A recent article by E Michael Jones.
Recently, Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi made international news when he claimed that, “The spread of narcotics in the world emanates from the teachings of the Talmud… whose objective is the destruction of the world.” Rahimi’s claim drew criticism from all of the usual sources.
Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the United Nations, “deeply regret[ted]” Rahimi’s statement, calling it “anti-Semitic” and an expression of “hatred and religious intolerance.” More predictably, Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman attacked the entire Iranian government as a bunch of “anti-Semitic fanatics” who seek the destruction of Israel.
Missing from all of the criticism of Vice President Rahimi was any recognition of the fact that the Talmud, which the Jewish Encyclopedia describes as the heart of the Jewish people, is a document which has been an object of contention among the Jewish people for virtually its entire history. Both Jews and former Jews have denounced it in language that makes what Vice President Rahimi said seem mild by comparison.
Heinrich Graetz, the father of Jewish historiography, denounced the Talmud as responsible for the moral corruption of Polish Jews (which is to say, the overwhelming number of Jews in the world as of mid-19th century when he wrote his book) in his magnum opus, The History of the Jews. Jews imbibed “A love of twisting, distorting, ingenious quibbling, and a foregone antipathy to what did not lie within their field of vision” from studying the Talmud. “Pride in their knowledge of the Talmud. . .” Graetz continued, “undermined their moral sense” (Heinrich Graetz, History of the Jews, pp. 5-6). By reading the Talmud, these Jews “found pleasure and a sort of triumphant delight in deception and cheating. (Graetz, History of the Jews, pp. 5-6).
According to Graetz, Talmudic study had a corrupting influence on Jewish morals:
“To twist a phrase out of its meaning, to use all the tricks of the clever advocate, to ply upon words, and to condemn what they did not know . . . such were the characteristics of the Polish Jew. . . . Honesty and right-thinking he lost as completely as simplicity and truthfulness. He made himself master of all the gymnastics of the Schools and applied them to obtain advantage over any one more cunning than himself. He took delight in cheating and overreaching, which gave him a sort of joy of victory. But his own people he could not treat that way: they were as knowing as he. It was the non-Jew who, to his loss, felt the consequences of the Talmudically trained mind of the Polish Jew.”
Does that mean that the Father of Jewish historiography was an anti-Semite? If so, he is one of a long line of anti-Semitic Jewish thinkers who had nothing good to say about the Talmud and the rabbinic culture which it created.
Before Heinrich Graetz, there was Solomon Maimon, who escaped from the shtetl in “darkest Lithuania” to find refuge in Berlin, where his memoirs were published. Maimon, it should be noted, was a Talmudic scholar by the age of 11, an achievement which won him numerous marriage proposals from Jewish parents hoping to marry their daughters off to an elite member of the Jewish community. Maimon knew that the Talmud was the operating system for the Jewish despotism that oppressed the overwhelming majority of Jews who lived in the Pale of the Settlement. Solomon Maimon characterized “the subjects of the Talmud” as “dry and mostly unintelligible to a child.” The shul wasn’t much better than its curriculum.
Jewish children from the pale were “imprisoned from morning till night” in “a small smoky hut,” where “the children are scattered, some on benches, some on the bare earth” (p. 31). Then as now, when “children are doomed in the bloom of youth to such an infernal school, it may be easily imagined with what joy and rapture they look forward to their release” (Solomon Maimon, The Autobiography of Solomon Maimon (London: East and West Library, 1954), p. 35).
And then there is the testimony of ex-rabbis against the Talmud, a tradition that goes back to the 13th century, when Nicholas Donin met with Pope Gregory IX and explained its blasphemies to him. The pope was shocked to learn that the Talmud portrayed Jesus Christ as the son of a whore and a Roman soldier who was now in hell buried up to his neck in burning excrement. When the initial shock wore off, the pope ordered the Talmud to be put on trial and burned if found guilty.
During these trials, which continued throughout Europe for centuries, it was the ex-rabbis, who were the prosecuting attorneys. They knew the Talmud’s blasphemies inside out and they knew that the rabbis couldn’t defend this book. One rabbi asked if it were true that the Talmud portrayed Jesus as a bastard and his mother as a whore, said that it was referring to another Jesus and Mary, prompting one scholar to say this was the beginning of Jewish humor.
The Jews who reject the Talmud and the rabbinic tyranny it enables span the entire history of Jewish thought and the entire spectrum of Jewish thought today. It has been criticized by groups as diverse as the Coen Brothers and Neturei Karta. In their recent film, A Serious Man, the Coen Brothers, two of the most highly regarded Jewish directors in Hollywood today, characterize Talmudic studies as something even more stultifying than what Solomon Maimon had to endure. A Serious Man is one of the most anti-Jewish films that Hollywood has ever produced. It makes Jud Suess look like Fiddler on the Roof by comparison. And yet no one has denounced the Coen brothers for their attack on the Talmud or the tyranny which it exerts over the Jewish people or the moral corruption it continues to spread.
And why is that? The obvious answer is that there is a double standard now regnant throughout the entire world which prohibits the goyim from mentioning what the Jews freely say to each other. The less obvious answer is that we have all become subject to the same rabbinic tyranny which subjugated the Jews in the shtetl. The new name for that Talmudic tyranny is world finance or banking, or to put it simply, usury.
One of the prophet Nehemiah’s most striking condemnations of his fellow Jews was “Ye exact usury, every one of his brother” (Nehemiah, vi, 15). Werner Sombart explains this passage in Scripture by claiming that the Jews “were divided into two sections, an upper wealthy class, which became rich by money-lending, and the great mass of agricultural labourers whom they exploited.
This state of affairs must have continued, in spite of Nehemiah and other reformers, throughout the whole history of the Jews in Palestine and Babylon. We need only refer to the Talmud for proof. . . . After the Torah, nothing occupies so much space [in the Talmud] as money lending” (Werner Sombart, The Jews and Modern Capitalism [New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1982], p. 308). So we’re all Jews now because of capitalism, which is state-sponsored usury. But we’re all little Jews now, who are not allowed to say in public what the big important money-lending Jews say to each other in private.