An Open Letter to Brother Gilbert
I want to open this letter by welcoming you to the discussion forum on this blog. I strongly disagree with almost everything you wrote but I commend you for your respectful (if condescending) tone. I would also like to take this opportunity to wish that you merit to join the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem and find comfort for your recent pain that you mentioned.
This blog has been around for almost five years now and there are about 400 articles on this blog. I have already addressed some of the issues that you raised in your comments so I will take the liberty of providing links to articles that I have written in the past.
You speak of the mission of the Jewish people. You tell me that it is not to “reject Jesus”. I agree with you – the mission of the Jewish people is to encourage all of mankind to unite in one worship – it so happens to be that the worship we are commissioned to encourage is not the worship of Jesus.
You speak of the Gentiles not needing Torah observance and in this I agree with you – but why would they need Jesus?
You tell us that it is better for us not to convince Catholic Jews to give up their belief in Jesus. We are attempting to show Jews and Gentiles alike that every iota of their devotion ought to be directed to the One Creator of all – if Jesus feels left out – I guess that’s his problem.
You say that the treatment of Jews who believe as Christians by the Jewish community is inconsistent with their treatment of Jews who belong to other faiths. I know of no other faith that attempts to redefine Judaism.
You claim that Mashiach is different for different communities within the covenant community of Israel – this is inaccurate. We all agree about the essentials – it is only in peripheral areas where there are some disagreements.
You tell me that the Pope apologized of the evils that his institution perpetrated against God’s first-born son – but did he look into the roots of the sin of his institution?
You argue that the worship that the Catholic Church encourages is not idolatrous because they don’t believe that man became god but they believe the opposite.
These semantics are irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Idolatry is not an abstract sin – it is a sin of the heart. The feelings in the human heart that the Catholic Church encourages are not the feelings that we were taught to plant in our hearts at Sinai.
You tell me that I don’t understand what Catholics believe. You are right – but this I do know – that they consider my worship of the Creator of heaven and earth to be misdirected – and that is all I need to know for the purpose of this discussion. Do they not believe that no one comes to the Father without the services of Jesus?
You say that you see no opposition to Catholic beliefs and the kabbala. But the people who study kabbala and have immersed themselves in her teachings recognize that the worship your institution is encouraging is idolatrous. Your quotation of Jewish sources to support a belief that the same authors of these sources opposed with their very lives is not ethical.
You speak of some Lubavitchers who believe their Rebbe is divine. And this has been called out by the rabbis of Chabad and identified as idolatry. Just for the record – don’t you recognize that these people came to their conclusions not by first studying the texts of Judaism – but their “conclusions” began with their obsession with the Rebbe- a striking parallel to the methods that you use to find justification for your devotion from Jewish texts.
You say that you know of no official ruling from the Jewish community that labels Jesus as a false prophet. The Jewish community expressed this belief by giving their lives rather than accept him – many times throughout history. The Jewish people recognized that the devotion that the Catholic Church was encouraging is the deepest violation of the covenant we share with God.
Brother Gilbert. I ask you to please consider – why were our ancestors chosen by God? What was the mission that He entrusted us with? And what methods did he set in place to ensure the integrity of our mission?
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal