A Light to the Nations

A Light to the Nations

The nation of Israel is spoken of by the prophet as a light to the nations (Isaiah 42:6). Christian missionaries maintain that this mandate of Israel is fulfilled through the intense, worldwide missionary activity of the Church. The fact that the Jewish people do not actively seek to spread the teachings of Judaism is presented as evidence that the Jewish people are not fulfilling their calling.

Judaism contends that the Christian deification of Jesus is idolatrous. Many Christians are highly offended by this accusation. These Christians put forth various abstract arguments to justify their devotion to Jesus. We will not address those arguments in this brief article. Instead we will point to the fact that many Christians actually use a physical representation of Jesus, be it a cross, a statue, or a portrait of a Jesus as a component in their devotional activities. If this is not idolatry, than what is?

Some of the more sophisticated Christians respond to this accusation by distancing themselves from such behavior. These Christians loudly protest: “In my Church we would never put a cross up in the front, I would never face a picture of Jesus when I pray”. My challenge to these Christians is: Don’t you recognize that many Christians do venerate these physical representations? Do you consider these Christians your brothers and sisters in faith? Or do you distance yourself from them as you distance yourself from those who do not accept Jesus as their savior?

The fact that Christendom tolerates these physical representations of Jesus, while they do not tolerate non-acceptance of Jesus – even if it comes along with a full devotion to the Creator of all – should tell you that Christianity is about Jesus – it is not about God.

Christianity’s veneration of Jesus and their lack of appreciation for Israel fulfilling her role as a light to the nations are actually two sides of the same coin. These two concepts are intimately related to each other.

The core calling of Israel as a nation before God is to declare to one and all that there is but One Creator of all and that all existence owes everything to Him and to Him alone (Deuteronomy 4:35, Isaiah 43:10, 44:8, Jeremiah 10:16, Micah 4:5). Israel was formed as a nation by God for this very purpose (Isaiah 43:21, 44:21).

As long as the nations insist of deifying one of God’s creations, there is no way they can appreciate Israel’s calling as a witness nation before God. After all, Israel’s testimony repudiates that which they hold most dear.

It is only when idolatry will be utterly eradicated from the earth (Isaiah 2:18) that the nations will be able to appreciate Israel’s mission. Then, and only then will the nations walk to Israel’s light (Isaiah 60:3). May it happen speedily in our days.

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Thank You

Yisroel C. Blumenthal

 

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48 Responses to A Light to the Nations

  1. Kranendonk says:

    As Jew I always try to be as fair as possible.
    You write: “….or a portrait of a Jesus as a component in their devotional activities. If this is not idolatry, than what is?”
    It is for me quite similiar as chabadniks do also. ALL chabadhouses are full of portraits with r.Schneerson. ALL their teachings are full of all the wonders the rabbi did.
    What is the difference ? Is that not idolatry ?
    And later : “…..Do you consider these Christians your brothers and sisters in faith?”.
    So, do you consider those jewish groups, chabadniks or other rebbe minded groups with all there portraits, going to their graves and praying there…etc ?”.

    I suppose it is not fair to judge them on mistakes in their own group.

    My second notion is that we are ‘a light of the nations’ is our existence in itself. But we know that before churban hamikdash there were a lot of noahides, in Israel and outside and were more or less affiliated with our nation. When christianity started, the whole noahide movement collapsed.
    My comment is that we forgot during the last 2000 years to also teach non jews the noahide laws. I must say, the church and Europe forbade us and let us live in our getto’s. But……reality changed. We have our own Medinat Israel. We are back on historical stage. That is complex and confusing for many jews and also non jews.
    I see that the most Jews didn’t make that step and still living in their own spiritual getto’s, with mostly a very negative attitude to non jews.
    It is my opinion that we have overcome this problem and again to return to our mission, “to teach the non jews the noahide laws”.
    We are back on stage. It causes also a new antisemitic wave in the world, but we see also people who are looking for the truth.

    Be clear I am a orthodox Jew and not messianic, G’d forbid.

    Mattitjahu

  2. Thank you Mattijahu for your thoughtful questions
    About Chabad – I am sure that you are aware that there have been strong protests against those who are moving towards deifying the Rebbe – some protests coming from outside of Chabad – and a significant protest came from prominent Chabad Rabbis condemning such activity. At this point it seems to many Jews that chassidim of Chabad would never pray towards a picture of their Rebbe – whoever would do such a thing – would be cutt off from the Jewish community – his wine would be nesech – his shechita would be neveila – we would not accept his testimony for gittin or kidushin – and he would not be buried with other Jews. At this point – most Jews do not believe the rumors that allege that such activities are happening in Chabad.
    As for your point about being a light to the nations. You are correct in your assesment that too many Jews are still living with a ghetto mentality – especially as it relates to non-Jews. But the way we are to be a light to the nations is by living up to our role as a witness nation – in everything we do. We do not have to advertise – the nations are looking at us all the time – just read the newspapers – see what a disproportionate amount of coverage we get. We have to be who we are supposed to be – that is more than enough.
    Your Pharisee friend
    Yisroel Blumenthal

  3. Flyfisherjo says:

    The most common defence of the portraits of Jesus and other saints as well as the presence of a cross in churches and homes isn’t that people are worshipping these actual images but what they represent in the Christian faith. The Orthodox Christian and Roman Catholic (as well as Eastern Rite) use a lot of images in their worship but I have never met one priest who would teach anyone that they are worshipping the actual object. They do recognize that as idolatry and condemn it. They do recognize that there are people who put way too much emphasis on these images and they take time to teach them to focus on teachings, not images. (There are some really scary people out there who claim to have pieces of the original cross, it is said if all those pieces of wood were put together they would probably build 100s, if not thousands, of crosses.)
    A good example are icons. They are not art, they are not even “portraits” of the saints, etc. They are actually little theological lessons within a picture and were developed at a time when most people were illiterate. Now most people can’t “read” what the icons are saying because they lost that meaning when they gained literacy. It’s not to say so much imagery is healthy, but, again, I have never met a leader within the Christian church who advocated for the image itself to be worshipped.
    To me, the bigger problem in the Christian church is the reliance on rituals which so many believe will solve their problems. They develop an attachment to ritual but they never develop an actual faith, you know what I mean?

  4. The Jewish Bible does not make a distinction between directing worship towards a statue because of the actual object or directing worship towards a statue as a representative of some other entity. Deuteronomy 4:15 prohibits using any image as representative of God Himself – and calls such worship idolatry.
    The way I understand it is – if whatever is being worshiped can be represented by this statue – then it must share some commonality with the statue – When we see God as the One we worship – He shares nothing with His creations.

  5. Flyfisherjo says:

    It is an important distinction but one I have never heard explained before. Thanks.

  6. John says:

    Hi Rabbi. We have briefly touched on this before. The debate over what constitutes “idolatry” could be put to rest if there was such thing as an “idolatrymeter”! Sort of like a breath- analyzer. I know that Jews in Jerusalem often worship at the Western Wall. They “bow” before it, read their Tanakhs before it, they pray, and to me it is a beautiful site! I pray there everytime I go to Israel. I attend 2 different churches in NC. One has a cross in the front, one does not. I pray at these churches as well. What constitutes the “idolatry” from a Jewish perspective?

  7. John says:

    Rabbi, I find your Mar 21 very helpful in defining “idolatry”!

  8. John
    The wall does not represent God to the Jewish people. We all pray towards the Temple mount because this is the place that God chose to dwell – Psalm 132:13,14
    You might also find this article helpful -https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/isaiah-44/
    One of my goals with this blog is to attempt to continue to bring clarity to this subject – your questions encourage me further – thanks for asking

    • Dvora says:

      And upon the proclamation of Shlomo Melekh at the dedication of the Beit haMikdash – I Kings 8. (HaShem’s zip code “13213” – Curious, I looked it up on usps.com. & it’s not assigned ….. so far!) 😀

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  11. Dvora says:

    ב”ה
    Thank you, Yisroel! Tov me’od! Will share on FB. 😀

  12. Eliyah Lion says:

    בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ

    For those who do not read Hebrew this is the first verse of the Bible (Tanakh). Translated literally with a Yehud note it says:

    “In Beginning created Elohim the Heavens and the Earth…”

    Note that in the word bereshit בְּרֵאשִׁית the word brit (Alliance) contains the word Passion-Fire and also the root Beyt-Resh-Aleph (create). This confers to the word bereshit a beginning intended to make an Alliance with Elohim and his Creation…ultimately the Alliance of Elohim with Man in Fire-Love…

    Note also that before the word Elohim and bereshit there is no HA the definite article which means in the case of Elohim that Elohim here is a plural.

    Later in verse 2 appears וְרוּחַ אֱלֹהִים Ruah Elohim One of the Plural.

    This gave us especially when united with verse 26 a confirmation that Elohim is a plural identified later in Tanakh in YHWH Elohim ; Dabar Elohim ; Ruah Elohim expressed all trough the Tanakh that YHWH the Source by his Dabar(Beloved-Son) in his Ruah Holy created everything to make Alliance (Marriage) with Man all this in exclusive Love.

    Baruch YHWH now and forever my Beloved!!.

    • Sharbano says:

      More grammatical mish-mash.

    • Jim says:

      Lion,

      What saddens me for your sake is how easily your misinterpretations are exposed. Even a baby like myself can show how badly you understand Torah. You claim to be an expert in the language of Torah, but you clearly know so little that you cannot even snow a neophyte like myself.

      Let us consider your arguments regarding the plural nature of Elokim in Genesis 1.1. We will discover that they are in fact based on total nonsense. Some messianic teacher has led you astray, either manipulating the facts to suit his fancy or through sheer ignorance.

      You write that the Elokim in the first verse of the Torah lacks a ה, and is therefore a plural. But even I know that a ה does not indicate singularity. It only indicates a particular or multiple particulars, a known instance. For example, in Genesis 1.16, the luminaries are המארת (hamaorot). These are in the plural and have the ה, which is roughly equivalent to “the” in English. But according to you the ה does not accompany plurals, only singulars.

      Ah, but you write that this is the case with Elokim. Perhaps you mean to say that this rule only applies to the word Elokim. Let us look, then, to Exodus 7.1. When God tells Moses that he has made him an Elokim to Pharaoh, there is no ה attached to the word Elokim. But we know that he is talking only to Moses, for the preceding word indicates God is talking to a male, singular you, not a male, plural you (as would be the case if He were talking to Moses and Aaron). So, we see that Elokim does not require a ה to be singular.

      Moreover, you should have considered the verb ברא (bara) when determining if Elokim was a plural or a singular word. The verb is in the singular masculine, meaning that Elokim is not plural.

      If one who has a very limited knowledge of Hebrew can look up these facts, then you, blessed as you are with a whispering wind, ought to have had no problem. There is no excuse for you accepting these mistakes from your teachers. If they are of your own invention, you should be ashamed of yourself.

      Regarding the silliness of the alphabet soup you like to play with the words of the Torah, you cannot expect us to take seriously the claims of one who cannot understand the p’shat when he tries to go deeper. Moreover, as I have pointed out elsewhere, since you deny the mesorah, it is dishonest and hypocritical for you to attempt to turn it to your own purposes.

      Jim

  13. Concerned Reader says:

    http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16303/jewish/Chapter-82.htm#showrashi=true

    Lion, your contentions about this Dabar, Ruach, and sharing glory notwithstanding, read rashi on Psalm 82.

    Even if you could hypothetically say that this “dabar” was a “son” of G-d, or one of the angelic princes, (a Sar ha panim,) it is clear from all scriptural contexts and commandments that such a being IS SUBJECT TO / UNDER THE CONTROL OF G-D THE FATHER. It should not be worshiped alongside the father.

    The commandments clearly say that you should only worship G-d the father. HIM ALONE. If there were other Elohim in existence, as alleged in your interpretation, it is hashem alone who is in charge, and to hashem alone belongs glory, honor, power, and praise. No sons deserve the father’s position or glory.

    This is what makes your interpretation so terrible. You want Jews to worship the “Dabar,” but the father says, “you shall have no other Elohim before my face.” YOU ARE MAD AT THEM FOR CHOOSING THE FATHER OVER AN ALLEGED SON.

    • Eliyah Lion says:

      Dear Con

      I looked at the Hebrew text of Tehilim 82. I will disagree against most translation that force an English flow instead of respecting the Semitic construction (syntax) which is NOT linear :

      מִזְמוֹר לְאָסָף אֶלֹהִים נִצָּב בַּעֲדַת־אֵל בְּקֶרֶב אֱלֹהִים יִשְׁפֹּט׃

      Psalm to(of) Asaf (to gather): Elohim officer, in the congregation of EL among elohim, will judge

      n.b.: Asaf is a name but means also to gather
      n.b.: Here to say that judges=elohim comes from a linear syntax forcing an understanding and a flow in English… this mistranslation emanate from a profound ignorance of the Hebrew syntax which is NOT linear. The verse 1 is a perfect example of that. Semitic background and mind can understand this.

      Here other divergences: the נִצָּב translated by a verb (to force a linear syntax) should be taken as a noun meaning an officer. This divine officer in the congregation of EL is the one who will judge. The verb is in the future not the present which confers a prophetic meaning to the holy text This Elohim officer is the one asking the questions…

      Rashi translated elohim in the verse 6 to angelic creatures. I will respectfully disagree here elohim refer to the sons of Elyon (Most-High) and must keep the Hebrew with no translation to forbid any misinterpretation. For elohim can be also the saints, the elect…

      Here by this example we see how the Hebrew text is crucial and must understood in the Author the Ruah holy. For any man can come with mistranslation not rendering Justice to what was intended. The proof of that lies in the many interpretation among the rabbis themselves, among different sects of Judaism and among other sect…

      Bring us to the conclusion of one thing: that the Holy Text can only be correctly understood in all its plenitude and layers in the Ruah Holy. Only those students will learn the true full meaning.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        The problem with your argument, (more than that you are ignoring Rashi who was also a HEBREW Reading Jew living in France,) is that EVEN YOUR JESUS SAYS THE JUDGES ARE CALLED ELOHIM WHEN HIS OPPINENTS ACCUSE HIM OF BLASPHEMY. He says he is not blaspheming, because THOSE TO WHOM THE WORD OF G-D CAME WERE ALSO CALLED ELOHIM.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          Also, it clearly says “a psalm of Asaph” Asaph was a Levite and the head of David’s choir as a singer among the other Levites. The immediate context is therefore a judge/elder talking about other elders.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            If Elohim can be saints, then why do you disagree with my interpretation? You are talking in circles.

        • Eliyah Lion says:

          Dear Con no you do not read Greek properly and even the English translation does not say that in John 10 v.34-35 :

          ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Οὐκ ἔστι γεγραμμένον ἐν τῷ νόμῳ ὑμῶν, ἐγὼ εἶπα, θεοί ἐστε;
          εἰ ἐκείνους εἶπε θεοὺς, πρὸς οὓς ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐγένετο…

          ”He answered them the Yeshou: Is it not written in your tradition-melody (Psalm), I said, Elohim ye are! If to them S(He) mentioned elohim, toward whom the dabar of the Elohim came-into-being…”

          You see Con from the Greek your assertion is false. Elohim is attributed by Yeshou to all those where the dabar (the word) of the Elohim came-into-being… In Greek it is crystal clear but again the English tone down the power of the Message. But I can not ask you to understand Greek. Hebrew is more important. But at least do some research before writing things that are misunderstood…

          Conclusion what I wrote and what Yahshuo said is the same for the Ruah Holy can not be contradicted!!

  14. Concerned Reader says:

    BELOW IS METAPHORICAL

    The thing is, both Jews and Christians are in agreement that the father is the one G-d of Israel in the truest fullest most absolute sense of the word, so Christians, why force people beyond that? In the first photo, we see a circle with the word G-d in it. Just one G-d, that’s monotheism. In the second picture, we see another circle, just the same as in the other picture, It also says G-d in it, but has relations of a trinity imposed upon it.

    In all honesty though, here’s the problem. WE BOTH AGREE ABOUT THE ESSENCE OF THE CIRCLE. CHRISTIANS AGREE THERE IS A CIRCLE, BUT WANT TO TURN IT INSIDE OUT. IF YOU SAY TRINITY IS UNITY, THAN LEAVE OUT TRINITY, it becomes irrelevant! The Jewish people survived for thousands of years without praying to anyone but the father. Has G-d changed his mind that praying to the father in heaven is insufficient?

    Even Jesus when he prayed didnt say, “in my name thy will be done.” he said, “our father who is in heaven.” stop adding Jesus to the prayer list.

  15. Concerned Reader says:

    Ah, Lion, so you are a Greek speaker now? I did not mistranslate anything. The KJV, the eastern Orthodox study Bible, and the Oxford annotated bible, all use the translation I gave you, and again you contradict your own words When it suits your reading. If it says, “Elohim ye are” That’s like Jesus saying Y’all are Elohim too, to the sages. The context of that verse is crystal clear. You are always saying how important Hebrew grammar is, but now you are a Greek expert? It’s amazing that your translations are better than orthodox Christian, and Jewish translations.

    BTW Lion, Aphrahat, (an Eastern Orthodox theologian from 3rd century Persia,) in his work called demonstrations, illustrates exactly how many humans in scripture are called by titles like sons of G-d, Elohim, etc. So, your fancy translations and religion of one notwithstanding, your own historic Christian Faith disagrees with your reading.

  16. Concerned Reader says:

    http://biblehub.com/john/10-34.htm

    All the translations here, including the pulpit commentary agree with the straightforward meaning of the verse Lion, namely that the judges are called gods. Your appeal to extra gnosis will not help you this time. If I have mistranslated the Greek, so have all the people who gave us your NT down to this day.

    The Eastern Orthodox study Bible commentary on those verses (in line with chrysostom) says, “if those who have recieved this honor by grace are not guilty of calling themselves gods, (by which he means the JUDGES of the psalm,) how much more is guilt not impugned to him who holds this title by nature?”

    Now, we have already told you why (in line with Deuteronomy 4) even if this refers to divine manifestations of some kind, the Torah commands that we follow the father only in terms of worship and service. I don’t know why it’s so hard for you to accept this
    Ion.

    • Eliyah Lion says:

      Con, Aphrahat, is not an Eastern Orthodox theologian but a Syriac Orthodox which bear differences.

      Second He is a unifier not a divider. He laid the ground for theological unification of both Houses. True Christians most come back to the integral observance of Torah and the Yehudim will recognize Yahushuo as the Dabar Elohim in the flesh the Messiah of Israel sent to gather all His people…

      Third I am not a catholic Roman that you accuse me of idol worship. The Romans are Esau-Edom… I am from the lords of Israel Yehudim by my two grandmothers although Christian in my education. I see the beauty of both Houses and the Order that must be put in the two Houses. Actual Judaism is misled and incomplete and actual Christianity is ignorant of its Hebraic roots and mislead in the observance of Torah.

      The divide must be resolve!!

      • Concerned Reader says:

        As long as the Church demands that Jesus be served as divine/G-d there can be no unification with the Torah, no unification with Jews. The Syriac are members of the eastern rites, and are orthodox, so I placed them under the generic umbrella of Eastern Orthodox. I know there are distinctions. You still didn’t address the main point of my comments, namely, that judges are called Elohim, AND THIS DOESNT MAKE THEM DIVINE OR WORTHY OF WORSHIP.

        You are in every sense Catholic in all the ways that define your worship. You look at a man who walked in the Galilee as a manifestation of G-d, worthy of worship,nthe same as Roman Catholics do. That belief contradicts Torah as expressed in Deuteronomy 4 as we’ve explained countless times to you. It is not a valid Torah concept to accord a son of G-d the same honor and glory that belongs to HASHEM alone. Until Christians recognize this, they will always be espousing ideas foreign to Judaism.

        When are you going to address the arguments made instead of side stepping?

        • Eliyah Lion says:

          Con You did not address the issue of the shared Glory by YHWH with his children and with Yerushala’im descending…

          Ample citations that you did not even touched. About the worship of YHWH I will agree 100% that any true worship is always directed to YHWH as the Ultimate Source the Supreme One the King of kings the LORD of lords.

          That is Unity is plural is in the Tanakh but your interpretation can not see it for only in the Ruah Elohim by the Dabar Elohim can you be true worshipper of YHWH ELOHIM.

          Schema Israel: YHWH Eloheinu, YHWH Ehad.

          P.S.: In our prayer we say Our Father who are in the Heavens hallowed be thy Name thy Kingdom come thy Will be done on Earth as it is in the Heavens… Where is false worship here? The true Messiah always refers to His Father. That the pope of Rome changed everything that was predicted in Daniel and the Apocalypse… So what is your point and your argument against the Messiah of Israel that you do not recognize that He is the Dabar made flesh. You are not better than the pope who substituted himself to the Messiah being an ante-Messiah for ante in Greek might be a substitute of the Messiah or a plain opposition to the Messiah…

          Study more your comparative religion stuff all you want that will give you only human knowledge I prefer infinitely the Ruah Holy guiding me for the Ruah of knowledge exceeds infinitely all human so-called knowledge. The Ruah of wisdom so much sweeter than you so-called human wisdom…

          I know in the biblical sense Elohei Israel, do you know Him??

          • Sharbano says:

            “I know in the biblical sense Elohei Israel, do you know Him??”

            Do you realize what you have said here? That has definite connotations, at least to the English speaking world. I think you should rephrase the statement.

            Once again, is THIS the same Ruach as Stephen was filled with. Apparently that Ruach’s only knowledge was in Greek and poor at that.

            It was one thing for people in antiquity to consider gods to be men of the earth but as we have come to a knowledge that fills the earth we understand the Universe more than those in the past. In the past mankind saw a day from a sunrise to sunset. We know of the planetary system and how a day, and time, for that matter, are relative. Once it could be envisioned that G-d would stand on earth and create physicality day by day, sunrise to sunset. But that time is only for the earth. But if G-d were standing at a point were the days were infinite the timeline would be foreign to our thinking. That day would not be a day to us. If we ask WHERE was G-d during this creation it would have to be outside the Universe, that is if we believe He created the Universe. We thought we had seen the end of the Universe until the Hubble transfixed its lens into open space and we found even more countless galaxies. No longer are we confined to ancient thinking that G-d would require physicality but rather transcends this physicality and time itself. When we imagine G-d in the shape of a man we are missing all that heavenly glory and his entire creation is reduced to nothingness.

      • Sharbano says:

        Considering you are a prophet you should Already realize we don’t follow treif.
        All these questions you have been ignoring must be very difficult for you to answer. This is Not at all unusual among Xtians. All who have come to knowledge by way of Ruach are equally devoid of answers. Apparently that is the realm where your Ruach lives.

      • Sharbano says:

        “and the Yehudim will recognize Yahushuo as the Dabar Elohim in the flesh the Messiah of Israel sent to gather all His people…”

        Is this also a prophetic revelation on your part. The problem here is “your” messiah hasn’t accomplished Anything. He couldn’t even accomplish as much as Bar Kochba. He was a failure in his own lifetime and thus confirmed to be a false prophet, who by his own words had shown his own ignorance of Torah, much like Stephen. You remember Stephen don’t you.

  17. Concerned Reader says:

    Lion, the reason the pope was Even able to change everything is because he honestly believes that G-d came down as a human being and gave him that authority to make changes. “You are Peter and on this rock (petros) I will build my Church.” It is a direct result of the Christian teaching of an incarnation of G-d that has allowed the Church to be led to make those changes. They believed HASHEM came down to their level and is their friend AND TAVE PERMISSION.

    The Torah teaches that G-d doesn’t need to come down in any form. G-d tells Israel “you saw no form” so that nobody can put HASHEM in a box. G-d does not share worship. He can bestow honor (as he had Pharoah do for Joseph,) but that doesn’t mean HASHEM wants you to worship those he gives honor to. See the difference?

    G-d gave Moses a pisition of honor, but it would be wrong and idolatrous for anyone to worship Moses as G-d. In the same way, it would be wrong and idolatrous to worship Jesus, Mary, or the rebbe, or ANYONE ELSE. See the point I’m making?

    You say that you agree 100% that true worship is to be dedicated to HASHEM the father. So, my question is, if that was sufficient, why do you need to add Jesus to the equation? If Jesus wants you to serve the father, then JUST DO IT DIRECTLY. DONT ADD JESUS TO THE EQUATION.

    • Eliyah Lion says:

      Con, without the Dabar no one can know YHWH. The fact that you have Torah comes from the Dabar Elohim. All the manifestation of Elohim in our sacred History where the Dabar in the Flesh. The dabar in tablets is nothing compared to the Dabar in our hearts. He gaves us the power to love YHWH with all our might, a might that is way more powerful than any weak human attempt. For it written in the Schema Israel:

      You will love YHWH Eloheikha in all your heart, in all your soul, in all your might. This commandment is completely and powerfully and growingly more in the Dabar than alone. He gives us his capacity to accomplish more. To love YHWH in might.

      No body can even dare to touch and feel the Elohim. Though He makes us more able to commune to Him, Him the race David (Beloved); for He is the seed Eternal enabling us to become Elohim in the One Elohim.

      For the nature of Love is to become like the Beloved. We are destined for Glory for his Glory is shared to the ones who loved him through obedience to his holy Torah.

      But how can people understand this amazing grace without having experience it. For to know Elohim is to become like Him by his Dabar and in his Ruah.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Whose word takes precedence the Father’s or this son’s? Jews are just doing what HASHEM the father told them to do according to the plain straightforward text. Is that enough for you Lion, or isn’t it?

      • Sharbano says:

        Why have you continued to ignore all the questions put to you. Instead you continue to change the topic when you are left bewildered for the answers. Where is your prophetic insight. Where is your Ruach to give you answers. You insult G-d Himself by disregarding the questions. Certainly there is no difference here than with any other Xtian and the failure to give coherent answers. Xtianity in and of itself is contradictory and there is no way to harmonize it. What it DOES give to the person is a sense of preeminence. But why the need for this preeminence. If a person is guilty of some crime and has to go before a judge, no doubt he would expect some form of punishment. But if the judge were to say he will dismiss all the charges the person would feel euphoric. This can be a very intoxicating to the individual. How much more so if the judge is G-d and not only are your previous infractions dismissed but all future ones as well. Since a person hasn’t the concern of reprisals there will soon become a sense of preeminence. The person hasn’t had to bear any “responsibility” for any previous actions, no matter the scope, and believes there is no need. He then becomes a superior person to his own thinking. This translates to the inevitable conclusion that in all he believes it must be from G-d as all guilt is assuaged. Surely it cannot be of his own making, he believes. The more he believes and rationalizes this belief his heart becomes more and more unwilling to accept anything other than what “seems” obvious and the result is the heart is hardened. It is only when he confronts the realization that responsibility is inherent and cannot be dismissed does he relax his heart and open it to new suggestions. This is the Xtian dilemma and the “need” to put a human face on G-d that makes it relate to the inner-self and avoiding responsibility.

  18. Concerned Reader says:

    You talk down the tablets of Torah, but it is the father who himself gave them. You talk about a “Dabar made flesh,” but G-d is above categories of old and new or better or less. You say we couldn’t know HASHEM without the word made flesh. That is inaccurate. G-d spoke to an entire nation on mount Sinai directly without a form AS DEUTERONOMY PLAINLY SAYS. You are creating a mediator of your own imagination where there needn’t be one. Nobody can come close to G-d? What about Daniel? Joseph? Moses? David? There is a Christian illusion that man is totally sinful and unable to please G-d without G-d interfering, but G-d PROVES YOU WRONG WHEN HE HAS DONE GREAT THINGS THROUGH NORMAL HUMAN BEINGS LIKE David and Moses. These were JUST men with very human characteristics, where even they did not lead a perfect life. NOBODY IN THE TANACH NEEDED TO BE SINLESS TO PLEASE G-D. Stop imposing theology on the Torah, and just read it.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Basically you are the same as every Christian in that the Jewish Bible alone is not enough for you. It’s that simple. You believe that Jewish practice and Faith is incomplete without your word made flesh. That is not biblical. Torah says that the commands are for Israel in all generations. You have attempted to make the same old replacement theology sound Jewish by using words, but your meaning is the same. You believe that without a man-God there is no hope. In your worldview only elect followers of this god man will live with HASHEM. The Torah contradicts you.

  19. Concerned Reader says:

    Doesn’t it bother you lion that literally millions of your people have suffered just because they said to the Churches “we want to practice our faith the way we have done for centuries?” If G-d gave Torah as you say you believe, then that Torah is good enough. G-d says Torah is enough. That’s that.

  20. Fred says:

    As a veteran of the “trinity wars” within Christianity, whenever I see someone post anything that includes, “now, the root of the Hebrew word______ also means ____, and can also suggest ______”, I know it is a Christian and that wordplay which ignores the plain meaning in context is in the offing. This wordplay always results in something the Bible doesn’t teach and has never taught.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      are you surprised given the fact that nothing in Christian messianism is based on the plain meaning of Tanakh? So many things in the NT make zero sense if only the plain literary context of tanakh is considered.

      Here is a post of mine from http://dailyminyan.com/2014/05/05/maimonides-rambam-on-jesus-and-the-true-jewish-messiah/#comment-8043

      What grinds my gears is this. If Christians have their experiential and cultural reasons to believe in Jesus, then fine, live and let live. However, Christians really need to see that Judaism and Jews have valid and vital information to contribute to Christianity as a religion.

      Christians have no idea just how much a deeper knowledge of Judaism’s ORAL TRADITIONS could actually enrich their own traditional understanding of Jesus’ words. Why for example, did Jesus wear phylacteries (tzittzit?) Why does he rip on the Pharisees, but then also declare that “they sit on Moses’ seat?”

      How does Jesus’ proof to the Sadducees for the legitimacy of the resurrection doctrine in Mathew 22 make any sense on the basis of the Tanakh’s texts alone?

      The Sadducees use the scriptural laws of levirate marriage (Yibum) to ask, “which wife will a man be with in the ressurection?” Jesus responds with a homiletic explanation by saying, “people will not be given in marriage for they shall be like the Angels!” Where does this homiletical assumption of Jesus’ spring from based on the canonical Jewish halachic scripture alone?

      Jesus then says, “have you not seen what is written, “I am the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, G-d is therefore the G-d of the living and not of the dead.” How is this not an eisogetical reasoning on Jesus’ part?

      Any rabbi will know the source of Jesus’ homily regarding the patriarchs’ unique status as “living,” because it is almost identical to what is found in the midrashim regarding Jacob, namely, the dictum: “Jacob our father did not die.” Jesus is using the same exact style and form of rabbinic argument found in the Talmud and midrash to prove that the doctrine of the resurrection comes from G-d. Yet, the Christians are always demeaning Judaism for the oral Torah? Jesus’ entire messianic self understanding is NOT based on anything but orally derived traditional assumptions/speculations, and on how Jesus uniquely interpreted these common Pharisaic assumptions and aggadic traditions. Without Aggadah, there could be no Christian messiah. How do they miss this?

  21. Fred says:

    Because, CR, they are told the Talmud is evil, antichristian and comparable to the Koran. They are told Kabbalah is witchcraft and black magic. They would not know that Jesus was quoting oral Torah in a million years. They do not even know that Jesus simply quoted Hillel on “the greatest commandment”, or that every point in the sermon on the mount can be found in Tanakh. They believe Jesus was God, who spoke these things from his own divine mind, and as such that Jesus himself was not subject to the oral Torah, but IS the oral Torah ( the word made flesh). Why do you think Paul was able to make his own religious laws that superseded Torah/Tanakh ( E.G.- “if a man prays with his head covered he dishonors his head… christ is his head”) and it is bought hook, line and sinker by believers?

    I will check out your blog comment. Here, check this out , but especially go through the comments below the article. They really show a person what we are up against. It is a Jewish website, but most of the commentators are Christians trying to proselytize.

    http://unitedwithisrael.org/the-blood-moon-and-jewish-destiny/

    The question I have is, at what point do we take the fight back to them and show them the truth, even though it may cause less support for us? Should Israel as a nation enjoy the support of ignorant Christians ( even of their own book) at the expense of being continually badgered with proselytizing? That is a serious question. Any answers?

  22. Concerned Reader says:

    I was asking a rhetorical question viz “How do they miss this?” but yes, Christians are told a lot of horrible things about Judaism that simply are not true.

  23. Dear Rabbi, Shalom. I’m a Christian and a teacher of Old Testament in a local theological college here in the Philippines. I love the Jewish people. In fact, I am now tracing my ancestry hoping to trace it back to the lineage of the conversos of Spain who fled from the Inquisition. There are many conversos and marranos (sorry for the derogatory terms of the Spanish people) who fled here during the 333 years of Spanish occupation because they have more freedom from suspicion and scrutiny here than in any of the other Spanish colonies. Well back to my comment, remember dear Rabbi that the first Christians were Jews. Yeshua is a Sabra. The apostles are Jews. Paul is a Jew. Christianity started without any portraits or images because it hampers them from fleeing from their persecutors. And never did it entered in the minds of these early apostles who were Jews to do idolatry. Apostle John, a Christian Jew exhorted the believers “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” 1 John 5:21. At first, the Christians used the sign of the fish, not the cross. They neither worship nor pray to the fish. They just have it as a sign of brotherhood in Yeshua. That is their way of identifying themselves for fellowship amidst their Roman persecutors. It was the Romans who introduced the veneration of the cross, images, and relics. The discussion of who Jesus is took place between the Jews first, not from the goyyim. Matthew, a Jew, argued that Yeshua is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah concerning “Immanuel,”All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel'”(which means, God with us) Matthew 1: 22-23. Dear Rabbi, thank you for the opportunity to interact with the people who are the keepers of the oracles of G-d. “He declares His words to Jacob, His statutes and His ordinances to Israel. He has not dealt thus with any nation; And as for His ordinances, they have not known them. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 147:19-20)

    • CP says:

      Hi John,

      Obviously this is R’Blumenthal’s site. I’m just a visitor he has so graciously let hang around. I haven’t seen any posts from him in a few days. I thinking he might be kinda busy making a video response, idk, just a guess.

      But I just wanted to say Welcome!

      Oh, and btw, be prepared to get schooled on “Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son”. (You might want to check it in Hebrew).

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