Exploiting Ignorance – by Jim

It is sometimes troubling to Christians that typically a Jewish believer in Jesus is Torah ignorant. Even a celebrated Christian Jew like Dr. Michael Brown grew up in a Torah deficient environment. Because, at the time when a Jewish believer comes to faith in Jesus, his decision is uninformed, it is suggestive that his decision is a mistake based in ignorance. And the question must then be asked, why does the Torah knowledgeable Jew not put his faith in Jesus? One can see how this might trouble the Christian. Inasmuch as Jesus is supposed to fulfill the Torah, it appears to delegitimize their faith when the Torah expert does not put his faith in Jesus and the inexpert Jew does. For this reason, if a Torah observant Jew—better yet, a rabbi—puts his faith in Jesus, this person’s ‘testimony’ becomes very important. The Christian faith does not seem so illegitimate when a Torah observant Jew signs up.

Only a few weeks ago, I wrote a comment related to this topic under a different blog post. Briefly I discussed why the Torah ignorant read Isaiah 53 and believe that it sounds like Jesus. I pointed out that the Torah ignorant did not know the overall context of Isaiah. And I pointed out that the reading of the Hebrew Scriptures has been shaped by 2,000 years of Christian interpretation the majority of which Christian culture has been dominant in the West. A commenter recently on this blog post listed a handful of Jews that believe in Jesus. The story of one of the women in the list is helpful for understanding my argument, as the Christian missionary is successful due both to the woman’s ignorance of the Hebrew Scriptures and the influence of the Church in Western culture.

The list consists of the following names:

Rose Price
David Yaniv
Sergey Katchanov
Sharon Allen
Frieda Roos
R. Mathetes
Moran Rosenblit

Their stories can be read here: http://www.jewishvoice.org/who-is-yeshua/jews-who-believe/

This essay will focus on Frieda Roos. Please let the reader understand that the intent of this essay is not to mock Ms. Roos. That her Torah education was neglected is not her fault. Nor is it her fault that someone was able to use her ignorance against her. This essay is only concerned with the realities that are facing Torah ignorant Jews in the modern age.

But it should be pointed out that the commenter that referenced Frieda Roos and the others in the list added them to a conversation about how many Torah observant, Torah knowledgeable Jews put their faith in Jesus. The commenter presented them as if these seven people would be part of the community of believers that knew Torah before coming to Jesus. But if the reader will follow the link to their stories, he will find that largely they were not Torah observant and largely ignorant of the Torah.

Frieda Roos did not grow up with a Torah education. To the contrary, she writes: “[My parents] never talked about God, and I had never been in a synagogue except for my brother’s wedding. For me, Yom Kippur meant a day off from school…”. Ms. Roos was deprived of her heritage, growing up in a home where God was not even mentioned. While she did not visit the synagogue, she did frequent a Catholic church with her boyfriend in her teenage years. This appears to be the extent of her religious education.

Afterward, Frieda Roos suffered through the Holocaust. The details are there for those who wish to read them. While those things through which she suffered had an enormous impact on her life and ought not be minimized, they are of little relevance to this topic. After surviving the Holocaust, Ms. Roos was beset by several Christians telling her about Jesus. She then contacted a pastor who put her in touch with a German woman that had been married to a Jewish man who was at this time deceased. And she and that woman argued about Jesus for six weeks:

“For the next six weeks I argued with her until she asked me to read Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22. Reading Isaiah 53, I did not understand a single word. Then, as promised, I started reading Psalm 22, and coming to the 16th verse where it says ‘they pierced my hands and my feet,’ I let out one big yell, ‘Oh my God, that is Jesus, because He was crucified!’”

“I remembered all the Christian paintings I had seen years earlier in that church in Amsterdam. Suddenly all of it made sense. I went back to the 53rd Chapter of Isaiah and now I understood each and every word. Hallelujah!”

Please let the reader take note that the Christian presented Frieda Roos with the classic missionary text, Isaiah 53. Again, it is as if the whole rest of Isaiah did not exist. It is as if the whole rest of Tanach did not exist. And experiencing the passage in a vacuum, Ms. Roos could not understand it.

What convinces her is Psalm 22:16, that the psalm says “they pierced my hands and my feet.” Notice that she links this to the Christian paintings she saw. Her reading of the Hebrew Scriptures is based on Christian culture. Used to seeing Jesus with his hands and feet pierced, her mind relates the figure in the psalm to Jesus. It is Christian imagery that interprets the psalm for her.

Tragically, she is a victim to her ignorance. Psalm 22:16 says nothing about hands or feet being pierced. But it is unlikely that Frieda Roos reads Hebrew, and relying upon the Christian translation, she does not know that it does not say, “pierced” but “like a lion”. Relating the verse to Jesus based on the imagery of the Church is an understandable error, but it is an error and a significant one. And it is made in part because she cannot read the text, which does not say what she thinks it says. And it is made in part because her interpretive lens is not Torah but Christian paintings. She has been suffused with Christian culture.
Only after she sees Jesus in Psalm 22 and relates it to the paintings in a church does she have an idea for understanding Isaiah 53. Now the Suffering Servant makes sense to her. Again, she does not understand this through the lens of Torah and through the lens of the rest of Isaiah. She understands it through one psalm, primarily one verse, which does not say what she has been told it says and which she understands through the paintings in a church.

That the commenter would present her as a knowledgeable Jew believing in Jesus is quite bizarre. Unfortunately, Frieda Roos represents the Torah ignorant Jew who has been deceived by a bad translation and the dominant Christian culture. Her parents did her a grave injustice by denying her the Torah and knowledge of God. Like so many other Jews that believe in Jesus, she did not know enough to understand what she was being told. Denied her heritage in youth, it continued to elude her later in life.

Of course, this does not mean that no Torah observant Jews ever put their faith in Jesus. But those cases do not appear to be typical. For 2,000 years, the Torah observant community has put their faith in God and not a man. They have not been misled by bad translations of verses or verses ripped out of context. Because of their knowledge of Torah, by and large, the Torah community has been faithful. But those who did not know Torah and did not know the Prophets, they were misled. One can only hope that they return home soon.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Jim. Bookmark the permalink.

97 Responses to Exploiting Ignorance – by Jim

  1. junzey says:

    Tragically, she is a victim to her ignorance. Psalm 22:16 says nothing about hands or feet being pierced. But it is unlikely that Frieda Roos reads Hebrew, and relying upon the Christian translation, she does not know that it does not say, “pierced” but “like a lion”.

    Hi Jim, I don’t know if you’re Jewish – but that is not my point in responding to your blog. My point in responding to you is:

    Psalm 22:16 as you wrote, “does not say, ‘pierced’ but ‘like a lion’!”

    You would need to read the translation of The Dead Sea Scrolls writings on Psalm 22:16 to find the truth. For the truth lies in the writings of the Dead Sea Scrolls!

    Scirpture bears witness to Truth and Truth sets one free! With Blessings, June

    ________________________________

    • junzey
      Did God preserve the Dead Sea Scroll community with their libraries as the covenant community?

      • CP says:

        R,B,
        One could easily make a case for God preserving their Libraries in light of the facts: Isaiah accusing the Scribes of lying. The current Text being made from various Proto-Masoretic texts. These texts were without vowel pointing. They also came from a square script translated from Paleo Hebrew.

        “pierced’ but ‘like a lion” is easily explained. I am hoping the author is ignorant of this rather than willful intellectual dishonesty.

        • CP
          The libraries of the DSS confirm the predominance of the Masoretic text even in the circles of the schismatics.
          In any case – Isaiah’s accusations of the scribes lying is that they did not live up to what they wrote – not that their texts are false – if that would be the case then did God expect no one to have the text until the DSS were discovered?

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Rabbi, G-d may not have preserved the literal dead sea sectarian descendants, but he in fact chose to preserve the oldest Hebrew Writings we posses of any biblical books, ever, in their library, not in the library of the Synagogue or the Church.

        Whether we are talking Christian or Jewish Bibles, our copies are nowhere near as old as the dead sea scrolls.

        I hate to see these kinds of arguments over a word in a verse, when both readings can be honestly substantiated.

        For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me, like a lion, my hands and feet. יזכִּי סְבָבוּנִי כְּלָבִים עֲדַת מְרֵעִים הִקִּיפוּנִי כָּאֲרִי יָדַי וְרַגְלָי:

        (Rashi) like a lion, my hands and feet: As though they are CRUSHED IN A LION’S MOUTH, and so did Hezekiah say (in Isa. 38: 13): “like a lion, so it would break all my bones.”

        Rashi says earlier in the chapter that the bulls of bashan represent the Babyonians, IE Nebuchadnezzar, so its not surprising that the Dead Sea Sectarians, or the Christians, would interpret these verses with respect to the wicked power of their own era, IE the Romans. Suffering under the Romans would mean the flail, and Crucifixion. So, technically, while I see the merit of rabbi B’s interpretation, I can’t dismiss the Christian reading as a possible one.

        • Jim says:

          Concerned Reader,

          Your comments regarding the word “pierced” miss the mark. You write: “I hate to see these kinds of arguments over a word in a verse, when both readings can be honestly substantiated.” The reason the argument is over the word is because it is that upon which the Christian argument rests. It was the reading of the word “pierced” that caught Frieda Roos’ attention, not the interpretation of Rashi.

          This is why Junzey refers back to the DSS. The Christian is looking for the word “pierced” not just some possible interpretation. They want to be able to read it as a prophecy. The question they will ask is: “Who was pierced?” And the whole time, the verse says nothing about anyone being pierced. The efficacy of their interpretation relies on the word, as it appears to exclude other readings. They are not going for a possible reading, which one might question. They are looking for a term that makes the verse appear to be undeniably about Jesus.

          And that term does not exist in the passage.

          The Christian has made that one word to be of great import. It is a method whereby the Church slants the reading of the passage. Their reading is not based on Rashi. It is based upon a mistranslation. And that one word causes an association in the minds of those that do not realize the word is not in the passage. They look for the one that was “pierced,” not for the one with lions at his hands and feet.

          Jim

          • junzey says:

            Jim, I’m Jewish as is my husband, who by the way came from an Orthodox Jewish family! A letter in a Word written does Not define my faith in the Holy One of Israel! The life change I have experienced for 43 years and the presence of the Lord with me and His Holy Scriptures teaching me how to live is why I have the faith I have and why I believe what I believe.
            You should be very careful in talking about God’s children and calling them ignorant of Torah, especially if you don’t know the people you are speaking about. I personally knew Rose Price, who has past on to be with the Lord, (a hoocaust survivor) and I also know Moran who lives in Israel with his wife and children; they were anything but personally ignorant of the Tenach. To believe that what you believe and why you believe it is one thing – but to misquote letters or Scriptures in ‘dispute’ is another – or to put down people for their faith is very serious. That is the only reason why I respnded! I’m not a debater – and I respect Rabbi Blumenthal and appreciate him – so I won’t say anything further. But, I would hope you would rethink of how you desire to show that Yeshua is not the Messiah or the Son of God without taking Scriptures that have been disputed … as The Dead Sea Scrolls are on display in Isarel … and have been sent to Synagogues all over the world to display. Psalm 22:16 is to one – interpreted as one believes – and to another, because of the Dead Sea Scrolls is a confirmation of faith. This is still in dispute with scolars.

          • Dina says:

            June, you who turned your back on your God and your people have no right to warn others of wrongdoings which pale into insignificance next to your own. I pray that God open your eyes and bring you back. We are waiting with open arms.

          • RT says:

            Junzey, regardless if Kaari(u) could be translated as dug or not, and if the dead sea scroll showed a “vav” instead of a “yod”. Are you partial when you read that Psalm? If there is a chance that the word could be “Like a lion” that renders the “prophecy” void. The rest of the Psalm does not talk of anybody in particular and it would only be normal to understand it as a complaint of David… There is no mention whatsoever that this Psalm talks about the Messiah and to hang on one word to “prove” that it is messianic is pure non-sense. Messianic Leaders have used Psalm 22 and the like to “Prove” and show their messiah. I have been more than 6 year in messianic Kehilah and that’s all they do… Prove Jesus. It would be only honest from their part (I believe there might be exception, but for the majority…) that they would show the two sides of the medal, instead of “proving” Jesus even if the text does not prove anything. This is the same with “what are those wounds in your hands and feet”. This has been used and taken out of context, and obviously, it talks about a false prophet. So by using the same logic with a more vague passage which does not specify who it is, then you feel justified that it is Jesus….

            It’s Ok if you feel the presence of the lord, but to based your belief and most likely a mistranslation and a feeling of Joy you have in your heart (with all due respect) does not make sense. Many times I have heard believers saying that “the Holy Spirit has to reveal the truth to you” and if not, there is never sufficient evidences. Well, if the evidences are seen only by does who believe and do not doubt, then those are not evidences, but a deceitfulness of the heart.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Jim, its absurd to think that the Christian interpretation rests on only this one word. Why? Because, even if the verse actually had said “pierced,” it wouldn’t of necessity be talking about Jesus anyway. This is a rabbit hunt on both sides of the fence.

            The context is about righteous suffering. You could apply it to anyone.

            I brought up Rashi, because he was saying that “like a ion” can refer to crushing bones, or to digging, etc.

            Therefore, it vindicates an INTERPRETATION, that the verse COULD BE about someone suffering.

            How do we know the verse doesn’t refer to the prophet Daniel? You think that by saying the verse doesn’t directly say pierced that you will wrest it from Messianics? Does the presence of a word stop rabbis from interpreting a text in myriad ways?

            What I mean Jim is this. A Christian can agree with you. He or she can say, “ah! ok, it doesn’t say they pierced my hands and my feet. But, does like a lion my hands and my feet make better contextual sense? Not really.”

            That’s why Rashi’s interpretation makes descent sense. If an honest reader probes the question of “What does a lion do at hands and feet?” The answers are likely (in context,) Gnaw, Bite, Pierce, or dig in.

            Its an absurd verse to argue over.

          • CP says:

            “Dina says:
            February 6, 2017 at 6:25 pm
            June, you who turned your back on your God and your people have no right to warn others of wrongdoings which pale into insignificance next to your own. I pray that God open your eyes and bring you back. We are waiting with open arms.”

            ” you who turned your back on your God and your people” ……….”wrongdoings which pale into insignificance next to your own.” ……”I pray that God open your eyes”….

            Dina, as you are fond of saying; “this implies….” “which is the same as……” calling a Jewish sister and her friend (a holocaust survivor, now deceased); ‘wicked, blind traitors of God’ for no other reason than they believe Yeshua is an advent of Messiah.

            (Btw, isn’t this the same kind of hate speech you accuse Yeshua of and a reason you give to reject him?)
            ——-Priceless!——-

          • CP According to your world-view these people (June and Mrs. Roos) are idolaters. Doesn’t it disturb you that you feel more kinship to them than you do to Dina who worships the same God as you do? Doesn’t this tell you that your world is Jesus centered and not God centered? Doesn’t this tell you that your world view is not subservient to the Jewish Scriptures (which sees idolatry as the worst) but that the Jewish Scriptures are subservient to your affinity to Jesus in your world view? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • RT says:

            Your Pharisee’s Friend

            It come back to the fact that Yeshua’s teaching mandate his follower to convince the Jews that they are wrong. Regardless if “we” are worshiping the true G-d, their “messiah” say that we are not. Those like CP will be thorn between those who follow the real G-d and are meant to go to hell (as per Yeshua’s word) and those idolaters who go to heaven. He will justify himself by saying that those poor Christian have been mislead by the Roman Catholic and they still accept Yeshua as lord. Nevertheless, the Jews do not accept him and so, as per his own word, you are worst that Sodom and Gomorrah… It’s funny that most Christians would put CP in our boat of non-saved who reject the “holy” complex unity of god.

            CP, doesn’t that make you think? The true worshipers of G-d are bound to hell, but the idolaters are accepted in the kingdom of heaven… They make a man (Yeshua), as god, and change the true nature of G-d, and that is a small error that has been committed by literally 99% of the followers of Yeshua. And I am not judging, it’s your Yeshua who believes that all the JEWS and Idolaters are in Hell. A doctrine that is not easily found in the Tanakh…

          • KAVI says:

            Jim,
            As Junzey clearly testifies– it is false to accuse Jews who turn to Yeshua as their Redeemer as “ignorant of Torah”.

            The accusation of “ignorance” dates from the first century, where we find a member of the Sanhedrin saying,
            “But this rabble who understand nothing about the Law are accursed.” [John 7]

            I do not question that, over the centuries, Judaism has built an extensive hermeneutic that denies G-d’s complex Tri-unity and denies redemption through Faith in a Redeemer and denies L-rd Yeshua as HaMashiach– on the other hand, we can readily find contrary testimonies by Moses and the Prophets.

            In contrast to “Ignorance of Torah”, the true “Wisdom of Torah” will lead anyone seeking G-d’s forgiveness to the Truth of redemption through L-rd Yeshua.

            ________________________

          • RT says:

            “In contrast to “Ignorance of Torah”, the true “Wisdom of Torah” will lead anyone seeking G-d’s forgiveness to the Truth of redemption through L-rd Yeshua.”

            Kavi, please explain why, instead of sermonizing us…. I can tell you why it is not the case when the Torah clearly say that G-d at Sinai had not shown any image of himself and we should NOT make image in the form of any living thing.

            Now that I gave you one reason that torah does not lead to Yeshua, please provide one that does clearly leads to him.

          • KAVI says:

            RT,
            Your question is fair– you have said,
            [a] “The Torah clearly say that G-d at Sinai had not shown any image of himself.”
            and
            [b] “We should NOT make image in the form of any living thing.”

            From what I read, Torah teaches that G-d did not show Himself to Israel at Mt. Sinai for at least one good reason,
            1. All Israel would be dead– for no man can see G-d and live [Exodus 33]

            Tanakh does not teach that G-d has “no form” unless someone forces such an interpretation to make it so– for besides the writings of Moses that mankind is made in His image, G-d purposely gave visions to the Prophets that His form does have a semblance to mankind [Ezekiel and Daniel].

            So, I completely agree with you that no one should make an image of G-d in any form– however, L-rd Yeshua is not a graven image made by human hands. Rather, He is the “rock” not cut by human hands. [Daniel 2]

            ________________________

            At Mt. Sinai, Moses also wrote of another event. . .
            “The L-RD descended in the cloud and stood there with him as he called upon the name of the L-RD. Then the L-RD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The L-RD, the L-RD G-d, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” [Exodus 34]

            How did the L-RD stand with Moses while the L-RD passed by?

            Who is this L-RD that can speak to Moses face to face whereas we are also told of the L-RD whose face Moses cannot see?

            ________________________

          • Dina says:

            Kavi, let us say for argument’s sake that your interpretation that Hashem literally appeared in physical form in that passage is correct. Let us say for argument’s sake that Hashem appeared in the Torah in physical form a million times.

            It still wouldn’t matter.

            At Mount Sinai, Hashem taught us Whom and how to worship. Deuteronomy 4 makes it crystal clear that any type of worship that was not introduced at Sinai is forbidden. Other verses make it clear that any type of worship that was unknown to our fathers is forbidden (referred to as gods our fathers did not know, as in Deuteronomy 13).

            God did not teach us about a trinity at Sinai. He did not teach us about Jesus. Jesus was a god our fathers did not know.

            Ergo, worship of Jesus as a man is idolatry.

          • Dina says:

            Kavi, you wrote: “So, I completely agree with you that no one should make an image of G-d in any form– however, L-rd Yeshua is not a graven image made by human hands.”

            Do you realize you can use that to justify any type of idol worship?

            Let’s try it out:

            “So, I completely agree with you that no one should make an image of G-d in any form– however, Horace’s tree [see https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/horaces-tree-by-jim/%5D is not a graven image made by human hands.”

            “So, I completely agree with you that no one should make an image of G-d in any form– however, the wind spirit is not a graven image made by human hands.”

            “So, I completely agree with you that no one should make an image of G-d in any form– however, my great-great-grandfather [ancestor worship] is not a graven image made by human hands.”

            The prohibition of idolatry is not only making a graven image. It’s a prohibition to direct the devotion of your heart to any entity other than God. You can commit idolatry without doing anything physical, just by turning your heart to a different entity, be it spirit, human, animal, or otherwise.

          • Dina says:

            Typing error: I wrote worship of Jesus as a man is idolatry. I meant to write worship of Jesus as God is idolatry.

            (Don’t get me wrong. Worshiping him as a man is also idolatry.)

          • RT says:

            Kavi, as we already talked over and over again about that issue with CR, I don’t think it is worth to repeat it…

            I would just say “Have you ever seen the face of the earth?”

            Because it is said in the Bible, it must be taken literally!!!

            As we both know “God is Spirit” John 4:24 and no-one has seen the Father. So we may conclude rightly that those Bible verses could not be taken literally. G-d does not have hands and feet like you and me. When G-d created us in His image, it did not mean Jesus, but his essence. You don’t have to take everything literal, because if you do, The earth has a real face and you are walking disrepectively on it!.

            May I also point out that G-d was pregnant of Israel… Should that be literal? And if we want to go with that logic, Yeshua should have been a women.

            As it said: Let us make mankind in our image: “Let us make mankind in our image… God he created them; male and female he created them.”

            See, The Father, was the man, and as the woman was submissive to the man, so Yeshua was submissive to the father… And as I mentioned that G-d bore (was pregnant) of Israel and the father is a man, then Yeshua must have been a lady.

            Let’s be ridiculous has your way of thinking!

          • KAVI says:

            Dina,
            Your logic used to illustrate is flawed– by that I mean the application of your thought process would also lead a person to nullify the worship of the Ancient of Days.

            KAVI: “So, I completely agree with you that no one should make an image of G-d in any form– however, L-rd Yeshua is not a graven image made by human hands.”

            DINA: “Do you realize you can use that to justify any type of idol worship?”

            DINA: “Let’s try it out:”

            DINA [example]: “So, I completely agree with you that no one should make an image of G-d in any form– however, the wind spirit is not a graven image made by human hands.”

            DINA [faulty example]: “So, I completely agree with you that no one should make an image of G-d in any form– however, the Ancient of Days is not a graven image made by human hands.”

            — You see there’s a problem here, right?

            _______________________

            In regards to your other objections,
            — Elohim began to identify His essential Being from the very beginning [Genesis 1 through Genesis 3]
            — Moses knew L-RD Yeshua [Exodus 33]
            — The fathers knew L-RD Yeshua [Exodus 24]
            — At Mt. Sinai there was the revelation of the Law
            AND the L-RD who stood by Moses while the L-RD passed by

            Sure, Moses and the Elders may not have called Him “Yeshua”– but in G-d’s continuum of revelation, His name frankly didn’t need to be revealed in their time.

            Since we have the testimony of Tanakh that Elohim says He somehow exists as One Being in complex, Echad unity [NOT Tritheism]– worshiping the L-RD Ancient of Days and L-RD Yeshua is fully acceptable to Him simply because He has designated it to be so.

            Moses had no problem speaking with the L-RD Yeshua face to face “just as a man speaks to his friend.”

            And even though Moses could not communicate with the L-RD Ancient of Days on the same terms, Moses did seem to express such a desire– but his desire was denied.
            ______________________

            Last, after all this discourse, you probably won’t believe that I sincerely enjoyed your description of idolatry that goes beyond the making of graven images.

            But for me, honest and even “intense” disagreement should neither lead to contempt nor give rise to disingenuous praise.
            ______________________

          • Dina says:

            Kavi, by Ancient of Days, I assume you mean God. If my assumption is correct, then you can’t plug God into my formula, because obviously we’re meant to worship God. My formula is to show that idolatry does not mean only making a graven image. You seem to think that it’s okay to worship Jesus as long as you don’t make a graven image. I’m trying to show you that it’s not okay to worship things even without a graven image. The commandment “You shall have no other gods before Me” is separate from the commandment “You shall not make for yourself a graven image or a likeness.”

            By the way, Christianity has a time-honored tradition of making graven images and likenesses. Just something to consider.

            You say that Jesus was indeed taught at Mount Sinai, just that God didn’t reveal that particular name. I do not see the Biblical verses you cited as showing that Moses and the fathers knew Jesus. Are we reading the same Bible?

            Are you saying that Jews have been worshiping Jesus all along, albeit unwittingly? Then if so, what is the difference between Jewish worship before and after Jesus? If Jesus is God and we are worshiping God, as you say, then why are you dissatisfied with our worship?

            Finally, the Hebrew Bible does not testify to God’s complex unity but absolute oneness. Every clear and open teaching about God explicitly states that God is one and alone.

            See for example Exodus 20:2-5, Numbers 23:19, Deuteronomy 4:35, Deuteronomy 4:39, Deuteronomy 6:4, Deuteronomy 6:14, I Samuel 15:29, 1 Chonicles 8:60, Isaiah 40:25, Isaiah 42:8, Isaiah 44: 6-8, Hosea 13:4.

            Every Christian “proof” derives from passages that are not teachings about God and how to worship but other stories with unclear imagery.

            At Sinai, God Himself taught us Whom to worship. He not only did not present to us the trinity and Jesus, but He also taught us to worship Him and Him alone.

          • RT says:

            Kavi, maybe you did not mind answering my comment because making Yeshua a woman was too ridiculous, but you are assuming the same kind of fallacies when you say that G-d has a body. Things that are well known as false even from the new testament writers. Furthermore, if you want to put G-d with a body, can you please explain me how on earth you can positively arrive to the conclusion that it was Yeshua. Just because his followers claimed he was god does not make him the “physical body” related to G-d in the Hebrew Bible. Many people claimed to be gods, and actually Yeshua never made that claim, only his followers who had to explain why they had two masters made such claim…

          • KAVI says:

            RT,
            The B’rit Chadashah/NT mentions that the L-RD descended from Heaven to tabernacle in a physical body and thus dwell among mankind [John 1]

            In Torah, the L-RD Elohim breathed into Adam the breath of life and Adam “became” a nefesh chayah. [Genesis 2]

            How does your nefesh “tabernacle” in your physical body?

            __________________________

          • Dina says:

            Kavi and RT, excuse me for butting in, but Kavi, RT did not ask how it could be that God has a physical body. He asked how you could possibly know Jesus was the one to contain God. If you were living in the first century and met Jesus, all you would have seen was a man. Would you believe any man who claimed he was God, no matter how many miracles he performed? You didn’t answer RT’s question.

            Furthermore, the question again is not could God appear in human form, but would He? Would he contradict His own teachings at Sinai and throughout the Tanach about forbidding the association of Him with any form whatsoever? (In a comment to you previously I listed a whole bunch of citations proving this point.)

          • KAVI says:

            Dina,
            I have read the Scriptures you quoted** and, in their essence, find these concepts,
            [] G-d is Echad– I agree [i.e., not “yachid”, but “echad”]
            [] G-d is not a man– I completely agree
            [] Man must not worship idols made by hands– Absolutely
            [] The L-RD is G-d, there is none else– Again, absolutely true
            [] There is no G-d like the L-RD– I wholehearted agree

            ** Exodus 20:2-5, Numbers 23:19, Deuteronomy 4:35, Deuteronomy 4:39, Deuteronomy 6:4, Deuteronomy 6:14, I Samuel 15:29, 1 Kings 8:60, Isaiah 40:25, Isaiah 42:8, Isaiah 44: 6-8, Hosea 13:4

            I can agree with all these Scriptures because L-RD Yeshua is One with the L-RD Ancient of Days [Deuteronomy 6:4, Exodus 34, etc]– therefore the command “You shall have no other gods before Me” applies equally.

            To be clear, I think Jews and Gentiles can search the Tanakh and find it teaches,
            [] L-RD Yeshua and the L-RD Ancient of Days are Echad/One
            AND YET
            [] L-RD Yeshua and the L-RD Ancient of Days have some kind of uniqueness which goes way, way beyond our ability to understand Him**

            **[Genesis 1 to 3; Exodus 3:14; Exodus 24 and 33 and 34; Deuteronomy 4:39 and 6:4, etc]
            ________________________

          • Dina says:

            Kavi, how do you see the Scriptures you cite as teaching that Jesus and God are one? I am completely baffled.

            You write that Hashem is Echad, not Yachid. Yachid means unique, or alone. Given that the Torah explicitly teaches: “You were shown in order to know that the Lord, He is the God; there is none beside Him” (Deuteronomy 4:35), why do you reject the idea that God is alone and unique? How much more alone and unique can you get? Also, why do you think the word “one” in Hebrew implies more than one?

            Does it not trouble you that the prophets predict that at the end of days the gentiles will come to the Jews to learn the truth about God and not the other way around?

          • KAVI says:

            Dina,
            You ask, “Are you saying that Jews have been worshiping Jesus all along, albeit unwittingly?”

            My answer is that some Jews did worship G-d is His Fullness [i.e., the L-RD Yeshua and the L-RD Ancient of Days]– but most did not [Deuteronomy 9:7]
            ______________________

            We agree that G-d does not change– Why would He change His path to holy forgiveness and redemption as initially laid out to mankind in Gan Eden?

            Although some say the story of Adam and Chava in Gan Eden is just a simple, “children’s” fairy tale, I do not not think G-d would tell us something without purpose– In the Book of Genesis, we find,
            [] G-d gave commands
            [] Mankind disobeyed the command and ate the forbidden fruit
            [] G-d promised us a Holy Redeemer so that the soul of mankind could be cleansed from sin

            At Mt. Sinai,
            [] G-d gave commands
            [] Mankind disobeyed those commands and worshiped the golden calf [etc]
            [] The L-RD G-d gave further revelation of His Chosen Redeemer by visibly revealing the L-RD Yeshua to Moses

            The illustration in Gan Eden is one reason why I like your description of idolatry.

            Eating that forbidden fruit exhibited Adam/Chava’s idolatrous desire(s) in their heart. And, in a way, I think those at Mt. Sinai revealed the same evil desire(s) in their hearts to disobey G-d that led them to produce a graven image and commit other sinful deeds.

            __________________________

          • KAVI If someone worships God as Creator of heaven and earth, all merciful, all knowing, all powerful but knows nothing of Jesus is this person only worshiping a half (third) of God? 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Dina says:

            Kavi, where does the Torah teach that “G-d promised us a Holy Redeemer so that the soul of mankind could be cleansed from sin” and that “The L-RD G-d gave further revelation of His Chosen Redeemer by visibly revealing the L-RD Yeshua to Moses”?

            No “hints,” please. When the sin of idolatry is in question, you guys had better have a clear teaching–as clear as the Scriptures I cited–that one must worship Jesus along with God as God.

            In contradistinction to such super clear passages as “The Lord, He is the God; there is none beside Him” and “You shall have no other gods before me” and “I shall not give my glory to another” and “There is no savior beside Me” you need to present a teaching like “God will send a holy redeemer to cleanse mankind from sin and you must worship him as God.”

            Why do I demand such a high standard of evidence? Because if God wanted us to change our worship, He would have made it that clear; the risk of committing idolatry and betraying our God is too high.

          • Dina says:

            Kavi, you wrote that some Jews did worship God in His fullness, by which I assume you mean God with Jesus, which is simply not true. No one worshiped Jesus. Not Moses, not Abraham. You have zero evidence on that matter. You also wrote that most did not worship God in His fullness, quoting a completely irrelevant verse. I thought it was clear when I asked you that question that I was talking about Jews who worshiped God, not the rebellious ones who worshiped a golden calf.

            Did Moses acknowledge Jesus as his lord and savior? Tell the truth!

          • CP says:

            “It happened, when Yehoshua was by Yericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Yehoshua went to him, and said to him, Are you for us, or for our adversaries?

            He said, No; but as prince of the host of the LORD am I now come. Yehoshua fell on his face to the eretz, and did worship, and said to him, What says my lord to his servant?

            The prince of the LORD’s host said to Yehoshua, Put off your shoe from off your foot; for the place whereon you stand is holy. Yehoshua did so.”
            (Yehoshua 5:13-15)

            Simple Question – Do ya’ll consider Yehoshua an idolater?

          • Dina says:

            Folks, this gentleman once again posts a mistranslation.

            The verse does not say “Yehoshua fell on his face to the eretz, and did worship.” (Why leave “eretz” in Hebrew; does that make it sound more authentic?)

            My friends, if you learn Hebrew you can never again be fooled by Christian missionaries. The verse says: “Joshua fell before him to the ground and prostrated himself.”

            Using exactly the same verb with the same conjugation, Jacob prostrated himself before Esau seven times (Genesis 33:3).

            There are dozens of instances in the Bible of people bowing and prostrating; it was the etiquette of the day. That was how you showed respect to a king, a chieftain, an overlord, a brother you were terrified of, etc.

            So there you have it, folks.

          • Dina says:

            Kavi, you didn’t answer my questions/challenges.

          • CP says:

            “Dina says:
            February 13, 2017 at 10:33 am
            Folks, this gentleman once again posts a mistranslation………
            ……..So there you have it, folks.”

            Dina, as a matter of fact, worship and prostrating are the same word in Hebrew, therefore your choice of English is trying to do away with the ambiguity of the Hebrew.

            I wonder what you’d say if someone “prostrated” themselves before Yeshua? Would you be quick to point out how they as idolaters “worshiped” Yeshua? Would you be quick to point out Yeshua didn’t correct them? But this never happens in all the Gospels, does it?

            Which brings us to the real point you’ve attempted to gloss over; other angels always correct the person who “prostrated” telling them “don’t do it”. This Angel accepted the prostration. And goes even further tell Joshua to remove his sandals because he is on Holy Ground.

            Dina, you really haven’t fairly addressed this text at all.

          • Dina says:

            Folks, when I have time later I’ll address this comment at greater length, but here is another lesson in why people who don’t know Hebrew shouldn’t argue the language with people who do.

            The word for worship in Hebrew is la’avod (sorry, I don’t have Hebrew capability on this computer).

            It also means to work and to serve.

            The word for bow or prostrate is “l’hishtachavot,” the verb used in the passage under discussion.

            It does not mean worship, though prostrating yourself can be a part of worship, obviously. Therefore it is forbidden to bow to idols. It is not forbidden to bow to humans or angels, obviously. Was Jacob worshiping Esau when he prostrated himself, and the brothers worshiping Joseph, and all the other instances, I ask you?

          • CP says:

            שָׁחָה shâchâh, shaw-khaw’; a primitive root; to depress, i.e. prostrate (especially reflexive, in homage to royalty or God):—bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.

          • Dina says:

            Do any of you guys remember David? He got into an argument with me over a Hebrew word, and he brought a definition from one of these things to prove his point. I told him that if a French-speaking person brought him a dictionary definition for “prairie” that says it’s “mountain” (or something to that effect), it wouldn’t matter because he speaks the language. He doesn’t need someone who doesn’t speak the language to prove to him the meaning of common words.

            A few of the definitions in CP’s post are wrong (fall down, humbly beseech, worship) and I know this because I am fluent in both Biblical and modern Hebrew. I speak Hebrew, for God’s sake! I would never presume to tell a French speaker the correct definition for bibliotheque. Some people can’t tell when they’re in over their heads. Sheesh!

            But don’t take my word for it, guys! The Bible itself makes the distinction clear:

            Exodus 20:5: Lo tishtachaveh lahem v’lo ta’avdem. Do not prostrate yourself (shacha) to them and do not worship (avad) them.
            Exodus 23:24: Lo tishtachaveh leiloheihem v’lo ta’avdem. Do not prostrate yourself (shacha) to their gods and do not worship (avad) them.
            Deuteronomy 5:9: Lo tishtachaveh lahem v’lo ta’avdem. Do not prostrate yourself (shacha) to them and do not worship (avad) them.

            Obviously, prostrating yourself is a type of reverence that you must never give an idol, but is totally appropriate for kings, angels, and fearsome brothers.

            So that settles it.

          • CP says:

            Dina,
            Did some investigating: the word you have referenced occurs 3 times in the Torah, and one of those times it is Pharaoh speaking. The word “worship” is used a total of 17 times translated from 3 times the word you’ve pointed out and 14 times the word I pointed out above.

            The point is: Although we agree only God alone should be worshipped and we (should) agree the Hebrew word(s) carries a wide range of meanings, the problem arises when you cherry pick a the extreme meaning only because you wish to accuse anyone who believes Yeshua is the first advent of Messiah of “idol worship”. Trust me when I say; “When Messiah comes YOU will worship him”, but that doesn’t mean you will worship him as God, but will give him the proper respect due to Messiah.

            Btw, here’s the word which occurs 3 times:
            עָבַד ʻâbad, aw-bad’; a primitive root; to work (in any sense); by implication, to serve, till, (causatively) enslave, etc.:—× be, keep in bondage, be bondmen, bond-service, compel, do, dress, ear, execute, husbandman, keep, labour(-ing man, bring to pass, (cause to, make to) serve(-ing, self), (be, become) servant(-s), do (use) service, till(-er), transgress (from margin), (set a) work, be wrought, worshipper,

          • CP says:

            Dina, didn’t see your post until right now, we must of posted at the same time. Thank you for posting the verses. The verses you posted use both Hebrew words in the same sentence. If you notice even what you’ve posted is not strictly translated one way or the other because the precise meaning comes from context.

            Which brings me back to the same point again: You have shown through your writings that consistently define worship when it comes to Yeshua as the kind of ‘worship which only belongs to God’ so that you can accuse anyone who respects and reverences Messiah of idol worship.

            You still haven’t answered the Text where the Angel tells Joshua to remove his sandals. Nor have you explained why every other angel forbids any kind of worship, but this one accepts it.

          • KAVI says:

            Rabbi,
            You write,
            Q: “KAVI If someone worships God as Creator of heaven and earth, all merciful, all knowing, all powerful but knows nothing of Jesus is this person only worshiping a half (third) of God?”

            A: Moses was not concerned about the “mathematics” of his worship when he spoke with the L-RD Yeshua HaMashiach “face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend” as well as when he spoke with the L-RD Ancient of Days whom he was not permitted to see. [Exodus 33 and 34]

            If the L-RD did not accept the worship of Cain because his worship was contrary to the L-RD’s Word– how can the L-RD now change His mind and accept worship from mankind that is contrary to the greater revelation He gave Moses?
            _________________________

          • KAVI says:

            Dina,
            You ask,
            Q: “Did Moses acknowledge Jesus as his lord and savior?”

            A: Yes– both L-RD and Savior [i.e., Redeemer]. Moses spoke face to face with his L-RD [Exodus 33 and 34] whom Moses also understood to be the L-RD’s Mashiach Redeemer [Genesis 3]

            G-d didn’t change His promise of holy redemption at Mt. Sinai– instead, we simply see a continuum of revelation that started in Gan Eden.

            Mankind didn’t change either– Adam/Chava sinned in Gan Eden and Israel sinned at Mt. Sinai.
            ______________________

          • Dina says:

            Kavi:

            Prove it.

          • KAVI says:

            Dina,
            You mention,

            Q: “Kavi, where does the Torah teach that “G-d promised us a Holy Redeemer so that the soul of mankind could be cleansed from sin?”

            Moses writes,
            A: G-d gave mankind a pure body and a pure soul [Genesis 2:7]
            B: Mankind sins– therefore the body “dies” [Genesis 2:17]
            C: Mankind sins– therefore the soul “dies”– it becomes “unholy” and cannot dwell with G-d in Gan Eden [Genesis 3:22-24]
            D: G-d gave mankind no repentance or good works to save the body from death
            E: G-d gave mankind no repentance or good works to save the soul from “spiritual” death

            Just one, single sin made such a massive, irreconcilable difference– we became evil and unholy and permanently “stained” by sin — and, imprisoned in those chains of unholiness, G-d Himself gave us no repentance or good works to shatter those steel shackles. . .

            ** Moshe Rabbenu sinned and died– and, just like the rest of us, he could not accomplish holy redemption for himself or anyone else. **

            ** Therefore, Elohim knowing that mankind could not accomplish their own redemption, the L-RD Ancient of Days promised mankind the HOLY L-RD Redeemer who would need to suffer in order to overcome sin and crush the power of satan [Genesis 3:15]

            By Faith in the L-RD Ancient of Days that His Words are True– mankind can come to believe that His Anointed L-RD Redeemer is the ONLY way to salvation.

            Moses expressed this same saving Faith in the L-RD Ancient of Days and the visible, tangible L-RD Redeemer– and by this Faith, Moses was granted G-d’s righteous holiness and taught Israel to follow the same path [Exodus 33 and 34; Deuteronomy 30:14]
            ______________________

          • KAVI If faith in Jesus reverses the effects of Adam’s sin so why is it that all of teh curses (death, pain in childbirth, sweating for food) still apply to Christians?

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

    • Jim says:

      Junzey,

      The Dead Sea Scrolls do not say “pierced.” In the one readable text we have of Ps. 22:16 from the DSS, there is a question on the last letter, whether it is a yod or a vav. It appears in that scroll to be a vav, which would make “k’ari” (“like a lion”) look like “karu,” which is taken to mean ” they pierced.” This is not correct, however. “Karu” would not have an aleph in the middle of it. So, even if the ending were a vav rather than a misprint, the verse would still not say “they pierced.”

      Moreover, if the word were karu, it would not mean “pierced.” Karah means “to dig.” The verb appears quite a few times in relation to wells being dug, as well as pits and sepulchres. In Ps. 40, the verb is used in relation to opening ears. Here it is obviously not speaking of piercing ears, but cleaning them out, digging out a blockage as it were. (When a slave wishes to remain with his master, his ear is pierced, “ratsa” not “karah.”) Digging and piercing are not the same thing, and if one told Frieda Roos that “they dug out” someone’s hands and feet, she would probably not so quickly think of Jesus.

      I am sorry, but Ps. 22:16 does not say ‘pierced’ not even in the DSS.

      Jim

      • Dina says:

        Jim, my husband emailed me a link to an article about a fragment of parchment that, if memory serves correctly, is the oldest existing piece of Biblical parchment, I believe predating even the Dead Sea Scrolls. Because it was tightly rolled and badly burned, the archaeologists who dug it up several decades ago preserved it in the hope that technology would be invented that would enable reading the parchment without damaging it further. Such technology has now been invented, and this fragment is exactly, letter for letter, identical to the Masoretic text we have today. If I find the link I will post it here.

  2. Sharon S says:

    Hi Jim,
    Maybe you would like to check out Roy H Schoeman , a Jewish convert to Catholicism
    http://www.salvationisfromthejews.com/christversion.html

    He has produced two books , one of which entitled “Honey from the Rock” -stories of 16 Jews who converted to Catholicism.

    His videos are available on Youtube. I learnt about Christian anti-Semitism firsthand from one of his videos , before reading it further in this blog.

    Thank you.

    • Dina says:

      Sharon, I hope you don’t mind my sticking my nose in, but I’m not sure what the point is of posting the testimonies of Jews who converted to Christianity. We do not deny their existence. In perhaps every case, they convert because they had a strong spiritual/emotional experience, as in the story you posted. As I am sure you must know, every religion can claim among its adherents people who have experienced a strong spiritual/emotional encounter. The practice of Orthodox Judaism produces powerful, frequent spiritual experiences which cannot be described in words.

      The point Jim was trying to make is that Jews who convert to Christianity tend to be Jews, like the Jew in the testimony you posted, who are not raised in the Orthodox tradition, which includes a rigorous religious education and knowledge of Tanach in its original language. This is something to consider, as spiritual experiences common to all religions cannot be a measure of truth.

      • Sharon S. says:

        Hi Dina,
        I’m just asking Jim or anyone in the know to check it out , that’s all.

        The person I’ve mentioned in my comment did not appear in this post and other comments in the previous posts (on Jews who have converted to Christianity) , and I would like to bring it to your attention.

        If this platform is not appropriate for that , then I apologize.

        Thank you.

        • Dina says:

          Hi Sharon,

          No need to apologize, I think it’s fine (I’m not the moderator, but I’m sure Rabbi B. doesn’t mind). As you can see, I did check out the online testimony and found it to be similar to other accounts I had read. Hence, my explanation.

          By the way, I’m rereading Thy Brother’s Blood by Malcolm Hay. The author, a First World War veteran and a Roman Catholic, can’t quite bring himself to blame the gospels for the persecution of the Jewish people, preferring the explanation that the followers of Jesus misunderstood the context and misapplied the words. Nevertheless, he writes with a refreshing honesty and does not shy from linking Christian piety to Jew hatred.

          While this grim account of Jewish history is painful to read, I cannot recommend it enough to anyone interested in understanding Christian-Jewish relations.

          Thanks for responding to me!

          • Sharon S says:

            Hi Dina,

            I’m now halfway through “Christian Antisemitism: A History of Hate ” by William Nicholls , via Kindle.

            Couldn’t get the rest of the books you recommended on Kindle , so I’m planning to order online.

            No worries!

          • Dina says:

            Great, thanks!

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Rabbi B, CP’s point was that Dina engaged in the same ad hominem judgement that she accuses Christians of.

            An idolater is a human being, just as you both are.

            If it is acceptable by Torah standards to mock and impute nefarious motives to the idolater, the idolater will inevitably do the same to you in the name of the same reasons and justifications you give to justify Dina, because the idolater believes (like you do) that he/she mocks in the service of the truth.

            You were asking CP why he gives Dina (whom he agrees with) grief over mocking Junezy.

            The idolater believes that they posses the truth, just the same as a Jew believes they posses the truth about their Judaism.

            For you to imply “hey its idolatry, so it should be fine to say what Dina said,” takes away any sense of moral high ground you may occupy.

            Its the embodinent of the double standard to say “its ok for me, but not for you.”

            You believe that a Christian practices idolatry because of Deuteronomy 4,

            (teaching G-d in a way unknown to your fathers, and of worshiping one of the host of heaven, IE a creature.)

            That truth can stand without anyones insults. Insults close the path to repentance, close hearts.

            These Christians believe in ideas which have re emerged in the history of later Judaism, emerged out of a fully Torah observant environment in the cases of Sabbateanism, Breslov, and Chabad.

            They have fallen into the same exact pit that some of the most Frum Jews ever have fallen into, but its ok to Mock them?

            Acher had a full education in Judaism, yet he fell in the pit too.

            When they try to be critical of Christianity and yet can see this replication of their own ideas with their own eyes and also see Judaism’s historically positive view of a more monistic group (like Islam for example,) is it any wonder they believe you have a double standard of sorts?

            You will call Junezy a betrayer of her people, a betrayer of her G-d, even whilst you acknowledge that Jesus taught a plagarized Torah ethic, and even while you admit the existence of the replica that is Chabad’s messianism.

            CP was pointing out a very obvious thing. He shouldnt be faulted for calling Dina out on it. All due respect to Dina.

          • Dina says:

            No worries, Connie! I hear what you are saying and I agree that idolators are humans who deserve respect. I wasn’t mocking June, I was scolding her. And if you read her comments to Jim you may perhaps see why I thought a scolding was in order.

            Also please note that I told June what all Jews believe of apostate Jews; I did not call her names or call down Divine wrath upon her head (CP compared it to what Jesus said, but it’s nothing like what Jesus said, not even close). Look, it doesn’t sound very nice, but we do believe that Jews who convert to another religion betray their God and their people.

            Christians believe I’m going to hell because I don’t accept Jesus. I don’t think they are hateful for holding that belief. Is there a double standard here?

          • Concerned Reader Dina has written alot on this blog – she made it clear many times over that she does not judge the Christians on a personal level – much the same sentiment that you described here. This one comment is seized upon by CP to compare Dina to Jesus when Jesus never mitigated his condemnations in the slightest.

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  3. Concerned Reader says:

    I did read her comments Dina, and it seems to me that she brought up to Jim that “pierced,” or (more accurately) to “dig” could be found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. She then pointed out that she was Jewish, and her husband also, and not to assume that she knows nothing about Judaism, that it is offensive to impute ignorance to people you don’t know.

    I then pointed out that arguing over that Psalm is absurd, because “like a lion” my hands and my feet, is necessary to interpret anyway due to its ambiguity, and “they pierced my hands and my feet,” is plausible based on the context in the verse of a general sense of righteous suffering being the intent. Both readings are consistent and justifiable.

    You decided to scold June for defending her position, by saying she has betrayed G-d, and her people. While you are entitled to your opinion, she is entitled to hers.

    I have read plenty of things where the worst punishments imaginable are believed by commentators and rabbis to befall the Meshumadim, without much moderation or mitigation in their speech either.

    Speaking as a former Christian, It may be more mild than burning for all eternity, but it is no less disturbing for an individual to read, or listen to, and the creativity in punishments and curses described for these people is no less colorful and horrible than what is in the Christian text. All one has to do is listen to some of Rabbi Mizrahi’s lectures to see how colorful one can be about describing the destruction of a sinner.

    A Yeshu who burns in crap is no less offensive than the Christian hell. Gehinom for a year is still Gehinom. The light of G-d obliterating the wicked is still terrifying. There is no non offensive way to tell people that G-d is possibly upset with them.

    • RT says:

      And that proves that maybe people should be more worried about checking their own relationship with G-d and see if what they in the right path rather than checking others…

    • Dina says:

      Con, yes, I totally hear why you find that disturbing (and I think Rabbi Mizrahi is a bit crazy, but hell-fire-and-brimstone sermons are popular among certain segments, both Jewish and Christian). Fact is, though, that I didn’t mention any of that! All I said is that she turned her back on God and His people. That’s how we see Jewish apostates. You’re imputing to me things I never said, and that is just not fair. Did I say she would be punished? No, I did not! For all I know, she is 100% sincere in her beliefs and has no idea she is wrong and will earn God’s compassion.

      I’m not going to quibble about what I found offensive about June’s comments, since it has to do with her history of posting here and I doubt you’re interested in all the details…still, I hear what you’re saying. I concede that I should have let well enough alone.

    • Dina says:

      Also, Con, my scolding of June does not further the cause of truth. It was more an act of catharsis than anything else, and I regret that.

      • CP says:

        Dina,
        It doesn’t feel very good to be looked at negatively, everything always being interpreted in the worst possible way. The only thing it promotes is hate, division and prejudice. I mean this with no malice whatsoever; I think an unhealthy preoccupation with the history of Christian antisemitism is affecting you.

        Speaking of “Exploiting Ignorance”; I often hear from some how Yeshua got after the religious leaders of his day with some extremely strong vernacular. They speak as that is all there is, ignoring the religious leaders who respected Yeshua. A balanced reading should include passages like this — if one is being fair and unprejudiced.

        Luk 9:51-56
        It came to pass, when the days were near that he should be taken up, he intently set his face to go to Yerushalayim, and sent messengers before his face. They went, and entered into a village of the Shomroni, so as to prepare for him.
        They didn’t receive him, because he was traveling with his face set towards Yerushalayim.

        When his talmidim, Ya`akov and Yochanan, saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from the sky, and destroy them, just as Eliyah did?”

        But he turned and rebuked them, “You don’t know of what kind of spirit you are.
        For the Son of Man didn’t come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” They went to another village.

        Dina,
        what is important here is the Talmudim were Torah Observant Orthodox Jews who thought they’d found the Messiah and wanted to call fire wn from heaven. They were also followers of Yeshua. You could rightfully say they were both Jew and Christian. Therefore the message not to call fire down on those who don’t accept a particular view is for BOTH Jew and Christian.

        Many Jews and many Christians do not properly represent their religion. What is that to us? I hope and pray we all can represent our Creator in a way He’d be pleased.

  4. Jim says:

    Concerned Reader,

    It appears to me that you have misunderstood the nature of the argument over “one word,” which is why you think it absurd to discuss. My argument was never over the general interpretation of the chapter and whether or not it refers to Jesus. It is over the use of the mistranslated word in missionary endeavors and how it misleads those that do not know better.

    The missionary attempts to maximize the word ‘pierced’. The question is asked, as it is of Isaiah 53: “About whom does this seem to be referring?” The word is highly suggestive, especially to one that grew up in the Western World. To Frieda Roos, the word was highly important. She related it to the image of Jesus she had. And the missionary knows the word is suggestive. In the Western World, another candidate does not so readily come to mind as one who had his hands and feet pierced.

    Certainly the reader does not think of David. And the Christian knows this. Indeed the missionary will be quick to point it out. He will say that because David did not have his hands and feet pierced, it must be referring to someone else. “So, who is this person?” the missionary asks. He will say that it refers to a Jew that would one day have his hands and feet pierced, implying the whole time that this figure is Jesus.

    He does not educate his target. The missionary gets as much mileage out of prophecies as he can. When he claims that Isaiah prophecied that Jesus would be born of a virgin, he does not teach the target for conversion the proper context of the verse or that Isaiah wrote nothing about a virgin. Certainly he does not point out that “virgin” is not in the text. Nor does he teach Isaiah 1-52 before handing the target Isaiah 53. He does not point out verses that explicitly call Israel God’s Servant. And he does not teach him that Psalm 22:16 does not say pierced. It undermines the strength of the claim. The missionary relies on the target’s trust, knowing that the target will take for granted that the word appears in the text and hoping that he will associate the word with Jesus.

    One can see the tactics of the missionary on display on this page and can see that the missionary does not seek to educate. Consider, if you please, Junzey’s first response to me. She writes, regarding the word ‘pierced’: “You would need to read the translation of The Dead Sea Scrolls writings on Psalm 22:16 to find the truth. For the truth lies in the writings of the Dead Sea Scrolls!” Notice that all she does is imply that my objection is answered there. She does not inform the reader what he will find in the DSS.

    Contrast this to my answer, which addresses the specific points of the word in the DSS. I raise specific objections, rather than make vague insinuations, addressing the following points:

    1. The actual issue under consideration is whether or not the word in the DSS ends in a vav or a yod, and that it appears to be a vav in the DSS rather than a yod, altering the meaning. (Junzey did not even go that far.)

    2. I address the aleph in the middle of the word, which indicates that the word is not ‘karah,’ which is being taken to mean pierced.

    3. I address the meaning of ‘karah,’ which means ‘to dig,’ and not ‘to pierce.’

    June did not explain any of these topics. Instead, she only implied that the DSS read ‘they pierced’. That insinuation ignores many of the issues surrounding the word in the DSS, but educating the reader would remove the impact of the word from the text. As the missionary does, she attempts to leave one with an impression but not knowledge.

    Her second response shows the import of the word to the missionary. She tells the reader that she cares nothing for the aleph, that it will not affect her faith. She protests that it means nothing to her changed life. Yet, only the day before she was insinuating that the word in the DSS would reveal the truth. Suddenly, it is of little importance.

    Then she falsely maligns me, accusing me of “misquot[ing] letters or Scriptures in ‘dispute’”. This is a false charge. I did not misquote anything. And she certainly did not show that I had. To be blunt, she is lying about me. And she wishes to make me appear a villain, writing that I “put down people for their faith,” another false change. I put down no one. Her method is to distract.

    The word that the missionary maximizes, she now minimizes. In that second response, she informs the reader that the passage is in dispute. Note that she did not tell the reader that fact when she said the DSS held the truth. She did not educate the reader. She made a vague claim. Only after the claim was challenged did she repudiate the word in question. Only then was it in dispute. First, it revealed the truth and then…

    This is not about Christian interpretation generally and all its myriad problems. This is about the fact that even though missionaries boast about the many Jewish believers that seem to authenticate their faith, many of those Jewish believers come to Jesus because they lack knowledge. They do not know the Torah. They do not know Isaiah. They do not know the Psalms. They have vague impressions of them, largely influenced by the Christian culture by which they are surrounded. When they hear a verse that seems to be talking about Jesus, because a word is badly translated that is a problem. They are being misled.

    That a word should be the focus of a study is absurd, but that word is the tool of the missionary. And we have seen from Junzey how the missionary will put great emphasis upon that word when it suits his purpose and deny its importance when it does not. The missionary does not educate his target. He relies upon his target’s ignorance. The only way to counter the false employment of this word is to explain its actual translation. It is absurd that it must be done, but it must be done.

    Jim

    • CP says:

      Jim, the evidence for Psalm 22:16 (17) seems to favor Junzey:

      http://www.torahresource.com/EnglishArticles/Ps22.16.pdf

      • LarryB says:

        http://www.torahresource.com
        Statement of faith:
        We affirm without reservation that Yeshua is Immanuel, “God With Us,” and that being the promised Messiah, He is worthy of our worship as the eternal, uncreated Son of God.
        TorahResource fully affirms justification through faith alone in the Messiah Yeshua. Once justified, God sanctifies us unto Himself through the work of the Holy Spirit in accordance with the Scriptures.
        We labor in producing materials and teaching classes (through TorahResource Institute) in order to help Torah Communities become established and well-founded in following in the footsteps of Yeshua our Messiah.

        • LarryB says:

          Its actually in the Mission statement, but what surprises me the most is that a christian would fine Jesus in the Torah. 🙂

          • Dina says:

            This comprehensive study by Professor Uri Yosef shows that Jim is correct and June and CP and the author of that pseudo-scholarly article are dead wrong.

            http://www.thejewishhome.org/counter/Psa22.pdf

            Since this study addresses several passages in the Psalm, the discussion of the relevant verse begins on page 6. However, the whole paper is well worth reading in its entirety.

            A word to the wise: if you don’t read and understand Hebrew, stay away from these subjects, as you appear absurdly silly to us Hebrew speakers. I won’t argue about Greek usage in the New Testament for that reason. I’ll just look like a fool because I won’t know what the heck I’m talking about.

          • RT says:

            I think that the main evidence that it is not “pierced” is found in the new testament. The authors of the NT would have Jump at such Bible verse as their intent was to prove that Yeshua was predicted. So, that would have been quite something to have missed such “prophecy” if Yeshua mentioned the beginning of that Psalm during his crucifixion…

        • RT says:

          That’s quite a deception form them! They do that to lure Jewish people to their website!

          • Dina says:

            I noticed that too, RT, and I find it horrific. Starting with such deception taints anything they have to say.

  5. Concerned Reader says:

    One issue that I commonly find regarding rabbinic objections to the Christian use of scripture in general is that the rabbis always say the Christians do not stick to the context.
    Uri in his article says that the context of Psalm 22 is historical, and not messianic, so the Christian reading is already off to a rocky start.

    How can a verse which (according to Uri) is speaking about Melech Hamashiach David, not be possibly understood as also a messianic verse?

    I heard an objection voiced about the Christian use of Daniel 9 once that went along the line that David wasn’t mentioned, and that this therefore disqualified the Christian reading, see below for a paraphrase.

    “It says in general that an annointed one is cut off, it doesn’t specify David, so the verse can’t possibly be interpreted in reference to the messiah.”

    In this instance however, we have a verse which does mention David, an actual king messiah of Israel, but this verse cannot apply to David’s descendant the messiah?

    Already, the deck seems stacked against a Christian’s understanding of the verse, because the rabbis wont even entertain the possibility of this as a messianic psalm.

    Uri then proceeds to show (in his opinion) the biased Christological coloring inherent in the use of the word sabachthani, (which he connects to the concept of Slaughter,) even though a little further down he freely admits this could be a case of loss in transliteration of Azavtani.

    As I’ve mentioned in other posts, whether it says pierced or not does not of necessity make it a Jesus proof. (Off course the gospel will say it does, its a BIOGRAPHICAL book Chronicling Christian experiences.)

    Also, I would like to draw your attention to the Jewish translation where brackets are present.
    For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers encompassed me; like a lion [they are at] my hands and my feet.

    The brackets containing the phrase “they are at” is not in the text. The text reads “like a lion my hands and my feet.” The literal text is ambiguous to the point in its plain meaning, that whichever reading is offered, it involves an interpretation.

    The verse’s context clearly expresses David’s sense of anguish, suffering, and a plea for help to G-d that goes unheeded. Rabbinic literature itself has read “like a lion” as indicative of a lion biting or crunching the hands and feet.

    I see that you do not like the missionaries asserting that their reading is the sure thing by putting the word pierced in there.

    You believe it is a biased coloring of the text.

    However, Even if we disregarded the Christian text, there would still be a basis (just from Jewish sources,) to regard this as possibly about a righteous sufferer who has hands and feet that are crunched or dug. How are hands subject to digging? Being bored through.

    When you have a mitzvah in the Torah, and the oral Torah comes to explain the verse, do you say “it could mean X or Y or Z, etc.” or do you say, “we say in our tradition it means X as the plain sense”?

    We also know in Jesus’ time, Jews played more freely in translation of the texts, sometimes including their interpretations as part of the text.

    • Dina says:

      Con, you are way, way off here.

      First off, you ask how it can be that a verse about David not be understood also as messianic. I don’t know where you got that idea. Where did you get the idea that any verse about King David must also be related to the Messiah?

      You complain about stacking the deck against the Christian interpretation as if we have to give Christian interpretations of OUR BIBLE a fair hearing.

      How is that fair? We are the target audience, not Christians. This chapter was never understood as messianic, neither before nor after Jesus. Why do you think we should change our position, other than an emotional appeal to “stacking the deck”?

      You unfairly misrepresent Uri Yosef. He offers two speculations for “sabachthani” and explains why it therefore does not present a problem as some Jews might think. In this case he is showing his even-handedness.

      As for the bracketed words, take it from a fluent Hebrew speaker–it reads perfectly fine in Hebrew.

      You can’t rely on the word “dig” either. Yosef’s point was that if the letter yod was really a vav, and if there would be no alef, then it could mean “dig.” But the letter yod may well have been an elongated yod, as we see in the Great Isaiah Scroll, same word. And there is that pesky aleph in the middle of the world.

      Missionaries make a huge big deal about this word meaning pierced, so I think you need to consider that when you try to defend their position.

      Also realize that the rest of the Psalm’s “proof texts” deflate under scrutiny.

      This Psalm is plainly talking about David’s travails.

      As for midrashic interpretation, the plain meaning never gives way before the midrashic interpretation; the midrashic interpretation does not contradict the plain meaning; and the midrashic interpretation cannot contradict any fundamental Jewish beliefs. The plain meaning is always the primary meaning.

      To your last point, the Jews who played freely with the text were not part of our tradition. Their teachings were not preserved among God’s remnant, the witness community of Torah observant Judaism. They are as irrelevant, as I have explained to you in the past, as Philo, to our observance and to our understanding of Torah.

    • LarryB says:

      CR
      Looking at the literal text I am at a loss, but, The deck is stacked if this messiah is not a descendant. This deck stacking was not done by man. The only man trying to stack the deck are those who are trying to claim Jesus is a decendant.
      “In this instance however, we have a verse which does mention David, an actual king messiah of Israel, but this verse cannot apply to David’s descendant the messiah?”

      • Concerned Reader says:

        I’m not saying the verse has to be messianic Dina, I’m asking how a verse that is LITERALLY about a messiah named David, could be said not be about a possible messiah claimant. I agree it is dishonest for Christians to declare “pierced” as the most accurate literal reading.

        I accept the reading of “like a lion,” my point in my first post was that the idea of piercing can be easily read into the verse (contextually) without presupposing a Christian reading.

        For instance, I could see a person in ancient times thinking this Psalm could possibly refer to Antigonus II Mattathias, the last king of the Hasmoneans who was beheaded/crucified.

  6. RT says:

    “Already, the deck seems stacked against a Christian’s understanding of the verse, because the rabbis wont even entertain the possibility of this as a messianic psalm.”

    I agree, but this goes into both sides… Chrisitans will never agree that it is “like a lion”… Each side tries to justify his belief…

    “As I’ve mentioned in other posts, whether it says pierced or not does not of necessity make it a Jesus proof.”

    Yes, but that would be misquoted from generation to generation by Christian “scholar” that a Jewish Rabbi would agree that it is “Pierced” and that would be the proof they needed to finally Close the story. Imagine all the messianic “rabbi” quoting that RABINICAL rabbi’s opinion as fact and as proof that the word was actually pierced, and that would render in most Christian opinion the ultimate proof that they needed… Because, who else has been pierced in his hand and feet than Yeshua? Have you ever agree with a Christian and that was just the proof they needed to stuck you in the corner and say “who else would it be?” And he would say “well, David was never pierced in his hand and feet, and you are just unwilling to see the proof”. Cause one proof is enough to accept Jesus and one trickery is enough for you to be labeled as “blinded by satan”.

    “For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers encompassed me; like a lion [they are at] my hands and my feet.”

    isn’t it common practice in Hebrew to not put verse in all sentences? I think so, and I think it is grammatically correct to do so as well. I will let the expert confirm if it is the case or not…

    • Concerned Reader says:

      No, RT I don’t get stuck in the corner because of a Christian’s interpretation of various texts. The question “who else could it be?” is obliterated by the New Testament itself. Let me explain.

      Christians will offer an alleged list of fulfilled prophecies like:

      Messiah will suffer: Isaiah 53
      Messiah will die before the 2nd temple was destroyed: Daniel 9
      Messiah will be a priestly king: Zechariah 6

      Unbeknownst to many Christians is the interesting fact that there is a New Testament figure other than Jesus who also fits all of these texts, namely John the Baptist.

      John himself testified that he was not Elijah the prophet, (contradicting Jesus’ statement that he was.)

      John was killed by beheading under Agrippa before the temple was destroyed. His father was a priest and his mother a relative of Mary, a descendant of David, meaning that he would be a priest with royal relatives.

      Was John the messiah because he could be easily plugged in to those verses? NO!

      Revelation 13 (according to Christian interpreters themselves,) refers to a false messiah figure who will come in the future, claim to be G-d, seek worship, suffer a deadly wound, survive it, and thereby trick all nations into believing that he (the antichrist) is the real messiah.

      Reading between the lines, these texts tell us some important things.

      1. Texts that Christians use as proof of Jesus are truly ambiguous enough that they can fit other people.

      2. Revelation 13 shows us that Christians themselves knew this, and therefore shows us that they expected other people to come and to say that they, (and not Jesus,) fulfilled this picture of a suffering messiah.

      (the fact that revelation was written in the late 1st century shows us that according to revelation”s author, the idea of a suffering messiah was known to contemporary 1st century rivals who would say it was them, not Jesus.)

      3. History (independent of Christianity,) has shown us that indeed other messiah claimants in later Judaism would come, (and their students) would claim that they fit this picture of a suffering messiah.

      So, no RT, I don’t get stuck if a Christian brings me a proof text. He can bring me his proofs, I can accept his premises, and it still doesn’t prove what he wants it to prove.

      • Dina says:

        That’s a very interesting way of putting it, Con. I never thought of it that way.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          It is interesting for several reasons.

          1. Christian proof texts are believed by Christians themselves to be ambiguous enough that false messiahs will try to claim them.

          2. History has proven that this happens.

          3. Judaism has tried so hard to say that Judaism does not entertain the notion of a suffering messiah, when this is clearly not true based on the above facts.

          These two traditions have ripped each other to shreds when the argument is very circular in a lot of ways. Christians can claim (and back up with evidence) that a suffering messiah is not an alien notion, and Jews can retort with, “yeah, ok. However, it doesn’t mean its Jesus.”

          • Dina says:

            I mostly agree with you, Con, but you contradicted yourself here. You wrote that Judaism refuses to entertain the notion of a suffering messiah, but when Christians present the proof, they say, “yeah, okay.”

            Judaism does not refuse to entertain the notion, it’s just entertained in a very different way. Christians cherry pick verses to support their theology. This drives Jews crazy! You can prove anything about anything that way. Did you read Jim’s article “Horace’s Tree”? This illustrates the concept very well. Also they read things into the text, which you can also use to prove anything about anything.

            For example, I can prove that there will be three comings because the redemption from Egypt took place in three stages (plagues, sea splitting/exodus, Sinai revelation). Another proof is that Joseph interpreted three dreams; the third dream resulted in his release from prison and elevation to prince of Egypt. If I were a Christian, I could add that each coming represents another person in the godhead. Do you see what I’m driving at?

            It’s also unfair to accuse us of ripping each other to shreds. We are so not interested in doing that. We would be very content to let well enough alone, but Christians won’t leave us alone. We have no choice but to defend our faith. Do you think we should just sit back and agree with everything they say? Please say no!

            I can promise you one thing, Connie. If Christian missionaries would disappear, Rabbi B. would take down this blog tomorrow.

      • RT says:

        I agree with that and love the example of John the Baptist. Unfortunately, I found that talking with Christians is quite hard and will not have a reasonable conversation like you and me… You talk with enough people to know that….

  7. Jim says:

    It should be mentioned that Rashi is being misused by any who refer to his commentary on Ps. 22:16 to suggest injury to the hands and feet, their being crushed. His commentary is most decidedly not about hands and feet being crushed. He relates Ps. 22 to Israel, reading the whole thing as metaphor. A nation does not have hands and feet, and taking his metaphor to justify a literal reading or semi-literal meaning is an abuse of Rashi.

    Jim

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Yes, he does use the verse as a metaphor for Israel as a whole, expressed in the text as a single individual. Commentators also say the verse refers to David himself. The king (the head,) and Israel, (the body,) are both referred to.

  8. Alan says:

    “Like a lion, my hands and feet”. Perhaps there’s no verb here because it wouldn’t sound poetic if David repeated the verb “to surround” a third time – “[dogs] s’vavuni (have surrounded me)” and “[a group of evildoers] hikifuni (have surrounded me)”. I don’t think King David needed to say “surrounded” a third time. For example, I could say “I devoured my breakfast like a wolf. I devoured my supper like a dog” or I can say it more eloquently “I devoured my breakfast like a wolf, and my supper like a dog”. “My supper like dog” or “like a dog my supper” has the same form as “like a lion my hands and feet”.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      I see that poetic aspect Alan, the point is, when you read the verse, you understand that he is speaking poetically about wolves and lions surrounding him, making him suffer.

  9. Dina says:

    Moral Legacy, Moral Equivalence

    Is it fair to judge a religion or its sacred texts by its adherents?

    No but yes.

    No, it is not fair to judge a religion or its sacred texts by the behavior of a few individuals in a few select time periods, for good or for ill.

    But yes, it is fair to judge a religion or its sacred texts by the behavior of the majority of its adherents over most of the course of its history.

    If the majority of the followers of Islam, for example, sympathize with terrorism as a legitimate political tactic, if the majority of the followers of Islam have mistreated the non-Muslim members of their society for most of their history, then it is fair to judge the Koran and the religion it creates as immoral.

    Disclaimer: There are many, many, many good and decent and moral Muslims. This is not a judgment on individual Muslims. It’s a question of whether it is fair to judge the religion and its texts by its adherents.

    My friends in the audience, you know where I am going with this.

    Let us compare the moral legacy of Christianity with the moral legacy of Judaism. By this, I mean: let us compare the behavior of most of the followers of Jesus with most of the followers of the God of Israel over most of the course of their respective histories.

    A good place to start is with writings. Let us compare the writings of Christians beginning with the gospels to the present day with the writings of Jews beginning with the Talmud to the present day.

    In Holy Hatred, Professor Robert Michael compares the number of Christian documents filled with venomous writings directed against the Jews versus the number of Jewish documents against Christians. I cannot find my copy, but if memory serves, he found 1500 Christian writings over a 2000-year period–not obscure writings but penned by important Christian leaders and clergymen.

    About five percent of the verses of the Christian scriptures (known to Christians as the New Testament) are anti-Jewish (about 450 verses out of 7956).

    The Talmud, with its nearly 3,000 pages, is a much larger volume by far than the Christian New Testament. In this massive work, we find no more than three passages that could be construed as talking about Jesus that are negative (the Jesus burning in his excrement referenced by Connie is not necessarily Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus/Yeshu being a common name of the time).

    As we move to the early Church Fathers and the subsequent leaders of Christianity such as popes and other clergymen, the leaders of the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter Reformation, and so on down through the centuries, we find numerous writings viciously excoriating the Jews. Martin Luther’s words are so obscene I cannot repeat them; he is not the only one. The taint of Jew hatred infected even respected philosophers like Voltaire and Pascal (of Pascal’s Wager fame).

    Many of these writers did not even have any contact with real, living Jews.

    You would expect that Jews, living as they were under the near-constant oppression of the Christians, would have written volumes expressing their bitterness and resentment.

    But…barely a word.

    I do not know the number of Jewish writings excoriating Christians, but by comparison it is negligible.

    In Memoirs of Gluckel of Hameln, the memoirs of a seventeenth-century Jewish woman, Gluckel writes matter of factly and not at all bitterly of anti-Semitism, a fact of life she took for granted. So she writes of having to put off a trip to Vienna because “the rage was simmering against the Jews” in the same tone people might use to say that they can’t travel due to inclement weather. She speaks of someone catching a Christian dumping a body into a Jewish house (to start a blood libel) as if she were speaking about a bus strike. She writes that they lived and died by the whims of their Christian neighbors as if that is the norm.

    The Jews gave no reason to the Christians to write such evil about them, yet the Christians poured forth torrents of ink abusing them. The Christians gave Jews good cause to complain about them in writing, yet the Jews were mostly silent.

    Who really practiced “turn the other cheek” and “do unto others”? That is one aspect of the moral legacy of each religion that must be considered.

    Another is murder, the greatest crime a human can commit against another.

    Throughout Christian history, Christians tortured and murdered each other, Jews, and other non-Christian sects or Christian sects deemed heretical. Over the centuries, Christians killed each other by the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in holy wars, the Spanish Inquisition (which targeted also Christian heretics), and witch hunts. They also killed countless Jews.

    Some Christians would like to whitewash this history. They would like to believe that the history between Christians and Jews consisted mostly of good Christians protecting and/or saving Jews from a few rogue “fake” Christians. One could be excused for wondering how the death toll had reached the millions by the time of the Holocaust.

    These Christians also claim that those who engaged in persecution were not real Christians. True followers of Jesus would never do such things.

    Malcolm Hay, the author of Thy Brother’s Blood, observes that when Christians refer to people who commit misdeeds, they call them “so-called” Christians, yet when they speak unfavorably of Jews, they never call them “so-called” Jews. When Jews behave well, they say they are acting like Christians.

    The case cannot be made that those who engaged in the persecution of the Jews were not real Christians. Until very recently (say, the 1960s), Christians hated Jews because they loved Jesus. They hated those who tortured and killed him and whose descendants continued to reject them. Until now, the more you loved Jesus, the more likely you were to hate Jews. Historians who study the subject, even devout Christians like Malcolm Hay, link Christian piety with Jew hatred. (Thank God those days are over, I hope forever.)

    While the followers of Jesus were filling up the pages of their history with bloodshed and torture, what were the followers of God doing?

    Mostly, they were just trying to survive. History does record, in addition, that while Jewish society was not perfect, the rate of drinking and sexual immorality was extremely low, while violent crime was virtually non-existent.

    Jewish society encouraged literacy, and a rate of 100% or close to it was achieved for all of our history. The same cannot be said of Christian society. Christian clergy discouraged the masses from talking to Jews about religion because the average Jew knew Scripture far better than the average Christian.

    Christianity claimed to lead its followers down a path morally superior to Judaism. It failed spectacularly. The screams of the tortured echo through its history; the blood of millions soak its pages.

    If you are a Christian, that is your moral legacy.

    There is a particular commenter on this blog who believes that to speak about this history is to be a hate mongerer. Why do the actions of mass expulsions and massacres not sow division and hate, while speaking of them does?

    This commenter keeps himself in ignorance. He does not realize the extent and magnitude and severity of Christian oppression, nor the silent depth of its successor, modern Christian contempt for the Jewish position.

    I speak a great deal about this topic because I believe that if Christians read about it and educate themselves about it, they will understand us better. I believe that opening our eyes to the past will open the door to healing. Knowing the truth will not sow more hatred; it will bring us closer.

    This commenter has also stated that both religions have adherents that don’t represent their respective religions.

    Let us say this is true. Let us say that Torquemada doesn’t represent Christianity, and I (as the designated hate mongerer) don’t represent Judaism.

    Is there a moral equivalence?

    Are there some here who say that talking about Torquemada’s evil is as evil as Torquemada?

    Perhaps, you say, I should choose a Jew who destroyed people’s lives. Say, Karl Marx. Oh, wait, he converted to Christianity. What about Nicholas Donin, the one responsible for the Paris book burnings in the Medieval Ages? Oops, he also converted to Christianity.

    So folks, comparing religious Christians to religious Jews, we put on one side the ones who don’t represent Christianity, like the murderers and otherwise oppressors, and on the other side we put the Jewish people who weren’t as respectful of their parents as they should have been, who didn’t give as much charity as they should have, who complain too much about anti-Semitism…

    If you think there is a moral equivalence then your moral compass is broken.

  10. Concerned Reader says:

    A correction. John was killed by Antipas.

    Dina, I don’t mean that you literally refuse to acknowledge a suffering messiah, (I shouldn’t have generalized,) but that the rhetoric that both groups use ends up obscuring the fact that you both do in fact have a suffering messiah concept. Its not so simple as to say its just all nonsense.

    As you say, its a concept entertained in a different way. If people were simply told that fact, it might go easier in the world.

    A Christian who reads how foolish he is for believing in X concept, or Y concept, thinks “yeah, but your tradition has themes that run parallel.” Christians hear how “pagan” the concept of a dying or suffering messiah is in rhetoric, when its demonstrable that we could get that theme just from the Bible.

    This actually encourages the discord between communities that we would all like to see dispelled.

    • Dina says:

      Con, why are blaming us for any of the discord? If Christians would stop trying to convert us, the discord would disappear. It’s the Christian who holds us in contempt for refusing to accept their notion of messiah.

      There is ZERO culpability for the discord on our part. It’s all one-sided. Let them just respect and leave us alone. They would then never hear a single argument from us.

      When was the last time you saw a Jew approaching a Christian first to challenge his beliefs, Con?

      • Dina says:

        Con, think about it for a minute. Why do Muslims and Jews not wrangle over these issues? It’s because Muslims don’t proselytize. It’s not because we agree with the Muslims’ version of true prophet in any way, shape, or form.

        • CP says:

          No, it’s because Muslims and Jews don’t share and venerate the same Scripture.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          Dina, where do you get the idea that Muslims don’t proselytize? They are commanded by their Quran to do so. There have been Jewish converts to Islam, and also syncretism between the two. Judaism has less of an issue with Islam mainly because it is monistic.

          As Maimonides said, the Muslims are not idolaters in any way. This despite the fact that Muhammad violated Deuteronomy 4, and Muhammad is venerated as sinless, and as Allah’s mouthpiece, to the point of violence against people who desecrate Muhammad’s character.

          I’m not blaming you, I’m saying Christian rhetoric against Judaism, and Jewish rhetoric against Christianity clouds the historical fact that there are deep links between Judaism and Christianity.

          Jews and Christians share a fundamental ethical code, their traditions share similar warnings, etc.

          • Dina says:

            Con, my experience and the experience of pretty much every Jew I know: we’ve all been approached by Christian missionaries. NEVER by Muslim ones. That’s where I got the idea that Muslims don’t proselytize.

            You missed the point. You morally equate Christian rhetoric against Judaism and Jewish rhetoric against Christianity. The Jewish rhetoric exists only because Christians can’t leave us alone. There would be no rhetoric against Christianity if not for proselytizing. This is self-evident!

            Maimonides, by the way, did not have friendly feelings toward Muslims, having been traumatized in his childhood from the Almohad terror that swept through his hometown. He stated that Islam is not idolatry as a fact, not as a stamp of approval of the religion. That doesn’t condone the other aspects of the religion, such as the indifference to human life, especially the lives of non-Muslims. But that is beside the point.

            I know you tell Christians that they should respect the fact that we can’t accept Jesus as the messiah, and I appreciate that. So why the moral equivalence? One side uses rhetoric as the offensive position, while the other side uses rhetoric as the defensive position.

            It’s like William F. Buckley’s famous analogy. One man pushes an old lady in front of bus. Another pushes an old lady out of the way of the bus. And you say, they’re both the kind of guy who push old ladies around. Do you see what I’m trying to say?

          • LarryB says:

            Dina
            I have never had a Muslim come to my door and wanting me to discuss the Koran. I have never seen a Muslim booth with books you could buy or given away. Once I have seen a Koran only one time in a motel. I have seen them on tv but not speaking English. I have talked to a few on blogs such as this only Christian. Muslims have one thing in common with Christians I’ve noticed on the blogs, They agree with the Torah until it disagrees with the Koran. Like Christians, who agree with the Torah until it disagrees with the New Testament, then they show how you misunderstand the Torah until you agree with the New Testament. To be fair, Muslims agree with the New Testament also until it disagrees with the Koran.

          • Dina says:

            Exactly!

    • CP says:

      Concerned Reader writes; “This actually encourages the discord between communities that we would all like to see dispelled.”

      Amen Amen!

      —If you don’t mind me adding: Repetitive accusations of true historical Christian antisemitism also encourages discord between communities; damaging the world rather than repairing it.—-

      (I don’t want to be misquoted here. I do believe there is a time and place to discuss such things, such as with those who are ignorant of such history or when it can be compared to a current event. However this being a time in history where many in both camps desire and are actively seeking peace and unity, historical antisemtism becomes (or should be) a delicate matter.

      There are some self proclaimed prophets of historical Christian anti-semitism. What do they hope to achieve? Educate? That’s what they claim, okay, but when those they are “educating” have already stated they agree, and they continually, repetitively go on and on, this tells a person there is something else is afoot.

      In their mind this ‘something else’ goes like this: ‘If I can prove Christian antisemitism — And if I can prove the source of Christian antisemitism came from the Gospels — Then I can prove Yeshua as a false messiah/prophet worthy of death — therefore my historical religious leaders acted correctly.

      There is no acceptance or tolerance for one another’s views in this venue because it is based on showing one’s self right at the expense of showing another wrong. There are much better ways to establish truth)

  11. Pingback: The Missionary Exploitation of Ignorance | The Musings of David P. Neff

  12. Dina says:

    Folks, there was a reason why I stopped talking to CP directly which was brought home to me with his recent posts.

    You can’t have a fair and honest discussion with someone who makes stuff up. I’ve been responding only to highlight his errors to you, so this will be, I hope, the last time. It should be clear by now that you can assume guilty until proven innocent. In other words, anything he posts is suspect until thoroughly investigated and proven true.

    Recently, he insisted that the verb “prostrated himself” in a passage in Joshua means “worship.” This verb does not mean worship, end of story. I will simply not take this absurd argument further.

    He also claimed that every time there is an angelic encounter where someone prostrates himself, the angel says not to, except in the incident with Joshua. Besides for being completely irrelevant, it’s completely not true. There are no angelic encounters in the Hebrew Bible that show an angel telling someone not to bow to him.

    This was a distraction, by the way, from a question I asked Kavi, who worships Jesus as God. I demanded an unambiguous, absolutely clear teaching in the Bible that we are required to do this. CP’s post is therefore irrelevant.

    I have nothing more to say on this topic, my friends. I hope I have cleared misconceptions in your minds that may have been created by this commenter.

  13. CP says:

    The Missionary Exploitation of Ignorance | The Musings of David P. Neff

    “David tells his story of how he grew up in Tel Aviv with a family that was not very religious, though did celebrate the main Jewish Holidays (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur). After WWII, his parents abandoned God entirely and was raised an atheist. In his own words:

    After WWII, when my father found out that two of his sisters and one brother and their families had been killed in Nazi Germany, he took every Bible and everything in our home that was remotely religious and threw it out. “Where was God?” he would ask. “How could God allow such a thing to happen?” From then on I was raised as an atheist.

    He later describes how he became ill during his honey moon to South Africa. This illness caused him to become permanently paralyzed from the waste down. He describes how he became a Christian and was watching the 700 Club (a missionary TV show) one day and suddenly was healed after the preacher prayed on TV.
    Whether or not he was “healed” by “jesus” or the pastor is not the issue. Jews do not rely on miracles and signs for truth. Our Torah states that there are times in which false prophets and idols can perform signs and wonders for us. Don’t be swayed by the fireworks. Hashem is testing us to see whether or not we truly love him with all our hearts, minds, and souls.”

    “”healed” by Jesus… is not the issue. Jews do not rely on miracles and signs for truth”

    Ummm…… he believed BEFORE he was healed, which invalidates the point being made.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s