You seem to be offended that I “assume” so many terrible things about you. I have great news for you. I do not “assume” anything about you. Before I wrote anything about you I read your book from cover to cover several times. And I have backed up every one of my accusations with quotations from your book.
If my accusations are false it should be easy for you to demonstrate your innocence. Instead of tackling my arguments head on you complain to the audience about your “victimhood”.
I asked you the same question several times and you have still not answered it. What was the Metzudat David trying to teach us when he compared Joel 2:2 with Malachi 3:20?
Your silence speaks volumes.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal
well, I have some news for you. It obvious that you don’t know what you are stating as you speak from both sides of your mouth, enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu4EWiw9Os4
The statement : “I have backed up every one of my accusations with quotations from your book.” is false. Your arguments are filled with unequal-weights and hypocrisy and false assumptions as I will expose to the world. The tone and the spirit of your words are obvious to many. You have made a false assumption on Joel 2:2 that got you in trouble, and when I pointed out to you in the video, instead of being humble you trying to find an escape route.
I wanted to tackle your arguments to begin with, yet you have written to me to refresh your memory from our earlier discussion “Tzachi – I am not interested in your arguments at this point”. You clearly stated that you don’t want to have a discussion, but you want information “to build your case” against me. Which one is it, you are speaking from both side of your mouth. What an hypocrisy!
Lastly, you have shown the ultimate chutzpah trying to approach other members who endorsed the book without approaching me first to a response. Don’t you see how unethical your behavior is? Unreal.
I will answer the question above among MANY others via video very soon. You chose to write, I choose to make videos.
as FYI, when you quote me in the future about something at least do it in context, the example above is yet another example that you are not seeking the truth for the sake of the truth.
Again, you zealously guard the context of your own words. Why doesn’t that apply to the Torah? Why doesn’t that apply to the rabbis whose words you distort, who clearly do not mean the things you twist their words to mean? Why do you not zealously guard the nevi’im from the distortions of the NT?
Jim, I do. I quoted JPS 1917. How could I have guarded it any further?
You could–rather than complain that you are being unfairly treated–protest the works of those like Dr. Brown who twist the words of the rabbis to find within their words a spurious support for his own theology, when clearly it is not their own. You could–rather than protest any criticism of your work–consider the criticism, go over the facts and see if you might not have missed something. Most importantly, you could–rather than so ardently defend yourself against your critics–defend the Torah against Matthew and Paul who take the precious words of the Most High and manipulate them.
This is what we are doing. I encourage you to see all of the objections that we are answering, one by one. However, if we are to have a debate it needs to happen in the spirit of Judaism called Limud, when there is a M’achloket (disagreement), we are to look at the facts. In the case I brought the Fact. R’ Blumenthal stated that I said “A” when I am saying “B”, in this case “B” is JPS. How can my defense be any clearer? I went over the facts. Here are the facts for again:
A. Shachar and Shachor are related to each other
B. No mistranslation occurred of Joel 2:2 !
C. Ibn Ezra and other respected Commentators so a connection between Shachar to Shachor.
D. Shachar can be translated as Dawn, but it is not a must.
D. Mal. 3:20 is a Messianic Verse
This is not very complicated. These are just the facts.
I asked you a simple question. I asked you this question several times already. What is the Metzudat David trying to teach us by comparing Malachi 3:20 to Joel 2:2.
Your silence speaks volumes.
This is not very complicated. These are the facts. Just read what I wrote and what you are responding to – and what you are NOT responding to.
The fact that he uses the JPS 1917 speaks volumes. This translation is just a slightly modified version of the Revised and American Standard Versions of the Bible which are Christian Bibles. It was superseded by a 1985 translation. Better translations are the Artscroll or Judaica Press.
Even I have a stone edition Tanakh from Artscroll that I recieved years ago. It’s a great Tanakh.
I checked a few “Christian” Bibles and several have “dawn spreading” (American Standard Version, Darby’s New Translation, etc) and the King James has “as the morning spread upon the mountains:”.
“as the morning spread upon the mountains:a great people and a strong;
there hath not been ever the like”. I assume dawn or morning is a recovery from darkness, such as a recovery from the smoke of the previous fires.
btw, since you speak about translations , look at Young’s literal as FYI.
Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)
2 A day of darkness and thick darkness, A day of cloud and thick darkness, As darkness spread on the mountains, A people numerous and mighty, Like it there hath not been from of old, And after it there is not again — till the years of generation and generation.
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Itzhac has the best understanding of the Tanakh that I’ve ever seen. It all makes sense and it all points to Yeshua. You’ve missed the boat nit picking him. I’m glad to be able to call Itzhac a brother in Yeshua!
Defending the Tanach from the misrepresentations of the Church is not nitpicking. The fact that you think that the Tanach all points to Yeshua shows only how far your mind has been shaped by the distortions of the Church. One of your fellow Christians, commenting on a different thread upon this blog last week, said something similar to your “all points to Yeshua”. He said that Jesus is the main character of Tanach. Unfortunately you have both been misled by the Church.
The Messiah, whether Jesus or someone else, is not the focus of Tanach. He is neither the main character, nor that to which all Tanach points. In fact, he is hardly mentioned. The NT had to manufacture references to the Messiah in order to find Jesus within the pages of Tanach. This has been such an embarrassment to the Church, that to this day, they continue to manufacture such references. Virtually no verse is free from Christian tampering and reinterpretation. The truth is that the Church has substituted a message of its own imagination in place of the message given by God.
I would urge you to put Jesus from your mind and read the Torah without prejudicing yourself with the presupposition that it points to Jesus. Similarly, I would urge you to read more of R’ Blumenthal’s work here and consider carefully his words. Weigh them. Do not reject them precipitously. You will read in his work, the words of a man who engages with Torah to know God’s teaching, rather than one who seeks to impose upon God’s words his own fantasies.
I encourage you to read the critique of Itzhac that I have put forth on this blog and attempt to respond – I have not “nitpicked” – I have clearly demonstrated that Shapira’s entire premise is without foundation.
You could start here – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/innocent-trust/
me to and i hope to meet this brother in Yeshua when i come to Israel for my first time this Sukkot from Australia. Keep up the good work Itzhac for Yeshua.
Sorry Jim! I have all kinds of reservations about the Church because of what the Church has done to my family, and what they have done to your family as well, but I had to swallow my own pride, time and time again, reading the Tanakh. I found the same Yeshua that Itzhac, and Michael Brown, and Sid Roth found, and my little, seemingly insignificant life, has been blessed abundantly by Him. He’s the same G-d that spoke to Avraham, Yitscak, and Yacov, and He still speaks to men when they approach Him with a broken and contrite heart. His Son has been made King, and the Roman Church could not contain Him, or conceal Him with pagan incrustation. You can silence, and refute all you want, but you are fighting the Living Spirit of the Most High, and His Son who became a light unto all the nations, and His work is not finished. Instead of sounding like Rabbi Tovia Singer, ask the G-d of Avraham from a contrite heart for the truth. I say this because He does speak to men, and He does bless those who seek Him with a broken and contrite heart, and He corrects error! I use to know all about error, and those that knew me could see all kinds of error–both Jew and Gentile, but my life is different now, and those that know me could testify to this. I would not undo anything now–I found the Living G-d! Pick away at my testimony. I’ll be in good company!
I understand that your life may have changed in remarkable ways since you came to believe in Jesus. But I am not sure why you think this amounts to proof of anything. Many people put their faith in untrue systems and have big changes in their life. Many Mormons, for example, find that their lives are much improved by their newfound religious faith. Also, like Christians, they believe that a personal experience has verified for them the verity of their faith—they appeal to burning in the bosom.
And of course this is not limited to Mormons. Muslims have big life changes. So do Hindus and Buddhists. Even New Agers can have significant life improvements through their faith in the power of crystals, body energies, and other forces of the imagination.
I hardly think you hold them all to be true, because of the improvements in their lives.
So how does this happen? How do all of these people change their lives through the power of belief? I argue that what happens is a placebo effect, which is one reason the same faith will “work” for one and not for another. It is not that they are equally credible; they cannot all be true with their conflicting claims. Rather, like a sugar pill which alleviates pain because of a person’s certitude that he is taking a pain reliever, one, who previously felt himself helpless before his appetites, when he believes he has found spiritual help, is often able to overcome his appetites and change his life for the better.
An interesting documentary, called Kumare’, illustrates this point. The filmmaker wanted to show that religion is a sham, and that people are able to improve their own lives. He posed as a guru, growing his hair and beard, adopting an accent, and teaching yoga. People believed that he was a “holy man” and began to come to him for spiritual enlightenment. They hoped he could help them improve their lives. He taught them a meditation techniques where they passed a blue energy from one to the other, an object of the imagination that he invented. And, they believed that they actually were passing along this blue energy. And he told them they had the power to change.
As time went on, he got a core following. They really believed in him. They believed his spiritual teachings brought them enlightenment and changed their lives. But it was all made up. The point was that they had the power to change themselves the entire time. When he finally revealed the truth to them, a few were angry and left. Most were fascinated. But the point is, he invented a “spirituality” that seemed to improve one’s life. However, it was not true. The blue light was a fiction. They only imagined this spiritual energy.
But it appeared to be real to them. They were searching for something and they found it. Unfortunately, they were not searching for truth; so they did not find that. And the enlightenment they found turned out to be a product of their fruitful imaginations. They had attached themselves to fantasy.
Torah does not bring one to fantasy. It empowers the person through expectation, not through imagination. HaShem tells Cain that he can overcome sin. He does not need special intervention to live a good life. The Torah also commands the Jewish people to circumcise their hearts. I believe this means that one should bring his desires in line with the correct path. He should not fantasize about things that are inappropriate and degrading to the human being. He should not wish that he could violate the Torah. He must constantly bring his desires in line with the Torah, with the teachings of His Creator and Master.
Unfortunately, people sometimes feel powerless before their own desires. They desire a shortcut to happiness and personal improvement. They desire to be rescued from themselves. And when this happens, they are more easily influenced to embrace false religions. And, when they feel that the religion has given them the easy answer they desire, they become convinced of its verity. However, they are mistaken. They have not submitted themselves to Truth.
Christianity, in its many guises, has relieved man of personal responsibility. It has denied the value of man, that he can choose the good and refuse the evil. Torah tells us that the Law is not too hard to keep. And if we falter, it beckons us to return to God and His Torah.
Christianity offers an excuse to the sinner. It lies to him, convincing him that he could never have kept the Torah. It enforces his feeling of powerlessness, and tells him that it is all right. Someone has taken care of things for him. To this individual, he feels indebted and devotes himself to him. But this error is tremendous. The Torah was never beyond his reach, and the excuse offered to him by the followers of Jesus only convinces him of the futility of following God.
It is no proof of religious truth that it has changed your life. Many lives have been changed by religions you hold to be false. You do not hold them all equally true. The Truth will not be found by abandoning oneself to a sense of hopelessness or the search for easy answers. The Truth requires investigation and thought. Your life may very well be better, and I am glad for you that it is. But that does not make Christianity true, any more than Mormonism is true.
Hi Michael Cuber,
You wrote something that I find most troubling of all:
“Pick away at my testimony. I’ll be in good company!”
Perhaps you think this is a brave thing to say. Perhaps you think you are saying, “I’m so strong in my faith, in such good company, that I can withstand any onslaught.”
However, your words perhaps also reveal that you believe that now that you have found the truth you do not have to take seriously the arguments of sincere truth seekers who believe differently.
This type of thinking absolves you of the responsibility to use your reason to find the truth and to gain greater clarity about what God demands of us. This type of thinking allows you to come here to talk at us, rather than to talk to us and listen respectfully to our arguments.
Sadly, this typifies the Christian interaction with Jews over the last 20 centuries. The Christian refused to listen to the Jew, while forcing the Jew to listen to him. The Christian insisted the Jew convert, without trying to understand why the Jew objected. While forcible conversions are out of fashion, Christians still refuse to find out why the Jews, alone among all peoples and cultures where Christianity was imposed, resisted the message of Christianity.
It takes humility and patience and graciousness to listen to the other side, to try to understand its arguments, and to prepare a well-reasoned and carefully thought out response. It also takes courage. Have you the courage to listen?
Peace and blessings,
Dina, if you found an unlimited supply of something that could cure every problem for everyone that you ever knew, wouldn’t you share it with them? Of course you would want to share it! I did not find anything on my own. When I was so broken down that I finally cried “Father if you can get me out of this I Surrender,” He answered, and He testifies to His Son Yeshua. Horrible things have been done in the name of Christianity which has been used more as a tool to control than anything else. I’m sure your family has been hurt just as much as mine has by the Church, but you have to remember that this Church was organized and controlled by the same Rome that sacked our Temple and scattered us to the four winds. I love to talk with people about their faith; it is what I spend most of my time doing in the places I work. When I say that I will be in good company I’m talking about those like Sid Roth, Michael Brown, and Rabbi Shapira who are my brothers in Yeshua, but I know what the reaction will be like when we try and share, but we do it anyway because of our love for others. Yeshua took the strokes that were due me, and there is nothing I can really do to repay Him.
Michael, what would you say to a Jew who is not broken, who in fact leads a deeply spiritually fulfilling life, who has a strong connection to the one true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who experiences regular, periodic spiritual highs, who takes tremendous satisfaction in the work he does on his own personal growth and in nurturing loving relationships with his spouse, children, and fellows?
Is the only way to become a Christian to be “lucky” that you received a personal visitation from Jesus? (By the way, I’m interested in details. When Jesus appeared to you, how did you know it was him? Why are you so certain? Was it a feeling? Or did you have a visitation, complete with a halo and a speech? Not really relevant, but I am curious.)
I am sure that you recognize that if your experience is not in line with Scripture then it ought to be rejected no matter how spectacular it seems. This being the case (and correct me if I misunderstood you) then you must admit that the issue is not your experience but the testimony of Scripture. Please read the thorough refutations of Dr. Brown and Itzhak Shapira’s arguments posted on the this blog and respond to them – I will do my best to respectfully consider your arguments and write out a response.
here are the refutations
In Reply to Dina: When I cried out, it was to the G-d of Avraham, Yitscak, and Yacov. What happened several hours later is beyond my ability to do justice describing. The most significant point was a since of warmth and Love that I’d never had in my life before. I knew what lust was, but I felt real Love for the first time in my life. I want you to know that I’ve always tried to be Observant to the Law. I came from a broken family background, but I knew what the Law was from and early age. I’d been in a combat related accident in Biodoa Somalia in 1993, and I never fully recovered from it; I’d sustained several injuries to my head, neck, and spine. After my “EXPERIENCE” I was on my feet again. At 44, I got my fire fighter certification, and re-certified as an Emergency Medical Technician. I got a job with Shell Oil as a Remote Medic on Oil Support Vessels, and I also got dive certified. I was doing things I would have never dreamed of. I know exactly what David felt when he ran on a troop of men, or leaped upon a wall. The overwhelming revelation that I had the night of my experience was that He, the Father, actually sent His Son to die for me. It was the main point of His meeting! I won’t even try to explain this Trinity thing, I really don’t think anyone truly understands the relation between G-d and Yeshua. As to your question, we have one G-d and Father who is over all, and I appreciate all commitment to Him, He is our Creator, and Author of our Lives.
My reply to my Pharisee Friend: I’ve watched all your refutations, and your associates, of Dr. Brown, Rabbi Moskowitz and Rabbi Shapira that I could find, and when they support their argument with passages from Tanakh again, and again, their opponents simply try to drowned out their voices with carefully chosen Talmudic commentary while avoiding the actual argument. We need a High Priest! We need a Meshaich, and our Heavenly Father knew this, and told us so in Tanakh!
You have accused me falsely.
I challenge you to show me one place in the hundreds of pages that I have written where I respond to a quotation from Tanach with a quote from Talmud. It is the missionaries who misquote Talmud to negate the message of Tanach.
It seems that the one miracle that Jesus cannot do for you is give you the truth. – And my friend, that is the only miracle that counts.
Even though the Rabbi doesn’t use Talmud to further the point I just can’t help but wonder Why there is such a visceral hatred of Talmud. Evidently it is simply because those of the Talmud were part of the Pharisee Tradition.
As to the point of your testimony. We can conclude that those persons who have some catastrophic circumstance in their lives are healed emotionally with Xtianity. Since this is the common thread we can also say if a person, such as myself, who has Not had such emotional trauma therefore has no benefit from such a religion. This is quite clear since missionaries gravitate to those who are vulnerable.
Michael, thanks for taking the time to share your testimony with me. I have a question for you. On the night that you felt this overwhelming love and had this sudden miraculous healing, you also had a revelation that Jesus died for your sins. What was the nature of that revelation?
Did the experience occur before the revelation or after? How do you know that the experience had anything to do with Jesus? Was it a feeling in your heart? Did you hear a mysterious voice in your head?
Michael, I would like to be respectful, and I do not like to call anyone a liar, but you wrote a great, big whopper in your comment here.
You wrote: “I’ve watched all your refutations, and your associates, of Dr. Brown, Rabbi Moskowitz and Rabbi Shapira that I could find, and when they support their argument with passages from Tanakh again, and again, their opponents simply try to drowned out their voices with carefully chosen Talmudic commentary while avoiding the actual argument.”
If you wish to reestablish your credibility, then find an example of a refutation on this website that contains “carefully chosen Talmudic commentary” that is “avoiding the actual argument” or retract your statement.
If having a spiritual experience such as yours turns you into a liar, then why would any one of us want a part in it?
I recently broke a rule I made for myself and posted comments on a blog other than this one. (I have limited myself to one so that I do not spend an inordinate amount of time posting comments.) One poster there complained, as you have here, about the unfairness of Jews arguing back against the Christian missionaries. Christians like Shapira have adopted a siege mentality, where they begin by proselytizing and end by “defending their faith”. One Christian missionary holds “countering the counter-missionary” seminars. (I joke that he is now a counter-counter-missionary, a CCM.) These Christians feel that their faith is under fire and must be protected. To address this mindset, I wrote the following parable on the other blog. I hope you will see the relevance:
Once, as often happens, a certain kingdom went to war with another in hopes of subjugating it. The kingdom’s army was a great host, thought more than capable of overwhelming the small numbers of those to be conquered. But when the invading army came to the capital city, it discovered that its walls were impregnable. And so the army began a siege.
For two years, the city held out, subsisting on what supplies within its walls. But in the beginning of the third year, supplies were low. Starvation would soon become a real threat. The inhabitants of the city feared that they would begin dying in great numbers soon. So they decided they must do what they had been reticent to do heretofore. They must send their army out to battle the immense host outside their gates if they were to have any hope of surviving. And so they did.
The invading army was surprised to see their enemy finally take the field. They knew not how to respond. Worriedly, they began digging ditches and erecting defenses for themselves.
“We are under attack!” one general shouted with fear.
The king of the invading army was horrified to face a desperate foe. He could not believe the audacity of these barbarians raising an army against him. He sent delegates to nearby kingdoms pleading for help:
“The barbarians have launched an unprovoked attack! Please send us aid in this dire hour. We have begun taking casualties from their sneak attack. Come witness their underhanded double-dealings for yourself! And when you see their perfidy, stand with us!”
How do you think his message was received?
Jim, another great analogy. You should write a book :).
I believe Larry’s putting the book together.
Lol, that’s awesome!
That’s correct. And while working with Jim is very rewarding, the pay is lousy.
Very funny. My undying gratitude isn’t enough?
Just kiddin boss 🙂
I think that we should look at another point. You said that R’ Blumenthal and others have tried to drown out Dr. Brown, Mr. Shapira, etc. with Talmudic passages. I do not know to whom you have been listening, but it certainly is not R’ Blumenthal.
But if you think this is an unfair form of argumentation, then you ought to cry foul on the missionaries. The missionaries claim that they can prove Jesus to you from the scriptures, but then when it is shown to them that they are mistaken, they bring it other criteria for substantiating their claims. The worst and most frequent is the appeal to a personal experience. What happened to the scripture?
One missionary, turned CCM, announced from the stage that the rabbis could argue from logic all they wanted; it would make no difference, because he had a personal experience. (The personal experience included stuffing cocaine up his nose and it not having the expected effect.) Although he would not put it this way, that is an admission that he does not have sound reason on his side, but that he will not be moved. So he expects others to trust his coke experience more than they do the Bible.
But more to the point, he moved the goal posts. He appeals to the scriptures and says that the case for Jesus can be found there. And then he changes the criterion. He falls back to his own subjective experience.
Now I ask you: which are we to trust, the Torah or his experiences?
Secondly, the missionaries and counter-counter-missionaries have shown the greatest hypocrisy in applying context. Say to a missionary or a CCM that God tells us that He is neither a man nor a son of man, suddenly cries of “Context!” ring out. They will be quick to inform you that the context is only telling us that God does not lie (like people do) or change their mind (like people do). Let us ignore for the moment that choosing the phrase “son of man” is a strange one to employ if God is going to in fact walk around calling himself “the son of man”. (After all, he could just say that He does not lie or change his mind.) The only time the context of Tanach matters is when it contradicts the CCM’s doctrine.
The NT routinely takes the Tanach out of context. Moreover, at points it alters it. These things the CCM does not protest at all. They even write apologetic defenses of these abuses, seeking to justify them whenever they can. (And for this, they will twist the Talmud, the employment of which you seem to find objectionable.) When Hosea writes of Israel’s exodus from Egypt, Matthew truncates the passage to make it appear Christological. This is entirely dishonest. But where are the cries of “Context!” coming from the CCM? Instead, they twist themselves into pretzels attempting to justify the malfeasance of the NT writers.
Now they do object to the NT being taken out of context. One must not ever violate their sense of the NT. They do not defend the Torah, however. And their own words? Those they jealousy guard. Again they are quick to appeal to the context. But the Words of God, they allow to be misused. They do not so jealousy guard His Words as they do their own.
I wish they could claim ignorance. I wish they could say that they just never looked up the references of the NT, that they took them for granted. But the missionaries and counter-counter-missionaries have now been exposed to the fraudulent uses of Tanach by the NT authors. They have seen how Tanach has been misrepresented. But they did not concern themselves with the truth. Instead, they ignored their claim that they could prove Jesus to us from the “Old Testament”. They retreated to their personal experiences.
I do not know every rabbi who responded to Brown or Shapira or other CCMs. But I do know that the CCMs do not argue properly. They constantly take things out of context, be it scripture or the words of rabbis. Yet they clearly do not find this to be a legitimate practice, because they object strenuously when they feel the words of the NT or themselves are being taken out of context. Moreover, they all but admit that their argument is unable to stand. At the moment when it has been made clear that they failed to prove Jesus from Torah, they appeal to a new criterion, their experience. They have been intellectually dishonest with themselves and with you. And while it would do no good to be angry with them for what is most likely an unintentional deception, it would be equally futile to give credence to their empty rhetoric.