Monday, August 30, 2010

The Evil That Men Do

There is far more that I wish to say about the Kabbalah and those that pursue its mysteries thinking that it will unlock unworldly rewards and unlimited pleasures. Such is the pursuit of fools and magi, which by most other historical societies were classified as alchemists and esoterics, although during various periods of history the references were far worse and punishments far more severe. Those that choose to ignore my warnings may do so at their own peril, but let me provide you with a better perspective of those that you herald as great Kabbalists and loved by God. For not all the righteousness in the universe will mask the one great evil performed by a man and the evil I speak of is no less than a man portraying himself as a god. I’ve already pointed out how it is that the Kabbalah tries to teach its followers to learn the language and key words to command both angels and other divine creatures but it is guilty of far worse. A crime committed by someone no less prestigious in their own eyes than Rabbi Judah ben Loew, who they consider one of their great masters and teachers.

The Maharal

Who was Rabbi Loew, referred to by many as the Maharal and what did he have to do with the Kabbalah? He certainly is not the man that has been currently portrayed and recently celebrated back in the Prague festivities of September 2009 celebrating the 400th anniversary of his death. And contrary to the publicized claim that Loew was the chief rabbi of Prague after he had served for 20 years as a chief rabbi of Moravia which is now a region of the Czech Republic he never actually held that distinction. Twice turned down for the position of Chief Rabbi of Prague the community actually feared the power grabbing attitude and mystical bent of the man therefore denying him the honour which is now falsely claimed for him. Just so his supporters and false biographers can’t pretend any longer that this was true, I’ll provide you with the two men that the community deemed worthier than Rabbi Loew for the position. The first time the position became available the community and council elected Rabbi Isaac Melling and the second time when he put his name up for election in 1604 with the hope that he’d come out of exile in Poland and return to Prague, the community unanimously selected Rabbi Shlomo Ephraim. The Jews of Prague didn’t want the Maharal anywhere near their city. “Exile?” you ask. Exactly what happened to him as he packed his bags and left the city just weeks after his private meeting with the Emperor Rudolf II in February 1592. After all, if he was as great as his followers claimed, he would hardly have left the city after being praised as they claimed by the Emperor and asked to tutor this monarch in the ways of the Kabbalah.
The truth is that he was a man constantly in conflict with his own community and who committed specific forbidden acts under the guise of religious mysticism or the Kabbalah as these Rabbis wish to call their esoteric and forbidden arts. What exactly was this black art that he performed to cause his expulsion from Bohemia and earn the antagonism of his own community? Like Dr. Frankenstein in Mary Shelly’s book, he allegedly created a monster that terrorized the city and caused the death of a dozen people. Commonly referred to as the Golem, as much as we’d like to discuss this creation of animate matter as utter nonsense we as Karaites cannot because this ‘nonsense’ infests our Rabbanite brethren to the point of blackening Judaism with its heresy and affront to the Almighty. To ignore it is to watch the demise of Judaism as the spread of these Kabbalistic teachings which are in vogue in today’s society, take both heart and mind of the confused, desperate and dissatisfied that are constantly searching for God but don’t know where to find Him

The Golem

Both Singer and Rosenberg based their books on the original legend of the Golem of Prague and Rabbi Loew as it was passed down by Katz who just happened to be the Maharal's son-in-law. Obvious distortions occurred as a result of their reliance on a relative that owed his position and income to the Maharal but the flatteries and claims of greatness were more so out of necessity to cover up the truth than by an intention of bias. Yes, just as both their versions testify, there was a banker involved, as was the mayor and several other prominent people from the Prague Jewish community just as these mythological tales reveal but what they overlooked to tell their readership was that the Emperor did have very good reasons to lay charges and as historical documents point out, to not only take possession of the mayor of Josefov’s fortune as well as his property, but even to have his two nephews arrested. Points of law which Emperor Rudolf did do after Meisel's death but for which the authors accuse one of the most benign and tolerant monarchs of his time as being both criminal and anti-Semitic. The latter accusation which is entirely incongruous with Katz’s claim that Rudolf was enthralled by the Maharal and couldn’t praise him enough with the hope that he would become his teacher in the Kabbalah. The story as presented by Singer, although quaint and enchanting, does not provide the history behind the actual events. The crimes committed by the banker, the printing house and the Golem were more than legend but reality evident in historical facts but buried in fables. And since the art of fables is well mastered by the rabbis as proven in their Talmud it should not be to anyone’s surprise that they have created something of such magnitude that it defies the imagination though concealing the perpetration of the crime quite effectively.
Challenging God

But in their efforts to mix myth and alchemy into the true practice of Judaism they have willingly overstepped the bounds of mortal men until they have proclaimed themselves as superior and in their own minds as being gods themselves. For they have said as much in the Talmud and made no effort to hide their perfidy though the size of their egos would have made that virtually impossible. For it is written in their Talmud that Rava said, “If the righteous wished, they could create a world, as it is written [Isaiah 59:2]: "it is your iniquities that have separated you from your God" (i.e., made a distinction between you and God). Rava created a man and sent him to Rabbi Zera. Rabbi Zera spoke to him but he [the man] did not answer. Then he [Rabbi Zera] said to him: You are from the companions (i.e., a creature created by the rabbis). Return to your dust.” Here we have proof of their efforts to practice the black arts, to create living beings that they could command, and in so doing openly declaring that they have the right to play God because it was their dues for being righteous as promised in Isaiah. For any man to see himself as a god is the establishment of a false image, a graven statue to one owns glory, and in thinking themselves lofty and having the power of gods, they have condemned themselves to the greatest heresy possible. Their fate is no different from that of Nimrod as he built his tower into the heavens in order to challenge God. When men who are thought of us the spiritual leaders of Judaism have chosen a path into darkness then it can be no wonder that the world has come to see the Children of Israel as being abandoned by the Lord. Let us look no further than the Babylonian Talmud, in Sanhedrin 65B where it states, “Rabbi Hanina and Rabbi Oshaia spent every Sabbath eve studying the Book of Creation (Sefer Yezirah); a third-grown calf was created for them, and they ate it.” Remember carefully what I said in my article in regards to what is banned and not banned on the Sabbath and that which is referred to as melakha. If it has to do with creation then it certainly is banned work and by God’s own words ‘the creation’ is punishable by death. When we examine that ruling we realize that God was not talking about people doing simple tasks but instead exactly what these two fools were doing. Using the Sabbath to create a living creature, practicing black arts on the Sabbath and then sacrificing the animal not to God as would have been the Sabbath sacrificial right but eating it themselves as if they themselves were accepting the burnt offering. Not only was the entire act sacrilegious, it is obviously praised by their rabbinic colleagues that have incorporated it into the Talmud. This one act alone renders the Talmud a thing of evil, the antithesis of Judasim, and a blasphemy before God.

Telling It Like It is

But returning to the matter at hand, the reality was that in the year of 1588, the city of Prague was held in the grip of terror, victim to the murderous rampage of an inhuman monster created from the seeds of hatred and sown through religious intolerance and mortal greed. Not 1580 as the legend presented by Singer and Roseberg would have you believe based on Katz’s notes. Rabbi Loew was still in Morovia in that year and didn't travel to Prague until 1586, the same time the Roman Catholic priest Taddeush was leading the mobs against the Jewish community. Therefore the legend of the Golem must be viewed from this perspective to appreciate it fully. Persecutions and murders of Jewish citizenry were taking place and in defence a creature or something even more sinister was let loose on the city but in so doing, not only those guilty of the murder of Jews were in turn killed but innocents as well. And therein lies the dilemma, for at what point do we as God’s light to the world end up as corrupt and evil as the rest of the world? When have we become no different from them? I’m not saying I have the answer but it certainly wasn’t the one these Kabbalists including Rabbi Judah Loew arrived at. According to Prague’s Chabad rabbi, Manis Barash, he claims the Maharal was one of the first rabbis to popularize Kabbalah, If this is what the Kabbalah was intended to achieve, then a curse upon all of them. Sherwin, the director of doctoral studies at Chicago's Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, says Rabbi Loew achieved fame as the golem’s creator because of his greatness but there were many other rabbis of his era who are also well documented as trying to animate golems. Greatness? Since when is evil and the practice of black arts deemed greatness? How misguided have these Kabbalists and their Jewish followers have become to see what they are doing as greatness and no longer view it as the great sin it truly is.

There is another story about the events in Prague, a more accurate and definitive story that portrays what occurred in the light in which it should be properly viewed. Yes, it is a Karaite perspective but it is my ancestor’s perspective and he more than anyone had a right to say what really happened. To read his story and understand the dark path that the Kabbalah will lead you down then I recommend reading Shadows of Trinity released by Eloquent Books (Also available from Amazon Books at and Barnes and Noble at )in order to compare the legend against the historical documentation. I will not state that I did not take some creative leniency in telling of the story but only doing so to make the story flow more easily as historical facts are reeled off one after the other for all to see. For the most part the story preserves each historical fact as it was recorded in the Austrian Royal Archives, familial traditions passed down orally, and details recorded in the legends by both Singer and Rosenberg, revealing a series of strange and shattering events that occurred during the years 1588 and 1589 in Prague as supposedly good men turned evil.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Karaite Sabbath

Amongst Karaites the commandment to keep Shabbat as a day of rest is imperative and although it is repeated many times in the Tanach, its vital importance is probably no better stressed than in Exodus 31:12-17:

And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 'Verily ye shall keep My sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am the LORD who sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore, for it is holy unto you; every one that profaneth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work (melakha—מְלָאכָה) therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days shall work be done; but on the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD; whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He ceased from work and rested.'

So the question that must be asked is how is it that the Shabbat restrictions can be so varied and so different between both Karaites and Rabbanites. Even more so between the various branches of Karaism where some may still observe the Ananite tradition of sitting in darkness an entire evening though others have taken a more reasonable and practical approach. The issue revolves around a single word. Where the interpretations have struggled is when it comes to understanding the word (מְלָאכָה) melakha. Traditionally it has been translated as "work" but it was never intended in my opinion to mean work as we know it. It is very different from the common use of (עבודה) avodah that is associated with physical type labour. Instead we can look to Genesis 2:1-3 for its true meaning. That paragraph reads as follows:

Heaven and earth, and all their components, were completed. With the seventh day, God finished all the work (melakha) that He had done. He ceased on the seventh day from all the work (melakha) that he had been doing. God blessed the seventh day, and he declared it to be holy, for it was on this day that God ceased from all the work (melakha) that he had been creating to function.

Therefore it can be seen that melakha was not a term for work but a word that was in reference to the physical act of creating or the making of something new and unique. Perhaps we can extend and extrapolate its meaning to cover starting something new as well but it is clear that it was not a reference to doing work that was already started or established. The term is also used in Exodus 31:1-11 when God is instructing Moses about the construction of the Tabernacle and even though this was a work in progress, it would appear that He is clearly telling Moses that the work on the Tabernacle must cease on the Sabbath since all the manufacturing done by Bezalel is referred to as being melakha. From this we can further deduce an understanding to the term melakha that it was a reference to work especially pertaining to that having a religious connotation or spiritual significance. It may never have been intended for everyday activities.

Rabbinical Folly

It is no coincidence that the 39 lashes for transgressions has taken on a mystical significance for the Rabbanites as they list their 39 concepts of melakha. By relating the traditional punishment to an exact number of prohibitions the Rabbis have used a very old technique of association to reinforce their policing of their own statutes. A case of merging A and B in order to form C and give it a religious stature as if God had provided them. Demanding that the people do not transgress in any manner their edicts the rabbis have extended their prohibition to practically everything and no longer confining it to that which is creative and which might change the environment. Their use of the biblical threat of lashes created the impression amongst the minds of their followers that it must be the law. But in so doing they created a fallacy of hardship that in some essences is even cruel when extended to the prohibition of saving lives as I will point out later. Even matters which can be rectified and thereby provide a greater level of safety are banned such as the removal of small bones from fish, or the filtering of water. Are we foolish enough or gullible enough to think that God would want our health and safety placed in jeopardy so that we would not be able to worship Him? The Rabbanites obviously think so and therefore I take exception to their regulations though I have to admit there are many Karaites that still adhere to these rules because they have not fully understood and interpreted the meaning of melakha for themselves. Those wishing to see the exact working of the thirty-nine forbidden activities of the Rabbanites, I direct your attention to the Mishna Shabbat 7:2.

Horticultural Prohibitions

These activities include 1. Planting, 2. Plowing ,3. Reaping, 4. Binding Sheaves, 5. Threshing , 6. Winnowing , 7. Selecting, 8. Grinding, 9. Sifting, 10. Kneading, and 11. Baking. Although it is obvious that one could not bake bread if there was no wheat planted, the question of creating as implied from the word melakha would really only extend to activities 1 and 2, since everything that follows is material that has already been generated. But since many of these other activities would distract the individual from finding time to worship God on the Sabbath as the day was intended, then perhaps activities that would involve extended lengths of time should not be engaged in. What would be the rabbinical ruling if the threat of flooding could be avoided by opening a sluice gate or closing a damn if it fell on the Sabbath, thereby preventing the loss of crops? The answer is that they would forbid it but in so doing they have placed the lives of the people in jeopardy which is forbidden even on the Sabbath. Clearly it is evident that the rabbis have not given the act of forethought to this matter and by extending their prohibitions beyond the restrictions of creating and altering the environment they have failed to appreciate the full meaning of the Sabbath Laws.

Wool Prohibitions

Their list continues with 12. Shearing, 13. Scouring 14. Beating 15. Dyeing 16. Spinning 17. Weaving 18. Tying two loops 19. Weaving two threads 20. Separating two threads 21. Tying and Untying, 22. Sewing two stitches 23. Tearing for the purpose of sewing. It is clear that God did not want Bezalel working on the curtains and fabrics of the Tabernacle during the Sabbath but did this prohibition truly extend to the day to day work of shepherds and wool scourers? Once again, if this work prevented the worker from observing the Sabbath properly and praying to God then it was not to be permitted but it should not be restricted under the context that shearing and scouring were thought of as creative acts whereas the production of coloured wool through dyeing could be. Similarly, the knotting of the wools, the subsequent looping to make a design or fabric were creative acts. But if I tie up my horse with more than two loops, that must be considered a completely different activity than one would use when making macramé or knitting. The first is practical, the second is creative. The fact is that there is a distinct line between what might term as ‘creating’ and the rabbis failed to appreciate this but still enforced their regulations upon their congregations. How fortunate for Karaites that we are entitled to use independent thought and interpret the Tanach in a practical manner. In the early days of Karaism when it first broke away from the Rabbanites there was the matter of indoctrination by the rabbinical sabbatical laws and some thought that by making them even more stringent they could show that they were better followers of Judaism but fortunately cooler heads prevailed and over the next few hundred years Karaites began to interpret the laws more clearly and with better intent.

Livestock and Animal Prohibitions

The Mishna then moves on to prohibition 24 about trapping which the rabbis use as a reference to hunting but they are quick to say that this does not apply to domestic animals. So if I put my cattle and sheep in a pen, or my dog in a kennel, then that is not considered work but if I snare a deer then that is work. It gets even more ludicrous when the rabbis try to explain their inconsistencies in the Meno Netziv which says that an animal that is not normally trapped (e.g. a fly, a bee, or a lizard) is not covered under the Torah prohibition of trapping. But the rabbis themselves prohibit it, so they instruct not to trap the animal unless one is afraid of the animal. In that situation one may trap it. That being the case, if I’m afraid of deer and do not normally trap them, then for my own security I could ensnare them. The fact was simply that hunting was not an activity practiced by the rabbis. It was an activity of the common man, living off nature in order to provide for himself and his family. Something unfamiliar to the rabbis since it involved hard work, rather than living off the gifts and offerings of the community. So it was very easy for them to pass edicts and make rules that never affected themselves directly.

Prohibitions 25. Slaughtering, 26. Flaying, 27. Salting, 28. Curing, 29. Scraping and 30. Cutting. These are a mixed bag of activities, the first three having nothing to do with creating an object, especially one that might have religious significance since there are only in preparation for a meal, but the next three have to do with making leather goods and therefore are about creating an object that didn’t exist before. Since the offerings on the Sabbath did involve parts of the burn offerings that could be eaten by the priests, then would that not be considered to be similar to parts of the normal cooking process and therefore not prohibited? Once again common sense should have prevailed and the question was not which activity was prohibited but which ones would prohibit sufficient time to worship properly on the Sabbath.

Lettering Prohibitions

We next move on to prohibitions 31. Against the writing of two or more letters and 32. Regarding the erasing in order to write two or more letters. That being the case I must assume that the rabbis didn’t think very carefully about coded messages with perhaps symbols instead of letters, or else code consisting of one letter that meant far more. Let us take a more sensible approach or should I say a more Karaite approach. The Sabbath was about praising and worshipping God. If in doing so I chose to write a prayer, or my thanks or a psalm to God then I am fulfilling the Sabbath obligation. It never should have been a prohibition about letters or writing but an assurance that if writing one is not doing their customary business but the business of God. Because if writing more than two letters was seen as an evil act on the Sabbath by the rabbis then so too would have been reading two or more letters. And that being the case then reading a prayer book in the synagogue, especially since so many read the words without the meaning, in an act to get through the service as quickly as possible is more of a contravention of the Sabbath requirements than any writing of letters.

Construction Prohibitions

Then there is the matter of 33. Building and 34. Tearing down. Though the first would definitely be creating an object and very time consuming the second is not a creative accomplishment but in fact a destructive one. But again, the matter should not be which activities are prohibited in this case but what will involve copious amounts of time that prevent the proper keeping of the Sabbath.

Fire Prohibitions

Two of the key prohibitions that I will take exception to as a Karaite will be 35. Extinguishing a fire and 36. Igniting a fire. In the early days of Karaism the Rabbanites taunted us and accused us of being ‘Sitters in the Dark,’ a reflection of some of Anan’s early laws in which he would not permit a fire to be lit before the Sabbath so that there would be light in the home during the Sabbath evening. Perhaps a little too zealous in his interpretation and preserved for a long time by those that were part of the Ananite sect, at least common sense prevailed and by the time of Kirkisani the acceptance of candles lit before the Sabbath was reinstated. So let’s put the first prohibition into its proper perspective since the restriction should have been about lighting fires not putting them out. If a fire has the potential to cause serious destructive damage, then it also by implication has the potential to be life threatening. The failure to extinguish any unsafe, uncontrolled or monitored fire is by itself a failure to perform an act that ultimately would result in great environmental change. And since it was the rabbis themselves that said environmental change on the Sabbath was forbidden, then their ruling in this case is in error simply because it violates their own restriction. Exodus Chapter 35 שְׁמוֹת clearly states the following:

א וַיַּקְהֵל מֹשֶׁה, אֶת-כָּל-עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל--וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם: אֵלֶּה, הַדְּבָרִים, אֲשֶׁר-צִוָּה יְהוָה, לַעֲשֹׂת אֹתָם.

1 And Moses assembled all the congregation of the children of Israel, and said unto them: 'These are the words which the LORD hath commanded, that ye should do them.

ב שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים, תֵּעָשֶׂה מְלָאכָה, וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי יִהְיֶה לָכֶם קֹדֶשׁ שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן, לַיהוָה; כָּל-הָעֹשֶׂה בוֹ מְלָאכָה, יוּמָת.

2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a sabbath of solemn rest to the LORD; whosoever doeth any work therein shall be put to death.

ג הַשַּׁבָּת. לֹא-תְבַעֲרוּ אֵשׁ, בְּכֹל מֹשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם, בְּיוֹם,

3 Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.

Once again as in Chapter 31 the word for work used is melakha and this was not intended to be interpreted as every day type work otherwise there would have been a tremendous number of people being executed for meaningless tasks in those days. And in the third sentence it was explicitly forbidden to ‘kindle’ a fire in the home on the Sabbath. The act of kindling meant that it did not apply to having a fire already lit in the home, only of starting a new one. Obviously it was the igniting a flame which was strictly prohibited in the Torah and there are no ifs, ands or buts. The kindling of a fire in the home was given a specific ordinance because of its use in other religions as not only part of their temple worship but what would have been their house sanctuary as well . This especially was true for Moloch worship and later in Zoroastrianism. It was probably also true for Aster or Ishtar worship with fire seen as part of the purification rites. We know from the Greeks and Romans they two had their little home sanctuaries in which they would light numerous candles and incense as part of the ancestor worship ceremonies. In prohibiting such a practice it would become immediately evident if someone was practicing these rites from other religions and that is why they would be put to death.

The rabbis failed to understand and appreciate this restriction and have distorted it even further with their prohibition of flicking a light switch in our modern age. But let’s be perfectly clear, fire and electricity are two entirely different processes. So when the rabbis extended the prohibition to electricity they in fact were in error because they lacked the knowledge of appreciating these differences. We know now that fire is a chemical reaction involving the release of energy through the consumption of oxygen but electricity is the flow of an electric current, movement of electrons and is therefore a physical reaction. Rather than admit their error the rabbis have insisted that electricity is still forbidden as it involves construction or building (i.e., the building and completion of an electric circuit). No this is not true, the circuit already exists, it’s just a matter of whether it is open or closed and therefore is not a case of creative work.
The Finishing Touches Prohibition

If one wishes to split hairs, then they can look at Prohibition 37 which involves applying finishing touches, or bringing something into a state of final use. Yes, one can say this is an act of creating and therefore the ban applies. But again, more importantly is not the act of making finishing touches but the fact that to do so the individual is not praying to God, is not giving the day its proper religious respect and is not putting aside his own personal interests to appreciate what God has given him.

The Travel Prohibition

Prohibition 38 is the transferring between two domains which can be one of the most confusing of all the rabbinical prohibitions. In Chapters 1 and 11 of the Talmud tractate Shabbat it deals with what the rabbis called the melakha of transferring from one domain to another. Let’s put this into more practical language and refer to it as it actually was or what we would commonly refer to as carrying an object even if that object is yourself. The tractate distinguishes four domains: private, public, semi-public and an exempt area. It holds that the transfer of an article from a private to a public domain is Biblically forbidden; transferring an article between a semi-public to a private or public domain is Rabbinically prohibited; transferring of an article between an exempt area and any other domain is permissible; and carrying an article about 1.7 miles may be forbidden in a public or semi-public domain and permitted in a private domain or exempt area; but carrying inside a private domain or between private domains may be permissible. For these purposes "transferring" means "removing and depositing", so that carrying an article out of a domain and returning to the same domain with it does not constitute transferring. This may fall into the category of "wearing". But the rabbinical definition of public and private domain is related to the number of enclosures and has nothing to do with actual ownership of the tract of land. If you’re already confused by this list of restrictions then imagine those that tried to live by them. Of course these very confusing restrictions are all related to the commandment of Exodus 16:29, which states, "Let no man leave his place on the seventh day." How one interprets this commandment may certainly differ but what the rabbis have done with it in regards to the prior restrictions is sheer nonsense and spin doctoring to the point of massive confusion. How I interpret it is at its most simplistic of meanings and I think the way God intended it to be interpreted. God was referring to someone starting a trip on the Sabbath. Placing their own desires or needs, whether it be business or pleasure before that of attending to worshipping God on that day. So ‘his place’ as it is referred to had a much broader concept as indicating that no man should set himself upon the highway or a ship, and thereby making it impossible for himself or his family to tend to their keeping of the Sabbath day. There was no restriction on distance as long as the individual could provide the time to worship properly. Common sense was all that God wanted to prevail, something which is clearly lacking in the last prohibition by the rabbis that I will now discuss.
Saving of Certain Lives Prohibition

Finally but definitely not least is the 39th prohibition the one which I take the greatest exception with as it is a clear display of not only the failure of the rabbis to interpret properly but of their prejudice and improper advice that has led to the persecution and death of our people for almost two thousand years by those this prohibition actually affects. This final prohibition involved the saving of human life of which more information can be found in the Pikuach Nefesh of the Talmud. If there is a human life in danger on the Sabbath then it is not a violation of the Sabbath to save that life, an interpretation which is not only correct but inviolate, but the rabbis could not help themselves but to turn this one infallible statement into a controversy. They had the audacity to speak for all of us and say that it only pertained to Jews and was not applicable to the saving of a Gentile’s life on the Sabbath. In the writings of Maimonides (1137-1204), he said, “As for the gentiles, the basic Talmudic principle is that their lives must not be saved, although it is also forbidden to murder them outright.” This is further emphasized by the writings of Rabbi Samuel Eliezer Eidels (1555-1631), who said in regards that the release from the prohibition only applies to Jews, "That any man who saves one soul in Israel, and it is intentionally specified 'one soul in Israel', in the singular form, as this is the image of God, the Singular one of the world, and Jacob's [Israel's] form is His likeness ... but Kuttim [non-Jews] do not have the form of man, only the form of other creatures, and whoever brings about the loss of a soul among them does not lose the world, and whoever saves a soul among them neither adds nor diminishes anything in this world." Rabbi Eidels comments were in regard to many of the sayingsin the Talmud including the one that says non-Jews are neither to be lifted out of a well nor hauled down into it if found on the Sabbath. If leaving them in the well is not being complicit to murder, I do not know what is. Sadly this flawed thinking was taken to Israel’s Chief Rabbi Untermann in 1966 and although he said that it would be acceptable to violate the Sabbath to save the life of a non-Jew it was only made so under the codicil expressed by the orthodox religious authorities that it was not based on democratic ideals, but instead only to protect the Jewish religion (and the life-saver) from possible retaliation and therefore in essence had nothing to do with the Gentile at risk but the fact that it could ultimately save Jewish lives if the act was performed.

In Conclusion

Obviously, I am greatly saddened by what these rabbis had to say and their subsequent malicious interpretations. They certainly are not my interpretations as I have clearly made evident and although my own personal interpretations may differ from my fellow Karaites, they are mine and they are as God intended; for each of us to find our own path to his words. But what these 39 prohibitions are, when we closely examine them, are certainly not the way of Judaism and they certainly are not the voice and words of God as He intended. These men had neither the right to speak on behalf of the Jewish people nor propagate this evil intent as a manifestation of the Torah. One of my Karaite colleagues has recently opened up a forum on Facebook calling for debate with the Rabbanites. Yes, debate should be encouraged, but how do you argue with men that are so deficient in their thinking? How do you rationalize with men that think there are Jews created in the image of God and all the rest that are creatures not worthy of saving? How do you reconcile what God has given to Moses and what men of their own volition perverted to their own cause? Perhaps there is no debate only condemnation and the warning that those that have pronounced themselves as the upholders of Judaism are nothing more than the most vile of men that have ever betrayed Judaism. Let us look to our next Sabbath not only as the day to give God praise but as the day we take back the Sabbath from these rabbis and their prohibitions that were never God’s intended message to us. Let us make the world aware that 'yes' we have been relatively silent for the past six centuries but we will be quiet no longer.