Rabbi Harry Waton: the difference between Judaism and all other religions...why Christians must become Jews again

Transcribed by Peter Myers, Canberra, Australia; updated November 23, 2012.

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Communism, Rabbi Waton says, is Judaism's project for the world. All other religions are other-worldly; only Judaism lives for this world, and specifically for a political program which unifies and equalises mankind.

In this excerpt from his book, Rabbi Waton shows the difference between Judaism and all other religions, and argues that Christians must become Jews again.




BY HARRY WATON New York 1939

Published by
NEW YORK - 1939

[ p. 113} "But the Jews were chosen, not for their own sake, they were chosen to become the means through whom Jehovah will redeem all mankind. Salvation is of the Jews, but the Jews themselves will realize this salvation only through the salvation of the whole human race. It is therefore the historic function of the Jews to bring salvation to mankind. 71. What, then, is Judaism ? Judaism is the perception of this eternal and infinite idea of Jehovah, and the endeavor to realize this idea. In other words, Judaism is the endeavor to

[p. 114} "bring salvation to mankind. This is the essence of Judaism. All commandments have only the purpose of serving this idea. By the exceptional commandments the Jews are trained and disciplined to perform their exceptionally difficult historic task. The Jews must be as holy as Jehovah is, the Jews must be a model to all other races and peoples, they must be prophets and teachers to mankind. ...

[p. 115] "... Judaism is a religion that requires work, struggle and suffering. Judaism declares: man can be justified only by deeds, faith alone is not enough. To identify oneself with Jehovah through Judaism, one must constantly work, struggle and suffer. Judaism is not only the only historic religion, but it is also the only moral religion. Judaism prescribes rules for conduct in all cases. There is nothing a Jew can do which is not prescribed in the Bible how the Jew shall do it. ... The Jew cannot eat, he cannot drink, he cannot dress, he cannot do a thing, unless it is in accordance with the commandments prescribed by Judaism. Next, we must bear in mind that Judaism rests upon a covenant, the eternal covenant between Jehovah and the Jews. And any one that wants to embrace Judaism must accept this covenant. A covenant imposes duties and obligations, and one that wants to enjoy the benefits of this covenant must first perform the conditions and requirements of the covenant. Once one enters into a covenant, he cannot abrogate the covenant without the consent of the other party to the covenant. Since the Jews entered into this covenant with Jehovah, the Jews cannot abrogate this covenant without the consent of Jehovah, and Jehovah swore that he will never abrogate the covenant. And so, whether the Jews want it or not, they are eternally bound by this covenant. And Jehovah said: As I live, I will rule over you with a strong hand. And Jehovah does rule over the Jews with a strong hand. When the Jews relax in the performance of the covenant, Jehovah punishes them severely, and compels the Jews to return to their historic task. Judaism is a historic religion, it is a moral religion, and for this reason it is a hard religion.

[p. 116] "... Since Jehovah, the God of evolution, of destiny and history chose the Jews to perform this great historic task, may the rest of the human race combine against the Jews and endeavor to destroy the Jews, the Jews will not be destroyed; rather their enemies will be destroyed. Judaism and the Jews are unique; there is no religion like Judaism, and there is no people like the Jews; and all this is because Jehovah is unique.

[p. 117] Buddhism negates the material world, it negates the body, and it negates the mind; all existence is an illusion. Human existence is an illusion and inherently evil, and there is no hope for living men on earth. Buddhism does not know of progress and destiny for mankind on this earth. The only thing man can do to free himself from the inherent evil of existence and suffering is to emancipate himself from the illusion of existence; he must negate the will to live, and strive after nirvanum. Nirvanum - this is the state of the perfect idea in the transcendental world; there is no motion, no change, no time, no desire, no evolution, no history and no destiny. It is a state of I Am. One that attains to this enlightenment must renounce this world and life, he must not concern himself about the material body, he must not till the land, he must not produce the material means of life, he must not concern himself about his physical needs, and he must not seek deliverance through suicide. Since he must continue to exist on this earth in a physical body, and the physical body, so long as it lives, needs material things, the enlightened one must take up the beggar's bowl and live on beggary. Not only must he negate the material world and the body, but he must also negate the intellectual world and the mind, for even they are an illusion. He must train himself not to think.

[p. 118] "Let sentimentalists and misguided idealists extol Buddhism to the sky, they do not know what they are talking about. By the fruit ye shall know. Buddhism, not only degenerated to the grossest superstitions, but it destroyed in the followers of this religion all power to resist evil and to struggle for a better human world right here on this earth. And what is true of Buddhism is equally true of Brahmanism. ... 73. Christianity is akin to Buddhism. But having come from Judaism and the Jews it retained some traces of both, but they are only traces. Christianity has sublimated the God of the Jews into an abstraction, The Father in Heaven, and retired him into the background. His place was taken by Jesus. ... Like Buddhism, Christianity does not concern itself about the material world, its sole concern is the transcendental world; it does not concern itself about morality, its sole concern is immortality; it does not concern itself about conduct, its sole concern is faith; a man is justified, not by deeds, but he is justified by faith. Like Buddhism, Christianity negates this material world and the body. There is not a word in the New Testament about human conduct in this material world. Man is to take no thought of

[119] "the tomorrow of what he shall eat or drink, he shall neither till the land nor spin nor sew, but be like the fowls of the air or the lilies of the field, trusting to the Heavenly Father that he will feed them and clothe them. Man is not to concern himself about justice and should not interfere with the ruling classes. Not a word of protest did Jesus utter against oppression, exploitation and slavery, but advised men to submit to them all. Judaism demands that evil be exterminated, but Christianity rather encourages evil. If one strike me at the right cheek, I must let him also strike me at the left cheek; if one takes off my upper garment, I must also let him take off my under garment. Marriage is only a concession to lust; but, if one can overcome the lust, he should not marry. ... Suppose the Christians did live up to the requirements of Christianity, then they would not till the land, they would not produce the material means of life, they would not spin, they would not sew, they would not wash the body, they would not concern themselves about justice and morality, they would not marry, and they would live in filth and dirt. What would become of them ? They would degenerate and perish, and then there would not he a Christian to tell the tale. Christianity was not meant for this world, it was meant for another world, somewhere in heaven, to be enjoyed after death. Christianity does not concern itself about life, but about death; it does not concern itself about existence on this earth, but only about existence in heaven after death. 74. Death is the chief concern of Christianity, and for this reason it rests on a testament, it is conceived in death and exists only for death. Christianity w as born only with the death of Jesus. If Jesus had not been crucified, there would have been no Christianity. The basis of Christianity is the resurrection of Jesus and his ascension to heaven. And, while Judaism promises

[p. 120] "reward on this earth and while we live, Christianity promises reward in heaven and only after death. ... Judaism rests on a covenant, but Christianity rests on a testament. ... while Judaism promises reward only in the end of days, and after the Jews will have performed their hard historic task, the Christians attain to salvation the moment they believe in Jesus; the moment they believe in him they are saved. It is enough to believe in Jesus to be saved and the sins to be forgiven, but it is not enough to believe in Jehovah to be saved and the sins to be forgiven; one must justify himself with deeds, and with deeds to atone for sins. And, while Judaism is principally concerned about the people, society and the whole human race, Christianity is concerned only about the soul of the individual. Judaism is social, Christianity is individualistic. Christianity, like Buddhism, is unhistoric; it knows of no beginning and of no end, and it does not know what is its historic function.

[p. 124] "... Professor John Macmurray, of University College, London ... wrote an essay, entitled: Creative Society. In this essay, Professor Macmurray shows that what passes as Christianity is a superstition and a fraud, just because it negates the material world and morality. Professor Macmurray believes that true Christianity, like Judaism, concerns itself only about the material world and morality. He therefore demands the destruction of the existing Christianity, and bring out a true Christianity, but this regenerated and true Christianity must identify itself with Marxism and communism,

[p. 125] "For the Communist movement started when Marx said: Let us turn from ideas to reality, let us look not at people's theories but at their actions. It is by seeing how societies and their institutions work in practice, and not by accepting their ideal accounts of what they are, after that we shall understand their real faith.... Pseudo-religion takes the truth of real religion and isolates it in an ideal heaven, completely divorced from the material reality of common action, and floods it with the colorful lights of primitive fantasy. 79. Professor Macmurray continues: ... Hebrew religion, in fact, was intensely materialistic and it is precisely this that gave it persistent and effective reality.

[p. 126] "... two forms of pseudo-religion are exemplified in the two great universal religions which still contest the claim of Christianity, Buddhism and Mohammedanism. Both the religions which achieved universality by a loss of reality. To achieve universality Buddhism had to represent the world of material activity as illusory, while Mohammedanism had to represent it as the field of physical force. Buddhism achieved a merely ideal spirituality, Mohammedanism merely an idealized materialism. These

[p. 127] "two tendencies may be seen at work throughout the history of Christianity itself. It is always tending to become a religion of illusion either by an approximation to Buddhism, that is to say, through a divorcing of the spiritual world from any earthly reality, or by an approximation to Mohammedanism, in which it thinks to establish the Kingdom of Heaven by the use of physical force. The supremacy of the religion of Jesus lay in its capacity to remain fully material and yet to achieve universality. Its success lies precisely in its universal concreteness. It is this above all that we have to understand. 81. Professor Macmurray endeavors to show that Jesus had in mind nothing else than what Marx had in mind, and which was all through a Jewish idea.

[p. 129] "... There must be war to the death between real and unreal religion, even if it should cleave organized Christianity in two and destroy all its existing forms.

[p. 130] "What did the Jews understand

{p. 131] "by the Kingdom of Heaven? It is this question which Conrad Noel undertook to answer. It is a revolutionary question, and therefore the answer is revolutionary. Conrad Noel shows that the Jews understood by the Kingdom of Heaven nothing else than a kingdom of God which will be realized on this earth, and which mankind will enjoy while they live. ... Conrad Noel reaches the same conclusion which Professor Macmurray reached, namely, that Christianity must identify itself with Communism. 85. It is now perfectly clear that the Christianity which came down to us was divorced from the material world and from morality. Now, whether Christianity can be revolutionized and be made to concern itself about the material world and morality; and, if so, whether it will remain Christianity, this we shall see later.

[p. 132] "... The Bible speaks of an immortality right here on earth. In what consists this immortality? It consists in this: the soul continues to live and function through the children and grandchildren and the people descending from them. Hence, when a man dies, his soul is gathered to his people. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and all the rest continue to live in the Jewish people, and in due time they will live in the whole human race. This was the immortality of the Jewish people, and it was known to the Jews all the time. When, however, the Jewish people suffered a national catastrophe, and the remaining Jews were exiled to Babylonia, they seemed to have lost hope that the Jewish people would continue to exist. Hence, the Jews adopted the general idea of immortality which is of an individual nature. It was this idea that

[p. 133] "the Jews brought back from exile. But with the regeneration of the Jewish people in Palestine, the ancient idea of immortality was also regenerated. And, while most Jews believe in the general idea of immortality, the Jews that have a deeper understanding of Judaism know that the only immortality there is for the Jew is the immortality in the Jewish people. Each Jew continues to live in the Jewish people, and he will continue to live so long as the Jewish people will live. Since the destiny of mankind is to become Jews, it follows that each Jew will continue to live as long as mankind will live. This is the true Jewish idea of immortality. 86. And now I will reveal the esoteric idea of immortality as told us in the Bible. ... the tree of eternal life flows from Jehovah through the Jewish people. Now, as is well known, the Hebrew letters have numerical values. The whole Bible was written in accordance with an infinite mathematical system. Now, the numerical value of the name Shaddai ( in Hebrew), is 314. And the numerical value of the expression (in Hebrew): And he was gathered to his people - is also 314. This is the meaning of the expression used by the Bible upon the death of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It means that Jehovah,

[p. 134] "as the tree of eternal life, continues to live in the Jewish people. This is the true idea of immortality. The Jewish soul is eternal, because the tree of eternal life was implanted by Jehovah in the Jewish people.

[p. 138] "The communists are against religion, and they seek to destroy religion; yet, when we look deeper into the nature of communism, we see that it is essentially nothing else than a religion. That the communists seek to destroy all existing religions is not remarkable; all new religions had first to destroy the existing religions, to clear the terrain for its own existence. This was the case of Judaism, Christianity, Mohammedanism, Buddhism, and all other religions. Next, when we disregard the scientific cloak of Marxism, we see that in essence it is nothing else than religion. Marx believed that he was a scientist, and he hated metaphysics; yet, he was the greatest metaphysician of modern times. And the greatness of Marx consists in just this that he was a religious metaphysician. His scientific theories may prove false, but his religious perception of the destiny of mankind will endure forever. Marx could say with Jesus: Heaven and earth shall pass, but my religious perception of the destiny of mankind will not pass. 89. Since religion concerns itself about the future destiny of mankind, it follows that this idea of religion is the most vital idea that concerns mankind. ... The future justifies the past. Since religion is the most essential idea that concerns men, it follows that men of one religion will be far more intimately identified with one another than men of other ideas; and men who are opposed in religion will be far more

{p. 139] "deeply opposed to one another than men who are opposed to one another in other ideas. This was the reason why religious struggles were always bloodier and more determined than all other struggles. Now, if men were free to choose their ideas, it would be correct to say that men struggle for and against ideas. But men are not free to choose their ideas; rather ideas choose men. Hence, it is not men that struggle for and against ideas, but the ideas struggle against one another. Since religion is the most essential idea, it follows that the struggles of religious ideas against one another are the most vital struggles in human existence. Now, communism and fascism are religious ideas, because they concern themselves about the future of mankind.

[p. 148] "... if Christianity is to continue to exist and function, it must come down to this earth, it must begin to concern itself about man, it must concern itself more about morality than about immortality, it must seek the Kingdom of Heaven right here on this earth, and to be enjoyed by men while they live right here. This means the abolition of exploitation, oppression, degradation and inhumanity. The Jews should welcome this revolution in the Christian world, and the Jews should show an example. It is not an accident that Judaism gave birth to Marxism, and it is not an accident that the Jews readily took up Marxism; all this was in perfect accord with the progress of Judaism and the Jews. The Jews should realize that Jehovah no longer dwells in heaven, but he dwells in us right here on earth; we must no longer look up to Jehovah as above us and outside of us, but we must see him right within us. ... . The

[p. 149] "Jews should give up their vain ambitions that find expression in the vain strivings after intellectual and worldly achievements ... they must strive to come back to the soil and identify themselves with mother earth. The Jews must recognize the dignity of labor, and especially manual and physical labor.

[p. 161] "Since Judaism transcends race, color and blood, it also transcends racial and blood descent. Not he is necessarily a Jew who was born to Jewish parents, received a Jewish education and lived in a Jewish environment; but he is a Jew who identifies himself with Judaism. If a Jew ceases to identify himself with Judaism, he ceases to be a Jew. On the other hand, a non-Jew who identifies himself with Judaism, no matter what his race, color, blood and descent may he, he is a Jew to all intents and purposes. If all existing Jews should give up Judaism, they will cease to be Jews. On the other hand, if other peoples should accept Judaism and identify themselves with it, they will become the Jewish people, and they will be the true descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the Prophets, and so on.

[p. 162] "We saw before that the Jews are the highest cultured people, and now we see that the Jews are the highest aristocrats. ... It is hard to be a Jew, but the reward is equally great. ... The Jews will find in Judaism the intellectual and spiritual strength and discipline which will enable them to meet the requirements of the new social order. And, as in the past, so also in the future, by means of Judaism, will prove themselves to be the fittest to survive. Judaism is the highest ideal, it devolves upon the Jews

[p. 163] "the most exacting duties, and it demands that the Jews should go down to the very bottom of life to raise the rest of mankind to the ideal of Judaism. The proletariat is the lowest and most backward class in society. It is therefore the supreme duty of the Jews to identify themselves with the proletariat. All other classes will disappear, but the working class will endure forever, for all of mankind will become workers. For identifying themselves with the working class the Jews will incur the displeasure and hatred of the ruling classes, but the Jews must not fear the ruling classes: their rule will be only for a while. Let the Hitlers and the anti-Semites look down with contempt upon the working class, but the Jews must look upon the working class as upon their own brothers and equals. Let the Hitlers and the parasites look down with contempt upon the colored and inferior races, but the Jews must identify themselves with these races and help them rise to the level of the Jews. Only thus will the Jews earn the right to continue to exist and to realize their destiny. Salvation is of the Jews, but the Jews will attain to salvation only through the salvation of the whole human race. The Jews will serve themselves by serving mankind. This is the demand of the highest aristocracy which has been conferred on them.

[p. 171] "while it is true that Judaism found the highest and deepest expression in Jesus, Christianity was a regression from Judaism. ... a Christianity which was nothing else than paganism ... This continued for fifteen centuries. Now the Christian children attained to some degree of self-consciousness, and the result was the Reformation. This marked the first step in the growing maturity of the Christians. The Catholic Church and all other intermediaries were removed, and the Christians came directly into communication with Jesus. . But still Jesus remained high in heaven. And now a great

[p. 172] "revolution is taking place in the Christian world. This revolution marks the approach of the Christian to the centre. They now begin to perceive that Jesus is right within them. And who is Jesus? Jesus is nothing else than their own soul, the I am I of God. When the Christians will at last attain to this perception, then they will discover that which the Jews discovered nearly three thousand years ago, namely: all are the sons of God. Then the Christians will no longer have to pray to Jesus, they will no longer imagine a Jesus sitting in heaven, but they will perceive that salvation lies within themselves. Thus we see that Christianity is only a preparation for Judaism. The translation of the Bible into the vernaculars of the Christians brought the Christians nearer to the Old Testament, and this resulted in the Reformation. And now the foremost thinkers in the Christian world turn back to Judaism. They call it the Judaism of Jesus, but it is Judaism pure and simple. And this will result in a great revolution in the Christian world. The Christians will reach the centre. Only then will they reach the height and depth of the Jews at the time of Jesus. 111. There is another aspect which we must consider, as showing that Christianity was only a preparation for Judaism. We saw before that Judaism rests on work, while Christianity rests on faith. According to Judaism, man is justified by deeds; while, according to Christianity, man is justified by faith.

[p. 173] "... existence rests on the law of equivalents: for everything we get from existence we must pay an equivalent in work, struggle and suffering. This is the eternal and infinite law of existence, ... 112. And we shall understand the difference between Judaism and Christianity. Judaism was given to mature persons, and therefore required them to justify themselves by deeds. But Christianity was given to immature children of history, and from them could be required only faith and obedience. Once the Christians had faith in Jesus and obeyed the Mother Church, they deserved the good which Christianity gave them. But in proportion as the Christians attained to maturity, in that proportion they became subject to the law of equivalents. The Reformation was the beginning of some of the Christians

[p. 174] "attaining to maturity, and therefore since then the mature Christians came nearer to Judaism, they began to recognize the law of equivalents, and began to justify themselves by deeds. And now we see another great revolution is taking place in the Christian world. This revolution shows that the Christians are becoming still more mature, they come still nearer to Judaism, and assume still more the law of equivalents. The time will come when all Christians will become mature, they will all embrace Judaism, and they will all justify themselves by deeds. Then the Christians will become Jews. .... The great revolution that now takes place in the Christian world is the most inspiring assurance that the hope of the Jews is coming to a realization: The Christians will become Jews."

{end excerpt}

Full text of Waton's book, with explanatory footnotes and commentary: waton-program.html.

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