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Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL):
 
"Many go so far as to claim that Jews are intent … on committing genocide against them … but normative Judaism has never diminished the essential humanity … shared by Jews and non-Jews alike." — ADL position paper (1)
 
Apparently, while defending "the People of The Book," Mr. Foxman has not had time to read The Book. See Holy Atrocities in Judaism for a documented history of genocide, murder, mutilation, slavery, child-rape, and other war crimes of the Hebrews in the Old Testament, and Talmud laws carrying forward the same doctrines.
 
Jewish leaders recently held a public debate on whether it was proper to murder the family members of those accused by Israel of being suicide bombers, and the debate was published by a prominent Jewish opinion magazine, Shma.com. (12) The proposal to murder the family members was put forward by a prominent Washington, DC Jewish lawyer, Nathan Lewin, but a search for condemnation of Lewin's position — or even Lewin's name — on the ADL website as of this writing returns no documents. Yet proudly displayed on the ADL's web site is this statement:
 
"ADL continuously monitors and documents Internet hate. By communicating its findings, ADL promotes public awareness of the plans and history of online bigots, in line with the League's view that exposure will lead to rejection of haters and their propaganda. ADL has made available an increasing amount of information to Internet users by significantly expanding its Web site."(9)





Constantin Brunner was a German Jewish philosopher born in 1862. He is praised as "one of the greatest thinkers of that age" and his books are still in print. Brunner wrote:
 
"We must fear calumnies and insults; hence we must make ourselves feared, so that people will be slow to trouble us. We must make people afraid of our anger, or — if this is powerless — of our hatred and revenge. We must defend ourselves against insults and slanders with all available means, by our own efforts and, if it comes to it, by claiming the public protection of the law." — Constantin Brunner (10)





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Theodore Herzl, Hungarian lawyer of the 19th Century and founder of modern Zionism, apparently considered the great experiment — the attempt to create compatibility between Jews and people of other religions — a failure.
 
"The solution is Exodus, the gathering together of the people out of dispersion — their concentration in a land of their own, under their own government, responsible to themselves." — Herzl (19)




Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook (1865-1935), was a preeminent Talmudic scholar and a Lurian Cabbalist.
 
"The difference between the Jewish soul, in all its independence, inner desires, longings, character and standing, and the soul of all the Gentiles, on all of their levels, is greater and deeper than the difference between the soul of a man and the soul of an animal, for the difference in the latter case is one of quantity, while the difference in the first case is one of essential quality." Rabbi Kook, quoted by Rabbi David Bar-Chayim (15)

 

In a recent position paper The Talmud in Anti-Semitic Polemics (February 2003), the Anti-Defamation League of B'ani B'rith deplored the allegation that Jews were bigoted against non-Jews.

Probably the most far-reaching claim made by anti-Talmud polemicists is that Judaism views non-Jews as a subhuman species deserving only hatred and contempt from its Jewish superiors. The visceral hatred that Jews are alleged to bear for non-Jews is proven, they claim, by a variety of statements in the Talmud and by Jewish law itself, which purportedly encourages Jews to exploit their non-Jewish neighbors and engage in criminal activities against them. Many go so far as to claim that Jews are intent on subjugating non-Jews around the world and even on committing genocide against them.
 
In its long history, Judaism has had its share of bigots, racists and xenophobes, some of whom expressed their prejudices in religious terms. In certain historical periods there have even been Jewish sects whose worldview placed Jews higher than non-Jews in inherent value. But normative Judaism has never diminished the essential humanity — and the concomitant holiness, derived from the doctrine of creation in imago Deishared by Jews and non-Jews alike. Based on verses in the biblical verses in Genesis 1:26-28, the principle that all men and women are created in the image of God is codified in the Mishnah (Avoth 3:14) and Talmud (Avoth 9b):
 
[Rabbi Akiva] used to say, "Beloved is man, for he was created in God's image; and the fact that God made it known that man was created in His image is indicative of an even greater love. As the verse states (Genesis 9:6), 'In the image of God, man was created.')"

 
This doctrine is echoed by one of the great rabbis of the twentieth century, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (Man of Faith in the Modern World, p. 74):
 
Even as the Jew is moved by his private Sinaitic Covenant with God to embody and preserve the teachings of the Torah, he is committed to the belief that all mankind, of whatever color or creed, is "in His image" and is possessed of an inherent human dignity and worthiness. Man's singularity is derived from the breath "He [God] breathed into his nostrils at the moment of creation" (Genesis 2:7). Thus, we do share in the universal historical experience, and God's providential concern does embrace all of humanity.

— ADL (1) (emphasis added)

The ADL's complete document is available through the footnote. The ADL admits that yes, at various times, some individual Jews and some sects were bigoted, but states that this was never normative Judaism. What does the word "normative" mean? Dictionary.com gives this definition: "Of, relating to, or prescribing a norm or standard." So the ADL asserts that these anti-Gentile doctrines were never a part of standard or mainstream Judaism.

Gentiles in the Old Testament

Notice these words in The Talmud in Anti-Semitic Polemics: "Many go so far as to claim that Jews are intent … on committing genocide against them … but normative Judaism has never diminished the essential humanity … shared by Jews and non-Jews alike." (1) When it comes to Judaism, the Old Testament is very normative. So let us examine a passage from Deuteronomy Chapter 7.

  1. When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
  2. And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:
  3. Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
  4. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.
  5. But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.
  6. For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
  7. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
  8. But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 7:1-8

Exterminating the people and crushing their culture is genocide. Seven nations are slated for extermination in those verses alone, and more when we recall the Amaleks who are doomed by Divine command a little later on. As we read the latter part of Exodus and into Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, etc., there are half a hundred cities and tribes in the area put to the sword and burned to the ground to make lebensraum (room to live) for the Israelites. See In His Own Image for partial inventory. (2)

In short, the ADL is badly out of touch with the historically normative Judaism. Nor can the ADL claim that all this is ancient history, disregarded by modern normative Judaism (Jews). The modern Feast of Purim is based on the Old Testament Book of Esther, and is celebrated by Jews throughout the world. That feast commemorates the vengeful slaughter of tens of thousands of powerless Gentiles (ancient Persians). See Holy Atrocities in Judaism(11)

Jewish Encyclopedia and Elizabeth Dilling on Gentiles

Anti-Gentilism carries forward into the Talmud, but it broadens to include all non-Jews.

GEMARA. … For it has been taught: R. Simeon b. Yohai said: The graves of Gentiles do not defile, for it is written, And ye my flock, the flock of my pastures, are men; only ye are designated 'men'

— Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Baba Mezi'a 114b
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 651

Elizabeth Dilling maintains in The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today, Chapter IV, "Judaism — Anti-Gentilism and Exploitation of Non-Jews" (3) that the Talmud contains many anti-Gentile doctrines. The ADL might suspect her interpretation of those passages, but she relies upon The Jewish Encyclopedia's article entitled "Gentile." (4) From that article we learn:

  • After the failure of Joshua to exterminate or drive out Gentiles from the Promised Land, Gentiles are described as aliens or idolaters, and need to have restrictive measures exercised against them
  • Desecration of the Sabbath is permitted during the besieging of a Gentile city
  • Laws of purification are modified to permit contact with a corpse (recall David mutilating the corpses of 200 Philistines as a dowry for King Saul's daughter.)
  • Gentiles are not classed as men, but as barbarians
  • Since Gentiles are barbarians, they cannot get equal treatment under Jewish civil law
  • Jewish courts ignore even the murder of Gentiles: "… the shedding of the blood of non-Israelites, while not cognizable by human courts, will be punished by the heavenly tribunal (Mek., Mishpatim, 80b)."
  • A Gentile is not a "neighbor" — with regard to the "neighbor" commandments
  • A Jew is not obligated to return an item lost by a Gentile
  • Wage laws are not applicable to Gentiles
  • A Jew who sells land to a Gentile is excommunicated
  • Sometimes these discriminatory doctrines are not practiced to avoid giving Jews a bad reputation
  • Gentiles commit bestiality and rape. If a Gentile rapes a Jewess and she becomes pregnant, the baby is regarded as a beast and the Jewess's relationship to her husband is unaffected
  • Gentile midwives are not to be employed by Jews
  • Gentiles are not permitted to suckle Jewish babies
  • Gentiles are not permitted as witnesses in criminal or civil suits (some disagreement recorded)
  • Gentiles lie, Jews do not

After discussing the doctrines and giving the cites, the Jewish Encyclopedia goes on to say the doctrines are passé.

Modern Judaism, as inculcated in the catechisms and explained in the declarations of the various rabbinical conferences, and as interpreted in the sermons of modern rabbis, is founded on the recognition of the unity of the human race; the law of righteousness and truth being supreme over all men, without distinction of race or creed, and its fulfillment being possible for all.

— The Jewish Encyclopedia (5)

However, Gentiles notice that various branches of Judaism and the various rabbis within those branches have various teachings; there is no mechanism in Judaism — such as the Papacy in Roman Catholicism — to enforce a uniformity of beliefs or to vacate past articles of faith. We have already noted that Judaism can embrace contradictory beliefs (see Critical Words of Talmud Study [6]) and that within Kabbalistic philosophy, opposites unite. (22)

How, then, can Gentiles know that these doctrines have truly been discarded? Indeed, many contemporary sources indicate those anti-Gentile doctrines have not been discarded, but rather, are in full force (see, for example, The Jews Are Called "Man" by leading Torah scholar Rabbi David Bar-Chayim, discussed below).

The 613 Commandments of Judaism

Judaism teaches that Jews must obey 613 commandments. The Jewish outreach and educational organization, Aish HaTorah, gives us the background on those commandments; Aish HaTorah states that God gave those commandments orally, and they preceded the written law of the Bible. (21) Aish HaTorah lists them for our inspection. (16) Of that list, Aish HaTorah states:

This list should not be used as a source for any practical Halachic ruling. There are differences of opinion over the applicability today of some commandments in this list. Similarly, distinctions must often be made between rabbinically-decreed commandments and those that still have binding force as Torah-law today. In all cases of doubt, a competent rabbinical authority should be consulted.

— Aish HaTorah (16)

For a discussion on the pitfalls of relying upon "competent rabbinical authority," see Dangerous Halakhah (25). Among those 613 commands are the following:

  • Not to embarrass others (17)
  • Not to oppress the weak (18)
  • Not to speak derogatorily of others (19)
  • Not to take revenge (20)
  • Not to bear a grudge (21)
  • To love Jews (13)
  • Not to hate fellow Jews (15)

Those general commandments certainly are positive in nature. They show us Judaism as it is represented by the ADL. But what of specific commandments concerning Gentiles?

  • Remember what Amalek did to the Jewish people (599)
  • Not to forget Amalek's atrocities and ambush on our journey from Egypt in the desert (600)
  • Wipe out the descendants of Amalek (598)
  • Destroy the seven Canaanite nations (596)
  • Not to let any of them remain alive (597)
  • Not to love the missionary (37)
  • Not to cease hating the missionary (38)
  • Not to save the missionary (39)
  • Not to say anything in his defense (40)
  • Not to refrain from incriminating him (41)

This, then, is a slice of unedited, normative Judaism concerning Gentiles. It includes grudges, vengeance, hatred, and genocide. Which of the 613 God-given commandments are to be obeyed, and which ignored? That depends on your rabbi. Rabbi David Bar-Chayim, for example, says they are all to be obeyed …

Rabbi David Bar-Chayim on Gentiles

The Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav Kook is one of the largest Talmud colleges in Israel. (13) It was founded in 1924 by Rabbi Abraham Yitchak Kook (1865-1935), the First Chief Rabbi of Eretz Yisrael. A dozen years ago, one of the scholars at the school, Rabbi David Bar-Chayim, published the study, The Jews Are Called "Man".

Daat Emet ("True Knowledge") has made Rabbi Bar-Chayim's study available on the Internet, accompanied by its own "Foreword." (14) The Bar-Chayim's complete study consists of five parts. (15) In his Introduction, Rabbi Bar-Chayim refutes the notion that Jews and Gentiles are equal.

As will be further clarified, this outlook [that all human beings, Jew and Gentile, are equal] completely contradicts the Torah of Moses, and stems from an absolute lack of knowledge, permeated with foreign Western "values."

— Rabbi Bar-Chayim (15)

Rabbi Bar-Chayim's analysis of Jewish law on Gentiles cites Talmud law and rabbinical sources, and refutes opposing teachings. Israel National Radio calls Rabbi Bar-Chayim "one of Israel's Leading Torah Scholars." (18) Rabbi Bar-Chayim now serves as head of the Makhon Ben Yishai Institute for Torah Research.

Talmud Believers Agree with Talmud Critics

Contrary to the statements of ADL, Rabbi Bar-Chayim and many other Jewish clerics are personally certain about — and comfortable with — an Orthodox interpretation of the Talmud. That interpretation reads just as clearly in Hebrew as it does in English: Only Jews are men with the full rights of men; Gentiles are less than men, morally and legally. Rabbi Bar-Chayim quotes the First Chief Rabbi of Eretz Yisrael, Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook:

In the book "Orot," Orot Yisrael chapter 5, article 10 (page 156), Rabbi Kook wrote: "The difference between the Jewish soul, in all its independence, inner desires, longings, character and standing, and the soul of all the Gentiles, on all of their levels, is greater and deeper than the difference between the soul of a man and the soul of an animal, for the difference in the latter case is one of quantity, while the difference in the first case is one of essential quality."

— Rabbi Bar-Chayim, quoting Rabbi Kook (15) (emphasis in original)

Thus, on the subject of the status of Gentiles as seen in Jewish Scripture, Rabbis Bar-Chayim and Kook agree with Elizabeth Dilling and other Gentile critics of the Talmud. The ADL does no one a service by misrepresenting Jewish doctrine and denying impeccable Jewish scholarship.

It is also clear that these Orthodox views of Jewish doctrine are not merely discarded anachronisms or isolated phenomena, as the ADL represents. Indeed, how can the passage of time or the fashions of men put aside the Word of God? Only when Jews move away from Judaism do they abandon this fundamental doctrine of Judaism and become the egalitarians pictured by the ADL. As Rabbi Bar-Chayim writes in his conclusion:

It is clear to every Jew who accepts the Torah as G-d's word from Sinai, obligatory and valid for all generations, that it is impossible to introduce "compromises" or "renovations" into it. Any attempt to bypass or ignore certain things will not succeed. Perhaps one may view the aforementioned Halachic laws as an expression of racism; another may see in them baseless hate towards any Gentile. However, for the Jew who is devoted to the Torah as it is, this is the reality and the living path which has been set for the Jewish nation by the word of G-d.

— Rabbi Bar-Chayim (23)

The Un-rescinded 613 Commandments

Nor is Rabbi Bar-Chayim alone requiring acceptance of all 613 commandments. At the Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center, the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the late Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal, are summarized as follows:

The Torah refers to its 613 divine commandments by an array of synonyms: mitzvah (commandment), dibbur (word), mishpat (law), ed (testimonial), and chok (decree), among others … Chok implies a supra-rational decree — a law observed in submission to an authority which we have neither the right and capacity to question … All of Torah is chok: not only is every law and testimonial essentially a supra-rational decree, but also their written surface, also our intellectual-emotional quest to comprehend and appreciate them, is to be undertaken in supra-rational obedience to the divine will.

— Rabbi Schneerson, as summarized by Yanki Tauber (24)

This does not give the impression that any of the 613 commandments have been retired, nor even that they could be retired by human agency — in the opinion of Rabbi Schneerson.

As Columbia University journalism professor Samuel G. Freedman reminds us:

In the struggle for the soul of American Jewry, the Orthodox model has triumphed.

— Samuel G. Freedman (7)

For any who have lingering doubts about the place of the Gentile in Judaism and the New America, notice that Jewish leadership is actively promoting the highly discriminatory Noahide Laws. (See America's New Government Church, (17)), which embody these core Judaic doctrines.

Co-existence?

What does the future hold? Can the Jews ever co-exist with the rest of humanity? The answer is "yes," provided the rest of humanity accepts the role designed for them by Jewish leadership. If Gentiles do not accept enslavement, there will be conflict. Perhaps this is what Theodore Herzl was looking at when he concluded:

The solution is Exodus, the gathering together of the people out of dispersion — their concentration in a land of their own, under their own government, responsible to themselves.

— Theodore Herzl

Jews who wish to co-exist and live peaceably with Gentiles must be reminded of this classic maxim in both emotional counseling and criminology: Until the subject admits to the existence of a problem, the problem cannot be addressed. This principle is expressed in Christian doctrine as well. Without confession, there is no forgiveness, and without contrition, there is no reform.

The ADL denial that there ever was a problem in mainstream Judaic doctrines with regard to Gentiles is not a hopeful sign. The ADL is a powerful organization which assumes leadership for many aspects of Judaic life, including political, legal, and public relations. The statements that issue from the ADL are far-reaching in effect among both Jews and Gentiles, and their responsibility cannot be over-stated.

With our current knowledge of the long-standing doctrines at the heart of Judaism, perhaps the problems between Jews and other races through the centuries are no longer a mystery.

Thank you for your consideration of the above,
Carol A. Valentine,  Ear at come-and-hear dot com
July 14, 2003 ( This article is on line at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/gentile.html )
 

Postscript:
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Footnotes:   Full specifics for each of the printed sources are provided in the Bibliography. Outside URLs were valid at the time this article was written. However, be mindful that URLs do change.

  1. The Talmud in Anti-Semitic Polemics, Anti-Defamation League, February, 2003, http://www.adl.org/presrele/asus%5F12/the_talmud.pdf cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/supplement/adl-talmud.pdf
    Also available in HTML as http://www.come-and-hear.com/supplement/adl-talmud.html
  2. "In His Own Image," http://www.come-and-hear.com/supplement/ot-select.html
  3. The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today, Chapter 4 available at http://www.come-and-hear.com/dilling/chapt04.html
  4. The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. V, page 619, s.v. "Gentile," currently available at http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=142&letter=G cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/supplement/je-gentile.html
  5. Ibid, Vol. V, page 625
  6. Critical Words and More Critical Words are available at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/critwords_1.html and http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/critwords_2.html respectively
  7. Jew vs. Jew, page 338.
  8. See footnotes 4 and 5
  9. "Hate on the World Wide Web: A Brief Guide to Cyberspace Bigotry," Anti-Defamation League: http://www.adl.org/special_reports/hate_on_www/print.asp cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/adl-hates-censorship
  10. The tyranny of hate: the roots of antisemitism: a translation into English of Memsheleth sadon by Constantin Brunner, translated by Graham Harrison, abridged and edited by Aron M. Rappaport - Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, c1992, page 9 http://www.constantinbrunner.info/tyranny.htm cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/brunner
  11. Holy Atrocities in Judaism is available at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/br_1.html
  12. "Deterring Suicide Killers," Shma.com, May 2002, http://www.shma.com/may02/nathan.htm cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/br-lewin-shma
    See also "A Stronger Moral Force," Shma.com: http://www.shma.com/may02/arthur.htm cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/br-green-shma
  13. "Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav Kook," (English translation provided by site) http://www.kipa.co.il/merkaz/english.asp http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/so-merkazharavkook
  14. "Foreword," Daat Emet http://www.daatemet.org/daathalacha/en_gentiles.html cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/supplement/so-daat-emet
  15. "Introduction," by Rabbi Bar-Chayim, Daat Emet http://www.daatemet.org.il/daathalacha/en_gentiles1.html cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/supplement/so-daat-emet/en_gentiles1.html
    The other four parts of the study are available through connecting links.
  16. "613 Commandments," Aish HaTorah http://www.aish.com/literacy/mitzvahs/The_613_Commandments.asp cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/supplement/the_613_commandments
  17. America's New Government Church is available at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/america_1.html
  18. "Radio Archives," The Tovia Singer Show, Mar 5, 2002, http://www.toviasinger.com/RadioArchives.aspx cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/na-inr-chayim
  19. Theodore Herzl in The Jewish State, paraphrased by Louis Lipsky for The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, s.v. "Herzl," Vol. 5, page 338
  20. The following text comes to us from eJewish.info (www.ejewish.info/main/ showResDetails.asp?resourceID=923): "Daat Emet" ("True Knowledge") seeks to provide intellectual, critical, and analytic tools to anyone who wishes to stand the systems of halacha and faith to a fair, logical, and scientific test.
    Halacha froze, but science strode forward with unprecedented breakthroughs. Systematic scientific thinking, the abundance of findings and discoveries, and the unprecedented availability of halachic texts present a challenge to the whole halachic worldview. Serious internal contradictions are being discovered within halachic literature and between halachic texts and scientific knowledge. These contradictions raise the question of how and whether halacha can be reconciled with free and open thought, liberated from ancient ways of thinking. The aim of "Daat Emet" is to fight ignorance and lack of knowledge, to encourage critical thought and free debate.
  21. "What is the Oral Torah," Aish HaTorah, http://www.aish.com/holidays/Shavuot/What_is_the_Oral_Torah.asp cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/supplement/the_613_commandments/oral_torah.html
  22. See the teachings of Kabbalah described at "Ein-sof: The Kabbalistic Conception of God," The New Kabbalah, http://www.newkabbalah.com/einsof.html cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/cp-ein-sof The author, Dr. Sanford Drob, has a distinguished career that includes "work with violent offenders on Bellevue's Psychiatric Prison Ward and throughout the criminal justice system. He specializes in assessing the state of mind of offenders at the time of their criminal acts, and has testified in numerous homicide and other criminal trials." See http://www.newkabbalah.com/sanford.html cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/drob-bio
  23. "The Jews are called 'Man,'" by Rabbi Bar-Chayim, Daat Emet http://www.daatemet.org.il/daathalacha/en_gentiles5.html cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/supplement/so-daat-emet/en_gentiles5.html
  24. " Reasoning The Stone," Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe; adapted by Yanki Tauber, Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center, http://www.chabad.org/Parshah/Article.asp?AID=2832 cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor
  25. "Dangerous Halakhah," by Haim Cohen, Free Judaism http://www.free-judaism.co.il/eng/Epuindx1.html cached at http://www.come-and-hear.com/supplement/free-judaism-cohen.html

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