The Truth about the Talmud
Do Jews Sodomize Children?
James Scott Trimm
Lists of quotes and misquotes have been circulated, many of these lists of supposed quotes from the Talmud have actually been drawn from Nazi propaganda pamphlets originally circulated during World War II.
Many of these lists of quotes (often taken out of context), and misquotes, are circulated by persons who have never even seen a Talmud, much less have any real knowledge of what they are talking about.
Does the Talmud Really Say That?
Another misquotation from the Talmud appears in the very Anti-Semitic book Christianity Unmasqued (A book that goes so far at to teach that today’s “Jews” are not really people, but the literal seed of Satan):
“Yet the Talmud states in Sanhedrin 54b, “If one committed sodomy with a child of less than nine years, no guilt is incurred.”
(Christianity Unmasqued; by Dan Israel [really Dan Chaput]; 1998 p. 230)
The following is another form of this alleged quote from the Talmud as it is given by the website 2besaved.com and several other anti-semitic sources:
Sanhedrin 54b . A Jew may have sex with a child as long as the child is less than nine years old.
Neither quote actually appears in this section of the Talmud, these “quotes” actually appear in Nazi propaganda pamphlets, not the Talmud itself. That’s right, this is recycled Nazi propaganda, its not a quote from the Talmud, it’s a quote from Joseph Goebbels (Hitler’s propaganda minister) lying about the Talmud. So why would the publishers of the Halleluyah Scriptures be circulating old anti-semitic Nazi propaganda?
So what does this portion of Talmud actually say?
The Talmud is made of two basic parts: The Mishna (220 CE) and the Gemara (c. 500 CE). The oldest part of the Talmud is the Mishna, while the Gemara is commentary on the Mishnah.
This portion of Talmud is part of a portion of Gemara commenting on a portion of Mishna which says “These are they who are put to death by stoning:…” a long list of sexual sins as mentioned including “He who has sexual relations with a male” (m.San. 7:4)
The Gemara to this passage opens a discussion which revolves around two Torah commands: One against Sodomites in general and another against a man lying with a man as he would with a woman. The Rabbis break this down into two basic kinds of Sodomy: active sodomy and passive sodomy. Active sodomy is to sodomize someone else, while passive sodomy is to subject oneself to being sodomized.
The argument goes into great detail to point out that while he who sodomizes a child below the age of nine is obviously guilty of active sodomy he cannot be guilty of passive sodomy because the child is not capable of actively sodomizing him. The Gemara concludes with:
Rab said: Pederasty with a child below nine years of age is not deemed as pederasty with a child above that. … Rab maintains that only he who is able to engage in sexual intercourse, may, as the passive subject of pederasty throw guilt [upon the active offender]; whilst he who is unable to engage in sexual intercourse cannot be a passive subject of pederasty [in that respect].
Notice this passage does NOT say “If one committed sodomy with a child of less than nine years, no guilt is incurred.” And it does NOT say “A Jew may have sex with a child as long as the child is less than nine years old.” (That is just old Nazi propaganda).
What it does say is that if an adult sodomizes a child, that the child does not incur guilt and is not stoned to death.
The passage simply means that the man who sodomizes a child under the age of nine is guilty of active sodomy but not guilty of passive sodomy (allowing the child to sodomize him) which is actually a no-brainer which we would all agree with. If the sodmite had committed the act with a consenting adult he would be guilty both of active sodomy in that he had sodomized another man and passive sodomy in allowing himself to be sodomized. If he were guilty of passive sodomy as well, then that would mean that the child was guilty of active sodomy, and thus the child would be executed by stoning along with the adult.
Do the people at 2besaved.com believe that children who have been sodomized by adults should incur guilt? Or are they just anti-semites trying to slander the Jewish people and wrongly lead people to believe that Jews are evil people who teach that it is OK to sodomize young boys?
This is just one example of how anti-semites misquote Talmud and take Talmud passages out of context. This passage is often quoted out of context by anti-semites to falsely make people think that Jews advocate sodomizing children below the age of nine. The goal is to cause people to hate Jews. The Nazis of Germany quoted the same passage out of context with the same goal, to cause people to hate Jews and in this case to think that Jews sodmize young children.
This is just sick and propagated by sick hateful anti-semites. There is no place for such sick propaganda among believers.
The Talmud section in its entirety:
GEMARA. Whence do I know that pederasty is punished by stoning? — Our Rabbis taught : [If a man lieth also with mankind, as the lyings of a woman,29 both of them have committed on abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them,]30 A man — excludes a minor; [that] lieth also with mankind — denotes whether an adult or a minor; as the lyings of a woman — this teaches that there are two modes of intimacy,31 both of which are punished when committed incestuously. R. Ishmael said: This verse comes to throw light [upon pederasty] but receives illumination itself.32 They shall surely be put to death: by stoning. You say, by stoning: but perhaps some other death decreed in the Torah is meant? — Their blood shall be upon them is stated here, and also in the case of one who has a familiar spirit or is a wizard:33 just as there the reference is to stoning, so it is here too.
(29) Lit. rendering of rfz hcfan translated ‘as he lieth with a woman’.
(30) Ibid. XX, 13.
(31) Natural and unnatural.
(32) For the phrase, the lyings of a woman, is redundant in so far as it teaches that even unnatural pederasty is punishable, since all pederasty is such. Hence its teaching is thrown back upon itself, viz., that unnatural cohabitation is punishable when committed incestuously.
(33) Ibid. XX, 27.
Talmud – Mas. Sanhedrin 54b
This teaches the punishment: whence do we derive the formal prohibition? -
From the verse, Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an
abomination.1 From this we learn the formal prohibition for him who lies
[with a male]: whence do we know a formal prohibition for the person who
permits himself thus to be abused? – Scripture saith: There shall be no
sodomite of the sons of Israel:2 and it is further said, And there were also
sodomites in the land: and they did according to the abominations of the
nations which the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel:3 this is
R. Ishmael’s view. R. Akiba said: This is unnecessary, the Writ saith, thou
shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: read, ‘thou shalt not be lain
with.’4 Whence do we learn a formal prohibition against bestiality? – Our
Rabbis taught : [and if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to
death: and ye shall slay the beast].5 A man excludes a minor; [that] lieth
with a beast – whether it be young or old; he shall surely be put to death -
by stoning. You, by stoning; but perhaps one of the other deaths decreed in
the Torah is meant? – It is here said, [and] ye shall kill [the beast]; and
it is stated elsewhere, But thou shalt surely kill him. [. . . And thou
shalt stone in him with stones]:6 just as there, stoning is meant, so here
We have learnt from this the punishment for him who commits bestiality;
whence do we derive punishment for him who allows himself to be thus
abused? – The Writ saith: Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put
to death.7 Since this is redundant in respect of the person committing
bestiality,8 you must regard it as applying to the person permitting himself
to be thus abused.9 From the Writ we know that there is punishment both for
him who commits bestiality and for him who permits himself to be thus
abused; whence do we know the formal prohibition? – Scripture saith, neither
shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith.10 From this verse
we learn the formal prohibition for him who commits bestiality, whence do we
derive the formal prohibition for him who allows himself to be thus abused?
Scripture saith: There shall be no Sodomite of the sons of Israel; and it is
elsewhere said, And there were also sodomites in the land, etc.11 R. Akiba
said: This is unnecessary. The Writ saith, Thou shalt not lie [with any
beast], which means, thou shalt not permit thy lying [with any beast,
whether actively or passively].
Now, he who [actively] commits pederasty, and also [passively] permits
himself to be thus abused – R. Abbahu said: On R. Ishmael’s view, he is
liable to two penalties, one [for the injunction] derived from thou shalt
not lie with mankind, and the other for [violating the prohibition,] There
shall not be a Sodomite of the sons of Israel. But on R. Akiba’s view, he
incurs only one penalty, since thou shalt not lie and thou shalt not be lain
with is but one statement.12
He who commits bestiality, and also causes himself to be thus abused -
R. Abbahu said: On R. Ishmael’s view, he incurs two penalties, one for the
injunction, thou shalt not lie with any beast, and one for the prohibition,
there shall be no sodomite of the sons of Israel. But on R. Akiba’s view, he
incurs but one penalty, since thy lying [actively] and thy lying [passively]
is but one injunction. Abaye said: Even on R. Ishmael’s view he incurs one
penalty only, for there shall be no Sodomite applies to sodomy with
mankind.13 If so, whence does R. Ishmael derive a formal prohibition against
permitting oneself to be bestially abused? – From the verse, Whosoever lieth
with a beast shall surely be put to death.14 Now, this being redundant in
respect of him who [actively] lies with a beast,15 apply it to him who
[passively] permits himself to be abused this; and the Divine Law designates
the passive offender as the active offender:16 this teaches that the
punishment for, and the formal prohibition against, active bestiality17
apply to passive submission too.18
He who submits both to pederasty and to bestiality – R. Abbahu said: On
R. Akiba’s view, he incurs two penalties; one for thou shalt not lie [with
mankind], and the other for thou shalt not lie [with any beast]. But on R.
Ishmael’s view, he incurs only one punishment, both offences being derived
from the single verse, There shall be no Sodomite.19 Abaye said: Even on R.
Ishmael’s view, he incurs two penalties, because it is written, Whosoever
lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.20 This being redundant in
respect of active bestiality, it must be applied to passive submission, and
the Divine Law thus designated passive submission as an active offence: just
as for the active offence there is punishment and prohibitions so for the
passive offence too.21 But he who commits pederasty and causes himself to be
abused thus; and also commits bestiality and causes himself to be abused
too – both R. Abbahu and Abaye maintain that on R. Ishmael’s view he is
trebly guilty, and on R. Akiba’s view he is doubly guilty.22
Our Rabbis taught: In the case of a male child, a young one is not
regarded as on a par with an old one; but a young beast is treated as an old
one.23 What is meant by this? – Rab said: Pederasty with a child below nine
years of age is not deemed as pederasty with a child above that. Samuel
said: Pederasty with a child below three years is not treated as with a
child above that.24 What is the basis of their dispute? – Rab maintains that
only he who is able to engage in sexual intercourse, may, as the passive
subject of pederasty throw guilt [upon the active offender]; whilst he who
is unable to engage in sexual intercourse cannot be a passive subject of
pederasty [in that respect].25 But Samuel maintains: Scripture writes, [And
thou shalt not lie with mankind] as with the lyings of a woman.26
It has been taught in accordance with Rab: Pederasty at the age of nine
years and a day;
(1) Ibid. XVIII, 22.
(2) Deut. XXIII, 18.
(3) I Kings XIV, 24. Just as abomination applies to sodomy in the latter
verse, so it applies to it in the former too: thus it is as though the
former verse read, There shall be no Sodomite of the sons of Israel: it is
an abomination. And just as the abomination implicit here applies to both
parties, so the abomination explicitly stated in Lev. XIII, 22 refers to
(4) I. e., the niph’al, the letters being the same, cfa, and cfa,.
(5) Ibid. XX, 15.
(6) Deut. XIII, 10, referring to a mesith, one who incites to idolatry.
(7) Ex. XXII, 18.
(8) As it is taught elsewhere, viz., in Lev. XX, 15.
(9) One of the methods of Talmudic hermenueutics is to apply a Biblical
statement, superfluous in respect of its own law, to some other subject.
(10) Lev. XVIII, 23.
(11) Ibid. v. p. 368. n. 1: the same reasoning applying to bestiality as to
(12) I.e., though differently vocalized in order to deduce two injunctions,
it is nevertheless one statement only, so that a person transgressing these
two injunctions violates one Biblical prohibition only.
(13) Not to bestiality at all, in spite of the fact that this was cited
above in this connection.
(14) Ex. XXII, 18.
(15) Since it is stated in Lev. XVIII.
(16) I.e., though as shewn, this verse applies to a passive offender, yet
its grammatical construction speaks of active bestiality.
(17) The reference having been given above.
(18) So that all is deduced from one verse, involving only one penalty.
(19) Since R. Akiba maintains that the prohibition of passive sodomy is
included in active sodomy, it follows that passive pederasty and bestiality
are two distinct offences, for there are two distinct injunctions. But as R.
Ishmael maintains that the injunction against active sodomy does not include
passive submission, and that the latter, whether in pederasty or bestiality,
is derived from the single injunction, There shall be no sodomite, the
double offence incurs one penalty only.
(20) Ex. XXII, 18.
(21) Thus, this applies to passive bestiality, whilst there shall be no
sodomite applies to passive pederasty. Hence, there being two separate
injunctions for the two offences, a double punishment is incurred.
(22) Thus: R. Abbahu maintains that on R. Ishmael’s view: (i) active
pederasty is forbidden by Thou shalt not lie with mankind; (ii) active
bestiality by Thou shalt not lie with any beast; (iii) passive pederasty and
bestiality by There shall be no sodomite. Whilst Abaye maintains that on R.
Ishmael’s view, (i) active pederasty is derived from Thou shalt not lie with
mankind; (ii) submission thereto from There shall be no sodomite; and (iii)
active and passive bestiality from Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to
defile thyself therewith. (Lev. XVIII, 23) Hence, according to R. Abbabu and
Abaye there are three injunctions for the four offences. Further, R. Abbahu
and Abaye both teach R. Akiba’s view to be that (i) active and passive
bestiality are derived from Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with
womankind; and (ii) active and passive bestiality from Neither shalt thou
lie with any beast. Hence there are two injunctions for the four offences.
(23) The reference is to the passive subject of sodomy. As stated supra 54a,
guilt is incurred by the active participant even if the former be a minor,
i.e., less than thirteen years old. Now, however, it is stated that within
this age a distinction is drawn.
(24) I.e., Rab makes nine years the minimum; but if one committed sodomy
with a child of lesser age, no guilt is incurred. Samuel makes three the
(25) At nine years a male attains sexual matureness.
(26) Lev. XVIII, 22. Thus the point of comparison is the sexual matureness
of woman, which is reached at the age of three
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