A page of the Talmud
"MISHNAH. IF THEN THEY FIND HIM INNOCENT, THEY DISCHARGE HIM; BUT IF NOT, HE GOES FORTH TO BE STONED, AND A HERALD PRECEDES HIM [CRYING]: SO AND SO, THE SON OF SO AND SO, IS GOING FORTH TO BE STONED BECAUSE HE COMMITTED SUCH AND SUCH AN OFFENCE, AND SO AND SO ARE HIS WITNESSES. WHOEVER KNOWS ANYTHING IN HIS FAVOUR, LET HIM COME AND STATE IT.
GEMARA. Abaye said; It must also be announced: On such and such a day, at such and such and hour, and in such and such a place [the crime was committed], in case there are some who know [to the contrary], so that they can come forward and prove the witnesses Zomemim.
AND A HERALD PRECEDES HIM etc. This implies, only immediately before [the execution], but not previous thereto. [In contradiction to this] it was taught: [On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged.] For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, 'He is going forth to be stoned because he has practised sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.' But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was [hanged on the eve of the Passover!] — Ulla retorted: 'Do you suppose that he was one for whom a defence could be made? Was he not a Mesith [enticer], concerning whom Scripture says, Neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him? With Yeshu however it was different, for he was connected with the government [or royalty, i.e., influential].' [Note the parts about Yeshu being hanged on the eve of Passover added in 1342 Munich manuscript]
Our Rabbis taught: Yeshu had five disciples, Matthai, Nakai, Nezer, Buni and Todah. When Matthai was brought [before the court] he said to them [the judges], Shall Matthai be executed? Is it not written, Matthai [when] shall I come and appear before God? Thereupon they retorted; Yes, Matthai shall be executed, since it is written, When Matthai [when] shall [he] die and his name perish. When Nakai was brought in he said to them; Shall Nakai be executed? It is not written, Naki [the innocent] and the righteous slay thou not? Yes, was the answer, Nakai shall be executed, since it is written, in secret places does Naki [the innocent] slay. When Nezer was brought in, he said; Shall Nezer be executed? Is it not written, And Nezer [a twig] shall grow forth out of his roots. Yes, they said, Nezer shall be executed, since it is written, But thou art cast forth away from thy grave like Nezer [an abhorred offshoot]. When Buni was brought in, he said: Shall Buni be executed? Is it not written, Beni [my son], my first born? Yes, they said, Buni shall be executed, since it is written, Behold I will slay Bine-ka [thy son] thy first born. And when Todah was brought in, he said to them; Shall Todah be executed? Is it not written, A psalm for Todah [thanksgiving]? Yes, they answered, Todah shall be executed, since it is written, Whoso offereth the sacrifice of Todah [thanksgiving] honoured me."
The anti-semites are at it again with their misuse of the Talmud. They now use this discussion about stoning and the use of heralds in the Talmud and insert the name of Jesus of Nazareth here and claim that this Yeshu is Jesus. Yeshu is used for many people in the Talmud and it means 'the one who is accursed' as the Rabbis didn't want to say his name. This Yeshu lived about 100 years before Jesus and his 'passion'or punishment lasted for 40 days and he was high up in the government. He had 5 disciples not 12.
Jesus was crucified by the Romans not Jews and Jesus was crucified on the Sabbath preparation Day during Passover not on the eve of Passover. In fact the earliest manscripts do not mention the phrase "On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged", it is the Florentine manuscript of the 12th century (1177) that first adds this phrase. That it has been added is obvious as the original account speaks about Yeshu being stoned to death which fits with the topic of the Mishnah. Some editions of the Talmud from the 14th century on add the word ha Notzri to the name Yeshu but the early manuscripts do not have it (for example the Hamburg manuscript of 1184). The first manuscript to add ha Notzri was the Munich manuscript in 1342.
At this time anti-Judaism among the Christian populace was spreading through the influence of the Gnostics (Cathars)who saw the Old Testament as the Book of the Devil and the Jews the children of the Devil. Also at this time some groups of Jews, who reacting to Christian anti-Jewish fanatacism, added words to the Talmud to reinforce the Toledot Yeshu stories told about Jesus. However leading Rabbis such as Rabbeinu Tam (1100-1171), Nahmanides (1194-1270) and Rabbi Yechiel of Paris (13th century) taught that these references to Yeshu in the Talmud had nothing to do with Jesus. In fact Rabbi Yechiel made the famous comment that just as every Louis does not refer to King Louis IX so every Yeshu doesn't refer to Jesus. The Toledot Yeshu tales have never been a part of authoritive Judaism and the great Rabbinic authority Rabbi Jacob Emden states that both Jesus and Paul were holy Jewish Rabbis.
Just as Catholics believe that the Oral Tradition of Catholicism is to be found in the writings of the Church Fathers so the Talmud records the Oral Tradition (or Torah)of the Jewish Fathers. Like Catholics, Jews are not just 'people of the book'- they believe that the Word of God is expressed in the written and oral forms. The Talmud mentions all sorts of opinions and when taken out of context anti-semites twist the text to say all sorts of things which is not the belief of Judaism at all.
For more on this topic by an Orthodox Rabbi click here
I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.