Kingdom of Priests

Kingdom of Priests

Should Jews Shun “Messianic Jews”?

Back in 1998, at the time of Israel 50th birthday, my friend Rabbi Daniel Lapin withstood a harsh round of controversy and criticism from the Jewish community when he spoke at a huge Christian pro-Israel conference in Orlando, Florida. Why? Because the event prominently featured, among its other speakers, some Messianic Jews — that is, Jews who believe in Jesus and think, wrongly, that such belief can be coherently melded with Judaism. (Interestingly, one such speaker was Beliefnet’s Jay Sekulow.) 

Rabbi Lapin, who is Orthodox, thinks for himself — to put it mildly. That is one reason I’ve admired him so much since we first got to know each other. So while other Jewish leaders indignantly turned down the speaking invitation over the Messianic issue, Lapin explained that while he too found Messianic Judaism to be “dishonest,” he was going to go ahead and speak. 
Neither Jews nor Judaism would gain anything from his reneging, he thought. On the contrary, showing gratitude to Christians for their support was only appropriate, even if it meant appearing at the same venue with confused “Jewish Christians.” This was before 9/11, of course, which produced something of a sea change in Jewish opinion about allying with pro-Israel Christians. Lapin was far ahead of that curve.
But in the particular instance, the 1998 Christian rally for Israel, was he right? Well, listen to this. Yesterday, Rabbi Lapin sent me an email that noted in passing:

A week ago, during my travels, in Los Angeles after a speech, a young woman asked to meet with me. She had been born to atheist Jewish parents but who had sought religion and found Christianity. As the girlfriend of one of the organizers, she was in that very audience 11 years ago. Last week she repeated to me that speech I gave in April ’98, and told me that she had left Christianity that same day as a result. She later married an Orthodox Jew in Texas. It was a wonderful encounter for me. 

Asked for more details about her, he answered:

She grew up totally secular, with a strong ethnic Jewish awareness but nothing but contempt for religion. When she was about 20 she started feeling a spiritual yearning and wanted to know about God. Her ventures into the occasional synagogue or temple fell far short of satisfying this yearning and she then socially met a few very gracious and very spiritual Christians who invited her to their church. She became very involved and found profound spiritual satisfaction and as a very talented and beautiful young woman she contributed much to the church she was involved in. Susan and I had a long coffee with her and were quite fascinated with her story, her simple sincerity, and her sparkling personality. She was also incredibly psychically healthy if you know what I mean.

Being strongly connected to one of the churches that organized the Orlando event in spring 1998, she sat in VIP seating in the very front row. (No, I don’t have any recollection of seeing her — there were 15,000 people there.) My speech revolved around how Judaism was not about suffering, the Holocaust, or disconnecting from life. Rather the reverse — it was the world’s most powerful life enhancing system. It was the world’s longest running sociological longitudinal study of life success with 3,000 years of track record in equipping people to build strong families, relationships and wealth.

She spoke to me for a few minutes later that day and then attended two more speeches I gave in Florida in the ensuing few weeks. She decided to leave Christianity and return home to her spiritual sources the day she heard me speak. She did find Orthodox Torah teachers and since then has been mostly observant in Jewish life.

So while Jewish big-shots like Malcolm Hoenlein, Morton Klein, and Howard Kohr took the safe road and stayed away, Lapin was the maverick as ever and ended up inspiring a young Jewish woman to return to Judaism.
I went back and read an essay he had written then, “Why Is Jesus Worse than Secularism?,” before speaking at the conference but after the controversy had blown up. I thought it was an extremely cogent argument for engagement with Jews who have taken other paths. He asks what’s so specially bad about Messianic Judaism that merits its practitioners being totally shunned, while other equally heterodox movements and ideas are petted and stroked by the Jewish community. Excerpt:

Would someone explain to me why one particular distortion of Judaism is so much worse than others?

Why is there no protesting those who claim that homosexual synagogues are perfectly kosher? Now please understand, at Pacific Jewish Center in Los Angeles which I was privileged to establish with Michael Medved and honored to serve for 15 years, we had a few individual members who had engaged in homosexual conduct. However we also had members who had eaten pork. I would have objected as strenuously about forming special prayer groups for pork eaters as I would have for practitioners of homosexuality. 

Not being perfect myself, I felt honored to serve, as rabbi, other imperfect Jews. But never would I, or any other Orthodox rabbi, endorse these imperfections as normative Judaism. Yet almost every mid-sized Jewish community in America boasts a homosexual congregation and nobody bats an eyelid. In fact, several of these congregations, dedicated to public violation of a Law that God gave Moses for all time, have been recipients of grants and awards from other Jewish organizations. Furthermore, many Orthodox organizations that do consider homosexuality to be wrong, march in Israel Independence Day parades alongside homosexual synagogues. They do not consider their actions to be validating homosexuality. So would someone please explain to me why so many of my fellow Jews find Messianic congregations dedicated to violating the second commandment, to be so much worse than homosexual congregations?

Ah, I’ve got it! Homosexuality is just a law from Leviticus, you will tell me, whereas a Messianic congregation violates the second of the Ten Commandments. I remain confused by a lack of consistency in our community. You see, the fourth commandment addresses the Sabbath. Violating the Sabbath is a pretty basic renunciation of Judaism. Yet there is any number of American synagogues whose busy parking lots each Shabbat morning prove that Jewish law is irrelevant to contemporary Jewish life. I am left with my question. Would someone please tell me why we are so angry about messianic synagogues and so incredibly tolerant of homosexual and Sabbath violating synagogues?

He recalls:

I was privileged to be among the first rabbis to specialize in kiruv or outreach. Thousands of young Jews returned to Judaism through my efforts in California between 1977 and 1992. Since that time I have traveled the country speaking to hundreds of Jewish and Christian audiences. I know the truth and you should know it too. We are losing very few Jews to Christianity. We are losing considerably more to eastern religions. However we are losing the greatest number to secularism and nothingness. We are exerting disproportionate emotional energy on the wrong target.

What should be the target of our efforts? The answer is simple — Jewish education. Instead of beaming out a message to our non Jewish neighbors of hatred, bigotry, intolerance and censorship, we should compete in the free marketplace of ideas. We should fight fire with fire. Have we no confidence in Judaism’s ability to compete and win? My friend, the late Jerry Falwell, once told me he seldom hears of a Torah observant Jew converting to Christianity or to anything else. He’s right, Christianity is not the problem. Our failed marketing of Judaism is what is causing Jewish attrition. 

Instead of Jewish leaders denouncing a group of Christians gathered to celebrate Israel, we should seek permission to place a booth of Jewish education at the event. Instead of Jewish leaders sanctimoniously boycotting the event, we should all be there. Just ask yourself this question. If there are Jews in the audience, and there are bound to be some, are they more or less likely to abandon Judaism if there is also a presence of mainstream Jewish speakers offering a road map to relevance within the Jewish community?

In retrospect, that last line was, of course, prophetic.
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Paqid Yirmeyahu

posted June 18, 2009 at 1:29 am

Absolutely right!!!
Beyond this, while Jews pander to the pope to change attitudes toward Jews and Judaism, his historical first-century boss, the boss of all Christians, turns out to have been a Torah-teaching Pharisee Ribi who NEVER espoused ANY uniquely-Christian doctrine (man-god, divinity, bodily resurrection, immaculate conception, magic blood, supersessionism or displacement theology, etc.).
Nor did ANY of his followers (Netzarim) before 135 C.E.
Through learning the increasingly well-documented history of the period (e.g., the History Museum pages of our website), Jews could point to the historical Ribi himself to disprove Christian claims, reinstate the undisputed authority of Torah and bring both estranged Jews and the brunt of the Christian world to Torah.
Why don’t they? Fear! #2 ignorance (fear of the unknown). But the #1: elevating Torah to undisputed authority elevates the b’rit as the definer of Jews and Judaism–exposing the falseness of claims by secular “Jews”, atheist “Jews”, Reform “Jews”, (practicing) homosexual “Jews” that they are acceptable Jews. For them, “not believing in Jesus” distinguishes them as Jews. What’s more ignorant than that? What drives more intelligent young Jews away from “Judaism” than that?
Non-Torah “Jews” have approached around 90% of the “Jewish” community. Only about 1 in a thousand of them ever embraced Christianity. The other 999 simply became disgusted with the fabulizing and ignorance of implacably anti-intellectual rabbis and “Judaism.”
Fabulizing and ignorance are the enemy. We have seen the enemy and he is us.

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Paqid Yirmeyahu

posted June 18, 2009 at 1:56 am

Update: things I didn’t explain adequately
In my last message, when I wrote “For them, “not believing in Jesus” distinguishes them as Jews,” what I meant is more accurately “For them, “not believing in Jesus” IS ALL THAT distinguishes them as “Jews”.” They have nothing else in Torah defining them as Jews aside from birth–and Esau had that!!! Removing that “definition” exposes the Qorakhs and Esaus among us. THAT is why most of the hate-mongering and slander.
Has no Jew alive today every read passages like be-Midbar 15.30 and other passage concerning kareit? Just because rabbis deemphasize parts of Torah they find inconvenient you think ha-Sheim contradicts himself (Devarim 13.1, et al.)??? Interestingly, it’s the next 5 verses (13.2-6) that enable Jews to demonstrate the falseness of ALL Christian doctrines.
I also forgot to ask: Why do we beg the pope, who is helplessly unable change or renounce the intractably misojudaic Christian NT, to like us when the historical truth is that it was Ribi Yehoshua himself who liked us and taught Torah, NOT ANY Christian doctrines? Why do we reject, and continue to slander and seethe with hate toward the sole Jew who could restore Torah to dominance and bring masses of goyim to Torah as prophesied (e.g., Zekharyah 14.16ff)? Why do we continue to propagate the Christian misrepresentations–slander / begadim tzoim (Zekharyah 3.1-3)–about Ribi Yehoshua? It’s time we remove the begadim tzoim (Zekharyah 3.5-6 in which Christianity cloaked a Torah-teaching Pharisee Ribi.
And we bring all of this destruction on ourselves in order to hold onto the Edomites (Esaus) and Qorakhs among us!!!
Paqid Yirmeyahu
Paqid 16, The Netzarim, Ra’anana, Israel
Israeli Orthodox Torah Jew (Teimani Baladi Dardai)
Advocate for Logic as Halakhic Authority
Welcoming Jews & non-Jews

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David Brickner

posted June 18, 2009 at 11:41 am

Hi David,
I am pleased to hear of rabbi Lapin’s tolerance of Jewish followers of Jesus. I would expect nothing less than his hopeful effort to persuade some of us to “return.” Yet it seems that what is most offensive to my fellow Jews are the efforts of some of us Jews for Jesus to persuade others to follow Jesus as we do. The ugly word proselytism is thrown around like “ax-murderer” and our efforts to persuade are identified with intending a spiritual holocaust, or deceptive efforts to take advantage of children or elderly. Might you or the good rabbi also address the issue of showing tolerance toward our “proselytism” as well? After all, we are merely being faithful to the command of our rabbi Yeshua who told us to preach the good news, beginning in Jerusalem. (Acts 1:8) Just as you or rabbi Lapin wish to persuade, so do we. Disagree with us yes, but is such prejudicial invective required?

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posted June 18, 2009 at 3:57 pm

David B–David K can speak for himself but I would like to offer my own opinion.
The fact that Judaism loses more to secularism and Buddhism to Jews for Jesus is no endorsement of Jews for Jesus. The fact that David K, Rabbi Lapin I might agree that it is better that Jay Sekolow is a Christian than as a secularist does not mean that we believe it is fine for Jews for Jesus to approach Jews and convince them to believe in the divinity of the Christian deity. It means that Jews and Christians–including Messianic Christians (it is not proper to call them Messianic Jews)can work happily and join with Jews in matters of public policy, support for Israel, opposition to secularism, etc.
Your equivalency between “what Rabbi Lapin would do” and what you seek to do is totally false. Jewish kiruv is inreach to Jews so that they can reclaim their faith. Your proselytizing targets Jews for conversion to Christianity and that is quite different.

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posted June 18, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Shanna–“all those Jews who died during the Crusades” were Orthodox Jews and surely not Reform Jews since such a thing did not exist until Germany in the 19th C.
Denouncing Messianic Jews in a way that is very different than a denunciation of Reform Jews makes little sense since they only have differing ways of rejecting normative Judaism. It is better to be positive, seek education and seek to appeal to all Jews–don’t you think, Shanna?

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posted June 18, 2009 at 6:24 pm

When you claim that Messianic Jews are in violation of the 2nd commandment, I assume you are referring to Exodus 20:4-5 (JPS Hebrew-English TaNaKH). I wonder if you could be more specific as to your understanding of how Messianic Judaism views its Messiah?
If Messianic Jews view Jesus in the same way as I do (a Lutheran), I’m hard pressed to understand the truth of your accusation. To view G-d as serving multiple roles doesn’t seem to me to be a violation of the 2nd commandment. After all, the Torah talks of G-d in at least two forms: G-d proper and His divine presence, the Shekhina (see, for example, Ex 40:35, Gen 9:27, 14:13, Psalms 37:3, and Jer 33:16).
I’m not advancing this view as a rebuttal, so much as a question about your understanding of Messianic Judaism as essentially poly-theistic. My cursory reading about Messianics is that most of them hold to Trinitarian theology where the Trinity refers to the three ways in which G-d has revealed himself to mankind.
Thanks for the post, David. I clearly have much to learn.

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David Klinghoffer

posted June 18, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Michael, thanks for asking. The argument is that while joining other entities to God may be OK for non-Jews, by Judaism’s own way of thinking — under the 2nd commandment, forbidding the worship of other deities, a pure monotheism without trinity or duality or similar is the only appropriate way for Jews to relate to God. No point is more stressed in Judaism than God’s simple, absolute oneness.

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posted June 18, 2009 at 9:11 pm

Re: the issue of idolatry and Christianity:
The primary concern is not the concept of the Trinity, per se. Although the Trinity concept is deeply problematic vis a vis the Jewish emphasis on the unity of God, it is possible (with sufficient hand-waving and such) to argue that the Trinity is simply a way of looking at the different ways the one God interacts with the world. Indeed, it is difficult to even nail down what – exactly – the concept of the Trinity actually means. As the Catholics are wont to say, it is a “mystery”.
However, the issue of idolatry still remains in the simple fact that Christians identify a human being as the deity and engage in worship of that human being. In essence, the prohibition of idolatry is to worship that which is not God as God. Any entity which can distinguished from God is, by definition, not God, and worship of that entity is idolatry.
This is where the Trinity comes in as an argument that the specific human being worshiped by Christians is not, really, distinct from God Himself. Of course, to utilize this argument requires a very clear definition of the concept, strong and clear Scriptural support for the concept as a justification for expanding the traditional definition of legitimate worship, and a clear explanation for how the same argument could not be used to justify the worship of additional entities. In the absence of the above, the worship of a human being would clearly constitute idolatry.
Jewish law clearly holds that a Jew who engages in Christian worship is in violation of the prohibition of idolatry. There is some debate whether the nature of the prohibition of idolatry for non-Jews would include Christianity.

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posted June 18, 2009 at 9:48 pm

What of The NEW Covenant, and The New Covenant “Jew”(Believer)?
Jer 31:31-37 “Behold, the days come, says YHWH, that I will make a NEW COVENANT with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: NOT ACCORDING TO THE COVENANT THAT I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS IN THE TIME THAT I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND TO BRING THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT FOR THEY BROKE THAT COVENANT, although I was an husband unto them, says YHWH: (Thankfully no longer natural “fathers” but YHWH, “Our Father” in “the NEWness of The Spirit not the letter”)
But this shall be the NEW covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says YHWH, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts(not in stone, but in their heart consciousness); and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be MY people. (“Come Out of her, MY people”! Come out of this world and it’s systems of religion)
And every man shall no longer teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, “Know YHWH”, for they shall all know ME, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says YHWH: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Thus says YHWH, which gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divides the sea when the waves thereof roar; YHWH of hosts is HIS name:
If those ordinances depart from before ME, says YHWH, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before ME for ever.
Thus says YHWH; If Heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says YHWH.”
The NEW Covenant established The Truth that, “he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, whose circumcision is that of the flesh, he is a Jew who is one inwardly, whose circumcision was of the heart” as he was immersed in, of, by and through The Holy, Set Apart Spirit that is of The Only True G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL. And all gentile NEW Covenant Believers are “grafted into The Good olive tree”…….
And The NEW Spiritual Israel?
“A Holy nation”…….
“A nation of kings and priests” indeed and Truth, and all New Covenant Believers are “strangers and pilgrims on the earth” whose “citizenship (Life) is in Heaven”.
They are not of this wicked, evil world and it’s systems of religion because they have taken heed unto The Call of The Only True G-D, Father (Creator) of ALL to “Come out of her, MY people”…….
And The NEW Covenant Believers are exhorted to “set their affections on things above, Heavenly things” and not be of those “whose god is their bellies, and whose glory is in their shame, because they mind earthly things”…….
Sadly, there are multitudes who profess a belief in The Messiah with their mouth only for they are “friends of this world”, and they “love this world and it’s things” and “love their own life in and of the world” …….
All such will hear those woe filled words, “Depart from ME all you workers of iniquity”…….
Thankfully The NEW Covenant Believers, The Brethren of The Messiah, have their “citizenship(Life) in Heaven” for they are “A Holy nation” of “kings and priests”, all of whom are thankful that, that which was “decaying and waxing old” DID “vanish away” with the destruction of the natural, earthly kingdom centered in jerusalem.
At that time “THY Kingdom” DID “Come” for The Messiah delivered up The Kingdom unto His G-D and Father(Creator), and The Kingdom of The Only True G-D in Heaven WAS, IS, and ALWAYS WILL BE indeed and Truth…….
No longer old, natural, earthly and temporal, The NEW WAS, IS, and ALWAYS WILL BE Spiritual, Heavenly and Eternal…….
And so it is that yesterday, today, and if there be a tomorrow, that “the chosen ones”, “the elect”, The NEW Covenant Believer, the Spiritual Jew, “The Brethren of The Messiah” continue to “fight the good fight of Faith” as they but seek and desire that which is Spiritual, Heavenly and Eternal…….
Father Help! and HE does…….
All Thanks, Praise and Glory Be Unto The Only True G-D, Father (Creator) of ALL…….
The DestructionOfTheEarth.Wordpress.Com

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Your Name

posted June 19, 2009 at 4:57 am

I can’t help but feel, as a Jew, that there is a certain cultural heritage that is defied by Messianic Jews. The Jewish people have historically been very introverted, unwilling to accept outsiders. As a result, they were largely unwelcome in most communities until they began to assimilate. Thus we had a division between secular Jews who assimilated and religious Jews who did not, the latter of whom are still somewhat intolerant of outsiders (I speak from experience, believe me). Christians, having been a majority party for most of the religion’s existence, have not been through the centuries of adversity that has solidified the Jewish experience for many Jews around the world. It is akin to a boy wanting to join a fraternity without going through the pledging process. I am not saying that the Jewish experience is all about adversity, but more about something very much like Emerson’s oversoul. Christians simply do not have the group memory of being Jewish.

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Your Name

posted June 19, 2009 at 6:01 am

Dear David: You basically mock those who disagree with Rabbi Lapin’s approach on the above. I would prefer you express your opinion, without putting down others on a topic that is quite concerning. For example, are you aware of the extent to which missionary activies have grown in Israel? Also, for the story you told above, there are other stories of a different result. Please don’t get me wrong. I certainly support good relationships and friendships with those of other faiths, WITHIN the framework of appropriate limits which must be set regarding missionary related activities and within the framework of proper representation of Torah and Yiddishkeit. I urge your readers to check out Rabbi Berel Wein’s short, but very important essay, on Exclusivity and Tolerance (available on the internet) which should be helpful on this topic. Also, very importantly, each Jew should consult with appropriate rabbis/sources to find out the Torah based way on this and related matters.
Thank you for allowing me to express myself.

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posted June 19, 2009 at 6:04 am

Sorry, the very last My Name above is from Sam (the 6:01 posting). When things expired, I didn’t realize I had to reset name.

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posted June 19, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Shanna, your harsh words are misplaced. Indeed, you do not know me and your certainly do not know my Jewish soul. Your willingness to indicate that David K believes that the martyrs were fools is out of left field and has no bearing on this discussion. Invoking the Crusades is a questionable strategy.
I asked you before and I will ask again–what is wrong with standing firm and appealing to all Jews? Why is it correct to demonize Messianic Jews and not demonize all the Jews who intermarry and become thoroughly secularized? Do you come up to secular Jews and ask THEM if their ancestors who died as martyrs were fools?
I have not asked you for your Jewish credentials and I am pleased to assume that you are as Jewish as I–sorry you do not wish to return the favor but it would be charming if you answered my questions.

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posted June 19, 2009 at 7:16 pm

As a musician, I have played for services for almost every major Christian group.
My last time was several years with a Messianic Congregation in Southern Calif.
My experience was nothing like critics here have accused.Perhaps it is just this congregation and not common.
As far as converts from Judaism to ‘Messianism’ I have found that probably less than 3-5% of the congregation are that. Rather the majority are Christians who want to feel more connected to a ‘Jewish’ Jesus than a western European Jesus.
I have found that there is very little proselytizing of Jews to convert. Basically it centers around services that are patterned after Jewish traditional services.
I found that these people reject the typical ‘replacement] Theology that the Jews are out of God’s favor and the Christian Church is the plan now.
I have found that these people are the staunchest allies of Israel and it’s rights in the mid-east.
I have found several members move closer and closer to the traditional forms of Judaism with actually several converts to Orthodox Judaism.
I have never , ever seen deceptive prosleytizing practices..but always up front about who and what they are.
I could go on…but I never saw anyhing that i have read here by the critics.
I will post another entry about a personal spiritual encounter in a messianic congregation that had a deep impact on me about the nature of this incredibly humane and wonderful religion/life that is called Judaism

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David Klinghoffer

posted June 19, 2009 at 7:23 pm

G raises an important point about “Messianic” congregations. They are geared not to Jews but to Gentiles who want a Jewish flavor to their Christian worship. Most folks who attend, the vast majority, are not Jews by birth.

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posted June 19, 2009 at 7:36 pm

As a musician I have played at virtually every major denomination in Christianity includeing Messianic Jewish Congregations.
I have an earlier post that details some of my experiences at the Messianic synagogue..but what I will relate had a profound impact on me.
As you may be aware of, MJ congregations follow many worship traditions of traditional Judaism including having a Bema and a Torah.
At each Torah service,, members of the congregation are invited selectively to read a portion (transliterated of course).
One sabbath I was invited and I reluctantly accepted as I really just saw myself as a musician for the worship.
I realized that perhaps for some, pretending to be Jewish is ‘cool’ in the service and I was determined to not approach this reading with any ;glibness’ or thoughts of Oh how cool, I am pretending to a real Jew.
What happened in my heart and emotions felt like the Angel of the L**D in the depth of emotion and realization.
as I was readying myself to approach the Bema and read from the Torah portion a great ‘heat’ filled me and I began to cry.
The sense of personal unworthiness to do this reading suddenly permeated my entire consciousness.
Words began to form in my head and heart that basically said” This is Holy, given by G*d and bought and paid for over and over for almost five thousand by my people, Israel.
I realized , I had never suffered for being a Jew, I had never paid with blood (perhaps my Grandmother’s family?? Jews from Romania).
I felt so unworthy that I stumbled and almost could not walk.
Then it was as if I heard a voice that said, ‘Do this, as a gift from my people who have paid for it in blood…and know that it is a precious gift to you to do this..and never forget what you felt here today and what you realized.
I barely was able to read from the Torah as I had to speak through almost sobs of understanding the deep deep rootedness and history of which I was partaking…a gift, of which I have never suffered because of or sacrificed because of.
What do I believe today? I don’t know anymore..Jesus,? G*d,? Moses? osiris?? Science??
I really don’t know..but I do know that that day I walked into a stream that has it’s beginnings in deep deep past..and that it was a powerful stream..that it wasn’t American or european Jesus, but it was Judaism..a gift..for which I have never paid for..just a gift that I will honor for the rest of my life.

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David Klinghoffer

posted June 19, 2009 at 7:51 pm

G, thank you for your beautiful comment! If you think your grandmother’s family may have been Jewish, that could be worth investigating further, especially if you mean your mother’s mother.

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posted June 20, 2009 at 8:06 pm

David Letterman’s hate is as old as some ancient Hebrew prophets.
Speaking of anti-Semitism, it’s Jerry Falwell and other fundy leaders who’ve gleefully predicted that in the future EVERY nation will be against Israel (an international first?) and that TWO-THIRDS of all Jews will be killed, right?
Wrong! It’s the ancient Hebrew prophet Zechariah who predicted all this in the 13th and 14th chapters of his book! The last prophet, Malachi, explains the reason for this future Holocaust that’ll outdo even Hitler’s by stating that “Judah hath dealt treacherously” and “the Lord will cut off the man that doeth this” and asks “Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother?”
Haven’t evangelicals generally been the best friends of Israel and persons perceived to be Jewish? Then please explain the recent filthy, hate-filled, back-stabbing tirades by David Letterman (and Sandra Bernhard and Kathy Griffin) against a leading evangelical named Sarah Palin, and explain why most Jewish leaders have seemingly condoned Palin’s continuing “crucifixion”!
While David, Sandra, and Kathy are tragically turning comedy into tragedy, they are also helping to speed up and fulfill the Final Holocaust a la Zechariah and Malachi, thus helping to make the Bible even more believable!
(For even more stunning information, visit MSN and type in “Separation of Raunch and State” and “Bible Verses Obama Avoids.”)

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posted June 20, 2009 at 8:28 pm

David: The argument is that while joining other entities to God may be OK for non-Jews, by Judaism’s own way of thinking — under the 2nd commandment, forbidding the worship of other deities, a pure monotheism without trinity or duality or similar is the only appropriate way for Jews to relate to God. (emphasis added)
Isn’t monotheism one of the Noachide Laws, which are supposed to apply to everyone, not just Jews? Or at least, insofar as it forbids idolatry, isn’t it at least implicitly monotheistic? And although Judaism doesn’t seek to impose its views on the adherents of other religions, since when has it seen polytheism as OK in principle, even for Gentiles?

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posted June 21, 2009 at 10:54 pm

OK, Shanna. I have always stood opposed to Messianic Jews and I still find them repulsive. Regarding the statement put forward by David K–should we shun them–this is a different question. Further, you avoid the fact that at least some of the Jews in the Messianic community–in the US and in Israel are Jews. As Jews, I would agree that they have a core belief that crosses a clear line into idolatry. So I need to ask you, although you refuse to answer any questions–concerning those Chabbadniks who consider the Rebbe the moshiach–have they crossed the same line into idolatry? Or is it a different line?
Regarding the Reform who keep no mitzvot and advocate publicly on behalf of things against Judaism–does this not cross a line?
The Jew who has a belief that is idolatrous but acts in concert with halacha time and again has standing in our community and I believe they should not be shunned per se since I believe it is positive to hold love for every Jew. Regarding those who are Christian and work in the Messianic community–they are not Jews in the first place so why even mention them?
You disagree but you will not say why.

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Your Name

posted November 7, 2009 at 2:15 am

I am a Christian who is considering Messianic Judaism. I believe that some people seem to be very misinformed on the fundamental aspects of Christian belief. Christians/Messianics do not believe in a “Trinity” as three separate beings. We believe that God is able to manifest himself into any form he chooses. It seems strange to me that people think that the God who created the universe is limited to one form. Jesus never said he should be worshiped as a person. He said the he and the Father are one in the same. “If you have seen me you have seen the father”. Does that sound like two beings to you? Jesus even reaffirmed the validity of the ten commandments.
Whether you agree with this or not, it saddens me that you call Messianics “repulsive”, davidf. There are religions out there I don’t agree with, but as a follower of the Torah (Christians use it too), I feel that it is important to not foster hatred for a people because of what they have come to believe.

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posted November 8, 2009 at 12:46 am

x “If you have sent me you have seen the father” finds a counterpoint with “If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I'” (John 14:28)
x “but as a follower of the Torah (Christians use it too),”
“Use”? What an unusual choice of verb.
x “Jesus even reaffirmed the validity of the ten commandments.”
Including not making a fire on the Sabbath?
I agree with “Your name” about not fostering hatred.

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posted December 2, 2010 at 9:59 am

So Gentiles are free to worship G-d in paganism and Messianic Jews are treated like some third class citizen because you can’t fine the right Messianics to refute you? You need to fine the ones that are worried about causing irritation. “Regular” Jews being primarily liberal have learned well to recite the SAME arguments over and over and over. They don’t hold water. Then it’s usually followed by dismissiveness. You know Christians cannot refute you… that’s so obvious. That’s EXACTLY why you want them stuck in their Mithraism sheeple religion. You don’t like Messianics because sooner or later you will run across one that will not back down from you and you know there are arguments you cannot refute. I am not even saying you are wrong about Messiah (though I think you are). I am just saying that I know that you absolutely know you cannot refute certain arguments. This is nothing new (look at that haftarah around Isaiah… you know what I am referring to) and you did not come up with it on your own. You learned it from those that learned it handed down from Rashi… this mentality in Judaism never existed before him. The immense stupidity of Jews that say gentiles are free to worship G-d in their way just proves the pure bigotry and hatred you have for Messianics. Gentiles worshipping G-d in their own pagan way in a GOOD light is NOWHERE in Scripture. Oddly, you would never accept bigotry towards “regular” Jews. Lapin calling Messianics dishonest? At the very LEAST, they are no more dishonest than Christians. Those that strive to obey and love the Torah should not be treated like this by those who claim to guard the Torah. It’s not about evangelism for me (that’s why I am vague in this post). It is about being able to worship Him in righteous way. If you are going to actively call a sect dishonest or wrong, expect the rebuke… if you are looking for a lay-down-and-take-your-bigoted-hypocrisy that’s not this Jew. Yeah, I said it. Jew.

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