Ukraine, Russia & the US: Some Thoughts with Jim Jatras

Christ is Risen!

Recently, Your Truly had the great honor of interviewing Jim Jatras. Mr Jatras, is a public policy analyst and media and government relations specialist with extensive experience in international relations, government affairs and legislative politics.

Before entering the private sector he served from 1985 to 2002 as a policy advisor and analyst for the Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate. From 1979 to 1985 he was a Foreign Service Officer with the State Department with service in Mexico specializing in Soviet affairs and public diplomacy.

He holds a JD from Georgetown (1978) and a BA from Penn State (1974) and is a member of the Supreme Court Bar and the Pennsylvania and District of Columbia bars. Jim graduated from high school in Athens, Greece, where he met his future wife. He is married with two daughters and four grandchildren and attends St Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church in Falls Church, Virginia.

He writes regularly for Strategic Culture Foundation ( and Chronicles magazine. His writings are regularly picked up on media outlets such as Zero Hedge, Lew Rockwell and the Ron Paul Institute. He has appeared on The Duran, Russia Insider and on RT’s Crosstalk. He is the author of a major study, “How American Media Serves as a Transmission Belt for Wars of Choice.”

He can be reached on Twitter @JimJatras.

[Editor’s note: I pray you forgive the poor lighting on my part of the screen. Even after all these years, Monomakhos is still a work in progress. Many thanks (and the Lord’s blessings) go out to those wonderful people who work behind the scenes to make this all happen.]

Here is Part I of my interview with Jim Jatras:

And here is Part II:


  1. Monk James Silver says

    Christ is risen, truly risen!

    I’m very grateful for this interview.

    So much of what Jim Jatras has to say, colored as it is by his long experience and intimate knowledge he of the way things work, confirms nearly every conclusion I’ve come to myself in these sorely vexed areas.

    Or, to put it another way, he agrees with me, so he must be right!.

  2. Connor Flemaris says

    Jatras claim to fame is all anti-Semitic. While he was on Orin Hatch staff, wrote Orthodox Observer letter opposing Dukakis on grounds of Jewish wife. He spread canards about Sabbataian Turkish leadership. His dad opposed Junta.

    • Monk James Silver says

      The canons forbid us to marry outside of The Church.

      This means that we may not only not marry in rituals and temples other than our own, but we also may not marry people who are not themselves Orthodox Christians.

      In modern times, this last proscription has been shamefully ignored in favor of allowing Orthodox Christians to marry — in an Orthodox Christian temple and with our own ritual — anyone who has been ‘baptized’ with water in theme of the three divine Persons of the Holy Trinity

      The oddest thing about this distortion of practice is that it allows us to give a wedding crown to a heterodox Christian, but not Holy Communion. A very strict — and accurately Orthodox — ecclesiology tells us that this is an all-or-nothing proposition: no communion, no crown. But if a crown is offered, then communion, too. We can’t have it both ways and be true to The Tradition which have received. But this particular irregularity isn’t what’s at issue here.

      I’s obvious that Mrs Dukakis, being Jewish, was never ‘baptized’ in any way at all. Calling attention to the ecclesial invalidity of her marriage is not an indication of antisemitism, but rather a statement of fidelity to the canons, although a more exact interpretation would have drawn the line much sooner.

      The fact that Michael Dukakis preferred to indulge his personal feelings rather than stay faithful to The Church is much more the substance of Mr Jatras’s objections to him than anything like antisemitism.

      And what on Earth have Turkish politics and Dukakis senior’s feelings about the Greek monarchy have to do with antisemitism?

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        If Orthodox in the US could not marry non-Orthodox Christians, they’d be even rarer than the hen’s teeth they are now. In fact, there might not be any of them left already!

        There are some in that little rowboat of Orthodoxy that set out on the ocean sea that still haven’t gotten over the giant iceberg of non-Orthodox Christians that they encountered at journey’s end. What to do? Can’t turn back (don’t want to)…..Maybe proselytize and evangelize? I’ve actually been told “we don’t do that”….

        It would be so much easier to stick to those canons were we still dhimmis, or Russians….in Russia.

        • Antiochene Son says

          Mixed marriages are often the cause of extreme heartache for both parties. It’s not a matter of judging or exclusivity, it’s a matter of protecting the Orthodox spouse from all the problems that comes with these situations.

          For every couple that can agree to live and let live, there is another where the non-Orthodox spouse later becomes rabidly anti-Orthodox and it rips apart the Orthodox spouse, sometimes even leading to divorce.

          The Church allows economy to save a soul, but such measures should not be generally encouraged.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            Enter the real world….just a suggestion.

            “Mixed marriages are often the cause of extreme heartache for both parties…”

            Where to begin? Nowhere…I quit. Do we listen to the ‘heartache people’, or the ‘joy people’?

            “Protect the Orthodox spouse”….right…. in my case, the guy who became Orthodox at 66….

            Here’s my suggestion: dig up out of the ground the Talent the Lord gave you– cast aside your categories….

            The ‘non-Orthodox spouse’….backward reels the mind, or what’s left of it. Our Lord said: “Have you not read that He who made them, from the beginning made them male and female, and so a man leaves his mother and father, and is joined to his wife, and they become one flesh…”

            Yes, He should perhaps have said, ‘from the beginning, made them Orthodox male and female,….and so a man is joined to his Orthodox wife…..but– he didn’t, did he?

        • Monk James Silver says

          Our Lord tells us ‘don’t be afraid, little flock’.

          We must only be faithful to our Shepherd, Who loves us and will keep us safe amid all the trouble surrounding us.

          In a more exalted tone, our Lord said that even ‘the gates of Haides will ot overcome’ His Church.

          Sometimes, it doesn’t look too good from our perspective, but we must ultimately trust in Christ, not in our own view of things.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Tim, Orthodox Christians can and do marry non-Orthodox Christians with no sacramental impediment.

          The issue at hand is whether an Orthodox Christian can marry a non-Christian and still be in good sacramental standing. As far as we know, Kitty Dukakis never converted to Trinitarian Christianity.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            George, I was responding to Monk JS, who flatly states that Orthodox are forbidden by the canons to marry non-Orthodox Christians.

            Note also that he puts non-Orthodox Christian ‘baptism’ in quotes, and moreover that the these purported ‘baptisms’ are in the ‘theme’ of the Trinity.

            So what are the facts?

            • Monk James Silver says

              George can answer for himself, but — lest we fall into yet another rabbit hole here — I’d like to point out that the word ‘theme’ as it appears in my post is a typo for ‘the Name’ — my poor keyboard left out a few letters.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Tim. The Canons on marriage in The Rudder are quite specific: no marriage outside the Church. The recommended penalty for doing so is five years to life separation from the Cup at the discretion of the Bishop. However, read in context with the rest of the Canons on marriage in The Rudder, it became clear to me that these were largely legal rules for protecting property and ordering the community rightly. The Canon’s prohibiting such unions are still important for that reason. Difficult to administer however.

              In my case I was forbidden the Cup from our marriage in a congegation if the United Methodist American Indian Mission which was my wife’s congegation at the time until my wife was received into the Church (9 months). When my priest first knew of our desire to marry, he told me in no uncertain terms not to proceed because of two canonical prohibitions: marrying a non-Orthodox and having no more than three marriages (I am my wife’s fourth husband). Somehow it is worse to re-marry than to live in sin. A position which I have problems with in today’s world.

              A strong marriage will not be weakened by the difference in outward faith. Being one flesh for real, in Christ, tends to overcome a lot (even four other previous spouses) and God is merciful.

              In a less strong marriage, such a split can create an opening for the evil one under the guise of religion. Frankly, if you are at peace in your marriage and have the blessing of your Bishop, it is nobody else’s business.

              Still for folks looking to be married, I strongly discourage anyone from pursuing a path similar to mine if the non-Orthodox partner is not interested in becoming Orthodox and pursuing an Orthodox life, especially where previous marriages exist. My situation worked for one reason: my wife knows Jesus Christ and He wanted her in His Church and I was obedient to my Bishop despite my disagreement.

              Converting to the Church alone is no guarantee of course. Key spiritual practice in marriage: forgiveness/repentance before one another and before God. I am head only as far as I am willing to go to the Cross.

              But, you know that. My celibate Bishop knows that. He saw our hearts and so arranged a proper way for us along with my priest/confessor. I write for the others who do not know.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                Inasmuch as we were married 47 years before I became Orthodox, the issue is moot!

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  I’d say it “took,” Tim.

                  With regard to sin, we are told: “You fall and you get back up.” If the Church has hard and fast rules against communing those who find themselves married to (or divorced from) the wrong person, how does one “get back up?”

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    That, Gail, is indeed the question. The chaotic state of marriage in our land makes it imperative that we find a way. Tim does not need them, but many more do.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      Canons to the left of them, canons to the right of them….into the Valley of Death…..etc.!

                      I know little of the canons, such as those concerning marriage and the Church. But I doubt they had in mind, when promulgated, the situation of Orthodox Christians, tiny in numbers, finding themselves among other Christians, huge in numbers, on a faraway continent.

                      I doubt the usefulness of canons that would lead to the localized extinction of the Church. Members will often marry such outside Christians and remain in the Church, or they will still so marry and leave the Church.

                      There is another significant point, I think. When I look about my own congregation, it seems clear to me that marriage in itself is an excellent form of evangelization into the Church.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Connor, that’s so unfair. The opposition to Dukakis was not his marriage but his preening about saying he was an Orthodox Christian in good standing.
      Had his wife been a Mormon, Buddhist, Hindu, etc the criticism would have stood.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I would also state that criticism of Israel and/or AIPAC (The American-Israeli Political Action Committee or the so-called Jewish lobby) is not an indication of anti-Semitism. Any more than my own criticism of the Tsipras regime in Greece is evidence of anti-Greek attitudes.

        While there are many anti-Semites who are very critical of Israel and use their anti-Zionism as a cover for their own racial/ethnic animus against Jews, there are many Jewish people who are likewise critical of Israel and/or Zionism, some for secular reasons, others because of theological reasons.

        • People complain bout anti-semitism, but they never address another major problem: semitism. There’s a reason why these people have been thrown out of more or less every society they have ended up in. Is everyone else in the world the problem? Let’s get real.

          • Monk James Silver says

            I wonder if ‘Basil’ can identify, exactly, the ‘reason why these people have been thrown out of more or less every society they have ended up in’ and so explain just what he means by ‘semitism’ — if there truly is such a thing which would provoke the rest of the world into hating the Jews.

            Let’s have serious reasons here, if there are any, not merely regurgitations of long-discredited canards.

            • Monk James Silver says

              NO! NO! NO!

              First, the very word ‘sacrament’ betrays an adoption of heterodox terminology, and — probably — ecclesiology. Try to translate ‘sacrament’ i Russian or Greek and see what you get.

              For us Orthodox Christians, marriage is one of the Christian Mysteries, of which (in case any one was wondering) there are many more than the ‘seven ‘sacraments’ first listed by Peter Lombard and accepted as definitionally normative by Roman Catholics.

              In spite of George Michalopulos’s opinion, Orthodox Christians CAN NOT marry heterodox Christians except in an extreme application of _oikonomia_. But, if the exception becomes the norm (as it sadly now has in many places) , than _oikonomia_ is no longer at work and we have betrayed The Faith.

              The bottom line here is that Michael Dukakis excommunicated himself from The Church by marrying a Jewish woman. To say so is not antisemitic, merely a fact of life.

            • Father James, read the Talmud. These people hate the goyim with a passion and it affect their relations with their neighbors. Sure, there’s plenty of irrational hatred for Jews, as well as for people of any stripe, but such consistent antagonism in every country and culture should raise some eyebrows. No?

              Almost every Orthodox monk I’ve met is aware of this, and I’ve visited many monasteries in many countries.

              The Armenians have a similarly wide diaspora and close-knit communities, but they were only ever persecuted by the Turks.

              Be open-minded and have a look here:

              and here, for the more graphically-inclined:

              These are all legitimate quotes from their “holy” book, the Talmud.

              The only canards are the ones quacking above my house as they fly south.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                What a fool you are.

                I have been partners in business and the practice of law with Jews for over 45 years. And with Greeks, Catholics, Lutherans, atheists, then latterly with Loos and Lims.

                Read the Talmud? Why? Read St. Chrysostom on the Jews…Rubbish.

                Open your eyes; let the scales fall therefrom. The ancients of all persuasions loved these denunciations and anathemas… our cyber-cenobites love them, too.

                Absurdity upon absurdity….

                • Estonian Slovak says

                  Look, Tim, you can call me a fool and you’d be right. But I’m not going to let you refer to the writings of St. John Chrysostom as “rubbish.” I don’t understand why folks like you join the church and then want to change all the rules you don’t like.
                  I had a Jewish Great-Grandfather. He came over here, married a Methodist and adopted her religion. Three relatives of his, who remained in Germany, died in the Holocaust.
                  I myself became Orthodox for ethnic reasons, but that is not what kept me in the church. I’m here to save my soul, which, I presume, is your goal as well.
                  I don’t have my trusty Rudder with me, but I recall there is a Canon which specifically FORBIDS Christians from cheating or deceiving anyone because he is a Jew or Pagan. Contrast that with Judaism or Islam, where at least some sources say that lying to and cheating unbelievers is perfectly acceptable.
                  I cut back on my posting here, because in the past, some of my posts were a stumbling block for some. Perhaps, I should quit now. Like I said, feel free to condemn me, I deserve it. But when you refer to St. John Chrysoston’s writings as rubbish, I will protest. I wish you salvation.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    I don’t want to change anything at all. Indeed, among the reasons I became Orthodox is because I wanted a church that had no regard for my opinions in any respect. That said, I will always fall short of the standard because, among many other things, there is no doubt that my ways of thought will always to some extent be influenced by my active Protestant background. This doesn’t trouble me much, because it could hardly be otherwise at my age. I did ‘fellow travel’ so to speak with Orthodoxy for decades before joining, but this hasn’t made me a better Orthodox, and it is possible it made me worse. I try as well as I can, and seek the Lord’s help; but I would never presume to seek changes in the Church itself; the last thing I’d want to see.

                    I find diatribes against Jews deeply repugnant, no matter who makes them. People who go on and on about Jews always have something wrong with them; they have resentments and complexes that they have to project outward. Searching for ancient written justifications changes nothing; these are all pretexts of one kind or another.

                    I grew up with Jewish friends and neighbors, and I have for decades been law partners, and partners in business ventures, with Jews; men and women of great honesty and integrity. My old law firm was like a movie WWII American platoon: Seinfeld, Benedetti, Kouklis, Levy, Petrich, Johnson– on and on.

                    A great and good friend of mine was a prominent member of the local Jewish community, and a renowned leader in the city, my law partner for 30 years, and a fellow backcountry ski adventurer for decades. He died untimely in a tragic accident; I had the honor to speak at his funeral, which was attended by 1500 people.

                    And so on. I simply can’t abide this stuff, and I’m sorry that George allows it and to some degree has added to it.

                    I do apologize for the epithets, but I did get exercised. I should have thought of subtler ones.

                    • Estonian Slovak says

                      There may be people here who push antisemitic ideas. I am not one of them. I voted for our President who has a Jewish daughter and son in law. Of course, the President has been called antisemitic as well.
                      It was a Jewish talk show host, Dennis Prayer, who pointed out just the other day that we have all these words; Islamophobia, Homophobia, Transophia,etc, but no word for fear of Christianity.
                      Despite our perceived differences, I actually do respect you. I respect a man who married young, stayed married to the same woman for more than 50 years, and was able to work his way through law school. May God continue to bless you.

                    • Constantinos says

                      Mr. Mortiss,
                      As a poster I really respect, I ask your critique of some of my ideas. First of all, I rarely watch television; don’t have time for that nonsense. When I read of some over the hill actress, desperately seeking attention by posing nude, or wearing a skimpy bikini, I shake my head, and think how stupid, insipid, and boring. For the life of me, I can’t understand how anyone(male or female) can deface the body gave them by wearing tattoos. I think it is just plain dumb.
                      I believe that when we attend church on Sunday mornings, we are standing before our King, and should dress, and act accordingly. To me, that means a man should wear a nice suit and tie with his shoes polished. Women should be wearing very modest dresses with little make up, and have a feminine hair style. To me it shows good breeding, class, dignity and respect. In my church, some of the women wear sweatpants and a sweatshirt. By the way, in Catholic churches, the men wear shorts. When I attend church each Sunday, I wear a suit, with a bow tie, pocket square, dressy wing tip brogue shoes, and a gray cashmere overcoat in cold weather. Oh, I always wear a hat- either a bowler or homburg. Why would people complain about this? If you had a meeting with the President of the US, would you show up wearing jeans or if you were a lady- skin tight pants with a low cut blouse? I don’t think so. Well, on Sundays, we’re are standing before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. What is your opinion? Thank you.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Tim, like you I have many Jewish friends, and according to, 2% Ashkenazi blood. I am no anti-Semite. Indeed, I have been accused by many of being a Zionist. And yes, in the raging cauldron that is the Middle East, I invariably side with Israel (although I would rather the US pick up our toys and go home.). I recently took Ilhan Omar to task for her characterizations about Jews, dual loyalty and “the Benjamins”.

                      That said, my commitment to free speech (as to gun rights) is absolute. No ethnicity, race, religion or group is above reproach and/or criticism. None. No one commentator on this blog has expressed hatred towards the Jews (or any ethnicity for that matter).

                      Why? Because I moderate all comments and won’t allow it. That’s why.

                      That being said, the historical phenomena which I do allow discussion of –e.g. canon 28, the tomos of transfer, ethnic peculiarities, etc–are worthy of comment and critique. The problem that Basil raises, i.e. why Jews have been persecuted by host populations is not anti-Semitic. The founders of the modern Zionist movement (Theodore Herzl, Ze’ev Jabotinski, et al) have written tomes about it). To their credit, they never accused Christianity per se or the Gospel of John in particular for European animus towards Jews. After all, one only has to read Edward Gibbon’s The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire to note that the ancient Greeks and Romans were notoriously anti-Semitic –and they were pagans.

                      The modern Zionists therefore believed that this animus was racial in origin, not ideological and that the only “cure” for it was for the respective Jewish populations to be settled in a national homeland. It didn’t matter where: some suggested Kenya, others Madagascar, a few Palestine.

                      As for the Moslems, that’s another story as well. Suffice it to say that it has nothing at all to do with Patristic writings about the Jews. Mohammed’s ministry was tied into his business dealings and he slaughtered three different Jewish clans who competed with him. According to tradition, he took for himself two of their women for his harem.

                      We here at Monomakhos will continue to debate all aspects of religion, culture and geopolitics (especially as it impinges on Orthodoxy) in a free and open atmosphere, without any recourse to hatred or vitriol. This is not a “safe space” but an arena for the free exchange of ideas.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    Thanks, ES. I was responding to Basil initially.

                    • Veras Coltroupis says

                      Two thousand years ago the Romans persecuted Jews and later Christians, because they were overbreeders. They refused to practice sodomy and infanticide as birth control.(see Josephus, Against Apion) Two thousand years ago the Jews were ten percent of the Roman Empire, and the Jewish diaspora became the core of the first Christians. Paul’s Epistles were primarily to Diaspora Jews. Turks, Greeks and Italians today have five percent Jewish DNA because of this. When Basil of Caesaria wrote his canon against abortion (banning aborting mothers from communion for ten years) aborting women placed strychnine, rat poison, in their wombs.

                    • Constantinos says

                      If you think this forum is really free and open, you’ve obviously never posted on the Jerusalem Post. Now, that’s bare knuckle brawling at its meanest. They only moderate posts that have been flagged numerous times. Al Jazeera is another brutal forum. This place is like kindergarten or Romper Room compared to those two. That’s one of the main reasons my posts are so caustic; I’ve played with the big boys- and they hit very hard.

              • Basil: “Father James, read the Talmud. These people hate the goyim with a passion”

                One should be careful with drawing hasty conclusions from selected Talmudic fragments. Talmud is not a catechism or set of dogmas. It is a library containing internal debates, commentaries, advises, legal clarifications and speculations. Study of Talmud for the observant Jews is a way to train their minds and is not intended to limit their moral reflection.

                It is more than thousand years old. Using the same approach one can find quite nasty quotes made by the Christians about pagans, heretics etc …

                • Christian texts say nothing about destroying heretics and pagans.

                  Look at the quotes from contemporary Jewish figures that I posted. The Chief Rabbis in Israel say this kind of stuff all the time. The most influential Lubavitch rabbis say this stuff all the time.

                  Let the scales fal form YOUR eyes.

                  • Basil: “Christian texts say nothing about destroying heretics and pagans. … Let the scales fall form YOUR eyes.”

                    I am not going to dig the examples from remote past or from today, to prove you wrong. The subject is depressing enough.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Martin, the difference between the Talmud and the Tanakh (Pentateuch, Prophets & Writings, i.e. the Old Testament) is profound. In that the Judaism that is practiced post-AD 70 and the Judaism of the time of Jesus (and before) were two very different religions. For all practical purposes, the Tanakh is obsolete in modern Jewish religion and liturgy (except for the Psalms).

                  The reason of course is that with the destruction of the second Temple by Titus Flavius in AD 69, the priesthood and all genealogical records for the priesthood were obliterated by the Romans. Whereas Jesus and His co-evals and ancestors worshiped in a liturgical, priestly rite whose Deity was supreme and alone, this option was forever foreclosed to those who lived after the First Jewish War. Hence, the Pharisees and their rabbinic descendants took up the mantle of Judaism.

                  The Talmud (both the Palestinian or jTal and the Babylonian or bTal) became the canon by which Judaic belief could be measured against. It would be as if the Pedalion (or Rudder) became the canon of belief for Orthodox Christians and we were led by readers and cantors instead of priests and bishops.

                  The Talmud is rich in wisdom and common sense (e.g. “breed not a vicious dog”, “the poor man in your city takes priority over the poor man elsewhere,” etc.) It is also a very racialist and supremacist text which mandates strict racial segregation. Non-Jews are called “cattle” and exist solely for the exploitation of Jews. Also, its sayings regarding paedophila are repulsive to us.
                  While it’s racialist strictures in this regard are abominable to modern sensibilities, they don’t necessarily offend me because as a historian, I try to look at things in situ and as to whether they create a viable culture. Considering that the Jews have survived for two millennia without a homeland I’d say that this inward-looking compulsion which views non-Jews as “the Other”, The Talmud certainly does that. (I won’t go into what it says about Jesus and His Blessed Mother.)

                  Make no mistake, religion –especially tribal religion–can serve as a proxy for nationhood by serving as a regime of racial hygiene. In the South, we had the “one-drop rule” which kept whites racially pure while diluting African-American and American Indian blood significantly. In China, the Manchu ruling class forced Chinese males to wear a queue (or long braid). In post-Conquest England, Norman males wore long mustaches and shaved the back of their heads, leaving only the bangs in place. And so on.

                  Having said that, we should be under no illusions about its self-reinforcement mechanisms in which the text supports segregation which in turn induces persecution by the host population which then reinforces segregation and further heightens the “wisdom” of the text. (“See, the goyim are going to turn against you anyway.”)

                  This is all sad, mind you. After all, we live in a fallen world. The OT was a truly evangelical work, a messianic preparation in which the Israelites were told to be a “nation apart” for the purpose of preparing the Christ’s entry into the world. The difference between the OT/Tanakh and the Talmud is thus striking and should not surprise us. Really, we are talking about two different religions. (This is the reason I choose to call pre-AD 70 Judaism “Yahwism”, recognizing of course within that religion there were three different sects: Saducees, Pharisees, and Essenes.)

                  To be sure, before the time of the Prophet Jonah (ca 800 BC), Yahwism was a henotheistic cult which was predicated on the belief that YHWH was the God of Israel and that other gods existed for the other nations but after Jonah, it became clear that YHWH was the God of all nations. This expansive belief in YHWH as the King of the Universe is incompatible with the Talmud and post-Temple Jewish religiosity.

                  It is for this reason that I believe Jewish rabbis in Israel as well as Lubavitchers, repair to the racialist aspects of the Talmud. They perceive heightened animosity towards the Jewish people and hence this reinforces their worldview. That they cannot see that they have themselves persecuted the Palestinian Arabs and have gobbled up Arab territory is ironic.

                  • Constantinos says

                    Hi George,
                    This is one of your best posts – and there have been many of them. One interesting thing about the Talmud is that Alan Dershowitz said that Talmudic study is great preparation for becoming a lawyer. You know all the debates between the various sages. ( I still don’t like Hanukkuh and the Christless ” Holiday Season” along with all the “Happy Holidays” crap)

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Thank you, Costa.

                      The Talmud is indeed a great primer for adversarial legal education. Its dependence upon impasses however hamstrings Rabbinicism (what I choose to call post-AD 70 Judaism) from authentic universal expressions of virtues such as justice. In fact, it is the bulwark for situational ethics. This is good practice for the legal realm where no litigant is completely in the right or the wrong but it is incompatible with universal values. Jesus for example said to “give without expecting anything in return”. “Love thy neighbor.” (“And who is my neighbor”? Jesus said the hated Samaritan.)

                      During the Middle Ages, Jews were usually forbidden from owning land and farming and were instead encouraged to take up money-lending with usury, which heightened anger against them. In the Ukraine, Jews were given monopoly rights over inns and taverns and this often infuriated the local Christian population against them, as they often believed (not without reason) that they had been taken advantage of. Pogroms arose from the bottom-up, not from the Tsar-down. In Moorish Spain they were likewise put in a position of authority over the native Iberian population, which later animated the Spanish Inquisition and its suspicion of any race-mixing between the Celt-Iberians and Jews and Moors.

                      Regarding situational ethics, Maimonides (1135-1204) for example, famously said that a Jew was under no compunction to right a wrong in a business transaction with a gentile. In other words, if a gentile shopkeeper gave $5.00 extra in change, the Jewish customer didn’t have to bring it to his attention, unless he felt that it would reflect well on Jews in general. If not, then he could keep it.

                  • Monk James Silver says

                    Ashes of what, please? What was burned to produce these ashes? Where? By whom? Memorial services remembering what or whom? Why? When? Where?

                    Without a clear understanding of its underlying concepts — if it is true at all — this comment is meaningless at best, and likely to suggest some very distorted ideas to the imagination of your readers.

                    So, Mr Lcorianos, where and when did you see this, and how was it explained to you?

                    BTW: There are no special vestments for Jewish priests except for those of the _kohen gadol_ (‘high’ priest) , but he’s been officially out of work since the Roman destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70.

                    From your words here, I suspect that you don’t have very clear ideas about what you’re describing. Anyway, I’d be grateful for your explanation of the ashes.

                • The way we treated jews who can blame them!!

                  • Lon Colefas says

                    Nikos, I have heard this view by many educated Greek immigrants who refuse to return to Greece

                • Monk James Silver says

                  Veras Coltroupis (May 14, 2019 at 1:59 pm) says:

                  Two thousand years ago the Romans persecuted Jews and later Christians, because they were overbreeders. They refused to practice sodomy and infanticide as birth control.(see Josephus, Against Apion) Two thousand years ago the Jews were ten percent of the Roman Empire, and the Jewish diaspora became the core of the first Christians. Paul’s Epistles were primarily to Diaspora Jews. Turks, Greeks and Italians today have five percent Jewish DNA because of this. When Basil of Caesaria wrote his canon against abortion (banning aborting mothers from communion for ten years) aborting women placed strychnine, rat poison, in their wombs.
                  It would be helpful if ‘Veras Coltroupis’ would provide substantiation — anything — to demonstrate the truth of these most unusual assertions.

                  Without serious attestation, I’m inclined ton regard them as untrue.

              • Monk James Silver says

                Basil (May 11, 2019 at 11:03 pm) says

                Father James, read the Talmud. These people hate the goyim with a passion and it affect their relations with their neighbors.

                Which Talmud? Bavli? Yerushalmi? Which tractates? Whose commentary?

                Here’ ‘Basil’, I suspect that you’re way out of your depth, and cherry-picking isolated Talmudic quotations from the internet does not make you a Talmudic scholar. You selected citations which bolster your own position without reading — and learning — the larger context of these words.

                Now, there are misunderstandings, misrepresentations, and outright lies about Jesus in the Talmud, but they are easily explained and disputed; very few Jews believe these errors, but see them in their historical context.

                Considering the dates of the Talmud’s compilations, it’s considerably more likely that Jewish distaste for our Lord Jesus Christ and for His Church are a reaction to Christian negativity toward them, rather than the cause of that negativity, whether from Christians or anyone else.

                You do remember mentioning that the Jews ‘have been thrown out of more or less every society they have ended up in’, right? You didn’t limit their rejection to Christian cultures, but your words implied that nonchristian cultures also expelled the Jews. It’s curious, then, that the Talmud doesn’t say anything about Jews’ getting grief from those other cultures. Why do you suppose that is?

                As such a scholar of the Talmud, surely you know!

                • Constantinos says

                  Monk James,
                  Don’t forget that after they expelled their Jewish populations, they usually begged them to come back.