Abodah Zara 26b: "Even the best of the Gentiles should be killed."
Although there is no such statement in the Talmud, this statement does appear in a commentary to that page of the Talmud called, "Tosafot," which was written about 700 years ago. It also appears in a Halachic Midrash called the "Mechilta." Let us quote the statement precisely, however, along with its entire context. In Exodus 10:7 it says, "And Pharoah took his six hundred best chariots and all of the chariots of Egypt and pursued the Children of Israel." Asks the Mechilta, "But from where did the Egyptians get horses to drive the chariots, didn't all the Egyptian livestock perish? (in the plagues of pestilence and hail) as it is written (Exodus 9:6) "and all the Egyptian livestock died"? The Mechilta responds that they must have belonged to those Egyptians that "feared G-d," as it says in Exodus 9:20, "He who feared G-d among Pharoahs subjects brought his servants and livestock inside their homes." The Mechilta continues, therefore "the best of Egyptians, kill." Egyptians not Gentiles; 3,300 years ago, not now. For it was those good "G-d fearing" Egyptians that gave chase (or at least lent their horses to give chase) to the Children of Israel with murderous intent. There is another version that reads, "The best of the Canaanites, kill." But again, the Children of Israel were at war with the Canaanites. The Mechilta is describing a wartime policy of not sparing even the seemingly good of the enemy for otherwise you may fall into their hands. This is also the way the Tosafot commentary to Avodah Zarah 26b explains this statement; that it refers only to times of war.
"To communicate anything to a goy about our religious relations would be equal to the killing of all Jews, for if they knew what we teach about them they would kill us openly." - Libbre David 37.
"If a Jew be called upon to explain any part of the rabbinic books, he ought to give only a false explanation. Who ever will violate this order shall be put to death." Libbre David 37.
While it is possible that the book Libbre David existed I have not been able to find it, even with the help of a librarian from Yeshiva University's Gottesman Library. It was certainly never a mainstream book. In fact, it is strictly prohibited to lie about the contents of the Talmud.
Let us take an extreme example and see the conclusions of some legal authorities. What should a rabbi do if a disgruntled pig farmer came to his house, aimed a gun at the rabbi, and said "I want pigs to be kosher. Tell me, rabbi, are pigs kosher?"
R. Yishayahu HaLevy Horowitz, Shnei Luchot Habrit, Masechet Shevuot p. 33b (Jerusalem:1975)
It is forbidden to change the words of Torah even in times of danger; one must give one's life over it.
R. Shlomo Luria, Yam Shel Shlomo, Bava Kamma 4:9
Rather we see from here that we are obligated to give ourselves over and sanctify G-d's name and if one, G-d forbid, changes one law it is as if he denied the Torah of Moses... To [lie and] say that one who is innocent is guilty or vice versa is like denying the Torah of Moses. What is the difference between denying one word and denying the entire Torah?
According to Rabbis Horowitz and Luria it is FORBIDDEN to lie about the Torah or Talmud even if it means losing one's life. A proof is frequently brought from the Jerusalem Talmud Sanhedrin 2:1 (9b), Horiot 3:1 (11b). Another proof is brought from Talmud Bava Kamma 38a where the story is told of two Roman soldiers who were taught by rabbis the entire Written and Oral Law and found only one point to be offensive. Evidently the rabbis taught the truth about the laws to occupying soldiers even though the soldiers might find them offensive.
There is a dissenting view, however. The Yad Eliyahu (responsa 48) suggests that even though it is forbidden to lie about the Torah or Talmud, when there is a clear and present threat to human life it is better to lie than to have blood shed. According to the Yad Eliyahu, the rabbi would lie to the disgruntled pig farmer until he is calm and disarmed.
However, all agree that barring such extreme circumstances it is forbidden to lie about the contents of the Torah or Talmud
· 9 years ago