13 June 2017

What Is Shituf And Is It Really Allowed For Gentiles?

19 Sivan 5777

I was going to write a blog post on the concept of shituf and whether it was really allowed to Gentiles, but someone else beat me to it. Find it here, if you are interested. It is long, but excellent. (There's a short version below.)

There are some truly amazing actual righteous gentiles in this world, but you won't find them among Christian Zionists. Those Jews who call Christians "righteous" and even "holy", ignoring their criminal idolatry, are in the process make a mockery of the great personal sacrifices made by truly righteous Gentiles or "Noahides". They do a disservice to humanity as a whole, to the Jewish people particularly, to Torah truth and to the Master of the Universe. When they pretend to be rabbis and spokesmen and say things like "Jews want Christians to be the best Christians they can be", they speak for no one but themselves. 

Truly righteous Gentiles also take exception...
...When you think about the fact that Torah observant Jews know that the roots of christianity are false and inconsistent with their own worldview, and yet a significant amount of them, while ardently warning other Jews against touching such a poisonous worldview, would encourage gentiles to stay in and embrace the christian religion saying there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with it (including the Jesus-worshipping parts of it), a potentially disheartening realisation can dawn upon a savvy gentile, especially one that knows of and does his best to observe the Seven Commandments. What’s that realisation? That we are not all in this together!
...And how do you think this comes across to those, like me, who are watching the actions of the christianity-promoting/preserving Jews? Like they really give a damn about gentiles? You’ve gotta be kidding me. It seems more like they are trying to appease the religions around them and remaining in somewhat comfort in their exile while their attempts to appease surrounding religions only gives those religion confirmation to continue in the sort of actions that bring us as gentiles lower. And once the time of these christian-appeasing Jews is over, whether by death or by return to their homeland in “aliyah”, having protected themselves and ensured their own safety, our “reward” for such “service” is that they would have done a fantastic job in watching over and guiding the poisoning of our “water supply”, our sources of knowledge; let’s enjoy the potential mental retardation of us and our children and the further establishment of the house the Esau/Edom built [rabbis more faithful to the cause of truth see the link between the christian and Roman sources of our society and the ways of biblical Esau]. Sorry if I don’t rush to show my gratitude.
A very sobering perspective that cannot and should not be ignored.

My Short Version on Shituf

It's the idea that a Gentile may worship one of the creations along with the Creator as long as he recognizes that this created being is subject to the Creator as all created things are, i.e. not a god itself, but still an object worthy of worship and service.

Where did the idea that shituf is allowed to Gentiles originate, I wondered, and I found out that like many evil things, it came out of Germany, in the Middle Ages at a time when Jews were mixing in with the surrounding culture. See here.
Jewish views, as codified in Jewish law, are split between those who see Christianity as outright idolatry and those who see Christianity as shituf. While Christians view their worship of a trinity as monotheistic, Judaism generally rejects this view.
The Talmud warns against causing an idolater to take oaths. The commentators living in Christian Germany in the 12th century, called Tosafists, permitted Jews to engage in business practices with Christians, even though this could result in the Christian partner taking an oath by God, which to Christians would include Jesus, by saying that so long as another deity is not mentioned explicitly, there is no idolatry taking place, but only an association. In a terse comment, they wrote:
It is permissible to [cause a gentile's oath through litigation with one's non-Jewish partner because] today all swear in the name of the saints to whom no divinity is ascribed. Even though they also mention God's name and have in mind another thing, in any event no idolatrous name is actually said, and they also have the Creator of the world in mind. Even though they associate (shituf) God's name with "something else", we do not find that it is forbidden to cause others to associate (shituf), and there is no issue of placing a stumbling block before the blind (see Leviticus 19:14) [by entering into litigation with the non-Jewish business partner, thereby causing him to take an oath] because Noachides were not warned about it.
 Three hundred years later...
In the 16th Century, the terse comment is explained as follows by Moses Isserles:
Today, it is permitted [to form a partnership with Christians], because when they swear on their holy scriptures called the Evangelion, they do not hold it to be divine. Even though when they mention God they mean Jesus, they do not mention idolatry since they really mean the Creator of heaven and earth.
Even though they mention jointly (shituf) God's name and another name, there is no prohibition to cause someone to jointly mention [or associate] (shituf) God with another... since this association is not forbidden to gentiles.
Another two hundred years after that, again in Germany!... 
...Moses Mendelssohn, the 18th century Jewish Enlightenment thinker, used the concept of shituf as cited in Tosafot to justify any form of association of God with another entity
And we all (should) know what happened to Moses Mendelssohn...
  • "the first Jew to bring secular culture to those living an Orthodox Jewish life"
  • "the Father of the Jewish Enlightenment"
  • "a spokesman for brotherhood and love of humanity"
  • "recognized the necessity of multiple religions and respected each one"
  • "wanted to take the Jews out of a ghetto lifestyle and into secular society"
  • "translated the Bible into German"
  • "campaigned for emancipation and instructed Jews to form bonds with the gentile governments"
  • "tried to improve the relationship between Jews and Christians as he argued for tolerance and humanity"
  • "became the symbol of the Jewish Enlightenment, the Haskalah"
And finally, the only way it was ever going to go...

"Mendelssohn's own descendents, the most famous being the composer Felix Mendelssohn, left Judaism for Christianity."


  1. Dear Dvash, this time you went to far. Please take all the Torah away that came from Germany and all that is built on it today and almost nothing will be left... even great parts of the Sefardic tradition builds on it... it's stupid to associate a country with evil per se. For the gentiles shituf is actually an achievement, a step away from the filth of idolatry, if they recognize the Kel Eliyon ("the highest G-d") but at the same time think, that some power subservient to Him will also help them. For us it's for sure infantile, wrong an pure idolatry. But you cannot make a clal out of it, even what the Rema said is meant only for people fitting the critetia he defined. There are christian-gentiles that pray only to G-d and keep "his son" as something abstract next to Him, but don't see them as the same entity. And there are these idolworshipers, where all their life and motivation turns around Jashkele and only talk about trinity to justify their erroneuos belief in an idol in front of the world. The same in the moslem world, some have Allah and accd to the Rambam are not idolworshippers and some have mohammed or any sheik, that is actually their G-d and are idolworhippers. Today the psak is accd to the individual, bc there is no uniformity in the gentile world. That christian philosophy in itself is totally mistaken and abhorrent, evil and a heap of filth around some diminished torah concepts is no question. No one from us should associate with them, look for common ground in haskafa, etc. No! they are inferior in their perspective of G-d and this is how we should deal with them, whenever it happens (=not initiated by us). Meaning, never to open up to unify with them, never to loose sight, that we have the truth and they don't, not to debate them, except we are experts in col haTorah culo, to leave their sickness and faulty daat by them, not to allow them to be on the same level... they have to improve and to correct their whole viewpoint, they have to feel their unworthiness to stand next to a Jew, a servant of the real G-d, never they should feel confident or accepted in their believes. If we are one with the Torah, their falsehood immediately collapses next to us and even they feel it and get broken by it. This is being a light to the nation! The light of uncompromised Torah expells their darkness. That's it.

    1. So all the rabbanim who associate Germany with Amalek are "stupid", too? Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld said he had a tradition that Germany is Amalek. That means it was passed down to him from others.

      When Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany visited Jerusalem during his journey to the Holy Land almost all the religious leaders of Jerusalem came to the city gates to greet him. Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld (d.1932), the spiritual leader of Ashkenazic Jewry in Israel at that time, did not go. When asked about his refusal he answered that although the Kaiser himself was deserving of the honor bestowed upon him, “I have a tradition that Germany is Amalek.”

      Enlighten me. I'd really like to know. What is all this Torah that has come out of Germany? Rashi - France. Ramban - Spain. Rambam - Spain. Ramchal - Italy. The Baal Shem Tov - Ukraine. ???

      There is a deep underlying reason for why the Reform movement, the Haskalah, Luther, Hitler and the Shoah all started in Germany.

    2. Whatever your personal opinion about shituf... even if you want to say it is not considered idolatry for gentiles... it still is forbidden to Bnei Noah. That means shituf is still a sin, but not as big a sin as outright idolatry.

    3. It seems to me that the Ramba"m addresses this when he calls the woshipping of HaShem's creations as the "great mistake." I would be interested in knowing which sources say this is ok for non-Jews.

    4. Dear Dvash, Rashi was borne in Troye, but his learning was in Germany, his own yeshivah, when he taught was also in Germany and stands there till today. Some Rabbonim of Germany: R'Gershom Meir HaGolah, R'Amram (unesaneh tokef), Raava, R'Shmuel HaChassid, R'Yehudah HaChassid, Raavyah, Rokeach, Maharam MiRottenburg, Rabbi Asher (Rosh), Mordechai, Tashbetz, Baal HaTurim, R'Yossel von Rosheim, Yalkut Shimoni, Maharil, Trumas HaDeshen, Mahariv, Yosef Ometz, Tosafos Yom Tov, The Author of Orchos Tzadikim, Chavos Yair, Korban Netanel, R'Adler, Chasam Sofer, R'Akiva Eiger, Aruch LaNer, Yaavetz, Shlah HaKadosh, Haflaah, Pnei Yehoshua, Baal Shem of Michelstadt, Rabbi Hirsch, and many more.... The Maharal was borne in Germany and later moved to Prague, the ancestors of the Arizal are from Germany, the Mother of the Chida was from Germany. Even in the Beis Yosef R'Karo praises the pure Mesora of German Jewry... we were already there before Churban Beis Rishon.... The Nusach and many minhagim are original Nusach Eretz Yisroel.... so please inform yourself before you write such things. Also th Ramchals Family cimes from Germany, his original name was not Lucatto, but lausitzer... the whole non Arizal Kabalistic Tradition comes from the Shum Area n Germany.. ... as for Rav Sonnenfeld he was correct in his time. But Amalek appears in many nations (dor dor). Col tuv.

    5. Thank you very much for taking the time to share that, Inon. But, what does it say about Germany that with all that, it was still able to do what it did?

      I would also say that no Jew is "from" Germany. Only passing through.

    6. We should understand, that not specific goyim are the problem, but jewish behaviour is the problem. If we do ratzon Hashem, the goy will be in peace with us, if not Hashem will direct the goyim against us. This process has nothing to do specifically with Germany. It can happen everwhere. This was my point. The problems began on 2 accounts in Germany. 1. In the time before the building of Beis sheini, messengers were sent to tell the Jewish Yishuv to come back to Eretz Israel, they refused claiming, that they found their Jerusalem there. Hashem waited for them for almost 1000yrs and then sent the crusades, which was the first hit and the beginning of christian anti jewish actions till about +/-240yrs before our time, when the Ghettos opened up under Napoleon and 'the erev ravdike schmad' began, now Hashem waited only for about 150yrs and brought the Nazis... An old Rav told me the yesod: "If the Jew does no Kiddush, the goy will do the Havdallah". Meaning, they distance us from them in manner that we return to Hashem's will. (Disclaimer: this doesn't mean, that the goyim get a reward for that, bc their motives are evil)

  2. Years ago, Rabbi David Stav of the Tzohar organization wrote that Hazal already ruled that Christianity is not avodah zarah. My hevruta and I looked it up. This is only based on the daat yechid of Rabbenu Tam on a gemara regarding the oaths above. Granted, the non-Jews Rabbenu Tam was probably referring to in particular were Christians. Nevertheless, I find it a big leap from the comment of one of the Ba'alet Tosefoth not concerning ourselves if a non-Jew will swear to a false deity silently in order to testify to summarily deciding that Christianity is not Avodah Zarah. And, of course, even if this source did cover all A"Z practices (and it does not), it is only one opinion.

    1. Rabbi Stav and Tsohar - consider the source.

    2. Of course. It doesn't surprise me, just aggravates me.

  3. MMendelssohn’s ideas and beliefs contributed to WWII. No doubt about it!

  4. We all know that all the tumah starts in Germany, which is also Amalek. The Reform movement is just one indicator, which came out of that country. Really doesn't matter because there is only one truth and that is all 'religions' are avodah zorah. Torah/Judaism is not a religion, it is the ETERNAL TRUTH! The day is coming very soon when the whole world will know that TRUTH!

  5. As far as this Sage said this and that Sage said that is only because we were always under the thumb of our captors since we were in exile. To make things easier, they sometimes gave all kind of teirutzim (excuses). However, you say it, any kind of religion is avodah zorah. There is only one Emmess and that H' and Torah! nili