar a 350 mil maestros, no se puede dar a todos una hora de desempeño en el aula. Son 350 mil horas. Es mejor hacer una selección de conocimientos y luego ver el desempeño.

El Sutep dice que no se evalúa por especialidad y que el examen es memorístico.
No. La primera evaluación es de comprensión de lectura, razonamiento lógico-matemático, conocimientos pedagógicos y de la especialidad (primaria, secundaria o inicial). Si un profesor no puede comprender lo que lee, cómo va a enseñar. Luego se le evalúa en su especialidad. Al final de este gobierno tendremos 90 mil maestros en la carrera pública magisterial y 220 mil que están en la antigua ley del profesorado.

¿Ha leído el programa municipal de Fuerza Social?
Algunos temas son repetitivos del mensaje del Sutep. Lamentablemente, hasta los términos son iguales a algunos de sus panfletos. Hay una ambigüedad en decir si Patria Roja o el Sutep estarán en el manejo educativo. El Sutep le reclama que ellos han trabajado en conjunto la política educativa. Nuestro temor es que las mejoras en la evaluación de los maestros retrocedan…

¿Cómo? Si la evaluación es potestad del Ministerio de Educación.
Podrían matar la meritocracia, los incentivos por rendimiento, homologando a todos con los sueldos de los mejores maestros. Quien estudia y quienes no ganan igual. La descentralización ha hecho que a los directores de UGEL los nombre la región. Ellos son los responsables de implementar las políticas nacionales. Si estos boicotean los procesos de selección en Lima, como ocurrió en Puno, por ejemplo, donde no facilitaron los procesos de inscripción de la LCPM y obstruyeron el ingreso a los exámenes, sería desastroso porque acá está el 30% del alumnado del país. Debería haber un concurso público para directores de UGEL.

¿Y por qué no lo efectúa?
Porque, según la ley, debe realizarlo la región.

El Sutep sostiene que la educación no mejora.
No es cierto. El organismo regional Preal (Programa de Promoción de la Reforma Educativa de América Latina y el Caribe) solicitó a Grade que hiciera una evaluación de la educación en el Perú. De nueve indicadores, hemos mejorado en siete.

Hay fuertes críticas por ‘municipalizar’ 666 colegios, cuando son comunas pobres y sin recursos.
El plan piloto indica que hay municipios que respondieron bien y otros no tanto. Pero en los distritos más pobres y alejados, donde la autoridad del ministerio o la regional no están cerca, el municipio permitió que mejore la cobertura educativa, con lo que se garantiza que los profesores asistan, que los materiales educativos se entreguen. Ese indicador ha funcionado, no las mejoras de infraestructura o de asignar más profesores aparte de lo que el ministerio le transfiere. Desde acá no podemos atender a escuelas en un distrito pequeño. Además, esos 666 colegios vienen de la mano con el programa Juntos, que condiciona la entrega del subsidio con la asistencia del niño al colegio.


Natural selection is the process by which traits become more or less common in a population due to consistent effects upon the survival or reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution.

The natural genetic variation within a population of organisms may cause some individuals to survive and reproduce more successfully than others in their current environment. For example, the peppered moth exists in both light and dark colors in the United Kingdom, but during the industrial revolution many of the trees on which the moths rested became blackened by soot, giving the dark-colored moths an advantage in hiding from predators. This gave dark-colored moths a better chance of surviving to produce dark-colored offspring, and in just a few generations the majority of the moths were dark. Factors which affect reproductive success are also important, an issue which Charles Darwin developed in his ideas on sexual selection.

Natural selection acts on the phenotype, or the observable characteristics of an organism, but the genetic (heritable) basis of any phenotype which gives a reproductive advantage will become more common in a population (see allele frequency). Over time, this process can result in adaptations that specialize populations for particular ecological niches and may eventually result in the emergence of new species. In other words, natural selection is an important process (though not the only process) by which evolution takes place within a population of organisms. As opposed to artificial selection, in which humans favor specific traits, in natural selection the environment acts as a sieve through which only certain variations can pass.

Natural selection is one of the cornerstones of modern biology. The term was introduced by Darwin in his influential 1859 book On the Origin of Species,[1] in which natural selection was described as analogous to artificial selection, a process by which animals and plants with traits considered desirable by human breeders are systematically favored for reproduction. The concept of natural selection was originally developed in the absence of a valid theory of heredity; at the time of Darwin’s writing, nothing was known of modern genetics. The union of traditional Darwinian evolution with subse



(Books common to all Christian and Judaic canons)
Genesis · Exodus · Leviticus · Numbers · Deuteronomy · Joshua · Judges · Ruth · 1–2 Samuel · 1–2 Kings · 1–2 Chronicles · Ezra (Esdras) · Nehemiah · Esther · Job · Psalms · Proverbs · Ecclesiastes · Song of Songs · Isaiah · Jeremiah · Lamentations · Ezekiel · Daniel · Minor prophets
Tobit · Judith · 1 Maccabees · 2 Maccabees · Wisdom (of Solomon) · Sirach · Baruch · Letter of Jeremiah · Additions to Daniel · Additions to Esther
Greek and Slavonic Orthodox canon
1 Esdras · 3 Maccabees · Prayer of Manasseh · Psalm 151
Georgian Orthodox canon
4 Maccabees · 2 Esdras
Ethiopian Orthodox “narrow” canon
Apocalypse of Ezra · Jubilees · Enoch · 1–3 Meqabyan · 4 Baruch
Syriac Peshitta
Psalms 152–155 · 2 Baruch · Letter of Baruch
Bible Portal

The first book of Maccabees is a book written in Hebrew by a Jewish author after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom, about the latter part of the second century BC. The original Hebrew is lost and the most important surviving version is the Greek translation contained in the Septuagint. The book is held as canonical scripture by some Christian churches (including Catholic, Orthodox and Copt churches), but not by most Protestant groups. Such Protestant groups consider it to be an apocryphal book (see also Deuterocanon). In modern-day Judaism, the book is often of great historical interest, but has no official religious status.

The setting of the book is about a century after the conquest of Judea by the Greeks under Alexander the Great, after Alexander’s empire has been divided so that Judea was part of the Greek Seleucid Empire. It tells how the Greek ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes attempted to suppress the practice of basic Jewish religious law, resulting in a Jewish revolt against Seleucid rule. The book covers the whole of the revolt, from 175 to 134 BC, highlighting how the salvation of the Jewish people in this crisis came from God through Mattathias‘ family, particularly his sons, Judas Maccabeus, Jonathan Maccabaeus, and Simon Maccabaeus, and Simon’s son, John Hyrcanus. The doctrine expressed in the book reflects traditional Jewish teaching, without later doctrines found, for example, in 2 Maccabees.

In the first chapter, Alexander the Great conquers the territory of Judea, only to be eventually succeeded by the Seleucid Antiochus IV Epiphanes. After successfully invading the Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt, Antiochus IV captures Jerusalem and removes the sacred objects from the Jerusalem temple, slaughtering many Jews. He then imposes a tax and establishes a fortress in Jerusalem.

Antiochus then tries to suppress public observance of Jewish laws, in an attempt to secure control over the Jews. He desecrates the Temple by setting up an “abomination of desolation” (an idol). Antiochus forbids both circumcision and possession of Jewish scriptures on pain of death. He forbids observance of the sabbath and the offering of sacrifices at the Temple. He also requires Jewish leaders to sacrifice to idols. While enforcement may be targeting only Jewish leaders, some Jews (and children) are killed as a warning to others. Antiochus introduces Hellenistic culture; this process of Hellenization included the construction of gymnasiums in Jerusalem. Among other effects, this discouraged the Jewish rite of circumcision even further, which had already been officially forbidden; a man’s state could not be concealed in the gymnasium, where men trained and socialized in the nude. But 1 Maccabees also insists that there were many Jews who sought out or welcomed the introduction of Greek culture. According to the text, some Jewish men even engaged in foreskin restoration in order to pass as fully Greek.

Mattathias calls upon people loyal to the traditions of Israel to oppose the invaders and the Jewish Hellenizers, and his three sons begin a military campaign against them. There is one complete loss of a thousand Jews (men, women and children) to Antiochus when the Jewish defenders refuse to fight on the Sabbath. The other Jews then reason that, when attacked, they must fight even on the holy day. In 165 BC the Temple is freed and reconsecrated, so that ritual sacrifices may begin again. The festival of Hanukkah is instituted by Judas Maccabeus and his brothers to celebrate this event (1 Macc. iv. 59). Judas seeks an alliance with the Roman Republic to remove the Greeks. He is “succeeded” by his brother Jonathan, who becomes high priest and also seeks alliance with Rome and confirms alliance with Areus of Sparta (1 Macc. xii. 1-23). Simon follows them, receiving the double office of high priest and prince of Israel. (Simon and his successors form the Hasmonean dynasty, which is not always considered a valid kingship by the Jews, since they were not of the lineage of David.) Simon leads the people in peace and prosperity, until he is murdered by agents of Ptolemy, son of Abubus, who had been named governor of the region by the Macedonian Greeks. He is succeeded by his son, John Hyrcanus.

The name Maccabee in Hebrew, means “hammer”. This is properly applied to the first leader of the revolt, Judas, third son of Mattathias, whose attacks were “hammer-like”. The name Maccabee also might have been derived from the battle cry of the revolt, Mi Kamocha B’elim, YHWH (“Who is like you among the heavenly powers, YHWH!” – Exodus ch. 15:11.) In Hebrew, the first letters of this four word slogan form the acronym MKBY (Mem, Kaf, Bet and Yod). This became synonymous with the revolt. The name came to be used for his brothers as well, which accounts for the title of the book. Scholars infer that in the original Hebrew, the term used for “abomination of desolation” would have sounded similar to “Lord of heaven”, so that this term might refer to an image or altar of Zeus.

The narrative is primarily prose text, but is interrupted by seven poetic sections, which imitate classical Hebrew poetry. These include four laments and three hymns of praise.

The text comes to us in three codices of the Septuagint: the Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Alexandrinus and Codex Venetus, as well as some cursives.

Though the original book was written in Hebrew, as can be deduced by a number of Hebrew idioms in the text, the original has been lost and the version which comes down to us is the Septuagint. Some authors date the original Hebrew text even closer to the events covered, while a few suggest a later date. Because of the accuracy of the historical account, if the later date is taken, the author would have to have had access to first-hand reports of the events or other primary sources.

Origen of Alexandria[1] gives testimony to the existence of an original Hebrew text. Jerome likewise claims “the first book of Maccabees I have found to be Hebrew, the second is Greek, as can be proved from the very style” (per Prologus Galeatus). Many scholars suggest that they may have actually had access to a Biblical Aramaic paraphrase of the work — most Christian scholars of the time did not distinguish between Hebrew and Aramaic. In either case, only the Greek text has survived, and this only through its inclusion in the Christian canon. Origen claims that the title of the original was Sarbēth Sarbanael (variants include Σαρβηθ Σα[ρ]βαναι ελ “Sarbēth Sa[r]banai El” and Σαρβηθ Σα[ρ]βανέελ Sarbēth Sa[r]baneel), an enigmatic Greek transliteration from a Semitic original. Various reconstructions have been proposed:

  • Book of the Prince of the House of Israel” or “the Prince of the House of God (El)“, from the Hebrew שַׂר בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל, Sar Beit-Yisra’el or בֵּית אֵל‎ שַׂר, Sar Beit-El, respectively,
  • History of the House of the Warriors[2],
  • Book of the House of the Princes of God[3],
  • the Book of the Dynasty of God’s resisters[4], perhaps from סֵפֶר בֵּית סָרְבָנֵי אֵל, Sefer Beit Sarevanei El (“Book of the House who strive for God”).

Gustaf Dalman, meanwhile, suggests that the title is a corruption of the Aramaic “The Book of the House of the Hasmoneans“.[5]

The book’s author is unknown, but is assumed to have been a devout Jew from the Holy Land who may have taken part in the events described in the book. He shows intimate and detailed geographical knowledge of the Holy Land, but is inaccurate in his information about foreign countries. The author interprets the events not as a miraculous intervention by God, but rather God’s using the instrument of the military genius of the Maccabees to achieve his ends. The words “God” and “Lord” never occur in the text, always being replaced by “Heaven” or “He”.

  1. Ouch: Half-tonne bull jumps into crowd…

    In YouTube footage of the incident, the animal can be seen jumping into the grandstands at the Plaza de Toros before falling into an alley area where assistants and other bullfighters were waiting. WATCH VIDEO FOOTAGE OF THE BULL’S LEAP BELOW ……

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