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Virtual Talmud


Sick and Disturbed in Damascus

The behavior of Muslims rioting in Damascus over cartoons depicting Muhammad as a terrorist only reinforces the public perception that radical Islam is a danger to humanity. Moreover, sadly, it makes Muslims literally into caricatures of themselves.

The rioters’ actions are nothing less than what the Bible describes as Avodah Zarah, a strange and bizarre worship of God. The Bible saves it strongest condemnation not for hedonism, heresy, or atheism, but rather for those who worship an absolute in a strange and bizarre way.

More dangerous than anything else is not a denial of God but a perverse use of God’s name. Regarding such worship, the Bible and Talmud are clear; it must be uprooted, criticized, and denounced (Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah, 45b).

God, when employed in an absolutist manner, becomes the enemy of religion. If burning effigies of Jesus and killing innocent human beings while simultaneously denouncing a caricature of Muhammad does not constitute a strange and bizarre worship of an absolute, then what does?



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gadje

posted February 8, 2006 at 12:02 am


Good observation, but if you cant employ ‘god’ in an absolutist manner, how could you denounce any so-called ‘heresy’?



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A. K.

posted February 8, 2006 at 1:44 am


I have heard Muslims trying to explain the rage as an anger not towards the “demeaning nature” of the cartoons, but toward the “very depiction of the prophet”, the fact that he was portrayed at all. Yet, Muslims despise Christians because of their deification of Jesus. How is that any different than treating Muhammad as too sacred for imagery? In Judaism, the only one who is “entitled” to that degree of reverence is G-d himself. The rest of us, including the greatest prophet of all, Moses, are human.



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cusidh

posted February 8, 2006 at 6:57 am


You know, frankly, I’ve never been behind the American fundamentalist paranoia of Islam, but that doesn’t mean I have any inclination to support Muslims doing the *same damn thing under a different name.* Christians, Muslims, If neither of you can take a *fricking joke about what you do to millions of people throughout the world for all to see… Then, A pox. A pox on both your houses. Go ahead and pick up your bats and your bombs. Cause you’re *all the same,* and I pity you.



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ANGELA

posted February 8, 2006 at 2:33 pm


I AM neither for the muslims or jews I am a believer in G-D and Jesus CHrist, The Golden Rule Do Unto Others and none of you are doing the Golden Rule. Muhammad would be disgraced at how the muslims today are acting he himself would have laughed at the cartoon ( So will all true Muslims please stand up for the true Muhammed and follow his true ways as you are not doing.



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Marian Neudel

posted February 8, 2006 at 5:30 pm


The holiest thing on earth is the human soul, made in the divine image and likeness. To kill a human being is not only murder but sacrilege. Any ostensibly divine entity in whose name human beings are killed is an idol.



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Charmaine

posted February 8, 2006 at 7:45 pm


All of this saddens me. I personaly believe these YOUNG people are very angry at the world and as is the way with the youth they take it out on the public with violence.Perhaps if we knew what their daily life was like we could better understand this behavior?



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Pawn

posted February 8, 2006 at 8:19 pm


It certainly seems the behavior is motivated by the words of the Qu’ran and the teaching of Muhammed. The Qu’ran teaches that a Muslim should emulate the life of Muhammed, and violence many times followed him during his lifetime (and other times he was the one to instigate it). This kind of behavior is certainly not outside what the Qu’ran teaches in any fashion.



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Ghei Albani

posted February 8, 2006 at 9:35 pm


Read the commentary by Mark LeVine. It is one of the most intelligent comments I have yet read on this topic.



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Ghei Albani

posted February 8, 2006 at 9:36 pm


The article by LeVine appears in this issue of BeliefNet



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Pat

posted February 10, 2006 at 3:57 am


I quite agree with eastcoastlady of http://www.beliefnet.com and her saying Use of G-d’s name is vain is a violation of the Commandments. Use of G-d to condone or justify this on-going violence is one of the worst kinds of sin. And also it’s not a justification for taking your anger out on the world We should try to follow the right path and I guess others will follow.



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eastcoastlady

posted February 10, 2006 at 1:27 pm


Wow, Pat, thank you for the support and kind words.



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Janel A.

posted February 11, 2006 at 7:40 am


eh, that is so well said!



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Janel A.

posted February 11, 2006 at 7:42 am


I mean, Rabbi Eliyahu Stern’s post is so well said. (Needed to clarify my last comment)



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Pearl

posted February 12, 2006 at 3:05 pm


We pride ourselves on a free press in the free world. Did you see any Jews demonstrating and killing people after the publication of myriad cartoons mocking them? I refer you to ww.adl.org where they have printed various cartoons printed in the Arab Press in the recent months!!! WILL SOMEBODY GIVE ME A BREAK???



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Aaron

posted February 12, 2006 at 5:58 pm


Charmaine, you know those silly “young people” going around starting fires, kidnapping, cutting off heads? Gee wiz… Misdirected youth.



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Alice Berg

posted February 14, 2006 at 2:22 am


I am glad that you have told us about the cartoon and who was involved in it. I have been hearing about the cartoon , but nothing else. I am a Christian and I do believe in Christ, and one who believes in Christ believe in letting people beleive what they want to believe, It is their choice. But a true Christtain denounce their belief and not take part in their way of their Gods or God. But they let them live what they want to believe ,and Gods hand is strecht forth, If it doesn’t come against the 10 commandment. All were created by God ,it rains and shines on the good and evil.The 10 commandments should be up held. I believe we should as Christains should encourage respect and honor for all beliefs , we don’t have to take them on as our beliefs , but respect their beliefs , by letting them believe the way they want to. We should all be aloud to teach our children our beliefs , and enjoy freedom of speach. Stand by freedom of speach, pratice it, but do it with honor and respect. And that is what the Muslim religion don’t believe and History has shown they have a very violent belief. I think Freedom needs to be taught and hopefully they will hear the freedom bells and understand.



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Earl L. Eskridge

posted February 15, 2006 at 4:56 pm


War is the source to see what reality is really like, and when I came back from Vietnam I did a research on the different religions and I had the chance to read about Mohammed and his life. Mohammed had a condition that made him fall down biting his tongue and what we call having a fit.The Arab people clam that he was touch by gods as they were pagan believes in a black stone that was their idol and is in the mosque today. In this condition he calm to see One GOD. Only his family and close friends came to believe him. He was angry because no one esle would believe him..stiring a fire he raised his sword and said “Islam or death. He raise a mercerdary army letting them have the contraband as the people needed Islam. As he was teaching the conqued people about Islam he notice that the soldiers were listening so he made the statement that if a person dies defend Islam he would go immedeately to heaven and fourteen virgins would serve him. Now we see those who do not know Mohammed killing people because of a cartoon. Mohammed only want those to believe in the One GOD, but today the believers are not worshipping the One GOD they call Allah, they are worshipping Mohammed by they actions of destruction of those who they call infedels. If they truly believe in GOD,then they would leave it to GOD(Allah) to do the justice of a cartoon of Mohammed for Mohammed was just a man, not a GOD.



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Rhoda Friedman

posted February 20, 2006 at 3:33 pm


IT’S A FUNNY THING. BUT WHEN OTHER RELIGIONS MADE FUN OF THE JEWS,(BIG NOSE,HORNS,ETC.) WE TOOK IT AND CONSIDERED THE SOURCE. YES IT HURT WHEN MY 5 YEAR OLD SON CAME HOME FROM SCHOOL CRYING AFTER BEING CALLED SOME VERY UGLY NAMES, THE WORST I’VE EVER HEARD, BUT I TOLD HIM THE WHOLE WORLD IS NOT NICE LIKE US. THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT WE ALL PRAY TO THE SAME GOD, BELIEVE IN THE SAME GOD. FOLLOW THE SAME TEN COMMANDMENTS.MOST IMPORTANTLY WE COME FROM THE SAME FAMILY, NOAH, HIS SONS, DAUGHTERS MAKE UP THE WORLD WE LIVE IN AND THAT WE ARE EITHER BROTHERS, COUSINS, SISTERS AND ALL OF US RELATED THROUGH NOAH SONS HEM, SHEM, AND YEPHETH. WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN NOW IS FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD TO WAKE UP AND HEAR THE TRUTH FROM THEIR LEADERS. ONLY THEN CAN THE TERRORISTS STOP BELIEVING THAT ISREAL SHOULD BE WIPED OUT OFF THE EARTH. WOULD A BROTHER SAY OF ANOTHER BROTHER KILL HIM? FOR WHAT REASON? THIS IS A BIG WORLD. LET US LIVE IN OUR HOMELAND GOD GAVE TO US.THEY CAN LIVE NEAR THE TEMPLE IN MECCA AND PRAY,STOP KILLING AND LIVE IN PEACE. GOD WILLING, IN OUR TIME.



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Azar Kahn

posted February 26, 2006 at 8:12 pm


Is it possiable that the people of the three religions of God,Jews,christians and Muslims could live in Harmony and peace? They are reluctant of acceptance among themselves.Circumstantially,it appearse as they don,t have any religion rather they are in search of new religions .



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Jim

posted March 1, 2006 at 3:48 am


Finally a voice of reason. Christianity and Judaism have certainly endured their share of ridicule, in this secularist society any person of faith is ridiculed. This is certainly not acceptable, but it is a fact of life. Islam attempts to set itself up as the final revelation and somehow superior and above any criticism whatever and yet which religion has been at the center of the most heinous attacks on humanity? Americans are held as hostages during the Carter administration, bombing after bombing against Israel and the U.S. Salmon Rushdie writes a critical book, his life is threatened. The bombings of American military centers in Beirut and Saudi Arabia, the bombing of the USS Cole, the twice bombed World Trade Center. On and on no corner of the world is immune to Islamic terrorism, and yet the American media cowers in fear of making any criticism. You could bet your bottom dollar if these were Christian or Jewish groups perpetrating these crimes they would be pilloried by the U.S. press.



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