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Old March 16th, 2012 #1
Karl Radl
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Karl Radl
Default A Jew in the Julian Society

A Jew in the Julian Society


The Julian Society; of which I am a 'member', (1) is not exactly the likeliest place that you would expect to find a jew hanging around: however a few months ago a jew; who goes under the pseudonym Oxartes, (2) joined the mailing list/discussion group associated with the Julian Society. He mentions that he is a jew in almost every post he makes, which is perhaps surprising given the fact that he is among a group of neo-pagans and pagan re-constructionists. The reason I say it is surprising is that Oxartes claims he is 'modern Orthodox', which just means he is an Orthodox jew without any interest in the mystical side of Judaism most famously; although not exclusively, embodied in the Kabbalah and possibly not so interested in the absolute nature of the Oral Torah (i.e. bordering of Solomon Schechter's 'Conservative' Judaism).

Now Orthodoxy and Judaism writ large; both historically and currently, would never have any truck with pagans of any description precisely because the (Written) Torah, Nevi'im (3) and Ketuvim (4) all explicitly condemn any converse or compromise with those who do not worship Yahweh as they must therefore worship 'evil spirits' and 'devils'. One should remember that the Decalogue clearly states:

'Thou shalt have no other gods before me.'

And

'Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.'

Both these commandments are from the (Written) Torah (I.e. direct from Hashem himself) and thus it is next to impossible for Oxartes to truthfully claim that he is not acting contrary to Yahweh's direct command by endorsing pagans. Or perhaps is he trying to become a new incarnation of the classical world's Israel Lobby and advocate for his conception of jewish interests among the pagans like Herod Agrippa I and Empress Livia's jewish handmaid Acme?

However Oxartes fails to mention this not so small snag and unfortunately the membership; other than my lonesome self, seems to have little collective knowledge of Judaism's intellectual foundations and practices so they simply don't understand how inimical jews are to any kind of paganism or polytheism. I would also point out that historically jews have been some of the worst and most vicious foes of pagans in general having spent a large part of their considerable time under Greek and Roman rule either murdering pagans and attacking temples or talking about and conspiring to do so. (5)

The idea; that they are somehow 'friends' of paganism and those interested in studying it, is simply an invention from whole cloth with no serious basis in either history (with the partial exception of the Hellenizing jews) or Judaism in any form. It is derived from the infamously bad logic of 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' and as jews perceive Christianity and Christian symbols to be one of their greatest historic foes (who still exist) (6): they regard anyone who can help them smash that current threat to their individual and collective advantage as short term intellectual and political canon fodder to serve their ends. Much as they have 'helped' the Muslims against the Christians, the Christians against the Muslims, the Christians against the Pagans and the Pagans against the Christians: the jews are not interested in anything other than their own individual advantage and if that translates into collective jewish advantage: well all the better if it is perceived to benefit the jewish individuals concerned as well.

This kind of 'we will aid' (if you do what we demand of) you claim in making common cause with the more pressing jewish foe of the moment is symptomatically expressed by Oxartes in a recent response (from the 11th February 2012) he penned to a new pagan member:

'Hello Colin!

As a non-pagan member (who mostly lurks), let me be the first to welcome you.

>notes with regard to some of my ancestors being burned by christians because they
>refused to convert.

See? You pagans & we (orthodox) Jews have much in common, having both known the business end of Christian intolerance up close and personal. We each hold to our respective traditions and in so doing deny the Nazarenes the external validation they crave, and this rankles the hell out of them.

L'chaim!

Oxartes'

Note that Oxartes specifically identifies himself as a 'non-pagan' and an Orthodox jew, but then proceeds to all but lecture the new pagan member on how he should think and how 'comradeship' between jews and pagans should be the rule: as they both supposedly have 'much in common' (they don't in the slightest in actuality as covered above), but this is found only in that they have non-Christian traditions (rather like trying to compare an amoeba with a mountain lion by claiming they are both 'living') and have been 'subject to Christian persecution'.

This latter claim is just silly as while there has been some unjustified historical persecution of both groups: the 'persecution' of the jews is just as common among pagans historically than it has been among Christians and is quite independent of a belief in Christianity. Did not the Romans introduce the first jewish tax? Did not they later ban circumcision? Did not the Greeks first report the phenomenon of the so-called 'blood libel'? Did not Greeks first cite the phenomenon of jewish self-ghettoisation?

Indeed I would not personally count any of these as 'persecutions' much as I would not count much of what the Christians did later to the jews; of accused them of, as 'persecutions' (7) but rather valid policy measures and charges that were sometimes intellectually distorted by the lens of Christian thought and theology: but never-the-less with a very real core behind them. A core I might add that jews and their apologists have historically and currently been beyond hasty to simply reject as 'lies', 'bias', 'prejudice', 'myth' and/or 'distort': indeed so transparent is this that even jewish scholars (8) are beginning to reject this pure jewish victimology in favour of a more reasoned; if still slightly apologetic, intellectual position that isn't quite so likely to be the ticking intellectual hagiographic time-bomb of current 'Jewish Studies' norms and forms.

One of these absurd apologetic positions; which I have seen cited from time to time most unusually in one of Koenraad Elst's attacks on Savitri Devi in his two volume work 'The Saffron Swastika', that Oxartes has trotted out in the past is that the Emperor Julian was a philo-Semite who loved jews. This is; as I have documented elsewhere, (9) is complete nonsense and has long been subject to the scorn of classicists although not of many popular writers on Julian. Julian was certainly no friend of the jews or a proto-Zionist (10) and nor were the jews themselves particular supporters of Julian (although I don't doubt Oxartes will try to make his excuses about that little detail). (11)

In many ways Oxartes is typical of the ingratiating nature of jews when they want something after joining a group in that crawls and fawns upon the group in general being a 'good member' and offering a 'different perspective', but the probability is that Oxartes is simply a jew with an personal egoistic agenda who wants to influence the Julian Society's discussions and postings to a more philo-Semitic interpretation and/or has a notion that he can become a 'leading member' so that he can tell the 'impure gentiles' all about their place in the world as ruled by jews.

Oxartes hasn't mentioned that in (Orthodox) Judaism: non-jews are biologically impure creatures who are judged so unable to conform to the 613 Mitzvoth (Commandments) that they cannot even be left alone with animals owned by jews for fear that they will have sexual intercourse with them. (12) However such information could be 'misunderstood' by gentiles to mean that the jews regard them as something less than human, but then again who are we; as 'impure' and 'inferior' beings, to interpret the supposed 'words of Hashem' when we have his self-anointed biological priesthood to do all our thinking for us.

References


(1) Membership in the Julian Society isn't a matter of paying dues but rather of simply agreeing with their general interests or having an interest in researching and restoring pagan practices via neo-Platonic philosophy.
(2) Probably derived from Oxyartes: the Father of Alexander the Great's wife Roxanna. Possibly indicating a preference to see himself; a-la the old Palestinian-jewish legend of Aristotle copying his ideas from jews, as teaching the foolish 'idolators' (how Christians and pagans are both usually described in rabbinics) to understand the world properly in the light emanating from Hashem.
(3) Literally: 'Prophets', but usually categorized as 'Major Prophets'.
(4) Literally: 'Writings', but usually categorized as 'Minor Prophets'.
(5) One of the clearer (as dissembling so as to not offend the self-chosen is frequently the rule) scholarly writings on this brutal hatred of pagans can be found in John Allegro, 1971, 'The Chosen People: A Study of Jewish History from the time of the Exile until the Revolt of Bar-Kocheba', 1st Edition, Hodder & Stoughton: London. Also see Raphael Patai, 1996, 'The Jewish Mind', 3rd Edition, Wayne State University Press: Detroit, pp. 51-95.
(6) Elliot Horowitz, 2007, 'Reckless Rites: Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence', 1st Edition, Princeton University Press: New York, pp. 3-12
(7) A good example of a real 'persecutive' event is discussed in detail in Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia, 1988, 'The Myth of Ritual Murder: Jews and Magic in Reformation Germany', 1st Edition, Yale University Press: New Haven, pp. 100-110.
(8) Ariel Toaff, 2008, 'Pasque di sangue', 1st Edition, Il Mulino: Bologna, pp. 364-366
(9) http://semiticcontroversies.blogspot...e-to-jews.html
(10) Adrian Murdoch, 2011, 'The Last Pagan: Julian the Apostate and the Death of the Ancient World', 1st Edition, Inner Traditions: Vermont, p. 142
(11) Glen Bowersock, 1978, 'Julian the Apostate', 1st Edition, Harvard University Press: Cambridge, p. 90
(12) Jacob Neusner, 2004, 'Making God's Word Work: A Guide to the Mishnah', 1st Edition, Continuum: New York, pp. 76-77

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This was originally published at the following address: http://semiticcontroversies.blogspot...n-society.html
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Last edited by Karl Radl; March 16th, 2012 at 04:08 PM.
 
Old March 16th, 2012 #2
Steven L. Akins
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Maybe he thought he was joining a fan club for Jewish actor Julian Beck:

 
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