Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Nero of the East - in Cartoon

Hat tip: a commenter on my last post, via Rotter:
Caption in top-right corner reads "Nero of the East"

I don't know who the cartoonist is, but I verified with an Arabic-speaking coworker of mine Meisi'ah Lefi Tumo that the caption reads "Neiron of the East".  (Nero=Neiron as we see in Gittin 56a.)

Over this past summer, the web was buzzing with the quote from Otzar Midrashim p. 556, which says that when you see the Nero of the East fall in Damascus, the Salvation will come to Israel, and Mashiah Ben David will come...

11 Comments:

At Wed Dec 12, 05:52:00 PM 2012, Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

This daf in the Talmud is the conclusion of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza. Nero was the Roman Emperor at the time in 66ce. And the legend goes he played a string instrument when Rome was burning in 64ce, two years earlier. It seems like a precursor event that might or might not take two years. Or it might take two months. Yet, when Nero died, his general Vespasian became Caesar in 68ce.

 
At Wed Dec 12, 06:55:00 PM 2012, Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

I actually have a question. How could Nero first convert to Judaism in 66ce and then commit suicide in 68ce? If you have an answer, let me know.

 
At Thu Dec 13, 07:32:00 AM 2012, Blogger 10rainbow said...

yes, dov, strong sources say he converted to judaism, and to cover the fact, the story of him fiddling while rome was burning. and this is not the first story that romans and xts have covered up.

 
At Thu Dec 13, 09:07:00 AM 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are we ready for Mashiah in this upcoming month Tevet? I hope so, hopefully Mashiah ben Yosef and Mashiah ben Daved both show up in this month. Rosh Hodesh Tov.

--Tsaddik Nistar

 
At Thu Dec 13, 10:40:00 AM 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could then the Nero from the East be a ger?!?!?

 
At Thu Dec 13, 04:29:00 PM 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few comments:

1) I remember learning that Nero converted and went eastwards... leaving the lands of the Roman Empire.

2) Amazing how in Arabic culture, they share many Jewish outlooks on the world - in this case, the concept of Rome/injustice and his fall, and mostly how we are battling Rome.

3) Our Jewish version that Nero converts could be a way of saying, instead of Nero falling by the sword, he will come to recognize Hashem.

 
At Thu Dec 13, 04:40:00 PM 2012, Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

Yes, but why did he commit suicide two years after he converted?? Or is that another myth to dismiss the fact that he may have been murdered because of his conversion? I believe that he was the first Roman Caesar to commit suicide, so they claim.

And before Vespasian rose to power about one year later, Rome was involved in a Civil War where three other men besides Vespasian claimed the throne of the empire.

 
At Sun Dec 16, 07:04:00 AM 2012, Blogger Neshama said...

Dov, Where does it say, he commited suicide in 68ce? What is your source for this. The Gemora indicates he was never heard from again.

 
At Sun Dec 16, 02:18:00 PM 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neshama, the episode of Nero's suicide is well-documented by the Roman historians.

 
At Sun Dec 16, 05:45:00 PM 2012, Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

To be honest, Neshama, when I read these histories, I wonder how much of it is fabricated. It is likely that the aristocracy hated him because of his conversion to Judaism, and planned his death and called it a suicide. The Wikipedia description of his suicide is elaborate to say the least.

I do remember seeing that he was in Greece when he sent Vespasian to put down the revolt in Judea. Nero was a showman of sorts and liked to perform in public, and he was performing in Greece at the time. This would explain the first arrow shot toward the East which hit Yerushalayim. The others arrows were shot in other directions and also hit Yerushalayim to indicate that the destruction of Yerushalayim had been decreed in Heaven, even if it was unclear at first who would destroy the City. The plebiscite loved the guy while the Senate and the aristocracy hated him. His conversion to Judaism would have been even more reason of them to hate him. So in my mind, whether or not he really committed suicide is an open question.

 
At Sun Dec 16, 06:18:00 PM 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, in a shiur from Rav Mutzafi shlita, I remember him saying that Rabbi Meir was a descendant of Nero...?? could this be..?

 

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