“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
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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Yisroel C. Blumenthal