South Koreans are obsessed with learning the Jewish Talmud…but why?


Vos Is Niaz: “Jews account for just 0.2 percent of the world’s population, but 23 percent of Nobel Prize winners have been Jewish,” Seoul-based student Choi Jae-young related. “And despite all the time and money we spend on education, only one Korean has ever won a Nobel award. That irks many Koreans. It makes us want to learn Jews’ secrets.”

Some South Koreans think the key to unlocking such “secrets” can be found in Jewish approaches to education.

“Koreans don’t have to emulate Jewish belief systems,” educational researcher Seol Dong-ju said, “but we do need to copy the way Jews teach their children.” more …

Opinion: While researching for our book, I got stuck on why the Bible had no information on the circumcision of Jacob and Esau. The text clearly showed that Abraham and his household including Ishmael were circumcised, but no mention of the patriarch Jacob, whom God called Israel, or his twin Esau.

“And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.” Genesis 17:14

Serious stuff breaking covenants, so I spent weeks researching to no avail, until I came across the late Rabbi Louis Ginzberg, a Talmudic scholar from the Jewish University of New York. Rabbi Ginzberg left a body of work called the “Legend of the Jews” that had the answer.

What I found in the Talmudic accounts were details not found in Scripture, which opens them up to criticism by many Bible teachers and pastors. And, yet, there is this passage found in Psalm 78:5-7:

For He established a testimony in Jacob,
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers,
That they should make them known to their children;
That the generation to come might know them,
The children who would be born,
That they may arise and declare them to their children,
That they may set their hope in God,
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments”

After the destruction of the temple in 70 AD, the oral accounts were written into books called the Mishna which the rabbis consider to be of divine origin. The Mishnah is a component of the Talmud.

Here is what I found regarding Esau’s circumcision:

“On account of his ruddy appearance he [Esau] remained uncircumcised. Isaac, his father, feared that it [his ruddy appearance] was due to poor circulation of the blood, and he hesitated to perform the circumcision. He decided to wait until Esau should attain his thirteenth year, the age at which Ishmael had received the sign of the covenant. But when Esau grew up, he refused to give heed to his father’s wish, and so he was left uncircumcised.

Jacob was the opposite of his brother in this as in all respectsJacob was born with the sign of the covenant upon his body, a rare distinction. But Esau also bore a mark upon him at birth, the figure of a serpent, the symbol of all that is wicked and hated of God.”

Being born under the sign of covenant is called aposthia, which the medical dictionary defines as to be born without a prepuce, or foreskin.

To be born circumcised was regarded as the privilege of the saints, from Adam, “who was made in the image of God,” and Moses to Zerubbabel… Uncircumcision, being considered a blemish, circumcision was to remove it and to render Abraham and his descendants ‘perfect’. Extra-Biblical sources tell us that Jacob and his son Joseph were
also born aposthic.”

Excerpts: Antichrist: The Search for Amalek (revised)