Essay Example on To begin separatist sects are exclusive Communities









To begin separatist sects are exclusive communities that deliberately sacrifice the larger portion of the population in order to welcome a smaller more devoted segment of the population In other words individuals cannot walk in and consider themselves part of the exclusive community there is a definite process through which newly initiated members convert their livelihood and whole outlook before being considered as member of the community As it is mentioned Whoever wants to join their sect is not admitted immediately but for a year must follow their lifestyle as an outsider However he is still not admitted to their common life for after this test of fortitude his mettle is tried for two years more and if found worthy he is admitted into their society Jewish War 2 137 138 The Essene lifestyle would therefore sacrifice the larger population in order to adhere to those in the inner circle The concept of exclusivity creates fascination amongst those on the outside as people generally want something more when they cannot have it Outsiders may demand to know why they cannot be included and reasons as to what excludes them from the sect As it relates to the Essenes their exclusivity lies not only in a segregated lifestyle but also in the strict adherence to Mosaic Law Those who wished to enter the sect had to take make many oaths involving the covenant 

As it is mentioned To be devout towards the Deity and to observe justice towards human beings and to harm nobody either of his own accord or at the command of others and always to hate the wicked and help the righteous Jewish War 2 139 141 The similarity between the oath of the Essenes and the commandments shows the importance to which the Essenes believed in a strict Mosaic covenant way of life Outsiders wishing to join the Essenes would not only seek fulfillment from a life of exclusivity living segregated amongst other chosen members but they would also be fulfilled in serving God by living a life according to strict Mosaic law considered by some to be the highest level of authority since it was given by God Secondly seeing as the Essenes represent a group of people that are bound together by an appreciation of the same ideals beliefs and moral values outsiders may look upon the Essene s as the right way of living In turn this ideology leads to the concept of religious dualism whereby those within the inner circle believe that certain kinds of people would not fit in with their society As it is mentioned These men in the first place live in villages avoiding all cities on account of the habitual lawlessness of those who inhabit them knowing that such a moral disease is contracted from association with wicked men just as a real disease might be from an unhealthy atmosphere and that this would have a deadly effect on their souls Every Good Man is Free 12 76 In other words there is a clear distinction between what is perceived to be the right way to live as well as what are moral immoral light darkness and holy blasphemy in communal living Those seeking to live a life that caters to serving God's commandments would find it appealing to live life in the right way Finally the Essenes were frugal regimented and communal this sort of lifestyle offered certain drawbacks to those living within its inner circles 

One aspect of the Essenes that differed from other sects of ancient Judaism was their contempt for wealth and private property As it is mentioned No one among them ventures at all to acquire any property whatever of his own neither house nor slave nor farm nor flocks and herds nor anything of any sort which can be looked upon as the fountain or provision of riches Hypothetica 11 4 Moreover the idea of shared wealth was not optional all members of the inner circle had to abide by these rules As stated Their law requires anyone joining them to hand over his property to the order so that among them there is no abject poverty or excess riches but each one s possessions are mixed in with the others like a shared patrimony among brothers Jewish War 2 122 The Essene s lifestyle presented itself as communal living whereby everyone within was considered to be monetarily equal By outsider s standards the giving up on wealth and possessions can be seen as a big drawback to joining the exclusive community For example The clothing and management of their bodies is like that of children under strict discipline They do not change their clothing or shoes until they have completely worn out with use Jewish War 2 126 127 As a result the Essenes contempt for wealth and abstain from living a luxurious life in favor of a simple life may be seen as detrimental to outsiders

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