THE HOFFMAN WIRE
Dedicated to Freedom of the Press, Investigative Reporting
and Revisionist History
Michael A. Hoffman II, Editor
Oct. 8, 2003
Damage Control: Rabbis Scramble to "Explain" AJC's
Editor's Note: Yesterday we furnished the world-historic
confession by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) admitting
the Pharisees' guilt in the death of Jesus, based on the Talmudic
account of His trial and execution. Here today we present the
Zionist reaction to the AJC confession, a form of damage control
which will prove futile.
New York's "Jewish Week" newspaper is now claiming that it
was Christians who censored the sensitive passages in Talmud
tractate Sanhedrin concerning Christ. Yet in attacks on my book
"Judaism's Strange Gods" by various rabbinic savants online,
they have all claimed with the usual chutzpah, that it is an anti-
semitic canard to say that Jesus is in the Talmud. The propaganda
line of the modern rabbinate has been to claim that while the
Talmud refers to a certain "Yeshu," this "Yeshu" is a mysterious
figure having no identification with Jesus.
While certain medieval popes did indeed expurgate the homicidal,
pornographic and Satanic passages in the Talmud, in modern times
the rabbis have been free to publish any uncensored Talmud they
chose to print. Throughout most of the 20th century they contented
themselves with the English-language Soncino edition, which is
redacted in parts and which relegates the more heinous Talmud
passages to obscure footnotes, while rendering passages about
Jesus mostly in code. The editors of the Soncino edition were
rabbis, not Christians, so to blame the Christians for rabbinic
concealment of antiChrist Talmud citations is brazen deceit.
The rabbinic strategy runs as follows: admit nothing unless
forced to admit it. Until they are compelled, the rabbis will lie
and the modern popes and preachers of Judeo-Churchianity will
swear to it and consign skeptical investigators such as this writer
to the fever swamps of "Jew hatred."
Increasingly, in this Internet Age, this strategy cannot function
as smoothly as it once did. "Judaism's Strange Gods" is having
an impact. The establishment media does not interview me or
publicize my work but my influence continues to grow. My book
is read from Saudi Arabia to Switzerland and throughout the
college campuses and seminaries of America and Europe. My
facts are solid. There is no debating them. The choice is either
denial or admission. The AJC chose to confess. Other Zionist
factions are still in denial and they appear ridiculous as a result.
But this is only the beginning. After I finish my new book on
Islam later this year, I will collate all the notes and research
I have gathered over the past three years into a greatly expanded,
hardcover edition of "Judaism's Strange Gods," which will force
even more damaging confessions from the rabbinate.
For example, Prof. Israel Shahak of Hebrew University stated in
his magisterial book, "Jewish History, Jewish Religion" that,
when passing a gentile cemetery, every pious orthodox Judaic
must pronounce a curse on all the gentiles buried there.
This statement was howled down and mocked by orthodox
Judaism as a sick fantasy of Shahak's, even though the rabbis
know very well that it is completely truthful. So great is their
contempt for the "dumb goyim" that until someone like this
writer searches the archives and furnishes the exact source in
halakha for this practice of graveyard cursing, they will deny it,
and why not? The Talmud decrees that they should lie to the
goyim as circumstances dictate (cf. tractate Baba Kamma 113a).
I have news for these liars. I have found the rabbinic law book
that commands that Judaics curse the dead when passing a gentile
cemetery (Dr. Shahak is deceased and never furnished a citation
for his statement). I have also unearthed the exact wording of the
curse. This and hundreds of other new and shocking revelations
will appear in the hardcover edition of "Judaism Strange Gods"
which will be published next spring, around the time Mel Gibson
intends to release "The Passion." Let's call it a one-two punch.
When the new edition comes out the American Jewish Committee
will have a great deal more "splainin'" to do.
The rabbinate are in a sweat about how to handle Gibson's
forthcoming movie and they should be. When, earlier this year,
it appeared that Mel was weakening in his resolve under the
dreadful onslaught that was directed at him and his aged father,
I passed on certain sensitive Talmud materials to him through
an intermediary. These materials included the tractate Sanhedrin
passages concerning Christ and His murder. I furnished these
passages to Gibson in both English translation and the original
Aramaic. The Zionist establishment in the form of the American
Jewish Committee, with their excellent intelligence network,
probably got wind of the Talmudic facts with which Gibson is
now armed. In response, they issued their historic confession of
guilt for Christ's death, which is proving highly contentious in
Judaic circles, as the following article demonstrates.
So great is the outcry among the rabbis and Zionists, that the
AJC report has been censored and pulled from their own website!
It now has the status of a confidential "internal document."
But this is the Internet age and suppression and secrecy no longer
function as smoothly as they once did. The AJC report was leaked
to me yesterday and published in its entirety in THE HOFFMAN
WIRE the same day.
Adin Steinsaltz, a Lubavitcher rabbi and translator of the most
accurate English Talmud in print, continues to underestimate
our intelligence when he decrees in response to the AJC confession,
"Christians would do best to avoid these (Talmud) texts because
there is nothing politically or theologically significant to them in
Too late, Adin, the genie is out of the bottle.
JESUS' DEATH NOW DEBATED BY JEWS
Jewish Week, Oct. 3, 2003
AJCommittee scholar cites Talmudic passage; others question
views and timing in light of Gibson furor.
Eric J. Greenberg - Staff Writer
The controversy over Mel Gibson's upcoming film about the
death of Jesus has spurred painful exchanges between Jews and
Christians and progressive and traditional Catholics in recent
days. To date, the debates have centered on the "proper"
interpretation of the role of Jews in Jesus' Crucifixion, as
presented in the four New Testament Gospels.
But this week, Gibson's $25 million biblical epic, which
the director insists is about love and forgiveness, has triggered
a new squabble among Jewish scholars.
The texts in question are not New Testament but rather passages
long censored (by Christian authorities) about Jesus from the
Talmud, the encyclopedia of Jewish law and tradition considered
sacred by traditional Jews.
Raising the issue is an article by Steven Bayme, the American
Jewish Committee's national director of Contemporary Jewish
Life, which declares that Jews must face up to the fact that the
Talmudic narrative "does clearly demonstrate ... fourth century
rabbinic willingness to take responsibility for the execution of
"Jewish apologetics that 'we could not have done it' because of
Roman sovereignty ring hollow when one examines the Talmudic
account," Bayme said.
He contends that Jewish interfaith representatives are not being
honest in dialogue if they ignore the explicit Talmudic references
His article was posted on the AJCommittee's Web site last week,
then removed after a Jewish Week reporter's inquiry.
Ken Bandler, a spokesman for the AJCommittee, said the article
was taken down to "avoid confusion" over whether it represented
the organization's official position. AJCommittee officials now
refer to the article as "an internal document."
Some Jewish scholars and interfaith officials were upset with
the article, either questioning Bayme's scholarship or his timing
'saying this was a particularly delicate time to call attention to
Jews' role in Jesus' death' or both.
But Bayme was unswayed. Citing the continuing controversy
over Gibson's "The Passion," which has reignited concern over
Christianity's ancient charge against Jews as "Christ killers," he
wrote that it is also important "that Jews confront their own
tradition and ask how Jewish sources treated the Jesus narrative."
Bayme cites a passage from the Talmud, Sanhedrin 43a, which
relates the fate of a man called Jesus who is hanged on the eve
of Passover for practicing sorcery and leading the people of
When no one comes forward to defend the accused sorcerer
during a 40-day reprieve, Jewish authorities put him to death,
despite Jesus' "connections with the government." The Talmud
cites this incident during a discussion of due process and capital
punishment in Jewish law.
Bayme acknowledges that that the passage was written by
Talmudic scholars in Babylon, who lived about 400 years after
"To be sure, historians cannot accept such a text uncritically,"
But he says the passage is significant because the Talmudic
text "indicates rabbinic willingness to acknowledge, at least in
principle, that in a Jewish court and in a Jewish land, a real-life
Jesus would indeed have been executed.
"No effort is made to pin his death upon the Romans," Bayme
said. "Pointedly, Jews did not argue that crucifixion was a Roman
punishment and therefore, no Jewish court could have advocated it."
Bayme told The Jewish Week he wrote the piece for two reasons:
to educate Jews and promote honest dialogue with Christians.
He cited the Catholic Church's 1965 statement that Jesus' death
"cannot be blamed upon all Jews then living, without distinction,
nor upon the Jews of today."
Bayme said Gibson's movie "has alienated many Jewish leaders
who correctly worry whether the movie's graphic description of the
Crucifixion and its alleged overtones of a Jewish conspiracy to kill
Jesus may ignite long-dormant Christian hostilities to Jews."
That's why the Gospel and its association with anti-Semitism need
to be confronted as well as Jewish sources, he said. But Bayme
stressed that he is not suggesting a moral equivalency between
problematic anti-Semitic Gospel passages "which have caused the
death of Jews" and the Talmudic Jesus references.
Indeed, the Catholic Church, which burned copies of the Talmud
in the Middle Ages, officially censored the Talmud's Jesus references
in the 13th century. Even today the standard Vilna edition of the
Talmud omits any discussion about "Yeshu," Jesus in Hebrew.
The Jesus omissions began to be restored in the last century,
Bayme said. And the passages "re now included in most of the
new printings of the Talmud," said Yisrael Shaw of Daf Yomi
Discussions, an on-line Talmud service.
"If you do an Internet search for Sanhedrin 43a, you will find
that it is one of the favorite sources of the Christians to use as
proof of the Jewish murder and hatred of their god," Shaw said.
But Bayme is concerned that Jews know nothing about the
"Whenever I talked about the origins of Christianity with fellow
Jews, I discovered massive ignorance of Jewish narratives concerning
the death of Jesus. It's something I thought Jews ought to confront
fairly," he told The Jewish Week.
Bayme contends the Talmudic text resonates with the Gospel accounts
for several reasons. He said the Talmudic charge of practicing sorcery
and seducing Israel into apostasy, a biblical capital crime, matches
recently discovered "hidden Gospels" that "a historical Jesus was
indeed a first century sorcerer."
"A mature relationship between two faiths should allow for each
faith to ... uncover these texts and view them critically," Bayme
But some disagreed with Bayme's analysis and policy suggestion.
His own organization pulled the piece only a couple of days after
it was posted.
Rabbi David Rosen, the group's director of interreligious affairs,
said Bayme's views were not the "official AJC position" concerning
the trial of Jesus.
He called the Talmudic text historically "dubious" and questioned
Bayme's connecting the text with the Gospel stories, noting the
actual charge against Jesus and the nature of the court "is in conflict."
Some outside specialists also refuted Bayme's article.
Brooklyn College History Professor Rabbi David Berger, a
specialist in Christian-Jewish issues, said it would be a mistake
and diversion to bring the Talmudic texts into the interfaith
"The Second Vatican council properly rejected collective Jewish
guilt for the Crucifixion, even though it affirmed that some Jews
were involved," he said. "Consequently, raising the question of
the historical involvement of Jews, with or without reference to
Talmudic texts, diverts us from the key issue, which is the denial
of contemporary Jewish culpability for these events."
He noted that in the Middle Ages, "most Jews assumed that Jews
executed Jesus of Nazareth based on these Talmudic passages,
though some asserted that the Jesus of Talmud is not the same as
the Jesus of Christianity."
Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, whose Talmud edition has been translated
into English, Russian and Spanish, said he believed the Talmudic
Jesus is probably not the Christian Jesus.
"It could very well be somebody else" who lived 100 or 200
years earlier because the stories don't match the Gospel account,
Rabbi Steinsaltz noted that the Hebrew name Yeshu was popular
back then and that "stories about the resurrection of dead leaders
are a dime a dozen, before Jesus and after him. This is not a
In any case, Rabbi Steinsaltz said Christians would do best to
avoid these texts because there is nothing politically or theologically
significant to them in Jewish tradition.
Ellis Rivkin, professor emeritus of Jewish history at Hebrew Union
College and author of the seminal book "What Crucified Jesus," said
dragging in the Talmud text is "dangerous, utterly meaningless and
But Dr. David Kraemer, professor of Talmud and rabbinics at the
Jewish Theological Seminary, supported Bayme's call for honesty
about Jewish texts and Jesus.
"I think it's very relevant to bring up evidence of the difficulty of
our relationship with Christianity," he said, contending that it is
indeed Jesus of Nazareth in the text. Kraemer believes the text was
written at a time of fierce competition between the early rabbis and
Christian leaders in the early centuries of the Common Era.
"The attitudes expressed [in the Talmud] can be pretty hateful
attitudes," he said. "It's not about comparing them [with the
anti-Semitic Gospel passages]. Just because you can't equate
them doesn't mean you can't raise the issues."
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