Rorate Caeli

Prayer for the Jews:
Bertone tells Jewish leaders: "We ask for reciprocity"
- and other news on Moscow and Encyclical


At the end of his voyage to Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, granted an interview to Italian news agency ANSA - released yesterday and republished today by Italian Catholic website Korazym. On the issue of the reformed Prayer for the Jews, Cardinal Bertone had some stern words - and ANSA also heard the opinion of the Chief Rabbi of Rome:

PRAYER FOR THE JEWS.

Reciprocity: the Cardinal asks for it regarding the controversy in the Jewish world surrounding the change of the Good Friday prayer of the Tridentine Rite for the conversion of the Jews. The matter refers only to "a very specific portion of the Catholic world", Bertone explained and, nonetheless, "prayers which might or should be modified" exist "for both parties". According to the Cardinal, "nobody wishes that one party change its own identity or be forced to perform acts, gestures, or to say prayers which do not conform to its own tradition, even to its own faith. And, therefore - he continued - it is an attitude of reciprocity which is asked, of respect for the affirmation of one's own identity, without desiring the forced conversion of anyone, but proposing one's own faith with maximum respect".

Immediate reply from the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni, according to whom "the Jewish prayers have already been 'self-censored' centuries ago". "The essential information - Di Segni observes - is that today there is not any reference to Christians in our prayers, which have already been the object of repeated interventions of censorship and self-censorship. The Hebrew texts were modified centuries ago, long before the [Second Vatican] Council." "Another fundamental difference is that regarding the use which is made of the prayer"- the rabbi still adds. "No Jew in the world has never asked anyone to convert, while, instead, the principle of faith of a prayer which asks for the conversion of the Jews has been constantly accompanied by a missionary pressure."

Bertone also had interesting words on other matters: the time of a meeting between Pope Benedict and the Patriarch of Moscow "is approaching". On the release of the Pope's third encyclical, Bertone reveals that it shall "not be published before the Pope's summer vacation" - in Bressanone (South Tyrol), from July 28 to August 11, 2008.

102 comments:

New Catholic said...

Please, be very careful and charitable in your comments, especially regarding the dear children of Old Israel. Any improper comment will be deleted.

charliemarlow said...

What about the self-censorship? Is it a fact that the statements about Christians we hear about have been excised?

Anonymous said...

Interesting.

In Albrecht Weber's book on Garabandal, he quotes Conchita as revealing that "The pope will go to Russia, to Moscow. As soon as he returns to the Vatican, hostilities will break out in different parts of Europe."

poeta said...

Michael Matt has recently and effectively shown in The Remnant's article "Flectamus Genua" that this alleged "missionary pressure" toward the Jews on the part of the Church throughout history is entirely mythical.

eric g said...

I say the Catholic blogosphere rallies together to schedule a day of prayer for the conversion of the Jewish people to Catholic Christianity, with a special emphasis on the conversion of Abraham Foxman and Rome's chief rabbi.

Is it anti-Semitic to suggest this?

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, Matt seems to have relied too heavily on W.T. Walsh, who was writing after the war and may have wished to backtrack from any statements that seemed anti-Semitic in his own works. For instance, if I understand correctly, in the book on Queen Isabella he defended one allegation of ritual murder. Then, in the quotations ascribed to him by Matt, he says the Church denied the ritual murder accusations. St. Vincent Ferrer preached to the Jews. In a number of ghettoes, the Jews were forced to listen to Christians preaching once per year. In Rome there was a special school for converts from Judaism. There was a religious order (Our Lady of Zion?) devoted to converting Jews. To say that there was *NO* missionary program is simply not true. It would be more accurate to say that the Christians did not object in principle to the persistence of Jewish communities, whereas they did to the persistence of Pagan ones. The Jews did not receive top priority, but they were missionized. St. Thomas wrote "Summa Contra Gentes" to deal with people like the Jews, right? And Pugio Fidei was written in the same century, also as a text for Jewish conversion. There were controversies involving Jewish converts and rabbis, for insistence about whether the Talmud should be burnt. Matt and Ferrara are right to claim that the Church never missionized as they did among Gentiles, but there were always efforts going on somewhere.

schoolman said...

Wouldn't it be something if the Pope were to "renew" the consecration to Russia while in Moscow and in union with the Russian Orthodox hierarchy?

Anonymous said...

It appears the liturgy is becoming completely politicized, an ecumenical tool. It has been said that previously we prayed at the Jews, not for them. If it can be said that the old prayer sought to offend the Jews, which it clearly did not since Jews have never assisted at Good Friday liturgies, the new prayer seeks to please them. The very fact that the world was introduced to this change by Bertone ought to say something. If the Church wants to play the interfaith game, so be it, but the liturgy dragged into this. In the liturgy, the church talks to God. Now she's using the liturgy to talk to the world. Isn't there something wrong with that?

Anonymous said...

What Di Segni really has a problem with is Christ's mandate to convert all nations.

Jordan Potter said...

Charlie Marlow asked: What about the self-censorship? Is it a fact that the statements about Christians we hear about have been excised?

Never having being a Jew, I couldn't say whether that is true or not, though it wouldn't surprise me if Jews had altered their liturgy over the centuries. In fact I'd be surprised if their liturgy hadn't changed.

I can say, however, that I own a copy of an Orthodox Jewish Siddur for the Sabbath and annual Jewish festivals -- I bought it a number of years ago while studying Judaism in an attempt to learn about Jewish liturgy and how it may resemble as well as differ from Christian liturgy. I know that the Siddur that I own does not say anything derogatory about Christians -- and not much that could be construed as derogatory about Gentiles. In fact it has some very lovely things to say about Gentiles, and teaches a very lofty and noble morality. But I do not have a Siddur for daily prayer, so I can't say what the daily prayers of Orthodox Judaism might say.

As for the concerns of Jews that they not be "missionised," given the long and painful history of relations between Christians and Jews, their concern is understandable. Still, both Jews and Christians must come to accept that the Church has a mission to all nations, including the House of Israel. We Christians can't help but hope and pray for Jews to convert to Christianity, and to invite them to accept the Gospel.

Anonymous said...

It is refreshing to finally see a curial statement from the office which officially announced the new prayer, and that it actually reaffirms the necessity of proclaiming Catholic truth. Note that Cardinal Bertone makes clear that the substance of the prayer was not changed, only the terminology as a gesture of respect. It still prays that God enlighten the hearts of the Jews that they might recognize Christ and be saved, which the Church has always and will always preach. The Church cannot abandon the view that the refusal of Christ, even by Jews, imperils the soul of every human person who so chooses. This isn't about forced conversion, but rather proposing the truth.

Anonymous said...

"No Jew in the world has never asked anyone to convert, while, instead, the principle of faith of a prayer which asks for the conversion of the Jews has been constantly accompanied by a missionary pressure."

Sure, but there is a difference. The Jews are God's Chosen People. God promised them many blessings, including land and descendants. He also promised them that they would be a blessing for the whole world. All of these promises were then fulfilled in Christ and the New Covenant.

God's salvation and gifts are now offered to all, and it is in Christ's Church that God desires all to be blessed and saved. Therefore God desires that the Gospel be preached that all might enter the New Covenant in Christ (the Church).

We may argue about what "pressure" means, but in the end, it should pang Christians to see the Chosen People remain outside of the fulfillment of all that God has promised them. Out of charity and, of course, in accord with prudence, the Christian must even invite Jews to enter the Church. It is not a matter of simple conversion because one religion is bad and one is good. Through Israel God has offered salvation to the world in Christ and His Church. It is in the Church that Israel recieves salvation and her promised inheritance. And it is in the Church that Jews and Gentiles are joined as a single people, as countless as the sand on the shore of the sea. This people, the Church, is the Kingdom which will be fully manifest in heaven, the eternal Fatherland.

Anonymous said...

The statements we hear about Christians have not been excised, but they are mostly passages of text, not prayers (there are some exceptions). They cannot easily be found because most copies of the Babylonian Talmud which are available have been expurgated. But you can now find the unexpurgated versions on line. These are the versions that are used in privacy in the yeshivas, the Jewish religious schools. Some of the comments about Christ, our Lady, and Christians are too disturbing and to vile to print. Those who have stong stomachs could hunt down Gittin 57a, Sanhedrin 59a, and Sanhedrin 105a & b. I do not advise it, though.

The Jews can argue that there simply exists no authority which can remove such passages. However, the chief rabbis who enjoined that our Good Friday prayers be changed certainly do have legal and judicial authority in Palestine. They could reciprocate by excising such passages and making it illegal to use them in the yeshivas. Of course, compliance would be difficult, but it could set an example in the name of œcumenism.

P.K.T.P.

Athanasius said...

We couldn't get reciprocity if star of David chasubles were worn when saying the Novus Ordo prayer. Sheesh!

This isn't an action that most Jews even care about. It is a few religious Jewish activists and a few more atheistic Jewish activists like Abe Foxman who see any reference to Jews in terms of race not religion. That is the fundamental problem. The Church is speaking in terms of religion, they are hearing in terms of race.

poeta said...

Anon at 2:18:

I thought Summa Contra Gentiles was aimed primarily at the Moslems, hence the title.

Your observations on Mr. Matt's article are well taken; you might consider a letter to the editor.

Gillibrand said...

It depends on which branch of Judaism as to whether the text anathematising Christians which was added to the synagogue service after the destruction of the Temple are altered or not.

I have been to one service, which as far as I could make out by counting the number of prayers, it was still in use, probably in a mitigated text.

Benedict Ambrose said...

Honestly, who could really care less whether any prayers the Jewish people may pray for the conversion (or whatever) of the Gentiles are altered or not? I cannot imagine being offended by them, and anyway it's their business what they pray - not ours.

That's the argument most of us have been putting with regard to the changes to the Good Friday prayer - that we should allow each other in good faith to pray according to our respective disciplines without making demands or taking undue offense. Why not just do that?

Anonymous said...

I think the Pope and Bertone are saying that other religions should have a say in what we pray. He did change the prayer afterall. I can't see what's wrong with letting other religions have a say in our liturgy. I personally don't care about what they Jews pray, but if they care about what we pray, why shouldn't they have a say? How can you be so sure this is a private matter, and one the Jews shouldn't have any say in. People keep using this argument without actually proving this claim.

Athanasius said...

How can you be so sure this is a private matter, and one the Jews shouldn't have any say in. People keep using this argument without actually proving this claim.

On what grounds do they have a claim? If one is not baptized, they are not a member of the Church. If one holds to a heresy condemned by the Church, he is not apart of the Church.

If you are not apart of the Church, you have no legal standing to make complaints under our laws (i.e. Canon Law), and neither do you have the right to ask for changes in our liturgy. Certainly one could complain all they want, but as a non-member you have no legal right to be heard by the Church. Canon 212 of the 1983 code explicitly gives the Lay Faithful (i.e. those baptized) the right to complain to their pastors about issues effecting the Church. It does not grant that right to the unbaptized. The only rights that the unbaptized possess in the code are with respect to mixed marriages. I can't imagine what more proof you might want.

The same is true the other way, I have no right to anything under Jewish law, because I am not a member of their religion. I can complain that I don't like what they say about our Lord, just as they can complain that we pray for the blindness to be removed from them, but it gives one no rights to ask for a change in this prayer.

Anonymous said...

I think the issue of the Prayer concerning Jews should be closed.
It was revised. The Jews still are not happy.
They won't be happy until it's completely gone. That's their game plan.
They should be told to MYOB as forcibly as necessarilly.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Athanasius,

Just because Jews do not have canonical rights does not mean that the Church shouldn't listen to their concerns. It only means they aren't obliged to.

Anonymous said...

"...
Compare that statement [of DiSengi] with this one by Rabbi Yerachmiel Seplowitz:

"... if we are going to sit down with the Vatican to negotiate liturgy, should we, l’havdil, offer to take out the second paragraph of Aleinu, in which we pray for the day when gentiles will stop worshipping idols? How about “sheheim mishtachavim” – the line that Christian censors removed from Aleinu, claiming it insulted Christians? Many of us have put it back ...

http://www.jewishpress.com/displayContent_new.cfm?mode=a§ionid=56&contentid=22275&contentName=The%20Pope's%20Got%20A%20Point


One of these Judaic spokemen is dissembling here. A clue as to veracity of each statement can be found in the fact that Rabbi Di Segni's statement appeared in the Italian press for Goys while Rabbi Seplowitz's statement appeared in The Jewish Press.

But this is beside the fact that that the Sephardi of Italy, which Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni represents, never censored the curses against Christians from their prayers. The censorship that Slepowitz speaks of above was never made in the Sephardi prayer books, the one that Di Segni himself would use.

The following is a version of the Aleinu "prayer" from a medieval Judaic prayerbook from England:

It is our duty to praise the Master of All, to ascribe greatness to the molder of primeval creation, for He has not made us like the nations of the lands, for He has not assigned our portion like theirs nor our lot like theirs, for they bow to vanity and emptiness and pray to a god who cannot save--man, ash, blood, bile, stinking flesh, maggot, defiled men and women, adulterers and adulteresses, dying in their iniquity and rotting in their wickedness, worn out dust, rot of maggot [and worm]--and pray to a god who cannot save. (Aleinu from medieval English prayer book, Two Nations in Your Womb, Israel Jacob Yuval, University of California Press, 2006, p.119)


The heirs to this tradition of juvenile hatred are now called our "elder brothers in the faith" and our Bible-based traditions are being modified to suit them.–www.mauricepinay.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

"missionary pressure."? How in God's name can there any pressure for Jews to change religion? It seems that these politicians live in other times, not in today's time. It is sad to witness these senile people living in a world ceased to exist a long time ago. It seems that they pine to return to those days of "pressure". How pathetic!

Anonymous said...
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Jordan Potter said...

Peter Karl T. Perkins said: The statements we hear about Christians have not been excised, but they are mostly passages of text, not prayers (there are some exceptions).

Passages in non-liturgical texts, of course, are not relevant to the topic at hand. Often the complaint is made that if Jews can ask that we change our old prayer for the Jews, then we can ask them to remove certain passages from the Talmud. But the Talmud is not a liturgical text.

They cannot easily be found because most copies of the Babylonian Talmud which are available have been expurgated. But you can now find the unexpurgated versions on line. These are the versions that are used in privacy in the yeshivas, the Jewish religious schools.

Somehow I doubt you have ever attended yeshiva and studied Talmud -- please correct me if I'm wrong. And if you haven't attended yeshiva, how do you know what versions of the Talmud are privately used in yeshiva? Anyway, it's true that the critical editions of Talmud ha-Bavli are readily available on the internet, largely thanks to Jewish scholars who wish to facilitate study and understanding.

Some of the comments about Christ, our Lady, and Christians are too disturbing and to vile to print. Those who have stong stomachs could hunt down Gittin 57a, Sanhedrin 59a, and Sanhedrin 105a & b. I do not advise it, though.

I've got a pretty strong stomach, though in my opinion I don't need it to read those passages that you cite. Having checked those passages, I cannot help but suspect that you haven't actually consulted a critical edition of the Talmud ha-Bavli yourself. The Talmud passages Gittin 57a, Sanhedrin 59a, and Sanhedrin 105a & b are frequently mentioned in anti-Semitic propaganda, where they are often misquoted, or quoted out of context, or mischaracterised, or otherwise twisted, sometimes beyond recognition. But I will explain that at greater length in subsequent comments, if New Catholic will indulge me.

The Jews can argue that there simply exists no authority which can remove such passages. However, the chief rabbis who enjoined

"Enjoined"? The proper word is "asked" or "requested."

that our Good Friday prayers be changed certainly do have legal and judicial authority in Palestine. They could reciprocate by excising such passages and making it illegal to use them in the yeshivas. Of course, compliance would be difficult, but it could set an example in the name of œcumenism.

Ecumenism only refers to relations between Christian communities. Anyway, I don't think the Church is generally desirous that non-Christians make little changes in their religious texts. I think what we want is for them to become Christians.

Jordan Potter said...

Gittin 57a

Most Talmud manuscripts of Gittin 57a contain no references to Jesus or Christianity, but there is one textual variant of Gittin 57a that mentions a person named "Yeshu." The relevant portion actually begins at the bottom of Gittin 56a, where there is a fanciful tale of a man named Onkelos son of Kolonikos, supposed son of the sister of Caesar Titus who sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple in A.D. 70. Onkelos was thinking of converting to Judaism, so he used magic to call up the souls of the dead and ask them, "Who is most in repute in the other world?" First he called up Titus and asked him -- Titus answered, "Israel." Onkelos then asked Titus what his punishment was in hell. Titus answered, "Every day my ashes are collected and sentence is passed on me and I am burnt and my ashes are scattered over the seven seas." Then Onkelos called up Balaam, the pagan prophet and
soothsayer, who also said Israel was most renowned in the next life, but he advised Onkelos not to convert but instead to do wrong to the Jews. Balaam's punishment in hell was being boiled in semen.

Then comes the passage where a textual variant names "Yeshu":

He then went and raised by incantations the sinners of Israel. He asked them: Who is in repute in the other world? They replied: Israel. What about joining them? They replied: Seek their welfare, seek not their harm. Whoever touches them touches the apple of his eye. He said: What is your punishment? They replied: With boiling hot excrement, since a Master has said: Whoever mocks at the words of the Sages is punished with boiling hot excrement. Observe the difference between the sinners of Israel and the prophets of the other nations who worship idols.

In the variant, the passage reads, He then went and raised by
incantations Yeshu. He asked him: Who is in repute in the other world? He replied: Israel. What about joining them? He replied: Seek their welfare, seek not their harm. Whoever touches them touches the apple of his eye. He said: What is your punishment? He replied: With boiling hot excrement, since a Master has said: Whoever mocks at the words of the Sages is punished with boiling hot excrement. . . .


Very little is said of Yeshu in the Talmud (and, contrary to a widespread error, Our Lady is never mentioned in the Talmud, unless she is identified as Miriam the Hairdresser who might perhaps be based very loosely on Mary Magdalene), but elsewhere in the Talmud he is described as a sinful apostate who twisted the words of his teachers and attempted to lead other Jews to worship false gods. According to the Talmud, Yeshu lived almost 100 years before Christ was born, but there is no doubt that the Talmudic and non-Talmudic Jewish traditions pertaining to Yeshu came to be conflated with popular Jewish anti-Christian tales and fables pertaining to Jesus Christ (cf. the Toledot Yeshu, clearly an anti-Christian satire, but which has never been in the Talmud). In Gittin 57a, most manuscripts do not mention Yeshu, but instead refer to "the sinners of Israel." It's difficult to say whether the "Yeshu" or "the sinners of Israel" reading is original -- a case can be made either way. Of course, even if "Yeshu" is the original reading here, it doesn't necessarily refer to Jesus of Nazareth, though many Jews no doubt interpreted it in that way in the past, especially during the days when Christian persecution of Jews weighed most heavily.

A little further on, Gittin 57a has another passage that it has been suggested may have once included a reference to "the Nazarenes":

Once when R. Manyumi b. Helkiah and R. Helkiah b. Tobiah and R. Huna b. Hiyya were sitting together they said: If anyone knows anything about Kefar Sekania of Egypt, let him say.

Some argue that "Egypt" (Mitsraim) is a scribal error, and that the original reading was "Nazarenes" (Notsrim), which would mean Kefar Sekania was a Galilaean town. However, if "Nazarenes" was the original reading, it would be a geographical designation, for nothing else pertaining to Christianity is mentioned in Gittin 57a -- the rabbis proceed to relate didactic tales and parables about persons from Kefar Sekania, but none of the persons are even implicitly identified as Christians, nor would the tales necessarily reflect poorly on Christians or Christianity if they were intended to be Christians. The point of the passage was to relate laws and customs pertaining to marriage and divorce.

http://www.come-and-hear.com/gittin/gittin_57.html

Gittin 57a is potentionally the most offensive Talmudic citation for Christians, though there are passages in Christian texts that are equally offensive if not more so.

Jordan Potter said...

Sanhedrin 59a

Contrary to what Peter Karl T. Perkins said, there is no reference to Jesus or Christianity in Sanh. 59a, which is concerned with the moral obligations that God gave to Gentiles (the seven Noachide laws) in contrast to the obligations given to Israel in the Torah. In Sanh. 59a, Rabbi Johanan's opinion is quoted that "a heathen who studies the Torah deserves death." In the fetid fever swamps of anti-Semitic propaganda, we find Sanh. 59a deliberately misquoted and twisted to say that a Jew who reveals the supposedly secret teachings of the Talmud would be put to death, and Jews would kill any Gentile who discovered what the Jews had written in the Talmud. But this is what it really says:

R. Johanan said: A heathen who studies the Torah deserves death, for it is written, Moses commanded us a law for an inheritance; it is our inheritance, not theirs.3 Then why is this not included in the Noachian laws? - On the reading morasha [an inheritance] he steals it; on the reading me'orasah [betrothed], he is guilty as one who violates a betrothed maiden, who is stoned. An objection is raised: R. Meir used to say. Whence do we know that even a heathen who studies the Torah is as a High Priest? From the verse, [Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments:] which, if man do, he shall live in them. Priests, Levites, and Israelites are not mentioned, but men: hence thou mayest learn that even a heathen who studies the Torah is as a High Priest! - That refers to their own seven laws.

As you can see, not only does Sanh. 59a include Rabbi Johanan's opinion, but it also includes Rabbi Meir's contrary opinion that a Gentile who studies the Torah is like a High Priest. Notice also the commentary in footnote no. 3.

3. This seems a very strong expression. In the J. E. (loc. cit.) it is suggested that R. Johanan feared the knowledge of Gentiles in matters of Jurisprudence, as they would use it against the Jews in their opponents' courts. In support of this it may be observed that the Talmud places R. Johanan's dictum (which, of course, is not to be taken literally) immediately after the passage dealing with the setting up of law courts by Gentiles. It is also possible that R. Johanan's objection was to the studying of Oral Law by Jewish Christians, as the possession of the Oral Law was held to be the distinguishing mark of the Jews. It is significant that it was R. Johanan who also said that God's covenant with Israel was only for the sake of the Oral Law. (Cf. Ex. Rab. 47.)

So, although Christians have taken offense at Sanh. 59a and have frequently misquoted and misinterpreted it, it says nothing offensive about Jesus or Mary or Christianity. Furthermore, the harsh opinion (note -- opinion!) of Rabbi Johanan is countered and balanced by the positive opinion of Rabbi Meir.

Jordan Potter said...

Sanhedrin 105a

The Sanhedrin 105a reference is bogus -- Sanh. 105a contains no reference to Jesus or to Christianity. It is chiefly concerned with traditions and rabbinic opinions regarding Balaam, the pagan prophet and soothsayer, whom the rabbis regarded as the quintessential false prophet due to his attempts to curse Israel and his use of Midianite women to seduce Israelite men. As you might expect, rabbinic opinion of Balaam was pretty low. Anyway, there are no manuscript variants of Sanh. 105a that mention Jesus or Christianity. If I'm not mistaken, however, in the past Christians have falsely claimed that "Balaam" in the Talmud is a codename for Jesus. There is, of course, not a shred of evidence to support that claim.

http://www.come-and-hear.com/sanhedrin/sanhedrin_105.html

Jordan Potter said...

Sanhedrin 105b

There is just one small passage in Sanh. 105b that related to Christianity, albeit only indirectly. It is the story about a "sectarian" (Min, a heretic, but most commonly it was the old Jewish term for a Christian) who used to harass Rabbi Joshua ben Levi. Rabbi Joshua became angry and prepared to use magic to put a curse on the sectarian, but instead Rabbi Joshua fell asleep and so failed to invoke the curse. The moral of the story, the Talmud says, is that it is wrong for a righteous man to curse anyone, even a sectarian. Not exactly the worst thing that has ever been said about Christians, though Christians understandably would not see themselves as the sorts of persons to be worthy of being cursed by a Jewish rabbi.

http://www.come-and-hear.com/sanhedrin/sanhedrin_105.html#PARTb

Now, Peter Karl T. Perkins says the Jews expurgated their Talmud to take out the passages that Christians would find most offensive. Certainly the Talmud underwent censorship at the hands of Jews and Christians. But he says the unexpurgated versions of the Talmud are available online. The online versions I found, however, don't have much in them that pertains to Christianity, not even indirectly. The worst passage cited was Gittin 57a, most versions of which say nothing of Christianity, though at least one manuscript mentions a legendary Jewish apostate talmid named Yeshu, a figure who is somewhat related to Jesus. I would be very appreciative if someone could direct me to an Talmud recensions and editions that contain offensive passages about Jesus, Mary, and Christianity, because we've seen that most of the passages mentioned here don't really fit the bill.

Jordan Potter said...

Anonymous said: The heirs to this tradition of juvenile hatred are now called our "elder brothers in the faith" and our Bible-based traditions are being modified to suit them.

I'm afraid I can't speak to the question of whether or not Rabbi Di Segni uses a self-censored liturgy when he lead prayer in the synagogue. However, the medieval version of Aleinu that you cite sounds very much like some of the Old Testament denunciations of Gentile idol worship. I don't find it all that offensive, as I'm a Christian and I too pray for an end to Gentile idol worship (it's included in the Good Friday prayers and in the Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart). Of course a Christian wouldn't consider himself a Gentile idol worshipper, whereas a Jew likely would. In any case, it's hardly charitable or reasonable to characterise a Jewish prayer that Gentiles not worship idols as part of a "tradition of juvenile hatred."

Okay, I think I'm done with all my comments for this evening, so I'll let New Catholic have his weblog back now.

Anonymous said...

Well, here is what one convert to Eastern Orthodoxy from Judaism says about the Talmud:

"I called my rabbi back in Pittsburg and gave him what I thought would be music to his ears–‘Rabbi, good news! The messiah came, and it was Jesus!…

…Obviously, he was not as thrilled as I was. He immediately called my mother and told her I had ‘lost it’ and needed help. My parents brought me home and started taking me to see Jewish councilors and when my parents could see it was going nowhere they took me to see the rabbis, about half a dozen, mostly Hassids and Lubavitchers. I showed them the scriptures in the Old Testament dealing with the Messiah. They told me to leave the Old Testament out of it and quoted the Talmud instead, and especially the really horrible things in it dealing with Jesus and His mother. They told me over and over that Jesus was a freak and his mother was a prostitute."

I'd believe him in preference to Jordan Potter.

His web address:

http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it seems that Jordon Potter holds the reign of Pope Benedict XVI itself to be messianic.

Jordan Potter said...

I'd believe him in preference to Jordan Potter.

Then you are making a serious error in judgment, seemingly preferring unsubstantiated anecdotes about the Talmud to actual quotations from the Talmud. What Jews and non-Jews may believe the Talmud says, and what the Talmud says, aren't necessarily the same thing, as I have shown -- the Talmud is at least as capable of being misquoted and misinterpreted as any other written text, and probably more capable given how complicated and confusing the Talmud can be. Now it's hardly news that Jews do not believe Jesus is the Messiah or God Incarnate, and that instead they believe he is at best a misunderstood prophet and at worst a bastard half-breed sorceror. (Indeed, it's unreasonable to expect that any Jewish rabbi would think it would be good news that the Messiah came and He is Jesus.)

Sometimes it seems that Jordon (sic) Potter holds the reign of Pope Benedict XVI itself to be messianic.

No more so that the reign of all the other Popes is Messianic. We are, after all, living in the Messianic Age and have been for about 2,000 years.

Thanks for the ad hominem, though. You comment doesn't constructively advance the discussion.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who believes Jordan Potter's dissembling to exculpate the Talmud and Judaism of the foundational hatred of Jesus must read Princeton Judaic Studies Prof. Peter Schafer's book "Jesus in the Talmud." (ISBN 0691129266) Potter uses the same dodges that have failed the rabbis for centuries. Schafer examines dozens of Talmud editions in the original languages and in the vernacular. He traces the explicit references to Jesus and the code word substitutions ("Yeschu," "that man," "the carpenter," "Balaam," "ben Pandera," etc.) and proves incontrovertibly that, notwithstanding the denials of the rabbis and Mr. Potter, the numerous foul references are to Jesus and Mary. Unfortunately, Schafer's book is narrow in scope. His book only addresses the Talmudic blasphemies against Jesus and Mary and does not address the pervasive racist imprecations in the Talmud.

Anonymous said...

Self-censorship? Hardly!

It is our duty to praise the Master of All, to ascribe greatness to the molder of primeval creation, for He has not made us like the nations of the lands, for He has not assigned our portion like theirs nor our lot like theirs, for they bow to vanity and emptiness and pray to a god who cannot save--man, ash, blood, bile, stinking flesh, maggot, defiled men and women, adulterers and adulteresses, dying in their iniquity and rotting in their wickedness, worn out dust, rot of maggot [and worm]--and pray to a god who cannot save. (Aleinu from medieval English prayer book, Two Nations in Your Womb, Israel Jacob Yuval, University of California Press, 2006, p.119) --http://mauricepinay.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

What Jordan Potter has posted as Talmudic scholarship is barely re-worked cut and paste from the ADL's Talmud denial playbook: http://www.adl.org/presrele/asus_12/the_talmud.pdf.

The Disputations (especially at Paris and Tortosa), numerous converts like Donin and Pfefferkorn and numerous scholars like Eisenmenger, Stehlin, Hoffman, and Schafer have confirmed what the rabbis, the ADL, Mr. Potter, and kosher "Catholics" deny. Judaism is the ultimate in racism, a venomous hatred of Jesus, self-exalting megalomania/paranoia manifest in the rabbis' pedagogy of deceit, resurrected here by Mr. Potter.

I read an excellent post here yesterday that documented much of the worst in Judaism (even a reference from the Jewish Encyclopedia and the NY Times about some babies dying from Mezizah), but somehow those verifiable truths were censored and the ADL denials live on. Some "Catholic" site!

Anonymous said...

The come-and-hear website quoted by Jordan Potter is well-known to be an incomplete version of the Soncino translation of the Talmud, an edition that itself was expurgated, so Mr. Potter is trying to prove the innocence of the Talmud using an incomplete version missing numerous tractates (books) of an already sanitized and redacted Talmud edition.

Consider a few salient examples.

At tractate Sanhedrin folio 43a the code word "Yeschu" is utilized in the sanitized Soncino and a footnote adds that a single manuscript refers to "the Nazarean." In the latest Steinsaltz translation the original "Jesus of Nazareth" is plainly stated. Too, the Soncino is missing entirely the folio's sections boasting that the Sanhedrin overcome the Roman "inclination towards acquittal."

Among the numerous folios missing from the come-and-hear Soncino is tractate Kerithoth folio 6b a section that exemplifies Judaism's teaching that non-Jews are not human: "Ye [of Israel] are called adam ['man'], but Gentiles are not called adam ['man']." A convenient omission, don't you think?

Also missing from our sayanim's source is Bereshith 47a:

"...'living soul' designates Israel because they are children of the Almighty, and their souls, which are holy, come from Him. From whence come the souls of otherpeoples? R[abbi] Eleazar said: 'They obtain souls from those sides of the left which convey impurity, and therefore they are all impure and defile those who have contact with them.'...'living soul' refers to Israel, who have holy living souls from above, and 'cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth,' to the other peoples who are not 'living soul," but who are as we have said."


Numerous such examples abound, but time is getting short. Catholics will have to decide whether they believe Jesus or the rabbis.

Anonymous said...

"Power is also an aphrodisiac". This apotegm must be applied to Catholic clerics. Their hunger for power guides their action.

Jordan Potter said...

An anonymous person(s) said: Anyone who believes Jordan Potter's dissembling to exculpate the Talmud and Judaism of the foundational hatred of Jesus must read Princeton Judaic Studies Prof. Peter Schafer's book "Jesus in the Talmud." (ISBN 0691129266)

You accuse me of "dissembling" without evidence or just cause. You also falsely claim that I am trying to exculpate the Talmud and Judaism of a foundational hatred of Jesus. You couldn't be further from the truth, as should be obvious to anyone who bothers to read what I wrote and who eschews tendentiousness. Rather, I looked up and quoted the Talmud cites that a previous commenter said contained some vile things about Jesus, Mary, and Christianity. I found that in fact only one of the cites had a reference to "Yeshu," the Talmudic equivalent of Jesus. Now, I am aware of other Talmudic passages that refer to Jesus, or that mention someone who seems to be based on the Blessed Virgin and/or Mary Magdalene, but none of those passages were cited, so I didn't bring them up. There is difference of opinion within and without Judaism about the meaning of the various Talmud passages that mention, or have been thought to mention, Jesus and Mary. I have encountered Jewish attempts to explain away all of the passages, but I find many if not most of those attempts to be unconvincing. As I've indicated, certainly Jews in the past have viewed those passages as referring to Jesus, and many Jews still see them that way.

Potter uses the same dodges that have failed the rabbis for centuries.

No, I don't. If you like, I can show you some of those attempts to explain away all of the relevant Talmud passages. As I said, many if not most of those attempts I find unconvincing.

Schafer examines dozens of Talmud editions in the original languages and in the vernacular. He traces the explicit references to Jesus and the code word substitutions ("Yeschu," "that man," "the carpenter," "Balaam," "ben Pandera," etc.) and proves incontrovertibly that, notwithstanding the denials of the rabbis and Mr. Potter, the numerous foul references are to Jesus and Mary.

First of all, there aren't "numerous" references. Secondly, there is no evidence that the Talmud's discussions of rabbinic opinions regarding Balaam are actually encoded references to Jesus. Indeed, as I showed above (using the expurgated Soncino, interestingly enough), Gittin 57a in some textual variants refers to Onkelos calling up the soul of Balaam and then the soul of Yeshu. But if Balaam is Jesus, and Yeshu is Jesus, then why did Onkelos have to call up Jesus' soul twice -- and how is Jesus said to be punished in hell?

However, the Talmud references to "Yeshu," "the carpenter," and "Ben-Pandira" are probably all references to Jesus, keeping in mind that the Talmud places Yeshu and Miriam the Hairdresser almost 100 years before the birth of Christ, relating things about them that indicate their stories have been garbled and probably conflated with other persons.

Unfortunately, Schafer's book is narrow in scope. His book only addresses the Talmudic blasphemies against Jesus and Mary and does not address the pervasive racist imprecations in the Talmud.

Of course, as I've said, Talmud passages are not liturgical, so they are not analogous to the Good Friday prayer for the Jews. They're more the equivalent to writings of the Church Fathers (though that's not really a good comparison either -- Christianity doesn't really have anything that functions quite like the Talmud does in Orthodox Judaism). St. John Chrysostom said some pretty harsh and extreme things about the Jews (though perhaps you think St. John was being too gentle), but we don't excise or destroy writings of the Fathers just because they sometimes said and did things that were inappropriate. Rather, we study them and we seek to understand them, to give them a proper interpretation. In the same way, it might be unreasonable to ask an Orthodox Jew to bowdlerise the Talmud (though Christians have demanded that in the past and today), but he need not agree with everything the Talmud says, and he can interpret it in a way that past unwholesome attitudes and beliefs would be excluded.

Of course, it is much more desirable that an Orthodox Jew convert to Catholicism than that he engage in the work of interpretation -- but if he isn't going to convert, he can at least interpret the teachings and heritage of his faith positively.

What Jordan Potter has posted as Talmudic scholarship is barely re-worked cut and paste from the ADL's Talmud denial playbook: http://www.adl.org/presrele/asus_12/the_talmud.pdf.

You're absolutely incorrect. I have never in my life visited the ADL's website, nor are my comments a re-worked cut and paste from any other website. I copy-pasted Talmud passages, but all my commentary surrounding those passages is original.

The Disputations (especially at Paris and Tortosa), numerous converts like Donin and Pfefferkorn and numerous scholars like Eisenmenger, Stehlin, Hoffman, and Schafer have confirmed what the rabbis, the ADL, Mr. Potter, and kosher "Catholics" deny.

Nice scare quotes. What is a kosher Catholic? I suspect it's a Catholic who isn't anti-Semitic and does not perpetuate the teaching of contempt.

As for the Disputations, the state of Talmud scholarship has advanced somewhat since the Middle Ages. Also, the thing about Judaism is, as the old joke goes, that if you ask four rabbis their opinion, you'll get at least five different answers. The Talmud is like that -- it quotes one rabbi's opinion, then another rabbi's contrary opinion, and a third altogether different opinion from another rabbi. And none of them are actually authoritative or binding or magisterial in a Catholic sense.

Judaism is the ultimate in racism, a venomous hatred of Jesus, self-exalting megalomania/paranoia manifest in the rabbis' pedagogy of deceit, resurrected here by Mr. Potter.

You seem to have an intense loathing for Judaism, which for you may be the greatest of all evils.

The come-and-hear website quoted by Jordan Potter is well-known to be an incomplete version of the Soncino translation of the Talmud, an edition that itself was expurgated

And yet in the Talmud cites that were mentioned above, the Soncino version does not contradict other versions, and even provides alternate textual readings in the footnotes.

so Mr. Potter is trying to prove the innocence of the Talmud

Poppycock. I'm doing no such thing.

Also missing from our sayanim's source is Bereshith 47a

Bereshith 47a was not cited in the previous comments, so I did not have any cause to verify what Bereshith 47a says. But if you have quoted it accurately, then it doesn't say anything about Jesus, Mary, or Christianity. It wouldn't be surprising if it turned out that the rabbinic opinions that you quoted are contradicted a few lines later by some other rabbis.

Also, "sayanim" is a Hebrew term for a Jew who lives outside the land of Israel. If you're claiming that I am or have ever been a member of the Jewish faith or people, then you're a fool.

bedwere said...

I'm currently reading Giuseppe Ricciotti's Life of Christ in the original Italian edition. He says that there are offensive parts in the Talmud that cannot be found in contemporary (he wrote in 1940) editions because they were expurgated. Interestingly enough, he explains the "ben panthera" thing (according to the Talmud Panthera was the Roman soldier that begot Jesus) with a corruption of ὑιὸς τῆς παρθένου (son of the Virgin), an expression they heard from Christians.

David L Alexander said...

There's a code problem here. On the page itself, the comments are invisible because the type and the background are both white, and you have to highlight the copy to read it. I have to hit "post a comment" just to read this.

I won't be offended if you remove this notice after correcting it. Thanks for listening.

New Catholic said...

Dear Mr Potter, it would be better if the last comment posted by you could be rephrased (the portion which begins with "The story that...").

Dear Mr Alexander, I am aware of this code issue - but it has its usefulness. The comments are still available in the comments-only page, but all offensive comments which may have been overlooked in any post are not readily legible in the main post link.

David L Alexander said...

NC:

Thanks for cluing me in. Now, with a little effort, I know what not to say here. Still, there's a lesson somewhere in the need to do that.

Anonymous said...

Those who might want to know a bit more about what the Talmud says about Jesus and Mary and all Christians could go here:

http://www.catholicapologetics.info/apologetics/judaism/talmud.htm

Naturally, the A.D.L. will try to claim that this is all anti-semitic lies.
I prefer not to type out some of the passages. They are rather disturbing.

We must keep in mind that Christians are the true Jews because we inherited the promise and Christ fulfilled the law. For a time, many Jews had not had Christ preached to them (and the non-masoretic Jews of Ethiopia, the Falashas, are an exception to this too).

But after the second destruction of the Temple in 130, the old covenant lapsed. It can save nobody apart from the one Christ Who has already come and died on the Cross. Once Temple worship was gone, those who had rejected their own Saviour essentially concocted a new religion which puts as much authority or more in the masorah and places more emphasis on the Talmud than the Torah. While modern Judaism obviously owes much to the Old Testament, it is not completed except with the Talmud. Therefore, what they have is a new religion in which the essential sacred texts were not all written until centuries after the Resurrection.

Hence I sometimes use the term 'masortes' to refer to the Jews, not to be insulting but only to clarify that Christians are the true Jews. I have not intention of insulting Jewish individuals, some of whom are very civilised and very generous people. Few things are more important than the arts, and what would be the state of the arts today without their important contributions?

We call the masoretes Jews as a politie convention, just as we call the Eastern Schismatics 'the Orthodox' as a polite convention. In fact, the Easterners Orthodox are not only schismatic but also heretical, since they deny the Vatican I teaching on the plenitude of the Pope's authority.

I don't want all of this to get out of hand, and I don't like seeing evidence of anti-semitism on this blog. However, I cannot accept the A.D.L. fake expurgations of the Talmud. Those chaps would utter any lie to advance their cause. We cannot make the Talmud a lovely book just because this would make people feel better. It has been expurgated over time and this fact is not disputed by serious scholars.

One further note. On another thread, I mentioned that I oppose the legitimacy of the Zionist state. Some jump to all sorts of wild conclusios. It is not evidence of anti-semitism in the least. We, as Catholics, are free to hold a variety of opinions on the matter. There is no Church teaching in favour of Zionism, and I am sure that Patriarch Sabbah, our Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, is just as much an anti-Zionist as I am; so are most Palestinian Christians. Palestinian Christians are real Christians, unlike these evangelical jackasses and dispensationalists from the Bible Belt of the U.S.A.

What we don't want is a tragedy in the Holy Land. I support a future two-state solution there owing to the Catholic principle of proportionality. Ultimately, this means that, at all costs, we don't want a slaughter of Jews or of Palestinian Arabs. What we should be praying for is peace and harmony, especially at this time of year. What I see in Palestine is, instead, interminable rancour and an endless killing of innocents on both sides. That can't be good. A two-state solution as soon as possible could lead to a gradual easing of tensions. The longer this is delayed, however, the greater the chance that it will all end in some horrible slaughter.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

It's clear that Talmudic thinking has been used to justify the worst possible crimes against Gentiles (not to mention little Jewish boys, too).

The fact that not all Jews (cf. Karaites) to not live according to its teachings is beside the point.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and talking about Jewish liturgical prayer, what about the Kol Nidre(i)???

LeonG said...

Reciprocity with what? The Old Covenant is invalidated by The New Covenant. Therefore, the Jews can be saved by Our Blessed Lord just like Roman Catholics except that they must call on Him as a precondition to salvation. Of course, this involves a change of heart and mind and a humble surrendering of the human will to Almighty God and submission to Our Blessed Saviour's commandment of love through obedience. However, this is the stumbling block - just as the Good Friday prayer is.

On the other hand, Roman Catholics are not obliged to make animal sacrifices nor is a kosher regimens necessary nor do we need to attend synagogues as a dubious manifestation of mutuality.

Thus, there is no reciprocity as a mandatory prerequisite. All we require is some of that old fashioned traditional Roman Catholic charity toward those who do not believe in The Christ as the unique Saviour. Non-Catholics need our prayers; a Samaritan's care for their true well-being and respect for them as people. We are not obliged to be any more "reciprocal" than that.

Unfortunately, when modern church leaders talk about mutuality these days one wonders what doctrine of The Church they are ready to compromise in order to realise one of their obsessive post-conciliar ecumenical ventures.

Anonymous said...

LeonG mentions rightly the matter of the Jews' stumbling block. I note that, in the Litany of the Holy Cross, one of the most 'politically incorrect' devotions to which an imprimatur has been attached, the Cross itelf is called the "stumbling block to the Jews" (and the Jews, by the context of the petitions before and after the one for them, associates them with idolatry and ungodliness).

We use emphatic prayers for Jews' conversion because they are especially dear to our Lord's heart, and because the masoretes rejected the Messias Who was sent to them. This means that their condition is more urgent and serious than that of other infidels. Hence we need to pray all the more and all the more fervently that God will remove the veil from their hearts.

Their religion alone was really founded in the masorah as a reaction against Christianity in the post-Temple period. That is the reason for all the very nasty references to Christ, our Lady, and Christians in the Talmudic texts. In charity then, we pray especially hard that they will come out of their darkness.

Note that there is no special Good Friday prayer for any other specific religion, such as Buddhism or even Islam: they are all grouped together. This is for exactly the same reason.

Anyway, I just hope that the Pope does not now go after the Passion Narrative of Palm Sunday, or the Fifth and Sixth Lessions from the Second Nocturne of Matins in Tenebræ, or the propers of the votive Mass for the Defence of the Church, or the propers of the Feast of Christ the King, or the Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart, or the Litany of the Holy Cross. Where could this lead?

P.K.T.P.

Jay said...

P.K.T.P. - thanks for your comment which is clear and charitable.

Jordan Potter said...

Bedwere said: Interestingly enough, he explains the "ben panthera" thing (according to the Talmud Panthera was the Roman soldier that begot Jesus) with a corruption of ὑιὸς τῆς παρθένου (son of the Virgin), an expression they heard from Christians.

Yes, "Ben-Pandera" is likely to be a mocking anagram derived from "parthenos." However, the name Pandera or Pandira was a genuine Jewish name around the time of Christ and just before. The scurrilous "Roman soldier Panthera" story is first mentioned by the pagan philosopher Celsus. The Talmud itself doesn't mention
"Ben-Pandira" very much, what it says of him is contradictory, and it does not describe Pandira as a Roman soldier. It does appear, however, that non-Talmudic Jewish sources attest to the "Roman soldier" part of the anti-Christian parody. (In the medieval Toledot Yeshu, Jesus is said to be the son of "Joseph Pandera," who is not actually said to be a Roman soldier, but is described as "like a warrior in appearance.")

It's also interesting that the names "Panthar" and "Barpanthar" appear in St. John the Damascene's genealogy of Christ (later repeated in The Golden Legend). I have wondered if that genealogy was fabricated in order to "explain" why Jews falsely claimed Jesus was the son of Pandera -- or if the genealogy is genuine, and there was a real ancestor of Jesus named Panthar whose name was latched onto by Jews seeking to discredit the story of the virginal conception of Our Lord.

Peter Karl T. Perkins said: Their religion alone was really founded in the masorah as a reaction against Christianity in the post-Temple period.

Your statement is essentially correct, in that Orthodox Judaism is descended from the Judaism of those Pharisees who rejected the Messiahship of Jesus. But the statement "founded in the masorah" is not correct terminology. Masora refers to the specific Old Testament textual tradition that developed within Judaism starting in the first century A.D. and becoming a fixed feature of Judaism over the next few centuries. Masora is also the word for critical notes that were added to Jewish biblical manuscripts prior to the ninth century. By the early Middle Ages, the Jews had development a strict and precise system of textual copying, with various counting tests to ensure the number of letters in a new biblical manuscript matched the letters in the text being copied. The scribes entrusted with the masora are called Masoretes. The text(s) produced by the Masoretes is, naturally enough, called "Masoretic," distinguishing it from the alternate Septuagintal and Samaritan textual traditions which are often more accurate than the Masoretic tradition (though each tradition incorporates textual deficiencies). It is therefore inaccurate to say that Orthodox (rabbinic) Judaism was founded "in the masora," and misleading and confusing to call Orthodox Jews "Masoretes."

Anonymous said...

Precisely because the Masoretic Texts bowdlerized the Old Testament to disqualify Jesus as Messiah, it is perfectly appropriate, as every Jewish Encyclopedia does, to assign both Pharisaical and Masoretic roots to contemporary Judaism. The Masoretic revisions are passed off today as the "Hebrew Bible" and are still used by the rabbis against Jesus. Too, the "sages" engage in gematria (Judaic numerology) to distill secret gnosis from their bowdlerized Scriptures. No wonder that Jesus warned us against the "leaven" of the Pharisees.

Anonymous said...

Today's Catholics have blinded themselves to much.

Contra Mr. Matt's assertion, William T. Walsh does not deny, but documents Judaic ritual murder in Chapter 25 of "The Last Crusader: Isabella of Spain," the chapter subtitled "The Crucifixion of the Holy Child of La Guardia hastens Isabella's decision to expel all the Jews from Spain - A cause célèbre."

"The best of the Gentiles should all be killed." Talmud tractate Sopherim 15, rule 10. The anti-gentile imprecations of the Talmud are not mere words on the page, but have been put into action.

Recently the prominent Sephardic Rabbi Eliyahu announced with regard to Palestinians that not even women and children are innocent, but should all be killed. Unblind yourselves. Read what the rabbis say in Jewish newspapers: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1180527966693&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Even more evidence of an Ashkenazi ritual murder cult in Italy and Germany that crucified and bled Christian children to use the blood in Judaic necromancy (and as an alleged hemostatic agent in the circumcision ritual) was documented by Bar Ilan University Professor (and son of the retired Chief rabbi of Rome) Ariel Toaff. Within one week of publication last year, Pasque di Sangue (Blood Passover) was censored and successfully suppressed by the enraged ADL, but the English translation is available at http://www.israelshamir.net/BLOODPASSOVER.pdf

Today's Catholics have blinded themselves to much.

Jordan Potter said...

I've never been able to find any good evidence that the variations that distinguish the Masoretic textual tradition from other biblical textual traditions were deliberate and designed to eliminate prophecies that Jesus is the Messiah. The closest we come to something like that is the "karu" vs. "kari" ("they have pierced" vs. "like a lion") reading in Psalm 21 (22), which seems more likely to have arisen from a scribal error. "Kari" is obviously a mistake, as it is not attested by any ancient versions and doesn't make the slightest bit of grammatical sense. However, once a mistake enters into the text, it is forbidden to remove it, though sometimes corrective notes are added to the margin. Once the "kari" mistake was made, of course, the Jews have opportunistically used it to deny that Psalm 21 (22) refers to the crucifixion, but there's no evidence the error was deliberately introduced. The refusal to fix the "kari" mistake, however, is obviously related to the denial of Jesus' Messiahship. Most most of the Masoretic distinctive readings don't have any bearing at all on Messianic prophecy. (As for gematria, some of the early Fathers engaged in a little Christian gematria too -- even St. Augustine, who however cautioned against it.)

Some of the early Church Fathers, such as St. Justin Martyr, noticing the textual differences between Christian and Jewish Bibles, accused the Jews of deliberately excising Messianic prophecies. But the specific texts that those Fathers claimed were removed have not been found in any ancient versions, neither Christian versions nor Jewish versions. In those cases it seems more likely that those Fathers were using a biblical text that had a few faulty readings, as otherwise it would mean that the Church has permanently lost certain passages of divinely inspired scripture, something that God would never permit.

The Masoretic textual tradition is attested in the Dead Sea Scrolls, with some of the later Qumran biblical manuscripts matching the Masoretic text down to the jot and tittle. Thus the roots of the Masoretic text(s) are first certainly detected in the first century A.D., possibly pre-70 A.D. and certainly there by the late first century. But the Dead Sea Scrolls attest that there were other biblical manuscript traditions that date from the pre-Christian era and that were in use in the first century. Some Qumran readings match the Septuagint, some match the Samaritan Pentateuch, and some do not belong to any of the other known textual traditions. The proto-Masoretic text is probably roughly coeval with the Hebrew-Aramaic text that underlies the Septuagint, though to my thinking the Septuagintal tradition has a chronological leg up on the proto-Masoretic.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Potter, your rhetorical question about Balaam, among others, betrays your unfamiliarity with Jesus in the Talmud. You owe it to yourself and to those you misinform to read Princeton Judaic Studies Prof. Peter Schafer's Jesus in the Talmud.

For starters, you might learn that Jesus' name is properly rendered as Yeschua. Inform yourself as to the sick anti-Christ pun intended by using Yeschu instead of Yeschua. Then please be so kind as to stop using that insult against Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Here's one solid example of the rabbis' manipulation of O.T. text to cover-up and dethrone Christ:

Compare Hebrews 1:6 with Deut 32:43 (LXX), and that of the Masoretic.


(Hebrews 1:6) ((Protestant Version-English Stand Version)) http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=hebrews+1

6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God's angels worship him.”


(LXX) http://www.ecmarsh.com/lxx/Deuteronomy/index.htm
43 Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice ye Gentiles, with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him; for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance, and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him; and the Lord shall purge the land of his people.

(Masoretic - edited version, post 70 A.D.) http://ecmarsh.com/lxx-kjv/Deuteronomy/Deu_032.htm

32:43 Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.

Anonymous said...

"Never been able to find any solid evidence"???!!! Have you considered consulting any Catholic references?

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/01283.htm
Chapter 71. The Jews reject the interpretation of the LXX., from which, moreover, they have taken away some passages.

"But I am far from putting reliance in your teachers, who refuse to admit that the interpretation made by the seventy elders who were with Ptolemy [king] of the Egyptians is a correct one; and they attempt to frame another. And I wish you to observe, that they have altogether taken away many Scriptures from the translations effected by those seventy elders who were with Ptolemy, and by which this very man who was crucified is proved to have been set forth expressly as God, and man, and as being crucified, and as dying; but since I am aware that this is denied by all of your nation, I do not address myself to these points, but I proceed to carry on my discussions by means of those passages which are still admitted by you. For you assent to those which I have brought before your attention, except that you contradict the statement, 'Behold, the virgin shall conceive,' and say it ought to be read, 'Behold, the young woman shall conceive.' And I promised to prove that the prophecy referred, not, as you were taught, to Hezekiah, but to this Christ of mine: and now I shall go to the proof."
Here Trypho remarked, "We ask you first of all to tell us some of the Scriptures which you allege have been completely cancelled."
Chapter 72. Passages have been removed by the Jews from Esdras and Jeremiah.

And I said, "I shall do as you please. From the statements, then, which Esdras made in reference to the law of the passover, they have taken away the following: 'And Esdras said to the people, This passover is our Saviour and our refuge. And if you have understood, and your heart has taken it in, that we shall humble Him on a standard, and thereafter hope in Him, then this place shall not be forsaken for ever, says the God of hosts. But if you will not believe Him, and will not listen to His declaration, you shall be a laughing-stock to the nations.' And from the sayings of Jeremiah they have cut out the following: 'I [was] like a lamb that is brought to the slaughter: they devised a device against me, saying, Come, let us lay on wood on His bread, and let us blot Him out from the land of the living; and His name shall no more be remembered.' < a>And since this passage from the sayings of Jeremiah is still written in some copies [of the Scriptures] in the synagogues of the Jews (for it is only a short time since they were cut out), and since from these words it is demonstrated that the Jews deliberated about the Christ Himself, to crucify and put Him to death, He Himself is both declared to be led as a sheep to the slaughter, as was predicted by Isaiah, and is here represented as a harmless lamb; but being in a difficulty about them, they give themselves over to blasphemy. And again, from the sayings of the same Jeremiah these have been cut out: 'The Lord God remembered His dead people of Israel who lay in the graves; and He descended to preach to them His own salvation.'
Chapter 73. [The words] "From the wood"have been cut out of Ps. xcvi.

"And from the ninety-fifth (ninety-sixth) Psalm they have taken away this short saying of the words of David: 'From the wood.' For when the passage said, 'Tell among the nations, the Lord has reigned from the wood,' they have left, 'Tell among the nations, the Lord has reigned.' Now no one of your people has ever been said to have reigned as God and Lord among the nations, with the exception of Him only who was crucified, of whom also the Holy Spirit affirms in the same Psalm that He was raised again, and freed from [the grave], declaring that there is none like Him among the gods of the nations: for they are idols of demons. But I shall repeat the whole Psalm to you, that you may perceive what has been said. It is thus: 'Sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord, all the earth. Sing unto the Lord, and bless His name; show forth His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all people. For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: He is to be feared above all the gods. For all the gods of the nations are demons but the Lord made the heavens. Confession and beauty are in His presence; holiness and magnificence are in His sanctuary. Bring to the Lord, O you countries of the nations, bring to the Lord glory and honour, bring to the Lord glory in His name. Take sacrifices, and go into His courts; worship the Lord in His holy temple. Let the whole earth be moved before Him: tell among the nations, the Lord has reigned. For He has established the world, which shall not be moved; He shall judge the nations with equity. Let the heavens rejoice, and the earth be glad; let the sea and its fulness shake. Let the fields and all therein be joyful. Let all the trees of the wood be glad before the Lord: for He comes, for He comes to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth.' "
Here Trypho remarked, "Whether [or not] the rulers of the people have erased any portion of the Scriptures, as you affirm, God knows; but it seems incredible."
"Assuredly," said I, "it does seem incredible. For it is more horrible than the calf which they made, when satisfied with manna on the earth; or than the sacrifice of children to demons; or than the slaying of the prophets. But," said I, "you appear to me not to have heard the Scriptures which I said they had stolen away. For such as have been quoted are more than enough to prove the points in dispute, besides those which are retained by us, and shall yet be brought forward."

Anonymous said...

Let's review Potter's content: defense of Talmud, defense of the Masoretic texts, accusation that St. Justin Martyr had "faulty texts," casual use of Judaic puns against Jesus, accusation that "the Fathers... sometimes said and did things that were inappropriate." If it wasn't clear to anyone from the beginning, by now the agenda should be perfectly clear.

Anonymous said...

So typical... give any "Catholic" defender of Talmud enough liberty and sooner or later the attacks on the Saints, Fathers, Councils, and Scripture will follow.

Jordan Potter said...

"The best of the Gentiles should all be killed." Talmud tractate Sopherim 15, rule 10.

If you're going to quote Sopherim 15, then it is only proper that you note that Sopherim 15 and other Jewish texts include the qualifying condition that this principle is strictly a rule of war. It isn't an anti-Gentile imprecation, or a wish that all Gentiles be killed, let alone an indication that Jews think non-Jews should be killed. In context, it is a stipulation that in wartime, no quarter should be given to the enemy, regardless of their status or character. Of course the traditional Jewish rules of war diverge in various significant ways from the Christian just war tradition. In the past, however, Christians and Jews conducted their warfare along similar lines -- witness the Crusaders' killing of everyone in Jerusalem, since the rules of war in those days called for no quarter to be given to those who refused to surrender prior to an assault on a city. At that time it might be said that there was a Christian wartime tradition that even "the best of the Jews and Saracens should be killed."

Jordan Potter said...

So our anonymous anti-Jewish commenter is once again telling incredible whoppers about me and my comments. . . .

Let's review Potter's content: defense of Talmud,

Not defense -- accurate citation and quotation showing that the Talmud doesn't say what it was claimed to have said.

defense of the Masoretic texts

Some defense. I pointed out that the Masoretic texts incorporates erroneous readings. You say those errors were deliberate, but I observed that I've never found much cause to think the errors in the Masoretic texts were motivated by animus towards Christianity. Believe it or not, it really is possible for Orthodox Jews to undertake religious endeavors for motives other than rejection of Jesus as the Messiah.

accusation that St. Justin Martyr had "faulty texts"

He wouldn't be the only early Christian writer who may not have had access to the best biblical manuscripts available in those days. It's hardly a moral fault.

casual use of Judaic puns against Jesus

There was nothing casual about it. But then I suppose you might accuse the Church Father Origen of the same thing, since Origen is the one who preserved what Celsus said about the Jewish anti-Christian "Panthera" slander.

accusation that "the Fathers... sometimes said and did things that were inappropriate."

Are you claiming that the Fathers were all impeccable and infallible?

If it wasn't clear to anyone from the beginning, by now the agenda should be perfectly clear.

Yes, your agenda, your tendentiousness and harsh anti-Judaism (if not anti-Semitism) is perfectly clear to me.

So typical... give any "Catholic" defender of Talmud enough liberty and sooner or later the attacks on the Saints, Fathers, Councils, and Scripture will follow.

I'll be sure and let you know if anyone like that shows up here doing those things . . .

Anonymous said...

Take your "other gospel" elsewhere, Potter.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Potter has "accurately cited" a redacted and sanitized online summary of the Soncino to exculpate what Jesus, the Apostles, The Doctors, Fathers, Councils, and Popes damned.

He casually uses "Yeschu," the sick anti-Christ pun on Yeschua.

The writings of the canonized Saints that he has impugned, including St. John Chrysostom and St. Justin Martyr, have been examined thoroughly and the Magisterium has never found against them.

Though the Masoretic errors consistently oppose Jesus, Potter finds it only a matter of accident.

And Potter claimed he didn't know what a kosher Catholic was!

Jordan Potter said...

Really, I think our anti-Judaistic anonymous has been displaying a decidedly un-Catholic and unreasonable, anti-intellectual mindset.

Mr. Potter, your rhetorical question about Balaam, among others, betrays your unfamiliarity with Jesus in the Talmud.


And your belief that Balaam is codename for Jesus betrays your unfamiliarity with the Talmud. I've actually read those passages of the Talmud that discuss "Balaam," so I know they couldn't possibly be referring to Jesus.

You owe it to yourself and to those you misinform to read Princeton Judaic Studies Prof. Peter Schafer's Jesus in the Talmud.

And you owe it to yourself and to those you misinform to actually read the portions of the Talmud that you have been misinterpreting.

For starters, you might learn that Jesus' name is properly rendered as Yeschua.

Actually it's more commonly rendered "Yeshua." The spelling "Yeschua" is found in older works. Of course this is all a matter of transliteration from the Hebrew, so it really doesn't matter whether one says "Yeshua," "Jeshua," "Ieshua," "Ieschua," or "Yesua," etc.

Inform yourself as to the sick anti-Christ pun intended by using Yeschu instead of Yeschua. Then please be so kind as to stop using that insult against Jesus.

You shouldn't make such presumptions. I have long been aware that "Yeshu" was intended as an unkind and uncouth mockery of the name "Yeshua." And yet a discussion of the Talmud's handful of references to a person named Yeshu cannot help but refer to what the Talmud actually says. Quoting a religious text in a discussion does not mean one is agreeing with what the text says, and quoting someone else's insult is not the same as using the insult one's self.

I would appreciate it if you stopped your systematic distortions and misrepresentations of what I have said here. It's not like people can't read these comments themselves and see the difference between what I said and what you are claiming about me.

Anonymous said...

The Talmud, teaches that Jesus was a bastard born of an adulterous relationship [Kallah 51a] of a whore [Sanhedrin 106a] and that, because he was an idolator and sex pervert, He is now in Hell boiling in feces and semen [Gittin 57a]. [See Princeton University Judaic Studies Prof. Peter Schafer, Jesus in the Talmud, ISBN-13 978-0691129266] Since Gentiles only look like men, but have the souls of animals [among many, Kerithoth 6b, Sanhedrin 74b,Yebamoth 98a, Bereshith 47a, et al.], Gentiles are owed no debt of morality or decency - not honesty [Baba Kamma 113a], not property [Baba Mezia 24a], not even life! —“The best of the Gentiles should all be killed” [Soferim 15, rule 10].

At tractate Yebamoth 63a the Talmud teaches that “Adam had intercourse with all the beasts and animals” in the Garden of Eden. At tractate Gittin 69b the Talmud teaches that the cure of a catarrh is to “take the excrement of a white dog kneaded with balsam.” Then, of course, the rabbis till perform their oral circumcision ritual Mezizah b'peh* on little boys, sometimes even killing the babies. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/26/nyregion/26circumcise.html

* Go to http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=514&letter=C&search=circumcision#1811 then scroll down to:

Meẓiẓah:
By this is meant the sucking of the blood from the wound. The mohel takes some wine in his mouth and applies his lips to the part involved in the operation, and exerts suction, after which he expels the mixture of wine and blood into a receptacle (see Fig. 4, below) provided for the purpose. This procedure is repeated several times, and completes the operation, except as to the control of the bleeding and the dressing of the wound.

Jordan Potter said...

He casually uses "Yeschu," the sick anti-Christ pun on Yeschua.

Hmm, I thought it was just too great an offense and scandal to you for me to say the name "Yeshu," and now here you go using it yourself!

Take your "other gospel" elsewhere, Potter

If the gospel I believe in differs from yours, then you must be confessing that you are a heretic and not a Catholic at all.

Well, I'm thinking this debate has passed the point where it could be edifying any more. The falsehoods aand silly claims of our anonymous require a lot of time and energy to counter, and it's becoming less and less constructive doing so.

Anonymous said...

Princeton Judaic Studies Prof. Peter Schafer studied dozens of Talmud editions in the original languages and in the vernacular and he reached an entirely different conclusion from Potter, that there are indeed numerous references to Jesus, both explicit and code word in sanitized editions.

Even among the English editions, eg., Soncino and Steinsaltz, the code word substitutions are clear. Sanhedrin 43a is a salient example of both code word substitution and redaction of content previously provided that Potter has ignored.

An honest scholar would follow the leads wherever they go, but Potter has already satisfied himself that the redacted and sanitized online Soncino is all he needs to exonerate the Talmud.

Anonymous said...

An honest man would go to his local university or theological library and compare the online Soncino to the printed Soncino and to compare the printed Soncino and the printed Steinsaltz.

Comparing the printed Soncino and Steinsaltz editons:

At tractate Sanhedrin folio 43a the code word "Yeschu" is utilized in the sanitized Soncino and a footnote adds that a single manuscript refers to "the Nazarean." In the latest Steinsaltz translation the original "Jesus of Nazareth" is plainly stated. Too, the Soncino is missing entirely the folio's sections boasting that the Sanhedrin overcame the Roman "inclination towards acquittal" to connive Jesus' execution.

Comparing the online Soncino to the printed Soncino:

Among the numerous folios missing from the come-and-hear online Soncino is tractate Kerithoth folio 6b a section that exemplifies Judaism's teaching that non-Jews are not human: "Ye [of Israel] are called adam ['man'], but Gentiles are not called adam ['man']." In fact, all the Seder Kodashim chapters are missing from Potter's online source.

These types of code word substitutions and block redactions exemplify the deceitful legerdemain used to exonerate the Talmud by its apologists.

Anonymous said...

The Jewish religion, as it is currently composed, does not have a missionary mandate built into its identity. A Jew can live out the requirements of his religion without asking anyone else to become Jewish.

What we need to help Jews understand is that this is not the case for Christianity. Christians would violate their identity, the essential fabric of their beliefs, if they were not to evangelize. In Catholicism, this obligation to "spread and defend the faith" is expecially imposed by the sacrament of Confirmation.

This is an understandably difficult thing for Jews to take in and really grasp. Asking a Christian to not evangelize or pray for conversions is similar to asking a Jew to not go to temple on Yom Kippur. One who accedes to this sort of request has alienated himself from his religious identity.

In asking Christians to stop evangelizing or seeking converts, Jews need to see that this will subvert their intention to protect themselves from aggression. It will only reenforce hostile stereotypes of Jews trying to distort and undermine Christianity.

JAT

Jordan Potter said...

An honest scholar would follow the leads wherever they go, but Potter has already satisfied himself that the redacted and sanitized online Soncino is all he needs to exonerate the Talmud.

An honest scholar would not tell lies about someone with whom he disagrees, as you have been doing. Really, if you're not going to interact with what I've actually said, instead of your practice of out-of-context and tendentious citation and blatant misrepresentation, then you shouldn't be commenting here at all.

I have just one final thing to say to you, whoever you are: Lying is a mortal sin. Please examine your conscience.

Farewell.

Jordan Potter said...

Oh sorry -- one last thing about Professor Peter Schaefer's book. Since I've found that our anonymous hasn't been accurately and fairly quoting the Talmud ha-Bavli or related works, I will have to remain skeptical that he has accurately summarised Prof. Schaefer's thesis.

Anonymous said...

For a scholarly refutation to the above Talmud apologists/sophistry I recommend Jesus in the Talmud, Peter Schafer, Princeton University Press, and the forthcoming Judaism Discovered, by Michael A. Hoffman.

---------------
From the Jewish Encyclopedia:

... some medieval apologists for Judaism, as Nachmanides and Salman Zebi, ... [asserted] that the "Yeshu'" mentioned in the Talmud was not identical with Jesus; this, however, is merely a subterfuge. (Jewish Encyclopedia, "Jesus of Nazareth")

http://tinyurl.com/37ny4h

--------------

The following is an excerpt from American Jewish Committee website which was quickly removed after it was published:

***

Yet it is also important that Jews confront their own tradition and ask how Jewish sources treated the Jesus narrative. Pointedly, Jews did not argue that crucifixion was a Roman punishment and therefore no Jewish court could have advocated it. Consider, by contrast, the following text from the Talmud:

On the eve of Passover Jesus was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, "He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Anyone who can say anything in his favor let him come forward and plead on his behalf." But since nothing was brought forward in his favor, he was hanged on the eve of Passover. Ulla retorted: Do you suppose he was one for whom a defense could be made? Was he not a mesith (enticer), concerning whom Scripture says, "Neither shall thou spare nor shall thou conceal him?" With Jesus, however, it was different, for he was connected with the government. (Sanhedrin 43a)

***

The full article is archived here:

http://tinyurl.com/3xe7fg

-----------------

And so we see that not only is Jesus mentioned specifically in the Talmud, the rabbis claim responsibility for His execution which they maintain was fitting punishment for "sorcery" and the "crime" of "leading Israel astray."

http://mauricepinay.blogspot.com/

New Catholic said...

Thank you for your comments, Mr Potter.

Anonymous said...

On Mr. Jordan's definition of masorete:

I never said that the term masorete refers to all Orthodox Jews. I was not referring to Orthodox Jews specifically as a group. The fact is that most religious Jews today accept the authority of the masorah. Therefore, it is perfectly appropriate to call them masoretes as a general term of reference. Most of them accept the Babylonian Talmud as a more authoritative text than the Jerusalem one as well, and we find the troublesome passages mostly there and in the commentary.

I realise that some Jews are not masoretes, and that some (the Falashas) are not even Talmudic. But the term is useful from time to time to clarify that we are the true Jews and that most of them rely on post-Resurrection texts which are largely a reaction against Christianity. The fact is that the vast majoity of Christians don't know what the Talmud is and assume that the Jews simply follow the Old Testament alone. I know one individual who told me that the Torah was the first five books of the Bible and that the Talmud was the rest of the O.T. So most Christians have no idea what religious Jews believe.

Of course, I call them Jews sometimes too; this is a polite convention.

P.K.T.P.

Jordan Potter said...

Of course, as St. Paul said, Christians are the "true Jews," having circumcised hearts, and the Church is the Israel of God. Nevertheless the New Testament's most common names for the Jews are "Jews" and "Israel" and "Hebrews." Regularly calling non-Christian Jews "Masoretes" is only going to confuse people or make them look at us funny, as "Masorete" refers to the Jewish scribes of the early Middle Ages who had custody of the Jews' holy scriptures.

Anonymous said...

You have been accurately quoted and accused, Mr. Potter.

You have been repeatedly advised of the significant defects in your online Talmud source, but you return to it. Will you leave your easy chair surfing the net to actually read the evidence in other Talmud editions against your exoneration of the Talmud?

You reject Schafer's scholarly book that you haven't read.

You casually and repeatedly used the anti-Christ Yeschu pun on Yeschua. When called on it, you claimed you were only quoting a religious source, but here is a plain example when you were quoting no one: "Very little is said of Yeshu in the Talmud..." Though you repeatedly made reference to Yeschu, you not once explained that Yeschu was actually an insult to Jesus. Only after you were called on it, you stated you were aware of the pun. If you were aware of the sick pun, why did you go on and on about Yeschu without even explaining the insult intended against Jesus by its use in the Talmud? Were you ignorant of the insult or were you trying to conceal it? If you knew about it as you now claim, are we to believe that someone so knowledgeable as yourself on Talmud forgot such an important point?

Here's another verbatim quote: "St. John Chrysostom said some pretty harsh and extreme things about the Jews ..." What are you insinuating here? That these "pretty harsh and extreme things" were untrue? Or that these "pretty harsh and extreme things" are true, but should have been concealed or euphemized? That in revealing the "pretty harsh and extreme things," the Saint showed poor judgment in your highly esteemed opinion? What "respectful" thing about the Saint were you trying to convey?

Another verbatim quote:
"Some of the early Church Fathers, such as St. Justin Martyr, noticing the textual differences between Christian and Jewish Bibles, accused the Jews of deliberately excising Messianic prophecies. But.... it seems more likely that those Fathers were using a biblical text that had a few faulty readings...."

It is quite clear from the context that, based on your speculation of what the Saint had and didn't have, you impugn him for his just accusations that are corroborated by numerous other Saints, Doctors, Fathers, Councils, and Popes. He has been canonized and no Magisterium stands against him, only your smug evidence-free speculation about what "seems more likely."

Too, the Masoretic redactions, some of them 1,000 years after Christ, all dethrone Jesus as Messiah, yet you insist these are mere accidents. Accidental errors, Mr. Potter, are random. Neither the Talmudic nor the Masoretic attacks on Jesus are random statistical events.


As has already been said, give a "Catholic" defender of Talmud enough liberty and sooner or later he will insult the Saints, Doctors, Councils, Popes, and Scripture.

You have been justly accused, Mr. Potter.

Anonymous said...

I suppose that it is only random accident that the American Jewish Committee quickly pulled down the admissions about Talmud Sanhedrin 43a archived at:
http://tinyurl.com/3xe7fg

Thanks for that piece!

Like the Steinsaltz Talmud itself, the article corroborates what we have said about Potter's defective online Talmud, but he chooses to "remain skeptical" and not investigate for himself what Schafer meticulously documents about Jesus in the Talmud.

Jordan Potter said...

It's interesting to note that, although the Come and Hear website has not yet uploaded all the tractates from the Soncino Talmud, "Come and Hear" does host papers and articles that offer some unrelenting criticism of what the Talmud says (or is thought to say) about Jesus and Christianity. These articles even argue in favor of the old erroneous theory that Balaam in the Talmud is a codename for Jesus.

http://www.come-and-hear.com/dilling/chapt03.html

http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/censorship_2.html

These anti-Talmud polemics at Come and Hear seem to reference most if not all of the passages that our anti-Jewish anonymous and others have mentioned here.

LeonG said...

Holy Scriptures rightly inform us that Our Blessed Saviour is stumbling block to the Jews and so He is.

Mohamatenism and Buddhism are not included in the prayer for the faithless Jews because these false religions are patently pagan. While the house of Ishmael can make claim to divine promises in the Old Testament, they have been perverted by adherence to a false prophet & his false teachings since they have added to and taken away from the divine revelations of Sacred Scripture. Some Ishmaelites have seen through this falsehood by the grace of God and become Christians.
Therefore, Mohamatens are guilty of violating the rule laid down in the Book of The Apocalypse: Epilogue 18-19. The traditional Catechism is correct to call Mohamatenism what it is.

In the meantime, it would be better to stop reading the Talmud as it is incapable of revealing Almighty God's beautiful message of salvation for those who love, through willing obedience, His Only Son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus, The Christ. The fact it raises so much ire during this Lenten season attests to its evil indispositions. That modern French bishops should journey to New York to study it is totally incomprehensible except in the light of the current disorder and disorientation in The Church these days. The Church has an unhealthy hang up about the Jews at present and it is time this came to an end since it serves no purpose other than post-conciliar ecumenia.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly the "old erroneous theory" is well documented in Schafer's book. Not every reference to "Balaam" in the Talmud is a reference to Jesus, but some specific instances are and Schafer makes the point well. Again, all your "errors" exculpate Talmud and impugn the truth. Your consistency shows your errors are not any more random than those in the Talmud and the Masoretic texts. You have been accurately quoted and justly accused.

Anonymous said...

Not all the sick Talmud teachings are missing from the come-and-hear site:

http://www.come-and-hear.com/yebamoth/yebamoth_63.html

http://www.come-and-hear.com/gittin/gittin_69.html

Through the ages many men have called themselves Catholic, yet tried to exonerate and baptize the Talmud and the Kabbalah. Sadly, manic Judaizing is in vogue today, even to the point of mortally sinful seders being promoted by supposed priests and prelates during Holy Week:

Ҥ 712 It [the Holy Catholic Church] firmly believes, professes, and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, of the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments, because they were established to signify something in the future, although they were suited to Divine worship at that time, after our Lord's coming had been signified by them, ceased, and the Sacraments of the New Testament began; and that whoever, even after the passion, placed hope in these matters of law and submitted himself to them as necessary for salvation, as if faith in Christ could not save without them, sinned mortally. Yet it does not deny that after the passion of Christ up to the promulgation of the Gospel they could have been observed until they were believed to be in no way necessary for salvation; but after the promulgation of the Gospel it asserts they cannot be observed without the loss of eternal salvation. All, therefore, who after that time observe circumcision and the Sabbath and the other requirements of the law, it declares alien to the Christian faith and not in the least fit to participate in eternal salvation, unless someday they recover from these errors....
“§714 The Most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews, and heretics, and schismatics, can ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire 'which was prepared for the devil, and his angels,' (Matthew 25:41) unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this Ecclesiastical Body, that only those remaining within this unity can profit from the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and that they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, alms deeds, and other works of Christian piety and duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved unless they abide within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”
---Cantate Domino, from the infallible ecumenical Council of Florence under His Holiness Pope Eugene IV defining the Solemn Doctrine: Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, promulgated by papal bull, February 4, 1444 [Florentine calendar] in Denziger Enchiridion Symbolorum, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, § 712-714

Jordan Potter said...

I said I wasn't going to bother with our anti-Jewish anonymous any more, but I've now rested after a good dinner, and I've changed my mind.

You have been accurately quoted and accused, Mr. Potter.

"Quoted"? Until your latest comments, you didn't quote a single one of my words. Accused, yes, but inaccurately. You, or someone else who is as cowardly or as lazy or as lacking in imagination as you (for only cowardice or laziness or lack of imagination can explain this posting anonymously -- can't you at least choose a nice little pseudonym?), have denied that I'm a Catholic, have called me a Jew, have deliberately and repeatedly accused me of defending the Talmud, have claimed that I am promoting a false gospel, and on and on. There's not yet been a single true accusation lodged against me by the anti-Jewish anonymous.

From your first appearance here until now you have shown yourself to be ill-mannered, tendentious, unfair, close-minded, bigoted, unscholarly, unintellectual, presumptuous, careless, and uncharitable.

You have been repeatedly advised of the significant defects in your online Talmud source, but you return to it.

I don't know what you mean by "return to it." Someone erroneously cited some specific Talmudic passages -- so in a series of comments I used the Come and Hear online Soncino to demonstrate that the passages had been cited erroneously. Then you, or somebody, began bringing up other irrelevant Talmud passages, claiming that the Soncino Talmud is defective -- it's been expurgated, the Steinsalz Talmud is better, blah, blah, blah. And yet the Soncino Talmud includes all of the passages that mention, or have been thought to mention, Jesus and Mary, even showing alternate readings in footnotes. Anyway, since my initial series of comments, I've not returned to quote the Come and Hear Soncino -- not that there'd be anything wrong about doing do.

Will you leave your easy chair surfing the net to actually read the evidence in other Talmud editions against your exoneration of the Talmud?

When it comes to the Talmud passages that mention, or supposedly mention, Jesus and Christianity, it has not yet been shown that there is any significant difference between the Soncino's readings and textual apparatus and any other edition.

By the way, you may not have noticed this, but you have again falsely claimed that I am trying to exonerate the Talmud. On the contrary, I'm showing that you and those like you are wholly unreliable as authorities about what the Talmud says and means.

You reject Schafer's scholarly book that you haven't read.

Another falsehood on your part. Who says I reject his book? Rather, it is your claims about his book that I'm skeptical about. Since you do not cite the Talmud fairly, and since you deliberately and repeatedly say things about me that aren't true, I have good cause to be cautious about accepting your representations. I mean, you've never once quoted a single passage from Prof. Schaefer's book. I have no reason to believe you've even read it, though even if you have I have good reason to doubt you'd represent it fairly and accurately. (Of course, if you are right that Prof. Schaefer upholds the identification of Balaam as a codename for Jesus, then he has reached an erroneous and untenable conclusion.)

You casually and repeatedly used the anti-Christ Yeschu pun on Yeschua.

Another falsehood -- it was not casual. Anyway, you also have repeatedly used "Yeshu." In fact you just did it again, just now.

When called on it, you claimed you were only quoting a religious source,

Another falsehood of yours. I didn't claim I was "only" quoting a religious source. I said "a discussion of the Talmud's handful of references to a person named Yeshu cannot help but REFER to what the Talmud actually says. QUOTING a religious text in a discussion does not mean one is agreeing with what the text says, and quoting someone else's insult is not the same as using the insult one's self."

but here is a plain example when you were quoting no one: "Very little is said of Yeshu in the Talmud..."

Big whoop. I was referring to the figure of Yeshu in the Talmud, who is at least partly, if not largely, based on Jesus (though many Jews implausibly deny that).

But perhaps you could explain to me why it is okay for you to refer to Yeshu while I may not? Why the double standard? Is it just because you don't like the fact that I don't share your tendentious and irrational approach to Judaism and the Talmud?

Though you repeatedly made reference to Yeschu, you not once explained that Yeschu was actually an insult to Jesus.

There wasn't any need to bring it up. Though you apparently don't understand this fact, New Catholic did not post on what Cardinal Bertone said just so you could have a platform to perpetuate the teaching of contempt and to twist and misrepresent the Talmud. Very little of what you've posted here is in fact relevant to the actual topic of this weblog posting.

Only after you were called on it, you stated you were aware of the pun. If you were aware of the sick pun, why did you go on and on about Yeschu without even explaining the insult intended against Jesus by its use in the Talmud?

Because it doesn't have anything to do with the revised Good Friday Prayer for the Jews. The only reason I went to the effort of correcting the original Talmud miscites is because I don't like it when people believe things that aren't true -- and when it comes to what the Talmud says about Jesus, Mary, and Christianity, there are a lot of falsehoods that have been circulating in Christian and Muslim circles for quite some time. The only reasons I've continued to talk about the Talmud is because you keep saying things about it and me that aren't true.

Were you ignorant of the insult or were you trying to conceal it?

No and no.

If you knew about it as you now claim, are we to believe that someone so knowledgeable as yourself on Talmud forgot such an important point?

Who says I'm so knowledgeable about the Talmud? Just because I know more about it than you do, that doesn't make me all that knowledgeable about it.

Here's another verbatim quote: "St. John Chrysostom said some pretty harsh and extreme things about the Jews ..." What are you insinuating here? That these "pretty harsh and extreme things" were untrue?

I'm not "insinuating" anything, but yes, in his remarkably overheated rhetoric about the Jews, St. John said things that were untrue. Oh, they were probably true about some Jews, but St. John wasn't talking about just some Jews -- he was talking about the Jews.

What "respectful" thing about the Saint were you trying to convey?

That we needn't toss St. John's anti-Semitic homilies on the fire just because they are problematic. He is a saint, after all, and to get an accurate understanding of a saint, we must consider and listen to all that he said, good and bad, not just his words that are good.

It is quite clear from the context that, based on your speculation of what the Saint [Justin Martyr] had and didn't have, you impugn him for his just accusations that are corroborated by numerous other Saints, Doctors, Fathers, Councils, and Popes.

Not, it's not clear that I impugn him at all. Saints are just as capable of making honest mistakes as the rest of us -- in fact, they're more capable of mistakes that are honest than we are, because they're saints. Our mistakes are less likely to be honest ones.

Now, you claim that numerous other Saints, Doctors, Fathers, Councils, and Popes corroborate St. Justin's accusations that the Jews removed passages of scripture out of anti-Christian motives. But they don't corroborate his accusations at all -- they repeat them, they believe them, but they never produce any biblical manuscripts that contain certain specific passages that St. Justin Martyr mentions. Indeed, neither Catholic nor Eastern Orthodox Bibles have the reading "reigned from the wood" that St. Justin said was removed by the Jews. Has God allowed the Jews to destroy part of His written Word? That's what we'd have to conclude, if St. Justin was right on this point.

He has been canonized and no Magisterium stands against him, only your smug evidence-free speculation about what "seems more likely."

It was neither smug nor evidence free. And canonisation does not retroactively grant someone the graces of infallibility and impeccability. Pope St. Clement I was wrong about the existence of the Phoenix, St. Justin was wrong to speak of the Logos as a second God, and was also wrong about the inscription on the base of the statue of the Etruscan god Simo Sancus in the River Tiber . . . there are all kinds of mistakes like that in the writings of the Fathers. We Catholics do not believe that the writings of the Fathers are divinely inspired and inerrant.

Too, the Masoretic redactions, some of them 1,000 years after Christ, all dethrone Jesus as Messiah, yet you insist these are mere accidents.

Here you demonstrate your ignorance of the distinctive readings in the Masoretic. It's just rank foolery to claim that each and every one of the thousands of little and not so little ways the Masoretic text differs from the Septuagint, Samaritan Pentateuch, Peshitto, Vulgate, etc., "dethrone Jesus as Messiah."

Here's just one example: Gen. 4:8

LXXII "And Cain said to Abel his brother, Let us go out into the field. And it came to pass that when they were in the field Cain rose up against Abel his brother and slew him."

Masor. "And Cain said to Abel his brother. And it came to pass that when they were in the field Cain rose up against Abel his brother and slew him."

Here the Masoretic is defective and the Septuagint has the better reading. Are you going to insist that the deletion of the words "Let us go out into the field" were deliberate, an attempt to remove proof of Jesus' Messiahship? Please show me just one Christian who ever deployed "Let us go out into the field" as a key Messianic text.

Here's another example: Gen. 4:18

LXXII "And to Enoch was born Gaidad, and Gaidad begot Maleleel, and Maleleel begot Mathusala, and Mathusala begot Lamech."

Masor. "And to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech."

Now, in this place it is the Masoretic that has the better reading and the Septuagint that is inferior. "Gaidad" is a Grecianised rendering of the name YIDAD, and in Hebrew the letters D and R look very similar -- the Septuagint scribe mistook YIRAD for YIDAD. As for "Maleleel," that is "Mahalalel," one of the names in the Sethite pedigree -- either from conscious assimilation or unconscious error, the Septuagint scribe wrongly used the name Grecianised form for both the Cainite Mehujael and the Sethite Mahalalel.

But you insist that the Masoretic divergences are deliberate and motivated by a desire to remove proof of Jesus' Messiahship. So, please explain how replacing "Gaidad" with "Irad" and "Malaleel" with "Mehujael" undermines proof of Jesus' Messiahship. And since the Vulgate agrees with the Masoretic on this point, you would have to accuse the Vulgate of a grievous error, as it lacks the alleged Messianic prophecy that is somehow hidden within Gen. 4:18.

Accidental errors, Mr. Potter, are random. Neither the Talmudic nor the Masoretic attacks on Jesus are random statistical events.

Probably at least 99% of the Masoretic textual distinctives and idiosyncrasies are random. There are hardly any that can be even tentatively ascribed to ill motives.

As has already been said, give a "Catholic" defender of Talmud enough liberty and sooner or later he will insult the Saints, Doctors, Councils, Popes, and Scripture.

And as I said, I'll let you know if anybody like that shows up here doing those things. I'm happy to be a service that way, because I think it's evident you wouldn't recognise such a person if you encountered one. Just look at your less than stellar record with me.

Jordan Potter said...

the infallible ecumenical Council of Florence

Well, some of what it taught is infallible. But let's not forget that Florence was mistaken about the form and matter of diaconal ordination.

Not every reference to "Balaam" in the Talmud is a reference to Jesus, but some specific instances are and Schafer makes the point well.

I've not found a single Talmudic reference to Balaam that can clearly be identified as a reference to Jesus. Certainly the reference in Gittin 57a can't be, as I've already shown. The classic texts that anti-Semites cite in Sanhedrin 106b don't stand up to scrutiny either.

Jay said...

Referring to the good dinner Jordan Potter had that induced him to post another apologetic comment about Talmud, let me say Talmud reading is like going to Chinese restaurant, where Jordan will be served dinner made out of different ingredients than that prepared for native Chinese customer.

Anonymous said...

Jordan Potter said:

"Regularly calling non-Christian Jews "Masoretes" is only going to confuse people or make them look at us funny, as "Masorete" refers to the Jewish scribes of the early Middle Ages who had custody of the Jews' holy scriptures."

I would not refer to a Jew as a masorete to his face because that might cause confusion or misunderstanding. But this list is for Catholics, not masoretes. Words can have more than one meaning, Mr. Potter. For example, the term 'church' can refer to a group of people or to a building. We use context to tell the difference. I am sure that, when I refer to Jews in general as 'masoretes' on this blog and in similar places, people will understand that I am not referring to mediæval scribes.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Potter said: "I've not found a single Talmudic reference to Balaam that can clearly be identified as a reference to Jesus. Certainly the reference in Gittin 57a can't be, as I've already shown. The classic texts that anti-Semites cite in Sanhedrin 106b don't stand up to scrutiny either."

Then that is another good reason why you should consult an expert source and multiple Talmud editions in different languages like Schafer instead of smugly relying on your own (or the rabbis') foolish pilpul and passing off your opinion as dispositive.

Jordan Potter said...

Jay, people can and do say the same thing about Catholic teaching -- saying and doing one thing for public consumption, but in reality believing and doing other things when we think they're not looking. Again, the Catholic scriptures and patristic and magisterial documents can easily be parsed and twisted and quoted out of context to make Catholic look like a horrifyingly monstrous doctrinal system, a great whore drunk on the blood of the saints, an oppressive system that crushes freedom and destroys the intellect. There is anti-Catholic teaching of contempt, in which the bad is played up and things that are good are lied about to make them seem bad. We rightly resent it when anti-Catholic bigots promote their teaching of contempt, so we ought to understand it when Jews get upset when non-Jews parse and twist and their scriptures to find only bad things (or things they mistakenly thing are bad because they don't understand what they're reading and aren't interesting in understanding). There is a lot wrong with Judaism, starting with the chief error of rejection and inability to see and acknowledge the Messiah who came to save all Jews and Gentiles -- but we don't need to manufacture evils that aren't there.

Peter, I understand what you're saying, but still we should remember that Jews can read over our shoulders or overhear what we say, and we shouldn't spoil a perfectly good word by assigning a new, perhaps pejorative meaning to it. And that's really all I have to say about that.

Jordan Potter said...

Schaefer is not infallible, is he, anonymous one? Did you consult any alternative studies of the question before making up your mind about this "Balaam codename" theory. Because I've read arguments in favor and arguments against, and I've read the actual disputed passages in context, so I'm pretty confident about this question. It's my understanding that the Balaam codename theory generally has rightly fallen out of favor due to lack of evidence, and given what I've read I'd not expect Schaefer to have been able to bring much new to the debate, though I'd have to wait until I've seen what he has to say before I can draw any conclusions about his thesis.

Jordan Potter said...

Well, this isn't exactly good news . . . . According to Rabbi Rosen, Cardinal Bertone will soon issue a letter endorsing the "eschatological only" interpretation of the revised Good Friday prayer . . .

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0801451.htm

Anonymous said...

The ... Jews ... omitting or scorning the Mosaic law and the prophets, follow certain traditions of their seniors concerning which the Lord rebukes them in the Gospel, saying: Why do you transgress the mandate of God and irritate Him by your traditions, teaching human doctrines and mandates? [Matthew 15;9]

Upon this sort of traditions, which in Hebrew are called the Talmud--and there is a great book among them exceeding the text of the Bible in length, in which are manifest blasphemies against God and Christ and the blessed Virgin, intricate fables, erroneous abuses, and unheard-of stupidities--they nourish and teach their sons and render them utterly alien from the doctrine of the law and the prophets ... (Pope Innocent IV, May 9, 1244 Letter to King Louis IX of France)

Anonymous said...

Pope Clement VIII condemned the rabbinic texts for eternity:


"The impious Talmudic, Cabalistic and other wicked books of the Jews are hereby entirely condemned and they must always remain condemned and prohibited and this law must be perpetually observed." (Pope Clement VIII, 1592)

Which was upheld by Pope Leo XIII:


"Although in the Index issued by Pope Pius IV, the Jewish Talmud with all its glossaries, annotations, interpretations and expositions were prohibited: but if published without the name Talmud and without its vile calumnies against the Christian religion they could be tolerated; however, Our Holy Lord Pope Clement VIII in his constitution against impious writings and Jewish books, published in Rome in the year of Our Lord 1592 … proscribed and condemned them: it was not his intention thereby to permit or tolerate them even under the above conditions; for he expressly and specifically stated and willed, that the impious Talmudic Cabalistic and other nefarious books of the Jews be entirely condemned and that they must remain always condemned and prohibited, and that his Constitution about these books must be perpetually and inviolably observed."(Pope Leo XIII, Index Expurgatrius, "The Talmud and other Jewish books," 1887)

-------------------

Leo XIII reveals an important bit of information in his echoing of Clement VIII's condemnation of the rabbinic texts, that being the fact that Pius IV allowed the Talmud to be published in a highly censored and covered-up form, even calling it by another title than Talmud.

This action created conditions quite favorable to the rabbis and their philo-rabbinic Talmud apologists. From that time on, they could point to bowdlerized versions of the Talmud and claim that it's "Jew hate" to suggest that the Talmud contains manifest blasphemies against God and Christ and the blessed Virgin, as Innocent IV put it. The rabbis recognized the utility in this and continued to self-censor their texts when they lived in areas where Christians held power.

These sanitized Talmuds served only to placate the Christian authorities, however. The rabbis maintained their blasphemous traditions and circulated codices containing the expurgated Talmud passages among themselves.

The Soncino Talmud, which is the Talmud apologetics instrument of choice here apparently, is a censored Talmud, despite the come-and-hear.com webmaster's claims to the contrary. It does contain some of the filth that was censored in other Talmud editions as it was published in a different time and place than medieval Catholic Europe. Today, however, when Christians bear no resemblance to their medieval forefathers and the authorities of the West are as philo-Judaic as ever, the rabbis have grown bold and this accounts for the printing on the Steinsaltz edition of the Talmud in its English translation. This is a truly uncensored Talmud and it is the only Talmud edition worth considering in this debate if it is to have any meaning at all. The other alternative is to learn Hebrew and Aramaic as Johannes Andreas Eisenmenger did and then the entire world of rabbinic texts and its genocidal hatred of non-"Jews" is open to you.

Jordan Potter said...

Teaching of contempt, blood libel fantasies, private interpretation of Church rulings, declarations that Catholics today bear "no resemblance" to medieval Catholics. . . . Something tells me that our anti-Semitic anonymous is not in communion with the Catholic Church . . . .

Now he claims that the former papal bans on the Talmud are still binding today -- well, not binding on him, of course, since he's apparently been reading the Talmud in violation of those earlier papal decrees.

Anonymous said...

I think that, when it comes to interpretation of the Talmud, the words of Abp. Kozlowsky of Moghileff and the Popes quoted by 'anonymous' suggest very clearly that the Talmud includes horrible attacks upon our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, and all Chrisians. Any scholar of antiquities can tell you that the modern popular assumption of the accumulation of knowledge is false; that is, it is false to assume that later generations will know more than previous generations about the interpretation of a text. The reason is that vellum and (earlier) papyrus was once expensive, and there was once much less of a tradition of accreditation of information. As a result, earlier interpreters were often working with more and/or better documents than we are today, but then they did not cite those documents in many cases. Popes of later times tended very much to rely on earlier authorities' views, and so on, to form a tradition which would take into account how the rabbis of the past interpreted their own texts.

In other words, until I see convincing proof to the contrary, I'd be much more apt to believe the codeword theory judging from the tone of the interpreations of previous popes and of Abp. Kozlowsky. Indeed, it is hard to see how these popes could have reached their conclusion if the codeword interpretations were false. The idea that earlier prelates' interpreations were marred by anti-semitism is simplistic. In fact, there was at least as much anti-Christianism among Jews in the past than the reverse. The only reason anti-semitism is easier to track is because the Christian party usually had force at its disposal.

As for Mr. Potter's remarks about the Talmud being on the index, the Popes condemned the text for perpetuity and also forbade its reading for that time. Now, perpetuity does not mean 'forever' in canon law (cf. the text of "Quo Primum Tempore"); it means 'at all times until ruled otherwise by an equal or greater authority'. The Index has been abolished in recent times by an equal authority (more recent popes). As a result, we are no longer strictly forbidden to read the texts listed in the index librorum prohibitorum or in the index expurgatorius. However, the other condemnations mentioned by the Pope have not been reversed by any juridical act. It follows that they remain in force.

I'll take the word of holy popes and archbishops from the traditional past any day over on-line sources of dubious origin. Some of the masoretes will use any trick under the sun to sanitise those texts. To realise why, one need only ask, Cui bono?

Time and again, I am finding that people believe what they prefer to believe based on the values of the popular culture of our time. These include a desire for friendship between adherents of differing religions. Friendship among people is admirable but must needs be limited by their beliefs. The masoretic religion is fundamentally and directly opposed to ours because it was founded largely as a reaction against it. The same hate that we see in the Gospels directed by those Jews who rejected their Saviour was continued by the masoretes. St. Augustine was clear about its nature and St. John Chrysostum was very clear about it. (In popular culture today, the incredibly severe words of St. John Chrysostum are regarded as 'rabid anti-semitism'. But, while not every word of a saint is true or good, he was still a great saint and one of the ancient doctors of the Church!)

In order to understand more fully the extent of Jewish rejection of Christianity, one must realise that, to a masoretic Jew, the very greatest blasphemy imaginable is a claim of divinity by a mere man. Even to mention the Name of God would get you stoned to death in apostolic times. But actually to claim that you ARE God would be the greatest offence against religion possibily imaginable, a direct contradiction of the First Commandment in the Decalogue. This explains the hatefulness encoded in the Talmud. I must say, Jesus Christ didn't pull any punches when He said, "The Father and I are one". That sort of comment would force the Jews of the time either to worship Him or to kill Him.

To a religious Jew, a Muslim is a horrible infidel but a Christian is far worse. The reason is that Muslims only acknowledge Jesus as the Saviour (Messias) and acknowledge that God has no separate Persons, whereas, in addition to that, Christians proclaim Him to be God. A religious Jew would not even write or utter my previous statement, so evil he would deem it to be.

When one considers this context, it helps one look at Talmud interpretation, I think. But people today do not want to think any of this. They want to replace a pious Christianity with a United Nations UNICEF We are Church, Can't Everybody Just Get Along, outreaching caregiving grief counselling false secular anti-religion which puts conviviality and amicability and affability above truth.

A Christian absolutely must love every Jew. Some saints have taught that our love for others must increase in proportion to their hatred for us. The greatest of the saints were those who loved their enemies the most. But this love cannot operate apart from truth. Deluding ourselves about others does not assist it.

Of course, we must take into account in all of this that most 'Jews' today are not religious Jews. On the other side, they do come from a culture which includes extreme anti-Christian and therefore anti-establishment beliefs. That may be why so many of them become involved in such movements as communism and libertarianism (which are opposites) in politics, or in various secularistic philosophical movements.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Jordan Potter writes:

"Peter, I understand what you're saying, but still we should remember that Jews can read over our shoulders or overhear what we say, and we shouldn't spoil a perfectly good word by assigning a new, perhaps pejorative meaning to it."


Well, one reason for assigning new meanings to words, provided we observe the proper formational traditions in etymology and morphology (which I've done) is to clarify a matter in a certain context. I use the term 'masorte' in a certain context among Catholic traditionalists because I find that most faithful today completely fail to realise that Christians are the real Jews. A fortiori, we now even have a Cardinal in the Church devising a theory of convergence which elides earlier teaching on this matter. Part of the reason for the convergence theory is that Cardinal Kasper sees the masoretes as Jews not in the diplomatic sense of that term but even in a theological sense. Kasper is not denying that we are the true Jews, but he seems to be saying that we and the masoretes together are the true Jews. So I think the distinction needs to be made in order to uphold the traditional teaching that the covenant was conveyed *exclusvely* to Christianity.

Exclusive is such a beautiful word, and how I hate the word 'inclusive' (just kidding: a knock at the liberals, of course).

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Jordan Potter sez:

Teaching of contempt, blood libel fantasies, private interpretation of Church rulings, declarations that Catholics today bear "no resemblance" to medieval Catholics. . . . Something tells me that our anti-Semitic anonymous is not in communion with the Catholic Church . . . .

What a wild imagination.

I will remind you that Cardinal George recently publicly acknowledged that the Talmud mocks Christ, calling Him a bastard, and that Cardinal Kasper acknowledged that the Judaic liturgy offends Christians. I hardly see these two as "Jew hater" sedevacantists.

Cardinal George:

http://ncrcafe.org/node/1361/

Cardinal Kasper:

http://tinyurl.com/ypko9x

What great depths the "Catholic" Talmud apologist must plunge to in the course of his work. What a sorry sight.

Anonymous said...

Jordan Potter sez:

Teaching of contempt ...

Jules Isaac fan then, are you?

The contempt is in Isaac's books and it's expressed towards the Church Fathers and the theology of the Catholic Church, which he theorizes "paved the road" to Auschwitz.

It is quite remarkable to see a claimed Catholic who has put forth so much effort in apologetics for the Talmud which is filled with very real teachings of contempt, suddenly turn around and condemn the writings of the popes, Leo XIII, no less, as "teachings of contempt." What traditions of the Catholic faith are you not willing to tread upon in the course of your Talmudic apologetics?

Jordan Potter said...

I'm guessing that's our anti-Semitic anonymous. . . I wonder if he's going to explain for us how the Masoretic vs. Septuagint discrepancies that I mentioned could have arisen from Jewish opposition to Christianity. He might also explain the vast differences between Septuagint Jeremiah and Masoretic Jeremiah -- especially since the Vulgate Jeremiah is based on a Masoretic form of Jeremiah rather than the much shorter and differently-ordered Septuagint Jeremiah. Then there are those extra chapters in I-IV Kings that are in the Septuagint but not in the Masoretic and Vulgate. Yes, it seems the Jews have been successful beyond our greatest fears and suspicions, duping the Church long ago into accepting a faulty and spurious version of the Old Testament. Or is that the Church intentionally expurgated its scriptures the way the Jews are known to have expurgated the Talmud?

I will remind you that Cardinal George recently publicly acknowledged that the Talmud mocks Christ, calling Him a bastard, and that Cardinal Kasper acknowledged that the Judaic liturgy offends Christians.

I will remind you that so have I.

(Of course another thing that offends Christians is anti-Semitism.)

I hardly see these two as "Jew hater" sedevacantists.

Sedevacantists aren't the only "traditionalists" who aren't in communion with the Church, though I would forecast your trajectory as headed in that direction if you're not already there. After all, if one thinks Catholics today bear "no resemblance" to medieval Catholics, the logical implications lead to sedevacantism and sectarianism.

What great depths the "Catholic" Talmud apologist must plunge to in the course of his work. What a sorry sight.

I'll have to take your word for it. We haven't encountered any such persons here, though. However, we have encountered at least one person here, perhaps a Catholic, who revels in the teaching of contempt, for whom Judaism and the Talmud are a bete noire, and who perpetuates the blood libel in spite of the Church's condemnation.

Jordan Potter said...

Jules Isaac fan then, are you?

Nope. Never read him. I'm just an ordinary, unworthy, sinful orthodox Catholic who doesn't appreciate people perpetuating falsehoods about things that offend them.

And, of course, who also doesn't appreciate your continuing to lie about me and my words. Easter will be here soon, anonymous -- I again urge you to examine your conscience.

It is quite remarkable to see a claimed Catholic

I'm rather more than a "claimed" Catholic. I suppose you might be too, though who knows. I don't recall if you've ever said you were Catholic, or what your faith is, but the way you argue, you seem to be an extreme radical traditionalist Catholic.

It's pretty funny -- a few years back, I clashed with the a "liberal" modernistical priest who branded me some kind of lumpen fundamentalist for actually believing what the Church teaches (New Catholic will know what I'm talking about). Now I'm clashing with some ill-mannered person who I guess would call himself a traditionalist Catholic (what is it with traditionalists and this fixation on Judaism?), and to him I'm not a real Catholic at all, just because I dared to point out that some things said about the Talmud here don't stand up to direct scrutiny.

who has put forth so much effort in apologetics for the Talmud

Yawn. It doesn't matter how many times you say something false, anonymous -- it won't become true by repetition. But it will deceive people.

which is filled with very real teachings of contempt,

Two wrongs don't make a right, I think is how the cliche goes.

suddenly turn around and condemn the writings of the popes, Leo XIII, no less, as "teachings of contempt."

You keep imagining things about me that just have no basis in reality. Which writings of Pope Leo XIII of blessed memory have I condemned as perpetuating the teaching of contempt? You quoted his upholding of the old prohibition on the publication and reading of the Talmud, and you indicated that the prohibition was irrevocable in your opinion. I pointed out that you have violated that prohibition, but I never said a word in disagreement with the earlier papal characterisations of the Talmud -- quite the contrary.

What traditions of the Catholic faith are you not willing to tread upon in the course of your Talmudic apologetics?

I have no interest in ever getting involved in "Talmudic apologetics," and I refuse ever to tread upon any tradition of the Catholic faith. You've definitely been treading on the Catholic intellectual tradition, though.

Anonymous said...

I suppose it is falsely reassuring to Mr. Potter to imagine that only one Catholic is posting as "anonymous." Frankly I am gratified to see that he is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Jordan Potter writes:

"what is it with traditionalists and this fixation on Judaism?"

Oh, I guess it's just that they are the only people on the face of this earth who have the unmitigated gall to suggest how Catholics should pray. They should mind their own damn business. No wonder they were expelled en masse from England in 1290, from France in 1394, and from Spain in 1492.

There is no greater enemy on earth to Christianity than a masorete. Because of this, we need to love them the most and pray for them the most. They hate Christianity so completely because only Jesus Christ makes a claim of divinity, which, to them, is the ultimate act of blasphemy.

P.K.T.P.

Jordan Potter said...

Peter Karl T. Perkins said: I think that, when it comes to interpretation of the Talmud, the words of Abp. Kozlowsky of Moghileff and the Popes quoted by 'anonymous' suggest very clearly that the Talmud includes horrible attacks upon our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, and all Christians.

It is indisputable that the Talmud includes some nasty, unkind, disrespectful satires and attacks on the Lord Jesus and on Christians, and at least indirectly on Our Lady -- things that are blasphemous to the Christian faith. But acknowledging that does not require us to believe that all of the passages that have been claimed as attacks on Christianity really are what they have been claimed to be. Given the sad and painful history between Christians and non-Christian Jews, it's not surprising that the Talmud would have very little to say about Christianity, and what it does say would be negative and offensive.

Any scholar of antiquities can tell you that the modern popular assumption of the accumulation of knowledge is false; that is, it is false to assume that later generations will know more than previous generations about the interpretation of a text.

That's quite true. Of course it's never a good idea to make assumptions about anything. But what we must keep in mind is that the first time the Church became aware of the Talmud was a few centuries after the final tractates were written. That means the generations living at the time of the Church's discovery of the Talmud would not necessarily know the proper interpretation intended by the initial compilers of the tractates or by the rabbis quoted in the tractactes, though they would probably have a reasonably good idea of the interpretations current in their day.

In other words, until I see convincing proof to the contrary, I'd be much more apt to believe the codeword theory judging from the tone of the interpreations of previous popes and of Abp. Kozlowsky. Indeed, it is hard to see how these popes could have reached their conclusion if the codeword interpretations were false.

If Balaam in the Talmud is not a codename for Jesus, that still leaves a few other passages that cannot plausibly be explained away as other than unkind references to Jesus and Christians. Catholics in those days may not have been equipped adequately to understand what they had found in the Talmud. The Talmud is huge, complicated, and very, very foreign to Christian ways of theological discourse and biblical interpretation. Again, Christians and Jews weren't on very good terms and often didn't communicate with each other very effectively (something that hasn't changed all that much, though at least it is now rare for it to lead to violence). In such a climate, misunderstanding and misinterpretation would have been inevitable.

In fact, there was at least as much anti-Christianism among Jews in the past than the reverse. The only reason anti-semitism is easier to track is because the Christian party usually had force at its disposal.

That's true, but we're all the more to be blamed, since Christianity is the true religion and more is expected of us. We know better, or are supposed to, but non-Christian Jews can't be expected to meet the lofty standards that God calls on Christians to live up to.

As for Mr. Potter's remarks about the Talmud being on the index, the Popes condemned the text for perpetuity and also forbade its reading for that time. Now, perpetuity does not mean 'forever' in canon law (cf. the text of "Quo Primum Tempore"); it means 'at all times until ruled otherwise by an equal or greater authority'. The Index has been abolished in recent times by an equal authority (more recent popes). As a result, we are no longer strictly forbidden to read the texts listed in the index librorum prohibitorum or in the index expurgatorius. However, the other condemnations mentioned by the Pope have not been reversed by any juridical act. It follows that they remain in force.

Thank you. You made my point better than I could have. Whatever is objectionable and contrary to the faith in the Talmud remains so even though the former prohibitions are no longer in force. Nevertheless, it doesn't follow that we are bound to agree with what a former Pope may have thought a specific passage of the Talmud means. Their appraisal of the Talmud in general is unquestionably correct, even if they may have been mistaken about this or that passage.

I'll take the word of holy popes and archbishops from the traditional past any day over on-line sources of dubious origin.

Throughout this debate, it was asserted but never demonstrated that the partial online Soncino from which I quoted had defective readings or suppressed the objectionable Talmud variants that mention, or have been thought to mention, Jesus and Christianity. Now, sometimes the Soncino
places the objectionable anti-Christian content in footnotes, and occasionally it includes unconvincing attempts to explain away the obvious (as in the "ha-Notsri" reading, which undoubtedly means "the Nazarene" and refers to Jesus, despite what the Soncino footnote says), but I don't think any of the actual or suspected anti-Christian readings were simply expurgated or suppressed altogether in the Soncino. I could be wrong, but I don't think I've missed any of the classic objectionable references in looking through the online Soncino Talmud. If I recall correctly, the Soncino even discusses how the Talmud was edited and expurgated and un-expurgated at various times and places.

The masoretic religion is fundamentally and directly opposed to ours because it was founded largely as a reaction against it.

Here I think you take the argument further than is reasonable. I guess it depends on how "large" one thinks "largely" is. Without a doubt post-Temple Judaism incorporates an anti-Jesus, anti-Christian reaction, and that is its chief error and downfall. But it's going a bit too far to say post-Temple Judaism is "directly" opposed to Christianity, and I'm not sure I could agree with the "fundamentally" part either, though I think I understand what you're referring to. But I suppose in this matter we're not as far apart as it might appear.

St. Augustine was clear about its nature and St. John Chrysostom was very clear about it.

Oh yeah. Clear and vivid and shockingly descriptive.

(In popular culture today, the incredibly severe words of St. John Chrysostom are regarded as 'rabid anti-semitism'.

Rightly so, I regret to say. I wish I could say otherwise, but I think in his homilies against the Jews, St. John crossed from the longstanding Christian tradition of anti-Judaism into actual anti-Semitism. I know we must make allowances for St. John's superlative rhetorical gifts, but still . . .

But, while not every word of a saint is true or good, he was still a great saint and one of the ancient doctors of the Church!)

Amen!

A Christian absolutely must love every Jew. Some saints have taught that our love for others must increase in proportion to their hatred for us. The greatest of the saints were those who loved their enemies the most. But this love cannot operate apart from truth. Deluding ourselves about others does not assist it.

I wholeheartedly agree, and we must never forget that. As I have said, my participation in this discussion has been motivated because I have been concerned that statements and claims were made that are not true.

I use the term 'masorete' in a certain context among Catholic traditionalists because I find that most faithful today completely fail to realise that Christians are the real Jews.

Given the sorry state of catechesis and imparting of the faith in the Church today, it's inevitable that most Catholics would not understand their authentic, spiritual Jewish status and identity that they have in Christ, the Jew Par Excellence. But I would think that Catholic traditionalists should not be in need of any such reminders. Using that term in such a context would be preaching to the choir, I should think.

Kasper is not denying that we are the true Jews, but he seems to be saying that we and the masoretes together are the true Jews.

God alone judges his heart, but given the things that Cardinal Kasper says and does, it's hard not to suspect that at least on some level he believes (as Eugene Fisher undoubtedly does) the heresy that the Sinaitic Covenant is still in force and salvific, and that Jews in this life are exempt from the obligation to bend the knee to Jesus and confess Him as Lord.

So I think the distinction needs to be made in order to uphold the traditional teaching that the covenant was conveyed *exclusively* to Christianity.

Indeed the distinction needs to be made. I just think there are better ways of making the distinction.

Someone said: I suppose it is falsely reassuring to Mr. Potter to imagine that only one Catholic is posting as "anonymous." Frankly I am gratified to see that he is wrong.

I imagined no such thing. I've never been really sure how many anonymi have posted here. But at some point you just have to post the comment and let the mystery man, or men, read it.

Peter Karl T. Perkins said: Oh, I guess it's just that they are the only people on the face of this earth who have the unmitigated gall to suggest how Catholics should pray. They should mind their own damn business. No wonder they were expelled en masse from England in 1290, from France in 1394, and from Spain in 1492.

Okay, I do understand the annoyance and aggravation. I do. But please, we must try to keep our heads about this. Remember the veil that prevents them from seeing things clearly and properly, and remember the many centuries of persecution and unkindness that were visited on them by Christians. (Yes, I know the Jews persecuted us long before Christians ever persecuted them, but that's no justification.) They associate Good Friday with being blamed as hereditarily guilty of Christ's death, being falsely accused of human sacrifice of Christian children, being confined to ghettos and made to wear badges and patches, being forced to listen to Christian preaching, etc. At Easter time it was not unknown for Christian youth to harass Jews in their neighborhoods. (Recall the "Bruder Jakob"/Frere Jacque nursery rhyme.) So, in complaining about the Good Friday prayer, they think they ARE minding their own business. Not only do they have their hearts and minds closed to the Gospel, but they also are afraid of being harassed, hounded, or killed by Christians. Most Christians would never, ever do such things to them -- but it's happened in the past, sometimes it still happens, and it can happen again.

There is no greater enemy on earth to Christianity than a masorete.

No, an unfaithful Christian is a greater enemy and does far more harm to Christ's Body and to the Church's witness and evangelisation efforts.

New Catholic said...

OK, comments closed now.