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On relations with the Jewish people - Canon XI, Sixth Council


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#21 Sacha

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 05:02 PM

It seems that he did. Considering the way in which these words have been used on the web to claim that St John (and the Church) are anti-Semite here is a website perhaps to better understand: http://www.chrysostom.org/jews.html

In Christ- Fr Raphael


I have been saddened by this and remain unconvinced by the arguments put forth to rationalize the sentiments expressed so violently. And its not for lack of liking Chrysostom's writings, in do in fact find him to have been very gifted in his thinking and writing.

When I first saw those comments the first thing that came to mind was the epistle of 1 John and how St John the Beloved urged us to love one another. They reminded me of my failures in loving people of a different background than mine. That's probably the only redeeming thing in this whole encounter for me.

#22 Kosta

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 02:11 AM

St John wrote his homilies against the judaisers early in his career before he was ordained to the priesthood. In Antioch many christians were fusing jewish customs with christianity. This was simply the reality of the time. Removed from Antioch the jewish hate dissipated and arriving in Constantinople he used the same harsh words towards the cosmopolitan and immoral attitutes of his new flock and clergy of new rome. St John also used his rhetorical skills against the emperess over her loose morals.

As St John got older he mellowed out and even had nice things to say about the jewish community. He was full of zeal in his younger years where he didnt mind to pull a st Nicholas and punch out a heretic, but as time went on he completely disavowed any violence and preached:

"For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force...it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have autority granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice."

#23 Thomas K.

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 05:42 PM

The honorable Deacon asked me to define antisemitism. I will first define what it is not - antisemitism is not disagreeing with the foreign policy of the state of Israel.

Antisemitism, loosely defined in the modern era as the visceral and irrational hatred of Jews for no other reason than that they are Jews, was the animating force that drove an otherwise decent, industrious country - the same country that gave the world Goethe, Mozart, and Einstein, not to mention her contributions to Christian theology from Luther et. al. - to perfect the machinery of mass murder by unloading groups of several hundred Jews - men, women and children - from a cattle car, stripping them naked, shoving them all into a large underground chamber, murdering them with cyanide gas, and cremating their bodies, in forty-five minutes' time per cattle car.

Antisemitism is objectively evil not because Jews are God (a goofy idea anyway), but because its adoption as the animating attitude of one group of human beings toward another group of human beings led to horrific acts of gross evil - mass murder on a scale never before seen in human history.** That's why I've got a problem with any canon law that is even remotely antisemitic. And yes, the passage from John Chrysostom cited above is also very troubling indeed...

Consider also that the Talmud says many much, much worse things about relations with Christians. I recommend Jewish History, Jewish Religion, by the late Israel Shahak. His citations from the Talmud can be checked on line, with some effort

If his citations are correct, I agree: no group gets a pass to promote evil. Jews are as morally obligated to edit their Talmud as we are to edit our canon law.

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*However, it is worth noting, given that those (e.g. Hamas) who wish to wipe Israel off the map have openly professed that they love death as much as Jews love life - is it surprising that if one opposes the right of Israel to exist as a free and sovereign state, one risks being labeled - rightly or wrongly - an antisemite? Does that mean that the government of Israel is right 100% of the time? Of course not. No state is right 100% of the time, and those who support Israel's right to exist or her right to defend herself against Islamic terrorism would not argue this.

**Yes of course there were other occasions of mass murder, e.g. Armenian genocide - I do not intend to minimize other atrocities nor argue that Nazi evil was the only evil or greatest evil in history - I am merely arguing that it was the first mass evil to be systematized and bureaucratized - a frightening prospect.

#24 Sacha

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 05:53 PM

Thomas,

I greatly appreciate your candidness and thoughts. Thanks.

#25 Father David Moser

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 06:20 PM

Antisemitism, loosely defined in the modern era as the visceral and irrational hatred of Jews for no other reason than that they are Jews, ...


That's a pretty narrow definition of antisemitism. If you go with what seems to be the working definition of antisemitism used by such groups as the JDL etc, antisemitism is defined as anything critical of Jews.

Fr David

#26 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 07:54 PM

I would not say that the canons in any way promotes hatred toward the Jews.

First of all what complicates matters is that the word Jew means both the people and the religion. To me the canons are against the Judaism not the people.
'Let no one enrolled in the sacerdotal list, or any layman, eat the unleavened wafers manufactured by the Jews'
I would say this as a deeper meaning as to do with the unleavened bread of the Jewish passover vs the leavened bread of the Holy Eucharist.

or in any way become familiar with the Jews or call them in case of sickness, or take any medicines from them, or even bathe with them in public bathing beaches or bathhouses.
What must be remembered is the treat of Judaism both in the persecution of the Church and in the Judising of Christianity. Also this is very similar to the Jewish laws as said before on this thread.

I think one might say that if a Jew having the law, the psalms, and the prophets being from the chosen people of God, still rejects Christ (and as said above even mocks Christ) then it is saying, reject him do not associate with him. If he comes to repentance and believes then that is another matter it is not the fact that is of Jewish decent.

I do not think that this is in anyway can be taken to mean to hate those of Judaism, one can have nothing to do with someone without hating him.


As for Saint John Chrysostom I would again say he was referring to the followers of Judaism (moreso as he speaks of the Synagogue) his words are harsh to modern ears but it was not necessary thought of as so in that day, when speaking of an enemy (and the Jewish Synagogue had declared war on the Church not the other way round) there its is common to speak harshly against him.

We must also think of the translation and how accurate it is. Sacha might I had from whence did you get the quote as I should like to look it in full?

Finally a Saint is not infallible not even Saint John Chrysostom, he could have just made a mistake, and I believe that Saint Photios some where said not to speak of such things.

#27 Sacha

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 11:09 PM

We must also think of the translation and how accurate it is. Sacha might I had from whence did you get the quote as I should like to look it in full?


http://www.fordham.e...stom-jews6.html

#28 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 12:03 PM

Thank you Sacha, I take a look at it.

#29 Brian Patrick Mitchell

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 01:50 PM

That's a pretty narrow definition of antisemitism. If you go with what seems to be the working definition of antisemitism used by such groups as the JDL etc, antisemitism is defined as anything critical of Jews.

Fr David


I am pleased to agree with Fr. David on this point.

Dn Patrick

#30 Owen Jones

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:49 PM

Whatever happened to turn the other cheek? Whatever happened to love those who persecute you? This idea of tit for tat is totally unChristian and we ought to own up to it. History is clear. Orthodox Christians have enabled and even participated in the mass slaughter of Jews. There is no time like the present to get our moral and theological house in order on this subject.

#31 Brian Patrick Mitchell

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 04:17 PM

This idea of tit for tat is totally unChristian and we ought to own up to it. History is clear. Orthodox Christians have enabled and even participated in the mass slaughter of Jews.


I don't understand, Owen. On one hand, Christians are being obliged to publicly reject collective blame of Jews for anything any Jews have done; on the other hand, Christians are supposed to accept collective blame for everything any "Christian" has done?

#32 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 06:18 PM

The translation to me does not seem quite right I don't know how to describe it, but it is a bit like some protestant translations of the Holy Bible where thinks are put to make it easier to understand but of course the person who translated it had an effect on the translation which might not be quite the same as a literal one.

I looked up about the translation but it seems he is unknown, however it was from an anti-Jewish (as in the people) website so I don't think it can be fully trusted . There are some better translations which might be of benefit.

What it did find is the person who posted this on his website. It seems he is convinced that there was anti-semitism (the entomology of which I shall not comment on) in Christianity which lead to the anti-semitism of Hitler- though even he admits that the latter was racial and the former religious.

His work on Homosexuality [which I speak of in order to make know his untrustworthiness] is repulsive he seems to have no knowledge of Christian love or differences in cultures other than English. i.e. the kissing of David and Jonathan is seen not seen as being beacuse of love but unnatural lust. I wonder what he would think if he walked in to an Orthodox Church on Forgiveness Sunday. He comes up with false secrets of Mark suggesting blasphemy against our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

So all in all I would not trust anything from him.

Yours Daniel,

P.S. Sorry for the ranting.

#33 Sacha

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 06:59 PM

Daniel,

I did not know that that repulsive material was on that website, I do not endorse that either of course, just to make it clear. I only went to the homilies and thought that was the only link there.

I will look for another transcript. There are a few online but the full ones (all 8 sermons) are a bit rarer it seems.

Here is a book edition on google that has some previews:

http://books.google....epage&q&f=false

Edited by Sacha, 11 March 2011 - 07:03 PM.
added link


#34 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 09:52 PM

I don't understand, Owen. On one hand, Christians are being obliged to publicly reject collective blame of Jews for anything any Jews have done; on the other hand, Christians are supposed to accept collective blame for everything any "Christian" has done?


Are there not many saints who have done this very thing? Are they wrong?

I don't have to blame anyone for anything except myself. I don't have to hate anyone. Do you have any idea how liberating that is? I pray all might learn,

Herman the Pooh

#35 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 10:11 PM

Dear Sacha,

Sorry if it sound like I was having a go. I know that you where just looking for the homilies. It's just when I looked around his site a bit for some background info on him and his views on this topic I found that and thought I had better let everyone know as it puts a new prospective on anything he might say.

Yours Daniel,

#36 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 11:17 PM

When our Lord was upon the Cross, when He commended His beloved Mother to the beloved Disciple, and him to her, the Apostle John represented the Church.

When the Jews said, "his blood be upon us and upon our children", I believe they represented all of us, and spoke for all of us. Christ's blood is on ME and on MY children and to God be the glory.

Who killed Christ? I did. If we are looking to "blame" someone for Crucifixion, blame me. It was MY FAULT. He died because of MY SINS. I crucify Christ anew with every sin I commit. Don't blame Jews. Blame me if you must blame someone. Don't hate Jews, hate me if you have to hate someone.

God forgives. He forgave US (represented by the Jews who happened to be present at the time at that place) from the Cross. Shouldn't that settle the matter?

We don't need to blame "the Jews" for anything. We should simply take responsibility for our own sins, take up our crosses and follow Christ, that should keep us to busy to blame anyone else for anything, don't you think?

A blessed Lent to all.

Herman the Pooh

#37 Kosta

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 12:33 AM

Theres a few things that this thread brings up that i would like to comment on. First off the canon concerning jews from trullo needs to be put in perspective within the historical events of the jewish uprisings of the 7th century within the empire, as my first post brings up.

Secondly St John Chrysostom homilies against the judaisers was at a time and place when christianity was yet to be firmly established. There were still many influential pagans and jews in Syria that could have easily swayed christians to leave the faith. The christians were vulnerable to lapse into judaism, and we can see from those same homilies that jews were still influential within christianity. Many antiochans still relied on jewish calculations to determine pascha and as scholars have pointed out the purpose of the homilies is to keep christians within the camp and not be seduced into judaism.
Anotherwords Orthodoxy could have used a John Chrysostom in the 8th century and beyond in Palestine. If the bishops and preachers could have used the same rhetorical skill and language in Palestine against the muslims as John Chrysostom did with the jews, we would have never lost the palestinians to islam. If the JP took those same homilies and substituted the muslims for jews, christians would still be the largest group there. The homilies of St John were successful beyond belief in their intent and purpose.

Antisemitism ofcourse is wrong. Of all the traditional Orthodox countries Serbia is the least antisemitic and we can learn something from them. Both Russia and Greece need to let go of their silly conspiracy theories. If there really were a secret jewish lobby that controls everything, then i would still not hate them, infact I would shake the hand of a jew for being smart enough to put in place such a system. Both greeks and russians need better self-esteem as to stop viewing themselves as useful idiots of a zionist system, where the master race jew can manipulate them like puppets without recourse.

#38 Brian Patrick Mitchell

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 12:42 AM

Are there not many saints who have done this very thing? Are they wrong?


I knew someone would say that, especially during Lent. And I think my point is now made, thanks to Herman, that we're dealing with two very different ways of looking at things, the Jewish way and the Christian way.

Unfortunately, some of us seem to only present the Jewish way to the world, passionately lecturing our Christian brothers on our collective "antisemitism" without the enlightenment Herman demonstrates. In this day and age, such unbalanced accusations from Christians themselves only strengthen the growing prejudice against Christianity and encourage the world's worship of the Jews as a people beyond all reproach.

Dn Patrick

#39 Owen Jones

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 01:46 PM

Fr. Dcn. Brian,

It seems to me you are putting words in my mouth. I am not advocating a collective mea culpa for past sins by the Church. I am simply stating historical facts. And I fear there is still a rather widespread feeling in certain quarters that the Jews, collectively, and today, are to blame for the murder of Christ, which is part of the theological problem I alluded to. Also, the comment that the world worships Jews as a people beyond approach is part and parcel of the same problem. This statement is not factual and smacks of resentment. In fact, I find it a rather appalling assertion. The growing prejudice against Christians is, btw, something that Christ promises, is it not? Should we not rejoice that we are being singled out for slanderous attacks against us? Shouldn't it motivate us to become more obedient to Christ? To live more according to His example -- the result of which we likely mean more resentment toward us, because our very existence would be a threat to secular nihilism? And when Christians are persecuted by Muslims, shouldn't we come to their aid, instead of focusing on hideous conspiracy theories.

btw, one of the most significant changes in public opinion in the U.S. over the past 40 years is the embracing of Jews by many Protestant Church leaders. This is a reversal of a very deep and abiding hostility toward Jews, especially among fundamentalists. Now, the Zionist and apocalyptic theology behind this is bogus to be sure, but that does not change the fact. The outcome is a positive, IMHO. Protestantism btw, is essentially an attempt to re-Judaize Christianity, not an unknown phenomenon apparently, as some of the excellent posts on St. John Chrysostom makes clear. But that should give us an opportunity to explain our theology to the world, and not blame Jews for it. Luther was motivated in very large part by a realistic fear that Muslims would conquer Europe, and the Papacy was being criminally lax in not paying attention to this. He advocated an alliance with European Jews, which was a factor in trying to make Christianity more compatible with Judaism, hoping in fact that there would be mass conversions by Jews as a result. When he was rebuffed, he rather took offense!

#40 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 02:13 PM

I looked at Saint John Chrysostom's Homily on the Matthew about the above passage spoken of by Mr. Blaydoe and I think that it shows that it was not the Jews as a people that he was writing against in his homilies against the Jews/Judaizers.

Dear Mr. Jones and Mr. Blaydoe,

Might there be a difference between blaming the Jews single handedly for the crucifixion and saying that the Jews having the Law, Psalms, and the Prophets rejected Christ both then and afterwards -I mean not as a people but as a religion i.e. those Jews who believed not what was written and become not members of the Church.
I think that there is a difference between the Jews and others for the Holy Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans,
'For I would not that ye be ignorant, brethren, of this mystery, that ye shall not be wise in your own conceits, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, and so all Israel shall be saved.'




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