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Russia Curbs Talmud Probe

The Battle over the Intellectual Dynamic that Will Not Go Away

Michael Hoffman comments: Laws against hate speech are on the books in several of the countries of Europe. Islamic texts are regularly denounced in withering terms as highly offensive to Israelis and women. Revisionist historians who blaspheme the "shoah" theology and the holy Auschwitz homicidal gas chamber icons, are routinely prosecuted or jailed in Europe. Ernst Zundel is imprisoned in Mannheim, Germany for this very reason.

Despite cant about "western democracy," free speech is severely abridged in much of Europe. Hence, there is nothing particularly "shocking" about rabbinic texts coming under the purview of the state prosecutor in Russia, except that the Russians are flouting Judaic power by doing so. There should be freedom of speech for all of course, whether Zionist, Muslim or Christian, but if not, then why should Judaism alone enjoy immunity from the same human rights police it has unleashed to such masterful effect in silencing its political and religious rivals?

Moreover, the genocidal racism in the Shulchan Aruch of Rabbi Karo is responsible for murder and mayhem in the Middle East and needs to be studied and exposed for the sake of human lives that mighty otherwise be lost under the gun of the Israeli military and the Israeli settlers. What is more, under Communism, Russian Christians died by the millions, and tens of thousands of Russian Orthodox clergy were murdered, all at the hands of Lenin and Trotsky's Judaic-dominated secret police who, at least as children, had often times been raised in pre-revolutionary Talmud schools where the Shulchan Aruch was the predominant font of law and ethics. Judaic leaders have the duty of repentance and reparation in regard to this unsung holocaust against Slavic Christianity.

This international controversy reinforces what this writer has been saying for years: that the contents of the Talmud and the authentic teachings of Orthodox Judaism are among the most momentous issues of our day, upon which the intellectual and spiritual contest for the soul of our churches, community and nation, may be decided.

Yet I have been unable to persuade Justin Raimondo, Alexander Cockburn, Pat Buchanan or any of the other "heavy hitters" of the dissident and populist movements to publish the least scintilla of scholarly material in this vein. Instead, they seem to view such matters as merely incidental to the larger issues of neo-conservatism and Zionism.Yet what do they think is the axis of neo-con beliefs and Zionist war crimes if not the Babylonian Talmud as taught in the worldwide yeshiviot of Orthodox Judaism?

The courage of a handful of activists in Russia has caused these rabbinic texts to be placed at the center of the world stage where they cannot be ignored. All those who try to sweep this burning issue under the rug risk obsolesence. Somewhere in the world it was inevitable that the central debate between Christ and the Pharisees would once again emerge as the intellectual dynamic that will not go away.

Rest assured that we have not heard the last from the Russians on this. The publicity they have garnered for this dark and cobweb-strewn corner of the Judaic skeleton-closet is a victory in itself, in spite of their temporary retreat from a judicial investigation aimed at forensically documenting rabbinic hate speech and a Judaic educational system based on anti-gentile incitement.

For further information see: Talmudic Hate Speech Defended and Deconstructed

Russia Ends Probe into Claims of Incitement in Jewish Text

By Amiram Barkat

Haaretz | June 28, 2005

Russia's state prosecutor announced Tuesday afternoon that he is canceling an investigation into claims that a 19th century abridged code of Jewish law (halakha) contains incitement against non-Jews. The preliminary investigation of the Jewish umbrella organization for distributing a Russian translation of the text has also been dropped. The lawyer for Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar was informed of the decision.

"There's no reason to persecute a whole sector of society because of religious texts held sacred to them. The decision to launch an investigation was a mistake," said a source at the attorney general's office.The report of the investigations, first revealed Monday in Haaretz, sparked widespread expressions of concern from Israel as well as Jewish and human rights groups worldwide.

The decision to cancel the probe came following a meeting Tuesday morning between Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. Olmert, who is on an official state visit to Russia, told Fradkov that Israel expects Moscow to take substantial steps to combat anti-Semitism in the country, and not suffice with verbal condemnations. In a personal letter to Putin, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, Abe Foxman, wrote Tuesday that the probe evoked the anti-Semitic persecution of the Stalin era.

Israeli and Jewish officials, human rights activists and Russian journalists have spent the last few days trying to understand what has caused the prosecutor to order the preliminary investigation of the Jewish umbrella organization for distributing a Russian translation of the Kitzur Shulhan Arukh.They want to know whether it is an expression of anti-Semitism in the Russian prosecution or an investigation ordered by the Kremlin. The Shulhan Arukh was compiled by Sephardi Rabbi Joseph Caro in the mid-16th century and is considered to be the authoritative text on Jewish law.

On Thursday, attorneys from the Moscow prosecutor's office questioned Rabbi Zinovy Kogan, the chairman of the Congress of Jewish Organizations. The prosecution, which is subordinate to Russia's state prosecution, said it summoned him to discuss the text, and the meeting was described as a preliminary investigation of the congress and its leaders, who are suspected of racist incitement, a criminal violation.

Prosecution officials asked Kogan questions regarding the identities of those responsible for translating, printing and distributing the book in Russia. They also asked him about his editing considerations.

Jewish groups in Russia were angered and shocked by Kogan's interrogation."We're trying to clarify what is behind the decision," Rabbi Lazar said. Moscow Chief Rabbi Pinhas Goldschmidt said he was "astonished" by the prosecution's actions. Israeli government officials believe that Kogan's interrogation cannot pass unquestioned. They said that for state officials to question a Jewish religious leader on the content of religious writings is "an event the likes of which have not occurred for decades, not in Russia and not in other countries with which Israel has diplomatic ties."

What makes the case even worse in Israel's view is that the Russian Foreign Ministry has until now ignored requests for an explanation of the interrogation. Political officials in Israel said Monday they think "the Kremlin expects gestures from Israel in exchange for the elimination of the affair." Some Russian analysts support this interpretation. Anton Nosik, a well-known independent Russian journalist, said the current situation is comfortable for the Kremlin. He expects Russian President Vladimir Putin to increase the price he plans to extract from Israel the worse the problem is depicted.

"When you ask the Kremlin for a favor, it can be assumed that the Kremlin will ask favors in return," said Nosik. However, he thinks that in this case the investigation does not come from the top. "The assumption that the prosecution got instructions from above cannot be reconciled with the inconsistent behavior it has shown throughout the affair," he said.

In January, the Russian state prosecution was asked in a petition to open an investigation into the Jewish organizations in Russia suspected of spreading hate via their sacred texts. Some 500 people signed the petition, about 20 of whom are members of the Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament. Those who submitted the petition retracted it and submitted a second one about a month later, this time with 5,000 signatures. On June 10, the prosecution said the Kitzur Shulhan Arukh is injurious to the feelings of non-Jews, but that there was no reason to open a criminal investigation against the Jewish group that distributed the book. But Wednesday the chief prosecutor of Moscow called for a renewed assessment of the case.

Talmudic Hate Speech Defended and Deconstructed

Available on DVD: 53 minute documentary, "Bloody Hell: Kosher Slaughter"

To learn more about the Talmud and Kabbalah read:

Judaism's Strange Gods


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