Stalinism is the Perfection of the Rabbinical System.
The Oral Tradition is the claim that after Moses met God on top of Mount Sinai and received the Ten Commandments and the dictation of the Torah he also received an oral explanation or analysis of the Torah from God which Moses did not write down but that which was transmitted to Joshua, then from Joshua to the Elders, then to the Prophets and then to the members of the Great Assembly.
Nowhere in the Torah are there any references to this. Neither Moses nor any of the subsequent Old Testament prophets make any mention of an Oral Tradition. Indeed, the Bible is more than clear and prescriptive about adopting any kind of supplementary material:
“See that you do everything I command you; do not add to it or subtract from it.” Deuteronomy 12:32.
My belief regarding the Kabbalah is this and I will simply try to lay out my major thesis in all this:
How would you go about subverting something, a religion, system of morality, law and the worship of God: The Torah, committed to writing some three thousand years ago? You would do this by claiming some other ‘secret’ revelation which was not included in the original text.
The Kabbalah is not a mystical form of Judaism, it is a completely new gnostic religion which uses Judaism and specifically the Torah and the Hebrew alphabet of 22 letters, as its tenuous scaffolding upon which it creates a completely new imposter religion. The Zohar, using a literary device of a Rabbinical discussion plays semantic and gematria games with the words of the Torah in order to completely transform meaning in-line with the new gnostic theology of the Kabbalah
The Bible is replete with repeated admonition of Israel and threats of imminent judgement and punishment from God precisely for rejecting the written law of Moses. For instance, the passage from 2 Kings 17 is typical and almost a trope or cliché of the angry God:
“They devoted themselves to doing evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him to anger. So the LORD was very angry with Israel, and he removed them from His presence. Only the tribe of Judah remained, and even Judah did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but lived according to the customs Israel had introduced.”
Jesus in confronting the Pharisees is continuing this great prophetic tradition of accusing the priesthood of forsaking the law and “making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.”
Jesus refers to the ‘oral tradition’ as ‘tradition of the elders’ or the ‘tradition of men’.
In Mark 7 he specifically refers to the Oral Tradition:
“And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?’ And he said to them, ‘Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
‘This people honours me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.’”
So what is this oral tradition? The Talmud is fairly well known for some of its excesses but let us examine the Mishnah which is the proto-Talmud, the originator and a way-marker on the path to the full development of The Talmud of the 5th Century AD. In fact, to be more accurate, the Talmud is really two major separate works: The Mishnah, written in the 2nd Century AD as a commentary on the Torah and the Gemara written in the 5th Century AD as a commentary on the commentary of the Torah and this is what most people understand as the Talmud as it contains all of the most dubious and quotable material.
The Perkei Avot or Ethics of the Fathers is a tractate of the Mishnah and outlines the key virtues required but some of the statements themselves are a little odd and one could well imagine that with further ‘commentary’ that is, subjected to the legalistic Rabbinical mindset, one could quite alienate anything good and true altogether and that is precisely what the Gemara achieves.
Take for instance the following advice from the Mishnah on the importance of study:
“Rabbi Yaakov would say: One who walks along a road and studies, and interrupts his studying to say, ‘How beautiful is this tree!’, ‘How beautiful is this ploughed field!’---the Torah considers it as if he had forfeited his life.”
See how profoundly this contrasts with CS Lewis’ more Christian conception earlier in this work of drawing closer to God simply by doing something innocent which one enjoys. The Rabbinical idea that study alone can teach virtue and draw one close to God, and that expressing joy and sincere pleasure at creation, is somehow contrary to this and ought to cause one to forfeit one’s life, makes one marvel at what kind of mind this would create were it to be taken seriously. It seems like the perfect way to alienate the young from God, making them afraid to rejoice, wonder and marvel at the beauty of the world. The God of the Oral Tradition is so far contrary to the God which is often described in the Old Testament:
“Gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” Psalm. 145:8.
Another strange comment from the Perkei Avot:
“Rabbi Shimon would say: ‘Three who eat at one table and do not speak words of Torah, it is as if they have eaten of idolatrous sacrifices; as is stated, ‘Indeed, all tables are filled with vomit and filth, devoid of the Omnipresent.’"
But the original phrase ‘indeed, all tables’ is from Isiah and is a reference to the ‘drunkards of Ephraim’ where Isiah is discussing what had become of all the lost tribes of Israel and had nothing to do with enforcing the Torah at the dinner table, but in the strange Rabbinical mind the original passage has been twisted to fit into a completely new context which was not the original Biblical intention. This is precisely the kind of thing Jesus was referring to when he said:
‘You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!’
So what the Talmud (that is the Mishnah and the Gemara) does is create a rigid net loosely based on an original Biblical phrase taken out of context to construct an unreasonable and even contrary condition. Far from bringing one closer to God it alienates the mind since God is radically redefined. Notice how the Torah is used by the Mishnah as both the justification for their oppressive Rabbinical interpretation and the cause:
“Anyone who forgets even a single word of this learning, the Torah considers it as if he had forfeited his life. Rabbi Dusta'i the son of Rabbi Yannai would say in the name of Rabbi Meir: ‘Anyone who forgets even a single word of this learning, the Torah considers it as if he had forfeited his life. As is stated, ‘Just be careful, and verily guard your soul, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen (Deuteronomy 4:9).’”
Some other strange pronouncements from the Mishah:
“One who is pleasing to his fellow men, is pleasing to G‑d. But one who is not pleasing to his fellow men, is not pleasing to G‑d.”
“Rabbi Akiva would say: Jesting and frivolity accustom a person to promiscuity. Tradition is a safety fence to Torah, tithing a safety fence to wealth, vows a safety fence for abstinence; a safety fence for wisdom is silence.”
So the Rabbis believe silent, sullen, obedient, mirthless and joyless people, enslaved by Rabbinical tradition under spiritual blackmail to tithe their wealth to the Rabbinical authorities are the kind which please God the most. I have to disagree and such an image conjures the kind of world of the Soviet or Communist system: grey, mirthless, and infinitely oppressed under a thousand rules controlling every moment of their lives. In this sense I would consider Stalinism to be a perfection of the Rabbinical system.
One can imagine what kind of people such strictures and impositions on the mind might be produced and Jesus was unequivocable in some of his choice epithets for the Pharisees who with the destruction of the 2nd Temple in 70AD would go on to create Rabbinical Judaism in the power and religious vacuum which the Romans had created: ‘hypocrites’ ‘children of Satan’ ‘child of Hell’ ‘full of greediness and wickedness’.
The Pirkei Avot contains the thoughts and maxims of the Rabbis and sometimes one is alarmed by the mentality which comes through and sometimes these saying raise a host of questions in themselves:
“Ten miracles were performed for our forefathers in the Holy Temple: No woman ever miscarried because of the smell of the holy meat. The holy meat never spoiled. Never was a fly seen in the slaughterhouse. Never did the High Priest have an accidental seminal discharge on Yom Kippur.”
The Rabbinical conception of a miracle is a strange thing indeed and perhaps indicates that very little of the miraculous, which is usually associated with the presence and activity of God, occurred during the Rabbinical period.
Something which did occur however, and is very interesting in itself particular in light of the context of the ministry and murder of Jesus Christ by the proto-Rabbinical authority: the Pharisees, was a cessation of the miracle of the white thread. The chief priest had, apparently since the time of Aaron himself, as mentioned in Leviticus 16:7, traditionally drawn lots with his right hand to choose which of two goats would be sacrificed as a sin offering for the Lord and which would be released into the wilderness ritually imbued with the sins of Israel as a ‘scapegoat’.
According to the Talmud:
“The Sages taught: During the tenure of Shimon HaTzaddi, the lot for God always arose in the High Priest’s right hand; after his death, it occurred only occasionally; but during the forty years prior to the destruction of the Second Temple, the lot for God did not arise in the High Priest’s right hand at all. So too, the strip of crimson wool that was tied to the head of the goat that was sent to Azazel did not turn white, and the westernmost lamp of the candelabrum did not burn continually.” Talmud 39b Seder Mo’ed Yoma.
The Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70 response to the First Revolt but 40 years prior to this something monumental apparently transpired which severed God’s favour and led to the apparent rejection of their Temple sacrifices. If we consider that Jesus was said to have been born sometime between 6-4 BC (this date coincides with Herod’s murder of the firstborn – though this event is slowly being written out of history if we look at the latest edits on the Wikipedia page which attempts to classify them even as a myth), was murdered at 33 years old then we have the approximate year of Jesus’ death at 30AD give or take a couple of years, precisely the time at which the miracles of the Temple ceased indicating that God no longer favoured them and rejected their sin sacrifices.
Jesus knew that the Oral Torah had the precise effect of not only subverting the original Torah but as Jesus says, actually breaking the commandments and making this the official teaching:
“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven….For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven" Matthew 5:17-20.
Moshe ben Maimon born in 1138 or late 1137 known more commonly as Maimonides was heavily influenced by the Greek philosophers Aristotle and the Neoplatonist Plotinus. Neoplatonism emerged as a kind of cultural antidote to Christianity.
The trinity of the Kabbalah seems to be heavily influenced by Greek Gnosticism since it divides God’s presence in creation into three parts represented by three mother letters, A (Aleph) which represents Air; M (Mem) which represents Water, and Sh (Shin) which represents fire. Just as Ain Soph where Soph is a Greek word for limitation.
The following from the book of the Lesser Holy Assembly which makes up part of the Kabbalah, makes a reference to a specifically Pythagorean concept which later became a Gnostic one, and subsequently informed the Kabbalistic idea of Ain Soph: The Monad.
“And thus all the other Lights are sanctified, are restricted, and are bound together in the Unity or Monad, and are One; and all things are HVA, Hoa, Himself.”
Many heads of gnostic schools were identified as Hebrews by the Church Fathers, and Hebrew words and names of God were applied in some gnostic systems and research into the origins of Gnosticism shows a strong Hebrew influence traced to Alexandria and particularly from esoteric Hekhalot literature.
Maimonides was born in Islamic Spain and the rest of his life was spent living in different countries of the Islamic world. Maimonides was said to have outwardly practiced Islam during his life but secretly practised Judaism. He wrote the Yesodei haTorah where he used Rabbinical reasoning and a disingenuous appeal to the Torah to justify himself reframing the issue so that by denying his religion and becoming a Muslim, he was being righteous and to do the contrary would be breaking the commandments of the Torah, but in the typically Rabbinical reasoning by breaking the commandment he was following it:
“Should a gentile arise and force a Jew to violate one of the Torah's commandments at the pain of death, he should violate the commandment rather than be killed, because [Leviticus 18:5] states concerning the mitzvot: ‘which a man will perform and live by them.’ [They were given so that] one may live by them and not die because of them. If a person dies rather than transgress, he is held accountable for his life.” Chapter 5 Hilchot Yesodei Hatorah.
It seems that Maimonides didn’t quite have the courage of the convictions of his rabbi and mentor Yehuda Ibn Susan who accepted martyrdom or Kiddush Hashem rather than convert to Islam. Despite Maimonides choosing to quibble himself out of his integrity and devotion to his faith the precept of Kiddush Hashem or Sanctification of the Name had become the word for the martyrdom of Jews during the persecution of emperor Hadrian in the early 2nd Century AD.
He is also perhaps famously quoted by some critics of Rabbinical Judaism as being the author of the following from the Mishneh Torah of the 12th century:
“If a girl is older than three years and one day, she can be consecrated through sexual relations with her father's consent. Should she be below this age, if her father has her consecrated through sexual relations, the marriage bond is not established.”
He also wrote, or perhaps merely codified what was already in the Rabbinical Oral Tradition, that a bonding marriage can be established by anal intercourse, this is commonly called ‘sodomy’ in the Torah and is expressly forbidden:
“When a person consecrates through sexual relations, one may assume that his intent is on the conclusion of the relations; when the relations are concluded, the marriage bond is established. Regardless of whether the couple engage in vaginal or anal intercourse, the marriage bond is established.”
Some of the marriage regulations inscribed for glorious posterity by Maimonides boggle the mind at why such regulations had to be made in the first place:
“If, by contrast, [a man] consecrates [a woman] with the dung of an ox condemned to be stoned, the marriage is binding. Although it is forbidden to derive benefit from an ox condemned to be stoned, this prohibition does not apply to its dung. For the dung is considered of negligible importance when compared to the ox.”
Such a paragraph raises so many questions. Who would an ox need to be stoned to death? Why would someone consider ‘dung’ to be a fitting inducement to marriage and how common were these strange ‘dung’ transactions relating to affairs of the heart.
Other strange stipulations, well not that the stipulations are strange, but that such stipulations had to be made in the first place, are strange and make one boggle at the moral framework within which the Jews operated at that time in history:
“If a man established a condition with a woman at the time of marriage or divorce requiring her to engage in sexual relations with her father, her brother, her son or the like, it is as if he made a stipulation that she ascend to the heavens or descend to the depths, and his condition is of no consequence. For it is not within the woman's capacity to cause others to transgress and to engage in a forbidden sexual relationship. Thus, he has made a stipulation that she is incapable of fulfilling. This complies with regard to all similar instances.”
Also another of the moral codes of the Oral Tradition which Maimonides felt the need to record for posterity, the strange tale of the man who died from lack of sex, perhaps, who knows in this bizarre moral Twilight Zone we seem to have entered:
“When someone becomes attracted to a woman and is [love-]sick [to the extent that] he is in danger of dying, [although] the physicians say he has no remedy except engaging in sexual relations with her, he should be allowed to die rather than engage in sexual relations with her. [This applies] even if she is unmarried.”
One wonders what kind of doctors they had in those days who prescribed sex. One can well imagine that such a thing must have happened, that some woman was being emotionally blackmailed by a man who was in league with a doctor who made a pact to enable him to have his wicked way with her, under doctor’s orders.
All of this seems to hint at a dark sexual current which we will later see fully liberated in the books of the Kabbalah which is also considered to form part of the Oral Tradition and to have even been delivered by God to Adam himself. For instance Michael Laitman in his book explain the Zohar gives the following definition for the Hebrew term ‘Zivug’ which appears in the Zohar. Zivug means ‘life partner’ and is a curious term which comes from the Greek ‘zogen’ to join and it is curious how much Greek lexis and philosophy seems to have entered Jewish mysticism:
“The spiritual Zivug is an aspiration of the Upper One (ZA—male part) to pass the Light (pleasure) to the lower one (Malchut—female part). In doing so, both desires are completely selfless, as in the example of the guest and the host.”
Maimonides himself considered the presence of God in the Old Testament, and even the famous vision of Jacob’s ladder to be largely allegorical and not a representation of actual events. This is to cast aspersions of the integrity of the Bible itself and one can imagine that the only people who would want to do that did not themselves believe in the Bible but believed in something else. The ladder with the angels ascending and descending seen by Jacob in his vision, was according to Maimonides, only an allegory for the empires and their subjugation of his descendants. Maimonides states:
“Those who believe that God is One and that He has many attributes declare the Unity with their lips and assume the plurality in their thoughts.”
From the ‘My Jewish Learning’ website:
“That also means that, in Aristotelian terms, one cannot actually say ‘God is . ..’ and proceed to enumerate God’s attributes. To describe the Eternal One in such a sentence is to admit of a division between subject and predicate, in other words, a plurality.
Therefore, he concludes, one cannot discuss God in terms of positive attributes. On the other hand, one can describe what God is not. God is not corporeal, does not occupy space, experiences neither generation nor corruption (in the Aristotelian sense of birth, decay, and death.. Maimonides’ conception of the Supreme Being is usually characterized as “negative theology,” that is, defining by the accumulation of negatives.”
For a so-called Jewish scholar and father of Rabbinical thought, to say that God cannot be discussed ‘in terms of positive attributes’ is a fundamental change in position. Radically different from the Old Testament theology and completely contrary to what Jesus taught. What benefit is it to teach God as an aloof force with no positive attributes, relegating right and wrong, good and evil, morality and immorality, piety and wickedness, to mere frames of reference unsupported by any larger deistic reality. It can only benefit those who wish to do evil and get away with it.
Even more strangely, the Zohar takes the imagery of the story of Jacob’s Ladder and turns it into a mystery pantomime. The ‘Initiation of Rabbi Hiya’ from the Zohar clearly indicates some kind of ongoing initiatory cult, initiatory cults have nothing to do with the history of the Israelites and their God who was always opposed to such activities:
“Then Rabbi Hiya saw his fellow students standing around the, masters and they wended their way to the celestial school. Some were ascending and others descending thither, and at their head was the great winged angel of the presence (Metatron), who was saying he had heard in the palace on high that the king, visits everyday and does not forget his lone and loved ones who are struggling towards the higher life unnoticed and unregarded by the world. At that moment three hundred and ninety worlds trembled and shook as with an earthquake. Stars as of fire descended from on high and fell into the great sea, whose ruler then stood up and swore by him that lives forever, that he would dry up all the waters of creation if ever the world and its powers should gather themselves against the children of light to destroy them.
As he ceased speaking, Rabbi Hiya heard a voice from heaven exclaiming: ‘Fall back! make room for the King Messiah coming to the school of Rabbi Simeon, whose students are all initiates and master teachers of the secret doctrine.’ Then came Messiah and visited all the celestial schools and confirmed the teachings and expositions of the mysteries given by their appointed instructors. As he entered the great assembly crowned with many crowns, all the great masters rose up and saluted. Turning to Rabbi Simeon, the emanation of whose light reached up to heaven, Messiah spake and said: "Blessed art thou, Rabbi Simeon, for thy mystic teachings are of the highest worth and valued and cherished by all. They only, along with those of Hesekiah, King of Judah, and Achiya, the Solonite, are marked and sealed with the approval of the holy one. I have come hither because I know that the angel of the presence visits no other school save yours."
What appears in the Mishah, and this together with the Gemara is quite different from the Old Testament and seems to inject a note of moral license and relativity. Such might be the recourse of a band of rogues who wished to continue their roguish ways despite clear instructions to the contrary. Moses is not here to testify and God appears unwilling to make a physical appearance and either countenance or deny this claim, though the last time he did and spoke through Jesus, things didn’t go well so understandably God has said his piece and will probably only remain as a curious on-looker to the tragedy of the human race. So in the absence of denials the Rabbinical authority seems to be accepted and much of modern Judaism is not in the Torah or the first five books of the Old Testament which most of us can read and readily understand and even sometimes accept the validity of some of the proscriptions made against such things as child sacrifice, commandments against practising homosexuality and the interdiction of murder, adultery and other such things which are generally understood to be useful laws for the benefit of civilised human society.
In the absence of Temple sacrifice (which we saw were no longer accepted by God in the 40 years subsequent to the murder of Jesus and the destruction of the Second Temple) the Sukkah Talmud seems to show how in the subsequent spiritual power-vacuum, divine authority has become a free-for-all with Rabbis’ vying for spiritual supremacy and appointing themselves, or being appointed ‘messiah’ level powers:
“And Ḥizkiya said that Rabbi Yirmeya said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai: I am able to absolve the entire world from judgment for sins committed from the day I was created until now. The merit that he accrued through his righteousness and the suffering that he endured atone for the sins of the entire world. And were the merit accrued by Eliezer, my son, calculated along with my own, we would absolve the world from judgment for sins committed from the day that the world was created until now. And were the merit accrued by the righteous king, Jotham ben Uzziah, calculated with our own, we would absolve the world from judgment for sins committed from the day that the world was created until its end. The righteousness of these three serves as a counterbalance to all the evil deeds committed throughout the generations, and it validates the ongoing existence of the world.”
But to finish this strange chapter on some further strangeness, among the ‘classic texts’ of Jewish law and includes a chapter on how to go to the toilet. Since we’re here I might as well share those edifying joys with you. The 16th Century Shulchan Aruch, the last ‘great’ codification of Jewish Law has a chapter entitled Lavatory Conduct:
“One should also conduct himself modestly when entering a lavatory, uncovering himself only to the extent required and not even a moment before the time required. This should be done only when he is seated, and only a handbreadth from behind and — to allow for urination — two handbreadths in front…A woman should uncover nothing in front, and either a handbreadth or two handbreadths behind herself…In practice, one should uncover as little as possible.
If a person relieves himself in an open place that is not surrounded by partitions, he should face the south with his back to the north, or vice versa. He should not have his back to the west or to the east, out of reverence for the Divine Presence, which abides in the west, facing east. This is why the east is referred to as ‘the front’ and the west, ‘the back,’ as reflected in the verse, ‘You have hedged me behind and in front.’ The south is thus called the right, or teiman.
If there is a [private] corner one should relieve oneself there, provided no one else is present. If, however, there is another person there, even a non-Jew, it is forbidden to relieve oneself in his presence — i.e., if he is close enough to be observed, even if his uncovered body cannot be seen — for it is considered immodest to be observed from nearby.
Where possible, it is preferable to make a point of facing south with one’s back to the north, and not the opposite, so that one will not be easing oneself in the direction of Jerusalem and the site of the Beis HaMikdash. This applies in most of these countries that are located more to the north of Jerusalem than to the west, and even more so in those countries which are located directly to the north of Jerusalem.
When one urinates while standing, and many drops of urine will fall on his feet if he does not lift his organ, he is permitted to raise it by lifting his testicles. If the drops fall on his feet, he should clean them off immediately with his hands and not walk among people in this manner. He should not hold the organ itself to raise it, for ‘he who holds his organ is considered as if he brought a flood upon the world,’ lest he become aroused and emit seed wastefully. [This stringency applies] unless he holds the organ from the corona downward, i.e., towards the ground, for this will not arouse him. Alternatively, he may hold [the organ] with a thick cloth, for this too will not arouse him.
When a person is married, and his wife is in the same city as he is, and she is ritually pure, the letter of the law permits him to hold the organ even above the corona. Since he ‘has a loaf in his basket,’ he will not be stimulated to improper thoughts or to arousal. Nevertheless, pious behaviour dictates stringency.”
My final thoughts in this chapter are that when a people becomes so totally dominated by laws and rules in every little aspect of their life, they literally reach such a point of mental impotence that they need instructions on how to go to the lavatory.