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Surge Summary: Over the ages, multitudes have hated Jews for a variety of sometimes complicated reasons. But hostility toward Jewish people because they are Jewish is without excuse, and ultimately poisons the haters.
by Don Boys
The current anti-Jewish violence seen in many major cities of the world is sickening, surprising, and shocking, but then any violence against the innocent is shocking. The 4,100 deadly rockets that Hamas recently deployed over Israel is a war crime that progressives seem to think is standard operating practices of modern warfare. There is no defense for killing non-combatants now or by Hitler or Churchill, or Roosevelt during WW II.
Moreover, it must be understood that one can be critical of the Jews and Israel without being a hater. I hold Jews to the same standard as any other group. Christ was very critical of the Jewish leaders in His day, calling them “vipers,” “liars,” “fools,” “blind,” “hypocrites,” and “ye are of your father, the Devil” in John 8. Those leaders were far from the godly Jews who genuinely loved God and tried to follow His commandants. The two major Jewish leader-groups, Pharisees and Sadducees, were hypocrites and biblical heretics, respectively.
I believe it is time to stop funding Israel but that doesn’t make me a Jew-hater. Biden’s budget even plans to fund the “Palestinians.” That is madness. Since Israel stands for freedom, we should sell weapons to them; but they can stand on their own feet after almost 75 years. To fund Hamas terrorists who have promised to drive Israel into the sea is insensitive, incredible, and insane. The U.S. should only send welfare to nations if it is in our national interest to do so.
Furthermore, decent people can disagree with many of Israel’s policies, such as the Mossad, national politics, vaccinations, etc., without hating Jews. The most prominent critics of the secular Jewish state are orthodox Jews! So, of course, there can be room for disagreement without being a hater.
When Christ declared Himself to be God, the Jewish religious leaders only had one of two choices: they could either bow down and worship Him, or they could kill Him. You know their choice. While it is true that the vile, violent, virulent anti-Jew, anti-Israel hatred is rooted in the Jewish crucifixion of Christ, hatred of Jews has been endemic for thousands of years.
However, the hatred of Jews is more complex than a reaction to Christ’s death since it goes back to their beginning.
Unbelievers and wicked men hate certitude, and the Jews, while not always being right, have always been certain. While the rest of the world worshipped multiple pagan gods, the dedicated Jews demanded faithful and exclusive worship of Jehovah. Well, there goes the pagan vote!
God forbade them to marry into the unbelieving pagan nations, and that suggested Jewish superiority. That refusal to be absorbed into the culture has been a reason for their perpetuity as a people and a cause of universal hatred. Jews seemed to be pretentious, and they still do! Their critics often resented it and still do.
God gave the Jews a code of personal conduct known as the Ten Commandments, and nothing could be more absolute; they were not resolutions or recommendations but requirements. Men still chaff under “Thou shalt not.” Because of such holy demands and their uniqueness, the Jews were usually considered outcasts.
A substantial Jewish rebellion against Rome was prompted in A.D. 66 when a Jew-hater dumped a pot of urine outside a synagogue. Jews were rightly furious at this desecration, and a riot broke out during which some Jews insulted the Roman Governor of Judea. He ordered his soldiers to destroy the market and kill everyone in sight. What had been occasional acts of rebellion became a full-scale national revolt. It was all downhill from there. Josephus reported that 40,000 Jews were killed in Jotapata, a city he was defending as a Jewish leader. He wrote, “From one end of Galilee to the other, there was an orgy of fire and bloodshed.”
Fighting continued, and in A.D. 70, the Roman Army destroyed Jerusalem, including their sacred Temple, killing more than 1 million Jews. About 100,000 Jews were taken into slavery, thousands sent to the mines, and thousands scattered over the known world. All because of a pot of warm urine! A second rebellion in 135 caused by a false Messiah resulted in 500,000 more Jews being killed.
The Roman Empire experienced more opposition when Jews were forbidden to read the Torah, circumcise their sons, and other restrictions. When Emperor Constantine the Great (more appropriately, Constantine the Hypocrite) published his Edict of Milan in 315, providing tolerance to Christians, Jews discovered they lost some rights. With Constantine’s Council of Nicaea, the first worldwide religious conclave in 325, Jews lost the right of Sabbath worship and the right to Roman citizenship. Constantine said, “Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd.”
Constantine couldn’t make up his mind whether he was a preacher or a potentate, so he was pathetic as both. He was not a Bible believer, trusting in his empty, powerless reasoning, but his legs were not long enough to straddle the chasm between reason and revelation!
Another Roman Emperor issued the Edict of Theodosius in 391, declaring that Christianity was the only legal religion in the Roman Empire, bringing more pressure and persecution to Jews, although relief to Christians. Many Jewish synagogues had been destroyed earlier under the fiction that the land was “necessary.” By the end of the sixth century, Jewish children in Spain over seven years old were removed from their parents and educated as “Christians.”
No one, however bigoted, can defend such treatment.
Jewish persecution has been extensive, excessive, and always egregious but never excusable. However, the killing of Christ is not the only cause of such hatred since the persecutors had no real commitment to Christ. In many European nations, Jews were forbidden to own property, so they often became wealthy bankers. They were charged with usury which triggered envy, jealousy, and hatred. They spoke a strange language and usually kept to themselves, resulting in wild accusations followed by additional persecution.
Since Jews were “different,” “strange,” and “reserved,” they were convenient scapegoats to explain bad weather, accidents, wars, and plagues. The fear, envy, and hatred prompted massive persecution, torture, ghettoization, and massacre even from professing Christians. But then, no real Christian would do such a thing—but some Popes did.
During these problems, persecutions, and prosecutions of the Jewish people, it must be remembered that these were done by a state church run by religious tyrants or secular bigoted rulers, not by genuine, committed Christians teaching the truth in love to every man, especially “to the Jew first.”
Martin Luther defended Jews in his early ministry; however, he turned violently against them as he got older. He answered the question, “What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews,” and his reply has been used by the haters for centuries. “First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools…This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians …”
Luther was a brilliant, informed scholar who helped change the world, but his tirade against Jews is proof that Christians are also very human and often do evil. I wonder if he ever repented of his folly.
Luther then suggested Jewish houses be “razed and destroyed.” Their prayer books and Talmudic writings should be taken from them. Moreover, their rabbis should be forbidden to teach “on pain of loss of life and limb …” Luther suggested that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews “for they have no business in the countryside …” Then all “cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them …” Lastly, he suggested they be ejected from the country if there is reason to be fearful of them.
It should be noted that no German or European ruler implemented all of Luther’s suggestions. However, there is no doubt Jew-haters including some German Nazis for centuries used his statements to anger, abuse, and assault Jews,
Luther was a good, great, and even godly man, which only proves that good, great, and godly men can do and say ungodly, stupid things at times.
Often, the Jewish people almost invited persecution by their own actions, and I’ll be criticized for saying that. But then, burning at the stake has gone out of fashion, so I’ll survive.
Jews have financed wars charging kings and ordinary people outrageous interest; moreover, the Talmud (not an inspired book) is full of hatred, filth, and shameful charges against Christians and Gentiles. (But, then, I am not supposed to relate that fact since it will offend some Jews—but not honest Jews.)
The Talmud is a book that Jews have difficulty defending. Talmud normally refers to Babylonian Talmud, although there is also an earlier collection known as the Jerusalem Talmud compiled in the 4th century in Galilee. The popular Babylonian Talmud was compiled about the year A.D. 500.
Even some Jews are critical of the Talmud, as are many others with good cause. There is much anti-Christian and anti-Gentile content, but it was not the Torah that taught the Jews to criticize and hate Gentiles. The Talmud is also accused of absurd, immoral content and distorting Scripture. Orthodox Jews and, to a lesser extent, Conservative Judaism accept the Talmud as authoritative but have difficulty defending its implacable hatred of all non-Jews.
Jews brought much criticism to themselves because of their unusual influence in violent revolutions in France and Russia. Jews in Russia during the early 20th century occupied many leading positions, although they made up only a small percentage of the population.
Communism, as espoused by Karl Marx (also a Jew who died in 1883), got its impetus when a sealed train left Zurich, Switzerland on April 9, 1917, carrying 32 Russians (including Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin) through wartime Germany. Lenin had lived in Switzerland since 1900 as an exile.
Germany was losing WW I and saw a chance to cause further havoc in Russia by permitting Lenin’s return to Russia following their almost leaderless revolution in March (now sputtering and leaderless). In March, Tsar Nicholas II abdicated, and he and his family were butchered by the revolutionaries. Russia was in turmoil and praying for a strong leader.
He was already on the train.
Lenin’s train included 19 members of his Bolshevik Party and six Jewish members of the Jewish Labor Bund. Almost half the passengers on the train were Jewish. In less than a year, Vladimir Lenin would be running Russia following the bloody revolution in November led by him and Bolshevik revolutionaries.
The train took Lenin to Petrograd (now St. Petersburg), and that train ride is the most critical and relevant one in history. It took 8 days to travel 2,000 miles taking Lenin from relative obscurity in a cheap Zurich apartment to the absolute leader of Russia. His return to Russia turned their sputtering revolt into the world-shattering Russian Revolution. Millions died because of that train trip.
That was when a major train wreck would have been an enormous benefit to the world.
Jews were by far the largest group involved in the Bolshevik (Russian) Revolution. Half of some revolutionary committees in Russia were Jews, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn declared that half of the secret police were Jews. He confessed, “Without Jews, there never would have been Bolshevism. For a Jew, nothing is more insulting than the truth. The bloodthirsty Jewish terrorists have murdered sixty-six million in Russia from 1918 to 1957.” While a world-renowned hero, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and survivor of the Soviet gulag, Solzhenitsyn received much flack for his revelation about Jewish influence.
In an article in the Illustrated Sunday Herald in 1920, Winston Churchill emphasized the Jewish role in the Russian Revolution, declaring it “probably outweighs [the role] of all others. With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews.” And Lenin’s grandfather was a Jew.
Thousands of Jews were executed in Stalin’s purges in the 1930s, not because they were Jews but because Stalin was a paranoid killer who mistrusted everyone. Jews multiplied in the Russian leadership, not because they were Jews, but because they showed more enthusiasm and commitment to the cause.
Small-minded men hated Jews and envied their success as they do today, not realizing the foul breath of prejudice, bigotry, and hate are deadly to the soul.
(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives who ran a large Christian school in Indianapolis and wrote columns for USA Today for 8 years. Boys authored 18 books, the most recent being Muslim Invasion: The Fuse is Burning! The eBook is available here with the printed edition (and other titles) at www.cstnews.com. Follow him on Facebook at Don Boys, Ph.D.; and visit his blog. Send a request to DBoysphd@aol.com for a free subscription to his articles, and click here to support his work with a donation.)
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