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An Old Libel Exposed

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Blood and Love. (Blut und Eros im Juedischen Schriftum und Leben. By Chajim Bloch. Sen-sen-Verlag. Vienna, Austria. Price s.7.50.

One of the principal lines of argument adopted by anti-Semites in perpetuating the hideous blood libel is to detach passages from the Talmud and other rabbinical writing from their contexts and so distort them into references to ritual murder.

The leading exponent of this system is Dr. Erich ischoff, whose work “Das Blut im Juedischen Schriftum und Brauch” (Blood in the Literature and Customs of the Jews) has proved the mainspring whence this form of blood-libel draws its inspiration. Much of what appears today in the Streicher press is derived directly from this source.

Unenlightened Gentiles are bound to be intrigued and puzzled when they read page after page of “Talmudic” quotations all of which seem so manifestly to encourage the charge of ritual murder. Not being versed in Rabbinics, they cannot see for themselves the distorted character of these citations, and are therefore apt to go away shocked and “convinced.”

A special value therefore attaches to a volume now issued by Dr. Chajim Bloch of Vienna, the well-known writer an Hassidic and Cabalistic subjects. The book is entitled “Blut und Eros im Juedischen Schriftum und Leben” (Blood and Love in the Literature and Life of the Jews) and consists of a methodical exposition of the passages cited by Bischoff, the whole constituting a thorough exposure of the anti-Semitic argument.

Remarkably enough Bloch does not make immediate reference to the contemporary situation. He discuses the accusation per se and refutes it not only in its Streicherian, but in all its forms. His work is based on the deepest scientific research, but eschews technical and “scientific” terminology. It is written simply and clearly for the layman. It will provide a correct orientation for the non-Jew who is not a professional scholar, but who might otherwise be seduced by the blood libel.

Among the subjects discussed are “Human Blood in the Old Testament,” “Human Blood in the Mishnah,” “Permitted Shedding of the Blood of Animals,” “Shedding of Blood in the Rabbinic Codes,” the “Views of Maimonides,” the “Blood of the Godless,” the “Blood of non-Jews,” “Thou Shalt Not Murder,” and “The Jewish Woman.”

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