RORATE CÆLI has published a translation of a statement by Cardinal Bertone in which he states that Benedict’s Latin prayer for the Jews will not be changed. He also asks for reciprocity from the rabbis. A translation of the response to this statement from the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni is also published which contains the following deception:
“the Jewish prayers have already been ‘self-censored’ centuries ago”. “The essential information – Di Segni observes – is that today there is not any reference to Christians in our prayers, which have already been the object of repeated interventions of censorship and self-censorship. The Hebrew texts were modified centuries ago, long before the [Second Vatican] Council.” (Chief Rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni)
Compare that statement with this one by Rabbi Yerachmiel Seplowitz:
“… if we are going to sit down with the Vatican to negotiate liturgy, should we, l’havdil, offer to take out the second paragraph of Aleinu, in which we pray for the day when gentiles will stop worshipping idols? How about “sheheim mishtachavim” – the line that Christian censors removed from Aleinu, claiming it insulted Christians? Many of us have put it back …
One of these Judaic spokemen is dissembling here. A clue as to the veracity of each statement can be found in the fact that Rabbi Di Segni’s statement appeared in the Italian press for Goys while Rabbi Seplowitz’s statement appeared in The Jewish Press.
But this is beside the fact that the Sephardi of Italy, which Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni represents, never made the censorship to the Aleinu that Slepowitz speaks of above. The Aleinu’s offenses against Christians have always existed in the Sephardi prayer book that Di Segni himself would use.
The following is a version of the Aleinu “prayer” from a Judaic prayer book from England pre-1190 A.D. according to Israel Jacob Yuval, professor of Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This is an example of how Judaic “prayers” developed in times and places before censorship:
It is our duty to praise the Master of All, to ascribe greatness to the molder of primeval creation, for He has not made us like the nations of the lands, for He has not assigned our portion like theirs nor our lot like theirs, for they bow to vanity and emptiness and pray to a god who cannot save–man, ash, blood, bile, stinking flesh, maggot, defiled men and women, adulterers and adulteresses, dying in their iniquity and rotting in their wickedness, worn out dust, rot of maggot [and worm]–and pray to a god who cannot save. (Aleinu from medieval English prayer book, Two Nations in Your Womb, Israel Jacob Yuval, University of California Press, 2006, p.119)
It was common for Judaic persons to spit as they recited this so-called prayer–what truly amounts to a curse. The heirs to this tradition of juvenile hatred are now called our “elder brothers in the faith” and our Bible-based traditions are being modified to suit them. I would point out that the Aleinu is quite tame compared to many other traditional, rabbinic anti-Christian curses and practices.