David Einhorn

David Einhorn's Response to

"A Biblical View of Slavery"
David Einhorn's Response to A Biblical View of Slavery

  • Nevertheless does Rev. Raphall dare in the name of the Decalogue to declare slavery holy in spite of all the irrefutable evidence, because it is commanded that the slave also shall rest on the Sabbath, and one is not to covet the neighbor's man-servant and maidservant? The humanity which demands that a human being working during the whole week and living under the yoke of servitude should rest and have recreation on the Sabbath is viewed by our speaker as a moral authorization of servitude, and out of the divine flame of love our pious Rabbi merely forges chains! And besides this, even to imprint a holy seal upon the stigma of being a slave by the prohibition of coveting the neighbor's slave!…..
  • Oh, you infidels!—our Rabbi exclaims in his pious fervor—were Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Job not slaveholders?—This is certainly true, but it is just as true that among these pious and enlightened men there were some who had more than one wife, and it is difficult to perceive why they should serve as models to us as slaveholders more so than in this respect. It appears remarkable and very comical to have this wretched polygamy frustrate Dr. Raphall's plans…..
  • The thunder-cloud still hangs heavily over our head, and hides the future of our beloved land in dense mist. Perhaps some of you in our midst may consider it unjustifiable that at such a time I have thus unequivocally expressed my conviction in the foregoing regarding the law of Moses about slavery. The Jew has special cause to be conservative, and he is doubly and triply so in a country which grants him all the spiritual and material privileges he can wish for, he wants peace at every price and trembles for the preservation of the Union like a true son for the life of a dangerously sick mother. From the depth of my soul, I share your patriotic sentiments, and cherish no more fervent wish than that God may soon grant us the deeply yearned-for peace. Still—no matter which political party we may belong to—the sanctity of our Law must never be drawn into political controversy, nor disgraced in the interest of this or that political opinion, as it is in this instance, and with such publicity besides, and in the holy place! The spotless morality of the Mosaic principles is our pride and our fame, and our weapon since thousands of years. This weapon we cannot forfeit without pressing a mighty sword into the hands of our foes. This pride and renown, the only one which we possess, we will not and dare not allow ourselves to be robbed of. This would be unscrupulous, prove the greatest triumph of our adversaries and our own destruction, and would be paying too dearly for the fleeting, wavering favor of the moment. Would it not then be justly said, as in fact it has already been done, in consequence of the incident referred to: Such are the Jews! Where they are oppressed, they boast of the humanity of their religion; but where they are free, their Rabbis declare slavery to have been sanctioned by God, even mentioning the holy act of the Revelation on Sinai in defense of it. Whereas Christian clergymen even in the Southern States, and in presence of the nation's Representatives in part, though admonishing to toleration—openly disapprove of it and in part apologize for it, owing to existing conditions!……

* I am no politician and do not meddle in politics. But to proclaim slavery in the name of Judaism to be a God-sanctioned institution—the Jewish-religious press must raise objections to this, if it does not want itself and Judaism branded forever. Had a Christian clergyman in Europe delivered the Raphall address—the Jewish-orthodox as well as Jewish-reform press would have been set going to call the wrath of heaven and earth upon such falsehoods, to denounce such disgrace, and חלול השם And are we in America to ignore this mischief done by a Jewish preacher? Only such Jews, who prize the dollar more highly than their God and their religion, can demand or even approve of this!……

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