existential: down here there’s nothin’ mostly

You often come across the wild as the west type postings on the Web where the Jewish Talmud,- is there another?- is responsible for the downing of the world trade center, The Illuminati, is complicit with the pope’s designs on Jerusalem, is integral to the world financial system, is studied by the anti-Christ…

The Talmud consists of the Mishnah ( teaching), the codification of centuries of law based on the interpretation of Biblical precepts, and the Gemara ( completion) , which records generations of commentary on the Mishnah. But the Talmud is more than a legal code with commentary. It includes history, anecdote, folklore, biography and medical lore. It is an encyclopedia of hundreds of years of Jewish thought, feeling, and folk memory. This extraordinary work  contains the most brilliant ethical insights side by side with the most farfetched working out of the ultimate implications of a particular Biblical text, and moving glimpses of history and biography together with the relics of gross superstition; it provided the main nourishment for Jewish scholars right through the Middle Ages.

—Maimonides prefers this Bible to all the other Torah Scrolls and manuscripts, and to various Masoretic lists, and he decrees as Halakha that Torah scrolls should be written according to this manuscript. Because of the great authority of Maimonides, within a few generations all Jewish communities accepted his ruling, and all the Torah scrolls of all the Jewish ethnic groups are written according to his instructions, which are based on the codex revised by Ben Asher. However, can we be sure that the codex in question is the Aleppo Codex?
The community of Aleppo had a tradition that the Bible in its possession was the one to which Maimonides referred.—Read More:http://www.aleppocodex.org/links/10.html

(see link at end)…The “cancerous tumor” of Israel is the biggest problem confronting Muslim countries today, Iran’s supreme leader said on Sunday, repeating an epithet slammed just days earlier by UN chief Ban Ki-moon and US and EU officials.

In a speech marking Eid al-Fitr, the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said “the big powers have dominated the destiny of the Islamic countries for years and… installed the Zionist cancerous tumor in the heart of the Islamic world,” according to the official IRNA news agency….

—The Rebbe offered a number of explanations. Just as the grief over Zion and Jerusalem is common to all Jews, so too, all Jews share the grief of one Jew. The heathen conquerors of Zion could only capture the physical Temple, because the spiritual essence of the Temple resides eternally inside the heart of every Jew. Similarly, death dominates only the physical body, the soul, however, is immortal; upon death it merely ascends to the World of Truth. Ultimately, G-d will rebuild Zion and Jerusalem through Moshiach, at which time He will repair the personal loss of every Jew by fulfilling the promise of resurrection.—Read More:http://onedaringjew.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/when-the-jew-cleans-up-the-holy-one-of-israels-mess-messiah-will-he-come/

The logical devices developed in Talmudic argument seem to have produced a habit of thought that could be recognized wherever Jewish communities existed and that is recognizable today among Jews who have no knowledge of the Talmudic tradition- in jewish jokes based on question and answer , for example, with the answer being another question.

Persecution, first by Romans and then by Christians, accelerated the Diaspora, or dispersion of the Jews spread throughout Europe. They followed the arteries of the Roman Empire, first as individual travelers and settlers, and later, after the fall of Jerusalem  in A.D. 70 and the defeat of Bar Kochba’s revolt, they found their way as captives or fugitives to all parts of the empire and throughout Europe and then to Eastern Europe , taking with them  their Middle High German language as they had spoken it in the Rhineland; this language, later known as Yiddish, has survived as the vernacular of Jewish communities in eastern Europe until our own time.

—The Chief Rabbi of the Israel Defence Forces, Shlomo Goren, arrives at the liberated Western Wall. To his right are General Uzi Narkiss and HaRav Menachem Cohen. To his far left is the fellow paratrooper who planted the Israeli flag upon the Temple Mount – declaring Jewish sovereignty over the Mount, ending 1,897 years of exile.—Read More:http://www.templeinstitute.org/temple_mount_liberation.htm

“Many of the Islamic world’s problems come from the existence of the

m Zionist regime,” he was quoted as saying.

The “tumor” characterization was a repeat of terms Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have long used to portray Israel as an illegitimate state in the Middle East that will inevitably disappear.Read More:http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4270418,00.html

But persecution seemed to follow the Jews wherever they went. To medieval Christendom they were accursed of god, doomed to perpetual wandering for their guilt in the crucifixion of Christ and their willful obstinancy, as it was regarded, in refusing to recognize Christ’s divinity. Medieval Christians often confusedly believed at the same time that the Jews knew that Christ was god and deliberately tortured him out of diabolical malevolence. The Crusades were accompanied by massive anti-Jewish activity wherever the Crusaders went.

Bosch. Prodigal Son. The Wanderer.—On July 23rd 1968, the Rebbe saved Sharon’s life. During a meeting with the Rebbe, Sharon periodically checked his watch, as he was scheduled to return to Israel that night. The Rebbe suggested that Sharon stay a little longer and take another flight. Sharon complied and they finished their conversation. Later that night, the EL-AL flight Sharon had planned to take was hijacked to Algeria by the ‘Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.’ All Jewish passengers were held for five weeks before being released unharmed. According to those released, the hijackers seemed to be looking for ‘someone important,’ and they were enraged when they realized that he was not aboard. It was later revealed that the entire incident was an operation executed to capture Ariel Sharon.—Read More:http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/hieronymus-bosch/the-vagabond-the-prodigal-son-1516

The Jew in medieval Christian communities had no rights. He was not part of the feudal system; he was not allowed to own land or engage in agriculture. He was useful in international commerce because of his links with coreligionists abroad. He went into moneylending partly because the Christians needed moneylenders and encouraged Jews to go into the field, and partly because, with the threat of expulsion always hanging over him, he had to travel light… ( to be continued)

ADDENDUM: Richard Francis Burton, 1873: Physiologists have asked, How is this phenomenon to be accounted for? Why is the duration of
life greater among the Jews than among the other races of Europe? Is it the result of superior organization or of obedience to the ceremonial law? The researches of those who have made these questions their special study supply but one satisfactory or sufficient answer, and it may be summed up in six words—a prodigious superiority of vital power. And all the laws attributed to the theistic secularism of Moses were issued with one object—namely, that of hardening and tempering the race to an extent which even Sparta ignored. The ancient Jew was more than half
a Bedawin, and not being an equestrian race his annual journeys to and from Jerusalem were mostly made on foot. His diet was carefully regulated, and his year was a succession of fasts and feasts, as indeed it is now, but not to such an extent as formerly. The results were simply
the destruction of all the weaklings and the survival of the fittest.

Thrice during the year, by order of the Torah (Deut. xvi. 16)—namely (1) in the Passover, or feast of unleavened bread during the first ecclesiastical and the seventh civil month; (2) at Pentecost, or Shebaoth (weeks), the feast of the wheat harvest in the third or the ninth month;
and (3) at the Feast of Tabernacles, or the ingathering of the harvest in the seventh or the first month—the Jew of old was religiously commanded to appear before the Lord. He was bound to leave his home, which might be distant a hundred and fifty miles, and travel up to Jerusalem, where he led a camp life like his half-brothers in the Desert. This semi-nomad life was combined with a quasi-ascetic condition produced by the frequency and the severity of his fasts and by the austerities attending upon making ready for the Sabbath, that is to say, the preparations of Friday evening—some religious men even in the present age suffer nothing to pass their lips for seven consecutive days and nights. This afflicting the soul, as it is called, served to breed a race equally hard and hardy in frame and mind. It embodied to perfection the idea of the sacrifice of personal will. Add to this the barbarous and ferocious nature of their punishments, amongst which stoning by the congregation is perhaps the most classical, and the perpetual bloodshed in the Temple, which must have suggested a butcher’s shambles. Read More:http://www.vho.org/aaargh/fran/livres7/BURTONTheJew.pdf

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