“… 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. Should we allow the Vatican to dictate what we say in our prayers? Or should we, perhaps, do a line-by-line analysis of the Talmud to make sure there is nothing there that people may find offensive?” (Rabbi Yerachmiel Seplowitz, “The Pope’s Got A Point,” The Jewish Press, Wednesday, July 18, 2007)
I’m afraid that can of worms has already been opened, dear Rabbi Seplowitz. Not that you have anything to fear from your guys in the Vatican, but there are many commoners–am haaretz–who are picking up the slack for the Vatican and doing long overdue line-by-line analysis of not only the Talmud, but the entire corpus of Judaic texts, and uncovering the very things which you quite apparently fear could be exposed.
But don’t worry. We wouldn’t think of attempting to censor your offensive texts, much less confiscating and burning them, even if we had the means. History has proven such heavy-handed methods to be ineffective. Vatican censorship failed (and Judaic imprisonment of “holocaust deniers” and confiscation of their books will also fail, by the way). Indeed, you can thank the Vatican censors for buying you and your fellow rabbis a few extra centuries of cover for your thoroughly offensive texts precisely by censoring them. It was such a great idea that the rabbis continued to do it themselves, even after the demise of the Catholic states, producing sanitized “Talmuds” for goy consumption, such as the Rodkinson “Talmud”–a favorite among Talmud apologists who disingenuously use it to “prove” that those troublesome Talmud quotes about child rape, lying, cheating, killing, etc., are “antisemitic fabrications.”
No, we don’t intend to hide what we’re learning from the public. What we have planned is full disclosure, as it should be. There will be transparency in Judaism as there is in other religions; no more secret society stuff.
You can thank your fellow rabbis and their ever-so-characteristic insane overreaching for sparking our newfound interest. Were it not for their cosmic-proportioned chutzpah most of us would likely be going about our am haaretz lives not even concerned about what the Talmud contains, probably not even knowing what the Talmud is.
Behind your pose as the “levelheaded rabbi” there are, of course, selfish motives, likely based in fear. But if my intuition is correct, you have nothing to fear in the way of pogroms or book burnings. What you have to fear is the worst possible thing of all that could happen to a rabbi: the truth about the rabbinic tradition being widely exposed. God willing, the fact that your “holy” texts sanction child rape and the fact that you, Rabbi Seplowitz, as a mohel, get paid to put your mouth on the bleeding, circumcised penises of baby boys will be as commonly known as the Christian belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ.
Shalom aleichem, “elder brother” Rabbi Seplowitz.