Wednesday, September 30, 2009
How Judaism Got its Name
The celebrated Rabbi Louis Finkelstein in his great classic quoted from above traces the origin of the form of religious worship practiced today under the present name "Judaism", to its origin as "Pharisaism" in Judea in the time of Jesus. Rabbi Louis Finkelstein confirms what the eminent Rabbi Adolph Moses states in his great classic "Yahvism, and Other Discourses", in collaboration with the celebrated Rabbi H.G. Enlow, published in 1903 by the Louisville Section of the Council of Jewish Women, in which Rabbi Adolph Moses, on page 1, states:
"Among the innumerable misfortunes which have befallen...the most fatal in its consequences is the name Judaism...Worse still, the Jews themselves, who have gradually come to call their religion Judaism...Yet, neither in biblical nor post-biblical, neither in talmudic, nor in much later times, is the term Judaism ever heard...the Bible speaks of the religion...as "Torah Yahve", the instruction, or the moral law revealed by Yahve...in other places...as "Yirath Yahve", the fear and reverence of Yahve. These and other appellations CONTINUED FOR MANY AGES TO STAND FOR THE RELIGION...To distinguish it from Christianity and Islam, the Jewish philosophers sometimes designate it as the faith or belief of the Jews...IT WAS FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS, WRITING FOR THE INSTRUCTION OF GREEKS AND ROMANS, WHO COINED THE TERM JUDAISM, in order to pit it against Hellenism...by Hellenism was understood the civilization, comprising language, poetry, religion, art, science, manners, customs, institutions, which...had spread from Greece, its original home, over vast regions of Europe, Asia and Africa...The Christians eagerly seized upon the name...the Jews themselves, who intensely detested the traitor Josephus, refrained from reading his works...HENCE THE TERM JUDAISM COINED BY JOSEPHUS REMAINED ABSOLUTELY UN-KNOWN TO THEM...IT WAS ONLY IN COMPARATIVELY RECENT TIMES, AFTER THE JEWS BECAME FAMILIAR WITH MODERN CHRISTIAN LITERATURE, THAT THEY BEGAN TO NAME THEIR RELIGION JUDAISM." (emphasis supplied).
This statement by the world's two leading authorities on this subject clearly establishes beyond any question or any doubt that so-called "Judaism" was not the name of any form of religious worship practiced in Judea in the time of Jesus. The Flavius Josephus referred to in the above quotation lived in the 1st century. It was he who coined the word "Judaism" in the 1st century explicitly for the purpose recited clearly above. Religious worship known and practiced today under the name of "Judaism" by so-called or self-styled "Jews" throughout the world was known and practiced in Judea in the time of Jesus under the name "Pharisaism" according to Rabbi Louis Finkelstein, head of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and all the other most competent and qualified recognized authorities on the subject.
-Benjamin H. Freedman.
Mr. Freedman wrote this in a personal letter in 1954 to Dr. David Goldstein, LL.D. of Boston, Massachusetts, to explain the history of Khazarian Jews. It was later printed as a booklet with the title Facts are Facts.