Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Karaite Pointing the Finger of Blame

The Silence of the innocent

Why now? A simple question that deserves a simple answer. Although there are many that will argue that the world is a far better place now than it has ever been, based on their arguments that mankind has become more tolerant, more accepting of differences, more liberal in its thinking, more technologically attuned, less prejudicial against its fellow man and generally world focused regarding global causes rather than the egocentric universe of the past, I beg to differ. These are merely illusions provided to us on a daily basis by the spin doctors that control our media, our politicians, our education and if I dare say so, our religious institutions too. Scrape past the thin veneer and it becomes obvious that which is being promoted as a better, kinder, wiser world is in reality nothing more than a repackaging of everything we struggled and fought against in the past that we knew was wrong. But in past days we would speak up and would not tolerate the misappropriation of power. The wants and desires of the majority have been replaced by the whims and cravings of minorities wishing to exercise their way of life over the many. The prejudices of the past have taken on an entirely new set of labels; religious prejudices of the past are now adorned with national labels; color prejudices are merely shrouded in economic adjectives; cults and glamorized activists are merely the masks of those we viewed in the past as megalomaniacs bent on the destruction of the world. We have words such as ethnic cleansing, collateral damage, terrorism, anti-terrorism and anti-anti-terrorism bantered about as daily occurrences. Movies and television have raised the occult to a desirable status of the young generation, while an older generation looks at the anti-hero or the vigilante as a desirable endpoint since law and order no longer bears the hallmark of justice. Nothing has actually changed other than the fact that because we have now relabeled our sins of the past we can now say that mankind has progressed beyond those days of violence, pettiness and misguided prejudices. If the pendulum has swung the other way, then being 180 degrees from the starting point does not make the offense any better, merely different, designed to confuse and silence the average person who still dreams of a better world. And that is our greatest sin in that we have become silent and let this happen.

Curse of the Talmud

A while back I posed the question as to whether it was acceptable for someone to perform evil in order to achieve something good. That question runs throughout the plot of Shadows of Trinity ( as each of the real-life characters was faced with answering the same question for themselves. To some it was clearly acceptable based on the things they did during those years at the end of sixteenth century. The Emperor Rudolf II definitely thought so since his status as monarch was preserved as a result, at least for another two decades before he was forced to abdicate. So it was not too surprising when some of my readers responded that they too would find it perfectly acceptable as long as the response was of a greater benefit than the action. Let me rephrase that, the majority of those that responded found it perfectly acceptable. But therein lies the problem because nothing in life is guaranteed. Just because one expects to achieve a certain result or reaction does not necessarily mean it will happen. Exactly the misguided premise that the Rabbis took when they decided to give their perspective on Christianity when writing the Talmud. Rather than deal with and confess to their own iniquity when they transformed the messiah legends that created the false legacy making Christianity possible in the first place as discussed in previous articles in this series, they instead chose to attack the religion that resulted from their fabrications, thinking that by doing so that they could make it disappear through ridicule and condemnation. Now it should be remembered that these were the ignorant actions of men living between the first and fourth centuries A.D. , so it would be difficult for us to expect any better of them or try to judge them according to modern standards but they are living proof that often evil actions do not result in good responses even though in their minds that was their expectation. Instead, by recording their religious intolerance, bias, prejudice and desire to see the Minim dead, they essentially created the future waves of anti-Semitism that underscored Christian history once the Church came to power. The Minim was an early Hebraic reference to the Christians along with the term Nazorean. The actual translation of Minim was those Jews that used the Torah in a manner deemed contrary to Judaism. One must remember that the early Christians were all Jews and therefore they’re justification of Jesus was Torah based since they used the very precepts that had been laid down by the rabbis to battle the Sadducees over the derivation of the messiah. Just how these so-called knowledgeable and righteous men could have expected any different response from a people they identified as enemies and worthy of being smitten from existence and sent to hell is beyond any reasoning I can think of? As it is written in the Talmud in Seder Mo’ed (Rosh Hashanah) page 17a, ‘But as for the Minim and the informers and the scoffers, who rejected the Torah and denied the resurrection of the dead, and those who abandoned the ways of the community, and those who ‘spread their terror in the land of the living’, and who sinned and made the masses sin, like Jeroboam the son of Nebat and his fellows — these will go down to Gehinnom and be punished there for all generations’. This very nice comment of condemnation to a rotting hell for eternity was not only directed at Christians but at Zadokites as well. One must not forget as much as the rabbis resented the early Christians their hatred for the Sadducees was far greater. In fact, anyone who disagreed with the rabbis was going to be sent to Hell forever. But the rabbis, whom I’ve often described as old men sitting about with nothing better to do than listen to the sound of their own voices, went further than they should, making comments regarding Christianity and Jesus that they barely attempted to disguise by giving false names to the individuals. But unable to restrain themselves they would always insert enough facts that it became obvious whom they were talking about as is the case of Sanhedrin 106a where they wrote, ‘Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, [did the children of Israel slay with the sword]. A soothsayer? But he was a prophet! R. Johanan said: At first he was a prophet, but subsequently a soothsayer. R. Papa observed: This is what men say, 'She who was the descendant of princes and governors, played the harlot with carpenters.' Examining their comment about a woman that was from the Davidic line that wed a carpenter, but played the harlot indicating she had someone else’s child, and that son was initially a prophet but became a soothsayer or magician subsequently is obviously alluding to Jesus. They furthermore say in their addled talk that he was slain as a result of the Jews which only further infuriated Christian clerics when they translated the Talmud. Their attempt to ridicule Christianity, never thinking it would become a dominant religion was their attempt to do something evil with the expected outcome that it would simply disappear over time. Such stupidity has led to the massacre of millions of Jews over time, all because a bunch of men sought power and had neither political nor diplomatic acumen to understand neither the ways of the world nor the foresight to realize that if you continually hit upon someone they will eventually hit back a hundred times harder.

The matter becomes even more obtuse when one realizes that the Talmud that is published today has undergone an extensive editing process over the years due to censorship. When Christian leaders became aware of some of the sayings of the Rabbis in the Talmud regarding Christianity and Jesus, they demanded these be changed. Some of the ancient Talmud manuscripts prior to these changes still exist today and one of the more noteworthy comments in Sandhedrin 107b was as follows: And a Master has said, 'Jesus the Nazarene practised magic and led Israel astray.' At first it doesn’t sound like much. Hardly enough to raise the ire or objections of any reader. It’s not until one appreciates what these rabbis have admitted in their statement. From my perspective they have publicly stated that Jesus possessed powers beyond that of most men and that he had a considerable following. As a Karaite I do not see this as a declaration of his being a messiah but what it does suggest to me that he most definitely had the abilities of a prophet, not dissimilar from an Elijah or an Elisha. If that was the case and they did know that he was special right from the start, then what were they thinking by continually ridiculing him in the Talmud. Surely they knew the lessons from the Tanach that we are a people guilty of harassing and attempting to slay the prophets sent to us by God and their own actions were reaffirming this.

It is obvious that these Rabbis had lost control of the situation. Rather than remedy the turmoil they created they only aggravated it further and alienated Jews and Christians further in the process. Nothing would improve and the resultant separation would never be resolved. The planned evil that they perpetrated certainly didn’t result in a bettering of mankind. Modern Rabbanites acknowledge that their ancient predecessors may have lacked critical judgment where necessary but then excuse them as having lived in an age without the benefits of critical scrutiny that we now possess. Rabbanites agree that some of the statements made were inflammatory and not worthy of men they hold in reverence and quickly shovel them underneath the carpet and exclaim that we can ignore these minor transgressions because of the greatness that is found elsewhere in the Talmud.

I for one am not so forgiving to accept that as a legitimate defence and I’m certainly not willing to accept any part of the Talmud which was written by these same men that were never divinely inspired based on the dissemination of intolerance that they exhibited in their writings. God would have never accepted that nor would advise His children to do so. But there also is a logical refutation to the defence made by the modern Rabbanites in support of these ancient Talmudists. And as a logical equation it removes any doubt as to their validity and is written as follows: If their logic was impaired; if their intentions were misguided and if the evil they perpetrated was nourished by malcontent and misinformation and then it must be accepted that their judgment was both inaccurate and unsupported in this regard. And that is being true then it must be assumed that everything else they’ve incorporated into the Talmud was made under identical conditions and therefore is doubtful as to its accuracy and authenticity. Essentially if they were completely wrong about their facts and approach in one area and that they fabricated the facts and stories to support their beliefs then the same will hold true for everything they produced. That would include their doctrines of the Messiah which were purposely designed to run contrary to those of the Sadducees and Zadokites. And from this we can deduce that if statement (A) being their intent behind particular stories in the Talmud was malicious and non-righteous, this leads to conclusion (C) that the Talmud was therefore not sanctioned by God. Furthermore statement (B) that these stories included derogatory and defamatory statements regarding sects and other religions which resulted from Rabbinical fabrications and lies regarding the advent of the messiah and perpetrated as in (A). That being the case, then if B=A and A=C then it can be concluded that similarly B=C indicating the resulting religions of Rabbinic alterations of the truth are not sanctioned by God.

It was this scenario that Isaac ben Abraham Troki found himself immersed in when he examined the repulsion between the two religions. But he also knew that as long as rabbinical dogma took a sarcastic and malicious approach to Christianity the slaughter of Jews by Christians would continue as a normal reaction of human nature. Only by exercising a logical approach and finding a way to promote self-evaluation amongst Christians he knew that many would see the validity and sense of his argument and Christianity would then be brought to a crossroads, not because the rabbis ridiculed them but because their own conscious demanded they do so. And upon self-evaluation he hoped they would recognise the preceding errors behind their origins and move closer to aligning themselves with Karaite beliefs.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fourth Letter to My Christian Brethren

It's been some time since I first started this series and mentioned that it would delve into the book Hazuk Amunah (Testimony of Strength or Faith Strengthened) written some four hundred years ago. Since making that statement I've taken the reader on a somewhat convoluted course, weaving an intricate tapestry showing the connections between the rabbinical model of the messiah and the rise of two very different challengers, Christianity and Islam, both based on that model but as the rabbis desperately changed their story, so too did each one of these religions differ due to the interceding six hundred years of alteration. Or perhaps I should say adulteration, since the rabbinic model was never compliant with the established messianic expectations of the Torah. But remarkably, the relationship between Karaites and their Christian and Muslim neighbours never soured and this was most likely because Karaites never blamed either religion for following mistaken practices. In fact, it viewed each of these populations as victims of deliberate rabbinic distortions, fallacies and heresy. How could Karaites hold the victims responsible, simply because they wished to find a path to God and were intentionally misled. After all, as it's written in the Kitab al-anwar wa'l-maraqib, also known as the Code of Karaite Law, "And the Rabbanites conspired against him and offered him up to be killed just as they had sought to kill Anan also, but without success. This is their way with all would oppose them." Obviously the rabbanites did not perform the execution themselves but by offering Jesus to those that did, ie. the Romans, they acted as accomplices. One might say this is a terrible accusation for Karaites to make in our Code of Law but those are the facts and as one can find in The Caiaphas Letters ( there was a political game being played. One reads in the book that the Sadducees were definitely trying to manipulate Yeshua as well but their plans necessitated that he stay alive, a fact which their archrivals, the Pharisees or Rabbanites were well aware of and determined to stop. Nothing has really changed over the years. As Kirkisani, one of the great Karaite thinkers wrote, "The rabbis resort to murder and expulsion when their hegemony is threatened, even within their own ranks." As it was then, so it was seven hundred years later when Anan dared to speak up against them.

Even Anan ben David, the patriarch of Karaism understood that both Christians and Muslims were merely the victims of the political endgame played by the Rabbanites and therefore they were not responsible for the errors of their practices. In regards to Christians al-Shahrastani and al-Maqrizi wrote that Anan believed that Jesus had been a righteous man but never a prophet. The Gospels that were written long after his death could not have been divinely revealed since those that wrote them never had any direct connection to Jesus and therefore could not have been divinely inspired. As for Islam, al-Maqrizi wrote that Anan did recognize Mohammed as being divinely inspired but because he relied so heavily on the oral traditions of the rabbis, he had been deceived. Both these writers present an Anan ben David that hardly resembles the totalitarian, egotistical, power-seeking, intractable individual that the rabbis have portrayed him as being. In fact, what is seen is a tolerant, understanding and patient individual that felt given enough time, he'd be able to lead both his Christian and Muslim neighbours back to the true path.

Tolerance has always been the cornerstone upon which Karaism was built and this has also been a main point of differentiation from our Rabbanite brothers. No better example of this exists than a preserved text Sippur 'Aravi which records the sudden arrival of European Jews in Cairo in 1465. These foreign Jews had no connection with Rabbic tradtion and relied solely on the Torah but did not refer to themselves as Karaites. Whereas the Karaites welcomed the strangers with open arms, recognizing them merely as fellow Jews with their own set of beliefs, the Rabbanite community was up in arms. Either these strangers had to convert to rabbinic Judaism or they would have to leave. The matter ended up in the hands of the Muslim religious authorities, and it is their rulings which are recorded in the preserved text. The Rabbanite community was furious with what it considered an intrusion on their legal territory and subsequently, many of these Rabbanites found themsleves in prison and their property confiscated because of their altercations with Muslim authorities. In the end, the Muslim court permitted these foreign Jews to choose their own destiny and rather than remain aloof, they chose to convert to Karaism. To them it was a far more accepting and tolerant sect after what they had endured.

Hazuk Amunah

Now that the introductions are over, its time to start examining the main focus of this series of articles; the Hazuk Amunah. As I mentioned long ago in a previous article, these books in my possession are not kept under glass, controlled environments, etc., so if someone wishes to lecture me over my alleged mistreatment of these historic treasures, don't, books are made to be read, even three hundred year old books. And this particular book came into my posession with a purpose; to be used as it had been intended when Abraham Isaac of Troki wrote it. Not as a defence of the faith but a weapon. A sword designed to slash through the dogma and myths that arose as a result of the Rabbanite adulterations of the messianic tractate. To be used as Anan ben David would have wished; to highlight to his Christian neighbours where they had been led astray and show them how to return to the original path.

So what exactly was this Hazuk Amunah, that it sent shock waves through the Church? Unlike other polemics used through the centuries the approach of Hazuk Amunah was quite different. Rather than criticize and condemn as an outsider looking in, it used Christianity's own doctrines and words to make its arguments, so in effect critiquing from within. In fact, unlike most polemics which often bordered on emotional diatribes, the approach by Issac ben Abraham Troki was quite logical making the author quite unique for his time having been born in 1533 and passing away in 1594 in the city of Troki, Lithuania. Troki's Karaite teacher was the scholar Zephaniah ben Mordecai but following the age old advice of Anan ben David to read everything and then make up your mind, Troki also studied Latin and Polish literature under the tutelage of Christian clergy. In fact he was so immersed in the Christian world that he studied Christian theology and religious philosophy as well. But the more he studied the more he found fault with the Christian teachings and when he no longer could accept Christian attempts to refute Judaism, that is when he sat down and wrote his greatest work, the Hazuk Amunah.

Having heard all the arguments, Troki simplified the divinity of Jesus down to a simple logical equation. That being that Jesus (A) either permitted the Jews and the Romans to torment, persecute and then execute himself according to his own wishes or (B) Jesus was crucified against his own will and he was powerless to stop them. If (A) then why was he so filled with self doubt and trepidation when he was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane and if (B) then how can someone save the world if he can't even save himself. It wasn't as if these questions were new to the anti-Christian writers of the past, but it was the way in which Troki handled the subsequent answers, building upon each as a stepping stone until there was no defense reamaining against his logic.

The work was never published during Troki's lifetime, but passed through the hands of numerous copyists over the next century. Unfortunately, one of these was a Rabbanite and he felt perfectly entitled to start inserting quotes from the Talmud, which immediately lessened any of Troki's purely logical arguments. Then the manuscript had the misfortune or good fortune, depending on how you look at it, to fall into the hands of Johann Christoph Wagenseil, an anti-Jewish writer who took great delight in publishing the book in 1681 along with his very pro-Christian refutation in Latin. He even gave it the very appealing name of Tela Ignea Satanae which translates as the Fiery Darts of Satan. But Wagenseil's version backfired on him. In spite of his best efforts, his rebuttals weren't enough to diffuse Troki's well shaped arguments and instead of dealing a death blow to Torki's work, Wagenseil ensured that it became exceedingly popular. So popular, that even Voltaire praised it as an extraordinary piece of work.

A Message from Isaac ben Abraham Troki

Before I engage in writing my dissertations on the Hazuk Amunah and hopefully lend my own humble views to this exceptional document without diminishing I hope Troki's masterpiece in any way I think it would be opportune to let the original author speak on behalf of himself. I take liberties in enclosing parts of Troki's own preface to his book but I don't think anyone could say it as well as he did when he speaks of the universality of mankind.

"My religious zeal was aroused, on finding that the name of the Supreme Being was dishonored, and our Holy Law profaned by the very people who had been appointed to be the guardians of faith and the witnesses of those grand truths which make the simple man wise, the sorrowing heart glad, and the dim eyes bright. To my grief, I found that the inquisitive and indefatigable study of religion which yields due reward to its zealous followers was not cultivated among us as in former days and am persuaded that ignorance and growing misapprehensions have added mental to physical burdens. Persecutions arising from religious hatred were heaped upon the children of my faith in all quarters of the globe and were ever increasing in acrimony, not less in consequence of the low state of knowledge possessed by the Jews in matters of theological controversy than by the confused and mistaken notions which Christians had formed of Judaism. But it is absolutely imperative on man to be at all times prepared to repel any attack made on his belief. In conformity with this observation, our sages have recorded their opinion in the following axiom: "Man ought assiduously to study his own faith and be competent to give a proper reply to his antagonists," more particularly when we consider that in the majority of Scriptures of which we alone are the legitimate heirs and expounders.

Seeing that our Holy Scriptures contain immutable truths revealed to us for the benefit of the whole human race, I have presented in this work such biblical passages as serve to illustrate the genuineness of Judaism and also such as require elucidation in order that the reader may fully perceive that, whatever seems obscure or tending to support Christianity, is indeed merely so in form and relates wholly and exclusively to the sacred cause of Judaism; a cause which no argument whatever can depreciate for the leading object of our faith is to make erring men look up to the unerring Deity and inspire the belief that one indivisible God rules over the destinies of all, requiring no mediator or intercessor to obtain remission for our sins."

Monday, February 22, 2010

Third Letter to My Christian Brethren

Misguided Intent

As was presented in Letter 2, the origins of Christianity were and are deeply rooted in Jewish Rabbinical teachings. The fact that these teachings bordered on the heretical and were not rooted in the Torah mattered little to these rabbinical scholars that pursued their own agenda. And therein lies the problem, the great rift between Rabbanites and Karaites, for it was this agenda of these so-called learned men that caused the greatest threats to the continued existence of Judaism. To understand this statement, one must fully appreciate the reasoning behind the development of the Messiah mythos that the rabbis fabricated and then foisted upon the Jewish people. To create an entirely new legend concerning a supernatural hero that pre-existed the beginning of time, that was superior to the angels and therefore next in line to God, who would suffer at the hands of his own people, yet never abandon them by taking on their sins and ultimately defeating their enemies, a doctrine which runs contrary to the Torah could only have been undertaken if the rabbis felt the reason for their heresy far outweighed the consequences. Even as these rabbis prepared this doctrine, one of their early leaders grew concerned. Hillel, probably the greatest sage of their Pharisaic brotherhood, and the man they esteem as the progenitor of their kind saw the fine line upon which they tread and he was gravely concerned. In Sanhedrin 98b of the Talmud, it is recorded that Hillel tried to put an end to their misguided philosophy by telling them that the Messiah had already come and gone. That he was the son of King Hezekiah and nothing more than a divinely inspired human. Unfortunately, although his students and followers clung to every other word he had to say, in this case they chose to ignore him, not willing to abandon their ‘divine being’ heresy. But the real question was why these supposedly intelligent men felt they needed to create this mythological hero in the first place and the answer lies in the fact that it was a belief 180 degrees from what was taught by the Zadokites who’s rulings reigned supreme at the time. Therefore their motivation was to challenged the existing infrastructure, to embarrass those that were holding on to the reins of power and to ultimately win over the hearts and minds of the people by promising them something better than what was being offered by the Sadducees but thinking that they would never have to deliver on their promises. To the Sadducees, the origins of the Messiah were a matter of fact. One would come from the House of Aaron, the other from the House of David. Neither divine by birth, only divinely inspired. Two very human figures that happened to be from the two houses that the Rabbis despised greatly and were more than happy to record their hatred for these various families in their Talmud. Therefore, even though Hillel was still insisting the Messiah would be from the line of the royal family, or had already been, the rabbis refused to accept this. Their messiah could not be tainted by either of these two families that were accursed in their minds; hence the creationist myth that the messiah was a godling spirit that existed from the beginning of the universe. Of course, having an entity greater than the angels is a direct contravention of the commandment, “Thou shall have no other God but me,” but the rabbis were willing to promote this sacrilege as long as they could eliminate the authority of the royal and priestly houses. As for the suffering that the suffering servant will endure at the hands of his enemies as outlined in Isaiah, the rabbis transformed this metaphor of Israel into a physical punishment borne by the messiah. Rashi was not the first to tell them that they were wrong but they would not listen. As long as they could convince the people that the ‘real’ messiah would suffer physically for their sins, then they could also point at members of the two aristocratic families and say, “See, none of them even knows what it is to suffer as they live in the lap of luxury; No way that they could be the progenitors of the messiah.” That was their sole reasoning, their only purpose in transforming the edicts of the Torah into the folktales of the messiah that inhabited their Talmud. Self-serving, self-empowering, and most of all providing revenge for what they considered several hundred years of suffering at the hands of these aristocratic families.

Revelations of Paul

The problem with creating myths is that somewhere, someplace, sometime, someone sees them as being true. As Saul admits, he considered himself a ‘good’ student of Rabbi Gamaliel. Though the rabbis immediately disclaimed him as one of their own, his statement was most likely correct. He was their perfect student, and for the most part their perfect soldier until he recognized a serious flaw in their teachings that contradicted sharply with their practices. In essence, “a do as we tell you but not as we preach,” attitude to which Saul eventually took exception and became Paul as a result. As a good little soldier for his Pharisaic brotherhood, Saul set out on a mission to harass and persecute the followers of Yeshua, taking his mission all the way to Syria, well beyond any actual jurisdiction that the rabbis had. Stoning, flogging, and clubbing were all in a good day’s work and he had no concerns if the victims of his persecutions should die in the process. But along the way he had his revelation; some will call it a stroke, Christian adherents will say it was the appearance of Yeshua, I consider it to be the light bulb finally going off in his head which resulted in a mental breakdown during which he had to rebuild the pieces of his life. Whatever the explanation, Saul (Paul) realized that the orders he followed were in direct contradiction of his rabbinical training. He understood that he was instructed to beat these heretics but in doing so he knew that their practices and beliefs were not in contradiction to the rabbinical teachings of the soon to be written Talmud. Following a mystical teacher with possibly a divine mission was certainly part of the rabbinic messiah tradition. Questions regarding his birth weren’t questions at all according to the rabbinic dogma. Since the messiah described by the rabbis was not born human but a spirit conceived at the creation, then how could there be any heresy if the claimant to the throne of the messiah was believed by his followers to be born via Immaculate Conception? And if his genealogy was not precisely that of either aristocratic house, then that suited the rabbis well since they were insistent that as a godling he could not be the descendant of their despised enemies, the Sadducees or Asmoneans (non-Davidic). But furthermore, the rejection of Yeshua by the majority of the Jews was exactly how the rabbis portrayed the Messiah would be received by those that he had come to serve and save. As a true rabbinical student, Saul was left with no other choice but to conclude that this Yeshua must have been the Messiah the rabbis were expecting. For him to deny that would be a denial of everything he had been taught in the school of Gamaliel. Abandoning his fuller’s club, he took up the mantle of the supreme apostle and began to preach the religion of this rabbinic messiah. At first the rabbis paid little attention to him but soon they were to be haunted by their own words and teachings that would create an entirely new civilization to supplant that which they had attempted to foist upon the uneducated masses.

The Dilemma

What Paul experienced was the dilemma of conscience that all rabbis since the time of their formation have had to face. It’s one thing to create an entire mythos as a vehicle of pronouncing your own superiority over your adversaries and proclaim that your teachings are the only ones of relevance as you attempt to seize the power and authority from those that were legitimately invested with them. But it’s an entirely different matter when you’re suddenly faced with the monster you have created. It would seem that these monsters are a constant plague of the Rabbanites. As detailed in Shadows of Trinity ( these monsters having rabbinic origins have always become the bane of Jewish existence. With two thousand years of making the same mistake over and over again, one would think the rabbis would learn their folly but admitting their mistakes is not one of their more noble characteristics. So when faced with the reality of Yeshua, and the fact that he appeared to meet the criteria that they had laid out for their version of the Messiah, they only had two choices. One was either to admit that they were mistaken, and all their teachings were contrary to the Torah and therefore they had sinned, or else they had to acknowledge that Yeshua was their rabbinic messiah. The fact that they were manipulated by the Sadducees into this situation as explained in The Caiaphas Letters ( meant that either way they would have diminished themselves and resigned the authority they had gained over the centuries by battling the Sadducees for theological supremacy. What had not been anticipated was that they would take the third option, one which didn’t even exist. They simply denied Yeshua. Without justification, without explanation, they expanded and altered their messiah mythology, declaring that the true messiah would be from the Tribes of Joseph, he would be a warrior, and he would lead the heavenly host in the battle of Armageddon against Aramilius. Since Yeshua could not claim to have fulfilled any of these obligations, then he could not possibly be their messiah. The transition from suffering servant to military conqueror became the new curriculum vitae for their savior and the separation between the Zadokite messiah of the Torah and that of the Rabbanites became even wider. Clever as the rabbis thought they were in escaping from the snare that they themselves had set, they were not smart enough to realize that they had created an entirely new trap that would engulf them. And this time the danger of their continued existence was far greater than the threat from the widely expanding Christian religion.

Expectations of Mohammed

As a young caravan driver travelling the length and breadth of Judea, Galilee and Samaria, Mohammed was very familiar with the Messianic legends of his time. He knew of the story of Yeshua as well and the reasons for his rejection. What most people may not realize was that Mohammed first went to the Jews, explaining that he would fulfill their requirements for the messiahship and that they would be delivered by his sword arm. Just as Yeshua met the initial set of criteria, Mohammed knew that he met the requirements of this second set. He was already upon a path of conquest and determined to bring about the final battle for domination of the world. He declared to the Jews of every town that he was the fulfillment of their prophecies. He even went as far to claim that he represented the Messiah ben Joseph so that he would fulfill all the new criteria that the rabbis had created for this messiah. How he did so was quite unique, since he could not establish a blood link to Joseph. Taken from Muhammad in World Scriptures (Vol. 2) by Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi, Mohammed’s explanation does border on the genius in that he calculated he could prove his connection to Joseph through ‘equivalence’. He claimed the following, “That he, like Joseph would be the target of all cruelties by his brothers (Qur’an 12:102).” Furthermore, whereas Jacob said to Joseph that he would be chosen, the Qur’an says that Mohammed was granted eminence by the Lord. Drawing conclusions that Jacob would have warned Joseph not to tell his brothers about his visions, the Qur’an also mentions that Mohammed was warned that people would do mischief towards him once they heard his revelation. Mohammed also stated that Jacob had told Joseph that God would make his favour complete to him, and similarly Mohammed too was apprised of his triumph in the early revelations. Since Joseph had been sold by his brethren to Ishmaelite traders and Mohammed was often slandered as the son of a handmaid, referring to Hagar, the concubine of Abraham, he extended this slur to include all Ishmaelites and therefore by right of purchase he obtained everything that belonged to Joseph. Thusly, both Joseph and himself were able to interpret the signs sent by God. Just as Joseph was placed in prison, Mohammed claimed he was besieged in Shi’b of Abu Talib, which for a time became his prison. And just like Joseph who preached to his companions in prison, Mohammed did the same to Banu Hashim in Shi’b. Mohammed also explained that the plague of famine played a major role in both their lives; seven years in Egypt for Joseph and seven years in Makka for Mohammed. And just like Joseph who received honours following his release from prison, Mohammed similarly received honours from the Jews at Madina. In the end, Joseph’s brothers had to beg for mercy from him and the same happened at Makka where Mohammed’s persecutors had to beg for mercy from him. Joseph in his generosity told his brothers that there would be no reproof against them that day. Mohammed intentionally used these same words when he vanquished the Meccans when he conquered their city. And in the end, Joseph became a ruler in Egypt, just in the same way that Mohammed became a ruler at Madina.

The final icing on the cake that Mohammed used was Genesis 49:10, the same sentence that the rabbis used to explain how they could reassign the messiahship from the houses of Aaron and David. For in that Old Testament sentence it states then in the final days the sceptre of Judah and the Law Giving by Aaron will be wrested away with the coming of Shiloh. Since Shiloh was a city within the boundaries of the tribes of Joseph, the rabbis concluded that the messiah would be from Joseph. But both Christianity and Islam claimed it meant that the messiahship would fall to an outsider, Shiloh referring more to the hinterlands. But what exactly was the meaning of Shiloh, we still do not know. But clearly it did not mean that the messiah would come from Joseph. That much I can tell you with certainty. I have my suspicions as to its meaning but that will be for another day. More importantly, the situations that arose, both with Paul and Mohammed were entirely the result of the political machinations of these rabbis, bent on seizing power and creating the litany of legends and myths to support their claims. Too short sighted to recognize the repercussions of their meddling ways, and constantly opening the right to claim messiahship to those that simply believed all they had to do was fulfil the dictates that the rabbis had themselves created, crisis situations arose not only once but twice. And the deeper the rabbis dug this quagmire for themselves, the worse the situation grew for the Jews, because each time these claimants were rejected, they vented their anger and frustration against the Jewish people. Because of their stubbornness, the rabbis were not prepared to explain that they had merely fabricated the criteria for their coming messiah and so thousands upon thousands had to die for their folly and arrogance. Even in the Talmud there are three separate rabbis that are quoted saying that they long for the coming of the Messiah, but definitely do not want him to come in their lifetime. Why, you might ask? Because that would mean that they would have to give up their power and resign their authority, and even after all the death and destruction they had caused, they were still not prepared to do that.

The Anguish of Anan

Viewing the damage created by the rabbis through their Talmudic tales and messianic mythologies, Anan ben David in the 8th century knew that the time had come to reassert the old beliefs in order to correct the runaway train that Judaism had become. He knew that the Exilarchate was not only necessary for the fulfillment of the original Zadokite messianic beliefs because of its descent from the House of David but over the intervening centuries it had intermarried with the House of Aaron so many times over that there was a strong paternal descendancy from that family as well. The problem was that over the years the Rabbanites had wrestled more and more of the Exilarch’s power and authority away until the position was little more than a figurehead and incapable of fulfilling its destiny and the original messiah concept from the Torah had become a distorted, corrupted mess due to rabbinic interference. Both Christianity and Islam were now flourishing based on the false messianic mythos established by the Rabbanites and both were growing geometrically with every accusation they made that the Jews had abandoned their own beliefs unwilling to acknowledge either of these other religions’ claims of having fulfilled their precepts. Anan didn’t need to be in possession of prophetic insight to understand what that meant to the future of Judaism as it was about to be eclipsed by two tidal waves that had sprung from an ocean of inaccurate theological arguments. In order to restore the dominance of the Exilarch, the rabbis knew that meant Anan was seeking the means of removal of their power and authority that they had worked so hard to contest and gain over the preceding centuries. They were definitely not prepared to let that happen even though by that time they had proven that they could abuse the privileges of power as badly as any despot. Using their ill-gotten censuring authority that had been granted to them by the Caliph as representatives of a recognized state religion the rabbis laid charges against Anan ben David that he was attempting to interfere with their governance, committed heresy by declaring their doctrine to be false, and was trying to assert himself as an actual monarch rather than satrap which placed him in opposition to the Caliph. Serious charges which immediately resulted in his arrest and imprisonment for a considerable length of time, some reports saying as long as five years.

Five years in a cell gives a man an opportunity to think deeply on matters and Anan put his time to good use. Both Christianity and Islam as I have indicated were based on distorted prophecies and false doctrines. He didn’t bother to focus on either of those upstart religions deciding that was the Rabbanites problem and that they would have to deal with them; he instead would restore the original Zadokite doctrines; those messianic beliefs that had been firmly established within the Torah and were immutable. Dismissing the concept of the appearance of the messiah at the beginning of creation, Anan re-established the original doctrine that the two messiahs will come when the need arises. Therefore there was no premeditation, only a responsive action by God when necessary. That they were to be men, nothing more, favored by God, gifted by God, and descended from the Houses of Aaron and David was also a fact from the Torah. Their purpose was/is not to save the Jewish people by defeating their enemies through battle but by turning their enemies into brothers by teaching them the true path to God the dawn of a new age would result. The Moreh Tsedek or Righteous Teacher as messiah was restored as had been the original belief. So whereas the Rabbanites saw the coming of the messiah as salvation, Anan looked at the Torah scriptures and saw the coming of the messiahs as a reward. Just as the Rabbanites viewed messianic times as the End of Days, Anan’s view taken from the Torah was that it was the ‘Beginning of Days.’ Not just a reward for the Jews but for all of humanity. Whereas the rabbis looked at the End of Days with trepidation, hoping to avoid its onset as long as possible, Anan taught that the coming of the Messiahs should be welcomed openly and if it could be hastened, then all the better. And once the Messiahs come, then the Jews from the Diaspora would be gathered from the four corners of the globe and returned to Israel so that all would be as it was originally described in the Torah.

There is some discussion by those that assert that perhaps Anan ben David saw himself as one of the two Messiahs and that his migration to Jerusalem was his attempt to encourage other Jews to migrate and thereby hasten the messianic age. He certainly saw himself as a teacher and viewed his mission as being righteous. His family genealogy was correct, and he did manage to restore the faith to many of the Jews. But if it was his thinking, then he failed to take into account that the Messiah will not know that he is the messiah. So the real messiah will not ever claim to be the messiah because he simply will not know. The honor of messiahship will be thrust upon him by those that follow once he has achieved the end goal. And the end goal is one in which all of mankind adopts the one religion, that being the original faith of the Jews, and a feat of that magnitude can only be achieved by the Moreh Tsedek.

The Moreh Tsedek

The Righteous Teacher of Karaism is not to be confused with the same person or title used by the Essene community in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The person to bear this title from Karaite interpretations of the Torah will be the Messiah that will ultimately change the world and bring about the age of peace. As his title would ascribe, he will not do it through war, or bloodshed, or even force. But with a barely audible whisper that will eventually grow into a thunderous rumble that will silence all other voices. His sword is his pen, his army is his insight and he will change the world not through bloodshed but through a searing vision of a better place. He will not only know the answers to all of the questions that have remained unanswerable from Torah Law but more importantly, he will know what questions still need to be asked. The Moreh Tzedek will be ignored, chastised and ridiculed in the beginning but he will never abandon his mission, continually bearing the scorn of his own people until the time that the first of them listen to his words. They will accuse him of every conceivable sin, and he may in truth have committed them all since it is written that he will take upon himself the sins of the people, but it will never corrupt him and he will find repentance and forgiveness directly from God. Because it is also written that in his life he will need to become the lowest of men, looked down upon by others, despised and his soul considered ugly to look upon, in order to ascend to the pinnacle of mankind, he knows that whatever sins he may commit are already anticipated and necessary to fulfill his destiny. And then it will happen. One will become ten, then a thousand, a million and finally six and a half billion. His words will conquer their hearts, their minds and eventually their souls. All that had been written in the Torah will come to pass and the blessings of the Lord shall be upon us all.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Second Karaite Letter to My Christian Brethren

The Origins

As I mentioned in Part 1, I believe emphatically that without the misguided interpretations of the Rabbis as they fought over every word in the Torah in order to create their Talmud in order to justify their own existence, there would have been no Christianity. They were directly responsible for it doctrines, teachings and of course Yeshua. Making such a statement obviously requires a structural support built on facts and documents in order to withstand skeptical scrutiny. And that is what Part 2 of this dissertation will do; it will provide the facts, the sources, the Rabbis' own words that resulted in what we call today, Christianity. Had these self-proclaimed wisemen not engaged in their fruitless labours of deciphering God's own words and teachings in order to suit their own passions and desires, we would not have seen the splintering of Judaism into daughter religions. We would not have seen the advent and rise of Christianity and Islam. We would not have endured two thousand years of persecution by those that proclaimed themselves as the inheritors of God's blessings and therefore dedicated to the extermination of those that went by the title of 'chosen' previously. Yes, the world would have been a much different place had these Rabbis interpreted the Torah more literally and less metaphorically; had they understood the value and logic of Zadokite and Boethian thinking. Had they just accepted the fact that most often when the prophets spoke of suffering, they were referring to their own lives which had borne and endured the whips and scourges of mankind for attempting to deliver their messages to both rulers and the common people, rather than making unwarranted leaps into the realm of the fantastical of future messiahs with magical powers that would suffer incredible punishments. Then there would have been no precedents upon which alternative religions would have built their houses of unfounded doctrines. But no, these rabbis could not do so. They could not leave the obvious alone and through their naivitee they have brought down upon all of us a lifetime of suffering and persecution. Surely now they would see that as a people we have fulfilled those prophecies that originally were spouted by the prophets of old. No longer an individual's suffering, no longer the prophets themselves, but an entire people, marked and scourged, beaten and executed for no other crime than being unwilling to abandon the words of God.

From their own arguments that I will present subsequently, you will be able to follow the transition from Rabbinical conjecture to Christian reality. Of how men with nothing more to do than discuss how many angels can dance on the head of a pin caused the fractures within Judaism that led to one religion becoming three. The finger is pointed in their direction for this is their true legacy.

The Rabbis' Folly

Considering that the Talmud is a compilation of not Oral Law as the Rabbis would attempt to make one believe but in reality a compilation of legends, folklore and irrelevant discourses, then it is not surprising that there was an atmosphere in Judea around the time of the Roman occupation that would have supported the advent of a figure like Yeshua. One must remember that the Talmud is based on these legends from that particular time period and that it was the Pharisees that in their defiance and attempts to turn the people from Zadokite or Sadducean teachings who advocated such myths and legends as being actual truths. They taught these fabrications not as the mythical tales they were but as unwritten stories and commandments that were handed down from the time of Moses,despite Moses purposely declaring that all there is was written in the Torah and there was no more.

Such is the case when one examines Sanhedrin 98b in the Babylonian Talmud which states, "What is his name?(the Messiah) The Rabbis said, his name is the Leper Scholar, as it is written, surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God and afflicted."

Is it any wonder this leper Messiah, who suffered for the griefs and sorrows of his people only to be rejected by them would naturally lead to assumption of Christians that Yeshua suffered for his people only to be scorned and rejected by the very people he had come to save. The Pharisees and Rabbis had already affirmed in their minds that this is exactly the way it was to proceed and in so doing gave Yeshua his legitimized standing. As a leper they were already stating he would be rejected despite his status as the messiah. Furtherthermore, what is most alarming is that their reference to this messiah is in the past tense. He had already come and gone which I find this view of theirs astounding since they have now given even more credence to Yeshua's claim, since I know of no other identity that they could offer up as heir to this title that would have already existed. Unless they're referring to Simon Bar Kochba and that would even be more alarming if that was the case since Bar Kochba did nothing but lead us into another war with Rome which almost resulted in our complete extermination. But then again, he was the Rabbi's choice for a messiah and therefore they ultimately were responsible for the slaughter of Jews in the hundreds of thousands.

Midrash Ruth Rabbah: "Another explanation (of Ruth ii.14): -- He is speaking of king Messiah; `Come hither,' draw near to the throne; `and eat of the bread,' that is, the bread of the kingdom; `and dip thy morsel in the vinegar,' this refers to his chastisements, as it is said, `But he was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities"

Once again the Rabbis refer to the messiah being a person made to suffer for the sins and transgressions of the Jewish people. If one did not know better they would say that it was a Christian minister writing his sermon and declaring from the pulpit that Jesus was the messiah and that he died on behalf of the sins of the Jews. But this isn't some Christian theologian but Rabbis with vivid imaginations creating fantastical tales from what were originally precise statements of legitimate prophets.

Zohar: "`He was wounded for our transgressions,' etc....There is in the Garden of Eden a palace called the Palace of the Sons of Sickness; this palace the Messiah then enters and summons every sickness, every pain, and every chastisement of Israel; they all come and rest upon him. And were it not that he had thus lightened them off Israel and taken them upon himself, there had been no man able to bear Israel's chastisements for the transgression of the law: and this is that which is written, `Surely our sicknesses he hath carried."

Long ago I expressed my opinion of the Zohar. (see http:/ It is an abomination of Judaism and those that practice it and worship through it are not glorified but condemned by God. Nothing in the Zohar is to be taken literally nor given credibility. But to the Christian mind reading the above passage, it would certainly seem to justify his faith in Yeshua. After all, it fits very well with their beliefs that Israel transgressed and only someone or something more than a man could bear those sins and carry them away.

Rabbi Moses Alschech (1508-1600) in reference to Isaiah 52:13 and 53 said, "Our Rabbis with one voice accept and affirm the opinion that the prophet is speaking of the Messiah, and we shall ourselves also adhere to the same view."

In reference to these same chapters Abrabanel (1437-1508) said "This is also the opinion of our own learned men in the majority of their Midrashim."

I can read those same passages and quickly see that the Prophet is referring to Israel as the suffering servant. The entity that has born the abuse of the world for following the path of righteousness and Torah. And even Rashi, a rabbinic sage, knew that Isaiah 53 was referring to Israel and chastised his colleagues for popularizing their wild imaginations of thinking otherwise. But as Abarbanel mentions above, "These rabbis were not prepared to abandon their faulty interpretion of Isaiah 53 as Messianic because they needed desparately to feed their congregations an opiate of faith in order to appease the constant question they faced of why we must suffer constantly. By giving their congregations false hope they could avoid their being dragged into the streets and pummelled by their followers once they realized that the hardships they suffered all occurred because of the rabbis' own distortions and poltical miscalcultations.

Even more dangerous is the allusions made in the Midrash Tanchuma by the Rabbis in which they claim the messiah is as follows: "He was more exalted than Abraham, more extolled than Moses, higher than the archangels" This is further confirmed in Yalkut Schimeon ( ascribed to Rabbi Simeon Kara, 12th Century ) in which he says regarding Zecharih 4:7: "He ( the Messiah ) is greater than the patriarchs, as it is said, 'My servant shall be high, and lifted up, and lofty exceedingly' (Isaiah 52:13)."

Now as I've already expressed, the prophet is merely referring to Israel as His servant and he is only confirming what God has always said that He would favour Israel and raise it above all other nations and it will be glorified upon the lips of all other people. So where in the world these rabbis can make an ascertation that the messiah will be greater than Abraham, or Moses, or any of the other prophets is beyond anything God has said or proscribed. To negate and relegate God's chosen men that he spoke to directly in such a callous manner and minimize them at the same time is intolerable. To place him above angels is practically sacriligious. But what they did do in their moment of sublime stupidity is create the fable of a messiah that must be more than human, imbued with some heavenly powers that Christians immediately seized upon as justification for their beliefs. So in essence, Christianity has not built its foundation of beliefs upon the Torah but upon the words and fabrications of these Jewish Rabbis that had no authority to speak on God's behalf.

Though some say that Maimonides (RAMBAM 1135-12O4) was benevolent to the Karaites, another falsehood which I object to since RAMBAM said that Rabbanite kindness would only be extended to those of us that admitted Karaism was a mistaken belief, this pinnacle of rabbinic wisdom wrote to Rabbi Jacob Alfajumi, "Likewise said Isaiah that He (Messiah) would appear without acknowledging a father or mother: 'He grew up before him as a tender plant and as a root out of a dry ground' etc. (Isa.53:2)."

I don't know whether RAMBAM was taking some of his own medication he prescribed as a doctor or whether he was sharing the hashpipe with Saladdin at the time but whatever drugs he was on, his failure to comprehend this very simple analogy made by the prophet Isaiah had major repercussions against Judaism's rejection of Christianity. Whereas the prophet was simply comparing the rise of Judaism within a hostile environment and how not only did it grow but took root to find nourishment in hostile soil, a very easy metaphor to understand, RAMBAM saw it in the same mythological fallacy of his forefathers, the Pharisim. How one draws a conclusion of divine birth, inhuman progeneration from a green shoot growing in a desert escapes me. But because he was so willing to believe the myth perpetuated by the Pharisees at the time of Roman occupation, he is an example of how these rabbis not only encouraged the belief of Hellenistic (Greek polytheism) divine creation but were responsible for such beliefs taking root amongst the poor and uneducated classes amongst the Jewish populace. In other words, Yeshua didn't create Christianity, the rabbis did. And early Christians were nothing more than rabbinic Jews having this peculiar belief that is an ananthema to the Torah.

Unfortuantely the rabbis couldn't stop themselves. The more they wrote on the topic of the messiah, the more they fed the appetite of Christian clergy to demonstrate that the Jews knew that Yeshua was the messiah and knowingly rejected him. Rabbi Moses, 'The Preacher'(11. Century) wrote in his commentary on Genesis (page 660) as follows, "From the beginning God has made a covenant with the Messiah and told Him,' My righteous Messiah, those who are entrusted to you, their sins will bring you into a heavy yoke'..And He answered, 'I gladly accept all these agonies in order that not one of Israel should be lost.' Immediately, the Messiah accepted all agonies with love, as it is written: 'He was oppressed and he was afflicted."

Once again we have a situation where the rabbis will fabricate stories, legends, or similar and give it divine sanctification. By writing this comment, Rabbi Moses has openly declared that the Messiah existed from the beginning of time. I know of no place in the Book of Genesis where this statement is made. Nor do I have any recollection from Genesis of God engaging in a conversation with the messiah. In fact, I don't know of anywhere in the entire Torah where God engages in such a conversation. And to imply that the Messiah acknowledges that he will take on the sins of Israel as his own, is definitely not what is written in Isaiah 53. In fact it states that God was pleased with afflicting him (52:10) and it was God that caused him grief. The people witnessing this did not realize that it was for their iniquities but instead saw it as punishment from God. But by putting into written script what the Pharisees had declared at the time of Yeshua and what the rabbis still believe, that the messiah is an eternal spirit that existed from the beginning, they gave him God-like qualities, and in so doing, provided the concept of the Trinity which is the mainstay of Christianity. Once again, we have rabbinical fantasies writing the doctrine for this daughter religion of theirs.

Hellenistic Mythology

I find it amusing that the charges against my Boethian and Zadokite ancestors lodged by the Rabbanites is that they were all Hellenizers, willing to placate themselves to their Greek and Roman overlords at the expense of the religion. They further declared that only they were willing to fight for the preservation of Judaism to the point of fanatical zealotism. Yes, they were fanatical, bringing our civilization to the precipice of annihilation over and over again. Something we Boethians and Zadokites worked hard to see would not happen, even if our methods were accused of being patronizing and subservient. But where we drew the line is with the Torah. That remained unalterable and our overlords were content to leave it so as long as they had our sworn obeiance. But as you can read below, these vanguards of religious freedom, these paragons of virtue, these rabbinical defenders of God's words, were more than happy to alter the religion and freely did so at the expense of hundreds of thousands of lives they convinced to fight in defence of Judaism. The question I ask is whether the people knew what they were fighting for because from what the rabbis have written it's hard to believe they did.

From the stories of Rabbi Shim'on ben Yohai in the midrash it was written, "And Armilaus will join battle with Messiah, the son of Ephraim, in the East gate . . .; and Messiah, the son of Ephraim, will die there, and Israel will mourn for him. And afterwards the Holy One will reveal to them Messiah, the son of David, whom Israel will desire to stone, saying, Thou speakest falsely; already is the Messiah slain, and there is non other Messiah to stand up (after him): and so they will despise him , as it is written, "Despised and forlorn of men;" but he will turn and hide himself from them, according to the words, "Like one hiding his face from us."

To the Rabbanites this is not a fable but seen on equal standing with the Torah. As discussed in my hub on the Twin Messiahs, the belief that there would be more than one is based on the Torah statement of the rod and sceptre will not fall. Because one of these was priestly, the rabbis could not stomach the thought of a priestly messiah and instead replaced him with a descendant of Joseph. But in their myth creating excercises they've written just as the Greeks did with the mythology entire episodes of events and challenges for their godlings. They even have the messiah of David suffering at their hands because the messiah of Ephraim has died in battle with the demon Armilaus. Already it is taking on Greek mythological status. Was it any wonder that Christians could equate this fable to be the prediction of John the Baptist and Jesus. The ground work had already ben laid by the rabbis.

Even when certain rabbis wished to correct these errors made by their predecessors they found that they could not turn their colleagues from this false mythology. Nachmanides (Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman) in the thirteenth century wrote, "The right view respecting this Parashah is to suppose that by the phrase "my servant" the whole of Israel is meant. . . .As a different opinion, however, is adopted by the Midrash, which refers it to the Messiah, it is necessary for us to explain it in conformity with the view there maintained. The prophet says, The Messiah, the son of David of whom the text speaks, will never be conquered or perish by the hands of his enemies. And, in fact the text teaches this clearly."

So even Nachmanides is admitting he cannot change the minds of his colleagues as it was too firmly implanted in the Midrash. What a shame that he didn't try harder.

A Karaite View of Isaiah 53

Though I have always interpreted the suffering servant to be a manifestation of Israel itself, and certainly no one can argue that Jews have not suffered for their beliesf over the last 3000 years, it is not to say that mine is the only Karaite interpretation. From the 10th century, Yapheth ben Ali had an interpretation that resembles some of the Rabbanites but with qualifications. He wrote as follows, "As to myself, I am inclined, with Benjamin of Nehawend, to regard it as alluding to the Messiah, and as opening with a description of his condition in exile, from the time of his birth to his accession to the throne: for the prophet begins by speaking of his being seated in a position of great honour, and then goes back to relate all that will happen to him during the captivity. He thus gives us to understand two things: In the first instance, that the Messiah will only reach his highest degree of honour after long and severe trials; and secondly, that these trials will be sent upon him as a kind of sign, so that, if he finds himself under the yoke of misfortunes whilst remaining pure in his actions, he may know that he is the desired one."

Though not particularly my belief, I will not say that Yapheth ben Eli is incorrect. His observations are more solid than those of the Rabbanites and he refers to the Messiah not suffering at the hands of Israel for their sins, but suffering at the hands of the world in which he's exiled. In fact, I do agree with Yapheth that I don't believe the messiah will actually know that he is the messiah until such time that he has gone through a series of trials. It is more a case of greatness thrust upon him than his own personal pursuit of it. It would appear that both of us are in agreement as to the manner in which the ascent of the messiah will occur.

Essentially, the message of this article is that the kernels of belief upon which Christianity were based were all created and acknowledged by Rabbinic Judaism. Therefore it must be questioned as to what their primary reasons were that they took such objection to the offspring of their own vivid imaginations when first faced with the rise of the Nazoreans and Minians. It is remarkable that the rabbis would foster such beliefs steeped in mythology and contrary to the Torah,and when faced by the specter of their fallacies would find it so abhorrent. They have rejected it to the point of practically denying that the Christianity originally practiced was in abidement with their own practices and that must make even this Karaite wonder what was their motivation in the first place? Was it perhaps just to be contrary to us Zadokites and Boethians in order to have a point of differentiation in which to begin a struggle for power? Only they can say but after two thousand years I doubt they'll start to admit to their sins now.

There were many stories circulating within the family concerning the events surrounding Yeshua. As I compiled these into the novel 'The Caiaphas Letters' I realized that the circumstances, intrigues and intentions of various individuals went far beyond our own levels of understanding and certainly that of the Pharisees of the time. See for further details.

Monday, February 15, 2010

First Karaite Letter to my Christian Brethren

As mentioned in a previous article of mine, the presenter at the AJS conference took exception to Yaphet ben Eli's condemnation of Rabbanites while not venting any of his disdain upon either Islam or Christianity. She felt that this was grossly unfair and in some way alluded to an anti-Jewish agenda by Karaite Jews. Besides being pathetically amusing as I don't think you could find any community any more pro-Jewish than Karaites (since we consider ourselves to be the genuine article), it is so shockingly inaccurate that I am amazed that the presenter would actually be considered a qualified expert on the topic to be invited to speak at a conference with a worldwide audience. To imply that the discourses of Yaphet ben Eli were the entire summation of Karaite polemics would be like suggesting that Moses standing on Mount Sinai is the entire extent of Jewish history with nothing preceding nor following. She deliberately chose to overlook the extent of Karaite polemics which were very convincing in their debating the inaccuracies and fallacies of other religions, so much so that no Rabbanite documents could match them for their extent of research and level of defence. In many cases Rabbanite Jews claimed the Karaite writings for their own, adding passages and paragraphs in order to introduce an element of Talmud but in so doing, weakening the argument and thereby reducing the impact these Karaite documents would have had if left alone. In that regard, I am more fortunate than most, having been handed down an original copy of Hazok Amonah published at the end of the !7th century. When it was handed to me, I was told two things: one, to never let the book leave the possession of the family and secondly, to know when the time was right to wield it like a sword. At the same time I was told the title should be translated as 'A Testimony of Strength', indicating that knowldedge of the book would imbue the reader with the strength to refute any argument trying to justify the sanctity of Christian doctrine. In effect, this little book (it fits into the palm of my hand) written by Isaac ben Abraham Troki was the ultimate polemic against Christian teachings. In its time, so devastating was the arguments made by Troki that the Church ordered that all copies of the book be confiscated and burned. But like so many things the Church wished to eliminate completely, Judaism in particular, they failed to do so and copies survived, Not many, but the one in my possession is proof that you can never completely destroy an idea through force. What can destroy it is ignorance and adulteration, and like so many other great Karaite works, the Rabbis did manage to publish copies of this particular book but with their additions. These additions were obtained from their writings regarding Christianity in the Talmud and like so much of the Talmud, not only were their arguments without any quantifiable research, they bordered on the absurd and ridiculous. Suddenly a book which in its original form shook the very foundations of Christianity became a poor parody of limited amusing value. Even the translation of the title was altered to reflect the Rabbanites desire that the book serve to reinforce their own faith and counteract the growing tide of assimilation and conversion amongst their congregations. 'Faith Strengthened' became the books new title translation, as they hoped it would stop the exodus from Rabbinical Judaism by ridiculing the Christianity to which the converts were turning. Hardly the agent of strengthening values, their version of Troki's book only served to confuse people more that were already confused as to which religion represented God's true teachings.

What most historians fail to acknowledge is that without the development of Rabbinical Judaism there would have been no birth of Christianity. The origin had less to do with Yeshua (Jesus) and more to do with the distorted teachings of the Pharisees and their progeny called Rabbanites post destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. This is not conjecture, this is fact derived from their own Talmud. It is the reason that I have tolerance and patience for the Messianic Jews of today. When some of my colleagues question as to why I have Messianics on my blogs and contact pages, I have a simple answer, "Because they are merely victims of the confusion woven by the Rabbanites." How can I condemn them for what they do not understand. If the source of that confusion is the Talmud then it is the Talmud that I should not tolerate not those that are its victims. Therefore to me, they are no different than the lost children of Rabbinic Judasim. Once shown the truth and the correct path, they will return; of that I am certain.

In my latest discourses to follow I will present a series of articles on this topic and particluarly the Hazok Amonah. I will let Isaac ben Abraham Troki speak on his own behalf for the most part. There is little I can add to his arguments but where I do, I hope that had he been alive today he would forgive me for my liberties and approve of any additions I make. The first of the articles will examine the creation of Christianity and how it was a Pharasaic or Rabbanite development. A progression of their own thoughts and writings and ultimately their own undoing. Because they dared to challenge the scriptures and alter the words of God, they unleashed the embodiment of their esoteric fantasies and for that we have borne the punishment. Recognizing the 'Golem' they had created, a manifestation that turned against it's own masters that created it, they countered with such writings as the Toldoth Jeshua ( but it was too late. They could not put the proverbial genie back into the bottle. All their attempts of ridicule and sarcasm that they incorporated into their Talmud only served to increase the animosity harboured by this new religion called Christianity against its birth parent. As Karaites we saw that the Rabbanites had become entrapped by their own distortions and fabrications. In order to deny Christianity it necessitated that they also admit that many of their interpretations of the afterlife and messianic aspirations also had to be denied. Since much of this was derived from what they referred to as the Oral Laws, then it also meant they'd have to declare the Talmud a false document created by men and lacking Divine origins. They could not bring themselves to do so and the rest as we say, 'is history.'

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Great Karaite Debate: Part 5

In Acts of Faith, Dan Ross spends a significant amount of his chapter on discussing the "atrocitites" of Karaites during World War II. Six pages in fact pointing out how we gained from a propaganda offensive that convinced the Nazis and their allies that we were not of the same stock as the Ashkenazi Jews they encountered. As he describes it, As a result, the Karaites were allowed to live under the same conditions as the rest of the non-Jewish population; subjected to some hardships but nothing remotely like those of other Jews. Karaite communal lands were confiscated and the government salaries which had been paid to their religious leaders were discontinued. But most continued to work at their pre-war occupations. Some actively collaborated with the Germas." How interesting that the foresight to find a means to survive is being used as a condemnation. How many Rabbanties had falsified passports, medical letters explaining their circumcisions as medical emergencies, anything they could produce to proclaim themselves as non-Jews. And how many of them participated in the burning of the ghettos, the 'ratting out' of their fellow Jews, not to mention the Kapos who actively performed the punishments, imprisonment, killing and deportation of their own people while still wearing the yellow badge of their Jewishness. I am not saying that there weren't Karaites that aided the Nazis. There are always collaborators, but to point out one segment of Judaism as committing this offense while at the same time ignoring the large number of Rabbanites that equally did so is offensive to all those that gave up their lives saving their fellow Jews.

Ross reports that Karaite offenses were a major topic of discussion in post-WWII Israel. As he points out, when the State said it would recognize and welcome Karaites to Israel, one Holocaust survivor wrote a letter in to the Jerusalem Post asying that they had survived for four years in the vicinity of Troki, Lithuania, disgusted by the unworthy behaviour of the Karaites that hounded their Jewish neighbours often collaborating with the Nazis. They wouldn't even associate with the persecuted Jews. They then go on to say that they know of Poles that rescued Jewish children but not a single Karaite that did so. Ross then reports that five to six hundred Karaites are said to have served in various units of the occupying Germans. Some even worked as interpreters. Others he said were accused of beating Jewish women and children in Lutsk and assisting with the liquidation of the ghetto. If this was the National Enquirer, then I would say this article deserves to be placed where it is but to make statments of "he said or she said" with no facts, not names, no reputable eye-witnesses, that is a crime committed by any legitimate historian. Did they serve as interpreters, most likely. After all, they were given equal status with the rest of the non-German Europeans. If the Germans asked them to interpret, I can't see them running the risk of saying, "Sorry, but I won't do that." Who in their right mind would have under those conditions. To make the accusation that they assisted in the slaughter of the Lutsk Ghetto, then that is a very serious accusation and deserving of facts if one is going to make such a statement. Even the person that wrote in the letter to the Jersulem Post only seems to be suffering from the envy that the Karaites escaped persecution. Distraught by the fact that they could move about freely while Rabbanites didn't have that luxury. When did that become a crime? When is survival a crime?

To Ross's credit, after he paints this very unsupported picture of Karaite atrocities, he talks about the Karaites of Vilna who not only aided their Rabbanite brethren by providing them with forged Karaite identification papers and often took them in, pretending that they were members of their families. But even after providing this clear evidence that Karaites did aid their fellow Jews during the war, Ross concludes the episode by describing the Karaite attitude towards the Holocaust as best being "apathetic." Tell that to Rikhail Iosefova Goldenthal who willingly gave up her life to aid her fellow Jews as described in a previous hub.

At this stage I conclude debating the statements made by Dan Ross regarding Karaites. There is nothing really much more to say. When a people are actually condemend for using their wiles in order to survive then that is a clear statement that we are still labelled by the accustion of being 'Mamzerim'. Reconciliation is nothing more than a remote dream because prejudices cannot be wiped clean that easily. But then again, the only reconciliation I believe possible is for the Rabbanites to make a dramatic shift away from the Talmud and embrace the Torah as it was intended to be the only law to govern us.