Gentile reading of Judaism

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Out of the Box, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. Out of the Box

    Out of the Box High-priest

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    The following thread is created on request of dauer, is cut from the "Creativity Movement" thread and is an offshoot for the following statement I made :
     
  2. dauer

    dauer Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry. I can't participate in a thread with this title because it assumes that Judaism is in fact eiter racist or supremacist. It is not a terribly open-minded approach and does not suggest you're very interested in authentic dialogue.
     
  3. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    what are you reading and how is it a) obvious or b) a double standard? give us some verses.

    look, OOTB, you don't really understand how the talmud works, but the fact is how the Written Torah is read via the Oral Torah is integral to how judaism works. if you expect to form any kind of reasonable opinion, you'll need to understand what both the people who criticise it and the people who support it says. as i said in the other thread, you cannot hold an informed opinion about, say, environmentalism, by only listening to global warming sceptics and cranks. so it is with judaism and any other subject. i'm surprised i even have to point this out.

    and what does that word "chosen" actually mean? as i have said umpteen times here and elsewhere, it does not imply supremacy. in fact, it requires being held to a higher standard of conduct. you can quote me if you like - non-jews only have to observe 7 laws - we have 613.

    this is absolutely false. please state your examples. all i was able to find was this:

    G!D doesn't Do any Driving. that is something which is commanded to the israelites, it is restricted to the seven canaanite nations. we did it neither correctly, nor comprehensively. you also fail to understand what is being condemned - it is the behaviour of idolatry, with attendant child sacrifice and ritual prostitution. if someone ain't doing that, they ain't an idolater, so they are not subject to these condemnations. more to the point, we didn't do it - the canaanites were still there and what happened was that instead of exterminating idolatry, we took it up wholesale with predictable and tragic consequences.

    pharaoh was Given the choice directly by G!D via moses and aaron, warned of the consequences and failed to exercise his free will. it is him that is culpable, he could have let the israelites go. as for "innocent egyptian civilians", those "innocent civilians" profited from 400 years of slavery and participated in child murder (remember all that "every boy child you shall cast into the river"?) - and they had a series of escalating warnings, none of which were heeded. so this, frankly, is a tendentious reading of the text.

    where's that? i don't remember that one.

    firstly, sarah wasn't his sister, but his cousin. secondly, the Torah laws on forbidden marriages were only Revealed at sinai, otherwise jacob wouldn't have been able to marry both rachel and leah. thirdly, "sister-bride", in context, is an honorific title, in other words, your wife is so close she's like a sister to you. fourthly, they took her, he didn't "give" them. the text is terse and laconic to a supreme degree. all you are doing is reading in your own prejudices.

    you mean judah, not isaac. well, it's not unlawful for him to have consorted with a "kadesha" before the Revelation of the laws of forbidden marriage. nonetheless, it clearly doesn't turn out all that well for him. actually, this is far more important in that it establishes that the primary antecedent of the messiah in the male line (peretz, the child) is a controversial union, thus teaching us that even from such questionable origins the most exalted human there will probably ever be will arise - in other words, you are more than the sum of your parentage. the messiah is also descended from ruth, a moabite convert - remember "a moabite may not be counted amongst you to the tenth generation"? and that's before we start factoring the even more controversial union of david and bathsheba.

    what rubbish. you quote the worst collection of cranks, show-offs, liars and outright loonies and racists and you have the nerve to accuse me of defamation and lack of content? you haven't provided anything specific whatsoever yet. in-depth analysis, my bottom. so, either put up or shut up. i expect examples from the Oral or Written Torah, not the cesspit of some racist's imagination.

    dauer is far more generous than i am in these situations, but i've tried to address what i think you've said, but the trouble is you haven't said very much of any interest or depth. and if he's not prepared to engage on these terms i'm not sure i am either.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  4. Bishadi

    Bishadi Interfaith Forums

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    it is all over the torah

    and lives in today's world

    Now what people do not comprehend is before wwII, the secular division of Judaism and the state of Germany is WHY they were isolated back then.

    The religious folk would not apply to the state of germany.

    It is that the sect requires loyalty to them and the religion over anything.

    America helped create a Democratic society called Israel but now Israel is removing the democracy 'we the people' helped build because of the religious beliefs infiltrating the politics, creating a divide among almost 20% of the population that has lived there, born there and has existed peacefully there well before 1948.

    all because they believe in a different religion.

    How racist and/or supremacist is Judaism?

    anyone can see for themselves, just by being honest with what is truly occuring; religiously, historically and currently..........

    Sorry about being brutally honest............. but the truth 'speaks' for itself as i have no bias other than for reality.

    :eek:
     
  5. Out of the Box

    Out of the Box High-priest

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    The question "How racist and/or supremacist is Judaism?" can be answered with "not at all". It was not my intention to make any insinuations by choosing the title of this thread.

    Will you now move the posts from that other threads to this thread? After all, I merely created this thread for you asked me to do so for that purpose.
     
  6. dauer

    dauer Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I won't. The title of this thread is begging the question. It's like asking "How frequently do you beat your wife?"
     
  7. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    ***Thread closed for moderator review.***

    lunamoth
     
  8. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Okay, thread title changed, and thread re-opened.

    Let's see if we can have a calm and interesting discussion...
     
  9. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Out of curiousity, do you believe in Jewish intellectual and moral superiority as evidenced in these quotations?

    and

    In my mind it is as foolish to say this is how Christians think as it is to say this is how Jews think. Yet it is what we do. It is natural for us being a part of the "Great Beast." We will always have these experts.
     
  10. dauer

    dauer Well-Known Member

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    Nick,

    I don't see any connection between what I said and your assumptions about what I said. And no, I don't believe in any form of Jewish superiority.
     
  11. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Now this is the view of a gentile who knows a number of jews. I have business and personal relationships with a number of jews and have a little more than a passing interest in their religion.

    Now I also have known over the years a number of anti-semetics, folks that love to send me the zionist stuff and radical talmudic interpretations.

    I'll express all thought as straightforward as I can.

    My bent toward Judaism is more of renewal, of the mystical an interest in where Christianity came from and what Jesus studied. Counting the Omer, is an annual time of contemplation that I thoroughly enjoy. In depth Torah studies I find incredible. And watching a Jewish family in action is something to behold. Now my experience may be unique, your milage may differ.

    The family...the concept of a tightknit group. The stories, the traditions that are told over high holy days, passed on from generation to generation, which bleed over into sabbaths and regular days...they pass on this 'chosen' concept to their children...studying, honor, respect, don't learn a trade, become a professional, an entrepreneur. Anyone can say what they want, but there are no gentile families I know that compare when it comes to instilling virtues in their children, raising the bar on expectations, and including open debate on these subjects and explaining why... I admire it.

    So this then follows why they congregate in business, get a jewish lawyer, accountant, real estate agent, mentor...form that master mind group and form it of 'our people'. Why because you know their mothers told them the same stories your mother told you, their fathers expected and instilled the same values. I swear anyone that thinks this is some sort of evil is just jealous. We gentiles could learn a lot.

    Back to the talmudic law and differing treatment between gentiles and jews... I know Jews see this differently than I, I am over simplistic but to me it boils down to this...its a club, a membership club, they've paid thier dues and they have specific rules for members and nonmemmbers.

    Say you are a member of a golf or tennis club or gym, you pay a monthly fee and have access to the members area...as a guest you pay a higher fee for one days use and don't have all the perks... Or you are a high flyer and get first class upgrades and a lounge with a private bar and food at the airport...no they don't let the tourist class passengers in, yes they stand in longer lines, yes they sit in the back cramped with plastic forks and a sub while we are upfront in comfort with silver spoons, a complimentary champaigne, and the stewardess slicing prime rib...cloth napkins, hot towels...the perks of paying the piper.

    So I also look at these laws written 2,000 years ago...a different time and space...and frankly, as a goy, as a gentile on the outside without the perks...it is all acceptable and makes sense to me.

    Now if we have any sense, we'd learn from them, and quit whining.
     
  12. Out of the Box

    Out of the Box High-priest

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    This description reminds me of a certain political movement. They too wanted to believe they were a special sort of people with higher morals and standards than the rest of humanity. They too put a lot of stress on self-improvement and virtues. They too felt the desire to cooperate as a group and took a very hostile position towards others. In their case, however, those others were not alledged antisemites or Palestinians but the Jews. Of course, I'm referring to German national-socialists?

    Is that the example any of you would like to follow?

    It's all cool to be nice and cosy amongst one another and help each other out when needed, but when you start treating the "out-group" like s***, karma will hit you in the face. The nazis learned it the hard way when they lost WW2 in 1945, but when I look at how the state of Israel has been treating the Palestinian people, I can't get the impression that anyone in Israel has learned a bit from how hate and hostility breeds only more hate and hostility.
     
  13. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Wil

    Being that you don't know gentile families that compare, are you saying that the Jews are morally and intellectually superior?
     
  14. dauer

    dauer Well-Known Member

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    Yeah but the problem is the perspectives you've presented aren't Jewish.

    Hence the link.

    There are a lot of us. You just have to look in the right places. e.g.

    Network of Spiritual Progressives - A Project of the Tikkun Community which may be down atm.

    Personally I think Jewcy provides a far more balanced perspective (tikkun is very liberal) of engaged Jewry because it hosts articles from people of very diverse views:

    The Cabal | Jewcy.com

    so on Jewcy, with the current conflict, you get both "boo on israel's gov't", "boo on hamas" and everything in between.

    There's the babylonian captivity for one. The present diaspora was attributed by the sages to a number of different things, among them sinat chinam (baseless hatred) and rejecting an offering to the Temple in Jerusalem made by the emperor because it had a physical blemish (i.e. even though it wasn't technically a kosher offering, they should have been less stringent in that case and overlooked the blemish because it was a gift from the emperor.)

    Israel doesn't operate according to halachah (Jewish law.) It makes little sense to conflate Judaism with Israel or Israel with Judaism. Both are distinct entities. That's why BB mentioned that earlier. If we're talking Judaism it makes sense to keep the focus there. If we're talking Israel, it makes sense to keep the focus there.

    In my experience antisemitism isn't all that uncommon among liberals, particularly as you get to the extremes.

    You find it shocking that a political cartoon uses exaggerated stereotypes to poke fun at its own demographic? We're known for our self-deprecating humor.

    I don't. There is no 'official' translation from Hebrew to any language except maybe aramaic, and the targumim are more like interpretations than translations. Unfortunately the nature of translation, especially between two languages that are so different from one another, is that a lot will be lost and new meanings may become implied. In addition to that Jewish hermeneutics don't just work on the level of plain meaning and the religion is founded in allowing for healthy debate and disagreement. If I'm really taking the time to study Torah I generally have a couple of translations open (NJPS and Fox) in addition to a few commentaries, the original hebrew and a lexicon where I can look up every occurance of an individual word. Ideally I'm with other people when I'm studying so I can get their perspectives too, and frequently other perspectives they're more versed in.

    To give a few examples of some of the issues with translation:

    In English we have the word charity. I forget the etymology and you're welcome to look it up, but it conveys the idea that you're doing something from the heart. In hebrew we have tzedakah. Tzedakah is the feminine form of tzedek, justice. The very word 'charity' in Hebrew conveys a sense of obligation, of righting a wrong, that there is an imbalance and through right-action we can work toward its repair.

    In English we say sacrifice. But the Hebrew word qorban actually comes from a root meaning to come-near or draw-close.

    In Hebrew we call the process of repentance teshuvah which means to turn or return. This is related to the word which captures the Jewish concept of sin, chayt. A chayt is a missing of the mark. It's an archery term. If a person misses the mark, they have to turn back on track.

    Those are just a few examples but it's very problematic. Additionally as I've mentioned, there's the issue of interpretation which is quite central to Judaism. The talmud is a separate issue and there are a lot of reasons you won't find a good translation online. Firstly it's frigging huge and any translation from the aramaic and hebrew to another language is a massive work of scholarship. Secondly, the language is extremely terse. Most translations have a lot of filler text because it's so hard to understand otherwise. Thirdly, it goes back and forth between halachah (law) and aggadah (all the non-legal stuff like stories and adages) so freely that unless you really know what you're looking for or have a good guide you probably won't find it.

    This is a little info on the Talmud: Talmud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Well I've provided you with quite a few web-based materials at this point if you're sincerely interested. I find the better materials are available in books for a lot of it but maybe this will offer you some perspective you hadn't been exposed to previously.

    -- Dauer
     
  15. Out of the Box

    Out of the Box High-priest

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    In another post, I referred to one of these cartoons. The cartoonist is a man called Eli Valley who publishes for the Jewish Daily Forward and who's a proud member of Jewcy.

    In the parts of the other thread that you were supposed to paste into this one, I pasted the first of these cartoons. Now I went back to see that post, and I noticed that someone removed the image and replaced it by "[Admin edit - removed anti-semitic cartoon]".

    So basically, a charicature of Jewish figures (a rabbi, a Jewish communal leader and an international fugitive) that is created by someone with a strong Jewish identity and for a public with a strong Jewish identity is not allowed to be posted on this forum (not even as an illustration in an argument ! !) because it's too antisemitic?!

    Jewish humor is well-known for making jokes about other Jews as Jews see one another. I guess every community does this to some degree. If this cartoon was truely antisemitic and not a charicature of how Jews look at one another, then why the well would a Jewish paper even publish it?!?

    I don't know who deleted the cartoon in question, but deleting it doesn't really help your case.

    Time will tell.

    Like I said, the cartoonist I mentioned is a member of Jewcy and his cartoons are publisched there too. ;)

    Was that after or before they committed mass murder on the Babylonians (book of Esther)?!?

    I'm aware of the fact that Jews lived in Babylon, but I didn't know they were ever living there as captives.

    Anyway, both punishments seem quite mild in comparison with eg. the pleagues of Egypt, the mass murder of Purim or the ethnic cleansing of the "Promised Land".

    Judaism consists of a bunch of myths, laws and traditions created to bind Jews as a people and arm themselves against the goyim. From the 20th century onward, many Jews abandoned Judaism in favor of zionism. Zionism, however, is also a set of principles created to bind the Jews as a people and arm themselves against the goyim. On many levels, it's just Judaism stripped of all the mythological mumbo-jumbo and adapted to modernity.

    Anti-zionism is quite common among the left. Antisemitism is not. That would be against everything they believe in.

    You are. However, Jewish self-deprecating humor is usually based on how Jews see one another and not on how gentiles see Jews. In this case, there is no way I can interpret it as a cartoon displaying Jews as gentiles see them rather than as other Jews see them. The audience is Jewish, the author is Jewish and the stereotypes in question are obviously stereotypes of Jews, by Jews and for Jews.

    The ADL sells a copy of Mein Kampf with commentaries. If they can do that, why can't a Jewish organisation sell an official translation of the Talmud with commentaries?

    Without any official translation, you only fuel the rumours that the Talmud is a book that fuels hatred against the gentiles. Now, all gentiles have to go for is out-of-context quotes from antisemitic sources or websites like the one you linked to. Wouldn't you agree that it would clear out all misunderstandings if there was an official translation of the Talmud?

    I'm fluent in Dutch and English, my French is average and I speak a tiny bit of German. Besides that, I took 6 years of Latin in high school. So I think I'm pretty clear on the way words can be mistranslated. In fact, I'm pretty sure the claim that Jesus' mother is a virgin is based on a mistranslation of a Greek word equivalent to the Latin word "Virgo" or the English word "maiden", meaning both "virgin" and "young girl".

    Still, I find it hard to believe that the Torah (again, I'm not speaking about the Talmud) can be translated true to its orriginal meaning without the founding fathers of Judaism seemingly behaving like criminals.

    Christians translated their bible, which is also pretty huge. Why can't Jews do the same with their Talmud? If it's truely an innocent book, then it's worth the effort to translate it as it would make an end to many antisemitic claims that are almost impossible for a gentile to verify.

    I'd like to thank you for your effort.

    Like I said, you're the first Jew remotely interested in having this sort of debate. I definitely appreciate what you're doing here and I will continue my research. I hope you understand why for me it is hard to see Judaism as a harmless movement.
     
  16. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    no, it isn't. haven't you demonstrated your ignorance enough recently? we're not doing generalised, vague condemnation written in poor english right now. we're looking at specific examples (if they can be located) and then discussing how they reflect the Torah's opinions on how jews should interact with non-jews. try and bear that in mind if you feel you must continue to inflict your opinions on us.

    we're not talking about israel, as i have already clearly stated, because israel and judaism are not the same thing. however, since you mention lieberman, i detest him in every possible way. i consider him a racist. i think it is a scandal that people vote for him. i think it is a scandal that he should now be the king-maker of the knesset. however, his policies are not based on religion. he is an anti-religious politician and most of his (secular, russian-speaking) electorate vote for him not only because they think he's going to "stick it to the arabs", but also because they think he's going to "stick it to the religious". therefore, what he says has little bearing on judaism because for him, judaism is simply a national-ethnic club based on race - and one that i have no interest whatsoever in being a part of. in marxist terms (groucho, that is) it's a classic example of a club i wouldn't join despite my default membership. that's all i have to say about that overweight swivel-eyed fascist.

    state your source.

    certainly you don't have one for grammar or reasoned discussion.

    no. some people do, but it's not a tenet of the religion, nor should it be. judaism has its chauvinists like every group, but the facts don't bear it out. there are non-jewish geniuses in every field and there is no shortage of jewish ignoramuses. i am astonished that anyone should think otherwise.

    and who's this guy heller anyway? what makes him such an expert? change the name and it could have been written by hitler.

    as for this guy norman cantor, he sounds like a fecking eejit as well. look, we are supposed to be a "light unto the nations", but i fail to see how simple statements of ethnic chauvinism help. he clearly hasn't studied the bits of religious law that say "seek the peace of the city in which you dwell". so, yes, i agree with whoever you're quoting (who is it, by the way? you should attribute quotes on this site for copyright purposes) that he's a narcissistic toss-monger. the only statement i can find in the quote that has any merit that i can see is:

    which could certainly be defended by an adequate historian. however, this says nothing about the innate superiority of jews or judaism.

    i do have one question: superior genetics? as far as i know, cantor was a mediaeval historian. what qualifies him to make any kind of statement about genetics whatsoever? i find it odd in the extreme that an academic should make that kind of howlingly stupid assertion, when he's not in a position to back it up - let alone repeat it. where are these quotes from again?

    then, wil, i'm sorry to say it, but you don't have a wide enough acquaintance. this is a characteristic certainly of every ethnic minority i'm aware of, greek, pakistani, iranian, arab, indian, chinese, you name it. in fact, i would struggle to see how it would not apply to every anglo family that i know!

    look, that may be how some jews see it, but it is not a view that is *based on religion*. i've already said that like everyone else, we're not immune from ethnic chauvinism.

    you still haven't provided any religious examples of this hostile position. and besides, why are you picking the nazis straight away? are there no other examples of racism-as-politics to choose from? why not the hutu interahamwe of rwanda? why not the indian RSS? or is it that you have an agenda to compare us to the nazis?

    the tribal wars in the book of judges and samuel against the philistines, where every time we screwed up we got beaten? the captivity of samson? the defeat of saul at the battle of mt gilgal? the destruction of the northern kingdom by sennacherib in 722? the oppression by the kings of persia culminating in the first proto-pogrom in the story of purim? the destruction of the second Temple by the romans? read the book of kings and the book of chronicles, OOTB - you'll keep seeing the sentence "and X the king did not do as G!D Commanded, he did not get rid of idolatry" followed by a bunch of stuff going tits-up. even the hadrianic persecutions and the persecutions of the diaspora in exile were attributed to our own sins.

    which is what i keep coming back to. sure, you can find racist jews. what dauer and i are saying (i think) is that you will struggle to find racist Torah. i think you'll also struggle to find racist Talmud, precisely because the only examples that have ever been located have basically been constructed by selective quotation, free translation, post-hoc rationalisation and context denudation. i'm currently studying a sugya (discussion) of the rules of unloading and loading animals that don't belong to you, where the sages are trying to work out if avoiding cruelty to animals is a Torah law (as opposed to a rabbinic injunction) and, if so, you can unload an idolater's donkey even though you can't get involved with goods that might be used in idolatry. (BT bava metzia 34a) it's terribly complicated because they're all arguing about what you can presume in which circumstances, whereas you have one guy making an argument that even if the idolater is your enemy (which implies that some aren't) you have a responsibility to "society" to, as it were, "increase the peace". this appeals to the concept of "kiddush haShem", which essentially means that where jews are seen to be acting morally, it reflects well on judaism, which of course means that this is a good thing, because it means that judaism becomes a force for morality. the converse is also true when jews are seen to be acting immorally, which is roundly condemned. as you can probably tell, most people simply aren't equipped to do talmudic analysis. i find it pretty difficult myself, but at least i know how to study.

    yep, especially recently. personally, i've more found it on the extreme left, who have picked it up from islamists who have ultimately picked it up from european christianity and the fascist influence on pan-arab thought in the 1930s. ironic, really.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  17. Out of the Box

    Out of the Box High-priest

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    Can you explain why Abraham "gave" his wife (and sister :eek:) to a gentile twice without telling them she was his wife and then later demand her back? Or is that a misinterpretation?

    I know of no other movement that is as ethnocentric as zionism or Judaism besides German national-socialism. Both in their positive aspects (solidarity, honor, morallity, ... within the in-group) and the negative aspects (hatred and hostility towards the out-group) they are strikingly similar. In fact, if you look at the ideology of the Stern group you just have to make a few basic word-replacements (like replacing "Israel" with "Germany") to make it sound like a Third Reich pamplhet.

    I'll have to look up for specifics before I comment on those.

    A few remarks, though :
    * ) When you mention the "oppression by the kings of persia culminating in the first proto-pogrom in the story of purim", could you refer to a specific part of the bible? I've read the book of Esther entirely and as far as I remember Jews had it pretty good back then. In fact, the king was married to one and one of his main advisors was one. That doesn't sound like an age of oppression.
    * ) Sure, Jews screwed up. That still doesn't explain why they seem to be so immoral in the Torah, especially (but not only) with regards to gentiles. Heck, the wisest Jew who supposebly ever lived (king Solomon) had about 700 wives, 300 concubines and flirted with various pagan religions. Isaac was deceived by one of his own sons. Abraham pretty much "pimped" his wife/sister and his son just repeated it. And who was it again who slept with his sister-in-law thinking she was a patriarch? Pretty much all of the Jewish patriarchs were crooks according to traditional gentile morallity.
    * ) God himself is pretty cruel and petty himself. Not only is he so vane to require everyone to worship him and follow his commands all the time, apparently he saw no problem in completely wiping out entire cities (Sodom & Gomorra ), starting plagues on innocent Egyptian civilians, etc.

    That's just plain rubbish. Antisemitism is completely contradictory to everything these guys believe in. Clearly, you're confusing justified criticism of zionism and certain Jewish organisations with antisemitism.

    It is precisely by denying of minimising criticism of Jews on one hand and namecalling the messenger on the other hand that antisemitism actually has a chance in the post-Holocaust Western world. The impression more and more people are getting of Jews is that they behave like angry paranoid little children who're out to get everyone who isn't Jewish. The more you guys actually deny that many Jews fit into that stereotype and the less you guys attempt to stop such behavior, the more likely you will be compared with them and antisemitism will eventually reach the mainstream.

    I'm pretty sure that there are decent Jews out there who really do mean well for gentiles, but as long as they don't explicitly stand up against the rotten core that exists deep within Judaic culture it is hard to distinguish them from those Jews antisemitic stereotypes are based on.

    Do you guys truly believe that antisemitism throughout history has always been the consequence of mere prejucide towards Jews?!
     
  18. dauer

    dauer Well-Known Member

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    For the record I did not delete your cartoon and had no issues with it. Insinuating that I do is hardly a good way to approach dialogue. And you're ignoring my point. You presented a political cartoon that uses exaggerated stereotypes. My take on it is that the author was addressing a minority he perceives in the community that was more upset by the Madoff scheme than they would have been if the scheme had targeted non-Jews. He is using the format of political cartoons which regularly use stereotypes and charicatures to make their case. Presenting a political cartoon as evidence that Jews are truly the worst stereotypes about them, however, is not a way to make a strong case. It does support imo, that mainstream Jewish publications are quite willing to allow self-critical and dissenting voices. Certainly it is quite normal for political cartoons to look for aspects of their society or leadership that they can criticize and focus on them.

    Ignoring actual evidence from the Talmud is not showing much openness to dialogue either. A political cartoon doesn't hold a candle to one of the most central texts of Judaism.

    No it doesn't and if you continue to overlook the evidence you are presented with (such as the very first link that BB sent you) I have no reason to continue to dialogue with you. Judaism in fact imposes harsher rules in some cases, requiring greater kindness to gentiles than to Jews. Further, we have the mitzvah "v'ahavta l'reacha kamocha." Love your neighbor as yourself. This has been applied by Jewish thinkers to both Jews and non-Jews. And if that is not enough for you, we also have: "V'ahavta et ha-ger." Love the stranger/other. I previously cited a teaching from the Talmud about how a gentile can be as rightous in G!d's eyes as a kohein gadol by (when using traditional standards) being in line with the noahide laws which for the most part are basic ethical standards and number only 7. You overlooked that. You can find the full text with commentary of that passage in BB's link.

    Not in my experience. I find that when you get to the extremes of either conservatism or liberalism you run into the same types of black and white thinking and herd mentality.

    If we're addressing modern Jewish comedians (and your political cartoonist is most certainly a modern artist), nothing's off-limits. Sarah Silverman's a good example of that.

    It's not our job to change our religion in order to quell the suspicions of others, though that has certainly been forced upon us at times and on other occasions, when Judaism has shifted in response to other religions, it hasn't always been quite good either. I see little justification for giving into the antisemitic fringe by changing the nature of the religion. We stick with the originals because no translation is ever good enough to be called official. That's why I use two of them in addition to the original hebrew and a lexicon and, at times, later commentaries. There are translations of the Talmud and if you really want to seek them out you can find them, but you'll quickly realize they're a few hundred USD (minimum) for a set of books that will take up multiple bookshelves and won't make much sense to you if you open it without a guide. If you want to know more about what the Talmud really says regarding non-Jews I suggest the original link BB posted. It contains translations of passages and explanations of what they mean.

    As I say, it's been translated and I can link you to a few of the translations. If you really want to put in the effort and study Talmud, be my guest. We don't have anything to hide. There just aren't any 'official' translations. We don't do official translations.

    The Schottenstein Edition Talmud Bavli — in Hebrew as well as English

    Steinsaltz Talmud

    Those are the two most modern translations.

    Well I think a lot of it comes from your ignorance of the Jewish religion and how we understand and relate to our sources. Biblical figures aren't models of right-action. We don't look to the stories in the Torah for evidence of what right-action is. We look to the mitzvot (commandments) which form the basis for discussions in the Talmud about halachah. It is an error to assume that the stories in the Torah are accepted as paradigms of how one should relate to others. The prophets chide the Israelites repeatedly for not behaving appropriately. Later practices take into account the suffering of non-Jews as well. At the passover seder we take time to mourn for the suffering of the Egyptians. You also don't really get a Jewish perspective on Torah without midrash. Midrash, some of it may be oral traditions that were not included in the Torah and some of it may be later extrapolation, but the Torah reads differently if you understand midrash. For example, when the Israelites are leaving Sinai we have Moses raise his staff and the waters part. Not so, according to midrash. There is more to the story. Moses raises his staff and the waters don't part, not until a man named Nachson walks into the water up to his nose. Some midrash is found in the Talmud. Some is found in other early midrashic collections. But the point is, you can't get Judaism from Torah alone. Even more so, you can't get Judaism from a political cartoon. And you can't get Judaism from the current state of Israel either. It doesn't operate according to Jewish law.
     
  19. Out of the Box

    Out of the Box High-priest

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    Someone deleted it calling it antisemitic, which - considering it was made by a Jew and for other Jews - is pretty ridiculous.

    You're the one ignoring my point. The point of referring to that cartoon was to point out that the stereotype of the Jew caring only about what happens to other Jews is very much alive within the Jewish community itself. It is not just a stereotype that exists among antisemites.

    Why is this important? Well, it is important because there is no other people on this planet where such an attitude is more common than among Jews. Not only is such an attitude is far more common among Jews than among gentiles, a gentile can rarely notice any criticism of such behavior from within the Jewish community. In fact, it often seems like most Jews condone or support it.

    Also in the Torah such an attitude seems to prevail, which is what my orriginal remark about the racist and supremacist nature of Judaism was a reference to.

    It does support imo, that mainstream Jewish publications are quite willing to allow self-critical and dissenting voices. Certainly it is quite normal for political cartoons to look for aspects of their society or leadership that they can criticize and focus on them.

    Ignoring actual evidence from the Talmud is not showing much openness to dialogue either. A political cartoon doesn't hold a candle to one of the most central texts of Judaism.

    Context?

    By all Jewish thinkers or by some Jewish thinkers?

    If only the Palestinian people realised they are being treated as if they're sub-human out of love.... :rolleyes:

    Yes I know that most zionists are secular Jews, but throughout history we see how Jews and gentiles never seem to get along and Jews are always accused of immorallity of various kinds. We even see it in the Torah itself, which makes it to believe that the brutality and cruelty of Israel is an exception rather than the rule.

    The gentile stranger or the Jewish stranger? Does the context make any specific reference to gentiles?

    Sure. They CAN BE just as righteous under certain conditions, which in practice probably means that the gentile in question has to have done acts in favor of the Jewish community.

    Probably more than 90% of all humans have a herd mentality and only a poor to average capacity of nuancing. It has nothing to do with "extremism" of any kind but rather with how strongly they believe in whatever they believe. There is an indirect link with "extremism", though, in the sense that so-called extremists are usually more convinced of their beliefs than others.

    Still, antisemitism is contradictory to liberal values and therefore incompatible with liberalism. That's why I find it quite hard to swallow when an anti-zionist liberal or commie is called an antisemitic liberal or commie. They may be hypocrites, but they don't go as far as to plead multi-culturalism while at the same time being antisemitic.

    I didn't ask for you to change your religion, but merely to make translations of the Talmud available to the general public. That way, everyone can verify whether the Talmud is a perverted supremacist book, a book full of enlightened wisdom or neither. We might actually learn from it. Without an official translation, however, gentiles will only be able to make up their mind using alleged antisemitic translations which is hardly in favor of Judaism.

    That's a poor excuse. It is always possible to put the official translation online, with commentaries from various scholars and everything else that is necessary to see things the way one is supposed to see them. Translations may not be perfect, but they're still the closest anyone can get to the orriginal without being fluent in the orriginal language.

    Anyway, I don't like nor trust pre-chewed information. As much as possible, I try to go to first or second hand sources before I make up my mind about any topic. Thusfar, I know of no reason to take the link in question any more serious than your average antisemitic page. It is but one word against another, while an in depth analysis of an official translation would leave no doubt about who's telling the truth and who's not.

    Didn't you previously say that no translation was accepted? Or did I misunderstand you?

    Anyway, I'll put these links in my favorites and do a bit of research later on. Thanks.

    Things is.... When well-educated gentiles look at Jews, they see :
    • Jews behaving like criminals in the Torah.
    • Jews being persecuted throughout history by numerous peoples all over the civilised world, which is usually attributed to deceitful or criminal behavior by a significant amount of Jews.
    • Jews being linked to money and power for centuries.
    • Jews and zionists abusing the suffering of the Holocaust to earn money or to silence debate on issues critical to Jews.
    • Jews and zionists abusing their power in the West to silence criticism on issues critical to Jews and zionists.
    • Zionists enforcing a horrible military occupation in Israel on the previous (legal !) inhabitors of Israel.
    • Zionists expressing love for their people and hate for other peoples.
    • Jews or zionists whining about how superior they believe Jews are.
    • ....
    Do you understand why it's hard to see Judaism as a benign religion with all this in mind? I know of no other people where ethnocentrism is so extreme and so common throughout history as among the Jewish people.

    I'll check out those Talmud-translations you linked to, but it will take me some time.
     
  20. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    What "groups" are you using for this comparison? Cause that is monkey balls....
     

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