Rabbi Jerome Epstein is a representative of the chameleon-like “Conservative Judaism” branch of rabbinism. And here we see Rabbi Epstein striking an enlightened, tolerant pose as damage control for the recent burning of hundreds of New Testaments by Israeli “Jews” who were not only acting as Shas activists as Rabbi Epstein disingenuously suggests, but were piously adhering to the teachings of Talmud and Tosefta which order that the books of Christian “idolators” be burned, specifically Babylonian Talmud Gittin 45b and Tosefta Shabbat 13:5.
Rabbi Jerome Epstein goes on to draw a parallel between the behavior of these Orthodox Judaic Israelis and that of the Nazis and Catholic inquisitors as a distraction from the fact that the Israeli book-burners were acting in accordance with their very own rabbinic tradition dating back to 300 A.D. which Rabbi Epstein himself is a “conservative” representative of.
This sophistry will not do. If Rabbi Epstein wants to be considered a true humanist rather than a lying rabbi then he will need to acknowledge the true source of the violence against the Gospel (the “Gilyonim” to him) which drove those Israelis to burn the New Testament–his own religion: rabbinic Judaism–and start the long overdue reform process of that tribal racket masquerading as “one of the world’s great religions.”
It’s time that the world learned that book burnings were not limited to the most loathsome creatures in history according to kosher received opinion–Nazis and Catholics, who are virtually of the same mold according to received opinion–but that the rabbis and their followers have been burning other people’s books for 1700 years in accordance with the ruling of Orthodox Judaism, shrieking victimhood all the while.
And also note that this is not an isolated incident as Rabbi Epstein falsely claims. It is only unusual in that it received the attention that it did, which was very little, but more than usual. That’s the only reason that the rabbi is “speaking out” here:
The burning of Christian Scriptures in Israel must be condemned
By Rabbi Jerome Epstein – Jewish Standard
… I am deeply proud of Israel.
But my feelings of pride are dampened by the distasteful behavior of Shas activists in Israel who burned copies of the Christian Bible, which they allege had been distributed by Christian missionaries. I certainly do not endorse missionizing activities in Israel, but the images of book-burning Jews makes me shudder. It is immoral for any Jew to act this way. For a religious Jew to do so is a chilul HaShem — a desecration of God’s name. Those Jews who burn books make a sham out of their personal piety.
I shudder at the irony of religious and committed Jews burning any books, whatever their content. Even if they do not remember the Holocaust, I do.
When German Nazi soldiers and civilians burned books in 1933, that action was widely condemned, especially by Jews. That act pained us to the core. For the People of the Book, the mere idea of burning a book is destructive. The act itself inflicts an indelible wound.
I shudder at the irony of Jews burning religious books. Whether the text is holy to Jews is irrelevant. The texts that were burned are holy to Christians. Imagine how any Jew would feel if non-Jews burned our sacred texts because they disagreed with them.
We Jews, whose ancestors have lived through the Inquisitions, whose very essence was desecrated when Christians burned our treasured Talmud in European cities in the Middle Ages, know the tears that are shed when something holy to us is desecrated.
I shudder at the irony of book-burning in Israel. Israel is more than a homeland for Jews. It is a light unto the nations. Israel must not permit revered rabbis who condone sin — much less those who encourage it — to go unchallenged. Israel must not permit misguided reactionaries to go unpunished, even if those misguided reactionaries, ironically enough, are the revered rabbis. Book-burning in Israel is an attack on all that Israel stands for.
I shudder at the irony of silence. We know what happens when good people remain silent and evil edges out good. Israel and Jews throughout the world must condemn this atrocious behavior and take the bold and necessary steps to ensure that this occurrence remains a singular nightmare.
Will you look at this two-faced huckster as he tells us, “I shudder at the irony of silence.” If you truly want to see these persecutions end, then start talking about the savage intolerance of your own religious tradition, Rabbi Epstein–the impetus for this book burning you so insincerely lament. Why the silence?