HERETICS AND THE THOUGHT POLICE
By Michael Hoffman
On the Contrary
July 2, 2009
Absent from this ugly stereotype is any awareness of the extent to which the rabbis themselves violently persecute errant members of their own fold, especially Judaics who dare to criticize Orthodox rabbis or Talmud scholars ("Talmedei Chachomim").
The same principle of thought policing which the ADL, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Agudath Israel and similar repressive Zionist groups apply to revisionist historians and pro-Palestinian freethinkers, is applied inside Judaism to dissenters in their own ranks.
There is no legacy of freedom of speech or inquiry in Judaism. That heritage is the gift of the West, of ancient Greece and Rome and the ecclesia founded on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Mental freedom is a totally alien concept in Judaism, but it is the Catholic Church, which gave us the Magna Carta, which has the reputation for the suppression of liberty ~ thanks to books by Dan Brown and movies by Ron Howard ~ while Judaism is most often portrayed as a fount of humane learning and scholarship.
The Babylonian Talmud in tractate Sanhedrin specifies that anyone who disparages a Talmudist is a heretic ("apikorus"). In Judaism's authoritative legal code, the Shulchan Aruch (YD vol. 2), a category of heretics is given and defined.
One such definition is "one who is Mevaze Talmedei Chachamim" (an opponent of the Talmud scholars).
Criticism of a Talmudist ("Bizuy Talmedei Chachomim") is a terrible crime in Orthodox Judaism, punishable by destruction of the heretic's reputation, imprisonment, flogging, ritual curses, book-burning and in some cases, death.
His reputation is destroyed by disqualifying the "heretic" from being a witness to anything, from testifying about the commission of a crime, to serving as a witness to a "simcha" (witness to a wedding).
Hence, the rabbinic "halacha" (law) on heresy is applied to revisionist historians and intellectual critics of Judaism by our supposedly non-partisan media: the reputation of critics and revisionists is destroyed in the media, they are beaten by terror groups such as the JDL and Betar, they are cursed publicly as "race haters," their books are censored or destroyed, they are imprisoned and some even suffer death.
We have all seen this done on people in the news. People who have exposed parts of history, made to appear fools, perhaps slandered, most definitely discredited in the eyes of the public.
Because Hollywood and the New York media take no interest in filming or otherwise recording and publicizing rabbinic repression against dissenters within and outside of Judaism, the long history of Judaism's hatred for freethinkers and the Talmudic case law that supports this heresy-hunting is mostly unknown.
Schulchan Aruch, Choszen Hamiszpat 388: “It is permitted to kill a Jewish denunciator everywhere. It is permitted to kill him even before he denounces.”
Erubin 21b: "Whosoever disobeys the rabbis deserves death and will be punished by being boiled in hot excrement in hell."