A vaccination shot for measles and mumps is prepared. Photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Lotz/U.S. Air Force/Creative Commons

Is it OK to blame ultra-orthodox Jews?

Question: what prominent Jewish media outlet, with a proud history, could use a new headline writer?

Answer: The Forward.

Here is why.

A recent article in the Forward describes an outbreak of measles in the Hasidic community.

Why is this happening? Because many of them refuse to vaccinate their children. This, despite rather stringent appeals from Orthodox leaders and educators. Some yeshivot will not accept children who have not been vaccinated.

This is yet another manifestation of anti-vaccination propaganda that has been floating around that community, and other communities, for quite some time. (For decades, my family took a kind of pseudo-pride in imagining that Jonas Salk was somehow related to us).

I vociferously disagree with the anti-vaccination people. I am fervently in favor of vaccination of children.

So, what is it about this article that troubles me?

Only the headline.

"The Ultra-Orthodox Keep Causing Measles Outbreaks. Why Aren't They Vaccinating?"

See anything wrong here?

First, those measles outbreaks seem to be confined to their own community -- not that this make it any better.

But, the ill-informed and/or the Jew hater is likely to read that headline, and come away with the impression that the Jews are responsible for starting a plague.

Sound familiar? It should. In 1348 to 1351, Jew haters accused the Jews of causing the Black Death in Europe, by poisoning the wells. That accusation was a classic example of anti-semitism, and it lead to the massacres of entire Jewish communities.

Second, and even worse: the use of one, small word in that headline.

"The."

The Ultra-Orthodox.

Not: some ultra-Orthodox.

"The."

I respect the Forward, and have done so for several decades. My father once found a copy of the Forward in our bathroom, and he exited, waving it at me: "Why are you reading a Communist newspaper?" My father knew the history of the Forward very well -- that it had started as a socialist, Yiddish newspaper. The Forward has published many of my articles.

But, something is very wrong here.

It's that little word "the." It is the implication that the ultra-Orthodox, as a body, are spreading measles.

This is simply wrong.

First, it is not true.

Second, it is profoundly bigoted -- and frankly, I cannot understand how the Forward could publish such a, well, libel.

I will not publish here what some of the parallels would be. Just think about other groups on the margins of society. Come up with a social problem. Blame that group for the social problem.

See what it feels like.

There is a word for this.

The word is bigotry. And it should be the last thing that we would expect from a Jewish newspaper. Or, any newspaper.

Finally, let me say this as a non-Orthodox Jew.

I am tired of the sharp divisions in the Jewish community. In many cases, those divisions have emerged because of our tendency to be like many other Americans -- to generalize and to demonize those with whom we disagree.

It's all about "the."

The Reform Jews. The leftists. The Orthodox. The ultra-Orthodox. The Israelis. The settlers.

In each case, those "the" statements mask whopping over generalizations -- and yes, even bigotry.

The Forward should have known better.

An apology is quite in order.

 

 

Comments

  1. It’s amazing isn’t it how much meaning resides in three little letters! We all do it use “the”, instead of “some” or “many” or “a few”. It is good to be reminded that there really aren’t any monolithic groups, we are a multiplicity of ideas and beliefs.

    That aside IT is concerning that there are “some” groups that refuse vaccinations. To imply that they ONLY in this case are infecting their own is a problem. Do any of them ever use public transportation to leave their immediate neighborhood? Do any of them go to a Doctor outside their neighborhood? I am of an age when there was no measles vaccine and when the vaccine became available was advised NOT to get it because of my age. I also never had measles as a child. So I for one as are “many” are more vulnerable to any exposure.

    They, the unvaccinated children, are a danger to all of us.

  2. Yes, the headline should have omitted the definite article “the”. However, the piece itself made some good points. It seems to me that you have brought more attention to this headline than it deserves. It also seems to me that if you were actually interested in effecting change, a letter to the editor of the Forward, or a phone call to them, or even a post on their site would have been more productive than this piece.

    I believe that those who want to attack Jews for any reason, with any types of hateful diatribe are not going to read the Forward to find fodder for their attacks. I believe that anti-Semitism is based in hate, and that those who choose to spew hate are going to do so, regardless of what appears or does not appear on the pages of the Forward.

  3. Part of the problem –? maybe a good deal of it?–is the intelligence of journalists. As a general principle, journalists are not the smartest, most analytical, most thoughtful of people. This is the cause of lots of problems in all media.

  4. I agree about the use of the word “the”.
    However, part of this isn’t good public health. People who don’t vaccinate are endangering all of us. Herd Immunity protects everyone.
    I’m wondering if there is a correlation between religious conservatism and anti-vax ideology.

  5. In other words, at the end of the day, you ultimately agree with the headline writer that Rabbi Salkin opposes.

  6. The anti-vaccination position is dangerously stupid in all respects. There is no rational arguments for it at all.

  7. And yet you welcome hundreds of thousands of unvaccinated to cross into the United States annually. Gosh, I miss Obama’s first term when he sounded like Trump on illegal immigration:
    https://youtu.be/5bKTv57OEJE

  8. Your ears were burning when I used the words “irrational” and “stupid”?

    There is a difference between being unvaccinated because they could not and those whose parents choose not to when they have the opportunity. (Still not clicking the Youtube.)

    BTW you are full of crap here, yet again. Refugees get vaccinated when they are processed when possible.
    https://vaxopedia.org/2017/02/22/are-immigrants-and-refugees-spreading-disease-in-the-united-states/
    Of these six diseases, three – measles, mumps, and whooping cough – are vaccine-preventable and have very little to do with immigrants or refugees. Often, they have to do with unvaccinated United States citizens traveling out of the country, getting sick, and coming home to start an outbreak.

    https://sma.org/illegal-immigration-and-the-threat-of-infectious-disease/
    But the CDC currently believes that the children arriving at US borders “pose little risk of spreading infectious diseases to the general public.” The CDC also confirms that vaccinations are provided to all children who do not have valid documentation. All children are initially screened for visible and obvious health issues (for example, lice, rashes, diarrhea, and cough) when they first arrive at Customs and Border Protection facilities.

    BTW Donald Trump hires illegal aliens in his businesses. And you don’t care.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/immigration-reform/trump-s-new-jersey-golf-club-employs-undocumented-immigrants-women-n945056
    (I use real news source links, not edited youtube ones)

  9. Infectious diseases like the Ebola virus get spread by people who arrive by plane, and don’t realize they are in the early infectious stage of the disease and it is spread to all on the plane. Infectious disease issues is one reason we need Universal Health Care. Border Walls won’t address the problem.

  10. “Refugees get vaccinated when they are processed when possible.”

    Who vaccinates illegals who enter illegally without detection?

    The Easter Bunny Nurse?

  11. No, that would be floydlee’s words, not MY words. I wrote five sentences, the first of which was, “I agree about the use of the word “the “.”

    But since you seem desperate, here ya go.

    As various individuals, and sometimes groups, And sometimes individuals who organize into groups, Have decided that 200 years of successful science can be ignored because they wish to, that puts everyone in danger.

  12. Also vaccinations are given to people in this country regardless of documentation. Public health being more important than civil law violations.

    One of the advantages of children of illegal aliens attending public schools is the requirement for vaccinations to attend.

  13. I miss John Kerry-he was for the wall before he was against it…

  14. Keep referencing irrelevant people in a fictional manner. Whataboutism is about all you have at this point.

    So what is your defense of the anti-vax movement? I am all ears.

  15. People can choose to do what they want to do with their bodies and that of their kids.
    Pro-choice; amirite?

  16. “and that of their kids. ”

    Nope.
    Parents get prosecuted for refusing to provide necessary medical treatment for their kids.

    Parents get prosecuted for physically harming their children and endangering them.

    So I guess you really don’t want to take an anti-vax position. You are just being disagreeable with me for its own sake. Trolling.

  17. Nope.
    I don’t agree with it, but if they don’t believe in it; they need to accept the consequences.
    Their choice.

  18. Universal healthcare?
    How about the government own every airplane instead – that way they can control the air on the planes so the virus doesn’t spread.
    Do you understand how silly you sound?

  19. That was a rather silly remark. As if the rest of the developed world doesn’t already have such a system in place, in some cases for decades.

    Lack of access to healthcare = creating public hazards.

  20. No. That is rather silly. WE ALL PAY the consequences of their behavior here. They put the rest of us at risk here for their irresponsible behavior.

    If they don’t believe in it, nobody needs to care. Its a scientific/medical issue. Not up for debate by ignorant laypeople.

  21. Nope. Libs answer for everything – have the government do it.
    Yes – let’s all be slaves to the state.

  22. That was boneheaded.

    YES, its their job.

    The government has a duty to address public hazards. Its what we elect them for. To use public resources for the benefit of the public.

    There is no part of your argument which makes you sound intelligent here.

  23. Just like drug use?
    Just like abortion?
    Just like freedom of religion?
    Just like not paying attention is school and being on the public dole for 60 years?
    Nope.
    It’s called liberty.

  24. “they need to accept the consequences”

    That is sure easy to say when it is some little kid who is getting the consequences. Didn’t that guy you claim to worship say something about the importance of taking care of little kids? Evidently, that guy you claim to worships doesn’t really matter in the real world.

  25. Nope. None of those involve harm to other people or the public at large.
    Bad analogy = bad argument.

    Please tell me how infectious disease is like freedom of religion. I am all ears.

    You are trolling badly. Your input here is completely useless garbage, You even admitted yourself that you do not support anti-vax positions.

  26. There’s a difference between universal healthcare and the “shot mobile” that travels to places in need.

  27. It’s a control thing.
    If the government can’t tell me what to do in regard to abortion; they can’t tell me what to do in regard to vaccinations.

  28. Yup. Just like the little baby that gets sucked out of the mother’s wonb.

  29. Nice to see that you’ve now dropped the indirect but clear slam against “religious conservatism” (e.g. the Ultra- Orthodox and any othergroup that is religiously or biblically conservative), that you previously indulged in.

  30. Again, bad analogy.

    The government has a duty to prevent you from being a public hazard to other people. The only person affected by abortion rights is the one making the decision.

    Its pretty clear you are just goofing here.

  31. You don’t understand the basics of either here.There is no cogent argument presented.

  32. If religious conservatives are posing a clear and obvious health hazard to the public on purpose, they deserve to be slammed.

  33. Which is rather strange, since babies are already born and would not be in there in the first place.

  34. Nice to see that you are once again putting words in my mouth. I asked a question, and given the topic in hand, a legitimate one, which you took as a slam against religious conservatism. I also notice you didn’t answer it.

    Keep trying.

  35. “Its called harming others for your own amusement.”

    Doesn’t that depend on where and with whom you live and interact?

  36. You’re confusing being at risk and paying.

    Two different things.

  37. Odd, isn’t it, how you’re claiming “some little kid” is “getting” the consequences but Spuddie is claiming everyone is getting the consequences?

    Perhaps you two should go off-line and coordinate your hysteria and then return and play the Greek chorus.

  38. “You are trolling badly.”

    Is he infringing on your turf?

  39. On the other hand considering that Judaism has no foundation (Abraham and Moses are mythical characters) should the Forward even be in business?????

  40. It is impossible to make a border non-porous! Grow up Mark

  41. Really?

    And “grow up” too.

    First, we have 11 MILLION illegals in this country.

    If we had 1,000 your “point” might be tolerable.

    Second, anyone even vaguely familiar borders of the former East Germany, Soviet Union, current North Korea, and a host of other countries know that borders can be defended and essentially non-porous.

    In fact, there is no argument why the southern border of the United States shouldn’t be secure.

  42. Worse yet, you didn’t even acknowledge what Salkin said: Orthodox leaders have been publicly telling their people to get vaccinated.

    So it’s rationally baseless (and more than a little bigoted, Ben) for you to suggest any kind of inherent connection between religious conservatism and ati-vax ideology.

    Maybe there exists another reason for you to be opposing religious conservatism?

  43. You WILL put words in my mouth, won’t you?

    I asked a question. You haven’t answered it.

  44. How about big name Hollywood liberals? Feel the same way?

  45. Yup. No mercy is given to anti-vaxxers. Its dumb whether one is doing it for religious reasons or new age ignorance/”I read something online”.

  46. According to articles I just perused neither political side has a monopoly.

  47. You forgot the sarcasm font. Because I know someone with a username like that wouldn’t just say something like gravity doesn’t exist.

  48. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob·a·bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

    The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions — the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years — have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity — until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called ”Etz Hayim” (”Tree of Life” in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine document.

    The notion that the Bible is not literally true ”is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis,” observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to ”Etz Hayim.” But some congregants, he said, ”may not like the stark airing of it.” Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that ”virtually every modern archaeologist” agrees ”that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all.” The rabbi offered what he called a ”LITANY OF DISILLUSION”’ about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have ”found no trace of the tribes of Israel — not one shard of pottery.”

  49. Since numerous articles have stated the opposite, could you provide a good example of a “contradiction” or a direct example of something against the claims of the Bible? All I’m getting here is an Appeal to Authority.

  50. Considering the reliability of the authority in the given context of the Conservative Jews’ “New Torah for Modern Minds”/ Tree of Life/ Etz Hayim, one would have to start with the reviews in said document presented by contemporary archeologists and historians.

    This then would be followed by the these documents and authoritative studies:

    o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
    2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
    – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–
    30-60 CE Passion Narrative
    40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
    50-60 1 Thessalonians
    50-60 Philippians
    50-60 Galatians
    50-60 1 Corinthians
    50-60 2 Corinthians
    50-60 Romans
    50-60 Philemon
    50-80 Colossians
    50-90 Signs Gospel
    50-95 Book of Hebrews
    50-120 Didache
    50-140 Gospel of Thomas
    50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
    50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
    65-80 Gospel of Mark
    70-100 Epistle of James
    70-120 Egerton Gospel
    70-160 Gospel of Peter
    70-160 Secret Mark
    70-200 Fayyum Fragment
    70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
    73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
    80-100 2 Thessalonians
    80-100 Ephesians
    80-100 Gospel of Matthew
    80-110 1 Peter
    80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
    80-130 Gospel of Luke
    80-130 Acts of the Apostles
    80-140 1 Clement
    80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
    80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
    80-250 Christian Sibyllines
    90-95 Apocalypse of John
    90-120 Gospel of John
    90-120 1 John
    90-120 2 John
    90-120 3 John
    90-120 Epistle of Jude
    93 Flavius Josephus
    100-150 1 Timothy
    100-150 2 Timothy
    100-150 T-itus
    100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
    100-150 Secret Book of James
    100-150 Preaching of Peter
    100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
    100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
    100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
    100-160 2 Peter
     4. Jesus Database, http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html –”The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament.”
    5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
    6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
    7. http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT
    8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
    9.The Gnostic Jesus
    (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
    by Douglas Groothuis: http://www.equip.org/articles/gnosticism-and-the-gnostic-jesus/10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
    Presented on March 18, 1994
    ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
    11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
    wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?title=Jesus_Database
    12. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
    faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html
    13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
    mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
    13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies
    14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
    15. Diseases in the Bible:
    http://books.google.com/books/about/The_diseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

    continued below:


  51. 16. Religion on- Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
    theologians, ethics, etc. religion-online.org/
    17. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgate-way.com/
    18 Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
    ntgat-eway.com/
    19. JD Crossan’s conclusions about the authenticity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
    http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.p-hp?title=Crossan_Inventory
    20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by title with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
    21. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
    infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
    22. NT and beyond time line:
    pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/
    23. St. Paul’s Time line with discussion of important events:
    harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
    24. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan’s books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
    25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx’s words of wisdom as found in his books.
    27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
    28. Father Raymond Brown’s An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
    29. Luke Timothy Johnson’s book The Real Jesus

    “Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth [Hardcover]
    Bart D. Ehrman (Author)

    Large numbers of atheists, humanists, and conspiracy theorists are raising one of the most pressing questions in the history of religion: “Did Jesus exist at all?” Was he invented out of whole cloth for nefarious purposes by those seeking to control the masses? Or was Jesus such a shadowy figure—far removed from any credible historical evidence—that he bears no meaningful resemblance to the person described in the Bible?

  52. You assume that the New Torah for Modern Minds has no authority but if you peruse it, you would see that you are wrong but then again admitting to its authority puts your orthodox Judaism on the myth pile, a tough admission no doubt. But you would be in company as noted by The Great Kibosh of All Religions:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    “The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother’s womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. “

  53. Any time there is a small group that isolates itself from mainstream society, there is fertile ground for misinformation can travel quickly without the normal sources from the greater society to rebuttal the bad information. The anti-vaccination stance is an issue in the Somali-American population in part for the same reasoning.

  54. I did some quick googling and it appears that there are anti-vaxers on both ends of the political spectrum.

  55. What does all this information derive from? Simply a lack of findings or a direct contradiction to the Scriptures?

  56. A direct contradiction to the mostly inauthentic scriptures both old and new by using rigorous historic testing (the number of independent attestations, the time of the publications, the content as it relates to the subject and time period and any related archaeological evidence.)

    Some added comments from the review of the New Torah for Modern Minds:

    ”When I grew up in Brooklyn, congregants were not sophisticated about anything,” said Rabbi Harold Kushner, the author of ”When Bad Things Happen to Good People” and a co-editor of the new book. ”Today, they are very sophisticated and well read about psychology, literature and history, but they are locked in a childish version of the Bible.”

    ”Etz Hayim,” compiled by David Lieber of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, seeks to change that. It offers the standard Hebrew text, a parallel English translation (edited by Chaim Potok, best known as the author of ”The Chosen”), a page-by-page exegesis, periodic commentaries on Jewish practice and, at the end, 41 essays by prominent rabbis and scholars on topics ranging from the Torah scroll and dietary laws to ecology and eschatology.

    These essays, perused during uninspired sermons or Torah readings at Sabbath services, will no doubt surprise many congregants. For instance, an essay on Ancient Near Eastern Mythology,” by Robert Wexler, president of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, states that on the basis of modern scholarship, it seems unlikely that the story of Genesis originated in Palestine. More likely, Mr. Wexler says, it arose in Mesopotamia, the influence of which is most apparent in the story of the Flood, which probably grew out of the periodic overflowing of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The story of Noah, Mr. Wexler adds, was probably borrowed from the Mesopotamian epic Gilgamesh.

    Equally striking for many readers will be the essay ”Biblical Archaeology,” by Lee I. Levine, a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. ”There is no reference in Egyptian sources to Israel’s sojourn in that country,” he writes, ”and the evidence that does exist is negligible and indirect.” The few indirect pieces of evidence, like the use of Egyptian names, he adds, ”are far from adequate to corroborate the historicity of the biblical account.”

    Similarly ambiguous, Mr. Levine writes, is the evidence of the conquest and settlement of Canaan, the ancient name for the area including Israel. Excavations showing that Jericho was unwalled and uninhabited, he says, ”clearly seem to contradict the violent and complete conquest portrayed in the Book of Joshua.” What’s more, he says, there is an ”almost total absence of archaeological evidence” backing up the Bible’s grand descriptions of the Jerusalem of David and Solomon. “

  57. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shine in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John chapter 1:1-5)

    Apparently there was no “the” in “In the beginning” in the Greek text, as the original text is ἐν (en). Thank you Father and Holy Spirit for my new level of understanding of your Son!

  58. Both. Might want to review modern rigorous historic testing of the NT. You will have to read the studies of contemporary historians and NT scholars to see how they decide the authenticity of historical events and passages. Rigorous conclusions rely on the number of independent attestations, the time of the publications, the content as it relates to the subject and time period, and any related archeological evidence. Professors JD Crossan and G. Ludemann’s studies are top notch in this regard.

    See below for some added commentary about the New Torah for Modern Minds:

  59. ”When I grew up in Brooklyn, congregants were not sophisticated about anything,” said Rabbi Harold Kushner, the author of ”When Bad Things Happen to Good People” and a co-editor of the new book. ”Today, they are very sophisticated and well read about psychology, literature and history, but they are locked in a childish version of the Bible.”

    ”Etz Hayim,” compiled by David Lieber of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, seeks to change that. It offers the standard Hebrew text, a parallel English translation (edited by Chaim Potok, best known as the author of ”The Chosen”), a page-by-page exegesis, periodic commentaries on Jewish practice and, at the end, 41 essays by prominent rabbis and scholars on topics ranging from the Torah scroll and dietary laws to ecology and eschatology.

    These essays, perused during uninspired sermons or Torah readings at Sabbath services, will no doubt surprise many congregants. For instance, an essay on Ancient Near Eastern Mythology,” by Robert Wexler, president of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, states that on the basis of modern scholarship, it seems unlikely that the story of Genesis originated in Palestine. More likely, Mr. Wexler says, it arose in Mesopotamia, the influence of which is most apparent in the story of the Flood, which probably grew out of the periodic overflowing of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The story of Noah, Mr. Wexler adds, was probably borrowed from the Mesopotamian epic Gilgamesh. ”

    Continued below:

  60. Equally striking for many readers will be the essay ”Biblical Archaeology,” by Lee I. Levine, a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. ”There is no reference in Egyptian sources to Israel’s sojourn in that country,” he writes, ”and the evidence that does exist is negligible and indirect.” The few indirect pieces of evidence, like the use of Egyptian names, he adds, ”are far from adequate to corroborate the historicity of the biblical account.”

    Similarly ambiguous, Mr. Levine writes, is the evidence of the conquest and settlement of Canaan, the ancient name for the area including Israel. Excavations showing that Jericho was unwalled and uninhabited, he says, ”clearly seem to contradict the violent and complete conquest portrayed in the Book of Joshua.” What’s more, he says, there is an ”almost total absence of archaeological evidence” backing up the Bible’s grand descriptions of the Jerusalem of David and Solomon.

    The reaction to the rabbi’s talk ranged from admiration at his courage to dismay at his timing to anger at his audacity. Reported in Jewish publications around the world, the sermon brought him a flood of letters accusing him of undermining the most fundamental teachings of Judaism. But he also received many messages of support. ”I can’t tell you how many rabbis called me, e-mailed me and wrote me, saying, ‘God bless you for saying what we all believe,’ ” Rabbi Wolpe said. He attributes the ”explosion” set off by his sermon to ”the reluctance of rabbis to say what they really believe.”

    Before the introduction of ”Etz Hayim,” the Conservative movement relied on the Torah commentary of Joseph Hertz, the chief rabbi of the British Commonwealth. By 1936, when it was issued, the Hebrew Bible had come under intense scrutiny from scholars like Julius Wellhausen of Germany, who raised many questions about the text’s authorship and accuracy. Hertz, working in an era of rampant anti-Semitism and of Christian efforts to demonstrate the inferiority of the ”Old” Testament to the ”New,” dismissed all doubts about the integrity of the text.

    Maintaining that no people would have invented for themselves so ”disgraceful” a past as that of being slaves in a foreign land, he wrote that ”of all Oriental chronicles, it is only the Biblical annals that deserve the name of history.”

    Continued below:

  61. “The Hertz approach had little competition until 1981, when the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the official arm of Reform Judaism, published its own Torah commentary. Edited by Rabbi Gunther Plaut, it took note of the growing body of archaeological and textual evidence that called the accuracy of the biblical account into question. The ”tales” of Genesis, it flatly stated, were a mix of ”myth, legend, distant memory and search for origins, bound together by the strands of a central theological concept.” But Exodus, it insisted, belonged in ”the realm of history.” While there are scholars who consider the Exodus story to be ”folk tales,” the commentary observed, ”this is a minority view.”

    Twenty years later, the weight of scholarly evidence questioning the Exodus narrative had become so great that the minority view had become the majority one.

    Not among Orthodox Jews, however. They continue to regard the Torah as the divine and immutable word of God. Their most widely used Torah commentary, known as the Stone Edition (1993), declares in its introduction ”that every letter and word of the Torah was given to Moses by God.”

  62. I will certainly do a “historic rigorous testing” upon your recommendation. For the past few months, I have been looking at the Greek translation of the entire New Testament, but with recent archaeological information at my disposal, I haven’t really found a direct contradiction to the New Testament, to any extent. Most of what I’ve come across are more than just witness accounts. Some things, like the finding of the city of Nazareth, makes the New Testament, much more credible since it makes claims that other religious texts don’t make.

    Certainly, with so many historic claims the Bible makes, it should be simple to disprove if it is all nonsense. However, I have NOT found this to be the case, nor do I expect it to be.

  63. That’s a false assumption, millions of Latin Americans, like me, have been vaccinated against childhood diseases. Almost all LA countries have vaccination programs.

  64. No, it’s what you just wrote that sounds silly.

  65. So the US should shoot everyone who attempts to cross the border? That was/is the first line of deterrence in East Germany, Soviet Union, current North Korea, etc.

    It’s interesting that all of your examples are of walls built to keep their own citizens from leaving!

  66. No, they should encounter a barrier which is sufficiently impenetrable that someone will pick them up.

    In each of the examples it kept anyone from moving across the border from either side, which is one of the reasons the Soviet Union and East Germany did NOT have illegal drug problems.

    11 million illegal immigrants indicates a major problem, does it not?

  67. I think vaccinations are closer to serious public contagious disease, than abortion.

    Your neighbor having an abortion doesn’t affect you or your life, especially if your are unaware it occurred. Your neighbor having untreated ebola or zika can very much affect you and your life, which is why folks with those diseases, among others, can be legally quarantined and treated by force without their consent.

  68. Journalists aren’t usually who write headlines.

  69. That’s not what the government is reporting on the border.

  70. That’s fine. Put them in a tent and quarantine them.
    Their body their choice.

  71. No it is not OK to blame Orthodox as individual people (or the Ultra-O’s)…but it is fair to blame their belief system and the individuals who perpetrate this disgraceful anti-Vax nonsense.

  72. There are still good explanations for this, and either way it’s fascinating to research, regardless of what side your on. One explanation I’ve heard that satisfies me is that there wouldn’t be much evidence of the Israelites if they wore Egyptian garb and were adapted to their culture and way of life.

  73. Their kids are being quarantined, they can’t attend school unless they are vaccinated and their parents pitch a fit.

  74. Not in my opinion. Only a small minority of them cause any trouble.

  75. Every single illegal alien is here illegally.

    That simple fact seems to fly right past some of the commenters.

  76. I’m well-aware that headlines are written by individuals other than the reporter who wrote the story. Nevertheless, it seems to me that it’s reasonable to call all folks directly involved in putting out the product–reporters, editors of various kinds–“journalists”.

    My original comment would have been more useful if I’d said something like “in my experience and observations, journalists [i.e. all those who have a role in putting out the product] are not the deepest or clearest of thinkers”.

  77. Have friends who work at major hospital not far removed from Border and wife (nurse) told me last night they have 8 illegal immigrants in their infectious disease unit with serious illnesses several of which are antibiotic resistent, diseases that used to be unheard of it in the US.

  78. Not true. Absolutely not true. I’ve stood watch on non-porous borders. Believe me if there is a will there is a way.

  79. More hearsay and exaggerations? So your sister’s boyfriend’s cousin’s father knows this person who…

    Antibiotic resistant illnesses comes from where modern medical care exists and is done poorly. Where antibiotics are given but not fully used or over-prescribed.

    Either you didn’t understand the story or it is made up.

  80. 1. increased property taxes in many areas due to increased population of school children due to presence of illegal immigrants
    2. federal taxes used to apprehend, medically evaluate, medically treat, house, feed, transport, and process through justice system
    3. cost to citizens when identities are apprehended and used illegally by those who are here illegally.
    4. loss of jobs to those who will peform the work for next to nothing
    5. loss of capitol to the US economic system as billions of dollars are exported out of the system to folks back home (who aren’t buying Fords from US)
    6. loss of life from criminal actions of those in the country illegally. Each life means something to the family and friends of the deceased.
    7. loss of property values — in my area continual influx drives down property rather than up as it leads to increased inventory of cheap property and because this is readily available drives down prices of existing homes. (A neighbor just moved (he’s a realtor) from thsi market because while volume is increasing, the cost is dropping and he will make more money elsewhere.) More work = less money = don’t do the work anymore
    8. As documented – spread of disease, some of which has not been seen in a generation. Yes small now, but these diseases are resilient when introduced into a population.

    9. increased cost to local taxes due to increased load on infrastructure. In my area roads are very crowed (with estimates of 15-20% illegals present). So in other words if they were not present traffic load and demand on public (tax supported) transportation would decrease.
    10. public aid — unlike the claim that no illegal can recieve public aid it has been documented (google it) that 68% of the illegal population is recieving some form of public aid. Couple that with locals like mine where there are a number of charities working to support homeless, veterans and so forth, but a substantial portion of this support is consumed by those who are here illegally. (My pastor said he had a man from Mexico two days ago knock on his office door for money to pay to bring his wife and daughter up with the same man who helped him cross.) These are funds that could go to help citizens in need if they were not consumed in my locale by illegals.

    And so forth

  81. Pretty sure the baby has a pretty bad day… and no more days.

  82. Of course it is apparently being shoved back into the woman it came out of. Babies are born.

  83. Yup. But, the libs will never get that information because the Clinton news network won’t report it.
    Same thing with shelters, hospitals and schools being overwhelmed; not to mention; the above being compromised of more illegals than actual US citizens.

  84. And people got through those borders. You just prefer to pretend it didn’t happen. The Korean border has always been porous. So was the Berlin Wall and the Great Wall of China. Where there is a will there is a way.

  85. 11 million didn’t.

    Your black and white analysis is not at all helpful.

  86. Neither are your comments. They add nothing to the conversation.

  87. They sure do.

    They point out that not having perfect non-porosity to a border is no excuse to allow 11 million people to sneak in illegally.

    They point out that your arguments are specious, mere cover for your underlying opposition to a southern border at all, just like Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer.

    Now, if we only figure out why.

    But public opinion is the other way, and kicking and screaming though you, Nancy, and Chuck may be, we will close the border.

  88. How is an apology in order for the truth? If these were devout Moslems, I doubt you’d be upset at the headline “Devout Moslems keep causing outbreaks”. When illegal immigrants bring disease, are you troubled by headlines that point out those facts? Likely not. When Moslems commit terrorism, do you complain when headlines report about Islamic terror? No, of course not, I’ll wager.

  89. The unvaccinated illegals should be sent to live with the ultra orthodox. problem solved. let them infect each other.

  90. If, when a woman has an abortion, that abortion somehow spreads to other women and causes abortions, then you’ll have a point.

  91. Send them to san Francisco.
    Plenty of needles to go around.

  92. We could build a way around ultra orthodox enclaves – a wall that looks and operates just like the israeli wall, so nobody can say the wall is wrong – after all, the israeli wall is okay, right? Complete with checkpoints. If someone cannot show evidence of having been vaccinated, they cannot pass through the checkpoint…just like palestinians cannot pass through without proper documents. This way, the rest of us stay safe and are not terrorized by their lack of vaccinations and spreading disease.

  93. Freedom of choice buddy.
    My body my choice – amirite?

  94. What’s the matter with the headline? It states FACTS. Are facts repulsive to you? Or are they only inconvenient b/c they touch upon someone in your community? In other words, would you be complaining if the word “Moslem” were in the headline, instead? likely not.

  95. Nah. The ultra orthodox are, besides being virulently racist and anti-Christian/Moslem/gentile, also extremely anti-gay. They hate everybody. They’d never go.

  96. Umm….did you notice that my comments were general comments about journalists, and did not address the actions or inactions of any ethnic or religious group? And did you notice that the headline actually does not express facts, but is a question?

    Perhaps you’d be more at home in some forum for folks who are not careful readers?

    And your comments tell us that you are a mind reader.

  97. Sure. But then if your diseases cretin gets someone else sick, you should be given the death penalty.

Leave a Comment