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Thread: On Israel Shahak: "the latest, if not the last, of the great prophets"

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    Default On Israel Shahak: "the latest, if not the last, of the great prophets"

    The downloaded books are a revisionist history and even a tell-all of traditional rabbinic Judaism. They tell a revealing story.

    Israel Shahak was born Israel Himmelstaub, in 1933, in Warsaw, Poland, and was the youngest child of a cultured, Zionist family of Ashkenazi Jews.[a][b] During the Second World War, the Nazi Occupation of Poland (1939–45) interned the Shahak family to the Warsaw Ghetto; yet his elder brother escaped Poland to Britain, where he joined the Royal Air Force. Meanwhile, life in occupied Poland forced Shahak's mother to pay a Roman Catholic family to hide Israel, whom they returned when she could not afford their safe-keeping him from the Nazis.In 1943, the Nazis sent the Shahak family to the Poniatowa concentration camp, to the west of Lublin, where his father died. Fortuitously, the ten-year-old boy and his mother escaped from the Poniatowacamp, and returned to Warsaw; yet, within a year, whilst emptying the city of Jews, the Nazis recaptured Israel and his mother, and imprisoned them in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they survived for 2 years,[4][5] until the camp and its inmates were liberated in 1945 by the British Army. Age 13, in 1946, he reexamined the idea of God's existence and concluded evidence for the theory was lacking.[4] As displaced persons mother and son managed to emigrate to the British Mandate of Palestine, where Shahak's application to join a kibbutz was denied, because he was judged to be physically too slender.[c]

    Post-war, the twelve-year-old Israel worked and studied and supported his sickly mother: surviving Bergen-Belsen had broken her health. After a religious Jewish education at boarding school, in the village of Kfar Hassidim, Israel and his mother moved to the city of Tel Aviv. Upon graduation from secondary school, Shahak soldiered in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF); after military service, he earned a doctorate in chemistry, at Hebrew University.[4]

    In the course of his professional career as a scientist, Shahak's work in organic chemistry produced science about organic compounds of the element fluorine (F), contributed to cancer research, for which he gained an international reputation[5] and included posting as an assistant to Ernst David Bergmann, the nuclear physicist who was chairman (1952) of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC).[4][2] In 1961, Shahak pursued post-doctoral studies at Stanford University, in the U.S.; in 1963, he returned to Israel, where he became a popular lecturer and researcher in chemistry, at Hebrew University; moreover, by 1965, Prof. Shahak actively participated in the Israeli politics of the day.[6]

    In 1990, the academic Shahak retired from the faculty of Hebrew University, because of poor health (diabetes mellitus) and greater interest in research work in other fields of intellectual enquiry.[7] For most of his adult life, Prof. Israel Shahak, Ph.D., resided in the Rehavia neighborhood in West Jerusalem; at the age of 68 years, he died of diabetic complications, and was buried in the Givat Shaul cemetery.[4]

    Shahak had a deep affinity with Spinoza:[d][e]}he always packed a copy of The Ethics in his suitcase for reading during his periodic stints of service in the Israel Defense Forces,[9] and had been writing a book on the philosopher before death intervened.[4] His activities as a public intellectual fighting for human rights causes and for a secular state earned him a reputation for controversy, and frequent abuse. He was regularly spat on,[4] frequently given death threats,[4] and decried variously as an Israel basher, self-hating Jew, traitor, and enemy of the people....

    In 1994, Shahak published Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years, about Jewish fundamentalism, which history professor Norton Mezvinsky, at Central Connecticut State University, said is a:

    Scathing attack upon Classical Judaism and its more modern outgrowth, Orthodox Judaism.... As a lover of prophetic Judaism and as a disciple of Spinoza, Shahak, in a learned and rational manner, condemned the parochialism, racism, and hatred of non-Jews, which too often appeared in the Judaism that developed during and after the Talmudic period, and which, to a goodly extent, still exists.[7]

    That the initial history of most nations is ethnocentric, and that, in time, by way of a period of critical self-analysis, the nation incorporates the social perspectives of the Other, of the ethnic groups living among them. That, after the Age of Enlightenment, the Jewish emancipation from legal and religious social subordination was a dual liberation — from Christian antisemitismand from the rabbinate of Conservative Judaism, and their "imposed scriptural control" upon daily Jewish life.[24] The journalist Robert Fisk said that the examination of Jewish fundamentalism is invaluable, because Shahak concludes that:

    There can no longer be any doubt that the most horrifying acts of oppression in the West Bank are motivated by Jewish religious fanaticism." He quotes from an official exhortation to religious Jewish soldiers about Gentiles, published by the Israeli army's Central Region Command, in which the chief chaplain writes: "When our forces come across civilians during a war, or in hot pursuit, or a raid, so long as there is no certainty that those civilians are incapable of harming our forces, then, according to the Halakhah (the legal system of Classical Judaism) they may and even should be killed... In no circumstances should an Arab be trusted, even if he makes an impression of being civilised.... In war, when our forces storm the enemy, they are allowed, and even enjoined, by the Halakhah to kill even good civilians, that is, civilians who are ostensibly good.[25]

    In his foreword to the second edition (1997), Edward Said said that Shahak was "one of the most remarkable individuals in the contemporary Middle East."[26] In his book review, Werner Cohn said that Shahak was making "grotesque charges" and that specific passages in Jewish History, Jewish Religion are without foundation:[27]

    Some are just funny. He says (pp. 23-4) that "Jewish children are actually taught" to utter a ritual curse when passing a non-Jewish cemetery.[i] He also tells us (p. 34) that "both before and after a meal, a pious Jew ritually washes his hands....On one of these two occasions he is worshiping God... but on the other he is worshiping Satan..." I did take the trouble to question my orthodox rabbi nephew to find what might be behind such tall tales. He had no clue. If orthodox Jews were actually taught such hateful things, surely someone would have heard. Whom is Dr. Shahak kidding?.[27][j]

    The remark regarding children passing a cemetery occurs in Shahak's discussion of passages modified by rabbis who, under pressure from antisemitic Christian authorities such as those in Tzarist Russia, altered the texts, while keeping private copies of the originals which, according to Shahak were restored as the proper manuscript readings and published in Israel after the founding of the state of Israel.[30]
    From Wikipedia
    Last edited by Lauren Johnson; 07-17-2019 at 05:28 AM.
    "We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

    "We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl

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