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    The purpose of the jews in chapterhouse.

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    Re: The purpose of the jews in chapterhouse.

    Postby lotek » 05 Aug 2013 07:51

    inhuien wrote:They're contemporariness not counterparts of the BG. Like the Van Gogh, Thatched Cottages at Cordeville in Mother Superior's anti chamber. Remnants of old earth.



    Yeah wrong word, even though I meant also the idea of similarities between the BG and the Chapterhouse Jews.
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    Re: The purpose of the jews in chapterhouse.

    Postby pathjumper » 26 Sep 2013 09:42

    Aquila ka Hecate wrote:
    pathjumper wrote:.. Leto's insane sister's brief reign,..


    Just to nitpick, that'd be Paul's insane sister, yes?
    Yeah...as I said been too long since I read the canon. Thx.
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    Re: The purpose of the jews in chapterhouse.

    Postby georgiedenbro » 04 Jul 2014 15:06

    A Little Galach wrote:There was an unspoken agreement between BG and Jews, if I remember correctly the Jews owed the BG bigtime for helping them.

    There was more than one Jewish community.

    Was their purpose something a bit more widespread throughout history, other than trying to remain hidden out in the open?
    If you're trying to ask if there was a large, unseen and powerful Jewish conspiracy to control the Empire, CHOAM and the media I'm going to say no. But thanks for the giggle.

    Seriously, I think they just tried to hide out and be Jewish.


    I think there is to more to it than this. Consider what it is to "hide out" - it means you will go unnoticed. Presumably you'll have plans or goals while hiding, but even if they are being implemented it won't be known as long as the plan remains hidden.

    Now jump to the BG, who are a semi-secret society during Shaddam IV's time. Their presence is known but their secrets, plans and abilities are not. They have great power, but no official power (as someone stated in another thread), and prefer to operate behind the scenes. This allows them to avoid developing direct opponents, or to have to expend personnel defending themselves repeatedly when perceived as a threat. Notice how the "tripod" power structure of the empire implies a constant vying for resources and rights, while the BG are left out of it and can do whatever they like in peace. They are probably even considered a boon to most (other than the Guild, who most likely suspect them), since they provide both instruction, concubines, and services such as truthsaying.

    Now think about the Jews in our own history; once they scattered into the diaspora, they came to realize that their only true option was to operate quietly, and if any power was accumulated, it would be through a-political avenues. I don't mean to say that the Jews ever had an organized central council ruling them as the BG seem to have, but nevertheless their methods were arguably similar. One could easily claim that the Jews were and are powerful, even though that power is implicit and not used as a club.

    My point: Think of the name "Bene Gesserit." Bene is of either Hebrew or Islamic origin, but given its transliteration I'll take it to be Hebrew. Gesserit is a little more unclear, but Brian Herbert believes it was intended to suggest Jesuit. Given Frank's past, as well as the BG operations with the MP (a certainly Jesuit-type activity), we can assume 'Jesuit' was the intent. "Bene Gesserit" also means "good/proper behavior" in latin, which fits them as well but here I'll just give Frank credit for giving us an intentional double-entendre in the name. So why call a group whose activities refer to the old Jesuits by the Jewish "bene", meaning children of? Perhaps the BG are a Jewish future-version of the Jesuits, spreading 'seeds' of growth about the universe?

    Now reconsider the Jewish activities in our own history. In addition to the 'quiet' power they accrued through banking and other means, the Jews also privately studied their holy books and conducted contemplative study, purely for the purposes of increasing their wisdom. This scholarly behavior was probably the more powerful of the two, since Jews would regularly hide, lie, or do anything necessary to be able to pray and study their religion. I would suggest the 'rabbinic' instinct was the more tenacious.

    My wild theory: What if the BG were started as a less cloistered and contemplative branch of the Jewish people, an organized political faction? The ones who could spread out into the galactic society but without having a House to themselves? We know that the BG began shortly after the Butlerian Jihad, and obviously adopted some Indian principles for breathing/muscle/nerve control. But why couldn't they have been a new female-centric Jewish sect? Note how the BG are mostly female and tend to give birth to mostly females; note that in Judaism the 'Jewishness' is passed down by the mother, and not the father. Note how the Jews are essentially the only people in world history who, in effect, maintain a breeding program, to keep 'Jewish blood' in the bloodline. Intermarriage has always been heavily frowned upon (until very recently, and even then only in the less religious quarters), conversion into Judaism is extremely difficult and frankly discouraged, and 'once a Jew always a Jew' is a notion that is oft perpetuated - by friend and foe alike. While the Jewish bloodline/breeding program isn't selective or goal-oriented like the BG one is, I still think this is a noteworthy similarity in their mindsets. The Jews are also a people who look forward still to the reception of a messiah; contrast with Christians who believe he came already. I'm not really sure about Islamic messiah beliefs. But compare the Jewish looking-forward to the messiah with the BG desire to breed their own messiah through bloodline manipulation and to educate him in their ways. Also note that the messiah, in Judaism, is meant to be of Jewish blood lineage in direct descent from King David. Compare this to the Atreides, who claim their bloodline descends directly from Agamemnon, culminating in Paul, the KH (aka messiah). Even King David and Agamemnon had similarities to each other, in terms of each having taken a mistress and subsequently being cursed to have their family doomed to strife and violence. I doubt this similarity is accidental (plus House Atreides sounds way cooler than House Davies...and directly insinuating that Paul's family descended literally from King David would have been far too on the nose for Frank and would have given the game away too early).

    Now consider the ties the 'Rabbinic' Jews might have had for 15,000+ years with the BG. We'd never see the cloistered Jews around, since they would be studying and doing not much else, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't be involved with the BG, maybe even in on their plans. It would, however, explain why we never hear from them for the first five books. By the time of CH:D I think the Rabbi and his group are introduced, particulars of the plot aside, because the Old Empire is finally crumbling and this would be the first time in eons when they'd have nowhere else in the Empire to hide and would have to take action and run. In a sense we could think of it as having taken 15,000 years to 'smoke them out'. Leto II most certainly knew of them but presumably he didn't bother about them since they weren't part of the galactic power structure overtly.

    Much of this is supposition and circumstancial evidence but I see many commonalities between the BG and Jewish history and custom. For us to suddenly see a rapport between them and the Rabbinic Jews in CH:D - maybe it's not so sudden. And maybe it's not so random. After all, I'm sure the BG would have had many allies over the millenia, and any one of them could have been keeping RM memories for them in secret; but who do we specifically get to meet as their seemingly final allies in CH:D - the Jews. Perhaps because they were on the same side from the start and trusted each other completely?
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    Re: The purpose of the jews in chapterhouse.

    Postby lotek » 07 Jul 2014 05:35

    They are probably even considered a boon to most (other than the Guild, who most likely suspect them), since they provide both instruction, concubines, and services such as truthsaying.


    Most of the Imperium calls them witches though. From what I gather even the Houses that use them don't really trust them. The Baron refused to have a Truthsayer, and I suspect the Emperor didn't have much of a choice having one (after all, he was not allowed a male heir).

    Now reconsider the Jewish activities in our own history. In addition to the 'quiet' power they accrued through banking and other means,

    Like a lot of people.

    Compare this to the Atreides, who claim their bloodline descends directly from Agamemnon


    They really do. That is, if you believe Other Memory.


    Much of this is supposition and circumstancial evidence but I see many commonalities between the BG and Jewish history and custom. For us to suddenly see a rapport between them and the Rabbinic Jews in CH:D - maybe it's not so sudden. And maybe it's not so random.

    There is more than suggestion and circumstancial evidence, most of the points you make are explored in the books.
    And I don't think it's random either. If we see common ground between the Jews and the BG, it's because Frank wants us to see it.

    After all, I'm sure the BG would have had many allies over the millenia, and any one of them could have been keeping RM memories for them in secret; but who do we specifically get to meet as their seemingly final allies in CH:D - the Jews. Perhaps because they were on the same side from the start and trusted each other completely?


    The BG indeed has many allies, but none of them keeps RM memories, I doubt they'd leave such sensitive information lying around like that. Rebecca saving Lamapadas was more due to circumstances than a shared contingency plan.
    I think that if we see them at this point it's because there is a lesson to be learned about secret groups and blindingly following tradition. (and because of the points raised previously on Frank being influenced by Jesuits, reaching the conclusion of the story makes it logical to begin explaining where you come from).

    I think they trust each other not because they're on the same side, but because they share the need for "discretion", Jews and witches would know a thing or two about pogroms I reckon.
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    Re: The purpose of the jews in chapterhouse.

    Postby ᴶᵛᵀᴬ » 17 Oct 2016 13:22

    Frank Herbert [in Chapterhouse: Dune] wrote:
    "He had to admit the truth of Joshua's words, though.
    It is the anguish of our flight that troubles me.
    Our little diaspora.
    But we do not scatter from Babylon. "

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