The Talmud – Part I
by Der Stürmer
„When we come to the Babylonian Gemara, we are dealing with what most people understand when they speak or write of the Talmud. Its birthplace, Babylonia, was an autonomous Jewish centre for a longer period than any other land; namely, from soon after 586 before the Christian era to the year 1040 after the Christian era – 1626 years.“ (Rabbi Hertz, English Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, the Soncino Talmud (1935), p. XXI, Rabbi Hertz).
„The Talmud must not be regarded as an ordinary work, composed of twelve volumes; it posies absolutely no similarity to any other literary production, but forms, without any figure of speech, a world of its own, which must be judged by its peculiar laws.
The Talmud contains much that is frivolous of which it treats with great gravity and seriousness; it further reflects the various superstitious practices and views of its Persian (Babylonian) birthplace which presume the efficacy of demonical medicines, or magic, incantations, miraculous cures, and interpretations of dreams. It also contains isolated instances of uncharitable judgments and decrees against the members of other nations and religions, and finally it favors an incorrect exposition of the scriptures, accepting, as it does, tasteless misrepresentations.
The Babylonian Talmud is especially distinguished from the Jerusalem or Palestine Talmud by the flights of thought, the penetration of mind, the flashes of genius, which rise and vanish again. It was for this reason that the Babylonian rather than the Jerusalem Talmud became the fundamental possession of the Jewish Race, its life breath, its very soul, nature and mankind, powers and events, were for the Jewish nation insignificant, non- essential, a mere phantom; the only true reality was the Talmud.“ (Professor H. Graetz, History of the Jews).
„The Talmud has been the banner which has served as a rallying sign to the Jews, dispersed in diverse countries; it has maintained the unity of Judaism.“ (Graetz, History of the Jews).
„Pharisaism became Talmudism…But the spirit of the Ancient Pharisee survives unaltered. When the Jew…studies the Talmud, he is actually repeating the arguments used in the Palestinian academies. From Palestine to Babylonia; from Babylonia to North Africa, Italy, Spain, France and Germany; from these to Poland, Russia and eastern Europe generally, ancient Pharisaism has wandered…“ (The Pharisees, by Louis Finkelstein, Foreword, Vol. 1).
„The Talmud derives its authority from the position held by the ancient (Pharisee) academies. The teachers of those academies, both of Babylonia and of Palestine, were considered the rightful successors of the older Sanhedrin…At the present time, the Jewish people have no living central authority comparable in status to the ancient Sanhedrins or the later academies. Therefore, any decision regarding the Jewish religion must be based on the Talmud as the final resume of the teaching of those authorities when they existed.“ (The Jews – Their History, Culture, and Religion, by Rabbi Louis Finkelstein, Vol. 4, p. 1332, Jewish Publication Society of America, 1949).
„The Talmud: Heart’s Blood of the Jewish Faith…“ (November 11, 1959, New York Herald Tribune, based on The Talmud, by Herman Wouk).
„The Talmud is to this day the circulating heart’s blood of the Jewish Religion. Whatever laws, customs or ceremonies we observe – whether we are orthodox, conservative, reform or merely spasmodic sentamentalists = we follow the Talmud. It is our Common Law.“ (The Talmud, by Herman Wouk).