LIFE OF CHRIST/THE CHRISTIAN CROSS
The Talmud teaches that Jesus Christ was
illegitimate and was conceived during menstruation; that he had the soul
of Esau; that he was a fool, a conjurer, a seducer; that he was crucified,
buried in hell and set up as an idol ever since by his followers.
1. ILLEGITIMATE AND CONCEIVED DURING MENSTRUATION
The following is narrated in the Tract Kallah,
"Once when the Elders were seated at the Gate, two
young men passed by, one of whom had his head covered, the other with
his head bare. Rabbi Eliezer remarked that the one in his bare head was
illegitimate, a mamzer. Rabbi Jehoschua said that he was
conceived during menstruation, ben niddah. Rabbi Akibah, however,
said that he was both. Whereupon the others asked Rabbi Akibah why he
dared to contradict his colleagues. He answered that he could prove what
he said. He went therefore to the boy's mother whom he saw sitting in
the market place selling vegetables and said to her: 'My daughter, if
you will answer truthfully what I am going to ask you, I promise that
you will be saved in the next life.' She demanded that he would swear to
keep his promise, and Rabbi Akibah did so—but with his lips only, for in
his heart he invalidated his oath. Then he said: 'Tell me, what kind of
son is this of yours'? To which she replied: 'The day I was married I
was having menstruation, and because of this my husband left me. But an
evil spirit came and slept with me and from this intercourse my son was
born to me.' Thus it was proved that this young man was not only
illegitimate but also conceived during the menstruation of his mother.
And when his questioners heard this they declared: 'Great indeed was
Rabbi Akibah when he corrected his Elders'! And they exclaimed: 'Blessed
be the Lord God of Israel who revealed his secret to Rabbi Akibah the
son of Joseph' "!
That the Jews understand this story to refer to Jesus
and his mother, Mary, is clearly demonstrated in their book Toldath
Jeschu—'The Generations of Jesus'—where the birth of our Savior
is narrated in almost the same words.(4)
(4) cf. Synag. Jud. Chap. VIII, p. 133.
Another story of this kind is narrated in Sanhedrin,
"Of all who are guilty of death by the Law, he alone(5)
is caught by a ruse. How is it done? They light a
candle in an inner room and place witnesses in an adjoining room outside
where they can see him and hear his voice, but where they cannot be seen
by him. Then the one whom he tried to seduce says to him 'Please repeat
here privately what you told me before.' If the seducer repeats what he
said, the others ask him 'But how shall we leave our God who is in
heaven and serve idols?' If the seducer repents, then all is well. But
if he says 'This is our duty and it is right for us to do so,' then the
witnesses outside, who have heard him, bring him before the judge and
stone him to death. This is what they did to the son of Stada in Lud,
and they hanged him on the eve of the Passover. For this son of Stada
was the son of Pandira. For Rabbi Chasda tells us that Pandira was the
husband(6) of Stada, his
mother, and he lived during the time Paphus the son of Jehuda. But his
mother was stada, Mary of Magdala (a ladies' hairdresser) who, as it is
said in Pumbadita, deserted her husband."
(5) namely, a seducer, who tries to seduce another to
worship an idol and to join a false religion.
(6) A marginal note says this son of Stada was called after his father,
not his mother, although he was illegitimate.
The meaning of this is that his Mary was called Stada,
that is, a prostitute, because, according to what was taught at Pumbadita,
she left her husband and commited adultery. This is also recorded in the
Jerusalem Talmud(7) and by Maimonides.(7)
(7) cf. Sanhedrin, chap. VII near the end, and
Iebhammoth, the last chap.
That the mention here is of Mary, the mother of Jesus,
is verified in the Tract Chagigah, 4b:
"When Rabbi Bibhai was visited once by the Death Angel
(the devil), the latter said to his assistant: 'Go and bring to me Mary
the hairdresser' (that is, kill her). He went and brought Mary the
children's hairdresser—in place of the other Mary."
A marginal note explains this passage as follows:
"This story of Mary the Ladies' hairdresser happened
under the Second Temple. She was the mother of Peloni, 'that man,' as he
is called in the tract Schabbath," (fol. 104b).
In Schabbath the passage referred to says:
"Rabbi Eliezer said to the Elders: 'Did not the son of
Stada practice Egyptian magic by cutting it into his flesh?' They replied:
'He was a fool, and we do not pay attention to what fools do. The son of
Stada, Pandira's son, etc.' " as above in Sanhedrin, 67a.
This magic of the son of Stada is explained as follows
in the book Beth Jacobh, fol. 127 a:
"The Magi, before they left Egypt, took special care
not to put their magic in writing lest other peoples might come to learn
it. But he devised a new way by which he inscribed it on his skin, or
made cuts in his skin and inserted it there and which, when the wounds
healed up, did not show what they meant."(8)
(8) This is treated at greater length in the book
Toldath Jeschu, where it speaks of Jesus as a conjurer, as we shall
see further on. It is also mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud in chap.
"There is little doubt who this Ben Stada was, or who
the Jews understood him to be. Although the Rabbis in their additions to
the Talmud try to hide their malice and say that it is not Jesus Christ,
their deceit is plainly evident, and many things prove that they wrote
and understood all these things about him. In the first place, they also
call him the son of Pandira. Jesus the Nazarene is thus called in other
passages(10) of the Talmud
where express mention is made of Jesus the son of Pandira. St.
John Damascene(11) also,
in his Genealogy of Christ, mentions Panthera and the Son of Panthera.
"Secondly, this Stada is said to be Mary, and this
Mary the mother of Peloni 'that certain one,' by which without
doubt Jesus is meant. For in this way they were accustomed to cover up
his name because they were afraid to mention it. If we had copies of the
original manuscripts they would certainly prove this. And this also was
the name of the mother of Jesus the Nazarene.
"Thirdly, he is called the Seducer of the People. The
Gospels(12) testify that
Jesus was called this by the Jews, and their writings to this day are
proof that they still call him by this name.
"Fourthly, he is called 'the one who was hanged,'
which clearly refers to the crucifixion of Christ, especially since a
reference to the time 'on the eve of the Passover' is added, which
coincides with the time of the crucifixion of Jesus. In Sanhedrin
(43a) they wrote as follows:
'"On the eve of the Passover they hanged Jesus'
"Fifthly, as to what the Jerusalem Talmud says about
the two disciples of the Elders who were sent as witnesses to spy on
him, and who were afterwards brought forward as witnesses against him:
This refers to the two "false witnesses" of whom the Evangelists Matthew(14)
and Luke(15) make mention.
"Sixthly, concerning what they say about the son of
Stada that he practiced Egyptian magical arts by cutting into his flesh:
the same accusation is made against Christ in their hostile book
"Lastly, the time corresponds. For it is said that
this son of Stada lived in the days of Paphus the son of Jehuda, who was
a contemporary of Rabbi Akibah. Akibah, however, lived at the time of
the Ascension of Christ, and for some time after. Mary is also said to
have lived under the Second Temple. All this clearly proves that they
secretly and blasphemously understand this son of Stada to be Jesus
Christ the son of Mary.
"Other circumstances may seem to contradict this. But
that is nothing new in Jewish writings and is done on purpose so that
Christians may not easily detect their trickery."(16)
(9) cf. Lexicon. Jud. in verbo Jeschu.
(10) cf. The Jerusalem Talmud, Abhodah Zarah, ch. II, and
Schabbath, ch. XIV, Beth Jacobh, 127a.
(11) Lib. 4
(12) cf. Matt. XXVII, 63
(13) cf. Sanhedrin, 107b
(14) Ch. XXVI, 60-61
(15) Ch. XX, 5
(16) There are Jews who themselves confess to this. For instance, in the
book Sepher Juchasin (9b): "The Rabbis have always deceived the
Nazarenes by saying that the Jesus of whom the Talmud speaks is not the
Jesus Christ of the Christians. They permit themselves this falsehood
for the sake of peace" in Rohling, Die Polemik und das Menschenopfer
des Rabbinismus, ut supra.
2. Furthermore, "In the secret books, which are not
permitted to fall easily into the hands of Christians, they say that the
soul of Esau came into Christ, that he was therefore evil and that he was
(17) Synag. Judaica, p. 217; cf. also Buxtorf,
Lexicon in verbo Jeschu.
3. By some he is called a FOOL and INSANE
In Schabbath, 104b:
"They, [the Elders] said to him [Eliezer]: 'He was a
fool, and no one pays attention to fools.'
4. A CONJURER AND A MAGICIAN
In the infamous book Toldoth Jeschu, our Savior
is blasphemed as follows:
"And Jesus said: Did not Isaiah and David, my
ancestors, prophesy about me? The Lord said to me, thou art my son,
today I have begotten thee,(18)
etc. Likewise in another place: The Lord said to my Lord, sit thou at
my right hand(19). Now
I ascend to my father who is in heaven and will sit at his right hand,
which you will see with your own eyes. But you, Judas, will never reach
that high(20). Then Jesus
pronounced the great name of God (IHVH) and continued to do so until a
wind came and took him up between earth and sky. Judas also pronounced
the name of God and he likewise was taken up by the wind. In this way
they both floated around in the air to the amazement of the onlookers.
Then Judas, again pronouncing the Divine Name, took hold of Jesus and
pushed him down to earth. But Jesus tried to do the same to Judas and
thus they fought together. And when Judas saw he could not win out over
the works of Jesus he pissed on Jesus, and both thus being unclean they
fell to earth; nor could they use the Divine name again until they had
(18) Ps. II, 7.
(19) Ps. CX, 1.
(20) For it is related that Judas was a competitor of Jesus in the
working of miracles.
Whether those who believe such devilish lies deserve
greater hatred or pity, I cannot say.(21)
(21) Wagenseil, Sota, p. 1049
In another place in the same book it is related that in
the house of the Sanctuary there was a stone which the Patriarch Jacob
anointed with oil.(22) On
this stone were carved the tetragrammatic letters of the Name (IHVH),(23)
and if anyone could learn them he could destroy the world. They therefore
decreed that no one must learn them, and they placed two dogs upon two
iron columns before the Sanctuary so that if anyone should learn them the
dogs would bark at him coming out and he would forget the letters through
fear. Then it is related: "Jesus came and entered, learned the letters and
wrote them down on parchment. Then he cut into the flesh of his thigh and
inserted them there, and having pronounced the name, the wound healed."(24)
(22) cf. Genesis, XXVIII
(23) No one knows how this august name of God is to be read. It is
certain, however, that it was not pronounced Jehovah, although it is
thus commonly pronounced. For the vowels of this tetragrammatum are the
vowels of the name Adonai, and it is thus that the Jews read IHVH. Out
of reverence, however, it is never written in their books, with the
exception of Sacred Scripture, but only indicated by ", or Haschem,
(24) Buxtorf. Lexicon
In the Tract Sanhedrin (103a) the words of Psalm
XCI, 10: 'No plague shall come near thy dwelling,' are explained as
"That thou mayest never have a son or a disciple who
will salt his food so much that he destroys his taste in public, like
Jesus the Nazarene."
To salt one's food too much or to destroy one's taste,
is proverbially said of one who corrupts his morals or dishonors himself,
or who falls into heresy and idolatry and openly preaches it to others.
In the same book Sanhedrin (107b) we read:
"Mar said: Jesus seduced, corrupted and destroyed
Finally as punishment for his crimes and impiety, he
suffered an ignominious death by being hanged on a cross on the eve of the
Passover (as we have seen above).
8. BURIED IN HELL
The book Zohar, III, (282), tells us that Jesus died
like a beast and was buried in that "dirt heap...where they throw the dead
bodies of dogs and asses, and where the sons of Esau [the Christians] and
of Ismael [the Turks], also Jesus and Mahommed, uncircumcized and unclean
like dead dogs, are buried."(25)
(25) In the book Synag. Judaica, (Ch. III, p.
75) is the following: 'He who cuts himself off [namely, who does not
believe blindly in the Rabbinical teachings] will suffer the tortures of
the damned, as is decreed in the Talmudic law of punishment in the Tract
de Repudiis (Gitt. c5): He who despises the words of the wise men
shall be cast into the dirt heap with the damned." I shudder to repeat
that they blasphemously narrate that our Saviour Jesus Christ, whose
name be forever blessed, suffered this penalty by being cast into
Gehenna, although it is contrary to the traditions and teaching of the
Fathers of the Church...
9. WORSHIPPED AS GOD AFTER HIS DEATH BY HIS FOLLOWERS
George El. Edzard, in his book Avoda Sara,
quotes the following words of the commentator on the Hilkoth Akum
(V,3) of Maimonides:
"In many passages of the Talmud mention is made of
Jesus the Nazarene and of his disciples, and that the Gentiles believe
that there is no other God besides him. In the book Chizzuk Emunah,(26)
part I, ch. 36, we read: 'The Christians build up an argument from this
[Zachary XII, 10] and say: Behold how the Prophet testified that
in future ages the Jews would lament and weep because they crucified and
killed the Messiah who was sent to them; and to prove that he meant
Jesus the Nazarene, possessing both the divine and human nature, they
quote the words: And they looked upon him whom they transfixed and
they wept over him as a mother over her first born child.' "
(26) cf. Wagens, Sota, p. 69
Maimonides attempts to prove how much Christians err in
worshipping Jesus in his book Hilkoth Melakhim (IX, 4):(27)
"If all the things he did had prospered, if he had
rebuilt the Sanctuary in its place, and had gathered together the
dispersed tribes of Israel, then he would certainly be the Messiah...But
if so far he has not done so and if he was killed, then it is clear he
was not the Messiah whom the Law tells us to expect. He was similar to
all the good and upright rulers of the House of David who died, and whom
the Holy and Blessed Lord raised up for no other reason but to prove to
many, as it is said (in Dan. XI, 35): And some of them who
understand shall fall, to try and to purge them and to make them white,
even till the end of time, because the appointed time is not yet.
Daniel also prophesised about Jesus the Nazarene who thought he was the
Christ, and who was put to death by the judgment of the Senate: (Dan.
V.14): ...and the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to
establish the vision; but they shall fail. What could be plainer?
For all the Prophets said that the Christ would set Israel free, would
bring it salvation, restore its dispersed peoples and confirm their
laws. But he was the cause of the destruction of Israel and caused the
rest of them to be dispersed and humiliated, so that the Law was changed
and the greater part of the world was seduced to worship another God.
Truly no one can understand the designs of the Creator, nor are his ways
our ways. For all that has been built up by Jesus the Nazarene, and by
the Turks who came after him, tend only to prepare the way for the
coming of Christ the King, and to prepare the whole world equally for
the service of the Lord, as it is said: For then I shall give a clean
mouth to all peoples that all may call upon the name of the Lord, and
bow down in unison before him.(28)
How is this being accomplished? Already the whole world is filled with
the praise of Christ, the Law and the Commandments, and his praises have
spread to far distant lands and to peoples whose hearts and bodies are
uncircumcized. These discuss with one another about the Law that was
destroyed—some saying that the commandments were once true, but
have ceased to exist; others that there is a great mystery about it,
that the Messiah-King has come and that their doctrine has revealed it.
But when the Christ truly comes and is successful, and is raised up and
exalted, then everything will be changed and these things will be shown
to be false and vain."
(27) Ibidem, p. 346
(28) Sophon, III, 9
10. AN IDOL
In the Tract Abhodah Zarah, (21a Toseph),
"It is of importance to inquire the reasons why men
nowadays even sell and rent their houses to Gentiles. Some say this is
legal because it is said in Tosephta: No one shall rent his house
to a gentile either here [in the land of Israel] or elsewhere because it
is known that he will bring an idol into it. It is nevertheless allowed
to rent them stables, barns and lodging houses, even though it is known
that they will bring idols into them. The reason is because a
distinction can be made between a place into which an idol will be
carried in order to leave it there permanently, and a place where it
will not be left permanently, in which case it is allowed. And since the
gentiles, among whom we now live, do not bring their idol into their
homes to leave it there permanently, but only for a time—while
someone is dead in the house or when someone is dying, nor do they even
perform any religious rites there—it is therefore permitted to
sell and rent them houses."
Rabbi Ascher, in his Commentary on Abhodah Zarah
(83d) speaks not less clearly on this matter:
"Today it is permitted to rent houses to Gentiles
because they bring their idol into them only for a time, when somebody
is sick." And in the same place he says 'Today they have a practice of
incensing their idol.' "
All this, and much more like it, proves beyond a doubt
that when the Rabbis speak of the idols of the Gentiles among whom they
lived at that time, when no idols were worshipped, they clearly meant the
Christian "idol," namely, the image of Christ on the crucifix and the Holy
NOTE ABOUT THE CROSS
In Jewish writings there is no directly corresponding
word for the Christian Cross. The cross T on which those condemned to
death were crucified, was called Tau by the Phoenicians and the
Hebrews, and this name and sign for it was afterwards taken over into the
alphabet of the Jews and of the Greeks and the Romans. The Cross honored
by the Christians, however, is called by the following names:
1. Tsurath Haattalui—the image who was hanged.(29)
2. Elil—vanity, idol.
3. Tselem—image. Hence the Crusaders in Jewish books are called
Tsalmerim (ein Tsalmer)
4. Scheti Veerebh—warp and woof, which is taken from the textile
5. Kokhabh—star; on account of the four rays emanating from it.
6. Pesila—a sculpture, a carven idol.
(29) Aben Ezra in Genes. XXVII, 39
But wherever it is mentioned it is always in the sense
of an idol or of something despicable, as can be seen from the following
In Orach Chaiim, 113,8:
"If a Jew when praying should meet a Christian [Akum]
carrying a star [a crucifix] in his hand, even if he has come to
a place in his prayer where it is necessary to bow down to worship God
in his heart, he must not do so lest he should seem to bow down before
In Iore Dea, 150,2:
"Even if a Jew should get a splinter in his foot in
front of an idol, or if he should drop his money before it, he must not
stoop down to remove the splinter or to gather up his money lest he
should seem to adore it. But he should either sit down or turn his back
or his side to the idol and then remove the splinter."
But whenever it is not possible for a Jew to turn away
like this, the following rule must be observed (in Iore Dea, 3,
"It is not permitted to bow down or to remove one's
hat before princes or priests who wear a cross on their dress, as is
their custom. Care must be taken, however, not to be noticed in failing
to do so. For instance, one can throw some coins on the ground and stoop
down to pick them up before they pass by. In this way it is permitted to
bow down or to remove one's hat before them."
A distinction is also made between a cross which is
venerated and a cross which is worn around the neck as a souvenir or as an
ornament. The former is to be regarded as an idol, but not necessarily the
latter. In Iore Dea, 141, 1, Hagah, it says:
"The image of a cross, before which they bow down, is
to be treated as an idol, and it is not to be used until it is
destroyed. However, a 'warp and woof' if hung around the neck as a
souvenir is not to be regarded as an idol and can be used."
The sign of the cross made with the hand, by which
Christians are wont to bless themselves, is called in Jewish "the moving
of the fingers here and there" (hinc et hinc).(30)
(30) cf. Kad. Hakkem, 20a