The Endorsement of Itzhak Shapira – a Video, an Appeal and a Challenge

The Endorsement of Itzhak Shapira – a Video, an Appeal and a Challenge

Itzhak Shapira took down the video in which he displays his incredible ineptitude. I appeal to him to take all of his “teachings” out of circulation for the same reason he took down this video.

Itzhak Shapira holds “full ordination” from the IAMCS and his book; “The Return of the Kosher Pig” comes with ringing accolades from some of the top names in Messianic and Evangelical circles. With these endorsements in his back pocket, Shapira disseminates his teachings in person and online to innocent and well-meaning people all over the world. These people cannot on their own evaluate Shapira’s expertise because they do not know the language of the texts that serve as the basis of his teachings. Instead, they rely on the appraisal of those who have granted him ordination and who claim to see him as a serious scholar.

Recently, Shapira released a video of one of his teachings. In this video, Shapira does not limit himself to the teaching itself. He tries his hand at reading a few lines of the Talmud. The Talmud is the foundational book of rabbinic literature and Shapira is described by these Christian leaders as a scholar in the field of rabbinic literature. But Shapira is nothing of the sort.

I showed this clip to a few elementary school children, ages 12-14. These youngsters are beginners in the study of Talmud. These children were convinced that this was some type of comic skit. Shapira’s inability to make his way through a few simple lines of Talmud was so embarrassingly obvious to these beginners that they could not imagine someone posting such a video unless he was trying to make a joke.

I now turn to those leaders who have put their names behind Itzhak Shapira and I appeal to you. Please check out this video. Absorb the incredible ineptitude displayed in this video and ask yourselves if this man can lay any legitimate claim to expertise in the realm of rabbinic literature. On what basis do you allow this impostor to mislead innocent people? How can you aid and abet Shapira’s ongoing deception?

I challenge you to live up to your calling as human beings created in the image of God and publicly withdraw your endorsements from Itzhak Shapira. I hope and pray that you do so with tact and with sensitivity, but also effectively and decisively. Those who have put their trust in your leadership deserve no less.

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70 Responses to The Endorsement of Itzhak Shapira – a Video, an Appeal and a Challenge

  1. Dina says:

    Rabbi B., if you showed this to me and didn’t tell me it was Itzhak Shapira, I would think it was a hilarious parody of what Christian missionaries try to do to both Tanach and the Talmud.

  2. Blasater says:

    The fraud of Esav..

  3. Itzhak Shapira says:

    Mr. Blumenthal,

    How ironic that the passage that I was reading is not even the issue at hand.

    As always, you always find something to find or to pick it while you twist the issue at hand and addressing the real points, but this time you have gone too far. The response will be painful it will include legal measures this time that you can’t even imagine. For your own sake , I would suggest for you to take this slanderous article down including the video.

    btw, my challenge for an open and public debate is still open. We can livestream it to the world.

    • Itzhak Shapira A while back (about 5 years ago) you said that you will write a response to my lengthy critique of your book. What happened?

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • Itzhak Shapira says:

        which I did, it called TROTKP in Hebrew. I added over 50 pages just for you and Cohen’s remarks. In addition I released over 20 videos to refute your claims.

        How ironic that you claim that I did not read the text correctly at all, yet you fail to mention in this article that I translate from Sanhedrin on the fly from the english quite correctly on the fly. Have you given the same test to these children that you mention? I doubt it.

        Are you that dishonest? You shoot yourself in the foot with presenting half twisted truth. I get it , you want to discredit me, but where is your integrity? It claims in P. Avot that דרך ארץ קדמה לתורה , too bad that you claim that the Talmud as a primary text for your, yet you don’t follow it yourself you hypocrite!

        These words that you wrote “On what basis do you allow this impostor to mislead innocent people? ” will get you into a lot of issues legally. As I said before , your slander and Leshonot Rahot have crossed all boundaries. You can expect to hear from my lawyer soon. I would strongly suggest that you remove this article and video at once for your own sake. In addition, you reposted my video without my consent with your usual twisting.

        One last thing, I asked you 5 years ago for a public debate, what happened to that?

        • Itzhak Shapira How interesting! – You never told me that you published a response to my critique – if I get a chance I’ll take a look but I don’t have much hope of finding anything valuable in there. I am looking forward to seeing you in court. I am sure that any judge will see that you are the criminal – raking in money from innocent people on false pretenses.

          1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Itzhak Shapira says:

            יפה שתיקה לחכמים. אתה יהודי חסר בושה בלי טיפת אהבת ישראל וגם שקרן גדול, מיהו ישוע הבן, הצחקת אותי

          • Itzhak Shapira says:

            tell you? Why do I need to tell you anything? Who do you think that you are? Just as you didn’t tell me that you released this article any “forgetting” to tell your faithful few facts …..תורה מארץ תצמח .

        • Dina says:

          Ooh, yes, Shapira, go ahead and sue Rabbi B. I’m calling your bluff. Let’s see if you really dare. And then let us watch you get laughed out of court.

          • Itzhak Shapira says:

            ok….we wil do things in order….first i will issue the response……the spiritual dodge-ball of the Anti-Missionaries is laughable. Have you actually read the text? Who is ישוע הבן ?

          • Itzhak Shapira This is just amazing – after you were persuaded to pull your video and after my article – you still ask “who is yeshua haben”? This takes the cake!

            For those who cannot read Hebrew – the word “yeshua” here is not a name but refers to the redemption of the firstborn – If, as Shapira claims that this word is a name – then the text says nothing about redemption of the firstborn – which Shapira falsely claims is the entire “context” of the passage. In other words, his own mistranslation refutes his own misinterpretation.

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • Annelise says:

          If a statement is both true and in the public interest, then as far I know, it isn’t really libel.

        • Rabbi Eli says:

          I just received my copy of the Hebrew Edition of your book.
          Which 50 pages should I be reading to find your response you mentioned above?

  4. Eli Cohen says:

    I’m sure that Itzhak Shapira will be speaking to lawyers to have this removed. The question, however, is this: The video clip here is just over 5 mins of Itzhak Shapira teaching from the Talmud from the original text. The issue at hand is: Based on this 5 minute presentation, how well can Itzhak Shapira read, translate, understand and explain a piece of Talmud?
    What this video demonstrates to all is what the Jewish community has been saying for years.
    Let us just pause for a moment and remember that in all likelihood, Itzhak Shapira would have prepared for this teaching before going on camera.

    • Itzhak Shapira says:

      Eli,

      Who is Yeshua Haben in the context of Pidyon Haben? Simple question, and yes I have read Rashi….tell me please.

      If you are claiming that it should read ישועה הבן you are dishonest and you abuse the Hebrew language and guilty of you accusing me of doing.

      Let get back to the text please….i love the way that you always staying away from the issue at hand.

  5. Eli Cohen says:

    Tzahi Yakar,
    You don’t seem to understand the bigger issue at hand.
    You are presenting yourself as someone who is proficient in reading, translating, understanding and explaining rabbinic texts. This video demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that nothing could be further from the truth.
    The issue is NOT about the specifics, the issue is you faking proficiency in rabbinic texts. Of course the specific claims you make about the text only further highlight your lack of understanding of the text and the context.

    • Itzhak Shapira says:

      the issue IS ABOUT THE SPECIFICS. Be’vakasha, the only thing I translated is one line from B. Kama and Sanhedrin (on the fly) which I translated correctly to english without and resources next to me. The ISSUE IS THE SPECIFICS. Let us talk about ישוע הבן and exactly what didn’t I understand in the meal of Pidyon Haben. Come on Eli, be real here….

      • Eli Cohen says:

        You did not read or translate those lines correctly. If you insist that you did, go back and listen to the video again and find someone who can help you see your own mistakes.
        Bli Neder, the next time we meet in person, I will be happy to sit with you and go through that piece of Talmud word by word with you.

  6. Eli Cohen says:

    The even bigger issue here are the endorsements Itzhak Shapira received.
    http://kosherpig.org/endorsements/
    Read the endorsements, then watch the video and then read the endorsements again …….

    • Itzhak Shapira says:

      The Hebrew version is ready….go right at it…find mistakes. All those “so called” mistakes are just like a buzzing sound of Z’evuvim.

      • Eli Cohen says:

        I’m happy to look at it. Where can I view it?

        • Itzhak Shapira says:

          what for, so that you can call me a “liar” and a “ganav”, “criminal” like your esteemed Rabbi? I know how you all feel about me, we will let HaShem judge in the end and you will have to give every account for every word your spoke. When you guys there is never a honest debate and your refuse to do a live debate, so what is the point. Shalom to you.

          PS: I have added 100 pages of context just for you guys into the Hebrew version.

          • Itzhak Shapira Do you recognize that to take money from people on the basis of false pretenses is a crime? Do you also realize that since you are not the scholar you claim to be – as is obvious to anyone who has a smattering of knowledge of the Talmud – that all the money that people gave to you because they were convinced that you are a scholar – does not belong to you and that you are obligated to return every last penny?

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • Rabbi Eli says:

        I have found the same mistakes I write about in my review are in the Hebrew edition too!

  7. Sophiee Countermissionary says:

    The expression יְשֽׁוּעַ הַבֵּן y’shua habén (redemption of the son) occurs twice in the Talmud—on folio 80a of Treatise Bava Kama and again in folio 60b of Treatise Bava Batra (about two or three lines from the bottom — “And some say it was a house where a celebration was being held marking the redemption of a firstborn son.”).

    It’s a euphemism for פִּדְיוֹן הַבֵּן pidyon habén — redemption of the first born.

    Whereas the word for “salvation,” יְשׁוּעָה is a feminine noun here we find a masculine noun — יְשֽׁוּעַ for salvation (or redemption) because the passage is speaking of the redemption of the first born son (male, not female).

    Jastrow describes it as a “disguise” for פִּדְיוֹן.

    Rashi identifies it as specifically referring to the party held to celebrate the pidyon—but, as the noun יֵשֽׁוּעַ is masculine, it doesn’t even have a ה (hé) to turn into a ת (tav).

    No one knows what Jesus’ Hebrew name might have been (if he lived and had one), because the Christian bible was written in GREEK, not Hebrew and not Aramaic. So all the modern “Hebrew Christians” who insist on calling Jesus “Yeshua” are simply making up a name based on nothing really.

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  9. malcolmw33 says:

    Who is this “rabbi” fooling? Certainly no Jew would ever believe this sort of ineptitude is a sign of proficiency in rabbinic literature. I think these videos are wonderful, he should keep uploading videos of the same quality and content to demonstrate to anyone with an open mind just what level of understanding he is at.

    If only the christian leaders who endorse him could look at this objectively they would also see the truth.

  10. Mike says:

    It was funny how this dude thinks Rabbi Akiva Eiger is Rashi. What a moron.

  11. Concerned Reader says:

    I think there may be more going on with “rabbi” Shapira that maybe nobody is really being sensitive to, on either side. i don’t wish to speak ill of anyone, is he OK health wise? I’ve watched a few of his videos, and it seems like Christian kabbalah word salad, but without real ill intent from him? Perhaps he legitimately is not understanding how the chronology, history, and general context makes his idea not possible?

    If the text is in fact sourced from the period of the Amoraim, there were no observant Jewish Christians left by then who were recognized as legitimate by either the Church or the Synagogue. By the 4th century, into the beginning of the 5th, they were mostly gone, so I doubt, even if we were being charitable, that there would be a snowball’s chance of any veiled references to anything authentically Christian in these texts. If there were “Christians,” rabbis interacted with, they would have been of a many and varied stripe, IE Valentinian, Kainite, proto orthodox, and Marcionite varieties.

    Jewish Christian interaction would have been sporadic, and any semblance between the two religions in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries would have been seen in (for example) common approaches by each community for how to avoid excessive interactions with their polytheistic neighbors, whilst at the same time being opposed to each other.

    The presence of distance in these texts would be especially true because we are dealing with a redacted, edited, and polished Talmudic text by now, self censored, and Church censored, that is solely used in the context for which it was intended IE rabbinics.

    Therefore, there is no real value in trying to put Jesus into the Talmud.

    Hypotheses about Jesus being in Talmud are not evidence based, they are hypothetical.

    Trying to find Jesus in the Talmud is like trying to find water on the surface of Mercury. I say this in all seriousness. The only Christian Jesus that the rabbis deal with within their own corpus is an amalgamation polemical version of him that they got not from a direct interaction with him, or with the 1st Christian generations, but from the hearsay of polemical debates that may have been had with later Christians.

    For example, the Medieval Toldot Yeshu narrative looks like the author was inspired by a reading of Celsus’ polemics against Christianity, combined with here or there, more recent polemic.

  12. Avalon says:

    Mr. Shapira removed some of his comments? Ha.

    • I removed them – they were a distraction from the point at hand which is his total ineptitude coupled with the superlative endorsements that he received and continues to receive (until they publicly take back their endorsements) from the Christian establishment.

  13. Concerned Reader
    I don’t know if Shapira is “OK” or if he is capable of understanding this conversation but those who endorsed him are capable of understanding – it is this culture of falsehood that I am attempting to expose.

  14. Yohannan É Walensis says:

    Why so fatootsed? Why do you pick out to attack Rabbi Itzhak Shapira and not other Messianics like OneForIsrael.org?
    Let’s take chill pill. And give glory to HaShem.

    • Ezra says:

      You must be new to the blog. He does attack other Messianics, including OneForIsrael. Just “Rabbi” Izhak Shapira is behind a lot of the other Messianic organizations, as his book is a central Messianic book. If you’ve ever talked with Messianics, you’ll see that his books are distributed and revered in Messianic and Christian circles.

  15. Shema says:

    Dear Itzhak Shapira,
    we don’t know each other, so please forgive me for butting in. I hope you won’t mind some advice from someone who doesn’t have a horse in this race. I know it is often hard to see objectively while feeling personally attacked; the reason I feel compelled to speak.

    Not knowing all that is going on here I was simply aghast reading the article above. It quickly becomes apparent this likely a unsubstantiated emotional personal attack when the best evidence offered for your alleged ineptitude is that ‘even youngsters, beginners in Talmud think you’re a joke’.
    This is my favorite part of the article:
    After calling you inept, a imposter, and a deceiver of the innocent the article encourages people to withdraw their support (wait for it) “with tact and with sensitivity”!

    Itzhak Shapira, I see no need to threaten law suits, I believe it is your own best interest for this article to stay posted as it is.

    I would like to add a personal opinion at this point;
    This whole thing demonstrates the achilles’ heel of orthodoxy (orthodoxy in the broadest sense of the term). Orthodoxy seems to always espouse a pack mentality. If one in the pack exhibits different behavior or has different thoughts than the pack, they are immediately attacked until they are forced back in line or cast out of the pack. There is nothing happing to you that didn’t happen to Jesus. It would be to your credit if you are able to handle it as well as he did.

    • Shema Itzhak Shapira is a fraud. He has written a book full of demonstrable falsehoods. I have taken the trouble to document the falsehoods present in his book in an article entitled “The School of Matthew.” Furthermore, Shapira took down the video in question. If it wouldn’t display his ineptitude, he would have left it standing. Why are you defending him?

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • Shema says:

        I haven’t read his book nor your objections to it. I don’t know if he is a fraud or not. I re-read my post to see where I might of given the impression that I’m defending him. I see nowhere in my post of anything that could be interpreted as a defense of Itzhak Shapira. What I posted is that this particular article shouldn’t worry him because due to the abundance of name calling combined with any lack of substantial evidence, it makes it look as if he is being unfairly attacked.

        I don’t know why he took down the video in question. Your speculation could be correct or it could be something as simple as peer pressure from the Orthodox Jewish community. In any case you can’t expect me to convict him of guilt based only his removal of a video. Without a given reason the most it can be considered is nolo contendere.

        I will say; all this has made me curious about what is he teaching that so incenses his peers? Iirc he is a rabbi working to reform Jewish / Christian relations. I can’t help but wonder if this is the real reason he is being attacked?

        • Shema For anyone who can read the Talmud, Shapira provided all the evidence necessary and the “name-calling” is mild compared to what he deserves. Fact is – I am trying to help you and you are throwing it back in my face. This man is fooling no one in the Orthodox community because his readings are so ridiculous that a child wouldn’t be fooled. But he is fooling people in your community. I am trying to help you see it and you don’t take the time to research the matter before you start name-calling. I wrote several articles exposing this fraud – please search for “Spiritual Responsibility,” “Innocent Trust” and “The School of Matthew” And Shapira is not a “rabbi” by any stretch of the imagination – those of us who might be rabbis would never see him as a “peer”

          1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Shema says:

            Thank you for the links, I’ll look at them and do some research. This is becoming increasingly intriguing, almost like a mystery novel. Up until now I was hoping someone would just give me something more specific rather than the general reoccurring theme; ‘he pretends to be able to read Talmud, duping the ignorant for fame and fortune’.

            Btw, just to set the record straight; I’m not aware I’ve engaged in name calling. If I’m mistaken please feel free to correct me.

          • Shema I gave you something “specific” – I pointed you to the first error listed in “The School of Matthew” – it seems that you don’t know how to get there so I’ll cut and paste for you > > On page 158 Shapira tells us that Maimonides contradicts his own > principles of faith when he presented a particular prayer. According > to Shapira the prayer reads as follows: “It is our duty as living > beings before you, Hashem (Lord), to declare your name, to praise and > exalt David son of Jesse your servant the Messiah”. > > > > The prayer that Shapira is misquoting is not some obscure prayer that > is only seen by scholars who study the fine print of Maimonides > complex texts. This prayer is recited in every Orthodox synagogue of > 21^st century Judaism. If Shapira’s rendition and interpretation of > the prayer would be correct, then Maimonides together with all of > 21^st century Judaism believes in a divine Messiah. > > > > The actual prayer reads: “It is our duty as living beings before you, > O Lord … to praise and exalt You beyond all the songs of David your > servant your Messiah”. In other words no one is praising and lauding > the Messiah but we praise God with the words of David. The prayer can > be accessed online http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/spb/spb17.htm . How > did Shapira make this mistake? This is a prayer that he should have > said as a traditional Jew every Sabbath. Did he understand what he was > saying? Did Shapira stop to think before he accused Maimonides of > “violating his own principles”? > > > You ask to set the record straight – the following is what you wrote – this is name-calling

            > This whole thing demonstrates the achilles’ heel of orthodoxy > (orthodoxy in the broadest sense of the term). Orthodoxy seems to > always espouse a pack mentality. If one in the pack exhibits different > behavior or has different thoughts than the pack, they are immediately > attacked until they are forced back in line or cast out of the pack.

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Shema says:

            Thank you for the specifics. I haven’t yet read your objections because I’m researching who he is. I didn’t realize he is Messianic, I thought he was Reform, Conservative or Orthodox. I’ll have to get back to you on the rest.

            Allow me to explain; when I used the word Orthodox I used it unattached to Judaism, specifically indicating I meant it in the most general sense of the term as in orthodox religion, orthodox science, orthodox archaeology. I shared my honest experiential opinion on the orthodoxy. I’m sorry if you find my opinion on orthodoxy offensive but imo never resorted to name-calling.

          • Shema The context in which you wrote labeled Orthodox Judaism painting a stereotypical picture of the entire society – something like Matthew 23 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Shema says:

            Matthew 23 actually supports orthodoxy instructing people to listen to Gods’ instructions from their leaders. Matthew 23 is a ‘woe on hypocrisy’ rather than a ‘woe on orthodoxy’.

            My contention is; the orthodoxy I’ve witnessed stifles free independent individual thinking and often times even forbids it. My contention is not a reflection on you personally nor is it me name calling. I can understand how you might consider this contention offensive, I assure you might intent was to share my view of orthodoxy, not to offend.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          Shema, the fact that you have not read Shapira’s works, but that you do not hesitate to come to his defense (by accusing Rabbi Blumenthal of engaging in an emotion based smear,) it illustrates the rabbi’s point.

          Shapira is claiming in his lectures that there is some veiled Jewish recognition/mention of Jesus of Nazareth in a discussion about the Pidyon Haben ceremony.

          This was a repeat claim from the 80s of some guy named Simcha Pearlmutter who lived in Israel.

          The ideas are called fraudulent because rabbinic literature has nothing to do with Jesus, or Christianity.

          Historically speaking, by the time the Talmuds were written down, Christianity was already on its way to its definitions of orthodoxy, and prediminately not Jewish, with a strong hostility towards anything Jewish already established.

          IE any Jewish elements of Christendom were largely gone, to say nothing of the absurdity of the notion that some rabbis in northern Israel would have interacted with, and then transmitted Christian teaching inadvertently within the very books they use to educate their children. Its just wishful thinking.

          If you want to see a Christian Jesus in the Talmud, the closest a person can get is a passage here or there where an unknown number of Yeshus (who live at different/wrong times) appear as Jesus does in Celsus’ Roman polemic.

          Celsus’ writing was a 2nd century Roman anti Christian polemic that depicts Mary as a pristitute/as someone who was raped by a Roman. It depicts Jesus as a magician, as a bastard, and as an insurrectionist against the government.

          That picture is a polemical non historical Jesus.

          Using Talmud to get at a historical Jesus is as sloppy a method, and as fruitless as when a mythicist is using 2nd and 3rd century gnostic texts to say what Jesus “really” said or did in the earlier vetted gospel texts.

          Does it seem more likely that the compilers of the Mishna in the 2nd century were talking with Jewish Christians, Or, is it more likely that these men who were in northern Israel had heard some Roman polemic about this guy they cared nothing for and knew nothing about?

          • Concerned Reader What you say is accurate and I appreciate the point you are making but Shapira does not deserve this criticism. Your criticism would imply that Shapira has the ability to read Talmud and is making a historical error in plugging Jesus into the Talmud. But Shapira isn’t making a historical error. His read on the Talmud is simply ridiculous. The section of the Talmud that he reads has nothing to do with a Pidyon Haben ceremony UNLESS the word “yeshua” is translated as “Pidyon Haben” but the whole point of his “lecture” is that the word “Yeshua” is to be read as a proper name. His own mistranslation invalidates his read on the Talmud. This is aside from the fact that he mistranslates and mispronounces almost every word he reads (for example he reads the word “isha” (woman) as if it said “aish” (fire). Shapira’s mistake is not historical – and it is not a mistake. He is posing as an expert on a subject he knows nothing about. And the leaders of various Christian institutions help him perpetrate this fraud upon innocent unsuspecting people.

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

    • Ezra says:

      Should someone who openly and actively twists words to deceive people deserve any defense? Jesus didn’t do that buddy. “Rabbi” Izhak Shapira shouldn’t either. And by the way, as an Orthodox Jew, you’re right we’re a pack – that’s how we’ve survived so long with people like Shapira running around.

      • Shema says:

        It makes my heart happy to hear that you believe Jesus wasn’t “someone who openly and actively twists words to deceive people”!

        Out of curiosity; can you give the best, most blatant, straight forward example of Izhak Shapira maliciously twisting words to deceive?

        • Shema I happen to believe that Jesus did twist words to deceive people (at least the way the Christian Scriptures record his career) And for the most blatant distortion of Shapira – there are so many to choose from – just take the first one on the “list of errors” in the “School of Matthew” where he distorts a prayer recited in synagogues every Sabbath

          1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Rabbi, i wish you had not deleted my concersation with Shapira, as I gave examples of why his views dont mesh.

          • Concerned Reader I am sorry for doing this to you but I didn’t want the conversation to go away from the original post. The history is almost an afterthought. What Shapira did to the text of the Talmud reveals beyond any shadow of a doubt, even to those who supported him in the past, that his claim to expertise in rabbinic texts is simply a lie. He isn’t even a novice. I purposely didn’t give details of his mistakes because it minimizes his crime. The only way I can mitigate his crime is by accepting what you suggested and that is the assumption that Shapira may not be capable of understanding his actions.

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  16. Dina says:

    Hi Shema,

    I’d like to address two points you raised.

    The first is your assertion that belief in Jesus is not only justified but should be respected by us because of the obvious positive life changes it induces.

    The second is your condemnation of anyone who supports the decision of the Sanhedrin to hand over an innocent man to the Romans.

    To address the first, when we take a holistic view of the history of Christianity, we are not impressed with the behavior of the followers of Jesus. Not only did they consistently and viciously persecute God’s firstborn son, with over seventy expulsions over a 1500-year period, periodic massacres, blood libels, extortionist taxation, enforced poverty, enforced ghettoization, and so on and so forth, but they engaged in terrible bloodshed among themselves, as well as oppression of the poor and exploitation of the needy. On the other hand, the communities of religiously observant Jews throughout Christendom exhibited a level of moral, ethical, and refined behavior that was unparalleled.

    So to the first point, no thanks. You can keep your Jesus, but you would be better off without him. Far better off to follow Hashem and His Torah.

    To the second point, there isn’t any agreement or disagreement because the story is completely fabricated. This story was made up to make the Jews look bad, period. And this horrific lie was used to justify horrific acts against the Jews.

    In short, the Sanhedrin did not cruelly and maliciously hand over an innocent Jew to the Romans. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

    • Shema says:

      Hi Dina,
      I am assuming you desire a response to the points addressed?

      In point number one, you refer to the “followers of Jesus” then claim what the Catholic, Greek, Coptic churches and the Protestant Reformers have done to the Jews. These Churches and the Jews have been enemies for hundreds of years, so I’m not surprised you’d view them as you do. I wonder if you’d be surprised to know, or even accept, many followers of Jesus view them similar. It is always beneficial to define terms and now is a appropriate time to define a term first used by you, “followers of Jesus”. It is the Jewish way for a disciple (follower) to become like his rabbi. If Jesus took up the sword against his enemies, then his followers would also take up the sword. But the life of Jesus is quite the opposite. He taught to turn the other cheek, practicing what he preached when he gave himself over to death without a fight. The records indicate after his death so did his “followers”. Anyone committing atrocities as you’ve described are by definition not followers of Jesus. The churches didn’t spare us much more than the Jews.

      There is something about your response to the second point that draws my attention. We have written records indicating Jesus was handed over to the Romans by the Sanhedrin. Iirc it is also recorded in the Talmud. You claim it didn’t happen and the story fabricated. Do you have evidence of this? What would the motive be to fabricate a story like this 250 years before Constantine? Just a generation prior to Jesus the Jewish religious leaders put their peers to the sword. What makes you think the Sanhedrin of Jesus’ day was above turning him over to the Romans? I admit in discussing a 2000 year old incident there is the “who really knows” factor. But the part that draws my attention is this; I wonder if you found out it did happen as recorded, would you continue to support the decision of the Sanhedrin or repent their decision?

      • Dina says:

        Shema, are you serious? Are you pretending that Christian persecution of the Jews didn’t happen? I listed a bunch of atrocities for you. Here are some more specific ones:

        The Crusades (tens of thousands of Jews slaughtered)
        The Inquisition (tens of thousands of Jews slaughtered)
        The Black Death (bubonic plague, Jews were blamed, entire Jewish communities annihilated)
        Blood libels (in England, Germany, Poland, and other European countries, led to tortures and massacres)
        Over 70 forced expulsions

        There’s a lot more. Now you say, Christians and Jews were always enemies, and Christians feel the same way about Jews. Can you list some comparable atrocities Christians claim Jews inflicted on them? Can you find me credible sources of historians who claim that Jews persecuted Christians for nearly 2000 years?

        It would be instructive for you to study history, specifically the history of Christian Jew hatred. Don’t rely on your subjective opinion but study the facts. If you want a quick overview, see these websites:

        https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007170https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_antisemitism

        If you want something more comprehensive, I recommend the following books:

        Holy Hatred by Robert Michael
        Thy Brothers Blood by Malcolm Hay
        Christian Anti-Semitism by William Nicholls

        My original argument was to point out that your contention that we ought to respect Jesus because he changes lives does not impress us because we cannot discount the horrific behavior of his followers. Up until the 1960s, anti-Semitism was not only acceptable but respectable among Christians, and throughout 2000 years of history, one could measure someone’s hatred of Jews by his piety. As one of the above historians notes, the more one loved Jesus, the more he hated Jews. While grateful that this has changed for the most part, Jews cannot forget that this is a very recent phenomenon–and one that could well be transient. So your argument is simply not compelling. Your cavalier dismissal of 2000 years of Jewish suffering serves only to further weaken it.

        As for the myth that the Sanhedrin gave up an innocent man to the Romans, your reliance on “written records” I can only assume to be the Christian scriptures, which I do not consider to be credible at all. The Talmud records no such thing. The story you might be thinking of is a Yeshu that the Sanhedrin sentenced to death for crimes not mentioned in your scripture; it says nothing of handing this Yeshu over to the Romans; furthermore, the time period of this Yeshu does not align with the time period of your Jesus; and finally, Yeshu was a common name of the time. When the Talmud mentions Jesus he is referred to as the son of Pantera. (Jews obviously do not believe that Jesus had no earthly father but an ordinary human one).

        No scholar worth his salt buys the “New Testament” narrative that Jesus was handed over to the Romans willfully and maliciously by the Sandhedrin. Rather, most scholars I have read on the subject accept the notion that the Romans arrested and killed him because they perceived him to be a threat to the empire (this was the common fate of those who proclaimed themselves the king of the Jews, Jesus being not the only one). So my rebuttal to point number two still stands: you’ve been had, my friend. It’s a lie, a vicious lie, and it’s time to reject it.

        • Shema says:

          Yes, I’m serious.

          No – I’m not pretending atrocities didn’t happen.

          I did not say Christians and Jews were always enemies, what I did say was: “These Churches and the Jews have been enemies for hundreds of years”

          I never said Christians feel the same way about Jews.

          Asking for a list of comparable atrocities Christians claim Jews inflicted on them is like asking for a list of atrocities Native Americans inflicted on the US in the last hundred years. After the Bar Kokhba revolt Jews were in no position to persecute anyone, they were to busy trying to survive.

          It would be instructive for you to read: ‘Foxes Book of Martyrs’ by John Foxe.

          “… we cannot discount the horrific behavior of his followers.” – Did you gravely misunderstand my response to your argument? You completely missed the point.

          ” Your cavalier dismissal of 2000 years of Jewish suffering serves only to further weaken it.” – (I’m starting to see an ugly pattern emerge) I didn’t dismiss anything nor was my attitude cavalier. I pointed out you are miss-assigning blame.

          “No scholar worth his salt buys the “New Testament” narrative that Jesus was handed over to the Romans willfully and maliciously by the Sandhedrin. – I assume any scholar worth his salt is a scholar who agrees with you?

          The question in the post you are responding to remains unanswered.

          • Dina says:

            Shema, I reread your comment and I see that indeed I may I have misunderstood what you’re saying about persecution. Upon rereading your words I still find them unclear, but I am content to leave it at that.

            As for my points, you haven’t rebutted them. Jesus did not change his followers lives for the better; during Christian history it was the behavior of the Jews that stood out as exemplary. So it’s a weak argument.

            The story under discussion is a myth. A vicious and dangerous one. Not really much to discuss here.

            But you wrote something that I find sinister. You asked me if I found out the story were true, would I support the decision of the Sanhedrin or would I repent of it?

            I ask you, why do you think any Jew has to repent for the actions of another Jew? Do you assign collective guilt for the death of Jesus to all Jews? Do you repent for the decisions of Torquemada? This is extremely troubling.

            Despite the frightening implications of your question, I will answer it this way. I do not support the act of causing the death of any innocent human being by anyone. Human life is sacred. Nor do I feel the need to repent of the actions of others.

          • Dina says:

            Shema,

            You have an idiosyncrasy in your writing that matches the writing of a person who has posted on this blog under two different names. In addition to this peculiarity, your writing style and voice are remarkably similar. (I notice these things because I am by trade an editor and writer.) Have you ever posted on this blog under a different name?

          • Shema says:

            Yes, you’ve misunderstood and now misunderstand my answer clarifying your first misunderstanding. Because you misunderstand you don’t realize your argument has been effectively rebutted. The reason you find something I wrote sinister is because you are reading in a traditional use of the word “repent” rather than its orginal meaning; ‘to turn away from’.

            Yes, you have good eye for writing style, although mine is fairly easy to spot; my words don’t go to paper as well as most. I’m an evolving enigma, even to my self, hopefully you won’t prejudge me and launch an attack. I appreciate this forum as it gives me the opportunity to ferret out my thoughts about the Jewish Community and Judaism by interacting with them first hand rather reading what others say. To learn the truth about anything or anyone, I’ve always found going to the source is the most beneficial way. I hope you will not consider it your personal mission to take this opportunity away from me.

            I’ve been told by a Jewish teacher that; “A Jew can learn nothing from a Christian”. I accept that statement at face value, therefore I am not here to teach you anything. In putting my ideas out there you may think; ‘he’s trying to teach’ when actually my ideas are put out there for you to challenge. As long as it is an intellectually honest challeng, I’m the one being taught, I’m the one learning. If the challenges are not intellectually honest, I learn something else. If I read, think and hypothesize my ideas in isolation, I’ll always think I’m right and that’s not right.

          • Dina says:

            Shema,

            I will leave it to the readers to decide whether I effectively neutralized your points or not. I am satisfied that I offered compelling reasons why your points cannot be well taken.

            You did not answer my question. A simple yes or no will suffice. Did you ever post comments on this blog using a different screen name?

          • Dina says:

            Shema, you are not fooling anyone when you claim you are here to learn. You made the same claim as CP, and you made the same claim as 10th man, but it is clear to everyone else if not to you that are here to preach.

            Your modus operandi is to ignore hard evidence when it is presented, instead offering unsubstantiated arguments while accusing others of doing the same. I provided many examples of this tactic of yours when I communicated with you while you were CP and 10th man.

            After you made some blatantly anti-Semitic comments, Rabbi B. asked you to apologize or leave. You did neither. You refuse to apologize, yet you keep coming back pretending to be someone else. So, yes, as long as you keep doing that, I will keep exposing you. I will always recognize you no matter what name you use.

            You can be a mensch and apologize, or you can be a mensch and stay away. Right now, you are not acting like a mensch.

  17. Concerned Reader says:

    Rabbi B, the point in my writing is to show those who do not understand the things that you understand, that Shapira is wrong on many grounds. If you state “his claim is ridiculous,” but you don’t give specific concrete examples of why his ideas are ridiculous, then it just helps him in the end.

    • Dina says:

      Connie, I was very surprised to see a native Hebrew speaker stumble over the words as he was reading the Talmud. I’m not even a native speaker (though fairly fluent) and I could do a better job just reading it. Let alone understanding the simple meaning, which clearly evaded him.

      Was it not obvious to someone who doesn’t read the language that Shapira has trouble reading?

      That could very well be! It’s easy for someone familiar with the language to see his incompetence, but just wondering if others can’t.

  18. Concerned Reader says:

    Well, he obviously does well enough selling his books among folk who dont know Hebrew that its a problem.

    The Christian world is extremely varied linguistically, (in terms of its own texts and commentaries being in many ancient or dead languages,) to the point that Christians are used to having to rely on their translators in good faith for all their information.

    If you are talking about how Shapira is using the wrong grammar, but are not showing the absurdity of his general claim vis the context, then the average Christian might well see that as a quibling argument, (the Christian thinking that his broader point stands,) while not actually grasping just how off base and impossible the claim is.

    • Eleazar says:

      And even those Christians I know who took Hebrew in college do not learn Jewish Hebrew, they learn Christian Hebrew. In other words, they learn the definitions of the words according to Christian apologists and seminarians.
      Ex: “They pierced my hands and feet” Psalm 22:16
      The Christian who learned his Hebrew at a Christian school will not even know this is a blatant mistranslation. He will believe that is what the Hebrew actually says because the teacher will claim it is the Jew who is misinterpreting the words “in that particular case”. The Christian dictionaries,concordances and interlinear Bibles all translate as “pierced my hands and feet”, instead of “like a lion”.

      • Brother Eleazar, Thank you for exposing the Christian mistranslation of Psalm 22:16!
        As you pointed out, it seems so obvious to be “like a lion” istead of “pierced.” Maybe Christians tried to interpret it as a crucifixion prophecy; however, it should be noted that only verse 18 “they part my garments to them and on my clothing they cast losts” is quoted in the NT as one of the fulfillments in crucifixion (John 19:36).
        The Gospel tells us that the Roman soldiers surrounded Yeshua like dogs; they are assembly from evildoers and enclosed his hands and feet of Yeshua on the cross like lions gather and press down the hands and feet of the prey.

        • Eleazar says:

          Yes, I am very aware of the Christian interpretation of these texts. But once again, Jesus is read into the texts, not discerned from them. As you noted, even among Christians who admit that it should read “like a lion”, they find a way to apply it to Jesus.

          But the bigger question is- why is a poem written by David about his own experiences considered a prophecy at all? Are you willing to consider ALL of David’s Psalms as messianic prophecy and admit Jesus fulfilled almost none of them? Why is it that when David wrote something that can somehow be interpreted to “point to Jesus” it is a messianic prophecy, when the context does not even support that, while 90% of David’s psalms are dismissed as prophecies by Christians for the sole fact that they DON’T “point to Jesus”?
          This is from Psalm 19: “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back your servant (or should I write it as “Your Servant”?) also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me…”

          I hope you see my point.

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