Re: The Talmud what a Lovely Book!
The one saying gentiles are not human is a misinterpretation as the real talmud states gentiles are not adam.... adam reffers to jews and not gentiles but can be thought to be talking about the human race.
Please read the full text
"One who uses the official anointing oil [that has been consecrated] to smear on an animal or vessels is innocent of violating the holiness of the oil, to smear on gentiles or corpses is innocent. Certainly an animal and vessels as it say (Exodus 30:32) "It shall not be smeared on flesh of man (Adam)…" and an animal and vessels are not man. One who smears on corpses is also innocent since it is dead it is called a corpse and not a man. However, why is one who smears on gentiles innocent? They are men! No, as it says (Ezekiel 34:31) "Now, you [Israel] are My sheep , the sheep of My pasture, you are Man (Adam)…" You [Israel, the subject of the verse] are called Man (Adam) and gentiles are not called Man (Adam). "
"We see from Gittin that the Talmud considers the phrase Bnei Adam (sons of man) to refer also to gentiles. We see from Avodah Zarah that the Talmud considers the term HaAdam (the man) to refer also to gentiles. Clearly, gentiles are considered human. Why then does the Talmud in Bava Metzia understand that gentiles are not considered Adam (man)?
The explanation is that these are different terms and only a superficial reading would render the term Adam in Bava Metzia as man. Gentiles are absolutely considered human as biology clearly dictates; there are no physiological differences between Jews and gentiles. All people are ultimately descended from the same ancestors, Noah and Adam.
However, the Jews, as a unified nation, are one organic entity. We are obligated to treat each other as close family members and are responsible for each other's actions.
When the Talmud sees the Hebrew word Adam it sees an allusion to Adam of Genesis 1-5 who was at one time the only person. The Talmud understands this as referring to the Jewish people who are an organic unit like one person. Gentiles do not have this organic national bond with each other and are therefore excluded from this concept.
Other terms referring to people, Bnei Adam (sons of Adam) or HaAdam (the man), are understood to refer to the species homo sapien of which gentiles are obviously members just as Jews are.
Thus, with regard to ritual impurity and holy oil, which are uniquely Jewish concepts, the Talmud sees an exclusion to all those who are not part of the organic Jewish nation. With regard to practical matters such as the purchase of land or individual matters such as spiritual status, gentiles are included. An understanding of all of the relevant passages in the Talmud shows that Gentiles are considered human but not Jewish and the accusations against the Talmud are false.
See also Tosafot Yevamot 61a s.v. Ve'Ein; Ra'avan #317; R. Israel Lifshitz, Tiferet Yisrael (Boaz), Avot 3:14; R. Tzvi Hirsch Chajes, Hagahot Maharatz Chajes, Yevamot 61a.
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Last edited by The Pious One : 10-19-2009 at 04:30 PM.