which links to:
Jewish Perceptions of Jesus in Religious Texts and Artistic Works
Jewish Currents, Spring 2010
I was particularly amused by a medieval Jewish designation for Jesus: Yoshke Pandrek = “Mr. Shit.”
Oddly enough, according to the author it was Jewish secularism that engendered among Jews a more positive attitude toward Jesus.
Still, I find Yoshke Pandrek hilarious.
Well, you have to remember the times between 6CE-70CE, and it all makes sense. You get the real wackos who make headway into Beit Shammai (think of the USA "Tea Party" group making inroads with the Rebuplicans), aka "Pharisees" (Parushim) which permits other wack jobs to join - the sicarii, who would slice up anyone who even looked like they were liking Rome, who became the henchmen. The Biryonim, who would torch buildings and even burn supplies to force people to keep to the right. On the other side, you have Beit Hillel who was impotent, the "Friends of Rome" (who were the reaction to Beit Shammai), and then you had the Tzadukim (Saducees) who were rich and bought the priesthood from the Romans and owned the Temple jusridiction.
In other words, it was a political mess. And when Beit Shammai invites Hillel and his students to a conference to work things out, the sicarii begin slicing up the students of Hillel until they agree as to who is in charge, and they add a number of very extreme religious laws. The Talmud remoarks of that day, that it was like the Golden Calf had been worshipped once more. After 70CE, all of those decrees were rescinded, and it would be Beith Shammai that would be rendered impotent "until the days of the messiah" (forever!)
Now, it is unlikely that Jesus ever existed. But there is a Yeshu character (not a real name, but obviously a lampoon on "Jesus") that the Talmud writes about who supposedly lived around almost 100 years earlier than the Christian one. The author of the artical mentions Toldot Yeshu without mentioning that there are many versions of that text with different unrelated stories. It was a common title that people used for mocking Christianity, keeping a common thread and undressing and redressing it with each generation. (I have made a study of this as a hobby). Also, the author omits that the earliest Toldot yeshu seems to be about the 7th century or later, not the 2nd century, and the Talmudic inserts appear to be more 5th century, around the time of Constantine where the Jewish leaders went "WTF?" heh!
I once wrote about how all of that came about some time ago, and a friend of mine put it on his web site. If you want to know how much Jews have mocked that and how far it went, check out http://www.kosherjudaism.com/yeshu.pdf