09 - Kinah 41 - שַׁאֲלִי שְׂרוּפָה בָּאֵשׁ Burning of the Talmud

Letter of Pope Gregory IX (1170-1241), from Judaism on Trial pp. 21-22

If what is said about the Jews of France and of the other lands is true, no punishment would be sufficiently worthy of their crime. For they, so we have heard, are not content with the Old Law which God gave to Moses in writing: they even ignore it completely, and affirm that God gave another Law which is called 'Talmud', that is Teaching', handed down to Moses orally. Falsely they allege that it was implanted within their minds and, unwritten, was there preserved until certain men came, whom they call 'Sages' and 'Scribes', who, fearing that this Law may be lost from the minds of men through forgetfulness, reduced it to writing, and the volume of this by far exceeds the text of the Bible. In this is contained matter so abusive and so unspeakable that it arouses shame in those who mention it and horror in those who hear it.
Wherefore, since this is said to be the most important reason why the Jews remain obstinate in their perfidy, we earnestly urge and warn your Royal Serenity that on the first Saturday of the Lent to come, in the morning, while the Jews are gathered in the synagogues, you, by our authority, shall seize all the books belonging to the Jews of your Kingdom, those subject to your authority as well as those subject to the authority of your vassals, the nobles of the said Kingdom; and you shall have these books held in custody of our dear sons, the Dominican and Franciscan Friars.

Nicholas Donin's Charges Against the Talmud

1 - On the Authority of the Talmud and the Rabbis

1) They claim that the Law which they call Talmud was given by God.

2) They say that the talmudic Law was transmitted by God orally.

3) They claim that the Oral Law was implanted in their minds (and not written).

4) They say that the Talmud was preserved without being written down until the day arrived when those whom they call scholars and scribes, in order that the talmudic Law should not be forgotten among the people, put it in writing, the product exceeding in length that of the Bible.

5) The Talmud contains among other absurdities the opinion that the above mentioned scholars and scribes are superior to the prophets.

6) These scholars are entitled to abrogate the words of the Law.

7) It is a duty to follow the scholars even when they say that the right is left and that the left is right.

8) One who does not observe what they [the sages] teach deserves the death penalty.

9) They prohibit children from studying the Bible because they prefer that they study the Talmud from which they voluntarily derive laws.

2 - On Hostility Towards Christians

10) Among the Talmudic Laws there is the following command which they consider also a law: Kill the best of the Christians.

11) A Christian who observes the Sabbath or studies the Law deserves the death-penalty.

12) It is permissible to deceive a Christian in every way by a ruse or ingenuity without committing a sin.

13) If one does not want to keep one's oath, one can come at the beginning of the year and annul in advance all his oaths and vows which he will make during the coming year.

14) Three laymen are sufficient to absolve a Jew from his oaths and vows wherever he is.

15) It is written in their Talmud that Jews can not suffer in hell longer than 12 months and that the punishment in gehenna can not exceed 12 months, but that Chrsitians stay in hell for ever.

16) Only one who studies the Talmud is sure to inherit the future world.

17) The Talmud ascribes bestiality and immorality to the Christians.

18) The Talmud states that the filth which the serpent injected into Eve during his intercourse with her clung to the Gentiles but was removed from Israel at Mt. Sinai.

3 - On Blasphemies Against God

19) They claim that even God sinned.

20) God repents the oath which He made in His anger.

21) God curses Himself because He swore and He asked to be relieved from His oath.

22) God curses Himself every night for having destroyed the Temple and enslaved Israel.

23) They also say that God lied to Abraham.

24) God commanded Samuel to lie.

25) God left for Himself after the destruction of the Temple a place four cubits in length where He studies the Talmud.

26) God studies the Talmud every day and teaches it to those children who had died when very young.

27) God addresses to Himself the prayer for compassion with the Jews.

28) God confesses that He was defeated in an argument with the Rabbis over an halakic problem.

29) God weeks three times every day.

4 - On Blasphemies Against Jesus, Mary and Christianity

30) They are not ashamed to claim that Jesus' mother (i.e. Mary) conceived him in adultery from a certain man whom they generally call Panthera.

31) And that the same Jesus is boiled in hot excrement in hell because he mocked at the teachings of the rabbis.

32) They teach that everyone who uses indecent and obscene language, with the exception of expressions in relation to the Church, commits a sin.

33) They use obscene expressions for the designation of the Pope and Christianity.

34) The Jews curse the clergy of the Church, the kings, and all other people, and even Jews whom they consider hostile, three times every day in a prayer which they consider the most important.

35) They consider all who fast sinners.

5 - On Stupidity of Talmudic Laws and Stories

36) They say that Adam had intercourse with all the animals, and that the serpent had intercourse with Eve.

37) And that Cham abused his father Noah.

38) Many Talmudical laws are irrational and absurd.

39) The Talmud contains many foolish stories.

40) The Talmud relates that the Amora Joshua ben Levi outwitted Satan and ascended heaven alive.

41) The messianic expectations in the Talmud are carnal.

42) Metatron puts phylacteries on the head of God every day.

43) Three angels came to visit Abraham and were treated by him with three calf-tongues in mustard.