Just as an organism grows and resists change, only to be informed by the virus, the superorganism grew to larger size and complexity, aided along the way by the “cut and paste” work of the Jews, who had been scattered to the winds, seeding nations with their own ideas, establishing trade, and influencing the world with their own ideas.
As Max Dimont writes in The Indestructible Jews:
“True to the Darwinian maxim of survival of the fittest in time of stress, only the most nimble, versatile Jews had survived the centirues of invasions….As the new Diaspora designers, the European Talmudists, had to perform a new function…with the scalpel of codification…skilled Jewish dialectical surgeons deftly removed those those parts of the Talmud no longer needed.”
The Talmud had developed as extension and improvement of the Mishna, in Babylon. As extension of the ideas of Hillel, it had encompassed the vast laws and decisions surrounding Jewish expansion and integration with other nations. But it had been largely ignored until European Jews once again felt the need for codification to update the code. The rabbi Gershom had affected the development of Europe, as DiMont writes:
“His bold insistence that a community can establish its own ordinances in a democratic fashion for its own economic, social, and moral guidance foreshadowed the principles of self-government that were to sweep Europe several centuries later….seven centuries before being embodied in Western law, the council of Mainz forbade searches without a warrant and banned the opening of private mail by anyone except the person to whom it was addressed….Talmudists a century later promulgated the world’s first copyright laws…In subsequent centuries other rabbis convoked other councils at which other decrees were hammered out to form a body of new common law that would harmonize with existing reality.”
It was Nicholas deLyra who would study the works of rabbi Rashi two centuries after Rashi’s death. The German scholar Johannes Reuchlin,
“took up the cause of Jewish humanism, and popularized the Jewish concept of the ‘City of God’. In his monastic cell, young Martin Luther came in contact with Jewish thought by reading both De Lyra and Reuchlin , and the fury of the coming Reformation took shape in his mind”.
The emergent codification of the Torah-Talmud,
“not only performed a decisive role in Jewish life, it played a direct and vital part in the creation of legal systems of Western civilization…We can most clearly see the influence of the Talmud in the development of English common law because of the late arrival of the Jews on that island.”
When William the Conqueror defeated the Anglo Saxons, wrote DiMont, he brought with him a contingent of French Jews who were skilled in law, trade, and commerce. They were to have a powerful impact on the development of English law, as they had in other governments.
“Accustomed as they were to judicial procedure based on evidence, examination of witnesses, and impartial judges, the Jews did not view the prospect of having to fight a knight trained for killing as a sound foundation for either justice or business….They demanded, and were granted the right to use Talmudic guidelines in disputes with Christians…. by the thirteenth century the ‘jury method’ found its way into British common law….the famed due process of law concept…stems from a tenth century interpretation of the Talmud. This Talmudic concept of due process of law was stated most succinctly by Maimonides several decades before the signing of the Magna Carta…”
The lien, recognizance(confession of debt) general release, and the common law warranty, dealing with the conveyance of property were Jewish in origin. In earlier feudal times, prior to the Renaissance, the Jews had managed to develop respectable places separate from the usual laws and practices in various nations. As the clerks, legal experts, and bankers, they were prized and protected, encourage to settle various countries.
“To exact obedience, the feudal prince demanded an oath of loyalty from his knights and yeomen that in the name of Christ bound them to the state and church. The Jews were also asked to take the oath, but because it contained the name of Christ, they refused. No King or prince was willing to kill them or expel them for such a refusal, because Jews were too valuable to the state. Instead, they hit upon a clever legal fiction that enabled the Jews to reside in, yet not be pat of, feudal society. Instead of asking them to take an oath to the state in the name of Christ, they were requested to take an oath to the prince in the name of the state. Thus European Jews became servi camera or ‘servants of the King’ instead of the subjects of Christ.”
It was this ability to organize and live apart from the ongoing civilization that allowed the Jews to continually “cut and paste” in more independent laws, to recognize not only themselves, but all individuals, under the expanding concept of ‘due process”, integrating their laws into the Christian landscape.
Dimont writes that, in the development of Jewish law compared to common law, common law became remedy oriented, whereas Jewish law developed precise rules. In common law, the judge acted as umpire etween the adversaries and advised them of the rules. In Talmudic law, the judge is an interpreter of the law, and determines who committed sin. This same difference was well recognized by the colonists in America, who proclaimed loyalty to the common law rather than the ‘federalist’ concept of judges interpreting law as we see today.
Even as the superorganism expanded, Jews were still working to cut and paste their own civilizational “DNA” across the governments.
” Because the Talmud had to serve a Diaspora which had no state apparatus to enforce its decrees, it had to develop laws as duties of the heart instead of fears of the state”