By Michael Hoffman — Revisionist Review Oct 16, 2017
My bedtime reading is the Babylonian Talmud. It’s true. I find horror literature relaxing. I take a volume of the Talmud and a pencil and sit on the edge of my bed and study for 20 to 30 minutes every night, secure in the thought that it will not be anytime soon that I run out of material, since the Talmud consists of more than 30 volumes, much of it turgid minutiae about subjects so prurient they boggle the mind (Sanhedrin 82b: “Zimri engaged in 424 acts of intercourse with Cozbi in one day”). It is perhaps the most pornographic “sacred” text of any major religion, with the possible exception of the Tantra of the Hindus.
There are passages in the Babylonian Talmud that would make Harvey Weinstein blush. Sanhedrin 69a: “A girl who is three years and one-day-old whose father arranged her betrothal can be betrothed with intercourse, as, despite her age, the legal status of intercourse with her is that of full-fledged intercourse. And in a case where the childless husband of a girl three years and one day old dies, if his yavam (brother) engages in intercourse with her, he acquires her as his wife…as despite her age she is legally considered to be a married woman.”
Defrauding gentiles is another favorite theme. (Sanhedrin 76b: What is the cause of sin? Returning a lost item to a gentile”).
Apologists who attempt to explain the way these ignominious statements often do so by claiming that the Talmud is merely a series of debates without force of law. This deception is usually sold to those who know little or nothing about the Mishnah and Gemara, which comprise the Talmud. The claim about the Talmud being a series of non-binding debates is an insult to our intelligence. While there are many non-negotiable dogmas, the Talmudic religion is mainly predicated upon situation ethics. This explains in part why, in the 16th century, commensurate with Pope Leo X directing the publication of the finest edition of the Babylonian Talmud the world had ever seen, the popes began to enact loopholes in the immemorial Catholic ban on usury. It seems that the situation of usury had changed and that money could now be rented, despite 1500 years of Biblical and Patristic condemnation of this very act. The immutable law of God was eclipsed by man-made laws of convenience. The process is thoroughly Talmudic.
The Babylonian Talmud is indeed a body of law. It is codified by preeminent authorities such as “the Rambam” (Rabbi Moses Maimonides), author of the Mishneh Torah; Rabbi Joseph Karo, author of the Shulchan Aruch, and “the Chafetz Chaim” (Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan), author of the Mishnah Berurah, the legal code centered on the O.C. (“Orach Chayim”) section of Karo’s Shulchan Aruch. There are several other legal authorities, though few have the stature of this trio among the Orthodox Ashkenazi. The source of their binding law codes which micromanage the lives of millions of adherents, is the Talmud of Babylon, that supposed insipid series of mere “debates.”
As you may have surmised from the preceding citations, this writer has been studying tractate Sanhedrin of late, where some of the weightiest matters of halacha (rabbinic law) are propounded. The Sanhedrin volumes cover capital punishment and other forms of penal law, including the eerie concept of the rodef (“pursuer”). It is often bragged that the religion of the Talmud has suspended enforcement of the death penalty. Hence, gentiles don’t have to fear that worshippers of Jesus Christ will be executed for avodah zarah(idolatry), under the Noahide laws; that’s the cover story. The truth is that while the beth din (rabbinic court) does not formally, and as a matter of public action, issue death penalties, they do permit the preemptive execution of a person designated a rodef.
We are dealing here with lawyers. Therefore, it is necessary to be cognizant of the myriad escape clauses that are native to the Talmudic gestalt. Nowadays no rabbinic court sentences anyone to death? That’s true. Hence, people are murdered without trial. The most notorious recent case is that of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, assassinated in 1995 by Yigal Amir, a Talmud student because Rabin was earnestly endeavoring to make peace with the Palestinians. Amir invoked the halachot of the rodef, i.e the rabbinic law governing a pursuer. Rabin was considered by the Israeli-colonialist settler movement to be a rodef, and hence he was summarily murdered as a preventive act. This is a feature of the Talmudic law governing the “pursuer.” It was conveyed to George W. Bush that the nation of Iraq under Saddam Hussein was a pursuer, and a first strike aggressive war was launched, in accordance with the Talmud, while Protestant fundamentalists and papalist neocons ran about screeching, “Beware, Sharia law is nearly here!”
Pursuers come in all shapes and sizes. They can even be Judaic children. In 1973 Americans were shocked and deeply disturbed when the Supreme Court not only legalized abortion at 12 or 16 weeks’ gestation — the Court, in conformity with the Talmud, legalized abortion on demand at any time during the pregnancy, including a few minutes before the baby is born. This abominable crime against the innocent is permissible in those lands where the Talmud exerts dominion.
The relevant halacha is found in the uncensored text of the Talmud Bavli (“Bavli” denotes Babylon), in Sanhedrin 72b, where a mother believes her unborn baby is endangering her life by “pursuing” her. According to the Talmud, this unborn infant rodef can be eliminated at any time during the pregnancy, except when the mother is actually giving birth and the head of the child becomes visible.
“Before the baby is born, it is not considered a living soul, and it is therefore not subject to the halakhot (law) of murder.” — Koren Talmud Bavli: Sanhedrin Part Two (Jerusalem, 2017), p. 155.
Right wing campaigners against the alleged imminent imposition of Sharia law announce that they are defending the “Constitution against Islam.” We have never seen a case where Islamic law profoundly influenced members of the Supreme Court. We have, however, observed repeated Talmudic influence over how the court interprets the Constitution in the modern era. Roe v. Wade is one example. Another is the “discovery” of a Constitutional right to legalize the marriage of sodomites. It goes without saying that the Founders envisioned no such right, just as the Bible made no allowance for a usurping Talmud.
In the religion that is directed by the Talmud, there is no legislature. All laws are made by judicial decision. It just so happens that this is how much of the supreme law of the land is made in America. Another name for “activist judge” is Talmudic judge.
Our nation is under Talmudic law, not Sharia, though immense troops of Protestant and Catholic ignoramuses display their cluelessness as they crusade with intense fervor against a non-existent menace, while oblivious to the cancer eating at the bowels of our nation.
One wants to be charitable. One hesitates to overtax rhetoric and apply the word idiocy to the victims of what is a constantly mutating virus of deception that has hoodwinked them and 99% of the conservative movement. In lieu of such rhetoric, an observation of C. Wright Mills comes to mind, “We are at a curious juncture in the history of human insanity.”
Michael Hoffman is the author of Judaism Discovered, and Judaism’s Strange Gods. He is a former reporter for the New York bureau of the Associated Press.