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How should I respond to claims of the Talmud being racist?

  

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Rabbi Shlomo: Welcome. I'll be with you in a moment...what's on your mind?


mentchie: How should I respond to people who make anti-semitic remarks and bring claims against the Talmud, referring to it as racist?


Rabbi Shlomo: it depends who those people are, who you are, and why you have to respond at all


Rabbi Shlomo: The simplest approach is this:


mentchie: Specifically, non-Jews who truly believe the things that they are saying which portray Judaism and our holy books in a negative light.


Rabbi Shlomo: tell them anyone can find statements in any religion or philosophy and take them out of context or misunderstand them...


Rabbi Shlomo: the way to question the "agenda" or "message" of a religion or a philosophy is to see how the people who adhere MOST to that philosophy live and what they teach their students to do


mentchie: I'm surprised I didn't think of such a simple reply! Thank you!


Rabbi Shlomo: if you look at the people who live must according to the Talmud, religious Jews and rabbis, you will see that they are a very peaceful people. They don't make pogroms. They don't spray paint hate graffiti. They don't go to war over religious issues.


Rabbi Shlomo: (unlike christians of old or muslims, whose religious followers and clergy promote hate, violence and murder againt people of other faiths)


mentchie: Thank you, again. It is a big help to me, as I feel that people who bring these charges against our people view silence as a "proof" that they are correct in their skewed views.


Rabbi Shlomo: good luck


mentchie: Kol Hakavod and Shabbat Shalom (for the coming Shabbat)

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.

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Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Talmud
Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.