I've seen this before on anti-semetic sites - is it really in the Talmud?

Extracts from the Jewish text the Talmud

"Just the Jews are humans, the non-Jews are no humans, but cattle" Kerithuth 6b, page 78, Jebhammoth 61

"The non-Jews have been created to serve the Jews as slaves" Midrasch Talpioth 225

"Sexual intercourse with non-Jews is like sexual intercourse with animals" Kethuboth 3b

"The non-Jews have to be avoided even more than sick pigs" Orach Chaiim 57, 6a

"The birth rate of non-Jews has to be suppressed massively" Zohar 11,4b

"As you replace lost cows and donkeys, so you shall replace non-Jews" Lore Dea 377, 1

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    My understanding of the general attitude of us vs. Them in rabbinic literature is to help prevent us from assimilating. During our common wealth, We had a much stronger Jewish identity practically, our temple, and we still went in the ways of other peoples. There will come a day when we can be 'light unto the nations', the world's big brother. Until then we must preserve our religion, and when we are surrounded by very friendly, respectable people, whose values are simply not compatible with ours, the rabbis sought to dissuade the very natural fraternization that would have occurred between us
    – user3114
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 15:04
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    i think the below answers are apolitical, yes welcome to reality "Esau hates Jacob". pogroms, Inquisition, Holocaust, and all the other stuff over history, has made us hate them back, note: the Talmud was in a time, that antisemitism was way more prevalent and such a approach was definitely justified, today may or may not be different. i did not make this a answer because i think i would get alot of down-votes, this might end up removed. Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 21:31
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    @trying, That may be a valid justification for some things, but the quotes above are mostly false. No need to justify them at all.
    – HodofHod
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 22:47
  • @HodofHod ok but the point is true "am hadomeh lachamor', or "ein maalin"(even though "ein moridin") for example... Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 23:56
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    Why don't you just verify it yourself ? Since the Babylonian one is already translated, you can use Google Translate to inspect the one from Jerusalem.
    – user18041
    Commented Apr 22, 2019 at 21:37

3 Answers 3


rosends got it right.

But I'll go through the quotes anyhow.

A. Non-Jews aren't humans. Keritot 6b.

There are a handful of specific technical laws in the Bible that pertain to "an adam" which the Talmud interprets as "Jews only"; for a non-Jew we are more lenient. The idea simply is that most of the Torah's laws were intended for a Jewish audience, so sometimes "an adam" was taken for granted to mean "a Jew." NOWHERE do we ever find "you can kill/rob/rape/disgrace etc. a non-Jew because they're not human." Instead, some technical laws were intended on a focus within the Jewish population. For instance:

  • If you use the special formula for Temple oil and apply it to a commoner, not a high priest, you get in really big trouble with G-d. But you only get in really big trouble if you apply it to a Jewish commoner. If you apply the oil to a non-Jew, you don't get in big trouble. That's the instance in Keritot 6b. (As for why the distinction: the concern is that you'd try to make everyone "ritually special", which would make no one ritually special, and would ruin the centralization. This became a problem in Jewish history as seen in the books of Judges and Kings -- people would set up their own idolatrous pseudo-Temples wherever they wanted, and find whatever pseudo-priests they could.) The Torah really wasn't concerned about what non-Jews do with it.

  • Suppose a Jewish woman cheats on her husband and has a child from that union. If the "boyfriend" was Jewish, we call the child a mamzer and they're prohibited from marrying into the mainstream. If the boyfriend wasn't Jewish, the child is a regular Jew and can marry normally. Again, presumably the Torah was more concerned with what people were more likely to do, which is mess up within their community, and therefore bothered to add a penalty in that case.

B. Something from Medrish Talpiot

A non-authoritative work that was done long after the Talmud. I don't know what it says and frankly I don't care. You also have to realize that many medieval works were done around the time of the Crusades with massive Christian persecution, so the message many Jews needed to hear to stay alive was an "us good, them bad" one. Update: Fred checked the Midrash Talpiot and couldn't find this quotation anyhow. Thank you Fred!

C. Relations with non-Jews. Ketubot 3b.

Close, but no cigar. It's not in the Talmud there, but something similar to it appears in one of the commentaries (Tosafot, a family of rabbis in France in the 1100s) there. Again it's a technical discussion about which penalties apply if someone has relations with someone they shouldn't (see A above); the Torah was more concerned about applying penalties in the common case, which was people messing up with their neighbors, not a far-away foreigner.

D. Avoid non-Jews. Orach Chaim "57,6a"

Orach Chaim is a section of Shulchan Aruch, a work that was done a thousand years after the Talmud. Chapter 57 is a rather cut-and-dry piece about the morning prayers, and it has only two subsections; nothing at all to do with non-Jews here. So I have no idea what this one is about.

E. Birthrate -- Zohar.

I have no idea. The Zohar was "discovered" in the 1200s. It's not the Talmud. Fred checked the Zohar anyhow and couldn't find it. This one also is totally bizarre in light of Deut. 7:7: "It was not because you had greater numbers than all the other nations that God embraced you and chose you; you are among the smallest of all the nations."

F. Replacement -- "Lore Dea."

I think you mean "Yoreh Deah" (and if you're making mistakes like that, you really don't know what you're talking about, do you?) That's another section of Shulchan Aruch. It's actually talking about viewing slaves (not "all non-Jews") as property that should be replaced. It's a troubling statement, and it falls into the broader question about how Judaism allowed slavery a very long time ago.

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    I looked on page 225 of multiple editions of Midrash Talpiot, and found nothing remotely like the statement in the OP, nor even on the topic of non-Jews.
    – Fred
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 19:45
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    I also looked up the Zohar (as far as I can tell the reference was to the Zohar on Shemos, 4b). There's nothing even remotely on the topic there.
    – Fred
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 20:27
  • @Fred Regarding Midrash Talpiyot, it should be noted that this is a Sabbatean text! Nothing in it or attributed to it should be presumed to represent Judaism.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented May 1, 2016 at 17:33
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    Given that nowhere in Shulchan Aruch will you find sub-subsections, the citation of 57:6a is odd, even if there was a se’if vav. In light of that, I wondered if it was intended to refer to 576a, which talks about fasting. While 576:1 does indeed make reference to non-Jews, it says nothing about avoiding them, etc., just that we fast if we’re under attack from them. And OC is the only Chelek that counts that high, so if he intended Shulchan Aruch, it had to have been Orach Chaim, assuming the numbers are correct.
    – DonielF
    Commented May 13, 2018 at 17:56
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    @JoshuaPearl Thanks. So it was on page 255, not 225. The quote is not as presented in the OP, but rather "שלא נבארו העכו"ם כי אם לשמשם ד'יום ולילה לא ישבותו' ממלאכתם" ("For the idolators were only created to serve [Israel], for 'day and night they shall not cease' [Gen 8:22, see Sanh. 58b] from their work"). This author of this work (from the late 17th century and not a central work of rabbinic literature) implies that the purpose of idolatrous people in the world is that their constant work perpetuates human civilization and therefore benefits the Jewish people, but not as slaves to the Jews.
    – Fred
    Commented Sep 20, 2023 at 0:36

These attacks are usually amalgamations of the following:

  1. Pure invention -- some of the books listed don't exist or the quotes are fabrications

  2. Mistranslations or selective quoting

  3. Out of context quotes (statements made in the course of a protracted legal argument presented as definitive statements of belief or statements made to make a legal point being cited as normative practice).

There are plenty of sites which go through "quotes" like these and explain them one at a time. People who cite the attack pages rarely learn or read the original material or read the responses and understand the legal subtleties involved.

Start with a site like this one http://talmud.faithweb.com/ and you will see all sorts of explanations for many of those "quotes."

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    An example of this style of malicious quoting: in an argument over the kashrut status of something, Rabbi A says "if Rabbi B is correct then pigs are kosher". Outsider then says "the talmud says pigs are kosher". No, that's not at all what it says. The talmud is full of postulates for the sake of analyzing a point. That doesn't make them statements of truth. Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 15:24

This is in addition to the other fine answers provided by rosends and also Shalom, who showed us that these quotes cannot found anywhere in the Talmud, and when something "similar" can be found, the quotation has been greatly taken out of context or misunderstood.

I'd like to point out that there are many websites rolling around of the world wide web, and they're common among certain classes of missionaries and anti-semites. They just copy and paste what they see on these websites and spit them back to Jewish people without even knowing what they're talking about. It just makes them look foolish to Orthodox Jews, but they can cinch non-Jewish people into believing these lies.

All of the quotations from these websites are from The Talmud Unmasked, an anti-semitic work written in 1892 by Justinas Pranatis. Pranatis claimed to be an "expert" in the Talmud, but when challenged during the Beilis Trial on his "expertise", couldn't even answer the most simplist of questions. It was also revealed he could not read Aramaic, and relied on older anti-semitic sources to make his claims. (This was one of the things that, B''H, proved towards Beilis being acquitted.)

Thus, anything Pranatis claimed in his book has been dismissed by logical people, even without having read the Talmud at all. It is logical to trust those who have been studying the contents of the Talmud for thousands of years than some anti-semitic minister who couldn't even read Aramaic.

  • @ShmuelBrin T'would be very difficult to fit in a comment box.
    – ezra
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 1:35
  • The only part that actually applies would fit in a comment box. Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 4:45
  • Who was Bava Basra and when did she live ? Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 19:42

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