if thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord Thy God: … I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live for ever”.
Such was the life and the blessing which the Judahites, gathered in the Temple in 621 BC, were exhorted in the name of Jehovah and Moses to choose by their tribal chieftain Josiah, the mouthpiece of the priesthood.
The purpose and meaning of existence, under this “Mosaic Law”, was the destruction and enslavement of others for the sake of plunder and power. Israel might from that moment have counted itself happy to have been pronounced dead and to have been excluded from such a world to come. The Israelites had mingled in the living bloodstream of mankind; on its banks the Judahites were left stranded in the power of a fanatical priesthood which commanded them, on pain of “all these curses”, to destroy.
To the terror inspired by “all these curses” the Levites added also an allurement. In this tenet Deuteronomy most clearly revealed the status allotted to the heathen by The Second Law. In the last analysis, “the heathen” have no legal existence under this Law; how could they have, when Jehovah only “knows” his “holy people”?
Insofar as their actual existence is admitted, it is only for such purposes as those stated in verse 65, chapter 28 and verse 7, chapter 30: namely, to receive the Judahites when they are dispersed for their transgressions and then, when their guests repent and are forgiven, to inherit curses lifted from the regenerate Judahites.
True, the second verse quoted gives the pretext that “all these curses” will be transferred to the heathen because they “hated” and “persecuted” the judahites, but how could they be held culpable of this when the very presence of the Judahites among them was merely the result of punitive “curses” inflicted by Jehovah? For Jehovah himself, according to another verse (64, chapter 28) took credit for putting the curse of exile on the Judahites:
And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other … and among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest…”
Deuteronomy employs this Doublespeak (to use the modem idiom) throughout: the Lord makes the special people homeless among the heathen for their transgressions; the heathen, who have no blame either for their exile or for those transgressions, are their “persecutors “; ergo, the heathen will be destroyed.
The Judaist attitude towards other mankind, creation, and the universe in general, is better understood when these and related passages have been pondered, and especially the constant plaint that Jews are “persecuted” everywhere, which in one tone or another runs through nearly all Jewish literature. To any who accept this book as The Law, the mere existence of others is in fact persecution; Deuteronomy plainly implies that.
The most nationalist Jew and the most enlightened Jew often agree in one thing: they cannot truly consider the world and its affairs from any but a Jewish angle, and from that angle “the stranger” seems insignificant. Thinking makes it so, and this is the legacy of twenty-five centuries of Jewish thinking; even those Jews who see the heresy or fallacy cannot always divest themselves entirely of the incubus on their minds and spirits.
The passage from Deuteronomy last quoted shows that the ruling sect depicted homelessness at one and the same time as the act of the special people’s god and as persecution by the special people’s enemies, deserving of “all these curses”. To minds of such extreme egotism a political outrage in which 95 Gentiles and 5 Jews lose their lives or property is simply an anti-Jewish disaster, and they are not consciously hypocritical in this.
In the Twentieth Century this standard of judgment has been projected into the lives of other peoples and applied to all major events in the ordeal of the West. Thus we live in the century of the Levitical fallacy.
Having undertaken to put “all these curses” on innocent parties, if the Judahites would return to observance of “all these statutes and judgments”, the resurrected Moses of Deuteronomy promised one more blessing (“The Lord thy God, he will go over before thee, and he will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt possess them… “) and then was allowed to die in the land of Moab.