Saturday 19 September 2009

Jews and Christians: the untold story

A harmless but misguided individual calling himself "Anders" has written to this site surreptitiously seeking to get me to advertise his fanatical anti-Christian website which claims that the "Nazarite" sect and its leader, Ribi Yehosuah (guess who that is folks!), were really only another Judaic sect and those who "pretend" that he started a new sect are going to Hell with their apostate errors.

Nice, try, Anders but - as per usual for your type of false and black propaganda - you advance no arguments or sources other than those that agree with you because they already belong to your peculiar school of thinking.

It is the good old "you are wrong because I say you are" school of pseudo-philosophy.

Let me ask you a question, my dear fanatical friend. If you are right then please tell me:

Where are your sacrifices?

Where are your priests?

Where is your Temple in which to carry out those sacrifices?

Why are you not following the Torah and causing your priests to make the sacrifices in the Temple that the Torah orders you to make?

The answer is this: since the destruction of the Temple by Titus in 70AD there have been no sacrifices in the Jewish religion, Rabbinic Judaism has taken over and the Jewish priesthood has ceased to function.

Destruction of the Temple in 70 AD during the invasion by pagan Roman general Titus Flavius Vespasianus, later Emperor Titus. In fact, it was the Jewish defenders who themselves set light to parts of the Temple Wall, thinking to assist its defence, but then they attacked the Roman soldiers who were putting the fires out on Titus's orders. The fires therefore caught and spread so that the irnoiuc reuslt was that the Temple was actually fired by Jewish hands [Josephus. De Bello Judaeico. vi. 4]

For Christianity, this is because we believe that the Moshiach (Messiah) had come to bring in the New Law.

For Christians it is blasphemy to deny it. For observant Jews it is blasphemy to assert it.

However, for Charedic Jews the destruction of the Temple was a punishment for sin and it is yet further sin to set up a Jewish State before the Moshiach comes.

However, Charedic Jews, unlike some Zionists, want to live in peace with their neighbours, whether Jew, Christian or Moslem and despite the obvious and mutually exclusive differences in faith. That is a most noble aim.

We of the New Law want to do the same. We do not hate Judaism - still less the Jews. Witness the charity of recent popes to Jews and the heroic saving of hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives by Catholics in the Second World War during the Shoah.

Pope John Paul II is greeted by Elio Toaff, Chief Rabbi of Rome, outside the Roman Synagogue

Which city in Europe never once expelled Jews, even when some fanatics amongst them attacked the Christian host community?

The answer is: the Rome of the popes.

True fact!

The popes never expelled Jews from Rome. Ever.

On the other hand, it is a characteristic of fanatics that they are fanatically intolerant of others even when those others wish them no harm but only good. But these tend not to be genuinely religious people but rather those who try to harness religion to serve an earthly political purpose like the IRA, the Arab Ba'athists and the secular Zionists. These people are almost entirely unbelievers, apostates or heterodox, who use religion as a cloak, and distort it, to achieve their revolutionary political aims.

Having said that, it must be honestly admitted that there have been Christian fanatics in the past who have behaved badly to their Jewish minorities, even when innocent of any crime. I would, however, question just how Christian such people really were. Persecuting the innocent is a grave sin and against Christian doctrine.

Falashas: the ancient Ethiopian Jews

But now, sadly, the State of Israel is doing the same to its minority Christians and Muslims.

But even more does it persecute those Jews who are not Zionist like the Charedim.

The Charedim believe that there can be no State of Israel until the Moshiach comes and so they consider the State of Israel to be a blasphemy.

Hear this testimony from Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss of the anti-Zionist Jewish movement Neturei Karta International.

Charedic Jews praying

Listen as pro-Zionist Cavuto of Fox news tries to shout him down, telling him to "answer the question" whilst not giving him a chance to do so. Watch how the bully Cavuto claims to be protecting Jews whilst saying he is against diplomatic dialogue and insults Rabbi Weiss with talk of his relatives being turned into "bars of soap" and falsely accusing him of holocaust-denial and wanting the atomic bombing of Israel simply because he dared to go on a peace mission to President Ahmedinajad of Iran.

It's a pretty disgusting performance by Fox but not surprising given the large amounts of conservative Jewish and Christian Zionist money which goes to Fox. However, Cavuto's views are also representative of opinion in particular sectors of American and British society:

This Charedic rabbi is genuinely interested in peace and co-existence in Palestine but, as can be seen, bigotry will not allow him to speak. And the bully pretends that it is to do with "time constraints" in television.

Well, it's a point of view!

Jewish music from the time of Temple worship was the immediate basis of Christian worship and it is from that source that we get our chant, later codified by Pope St Gregory the Great and thus called Gregorian chant.

Here is a somewhat schmaltzy but nevertheless wonderful old recording of Leibele Waldman singing the great hymn Kol Nidrei sung on the eve of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, Judaism's most solemn annual day. Notice how orthodox Jews traditionally sway when they pray and the men cover their heads. Notice also, amidst the books, bells and candles, the horn that must be blown at the beginning of Yom Kippur.

Waldman was one of the great Jewish Cantors. Another was Yosselle Rosenblatt.

One of my favourite prayers is Sh'ma Yisroel but I could not find a Youtube version of it that wasn't ridiculously and excessively ultra-Zionist to the point of showing tanks, guns and artillery in virtually every scene.

Sh'ma Yisroel (שמע ישאל‎ר) - that is, "Hear, O Israel" - is central to the morning and evening prayers of Jews. It is taken from Deuteronomy 6:4 which reads thus:

"4 Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. 5 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole strength".

The Sh'ma is the most important prayer in Judaism, and it is a mitzvah (religious commandment) to recite or sing it twice daily. It is also a pray said by the dying.

The prayer comprises Deuteronomy 6:4–9, 11:13-21, and Numbers 15:37–41 contained in this Torah prayers said regularly: VaEtchannan, Eikev, and Shlach.

The whole of the passage from Deuteronomy ought to be read regularly by Catholics, too, to remind us of our sacred duty to uphold the traditions that God has given to us and not to go hankering after novelties such as now predominate in so many parts of the Church in flat disobedience of God's law.

"4 HEAR, O ISRAEL, THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD. 5 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole strength.

6 And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thy heart: 7 And thou shalt tell them to thy children, and thou shalt meditate upon them sitting in thy house, and walking on thy journey, sleeping and rising. 8 And thou shalt bind them as a sign on thy hand, and they shall be and shall move between thy eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them in the entry, and on the doors of thy house. 10 And when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land, for which he swore to thy fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: and shall have given thee great and goodly cities, which thou didst not build,

11 Houses full of riches, which thou didst not set up, cisterns which thou didst not dig, vineyards and oliveyards, which thou didst not plant, 12 And thou shalt have eaten and be full: 13 Take heed diligently lest thou forget the Lord, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and shalt serve him only, and thou shalt swear by his name. 14 You shall not go after the strange gods of all the nations, that are round about you: 15 Because the Lord thy God is a jealous God in the midst of thee: lest at any time the wrath of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and take thee away from the face of the earth.

16 Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God, as thou temptedst him in the place of temptation. 17 Keep the precepts of the Lord thy God, and the testimonies and ceremonies which he hath commanded thee. 18 And do that which is pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may be well with thee: and going in thou mayst possess the goodly land, concerning which the Lord swore to thy fathers, 19 That he would destroy all thy enemies before thee, as he hath spoken. 20 And when thy son shall ask thee tomorrow, saying: What mean these testimonies, and ceremonies and judgments, which the Lord our God hath commanded us? "

The Jewish Queen, Mother and Virgin who is now our most Blessed Queen, Mother and Virgin



Jeff said...

Lovely essay!

I have a small nit to pick, though.

Neturei Karta is a very small movement and is regarded by most Hasidic Jews as an appalling thing.

If you talk to the average Hasid, you will hear that the Land belongs to the Jews and others can live there only on sufferance. Despite the fact that the State of Israel itself is impure, it does facilitate the control of the Land by Jews.

It's a sin for Jews to contemplate giving it up--any of it that they control.

Hasidic Jews are not friendly to Arabs or to any peace talks that would result in compromises that yield control of portions of the Land to non-Jews. And the believe very strongly in settlement.

Most of them take a very relaxed view toward expulsion: if they won't live under the People of Israel in the Land of Israel, they have to go.

"Zionism" strictly so called is condemned because it is a secular movement. But cooperation with its results is a good thing.

Don't ask me to defend the logic...all I can tell you is that I talk to Hasidim about this and I've never heard a single one even approach the NK view...which was, truth be told, once common among religious Jews before the establishment of the State.

God bless! Thanks for all your hard work.

Tribunus said...

Thanks, Jeff for that. Most grateful.

It is perhaps difficult to get to the bottom of this one.

Correct me if I am wrong but there are other Charedi Jews who oppose a State of Israel.

Satmar Jews are also opposed, as are Shomer Emumim, Edah HaChareidis and some other Hasidic groups.

As I understand it, NK are not actually Hasids. They are actually Litvish and follow the customs of Gaon of Vilna and the Lithuanian Jews. They are mistaken for Hasids because they wear a similar dress and don the shtreimel on Shabbos.

NK also keep the Yishuv customs even when living outside Jerusalem or abroad.

This is what I am told but I cannot quote a source.

NK claim that "hundreds of thousands of Jews" agree with them about the illegitimacy of the Zionist State of Israel.

I must say that I find that bit hard to credit.

There are probably more than the tiny numbers quoted by the media - and still less extremists like the ADL - but NK may be exaggerating somewhat about numbers.

Certainly a lot of Jews are very concerned - and I think reasonably so - about the aggressive militarism of the Zionist State.

Jeff said...

I think it's true that many Jews are concerned about the aggressive militarism of the Jewish state. But very few of those are religious Jews.

The general "line" among the Satmar, who are the most anti-Zionist of the Haredim, is that Zionism is sinful and the State of Israel is sinful.

BUT...Jews have the right to settle in the Holy Land and control it and other Jews have the responsibility to protect them there.

AND...Jews have no right to relinquish control of any part of the Holy Land to non-Jews.

Since the Jews in position to defend settler Jews in the Holy Land are the Zionist state, well, it's up to them to do so.

Naturally, this alienates Israeli soldiers who are charged with defending Jews who simultaneously attack them verbally on religious grounds and demand their protection.

It's bizarre and contradictory, or so it seems to me. But if you get a Satmar talking about Zionism and the State of Israel in the abstract, they will talk in one way. However, if you get them talking about conditions in the West Bank or the withdrawal of Jewish settlements or Arab rights, they will talk in a completely different and very aggressive way.

This is my experience anyway. Try it and tell me if you come up with something different! I have found all Haredim I have talked to on the subject to be aggressive and totalist about Jewish control of the Land.

And, incidentally, EXTREMELY verbally aggressive about Jesus, whom they detest and condemn in the harshest and most scurrilous terms. (Yes, I know, some Mitnagdim rabbis take a more "ecumenical" line and have been excellent friends in the fight against abortion in the US, for example.)

Hasidim are fascinating and attractive in many ways, but not at all cuddly! :p

I'm not trying to be contrary and I hope you won't take it that way. This is just my experience from dealing with Hasidim and I remain quite friendly with them. This is why, I think, you only find NK palling around with the PLO and going to talks in Iran or protesting Israeli actions against Palestinians.

That you NEVER find even the Satmar coming CLOSE to doing. In my experience, they even defend Baruch Goldstein's hideous massacre of Muslims in Hebron in 1994. Brrrrr!

Tribunus said...

Well, yes.

The position of much modern Jewish though is contradictory.

After all, what is a Jew? Is one a Jew because one’s mother was? Some say yes, others no.

Can one only be a Jew religiously? Some say yes, some say no.

Like them or not, NK are at least consistent in their views. If Zionism is blasphemy then you can’t support a State of Israel or any political entity in Palestine. And you need to make peace with the contesting groups in Palestine and elsewhere and should apologise for taking their land.

They are also right that Jews and Muslims lived in peace and harmony in pre-Zionist Palestine but, since 1948, there is war and bloodshed.

Both Satmar and Neturei Karta consist, in part, of Jews who descend from those who actually lived in Palestine – unlike the majority of Zionist Jews.

Satmar’s guiding light, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, as you know, originally supported NK but when NK went to Tehran in 2006, Rabbi Zalman Leib Teitelbaum of Satmar condemned them for it, even though NK were not involved in Shoah denial as some falsely claimed.

Interestingly, Der Blatt (of Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum) would not denounce NK’s visit.

In VaYoel, one of Satmar’s early documents, Rabbi Moishe Teitelbaum explicitly declared that, from the time of the very inception of the Zionist movement in the 1890s, the Zionists violated the three oaths, and thereby caused the Shoah, as well as all wars, terrorism, and violence in modern Israel, and most anti-Semitism around the world since that time, as a result.

He wrote:

" has been these Zionist groups that have attracted the Jewish people and have violated the Oath against establishing a Jewish entity before the arrival of the Messiah. It is because of the Zionists that six million Jews were killed."

That, of course, is an exaggeration but it does show the strength of their objection to Zionism.

I daresay that there are conflicting and contradictory views. I would hesitate, however, to say that Satmar defend the right of Jews to control the Holy Land in the sense of any political entity.

Zionism is a secularist political creed borrowed from the fissiparous European nationalism of the 19th century which has been steadily destroying Europe ever since the French Revolution. It has falsely harnessed the support of religion when, in truth, it is a secularist creed.

Herzl, the founder, expressly saw Jewishness as much racial as religious, and attacked the Orthodox at the First Zionist Congress in 1897 because they had religious objections to Zionism.

One can understand both sides.

Herzl felt anti-Semitism, of the sort that surfaced in the Dreyfus affair, could only be overcome by a Jewish state. However, we have seen the results and can also see the religious objections.

Interestingly, Catholics like Belloc were on the side of Dreyfus but Right Wing secularists were the chief anti-Semites.

As ever, the real villain is not religion but secularism which is most bloody and accursed creed which has led to the most bloody wars and persecutions that mankind has ever seen.

Tribunus said...

In purely legal terms, the fact that the State of Israel has been in existence for 60 years is enough to give it status by prescription.

To try to dismantle it now might cause even greater wars and bloodshed.

It was a foolish plan that first set it up and even more foolish for the British and the UN to help set it up and then simply run away, making war inevitable.

However, it has been in existence now for so long, despite fierce opposition, that it has, willy nilly, become an established reality in fact and law.

That is why the Papacy is now willing to give it some recognition, hitherto refused on account of its bloody inception and for its persecution of Muslim and Christian natives.

That remains a problem as Palestinian Christians dwindle in numbers and Muslims are pushed to the margins.

A UN peace-keeping force should long ago have been sent to police the borders but the USA used its veto power on the Security Council to prevent this.

That was because of the large Christian Zionist financial and political power which is so influential (and often so ignorant) in the USA.

That disgraceful Fox news interview is a prime example.

Christian Place said...

I would just like to comment in line with Jeff that most Hasidic Jews are no longer opposed to Israel. The Lubavitchers, I believe, are strongly in favor of Israel dominating the Middle East and the creation of illegal settlements. Also let us not forget that even anti-Zionist Jews are no friends of Christians and still state that our Lord was a bastard socerer and that our Blessed Mother was a harlot. Let us also not forget the many saints who were the victims of Jewish Ritual Murder. They do not cease to be saints because of our modern generations belief in tolerance. Let us also not forget that it was the influence of Jews that have made Usury universally accepted in the West to the point that few Christians even realize that it is a sin.

Tribunus said...

What is your evidence for any of this?

These are pretty offensive comments. I think you need to support them with evidence if you are going to make them.

My evidence is that most Hasids are still anti-Zionist and do not like the secular Israeli government.

And I ahve already saids that Naturei Karta are not Hasids but Litvish Jews.

I am not interested in comparative insult stories since anything any Jew ever said about a Christian can probably be matched with equally insulting comments made by a so-called Christian.

You cannot expect Jews to be reverent toward our Lord since, if they did not believe him to be a deceiver, they would not be Jews. And who is going to praise a deceiver?

These are simply the things you have to get used to if you are going to share the planet with people with whom you disagree.

What one can legitimately ask is that people do not abuse each other on account of their religion, if even they think the other guy's religion is petty weird.

In a Catholic state, you can enforce laws against anti-Catholic abuse and propaganda but, even then, you cannot expect Jews to disbelieve Judaism or think better of our Lord than they do.

No Pope ever expected as much - why should you?

Ben G said...


You write: "Which city in Europe never once expelled Jews, even when some fanatics amongst them attacked the Christian host community? The answer is: the Rome of the popes."

I'm not an expert on history, but I've read that St. Pius V expelled the Jews from all the Papal States except Rome in 1569. So this statement would seem to be true, but is it that important that Jews weren't expelled from Rome specifically? Of course, I love the Popes and I love St. Pius, so I don't really want to condemn him. On the other hand, how would you respond to the fact that he did expel Jews and wrote the following: "the Jewish people fell from the heights because of their faithlessness and condemned their Redeemer to a shameful death. Their godlessness has assumed such forms that, for the salvation of our own people, it becomes necessary to prevent their disease. Besides usury, through which Jews everywhere have sucked dry the property of impoverished Christians, they are accomplices of thieves and robbers; and the most damaging aspect of the matter is that they allure the unsuspecting through magical incantations, superstition, and witchcraft to the Synagogue of Satan and boast of being able to predict the future."

By the way, who painted that picture of our Lady?

God bless you.

Tribunus said...

Well, unfortunately, what St Pius V wrote was true of some criminal Jews, particularly those of heretical and deviant sects who were often strongly condemned by their own people.

After a time, it became diffcult for the authorities to distinguish who were the criminals and who not, as there were many shades and grades and some good Jews felt obliged to protect the bad ones out of reverence for a religious brother, even when the latter was a criminal.

To avoid the problem of the criminals leading astray the simple country folk, expulsion from the countryside was determined upon.

However, the cities of Rome and Ancona were excepted so that the Jews could still go to those cities where Christians were more used to them and could more asily distingish the good from the bad, the just from the criminal.

It was far from ideal but, for the sake of the common good, the Pope felt he had no choice.

It would have helped if the just Jews had delivered up the criminals to justice more often. But then, again, they felt they could not deliver up a brother to Christian courts.

In his letter Hebraeorum Gens (from which you quote) St Pius V explains why he did so:

"Their wickedness, which has been developed by every evil art, has now reached such a point that, in view of our common safety, We feel it expedient to check the spread of such a disease by applying a speedy remedy ....We have clear and definite proof how this perverse race hates the name of Christ, how hostile they are to all who bear His name and by what tricks and frauds they plot against the lives of Christians...."

It was wrong to single them out as a race since race is not the basis of morality but this is more a figure of speech by the Pope. It is virulent anti-Christianity which he is really seeking to defend the innocent from.

He was unable to distinguish readily the criminal from the non-criminal and thus felt contrained to remove all to the cities of Ancona and Rome to protect farmers who were being impoverished by usury and other manupulations of the poor.

Today, with our advanced technology, this seems a very crude way of dealing with the problem. But it was not so easy, then whether for Christian and non-Christian countries alike.