Is Quoting the Talmud Anti-Semitic?
Should one be defined as anti-Semitic for quoting from Talmud texts that preach committing or justifying crimes?
New in the Website
Should one be defined as anti-Semitic for quoting from Talmud texts that preach committing or justifying crimes? Texts which encourage Talmud supporters—at least—to be collaborators, or even instigators, to commit a crime?
This question is a serious one, since the modern State of Israel forces on its citizens the religious views of the descendants of the Pharisees, namely the rabbis. The rabbis act according to the Talmud teachings. In such a way, Israel is accepting the Talmud and its teachings. What does that mean?
Who were the Pharisees? In 539 BC, the Persians conquered Babylon, where many Jews were exiled. The Persians let them return to Jerusalem, where the Sadducees—the priests—became the de facto authority of the Jews. While the priests controlled the Temple, the scribes monopolized the study of the Torah, which was read publicly on market-days.
However, after the fall of the Kingdom of Judah, and the earlier exile to Babylon—where the people could witness a more developed society—the prestige of the Sadducees was in decline. The scribes took advantage of that and began the process of organizing themselves into a political party that claimed to possess the correct interpretation of the Bible, which they called the Oral Law. They based the claim on their erudition—they were among the few that could read—and on the failure of the priests to restore the splendor of the former kingdom. “Something is wrong with their interpretation,” whispered the Pharisees to the people.
Much later they became the religious leaders of the people, and in a brilliant marketing event, they changed their title to “rabbi” (“my master,” or literally “my much”).
What is the Talmud? The Old Testament was considered dangerous by the Pharisees. Simply, many of the Mosaic Laws were uncomfortable, and inconvenient, to fulfill. Moreover, the prophecies regarding Jesus in the Old Testament were difficult to ignore. Facing such a problem, these industrious men operated a two stage plan. First, an Oral Law was created. These were laws that defined how the Mosaic Laws in the Pentateuch should be interpreted. Using them, they could turn around any law to their convenience. They claimed the Oral Law was given verbally by Moses to their ancestors. The Bible does not support this claim.
At a certain stage, before Jesus was born, the compilation of this Oral Law into books began. The result was the creation of a new layer of books—collectively known as the Talmud—that included all the formal interpretations of the Pentateuch, the Bible’s first five books. All the other books in the Bible were considered little more than fables by the Pharisees.
Nowadays, the rabbis—the Pharisees spiritual descendants—consider the Talmud as the main book of law. Since then, the Pharisees and rabbis can manipulate the interpretations of the law to their personal benefit.
In the times of Jesus, the Talmud was still incomplete, but its foundations already influenced the behavior of the Pharisees. The manipulation of the Mosaic Law for the Pharisees personal profit—the main task of the Talmud—is time and again denounced by Jesus. The strongest text on the issue is the whole of Chapter 23 in the Gospel of Matthew. However, that’s not the only relevant text. He also said:
Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:6-9)
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because the truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44)
During medieval times, several disputations took place took place between Christian and Jewish theologians. The Talmud became a main topic in two of them. The first took place in Paris in 1240, and was led by of Nicholas Donin from the Franciscan Order; he was a convert from Judaism. The Christian theologians’ commission found the texts so offensive, that it condemned the Talmud to be burned. On June 17, 1244, twenty-four carriage loads of manuscripts were publicly set on fire.
Much more famous than the first, the Disputation of Tortosa was held between 1413 and 1414 in Tortosa, Spain. Again, it was initiated by a Christian convert from Judaism, in this case the Pope's physician, Joshua Lorqui. One of the main topics was defined as: “the errors, heresies, defilement, and blasphemies against the Christian religion” in the Talmud. At its end, the Pope ordered all the Talmud books to be brought to his functionaries for censorship. However, original texts survived.
The Talmud, which is written in Hebrew and Aramaic, was largely ignored by the world until the Jews' College translation was published through Soncino Press between 1935 and 1948. This was the first complete English translation, produced by authoritative Jewish scholars in the world and is considered a reliable text. It is important to keep that in mind while judging the next sections.
Once this task was accomplished, the way was open for an international examination of the text. Elizabeth Dilling published the first critique of the Talmud, a book called The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today. She used the Soncino Talmud, and quotes also the Jewish Encyclopedia, the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, and other publications. Her analysis is considered serious.
Before continuing with the answer of the Jewish community to Dilling’s publication, I would like to bring some of the commentaries appearing in her book.
Moses taught again and again that the stranger is to be treated the same as the Israelites: But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. (Leviticus 19:34-35)
Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:19)
Ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land. (Numbers 9:14)
Yet, the oral law, or the Traditions of the Pharisees, as recorded in the Talmud, reverses Moses teachings. In Baba Mezia 108b it says: “Only ye are designated as ‘men.’” The Baba Mezia passage is about the graves of Gentiles which rank as the graves of animals. “The graves of Gentiles do not defile,” is the edict.
No wonder Christ said:
But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? (Matthew 15:3), and also
Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. (Mark 7:13)
The Talmud teaches in Baba Bathra, Folio 54b, that non-Jews have no property rights. Their possessions are “like unclaimed land in the desert.” The passage appears on page 222 of the Soncino edition: “Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel: The property of a heathen is on the same footing as desert land; whoever first occupies it acquires ownership.”
Doesn’t the occupation of Palestine appear now in a new light?
The Talmud is obsessed with pornographic issues, touching some of them here is unavoidable. Moses commanded that if a woman has intercourse with a beast, both should be killed (Leviticus 20:16), and that a priest must not marry a harlot or woman who is profane (Lev. 21:7), the Talmud inverted that and teaches that “unnatural intercourse does not cause a woman to be forbidden to marry a High Priest,” since then “you will find no woman eligible …” (Yebamoth, Folios 59a-59b)
Then, the ruling of the rabbis is: “A woman who had intercourse with a beast is eligible to marry a priest—even a High Priest,” and “the result of such intercourse being regarded as a mere wound, and the opinion that does not regard an accidentally injured hymen as a disqualification does not regard such as intercourse either.”
The Talmud enlightens us that baby boys may be used as subjects for sodomy by grown men. The Pharisaic excuse is that until a child reaches sexual maturity, he or she does not rank as a person; hence Biblical laws against sodomy do not apply. Throughout the Talmud “nine years and one day” is the age of male maturity.
According to the Talmud, under “nine years and one day,” the “first stage of intercourse” of a boy with the mother, or any grown woman, is harmless. Shammai—who contributed vast texts to the Talmud—lowers the age to eight years in some cases.
Not less shocking is the following text: “When a grown up man has intercourse with a little girl it is nothing, for when the girl is less than this—that is, less than three years old—it is as if one puts the finger into the eye—tears come to the eye again and again, so does virginity come back to the little girl under three years.”
This is the Talmudic doctrine on babies. Sodomy and intercourse with them is the prerogative of the Talmudic man. What a contrast to Christ's teachings!
That’s not all. “A maiden aged three years and one day may be acquired in marriage by coition …” (Sanhedrin 55b, Sanhedrin 69a-69b, and others).
Baby girls of three can invoke sadistic punishments on those who have intercourse with them when they are “Niddahs” (menstruating), a physical impossibility (Sanhedrin 55b, Sanhedrin 69a).
These crimes—and all their imaginable variations—appear time and again. What type of men wrote these texts? What type of men are their followers?
Every single rabbi in the world studied this text in order to graduate. Would you hire one as a babysitter?
Quoting the Talmud heresies in public is dangerous. In 1944, Dilling's views involved her in what was called “mass sedition trial.” The case was ultimately dismissed by a Federal Court as “a travesty on justice.” I am afraid to comment on that, I am already a refugee and do not need to add reasons for my persecution. Instead, I’ll bring Dilling’s own words that appear on a later edition of her book:
“The hub of world Jewish anti-Christ power, the financial and industrial power best described in Rev. 18:11, is the AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE with its B’nai B’rith brotherhood, and its “secret police,” smear and ruin arm, the Anti-Defamation League. After having pushed a reluctant USA into World War II—to spread Communism across the earth, and with its first world base, Soviet Russia, as our “ally,” it was decided to crush all ANTI-COMMUNISTS by trying them as “Fascists, Nazis.” A series of indictments against some 30 anti-Communists, of which I was one, was engineered by the American Jewish Committee, in 1942, 1943, 1944. The 1942 indictment never came to trial. The 1943 indictment was dismissed in Washington by Judge Adkins. Only the 1944 indictment went to trial under a stooge judge Eicher. An unbelievable farce was staged without any legality or fact. After the death of judge Eicher, the case was dismissed by Judge Bolitha Laws with the scathing denunciation that it had been a crime to hold those people on trial all that time without a single piece of evidence in accordance with the charge being introduced by the prosecution against ANY defendant. The Communist press had been gloating that the “sedition trial” was part of the “Moscow Purge trials” then in session all over Europe. I reproduced the item on one of my Bulletins, sent to every Congressman.”
Considering this, is quoting the Talmud anti-Semitic?
My articles on the web are my main income these days; please donate or buy The Cross of Bethlehem or Back in Bethlehem.