Created  Mar. 1, 2014                             

Moses vs The Talmud    or: Uriel da Costa has his day!

a.k.a. Uriel's Commentary on the Law

The Premise
The Book Featured
About the Man, Uriel
Pharisaic Traditions vs The Written Law

A Summary
Karaites vs Talmud


Related Articles

The Premise            Uriel da Costa (c. 1585 – April 1640 AD, 55 years)  Wikipedia calls him "a philosopher and skeptic."
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This article is 3 different things, depending on the viewpoint. It is a comparison of the 1st 5 books of the Bible Old Testament, often called The Law, or the Law of Moses, or even the Law of God, since He gave it to Moses. Moses was the mediator of that law.

As well, it serves a a general commentary on the law and I link to it as such. 3rd, Uriel demonstrates how the law often speaks in figures, symbols, and allegories. This is often missed by Christians and Jews alike. And one of the foundation blocks of my site's presentation is understanding the importance of interpreting the Bible, especially in prophecy, in figurative, symbolic, allegorical ways. Jesus preached this way exclusively, according to the gospels. So there is no excuse for predominantly literal interpretations.

Myself, having noticed quite a few contradictions in the Talmud, as compared to the Mosaic law, referred to by Jews as the Torah, and sometimes as just Moses. Jesus often referred to Moses in respects to the law, since Moses was the one who gave the law on behalf of God and Israel, as God's appointed prophet and judge. Michael Hoffman wrote a book (Judaism Discovered) of which I have read 404 of 1049 pages. Loaded with actual photocopies of documents referred to, pointing out quite a few contradictions of the Talmud compared to the Law (of Moses).

So my contention, like that of many others before me, some of whom have been Jews, is that the Talmud is really a rejection of Moses-The Torah, due to nullifying the Law in that. As a result of that, I plead for all Jews, who have such an outstanding legacy, but also a great responsibility to God and themselves and their offspring, to come back to the Law and to Jehovah or Yahweh, if you prefer. As well, in that Law, is the blessings or consequences of either accepting the law or rejecting the law and not obeying God's covenant with them.

A very serious punishment is promised against "Israel" for not keeping God's Covenant-Contract. In the last days, God warned that Israel would be found as having long ago gone astray up to the present and that God would have to exterminate them from the face of the earth. No Jew should willingly to along with this. So now would be a very good time, and with very little time left, to come back to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel.

But another goal of this article is to cover the great work of a remarkable Jew, who lived around the time of 1600 AD, as colonization of the New World was well underway. His name appears at the top of this section/chapter. Uriel, a Portuguese Jew, who was a merchant and shipping businessman of good success, very good, in fact. For over 100 years, prior to 1600 AD, Jews had been often burned at the stake for either being Jewish and not converting to Christianity, of which there was only one brand of in Western Europe at that time, Roman Catholicism. Or for converting to Christianity (so called), and then secretly practicing Judaism.

Uriel's family had converted and appear to have been faithful and dedicated as Catholics. Uriel has started out this way, too. But as he prospered in cross-Atlantic shipping and trading, he and a number of other Jews had found religious asylum in Amsterdam, Holland. Jews had made trade deals with Amsterdam, in which both would profit in exchange for religious freedom. Rabbis wanted that for their own, but not for any dissenting Jews. Corrupt Dutch would look the other way when Rabbis wanted to persecute other Jews who disagreed with them openly and publicly. Spain and Portugal had previously had deals with Jewish merchants, but since they insisted on persecuting Jews, Jews sought refuge elsewhere.

But once Uriel was established in Amsterdam, he, having seen much he did not like in Catholicism, left it, and began to read the Law of Moses. Having gotten acquainted with the Rabbis and their teachings in Amsterdam, where a considerable Jewish population had formed, Uriel became aware of the "Oral Teaching," so called, and thought it quite outrageous and a rejection of the Law of God/Moses, the Torah. So much did this bother Uriel, that he, with his own money, wrote and published a work that criticized the Oral Tradition, otherwise known as the Babylonian Talmud. Uriel also published another work dealing with the Immortal Soul espoused by Rabbis. I will get these.

In essence, Uriel rejected the Talmud and rabbinic teaching as being contrary to Moses and he let everyone know how he felt. Rabbis in Amsterdam excommunicated him, shunned him, and of course, bad-mouthed him and his reputation. All his family, except for his mother, possibly, rejected him. Eventually, he sought reconciliation, upon agreeing to an unspecified punishment by the Rabbis and the congregation at the synagogue. They beat the living hell out of him and humiliated him. He got no support from the Dutch, either, who were bribed, so to speak.

The ultimate result was that he published his works and then killed himself with a pistol. The heartbreak of rejection by his people and their cruel and merciless treatment, as well as their rejection of good sound reasoning was more than he could bear. His family had escaped burning at the stake, and many Jews died due to intolerance and yet here they were, nearly as intolerant and unjust as those that persecuted them in other places.

I chose Uriel to be witness for the prosecution (that's me, yep!). Uriel truly loved the Law of God and made a great defense for it and one that all Jews ought to be proud of, rather than beating the hell out of someone.

But another fascinating aspect of this is that Uriel found great fault with the doctrine of the Immortal Soul doctrine held by Rabbis. I had no idea that Jews had subscribed to this. I thought this was only a Christian apostate doctrine, founded on Greek teachings, and not the Bible. But it does not end there. While I side with Uriel on being against the Immortal Soul doctrine, Uriel did not accept the scrolls of the prophets of the Old Testament, either. He seems to have a teaching quite similar to the Sadducees of the Gospel. He does not believe in a resurrection, either, which is supported by the prophets, but not specified in the Law.

The Rabbis, quite correctly in my opinion, do believe in the resurrection. But again, you would have to accept the prophets, which they do and should. So Uriel gets half of this right, and the other half, wrong. The Rabbis get the other half wrong and another half right. Good common sense and justice would dictate that both should have the freedom to think, analyze, speak about and publish whatever they see fit to argue or promote. But since Rabbis had gained full control of Amsterdam and its politicians, even as many Christian churches had done in Spain, Portugal and most of Europe, if not beyond; these Rabbis could prevent Uriel from expressing what he thought was right or not.

They violated the supreme law of "do onto others as you would have them do onto you." Amazing how often that happens. Most religions are very intolerant, when the opposite should be the case. Intolerance belongs to the devil.

So we hold trial for the Torah vs. the Talmud, and Resurrection vs. Immortal Soul, vs. neither.

The Book Featured

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The entirety of this article is based on 1 book, that covers/translates 2 other books as follows.

Examination of Pharisaic Traditions = Exame das tradicoes phariseas : facsimile of the unique copy in the Royal Library of Copenhagen

Authors listed as:    Uriel Acosta; H P Salomon;     I S D Sassoon; Semuel da Silva;     Kongelige Bibliotek (Denmark)

Publisher Leiden ; New York : Brill, 1993.

The Title page of Uriel's original published work on left above, written and printed in Portuguese, published in Amsterdam Holland. Uriel funded the whole thing at his own expense. The only existing copy of this work is the facsimile copy of the original printed work existing in the Royal Library of Copenhagen, Demark. At right above, is the translation of this work into English by H P Salomon, published in 1993. This 1993 book is now out of print, and found only in University libraries for the most part. None are available thru Amazon at this time of writing. Last copies available were about $150 each. So it is not readily available. I got the book thru an Inter-Library Loan program at the public library where I lived at the time. Such a good work ought to be available for less trouble and price, too. Most "Christian Fathers'" writings are available for free. Free enables far better distribution and consideration, which well-intentioned ones do not fear. But those who like to hide things will often put large prices and few distributed copies. I am not saying that this book fits in that, but it could. The face-title pages above were taken with my camera so that you might know I really did have this in my possession for a couple weeks or so to read.

<< At the left: Within the main book is a translated copy of the one on the left, originally written/authored by Semuel da Silva, translated by I S D Sassoon. So we have 2 original works of both opposing sides to give us our best chance of judging this battle of minds and doctrines. These will be the basis, along with the Bible, for exploring each side and gathering useful conclusions that could impact our lives in dramatic ways. We can think God that these come to us for our benefit to learn from.

All page numbers refer to the 1993 book published by Leiden ; New York : Brill, 1993. 

Pages 1-50 have Salomon filling in the background history of Uriel da Coasta's life and biography. I may summarize this one day. It is not available for now.

Pages 51-266 are the copies of all the pages of Uriel's original publication, Year of Creation 5383, in the early 1600s AD. In this way, Salomon allows any who have the ability, to re-check his work and verify as they like.

Pages 267-306 (chapters 1-14) contain Salomon's translation into English of "Examination of Pharisaic Traditions Compared with the Written Law." This is what is contained in this article, dealing with the Mosaic Law as a commentary, as well as Uriel's critique of Rabbinic Tradition, otherwise known as the Talmud or Babylonian Talmud.

        Also from pages 307-425, cover his abusive treatment by the Rabbis of Amsterdam and how they were quite wrong in his mind and thinking. I will include these in a separate web page/article, as punishment, excommunication (shunning), and other discipline all also always important considerations on this site, Truth 1, as many have been harmed throughout history, by those who abuse power as leaders and preachers. I will call it "Uriel on Lawful Discipline."

Pages 427-551 contain da Silva's attempted refutation of Uriel, dealing with the Immortal Soul, translated into English, as well as the Resurrection. I will make an article out of this as well, as I have covered those subjects in the past and Uriel's input can only help. But not in this article!

With that, we will begin exploring the English translation of Uriel's "Examination of Pharisaic Traditions Compared with the Written Law" in the next section. I will be condensing and paraphrasing much of this book, so as not to infringe upon any copyrights, though I do believe that "Fair Usage" of the Copyright Law should allow me to do so. But there are places where I believe Uriel's choice of words may be important to understand the man correctly and not mistake his words as mine.

About the Man, Uriel
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A Message to Jews! I hope you will give Uriel a good consideration. though a successful shipping merchant and trader, Uriel was well read and educated. He knew the Mosaic law very well. He had given it a lot of study and thought. He also had read the Talmud and knew its history well. Uriel was a Jew who dearly love the great legacy of his people, specifically the Law of Moses given by God. Uriel saw what a fraud the Talmud was by comparison. His family (all Jewish) had been Conversos (forced conversion by Godless Catholics supported by secular enforcement authorities), Catholics thru and thru when Uriel was young, and many remained with it. Uriel did not like the Catholic Church and who could blame him.

So Uriel is a fitting critic to judge the Talmud objectively. But I truly think what will surprise most Jews, if they look at the facts Uriel presents, objectively, they will be shocked by the cold hard truth. The childish myths and legends of the Talmud are such poor excuses for the real law of Moses, who had such great signs and wonders manifest in him from God, to certify who Moses really served. the Talmud has nothing to compare with that.

Most Jews, I believe like most members of any religion, are not that aware of what their particular religion or denomination of Judaism teaches, for the most part. Most do not pay too much attention to their beliefs. I disagree with this choice and attitude, but all religious peoples tend to have this attitude. No faults to any particular religion. It is a universal human failing.

But as well, how remarkable that Uriel cared so much about his beliefs and that they be grounded solidly in truth and fact, not myths, fairy tales, and wishful thinking bent on self-justification of that which is not justifiable. Uriel's wealth did not blur his judgment and cause him to pursue foolish things. He cared enough about God's written law to share, at his own expense and without profit and in fact, with severe punishment for sharing his thoughts. He truly cared about his fellow Jews. It could not be any more clear.

Uriel may not be perfect in his critique. He may have written some things without being aware of some arguments out there and he later may have changed as Salomon believes in the case more than once. I have written at least 2 or 3 articles at a minimum, where I wrote as I read, later having realized things not readily apparent at the beginning. I fix it in the conclusions, if at no place else. I can not fault Uriel for doing this. He did not have the benefit of typewriters or word processors, so he wrote as he went, no doubt. Salomon finds a little bit of fault with this but that is his prerogative.

Uriel was a man of great integrity. as I see it. He lived in a time when Jews were often burned at the stake for their religious beliefs and practices. How would you feel if, in a social climate like this one, your own people, themselves often victims of religious intolerance that was neither justified by the Old testament or the New one; and these turned on you and condemned you for disagreeing with them. The hypocrisy is beyond any justification in his time. And yet it happened. So he wrote at a very important time with his very important message. Errors are often only apparent when taken to extremes or contrasted with extremes and Uriel lived in one of those times, the times of the Spanish Inquisition.

I was deeply moved to find out about Uriel from an excellent Jewish author, { Edward Kritzler "Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean" } who also deplored the conduct toward Uriel. Kritzler's book is wonderful for many different reason and he did a great job and is a credit to his people and a gift to the world. I am grateful for his work.

I hope you will allow Uriel to present his case to you, so you can take a 2nd look at this whole matter. We were all born being taught and handed down certain things like religion, ethics, even politics. But when we become adults, if we become adults, it only makes sense to review what was given to us to see if it can hold up under the careful examination of objective reasonable criticism. Uriel did so. I have done so in my life, rejecting Protestantism, later rejecting Jehovah's Witnesses, and over time, forming my own beliefs from the Bible, without someone else forcing me or threatening me. We all have the ability to think for ourselves. This is our greatest gift that we each have. What a waste to squander it and not take advantage of it.

I'll let Uriel take it from here for the most part.

Pharisaic Traditions vs The Written Law,     pages 267-306,        14 chapters in all
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Uriel, pg 269:     "To the Reader
Thus spoke Yehosuac and Kaleb to the people:
Do not lend your ears to the treacherous clamour of those who, opposing God, obstruct and impede your welfare [Cf.  Nm.14, 7-10].

But, as the people's hearts were already beguiled and captivated by the false reports, not only were they not heeded, but they were about to be stoned, and might have well been, had the glory of the Lord not appeared promptly to save them."

>>Uriel references Numbers 14: 7-10, as support for what he advocates, but it looks more like verses 6-9, to me. Uriel saw himself in the position of Joshua and Caleb, who were going to be stoned for their report and recommendation. They escaped only by the saving grace of God, and so it was for Uriel, too.<<

Numbers 14:
6  and Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, rent their clothes,
7  and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel  .  .  .
9  only, do not rebel against the LORD (Jehovah); and do not fear the people of the land  .  .  ."
10  but all the congregation said to stone them with stones. then the glory of the LORD (Jehovah) appeared at the tent of meeting to all the people of Israel.

"I had begun to speak my mind on behalf of the truth of the Law, but the hearts of men were incapacitated from accepting it. Not only was I not heard but I should have found many stones upon myself, had God not taken the stones out of the people's hands and had He not denied them the power to inflict sentences. I still wanted to speak.

Besides putting down my thoughts in writing, I continued to make other strenuous efforts to demonstrate the truth of what I was saying, until time taught me that all energy spent in this direction would be lost and that no purpose was served in persevering to offer good advice to such as would not listen to it and who, moreover, requited good with ill. "

>> You will find this very same condition in all organized and controlled religions and denominations. They do not like truth, logic, reason, or referring back to original points in writing. Not only religion, but you will find this in politics as well, and even in science. Most people are influenced by powerful peers and will do whatever these say or require. Those who follow do not dare to have an independent mind and follow that mind. When you find such a place or group of people, you just need to move on.

God knows that these kinds are lost and can not be helped. Eventually, they will have to be destroyed . . . by God, of course, and not by His followers. Uriel knew the Rabbis and their followers were a lost cause who did not want to know Moses or his law. The only ones who might find this shocking are, in this case in this article, Jews who seek out right, decency, fairness, and want to know God and God's Law and do things God's way.

What Uriel found, is what God has foretold he would find among Israel in the last days, and of course, Israel is represented within Judaism and Jews in the present times. I do not write to these Jews, but only those who deeply love the Law given to Moses, promising salvation and deliverance, not only from "Sodom" and "Egypt," but from death and judgment by God, which is going to be pretty severe.<<

"It is imperative that a pernicious and hostile mouth should never go unanswered and that people should be given a chance to judge opinions on their merit. These considerations impelled me to compose a short compendium whose dual purpose is therefore to counter an evil man who uses calumny to further his unjust cause, and also to reduce the danger of people being altogether misled by him. This, then, is my aim and since my intention is to be brief, let us come straight to the point."

>>Uriel struggled (and failed) to reach his own people of his time, but not due to any failing on his part. God had been trying for many centuries and could not reach them, either. But Uriel will strike a chord, a nerve, in some who are not of his own people, but who, like him, also struggle to be heard by their own, only to have their words fall on deaf ears.<<

Chapter 1    (page 271)    Uriel's Proposition: 
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"The Tradition which is called Oral Law is not a true tradition, nor did it originate with the Law."

>>Uriel is calling the Oral law a lie and that it has nothing to do with the Law. Ouch! But may I point out, the duty of anyone presenting an argument, is not to deny their distaste, if not hatred, for an idea. They have a right to be repulsed by it if they want, and as Uriel was. But it is his duty, which he did fulfill, to allow the opposition a fair chance to answer, if they so chose.

Likewise, the opposition may also detest the ideas of the other side, but should always allow the other side to be heard. Since neither Christianity nor Judaism had a nation of their own, with its own laws, they were obligated to live peacefully and respectfully according to the laws of the nations they lived in. Both sides need to avoid using the "enforcement" of nations to bully the other. God hated His people "fornicating" with the nations, meaning to cooperate with the nations in political ways and making alliances and such.

But many today do not think that those from within their own, who dislike ideas the group holds to, should be polite about it and not argue or suggest errors in doctrine, or especially to get quite emotional about it. I agree civility should be in order, but also that passion should be allowed and understood as a part of the exercise of conscience in each individual. In other words, disagreements will not always be pleasant affairs. When was a prophet ever accepted with good cheer? They were usually rejected, hated, persecuted, and killed.

So it is only right to expect strong passions when it comes to right and wrong. The Law of God is something to be passionate about. But we also want to reserve some restraint when it comes to dealing directly with our adversaries. Uriel's opposition did not restrain themselves at all, using the Dutch and physical violence and humiliation to "humble" one of their own.<<

1. Uriel states that the Oral Law is contrary to the Written Law, with examples to follow. "Two opposites are incompatible and truth cannot be found in both." The Oral Law which is contrary to the Written Law must be false if the Written Law is true, which Uriel declares it is.

2. It is not found from within the written law that any explanation was given with it, apart from that considered in the law itself. If another explanation had been given, it is inconceivable that it would not be referred to somewhere else in the law. [God would not have left anything out of the law to define the law - me].

3. If the law was not comprehensible without an additional oral explanation, it would follow that the law was imperfect and not useful to enable understanding. It is not allowable that an additional explanation should be committed to a memory and mind outside of the written law. The true explanation should be found within the written law. This is essential.

>>How smart could God be, if he chose the written word to preserve His words, and then leave much of it out and committed to men who God had already foretold would rebel against Him and eventually be wiped out in the last days in the great judgment. So called Christian Trinitarians call the Trinity a mystery of God that can not be understood. If this were so, then how smart can God be if He tries to explain something to humans which He knows full well they can not grasp or understand. In both of these cases, God amounts to being retarded, which is beyond absurd.

This is a common trait among pagans who often make out spirits to be just as stupid and mindless. These spirits may be evil, but not stupid. But the human heart is full of self-deceptions to make itself feel better. In other words, anyone who makes out God to be so stupid and simple, exposes themselves as being very childish and of bad motivations, belittling God, and creating absurd ways of nullifying just law and creating loopholes that allow them to violate the law and do bad. By their fruits you will know them.<<

Page 272:
4. Kings of Israel are commanded to copy the written law (Deut. 17:18) and read it to make sure they know it and carry it out in all Israel. The King is responsible for that law and not some fictitious material committed to memory. [There is no mention of Oral Law to be carried out.]

5. Moses wrote in the law every word that God gave. This is evident, when Moses had to consult the Lord about the man who chopped wood on the Sabbath day (Numbers 15:32-34), and on other occasions he consulted regarding the daughters of Selofhad (Numbers 27: 5-6 ; 36: 5-6, 10). Any additions required further consulting with God.

>>Why would God dictate to Moses and allow Moses not to write it all down? Again, that would be pretty stupid of God, unless God had told Moses, but also told him not to write it down. If it was important for Israel to know, it would be written down. Could God be fair and just and yet keep some of the law from us and yet still make us accountable for keeping it, while not knowing it. Its is insane to suggest so.

What this is most like is a small child who will argue the ridiculous, hoping it will get him or her off the hook. It usually does not work, unless the parents are even dumber than the kids. So those who argue the absurd show their minds to be like those of small children who have given no thought to their childish excuses and lies. In other words, those who argue for the Oral Law are intellectually hindered and amount to being small children in their evil, who can think of no better than the absurd as explanation. Do you really want to listen to or follow such ones?<<

6. Uriel summarizes points 1-5 at this point.

Page 273:
7. Uriel declares that his principal proposition is that there was no oral law (tradition) given along with the written law. He points out that transmitting the oral law from mouth-to-mouth for nearly 2000 years would be an impossibility.

8. Uriel points out that in the book of Judges people would leave the straight and narrow - observing the law, and do as they pleased. In the days of the Kings, Israel left off following the law and ceased observing the Passover. Only after the law was read in the ears of the people was the festival reinstituted. That the festival could be forgotten is evidence that things could not be preserved by oral memory. It was only the written word that salvaged those memories.

9. If every copy of the Talmud's text was to be lost, it would be impossible from memory alone to reconstruct and rewrite the Talmud, so says Uriel [and I agree]. He points out that many of our memories are preserved by continual refreshment of written text, in regards to the Talmud. Were all copies of the Talmud gone, too many memories would disappear, preventing it from being even close to fully restored.

10. [ If I failed to point this out before, allow me to correct that now. Uriel says the legend goes that the oral law was transmitted from Moses and Mount Sinai on to the people, that they preserved that oral low down through the generations. ] This would've been a huge amount of memory to teach to others and have them memorize it and pass it down. [ None of us can fully remember the Bible for that matter, or even just the law, the Torah. ] So it would be impossible to do as the legend suggests. Uriel reminds us that Moses himself was approved and justified as a witness of the living God before an entire people. Each of the new transmitters would then be, a new legislator which Uriel suggests is an absurdity so intolerable, so far-fetched, but this should suffice to refute the authors and vendors of this woeful error.

>>That is to say, the text of the Written Law was the ordained institution of the law, because of Moses, who wrote that Written Law, was ordained by God by great and miraculous signs and portents, proving that he was anointed and appointed by God.<<

11. Uriel declares that we know the Oral Law was committed to writing over a long period of time with each new generation adding what they thought their predecessors had omitted. This shows that what they wrote was first, with more to follow later; for if it had been tradition, the first to write would've written it all, as he must have been in possession of it all, seeing that it was only through him that it could have been transmitted to the later writers. But in reality, each author contributed his share to the Talmud as time progressed.

>>We have what is now called "textual criticism," which is not so much finding fault as it is just comparing versions and changes, to see how much was original and unchanged or might be suspect. We can detect changes in the Bible, and there have certainly been changes and many additions as time went by, to the Talmud as well. So since there have been many additions to the Talmud over time, it can not be as suggested, as transmitted exclusively from Moses/Mt. Sinai, in its entirely, to the present. This alone refutes the Talmud's primary claim for its existence.

The reminds me of a couple of claims made within the last 2000 years. Some so called gospels of Peter, Thomas, Judas, even Mary, I think, were said to be lost and discovered. But no one can find originals going back to the beginning of the Christian Canon/Collection. Mohamed came along and claimed he got his instructions from God, but much of his text contradicts the previous texts of Christianity and Judaism, contained in the Bible. So Mohamed is refuted, too.

Lastly, we have the book of Mormon as being received by Joseph Smith by angels and tablets, as being the reinstituted message of the Bible, now lost. Indeed, much of the Bible has been ignored, but not lost. the book of Mormon also contradicts many Bible teachings, though any Mormon missionary will emphatically declare that there is no difference between the Bible and the book of Mormon. But they lie and the book of Moron-mon is also refuted. Go to my Heretics page for more proof on Mormons.

So it appears to me that the Talmud has the same sort of sound and feel to it as these other imposters of yesteryear. Impossible stories, contradictions, no validation by big miracles like Moses had. Worst of all, is the disrespect to God, who was careful to create the nation of Israel for the expressed purpose of the entire nation serving God, by maintaining a priesthood and temple to preserve the works and commands of God, thru the written text, assigned to the priesthood. Those favoring the Talmud wipe all this out in favor of the absurd claim of sound oral transmission thru now 3500 years in time.

This shows that they never really understood how the law and priesthood, as well as the establishment of the land of Israel, and how these came into being and authorization, inauguration, and installation, as being from God and not men. It was thru very powerful signs, works, portents, miracles, and prophecies, that took place thru Moses and Joshua, and thru various prophets from time to time adding more books.

The pre-rabbinic Pharisees denied the power of God being shown to them in their day, and those who came after, establishing the system of the Rabbis, clearly have rejected all aspects of the installation of the law and prophets. All of this has been thrown away for the sake of the "Tradition" (claimed) of the Oral Law, written by men who had no one miracle to verify a word they said and many errors to refute all their words.<<

>>The next page or 2 begs for precise quotation due not only to details, but to further reinforce that it is the word of Uriel, and not myself

Page 274:

"12. If such an unbroken tradition really existed, how could the discord between the teachers and sages themselves be accounted for? And what about the factions and dissensions occasioned when the first attempt was made to insinuate that this Oral Law was a traditional explanation of the Written Law? (This innovation was presumably made by people who wanted to temper legislation which seemed harsh to them and saw no other means of introducing the desired corrective. But they will also have sensed that it was to their advantage, in so far as it enabled them to dominate and subject the people to their orders and regimens.) "

>>In essense, Uriel suggest that some found the law to harsh for their liking and wanted to change it, ignoring that "it" was written by God, ultimately. So they made up the fable of it being passed by Moses orally, outside of the written law. it also allowed these ring leaders to justify their telling people what to do or believe, thereby securing their power and control over the people, getting the people to go along with their new ideas, and keeping them from questioning or challenging the new leaders. its always about power and control. And lies are usually the bait to do it.

Many joined them since they, too, found the law too harsh. It tickled everyone's ears, well, except for Uriel, of course.<<

"Their own account of the origin of the Oral Law goes like this:  Ezra4 transmitted it to Simeon the Righteous, high priest; Antigonus his disciple received it from him, and passed it on to his companions5 including Sadoq [Zadok] and Boethus, the heresiarchs, as they call them. Reading between the lines of their account, one detects what really happened, namely that this Oral Law was an innovation which Antigonus with a few others wanted to introduce. They were immediately opposed by their contemporaries Sadoq and Boethus. That was the beginning of the schism concerning the validity of the Oral Law.

A minority comprising the most important, learned and noble part of the people, sided with Sadoq and Boethus; the supporters of the Oral Law appealed to the populace by sweet allurements which they infiltrated into their preaching, such as immortality of the soul and mild penalties. The common people readily inclines to these enticements, because immortality is a desirable prize, and human nature is more inclined to mercy and pity than to the rigour of justice.

>>Like their father the devil, Antigonus and his allies seduced the majority, almost always of lesser quality than they should be, to embrace "sweet sounding doctrines. But since the Babylonian Talmud was not completed till near 600 AD, near to the time when Mohamed came along as well; the doctrine had long since contaminated Christianity, being of Greek origins such as Plato and Socrates. And mild penalties for murder and adultery, well, who would not go along with that?

The only thing they did not consider was what God would say about it. It should have mattered to them but it did not. but it mattered to Uriel, even though he could have enjoyed his wealth to corrupt pleasurable ends. But he did not do that!<<

However, even among themselves disagreements occur continually. Their own explanation of this internecine strife is as follows. Semaya [Shemiah] and 'Abtalion transmitted the Oral Law to Hillel and Samai who in"

"Salomon's footnotes:
4 Da Costa here and elsewhere uses the Portuguese form of the name, Esdras, which derives from the Greek.

5 Da Costa's word is companheiros; he understood, as we see further on that they were Antigonus' contemporaries. Cf. Mishna, Abot 1, 3; Abut of Ribi Natan A. 5, where they appear as his disciples."

Page 275

"who in turn attracted infinite numbers of disciples. Due to this proliferation, schisms developed and the Law became as two Laws. Hence one finds throughout the books of the Talmud: the House of Hillel says this and the House of Samai says that one always the contrary of the other. Yet not even the record of these controversies perturbs the authors and defenders of this error.  

>>They have no shame that their errors are so obvious. Some things never change.<<

They do not hesitate to say and write that when two rabbis dispute among themselves, taking diametrically opposite positions from one another's, no one is at liberty to contradict either, because each had to speak in accordance with a tradition received from Mose (Moses), and the words of the one and of the other are equally words of the living God, So Mose must have spoken through two mouths and apparently the living God utters contradictory statements."

>>I just love Uriel's sarcasm and mocking. Reminds me of Elijah with the prophets of Baal. Mose is the Hebrew translation of that name, as the tribe of Ephraim would pronounce it. All other tribes would say Moshe. Its the old Siboleth vs Shiboleth. Moses is the Greek translation of that name. Below, Pinhas is likely Phineas. Yehosua is Jehosua which we know more as Joshua, though theirs becomes Josua. Again, s is one form, and sh is the other.<<

"13. Their chain of transmission contains falsehood, for they say:
"Yehosuac transmitted to Pinhas, Pinhas to cEli."

Now it cannot be true that Pinhas transmitted it to cEli,”6 because cEli did not succeed Pinhas. Rather did his son 'Abisuac succeed him, and Buqi succeeded 'Abisuac, and 'Uzi succeeded Buqi, as is found in the first book of Chronicles. This then agrees with the testimony of Josephus in the Fifth Book of the Antiquities where he says that 'Abi'ezer (this is 'Abisua' with a change in the vocable) succeeded Pinhas and Buzi, 'Abi'ezer; 'Uzi succeeded Buzi and cEli succeeded cUzi.

Thus, between cEli and Pinhas there were three who held the office of (High] Priest, so that Pinhas could not have transmitted anything to cEli whom he neither saw nor knew.

But this difficulty they obviate by means of a fabulous tale, which claims that Pinhas lived for twelve generations up to the time of 'Eliyahu and 'Eliyahu was none other than Pinhas. We may refer to this story further on as a confirmation of our opinion, although it is more deserving of ridicule than of serious attention.7

14. If, as they say, the Tradition is necessary for the Law to be correctly understood and not be liable to misunderstanding and subjective interpretation, then this Tradition should cover all matters dealt with in the Written Law. However, it turns out that just where the written Law could perhaps do with elucidation. Tradition is lacking, leaving room for dissidence and when it does offer explanations — and bad ones at that — there was really no need for them. So it avails them"

"Salomon's footnotes:
6 Cf. Maimonides. Misse Tara. Introduction.

7 This legend of Elijah's longevity rankled with da Costa: cf. (1616).A.11. Cf. 116241.2.6 and da Eilva's response in the latter's chapter 19."

Page 276:

"So it avails them nothing to use this flawed argument and the intention of anyone who nevertheless uses it can easily be guessed. Or maybe the traditions were defective and scant in respect to that which most needed an explanation!

Finally, it is to a written covenant's violation that the Law's comminatory passages apply and it is to despising the written covenant and to persistent deviation from it that all the evils and extended punishments are attributed. This is amply shown all through chapter 26 of Leviticus, particularly in the verse:

[...] in as much and in as much as they spurned My judgements and their soul abhorred My statutes (Lev. 26: 43).

And for the evils to cease and the benefits to accrue it is necessary to make amends and satisfy that part of the Law which is offended, as it says:

If thou shalt hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in the book of this Law [Deut. 30: 10].

Those written in the book of the Law, it says, not those written in the Talmud, as further appears from what follows:

For this commandment which I command thee this day, is not hidden from thee [...] [Deut. 30: 11]

The charge that the Law is not being followed is made by the prophets when they complain of the thwarted covenant, alteration of judgements and statutes, sham Scripture and forgeries, observance of human rather than divine commands:

How can you say, "We are wise and the Law of the Lord is with us?" Surely, the pen wrote in vain, falsification of the scribe. The Sages are put to shame, they were broken, they were trapped: lo, they have spurned the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is theirs? [Jer. 8: 8-9].

And in chapter 31 the same prophet says that because Yisra'el spurned the agreement written on paper, the Lord would make another with them written in the heart, so that they would not be able to thwart it with false doctrine. And Yehezqel {Ezekiel} says:

And she has changed My judgements into impiety more than the nations, and My statutes more than the countries around her I...] [Ezek. 5, 6]."  

>>God hates it when people mess with His law! ;-)  Its pretty bad when nations, typically referred to as beasts in prophetic symbols, are more righteous than God's followers, or who should be God's followers.<<

Page 277

"Innumerable places may be found in confirmation of this truth, accessible to any who wishes to see them, unless his eyes be clouded.

We have established sufficient foundations to support our position. Were we now to include the replies of our opponents and the grounds on which they base themselves plus our counter-replies, it would of course highlight much more strikingly the truth of our position. Since, however, one cannot fit onto one quire what was written on fifty folios {pages}, and since our purpose has changed in the meantime, we are jettisoning it all and restricting ourselves to those instances which prove the first and principal foundation of our proposition."

End of chapter 1.

Chapter 2     Concerning the Punishment of One Who Maims his Neighbor8
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Page 277

"In Leviticus it is stated as follows:

            And a man who gives a blemish in his neighbor: as he has done, so shall it be done to him; breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: like the blemish he gives in a man, so shall it be given in him [Lev. 24: 19-20].

Tradition makes its appearance and says that retaliation in kind is not to be inflicted upon one who thus maims but the only punishment to be exacted is a fine. We prove the falsehood of this tradition:

1. The self-explanatory text of the Law allows of no ambiguity and cannot be applied to a pecuniary compensation, if the words 'like the blemish he gives in his fellow, so shall it be given in him' are to be faithfully construed. What can it be that has to be given, but another mutilation? A mutilation is what he caused, and as we have seen in the"

>>The above is quite plain and obvious, no? The Talmud changes the LAW.<<

"Salomon's footnotes:
This is a revision of (1616).B.6 which consisted of seven arguments, whereas the present version has nine. The order is the same, but arguments 3, 6 and 9 are new. (1616).B.6.7 — a comparison between rabbinic and gentile legislation in respect to the talion — has fallen by the wayside.

Page 278

"as we have seen in the text just cited, it says: "so shall it be given in him"; meaning to say, the same mutilation shall be given in him. Mark the Hebrew word meaning "in him" which connotes the person of the offender; on his person, not on his property is the penalty to be imposed. The Law, not satisfied with generalities, manifests its intention more explicitly by adding specific examples: "eye for eye, tooth for tooth". The examples would not be genuine if it were possible to give ten or twenty pence for the maiming of an eye, nor does the Law estimate the pecuniary value of eyes. Our understanding of this verse finds confirmation in another text, concerning one who gave false testimony:

the Law orders that to the perjurer be done as he had conspired to have done to his brother: "soul for soul, eye for eye" [Deut. 19: 18-21]. And if it were true that an eye or a tooth could ever be compensated for with money, then "the evil that the false witness wished to bring about" could be compensated for with money. In that case the perjurer who conspires to inflict death — of whom it says "a life for a life" — could also be compensated for with money, something that even our opponents do not assert; rather do they acknowledge that the false witness intending to inflict death must die. Now if he must suffer the death which he wanted to cause by his false testimony, then also in the other examples enumerated in that self-same Biblical text he shall suffer a corporal mutilation equal to the one he caused, in conformity with the Law's prescription.9"

>>The above is so obvious, it is a shame Uriel has to even point it out. But those who twist the law have no excuse for their deception. We can see right thru them.<<

"Salomon's footnotes:
9 Da Costa is trying to convey that since all agree that Deut. 19, 18-21 must be interpreted literally as far as that one component that speaks of "a life for a life" is concerned, it follows that the other components ("an eye for an eye", etc.) should by analogy be understood literally as well. In the case of the perjurer, by specifying "which he wanted to cause," da Costa is careful, for once, to stay clear of controversy. The Pharisees ruled that the false witnesses are only put to death if the victims of their conspiracy had not yet been executed when their false testimony became exposed. If, however, they are found out only after the death penalty (caused by their perjury), had been effected, they apparently go free, because Deut. 19, 19 only prescribes death for the false witness who intended to cause death (Mishna, Makkot 1, 6), not for the one who actually caused death. This Pharisaic ruling was attacked on moral grounds by christian anti-rabbinist writers, notably Sixtus of Siena in his Bibliotheca Sancta (1st ed., Venice 1566). Hakam Saul Levi Mortera — who upheld da Costa's excommunication in 1616 — daringly reinterpreted the Pharisaic ruling to mean that also in the case where the falsely accused person had been executed the false witness was to be put to death, but by a different form of capital punishment and on different grounds than if the accused person had not been executed. For this reinterpretation he was posthumously accused of heresy by his successor, hakam Jacob Sasportas (Ohel Yahacob, Amsterdam, 1737, Responsum 17).

>>Gotta throw my two cents in. If a man should be executed for lying about another to get him executed and that one is executed, the liar would still be put to death. How more obvious could it get? Whether alive or dead, the one attempting to liar and frame to get the other killed, must himself be killed. This shows a low opinion of God, by these pieces of trash, or they want to let a guy off the hook due to the victim being dead, anyway. God will repay all who disrespect Him and His judgments.<<

"2.  When two scuffled among themselves and one wounded the other without maiming him, the Law enjoins that the offender pay for [Page 279 begins] the medical treatment and compensate the loss of man-hours [Ex. 21: 18-19]. Now if, where mutilation is concerned, it had been the intent of the Law to impose merely a pecuniary penalty, it could have expressed itself as it did in the case just quoted, adding perhaps a further pecuniary penalty such as 10 or 20 pence over and above the defrayal of the medical expenses and the interruption of work, which Ex. 21, 19 orders to be compensated for. Yet the fact is that the Law did not say this and referred instead to eyes and teeth, a purely corporal penalty which has nothing pecuniary about it. Monetary compensation is very unjust and incommensurate as regards a physical injury caused to a person, and totally foreign to the words and intent of the Law, which did not demand such a penalty.

>> Liars like to make assumptions, being presumptive and wanting to twist and distort the law. So they assume one can pay their way out of punishment. But Uriel points out that if a fine was acceptable to God, He would have put that in the law. One can not assume things with God. He will punish all who do.<<

3.  Whenever the Law wishes to impose a pecuniary penalty, whether fixed or discretionary, it spells it out, as can be seen in all the instances scattered throughout the Law. In the present case it makes no such provision. Neither should we, therefore, invent it.

4.  He who blinds a slave in one eye or knocks out his tooth is obliged to set him free for that eye or tooth. Liberty is worth more than any fine to which one could possibly be condemned for knocking out the tooth of a free man. Therefore a pecuniary penalty is inadequate to compensate free people for the loss of an eye or a tooth, just as it is not sufficient between a serf and his master.

It is no use arguing that the master is commanded to manumit the servant on humanitarian grounds or on the grounds that disfranchised persons were legally incapable of ownership.10 No, it is not because of the inhumanity, but because of the disfigurement that the master is commanded to give liberty "he shall set him free because of his eye" [Ex. 26: 26]; besides, he can whip him to the point of risking his life (an evil deed) and he does not set him free for all that, although it is a far greater inhumanity than knocking his tooth out with a well-aimed punch.

And even supposing it were because of the inhumanity [that the servant is set free] (which is not the case), it is neither here nor there, so we shall waste no more time on it. The other reason is also worthless; the servant would indeed have been capable of receiving money and of using it as he pleased, had Scripture chosen to impose a monetary fine on the master."

>>I would also suggest that a slave going free, due to disfigurement, could be intended as a serious punishment for a master. For masters who are abusive are also likely greedy and losing a slave might kill them when the realize they just lost good money/production due to their temper and lack of concern for the slave. You never know!<<

"Salomon's footnotes:
Cf. Mishna, Kidushin 1, 3, but the information no doubt came to da Costa via Modena's reply to (1616)II. 6.3."  

>>Salomon applied textual analysis of these works and shows that da Costa had to know what Modena had said so that da Costa replied to it in his writings .   .  . maybe.<<

Page 280

"5. Reason and equity demand that payment must be equal to the debt, or it would not be a just payment, because justice is founded on equity. Thus he who blinds his fellow in an eye owes an eye, since no assessment insuring commensurate monetary payment is possible: neither does the Law or reason put a price on eyes. Therefore it is only with another eye, which is retribution in kind, that restitution can be made, just as life is paid with another life, no monetary valuation of a life being possible.

6. The divine Law is so upright, fair and just that it never demands less satisfaction than is due; rather is the culprit fined beyond his misdeed in many cases, so that the excess serve as a deterrent. One example is the fivefold restitution exacted from the man who steals an ox [and then either slaughters or sells it; cf. Ex. 21: 37], and there are many other examples where the Law, out of abhorrence for crime and sin, imposes execution by burning or stoning. Now, since this is the constant and unswerving way of the Law, it is hardly to be assumed that he who blinds his fellow in one eye, would be allowed to get away with such a disparate penalty as money to compensate for a permanent physical injury; and being purely physical, the destruction of an eye cannot be more equitably compensated than by the removal of the perpetrator's.

7. The intention of the Law and its judgements was not merely to punish crimes with equity, but also to deter men from committing them by the threat of such physical punishment, and thus maintain society at peace and safe from harm. This end could not be achieved if the felon who deprived his fellow of a member could satisfy the law by paying a pecuniary fine as the only penalty; in the eyes of any vindictive person such a penalty would seem too trivial to dissuade him from carrying out his bad intention. Therefore it is necessary that the penalty be of a different order, and indeed of another order is the one that the Law imposes and needs must impose.

8. The woman who seized a man's privy parts to deliver her husband from a stronger opponent, is punished by having her hand cut off, without any pity or consideration for her motivation [Deut. 25: 11-12]. Surely for a man to cut off another man's hand [Deut. 19: 21] is a much more heinous act, where there is neither pretext nor justification. Therefore there is no reason for the judgement of the Law in the latter case to be milder than in the former and to content itself with a light pecuniary penalty. So all told the reasonableness of the Law prevails against the falsehood of Tradition.11"

Salomon's footnotes:
  The Pharisees' consistent attempts to humanize the Law, marked by da Costa, could be perceived as a compelling vindication of their programme (cf. Josephus, Ant. 13, 10: "[...] the Pharisees (...1 are not apt to be severe in punishments."). But since the only criterion for da Costa is scrupulous adherence to his literal (and often superficial) understanding of the Law, the Pharisees — far from being worthy of praise — stand doubly condemned
a) for veering from (da Costa's reading of) the Law
b) for setting up a standard of their own whereby they judge (da Costa's reading of) that same infallible Law and decide its institutions to be in need of reform. ]

>>I do not see da Costa's reading, or understanding of the law to be superficial. da Costa believed the law came from God and should not be tampered with or ignored. I am with him! Maybe the Pharisees and Rabbis do not believe Moses was from God. That is interesting all by itself. So they tamper with the law due to its being from men, not God. Maybe you can see why Uriel was mad.

Recall the account of Jesus asking Pharisees whether the baptism of John was from men or God. The Pharisees did not want to answer either way, admitting that John was from God or that John was from men. had they said men, they, themselves, would have gotten stoned. So they refused any answer.<<

Page 281
9. We are not saying that if someone strove with another and rolling over the ground with him he disjointed one of his bones or made him a hunchback, that another hump should be made on the back of  the perpetrator, because a lot of study would be needed to acquire this art of making people into hunchbacks. We are dealing with the eye, the hand, the cut-off finger; in other cases the verdict may be different.

>>In this case, using the precedent given, the older men would have to decide how to best apply punishment to match what was done. That is all one could truly say at that point. The law is often made to set a precedent that can have cross-application elsewhere in life.<<

Chapter 3           On the Judgement of a Man who Killed Another with Intent12
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Page 281
"He that smiteth a man, and he dies, shall surely be put to death. And if one did not lie in wait, but God allowed him to fall in his hand; then I will appoint thee a place to which he shall flee. But if a man comes presumptuously upon his neighbor to slay him guilefully; from My altar thou shalt take him to be executed [Ex. 21: 12-14).

In explanation of this law the Tradition says that he who kills a man with intent13 is not executed, unless, while he was battling or struggling with his victim, he had been adjured and warned not to kill: a tradition which is inimical beyond description to peace and public tranquility; a fomenter and generator of all evils."

"Salomon's footnotes:
12  Not included in 1616.

13  Da Costa is misrepresenting the Talmud somewhat when he says "with intent." The whole purpose of the warning which the Talmud prescribed "is only a means to distinguish between intentional and accidental homicide" (Sanhedrin 8b, 72b). Da Costa may have misunderstood the warning's purpose to differentiate premeditated killing from that perpetrated in self-defence."

Page 282

"By the norms of divine Law, Natural Law and reason, it is not merely this performance - required by its inventors for the killer to be convicted - that is an obvious fiction, but the requirement to distinguish between killing in self-defence or out of malice is itself highly questionable.14 For the Law does not explicitly exonerate any killer from the death sentence except the accidental homicide who acts without intent or forethought.15  But all intentional homicide is very hateful and abhorrent to the Law and there is no room for leeway. Since the Law, then, provides no express exemption from the death penalty for a homicide who kills in self-defence, if we do concede him exoneration, it is only because common sense tells us that it is lawful for any man to defend himself against an assailant.16

But what precisely are the criteria for "self-defence"? Is it necessary to receive with a sword the one who comes stick in hand? Is there not also "defence" when one retreats from and gets out of the way of another or is it necessary that all be determined by arms? Why should one resort to war-tactics at a time of peace, when one could avoid danger by less violent means? And minimum violence is after all what the Law wants.

Indeed, even in the case of the thief who was tunneling into the house at night, where the Law exonerates the householder who killed him from the death penalty, it is only because the incident took place at night [Ex. 22: 1]. Had it happened by day, that householder would have been guilty of bloodshed, because it would have sufficed to shout out for help; the Law did not wish arms to be taken up against the thief, a form of resistance disproportionate to the force of the felon.

Only at night were such extreme measures permitted because of the unfeasibility of more passive ones, and the householder's fear of being killed if the thief got inside and also because at night it is impossible to take the precautions which can be taken by day. Thus, as we said, one must carefully ponder how and when it is licit to have recourse to force of arms in self-defence with risk of great hurt to the enemy, and one must proceed in this case with great circumspection, as was well known to human rational law. "

Salomon’s Notes:

14.  In fact the Talmud rules that if it can be shown that the homicide overreacted, i.e., killed an attacker who could have been stopped by less violent means, then he — the homicide — faces capital charges. Cf. B.T. Sanhedrin 57a and b, 74a.

15.  See however Dt. 19: 6, 11-13.

16.  It reads as if at this point da Costa is oblivious to Ex. 22, 1 for if he had it in mind it is inconceivable that he should have written "if we do concede exoneration, it is only because common sense [...]." When a few lines further he comes to deal with this verse, it is as if he had suddenly discovered it. His comment on it gives the impression of being a (hastily?) improvised afterthought.

Page 283  

>>As you will note just below, as well as the preceding above, Uriel sought out the spirit (intent) of the law and God, rather than just looking for a way out of God's requirements. Uriel thought violence should be avoided as much as is possible in any given situation. That is clear below, in trying to get an attacker to stop before taking out your sword in self-defense.<<

"The latter requires that the attacked person withdraw and entreat the aggressor to leave him alone. And if nothing avails, he can unsheathe his sword and defend himself, even though such defence leads to an offensive action. But the pious, or rather impious and venomous traditions are grotesque. Therefore it is not surprising that they gain no consensus and that the Lord says of His people and of His city:

And she has changed My judgements into impiety more than the nations,
and My statutes more than the countries around her [...] (Ezek. 5: 6)

and, for this very reason:

Woe to the bloody city! I too will make a great pyre [...] [Ezek. 24: 9]17 "

>>What seems the case to me is that those who wanted to justify those who kill and protect them, must have been in the frequent pursuit of killing people, so that protection from the law was necessary. We expect this of mobsters and "enforcers." We do not expect it of those who claim to follow God/Jehovah. So when Uriel brings up how God's people had become worse transgressors of the law than the nations, who did not follow Jehovah or Moses, then Israel had really hit the bottom of the barrel in Ezekiel's time and now in Uriel's time, as they justify murder without penalty or a far reduced penalty.<<

"17. It is not clear if our author believes that modifications of Mosaic Law of the kind found in the Talmud were being introduced as early as the time of the prophet Ezekiel (6th century B.C.E.), or that these verses are simply predictive. Cf. da Costa's explanation infra, chapter 5, of certain verses in Deut. 32 in a similar vein. "

Chapter 4                 On the Case of the Ox which Gored a Man18
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Page 283

"And when an ox gore a man or woman, and they die; then the ox shall surely be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox is innocent. And if the ox was wont to gore in time past, and its owner had been warned, yet he had not guarded it, and it killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and also its owner shall die. If an expiation be imposed on him, then let him give for the ransom of his soul whatever is laid upon him (Ex. 21: 28-30).

As an explanation of this law the falsifiers declare that in no circumstances is the owner of the goring ox to be put to death, even if he had been warned a hundred times that he was to keep it in. The falsehood is manifest and is proven as follows:

1. The Law expressly commands that the owner of the ox die, and only allows the commutation of the death penalty if the avenger of blood is willing to accept redemption-money. Only if such terms are reached by the two parties is he exonerated from the death penalty, not otherwise."

>> It is fascinating how boldly the Pharisees and their "heirs" wanted to do away with Moses and his "harsh" judgments. Of course, those are God's, in reality. Christianity would do the same thing and did.<<

Salomon's Notes:

18. This corresponds to the fifth objection of 1616, which was apparently not divided into subsidiary arguments.

Page 284

"2.  Had the Law wanted in this case to exempt the man from capital punishment, the Law itself would have imposed a fine and fixed the amount, just as it did in the case of the ox which killed a manservant or a maidservant [Ex. 21, 32]. Here the Law did not do so, but demanded the death sentence, to be commuted into a monetary penalty only with the consent of the victim's next of kin. So the original intent of the Law was not to require money; nor can money satisfy in this case except in the specified circumstances.

3.  If the owner of the ox were in no case to be executed, the Law would have no reason to make two provisions, one for the owner who had not been cautioned, and is acquitted; and another for the one who had been cautioned, who is condemned to death.19

4.  He who causes an evil is regarded as the author and perpetrator of that same evil. (This is contained in the Law: see the judgement of the one who opened a pit and did not cover it and another's ox fell into it; he is made to pay the owner for his ox as if he had killed it with his own hands [EL 21, 331) The owner of the ox, who had been cautioned to guard his animal and had failed to do so, was the cause of the death inflicted by the animal. Therefore, he is to be regarded as the author of that same death and to be judged accordingly.

5.  One has to lie in the bed one has made. The Law is just and does not allow of an accommodation which would prejudice the aggrieved party's rights without the acquiescence of that party. Therefore the owner of the killer ox, having been warned, is liable for the blood that his ox shed through his fault and cannot be pardoned without the consent of the other side. Only with that consent does the Law grant him the alternative of paying ransom-money, in view of his not being the immediate agent, which it otherwise would not concede,' even if the aggrieved party were to pardon seven times.20"

>> God assigned serious responsibility to people. in our day and age in the USA and around the world, courts and law undermine assigning proper responsibility and so criminals go free. Example: "Pornography made me rape her." "The store owner sold me the alcohol so its their fault. I did not know what I was doing." So the Pharisees did the same.

We see how easy it is for some to change God's law, as if that were a small thing. But do not miss others that have done this, by creating false books, scrolls, and the like, claiming these were given by God or some similar excuse. The Book of Mormon, the Quran, false gospels, etc. False prophets all over the world and time.<<

Page 285

Chapter 5             Concerning the Judgement of One who took Daughter and Mother to Wife, and the Profane Daughter of a Priest21
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"And if a man take a woman and her mother, it is wickedness: in fire they shall be burnt tba'es yisrefu], both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you [Lv. 20: 14]. And the daughter of any priest, if she begin to fornicate, she contaminates her father: in fire she shall be burnt (ba'es tisaref) [Lv. 21: 9].

By way of explanation or corruption of these laws, Tradition says that in no way should perpetrators of such profanation be actually incinerated, because it is not right to deal with human beings this way, but a towel should be put around the neck, forcing the culprit's mouth open. Then molten lead is dropped in, which they claim, is "burning in fire." This tradition is false, as can be seen, and against divine justice, which it reproaches for being cruel. And under the cloak of misguided piety, it alters His judgements here and elsewhere.   The falsity is proven:

1. because the word "fire" ['es] which the Law uses, denotes and signifies real flames, kindled for consuming and devouring, and not any other thing, however blazing hot it may be. The sacrifice which was made to the Lord and which was consumed in fire [‘ise), took its name from the same Hebrew root as fire [‘es]. Moreover the verb "to burn" implies a burning done with fire. For this reason Mose said:

        I will now turn around, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt [Ex. 3: 3]"

Salmon’s Notes:

20 At the outset it sounds as though this proof is to be derived from the simple fact that the Law separates the two cases and treats them discretely — not an unreasonable argument. But then Uriel makes his argument circular by attributing to Scripture the phrases "is acquitted" and "is condemned to death." Had Ex. 21: 28-30 really contained such explicit pronouncements, there would have been no room for the rabbinical inter­pretation and no need for Uriel's proof. so There appears to be little or no development in the five sections of this objection, which continuously belabour the same point.

21 This corresponds to the fourth objection of 1616, which was divided into three subsidiary arguments, expanded here to four.

>> Now one has to ask, why are they always trying to water down and dilute God's punishments? Is it because they might be contemplating violating those laws? What else would it be? We see nations today, do this very same thing, watering down punishments or making a violation of the law amount to almost no punishment. I see it all the time. Most rapes do not end up in any jail time. I could go on and on. Our society is so full for evil that no one wants to punish anything with much more than just a light slap on the wrist.

As well, as regards taking both a bride and her mother, or marrying the mother so as to get the daughter, are particularly reprehensible to God. Having your own mother or daughter being a part of stealing your husband is too much for God. Actually, we se these sorts of things in the news every so often. Many times, it may not even result in divorce. It is a sign of how far we have degraded and fallen.<<

Page 286

"'Why does it not burn the way things usually burn, that is. Being consumed?'

The traditionalists (another name would fit them better)23 tell us a tall story: they say that the bodies of the sons of Aaron emerged intact from the divinely decreed burning.24 Hence they derive that it is possible to burn a man without his body being consumed.25 We answer them that if they have a way of consigning a person to flames which do not char the body, let them do just that and it will not make much difference to us whether the body is or is not consumed. However, if in order to leave the body intact they have to deflect the fire and apply it at a remove from the body, what has this to do with miracles which only God can perform?

2.  Further proof: the law would be most imperfect and the charge could be made that it is misleading had it meant the words "to be burnt in fire" to express the requirement that the culprit swallow molten lead. In the same clear way as it elsewhere specifies "stoning with stones," it orders here "burning in fire," words that in fact have no connexion {connection} with lead, nor with scalding to death by means of lead.

3.  Furthermore, this curious application of lead is an extraordinary means of execution, bizarre and unnatural, and there is no trace of it elsewhere in the Law, nor does the Law prescribe outlandish means of execution, but rather the most common and ordinary ones.26"

>>Always, the corrupters of the law manage to have an account showing the "exception" to the law. But such stories are inadmissible in a court of God or national law. The story should have long ago been established, known, and published in order for it to be a precedent, if in fact, it had happened long ago and someone had knowledge or memory of it. That is the purpose of writing things down. Most fraudulent Christian scrolls/books are suddenly re-discovered in some hidden place and brought out to enlighten us. But if they were once circulated and known, how did they get so forgotten and unknown? truth is, they never existed in the 1st place.<<

Salomon’s Notes:

22 Da Costa is evidently unaware that another Hebrew verb. yibcar, is used here to signify burning, not throne which occurs in Lv. 20: 14 and 21: 9; the two are not always synonymous.

23 In the absence of a one-word Portuguese designation for "traditionalists" in the broader sense. da Costa makes up a word traditores. When, in his snide parenthetical remark, he says "another name would fit them better", he is no doubt punning with the Portuguese word traidores, meaning "traitors."

24 Cf. Lv. 10, 1-2; B.T. Sanhedrin 52a.

25 Leon Modena's reply to the 1616 formulation of da Costa's objection, as reported in magen vesina, includes this 'aggada. It derives from Sifra on Lv. 10: 5 and is cited by Rashi, ad. loc.

26 Execution by molten lead da Costa considers "outlandish and unnatural", whereas burning at the stake is for him "common and ordinary". This subjective categorization may have been influenced by his familiarity with the autos-da-fe.  

>>If you can not tell, Salomon is not a real big fan of Uriel, as best as I can tell. He does not like Uriel's sarcasm, which I adore. But Salomon deserves to be heard, anyway, unlike Uriel, who was not given that chance then and only now is getting some, thanks in part, to Salomon, for which we must tip our hats to him and thank him, too.<<

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"4. Further, the culprit could hardly have perished by reason of the heat intrinsic to the lead, but rather by reason of the towel with which they choked him and made him open his mouth, so that by the time the lead entered, he was already strangled.27

It was all a deception to make people believe that death was being inflicted by something heated in fire: and then they would point to the sons of Aaron remaining intact after they were consumed by divinely decreed fire. Against these falsehoods and against this false fire, says the Lord Himself:

For a fire is kindled in My anger; it shall burn to the nethermost parts and shall destroy the earth and its produce [...] [Dt. 32: 22]28"

27 Cf. It. Yehuda's opinion in Mishna, Sanhedrin 7, 2.

28 Da Costa is reading into Deuteronomy a most fanciful Midrash of his own invention to the effect that Moses foresaw and condemned the introduction of the lead and towel. Cf. supra, note 17.  

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Chapter 6            On the Redemption of Sold Property29
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"Leviticus 25: 26 legislates that the indigent person who had sold a part of his inheritance, thereafter coming into money, may redeem it again from the purchaser. Enters Tradition and says that he shall not be able to redeem with money obtained from the sale of another  property,which was not as good as the first one he sold. But to redeem consecrated property he may use any money that comes his way.30 This tradition is totally false, tyrannical and an enemy of the  poor.31 The Law is entirely in favour of the seller and does not impose on him a condition concerning the provenance of money — an unheard of pretext."

Salomon’s Notes:

29 Not included in 1616.

30 Cf. Sifra, Behar, 5; Mishna, Arakin 9, 2.

31 See, however, the justification of R. Simeon in the Sifra cit. supra: "Why (the discrepancy)? Because unredeemed sold property reverts in any case to the original owner in the jubilee year, whereas unredeemed consecrated property becomes definitively the property of the sanctuary in the jubilee year."

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"He could have redeemed his property with money from the poor-box, a fortiori with the proceeds from another property he sold (poor chap):

        But if he cannot redeem it […] then the property shall go out in the jubilee-year and it shall return to its owner [Lv. 25: 28].

Thus, the whole Law favours the indigent seller, whereas the Tradition, the enemy of the Law, on the other hand, favours the rich buyer.

Their differentiation between sold and sanctified property, facilitating the redemption of the latter, also turns out to be false,32 because to redeem sanctified property the Law requires the original owner to redeem it at a price one fifth above its estimated value [Lv. 27: 19]. On the other hand, to redeem sold property, the Law does not require anything to be added to the value of the property. Thus, by the imposition of the fifth, the Law makes the redemption of consecrated property more rather than less onerous. That this is so in the case of consecrated property is made patent by the Law in many places."

>>It seems to me that Pharisees did not want to give slaves their freedom back if they had the redeeming ransom money, so they twist the law, amending it to their liking. Why they would just love it in the USA today. All our laws support rich powerful corporation and rob the weak and poor in courts. Some things never change. In fact, Pharisees are often equated to lawyers. How about that?

Favoring the rich! That is a well known thing today in our world. But it was not God's way. God protected the weak and the poor, the alien resident and orphan and widow.<<

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Chapter 7           On the Judgement of the One who Stole an Ox33
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If anyone should steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall pay five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep [Ex. 21: 37].

That is the Law. Against it Tradition teaches that if the thief consecrated the stolen ox and afterwards sold it, he shall not pay the owner more than two oxen: two abominable falsehoods. The first, saying that stolen goods can be consecrated unto the Lord, the other in reducing the sentence of the thief under his cloak of impiety.34

Salomon’s Notes:

32 Da Costa's insinuation that the "traditionalists" tampered with the Pentateuchal prescription concerning the redemption of sanctified property, is of course misleading. As a result of the rabbis' making the redemption of sold property more difficult, the redemption of consecrated property automatically became easier relative to the redemption of sold patrimony. They did not, however, modify the scriptural provisions for consecrated property.

33 Not included in 1616.

34 Cf. Mishna, Baba Qama 7, 4.

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The first is false because one who is not the owner of property but has come by it through such unjust means as theft, cannot pass onto another property, rights which are not his. And just as the vow of those who are not at liberty to bind themselves is invalid, except it afterwards be confirmed by the superior, in the same way the immoral offering of the pious thief, who was not entitled to consecrate it, is invalid ab initio." Moreover, the Law prohibits the offering of an animal in which there is a blemish. And if one that has a broken leg is improper for offering, how much more so the one that was stolen. Similarly the Law prohibits the wages of a meretricious woman being brought to the Temple (Dt. 23: 19); the same Mosaic Law (cf. Lv. 5: 23) commands this devout thief to return the goods to their rightful owner.  

>>It is hard for me not to praise Uriel. A righteous man, for sure! Uriel mentions above that those who have not the liberty to make a vow, a contract or promise, an obligation with terms, such as a wife in Israel, or especially a child, a minor, as we call them, or even a slave or indentured servant. These can make vow or agreements if approved by the one who has ownership or authority over them, such as a husband, father, slave owner or master. Nor can a thief do something good with the property or money he steals.

But Pharisees and their latter followers, the Rabbis, want to allow for this, so they can pretend what they steal was put to good use so that they should not be harshly judged. Oh, poor things, such sweethearts! Why butter would not melt in their mouths. Why look! These demons have transformed themselves into angels of light. God bless their little hearts. You see the mess? Can you read the handwriting on the wall? I hope so!<<

The second falsehood is proven because the owner of the ox never lost his rights and even if the thief's offering were valid, he still owes five oxen to the owner of the ox over and above the offering he owes the sanctuary, because he obligated himself twice, once by the theft and again by the offering.

2.  If Tradition's interpretation were valid, the Law's provision would be circumvented, to the benefit of the criminal, and thieves would be enabled to escape punishment by consecrating stolen property. What a preposterous idea!

3.  Either this consecrated ox belongs to the sanctuary, in which case the priest ought to be given two for one as a penalty for its having been sold after consecration; or, if it belongs to the original owner then it is he who must be compensated [fivefold]. But lo and behold, [twofold] restitution is what [the Traditionalists] would have the thief make to the original owner and nothing to the sanctuary. But then, of what validity is a consecration that avails the sanctuary nothing and whose only effect is to alleviate the thief's penalty? To what length will false tongues go towards favouring criminals and rejecting divine judgements?36

Salomon’s Notes:

35 Nm. 30: 4, 8 says that the vow of persons who are not at liberty to bind themselves is valid, unless disavowed by their superior: just the opposite of what da Costa claims. His comparison of stolen property with vows seems altogether inappropriate. for obvious reasons. It is strange that da Costa ignores Scripture's condemnation of those who offer stolen property to God (cf. Is., 6], 8; Mal. 1: 13).

36 Cf. B.T. Baba Qama 76a, ff. The Gemara seems to share some of our author's misgivings on this particular Mishnaic legislation.

>>Salomon says just above in his number 35 of his notes, that Uriel was wrong. Uriel was not wrong. The husband has the right to revoke any vows of his wife or daughter. But he must her vow immediately upon hearing it or having it revealed to him. If he heard it and said nothing, then it stands. But he does have that initial right to revoke. Uriel is not wrong. Salomon, in my opinion, is twisting this thing just a little, trying maybe to justify the Rabbis who embrace these Talmudic twistings that Uriel opposes. Just some food for thought.<<

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Chapter 8        On the Use of Tefillin37
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The use of tefillin is an abuse and an invention of men who misunderstood and misinterpreted the Law; as such it should be judged and rejected:

1.  Because the Law neither commanded these so-called tefillin to be made, nor indicated their shape or form; in fact, their very name is unknown to the Law and the Castilian version had no right to render the word totafot ["frontlets"] by another Hebrew word [tefillin] which nowhere occurs in Scripture.' Had the Law wanted such things to be made, it would firstly have commanded them, then indicated their shape or form — as it did with sisit, commanding its making and explaining its colour and application [Nm. 15: 38]. This pattern is invariably followed throughout the Law, whenever specific practices are prescribed.

>>Below is why I have such admiration for Uriel's mind. Uriel gave much thought to the law in order to recognize what he did below. I have written on the common nature of the scriptures to write/speak in figurative allegorical ways. I wrote 2 articles on it, "How to Understand & Interpret the Bible (1999)" and "Post-Apostolic Writers on Interpreting the Bible (2002)."  <<

2.  The verses from which they derive the precept of tefillin had first to be misinterpreted by their commentators to yield the meaning they desired. The language of the Law in these verses is figurative, as in many other instances, and not literal. To be in harmony with the spirit of the lawgiver, it is necessary to understand allegorically:

        And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart [...] And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thy eyes [Dt. 6: 6, 8].

Salomon’s Notes:

37 The objection to phylacteries was the first one in 1616. Cf. our Introduction, 2 for a detailed comparison between the 1616 and the 1624 versions of this chapter and a demonstration of Leon Modena's input in the definitive version.

38 The "Castilian version" referred to is the one printed at Ferrara in 1553 which renders each occurrence of totafot by tefillin. Illogically, however, Ferrara renders the word 'ot, traditionally interpreted as "tefillin of the hand", by the Castilian word senal.

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In these verses the intermediary of the Law, as a good and wise master, gives the people an emphatic command to remember God's love firstly in their hearts, repository of thoughts, next on their tongue and, finally — availing himself of a rhetorical manner of speech —, he tells them that they should remember these words as if they carried them for a sign on the hand and as a constant presence before their eyes, so that they might never forget. This is supported by another verse in the Law, which speaks similarly:

        And it shall be for thee as a sign upon thy hand, and for a memorial between thy eyes [...] [Ex. 13: 9].

And soon afterwards it changes its formulation and says:

        And it shall be for a sign upon thy hand, and for frontlets between thy eyes [...] [Ex. 13: 16].

Thus, the Law uses "memorial" and "frontlets" interchangeably, which demonstrates that the words "for frontlets" mean "for a memorial," and the words "for a memorial" hardly signify something written and enclosed in a box on one's forehead. Such allegorical and vivid forms of expression are often used in the Law. Thus it calls the people "stiffnecked," to describe their great obstinacy. To better convey the image of oppression, it speaks of the Lord breaking the yoke which they bore on their necks in Egypt [cf. Lv. 26: 13]. The promised land's lushness and luxuriance is metaphorically expressed by: a land flowing with milk and honey. All these are allegories "allegory," so that every one may understand, is when words say one thing and suggest another).

>>Part of the clue we are supposed to get is that if you take something literally, it comes out looking and sounding very stupid, if not ridiculous and absurd. This should alert us that we have made a mistake in our interpretation or understanding. We need to correct that. This is how some have come to conclude that an everlasting fire indicates a hell in which some live in torment, rather than a final punishment from which there is no return. People cannot burn adn yet live, too, unless they have lost their minds.

That brings me to my next point. People who make very stupid absurd interpretations give evidence of lack of any good judgment or trustworthiness in intellectual ability and they should not be trusted. That is, it is a sign God gave us to know the bad from the good. If they think and talk like idiots, they are idiots. It is that simple.

Uriel thought it absurd that we would think there was a literal box attached to our foreheads to remind us of God's law. It is like when Jesus warned his disciples to watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees and the disciples went hunting thru the boat, looking for literal leaven. Jesus scolded them for being so dull and not grasping the figurative meaning, especially when he had been trying to teach them this method for some time by that point.

How dumb are you? I'm just asking. You need to be able to answer that to yourself honestly. Many who gladly accept an absurd interpretation are looking for a way out, an escape route. Good sound logic and reasoning will not allow silly ridiculous interpretations. Either the very stupid or the very corrupt like these absurd interpretations. Anyone not purifying their heats and their minds will have no place in God's Kingdom.<<

In the same manner spoke Selomo:

        Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind ye them upon thy necks: write them upon the table of thine heart [...] [Pr. 3: 3].

And in the Song of Songs:

        Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm [...] [S. of S. 8: 6].

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This means: 'remember me':

        Upon the palms of my hands I have inscribed thee: thy walls constantly before me [Is. 49: 16]:

'You are ever present in my memory'. The adversaries hold that the sign is a concrete and visible thing and refuse to see that the language of the Law is figurative rather than literal. For even the word "seal," which would normally denote a concrete and visible object, is here [S. of S. 8,6] not literally interpreted by anyone.

3.  Further proof: for a man to go the whole day with his arm strapped, imprisoned and encumbered, for all his natural and servile tasks, is improper, inconvenient and repugnant — and it would be nothing less to carry those bonds and impediments on one's arm and head, especially as one would be required to wear them at all times. But the Law did not prescribe nor could it prescribe such improprieties, inconveniences and impossibilities.

>>Put in just slightly different words, could God be so absurd as to make us go about in bonds? To make what point? What for? Why? God is not insane. But those who embrace ridiculous interpretations make God out to be an idiot. People who do that do not live too long, I hear.<<

4.  For if the precept of putting on tefillin were a precept of the Law, this precept would be obligatory not just all day, but every day, because the Law made no exceptions; this, however, is not the custom, and on sabbaths and holy days the people are exempt. Therefore the provision is either entirely man-made, or it was against the Law that the people were exempted (we shall not include here their absurd response39), but it yet will be shown that the provision is in fact man-made.

>>Uriel beings up a good point here. so often in these contradictions, we have them doing stupid things and yet, also not doing them when they should be doing it either all the time or not at all. It is one contradiction upon another. Absurdity upon absurdity. By their fruits you will know them.<<

5.  The regulations concerning the form and shape and the placing of the tefillin are all erroneous and misguided; they are not rules of the Law. It is also erroneous — though actually quite funny — to say that the leather of these cubes and encasements must be made of skin of an animal that may be eaten, because thus one complies with the precept:

        [...] that the Law of the Lord may be in thy mouth [...] [Ex. 13: 9].

Salomon’s Notes:
39 A reference to Leon Modena's reply. Cf. our Introduction, 2, and notes 60 and 61.

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It is equally erroneous to say that the knot on the left arm must be on a spot that faces and can be placed on the heart, in compliance with the precept:

        And these words [...] shall be on thy heart [Dt. 6: 6].

The tenor of these and other foolish rules betray the origin of the tefillin and their ritual.

6.  The Jews who are called Sadducees neither had nor have this custom, and the name Sadducee is as ancient as the name Pharisee (these names having come into use during the time of the Second Temple to identify them and distinguish them from each other). So the custom and testimony of the former confirm the truth which is derived from the Law and confound the contrary, superstitious, erroneous abuse, as does the Law itself.

>>How humiliating can it be to have the Sadducees make you look bad? This is how far gone the Pharisees were.<<

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Chapter 9        On the Configuration of the Circumcision and Abuses Concerning It40
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The practice of perica is foreign to circumcision. This is proven by the following:

1.  The Hebrew verb used in the Law signifies cut all around, cut across, cut away. That is done by simple circumcision and it is not necessary to add perica, which is splitting. Therefore the perica which is carried out after the foreskin is already cut, is superfluous and irrelevant, alien to the Law and to circumcision as such.

2.  The part of the foreskin which is redundant and useless and closes up the member, is totally disposed of by circumcision; and since the Law did not require or desire that more be opened or uncovered, to do so would be adding to the Law, which is tantamount to detracting from it. So perica, which is an addition to the Law's requirement, must be contrary to the Law.

>>This is an interesting proposition. Normally, the foreskin will cover beyond the penis, leaving a smaller appendage, when the penis is fully withdrawn (shriveled). Uriel suggests this small tip beyond the penis is all that should be cut. My own circumcision takes off all the foreskin so that the entire head of the penis is always uncovered, as well as some of the shaft. I do not know how much would remain uncovered if done Uriel's way, but I can se it making sense.

I have seen videos on Youtube that show the pain the baby goes thru. This can not be a good thing, especially if it can be avoided or minimalized. Uriel's point of the Hebrew verb is correct, though it can signify complete removal, as well. I looked up Strong's dictionary. But I would like to know if this has been up for argument before Uriel.

Circumcision was a symbol to be noticed, to expose the head of the penis, rather than hiding it in the foreskin. I do not know how much of the penis would remain exposed or what the intent really was. So I do not see an easy way to solve this. I will be looking into this more. For sure, circumcision is no longer a requirement of God and that is a good thing.

I trust God and His requirements as being safe and humane. But He is also the one who created that foreskin in the first place. Why take it off without a reason. Deuteronomy speaks of the circumcision of the heart. This seems like the purpose of exposing the "heart" to God and reminding men of their duty to God.<<

Salomon’s Notes:
40 This corresponds to da Costa's second objection of 1616. While the number of subsidiary arguments is the same in both versions, consultation of magen ve-sina demonstrates that the material has been recast in the light of Modena's strictures.

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3.  The Law does not prescribe perica, and the Sadducees do not practise it. So this custom of the Pharisees, not backed up by the Law or, rather, against the thrust of its words and at variance with Sadducean usage, should be condemned, along with other of their abuses, for reasons we have shown elsewhere. And were the erroneous and vain grounds on which they base themselves to be exposed, our charge would become even more understandable.

>>Very interesting that the Sadducees do not do as the Pharisees/Rabbis do. But I am concerned as to whether the Sadducees take off less or none at all, since clearly some has to be taken off, at the least. Whether right or wrong, Uriel seems to have meant well. We know that body mutilations were otherwise forbidden in the law.

Below relates a fable. Why a fable if this was always the practice and never questioned? I become more suspicious of the Pharisees.<<

The chair prescribed to seat the prophet 'Eliyahu at the circumcision and the rest of the preparation amount to nothing but impious superstition; all this is founded on a fable not worth writing down or wasting time with.

Moreover it is a disgraceful and vile abuse to take the member in one's mouth in order to suck the blood. The excuse offered is, that after circumcision the member is no longer what it was. As for the anecdotes told to back up this excuse, I am unable to write them down, because the hand refuses to pick up the pen to do so.41 Every bit of it is ugly superstitions, abominated by God.

Salomon’s Notes: 41 The unrepeatable "anecdotes" may include Modena's citation of a "wise man" who said that a human being's mouth is more in need of being covered up than the private pails.

>>Each revelation of Uriel amazes me more and more. Uriel seems to know things we do not or were not aware of. Uriel will not even discuss the anecdotes as he calls them, consider them to vile to write about. Of course, as you know, I have no fear of writing of such things in our day, when all things are out in the open, anyway. I would have preferred Uriel writing about it. If they do it, then it should be written about. But the modesty of the time prevented him, right or wrong.<<

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Chapter 10             On the lulab42
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Salomon’s Notes: 42 Da Costa did not mention the palm and the citron in 1616, but seems to have been inspired to do so in 1624 by Modena's discussion of them in his reply to da Costa's 1616 "General Objection" to the Oral Law. Cf. Introduction, 2.  

And ye shall take for yourselves on the first day, fruit of the beautiful tree, curvatures of palm trees [...] [Lv. 23: 40]  

>>The Hebrew word in the Bible rendered by Jews of Uriel's time as "beautiful," normally uses "goodly" in nearly all instances in the King James Bible.<<

The Tradition which is provided to explain this law is false. It claims that the Law prescribes to take a citron, which is a beautiful fruit, as well as branches of certain other trees, and with these in hand to make movements and thrusts." And God tells the one who plays such games and makes such inventions before Him without His authorization, to be gone from His sight, because He cannot abide it.  

>>My guess is that thrusting sticks into a fruit and perhaps making a sloshing sound as well, got some Pharisees turned on, maybe ;-) But if this were so, then these guys might have been missing a few nuts and bolts. I'm just saying! Ya know?<<

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The falsehood can be proven because it is apparent from the Law that the purpose of taking these branches is to use them for the construction of booths to dwell in, as it says:

        In booths ye shall dwell seven days [...].[Lv. 23, 42].

Saying that they should dwell in booths seven days implies that the branches were to be used in the construction of the very booths which they were to inhabit. Obviously they were not intended for games or brandishing. This is clearly shown where the people were commanded by 'Ezra to go to the mountain and fetch branches of olive, pine, myrtle and other trees with which to make booths as was written in the Law [cf. Ne. 8: 15]. So what "was written" was understood to prescribe branches for the making of booths, not for the purpose of brandishing. And those very booths made out of cheerful greenery enhanced the joy of the festival. The branches, then, were intended for the construction of booths and not at all for carrying about or for practicing the art of fencing.

2.  Moreover, the Law does not say that one should take a beautiful fruit [for whatever purpose], but a fruit of the beautiful tree: thus it requires the tree to be beautiful — not the fruit. So it is vain that they tire themselves out looking for perfect citrons, in fulfillment of a nonexistent text.

The meaning of the Law is to take the branches of the trees and not the fruit without the branch, and when it said to take the fruit, it understood the entire branch to which the fruit is commonly attached. As when it says:

        And the woman saw that the tree was good for food [...] [Gn. 3: 6].

Salomon’s Notes:
43 The movements and thrusts were not attributed to the Law by the Mishna (Sukkah 3, 9) which simply records that at one time (probably in reference to Temple services) the lulab used to be shaken during the recitation of the balk!. It is significant that the Mishna employs the past tense when referring to this practice. It never makes the custom out to be a binding one, much less a Biblical requirement which — all agreed —was fulfilled by taking and holding the lulab. Nevertheless, shaking the lulab assumed symbolic (or magic?) import and became standard practice.

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It did not wish to say that the tree itself was good for food, but the fruit of the tree was good. i.e. a synecdoche. In the same manner, what 'Ezra literally said in the above-cited verse, was that they should take leaves ['ale] of the olive-tree, leaves of the pine-tree and leaves of the myrtle-tree. Yet it does not mean they should take just the leaves — for a fine house could be put together with leaves! —  branches which are in leaf.

With good reason the olive-tree is called beautiful:

        A leafy olive-tree, fair with goodly fruit, the Lord called thy name [...] [Jer. 11: 16].

David compared himself to it, when he said:

        And I, like an olive-tree, become green again in the house of God [...] [Ps. 52: 10].

Its supremacy was recognized by all the other trees in virtue of its solemn beauty, continuous verdure and the richness of its fruit [cf. Jdg. 9: 8]. 'Ezra understood the Law to have spoken of that same olive-tree and it therefore heads the list of trees from which he ordered branches to be cut.

Nor must it be thought that the booths can be assembled exclusively from the branches of four trees, in the same way as the adversaries make up their lulab-set exclusively of citron, palm, myrtle and willow. The Law employed more general words such as beautiful and thickly leaved tree, by which terms other trees may also be understood, e.g., pine and cypress, which are well suited for roofing, and also keep their greenness, qualities desirable in booths. As can be seen, 'Ezra made use of other trees, all of which are subsumed under the words of the Law.

By means of these branches, the Law probably wished to remind us that those who have faith in the Lord and practise justice will never wilt nor dry up, and branches of such trees are very appropriate to these booths which represent the sovereign and eternal providence of the living God, Who, in the barren and inhospitable desert, supported His creatures who awaited their daily sustenance from His hand. For this reason the righteous are compared to a tree planted alongside the waters, which is generally verdant, whereas the godless are compared to dry straw:

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        And he shall be like a tree planted by streams of water, that shall bring forth its fruit in its season, and its leaf shall not fall [...] [Ps. 1, 3]44.  

Salomon’s Notes: 44 Da Costa follows the Ferrara Bible which translates lo yibbol “does not fall.”  

This then is what the booth decorated with the green branches of evergreens symbolizes, confirming man's confidence in his God.  

>>As in other places, Uriel recognizes the symbolism in the Law. How ironic that Jesus and the Apostles taught symbolism by use of figures and allegories, yet Christianity soon take everything literally, and we ended up with a burning hell of everlasting and ever-living torment, as if such were possible. We got the absurdities of the Trinity as well, and I could go on. But evidently, some Jews have also become quite literal and quite absurd. they seem like they are both cut of the same cloth. How did that happen, anyway?<<

Nor let the phrase "for yourselves" confuse anybody. When the Law says: "And ye shall take for yourselves," it is using one of those datives common in Hebrew, roughly equivalent to saying: 'And ye shall take'. Similarly:

        Take now thy son [...] and get thee into the land of Moriya {Moriah} [...] [Gn. 22: 2]

simply means: 'and as for thee, go' or 'get going'. And:

        Get you over the wadi Zered [...] [Dt. 2: 13]

means no more than: 'You, cross over; get across the wadi Zered': and this usage is ubiquitous. With the removal of other stumbling-blocks we shall not detain ourselves, for brevity's sake.

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Chapter 11            On the Examination of Meat Which May be Eaten45
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  Tradition teaches that if an animal on being slaughtered is found to have certain defects or adhesions it is unfit for food and should be judged unclean, because with these symptoms it would have died within the year — a brief space of time —, sufficient reason to consider the animal as already dead before it was slaughtered.46

Salomon’s Notes:        45 Not included in 1616.         46 Cf. Mishna, Hullin 3.

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This tradition is false, because the Law does not reckon unclean a living, fat, strong and sound animal, nor did it command such an animal to be inspected to see if it suffered from a diseased liver. It is the dead animal that the Law considers unclean. A fine state of affairs indeed, when for such slight ailments one has to throw the meat to the dogs (or little short of that), and to the Law is attributed the placing of obstacles and burdens which it never wanted to impose, and people are provided with new opportunities for guilt: for no man readily throws out his animal.

>>Uriel is upset that the Pharisees were heaping undue guilt on people, and undue burden as well. Uriel actually cared about poeple. Clearly, the legalistic lawyer-like Pharisees did not care. Its obvious.<<

2.  Sacrificial animals were checked only for outward blemishes [cf. Lv. 22: 20-24] once they were duly slaughtered, their flesh was fit for food (unless they come up with new follies) and since that is the law for consecrated meat, surely profane animals would not be subject to the stringencies of post-mortem examination! >>We hope not ;-) <<

3.  Nor does examining the inwards rule out the risk of eating the flesh of a deadly sick animal,47 and thus it is a vain solution. (Whether an ox with a liver or lung disease is inevitably going to die within a year, I leave for the doctors to dispute.)

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Chapter 12     On the Error of not Eating Meat With Milk48
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A favourite proof of the traditionalists when arguing the indispensability of their Tradition for understanding the Law, is that without it one could not understand from the Law that it is forbidden to eat meat with milk. Thus, in order to vindicate the Tradition, they invent a precept, as is their wont.

The Law says:

Thou shalt not cook the kid in its mother's milk [Ex. 23: 19; 34: 26;     Deut. 14: 21].

Salomon’s Notes:

47 In as much as not all diseases produce visible symptoms.

48 Not included in 1616.

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Who is so blind as not to see that it is an illusion or a delusion to derive from these words a prohibition to eat meat with milk? What is being dealt with here is a mother and her young: the Law forbids that the mother be asked for requisites with which to fry or cook her dead offspring for the purpose of subsequently eating it. Nor does it permit that self-same milk used for its sustenance and nutriment to become the instrument of its annihilation.

>>Who is so blind? Uriel asks! You know the answer, don't you?<<

This precept is similar to the one which says not to kill mother and young the same day [cf. Lv. 22: 28] and also to the one which says not to ensnare the mother with the young in the nest [Dt. 22: 6-7]. In much the same spirit it is laid down that the young remain with its mother for eight days and that before then it is not to be taken from her for a sacrifice [cf. Lv. 22: 27].

To kill the mother with her young is an extreme form of cruelty and destruction, "taking scalp and hair" as the saying goes; one has to be ferocious and inhuman to want to cook the young in the milk of its own mother. Thus said Yacaqob when he feared the encounter with his brother:

        [...] lest he come and kill me — mother along with children [Gn. 32: 12].  

>>I had always thought as Uriel did. God wanted to discourage in strong terms, His people becoming vicious, ferocious, or excessively cruel and uncalled for. Some nations had show such tendencies then, as now. But God wants gentle souls, with tenderness and compassion. This is what bothered me most about Nazi rhetoric. They felt that if Jews or "Allies" were to be defeated, then severity and cruelty would be necessary. So fierceness was taught and nurtured. I won't say the Allies were without cruelty. One thing for certain is that all men and all sides lose their humanity in war. That is what the Illiad was all about, and why it was so revered a story by ancients.

This is why I am against Christians fighting wars, because there is a good chance it will make them cruel and remorseless. It is a contradiction to become a soldier and yet proclaim to be a gentle mild caring Christian. There are other reasons, too. In another article on my website here on War.<<

The Law never intended to forbid one to partake of a slice of cheese after a meat meal: in fact this is what a proper meal should consist of." Had the Law, where it says that a kid is not to be cooked in its mother's milk, really intended to prohibit the eating of dairy after meat, then another Scripture would be called for because we would have to conclude that the one we have is misleading and poorly written.

However, since that is certainly not what we want to say, it would be more fitting to consider the Tradition a falsification, as indeed it is, and any usage based on it, ridiculous superstition; whereas the statutes of the Law retain all their force, from which one may derive excellent teaching, humanity and piety, all of which is not the case with its counterfeit opponent.

Salomon’s Notes:    48 Da Costa's subjectivity creeps in to determine what constitutes a "proper meal": cf. however, Gn. 18, 8.  

>>My opinion is that Salomon is being a little bit picky here, faulting Uriel for suggesting that cheese goes good with meat. That mean old Uriel is so subjective and prejudiced. Quick! Get my some rocks! Better yet, give me some wood, a stake, and few matches, huh? How dare he give us his opinions ;-) <<

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Chapter 13             On the Calculation of Months and Festivals50
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In their manner of calculating months the Pharisees do not have a foot to stand on, because sometimes they start the month before the conjunction, at other times during the conjunction, and occasionally one or two days later, as anyone can see who regularly consults the lunar calendar. Now, since these methods of calculation cannot all be accurate, and one must be adopted, either in accordance with the conjunction or in accordance with the appearance of the moon, it perforce follows that if one calculation is accurate, the other is erroneous and, consequently, so are the dates of the holy days, which depend on it.

At this point they usually come up with diversions: some concerning testimony that used to be given about sightings of the moon; others about couriers and about fires which were lit to advise those who lived too far away to have known otherwise when the month began.51 Why waste time on all these contradictory tales, full of improprieties and impossibilities? The creators of these various categories of fables did not want the holy days to fall upon certain days that did not suit their book; and all because of this they modified the manner of counting the moons, sometimes anticipating, at other times prolonging them: this is the simple truth of the matter. Moreover, they themselves confess to this tampering and claim authority from the Law to do something so foreign and opposed to it: inasmuch as the Law marked the months and the days of the months and left nothing to arbitrariness.52

That the appearance of the moon need not be awaited in order to begin the month may be shown by the fact that on occasions when the moon fails to appear due to clouds, the new month will nonetheless begin according to the calculation.

>>If you want detail as to how the Priesthood watched for and determined the new moon, you can read my article "The Timelines of Jesus" for Newton's explanation, which is superb. I do not see any error in how the Priesthood carried out their assignment. The Dead Sea Scrolls reveal the Qumran sect felt a solar calculation was more appropriate, but that is not the instruction in the Bible. The Bible does prescribe watching for the very first sliver of visible light on the moon after the first ripe barley grains appear, as the start of the new month and year.

Uriel is correct that the new moon can be calculated as to its first visible light. Though the moon is hidden for more than a full 24 hour period, being the exact middle between the last sliver of light prior and the first sliver of light after. God chose the first visible sliver of light, obtainable by the naked without calculations, so that any man could determine the new moon. God has the right to choose as He leases. Uriel will say a little more in paragraph or so.<<

Salomon's Notes:

50 This is a remake of da Costa's third objection in 1616, wherein he claimed that "the introduction of additional days of the festivals — eight instead of seven — is an alteration of and a sin against the Torah."

51 Cf. Mishna, Rosh Hashanah 2, 2-4.

52 Da Costa does not cite the verse in the Law which specifies the length of the months; cf. perhaps Nm. 11: 19-20?

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Moreover, its non-appearance does not change the fact of its being new, and consequently we should not take into account its actual appearance, but rather the time at which it is new. After all, to calculate the days everyone relies on the solar calendar and even if the sun does not appear the calculation of the days does not await its appearance. It runs its course in the sky, just like the moon. Parts of days are not counted as days, so if, for example, the moon were new at noon today, it is clear that today is not the first day of the month, but tomorrow: that is the correct calculation.

>>Uriel says, given that he and the world of that day and age, understood astronomy far better than most had in previous times. But God chose the "actual appearance," and not the new (invisible) moon mid point. In the days of Israel, the plain unaided eye was all that was to be required. But one can calculate when that will be, without error in our day. Uriel mentions cloudy days and nights that make its appearance hidden. The Priesthood had watchers in all Israel report back of the day it first appeared so that somewhere, it would hopefully by visible. and if not, they are calculations now, but then, I do not know.

The thing is, this new moon sliver, began the new month of the new year. It did not begin the festival of Passover. That began later in the month so that if the Priesthood had to wait several days to determine the true day of the 1st sliver, they could leave the first uncertain days until the time is determine and then calculate how many days had passed since that 1st sliver. Say the day of determination was already into the 5th day of the month, then they still had time before the Passover festival was to begin. So their system worked flawlessly. Jesus did not seem to mind it.<<

In any case, whatever method is employed should be consistent, fixed and invariable. From the diversity of systems for calculating the months proceeds the addition made to the holy days, when two are celebrated instead of one and eight instead of seven, in spite of the prohibition in the Law against adding to or subtracting from its statutes. Thus, when the Law commands to offer a lamb every morning and afternoon, it means one lamb, not two. And if indeed it were a crime that deserved the death penalty to offer incense to the Lord with strange fire that He did not command [cf. Lev. 10: 1], why should it not be considered wicked to change the order and number of His sanctified days?

Whatever anyone may say, Selomo did not celebrate the feast of Tabernacles for fourteen days." The first seven, at the dedication of the altar, were voluntary; the last seven, of Tabernacles, as was commanded in the Law [2Chr. 7: 8-9]. And even if he had observed Tabernacles for fourteen days (which he did not), a case which might have arisen in peculiar circumstances cannot serve as a paradigm and certainly no law can be derived from it. The truth of the matter is that they, besides doubling the days of the festivals, also wished to modify the lunar months — heaping error upon error.

Salomon's Notes:    53 Da Costa is objecting to an erroneous statement made by da Silva in his last chapter. Cf. our note 1 to that chapter.  

>>Yes, I must be repetitious here. Uriel strongly believes in consistency and following God's instructions ever so carefully. I can find no fault in that whatsoever. I have nothing but admiration for him and his dedication to God's law.<<

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Chapter 14             Which Contains Some Examples They Adduce in Support of Tradition54
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We have already said that to justify their Tradition, its inventors adduce examples by which they unwittingly demonstrate its falsehood (oh, what utter blindness!). We will cite just a few examples of their sham exposition. The rest may be judged by those which now follow:

Where the Law says that he who enters another's vineyard may eat while there his fill of grapes, and he who enters a field may pluck ears of corn with his hand [cf. Dt. 23: 25, 26] Tradition explains that this applies only to the day-labourer who entered the vineyard or the field in order to work with its owner, because if it were otherwise — so they claim — the poor would be given an unduly free hand and since the Law elsewhere forbids the muzzling of the threshing ox [cf. Dt. 25: 4] by the end of the day there would be nothing left to harvest or to reap.55

This explanation is false, ridiculous and an enemy of the poor. It is false, because the Law is speaking of incursions which are made into the vineyards or fields when the owner is absent, and it prohibits those who may enter from taking grapes and sheaves home, under pain of punishment for theft, but it allows the eating of a few bunches56 of grapes. Thus the Law favours the owner of the vineyard, but does give some allowance to the passer-by and the poor.

>>Uriel is correct. Food is obviously important. But so was travel in the nearby regions and requiring one  to take along all the food they need could be a burden in hot weather or even the cold rainy season of winter there. God thought it reasonable that one be able to have a meal on the go in whatever field you were in at the time of need. We have all kinds of food joints in our day. We have a system of currency to pay, as well. We even have hotels, though very pricey, indeed, now. When trains first came along, eating and rooming were a lot more affordable. But not now in the age of mega-greed.

But God also had other reasons for demanding that owners of land and crops not be stingy or miserly. God wanted kindness and compassion. Hospitality to strangers and travelers was essential to God view of things. So an occasional traveler going through their crops and eating was not going to seriously infringe on their harvest or leave them starving. God gave plenty of land for each man and household so that there should be plenty for the owner as well as for needy travelers. Listen, God makes the rules you best obey them or else.<<

To make the verse refer to reapers is absurd, because that would be tantamount to saying that the Law prohibits the reapers from reaping with a sickle, but obliges them to pluck with their hands; and that a grape-gatherer may not take home in a basket a couple of bunches even though the owner be present and sees him taking them. Finally, this explanation pretends that the Law imposes rules on vintagers and reapers.

Salomon's Notes:

54 Not included in 1616. This chapter is in part a counter-reply to da Silva's chapter 30 "Containing Some Proofs of Tradition and the Oral Law."

55 Cf. Sifre to Dt. 23: 25-26; B.T. Baba Metsia 87b, 89b.

56 The expression "bunch of grapes" (cacho de uvas) which da Costa uses three tunes consecutively is not scriptural but it may be da Costa's way of quantifying the phrase in Dt. 23: 25: "as many grapes as you wish to satisfy your hunger."

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It is an enemy of poor people and more generally of all humanity, as one can see, for it does not allow one to eat a couple of bunches of grapes without being guilty of larceny and says (quite amusingly) that if permission were given to eat ears of corn in the field, in no time the whole crop would be devoured. So, this is the Tradition, and these are the kind of marvels it discloses.

>>Do you see what has happened here? Those who grew crops among the Pharisees exaggerated the impact of an occasional passerby, to suggest there would be nothing left to harvest or eat, as if they barely even had enough for themselves, much less a passerby or traveler. God gave plenty but the Pharisees, whose hearts were dark and miserly, hated to even allow a single bunch of grapes to be eaten. Totally absurd and blown way out of proportion. But this is how greed works. It bears no love. It can not bear to give at all. It demands every last single penny and minute of labor. this is the very spirit God wanted to prevent. this is evidence that the Pharisees had gone bad in their hearts and had no compassion.<<

Here is a second example: The Law says that our ancestors entered Egypt numbering seventy souls, but the individuals listed total only sixty-nine. Here the Tradition supplies the missing soul, in the person of the daughter of Dina {Dinah} begotten of her violator.57

This tradition is false and indecent. The seventy souls may be found in the text, provided that Yacaqob, who is the first one on the list, be included in the count, whereas the inventors would like to see him left out:

            And these are the names of the children of Yisra'el that came into Egypt: Yacaqob and his sons [...] [Gn: 46: 8].

The first one to be counted is Yacaqob, the head of all. With him we have Scripture's first total of thirty-three, whereas they say that they can find only thirty-two, because they have omitted Yacaqob. For their argument they claim support from the verse which says:

            all the souls of his sons and daughters were thirty and three [Gn. 46: 15] 

And since Le'a {Leah} had but one daughter, the plural form "daughters" had to indicate the existence of at least one granddaughter; which they came up with in the alleged person of his daughter's daughter. The proof is just as weak as the theory itself. It is not strange but quite usual to say of a man who has ten sons and only one daughter, that he has eleven sons and daughters. If, without taking much trouble, they wish to see for themselves, they will find an example of this usage in the same passage. Let them read above where it says Yacaqob came down to Egypt, and all his seed with him, his daughters, and the daughters of his sons [Gn. 46: 7].

Salomon's Notes:    57 Cf. Targum Jonatan to Gn. 4], 45; Pirqe de R. 'Elicezer. 38. a. da Silva's chapter 30.

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And yet among all the children of Yacaqob there was but one daughter [who entered Egypt with him, namely Dina {Dinah}, and one granddaughter)" who entered Egypt with him, namely Serah, daughter of 'Aser, as may be seen in the same chapter.

Third example: it is supposedly impossible to understand as it stands the verse which runs:

            [...] let no man go out of his place on the seventh day [Ex. 16: 29].

Some might understand "his place" to be his house, others might say that it means his city. But Tradition explains that "place" means the radius of two thousand ells beyond which one is not allowed to walk on sabbat. They are quite right to make the understanding of this verse so difficult, for after all there were Jews who had said that a person may not budge on the sabbath from the position in which he finds himself when it begins, and whether he was lying down or seated or standing, that is how he must remain the whole day!59  

>>The Dead Sea Scrolls Qumran sect also held to the two thousand ells limit. Their "bathrooms" were 1500 ells from their housing, so that it was far enough to give some distance but not to where it went beyond the boundaries.<<

However, this tradition is false and the verse has no need of any such fanciful explanations because it is crystal-clear. The Law does not prohibit a person from leaving his house on sabbat, nor does this verse furnish rules as to how many ells he may walk. It is saying that one should not violate the prohibition by going out on the seventh day to gather man[na], something which some of the people had just done, as can be seen from the preceding verse:

            And it came to pass on the seventh day that there went out some of the people to gather [...] [Ex. 16: 27].

So the meaning of the verse is clear and obvious and not by the furthest stretch of the imagination does it speak of the distance one may walk on the sabbath, nor does it relate to this subject, nor had the people undertaken a journey concerning which it was necessary to tell them not to walk any further.

As to their claim that one may go no more than a certain number of ells on the sabbath, namely a total of four leagues, if it is true that

Salomon's Notes:

58 We supply between brackets a number of words which must have dropped out of the Portuguese text due to haplography (chamada to chamada).

59 Another example taken from da Silva's chapter 30, which does not, however, contain a reference to the "statue-people" (= ? certain Karaites). Da Costa's objection is well-taken: cf. our note 9 to da Silva's chapter 30.

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performing a journey goes against the day's sanctity, prohibition of work and prescribed rest, then it is a great license to allow a person to walk even four leagues on sabbat, and I do not know how covering so many leagues is a form of recreation.60 If the purpose is to allow one to go and enjoy oneself at an estate in the country, four leagues seem a great distance.61 But this discussion is out of place here, since the Law does not forbid ordinary walking, but forbids going out into the open desert to gather man[na].

Fourth example: it would not be possible to know which words to write on the doorposts of the houses and the gates, had Tradition not taught that they begin with "Hear, Yisra'el" and end with "and on thy gates" [Dt. 6: 4-9].62

In this example the tradition is in like manner false and childish in many parts. The words commanded to be written are the following:

            And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy might [Dt. 6: 5].

The rest that is added:

            And these words shall be [...] [Dt. 6: 6-9]

is to recommend that these same words should be impressed upon our memory and to point out how this should be done, saying that they should be written on our gates. The directions:

            And thou shalt write them on the doorposts of thy house and on thy gates [Dt. 6: 9]

are not part of what is to be written on the doorposts. 'What is it that I am supposed to write? — The words that I instruct you this day, namely: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God".' Besides being false, the tradition is ridiculous in saying that this text is to be put on the portals of kitchens and of all other rooms, because neither the kitchen-door, nor the door of any room other than the door which gives onto the street is included in the commandment:

            And thou shalt write them on the doorposts of thy house […]

Salomon's Notes:

60 Another example of our author's subjectivity.     >>You mean it is recreation? Really? I agree with Uriel. Same for the next one, too:<<

61 Yet another subjective opinion.

62 Cf. da Silva's chapter 30, where he overlooks a second passage (Dt. 11: 13.21) contained in the traditional mezuzah. Da Costa simply reproduces da Silva's error.

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The words that follow: "and on thy gates" refer to the gates of the city, which are public, because the Hebrew word sacar does not denote any and every door. The door of the house has its own designation and is never called sacar. The Law speaks of portals which lead to the street and of city gates, and it is upon those that it commands the required formula to be inscribed in large, legible and distinct letters;63 And it does not command them to be rolled up, wrapped in paper and encased in a tube.

We have submitted samplings enough to give an idea of the arguments our opponents adduce to prove the indispensability of their traditions for the understanding of the Law. It should be quite apparent that our opponents not only fail to elucidate the Law but, what is far worse, they invent, in the process, fables, fantasies, puerilities and inanities, each of which, in turn, spawns greater confusion and dissonance.

We have supplied more than enough instances to prove and confirm the first Proposition that Tradition contradicts the written Law time after time. Were we now to address the counter-arguments of the tradi­tionalists, a big tome would result and a great many more errors would be exposed, to the dismay of any who would rather have them concealed than revealed; who do not desire to know, yea to see the truth; who would rather die in the desert like the old-time rebels, listening to the masses, though they be liars, than enter into the Promised Land, listening to the few who obey God and are truthful. So since it is futile to try to convince them, why tire ourselves out or indeed cause needless pain? Let us rather leave them on their path which they so contentedly follow.

As for us, let us prepare to take and parry the blows of a wicked man who, though unable to cause real hurt, attempts to do so. At this point, for the uninformed reader, the background of the conflict we are alluding to must first be explained.

Salomon's Notes:    63 The Talmud (B.T. Menahot 34a) Contemplates this possibility quite seriously.  

>>Uriel was expecting opposition from what he published. but he did not fear it and did not believe real hurt could be caused, but would be attempted, anyway. This I want to address, for Christianity also suffers greatly from this sin. Christians have done great harm by manipulating governments to "enforce" and if need be, to torture and kill dissenters to the dogma determined by the Emperor's selected clergymen. Jews were also persecuted and often killed as well. This, too, was in completely violation of the scriptured and Apostles, and Jesus, too. Jesus said that if they don't listen to you, then treat them as strangers and men of the nations, foreigners. That is to say, have little to do with them or shun them.

Jews, too, have often gone out of their way to make trouble for the very early Christians. This too, was unreasonable, at least towards converts were never were Jews. And really, since Christians had not violated any real scriptures, they were not really heretics, either. But Micheal Hoffman in his book "Judasim Discovered," shows how Rabbis have long been tormentors of their own people, as well as perceived enemies outside of Judaism, like Christians.

No matter what denomination is in existence, most do not appreciate the boundaries God has set for them. Intolerance is the rule, rather than the exception for denominations. But intolerance is the mark of the devil, not God. God allows the wicked to be wicked, up to some degree. God always reserves the right to intervene if justified. but seldom does that happen. But the devil punishes for Christians refusing to do bad. How's that for upside down and inside out?<<

End of Uriel's book (and Salomon's English translation of that book)<<<

A Summary
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1st, it is not just a Christian problem or a Jewish problem. Most people are uncomfortable with figures of speech. Our legalistic and corrupt "Justice" system loves literalism and hates dealing with the "spirit of the law," otherwise known as intent. Lawyers love technical excuses make make a mockery of law with twisted warped reasoning.

Many people also twist the Law of God and all the Bible, for that matter, which brings up our next problem. Motives! Those who twist law or the Bible, are usually up to no good and often are no good themselves. Anyone who mocks and ridicules law and tries to distort it and corrupt it is no friend of Western Thinking or any other good sound principles of logic, procedure, method or the like. The motivations are all wrong.

Any attempts to change the law of God are surely suspect among those who love and revere God. Any who change that law are promised in Revelation 22 to be thrown into the Lake of Fire (which is not hell, by the way). And as Jesus said, good trees bear good fruit and bad trees/roots do not produce fruit, either. He also said, "by their fruits you will know them." People who twist and distort in general, and in specific the Bible, bear bitter fruits. It is God they do battle with.

The things that subverters of the Mosaic Law attack the most are probably the things that they fear the most, since they are likely breaking them and wanting to avoid prosecution by the law and its supporters. Beware of these!

As for Uriel himself, this is a hero, a great defender of God, God's Law, and a credit to his race. I hope more Jews will get to know him and consider his perspective. I don't think his work has gotten much in the way of distribution in the English speaking and publishing world. So I published his "Englished" translation for which we owe some gratitude to H P Salomon, for his making this comprehensible to us in our language. I hope this gets more exposure as Uriel would have wanted and as it would seem to me, what God wanted as well.

I would also say this. Rabbis in Amsterdam had gained a tight control over Jews in that area and they were very controlling and dominating over these people. Michael Hoffman says they were this way throughout most of the world until the USA came along and allowed a more liberal freedom of religion and then when Communism and Higher Education promoting Evolution came along, many Jews outright reject control by the Rabbis and even rejected the Jewish Bible, perhaps as a reflexive rejection of Rabbis and their abuse of power, also so very common on Christianity.

So many Jews now embrace an open freedom of thought, apart from many religious Jews. I only ask that they consider God, apart from any abuse of religion. God does not abuse religion. People do that. I know of many former Jehovah's Witnesses who after rejecting that religion and the monsters that run it, they then also rejected God as well. I do not think God was ever the problem. So I ask any group like these 2, to judge the Bible apart from those who twist, distort and lie about the Bible and its doctrines. Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater!

As for Uriel, he speaks to his own, imploring them to return to Moses, not the Talmud. But Uriel's story is a tragic one, for his only crime was not interpreting the scriptures as Rabbis saw fit. But unlike many, Uriel provided a fine written work that should have been respected as being sound and reasonable, even if contrary to their beliefs. Uriel's trying to reconcile and submitting to unspecified punishment, was severely abuses physically and shown gross disrespect, though being a successful shipping merchant who would have otherwise merited substantial respect from his people. In the end, heart broken, Uriel took his own life with a pistol. He had had enough.

He had escaped being burned at the stake for heresy and then found himself in a situation with his own people that was nearly as bad. Consider that the result was the same, whether burned at the stake or dying of a pistol shot at his own hand. He ended up dead either way, rejected by the very people who should have shown some respect for him as a person and a well educated man who made good defense for his thoughts.

Intolerance, regrettably, is found in all organized controlled religions. The most common thing absent in these many intolerant religions, sects, and denominations, is the lack of respect and appreciation for, yes, even the necessity of, the individual conscience of each and every person in the world. It is that conscience, the ultimate principle of man in the Bible, that is hated and despised by all who want to run and control the world and everyone in it. These hate individuals with consciences.

Enlightened tolerance loves and honors the conscience, along with its intellectual ability reason and reflect. Ultimately, the attack on the human conscience is the work of the devil. Make no mistake about that! Beware of religious, political, and academic intolerance. These are the polar opposites of reason and logic. They require obedience without thought or question. Western Thought and Western Society's great principles, though not practiced necessarily, depend upon respect for the individual conscience and free exercise of thought, reason, analysis, and speech.

We humans are very contradictory creatures. We make pretense toward idealistic principles, but we usually embrace the opposite of these in actions. We are more inclined to want to fit in and belong to the greater world around us. That world was long ago gathered together as one large secret empire to control the world's masses. This is the great battle that continues at present. A battle between the Collective, the Borg, if you will. An ever expanding empire where all must obey the will of one. This doing battle with those who do not want to be part of the mindless collective but want to remain individuals with the rights of exercise of conscience, unimpeded intellect, and free speech, as any sound reasonable person would respect.

Let's remember the many like Uriel who were tormented, if not often killed, for the exercise of the basic human rights of conscience, thought, and speech. Lets all be more tolerant for the time is quickly coming when a false lying Christ/Messiah will come and recommend the punishment, execution, or imprisonment of any who dare exercise their conscience and intellect. Real conscience using, brain thinking Christians will be hated for that and will suffer above all others, except many secular political rebels.

I hope you will give some thought to all this. For we do not have much time left. We are about to enter an economic crash unlike any ever seen before and possibly a World War or limited escalated war, and possibly an contrived UFO invasion or UFO visitation, speaking all sort of lies and deceit. You'll see in not much more time. So carve this in stone and get back to me in 10 years, if you are still around.

For Jews, I hope you will give more attention to the many differences between the Mosaic Law and the Prophets, in comparison with the Talmud. The two are not the same and never can be. They are naturally at odds with each other. Please come back to your original God and honor the contract He made with YOU at Mt. Sinai. God, Jehovah/Yahweh, will surely bless you for it.

Karaites vs Talmud   (and vs The Prophets/Moses, too)
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I found this after writing on Uriel above. It was very much the same sort of thing. There is more than just 1 Jew objecting to the Talmud. And these next ones are modern day in our time, the Karaites. I make reference to their site with a statement they make which I use under the "fair use clause" of the USA Copyright Law so that I may address the things they discuss and that interest me as well and may impact many people and as an exercise of my rights to practice religion as I see fit and speak my mind on it.

A direct quotation of the site, beginning here>>>    What is Karaism?

Karaites preserve the original religion of the Hebrew Bible, rejecting later innovations such as the Rabbinic Oral Law. Every individual is required to take responsibility for interpreting the Tanach.

>>Well, what do you know, they sound just like me! Imagine that! But don't worry! We soon come to differences, too. You'll see. There is a lesson in it.<<

Karaite Judaism or Karaism is the original faith of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). The word "Karaism" derives from the Hebrew Karaim meaning "Followers of Scripture".[1] The Hebrew Scriptures contain the master plan of the Creator of the universe revealed to the Nation of Israel through Moses and the Prophets.[2] The Creator revealed His will to the Israelite nation in order to serve as a "Light unto the Nations".[3] From its very inception Israel's role has been to teach mankind of the divine will, which endows those who live by it with eternal life, as it is written: "it is a tree of life to those who keep it" (Proverbs 3:18).[4]

>>So far, so good, wouldn't you say? I would!<<

The two large "monotheistic" religions, Christianity[5] and Islam[6], recognize the truth of the Hebrew Scriptures. Yet they compromise the purity of the divine message by adding to God's complete and perfect Word. At the same time, the form of Judaism commonly practiced today is not authentic Judaism but "Talmudism". The Talmudists corrupt the true message of the Hebrew Scriptures by adding the teachings of the Rabbis found in the "Talmud", which they claim were revealed by God.[7] This despite the fact that there is not a single reference to the Talmud in the entire Hebrew Scriptures. The authentic Hebrew religion is that which is taught by the Creator Himself in the Hebrew Scriptures without addition or subtraction, as it is written: "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish anything from it, that you may keep the commandments of YHWH your God" (Deuteronomy 4:2).

>>This is where it starts getting tricky. Islam added to the Bible, but not with great powerful signs, portents, wonders, and miracles such as Moses or Jesus performed. The powerful works of God (the Spirit) are what authorize prophets and judges as being from God. But Christianity in Jesus and his Apostles, did have those divine manifestations of  the spirit, so they can add to the Old Testament. This is what Karaites miss, but they are right about the Talmud.

Further, they quote Deuteronomy 4:2, but this would invalidate the prophets as they came after this, by Karaite reasoning. But they accept the prophets so we have a contradiction in what they quote with what they accept as "Divine" authority.<<

Karaites regard the current era of human history as the period of the "Great Exile". The Hebrew Scriptures describe this era and foretell that in it the Nation of Israel will forsake the true way of the Creator for man-made religion.[8] The prophets teach us that this era will end with Israel returning to the Creator under the leadership of the anointed king of the House of David and the entire human race embracing the religion of the Hebrew Scriptures.[9]

>>Yes, the nation of Israel has rejected God. But the italic text that follows says Israel will return. This is at least partially not true, if in fact, barely true. A few of Israel will come back to God but Deuteronomy makes it clear that most of Israel will not return in the latter days and will have to be destroyed by God - Deut. 30:15 and 31:16 and 31:29 and 32:29. In my series "The Last Days" Part 15, Israel's Choice, I deal only with Deuteronomy chapters 28-32, dealing with the law covenant in great detail.

You will note the Karaites reference to 9 gives the following: Isaiah 2:1-4; 11:1-9; 66:12-24; Deuteronomy 4:29-30. These all ignore my references in Deuteronomy just above. Isaiah refers to the future "spiritual Israel, not fleshly Israel that Moses refers to. They avoid the covenant/contract of Deut. chapters 28-32.<<

In this current era of the Great Exile, prophecy has ceased while the Almighty "hides His face" for the sins of Israel.[10] With no living prophets, the only path to knowledge of the divine is through the Hebrew Scriptures, which contain the complete and perfect instruction of the divine will revealed to the prophets of Israel.[11] By living in accordance with the divine instruction, men can be redeemed from sin, as it is written: "When the evildoer turns away from all his sins that he has done and shall keep all My statutes and do justice and righteousness, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his iniquities that he has done shall no longer be remembered" (Ezekiel 18:21-22). God bestowed us with His perfect instruction out of his immense love for mankind, as it is written: "Do I indeed desire the death of the evildoer, says Lord YHWH, do I not desire for him to return from his ways so that he may live?" (Ezekiel 18:23).

>>The Bible was not complete in ending with Malachi. Moses foretold of another coming like him, Moses, and with a new covenant and Israel must listen to this one or die. So additions were assured by another mediator of God's law. They missed that 29-33 AD appearance and miracles. So they remain in the dark. Nor to they understand sin and that we can not perfectly obey or keep the law, because of that inherited sin. There is the relative "live" and the absolute "live" and they are very different.<<

To understand God's perfect instruction we must diligently study the Hebrew Scriptures. In days of old, the words of prophecy were understood clearly and with ease.[12] If something was uncertain it could be clarified by "seeking God" through the prophets.[13] But today in the era of Exile, with the cessation of prophecy and separated from the culture and language of the prophets by thousands of years, we must work hard to understand the "plain meaning" of the words understood naturally by the ancient Israelites.[14] The "plain meaning" of Scripture[15] is that obvious meaning that would have been understood by the ancient Israelites when they gathered to hear the Torah (Books of Moses) read to them in the public reading held every seventh year.[16] Being fluent in Biblical Hebrew, the ancient Israelites simply had to listen to the words of Scripture in order to understand them. Today this same understanding must be derived from Scripture using sound linguistic principles and contextual exegesis.

>>Prophecies were never clearly understood or at least obeyed. Daniel did not understand his prophecies give to him and the angel told him it was not his to understand but that they were sealed up till the time of the end. So Karaites have never read Daniel, either, I gather. Prophecies are very cryptic by design of God. They are not easy and require pure devotion to God, and with diligent study of those prophecies. Not convinced? Note that they refer to a "plain meaning." Scriptures of prophecy do not often have plain meaning. They are written in code, symbols, metaphors, figures, allegories, and illustrations. Karaites do not seem adequately familiar at all with what they speak of.<<

Karaites maintain that every human being has an obligation to study the Hebrew Scriptures and determine for themselves the correct meaning of the Almighty's commandments based on their own reasoning and understanding.[17] On the Day of Judgment it is the individual who will be called into reckoning for his own actions.[18] The ancient adage of the Karaite sages declares: "Search well in the Scriptures and do not rely on anyone's opinion". In this regard the Karaite sages taught: "He who relies upon any of the teachers of the Exile without personal investigation, it is as if he has engaged in idolatry."

>>This whole paragraph above it right on target. I agree with it to the letter. We are to be judged as individuals so we must act as individuals, and not as blind followers or zombies. The immediate paragraph below is also well said.<<

Karaites place no value in the interpretations of the majority or the customs of the forefathers. On the contrary, Scripture teaches us: "Do not go after the majority to do evil" (Exodus 23:2). The prophets also warn us against following in the errant footsteps of the ancestors, as it is written: "be not like your fathers... who acted treacherously against YHWH" (2Chronicles 20:7), and again: "they shall not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation" (Psalms 78:8). The same warning applies to the laws invented out of men's hearts, which the prophets call the "commandment of men learned by rote" (Isaiah 29:13).[19]

Karaism is not a "monolithic" faith in which every believer agrees on every detail of understanding of Scripture. Because the burden of interpretation rests on the individual and not a central authority it is inevitable that there will be differences of interpretation and understanding. However this diversity is a strength rather than a weakness and prevents Karaites from getting bogged down with a given interpretation despite the obviousness of its error. This diversity requires the individual Karaite to take personal responsibility for interpreting Scripture, basing his understanding on the merits and logic of a given interpretation. When this method is followed the correct interpretation will generally win out. What unites Karaites together is our common fellowship in the Hebrew Scriptures and desire to live by the pure unaltered instruction of the Creator of the universe.

>>Again, what is said above is beautiful, exact, right on! I especially like "diversity is a strength rather than a weakness." God required individuality, which almost guarantees some diversity. Only the spirit of God can bring unity and that will not be until Christ returns. Tell then, we got diversity some some measure, but it should not be too diversified. That is more likely to happen of some are trying to cause divisions and maybe even take over and overthrow the former teachers and believers. And that has happened in many movements over the centuries.

Another thing to beware of. The Karaites foretold another advent of as quoted below from earlier:<<

The prophets teach us that this era will end with Israel returning to the Creator under the leadership of the anointed king of the House of David and the entire human race embracing the religion of the Hebrew Scriptures.[9]

>>I propose to you that these Karaites may well be religious Zionists who will help being in the antichrist false messiah. A king of the hose of David? Jesus was that king. But they say this era we are in now will being it. That only leaves the antichrist. While we would like to see the entire human race embrace the religion of the Hebrew Scriptures as well as Daniel's Aramaic Scriptures, which would also mean embracing the New Testament also foretold by Moses. But Moses said in the entire span of chapters 28-32 of Deuteronomy that Israel would leave God and in the latter days, God would judge them with destruction for not keeping His covenant/contract installed by Moses.

So Karaites are way on when it comes to prophecy and might be missing the chapters of Deuteronomy that I mention. But most of the human race will not embrace the religion of the Hebrew Scriptures, but will embrace the devil's antichrist and follow a fake evil covenant that only pretends to come from Moses. But it is really from the devil. I hope they will reconsider what I have referenced and read my article I linked earlier to.
"The Last Days" Part 15, Israel's Choice <<

Published by: World Karaite Movement POB, 7816, Jerusalem 91078, ISRAEL

>>The Karaites recognize some marvelous things like individuality and that the Talmud is a rejection of Moses' Law from God. But they lack understanding in key areas and seem to be poised to embrace a coming king/messiah, which would be a very dangerous thing. And that they add that the entire human race will embrace the Old Testament Hebrew scriptures concerns me since I believe the antichrist will insist that all accept the religion of the Mosaic law, complete with a restored temple, priesthood, and sacrifices, as if Jesus never died for our sins at all.

And I believe the conversion will be forced. Any not joining, as will be the case with rare but very true real authentic Christianity, will be executed or imprisoned, likely said to be for life, but God says only for 3.5 years. God does not force conversion. You accept it or reject it and the consequences that go with either choice. Rejection of God usually ends in death from what I read ;-) But acceptance of God results in resurrection and life, which the antichrist certainly can not give.

Karaites preach some very good things in order to get you to accept some very bad things. See it for what it is. They got some stuff right and some very wrong. I believe the Karaites are right about the Talmud being wrong. They are right about thinking for yourself and worshipping for yourself. They are very wrong about a coming king/messiah in the flesh. They are wrong about rejecting Christianity or the New Testament.

Since this article deals with the Talmud, I though the Karaite opinions to be quite relevant and important to consider.<<

References to Karaite article above follow below:

[1] In old Hebrew, Scripture is called Kara, hence the name Karaites literally means Scripturalists. See E. Ben Yehudah, A Complete Dictionary of Ancient and Modern Hebrew, Jerusalem 1951, vol. 12 pp.6138-6139 nt. 3.

[2] The Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) are also known by the Hebrew name Tanach or Tanakh. Tanach is an acronym for the three sections of the Hebrew Scriptures: 1) Law [Torah], 2) Prophets [Neviim], and 3) Holy Writings [Ketuvim]. The Law consists of the five books revealed to Moses while the Prophets and Holy Writings contain the remaining books revealed to the Prophets, Elders, and Priests of ancient Israel (Jeremiah 18:18; Ezekiel 7:26).

[3] Isaiah 42:6; 49:6; Genesis 12:3; 28:14.

[4] See also: "... the mountains of Zion, because there YHWH commanded the blessing of eternal life" (Psalms 133:3). "And many of those that sleep in the dust of the earth shall arise, some to eternal life..." (Daniel 12:2). "And when you see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall blossom like grass" (Isaiah 66:14).

[5] Christianity admits to the truth of the Hebrew Scriptures in the followings New Testament passages: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." (Matthew 5:17-18). "But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets" (Act 24:14).

[6] Islam admits to the truth of the Hebrew Scriptures in the followings Koranic passages: "And most certainly We gave Moses the Book and We sent apostles after him one after another" (Koran 2:87). "Surely We revealed the Torah in which was guidance and light; with it the prophets who submitted themselves to God, judging for those who were Jews." (Koran 5:44). "Certainly We made a covenant with the children of Israel and We sent to them apostles" (Koran 5:70). "And certainly We gave the Book to Moses, so be not in doubt concerning the receiving of it, and We made it a guide for the children of Israel." (Koran 32:23).

[7] The Talmudists' claim of divine revelation for their teachings appears in the following Talmudic passages: "Rabbi Abba said in the name of Samuel: For three year the House of Shammai and the House of Hillel were divided. Each one said the law is according to us. Then a voice came out from heaven and said: 'Both of these are the words of the living God.'" (Babylonian Talmud, Erubin 13b). "Rabbi Levy bar Chama said in the name of Rabbi Simeon ben Lakish: What is meant by the verse: 'And I will give you the tablets of stone, the law, and the commandment which I have written to teach them.' (Exodus 24:12). Tablets refers to the ten commandments; law refers to the Torah; and the commandment refers to the Mishnah; which I have written refers to the Prophets and the Writings; to teach them refers to the Gemara [=Talmud]. This teaches us that all of them were given to Moses at Sinai." (Babylonian Talmud, Berachot 5a). "When the Almighty revealed Himself at Sinai in order to give the Torah to Israel, he recited to Moses in due order the Scriptures, the Mishnah, the Talmud and the Aggadah [=Midrash]... Even that which a student asks his Rabbi, did the Almighty tell over to Moses at that time. After he learned it from the mouth of the Almighty he [Moses] said: 'Master of the universe! Let me write it for them.' He [the Almighty] replied: 'I do not wish to give it to them [entirely] in writing... but the Scriptures do I give to them in writing while the Mishnah, the Talmud, and the Aggadah I give to them orally.'" (Midrash Exodus Rabbah, Parashah 47).

[8] Deuteronomy 4:27-28; Isaiah 29:13; 2Chronicles 15:3-7.

[9] Isaiah 2:1-4; 11:1-9; 66:12-24; Deuteronomy 4:29-30.

[10] Ezekiel 39:22-29; Isaiah 29:9-14.

[11] Psalms 19:8; Malachi 3:22.

[12] Deuteronomy 30:10-13; 2Kings 22:8.11

[13] Leviticus 24:12; Numbers 27:5; 2Kings 22:13-14; Ezra 2:63.

[14] This is what is meant by: "light for yourselves a lamp; it is time to seek YHWH, until he shall come and teach righteousness" (Hosea 10:12).

[15] Plain Meaning, Hebrew: Peshat: (literally: plain, simple).

[16] Deuteronomy 31:10-13. Karaites do not reject interpretation nor do we take the Bible literally since every written work requires interpretation. Instead, we interpret the Bible according to its "plain meaning".

[17] Exodus 23:2; Hosea 10:12; 2Chronicles 15:3-4.

[18] Ezekiel 33:20; Isa 66:12-24; Joel 4:1-17; Malachi 3:19-21; Ecclesiastes 3:17; 11:9; 12:13-14.

[19] In Hebrew: Mitzvat Anashim Melumadah (Isa 29:13), literally: "learned commandment of men". Others translate: "taught by the precept of men" (KJV); "taught by the commandment of men" (NKJV); "commandment of men learned by rote" (JPS, RSV); "tradition learned by rote" (NASB); "rules taught by men" (NIV). Part of the punishment of Exile is being confronted with the test of idolatry, as it is written: "And there [in Exile] you shall worship gods, the work of men's hands" (Deuteronomy 4:28). Idolatry consists of making holy that which God has not made holy. This can mean worshipping images of wood or stone, but it can also mean sanctifying the teaching of men or the traditions of the fathers.

End of Karaite content <<<<

So I hope you can see that it is not just Uriel da Costa that rejects the Talmud, or that the Sadducees reject some of it. Karaites also reject it. Perhaps some individual Jews also do not subscribe to it, either. I go futher and suggest you review Moses in Deuteronomy chapters 28-332 in particular as I link to them below in "Israel's Choice."

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"The Last Days" Part 15, Israel's Choice

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