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the rabbies had not got the whole power of great mass of the Jewish people. Just the State into their own hands. By means suppose that the Parliament of England of that unlawful and heathenish tribunal, was to pass a law, declaring that the the Sanhedrin, they were able to coerce Jews are to be considered incompetent to give the people, and to kill all who refused to testimony, or to be guardians of property, submit. Judaism, therefore, as it at present warning people to beware of walking with a exists, is a religion which was originally Jew, and permitting men to kill them, or to forced upon the Jewish people against their rend them like a fish; would not the Jewish will, and therefore has no claims upon their people perceive in a moment the injustice and reverence or gratitude. By the dispersion, the cruelty of such legislation ? Would they God has removed the main difficulties in the not have just reason to complain of the blind way of their moral and spiritual emancipation. prejudice which possessed the minds of the Christianity is in the ascendant, and will not legislators? And yet, this is only what the permit any “wise men” to kill the unlearned rabbies have done. If Judaism be true, then without ceremony. The people may, there the mass of the Jewish people are liars, rogues, fore, assert their religious liberty in perfect and murderers; for this is what Judaism security, and without any fear of the San- asserts; and if the Jewish people consent to hedrin. We tell the Jews, even on the ad- its truth, they are stamping themselves, their missions of the Talmud itself, that their wives, and their daughters with infamy. present religion is not even the object of their The truth or falsehood of the oral law is not choice, and much less the religion given by simply a speculative question, or a question God, but that it was imposed upon the con- relating to their eternal interests in another sciences of their fathers by force; and, there world ; it is a question deeply affecting their fore, ask the Jews, Whether they still wish to characters and their welfare at present. It continue slaves to superstition and cruelty, simply comes to this, are all unlearned Jews, when God has, in his providence, arranged that is, the overwhelming majority of the people, the means of their delivery ? The Jewish to be considered as utterly destitute of truth, people have often had reason to complain of honesty, and humanity ? If Judaism be true, the injustice, contempt, and cruelty of the the answer is, Yes. Let, then, every Jew, rich nations amongst whom they have been scat- or poor, learned or unlearned, consider whether tered; but we ask them, Have the most bar. he will still profess a religion that defames barous nations ever treated them with more and insults the mass of his countrymen. The contempt, injustice, and cruelty than that character of the nation is foully attacked, de. which we have just found authorised by the famed, and vilified, but not by Gentiles, not oral law ? Ignorant and superstitious Gentiles by Turk, Infidel, or Heretic, but by the have turned the holy name of Jew into a term Talmud and the Rabbies. The only way of reproach, but where was it ever known or in which this calumny can be met and wiped heard of, that the most ignorant and most away, is, by a renunciation of that system superstitious called the Jews vermin, or com- which has dared to utter it. If there live a pared the wives and daughters of Israel to Jew who has the slightest regard for the beasts? It is Judaism, and Judaism only, honour of the nation, he is bound to protest that utters this foul and inhuman slander. aloud against the falsehood of the oral law. In seasons of popular tumult, mobs have That it is false, requires no great stretch of risen and plundered the Jews; but where is argument to prove. Every unlearned Jew, the nation, or the religion, which has made a who is conscious that he is not a liar, a rogue, law that it is lawful to keep the lost property and a murderer, has the proof in his own of a Jew? Judaism, and Judaism alone, is breast, that Judaism is false. Every un. guilty of this injustice. Prejudice has un- learned Jew, who duly honours and respects justly assailed the character of the Jewish his wife and daughters, and believes that they people, but what sect or party of Christians are neither vermin nor beasts, is a witness ever thought of branding them as liars, whose against the truth of the oral law. Every one evidence is not to be received; as rogues, un. who believes that dishonesty is contrary to the worthy to be appointed as guardians to orphans will of God, and that the murder of the un. or property; as murderers, with whom it is learned is unlawful, has the proof that that unsafe to walk by the road-side ? Yet this is system which was imposed upon his fathers, the deliberate sentence of Judaism respect is not from God. ing the unlearned ; that is, respecting the
London :-Sold at the London Society's Office, 16, Exeter-hall, Strand; by James Duncan, Paternoster.
row; and by B.Wertheim, 57, Aldersgate street. This publication may be had by applying at No. 5, No. 7, or No. 13, Palestine-place, Bethnal.green; also, at No. 10, New-street, Bishopsgate-street.
עמדו על דרכים וראו ושאלו לנתבות עולם • ירמיה ו' טז'
« THE OLD PATHS."-JER. vi. 16.
FRIDAY, MARCH 3, 1837.
HAVING, by the help and mercy of God, | tuting what is now known by the name of the brought these papers to the last number, we Talmud or Gemara." * propose here to sum up their contents, and to Nothing can be more explicit than this give a review of the arguments which have avowal. A learned and pious Jew of the been urged. The topics discussed have been nineteenth century honestly avows that Ju. very various, but the object in all has been the daism is the religion of the Talmud : and same-To show that Judaism, or the religion upon this principle we have examined Judaism, of the oral law, is not the old religion of and compared it with Moses and the Prophets, Moses and the Prophets, but a new and totally and the result of this comparison isdifferent system, devised by designing men, I. THAT JUDAISM IS A FALSE RELIand unworthy of the Jewish people. That GION. Judaism is identical with the religion of the The premises, from which we draw this oral law, was proved in the first number by an conclusion, areappeal to the highest possible authority, the 1. That the oral laro is altogether destiPrayer-book of the synagogue, which is not tute of external evidence. To establish the only formed in obedience to the directions of authority of the oral law, it is absolutely the oral law, but declares expressly that the necessary to prove a succession of Sanhedrins Talmud is of Divine authority. So long, from the time of Moses to that of Rabbi therefore, as that Prayer-book is the ritual of Jehudah, or at the least an unbroken chain of the synagogue, the worshippers there must be tradition. But it has been proved, in Nos. 43 considered as Talmudists, believers in all the and 44, that there was no such thing as a absurdities, and advocates of all the intolerance Sanhedrin until after the Greek conquest of of that mass of tradition. That this is no Judea, and in No. 45, that there is no conmisrepresentation and no unfounded conclu- tinuous chain of tradition. The only evidence sion of our own, appears from the latest book therefore which could beget faith in the mind published in this country by a member of the of a reasonable man is wanting. Jewish persuasion. Joshua Van Oven, Esq., 2. The oral law itself is full of manifest has, in his “ Introduction to the Principles fables. This has been proved almost in every of the Jewish Faith,” a chapter, headed number, but particularly from Nos. 17-21, JUDAISM, which begins thus: - “ The where the fables selected are such as are parJewish religion, or Judaism, is founded solely ticularly noticed in the prayers of the synaon the law of Moses, so called from its having gogue. No one can doubt that the stories been brought down by him from Mount Sinai. about Leviathan and Behemoth-of Adam's With the particulars of these laws he had been singing the 92d Psalm after a conversation inspired by the Almighty during the forty with Cain-of the river Sambation--of the days he remained on the mount, after receiv. experiment made by Turnus Rufus to raise ing the Ten Commandments; these he after his father-of Mount Sinai having been wards embodied in the sacred volume, known turned, like a tub, over the Israelites of the and accepted as the written law, and called the descent of 600,000 angels to crown the IsPentateuch, or the Five Books of Moses, raelites--of the people's travelling 240 miles contained in the volume we term the Bible. backwards and forwards during the delivery We also, from the same source, receive, as of the Ten Commandments, &c. &c.--are all sacred and authentic, a large number of tradi- downright fables, not a whit more authentic tions not committed to writing, but trans- than similar stories contained in the Koran, or mitted by word of mouth down to later times; the Arabian Nights' Entertainments. Any without which many enactments in the Holy one fable would be sufficient to overturn the Bible could not have been understood and credit of the oral law, but what are we to acted upon ; these, termed traditional or oral think of the host of downright falsehoods here laws, were collected and formed into a volume enumerated ? called the Mishna,' by Rabbi Jehudah 3. It is directly subversive of the state of Hakodesh, A. M. 4150. In addition to this, things established in the written law. Moses we are guided by the explications of the later
* A Manual of Judaism, by Joshua Van Oven, schools of pious and learned rabbies, consti- | Esq., M.R.C.S.L. London, 1835. Page 22.
appointed the priests, the sons of Levi, as the idolaters without religion. It teaches that religious teachers of Israel. The oral law has they are not commanded to love God, and ousted them altogether from their office, as was breaks up all the happiness of domestic life, shown in No. 41.
by asserting that amongst Gentiles there is no 4. The oral laro encourages those heathen such thing as marriage (No. 8). For these and superstitions expressly forbidden by Moses other reasons, which might be adduced, we and the Prophets, such as magic, astro- believe that Judaism is contrary to the religion logy, amulets, and charms, as is shown from of Moses and the Prophets—that it has not Nos. 22-26.
proceeded from God, but is the mere invention 5. The oral law loosens the moral obliga- of men, and therefore false. tions. It teaches men how to evade the II. From these premises we have concluded, Divine commandments, as was shown in secondly, THAT JUDAISM HAS FOR ITS Nos. 11, 14, and 15. It allows dispensation AUTHORS WICKED MEN, UNWORTHY OF from oaths, as proved in Nos. 56 and 57. It
One of the most daring acts of allows men to retain what they know does not wickedness that can be committed is to invent belong to them, if it only belongs to a Gentile laws and principles, and pass them off as the (p. 18), or to an unlearned Jew, as appears laws of God. Every degree of wilful false. from No. 59. It sanctions the murder of the hood is sinful; but to forge Divine laws, and unlearned.
impose upon the consciences of men is the 6. It leads men to put trust in mere ex- most daring of all wickedness, for it not ternal acts as a compensation for moral delin- only deceives men, but it dishonours God. quencies. The washing of hands (No. 10)– The Divine Being is represented as the author the external sanctification of the Sabbath (No. of principles and practices which are abhorred 29)-the blowing of the cornet at the new by the good even amongst men. Is it possible year (No. 34)-the rite of circumcision (No. that those men could be good, who invented 58), &c. &c., are represented as sufficient to the fables of which we have spoken abovesave wicked men from the just punishment of or who overturned the Mosaic constitution for their misdeeds.
the purposes of personal aggrandizement_or 7. Though called an oral law, because who teach that oaths may be broken with imnot written with ink, it is really written in punity—or that men may keep what does not blood. For the most trifling offences it sen. belong to them or that unlearned men may tences the offender to be flogged (Nos. 13 and be murdered without ceremony—or that it is 53) the transgression of the Rabbinic lawful to look upon the agonies and pain of commands respecting the Sabbath, it awards an idolater without rendering him any assist. the sentence of death (No. 27)—and, by its ance or feeling any pity? If falsehood, laws respecting the mode of killing and cook. perjury, dishonesty, cruelty, and inhumanity ing meat (Nos. 49–54), it prevents the poor constitute men wicked, then the authors of the from getting food for themselves and their oral law are wicked men, and altogether un. children.
worthy of credit. And therefore we con. 8. It degrades the female sex, by permitting cludepolygamy (No. 47)_ by permitting divorce on III. THAT THEIR TESTIMONY AGAINST the most trifling pretext (No. 48)—by de- CHRISTIANITY IS OF NO VALUE. Many claring women incompetent to give evidence- Jews of the present day reject Christianity by excluding them front the public worship of simply because the rulers of the nation rejected God and by teaching that they are under no the Lord Jesus Christ. But the discoveries obligation to learn the revealed will of their which we have made of the principles and Creator (No. 3).
practices of these men show, that there is no 9. It oppresses and insults slaves, by for- force whatever in this argument. Their testibidding them to be instructed in the law mony against Jesus of Nazareth is not to be (No. 3), and by placing them, when dead, on trusted any more than Mahomet's testimony à level with brutes (No. 55).
against the fidelity of the Jewish nation in 10. It is a persecuting and intolerant preserving the Scriptures. This impostor system. It gives every rabbi the power of says, that the Jews have corrupted the Old excommunicating the Jews (No. 31), and it Testament, but no one believes the charge, commands the conversion of all the Gentile because he has been convicted himself of nations by the sword (No. 6).
forging revelations and laws. The authors of 11. It forbids the exercise of the commonest the oral law have been convicted of the same feelings of humanity to those whom it calls offence, and their testimony must be rejected idolaters. It will not permit a drowning for the very same reason. They have passed idolater to be helped, nor a perishing idolater off their own inventions as Divine laws-they to be rescued, nor an idolatrous woman in have taught their absurd legends as undoubted travail to be delivered (Nos. 4 and 5). matters of fact—they are plainly convicted of
12. It leaves those Gentiles who are not falsehood, and the only alternative is to say that these falsehoods are wilful, and then the trines judged. In the second place, it is free men who witness against Christianity are from all superstitious doctrines concerning wilful liars-or to confess that the authors magic, astrology, and other heathenish arts. were mad, and therefore incompetent to give It does not allow absolution from oaths, nor any testimony. In every case they must be mark out any class of society as the lawful regarded as propagators of falsehood. But victims of fraud and violence. It is merciful falsehood is not the only trait in their cha. to the poor and to slaves. It teaches that the racter; they were interested in their testi, souls of women are as precious in the sight of mony against Jesus ; they were his personal God as those of men.
It forbids polygamy, enemies, because he opposed their pretensions and allows divorce only in one case where it is and condemned all their - inventions. They necessary, and thus protects the weaker sex, had therefore a strong motive for condemning and guards the sacredness and the happiness him, and there is nothing in their character to of domestic life. It differs especially from the lead us to suppose that their love of justice oral law in its estimation of external rites, and would prevail over their private feelings. thus gives the strongest evidence of its Divine When the general tenour of a man's conduct origin. If there be one sign of true religion is evidently the result of upright principle, it more satisfactory than another, it is the is possible to believe that he would be just placing of holiness of heart and life as the first even to an enemy. When a man's whole life great requisite, at the same time that it does has been distinguished by tender compassion, not undervalue any of God's commands. Now it is possible to believe that he would not be this mark Christianity has, and Judaism cruel even to a foe. But neither supposition wants. The former teaches expressly, That holds good with respect to the authors of the without holiness no man shall see the Lord, oral law. They do not even profess integrity, and that for the want of it no external cerefor they teach that it is lawful to defraud an monies can compensate. Further, Christianity unlearned man—they declare, by their per- knows of no violent methods of propagating mission to kill an amhaaretz, that they had no the truth. It nowhere tells its followers, value for human life. If they were capable when they have the power, to compel all men of murdering in cold blood a man who had to embrace its doctrines, or to put them to never offended them, simply because he did death if they refuse. It has not a criminal not belong to their party, is it to be wondered code written in blood, and prescribing floggings at that they should endeavour to destroy one of rebellion, or even death, for a mere cerewho was a direct opposer ? The condemna- monial offence. It does not allow each indition of the Lord Jesus Christ by such men is vidual teacher to torment the people by exnot only no argument against his character communication and anathema at his pleasure. or claims, but even an argument in his favour. And, lastly, it does not misrepresent God as an It is a decisive proof that he did not belong unjust and partial judge, who confines the to their party, and that therefore there are not benefits of revelation to one small nation, and the same objections to his testimony as to sentences the overwhelming majority of mantheirs. The Jews of the present day, there- kind to unholiness and unhappiness. If ever fore, must find some other reasons for reject- Judaism should attain to universal dominion, ing Jesus of Nazareth. The conduct of their and the principles of Judaism be brought into great and learned men at the time can supply action, the whole Gentile world would be no warrant for unbelief at present: it is on
doomed to misery and ignorance. By prothe contrary a sort of presumptive evidence nouncing that amongst Gentiles there is no that He was a good man. And this pre- marriage-tie, it would rob them of all domestic sumption is much strengthened by comparing peace. By sentencing every Gentile reader of the oral law with the New Testament, where the Bible to death, it would deprive them of by we learn
all the consolations and instructions of the IV. THAT IN ALL THOSE POINTS, Word of God, and by forbidding them to keep WHERE THE ORAL LAW is WEAK, THE a Sabbath, it would, so far as it could, annihi. New TESTAMENT IS STRONG. In the late every token of God's care and lovingfirst place, it is entirely free from all fabulous kindness. The triumph of Christianity, on additions to the Old Testament history. It the contrary, and the full development of all recognizes the authority and frequently cites its principles, would fill the world with peace, the writings of Moses and the Prophets, but it and joy, and happiness. The fundamental is never, like the Talmud, guilty of forgeries. principle of Christianity, namely, that the Neither Jesus, nor his disciples pretended to Messiah has died for the sins of the whole have an oral interpretation of the law, un- world, sets forth God as the tender father who known to the people at large, and therefore cares for all his children, and therefore teaches capable of being twisted to their own pur- all men to regard one another as fellow-heirs poses. They referred simply to the written of the same eternal salvation. It does not word, and by it desired to have all their doc- deny that Israel has peculiar privileges as a
nation, but fully acknowledges that they are call upon them to make the decision, and to still beloved for the fathers' sakes," and that deliver themselves from that unmerited weight they are yet to be the benefactors of the human of odium which has rested upon them for race as they were of old. But it asserts, at the centuries; and from that still more dreadful same time, that God is not the God of the evil, the displeasure of Almighty God, which Jews only, but of the Gentiles also, and thus has followed them ever since they forsook the makes it possible for Jew and Gentile to love Old Paths wherein their fathers walked. each other. The only foundation for the peace It is time for those, at least, who profess to and unity of all nations is the recognition of abhor certain parts of the Talmud and oral God as the Father of all, and this foundation law, to justify their professions by consistent is the very corner-stone of Christianity, whilst conduct. If they wish people to believe them it neither does nor can form any part of the when they profess love and charity towards all fabric of Judaism. Christianity teaches that men, they must begin by repudiating the the first and great commandment is, Thou authority of the oral law, and renouncing the shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy worship of the synagogue. How can we posheart; and that the second is, Thou shalt love sibly believe that those are sincere in their thy neighbour as thyself ; and teaches, at the professions to men, who declare that they are same time, that all men are our neighbours. insincere in their worship of the heart-searchJudaism teaches that circumcision is the ing God? Every man who uses the prayers greatest of all the commandments, and that of the synagogue, there confesses himself to none but Jews and proselytes are neighbours. God as a believer in the oral law, and conseThus Judaism divides, whilst Christianity quently ready to execute all its decrees of tends to unite all the children of men in the cruelty, fraud, and persecution-ready, when bands of peace. It has only one principle of he has the power, to convert all nations with God's dealings to men, and that principle is the sword. That is his profession in the synalove ; and one principle for the guiding of gogue ; when, then, he comes forth from the man's conduct to men, and that is love also. solenn act of Divine worship, and tells me Let not the Jewish reader think that we that he is liberal and charitable, and that he Gentiles wish to ascribe any merit to ourselves, abhors persecution, how can I possibly believe as if by our own wit or wisdom we had found him ? There is falsehood somewhere, and the out a religious system superior to any thing only possible mode of removing this appear. that Israel had been able to devise. Far from ance is by a public renunciation of the oral it; we acknowledge again, as we did in the law, and an erasure of those passages in the first number, that we are only disciples of one public prayers which affirm its Divine authopart of the Jewish nation. From the Jews rity. This all truly liberal-minded Jews owe Christianity came to us. It has been a light to themselves, to the Christian public, to their to lighten us Gentiles, but we acknowledge its brethren, and, above all, to their God. To Divine Author as the glory of his people themselves they owe it, because so long as Israel. All we mean by instituting the com- their words and their deeds contradict each parison is, to show those who still adhere to other, a mist hangs over them. To the the oral law, that there is another Jewish Christian public they owe it, for they must religion infinitely superior, and more like that naturally desire to know the principles of those of Moses and the Prophets. And we appeal with whoin they are connected.' To their confidently to every reader of these papers to brethren they owe it, for this is the only way decide whether the New Testament or the of delivering the nation from the calamities of Talmud is the better book, and to say which centuries. To their God they owe it, for by is most agreeable to the will of God as the blasphemies of the oral law, His character revealed to their forefathers. We earnestly ' is misrepresented and His name blasphemed.
London:-Sold at the London Society's Office, 16, Exeter-ball, Strand; by James Duncan, Paternoster
row; and B. Wertheim, 57, Aldersgate-street. This publication may be had by applying at No. 5, No. 7, or No. 13, Palestine-place, Bethnal.green; also, at No. 10, New-street, Bishopsgate-street.