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November 28, 1969 - Image 37

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1969-11-28

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Zeitlin's Studies, Scholarly Classics in New Editions

(Continued from Page 36)
old Law for the new Law of the
Gospel that offers an easy yoke
to all who are 'willing to BE-
LIEVE in the claims of Jesus.
No Jew could possibly admit
these claims, which involve (11
his right to abrogate the divine
law, (2; his power to forgive
sins, the efficacy of his vicarious
atonement, and (4) his ability to
reveal God the Father of man to
whomsoever 'he will. Underlying
these stupendous claims is the
belief in the divinity of Jesus and
his unique divine sonship. There
was nothing to be urged against
all these claims on the part of a
heathen in the year 33 C.E. Then,
as now, the Jew has refused to
admit the validity of these
claims. They are contrary to the
specific teaching of the Old Test-
ament, and are therefore reject-
ed by Israel. Nevertheless, the
Jew admits that Jesus, the Gos-
pels and Christianity have been
the greatest benefit to non-Jewish
people. The same applies to
Mohammed, the. K or a n and
Islam. According to Maimonides,
both of these daughter-religions
have been providentially sent
into the world to prepare the
way for the coming Messianic
age (Hilchoth Melachim xi. 4; cf.
Kuzari iv. 23 and Nachmanides,

Derasha). We do not fail to rec-
ognize that there is a very large
common ground that brings Jew
and Christian together. If the
Gospels divide the Jew from the
Christian, the Old Testament
unites them. God the Father of
all is also admitted by Christians
to be the God of Israel, as well
as the God to whom Jesus cried:
"My God, My God, why hast
Thou forsaken me?" (Matt. xxvii.
46). We have seen that even in
the Gospels there is a consider-
able Jewish element. Four-fifths
of the Sermon on the Mount is
exclusively Jewish. These facts
have been recognized by the rab-
bis, who in the early Middle
Ages proclaimed the Christians
to be Gere Toshab (i.e. prosely-
tes of the Gate; see Isaac b.
Sheschet, Response 119). Juda-
im has repeatedly declared that
Christians are not to be identified
with Nochrim or Goyim (heath-
ens; cf. Shulin, 13b, and Tosa-
phot, Aboda Zara, 2a, and Tosa-
phot, Bechoroth, 2b). Israel has
not forgotten that his mission is
to cause all the families of the
earth to be blessed through his
medium. Israel is the hedge
guarding the garden of humanity
(Exodus Rabba, ii. P 5). Israel
gave the world the belief in one
Heavenly Father, the precious

Greece Denies Ii has Postponed
Terrorist Trial, Plans It Soon

Greek ambassador has denied re-
ports that his government has
postponed the trial of two Arab
terrorists who attacked an El Al
airliner at Athens airport last Dec.

word of God enshrined in the
Hebrew scriptures and the belief
in the coming Messianic age,
when universal brotherhood, and
Jew and Christian will forget
their differences in the great joy
that each will have found in the
other his brother and friend.
Shall WE see the dawn of this
day of true religion? Then shall
God return to Zion, and the Re-
deemer will come to lead men to
the everlasting light of truth and
The introductory essay by Prof.
Zeitlin is of added importance in
considering the subject of Jewish
sources in the Sermon on the
Mount. Dr. Zeitlin's prolegomenon
is a valuable analysis of New Test-
ament preachments and Jew-
ish interpretations and criticisms.
It touches upon prayer, on the
Lord's Prayer, indicating that no-
where is it mentioned in Paul's
Epistles or by the Apostolic Fa-
thers. Dr. Zeitlin describes Fried-
landers' book as a catechism:
"The author wanted to instruct the
Jewish theologians how to defend
Judaism and how to answer th"ir
opponents. Caution must be used
in utilizing this book. It is a pol-
emical treatise. The author did not
exercise historical discipline in his
citations from the rabbinical liter-
ature. The purport of the book was

to serve as an answer to the well-
meaning and sincere Christian the-
ologians who have maintained thz.t
the teachings of Jesus as given in
the Sermon on the Mount are su-
perior to the teachings of the

In the course of his scholarly
analysis, Dr. Zeitlin also touches
upon the lex talionis and we quote

"You have heard that it was said,
•An eye for an eye and a tooth for a
tooth.' But I say to you. Do not resist
one who is evil, But if any one strikes
you on the right cheek turn to him the
other also; and if any one would sue
you take your coat, let him have your
cloak as well" (Matt. 5.35-40).
To comprehend the Biblical law "An
eye for an eye," one must bear in mind
that the ancients had a conception of
the nature of crime and wrongdoing
that was different from that of the
moderns. Many wrongs which are today
considered crimes against the state, and
for which the state is empowered to
impose punishment, were not so re-
garded in ancient times. Injury and
bodily mutilation were considered Pri -
vate wrongs. The sufferer had the right
to fix the punishment. and if he lost an
eye or a tooth, he possessed the right
to take out the eye or the tooth of the
The law of TALIO, as described in
the Bible, was not for the state to en-
force, since the action was not consid-
ered a crime against society, and the
state was not empowered to punish the
offender. It was a case between the
person who inflicted the injury and the
man who was injured. The man who
suffered the injury could entirely ab-
solve from punishment the man who
caused the injury, or he could demand
any satisfaction he desired, even to
taking out the eye of the man who
caused the loss of his eye. TALIO was

the ultimate and extreme satisfaction
which the plaintiff could exact. How.
eter, he might take his satisfaction to
the form of money. Ile was the sole
judge. Josephns interprets the law of
TAI.10 in the Pentateuch as follows:
-Ile that maimeth any one, let him
undergo the like himself, and be de-
priced of the same member of which
he ha th deprived the other, unless he
that Is maimed will accept of money
instead of it; for the law makes the
sufferer the judge of the value of what
he hash suffered, and permits him to
estimate it, unless he n ill be more

set err."

During the Second Commonwealth,
the Pharisees abolished the lex tali.
This was done by a legal fiction
which limited the right of the man
who suffered the loss of an eye that
was exactly like his own in size and
color. Since it was impossible for men
to have precisely the same organs in
esery respect the injured could not
make use of the law of TALIO. Thus,
by this legal fiction, the law of TALI()
was in reality abolished. The injured
person had the right to demand only
money satisfaction for the loss of his
e. for the pain, for medical care, for
disability, and for humiliation. The law
of TALI() was in reality replaced by a
law of monetary compensation.
Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount,
speaks as a utopian moralist when he
says. "Do not resist one who is evil."
Ile asks not only to refrain from de-
manding satisfaction, TA1.10, but not
to resist evil at all. JVSIts approached
the problems of his day purely as an
ethical leacher. He disreearded stale
and society in his preaching. and ad-
dressed himself to the Indiridual and
his needs. He made ethical appeals,
seeking the retronstruction of innate
human nature. The sages. on the other
hand, sought ethical goals by means of
the social controls provided by law and
its interpretation.
'MOS. even as a polemical cate-


chism, Friedlanders' "The Jewish
Sources of the Sermon on the
Mount" is a very valuable work.


Rahamim will face three judges
and a panel of nine jurors. He is
accompanied by Gabriel Bach. the
Israeli state attorney who will ob-
serve the trial and assist the
defendant's lawyers if necessary.

Swiss police reportedly had in-
formation that members of the
l'opular Front for the Liberation
of Palestine were in Switzerland
to murder Rahamim in revenge
for the death of one terrorist. The
three other Arabs will go on trial
shortly on charges of murder and
face the maximum penalty of life
imprisonment. Their attack fatally
wounded an Israeli pilot trainee,
He said a statement by the pub-'
Yoram Peresz.
tic prosecutor in Athens had been
misinterpreted and that the date
of the trial has simply not been Historical Society Moving
93-Year-Old DC Temple
The Israel government, mean-
while, was reported to have been
year-old synagogue building that
formally advised that Greece is
once housed Washington's Adas
proceeding with preparations for
Israel congregation will be moved
a January or February trial. The
virtually intact next month to
information was
representative new location three blocks from
Israel's diplomatic
its present one so that it can be
in Grece, Yaacov Carot.
preserved as an historic site.
The Jewish delegation asked
The brick and wood structure
Ambassador Witsaxis for clarifi- was purchased by the Jewish
cation of a public statement by the
Greek Orthodox archbishop in Am- Historical Society of Washington
man, Jordan that the two terrorists from the Metropolitan Area Transi
would be freed. The envoy said Authority, which is building a sub-
he would communicate with his way where the synagogue originally
tood. The Historical Society, a
nonprofit group. paid a token fee
The Greek prosecutor's office of S10 and is . seeking a federal
had announced that a decision had grant for historic preservation.
been reached to postpone the trial
The Department of Housing
indefinitely to avoid damaging
and Urban Development
Greek relations with Arab states.
agreed tentatively to pay half
The Athens announcement evoked
of the 5150,000 moving cost. The
a strong protest from Israel. which
balance and funds for restora-
was conveyed to friendly nations.
tion of the building will come
Meanwhile, Mordehai Rahamim,
from bank loans secured by per-
the El Al security guard who gun-
sonal notes of leaders of the
ned down one of four Arab ter-
Jewish Historical Society. The
rorists who attacked an Israeli
synagogue was constructed in
airliner at Zurich .airport early
this year, arrived in Zurich Tues-
day to face trial. Adas Israel moved out in 1908
According to the latest informa- but retained the property which
tion, he will be charged with has now been sold to the Transit

Ambassador Basil Witsaxis told
a delegation representing the Con-
ference of Presidents of Major
American Jewish Organizations
that news stories that the trial was
deferred "for political reasons" or
any other reasons were incorrect.
An Israeli passenger was killed
in the attack.

manslaughter, rather than with Authority.
The lower floor of the synagogue
murder under extenuating circum-
had been converted to stores. Only
stances, as originally reported.
the upper floor, containing the
Swiss police have taken elab-
sanctuary, will be moved to the
orate security precautions fol-
new site, which the Historical Soci-
lowing Arab threats on Raha.
ety has leased from the District of
mim's life. The young Israeli
Columbia government. It will be
was driven from the airport to
put on a new foundation. The old
a secret residence near Zurich
synagogue is of Federal style
under police guard. The trial
architecture. The interior is of
will take place in the town of
pine paneling painted white and
Winterthur, which is considered
is well preserved.
safer from a security standpoint.


1Fridey, Nevembor

u,:1969 - 37

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