The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/s/schindler.oskar/who-saves-one-life


A later version of this same letter has recently been posted at the
CODOH site:  http://www.codoh.com/review/revhslresp1.html .  No response
is present at present (12/20/96).



From: Dene Bebbington 
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Letter to Greg Raven regarding his IHR web pages
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 1996 23:57:33 +0000
Lines: 48
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I attach here a letter I have recently emailed to Greg Raven regarding
the essay written by Michael Hoffman (from a longer piece rather
pathetically called "Swindler's Mist") that appears on his IHR pages.
Greg Raven pledges on his page to change anything that is untrue, so I
look forward with interest to his response to this letter.

The information I cite regarding the Talmud books comes from responses
to a question of mine posted in soc.culture.jewish.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Greg,

I have a further point to raise regarding the essay by Michael Hoffman
on "Schindler's List" that appears on your IHR Web pages, the section of
the essay I refer to is as follows:

>>>>>
 We are told that the inscription is from the Talmud, "He who saves a
single life, saves the entire world." (This quotation also appears on
posters advertising Schindler's List in video stores and schools,
apparently having been selected as the film's motto by its promoters).

The saying has a nice, warm, humanistic tenor, but there's just one
problem: that's not what the Talmud says. The actual Talmud verse
states, "Whosoever preserves a single soul of Israel, Scripture ascribes
to him as if he had preserved a complete world" (Tractate Sanhedrin
37a). The Talmud only praises the saving of Jewish lives. In Spielberg's
non-stop deception, even the documented contents of Jewish books are
falsified. 
<<<<<

To my knowledge this accusation of falsification is simply wrong. Both
quotes appear in different Talmud books, the first quote "He who saves a
single life, saves the entire world." apparently comes from the Talmud
Yerushalmi (Sanhedrin 4:9), whilst the other quote "Whosoever preserves
a single soul of Israel, Scripture ascribes to him as if he had
preserved a complete world" comes from the Talmud Bavli (Bava Batra 11a
and elsewhere).

It is true that Jewish people consider the Talmud Bavli more
authoritative, but nevertheless it is wrong to state that Spielberg is
falsifying the contents of Jewish books in this particular case.

--
Dene Bebbington






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From: Dene Bebbington 
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: Letter to Greg Raven regarding his IHR web pages
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 23:11:22 +0000
Organization: Deno's Domicile
Lines: 56
Distribution: world
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I've read elsewhere that Greg Raven is involved in some lawsuits
regarding the IHR, and this may explain his lack of response so far,
although no response has been forthcoming from Michael Hoffman who is
the author of the _Schindler's List_ article. But as a reminder, here it
is again.

Posted, and emailed to Greg Raven & Michael Hoffman.


Dene Bebbington  wrote:
>I attach here a letter I have recently emailed to Greg Raven regarding
>the essay written by Michael Hoffman (from a longer piece rather
>pathetically called "Swindler's Mist") that appears on his IHR pages.
>Greg Raven pledges on his page to change anything that is untrue, so I
>look forward with interest to his response to this letter.
>
>The information I cite regarding the Talmud books comes from responses
>to a question of mine posted in soc.culture.jewish.
>
>-----------------------------------------------------------------------
>Greg,
>
>I have a further point to raise regarding the essay by Michael Hoffman
>on "Schindler's List" that appears on your IHR Web pages, the section of
>the essay I refer to is as follows:
>
>>>>>>
> We are told that the inscription is from the Talmud, "He who saves a
>single life, saves the entire world." (This quotation also appears on
>posters advertising Schindler's List in video stores and schools,
>apparently having been selected as the film's motto by its promoters).
>
>The saying has a nice, warm, humanistic tenor, but there's just one
>problem: that's not what the Talmud says. The actual Talmud verse
>states, "Whosoever preserves a single soul of Israel, Scripture ascribes
>to him as if he had preserved a complete world" (Tractate Sanhedrin
>37a). The Talmud only praises the saving of Jewish lives. In Spielberg's
>non-stop deception, even the documented contents of Jewish books are
>falsified. 
><<<<<
>
>To my knowledge this accusation of falsification is simply wrong. Both
>quotes appear in different Talmud books, the first quote "He who saves a
>single life, saves the entire world." apparently comes from the Talmud
>Yerushalmi (Sanhedrin 4:9), whilst the other quote "Whosoever preserves
>a single soul of Israel, Scripture ascribes to him as if he had
>preserved a complete world" comes from the Talmud Bavli (Bava Batra 11a
>and elsewhere).
>
>It is true that Jewish people consider the Talmud Bavli more
>authoritative, but nevertheless it is wrong to state that Spielberg is
>falsifying the contents of Jewish books in this particular case.
>
>--
>Dene Bebbington





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From: Dene Bebbington 
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: Letter to Greg Raven regarding his IHR web pages
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 19:06:11 +0000
Organization: Deno's Domicile
Lines: 76
Distribution: world
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Still no reply, I wonder which of the following is the most plausible:

1. Both Greg Raven and Michael Hoffman are too busy to answer my email
sent over 2 weeks ago.

2. Neither of them has come up with a good excuse yet.

3. They're doing their homework and checking the facts before
responding.

4. They haven't any response, but don't wish to admit the error (whether
deliberate or otherwise).


Dene Bebbington  wrote:
>Still no reply from either Greg Raven or Michael Hoffman.
>
>
>Dene Bebbington  wrote:
>>I've read elsewhere that Greg Raven is involved in some lawsuits
>>regarding the IHR, and this may explain his lack of response so far,
>>although no response has been forthcoming from Michael Hoffman who is
>>the author of the _Schindler's List_ article. But as a reminder, here it
>>is again.
>>
>>Posted, and emailed to Greg Raven & Michael Hoffman.
>>
>>
>>Dene Bebbington  wrote:
>>>I attach here a letter I have recently emailed to Greg Raven regarding
>>>the essay written by Michael Hoffman (from a longer piece rather
>>>pathetically called "Swindler's Mist") that appears on his IHR pages.
>>>Greg Raven pledges on his page to change anything that is untrue, so I
>>>look forward with interest to his response to this letter.
>>>
>>>The information I cite regarding the Talmud books comes from responses
>>>to a question of mine posted in soc.culture.jewish.
>>>
>>>-----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>Greg,
>>>
>>>I have a further point to raise regarding the essay by Michael Hoffman
>>>on "Schindler's List" that appears on your IHR Web pages, the section of
>>>the essay I refer to is as follows:
>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>> We are told that the inscription is from the Talmud, "He who saves a
>>>single life, saves the entire world." (This quotation also appears on
>>>posters advertising Schindler's List in video stores and schools,
>>>apparently having been selected as the film's motto by its promoters).
>>>
>>>The saying has a nice, warm, humanistic tenor, but there's just one
>>>problem: that's not what the Talmud says. The actual Talmud verse
>>>states, "Whosoever preserves a single soul of Israel, Scripture ascribes
>>>to him as if he had preserved a complete world" (Tractate Sanhedrin
>>>37a). The Talmud only praises the saving of Jewish lives. In Spielberg's
>>>non-stop deception, even the documented contents of Jewish books are
>>>falsified. 
>>><<<<<
>>>
>>>To my knowledge this accusation of falsification is simply wrong. Both
>>>quotes appear in different Talmud books, the first quote "He who saves a
>>>single life, saves the entire world." apparently comes from the Talmud
>>>Yerushalmi (Sanhedrin 4:9), whilst the other quote "Whosoever preserves
>>>a single soul of Israel, Scripture ascribes to him as if he had
>>>preserved a complete world" comes from the Talmud Bavli (Bava Batra 11a
>>>and elsewhere).
>>>
>>>It is true that Jewish people consider the Talmud Bavli more
>>>authoritative, but nevertheless it is wrong to state that Spielberg is
>>>falsifying the contents of Jewish books in this particular case.
>>>
>>>--
>>>Dene Bebbington
>>
>





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From: Dene Bebbington 
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: Israeli Court Values Palestinian Life at One-Third of a Cent
Date: Sat, 23 Nov 1996 18:09:16 +0000
Organization: Deno's Domicile
Lines: 101
Distribution: world
Message-ID: 
References: <19961119192600.OAA28167@ladder01.news.aol.com>
 <32941585.440882@199.0.216.204>
 
 <3293f02a.245526725@news.micron.net> <32956ef6.932187@199.0.216.204>
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tom moran  wrote:
>>On Wed, 20 Nov 1996 14:49:23 -0500, jamie@voyager.net (Jamie McCarthy)
>>wrote:
>>
>>>tm@pacificnet.net (tom moran) wrote:
>>>
>>>>         Talmud:
>>>> 
>>>>         "He who so ever sould save the life of a Jew, is as if he saved
>>>> the life of the whole world."
>>>> 
>>>>         Inversely, 'He who so ever saves the life of a goy, is as if he
>>>> saved nothing.'
>>>
>>>This has been debunked already.
>       Jamie McCarthy is always claiming something has been "debunked".
>The only thing he ever debunks is himself. 

I attach a copy of an email I received in response to a question about
this Talmudic quotation, this email was a Cc of a public posting:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
This question came up some time ago on scj.  I cannot
find my original post on the subject in my files, so I will
reproduce it in brief.

The source for this saying is in the Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5.
It appears in several versions:

1. In the standard edition of the Mishnayot, the wording is:
"Whoever destroys the life of a single human being [nefesh
a`hat mi-bnei adam] ... it is as if he had destroyed an
entire world; and whoever preserves the life of a single
human being ... it is as if he had preserved an entire
world".

2. In the Talmud Bavli, where this mishnah appears on
Sanhedrin 37a, the wording is the same, except for the
substitution of "life of a single Jew" [nefesh a`hat
\mi-yisrael] for "life of a single human being".

3. In the Talmud Jerushalmi, Mishnah 5 is divided into
subsections (Halakhot). In my edition the saying appears
in Halakhot 12-13.  Others divide Mishnah 5 differently: 
e.g. MTR locates it in  Halakhah 9.  It reads "destroys 
a single life" [ma'abed nefesh a`hat] and  "preserves a 
single life" [meqayem nefesh a`hat]. There is no specific 
mention of either "human being" or "Jew", though the former 
is clearly implied.

The question is:  Which is the original version?  Was the
limitation to Jewish lives there to begin with, and then
taken out as a result of Church censorship?  This is
suggested in the book of corrigenda, Hesronot Ha-shas.
Alternatively, was the universal formulation the original
one, and the limitation to Jewish lives introduced into
it at some later date, perhaps in a period when particularly
severe persecution of Jews generated a justified feeling
of xenophobia?

The answer would seem to be obvious from the context,
which is the same in all three versions.  The citation
is preceded by the words: "This is why Adam was created
alone.  It is to teach us that ...".  A bit father down
it reads: "When a man mints a number of coins from a
single die, they are all identical; but the King of the
kings of kings, the Holy One blessed be He, minted every
human being from the die of the primal Adam, and not one
of them is like any other".

Evidently, if the original had referred to the preservation
of Jewish lives alone, the reference would have been to
Abraham at the earliest.  The repeated reference to Adam,
progenitor of all mankind, makes it clear that the original
must have referred to the preservation of human life in
general.

This is aparently how the Rishonim (medieval commentators)
understood it as well.  Rambam adopts the Yerushalmi version,
(3.) slightly altered, in Hilkhot Sanhedrin 12:3, but also 
cites the Bavli version (2. above) briefly in Hilkhot 
Rotzea`h 1:6.  Hameiri too bases his commentary on the 
Yerushalmi version, illustrating "the destruction of a whole
world" by pointing out that Cain's murder of Abel eliminated 
all of his victm's descendents at one fell swoop.  Abel, like 
Adam was not Jewish; he was not even the ancestor of Jews.

The humanistic version was not universally accepted by the
A`haronim (later commentators).  MaHaRSh"A, for example, in
Hidushei Agadot on Sanh.37a, stays with Version 2, and explains 
at some length why it is only important to save Jewish lives, 
even though the Mishnah bases the dictum on Adam's being the 
father of  all mankind.  I would be interested in learning what 
present-day Orthodox Judaism regards as the authentic reading.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

-- 
Dene Bebbington

"... after all, who'd notice another madman around here?!"

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