3JEWS AND CHRISTIANITY
During the turbulent times of the Middle Ages and leading to our own era, there have been a number of wars with particularly religious emphasis. From 1208 to 1228, for instance, the Catholic Church led crusades against the Albigensions (a Christian "heretic" movement in Western Europe), which totally destroyed them. The Inquisition burned thousands of Christians at the stake and eliminated religious dissent in Southern Europe. For over a century, from 1559, much of Europe echoed a series of religious wars between Catholics and Protestants. One of the most famous atrocities of this period was the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, in which thousands of Huguenots were massacred in Paris, and thousands more in the countryside. In the seventeenth century, Protestant churches in Poland were destroyed by Catholics in anti-Protestant riots in towns like Poznan, Cracow, and Lublin. [HAGEN, p. 198]
A Chabad-sponsored Internet web site notes that
"The Talmud (Babylonian edition) records other sins of 'Jesus of Nazarene':
1) He and his disciples practiced sorcery and black magic, led Jews astray
into idolatry, and were sponsored by foreign, gentile powers for the
purpose of subverting Jewish worship (Sanhedrin 43a).
2) He was sexually immoral, worshipped statues of stone (a brick is mentioned),
was cut off from the Jewish people for his wickedness, and refused to repent
(Sanhedrin 107b, Sotah 47a).
3) He learned witchcraft in Egypt and, to perform miracles, used procedures
that involved cutting his flesh -- which is also explicitly banned in the Bible
The false, rebellious message of Jesus has been thoroughly rejected by the
vast majority of the Jewish people, as G-d commanded. Unfortunately,
however, this same message has brought a terrible darkness upon the
world; today, over 1.5 billion gentiles believe in Jesus. Those lost souls
mistakingly think they have found salvation in Jesus; tragically, they are
in for a rude awakening." [NOAH'S COVENANT WEB SITE, 2001]
Another Israeli, Israel Shamir, notes that the Toledoth is being rejuvenated today in Israel:
"Last year , the biggest Israeli tabloid Yedioth Aharonoth reprinted in its
library the Jewish anti-Gospel, Toledoth Yeshu, compiled in the Middle Ages.
It is the third recent reprint, including one in a newspaper. If the Gospel is the
book of love, Toledoth is the book of hate for Christ. The hero of the book
is Judas. He captures Jesus by polluting his purity. According to Toledoth,
the conception of Christ was in sin, the miracles of Christ were witchcraft,
his resurrection but a trick." [SHAMIR, I., 2001]
Secular Jewish author Earl Shorris recalled in 1982 the first time he bought a Christmas tree, and the emotions he had when he decided to throw the tree out after both he and his son cut their hands on Christmas ornaments ("one of the cruciform balls"):
"I resolved to save the lives of the Shorris family by getting the Christmas tree
out of my house. Like David approaching the giant of Gath in the valley of
Elah, I advanced upon the Goliath of Christmas trees. For a moment I was
afraid, but I knew that righteousness was on my side and I snatched the great
tree from its moorings and bore it out to the trash bin. Disregarding the
mystical signs that hung from its limbs, I broke it in half with my bare hands
and cast it down into the dark barrel, the Sheol of Christmas trees. Then all
the family -- the mother, the wounded men,and even the babe -- rejoiced."
[SHORRIS, E., 1982, p. 40]
"A number of years ago," notes Maurice Friedman about common Jewish perspective on Christianity,
"one of my oldest friends, now a minister, told me of his hope of establishing
a community church which would attract many of the Jews in New York City
who no longer have any religious commitment. 'Will you have a cross at the
altar?' I asked.
'Of course,' he replied. 'It is a universal religious symbol.'
'That is where you are wrong,' I said. 'Even to the non-religious Jews
the cross is a symbol of anti-Semitism from which the Jew has had to suffer.'"
[FRIEDMAN, M., 1965, p. 211]