An Open Letter from Rabbi Eli Cohen

Where do the Jews play a role in G-d’s plan?

“Israel has not fulfilled in any measure its role to be a priestly nation for over 2,000 years. That’s the charge against G-d’s people.” I would say that such a charge is saying that G-d made a mistake when choosing the Jewish people , no?  Oh No! is the reply, G-d HAS a purpose for the Jews……. yet to be seen in the future.

OK, so let me ask you, what was the purpose of the nation of Israel from 400 ce –  1500 ce in G-d’s plan? To prove that G-d can preserve a nation?  Is this a silly game where Israel is just a guinea pig so G-d can prove Satan wrong?  The Jews are butchered just to prove a point?  Were the people of G-d just put on earth so that they can reject Jesus so that the message can be preached to the gentiles?

Paul teaches that the Jewish rejection was a blessing to the nations, but at what cost to Israel? The blessing for the gentiles was at the expense of the murder of millions of Jews for centuries. Does that sit well with you?  I know it doesn’t sit well with me.

How about G-d’s covenant with Israel in Isaiah 59:21 where G-d promises that His spirit and words will never depart from Israel? Was that including a break of 2,000 years? Can one totally ignore the supernatural preservation of Judaism despite all of the attempt (past and present) to eradicate Judaism?

I’m sorry if I’m a bit emotional, but I often feel that there’s an attempt to try and highlight all the “blessings” the gospels have brought the world and play down all the destruction it brought by conveniently placing the blame on “Christians who never knew Jesus” but that a cop out and simply not true.  Some of the people that were behind the terrible suffering brought upon the Jews were people who spent hours on their knees praying to Jesus. They studied the scriptures and believed they were doing what G-d wants them to do.  How can the Gospel that is supposed to be such a “blessing” be the source and root of such a curse?

The fact that today millions of Christians love Israel etc. won’t ever reverse past.  Today so many Christians are coming to see the error of Church and the validity of Jewish teachings that were preserved at the pain of death.  One needs not go that far, just look at replacement theology.  Many Christians today admit that replacement theology is a stain on Christian history, but why stop there? What else is part and parcel of that same stain?

Is anyone out there????

If you found this article helpful please consider making a donation to Judaism Resources by clicking on the link below.

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=FEAQ55Y7MR3E6

Judaism Resources is a recognized 501(c) 3 public charity and your donation is tax exempt.

Thank You

Yisroel C. Blumenthal

This entry was posted in Correspondence. Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to An Open Letter from Rabbi Eli Cohen

  1. Sharlee says:

    Dear Rabbi,

    Your letter brought me much pain. I was raised Christian and taught to have no respect for the Jew. I have since left my faith and now have no respect for the Christian. I hope to one day get past those feelings, but today, I find I am still angry at the lack of knowledge that exists about the origins of the Christian faith and the excuses provided, by writers like Paul, for people to behave very badly.

    Who can say that the Jews have not at all fulfilled their obligation to this world? They were called to be a light to the world. Christianity makes a mistake in thinking that it was, therefore, the job of the Jew to convert everyone to Judaism. They make a mistake in thinking that their role was only religious, therefore, the emphasis on the “priestly nation.” The Jews HAVE been a light to the world. It is through them we have the Ten Commandments, a justice system and essentially a civilized society. They exhibit, on a daily basis, what it is to value human life and take care of our planet. They are on the cutting edge of technology and medicine, constantly giving back to the world and healing its inhabitants. All while being one of the smallest people groups on the planet. In spite of being the little guy, they go head to head with the greatest nations on this earth and regularly hold their own or excel over them. Don’t tell me they are not doing their job being a light to the world. Are they a priestly nation? Maybe not yet, but eons ahead of most of the rest of civilization at just being civilized. They are not perfect. God did not call a perfect people. He called a people that was willing and I say they do a darn good job, in spite of all that is against them.

    None of us is any position to judge a Jew. Christianity will not see it because it has too much to lose for being “the way.” But if it makes you feel any better, I seriously do not see it lasting another 200 years. This die hard generation will die out. The upcoming one is asking too many questions and the answers are now too available for Christianity to hide the truth. The generation after that will see it for what it is, a pagan religion full of empty promises. We can only hope.

    Someone is out there. Lots of people are out there. The “spiritually blinded” gentile is being exposed to the truth and they are turning away from their idolatrous worship and embracing God’s original plan for them, to acknowledge only one God and to live well. It’s an exciting time to be alive!

  2. agadah says:

    God pretty much has given us free will to build or to maintain the world the way we want. Collectively. And usually without out much thought and without any real goal or direction. We live in our community, in our generations, living mostly in the present in our everyday world dealing with everyday problems. Not a problem, but we need to look out from ourselves. We need to look at the “big picture” and ask questions like “what have we really done in 2000 years”? Not all of us, but some. Some who can point out to us (like the prophets of old, kinder & gentler prophets) so we can recognize those problems and some who can lead us in a better direction. Overall, we have steadily progressed, but much too slow (& in some people’s lifetime, we have stagnated or even worse regressed) toward perfected world. But not just a better “big picture”, but justice & freedom at the individual level. We might need a messiah, for real.

    Some believe erroneously that good fruit can’t come from “bad trees”, nor can good trees produce much bad fruit. Having taken courses in agriculture and in horticulture, I know some people have some erroneous ideas about vine or tree “grafting”, as well. What gets grafted in (to replace those branches you cut off), doesn’t lose it’s “old nature” and it doesn’t inherit or gain a new nature. It is similar thoae situations that I have seen countless times, where someone says they were “born again” and have a “new life”. Often, they rid themselves of some old bad habits and old ways, but seldom do they gain a “new world view” or a new view of God.

    Some Christians or “believers” today may see “errors in the church”, and unwittingly, they appear to be admitting that the Jewish community (that has seen error in Christianity for the past 1800 years) was correct not to believe in Jesus. But “replacement theology” is not just a teaching or philosophy of errant churches that have “strayed from the true way”, the NT is virtually based on a replacement theology. Jesus is supposed to be “the new Adam”, the “new Joseph, Moses, David, Elijah, Elisha, etc”. His teachings, even when they appear to be based on the Tanach or the Torah, are a “new Torah” with a “new or restored covenant” to replace (or restore) the “old obsolete covenant” that God made. The name of Jesus often replaces the “name of God” in selected “old testament” verses in the NT and in many “new testment” preachings” of man. Some believers recently who see paganism or error in Christianity, believe that they have “solved the problem” with a “new replacement theology” where the “Greek Jesus” is replaced by the (largely invented) “Hebrew Yeshua” (or his numerous other new “sacred names”) and whereby Christ is replaced by messiah or “haMoshiach”. New Testments are slightly edited and are replaced (renamed) with Brit Chadasha’s, “messianic” or “sacred name” bibles, etc. Pagan Paul is negated and renamed or replaced with “Rav Shaul”. These new replacements are not just to “convert the Jews”, but to “return Gentiles to their Hebraic roots” that they never had before. Or to comfort Jewish believers who want to believe but just can’t accept all of the Jesus story and just can’t reconcile it with Torah. See the website “messianicliterarycorner.com” or “seekgod.ca” for a good start at an exploration of modern errors.

    But if there is error (in the theology), it is not undone with new names for the old names, old rituals disguised as new, or Christian rituals and symbols reclothed to appear Jewish. Looking Jewish outwardly (whatever that means) does not make one Jewish inwardly as Rav Shaul said as he rejected both the outward and the inwardly Jewishness.

  3. Len Hummel says:

    1) GOD IS SOVEREIGN. HE IS NEVER “LOOKING THE OTHER DIRECTION”.
    2) “Oh ye who stoneth the prophets and rejected and conspired AGAINST YOUR OWN MESSIAH when He appeared to you in the flesh and wrought many many mighty works in your midst.”
    3) GOD uses anything and everyone and everything to get His beloved’s attention and to chasten His own. – oh yes He most certainly does.
    4) Those “who do wrong” toward the Jews {{or anyone else}} WILL GIVE AN ACCOUNT TO GOD, not you, or me, … or anyone else.
    5) GOD has an elect in Israel/world Jewry, … just like He does among all people’s of the earth.
    6) A TRUE JEW {in spirit & truth} is a wonderful thing to behold, … and is truly beloved of GOD.

    Shalom and GOD bless.

    • agadah says:

      God is indeed sovereign and does see those who follow false prophets, as defined in Deut 13. And God sees the idolatry of folks who need a god in the image of man in order to feel close to a “higher god” (“higher” theology); or who need a god fashioned after pagan gods like Osiris or like born man-gods who were “a god manifested in the flesh” like Greek Antiochus Epiphanes, Roman Caesar, or Herodian king Agrippa; or those who need an intermediary (a way, king, priest, god son, messiah, etc) in order to reach their god; or a vicarious sacrifice so that man does not need to be a son or daughter of God, nor be a servant of God, and so we don’t have to give a gift, a love offering to Our Father, Our God who art in heaven.

      Those who “killed the prophets” are not the same ones as those who kept and still today keep the writings of the prophets (Pure. And not just sometimes quoted out of context to promote a new prophet). Those who rejected the prophets, did not revere the prophets (not the only ones we know about), but turned to the pagan manifested man-gods, the dying-and-rising sun-gods, and the poly-theistic son/s of god. Although they and modern ones may quote those prophets of the old, obsolete testament in order to justify themselves, their chief and their many prophets, and their “new age” god,.

  4. agadah says:

    Almost forgot. Those who “killed the prophets”, and some of their descendants, were the ones more likely to persecute even unto death and kill the Jewish prophets over the last 2000 years, and less likely to be the victims of that persecution. It is highly likely that those who did follow “their messiah” and expected him to show up soon to “cleanse the temple” were instead left with the destruction of the temple. That is the likely message of the Christian parable of the one, who on the way to the temple, had no power to pray fruit onto a tree to feed his disciples, so he cursed an innocent tree incapable of sin, and then went on to make a big mess of the temple area instead of cleansing it. The man said the tree should be cut down, but he was “cut down” instead (God said don’t cut down fruit trees when you “lay seige” to a city). No fruit would hang on a tree, but the man was “dead fruit” hanging in a tree instead. If he was a messenger, he failed to deliver any from God (unlike Jonah finally did), because he so despised the people that he intentionally spoke so that no one could understand and be saved. Jonah relented and lived, while the other messenger was forsaken and died. Jonah came from the grave and then saved a very large city, not just a few of his friends.

  5. John says:

    “Is this a silly game where Israel is just a guinea pig so G-d can prove Satan wrong?” Book of Job?

  6. John says:

    “G-d HAS a purpose for the Jews……. yet to be seen in the future.” I am not a proponent of “Replacement Theology”. I absolutely believe God singled out and selected a “people group” that came to be called Jews for a specific purpose. Christians obviously believe that “special people group”, that eventually came to be called “Jews”, was “chosen” by God as the “people group” that would produce the Messiah. (Messiah means many things to may people). A process was evidently necessary, and can be read about in Tanakh as well as other rabbinic writings. If you don’t believe in the NT (Christian writings), Rabbi Cohen’s statement (“yet to be seen”) is “truth” for you. If you do believe in the NT, their “purpose” is quite clear. Can this be argued…..yes, all day long! Does the argument benefit either “side”, I guess that is another personal “opinion”, which there is no shortage of.

  7. Naaria says:

    So, you seem to be saying that the “special group called Jews” are still around because they have not YET produced the Messiah. So the Rabbi’s truth, as well as the opinions of the Jewish prophets, is your truth as well. Then why continue to read the NT, since it has no purpose any longer?

    • John says:

      “No” to your first question. I’m actually not totally clear on R Cohen’s overall point, and the “opinions” ON the “opinions of the prophets” are debated every day on several facebook pages……and as a Christian, NT, as well as Tanakh, both have purpose in my life, so I read them both daily. (I need to re-read my post in order to understand how your question and conclusion was conceived).

  8. John
    Your question about the book of Job deserves an answer. When God tests someone – as in the book of Job or as in the situation with Abraham (Genesis 22) – God is not treating these people as guinea pigs. He is giving them the opportunity to become closer to Him – Abraham grabbed the opportunity while Job didn’t
    In any case – what was the purpose of the Jewish people for the last 2000 years?
    You may find this article helpful – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/a-light-to-the-nations/

    • John says:

      My simplest answer (and perhaps simplistic) was to participate in God’s plan for the salvation of mankind, and as part of that plan, to produce the Messiah that (from the Jews). Also, to take this group that came to be known as Jews, to sanctify them, for them to be a “light” to all nations. A question that begs to be asked, so I will, “why did God ‘chose’ this group of people?” What was “distinguishable” about these people, that God said, “these are those I will use”?

  9. John
    Deuteronomy 10:14,15

  10. Len Hummel says:

    R.Yisroel: in relation to Deut.10:14-15. see: Matthew 13:18-30; 37-43. and Matthew 21:23-45. – these words/parables explain the meaning of “the seed of promise” and “the seed of faith”. – this is the TRUE SPIRITUAL ISRAEL which clearly includes both Jewish and Gentile spirits & souls.

  11. qwal says:

    I might suggest that in response to the ‘spiritual seed of Israel’ argument, just plainly, there is no reason to derive that meaning from Deuteronomy. Furthermore, if I am going to interpret like that, I’m not necessarily going to end at Christianity. Joseph Smith and the Mormons claim that they are the seed of Israel. So simply claiming that someone else is the true heir is just not sufficient- if the original promise doesn’t say it, then there is no more reason for one to believe Matthew’s argument, than I am to believe Joseph Smith’s.

  12. Stan says:

    New subject. 6/28/11
    Must the line to David go through the father and through his son Solomon?
    As I stated in my letter to only orthodox jews regading medresh and pshat, there are those in paltalk , 1. a former orthodox Jew now converted to Catholicsm and a orthodox Jew/academic.

    This former Jew was listening to a debate between myself and a believer about does Jesus qualify to be messiah since he does come through the father nor does he come through solomon.

    After hearing our debate he got on the mic and said the following.
    Rebbe Schneerson was thought to be a potential messiah, Ramchal was thought to be a potential messiah, the Ari zal was thought to be a potential messiah , but none of them had a line to david through the father, only the mother.

    The Rebbe it has been told has a line through Rashi but Rashi only had daughters.

    Then he continued and said the following. Go to any orthodox yeshiva and ask the rabbi’s if messiah must be a direct desecendent of David through his father and through Solomon. He said their answer will be no, it is matrilineal, not patrilineal. Then he continued to say that these Rabbi’s most likely are learned in kaballah and they can tell you about transmigration of souls, suggesting that this has something to do with determining a line to David……

    When he got off the mic, the orthodox jew/academic got on the mic and he confirmed what was just spoken about this subject.
    Can this be true? Do orthodox Jews believe this?? does not Jewish Law prevail and can a person ascend to the throne of David via matrilineal descent?
    I anxiously look forward to your responses…
    Stan

  13. Stan
    There is no debate about the matter patrilineal descent is all that counts all authorities agree about this if anyone believed that a given candidate was potentially the messiah they also had to believe that he was a descendant of david on his father’s side

  14. Joseph solomon says:

    Hi,
    I would love give some suggestions and answers to chew over,on the many questions raised in your article.

    To primary question seemed to be raised with regards to
    “The chosen people”,their history,and how where they a light unto the nations over the past two thousand years.?

    In addition to other smaller points raised.

    I as a Jewish orthodox Rabbi, i would appreciate the opportunity of sharing some points to ponder and suggestive answers of my own,concerning the strong questions raised.

    Before I start I would like to clarify some strong misconceptions.

    The meaning of “chosen ” is not one that is equated with being special, standing out, excelling in all matters, or G-D playing favourites.

    We understand the wording with humbling responsibility.
    We. Were commissioned to fulfill an assignment, it comes with many rewards and difficulties.

    They not neccessarily be a direct punishment for failure etc
    But rather an automatic response, if one is ellected to make the bbq for the family picnic, and he burns himself in the process through negligence and incompetence.

    No one will argue that his burned hand is a punishment from his patents for over cooking
    the hot dogs!

    The same outlook applies to the reward and self gratification that trust was placed, and returned in full measure.

    No gifts are wanted or needed the reward is
    listening to the juicy munchy enjoyable “emms ” and wow these are great, mum are there seconds ”

    The knowledge of fulfilling the role of a dear and loved parent that has commissioned you,and the upset and distress over letting down your loved patents,family etc

    ARE THE PRIMARY CONCEPTS OF “CHOSEN ” REWARD AND PUNISHMENT ” (in fulfilling or
    Not fulfilling the task uniquely commissioned.

    To answer or suggest many plausable explanations, (I don’t claim to be a prophet ..it therefore all remains in the field of theological
    suggestions,and explanations that maybe some, or even all,are correct, and combined have many collective reasonings for truth! )

    There are many answers I could propose, about the suffering of our past two thousand years, and where has our contribution been, to be a light unto all nations?

    However, before I respond,
    I want to make it clear that the very question is a loaded one, and from the writers perspective as a theotoricall one!!

    So, by answering, I would be playing straight into his hands,
    Which is basically foolish and therefore a lobsided discussion.
    There cannot be true honest impartiality…

    And I want to point that out first, get the agenda and slant cleared, then I can fairly suggest answers.

    If I were to be known as the strongest gladiator, yet before I entered the ring, I was intentionaly wounded,
    Had my arms and feet tied, and then thrown into the arena with other warring gladiators and hungry lions.

    Would you expect me to win?
    Would there even be a question over my technique,strength or stamina?!

    Of course not,.
    The fight was rigged, staged, and used as proof of my weakness.

    No one could or would ask
    “If hes the best gladiator, why did he lose “!?

    Likewise, to use our suffering and persecution in the hands of Christian and muslims alike, praying for survival until the next new year (Rosh. Hashana).

    Do I have the ability to be a role model?

    Furthermore, the question aa mention is loaded with Christian bias of theological
    “Truths ”

    What the author really means is, since the Pharisees if old denied the legitimacy of Jesus being the messiah etc.

    We have therefore been abandoned by G-d, to live homeless, oppressed, and tortured, as G-d now turns his attentions to his newly made and. Now rechosen people the Christians.

    That is the premise that underlines the foundation of the superficial question of “where was the Jewsish light for all etc “.
    Therefore you already have the answer of rejection and rhetorical question of how were we a beacon of morality to all?

    I must therefore start by dismissing the already stated, notion, if I have the fair chance to an EQUAL debate /discussion.

    In the Torah, it states many times, particularly in dutronomy,(Devarim)
    That the lord does reward and punish collectively, evil doers with the good, only in regards to keeping the laws pertaining to the land of Canaan.
    We are promised abundance in health, produce, offspring and happiness.
    The opposite being highly calamitous if the Jews would follow the pagan idol worshipers and not keep other specific agricultural laws.
    The land will push you out and remain a wasteland until the homecoming of the jews to Israel, inexplicably connected to the land, that the land itself can and will only flourish once her people residence on her earth again.

    We, ie Abraham was foretold thousand’s years earlier,that his offspring will inherit the land, but first must go through many trials and tribulations.

    This is written in Genesis,was already part of our folklore in Egypt.

    And has nothing what so ever ,to do with the acceptance or lack of, jesus.

    Secondly, we understand as G-d being all knowledgeable, etc his Torah and open revelation
    Before the ENTIRE Jewish people, was given non conditionaly and for eternity.

    No where, does G-d tell us,by mount Sinai, that its a test run, if we fail or do poorly he gives his torah to other nations!
    Nor, as he is all knowawable
    Omnnicient, does he plan to change his nation or laws,
    He knows what we will do,
    And wont do..

    Yet, nevertheless, he gave us his laws, which being G-d. Law, is not open for changing, cutting, snipping editing, and cherry picking ..

    THE same with those he encharged with an explicit mission, knowing as G-D,that we were going to have our better moments and moments when we let ourselves and him down.

    THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO
    WITH THE REJECTION OF JESUS, WHICH HAPPENED APPROX TWO THOUSAND YEARS AFTER BEING COMMISSIONED AND THE PERSONAL RECIPIENTS IN FULL PUBLIC VIEW OF G-DS REVELATION, TORAH, AND PRUVELAGE,YET DANGEROUS ASSIGNMENT TO FOLLOW ITS LAWS, AND TO BE A LIVING WALKING TALKING EXTENSION OF G-DS WILL, AND HIS CHOSEN EMBASSADORS
    TO SHOW THE WORLD, HOW TO LIVE, “AS A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS AND HOLY NATION ”

    This comes with it’s drawbacks, as the greater the mission, the graver it’s consequence of failure.

    2.Now that has been cleared, I can go on to suggest reasons, how through our 2 thousand year history, we could still keep the charge.

    A) if I witness a friend going through adversary, and its endless, and upon speaking to them they are able and dogmatically persistent in keeping the laws customs and cultural dictates, that are very burdonesome and taxing, yet, they don’t relinquish their faith, although being totured, murdered, raped, pillaged, ransacked, expelled, given extremely limited rights, no vote’s, land or job, outside of money lending ..forced to live in small ghettos, highly taxed, and living in constant fear of the whims of the local lord of the province, crusaders passing by to retrieve Jerusalem for Jesus, and killing as many Jews in the way ,for the adrenaline fun.
    The brutally of the muslim
    Caliphs, the hate scorn and disdain for being Jewish, or for supposedly killing another Jew ..jesus ..

    (When pontias pilot, was a cruel sadistic low life, who had many thousands of Jews and others nailed to the cross daily, and was actually so bad his uncle Hadrian? Titus? Had him recalled to rome and replaced)
    Facing turturous Spanish Inquisition, with terrible horrendous and grueling toture to only be burned alive at a public stake, with prolonging of suffering as wet pieces of cloth were placed around the heart and vital organs.
    Then expelled again!
    Only to be blamed for the black plague, by supposedly poisoning wells.

    Massacred in york England, then the remenants expelled.
    To modern day, hitler geonocide, killings, brutality unparalleled ..ONLY 60 YEARS AGO

    To being demonized by the worlds latest threat (but the jews, Zionists or otherwise are first on the list) by the extreme elements of jihadist islam, to convert And pay taxes then live under shriah law,but thats for the lucky Christians,we Jews don’t get such magnonimity,just straight out “burg esque ” beheading, with blunt knives …death is our only salvation, we are not worthy to be muslims even!

    YET ..
    WE ARE STILL HERE,NOT MOANING, NOT CIMPLAINING ABOUT G-D,
    BUT AS NOBEL HONOREES IN EVERY DEPARTMENT THEIR IS TO BE HAD, LESS THEN 1% OF THE WORLDS POPULATION, AND STILL NEED TO BE VIGILANT IN ISRAEL AND THE WORLD OVER, ABOUT BEING ATTACKED FIREBOMBED, MURDERED ETC
    FOR BEING JEWISH
    STILL WE CLING TO G-DS COMMANDMENTS, DO NOT COMPLAIN,MEMORIALIZE OUR DEAD, AND TO REMIND THE HUMAN SPECIES WHAT THEY ARE CAPABLE OF.

    BUT WE MOVE FORWARD, NOT LOOKING BACK, AND CONTINUE TO SHINE ..

    THEN YOU HAVE THE AUDACITU TO ASK “HOW HAVE WE BEEN A LIGHT UNTO THE NATIONS? ”

    I do have many more answers, ie,teaching through our agreed burdonesome suffering,as being selected etc
    the concept of empathy and sensitivity, even if we are the people whos suffering, one can grow and learn from.
    That itself is a powerful notion of teaching morality, by being the recipient of hate, and not the ones doing or acting hateful (neither in revenge or return,
    As a Christian the concept of benefiting through empathy etc of a sufferer ie jesus, and the notion not to seek revenge etc, ie” turn the other cheek ”
    Have we not demonstrated those very teachings with our actions over the past Two thousand years, indeed it is very much in accordance of your own Christian notions …

    How then you can ask the original question is beyond me.
    Anyway please do not take this personal, it is an open forum for input, discussion and tolerance.
    I do hope, that my time writing this was, is not in vain
    With blessings
    Rabbi Joseph. Solomon
    Ps.
    Kindly excuse the typos, this was written on my phone!

  15. Joseph solomon says:

    Hi,
    It’s joseph Solomon again!
    Sorry, but I sense the need for clarification.

    When I use the words “the author ”
    I am not referring to the post author!!!

    As he is Jewish, not Christian, so my
    Comments would seem more then odd!

    I am actually referencing the post “comment” authors.

    And their contentions,or counter arguments made.

    Secondly, the gentelman,that asked non fecisiosly,
    Why and what is so special about the jews being “chosen ” for a mission?!
    A fair and relevant question.

    Again there are many answers all conjecture, yet I find the way it is taught and handled to be exceptionaly aware of any feelings of superiority and racism,that may come a part of the impressionable little childs psyche and veltshautung.

    I am a Rabbi and teacher,who has had the privelage. Of teaching in many schools and different viewpoints in their own jewish philosophical identify.

    Never in all the years in pedagogy, have I seen anything remotely promoting,self veneration, at the
    Expense of other races!

    The children are taught the famous “midrash. ” that indeed G-d went to evey nation, asking them if they would “like the job ”
    ONLY through our merits at that moment, not yet having an identity or fixed established cultural habits that are hard to change, did we accept the proposal.

    This shows and teaches us that although we now have the responsibility that comes with being chosen to fulfill an enormous task.

    That we are indeed no better, not racially, spiritualy,
    Geneticaly etc
    Otherwise G-d would never have approached other nations if
    We are superior
    They are inferior.

    If that is taught ACCROSS the globe to all Jewish children, from every denomination you can think of,it is not a gimmick, but an actuality that promotes humbleness and does away with all bigotry.
    (Think in contrast to what is being taught as standard texts in other parts of the world, particularly on the arab side of the divide)

    A deeper explanation again rule’s out all or any claim to superiority in any field.

    It again is a passage of prayer taught to infants when they first start to talk
    “The torah commanded to us by moses, is an inheritance bequeathed to the Jewish community.

    In other words ..
    Abraham, was promised to see the fulfilment of his goal, to teach about a monotheistic G-d, to every one around him that were pagan idol worshippers.

    In addition to this steadfast belief against all of humanity at the time, and over coming 10 seperate hurdles of tests, on his faith, and passed with flying colours.
    The Almighty, promised him, that if he continues to follow the correct and moral path, then his progeny Issac, born from his beloved wife Sarah, and in turn Jacob born to issac, and through him leading to the tribes, their will be a whole nation following his faith and being the forebearers of the truth
    (Although Abraham. Was 99 years old and still childless.)

    It is through his merit alone, that we collected the responsiblity.
    Hence the wording in the childs prayer “an inheritance ”

    The comparisons made are obvious, the beneficiary of a multi million dollar inheritance DID NOTHING AND DESERVED NOTHING, only by default, (breathing, and his deceased next of kin stopped breathing ..etc
    Is he now a wealthy powerful, prestigious person.

    We inherited the million dollars( chosen) by sole virtue,of being the ditect. Decendants of Abraham, therefore we recieved. An inheritance.

    That explanation truly an undisputed fact written and promised to Abraham from G-d, clearly visable and confirmed in the. Torah, why and how we became a nation and in the process were chosen by G-d to follow his instructions and carry the torch of integrity honesty and morality as written in the Torah, and act according to its premises.

    That fact of inheritance coupled with others being equal and compitent to the task, otherwise why would G-d waste his and all other nations time, if this was predetermined, and we were already chosen.

    How the two answers coincidence, inheritance =
    No choice
    Asking all nations =their was choice and no predetermination.

    Is easily answered, that even an inheritance until the last minute and its signed and sealed, yet the owner is still alive and has a change of heart, .

    In one foul swoop, his lawyer,changes the amount and beneficiary, until the owner gives it legally over to his chosen relative, friend, etc
    Abd the recipient has agreed signed and accepted the inheritance

    So,their was preference,but NO PREDETERMINATION.

    finally, legally and ethicaly
    Once an inheritance is given and it’s documented as legal and binding …

    Whether in the original owners lifetime and or afterwards.

    All begging pleading, or for that matter misbehavour and total lacking of status appreciation or wastage of the monies inherited

    NOTHING ,BUT NOTHING CAN REVERSE THE GIVEN
    INHERITANCE

    please reflect on that point about sins jews being unworthy punished and a new inheritor found
    Christian or muslim.

    Thank for your time
    G-d bless.
    RABBI Joseph solomon

  16. bamadeb says:

    So is there any hope for a Gentile ,me that has been raised all my life to believe the christian belief, Am I finally seeing the light?

  17. Certainly! God is close to ALL who call upon Him – every human being is called to live with a deep and fulfilling relationship with the Creator of all and to allow His truth to permeate their beings and to shine out – you may find these posts helpful
    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/christianity-unmasked/
    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/seventh-response-to-dalton-lifsey/

  18. Brian Jamieson says:

    It would seem that Rabbi Eli Cohen and several others on my friend list who have disappeared from the list; he has also come up missing for everyone else; anyone who is able please just give account that he is okay.

  19. lori says:

    Rabbi Eli Cohen…. God made a special covenant with mankind to bring a first born. A system to not just be a Saviour from sins but a just God. I read the 613 on how it is for the Jew to the gentile. When it says not to allow the seed of amelek to live.. I think we have to be realistic. This letter you wrote is one sided. I was raised a Christian and wrote articles on a Jewish website for a very long time without anyone knowing I was Christian. Didn’t think it mattered. But when I showed up to shul on a invite because they liked my writing so much. Needless to say the Rabbi watched me like a hawk. I schooled with him also on a invite. I served in the shul cleaning up and tearing down after celebrations. They accepted my donations and tithe. They accepted me right along to learn with the women and my family with theirs until they one day noticed my cross which I wore all those years and never took off. Have you ever seen the movie “One night with the king?” And seen the star of David ripped from Esthers neck? I endured that. Three older teenagers beat me slammed my head on the cement threw a bike at me held a nife to my face and ripped my grandmother’s blue sapphire Star of David off my neck and broke it and threw it in a field near by. When the police came he tried to get me out of the field and couldn’t so he stayed and helped me look for it. A long time ago I made a commitment to not hate so they would not rule my mind. And with that said in shul the Rabbi asked me to take off my cross and I told him you show me in the bible where God said I cannot wear it and I shall take it off. But intill then if I don’t take it off it becomes my idol and if I take it off for you that makes you my god. And so show me where it says I can not get Torah with it on so I can know if this is your shul or Gods. I also told him that I do not tell him to take of tzit tzit and the blue sapphire strand which held outward to all four corners of the earth is a cross so why tell me to take off mine. He never could tell me where it was written, I am sure that history and future lay with the fact we are what makes the outcome. I don’t hate either the person that beat me on the outside of my flesh and ripped it off my neck or the one whom beat my soul and refused me to be observant. But one hurt worse than the other can you guess which one? Repercussions of sin is a fact will happen. But why worry about what is fair and not fair when your bible tells you….. [[[[[Ezekiel 33:10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?
    11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
    12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.
    13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.
    14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;
    15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.
    16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
    17 Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.
    18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.
    19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.
    20 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.]]]]] I think its time Jews and Christians embrace each other by the knew in this three legged race and stop hindering each other and get up and run working together to reach the goal. History doesn’t rule future! Unless YOU let it.

    • CP says:

      The above blog is a result of assumed definitions and perspectives. Let’s start from a beginning:

      Abraham made a blood Covenant with God, who confirmed it by passing through the cut in half bloody carcasses of dead animals reciting; ‘If I break this Covenant may I be like these animals’. Fast forward to Egypt; Abrahams descendants had to pass through the blood on the door posts to leave Egypt. Then 50 days later agreed to the Covenant presented and were sprinkled with blood. To assure the covenant would pass to the descendants a ring of blood (circumcision) was to be around the male organ through which the seed (semen) had to pass through. Then if raised right the child at coming of age confirms the Covenant.

      Tanach tells us the Covenant was broken. Israel was exiled and divorced, Judah was exiled and returned 70 years later. However even after returning many in Judah (Jews) still felt they were in exile. All knew the Covenant had been broken and they had been disciplined by God. Yet there was still the matter of the blood Covenant Abraham had made. The offending party had promised to die if they broke it. Was God expected to overlook this? If he did this wouldn’t this make a Covenant meaningless? For a true return and restart the price for breaking the Covenant needs to be paid. Especially for Israel whom God divorced, causing them to become like the Gentiles. God’s own Law forbids Him from taking back a divorced wife whose had another husband.

      Many need a way to restart, they need a new Covenant, not a different one, just a way to start over with a reinstated Covenant. These find a way to start over in Yeshua. They see God through the agency of Yeshua calling for repentance (return to God and Torah) and offering forgiveness for the broken Covenant by paying the price himself through the agency of Yeshua. Even though God was not the offending party who broke the Covenant, through Yeshua the declarations of the Covenant are fulfilled . The realization of this great love, compassion and sacrifice of God desiring the return of His wife, willing to pay the price Himself, overwhelms many of the lost descendants of Abraham who otherwise would of been forever lost.

      ^^^ This is what God has been doing for the past 2000 years. Going to the ends of the earth calling the lost descendants (and whosoever will listen) to come back to the Covenant. Letting them know the good news; God still loves you and wants you back; He met the conditions of the Covenant your ancestors broke and you can come home and start anew!

  20. Sharon S. says:

    Dear Rabbi,
    Why would a militant group who prays 5 times a day , invoking the name of the One God gave an ultimatum to Christians in Mosul , Iraq to either (a) Convert to Islam (b) Pay Jizyah (c) Die?

    These Christians had to flee from their homes . Their plight was not prominently highlighted by the international media, similar to many incidences of terrorism , beheading , rape , kidnapping , etc faced by Christians all over the world , especially in the Middle East.

    There are many acts of terrorism committed in the West in recent years . However , one will always be advised not to blame the religion , but the person committing those acts of terror. It is the perpetrator , not the religion he/she adheres to is at fault.

    Why can’t the same standard be applied here ?

    Yes , it is a fact that the persecution of the Jews are mainly perpetrated by those who calls themselves “Christian” . As Christians , we are very sorry for what your people went through.

    Nevertheless , please be consistent in your judgement . There are many so-called religious people/groups out there who terrorise those of other faith or people who do not share the same religion as them. If you’re implying that religion is at fault , then it should apply for all acts of genocide and religious bigotry in this world and not only for this situation.

    Thank you.

    • Sharon S 100% right – I don’t buy the liberal story-line that “religion is not at fault” in the case of Islamic terrorism – I have two articles on this blog in which I articulate this – I’ll dig them up and give you the links later today. I believe that Christendom went a long way in reshaping their world view in a positive sense, renouncing replacement theology, acknowledging the Jewish roots of Jesus are two recent shifts in attitude that are positive for Christianity – while Islam is moving in the opposite directi

      • Sharon S. says:

        Shalom Rabbi B,
        Thanks for your feedback and the links to the articles on this topic.

        Your position raised some questions though.

        Muslim apologists tend to highlight verses in the Bible , especially in the Old Testament , to imply that the Bible promotes violence as well . Examples of this are God’s commands for the Israelites to destroy their enemies residing in the Promised Land , etc .

        If we are to say religion is at fault where Islam is concerned , then we have to consider the same for the Bible (old and new).

        If we defend that the Word of God in the Bible is true , then the issue lies on whether the verses are interpreted correctly.

        I was advised by a Muslim brother to read five verses of the Quran translation before and after the verse in question to get a proper context .
        In addition , the English translation of the Quran does not capture the essence of the Arabic language and that one has to refer to the Hadith (tradition) and a good Ustadh to understand the correct interpretation of the verse in question.

        Most Muslims know how to recite the Quran in Arabic , but most may not know the meaning , or worse , be influenced by clerics who twist the verses of the Quran to suit their own agenda.

        Imagine a young Muslim man in Pakistan reciting the Quran and coming across the verses ‘Kill them where ye find them” . His ustadh , who already has a hatred of Christians and Jews , further planted seeds of hate into this young man . One can see what’s going to happen next.

        If this can happen in Islam , it can happen in any other religion as well.

        Thank you.

        • Sharon S good question! – here is what I wrote in response to this question some time ago

          1 – As religious people we recognize that God has the right to take the lives that He gave. The question is – did God command this? In the case of the Jewish people – the generation that witnessed the pillar of cloud, the pillar of fire, the manna raining down from heaven, the splitting of the Jordan – were assured a thousand times over that this command was coming from God and this was the generation that was commanded to kill the Canaanites (there is also a command for subsequent generation to kill the Amalekites – but that generation also witnessed some mighty miracles – aside from the fact that the original exodus miracles are preserved through the national testimony). God went out of His way to reassure their sense of honesty that it was Him issuing the command. The Moslems do not have that same reassurance that it is God talking through their prophet – in fact their major “proof” is that the Quran is supposedly so Godly and that Mohammed’s life is supposed to be so “impressive” – no pillar of fire, no splitting of the sea, no turning the Nile into blood for seven days, no national revelation – this being the case – the fact that he issues senseless commandments should raise some serious questions In short – it is not a lack of respect for human life when God goes out of His way many times over to make sure that the people know that it is Him issuing the command – on the other hand when the command is issued through a way that is not so verifiable – then it is a lack of respect for human life to expect people to kill on that basis. 2 – A book is only a means of getting ideas from the heart of one into the heart of another – it is not important what the book says – it is important to know how the target audience of the book heard the message – the Jewish Bible clearly says that the Jewish nation and the Jewish nation alone are the target audience of that book (Deuteronomy 33:4; Psalm 147:20). Look through the generations how the Jewish people respected human life. How they took the message of the book – look at the heroes of those Jews who respect the words of Moses. Their heroes are moral giants to whom human life meant everything. Now look at the history of those who respected Mohammed’s words.

          1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Sharon S. says:

            Shalom Rabbi,
            You have a valid point for item no (1).

            I beg to differ on your comparison between the heroes of the Jews who respect Moses’ words versus those who respect prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s words i.e the Muslims.

            The Muslims have contributed immensely to the world in fields such as science , philosophy , etc , especially during the Middle Ages . The Jewish community enjoyed a higher social standing and flourished during periods of Muslim conquest in the Iberian peninsular , before it was conquered by the Christian governments back then its standing in society went downhill from there.

            My last statement does not imply that Christian Gospel is responsible for Jewish predicament over the centuries . The scripture of any religion should not be blamed for an act of terror , past or present . It is the intention of the perpetrator/s and how these groups twisted the Gospel/ Quranic/ or any religious teaching that is to be blamed.

            Thank you.

          • bible819 says:

            King Solomon is a prime of Israel. Blessed beyond belief but eventually became like the world them.As rebellion is as sin of divination, King Saul has the kingdom torn away from him. God has consistently said, how can I let myself Defamed??? Isaiah 48:11 “I AM He”! It’s not for your or my credit! God is worthy of Praise. And will get it, even if Israel turned and became like the World. As the Word said, “I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is 1 who seeks it, and he is the judge”.

  21. Dina says:

    Following.

  22. Dina says:

    Oops, I always forget to click on the boxes. Sorry to drive you crazy, folks!

  23. Sharon S. says:

    Shalom Rabbi B,
    I read your post ” The Guilt of Books” many times today . You proved your point very well in that post . I truly opened my eyes to what your people had to go through because of the generally negative portrayal of the Jews in Christian scriptures.

    It is always assumed that the message behind these type of passages is to remind Christians not to be legalistic i.e show to the world that one is holy by doing all the rituals but do not have any relationship/reverence to God in his/heart . After some soul searching , I realized that these passages had a bigger effect as I had come to regard Jewish people as legalistic ,arrogant and bent to fulfill the Letter of the Law , rather than its spirit. The word “Pharisee” had a negative connotation to me , for to me it was the very opposite of the relationship God desires to have with everyone of us. Hence , I was shocked at first to see the url of this blog as “Yourphariseefriend” .How can a Pharisee be a friend ?

    I’m truly sorry for what the Jewish people had to go through . It saddens me deeply . Nevertheless , I believe that these negative experiences are meant to bring one closer to God , which I believe your nation has . I hope with that closer relationship , you will extend a compassionate hand of kindness and justice to other nations who are going through the same predicament you nation had before . Light is not meant to be hidden , but to be shown far and wide.

    Thank you.

    Sharon S.

    • Dina says:

      Sharon, I find this comment deeply moving!

    • Jim says:

      Sharon,

      Like Dina, I found your comment incredibly moving. I have a Christian friend who for years has constantly referred to the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Though I have protested about how hurtful a thing that is to say, he repeats it frequently. Your comment inspires me to believe that there are people who can still consider a point they never considered before and who can be sensitive to the effects words can have on others.

      Thank you.

      Jim

    • Sharon S thanks for your inspiring words – may the God of truth light up every step of your journey

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s