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Who can get married in Israel, and who can’t — the web of laws governing the pursuit of happiness

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People have been asking me: Yossi, what’s the mess with the right to marriage in Israel? I can’t make head or tail of it. Well, the issue is complicated. Let’s start with the basic facts: there is no way for anyone in Israel to marry in a civil service. Judges and mayors do not have the power to marry you. You need your local rabbi, priest or qadi. Why? There’s a long and tiresome explanation at the end. Let’s deal with the facts first.

The only courts which are allowed to perform marriages in Israel are the religious courts. A rabbinical court can marry Jews (well, some of them; see below for more.) A church court (of which each Christian sect has its own) can marry Christians, and the sharia courts can marry Muslims. There is also a Druze religious court, which – you guessed it – deals with marriage of the Druze.

The important bit is, there’s no possibility of intermarriage. A Jew cannot marry a Christian here. One of the couple will have to convert. If you’re unwilling to convert, or if you’re unwilling to submit yourself to a religious court, you will have no option but to marry in another country. The most common option is Cyprus, which is very close and where a small cottage industry related to Israelis coming to get married has already developed; Prague, in the Czech Republic, is also a popular option.

The Israeli government will then begrudgingly acknowledge your marriage. If you’re a Christian marrying a Muslim, a Buddhist marrying a Christian, or a Ba’hai marrying a Mormon, the state will probably ignore you afterwards. But if one of the partners is a Jew and the other isn’t, then the couple should brace themselves for harassment by the Interior Ministry. If the non-Jewish partner is also not a citizen, this can – and often does – end in an attempt to expel him or her from the country.

Also, if you’re a non-Jew who fell in love with a Jew, and you wish to convert, tough luck: if you convert to a non-Orthodox version of Judaism, chances are you’ll go through hell before the government will recognize the conversion. And if you wish to be converted by the only state-sanctioned Jewish court, an Orthodox one, be advised that they will reject you outright if you admit the cause of conversion is love and marriage. Also, if you wisely chose not to burden them with this fact and they learn of it later on, they can annul the conversion. In which case, I highly recommend hiring one of the excellent advocates of Lucifer and Sons, as they’re basically the only ones who can get you out of this mess.

Hey, you wanted a Jewish state, right?


Enough theory. Let’s look at practice. So, who won’t the Rabbinate marry?

Gay couples, obviously. You love someone of the same gender? Get the hell out of here and be thankful we didn’t stone you in the process.

Jews and non-Jews (naturally).

A cohen and a divorcee. The surname “Cohen” (and some others, such as Azulai) denotes someone descending from the ancient lineage of Jewish priests, who used to slaughter animals in the Temple and were famously corrupt. The caste didn’t have any sort of meaningful power since the destruction of the temple, in 70 AD, but by religious laws all their male descendants are presumed to be priests-in-waiting. As such, they are forbidden to marry divorcees. Your love happens to be a divorcee? Off to the airport with you.

A cohen and a prostitute. Purity of the bloodline must be maintained. This can be problematic if you pissed off someone at the Rabbinate, since technically all secular Jewish women are considered prostitutes by the Rabbinate. Rarely happens due to the huge uproar, but it can.

A cohen and a convert. Cohens may not marry people who converted to Judaism. Purity of the bloodline must be maintained. And if a convert does take the step of marrying a cohen abroad, the Rabbinate may take the step of revoking her conversion, which will result in a hideous legal mess which will make your eyes bleed.

A cohen and a halutza. (Okay. How do I even begin explaining this one? Take a deep breath, Yossi.) According to Jewish law, if a married man dies without heir, his brother is legally obliged to marry the widow by way of sexual intercourse, which is one of the three ways of purchasing a wife (the other, rather more common, ways are with a writ and a coin), so that the dead man may have some heir after all. This is considered rather gauche, however, and so a ritual has developed. The woman and the brother come before a religious court, the woman takes off the brother’s sandal, spits in his face and curses him. The woman is then considered a halutza, meaning a woman who has taken off a sandal; she is technically a widow, but one who is prohibited in marriage to a cohen. So, if the woman you want to marry went through this ritual, and you’re a cohen, you’ll need a plane ticket to marry her.

The Grand Cohen and… – Thankfully, this is not operational now, as there is no temple and no Grand Cohen. Let’s try and keep it that way.

A mamzer – If a married woman has sexual intercourse with a Jewish man who is not her husband, and a child is born, the child is considered a mamzer (literally, “bastard”). The status of mamzer is hereditary: the child of a mamzer will always be considered a mamzer. Mamzerim are prohibited from marrying other Jews, and may only be permitted to marry other mamzerim. The Rabbinate keeps a secret file, dubbed “the black list”, which writes down all known mamzerim. Often, people learn they are considered mamzerim only when they apply for a marriage permit from the Rabbinate. So if you’re great-great-great-great-greatmother fucked someone she shouldn’t have in 18th Century Szczecin, we’re so sorry. And in this case, better be ready to spend serious money not just on marriage abroad, but also on appeals against the Interior Ministry, so they’ll recognize your marriage abroad. Oh, and you’d still be in the Rabbinate’s black list, so your children will have to go through the whole mess again.

Suspect Jews – People who the Rabbinate suspect are not actually Jews. Here we come into the special joy of the Law of Return: The government will recognize you as a Jew if one of your grandparents was a Jew, but the Rabbinate will only recognize you as a Jew if your mother was one. Plenty of people emigrated to Israel, particularly from the former Soviet Union, believing they were Jews, and received Israeli citizenship according to the Law of Return – only to find out they’re good enough to pay taxes, good enough to serve in the army, but not good enough to marry. The number of the people the Rabbinate considers to be outright non-Jews is about 300,000; and anyone who came from the Soviet Union will face a particularly harsh screening by the Rabbinate. Good luck finding the documents of your great-grandmother from Minsk in 1902, proving she paid the communal tax. Archives burn easily, particularly so in the bloodlands taken over by both the Nazis and the Communists. A particular problem of this group is that they came from the Soviet Union, so as a rule they’re not Christian – technically leaving them with no millet (see below) to belong to.

People who accidentally married – If you’re 13 and you gave your 12-year-old girlfriend a ring, and laughingly said, “I hereby take you to be my wife, according to the laws of Moses and Israel”, and there are two males over 13 in the room, then oops. You just got married and you need to get a divorce. This can be particularly troublesome if the 13 year old, who is now 19, feels that the former 12-year-old jilted him and decides to ruin her upcoming wedding. Extremely rare (children in religious schools are particularly warned against this), but it happens.

And this is actually the good part. Marriage is relatively easy. Divorce is hell on earth, if you married through the Rabbinate. At least, it is for women.

According to Jewish Orthodox family law –  which I remind you is Israel State Law –  a man may refuse to divorce his wife, thus leaving her an aguna – literally, someone anchored in place. The woman cannot then marry, and if she gives the Rabbinate the bird and enters a relationship with another man, the Rabbinate is likely to declare any child born from this union a mamzer. Men, however, though they cannot remarry – unless they convinced a hundred rabbis to approve it, which is doable if you have the money; it isn’t cheap – may form other relationships, and their children will be fine.

Some men turn their wife into an aguna out of spite: they want to destroy her life. Others do it for lucre: Sign off all of your property and you’ll get the divorce. The Rabbinate considers such men to be reprehensible and evil, but lack useful means to prevent the practices. It can excommunicate them (put them under nidui), but there are plenty of Orthodox communities in Israel who don’t care a fig about the Rabbinate. They can, technically, jail them for contempt of court, or deprive them of social security funds, but some of these bastards are extremely tough. Dozens of women have had their lives suspended for years, sometimes decades, because of the aguna laws. Rabbinical courts that are not affiliated with the official Rabbinate, of which there are dozens, found a quicker way to handle the issue: they beat the man senseless, time and again if necessary, until he agrees to a divorce. But if you got married through the official Rabbinate, which is obligated to act by law, you always know that if it comes to divorce, your husband can make your life hell on earth. (As for the other Rabbinical courts, they can and do perform marriages for their own sects, which are then automatically acknowledged by the official Rabbinical courts. For some of these sects, it’s a point of honor not to directly engage the state-sanctioned courts.)


How did all this mess come about? It basically begins with the Turks.

The Ottoman Empire conquered Palestine (from the Mamluks) in 1486. To make a long (400-plus years) story short, the Ottomans ran their empire by using the millet system: every subject of the Sultan was a member of a specific religious group, called a millet, each with its own religious leader. The main group was, of course, Sunni Muslims; they were headed by the Sultan himself. Almost every other group had its own laws and leaders. Orthodox Christians, the second-largest group in the empire, had their patriarch in Constantinople. Jewish communities were subject to the Ha’khacham Bashi (The Great Sage) of Constantinople, and other Christian denominations had their own leaders.

The millet system gave much leeway to religious groups to run their own business, including marriages, divorces, and to some degree wills. This went even into the realm of what we would consider criminal law: crimes by one millet member against another would be judged by the millet’s own courts. The imperial courts went into action when crimes were committed by a member of one millet against another. They also adjudicated civil cases between members of different millets.

This was a cumbersome, distinctly pre-modern way to run an empire, but in a multi-ethnic empire stretching from the Balkans to the borders of India, it worked surprisingly well.

The Ottoman Empire is gone some 100 years now, but the millet concept of the 16th century is still running personal lives in 21st century Israel. How? Well, the British, always loath to mess with local customs, kept it mostly in place (the one significant change was moving all criminal cases from millet courts to peace and district courts). Israel inherited the millet system as left by the British – and decided to keep it. It’s still in place, with one major exception: In the 1950s, the government virtually created a new millet, the Druze. The sect was not recognized as an independent one under Ottoman or British rule.

Israel is a member of the UN. To enter the UN, it had to sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This meant it had to recognize marriages made in other countries. Many people who didn’t want to use the religious courts found an outlet: you’d go to an embassy, for a reasonable fee the ambassador would marry you, and the Interior Ministry, gritting its teeth, would approve the marriage. Embassies, after all, are considered to be sovereign territory of their countries.

This worked rather well until the 1980s, when the government put heavy pressure on the embassies to stop providing the service. Now, if you want to get married to someone the government doesn’t approve of, you’ll have to fly abroad and get married there. Basically, if you want to get married in Israel, and you don’t like the religious courts (or they don’t like you; see list above), your only option is to fly abroad. Needless to say, the government will not reimburse you for the expense.


When I tell this people, which is best done over hard liquor, they often gaze at me, just after picking their jaw off the floor, and ask: Why?

Why did Israel keep the millet system alive? Why did it give such power, such potential for abuse, to the rabbis?

Because Zionism needs a Jewish State. And it doesn’t have a clue as to what a Jewish State should be like. And it fears the potential damage it will suffer if major rabbis will say Israeli Jews are not actual Jews.

Also, and more importantly, there’s Judaism old bugbear: most Jews over history have abandoned Judaism. And most of them were not compelled to do so. Thankfully for Judaism, for centuries marriage between Jews and non-Jews was prohibited by the states they lived in. Once European countries allowed intermarriage, in the 19th century, a huge number of Jews left Judaism en masse. Orthodox Judaism – of which Zionism is a somewhat heretical branch – fears that once Jews have the option to marry non-Jews, it will happen again. How do you prevent that? You keep the millet system in place.

After all, the purity of the eternal people is more important than the happiness of individuals. The pursuit of happiness, as you know, is a goyish concept.

Yossi Gurvitz

Yossi Gurvitz is a journalist and a blogger, and has covered the occupation extensively.

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43 Responses

  1. just on August 15, 2018, 1:33 pm

    I’ll admit to having my own jaw drop to the floor as my eyes widened in horror @ these theocratic, undemocratic, prehistoric, misogynistic, apartheid, anti-assimilation practices.

    No wonder Lehava, et al keep kicking~ the government and rabbinate and laws support them.

    I really did have to LOL when I read this:

    “Israel is a member of the UN. To enter the UN, it had to sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. ”

    Good comedy, that! Thanks, Yossi.

    • oldgeezer on August 15, 2018, 2:30 pm


      One of many parts of the UDHR that Israel does not uphold. It’s signature means nothing.

  2. Ossinev on August 15, 2018, 2:59 pm

    Probably just me but these two pictured in the article look as if they some kind of walk on cast on a film set (Star Wars or Doctor Who for UK readers). Plus the one on the left (the Planet Zion one ) looks as if he is giving the finger to the airhead looking one on the right (all that space between the skull and the top of the skyscraper fedora.)Both wearing glasses hmmmm bad eyesight question effects of interbreeding in a very small population (very small indeed taking into account all the restrictions)?

    Presumably these two were dancing in the Zio aisles (not) when they got the news about Israeli/Kenyan athlete Lornah Cheptai Salpeter winning the gold medal in the European Championships 10000Metres. Yes she is the ex Kenyan who worked for years as a nanny in the Kenyan Embassy and married an Aryan looking (OMG ? ) white Jewish Israeli athlete and coach. Had a long predictable struggle to get Israeli citizenship after her marriage but the Rabbid powers that be in Zioland appear to have relented probably when they recognised the PR potential of having a world class Israeli athlete (not many of them out there ).It was eventually granted surprise surprise a few days before the cut off point for entry to the 2016 Olympics.

    Can`t find any reference to her converting to Judaism but I imagine given the thrust of the article that this would have been difficult to put it mildly.

    • RoHa on August 15, 2018, 10:04 pm

      Brim Funny Hat looks as though he is threatening Brimless Funny Hat. That is probably why Brimless is giving Brim the finger.

      • Mooser on August 16, 2018, 3:49 pm

        That photo does indeed beg for a captioning-contest. My entry; Rabbi Yosef is speaking: ‘I’m telling you, Rabbi David, it smelled just like mayonnaise!’

      • biggerjake on August 16, 2018, 6:05 pm

        My entry is: “Not only does he want to marry a goy, he wants to serve shellfish at dinner!

      • amigo on August 16, 2018, 6:45 pm

        “That photo does indeed beg for a captioning-contest.” Mooser

        I think Brimless funny hat is suggesting — “Give us a Kiss Luv”.

      • Mooser on August 16, 2018, 9:06 pm

        “Not only does he want to marry a goy, he wants to serve shellfish at dinner!”

        Those aren’t shellfish, they’re Ocean Vegetables.

      • Mooser on August 17, 2018, 1:38 pm

        “Give us a Kiss Luv”.


  3. Mooser on August 15, 2018, 3:33 pm

    “After all, the purity of the eternal people is more important than the happiness of individuals. The pursuit of happiness, as you know, is a goyish concept”

    Gee, all those rules would mean that Jews in Israel are marrying within small subgroups.

    • gamal on August 15, 2018, 6:40 pm

      ” Jews in Israel are marrying within small subgroups”

      because of the preponderance of Doctors, Pharmacologists and Engineers in my family (tribe) the incidence of 1st cousin marriages, there are some but they have declined precipitously, and the girls who live in Cairo are marrying guys from all over, foreigners from Munafiya and the Delta, we hope it is worth the sacrifice.

      • Maghlawatan on August 16, 2018, 3:41 pm

        Can an Ahlawi marry someone from a Zamalkawi family?

      • RoHa on August 17, 2018, 10:01 am

        If they can find one, can they marry a member of the long lost Yallawi tribe?

  4. JLewisDickerson on August 15, 2018, 6:49 pm

    RE: “After all, the purity of the eternal people is more important than the happiness of individuals.” ~ Yossi Gurvitz’s snarkcasm

    MY COMMENT: Where have I heard that before?
    Oh yeah, now I remember!

    LINK –

    IMdB (7.9/10) –

    • JLewisDickerson on August 15, 2018, 7:19 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “Israel gives rabbinical courts unprecedented jurisdiction over Diaspora Jews”
      By Jonathan Lis | | Jun. 26, 2018 | 11:08 AM
      Knesset passes controversial law permitting rabbinical courts to handle cases in which Jewish men refuse to divorce Jewish women – even if neither of the two is Israeli

      The Knesset passed a bill into law on Monday that permits Israel’s rabbinical courts to handle certain cases in which Jewish women seek to divorce their Jewish husbands, even if neither spouse is an Israeli citizen.

      The controversial bill was approved as emergency legislation, to remain in effect for three years, during which the Knesset will monitor its application.

      The new law sets out a series of criteria according to which the rabbinical court can hear such claims. The couple must be married according to traditional Jewish religious law, halakha, and must live in a location abroad where there is no rabbinical court that could arrange a “get,” a Jewish bill of divorce.

      Otherwise, a hearing in Israel can take place only in cases in which the husband did not respond for a period of four months to summonses by a rabbinic court outside Israel, or in cases in which a court outside of Israel ruled that a husband must give his wife a divorce, but the order could not be enforced. According to halakha, a Jewish divorce order is not valid until the husband himself grants the bill of divorce to his wife.

      Up to now, Israeli law allowed Israeli rabbinical courts to handle divorces of Jews who weren’t Israeli citizens but only if one spouse had some connection to Israel, for example, having lived in the country for some time. The new law was advanced after the Conference of European Rabbis and other groups had discussions with the Israeli Rabbinical Courts Administration regarding situations in which men married according to halakha refused to grant their wives a get, rendering them “agunot,” chained women in Hebrew, who cannot remarry. The bill’s explanatory notes state that in some cases, men ignore rulings by their local rabbinical courts abroad and those courts have no authority to impose sanctions on the husbands that might persuade them to grant a get.

      MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) slammed the new law. “This bill actually gives the rabbinical court international powers. This is a new invention, an international rabbinical court for Jews. We have great difficulty with the fact that in Israel almost half a million citizens, whether by choice or because they cannot marry under Jewish law, end up getting married abroad. Let the rabbinical court solve the problems of those refused [marriage] here in Israel before it seeks to solve the problems of agunot abroad.” There is no civil marriage in Israel and marriage between Jews in Israel is governed by halakha, although civil marriages performed abroad are recognized by the Israeli Interior Ministry.

      Nissan Slomiansky, the chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, rejected criticism of the law, saying that it will allow Israel rabbinical courts to relieve the distress of women whose husbands have refused them a divorce, prevailing on them to do so.

      SOURCE –

      • Mooser on August 16, 2018, 8:51 pm

        “arrange a “get,” a Jewish bill of divorce.”

        And if you try sometime, you might find, you just might find…

  5. echinococcus on August 15, 2018, 8:24 pm


    Congratulations, the millet system is well explained. Except the Zionist torture regarding aliens and converts wasn’t practiced in the Ottoman empire. Also, the Grand Chacham (= Chief Rabbi) did not, as far as we know, insist on the purity of the Cohen or the mamzer registry, at least in 17th C. and later Constantinople. So it seems to have been more easy-going than today’s Zionist entity.

    Now, the killer is that all this was legally voided in Turkey in… 1876.
    What continued to be the normal way of life, mainly in the remote provinces, was no longer mandated by law.

    You’d think the carrier pigeon has had time to reach the Zionists (and the British, in part) with the news.

  6. RoHa on August 15, 2018, 10:09 pm

    I’m surprised anyone in Israel manages to get married at all.

    Also, what’s a cohen?

    (Aside from misspelling the father of American Musical Comedy.)

    • Stephen Shenfield on August 16, 2018, 6:56 am

      A cohen is a member of the upper priestly caste. You xan identify him by the surname Cohen (or Kahn etc.). Not to be confused with the lower priestly caste, the Levites (Levy, Levi etc.).

      • echinococcus on August 17, 2018, 8:45 am

        A Cohen is higher than one who levitates?

    • Mooser on August 16, 2018, 3:42 pm

      “Also, what’s a cohen?”

      A cohen is produced by gymnosperms and is a rigid vessel which rests on the top of a scale. When the cohen is mature and dries out the scales will open, dropping seeds.

      • Talkback on August 17, 2018, 5:24 am

        So far your best by a mile! :D

    • RoHa on August 16, 2018, 10:42 pm

      Thanks, Stephen and Mooser.

      But Cohans and Khans are not cohens, right?

      • echinococcus on August 17, 2018, 8:53 am

        Were you thinking of any Khan in particular?

      • RoHa on August 17, 2018, 9:58 am


      • Mooser on August 17, 2018, 12:38 pm

        “Were you thinking of any Khan in particular?”

        Ah, I can see the feelink is mootual!

  7. RoHa on August 16, 2018, 7:17 am

    Though cynics would suggest that any idea that marriage is part of the pursuit of happiness must be a mistake.

  8. tony greenstein on August 16, 2018, 2:19 pm

    A very interesting article on the complexities of Israel’s marriage laws. However I disagree with the analysis at the end.

    Ottoman law was no different from other feudal systems. Intermarriage in Poland 400 years ago would have been unthinkable. In the modern bourgeois period secular and civil marriage was possible. Israel is NOT a feudal country but it is a country based on racial purity, defined by religion.

    Now if the superior of dominant race, Jews, is to be defined it has to be defined according to the Orthodox. You can’t have any old Reform ‘rabbi’ saying someone is a Jew. Whey they even have women rabbis and even worse gay rabbis. As my dear old father used to tell me (he was an Orthodox Rabbi) the Reform Jews are worse than Christians (& they are bad enough).

    So you really do have to have strict laws and regulations governing who can enter the herrenvolk. And it has to be a pure master race which means bastards and other asocial elements cannot be admitted because in Israel, depending on your ethnic/racial category will be certain privileges.

    So please don’t think too harshly of this system. It is essential to Zionism and the Jewish state.

    • Maghlawatan on August 17, 2018, 3:28 am


      The Orthodox system has no quality control because they took in 1 million Russians with very weak links to Judaism but very high trauma levels. And unlike in other countries the ultra Orthodox do not work and have a high birth rate. So you have a very ignorant Herrenvolk and no outside blood to calm things down.

      With apartheid on top.
      Just because Israel exists doesn’t mean it it is sustainable.

  9. Mooser on August 16, 2018, 3:45 pm

    “So please don’t think too harshly of this system. It is essential to Zionism and the Jewish state.”

    And, no doubt, has many beneficial side-defects.

    • Sulphurdunn on August 16, 2018, 4:47 pm

      Beneficial side effects? Like what?

      • biggerjake on August 16, 2018, 6:18 pm

        No… not side effects….. side -defects. The kind you get from an un-diluted gene pool…

        Clever, right? He’s got a million of them…

      • Mooser on August 16, 2018, 8:33 pm

        “He’s got a million of them…”

        I’d like to know how pushing exclusive in-marriage intersects with this.

        It’s no joke. I was shocked, shocked to discover what a serious problem it is.

  10. Maghlawatan on August 16, 2018, 9:09 pm

    Who can get mail and who can’t

    Israeli occupying forces have allowed 10
    tonnes of mail to be handed to Palestinian postal workers after preventing the letters and parcels from entering the West Bank for up to eight years.

    • Citizen on August 16, 2018, 9:44 pm

      That’s a really nasty thing to do to the mail recipients. Think about it.

      • Maghlawatan on August 17, 2018, 3:22 am

        Israel is a cruel asshole. There is no way to polish the turd.



        “Israel fears that if people had open minds and saw what Israel was doing to the Palestinians, it would be the end. The minute you say that Israel is not a normal state – that it is not a democratic state that makes some mistakes, but an abnormal state, acting against human rights – then you are breaking its image as liberal, humane, [with] the most moral army in the world. BDS is eroding Israel’s standing.”

  11. Citizen on August 16, 2018, 9:48 pm

    “After all, the purity of the eternal people is more important than the happiness of individuals. The pursuit of happiness, as you know, is a goyish concept.”

    Like in the well-known phrase: “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
    & Hitler’s Nuremberg Laws?

  12. Brewer on August 17, 2018, 12:56 am

    The mamzer song:
    Optional verse:
    “He went to his Rabbi and said can I look
    At all of the names in your mamzer book
    The Rabbi said sure if you swear to be true
    And don’t say a word about Netanyahu

    Woe is me
    Shame and scandal in Likkud par-tee”

  13. annie on August 18, 2018, 1:16 pm

    A cohen and a halutza.

    lots of rules for the cohen boys! curious what halutza was i consulted youtube! the rabbi even says after the ceremony the widow can marry anyone she wants, “except a cohen”!

    watch this video keeping ron lauder’s words in mind, “For 4,000 years, the Jewish people were seen as the world’s moral compass”:

  14. wondering jew on August 18, 2018, 1:28 pm

    The existence of tribal customs from more primitive society remnants carried over into Jewish practice for thousands of years is not surprising, nor what Lauder had in mind.

    I don’t boast of four thousand years, but there is little question that Judaism was the primary inspiration for Jesus of Nazareth and though the word spread by a Hellenizer like Paul, the content of the Hebrew Bible became the gold standard of a large portion of the western world. Those who are now post Christians voice their disdain for the Christian tradition (and thus for the Judaism that birthed it), but this perspective on history seems (despite its utility to force an understanding of the societies upon which Christianity was imposed, the pagan roots of these societies is important to study) to dismiss the role Christianity played and the intricate webs that society has weaved in order to attempt meaning and purpose.

    Lauder’s four thousand years should thus read two thousand years.

    • Mooser on August 18, 2018, 4:38 pm

      “Lauder’s four thousand years should thus read two thousand years.”

      Many people do not know that all the Popes, and later, all the Archbishops and top televangelists go to a Chef Rabbi for advice.

    • Mooser on August 18, 2018, 6:12 pm

      “Judaism was the primary inspiration for Jesus of Nazareth and though the word spread by a Hellenizer like Paul, the content of the Hebrew Bible became the gold standard of a large portion of the western world.”

      Geez, no wonder you get in such a tsimmes over Xmas lights and crosses. Those goyischer gonifs should be paying us royalties instead of persecuting us!

    • RoHa on August 19, 2018, 1:18 am

      “Lauder’s four thousand years should thus read two thousand years.”

      Even that is ridiculous. For most of that time Judaism had no effect on the Americas, East Asia, India, and sub-Saharan Africa*, let alone those parts of the world where the chief moral question was which of your relatives to eat first.

      And that is the majority of the world. The Shakya clan and the State of Lu (魯) have had more influence on the morality of the world than Judaism.

      “there is little question that Judaism was the primary inspiration for Jesus of Nazareth”

      I suspect you might be as ignorant of Christianity as I am of Judaism. It is by no means certain that Jesus existed, let alone what he taught. The figure that is portrayed in the Gospels seem equivocal about Jewish Law.

      “the content of the Hebrew Bible became the gold standard”

      No, it didn’t. The content of the New Testament became the standard. In the NT, it is made clear that Judaism has been superseded. Christians found that the NT provided insufficient moral guidance, and turned to Stoic Natural Law ethics, and then attempted to find religious justifications in the texts.

      So, for that small part of the world where Christianity held sway, there was a Jewish influence, but the suggestion that people turned to the Jews for moral guidance is absurd.

      I am of the opinion that Islam is a greater transmitter of Jewish influence, but similar caveats apply there, too.

      This idea of the world’s morality emanating from some sort of Jewish Wakanda is simply arrogant, ignorant, boasting.

      (*If Bishop Colenso is to be believed, the response of the Zulus to the Old Testament was (a) shock at the immoral behaviour of the Ancient Jews, and (b) ridicule of the Biblical claims of Jewish military prowess. The Zulus knew from experience what could, and what couldn’t, be done with spear and shield. The process of translating the OT into Zulu, and discussing it with the Zulus, led Colenso to some radical criticism of the OT, for which he was later excommunicated.)

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