29 September 6 October | Issue 113
Due to lack of sufficient funding, to date, over 47,000 refugee families have not received the first tranche for repair works of their shelter. UNRWA has processed these cases and they have received approval through the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism; as soon as funding is secured, the Agency can distribute the urgently needed assistance to these families. Also, due to lack of funding thousands of refugee families were not yet able to start the reconstruction of their totally demolished home.
On 30 September the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, convened the Ad-hoc Liaison Committee meeting (AHLC) in New York. The AHLC is committed to the principle of trilateral dialogue between Israel, Palestine and donor governments. The meeting was opened by its Chair, the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Brge Brende and involved Palestinian and Israeli government representativesand the two co-sponsors US Secretary of State John Kerry and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. Mr. Ban spoke about the challenging and volatile situation on the ground in Israel and Palestine and mentioned that bold and concrete actions are urgently required to stabilize the situation. He mentioned the importance of the acceleration of the reconstruction process in Gaza and called on international partners to disburse the funds pledged at the Cairo Conference. He also said that energy and water are desperately needed in Gaza. He furthermore stated that for Gaza to flourish, it will need to be able to trade with Israel, with the rest of Palestine and with the world. The Chairs summary reiterated the fact that economic development is conducive to peace and repeated the Secretary Generals call to step up reconstruction in Gaza, which depends on speedier donor aid, the resumption of Palestinian Authority-governance in Gaza and the further easing of restrictions on movements and goods by Israel, including the dual-use list.
The Palestinian flag was raised for the first time at United Nations headquarters in New York City on Wednesday, 30 September. This is a day of hope. May the raising of this flag give rise to the hope among the Palestinian people and the international community that Palestinian statehood is achievable, said United Nations Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon as he attended the ceremonial flag raising, along with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Now is the time to restore confidence by both Israelis and Palestinians for a peaceful settlement and, at last, the realization of two states for two peoples. I sincerely hope that a successful peace process will soon yield a day when we unfurl the Palestinian flag in its proper place among the family of nations as a sovereign Member State of the United Nations, added the Secretary General. Earlier in September, the UN General Assembly decided to raise the flags of non-member observer States at UN offices.
Operational environment: For the month of September 2015, the UNRWA Gaza Safety and Security Division (SSD) reported a decrease in security incidents in Gaza, from 201 incidents (79 related to armed conflict) in August, to 182 incidents (66 of them related to armed conflict) in the past month. Part of the decrease is assessed as being attributed to UNRWA averting the suspension of the Education Programme. A decrease in incidents directly affecting UNRWA was also recorded, with 34 incidents in September, compared to 61 incidents in August. This is the lowest number since before the 2014 conflict.
Furthermore, in September, there was a reduction in rocket fire, with 12 incidents reported, a decrease from 25 in the previous months reporting period (August). Yet whilst there was a reduction in armed conflict incidents in September, recent indicators highlight that this can change quickly, based on internal developments in Gaza or external factors in the West Bank and Jerusalem. On 30 September, Israel responded to rockets from Gaza with seven missiles into Gaza. This incident can be viewed as the most severe response since the end of the 2014 conflict.
On several occasions, incidents of political or inter-communal violence were reported. On 28 September, unknown persons reportedly abducted a man in Gaza City and released him later in a different area, severely beaten. The police arrested the perpetrators. On 29 September, a brawl erupted between supporters of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian politician Mohammad Dahlan in Deir El Balah, central Gaza; slight injuries were reported. On 2 October, a dispute between cousins in southern Gaza resulted in six injuries due to the use of edged weapons. Several persons were arrested.
On several occasions during the reporting week, Palestinians tried to illegally cross into Israel and were arrested by Israeli troops.
Repeated protests were held in front of UNRWA installations over the past week, with refugees demanding a housing unit in the Rafah Rehousing Project. Regular protests were also held in support of Al Aqsa Mosque or Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
For the month September, UNRWA SSD reported a total of 69 demonstrations in Gaza, with 20 being staged at UN installations.
Ibrahim Jobour (second from the right), one of the three co-founders of the UNRWA supported social enterprise Gaza Gateway, is participating in a panel discussion at the Gaza Expotech Technology Week, held from 5 to 8 October. 2015 UNRWA Photo by Khalil Adwan
The Gaza Expotech Technology Week is taking place from 5 to 8 October under the slogan Palestine is smart. The purpose of the conference is to create awareness among youth of the capabilities of information technology (IT) to improve the daily life of different community groups, particularly women, persons with special needs and youth.
Ibrahim Jobour, one of the three co-founders of the UNRWA supported social enterprise Gaza Gateway, participated in the conference. In a panel presentation, he explained the role of the Gaza Gateway in promoting employment prospects for young IT graduates, through the outsourcing of business opportunities to private companies in Gaza.
One part of the Gaza Gateway mission is to create a freelancer platform that aims at helping to address the chronic unemployment in Gaza by opening the global market to IT specialists in Gaza. The platform tries to create international partnerships to mainstream freelance opportunities (online self-employment) to Gaza IT specialists, Ibrahim said.
Each year, approximately 1,000 Palestinians graduate with computer-related degrees in Gaza, yet according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), in 2014 75.1 per cent of them remained unemployed after graduation. The Gaza Gateway initiative tries to build a bridge from IT graduation to private sector employability, with a view to demonstrating that Gaza can deliver competitive commercial services. The aim is to outsource employment opportunities to the Gaza IT sector particularly the fresh graduates by using international market demand. Through this, the Gateway offers integrated post-graduate training for young IT professionals, grows and develops the Gaza IT market and its professional capacity, and ultimately blends business and social objectives, creating a sustainable socio-economic impact in the Gaza Strip.
The Gaza Gateway is an UNRWA initiative, which in quarter one of 2016 will become fully independent from the Agency. However, it will continue to provide services solicited by UNRWA to assist in addressing refugee needs.
During the reporting week, Israeli troops fired at Palestinians near the security fence and at Palestinian boats on an almost daily basis. In September, the UNRWA Gaza Safety and Security Division (SSD) reported a total of 21 shooting incidents along the land border with Israel and 18 incidents of naval fire.
On 29 September, militants fired one rocket from northern Gaza towards Israel; the rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome. On 30 September, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) fired seven missiles towards Gaza, allegedly targeting a Hamas training site and a Marine Police site in northern Gaza as well as a Hamas training site in Gaza city. On 30 September, militants fired a rocket from northern Gaza towards Israel; the rocket dropped short and landed inside Gaza. On 1 October, militants fired two rockets from central Gaza towards Israel; both dropped short and landed inside Gaza. On 2 and 3 October, militants fired one rocket towards Israel from southern Gaza; both rockets dropped short and landed inside Gaza.
On 4 October, militants fired one rocket from Gaza city and one from Khan Younis, southern Gaza, towards Israel; one rocket dropped short and the other one landed in an open area in Eshkol Regional Council in Israel.
On 5 October, militants fired four test rockets from Khan Younis towards the sea. On the same day the IAF fired one missile targeting a Hamas training site in Gaza city.
On 30 September, six Israeli bulldozers entered approximately 150 metres into Gaza areas and Israeli troops conducted a clearing and levelling operation, withdrawing on the same day. On 2 October, four bulldozers entered approximately 100 metres into central Gaza and conducted a clearing and levelling operation, withdrawing on the same day.
Thanks to generous donors, UNRWA has overcome its immediate and most serious financial crisis and was able to partially bridge the US$ 101 million deficit in its General Fund; to date, a shortfall of US$ 13.5 million remains.
In response to the unprecedented needs faced by Palestine refugees, and the continuous financial shortages and unstable financial footing of the Agency, UNRWA is currently exploring options for additional funding, but is also implementing a series of austerity measures aimed at decreasing costs where possible while preserving essential services to refugees.
US$ 227 million has been pledged in support of UNRWAs emergency shelter programme, for which an estimated US$ 720 million is required. This leaves a current shortfall of US$ 493 million.
As presented in UNRWAs oPt Emergency Appeal, the Agency is seeking US$ 366.6 million for its 2015 emergency operations in Gaza, including US$ 127 million for emergency shelter, repair and collective centre management, US$ 105.6 million for emergency food assistance, and US$ 68.6 million for emergency cash-for-work.Read more in the 2015 oPt Emergency Appeal.
Gaza Situation Report 113 | UNRWA
Game changer: Israeli officials believe the Golan Heights discovery could supply the Jewish State’s oil needs for centuries. (File photo)
HAIFA, Israel After Israel complained for years that it was surrounded by oil-rich states but didnt have a drop within its own borders, it appears theres a big-time turnaround with the announcement Wednesday that massive oil reserves have been located in the Golan Heights,close to the countrys border with Syria.
Afek Oil and Gas, an Israeli subsidiary of the U.S. company Genie Energy, confirmed the find in an interview with Israels Channel 2 TVbut conceded that until the oil is actually extracted, they wont be sure of the actual amounts and quality of the oil that has been discovered.
We are talking about a strata which is 350 meters thick and what is important is the thickness and the porosity, the companys chief geologist, Yuval Bartov, explained. On average in the world, strata are 20-30 meters thick, so this is ten times as large as that, so we are talking about significant quantities. The important thing is to know the oil is in the rock and that’s what we now know.
There is enormous excitement, Bartov said. It’s a fantastic feeling. We came here thinking maybe yes or maybe no, and now things are really happening.
According to a September 2014 Times of Israel report on the Golan exploration, Genie Energy is chaired by Howard Jonas and counts among its more notable investors the former US Vice President Dick Cheney, Michael Steinhardt, Jacob Rothschild, and Rupert Murdoch.
Experts say actually extracting meaningful quantities of oil from the deposits is likely some time away. Some have suggested that while the find could be very significant, the announcement might have as much to do with the share price of the exploration company as the actual certainty that oil will be produced at the site.
The other key consideration in the development of the potential oil feed is its close proximity to the vicious fighting taking place just over the border in neighboring Syria, where ISIS and other jihadi organizations had been battling the Syrian forces of President Assad and his Iran-backed allies Lebanon-based Hezbollah even before Russia recent entry into the regional conflict.
Most recent rocket strikes into Israels Golan territory have generally been declared stray fire by the Israel Defense Forces, but regional experts point out that the potential costs and challenges of protecting future oil fields so close to the war zone, as well as the large target it would provide for enemy fire, could prove challenging should the project indeed come to fruition and provide the Jewish state where a reported 270,000 barrels of oil are consumed daily – with its own source of black gold.
A license to drill in the area was initially issued in April 2013 within an area of nearly 98,000 acres -approximately a third of the Golan itself – but a series of appeals to the Israeli courts by organizations such as the Society for Protection of Nature in Israel and Greenpeace, put all development of the site on hold until a December 2014 ruling gave the green light for drilling.
The main site is close to the small town of Katzrin, which lies northeast of the northern shore of the fabled Sea of Galilee and is home to a wide range of special plants and wild animals, including major nature reserves such as Gamla, home to Israels largest population of Griffon vultures.
The rugged land, captured from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War and still under dispute between the two countries, includes vital underground water sources that feed directly into the Sea of Galilee itself, Israels main source of fresh water.
In recent years massive natural gas reserves have been discovered and developed off the Mediterranean coast of Israel, but political wrangling over who gets which piece of the financial pie has caused a delay in benefits from the find.
The long-running saga has proved a major embarrassment to the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, which in August received a further blow to what the Israeli government had anticipated would be its regional dominance in oil in the eastern Mediterranean when Egypt announced than an Italian company had discovered a gas field estimated at 30 trillion cubic feet. However, the Egyptian fields have yet be developed.
Paul Alster is an Israel-based journalist. Follow him on Twitter @paul_alster and visit his website: http://www.paulalster.com.
See the article here:
Potentially game-changing oil reserves discovered in Israel
The official story is essentially correct, although the full scale of the crimes is generally not understood, even in the United States (far removed from the events). The basic facts of the Holocaust are also not generally taught in the Arab world (few peoples anywhere learn accurate information about distant genocides).The issues of the State of Israel’s behavior toward Arab populations are a separate issue than the Holocaust. Downplaying or denying the Holocaust is a great way to ensure that Israel will not want peace with the Palestinians and other neighboring peoples. Downplaying or denying massacres and injustices on the Arab / Palestinian side since 1948 also makes peace unlikely.
No known limited hang outs.
Most popular descriptions of the Holocaust ignore complicity of the United States and Britain. Churchill and Roosevelt were provided with extremely accurate information about the mass shootings and the extermination camps but chose not to use their propaganda services to warn potential victims to resist or inform civilian populations in Germany about the full extent of Hitler’s crimes and threaten post-war prosecution of the perpetrators. Toward the end of the war, a small effort was made to interfere with the conclusion of the “Final Solution,” which saved perhaps a quarter million Jews. To its credit, the US Holocaust museum in Washington, DC admits these facts in its displays. The “lessons of the Holocaust” are to watch for the rise of fascism and similar nastiness, and to work to prevent this emergence while it is still possible to stop it (not once the violence is at full strength). Few Holocaust books or movies adequately describe the level of resistance in the Ghettos, Jewish partisans in the forests, and even some of the death camps — revolts under the most extreme conditions imaginable.The Nazis also killed millions of Poles, communists, Russian civilians and prisoners of war, so-called Gypsies (Roma), political dissidents, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, male homosexuals, psychiatric patients and the infirm, among others. The Nazi war machine killed tens of millions, total, in their quest to take over the world. Some Nazis were exempted from prosecution through secret deals with the Allies. Operation Paperclip smuggled thousands of Nazi criminals into the US to help with the space program and the CIA, others were helped to relocate to South America, where some destablized local governments and helped institute fascism (Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay).
Some advocates for Holocaust Denial admit that the genocide happened, but claim that it probably was exaggerated in its scope – a subtle, sneaky form of denial. Perhaps some people find it hard to believe how severe these crimes were, but others with this view are merely trying to plant a seed of doubt among those who would not believe claims that it never happened. While the precise number of Jews and non-Jews killed by the Nazis will never be known, the estimates of the number of Jewish victims only vary by a few percent, and not worth arguing about – credible statistics range between 5 and 6 million Jews killed. We will never determine the precise numbers of victims of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Soviet gulag, Tibetan monks murdered by the Chinese, Vietnamese killed by the Americans, Armenian victims of the Turks, Timorese killed by the Indonesians, Guatemalans killed by their military, Cambodians killed by the Khmer Rouge, Rwandan genocide victims, casualties of the ongoing Congo war (millions of dead from war, disease and starvation), student protesters in Tiananmen Square, to cite a few massacres that are well documented without exact casualty lists.
There are many efforts to expose the lies of Holocaust Denial, two of the best websites are
These are excellent analyses that refute the internet era effort to revive Holocaust Denial, which is falsely marketed as “Historical Revisionism” but is really thinly disguised efforts to rehabilitate the image of Nazism. Considering the large amount of nonsense on 9/11 complicity (no planes, etc) that some Holocaust Denial efforts have also promoted, it is possible that some Denial groups are false-flag operations from intelligence services to discredit examination of deep politics. Hopefully, some of their leaders are covert agents and don’t actually believe their own lies.
on this page:
Israel is a country, Judiaism is a religion.
Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians is NOT an excuse for tolerating Holocaust Denial.
The Holocaust is not an excuse for Israeli occupation of Palestine. Gaza has been returned to the Palestinians, but it is under siege by Israeli military forces and has no future without a viable economy, water supplies, and reparations for decades of damage. [note: in late 2008 the Israeli military escalated the low intensity war into a full scale invasion]
Holocaust Deniers do not belong in efforts to expose the 9/11: American Reichstag Fire, not because they are promoting racist nonsense, but also because the Deniers are promoting fake claims of complicity that discredit independent investigations.
holocaust denial is not a neutral topic of historical inquiry, it’s a lure cast by Nazi apologists for vulnerably open minds, which exploits their fresh sense of distrust of history by suggesting that this, too, must be a lie. — Jeff Wells, Rigorous Intuition http://rigorousintuition.blogspot.com/2006/03/inoculations_16.html
“I have to say, I do not consider these people [Holocaust deniers] normal. We have to stick to the truth. There are people denying it, but what happened, happened, and it is not up for dispute.” — SS veteran Oswald Kaduk, who served at Auschwitz http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/othercamps/kaduk.html
Those who deny Auschwitz would be ready to remake it. — Primo Levi, survivor of a year’s imprisonment in Auschwitz http://www.arifrankel.com/levi18.html
If the Party could reach into the past and say of this or that event “it never happened” surely that was more terrifying than mere torture and death. — George Orwell, 1984
“The real purpose of Holocaust revisionism is to make National Socialism an acceptable political alternative again.” — Harold Covington, leader of the National Socialist White Peoples Party http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/orgs/american/national-socialist-white-peoples-party/nswpp-on-revisionism.html
Although an exact figure will never be known, approximately 1,500,000 people were murdered by the Einsatzgruppen. The Einsatzgruppen submitted detailed and specific reports of their actions to their superiors both by radio and written communication; these reports were checked against each other for accuracy at Heydrich’s headquarters. According to those reports approximately 1,500,000 people were murdered. In evaluating this large number Justice Michael Musmanno, who presided at the trial of the Einsatzgruppen wrote:
One million human corpses is a concept too bizarre and too fantastical for normal mental comprehension. As suggested before, the mention of one million deaths produces no shock at all commensurate with its enormity because to the average brain one million is more a symbol than a quantitative measure. However, if one reads through the reports of the Einsatzgruppen and observes the small numbers getting larger, climbing into ten thousand, tens of thousands, a hundred thousand and beyond, then one can at last believe that this actually happened — the cold-blooded, premeditated killing of one million human beings.
There are some who would try to deny or justify the murders committed by the Einsatzgruppen. The most benign explanation for this denial was given by Justice Michael Musmanno — an experienced judge and hardened combat veteran — who presided at the trial of the Einsatzgruppen. Shocked and sickened by the evidence which he heard, Justice Musmanno wrote:
One reads and reads these accounts of which here we can give only a few excerpts and yet there remains the instinct to disbelieve, to question, to doubt. There is less of a mental barrier in accepting the weirdest stories of supernatural phenomena, as for instance, water running up hill and trees with roots reaching toward the sky, than in taking at face value these narratives which go beyond the frontiers of human cruelty and savagery. Only the fact that the reports from which we have quoted came from the pens of men within the accused organizations can the human mind be assured that all this actually happened. The reports and the statements of the defendants themselves verify what otherwise would be dismissed as the product of a disordered imagination. Judgement of the Tribunal, p. 50.
An Introduction to the Einsatzgruppen an essay by Yale F. Edeiken http://www.einsatzgruppenarchives.com/documents/introduction.html
http://screwloosechange.blogspot.com/2006/05/dylan-co-suck-up-to-holocaust-denier.html At 20 May, 2006 09:26, Alex said… What gets me is the sheer…arrogance and horror behind these “revisionists”. They cloak themselves in the mantle of “legitimate research” by saying they’re not “denying the holocaust” but rather trying to prove that ONLY 2 million died. That’s like claiming that Jeffrey Dahmer didn’t kill 16 people, but instead ONLY had 7 victims. Frankly, even if you were right, what kind of demented individual would actually WANT to prove that? In the case of Dahmer, it’d have to be either a close family member who still cares about him despite his crimes, or someone who really, REALLY hated his victims. In the case of holocaust deniers, it’s quite clear what their agenda is. They can attempt to masquerade it as “legitimate research” all they want, but the way they present their “facts” always destroys any legitemacy behind that claim. There’s only two reasons why they’d spend so much effort attempting to revise the historicaly accepted number of Jews (and other minorities) massacred during the holocaust. Either they’re neo-nazis trying to clean up the image that they present to the world, or they’re anti-semitic assholes who simply hate Jews. There’s really no other alternative.
the Ku Klux Klan offers their solidarity to the Holocaust Denial movement
updated on 2008-03-17
The 9/11 truth movement has suffered from some infiltration by advocates of what is euphemistically called Holocaust revisionism, who have written in defense of various aspects of Holocaust Denial and have praised neo-Nazis who seek to downplay the Holocaust.
The 9/11 truth movement has attracted a lot of people who want to be instant experts. Some crave public recognition. Others, no doubt, have their unique psychological reasons, some good, some not so good. But those who make very bold conclusions while being ignorant of most of the available evidence run the risk of “foot in mouth” disease, and worse, their antics can rub off on the rest of us, especially if they seek to connect neo-Nazi pseudo historians and 9/11 truth activists in common cause.
Due to these (and other) efforts to link 9/11 skeptics with Holocaust denial, there are a fair number of citizens who think that 9/11 investigation is really all about blaming “the Jews” for the atrocity, both from those who want to blame the “jews” and those who think that 9/11 investigation is anti-semitism.
Not all “conspiracy theories” are true – some are blatant revisions of history to snare the gullible or those who let their anger get in the way of the facts.
The 9/11 truth movement should not be co-opted by those who want to pretend that one of the greatest crimes in history was oversold by Jews in order to justify a land grab in Palestine.
It would not be surprising if many of the voices most loudly advocating Holocaust Denial were “false flag” operatives of the Israeli government – since the fact that some crazy people promote these lies makes it more difficult to find political space to criticize Israeli human rights abuses (even though the two issues are quite separate). In other words, the spectre of Holocaust Denial is used to discredit legitimate criticism of Israeli crimes — who benefits is always a useful question to ask.
It is possible that some well-meaning people have been lured into believing Holocaust Denial due to a lack of critical thinking abilities and the fact that much of the best historical material from murdered victims, survivors, bystanders and perpetrators is not on the internet (a failure of only doing research on the web!) and the neo-Nazi liars are aggresive in their advocacy. Fortunately, there is a large amount of material documenting the reality of the Holocaust and refuting the Deniers.
http://www.911review.com/denial/holocaust.html Holocaust Denial Versus 9/11 Truth
http://www.truthmove.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=272 Holocaust Denial and the next 9/11 Conference?
a conference on “9/11 Accountability” planned in Arizona in February 2007 turned out to be organized by a Holocaust denier. Naturally, the media and prominent debunkers have highlighted this situation. The roots of the problem are not this particular event (which is a mix of some good speakers and a lot of absurd nonsense) but the much larger tolerance of Holocaust deniers as credible sources in 9/11 “truth” publications, movies, and even the Deception Dollars.
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network IJAN
Points of Unity
While we all come from diverse organizing and activist experiences, and have diverse relationships to our Jewish histories and identities, we share the following points of unity:
* Solidarity with the struggle for Palestinian self-determination, including full political, economic, cultural, social and land rights for all those living in the historic Palestine, and the right of return for its refugees; * Rejection of the Israeli apartheid state, premised on Jewish supremacy and Zionist ideology, and support for all struggles for legal and economic equality against it; * Support for the building of just societies in historic Palestine, the larger region, and the other places in which we live; * A commitment to the values of democratic self-determination, social justice and solidarity, gender equality and cultural rights, and to assert the same values in our own organizing and political practice; * Commitment to the call from Palestine for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel; * Challenging the current use of Islamophobia as a strategy for defending and justifying an imperialist US-European agenda; * Challenging white racism, including its manifestations as Ashkenazi racism against Mizrahi Jews; * Challenging the privileging of Jewish voices in conversations and negotiations about Palestine; * Rejection of the ways in which the Zionist movement and Western governments exploit the Nazi holocaust to justify the historic and current actions of the State of Israel; and * Rejection of alliances with anti-Jewish racists, white supremacist and Nazi holocaust deniers in our Palestinian solidarity work.
comments posted in response to a person trying to “bait” the list with implicit support for Denial
It doesn’t take much investigation to see the issue is owned by fascists, racists and Nazi apologists using disingenuous methods to lure the curious, naive and open minded to their extremes.
The real difficulty lies in exercising both your reason and your intuition in order to assess contrary notions, and then in assimilating the new insight into an expanding, rigorously flexible worldview. Here are two quick examples. … The other example is this Holocaust Denier Syndrome. The vast majority of us cling resolutely to either the official story or we abandon all reason and march over to the Nazi camp because something bothers us about the well-known narrative. Why is it so difficult to perceive that the official story in this case has been used by both “sides” to their own ends? Is the collaboration between American & German Nazis to kill off Eastern European Jewry and enslave the rest of us somehow easier to stomach than Norman Finkelstein’s description of the Holocaust Industry, which, contrary to widespread belief, does not deny the central truth of that event? Just because you’re opening your frontal lobes to new invasive paradigms doesn’t mean you need to surrender your ability to make distinctions.
Frankly, I don’t know why you await the “dollars and cents reasoning,” as it is staring you right in the face. The Nazis murdered millions of Jews, as well as Christians, leftists, Communists, Freemasons, Gypsies, homosexuals, etc. etc. etc. All of these people had . . . wait for it . . . property! Yes, that’s right, property. Land, companies, stocks, bonds, jewelry, money, houses, factories, shops, buildings, jobs, etc. Before the Nazis murdered the Jews, they passed a bunch of . . . wait for it . . . laws! What did the laws do? Why, like Jim Crow laws, they systematically disenfranchised Jews. The laws economically and socially alienated the Jews from Nazi-controlled German society. This made it easier to murder them. What happened to the Jews during WWII has often been referred to as . . . wait for it . . . liquidation. Where have we heard that term before? Finance? Business. That’s right. The Jews were “liquidated” and the Germans got the Jews’ stuff. Their houses, their businesses, their jobs, their property, etc. See, the Jews have always been a “model minority.” The problem? They’re too good at the game. The game of capitalism, or life, that is. Prior to the Nazi ascension, the Jews held a high percentage of positions in law, medicine, and academia. Why did they hold these positions? Could it have anything to do with the fact that Judaism tolerates doctrinal and intellectual dissent, even over sacred texts, and that most Jews had to be fluent in several languages, including one that you have to read backward, Hebrew? Would this be because such cultural traits automatically make one more competitive for positions that require intellectual faculties? I’ll let you decide. Anyway, after the disenfranchising laws, they lost these positions. It was a big incentive for intelligent, upwardly mobile, gentile Germans to join the Nazis; they would get to take over those positions earlier, and in greater numbers. Likewise, the gentile businesses saw “opportunities” in that they would get to take over Jewish-controlled business. These were the carrots that the Nazis dangled for the German people. The promise of upward mobility. Plus, if you’re a typical gentile, you’ve been raised to view the Jews as weak, untermenschen. The fact that they succeed in certain areas, at your expense, since its a capitalistic system of winners and losers, is intolerable, since you should win since you’ve been raised to believe that you’re so great. So, you are right. It wasn’t just about hate. There were huge financial incentives as well to appeal to the grasping nature of ordinary people. Now, as for the proverbial, “whole truth” about the Holocaust; sure, it was a complicated event. It wasn’t black and white. There were Nazis who were ethnically Jewish. There were tens of thousands of German Jews who were given the opportunity to Aryanize into the Germany army because they were deemed politically trustworthy. There was Jewish collaboration via the Judenrat in exterminating Jews, some of it done knowingly to save a select few’s hides, and some done unknowingly. And then you have all of the standard fraud and distortion that comes with an event involving millions of people. But none of this changes the fact that the Holocaust was about liquidation and “purification.” That’s why, if you’re a European Jew, and you go back to Europe to see where your grandparents or greatgrandparents used to live, you’ll find that there are other people, non-Jews, living in their houses. Just like how the Native Americans look and see non-Native Americans living on the land of their ancestors. We keep them tucked out of sight too. Out of sight, out of mind. All of this information is readily obtained from reviewing the source material.
The deniers are not engaged in a physical destruction. They are engaged in an attempt to pervert the world’s memory of how a state almost succeeded in destroying an entire people, along with many others. Currently they are trying to taint the worlds memory of those who were entrapped in this horror. If they succeed at that they will then seek to eradicate any memory of them. This is a “double dying.” One hopes to prevent that second dying. It is too late to do anything about the first. Deborah Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory (Free Press, 1993) http://www.holocaustdenialontrial.org/nsindex.html
A Brief History of Holocaust Denial Ben S. Austin
http://www.nizkor.org/features/techniques-of-denial/ Deceit & Misrepresentation: The Techniques of Holocaust Denial
http://www.spectacle.org/695/mcvay.html An Interview With Ken McVay (Nizkor)
the best service one can render to those who perished and those who survived, many scarred for life, is to ensure that the facts continue to be published, so that the truth may be preserved. http://www.holocaust-history.org/operation-reinhard/ The Operation Reinhard Extermination Camps by Gord McFee, last modified August 1, 2005
AUSCHWITZ: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers A systematic study of the delousing and homicidal gas chambers of Bunkers 1 and 2 and of Krematorien I, II, III, IV and V of the former KL Auschwitz Birkenau, and an investigation of the remaining traces of criminal activity. by Jean-Claude Pressac
Preface by Beate and Serge KLARSFELD A scientific rebuttal of those who deny the gas chambers
“Those propagandists who seek to rehabilitate Nazism are perfectly aware that what marks it indelibly is the infamous genocide of the Jewish people. They take advantage of the credibility of the public and the more or less unconscious desire of the latter that this nightmarish mass murder had never taken place. That is why the Neo Nazis have during recent years launched an offensive which has had a certain success. Their principal themes are the following: that Hitler was not responsible for the “final solution,” that the gas chambers as a means of exterminating the Jews never existed, that the number of Jewish victims has been very considerably exaggerated. “This propaganda is internationally coordinated, and the most virulent of these Neo Nazi publications appear in the major languages.”
Holocaust Denial: Truth or Hoax? One Survivor’s Testimony by William Samelson, Ph.D. Visiting Professor, Trinity University
The Holocaust is an irrefutable fact. As a survivor of several labor and concentration camps, and as one whose entire family, save my elder brother, was murdered by Nazi thugs, I sincerely wish it had not occurred. It is also irrefutable that I am still here – a reminder of those barbaric acts perpetrated not so long ago on the European Jews by an ostensibly civilized German nation. Law-abiding, ordinary citizens of the Third Reich turned fanatical, implementing their beloved Fhrer’s agenda of murder and destruction. They became killers for him and we became the survivors of his madness. We were not expected to remain alive and give testimony to their crimes against humanity. Alas, it can not be denied that I survived this disaster: the most horrendous calamity of the twentieth century. I am here, alive. I represent the tragic truth. It is my belief that I was spared for this purpose. It is now my moral responsibility to bear witness for as long as I shall live, for I am the truth and will not be silenced by lies. To deny the truth, the awful facts of the Holocaust, is simply to lie.
The evidence, of course, is overwhelming. The countless photographs (most of them taken by Nazi SS and military personnel), testimonies of survivors, and Allied liberators as well as from Nazi documentation media and their war-time propaganda films all prove that this mass Judeocide took place. Yet, there are a number of people that claim it was all nothing more than a hoax. These deniers call themselves “revisionist historians.” Their express purpose is to alter documented historical fact. In the process, they turn scholarship into mockery, transforming truth into a make-believe fantasy spawned from unmitigated cynicism. They use the resulting misinformation to spread their anti-Jewish beliefs to the general public. Moreover, their theories, derived from blatant fabrication of data, misquotations, and quotations used out of context, are presented under the deceptive mask of scholarship and are made available to the world by way of the Internet, radio, and television. Although only relatively few fringe groups, propagandists, and pseudo-scholars embrace Holocaust denial, their activity is increasing and the potential for their influence to grow is evident. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all Holocaust survivors, historians, and those sincere chroniclers of the Holocaust to inform the world of the truth before the peoples around the world potentially fall prey, over time, to collective amnesia and adopt a romantic mythical view of the past events.
In Mein Kampf (My Struggle), Adolf Hitler expressed his belief that “the great masses of people…more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a little one” (p. 231); and that the simplest ideas “should be repeated thousands of times” so people will remember them (p. 185). Essentially, Holocaust denial is one big, bold, lie. In an attempt to legitimize the Nazi regime, revive National Socialism, forward their theory of a Jewish-Zionist conspiracy and, evidently, justify their virulent anti-Judaism, deniers repeat this lie over and over. They hide their aims under such legitimate-sounding organizations as the “Institute for Historical Review” and the “Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust.” Some deniers have the audacity call themselves “scholars” or “historians.” Whichever way they chose to identify themselves, their intentions have nothing to do with the preservation of history but with its distortion. ….
if Holocaust denial is so absurd, why should we bother to research its aims? I believe that in order to separate fact from fiction, it is important to learn about the fiction as well as the facts. As a survivor of the Holocaust, I have experienced the factual consequences of that tragic event at great losses to myself and my family. When I confront the deniers’ fictional interpretations of the Holocaust, I can distinguish between them accordingly. Needless to say, there is a large segment of the general public that does not have this advantage. This population will inevitably grow with ignorance, ingrained prejudice or plain naivet. There will always exist people who will be susceptible to the propaganda generated by the deniers of the Holocaust. ….
Historian Michael Sturmer asserts that “in a land without history, the future is controlled by those who determine the content of memory, who coin concepts and interpret the past.” Such an assertion is especially applicable to the Holocaust. As we, the survivors, become scarce, there will be fewer sources of primary information about the Holocaust in the world. Furthermore, the essence of truth vested with the authority of the eyewitness, will no longer prevail. They will no longer be able to impress future generations with the horrors of Nazi genocide. It is hard to conceive whether or not the Holocaust denial movement could further its influence. However, it is up to the vigilance of authentic historians and serious scholars to prevent its spread by educating the general public on how to separate fact from fiction and valid historical interpretation from the “revisionist” propaganda. We hope that future generations of discerning individuals will realize that the deniers’ diatribes are used not only to discredit the Holocaust victims, but also to tarnish the veracity of eyewitness accounts.
There are, in fact, people (among whom Rudolf does not number) who deny the Final Solution out of mental illness. Intense emotional issues have an attraction to some people who are a bit on the edge. They could have latched onto any issue and picked the Final Solution by chance. We have nothing but compassion for such people, but that does not mean they deserve to have their viewpoint taken seriously. One must earn the right to be taken seriously. One must demonstrate seriousness in the way that one treats evidence and the context of that evidence.
http://www.holocaust-history.org/revisionism-isnt/ the euphemism of “revisionism” is really Denial
The “Einsatz Gruppen” were “Special Action Groups” that accompanied the German military when it invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. These Nazi death squads killed over a million Jews and other perceived enemies of Hitler. Most of this mass murder was done through mass shooting at pits near various cities. The Einsatzgruppen also experimented with “mobile gas vans” — special trucks where the exhaust systems were funneled into a sealed cargo area to kill dozens of people at a time. This technological shift was implemented to spare the perpetrators from the psychological trauma of having to watch each victim die (some of the shooters suffered shock from the blatant crimes they perpetrated in shooting entire populations). The experiments with the gas vans were short lived and led to the construction of the death camps of “Aktion Reinhard” – Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec, in which perhaps 1.7 million Jews were killed in 1942 and 1943. Those three camps used engine exhausts to fuel their gas chambers. The much better known Auschwitz camp, which was a combination labor camp and death camp, used cyanide gas in its gas chambers to kill over a million people, mostly Jews.
http://www.einsatzgruppenarchives.com/denial/biglie.html Holocaust Denial & The Big Lie
http://www.einsatzgruppenarchives.com/denial/hohd.html Our best defence against this highly offensive “electronic highway litter of hatred” is not to pursue legal redress against the perpetrators, but to focus our resources on ensuring that the facts are as readily accessible as the myths the deniers would have their audience believe.
Julius Bauer, Paul Blobel’s driver, described the unloading of a gas van.
The use of the gas vans was the most horrible thing I have ever seen. I saw people being led into the gas vans and the doors closed. Then the van drove off. I had to drive Blobel to the place where the gas van was unloaded. The back doors of the van were opened, and the bodies that had not fallen out when the doors were opened were unloaded by Jews who were still alive. The bodies were covered with vomit and excrement. It was a terrible sight. Blobel looked, then looked away, and we drove off. On such occasions Blobel always drank schnapps, sometimes even in the car.
Kogon, Eugen, Hermann Langbein and Adalbert Ruckerl, ed. Nazi Mass Murder: A Documentary History of the Use of Poison Gas. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1993. p. 61
http://www.einsatzgruppenarchives.com/documents/introduction.html An Introduction to the Einsatzgruppen
There Is No Way to Rationalize and Justify These Crimes
There are some who would try to deny or justify the murders committed by the Einsatzgruppen. The most benign explanation for this denial was given by Justice Michael Musmanno — an experienced judge and hardened combat veteran — who presided at the trial of the Einsatzgruppen. Shocked and sickened by the evidence which he heard, Justice Musmanno wrote:
One reads and reads these accounts of which here we can give only a few excerpts and yet there remains the instinct to disbelieve, to question, to doubt. There is less of a mental barrier in accepting the weirdest stories of supernatural phenomena, as for instance, water running up hill and trees with roots reaching toward the sky, than in taking at face value these narratives which go beyond the frontiers of human cruelty and savagery. Only the fact that the reports from which we have quoted came from the pens of men within the accused organizations can the human mind be assured that all this actually happened. The reports and the statements of the defendants themselves verify what otherwise would be dismissed as the product of a disordered imagination. Judgement of the Tribunal, p. 50.
http://www.einsatzgruppenarchives.com/revisionism.html How To Be A Revisionist Scholar (parody)
http://www.kimel.net/sublime.html – subtle forms of Denial (whitewashing the Jewishness of the Holocaust – while millions of non-Jews were killed by the Nazis and their allies, the Jews were the primary targets)
http://www.ushmm.org United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website of national museum in Washington, DC – the permanent exhibit courageously mentions how the US government did very little to slow down the Holocaust, and also shows an IBM punch card tabulator (a prototype computer) of the type used by the Nazis to track down Jews
from the Progressive Review, February 21, 2006
THE REAL HOLOCAUST DENIAL Sam Smith
THE jailing of Holocaust denier David Irving in Austria is a reminder of how easy it is to imitate evil even as one excoriates it. The law that convicted Irving is of the sort the Nazis would have invoked, albeit for far different purposes, and was a routine offense in Orwell’s 1984. Many fail to see this irony because they are engaged in the greatest Holocaust denial of all: a refusal to look seriously at why there was a Holocaust in the first place. To blame it all on anti-Semitism is as dangerously ahistorical as to deny its existence. Yes, Jews were the victims, but why did an ancient and widespread prejudice produce such an extreme result in this case?
We avoid this question because it takes us places we don’t want to go. Like the role of modern bureaucracy and technology in the magnification of evil. Like the commingling of corporate and state interests in a way the world had never seen before. Like the failure of Germany’s liberal elite to stand effectively against wrong eerily echoed today in the failure of America’s liberal elite to do likewise.
Some of the most important lessons of the Holocaust are simply missed. Among these, as Richard Rubenstein has pointed out, is that it could only have been carried out by an advanced political community with a highly trained, tightly disciplined police and civil service bureaucracy.
In The Cunning of History, Rubenstein also finds uncomfortable parallels between the Nazis and their opponents. For example, a Hungarian Jewish emissary meets with Lord Moyne, the British High Commissioner in Egypt in 1944 and suggests that the Nazis might be willing to save one million Hungarian Jews in return for military supplies. Lord Moynes reply: What shall I do with those million Jews? Where shall I put them? Writes Rubenstein: “The British government was by no means adverse to the final solution as long as the Germans did most of the work. ” For both countries, it had become a bureaucratic problem, one that Rubenstein suggests we understand as the expression of some of the most profound tendencies of Western civilization in the 20th century.
How many school children are taught that, worldwide, wars in the past century killed over 100 million people? In World War I alone, the death toll was around ten million. Much of this, including the Holocaust, was driven by a culture of modernity that so changed the power of institutions over the individual that the latter would become what Erich Fromm called homo mechanicus, attracted to all that is mechanical and inclined against all that is alive. Becoming, in fact, a part of the machinery — willing to kill or to die just to keep it running.
Thus, with Auschwitzlike efficiency, over 6,000 people perished every day during World War I for 1,500 days. Rubenstein recounts that on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the British lost 60,000 men and half of the officers assigned to them. But the bureaucratic internal logic of the war did not falter at all; over the next six months, more than a million British, French and German soldiers would lose their lives. The total British advance: six miles. No one in that war was a person anymore. The seeds of the Holocaust can thus be found in the trenches of World War I. Individuals had became no better than the bullets that killed them, just part of the expendable arsenal of the state. But we don’t talk about this do we? We don’t teach our children about it, do we?
The problem with using the outcome rather than the origins of the Holocaust as our metaphor and our message is that we are totally unprepared for those practices, laws, and arguments that can produce similar outcomes. We study the death chambers when we should be learning about the birth places.
Follow this link:
Holocaust Denial – Oil Empire
B or b (pronounced , bee) is the 2nd letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet. In English, it represents the voiced bilabial stop, although it sometimes represents other bilabial sounds when used in other languages.
Old English was originally written in runes, whose equivalent letter was beorc , meaning “birch”. Beorc dates to at least the 2nd-century Elder Futhark, which is now thought to have derived from the Old Italic alphabets’ either directly or via Latin .
The uncial and half-uncial introduced by the Gregorian and Irish missions gradually developed into the Insular scripts’ . These Old English Latin alphabets supplanted the earlier runes, whose use was fully banned under King Canute in the early 11th century. The Norman Conquest popularized the Carolingian half-uncial forms which latter developed into blackletter . Around 1300, letter case was increasingly distinguished, with upper- and lower-case B taking separate meanings. Following the advent of printing in the 15th century, Germany and Scandinavia continued to use forms of blackletter (particularly Fraktur), while England eventually adopted the humanist and antiqua scripts developed in Renaissance Italy from a combination of Roman inscriptions and Carolingian texts. The present forms of the English cursive B were developed by the 17th century.
The Roman B derived from the Greek capital beta via its Etruscan and Cumaean variants. The Greek letter was an adaptation of the Phoenician letter bt . The Egyptian hieroglyph for the consonant /b/ had been an image of a foot and calf , but bt (Phoenician for “house”) was a modified form of a Proto-Sinaitic glyph probably adapted from the separate hieroglyph Pr meaning “house”.[n 1] The Hebrew letter beth is a separate development of the Phoenician letter.
By Byzantine times, the Greek letter came to be pronounced /v/, so that it is known in modern Greek as vta (still written ). The Cyrillic letter ve represents the same sound, so a modified form known as be was developed to represent the Slavic languages’ /b/. (Modern Greek continues to lack a letter for the voiced bilabial plosive and transliterates such sounds from other languages using the consonant cluster , mp.)
In English, most other languages that use the Latin alphabet, and the International Phonetic Alphabet, b denotes the voiced bilabial plosive /b/, as in ‘bib’. In English, it is sometimes silent. Most instances are derived from old monosyllablic words where a terminal b is immediately preceded by an m, such as ‘lamb’ and ‘bomb’, but a few are etymological spellings intended to make a word more like its Latin original, such as ‘debt’ or ‘doubt’. As /b/ is one of the sounds subject to Grimm’s Law, English words may find their cognates in other Indo-European languages appearing with bh, p, or f instead.
In Estonian, Icelandic, and Chinese Pinyin, b does not denote a voiced consonant. Instead, it represents a voiceless /p/ that contrasts with either a geminated /p:/ (in Estonian) or an aspirated /p/ (in Pinyin, Danish and Icelandic), which are all represented by p. In Fijian b represents a prenasalized /mb/ whereas, in Zulu and Xhosa, it represents an implosive //, in contrast to the digraph bh which represents /b/. Finnish only uses b in loanwords.
B is also a musical note. In English-speaking countries, it represents Si, the 12th note of a chromatic scale built on C. In Central Europe and Scandinavia, “B” is used to denote B-flat and the 12th note of the chromatic scale is denoted “H”. Archaic forms of ‘b’, the b quadratum (square b, ) and b rotundum (round b, ) are used in musical notation as the symbols for natural and flat, respectively.
In Contracted (grade 2) English braille, ‘b’ stands for “but” when in isolation.
See original here:
B – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Jewish state comes to an end in 70 AD, when the Romans begin to actively drive Jews from the home they had lived in for over a millennium. But the Jewish Diaspora (“diaspora” =”dispersion, scattering”) had begun long before the Romans had even dreamed of Judaea. When the Assyrians conquered Israel in 722, the Hebrew inhabitants were scattered all over the Middle East; these early victims of the dispersion disappeared utterly from the pages of history. However, when Nebuchadnezzar deported the Judaeans in 597 and 586 BC, he allowed them to remain in a unified community in Babylon. Another group of Judaeans fled to Egypt, where they settled in the Nile delta. So from 597 onwards, there were three distinct groups of Hebrews: a group in Babylon and other parts of the Middle East, a group in Judaea, and another group in Egypt. Thus, 597 is considered the beginning date of the Jewish Diaspora. While Cyrus the Persian allowed the Judaeans to return to their homeland in 538 BC, most chose to remain in Babylon. A large number of Jews in Egypt became mercenaries in Upper Egypt on an island called the Elephantine. All of these Jews retained their religion, identity, and social customs; both under the Persians and the Greeks, they were allowed to run their lives under their own laws. Some converted to other religions; still others combined the Yahweh cult with local cults; but the majority clung to the Hebraic religion and its new-found core document, the Torah.
In 63 BC, Judaea became a protectorate of Rome. Coming under the administration of a governor, Judaea was allowed a king; the governor’s business was to regulate trade and maximize tax revenue. While the Jews despised the Greeks, the Romans were a nightmare. Governorships were bought at high prices; the governors would attempt to squeeze as much revenue as possible from their regions and pocket as much as they could. Even with a Jewish king, the Judaeans revolted in 70 AD, a desperate revolt that ended tragically. In 73 AD, the last of the revolutionaries were holed up in a mountain fort called Masada; the Romans had besieged the fort for two years, and the 1,000 men, women, and children inside were beginning to starve. In desperation, the Jewish revolutionaries killed themselves rather than surrender to the Romans. The Romans then destroyed Jerusalem, annexed Judaea as a Roman province, and systematically drove the Jews from Palestine. After 73 AD, Hebrew history would only be the history of the Diaspora as the Jews and their world view spread over Africa, Asia, and Europe.
The Diaspora | Jewish Virtual Library
Africa And The Africans In The Age Of The Atlantic Slave Trade Author: Stearns, Peter N.;Adas, Michael;Schwartz, Stuart B. Date: 1992
The African Diaspora
The slave trade was the means by which the history of the Americas and Africa became linked and a principal way in which African societies were drawn into the world economy. The import into Africa of European firearms, Indian textiles, Indonesian cowrie shells, and American tobacco in return for African ivory, gold, and especially slaves demonstrated Africa’s integration into the mercantile structure of the world. Africans involved in the trade learned to deal effectively with this situation. The price of slaves rose steadily in the 18th century and the terms of trade increasingly favored African dealers. In many African ports, such as Whydah, Porto Novo, and Luanda, an African or Afro-European community developed that specialized in the slave trade and used their position as middlemen to advantage.
For those carried in the trade, such considerations had little meaning. For them slavery meant destruction of their villages or capture in war, separation from friends and family, and then the forced march to an interior trading town or to the slave pens at the towns or forts of the coast. Conditions during the process were deadly and perhaps as many as one-third of the captives died along the way or in the slave pens. Eventually the slaves were loaded onto the ships. Cargo size varied and could go as high as 700 slaves packed and crowded into the dank, unhealthy conditions of the slave ships, but most cargoes were smaller and overcrowding was less of a factor in mortality than the length of the voyage or the point of origin in Africa – the Bights of Benin and Biafra being particularly unhealthy. The average rate of mortality for slaves varied over time but ran at about 18 to 20 percent until the 18th century when it declined somewhat. Still, on individual ships losses could be catastrophic, as on a Dutch ship of 1737 where 700 of the 716 slaves perished on the voyage.
The so-called Middle Passage, or slave voyage to the Americas, was a traumatic experience for the slaves. Taken from their homes, branded, confined, and shackled, they faced not only the dangers of poor hygiene, dysentery, disease, and bad treatment, but also the fear of being eaten or worse by the Europeans. Their situation led sometimes to suicide or to resistance and mutiny on the ships. However traumatic, the Middle Passage certainly did not strip Africans of their culture, and they arrived in the Americas with their languages, beliefs, artistic traditions, and strong memories of their past.
Africans In America
The destination of the slaves carried across the Atlantic was principally the plantations and mines of America. Landed estates using large amounts of often coerced labor became characteristic of American agriculture, at first in the production of sugar, and later for rice, cotton, and tobacco. The plantation system already used for producing sugar on the Atlantic islands of Spain and Portugal was transferred to the New World. After attempts to use Indian laborers in places like Brazil and Hispaniola, Africans were brought in. West Africans, in fact, coming from societies in which herding, metallurgy, and intensive agriculture were widely practiced were sought by Europeans for the specialized tasks of making sugar. In the English colonies of Barbados and Virginia, indentured servants from England were eventually replaced by enslaved ofricans when either new crops, such as sugar, were introduced or when indentured servants became less available. In any case, the plantation system of farming with a dependent or enslaved work force characterized the production of many tropical and semitropical crops in demand in Europe, and thus the plantation became the locus of African and Afro-American life.
Slaves did many other things as well. As we saw in Chapter 24, gold mining in Brazil made extensive use of black slaves and the Spanish used slaves in the silver mines of Mexico. Urban slavery was characteristic of Latin American cities, where slaves were often artisans, street vendors, and household servants. In early 17th century Lima, Peru, capital of Spain’s colony in South America, blacks outnumbered Europeans. Later cities, such as Charleston and New Orleans, would also develop a large slave and free Afro-American population. In short, there was virtually no occupation that slaves did not perform, although the vast majority lived their lives as agricultural laborers.
American Slave Societies
Each American slave-based society reflected the variations of its European origin and its component African cultures, but there were certain similarities and common features. Each recognized distinctions between African-born “salt water” slaves who were almost invariably black (by European standards) and their American-born descendants, the Creole slaves, some of whom were mulattoes as a result of sexual exploitation of slave women or the process of miscegenation. In all the American slave societies, a hierarchy of status evolved in which free whites were at the top, slaves were at the bottom, and free people of color had an intermediate position. In this sense color and “race” played a role in American slavery it had not played in Africa. Among the slaves, slaveholders also created a hierarchy based on origin and color. Creole and especially mulatto slaves were given more opportunities to acquire skilled jobs or to work in the house as servants rather than in the fields or mines. They were also more likely to win their freedom by manumission.
This system of hierarchy was a creation of the slaveholders and did not necessarily reflect perceptions among the slaves. There is evidence that important African nobles or religious leaders, who for one reason or another were sold into slavery, continued to exercise authority within the slave community. Still, the distinctions between Creole and African slaves tended to divide that community, as did the distinctions between different African groups who maintained their ties and affiliations in America. Many of the slave rebellions in the Caribbean and Brazil were organized along African rebellions in the 18th century and the largest escaped-slave community in 17th century Brazil was apparently organized and led by Angolans.
While economic organization and European concepts of hierarchy imposed a certain similarity in the various colonies in which Africans formed a part, the slave-based societies also varied in their composition. In the 18th century, for example, on the Caribbean islands where the Indian population had died out or had been exterminated and where few Europeans settled, Africans and their descendants formed the vast majority. In Jamaica and St. Domingue, slaves made up over 80 percent of the population, and because mortality levels were so high, a large proportion were African-born. Brazil also had large numbers of imported Africans, but its more diverse population and economy, as well as a tradition of manumitting slaves and high levels of miscegenation, meant that slaves made up only about 35 percent of the population. Free people of color, the descendants of former slaves, however, made up about another one-third, so that together slaves and free colored constituted two-thirds of the total population.
The Caribbean and Brazil differed significantly from the southern colonies of British North America, which depended less on imported Africans because of a positive rate of growth among the slave population. There, Creoles predominated but manumission was less common and free people of color were less than ten percent of the total Afro- American origin. The result was that slavery in North America was less influenced directly by Africa: By the mid-18th century, the slave population in most places in North America was reproducing itself. By 1850 less than one percent of the slaves there were African-born. The combination of natural growth and the relatively small direct trade from Africa reduced the degree of African cultural reinforcement in comparison with Cuba or Brazil.
The People And Gods In exile
Africans brought as slaves to America faced a peculiar series of problems. Working conditions were exhausting and life for most slaves was often “nasty, brutish, and short.” Family formation was made difficult because of the general shortage of women carried in the slave trade, a situation made even worse where the ratio of men to women was sometimes as much as three to one. To this was added the insecurity of slave status in which family members might be separated by sale or by the masters’ whim. Still, most slaves lived in family units even if their marriages were not always sanctioned by the religion of their masters.
Throughout the Americas, wherever Africans were brought, aspects of their language, religion, artistic sensibilities, and other elements of culture survived. To some extent the amount of continuity depended on the intensity and volume of the slave trade from a particular area. Yoruba culture, for example, was particularly strong in northeastern Brazil because the trade between it and the Bight of Benin was heavy and continuous in the early 19th century. During certain periods, Akan peoples predominated in Jamaica, while Ewe or Dahomeans predominated in Haiti. Some slaveholders tried to mix up the slaves on their plantations so that strong African identities would be lost, but colonial dependence on slavers who dealt continually with the same region tended to undercut such policies. In the reality of slavery in the Americas, Africans had to adapt and change and to incorporate other African peoples and their ideas and customs. Moreover, there were also the ways and customs of the masters that were both imposed and adopted. Thus, what emerged as Afro-American culture reflected specific African roots adapted to a new reality. Afro-American culture was dynamic and creative in this sense.
Religion was an obvious example of continuity and adaptation. Slaves were converted to Catholicism by Spaniards and Portuguese, and slaves were capable of fervent devotion as members of Black Catholic brotherhoods some of which were organized by African origins. Still, African religious ideas and practices did not die out, and many African slaves were accused of “witchcraft” by the Inquisition in those colonies. In the English islands, obeah was the name given to the African religious practices, and the men and women knowledgeable in them were held in high regard within the community. In Brazilian candomble (Yoruba) and Haitian Vodun (Aja), rather fully developed versions of African religion flourished and continue until the present, despite attempts to suppress them.
The reality of the Middle Passage meant that religious ideas and concepts were easier to transfer than the institutional aspects of religion. Without religious specialists or a priestly class, aspects of African religions were changed or transformed by contact with other African peoples as well as with colonial society. In many cases slaves held their new faith in Christianity and their African beliefs at the same time, and sought to fuse the two. For Muslim Africans this was less possible. In 1835 in Bahia, the largest slave rebellion in Brazil was organized by Muslim Yoruba and Hausa slaves and directed against the whites and against nonbelievers.
Resistance and rebellion were other aspects of African- American history. Recalcitrance, running away, and direct confrontation were present wherever slaves were held. As early as 1508 African runaways disrupted communications on Hispaniola, and in 1527 a plot to rebel was uncovered in Mexico City. Throughout the Americas communities of runaway slaves formed. In Jamaica, Colombia, Venezuela, Haiti, and Brazil runaway communities were continuous and persistent. In Brazil, during the 17th century, Palmares, an enormous runaway slave kingdom with numerous villages and a population of perhaps 8,000 to 10,000 people, resisted Portuguese and Dutch attempts to destroy it for a century. Although its inhabitants were both Creoles and Africans of various backgrounds, its origins, organization, and leadership were Angolan. In Jamaica, the runaway “Maroons” were able to gain some independence and a recognition of their freedom. So-called ethnic slave rebellions organized by a particular African group were relatively common in the Caribbean and Brazil in the 18th century. In North America where reinforcement from the slave trade was less important, resistance was also important, but it was based less on African origins or ethnicities.
Perhaps, the most remarkable story of African American resistance is found in the forests of Suriname, a former Dutch plantation colony. There large numbers of slaves ran off in the 18th century and mounted an almost perpetual war in the rain forest against the various expeditions sent to hunt them down. Those captured were brutally executed, but eventually a truce developed. Today about 50,000 Maroon descendants still live in Suriname and French Guiana. The Suriname Maroons maintained many aspects of their West African background in terms of language, kinship relations, and religious beliefs, but these were fused with new forms and ways drawn from European and American Indian contacts resulting from their New World experience. From this fusion based on their own creativity, a truly Afro-American culture was created.
Africa And The End Of The Slave Trade
The end of the Atlantic slave trade and the abolition of slavery in the Atlantic world resulted from economic, political, and religious changes in Europe and in its overseas American colonies and former colonies. These changes, which were manifestations of the Enlightenment, the Age of Revolution, Christian revivalism, and perhaps the Industrial Revolution, were basically external to Africa but once again they determined the pace and nature of transformations within the African continent.
Like much else about the history of slavery, there is considerable disagreement about the end of the slave trade. It is true that some African societies began to export new “legitimate” commodities, such as peanuts, cotton, and palm oil, which made their dependence on the slave trade less important, but the supply of slaves to European merchants was not greatly affected by this development. In general, the British plantation economies were booming in the period from 1790 to 1830, and plantations in Cuba, Brazil, and the South of the United States flourished in the following decades. Thus, it is difficult to find a direct and simple link between economic self-interest and the movement to suppress the slave trade.
Opponents of slavery and the brutality of the trade had appeared in the mid-18th century, in relation to new intellectual movements in the West. The philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau in France and the political economist Adam Smith in England had both written against it. Whereas in ancient Rome during the spread of Christianity and Islam or in 16th century Europe, enslavement of “barbarians” or nonbelievers was viewed as a positive benefit, a means to civilize others. Slavery during the European Enlightenment and bourgeois revolution came to be viewed as unprogressive, retrograde, and immoral. The slave trade was particularly criticized. It was the symbol of slavery’s inhumanity and cruelty.
England, as the major maritime power of the period, was the key to the end of the slave trade. Under the leadership of religious humanitarians, such as John Wesley and William Wilberforce, an abolitionist movement gained strength against its opponents made up of merchants and the “West Indies interests.” After considerable parliamentary debate, the British slave trade was abolished in 1807. Having set out on this course, Britain sought to impose abolition of the slave trade on other countries throughout the Atlantic. Spain and Portugal were pressured to gradual suppression, and the British navy was used as a means to enforce these agreements by capturing illegal slave ships, though the full end of slavery in the Americas occurred only in 1888.
Originally posted here:
The African Diaspora
Anne Frank the Writer: An Unfinished Story is a joint exhibition of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and The Netherlands Institute For War Documentation, in association with the Anne Frank-Fonds and with support from The Anne Frank House.
It was made possible through the generous support of Eric and Lore Ross and Arthur and Toni Rock, with additional support from the Gonda Family Foundation and the Nathanson Family Foundation. The Museums exhibitions are also supported by the Lester Robbins and Sheila Johnson Robbins Traveling and Special Exhibition Fund, established in 1990.
Museum Statement on the passing of Miep Gies
Buddy Elias, Anne’s closest living relative, describes Anne’s personality and Otto Frank’s dedication to her writings.
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Sara J. Bloomfield, exhibition co-curator and director of the Museum, and Klaus Mller, co-curator, describe the exhibition and the importance of Anne’s story.
Resources related to Anne Frank.
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Anne Frank the Writer | An Unfinished Story
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Tomorrow, the Palestinian flag will be raised for the first time at the United Nations headquarters in New York and at other U.N. offices around the world. The sense of pride among the Palestinian people was overwhelming the day the world voted in favor of this landmark initiative. I am certain that the day our flag rises among the flags of the community of nations will also be a most emotional and proud day.
The General Assembly’s vote confirmed again that we, the people of Palestine, are not alone in our quest for freedom, fulfillment of our rights and an end to decades of Israeli occupation and oppression. On September 30, we will raise our flag in a peaceful gesture that will remind all that justice and independence is ultimately possible. To get to this destination, we need the support of our friends around the world and the leadership of the U.N.
As the U.N. this year marks its 70th anniversary, its longest-standing, unresolved issue is the question of Palestine. For more than 68 years, my people have been denied their rights and denied freedom. In 1948, we were cast out of our places of birth and those of our ancestors; our homes and heritage were destroyed; we were expelled or fled into exile to what were to be temporary camps until the conflict and question of Palestinian statehood were resolved.
Today, Palestinians remain in exile, with over five million refugees denied their right to return. An illegal, oppressive Israeli occupation denies basic human rights, including the right of people to self-determination and freedom — a foundational principle of the U.N. But the Palestinian people have not given up hope and have not given up their rightful and just quest to live in independence and peace in our homeland.
Hope is the power that helps my people endure and overcome the horrors we have too often faced. Many have compared living in Palestine to apartheid. But our situation is even more dire because Israel, the occupying power, is not only executing a system of segregation and subjugation; it persists with the blatant ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from their land. While the Israeli government pays lip service to the two-state solution internationally, domestically it employs policies aimed at destroying what’s left of Palestine. Israel demolishes our homes, swallows up our land and works at breaking the spirit and will of our people.
In Bethlehem, Israeli checkpoints and an illegal annexation wall cages in people, depriving them of their rights, livelihoods and access to their land. Palestinians in the Gaza Strip continue to suffer the wounds of last year’s barbaric war as Israel’s cruel blockade imprisons the entire population and renders the Strip uninhabitable. In Occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli forces and leaders aid extremist attacks and religious zealots’ attempts to assert control over Al Aqsa Mosque and ignite a religious conflict. Palestine refugees across the region are suffering repeated displacement, dispossession and trauma, denied the ability to return home.
Countless events every single day illustrate the ways in which Israel’s illegal occupation devastates Palestine. But few recent events resonated with the world, like the arson attack on the Dawabsheh family home. A group of Israeli terrorist settlers smashed the windows of the Dawabsheh home and threw Molotov cocktails inside, immediately burning to death an 18-month-old baby, Ali. Both of Ali’s parents have since perished due to third degree burns. More than a month later, their now-orphaned 4-year-old son remains in the hospital. The Israeli government has attempted to disassociate itself from the attack, but the truth is that its pervasive and systematic colonization of Palestine with settlements, messages of intolerance, flouting of international law and culture of impunity not only facilitated that attack but continue to encourage others like it.
Israel’s pursuit of reckless policies obstructs any international progress for the two-state solution. I recall the high hopes I felt in 1993 when the Oslo Accords were signed and a five-year deadline set to achieve an end to the occupation and peace and security between the two states, the State of Palestine and Israel. That was 22 years ago. Since then, Israel has failed to negotiate in good faith while entrenching its illegal occupation. Israel is not dedicated to the international community’s values of freedom, justice and peace — let alone the two-state solution and the longstanding parameters underpinning it. It has trampled the Oslo Accords and with it the peace process.
As world leaders gather in New York to commemorate the U.N.’s 70th anniversary, these same leaders must also reflect on the U.N.’s failures. Palestine has languished on the U.N. agenda since the organization’s inception. This persistent neglect has cost too many lives, dampened hope, undermined international law and stained the reputation of the U.N. World leaders must find the political will to uphold the rule of law, respect human rights and make good on the commitments they collectively made to the Palestinian people over decades. The U.N. must give my people more than hope.
A peaceful, fair and just solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict exists. But the peace process must be multilateral. The same pattern of negotiations imposed for years will not work because Israel is the occupying power. Israel controls our territory, natural resources, economic affairs and our daily lives, violating every fundamental human right of the Palestinian people. We cannot directly negotiate with a power that has this level of control and exhibits such contempt for the rights and existence of our people.
That is why a collective, multilateral peace process is necessary. Such processes have made significant progress in difficult negotiations for the Balkans, Libya and Iran. They should be attempted to decisively end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict after all these years of futile attempts to achieve peace.
On the vote to raise our flag at the U.N., the international community demonstrated its solidarity with the Palestinian people. Now it must act with urgency to seize the momentum from this symbolic gesture and provide a clear plan to end the illegal Israeli occupation, uphold human rights and achieve justice. It is time to finally achieve the independence of the State of Palestine, peacefully resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict — the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict — as was promised long ago.
Palestinian children play in the rubble of houses in the village of Khuzaa, Gaza, on July 7, 2015.
Palestinians enjoy a summer day on the beach of Gaza City on June 16, 2015.
A Palestinian woman walks amid the rubble in Khuzaa, Gaza, on June 1, 2015.
Mohammed al-Selek shows the site where he was injured in an Israeli mortar strike in Gaza City, Gaza.
A Palestinian child sits in front of the rubble in Khuzaa, Gaza, on June 15, 2015.
A Palestinian man dressed as a clown rests in front of destroyed houses in Gaza City, Gaza, on July 8, 2015.
A Palestinian girl stands on the side while her father paints the door of his house in the old Gaza City on June 21, 2015 photo.
A Palestinian boy rides his bike next to his family’s temporary housing in Khuzaa, Gaza, on July 7, 2015.
Palestinian children play at the rubble of buildings.
Palestinian trucks unload near the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip on June 23, 2015.
A Palestinian girl displays her hair in Gaza City, Gaza, on July 7, 2015.
A Palestinian boy plays in the rubble in Khuzaa, Gaza, on July 7, 2015.
Palestinian boys sit atop the rubble in Khuzaa, Gaza, on July 7, 2015.
Palestinian women protest against the 50-day war amidst the rubble in Khuzaa, Gaza, on July 7, 2015.
Palestinian boys play by their temporary housing in Khuzaa, Gaza, on July 7, 2015.
A Palestinian boy rides his bicycle amidst the rubble in Khuzaa, Gaza, on June 15, 2015.
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The First-Ever Raising of Palestine’s Flag at the U.N. Is …
Life Palestine does not perform too well on the Human Development Index where it comes in as no. 110 of the 182 states that are ranked in the world; yet in the MENA region comes in ahead of countries like Egypt and Morocco. On a scale with 1.000 as maximum, Palestine gains 0.737 points. Palestine has no currency of its own, Israeli New Shekels and Jordanian dinars are used. Palestine’s economy is weak from decades of occupation and limitation on personal freedom, as well as poor administration and corruption. Foreign aid contributes greatly to the economy. With a GDP per capita at US$2,900 (2008 estimate), Palestine is 72% below world average. Unemployment is as high as 25%, and 57% of the population are below the poverty line. Economy Despite being low on the MENA ranking, health in Palestine also has a few positive sides, like a moderate child mortality and fairly good doctor density. Health Many sectors of Palestine’s educational system are well-developed, which is mirrored in very high literacy rates. Academic training is in total good at all levels, but of varying quality between institutions. Education Palestinians are the most homogeneous in the Middle East, especially if one counts the few hundred thousand Jews as Israelis. Peoples Just like withe peoples, the situation for languages is largely homogeneous, Arabic being the only language of society. Languages Sunni Islam dominates in Palestine. Christianity is an old religion here, but due to emigration, the number of Christians is falling. Religions Palestinian women have about 4 children, but on the Gaza Strip they have 5. Palestine has one of highest growths in the Middle East. Demographics Are the Palestinians ancestors of the Canaanites, or simply Arab immigrants? Both views are frequently expressed. The lands the Palestinians call home has seen many important historical events through the millenniums. But the history is also a sad one, and perhaps never before have the Palestinians suffered more, being unwanted in Israel and without hope of obtaining citizenship in the Arab neighbouring states. History
Palestine – LookLex Encyclopaedia
The religion of the Jewish people (II Macc. ii. 21, viii. 1, xiv. 38; Gal. i. 13 = , Esth. R. iii. 7; comp. , Esth. viii. 17); their system of beliefs and doctrines, rites and customs, as presented in their sacred literature and developed under the influence of the various civilizations with which they have come in contact, widening out into a world-religion affecting many nations and creeds. In reality the name “Judaism” should refer only to the religion of the people of Judea, that is, of the tribe of Judah, the name “Yehudi” (hence “Judean,” “Jew”) originally designating a member of that tribe. In the course of time, however, the term “Judaism” was applied to the entire Jewish history.
A clear and concise definition of Judaism is very difficult to give, for the reason that it is not a religion pure and simple based upon accepted creeds, like Christianity or Buddhism, but is one inseparably connected with the Jewish nation as the depository and guardian of the truths held by it for mankind. Furthermore, it is as a law, or system of laws, given by God on Sinai that Judaism is chiefly represented in Scripture and tradition, the religious doctrines being only implicitly or occasionally stated; wherefore it is frequently asserted that Judaism is a theocracy (Josephus, “Contra Ap.” ii. 16), a religious legislation for the Jewish people, but not a religion. The fact is that Judaism is too large and comprehensive a force in history to be defined by a single term or encompassed from one point of view.
Extending over thirty-five centuries of history and over well-nigh all the lands of the civilized globe, Judaism could not always retain the same form and character. Judaism in its formative period, that is, in the patriarchal and prophetic times, differed from exilic and post-exilic Judaism; and rabbinic or pharisaic Judaism again presents a phase quite different from Mosaic Judaism, to which the Sadducees, and afterward to some extent the Karaites, persistently clung. Similarly Judaism in the Diaspora, or Hellenistic Judaism, showed great divergences from that of Palestine. So, too, the mysticism of the Orient produced in Germany and France a different form of Judaism from that inculcated by the Arabic philosophy cultivated by the Jews of Spain. Again, many Jews of modern times more or less systematically discard that form of Judaism fixed by the codes and the casuistry of the Middle Ages, and incline toward a Judaism which they hold more in harmony with the requirements of an age of broader culture and larger aims. Far from having become 1900 years ago a stagnant or dried-up religion, as Christian theology declares, Judaism has ever remained “a river of God full of living waters,” which, while running within the river-bed of a single nation, has continued to feed anew the great streams of human civilization. In this light Judaism is presented in the following columns as a historic power varying in various epochs. It is first necessary to state what are the main principles of Judaism in contradistinction to all other religions.
However tribal or exclusive the idea of the God of Israel may have been originally, Judaism boldly assumes that its God was the God of man from the very beginning; the Creator of heaven and earth, and the Ruler of the world from eternity to eternity, who brought the Flood upon a wicked generation of men, and who established the earth in righteousness and justice (Gen. i.-x.). In the light of this presentation of facts, idolatry or the worship of other gods is but a rebellious breaking away from the Most High, the King of the Nations, the universal God, besides whom there is no other (Deut. v. 39; Jer. x. 7), and to whom alone all knees must bend in humble adoration (Isa. xlv. 23, lxvi. 23). Judaism, accordingly, has for its sole object the restoration of the pure worship of God throughout the earth (Zech. xiv. 9); the Sinaitic covenant, which rendered Israel “a kingdom of priests among the nations”itself only a renewal of the covenant made with Abraham and his descendants for all timehaving been concluded for the sole purpose of giving back to mankind its God of old, the God of the Noachian covenant, which included all men (Gen. ix. 17, xviii. 18-19; Ex. xix. 3-6; Isa. xlix. 6-8). Surely there is nothing clannish in the God of the Prophets and the Psalmist, who judges all men and nations alike with justice and righteousness (Amos i.-ii., ix. 7; Jer. xxvi.; Ezek. xl.; Ps. xcvi. 13, xcviii. 9; and elsewhere). Judaism’s God has through the prophetic, world-wide view become the God of history, and through the Psalms and the prayers of the asidim the God of the human heart, “the Father,” and the “Lover of souls” (Isa. lxiii. 16; see Wisdom, xi. 26, and Abba). Far from departing from this standpoint, Judaism in the time of the Synagogue took the decisive forward step of declaring the Holy Name (see Adonai) ineffable, so as to allow the God of Israel to be known only as “the Lord God.” Henceforth without any definite name He stood forth as the world’s God without peer.
Judaism at all times protested most emphatically against any infringement of its pure monotheistic doctrine, whether by the dualism of the Gnostic (Sanh. 38a; Gen. R. i.; Eccl. R. iv. 8) or by the Trinitarianism of the Church (see Jew. Encyc. iv. 54, s.v. Christianity), never allowing such attributes as justice and pardoning love to divide the Godhead into different powers or personalities. Indeed, every contact with other systems of thought or belief served only to put Judaism on its guard lest the spirituality of God be marred by ascribing to Him human forms. Yet, far from being too transcendental, too remote from mortal man in his need (as Weber, “Jdische Theologie,” 1897, pp. 157 et seq., asserts), Judaism’s God “is ever near, nearer than any other help or sympathy can be” (Yer. Ber. ix. 13a); “His very greatness consists in His condescension to man” (Meg. 31a; Lev. R. i., with reference to Ps. cxiii. 6). In fact, “God appears to each according to his capacity or temporary need” (Mek., Beshalla, Shirah, iv.; see Schechter in “J. Q. R.” vi. 417-427).
Judaism affirms that God is a spirit, above all limitations of form, the Absolute Being who calls Himself “I am who I am” (“Eheyeh asher Eheyeh”; Ex. iii. 14), the Source of all existence, above all things, independent of all conditions, and without any physical quality. Far, however, from excluding less philosophical views of the Deity, so ardent a Jew as R. Abraham b. David of Posquires contends against Maimonides that he who holds human conceptions of God, such as the cabalists did, is no less a Jew than he who insists on His absolute incorporeality (Haggahot to “Yad,” Teshubah, iii. 7). Indeed, the daily prayers of the Jew, from “Adon ‘Olam” to the “Shir ha-Yiud” of Samuel b. Kalonymus, show a wide range of thought, here of rationalistic and there of mystic character, combining in a singular manner transcendentalism and immanence or pantheism as in no other faith. While the ideas of the various ages and civilizations have thus ever expanded and deepened the conception of God, the principle of unity was ever jealously guarded lest “His glory be given to another” (Isa. xlii. 8; see God).
But the most characteristic and essential distinction of Judaism from every other system of belief and thought consists in its ethical monotheism. Not sacrifice, but righteous conduct, is what God desires (Isa. i. 12-17; Amos v. 21-24; Hos. vi. 6; Micah vi. 6-8; Jer. vii. 22; Ps. xl. 7 [A. V. 6], 1. 8-13); the whole sacrificial cult being intended only for the spiritual need of man (Pesi. vi. 57, 62; Num. R. xxi.; Lev. R. ii.). Religion’s only object is to induce man to walk in the ways of God and to do right (Gen. xix. 19; Deut. x. 12), God Himself being the God of righteousness and holiness, the ideal of moral perfection (Ex. xx. 5-6, xxxiv. 7; Lev. xix. 1; Deut. vii. 9-10). While the pagan gods were “products of fear,” it was precisely “the fear of God” which produced in Judaism the conscience, the knowledge of a God within, thus preventing man from sin (Gen. xlii. 18; Ex. xx. 20; Deut. x. 12; Job i. 1). Consequently thehistory of mankind from the beginning appeared as the work of a moral Ruler of the world, of “the King of the nations of whom all are in awe” (Jer. x. 7; Ps. lxv. 13, xcvi. 10; Dan. ii. 21), in whom power and justice, love and truth are united (Ps. lxxxix. 15 [A. V. 14]). As He spoke to Israel, “Be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev. xix. 1, Hebr.), so “He said unto man, Behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job xxviii. 28; comp. Micah vi. 8; Isa. xxxiii. 15; Ps. xv., xxiv. 4: “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”). Quite characteristic of rabbinical Judaism is the fact that the names used for God are chiefly taken from His ethical attributes: “The world’s Righteous One” (“Zaddio shel ‘olam,” Gen. R. xlix.; Yoma 37a); “The Merciful One” (“Ramana”); and most frequently “The Holy One, blessed be He!” (“ha-adosh baruk hu”). Before Cain killed his brother, he said: “There is no divine judgment and no Judge” (Targ. Yer. to Gen. iv. 8). “The first question put to man at the Last Judgment will be: ‘Didst thou deal honestly with thy fellow man?'” (Shab. 31a; see God).
At any rate, Judaism, while insisting upon the unity of God and His government of the world, recognizes alongside of God no principle of evil in creation. God has no counterpart either in the powers of darkness, as the deities of Egypt and Babylon had, or in the power of evil, such as Ahriman in the Zoroastrian religion is, whose demoniacal nature was transferred by the Gnostic and Christian systems to Satan. In the Jewish Scriptures Satan has his place among the angels of heaven, and is bound to execute the will of God, his master (Job i. 7); and though sin and death are occasionally ascribed to him (see Satan), he can seduce and harm only as far as God permits him, and in the end must work for good (B. B. 16a). “God is the Creator of light and darkness, the Maker of peace and of evil” (Isa. xlv. 7). Everything He made was found by Him to be very good (Gen. i. 31); “also death,” says R. Mer (Gen. R. ix.). “What the Merciful does is for the good” (Ber. 60b). Whatever evil befalls man has disciplinary value: it is intended for his higher welfare (Deut. viii. 5; Ps. xciv. 12; Ta’an. 21a: “Gam zu leobah”).
Because the Lord saw that the world could not stand to be measured by strict justice, He mingled the quality of mercy with that of justice and created the world with both (Gen. R. xii.). In striking contrast to the pessimistic doctrine that the world is the product of mere chance and full of evil, the Midrash boldly states that the world was (or is) a process of selection and evolution: “God created worlds after worlds until He said, ‘This at last pleases Me'” (Gen. R. ix.; see Optimism).
The fundamental principle of Judaism (see Maimonides, “Moreh,” iii. 17) is that man is free; that is to say, the choice between good and evil has been left to man as a participant of God’s spirit. “Sin lieth at the door, and unto thee shall be its desire; but thou shalt rule over it” (Gen. iv. 7, Hebr.) says God to Cain; and herein is laid down for all time the law of man’s freedom of will. Accordingly Moses says in the name of God: “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; . . . therefore choose life” (Deut. xxx. 15, 19); and Ben Sira, commenting upon this, says: “God hath made man from the beginning and left him in the hand of his counsel. . . . He hath set fire and water before thee; thou mayest stretch forth thy hand unto whichsoever thou wilt. Before man is life and death; and whichsoever he liketh, it shall be given him” (Ecclus. [Sirach] xv. 14-17). Similarly R. Akiba declares: “All is foreseen; but the mastery [that is, free will] is granted” (Ab. iii. 15). Another rabbinical saying is, “Everything is determined by Heaven save the fear of Heaven” (Ber. 33b). Freedom of will constitutes man’s responsibility; and his heavenly prerogative would be impaired were there an inheritance of sin. “Every man shall be put to death for his own sin,” says the Law (Deut. xxiv. 16). It is the principle for which the prophet Ezekiel fought (Ezek. xviii. 20). Accordingly the Rabbis say: “The wicked are under the power of their hearts; the righteous have their hearts in their power” (Gen. R. lxvii.). Also, “Man is constantly led along the way he wishes to go. If he wishes to pollute himself by sin, the gates of sin will be opened for him; if he strives for purity, the gates of purity will be opened to him” (Yoma 38a; Mak. 10b; Nid. 30b). Regarding the difficulty of reconciling free will with divine omniscience, see Free Will. Notwithstanding man’s propensity to sin, caused by the Yeer Ha-Ra’, “the leaven in the lump” (Ber. 17a; comp. I Cor. v. 7), and the universal experience of sinfulness (Eccl. vii. 20; Ex. R. xxxi.), rabbinical Judaism denies that sin is inherited from parents, pointing to Abraham the son of Terah, Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, and others as instances to the contrary (Tan., uat, ed. Buber, p. 4, with reference to Job xiv. 4), and insists on the possibility of sinlessness as manifested by various saints (Shab. 55b; Yoma 22b; Eccl. R. i. 8, iii. 2).
Sin, according to Jewish teaching, is simply erring from the right path, owing chiefly to the weakness of human nature (Num. xv. 26; I Kings viii. 46; Ps. xix. 13, lxxviii. 39, ciii. 14; Job iv. 17-21); only in the really wicked it is insolent rebellion against God and His order (“pesha'” or “resha'”; Isa. lvii. 20; Ps. i. 4-6, xxxvi. 2; and elsewhere). And there is no sin too great to be atoned for by repentance and reparation (Ezek. xviii. 23; Yer. Peah i. 16b; id. 40b). The whole conception, then, of mankind’s depravity by sin has no place in Judaism, which holds forth the reintegrating power of repentance to Gentiles and Jews, to the ordinary and the most corrupt sinners alike (Pes. 119a; R. H. 17b; Sanh. 103a, 108a; Yoma 86a, b). “Before God created the world, He created repentance for man as one of his prerequisites” (Pes. 54a; Gen. R. xxi., xxii.; see Repentance; Sin).
Israel, then, has been chosen, like Israel’s ancestor Abraham, the descendant of Shem (Gen. ix. 26-27), to be a blessing to all nations on earth (ib. xii. 3, xix. 18); and the name by which the Lord calls him at the Exodus (Ex. iv. 22), “My first-born son,” betokens in the language of the time his mission to be that of the priest and teacher in the house-hold of the nations, leading the rest by his precept and example to the worship of the Only One (ib. xix. 6; Isa. lxi. 6). “A people dwelling in solitude and not counted among the nations” (Num. xxiii. 9; Deut. vii. 7), but watched over by divine providence with especial care (Deut. xxvii. 18-19, xxxii. 8-12), the standard-bearer of incomparable laws of wisdom and righteousness in the sight of the nations (ib. iv. 5-8), Israel has been created to declare God’s praise to the world, to be “His witnesses” (LXX., “martyrs”) testifying to His unity, “the light of the nations,” and the “covenant of the people to establish the earth” (Isa. xliii. 10, 21; xlix. 6-8). “To Israel’s house of God the nations shall flock to be taught of His ways and to learn to walk in His paths.” This is to bring humanity back to its normal condition, peace and bliss on earth, because righteousness will then prevail everywhere and the whole “earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord” (Isa. ii. 2-4, ix. 6, xi. 4-9, lxv. 25; Micah iv. 1-4). Israel, who when redeemed from Egypt proclaimed God as King (Ex. xv. 19; Lev. R. ii. 4), received the truth of Sinai as a trust; he is never to rest until his God shall become king of the whole earth, until all men and nations shall bend the knee before Him (Zech. xiv. 9; Isa. xl. 5, xlv. 13, xlix. 19; Ps. xxii. 29 [A. V. 28], xlvii. 9 , lxxvii. 5 , xcvi.-xcix.). “Israel, who proclaims God’s unity, is proclaimed by God as His unique people” (Mek., Beshalla, Shirah, 3). Israel, as the people of the saints of the Most High, is to establish the kingdom of God to last forever (Dan. ii. 44, vii.). But as teacher and guardian of mankind’s purest faith and loftiest hope, he is dealt with more severely by God for every transgression (Jer. ii. 21; Ezek. xx. 33-41; Amos iii. 2). Nay more, as the servant of God he has been chosen for continual martyrdom in the cause of truth and justice; he, therefore, is the “man of sorrows” whose affliction is to bring healing to the world and to lead many to righteousness (Isa. lii-liii.; see Servant of God).
Whether the expectation is that the universal kingdom of God on earth will be brought about by an ideal king from the house of David, the Messiah, as Isaiah and his followers depict the future of Israel (Isa. xi. 1 et seq.; Ezek. xxxiii. 24), or by the dispersed people of Israel itself, as the seer of the Exile (Isa. lvi.-lxvi.) indicates (see Messiah); whether or not the great day when all flesh shall worship the Lord will be preceded by a day of divine judgment when all the wicked “shall be stubble” (Mal. iii. 19, 21 [A. V. iv. 3]; see Day of the Lord; Eschatology; Gog and Magog), Judaism by its idea of a divine kingdom of truth and righteousness to be built on earth gave to mankind a hope and to history a goal for which to live and strive through the centuries. Other nations beheld in the world’s process a continual decline from a golden age of happiness to an iron age of toil, until in a great catastrophe of conflagration and ruin the end of all things, of men and gods, is to be reached: Judaism points forward to a state of human perfection and bliss to be brought about by the complete unfolding of the divine in man or the revelation of God’s full glory as the goal of history. And herein lies its great distinction also from Christianity. Judaism’s scope lies not in the world beyond, the world of the spirit, of which man on earth can have no conception. Both the hope of resurrection and that of immortality, in some form or other familiar and indispensable to all tribes and creeds, seem evidently to have come to the Jews from withoutthe one from Persia or Babylonia, the other from Greece. Judaism itself rests on neither (see Eschatology; Immortality; Resurrection). Its sole aim and purpose is to render the world that now is a divine kingdom of truth and righteousness; and this gives it its eminently rational, ethical, and practical character.
Judaism has a twofold character: (1) universal, and (2) particular or national. The one pertains to its religious truths destined for the world; the other, to its national obligationsconnected with its priestly mission. Upon the former more stress is laid by the Prophets and by most of the sacred poets, by the Alexandrian propagandists and the Palestinian haggadists, as well as by the medieval philosophers and the modern Reform school; whereas the Mosaic law, the Halakah, and the Talmudic and cabalistic schools dwell almost exclusively upon the latter.
Judaism is, above all, the law of justice. Whereas in heathendom, except in the case of some exalted philosopher like Plato, might was deified, and the oppressed, the slave, and the stranger found no protection in religion, the declaration is everywhere made throughout Scripture that injustice committed by man against man provokes the wrath of the world’s Ruler and Judge (Ex. xxi. 22-23; Gen. vi. 13, xviii. 20; Deut. xxvii. 15-26; Amos i. 3-ii. 8; and elsewhere), and that righteousness and compassionate love are demanded for the oppressed, the slave, the poor, the fatherless and homeless, the stranger, and for the criminal as having a claim on the sympathy of his fellow men; even for the dumb creature compassion is required (Ex. xxii. 20-26, xxiii. 5-6; Deut. xxii. 6; xxiv. 6, 10-xxv. 4; Job xxxi.). This is the “Torah” of which Isaiah speaks (Isa. i. 10), the “commandment” put by God upon every human heart (Deut. xxx. 11-14). And this spirit of justice permeates the Talmudic literature also. “For righteousness is one of the pillars of the world” (Ab. i. 18). “Where right is suppressed war comes upon the world” (ib. iv. 8). “The execution of justice is one of the Noachian laws of humanity” (Sanh. 56b). “Justice is demanded alike for the Gentile and the Jew” (Mak. 24a; B. . 113a; and other quotations in Baya b. Joseph’s “ad ha-Kema,” ch. “Gezelah”). To have due regard for the honor of all fellow creatures (“kebod aberiyyot”; Tos., B. . vii. 10) is one of the leading principles of rabbinic law (Shab. 94b).
Judaism furthermore is the law of purity. Heathenism by its orgiastic cults of Baal-peor, Astarte, and the like, fostered impurity and incest (Lev. xviii. 3, 24-30; Num. xxv. 1-9; Deut. iv. 3). The Torah warns against fornication, and teaches purity of heart and of action (Num. xv. 39; Deut. xxiii. 18-19, xxiv. 15; Prov. vii. 5-27; Job xxxi. 1), because God is too pure to tolerate unchastity in man or in woman (see Holiness; Purity). Judaism resents every act of lewdness as “nebalah” = “villainy” (Gen. xxxiv. 7, 31; Deut. xxii. 21; Judges xix. 24; II Sam. xiii. 12; see Folly), and most severely condemns lascivious talk (Isa. ix. 16; Shab. 33a).
Judaism is, moreover, the law of truth. Its God is the God of truth (Jer. x. 10). “The seal of the Holy One is truth” (Gen. R. lxxxi.; see Alpha and Omega). Abraham, Moses, Jeremiah, Job, and ohelet wrestled with God in doubt until He revealed Himself to them in a higher form (Gen. xviii. 25; Ex. xxxii.-xxxiii.; Jer. xii. 1; Job xxxi. 35). And as the Prophets had perfect faith in God as the God of truth and therefore shrank from hypocrisy (Yer. Ber. vii. 11c), so did all the Jewish philosophers show perfect confidence in truth while boldly expressing their lofty views concerning the Deity and divesting God of every trace of Anthropomorphism and Anthropopathism and of every attribute infringing upon the spirituality and unity of God. It was, says the Talmud, the last will of Canaan that his children should not speak the truth and should love lasciviousness (Pes. 113b). “The Torah of Moses is truth” and “desires men to speak the truth and assent to the truth, even as God Himself assents to the truth when honestly spoken”; for “Upon truth rests the world” (B. B. 74a; Ps. xv. 2; Ab. R. N. xxxvii.; Ab. i. 18). This honest search for truth made Judaism, indeed, the world’s great power for truth as well as for righteousness.
Judaism promotes and fosters education and culture. In contrast to such systems of faith as foster ignorance of the masses, it renders it a duty for the father to instruct his children and for the community to provide for the general instruction of old and young (see Education; Philosophy). It sanctifies labor, and makes the teaching of a trade whereby a livelihood may be earned a duty incumbent upon the father or upon the municipal authority (see Labor, Holiness of). It makes the systematic care of the poor a duty of the community with a view to the dignity and self-help of the recipient (See Charity). It denounces celibacy as unlawful, and enjoins each man to build a home and to contribute to the welfare of human society (see Marriage). The high priest in Israel was not allowed to officiate on the Day of Atonement unless he had a wifeliving with him (Yoma i. 1; comp. Ta’an. ii. 2). It enjoins love of country and loyalty to the government, no matter how unfriendly it be to the Jew (Jer. xxix. 7; Ab. iii. 2; Ket. 111a; see Patriotism).
Judaism is a religion of joy, and it desires that man should rejoice before God and gratefully enjoy all His gifts, at the same time filling other hearts with joy and thanksgiving. Especially are its Sabbath and festal days seasons of joy with no austerity about them. Judaism discourages asceticism (see Asceticism; Joy).
Judaism is a religion of hope. It teaches men to recognize in pain and sorrow dispensations of divine goodness. It is optimistic, because it does not defer hope merely to the world to come, but waits for the manifestation of God’s plans of wisdom and goodness in the moral and spiritual advancement of man. While the present world is, in comparison to the future one, declared to be “like the vestibule wherein one prepares for the palace,” it is nevertheless stated that “one hour devoted to repentance and good works in this world is more valuable than the entire life of the world to come” (Ab. iv. 16-17); for “to-day is the time for working out one’s destiny, while to-morrow is the time for receiving compensation” (‘Er. 22a).
As its highest aim and motive Judaism regards the love of God. Twice every day the Jew recites the Shema’, which contains the words: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deut. vi. 5); this verse is understood to enjoin him to willingly surrender life and fortune whenever the cause of God demands it, while it at the same time urges him to make God beloved by all his fellow creatures through deeds of kindness, as Abraham did (Sifre, Deut. 32). This love of God implies the most unselfish devotion and the purest motive of action; that is, acting not from fear, but rather for God’s sake alone (Sifre, Deut. 32, 48; Ab. ii. 12); doing good not in view of any reward in the world to come (Ab. i. 3), but for its own sake (see Schreiner, “Die Jngsten Urtheile ber das Judenthum,” 1902, pp. 145-151); and it also implies the love of man (Deut. x. 12-19; see Love).
Judaism, finally, is a system of sanctification of life. It teaches that the whole of life is holy, because God is manifested in it: “Be holy, for the Lord your God is holy” (Lev. xix. 1, Hebr.). Even in the functions of animal life the presence of a holy God should be realized (Deut. xxiii. 15); and when the perfect state of humanity shall have been attained, every road will be a holy road free from impurity (Isa. xxxv. 8), and “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holy unto the Lord” (Zech. xiv. 20, R. V.).
The Sinaitic covenant which rendered Israel “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. xix. 6) became, the Rabbis say, “a source of hatred to the nations” (Shab. 89a: a play upon words, “Sinai””Sin’ah”), because it separated it from them by statutes and ordinances such as the dietary and the Levitical purity laws and others intended to prevent idolatrous practises. Like the priest in the Temple, whose garments and mode of life distinguished him from the rest in order to invest him with the spirit of greater sanctity and purity (I Chron. xxiii. 13), so Israel was for all time to be impressed with its priestly mission by all those ceremonies which form so prominent a feature in its religious life (see Ceremonies; Circumcision; Commandments; Dietary Laws). Particularly the Mosaic and, later on, the Pharisaic laws had for their object the separation of the Jewish people from all those influences prevalent in heathendom which led to idolatry and impurity; wherefore not only intermarriage, but also participation in any meal or other festive gathering which could possibly be connected with idol-worship was prohibited (see Worship, Idol-; Intermarriage; Jubilees, Book of.) This persistent avoidance of association with the Gentiles on the part of the Pharisees, which in the time of the Maccabees was termed = “keepingapart from the surrounding nations” (comp. II Macc. xiv. 38), became the chief cause of the accusation of a “hatred of mankind” which was brought against the Jews by the Greeks and Romans, and which has ever since been reiterated by the anti-Semites (see Schrer, “Gesch.” iii. 3, 416).
In reality these very laws of seclusion fitted the Jew for his herculean task of battling for the truth against a world of falsehood, and enabled him to resist the temptations and to brave the persecutions of the nations and the ages. They imbued him with a spirit of loyalty unparalleled in human history; they inculcated in him the principle of abstinence, enabling him to endure privation and torture; and filled him with that noble pride which alone upheld him amidst the taunts and sneers of high and low. They brought out those traits of manhood which characterized Abraham, who, according to the Rabbis, was called ‘”Ibri ” (Hebrew) because his maxim was: “Let all the world stand on the one side [“‘eber ead”]I side with God and shall win in the end” (Gen. R. xlvi.). But these laws also fostered a conception of the sanctity of life unknown to other creeds or races. By investing the commonest act and event with religious obligations, they made the whole of life earnest and holy with duty. Instead of being “a yoke of servitude,” as Schrer and others have it, they “filled the home and the festal seasons with higher joy” (see Schechter and Abrahams in “J. Q. R.” iii. 762 et seq., xi. 626 et seq.).
Notwithstanding its unmitigated severity against heathenism with its folly and vice, and against every mode of compromise therewith, Judaism does not, like other creeds, consign the non-believer to eternal doom. It judges men not by their creed, but by their deeds, demanding righteous actions and pure motives, since “fear of God” signifies fear of Him who looketh into the heart (Sifra, Aare Mot, iii. 2). It declares through R. Joshua b. Hananiah, whose opinion is generally accepted, that “the righteous of all nations have a share in the world to come”; the Shammaite R. Eliezer in consigning all heathen to Gehenna bases his argument on the Scriptural verse Ps. ix. 18 (A. V. 17), into which he reads, “The wicked are turned to Sheol because all heathen forget God”not as R. Joshua does, “all those heathen that forget God” (Sanh. 105a). It is the moral depravity ascribed to the heathen, owing to his unchaste and violent habits, which is the cause of all the harsh haggadic expressionssuch as “the people that resemble the ass” (Ket. 111a)and halakic injunctions found in the Talmud against the heathen (Gentile or ‘Akkum; see Jubilees, Book of). The latter is always under grave suspicion (see ‘Ab. Zarah ii. 1; Yeb. 98a), yet, no sooner does he solemnly discard idolatry than his association is invited and he has a claim on protection (Gi. 45a).
On the contrary, Judaism waits for “the righteous nation that keeps the faith” (Isa. xxvi. 2), and opens wide “its gates that the righteous from among the heathen world may enter” (Ps. cxviii. 20; Sifra, Aare Mot, xiii.), calling the Gentiles that serve God in righteousness “priests of the Lord” (“Otiot de-R. Akiba,” letter “Zayin”). It declares that the Holy Spirit may rest upon the righteous heathen as well as upon the Jew (Tanna debe Eliyahu R. ix.). It pays due homage to the wise among the heathen (Ber. 58a; Soah 35b; Bek. 8b; Gen. R. lxv.). It recognizes the existence of prophets among the heathen (B. B. 15b: “Fifteen prophets God sent to the heathen world up to the time of Moses: Balaam and his father, Job and his four friends,” etc.; comp. Lev. R. i. 12, ii. 8; Tanna debe Eliyahu R. xxvi.; ib. Zua xi., etc.). The assertion made by Max Mller, Kuenen, and others, that Judaism is not a missionary religion, rests on insufficient knowledge. There existed an extensive proselyte propaganda literature, especially in Alexandria (see Didache; Propaganda); and, according to the Midrash, “the heathen world is saved by the merit of the one proselyte who is annually won” (Gen. R. xxviii.; comp. Matt. xxiii. 15; Jellinek, “B. H.” vi., Introduction, xlvi.). Abraham and Sarah are represented as devoting their lives to making proselytes (Gen. R. xxxix.); and as the Psalmist accords to the proselytes”those that fear God”a special place (Ps. cxv. 11), so does the daily prayer of the Jew in the “Shemoneh ‘Esreh” contain a special blessing for the proselytes (“Gere ha-ede”). Only in later centuries, when the Church interfered through apostates and by edicts, was the proselyte declared to be a plague instead of a desired accession to the house of Israel (Isa. xiv. 1); the ancient Halakah endeavored to encourage the heathen to come under the wings of the Shekinah (Yeb. 47a, b; Mas. Gerim; Lev. R. ii.). In order to facilitate the admission of Gentiles, Judaism created two classes: (1) “proselytes of righteousness,” who had to bring the “sacrifices of righteousness” while submitting to the Abrahamic rite in order to become full members of the house of Israel; and (2) “proselytes of the gate” (“gere toshab”), who accepted only the seven Noachian laws (ten and thirty are also mentioned) of humanity. Occasionally the necessity of undergoing circumcision is made a matter of controversy also in the case of the full proselyte (see Circumcision). But proselytism as a system of obtaining large numbers is deprecated by Judaism.
However, the Messianic age is regarded as the one when “the fulness of the heathen world” will join Judaism (Isa. xiv. 1; Zech. viii. 23; ‘Ab. Zarah 3a). Especially characteristic of the cosmopolitan spirit of Judaism is the fact that the seventy bullocks brought as sacrifice during the Sukkot festival at the Temple were taken to be peace-offerings on behalf of the supposed seventy nations representing the heathen world (Suk. 55b), a view shared by Philo (“De Monarchia,” ii. 6; idem, “De Septenario,” p. 26; see Treitel in “Monatsschrift,” 1903, pp. 493-495). Throughout the entire ethical literature of the Jews, from Tanna debe Eliyahu R. down to the various Ethical Wills of the Rabbis, there is voiced regarding the non-Jewish world a broadly human spirit which stands in strange contrast to the narrowness with which Judaism is viewed by Christian writers, even those of high rank (see Zunz, “Z. G.” pp. 122-157). The same cosmopolitan attitude was taken by Judaism whenever its representativeswere called upon to act as intermediaries between Moslem and Christian; and the parable of the three rings, put by Lessing into the mouth of Nathan der Weise, was actually of Jewish origin (see Wnsche in “Lessing-Mendelssohn Gedenkbuch,” 1879, pp. 329 et seq.).
Owing to the Paulinian antithesis of law and faith or love (see Lwy, “Die Paulinische Lehre von Gesetz,” in “Monatsschrift,” 1903, pp. 332 et seq., 417 et seq.), the Torah, the basis and center of Judaism since Ezra, has been persistently placed in a false light by non-Jewish writers, undue stress being laid upon “the burden of the Law.” In reality, the word “Torah” signifies both “law” and “doctrine”; and Judaism stands for both while antagonizing Paul’s conception of faith as a blind dogmatic belief which fetters the mind. It prefers the bondage of the Law to the bondage of the spirit. It looks upon the divine commandments as a source of spiritual joy (“simah shel miwah”) and as a token of God’s special protection (Ber. 31a), for which it enjoins the Jew to offer Benedictions and to display zeal and enthusiastic love (Ab. v. 20). “God has given the children of Israel so many commandments in order to increase their merit [Mak. iii. 16] or to purify them” (Tan., Shemini, ed. Buber, p. 12). Every morning after having taken upon himself the yoke of God’s kingdom, the Israelite has to take upon himself the yoke of the divine commandments also (Ber. ii. 2); and there is no greater joy for the true Israelite than to be “burdened with commandments” (Ber. 17a). “Even the commonest of Jews are full of merit on account of the many commandments they fulfil” (ib. 57a.)
The Law was accordingly a privilege which was granted to Israel because of God’s special favor. Instead of blind faith, Judaism required good works for the protection of man against the spirit of sin (ib. 32b). The Law was to impress the life of the Jew with the holiness of duty. It spiritualized the whole of life. It trained the Jewish people to exercise self-control and moderation, and it sanctified the home. It rendered the commonest functions of life holy by prescribing for them special commandments. In this sense were the 613 commandments regarded by Judaism.
Some of these are understood to be divine marks of distinction to separate Israel from the other nationsstatutes (“ukkot”) which are designated as unreasonable by the heathen world, such as laws concerning diet, dress, and the like (Sifra, Aare Mot, xiii.). Others are called “‘eduyot” (testimony), in view of their having been given to make Israel testify to God’s miraculous guidance, such as the festive seasons of the year; while still others are “signs” (“ot”), being tokens of the covenant between God and Israel, such as circumcision, the Sabbath (Gen. xvii. 11; Ex. xxxi. 13), the Passover (Ex. xii. 13, xiii. 9), and, according to the rabbinical interpretation, the tefillin (Deut. vi. 8, xi. 18).
Of sacraments, in the sense of mysterious rites by which a person is brought into a lifelong bodily relationship to God, Judaism has none. The Sabbath and circumcision have been erroneously called thus by Frankel (in his “Zeitschrift,” 1844, p. 67): they are institutions of Judaism of an essential and, according to the generally accepted opinion, vital character; but they do not give any Jew the character of an adherent of the faith (see Ceremony; Commandments). At the same time the Sabbath and the festival seasons, with the ceremonies connected with them, have at all times been the most significant expressions of Jewish sentiment, and must be regarded as the most important factors of religious life both in the Synagogue and in the home (see Ab, Ninth of; Atonement, Day of; anukkah; New-Year; Passover; Purim; Sabbath; Shabuot; and Sukkot).
While the immutability of the Torah, that is, the law of Moses, both the written and the oral Law, is declared by Maimonides to be one of the cardinal doctrines of Judaism, there are views expressed in the Talmud that the commandments will be abrogated in the world to come (Nid. 61b). It is especially the dietary laws that will, it is said, be no longer in force in the Messianic time (Midr. Teh. on Ps. cxlvi. 4).
On the question whether the laws concerning sacrifice and Levitical purity have ceased to be integral parts of Judaism, Reform and Orthodox Judaism are at issue (on this and other points of difference between the two extreme parties of Judaism see Reform Judaism). Between the two stands the so-called “Breslau school,” with Zacharias Frankel as head, whose watchword was “Positive Historical Judaism,” and whose principle was “Reform tempered with Conservatism.” While no longer adhering to the Mosaic origin of the Pentateuch (see Grtz in “Gesch.” ii. 299-318, and Schechter in “J. Q. R.” iii. 760-761) and the divine character of tradition (see Frankel, “Darke ha-Mishnah”), it assigns the power and authority for reforms in Judaism only to the Jewish community as a whole, or to what Schechter calls “catholic Israel.” The latter author desires “a strong authority,” one which, “drawing inspiration from the past, understands also how to reconcile us [the Jews] with the present and to prepare us [them] for the future” (“J. Q. R.” iv. 470). Grtz goes so far as to reduce Judaism to two fundamental principles: (1) “the religious element, which is mere negative monotheism in the widest acceptation of the term,” and (2) the ethical, which offers the ideal for the moral life: “Be ye holy even as I am holy”; at the same time declaring that “prophets and Talmudists did not regard sacrifice or ritual as the fundamental and determining thing in Judaism” (Grtz, i. 9). This leads to a final statement of the principles and forces of Judaism.
The Shema’, “the proclamation of God’s unity, requires an undivided Israel” (Mek., Yitro, Baodesh, i.). “One God, One Israel, and One Temple” is the principle twice stated in Josephus (“Ant.” iv. 8, 5; “Contra Ap.” ii. 28); “One God, One Israel, and One Torah” is the principle upon which Orthodox Judaism rests. “It was an evil day for Israel when the controversies between the schools of Shammai and Hillel began, and the one Torah appearedto have become two Torot” (Sanh. 88b; where the plural “Torot” occurs, it refers to the written and oral law; Yoma 28b, with reference to Gen. xxvi. 5; comp. Shab. 31a). This Torah, both written and oral, was known to and practised in all its details by the Patriarchs (Yoma 28b; Gen. R. lxiv.; comp. Jubilees, Book of, and “Attah Ead” in the liturgy). “Whosoever denies that the whole Law, written as well as oral, was given by God to Moses on Sinai is a heretic” (Sanh. 99a; Sifra, Behar, i. 1).
The trustworthiness of the divine behest until the final codification of the Law, from this point of view, rests upon the continuous chain of tradition from Moses down to the men of the Great Synagogue (Ab. i. 1), and afterward upon the successive ordination of the Rabbis by the elders with the laying on of hands (probably originally under the influence of the Holy Spirit; see Semikah). Accordingly the stability and the immutability of the Law remained from the Orthodox standpoint one of the cardinal principles of Judaism (see M. Friedlnder, “The Jewish Religion,” 1891; Samson Raphael Hirsch, “Horeb,” 1837).
Independent research, however, discerns evolution and progress to have been at work in the various Mosaic legislations (Ex. xx. 22-xxiii. 19; Deut. xii.-xxi. 13; and Leviticus together with Num. xv., xviii.-xix. 22), in the prophetic and priestly as well as in the soferic activities, and it necessarily sees in revelation and inspiration as well as in tradition a spiritual force working from within rather than a heavenly communication coming from without. From this point of view, ethical monotheism presents itself as the product not of the Semitic race, which may at best have created predisposition for prophetic inspiration and for a conception of the Deity as a personality with certain moral relations to man, but solely of the Jewish genius, whose purer and tenderer conception of life demanded a pure and holy God in sharp contrast to the cruel and lascivious gods of the other Semitic races (see M. Jol, “Religis-Philosophische Zeitfragen,” 1876, pp. 82-83).
It was the prophetic spirit of the Jewish nation embodied in Abraham (not the Midianite, as Budde thinks, nor some Babylonian tribe, as the Assyriologists would have it) which transformed Yhwh, an original tribal deity localized on Sinai and connected with the celestial phenomena of nature, into the God of holiness, “a power not ourselves that maketh for righteousness,” the moral governor of the world. Yet this spirit works throughout the Biblical time only in and through a few individuals in each age; again and again the people lapse into idolatry from lack of power to soar to the heights of prophetic vision. Only in the small Judean kingdom with the help of the Deuteronomic Book of the Law the beginning is made, and finally through Ezra the foundation is laid for the realization of the plan of “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”
But while thus the people were won, and the former propensity to idolatry, the “yeer ha-ra’,” was banished forever by the power of the men of the Great Synagogue (Yoma 69b), the light of prophetic universalism became dim. Still it found its utterance in the Synagogue with its liturgy, in the Psalms, in the Books of Jonah and Job, in the Books of Wisdom, and most singularly in the hafarah read on Sabbath and holy days often to voice the prophetic view concerning sacrifice and ritual in direct antagonism to the Mosaic precepts. Here, too, “the Holy Spirit” was at work (see Inspiration; Synagogue). It created Pharisaism in opposition to Sadducean insistence upon the letter of the Law; and the day when the injunction “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” was abrogated, and the rationalistic interpretation of the Scribes was substituted therefor, was celebrated as a triumph of reason (Megillat Ta’an. iv. 1). While the legalists beheld God’s majesty confined to “the four ells of the Halakah” (Ber. 8a), the Haggadah unfolded the spirit of freedom and progress; and when mysticism in the East threatened to benumb the spirit, philosophy under Arabian influence succeeded in enlarging the mental horizon of Judaism anew.
Thus Judaism presents two streams or currents of thought ever running parallel to each other: the one conservative, the other progressive and liberal; the one accentuating the national and ritualistic, the other the cosmopolitan and spiritual, elements; mysticism here and rationalism there, these together forming the centripetal and centrifugal forces of Judaism to keep it in continuous progress upon its God-appointed track.
Judaism, parent of both Christianity and Islam, holds forth the pledge and promise of the unity of the two (“Yad,” Melakim, xi. 4; “Cuzari,” iv. 23; see Jew. Encyc. iv. 56, s.v. Christianity), as it often stood as mediator between Church and Mosque during the Middle Ages (see Disputations and Judah ha-Levi). In order to be able to “unite all mankind into one bond” (New-Year’s liturgy and Gen. R. lxxx viii.), it must form “one bond” (Lev. R. xxx.). It must, to use Isaiah’s words, constitute a tree ever pruned while “the holy seed is the substance thereof” (Isa. vi. 13); its watchword being: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zech. iv. 6).
For Karaitic Judaism see Karaites.
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