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 social concerns.
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 American
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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/ Kwanzaa festivities.
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, 2002, (detail).
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 approval. "
have serious concerns
and would like to be assured
Passion plays have
an infamous history of leading to hatred, violence, and even death of
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
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 about." (65)
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
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 nothing
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
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 tolerance "repugnant."
"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
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 government.
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
" Rabbi Boteach (16)
can ever be
in prayer 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'
Talmud,Tractate Sanhedrin 60b
Dennis Prager wrote of Rabbi Boteach's book, Judaism for
"A major achievement. Few books on Judaism convey its
essence as clearly, as interestingly, as humanly as Judaism for
Everyone." Dennis Prager
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
"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
Selling the world on Noahide Laws and not mentioning the
penalty clause that sounds kind of like a stumbling block, doesn't
Don't you wish Rabbi Lapin would "fill in the
You can help in the battle for Truth, Justice, and the American
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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
Max Dimont, author of several
books popularizing Jewish history and culture writes in The
Indestructible Jews, that:
"Jewish history consists of a unique series of events
accidental or purposive which have had the practical effect of preserving
to fulfill their avowed mission of ushering in a brotherhood
"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
believe in our moral and intellectual superiority, in our capacity to
serve as a model for the redemption of the human race
The glory of the Divine Presence is within us, in our hearts, and not
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 Jewish
"'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 said.
"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
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 was
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].
Babylonian 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 diminishing
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 this
(the Rambam) (64)
vs. 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
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