"Istar," or Astarte, writes another authority, was "the principal goddess of Mesopotamia and perhaps the most popular deity in the Babylonian pantheon ... [she] so it was related in Nineveh and Babylon, had chosen Tammuz, 'son of light' (Dumuzu in Sumeria), to be the lover of her youth ... He is wounded by a wild boar and she goes to the nether world in search of him. "In the meantime the world of the living is wearing mourning on account of Istar's death. In the absence of the goddess the rites of love are no longer performed." (Man and His Gods, H.W. Smith, page 84).
This mourning and the cessation of intercourse, the whole doctrine is right here today in honor of the procreative powers to which so much adoration is devoted in the Talmud. Explanations are profuse, and silly. In what is represented to Gentiles to be a "monotheistic" religion, there can be no reason to wail and mourn and keep a Fast of Tammuz today, or was there ever, for that matter.
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