Abram Epstein

To hate a Jew

Here is something to think about when it comes to antisemitism. First, let’s call it Jew hate just to make the vernacular more straightforward. Jews like everybody else are not all a monolithic community when it comes to their ethnicities, nationalities or values. I am a Jew and there are many Jews whose politics I despise, whose theological perspectives I regard as warped, and many whom I see as hardly more than “Jews” in name only, having abandoned all knowledge of Jewish history and heritage, becoming utterly ignorant of the past. But I am not a “Jew hater.” And this distinction is important because to find fault with people who may belong to a conspicuous ethnic group requires all of us to distinguish our criticism from bigotry.

Then what is the “DNA” of “Jew hatred.”

The symptoms should not be mistaken for the disease. Generally, as Rachel Maddow pointed out on her Monday 10/17 WNBC broadcast, politically motivated false accusations most often scapegoat the Jews as the cause of significant monetary collapse. Repeatedly, in varying global contexts, the Jew is depicted as having the “Christian economy” at his mercy and orchestrates an intentionally designed cabal to force believers in Christ into menial subservience. 

Recently, we have heard from Kanye West about the Jews control of the media, etc. and how he is vowing to bring death to Jews.

Donald Trump announced the Jews of America, “Better get their act together (and support him) before it is too late.” (I suspect he’s aware of white supremacist militias planning murders of Jews.) As recently as last evening, I understand he evoked, in an echo of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” the necessity of “rooting out the social cancer from America.” (Beware Jews!)

But, the question remains, what the hell did we do to become the bad guys? Really, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet…are they counted in anybody’s minion (the number of ten Jews needed for a service)?

Sure, we’re proud to have some billionaires. Why should we defensively need to prove we’re righteously impoverished as if the scape-goaters’ Jew-hate has a raison d’etre?

But let me get to the bottom of this. The money slander had its major European launching point in medieval times with Luther. The ghettoized Jews, unable to own land or businesses, earning their way by meager trade during the daylight hours when they were permitted egress, began to pool their profits and, during difficult financial times besetting the surrounding gentile inhabitants, loaned money for collateralized possessions, usually for a year’s duration. When the money couldn’t be repaid, the Jewish individuals who funded the loan, sold the property for a profit, creating the “money-lender” Jew as a stereotype. 

One might expect a natural resentment to have attached itself to such Jews. With their altogether different religious rituals and lifestyles, they might well have been disliked as greedy, social pariahs. But how did their image undergo a seeming metamorphosis to enemies of Christ using their money as satanic leverage to weaken them, delaying Christ’s return and salvation? 

One must go back to the Gospel of John–and indeed the three synoptic gospels, “Matthew, Mark, and Luke,” to discern the metamorphosis of the Jew who rejected, and thereby killed the faith of others in Jesus as the Christ, to the textual emendations molding the Jew as satanically participating in an attempt to kill the Christian Christ. Every Christmas and Easter, passages depicting the Jews, and even the High Priest as orchestrating, and reveling in the apparent death of the Christian son of God, reverberate in churches the world over.

Entitled “The Passion,” the Jewish “satan” fails to kill their intended victim as Christ is resurrected. In the 14th century, however, our villainy was reborn with a vengeance and has persisted, theologically dramatizing our determination to reduce Christian worshippers to a quivering mass of impoverished, starving faithful by controlling all the money which they depend on for survival. Such is their theosophical prism. It is the womb from which a paroxysm of Jew hate gives birth to a deformed and truly malignant version of what Jesus would have ever imagined; now so ingrained in Christian belief Jews must once again be prepared for crusading hoards seeking us out behind our American doorways.

If this construct strikes the often too-trusting Jewish ear as colored by Holocaust-instilled paranoia, one need only query whether the Catholic church, in modern times, has been shamed by its own history in stoking the flames of hate and creating the Jewish satan. If so, we may be certain the Vatican is not paranoid about its responsibility for fomenting Jew hate as I describe it.

Indeed, to quell the belief Jews had attempted to kill the Christ, without acquitting us (an impossibility without changing their sacred Gospel text), required a Vatican decree in 1965 (“Nostra Aetatis,” In Our Time) which forgave but did not acquit the Jews “for pressing for the death of Christ.”

An excerpt of the text reads: “It is wrong to call the (Jews) an accursed/satanic People, since…the Lord by his passion and death washes away the sins of all men…which were the cause of the…death of Jesus Christ.”

Hell, if I were Christian, and grew up believing this stuff, I’d hate me too.

Abram Epstein’s most recent book: 

“The Case Against the Gospels’ False Accusation of the Jews” is widely available.

About the Author
Abram Epstein, a New Yorker, has served as Director of Education for several synagogues and actively participated in the Manhattan Educators’ Council. His graduate studies at New York University’s Hagop Kevorkian Center focused on ancient Near Eastern religion and Biblical Judaism. He is a recipient of the university’s prestigious Founders’ Award for Academic Accomplishment and has a screen credit as Historical Consultant for "The Seventh Sign" starring Demi Moore. His other books include, "The Historical Haggadah," "The Matthias Scroll," "A Documented Biography of Jesus Before Christianity," and most recently, "The Matthias Scroll–Select Second Edition." Abram invites communication on his FB page: "Abram Epstein" or "Abram's Historical Writing."