The Talmud greatly permeates Jewish life, including the material aspects of everyday existence. It is the transcription of the Jewish oral tradition. A fundamental work of Judaism, it is meant to serve as a code of canon law and civil law.
The Jews often complain of their portrayal as given by either the Gospels or Christian doctrine. But what image is to be found, for instance, of Jesus Christ in the Talmud?
That image is an atrocious one. All by itself, the fate reserved for Jesus after his death shows what the Talmudists think of the “false Messiah” for, in a chapter dealing with him and two other sworn enemies of the Jews (the emperor Titus, destroyer of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and the Mesopotamian prophet Balaam, who had cursed the Hebrews at the behest of king Moab), one may read:
[In the first century AD, a certain] Onkelos son of Kolonikos was the son of Titus’s sister. He had a mind to convert himself to Judaism. He went and raised Titus from the dead by magical arts, and asked him: Who is most in repute in the [other] world? He replied: Israel. […] He asked him: What is your punishment [in the other world]? He replied: What I decreed for myself. Every day my ashes are collected and sentence is passed on me and I am burnt and my ashes scattered over the seven seas. He then went and raised Balaam by incantations. He asked him: Who is in repute in the other world? He replied: Israel. […] He then asked: What is your punishment? He replied: With boiling hot semen. He then went and raised by incantations the sinners of Israel [or, as stated in a note referring to the Munich codex of the Talmud, Jesus alone]. He asked them: Who is in repute in the other world? They replied: Israel. What about joining them? They replied: Seek their welfare, seek not their harm. Whoever touches them touches the apple of his eye. He said: What is your punishment? They replied: With boiling hot excrement, since a Master has said: Whoever mocks at the words of the Sages is punished with boiling hot excrement.
- Der Babylonische Talmud [Gittin, V, VI, Fol. 57], neu übertragen durch Lazarus Goldschmidt, Jüdischer Verlag, Berlin 1932, p. 368 (“Mit siedendem Kote”).
- The Babylonian Talmud [Seder Nashim, Gittin, Fol. 57], under the editorship of Rabbi Dr I. Epstein, The Soncino Press, London 1936, p. 260-261 (“With boiling hot excrement”).
P.S. The German version has Jesus’s name appearing in the body of the text itself and the English version in a footnote, n° 4.
Explanation: I drafted this text for the barrister of Marcel Junin, a retired professor in the Catholic education system in France. In a letter to the daily Sud-Ouest, Mr Junin had, in moderate terms, expressed his disagreement with Mgr Eyt, Archbishop of Bordeaux, who, in a conference, had stated that the Romans alone were responsible for the death of Jesus. The chief rabbi of Bordeaux intervened to say that the Jews had borne no responsibility in Jesus’s death, seeing as the Gospel account was, on that point, riddled with implausibilities. The LICRA (“International league against racism and anti-semitism”) brought charges against Mr Junin who, in first instance, was acquitted but the LICRA appealed. The appeal was heard in Agen, where the decision will be handed down on June 12. The barrister is pessimistic. [The court of appeal found Mr Junin guilty of incitement to racial or religious hatred, imposing a fine (suspended) and ordering him to pay damages and costs.]
I owe the foregoing texts and references to Arthur Butz. It seems that in its current versions, except those in Hebrew, the Talmud is regularly falsified. See the extraordinary little book by Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years (Pluto Press, London and Boulder [Colorado] 1994).
March 31, 1995