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How did STOP NOAHIDE LAW start? How did I even hear of such an obscure topic as Noahide Law, especially many years ago when it was even less reported as it is now? It started out as a question as to what the Jews actually believed. It seemed to me that modern Jews did not seem to think or behave very much like the ancient Israelites of the Old Testament at all, there just seemed to be a disconnect between the Jews today and the Torah. One evening I got into a debate with a Jew and no matter what quote I brought up from the Old Testament he argued it just did not apply to Jews today, so then what is Judaism? In an attempt to find something that would stick in the debate, I came across the website www. come-and-hear .com run by a woman named Carol. A. Valentine. On her website I found an article entitled "America's New Government Church" where I learned all about Noahide Law and the Talmud, which is the source of modern Judaism. As soon as I started talking about Noahide Law and Talmud, the whole debate changed at it seemed I was able to pin down Judaism for what it was, and for the first time Jewish scripture (the Talmud and not the Torah) and Noahide Law seemed to fit the way Jews were behaving and thinking in the here and now. Carol A. Valentine has put up many resources to learn about the Talmud and Noahide Law. She is probably the first person to write such a comprehensive critique on the Noahide Laws and she was my inspiration for starting this site, STOP NOAHIDE LAW.
There are changes in the wind. Some people may be happy, some may be unhappy. Let's go directly to the Talmud to see its laws on some social concerns.
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson,(2) the Lubavitcher Rebbe, 1902-1994. His birthday has been regularly recognized by special Congressional declarations. These were effected by declaring his birthday "Education Day." The proclamations go as far back as 1976. Rabbi Schneerson's name appears in every bill and the date moves about on the Julian calendar to follow the wandering cycles of the Babylonian lunar calendar used by Judaism. In 1991, Congress coupled Rabbi Schneerson's birthday recognition with a declaration stating that the Talmud Noahide Laws are "the basis of civilized society and upon which our great Nation was founded". — US Congress(1)
The package on the Rebbe's forehead is a tephillin (or phylactery) which, as described by Reverend Dr. Abraham Cohen, "consists of two small leather cases with straps attached, in each of which is inserted parchment inscribed with four Biblical passages: Exod. xiii. 1-10, 11-16; Deut. vi. 4-9, xi. 13-21. That is the traditional method of fulfilling the law: 'Thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be for frontlets between thine eyes.' (Deut. vi. 8)" — Reverend Dr. Cohen (3)
Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court judge, is said to be a devout Catholic with a fascination for Jewish law. Under circumstances that are not explained, Justice Scalia developed a correspondence with Rabbi Noson Gurary (a disciple of the late Rabbi Schneerson). During this exchange, Scalia mentioned his "fascination with Jewish law." That prompted Rabbi Garary to found the National Institute for Judaic Law (NIJL).(45) The Institute promotes courses on Talmud-based law in American law schools and otherwise injects Talmud-based law into American society.
The founding of NIJL was celebrated by a gala kosher dinner on November 5, 2002. Justice Scalia and two other Supreme Court judges were among 200 dinner guests. Where was the dinner held? In the Supreme Court building.
Site of Kosher Banquet
The American public first learned of the Supreme Court kosher dinner by reading the news in The Jerusalem Post, November 9, 2002.(45) This remarkable event was not reported contemporaneously by either The Washington Post or The Washington Times. Missing from The Jerusalem Post coverage was the role Scalia may have played in securing the use of the Supreme Court building as a banquet hall for Rabbi Gurary.
Why a devout Catholic like Justice Scalia would promote Talmud-based law is not clear. The Talmud classifies Christians as idolaters, and the Noahide regulations require that idolaters — devout Catholics, for example, people exactly like Justice Scalia — be put to death. Could it be that Rabbi Gurary did not tell Justice Scalia about the Noahide provisions to execute people like Scalia?
Justice Scalia has demonstrated a soft spot for Judaism in other ways. He was the first judge to use the world chutzpah in a Supreme Court decision.(41)
According to an article in Jewish Law, "… Justice Scalia … has repeatedly called for more expressions of tradition and religion in American society. The use of the word chutzpah, with its historical roots and association with Judaism, may fulfill such a role. It also comports with his legal philosophy. He favors the 'nonpreferentialist' view, which posits that government may support religion in general but not in a way that prefers any particular religion. For Justice Scalia to use a term of a Jewish cultural language in a Supreme Court decision could be viewed as in keeping with the nonpreferentialist legal doctrine." — Jewish Law(54)
The word chutzpah is not a religious word, nor is it a traditional American word. It is a Yiddish word meaning, roughly, "unmitigated gall." It is surprising that Jewish Law would attach such significance to the incidental use of a Yiddish word.
If given a judicial opportunity, will Justice Scalia rule in favor of the Noahide Laws? He could describe them as "nonpreferentialist," in the much the same way that Congress described them as "the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization." That sounds most "nonpreferentialist," provided one does not mention death sentences for Christians.
Equal Justice Under Law
Talmud law also provides that Jews and non-Jews be judged by dramatically different standards. For example, in capital cases, 23 judges must sit in judgment on a Jew; two eyewitnesses must have witnessed the offense, and warned him of the potential penalty. In contrast, a Gentile gets one judge, and is convicted on the testimony of one eyewitness with no warnings. See US v. Talmud Law for more details on capital cases. See The Talmud Lives for Jews for details on civil cases.
Justice Scalia has sworn an oath to uphold the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Given that the words Equal Justice Under Law are emblazoned over the cornice of the very building that houses Scalia's office, Justice Scalia is one Very Interesting Person.
Neatly separating head from shoulders with a single blow of the axe …
"… in speaking of heathens, when the Tanna teaches that they are forbidden to do something, he ipso facto teaches that it is punishable by death; for only in speaking of Jews is it necessary to distinguish between prohibition and punishment." — Rabbi Dr. Freedman
"… every death penalty decreed for the sons of Noah is only by decapitation." — Sanhedrin 56a
Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein is the director of Project Next Step of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and a professor of Jewish Law and Ethics at Loyola Law School. Rabbi Adlerstein calls the Talmud, "the world's oldest continuously-practiced legal code."(55)
"For a Jew to be convicted by a Jewish court, two eyewitnesses must have seen the perpetrator about to commit the crime and warned him of the potential penalty. The murderer must verbally answer that he chooses to proceed anyway. (For a non-Jew, only one witness is required and no verbal warning.)"(57)
We can see why a Jew on trial for his life might prefer a Jewish court — but why would a non-Jew? What would Talmud-based law have to offer that is better than trial by a jury of peers, the Bill of Rights, and Equal Justice Under Law?
The National Menorah is now an annual feature on the Ellipse, adjacent to the White House in Washington, DC — it is part of the government-sponsored Christmas/ Hanukkah/ Winter Solstice/ Kwanzaa festivities.
The Washington Times, Monday, December 12, 2002, carried a front-page picture and story above the fold of the lighting of the National Menorah. The caption reads: "From left, Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, and Undersecretary of Defense Dov Zakheim lit the National Menorah on the Ellipse from a cherry picker to mark the third night of Hanukkah, last night." All three men are Friends of Lubavitch. Other friends of Chabad Lubavitch include former Press Secretary to President Bush Ari Fleischer, and Senator Joseph Lieberman, (D-CT), a possible candidate for the US presidency.
The Washington Times, Monday, December 12, 2002, (detail).
The box carrying the men reads, "Hanukkah - Friends of Lubavitch." As careful as the White House is in their public relations of all matters religious, this seems to be a clear message to the nation: of the three rabbis, all are Orthodox.
"In the struggle for the soul of American Jewry, the Orthodox model has triumphed." — Samuel G. Freedman(52)
Dov Zakheim is Comptroller of the Pentagon, and an ordained Orthodox rabbi. He is also the Department of Defense "point man" in charge of "rebuilding a terrorist-free Afghanistan" for the Muslim Afghanis. — AFIS (68)
US President George W. Bush "sent greetings and applauded the institute for promoting an 'understanding of Judaism's rich tradition of legal thought. As we face new challenges and welcome new opportunities, our society must continue to promote good character and strong values. Through the study and teaching of Jewish law and philosophy you are contributing to a growing culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility in America,' Bush wrote."
The occasion was a kosher dinner held at the US Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC by the National Institute of Judaic Law to celebrate the occasion of the Institute's founding. According to the Jerusalem Post, the purpose of the Institute is to teach Judaic law to US law students and jurists, and to file legal opinions in US courts.(44)
Mel Gibson is a practicing Roman Catholic Christian. Gibson is currently making a movie about the last day in the life of Jesus.
On March 24, 3003, Abraham Foxman, the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote Gibson a letter, issuing a thinly veiled demand that Gibson submit his script or a precise for ADL approval. "… we have serious concerns … and would like to be assured … Passion plays have an infamous history of leading to hatred, violence, and even death of Jews."(62)
On the other hand, the ADL publishes a speech given by the First Lady of New York,
Mrs. George (Libby) Pataki. Mrs. Pataki gave her speech upon the acceptance of an award given to her by the ADL for her unwavering support of Israel. In her speech, Mrs. Pataki denounced the Koran and those who practice the Islamic religion. She identified Islam with terrorism, saying in part:
"It leaves us at war with an enemy that has no conscience. They do not deal in reality with statistics and facts. They deal in rhetoric filled with hatred and founded in ignorance. They praise murderers as martyrs. The speak peace and buy illegal weapons … They TARGET women and children for death …
" The fight is not just about Israel. It is about all people that hate terror and love peace. It is about freedom and the right to live one's life without fear. Under the Taliban in Afghanistan, women were forbidden to hold jobs, drive cars, own land, be educated, and for that matter, show their face. They were forbidden from doing things by the Koran, which ironically they are not even allowed to read. If their husband dies they have no way to feed their children. Sometimes, the women beg for enough money to buy stale bread, which they mix with water and feed to their children. In other families the women were forced into prostitution and then charged and executed for the same offense. If any of you have seen Saira Shaw's 'Beneath the Veil,' you know what I am talking about."(65)
Does the ADL worry that First Lady Pataki's message might lead to the "hatred, violence, and even death" of Muslims? We are left with the following alternatives. Either:
a) The ADL is publicizing Mrs. Pataki's speech to incite "hatred, violence, and even death" against Muslim Americans — or
b) The ADL is completely cynical about the consequences of so-called hate speech.
Abraham H. Foxman is the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The ADL web page carries these words from Mrs. Pataki:
"As a premier civil rights and human relations agency, ADL combats anti-Semitism and racism against all peoples, regardless of background." (65)
We're puzzled. As far as we know, the ADL did not send a letter of protest to Congress when it declared the Talmud's Noahide Laws were the basis "upon which our great Nation was founded." Noahide Law regulations call for the decapitation of practicing Christians — people like Mel Gibson.
Richard Gephardt, Missouri District 3, served as Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, Majority Leader of the House, and as one of the nation's leading Democrats for much of the last two decades.
On March 05, 1991, Rep. Gephardt co-sponsored H.J. Res. 104, which reads in part as follows:
"Whereas Congress recognizes the historical tradition of ethical values and principles which are the basis of civilized society and upon which our great Nation was founded; Whereas these ethical values and principles have been the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization, when they were known as the Seven Noahide Laws …" — US Congress(1)
Congressman Robert Michel (R-Ill.) was first elected in 1956 to the 85th Congress from the 18th congressional district in Illinois. He served from his election in 1956 until his retirement in 1994. He was Minority Whip from the 94th Congress through the 96th. He served as Minority Leader, though he preferred the title Republican Leader, from the 97th through the 103rd Congress.
Rep. Michel was co-sponsor of the 1991 declaration concerning the Noahide Laws, along with Rep. Gephardt.
Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, is quoted in The Washington Post caption to this picture, "At the most personal level, I love this country like nothing else."
The ACLU has concerned itself with First Amendment issues in America for almost a century. An advanced search of the ACLU site with google.com reveals 776 references to the Ten Commandments. For example:
"The ACLU opposes the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools, classrooms, and in other public institutions on the ground that such displays violate the First Amendment."
However, a Google search of the ACLU site does not reveal a single mention of the Noahide/ Noachide/ Noachian Laws.
Explanations vary for this singular disinterest. One commentator suggested, "The ACLU concerns itself with Freedom of Speech issues; in contrast, the Noahide Laws involve the freedom to breathe, and that falls outside the ACLU's special interest."
Do you know the difference between Talmud and Torah as those words are used by religious Jews? The terms are confusing and if they are confused, no one will understand what is being said. Find out from Critical Words of Talmud Study.(49)
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a Kabbalist, is a disciple of the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. He is friends with Uri Geller, Madonna, and Michael Jackson. According to ABC News, "Boteach's … rabbinical answer to Dr. Ruth began with the 1999 publication of Kosher Sex, a best seller that shook the Orthodox Jewish community for stressing, among other things, that oral sex can be very good for a marriage." — ABC (75)
Rabbi Boteach is quoted on the dust jacket of his book, Judaism for Everyone, saying, "Sex is the holiest human experience, the highest form of knowledge."
In Judaism for Everyone, Rabbi Boteach says that Judaism views Christianity as the "Ultimate Heresy" and says he finds tolerance "repugnant."
"From the outset Judaism aimed to destroy the idols and false Gods that ancient man was wont to worship. Therefore, no visual images can ever be employed in prayer and religious devotions." — Rabbi Boteach(16)
The Bamayan Buddhas in Afghanistan were destroyed in February 2001, allegedly by the Taliban. It is alleged this statuary was destroyed because Muslims do not like idols. There is room to doubt the allegation, however: Egypt has been occupied by Muslims for more than a thousand years, yet the extensive heathen statuary of ancient Egypt has never been attacked by an Egyptian government.
Emperor Leo III of the Byzantine ruled from 717 to 741. Following the second Mosaic Commandment forbidding "graven images," Leo instituted a campaign that destroyed much of the arts of that day in Eastern Europe.
Crucifix by Giotto di Bondone's 1292 in Florence.(38)
Rabbi Boteach says that the religious images of Christianity are in violation of fundamental tenets of Judaism. In particular, the rabbi names the crucifix as objectionable. This causes some concern about the safety of Christian artifacts in the upcoming Jewish Millennium. "From the outset Judaism aimed to destroy the idols …" — Rabbi Boteach(16)
"Therefore, no visual images …"
"… can ever be employed …"
"… in prayer and religious devotions." — Rabbi Boteach(16)
MISHNAH. He who engages in idol-worship [is executed]. It is all one whether he serve it, sacrifice, offer incense, make libations, prostrate himself, accept it as a god, or say to it, 'thou art my God' … — Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 60b
Dennis Prager wrote of Rabbi Boteach's book, Judaism for Everyone:
"A major achievement. Few books on Judaism convey its essence as clearly, as interestingly, as humanly as Judaism for Everyone." — Dennis Prager
According to Dennis Prager's web page, "Dennis Prager has engaged in interfaith dialogue with Catholics at the Vatican, Muslims in the Persian Gulf Hindus in India, and Protestants at Christian seminaries throughout America. For ten years, he conducted a weekly interfaith dialogue on radio, with representatives of virtually every religion in the world. New York's Jewish Week described Dennis Prager as 'one of the three most interesting minds in American Jewish Life.'"(53)
Rabbi Daniel Lapin is author of America's Real War. He presents himself as a friend of the Christian right, and is a favorite speaker of organizations such as Concerned Women for America.
"As an Orthodox rabbi, I will make a compelling case for America as a Christian nation and the need for our nation to be based on Judeo-Christian ethic in order to survive." — Rabbi Daniel Lapin
In his book, Rabbi Lapin promotes the Noahide Laws, but fails to tell his Christian readership that the Noahide system requires Christians to be put to death for practicing Christianity.
The Stumbling Block
Rabbi Lapin also mentions the Jewish prohibition against putting a "stumbling block before the blind" — that is, deriving benefit from information deliberately withheld from another. "Thus we see that part of the Jewish contribution to the world has always included 'filling in the blanks.'" — Rabbi Lapin(29)
Selling the world on Noahide Laws and not mentioning the penalty clause — that sounds kind of like a stumbling block, doesn't it?
Don't you wish Rabbi Lapin would "fill in the blanks"?
You can help in the battle for Truth, Justice, and the American Way! Fight the forces of censorship and suppression of the Talmud, and bring about understanding between peoples of different faiths.
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The recurring Congressional resolutions honoring Rabbi Schneerson and recognizing the Noahide laws as the basis of our great Nation have been gathered. This collection is a must if you would like to discuss it with your neighbors and be a part of the process.(1)
Max Dimont, author of several books popularizing Jewish history and culture writes in The Indestructible Jews, that:
"Jewish history consists of a unique series of events — accidental or purposive — which have had the practical effect of preserving the Jews … to fulfill their avowed mission of ushering in a brotherhood of man.
"Whether this mission was initiated by God or retroactively attributed to God by the Jews themselves in no way alters our thesis of a Jewish manifest destiny."(47)
Dimont also quotes Prime Minister Ben Gurion:
&quo;My concept of the messianic idea is not a metaphysical but a social-cultural one … I believe in our moral and intellectual superiority, in our capacity to serve as a model for the redemption of the human race … The glory of the Divine Presence is within us, in our hearts, and not outside us."(47)
Rabbi Noson Gurary is a Chabad Lubavitch rabbi, Director of Chabad of Buffalo, New York, and founder of the National Institute for Judaic Law. The Institute is intended to bring Talmudic law to the attention of US judges and law students. According to Jewish Week:
&quo;'It will be an eye opener for judges, scholars and law students,' he told The Jewish Week. 'Before you know where you're going, you have to know where you came from. And Jewish law is the basis of our legal system in America.' Gurary said that the idea for the institute came in an exchange of letters in which Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the most conservative Justices, expressed his 'fascination with Jewish law.' 'And as a teacher of Judaic studies, I began to see the excitement of students who were being exposed to Jewish law for the first time, who now had a better understanding of where Western law come from,' Gurary said.
"Gurary, who teaches at the University of Buffalo law school, said his target audience includes judges around the country and law students, not politicians and lawmakers."(45)
For Jews, the belief that God can be human
is the ultimate heresy.
— Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, on Christianity(7)
Minuth — Heresy, the belief in more than one Power,
Unbeknownst to most Americans, the US Congress has been gradually changing the fundamentals of American law. The movement for change started as early as 1975, when Congress passed a resolution honoring the birthday of a prominent rabbi, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, ("the Rebbe") of the Chabad Lubavitch sect (sometimes this sect is called "ultra-Orthodox"). The movement ratcheted forward in 1991, when Congress coupled Rabbi Schneerson's happy birthday message with a declaration that the United States of America was founded on the seven Noahide Laws. (1)
The Noahide Laws promise deadly consequences for Christians. We shall understand why a little later.
What are the seven Noahide Laws? In brief: LORD God told the Jews they must obey 613 commandments (72) in order to have everlasting life (i.e., "a portion in the-world-to-come"), but decreed that the rest of mankind must obey only seven commandments. Those seven commandments are the Noahide Laws. Furthermore, LORD God tasked the Jews to enforce the seven Noahide Commandments, and to enforce them with liberal use of the death penalty.
While we read of LORD God writing the Ten Commandments on stone tablets with his finger and giving them to Moses (Exodus 31:18, 34:28), there is no parallel Biblical statement of LORD God writing the Noahide Laws on stone tablets and giving them to anybody. Jews believe that the Noahide Laws were either passed down orally (see More Critical Words of Talmud Study, Oral Law), or derived by rabbis (see Israel's "One Indigenous Science"). The authority of the Noahide Laws is not questioned, however.(37)
Here is an excerpt from the 1991 Congressional declaration concerning the Noahide Laws:
Whereas Congress recognizes the historical tradition of ethical values and principles which are the basis of civilized society and upon which our great Nation was founded;
— US Congress, HR 104 Public Law 102-14 (1)
Despite this Congressional declaration, many Americans are still not aware that their country was founded on Talmudic laws.(70) It is still widely believed that America was founded on the principles contained in the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and Anglo-Saxon law generally. Some of the Founding Fathers even thought they had been influenced by the writings of John Locke, a Scot. Help clear up this misunderstanding. A copy of that 1991 resolution, Joint House Resolution 104 Public Law 102-14, and prior Congressional Schneerson birthday resolutions are available for easy download and study.(1)
To see how one of Judaism's most prominent and charming spokesmen is currently promoting the Noahide Laws, study the May 8, 2001 speech of the Very Reverend the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth, Professor Jonathan Sacks. The speech is entitled Jewish Identity — The Concept of a Chosen People.(42)
A Description of the Noahide Laws
The Noahide Laws are defined in the Talmud, largely in Chapter VII of Tractate Sanhedrin, particularly: 56a, 56b, and 57a.
(Note: When excerpting quotations from the Talmud, we sometimes omit non-germane text and footnotes. An omission of text is indicated by an ellipsis (…). To see the full text and footnotes, follow the hot link at the end of the excerpt. It is our pleasure to make available on line a number of Talmud tractates, so that excerpts used in these Come and Hear™ articles and Elizabeth's Dilling's The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today can be seen in full context. We indicate unprintable Hebrew characters, words, and phrases with the symbol [H].)
GEMARA. … Our Rabbis taught: seven precepts were the sons of Noah commanded: social laws; to refrain from blasphemy, idolatry; adultery; bloodshed; robbery; and eating flesh cut from a living animal …
— Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 56a
Soncino 1961 Edition, pages 381-382
A contemporary promoter of the Noahide Laws, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, is a Hasidic Jew, a Kabbalist,(43) and a disciple of the late Rabbi Schneerson.(58) Rabbi Boteach expresses the Noahide Laws in this language:
The Jews have the 613 commandments of the Torah to observe. Non-Jews have the Noahide commandments, included within which are prohibitions against idolatry, theft, murder, adultery and incest, cruelty to animals, blasphemy and the responsibility to establish and maintain courts of justice in a just society.
— Rabbi Boteach(9)
Jewish Law Enforced on Non-Jews
In the following Talmud excerpt, we see that Jews have Divine authority to enforce the Noahide Laws on non-Jews.
GEMARA. … If a heathen [son of Noah] blasphemed, employing substitutes of the ineffable Name, he is in the opinion of the Sages punishable by death. Why so? — Because it is written, as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land [when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death].
— Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 56a
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 381
One Witness — Death for Gentile
Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein is the director of Project Next Step of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and a professor of Jewish Law and Ethics at Loyola Law School. Rabbi Adlerstein presents the basic principle of equal protection under Jewish law.
For a Jew to be convicted by a Jewish court, two eyewitnesses must have seen the perpetrator about to commit the crime and warned him of the potential penalty. The murderer must verbally answer that he chooses to proceed anyway. (For a non-Jew, only one witness is required and no verbal warning.)
— Rabbi Adlerstein, as told to Naomi Pfefferman(57)
So then, Jewish law is not based on "Equal Justice for All." Different standards are used to judge Jews and non-Jews. To convict a Gentile, all that is needed is one accuser. See US v. Talmud Law for further discussion.(66) Thus, it is very easy to convict a Gentile, but much more difficult to convict a Jew.
Now the Talmud Sages tell us that a single judge decides a Gentile's fate. There is no provision for a jury in Talmud law.
GEMARA. … R. Jacob b. Aha found it written in the scholars' Book of Aggada: A heathen is executed on the ruling of one judge, on the testimony of one witness, without a formal warning, on the evidence of a man, but not of a woman, even if he [the witness] be a relation. On the authority of R. Ishmael it was said: [He is executed] even for the murder of an embryo. Whence do we know all this? — Rab Judah answered: The Bible saith, And surely your blood of your lives will I require; this shows that even one judge [may try a heathen].
— Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 57b
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 390
Gentiles Executed for Violating Noahide Laws
Here the rabbis argue and decide that heathens are put to death for idolatry, and any other violation of the Seven Laws, as well:
GEMARA. … With respect to idolatry, such acts for which a Jewish court decrees sentence of death [on Jewish delinquents] are forbidden to the heathen. This implies that they are merely forbidden, but their violation is not punished by death! - R. Nahman b. Isaac answered: Their prohibition is their death sentence. (1)
— Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 57a
Soncino 1961 Edition, pages 387-388
The translator, Rabbi Dr. H. Freedman, amplifies the text in a footnote:
— Rabbi Dr. H. Freedman
Death Sentence Endorsed Today
It would be a mistake to believe that contemporary promoters of the Noahide Laws have abandoned the Talmud doctrine that idolaters (i.e., Christians) be put to death for practicing their religion. The Noah's Covenant web site calls for the banning of Christmas and other Christian holidays, and endorses the call for the death sentence for Christians. Noah's Covenant quotes Rabbi Schneerson from Volume VIII of Likkutei Sichos, an anthology of the Schneerson's works.(71) Rabbi Schneerson in turn quotes Maimonides (the Rambam).
… according to the known Jewish ruling that Christians are idol worshippers.
— Maimonides, quoted by Rabbi Schneerson(63)
A gentile … is liable for the death penalty … if he has invented a religious holiday for himself … The general principle is we do not allow them to make new religious rituals and to make 'mitzvahs' for themselves by their own devices. Rather they may either become a Ger Tzeddek and accept all the Mitvahs; or [t]he (the Noahide) should stand fast in his Torah (the seven Noahide Laws) without adding or diminishing … and if he does make some new 'mitzvah,' we lash him, punish him, and inform him that he is obligated with the death penalty for this …
— Maimonides (the Rambam)(64)
Gentiles vs. the Beasts of the Field
In Tractate Sanhedrin 57b (cited above), we learned that a "heathen" is executed on the ruling of one judge. Let's compare that rule with the treatment of Jews and oxen accused of capital crimes. (Footnotes, except for footnote 7, have been omitted from this excerpt. To read the footnotes and the full context of the tractate, follow the hot link on the cite.)
MISHNAH. … CAPITAL CASES ARE ADJUDICATED BY TWENTY-THREE. THE PERSON OR BEAST CHARGED WITH UNNATURAL INTERCOURSE, BY TWENTY-THREE, AS IT IS WRITTEN, THOU SHALT KILL THE WOMAN AND THE BEAST, AND ALSO, AND YE SHALL SLAY THE BEAST.
— Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 2a
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 2
Rabbinical scholar and translator, Jacob Shachter, amplifies the text with these footnotes.
— Jacob Shachter
A further perspective in traditional Jewish laws and attitudes concerning Gentiles is contained in What About Gentiles?(67) See also US v. Talmud Law.(66)
Noahides Killed by Decapitation
In this passage, we see that heathens (or "sons of Noah") must be killed by decapitation.
GEMARA. … Our Rabbis taught: [Any man that curseth his God, shall bear his sin. (3) It would have been sufficient to say], 'A man, etc.:' What is taught by the expression any man? (4) The inclusion of heathens, to whom blasphemy is prohibited just as to Israelites, and they are executed by decapitation; for every death penalty decreed for the sons of Noah is only by decapitation.(5)
— Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 56a
Soncino 1961 Edition, page
The translator, Rabbi Dr. H. Freedman, explains in a footnote that the expression "sons of Noah" means non-Israelites.
— Rabbi Dr. Freedman
The Sages consider decapitation to be the most hideous way to die because it so disfigures the corpse. In contrast, Jews who commit idolatry are stoned.(23) To see footnotes, please follow link at the bottom of the excerpt.
MISHNAH. EXECUTION BY THE SWORD WAS PERFORMED THUS: THE CONDEMNED MAN WAS DECAPITATED BY THE SWORD, AS IS DONE BY THE CIVIL AUTHORITIES. R. JUDAH SAID: THIS IS A HIDEOUS DISFIGUREMENT; BUT HIS HEAD WAS LAID ON A BLOCK AND SEVERED WITH AN AXE. THEY REPLIED, NO DEATH IS MORE DISFIGURING THAN THIS.
— Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 52b
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 380
Axe or sword, the end result is the same.
"Grunts" Push for Decaptitation
If it seems fantastic that decapitations might be carried out in the US, the reader's attention is called to the July 26, 2003 edition of Defense Watch ("The Voice of the Grunt"). In an article entitled "Anti-Terror Weapon: Off With Their Heads," Robert G. Williscroft argues that the US military decapitate "terrorists."
We should have beheaded Saddam's monster sons, and placed their pigskin-draped heads atop long poles in the center of Baghdad. Then, one by one, as we capture other high-ranking members of the old regime, their pigskin-draped heads should join the rotting heads of the Hussein brothers.
— Robert G. Williscroft(73)
Of course, all of the "terrorists" so far are Gentiles. And once decaptition is used by American officials on Iraqi Gentiles, the precedent is established. Decaptition becomes an American practice, and may be used other Gentiles as well.
Defense Watch ("The Voice of the Grunt") is published by Soldiers For The Truth (SFTT), which claims to be "a grass-roots educational organization started by a small group of concerned veterans and citizens to inform the public, the Congress, and the media on the decline in readiness of our armed forces … SFTT is headed by retired Army Colonel David H. Hackworth." (74)
Jesus Led Israel to Apostasy
Should Christians be particularly concerned about all this? As we learned in Jesus' Membrum in the Talmud,(34) and Elizabeth Dilling's The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today, Chapter III, Jewish teaching holds that Jesus of Nazareth ("Balaam," "Ben Stada," etc.) was a false god. He was the bastard son of a woman who played the harlot with carpenters, He worshipped a brick, performed magic with his sex organ, had sexual intercourse with his donkey, and attempted to seduce women. He was a sorcerer who led Israel to apostasy.
GEMARA. … On the eve of the Passover Yeshu (6) was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, 'He is going forth to be stoned because he has practised sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.' But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!
— Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 43a
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 281
The translator, Rabbi Dr. H. Freedman amplifies the text in a footnote, citing the Munich codex of the Talmud (the identity of Jesus is clarified by calling him "the Nazarean"):
— Rabbi Dr. Freedman
Certainly, Jewish views of Jesus and His mother are allowable under the Bill of Rights. Christians have their opinions about other religions, too. However, the present-day Jewish view of Christianity has consequences in a way that the present-day Christian view of Judaism does not. Under Judaism, what happens to those who worship a false god?
MISHNAH. HE WHO ENGAGES IN IDOL-WORSHIP [IS EXECUTED]. IT IS ALL ONE WHETHER HE SERVE IT, SACRIFICE, OFFER INCENSE, MAKE LIBATIONS, PROSTRATE HIMSELF, ACCEPT IT AS A GOD, OR SAY TO IT, 'THOU ART MY GOD' …
— Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 60b
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 410
Min, Minim, Minuth
In the Talmud, Christians are specifically described as "Judeo-Christians" or "min" (plural "minim"). The following definition of "minuth" in the Glossary for the Soncino Talmud makes the Talmudic attitude to Christianity clear:
Minuth — Heresy, the belief in more than one Power, especially Judeo-Christianity.
Idolater — Word Covers Many People
Some may assume that "idolatry" refers to the worship of idols. While that definition is correct, the word takes on metaphorical application, and may refer to anyone whose theology differs from that of the Pharisees. For example, Jews who reject the Talmud and wish to base their law and practices on the Old Testament only, have in the past, been labeled "idolaters" by the Pharisaic (Talmud) Jews. See the information on Sadducees and Karaites in Critical Words of Talmud Study.
Personal Virtue vs. Enforcement
Before taking up the next point, let us consider some aspects of religion. There is one aspect of religion that intends the betterment of the individual through prayer, meditation, right action, faith, hope, charity, etc. Let us call this aspect of religion the "religion of personal virtue."
There is, however, a second aspect of religion. This aspect requires one person to use force against his fellow, either individually, or more often, through the power of the state. Let us call this aspect of religion the "religion of enforcement."
Personal Virtue Religion
None of the teachings of Jesus require men to use force against one another; instead, Jesus directed the individual to acquire personal virtue. Among many other things, he said:
This writer knows of not one case of a government attempting to enforce any of the Beatitudes. Nor do we find Jesus of Nazareth directing His followers to convert others at the point of a sword, or to kill others because they do not follow His way.(61)
In contrast, many of the commands in the Old Testament contain enforcement clauses. For example, this commandment —
That commandment requires the force of the state to carry out the death sentence on a "witch." The following passage from Deuteronomy 13 requires Old Testament believers to kill unapproved prophets, miracle workers, and anyone who preaches another religion.
— Deuteronomy 13:1-11 (KJV)
There are many similar injunctions in the Old Testament. In the history of Christendom, we can see when the Old Testament doctrines dominated the minds of Christian leadership. When Christendom neglected Old Testament enforcement doctrines, religious freedom blossomed. Each man looked to the perfection of his own soul, and left his neighbor's soul to the care of his neighbor.
But now, with the rise of Judaism in the halls of power, we are looking at a return to Old Testament state-religion. Particularly, given the strain of Orthodox Judaism in ascendance, we are looking toward a re-unification of church and state, with priestly enforcement of Old Testament and Talmudic commandments.
We have already met Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (above), a disciple of the late Rabbi Schneerson and promoter of the Noahide Laws. In Judaism for Everyone published in 2002, Rabbi Boteach begins by stating:
This book is written in the belief that the next thousand years will be a Jewish millennium. For the first time in its long and trying history, the world's oldest monotheistic faith is going mainstream.
— Rabbi Boteach(11)
Rabbi Boteach explains in his own words why Jews should be in the position of control during this millennium. In the following, be aware that the word "Torah" is used to denote "Talmud" (see Critical Words of Talmud Study).(49)
The world cannot be run at human whim. It needs an ultimate plan and a regulator who can determine whether it is progressing or regressing. This is the role of the Torah, the divine law, which puts each contribution into perspective. It organizes all human actions so that they coalesce into one supremely redeeming blueprint …
— Rabbi Boteach(12)
Rabbi Boteach goes on to remind us of the two-track system: Jews are governed by 613 commandments, Noahides by seven.(12) Curiously, Rabbi Boteach does not mention the landmark 1991 Congressional declaration concerning the Noahide Laws on the occasion of his own mentor's birthday (Rabbi "The Rebbe" Schneerson). Nor does he mention that Noahides found in violation of the Noahide Laws are sentenced to death under a one-witness, one-judge, fast-track justice system. That is quite an oversight!
We are now at the beginning of the Jewish Millennium. What will life bring in a decade or two? Possibly, things will be quite all right, in light of Rabbi Boteach's following statement.
Rabbi Boteach: Judaism Teaches Tolerance
On page 393 of Judaism for Everyone, Rabbi Boteach praises tolerance.
Tolerance is an important lesson that Judaism can teach all world religions. Despite Judaism's being the world's oldest monotheistic faith, the Jews have never insisted that their beliefs are superior to others … Coercion is as foreign to Judaism as Christmas.
— Rabbi Boteach(18)
Rabbi Boteach: Tolerance Is "Repugnant"
Now let us turn to page 280 of Judaism for Everyone and read as Rabbi Boteach condemns tolerance.
In today's society people pride themselves on their tolerance. They believe they have progressed beyond the prejudices of the past. They have learned to allow those opinions that do not necessarily accord with their own to be voiced. But is this progress?
— Rabbi Boteach(8)
This may be a little worrisome. It seems Rabbi Boteach does not know his own mind. Or does he?
Christians Make Jews Uncomfortable
Toward the conclusion of Judaism for Everyone, Rabbi Boteach tells us "why Jews are uncomfortable with Christianity."(13) Christians make Jews "uncomfortable" in ten ways summarized in the Appendix: Why Christianity Makes Jews Uncomfortable. Since Jews will have the power of life and death over Christians in the upcoming Jewish millennium, Jewish uncomfortable-ness matters.
Christianity Is the Ultimate Heresy
Now let us turn to page 401 of Judaism for Everyone and read as Rabbi Boteach says that Jews condemn Christianity as the Ultimate Heresy.
Certain beliefs have been deeply engrained into the Jewish psyche for so many thousands of years, that even the most secular and disinterested of Jews accept them as axiomatic. Foremost among these is the simple belief that no man could ever be God. … Man is free, but his liberty cannot be taken for license.
— Rabbi Boteach(6)
The idea that a man could be God is anathema to everything that Judaism stands for and everything that Judaism came into this world to accomplish.
— Rabbi Boteach(57)
For Jews the Belief That God Can Be Human Is the Ultimate Heresy … The belief that God could have been born of a human womb, or could once have walked the earth, is so foreign to Judaism that it is rejected even by the most assimilated Jews. … Christianity, however, sees in Jesus the incarnation and embodiment of the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son.
— Rabbi Boteach(15)
What answer does Judaism have for the Bible literalist, who can point to the many human manifestations of God recorded in the Bible? (31)
The ancient Rabbis were at pains to emphasize that the various anthropomorphic descriptions of the Creator in the Bible — the face of God, His outstretched hand, His back — were nothing more than allegorical language designed to make the Creator accessible to the human mind.
— Rabbi Boteach(20)
On other issues, however, Judaism accepts the Bible literally:
In Egypt, God manifested strict justice toward the wicked Egyptians, destroying their lives and property through ten plagues. At the splitting of the Red Sea, He showed Himself to be a warrior who effortlessly decimated Pharaoh's legions, and simultaneously as a caring Father who rescued the forlorn Israelites who were plunged in the Red Sea. At Sinai He was a lawgiver …
— Rabbi Boteach(21)
Can We Know God's Mind?
Rabbi Boteach tells us this about Judaism:
Judaism accepts the idea that there can be no positive description of God. We cannot say what God is, only what He is not. His being completely transcends human apprehension.
— Rabbi Boteach (21)
If this is true, and God transcends human apprehension, how can Judaism be so certain He would never want to take human form, or could not do so if He wanted to? Christians may be puzzled by this.
Is God Man, or Is Man God?
The concept that God cannot take on man characteristics is an interesting one — Rabbis believe man can take on God characteristics. That belief is illustrated in the following passages. In the first passage, we learn that Raba says it is possible for man to create, and we learn that Rabbah created a man. We also learn two other rabbis created a calf and ate it.
GEMARA. … Raba said: If the righteous desired it, they could [by living a life of absolute purity] be creators, for it is written, But your iniquities have distinguished between etc. (7) Rabbah created a man, (8) and sent him to R. Zera. R. Zera spoke to him, but received no answer. Thereupon he said unto him: 'Thou art a creature of the magicians. Return to thy dust.'
— Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 65b
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 446
Talmud translator Rabbi Dr. H. Freedman amplifies the text with footnotes.
— Rabbi Dr. Freedman
Note Rabbi Dr. Freedman's mention of Sefer Yezirah, a translation of which is on line at Come and Hear™.(59) The reader may also be interested in Elizabeth Dilling's comments on the Sefer Yezirah.(60) This account of the rabbis creating a calf and eating it is repeated in Tractate Sanhedrin 67b.
In the following passage, someone called Jannai changes a woman into an ass and rides her. He is apparently embarrassed when someone else breaks his spell, the woman becomes human again, and he is seen "riding upon a woman in public."
GEMARA. … Jannai came to an inn. He said to them, 'Give me a drink of water,' and they offered him shattitha. Seeing the lips of the woman [who brought him this] moving, he [covertly] spilled a little thereof, which turned to snakes. Then he said, 'As I have drunk of yours, now do you come and drink of mine.' So he gave her to drink, and she was turned into an ass. He then rode upon her into the market. But her friend came and broke the charm [changing her back into a human being], and so he was seen riding upon a woman in public.
— Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 67b
Soncino 1961 Edition, pages 460-461
Tripartite God Is Illogical, Unacceptable
Leaving aside the question of whether God could take human form if He wanted to, Judaism teaches that God cannot manifest himself in three aspects
Judaism Conceives of God as an Absolute Unity … Christianity, however, maintains a divine Trinity of three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which together form the mysterium tremendum (overwhelming mystery) of Christian beliefs … Christianity thus affirms a belief in a tripartite God, which to Judaism is illogical and unacceptable.
— Rabbi Boteach(7)
Bi-partite, Poly-partite God is Logical, Acceptable
While repudiating the idea that God can manifest in three aspects, Judaism sidesteps the "Ultimate Unity" to assert that God can easily manifest in numbers other than three. For example, God can assume Male and Female emanations. It's time to meet the Shechinah, the female emanation of God (some say Her name is pronounced "Shock 'N Awe"). Rabbi Boteach introduces Her in Judaism for Everyone:
The idea of a woman reflecting a female component in the Godhead is a central idea of the Kabbalah. The woman is the Shekhinah, the Divine Presence, commanding increased respect. The Zohar, the key work of Jewish mysticism, in a famous passage, says:
— Rabbi Boteach(14)
In his Foreword to the Soncino Talmud (1935), the Very Reverend the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire, the late Dr. Joseph H. Hertz, quotes the Talmud Sage Rab to the effect that God (male) and the Shechinah (female) can be feeling and doing different things simultaneously, as though they were separate entities:
‘Since the Exile,’ he declares, ‘the Shechinah mourns, and God prays: Be it My will that in My dealings with My children My mercy overcome My justice.’
— Rabbi Dr. Hertz(51)
The Shechinah appears in the Talmud. She is mentioned seventy times in the 1952 General Index, and once again under an alternate spelling, "Shekinah."
Shechinah, Ber. 191, Shab. 141, 152,
— Soncino Talmud General Index
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 376, 377
To learn about the Shechinah in the Talmud, use the Come and Hear™ Search page.
Rabbi Boteach also describes other manifestations of the Godhead (En-Sof), including the ten sefirot, or mystic spheres, or colors, or emotions.(22)
The relationship between God's essence, referred to by the Kabbalists as the En Sof (literally, "there is no end"), and the ten sefirot is analogous to clear water being placed into ten glasses, each of different color. Red would represent God's anger, blue His compassion, green His splendor, and so on. Viewed from the outside, the water will invariably appear red, blue, green, or yellow, depending on the color of glass into which it is placed. In reality, however, the water has not changed color at all and only appears this way to the outside observer.
— Rabbi Boteach(20)
So then, Rabbi Boteach tells us that some people are on the outside of God, and some are on the inside. He also identifies two other manifestations of the Ein-Sof: the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) and Elokim. YHWH is the attribute of Mercy, and Elokim the attribute of Justice.
Elizabeth Dilling, the Protestant Christian author of The Jewish Religion: Its influence Today, believes that Judaism is not monotheistic. For further information, see Chapter VI, Judaism Not Monotheistic, Chapter VII, Judaism and Paganism, and Chapter VIII, Demonology of the Pharisees.(35)
What is the truth, then? Can God manifest Himself as three, or more than a dozen? It is beyond the scope of Come and Hear™ to settle these issues. We mention them simply to help achieve Rabbi Sachs' goal: that we find out about each other's faiths (see What We're About(36)).
No Original Sin
In the following, be aware that the word "Torah" is often used to denote Talmud. See Critical Words of Talmud Study.(49) The following statements were excerpted from three contiguous pages — the ellipses (…) indicate omitted text, following a thread in Rabbi Boteach's thinking.
Jews Do Not Believe in Original Sin and the Fall of Man, a Cornerstone of Christian Faith. … Judaism does not promote the idea that people are born either meritorious or sinful. Rather the individual is born innocent … The Torah does speak of Adam's sin. But it teaches that man can rise above it. Righteousness may be challenging, but it was for this treason that God gave humankind the Torah.
— Rabbi Boteach(17)
Original Sin is a critical point of departure between Christians and Jews. Many Christians believe Original Sin prevents man from attaining perfection, and that political power must be limited for fear of doing evil on a grand scale. Without the Original Sin doctrine, men have no inhibition about the concentration of political power.
Jews Focus on This World, Christians the Next
To understand the import of the following, be aware that the word "Torah" is most commonly used to denote the Talmud. See Critical Words of Talmud Study.(49)
Christianity Is Oriented Toward the Next World, Judaism Toward This World. Christianity posits that the purpose of man is to achieve the salvation of his soul and to attain everlasting life in Paradise … Judaism is oriented toward this world and steadfastly promotes the idea that man's purpose is to perfect the world and bring godliness into an otherwise un-Godly planet.
— Rabbi Boteach,(10) (emphasis added)
So then, we understand that since Judaism introduces God into this un-Godly heathen world, Jews have a special mission. They must assume authority over all mankind, lest un-Godliness prevail. Jews remember what Jesus said:
— Jesus of Nazareth, as quoted in John 18:36 (KJV)
But the Jews know their kingdom is of this world. Talmud Law assumes authority over all mankind, not just those who agree with it; Just as explorers in the New World lay claim to lands that are new to them, and lay claim to the native populations, the Jews lay claim to this world, and all its native populations.
We now understand Rabbi Boteach's interest in the distinction — those who believe in "this world" will rule over those who believe in the "next world."
Rabbi Jacob Neusner, writing in 1995, expresses the same thought in almost the same words.
The Talmud is a public, political, anonymous, collective, social statement; its compilers intended to define the life of the public polity by forming the kingdom of God in the here and now …
— Rabbi Dr. Neusner(46)
A kingdom of God in the here and now, based on the Talmud.
Judaism Is the Universal Religion
In the Jewish Millennium, there is no need for a religion other than Judaism.
Christianity is a supremely proselytizing faith. Since Christianity affirms that none shall come unto the Father except through the Son, it takes the view that there is only one road to truth, one path to salvation.
— Rabbi Boteach(19)
But in reality, the "several" paths to Heaven are just one for each: Rabbinical Judaism for Jews, and rabbinical Noahidism for Gentiles. With a death penalty for people who stray from the path, it's a simple, workable system.
Judaism and Tolerance
Before we go on to meet our next guest, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, let us review some facets of Jewish law concerning the treatment of those who will not conform to the Jewish religion. We have already read Deuteronomy 13:1-11, wherein we learn that if our brother, our son, our daughter, or our wife strays from the path of Judaism, we must kill them — without hesitation.
— Deuteronomy 13:1-11 (KJV)
It's different from what we're used to, yes. Among Christians, Protestant and Catholics sometimes marry and one party consents to the religion of the other. Even if one family might regard the in-laws' religion as heresy, people try to get along without killing each other.
Building on the work of other researchers, we have collected some references showing Jewish tolerance for other religious faiths and cultures. See In His Own Image(32) and What About Gentiles? (67)
The second half of Deuteronomy 13 deals with the treatment of whole towns and tribes that fall into idolatry, and as we shall see in a moment, it is the subject of particular attention by the Talmud Scribes.
— Deuteronomy 13:11-18 (KJV)
The Talmud implements this Biblical passage as Judaic law in the Mishnah for Sanhedrin 111b, with some details and modifications.(33) The Jewish state must exterminate "false prophets" and entire tribes and cities who have fallen into idolatry. (For further discussion on this point, see Holy Atrocities and Judaism.) Sanhedrin 2a lays down some regulations. (Ellipses indicate we have omitted text. To see the full text and the footnotes, follow the link at the end of the excerpt.)
MISHNAH. … A TRIBE, A FALSE PROPHET AND A HIGH PRIEST CAN ONLY BE TRIED BY A COURT OF SEVENTY-ONE …[text omitted]… SMALL SANHEDRINS FOR THE TRIBES CAN BE INSTITUTED ONLY BY A COURT OF SEVENTY-ONE …[text omitted]… NO CITY CAN BE DECLARED CONDEMNED SAVE BY A DECREE OF A COURT OF SEVENTY-ONE. A FRONTIER TOWN CANNOT BE CONDEMNED NOR THREE CITIES AT A TIME, BUT ONLY ONE OR TWO.
— Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 2a
Soncino 1961 Edition, pages 1-2
We wonder how the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance would address these matters. (24)
No Images or Icons, Ever
It seems that not only are Jews uncomfortable with Christianity, they are very uncomfortable with Christianity. Now Rabbi Boteach expands. He says from the beginning of their history, Jews have sought to destroy the religious artifacts of non-Jewish religions. Notice that he says Judaism forbids the use of visual images in any religion, ever.
Images and icons — the image of the crucifix foremost among them — are absolutely central to Catholicism and figure prominently in Protestantism as well … From the outset Judaism aimed to destroy the idols and false Gods that ancient man was wont to worship. Therefore, no visual images can ever be employed in prayer and religious devotions.
— Rabbi Boteach(16)
One wonders what will happen to the great works of art produced by the West — the ceiling of the Sistine chapel, the Madonnas of the Italian masters, the religious statuary — during the Jewish millennium? Will Judaism destroy those works of art, those "idols"? Though Rabbi Boteach is silent on the issue, the implication is worrisome.
We need to understand that Rabbi Boteach is well positioned and not at all a "loose cannon." Judaism for Everyone was published by Basic Books, and his Kosher Sex was published by Doubleday. The flyleaf of Judaism for Everyone indicates thirteen published works by Rabbi Boteach. According to the dust jacket, "In 2000, he became the first Rabbi ever to win the highly prestigious London Times Preacher of the Year Award, garnering more points than anyone in the competition's history."
Rabbi Lapin Loves Christianity
Rabbi Daniel Lapin is a radio talk show host, lecturer, President of Toward Tradition, and the author of America's Real War (published in 1999). Rabbi Lapin says he is an ally of the Christian right, and he is a favorite speaker of organizations such as Concerned Women for America.
In America's Real War, Rabbi Lapin says there is a real war is between those who want a secular nation and those who stand for "a spiritual America."(25) Rabbi Lapin's book is clearly intended to be read by right-wing Christians. Here, Rabbi Lapin states that he is deeply puzzled by Jewish organizations that engage in anti-Christian bigotry.
Although many of them were founded explicitly to fight bigotry, and for many years did just that, today the shrill rhetoric and hate-filled propaganda found in their direct mail is discriminatory and divisive … God's blueprint clearly included the emergence of Christianity. After all, Christianity has brought monotheism to more people than any other force during the past two millennia.
— Rabbi Lapin (page 12)(26)
As an Orthodox rabbi, I will make a compelling case for America as a Christian nation and the need for our nation to be based on Judeo-Christian ethic in order to survive.
— Rabbi Lapin (page 14)(26)
Rabbi Lapin entitles Chapter Six of America's Real War, "The Curious Rise of Anti-Christianism." He informs his readers that the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Anti-defamation League (ADL) have attacked the Christian Right because the Christian right attacks homosexuality. He makes common cause:
"For over three thousand years, Jewish tradition and Jewish law have been unambiguous about homosexuality. It is a sin." This is not quite true — Judaism permits homosexuality provided the passive partner is under nine years of age. Consenting adults are given the death penalty. See Sex with Children by Talmud Rules
According to his own words, Rabbi Lapin spent "many years of study at the theological academy (or yeshiva) of Kfar Hassidim in Israel."(39) He comes from a family of rabbis. His two brothers are rabbis. His father was a rabbi, his uncles and cousins taught Talmud at the Gateshead Talmudic Academy in England;(28) he is a disciple of his great uncle Rabbi Eliyahu Lapian, whose works are in the Chabad Lubavitch library in Brooklyn, New York.(40) See the biography of Rabbi Eliyahu Lapian at the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America ("Orthodox Union") web site.(69)
In light of his background, Rabbi Lapin must know the Talmud is anti-Christian. The rise of anti-Christianism could not be "curious" to him. See, for example, the Jewish attitudes and laws concerning Gentiles discussed in What About Gentiles? (67)
In Chapter Thirty-Two, "Sex Is Everyone's Business," Rabbi Lapin mentions the Noahide Laws:
Known collectively as the Seven Laws of the Sons of Noah, these laws are indispensable for the survival of any human society. One of the seven establishes courts of law. Another rejects homosexuality as a valid lifestyle.
— Rabbi Lapin(27)
We have already seen the Soncino Talmud translation of the Noahide Laws, and there is no mention of homosexuality.
GEMARA. … Our Rabbis taught: seven precepts were the sons of Noah commanded: social laws; to refrain from blasphemy, idolatry; adultery; bloodshed; robbery; and eating flesh cut from a living animal …
— Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 56a
Soncino 1961 Edition, pages 381-382
We wonder which of these Rabbi Lapin is interpreting as a prohibition of homosexual lifestyle. Could he have arrived at the prohibition through exegesis? (See Israel's "One Indigenous Science".)
Like Rabbi Boteach, Rabbi Lapin does not mention the landmark 1991 Congressional declaration concerning the Noahide Laws, and he does not mention every Christian who practices his faith will suffer the death penalty.
If Rabbi Lapin sincerely wants Christianity to survive, we cannot help but notice:
A Stumbling Block
Rabbi Lapin mentions the Jewish prohibition against putting a stumbling block before the blind:
… this law simply prohibits us from deriving economic benefit from information that we have deliberately withheld for another. In other words, do not "trip" up someone economically after you have made him "blind" — Feeling assured that your colleague is not concealing material information from you certainly makes it more likely that you would trade with him. Thus we see that part of the Jewish contribution to the world has always included "filling in the blanks."
— Rabbi Lapin(29)
We cannot explain why Rabbis Boteach and Lapin have omitted the vital information about the enforcement of the Noahide Laws while promoting them as a panacea to humankind. The enforcement clause of any set of laws is essential to their workability, and is always vitally interesting to anyone studying them. Failing to provide that vital data about enforcement the Noahide Laws may well qualify as putting "a stumbling block before the blind."
It may be that the rabbis are embarrassed about the Talmud prescribing decapitation for recalcitrant Noahides — decapitation is, after all, old fashioned. If, however, Jewish leadership has other plans for the punishment of Christians, it would be best to disclose them. We clearly prefer the principles of openness and full disclosure that Rabbi A. James Rudin, Senior Interreligious Advisor recommends to the Vatican. On the Vatican's decision to partially open its wartime archives, Rabbi Rudin states:
… one thing is clear. Partial, incomplete or pre-selected archival records will not be enough in a world where transparency and full disclosure is now the norm if an institution — whether political, financial or spiritual — is to maintain its integrity. What is needed now is for the Vatican to fully open its World War II records.
— Rabbi Rudin(41)
But even more importantly, the omission of vital information about the death penalty provisions of the Noahide Laws prevents us from learning about each others' faiths. Recall that this website was inspired by the Very Rev. the Chief Rabbi of United Hebrew Congregations, Jonathan Sachs. Rabbi Sachs' declared goal is to improve religious tolerance worldwide.
Rather than find fault with the efforts of Rabbis Boteach and Lapin to teach the public about the Noahide Laws, let us help them to fill in the information gaps. Print out a copy of this article and give it to your Christian friends, your ministers, and anyone of good faith who sincerely loves the Bill of Rights. Download a copy of this web site to your own disc, make CDs, and put them in the hands of responsible organizations throughout the country.
For more information on the Noahide Law popularizers and advocates, see Merry Christmas, and Off with Your Head!(37) and The Noah's Covenant Web Site(48). An Internet search engine will bring up many other references as well, using all the alternate spellings.
Thank you for your consideration of the above,
Carol A. Valentine, Ear at come-and-hear dot com
July 14, 2003 ( This article is on line at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/america_1.html )
See also Congressional support for religious school in the amount of $500,000.
Forward, December 19, 2003: Congress To Aid Lakewood Yeshiva
NEXT: New America 2: Sex with Children by Talmud Rules
Appendix: Why Christianity Makes Jews Uncomfortable
Here are the "Ten Essential Differences" that make Jews uncomfortable about Christianity, according to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (see Judaism for Everyone, pages 403 through 412). In Judaism for Everyone, each point is followed by a short essay explaining the issue. The point headings are copied verbatim from the book and appear in italics. The supporting comments are summarized in the Come and Hear™ editor's own words, or in a phrase excerpted from the essay.
Title: America's New Government Church
Version: July 2, 2018
You May Find These Works of interest
Footnotes: Full specifics for each of the printed sources are provided in the Bibliography. Outside URLs were valid at the time this article was written. However, be mindful that URLs do change.
- Joint House Resolution 104 Public Law 102-14, Final Version: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d102:HJ00104:|TOM:/bss/d102query.html cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/pl-102-14-1991 . See also "Bill Summary and Status" at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d102:HJ00104:@@@L&summ2=m& cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/pl-102-14-1991/summary-and-cosponsors.html . History of similar bills passed in the US Congress since 1975 available at http://www.Come-and-Hear.com/supplement/noahide, researched by Linda Abrams. See also footnote (4)
- Image: Ukrainian Archive: http://www.ukar.org/gore10.shtml
- Everyman's Talmud, page 153
- Readers interested in researching the Noahide Laws should note the word "Noahide" is spelled variously as "Noahide," "Noachide," "Noachian," "Noachite," and in other ways as the Hebrew is freely transliterated. A detailed examination of the Noahide Laws can be found at http://www.public-action.com/christmas.html
- Download page: http://www.come-and-hear.c../download.html
- Judaism for Everyone, page 401
- Ibid, pages 403-404
- Ibid, page 280
- Ibid, pages 284-285
- Ibid, page 410
- Ibid, page 1
- Ibid, page 284
- Ibid, page 400
- Ibid, page 182
- Ibid, pages 404-405
- Ibid, page 405
- Ibid, page 406
- Ibid, page 393
- Ibid, page 411
- Ibid, page 93
- Ibid, page 92
- Ibid, pages 92-93
- Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 53a, page 359 available in Come and Hear™ hypertext at Sanhedrin 53a
- "About the Museum of Tolerance," A Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum, SWC Family of Web Sites, http://www.museumoftolerance.com/mot/about/index.cfm
- America's Real War, dust jacket
- Ibid, pages 12-14
- Ibid, page 201
- Ibid, page 11
- Ibid, page 129
- Ibid, page 402
- To a Biblical literalist, Rabbi Boteach's position ("the belief that God can be human is the ultimate heresy") may raise some eyebrows: Didn't God appear as a "flame of fire out of the midst of a bush" (Exodus 3:2), didn't he "walk" in the Garden (Genesis 3:8), sit on a "throne" (Psalm 47:8), use a "footstool" (Psalm 99:5), write with a "finger" (Exodus 31:18), wrestle all night with Jacob as "a man" (Genesis 32:24), come "face to face" with Jacob (Genesis 32:30), help people with "a mighty hand" (Deuteronomy 7:19), stretch out his "arm" (Deuteronomy 5:15), listen with "ears" to Samuel (1 Samuel 8:21), "smell the sweet savour" of burnt offerings (Genesis 8:21), open his "lips" (Job 11:5) and speak with a "voice" (Genesis 3:8) and a "mouth" (1 Kings 13:21)? Didn't God create Man "in his own image" (Genesis 1:27)? If these statements are true, taking on the form of a man would not be impossible.
- Amaleks, http://www.jewishtribalreview.org/amalek.htm cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/supplement/br-amalek.html
- In His Own Image http://www.come-and-hear.com/supplement/ot-select.html
- See Holy Atrocities and Judaism "Appendix B: Mishnah of Sanhedrin 111b" at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/br_1.html#appendix_b or in context with footnotes at http://www.come-and-hear.com/sanhedrin/sanhedrin_11.html#111b
- Jesus' Membrum in the Talmud is available at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/censorship_2.html
- The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today by Elizabeth Dilling is available on-line at http://www.come-and-hear.com/dilling
- What We're About is available at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/about.html
- For more information on the Noahide Laws, see Merry Christmas, And Off With Your Head! available at http://www.Public-Action.com/christmas.html
- Giotto di Bondone 1266-1337 Crucifix 18ft 11in x 6ft 7in tempera on panel Santa Maria Novella, Florence about 1292
- We were unable to locate a yeshiva or theological seminary in or called "Kfar Hassidim," or mention thereof in any publication on the Internet. We were, however, able to find Kfar Chabad, the Chabad-Lubavitcher village in the Lod Valley that contains a school for boys. (http://www.chabadnews.us/gallery/Page_0006/0006.htm) Perhaps a curious reader will have better luck.
- Chabad-Lubavitch Library of Brooklyn N. Y.: "volume no: 4053, location: 2-L, Lev Eliyahu, A Collection of Talks, by: Lopian, Eliyahu, Jerusalem ,1975, 8. xli, 330 p." http://www.chabadlibrary.org/ecatalog/EC04/EC04053.HTM
- "While the Messiah Tarries," by Rabbi A. James Rudin, Forward, February 22, 2002: http://www.forward.com/issues/2002/02.02.22/oped2.html cached at: http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/forward.
- "Jewish Identity - The concept of a chosen people - 8 May 2001 [Unedited verbatim transcript]," The Website of the Chief Rabbi, http://www.chiefrabbi.org/faith/identity.html cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/na-sacks-noahide
- Explanation of Kabbalah, see The Lurianic Kabbalah, Ein-Sof: http://www.newkabbalah.com/einsof.html cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/cp-ein-sof
- "Jewish law institute launched in DC," Jerusalem Post, November 9, 2002, http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/A/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1036830287246, now moved to http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/index.html?ts=1042784008 cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/cp-jp-11-09-2002
See also footnote 45
- "Jewish Law Comes to D.C.," The Jewish Week, 12/06/2002, http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/newscontent.php3?artid=7074%20 cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/cp-jw-01-08-03
- "Foreword," Everyman's Talmud, page xvii
- The Indestructible Jews by Max Dimont. The Dimont quote is printed on the dust jacket. Ben Gurion is quoted on page 337
- Merry Christmas, and Off with Your Head! is found at http://www.Public-Action.com/christmas.html
Jews and Hasidic Gentiles — United to Save America is found at http://www.noahide.com/
and the seven Laws (The Seven Universal Laws) are found at http://www.noahide.com/7laws.htm
- Critical Words of Talmud Study is available at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/critwords_1.html
- Israel's "One Indigenous Science" is available at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/exegesis.html
- Babylonian Talmud, "Foreword," Seder Nezikin, Vol. I, page xxii available at http://www.come-and-hear.com/talmud/nezikin_h.html#xxii
- Jew vs. Jew, page 338.
- "Dennis Prager," Dennis Prager, http://www.dennisprager.com
- "The Supreme Chutzpah," by Jack Achiezer Guggenheim, Jewish Law, http://www.jlaw.com/Commentary/SupremeChutzpah.html cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/na-chutzpah
- "Jewish Law and the Supreme Court: Happy Millennium From an Ancient Legal Tradition," Project Next Step by Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, http://projectnextstep.org/adlerstein-articles/jewish-law-supreme-court.htm cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/cp-adlerstein2
- URL of this article: http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/america_1.html
- "Jews and the Death Penalty," The Jewish Journal, by Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, director of the Jewish Studies Institute of Yeshiva of Los Angeles and chair of Jewish Law and Ethics at Loyola Law School: http://www.jewishjournal.com/old/deathpenalty22.214.171.124.htm cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/cp-adlerstein
- Rabbi Boteach tells of a meeting he had with Rabbi Schneerson. "When I emerged from his office I felt filled with hope for the first time in my life. That very night, I decided to leave my Jewish day school and enter a rabbinical seminary." Judaism for Everyone, Preface, page xii
- Sefer Yezirah is on line at Come and Hear™ at http://www.come-and-hear.com/supplement/sephir.html
- Elizabeth Dilling's comments on the Sefer Yezirah in The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today are available at http://www.come-and-hear.com/dilling/chapt06.html#Sefer_Yetzirah
- Jesus is reported to have said that he came to uphold the Law (Matthew 5:17-20). However, a review of In His Own Image and Holy Atrocities and Judaism provokes a question: What were those Old Testament Laws that Jesus came to uphold? ("In His Own Image" is available at http://www.come-and-hear.com/supplement/ot-select.html, and Holy Atrocities and Judaism at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/br_1.html)
Some have suggested the Old Testament and the New Testament are not of the same tradition. See Was Jesus a Jew? at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/jesus.html and The 45 Questions Most Frequently Asked About the Jews at http://www.come-and-hear.com/supplement/pelley.html
See also the Jeffersonian Bible at http://www.angelfire.com/co/JeffersonBible/ cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/supplement/jefferson
- "ADL Letter to Mel Gibson," Anti-Defamation League http://www.adl.org/media%5Fwatch/letter%5Fmel%5Fgibson.asp cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/sr-adl-gibson
- Likkutei Sichos 37:198, quoted on Campaign to abolish X-mas celebration by gentiles, http://www.noahide.com/xmas.htm cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/sr-xmas
- Mishne Torah — Hilchos Melachim 10:9, as quoted on Campaign to abolish X-mas celebration by gentiles, http://www.noahide.com/xmas.htm cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/sr-xmas
- "Libby Pataki Honored by ADL for Her 'Strong and Unwavering' Support of the State of Israel" Anti-Defamation League, New York http://www.adl.org/ny/nyro%5Fpr%5Flpataki.asp cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/adl
- US v. Talmud Law is available at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/capunish_4.html
- What About Gentiles? is available at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/gentile.html
- "Zakheim Speaks of U.S. Support for Afghan Reconstruction Plan," Defense Link: American Forces Information Service, Nov. 27, 2002 http://www.dod.gov/news/Nov2002/n11272002_200211274.html
- "Great Leaders of our People - Rabbi Eliyahu Lapian (1876-1976)," Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, http://www.ou.org/about/judaism/rabbis/lapian.htm cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/na-rabbi-lapian
- Jews often call the Talmud "the Torah." According to many Rabbinical experts, the Talmud is the Word of God, the basic book of Jewish law, and the foundation of Jewish culture. See What Come-and-Hear™ Is About, Critical Words of Talmud Study, and More Critical Words of Talmud Study at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/about.html http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/critwords_1.html and http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/critwords_2.html respectively.
- Likkutei Sichos - An Anthology of Talks, by The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson translated by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger, publisher not cited, http://www.eichlers.com/826605079.html cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/na-likkutei-sichos/
see also http://www.bookhq.com/compare/082660501X.html
- "The 613 Commandments," Aish HaTorah http://aish.com/holidays/Shavuot/The_613_Commandments.asp cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/supplement/the_613_commandments/ For further discussion of the 613 commandments, see What About Gentiles? available at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/gentile.html
- "Anti-Terror Weapon: Off With Their Heads," by Robert G. Williscroft, DefenseWatch "The Voice of the Grunt", http://www.sftt.org/cgi-bin/csNews/csNews.cgi?database=DefenseWatch.db&command=viewone&op=t&id=147&rnd=25.65647288741485 cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/na-decapitation/
- "About," Soldiers for The Truth Foundation, http://www.sftt.org/about.html
- "Jacko the Child Healer," ABC News, http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/WolfFiles/wolffiles87.html
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