Thoughts on Judaism

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Islam and Judaism

Upon hearing the latest invectives from various Jews about the horrors of Islam, I come to appreciate how similar we all really are.  The laws, the traditions, the customs and mores are practically the same in all respects.  Even the methods of applying law are the same, a written body, a legislative addition from sages, and traditions and commentaries to round them off.

However, there are differences, aren't there?  Very stark differences indeed?  For instance:

1) Doesn't Islam dictate one law for Muslims and relegate infidels to death and supplicants for mercy to second class citizenship?

2) Didn't Muhamed, a grown man, marry a very young child, thus making him a pedophile?

3) Don't they beat and mistreat women who do not comply with their husbands' wishes or bring dishonor to the family?

4) Don't they pursue jihad, holy war, as a matter of religious pursuit?

5) Didn't the prophet commit genocide, sworn to wipe out whole nations?

You may surprised to learn that all of these are also found in Judaism.

1) This is the same rules mentioned in parshas shoftim and in Hilchos Melachim in the Rambam.  Non-Jews who agree to abide by Noachide laws get second class citizenship, a tax and they become servants.  Those who maintain idol worship get death.  Right in the chumash (Deut 20:11).

2) According to Rashi, Yitzchak was 37 when he married Rivka.  Rivka was 3.  This he proves from the order of verses.  Others say she was 13.  Loads better?  Anyway, the interpretation that she was 3 is sustained by the fact they waited for her to have children for 20 years, instead of 10.  She needed 10 to reach puberty.

3) The Rambam states in the laws of marriage (Ishut) that a man should chastise his wife and family when they do sins.  However, he should not beat his wife more than necessary.

4) In Judaism, Parshat Shoftim and Ki Tetzeh, and again in Rambam Melachim, a king can fight a milchemet reshut, with imperial expansion its only purpose.  King David's wars were often in this category, and any war to expand the borders and settlement by Jews of the Land of Israel is a good thing in the Tanach and in halacha.

5) Jews are commanded to wipe out the Kana'anim and the Amalekim to the last man in the Torah.

So what it all comes down to is modern leadership.  The sources are strikingly similar.  The leaders of today, who guide today's actions bear the guilt of success or failure of their philosophies. Haredim take note.