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I'm an Israeli Jew and for a few days I'm in an ongoing online argument with this Swedish white-nationalist who tries to prove me that blood libels are not completely made-up.

He gave me the next two "quotes" which he claims Jews use in order to justify "ritual murders of gentiles". Now, in the past I've already encountered many times when anti-Semites either complete fabrications (sexual intercourse between gentiles is like sex between animals") or taking things out of context. But they at least those anti-Semites TRY to cite a source, making it easy to debunk - you just go to the Masechet/passage they give you and just see what is ACTUALLY in there. If not complete fabrications, Those lies are at least loosley based on an existing quotes.

But my guy does not give any sources, which makes we wonder if they are complete fabrications or loosley based on something. Since he gave the supposed English translations of said quotes, I couldn't really search anything for myself (googling those quotes in English just gave me a bunch of other nazi sites using them), so I'm here seeking help from Jews who actually know the English versions.

So, the quotes he gave me -

1. "in the jewish most holy book the talmud we read 'those who kill christians shall have a high place in heaven'." - he only says that it's from "The Talmud", he does not give the masechet and passage which it supposedly comes from.

2."In Zohar, I, 38b and 39a: 'Jews must never cease to exterminate the goim; they must never leave them in peace and never submit to them' - Now I don't know really how the Kabbalah works it terms of structure, so I couldn't really find "I 38 and 39" (I tried searching ט', ל"ח א' but it didn't help), and even fiding a PDF of the entire book is not helpful since I can't read Arameic (no use for Control+F).

So, are those quotes based on anything? Complete fabrications? Something in between? Also how much time am I really wasting debating with those kinds of people? :)

Toda Merosh, Gabi

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    judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/65410/… another fine example of missionaries hosing people over with "Talmudic quotes." – ezra Dec 14 '16 at 21:00
  • IMHO one important point is that particularly in the realm of haskafa, Jewish philosophy and attitudes, there is not a single definitive work. (See for example the comments of R. Menahem HaMeiri here: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/53349/belief-in-midrashim/…). Thus the question of the attitudes of individual Jewish texts, individual Jews, and Judaism as a whole are in reality three different questions, but are often conflated by anti-Semites, and many others. | It is for this reason that the seemingly innocuous in the jewish most holy book the talmud is pernicious. – mevaqesh Dec 14 '16 at 21:18
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    Also how much time am I really wasting debating with those kinds of people Considering But my guy does not give any sources, which makes we wonder if they are complete fabrications or loosley based on something Why not ask him for the sources. Tell him if he cant find the very quotes he himself is peddling as excuse for hate, he is not worth your time. || In general, while it seems like a wast of time to debate him since the chance of changing his opinion is very slim, this site is not intended for personal advice; rather for general question about Judaism. – mevaqesh Dec 14 '16 at 21:21
  • The Zohar in particular is the subject of much controversy; relatively few works have been subjected to as continuous a stream of polemical literature as the Zohar, since its publication in the middle ages. – mevaqesh Dec 14 '16 at 21:28
  • The language of the first "quote" does not sound right because I have not seen that kind of language. The second quote sounds like something from the Koran with the names changed to protect the guilty. – sabbahillel Dec 15 '16 at 0:59
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A quick Google shows that this person likely took the quote from this site here (I'm sorry to have linked to it). It seems that this person likely didn't understand what he was reading. The topics are divided into sections labeled with Roman numerals under which different "proof texts" are brought. On the linked page it says:

VII. THOSE WHO KILL CHRISTIANS SHALL HAVE A HIGH PLACE IN HEAVEN

In Zohar (I,38b, and 39a) it says:

"In the palaces of the fourth heaven are those who lamented over Sion and Jerusalem, and all those who destroyed idolatrous nations ... and those who killed off people who worship idols are clothed in purple garments so that they may be recognized and honored."

So what its actually saying, is that this Zohar is a proof that Jews are given a high place in heaven to kill Christians. I don't think that person understood what he was reading.

I found the actual quote from the Zohar here in Chelek Beis right at the end of 38b and a few lines into 39a.

ונטיל מהאי היכלא, ועאל בהיכלא רביעאה ותמן כל אינון אבלי ציון וירושלם, וכל אינון קטולי דשאר עמין עעכו"ם... ותמן חקיקין ורשימין כל אינון קטולי דשאר עמין עעכו"ם בההוא פורפירא, וסליק ההוא פורפירא לעילא

Which translates to:

And he is taken from that palace and goes up to the fourth palace. And there are all those mourners of Zion and all those who were killed by the other nations of idol worshipers... And there is engraved and imprinted all those who were killed by other nations of idol worshipers in that porfira. And that porfira goes up...

I'm not sure what a porfira is. From what I was able to find, it seems to be some type of wall of fire others have pointed out that is a purple colored cloth.

They seem to be translating קטולי as "those who kill", but it means "those who were killed".

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    פורפירא πορφύρα is royal ~purple dyed cloth, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrian_purple – Double AA Dec 14 '16 at 22:05
  • @DoubleAA Oh, nice. Its kind of hard to understand how that fits the context though. But I'm not going to pretend to have any idea what its talking about. What I found said "הרי שפורפירא הוא מעין חומת אש סביב הקדושה" here vikikabballa.wiki.co.il/index.php/… – Y K Dec 14 '16 at 22:13
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    It could definitely be being used metaphorically in some way. I have no idea. I'm just helping with the literal meaning of the word. – Double AA Dec 14 '16 at 22:14
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    Porfira is the royal cloak of the King. In this case, the souls of the mourners of Moshiach Ben Yosef and Jerusalem together with the souls of those Jews who were murdered by the other nations who do not follow the 7 laws of Noach are engraved upon this cloak. It says that in the future, HaShem will dress in this cloak and descend into this world at the time of the redemption to judge those nations like it says in Tehillim 110, "He will judge among the nations filled with corpses..." – Yaacov Deane Dec 15 '16 at 1:31
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    For a more conventional source to this concept, see Yalkut Shimoni on Tehillim 869. – Yaacov Deane Dec 15 '16 at 1:52
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There is actually only one quote here, and it is taken directly from The Talmud Unmasked: The Secret Rabbinical Teachings Concerning Christians, which was originally written in Latin (with accompanying passages in Hebrew/Aramaic) by Reverend I.B. Pranaitis. The quote is real, as are all of the quotes within his tract, and is from the Zohar. The supposed Talmudic quote doesn't actually exist, but is copied and pasted from Pranaitis' book, where it serves as his title for the Zoharic passage beneath it.

Context is a tricky thing to ascertain when it comes to Talmudic literature in particular (and for the Zohar as well, but for different reasons). Pranaitis, together with various other critics of the Talmud, seemed to think that reading the preceding text and reading the following text (indeed, even reading an entire tractate in sequence) provides context. It doesn't. It provides what scholars call co-text: the surrounding text only.

Context is historical and sociological. To provide that, we need to consider statements in light of other statements that are attributed to the same individuals, in light of the time of their presumed composition and - most importantly - in light of the time in which they were edited together in the formation of the Talmud. When you do this, you discover that extremely few of these passages are about Christians at all.

The authors of the Talmud didn't give two damns about Christians and Christianity, since Christianity was by their time a separate religion to Judaism (animosity towards minim in earlier sources notwithstanding), and since it was also a minority religion in Sassanid-era Persia, where the Talmud was written. References to "foreigners" or to "idolaters" have a long history of being mistaken for references to Christians and censored accordingly, but they were not.

I would go further, of course, and say that even if they were, assuming that Jews act on statements found within the Talmud evidences a phenomenally poor understanding of the development of Jewish law. But then, Pranaitis did serve as witness for the prosecution in the famous Beilis blood libel case, so his tendenz is not too difficult to establish.

The Zohar is another story of course, but interpreting the Zohar is a problem of its own: as a mystical midrash, it presumes a tremendous degree of familiarity with a large array of other literatures, including the Talmud, so I am certainly in no position to assess it.

As for how much time you are wasting in debate, I would say that it depends. Plenty of well-meaning people frequent the sorts of sites on which those debates occur, and they can certainly benefit from encountering somebody who isn't an idiot. But the purveyors of this material are not going to learn anything from you, since the sort of stuff peddled by modern-day antagonists of the Talmud is already quite sophisticated, and is generally authored by people who know better. They will argue, for example, that the Talmud also encourages Jews to lie about what the Talmud says, so try getting past that one.

If you want to read more about this sort of thing, Rabbi Gil Student provides a variety of sources here. Also, Peter Schäfer has a book called Jesus in the Talmud, which investigates the Jesus references, and which does not take an apologetic approach.

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    Regarding the Zohar, see judaism.stackexchange.com/a/78205/8775 which notes that it appears to be a simple case of mistranslation. Also noteworthy is that in the Yalkut Shim'oni which seems to preserve the Hazalic source for the Zohar, it is evident that the discussion is about Jews killed by gentiles; not vice versa. ילקוט שמעוני תהלים רמז תתסט: ידין בגוים מלא גויות. אמרו רבותינו כל נפש ונפש שהרג עשו מישראל – mevaqesh Dec 15 '16 at 5:13
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I am new to this site and am shocked to see the old Jews-killing-Christians "blood lible" revived and even entertained as a serious topic for "academic" discussion in these pages!

My answer to the Jew hater who confronts you with this repulsive canard is that only someone seeking truth is worthy of an answer. He is obviously not seeking to be enlightened. He is simply trying to cause anguish and insult with his specious assertions. If, as a Jew, you try to answer his accusatory "questions", you are just groveling for his approval and he'll just despise you even more!

How am I so sure that his "questions" are insincere and that he is fully aware that his "proofs from the Talmud" are lies and distortions? For rather obvious reasons!

  1. As you noted, the anti-Semitic "proofs" are invariably vague, non-existent, misquotes, misunderstandings, or, in rare cases, possibly real, but taken from extremist views that were not accepted by the mainstream. It would be akin to my taking the anti-Semitic ranting of the KKK as being characteristic of mainstream Christian doctrine. It is not.

  2. In our world which is filled with extremist violence with tens of thousands of Christians being tortured and murdered by fanatical Islamists on a daily basis, is it not laughable that the moronic anti-Semite finds time to focus his venom against the Jews? When was the last time a Christian was found murdered and baked into a matzoh?

Wait - perhaps that's what puts the "Man" in "Manishevitz!!!

(Watch, the humorless idiots will probably run with this one.)

Also, ask the hypocrite when was the last time he feared for his life walking around in a Jewish neighborhood?

  1. The most compelling sign, however, that your anti-Semite is not really looking to be correctly informed, is that for all the supposed denigration of "goyim" in the Talmud, he has overlooked (deliberately) an overwhelming number of instances where the Talmud instructs Jews to treat "goyim" - even those living under Judaic rule, with kindness, respect and humanity. For example - Talmud Gittin 59b and again in 61a: "Do not prevent the gentile poor from collecting the gleanings of your field. Also a community must support the poor of the gentiles and visit their sick together with the Jewish ones, etc., for these are the ways of peace."

Also, Talmud Baba Metziah 32a: (One who finds) an animal of a gentile must care for it (until it can be returned to him), just as for a Jew's animal... so there should not be hatred (caused by discrimination).

Many, many such passages can be sited in the Talmudic canon as well as in the classic Talmudic commentaries and more recent codifiers of Jewish law. So, in contrast to the savage ravings of anti-Semitic literature, the Talmud is hardly a manifesto for "Goy murder" - only in the fervid imagination of the anti-Semite.

  • This doesn't address the quotes the op asked about. Accordingly this seems like more of a comment than an answer. When you have 50 rep.You will be able to comment on others' answers. – mevaqesh Jan 9 '17 at 16:12
  • It's true that I was not answering the question as to the correct understanding of the sources cited by the anti-Semite. If you notice, though, there was a second question Gabi asked, as to whether he is wasting his time sparring with the Swedish provocateur. In asking this, (somewhat sheepishly, it seems) he appears to reveal some insecurity regarding his own position, (which is precisely what the Swede sought to achieve). Therefore, shoring up Gabi's confidence in the humanity of his own tradition seemed to be the more important issue to address. Other's answers didn't do that as much. – user13922 Jan 10 '17 at 0:36

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