27 thoughts on “Vindication!”

  1. I hadn’t realized that we had a competition running for the silliest story.

    OK, man never went to the moon, dinosaurs never existed and Pell isn’t a kiddy-fiddler. Next, no doubt, Christina will be telling us about being beamed up to a UFO by aliens who spoke nothing but Welsh, and Sheona will assure us that Auschwitz is a mere figment of Boris’ imagination.

    Never mind proof, just dream up something for us all to giggle at – ha bloody ha!!! 😎

  2. I strongly object to Bearsy’s comment regarding me and Auschwitz. That’s never something to laugh at.

  3. I’ve just read both Bearsy’s comment and Sipu’s rejoinder – both made me laugh – out loud!

    Not having heard the evidence from Pell’s trial, as no one outside the court-room has, I really can’t judge whether he was guilty of the crime he was accused of – and neither can anyone else who was not there on the day that evidence was presented in court.

    It does, however, seem to me as an outsider, that the world is divided between those who accept the verdict of the court that he was guilty of historic child-abuse (mainly non-Catholics who love to criticise the Catholic Church) and others (generally Catholics who support their Church right or wrong) who refuse to accept the verdict of guilty.

    I don’t need ‘conspiracy’ theories from the Spectator to ‘vindicate Pell. He is, in my opinion, a thoroughly disreputable character who should never be in a position of authority or respect ever again.

    What is not in doubt whatsoever is that Pell used his high office in the Catholic Church to conceal the actions of paedophile Catholic priests – indeed he admitted that he had when he said that he had put the Catholic Church’s reputation first and foremost above any other consideration.

    It might have been better if he had been charged with perverting the course of justice or some other similar crime – but that might not have been possible while Australian law accepted the privacy of the confessional.

    If nothing else Pell’s case has finally removed one barrier to justice – and quite right too. In what purports to be a secular country (ha! b****y! ha!) Australia still supports the right of people to behave in the most weird way if it is part of their established religion. Again – not a subject for me to pursue here.

    But no longer can any priest claim the privacy of the confessional to hide child abuse.

    I hope that Francis realises that Pell’s reputation is thoroughly discredited in Australia and does not restore him to any position of power. Pell is tainted.

  4. Sheona – oh, please don’t be so precious. It’s no more ridiculous than the other suggestions, all of which are preposterous. It’s a deliberate send-up, innit?

    Have a picture of a fluffy bunny playing with a little kitten to cheer yourself up.

  5. I suppose that UFO might mean Up fucking Orifice?
    That being so…….
    Of COURSE they’re speaking Welsh!
    Really Bearsy, to doubt such a truism, shame on you!

    Give me a Druid any day of the week rather than a religious nutter of any persuasion. Just look what they are about to put on the Supreme Court!

  6. I’m a minority these days. I’m an opinionated, self-obsessed arsehole. If I only have three opinions about a single issue it’s because I haven’t dwelled on it all that much. But one thing that is still important to me is a sense of fairness. Fairness isn’t vindictive, it isn’t about wanting to find someone to take a fall, it’s not about wanting a scapegoat. That the Catholic Church did much wrong is so obvious as to not bear repeating. We’ve discussed this issue enough. That elements in the Catholic Church still haven’t fully accepted the need to be responsible and to move on from the past is just as obvious. The cabal of the predictable, the Grauniad, BBC, Meth-DNC, etc. despised him, but Benedict XVI did much to clean up the church bowing only to the reality of his age and frailty. His successor, the fragrant Francis I who is as vile as he is vaunted by the cabal of the predictable, regressed. He put people that Benedict removed, with good reason, back in positions where they can cause harm. Pell has his sins and his failures, he has much to be ashamed of, but I will stand by my view that he was punished more because so many wished to see a senior figure fall than because he was guilty of those crimes himself. To create an injustice to seek justice is not justice. That the Victoria Police were desperate to take him down should be condemned.

  7. Good for you Christopher. The Catholic Church has certainly done wrong. The last time I confessed my sins, aged 19, was to a priest called Father Michael Hill. Look him up! Not that he ever attempted to abuse me, but I did not like him and decided that was enough. The fact of the matter is that all institutions are fallible and all men are fallible. But there is also a lot of good in such institutions.

    I have no doubt that there has been an ongoing conspiracy to attack and undermine the Christian faith in all its denominations. It started with the Catholic Church because that was an easy target. Generally speaking Protestants in all their guises have a thing against Catholics and have done for centuries., so it was easy enough to get them on side. But increasingly the Anglican Church is coming under attack in the UK as are so many denominations in the US. Christians there are automatically labelled as being bigoted, right wing, white supremacists and are invariably described as being Trump supporters, as though that automatically makes them evil. There is always an implication that they are little more than idiots.

    Meanwhile it is a criminal offence to criticize Judaism and even dangerous, from a legal perspective, to criticize Islam unless you are Jewish. Why do you think that is?

    There are some useful idiots who continue to blindly attack the Catholic Church little realizing what they are doing, or whose behalf. Such people are so rabid that they would rather a Catholic priest be guilty of child abuse than be innocent of it, even though the former case would mean that a child was abused. For such people, better a young boy be raped so that a Catholic priest can be convicted than for that same boy to have fabricated a story and to have been left unharmed and the priest be found innocent. Such is the nature of their hatred.

    Make no mistake, there is a certain Middle Eastern cult whose adherents are determined to destroy Christianity. That has been their agenda for the past 2,000 years. You only have to follow the mainstream media to see how that one faith is sanctified by all political leaders and those in control of the media and frequently because of those in control of the media. That faith is beyond criticism while those who have the temerity to do so are demonised and ‘cancelled’ and even prosecuted. It will not end well for those of us who do not belong to that creed. In the past 70 years, Western society, which through Christianity created the most educated, advanced and liberal societies the earth has known, has seen how all its traditions and institutions have come under relentless attack, not least of those being the institutions of marriage and family. This is not BLM matter. Nobody gives a toss about BLs, least of all those driving that campaign. Once they have served the purpose of bringing Christian Civilization to its knees, those of African heritage will be spat out like a piece of chewing tobacco.

    You do not have to believe in God/god to recognize the importance of organised religion and Christianity is better than most. Lose it and you lose your culture. The alternatives are not nice.

  8. Sipu: I have recently spoken with an Orthodox Jewish rabbi I have been acquainted with for some time, a very fine man. He reviewed my maternal genealogy and accepted me as Jewish. I have long had good relations with Jewish people and most have assumed that I was one of the tribe. I was, of course, raised Christian although I personally gravitated more to Judaism and Jewish people. Western civilisation is not a Christian product alone. Rather, it is a synthesis of Judaism, paganism (the Classical world was, after all, very much pagan and the Germanic influence, whether continental or Nordic should be be discounted) and Christianity which, in and of itself, is a synthesis of Judaism and paganisms diverse.

    I do not accept the argument that Judaism is in and of itself antagonistic to Christianity. It isn’t. Judaism, at least the conservative and orthodox varieties of it, do not accept the validity of Christianity under Jewish law. That is only logical. The teachings of Jesus himself, while largely Jewish in essence, were in some ways heterodox — at times dangerously so considering the historical context. Judaism, like Islam, is a religion of laws whereas Christianity is a religion of grace. That Christianity discounts the importance of halakha — Jewish law — is a repudiation of it. However, Judaism also provides that non-Jews who follow Noahide law (something that observant Christians and Muslims largely do) are still able to be accepted by Hashem.

    You are also sadly mistaken in assuming that Judaism is above reproach or criticism. It isn’t. Orthodox and conservative Judaism is very much under assault for the same reasons that traditional Catholicism, traditional Anglicanism, Orthodox Christianity and the more theologically sound Protestant denominations are. Namely, that the post-modernist rejection of morality and truth is held as anathema. Whilst a good many modern Orthodox and Conservative Jews have their issues with the ultra-Orthodox communities, there is an intense hostility between secular Jews and ultra-Orthodox Jews. Likewise, there is a distinct friction between secular Jews and modern Orthodox/conservative Jews. You are also entirely mistaken in your assumption that Jewish people are free to criticise Islam without fear of repercussion. Pamela Geller, Daniel Greenfield and Henryk Broder, among others, are Jewish critics of Islam who have been dragged through the mud.

    I do not wish these views to be seen as an attack on those of a secular persuasion or agnostics/atheists. That is not my intent. I’m fully aware that the quality of a person’s character is not strictly tied to faith or the lack of faith. Nor do I believe that secular morality is an oxymoron. I have noticed, however, that many of those who are most antagonistic to faith and people of faith are those who left their own religious communities. Much is made of Marx and Trotsky being Jewish. Marx’s father had already converted to Christianity before Marx was born and he was effectively raised in a secular household. Trotsky was an atheist who was formally excommunicated by the religious Jewish community. What isn’t so often noted is that Lenin was a Russian Orthodox apostate and that Stalin was a former Georgian Orthodox Christian priest. Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh and Kim Il-sung for all atheists. Tellingly, those who were most keen to destroy their own cultures and societies — Mao, Pol Pot, Kim, Lenin, etc. were united in their militant atheism. In the former Soviet bloc, there was little distinction made between observant Christian and Jewish communities. Both were on the receiving end of much state-enforced oppression.

  9. “He reviewed my maternal genealogy and accepted me as Jewish.” I think, Christopher, that says it all.

    It strikes me that this creed, for want of a better word, seeing how it is largely based on ethnicity and genealogy, has striking similarities with the Nazi concept of Aryanism. It has been said that the reason that Hitler is deemed to have been the most evil of all men, despite the fact that fewer people died as a result of his actions than those of Stalin and Mao, is that the victims had no choice in that they could not choose to embrace Aryanism and thus they could not avoid being eliminated. Either you were Aryan or you were not. I find the parallels between Aryanism and Judaism to be highly ironic. I realise that it is not impossible to convert to Judaism, but it is very difficult and the move to do so attaches with it considerable suspicion and mistrust. The fact that Jews have never been proselytisers, unlike Christians and Muslims, or even Communists, is indicative of the strong link between their religion and their ethnicity. The Jews have always held themselves to be God’s Chosen People and the system of apartheid that they implemented thousands of years ago (the Pentateuch is full of examples of this, while Pharisee means someone who keeps himself separate) still holds true today in many walks of life, especially business, entertainment and the media. Generally speaking, the first loyalty of any Jew is not to the country of his birth or citizenship, but to the Jewish tribe. A 5th generation British Jew is a Jew first and a Briton second. Actually, he is almost certainly an Israeli second and a Briton 3rd.

    Moving on, I share your view that, ‘the quality of a person’s character is not strictly tied to faith or the lack of faith’. However, I do believe that morals along with certain other, though by no means all, behavioural traits are as much a part of nurture as they are nature. Church going parents are more likely to instil a sense of morality in their children, simply because moral behaviour is such a big part of a religious education. Church services and daily prayers repeat the mantras of not being led into temptation and for the deliverance from evil. That child may grow up to be an atheist but will maintain the sense of morality learned in childhood. It becomes a habit. However, it becomes far more difficult to impart morality to a child in the absence of God. Let me try and explain via a very simple example. A child raised to believe in God, is taught that actions such as lying, cheating and stealing may all go undetected by the mortal adjudicators of such behaviour, but, he will be taught and therefore will be inclined to believe that God, who is all seeing, will know what he has done and will be displeased. Remove God from the equation and there is little to stop him from offending other than the risk of getting caught and punished. If he reasons that there is little chance of that, then there is very little to prevent him from acting purely out of self-interest. Genuine altruism is an extremely rare commodity and as Richard Dawkins would argue, counterproductive. Even the most blessed saints made sacrifices on earth so as to receive their reward from God when they joined Him in heaven. In fact, it is that belief in an after life which enabled civilization to occur. Working for the good of one’s fellow man leads to the long-term benefit of the species. Sacrifices made on earth will lead to eternal rewards in heaven. Take heaven away, and all one has left are the trials and tribulations of a life that is nasty brutish and short. Earthly survival is paramount and selfishness reigns supreme.

    Of course, I understand that to the atheist, the threat of God and his retribution is entirely fallacious, but the constant warnings during childhood trigger a Pavlovian response even when that individual has long since abandoned God. I have absolutely no doubt that children raised in households and /or institutions where religion plays a central role tend to have far a far stronger sense of morality than those whose upbringing tends to be more secular. The greater the number of generations that child is separated from a religious upbringing, the more diluted are likely to be his morals.
    Morality today, is not defined by God, but by political secularism that is self-serving and inconsistent. The adherents of BLM, XR, PETA, AntiFa etc. probably all think they are highly moral people, but those are not morals that make the world a kinder and better place, nor do they benefit civilization.

    As far as I am concerned, the single most striking element of Christianity that stands it apart from Islam, Judaism and secularism, is the concept of forgiveness. The absence of that virtue in modern society is what is leading to increasing levels of divorce, litigation and general nasty vindictive behaviour.

    One last point. From Babylon through to Moorish Spain, to England, via William I and Cromwell to Imperial Britain and now the US, the Jews have always followed and served the mighty and the victorious, and always to their own advantage. The term ‘Judaeo-Christian’ arose during and in FDR’s administration. It is a modern conflation designed to promote the beneficial influence of the forementioned creed!

  10. Sipu: Aryanism was always fallacious. As it was a fantasy, it could never exist. I would compare the Jewish people to the Parsees of India or the Chinese of the Straits. A community forged by experiences of exile and migration, it never-the-less has held together in a coherent manner. Like the Parsees and the Straits Chinese, they are often respected — albeit at times very grudgingly — and often scapegoated. As groups, they are, on average, vastly more successful than their neighbours. If there is one thing that does rub others the wrong way and, not necessarily unfairly, is the real and perceived sense of superiority.

    Your analysis of Jewish history is highly selective. There has long been a sense among many Jewish people that no matter how nice your home is, no matter how successful you are it is best to keep a suitcase packed. It’s a survival instinct. Sometimes things go well, something they go horribly awry. Sometimes people ask me if I speak Yiddish. I do not. Nobody in my family has spoken Yiddish for many centuries. German Jews spoke the same dialect as German Christians. Likewise, Danish Jews spoke Danish, not Yiddish. To this day, there are still major differences between those Danish Jews who are from well-established Danish Jewish families and those Danish Jews whose families settled in Denmark in the late 19th to early 20th centuries. That sense of difference goes back to the start. With few exceptions, Danish Jews from established families were Danes who happened to be Jewish. The only real differences were which holy days were observed and aspects of diet. For obvious reasons, the pork-heavy Danish diet wasn’t always going to be a good fit. When there was an influx of impoverished, highly political (usually on the extreme left) and ghettoised Polish and Russian Jew started to settle, there was an immediate fear that their baggage would cause trouble and some of the greatest hostility shown was not by Lutheran Danes, but by Jewish Danes. It has been rare for the Jewish people to have a quiet century. Things might settle down for a time, but there has always and there remains a profound risk of pogroms and destruction. A German prince drowns in debts and whips up a pogrom. Expel the lender, erase the debt. A tsar wants to distract from a failed policy or a downturn, launch a pogrom. Even today, within living memory, anti-Semitic violence is becoming such a problem that the French army has to protect Jewish sites, that armed police have to protect Jewish institutions in Denmark and Sweden, that even Norwegian Jews are looking at Aliyah and that the world champion thickos, the Germans, are acknowledging that there are real problems.

    I’m not quite as Eurocentric. One could, of course, argue that there has long been a history of opportunism. For example, after the expulsion from Iberia, many Sephardim settled in the Netherlands. The Dutch were only too happy to take them as they knew the trade routes and had connexions in lucrative trade ports. In post-colonial North Africa, the willingness of the Jewish minority to work closely with the French made them pariahs, especially in Algeria. In Morocco and Tunisia, wiser leaders went out of their way to ensure the rights of all people in their countries. In Morocco, the kings put Christian and Jewish Moroccans under their personal protection with draconian penalties for those who’d violate their rights. Both Christian and Jewish Tunisians have emigrated at higher rates per capita than Muslims, but this holds especially true for Jewish people. I know some personally. Yet, this pattern wasn’t repeated in India and China were there have long been small Jewish communities. That there has been some emigration from India and China to Israel is arguably based more on seizing the opportunity for a better life elsewhere — something which the majority populations of both countries are also more than happy to do. The so-called “enlightened” West has fared far more poorly in its treatment of its minorities than China and India until very recently. Even today, China goes out of its way to ensure that its minorities aren’t unduly antagonised so long as they do not harbour separatist ambitions. Naturally, the largely-Han Hong Kong supporters of independence are brutally suppressed and overwhelmingly Han, fiercely independent Taiwan are both on the receiving end of much direct and indirect brutality.

    There is much talk, and rightly so, about China’s treatment of the Uyghurs but there is precious little discussion about China’s near-coddling of the Hui. The Hui comprise China’s largest Muslim minority, but as they are seen as loyal to the Chinese state, the Chinese state ensures that they are not antagonised. This goes so far as ensuring that pigs and pork products are not emphasised during Islamic holy days and this is in a pork-mad country. Likewise, the Jews of Kaifeng have always enjoyed good relations with the Chinese. Then again, India and China have both been more than willing to accommodate closely-knit minorities as they had so many of them. That Indian Jews were not Hindus wasn’t really an issue. Much like the Parsees, they were left in peace and allowed to prosper with the majority content in the knowledge that their lack of desire to convert anyone meant that they posed no real threat to the Hindu social order. Nota bene, this is also why Sikhs have, on balance, fared better than Muslims. Although far larger in numbers and more active historically and socially, Sikhs do not seek converts although they don’t reject people seeking to convert, either. Likewise, the Chinese have been more than willing to accept a minority population that is a bit aloof, but no more aloof than so many other Chinese minorities as they did not seek to upend China’s social order or religious balance.

    So, in short, the Jewish people can, as you say, be very clannish. But the Jewish people are no more so than the Mormons in the United States, the Sikhs and Parsees in India, the Hakka in China, etc. The Jewish attachment to Israel isn’t necessarily any less strong than the attachment of Armenian communities in Australia, the United States or Canada to Armenia or the enduring ties between, say, Sikh communities in California, Canada and the UK with the Punjab or Chinese communities with greater China. (Not necessarily the PRC government, to be clear) Lebanese Christian communities, for that matter, also tend to be very tightly knit. Say what you will about Jewish dominance in cultural fields, but Germany and Austria — once cultural powerhouses — are now cultural wastelands. Germany lives not on what it produces, but on what it produced. Austria lives not on what it produces, but what it produced. Sweden, with roughly ten million people is a far greater cultural power than Germany with some 83 million people. The United Kingdom remains one of the world’s top exporters of cultural products rivalled only by the United States and, to a much lesser extent, France. Germany remains famous, but only because of things that are at least 90 years old.

    I hope you won’t take it as the height of presumption for me to assume we agree that the great majority of what was produced in the US, UK and even Australia (don’t hurt me, Bearsy!) over the past years has been absolute dross. But that has more to do with a greater cultural malaise not not just a small minority. My Jewish friends think it’s as rubbish as I do.

  11. Hi Christopher, I described Aryanism as a concept, mostly because I am not qualified to say exactly what it is or was or even what Hitler believed it to be, not that I think it matters. Perception is everything. But, I wonder what Iranians would think about the assertion that it is a fantasy, the name of their country being a declaration that its people are Aryan rather than Semites or Arabs. At least that is my understanding. Would it be accurate to say that Semitism is also fallacious and if so, anti-Semitism must be as well? Ah, Semites and semantics.

    For the record, I do strongly believe that race is more than just a social construct as the left would have it, though obviously there are frequently high levels of cross breeding which confuses some people. In that respect, human races are not very different from dog breeds!

    Inevitably my analysis was selective since not only am I not an historian but even if I were, this is hardly the platform for an in-depth history of the Jewish people. But I do not believe my selections were inaccurate.

    You say that Jews keep a suitcase packed. Well, I can’t argue about that, especially as I have seen many wealthy Jews flee, (though from economic danger rather than mortal danger), the countries in which they have made their fortunes. I always found it ironic that having made so much money in South Africa during apartheid, a system to which many Jews publicly professed opposition, they left as soon as apartheid collapsed or looked like collapsing. Some how their declared goal of universal suffrage did not sit quite so well in practice as it did in theory. Not being professional refugees, Afrikaaners find it much more difficult to immigrate than is the case of Jewish South Africans.

    And that really is the point. Jews rarely become part of the national fabric of a country because they always have one eye looking for the next best thing. Yes, escape is sometimes the reason for them leaving, but often it is the fact that they do not see themselves as truly belonging and therefore have little loyalty or patriotism. And why is that? Because they won’t bloody well integrate. They maintain, as I said earlier, that they are Jews first and foremost; and being so, they set themselves apart from the rest of the nation. They insist on keeping their separate religious and social practices. They have schools, societies, newspapers, personal columns, charities, clubs etc. that are for the use and benefit of Jews. They deliberately keep themselves segregated by choosing to live close to other Jews specifically so that they can consolidate their power. A Jew will seek to do business with, and will promote and support in whatever way he can, another Jew ahead of a gentile. I have seen it happen too often to brook any denial of that fact. Jews marry other Jews at a disproportionately high rate, though, if he or she already has Jewish children, there seems to be more latitude towards subsequently marrying a goy.

    You mention pork-heavy diets as being an obvious reason for Jewish Danes not always fitting in. But, in a modern world with modern medicine and dietary practices, that continued, ridiculous adherence to a kosher diet is one of the strongest weapons in the Jewish battle to maintain their separate identity. It is a ploy to enable them to make their own rules and devolve as much authority as they can to their community leaders. The levels to which their rabbinical laws go to separate Jews from the rest of society is truly bizarre, to the extent that they talk about the punishment that should be meted out to a tree that has been sexually abused!

    As I alluded to earlier, King William I encouraged Jews to come to England in the 11th century as he needed them to finance his conquest. Why was it that Jews were able to perform that service? Because, not being Christians, they and they alone were allowed to practise usury. Today we call that ‘loan sharking’. Within 100 years of their arrival, the richest man in the kingdom was a Jew, Aaron of Lincoln, who was reckoned to be wealthier even than the king. Clearly usury was and still is a highly lucrative enterprise. (Incidentally, I have just watched ‘Jersey Boys’ on Netflix. You probably know of it, but if not, it tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. One of the band members gets into a heavy debt with a loan shark called Norm Waxman. The other members have to bail him out at great cost to themselves.) The point being that Loan Sharks and Usurers are like drug pushers. They make the first loan easy, just like the pusher makes the first few hits easy. But then the victim is hooked and there is no way out. No wonder there is resentment. Would you not be resentful to the drug dealer who got you or a member of your family addicted to crack? Usurers, like drug dealers, prey on the weak. Wonga was a classic example of usury. Did you ever see the ads that targeted pensioners and those on benefits? Thank goodness it was stopped. Guess the origins of its founders.

    Usury was frowned on, forbidden even, not just by the Church, but by other civilizations, including the Sutra period in India and the Roman Empire. To earn an income without having to work for it was deemed immoral
    Here is the most telling fact of all. “Jews are forbidden from usury in dealing with fellow Jews, thus lending is to be considered tzedakah, or charity. However, there are permissions to charge interest on loans to non-Jews. This is outlined in the Jewish scriptures of the Torah, which Christians hold as part of the Old Testament, and other books of the Tanakh.” Note how Jews treat non-Jews differently.

    Thus, in England and elsewhere, Jews, not being Christian, were exempt from the usury laws, a privilege that gave them an extraordinary advantage. Imagine being given a licence to deal Class 1 drugs. Money for old rope!
    Jews are the masters of self-promotion. This is one of the key reasons they are so successful. Jewish promoters hire Jewish singers to sing songs written by other Jews. Newspaper proprietors hire Jewish writers to tell stories that promote Jewish interests. And so on with film studios, book publishers, venture capital investments and of course banking. When you control the media, you control the content. Jewish achievements are highlighted. Their failures are buried. Hollywood determines the storylines and morals that we should adhere to.

    Greg Dyke once described the BBC as being ‘hideously white’. Imagine if he had said that ‘at a senior level, the BBC is disproportionately staffed by Jews’, which it is. As for Stephen Spielberg or one of the many Hollywood moguls decrying the fact that Hollywood was ‘overwhelmingly Jewish’, the idea is laughable, though that is the truth.
    The law is another area where Jewish influence has made them very rich. Litigation has always existed, but it had grown exponentially in recent decades, the charge being led by a proliferation of Jewish lawyers. Divorce has become a highly profitable industry as has medical insurance, product liability and host of destructive areas where the punishment far outweighs the crime and those who make the most money create the least wealth. Why make a car when you can sue somebody for crashing it?

    “The American Association of Jewish Lawyers & Jurists (AAJLJ) is a national non-profit association representing the American Jewish legal community. We bring our community together to defend Jewish interests and human rights in the United States and abroad.” https://aajlj.org/about-aajlj

    Perhaps Jews’ greatest weapon is their immunity from criticism. The extent to which they are protected under ridiculous so-called ‘hate crime’ laws is truly remarkable, while their ability to destroy the reputations of their perceived or real enemies is something to behold. All they have to do is to accuse a person of anti-Semitism and that is that.

    A minority group that sets itself apart from wider society and yet exploits that society will not be tolerated forever, especially if divisions occur in the majority group. Political upheaval and revolution will cause antagonism to any demographic that supported the previous regime. That was why the Jews who had served the Moors and who were protected by them for 600 years, were expelled from Spain in 1492, when the Spanish regained control of their country.

    In 13th century England, antagonism towards Jews, on account of their money lending practices grew to the extent that King Edward I felt the need to ban usury under the ‘Statute of Jewry’. The Jews failed to adhere to this statute and were thus expelled from England and Wales. All 2,000 of them!

    As the Stanford Prison Experiment demonstrated, it is part of the human condition that oppression between disparate groups will occur when power is not shared equally. One group may have the power, though be numerically inferior. However, come political change and the situation can be reversed with dire consequences as the Asians of Uganda and the whites of South Africa and Zimbabwe have discovered.

    In short, Jews in the Western world currently benefit by maintaining their separate identity. But as they have experienced throughout history, what goes around comes around and if upheaval comes, they are likely to find few friends when the manure hits the fan. Perhaps that is why, if it is indeed true, that there is a rise in attacks against Jews.

    I am afraid that I disagree with you in respect to the relative clannishness of Jews versus other sects or nations.

    I do agree with you that much of what has come out of the UK and the US, is crap. I ask you once again to read the books of Douglas Reed, starting with Insanity Fair, Disgrace Abounding and A Prophet at Home. Available free on http://www.archive.org.

  12. Sipu:

    I never thought to read such an offensive comment on this site. My first reaction was to simply delete it.

    Your comments read like something from the middle ages – except you have forgotten to blame the Jews for poisoning the wells and, thereby, causing this present plague – just as they were for earlier outbreaks of bubonic plague. Oh! and you forgot to mention that they sacrifice young Christians and drink their blood…

    As to not ‘integrating’ the only way Jews could have integrated into the societies in which they lived was to become Christians . Your comments smack of the Catholic attitude towards them that prevailed in Europe for century, upon century – which led to the atrocities they were subject to all around Europe and culminated in the Holocaust. And there are still groups in the Catholic Church that believe that all Jews are responsible for the death of Jesus.

    Just how well do our present non-pork eating immigrants integrate? Jews have never demanded that any society changes their customs for their religious requirements. Are you aware that many , many schools in the UK serve only halal food for school meals?

    At least I can take my Jewish friends to a pub!

    I can point to other groups of people settling among us – who do not integrate – those who deem their children to be chattels to wed off where they please and ostracise them should they dare to marry outside their community… and not just those from India and Pakistan. Some years ago I met a very unhappy Latvian woman whose family had disowned her for marrying an Australian.

    If immigrants were determined to integrate why do we have so many Ethnic Councils here in Australian – you name a nationality and there are organisations for their ‘well-being’… it’s nothing new, nor (until they demand more of my taxes) in anyway sinister. And, of course, they look after their own – we all do in our own way. It’s only the Jews who are condemned.

    As to the numbers of Jews leaving South Africa and other such places – I suspect they were far out-numbered by the many others who chose to leave – if they could. I know my two Aunts did – and a lot have come here.

    Frankly, I find your attitude appalling. Just as I found the suggestion in your previous comment that I have no moral standards because I was bought up in a non-Christian home where I was taught to be truthful and honest because it was the right way to be.

    And P.S.

    I would suggest you steer clear of English medieval history. There may have been Statutes against Usury – but let me assure you that everyone, including the exceedingly wealthy, Florentine Bankers got round it by the simple ruse of writing contracts that ‘pretended’ to have lent more money than had actually been loaned. Catholic Europeans were just as devious as they claimed ‘outsiders’ were.

    English medieval kings were always chronically short of money and since, Edward I had extorted huge loans from English Jewry, he found it far more expedient to expel them than to pay his debts. You are clearly unaware that at one time he had to leave his Crown and his wife in pawn to merchants in France while he nipped back across the channel to persuade Parliament to give him more money so that he could pay them and continue fighting his never ending wars.

    You might also like to remember that throughout most of European history Jews were limited in the occupations they could pursue. And that there were always many, many more poor Jews than the very few who managed to accumulate wealth – just as there are in all such communities.

  13. Boadicea: Thank you for that. I couldn’t be bothered to respond simply because it was too toxic.

    In the Dutch Golden Age one of the main social divisions was between the often well-off Sephardic Jewish population and the often impoverished Ashkenazi Jewish population. The Sephardim were largely merchants or from families involved with trade and finance. The Dutch encouraged those families to settle in the Netherlands for a reason and it wasn’t the goodness of their hearts — although, to be fair, I rather like the Dutch. The Ashkenazim were very often dirt poor and reliant on charity to survive. The Christian Dutch weren’t keen on that, nor were the Sephardim. A similar dynamic happened in Shanghai in the 1930s-’40s. Prior to the end of 1941, wealthy Sephardim and Mizrahim such as the Sassoon family were able to help support Jewish refugees in the city. After Japan entered the Second World War, they were classed as “enemy aliens” by the Japanese. Established Ashkenazim, mostly of White Russian, origin were made responsible but they lacked the means. It is worth noting the difference between how the Chinese responded and how so many Europeans responded. The Chinese, struggling to survive, were not at all resentful or antagonistic to Jewish refugees. Packed together in Shanghai’s most deprived slum, the poorest Chinese thought that if these refugees were grateful to be in that show of horrors, then whatever they had come from must have been even worse and they saw no reason to be antagonistic. All too often, in Europe, it was different. It was par for the course that those who had survived the Holocaust and tried to go back to their former lives found that they could not. People from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, etc. were met with the coldest of welcomes and found their homes occupied by so-called “friends” and neighbours who weren’t about to budge or let them return. That all suffered was obvious, but that poisonous mindset… The Jews of Shanghai left Shanghai not because they wanted to, but because Mao gave them no option. For him, they were foreigners like all the rest and they were, thus, expelled.

    Living in England, I never personally encountered any of the hostility that many people from the Continent complained about. Then again, I was always entirely integrated into the local population. I went to the same shops as everyone else. Unless I wanted Asian groceries, of course. I went to the same church services as everyone else. I involved myself with community activities. There were many from the Continent who didn’t have the same mindset. They went to Polish or Romanian shops, Polish or Romanian pubs. They were involved with Polish, Romanian, Latvian, Bulgarian, etc. social groups. Many Poles would attend Polish masses, but quite a few would skip English masses. In California, Maronite Catholics from Lebanon would attend their own churches. Armenian Orthodox, Russian orthodox, Greek Orthodox and Romanian Orthodox Christians would attend their own churches. Hispanic Catholics would primarily attend Spanish-language masses, Anglophone Catholics would primarily attend English-languages masses. They had their own priests and own traditions. In a city like Lodi there would be Catholic churches for Hispanics, Anglophones, Filipinos and Lebanese. So much for unity there… In Sacramento, there were Catholic churches for Koreans as well.

    I remember, just as well, the old family antagonisms in the Motherlode. Families have these bizarre feuds that make no sense and absolutely nobody knows or understands why. But when you look at it a bit more closely, you could see that they were of Balkan extraction. Croat Catholics and Serbian Orthodox families had feuds that went back to the Balkans, feuds they imported from Europe with them. In the Iron Ranges of northern Minnesota, the old ethnic Finnish community is so averse to marrying outside their ethnic community that many try to import husbands from Finland. There’s this comical mail-order groom service. The community is so tightly-knit that they had no choice but to look outside their community as they’re all related at this point. But marrying someone of mixed German and Norwegian blood? Nope, that thought never crossed their mind. In both California and Britain it’s fairly typical for Indians and Pakistanis to wed their British or American-born sons to wives from “the old country”.

  14. Thank Boadicea for not deleting my post. You have shown more editorial integrity than the likes of Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter! Though, had you done so, it would rather have made my point about who can be criticised and who cannot.

    Having said that, I did have to chuckle at this line, “Catholic Europeans were just as devious as they claimed ‘outsiders’ were.”
    I admire your use of the word ‘claimed’. Clearly it is OK to accuse Catholics of being corrupt, but not our Hebrew brethren!

    With respect to history, generally speaking, I am certainly aware that the mediaeval period is your area of expertise, while I, like Mr Pecksniff, am ‘a mere child in these matters’. But I have a built in scepticism to with regards to many of historical events that are alleged to have occurred, the circumstances surrounding them and the conclusions that are or were drawn. I have seen enough history rewritten during my own life to know that the books never tell the whole story nor do they always tell the correct story. In fact in a world of 8 billion inhabitants there are 8 billion versions of history. No two people will ever provide the exact same account of an event that they have both witnessed, because they always witness that event from a slightly different perspective.

    Perhaps I can illustrate my point with this hypothetical albeit far fetched scenario.
    Let’s go back to November 2016, a few days before the US presidential elections. A series of terrorist attacks result in the deaths of both Trump and Clinton. The election is postponed, someone else entirely, perhaps a hawk, perhaps a dove, is eventually elected whose administration could not have been anticipated by anybody. Fast forward a few years. How would the historians write about the consequences of those attacks? I think we can all be pretty confident that, in accordance with the polls at the time, they would have written about the Clinton Presidency that was denied America. It is highly unlikely that they would have given much thought to the Trump Presidency that had failed to materialise as result of the attacks. Historians would have deemed it highly improbable that Trump would have won. As we know, they would have been mistaken in that regard. I said it was far fetched.

    Which brings me to a factoid I learned this Sunday, while listening to that eponymous program on BBC Radio 4. The discussion centred around the fact that the Jewish community of York may soon be gaining the first rabbi since the 12th century when about 150 Jews were massacred by a local mob. Only, they were not massacred, they committed suicide. Not being a scholar of that period, I was not aware that it was murder/suicide (after all some of the children and perhaps even some of the adults must surely have been killed by other members) and it made me wonder what would have happened had they surrendered. Do we know that they would have all be slaughtered? Perhaps some might have been, perhaps all, or perhaps none and they would have simply been chased away. But history relates it as a massacre by angry Christians. Not that I am in anyway condoning any of those actions, they were socking, I am merely pointing out the difference between what did happen, what is perceived to have happened, and what might have happened.

    I think all parties would agree that the reason for the wave of anti Jewish sentiment was initiated and fuelled by some high ranking nobles who owed a lot of money and were unable to pay their debts. The fact that their creditors were Jews rather than Christians was cause enough to incite the peasant rabble to do their dirty work. But as I suggested earlier, it was the money lending rather than the religion that was the original cause for resentment. That and the fact that the Jewish community were supposed to have the special protection of the king. And as I said earlier, the Stanford Prison Experiment demonstrates the ease with which one group of people will turn on another when differences between them are highlighted. In a situation where a group not only behaves and looks different to the rest but also provides cause for resentment, then the violence perpetrated is likely to be more intense. Few people anywhere have much sympathy for their creditors.

    Just because a person believes that he has the moral, even legal right to do something, it does not mean that it is the sensible thing to do. I have every right to leave my stuffed wallet on the dashboard of my car with the window open, while parked outside a shopping mall, over night. But I would be a bit of a fool if I did not anticipate that it might be stolen.

    I realise that I have now probably managed to antagonise most, if not all the Charioteers, though I shall not apologise as I am a great believer in not just the freedom of expression, but the need for expression. If we do not know how others really feel, we cannot understand what makes them different and how they will behave. Perhaps sometime in the near future, people will concur with my point of view and will sport tee-shirts saying ‘Je suis Sipu!’

  15. No, Sipu, I never feel antagonized by you. I reserve such response for direct insults.

    Just wondering… Can any of the history scholars out there tell me why the Jews were targeted in one pogrom, purge or whatever, at different times and in different countries? Surely it couldn’t all have had to do with money lending?

  16. From the Jews I have ever known, they made no bones about screwing any gentile they could. Not a very endearing trait. Does any one wonder that they should be persecuted again and again? They can’t all be that stupid that they would make no effort to modify their behaviour, But, seemingly they don’t. Then they must expect it to happen again and again throughout history.
    Here in New York they have resolutely refused to modify their behaviour during the pandemic, holding large gatherings for every reason under the sun, they have been asked not to to no avail and spread the plague very nicely all around. Such behaviour does not endear themselves to others who do not forget.
    Muslims appear to be very similar in their behaviour.

  17. CO: In Israel, the Israeli authorities had hideous difficulties with the Hassidic (ultra-ultra-ultra Orthodox) population. Their solution was to simply isolate Hassidic communities in Israel and let them sort out their own affairs. Israel has had issues with the Hassidim for many years. Israel has mandatory military service, but the Hassidim would continuously postpone their draft due to needing to finish their religious education first. That would take them into their 40s by which time they’d simply be too old. They would also refuse to enter into regular employment for the same reason. That they’d need to focus on their religious education did not, however, impede their ability to marry and start large families. That is one reason why the Israeli government finally forced the issue. When they were a small minority of the population, it could be managed, but not when each generation grew exponentially larger. The Orthodox, Conservative, Liberal and Secular Jewish populations have by-and-large been highly functional whether they be of European, North African, Middle Eastern or Ethiopian origins. The Hassidim have been rather less so. There have also been issues with El Al, the Israeli national carrier, not being able to fly during the Sabbath because of the pressure put on Israeli authorities by the ultra-Orthodox minority. A few years ago, the Israeli Supreme Court finally ruled that ultra-Orthodox Jewish men could not force women to change aeroplane seats. The issue in New York, like in Israel, has not been the Jewish population as a whole, but a fundamentalist minority.

    The problem with anti-Semitism in the West is that it’s rooted in the Western love of its own ignorance and arrogance. Jewish people had no real issues in China or India where there have also been well-established Jewish minorities. An interesting comparison is with Ethiopia. Ethiopia had a large Jewish population before the arrival of Christianity. The refusal of a number of Ethiopian Jews to convert to Christianity was the source of their marginalisation and eventual independence as a separate Jewish kingdom. Naturally, this kingdom was reviled by neighbouring Christian and Islamic states. It was eventually defeated and its subjects were sold into slavery and forced to baptise, but that’s par for the course. Jews had no real issues in Thailand, China, India or Sri Lanka. In recent decades, Jewish people have had no real issues in Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore or Hong Kong. Then again, in societies that have traditionally valued education and success, that wouldn’t have been an issue. In societies in which mass-ignorance was considered the natural state for most of their history, the situation was different.

  18. PS: Western expatriates and local communities of European extraction aren’t all that popular in places like Bolivia, Mexico, Guatemala, Thailand, Japan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia or Africa, either. The lack of desire to integrate and general sense of superiority are some of the main reasons cited.

  19. I have delayed returning to this subject – for reasons I hope will be obvious in my response.

    I do not delete comments that I find offensive quite simply because I am ever hopeful that facts will always overcome prejudice or will, at least, encourage people to look at their prejudices in the light of of those facts and other people’s experiences.

    Sipu – it is my experience (backed up by sound psychological evidence) that if one wants to understand why people act as they do one only has to look at the motives they attribute to others. Thus my comment regarding Catholic Europe condemning Medieval Jews of Europe for usury was simply that they were also guilty of exactly the same crime. If they condemned the practice then they should have refrained from the said practice themselves – they didn’t. I make no judgement on either side- other than to say that I have no problem with paying a reasonable interest on any loan that I make.

    I have absolutely no faith whatsoever in the BBC’s rewriting of history to satisfy present ‘woke’ culture. The York massacre has been well documented – as has medieval prejudice and the thousands of violent acts against Jews throughout Europe. The Jews of York may well have committed suicide – but their experience would have taught them that they would die anyway. You are clearly not aware that in Israel Jews are still taught to ‘Remember Masada’. If you do not know about Masada – look it up. I have been there – and knowing what they would have faced had they surrendered, I would have joined them – just as I would have joined the Jews of York – if, indeed, they did commit suicide – which I very much doubt.

    And by the way, Sipu, don’t use that old debating trick of telling me that ‘Everyone Knows’. It just will not work with me. Most people do not accept your premise that the cause of medieval anti-Semitism was down to their money lending practises.

    So here’s my answer for you Cog (and Sipu):

    The reason for anti-Jewish sentiment in the middle ages was quite simply the Catholic Church. It blamed all Jews for the death of Jesus and condemned them for not accepting Jesus as the Messiah. It only retracted that in the 1960s and, as I said earlier, there are still organisations within the Church that adhere to that earlier attitude.

    It also didn’t help that Judaic laws on food and hygiene made Jewish communities far less susceptible to the various plagues, etc that killed off ‘Good Catholics’ who tended to think that ‘dirt’ equalled ‘holiness’.

    The Catholic Church was anti-Semitic – full-stop. And its attitude is still prevalent. Christopher’s comments re Asian attitudes would seem to support this.

    I’m sad that your experience of Jews has been so dismal! Mine has not. Despite being a Gentile, my mother had a licence to cater for Jewish functions – and most of those I met were not that much different from me and mine.

    As to the Jews of New York – I suspect they ‘re all Orthodox Jews – much like whatever the name is for ‘Conservative Muslims’ who, also, refuse to conform – bloody nuisance the lot of them! But not representative of most Jews or most Muslims – but their attitude is a blight on their co-religionists.

    I’d like to share with you a conversation I had on my return flight from Israel to the UK with a ‘Reformed Israeli Jew’, who said much the same as you did about not conforming and even went so far as to say he really understood why Europe had a problem with Ultra-Orthodox Jews in the 1930s.

    I’m tempted to ramble on. But I’ll stop here. As I said, I hope that a few ‘facts’ will encourage people to look at their cherished opinions in a different way.

  20. Hi! Christopher – how very odd that both you and I should decide to comment at the same time. Your comment supports absolutely what the young Israeli said to me on my flight form Israel to the UK!

  21. I can only write of how I have personally found in lifetime of very different places. Everywhere I have found the same, there is always some religious or ethnic group, or both, that appears to cause a great deal of trouble for itself mainly by refusing to conform to local society norms. Then they wonder why they are persecuted and want to bitch and protest about it!!
    Many decades ago I decided the best thing to do and save one’s stomach lining was to avoid them like the plague, all of them, a cool good morning and pass on. Extremism in any way shape or form seems to lead to a very unhappy life.
    Interestingly the ‘religion’ of gardening attracts people such as myself. Not one of my gardening cult goes near a church regularly, do not protest about any cause (except lack of sunshine) Does not get involved in politics beyond voting and cheerfully consume each others wine and food without food fads. It is a pleasant way to live out one’s life and I personally have no intention of ever venturing anywhere ever again! It really isn’t worth it!
    Interestingly They are emptying out of Seattle and coming up here, property isn’t on the market for more than five minutes.BLM, defund the police, unbelievable levels of homelessness and a very ‘woke’ council has caused white flight with a vengeance. These are, of course, all mad foaming liberals until it got a bit too close to home! Central downtown Seattle has become a war zone. We, of course, are a previously eschewed rural backwater of cow and berry farmers and retirees who like a quiet life, Democratic mainly, but not foaming. All of a sudden, we are hot property. All very interesting, (from a distance)
    One pleasant lifeline to avoid the bloody politics of watching the ghastly orange one lie on TV. We signed up for Britbox during the great lockdown. Brilliant being able to watch good UK TV from before the BBC went ‘woke’! It has got us through the pandemic rather well in lieu of entertaining and going out to eat, which have a become no nos.

  22. Maybe there needs to be a new, updated UN Resolution.

    No new immigrant religion, taking root in that of another’s nation, must attempt to supplant the host’s value system, religious or otherwise, right or wrong, with its own.

    Immigrants (first, second, third generation etc) must learn their place…

  23. Boadicea: Something that’s long struck me as interesting is the fate of Jewish financiers in mediaeval and Renaissance Europe. Initially the Church forced that role on the Jewish population. In order for finance to work, interest rates are a must. If not interest rates, then at least a set profit of sorts. For example, Islamic law prohibits charging interest on loans but it does allow for lenders to enjoy a share of profits. So, say, someone starts a venture and has two lenders. All three agree that profits will be shared fifty/fifty with the business owner taking half the profit and the two investors taking 25% of the profits for a set amount of time. Naturally, losses are born the same way. Realistically speaking, this can be even more costly to the business owner than interest. Anyway… In order to preserve a veneer of holiness the Catholic Church banned usury knowing full well that they could force that image on Europe’s Jewish minority. When the Church or a secular ruler managed to get in over his head, they’d simply call for a pogrom. Blame the Jews for Christ’s death, whip up a frenzy, chase them out of the realm and call it even. That’s convenient. I would also love to be able to blame my lenders for Christ’s death, chase them out of town and call it even. That would help my financial profile greatly!

    Suddenly, when the Catholic Church realised that it could make great profits from finance, religious scholars had revelations that Hashem would, of course, be more than happy to accept the holiness of Catholic finance. It helped, of course, that many of the leading figures in the Church happened to be from wealthy merchant and aristocratic families themselves — the very people who’d benefit most from the name of finance getting a cleansing bath in holy water. It is worth noting here that a dual world of finance emerged out of this. Safe investments, safe because they were either highly profitable ventures or the debtors would have so little power that they couldn’t resist even the most absurd of demands, were reserved for good, upstanding Catholics. Riskier ventures — potentially highly profitable, but with a higher chance of failure, loans to less credible debtors or fight/flight risks were left to Jewish lenders. Still limited to what they could do, many had no choice but to charge extremely high interest rates. This wasn’t only limited to Europe or Jewish people. In South-East Asia, finance has traditionally been controlled by Chinese families. Whether it was in Hindu, later Catholic, Manila or Islamic Malacca, the Chinese were able to make the most of their opportunities. Life in China has always been challenging so living in lands with rich soil and valuable crops was a godsend for the Chinese. They turned vast profits and were able to reinvest them in other ventures. They understood finance very well. Local populations, Malay, European, mixed, etc. were happy to take loans but were not as happy when Chinese lenders held them to the terms of their loans. Religion was often used as a pretext to drive them out of town or to justify default. The Chinese took their lesson and simply made a point of not lending to people outside of their own community unless they were absolutely certain that another Chinese would back the loan or that they were of sound enough character to be absolutely trusted. They then wondered why the Chinese, once cooperative and willing to invest in multiple ventures, became unreachable and uncooperative. This shouldn’t be thrown at the feet of Malay Muslims alone. In Spanish Manila, those wonderful, invariable virtuous and moral Catholics would periodically launch anti-Chinese pogroms citing their heathen beliefs and “sordid” moral practices as justification. (Especially during late-Ming China, male homosexuality, including male-male pederasty, were widely practised. Spanish Catholics were never entirely comfortable with the homosexuality bit, even if they often engaged in heterosexual pederasty themselves, but only took it on themselves to fight that moral crusade when the Chinese consistently bested them at trade and finance)

    Nota bene, there is a difference between Orthodox Jews and Ultra-Orthodox, Haredi, Jews. Orthodox Jews can be compared to the likes of Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison. They are people of strong faith and firm in their religious practice, but they are capable of functioning in the 21st century. Haredi Jews, the ultra-Orthodox, are akin to Islamic fundamentalists or ultra-fundamentalist Mormon or Christian groups who withdraw from modernity and live in isolated communities decades, if not centuries, behind.

  24. I will need to clear up a point. I made an error originally using the term “Hasidic”. Hasidic Jews are among the more conservative of Orthodox Jews, but they are still modern and highly functional. Haredi Jews are the ones who cause a lot of problems with their fundamentalism.

  25. Thanks for the comment Christopher – it is truly amazing how moral considerations increase in direct proportion to the level of debt – in every society.

    A story to lighten the mood.

    Some many years ago I knew the guy in the UK whose job it was to trace the ancestry of those wishing to convert to Judaism. As some here may not be aware, descent is through the female line – far harder tracing than through the male line.

    We often went for elevenses in Chancery Lane. His weakness was for bacon butties.

    I was really interested in the documents held in the UK Beth Din – and for some reason he wanted to introduce me to the ‘Chief Rabbit’ (as he called him) – but he did warn me that, while not being an ultra-ultra orthodox Jew, the man would not, under any circumstances shake my hand.

    No probs, as far as I was concerned.

    There was, indeed, no problem, the Chief Rabbi held his hand out and shook mine most warmly – it would seem that my status as a ‘scholar’ far out weighed my status as a female.

  26. Boadicea: The process of converting to or returning to Judaism is extremely interesting. I know one man who is in the process of converting to Reform Judaism at the moment. He comes from an Anglo-Celtic/Cherokee family. The rabbi wasn’t especially strict with him, but it still came with a few hurdles. I know an Orthodox Jewish rabbi. He reviewed my lineage and said that I’m technically Jewish in terms of ethnic identity, but would need to receive an education in Jewishness and Hebrew to compensate for not having been brought up in the Jewish faith. My matrilineal line is purely Jewish by Jewish reckoning. There are some awkward questions involved which involve Jewish rites concerning infants with a y-chromosome, but that’s not relevant here.

    One thing to note with Judaism is that it has always required women to be literate. Even if educational opportunities weren’t always equal, the notion that women were expected to be literate, numerate and capable of intellectual life was shocking in Christian society until very recently. In fact, one reason why there was so much hostility shown by Christians to Jews was because as a group, Jewish women were better educated and more intellectually distinguished than the vast majority of Christian men. In societies where literacy was always valued — China, India, Japan, Thailand, etc. you did not see this hostility. There was nothing shocking, for example, with Japanese women being literate. In fact, until the 18th century, most Japanese-language literature was written by women. Men wrote in Classical Chinese, women wrote in Japanese. It was the same in Korea. Even in terms of religious life, the Jewish experience was closer to that of East Asia than Europe — especially Catholic Europe. Jewish women were expected to be able to read the Torah, to be able to read the Talmud, to be able to read Rabbinical writings. As such, they were also able to read law books, business ledgers, works of philosophy, etc. A Jewish woman could read the New Testament when few Christian men could. Catholic priests were very often themselves illiterate having only memorised the sounds of sermons. They neither spoke nor understood Latin. Even now, the role of the Bible takes on secondary importance to the Catechism amongst most Catholics. You believe that the church tells you to believe and only read the original texts if you must and even then, accept the interpretation that the church approves.

    Until the 18th century, few Christians would have accepted the notion of women being co-equals in a relationship. Even if the husband was the leader of the family in the outside world, the wife had a lot of say in the home and family decisions were expected to be made with the input of both spouses. It would take until well into the 18th century for such to even become marginally acceptable in Christian society and not until the 19th century for it to be common. Under Judaism, this had been the norm since the first millennium of the common era. Erudition is, more than anything, valued under Jewish law. That the rabbi recognised you as a scholar is a sign of that.

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