"The Talmud drew from the Bible ('Old Testament'), oral traditions that came from biblical times ('Midrash'),"
I don't recall any biblical or oral tradition describing Jesus and Mary as ...ah, well, I can't even repeat it without propagating blasphemy. Whereas a study of the Old Testament could reasonably lead to belief in Jesus, the Talmud, which superceded the Torah a the Jewish guide to doctrine, placed an insurmountable barrier to that belief.
" and post-Scriptural events from around the beginning of the Common Era."
What's this "Common Era" jazz? Are you being PC?
"You seem to want to characterize it as a wholly different religion, which would be more extreme than saying that today's (Roman Catholic) Church is not the same religion as the (Apostolic) Church."
With the rejection of Jesus as the Messiah, all biblical prophecies pertaining to the suffering Messiah had to be interpreted away. In place of these teachings came the doctrine of the Messiah as a political and military conqueror. Consequently, the Jews anointed various false messiahs such as Bar Kokhba. Furthermore, with the permanent elimination of the Temple, the Jewish priesthood and sacrificial system disappeared. Judaism was reinvented as a system of ethics.
"You didn't answer my other question, why you recommend that Israel agree to disarm in response to Iran's proposal for a nuclear-free Mideast."
Israel is not going to give up her nukes. Furthermore, as long as Israel has the nuclear option, and the Arabs haven't, Israel will continue taking all the land she wants and killing all the Arabs she wants.
" Would your view change depending on how close modern Judaism is to Old Testament Judaism, and what would be your test? How many abortions per every 1,000 births?"
That would be an interesting test. Abortion is legal in Israel but illegal in all Muslim countries. Israel's abortion rate is comparable to that of the US. It seems incongruous that Israel should squawk about Muslim atrocities while Israel kills far more of her own children than the Muslims kill.