An Ambush Disguised as a Book Review
How Israel Shamir, using a platform provided by Catholic Culture Wars magazine, sought to damage the credibility of the book Judaism Discovered and its author, using lies, falsification and misrepresentation
by Michael Hoffman • Copyright ©2009
"review" of this writer's book, Judaism
Discovered, is a reckless
libel and a malicious joke on the readers of E. Michael
Jones' conservative Catholic, Culture
Wars magazine, where
it was published in the March 2009 issue.
We begin with the fact that Culture Wars readers are never allowed to know the complete title of the book, probably because giving the full title would prove too enticing. In a five page review it is never referred to as Judaism Discovered: A Study of the Anti-Biblical Religion of Racism, Self Worship, Superstition and Deceit. Only the first two words of the title are given. The price of the book is not stated, even though Mr. Shamir has my e-mail address and could have easily obtained the pricing information.
An extraordinarily dismal appraisal In his opening paragraph Mr. Shamir asserts that my book is neither "good, reliable" or "readable." A book that is supposedly so confused that it is unreadable and so incompetent that it is not reliable, is not worth examining, much less purchasing, and therefore such a book is beneath the attention of the reader. Let us see what bill of indictment Mr. Shamir offers in order to produce this extraordinarily dismal appraisal.
He declares it to be a "polemical work, almost a pamphlet." In other words, I do not give a fair hearing to my opposition. In a pamphlet, a controversialist does not quote at length from the writings of his adversary but merely subjects the adversary to vituperation. However, this is not true of Judaism Discovered, which contains hundreds of quotations from sacred rabbinic texts, some of them photographically reproduced for the first time outside the circles of the rabbis. Rabbinic statements are quoted at length and in context. Before refuting Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, I reproduce his entire column across three pages of Judaism Discovered.
Mr. Shamir writes, "Hoffman's book appears dated, despite being fresh off the press. Books such as this were written by proud Anglo-Saxon Protestants in the 19th century." This is a brazen lie. Judaism Discovered contains hundreds of pages of new data on the Talmud and cognate texts that are published for the first time in English, unless they appeared previously in recondite rabbinic publications read mainly by Judaic specialists. Moreover, other than the magisterial scholarship of Alexander McCaul, university professor of Hebrew and a Christian missionary to Judaics, I hereby challenge Mr. Shamir to name even one "Anglo-Saxon Protestant" book from the 19th century that contains information in any way comparable to Judaism Discovered. Furthermore, I am not of Anglo-Saxon descent, although what Mr. Shamir's bizarre reference to Anglo-Saxonism has to do with anything is beyond me.
My book contains unprecedented information on Judaism unavailable to any researcher of the past, with the exception of the inaugural scientific scholarship of the German linguist Johann Andreas Eisenmenger. Judaism Discovered is based in part on revelations contained in the Steinsaltz edition of the Babylonian Talmud, the first uncensored Talmud Bavli ever to appear in English. Adin Steinsaltz, the current Nasi or head of the reconstituted Sanhedrin in Tiberius, had his edition translated into English and published by Random House, beginning in 1989, not 1889. I studied the Steinsaltz edition for eight years, commencing in the year 2000. Later I founded a private Internet forum called "Khazar Books" with three other Talmud scholars, and together we devoted ourselves to sharing research and study notes mainly on the Steinsaltz Talmud. From these endeavors I was able to gain substantial -- and in my view -- pioneering dcoumentation on the Gemara that had previously been excluded from the Soncinco Talmud, the only other reasonably literate English edition.
I am the first researcher to fully employ the Steinsaltz texts as the basis of a deep investigation of the religion of Judaism. How then can my book be little more than a "dated" rehash of 19th century books on the Talmud? Or does Mr. Shamir mean to deny the significance of the Steinsaltz edition?
Most of Judaism Discovered is ignored
Mr. Shamir gives no hint that he is even aware of Steinsaltz. He doesn't even mention Steinsaltz or hundreds of other subjects which I take up for consideration in Judaism Discovered. It is obvious, at least to this writer, that Mr. Shamir hasn't even read my book in its entirety. He has perused perhaps a few hundred pages or so of my text and then proceeded to damn it on the basis of less than one-fifth of its contents. Whole sections of the book have been omitted from his critical view, including original information on the rabbinic root of anti-Black racism, the bigotry, dissimulation, homicide and anti-Christian and anti- Islamic hatred of Judaism's intellectual giant Rabbi Moses Maimonides; irrefutable proof of the nullification of vows in the Kol Nidrei rite; the larger case of the rabbinic nullification and opposition to the Bible and Biblical patriarchs; the elucidation of the force of law possessed not just by the Talmud by such post-Talmudic texts as the Shulchan Aruch and the Mishnah Berurah; the criminal code of silence (Mesirah) by which Judaic crimes are covered up; the genocidal texts of contemporary rabbis such as Yitzhak Ginsburg and Saadya Grama; the Talmud's oppressive and overwhelming misogyny; the superstition of the Kabbalah and its infiltration of Renaissance Catholicism; the history of the publication of the Talmud in Europe; the defects of the Masoretic texts; Judaism's moon worship and goddess worship; the history of rabbinic censorship and persecution of dissidents; Judaic ritual murder, the secret of Purim; Judaism and abortion; the authentic racial identity of the "Jews" today, and dozens of other topics unearthed and exposed for the first time anywhere since Eisenmenger -- information that cannot be found in the work of Pranaitis, Dilling, Douglas Reed or even the eminent Israel Shahak.
Again I ask, where is this information to be found in any previous book, much less 19th century "Anglo-Saxon" books as Mr. Shamir so preposterously claims? I would have never bothered to spend ten years researching and sixteen months writing Judaism Discovered if it did not offer a radical departure from previous books on this subject, and hundreds of pages of fresh and startling information. In the whole of my career I have never been drawn to duplication, sequels or hack writing. I pioneered the study of the bondage of whites in They Were White and They Were Slaves: The Untold Story of the Enslavement of Whites in Early America. My study of occult epistemology and symbolism, Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare is an almost entirely original work. But if Mr. Shamir is to be taken at his word, with Judaism Discovered I have broken that pattern in order to produce a "dated," derivative work that is of no redeeming value, being neither "good, reliable" or "readable." I don't know how a more severe sentence can be passed on any book. Readers of Mr. Shamir's "review" need proceed no further with his demolition. He has said enough already to discourage most readers from bothering to seriously consider purchasing Judaism Discovered ever again.
What little in my book which Mr. Shamir does concern himself with is dismissed as a "torrent of vituperation." I do not recognize this description of my book. I was careful to craft it to avoid mere polemics -- I am well aware of how self-defeating they are. I sought, rather, to create a forensic document. The subtitle of my book is Judaism Discovered - From Its Own Texts (p. 3). Toward achieving this end, I painstakingly photographically reproduced many of the rabbinic texts under consideration in English, Aramaic and Hebrew, with corresponding captions in English where necessary. These and other quotes from the rabbinic canon reproduced in the body of my text form the basis of my "discovery" of Judaism, not "a torrent of vituperation."
Mr. Shamir makes no mention of the wealth of texts photographically reproduced in my book, some of them so rare they have either never or seldom been seen before, except by specialists. Mr. Shamir is oblivious. He makes no mention of my reliance on the texts themselves to build my case. Readers of his "review" will have no idea that Judaism Discovered explores Orthodox Judaism based on the key rabbinic texts themselves -- from the Mishnah to the Mishnah Toreh -- and not upon a "torrent of vituperation" as Mr. Shamir so unjustly claims. It is this misrepresentation that becomes part of the basis of his attack. On no evidence except his imagination, he profiles me as a WASP (white Anglo- Saxon Protestant) and then builds a bigoted caricature from his phony profile. This is argumentum ad hominem, but Mr. Shamir's contempt for this writer is so strong he is not constrained and in a politically correct harangue, he launches into an irrelevant analogy between my writing and allegedly evil British missionaries to the Third World. Unfair to Paganism?
One of the main defects of Judaism Discovered, according to Mr. Shamir, is that it exhibits an unseemly demonstrativeness against Judaism and the Talmud, and paganism in particular. Mr. Shamir then endeavors to make the case for paganism. He pours scorn on this writer's characterization of the "pagan Talmud" and my description of it as "consisting of abominable wickedness, prodigious filthiness and superlative vileness." He is annoyed by this language and gives the impression that something like it appears throughout the book, when in fact I employ this description judiciously, though I will not be commissared into eschewing it altogether, since it is
accurate and, given the nature of the Talmud, an entirely appropriate insight into its extraordinary depravity. I point to the Talmud's pornography as a reflection of the rabbinic mentality itself and this deeply offends the supposedly broad-minded Shamir, in spite of the fact that among hipsters and progressives, a volume entitled The X-Rated Bible (American Atheist Press, 1985; reprinted 1998 by Feral House), was widely circulated to considerable applause, as an allegedly long overdue corrective of the Bible's undeserved reputation for moral rectitude. But when I subject the Babylonian Talmud to similar scrutiny I have committed an unpardonable faux pas in the view of Mr. Shamir. Mr. Shamir will not allow similar treatment for his people's precious Talmud or for paganism itself, for that matter.
Not only is Judaism Discovered supposed to be unfair to the rabbis of the Talmud, Mr. Shamir actually regards it as unfair to paganism, and this in a conservative Catholic magazine, no less!
I have for some time been aware from his writings that Mr. Shamir, an alleged convert from Judaism to Christianity, is an enthusiast of the Kabbalah and that his "Christianity" is of a New Age orientation, with dollops of extra-cerebral nostalgia for his native Judaism tossed into the mix.
I make no apologies for the fact that Judaism Discovered is in line with the historic, apostolic and patristic Christian opposition to paganism, and against repeated attempts by exponents of paganism to infiltrate the Church. Mr. Shamir regards such a stand as a species of grotesque southern Bible Belt fundamentalism. He argues that "some of the best literature and art was created by 'pagan heathens,' from Homer to Mahabharata." Yes, in terms of humanist aesthetics he is correct. The historic Christian attitude toward these works was that, in so far as they epitomized archetypes of human psychology, for example in the Greek and Roman myths, and the Iliad and the Odyssey with Homer's portrayal of vanity, lust and avarice, they have something valuable to teach us about human nature.
My objection to paganism has nothing to do with a Philistine bias against the classics, which for centuries formed part of the curriculum of elite Christian schools. My youngest daughter attends a conservative Christian grammar school where, along with Latin and Koine Greek, Homer and other pre-Christian epics are avidly studied, as they have been for centuries. However, together with the apostles and the early church, I am opposed to attempts to infiltrate the false gods and occult praxis of pagan theology into the Church, in contravention of the First Commandment against idolatry.
Is Mr. Shamir actually ignorant of the long struggle between the Church and the attempt to infiltrate pagan doctrines into it, for example in the struggle against gnosticism on the part of Justin Martyr and Irenaeus? We saw this attempted subversion again with the neo-Platonists and their rabbi-friendly "Christian" Kabbalah, and Recuhlin's advocacy of the "rights" of the Talmud during the Renaissance. In our own time we witness the grave disorientation exhibited by ecumenical advocates such as Mr. Shamir, who puts forth the argument that because Boccaccio and James Joyce included pornography in their secular books, there is nothing that reflects negatively on the religion of Judaism due to the fact that pornography is rampant in Judaism's sacred books.
"The Bible's hateful terms"
We are informed that Mr. Shamir has an "Australian Catholic friend" who refused to review Judaism Discovered because it is critical of Babylonian paganism and Pharaonic Egypt, and that Hoffman's jaundiced view of those "ancient civilizations" reflects "Protestant spin" and the "Bible's hateful terms." The Bible's hateful terms? What are we to make of this? The Word of God is hateful because it is opposed to Babylon, the mother of harlots (Rev. 17:4-6), and to Pharaonic tyranny? Are we supposed to accept the notion that Catholics regard the Bible as "hateful"? Are we to believe that my book is repugnant because it adopts a Biblical stance toward paganism? Are we supposed to swallow the idea that only narrow-minded Protestants uphold a Biblical standard in this regard, while Roman Catholics are rightly expected to defend the occult dictatorships of Egypt and Babylon? This is so ridiculous and so calumnious of Catholicism as to be almost a satire, yet there it is in black and white and all seriousness in a Catholic magazine.
Mr. Shamir next launches into a lecture on Comparative Religion 101 and rudimentary sex education; of both, it is supposed, I am blissfully unaware. He hectors me about my alleged ignorance of the major exponents of the traditional pagan gnosis, such as René Guenon and Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough, with the supposition being that if I were familiar with these works I would have a more humane and ecumenical attitude toward paganism. Mr. Shamir is unaware that I am the author of Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare, which takes up Frazer's themes of the scapegoat and the killing of the king and applies them to events in modern America. He thinks me too dense to have entertained Guenon's thesis. But I have read Guenon's The Reign of Quantity concerning the degeneracy of the modern era. I am in sympathy with Mr. Guenon's elucidation of the symptoms of that decay, but not with his underlying endorsement of the eternal pagan psychodrama itself. As a Christian I cannot accept it because I believe in the Bible and the God of the Bible, a belief which, to the best of my knowledge, and based on my acquaintance with Anselm, Augustine, Aquinas, Bellarmine and Suarez, leads me to imagine that such belief is incumbent on all Christians, not just Protestants. The ecumenical Mr. Shamir considers that such a conviction disqualifies my claim to expertise in the field of Judaism.
Lies and more lies
His next point is that I am such a prude that words like "phallus" and "vagina" cause me to react "like a schoolgirl...Sexual union should not be mentioned at all, in his (Hoffman's) view."
We are beginning to encounter a stream of lies which Mr. Shamir relies upon to diminish Judaism Discovered and its author. There is no evidence for his claim, in my book or anywhere else. I have never said that sexual union should never be mentioned. I am the father of ten children and know a little bit about what goes on in a bedroom. I was raised on the mean streets of New York where fornication, adultery, bloodshed and the panoply of the human condition were exhibited in their rawest form. Sexuality, when confined to the precincts God has established for it in matrimony, is a joy. But this is a far cry from the psychopathic sexualis promoted by the rabbis in their "holy books." My objection is to the rabbinic perversion of the divine gift of marital union. Nowhere in Judaism Discovered will anyone adduce any evidence to the contrary, and in this -- and all instances of Mr. Shamir's brazen lying -- I dare him to produce the context for any statement of mine which he thinks will prove otherwise.
Mr. Shamir's next lie: "The word heathen is used throughout the book as a label of moral deprivation and degradation," implying that this writer is the one who is using the term "throughout" the book. Actually the word heathen occurs only nineteen times out of 388,457 words in 1100 pages. On p. 163 I quote the Pharisee Hillel using it. On p. 330 I note that the Soncino Talmud uses the word heathen as a euphemism for goyim. On p. 376, in the course of decoding the rabbinic abbreviation for a gentile woman, "NSHGZ" (Niddah, Shifchah, Goyyah, Zonah), I note the use of the word heathen for the third Talmudic imprecation. On p. 438 I quote Rabbi Shimon ben Yohai as advocating the mass murder of even the best of the gentiles, rendered in the Soncino translation as "the best of the heathens." On p. 534 I quote the words of Babylonian Talmud tractate Berakhot 58b, regarding cursing the homes of gentiles, this curse begins, "On seeing the houses of the heathens..." On p. 535 I again reference the Gemara quote containing the word heathen. On p. 614 the word heathen is quoted from Maimonides's use of it in YadHaChazakah. On p. 664 I cite Prof. Shahak who notes that "heathen" is a rabbinic disguise word for gentile. On p. 801 I quote James Glasgow's use of the word heathen in relation to Matthew 18:17. On pp. 895-897 the word heathen appears in rabbinic texts as quoted (disapprovingly) by Dr. Alexander McCaul. On p. 900 the word is used one final time, quoted from the prophet Zechariah. In 17 of the total of 19 instances in which the word heathen appears in Judaism Discovered, I use it as part of my own writing only twice (on pp. 226 and 268). In 16 of the other 17 instances it used by the rabbis to insult a gentile. Mr. Shamir gives the impression that as part of my supposed "Little Rock attorney" redneck bigotry, I toss the word heathen as a derogatory epithet "throughout" my book. Consequently, because of my supposed hurling of the "heathen" epithet hither and yon in the pages of Judaism Discovered, Mr. Shamir states, "I doubt that this book can be read outside of the Bible belt, where such language and attitudes are still considered valid." In truth, it is the rabbis who repeatedly resort to this word heathen in their books. Mr. Shamir's problem is with them, not with me, but in his rush to nail this writer for the slightest breach of his dainty ecumenical sensibilities, I am the one who is made to bear the contumely for that which the rabbis of Judaism are actually culpable. It's a neat trick.
Mr. Shamir defends Judaism against my charge that one means of discerning its superstitious and occult character is by discovery of the fact that it teaches the doctrine of reincarnation. Even though the Bible decrees that we die only once and after that the judgment (Hebrews 9:27), Mr. Shamir mocks my wielding of reincarnation as evidence of Pharisaic Judaism's pagan roots, since, after all, reincarnation is taught by Buddhism and Hinduism!
In addition to the numerous supposed defects in my writing itself, Mr. Shamir regards my book as physically defective: it is "unreadable," an "amateur product," "some pages are left blank," "the printers did a poor job."
"Some pages are left blank"? There is not a single blank page in the 1102 pages of Judaism Discovered. There is a blank page at the end of the book and this is unavoidable because books are printed in signatures, and in the case of our book, the printer's signatures totaled 1104 pages. Readers who consult the volumes in their own book collection will see the many books with blank pages at the back, for the reason I have given. It could be that Mr. Shamir has received the only known copy of Judaism Discovered with a defective text block containing blank pages in the middle of the book, in which case he should have been able to determine by the missing pagination that this was an error unique to his copy. If this was the case he could have asked for a replacement free of charge rather than proceeding to irresponsibly condemn the entire print run as defective. Mr. Shamir is really grasping at straws. His suggestion that the book is poorly printed is potentially an effective means of limiting its sales.
When he writes that our printer did a "poor job" it implies that the book has a defective binding. This insinuation will curb its sales, since not even a curiosity seeker or collector will want to buy a book in poor condition. In fact, Judaism Discovered is a signature-sewn hardcover and virtually indestructible. Mr. Shamir can quibble about how the book is typeset -- we don't have a staff of professional typesetters -- but the printer -- a company that also prints books for major publishing houses and university presses -- did a quality job and to suggest otherwise is another reprehensible lie.
The Talmud: merely outdated trivia
His next criticism centers on sexuality and prudery. Orthodox Judaism, represented in the media and academia as the joyful antidote to "Puritanism" and "morbid Catholicism," in actuality regulates all human functions, whether related to sex or the elimination of bodily waste, with the monomania of a demented clockwork universe. In defense of Judaism, Mr. Shamir perpetuates the Hollywood cliché wherein the life-denying Christian prude is contrasted with the earthy, frankly sexual, Judaic man: "The prude Hoffman is horrified by many rules of the Talmud which prescribe certain behavior in the bathroom and the bedroom. He takes it too personally, Hoffman does...it could be an entertaining tidbit -- whether the rabbis...compare the color of menstrual blood to that of squashed lice...One may be fascinated by or disregard such sixth century trivia, written 1400 years ago in Iraq..."
This defense is the one most commonly offered by liberal adherents of Judaism, that the rabbinic texts are no longer in force, they are an antique curiosity, a "trivial" vestige of a bygone age whose precepts Judaics have rejected for hundreds of years. This claim is demonstrably false. Judaism Discovered is a study of Orthodox Judaism. The thousands of rabbinic rules on how to urinate, defecate, hide under the bed while someone else is having coitus in it, superstitious rituals necessary to evade pursuit by the "demon of the toilet," etc. ad nauseum, are all as current as today's Daf Yomi and yeshiva instruction. The publication of specific and voluminous details of previously obscure rabbinic laws on sex and human waste are important on anthropological grounds alone.
Furthermore, they are necessary as an exposition of the rabbinic mentality, which, as it has grown in influence, spreading throughout western culture, manifests in the latrine obsessions of Steven Spielberg's movie "Schindler's List," and lately to the growing depiction of toilets and people using toilets in mainstream movies and even television commercials, and the low tenor of our entertainment generally. Psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, in treating his mostly Judaic clientele in Vienna, studied their numerous obsessions with defecation, urination, sewers and toilets.
Apparently because this mental illness repels me, Mr. Shamir mocks me as some sort of uptight killjoy. If Mr. Shamir finds joy in toilet obsessions he is welcome to them; a healthy Christian society does not and never has. What is to be said about a religion that regulates these matters, not with simple rules of sensible hygiene, such as the Old Testament exhibits, but with thousands upon thousands of strictures, regulations, laws, rules and codes, guaranteed to produce precisely the neurosis and psychosis we observe in Orthodox Judaic populations, with their historically high incidence of mental illness.
Judaism's hatred of women ignored
This is most tragically the case in what Judaism has done to menstruation, turning its onset and aftermath into an anxiety-producing crisis in which the slightest violation of the endless laws governing it, results in a curse on the offending parents or their innocent children. According to the rabbinic Halachos (laws) of Niddah (menstruation), parents can be cursed with sudden death or their children born disabled or deformed, if either parent violates the laws on menstruation, although the responsibility is borne chiefly by the Judaic woman. Judaism's hatred of women, which I study at some length and which Mr. Shamir ignores, is at the root of the labyrinthine acrobatics and nervous scrupulosity with which every single menstrual rule, however small and seemingly inconsequential, must be upheld.
There is nothing in the strictest traditional Catholicism or the most fanatical Puritan Protestantism to compare with what is inflicted on women in Orthodox Judaism.
Along with this grievous burden, we have the spectacle of the blood-obsessed rabbis pouring over Judaic women's underpants in search of microscopic flecks of what could be blood -- but might be only lint -- along with myriad analyses, discussions, statutes, substatues and case law -- all focused on when her menstrual period has actually ended, and whether her mikvah (ritual bath) that marks the conclusion of the menstrual time of separation, was valid or not. The heartbreak, anguish and insanity which this binding with heavy burdens (Matthew 23:4) imposes on Judaic women is one of the cruelest acts of institutionalized misogyny in the annals of the hatred of women.
One would think that here at last, Mr. Shamir, so quick to deride and denounce Anglo-Saxon Christianity for its illiberal foibles, would find a cause to warm his progressive heart. Not so. He writes: "(Hoffman) reports at length the Jewish customs of niddah, menstruation impurity and appears to be shocked. I am sure that any modern book of advices to menstruating women can be made shocking, but these are instructions for internal use." Mr. Shamir's response requires very little comment. It is a whitewash, predicated on his now tiresome habit of resorting to playing this writer for, once again, a prig. There is nothing shocking about the Halachos of Niddah to Mr. Shamir. Similar "advices" will be found in any modern book. Really, Mr. Shamir? Where in Christendom will we find books similar to the rabbinic menstrual laws, which, by the way, are not "advice," but commands backed by harsh penalties and lethal curses? Mr. Shamir dismisses the whole subject with the lame excuse that it is an "internal" matter.
Rabbinic lies excused as "folklore"
One of the areas I devoted my research energies to with the greatest intensity and scrutiny is in demonstrating that Judaism is a religion of deceit, and that lying is imparted and institutionalized in Judaism. I approached this at two levels: the discovery and citation of outrageous lies in rabbinic texts, such as the Talmud and Midrash, and second, in the discovery of the actual case law governing the religious permission and in some cases the mandate, to lie. This is a somewhat more difficult subject matter for Mr. Shamir to defend since the evidence of rabbinic lying is to some degree evident in gentile culture, and remarked upon by Judaics themselves in commenting on the dishonest business practices of many Hasidic Judaics.
How will Mr. Shamir craft a defense of the rabbis in this instance? His trick here is to make the reader believe that in the case of lies and outrageous exaggeration in Judaism, that these occur in Judaic "folklore." So that, for example, the account in the Babylonian Talmud in t r a c t a t e Shabbath 1 4 9 b , i n which King Nebuchadnezzar sodomizes all the chiefs of the tribe of Judah with his phallus, which, the Talmud informs us, was three hundred cubits long (150 yards), becomes for Mr. Shamir, "an entertaining item of Jewish folklore" which he equates with the story of "Jack and the Beanstalk." But Mr. Shamir is lying. This account of Nebuchadnezzar is not found in Judaic folklore. Moreover, to the best of my knowledge no one ever based a religion on Grimm's fairy tales. This account of Nebuchadnezzar is not from the Aggadah, the book of rabbinic folklore, but rather from the Talmud itself, the source of rabbinic law. Why does Mr. Shamir falsify the source of this story by saying it comes from folklore? Because only in this way can he defuse my charge that the Talmud, one of the prime sources of rabbinic law, is riddled with lies and that those who immerse themselves in it imbibe a culture of lies. Mr. Shamir claims that after recounting the Talmud's depiction of Nebuchadnezzar, "Hoffman goes into hysterics..." Here is what I actually wrote after recounting the Talmud's depiction of Nebuchadnezzar: "The wildly exaggerated size of Nebuchadnezzar's sexual organ is typical of the hyperbole that afflicts the rabbinic mentality" (p. 753). Where are the "hysterics"? Mr. Shamir has retailed another lie. He thinks it is a mark against me that I describe the fixture of the rabbinic imagination known as Metatron -- a million-mile tall angel -- as symptomatic of Judaism's "unconscionable hyperbole and incessant lying." It pains him that I do not have a sense of humor about the mentality that spins these lies within the corpus of the sacred rabbinic texts. It's true. I don't find these lies humorous.
This is what I wrote in Judaism Discovered, after inventorying a whole slew of rabbinic lies (the stories about Nebuchadnezzar and Metatron being merely two among many): "unconscionable hyperbole and incessant lying are threaded throughout the pages of the Talmud, Midrash, Aggadah and Kabbalah to such a degree that the student piously immersed within their pages cannot help but inculcate the same attitudes within himself" (p. 760). While I enjoy fairy stories and "Jack tales" as much as the next person, it goes without saying that these often funny, diverting and occasionally clever bits of survivor lore, are only enjoyable and useful when there are clearly demarcated as just that, folklore. The idea that fanciful tall tales should be shrugged off when they appear in texts attributed to God, makes God a liar. Jesus was exceedingly precise in his language and commanded us to be absolutely certain that our communications keep to a clear and simple "yes" or "no." Whatever is more than this is derived from evil (Matthew 5:37). Mr. Shamir is so confused he can't see the importance of distinguishing the difference. For him, the lies and deceit in the sacred rabbinic texts are little more than a joke and whoever doesn't appreciate them as such is a nebbish, a nerd.
But as I point out in my book and Mr. Shamir omits, many fantastic and wildly exaggerated WWII "Holocaust" tales powerfully resonate with their Talmudic and Midrashic antecedents. The German people have been victimized by Judaic "eyewitnesses" who the Judaic social scientist Samuel Gringauz termed, "full of preposterous verbosity...exaggeration...overestimated self-inflation, unchecked rumors..." (p. 753). The roots of this mentality in the sacred texts of Judaism is not so much the laughing matter which Mr. Shamir makes it out to be. Deceitfully excluding my central argument The further we go into Mr. Shamir's review the more he attempts to falsify the contents of my book. In the introductory pages of Judaism Discovered I delve into Judaism's centuries-old warning against gentiles studying the Talmud, the penalty for which is death. I also anticipate an objection: I consider the fact that in modern times this has been derogated, since thousands of gentiles do study the Talmud now, sometimes even under rabbinic auspices. How to reconcile the disparity? Using Babylonian Talmud tractate Sanhedrin 59a and subsequent rabbinic rulings, I demonstrate the basis for the loophole: it is not gentiles per se who are banned from access to the Talmud on the basis of race alone, but rather it is those who are opponents of Judaism and use their knowledge of the (formerly) oral law to expose it to the world, as in fact Jesus was the first to do -- these are the ones who are liable for capital punishment (pp. 24-25). Mr. Shamir transforms the preceding careful exegesis into the following farrago: "He (Hoffman) jumps to baseless conclusions, too fast and too often. For instance, he quotes the Talmud's R. Johanan: "a gentile who studies the Law deserves the death penalty" and he jumps to a strange conclusion: 'Jesus Christ...had no right to study the Law and He paid for His study with his life.' But Jesus was not a gentile; he was a rightful descendant of King David and of other great kings. He was certainly entitled to study the Law..." Mr. Shamir omitted the loophole I discovered in Steinsaltz, that allows gentiles to study the oral law (known as the Torah shebeal peh which was committed to writing as the Mishnah), if they were not using it to expose Judaism. This explains why Jesus, in spite of his exalted patrimony, may have been killed in part, because he was an opponent of the Mishnah who had studied it as it existed in its oral form in His time. Through a process of deceitfully excluding my central argument, Mr. Shamir is able to make me look like I don't know what I'm talking about -- that I don't have even a basic grasp of the halachic issues involved.
"Casuistry is hardly the monopoly of Jews"
He goes on to concede that I "notice" (not that I have discovered) the "Talmudic passion for casuist tricks and dissembling with 'escape clauses." How can he defend Judaism in this instance, since he concedes some of my documentation? He does so by relativizing the documentation with that old juvenile alibi -- everyone's doing it: "Perversion of God's word? Sure, but such casuistry is hardly the monopoly of Jews. In Homer's Odyssey we learn that Hermes taught Autolykos, Ulysses' maternal grandfather, to 'cajole any man alive on his bodily oath."
Two questions for Mr. Shamir. First: where in my 1100 pages of writing do I state that Judaics have a monopoly on casuistry? Please cite the page. He can't because I never do so. He is arguing with a straw man.
Second: how many people in our time have been defrauded, swindled or deceived by Greeks who regard the Odyssey as a sacred religious text and act according to its counsel? To compare counsel given by a character in a work of Homeric literature with formal religious permission and admonition to lie, cheat and steal, as found in Judaism's authoritative Gemara, the foundation of the code of behavior that governs the lives of Orthodox Judaics, is pure chutzpah.
In considering the various loopholes and escape clauses that permit homosexual sex and the molestation of children in Judaism, Mr. Shamir portrays me as an unbalanced hothead whose objectivity is ruined by passion and bias: "Hoffman's understanding of Jewish law pertaining to sexual intercourse is obscured by his desire to convict." I have no desire to convict the innocent. To do so would be to share in the evil of the Sanhedrin who convicted the innocent Christ on the basis of false witness. We are commanded not to bear false witness and I have endeavored to the best of my ability, by the grace of God, to faithfully uphold that obligation. It is not only Christian ethics that impel me. My book's credibility would be harmed and its ability to persuade the unconvinced severely curtailed were I not careful to be honest and objective in my forensic investigation of Judaism. I set out to write a fair-minded, scientific work using Judaism's own texts to plumb the depths of its hidden reality. As I stated on pp. 37-38, I attempted to find anything good about Judaism and I offered recognition for the two positive characteristics I did find. Mr. Shamir will have none of it. In vintage rabbinic fashion he builds a fantasy case against this writer and will not allow facts to dissuade him.
Child molestation: Making the case for rabbinic innocence
Unfortunately for Mr. Shamir, he has a tough time in making the case for rabbinic innocence in the matter of child molestation and homosexual practices. He foolishly calls the Talmudic law concerning children "Hebrew law." I don't know what he means by that. Does he mean to denote that it is Old Testament law? It is not. Does he mean to say it was written in Hebrew? Most of the Talmud was written in Aramaic, and a middle Hebrew jargon. Since he passes judgment on my book as wanting in expertise in this field, he must be the one who is the expert, since he has set himself up as a judge. Begging the expert's pardon, I don't see anywhere in "Hebrew law" where molesting an eight year old boy is permissible, or even explained away or excused. I do find it in the Talmud, however.
Following my research lead, Mr. Shamir writes, "if an eight year old boy 'has sex' with a woman it is not considered sexual relations." Mr. Shamir then proceeds to list the "benefits" of this supposedly wise Talmudic law: the woman is not forced to marry the boy, she is not jailed, her marriage prospects are not diminished and the boy is not killed. So you see, this law benevolently frees both the victim and the perpetrator from penalties and punishment.
However, this is not so benevolent when we consider that the woman is free to molest the boy again or, even worse -- and Mr. Shamir had to leave this fact out or it would destroy his argument -- as I demonstrate in Judaism Discovered the boy's own mother can molest him without fear of liability (pp. 424-425). Mr. Shamir has no problem with this, or with the fact that since the rabbis have ruled that sex with a boy under the age of nine is not sex, he can also be homosexually molested, since it's not sex.
That Mr. Shamir claims to be a convert to Christianity and at the same time defends this evil is almost beyond belief. Mr. Shamir declares that "Judaism is quite strict regarding sodomy, and the preferred cure of it is the death penalty." This is a lie. The rabbis, with their penchant for nullification of the law, create an escape clause wherein permission for homosexual intercourse is granted under the concept of accidental homosexuality. Hence, a great deal of the homosexual intercourse that transpires between frum (Talmudically faithful) Judaic males is ruled "accidental." How something that would seem to be as difficult and as necessarily intentional as anal intercourse could be classed as an accident, only an Orthodox rabbi could explain. In Babylonian Talmud tractate BT Sanhedrin 54b (photographically reproduced on p. 676 of Judaism Discovered; also see p. 423), we learn that, "If someone unwittingly perpetrated sodomy upon a man" or "allowed himself to be sodomized by a man"..."the offender is liable for one sin offering." No death penalty, no imprisonment or whipping, just "one sin offering."
Let us consider how broad is this loophole in the lawyerly minds of the rabbis: -- "unwittingly perpetrated sodomy" -- this constitutes leeway for numerous exculpatory alibis: "I was drunk." "I didn't intend to do it." "We were just playing around." The degradation from the self-deceit emanating from the loophole is almost as morally destructive as the homosexual act it engenders.
Judaism has an infinite capacity for self-delusion and Israel Shamir, as someone still not completely free of that tradition, is no exception.
Next, he proceeds to challenge the accuracy of my citation of Rabbi Illai's dictum in Babylonian Talmud tractate Moed Kattan 17a: "Hoffman tries to pervert the meaning of R. Illai's dictum...Hoffman mistranslates the temptation of the flesh as the 'desire to do evil." This is quite a serious charge: perverting the statements of rabbis and falsifying one of their texts by mistranslating it. If he's correct, it should be a simple matter to prove his charge, since Rabbi Illai's statement is photographically reproduced on p. 358, accompanied by a brief translation of the text, and reprinted again on p. 1021 with a complete translation. Mr. Shamir interprets this text to mean that a rabbi is telling an unmarried man who can't contain himself any longer to sneak off to a city where he is not known and have the illicit sex he needs in that distant place. This would be bad enough, of course, if this was what the passage actually said. But in fact, Mr. Shamir's spin is nowhere to be found in the original statement of Rabbi Illa'i in Moed Kattan 17: "Rabbi Illa'i said: If a person is tempted to do evil he should go to a city where he is not known, dress in black clothes, cover his head in black and do what his heart desires so that God's name will not be desecrated."
That's how the passage reads. I haven't falsified it. It is not limited to sexual sin, as Mr. Shamir imagines, and on the basis of his imagination he irresponsibly makes the libelous charge that I have falsified this text. The text says what I have said it says. It is reproduced in my book for all the world to see. It is damning evidence of the intrinsic evil of Judaism, which counsels Judaics who are desirous of doing evil to go ahead and do it -- but don't get caught -- donning a disguise and going to a place where one's identity will not be found out, and perpetrating whatever evil there one desires. It is dishonest and unscrupulous of Mr. Shamir to falsify this Talmud tractate and then put the onus for falsification on this writer.
Defending Talmudic circumcision
Mr. Shamir defends the rabbinic custom of performing fellatio on baby boys during the circumcision act. He says that I am too prudish to use candid language to describe sexual acts, but in this instance, observe how reticent he becomes when describing what happens during a traditional rabbinic circumcision rite (based on the Talmud, not the Bible). He calls it, "sucking off blood during the operation..." Sucking blood off of where, Mr. Shamir? He doesn't tell us. In truth, the sucking is done by the mohel (circumciser) on the pitiful little boy's penis. But Mr. Shamir is too timid to give us the gory details, lest his favored religion be indicted, so he snips off part of the description.
He sees nothing untoward in this rite: "no fair or sane man would agree with Hoffman's molestation charge." Hence, I am by implication insane for regarding Talmudic circumcision and the fellatio involved as child molestation.
The last page of his review descends into scattershot criticism, fantasies and denunciations, some of them bordering on the hallucinatory. Mr. Shamir writes, "The ancestors of Hoffman killed off millions of Native Americans without Jewish advice..." Actually, my ancestors were humble Italian immigrants who worked in shoe factories, sold insurance and eventually bought a grocery store and then a hotel; my German immigrant ancestors were hard-working farmers, mechanics and inventors from the Palatine region. Needless to say, there were no killers of "millions" of Native Americans among them.
In Culture Wars Mr. Shamir muses that it might be better to be a Palestinian under Israeli rule than a Patagonian under Spanish Catholic rule. After all, Mr. Shamir observes, there are no Patagonians left. In other words, whereas the Catholics exterminated Indians, the Israelis have yet to do the same to the Palestinians. As if, were it not for the video cameras, Internet blogs and the armies of Hezbollah and Hamas, the kindly Israelis would not have massacred or extruded the Palestinians long ago. Somehow Mr. Shamir imagines that there is some moral equivalence between Spanish Catholics and Israeli Zionists, with the latter being slightly superior.
Latest developments in the "Jesus in the Talmud" debate ignored
In the closing paragraphs of his writing, Mr. Shamir returns to his refrain that my book is instantly obsolete, containing little that is new: "His treatment of mention of Christ in the Talmud is quite reasonable, though not new. Indeed, the Talmud --and other Judaic books --contain anti-Christian passages and this is universally known."
Mr. Shamir is wading into deep waters, has no idea what he's writing about, but fires off his musket anyway, hoping to somehow hit me by scattershot. I don't just "mention" Jesus in the Talmud. I expend almost forty pages deconstructing the literature of denial concerning Jesus in the Talmud, some of it quite sophisticated. Mr. Shamir is ignorant of new developments in this field: until very recently, contrary to what he has guessed, the scholarship seemed to weigh in favor of the rabbinic insistence that Jesus was not in the Talmud, largely on the strength of a formidable 1978 book by Johann Maier, Jesus von Nazareth in der talmudischen Überlieferung. Mr. Maier's book led to the training of a generation of seminary students of the mainline churches in North America and Europe in the belief that Jesus was not in the Talmud. A few years ago the research staff of the ADL issued a study embellishing Maier's argument. The debate was not settled until two years ago, with the publication of the brilliant linguistic analysis of Peter Schäfer.
In Judaism Discovered, I make the case for Jesus in the Talmud by dint of my own research and the discoveries of Prof. Schäfer. Mr. Shamir seems to know little and care less about these breakthrough developments. I seriously doubt that he read my entire section on it. It's obviously boring to him, yet he poses as an expert and damns my work as "nothing new."
He then sleepily stumbles onward, offering another thoughtless generalization -- that the Talmud and other rabbinic texts contain anti-Christian passages and that this is universally known. Everyone knows this? What planet is Mr. Shamir on? How many people are aware of a relentless anti-Christian invective in the Talmud? But even if almost everyone was aware of it, what would be the significance of the statement? Mr. Shamir seems to be implying -- who cares, if you've seen one anti-Christian statement in the Talmud you've seen 'em all.
New Maimonides research ignored
Not quite. It's like saying the North won the Civil War, so who cares about which battles and why. The precise nature and scope of the anti-Christian polemic in the Talmud represents critical intelligence for understanding the religion of Judaism, the prospects for Judeo-Christian ecumenism, the wars of the Middle East and the infiltration of Christianity by rabbinic agents. For example, Moses Maimonides continues to be lauded as the rabbi most admired by western scholars, beginning with Thomas Aquinas. Maimonides is extolled in gentile society as a benign rabbi, a magnificent genius, and so on. Rabbi Maimonides' numerous injunctions to murder Christians and his specific halacha establishing the boundary lines of permissible murder of Christians and how those deaths should be achieved, are, contrary to Mr. Shamir, almost universally unknown, as is Maimonides' categorization of black people as sub-human. These facts are established in my book. In Judaism Discovered I study Maimonides from both vantages, with full documentation.
Mr. Shamir wants readers of his "review" to believe this is all just an old story, a bunch of Talmud quotes, even though many of them have never been published before in English, outside of rabbinic networks. This is the propaganda he relentlessly pushes about my book: Judaism Discovered contains nothing new. The reader does not need to obtain it in order to advance his knowledge of Judaism. The other line he promotes is that of being a judge of my learning. He declares : "Hoffman's ...knowledge is limited."
He makes this claim based on the fight I picked with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who he terms "a slick and tricky media rabbi." He implies I lost the fight. Boteach was too much for me he suggests. It's my opinion that Rabbi Boteach was exposed and trounced. The evidence pro or contra is on pp. 117-125 of my book. I will leave it to the reader to decide.
Okay to degrade Hoffman but not Judaism
While admonishing me to calm down and use less forceful language, Mr. Shamir marshals a quote from Mark Twain in order to call me a writer who is "saturated with infamy and reeking with falsehood." But don't let Hoffman even so much as dare to term Judaism or its rabbis "nonsensical," or Mr. Shamir will lecture with righteous indignation on the need to observe the rules of etiquette. Hoffman is beneath contempt, however, and can be insulted with impunity. The rabbis meanwhile, deserve some decorum and Hoffman fails miserably in properly reverencing them.
A Tribute to a Kabbalist
Mr. Shamir concludes with a tribute to the Renaissance scholars who believed in the gnosis of Hermes Trismegistus, a false god of Egyptian provenance sacred to assorted occultists, Rosicrucians and Freemasons, including the Renaissance Kabbalist Giordano Bruno, whose reputation Mr. Shamir seeks to burnish.
Guilt by Association
Mr. Shamir's evaluation is not a review, it's an ambush. Nevertheless, editor E. Michael Jones chose to showcase it in the pages of his Culture Wars magazine. To make matters worse, the editor chose to insert into the "review" a crude cartoon by the Nazi "Jew"-hater Julius Streicher. The cartoon shows Judaic people with stereotypical physiognomies, studying the Talmud. Nowhere in the many dozens of illustrations that are included in my book will anyone find a cartoon of any kind. As noted, most of the book's illustrations are reproductions of rabbinic texts, but not one of those was chosen to accompany the article in Culture Wars. Instead, a disgusting cartoon by a person I describe on p. 559 of Judaism Discovered as "the odious Julius Streicher" is inserted into the "review." Using guilt-by-association techniques, Culture Wars gratuitously associates me with Streicher.
Serving the Cryptocracy
After I completed Judaism Discovered and it was published late last summer, it seemed likely that the Cryptocracy would attempt to suppress the book and retaliate against its author. As it turned out, two attacks were launched in 2008. The first was the Amazon embargo in August, which remains in effect. The second disrupted our operations for eight weeks last Autumn. Now in March, 2009 Mr. Shamir and Dr. Jones have collaborated in the latest attack, and it's a potent one. Many readers would be unlikely to believe a Judaic's charges against the book unless he was anti- Zionist. Mr. Shamir's credentials are further enhanced by the fact that his attack was published by a Catholic magazine known for criticism of Judaism. It's a brilliant combination. Since Mr. Shamir was also clever enough to concede a few of my points, his attack is far more effective than a full-bore assault by the ADL, since his appears more nuanced and therefore more credible.
Israel Shamir has maliciously sought to destroy my life's work and my reputation. It is likely that, together with the ongoing Amazon boycott, his lies will curtail sales sufficiently to prevent us from raising the large sum necessary for a third printing, and Judaism Discovered: A Study of the Anti-Biblical Religion of Racism, Self Worship, Superstition and Deceit will go out of print. This is surely what the Cryptocracy desires and it is the Catholic magazine Culture Wars -- not the American Jewish Committee or the ADL -- that will have the distinction of having achieved this objective.
While Judaism Discovered has been discussed on a couple of Internet radio shows, reviewed on a few websites, and mentioned in Christian News by Rev. Herman Otten, the publication in Culture Wars is the first time it has ever been "reviewed" in print. A great deal was at stake in the Culture Wars piece. Even prior to Mr. Shamir's salvo, the traditional Catholic Angelus Press of Kansas City, Missouri declined to distribute the book. The Remnant and Catholic Family News are on record refusing to accept advertisements for it. It's a very marginalized title that is exceedingly expensive to reprint and mostly unknown seven months after its publication.
Not every Catholic follows this pattern of obstruction, however. I recently received the following assessment from Catholic Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais of Switzerland: "Judaism Discovered is a mine of information about true Judaism, i.e. Talmudic Judaism. I am astonished by the quality and the abundance of your documentation. Your many quotations of the Talmud and rabbis constitute indestructible argumentation for the anti-Christian enterprise of Judaism, and also the compromises of the governments and the Catholic Church with Judaism."
At most, probably only a few dozen Culture Wars subscribers will ever read Bishop Mallerais' statement contained in this rebuttal; while hundreds, if not thousands of people will read Mr. Shamir's judgment. Using prevarication and misrepresentation, Mr. Shamir ambushed an 1100 page dossier that makes the strongest and most effective case against Judaism since Dr. Eisenmenger. But that's a minority opinion. From henceforth it seems that the majority may hold the book in ill repute. On March 20 I received an e-mail from someone who had previously befriended me and promoted Judaism Discovered. Here is what this person wrote:
"I do receive Culture Wars. I did read the review, and I admit that it created doubts in my mind about your book and your scholarship, enough, perhaps to make me refrain from recommending it further (according to the maxim, when in doubt, abstain)...." -A.S.
Shamir's Rejoinder to Hoffman's Rebuttal
March 28, 2009 Subject: Hoffman review
Dear Ed, dear everybody, Sine Ira There are a few ways to deal with new books. One of them is to ask somebody knowledgeable to review it. Such a review is not supposed to be the last judgment, but a part of discourse. I offered you, Mike (Jones) and other readers my view of Mr Hoffman's book. I am not a judge, not even a publisher. You may produce your own review of the book, favourable or not. I do object to what appears to me an attempt of intimidation, transparent in your, and even more in Hoffman's letter. I was in a difficult position while writing the review. I have had every sympathy to Hoffman's endevour, vis. to delve into the Talmud and show it to the reader. I liked the idea of the job being done by a non-Jew. Hoffman is a staunch supporter of Palestinians, so I was biased in his favor. But I also felt responsible towards the reader of the Culture Wars. One is warned against misleading, and that is why I told you and the readers what I actually think about Hoffman's book, warts and all. Moreover, the commandment "Rebuke your neighbour frankly so you will not share in his guilt" (Lev 19:17), stands next to "Love your neighbor". Sages love criticism for as long as there is criticism in the world, pleasantness comes to the world, good and blessing come to the world, and evil is removed from the world (Tamid 28A).
I was as soft and as polite as I could. I hoped he would be able to learn from my critique. But Hoffman is not a wise man for it is said: Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. (Proverbs 9:8) Mr Hoffman is an ignoramus. He does not know what he writes about. I'll provide you with one example. Hoffman writes, in his polite way (p. 8): "But Mr. Shamir is lying. This account of Nebuchadnezzar is not found in Judaic folklore. Moreover, to the best of my knowledge no one ever based a religion on Grimm's fairy tales. This account of Nebuchadnezzar is not from the Aggadah, the book of rabbinic folklore, but rather from the Talmud itself, the source of rabbinic law." This sentence implies that there is "the Aggadah, the book of rabbinic folklore", on one hand, and "the Talmud itself, the source of rabbinic law", on the other hand. Now, it is rubbish. The Aggadah is not a separate book but a layer of Talmud, a part and parcel of Talmudic text. The man who does not know that should not write books about the Talmud. He should go and study first. He does not know what "the Hebrew Law" is - he thinks it means the law written in Hebrew. He has no Hebrew or Aramaic. He can "photographically reproduce", but he can't read, otherwise he would know there is no "unwittingly" in Sanhedrin 54b. He claims he provided "original information on the rabbinic root of anti-Black racism, the bigotry, dissimulation, homicide and anti-Christian and anti- Islamic hatred of Judaism's intellectual giant Rabbi Moses Maimonides", but it was well provided by Dr Shahak years ago in his slim book. Moreover, an Israeli site www.daatemet.co.il contains practically everything Hoffman gathered minus his vituperation. One can continue this list ad infinitum, but I hope it will suffice. However, we live in relatively free countries, and one may have different views even about Hoffman. Yours, Israel Adam Shamir
Hoffman’s Reply to Israel Shamir's rejoinder to Hoffman's rebuttal
On Mar 28, 2009 Israel Shamir wrote: "The Aggadah is not a separate book but a layer of Talmud, a part and parcel of Talmudic text. The man who does not know that should not write books about the Talmud. He should go and study first. Hoffman replies: This is simply not true. It's a lie and an obtuse one at that. The Mishnah and Gemara (Talmud) are never published together with the Aggadah. They are separate books. The Aggadah may contain portions of the non-legal writings of the Gemara, together with all sorts of legends from other sources such as the Midrash, but to claim that the Aggadah is the Talmud is beneath contempt. If I extract Solomon's erotic poem from the Bible (the Canticle of Canticles) and mix it together with apocryphal literature and books and stories rejected by the early dogmatic councils of the Church, would it be fair to call such a book a "Bible text?"
Mr. Shamir is employing a lawyer's loophole to try and claim that the Aggadah is "part and parcel" of the Talmudic text. Is the Midrash the Talmud, Mr. Shamir? Perhaps it is he who should "go and study first" before trying to make his claim. Mr. Shamir does not answer any of my other refutations -- about him not having read most of my book but daring to review it nonetheless, or on the laws of Niddah, Judaism's misogyny or Jesus in the Talmud; on who is forbidden to read the Talmud and on what basis; or his defense of child molestation and circumcision, or his folderol about paganism and his foolish accusation alleging the use of the word heathen "throughout" my book; or his lie that I mistranslated Moed Kattan 17a.
He skips over all of this in his rejoinder to Edgar S. because he can't answer, except by bluster, denunciation and more brazen lying. On Mar 28, 2009, at 13:54, Israel Shamir wrote: He (Hoffman) does not know what "the Hebrew Law" is - he thinks it means the law written in Hebrew.
Hoffman replies: I define the authentic "Hebrew law" as the divine law written in the Old Testament in ancient Hebrew, as opposed to the man-made law in the Gemara, which Mr. Shamir and Chazal can call "Hebrew law" until they are blue in the face, but which was written mostly in Aramaic and cannot properly be called "Hebrew law" except by rabbinic apologists who seek to conflate the Torah SheBealpeh with the Torah SheBichtav.
Mr. Shamir continues to insist that Judaism Discovered is merely a book of "vituperation." But I tried to find what there was that was good in Judaism, concluding that section (p. 37) as follows: ...These are the two positive attributes we have found in the rabbinic world. We wish there were more. We would be glad to acknowledge them. We have often wondered if the co-founder of the Protestant Reformation, the Frenchman Jean Cauvin, who is known to history as the eponymous (John) "Calvin," ever had anything good to say about any one of the occupants of the Roman papacy? We were prompted to think of this when we stumbled across qualified praise for Calvin from one of the popes of Rome: "The strength of that heretic (John Calvin) consisted in this, that money never had the slightest charm for him. If I had such servants my dominion would extend from sea to sea." It seems like an honorable act of character for a pope to say that about a savant who founded a church whose bedrock maxim was that the pope is the Antichrist. Pius IV, at least in this particular instance, tried to search for what there was that was good in his bitter enemy, and that is a trait we admire.”
On March 28, 2009, at 13:54, Israel Shamir wrote: “Mr Hoffman is an ignoramus...he can ‘photographically reproduce,’ but he can't read, otherwise he would know there is no "unwittingly" in Sanhedrin 54b.
Hoffman replies: He calls me an "ignoramus." It is Steinsaltz who translates the passage (p. 676) as "unwittingly," not this writer.
Mr. Shamir seems to know little or nothing about the Steinsaltz Talmud. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is currently the head of the Sanhedrin. Mr. Shamir the expert, should inform Steinsaltz, the head of the Sanhedrin, that he has translated the Sanhedrin 54b incorrectly rather than abusing me for quoting Rabbi Steinsaltz. Israel Shamir is an enthusiast of the Kabbalah. He libeled this writer with malice and lied relentlessly about my book, and he neither admits nor concedes any of his errors or apologizes for them.
As a Christian I am commanded to forgive and pray for my enemies and do good to them that persecute me. I have prayed for Mr. Shamir and I forgive him, and the best that I could do on his behalf is to bear witness to the truth, which is this: that Mr. Shamir has reviewed my book pretty much as any rabbi would, with the exception that he conceded that I do not hate Judaic people.
Other than that concession, he has written --and Dr. Jones has published -- a smear, based not on facts, but on Mr. Shamir's allegedly prestigious ipse dixit. He is possessed of a large measure of the famous chutzpah and this alone sustains both his "review" and his unconscionable subsequent defense of it.
I stand by every word in Judaism Discovered and pray for the day when an honest Judaic will actually read it from cover to cover, and review it, whether pro or contra.
On March 28, 2009, at 13:54, Mr. Shamir wrote: “I was as soft and as polite as I could. I hoped he would be able to learn from my critique.”
Hoffman replies: This risible claim compounds the other malice he has retailed in print. Can any fair-minded person accept his pose of feigned benevolence when Mr. Shamir said of this writer (employing a quote from Mark Twain) that I am "saturated with infamy and reeking with falsehood"? Or when he hallucinated that my ancestors killed millions of native Americans?
This fellow was grasping at any straw in order to assassinate my character and paint my book in the most dismal terms possible, including going so far as to allege that it was poorly printed, and with blank pages. Mr. Shamir does not retract his lies and he is therefore committing more sins, while claiming to be a Christian.
The vast majority of my rebuttal has been ignored by the ambusher because he has no cogent answer to it. All he can do is set yet another ambush and fire potshots at whatever he thinks he can get away with misrepresenting. By this means he unjustly and maliciously damages my reputation and obstructs a book that is an important and desperately needed corrective to the claims of Orthodox Judaism. Sincerely, Michael Hoffman
On Mar 31, 2009, at 12:39, Israel Shamir wrote: Sorry, but there is no sense to argue with Hoffman if he says that "This is simply not true. It's a lie and an obtuse one at that. The Mishnah and Gemara (Talmud) are never published together with the Aggadah. They are separate books." It makes no sense to argue with the man who claims that. --Shamir
Hoffman's reply to the March 31 response: And it makes no sense to argue with a man who states a sloppy enormity about the Aggadah being "part and parcel" of the Talmudic text when the Aggadah contains portions of the text of the Midrash and omits portions of the Talmud. It makes no sense to argue with an alleged Talmud scholar who can't distinguish Midrash from Gemara.
Even though those possessed of a rabbinic mentality will deny it because it is so embarrassing to Orthodox Judaism, the degraded Nebuchadnezzar material in the Gemara (Talmud) which I published in Judaism Discovered contributed to the formation of the halacha. The Aggadah is not halachic! Mr. Shamir can bluster, thunder and hurl abuse 24/7 and it will not extricate him from the elementary confusion he seeks to impart as an attack on this writer's credibility -- by keeping me on the defensive as he cavils over a tiny handful of points in my rebuttal. This is a familiar rabbinic ruse. This tactic keeps him from being on the defensive in terms of any obligation to answer and account for the corpus of my rebuttal.
You will note that Mr. Shamir ignores almost the whole of fourteen pages of this writer's refutations of his false claims against Judaism Discovered because he has no answer to them.
What are we to expect from a follower of the Kabbalah who was chosen to review an anti- Kabbalistic book in a Catholic magazine, using underhanded tactics usually associated with the ADL?
Brian H. writes, "I asked Mike Jones if he was willing to give Mr. Hoffman space in CW (Culture Wars) to reply to Shamir. He replied a (f)ew days ago that he had asked Mr. Hoffman to send his reply to Shamir in Word format (instead of the present pdf file) but that so far Hoffman "had refused to give it" to him. This "refusal" is news to me. E. Michael Jones asked me to send my rebuttal to him (Jones) in a Word file. Last week I did indeed e-mail to Dr. Jones the Word file version of my rebuttal . I have not "refused to give it to him." Where does Dr. Jones get this information? Is he claiming I have made such a statement of refusal? I have made no such statement to E. Michael Jones or anyone else. Dr. Jones received a pdf. file of my rebuttal and emailed to say that he would publish it as a letter if I sent it as a Word file, and of course I did so, and I informed Dr. S. of that fact. Why would I have sent the rebuttal to Dr. Jones in pdf. and then "refuse" to send it in Word? Again I must ask, on what basis does Dr. Jones make the claim that I "refused" to send it? Why does he make this accusation to Brian H., but not to me directly? After I transmit this e-mail I am going to send the Word file containing my rebuttal of Mr. Shamir's "review" to Dr. Jones, again. He can then send it to Mr. Shamir or whomever he chooses. Dr. S. recommends that I revise my rebuttal to account for Mr. Shamir's subsequent claims against the book and this writer. Personally, I prefer an earlier response to Mr. Shamir by Dr. S: "You have sniped at a few small and debatable points in an 1,102 page tome (e.g., the late Prof. Shahak's worthy contributions about Maimonides, 'unwitting,' and the significance of Aggadah), but Judaism Discovered: A Study of the Anti-Biblical Religion of Racism, Self-Worship, Superstition, and Deceit provides much that is new and worthy to the English speaking world... "Please recall that I politely declined to review your book on Kabbala because I could see no circumstance in which I could say anything positive about Kabbala or condone your or anyone's enthusiasm for it. Mr. Hoffman is 100% correct in challenging you on your affinity for Kabbala; it cannot be baptized. I anticipate that the expected exchange in Culture Wars will vindicate Mr. Hoffman and his book." (End quote, Dr. S. to Shamir).
I have circulated my rebuttal to colleagues, together with Mr. Shamir's "review" from Culture Wars. The response has been that my rebuttal "destroys" Mr. Shamir's review. Unless Mr. Shamir produces a more substantial rejoinder than what he has circulated in e-mail (at least what I have seen thus far), I am not troubled by his rejoinder's self-indicting and demonstrably false description of the Aggadah as being synonymous with the text of the Talmud ("part and parcel"); or his notion that the Nasi of the current Sanhedrin, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, is some kind of incompetent because he translated a Talmud Bavli tractate with the word "unwilling."
This is the trivia by which Mr. Shamir seeks to hang this writer. We are not impressed. We would be slightly more impressed if he were to attempt to offer a defense of the bushel of lies contained in his Culture Wars "review," which we deconstructed in our rebuttal. Mr. Shamir's minor effort at a rejoinder is the stuff of Brer Rabbit's tar baby and I prefer not to be the patsy who spends a portion of his productive work day responding to kveching from an intractable deceiver who will not repent of his lies and folly, and who feels no duty to reply to the major points of my rebuttal.
This tar baby phenomenon is exacerbated by the fact that it is beginning to play out in e-mail, which is then copied around the Internet, whether in whole or part I do not know. The libel published in Culture Wars ought to be rebutted in Culture Wars, rather than morphing into the status of an Internet rumor. There ought to be some respect for minimum standards of fairness in this case. Moreover, Mr. Shamir's evasions, both in failing to read the majority of a book he had the temerity to "review," and in failing to either withdraw his numerous lies and misrepresentations concerning it, or respond fully to my rebuttal, should be recognized as a continuation of the malice and ill will he has demonstrated throughout this controversy. Sincerely, Michael Hoffman | March 31, 2009
April 2, 2009: On April 2 Mr. Shamir published in his "Shamir readers" yahoo group (which is also e-mailed), as well as on his website, a copy of his "review" of Judaism Discovered, together with a slightly altered version of his March 28 rejoinder to my rebuttal. In the April 2 communication he characterized my rebuttal of his "review" as follows: "After this review was published, Hoffman published a hysterical and voluminous response (available on his website)...No more letters from Hoffman will be accepted, now or ever." I will let readers of my rebuttal and my follow-up remarks judge whether they are "hysterical" or not. Finally, as of April 2, my rebuttal was not and had never been "available" on our "website," as Mr. Shamir alleges.
May 20, 2009 Dr. Flanagan's Letter to E. Michael Jones
Dear Dr. Jones: After the smear job ably performed by your good buddy Israel Shamir, it is a good bet that Mike Hoffman's book will be flushed down the Orwellian memory hole. I've been around the block a few times and I recognize a professional hit when I see one. But this one also had a particularly malignant odor to it. We Catholics who recognize our true enemies of Holy Mother Church need not cut the throats of our comrades-in-arms who are all of one esprit de corps. I spent two years in the Marines during the Vietnam era so I know a little bit about what comradeship really means especially in times of hostilities. Supposedly we look after the guy on the right and on the left without needing to be told that we fight for the same cause. Mike Hoffman has been on the front lines for a long time. In his own way he is advancing the Social Kingship of Christ as requested of us as militant Catholics. Anyone of good will and the Faith who carefully digests the rotten betrayal that is the essence of the "book review" of Mr. Shamir has to realize that for this thing to have happened you had to be in on the hit. You are the editor and I have to believe, along with any other person who hasn't had his common sense boiled out by the systematic brainwashing of what passes for education in this country, that you and Shamir cooked up the whole deal to do a character assassination on Mike Hoffman.
This whole thing leaves the Catholic world with a bad taste in its mouth—and me in particular. This was the act of a Judas. You sold us out here, Dr. Jones. This is a shameful thing you have allowed to happen. It throws a big wrench into the movement to unseat the forces of Antichrist and gives the dark forces of Organized Naturalism, (both World Jewry and the New World Order neoconservatives), additional momentum to crush those of us who are trying to defeat these very forces whom you yourself are fighting. The whole thing is schizophrenic—just shocking beyond any understanding. If there is any way you can undo the harm you have allowed to happen, I believe it would be to publish in Culture Wars Hoffman's refutation to Shamir's screed. I don't see any other way you can exonerate yourself. In Christ the King, Pat Flanagan, M.D.
May 22, 2009 E. Michael Jones' replies to Dr. Flanagan
Dear Dr. Flanagan, There was no hit job intended here. Instead of accusing me of being part of conspiracy to attack Hoffman, you should thank me for being the only magazine willing to review his book. Since I do not read Hebrew, I could not review this book myself. Since Shamir does read Hebrew, he seemed like the logical choice. When I send a book which I have not read and cannot evaluate out for review, I cannot guarantee what type of review I am going to get back. Any reading of what Shamir said precludes thinking that it was a hit job. Shamir was initially favorably disposed, but Hoffman took care of that in short order by his intemperate response. I'm sorry the review made you unhappy, but I can't see any other way to run a magazine than what I did in this instance. All the best, E. Michael Jones
May 22, 2009 Hoffman's comment on the Flanagan-Jones correspondence: Israel Shamir represents E. Michael Jones in the campaign against my book. This campaign is not palliated or excused by claiming that my response to the campaign is allegedly "intemperate" or that because Dr. Jones does not read Hebrew he was forced to publish a vicious libel submitted by someone who allegedly can read Hebrew. The campaign against Judaism Discovered was initiated and then published in Culture Wars before there was any response from me, "intemperate" or otherwise, therefore this defense is as phantasmagorical as any of the other baseless accusations of Dr. Jones or Mr. Shamir with regard to this writer.
In addition to refusing to reprint my rebuttal to Mr. Shamir and thereby correct the record, Dr. Jones compounded the unfairness by allowing Mr. Shamir to attack my book yet again, in the next issue of Jones's publication, in the course of which Mr. Shamir vehemently mocked my strictly factual assertion that Orthodox Judaism believes in reincarnation. While a superficial defense can be mounted for non-Hasidic Orthodox Judaism in this regard (one which can be readily overthrown by exhuming Orthodox Judaism's teaching on Genesis 38), it is patently false -- in fact a macabre joke on the goyim -- to assert that Hasidic Judaism does not believe in reincarnation; it is tantamount to saying that Hasidic Judaism does not believe in the Zohar.
Moreover, as a follower of the Kabbalah himself, Mr. Shamir should know what the Kabbalah teaches about reincarnation and what the leading Hasidic texts teach on this subject. But don't bother these fellows with truth. None of Mr. Shamir's boldface lies about Judaism Discovered have been withdrawn or corrected by E. Michael Jones, and Jones' duty to make amends for publishing the calumny in one issue and then compounding it in the next, is nowhere to be seen. In fact, he actually desires to be thanked for having printed the libel, disguised as a review: "you should thank me for being the only magazine willing to review his book."
Michael Hoffman, May 22, 2009 August 19, 2009 Hoffman's rejoinder to Israel Shamir's last letter to Culture Wars
As already noted, in addition to publishing one libel, Dr. Jones compounded it by publishing more of Mr. Shamir's lies in another issue of Culture Wars. Mr. Shamir lies with impunity because he knows his mendacity is protected by E. Michael Jones. My own rebuttal(s) do not appear in the Culture Wars magazine, so Mr. Shamir can lie to his heart's content. For example, Mr. Shamir writes, "Hoffman's hateful response confirmed the proverb. He stressed many times that I am a Jew by birth, probably a trump argument in his circles." I have never said that Mr. Shamir was a "Jew" by birth, but that fact doesn't matter, Mr. Shamir lies to his heart's content with complete indifference to the truth. I challenge him to reproduce my alleged statement, made "numerous times" that he is a "Jew by birth." I have not said it.
Moreover, he insinuates, in the course of his fantasy about me, that my circle of readers and supporters are anti-semitic and that I make an appeal to their alleged anti-semitism, by calling him a "Jew" "by birth," which is a "trump card in his (Hoffman's) circle."
Mr. Shamir affirms that I wrote 1100 pages about Judaism in my book without being "anti-semitic," then claims that I reverted to Jew-hate in a mere letter-exchange. But where is the documentary proof for this delusion?
Part of my "hateful response" to Mr. Shamir was written on March 30: " As a Christian I am commanded to forgive and pray for my enemies and do good to them that persecute me. I have prayed for Mr. Shamir and I forgive him..."
No reader saw that statement of mine in Culture Wars, nor will they see it, so Mr. Shamir knew he could get away with lying and pretending that I made a hateful response to him and called him a "Jew." Both claims are prevarications. Both will be accepted as fact by readers of Culture Wars. This is the false witness that publisher E. Michael Jones has perpetrated with no scruple of conscience.
Mr. Shamir lies exactly like a rabbi: with brazen chutzpagh. When he is caught in a lie he does not retract it or apologize for it, instead he distracts attention away from it by concocting a new lie.
Mr. Shamir never deigned to answer the majority of my rebuttal of his "review," just as he did not bother to read the majority of my book. He poses as an expert but he is completely wrong and abominably ignorant when it comes to menstruation (niddah) and reincarnation (gilgul) in Orthodox Judaism, to cite but two cardinal errors of his.
Please note his intellectual dishonesty: he added the statement about the word unwittingly being a "translator's gloss" after first insisting that I was too ignorant to know that the word "unwittingly" was not anywhere in the Talmud passage (BT Sanhedrin 54b) that I had quoted. Only it was, and when I proved that it was, and he was caught in his ignorance, Mr. Shamir dismissed the word "unwittingly" as a "translator's gloss," without first acknowledging that he had originally said that it was not present in the text.
He was not honest enough to admit his error; rather, he compounds his deceit. This is his debating tactic. This is a Christian convert? Not having bothered to study the best English translation of the Talmud (by Adin Steinsaltz) Mr. Shamir shot his mouth off when he should have first studied the text. He blurted that I was an ignoramus who stupidly thought the word "unwittingly" was in BT Sanhedrin 54b. What has happened to Mr. Shamir's initial confident assertion that it was not there? The translator of the text in question is Adin Steinsaltz, the head of the reconstituted Sanhedrin in Tiberias and one of the most erudite and eminent Talmudic exegetes in the whole of the Orthodox Judaic world. I am supposed to be a hopelessly discredited "humbug" because I relied on the Steinsaltz translation of BT Sanhedrin 54b instead of the opinion of Israel Shamir.
What he alleges about reincarnation is almost too obtuse to countenance. Mr. Shamir writes, "Is it true that Judaism embraces the doctrine of reincarnation? If it were so, why would the Jews spend so much effort on keeping dead bodies intact and separated from gentiles' dead? Why would they pay heaps of money for a burial place on the Mount of Olives? Jews believe in bodily resurrection; this is a part of Jewish credo as outlined by Maimonides. The concept of resurrection is totally opposed to that of reincarnation."
Notice he states "If it were so..." and then goes on to cite not one single rabbinic text to prove his contention that Judaism does not hold with reincarnation. It's patent that he has read nothing and studied nothing about Orthodox Judaism's doctrine of reincarnation. From his hatred of this writer he spews the first thoughts that pop into his head, whatever will make Hoffman look ridiculous. This would be embarrassing for him if he had made his statement about Judaism not embracing belief in reincarnation in a reputable publication that cared about the truth and had a policy of fact-checking. Not to worry. His demonstrably false claim stands intact in Culture Wars as another proof of how utterly idiotic is Hoffman and how totally worthless is his book Judaism Discovered.
Mr. Shamir shoots recklessly and from the hip, intoxicated by the unimpeachable authority he has been given by Jones in Culture Wars. Out of his hubris he cooks up a laughable if/then proposition of his own devising: if Orthodox Judaics believe in resurrection, then they cannot believe in reincarnation. He is making this stuff up off the top of his head. Will he retract it? I almost guarantee his reaction would be to tell another lie, even more outrageous than the fantasy he has concocted about the non-existence of reincarnation in Judaism. We are dealing with a profoundly intellectually dishonest person whose self-defense mechanism is to respond to exposure of his lies by spewing a half dozen new lies.
A good deal of his attack on this writer in his letter in the second issue of Culture Wars is trivial, in particular in two areas: 1. that I was not the first author to discover that Judaism is not based on Moses. My reply: Of course that is very true and I have never asserted otherwise.. But because Judaism is not based on Moses and this fact is known to some people, does not mean that once this bald fact has been stated or printed, whether in the past, or more recently, that no one may add to our knowledge. It cannot rightly be said that no one may enlarge, elaborate and deepen knowledge of Judaism's disconnect from Moses. This is what I did in Judaism Discovered: I added considerable research material and evidence to the study of the extent to which Judaism is anti-Biblical. What horrible transgression and "utter rot" have I engaged in by this scholarly act?
Furthermore, Mr. Shamir ridicules Dr. Edgar Suter for regarding my work in this regard as something of a revelation, as if Dr. Suter had thereby committed some horrible faux pas. Mr. Shamir's outrage is incredibly petty and out of all proportion to the supposed offense. 2. The same is true for how he treats the material I wrote about Judaic racism. Yes, Dr. Shahak certainly made some of these points before, but not to the extent that I have elaborated on them and added new material. Jonathan Schorsch's book had not yet been written when Dr. Shahak was alive. There has been new material unearthed about Maimonides. Is it wrong to build on the work of others and add original insights? Am I a fraud for having extended knowledge in this field? My elaboration does not diminish Dr. Shahak, nor does Dr. Shahak's earlier work detract from the additional research I furnish in Judaism Discovered. This is a commonplace development in the advancement of knowledge. What dreadful, self-indicting act have I committed by having done so?
My adversary further puts forth the preposterous enormity that, "all Talmudic references to Jesus Christ were made open and known" in the course of disputations in the Middle Ages. Really? Every piece of arcana in the Gemara about Jesus was fully decoded and exposed to the world in the medieval period?
He cites Hyam Maccoby's record of these early debates as his proof for this foolish hyperbole. I have read Maccoby and referenced his work (cf. Judaism Discovered, pp. 344, 384; 618). To give but one example, nowhere does Maccoby record the crucial linguistic decoding of key words in the Gemara related to conclusive documentation of the full extent of the Gemara's indictment of Christ (for the relevant data cf. Judaism Discovered, pp. 400-402).
Once again, Mr. Shamir's pen gets ahead of his brain as he makes it seem as though all of the pertinent facts proving that the Talmud defames Jesus were known for centuries. But he is not at all conversant with recent scholarship in this regard. Since the 1970s, the main corpus of academic assessment held with the thesis of Johann Maier in his influential magnum opus, Jesus von Nazareth in der Talmudischen Überlieferung, which teaches that the majority of the accusations against the Talmud concerning Jesus are not true. Mr. Shamir knows nothing about this, even though I discuss it in my book -- but he has not read most of my book. Mr. Shamir's proof of the "rot!" that I have written, consists of stating that since the Middle Ages "all Talmudic references to Jesus Christ were made open and known."
This is a demonstrable falsehood arrogantly proferred as a learned summation of the Jesus/Talmud controversy and at the same time, as a definitive put-down of Hoffman. I wonder how much more I need to say about Mr. Shamir's whacko claims and libels before they lose all credibility?
Sometimes Mr. Shamir's accusations are not even coherent, as when he writes, "Now, anyone can check who is right: Hoffman or Shamir. Hoffman says that "The Mishnah and Gemara (Talmud) are never published together with the Aggadah." Shamir says absolutely opposite: Aggadah is a part and parcel of Gemara, and thus is published."
And "thus is published"? Yes, the Aggadah is "published." Continue your sentence, Mr. Shamir. You have left us with a fragment. Why do you stop mid-sentence? Apparently because he can't bring himself to state the folly that the Aggadah is published with the Mishnah and the Gemara as part of that canon, because typically it is not. Look at the joke Mr. Shamir plays on his readers.
He gives the impression of an easy forensic refutation of Hoffman: "now anyone can check who is right." He confidently saunters through his alleged demolition of what Hoffman asserts about the Aggadah -- Hoffman states that it is not published with the Mishnah and the Gemara. Mr. Shamir tells us that he is going to assert the "exact opposite" from Hoffman. But he does not. He only says the Aggadah "is published." Published where? He does not say. He must take his readers for buffoons.
Aggadah cannot be published with the Gemara and the Mishnah because to do so would contradict and defeat the founding raison d'etre for the Aggadah: an attempt to isolate and seal off the patently nonsensical portions of the Talmud, such as the tale of Nebuchadnezzar's penis, from the halachic portions, which have the force of law. Mr. Shamir expects our conformity to this sly rabbinic stratagem. He, like the Orthodox rabbis, wants to overcome the extent to which the Talmud's lucidity and credibility is degraded by its inclusion of the tale of Nebuchadnezzar's penis, by telling us that this tale is also published in the Aggadah. To which I reply, so what? Including it in the Aggadah does not rescue the credibility of the Talmud and only someone still infected with rabbinic ideas would find this Aggadic ruse compelling.
From there, Mr. Shamir has erected a superstructure upon which he centers one of his supposedly crushing demolitions of my credibility, that I am a complete ignoramus when it comes to all things Judaic, predicated on what I have said about the Aggadah. He makes similar claims concerning his spin on the phrase "Hebrew literature," which is supposed to also utterly crush this writer, etc., ad nauseum.
Mr. Shamir has found a useful idiot in E. Michael Jones, who acts as the mouthpiece for any libel or lie Mr. Shamir wishes to utter concerning this writer or Judaism Discovered. Mr. Shamir's ambush would be viewed far more skeptically if he were a professed adherent of Judaism, but Mr. Shamir has cachet because of his claim to fame as an anti-Zionist Khazar and alleged "convert" to Christianity. As such, he is the most perfect tool of the Cryptocracy for obstructing the influence of my book and curtailing its sales, while tarring the author of the "ignorant screed" as a worthless fraud upon whom no time should be wasted. I am confident however, that Mr. Shamir and his patron Dr. Jones, will ultimately fail in their disgraceful enterprise and that the "fraud" will be shown to be entirely of their own devising.
-Michael Hoffman, August 19, 2009
SHAMIR'S RESPONSE TO SUTER AND HOFFMAN I was in a quandary while reviewing Hoffman's book. Hoffman is a staunch supporter of Palestinians, so I was biased in his favour. But my first duty was towards the Truth - and towards the Culture Wars' readers. One is warned against misleading, and that is why I told readers what I actually think about Hoffman's book, namely - it is not an antisemitic book, but this is its main virtue. Indeed his book did not deserve a review at all, and had none until I injudiciously stepped on this mine.
It is said (Proverbs 9:8): Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Rebuke not a fool, lest he will hate thee.
Hoffman's hateful response confirmed the proverb. He stressed many times that I am a Jew by birth, probably a trump argument in his circles. In addition, a fiery SSPX Catholic, an Edgar Suter, MD stepped forth as Hoffman's champion. Edgar Suter says that Hoffman's book «reveals to English readers much that has been previously unknown to us». Suter should rather say that it was previously unknown to HIM, for Hoffman's book consists of (a) things well known and published by many writers before him, or of (b) things which are unknown because false.
(A) THINGS WELL KNOWN AND PUBLISHED BY MANY WRITERS BEFORE HOFFMAN Among revelations Suter found in Hoffman's book, is «that Judaism is not an extension of the religion of Moses». Bravo! Probably his medicine studies do not cover it but this discovery has been made one thousand years before Hoffman, as one could read in Michael Jones's recent book Revolutionary Jewish Spirit, or indeed in Hyam Maccoby's Judaism on Trial: Jewish-Christian Disputations in the Middle Ages. This discovery had led to the disputations, and in the course of the disputations, all Talmudic references to Jesus Christ were made open and known. Hoffman claims he made it known: what rot! It is not that Hoffman discovered what the Talmud says about Christ, but it was done centuries ago, and repeated hundreds of times. Hoffman claimed he provided «original information on the rabbinic root of anti-Black racism, the bigotry, dissimulation, homicide and anti-Christian and anti- Islamic hatred of Judaism's intellectual giant Rabbi Moses Maimonides», but it was well provided by Dr Shahak years ago in his slim book. Moreover, an Israeli site www.daatemet.co.il  contains practically everything Hoffman gathered minus his vituperation.
(B) AND MUCH OF «WHAT WAS UNKNOWN» TURNS OUT TO BE FALSE AND MISLEADING. Is it true that Judaism embraces the doctrine of reincarnation? If it were so, why would the Jews spend so much effort on keeping dead bodies intact and separated from gentiles' dead? Why would they pay heaps of money for a burial place on the Mount of Olives? Jews believe in bodily resurrection; this is a part of Jewish credo as outlined by Maimonides. The concept of resurrection is totally opposed to that of reincarnation. *Is it true that Judaism embraces the cult of Goddess? Not more than it can be said about the Christians. Indeed this claim was often utilised by Protestants against the Catholic Church. One can go on and on, but it would be useless. Arguments can be useful if the other side is an honest man of knowledge and understanding. This is not the case. Hoffman is unsuited to argue about religion, any religion. Religion is the highest form of human spiritual activity, while Hoffman's arguments are sordid. If Hoffman were to produce Christianity Discovered Dr Suter would learn that Catholics devour flesh and blood, and are proud of it (they call it Communion), and worship a Goddess (they call her Mary). It is possible to call high figures of Jewish folklore (given in the Talmud) a «lie» as Hoffman and Suter do, but then, why they do not describe as a 'lie' the long age of Methuselah or Jonah swallowed by a big fish or partition of the Red Sea (given in the Bible)? NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S PENIS Let us fathom together the depth of Hoffman's ignorance. (a) SHAMIR WROTE: Hoffman is so devoid of a sense of humour that it pains the reader. He quotes entertaining items of Jewish folklore - that Nebuchadnezzar's prick extended one hundred fifty yards long at seeing the last Judean king. For me, it recalls Mae West with her immortal «Is that a pistol in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?» But Hoffman goes into hysterics and condemns «the Talmud's insanely filthy prurience». (b) HOFFMAN REPLIED: «But Mr. Shamir is lying. This account of Nebuchadnezzar is not found in Judaic folklore…This account of Nebuchadnezzar is not from the Aggadah, the book of rabbinic folklore, but rather from the Talmud itself, the source of rabbinic law.» (c) SHAMIR WROTE: Hoffman implies that there is «the Aggadah, the book of rabbinic folklore», on one hand, and «the Talmud itself, the source of rabbinic law», on the other hand. Now, it is rubbish. The Aggadah is not a separate book but a layer of Talmud, a part and parcel of Talmudic text. The man who does not know that should not write books about the Talmud. He should go and study first. (d) HOFFMAN REPLIED: This is simply not true. It's a lie and an obtuse one at that. The Mishnah and Gemara (Talmud) are never published together with the Aggadah. _They are separate books_. The Aggadah may contain portions of the non-legal writings of the Gemara, together with all sorts of legends from other sources such as the Midrash, but to claim that the Aggadah_ is_ the Talmud is beneath contempt. (e) Shamir said: Hoffman's problem is not only with the Talmud, but Michael Hoffman 18 An Ambush Disguised as a Book Review with Aristotle as well. I say: Aggadah IS A PART OF the Talmud; he thinks it means Aggadah IS THE Talmud. Now, anyone can check who is right: Hoffman or Shamir. Hoffman says that «The Mishnah and Gemara (Talmud) are never published together with the Aggadah.» Shamir says absolutely opposite: Aggadah is a part and parcel of Gemara, and thus is published. Talmud is not identical with Gemara; but consists of Gemara and Mishna. Dr Med Suter will probably understand the following comparison: Shamir says that muscles are part and parcel of human body. His opponent says that muscles are never found in a human body but exist separately. Now would he be interested to read a book on medicine written by this man? We do not speak about slight misunderstanding. This is not a passing mistake. Hoffman thrice insisted on his foolishness. To conclude, I consider Hoffman a humbug, and heartily regret on wasting so much time and effort on his nonsense while providing free publicity to his ignorant screed.  http://www.daatemet.co.il/ Independent History and Research, 2008 1102 pages, ISBN 978-0-9703784-5-3, no price stated Review by Israel Shamir
Michael Hoffman, September 15, 2009:
In his Sept. 14, 2009 column, David Klinghoffer offers a view of halacha and aggadah which is similar to the position this writer took in my exchange with Israel Shamir and for which Mr. Shamir denounced me in no uncertain terms as an "ignoramus." Excerpt from Klinghoffer's column:
"Anyone who has spent time in the pages of the Talmud and other rabbinic literature will know the distinction between halachah and aggadah -- law and story. The nature of Jewish law, while being everywhere tortuously argued, is assumed otherwise to be straightforward. In the Talmud, a discussion of halachah seeks to define the path of correct action, and nothing more. On the other hand, there is aggadah, comprising homiletic tales about the rabbis, about figures from Scripture, wisdom sayings, cryptic legends, and much more that is not legal in nature. The distinction between law and story is assumed to be rigid and clear. Is it really? Much of aggadah is fantastic in nature. Yet so is much of halachah...anyone who studies rabbinic texts will know what I mean about the fantastic quality of many halachic arguments in the classical sources. Fantastic but more specifically...dreamlike..."
--David Kinghoffer "The Fantastic Element in Jewish Law"