CHRISTIANS UNWORTHY TO ASSOCIATE WITH JEWS
From what has been shown thus far, it is clear that,
according to the teaching of the Talmud, Christians are idolaters and hateful
to Jews. As a consequence, every Jew who wishes to please God has a duty
to observe all the precepts which were given to the Fathers of their race
when they lived in the Holy Land concerning the idolatrous gentiles, both
those who lived amongst them and those in nearby countries.
A Jew is therefore required (1) To avoid Christians;
(2) To do all he can to exterminate them.
CHAPTER I - CHRISTIANS MUST BE AVOIDED
Jews are required to avoid all contact with Christians
for four reasons: (1) Because they are not worthy to share in the Jewish
way of life; (2) Because they are unclean; (3) Because they are idolators;
(4) Because they are murderers.
Article I. —Christians Must Be Avoided—Because They
Are Unworthy to Share Jewish Customs
A Jew, by the fact that he belongs to the chosen people
and is circumcized, possesses so great a dignity that no one, not even
an angel, can share equality with him.(1)
In fact, he is considered almost the equal of God. "He who strikes
an Israelite" says Rabbi Chanina "acts as if he slaps the face
of God's Divine Majesty."(2)
A Jew is always considered good, in spite of certain sins which he may
commit; nor can his sins contaminate him, any more
than dirt contaminates the kernel in a nut, but only soils its shell.(3)
A Jew alone is looked upon as a man; the whole world is his and all things
should serve him, especially "animals which have the form of men."(4)
(1) cf. Chullin, 91b
(2) cf. Sanhedrin, 58b
(3) cf. Chagigah, 15b
(4) "Thus on the Sabbath day Jews celebrate with wine, meats,
fish and all the delicacies made for men; for them it is a full holiday;
they abstain from all kinds of work and will not lift a finger to do anything
that has the appearance of labor or that involves work of any kind. Thus
if there is need to light a fire in winter, to light or blow out a candle,
to cook or heat food, or to milk cows, they employ poor Christians to do
such work. Hence they glory in the fact that they are masters and Christians
are their servants who must minister to them while they rest at their ease.
Christian rulers should see to it that this should be stopped and that
others should not minister to Jews in this way on their Sabbath and other
festivals. And it must be admitted that we, to the detriment of our Christian
liberty, aid them too much in upholding their superstition to avoid all
kinds of work on the Sabbath." Buxtorf in Synag. Jud. p. 382.
Thus it is plain that they regard all contact with Christians
as contaminating and as detracting from their dignity. They are therefore
required to keep as far away as possible from all who live and act as Christians
(5) "They are diligently warned not to have any contact
with Christians, not to play with their children, nor to eat or drink with
them, nor to have anything to do with them socially. And parents tell their
children the conversation of Christians is so horrible and vicious that
they conceive an implacable hatred of Christians from their very cradle."
Ibedem, ch. VII, p. 136.
1. A JEW MUST NOT SALUTE A CHRISTIAN
In Gittin (62a) it says:
"A Jew must not enter the home of a Nokhri
on a feast day to offer him greetings. However, if he meets him on the
street, he may offer him a greeting, but curtly and with head bowed."
2. A JEW MUST NOT RETURN THE GREETINGS OF A CHRISTIAN
In Iore Dea (148,10) it says:
"A Jew must not return the greeting of a Christian
by bowing before him. It is good, therefore, to salute him first and so
avoid having to answer him back if the Akum salutes him first."(6)
(6) Urbanity is therefore not the reason why Jews appear
so amiable in bowing down so humbly before Christians.
Rabbi Kohana says that when a Jew salutes a Christian
he should say "Peace to my Lord," but intend this for his own
Rabbi. For the Tosephoth says: "For his heart was turned towards his
3. A JEW MUST NOT GO BEFORE A CHRISTIAN JUDGE
In Choschen Hammischpat (26,1) it says:
"A Jew is not permitted to bring his case before
Akum judges, even if the matter is judged by the decisions of Jewish
law, and even if both parties agree to abide by such decisions. He who
does so is impious and similar to one who calumniates and blasphemes, and
who raises his hand against the Law given us by Moses, our great law-giver.
Hagah says 'The Bethin has the power to excommunicate such a one
until he release his Jewish brother from the hands of the Gentile.' "
4. A CHRISTIAN CANNOT BE USED AS A WITNESS
In Choschen Ham. (34,19) it says:
"A Goi or a servant is not capable of acting
as a witness."
5. A JEW CANNOT EAT CHRISTIAN FOOD
In Iore Dea (112,1) it says:
"The Elders forbade the eating of the bread of the
Akum, lest we would seem to be familiar with them."
And in Abhodah Zarah (35b) it says:
"The following things belonging to the Goim
are forbidden: Milk which a Goi takes from a cow, in the absence
of a Jew;(7) also their bread,
(7) "For fear he would mix the milk of swine or of
some other unclean animal with it"—Surenhusius Mischnah Ab. Zar. p.6.
6. A JEW MUST NEVER ACT IN ANY WAY LIKE A CHRISTIAN
In Iore Dea (178,1) it says:
"It is not permitted to imitate the customs of the
Akum, nor to act like them. Nor is it permitted to wear clothes
like the Akum, nor to comb the hair as they do...neither must Jews
build houses that look like temples of the Akum."
Since, however, it is not possible to observe all these
rules in every place, the Hagah says that they can be overlooked
to a certain extent when, for instance, it is to the advantage of a Jew
to do so; for example, if a Jew would profit by a trade which requires
a certain kind of dress.