Recently We Hold These Truths uploaded a podcast featuring a discussion on the book, “Judaism’s Strange Gods,” by Michael Hoffman. The following is the program description:
Many Christians, especially Christian Zionists, believe that the religion of Judaism today is the same as was the religion of the Israelites of the Old Testament, except there are no animal sacrifices now. We Hold These Truths‘ Craig Hanson does an excellent job delving into the subject and analyzing Michael Hoffman’s book, “Judaism’s Strange Gods.”
In the book, Christian scholar Michael Hoffman documents his provocative thesis that Judaism is not the religion of the Old Testament, but the newly formalized belief system of the Pharisees, which arose in Babylon with the commitment of the formally, oral traditions of the elders to writing, in the wake of the crucifixion of Israels Messiah and the destruction of the Temple. Basing his findings on authoritative Judaic sources, Hoffman demonstrates that Judaism is a man-made religion of tradition and superstition, which represents the institutionalized nullification of Biblical law and doctrine. Liberating the reader from the accumulated shackles of decades of misinformation, this book that shows that Judaism’s god is not the God of Israel, but the strange gods of Talmud and Kabbalah, and the racial self-worship they inculcate. (23 minutes)
And here is a brief excerpt from Hoffman’s preface to the book:
Also, while on the subject of the “strange gods” of Judaism…a couple of days ago I put up a post about Nouf Infiaat, the young Palestinian girl who sought martyrdom by attacking an Israeli soldier on June 1, her last day of school. In that same post, I also mentioned (and included a video of) a “Celebrate Israel” parade that was held in New York City two days after Nouf’s death.
There were of course some protestors at that parade, and among these were members of the Orthodox Jewish group Neturei Karta. Below is an NK video of the event, including comments from one of the group’s members who refers to the state of Israel as “a rebellion against God” and who characterizes Zionism at one point as a “machine of Satan.” It’s a rather astounding video for a couple of reasons. One reason I say that is for what he says. The other is the plastic covering he and other members of the group can be see wearing upon their hats:
When I first watched this video I found myself puzzling over the plastic hat covers. My first thought was, “well, maybe it’s some kind of Jewish ritual, or something.” It wasn’t until I finally listened to the We Hold These Truths podcast that it finally clicked on me. In the latter part of the podcast, the subject of NK actually comes up. Tom Compton, one of the hosts of the program, mentions an NK rabbi who spoke at an event in Tucson at the University of Arizona and was “spat upon by Jewish students there.” That’s when it hit me what the plastic hat covers were most likely for.
Another thing I find striking about the video is the emotion, and what clearly seems to be anguish on the NK member’s face, as he discusses (starting at about 5:40) those Jews, particularly Jews inside of Israel, it seems, who have taken a stand against the Israeli government by such things as refusing to serve in the Israeli military. He refers to such people as being “murdered” as well as “arrested and brutally beaten.” The details of this he doesn’t get into, nor does he name any names, but certainly it’s worth keeping in mind that there are some Jews (not nearly a majority but the number does seem to be growing) who have taken a moral stand against the state of Israel and who in some cases have done so at considerable personal cost to themselves. This is, I think, something the rest of us may tend to forget about much of the time. We should try and remember it.
Finally, one other point of summation on the “strange gods” of Judaism–and this also perhaps ties in with the NK member’s comments about the “machine of Satan.” In his book, Jewish History Jewish Religion: the Weight of Three Thousand Years, Israel Shahak discusses certain instances in which Jews who follow the Cabbala will at times offer up prayers to propitiate Satan:
Or take another example: both before and after a meal, a pious Jew ritually washes his hands, uttering a special blessing. On one of these two occasions he is worshiping God, by promoting the divine union of Son and Daughter; but on the other he is worshiping Satan, who likes Jewish prayers and ritual acts so much that when he is offered a few of them it keeps him busy for a while and he forgets to pester the divine Daughter. Indeed, the cabbalists believe that some of the sacrifices burnt in the Temple were intended for Satan.
My hope is that some day Christian Zionists will experience a cathartic awakening to some of this stuff, but it’s highly unlikely they will ever hear about it from their church pastors. Sadly, they seem mesmerized by the “carnal awe in which contemporary Judaic people are adored”, as Hoffman phrases it.