‘Love thy neighbor as thyself’ — Really?

Middle East
on 155 Comments

Last week, Matt Rosenberg, the Hillel rabbi at Texas A&M University, sought to convince white-supremacist Richard Spencer of the error of his ways by citing a ‘Torah’ message of ‘radical inclusion and love’. Spencer masterfully responded by citing Israeli policy, Zionism and Jewish exclusivity, which left Rosenberg speechless. 

Rosenberg professed that this ‘radical inclusion and love’ is what the Torah teaches. But is this really true?

One of the most iconic phrases in the whole Torah, which Jews will typically refer to, is ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself’. You will also hear some Jews bragging about it, because it got picked up as the 2nd most important commandment by Christianity (after ‘love thy God’), and so this is often regarded as Judaism’s ‘gift’ to humanity – love and kindness, as it were. See for example here in ‘Judaism 101.’

But let us scrutinise the source, really. It is Leviticus 19:18:

לֹֽא־תִקֹּ֤ם וְלֹֽא־תִטֹּר֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י עַמֶּ֔ךָ וְאָֽהַבְתָּ֥ לְרֵעֲךָ֖ כָּמ֑וֹךָ אֲנִ֖י יְהֹוָֽה׃

This translates commonly to: “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord”.

There are two problems in the common translation: The main one is that “your neighbor” is not really precise. ‘Re’acha’ in Hebrew could better be understood as ‘your friend’ or ‘your companion’. The second one is that ‘your own people’ is ‘amcha’ in Hebrew, which is commonly understood today as ‘your nation’. In an ancient tribal society, this could be very much the perception.

So the question becomes, how tribal is one’s perception? Is this about just loving the ‘Hebrews’ or later the ‘Jews’, loving each other amongst themselves?

“The Jewish soul”

Classical Jewish Talmudic tradition is full of qualifications that not only distinguish ethics between Jews and non-Jews – it even contains opinions that regard a Jewish soul as blessed and elevated above the level of the gentiles. See for example how Chabad.org’s Tzvi Freeman answers a question on the ‘Jewish soul’:  

“Here’s how the Jewish soul works, according to the classics: We are children of the three greatest people that ever lived, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They tied a bond between their children and Gd forever after them”…”In that way, we are chosen, and in that way, we have performed our chosenness. If it were not for Jews, there would be no concept of human dignity, of meaning and purpose, of the right of every person to education and knowledge, of social justice and of the value of world peace. These (along with psychology, relativity, quantum physics, anthropology, Hollywood and superheroes) are among our many vital contributions to the world.”

Or on the same Chabad site, where an inquirer asks, “Why do you speak of a “Jewish soul”? How can you put souls in boxes?” Aron Moss answers:

“The idea that all souls are the same is one of the biggest mistakes of modern spirituality”. 

Whilst Chabad is a Hassidic movement that leans heavily on Kabbalah mysticism, we should not make the mistake of assuming that this view of a Jewish soul being superior to that of a non-Jew is a mere fringe view in Jewish religious culture today. Indeed, as rabbi Hanan Balk (rabbi emeritus of Congregation Agudas Israel in Cincinnati) poses in his study on the subject:

“The view expressed in the above heading [The Soul of a Jew is Superior to that of a Non-Jew, ed.] —as uncomfortable and racially charged as it may be in the minds of some—was undoubtedly, as we shall show, the prominent position maintained by authorities of Jewish thought throughout the ages, and continues to be so even today. While Jewish mysticism is the source and primary expositor of this theory, it has achieved a ubiquitous presence not only in the writings of Kabbalists, but also in the works of thinkers found in the libraries of most observant Jews, who hardly consider themselves followers of Kabbalah. Clearly, for one committed to the Torah and its principles, it is not tenable to presume that so long as he is not a Kabbalist, such a belief need not be a part of his religious worldview”. 

This religious notion of a ‘superior soul’ has found its way into Zionism and Israel, beyond the limits of religious observant culture as such. It can be seen in the very words of the national anthem. It goes:

“As long as in the heart within

A Jewish soul still yearns…”

This representation of the ‘Jewish soul’ may seem benign, if it were not for the religious culture surrounding the term. It does not matter that in Hebrew it is more literally “the soul of a Jew” (“nefesh Yehudi”) – the reference here is clearly collective, and even the stateofisrael.com site which translates ‘soul’ to ‘spirit’ is clear about the collective sense:

“As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart” 

As I have noted in an earlier article titled ‘Jews aren’t special,’ the notion of Jews being special simply because they supposedly are, is prevailing in no uncertain ways even amongst liberal, secular Zionists. I had noted this conversation with one of these. It went:

(Her): “Jews are special”.

(Me): “Well, all people are special you know”.

(Her): “All people are special, but Jews are even more special”.

Anyone can be forgiven for having associations to Orwell’s Animal Farm arise in them when reading the last phrase.

Israel’s Law of Return of 1950 has embraced this ‘specialness’ in nationalist ways. Any Jew from anywhere is welcome to immigrate to Israel and receive automatic citizenship and a welcome support package for the “new ascenders” (“Olim Hadashim”), whilst those whose souls are not Jewish who happened to live there with long ancestries may be dispossessed and denied return. This is how special we are.

Are gentiles even considered human in classical Judaism?

The Talmud contains extremely problematic, to put it mildly, passages regarding the biological status of non-Jews, gentiles, referred to by the code-word of “worshippers of stars and fortunes” (Ovdei Kohavim Umazalot”, or the acronym AKU”M, which interestingly sounds as the word ‘crooked’ in Hebrew).

In Bava Metzia 114b it says:

“Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai said: The graves of gentiles do not cause ritual impurity in a dwelling as it says (Ezekiel 34:31) “Now, you [Israel] are My sheep , the sheep of My pasture, you are Man (Adam)…” You [Israel] are called Man (Adam) and gentiles are not called Man (Adam)”.

In Keritot 6b it says:

“One who uses the official anointing oil [that has been consecrated] to smear on an animal or vessels is innocent of violating the holiness of the oil, to smear on gentiles or corpses is innocent. Certainly an animal and vessels as it says (Exodus 30:32) “It shall not be smeared on flesh of man (Adam)…” and an animal and vessels are not man. One who smears on corpses is also innocent since it is dead it is called a corpse and not a man. However, why is one who smears on gentiles innocent? They are men! No, as it says (Ezekiel 34:31) “Now, you [Israel] are My sheep , the sheep of My pasture, you are Man (Adam)…” You [Israel] are called Man (Adam) and gentiles are not called Man (Adam). 

Whilst there are milder interpretations, these opinions certainly leave a wide space for perceiving non-Jews as lesser than human. And it is possible to speak with Yeshiva students at orthodox Yeshivas in Israel today who will quote the sentence “You [Israel] are called Man (Adam) and gentiles are not called Man (Adam)” as an indication of Jewish superiority.

This indeed seems to be the perception of the rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur from the Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva in in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Yitzhar. In their 2009 book “Torat Hamelech” (“King’s Torah”), they opined that the prohibition ‘Thou Shalt Not Murder’ applies only “to a Jew who kills a Jew”, that non-Jews are “uncompassionate by nature”, that attacks on them “curb their evil inclination,” while babies and children of Israel’s enemies may be killed since “it is clear that they will grow to harm us.”

That’s not very ambivalent. They have just incited for the murder of babies. Did their advocacy influence the arsonists who burned alive baby Ali Dawabshe and his family in Duma last year? 

In any case, their incitement to murder was NOT considered incitement by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, who wrote in his dismissal of a potential indictment, that Torat Hamelech is written in a general manner and does not call for violence. 

Incidentally, Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, heads the Kushner Foundation which donates to the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva – the funding of which has been stopped in 2011 by the Israeli government itself, as it has served as a base for launching violent attacks against nearby Palestinian villages. Trump said a couple of weeks ago that Kushner could head up US efforts to broker a peace agreement in the Middle East, despite not playing a formal role in his administration. 

Also worth mentioning here is the endorsement given to The Kings Torah book, by rabbi Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba, the settlement near Al-Khalil (Hebron). Rabbi Lior has in the past praised Jewish terrorists such as Baruch Goldstein (who massacred Muslim worshippers at the Al-Ibrahimi mosque in 1994, killing 29). Lior ruled that Goldstein was “holier than all the martyrs of the Holocaust.”  Rabbi Lior is teaching courses for young religious recruits in the police, in a program called “Believers in the Police”, which expects to produce 500 graduates over the next five years. 

Can there anyway be ‘love’ for Palestinians?

To be fair, when regarding the Leviticus 19:18 passage, one should also regard the following mention of ‘love’, appearing in 19:34, especially because it regards the ‘foreigner’ or ‘stranger’ (‘ger’ in Hebrew):

“The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.”

That looks quite good on the face of it. Indeed, it makes a qualification that could balance the ‘tribal love’ of the formerly mentioned passage. But there are various problems here that may not be so obvious to the non-Hebrew speaker. The biggest one is in the term ‘ger’. There are various rabbinical opinions about who these ‘foreigners’ are, and what they need to do to qualify as legitimate ‘foreigners’. We must note that Judaism didn’t have a national-territorial sovereign entity as Israel before 1948, except if you go back to Judean times (hence the source of the name Jewish, or ‘Yehudi’ as in ‘Yehuda’, Judea), and that would be 2,000 years back. It is interesting to note that the common Hebrew term for converting to Judaism today is ‘giur’ – a noun produced from ‘ger’. So there is a common perception of interrelation between being a Jew and being able to reside in the land legitimately, even as a ‘foreigner’. Whilst this is a complex issue, I would simplify here and summarize that even with the qualification of ‘love’ for those who are not Jews, there can be a myriad of interpretations which, in the end, leave the non-Jews as ‘exceptions’ who are apparently not worthy of this ‘love’.

Indeed, one may wonder, how it is that the Palestinians, who are the real natives, were made ‘foreginers’ and ‘strangers’ in their own land? And how did those who really were the ‘strangers’ and ‘foreigners’ (Zionist settlers) then become the ‘locals’ in their ‘promised land’, from which they would dispossess Palestinians? This is the inversion of rights which is a rather common and typical colonialist one. In the Zionist case, it is based upon the religious mythology of the ‘chosen ones’ and their ‘promised land’. Whoever inhabited the land in the meantime was thus simply a temporary ‘foreigner’.

Even if Palestinians seek to go as far as converting to Judaism, thus attempting to fulfill the most strict interpretation of ‘giur’, they are not allowed to. They are automatically rejected. Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz, director of the Israeli government’s Conversion Authority, told the State Control Committee of the Knesset recently, that the threshold requirements “are that applicants be sincere and that they are not foreign workers; infiltrators; Palestinian or illegally in the country.”

So – no ‘love’ for Palestinians.

About Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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155 Responses

  1. jon s
    December 10, 2016, 4:30 pm

    Jewish sources are so vast , a virtual ocean, that you can find justifications for practically any point of view. You can find expressions of blatant supremacism and racism, as well as the opposite, as in the following verses:
    Exodus (22:20): And you shall not mistreat a stranger, nor shall you oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. And again: (Exodus 23:9): And you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, since you were strangers in the land of Egypt. Also in Deuteronomy (10:19): You shall love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

    In the Talmud:(Gittin 61a)

    THE POOR OF THE HEATHEN ARE NOT PREVENTED FROM GATHERING GLEANINGS, FORGOTTEN SHEAVES AND THE CORNER OF THE FIELD, TO AVOID ILL FEELING. Our Rabbis have taught: ‘We support the poor of the heathen along with the poor of Israel, and visit the sick of the heathen along with the sick of Israel, and bury the poor of the heathen along with the dead of Israel, in the interests of peace’.

    • Jonathan Ofir
      December 10, 2016, 5:05 pm

      Fair enough jon s, yet I did refer to various Torah quotes which on the face of it seem to profess this ‘love’. Nonetheless, I provided a critical view of how even such advocacies can be conditioned and superseded by other, less ‘loving’ decrees. In the end, my main focus stemning back from the Spencer-Rosenberg debate, is how this plays out in actual current Israeli policy and ideology. It is regretfully not the most kind of policies, and often the more murderous interpretations that gain power, as I have shown. I believe that religion is what we make it be. So is nationalism. I am not blaming Judaism for making things what they are. It’s a question of which strains gain power, in both religion and nationalism, as they actually play out, dually, in Jewish State.

      • Maghlawatan
        December 10, 2016, 6:59 pm

        Jonathan I think Judaism is part of the problem.
        Judaism doesn’t solve problems via discussion. You are either in agreement with the rest or you are an enemy. The Zionist penchant for career destruction and assassination didn’t come from nowhere,

        I suppose this came from the shtetl. It’s ripe for abuse and manipulation by unscrupulous people. And people like Adelson and Netanyahu have milked it to death. The mess with the Palestinians cannot be managed any more internally in the Jewish community.

        Gaza will probably destroy Judaism

        http://www.islamdaily.org/en/world-issues/america/8617.american-opinion-on-israel-and-the-congresss.htm
        The Israel Project (TIP), an American Hasbara outfit, commissioned Republican political consultant Frank Luntz to examine the effectiveness of Israel’s public diplomacy in the US on the Flotilla debacle. TIP gave the memo to the Prime Minister’s Office, where someone promptly leaked it to Chico Menashe, Channel Ten TV News diplomatic affairs correspondent.
        Luntz’s findings are grim. Here’s a summary:
        1. 56% of Americans agree with the claim that there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza;
        2. 43% of Americans agree with the claim that people in Gaza are starving;
        3. [Only] 34% of Americans support the Israeli operation against the Flotilla;
        4. [Only] 20% of Americans “felt support” for Israel following announcement of easing of Gaza closure.
        Menashe wraps:
        The figures are troubling and worrisome. If that is the situation with our great friend the US, it is easy to imagine the situation in other, somewhat less sympathetic countries.
        Below is the full translated transcript of the report. An embedded link to the video is appended at bottom.
        [More:]
        —–
        Frank Luntz analyses Netanyahu’s media performance in the flotilla affair
        The figures are troubling and worrisome. If that is the situation with our great friend the US, it is easy to imagine the situation in other, somewhat less sympathetic countries.

        https://hartman.org.il/Blogs_View.asp?Article_Id=657&Cat_Id=273&Cat_Type=
        “When one calls, however, for the boycotting or international sanctioning of Israel or the forcing of its government to adopt policies which are counter to the expressed will of its democratically elected government, even if one believes that one is doing so for the good of Israel, one is locating oneself on the side of our foes, a side that friends need to be wary of.
        If our community will be wise enough to expand the inner tent to make room for a wide spectrum of opinions, debate, criticism, and acts of protest and condemnation, there will be no need for members of our community to find their allies elsewhere, and ones who do so, will be therefore declaring where their allegiance truly lies.
        We are a people who believe that criticism is an act of love and loyalty. We are also a people who believe that there is a criticism out of love, and a criticism which is not.”

    • Mooser
      December 10, 2016, 6:14 pm

      “THE POOR OF THE HEATHEN ARE NOT PREVENTED FROM GATHERING GLEANINGS, FORGOTTEN SHEAVES AND THE CORNER OF THE FIELD, TO AVOID ILL FEELING”

      So that’s why you and your Beersheba buddies chop down Palestinian olive trees, “Jon s”?

      • xanadou
        December 11, 2016, 10:31 pm

        Mooser.

        “Even if Palestinians seek to go as far as converting to Judaism, thus attempting to fulfill the most strict interpretation of ‘giur’, they are not allowed to. They are automatically rejected. Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz, director of the Israeli government’s Conversion Authority, told the State Control Committee of the Knesset recently, that the threshold requirements “are that applicants be sincere and that they are not foreign workers; infiltrators; Palestinian or illegally in the country.”

        If conversion is not an option for the descendants of the original Jews v. the converts from around the Med.sea* who joined during the last century BCE or a millennium later, what’s a tree or its caretaker to do? (sarcasm). This hateful vindictiveness puts rabbi peretz and his ilk in close company with pope pius 12. Furthermore, peretz’s dictum offends the memory of the Jews whose “conversion” during WW2 was never “sincere”; it was sanctuary.
        (*Shlomo Sands, “The Invention of the Jewish People)

        The criminal insanity of some of the israeli clergy is creating a dangerous precedent for its own flock, if history were to repeat itself. Again. Not least of all, none of this has anything to do with Judaism, the religion, which has become a deadly tool in the hands of senile pathocrats.

    • Maghlawatan
      December 10, 2016, 6:48 pm

      Jon Most of the Talmud was written in exile
      When Jews were not in power. It’s easy to be moral in exile. It’s like being in opposition. Easy to say stuff.
      Very hard with power to be moral.
      Israel was probably the worst thing that could happen to Judaism.
      Because it is a bet. Can Jews pull it off?
      They probably can’t,. Ben Gurion made the wrong call regarding the Palestinians and another dumb one regarding the Orthodox.

      • Mooser
        December 10, 2016, 7:18 pm

        “Because it is a bet. Can Jews pull it off?”

        No, no, no, “Mag”, we’ll never get enough of us to hold Palestine that way!
        We can’t improve our birth-rate with a circle-jerk.

      • Maghlawatan
        December 10, 2016, 7:42 pm

        Mooser

        the project got off to a bad start when they operation magic carpeted in the Sephardim . And then were mean to them, So the Sephardim took their revenge in 1977. then another bad move by adding the Russians as ballast. Another stupid move was the settlement project. And another one was promising Eternal welfare to the orthodox, Who won’t let any else near the holiest of holies. Which belongs to all Jews. Even though it is in East Jerusalem.

        The motif running through the whole business is sloppy quality control.

        A lot of people think Israel is like a bridge session in Brooklyn. Those kind of people. But they would be wrong.

      • DaBakr
        December 10, 2016, 10:25 pm

        @m

        oh yeah. such dumb decisions. we have already “pulled it off” even if your too blind or unwilling to see. and as for ‘cruel’….we have always been able to look around us and see how arab muslims have treated their breathren (let alone arab christians and the no longer existent jewish population ) for examples of extreme cruelty. hashemite, baathist, lebanese, etc. of course we know the claim that all of them make is israel and the jews are the ‘root’ cause of all of it. after only 50-60 years the jewish nation has already begun to examine its own creation including its myths and its reality. the US took another 2 decades before ir even began to solve its own crisis of slavery in the southern states. Israel has nowhere near the type of racial problems nor human rights issues the states have and still have so the idea that the jewish state is an idea that was a “bad bet”, or can’t be pulled off makes little practical sense.
        as for the lutz survey on american response after the ‘flotilla’ event? you have got to be kidding. americans just elected a president who probably has no clue about the incident ans was elected by millons of people who, even if they do know of the incident could care less. Unless your taking about a survey taken on the upper west i seriously doubt anything like thgis could be replicated if its even true as surveys are always suspect untill one knows who paid and for what purpose it was taken.
        again-you are blind if you can not see it already has succeeded and dreaming about the day of so-called ‘retribution’ is nothing but a pipe dream and a war fantasy for those who dream of a battle to the death in the realm of eventualities.

      • echinococcus
        December 11, 2016, 1:47 am

        Maghlawatan,

        The Sefardí are Spanish-speaking Mediterraneans. Zionists most often intentionally confuse them with Arab Jews or even Central Asians.

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2016, 12:08 pm

        Darn it, there’s that low muttering sound again. I wonder if I’m getting tinearitis.

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2016, 5:18 pm

        “we have already “pulled it off” even if your too blind or unwilling to see”

        It’s not enough you have a Zionist circle-jerk, we have to watch, too? Uh-uh. I can’t go for that.

      • Maghlawatan
        December 11, 2016, 11:40 pm

        Dabakr

        Israel is supposed to be foreva. That means US support is foreva. That means tech superiority is foreva. That means IDF dominance is foreva. That means Israel needs to win media foreva. Israel has v strong support in the over 60s. Very strong. Israel’s numbers with millennials are dreadful.
        And millennials live in social media. And the Zionist gatekeeper model doesn’t work in social media.

        Be careful what you wish for cos you just might get it.

      • DaBakr
        December 12, 2016, 3:13 pm

        @m
        I would say that you are the one who is “wishing”. And if it were even true, as you imply, that I supposedly wish for an Israel that will last forever, why would it be problematic from my pov if Israel were to last “foreva” ? Israel is already a multicutural , multireligious, sexually tolerant society with a booming economy with projected steady groth and which elects its leaders..

        As for the milennials? Milennials with soon enough be middle aged and more center left then they might be now. And US milennials probably rate the I/,p conflict so far down their list of priorities that I’m not sure why anyone would think of matters except to the fanatical far left fringe groups like JVP and others.

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2016, 3:31 pm

        “Israel is already a multicutural , multireligious, sexually tolerant society with a booming economy with projected steady groth and which elects its leaders.”

        As envisioned by the Prophets of Israel! I warn you, “dabakr” the Prophets of Israel would find Israel’s “sexually tolerant society” sort of , well, groth.

        And as far as “already pulling it off” goes, I got one word for you, “dabakr”: Onan.

      • Misterioso
        December 12, 2016, 5:28 pm

        “Israel was probably the worst thing that could happen to Judaism.”

        Precisely!! 68 years of trying to pound a square peg into a round hole.

      • eljay
        December 12, 2016, 5:34 pm

        || @Da: … Israel is already a multicutural , multireligious, sexually tolerant society … ||

        And it’s also an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist, belligerent, intransigent, nuclear-armed, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist state.

        Which is why Zio-supremacists routinely:
        – praise Israel as a “moral beacon”, a “Western-style democracy” and a “light unto the nations”; and
        – defend Israel by pointing out that it’s not quite as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali and African “hell-holes”.

  2. W.Jones
    December 10, 2016, 5:54 pm

    This was a good article – I liked it in that it was able to take a dissident critical view of religion, in particular ancient Judaism. I would like to see if Marc Ellis would comment on it. Sadly, I haven’t seen his articles on Mondoweiss for a long time.

    I think that the essay implies how Christianity was revolutionary or revelatory. Jesus addressed the question this way:

    29 But he… said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

    30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed,[j] he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

    37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

    So in Jesus’ idea of who the “neighbor” is, the “neighbor” is in fact the person who shows compassion like the Samaritan outsider, rather than the person who belongs to the same religious community.

    It’s an interesting issue, because when the Torah refers to the “neighbor”, as a matter of linguistics it looks like the verse in Leviticus does not specify the answer exactly about who the “neighbor” is. I think if the answer was obvious from the text, then in the gospel story the man would not have raised the question to Jesus. That is, the ambiguity in Leviticus is what allows the parable about the Samaritan to be told.

    For Strong’s Dictionary on the meaning of “neighbor”, see:
    http://biblehub.com/hebrew/7453.htm

  3. W.Jones
    December 10, 2016, 6:08 pm

    Jonathan,

    You asked a good question:

    Rosenberg professed that this ‘radical inclusion and love’ is what the Torah teaches. But is this really true?

    It is hard to agree that the Torah teaches “radical inclusion”, because it de facto treated gentiles, those who are outside the Mosaic covenant based on circumision as ritually unclean, even if they accept belief in Yahweh and monotheism. One of the reasons was that the gentiles did not obey the food rules of ritual cleanliness.

    a Jew, in order not to eat of the kinds of food God had prohibited, could not eat in a Gentile home because undoubtedly there was going to be contamination there. That built up a great wall of separation between Jews and Gentiles.

    It forced them to distinguish themselves from other nations, for those kinds of food stipulations meant that an Israelite could not have real intimate interaction with a Gentile because intimacy most often came around a dinner table. So if you didn’t eat with Gentiles, you didn’t have the intimacy of communion that you would have had otherwise. Remember that it is when they started eating and drinking and making merry that the Israelites started mingling with the Canaanites. So God’s distinctions with regard to food helped to maintain the distinction of Israel as a nation apart from Gentiles as a nation in the Old Testament.

    https://bible.org/seriespage/8-clean-and-unclean-part-i-leviticus-11

    The Torah maintained a strong sense of separation between those who were part of the Mosaic covenant and those who weren’t. Besides food, other distinctions included what community could rule the land and what group could go into the Temple to pray. And with these ritual requirements and walls, it’s hard to see the Torah as teaching a “radical” inclusion. I understand that the Torah did demand toleration to be exercised towards other communities living under Israelite rule. But that is different from a teaching of “radical inclusion”.

  4. pabelmont
    December 10, 2016, 6:35 pm

    I am content that most tribes, peoples, have thought of themselves as special, as superior. Naturally. And no surprise that old religious writings (Jewish, here) take the same view.

    And since in modern times, many people have taken to a universalizing way of thinking about many things including morality, it is no surprise that the Texas A&M rabbi thought (perhaps having failed to consult old texts but merely modern universalizing glosses) that Torah took a unversalizing view. “Love thy neighbor as thyself” to a universalist takes “neighbor” to mean any human being, not “any Jew”.

    The big importance in the Texas A&M fandango is that the rabbi was struck dumb when forced to contemplate the bald-faced fact that Israel does not practice universalist values. “Oops,” he said. “We Jews in America have robust universalist values and those zionists, well, not so much.”

    That’s all.

    Of course, many orthodox Jews (or former ones) have let the unattractive cat out of the bag, *especially Israel Shahak* that Torah (or is it Talmud?) teach rather beastly lessons (beastly at least from a universalist viewpoint),

    What would be a striking revelation would be to show that when Jesus said to “Love your neighbor as yourself” he meant the same thing that Torah meant rather than the universalist thing that moderns suppose him to have meant.

    • Citizen
      December 11, 2016, 3:50 am

      RE: “What would be a striking revelation would be to show that when Jesus said to “Love your neighbor as yourself” he meant the same thing that Torah meant rather than the universalist thing that moderns suppose him to have meant. ”

      Arguably, as I understand it, every character in the parable of The Good Samaritan was a Jew/Hebrew/israelite, same as Jesus himself. Certainly the priest and Levite were, respectively, main and associate keepers of the temple, the law. The Samaritan was not a gentile, but a sort of “half-jew, ” either by their divergent temple worship or by their half-breed origin, or both. In Jesus’s circle they were hated, and this was reciprocated by the Samaritans. Seems to me Jesus never contemplated the universal application of his little parable by those who came after his death, like Saul/Paul and the gentiles who believed him.

      I’m guessing the robbed and maimed guy was not a gentile either.

    • Elisabeth
      December 11, 2016, 8:25 am

      According to the interpretation pasted below, Jezus started out thinking one thing, and ended up thinking something different:

      ” Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, ‘Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.’ But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, ‘Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.’ He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ But she came and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, help me.’ He answered, ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.’ She said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed instantly. ”

      Did the Canaanite woman Matthew describes pass a test or persuade the Lord? If we go with the former – which is probably the more traditional reading – then Jesus didn’t really mean what he said. You know, about saying he was exclusive, ministering only to the Israelites, let alone calling her a dog. All of this was just a test, a way of bringing to harvest the faith that God had already planted in her.
      As I mentioned, this is probably the more traditional read of the story. In fact, many commentators will draw our attention to the fact that the word translated “dogs” is actually the diminutive form of the word, meaning “little dog” or “puppy.” I think we favor this interpretation because it saves Jesus from looking like, well, kind of a jerk. Instead, he’s the all-knowing faith-tester, the drill sergeant to the new recruit, tearing her down in order to build her back up again. (Maybe you can guess, but I don’t favor this interpretation. )
      The other possibility, of course, is that Jesus’ own sense of God’s kingdom is challenged, stretched, and enhanced by his encounter with this fierce and faithful woman. Maybe, that is, Jesus is serious – that is, he believes he was sent only to the Israelites – and the woman takes him on and, in fact, persuades him that something larger is at stake.
      If you go this direction, then Jesus can, in fact, learn. And he does. He learns that God’s kingdom and his mission to enact that kingdom is bigger than he had initially imagined and that it is more encompassing that he’d at first dreamed.

      • CigarGod
        December 11, 2016, 11:57 am

        Nice.

      • MHughes976
        December 11, 2016, 6:12 pm

        This woman is the only character in the NT to defeat Jesus in argument. The Evangelists have a problem in knowing what to call her – Mark uses the clumsy ‘Syrophoenician’ and Matthew the archaic ‘Canaanite’. It would be very reasonable for translators to use ‘Palestinian’ at this point. Won’t happen.
        I think that there must have been debate in Jewish theological circles about the nature of moral obligation in the first century. Treating a verse hidden deep in Leviticus (19:18) as ‘the second great commandment’ was an audacious idea, maybe original to Jesus or his followers. I would have trouble in taking v.18 as extending Neighbour status to non-Jews but the echo in v. 34 clearly does call for strangers in the midst to be loved.

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2016, 11:55 am

        I like the story of the Samaritan woman who left her pot at the well. I wonder if she got it back?

      • YoniFalic
        December 18, 2016, 7:09 am

        I have noticed that one Christian interpretation of this passage argues that Jesus was using the encounter as a teaching moment for the disciples and thus for the larger Judaic society in order to encourage the community (עַם) of Israel to give up narrow parochialism and to embrace larger humanity. Paul takes this idea much further.

        In the aftermath of Bar Kochba’s brutality toward Christian Judeans, this story could have been important in convincing the Judean peasantry to renounce the bigotry of Judean Judaism and to embrace their neighbors that did not practice Judaism. The story may have played a similar role in Alexandria to unite the Greek-speaking Judaic population with the Greek-speaking pagan population to form a Greek-speaking Christian community.

        Overall I have had to conclude that Christianity is a religion far superior to Judaism, which was unethical before Zionism and which has become sickening in its merger with Zionism.

        I have to admit that I consider the resurrection stupid, but as a ridiculous belief the resurrection pales by comparison with the idea that the oral Torah was given on Sinai along with the written Torah. It is inescapable that Josephus, Philo, and the New Testament know nothing about an oral Torah as Rabbinic Judaism conceives it.

        BTW, Ezekiel 23:30 is used to justify the Rabbinic Jewish idea that coitus with gentiles is bestiality.

        ותעגבה על פלגשיהם אשר בשר־חמורים בשרם וזרמת סוסים זרמתם׃

        In popular culture, I believe the bigoted Rabbinic interpretation of this verse supports the following E. European Jewish American proverb.

        Shiksas are for practice.

        PS. Here is the beginning of the story in question from Mark.

        ἡ δὲ γυνὴ ἦν Ἑλληνίς, Συροφοινίκισσα τῷ γένει· καὶ ἠρώτα αὐτὸν ἵνα τὸ δαιμόνιον ἐκβάλῃ ἐκ τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτῆς.

        Here is the beginning of the story in question from Matthew.

        καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ Χαναναία ἀπὸ τῶν ὁρίων ἐκείνων ἐξελθοῦσα ἔκραζεν λέγουσα Ἐλέησόν με, Κύριε υἱὸς Δαυείδ· ἡ θυγάτηρ μου κακῶς δαιμονίζεται.

        The evangelists probably use the expression Syro-Phoenician or Canaanite to point out that the woman was a Hebrew/Canaanite speaker and not a Greek-speaking descendant of cleruchs. The story probably hints that Jesus did not speak Greek well or at all despite the hypotheses to the contrary.

        To call the woman specifically Palestinian unlike the Galilean Jesus and his disciples is completely anachronistic and misleading.

        At the time of Jesus Palestinian pagans, the Palestinian Judaic population, and the Palestinian Samaritan population all identified Judea as a region of Palestine (or more rarely as a part of Coele Syria = כל סוריה. Caananites=Phoenicians were a Hebrew/Canaanite speaking population of All Syria/Syro-Palestine.

        We should use Palestinian to describe Jesus, his disciples, and the Canaanite woman, who are among the ancestors (along with the descendants of the cleruchs) of modern Palestinians.

        To use the terms “Jew” or “Jewish” before the 10th century is completely anachronistic and misleading.

        The descendants of medieval Jewish communities have no Greco-Roman Judean ancestors whatsoever and no legitimate claim to territory in the Levant.

        Only an ignoramus, a moron, or a liar claims otherwise.

      • Mooser
        December 18, 2016, 12:43 pm

        “Overall I have had to conclude that Christianity is a religion far superior to Judaism”

        Oh, please, “Yoni”! What price “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”?

        “In the aftermath of Bar Kochba’s…”

        We needed a whole lotta oral Torah, for Rabbi Ben-Urkel to say “Did I do that?”

      • YoniFalic
        December 18, 2016, 3:32 pm

        I have to be frank. I consider religion a crutch for those that lack self-confidence and don’t wish to think ethically for themselves, but I must also be honest. At one time the Inquisition & Catholicism were inseparable. Catholicism seems to have outgrown such stuff and moved in a positive ethically considerate direction while Judaism seems to have rotted at least in part because of Zionism.

        Talal Asad, who is of both Muslim & Jewish ancestry, discusses religious political change in this videoclip entitled “Thinking about Religion, Belief and Politics with Talal Asad”. I know it is long, but it is worthwhile.

      • Mooser
        December 18, 2016, 4:39 pm

        “while Judaism seems to have rotted at least in part because of Zionism”

        Don’t want to give the Zionists all the blame. When Judaism proved unwilling to go from a theology of national apocalypse and salvation to a theology of personal salvation (and the national salvation becomes universal) we missed out on a tremendous opportunity.

      • jon s
        December 21, 2016, 3:39 pm

        Some gems from YoniFalic, the Anti-Semitic meshumad:

        For anyone interested,the quote from Ezekiel chapter 23 , (verse 20, not 30) which is part of an elaborate parable constructed by Ezekiel is:
        ” And she lusted for their concubinage, those whose flesh is the flesh of donkeys, and whose issue is the issue of horses.”

        According to Yonifalic thhe Vilna Gaon, and Rabbis Moshe Feinstein and J. B. Soloveitchik have “little understanding ” or are “clueless”. I call that hutzpah.

        “Christianity is a religion far superior to Judaism” -It’s weird that YoniFalic uses the image associated with the Rambam, who regarded Christianity as a form of idolatry, and was a fierce defender of Rabbinic Judaism.

        “To use the terms “Jew” or “Jewish” before the 10th century is completely anachronistic and misleading. ”
        I wonder what the correct term was, then . The titles of two books by Josephus, writing in the 1st century are: “The Jewish War” and “Antiquities of the Jews”.

      • YoniFalic
        December 21, 2016, 6:30 pm

        I am indifferent to the taunts of bigots that benefit from genocide.

        I guess John s is unable logically to infer that I read koine Greek.

        The titles of Josephus’ works are mistranslated into English.

        The full title of The Jewish War is:

        Φλαυίου Ἰωσήπου ἱστορία Ἰουδαϊκοῦ πολέμου πρὸς Ῥωμαίους βιβλία.

        Anyone familiar with Greek script should be able to deduce that The Judaic War is a better title in English.

        Roman and Greek historians were usually fairly careful to distinguish Judean (of or pertaining to Judean) from Judaic (of or pertaining to the Judaic cult).

        Judaism in antiquity differed greatly from Rabbinic and Karaite Judaisms which crystallized in the 9th century CE. There is something of a scholarly consensus only to use Jew after the crystallization.

      • Mooser
        December 21, 2016, 7:01 pm

        Wow, “Jon s” do you like anything more than playing kapo for the Zionists (or as you call yourselves “Zio-nazis”. You can thank “dabakr” for that).
        Are you some kind of religious snitch, ready to rat out heretics? Go tell the sicarii on him.

        You, a friggin IDF draft dodger and chicken-soup hawk, have the temerity to threaten an IDF vet? Or did you say you are haredi to get out of serving?

        And thanks, “Jon s” for stealing the dignity and honor of all Jews, and doing your best to convince the world Judaism is a criminal cabal. After all, with 2 billion Jews, why not be plain about it? It’s not like anybody can do anything to us.

      • Mooser
        December 21, 2016, 7:29 pm

        Some gems from “Jon s” the Zionist Model Boy.

        Our own little Zionist commisar, “Jon s”.

      • YoniFalic
        December 22, 2016, 6:54 am

        In re: reading ancient texts like the Talmud, Mishnah, or Greco-Roman midrash literature.

        I don’t deny that the Vilna Gaon had a towering intellect.

        Yet Christian scholars had worked out a non-credulous analytic approach to reading ancient literature by the 15th century. I recommend “Renaissance Readers and Ancient Texts” in Grafton’s Defenders of the Text.

        In other words, 350-400 years after scholars developed a rational method to understand ancient texts, the Vilna Gaon used silly vacuous Medieval techniques to study them. It may be the greatest waste of human intelligence in history.

        BTW, my mother claimed descent from the Vilna Gaon even though I have never seen proof.

        Because my POS racist genocidaire mass murdering white European settler colonist invader grandfather was related to Leopold Weiss (= Mohammad Asad), the Vilna Gaon has a marriage connection to American Muslims’ favorite exegete of the Quran.

  5. tokyobk
    December 10, 2016, 7:56 pm

    “Judaism doesn’t solve problems via discussion. You are either in agreement with the rest or you are an enemy.”

    Sheer ignorance. Judaism only solves problems through discussion. The purpose of the Talmud is discussion not dictates. Jon S. is right about the vast multitudes of halacha – and contradictions.

    Its not “but” in Leviticus, its “and…” In some translations, including Chabad there is no “and” The part about the neighbor (fellow, friend) simply a new thought distinguished from the first about nation.

    This is also the mechanics of Islamophobia, non experts with quotes.

    If there are Jews using Judaism to support ethnic nationalism, write specifically about them. Otherwise, you are on a bad kind of fishing expedition and I can’t see any good intent.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      December 10, 2016, 8:48 pm

      The argument that the Talmud contains many different interpretations by different rabbis is often used by apologists for Judaism, just as the corresponding argument is often used by apologists for Islam. And in both cases the argument is half-true. Yes, there is plenty of discussion, but it is all within quite narrow limits. Overstepping those limits quickly brings charges of heresy and excommunication (cherem). Consider the hostility toward Karaites or what happened to Spinoza. Take the detailed rules about the nasty things that a Jew is permitted or even obliged to do against a Gentile, from not returning lost property to not acting to save his life. Disagreement on these rules meant that one rabbi says you must do these nasty things while another says they are not obligatory, but even the ‘liberal’ rabbi does not forbid them.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        December 11, 2016, 3:26 pm

        My comment had a second paragraph that the moderator must have removed. I suppose I went too far in my criticism of Judaism and said something unacceptable, for which I humbly apologize.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 11, 2016, 4:10 pm

        hmm, it wasn’t me. when i remove text i leave a marking […]. that’s supposed to be standard procedure.

    • Mooser
      December 10, 2016, 8:59 pm

      “If there are Jews using Judaism to support ethnic nationalism, write specifically about them.”

      You mean Zionists? Mondo writes about Zionists “using Judaism to support ethnic nationalism” all the time.

      Why “tokyobk”, did you think “Jews using Judaism to support ethnic nationalism” would be hard to find, or hard to distinguish?

    • Mooser
      December 10, 2016, 9:16 pm

      “Sheer ignorance. Judaism only solves problems through discussion.”

      Exactly! And then we have a big meal, called the trefa banquet to celebrate our consensus!

      Remember the discussion about Zionism in the Jewish community? That was some discussion!

    • Sibiriak
      December 10, 2016, 9:47 pm

      tokyobk: [Maghlawatan:] “Judaism doesn’t solve problems via discussion. You are either in agreement with the rest or you are an enemy.”

      Sheer ignorance. Judaism only solves problems through discussion.
      ————

      A whole lot of absolute either/or’s being used by both sides here regarding the complex phenomena labeled “Judaism”.

      [Cue Keith to quote Israel Shahak on classical Judaism ; – ) ]

      Hopefully, we can avoid the diversion.

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2016, 1:28 pm

        [Cue Keith to quote Israel Shahak on classical Judaism ; – ) ]

        – Or see Mircea Eliade “A History of Religious Ideas” Vol. 2 , Chapter 25 “The Ordeals of Judaism: From the Apocalypse to Exaltation of the Torah”.

      • Keith
        December 11, 2016, 3:39 pm

        SIBIRIAK- “[Cue Keith to quote Israel Shahak on classical Judaism ; – ) ]”

        Not today. I am much more concerned with this ongoing demonization of Russia and what that implies for the future. First of all, it appears part of the Democrat fat-cat effort to delegitimize the election of Trump utilizing color revolution tactics. The Democratic competitive advantage over the Republicans when competing for oligarch money is that the Democrats can deliver the elite agenda more effectively than the Republicans. Hog tying Trump has certain advantages for the Dems. Additionally, the Democrat/CIA/Soros nexus appears to be resolved to confront Russia with or without Hillary. These guys want to eliminate the competition prior to the impending financial collapse/restructuring. And they want to be in control of events during the transition period. So, instead of Israel Shahak, I quote and link John Stauber on the astroturf “progressive” Democrats.

        “The money for the progressive pundits and media comes from donations, but the really critical fuel is supplied by the Blue Oligarchs, their foundations, and the super rich and wealthy who want to promote the Democrat Party. Call them the Soros and Steyer Crowd. They see the need to whip the progressive forces into the sort of populist tide that Bernie surfed, before he washed out, took a dive actually.” (John Stauber) http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/11/14/why-the-trump-protests-like-the-wisconsin-uprising-will-fail/

        “The self-labeled Progressive Movement that has arisen over the past decade is primarily one big propaganda campaign serving the political interests of the the Democratic Party’s richest one-percent who created it. The funders and owners of the Progressive Movement get richer and richer off Wall Street and the corporate system. But they happen to be Democrats, cultural and social liberals who can’t stomach Republican policies, and so after bruising electoral defeats a decade ago they decided to buy a movement, one just like the Republicans, a copy.” (John Stauber) http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/15/the-progressive-movement-is-a-pr-front-for-rich-democrats/

      • Annie Robbins
        December 11, 2016, 4:07 pm

        i agree.

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2016, 11:47 am

        “Not today.”

        In that case, I recommend the Eliade book. The chapter gives a pretty good picture of how we got this way.

    • Mooser
      December 10, 2016, 9:50 pm

      “Judaism only solves problems through discussion.”

      Name one. Go ahead. Name a problem within Judaism which has been solved (solved!) through discussion. Discussion, leading to consensus, and if necessary, compromise.
      The differences between Orthodox, Conservative and Reform? Zionism? The violent Jewish extremists in Israel?
      Intra-Jewish religious consensus on inter-marriage and assimilation? Please, name one Some silly point in the Talmud?

    • Donald Johnson
      December 10, 2016, 10:12 pm

      I think that is a fair point. I don’t know much about Judaism, but surely you could make any religion look bad by cherry picking quotes and taking the harshest view possible. I don’t doubt that there are bigoted hateful Jewish interpretations of the cited passages, but I have also read the book of Jonah– universalist views within the Jewish tradition clearly go back over 2000 years.

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2016, 12:38 pm

        ,” but I have also read the book of Jonah– universalist views within the Jewish tradition clearly go back over 2000 years.”

        “Donald”, the Tobiads lost out to the Oniads.

      • echinococcus
        December 11, 2016, 1:52 pm

        Johnson,
        Doesnt make much sense to me: after all, even the most rabid Zio will agree that it is (or also is) a religion, dammit.

    • W.Jones
      December 10, 2016, 11:20 pm

      “Judaism only solves problems through discussion.”
      The Torah of Moses comes off more as dictates by God to those in his covenant, rather than a series of negotiations between him and Moses.

      “The purpose of the Talmud is discussion not dictates.”
      Talmud often or usually does rely on discussion, but sometimes the discussion results in decisions and rules that serve as dictates. Also, as on Mount Sinai, wouldn’t you agree that not everybody affected by the discussion is invited to take part in the discussion.

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2016, 12:26 pm

        “Judaism only solves problems through discussion.”

        Is ‘tokyobk” talking about intra-Jewish problems, or problems with non-Jews? I wish he would specify.

      • W.Jones
        December 11, 2016, 11:44 pm

        I think he means both because he said “only”.
        If he meant just one kind of problem, he would not say “only”.

    • lyn117
      December 11, 2016, 9:31 am

      It isn’t up to me to interpret Judaism or tell anyone what their religion is, if some Jews want to interpret “neighbor” in most universalist way it’s not for me to tell them no, they’re interpreting it wrong.

      I agree about similar mechanics with Islamophobia, people go fishing through the texts to find something bad to pin on Islam. There’s plenty to find in all the Abrahamic texts.

      However, I did read the business about goys being closer to cows than to humans on the Chabad web site several years back, so that interpretation exists, and it’s not, apparently, a particularly fringe belief within Judaism (or maybe Chabad is fringe, I don’t know). It’s not me doing the interpretation, it’s leaders of certain strains of Judaism doing the interpretation.

      As far as Jews using Judaism to support ethnic nationalism, lets talk about Zionist Jews.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 11, 2016, 9:50 am

        lyn, while chabad is fringe, i think it’s still the fastest growing movement in judaism (“largest Hasidic group and Jewish religious organization in the world” – wiki). so while it may seem like fringe thinking – it’s not on the outskirts of the religious population or religious thought (which is supposed to define fringe). not sure if i worded that right.

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2016, 1:31 pm

        “i think it’s still the fastest growing movement in judaism”:

        Of course, if Orthodox, Conservative and Reform lose people or stay steady, and “chabad” gains one member, it’s the “fastest growing” isn’t it? And gee, since “chabad” started from zero, if it gets anybody, it’s the fastest growing. Sounds like Scientology growth.

      • Maghlawatan
        December 16, 2016, 3:43 am

        Orthodoxy is slowly strangling Reform and Conservative. In 50 years time there’ll just be Orthodoxy. In exile from Israel

  6. RoHa
    December 11, 2016, 12:19 am

    “the three greatest people that ever lived, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ”

    Abraham was a contemptible coward. He pimped out his wife from fear, abandoned one of his children (and the child’s mother) because his wife told him to, and was prepared to kill another because a sky dictator told him to. He failed his duties as a husband and a father.

    Isaac also pretended his wife was his sister.

    Jacob tricked his blind old father by pretending to be Esau.

    It takes a fair amount of moral blindness to see these three as “the greatest”.

    • CigarGod
      December 11, 2016, 12:00 pm

      Shout it from the roof tops.

    • DaBakr
      December 11, 2016, 10:14 pm

      @rh

      . Hah. that was a very funny take down. you should do some more like it. Moses, a spoiled stuttering elitist . Jacob, a charlatan. I’m sure there must be so many others. Like sure Lot was too traumatized and sleepy to know his daughters were mounting him.

      write as many as possible. They are funny and irreverent. And the best part? none of these crazy, evil, ‘zio-nazi’ extremists are going to come out with machine guns and bombs to blow you up or slit your throat for blasphemy. Neither will any Christian extremists, Catholic or otherwise, execute detailed plans to murder, run down, slash and shoot any who speak, write or draw insulting depictions of biblical characters and then post glorious videos bragging about it.

      I remember how holier-then-thou MW , PW and many commenters were about the drawing of cartoons depicting mohammed. How rude, foolish, incited and taunting they were. ( people here practically advocated for the imprisonment or death of pamela geller)

      And yet here you are, insulting Judaism, Jewish characters, Jesus, and more and there isn’t a peep of indignation or horror. No wringing of one’s hands in deep concerted remorse for offending the sensitivities of the specifically insulted members of a religious group which is exactly how it should be. But MW has always been a bastion of double standards and hypocrisy when it comes to jews, Israel and zionists.

      All you have here is freedom of expression(with moderation) and a sycophantic funnyman who cracks term marks that are usually scatological or otherwise fixated on any human excretions.

      p’s. Regardless of what anyone has read on the blundernet about chabad and how they supposedly characterize human beings -it is almost always the case that they are the most joyful, friendly and extroverted members of judaism . If one has never engaged with any chabadnics personally, tongues should be held until such time
      .
      . Maybe their orthodoxy , physical and spiritual is not everybody’s cup of tea but their generally joyous and optimistic outlook on life may explain why they are growing so quickly.

      I’ve heard no expressions of hatred from them towards any people’s and from my experience they will generally not debate controversial aspects of zionism and anti-zionism. e.g.: while not necessarily agreeing with them they have greater understanding of neturei karta position on religious ground’s then any other of the approx 80-90% of Jews worldwide who identify as zionist. to the lady who read the cruel ‘interpretation’ on the web :. i wouldn’t take it too seriously. wait until you meet a few b4 you close your mind

      • RoHa
        December 11, 2016, 10:52 pm

        I’ve already covered Lot.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2013/12/the-woman-plane/#comment-620669

        “insulting Judaism, Jewish characters, Jesus”

        I’m simply presenting them as they are in the Scriptures. Take your complaint to the authors of those Scriptures. And don’t forget that these people are revered by Christians, Muslims, and Baha’is as well as by Jews.

      • MHughes976
        December 12, 2016, 11:04 am

        Lot was the ancestor of the Moabites, a thoroughly misbegotten bunch. The exclusionary laws of Deuteronomy 23 (which are indeed Christian as well as Jewish holy scriptures) distinguish not so bad from thoroughly bad foreigners, Edomites and Egyptians from Moabites and Ammonites. These laws stand in the way of radical inclusionist interpretation of Judaism and Christianity. The instruction ‘not to abhor’ (v. 7) the not so bad seems to be on a rather different plane from the call to love. As to the thoroughly bad, we ‘must not seek their peace or their good all our days for ever’.

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2016, 12:01 pm

        “Like sure Lot was too traumatized and sleepy to know his daughters were mounting him.”

        Calm down, “dabakr” I’m sure Lot knew exactly what he was doing, and had the best intentions.

        “I’ve already covered Lot.”

        As “dabakr” might say; ‘Who hasn’t?’

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2016, 2:47 pm

        “Lot was the ancestor of the Moabites, a thoroughly misbegotten bunch”

        Those Moabites are some bad hombres, huh?
        What kinda stuff did they do? Look, if it’s NSFW, just give me chapter and verse and I’ll look it up in my King James.

      • DaBakr
        December 12, 2016, 3:18 pm

        @rh

        You certainly did cover Lot. I was always a little suspicious of this guy and his supposed drunken ability to perform while blissfully ignorant. Right.

      • jon s
        December 12, 2016, 4:11 pm

        Regarding the Moabites: despite the prohibition in Deuteronomy, the Book of Ruth features a Moabite woman at it’s center, a love story between a Jewish man and a Moabite woman, and reveals that King David was an offspring of that union . In other words, the Jewish royal dynasty was descended from a Moabite! Just about the most anti-exclusionary message you can think of. As I’ve said ,Jewish sources can provide ammunition for almost any viewpoint.

      • MHughes976
        December 12, 2016, 4:56 pm

        Genesis 19: 36-38. I understand ‘Moab’ means ‘from the father’, indicating the desires of Lot’s questionable daughters. They just didn’t tend to do things right. But according to Deuteronomy 2:9 the Moabites have perpetual rights in their Transjordan fastness. God will not give it to the Israelites.

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2016, 6:17 pm

        “But according to Deuteronomy 2:9 the Moabites have perpetual rights in their Transjordan fastness. God will not give it to the Israelites.”

        So the Moabites, in spite of not doing right all the time, got their perpetual rights, but “God will not give it to the Israelites”
        That’s what happens when you let God down in the really big ways, I guess. I bet the Israelites were told, too. But did they listen? Nooooo!

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2016, 6:25 pm

        “As I’ve said ,Jewish sources can provide ammunition for almost any viewpoint.”

        You bet, “Jon s”! That’s why God put Judaism and Jews on earth, for you to pimp any way you want to.

      • RoHa
        December 12, 2016, 6:35 pm

        “Lot was the ancestor of the Moabites, a thoroughly misbegotten bunch. ”

        I’m shocked to see such a bigoted and racist generalisation on this site!

        MW should not allow such anti-Moabism to be published.

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2016, 6:48 pm

        “As I’ve said ,Jewish sources can provide ammunition for almost any viewpoint.”

        And so all those 5000 years add up to is a quote mine?
        So Judaism is basically amoral, and “Jewish sources can provide ammunition for almost any viewpoint.”
        Ho-Kay, then “Jon s” we will know how much consideration to give it. About as much as you do.

      • Steve Grover
        December 12, 2016, 7:24 pm

        Mooser replies:
        “You bet, “Jon s”! That’s why God put Judaism and Jews on earth, for you to pimp any way you want to.”
        Mooser pimps for the Jew haters. He even throws in a bissele Yiddish while doing it.

      • echinococcus
        December 13, 2016, 1:55 am

        RoHa,

        Tsk and tsk again. You’ll have to do better if you want your Scripture Knowledge prize. The Moabites seem to have been righteously targeted for extermination on orders from on high –like the Canaanites, the Jebusites, the Megabytes, et al. I don’t remember if they were those ordered to be killed without any exception, including their farm animals, or those whose little ones were to be brained against stones, but it was definitely something of that order*.
        And you come and sing of anti-Moabite “racism”, you anachronist.

        *no, I’m too squeamish to look it up.

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2016, 12:13 pm

        Okay, I looked it up in Durant: The Moahbites were generally reviled because they ate everything in sight. The name was a contraction of “more bites”.

      • jon s
        December 14, 2016, 4:03 pm

        MHughes,
        Accourding to Deuteronomy, the prohibition regarding the Moabites, is not due to their incestuous origins. It’s because they failed to greet the Israelites, wandering in the desert, with bread and water, and because they hired Balaam to curse them.

      • Maghlawatan
        December 14, 2016, 5:03 pm

        Jon

        One of the enemies of the Hebrews had a god named Moloch (Malik) to whom children were sacrificed. The practice was so odious that it still remembered.

        http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/ghettos/rumkowski.html
         

        Jewish children being deported from Łódź
        “A grievous blow has struck the ghetto. They are asking us to give up the best we possess -the children and the elderly. I was unworthy of having a child of my own, so I gave the best years of my life to children. I’ve lived and breathed with children, I never imagined I would be forced to deliver this sacrifice to the altar with my own hands. In my old age, I must stretch out my hands and beg: Brothers and sisters! Hand them over to me! Fathers and mothers: Give me your children!
         
        I had a suspicion something was going to befall us. I anticipated “something” and was always like a watchman: on guard to prevent it. But I was unsuccessful because I did not know what was threatening us. The taking of the sick from the hospitals caught me completely by surprise. And I give you the best proof there is of this: I had my own nearest and dearest among them and I could do nothing for them!
         
        I thought that would be the end of it, that after that, they’d leave us in peace, the peace for which I long so much, for which I’ve always worked, which has been my goal. But something else, it turned out, was destined for us. Such is the fate of the Jews: always more suffering and always worse suffering, especially in times of war.
         
        Yesterday afternoon, they gave me the order to send more than 20,000 Jews out of the ghetto, and if not – “We will do it!” So the question became, ‘Should we take it upon ourselves, do it ourselves, or leave it to others to do?”. Well, we – that is, I and my closest associates – thought first not about “How many will perish?” but “How many is it possible to save?” And we reached the conclusion that, however hard it would be for us, we should take the implementation of this order into our own hands.
         
        I must perform this difficult and bloody operation – I must cut off limbs in order to save the body itself. I must take children because, if not, others may be taken as well – God forbid.
         
        I have no thought of consoling you today. Nor do I wish to calm you. I must lay bare your full anguish and pain. I come to you like a bandit, to take from you what you treasure most in your hearts! I have tried, using every possible means, to get the order revoked. I tried – when that proved to be impossible – to soften the order. Just yesterday, I ordered a list of children aged 9 – I wanted at least to save this one aged-group: the nine to 10 year olds. But I was not granted this concession. On only one point did I succeed: in saving the 10 year olds and up. Let this be a consolation to our profound grief.
         
        There are, in the ghetto, many patients who can expect to live only a few days more, maybe a few weeks. I don’t know if the idea is diabolical or not, but I must say it: “Give me the sick. In their place we can save the healthy.”
        I know how dear the sick are to any family, and particularly to Jews. However, when cruel demands are made, one has to weigh and measure: who shall, can and may be saved? And common sense dictates that the saved must be those who can be saved and those who have a chance of being rescued, not those who cannot be saved in any case…
         

        Rumkowksi tasting the ghetto soup
        We live in the ghetto, mind you. We live with so much restriction that we do not have enough even for the healthy, let alone for the sick. Each of us feeds the sick at the expense of our own health: we give our bread to the sick. We give them our meager ration of sugar, our little piece of meat. And what’s the result? Not enough to cure the sick, and we ourselves become ill. Of course, such sacrifices are the most beautiful and noble. But there are times when one has to choose: sacrifice the sick, who haven’t the slightest chance of recovery and who also may make others ill, or rescue the healthy.
         
        I could not deliberate over this problem for long; I had to resolve it in favor of the healthy. In this spirit, I gave the appropriate instructions to the doctors, and they will be expected to deliver all incurable patients, so that the healthy, who want and are able to live, will be saved in their place.
         
        I understand you, mothers; I see your tears, alright. I also feel what you feel in your hearts, you fathers who will have to go to work in the morning after your children have been taken from you, when just yesterday you were playing with your dear little ones. All this I know and feel. Since 4 o’clock yesterday, when I first found out about the order, I have been utterly broken. I share your pain. I suffer because of your anguish, and I don’t know how I’ll survive this – where I’ll find the strength to do so.
         
        I must tell you a secret: they requested 24,000 victims, 3000 a day for eight days. I succeeded in reducing the number to 20,000, but only on the condition that these be children under the age of 10. Children 10 and older are safe! Since the children and the aged together equal only some 13,000 souls, the gap will have to be filled with the sick.
         
        I can barely speak. I am exhausted; I only want to tell you what I am asking of you: Help me carry out this action! I am trembling. I am afraid that others, God forbid, will do it themselves.
         
        A broken Jew stands before you. Do not envy me. This is the most difficult of all orders I have ever had to carry out at any time. I reach out to you with my broken, trembling hands and beg: Give into my hands the victims! So that we can avoid having further victims, and a population of 100,000 Jews can be preserved! So, they promised me: If we deliver our victims by ourselves, there will be peace!!!
         
        At this point in the speech the crowd begins shouting. Many cry out:
        “We will not let the children go alone! We will all go!”
         
        Rumkowski continues:
         

        Rumkowski delivers one of his many ghetto speeches
        These are empty phrases!!! I don’t have the strength to argue with you! If the authorities were to arrive, none of you would be shouting!
         
        I understand what it means to tear off a part of the body. Yesterday, I begged on my knees, but it did not work. From small villages with Jewish populations of 7000 to 8000, barely 1000 arrived here. So which is better? What do you want? That 80,000 to 90,000 Jews remain, or God forbid, that the whole population be annihilated?
         
        You may judge as you please; my duty is to preserve the Jews who remain. I do not speak to hot-heads! I speak to your reason and conscience. I have done and will continue doing everything possible to keep arms from appearing in the streets and blood from being shed. The order could not be undone; it could only be reduced.
         
        One needs the heart of a bandit to ask from you what I am asking. But put yourself in my place, think logically, and you’ll reach the conclusion that I cannot proceed any other way. The part that can be saved is much larger than the part that must be given away!”
         
        End Speech

        It is no surprise Israel is such a mess

      • Mooser
        December 16, 2016, 7:55 pm

        “Mag”, you could say it was just another Jewish problem solved by discussion.

    • jon s
      December 14, 2016, 4:21 pm

      RoHa,
      All the major characters in the Bible – the patriarchs, the matriarchs, Moses and Aaron, David and Solomon and lots more – are all flawed. Non are perfect, non are saints. We see them with all their frailties and shortcomings. It’s what makes them human, and what makes their stories interesting.

      • RoHa
        December 14, 2016, 11:54 pm

        But they are not good exemplars of morality.

      • Mooser
        December 15, 2016, 6:34 pm

        “But they are not good exemplars of morality.”

        Deeply flawed individuals, and to say that in certain ways perhaps, not even civilized, would not be grossly unfair. Or which incidents are interpolated to fulfill or validate religious ideas
        which go back much further.

        And yes, the message of the Bible as history is pretty clear. It is that while Judaism can be a very nice religion (if you keep it under control), it’s no basis for Jewish self-government. Sorry.

      • Maghlawatan
        December 16, 2016, 1:45 am

        Mooser, that is the money shot.
        The first exercise in Jewish sovereignty since BC has been a disaster.

        I read a story about a man who wanted to buy a sportscar. He saved up and got the money together but his wife threatened to leave. Every year he tried again and every year she refused.
        Finally he retired. She gave in they went to the garage. He bought a red car and drove out onto the road.
        30 minutes later he was dead.

        Israel is a bit like that.

      • RoHa
        December 16, 2016, 1:54 am

        “Judaism can be a very nice religion (if you keep it under control”

        I think this applies to a lot of religions. It’s the keeping under control bit that is tricky.

      • Mooser
        December 16, 2016, 8:04 pm

        “It’s the keeping under control bit that is tricky.”

        This is the way I see it, “RoHa”: First nature and the cosmos were desacralised and almost entirely extirpated from the religion. There goes half the fun. Then as the Jewish religious and civil leaders needed more and more excuses, for their quite human failure, they valorized, and sacralised history. A sure recipe for disaster, religiously. I’d rather enlighten some grass while riding an ox.

      • RoHa
        December 16, 2016, 9:56 pm

        “First nature and the cosmos were desacralised and almost entirely extirpated from the religion.”

        Bigotry and discrimination!

        In Australia we all know that nature hates us and wants to kill us, but that is no reason for desacralisation. And excluding the cosmos from your religion is downright foolhardy! The cosmos might reciprocate by excluding you and your religion from it. Then where would you be?

      • Philemon
        December 17, 2016, 8:03 pm

        Mooser: “And yes, the message of the Bible as history is pretty clear. It is that while Judaism can be a very nice religion (if you keep it under control), it’s no basis for Jewish self-government. Sorry.”

        Taking the Bible, or any religious text, as literal history, is making the sacred profane anyway. It’s a category mistake.

        And I’m not even religious.

      • Philemon
        December 17, 2016, 8:20 pm

        Jon s: “Moses and Aaron, David and Solomon and lots more – are all flawed. Non [sic] are perfect, non [sic] are saints. We see them with all their frailties and shortcomings. It’s what makes them human, and what makes their stories interesting. ”

        They were not human. Their “frailties and shortcomings” were not normal human frailties and shortcomings. Well, unless you think normal humans have serious personality disorders as a rule.

      • Mooser
        December 17, 2016, 8:30 pm

        I agree, worshiping a God of history, in which God’s ‘plan’ and His interaction with humans is on an historical level and plays itself out in current events is a very bad idea. And eschatologies is not for me, either.

      • gamal
        December 18, 2016, 9:09 am

        “But they are not good exemplars of morality.”

        no worries it all gets cleaned up in the Quran, why even Adam is a Prophet and Eve is blameless,

        David a Prophet who worshiped in a congregation including the mountains and birds and iron was made pliable for him so he could weave coats of mail.

        its in the sura that follows the stars and bars sura (alahzab) Saba (Sheba)

        And We softened all harshness in him, inspiring “Do good deeds sumptuously, don’t stint and contemplate the source of their constant up welling and I see all that you do

        as to Solomon

        We made a fountain of molten copper to flow at his request made the spirits subservient to him

        however there is the lovely phrase starting Dawuda shukranw-wa …..be grateful for bounty rather than arrogant about your, no doubt, amazing qualities, its the spiritual way,

        in essence the sura says don’t labour under shameful servitude to egotistical monomania, like Sheba’s crew did till she bucked up on God and his mate Sulayman and his ifrits, bloody Yemenis.

  7. RoHa
    December 11, 2016, 12:26 am

    “If it were not for Jews, there would be no concept of human dignity, of meaning and purpose, of the right of every person to education and knowledge, of social justice and of the value of world peace.”

    Thank Heaven for the Jews. Without their instruction, Master Kong, Master Meng, the Buddha, and the great Stoic masters would have only spent their time hitting each other over the head with large, comically vulgar, sausages.

    ” These (along with psychology, relativity, quantum physics, anthropology, Hollywood and superheroes) are among our many vital contributions to the world.”

    And cherry tomatoes. Don’t forget the cherry tomatoes.

    • Mooser
      December 11, 2016, 12:24 pm

      “Thank Heaven for the Jews.”
      The most amazing folks, in every way.

      Thank Heaven, for the Jews,
      Instructing mankind each and every day.

      Those Torah quotes, which we thought most appealing,
      If deeply analyzed, will flip, and turn revealing!

      Thank Heaven, for little Jews, no matter where, no matter who,
      without them what would little…..

      (Shoot, I’m stuck. What’s another word which rhymes with “boys”?)

      • RoHa
        December 11, 2016, 6:01 pm

        Hmmmn. Noise? Toys? Ploys?

        Nope, can’t think of anything that would fit the context.

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2016, 1:13 pm

        “Nope, can’t think of anything that would fit the context.”

        Neither can I. There’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip in the song-parody game.

    • jon s
      December 15, 2016, 4:01 pm

      RoHa, Don’t belittle cherry tomatoes. They really are a cool invention.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 15, 2016, 4:21 pm

        jon, do you think there’s a way they could grow the tomatoes as little cubes? think about it, they would be so economical for transport. in fact, the whole circle shape for fruits thing (and the pear shape!) is over rated. food gets squished too much. now, i can understand with citrus because it’s got a durable surface, as well as some of the other nightshades like potatoes and eggplants which are firmer. but think about it, square tomatoes, why not? if israelis can invent the cherry tomato they could lead the world in square food. square potatoes, think about it. none of that rolling off the counter action trying to escape the frying pan.

        square cantaloupes, square grapes, square corn, the possibilities are endless. it would revolutionize the food industry on a global scale.

      • RoHa
        December 15, 2016, 5:52 pm

        I wouldn’t want to belittle them. The nasty things are already too small.

      • Mooser
        December 15, 2016, 6:13 pm

        I thought cherry tomatoes are tomatoes which have been belittled.

      • oldgeezer
        December 15, 2016, 7:19 pm

        @jon s

        And we have mother nature to thank for them!

        I will stick with super sweet as a small tomato but thanks for nothing!

      • jon s
        December 16, 2016, 12:57 am

        Annie,
        Sure, no problem, we’ll get to work asap.

      • amigo
        December 16, 2016, 10:56 am

        “if israelis can invent the cherry tomato they could lead the world in square food ” Annie.

        Served on a square plate , no doubt.

        Then the Israelis can claim they invented the term , “Three squares ” but that does not apply to the citizens of Gaza.

      • jon s
        December 17, 2016, 4:25 pm

        There are other Israeli inventions , aside from cherry tomatoes and (soon to be unveiled, Annie) square fruit :
        Drip irrigation, which. I understand, is way more efficient than sprinklers.
        Also the penalty-kick shootout as a method for deciding tied soccer games – is an Israeli invention.

      • straightline
        December 17, 2016, 6:49 pm

        An Israeli – Simcha Blass – invented the plastic drip emitter. The use of plastic tubing had previously been developed by an Australian. Drip irrigation was invented by the ancient Chinese eons before (modern) Israel was a glint in Y*hw*h’s eye.

        Yosef Dagan – an Israeli – proposed the form of penalty kick shootout to FIFA – after Israel lost a match by drawing lots – but something very similar had been used for some years in various domestic and international competitions .

      • Mooser
        December 17, 2016, 7:16 pm

        “Also the penalty-kick shootout as a method for deciding tied soccer games – is an Israeli invention”

        The Beersheba team has a deadly penalty kick. It kills Eritreans.

        Wow, between “Hophmi’s” one state and your “penalty kick” you guys are really into sick jokes today.

      • Mooser
        December 17, 2016, 7:28 pm

        “and (soon to be unveiled, Annie) square fruit”

        You are lying.
        Are you trying to be ‘cute’ “Jon s”? Trying to be ‘one of the guys’? It has a nauseating effect, in case you’re wondering. You should really drop it, and just be your aristocratic self.

      • oldgeezer
        December 17, 2016, 10:22 pm

        @jon ‘s

        Oh ffs Jon.
        Drip irrigation is over 2,000 years old. Israel is credited with using some plastic components. Yeeehaw

        Shoot outs are used in a number of sports long preceeding soccer. You want to call hey let’s do what they do an invention well knock yourself out.

        The first error shows you aren’t a history teacher and the second shows you aren’t an English teacher.

        Israel is a legend only in it’s own mind.

        I know… I know… I am ignoring the huge medical benefits from the copycat generic pharmaceutical manufacturer tea (who maybe sued out of existence for it’s criminal behaviour). We all know Israeli acetominophen is better than the others,

      • oldgeezer
        December 17, 2016, 10:24 pm

        @jon ‘s

        Stop stealing other people’s property. Yes you are living on stolen land. The issue of your fictional prowess pales in comparison.

      • jon s
        December 19, 2016, 2:06 am

        old geezer,
        I never claimed to be an English teacher. Tried it for a year, didn’t like it.
        I am a History (and Civics) teacher.
        I’ve never stolen anything, I don’t live on stolen land. Unless you consider all of Israel to be “stolen”.

      • Maghlawatan
        December 19, 2016, 10:36 am

        Jon

        Israel was seized in a war. So it will be lost in a war.

      • amigo
        December 19, 2016, 11:19 am

        “I’ve never stolen anything, I don’t live on stolen land. Unless you consider all of Israel to be “stolen”.”jon s

        The Palestinian legal owners of their land were not asked if they agreed to give it to someone else , you for instance , so it is effectively “stolen Land.No one can undo a crime.You cannot unring a bell.

        Get used to it Jon S , you live on stolen land.As to claiming you never stolen anything—pull the other one.

      • Mooser
        December 19, 2016, 11:52 am

        “I’ve never stolen anything, I don’t live on stolen land. Unless you consider all of Israel to be “stolen”.

        Well, “Jon s” when the Zionists took Palestine, you stole something from Jewish people all over the world. Something you can’t give back, and which you had no right to take.

      • Mooser
        December 20, 2016, 12:34 pm

        “I never claimed to be an English teacher. Tried it for a year, didn’t like it”

        Oh, that’s obvious, “Jon s”. You are always trying to degrade English to the level of Israeli Hebrew.

      • Talkback
        December 22, 2016, 12:37 pm

        The truth about the invention of drip Irrigation, not Israeli:
        http://visionlaunch.com/who-invented-drip-irrigation/

        The truth about the invention of Tthe penalty shoot out, not Israeli:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penalty_shoot-out_(association_football)#Origins

        In both cases Israelis only modernized allready existing ideas.

    • straightline
      December 15, 2016, 8:32 pm

      @RoHa: “Without their instruction, Master Kong, Master Meng, the Buddha”.

      Not to mention the Aztecs who did invent the cherry tomato!

      • RoHa
        December 15, 2016, 8:39 pm

        Another reason to hate the Aztecs.

      • eljay
        December 16, 2016, 7:48 am

        || RoHa: Another reason to hate the Aztecs. ||

        So you’re anti-Aztecic? Or are you right to hate the Aztecs for being presciently anti-Semitic?

      • RoHa
        December 16, 2016, 8:49 pm

        I’m anti-nearly everyone, remember?

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/teenager-threatened-palestine/#comment-819925

        I’ve even been known to make snide remarks about Canadians.

      • eljay
        December 16, 2016, 9:34 pm

        || RoHa: … I’ve even been known to make snide remarks about Canadians. ||

        Which goes to show that even you are fallible. :-)

      • Mooser
        December 17, 2016, 11:32 am

        ” I’ve even been known to make snide remarks about Canadians.”

        That’s because you are an anti-Podean.

  8. Dmesh
    December 11, 2016, 1:25 am

    Radicals of any kind can find justification for anything in anything, but its still good to talk about the different kinds of radicals and their particularly terrible beliefs. Radical jews/zionists, like their radical christian and muslim counterparts, are often the worst enemies of their own people. Moderates are attacked for lack of “purity” or “devotion”, while radicals make enemies for themselves and the moderates. Think saudis/isis and their effect on islamophobia.

    We must all remain vigilant that radicals do not gain power. A small percentage of people in all nations are, or could become, radicalized. We must be sure not to judge each others groups by the radicals among them, and seek common cause… Peace in our time, and for future generations.

    • Mooser
      December 11, 2016, 1:15 pm

      “We must all remain vigilant that radicals do not gain power,”…

      Oh, I see, the ‘moderates’ are running Israel now. So we better start talking about any possible moves to the right!

  9. Talkback
    December 11, 2016, 5:51 am

    tokyiobk: “If there are Jews using Judaism to support ethnic nationalism, write specifically about them.”

    Sure, Jonathan could start with “the majority” of “most Jewish first graders” in Israel:

    “Most Jewish first-graders attend ultra-Orthodox and religious schools. The majority of them are educated along the lines of “The King’s Torah.” A Jew is human. A non-Jew is non-human. “Thou shalt not kill” does not apply to non-Jews. And this is not delivered in the form of incitement, but as a simple statement of a fact. As simple as calling a chair a chair.”
    http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/the-racist-entity-that-is-taking-over-israel-must-be-toppled-1.345929

    So much for the “vast multitudes of halacha – and contradictions.”

    • Annie Robbins
      December 11, 2016, 11:21 am

      Lior issued a religious edict containing his most well known and often quoted sentence, saying that “a thousand non-jewish life are not worth a jew’s fingernail”.

      http://dictionnaire.sensagent.leparisien.fr/DOV%20LIOR/en-en/

      how reassuring!

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2016, 1:10 pm

        “a thousand non-jewish life are not worth a jew’s fingernail”.

        “Annie” did you miss the big discussion about that which we used in ‘solving the problem’?
        After much discussion, a consensus was reached and a moderate position adopted.

        Right, “tokyobk”?

      • Annie Robbins
        December 11, 2016, 1:28 pm

        i have to admit to not having read the whole thing mooser (alas, that frequently happens and often i do not read the comments in sequence given i read them on the back moderating pages). but interestingly, i’ve been reading more of jonathan’s link to rabbi Hanan Balk (rabbi emeritus of Congregation Agudas Israel in Cincinnati). some of it is really fascinating. i’m reluctant to comment too much on the topic but currently i am reading some Maimonides he quotes and it’s relieving given many other very strange ideas recounted in his paper. i will go catch up on the conversation.

        as an aside, i remain confident most jewish people don’t think i have the soul of a cow or worse. it’s just not where i’m at and i do think one can cherrypick any religion. so while i agree there are lots of jewish nutjobs, since i have not personally met any of them that i can recall, i’m just going to stick to my personal experience of the (many) jewish people i’ve known throughout my life. i’d rather judge the religion that way — via american jews. i think it’s clear the israelis, for the most part, have lost their way — or something.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 11, 2016, 1:52 pm

        i’d just like to amend that by saying that as a non religious person — i can find really weird stuff in all three of the abrahamic religions, but it doesn’t serve me to judge the religions. all religions are better judged by the interpretations and practices of those who worship them. so the 3 religions that have wreaked havoc in the world are also the religions that have created wonderful thoughtful loving people.

        if jews want to fight and debate the value of, or qualities of judaism, that’s their business. but i’m not going to change the way i think or deal with religions and religious peoples based on any one of those religions. a philosophy and approach to life, is either applicable or is not. and it doesn’t serve me to chip away at my own beliefs about human nature for any one religion — and that would include judaism.

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2016, 1:38 pm

        “a thousand non-jewish life are not worth a jew’s fingernail”.

        And we don’t believe in Sanity Clause, neither!

      • Mooser
        December 11, 2016, 2:15 pm

        “i have to admit to not having read the whole thing mooser “

        I hope not. There wasn’t any.

  10. Ossinev
    December 11, 2016, 11:56 am

    @DaBakr
    “Israel has nowhere near the type of racial problems nor human rights issues the states have”

    All this relentless plonker pulling DB – even you must be starting to suffer from Hasbara fatigue.

    • DaBakr
      December 12, 2016, 12:44 am

      @o
      I think it’s more likely you are suffering from propaganda overload. So much hatred for Israel and Zionism [..] has closed your ability to judge any other situation in the world except through the lens that mw has taught you: the asinine made up ‘whataboutery’ . I could name over four major racial and/or cultural nations the US is still struggling to come to terms with. Almost any time as American tv is turn need on to a news/infotainment show, racism is likely to be a major theme. So go ahead and stuff your head with visions of YH and his ‘hasbara culture’. LOL. Be sure to buy his book when it inevitably will come out touted by the likes of PW, AliAbu. And MxB.

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2016, 1:22 pm

        […]”

        The sign of mutteris interruptus.

  11. yonah fredman
    December 11, 2016, 2:06 pm

    The Judaism heritage: texts, lores and philosophy is decidedly mixed. From Abraham almost killing Isaac through the parsing of the concept of neighbor through today’s our soul is higher than your soul, decidedly mixed.

    To limit the discussion of the ramifications of talmud and to focus on the obedience and to ignore the vibrant argument is biased, to say the least. There is a human thirst for truth and meaning. (The purist believers in truth would denigrate any meaning that is not parallel to their truth.) The lawyerly dissection of the issues involved in an ax goring a cow are parallel to the dissections involved in discussing the issues of society, freedom and history. And if only arguers here were as flexible as the talmud’s to and fro of give and take, there would be more interesting discussions.

    A large portion of the settlers and the ultra orthodox have caveman attitudes towards the nonjew. It ain’t pretty, it ain’t good and it’s a real problem. Scripture can be used for evil. But to condemn scripture because of its pliability is insufficient. Those who never had religion or tossed it off with disdain are deaf to the religious impulse and the tenacity of traditions and texts. It is their deafness regarding judaism that alerts me to the fact that they know nothing about Islam either . We can imagine a future of no religion, but we live in a world with many religious people and that’s very true in the neighborhood of Israel Palestine.

    • Mooser
      December 11, 2016, 2:51 pm

      “The lawyerly dissection of the issues involved in an ax goring a cow are parallel to the dissections involved in discussing the issues of society, freedom and history” “Yonah Fredman”

      “An ax goring a cow“? Ho-Kay, “Yonah”!

      • yonah fredman
        December 11, 2016, 4:12 pm

        Ox goring a cow.

      • RoHa
        December 11, 2016, 11:03 pm

        First you have to find and tame the ox. Then you can ride on it, playing your flute. Eventually you forget the ox, and yourself, return to the source, and go into the village with helping hands.

        Perhaps you will be able to help the guy complaining about his cow. Or maybe help the cow to attain Enlightenment.

      • Mooser
        December 12, 2016, 11:33 am

        “Ox goring a cow.”

        Of course! Now it makes sense!

        “An ox, also known as a bullock in Australia and India, is a bovine trained as a draft animal. Oxen are commonly castrated adult male cattle; castration makes the animals easier to control” (Wiki)

        So what’s your point, “Yonah”?

    • Mooser
      December 11, 2016, 2:57 pm

      “A large portion of the settlers and the ultra orthodox have caveman attitudes towards the nonjew. It ain’t pretty, it ain’t good and it’s a real problem”

      Only because Zionism and Israel want it to be. How many of those people are there, “Yonah”? Why can’t Israeli law be enforced against them?

      “Caveman attitudes toward the nonjew”? Don’t they have a little problem with their attitudes toward other Jews, too?

    • Mooser
      December 11, 2016, 3:19 pm

      .” Those who never had religion or tossed it off with disdain are deaf to the religious impulse and the tenacity of traditions and texts.”

      Gosh “Yonah”, want to tell us how the “religious impulse” and the “tenacity of texts” lead to arson and the murder of children? Please, cite chapter and verse.

      • Citizen
        December 12, 2016, 4:08 am

        Does this help: BBC News – Why are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims? http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22356306

      • RoHa
        December 12, 2016, 6:40 pm

        It’s an – um – interesting interpretation of “skilful means”.

      • Citizen
        December 13, 2016, 4:22 pm

        What do U mean or imply?

  12. michelle
    December 12, 2016, 9:20 pm

    .
    G-ds Israel every & all

  13. Ossinev
    December 13, 2016, 7:31 am

    @DaBakr
    “I think it’s more likely you are suffering from propaganda overload. So much hatred for Israel and Zionism [..] has closed your ability to judge any other situation in the world except through the lens that mw has taught you”

    Touched a nerve there old son and you appear to be dribbling again.Haven`t the foggiest idea what you mean about “judge any other situation in the world”. I am not commenting on any other situation in the world. I am commenting on the situation in your beloved Land of Creation and my comments reflect my studied view that it is a racist state infected with Fascism ( btw on this point perhaps you should flag up to Messrs Barak and Ya`alon that they may be suffering from “propaganda overload”. )

    As for:
    “I could name over four major racial and/or cultural nations the US is still struggling to come to terms with” WTF is that supposed to indicate ? As I said you tend to dribble when cornered.

    • Philemon
      December 13, 2016, 9:38 pm

      DaBakr: “I could name over four major racial and/or cultural nations the US is still struggling to come to terms with. Almost any time as American tv is turn need on [we ask that you will kindly excuse the lack of coherent English on DaBakr’s part] to a news/infotainment show, racism is likely to be a major theme. ”

      Go ahead, DaBakr. Don’t be shy. We know all about it. Could Israel possibly be even worse?

  14. Citizen
    December 13, 2016, 4:33 pm

    Every month or so, I read a Jewish American pundit who tells me how, when he was a kid, somebody made a Jew joke at his expense. Makes me think of the nearly senile icon of American culture, Kirk Douglas who told us all, he never trusted any goy. It’s gotten harder over the years for said pundits to come up with some anti-semitic episode of their youth. But such ilk truck on, championing their solution to the antique “Jewish Question.” Ivanka’s husband doing the best he can to fix the problem. His solution is to fund illegal Israeli settlements, that is, Zionist lebensraum, and to fund support for the IOF, while ignoring support for the US Military troops. Is such a solution also what Ivanka means when she says her conversion better cements her family family values? I wonder what Trump really thinks about that–doesn’t he support America First?

    • Mooser
      December 13, 2016, 5:39 pm

      “I wonder what Trump really thinks about that–doesn’t he support America First?”

      Is this a sign of buyer’s remorse?

    • Mooser
      December 13, 2016, 6:33 pm

      “Every month or so, I read a Jewish American pundit who tells me how, when he was a kid, somebody made a Jew joke at his expense.”

      Who? I’d like to read it, too.

      • gamal
        December 14, 2016, 9:53 am

        “Who?” are you not the Jewish American pandit?

        “made a Jew joke” ah Jewjokitsu is lethal.

        “at his expense”

        everybody bawling

        https://youtu.be/Up67MhlJf-o

      • Mooser
        December 19, 2016, 1:45 pm

        “Gamal” I would love to be the American Jewish pandit, but I’m not qualified at all. I read some about it in Eliade, but I can’t claim I even understood that.

  15. benedict
    December 13, 2016, 5:30 pm

    1. Matt Rosenberg is not a Chabad rabbi neither is he affiliated with the Chabad movement. Why is Chabad theology relevant to his position?
    2. Chabad is a subset of Chareidi Judaism which is a subset of observant Judaism which is itself a subset of general Judaism. Saying that Chabad positions reflect the opinion of the average Jew is like claiming that the Amish reflect the average American.
    3. Israel’s national anthem does not discuss Jewish souls nor does it claim that Jewish souls are unique or superior to non-Jewish souls. It merely describes the millennial yearning of Jews to return to Zion. In fact, Israeli law definitely does not recognize a difference between Jewish and non-Jewish souls since it grants automatic citizenship to 3d generation descendants of Jews although halachicly they are not recognized as Jews.

    • Mooser
      December 13, 2016, 6:03 pm

      “In fact, Israeli law definitely does not recognize a difference between Jewish and non-Jewish souls since it grants automatic citizenship to 3d generation descendants of Jews although halachicly they are not recognized as Jews.”

      So we must violate the purity of the House of Israel, and violate halacha, just to get people into Israel? If that is the case “benedict”, is it really wort it? How can we expect G-d’s support if we don’t follow His commandments? Our Jewish ox will be gored by a cow with an ax!

      • Maghlawatan
        December 15, 2016, 5:00 pm

        Letting in the Russians was the second lethal mistake. The first lethal mistake was starting YESHA.

    • Maghlawatan
      December 15, 2016, 5:12 pm

      The return to Zion wasn’t worth praying for. The prophets never said anything about brainwashed kids, Jewish torture or white phosphorous.

  16. yonah fredman
    December 18, 2016, 8:38 pm

    If american colonialism, that is white European Christian colonialism conquering the americas, had been markedly kinder than zionism, I might give credence to placing the blame on a combination of particularism plus Book of Joshua theory of Zionist cruelty, but it seems to be false. Despite the very limited texts of the new testament that encourage making war, the European conquest of the Americas were top tier cruelty.

    It is not clear what reaction a fair minded jew should have had to rationalism’s rejection of judaism if the west’s path had followed nonviolent rationalism rather than stalin’s bloodthirsty rationalism in the east and central Europe’s bloodthirsty anti rationalism romanticism. If the choices were not guided by historic coercion rather than by intellectual persuasion. But it was not to be. In the east uncle Joe consumed the kulaks and more and in central europe war as the highest ideal was extolled. Blood enough for many generations unaided by the books that were relegated to sundays.

    The crisis of russia, where the old order was about to die, caused one out of 3 yehudim under the rule of the czar to leave the country. Such turmoil leads to serious thought. Those who hate the outcome wish, if only those jews had been christians, it would’ve come out fine. I don’t buy it. The crisis of 1881 to 1945 was real, not induced by texts or anything anti human. An urge to be free and to be one’s true self. And thus the nationalist urge. The Zionists taught the supremacy of biblical conquests to talmudic negotiations in order for the inspired to measure up to the task. If the crisis had been false I would condemn the preference for a strong army rather than more hours studying talmud.

    I wish history had proven that the crisis was false.

    We are told that the way forward is only clear if we deny our texts and our relatives and our identity. We are told that if we refuse to do so we are a cult.

    Zionism’s crisis is quite real and I have no answer. The taunting of these people who hate certain aspects of “Jew” to the point of equating judaism with the book of Joshua or with the narrow view of “neighbor”, only add to the real turmoil with mental turmoil. They may think they preach peace, but I hear hatred, and hatred doesn’t promise anything but more hatred.

    • Mooser
      December 19, 2016, 11:29 am

      “If american colonialism, that is white European Christian colonialism conquering the americas “

      There were many sources of New World colonialism. They ranged from the purely commercial, to the almost ridiculously religious. The efforts came from all over Europe.

      There was no organized effort called “white European Christian colonialism”. Can’t really compare that to an organized and explicit effort, to take Palestine from the Palestinians and get it for the Jews. And it has a name: Zionism.

    • Mooser
      December 19, 2016, 1:56 pm

      “We are told that the way forward is only clear if we deny our texts and our relatives and our identity. We are told that if we refuse to do so we are a cult.”

      “We are told….” No “Yonah”, that’s just the voices in your head. Just like all that “hatred” you hear.

    • Mooser
      December 19, 2016, 6:53 pm

      “The Zionists taught the supremacy of biblical conquests to talmudic negotiations in order for the inspired to measure up to the task”

      Uh, “Yonah” you are aware that we lost all of of those “biblical conquests”, aren’t you?

      And just to get it straight, with your “biblical conquests” to “measure up to the task” you are making no bones about the fact that the Zionist mission was one of invasion and conquering the Palestinians from the first.
      And Israel, of course, is no partner for “talmudic negotiations”. What has Israel to do with the Talmud?

  17. IndigoRentACar
    December 23, 2016, 9:20 am

    The return to Zion wasn’t worth praying for. The prophets never said anything about brainwashed kids, Jewish torture or white phosphorous. In my point of view it is right comment

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