Messianic Discrimination – a response to James

“To them, all Jews are still Jews, whether they be  atheist, agnostic, Chassidic, Orthodox or Reformed- EXCEPT for those Jews who  believe that Yeshua is the Messiah!!!”

                                                                                                        James Ashmore January 2014

 

Dear James

It  seems that you are under the impression that the Jewish community singles out  believers in Jesus for unfair treatment. You seem to believe that the Jewish  community accepts a broad range of beliefs but blindly rejects belief in Jesus  as non-Jewish. You can see no reason for this treatment aside from a blind bias  against Jesus that we have inherited together with our mother’s milk.

You  are not the only one to believe this myth. So I will take the opportunity to  clarify and to bring some light to this discussion.

As  an Orthodox Jew I can say that my community has not engaged in this type of  discrimination. My community believes that the only authentic expression of  Judaism is one which accepts the living testimony of the Jewish nation as God’s  witnesses and that every belief system that rejects this testimony cannot  rightly itself “Judaism.”

My  community further affirms that everyone born to a Jewish mother or one who has  converted to Judaism as defined by the legacy of our nation, is a Jew. If these  Jews do not follow the faith of their nation then we reach out to them in an  attempt to share with them the light of their inheritance.

Your “accusation” does hold true against various secular  community organizations. In a typical North American city with a sizable Jewish  population there will be some sort of federation which would exclude believers  in Yeshua/Jesus from membership in their group. They will include Orthodox,  Conservative, Reform, atheists, communists but not followers of Jesus. And I  applaud their decision and I respect their courage for taking this stand on  behalf of their nation. I take this position for several reasons, none of which  have to do with a “blind hatred for Jesus which I imbibed with my mother’s  milk.”

As  a Jew who sees my nation as an entity that stands in a covenantal relationship  with the Creator of heaven and earth I am deeply saddened by the fact that many  members of my people do not appreciate this relationship. But I do take courage  in the fact that they have not entered into a similar relationship with another  entity.

I  see this like a marriage. You have a wife or husband who ignores their spouse.  You have couples who have separated from each other. These are all far from the  ideal marriage. But until one of them marries another person then the  relationship has not been violated.

An  atheistic Jew who doesn’t believe in God is ignoring or even denying his or her  relationship with God. But the relationship has not been violated by a  conflicting relationship with another entity. The Messianic who has committed  themselves to Jesus has committed spiritual adultery against Israel’s covenant  relationship with God.

From a secular standpoint I would articulate this  sentiment from a different angle. The Jewish people’s relationship with God is  not only a teaching about God. It is a teaching about all existence. And that  teaching is that no entity within the realm of finite existence has the right to  lord itself over any other entity. In ages past, Jews attributed all lordship to  the One Creator of heaven and earth. Today, many Jews no longer live with that  ideal. But even those Jews who have left the ways of their ancestors still  maintain this one tie with their Jewish heritage; that they will not attribute  lordship to another human being. The Jew who believes in the deity of Jesus  stands apart from the deepest core testimony of the Jewish people; that no man  is inherently a lord of another.

There is more to this. Would you understand if the  Jewish Federation would refuse membership to a group of Jews who have pledged  loyalty to Hitler? I think you would. You are obviously appalled that I see  Jesus as an equivalent to Hitler. In your mind Jesus and Hitler are polar  opposites. But I have great news for you. In the minds of millions of Christians  and for many dark centuries Jesus and Jew-hatred were synonymous. Your Jesus might be a nice guy, but you must recognize that your version of Jesus is a newcomer to the  stage of history. The Jesus that lived in the minds and hearts of millions of  Christians taught the world that the Jews are subhuman. Can you blame the Jewish  people for their dislike of Jesus? After all, if Jesus would not have been born  then Hitler would never have been able to commit his crimes.

Let  me leave you with one more reason for this “discrimination” against Jewish  believers in Jesus. The concept of “Messianic Judaism” was invented by  Christians with the direct intention of converting Jews to Christianity. The  Messianic movement is rooted in a conscious missionary effort and is not a  natural outgrowth of any internal Jewish sentiment. This movement is not a  product of the Jewish community; it is a conscious product of the missionary  effort of the Church. The fact that many Jews have fallen prey to this  propaganda tactic does not make it “Jewish.” “Messianic Judaism” is a deliberate  forgery designed to confuse Jews into converting to Christianity.

Can you understand where we are coming from?

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63 Responses to Messianic Discrimination – a response to James

  1. Sophiee says:

    The Jews who worshiped Ba’al excluded themselves from Judaism and our special relationship with G-d. The Jews who took part in creating the golden calf (3000 of them) were put to death. They were Jews who became kareit — cut off from Judaism and from G-d. This is what a Jew does who becomes a Christian. One can no more be a “Jew for Jesus” than one can be an Islamic Christian — the very term is an oxymoron where one term is the opposite of the other.

    I’m often asked why Jews reject Jesus. We do not “reject Jesus.” We are fulfilling our relationship with G-d which we committed to at Sinai. We ACCEPT our brit — our promises to G-d. Jesus is not part of the equation — and a Jew who follows Jesus has abdicated his or her Jewishness. The good news is that at any time a Jew may return to G-d (make teshuvah). G-d is loving, and infinitely patient, B”H!

    • Yochanan K says:

      I pray and long that Yeshua reveals himself to all his chosen people (The Jewish People).
      Please accept my concern and i hope that Yeshua brings abundant healing. Shavua Tov!

      • Sharbano says:

        I will simply paste from another comment. There is no purpose in following Jsus.

        There’s an underlying similarity between most all Xtian testimonies. The more despair the more the zealotry. It is understandable how a burden can be lifted and attributed to an individual that walked the earth. We can understand this through psychology. If a person is burdened with despair and has a means to remove it that person will choose that method. The person will be convinced that he will bear absolutely NO responsibility if he chooses that path. This is not only appealing but necessary for that person to heal his mental health. Once a person has been convinced he bears absolutely NO responsibility by the act of declaration and that is attributable to his god it reinvigorates that belief when he feels the burden lifted. It’s the act of removing responsibility that caused the change, not an act of a man-god. It is this reason that the same effect occurs withing other religions and not solely the benefit of Xtianity.

  2. Dina says:

    James probably doesn’t quite realize how anti-Semitic this myth is that he subscribes to.

  3. Paul summers says:

    Hello
    Might I just add my view here. You have just stated that if Jesus had not been born then AH would not have commited his crimes. Personally I think that statement bares all the truth of arogance and blind ignorance of the God that you blieve in.
    In this world today, and in days gone by the human condition refuses to acknowledge ones own fault and just cannot accept truths. Less one comes to repentance.
    The very de fault for ones own pittyful state is to shift blame to someone else.

    Consider this as the truth. Nothing happens in this world without Adonais pre forknowledge. Millions of deaths are not a direct persecution from the church. Israel are suffering because of the consecuence of her own actions. I dont get pleasure in saying this but Israrel are responsible for crimes against herself. God warned you through Moses and all the other prophets but you would not listen. And for that all those millions have payed a heavfty price. If God wanted to stop the likes of butchers like AH, then he would have.

    “Let His blood be on our hands”
    “Behold your King! we have no king, ceasar is our king”

    Jesus the Jew made it very clear that if you reject Him then you in turn reject the Father who sent Him, as He was the Express image of the Father. So its not christians who kill Jews, its Gods permissable delegated authority to satan, why??? because Israel gave up the oppurtunity of having there Messianic kingdom. Israel as a nation will have to wait for the church age and the time of the gentiles to end before she can her Messianic kingdom.

    Jesus himself and true believers in Him do not kill Jews. The NT clearly teaches that salvation comes FROM the Jews, not gentiles!
    Accept Jesus today as the God man who died to pay the penalty for your sins and save yourself from the further wrath of the tribulation. If you thought the last 2000 yrs were bad, well according to God there is more come, worst than ever. Not from christians but from satan. No Jews?? No second coming of Jesus! Its Israel who WILL repent and call on Him. Satan knows this. All you are doing are playing into his hands by rejecting Jesus Messiah.

    Wake up House of Jacob Israel. X

    • Dina says:

      Hi Paul.

      Nice to see you again, bearing your message of love.

      By your logic, since the Jews deserved what they got and hopefully more and worse coming soon, then Hitler was a good guy! He was carrying out God’s wishes.

      If I follow your thinking to its logical conclusion, then since Hashem has foreknowledge of every death, if He wanted to He would stop every murder from taking place. Since He doesn’t, that means that every murder is His will, every victim deserved it, and the perpetrator is carrying out God’s will. Therefore, the Coptic Christians being slaughtered in Egypt are also getting what God wants them to get, and the Muslim Brotherhood guys carrying out these attacks are the good guys. (Just to be clear, what is happening to Christians in Egypt is horrific and I don’t understand why Christians are not doing more to help them.)

      Two theological questions:

      One. If God wants Jews to suffer for rejecting Jesus, why is SATAN the one inflicting the suffering? According to your theology, Satan opposes God. So he should be saving Jews from their deaths, not sending them to their deaths. Shouldn’t he be trying to foil God’s plans?

      Two. Jews are punished, according to you, for their role in killing Jesus (you quoted “let his blood be on our hands”). If Jesus was supposed to die to atone for everyone’s sins, then Jews should be rewarded for doing everyone a favor and getting the job done. I don’t understand Christian fury at the Jews for their alleged role in killing Jesus (I say “alleged” because the whole story is fiction anyway).

      Finally, beliefs such as the ones you express here are what caused unspeakable suffering to my people. You don’t see this, and I cannot make you see this. May God have mercy on your soul.

      Dina

    • Wow, within your attempt to “wake Jews up” you fail to see the small planted seeds of Jew hatred masked in love that you send.
      So, Jews died in the holocaust for rejecting Jesus, eh? So says the great theologian Paul here.
      Let me tell YOU something Paul. Many non-Jews died in the Holocaust too. Many of those were Christians. Christians who rejected nazi rule, were clergy or who were disabled and deemed “unsuitable” to be able aryans. Yes, Paul. Christians died in the Holocaust too, why did they die? Are you going to tell me that the Jews that were murdered in the Holocaust died for rejecting jesus but the Chrisitans who were also killed in the Holocaust died for…what, gee as saints or martyrs for their faith? Wow, G-d must have not been able to make up His mind during the 1930s and 1940s, I mean someone must have really messed up in heaven if you get some people in the Holocaust and say “ok, you die for not believing in jesus and you…well you believed in jesus but you die for believing in him and now are a martyr and saint”.

      Paul, you’re not waking anyone up with your logic. If you think that your version of “god” is capable of sending little children to get gassed in the death camps of Europe for not believing in jesus then your god is not the G-d I worship. I don’t know who your deity is. My G-d, the G-d of Israel is not like that. Not to mention that your version of “god” sounds bipolar. I mean, he sends people to the gas chambers and gets the nazis to murder little innocent children for not believing in jesus but THEN gets bipolar and rewards Jews with the return of Israel as a sovereign state of their own in 1948. And THEN rewards Jews again by letting that very small selected group of Jews recovering from the ashes of the holocaust to DEFEAT all the Arab armies. As soon as Israel became a country, the Arabs invaded and swore they would throw all Jews into the sea, I mean, the whole world thought that Israel was going to loose but it won by the hand of G-d! And G-d rewarded Israel AGAIN in 1967 by having Israel defeat the Arab armies who tried to invade again. Not only was there a miracle in winning in just 7 days but Jerusalem was liberated. You call all these miracles doom for rejecting Jesus?
      I mean, does this work with your logic? “Oh you Jews are suffering for rejecting jesus and there is more to come”. WOW, yet every day G-d protects Israel.

      I am usually a very polite person but once you get into the Holocaust and attack the memory of the people who were murdered in the camps, the Jewish people who I love, then I loose respect for such a person. Sorry, but I do. Paul. You should not bring up the Holocaust in this. It was not good logic to try to use when in reality Jews have SURVIVED all the nation’s attempts of destruction. You think persecutions scare Jews? You think they’re a sign of rejecting your messiah? I say they are proof that Israel is the seed that G-d blessed. Because through it wall, Jews have stood tall and SURVIVED all of that persecution. Where are the ancient Romans? Where are the Phoenicians, the Hittites, Mesopotamians. Are they still nations now? No, they turned to dust. But Jews ARE still a nation. From Mt. Sinai to today! Really, how could you look at history and see the survival/SUCCESS of the Jewish people (achievements, Nobel peace prize winners, inventors, geniuses etc) and not just totally get it wrong but confuse all the survival as “punishment for rejecting jesus”. WOW. You want to know something, Paul.. Napoleon and Mark Twain looked at the history books and realized there was something special about the Jewish people. It was not “they’re doomed to be persecuted for rejecting jesus”. As Mark Twain said “The Jew saw them all, beat them all” “all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”

      And YOU totally missed the message.

      ps: Many Jews survived the holocaust. If G-d was punishing for not believing in jesus, then he didn’t do a good job as there were many survivors left. I know most Christians unlike Paul, don’t believe in such nonsense as this. They know better than to believe that the holocaust happened for “rejecting jesus”. But I do know that Christians believe that good prevails and evil is punished. So, one more question Paul. If you’re logic is right about the holocaust happening for rejecting Jesus etc. Why did G-d show favor to the Jewish people and had Israel be reestablished as a country but then punished all the Nazis and nazi collaborators? I mean, hitler killed himself and his officers were executed at the Nuremberg trials. Again, wow. To everyone else, I apologize for loosing my temper. Don’t mess with the Holocaust.

      • Yedidiah says:

        No need to apologize. You were too kind. Paul S appears to be closer to Hitler than to the Jesus he pretends to believe in. Or at least he sounds too much like those Nazis who believed that they were doing their god’s will.

        He appears to be confused on many points, one of which is when he quotes that the Jews said that “Caesar is their king” which is the exact opposite of the facts of history. Jews refused to bow to and give offerings to the man-god Caesar. That was one of the primary causes of a war with Rome which resulted in the destruction of the Temple (the same one that according to the gospels Jesus claimed was his “father’s”). Actually Jesus would have been more of a worshipper of the pagan Caesar, since he criticizes Jews more than Caesar and Rome (“give to Caesar what is Caesar’s” because all that Jews owned really belonged to Caesar, and Jesus sided more with Caesar’s cruel tax collectors than to those Jews oppressed by Caesar).

    • LarryB says:

      pa ul
      Check out Wikipedia
      World War II casualties
      Or
      Holocaust victims
      How many of the 60 to 80 million deaths do you think we’re Christians?
      Sounds like your saying god punished Jews for not believing in Jesus.
      Which would be a thought crime. And he inadvertently killed up to say 80 million
      People to accomplish this? have you been drinking again?

    • Tsvi Jacobson says:

      Paul: I couldn’t let this go!!!! Accept Jesus as the god-man who died to pay the penalty for my sin? Are you insane? As a Jew I was commanded by the True Bible that I must not accept any god but to be faithful to he who is the one True God…. Now how do I do this. I will tell you….I must study this bible and search out in this one revelation as to the truth. Guess what Paul…In not one place does my bible clearly state that God would take
      on flesh to save me. So just keep your so called revelation that isn’t
      Tsvi Jacobson

  4. Sophiee says:

    So let me get this straight, Paul Summers just wrote that Anne Frank and countless innocent men, women and children were so guilty of some heinous evil that they DESERVED to be murdered? Using that bit of anti-Jewish logic he must think that Jesus was the worst human who ever lived since he was murdered, too — right? After all the victim DESERVED IT.

    The prophet Isaiah was so right when he wrote about us Jews “(The Jews were) despised and isolated from men, a man of pains and accustomed to illness. As one from whom we would hide our faces; he was despise and we had no regard for him. 4 But in truth it was our ills that he bore, and our pains that he carried — but we had regarded him diseased, stricken by G-d and afflicted! 5 He was pained because of our rebellious sins and oppressed through our iniquities; the chastisement upon him was for our benefit, and through his wounds we were healed. 6 We have all strayed like sheep each of us turning his own way and HaShem inflicted upon him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was persecuted and afflicted but did not open his mouth; like a sheep being led to the slaughter or a ewe that is silent before her shearers, he did not open his mouth.”

    Isaiah was speaking of Paul and the others who blame us Jews (and despise us) as we bear THEIR sins. When the real messiah comes and our “lot” at the hands of the other nations is finally ended those nations who have persecuted us and blamed us for THEIR evil to us will marvel that we Jews could have survived the expulsion from “the land of the living, i.e. Israel, that the nations had sinfully inflicted upon it. Ordinary Jews have died like common criminals, rather than renounce their faith; and wealthy Jews were killed for no reason other than to enable their wicked conquerors to confiscate their riches — and the evil doers don’t see their own evil. They ignore the words of Isaiah — and they blame the victim.

    G-d in His glory foresaw it all. As Isaiah 53:11 states, Israel will teach the nations of G-d’s righteousness.

  5. Paul
    If rejecting Jesus brought the holocaust upon us – I thank God that it effectively prevented us from being the perpetrators

  6. Well said, but I think James is going to have a heart attack at the hitler/jesus comparison, even if you explained it perfectly.

    Basically… MANY “messianics” are not even Jewish. Many of them are not born of Jewish and rather “convert” to messianic and then call themselves Jews. Some are born Jews but many messianics really are not. One who is not born Jewish can only be regarded as Jewish IF they do a real, halachic (valid) conversion according to Jewish law. So in no way can the Gentiles who convert to “messianic” be Jews. Sure, they may call themselves “messianic Jews” all they want but they are not really Jewish. I have heard of such cases where a person meets someone who is dressed as a Jew (aka wearing a kippa, beard, Tefillin, tallit etc…) only to upon conversation realize that the person was not born Jewish but rather had a “messianic conversion”. Can you believe such thing?
    The other part of messianic Jews who really are born Jewish, may be halachic Jews but their beliefs are not Jewish.
    “Messianic Judaism” is NOT a Jewish idea. It is a christian church idea that was IMPLANTED into Judaism when churches found that it was hard to evangelize Jews to churches. They felt it was much much easier to evangelize Jews to churches dressed up as “temples”. Because at least “temples” looked more familiar to those Jews who have vague memories of going to a synagogue occasionally as a kid here and there.
    For the most part, James, even the “messianic Jews” have had a bit of a rejection of a “church” setting, that is why they are going to “temples” dressed up to look Jewish. It’s not about some deep inbred hatred of J. I don’t hate him. I don’t believe in him, that’s for sure but I don’t hate him either. Rather, I hate the fact that people try to mislead Jews away from the Torah. Do I hate christians? No.

    Basically, “messianic Jews” rather than be “discriminated” against are on the wrong side. They belong to the Baptists, Evangelical, Protestant clubs and groups. They fit right in with them. Rather than try to go to the Jewish Unions composed of real Jews (born and real converts), the “messianic Jews” (composed of non-Jews and Jews who replaced the Torah for J) are freely able to join as many Christian clubs and unions as they like. I mean, those are their roots, their baptist roots.
    I have to repeat my point… “messianic judaism” is not a Jewish concept, It is not a branch that shot out of Judaism. It was a Chrisitan idea that was developed by protestants and injected into the Jewish spectrum. WHY should Jewish unions and groups accept this non-Jewish concept?

    Are you going to start suggesting that “muslims for jesus” should demand to be accepted into Islamic unions and groups and cry discrimination if they’re not?

    • Annelise says:

      Muslims for Jesus are a different thing… they are generally trying to avoid the life-threatening danger that would come by identifying as ‘apostates’.

  7. Yosef says:

    Doesn’t Maimonides say Atheism is worse than idolatry?

  8. Marilyn says:

    Unless a Jew does something horrific like becoming a Nazi, all Jews should be fully accepted and that includes Jews who believe in Jesus.

    • Messianic Jews are more than able to approach and join christian groups. They can go to Baptist and Evangelical groups (aka religions whose views are identical to them). Messianic Judaism is like 99% identical to those protestant groups. Unlike that, Messianic Judaism seems to be only about 1% like Judaism and that 1% is only because some of those messianics are born Jews and they do “Jewish-like” things (that come from the Oral Torah laws that they reject like wearing kippot etc).

      I know for a fact that christians are very welcoming people, so they would have no problem with fully accepting “Messianic Jews” as their fellow christan brethren, which is what Messianic Jews are, they are Jews who are christians. So, they have plenty of christian groups they can be friends with and accepted.

      • Marilyn says:

        It quite true that Christians are welcoming people. However, the Jews are a people and a nation. Despite any religious differences there are amongst Jews they should be a united family. It is very beautiful for Messianic Jews to have fellowship with other Christians. However, it is sad for a Messianic Jew to be separated from his or her own people. I think you would agree that it is a sad situation if a child is rejected by the biological family, although acceptance by friends is a very good thing.

        • Dina says:

          Yet it does happen sometimes that a child is for good reason rejected by his siblings. If he crosses a line that is unacceptable to his family, he might find himself on the other side of the door.

          Messianic Jews have crossed a line. As soon as they cross back over–that is, as soon as they disown their idolatrous beliefs–they will be welcomed back with open arms. We want them to come back.

          I pray that you come back too, and soon.

          Love,
          Dina

        • Marilyn
          If a Messianic is looking for some brotherly love – we will give it to them. What I am talking about here is their demand for recognition as a legitimate expression of Judaism – they want their beliefs to be included under the umbrella of Judaism. That is something different and that is something that we cannot do without trampling on the sacrifice of previous generations of Jews and without trampling on the covenant that we share with God

  9. C.S says:

    Marilyn, every religion has dividing lines between what makes them in or outside of the realms of that religion. Jews for Jesus are not simply differing from other Jews on one small issue, that they think Jesus is the Messiah and others don’t. That is not the only thing that divides them, they may choose to dress like Jews, and follow the Jewish calendar and festivals… but they fuse all of these rituals with christological meanings. They believe in doing Jewish things as long as it doesn’t conflict with Pauline Christian theology. They accept the New Testament and claim that it is Jewish because Jesus was a Jew. There is a distinction between accepting every Jew and accepting every “Judaism,” I have no doubt that many people who are involved in Jews for Jesus may be born Jews, that doesn’t make what they believe or do Jewish.

    If we turn this around, maybe it will make a bit more sense. All Christians follow Jesus, most of them will claim he is the Messiah, their Saviour, the Son of God, God the Son…. and accept the New Testament Scriptures. Supposing that I decided to insist on calling myself a Christian, I start living like a Christian, and found a movement called Christians for Hashem or something to that effect. We will pray in “Churches” on a Sunday, sing Christian hymns… If you weren’t a regular Church goer you would think it was a just some kind of Church. We keep the Christian holidays, but we reinterpret their meanings to fit purely with teachings of the Hebrew bible. I will accept the New Testament but will be selective with its passages, I will quote from it only passages which I think match up with the Hebrew Bible, and ignore all the letters of Paul and other texts that have a Pauline influence, anti-semitic tone… Jesus to me is not the Messiah, he didn’t die to atone for sin, he is simply a first century rabbi who died as a martyr, and I will not exalt him in any way, he is simply one of many rabbis, and I will spend more time perhaps teaching the congregation about the Oral law and the similar teachings from other sages found in Pirke Avot for example, showing how Jesus is not really unique, he is following in a tradition from Hillel and others before him and after him… So as you can see, this group of mine claims to believe in Jesus, but when you scrutinize our beliefs we don’t believe in him at all, we will insist that we do, we believe he is a Rabbi and that’s all true Christianity was about, Jesus founded a movement based on a specific approach and emphasis, much like how the Baal Shem Tov founded the Chasidic movement to teach praising hashem with joy, theologically we are Jewish and our teachings if lined up with Judaism will match identically, yet we insist that because we recognize Jesus as a Rabbi and a Jewish martyr against Rome that we have a right to call ourselves Christians because we pray in English in Churches on Sundays and may make use of Christian traditions, holidays, terminology and symbols.

    I don’t think it would be unfair to say that most Christians would think this is ridiculous, Christ means Messiah, to deny that Jesus was anything but the Messiah, or the son of God is not Christianity. We may even argue Jesus was A son of God, but in biblical terms Son of God means something different to the Christian belief which is in fact a pagan understanding of the term. In Jesus’s day the term son of God meant someone who simply had a close relationship with God.

    So why would anyone want to invent such a group? Well if Judaism were a proselytizing religion like Christianity, then one might argue that, like Christian missionary groups such as Jews for Jesus, it would wean Christians towards true monotheism and Judaism whilst recognizing that Xmas and Easter and Church are a part of their culture and identity which giving them up would be an obstacle for them becoming Jews, so rather than call them Jews, we’ll say “True Christians,” who reject the false idolatrous practices that Bishops introduced later! “We follow Jesus and God whilst other Christians follow the teachings of the gentile Popes, Bishops, Pastors, Priests and Church fathers.”

    I would not be surprised if Christians of nearly all denominations would agree that whilst Catholics may not regard protestants to be on the right path or vice versa, they would both agree that they are Christians, but neither would agree that the group I described above can be called an authentic expression of Christianity.

    It is clear that a Christian is not simply someone who believes in or follows Jesus. It is not possible to call yourself a Christian and not believe that Jesus was the Messiah or the Son of God. I gave the example above that it is evident from all denominations of Judaism that believing in Jesus as the Messiah crosses a line that distinguishes Jew from Christian, and likewise if some group of non Christians were to start calling themselves Christians but deny the fundamental Christian teachings about Jesus the Christian world would too not accept this group as Christians.

    There are many Christians here in the UK who have converted to Islam, and Muslims proselytize to Christians openly. But what if Islam looked to what Christian missionaries do to the Jews through groups like Jews for Jesus and figured that they would use a similar strategy called Christians for Mohammed. So again, who pray in “Churches” employ Christian traditions… but their theology is Islamic, their religious texts includes the Koran as well as the Old and New Testament… And when there is a difference of opinion on a teaching or interpretation… they will always fall in line with the Islamic teaching. This group however could easily make the claim that they haven’t abandoned Christianity, they do believe in Jesus, even accepting the Virgin birth… they however believe he was a Prophet, not just a Rabbi, but not divine or God the son…. They call themselves Complete Christians rather than Muslims, for they have accepted Gods final messenger… It would be absurd for us to expect any Christian group to accept these proselytizing groups who are trying to use deceptive means to represent Islam or Judaism posing it as Christianity.

    Jews for Jesus and Messianic Jews will argue that the first followers of Jesus were Jewish, and they were able to be Jews and believe Jesus was the Messiah. This is true, but this group ceased to exist by about 5-600CE, the Nazarenes who then became known as the Ebionites, believed Jesus was the Messiah, but if you study their theology and practices… Messianic Jews are not as they claim a modern revival of these groups and their beliefs. They did not believe Jesus was divine, they didnt believe he died to atone for sin, they didn’t accept Paul as an Apostle, they didn’t belief in the Virgin birth, they didn’t reject the Oral law, they didn’t have a New Testament… They were extremely strict in their observance of the Torah… As time moved on a group called the Elkesites who broke away from the Ebionites due to being influenced by the ideas of the growing gentile Churches, came to accept some of their doctrines like the Virgin birth narrative, these groups eventually joined various gentile Churches or ceased to exist. What Messianic Jews believe is no different to gentile Christianity, with the ideas that developed later at the Council of Nicea, including even trinitarian beliefs that came about even later than that.

    I would advise Jews for Jesus to read up extensively on James the brother of Jesus, the history and beliefs of the Nazarenes and the Ebionites and what they actually believed. Key historical documents include the writings of various Church fathers who were Heresy hunters, who talk about Christian groups whose views they looked to talk about and discredit. These include Ireneaus, Epiphanius, Eusebius, Origen and Jerome. Other documents include the Pseudo-Clementines, which is an Ebionite version of the Book of Acts. The Ebionites like Paul who evangelized to non-Jews also sought to spread their influence abroad and produced their own manual for converts called “The Teaching of the Lord through the Twelve Apostles to the Gentiles.” This document today is referred to as the Didache (The Teaching).

    These are a few documents that tell us about what these Jewish Christian groups believed.

    Further Reading:

    The Secret Legacy of Jesus: The Judaic teachings that passed from James the Just to the founding fathers by Reverend Jeffrey Butz

    James the Brother of Jesus by Robert Eisenman

    Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle transformed Christianity by James Tabor

    The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity by Hyam Maccoby

    Jesus the Pharisee by Hyam Maccoby

  10. paul tanner says:

    The author is mistaken when he wrote “Messianic Judaism” is a deliberate forgery designed to confuse Jews into converting to Christianity.” It saddens me to see the entire “Messianic movement” categorized as a plot of Christianity. The majority of “Messianics” (whether Jew or non) reject much of the doctrine and practice of Christianity. They overwhelmingly do not subscribe to the notion that Yeshua IS YHVH, do not accept the concept of “the Trinity”, do not believe that God changed the Shabbat to Sunday, do not celebrate Easter and Christmas. Instead, like the mixed multitude that went out from Egypt, they choose to follow Torah, keeping the Shabbat, celebrating the feasts of Adonai, etc. It may well be true that SOME Christian groups try to convert Jews and often attempt to get them to renounce God’s instructions from the “Old Testament”. Such has been the case throughout history. Messianic believers in Yeshua do no such thing. Messianics overwhelmingly believe that there is one set of house rules whether the children are natural-born or whether they are adopted into the family. Also, Messianics are painfully aware of the evils perpetrated on the Jewish people “in the sign of the cross” by Christianity. Most are determined to keep this from ever happening again and would defend their Jewish friend to the death. Finally, most “messianic believers in Yeshua” and Jews who revere the God of their forefathers are awaiting the same thing… the arrival of messiah. So when he steps foot on the Mount of Olives and enters the city gates as prophesied I can imagine a rabbi may ask him this question… “Hey, Is this your first time here or your second”?
    Shalom!

    • Annelise says:

      I think that the prophecy about the mount of olives is an image referring to God, not the moshiach.

      What do you think of the idea that Yeshua is the only way to God and that to escape the the judgment and have sins forgiven, people must not reject him but believe in him? That is a big deal…how are people meant to know that? And what about the ‘unsaved’ Jews, what have they done wrong according to Torah?

      It is difficult for me to believe that a form of Judaism that hasn’t been passed on through the generations, but has been either tainted with idolatry or directly learnt from idolators (worshippers of a messianic claimant), is the true one and that those who don’t change their Torah traditions and embrace it are missing out. What are they missing?

      The emphasis on Jesus/Yeshua in messianic Judaism, not just as a spiritual and political leader but as an object of devotion and the heart’s reaching-out, is not good at all.

      I wonder how you see it. Blessings,
      Annelise

    • Paul
      Messianic Judaism began as a deliberate scheme to convert Jews – the fact that many sincere people believe in it doesn’t change its history

  11. Arthur says:

    Read Arthur Katz’s book, The Holocaust: Where was God? read chapter 6!!!

  12. Pingback: An Open Letter to Brother Gilbert | 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources

  13. Yochanan K says:

    Please, please ask you Yeshua to reveal himself to you.
    I am torn and I long to see my Jewish brethen embrace Yeshua.
    I see myself like Ruth a sojourner that is amongst the community.
    I pray that I am not offense. I just felt the need to encourage.
    I hope this will bring abundant blessing.
    Shalom, shalom!

    • Dina says:

      Yochanan, how do you know that your belief is correct?

      I too pray–I pray that Hashem guide all His misled children back to Him and His truth.

  14. Sharon Savage says:

    An atheist is someone who does not believe in God.That does not mean that he/she does not worship another entity apart from God.The human being is created with a need to worship God.Hence the “God” of an atheist is their selves/egos/work/etc, which is a created entity.

    Karl Marx, the founder of communism dubbed religion as the “opiate of the masses” and that “Communism begins when atheism begins”.Again , the human being is created with the need to worship something greater than his/herself.If it is not the Creator of the Universe, then it must be a created entity.

    Hence , as a Christian looking in , I see an inconsistency as to why an atheist /communist is considered a Jew and a Messianic Jew is not.

    What then , is the real criterion in order to be accepted into the Jewish fold ? Is nationality more important than acknowledging the true Creator of the universe?

    The Holocaust was certainly a painful experience in the hearts of the Jewish people.Let us also not forget that the act of genocide is being committed , even in this present time , among other nations of this earth.My question ,to the nation that survived one of the greatest genocide act in history is , where do you go from here?

    There’s a renown activist from Burma who has been under house arrest for many years.She is now free and a leading politician in that country.Yet, she turned a blind eye to the persecution of the Rohingya Muslims in her land.

    The Jews are called and chosen to be the light to the nations.God has certainly called and lead your nation through numerous pits , valleys , highs and lows.It is your duty and responsibility to SHOW the rest of the world the fruits of your covenantal relationship with God.Hence , your light , if it is true , should exceed the light of the Christians .

    I’ll leave with this commentary written by a Jew and let it speak for itself.

    http://m.jpost.com/Opinion/UNESCOs-absurd-decision-reflects-the-worlds-honest-opinion-470335#channel=5017

    Peace

    Sharon S.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Sharon, if I may. I respect how important Jesus is to Christians, what he means to you, the impact he has had on western civilization, etc. I am not unfeeling about that. It seems unthinkable to you that Jews seem to have more of an issue with belief in Jesus, then with a Jew who may be atheist/agnostic. As Rabbi B has mentioned, Traditional Judaism views two ways as legitimate. The traditional Jewish path, and the noachide path for the non Jew. No other path is deemed biblically appropriate by traditional Judaism.

      When you are pondering this question, Consider that the Tanakh itself is chalk full of Jews who were very very far from morally perfect, and yet they serve as the best example of piety in scripture. Take Sampson as an example. We are told that he was supposed to be a Nazarite from birth. (No wine, no cutting his hair, staying ritually pure, etc.) He broke literally every aspect of the rules of the Nazarite. He married a woman from one of Israel’s most profound enemies. He was not technically a symbol of virtue, but of vice.

      That lifestyle, which was antithetical to the Torah’s ideals, did not prevent Sampson from being one of the greatest examples of biblical piety because he served as an example of uncompromising loyalty to the notion of one G-d, and (with all of his mistakes,) he embodies the Jewish idea that no matter how far you may fall, repentance can always restore your full strength. Nobody can have an impact on your life quite like you can. Sampson is the embodiment of the idea that an imperfect person is still better than one who consigns themselves to idolatry.

      Look at Delilah as the main example. She is the embodiment of idolatry. She marries Sampson, claims to love Sampson, etc. but her heart belongs to her people (Sampson’s enemies,) her people’s aims, and her gods.

      Christians today have become enlightened to the Jewishness of Jesus, and of his ethical values, but we must never forget that this has only been happening since the 1970s. Before that, Judaism was perceived as being old, and as having no value whatsoever. Christian love of Jesus, always trumped the humanity of the neighbors of Christians, the Jews, it even trumped the humanity of those Christians that the Church considered heterodox.

      The Jewish no to Jesus has never been about a sternness towards Jesus. The no has always been about the fact that the job of redemption is not complete, and we did not live with the peace that the messianic age represents.

      If you ever think that Jews have hated Jesus, I would recommend you read about Rabbi Jacob Emden who passed on in 1776. Way back then, when Judaism was dealing with the failed false messiah Shabbatai Tzvi, rabbi Emden said kind things about Jesus and his disciples.

      Rabbi Moses ben Nachman (Nachmanides) also said things which were ambivalent to Jesus. He noted in the disputation with pablo Christiani that Jesus’ teachings had been perverted by the Church, and he lamented that Jesus’ disciples taught the nations a notion of what sin was, but not how to understand it properly. He called Christianity a heresy of Judaism.

      What I’m saying is this. Rabbis have been very fair in their treatment of Jesus, Christians just have to know where to look. They need to be humble enough to ask, and to be prepared to hear what they may not like.

      Give this a read
      http://sacred-texts.com/jud/rio/index.htm

  15. Sharon Savage says:

    Dear Concerned Reader and Rabbi B,
    Thank you for further explaining the Jewish position on Jesus. This explanation is certainly helpful for me and those who have very limited contact with people of Jewish background.

    I still have the same concerns though . Why can’t a Jewish atheist and communist can be accepted into the Jewish fold and not a Messianic Jew? Its not so much about Jesus (though I was a bit stung , because Jesus is Jewish and why can’t Jews accept those who believe in Him) , its more about the criterion itself.

    If looked objectively , there is one thing in common between a Messianic Jew , an atheist , and a communist .All of them worship a created entity and not the God who revealed Himself to the nation of Israel at Sinai. Messianic Jew=> Jesus , Atheist /Communist => ego/self/ anything apart from God (the human being is created with a need to worship the creator .If God is not in the picture , he/she will worship something else) .

    Hence , if the criterion is that the Jew= member of a nation that is guided by God , then Messianic Jews, Atheist and Communists should not be in the fold at all . Its all or nothing.

    I’ve not heard of a communist/atheist Christian or Muslim group (You may correct me if I’m wrong), precisely because Atheism and Communism denies the existence of God in the first place .
    Both Christians and Muslims regard belief in God , regardless of nation, colour or creed is of the supreme importance .

    Jews and Judaism is unique in a sense that it is a nation chosen , called and guided by God throughout the ages. Nationalism is an important element . My question is , does nationalism overrides belief and faith in God?

    Peace.
    Sharon S.

    • CP says:

      Sharon,
      Much can be said about Torah not permitting remarriage to a former spouse after adultery has been committed. The spouses in this case being religous affiliations. But I’ll leave that to the experts here.
      However I’ll give you the real answer no one else will give you: it’s a matter of “Authority”. How are you able to submit to Rabbinical Authority when you refuse to deny submisdion to your current Rabbi who says;
      “But you are not to let yourselves be called ‘Rabbi’ because you have one Rabbi and you are all each other’s brothers…… Nor are you to let yourselves be called ‘leaders’ because you have one leader and he is the Messiah!”
      (Matthew 23)

      As long as you are in submission to Yeshua as your Rabbi (your authortative Teacher) you will be unable to submit to Rabbinical Authority and therefore promptly rejected. However this in no way whatsoever denies you the privalage before God to keep the written Torah. In fact if you know your Rabbi’s teaching well enough you will realize he teaches nothing new, rather he simply teaches the written Torah. Rabbinic Judaism has set it self up as the gatekeepers of who is Jewish and allowed in the Community. Although I don’t disagree with this in principle, I disagree in methodology. God has promised to reunite all the Tribes of the Jews and is doing so through Yeshua, but our older brother Judah is doing his best to slam the door in our faces. They have erroneously assumed they are the door rather than realizing the door is Yeshua from the tribe of Judah.

      It’s all a matter of whose instructions are you going to follow and both sides instruct; if you are to follow them you must forsake all others.

      • Sharon Savage says:

        CP,thanks for the honest reply.

        It seems to me that the criterion for admission to the Jewish fold ,on the basis of piety/allegiance to the One true God is not a consistent one.

        Rabbi B mentioned that an atheist has not violated his/her relationship by a conflicting relationship with another entity ,even though he/she may deny God .This strikes me as a bit odd.

        Abrahamic religions in general believe that there is One God and that human beings are created to worship Him .God is to be the center of our lives and no one else.That is what made Father Abraham obey God’s call and direction in his life ,to the extent of him willing to sacrifice his own son ,born to him and Sarah in old age, as commanded by God.His story is an inspiration for Jews,Christians and Muslims alike.

        Denying God is worse than spiritual adultery .Its like denying one is even married in the first place .This denial makes it easier for one to commit adultery ,without any guilt attached.

        When one denies God ,he/she denies the power of God over creation and in their lives .There is no sense of accountability and gratitude to Him who creates and sustains us . One can indulge in hedonistic lifestyle and not bat an eyelid on the consequences .The door to spiritual adultery is wide open.

        Both Muslims and Christian(Catholics for one) view denial of God as a serious sin which can lead to hellfire.

        In Islam ,atheism a greater sin than polytheism (shirk)
        https://islamqa.info/en/113901

        It seems that the Jewish position does not view denial of God as a serious matter .

        The situation of Messianic Jews are synonymous with people of Muslim background who came to believe in Jesus as God (Muslim Background Believers-MBB).Some groups pray like Muslims do outwardly,inwardly they pray to Jesus .Unlike Messianic Jews,this practice is for their safety and to avoid being ostracised by the Muslim community .Hence,I understand why Messianic Jews are not included to the fold .

        However ,as God fearing people ,our stand should be clear and consistent.

        Peace.
        Sharon S.

        • Cincerned Reader says:

          Care to chime in here rabbi B?

        • Sharon Savage The view of Orthodox Jews is that anyone who does not believe in God and His Law cannot be considered part of the covenantal community. If you search the Bible you will see very little condemning atheism and much condemning idolatry. Most people do not surrender to another entity – even many religious people only do so outwardly – complete surrender to an entity aside from God is worse in God’s eyes than non-surreneder

          1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • CP says:

            R’B, is this legitimate?

            Teachings of YESHUA the Pharisee and *TALMUDIC Teachings ~

            The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. – Mark 2:27
            *Rabbi Jonathan ben Joseph said: For it is holy unto you; I.e., it [the Sabbath] is committed to your hands, not you to its hands. – Talmud: Yoma 85b

            Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. – Matthew 25:45
            *One who betrays his fellow, it is as if he has betrayed God. – Tosefta Sh’vuot, ch. 3

            Insulting someone is like murder.- Matthew 5:21-22
            *He who publicly shames his neighbour is as though he shed blood.- Talmud: Bava Mezia 58b

            But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. – Matthew 5:28
            *One who gazes lustfully upon the small finger of a married woman, it is as if he has committed adultery with her.- Kallah, Ch. 1

            That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. – Matthew 5:45
            *Rabbi Abbahu said: The day when rain fails is greater than [the day of] the Revival of the Dead,for the Revival of the Dead is for the righteous only whereas rain is both for the righteous and for the wicked – Talmud: Taanit 7a

            Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. – Matthew 6:1
            *In the case of the recital of the Shema’, since everybody else recites, and he also recites, it does not look like showing off on his part; but in the case of the month of Ab, since everybody else does work and he does no work, it looks like showing off.- Talmud: Berachot 17b

            But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. – Matthew 6:3
            *What kind of charity is that which delivers a man from an unnatural death? When a man gives without knowing to whom he gives. and the beggar receives without knowing from whom he receives. – Talmud: Bava Batra 10a – 10b

            But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.- Matthew 6:7
            *If one draws out his prayer and expects therefore its fulfilment, he will in the end suffer vexation of heart, as it says, Hope deferred maketh the heart sick. – Talmud: Berachot 55a

            Do not worry about where your food will come from tomorrow, or your drink. – Matthew 6:25-31
            *Rabbi Eliezer the Great declares: Whoever has a piece of bread in his basket and Says. ‘What shall I eat tomorrow?’ belongs only to them who are little in faith. – Talmud: Sotah 48b

            Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. – Matthew 6:34
            *A parable: [They were] like a man who was kept in prison and people told him: To-morrow, they will release you from the prison and give you plenty of money. And he answered them: I pray of you, let me go free today and I shall ask nothing more! – Talmud: Berachot 9b

            Let your Yes be Yes and your No be No. – Matthew 5:34-37
            *A righteous yes is a Yes; a righteous no is No. – Talmud: Bava Batra 49b

            At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. – Matthew 11:25
            *Rabbi Johanan said: Since the Temple was destroyed, prophecy has been taken from prophets and given to fools and children. – Talmud: Bava Batra 12b

            And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. – Matthew 5:29-30
            *Come and hear what was taught: Rabbi Tarfon said, ‘If his hand touched the membrum let his hand be cut off upon his belly’. ‘But’, they said to him, ‘would not his belly be split’? ‘It is preferable’, he replied, ‘that his belly shall be split rather than that he should go down into the pit of destruction’. – Talmud: Niddah 13b

            But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. – Matthew 23:8 *Shemaiah used to say: love work, hate acting the superior, and do not bring thyself to the knowledge of the ruling authority. – Mishnah: Avot 1:10

            Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. – Matthew 24:44
            *Even as R. Zera, who, whenever he chanced upon scholars engaged thereon [I.e., in calculating the time of the Messiah’s coming], would say to them: I beg of you, do not postpone it, for it has been taught: Three come unawares: Messiah, a found article and a scorpion. – Talmud: Sanhedrin 97a

            Yeshua taught in a parable that they can please the king (God) by pleasing one another. – Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. – Matthew 25:40 *Rabbi simeon said: if three have eaten at one table and have not spoken thereat words of torah, [it is] as if they had eaten sacrifices [offered] to the dead, for [of such persons] it is said, for all tables are full of filthy vomit, [they are] without the All-Present. But, if three have eaten at one table, and have spoken thereat words of torah, [it is] as if they had eaten at the table of the All-Present, blessed be he, as it is said, this is the table before the LORD. – Mishnah: Avot 3:3

            Love your enemy. – Matthew 5:43
            Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; – Matthew 5:43
            *They who are insulted but insult not back; who hear themselves reproached but answer not; who serve out of love and rejoice in their affliction–of them it is written in Scripture: They that love God are as the going forth of the sun in its might. – Talmud: Yoma 23a, Gitin 36b, Shabat 88b

            Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. – Matthew 5:23-24
            *If a man said, “I will sin and repent, and sin again and repent”, he will be given no chance to repent. [If he said,] “I will sin and the Day of Atonement will effect atonement”, then the Day of Atonement effects no atonement. For transgressions that are between man and God the Day of Atonement effects atonement, but for transgressions that are between a man and his fellow the Day of Atonement effects atonement only if he has appeased his fellow – Mishnah: Yoma 8:9

          • CP says:

            Thank you R’B, I’d say one of your Best Blogs!
            Yes, I am weak and needy. I’m not discounting my arrogance, but what many here assume as arrogance is extreme skepticism born out of a life of being lied to by people and systems claiming to know God.

            So what do you think; was Yeshua really a Talmudic scholar affirming oral Torah?

  16. Eleazar says:

    “Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. – Matthew 25:45
    *One who betrays his fellow, it is as if he has betrayed God. – Tosefta Sh’vuot, ch. 3”

    So Jesus was putting himself in the place of God?

    • CP says:

      Eleazar,
      Good eye!
      I went and checked the context and no, Jesus was not putting himself in the place of God.

      Matthew 23
      “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.
      “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

      “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

      ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’
      “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?
      ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
      “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

      “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels
      for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’
      “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not [fn]take care of You?’
      “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’
      “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

      • LarryB says:

        CP
        If Jesus only repeated what he learned from the torah and other sources you list what do I need him for? I can study and should, to learn those things. Before you said that I should for the gift of the holy spirit, but as others have shown that means nothing.

        • Dina says:

          CP and Rabbi B., pardon me for interjecting. CP, the Talmud was redacted several centuries after the time of Jesus. Nevertheless, Jesus without a doubt taught many Pharisaic teachings which were later recorded in the Talmud. I would remind you that I wrote an extremely lengthy comment–my longest ever–showing in the Sermon on the Mount that Jesus lifted these teachings right out of the later-to-be-compiled Talmud (as well as the Torah). And in fact if memory serves me correctly, some of those examples are identical to the ones you posted.

          So I guess the moral of the story is, pay attention to what Dina writes. It’s not all worthy of your quick, knee-jerk dismissals.

          What are the ramifications for you? You’ve known already that Jesus was raised as a Pharisee and kept many of their traditions.

          • CP says:

            Dina,
            Was I here when you wrote that?

            “What are the ramifications for you? You’ve known already that Jesus was raised as a Pharisee and kept many of their traditions.”

            Ah yes, “some”. But I was under the impression he railed on most of the Oral Torah. I’ve found even many of the things YOU accuse Yeshua off have Rabbinic justification!

            Aren’t the ramifications obvious??? If I follow Yeshua and he followed Talmud then….oh I can’t bear to say it!

          • Dina says:

            Yes, CP, not only were you here, but you attacked me so viciously for it that even Rabbi B. commented on your personal attacks. I’ll try to find it for you but it will take time.

          • Dina says:

            I must say I have quite a bit of sympathy for your quandary.

        • CP says:

          LarryB,
          First off, Happy New Year! Second, I’m not asking you or telling “you need Jesus” Third, I’m on a personal struggle to get to the bottom of all this, so let the chips fall where they may.

          To allow you a insider view of my struggle, this vvv is where I am “currently” at.

          God is bringing back all of Israel, but how can He reunite them when half observe Torah and half break Torah? Messiah clearly said; ‘who annuls the “least” commandments will be “least” in the Kingdom. If they are the “least” in the Kingdom, where does that leave those who teach admittance yet no obligation to keep Torah?

          I believe mainstream Christianity proudly flaunts is ‘foundational’ misunderstanding in thinking theybare not obligated to keep Torah. Simply put: Torah has not changed, we were lost and without God’s instructions for salvation. God anointed a completed Tzaddik to appropriate atonement and bring us back to God’s instructions for salvation.

          A person may be saved out of Egypt, but if they think they’re not obligated to follow God’s instructions they’ll die in the desert just as those who refused God’s instructions to enter and conquer the promised land.

          I don’t believe for one second a person could stand east of the Jordon river proclaiming their Faith yet never crossing and God would count it to them as righteousness?

          However my recent discovery that Yeshua was “Talmud” observant has rocked my world, its going to take a bit to get whereabouts in all this.

  17. Eleazar says:

    Then the Jesus comment is unrelated, CP. The Talmud implies that how you treat people is how you treat GOD. Jesus said how you treat people is how you treat HIM. Explain it away if you want, but either Jesus is connecting that statement to himself where the statement speaks of God or he is not referencing the Talmud.
    Jesus is either relating the comment Tosefta Sh’vuot, ch. 3 to himself as the God figure in it or there is no relation between the comments at all. Your choice.

    But truthfully, there is a flavor of Hillel in some of Jesus’ sayings. But that would make sense if he lived in the days of Hillel, just as Democrats and Republicans pass on the talking points of their leaders. But frankly, there is nothing impressive about Jesus passing on Talmudic or Hillel-esque sayings. Or as they say, “Anything Jesus said that was good was not new and anything he said that was new was not good.”

    • CP says:

      Eleazar,
      Okay so somebody stretched a bit to make this teaching fit, so what? That’s justification to ignore the rest? I see the connecting principle, but agree with you this one is a stretch, so congratulations you’ve strained out the gnat, now what about the camel?

  18. Dina says:

    Sharon,

    I’m responding to you to straighten up some misinformation supplied by CP in his comment to you here:

    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/messianic-discrimination-a-response-to-james/#comment-32304

    CP has laid an anti-Semitic charge at the foot of the Jewish people, and your easy acceptance of his calumny saddens me because it illustrates the readiness of Christians to believe evil of observant Jews.

    CP charges that if you seek conversion to Judaism, we will slam the door in your face. Please know that CP resents the fact that traditional Judaism will not accept a candidate for conversion as long as he clings to any type of worship that is foreign to Judaism, such as Christianity. Judaism maintains that if you follow Jesus (or Mohammed, Hare Krishna, Buddha, or any among a panoply of false prophets and/or gods), then you cannot be considered as a candidate for conversion. Before you get offended by the seemingly exclusive nature of the requirements for conversion, I ask you to please consider the following scenario.

    Yankel, a Jewish man, approaches Reverend Smith, seeking conversion. The good reverend is delighted.

    “Why, of course!” he says. “There’s no time like the present. Let’s do it right away!”

    “But there’s just one little thing, Reverend,” Yankel says. “I want to convert, but I don’t believe Jesus is the messiah. He never was and he never will be!”

    “Why, Yankel,” Reverend Smith says, surprised, “You can’t be a Christian if you don’t believe in Jesus. Surely you knew that?”

    “I don’t understand,” Yankel says. “I believe everything you Christians believe. I believe in the Golden Rule. I believe in God’s grace and mercy. I believe in repentance and forgiveness. I believe that if you lust after a woman you committed adultery in your heart. I believe all that stuff! So why does it matter so much if I don’t accept Jesus as the messiah?”

    “Oh, Yankel,” Reverend Smith says sadly. “You just can’t be a Christian and not accept Jesus. I’m sorry, but I can’t convert you. You are welcome to join our Bible study classes on Mondays at 7 pm. But until you’re ready to accept Jesus you can’t convert to Christianity.”

    “Well!” exclaims Yankel as he storms out of the reverend’s study, “that just goes to prove what a hateful lot you Christians are! I come here seeking the truth, I ask to be converted, and you just slam the door in my face!”

    Let me ask you, Sharon: does it make sense for people outside of a religion to set the requirements for conversion, or is it reasonable to expect the people within the religion to set those requirements? If it sounds absurd to a Christian to convert someone who won’t accept Jesus, it sounds equally absurd to a Jew to convert someone who doesn’t accept traditional Judaism.

    But let us examine another aspect of CP’s charge that we slam the door in your faces because it’s a lie. (I do not think CP is a liar. I think he says these kinds of things out of frustration and not malice. Nevertheless, the statement is still a lie.) The door is wide open to anyone who seeks the truth and wants to learn the wisdom and beauty of the Torah from us. Judaism does not hold that you need to convert to Judaism to get close to God. Every non-Jew on the planet can have a relationship with God and earn a place in the world to come. “God is close to all who call to Him, to all who call to Him sincerely” (Psalm 145:18). Traditional Judaism holds that any person who lives a moral and ethical life as best he can has a place with God in the world to come. We even believe that pagans can be righteous and rewarded by God. Christians who sincerely believe they are doing the right thing will surely merit God’s grace and compassion.

    Christians, on the other hand, believe the gate is narrow–speaking of slamming doors in people’s faces! The Jewish heaven is far more inclusive than the Christian one, which allows in only people who accept Jesus as their lord and savior, no matter how well-lived the lives of the rest are. While Jews look forward to a time when the messiah will unite all of mankind in the true knowledge and worship of God, Christians look forward to a time when Jesus will come in on the clouds and sweep away all the believers, leaving billions to perish (either submit or be destroyed is how CP puts it).

    Finally, I think it odd that CP counts himself in among the Ten Lost Tribes and claims we are pushing them away: “God has promised to reunite all the Tribes of the Jews and is doing so through Yeshua, but our older brother Judah is doing his best to slam the door in our faces.” First, CP admitted to me a while back that this statement of his that Jesus specifically is bringing back the Ten Lost Tribes is based on zero evidence, just his own speculation. Second, no one can identify the Ten Lost Tribes today. God will sort it all out. Does CP think God needs his help?

    A number of us here have asked CP for one good reason to accept Jesus and he has consistently refused to give one. Then he slams us as “illogical” and “unreasonable” (his words) for refusing to convert him for that little thing he has for following Jesus.

    I hope that I have clarified for you the Jewish position. If you are here to learn, you’ve come to the right place!

    • CP says:

      Dina, I must say your comment was every bit an emotional response as mine, however both contain some truth. The obvious difference between them is I didn’t personally degrade anyone.

      • Dina says:

        You smeared the entire Jewish people. That’s not enough?

        • CP says:

          No, I smeared a “system” run by a few, and named no one.
          I was really hoping for you to rise to reconciliation concerning this matter, but things are headed south, peace out!

          • Dina says:

            I’m not going to let you off the hook. You wrote, “Although I don’t disagree with this in principle, I disagree in methodology. God has promised to reunite all the Tribes of the Jews and is doing so through Yeshua, but our older brother Judah is doing his best to slam the door in our faces.” This is not a system, this is the Jewish people. You the nation of Israel an apology.

          • Dina says:

            Sorry, you owe the nation of Israel an apology. You lied about the Jewish people, and now you try to make me out to be the bad guy. Have you no shame?

  19. Dina says:

    CP,

    I found my comment about the Sermon on the Mount. I don’t know if I used the identical examples you posted, but I presented many parallel teachings from the Talmud. Last time when you read it, you picked a few points to hash out but ignored all these parallel teachings. Since this seems so important to you, I do recommend that you try as best as you can to put aside your personal distaste for me (or my style) and carefully read what I wrote. I spent hours on that one!

    I’m not sure if your iPad can handle it, but here is my comment; the relevant material begins with the sixth paragraph:

    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/conversation-a-note-from-jim/#comment-31222

    And here’s Rabbi B.’s rebuke to you regarding your personal attacks against my character (this is just to remind you that indeed you read it and indeed you responded):

    https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/conversation-a-note-from-jim/#comment-31317

  20. Sharon Savage says:

    Dear All,

    Wow, feeling very awkward here .

    I’m just trying to seek the truth about God ,His nature and how to worship Him.This search is triggered because as a born Catholic ,I’m concerned with what seems to be the idolatrous practices in the Catholic faith .

    Initially I searched for the truth in Islam .So most of my understanding on monotheism/idolatry is shaped from there.Hence ,Rabbi B’s answer really shows how different the Jewish position when it comes to atheism/communism as compared to Islamic or Catholic position .

    There are massive theological differences between Christianity and Judaism ,though both share the same book.However,this discussion just goes to show there are many other differences as well.A lot to learn.

    I live in a country with zero Jewish population . I have never interacted with a Jew in my life before this .Hence,I may not fully understand some of your comments (not very well versed in the OT -Is it called Tanakh?).Also,if I wrote anything that is offensive to Jewish customs ,etc,please forgive me.

    I understand that the purpose of this blog is primarily to counter Christian missionaries and their efforts to “save” Jewish souls .However ,please remember that your blogs/comments will be read by non Jews /Christians who are seeking for the truth .

    I read your articles and wondered ..what would happen if indeed the Christian theology is a false one ?Its like a rug will be pulled beneath my feet ..am I ,a non Jew a second class citizen in God’s eyes?Anyway ,God knows best.

    Hence Dina ,your comments and invitation are quite reassuring.

    Thanks to Rabbi B,CP and Concerned Reader too .Understand that we all may see things differently ,hope the love is not lost in the process.

    • Dina says:

      Thank you, Sharon. Good luck with your search for truth! May God Who is the Father of us all draw us ever closer to Him.

      May I ask, what country has zero Jewish population? Just curious, if you don’t want to say that’s fine.

    • Jim says:

      Sharon,

      In his book, “Jews for Nothing,” Rabbi Dov Fischer expresses great concern for many of the threats to the Jewish soul of the time. He does write about Jews for Jesus, of course, but that is not the entirety of the book. It is only one chapter. He writes also of the Moonies and Hare Krishnas and of the various gurus that gained a following among Jewish people. He writes also of communism and materialism as philosophies that draw one away from Torah. Anything that might draw a Jew from Torah and from God is harmful to the Jewish people and must be rejected, but Christianity is a greater danger than all the rest.

      This may seem counter-intuitive. After all, the Jew and the Christian have much in common, much more than an atheist and a Jew. The Jewish people and the Church both believe in God. They both believe that he gave the Tanakh—Old Testament to the Christians—to the Jewish people. They both believe in the coming of the Messiah. The atheist denies all of this. And the Hare Krishnas and gurus teach idolatry. It would seem that the Jewish people and the Church could unite in countering these bad teachings and empty ideas, and yet the Jewish people is as wary of the Christian as the others.

      Indeed, he must be and even more so. These other groups do try to make followers, but their outreach is rather limited. When compared to the efforts of the Church, their efforts appear miniscule. Atheists do spread their ideas, but they do not go to the great lengths that the Church does. None of these groups have the resources or drive of the Church.

      But that is only a part of the problem. When a young Jewish person turns to atheism he is leaving behind his heritage, a great tragedy. He is leaving behind truth. He is turning away from God. This is terrible, and the Jewish people mourn for such a person and seek to educate him, to bring him back to the Torah of HaShem. But when it happens, the Jew knows that he is turning away from Judaism. The same applies to those that follow gurus or the other religious movements mentioned. None of these groups claims to be the true Judaism.

      It is very different with the Church. The Church obscures the differences between the Jewish people and itself. Missionaries tell the potential Jewish convert that Christianity is the true Judaism. By becoming Christian, the Jew is not leaving behind his heritage, says the missionary. Converting to Christianity is then to be hardly a conversion at all; it is only the fulfillment of the Jewish mission. This claim that Christianity is the real Judaism is a terrible threat to the Jewish soul.

      Over the past 200 years or so, many Jews did give up Torah. They joined political movements. They sought spirituality in foreign places. They gave up their responsibility as Jews, wishing to be acknowledged as Jews racially and culturally but not religiously. The reasons for this are a topic for another time. What is relevant to this discussion is that many Jews substituted Torah with other philosophies. And those that turned away from Torah naturally became ignorant of its teachings.

      This presented an opportunity for the Church that it has only been able to capitalize upon for the past 50-60 years. The Church has been able to prey upon that ignorance to entice some Jewish people. Often these are Jews that got involved with those other movements but found them empty. Wishing to return to their people and looking for a real connection to God, many found the Church waiting for them. Christian missionaries had an opportunity to define Torah for these Jews. They could define for those that left their heritage what it means to be a Jew.

      One of the popular tactics taken up by Christian missionaries is to present Isaiah 53 and ask: “Of whom is this speaking?” The Torah-ignorant Jew, who does not know Isaiah 1 and 2, or 51 and 52, or even Genesis 1 and 2, reads the passage and believes it is speaking about Jesus. And then they are surprised to find that this passage is not from the New Testament but from Tanach, the Jewish scriptures. Strangely, the educated Jew seldom comes to this conclusion. Why the difference?

      For 2,000 years the Church has been teaching that Isaiah 53 is about Jesus. Moreover, the Church has been the dominant culture in the West for most of that time. Their reading of Tanach has been in the zeitgeist. Even the uneducated know references from the Christian Bible, because it has shaped the society. Because the Church has been dominant, it has shaped the reading of the Bible. For those who are unfamiliar with Isaiah but have absorbed certain Christian ideas through the culture, Isaiah 53 appears highly Christological. But this is only appearance.

      This can be seen too in the Christian use of Isaiah 7:14, appropriate to the time of year. For 2,000 years the Church has made this to be about the virgin birth of their messiah. Most people would recognize the verse, if not the source, if they heard it: “Behold, the virgin will conceive…” After 2,000 years of Christian interpretation, the verse sounds to many ears Christological. They find the name “Emmanuel” to be highly suggestive. But it is only because the rest of the chapter is not quoted that one would believe this to be about the Messiah. The context of the chapter has nothing to do with him. And the next verse tells more about the child and shows it to have no connection to Jesus. However, the Church has been able to shape the understanding of this verse and to this day it is read by many as if the rest of the chapter did not exist. By omitting the context, the Church has been able to shape the understanding of the verse for many.

      And it is not merely these distortions that pose a problem for the Jewish people. The Church has redefined God. It has made a man into God. It has distorted teachings on atonement. It has misrepresented Tanach for 2,000 years. This is unacceptable.

      The Christian Jew, or Messianic Jew, has not only suffered a great loss himself. If he is allowed to remain in the Jewish community, he is a threat to the Jewish people. His corrupted readings of Torah redefine it. If allowed to remain in the community, he will alter Judaism itself, in the name of teaching the true Judaism. He introduces foreign concepts. Through his ignorance, he will lead other ignorant Jews away from God and to Jesus in the name of Judaism, in the name of Torah. He does not even know that it is corrupted, never having learned it properly.

      Hopefully, the unique threat of Christianity to the Jewish people has been explained. The Jewish people desire every Jew to abandon their false philosophies and religions and come back to Torah, not just the Messianic Jew. But the Messianic Jew is doubly deceived. He does not follow Torah, but he believes he does. And he wishes to redefine Torah observance according to the corrupted understanding given to him by the missionaries. The Messianic Jew must be pushed out of the community to preserve the Torah.

      Jim

  21. Sharon Savage says:

    Dear Dina,
    I’m from Malaysia . When you asked me that question , I decided to search online to confirm the “zero jewish population ” fact with Mr Google and found the most extraordinary discovery.

    There are actually people of Jewish descent living among my people , the “Kristang” community in my hometown (Malacca, Malaysia) . They were forcibly converted to Catholicism during the Portuguese and Dutch occupation of Malacca from the 15th to 18th century.

    If its true , then the existence of these people have been glossed over in Malaysian history and cast a dark shadow over a revered patron saint of our Community , St Francis Xavier , as he actually ordered their Inquisition due to their refusal to convert to Catholiscism.

    Shocked to here that there’s are Inquisitions of this sort in Asia .

    Anyway , still have to check if this is true.

    Here’s the link:
    http://malaccajews.blogspot.my/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Malaysia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristang_people

    God works in mysterious ways.

    Peace
    Sharon S.

    • Dina says:

      Yes, that is pretty awful. Malaysia is one of the most anti-Semitic countries in Asia, which is why the Jews left decades ago.

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