Third Response to Dalton Lifsey
Thanks for your response. I appreciate the opportunity you give me to articulate my position yet again. As I said in my original post, education is a long drawn out and tedious process, but I know of no other process that is more rewarding.
About nasty responses from my fellow counter-missionaries, I can sort of sympathize with them. After all, you did attack me after having read only a fraction of what I’ve written and you presented no substantive arguments to back up your attack. Some of the arguments you have put forth are perceived by some to be anti-semitic. My intention is to respond to your arguments because I think I understand where you are coming from. I appeal to my fellow activists who strive for the honor of Israel’s God to be patient with my patience.
You contend that my message of One God who lovingly called forth all of existence into being is somehow “inferior”, while the message of the Christian Scriptures is the “hope” of both Jew and Gentile.
The message of the Christian Scriptures maligns and denigrates the God of Israel. According to the Christian Scriptures, the Creator of every soul allows no-one to approach Him unless they travel through the “mystery-path” of the trinity. According to the Christian Scriptures The One who lovingly provided you with life even while you were sinning doesn’t have the mercy to forgive your sin without a blood offering. And the Christian Scriptures teach that men and women must direct their devotion to a man who lived and breathed just as themselves.
You call this a message of “hope”?!
The message of the Jewish Scriptures is that God is close to all who call upon Him with sincerity (Psalm 145:18). The message of the Jewish Scriptures is that God forgives the sinner on the basis of sincere repentance (Isaiah 55:7). And our holy prophets proclaimed that every inhabitant of this earth is subservient to no-one but the One who created them all (Zechariah 14:9).
That, my friend, is the hope of the world.
You spend much time preaching about the “blindness of the Jew”. You see this as a major Scriptural theme that, according to you, I ignore.
You may be surprised to learn that I do not ignore this theme at all. I fully recognize that our suffering in exile is a result of our hard-heartedness and our stubborn rebelliousness against God (Micah 7:9). But this has nothing to do with our discussion.
Despite all of our faults, God promised to preserve His truth and His spirit in our midst (Isaiah 59:21). The testimony that God established in Israel at Sinai will be available even to the last generation (Psalm 78:5,6). Nowhere in all of Scripture does it insinuate that we need to turn to the Gentiles to teach us how to read the books which are our own exclusive inheritance (Deuteronomy 33:4, Psalm 147:19,20). And finally, God speaks to the last generation of Jews (Deuteronomy 4:30) and He points to the unique understanding that He granted our nation as the sign of the unbreakable nature of His covenant (Deuteronomy 4:35). The understanding that God granted us is the most precious possession of our nation; it is the deepest sign of God’s love for us. It is our loyalty to this truth that will be vindicated when the mask of blindness is removed from the face of the nations who reject this truth (Micah 7:10, Isaiah 25:7).
You take issue with my interpretation of Isaiah 49:1-7. You contend that Isaiah’s servant cannot be the righteous of Israel because the servant saves Israel. “How could Israel save Israel?” you ask.
If you would have taken the time to read the passage I sent you to, you would have found the answer to your question. Isaiah 51:16 calls upon God’s servant to proclaim to Zion: “You are My nation”. If you read the preceding verses, you will realize that the subject of verse 16 is one who sometimes forgets her Creator, yet this same servant is being called to bring a proclamation to Zion. It is the righteous of the nation who bear God’s message to the rest of the nation. Is this so difficult to understand?
You claim that my respectful request that you cease and desist from your efforts to redefine Judaism is “illegitimate”. You insist that my Judaism is a Judaism of the “flesh” while the Judaism that you proclaim is a “Judaism” of the “spirit”.
It is you who exalt a man of flesh and blood, while it is my Judaism that exalts God alone – so I don’t see how you can justify your comments about “flesh” and “spirit”. But I will put that aside for now. Instead I will try to teach you something.
Judaism is about marriage. A marriage between God and the Jewish people. A marriage is a type of relationship that redefines both parties – not only to themselves – but to the eyes of everyone. In marriage, the two partners agree to forevermore be identified as the spouses of each other. From the point of marriage onward, whenever someone sees the woman in the street, they will think of her as the wife of her husband – and whenever someone sees the man, they identify him as the husband of the woman he married.
The Jewish people are forever identified as the bride of God and God is forever identified as the God of the Jewish people. Not a people who are dead and buried, but a people who live on in every generation. When you see a Jewish man pray, you know who he is praying to, and you know who he is not praying to. The Jew doesn’t have to explain it to you. The explanation is already carved into the pages of history. Try as you may, you will not be able to silence the testimony of God’s witness.
One more thing before I sign off. You know; a groom doesn’t see any faults in his bride. That is how God created us. Now, there are different aspects of God’s relationship with His beloved nation. We are His children, we are His servants and we are also His beloved bride.
I leave you with the words our Groom whispered into our ear (Song of Solomon 4:7).
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal