Musings of an Orthodox Jew

Thoughts on Torah and the Jewish world today.

Jews4Jesus, Messianic Judaism and Kashrut

So, like many communities in the world we get the “messianic jews” and Jews for Jesus bothering us from time to time.  Not as much as in some parts of the world- but we have had a recent blitz from them.  Bus shelter advertiements and intensified campaigns of them appearing in predominantly Jewish areas handing out pamphlets and generally making a nuisance of themselves. Most of the time they don’t even get a glance or noticed much, but a recent incident left me very amused.

A local shopping centre in a very Jewish area is getting frequent visits from the Jews4 Jesus bunch.   Easily recognisable in their blue T-Shirts with rip off sof the Microsoft logo with “Jesus made me Kosher” on the back, you see them, sigh, and hope they will just ignore you since it gets irritating having to glare at people all the time!  Anyways- there I am walking into the shopping center, and there are a bunch of our local Jews4Jesus recruiters drinking coffee at a coffee shop- a non-Kosher one (and yep- there are kosher alternatives in this center).  Well- at least they weren’t up and handing out pamphlets so one bonus- but then I heard it.  A friend of one of my kids (in Grade 2) with his mother saw these guys, looked at his mother and said “How can they say they are Kosher if they are eating in an un-Kosher place?”  From the mouth’s of babes…

Of course their lack of Kashrut is far beyond the mere obvious of them eating treif (non-Kosher foods).  But to the mind of an eight year old the thing about them wasn’t their belief in Jesus (Going to a Yeshivah school the name is probably one he has never heard before and chances are he does not know what it implies)- but the fact that he knows that Jews can’t be Kosher and eat at a non-Kosher restaurant.  As adults we tend to focus on the big issues- we engage the missionaries when necessary to save other Jews from their influence through showing why we disagree with their proofs, how Christianity is not compatible with Judaism, how the Torah and Tanakh (yeah, I know the Torah is part of the Tanakh) should be understood- but this friend of my son’s observation illustrated something else- a dichotomy between belief’s and actions.  You can take on a mantle of Judaism, you can adopt the terminology, you can even mimic our behaviour, prayers, rituals and beliefs- but in the end, if the actions do not fit with the Torah, you are not Kosher.

Perhaps we can use the allegory of Kashrut to discuss the various Christian movements looking to convert Jews:   Jews4Jesus is blatantly not Jewish- their dress, behavior, rituals etc do not look Jewish or sound Jewish.  In essence they are the obvious non-Kosher group- just as it is obvious that dog, cat, horse etc is not kosher because it does not have a resemblance to a Kosher animal.  When it comes to “messianic judaism”, we have a different scenario- they look Jewish.  They adopt Jewish customs, Jewish prayers, Jewish rituals.  They use Hebrew and make their services look as Jewish as possible.  But they are not Kosher- on the inside they miss the belief’s, the driving force behind Judaism, the truth of the Torah and the law that G-d gave us for all eternity- they are like the pig when it comes to Kashrut- Kosher on the outside, treif on the inside.  And we see how the pig is villified- it is considered deceitful, pretending to be something it is not- trying to pass itself off as something Kosher.  So do Jews view “messianic judaism”- a deceitful movement trying to pass itself off as something it is not in order to attack the souls of the Jews.

So, Mazel Tov to those in groups like Jews for Judaism that do such fantastic work in helping to bring back lured in by the missionaries of these movements and to prevent others from making such an error.

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January 21, 2009 - Posted by | Messianic, Random, Weekly Question/Issue | , , , , ,

36 Comments »

  1. What you post is a classic case of one group claiming to be of HaShem, but not doing the things of HaShem, and even a little child can recognize this. The Messiah, Yeshua shel Netzaret, preached teshuvah – for that was his whole message, and the whole message of those who knew him. I don’t know where the people in the blue shirts come from. I encourage you to chat with a real Messianic Jew – a Chassid who believes Yeshua is the Messiah. If you want, feel free to contact me via email or visit my blog (link to messianic website removed)

    Comment by Israel | January 21, 2009 | Reply

    • There is no such a thing as a chasid who believes Jesus is the messiah, any more than there is a such a thing as a Jew who believes Jesus is the Messiah. There is a name for someone that believes Jesus s the Messiah- Christian. Claiming to be Jew while believing that jesus is the Messiah is just deceitful and a lie. No Jew believes that- its the one thing that every denomination of Jews agrees on. As much as Orthodox, Conservative, reform and Humanistic Judaism might argue on evert topic- on this they are all unanimous- a Jew who believes that jesus is the Messiah or in anyway divine is an apostate and outside of the Jewish community until such time as they choose to repent.. And the guys in the blue shirts are Jews4Jesus. hey, maybe its tere local uniform, who knows.

      Thanks for the offer to chat- but I really have no intention of debating Judaism with Christians (whether they call themselves Mesianic Jews or anything else)- if I want to learn about Judaism I will go to the original source, not Christians.

      Comment by marcl1969 | January 21, 2009 | Reply

  2. “There is no such a thing as a chasid who believes Jesus is the messiah, any more than there is a such a thing as a Jew who believes Jesus is the Messiah”

    If you mean Yeshua, and not the pagan concept you’re attempting to promote, then you might as well disqualify the first followers of Yeshua. If you want to see a modern Chassid who believes Yeshua is the Messiah, you’re looking at him, and I open to dialogue if you wish. If teshuvah is truly in your heart, I encourage you to make teshuvah and thus return to the Torah and submit to the Messiah. Shalom.

    Comment by Israel | January 22, 2009 | Reply

    • Whether you call him by the name Jesus or attempt to make it sound more Jewish by calling him by a Hebrew term- it makes no difference. A pagan concept, one against Torah, has no place in Judaism. The idea of G-d having a son is a pagan one. It was the pagan gods that went around impregnating women who became heroes over the normal people. It was the pagan gods that warred between themselves vyimg for power, as God and the devil do in Chrsitianity- not in Judaism.

      Teshuvah is in my heart- that is why I am Jewish and believe in a G-d that grants it to all- not in a vindictive G-d that says people will burn for eternity! Try learning your own religion and what areal chasid actualy believes instead of in a version of Judaism corrupted by pagan ideas.

      Comment by marcl1969 | January 22, 2009 | Reply

  3. “A pagan concept, one against Torah, has no place in Judaism.”

    Absolutely correct.

    “The idea of G-d having a son is a pagan one.”

    If you mean impregnation, you are correct. Otherwise it is clearly written “HaShem b’nei vichori Yisrael” “HaShem My son My first born Israel,” and “Let My son go that he may serve Me.” That HaShem calls Israel his firstborn son, how much more so then Moshiach is called the firstborn son of HaShem.

    “It was the pagan gods that went around impregnating women who became heroes over the normal people.”

    Again you are correct. Regarding the Messiah however, it is clearly written he is “her seed” and not “his seed.”

    “It was the pagan gods that warred between themselves vyimg for power, as God and the devil do in Chrsitianity- not in Judaism.”

    You are correct yet again. HaShem alone is sovereign, and HaSatan’s judgment is already sealed.

    “Teshuvah is in my heart- that is why I am Jewish and believe in a G-d that grants it to all- not in a vindictive G-d that says people will burn for eternity!”

    If true teshuvah is in your heart, then surely you are aware that it is written “be not rebellious against him; for he will not pardon your transgression; for My name is in him.” and “HaShem shall never be willing to pardon him.” If you are in rebellion to the Messiah, you have not made true teshuvah yet, and HaShem has serious words for those who do not make teshuvah.

    “Try learning your own religion and what areal chasid actualy believes instead of in a version of Judaism corrupted by pagan ideas.”

    Judaism corrupted by paganism is indeed what you have been taught concerning who the Christians preach Messiah is. I encourage you listen to who the Torah says Messiah is: for we have no other King, Savior, or Redeemer than HaShem.

    Comment by Israel | January 22, 2009 | Reply

    • Hashem calling Bnei Yisrael his son is a FIGURATIVE one, not a literal one. the idea of G-d having a literal son or of manifesting in a human body is a pagan one and completely outside of Judaism.

      As for Teshuvah- it is from G-d, not from any intermediaries. Putting intermediaries between man and G-d is completely forbidden- try rereading the Aseret Hadibrot- G-d is ONE, ONE, Echad, unique, indivisible. he does not have parts to be worshiped seperately or to manifest seperately- he is an unique, singular, indivisible being- not something to be pulled down to human level in order to try and make it more acceptable and understandable to the Pagans the early Christians were trying to convert!

      Comment by marcl1969 | January 22, 2009 | Reply

  4. “Hashem calling Bnei Yisrael his son is a FIGURATIVE one, not a literal one. the idea of G-d having a literal son or of manifesting in a human body is a pagan one and completely outside of Judaism.”

    I agree HaShem calling b’nei Israel is figurative, yet I wouldn’t limit it to just that since there is a real benefit associated with it not being figurative idea. Now, G-d having a literal son is a pagan concept, you bet. Yet it is clear from Torah that G-d himself made Adam in His image and in His likeness, and the same was said of Adam’s son, Seth, who was in the image and likeness of Adam. Is Adam G-d’s son? Are not the angels called the sons of G-d? How much more so is the Angel of HaShem, the Word of HaShem, the Messiah who is born of a woman (her seed, not “his” seed) called the Son of G-d!

    And yes, teshuvah is made between us and HaShem directly, without intermediaries. Yet we can not make teshuvah if we reject the Messiah. Until then, we are walking in the idolatry of our own hearts. Intermediaries do in fact exist who are more righteous than we, who bring us closer to G-d when we are learning from a tzaddik. After all the Torah is clear concerning intermediaries such as Moshe, and Aaron who bring the people closer to HaShem by their righteousness. The people don’t repent through them, obviously, but it is through them the people are blessed. Our tzaddik who brings us the closest to HaShem is Messiah Yeshua himself, the Word of HaShem, who is the perfect tzaddik. It is because of his perfect merit alone that we receive such blessings from HaShem as the Ruach upon us, and his blessing of eternal life, and a place in the World to Come.

    “G-d is ONE, ONe, Echad, unique, indivisible. he does not have parts to be worshipped seperately or to manifest seperately- he is an unique, sinfular, indivisible being- not something to be pulled down to human level in orde rot try and make it more acceptable and understandable to the Pagans the early Christians were trying to convert!”

    Absolutely agreed! G-d is not divisible. Sadly, the man-made theological box of the trinity has led many astray from the truth of G-d revealed in the Torah. G-d does not fit in a box. He is not three persons. He is one. Inscrutable is his oneness. Messiah is not a god-man half man half god pagan deity as recklessly promoted in Christian circles. Messiah is the Davar HaShem, the Word of HaShem, his agent if you will, in this world who does His will. We can not go beyond what the Torah says concerning him. This agent has HaShem’s name in him, and we are responsible for obeying him – this the Torah is clear. Also the Torah is clear that this is none other than Moshiach, since we truly have no other King, Savior, or Redeemer than HaShem. May you be blessed with wisdom, insight, and knowledge concerning this matter. Shalom.

    Comment by Israel | January 22, 2009 | Reply

    • G-d making Adam in his image referred to his SOUL. try reading the commentaries of Ramban, evidently you have very little understanding of the concepts behind the creation of humanity! Adam was mad in G-d’s image, as are all of us, because we have a soul- it does not make us literal sons of G-d, nor does it make Adam a literal son of G-d- all of is are only FIGURATIVE sons of G-d. Nothing in Judaism would allow any other belief- in fact, any other belief is paganisitic and in violation of the laws against idoltary.

      And the Mashiach ois not divine, he is not the seed of G-d- he is a normal human being- he has to be if he is going to be Mashiach- he needs a human father to be from Beis David, he needs a Jewish mother to be jewish. Anything else means the person is not the MAshiach but a false prophet against whom we are warned in Devarim.

      As for Teshuvah- its nonsense to think we need anyone but G-d. Its nonsense to suddenly start claiming the Mashiach is needed for atonement. Nowhere in Jewish thought does the Mashiach provide atonement, nowhere in Jewish thought is the Mashiach anything but a man carrying out a mission from G-d. As for the idea that Jesus was the perfect tzadik- once again he fails- where is his adherence to the mitzvah pr “pru urevu”?/ The first and most basic mitzvah given to us, and he doesn’t fulfill it! On top of that- he tells his followers to break shabbos- giving them permission to pick and shell barley on shabbos! Far from being the perfect tazadik, the Christian scriptures themselves tell us he broke the halacha!

      Comment by marcl1969 | January 22, 2009 | Reply

  5. “G-d making Adam in his image referred to his SOUL. try reading the commentaries of Ramban, evidently you have very little understanding of the concepts behind the creation of humanity!”

    Actually I am very familiar with the argument that it was only a soul image, and agree with it totally. I was simply making the point that it is HaShem who is our Father, in whose image and likeness we are made, just as Seth is in the image and likeness of Adam. This refers to the soul. If true for Adam and Seth, and the sons of G-d, how much more so it is true concerning Messiah, the Angel of HaShem. That is my point.

    “Adam was made in G-d’s image, as are all of us, because we have a soul- it does not make us literal sons of G-d, nor does it make Adam a literal son of G-d- all of is are only FIGURATIVE sons of G-d. Nothing in Judaism would allow any other belief- in fact, any other belief is paganisitic and in violation of the laws against idoltary.”

    Agreed. And agreed that HaShem is our Father.

    “And the Mashiach ois not divine, he is not the seed of G-d- he is a normal human being- he has to be if he is going to be Mashiach- he needs a human father to be from Beis David, he needs a Jewish mother to be jewish.”

    It is written “her seed” not “his seed” in Genesis 3:15.

    “As for Teshuvah- its nonsense to think we need anyone but G-d.”

    We do not need anyone but HaShem. Agreed. Now you are arguing my point.

    “Its nonsense to suddenly start claiming the Mashiach is needed for atonement. Nowhere in Jewish thought does the Mashiach provide atonement, nowhere in Jewish thought is the Mashiach anything but a man carrying out a mission from G-d.”

    The death of the righteous atones. After the account of the Golden Calf, Moshe himself offered himself up for all Israel, but God rejected it because he was not righteous enough. Only the Messiah is.

    “As for the idea that Jesus was the perfect tzadik- once again he fails- where is his adherence to the mitzvah pr “pru urevu”?”

    Are not talmidim considered children of the tzaddik they follow, and the tzaddik considered their father?

    “On top of that- he tells his followers to break shabbos- giving them permission to pick and shell barley on shabbos!”

    Eating standing grain is not against halacha. Picking standing grain and putting it in your pocket is harvesting (as well as theft).

    “Far from being the perfect tazadik, the Christian scriptures themselves tell us he broke the halacha!”

    I disagree. Christendom has done much to preach a Sabbath-breaking Messiah, which according to Devarim we are to reject. Yet Messiah Yeshua did not break the Sabbath nor any other halacha according to the Torah, at all. I encourage you to investigate this matter thoroughly and not just take what other people are feeding you.

    If you know to look for Messiah, you are not far from teshuvah. I encourage you to investigate what the Torah says of the Messiah, who he is, what he does, and not some man-made construct. Yeshua is the Messiah, and although those claiming to be of him, have done much to desecrate his name by what they say of him and what they do. If you want to know what Messianic Judaism truly is, then feel free to read this:Link to messianic website removed

    Comment by Israel | January 22, 2009 | Reply

    • Since when is Mashiach an angel? Mashiach is a purely human figure. he is not angelic or divine. he has a human father, a human mother- he is human. Not divine, not an angel, not anything but a man. And like all men, the only relationship he has to G-d is that his soul is divine, the same as every other human beings.

      As for Bereishis 3:15- what on earth has that got to with mashiach? “15. And I shall place hatred between you and between the woman, and between your seed and between her seed. He will crush your head, and you will bite his heel.”” The punishment of the serpent has nothing to do with Mashiach, or does you Christian version of the Chumash have a different verse there? And if you are trying to claim that because it is talking about Chavah’s descendants- that is because it is Chavah that the serpent tempted so its punishment is discussed in relation to her, that’s it. It doesn’t imply anything about tribal or house heritage, which is clearly only from the line of the father.

      And you seem to have got the bit about Moshe wrong- he didn’t offer his death as an atonement- he just stated that he had no desire to be the progenitor of a new Jewish nation- that Hashem should blot his name out of the Torah rather than have him as a new progenitor. Nowhere is his death discussed as an atonement for the sin of the Egal HaZahav, nowhere does he offer his life as an atonement:
      31. And Moses returned to the Lord and said: “Please! This people has committed a grave sin. They have made themselves a god of gold.
      32. And now, if You forgive their sin But if not, erase me now from Your book, which You have written.”
      33. And the Lord said to Moses: “Whoever has sinned against Me, him I will erase from My book!”

      Nowhere there does he offer his life as atonement- in fact all he does is ask G-d to forgive the people!

      And “pru u’revu” is incumbent on EVERYONE. Avraham had children, Yitzchak had children, Yaakov had children, all the patriarchs and matriarchs had children, Moshe had children, Aharon had children. And those who didn’t have children despaired over it- look at Rachel,and others throughout the Tanakh. Merely having students is NOT enough to fulfill the mitzvah of pru u’revu

      And picking standing grain IS A VIOLATION of Shabbos- harvesting (kotzer) is one of the 39 melachos, as is releasing the seed from the kernel (zoreh). Try learning the laws of Shabbos before telling Jews what their laws are! On top of that you have selecting (taking the good from the bad- i.e. the seeds from the removed chaff) called borer- yet another melochah he told his followers to violate.

      So Christianity postulates a divine messiah (in violation of laws against idoltary) who did not fulfill the most basic commandments (pre u’revu) and told his followers to violate the halachah and break shabbos. In other words- what Christianity says is completely contrary to Judaism and has to be rejected by anyone that is actually Jewish and has studied Judaism!

      Comment by marcl1969 | January 22, 2009 | Reply

  6. Who is Israel’s King? A man, or HaShem? When Israel desired a human king, what did HaShem say to Shemuel? “They rejected me as King.”

    Midrash Rabbah on Gen 3:15 is clear that its about Moshiach.

    And regarding Moshe the rabbis clearly understand that he did in fact offer to have HaShem blot out his name instead of Israel, but HaShem’s response is that he will blot out whoever has sinned. This is understood as a drash that Moshe’s merit wasn’t good enough to stand in the gap for the nation of Israel to prevent those who sinned from having their names blotted out. There is only one whose merit can do that, and that one is one who does not sin – at all, ever.

    And yes, you are correct taht Moshe does ask God to forgive the people. Yet from what you said above, I ask you why? I thought the people don’t need an intermediary.

    Regarding pru u’revu, is not HaShem our father, our King; whether or not we are his student, or submitted to him?

    And picking standing grain while in the field is not harvesting, since it is only malacha when one carries it out of the field – such is defined as “malacha” for purpose of stealing according to Torah. Tell me, how do you eat a bagel on Shabbat?

    That Christianity postulates a divine messiah is to their own detriment since the Torah never makes such a declarative statement. The Torah simply says we are to obey the messenger who has HaShem’s name in him, and if we do not, our rebellion will not be forgiven. I choose to submit to that messenger who does the will of HaShem, the King of Israel, who has HaShem’s name in him. That messenger, that prophet like Moses, is none other than Yeshua shel Netzaret. He did not violate the halacha, and he certainly did not break Shabbat. He taught us Torah, and clarified halacha for us, and he calls us all to teshuvah, just as I am calling you to teshuvah.

    The Moshiach has the name of HaShem in him, he is the one we are to obey, for he is Israel’s King, yet we have no other King, Savior, or Redeemer than HaShem! In other words, what you say about the King of Israel being a man born of a human father is completely contrary to Judaism and has to be rejected by anyone that is actually Jewish and has studied Judaism! The Messiah is HaShem’s agent on the earth, and it is HaShem who is King. Until you understand this and make teshuvah, submitting to the true King of Israel, until then you will continue to be in rebellion to the King, and not Jewish at all.

    Comment by Israel | February 2, 2009 | Reply

    • where in Bereishis rabba does it say that the serpent being punished had anything to do with Moshe? I’ve read Midrash Rabbah and remember no such comment- and I doubt that if I take out my copy I will find any such comment either. What midrash in bereishis rabbah states this? You know the actual midrash you quote nit just claiming that it is somewhere in Midrash Rabbah. In fact, in the opening sections of Bereishis rabbah the ost direct reference to Moshe is in the fact that the word “or” is used five times, alluding to the Chamishei Sifrei Moshe. (Berieshis Rabba 3)

      Blot out his name- remove his name form the Torah, not kill him. There is a difference in the two statements. Moshe was stating that he had no desire to become the new progenitor of Hashem’s nation, that if the Jewish nation that was not in existence at that point were not to be Hashem’s nation, then he had no desire to be in the Torah. And Moshe was not acting as an intermediary- the people did not pray to him- and then he on their behalf! He prayed for HIMSELF- that the Jewish people should be forgiven- and that is the way we always pray- we pray for the community as a whole. After all- in prayer we should show concern for the entire community and not concentrate on ourselves.

      The fact that Hashem is the father and king over all the world has nothing to do with p’re u’revu. Hashem is our father since he has a hand in our creation- it is only through his intervention that the soul (a purely spiritual thing)) can merge with the body. Thus Hashem is the father of all humans since it is only through his intervention that we can be born with souls. But, this has nothing to do with the mitzvah of pru u’revu. that is given to us, human beings, to procreate and fill the earth with other human beings. The fact is that as human beings we have nit fulfilled the mitzvah of P’re u’revu unless we have physical children. merely having students is NOT enough to fulfill the mitzvah!

      And kotzer refers to detaching any fruit, vegetable or grain from its parent plant or from the ground. Carrying is a completely different melachah of transferring from a private domain to apublic domain- you do not need to remove grain from the field for it to be considered harvesting- it is considered harvesting from the time it is detached from the earth! And yes- it is only considered stealing when the item is taken from its owners domain to another domain- but we aren’t talking about stealing here (which of course raises the question- who owned the grain that Jesus told his followers to take?)- but about Kotzer- which aplpies regardless of whether there is a change in domain! If ti didn’t, a farmer could harvest his entire field as long as he didn’t remove the grain form the field on shabbos- and that is clearly forbidden! So Jesus did violate the halachah of Kotzer with his disciples, as he violated the halachah of zoreh by seperating the kernels form the chaff, and then borer by picking the kernels from the separated chaff.

      So Jesus could not have been mashiach since he did violated the halachah, did not have children and failed to perform any of the things that Mashiach was meant to achieve! If he was mashiach, where is world peace? Where is an end to hunger and poverty? where is the temple with the Kohanim performing the avodah? Why aren’t all the Jews in israel? The mere fact that he did not achieve any of those things already show that he cannot be mashiach- never mind the fact that he fails to qualify since he was not righteous and violated the Halachah!

      And the Torah is clear, the Tanakh is clear- mashiach willbe a NORMAL human being with a HUMAN father and a HUMAN mother- anything else automatically disqualifies him as mashiach! He has to have a human mother or he is not Jewish. he has to have a human father or he is not from the house of David. Every Jewish source states this- there is no Jewish source that claims otherwise.

      Comment by marcl1969 | February 2, 2009 | Reply

  7. If I haven’t said so myself, I do want to thank you for at least keeping this discussion civil. I look forward to your response if you want to continue this dialogue.

    Comment by Israel | February 2, 2009 | Reply

  8. Interesting. I posted a response, and it was deleted. Just in case it was an accident, here’s my response again (I keep an archive of all my posts):

    Who said the serpent being punished has anything to do with Moshe? On the contrary, it was a bronze serpent that Moshe lifted up on a pole, that when the people looked at it, they were healed.

    Regarding the exact reference of Gen 3:15 and “her seed” as referring to Messiah, Midrash Rabbah 23 states, “Rabbi Tanchuma said in the name of Rabbi Samuel, Eve had respect to that Seed which is coming from another place. And who is this? This is the Messiah, the King.”

    Furthermore RaDaK – Rabbi David Kimchi says, “As Thou wentest forth for the salvation of Thy people by the hand of The Messiah the Son of David, who shall wound Satan, the head, the king and prince of the house of the wicked.”

    Regarding Moshe being an intermediary, who said anything about the people praying to Moshe? Who says anything about praying to Moshiach? Anyone who prays to Moshiach is committing idolatry. So please don’t offer me a strawman that I too am more than willing to burn with you. I never said one prays to Yeshua. At all. Ever. The Torah is clear on this matter, and if you think that’s what a Christian does, than either you or the Christian telling you so is seriously mistaken. We pray in the merit of Moshiach, just as we pray in the merit of all of our forefathers. We don’t pray to them – that is idolatry! Moshiach’s merit, unlike our forefathers, however, is perfect. We need not pray in the merit of anyone else, for no one else is as perfect as he. But if we pray in the merit of Moshiach, it is as if Moshiach himself were praying – and it is in his merit that HaShem answers us, and it is by his merit alone that we, who are submitted to him as our King, therefore also merit to sharing eternal life with him in the Olam Haba. This is why he calls us to teshuvah – so that we may submit to him as King.

    You say pru u’revu is given to human beings only. You are correct. Yet then explain how can HaShem, who is our King, keep the mitzvot of the Torah as the King of Israel should, including pru u’revu? To say the King of Israel is exempt from any commandment, as you assert HaShem would be if he is truly our King, is to subtract from the Torah – and to engage in idolatry, and to worship a G-d who neither we nor our forefathers knew. Yeshua, as the Davar HaShem, made Adam and Eve, our father, and the mother of all the living. He fulfilled pru u’revu in that very process of creating man, in the image of G-d, or do you not believe the Jerusalem Targum when it states:

    “And the Word of the Lord created man in His likeness, in the likeness of the presence of the Lord He created him, the male and his yoke-fellow He created them.”

    Regarding harvesting, anytime one harvests another’s field, it is stealing. So the definition of harvesting is dependent on whether one eats the standing grain of the corner of the field (not harvesting), or puts it in their pocket and leaves the field (harvesting). The owner of the field is prohibited from harvesting his field as well in this manner as well – since he is the owner, he is not allowed to consume the corners of his own field (whether or not it is Shabbat), or go back to glean the fallings. You tell me, can you consume a head of grain on Shabbat? If so, how? If not, why not? How then can you peel a banana on Shabbat, or rip it from the bunch? Or consume an apple with a knife? Or break open a nut to consume it? If you don’t know, see Shulchan Aruch O.C.314:8. It is permissible likewise to break off a head of grain, and eat the kernels, if one is standing in the corners of a field, on Shabbat. The owner of the field is prohibited from harvesting, as is everyone else. But no one is prohibited from consuming the corners of the field, in the field, on Shabbat, except the owner since the corner does not belong to him.

    You ask where is world peace now that Moshiach came? When Moshe came the first time to deliver his people (by smiting the Egyptian), did the Israelites have peace or did they remain in bondage? The Torah never once says nor hints that the Moshiach will come from a human father, but only from the woman as it is written, “her seed” and not “his seed.”

    Shalom.

    Comment by Israel | February 2, 2009 | Reply

    • Mistakes happen- I hit the wrong key accidently! LOL

      Anyways- Midrash Rabbah 23 is about Kayin and his descndants, followed by Adam, Chavah and Seth: itnd has no reference to to the snake in it. none of the Midrashim in there reference any snake.
      Feel free to check it out at http://www.tsel.org/torah/midrashraba/breshit.html Its easily seen that Beresihsi 23 has nothing to do with Eve

      And the bronze serpent Moshe lifted up had nothing to do with the serpent in the garden of Eden- and it definitely was not symbolic of the Mashiach!

      As for praying to Mashiach- what, you going to tell me that the Christians do not see Jesus as divine? that they do not reference the trinity in their prayers, including Jesus? Best tell them to quickly remove all references to the “the Son” from their prayers!

      And Hashem does nto adhere to human law- the Torah is for HUMANS, Hashem is not human! That is the whole point. hashem is completely outside of our reality and frame of reference. He is not ruled by the Torah since the Torah relates to how us, as combinations fo the divine and the physical, need to behave to elevate ourselves to come closer to Hashem- though at the same time we know that it is impossible to reach that level of holiness. But the Torah does not rule Hashem sinc ehe is already completely perfect and divine- he cannot be elevated by the Torah since the Torah requires those adhering to ti to have some form of physicality- which Hashem does not posses! To try and state that hashem must abide by a physical law when he is 100% spiritual is completely incorrect! To try and apply a law applicable to a combination of physical and spiritual to one that is completely spiritual is the idoltary- it is stating that Hashem is has physical characteristics, and thus has an image- something explicitly forbidden in the Torah! If you need to know why physical imagery is used when talking about HAshem, then read Moreh Nevuchim by rambam- the first chapter deals extensively with this concept!

      As for creating man- of course Hashem created man- it states that clearly in the Torah, no one denies that. but no one says that Hashem’s creation of mankind has anything to do wiht themitzvah of p’ru u’revu- that was a mitzvah specifically given from hashem TO man. The whole point of creating him in the likeness of Hashem was that he gave man free will amd a an element of divinity which he could work at increasing- it had nothing to do with physical form. Again I will refer you to the commentary of Ramban on this issue.

      And no- the definition of harvesting does NOT depend on whether the domain of the grain changed or not- that merely counts for theft since the theft is not complete until the grain has left the domain of the owner. However, anyone harvests anything from the moment the plant is detached form the ground, or the fruit is removed from the tree. Nowhere in the in the Torah does the definition of harvesting depends on a change in domain. In fact- it is clear it does not- read the book of Ruth: Chapter 2 v3וַתֵּלֶךְ וַתָּבוֹא וַתְּלַקֵּט בַּשָּׂדֶה, אַחֲרֵי הַקֹּצְרִים; וַיִּקֶר מִקְרֶהָ–חֶלְקַת הַשָּׂדֶה לְבֹעַז, אֲשֶׁר מִמִּשְׁפַּחַת אֱלִימֶלֶךְ. Note that it uses the word הַקֹּצְרִים- harvesters. And all they were ding was reaping and gathering the wheat prior to winnowing it. and no stage here is there change in domain or ownership. So we can see from the Tanakh itself that Kotzer implies only removing the plant form the ground, not a change in domain or ownership! All this has nothing to do with laws of peah (the corners of the field). Even if they were eating peah, you cannot detach the plant form the ground on shabbos due to kotzer!

      As for eating grain on shabbos- you eat it by preparing it before Shabbos. Making sure that you have sudficient food prepared is one of the pre-Shabbos tasks every Jew sees to! As for peeling a banana- completely removing the skin form a fruit, or cutting a fruit is allowed- what is not allowed is the kind of activity associated with winnowing grain and then removing the good kernel from amongst the chaff (the opposite is allowed- you can remove all the chaff and leave just the kernel- but that is practically impossible). another way to do it is to place the kernel and grain in the mouth and then spit out the chaff- but that is a rather revolting way to eat barley.

      As for Shulkhan Aruch Orech Chaim 314:8 , that has nothing to do with Kotzer at all! 314 is acts of building and demolition that are forbidden. Nowhere did I say that you can’t eat or shell nuts- I referred to the shelling of grain which is a completely different thing. The shell of a nut is different to that of grain since grain has to be rubbed or threshed (desher- another melachah) to remove the chaff. The bottom line is that harvesting is forbidden on Shabbos, something that jesus told his followers to do in violation of the Halachah of kotzer.

      And he mashich comes to bring peace- there is no peace. Moshe brought us out of Egypt to receive the Torah and serve Hashem. Nowhere did it say there would eb peace when they were delivered from Egypt- on the contrary, they were expecting war and were scared of not winning it, thus the incident with the spies. And the Mashiach has to have a human father- or he is not from the house of David- tribal inheritance is only from the father: If his father is not human, he is not from the house of David and is therefore not the Mashiach. And peace isn’t the only prophecy Jesus failed to fulfill- no resurrecton of the dead, no Temple, no Jews being proests to the other nations, no universal acceptance of Hashem as the only true G-d, no end to poverty, disease and suffering, no Jews all gathered in Israel- in fact, shortly after the life of Jesus the massive exile we are experiencign today started! In short- not only did Jesus fail to perform any of the miracles associated with Mashiach- but in many cases the opposite has happened!

      Comment by marcl1969 | February 2, 2009 | Reply

  9. Um, where do you get that I said the snake has anything to do with being the Messiah? I said the “seed” has everything to do with the Messiah, not the “snake.” And to this fact, Midrash Rabbah on Breisheit concurs that the “seed” is Messiah.

    Achi, I am not a Christian, so I don’t hold to their declared belief that “Jesus is God.” Scripture never gives us permission to do so. Neither do I reference Yeshua in my prayers. I pray to Aveinu, our Father, Adonai, HaShem – the one and only God. I don’t need an intermediary to have an audience with HaShem. I can talk to him directly enough, and he hears my prayers, thank you. I do however, sometimes pray in the merit of my tzaddik, in his name, just as we pray and invoke the memory of our forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob so that in their merit HaShem hears. I pray to no one but HaShem. Most mature Christians I know don’t even pray to Jesus, and clearly only pray to the Father. Trust me, I am doing my fair share of the work in educating immature Christians as to the idolatry inherent in promoting a man-made “trinity” and of casually throwing around the concept that one can somehow pray to Jesus.

    Are you saying that HaShem can contradict his Torah? Is not HaShem the King of Israel? If so, is he not then therefore responsible for doing the commandments required of the King? Did he not write out the Torah? Did he not bring forth his children, Israel? Does he not marry Israel? Does he not judge Israel? Etc, etc. etc. You are putting physical constraints on HaShem, not me, when you say that the Torah is only for humans. HaShem can not contradict or go against his Torah. At all.

    You said yourself that it is impossible to reach the level of holiness that Torah instructs to enter into. However, Moshiach himself does this very thing, or else he could not be a perfect tzaddik, without sin. There is no elevation of Moshiach to holiness. He just is the level of holiness we all aim for – because he’s the Davar HaShem!

    “Likeness and image” is used of the birth of Seth from his father. So too that phrase is used of the Davar HaShem creating Adam. HaShem is our father, or do you not agree?

    Kotzer is entered into only when one takes a sickle to standing grain. One may pluck heads to consume it, but not put a sickle to it in order to harvest it. Any intent to not consume immediately in the field, is harvesting for use whether one remains in the field or leaves it. Plucking heads or taking a sickle to grain, and setting them aside for use (as in Ruth) is kozter. Consuming plucked heads immediately, is not. See Devarim 23:35. As a side note, any objection you have with Yeshua doing this, should be made with the understanding that he himself did not pluck any grain, but only his disciples did. Also, as a side note, one should wonder why anyone with the disciples’ level of understanding of Jewish law would bother to write anything incriminating about Yeshua if they themselves (and the Pharisaic believers in their midst) didn’t see a problem with plucking heads of grain in the corners of a field on Sabbath and immediately consuming them, given the conditions presented in the incident. The bottom line is that the Pharisees of Yeshua’s day who followed him, did not see a problem with his disciples doing this at all. But there is more to that, as I have already shared from the Torah concerning this matter. Even more so is Yeshua’s argument on the matter, giving an example of David’s men eating the consecrated bread, and yet wasn’t condemned for it. (If you recall, it was a Sabbath that David’s men did this as well). Granted, and I will give you this, that it seems that Yeshua is in fact upholding your position, that what his disciples did was kotzer, but that their hunger was equated to David’s men, and their work equivalent to the work done in the Temple. If anything, this is an appeal by Yeshua to the Oral Torah like any master of Torah would.

    If the Davar HaShem created Adam, how then can the Davar HaShem be David’s son? Surely the Torah says the Seed is of the woman, but of the man? No it does not say such at all.

    “And he mashich comes to bring peace- there is no peace. Moshe brought us out of Egypt to receive the Torah and serve Hashem. Nowhere did it say there would be peace…”

    If Moshe, how much more so Messiah – that when he came, no where does it say he would bring peace. Messiah’s mission when he was here, was no different. In fact, if I recall, Messiah said “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matt 10:34)

    Your expectations of what Messiah does or was supposed to do when he was here in the 1st Century, is not consistent with the Torah’s teaching concerning the matter.

    Comment by Israel | February 3, 2009 | Reply

    • Your reference n Midrash Rabbah was rubbish- Midrash Rabbah 23 has no midrashim dealing with the snake, all of those are in Midrash rabbah 20- and none of those contain the reference you quoted. In other words- there is zero support for the “seed” having anything to do with the the Mashiach- and even if it dod, it would be immaterial, mashiach HAS TO HAVE A HUMAN FATHER TO BE FROM THE HOUSE OF DAVID! Without a human father he cannot be from the house of David- tribal inheritance is never from the mother- a simple proof, A daughter of a Kohen married to a normal member of Bnei Yisrael may not eat Terumah or Maaser, and neither may her children since she is in the Tribe of the husband, as are the children. However, it the children are from a previous marriage where their father was a Kohen- they CAN eat Terumah and maaser though their mother cannot- they always remain in the tribe of the father, regardless of the status of the mother or whose house they are being brought up in!

      Ands Hashem does not contradict the Torah- he is OUTSIDE of the Torah- Torah is for human beings that have a physical component that needs to be elevated and thus require this world in order to perfect themselves. Hashem, on the other hand, is a perfect spiritual being, he has no elements needing to be elevated, he has no physicality to overcome. Since p’ru u’revu is completely outside of his sphere he is not bound by the law. It is meaningless to say that Hashem must be bound by laws only applicable to the physical- he is no more bound to the mitzvah of p’re u’revu than needing to wear tzitzit or tefilin.

      And Hashem does not physically marry Israel- it is an allegory used by Shlomo to to explain the relationship between Hashem and his nation, just as Shir hashirim, with all its sexual imagery is purely allegorical and has nothing to do with an actual act of intimacy! (but then considering your willingness to assign physicality to Hashem, maybe you take that literally as well!) As for judging- since when does that require any element of physicallity? That is form his attribute of the king of all reality, the ultimate king from which all kingship, majesty and judgement flows. It doesn’t imply physicality at all! In fact, it is so sublime and pure in its spiritual sense that to assign it any level physicality is to limit it! So of course Hashem does not go against the Torah- but he is not bound by the physical aspects of the Torah since he is beyond all elements of the physical! the Torah is for mankind- as it says in the Talmud (I can’t recall the exact reference offhand) “The Torah is on earth, Hashem is in the heavens- in other words, the Torah is for us here on earth, it does not apply to Hashem who transcends all reality.

      And nope- Mashiach does not reach the level of Divinity of Hashem- he is human. Just as Moshe was human and made mistakes (at the waters of strife being his major one). Nothing- no being physical or spiritual can reach the ultimate level of Hashem, that is the point in the Aseret haDibrot- We can have no being before Hashem, only Hashem is perfect, holy. Nothing else can even approach his level.

      As for Kotzer- it refers to detaching something growing from its source: an apple from the tree, a carrot from the ground, wheat from the earth. It has nothing to do with using an utensil- nowhere in the defintion of Kotzer does it state that a kli of any kind is needed- the second any living plant is detached from its source of life- it is kotzer! And Devarim 23:35 does not exist (unless you are using Chrsitian scriptures which have different chapter and verse numberings to those which Jews use!) So I am assuming you are referring to:

      v26 When you enter your neighbor’s standing grain, you may pick the ears with your hand, but you shall not lift a sickle upon your neighbor’s standing grain. כִּי תָבֹא בְּקָמַת רֵעֶךָ, וְקָטַפְתָּ מְלִילֹת בְּיָדֶךָ; וְחֶרְמֵשׁ לֹא תָנִיף, עַל קָמַת רֵעֶךָ.

      Only thing is, that verse is not referring to harvesting or to the Shabbos, but to the laws of theft. Basically it is saying that a person picking only by hand is one picking because he is hungry and has an immediate need to satisfy; thus as a form of charity this is allowed. However, if the person arrives with a sickle or another utensil it means they planned this and thus they cannot be allowed to steal the owner’s grain! Nothing here is in reference to what is considered harvesting.

      Now, if you want to see Jewish law on harvesting and Shabbos- try reading Shulkhan Aruch 336. 336:1- You cannot climb a tree in case you come to detach something. The rabbincal gezeirah around this is that one may not make use of anything still attached t the ground in case you accidently pluck something (a leaf, twig, branch) from it in violation of kotzer! Another good example in the section is 336:5 which specifically states that plants growing in the handle of an utensil are the same as a plant growing in the ground- if you accidently pluch it you have to bring a Korban Chatas! 336:7 Specifically forbids plucking a fruit, leaf, twig or flower – even that of a plant growing in a pot without a hole and this not attached to the ground! Bottom line, jesus and his disciples violated the halachah when they picked Barley on Shabbos!

      And David and his men were a different case altogether- 1) they were starving and 2) were at war. These factors combine to make their eating the consecrated bread a permissable act under the laws of pikuach nefesh. On top of that, the consecrated bread they ate was the previous weeks, not the ones currently on the show table (see the commentary of rashi)- thus it could be de-consecrated and eaten by David and his men!On top of that- they weren’t violating halachah in eating read on Shabbos, there was no violation of hilchot shabbos involved! And would the followers of Jesus write this? Simple- his followers were not too knowledgeable about Judaism (or if they were, those composing the gospels weren’t!) This is hardly the only instance of the Christian scriptures getting the facts, behaviour and details about Judaism wrong!

      The Mashiach comes to bring PEACE Yeshayahu 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger of good tidings, that announceth peace, the harbinger of good tidings, that announceth salvation; that saith unto Zion: ‘Thy God reigneth!’ When Mashiahc comes, one ofo the results will be universal peace. Remember this one? “ו וְגָר זְאֵב עִם-כֶּבֶשׂ, וְנָמֵר עִם-גְּדִי יִרְבָּץ; וְעֵגֶל וּכְפִיר וּמְרִיא יַחְדָּו, וְנַעַר קָטֹן נֹהֵג בָּם. 6 And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. ” Sorry- but since the time of Jesus there has been plenty of war and no peace- therefor Jesus is not the Mashiach! Every expectation I have of the Mashiach is directly out of the Tanakh, from the actual prophecies related to him- not the ones Christians reverse engineer to try and prove something false!

      Comment by marcl1969 | February 3, 2009 | Reply

  10. Let’s take this down a level. It is written “her seed” and it is understood that “seed” refers to the Messiah. Now then, where in the Torah do we find the Messiah, the “seed,” being born of a human father? In all cases were seed is mentioned, it is either “your seed” or “her seed” or “she will have a seed” – never “his seed.”

    You are correct that God is incorporeal. Our understanding of HaShem, however, can not exist outside of the Torah or else you have a false god and have entered into idolatry. The Torah is truth. HaShem is the God of truth. Thus the Torah and HaShem are inseparable. How so? Through the agent of HaShem who has HaShem’s name in him, who keeps the mitzvot, the prophet like Moses, the King of Israel, the Messiah, who writes the Torah, and who we must obey or our rebellion against him will not be forgiven. You forget, the Moshiach made Adam and Eve so he already fulfilled the commandment to be fruitful and multiply. He wore tzitzit and laid tefillin while he was on the earth.

    No is suggesting that HaShem physically marries Israel, but no one disagrees that HaShem’s bride is Israel.

    Moshiach does not need to reach any level, for he himself, unlike Adam, is perfect. He is the Word of HaShem. The Torah living among us. He is not of the seed of Adam, who must toil and labor in his obedience to Torah and his fruit isn’t born without thorns and thistles. Moshiach is perfect, and it is because he is perfect, he lives forever, and it is by his merit we too, who identify in name, share in his inheritance.

    You said: “We can have no being before Hashem, only Hashem is perfect, holy. Nothing else can even approach his level.” But that’s precisely the point! Only the Davar HaShem is perfect. Only the Moshiach, the agent of HaShem who has HaShem’s name in him!

    Regarding kotzer, what the talmidim of Yeshua did was not the normal way one harvests, thus it was permissible. Messiah Yeshua makes the point from two examples given where valid acts are performed that are not violations of the Torah.

    Messiah came to suffer first, then to rule, or have you not read that Yosef was taken from his brothers, and his father thought him dead – only to discover at the end of his life that Yosef was alive and ruler of the world? If your expectations of Moshiach do not include this, then your expectations of Moshiach are not out of the Torah, let alone the TaNaKh.

    Comment by The Jerusalem Council | February 4, 2009 | Reply

    • The fact that Mashiach comes form her seed just means that Mashiach will have a Jewish mother and will not be a convert, that’s it. It does not imply divine fatherhood or a supernatural origin! Nowhere do we see the Mashiach as divine or as anything besides righteous human being. he is not G-d, he is definitely not G-d made flesh, a blasphemous concept that is forbidden in asseret hadibrot! Teh whole reason for not allowing idols is because G-d is NOT physical, does not have form and to try and ascribe a form to G-d is a form of idol worship!

      And I repeat- the Torah was given to us on earth by G-d. Yes, G-d keeps the Torah, but only where it would not conflict with divine nature- if you really want to quote midrashim like the one that says G-d put on tefillin iand tzitzit in the Gan eden, then you need to understand the difference between allegorical midrashim and halachic ones- between using imagery and aggadata to explain a concept and between a literal description! That midrash is an aggadata- it is not literal! G-d cannot physically don tefillin since he has no arm or head on which to put them! On top of that, strictly speaking G-d is not required to wear tefillin since the mitzvah was specifically given for us to remember the redemption from Egypt. Tzitzit are just as problematic- G-d does not have a physical body with which to wear a four cornered garment- something which is not even mandatory! (You do realise that there is no requirement to don a four cornered garment; the obligation is IF you wear a four cornered garment then you must put tzitzit on them). What does this Midrash illustrate- the referrence to Tefillin illustrates that even in gan Eden G-d had planned the future of the Jewish people, the whole line of succession and the redemption from Egypt. the tzitzit are symbolic of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah- and here the allegory ilustrates that the Torah existed even in Gan Eden (in fact a previous midrash states that the Torah was one of the things that were created before the events in Bereishis). However- neither of these wearings are to be taken literally- this is an AGGADATA not a physical description!

      And Moshiach is someone who has the POTENTIAL and then reaches it- no one is automatically completely righteous. No one is automatically completely holy. Mashiach is not the word of Hashem, nowhere in Jewish tought does it say that Mashiach is the word of Hashem, He is a righteous MAN. He is born from a HUMAN father or else he is not from the House of David. He is born from a human mother or he is not Jewish. I repeat what I said in my last comment- “mashiach HAS TO HAVE A HUMAN FATHER TO BE FROM THE HOUSE OF DAVID! Without a human father he cannot be from the house of David- tribal inheritance is never from the mother- a simple proof, A daughter of a Kohen married to a normal member of Bnei Yisrael may not eat Terumah or Maaser, and neither may her children since she is in the Tribe of the husband, as are the children. However, it the children are from a previous marriage where their father was a Kohen- they CAN eat Terumah and maaser though their mother cannot- they always remain in the tribe of the father, regardless of the status of the mother or whose house they are being brought up in!”

      As for the what the Jesus’ disciples did- it was aganst the laws of shabbos. not every law can be disregarded just because you did something with a shinui! Simply because I did something differently does not mean that I have not broken Shabbos! There are specific circumstances when the rule of shinui can be applied, and this is not one of them! They were not facing death, they were not in danger, there was no small child with an immediate need, there was no sick person to help, there was no emergency. And as I pointed out- Shulkan Aruch Orach Chaim 316:1 points out that even climbing a tree in case a person breaks a branch off! So here you would have it b’shoygeg (accidently) and a shinui- and it is still deemed kotzer and forbidden! The fcat that Jesus decided to justify his rule breaking is his issue. Jews don’t pay attention to everyone who comes along and tries to excuse their behaviour by making up excuses!

      And what has Yosef got to do with Jesus? Nowhere is the life of Yosef given as an allegory for Mashiach. No Jewish source has ever brought this- Yosef was not Mashiach, nor is Mashiach from his descendants and his life has nothign to do with mashiach.

      And guess what- there is no imperiative in Judaism that Mashiach will suffer- and we know the Torah VERY well.

      Hmm, and I see you failed, again, to address the fact that Mashiach was meant to bring peace, but there has been continual war since the time of Jesus. Mashiach was meant to establish the Jews as a nation of priests to the rest of the world- instead we have been ridiculed, oppressed and killed. mashiach was meant to bring an end to poverty, sickness and suffering- something with which the world is filled today. mashiach was meant to oversee the resurrection of the dead- yet the dead were never resurrected.

      In short- Jesus failed to do what the Mashiach is meant to do, and therefore was not the Mashiach. If he did not do what the Mashiach was meant to do, he is not mashiach- avery simple litmus test that he failed.

      Comment by marcl1969 | February 5, 2009 | Reply

  11. Dear sir, I would like to broach this subject from a slightly different direction than The well-meaning fellow above.
    I have no interest in converting you to anything any more than you have in converting me. I want to make that clear first and foremost. I’m a universalist, so I’m not interested in missionizing.
    Secondly, I would like to simply point out to you that there are people, like myself, who honestly believe that Jesus/Yeshua/Iesus/whatever (I don’t care if you call him Yoda. We know who you mean) taught the Torah. We believe that he taught his followers to observe the Torah in the best tradition of first century Galilean Hassidism.
    I’m not asking you to accept us as Jews, because I have enough antimissionary friends to not expect that. It doesn’t even bother me very much that you still consider us Christians, though I will disagree with that idea until my dying day. The one thing I would like you to recognize is that we are sincere in our beliefs, not missionary. Perhaps we are wrong on some issues of halacha, but we are also widely varied on halachic issues. Maybe we are heretics in the ideas of most of Judaism. But we are sincere heretics, and we are happy for you to remain as you are, and understand that you are doing what God wants you to to the best of your understanding. We only ask that you return that favor.

    Shalom uvrachot,
    David

    Comment by David | February 5, 2009 | Reply

    • David I have no issue with other people believing what they want. I am perfectly happy for Christians to have their beliefs, even to read and study the Torah. Hey, they can even attempt to follow the Torah in the way they interpret it. That is simply the way of the world, and each person will follow what they believe.

      What I object to is people inserting Judaism into Christianity and then telling Jews they do not understand their own books. To those people then misquoting and taking things out of context in order to try and tell Jews that they don’t understand their own religion. Israel has so far made up one Midrash, taken a passage related to the laws of theft and charity and tried to claim it was about Shabbos, ignored parts of my postings that he either cannot answer or will not answer.

      As for calling Jesus a “Gallilean Chasid”- that si just a gross insult to hassidism. Maybe you don’t mean it that way- but it is.

      The bottom line as far as I am concerned is that people can believe whatever they like- but they cross the line when trying to convert Jews. When lying about what they are, claiming to be Jews when they are Christians. When people misrepresent themselves purely to attack Jewish souls I have no tolerance for them. I will continue to post about my thoughts on this issue, and to actively campaign against it. The day that Messianic Jews call themselves something else and admit they are not a Jewish movement, will be the day I will no longer be bothered about them

      Comment by marcl1969 | February 5, 2009 | Reply

  12. This discussion is illuminating! Nothing like seeing the convulted logic of the missionary when it comes to twisting the Torah to push their agenda! When the conversation first started I thought you were foolish to give a Messianic Jew a platform on your blog- but now I see why you did! His evasions, twisting of texts, references to sources that don’t exist (and I checked Midrash Tanchuma just in case he got the Midrash wrong- and that only has 13 Midrashim on Bereishis so it was not from there either) and so on are an education in missionary methods. I suppose I should thank “Israel” as well for helping to educate people about missionary methodology.

    Comment by Chaim | February 5, 2009 | Reply

  13. NOTE: ANY COMMENT THAT S ONLY THERE TO PROVIDE A LINK TO A MESSIANIC OR MISSIONARY SITE, VIDEO OR BOOK WILL BE REMOVED! You want to engage me, you do it in here, I will not allow this nlog to be a gateway to missionary material.

    Comment by marcl1969 | February 5, 2009 | Reply

  14. For those wondering if Israel is going to continue this debate: Yes, he has tried. However since he cannot do me the courtesy of not refraining from using made up sources, his comments will not appear. trying to claim that the midrash he tried to use was in Midrash Rabbah Bereishis 13 (and not 23) as previously claimed is again blatantly dishonest. That Midrash does NOT exist Bereishis Rabbah 13- that contains midrashim about the rains at the start of the world; nothing about the snake or the seed of Chavah!

    Comment by marcl1969 | February 6, 2009 | Reply

  15. Accusing me of using a made up source, when I just found it for you and pasted the Hebrew from that page to this post, is lashon hara. In case you want to know what Hebrew to look for on http://www.tsel.org/torah/midrashraba/breshit.html here it is:

    רבי תנחומא בשם רבי שמואל אמר נסתכלה אותו זרע שהוא בא ממקום אחר ואי זה זה מלך המשיח

    Comment by Israel | February 6, 2009 | Reply

  16. A comment on the argument over the Midrash- no Midrash exists that Israel quotes: what does exist is a Midrash which states the following:
    ה וידע אדם עוד את אשתו נתוסף לו תאוה על תאותו לשעבר אם לא היה רואה לא היה מתאוה עכשיו בין רואה בין שאינו רואה הוא מתאוה רבי אבא בר יודן בשם רבי אחא רמז למפרשי ימים שיהיו נזכרים את בתיהם ובאים מיד ותקרא את שמו שת כי שת לי אלהים זרע אחר וגו’ רבי תנחומא בשם רבי שמואל אמר נסתכלה אותו זרע שהוא בא ממקום אחר ואי זה זה מלך המשיח תחת הבל כי הרגו קין מחטייה של הבל נהרג קין לשני אילנות שהיו סמוכין זה לזה פכרה רוח את אחד מהן ונפל על חבירו ופכרו כך תחת הבל כי הרגו קין מחטייה של הבל נהרג קין:

    Now the test he quotes is in there- but as per standard “Messianic “Jewish practice”, the quote is taken out of context, is only partial and misrepresents what is stated. The whole midrash taken in context is about Shet, the son born to Adam and Chavah after the death of Hevel, and then continues to discuss the death of Hevel at the hands of Kayin. The quote taken in context indicates that the Mashiach will be from the line of Shet, not Kayin- which is consistent with the Torah in that Noach was a descendant of Shet and thus so will the Mashiach be! However- the dishonesty of the “Messianic jews” comes through clearly as they use a partial quotation to try and twist the meaning to something it never meant to try and justify the insertion of pagan idealogy into Judaism!

    Comment by marcl1969 | February 7, 2009 | Reply

  17. Um. “Calm down” would be a good phase to utter at least 20-30 times per day…

    Sadly midrash, which previously happened between closed doors in real-time, has taken to open air mudslinging online in front of everyone. It has caused more problems than it’s fixed. Now we encourage everyone from all over the world to join in our private Torah debates with little or no back story, accountability or relationship! What were we thinking???

    Now, I’ve read Israel’s post that was delete (he emailed me privately) and I’m NOT going to take up his offense. It would be easy to do since his arguments were compelling, rational and well documented. However, for fear of belaboring a deleted point I see no reason to continue down that road…

    I’m more concerned about the tone so quickly jumping into accusation of lashon hara and talk of made up sources. How can this be profitable? Much of Torah debate online sounds like preschool kids fighting in the nursery with adult words. Deletion of comments because of disagreement or difference in interpretation is the most juvenile and dictatorial thing I’ve seen!!!

    I encourage people to avoid deleting comments – especially ones with which they disagree. As long as the language is kept relatively calm and respectful the discourse of differences can be nothing but illuminating. Truth needs no light to shine on it but emanates light from itself to dispels darkness. Is this not the teaching of the First Day?

    Personally, I would have enjoyed reading the continued discourse among you had you maintained a mutual respect for one another. But since it has degenerated to little more than name-calling, mud slinging and accusing one another of sin – I really don’t see how further discussion could be profitable… Therefore, my suggestion is that this discussion be closed until such a time as it can be continued by reverent men.

    Blessing to you both in your pursuit of righteousness. Let the fool hold his tongue. – Shalom.

    Comment by R. Bobavich | February 12, 2009 | Reply

    • I’m afraid Israel overstepped the line. More than once he quoted items from the Torah out of context, distorted the halachah and then deliberately misquoted a midrash to try and push a pagan concept into Judaism. Thsi blog is about JUDAISM. Every one of rthe Meforshim is clear that inserting Jesus into Judaism is heretical, and at best shows the person is gravely uneducated- and at worst that they are an apikoros. Nowadays most of us accept the ruling of HaRav Moshe Feinstein that Jews converting to christianity are “tinok she lo b’nishma”- (a baby without understanding) and this we no longer say kaddish for them but make it easier for them to return b’teshuvah. hwever, that does not imply acceptance nor that the pagan ideas they have adopted are any more accpetabel than before.

      Rambam made the statement very clearly- Christianity is the same as idoltary for a Jew.

      As for lashon hara- try reading “shmiras halashon” by the Chofetz Chaim, or if you want something less modern (though more difficult to read) Rambam on the topic. Both make it clear- lashon hara is not just allowed, but required when it comes to pointing out those spreading idol worship amongst Bnei Yisrael! Even more on that- if you see someone teaching Torah incorrectly and leading their students astray- you are required to correct their behaviour so as to prevent the students from falling into apostasy.

      So, this topic will not be closed- and I will continue to delete posts that are nothing more than missionary posts aimed at converting Jews. There are plenty of forums without moderation where yu can post to your hearts content- this is a page about Judaism- and just as I repeatedly remove the posts containing the lies about the contents of the Talmud, I will continue to remove posts that deli=berately distort and lie about Judaism. If Israel really wants to discuss things- he can start off by answering the points he assiduously avoided:
      And he mashich comes to bring peace- there is no peace. Moshe brought us out of Egypt to receive the Torah and serve Hashem. Nowhere did it say there would eb peace when they were delivered from Egypt- on the contrary, they were expecting war and were scared of not winning it, thus the incident with the spies. And the Mashiach has to have a human father- or he is not from the house of David- tribal inheritance is only from the father: If his father is not human, he is not from the house of David and is therefore not the Mashiach. And peace isn’t the only prophecy Jesus failed to fulfill- no resurrecton of the dead, no Temple, no Jews being proests to the other nations, no universal acceptance of Hashem as the only true G-d, no end to poverty, disease and suffering, no Jews all gathered in Israel- in fact, shortly after the life of Jesus the massive exile we are experiencign today started! In short- not only did Jesus fail to perform any of the miracles associated with Mashiach- but in many cases the opposite has happened!

      Along with an admittance that he was wrong when he said the Tanakh does not indicate that the Mashiach comes to bring peace and an apology for lying and distorting the midrash.

      Comment by marcl1969 | February 12, 2009 | Reply

  18. You are correct. By your own admission this is an avenue to publish your perception of Judaism. As such, you are free to dictate how things will be conducted to propagate your perspective. That, after all, is the point of blogging like a madman: bolstering readership and telling them what you assert to be true. And encouraging them to respond in agreement.

    I still hold that what you did was childish. From my observation readers generally appreciate the insight created by the banter of a dissenting opinions. But no matter. This is your blog. Do as you like. No skin off my back.

    Israel is a personal friend and I know how dogged he is when he joins a conversation. (I’m much the same way myself.) Israel loves to derive new perspectives on old text and is good at looking at things through non-traditional lenses while maintaining a deep respect for long established tradition. (A beautiful balancing act!) I love to read what he writes for that reason even if I don’t agree.

    I can understand how his presence might come as a threat to the continued propagation of your ideas when he disagrees. He’s a good debater and he takes rabbit trails that in the end causes you to illuminate points you didn’t want to made. He lets you prove yourself wrong in your own words. It’s infuriating sometimes.

    Anyhow, it seems you’ve decided to use a shotgun-style comment answering with twice or thrice as many points making it time consuming to continue a conversation. This is rude, disrespectful and sly – leaving the option to later claim that nobody answered all of your points. How could I answer everything and keep a coherent discussion?

    I’m not gonna get into that game because I have more Torah to live and share with people than time to write about it. But you have a good life. Shine the Torah. Who knows, maybe it can change the world if they begin to admire it as foretold.

    Anyhow, I’ve got some students to meet now and no time to continue this discourse. Do as you like. But for Heaven’s sake make the worship of HaShem great in the world while you’re at it! All else is useless…

    Shalom.

    Comment by R. Bobavich | February 12, 2009 | Reply

    • This is not “my version” of Judaism- this is Orthodox Judaism which rejects Christianity and the insertion of Pagan ideas into Judaism. And its not just Orthodox, but Masorti, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism that universally reject the insertion of Christianity into Judaism.

      As for it being childish: you are welcome to your perceptions; however, most people consider it responsible and correct to prevent the dissemination of lies and distorted material whose aim is to convert Jews. Nowhere do I indicate this blog is a platform for discussing Judaism with missionaries- on the contrary, in previous posts I have made it clear that missionising postings will be removed and that people publishing missionary material in the comments here will have it removed. While discussing concepts it was fine- when it moved into the territory of fabrications, lies and distortion of material- it was no longer welcome nor will it be permitted.

      Israel is welcome to look at things in any way he wants to- but he is not welcome to deliberately distort the text to try and get it to agree to the pagan concepts he wants to insert into Judaism- at lest not here. he can post to his heart content in unmoderated forums or on “Messianic Jewish” websites- it will not be published here. This blog is about JUDAISM, not Christianity in any of its guises or disguises!

      And he proved nothing, except that he deliberately misquotes and distorts the text to try and make a non-existent point. Quotes from the Torah about theft to try and discuss harvesting on Shabbos? Nice try- but not even close! His presence is not a threat- merely an irritation I am not prepared to have on my blog disseminating lies about the Torah and trying to make Judaism into Christianity.

      And then an attack on my comment style! Laughable- is that the best you can come up with to refute my points? I answered what you wrote and told you the remedy for Israel- you choose to ignore that in favour of ad hominem attacks- go ahead.

      Comment by marcl1969 | February 12, 2009 | Reply

  19. Why did ya’ll delete my comment? Did you not like that I gave a link that showed many references from Talmudic literature that the suffering servant was an ancient Jewish concept?
    You shouldn’t make these claims, “And what has Yosef got to do with Jesus? Nowhere is the life of Yosef given as an allegory for Mashiach. No Jewish source has ever brought this-”
    You shouldn’t say, “no Jewish source ever brought this up.”
    When there are Talmudic references showing the suffering servant Messiah. Some call Him the leper Messiah b/c they knew He would bear our sicknesses and diseases. Anyways, I wasn’t here to debate a long debate, but just to drop a nugget of truth and see what you’d think of it. And you deleted my comment and reference, which you’ll probably do with this too. G-d be the judge.

    Comment by TruthbeTold | February 19, 2009 | Reply

    • Your comment was nothing but a link to a missionary site with the standard distortions and lies about Judaism on it. I will not engage with comments that are nothing more than attempts to embed links to missionary sites on a blog about Judaism.

      And your “nugget of truth” is just a pile of the stinky brown stuff. Theso called proofs from the Talmud are the standard distortions that “Messianic Jews” use. Tell you what- stop pretending to be Jewish, be honest about being Christians and there will be no more comments made about the Christian movement calling itself “Messianic Judaism” on this blog.

      Comment by marcl1969 | February 19, 2009 | Reply

  20. Somebody likes sour grapes… But then again if the mud sticks.

    …I find it profoundly amazing, the zest with which you spew fire at those who misname themselves. If we scream at them is it going to change anything? Why bother? HaShem knows a true Jew when He sees one.

    Look, if you’re going to delete comments to further your opinion or avoid dissenting views at least have the decency to delete all the comments. There is not point in spewing violence back at them. The last thing we need is more thin brown stuff slung all over the walls. Besides, Torah says that we are to turn and bury that which comes out of us that there may be no uncleanness found.

    Hmm. Might be a good suggestion here, eh?

    Comment by R. Bobavich | February 23, 2009 | Reply

    • Sour grapes- no. A refusal to allow this blog to become a preaching point for missionaries- yes. A comment which contains nothing but a link to a missionary site seeking to convert Jews to Christianity- under any guise or disguise, has no place on this blog. It will not be allowed and will be consigned to the dustbin. This blog is not about refuting the distortions and lies that the missionaries in “Messianic Judaism” promulgate. This blog is about Judaism. If people want to comment here, they are welcome as long as they refrain from missionising and just drop and run comments with links that add zero value to anything but missionaries seeking brownie points.

      And since this point has been made frequently that I will not tolerate attacks on Judaism or missionary activity on this blog- people choosing to post such material can expect to have them removed. And the Torah says to not allow missionary activity- that if one is spreading idoltary amongst Bnei Yisrael they are to be exposed and their sentence is death if all the requirements are met. In fact- it is so explicitly stated that both the Rambam and Chofetz Chaim give the fighting of missionary activities as times when Lashon HaRa is allowed in order to prevent them from spreading their lies.

      And quite frankly the quoting of Torah by a miissonary is always more of a disgusting thing than anything else since it is obviously self-serving and shows the study of Torah for inappropriate reasons and for nothing more than looking for ways to twist its words to fit their warped ideas

      Comment by marcl1969 | February 23, 2009 | Reply

      • Marc, congratulations on not letting the “messianic jews” dictate the agenda here. Too frequently people get engaged in debates with them that allow them to promulgate their lies about genuine Judaism while spreading their missionary material.

        Comment by Dovid | July 2, 2010 | Reply

        • Thank you. heh, its been a while since there was any activity on this post!

          Comment by marcl1969 | July 2, 2010 | Reply


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