Sunday, August 13, 2017

Abdul Baha speaks in a Jewish synagogue

When in San Francisco(26) I was invited to speak in a Jewish synagogue. I said,
"For about two thousand years, between you and the Christians, there have been friction and opposition, owing to the misunderstandings which today have blinded the eyes. You conceive that His Holiness the Christ was the enemy of Moses, the destroyer of the laws of the Pentateuch, the abrogator of the commandments of the Bible. When we investigate the reality we observe that Christ appeared at a time when according to your own historians, the laws of the Torah were forgotten; the foundation of religion and faith was shaken. Nebuchadnezzar had come, burning the context [contents] of the whole Bible,(27) and taking into captivity many Jewish tribes. Alexander the Great came for the second time, and Titus, the Roman general, devastated the land for the third time, killed the Jews, pillaged their property and imprisoned their children.

At such a time, under such gloomy conditions, His Holiness the Christ appeared. The first thing he said was: 'The Torah is the divine book; Moses is the man of God; Aaron, Solomon, Isaiah, Zechariah and all the Israelitish prophets [prophets of Israel] are valid and true.' Through all regions he spread the Old Testament, which for fifteen hundred years had not been sent out of Palestine, but Christ promulgated it in all countries. Were it not for Christ the name of Moses and his book would not have reached America; for during fifteen hundred years the Torah had been translated but once. It was Christ's seal of approval which caused it to be translated into six hundred languages. Now be just, was Christ the friend or the enemy of Moses?

You say he abrogated the Torah, but I say he promulgated the Torah, the ten commandments and all the questions which belong to its moral world. But he changed the following: That for a small theft one must cut of the hand.(28) If a person blind another, he must be blinded, or if he breaks another's teeth, his teeth must be broken. Is it possible nowadays to establish the archaic laws of an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth? Christ changed only that part of the Mosaic religion which did not accord with the spirit of his time. He had no desire to abolish the Torah. Is it not true that the Christians believe that Moses was the [High] prophet of God, and all the Israelitish seers were the messengers of God, and the Bible [Torah] the book of God?(29) Has this belief of theirs harmed their religion? If you say from your heart that Christ is the word of God, then all these differences will cease. The persecutions of the last two thousand years have been on account of this fact, that you were not willing to proclaim these two words. But I hope that it is proven to you that Moses had no better friend than His Holiness the Christ."

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