CHAPTER THREE: SOME GOOD JEWS
An Austrian German Jew by the name of Ledpold Weiss was on a visit to Jerusalem towards the end of 1922 as a reporter for a German newspaper the Frankfurter Zeitung. An informal meeting was in progress in the home of a friend, with Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the undisputed leader of the Zionist movement at the helm of affairs. He was surrounded by his young fans - Ben Gurion, Begin and Dayan? The Doctor had the map of Palestine on the table and was expostulating how it was to be carved out as a Jewish State.
WHAT ABOUT THE ARABS?: The young Jewish journalist, seeing the utter disregard shown to the Arab inhabitants of Palestine, and the injustice of planning to uproot a lawfully settled community, was impelled to break through the deferential hush with which all the budding Zionists were listening to Dr. Weizmann, and ask.
'AND WHAT ABOUT THE ARABS?' (The young journalist continues his report.)
I MUST HAVE COMMITTED A FAUX PAS BY THUS BRINGING A JARRING NOTE INTO THE CONVERSATION, FOR DR. WEIZMANN TURNED HIS FACE SLOWLY TOWARDS ME, PUT DOWN THE CUP HE HAD BEEN HOLDING IN HIS HAND, AND REPEATED MY QUESTION:
'WHAT ABOUT THE ARABS ... ?'
'WELL - HOW CAN YOU EVER HOPE TO MAKE PALESTINE YOUR HOMELAND IN THE FACE Of THE VEHEMENT OPPOSITION OF THE ARABS WHO, AFTER ALL, ARE IN THE MAJORITY IN THIS COUNTRY?'
THE ZIONIST LEADER SHRUGGED HIS SHOULDERS AND ANSWERED DRYLY.'
'WE EXPECT THEY WON'T BE IN A MAJORITY AFTER A FEW YEARS.'
'PERHAPS SO. YOU HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH THIS PROBLEM FOR YEARS AND MUST KNOW THE SITUATION BETTER THAN I DO. BUT QUITE APART FROM THE POLITICAL DIFFICULTIES WHICH ARAB OPPOSITION MAY OR MAY NOT PUT IN YOUR WAY -DOES NOT THE MORAL ASPECT OF THE QUESTION EVER BOTHER YOU? DON'T YOU THINK THAT IT IS WRONG ON YOUR PART TO DISPLACE THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THIS COUNTRY?'
'BUT IT IS OUR COUNTRY,' REPLIED DR. WEIZMANN, RAISING HIS EYEBROWS. 'WE ARE DOING NO MORE THAN TAKING BACK WHAT WE HAVE BEEN WRONGLY DEPRIVED OF,'
HOW WAS IT POSSIBLE I WONDERED, (the young Jew continues) FOR PEOPLE ENDOWED WITH SO MUCH CREATIVE INTELLIGENCE AS THE JEWS TO THINK OF THE ZIONIST-ARAB CONFLICT IN JEWISH TERMS ALONE?
DID THEY NOT REALIZE THAT THE PROBLEM OF THE JEWS IN PALESTINE COULD, IN THE LONG RUN, BE SOLVED ONLY THROUGH FRIENDLY COOPERATION WITH THE ARABS?
WERE THEY SO HOPELESSLY BLIND TO THE PAINFUL FUTURE WHICH THEIR POLICY MUST BRING? -TO THE STRUGGLES, THE BITTERNESS AND THE HATRED WHICH THE JEWISH ISLAND, EVEN IF TEMPORARILY; SUCCESSFUL, WOULD FOREVER REMAIN EXPOSED IN THE MIDST OF A HOSTILE ARAB SEA?
AND HOW STRANGE, I THOUGHT, THAT A NATION WHICH HAD SUFFERED SO MANY WRONGS IN THE COURSE OF ITS LONG AND SORROWFUL DIASPORA WAS NOW, IN SINGLE-MINDED PURSUIT OF ITS OWN GOAL, READY TO INFLICT A GRIEVOUS WRONG ON ANOTHER NATION - AND A NATION, TOO, THAT WAS INNOCENT OF ALL THAT PAST JEWISH SUFFERING. (When this last paragraph was being quoted, the eyes of many were filled with dew) SUCH A PHENOMENON, 1 KNEW, WAS NOT UNKNOWN TO HISTORY; BUT IT MADE ME, NONE THE LESS, VERY SAD TO SEE IT ENACTED BEFORE MY EYES.'
BRAINWASHED: The Question is often asked 'HOW WAS IT POSSIBLE?' It is possible. Anything is possible. It is simply a question of programming or brainwashing. A civilized and cultured nation like the Germans were programmed to incinerate 6 000 000 Jew! Some say that this figure is a lie. If in the name of Racism only, 600 or even 6 Jews were destroyed, it would be dramatic enough.
How was this possible? It is possible because the Germans could be brainwashed, the Jews could be brainwashed, the Muslim, could be brainwashed and the Christians could be brainwashed. In fact everyone can be brainwashed. Be they Hindus, Muslims, Christians or Jews.
MY JEWISH CONNECTION: In the early fifties, I worked for the Jews. They treated and paid me well. They were some of my best employers in my long career in the Commercial world. At that time the firm I worked for had 9 shops. Today BEARE BROTHERS have more than 125 business establishments in South Africa.
One day my boss, Mr. Bemie Beare, called me into his office and informed me that a Jewish couple were visiting him from the Argentine. He wished to entertain them by taking them to the Indian area in Durban on a tour and let then enjoy some spicy Indian food. He wanted my suggestion. I said that there was an Indian Restaurant called 'Goodwill Lounge,' but that it was as western as any 'White' (European) Hotel, except for the curry powder they put into their curries to make them seem Eastern. I then said, 'Why not come to my house, I will feed them with what we Muslims eat, play some Indian music in the background; and take them on a tour to the Largest Mosque in the Southern Hemisphere which is in the centre of the City.' He liked the idea, but would like to consult his wife first.
The next morning, he called me again and informed me that his wife was very happy with my suggestion and according to the appointed time and date, to my surprise and delight six persons turned up. They were Mr. and Mrs. Beare, and Mr. and Mrs. Daniels, and the couple from the Argentine. All Jews.
Whilst enjoying the curry, the rice and the roti (the unleavened bread of the Jews); with a light-hearted chat, we heard the Azaan (the Muslim call to prayer.) My residence was then a stone throw from the 'Jumma Masjid.' (The Jumma Mosque)
I gave them a running translation and commentary of the Azaan (call to prayer) as it progressed. As the end of the dinner and the Azaan coincided I suggested that if they wished, we could then go to the Mosque and, actually watch the Muslim at prayer. My employer asked if they would be allowed to attend. He had forgotten my original suggestion to him. I said, "Of course!" The Muslims of South Africa are very broad-minded and tolerant towards non-Muslims. They were reminded by the Aalims (Muslim learned men) of the example of our Holy Prophet Muhummed (p.b.u.h.) who accommodated the Christians of Najraan in his Mosque in Medina. The Christians slept in the Musjid-e-Nabawi and were given food and had dialogue with the Prophet for 3 days and perhaps 3 nights. When Sunday came he even offered them the use of the Masjid for their Christian religious services.
JEWS AT THE MOSQUE: On reaching the Mosque I asked my employer and his guests to take off their shoes: realising that I was putting them to a little bit of inconvenience. So I asked whether they knew the reason behind them taking off their shoes, The answer was - "No!" I explained, "You remember, when Moses was on Mount Sinai, God spoke to him and said," So saying, I quoted from that section of the Holy Bible which is both common to the Jews as well as to the Christians.
And he (God Almighty) said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Holy Bible (Exodus 3:5)
While they sat on the bench and watched, I excused myself to perform the Wudhu (ablution). After completing the ablution. I walked back to them and explained -
"You see sir, the Muslim is obliged to pray five times a day every day of the year, and the one who takes his or her prayers seriously, washes himself or herself five times a day every day the year. All the exposed parts of the body are being washed - the hands, the feet, the face, nostrils and the nape of the neck. Gargling the mouth and brushing the teeth is also a part of it. There are three good reasons for this ritual, that I can think of. The learned man may find many more.
1. Purely from the hygienic point of view, no one can find fault with a person who washes himself or herself 5 times a day. It is a good hygenic practice. (They all nodded their heads in agreement.)
2. The ablution also serves a psychological purpose. The person is washing, not because he is dirty, but because he is going to present himself before his Lord.
3. And further, there is also another commandment given by God to the Holy Prophet Moses -And Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet thereat:
When they went into the tent of the congregation, and when they came unto the altar, they washed as the Lord commanded Moses.'
Holy Bible (Exodus 40:31- 32)
So saying, I took my visitors into the main prayer hall and had them seated against the wall at the back. They watched the 'Isha (late evening) congregational prayer, called Salaat in Arabic.
After the Salaat, I went back to them to explain further and answer their questions. I explained the significance of the different postures and movements in the Muslim form of prayer. The most intriguing being the Sujood (prostrations). Pointing to a brother who went into Sujood while performing optional Salaat, I said, "This is how all the Prophets prayed." It sounds like a sweeping generalization; but it is not so, if you have been reading your own Holy Scriptures, you will be able to confirm it, and I quote - so saying I quoted from the Old Testament, which is common to both the Jews and the Christians:1. And Abraham fell on his face: and God talked with him....Holy Bible (Genesis 17:3)My Employer, Mr. Beare exclaimed - "Deedat, you people are more Jewish than the Jews!" If they were Christians, I would have retorted, "Yes sir, and more Christian than the Christians!" With all their shortcomings, Muslims can boast that they are greater followers in the footsteps of the Prophets of the Old and the New Testaments than most of their followers.
2. And they (Moses and Aaron) fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them. Holy Bible (Numbers 20:6)
3. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and did worship...Holy Bible (Joshua 5:14)
4. And he (Jesus) went a little further, and fell on his face, and did worship...Holy Bible (Matthew 26:39)
INTRODUCING THE QURAN: I walked back home with my Jewish companions for tea and samoosas. While seated, awaiting refreshments. I asked Mr. Beare, "Have you seen the Qur'an, sir!" He said, "No! Have you got an English Translation?" ' I said, "Yes sir! Wouldn't you like to have a look at it" He said he wouldn't mind. I brought out Abdullah Yusuf Ali's translation in 3 volumes, 10 Siparaas each. I handed a volume each to each Jewish couple, leaving the last volume for my employer, because at the end of this last volume was a very comprehensive index.
As my guests were browsing through the volumes handed to them, I suggested to my employer that he look at the index under the subject 'MOSES'. When he came to it, I suggested that he look at some of the different topics under that heading.
He checked a reference or two and looked up at me and exclaimed, "Deedat, this book is very funny!" I asked, "What is funny about it, sir?" He said, "This book seems to be speaking in our (Jews) favour, but you people (meaning the Muslims) are all against us!"
I said, "That is true, sir! You see, the Egyptians set hard tasks for your people, committed numerous injustices against your people, killed your sons but let your daughters live!" Referring to these Qur'anic verses -
AND REMEMBER, WE DELIVERED YOU FROM THE PEOPLE OF PHARAOH: THEY SET YOU HARD TASKS AND PUNISHMENTS, SLAUGHTERED YOUR SONS AND LET YOUR FEMALES LIVE; THEREIN WAS A
TREMENDOUS TRAIL FROM YOUR LORD. AND REMEMBER WE DIVIDED THE SEA FOR YOU AND SAVED YOU AND DROWNED PHARAOH'S PEOPLE WITHIN YOUR VERY SIGHT. Holy Qur'an 2:49-50
Here, God Almighty is telling us that an idolatrous Egyptiar people committed innumerable cruelties against your people the Bani Israel (the Children of Israel) but today the position is quite different. "You People (the Jews) have usurped our lands!".
My employer said, "Deedat, how can you say that? Palestine belongs to us!" I said, "How, sir?" He said, "God had promised it to us?" I said, "Where, sir?" And he quoted:
And I will give unto thee (meaning Abraham), and thy seed after thee, the land where thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan (Palestine), for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
Holy Bible (Genesis 17:8)
THE BIGGEST JOKE IN ISRAEL: I know of two sensitive South African Jews who, appalled at the
discrimination against the Blacks (Everyone who does not originate in Europe is black. It has nothing to do with the colour of your skin. A blue eyed, blonde haired Turk is black, but dusky Greek is 'White' because he is a European!) by the White rulers under their 'APARTHEID' policy migrated to their holy land. Within two weeks they returned (independently of each other, both bewailing the plight of the colonised Palestinians. They both testified to the fact that the Palestinians were more unjustly and brutally treated by the Jews than were the people of colour in South Africa.
One of the above Jews bemoaned the biggest joke in Israel. If you ask any Jew in Israel, "Who gave you Palestine?" (They have all programmed themselves with the idea of Genesis 17:8 above). Without the slightest hesitation every Jew will reply 'GOD!' That it was God Almighty who had given Palestine, to the Jews. But over 75% of the Israeli Jews if questioned "Do you believe in God?" They immediately respond with "NO!" Yet these atheist and agnostic Jews falsely use God's name for their usurpation of the land of the Palestinians!
EXAMINE THEIR FANCIFUL CLAIM!: Memorise the above verse in full - "And I will give unto thee.. ..all the land of Canaan..." Gen.17:8. It will prove invaluable against all Christian and Jewish Zionists.
So this is the Jewish "Holy Tide Deed" to see and bring about its fulfilment, the Muslims have done nothing over the past thousand years to remove this misconception! They have to convince the Jews and the Christians to the fact that morally and ethically the Jews have no right to Palestine.
TRUE TEST OF PROPHECY: While the other Jews were keenly following the discussion as I told my employer, 'What you have quoted from your Torah' (the first 5 Books of the Bible are common to both the Jews and Christians), is a prophecy of what God Almighty had promised to Abraham and his descendants for ever." He replied, 'Yes!' I said, "God gives us in the Torah a test with which we can ascertain whether a prophecy attributed to Him is actually His Word or not. He says:And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?I asked him, "Is this a valid test?" To which he replied, "Yes!" I said, "Then let us apply it to the prophecy!" The Torah says that on the death of Abraham -
When a prophet speaketh in the name of the lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing the Lord hath not spoken, but the Prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. Holy Bible (Deuteronomy 18:21-22)And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave....The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Herb: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife. Holy Bible (Genesis 25:9-10)And further, the Bible testifies about God's unfulfilled "Promises to the patriarch Abraham and the elders of Israel in these words:These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off.. Holy Bible (Hebrews 11:13)
And can anything be more explicit than these statements from the Holy Writ?And God said unto him (Abraham), Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which 1 shah show thee.
Then came he out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Haran; and from there, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land (Palestine) in which ye now dwell.
And he (God) gave him (Abraham) no inheritance in it, NO, NOT SO MUCH AS TO SET HIS FOOT UPON; yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him..... Holy Bible (Acts 7:3-5)
STILL SOME GOOD JEWS: I asked my Jewish visitors whether these simple facts were "Gospel Truth", and to my amazement my boss as a spokesman the group, answered, "YES!" This confirmed for me this Qur'anic statement -THAT AMONG THEM (the Jews and the Christians) ARE MU'MINS (Sincere, faithful people) BUT THE MAJORITY OF THEM ARE PERVERTED TRANSGRESSORS. Holy Qur'an 3:110
We must find ways and means of communicating with these Mu'mins - sincere, godly people among the Jews and the Christians.
When my employer agreed that the facts of unfulfilled promises in the Bible were, according to his knowledge correct, I said. "In that case God Almighty could never have made such promises, God also confirms in the Holy Qur'an that if He makes a promise, His promise MUST 'come to pass' in Deuteronomy 18:22.THE PROMISE OF ALLAH IS TRUE. Holy Qur'an 4:122
The conclusion was that the Jewish title deed to Palestine based on the prophecy of Genesis 17:8 was invalidated by the test given in the last Will and Testament of Moses - Deuteronomy 18:22. For a reasonable Jew like my employer the discussion was over. But I wanted to pursue the dialogue further, so I said, "I am prepared to concede that God did make such a promise as - "I will give unto thee and to thy seed after thee, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession." (As if Palestine was my father's property).
ABRAHAM'S SEED: Conceding the point that the prophecy in question was authoritative, I asked, "Who is the seed of Abraham?" Without the slightest hesitation Mr. Beare replied, "We, the Jews!" I said, "No doubt, you are the sons and seed of Abraham, but are you the only seed? No less than in twelve places, in the first Book of the Bible, Ishmael the progenitor of the Arabs is spoken of as the son and seed of Abraham:1. And Hagar bore Abram (changed to Abraham by God in Genesis 17:5) a son: and Abram cad ed his SON'S name, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. Holy Bible (Genesis 16:15)
2. And Abraham took Ishmael, his SON... Holy Bible (Genesis 17:23)
3. And Ishmael, his SON, was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. Holy Bible (Genesis 17:25)
4. In the very same day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael, his SON. Holy Bible (Genesis 17:26)
5. And his SONS Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron... Holy Bible (Genesis 25:9)
6. Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's SON, whom Hagar the Egyptian.... Holy Bible (Genesis 25:12)
If the Lord God, disdaineth not to recognise Ishmael as the SON and SEED of Abraham in the Torah, who are we to deny him his patrimony. Indeed, God will not allow the rights of the "first-born" to be jeopardised even if the child is the offspring of a hated wife (Deuteronomy 21:16).
Why should not the Children of Ishmael (the Arabs) and the Children of Isaac (the Jews) live in peace and harmony and enjoy the blessings of God together in the land of promise?
IS MIGHT RIGHT?: Theoretically my employer was prepared to concede the points, but prejudices die hard. He retorted, "Deedat, Palestine belonged to us, we ruled it under David and Solomon!" I said, "Sir, if having ruled a territory once by force of arms, entitles you to repossess it, then we Muslims, if we had the power, would equally be justified to reconquer Spain. We Muslims ruled that country for almost eight hundred years. A longer period of time than the Jews ever ruled parts of Palestine! The only thing really worth seeing in Spain are the magnificent gardens and fountains, and monumental buildings the Muslims left behind. Does that entitle themuslims to recolonise Spain?"
"And on the same basis, would the Dutch be entitled to invade Indonesia, because their ancestors ruled it for three centuries? Or, could the Italians lay claim to Britain because the Romans ruled it at one stage under Caesar?"
"No!" said Mr. Beare, "Those were foreign conquests, but Palestine is our Motherland, we have only taken back what we have been wrongfully dispossessed."
"I beg your pardon," I said, "there is a grave historical oversight on your part here. The Jews also, under Joshua, invaded Palestine over three thousand years ago and conquered the inhabitants of the land. It was no virgin territory ready to be bethrothed. You conquered thirty kingdoms in as many days (Joshua 12:24). Twelve united tribes of Israel against each divided village state, with their little village chief whom you called "kings!" So you knocked over the Amorites, the Edomites, the Philistines, the Moabites, the Hittites and other too numerous to mention. You destroyed them utterly and they came back for more. And again you "destroyed them utterly," and yet they were there!"And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword. Holy Bible (Joshua 6:21)
CRY WITH RODINSON
With all the destruction of past, present and future for Israel there is a perpetual spectre of war. Without friendly co-operation with the Arabs there can be no solution to the Jewish problem in Palestine. Morally and ethically the Jews have no right to Palestine. Rodinson, an elite Jew says in his book - "Israel and the Arabs" -
"BUT FOR ONE THING, THEY (the Israelis) CANNOT BE SAID TO HAVE A HISTORIC RIGHT TO A PIECE OF TERRITORY BECAUSE SOME OF THEIR ANCESTORS SUPPOSEDLY INHABITED IT TWO THOUSAND YEARS AGO. FOR ANOTHER, THEY OUGHT TO RECOGNIZE THAT THEY HAVE DONE A CONSIDERABLE WRONG TO ANOTHER PEOPLE, IN DEPRIVING THEM OF RIGHTS AT LEAST AS GREAT AS THEIR OWN.
THE BITTERNESS FELT BY THE PEOPLE TO WHOM THIS WRONG WAS DONE STILL PERSISTS, AND AS LONG AS IT DOES, THE RIGHTS OF THE ISRAELIS WILL REMAIN PURELY HYPOTHETICAL - THEY CAN ONLY HOPE THAT THE ARABS WILL ONE DAY RECOGNIZE AND ACCEPT THEM. ONLY THEN WILL THEIR RIGHTS BECOME REAL.
THE ARABS, TOO, HAVE RIGHTS. IN MANY RESPECTS, THEY MAY JUSTIFIABLY BE HELD TO BE GREATER THAN ISRAELIS'. THE ARABS OF PALESTINE HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS OVER PALESTINE TERRITORY AS THE FRENCH EXERCISE IN FRANCE AND THE ENGLISH IN ENGLAND. THESE RIGHTS HAVE BEEN VIOLATED WITHOUT ANY PROVOCATION ON THEIR PART.
THE WRONG DONE TO THE ARABS BY THE ISRAELIS IS VERY REAL."
With all the admissions, confessions and mortifications, the Jew persists - WE POSSESS PALESTINE, WE KEEP PALESTINE! Possession is nine-tenth of the law. This was the attitude of my employer too. So, I asked, "How did you (meaning the Jews) possess it?" By force of arms? Then by force of arms the Arabs have every right to seek to repossess their homeland."
DEEDAT PROMOTED!: My employer was humble enough to admit - "Deedat, we did not know that the Arabs had a case." He wanted me to write what we had discussed and promised to have it printed in the 'Temple David Magazine' of which he was an editor. I said, "I cannot write" "meaning that I am not a writer. He said, "Deedat, you write as you speak and I will correct it for you." I knew, he meant well. Now after over thiry years, I have finished the task.
As a repercussion, one would expect the Muslim to be fired by his Jewish employer after such a dialogue. But, no, I won respect in the firm. From just simply - Deedat to Mr Deedat. It was from then on, "Good morning Mr Deedat, Good afternoon Mr Deedat, Good evening Mr Deedat!"
Mr Beare shared the experience he had with me with his Jewish staff members. In particular with a Mr. Beinart, the manager of the clothing department in the company.
ISHMAEL - A BASTARD?: A couple of days later, while passing his department, Mr Beinart calls me, telling me about what the boss had said about me. He said, "You can't do to me, what you did to Mr Beare. As for Ishmael, Ishmael (the proginator of the Arabs) was a bastard!" The guy was looking for trouble. Someone might have slit his throat. There was no time in the shop, during working hours to argue or debate. I suggested that Mr. Beinart together with his wife visit me at home and have dinner with me.
After a lot of persuasion over a period of weeks, I succeeded in getting Mr. and Mrs. Beinart, together with a Mr. and Mrs. Phil and a Mr. Townsend to visit me at home for dinner. After the same type of hospitality and a visit to the Mosque, we returned home for tea and refreshments. While the group, two Jews and three Christians, were enjoying tea and samoosas (a triangular crisp meat pie) I broached the subject of Mr Beinart's earlier insulting remarks about Hazrat Isma'il (Ishmael) peace be upon him. I said, "Mr Beinart. you remember, you had made a gravely false charge against Ishmael the father of the Arab race. Do you still stand by that?" Mr. Beinart said, "Of course!" I had hoped the dinner, the hospitality and the samoosas might have had some softening effect on Mr. Beinart's pugnacity. But this was not to be.
JEW - THRICE GUILTY!: I asked Mr. Beinart which, according to Judaism, was preferable: Let a person to beget children from his own sister or from a slave woman - a bondswoman? He replied, "A bondswoman was preferable." (He did not know what he was heading for).
I asked again, "According to eugenics, the science of genetics, inbreeding; which was preferable for a man: to beget offspring from his own sister or from a negress, an African woman, a bondswoman?" He again replied without thinking that the bondswoman was preferable. I asked him for the third time, which according to common sense was preferable: one's own sister or a bondswoman, for procreating progeny he repeated the words that the bondswoman was preferable." And no one can help agreeing with this Jewish gentleman that his monotonously correct replies were meticulously correct.
I drew Mr. Beinart's attention to the book of Genesis chapter 20, in the Bible, where we are told that when father Abraham went to Gerar with his charming Hebrew wife Sarah, the king of that country was enamoured by her. He asked Abraham as to his relationship with her. He lied and said that she was his sister. The king commanded that she be sent into his harem, to which Abraham loyally condescended. The king for reasons unknown, failed to come right with Sarah. Frustrated, he questioned Abraham the next morning as to his relationship with her. Now he told the truth that Sarah was his wife. The king reproached Abraham for telling him a lie Abraham affirms that he did not lie...
... And yet INDEED she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my Wife. Holy Bible (Genesis 20:12)
And Abraham begot Isaac; and Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his bretheren; Holy Bible (Matthew 1:2)
"So according to the standards admitted by you (Mr. Beinart), if Ishmael is a 'bastard' then Isaac is a greater bastard!" I cannot remember Mr. Beinart's exact reactions, but we have remained on the best of terms. There is no acrimony between us.
The amazing thing with this Jewish tittle-tattle about Abraham, Sarah and the King is that only six chapters further on his son Isaac is made to play the same trick on the same king:
"Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out at a window, and saw, and beheld, Isaac was caressing Rebekah, his wife.