There are changes in the wind. Some people may be happy, some
may be unhappy. Let's go directly to the Talmud to see its laws on some
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, (2) the Lubavitcher Rebbe, 1902-1994.
His birthday has been regularly recognized by special Congressional
declarations. These were effected by declaring
his birthday "Education Day." The proclamations go as far back
as 1976. Rabbi Schneerson's name appears in
every bill and the date moves about on the Julian calendar to follow the
wandering cycles of the Babylonian lunar calendar used by Judaism. In
1991, Congress coupled Rabbi Schneerson's birthday
recognition with a declaration stating that the Talmud Noahide Laws are "the
basis of civilized society and upon which our great Nation was
founded". US Congress (1)
The package on the Rebbe's forehead
is a tephillin (or phylactery)
which, as described by Reverend Dr. Abraham Cohen, "consists of two small
leather cases with straps attached, in each of which is inserted
parchment inscribed with four Biblical passages: Exod. xiii. 1-10,
11-16; Deut. vi. 4-9, xi. 13-21. That is the traditional method of fulfilling the law: 'Thou
shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be for frontlets
between thine eyes.' (Deut. vi. 8)" Reverend Dr. Cohen (3)
Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court judge, is said to be a devout Catholic
with a fascination for Jewish law. Under circumstances that are not
explained, Justice Scalia developed a correspondence with Rabbi Noson Gurary (a disciple of
the late Rabbi Schneerson). During this
exchange, Scalia mentioned his "fascination with Jewish law." That
prompted Rabbi Garary to found
the National Institute for Judaic Law (NIJL). (45) The Institute promotes courses on Talmud-based law
in American law schools and otherwise injects Talmud-based law into
The founding of NIJL was celebrated by a gala kosher
dinner on November 5, 2002. Justice Scalia and two other Supreme Court
judges were among 200 dinner guests. Where was the dinner held? In the
Supreme Court building.
Site of Kosher Banquet
The American public first learned of the Supreme Court kosher
dinner by reading the news in The Jerusalem Post, November 9,
2002. (45) This remarkable event was not reported contemporaneously
by either The Washington Postor The Washington Times.
Missing from The Jerusalem Post coverage was the role
Scalia may have played in securing the use of the Supreme Court building
as a banquet hall for Rabbi Gurary.
Why a devout Catholic like Justice Scalia would promote Talmud-based
law is not clear. The Talmud classifies Christians as idolaters, and the
Noahide regulations require that idolaters devout Catholics, for
example, people exactly like Justice Scalia be put to death. Could it
be that Rabbi Gurary did not tell Justice
Scalia about the Noahide provisions to execute people like Scalia?
Justice Scalia has demonstrated a soft spot for Judaism in
other ways. He was the first judge to use the world chutzpah in
a Supreme Court decision. (41)
According to an article in Jewish Law, "
has repeatedly called for more expressions of tradition and
religion in American society. The use of the word chutzpah,
with its historical roots and association with Judaism, may fulfill such
a role. It also comports with his legal philosophy. He favors the 'nonpreferentialist' view, which posits that government
may support religion in general but not in a way that prefers any particular religion. For Justice Scalia to use a term
of a Jewish cultural language in a Supreme Court decision could be viewed
as in keeping with the nonpreferentialist legal
doctrine." Jewish Law (54)
The word chutzpah is not a religious
word, nor is it a traditional American word. It is a Yiddish word
meaning, roughly, "unmitigated gall." It is surprising
that Jewish Lawwould
attach such significance to the incidental use of a Yiddish word.
If given a judicial opportunity, will Justice Scalia rule
in favor of the Noahide Laws? He could describe them as "nonpreferentialist," in the much the same way that
Congress described them as "the bedrock of society from the dawn of
civilization." That sounds most "nonpreferentialist,"
provided one does not mention death sentences for Christians.
Equal Justice Under Law
Talmud law also provides that Jews and non-Jews be judged
by dramatically different standards. For example, in capital cases, 23
judges must sit in judgment on a Jew; two eyewitnesses must have
witnessed the offense, and warned him of the
potential penalty. In contrast, a Gentile gets one judge, and is
convicted on the testimony of one eyewitness with no warnings. See US v. Talmud Law for more details on capital cases. See The Talmud Lives
for Jews for details
on civil cases.
Justice Scalia has sworn an oath to uphold the US Constitution
and the Bill of Rights. Given that the words Equal Justice Under Law are
emblazoned over the cornice of the very building that houses Scalia's
office, Justice Scalia is one Very Interesting Person.
Neatly separating head from shoulders with a single blow
of the axe
in speaking of heathens, when the Tanna teaches that they are forbidden to do something,
he ipso factoteaches
that it is punishable by death; for only in speaking of Jews is it
necessary to distinguish between prohibition and punishment."
Rabbi Dr. Freedman
every death penalty decreed for the sons of Noah
is only by decapitation." Sanhedrin 56a
Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein is the
director of Project Next Step of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los
Angeles and a professor of Jewish Law and Ethics at Loyola Law School.
Rabbi Adlerstein calls the Talmud, "the world's oldest
continuously-practiced legal code."(55)
"For a Jew to be convicted by a Jewish court, two eyewitnesses
must have seen the perpetrator about to commit the crime and warned him
of the potential penalty. The murderer must verbally answer that he
chooses to proceed anyway. (For a non-Jew, only one witness is required
and no verbal warning.)"(57)
We can see why a Jew on trial for his life might prefer a Jewish
court but why would a non-Jew? What would Talmud-based law have to
offer that is better than trial by a jury of peers, the Bill of Rights,
and Equal Justice Under Law?
The National Menorah is now an annual
feature on the Ellipse, adjacent to the White House in Washington, DC
it is part of the government-sponsored Christmas/ Hanukkah/ Winter Solstice/
The Washington Times, Monday, December 12,
2002, carried a front-page picture and story above the fold of the lighting
of the National Menorah. The caption reads: "From left, Rabbi
Abraham Shemtov, Rabbi Levi Shemtov,
and Undersecretary of Defense Dov Zakheim lit
the National Menorah on the Ellipse from a cherry picker to mark the third
night of Hanukkah, last night." All three men are Friends of
Lubavitch. Other friends of Chabad Lubavitch include former Press
Secretary to President Bush Ari Fleischer, and Senator Joseph Lieberman,
(D-CT), a possible candidate for the US presidency.
The Washington Times, Monday, December 12,
The box carrying the men reads, "Hanukkah - Friends
of Lubavitch." As careful as the White House is in their public
relations of all matters religious, this seems to be a clear message to
the nation: of the three rabbis, all are Orthodox.
"In the struggle for the soul of American Jewry, the Orthodox
model has triumphed." Samuel G. Freedman (52)
Dov Zakheim is Comptroller of the Pentagon, and an ordained Orthodox
rabbi. He is also the Department of Defense "point man" in
charge of "rebuilding a terrorist-free Afghanistan" for the Muslim
Afghanis. AFIS (68)
US President George W. Bush "sent greetings
and applauded the institute for promoting an 'understanding of Judaism's
rich tradition of legal thought. As we face new challenges and welcome
new opportunities, our society must continue to promote good character
and strong values. Through the study and teaching of Jewish law and
philosophy you are contributing to a growing culture of service, citizenship,
and responsibility in America,' Bush wrote."
The occasion was a kosher dinner held at the US Supreme Court
Building in Washington, DC by the National Institute of Judaic Law to
celebrate the occasion of the Institute's founding. According to the Jerusalem
Post, the purpose of the Institute is to teach Judaic law to US law
students and jurists, and to file legal opinions in US courts. (44)
Mel Gibson is a practicing Roman Catholic Christian. Gibson is currently
making a movie about the last day in the life of Jesus.
On March 24, 3003, Abraham Foxman, the National Director
of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote Gibson a letter, issuing a thinly
veiled demand that Gibson submit his script or a precise for ADL
we have serious concerns
and would like to be
Passion plays have an infamous history of leading to hatred,
violence, and even death of Jews."(62)
On the other hand, the ADL publishes a speech given by the
First Lady of New York,
Mrs. George (Libby) Pataki. Mrs. Pataki gave her
speech upon the acceptance of an award given to her by the ADL for her
unwavering support of Israel. In her speech, Mrs. Pataki denounced the
Koran and those who practice the Islamic religion. She identified Islam
with terrorism, saying in part:
"It leaves us at war with an enemy that has no conscience.
They do not deal in reality with statistics and
facts. They deal in rhetoric filled with hatred and founded in ignorance.
They praise murderers as martyrs. The speak peace and buy illegal weapons
They TARGET women and children for death
" The fight is not just about Israel. It is about all
people that hate terror and love peace. It is about freedom and the right
to live one's life without fear. Under the Taliban in Afghanistan, women were
forbidden to hold jobs, drive cars, own land, be educated, and for that
matter, show their face. They were forbidden from doing things by the
Koran, which ironically they are not even allowed
to read. If their husband dies they have no way
to feed their children. Sometimes, the women beg for enough money to buy
stale bread, which they mix with water and feed to their children. In
other families the women were forced into prostitution and then charged
and executed for the same offense. If any of you have seen Saira Shaw's 'Beneath the Veil,' you know what I am talking
Does the ADL worry that First Lady Pataki's message might lead
to the "hatred, violence, and even death" of Muslims? We are
left with the following alternatives. Either:
a) The ADL is publicizing Mrs. Pataki's speech to incite "hatred,
violence, and even death" against Muslim Americans or
b) The ADL is completely cynical about the consequences of
so-called hate speech.
Abraham H. Foxman is the National Director of the Anti-Defamation
League (ADL). The ADL web page carries these words from Mrs. Pataki:
"As a premier civil rights and human relations
agency, ADL combats anti-Semitism and racism against all peoples,
regardless of background." (65)
We're puzzled. As far as we know, the ADL did not send a letter
of protest to Congress when it declared the Talmud's Noahide Laws were
the basis "upon which our great Nation was founded." Noahide Law
regulations call for the decapitation of practicing Christians people
like Mel Gibson.
Richard Gephardt, Missouri District 3, served as Democratic Leader of the U.S.
House of Representatives, Majority Leader of the House, and as one of the
nation's leading Democrats for much of the last two decades.
On March 05, 1991, Rep. Gephardt co-sponsored H.J. Res. 104,
which reads in part as follows:
"Whereas Congress recognizes the historical tradition
of ethical values and principles which are the basis of civilized society
and upon which our great Nation was founded; Whereas these ethical values
and principles have been the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization,
when they were known as the Seven Noahide Laws
Congressman Robert Michel(R-Ill.) was first elected
in 1956 to the 85th Congress from the 18th congressional district in
Illinois. He served from his election in 1956 until his retirement in 1994.
He was Minority Whip from the 94th Congress through the 96th. He served
as Minority Leader, though he preferred the title Republican Leader, from
the 97th through the 103rd Congress.
Rep. Michel was co-sponsor of the 1991 declaration concerning
the Noahide Laws, along with Rep. Gephardt.
Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties
Union, is quoted in The Washington Post caption to this
picture, "At the most personal level, I love this country like
The ACLU has concerned itself with First Amendment issues
in America for almost a century. An advanced search of the ACLU site with
google.com reveals 776 references to the Ten Commandments. For example:
"The ACLU opposes the display of the Ten Commandments
in public schools, classrooms, and in other public institutions on the ground
that such displays violate the First Amendment."
However, a Google search of the ACLU site does not reveal
a single mention of the Noahide/ Noachide/ Noachian Laws.
Explanations vary for this singular disinterest. One commentator
suggested, "The ACLU concerns itself with Freedom of Speech issues;
in contrast, the Noahide Laws involve the freedom to breathe, and that
falls outside the ACLU's special interest."
Do you know the difference
between Talmud and Torah as those words
are used by religious Jews? The terms are confusing and if they are
confused, no one will understand what is being said. Find out from Critical Words of Talmud
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a Kabbalist, is a
disciple of the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
He is friends with Uri Geller, Madonna, and Michael Jackson. According to
ABC News, "Boteach's
rabbinical answer to Dr. Ruth began with
the 1999 publication of Kosher Sex, a best seller that shook the
Orthodox Jewish community for stressing, among other things, that oral
sex can be very good for a marriage." ABC (75)
Rabbi Boteach is quoted on the dust jacket of his book, Judaism
for Everyone, saying, "Sex is the holiest human experience,
the highest form of knowledge."
In Judaism for Everyone,Rabbi Boteach says that Judaism
views Christianity as the "Ultimate Heresy" and says he finds
"From the outset Judaism aimed to destroy the idols and
false Gods that ancient man was wont to worship. Therefore, no visual
images can ever be employed in prayer and religious devotions."
Rabbi Boteach (16)
The Bamayan Buddhas in
Afghanistan were destroyed in February 2001, allegedly by the Taliban. It
is alleged this statuary was destroyed because Muslims do not like idols.
There is room to doubt the allegation, however: Egypt has been occupied
by Muslims for more than a thousand years, yet the extensive heathen
statuary of ancient Egypt has never been attacked by an Egyptian
Emperor Leo III of the Byzantine
ruled from 717 to 741. Following the second Mosaic Commandment forbidding
"graven images," Leo instituted a campaign that destroyed much
of the arts of that day in Eastern Europe.
Crucifix by Giotto di Bondone's 1292
in Florence. (38)
Rabbi Boteach says that the religious images of Christianity
are in violation of fundamental tenets of Judaism. In particular, the
rabbi names the crucifix as objectionable. This causes some concern about
the safety of Christian artifacts in the upcoming Jewish Millennium. "From
the outset Judaism aimed to destroy the idols
can ever be
and religious devotions." Rabbi Boteach (16)
MISHNAH. He who engages in idol-worship [is executed]. It is all
one whether he serve it, sacrifice, offer incense, make libations, prostrate
himself, accept it as a god, or say to it, 'thou art my God'
Babylonian Talmud,Tractate Sanhedrin 60b
Dennis Prager wrote of Rabbi Boteach's book, Judaism for Everyone:
"A major achievement. Few books on Judaism convey its
essence as clearly, as interestingly, as humanly as Judaism for Everyone."
According to Dennis Prager's web page, "Dennis Prager
has engaged in interfaith dialogue with Catholics at the Vatican, Muslims
in the Persian Gulf Hindus in India, and Protestants at Christian seminaries
throughout America. For ten years, he conducted a weekly interfaith
dialogue on radio, with representatives of virtually every religion in
the world. New York's Jewish Week described Dennis Prager as 'one of the
three most interesting minds in American Jewish Life.'"(53)
Rabbi Daniel Lapin is author
of America's Real War. He presents himself as a friend of the
Christian right, and is a favorite speaker of
organizations such as Concerned Women for America.
"As an Orthodox rabbi, I will make a compelling case for
America as a Christian nation and the need for our nation to be based on
Judeo-Christian ethic in order to survive." Rabbi Daniel Lapin
In his book, Rabbi Lapin promotes the Noahide Laws, but fails
to tell his Christian readership that the Noahide system requires Christians
to be put to death for practicing Christianity.
The Stumbling Block
Rabbi Lapin also mentions the Jewish prohibition against putting
a "stumbling block before the blind" that is, deriving
benefit from information deliberately withheld from another. "Thus we see that part of the Jewish contribution to the
world has always included 'filling in the blanks.'" Rabbi Lapin(29)
Selling the world on Noahide Laws and not mentioning the penalty
clause that sounds kind of like a stumbling block, doesn't it?
Don't you wish Rabbi Lapin would "fill in the blanks"?
You can help in the battle for Truth, Justice, and the American Way!
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The recurring Congressional resolutions honoring Rabbi Schneerson and recognizing the Noahide laws as the basis
of our great Nation have been gathered. This collection is a must if you
would like to discuss it with your neighbors and be a part of the process. (1)
Max Dimont, author of several
books popularizing Jewish history and culture writes in The Indestructible
"Jewish history consists of a unique series of events
accidental or purposive which have had the practical effect of
preserving the Jews
to fulfill their avowed mission of ushering in a
brotherhood of man.
"Whether this mission was initiated by God or retroactively
attributed to God by the Jews themselves in no way alters our thesis of a
Jewish manifest destiny."(47)
Dimont also quotes Prime Minister Ben Gurion:
&quo;My concept of the messianic
idea is not a metaphysical but a social-cultural one
I believe in our
moral and intellectual superiority, in our capacity to serve as a model
for the redemption of the human race
of the Divine Presence is within us, in our hearts, and not outside
Rabbi Noson Gurary is a Chabad
Lubavitch rabbi, Director of Chabad of Buffalo, New York, and founder of
the National Institute for Judaic Law. The Institute is intended to bring
Talmudic law to the attention of US judges and law students. According to
"'It will be an eye opener for judges, scholars and
law students,' he told The Jewish Week. 'Before you know where you're
going, you have to know where you came from. And Jewish law is the basis
of our legal system in America.' Gurary said
that the idea for the institute came in an exchange of letters in which
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the most conservative
Justices, expressed his 'fascination with Jewish law.' 'And as a teacher
of Judaic studies, I began to see the excitement of students who were
being exposed to Jewish law for the first time, who now had a better
understanding of where Western law come from,' Gurary
"Gurary, who teaches at the
University of Buffalo law school, said his target audience includes judges
around the country and law students, not politicians and lawmakers." (45)
For Jews, the belief that God can
is the ultimate heresy.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, on Christianity (7)
Minuth Heresy, the belief in more than one Power,
Soncino Talmud Glossary
Unbeknownst to most Americans, the
US Congress has been gradually changing the fundamentals of American law.
The movement for change started as early as 1975, when Congress passed a
resolution honoring the birthday of a prominent rabbi, Rabbi Menachem
Mendel Schneerson, ("the Rebbe") of the Chabad Lubavitch sect (sometimes
this sect is called "ultra-Orthodox"). The movement ratcheted
forward in 1991, when Congress coupled Rabbi Schneerson's
happy birthday message with a declaration that the United States of
America was founded on the seven Noahide Laws. (1)
Laws promise deadly consequences for Christians. We shall understand why
a little later.
What are the
seven Noahide Laws? In brief: LORD God told the Jews they must obey 613
commandments (72) in order to have everlasting life (i.e., "a
portion in the-world-to-come"), but decreed that the rest of mankind
must obey only seven commandments. Those seven commandments are the
Noahide Laws. Furthermore, LORD God tasked the Jews to enforce the seven
Noahide Commandments, and to enforce them with liberal use of the death
While we read
of LORD God writing the Ten Commandments on stone tablets with his finger
and giving them to Moses (Exodus 31:18, 34:28), there is no parallel Biblical statement of LORD God
writing the Noahide Laws on stone tablets and giving them to anybody.
Jews believe that the Noahide Laws were either passed down orally
(see More Critical Words of Talmud Study, Oral Law),
or derived by rabbis (see Israel's "One Indigenous Science" ). The authority of the Noahide Laws is not questioned,
Here is an excerpt from the 1991
Congressional declaration concerning the Noahide Laws:
recognizes the historical tradition of ethical values and principles
which are the basis of civilized society and upon which our great Nation
these ethical values and principles have been the bedrock of society from
the dawn of civilization, when they were known as the Seven Noahide Laws;
the Lubavitch movement has fostered and promoted these ethical values and
principles throughout the world;
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, leader of the
Lubavitch movement, is universally respected and revered and his
eighty-ninth birthday falls on March 26, 1991;
in tribute to this great spiritual leader, `the rebbe',
this, his ninetieth year will be seen as one of
`education and giving', the year in which we turn to education and
charity to return the world to the moral and ethical values contained in
the Seven Noahide Laws; and
this will be reflected in an international scroll of honor signed by the
President of the United States and other heads of state: Now, therefore,
Resolved by the Senate and
House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress
March 26, 1991, the start of the ninetieth year of Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, leader of the worldwide Lubavitch movement,
is designated as `Education Day, U.S.A.'. The President is requested to
issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to
observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
Congress, HR 104 Public Law 102-14 (1)
Congressional declaration, many Americans are still not aware that their
country was founded on Talmudic laws. (70) It is still widely believed that America was founded
on the principles contained in the Declaration of Independence, the Bill
of Rights, the Constitution, and Anglo-Saxon law generally. Some of the
Founding Fathers even thought they had been influenced by the writings of
John Locke, a Scot. Help clear up this
misunderstanding. A copy of that 1991 resolution, Joint House Resolution
104 Public Law 102-14, and prior Congressional Schneerson
birthday resolutions are available for easy download and study. (1)
Gold Medal (brass
replica) awarded posthumously to Rabbi Schneerson
in August 1994. The legend on the obverse reads "Benevolence
Ethics Leadership Scholarship" in English, and "To improve
the home" in Hebrew.
To see how
one of Judaism's most prominent and charming spokesmen is currently
promoting the Noahide Laws, study the May 8, 2001 speech of the Very
Reverend the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the
British Commonwealth, Professor Jonathan Sacks. The speech is
entitled Jewish Identity The Concept of a Chosen People. (42)
Description of the Noahide Laws
The Noahide Laws are defined in
the Talmud, largely in Chapter VII of Tractate Sanhedrin,
particularly: 56a, 56b, and 57a.
When excerpting quotations from the Talmud, we sometimes omit non-germane
text and footnotes. An omission of text is indicated by an ellipsis (
To see the full text and footnotes, follow the hot link at the end of the
excerpt. It is our pleasure to make available on line a number of Talmud
tractates, so that excerpts used in these Come and Hear articles and
Elizabeth's Dilling's The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today can
be seen in full context. We indicate unprintable Hebrew characters,
words, and phrases with the symbol [H].)
taught: seven precepts were the sons of Noah commanded: social laws; to
refrain from blasphemy, idolatry; adultery; bloodshed; robbery; and
eating flesh cut from a living animal
Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 56a
Soncino 1961 Edition, pages
A contemporary promoter of the
Noahide Laws, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, is a Hasidic Jew, a Kabbalist, (43) and a disciple of the late Rabbi Schneerson. (58) Rabbi Boteach expresses the Noahide Laws in this
The Jews have the 613
commandments of the Torah to observe. Non-Jews have the Noahide
commandments, included within which are prohibitions against idolatry,
theft, murder, adultery and incest, cruelty to animals, blasphemy and the
responsibility to establish and maintain courts of justice in a just
Enforced on Non-Jews
In the following Talmud excerpt,
we see that Jews have Divine authority to enforce the Noahide Laws on
If a heathen [son
of Noah] blasphemed, employing substitutes of the ineffable Name, he is
in the opinion of the Sages punishable by death. Why so? Because it is
written, as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land
[when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord,
shall be put to death].
Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 56a
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 381
One Witness Death for Gentile
Adlerstein is the director of Project Next Step of the Simon Wiesenthal
Center in Los Angeles and a professor of Jewish Law and Ethics at Loyola
Law School. Rabbi Adlerstein presents the basic principle of equal
protection under Jewish law.
For a Jew to be
convicted by a Jewish court, two eyewitnesses must have seen the
perpetrator about to commit the crime and warned him of the potential
penalty. The murderer must verbally answer that he chooses to proceed
anyway. (For a non-Jew, only one witness is required and no verbal
Adlerstein, as told to Naomi Pfefferman (57)
So then, Jewish law is not based
on "Equal Justice for All." Different standards are used to
judge Jews and non-Jews. To convict a Gentile, all that is needed is one
accuser. See US v. Talmud Law for further
discussion. (66) Thus, it is very easy to convict a Gentile, but much
more difficult to convict a Jew.
Talmud Sages tell us that a single judge decides a Gentile's fate. There
is no provision for a jury in Talmud law.
R. Jacob b. Aha
found it written in the scholars' Book of Aggada:
A heathen is executed on the ruling of one judge, on the testimony of one
witness, without a formal warning, on the evidence of a man, but not of a
woman, even if he [the witness] be a relation. On the authority of R. Ishmael it was said: [He is executed] even for the
murder of an embryo. Whence do we know all this? Rab
Judah answered: The Bible saith, And surely your
blood of your lives will I require; this shows that even one judge [may
try a heathen].
Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 57b
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 390
Executed for Violating Noahide Laws
Here the rabbis argue and decide
that heathens are put to death for idolatry, and any other violation of
the Seven Laws, as well:
to idolatry, such acts for which a Jewish court decrees sentence of death
[on Jewish delinquents] are forbidden to the heathen. This implies that
they are merely forbidden, but their violation is not punished by death!
- R. Nahman b. Isaac answered: Their
prohibition is their death sentence. (1)
Huna, Rab Judah, and all the disciples of Rab maintained: A heathen is executed for the
violation of the seven Noachian laws; the Divine Law having revealed this
of one [murder], it applies to all.
Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 57a
Soncino 1961 Edition, pages
The translator, Rabbi Dr. H.
Freedman, amplifies the text in a footnote:
I.e., in speaking of heathens,
when the Tanna teaches that they are forbidden
to do something, he ipso facto teaches that it is
punishable by death; for only in speaking of Jews is it necessary to
distinguish between prohibition and punishment.
Death Sentence Endorsed Today
It would be a mistake to believe that
contemporary promoters of the Noahide Laws have abandoned the Talmud
doctrine that idolaters (i.e., Christians) be put to death for practicing
their religion. The Noah's Covenant web site calls for
the banning of Christmas and other Christian holidays and endorses the
call for the death sentence for Christians. Noah's Covenant quotes
Rabbi Schneerson from Volume VIII of Likkutei Sichos,
an anthology of the Schneerson's works. (71) Rabbi Schneerson in turn
quotes Maimonides (the Rambam).
according to the
known Jewish ruling that Christians are idol worshippers.
quoted by Rabbi Schneerson (63)
for the death penalty
if he has invented a religious holiday for
The general principle is we do not allow them to make new religious
rituals and to make 'mitzvahs' for themselves by their own devices.
Rather they may either become a Ger Tzeddek and
accept all the Mitvahs; or [t]he (the Noahide)
should stand fast in his Torah (the seven Noahide Laws) without adding or
and if he does make some new 'mitzvah,' we lash him, punish
him, and inform him that he is obligated with the death penalty for
(the Rambam) (64)
the Beasts of the Field
In Tractate Sanhedrin 57b (cited
above), we learned that a "heathen" is executed on the ruling
of one judge. Let's compare that rule with the treatment
of Jews and oxen accused of capital crimes. (Footnotes, except for
footnote 7, have been omitted from this excerpt. To read the footnotes
and the full context of the tractate, follow the hot link on the cite.)
CAPITAL CASES ARE ADJUDICATED BY TWENTY-THREE. THE PERSON
OR BEAST CHARGED WITH UNNATURAL INTERCOURSE, BY TWENTY-THREE, AS IT IS
WRITTEN, THOU SHALT KILL THE WOMAN AND THE BEAST, AND ALSO, AND YE SHALL
SLAY THE BEAST.
THE OX TO BE
STONED (7) IS TRIED BY TWENTY-THREE, AS IT IS WRITTEN, THE OX SHALL BE
STONED AND ITS OWNER SHALL BE PUT TO DEATH (8) AS THE DEATH OF THE
OWNER, SO THAT OF THE OX, CAN BE DECIDED ONLY BY TWENTY-THREE.
SENTENCE ON THE WOLF OR THE LION OR THE BEAR OR THE LEOPARD OR THE HYENA
OR THE SERPENT IS TO BE PASSED BY TWENTY-THREE. (9) R. ELIEZER SAYS:
WHOEVER IS FIRST TO KILL THEM [WITHOUT TRIAL], ACQUIRES MERIT, R. AKIBA,
HOWEVER, HOLDS THAT THEIR DEATH IS TO BE DECIDED BY TWENTY-THREE.
Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 2a
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 2
Rabbinical scholar and translator,
Jacob Shachter, amplifies the text with these
If he gored a person. Ex. XXI, 28.
Ex. XXI, 29.
Which has killed a human being.
A further perspective in
traditional Jewish laws and attitudes concerning Gentiles is contained
in What About Gentiles? (67) See also US v. Talmud Law. (66)
Noahides Killed by Decapitation
In this passage, we see that
heathens (or "sons of Noah") must be killed by decapitation.
Our Rabbis taught:
[Any man that curseth his God, shall bear
his sin. (3) It would have been sufficient
to say], 'A man, etc.:' What is taught by the expression any man?
(4) The inclusion of heathens, to whom blasphemy is prohibited just as to
Israelites, and they are executed by decapitation; for every death
penalty decreed for the sons of Noah is only by decapitation.(5)
Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 56a
Soncino 1961 Edition, page
The translator, Rabbi Dr. H.
Freedman, explains in a footnote that the expression "sons of Noah"
Leviticus XXIV, 15
Lit., 'A man, a man',
Heb. ish ish, [H]
The only place where death is
explicitly decreed for non-Israelites is in Gen. IX, 6: Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed. It
is a general law, applicable to all, having been given in the
pre-Abrahamic era; his blood shall be shed must refer to the sword, the
only death whereby blood is shed.
The Sages consider decapitation to
be the most hideous way to die because it so disfigures the corpse. In
contrast, Jews who commit idolatry are stoned. (23) To see footnotes, please follow link at the bottom
of the excerpt.
MISHNAH. EXECUTION BY THE SWORD WAS PERFORMED THUS: THE CONDEMNED
MAN WAS DECAPITATED BY THE SWORD, AS IS DONE BY THE CIVIL AUTHORITIES. R.
JUDAH SAID: THIS IS A HIDEOUS DISFIGUREMENT; BUT HIS HEAD WAS LAID ON A
BLOCK AND SEVERED WITH AN AXE. THEY REPLIED, NO DEATH IS MORE DISFIGURING
Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 52b
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 380
Axe or sword, the
end result is the same.
"Grunts" Push for Decaptitation
If it seems fantastic that
decapitations might be carried out in the US, the reader's attention is
called to the July 26, 2003 edition of Defense Watch ("The Voice of
the Grunt"). In an article entitled "Anti-Terror Weapon: Off
with Their Heads," Robert G. Williscroft
argues that the US military decapitate "terrorists."
We should have
beheaded Saddam's monster sons and placed their pigskin-draped heads atop
long poles in the center of Baghdad. Then, one by one, as we capture
other high-ranking members of the old regime, their pigskin-draped heads
should join the rotting heads of the Hussein brothers.
Robert G. Williscroft (73)
Of course, all of the "terrorists" so far are Gentiles.
And once decapitation is used by American officials on Iraqi Gentiles, the
precedent is established. Decapitation becomes an American practice, and may be used other Gentiles as well.
Watch ("The Voice of the Grunt") is published by Soldiers For The Truth (SFTT), which
claims to be "a grass-roots educational organization started by a
small group of concerned veterans and citizens to inform the public, the
Congress, and the media on the decline in readiness of our armed forces
SFTT is headed by retired Army Colonel David H. Hackworth." (74)
Israel to Apostasy
Should Christians be particularly
concerned about all this? As we learned in Jesus' Membrum in the Talmud, (34) and Elizabeth Dilling's The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today, Chapter III, Jewish teaching holds that Jesus of Nazareth
("Balaam," "Ben Stada,"
etc.) was a false god. He was the bastard son of a woman who played the
harlot with carpenters, He worshipped a brick, performed magic with his
sex organ, had sexual intercourse with his donkey, and attempted to seduce
women. He was a sorcerer who led Israel to apostasy.
On the eve of the
Passover Yeshu (6) 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 practised
sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one
who can say anything in his favour, let him
come forward and plead on his behalf.' But since nothing was brought
forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve
of the Passover!
Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 43a
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 281
The translator, Rabbi Dr. H.
Freedman amplifies the text in a footnote, citing the Munich codex of the
Talmud (the identity of Jesus is clarified by calling him "the Nazarean"):
adds 'the Nazarean'.]
Certainly, Jewish views of Jesus
and His mother are allowable under the Bill of Rights. Christians have
their opinions about other religions, too. However, the present-day
Jewish view of Christianity has consequences in a way that the
present-day Christian view of Judaism does not. Under Judaism, what
happens to those who worship a false god?
MISHNAH. HE WHO ENGAGES IN IDOL-WORSHIP [IS EXECUTED]. IT IS ALL ONE
WHETHER HE SERVE IT, SACRIFICE, OFFER INCENSE, MAKE LIBATIONS, PROSTRATE
HIMSELF, ACCEPT IT AS A GOD, OR SAY TO IT, 'THOU ART MY GOD'
Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 60b
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 410
Min, Minim, Minuth
In the Talmud, Christians are
specifically described as "Judeo-Christians" or "min"
(plural "minim"). The following definition of "minuth" in the Glossary for the Soncino
Talmud makes the Talmudic attitude to Christianity clear:
Minuth Heresy, the
belief in more than one Power, especially Judeo-Christianity.
Soncino Talmud Glossary
Idolater Word Covers Many People
Some may assume that
"idolatry" refers to the worship of idols. While that
definition is correct, the word takes on metaphorical application, and
may refer to anyone whose theology differs from that of the Pharisees.
For example, Jews who reject the Talmud and wish to base their law and
practices on the Old Testament only, have in the past, been labeled
"idolaters" by the Pharisaic (Talmud) Jews. See the information
on Sadducees and Karaites in Critical Words of Talmud Study.
Personal Virtue vs. Enforcement
Before taking up the next point,
let us consider some aspects of religion. There is one aspect of religion
that intends the betterment of the individual through prayer, meditation,
right action, faith, hope, charity, etc. Let us call this aspect of
religion the "religion of personal virtue."
however, a second aspect of religion. This aspect requires one person to
use force against his fellow, either individually, or more often, through
the power of the state. Let us call this aspect of religion the
"religion of enforcement."
None of the teachings of Jesus
require men to use force against one another; instead, Jesus directed the
individual to acquire personal virtue. Among many other things, he said:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for
they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall
inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and
thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they
shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for
they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for
they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are
persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall
revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against
you falsely, for my sake.
This writer knows of not one case
of a government attempting to enforce any of the Beatitudes. Nor do we
find Jesus of Nazareth directing His followers to convert others at the
point of a sword, or to kill others because they do not follow His
In contrast, many of the commands
in the Old Testament contain enforcement clauses. For example, this
Thou shalt not suffer a
witch to live.
That commandment requires the
force of the state to carry out the death sentence on a
"witch." The following passage from Deuteronomy 13 requires Old
Testament believers to kill unapproved prophets, miracle workers, and
anyone who preaches another religion.
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams,
and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let
us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or
that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth
you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and
with all your soul.
Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and
keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and
cleave unto him.
And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to
death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God,
which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the
house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God
commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst
If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy
daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own
soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go
and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you,
nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even
unto the other end of the earth;
Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him;
neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt
thou conceal him:
But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first
upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from
the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the
house of bondage.
And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more
any such wickedness as this is among you.
Deuteronomy 13:1-11 (KJV)
There are many similar injunctions
in the Old Testament. In the history of Christendom, we can see when the
Old Testament doctrines dominated the minds of Christian leadership. When
Christendom neglected Old Testament enforcement doctrines, religious
freedom blossomed. Each man looked to the perfection of his own soul and
left his neighbor's soul to the care of his neighbor.
But now, with
the rise of Judaism in the halls of power, we are looking at a return to
Old Testament state-religion. Particularly, given the strain of Orthodox
Judaism in ascendance, we are looking toward a re-unification of church
and state, with priestly enforcement of Old Testament and Talmudic
America Is Rapidly Becoming Talmudized
In 1999, the Supreme Court agreed
to consider an amicus brief based wholly on Talmudic law
(see Sentence and Execution).
In November 2002, the American
Orthodox Jewish community held a kosher dinner in the Supreme Court
building to celebrate the establishment of the National Institute for
Judaic Law. (44) The dinner was attended by 200 people, including
three Supreme Court Justices. The purpose of the Institute is to
introduce Talmudic laws into the US legal system and law schools.
It is thus the clear civic duty of
every American to become intimately acquainted with the Talmud. Read articles
Death Penalty: http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/capunish_1.html
Kosher Dinner: http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/cp-jp-11-09-2002 and http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/cp-jw-01-08-03
We have already met Rabbi Shmuley
Boteach (above), a disciple of the late Rabbi Schneerson
and promoter of the Noahide Laws. In Judaism for Everyone published
in 2002, Rabbi Boteach begins by stating:
This book is written
in the belief that the next thousand years will be a Jewish millennium.
For the first time in its long and trying history, the world's oldest
monotheistic faith is going mainstream.
explains in his own words why Jews should be in the position of control
during this millennium. In the following, be aware that the word
"Torah" is used to denote "Talmud" (see Critical Words of Talmud Study). (49)
The world cannot be
run at human whim. It needs an ultimate plan and a regulator who can
determine whether it is progressing or regressing. This is the role of
the Torah, the divine law, which puts each contribution into perspective.
It organizes all human actions so that they coalesce into one supremely
There had to be one people whose supreme purpose was to reveal this
master plan to the world. History required a nation whose entire purpose
was to teach the world Godly ethics and the contribution the nation could
make toward the perfection of the earth
The task of the Jews is to be a light unto the nations. Light is an apt
metaphor because it shows the way and provides guidance. It allows us to
clean the room and arrange the furniture so that the home becomes fit for
human habitation. God, too, desires to reside among man. But we must
first make the earth fit to be a royal residence.
Rabbi Boteach (12)
Rabbi Boteach goes on to remind us
of the two-track system: Jews are governed by 613 commandments, Noahides
by seven. (12)Curiously, Rabbi Boteach does not mention the landmark
1991 Congressional declaration concerning the Noahide Laws on the occasion of his own mentor's birthday (Rabbi
"The Rebbe" Schneerson).
Nor does he mention that Noahides found in violation of the Noahide Laws
are sentenced to death under a one-witness, one-judge, fast-track justice
system. That is quite an oversight!
We are now at
the beginning of the Jewish Millennium. What will life bring in a decade
or two? Possibly, things will be quite all right, in
light of Rabbi Boteach's following statement.
Boteach: Judaism Teaches Tolerance
On page 393 of Judaism for
Everyone, Rabbi Boteach praises tolerance.
Tolerance is an
important lesson that Judaism can teach all world religions. Despite
Judaism's being the world's oldest monotheistic faith, the Jews have
never insisted that their beliefs are superior to others
Coercion is as
foreign to Judaism as Christmas.
Rabbi Boteach: Tolerance Is
Now let us turn to page 280
of Judaism for Everyone and read as Rabbi Boteach
people pride themselves on their tolerance. They believe they
have progressed beyond the prejudices of the past. They have learned to
allow those opinions that do not necessarily accord with their own to be
voiced. But is this progress?
find this definition of tolerance repugnant. Rather than find enrichment
or redemption in another's differences, one tolerates,
or stomachs, their differences. One swallows hard, one
suffers tolerates another's right to be different. This is hardly
recognizing the virtue than [sic] can be extracted from another party's
distinctiveness. This is a philosophy of segregation rather than multicultural
enrichment. Tolerating another person implies that though one allows his
opinions or differences today, if tomorrow he were to disappear from the
face of the earth, one would hardly notice his absence. There is nothing
to be learned from his conflicting opinion or uniqueness, and his absence
in no way compromises or impairs one's own state of completion. Promoting
or defending the modern definition of tolerance is really a license to
indifference. It is not a call to harmony or multicultural enrichment.
This may be a little worrisome. It
seems Rabbi Boteach does not know his own mind. Or does he?
Christians Make Jews Uncomfortable
Toward the conclusion of Judaism
for Everyone, Rabbi Boteach tells us "why Jews are uncomfortable
with Christianity." (13)Christians make Jews "uncomfortable" in ten ways
summarized in the Appendix: Why Christianity Makes Jews Uncomfortable. Since Jews
will have the power of life and death over Christians in the upcoming
Jewish millennium, Jewish uncomfortable-ness matters.
Is the Ultimate Heresy
Now let us
turn to page 401 of Judaism for Everyone and read as
Rabbi Boteach says that Jews condemn Christianity as the Ultimate Heresy.
Certain beliefs have
been deeply engrained into the Jewish psyche for so many thousands of
years, that even the most secular and disinterested of Jews accept them
as axiomatic. Foremost among these is the simple belief that no man could
ever be God.
Man is free, but his liberty cannot be taken for license.
The idea that a man
could be God is anathema to everything that Judaism stands for and
everything that Judaism came into this world to accomplish.
For Jews the Belief
That God Can Be Human Is the Ultimate Heresy
The belief that God could
have been born of a human womb, or could once have walked the earth, is
so foreign to Judaism that it is rejected even by the most assimilated
Christianity, however, sees in Jesus the incarnation and
embodiment of the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son.
What answer does Judaism have for
the Bible literalist, who can point to the many human manifestations of
God recorded in the Bible? (31)
The ancient Rabbis
were at pains to emphasize that the various anthropomorphic descriptions
of the Creator in the Bible the face of God, His outstretched hand, His
back were nothing more than allegorical language designed to make the
Creator accessible to the human mind.
Rabbi Boteach (20)
On other issues, however, Judaism
accepts the Bible literally:
In Egypt, God
manifested strict justice toward the wicked Egyptians, destroying their
lives and property through ten plagues. At the splitting of the Red Sea,
He showed Himself to be a warrior who effortlessly decimated Pharaoh's
legions, and simultaneously as a caring Father who rescued the forlorn
Israelites who were plunged in the Red Sea. At Sinai He was a
Can We Know God's Mind?
Rabbi Boteach tells us this about
Judaism accepts the
idea that there can be no positive description of God. We cannot say what
God is, only what He is not. His being completely
transcends human apprehension.
If this is true, and God
transcends human apprehension, how can Judaism be so certain He would
never want to take human form, or could not do so if He wanted to?
Christians may be puzzled by this.
Man, or Is Man God?
The concept that God cannot take
on man characteristics is an interesting one Rabbis
believe man can take on God characteristics. That belief
is illustrated in the following passages. In the first passage, we learn
that Raba says it is possible for man to create, and we learn that Rabbah
created a man. We also learn two other rabbis created a calf and ate it.
Raba said: If the
righteous desired it, they could [by living a life of absolute purity] be
creators, for it is written, But
your iniquities have distinguished between etc. (7) Rabbah
created a man, (8) and sent him to R. Zera. R. Zera spoke to him, but
received no answer. Thereupon he said unto him: 'Thou art a creature of
the magicians. Return to thy dust.'
Hanina and R. Oshaia
spent every Sabbath eve in studying the 'Book of Creation', (9) by means
of which they created a third-grown calf (10) and ate it.
Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 65b
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 446
Talmud translator Rabbi Dr. H.
Freedman amplifies the text with footnotes.
Raba understands mabadilim in
the sense of 'draw a distinction'. But for their iniquities, their power
would equal God's, and they could create a world.
means of the Sefer Yezirah, Book of Creation. V. next note.
Book of Creation, Heb. Sefer Yezirah, is the title of two esoteric books. The older,
referred to here, was a thaumaturgical work popular in the Talmudic
period. It was also known as Hilkoth
Yezirah(Laws of Creation), and is so called
in the same story quoted on [Sanhedrin] 67b. Rashi
there states that the creation was performed by means of mystic
combinations of the Divine Name, which does not come under the ban of
witchcraft. Its basic idea is that the Creation was accomplished by means
of the power inherent in those letters (Cf. Rab's
saying: 'Bezalel knew how to combine the letters by which heaven and
earth were created'. Ber. 55a. Cf. also Enoch LXI, 3 et seq.; Prayer of
Manasseh: Ecc. R. III, 11 on the magic power of
the letters of the Divine Name), and that this same power could be utilised in further creation. The work was ascribed
to Abraham, which fact indicates an old tradition, and the possible
antiquity of the book itself. It has affinities with Babylonian,
Egyptian, and Hellenic mysticism and its origin has been placed in the
second century B.C.E., when such a combination of influences might be
expected. It is noteworthy that Raba's statement above, though not
mentioning the Sefer Yezirah,
insists on freedom from sin as a prerequisite of creation by man, v.
J.E., XII, 602.
a calf that has reached one third of its full growth; others interpret: (i) in its third year; (ii) third born, fat].
Rabbi Dr. Freedman
Note Rabbi Dr. Freedman's mention
of Sefer Yezirah, a
translation of which is on line at Come and Hear. (59) The reader may also be interested in Elizabeth Dilling's comments on
the Sefer Yezirah. (60) This account of the rabbis creating a calf and
eating it is repeated in Tractate Sanhedrin 67b.
In the following passage, someone
called Jannai changes a woman into an ass and
rides her. He is apparently embarrassed when someone else breaks his
spell, the woman becomes human again, and he is seen "riding upon a
woman in public."
Jannai came to an inn. He said to them, 'Give me a
drink of water,' and they offered him shattitha.
Seeing the lips of the woman [who brought him this] moving, he [covertly]
spilled a little thereof, which turned to snakes. Then he said, 'As I
have drunk of yours, now do you come and drink of mine.' So he gave her to drink, and she was turned into an
ass. He then rode upon her into the market. But her friend came and broke
the charm [changing her back into a human being], and so he was seen
riding upon a woman in public.
Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 67b
Soncino 1961 Edition, pages
Tripartite God Is Illogical,
Leaving aside the question of
whether God could take human form if He wanted to, Judaism teaches that
God cannot manifest himself in three aspects
Judaism Conceives of
God as an Absolute Unity
Christianity, however, maintains a divine Trinity of three Persons, the
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which together form the mysterium tremendum (overwhelming
mystery) of Christian beliefs
Christianity thus affirms a belief in a
tripartite God, which to Judaism is illogical and unacceptable.
Rabbi Boteach (7)
Bi-partite, Poly-partite God is
While repudiating the idea that God
can manifest in three aspects, Judaism sidesteps the "Ultimate
Unity" to assert that God can easily manifest in numbers other than
three. For example, God can assume Male and Female emanations. It's time
to meet the Shechinah, the female emanation of God (some say Her name is
pronounced "Shock 'N Awe"). Rabbi Boteach introduces Her
in Judaism for Everyone:
The idea of a woman
reflecting a female component in the Godhead is a central idea of the
Kabbalah. The woman is the Shekhinah, the
Divine Presence, commanding increased respect. The Zohar, the
key work of Jewish mysticism, in a famous passage, says:
It is incumbent on a
man to be ever "male and female" [married] in order that his
faith may be firm, and that the Shekhinah may
never depart from him. What, then, will you say, of a man who goes on a
journey and, being absent from his wife, is no longer "male and
female"? His remedy is to pray to God before he starts his journey,
while he is still "male and female," in order to draw to
himself the presence of his Maker. When he has offered his prayer and
thanksgiving and the Shekhinah rests on him,
then he can depart, for through his union with the Shekhinah
he has become "male and female" in the country as he was
"male and female" in the town
When he does return home again,
it is his duty to give his wife pleasure, because it was
she who acquired for him his heavenly partner. (Zohar, Genesis,
In his Foreword to the Soncino
Talmud (1935), the Very Reverend the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire,
the late Dr. Joseph H. Hertz, quotes the Talmud Sage Rab
to the effect that God (male) and the Shechinah (female) can be feeling
and doing different things simultaneously, as though they were separate
Since the Exile, he
declares, the Shechinah mourns, and God prays: Be it My will that in My
dealings with My children My mercy overcome My justice.
The Shechinah appears in the
Talmud. She is mentioned seventy times in the 1952 General Index, and
once again under an alternate spelling, "Shekinah."
Ber. 191, Shab. 141, 152,
257, 298, 319. 411f, 415, 'Er.
444, Pes. 32, 279, Yom. 11,
95, 102, 121, 421, Suk. 15,
210, Meg. 132, 157, 175,
MK. 48, 156, 192, Hag. 98,
100, Yeb. 304, 320,
Sot. 11, 18f, 43f, 52, 63, 65,
68, 197 et passim, Kid. 150,
153, BK. 471, BB. 124f, 127,
233, San. 27f, 46, 83, 85, 121,
230, 245, 249f, 271, 304,
652, 659f, 664, 700, 702,
705f, 720, 733, 755f, Ab. 30f,
Zeb. 489, 577, Tam. 8, 22,
Nid. 87. See also
qualifications for reception
of, Shab. 441, Pes.
Shekinah, AZ. 69. See also Shechinah.
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 376,
To learn about the Shechinah in
the Talmud, use the Come and
Hear Search page.
Rabbi Boteach also describes other
manifestations of the Godhead (En-Sof),
including the ten sefirot, or mystic spheres, or colors, or
between God's essence, referred to by the Kabbalists as the En Sof (literally,
"there is no end"), and the ten sefirot is
analogous to clear water being placed into ten glasses, each of different
color. Red would represent God's anger, blue His compassion, green His
splendor, and so on. Viewed from the outside, the water will invariably
appear red, blue, green, or yellow, depending on the color of glass into
which it is placed. In reality, however, the
water has not changed color at all and only appears this way to the
So then, Rabbi Boteach tells us
that some people are on the outside of God, and some are on the inside.
He also identifies two other manifestations of the Ein-Sof: The Tetragrammaton
(YHWH) and Elokim. YHWH is the attribute of
Mercy, and Elokim the attribute of Justice.
Elizabeth Dilling, the Protestant Christian author of The
Jewish Religion: Its influence Today, believes that Judaism is not
monotheistic. For further information, see Chapter VI, Judaism Not Monotheistic, Chapter VII, Judaism and Paganism, and Chapter VIII, Demonology of the Pharisees. (35)
What is the truth, then? Can God
manifest Himself as three, or more than a dozen? It is beyond the scope
of Come and Hear to settle these issues. We mention them simply to help
achieve Rabbi Sachs' goal: that we find out about each other's faiths
(see What We're About (36)).
No Original Sin