A Brief Study of Judaism

By Dr. M. Amir Ali
1. Denominations:
(a) Ultra conservatives: Small groups in various names; some are anti-Zionist.
(b) Orthodox: This is the major conservative and strongly Zionist sect dominating Israeli government and working with some of ultra-conservative groups.
(c) Conservative: This is a mainline Zionist group and sometimes join Orthodox in forming Israeli government.
(d) Reformed: These are liberal Jews yet Zionists. However, they are willing to make compromise with the Palestinians and live in peace. In general, they work with the Labor Party in Israel.
(e) Ethnic Jews: These people identify themselves with the Jews but for all practical purposes have left Judaism. They do not follow dietary or moral laws; many may be homosexuals and some have adopted eastern religions, such as, Hinduism, Buddhism, New Age Religion and whatever suits and attracts them.

2. Jewish Races:
a) Ashkenazi Jews. These do not belong genetically to Abraham and the twelve tribes. These are descendants of Caucasian converts to Judaism, therefore, they have very much European features like light color hair of various shades, light color eyes of various shades and do not have hooked noses. This group makes up 85 to 90 percent of the Jews. These Jews were responsible for the establishment of the State of Israel and they are in control of her government ever since.
b) Safardic Jews: These are claimants of being the descendants of Abraham and they have the features to prove it. Safardic Jews are very much Arab-like with brown to light skin, black hair and eyes and hooked noses. However, these are only around 5% of the Jewish population and have second level position in the Israeli government.
c) Arab Jews: These include North African and Middle Eastern Arabic speaking Jews. There were many Jews in Yemen. Arab Jews have been living happily with Arab Muslims and Christians throughout Muslim history and almost all of them may qualify to be Safardic Jews.
d) Miscellaneous other claimants: There are some East Africans, particularly in Ethiopia called Flashas who claim to be Jewish. There are some African Americans who have converted to Judaism. Besides, some Jews have been living in India and other countries.
Total Jewish population worldwide, as claimed by Israel, is under 15 million or 0.2% of the world population. Muslim population is one hundred times more but have the power as if the Muslims are one-hundredth of the Jewish people. Why and how did it happen?
3. Israel
• Prophet Abraham lived c. 1800 BCE in Canaan. He was an immigrant from Iraq.
See my article, “Palestine: God’s Covenant with Abraham”.
His great-grandson Joseph around one hundred years later moved to Egypt and took his entire clan with him that included his eleven brothers and parents. But soon Bani Israel were enslaved by the Egyptian Pharaohs. The twelve tribes of Israel bred in Egypt over a period of 400 years, most of it in slavery.
• Moses took Bani Israel out of Egypt to the Sinai desert in 1290 BCE.
• Conquest of Canaan by Bani Israel under Joshua in 1250 BCE.
• Period of Prophets and Judges from 1250 to 1020 BCE.
• Saul (Talut) was appointed the King of Bani Israel in Palestine in 1020 and he died in 1000 BCE.
• David succeeded Talut as the King and he ruled until 961 BCE when he died.
• King Solomon succeeded David in 961 and ruled until 925 BCE.
• After Solomon the kingdom broke into Judah and Samaria (Israel).
• In 721 Samaria was conquered by the Assyrians and finally it came under the Babylonians.
• Judah survived until 609 when it had fought the battle at Megiddo in 609 against the Babylonians.
• Nebuchadnezzar finally conquered Jerusalem in 586 and destroyed the temple. He took thousands of Bani Israel as slaves to Babylon where they did slave labor until 538 BCE.
• When the King Cyrus came in to power he issued the edict of 538 freeing Bani Israel and allowing them to return to Palestine.
• Rebuilding of the temple of Jerusalem in 520-515 BCE.
• Prophet Azra returns to Jerusalem in 498 BCE.
• Prophet Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem in 445 BCE.
• Alexander the Great rises and conquers in 332 BCE and Palestine becomes a Greek colony.
• Romans conquer Palestine in 301 BCE.
• Maccabees revolt and victory over the Romans in 167and they rule until 104 BCE.
• Romans re-conquer Palestine in 104.
• Parthian conquer Palestine in 40 BCE.
• Herod the Great, a Romanized nominal Jew, rules as a king over Jerusalem and surrounding lands under the Romans from 37 to 4 BCE.
• Herod builds the great temple in 19-10 BCE.
• Jesus is born in 4 or 5 BCE.
• Roman governors rule from 6 to 66 CE.
• The rise of Zealots to throw out the Romans from 66 to 70 CE.
• The Zealots are defeated in 70 CE and they gather at the fort of Masada near Dead Sea.
• Titus issues his decree expelling all Jews from Jerusalem and they were ordered never to enter again. The temple was razed to the ground including all the walls except the western wall.
• Zealots under the leadership of Rabbi Elazar ben Yair commit mass suicide in 73 CE at Masada where 960 persons die. This was done to avoid defeat and going under Roman slavery.
• Bani Israel continue to hide in the mountains around the Dead Sea and fight guerrilla war against the Romans.
• Simeon Bar Kochba in 131 leads a campaign against the Romans and occupies Jerusalem.
• Bar Kochba is defeated by the Romans in 135 CE and Bani Israel lose nearly one million people that included many learned scholars of the Bible. Those who could escape, did; Jews were no longer allowed to stay in Palestine.
[This is the model Bush is most probably using – that rag-tag warriors for independence would be eventually defeated and destroyed completely by a Super Power. Note that the Bani Israel under Bar Kochba were monotheists and fought against a pagan imperial power of Rome. Likewise, the U.S. and Europe make up pagan imperial powers of our time trying to defeat popularly supported independence movement led by a band of dedicated monotheists.]
• Umar, the Second Caliph, conquered Jerusalem without a war in 638 CE.
• At the request of a delegation of Jews, Umar permitted the Jews to visit for pilgrimage the Western Wall, to be known as the Wailing Wall.
• Mass migration of European Jews to Palestine from 1880s through our time.
• Gradual and slow return of the Jews under Muslim rule. Many stayed illegally and in 1900 CE their population was under 5% of the Palestinian population.
• Balfour Declaration in 1917 by the British established the legitimacy for the return of the Jews to Palestine.
• The British defeat the Ottoman Empire in 1918 and occupy Palestine.
• In the 1930s the Jewish terrorists in Palestine launch a campaign of terror to drive out the Arabs and to occupy their properties. This was accomplished under the eyes of the British troops.
• In 1948 When Israel was established the Jewish population in Palestine had increased to only 30%.

4. The Sources of Jewish teachings:
a) Torah. The first five books, collective called Pentateuch consisting of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are collectively called the Torah “written” by Moses. The Torah remained a verbal transmission for almost five centuries when it was written down in Hebrew language. Prophets keep coming between Moses and Jesus who “wrote” books and were appended to Torah. All of them collectively are called the Bible or Tanakh. It seems that the Bible was lost during the first destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE. It was the Prophet Azra who rewrote the Bible at the end of the Babylonian captivity around 500 BCE. .
b) Mishna. The Torah was discussed by the scholars over the centuries and their teachings were carried as the Oral Law, which passed on generations after generations orally. Students memorized the teachings through rote method. After the defeat of Bar Kochba many scholars also died and there was a concern about losing the law altogether due the death of the learned. In the year 200 CE Rabbi Judah the Prince decided to write down all the traditions. He wrote them under 63 headings and his compilation was called the Mishna, sometimes spelled Mishnah.
c) Talmud. The Mishna was commented and discussed. All such discussions on Mishna were called Gemara. Finally around 600 CE the Mishna and Gemara were put together and this compilation was called Talmud. There is a Palestinian Talmud and the other is a Babylonian Talmud. Generally, the term “Talmud” refers to the Babylonian Talmud because this is more comprehensive. Talmud consists of legal discussions, ethical matters, medical advice, history and folklore.
The Jews are told not to study Torah or Tanakh or Mishna but learn only Talmud and live by it. Muslims are likewise told that they need not study the Qur’an or the Hadith but they need to know only the Fiqh of their choice and live by it. I call it the judization of Islam.
Very early generations of teachers whose period followed Moses were called Tanna’im. Tanna’im have the highest regard among the scholars because they were the ones who contributed to the discussions that went into the Mishna. Scholars who came after Mishna who contributed to the discussions of Mishna are called Amora’im. Amora’im are held in higher regard than current scholars but less than the Tanna’im. It seems that these earlier scholars have achieved the status of infallibility in the eyes of the Jewish people. Muslims have followed the same tradition, that is, the writing and opinions of scholars who passed away 600 or 700 years ago, are taken as infallible. Again, there is judization of Islam. In our computer age, the Qur’an, translations, commentaries, Ahadith and their translations are available at the click of the mouse. Islamic scholarship has become much easier and a lot more is available than it was available to the scholars of early centuries. It is, therefore, suggested that direct learning of Islam from the Qur’an and Hadith should be encouraged and old fuqaha should be left for consultation and reference only. The blind following of ancient fuqaha must come to a stop if Muslims want to make progress..
5. Zionism.
Zionism defined by the Zionists on their website is given as: “Zionism is the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel, advocated, from its inception, tangible as well as spiritual aims. Jews of all persuasions, left and right, religious and secular, joined to form the Zionist movement and worked together toward these goals. Disagreements led to rifts, but ultimately, the common goal of a Jewish state in its ancient homeland was attained. The term “Zionism” was coined in 1893 by Nathan Birnbaum.” http://www.israel.org/mfa/go.asp?MFAH00ng0
Theodor Herzl (died 1904 at age 44) called the first Zionist Conference in 1897 in Basel, Switzerland. He wrote in his diary after the conference on September 3, 1897, “Were I to sum up the Basel [Zionist] conference in a word – which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly – it would be this: At Basel I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today, I would be answered by universal laughter. Perhaps in five years, and certainly in fifty, every one will know it.”
The Jewish State came into existence in 1948 less than 51 years after Herzl wrote the above note.

6 The Protocols of Learned Elders of Zion.
These are stepwise plans of the Zionists to take over the world and rule it. They believed that their God raised the Jewish nation to rule the world. Herzl himself before his death perhaps wrote these Protocols. They came to light in the 1920s but ever since Jews deny any part in writing them and accuse anti-Semite Russians or some other groups for writing them. However, when any neutral person learns about them and looks at the world events it becomes obvious that the Protocols are the work of the Zionists. There are 24 Protocols covering politics, economy, moral values, world trade and other aspects.

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