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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Vom Schem Hamphoras – by Martin Luther (a translation, Part 4)

     This continues from Part 3.  See Part 1 for an introduction and Table of Contents.
     This post begins Luther's scathing comments on the blasphemous Jewish fable "Schem Hamphoras" that was published by Porchetus, or today called the Toledot Yeshu.  Luther's scorn is so vehement with his strong words that my translation may not do him justice.  Most people will say Luther is too harsh or that he is too much like a "drunken sailor", but they are sadly mistaken for Luther speaks of spiritual matters... what we are to believe.
     Sit down and listen to the voice that should make all Christians tremble who want to sympathize with the Jewish religion:

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Vom Schem Hamphoras
by Martin Luther

(Part 4, continued from Part 3)
     18.  Where are these loose Christians now who have been Jews or want to be Jews?  To them the Devil has thrown a kiss in the N., that's a pretty shrine that the Jews, and those who will be a Jew, kiss, eat, drink and pray to, and in turn the devil eats and drinks of them and ejects up and down what his disciples spew such.  Here the right hosts and guests gather and have it rightly cooked and served.  O how surely this has happened to them both!  The devil was created a beautiful angel that he should sing together with the other holy angels with his holy angelic mouth the eternal Te Deum Laudamus.  He could not suffer this, and has become a devil who now eats with his angelic snout, and consumes with desire what the Jews vomit and spray from their lower and upper mouth; Yes, this has become his jelly, which he reveals like a sow behind the fence around St.  Margaret's Day; truly, truly, so he wanted to have it.
     19.  So it is also with the Jews truly, o truly it has happened. They were appointed and chosen that they should be God's mouth as Jeremiah speaks (Jer. 15:19) and Psalm 81:10: Open thy mouth wide, so I will fill it; however, they firmly held their mouth, eyes, ears, nose, whole heart, and all powers. Then came the devil to those that closed their eyes, throat, ears, heart and all senses, and he threw and sprayed them so completely that they vainly washed and flooded all places of devilish filth; yes, that is what they taste in their heart, there they eat noisily as the sow. Thus they want to have it. Further, they called, Crucify him, crucify him! And shout more: "His blood be on us, and on our children." (Matth. 27:25)  I mean, it has come and found you .
     20.  If anyways one wants to consider the beautiful articles of the Jewish faith given in this text, one after another, so the desire (to become a Jew) is relieved for those who have it.  If you want to become now a true Jew, listen here and learn the Catechism of the holy Jewish faith, however not in God's name.
     21.  First, you have to believe that Helena was queen in the land of Israel or Cannan when our Lord Jesus Christ lived, taught and had done wonders there. Whether here to resist not only the evangelists and apostles, but also the whole Roman Empire, so this time stood; as well also the Jew's testimony and calamity which started at the time of Vespasian which was 250 years before Helen was born – that you will not let yourself waiver, but rather think thus: The rabbis (such book masters) cannot be wrong, rather heaven and earth would be wrong with many before God and angels and all creatures. You've got to believe this if you want to be a true Jew.
     22.  So you must also believe everything that is here written of the Queen Helena, as she dealt with Jesus HaNozri [of Nazareth] and let happen up to 250 years before she was born; for this is included in the wise Catechism for those who want to be a Jew. If anyone speaks against this thus: the Jews are scattered at the time of Helen, since 200 years, not scattered in the country but all over the world, and Jerusalem had neither temples nor regiment; but you must smile derisively against the accursed Goyim, and say: Our rabbis's writing must be so, though God himself speaks to the contrary in all scripture and by all creatures; he must accept what the rabbis want.
     23.  On the other hand you must believe that two brazen dogs could bark at the time also without Schem Hamphoras; a moment ago it can be done and now it can no longer; with their brazen sharp eyes seen who exits and enters of those who copied the letters carved on the stone: they need very sharp eyes to be able to see, particularly because they are brass, and by so thick walls, doors and curtains. Here maybe you want to challenge that all living dogs of the world can bark naturally, but such would not believe that they can hear and understand such, much less even the brazen dogs, etc. But do not challenge yourself on what the Rabbis say, you don't have the right to ask, you want to be a pious Jew.
     24.  Hereby you have to believe that the sages in Israel are not smarter than if they would have secured the Schem Hamphoras with iron doors, grilles and the like instead of with two brazen barking dogs that the accursed Goyim well otherwise would have found.  Whether you could think that the sages of Israel have had much less reason in this than the brazen dogs themselves must have had, you turn down such thoughts, and rather think: Dear, what the rabbis say is right and cannot be fabricated.
     25.  Third, you have to believe that grown in the sanctuary in Jerusalem annually so great cabbage stalk that no bar on the gallows was stronger, and 100 pounds of seed grew on it. Hereby you must believe, that a sanctuary stood in Jerusalem 200 years after the destruction [of Vespasian], not only so, but that there was also a cabbage garden in the sanctuary. If history says here differently, contrary to all history, Moses and the prophets, the angels and God, so it is a lie, but the Jewish faith must be right; know this well if you want to be a Jew.
     26.  Finally, you must give yourself to whatever a Rabbi says, however strange it may be, you have to believe it was right, without regard to whether even God would say different. For as Moses commanded them, Deuteronomy 17:8 ff: "If they do not understand one thing, they should go up to the priests and judges, at the place that God has chosen you to etc. (he says) to speak a judgment, according to the law, they shall teach thee, do thou, and under the law, which they tell you, you shall keep thee, that thou deviate not from the same, neither the right nor the left."  Here it is resolved (I had almost said, shit upon), because all that the Rabbis say, a Jew is to believe and not depart from it. Therefore, they say now, they must believe their rabbis, even if they said in the same matter that the right hand would be the left and the left would be the right one, as Porchetus writes. Also three Jews acted with myself as they were just with me: where I wanted to penetrate the text with them, they spoke they would have to believe their rabbis and wanted to confess with me of no text; I therefore also herein must believe Porchetus the more by my own experience.
     27.  If you want to now become a pious faithful Jew, so yield yourself to believe, as I said, what the rabbis say, even though it is against God, reason, angels, or all creatures.  Because you hear that a Jew is to believe that it is not the right hand that is the right hand, when a rabbi says it. God has his well said, yes, that he has through his eternal Word created, ordered and called that the right hand should be, and that should mean the right hand, as acknowledged by all the angels and creatures. But such may well be the truth, until a rabbi comes in and says, no, it was not so, but what I call the right hand right, this is the right hand. What is God's Word and work together with all the angels and creatures as testimony against a rabbi who is so much higher and better than God and all creatures?
     28.  Just so you have to believe the story here that the Queen Helena has dealt with her sages and Jesus 200 years before she is born; item, that a cabbage stalk grows in the sanctuary annually, as thick as no beam, which carries a hundred pounds of seed; item, bronze dogs that bark; item, that Jesus has done wonders by Schem Hamphoras, also Judas Iscariot; as said above and also here. Yes, when a rabbi would put in front of your nose a bowl of thick and thin, and say: There you have a delicious almond mash, then you'd have to say, in all your long life you had no better mash. You would not say otherwise in spite of thy neck.  After all, who has the power that he can say that it is left what is right, and right is what left, regardless of God and all his creatures, which can also be said that his back mouth, the front mouth, and his belly a pot of mash, and a pot of mash is his belly.
     29.  If you have learnt now such and can believe, run swiftly in such a way, and quickly let yourself be circumcised, before the brass dogs see such, and from Jerusalem come that your such high understanding of the holiest Jewish faith again bark out, or before the seducer HaNozri [the Nazarene] with his Schem Hamphoras enchants you to the Christian faith.  Because you're now an honest, fine, holy and clever Jew, you can now yourself for left mean right, and make your stomach into a pot of mash which you can eat with all the Jews to have enough for your life time, when you ever invite all the devils as guests.  Thanks also to such high celestial Rabbis, of which you are so highly taught and deeply sanctified that you have surprised even God and all the angels of your holiness, the accursed Goyim are not worthy to direct something or to hear from. 

.... (to be continued in Part 5)
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     In the above section, Luther completes his initial scathing summary and sarcastic comments over the Jewish book/fable of the Schem Hamphoras/Toledot Yeshu.  Beginning with the next paragraph, paragraph 30 in Part 5, he appeals to Christians and lowers his sarcasm a bit, but again hammers home the utter foolishness of this story of the Jews.

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