Jewish History, Jewish Religion - Israel Shahak's shocking revelations

Ennio

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When reading the excerpts and this thread at the end I was wondering why all of the secrecy?
The Mossad motto "by deception thou shalt do war" comes to mind (and was probably inspired if not bestowed by the deeply religious types described in the book, imo). Shahak gives several examples of how some texts contain deeply racist terms, statements and policies that were edited out for Western/English translations. Or how certain words were replaced in later additions to obscure their prejudicial and offensive nature (because some folks started to catch on to what was really being said) - only later to be put back in by powerful groups in contemporary Israel for Israeli consumption. How better to defeat the enemy than to keep secret the real teachings, values and plans for conquest that are at the core of what some of the Orthodox believe.

Every so often though, a story peeps through that shines a light though:

Influential rabbi is teaching would-be Israeli soldiers genocide is a mitzvah (ordained holy action)
Heart of Darkness: Israeli Chief Rabbi Endorses Palestinian Servitude, Ethnic Cleansing
Notorious Israeli Jewish supremacist rabbi preaches rape
Rabid Rabbi: Wounded Palestinians should be "finished off"
Ivanka and Jared reportedly get blessed by Rabbi who called blacks 'monkeys'

And the list goes on. I'm almost half-way through the book and I think what I appreciate most so far is the moral and humanitarian stance he's taken to the subject. Shahak was not only writing for the general public by taking the tone of an educator, but was also trying to get Jewish people to think on Zionist policies and what they are, in large part, informed by. As a holocaust survivor who served in the Israeli army and who was a lauded teacher of chemistry in Israel - he must have been a difficult person to attack head-on.
 

stellar

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This was published today:

Is there really such a thing as the "Judeo-Christian tradition"?



The article suggests that WASPs' philo-semitism, compensating for a guilt complex over their treatment of Jews down through history, spurred its use. But I suspect research would show that its contemporaneous origins with post-WW2 Pax Americana and the state of Israel speak more to Zionist efforts to enlist the anglosphere. See, for example, how the 'war on terror' was transplanted into the West after two decades' incubation in Israel.
Sounds like it came into full force at about the same time as the 'trial run' for 4D sts takeover. :-/
 

Laura

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I'm almost half-way through the book and I think what I appreciate most so far is the moral and humanitarian stance he's taken to the subject. Shahak was not only writing for the general public by taking the tone of an educator, but was also trying to get Jewish people to think on Zionist policies and what they are, in large part, informed by. As a holocaust survivor who served in the Israeli army and who was a lauded teacher of chemistry in Israel - he must have been a difficult person to attack head-on.
Yes, I think Shahak is a thoroughly decent person and he is appalled at this "branch" of Judaism that took over and has oppressed the rank and file of Jews.

What puzzles me is the 300 year gap he mentions between about the time that the Talmuds were finished up and the appearance of the "Classical Judaism" he refers to as then transforming into this sex cult.

Talmudic Judaism certainly wasn't a sex cult. It wasn't exactly Biblical Judaism either, but it was closer to the latter than the former. Talmudic Judaism was Judaism without the Temple.

Another interesting item is the Talmud's rant about somebody named "Jesus". I read an entire study on this some years ago and, apparently, the evidence points to the fact that there was a radical person named "Jesus" who was stoned somewhere by the Jews - I'll have to look it up - but he wasn't the "Jesus" of the NT. Well, perhaps he was one of those persons who was conflated into the Jesus of the NT.

Shahak remarks that Biblical Judaism was a religion for peasants, for people involved in agriculture, but by the time they come into view again, there are no Jewish peasants at all. It was mentioned that what is seen in Cabbala is pretty much Gnosticism run amok. Perhaps. And perhaps that is a clue as to the origin of this business and why, at the end of it, there were no Jewish peasants? Perhaps Cabbalism grew and developed in Alexandria and from there, made its way to Spain, and was transferred from Spain to the Khazars and then "Classical Judaism" was developed? Meanwhile, the rank and file of Jews either remained in Palestine, later to convert to Islam, or emigrated elsewhere and were assimilated?

Okay, I found the reference and it references the "Teacher of Righteousness" of Dead Sea Scrolls fame from my as yet unpublished book about Paul:
***

The Teacher of Righteousness was someone to whom God had made known all the mysteries of the prophets, and who had been severely persecuted. In view of this, Wells discusses Talmudic references that point to a Jesus who was killed by the Jews in Lud (Lydda) by stoning,[1] and not by the Romans in Jerusalem by crucifixion. In the Gemara, the body of commentaries on the Jewish codification of Law called the Mishnah, Jesus was said to have been persecuted by King Alexander Jannaeus:[2]

The Gemara sums up Jesus’ activities by saying (Sanh. 43a) that he ‘practised magic and deceived and led astray Israel’. This man who learned magic in Egypt and scratched charms on his flesh has little resemblance to the gospel Jesus. ... The passage goes on to explain the incident, ‘When king Jannaeus put the Rabbis to death, Rabbi Joshua b. Perahiah fled to Alexandria but later … came back …’ (Sotah, 47a and Sanh. 107b). The persecution of the Pharisees under Jannaeus is well attested. Löw [1858] thought that the Jesus of the Talmud fled into Egypt during this persecution, learned magic there, and later founded the Essene sect, which he says, is named after him. [1]

In sum, if the early Christians were not followers of the gospel Jesus but Jews who believed that the Messiah, named Jesus, had come and would return, and who were otherwise orthodox, keeping the law and attending the temple, then the silence of the rabbinical literature about Jesus and about Christians up to the end of the first century, when the decisive break occurred, is quite intelligible; whereas if there was a historical Jesus who had the career ascribed to him in the gospels, it is not.[3]

This idea is particularly interesting in view of Birger Pearson’s work Gnosticism, Judaism, and Egyptian Christianity. Pearson adduces new support of Moritz Friedlander’s[4] idea that gnosticism is a pre-Christian phenomenon originating in anti-Law Jewish circles in Alexandria. That is, gnosticism arose among Jews who were exposed to Middle Platonism, but also influenced by the events of their times, i.e. the political facts on the ground, and the evident failure of the promises of their god[5]:

This hermeneutical principle can be described as one of revolt. In the Gnostic reinterpretation the God of Israel, the God of history and creation, is demonized; the Creator and his creation are considered to be the product of a tragic fall within the divine realm; and humanity is seen to be a part of the transcendent God imprisoned by hostile powers in an alien environment. Inasmuch as the Gnostic synthesis reflects the use and reinterpretation of Jewish scripture and tradition, it is apparent that the Gnostic phenomenon itself originates in a Jewish environment as an expression of alienation from (“orthodox”) Judaism.[6]
Glen Fairen is even clearer on this, pointing out the close similarities not only between the Qumran and Nag Hammadi texts, but also between these “Judeo-Christian” texts and the surrounding literature of Ancient Near and Middle East (for example, the Greek Asclepius, Egyptian Potter’s Oracle, and Persian Zand-I Vohuman Yasn apocalypses).[7] So-called gnosticism only developed the apocalyptic themes further, using their own internal, Jewish logic. Fairen’s definitions make it crystal clear:

Apocalypticism(s):
Ancient Near and Middle Eastern, scribally written protest literature which focuses on the loss of native kingship and expresses a phantasmagoric rectification thereof, particularly in terms of cosmic symbolism syncretistically redeployed from Ancient Near and Middle Eastern cosmologies.

Gnosticism(s): An analogous expression of Ancient Near and Middle Eastern apocalypticism where, under the domination of a hegemonic foreign power, there is a belief in the inability, or lack of desire, of the titular national god to instigate an apocalyptic resolution. Hence, gnosticism – as an expression of the inherent tension within an ontological system that postulates a good deity with a corrupt world – recasts notions of “as above, so below” so that where once the wrong king would be replaced by the right god, it now is reconfigured so that the wrong king must reflect the wrong or illegitimate god in heaven.[8]
In other words, they are political texts, as much as they are reiligious, reflecting the idea that when a god’s true representative is in power, all is good. The chaos of foreign rule, in contrast, necessitates a divine re-ordering, where god’s rule is brought back. This was the outlook of the Jewish rebels. Later on the “gnostics” concluded that it wasn’t just foreign rule – it must be that the wrong gods were in charge; understandable, after centuries of foreign rule, and two failed rebellions that resulted in national catastrophe.

There are a number of striking parallels between some of the Nag Hammadi texts and the texts of Qumran. This suggests strongly that similar speculations were under way both in Alexandria and in Palestine, and one wonders where they began. Is the Talmud correct that the origins were in Palestine in the time of Alexander Jannaeus? Or later, when Pompey destroyed the nationalist dreams of the Jews by taking Judea under Roman control?[9] Or was it simply a constant, receiving fresh inspiration with each new, corrupt foreign ruler?

The Hellenistically inspired exegetical activities[10] of the two groups advanced in different ways: for the Gnostics, Yahweh/Jehovah became a demon of sorts, and for the Qumran community, one only needed to apply more and better Pesher-izing[11] to get the right combination and understand what was going on and how God and his Messiah would set things right. This is interesting in view of the fact that the Gnosticizers tended to reject the Old Testament (even if they based their myths on it), while later Christian orthodoxy – like the sectarians at Qumran – retained the Old Testament in rejection of the gnostics and later Marcionites, while rejecting its theology in favor of Christ.

In any event, the Dead Sea Scrolls show that the memory of their founder was treasured a long time after his death. Ellegård proposes that visions of this teacher – long dead – convinced members of the Qumran community and other groups of Essenes throughout the Empire that he was preparing to return to Earth along with the Hosts of Heaven, for the last judgment. Paul, it seems, may have taken this further and become convinced that the Teacher was a supernatural being who, like the character in the Wisdom Literature, had sought an abode on Earth, was rejected, and returned to Heaven. Further on, I’m going to propose a variation on this idea.

Overall, the descriptions of the Essenes written by Philo of Alexandria around 20 AD, and later by Josephus, suggest that they were a much more open and innovative group than what the Dead Sea Scrolls say about the xenophobic Qumran community. Perhaps that was because the Qumran group were closer to the scene of the political action and had become radicalized into Zealotry.




[1] Sanhedrin (43a): “Jesus was hanged on Passover Eve. Forty days previously the herald had cried, ‘He is being led out for stoning, because he has practiced sorcery and led Israel astray and enticed them into apostasy. Whosoever has anything to say in his defense, let him come and declare it.’ As nothing was brought forward in his defense, he was hanged on Passover Eve.” That is to say, his dead body was hanged on a gibbet after stoning.

[2] Sanhedrin (107b), cited by Wells, The Jesus of the Early Christians (Pemberton, 1971), p. 200.

[3] Wells (1971), p. 202.

[4] Austrian theologian; born in Bur Szt. Georgen, Hungary, 1842. See FRIEDLÄNDER, MORITZ - JewishEncyclopedia.com

[5] The failure of the independent Jewish kingdom of the Maccabees which lasted about 100 years and was brought to an end by Pompey in 63 BC.

[6] Birger A. Pearson, Gnosticism, Judaism, and Egyptian Christianity (Fortress Press, 2006), pp. 37–8.

[7] While “apocalyptic” is usually considered an exclusively Jewish genre, it is not, as these texts show. They all share the following thematic characteristics: prophecy after the event (retrojecting the current political situation into past prophecies), a nostalgic view of the nation (e.g., Israel, Egypt), the nation compromised by impiety and/or foreign invaders, societal collapse, followed by cosmic calamities and a divine re-ordering (usually through a messianic agent of God).

[8] Fairen (2013), pp. 139, 151–2.

[9] It is interesting to note that this was the time that brought forth Antiochus of Ascalon beginning the phase of Greek philosophy known as Middle Platonism. Antiochus “was a pupil of Philo of Larissa at the Academy, but he diverged from the Academic skepticism of Philo and his predecessors. He was a teacher of Cicero, and the first of a new breed of eclectics among the Platonists; he endeavoured to bring the doctrines of the Stoics and the Peripatetics into Platonism, and stated, in opposition to Philo, that the mind could distinguish true from false. ¼ he had a school at Alexandria as well as in Syria, where he seems to have died” Looking into Middle Platonism reveals a rich field of comparative study for emerging Christianity. John, M. Dillon (1977), The Middle Platonists, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

[10] Exegesis is the critical explanation or interpretation of a piece of text.

[11] Pesher is the Jewish practice of providing “interpretive commentary” on the Bible, based on the notion that there are two levels to the text: the literal, and the concealed, discernable only be experts.
 

Hi_Henry

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This combination of extreme ritualized indoctrination ingrained mindset heavily grooved down through the ages effects and affects actual DNA over the generations. Psychology can alter physiology, as with diet and environment. A fixed systematic mindset through strict ritualistic living actually can alter genetic code, to create and instill notable 'markers', over time.
Thanks for your insight BC :-)

The ideas you touch upon are exactly the same as what I read in this article. The website VT has some good research oriented writers but you need to pay attention because some stuff is way out there on the fringes (well at least my fringes) of public/official/???? knowledge. I have no personal knowledge to offer on this topic but it is interesting to observe this discussion,
Mark Weber

What I found interesting was that DNA testing is being used in Israel if you want get the official Jewish Marriage certificate (religious).
Testing
Here is an interesting comment about this,
The same thing happened to me. Until I could find a distant great great uncle of my mother's who had been buried in an orthodox cemetery in the UK, we were not kosher enough to marry. Forget the fact that my grandparents were called Cohen and Levi.
 

Hi_Henry

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Okay, yes, I've studied the Bible for years and years and always thought that Judaism and Christianity and Islam had a sort of "common heritage', and I've used the term "Judaeo-Christian" quite a bit.
What I find amusing (in the real sense where I actually laugh as I write this) is that if anyone should know what is what it would be the Vatican. I suspect that in their Grand Library (access limited) are found books which would turn their "business plan" upside down. And yet that saintly pope called JP II called the Jews "Our Elder Brothers" implying being together in beliefs. In a rigorous sense there is nothing in common between Buddhism and Christianity and yet he implied that there is no issue. I do not have a silver tongue of an Vatican officials but I am sure they would find a way to explain to me that I am wrong :-)

Our elder brothers
John Paul II
MONDAY, JANUARY 25, 2016
We are all aware that, among the riches of . . . paragraph No. 4 of Nostra Aetate, three points are especially relevant. . . .

The first is that the church of Christ discovers her “bond” with Judaism by “searching into her own mystery.” The Jewish religion is not “extrinsic” to us, but in a certain way is “intrinsic” to our own religion. With Judaism, therefore, we have a relationship that we do not have with any other religion. You are our dearly beloved brothers, and in a certain way, it could be said that you are our elder brothers.
JP II has me fooled initially but after years of observation and then some revelatory books about the ongoings within the Church convinced me that this guy was an "actor". A religious version of Obama.


Ha ha ha ha .... Monty Python all the way.
 

Joe

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And so I also wonder what is the pay off for a person involved in all of this, beside to supposed sexual union with God or whatever? By the way sounds like a great way to get possessed and your soul smashed. What are they getting out of all of this?
For me, all of the physical interpretations of a supposedly religious or mystical "sexual union" were interpreted that way so people could get their jollies, i.e. orgies, sex etc. while convincing themselves that they were being so holy and spiritual, or even accruing some "power" to themselves. It's pure materialism and self-centeredness dressed up as religious.
 

Ambrose's Spirit

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For me, all of the physical interpretations of a supposedly religious or mystical "sexual union" were interpreted that way so people could get their jollies, i.e. orgies, sex etc. while convincing themselves that they were being so holy and spiritual, or even accruing some "power" to themselves. It's pure materialism and self-centeredness dressed up as religious.
If the end justifies the means, then one might as well pick an end able to justify his favourite means.

Anyway, I am still convinced that the "holy union" was originally majorly influenced by the Oriental, most likely Indo-European dualistic concepts. Shiva and Shakti. Conscipusness and energy. Divine Male and Female genitalia. Divine union of those. The perfect excuse for spiritually inspired orgies. Extremely pious and profound stuff. Who said that religious sacrifice couldn't be extremely enjoyable? Not those guys...
 

Niall

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And this is the article I was initially looking for:


...written by a different Australian professor and likewise published by ABC (Oz), though this time last year. I had a Mandela Effect moment :-O

Anyway, this prof says both 'Judeo-Christian' and 'Western values/The West', as concepts, really only come into usage during/after WW2...

While there is certainly something to be said for taking pride in our values and institutions, a fundamental paradox lies at the heart of this advocacy. The phrase "Western values" calls to mind a long moral tradition dating back to classical antiquity - the thought of the ancient Greeks, the traditions of Roman law, New Testament moral ideals. But the idea that there are such things as "Western values" cannot be found in any of these traditions themselves. [...]

The relative novelty of the idea of Western values is attributable to two factors. First, all talk about moral or cultural values turns out to be a historically recent phenomenon. The expression "moral values" was not in use before the middle of the mid-nineteenth century. Second, and turning to the other component of our dual expression, the idea of "the West" - in the sense that Western values evokes - is also historically recent. [...]

Its twin concept, "Judeo-Christian" values, has a similar trajectory, although its origins lie earlier in the nineteenth-century German "Tubingen School" of Protestant theology. The idea of a Jewish-Christian combination was subsequently adopted by nineteenth-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900,) who deployed the descriptor "judenchristlich" to denigrate what he regarded as an undesirable "Jewish-Christian" form of morality. The negative valence of this amalgam was to change following World War II with the sober realization that a virulent and deadly anti-Semitism had been nurtured in the bosom of a supposedly civilized West.


 

Keit

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Well, at this point I'm rather shocked. THAT is most definitely NOT Biblical Judaism by any stretch of the imagination. And I've read a bit about Cabbala and don't recall coming across anything like THAT! And this guy is saying that this ridiculous story is what a LOT of Jews actually believe? Even including Jewish politicians and modern people with educations???!!!
This is shocking indeed. :umm: I never heard about such an interpretation, and I actually went to Chabad school and studied Tanya in my teens. It's true that Talmud is quite racist, and Jews are not really shy about expressing such views among themselves. But nothing in such terms. What's for sure Chabad Jews didn't appear to have such beliefs.

I also stumbled upon the following book in Hebrew, titled "Kabbalistic Writings on the Nature of Masculine and Feminine", where basic Kabbalistic concepts are explained. And indeed there is an explanation that there are 10 Sefirot or emanations that are part of The Tree of Life. And these Sefirot sometimes are being organized into 6 groups called "faces". And each face is made of 10 additional emanations that make a sort of "archetypal person". And these 6 faces are being made into a "family":

Grand grandfather
Grandfather
Mother and father
Son, husband
Daughter, wife

And these faces are also like different voices or parts of the same person.

I can totally get how such relationships can be explained, at least in part, as sexual, especially among the mother-father and husband-wife Sefirot, but I didn't see anything about them being considered "different Gods". 10 Sefirot are being seen as emanations or archetypes that channel specific divine energy. But it is possible that I just lack knowledge or information. Will look into reading this book or at least into reading what he said about "different Gods" in Hebrew!

ADDED: There is a thing about reading Tora, Talmud, or any other Jewish writings, that anything written has several layers of interpretation. Even the number of letters and their positioning has a meaning. So it is entirely logical that some "sexual" interpretation would be made. After all, there is a mention of Lilith in Talmud and Kabbala. But I am still very curious about the "different gods" notion.
 
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Laura

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This is shocking indeed. :umm: I never heard about such an interpretation, and I actually went to Chabad school and studied Tanya in my teens. It's true that Talmud is quite racist, and Jews are not really shy about expressing such views among themselves. But nothing in such terms. What's for sure Chabad Jews didn't appear to have such beliefs.
<snip>
ADDED: There is a thing about reading Tora, Talmud, or any other Jewish writings, that anything written has several layers of interpretation. Even the number of letters and their positioning has a meaning. So it is entirely logical that some "sexual" interpretation would be made. After all, there is a mention of Lilith in Talmud and Kabbala. But I am still very curious about the "different gods" notion.
Read Shahak's book as he gives references to texts that contain the things he is exposing. Since you read Hebrew, you can look into it and report back. He also talks about the different interpretations.
 

genero81

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But I suspect research would show that its contemporaneous origins with post-WW2 Pax Americana and the state of Israel speak more to Zionist efforts to enlist the anglosphere. See, for example, how the 'war on terror' was transplanted into the West after two decades' incubation in Israel.
Yeah, these sorts of things that get incorporated into culture are usually politically motivated. Or so it seems.
 

SeekinTruth

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I read "Jewish History, Jewish Religion by Shahak around 2004/05. The most shocking thing for me was the examples he gives of "violating the sabbath" and such things, where they approach the religious obligations in the spirit of "cheating 'God'". The really weird mindset inculcated into the religious Jews, he points out, makes them try to use deception and manipulation to seem to follow the letter of the law, while destroying its spirit.

More to the main discussion here, over the years, I've run into quite a bit of articles and such stating that Judaism is not truly monotheistic. FWIW.
 
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