And Now for Something Completely Different (sort of)
I wasn't planning on doing another translation today, but then I came across one more Benny Tziper blog entry, and I just couldn't resist.
Three Religions with Alzheimer's
By Benny Tziper
Hebrew original here.
The three monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (I have no idea what's happening with other religions) - have reached in our days the last stage of Alzheimer's disease, and they resemble in my eyes three old men hospitalized at a home who no longer recognize anyone and occasionally suffer from bouts of violence or dementia. And these religions are living, like happens oftentimes with old people in homes, in an astonishing manner. No one understands how it is that they are still alive, but it's a fact. And maybe, like also happens with old people, the religions too make an effort to keep standing on their own two feet only to make the other old men in the home angry, and to show them that they won't expire first before the rest.
The hatred of one religion to the others is similar to the that hatred that old men have for each other, who want to see their friends bite it, so that they can write down with satisfaction that they lasted longer.
Judaism, whose believers are certain is an eternal religion that will never end, is in the worst state of the three as regards calcification of its arteries. The greatest contributions of this religion, that in the past gave us the bible and Maimonides, are all sorts of jumping clowns from Chabad and Braslav, and a rabbi in a gold-woven dress (that is about to have a bypass operation and we all wish him well), and a variety of other costume-wearers. What unites them all is a blazing hatred of all goyim, and especially Arabs, because they come to hand first, and supposedly disturb us, by the very fact that they live here, from complete salvation and from the coming of the Messiah.
Judaism could have been different, but today it is nothing but a religion that preaches, in fact, to hate, first of all. They can say what they want, but the great masses of believers are recruited into it through hatred of others and using "look how we are still here despite everything." What is most inhuman is the way Judaism today uses the Holocaust to show that despite Hitler, we're still here. So that means that Judaism is great. As if they are responsible for the fact that Hitler was beaten and not the Allies who spilled their blood to beat him with no god there to help out.
"Pour out your rage"  has become the be all and end all of Judaism. Once upon a time Jews hated everyone because they were persecuted by everyone and they had a logical reason to hate anything that wasn't Jewish. Today the hatred of others come from a position of supremacy and power, and that's what is terrible about it: it's become completely illogical, it's blind, it's murderous and it expresses itself in hatred for anyone who doesn't think like you do, and that includes the non-religious Jews, whom one is permitted to throw stones at and spit on and view as impure.
From that point of view we have no reason to think that we are better than Christians or Muslims, it's the same with them. Now we are rubbing our hands with satisfaction that the Pope said such-and-such about Mohammad, and the Muslims are rioting in response. That's how senile men in a home act, when they watch with glee as two of their friends fight each other. But history has a way of repeating itself, some senile old Egyptian or Iranian cleric said about us, the Jews, that we are the problem and that they will make sure that we are wiped off them map. It's reasonable to assume that back then, Christians were rubbing their hands with glee.
And so it carries on: The great monotheistic religions have lost their message and their direction, they have nothing new to offer other than provocations of hatred towards each other. By deprecating other religions, they show how much better they are. Apart from that - nothing. Catholicism, by the way, has significant secondary enemies in the form of Protestants and the Eastern churches, the Sunni Muslims have a fight with the Shi'ites and vice versa, and with us as well, Hassids of one persuasion can gouge the eyes out of Hassids of another persuasion because one group believes that the margarine of one company is kosher and not the margarine of another.
And people have the cheek to call this a "clash of civilizations" or the "war between civilization and barbarism" (the civilization is always Christianity and Judaism according to those who say such things, and Islam and all the rest are always the barbarians). I have news for you: wars of the 21st century who wave the flag of civilization are wars of barbarians with one another, that with the exception of the war against those who supposedly are a threat to them have nothing in their minds. And in this I include fundamentalist Islam, fundamentalist Christianity, as represented by the president of the US, George Bush, and fundamentalist Judaism, that is ready to soak the entire world in blood as long as there are settlements and Israel is as clean as possible from Arabs. See Efi Eitam .
And despite all this, which religion is most human in a relative sense and least extremist amongst these? My answer is going to madden you. It's Islam. Relative to the horrors that were perpetrated in the name of Christianity (do they really need to be detailed?) and Judaism (the killing of the seven tribes of Kanaan, and today all the oppression in the Occupied Territories), the Islam has always been tolerant and has given respect to the two religions that preceded it. Recall how Judaism flowered within Islamic territory in the Middle Ages. And even today, even with Al Qaeda and what is called 'terror', what is that in comparison to the massacres and oceans of blood spilled in the name of Christianity in the name of spreading it. Muslims make a lot of noise, but look at what us the Jews do to them, and how weak that makes their response seem. Of course, we always exaggerate their strength in order to show how dangerous they are and how they don't deserve to live.
I already hear some blog commenters saying to me: If Islam is so good, why don't you become Muslim? I'm not removing that from the realm of possibility, since I already wrote in my blog once that I have some Muslim relatives (second-degree cousins, sons my mother's cousin who married Ababo, who was Health Minister in Morocco in the 60's), and they don't seem like monsters to me. Quite the opposite. Secondly, Islam is a religion that doesn't demand too much from its followers apart from a few base commandments. All the rest of the time you can do as you please, and even the five commandments are relaxed sometimes.
What is happening is that the world of Islam is in terrible decay and the poverty is terrible and the corruption awful in Muslim countries, and of course that poverty creates problems, one of which is the hatred towards the rich countries. And Islam treasures this hatred and utilizes it so it may become stronger, but it is in fact half dead, just like Christianity, whose Pope can raise his hands to the sky as much as he feels like, and tens of thousands will applaud him in St. Peter's square, but in fact churches in Europe are empty. And so Judaism is a hollow religion in our day, that has no one to renew it, and what keeps it on simmering a low burner is hatred for Arabs. And see, as I said, Efi Eitam.
: During the Passover meal, Jews are commander to 'pour their rage' on the goyim (non-Jews).
: See my previous translations here and here.
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