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עמדו על דרכים וראו ושאלו לנתבות עולם: ירמיה ו' טז

“ THE OLD PATHS."-JER. vi. 16.




SALVATION IS OF THE JEWS. Amongst | Jewish nation, and also the possibility, in all the religious systems existing in the world, such a case, of God's turning to the Gentiles. there are but two deserving of attentive con- 66 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, sideration, and they are both of Jewish origin, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is and were once exclusively confined to the the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall Jewish nation. They are now known by the find rest for your souls. But they said, We names of Judaism and Christianity ; but it will not walk therein. Also, I set watchmen must never be forgotten that the latter is as over you, saying, hearken to the sound of the entirely Jewish as the former. The Author trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. of Christianity was a Jew. The first preachers Therefore, heur ye nations, O'ldo you, and of Christianity were Jews. The first Chris- know, O congregation, what is among them. tians were all Jews; so that, in discussing the Hear, 0 earth ; behold, I will bring evil upon truth of these respective systems, we are not this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, opposing a Gentile religion to a Jewish reli- because they have not hearkened unto my gion, but comparing one Jewish creed with words, nor to my law, but rejected it.—Jer. another Jewish creed. Neither, in defending vi. 16-19. Who will dare to deny, after Christianity, do we wish to diminish aught such a passage, the possibility of a Jew's from the privileges of the Jewish people, on being in error ? the contrary, we candidly acknowledge that But some may ask, what is Judaism ? we are disciples of the Jews, converts to what is Christianity ?

ANSWER.-Juda. Jewish doctrines, partakers of the Jewish ism is that religious system contained and hope, and advocates of that truth which the acknowledged in the prayers of the Jewish Jews have taught us. We are fully persuaded synagogue, whether German or Portuguese, that the Jews whom we follow were in the right and professed by all who use them as the -that they have pointed out to us " the old ritual of their worship. Christianity is the paths,' “ the good way,” and “ we have religious system taught in the New Testament; found rest to our souls." And we, therefore, or, in other words, Judaism is the Old Testaconscientiously believe, that those Jews who ment explained according to the traditional

, . Christianity is the Old their forefathers, who, when God commanded Testament explained according to the New. them to walk in the good old way, replied, According to this explanation, the Jewish “ We will not walk therein.” Some modern Prayer-hook teaches the divine authority of Jews think that it is impossible for a Jew to the oral law. Of this there can be no doubt, be in error, and that a Jew, because he is a for, in the first place, the whole ritual of the Jew, must of necessity be in the right. Such synagogue service, and the existence and persons seem to have forgotten how the ma- arrangement of the synagogue itself, is acjority of the people erred in making the golden cording to the prescription of the oral law, as calf-how the generation that came out of may be seen by comparing the Jewish prayers Egypt died in the wilderness because of their with the Hilchoth T'phillah. If it be asked unbelief-how the nation at large actually why the Jew uses these prayers, and no other opposed and persecuted the truth of God in -why he wears phylacteries (7.son) and the the days of Elijah—how their love of error veil (nuomo) —why he conforins to certain ceresent them into the Babylonish captivity and monies at the New year, and the Day of how there has been some grievous error of Atonement, and the other feasts—why he some kind or other, which delivered them into repeats a certain benediction at the reading the hands of the Romans, and has kept them of the law-why he reads out of a parchin a state of dispersion for so many hundred ment roll, rather than out of a printed years. But the passage from which our book-why a roll of the law written in motto is taken sets forth most strikingly the one way is lawful, and in another way un. possibility of fatal mistake on the part of the lawful, the only answer is, The oral law ואלו הן שאין להן חלק לעולם הבא אלא נכרתים | ,confession of the authority of the oral law ואובדין ונידונין על גודל השעם וחטאתם לעולם | and every Jew who joins in the synagogue ולעולמי עולמי המינים והאפיקורוסין והכופרים בתורה | But, secondly, the


איזהו מקומן של זבחים

שלושה הן הכופרים בתורה האומר שאין התורה מעם ה' אפילו פסוק אחד אפילו תיבה אחת אם אמר משה | the ethics of the 6 ,פרקי אבות ,law, called והוא תורה שבעל פה והמחכיש מגידיה כגון צדוק וביתוס והאומר שהבורא החליף מצוה זו במצוה most comprehensive declaration of the autho אחרת וכבר בטלה תורה זו אף על פי שהיא היתה מעם ה'' כגון הנוצרים וההגרים כלאחד משלושה אלה | He, the Omnipotent, whose reverence is *

כופר בתורה :

commands us thus to do. The whole syna- | who deny its authority, and explicitly informs gogue worship, therefore, from the begin. us that Christians are comprehended in this ning to the end of the year, is a practical anathema,

, worship does, in so far, conform to the prescriptions of Rabbinism. , , ' Jewish Prayer-book explicitly acknowledges the authority of the oral law. In the daily " These are they who have no part in the prayers, fol. 11, is found a long passage from world to come, but who are cut off, and perish, the oral law, beginning,

und are condemned on account of the great.

ness of their wickedness and sin, for ever, ?

even for ever and ever, the heretics and the " which are the places where the offerings Epicureans, and the deniers of the law,&c. were slaughtered,” &c. On fol. 12, we find | Here is the general statement. But to prevent the thirteen Rabbinical rules for expounding all mistake, a particular definition of each of the law, beginning 794 benua 127,“ Rabbithese classes is added, from which we extract Ishmael says,” &c. At the end of the daily the following passage :prayers we find a whole treatise of the oral

) , , , “ fathers,” the beginning of which treatise TUTI 70197771.771na 2013.7777777 1039 'da 1998 asserts the transmission of the oral law. In the morning service for Pentecost, there is a

rity and constituent parts of the oral law.

b “ , , " purity, with his mighty word he instructed

: his chosen, and clearly explained the law, “ There are three classes of the deniers of with the word, speech, commandment, and the law. He who says that the law is not admonition, in the Talmud, the Agaduh, the from God, yea, even one verse or one word : Mishna, and the Testament, with the statutes, or if he says that Moses gave it of his own the commandment, and the complete cove- authority. Such an one is a denier of the nant,” &c., p. 89. In this prayer, as used, law. Thus, also, he who denies its interpretranslated, and published by the Jews them- tations ; that is, the oral law, and rejects its selves, the divine authority of the oral law is Agadoth as Sadok and Baithos ; and he who explicitly asserted, and the Talmud, Agadah, says that the Creator has changed one comand Mishna, are pointed out as the sources mandment for another, and that the law has where it is to be found. For these two reasons, long since lost its authority, although it was then, we conclude that the Judaism of the given by God, as the Christians and Maho. Jewish Prayer-book is identical with the Ju- metans, each of these three is a denier of the daism of the oral law, and that every Jew who low.”—Hilchoth T'shuvah, c. iii. 8. publicly joins in those prayers does, with his In the first extract we see that those perlips at least, confess its divine authority. sons called “ deniers of the law," are, ac

Having explained what we mean by Juda- cording to the doctrine of modern Judaism, ism, we now go on to another preliminary shut out from a hope of salvation. In the topic. Some one may ask, what is the use of second extract we see that Christians are by discussing these two systems ? May they not name included in that class : from the two both be safe ways of salvation for those that together it inevitably follows that modern profess them? To this we must, according Judaism teaches that Christians cannot be to the plain declarations of these systems saved. We do not find any fault with themselves, reply in the negative. The New modern Judaism for pronouncing this sen. Testament denounces the oral law as sub- tence; we do not tax the Jews either with versive of the law of God. “ Then the Pha- uncharitableness or intolerance because of this risees and scrites asked him, Why walk not opinion. On the contrary we hônour those, thy disciples according to the tradition of the who conscientiously holding this opinion, have elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands ? the lionesty and the courage to declare it. If He answered and said unto them, Well hath they consider us as deniers of the law, they Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is must, of course, believe that our state is far written, This people honoureth me with their from safe; and if this be their conviction, the lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit best proof which they can give of true charity, in vain do they worship me, teaching for is to warn us of our danger. But, at the commandments the doctrines of men.” (Mark same time, when a religious system condemns vii. 5—7.) The oral law is still more ex. us by name, and pronounces sentence conclusive. It excludes from everlasting life all cerning our eternal state in so decided a tone, and that simply because we dissent from some of its tenets, we not only think that we have a right to defend ourselves and our religion,


רבי אלעזר עם הארץ מותר לנוחרו ביום הכיפורים שחל להיות בשבת אמרו לו תלמידיו רבי אמור לשוחטו אמר להן זה טעון ברכה וזה אינו טעון | but consider it our bounden duty to examine

ברכה :

the grounds on which a system of such pre

: tension rests, and honestly, though quietly,

Rabbi Eleazar


" It is lawful to split to avow our reasons for rejecting it. We open the nostrils of an amhaaretz (an un. know, indeed, that there are some Rabbinical learned man) on the Day of Atonement which Jews, who think this sentence harsh, and con.

falls on the Sabbath. His disciples said to sider themselves justified in denying it, be- him, Rabbi, say rather that it is lawful to cause there is another sentence in this same slaughter him. He replied, That would reoral law, which says,

" that the pious amongst quire a benediction, but here no benediction is the nations of the world have a part in the needful.” It is hardly needful to remind the world to come. But can they prove, by any reader that the law of Moses says, 1787 NS, citation from the oral law, that Christians are

- Thou shalt not kill.” But there is in this included “ amongst the pious of the nations passage a sneering contempt for the unof the world ?” If they can, then they will learned, which is utterly at variance with the prove that in one place the oral law denies, character of Him“ whose mercies are over and in another place affirms the salvability of all his works,” the unlearned and the poor, as Christians; that is, they will prove that the well as the mighty and the learned. oral law contains palpable contradictions, and

Indeed the passage is so monstrous, that therefore cannot be from God. If they can

one is almost inclined to think that it must not produce any such citation, then the gene- have crept into the Talmud by mistake; or, ral declaration that “ the pious of the nations at the least, to expect that it would be folof the world” may be saved, is nothing to the lowed by reprehension the most explicit and purpose; for the same law which makes this

But no, a little lower down another general declaration, does also explicitly lay of these “ wise men says, down the particular exception in the case of Christians, and that after it has made the “ It is lawful to rend an amhaaretz like a general declaration. In fact, the exception fish ;' and, a little above, an Israelite is forfollows close on the heels of the general rule. bidden to marry the daughter of such a perThe general rule is,

son, for that she is no better than a beast.


עם הארץ מותר לקורעו כרג

But the whole of the preceding passage is so | כל ישראל יש להם חלק לעולם הבא • • • • וכן חסידי

-it is worth inserting | אומו' העולם יש להם חלק לעולם הבא : תנו רבנן וכו)

ואלו הן שאין להם חלק וכו'


characteristic of the spirit of Rabbinism, that - All Israel has a share in the world to come ..

and also the pious of the nations of the world have a share in the world to

6 Our Rabbies have taught. Let a man come.” The words which immediately follow sell all that he has, and marry the daughter of this declaration contain the exception,

a learned man. If he cannot find the daughter of a learned man,

let him take the daughter of

the great men of the time. If he cannot find “ But these are they which have no part in the daughter of a great man of the time, let the world to come,” &c. This exception is, him marry the daughter of the head of a contherefore, plainly made in order to guard gregation. If he cannot find the daughter of against any false inference from the general the head of a congregation, let him marry the statement, and, therefore, according to the daughter of an almoner. If he cannot find oral law, Christians cannot be saved. We the daughter of an almoner, let him marry the proceed, therefore, to inquire into the merits daughter of a schoolmaster. But let him not of this systein, which makes so decided a marry the daughter of the unlearned, for they statement respecting our eternal state. We are an abomination, and their wives are have a standard of comparison to which no vermin; and of their daughters it is said, Jew will object, even that Holy Book, which cursed is he that lieth with any beast." » contains the writings of Moses and the pro- Here, again, one is inclined to suppose that phets. We reject the oral law, not because there is a mistake, or that these words were it seems in itself bad or good to our judgment, spoken in jest, though such a jest would be but because it is repugnant to the plain words intolerably profane; but all ground for such of the Old Testament. There is not space to supposition is removed on finding this passage enter at large into the proof at present, but transcribed into the digest of Jewish law, we subjoin one passage, which is in itself called the Shulchan Aruch, part 2; in the amply sufficient to disprove the divine autho. Hilchoth P’riah ur’viah, by which transcriprity of any religious system where it occurs. tion it is stamped with all the authority of a In the Talmud, in the Treatise Pesachim, law. Here, then, the reader is led to think, fol. 49, col. 2, we read as follows:

that an amhaaretz must mean something more

Are ? עמי הארץ or amongst the unlearned

קוים ת' ה' ממזר לכהן הגדול עם הארץ

and worse than an unlearned man-that it belong ? There must be at the least hundreds, ought, perhaps, to be taken in its literal sig- if not thousands of poor Jews in this great city niðcation, “ people of the land,” and that it who cannot possibly devote themselves to may refer to the idolatrous and wicked Ca- study. Amongst whom, then, are they to be naanites. But the common usage of the classed ? Amongst the learned D'BON iton ? Talmud forbids a supposition. There is a well-known sentence which shows that even a they, their wives, and daughters, as the Tal. High Priest might be an amhaaretz,

mud says, to be called an abomination, ver. ''

min, and compared to the beasts? Or can a « À learned man, though illegitimate, goes from that Holy One who is no respecter of

religion inculcating such sentiments proceed before a High Priest, who is an amhaaretz." Here the amhaaretz is plainly opposed to him persons ? See here, ye children of Abraham, that is learned. And so, on the page of the whom the providence of God has placed Talmud from which we have quoted above, amongst the children of poverty, and cut off we find the following words :

from the advantages of a learned education. You are not disciples of the wise, nor the great men of the time, nor heads of synagogues, nor almoners, nor even schoolmasters.

You are quite shut out from these classes whom :

your Talmudical doctors favour so highly. “ An amhaaretz is forbidden to eat the sh See, then, in the above passages, what the of a beast, for it is said, “This is the luw of Talmud says of yourselves, your wives, and the beast and the fowl.' (Levit. xi. 46.) danghters ? Can you believe that is the law Every one that laboureth in the law, it is of the God of Israel ? Can you think for lawful for him to eat the flesh of the beast and one moment, that these doctors knew “ the the fowl. But for him who does not labour old paths,” “ the good way?” If you do in the aw, it is forbidden to eat the flesh of we must assure you that we cannot.

We the beast and the fowl.” According to this rather find it in that book, which says, passage an amhaaretz is one who does not “ Blessed is the man that considereth the labour in the study of the law; and it being poor and needy.” (Psalm xli. 1.) And in found on the very same page with the above that other book, which speaks in the same most revolting declarations, it plainly shows spirit, and says that “God hath chosen the the proud and haughty spirit of the authors foolish things of this world to confound the of the Talmud, and their utter contempt for wise ; and the weak things of this world to the poor, whose circumstances preclude them confound the things which are mighty, and from the advantages of study. But, in read. base things of the world, and things which are ing such passages, the question naturally not, to bring to nought things that are ; that suggests itself, to which of the two classes no flesh should glory in his presence.” (1 Cor. does the poor Jewish population of London i. 27, 28.

עם הארין אסו' לאכול בשר בהמה שאמר זאת תורת הבהמה והעוף כל העוסק בתורה מותר לאכול בשר בהמה ועוף וכול שאינו עוסק בתורה אסור לאכול בשר בהמ' ועוף :

ירמיה ו' טזי

כה אמר יהוה עמדו על דרכים וראו ושאלו לנתבות עולם אי זה דרך

הטוב ולכו בה ומצאו מרגוע לנפשכם ויאמרו לא נלך :

London :-Sold at the London Society's Office, 16, Exeter-hall, Strand; by James Duncan, Paternoster

row; and B. Wertheim, 57, Aldersgate-street.

עמדו על דרכים וראו ושאלו לנתבות עולם - ירמיה ו' טזי

“ THE OLD PATHS."-JER. vi. 16.




כשם שאדם מצווה בכבוד אביו וביראתו, כך הוא ,him, and conclude that, as they rejected him

It appears from the undisguised acknow- | love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the ledgments of the New Testament, that the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in doctors and rabbies of the Jews, the Pharisees the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, and Scribes, were the implacable enemies of Rabbi.” (Matt. xxiii. 5–7.) Now, is this Jesus of Nazareth, and that they were the charge true ? Does the oral law justify this main instruments in effecting his death. The assertion, or does it prove, on the contrary, modern Jews consider this fact as a sufficient that the enemies of Jesus were humble, pious apology for their rejection of his claims to the men, whose piety serves as a warrant for the Messiahship. They take it for granted that uprightness of their conduct in their treatment the great and learned men of that day were of the Lord Jesus ? Let the reader judge also good men, and that they had' valid from the following laws which these men reasons for their conduct. They think if framed with respect to themselves. In the Jesus of Nazareth had been the true Mes. first place they claim for themselves more siah, that the Sanhedrin, the great Jewish honour and reverence than is due to a man's council of the time, would have acknowledged own parents —

, , , he cannot be the true Messiah. The New Testament, on the contrary, accounts for their unbelief by plainly telling us, that they were “ As a man is commanded to honour and bad men; and that they were enemies to the fear his father, so he is bound to honour and Lord Jesus, because he told them the truth, fear his Rabbi more than his father ; for his and exposed their hypocrisy. Now, which of father has been the means of bringing him these two representations accords with the into the life of this world, but his Rabbi, who truth? Were the Scribes and Pharisees, teaches him wisdom, brings him to the life of those great advocates of the oral law, nin the world to come.” (Hilchoth Talmud 172 Syaw, good men or bad men ? The readers Torah, c. 5.) This general rule is bad of our first number will be in some degree enough, but the particulars are still worse. qualified to answer this question. Could “ If a man should see something that his those be good men who profanely talked of father has lost, and something that his Rabbi the lawfulness of killing an unlearned man, has lost, he is first to return what his Rabbi and who contemptuously compared the wives has lost, and then to return that which beand daughters of the unlearned to " vermin longs to his father. If his father and his and beasts ?" If they could talk with levity Rabbi be oppressed with a load, he is first to of “rending like a fish ” an unlearned man, help down that of his Rabbi, and then that of one of their own brethren who had never done his father. If his father and his Rabbi be in them any harm, what were they likely to do captivity, he is first to ransom his Rabbi and with, one who exposed their wickedness, and afterwards his father; unless his father be the boldly told them that they by their traditions disciple of a wise man (i.e. learned), in which made void the law of God?' The very fact, case he may ransom his father first.” How that Jesus of Nazareth was put to death by fearful is this doctrine. A man is to see his such is presumptive evidence, that he was father, the author of his existence, the guara good man, and that his claims were just. dian of his in fancy, who has laboured for his But, however that be, it is worth while to in support, and watched over him in the hour of quire into the charges which the New Testa. sickness, he to see this friend, to whom, ment brings against these learned men, and to under God, he owes everything, pining away see whether they are substantiated by the in the bitterness of captivity, and yet, when memorials of their character and spirit, which he has got the means of restoring him to they themselves have left us in their laws. liberty and his family, he is to leave him still One of the charges preferred against them is, in all his misery, and ransɔm the Rabbi ; that they were ambitious men, covetous of where is this written in the Old Testament ? worldly honour, and loving the pre-eminence. “ Honour thy father and thy mother,” is “But all their works they do to be seen of there the first commandment that follows after men ; they make broad their phylacteries, and our duty to God, and the first movement of enlarge the borders of their garments. And natural affection. But this Rabbinical doc

חייב בכבוד רבו וביראתו יתר מאביו וכו'


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