Monday, October 4, 2010


October 3, 2010 By Stephen Ellis

It has often been said that the fetus of all the world’s major religions is Judaism (“Jew” and “Jewish” are contractions of the term “Judaism”). Certainly, there can be no doubt that Christianity and Islam emanated from the Jews. There are even more remote tie-ins to Zoroastrians and Hindu beliefs as having been created by the lost tribes of Judea.

Then, too, there is little doubt that Judaism is the oldest religion in the world outdating Hindu beliefs by thousands of years. The Old Testament (also called the “Torah”) calls the Jews “the chosen people”. More about the Torah and its possible recordation of visits by extra terrestrials, next week.

The basic Jewish belief is simple: There is one and only one God. That God created the Heavens and the Earth and is completely omnipotent. They do not accept the Christian belief that God sent his only son down to Earth to forgive the world’s sins; they do not accept the belief that Abraham’s son, Ishmael, was given a holy stone by the Archangel, Gabriel, or that God created his only prophet in the form of a man named Muhammad.

Jewish traditions are beautiful. The main Jewish holidays are Rosh Hashanah (the New Year), Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), Sukkot (the Festival of Feasts), Simchas Torah (the day you start over to read the Torah), and Pasach (mostly referred to as “Passover”), to celebrate the freedom of Jews from enslavement in Egypt.

Problems with Judaism, like all other religions, emanate from religious fundamentalists. There are still more than a million Jews who believe that the words in their Torah or their Talmud (the book of laws) were written by God and, therefore, cannot be changed or interpreted. Make no mistake: All Bibles and books of laws were written by man…not by God. Simple logic: There are more than one hundred different versions of Bibles available in libraries today. Each of them states that their Bible was written by God, yet most of these Bibles contradict other Bibles in major ways. It is not likely that an omnipotent God would contradict himself repeatedly.

Then, too “if” as the Jews believe, there is one and only one God, why does he have so many, different names? At various parts of the Torah, he is called “Yavah”…”Jehova”…”Eliyahu”…”Adonai” …”Elijah”…and many other names. Are all of these differently named Gods the same? If so, why so many different names?

In other columns, I have commented on the terribly primitive, heathen, nature of Sharia Law (Islamic Law). Talmudic Law is no less heathen. Simply reading Talmudic Law, creates several, seemingly ridiculous, questions I would like answered:

a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. The Talmud says I should smite them. How do I do this and stay out of jail?

b) Selling my daughters into slavery is sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. Is this a good idea? Does God’s law override State law? How about among the Jewish fundamentalists?

c) Contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24) is prohibited and punishable by death. How do I handle this if her period starts unexpectedly?

d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Why can't I own Canadians?

e) My neighbor drives and turns lights on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. What’s a convenient way to do this without getting arrested?

f) The Talmud says that homosexuality is an Abomination. Does that mean I can’t watch the Ellen DeGeneres show?

g) Eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10). What’s the punishment for eating a shrimp cocktail besides having to take a Pepto-Bismol?

h) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. Does this mean that Rabbis who wear glasses should not conduct services? Or is there some “wiggle-room” here?

i) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. Punishment for this is death. Too bad, I really like my barber.

j) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

k) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them to death? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

More on the Jews next week. Comments? Write me at and visit my website at Stephen Ellis

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