Virtual Talmud

Virtual Talmud


The Limits of Identity

My friend Jenny Moyers is not the most connected Jew ever to walk the earth. She doesn’t belong to a synagogue and does not celebrate any of the Jewish holidays in her home. She seems to regard my rabbinic career path with something bordering between amusement and disdain.

So it came as something of a shock to me when one day we were walking together in the Philadelphia subway and a yellow-shirted Jews for Jesus missionary approached us to offer some literature. Jenny went completely ballistic and started yelling at him at the top of her voice, screaming that he ought to be ashamed of himself for calling himself a Jew. “Jews do not believe in Jesus!” she yelled. “What you are doing is disgraceful!” Needless to say, Jenny’s outburst made quite an impression on me, and it got me thinking.

Jews for Jesus push a lot of people’s buttons–even people who would otherwise not really care about Jewish tradition or practice–because they reside at the messy little intersection of identity and belief. For the most part, you can believe (or not believe) and do (or not do) whatever you want and still be Jewish. That’s because being Jewish isn’t a function of a particular belief or set of actions so much as it is a cultural, historic, and spiritual identity into which you are born or choose to convert. You’re just Jewish and, like Jenny, you don’t really need to worry about the particulars.

Jews for Jesus messes that all up.

If you really can believe whatever you want as a Jew, couldn’t you be Jewish and believe in Jesus? The answer is no, and I think it has less to do with theological objections–although these certainly exist–than it does with identity issues. For 2,000 years, at least in the West, Christians are what Jews defined themselves against. Oppressed, victimized, expelled, and slaughtered simply for who they were, Jews had their identity and outsider status reinforced over and over again. They were Other, and the oppressors were Christians.

The symbol of Christianity par excellence, the defining element, is Jesus. So to hear the words “Jew” and “Jesus” strung together into the phrase “Jews for Jesus” hits a very raw nerve for many Jews today–I imagine something akin to what Jews for Allah(!) would do to Jews who were oppressed in Islamic societies.

It’s not out of hatred of Jesus, or of Christians, or of Christianity, but rather as a reaction to hundreds of years of oppression. And for the many Jews like Jenny who don’t participate in Jewish life in any way, rejecting Jews for Jesus affirms their own bona fide Jewish identity. But, perhaps just as revealingly, the forceful reaction also acknowledges an underlying insecurity and doubt about whether you really can do or believe whatever you want and still be Jewish. Because the truth is, you can’t–there are some lines that just can’t be crossed.



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Jennifer

posted August 31, 2006 at 5:27 pm


You made the comment “That s because being Jewish isn t a function of a particular belief or set of actions so much as it is a cultural, historic, and spiritual identity into which you are born or choose to convert. You re just Jewish and, like Jenny, you don t really need to worry about the particulars.”==and then go on to say that you can’t be Jewish and believe in Jesus. Isn’t that confusing? I am Christian–married to a Jewish man. We have received MUCH flack from family. Mind you, MY family–doesn’t give us flack. His “orthodox” family does. Why? You are contradicting yourself by going on to say that you cannot be Jewish if you believe in Jesus? Is it better to be like “jenny” and not practice and condemn someone else for their beliefs? Jenny isn’t practicing–and as you said that being any religion is a heritage—a history. Why must you tell Jewish people they CANNOT be Jewish just because they believe in Jesus? Seems hypocritical. G-d created ALL of us. We ALL were Jewish. He created our minds to be open and grow. Why judge someone based on their personal beliefs? As you said Judiasm is a heritage–not a religion.



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Jennifer

posted August 31, 2006 at 5:30 pm


BTW, if you want to remain FACTUAL: Christians cannot be lumped in –just as Jews cannot. There are some bad historical and present Christians and some bad Jews. Why must there be a line? Judaism is, as you said, a history, a heritage but your article is left for us to believe it is a RELIGION–A BELIEF— Why exactly can’t the line be crossed? Where did it say that? Who said it? We can all interpret the Talmud, Torah or Bible as we want—after all–isn’t that what the Bible is–interpretation? Who says one way to right or wrong?



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Arthur

posted August 31, 2006 at 5:35 pm


I agree. There are many of my friends, and some of my children, who consider themselves Jewish but do not participate in any of the ritual or observation of Holydays. They are offended by “Jews fo Jesus” because they comsider it as Christian disguise and it offends their “Jewish (cultural) identity.



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Terry

posted August 31, 2006 at 5:38 pm


I can’t see what the problem would be since thousands of Jews believed in Jesus in the first century after Jesus’ death and resurrection. He was a Jew and performed many miracles during his lifetime. I understand that many misinformed “Christians” persecuted Jews. It was not the Jews who killed Jesus. It was the sins of the whole world that put Jesus on the cross as the sacrificial Lamb to pay for all our sins.



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John

posted August 31, 2006 at 5:39 pm


According to your theory, a Jew can be an atheist, a Hindu, a Moslem, or anything and still be a Jew, but not a Christian. Bah humbug! The centuries have been difficult for Jews in Christian countries, but the history also shows that Jews have been nasty for two thousand years about both Jesus and Christians as well. Behind the doors of synagogues and homes. Seems one way to gather the troups and hold the fort is to bash any Jew who decides to become some kind of Christian or even say nice things about Christians.



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Sophia

posted August 31, 2006 at 5:49 pm


I agree with John. I also know that the Word tells us, that when we accept Jesus as our Lord, we become part of the vine. So, we become Jews. Time to accept the fact. All real Christ accepting people are Christian Jews. Sophia



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Alicia

posted August 31, 2006 at 6:02 pm


I believe you should follow your heart. As a person that considers herself a Jew , my father is not, I was brought up without hatred caused by religons. Where is it written that a Jew (by the way a religon in my eyes) cannot believe in Jesus. I am on the fence not sure if I believe him to be the true messiah, he may have been, the only thing we truly know about all religons is what has been written by man. Believe what you want, you have that right. If Jesus a Jew was the true messiah I hope he comes back soon, this planet could use him.



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andrea

posted August 31, 2006 at 6:07 pm


Give me a break.. I am very much a Jew and believe very strongly in Yeshua ,the G-d of Abraham , Issac and Jacob,,read Torah and see HIM throughtout ,,do not read based on the rabbinic interpretations ,,get over that,,read it from His perspectve and while your at it ,,ask the Jewish community at large if they themselves have ever sat down and read Torah for themselves without being told how to interpret it ,,and no Jew for Jesus is not a Jewish group ,, it is evangalistic christians trying to reach out,, First of all his name is not Jesus,,it is Yeshua ,,the name Jesus is associated with horror ,,however the name Yeshau means salvation .The Messianic Jewish movemnet is very very alive and growing,,no we do not have to become christian nor can a zebra change his stips but I can worship Him as a Jew with other Jews and gentiles together as he wanted us to do,,to the JEW FIRST AND TO THE NATIONS ,,



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Wendy Connelly

posted August 31, 2006 at 6:18 pm


I understand where you are coming from, and you are entitled to your beliefs, just as the Jews for Jesus are entitled to theirs. I am a Jewish woman, very spiritual, and became adult B’nai Mitzvah at age 31. My family brought me up culturally Jewish, but did not give me a Jewish education, so I did this for myself. I studied for two years, and have continued my studies ever since. I am now 44. Every Jewish and spiritual learning increases my quest for enlightenment. I am married to a non-practicing Catholic man who holds the Jewish religion and the Jewish people, including Israel, in very high regard. I am concerned with your narrow way of viewing the Jews for Jesus group. I will say that, in my opinion, they come across somewhat “culty”, but the basic idea is not as far fetched as you may think. Jesus was a man in history. He was Jewish,many say a rabbi, and all his beliefs and prophetic sayings were molded by his judaic Torah studies. Jesus was highly religious, and practiced Jewish beliefs and rituals fervently. He had a more flexible and “user-friendly” way to get his message across to the masses who were learning from him to worship the “one G-d”. Jesus died a Jewish man and was buried as a Jew. Many believe that the ‘last supper’ was actually a Passover ceder. Educated Christians nowadays acknowledge all this. Although he may not have fit in with the Jewish ideology of who and what the Messiah would be like, and I am sure he would agree as well, many people who were brought to the worship of the “One true G-d” consider him their saviour. In so doing, he may have actually embodied some messianic types of qualities. The Jews for Jesus simply feel that the biblical prophecies about the messiah fit Jesus’s history and geneaology, and they are allowed to feel that way if they need to. Many believe in the “possibility” that he may have been messianic. It is actually quite Judeo-Christian in its message. In a time when Christians and Jews need to bond together against a Jihad, the past history between Christians and Jews is really irrelevant, because it was based on ignorance and lack of true education. We live in an information age that facilitates understanding and speeds the processes of incorporating and truly reflecting on historic events so as to learn from them and to make the world a better place. In my view, the Jewish people become more “holy” when they accept Christian and messianic ideas as possibilities and beautiful in their own right. If there will ever be a messianic age, it will be a melding of Jewish and Christian type thought, as Jesus wanted, although he would have called it Jewish thought, because Christianity and its name did not come into being until many years after his death. He was a great teacher, and that is how Jews may view him correctly. If some choose to accept him as their Messiah, that is their right, and does not make them any less Jewish. The Jewish people are waiting for the messiah, and those who accept it in Jesus are no less Jewish than the Chabad Jews who accept the possibility that Schneerson may have been the messiah.They have this right. If there is one thing I have learned in my spiritual quest, it is that there are no absolutes. Reality and reflection on holiness and G-d is constantly evolving. Expansion of possibilities are key to becoming enlightened and truly “holy”. Sincerely and spiritually, Wendy Connelly



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Simkah

posted August 31, 2006 at 6:22 pm


I was raised in a non-christian home but with the idea floating around that if there were a right religion, it would be christianity. I accepted without stress that Jesus died for everyones sin. As an adult, I formed the opinion that there are particular groups of people that give christianity a bad name. That doesn’t make it all bad. I even studied scripture to see how some of this Judeo-Christian crossover came into being. I was ok with observing non-observant Jews as well as non-observant Christians. It was those hell-bent on converting others,( of any denomination, dogma,or vegetarianism for that matter), that drove me crazy SUDDENLY, and by accident, I found out that I have Jewish roots. Now, I’m faced with the question,”How do I assimilate new information with old general acceptance of who Jesus is?” Becoming suddenly Jewish changes how I identify who I am, but I’m not quite sure how at this point. For now, Jews for Jesus is a comfortable landing place. I have no idea how that will look for me in the future but I don’t have to be one of those people that give faith of any kind a bad name. Simkah



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Hannah bat Sarah Israel

posted August 31, 2006 at 6:25 pm


My Dear Jews for Jesus, I know that you do not care, but to me, you are neither Jews nor True Christians. Do as you like, but don’t ask me to join your company, don’t tell me about your beliefs, and don’t try to be Jewish. You are not.It might be better for you also to not claim to Christian. I have been attacked by some of your members in such a way to prove that many of you do not have the slightest idea what Jeshua Bar Josef taught. If “Jesus” was here, he would slap your faces for what you are doing in his name. G-d Bless and Keep You… far from me. Sarah



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Ellen

posted August 31, 2006 at 6:29 pm


There is a difference in different groups of Jews for Jesus. The I have the most against because they are VERY SNEAKY and UNDERHANDED in their approach and I resent that. They also prey on the elderly and the uninformed Jewish population. However, I am predjudiced against all Jews for Jesus groups. No, one cannot cross the line; we can agree to disagree, but it is contrindicated to If you believe that Jesus is god, and that alone is against all Jewish teaching. That is the crux of the matter. God is one and God can have not other gods before the one God; that includes Jesus. Then there is the historical perspective that Jesus was Jewish and never said he was the son of God. The meaning of messiah was much different back in the time of Jesus than what it became after a few followers decided to start a new religion well after the death of Jesus. Even then, Jesus never decared himself a messiah far as I have ever heard. The difference that may help those confused about this is that once a Jew, always a Jew. If a Jew converts to Christianity and decides to come back to Judasim, that person does not have to convert back to Judaism since he/she is already Jewish. The sad part is that if Jew converts and brings up the children in Christianity, then a whole generation is probably lost to Judaism. Messianic Jews, some of them, may be Jewish by birth and Jewish in their hearts to some extent, but they are not practicing Judaism and they have little understanding of Jewish belief and/or Jewish history. There is no such thing as a messianic Jew who believes that Jesus is the messiah; it is a misnomer and I suppose an oxymoron and to be sure, very deceiving.



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don

posted August 31, 2006 at 6:31 pm


the gospel was for the jews first then the gentiles. Jesus is the Messiah! the Saviour of the world.



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Hannah bat Sarah Israel

posted August 31, 2006 at 6:48 pm


Jeshua Bar Josef was a philosophical teacher who ran into trouble with the political leaders of his day and was killed for it.His follower, Saul/Paul invented the Christian religion based on Egyption and Pagan practices that were already existing.As Jews, we have an natural aversion to anything Egyption. The more you try to force that stuff don’t our throats, the more we will hold onto who and what we are. Thank you for being who you are. You make me proud to be a Jew.Sarah



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Matt

posted August 31, 2006 at 6:55 pm


I consider myself to be Christian, and I’ve had the fortune of being taught certain parts of the Bible from a “Jewish outlook”. This has changed the way I read the Bible forever. I do not claim to be familiar with the Jewish faith or culture, but I’ve learned a tremendous respect for Judaism from what I do know. One of the things I’m certain of is that Jesus was Jewish. Most of the people he dealt with were Jewish. He spoke to a Jewish faith from a Jewish outlook. The Christian faith would not make sense without these roots. Perhaps the most significant injustice to this way of thinking was the Romanization of Christianity… Of course, it is impossible to say that Constantine was doing Jesus an injustice, but many of the misconceptions between the two faiths have come from this segregation. It may be tempting to deny Jewishness in one who believes in Jesus. Just as it may be tempting for some Christians to deny the Christianity of the Mormon faith, for example. These faiths all come from similar roots, and denying this is simply denying the facts.



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Mary

posted August 31, 2006 at 7:08 pm


Beyond good and evil, right and wrong, there is a field,I’ll meet you there. Rumi Christians are but born again Jews. The fact is Christianity and Judaism are based on the Egyptian Religion…..Amen was there God….Both the Psalms of David and the Lord’s prayer, the Kaballah, the Tarot and much more, were discovered in Egyptian tombs dated way before either of these religions….By the way the 10 Commandments were given to the Egyptians way before Moses. They can be found in the Egyptian Book of the Dead…And Jesus studied in Egypt, lived in an Essene community which was started by the Egyptian Thereputai…and on and on .So do your historical research and love one another and believe what works for you. I received great help from A shaman in the Amazon. I”m not going to become a member of his tribe but he was a Holy Man and he helped me. Jesus was a great “enlighted” Master who studied in the Egyptian Mystery schools he was the son of God as we are all daughters and Sons of God. It is our job to enlighten ourselves and Masters show us the way. Even Mohammed said Religion is a scaffold for you to work your way up with. At some point you won’t need it anymore….Believe what you want until then, but do your work so you can get beyond all of it….Jews for JEsus people have tapped into Jesus’ energy and they are excited….sometimes we all go over the top….”Forgive them for they know not what they do”,,,Mary, NYC



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Kenneth E Mullenix

posted August 31, 2006 at 7:16 pm


It seams to me that any Christian SHOULD know that the Basis for their religion is contained in what they call the “Old Testament”, but most do nor realize that it is the Jewish Torah!



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Yossel

posted August 31, 2006 at 7:30 pm


B”H The question of whether Jesus was correct in his teachings can only be understood by the actions of his followers; can the followers of the Prince of Peace claim a legacy of peace, based on inquisitions, crusades, and holocausts, all in his name? Jews have rejected Jesus because of the violence of the actions of his followers, and Jews knowledegable of the Jewish religion know that the New Testament’s theology has heretical statements that violate the principles of belief in G-d stated in the Torah. Sadly, very few Jews or Christians understand the true explanations of Torah, which are clear even to junior high school age yeshiva students…Yossel



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Tami

posted August 31, 2006 at 7:38 pm


One needs to realize that “Jews for Jesus” is one organization and that they do not speak for all people of Jewish heritage who now consider Jesus the Messiah. I’m not Jewish, but I personally find their tactics obnoxious. I am a non-Jew, but one whose faith practices far more resemble Judaism than Modern Christianity. I attend a Torah-observant Christian congregation — one that is not focused on evangelism of the Jewish people, though we have had some members who come from Messianic Jewish backgrounds. Most of us are not Jews; perhaps we’d be better labelled “Gentiles for following the Jewish Jesus.” We are gerim in the original meaning of strangers who attach themselves to the God if Israel and we do not claim to be Jewish.We want to redeem our Master’s reputation– and that of his immediate followers. It wasn’t Paul who created a new religion, but rather after the people of The Way (followers of Jesus) were ejected from the synagogues and after the Bar Kochba revolt… it was the so-called church fathers and the syncretism between paganity and christianity that was sealed with the Nicean Council (300 AD) that created Modern Day Christianity along with her historical anti-semetic past of oppression. I guess my point here is that the lines are necessarily blurred by the historical fact that Jesus was not trying to create a new religion, he was calling his people (the Jewish People) to a closer relationship with HaShem — He never claimed to be God. Likewise, Paul and Peter were not trying to create a new religion, they simply were leaders who told gentiles that it was not necessary to convert to Judaism first before following The Way (becoming disciples of Jesus), that they could simply abstain from certain abominations to begin with and then attend synagogue to learn more (and susequently do more) of Torah.



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Al Eastman

posted August 31, 2006 at 7:50 pm


I am so heartened to read the comments of Christian posters who have defined our faith for us. Their apparent confusions may stem from using the word “Jew” to denote a person whose faith is Judaism and a person whose parents or ancestors practiced Judaism but do not do so themselves. There is no dichotomy when it comes to Christianity. A Christian is a person who has accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior. If that person’s parents were Jews, as far as his faith he is a Christian, even though he still likes gefilte fish.Perhaps it is time for Jews to end the confusion and use a word like “Judaist” to those of us whose faith is Judaism. Then “Jew/Jewish” could apply to those whose lineage is from “Judaists” but they themselves practice another faith. Just a thought.



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Jeff in Arkansas

posted August 31, 2006 at 7:53 pm


Being Jewish is a two fold proposition. You can be Jewish by ethnicity or you can be Jewish by religious faith. Just as you can be an Arab and be a Christian, or Jewish, etc. One has nothing to do with the other. Regardless of what your heritage may be due to the result of your parents race, who you are in your faith or religious belief is your choice and your responsibility. The main point of contention in this whole discussion it the fact that Christians see Jesus, Jeshua bar Josef, as the Messiah, and Jews do not. They are still looking for the Messiah. Just because you are Jewish or Christian does not mean you are good or bad. There are apostates in both sets of beliefs. Christianity has a bad history in the early church because of the corruption of the Roman Empire. From Constantine on through to the Reformation it was ran as a religion state by non-religious people who were more concerned with power and personal gain than the cause of Jesus Christ. Clearly the teachings of Jesus Christ do not reflect or condone or direct the terrible treatment and oppression that others have faced in the name of Christ. If you read what Christ taught and what Saul/Paul, and the rest of the apostles taught you will see that clearly.Jesus was a devout Jew. He celebrated and observed all the teachings of the Jewish tradition. And so did the disciples. The church was primarily comprised of Jews until it was hijacked by the Romans, made the state religion, and spread throughout the Empire. Jesus gave no instructions for his followers to stop observing the traditions and practices of Judaism. The disciples continued to observe the feasts and traditions they had always observed as Jews themselves even after the death and ascention of Jesus. Why the contention then over the status of who Jesus is? Why do Jews believe that they cannot be Jewish and believe in Jesus? I know this is something as a Jew you may have a hard time considering, but try this. What if Jesus is exactly who he said he was? What if he really is the Messiah? If he really is the Messiah how would it be so impossible for you to accept him as such if you are a Jew? Jews who consider themselves faithful Jews religiously, and true Christians who have a solid personal relationship with Jesus Christ, have much in Common. We trace our faith back to the same set of patriarchs. We believe in our common ancestory. We both worship and serve the same Creator. Abraham one of our common ancestors served G-d and was counted as a friend of G-d. Abraham received his righteousness from G-d by the virtue of his faith and obedience just as true Christians do today. Perhaps instead of focusing on our differences so much in the Christian and Jewish communities, we should together be sharing with the world who does not know G-d how wonderful and loving he is and encourage them to find Him for themselves. After all the whole issue and the main question to be answered by each of us individually is who is Jesus? We must each answer that question individually and willingly accept the responsibility for our answer for all eternity.



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JesusofZion

posted August 31, 2006 at 7:57 pm


Simply put and with no intent to discredit any faith nor belabor what should be easy to comprehend… JESUS WAS A JEW. Jew equals Hebrew equals a racial identity… Not simply a religious identity for if it were than one not practicing being jewish would not qualify to identify with it and thereby have no right to complain. Jesus was a Hebrew claiming the role of Hebrew (Jewish) Messiahship even if it was denied. YHWH is the God of both Hebrew and Christian. Christians have no specific racial identity…they are quite ethnically diverse. Jew for Jesus is no different than saying African for Buddha… It is a racial identity brought together with religious affiliation and I see no problem with anyone putting such a label on themselves if they wish to.. although I am none to fond of labels (religious,ethnic or otherwise). It is not what we call ourselves that matters… rather we should simply seek unity and avoid judging what others wish to call themselves. Try to do what all men should and simply BE TOLERANT, BE HAPPY & BE LOVE! Is not the God of All a “God of LOVE”?



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Ari Silverman

posted August 31, 2006 at 8:12 pm


I’m sure NOT a Jew for j, BUT if you look at our fellow Jews who have gone into Buddhism which Jews make up a very large part of, and other philosophy s & religious practices I even know a few Wiccan Jews LOL aren t they all in essence following after Strange G-d s? yet they all continue to call themselves Jews too. Hum? Makes you think. If your going to pick on one group of Jews for going astray, I say add in the others too as its hypocritical not to do so.



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Catherine

posted August 31, 2006 at 8:36 pm


It seems much of this commentary and responsive comments by readers ignore the fact that Abraham was not a Hebrew until G-d cut covenant with him. Abraham’s believing the One True G-d BY FAITH made him the Father of the Hebrew/Jewish people. The offspring of Abraham, and Isaac his son OF PROMISE (and FAITH in that promise)over the centuries became the Jewish people because G-d was dealing with them. To say you can believe whatever you want and still be Jewish is against the very foundation of Abraham’s covenant with G-d. Perhaps this Jews for Jesus issue pushes buttons because it confronts the fact that many are not being true Jews after the example of Abraham – by FAITH – and relying on their cultural identity rather than their one-on-one relationship with G-d?



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Yossel

posted August 31, 2006 at 8:38 pm


B”H For those who claim Jesus is the Messiah…I say, when the lion lies in peace with the lamb, when the Temple is rebuilt on its site (never to be destroyed again), when the righeous tzaddikim are brought back to live, followed by the General Resuuection of the Dead, when men of all nations live in peace and devote their time to better serving G-d (instead of better persecuting each other) then I’ll believe that the person who brings all this about in THIS world, he’s Messiah. When old and young sing in the streets of Jerusalem, when the secrets of Torah are known to all, when Jews are permitted to feast on Yom Kippur and the fast days are turned into feast days, the person who brings these about, HE is the Messiah. When Death is forever swallowed up and people live forever in THIS world (NOT in the spitirual world!) when all nations of the world work in harmony to serve G-d, THAT is the Messianic era. I was recently approached by a member of Jews for Jesus who claimed to know the Bible and spoke some Hebrew. I was reading the Book of Psalsm. She didn’t know what I was reading when I showed it to her, she told me that the Lubavitcher Rebbe can’t be Moshiach becaue “He’s dead” and didn’t know what Isaiah 52 said.G-d loves everyone; we are all His children. Let’s leave the Jews alone to believe as we need to; and we’ll leave all faiths to their beliefs. Mutual respect is the name of the game…Yossel



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Don Thomason

posted August 31, 2006 at 9:04 pm


First of all, let me say that Jesus was a Jew. In that aspect, one would have to decide that if they did not believe in Jesus then they would also have to not believe in anyone, or not believe in God. Jesus was Son of God, the Holy One, and many other different things. If Jews do not believe in Jesus then they should do some Theological study to find out the historical ramifications of Jesus, and his elders that go back into England and Cornwall figure out just where Jesus’ heritage came from. I have done so and while I believe in Jesus, I do not believe in Christianity. To believe in Christianity one would have to accept Paul/Saul or whatever his name was who claims to have known Jesus but really did not because the former lived as many as 250 years after Paul got his “revelations”. There is good evidence that Jesus existed and that he lived through the so-called Crucifixion and went on to preach to the lost tribes of Israel in what we now know as Kashmir, where He is buried after living to be an old man of 120 years old. I identify with being Jewish over being “Christian” but I do not visit the Synagogue or adhere to a lot of outdated Jewish customs. Jewish culture seems to cultivate the idea of freedom within ones adopted beliefs, regardless the local norms. I have no “problem” with not being accepted by other Jews, because my belief is with G-d and I don’t let the little things worry me.



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TJ

posted August 31, 2006 at 9:09 pm


I am a Messianic Jew and this opinion, in my opinion is ludicrous. We are talking what our linage comes from and mine is Jewish. Someone above made the remark something like if you’re beliefs go to Catholics, or Buddhism, or Islam then your still Jewish? But if you believe in Jesus as your Messiah then you’re not? Come on now. Talk about MAJOR discrimination. I tend to keep more of the traditions, even as a Christian, more than a lot of my “Jewish” friends who do not believe as I do but they are Jews and I am not? It amazes me how much one man,Jesus, offended so many by simply offering His life to save ours. And I guess I should now say that is my belief as to not offend anyone on here. So sad articles can be written to provoke hate but responses can be deleted as to not offend. I was born a Jew. I came to believe in Jesus Christ as my savior later on in life. So now *poof* Im not a Jew? Get REAL. Shalom in Yeshua,TJ



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shelly

posted August 31, 2006 at 9:38 pm


Jesus was a wonderful person, but if you are Jewish he was not the Messiah. Paul changed a lot of things to promote Christianity that Jesus never did. If you read Timothy etc. Paul said if anyone did not want to be cicumcised it was okay. Not if you want to be part of the covenant with G-d Judaically. If they did not want to keep kosher it was okay and the list went on and on. These differences and the council of Nicea made this a whole new religion, regardless of where it started or whether that was what Jesus would have wanted or not. How can you be Jewish when you don’t believe in so many things we do and so many other things we don’t accept. There are a group of “Jews for Jesus” who actually follow what his brother James preached. They really are Jews who follow all the Judaic practices and accept Jesus as his followers did. They are a small splinter group and not generally recognized. Jews for Jesus have a foot in each camp and really belong to neither. Personally I am very happy with my Jewish Identity and don’t need to add anything from anyone else’s faith to bolster mine. The more I learn, the more I know I need to learn about Judaism. The more I know the more I enjoy it and like it. I am trying hard to be sure that my children and grandchildren will feel as I do. Right now we are all looking forward to enjoying the holidays together.



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Buddy Litvin

posted August 31, 2006 at 10:12 pm


At least for me, your explanation has clarified some visceral feelings as well as having helped me with a definition of being ‘Jewish’. I am a Brooklynite, living in Salt Lake City since 1979, who was raised in a traditional cultural, political and educated Jewish home. I had my ‘Bar Mitzvah’ and had little to do with the ‘Religion’ after that. But I consider myself very Jewish and a citizen of Israel, though I have never been there. I will, God willing, go there soon; I want to visit as well as see the 10,000 tree forest that was planted in my Grandfather’s memory. I bear the burden of being chosen. The conflict/paradox of not being formally religious and still being and especially feeling ‘Jewish’ is very difficult to explain to Others. Utah is religiously, culturally and politically Mormon, LDS. “People of the ‘Hebrew Faith’ have a special place in the hearts of the Mormons” When I hear that we have similar family values, I feel like I do when I hear Jews for Jesus; alienated, angry and defensive. The patriarchal, authoritarian culture of the Mormon’s is as alien to a NYC Jew as is their support for our blasphemous, ignorant and destructive President.



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Rabbi Shmuel Bar Yakov Seidner

posted August 31, 2006 at 10:49 pm


Of course Jews who believe in Jesus can be Jews. I guarantee you, Rabbi Waxman, that my Orhodox Judaic tradition where I received S’micha would not have considered either you or Reconstruction, let alone reformed Judaism as legitimate Judaism. Would you accept Karaiitism? The “Rabbinic” writings about Jesus in the Talmud, let alone other writing such as the Zohar might not have in turn be looked upon favorably by Maronites. What witnessed spiritual epiphanies did the rabbinic sages that followed the destruction of our Temple, or current ones from secularly humanistic associations of rabbis have to decide upon the heart of an individual who believes in Jesus and identifies as a Jew? Do they, or you for that matter, have the definitive message on this matter received from HaShem, that perhaps that individual?



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shelly

posted August 31, 2006 at 10:52 pm


Dear Buddy, I can truly empathize. Many years ago I took a bus across the US and we stopped in Salt Lake City. I was wearing a short skirt and sleeveless T-shirt and the looks I got. Another girl and I went into a restaurant and we scandalized everyone further, she ordered a coke and I asked for coffee.But for me the killer was going in the Tabernacle which is a truly magnificent building and seeing Moses, Jesus and Smith all standing in a line. Are there any synagogues etc there? Do you need care pkgs? Shelly



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Paul Marco

posted August 31, 2006 at 11:11 pm


First of all Rabbi with all due respect. Your answer of “no” truly fosters segregation and a continuation of hatred without true understanding of the history and love of humankind. Are you really a Rabbi? Your time would be better spent teaching your friend how wrong she is. She is truly a hypocrite. Your whole position is based on past oppression. That’s why they call it the past, get over it. Most Christians no longer believe that the Jews killed Christ. He was truly a Rabbi, maybe you should spend some more time and read about him and what he stood for, and it might rub off on you. Finally, “Oppressed, victimized, expelled, and slaughtered simply for who they were” (your words) in history also applies to Christians, and even Muslims, not just Jews. I am Jewish and proud of it, but we all need to go back to an Abrahamic understanding that we all believe in one creator, and we are all truly brothers trying to survive and live on this crazy planet, before we all blow it up! Rabbi, please try to be more of a teacher. Is that not what the term Rabbi means?



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Mike

posted August 31, 2006 at 11:15 pm


I do agree with you that saying you are a “Jew for Jesus” that there is a raw nerve in myself. I don’t consider myself the most observant Jew, but have always been proud of my Jewish heritage and like to tell people with pride I had my Bar-Mitzvah at Touro Synagouge in Newport, RI – the old temple in the USA. However, there have been members of my family that have married Christians. I simply tell people I have Jewish and Christian relatives – its seems to me though that saying you are a Jew for Jesus is being spiritually and intellecutally dishonest. You could be a Ashkanzie for Jesus or a Saphardic for Jesus, but not a Jew for Jesus. You are simply calling yourself a “Jew for Jesus” for shock value and I can’t see how you can see that as a spiritually genuine quest.



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andrea

posted August 31, 2006 at 11:33 pm


BRAVO Catherine and wake up Hannah ,,by the way his name is not JESUS Hannah,,,Miriam called him Yeshua and that is still his name ,,he is the Prince of Peace, Rabbi Rahybag in the 13 century writings stated that Isaiah 53 and 54 did not relate to Israel but He was and is and who is yet to come back..instead of hardening your heart ,,ask HASHEM to show you who He is and what His name is ,,,not what the world calls him ,,There is a reason why all the first century believers were Jewish ,, and chrisianity was not created by Saul (Paul) but by the romans and greeks ,, Paul was a Torah observant servant,,trained by Gamliel himself ,,his Damascus road experience put him pumim to pumim with G-d.,,,I challenge you to read and ask Hashem to show you who He is ,the Jew was to be the light of the world ,,the gospel was their responsibility to share and we dropped the ball ,, He is one and He will always be Echad,,



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Charles

posted August 31, 2006 at 11:35 pm


I disagree with you on the fact that Jews and Jesus cannot go into the same sentence. I say this because I am a Messianic Christian. My group is currently studying to get back into the Jewish roots of our lives. Most of us are following the rules that have been set down by Adonai. The Jews are Elohim’s chosen people!!! They are just being too stubborn to realize it. The land that they are fighting over was given to them by Andonai. Who are we to be telling them that they have to give it up. The Bible tells us that in the end days the Jews WILL bow their knees before Yeshua. They just need to open their hearts and listen to what Adonai has to say to them. He has been talking to them for the longest time and they are being close hearted and unwilling to listen to Him.



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G. Jones

posted September 1, 2006 at 12:02 am


I have the unique position of being married to a gentile, having been born Jewish, and attending a Messianic Jewish Bible class. The Messianics do not call themselves Jews for Jesus. They are simply a group of people who believe in the teachings of the Torah and eschew a lot of the rabbinical customs. They have tried to break down the wall of separatism and unite all believers, Christians and Jews, together. I see nothing wrong with that, and even though I am a believer (because it is written in the Torah), I am still Jewish to the core. It is my birthright and my identity. I love all things Jewish, and that includes the Jewish friends I’ve made thoughout life. I feel that everyone has a right to believe whatever is in his or her heart, and nobody can say that just because one believes in what’s in the Torah, which includes Yeshua, that they are not Jewish. You can’t change your birthright, any more than you can change the mole on your left cheek — well, perhaps you can excise that, but you can’t cut your religion out of your heart and soul.



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Beruriah

posted September 1, 2006 at 12:05 am


First, many posters seem to think one can be of any religion other than Judaism and still be a Jew. That is only partly correct, in that such a person remains part of the Jewish people in the sense of nationhood. However, religiously, they are apostate- NOT Jewish by religion. Should such a person choose to return to Judaism, they would not have to convert to do so as they were always nationally Jewish even if they weren’t religiously Jewish. This was a leniency established by the Sages of the past to ease the way for apostates wishing to return the Judaism. No, good religious Jews do not follow other gods. Which is why one CANNOT believe in Jesus and be considered religiously Jewish. Nationally Jewish, perhaps, but NOT religiously so. I’m sorry you don’t like it, but that’s the way it is. One cannot believe in Hindu gods, Wiccan gods, and so on, either and still be considered religiously Jewish as these are different religions. One can believe in these other religions and still be nationally Jewish, however. Those of you who are trying to make a case for people of the Jewish religion accepting the teachings of Christianity should respect our differences. That is something Jews for Jesus does not do. It uses deception to gain converts, and is funded by the Southern Baptists, who are Christians peddling the idea that one can be both religiously Jewish and accept Jesus- this is NOT true. One cannot be a Christian and worship Baal, can they? How would you feel about a group called “Christians for Dagon”?



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Aliza

posted September 1, 2006 at 12:20 am


It’s simple. Christians believe Jesus is G-d, another manisfestation of Him, but G-d nonetheless. And, in fact, that man can only humble himself before Almighty G-d through the petitions of Jesus. The unique glory of the Jews, back in the millenia of idolatry, was to learn of the presence of one true G-d, only one. To love us and guide us and raise us up. Regardless of your respect for Jesus as a Rabbi or even a Seer Jews cannot acknowledge him as a G-d. And that is what Christian dogma is all about. Jews for Jesus are just Jewish born Christians. Sad they don’t save their proslytizing dollars and know that Christians are accepted by Jews as a Daughter religion, one the pagans could understand and hopefully get closer to G-d through.



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Roger

posted September 1, 2006 at 12:21 am


We are missing something here. Two years at Southern Methodist College as a student, who later married and converted to Judaism as a way of life, I understand two things. Jesus is part of a Trinity. In the Jewish faith, there is no Trinity, there is ONE God. The two do not mix, cannot mix any more than Buddah and God. If you are Christian and foolow the dictates of Judaism, you are still christian because of the Trinity. Aceppt this, or renounce it and become “Jewish”



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Jim Swaney

posted September 1, 2006 at 12:27 am


I think, Rabbi, that you are mixing the very mistaken practice of Christians, who persecuted Jews over the centuries, and Jesus himself. Jesus would never have condoned the attacking, marginalizing, and even killing of Jews at any time. Jesus told Peter, “Put away your sword; those who live by the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). It is possible to be culturally Jewish, and to believe that Jesus is the Messiah of the world, for both Jews and Gentiles. They follow Jesus as the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” You don’t have to give up your “Jewishness” by following Jesus. After all, he is eminently respected for his moral life and teachings, all the while living and dying as a Jewish man in the first century. Jim Swaney



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Scott

posted September 1, 2006 at 12:59 am


I do not care who J was, or that he was born Jewish. Calling him Yeshua and his mother Miriam doesn’t make him any more kosher. If you accept J as your messiah, or believe in the trinity and you are a Jew, you are an idolator. Period. G-D is not a man. If you accept Hindu gods, you are an idolator as well. To the person who says we speak badly of J in our synagogues (never heard it) or in our homes (heard it plenty – get OVER it. How many millions of us had to die in his name and we can’t criticize him. What a crock of crap.



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sara

posted September 1, 2006 at 1:23 am


My comment is in regard to your reference to Islam and Jews. You have written ” Jews for Jesus hits a very raw nerve for many Jews today I imagine something akin to what Jews for Allah(!) would do to Jews who were oppressed in Islamic societies.” I am shocked that alhtough you are a rabbi, you do not know that “Allah” is not a name like “Jesus” but it means “The God” in Arabic. The God Muslims believe in is the same God “concept” Jews believe in, that is an omnipotent, transcendent God who does not give birth nor is born, and cannot be associated with anything material such as a Cross. Muslims like Jews believe God does not have children (unlike Christians who believe God breeds as in Jesus Son of God). Islam is more similar to Judaism than any other religion.Also once huge correction: Jews have always been protected and respected in Islamic societies throughout history. Quran, the book of Islam, considers Jews as People of the Book, and treats them with respect. Just remember Who saved and welcomed the Jews escaping from the Spanish Inquisition? The Muslim Ottoman Turks. The problems Israel is having in the Middle East today is not caused by Islam but by Arab nations. Israel’s problems are with barbaric Arabs who distort Islam and use it as an excuse to kill Jews and those Arabs are doing the most harm to Islam today by associating it with suicide bombers and terrorists like Osama Bin Laden. Murder and everything associated with terrorism are actions that are totally denounced by the Quran. Please do not equate Islam with what crazy barbaric Arabs do now a days. Muslims have never had any problems with Jews throughout history.



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Ryan

posted September 1, 2006 at 1:38 am


I strongly disagree, because I have met Jews who choose to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They consider themselves as Messianic Jews. I have been to a Messianic worship service & a Orthadox Jewish Service and both ( even though different) are very similar. Messianic Jews choose to believe in Jesus but wish to continue in the Jewish style of worship. I believe the 1st century of the Christian church started with Jews believing in Jesus.For you to judge goes against your own beliefs Rabbi, because you choose to judge someone. Remember God is the same God to the Jewish and Christian faith. And same rules apply. Thou shall not judge thy neighbor. I can understand that you do not choose to accept Jesus, and that is your own decision but you do not have the right to judge another. I do not judge you and I am a Christian. I choose to love as God loves us. Even though its hard to love. I still choose love. May God bless you Rabbi and keep you and forgive you for your unjust judgement.



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Joshua

posted September 1, 2006 at 1:50 am


Quite frankly, the Jews for Jesus movement sickens me.After Christians slaughtered six million real Jews in the Holocaust,and now they are trying again to destroy Judaism and the Jewish people, this time in a spiritual sense by deceitfully converting them to Christianity.I don’t blame Jesus for this but honestly I do blame Christianity and those who practice it in this particular underhanded manner.



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elaurier

posted September 1, 2006 at 2:09 am


If a Black Muslim decides to become a Methodist, is he no longer black? When I went to conversion classes, I was taught that we who convert not only embrace a new (to the new Jew) religious tradition, we are embracing a PEOPLE. Sounds like what I’m hearing now is that if a Jew embraces a different religious tradition, he loses his cultural/ethnic tradition, too. How can that be? I get the religious part, but how can you disconnect the ethnic part? If I’m born in France and later move to the US and become a citizen, I still retain a French heritage, because a citizenship ceremony cannot change the fact that I was born and raised in France. Was what I was taught wrong?



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Drina

posted September 1, 2006 at 2:10 am


Jews for Jesus are called Christians. The problem is not what they believe, but how they (disingenuously) they present themselves.



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Drina

posted September 1, 2006 at 2:20 am


If a Black Muslim decides to become a Methodist, is he no longer black? No, but he’ll probably be honest and call himself a Methodist.



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marie

posted September 1, 2006 at 2:46 am


I read your article and my first thot was, ‘Are you kidding? Jesus was (is) a Jew’. Did you know that? Have you read his genealogy?



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windbender

posted September 1, 2006 at 2:57 am


Astronomers accept the notion that the Earth is not flat. Jews, as a matter of doctrine, accept the notion that G-d is not corporeal. There may be Christians (people who believe G-d IS corporeal in the person of Jesus), just as there may be astrologers who think the earth is round. Accepting such ideas doesn’t make an astrologer into an astronomer any more than it turns a Christian into a Jew – the criteria is a bit more stringent than simply claiming the moniker.



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted September 1, 2006 at 4:16 am


Yossel–You blame Christians for all sorts of violent crimes against Jews over the centuries–and there were many as –tragically–all around the world minorities always get the short end of the stick. Christians should have been better–and in some respects they were as Judaism survived for 1700 years as a minority in Christian lands whereas in many other cases around the world other minorities under other majorities totally disappeared. But where did the spiral of violence start?? Noone wants to go back that far–just to where Christian crimes begin. However, the first Christian deacon was stoned to death by Jews and created St. Paul (who witnessed the execution) as the “Jew” most responsible for the early spread of Christianity. Then the first bishop of Jerusalem was executed by Jews. And history books record pogroms against Christians by Jews until the population statistics flipped and Christians became far more numerous than Jews. This is all one long tragedy that must be overcome. But constantly dragging in Christian failings in living their faith –especially as an erroneous excuse for the fact many Jews of the First Century did not accept Christ. The opposite is true. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church and some of those seeds were planted not just by the Romans. In those first formative years for Christianity it was Jewish violence against Christians that, sadly, created a virtual blood feud between the two to go along with the steep theological differences. The pope has rightly apologized for Christian trepidations against Jews over the centuries But–though I may have missed it-I have yet to see a Jewish leader apologizing for the deaths of Deacon Stephen and Bishop James along with thousands of other early Christians whose names are lost to history.



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Scott

posted September 1, 2006 at 4:17 am


I really get a kick out of outsiders having the nerve to tell us who is or isn’t a Jew. WE decide who is a Jew. How would these Christians like it if we told them who was a real Christian. Well, here it is – only Christians who belong to the Roman Catholic Church and who follow the pope are real Christians. Every other one is nothing but a heretic who is no Christian at all and deserves to burn in hell forever.



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Scott

posted September 1, 2006 at 4:19 am


In those first formative years for Christianity it was Jewish violence against Christians that, sadly, created a virtual blood feud between the two to go along with the steep theological differences. Yeah, and you made up for it by killing 7 – 10 million of us – including 1,000,000 our children in the Holocaust. You cite a book that can’t be proven as true. But many of us can still show you the tattoos on our arm. Truly sickening.



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Autumn

posted September 1, 2006 at 4:56 am


It gets old after awhile when people cite the Holocaust as from Christian orgins. Hitler was trying to destroy all religion except his own twisted pagan one. Don’t put blame where it does not belong.As for this “Jews for Jesus,” I can understand where Christians come from, and it’d be the ‘logical’ thing for them to do. But seriously, any Jew who has a commitment to Jesus as the Messiah is not a true Jew. They are a Christian who still participates in Jewish customs.Believing in Jesus is simply against so much of the mitzvoth that it’s ridiculous. “Don’t worship idols.” “There is only one God.” etc.This is just dishonest.There is nothing more annoying that someone trying to change some else’s beliefs because they believe that they themselves are “correct.”



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Beruriah

posted September 1, 2006 at 5:50 am


Christian friends- let’s get something straight between us. A person of any background who believes in the tenets of Christianity is a Christian. A JEW who believes in the tenets of Judaism is Jewish BOTH religiously and nationally. A Jew who believes in any religion other than Judaism is NOT part of the Jewish RELIGION. It is very rude for you to dictate to Jews what our religion is and who is or is not a practicing member. You would not want us to do that to you, so follow your own golden rule please. Jews for Jesus is offensive for many reasons, the most obvious one being their deceptive tactics. This type of proseletyzing is immoral and disrespectful. It teaches something that is patently false: it teaches that you can have it both ways, you can be part of the Jewish faith and part of the Christian faith simultaneously. This is FALSE. It will always be FALSE. If you want to be a Christian, fine, but please do not insist that you practice Judaism because you do not. You practice Christianity dressed up in Jewish trappings. Can you believe Jesus was merely and only a human Rabbi, no one special but with a good teaching, and still be a Christian? Maybe I should start “Christians for Judaism”, design it like a church but teach Jesus was just a nice Jewish boy, nothing special. What would you think of such an establishment? Would you call it “Christian”?



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Rich Kearsley

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:28 am


I think that the author of this article needs to have a lesson in Boolean Logic, let alone deductive reasoning. A)If a person is born from a female ethnic Jew they are a Jew. Yes? Yes. B)Do they happen to believe in Jesus? If yes then: C)They are a Jew for Jesus. Period. End of arguement.If not,D)They are not a Jew for Jesus. Any Questions? There are people who may not want to recognize this for certain reasons, but this does not change the facts. It is as old as Jesus. There were Jews during Biblical times who believed in Jesus, but did not profess their beliefs due to the fact that they would have been shunned and put out of the synogogue. Never the less. If someone is a hereditary Jew and they believe in Jesus. They are a Jew and they believe in Jesus. It has nothing to do with practice. These people cannot call themselves Orhtodox because this is in conflict with that sect’s practices. I understand that a lot of people will be very angry reading what I am writing, but this is an observation of the facts as they exist in reality. They are neither subject to opinion nor are they subject to debate since they are bassed entirely on black and white facts. A truth table could be constructed to illustrate these facts to the terminally obstinate, but I will refrain from doing that here. It is neither necessary nor would it be appropriate in this forum. Bottom line, let people believe what ever they wish. They will do this with little regard to either fact or physical evidence. never the less, this does not change anything. Thank you and goodnight.Rich Keasley



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wynnee

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:28 am


I just don’t understand all of this. Jesus was a Jew, born a Jew. So I’m really confused. Are some of you saying then that Jesus cannot be a Jew? Isn’t Jewish a nationality like Swedish or African etc.? And Judaism the religion and religios culture? Are not the Israelites G-d’s chosen people, Jewish as a nation? Were not the first Christians Jews?I was believing that Christians and Jews (however you may define them I bless them all) were closing the past hatred, disdain, prejiduce and coming together by putting aside their differences and living (at least attempting) according to what the One and Only Most High G-d commanded that we do, whether we learned it from Jesus or G-d through the prophets? My heart is really hurting after reading some of these comments. Heeellllppp me understand what is going on here?



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Deborah

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:33 am


New Testament scripture says that all believers are not all believers, meaning all christians are not all Christians. Jews are all of the Jewish ethnicity because if you have Jewish blood in you, you are a Jew, but are all Jews considered Jews by a Jews standards? You have to take everybody on an individual basis. If their lives line up with the scripture, if they walk, talk, and act like what Jesus said to do then they’re called ‘believers’, or a Christian. I have read that Catholics persecuted Christians and Jews alike, never that Christians persecuted anyone. We all have much to be thankful for and much to be sorrowful for. But past error can only be overcome in this way-‘overcome evil with good’, each individual person has to be accountable for their own sins. Hope no one takes this as an offensive email. It wasn’t meant to be. Only meant to be informative. I just learned not too long ago, that the term ‘believer’, also, is used in reference to Christians.



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Drina

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:43 am


Isn’t Jewish a nationality like Swedish or African etc.? And Judaism the religion and religios culture? Are not the Israelites G-d’s chosen people, Jewish as a nation? Were not the first Christians Jews? Wynnee, you’re kind of missing the point here. Although Jewish can refer to one’s nationality or ethnicity, the label also has religious significance, while Swedish or African does not. It’s different. Jews for Jesus are really just Christians, but they won’t call themselves that, at least not while they’re trying to lure new Jews. They use the word Jewish as a hook. Technically they’re not lying, but that doesn’t mean their tactics are fully honest.Jews are right to be weary.



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wynnee

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:50 am


I loved your post, thank you for it. This is unchartered ground for me except indepth discussions with my hard-headed brother. I am really interested in what you said about Yeshua (His Hebrew name?) And that the name Jesus is associated with horror. This scares me a little. Can you explain this to me and where this knowledge is derived from?On another note,I have been studying the Bible and the more I read, the more I think that as a believer in Yeshua, we should be involved in the early Jewish traditions and feasts that G-d instructed us to have. That he himself was involved in.I hope this does not offend any Jewish people because it is out of total love and awe and wonder for G-d’s chosen people. I feel totally blessed by the right to be added or adopted or weaved in with the true vine, the Jewish people



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Patricia McGee

posted September 1, 2006 at 7:35 am


The first time I saw a sign Jews for Jesus, I was with my daughter. I wondered what exactly if was and she enlightened me with the idea that it was similar to meat for vegetarians.



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Deborah

posted September 1, 2006 at 8:23 am


I’m getting a picture that Jews are believed to worship a God of power and might, while Christians worship a man that just lays down and dies, is considered a bastard child of a Jewish woman that is no Jew at all, a weakling and an insipid, feminine, male that is considered crazy, even by his own family for a time. However, his own, many Jews, saw him after we was arisen and then ascended into heaven to the Father. I wish not to change your minds, Jewish people. You have a right to think whatever you wish and do whatever you want. God gave us all free will. And ‘Jews for Jesus’, maybe should be kept in their hearts instead of on their ‘sleeves’ to be stomped on. Jews are definitely Jews, no question about it. Christianity are definitely Christians, no doubt about it. And there is a bridge for all those who desire it, in God’s timing.



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wynnee

posted September 1, 2006 at 8:38 am


Ok, so I’m trying to get this. So not all Jews are Jewish in a sense if they do not practice or believe in the Torah and the prophets? What if they are Hindu or Christian or Islam or other? With my own studies so far, I don’t notice where it is written that there is a differention from what the prophets said. Just that the Jews… all of them are God’s chosen and are to be blessed. That G-d said that those who bless you will be blessed. That those who curse you will be cursed. Maybe that’s not the exact way it is written, please forgive me for that if it is not. I don’t want to hurt or offend anyone. I am troubled though at everyone who is not Jewish explaining and by some even condescending what it means to be Jewish. I think that in general everyone ought to be careful when judging the Jews and telling them who they are. I think they know. I’m just trying to understand this in a way that is right in the Eyes of G-d. I am a Christian but I do not agree with a Lot of comments made by so called Christians on this forum. For those of us who believe in Jesus as Messiah. Are we not taught that G-d is in control and it is HIS will that will be accomplished? Remember when G-d hardened the Pharoes heart against Moses and G-d? I believe He opens some people’s eyes and hearts to different perspectives (Not different Gods or anything like that so please don’t yell at me), like “another window? Could it be that in the end, none of us are going to be the ONE right religion that is rooted in the only God, the God of Jacob? But that God is much bigger than the neat and limited little packages that people are trying to describe him as.Can Jews be Christians? Can Christians be Jews? This is a topic that will never be agreed on by either side. Maybe God designed it this way to test us all. Jew or Christian, both beliefs teach love and compassion and tha God is Holy and we should be Holy because He is Holy. Reading all this arguing isn’t feeling very holy to me. But we are only human. Rabbi, is this subject really something that any good will come out of it? WE can all only hope:)



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wynnee

posted September 1, 2006 at 8:53 am


I just thought of something else. Who were our founding fathers, Jews or Christians. I’m told our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Did we start as a country so divided on the subject of our Creator? What does Judeo-Christian mean? Now I am really confused! I don’t think it is the same as “Jews for Jesus” with their agenda. No that can’t be true. Religious freedom fits in there somewhere.



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Michael Salzmann

posted September 1, 2006 at 9:03 am


I read with great interest all of your comments posted here tonight as I myself am a Jewish man who became a born-again Christian in February of 2006. I attend a Presbyterian church and will soon be baptized. I was raised Jewish, had a bar-mitzvah, the whole nine yards. My family is not thrilled but they still love and accept me because that is what open-minded, liberal thinking Jews do. They still consider me to be culturally and ethnically Jewish and so do I. Nobody can ever take that away from me. And I feel good about the fact that I practice Christianity in an open and honest fashion. I am proud to tell people that I am a Christian, indeed that I am a Jew who has accepted Jesus Christ as the Messiah, as my personal Lord and Savior. Live and let live. I also feel that the rabbi who wrote the original article that started this flurry of responses and many of the posters are being way too judgmental and imposing limitations on the true definition of a Jew. As the song says: “Come on people now, smile on each other, everybody get together try to love one another right now.”



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James

posted September 1, 2006 at 9:44 am


I’m neither Jewish or Christian, but I’m pretty familiar with both faiths. I don’t see what’s so impossible about being Jewish and Christian. What does oppression that happened thousands of years ago have to do with it anyway? None of that oppression was so much Christian as political oppression with Christianity used as an excuse.



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windbender

posted September 1, 2006 at 1:23 pm


A Jew, any Jew, and arguably every Jew is considered to be a Jew on two days; the day of his birth (or conversion) and the day of his death. Yep, death. Kaddish (the prayer for the dead) may be said for an apostate Jew because it is presumed that he may have repented his apostasy at the moment of his death. The notion that anyone, even a Jew born as a Jew, is practicing Judiasm by accepting the notion of a supernatural messiah annathama to the faith he presumes to represent. He might as well accept a chipmunk as messiah becaue it pops back up out of the ground – also not the criteria.



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windbender

posted September 1, 2006 at 1:28 pm


To be clear – that’s not to say he cannot be a person of faith and goodwill, lead a worthy life and bring blessing to G-d’s creation, he just is doing so as a Christian, not as a Jew by any definition recognized by Judiasm. I might insist I’m a brain surgeon, but if the brain surgeon’s union say I don’t have what it takes, I don’t. Might make a great gardener, just not the kind of fellow you want wandering about inside you skull with a knife.



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Al

posted September 1, 2006 at 2:36 pm


Pure prejudice, bigotry and injustice. That is what any person is handing out when they object to “Jews for Jesus.” Jesus is always going to be “a Jew.” His followers were all “Jews.” That a “non-practicing Jew (in Judaism), responds to “Jews for Jesus” in anyway is the show of complete intolerance. Jews for Jesus, need an apology from the author of this article. Jews can not only “be” a Christian, it is an argument even in the New Testament, that to become a Christian, you should become a Jew in certain regards. It is time to stop all of the hatred being meted out to Christians.



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Geoff

posted September 1, 2006 at 2:44 pm


The fact is that the author of this post is horribly inconsistent is self-evident. The Talmud says that you can’t become un-Jewish (Sandhedrin 43a). The Acts of the Apostles, in the New Testament, assumes that Jews who believe in Jesus are Jewish. The big question is what to do with all these Gentiles who believe in Jesus. Should they become Jews first if they believe in the Messiah? But here are some good questions: -Does the Tanakh point to Jesus? -Is there evidence that Jesus died and rose from the dead? I don’t want to short-circuit the search for answers, but the answers to the above are yes and yes.



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Suzette Hart

posted September 1, 2006 at 2:55 pm


The Jews have been doing their own thing for thousands of years…..I would like to know how could they, for years, worship many pagon god that the people around them worshiped, but be so against JESUS, someone that was born a Jew …. And as for being killed. I’m black and I’m one to talk about slavery, being killed, or being oppressed, but we, the black people, got over it. I know that God chose to make the blacks, but He also chose to make the Jews so we could be tought by them, the right way to live and the right way to worship God…But that failed, so He sent Jesus to save us all… Just because the Jews eyes are blinded does’t change the fact that Jesus is the son of God. That He sent Him to do what the Jews couldn’t do for themselves, and for us, the none Jews. I learned that the Jews are not a race of people, but it is a way of life. A Jew can be black, white, indian, chinese, etc….So is a Jew still a Jew even if they have stop doing what their customs say for them to do? Or can they just say that their Jews because of what their ancestors did? To be a Jew, I thought that you had to do what God ordered you to do,you know back in the beginning, the Law that was pasted down from Moses. I thought that they must keep all the holidays, and customs….



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Richard

posted September 1, 2006 at 2:56 pm


As a Jew who believes in Jesus, I appreciate Rabbi Waxman’s cogent observation about his friend Jenny. I agree with him that the question of identity hits a raw nerve. I believe the issue that he brings up, however, that history is the defining factor of being Jewish to be erroneous. Aside from the strange position that one defines Jewishness by a negative, 2000 years of history in whatever form it might have taken does not change who Jesus is: neither his identity, nor his message. As a Jew who grew up in Judaism, I have come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah that was promised by Moses and the prophets. If that is the case, then believing not only allows me to be Jewish, it is the most Jewish thing I can do. If he is not that Messiah, then no one should believe, whether Jew or Gentile. The truth comes down not to history but to the proper understanding of the truth of Scriptures, which is something I’m sure both Rabbi Waxman and I can agree our Jewish people are sorely lacking in, as a rule.



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noneed4greed

posted September 1, 2006 at 4:06 pm


In the first place,as long as you believe in God seems to be the important thing. Of course,then there is the deep thoughted scientist. What happenes to them? It seems natural to me to believe in God. If we all came from germs forming through many years,why would we have to see at all. And the eye is very complex to imagine it to form all by itself. As far as Jesus being a jew,he had to be born something. And at the time,is not like today. I was taught that Jesus was born to die to open the gates of heaven for all that wanted to keep his laws,and believe in God before him. In other words,all the one’s who died before him must have been dormant,with no place to go yet. And to clear their sins to get there. It is not clear to me about the one’s who did not believe though. And so,it should be the same way after his death for all who believes in him. As most of us were taught,there are three persons in God. And he could do any form he wants. The fact that God’s son was born a Jew,and at the time it was most of the jews that wanted him to be put to death,maybe he wanted to sympathize with them to forgive them in a special way. We should all know that God’s spirit,as being one of the three,has the biggest heart so to speak,as anything we could ever imagine.



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shelly

posted September 1, 2006 at 4:27 pm


The sad truth is that if you are born a jew or are of Jewish descent, you are Jewish to those who hate jews whether you are now practicing Christianity or anything else. In the eyes of other Jews if you have accepted Jesus or Buddha or whatever you may be ethnically Jewish, but you are not Jewish religiously. As our faith does not accept Jesus as the Messiah, and we don’t accept the trinity, if you accept Jesus you are following Christianity. For the person who made the remark that Catholics have killed Christians, but the reverse was not true, please go back to the history books. In England, when Henry VIII established the Anglican Church, he persecuted the Catholics taking church lands and burning monastaries. When his daughter Mary took the throne, she reversed everything and went back to Catholicism, and burned hundreds at the stake for being Protestant. When Elizabeth took over the country again became Anglican. She was not happy with Catholicism and the reversal started again. Then things stabilized until the Puritans took over and they were happy to kill anyone who was frivilous, and unchristian to their way of thinking. This was also true here in the colonies. If you did not worship as the the rest of your colony did, you could be faced with death, punishment or expulsion. I do think that many of the Jews who become Messianic did not know enough about their own faith to start with. However, as much as y’all may love Jesus, I think respect is a very imprtant word. I can respect your faith, even though I don’t have accept it for myself. I would really love it if you could do the same for me. For those of you who feel that the only way to validate your faith is for me to give up mine, please try and find some other way to do this.



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Kimberly

posted September 1, 2006 at 4:58 pm


Sad that PAST “oppression” seems to be the driving factor here. Jesus did not create that – misguided followers created it. Christians, however, have been oppressed & labeled as “outsiders” as well. So, that really gives Christians & Jews commonality. Holding on to past oppression keeps the oppression alive & present, creating a cause for war when taken to the extreme. If individuals & groups hang on to all that has oppressed them in the past, none of us will ever be free. We should learn from the ways we have ALL oppressed others, so that we can learn to love & forgive them the way we ourselves desire love & forgiveness. Pitting one spiritual or cultural tradition against another is not spiritual in any way.



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Scott

posted September 1, 2006 at 5:06 pm


For the comment “The Talmud says that you can’t become un-Jewish” – it may say something like that, but if a Jew becomes a Christian, he may not marry one of us, he may not participate in the synagogue, his family may consider him dead, and while kaddish may be said for him, his body may never lie in one of our cemetaries. As for the (constant) comments the JC was born Jewish – well Hitler (Y”S) was baptized Catholic. You Christians want him as one of your own? I doubt it. Look at what his followers did. Therefore… And let’s look at Hitler. Google “Hitler and Christianity” and look at what he said in some of his speeches. How he quoted Martin Luther’s (Y”S) “On the Jews and their Lies” all over “Mein Kampf”. How the portestant churches of Germany sold themselves to him during the Nazi years and how the Catholic church supported him – and especially how the protestant churches of Germany and the Catholic churches of Eastern Europe actively collaberrated in killing Jews.Do not tell me that the Holocaust was not a Christian event. We just don’t say so in public so some people won’t be provoked to attack us. Thoser are yet more reasons that a Jew for JC cannot be one of us, and why we can’t trust the Christians that would support them. It’s actually a wonder, given history, that we trust Christians at all.



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mEz

posted September 1, 2006 at 5:24 pm


From Spamalot: “Why didn’t you tell me you were Jewish?” “It’s not the sort of thing you say to a heavily-armed Christian.”



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Steven Kaplan

posted September 1, 2006 at 5:28 pm


I am a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and therefore Jewish. Both my parents and all four of my grandparents were Jewish. I believe Jesus of Nazareth to be the Jewish Messiah, God incarnate who died for our sins, rose from the dead and thus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies concerning the first coming of the Jewish Messiah. The most Jewish thing a Jewish person can do is believe in the Jewish Messiah (Christ). Anyone who is truly a follower of the Jewish Messiah is in a sense a spiritual Jew (derived from Judah meaning acknowledger of God). The question should really be can you be Jewish and reject Jesus, the Jewish Messiah?



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MysticSaint

posted September 1, 2006 at 5:50 pm


Dear Friend, Shalom. if u agree with the fact that Allah is just the arabic word for God, G-D as u prefer to write it, then Jewish for God shouldn’t create shame on the face of any jews! are u ashamed to say, “Jews are for God?” or u prefer to say, “Jews are NOT for God?” pls for God’s sake come out of political grayness when it comes to the Almighty Creator.



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Ed Graham

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:00 pm


If you believe in Christ, you are a Christian. Jews for Jesus are Christians. They are former Jews who are now Christians. Using the name Jews for Jesus is a lie used to try to convert Jews. I’m not Jewish, but I would take offense at a group called Atheists for Christ.



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darlene

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:06 pm


Behing Jewish is also about blood, Heritage. Being Jewish is a religeous choice but it is also about who your ancestors are as a race of peoples. Just because you choose to worship jesus does not discredit you as being a jew anymore than being black would discount you being american. Thus, african american etc.



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abbysenia

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:06 pm


As a Seventh-Day Adventist I believe in the continuation of the Abrahamic faith first delivered to the Jews. Theologically many Christians believe in a seperation of Jew and Christian, I don’t. Christianity started out as sect of Judaism. As it became increasingly unpopular in the Roman empire to be Jewish, they started to distance themselves. I don’t see a contradiction in being Jewish and believing in Jesus. That was a line draw by our ancestors long before we were here. To be fair this line wasn’t simply drawn by the Jews, the Christian had their part in it…as they striped Christianity of it’s Jewish heritage, Sabbath, Clean and unclean foods etc.. It’s interestingly funny, but undestandable. However, today Jews debate on Reincarnation, Homosexuality, Clean and unclean foods, Women, et all but they agree you can disagree and still be Jewish…but when it comes to Jesus…ALL BREAKS ON HOLD! You can’t believe he is THE messiah, A messiah, barely even a prophet. I find it sad that some Jew would like to define their religion as not believing in Jesus. It seems that the real with with the Elder’s friend was personal. It seems that she defines her Jewishness by the fact that she doesn’t believe in Jesus…how sad. I’m a Christian..but I don’t have a major issue with other Christians follwing tenets of Budhism, African/India spiritualism. Should I?



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Sam

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:10 pm


re: the last statement… if ALL people started out jewish as you said, then…jew-for-jesus=christian dont be a lazy believer… go through the conversion and prove your faith one way or the other.. .there’s no shame in it..



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Pete

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:12 pm


Are you still a Jew if you believe in Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, or Albert Einstein? If you are a homosexual or have an abortion can you be a Jew despite what it says in Leviticus? There are so few Jews in the world that it may not be a good idea to be too exclusionary. If someone wants to be Jewish and would have been eligible for the gas chamber in the 1940s, I am willing to accept them as Jewish.



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TJ

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:13 pm


Scott, you say…….”Well, here it is – only Christians who belong to the Roman Catholic Church and who follow the pope are real Christians. Every other one is nothing but a heretic who is no Christian at all and deserves to burn in hell forever. Scott | 08.31.06 – 10:22 pm | #” I say…….Is this INSANITY? Uh, YES. Follow a pope who, in his past, helped hide Nazi soldiers in charge of slaughtering Jews? I ll pass on this thank you. And it will be interesting who ends up in hell or not Scott. For the rest of those against us,”Jews who accept Jesus as our Messiah”, I challenge (DARE) you all to read the book from Stan Telchin “Betrayed”. I would LOVE the Rabbi to read it as well. Toss one to Jenny while you’re at it. Shalom in Yeshua,TJ



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David

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:15 pm


I am not a Christian (though I was raised a Southern Baptist) and am not a Jew. I consider myself a Noahide. That out of the way, had Jesus been your persecutor, you would have a valid point. Not all Christians persecute, nor do all Muslims. I reject your belief that they are not Jews based on this criteria altogether. It is clear from the Torah that those that believe in more than one G-d are not by definition Jews from a practicing point of view, however also from the Bible you can point out cases where Jews were condemned and eliminated by G-d for their acceptance of Baal. Were these Jews that died? No, they were Hebrews. Being a Jew and being a Hebrew are two different things. There were many Egyptians that went into the desert with Moses and those that accepted the covenant at Mt Sanai were all considered Jews by G-d. Judaism and being a Jew has nothing to do with blood. Most Hebrews are Jews but not all Jews are Hebrew. Sammy Davis, Jr. was a Jew by declaration before G-d not before his peers. DB



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HASH(0x213a710c)

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:15 pm


You can not be a Jew and believe in Jesus. There is only one G_d and there will never be any gods before Him. Jews for jesud just want to fit in with their Christian friends and be more accepted but in the end Jews are Jews and believers of Jesus are Christian. It is like being a little pregnent..You either are or are not.. I feel the Jews for Jesus have really not really given Judaism a chance. They have been on the outside not really delved into Jewdaism and the Kabbalah, the spirituality of the Torah. Pick a color guys.. Jews for Jesus? I don’t think so..They are confused people.



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Paul

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:18 pm


Many western Christians support jews for one. Secondly Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi and his disciples were Jewish. Thirdly if you exam all the prophecy about the Y’shua (messiah) through just the book of Isaiah and compare them to the life of Christ I think you will that the number of Prophecys that Jesus fulfilled were just more than accidental but were actually divine. Take the challenge and check it out yourself.



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ROBERT UMBENHAUR

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:25 pm


Y’SHUA HAMASHIACH IS THE CORRECT AND PROPER JEWISH NAME FOR HIM WHOM THE GENTILES CALL “JESUS CHRIST”. HE IS THE SAVOUR OF THE WORLD! HE IS THE ONLY TRUTH! HE IS THE ONLY SON OF GOD! (THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB!) HE IS THE ONLY LIGHT OF THE WORLD! SATAN IS A COUNTERFEIT, AND PASSES HIMSELF OFF AS “GOD”. SATAN IS THE GOD OF THIS EARTH AS ALLOWED BY THE GOD OF ABRAHAM! SATAN HAS LOST THE SPIRITUAL WAR WITH GOD, AND ALL UNBELIEVERS IN THE JEWISH MESSIAH, SHALL PERISH BECAUSE OF THEIR CHOICE NOT TO BECOME “BORN AGAIN” AS GOD’S WORD COMMANDS. GOD SENDS NO ONE TO THE “LAKE OF FIRE”, THAT IS DONE BY INDIVIDUAL FREEWILL CHOICE. GOD’S WORD IS PLAIN AND MOST CLEAR, TO THE JEW FIRST, THEN THE GENTILE! IT IS THROUGH THE JEWS THE MESSIAH (JESUS CHRIST) WAS SENT TO REDEEM A LOST, WORLD STEEPED IN SIN AND DARKNESS. WHETHER OR NOT ANYONE BELIEVES THIS, IT IS TRUE, AND “ONE MINUTE AFTER YOU DIE” YOU WILL KNOW IT IS TRUTH, BUT IT WILL THEN BE FAR TO LATE FOR YOU. MAY YOU SEEK OUT THE ONE TRUE GOD AND HUMBLY ASK HIM TO LEAD YOU INTO THE TRUTH, AND LIGHT! YOUR VERY ETERNAL LIFE HANGS IN THE BALANCE! SHALOM!



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shelly

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:26 pm


At the time Jesus lived there were many others who claimed to be the Messiah. Why should we accept him over any one of them? I’m sure they all had followers. He just had better press after his death and more persistant followers. So because I get seventh day adventists and Mormons aggressively banging on my door today should I accept either of these two choices and call John Smith my Savior.I still say, if YOU wish to call Jesus the Messiah that is just fine. I will not stop you or denigrate your decision. Why can’t you do the same for me???



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Jennie

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:43 pm


There is a difference in believing in Jesus and believing in Christianity. Seperating the two can a Jew think of Jesus as a spiritual leader, without incorporating Christianity into it?



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dovid

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:44 pm

Hautblossom (aka Anne)

posted September 1, 2006 at 6:57 pm


This is a fascinating discussion. And it prompted me to do some research that taught me something new: “Jews for Jesus” are not the same thing as “Messianic Jews.” I thought they were the same thing, but clearly not. (About “Jews for Jesus” here: http://www.jewsforjesus.org/about/statementoffaith. About Messianic Judaism here: http://www.godonthe.net/jewish/faq.html.) I think people have to keep in mind that “Jews for Jesus” is a specific sect, and that it is an evangelical Christian sect (see their statement of faith — link above). The term is not a generic reference to Jewish people (Jewish by heritage or faith or both) who accept Jesus as the messiah. So an aversion to “Jews for Jesus” itself isn’t necessarily a judgment or dismissal of any particular Jew who expresses faith in Jesus. My 2 cents’ worth, as neither a Jew nor a Christian!



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sara

posted September 1, 2006 at 7:05 pm


Jews for Jesus accept Jesus as the Son of God and God and the Holy Spirit. Associating a human being such as Jesus with God, considering Jesus as Son of God therefore believing God breeds and has sex like humans do destroy one of the most fundamental aspects of Judaism. The organization “Jews for Jesus” is another ploy of Christians to convert Jews to Christianity and destroy this beautiful religion.



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted September 1, 2006 at 7:07 pm


Scott– “The Holocaust was a Christian event” you say. Did you ever hear of the Master Race theory ( a scientific piece of garbage that considered Jews subhuman and was an operating principle in German academic life and Nazi government policy)???Even when Christians were at their worst- Jews were considered human and could join the Church as full members by conversion. It was modern science and genetic idiocy that doomed so many Jews to death –not a “Christian event.” In fact thousands of priests were sent to the Dachau concentration camp, many to die there. And as usual no Jew will admit some of their ancestors’ complicity in starting the whole horrible history of bad relations between Jews and Christians. One gets tired of how some people only look at history from one side—the others were evil–our people were all good and always the victims never perpetrators. If the pope can apologize for what some past Catholics did–then one would hope that those millions who died in the Holocaust haven’t become a post facto excuse for ignoring what Jews did to Christians those first few centuries(including the execution of the first Christian deacon and the first bishop of Jerusalem –a relative of Jesus). Only one Christian being executed is just as evil as just one Jew being executed. Your posting seems to make it a numbers game-Jewish millions vs. Christian thousands. But it can be looked at another way. That those who first do violence bear the heavier responsibility for all subsequent killings. As for the slanders against Pope Pius XII:: books by reputable people not grinding an axe–including some by rabbis and Jewish historians- have objected to those slanders by sensation mongers and haters.



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Marsella Siesser

posted September 1, 2006 at 7:16 pm


EXCUSE ME BUT YOU ARE TOTALLY WRONG & LOST…..DON’T BE A PARROT…REPEATING WHAT YOUR PARENTS TOLD YOU……..READ THE SCRIPTURE AND ASK GOD FOR WISDOM…YOU WILL SEE THE REAL TRUTH. FIRST OF ALL….MAYBE YOU DON’T KNOW YET….”JESUS WAS 100% JEWISH”, AND BELIEVING IN HIM IS ALSO ACCEPTING HIS TRADITIONS AS A JEW…I’M MESSIANIC JEW AND I’M STILL KEEP MY REAL ROOTHS..AS A JEWISH PERSON….SO HOW DARE ARE YOU SAYING THAT YOU CANNOT BE A JEW AND BELIEVE IN JESUS…..THA IS A BIG BIG LIE MISTER. PLEASE OPEN YOUR HEART AND EYES, AND READ THE SCRUPTURES..JESUS MEETS THE PROFESSY OF THE MESSIAH!!…….MY HUSBAND IS JEW AND NOW HE IS A COMPLET JEW…HE HAS A SAVIOR AND MESSIAH…. HE ACCEPTES JESUS AS HIS MESSIAH AND SAVIOR…….NOW HE IS WALKING WITH GOD’S SPIRIT, HE IS HAPPIER, HEALTHIER & MOST IMPORTANT HAS PEACE & LOVE IN HIS LIFE…YOU CAN CONTACT HIM HIS NAME IS GLENN (561)445-1770…HE WAS A DRUG & ALCOHOL ABUSSER FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS….NOW HE IS FREE AND HEALED FOR THE POWER OF GOD…….AMEN!!



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Robert

posted September 1, 2006 at 7:24 pm


With all due respect to my Christian friends, here’s the bottom line: [1] There are a certain number of variations of Jewish religious practices (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist). [2] They get to define for themselves what is and what is not acceptable under their belief systems. [3] Despite their many differences, one thing they ALL agree on, is once you believe in Jesus, you are no longer (religiously) Jewish. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is – Game Over



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Chana

posted September 1, 2006 at 7:26 pm


Any jewish person who believes in this j.c. guy is really following after a pagan religion and belief system. Idolotry and pagan worship are some of the roots of xtianity..as a former xtian, and now converted jew, I can honestly say I finally saw the light..and it’s not in this guy.. My prayer is that all jews involved with this would see clearly in the hebrew that this guy ain’t who they say he is.. Besides, both jew and xtian can’t both be right..my prayer is that all will be enlightened some day to the true of G-d of Israel. Chana



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Yossel

posted September 1, 2006 at 7:39 pm


B”H Deacon Bresnahan: With all due respect, I have never heard of Jewish persecution of Christians during the infancy of the Christian faith, however I will certainly G-d willing try to research the two Deacons you mention. This being the case, for every Christian that was allegedly persecuted by a Jew, there have been literally MILLIONS of Jews persecuted by Christians, including some of our most holy leaders, such as the holy saint Rabbi Amnon, whose arms and legs were cut off when he refused to convert, and the holy saint Rabbi Eliezer whose wife and daughters were raped by Crusaders in front of his eyes, may G-d have mercy. I don’t want to continue the blood feud, however. G-d and G-d alone makes the accounting for who sins and who is forgiven. However, it would very nice if we Jews could simply be permitted to practice our faith without being disturbed, in our Land, which is by the way, a tiny sliver surrounded by 22 hostile Muslim/Arab nations. I have many Christian acquaintences and I respect them for their faith. Can’t I expect the same in return? Why do I have to be accused of being condemned to hell? Why do I have to be submitted to accusations of killing Jesus (yes, I’ve been accused of that too)? Who are these people, who are mostly ignorant of the Bible, to accuse me? Yes, I get that. At work, on the subway, even on the street. I am proudly a follower of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, a man of G-d, and of true peace who dedicated his life to helping mankind of all faiths and I have personally witnessed miracles from him. I accept his proclamations and teachings as the word of G-d. And no one has the right to deny me this, especially in America, where we supposedly are free to worship G-d as we choose. Best wishes…Yossel



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JesusofZion

posted September 1, 2006 at 7:41 pm


Where there is no unity there is no peace and where there is no peace there can be no love. If we all continue to argue who is Jew and who is Christian and what is this or that we all miss the most important part of it all. Those who have not the ability to Love have not the right to judge. Lacking the element of love (and tolerance) makes all the rest meaningless and I see so many who would rather preach and judge than follow the simple law from which all laws stem… BE LOVE! Let G-d (YHWH) alone judge which way is the RIGHT way. Live your truth and stand firm in it but please people obey the law we all are to follow (Love one another)… it saddens me to see us all so angry while discussing such a thing as cannot be proved by any man but can only be understood by a personal inner faith. Someday each will stand before the Holy One to account. He will not ask if you were Jew or Christian or ???. He will ask “Did you LOVE & care for my Sheep as I asked?”…Do You? Or are you rather spending time teaching dogmas and arguing hatefully? Let’s all simply BE LOVE and let the One who made us be the judge or do you presume to know more than He? Can’t we all just get along?



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jethro

posted September 1, 2006 at 8:10 pm


JesusofZion Sure, we could all get along; particularly if Christians stopped pouring millions of dollars into missionary efforts to convert Jews away from Judaism and perhaps better used that money to care for the sheep. By the way, you have no idea what the Holy One will ask us. He very well might ask Jews if we kept our end of the covenant. The Talmud states that we’ll be asked if we were ethical in our business dealings. We don’t presume to know more than Hashem; fortunately we have his Torah so we know what He wants us to know. And belief in a divine man as the second person of a Trinitarian Godhead is against Torah, plain and simple. Can we all get along? Sure. Let all people of faith work towards alleviating hunger, genocide, rape, injustice and nuclear holocaust. And do not do unto others what is hateful to you.



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Ken Green

posted September 1, 2006 at 8:40 pm


I guess I don’t see why this has to be so complicated. It seems pretty straightforward to me. 1. From all observable hallmarks, the Jews are a tribe, with an official tribal religion called Judaism, and an official tribal language called Hebrew. Judaism (the religion) explicitly rules out certain things, like corporeal gods, trinities, intervenors in the covenant, etc. This shared set of values has defined the Jews since they emerged as a people. 2. Whether or not one practices the official religion, or speaks the official language, so long as one was born into, or adopted into the tribe through a conversion ritual, one is still Jewish.3. If one adopts a belief that is in direct violation with Judaism, however, one is apostate, and is in bad standing with the tribe. That person can be shunned by the tribe physically and verbally. If an apostate seeks to lure others into apostacy, it’s really tribal treason, which warrants, and may actually oblige one to condemn them verbally, and to educate others as to their treasonous nature. Those three simple ideas answer most of the questions raised above. Can you be a Jewish Buddhist without being apostate? Sure, Buddhism doesn’t have a god, it’s simply a philosophy. Can you be a Jewish taoist? Sure, same thing. Jewish stoic? Fine. But, believing in the divinity of Jesus is an explicit violation of a key tenet of the Jewish religion, which puts a person either outside the tribe if they weren’t born/adopted in, or “in bad standing” with the tribe if they were born Jewish, or adopted by the tribe (converted). The reason Jews for Jesus evoke a visceral reaction from even non-religious Jews is simple: the mass of the tribe recognizes a traitor when they see one, and nothing is more hateful than a traitor.



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TJ

posted September 1, 2006 at 8:54 pm


Chana, you say…….. “Any jewish person who believes in this j.c. guy is really following after a pagan religion and belief system. Idolotry and pagan worship are some of the roots of xtianity..as a former xtian, and now converted jew, I can honestly say I finally saw the light..and it’s not in this guy.. My prayer is that all jews involved with this would see clearly in the hebrew that this guy ain’t who they say he is.. Besides, both jew and xtian can’t both be right..my prayer is that all will be enlightened some day to the true of G-d of Israel.” Chana Chana | 09.01.06 – 1:31 pm | # I say……..Chana you saw the “light?” Well your light here must mean proof. Give it to me and attempt to “enlighten” me. I seriously doubt you will EVER be able to enlighten me as Jesus has done. Shalom in Yeshua,TJ



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Henry Garcia

posted September 1, 2006 at 9:00 pm


If Brooklyn Jews can believe that Manachem Mendel Schneerson was/is the Messiah, is spite of the fact that he doesn’t fit any of the messianic requirements stipulated in the Torah, and if Jews throughout history can believe in any of the many other sipposed messiahs that likewise proved to be false, then why can’t we believe that Y’shua, born on Rosh HaShanah along with a dozen other Jewish notables, be HaMashiach? The statistical probability that He could fulfill all the prophecies that He did is like changing the first letter of the Torah into a 1 and then changing all the rest of the letters into zeros.



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jethro

posted September 1, 2006 at 9:12 pm


Henry You answered your own question. When Jews throughout history followed a false messiah they later recanted and returned to Judaism. The big requqirements of the Jewish messiah were not met by Jesus ( like world peace, etc.) The statistical probablilty of some similarities is of course more likely when the New Testament writers had the Jewish scripture open in front of them as they wrote the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life.



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Scott

posted September 1, 2006 at 9:14 pm


Stephen Kaplan, you are not a Jew. You are a Xtian and an apostate. You may think JC was the Jewish messiah, but 99.9% of Jews would differ from you. Even a secular Jew knows who his god is not.



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Scott

posted September 1, 2006 at 9:15 pm


If someone wants to be Jewish and would have been eligible for the gas chamber in the 1940s, I am willing to accept them as Jewish. Really? Because I am not willing to accept people who accept the faith of our murderers as part of our family.



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Scott

posted September 1, 2006 at 9:16 pm


Thirdly if you exam all the prophecy about the Y’shua (messiah) through just the book of Isaiah and compare them to the life of Christ I think you will that the number of Prophecys that Jesus fulfilled were just more than accidental but were actually divine. Take the challenge and check it out yourself. Read Why the Jews Rejected Jesus by David Klinghoffer and you will see that is patently false.



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Scott

posted September 1, 2006 at 9:16 pm


Deacon John, Thank you for putting the burden of anti-Semitism and our deaths on us. A classic anti-Semitic tactic. I saw that one coming by a mile. For your information, your church invented racial anti-Semitism, when around in the 16th century, they decided that men could not be priests if there were Jewish blood 4 generations in the past. That was the basis for all racial anti-Semitism from that point on. Again, thanks again.



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Scott

posted September 1, 2006 at 9:19 pm


Henry, If Brooklyn Jews can believe that Manachem Mendel Schneerson was/is the Messiah, is spite of the fact that he doesn’t fit any of the messianic requirements stipulated in the Torah, and if Jews throughout history can believe in any of the many other sipposed messiahs that likewise proved to be false, then why can’t we believe that Y’shua, born on Rosh HaShanah along with a dozen other Jewish notables, be HaMashiach? Because the Lubovitch don t worship the Rebbe as a god.



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Scott

posted September 1, 2006 at 9:20 pm


I cannot believe the gall of some Christians to tell us who is a Jew. Get real. Yo, people, there are 3,000 different denominations of Christianity. Get your own house in order before you tell us how to live.



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Daisy

posted September 1, 2006 at 9:21 pm


The reaction is purely emotional, and I agree it is a reaction to hundreds of years of history. However, if we can agree that Athiests, Wiccans, and assorted other types can be safely sheltered under the umberella of Judaism, then what is (really) wrong with the Jews who also believe in Christianity, other than just an emotional gutt reaction? After all, Jesus himself was a Jew, as were the first Christians. Only a handful of gentiles converted, and those who did got it all wrong anyway. What we know today as the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church are at heart Jewish sects with Paganism layered on so thick that it is hard to see Torah and Tradition underneath. But it is there all the same. Most Christians don’t know it, but they’ve drawn quite a bit from Judaism in the words of their prayers. It is small wonder that in our own times some of them are drifting toward us in search of their own roots. And they are learning a lot, I am happy to say. We can’t keep judging them in terms of the ignorance of their ancestors when they are no longer the enemy, and as we all know, there have been many enemies. Personally, I see nothing wrong with Jews who choose to believe in Jesus because that is part of our history, too.



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Sic of the Messis

posted September 1, 2006 at 9:33 pm


For the mostpart the thread should be re labeled. REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY 101. I’ll stick with what the Tanakh says about G-d NOT being a man nor can another take on another mans sin. Whoops, the xtians forgot about that part.



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Scott

posted September 1, 2006 at 9:45 pm


Daisy, as has been stated, Wiccans do not believe in other gods. It’s a practice – not necessarily mine, but whatever. An atheist Jew can fulfill the mitzvot. This has been stated about a dozen times now: If you accpet a man as god, you are violating one of the basic tenets of Judaism, and you are out. Period. If you choose to repent, you will be welcomed home with open arms.



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Geri

posted September 1, 2006 at 9:53 pm


Hello people, In case you have not noticed Jesus and all his first diciples are Jewish and they always will. It’s the Catholics and christians like them who doesn’t get that. They created the division and unfortumately they came into a position of power to cause a lot of harm over the centuries. If you don’t accept Jews then you are not a part of Christ because He’s Jewish and always will be.



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HASH(0x213bdde4)

posted September 1, 2006 at 10:18 pm


B”H How does anyone know that the Lubavitcher Rebbe doesn’t meet the qualifications for being the Moshiach? Learn the Rambam’s code of Jewish law. The Rebbe meets all the qualifications, and it’s up to G-d to make the decision as to when he will be revealed. A large group of Orthodox rabbis (Halachik poskim) have ruled that the Rebbe is Moshiach. According to Jewish law, a Jew always remains a Jew no matter what he or she believes. Being Jewish only depends on whether your mother is Jewish. Period. If a Jew believes in another religion, he is required to repent, but remains a Jew forever. Good Shabbos…Yossel



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Wanda Lauzon

posted September 1, 2006 at 10:19 pm


Why do people believe what they believe? Because they want to. In the face of overwhelming evidence people will continue to hang on to anger, fear, hate and useless dogma and sincerely list any number of reasons for hanging on to it, but it still just boils down to a matter of choice. I DO NOT wish to offend, but it is PLAINLY CLEAR to all Jews that the many sects of Christianity blended original regional pagan beliefs into what we see today. It s so is obvious. The most absurd is the xmas tree, it has nothing to do with even their Bible it s an old pagan custom that was just to dear to give up. If it does, where is it written? Well, maybe there is some sort of reference in Jeremiah 10:3-4 of Stone s Edition or probably any edition. This is just one of many examples of pagan blending in the Christian religions. So it s not just the trinity and that issue alone, there s hell, demons under every rock, the devil, Satan, fallen man, their path to salvation, graven images, communion, etc. However, while we do not like to be denigrated be defined by outsiders have our faith examined by someone who knows little to nothing about it, it would be just as wise to take a long look at ourselves. We need to examine whether hanging on to anger, fear, hate and useless dogma of our own is getting in the way of our relationship with God. Also, idolatry is everywhere what do you gather around, gaze at and can t do without?? so before we jump on that bandwagon, perhaps a little cleanup at home is in order. Who is perfected here? So, there is no excuse for bad behavior on anybodies part (myself included). I just have always looked at Jews for Jesus, the Messianic Jews and any congregation searching out their Jewish roots and pulling out the pagan practices as they search a very good start indeed.



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shelly

posted September 1, 2006 at 10:28 pm


dear Marsella, I am pleased for you that you and your husband get along well and can believe together and have peace in the home. We call it Shalom babayit and it is very imprortant for the entire family. But there are two things I would like to address; 1) when you type all capitals it is the equivalent of shouting! Why do you feel that you have to shout the entire message? 2) why do I have to accept tenets of your religion – to make you happy?? It should be enough that you believe and that your husband does. What I do should not constitute a problem for you. TO YOUR OWN SELF BE TRUE!! We could get along better without the constant name calling and proselytizing.



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myue75

posted September 1, 2006 at 10:30 pm


“what is (really) wrong with the Jews who also believe in Christianity, other than just an emotional gutt reaction?” While some people of Jewish descent/heritage practice other religions, you never hear of any organizations called Jews for Atheism or Jews for Buddhism. Jews for Jesus are simply Jews who are afraid to admit that they are really just Christians. They should get over that fear and convert if they believe Jesus is God or the messiah. If they are Jewish and simply agree with Jesus’ teachings, then perhaps they’ve been sucked in by a very crafty evangelist tool.



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted September 1, 2006 at 10:40 pm


Yossel–You let me know of something I have always wondered–that maybe Jews don’t know of the persecution of Christians in those early years. I appreciate your willingness to examine the historical record (instead of like Scott just screaming anti-Semite.) If a strong case can be made that the historical record is wrong then so be it– I will never bring that up again. I am a retired public high school history teacher and it bugs me how some people “cherry-pick” history so that one group comes out all bad (Christians) and other groups are portrayed as ALWAYS the victim (Jews in this case.) Noone deserved to die because they were Christian 2,000 years ago and noone deserved to die because they were Jewish in the ensuing 1800 or so years after Christians began outnumbering Jews.In fact, because of the Holocaust and still so much anti-Semitism around- I hesitate to bring up those early years of Jewish persecution of Christians unless some people start throwing around the accusation that the Nazis were somehow good Christians instead of despicable human beings besotted by a crazy scientific theory called the Master Race Theory that doomed all Jews based on genetics not their religion (one study I saw said it was Christians who regarded their religion as above society who risked their lives to save Jews. It was “Christians” who today we would call “cultural Christians”–putting going along with society above their obligations to God and living their faith who cowardly looked the other way or went along with the Nazi genocidal programs.



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Drina

posted September 1, 2006 at 11:05 pm


Pure prejudice, bigotry and injustice. That is what any person is handing out when they object to “Jews for Jesus.” Al, you have got to be kidding. All Jews ask is that this group, Jews for Jesus, is honest about who they are. They’re Christians, and they shouldn’t be so dishonest as to use the “Jewish” hook to lure new converts.



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Steve

posted September 1, 2006 at 11:16 pm


I am a Jew. I will always be a Jew. Listen up LDS – I reject being converted after I am dead – that is sacrilegious to me. My beliefs might offend Christians. I believe, very strongly, that to believe that Jesus was the son of G-D is pure idolatry. It is idolatry to me, and always will be idolatry to me. It is not idolatry to you, and that is okay with me. I cannot accept idol worship. That is the beginning and the end of the deal. I never want to be a Christian. Period. Jews for Jesus are not Jewish because they are idolators to me. They are not idolators to themselves or to other Christians. I cannot accept them as being Jewish.



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Geoff

posted September 1, 2006 at 11:29 pm


I’ve studied a lot about the Holocaust. I’ve read that Hitler disliked Christianity because of its obvious Jewish roots. Christian (i.e. a follower of Christ, the Greek term meaning “Messiah” “Annoited One”) and Jewish aren’t mutually exclusive terms. The fact is that Jewish believers in Jesus believe in the Tanakh and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. On the other topic at hand. My studies have led me to believe that early Jewish persecution of Christians caused many to have a negative view towards Jews to flourish within the Church. That attitude was sinful and not in keeping with Jesus’s commands to bless those who persecute you. Jewish persecution of Christians and Christian persecution, whether cultural Christians or not, do not make one or the other true. Or not true. We should look for truth and not be constrained by the sinful actions of those of previous generations which don’t change the truth or falsity of something. Was persecution of Jews consistent with Jesus’s teachings? That’s an obvious “no.” And isn’t that a better question to ask.



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Scott

posted September 1, 2006 at 11:33 pm


Deacon John, The only proof you have of Jewish persecution of Christians is Acts – and a lot of historians think that isn’t quite historically accurate. That’s all you got. Jews were in no position to crucify andyone and they were in no position to persecute anyone. Now the Catholic Church – they signed a treay of friendship with Hitler, who was a Catholic, remained on the church list, as it were, to the day he died, had reuium masses said for him all over Germany (ordered by the Cardinal Archbishops) – tand the bastard hasn’t even been excomminicated to this day. I wonder why. Additonally, you said we were responsible for starting the cycle of violene, and so had brought this on our heads. That is so anti-Semitic.But I would never, ever expect someone who talks the way you do to get it.



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Geoff

posted September 1, 2006 at 11:38 pm


If God cannot take the form of a man, what should we make of Genesis 18?



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Scott

posted September 1, 2006 at 11:49 pm


That is plainly an appearance, not an incarnation. What shal we do with Num 23:19?



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Wanda Lauzon

posted September 1, 2006 at 11:56 pm


I’m sorry Scott, but there is evidence that during the Shimon Bar-Kokhba revolt, many Jews who followed 1st century Messianic worship were killed.



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shelly

posted September 1, 2006 at 11:59 pm


WAnda, They were killed by whom???



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Wanda Lauzon

posted September 2, 2006 at 12:01 am


Also, it is appropriate that we continue the tradition to acknowledge the bad as well as the good in our history. It’s tradition.



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Wanda Lauzon

posted September 2, 2006 at 12:05 am


Shelly, It was Bar-Kokhba himself who lead the revolt and felt this was also necessary. He was very concerned for Jewish observance and was considered by many as a possible messiah. Of course, the meaning of messiah then was not exactly what comes to mind when we hear that word.



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Al

posted September 2, 2006 at 12:17 am


Modern day Judaism practioners believe in an non-corporeal God because of the RAMBAM (Moses Maimonmides).Certainly Abraham didn’t eat with a dream. Jacod didn’t wrestle with a hallucination. They interacted with the God of the universe. Get real everyone.”Jews for Jesus” do ot deserve all of the hatred being handed out so effortlessly here.



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joy zel

posted September 2, 2006 at 2:50 am


We do not believe man is god there is only one G’d and even if we do not go to temple or practice as the rabbi stated we are a way of life. I do believe that jews for jesus is not a jewish group since no matter if you believe or not in a formal religion we are all the children of G’d and as in the 10 commandments no idols—and no matter what, practice or not we do not believe in idols. It is not hatred like that person above me states but live and let live. I was alway taught that “all nations will get rid of their swords and turn it into plough shears” paraphrasing, all nations, key word. I do not want to change your belief so why do you want to change mine? I accept all peoples and there are many more budhists and would not think of converting them if I did then you can say I showd hatred. I am angry with this last person and it shows in my many errors in grammar and spelling. I only read the last and the first posting. If anyone showed hatred he or she did



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windbender

posted September 2, 2006 at 4:36 am


“-Is there evidence that Jesus died and rose from the dead?” Moot point. No Jew expects the messiah to be supernatural, waterski without a boat, or pop back up out of the ground like a cork.It is, in fact, the less than traditionally educated Jew – generally reform, though sometimes conservative and damned near never orthodox, who get sucked into the Jews for Jesus camp of Christianity.Jews don’t proselytize – it’s forbidden. The Christian organization known as Jews for Jesus is a proselytizing organ of the Church, not any synagogue.That doen’t mean they aren’t nice people who care about each other and making the world a better place, but it does mean that, in a religious sense, however much they’d like to play like it’s otherwise, they aren’t Jewish. Their imagined role as a mimic of first century Christians must have some appeal, I suppose, but it isn’t kosher by half.



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Deborah

posted September 2, 2006 at 4:47 am


I personally say that whoever hates the Jews, doesn’t like God’s choice of people as His chosen people, and who are they anyway, if they truly hate any of you. If you don’t love the Jews, just because God loves them and because they are His chosen people and that God includes Gentiles as His own, too, if they choose, then you can’t love God. Everything from God, including His choices are perfect, absolutely perfect.



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windbender

posted September 2, 2006 at 4:53 am


“If God cannot take the form of a man, what should we make of Genesis 18?” That Abraham saw the angels who accompanied the Lord as He visited he and Sarah.How do you explaing 1st John 4:12?



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windbender

posted September 2, 2006 at 4:54 am


explain – mia culpa



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Carrol Mills, PhD

posted September 2, 2006 at 4:59 am


Well put Wendy. My feelings exactly.



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elizabeth

posted September 2, 2006 at 5:00 am


this topic always makes me a bit sad, but it’s an important topic, since there is so much heated emotion around it.african americans sometimes discuss what makes someone Really black…or an ‘oreo’…. asian americans refer to ‘bananas’, (yellow on the outside, but white on the inside)… i do believe this issue is not very different… what makes a jew a jew is their NOT being part of the ‘white bread culture’ – the oppressor or dominant culture. somehow, to come to faith in christ automatically suggests to many jews that the individual has ‘betrayed’ their jewish compatriots and become just like those who inflicted pogroms, those who shoveled my own family into ovens in concentration camps, etc etc…I certainly consider myself to be a Jew, but also accept them I am/would be formally excommunicated by the rabbinic community, because i came to faith in christ, through several days of very intense personal experience with God — you can call me crazy, but you cannot say that I chose to betray my own people, nor that I chose to become Christian. I can never be a Goyim. I am by history, culture, heritage and self-identity, a Jew (both parents jewish, one parent a Holocaust survivor, I used to play makebelieve ‘slaves in egypt’ with my brother, and knew nothing about Jesus Christ that was not in Godspell or Jesus Christ Superstar). My place in the body of Christ is as a Jewish believer in Christ — I am still an ‘outsider’ but also a radicalizing force in many ways. “In Christ there is neither man nor woman, slave nor master, Jew or Goyim”, black nor white, etc etc … we are one as children of God; but ‘iron sharpens iron’ and so I play a significant role in education and often incorrection of unintentional antisemitism. My orthodoc Jewish cousins see me as more Jewish than I was in the past, when I was not having ANY relationship with God, because he was not real to me in any way.



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted September 2, 2006 at 5:24 am


Scott–History is history. Stephen, the first Christian deacon was not crucified–he was stoned to death by a Jewish mob for blasphemy. No reputable historian denies that this happened. The first bishop of Jerusalem, James (the Just) was martyred by Jewish leaders in 62 A.D. According to a number of old documents one source of information on James martyrdom was Josephus – a Jewish historian. Two very early Christian accounts also describe his execution by Jewish leaders and a Jewish mob. (Further information:Fouard, “Last Years of St. Paul pgs. 138-153–Smallwood, “Jews under Roman Rule” pgs. 279-280)According to Rodney Stark in “The Rise of Christianity”:: “It is also known that at some point a curse against Christians (Nazarenes) was inserted into the Jewish Eighteen Benedictions” Evil is evil–two-thirds of a Century ago or 20 Centuries ago. In the interest of good relations between Christians and Jews those who–when debating interreligious issues–keep angrily blaming sincere Christians for the crimes of a secular, Christian and Jew hating, murderer in pursuit of keeping a bogus Master Race pure accomplishes nothing except bad relations and bad feelings. And keeps history buffs like me going to my books looking for more examples of those first centuries when Jewish leaders endeavored to kill Christians and destroy Christianity. It is too bad some people like you, Scott, use (or misuse) history to hurl verbal grenades at others, but don’t like it when those others find historical evidence to toss back.



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Scott

posted September 2, 2006 at 5:26 am


Wanda, In the year 135, the entire Christian movement was gentile, and they had already collaborated with the Romans in the Jewish War.



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Scott

posted September 2, 2006 at 5:27 am


Elizabeth, You betrayed your dead when you joined Christianity. That you could do such a thing to a parent who survived the Holocaust is nauseating. Then you write this: My orthodoc Jewish cousins see me as more Jewish than I was in the past B.S.Your Orthodox cousins would cut you off so fast you wouldn t see it coming. I married a non-Jewish Noachide and my Orthodox cousins don t speak to me.



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Scott

posted September 2, 2006 at 5:30 am


Deacon John M. Bresnahan, So you are equating the (possible) murder of a few hundred Xtians with 1,000,000 Jewish children in ovens. How Xtian. Jew hater. And I have a PhD in European history so don’t try to one up me. I have been studying the Holocaust for 25 years, and I am more aware of what Xtians were doing (and not doing, like Pius XII(Y”S)) than the vast majority of people in this country. You want to know what the Roman Catholic Church wa doing during the Holocaust? Google “Jedwabne”. Then Google “Kielce”. And that’s just a tiny example from Poland.



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted September 2, 2006 at 5:33 am


In short–the Holocaust doesn’t give anyone–even someone of Jewish faith or lineage– the right to slander a pope or indict a religion for what a demonic secularist hater of all religions (Hitler) did. And much of what the Christian churches did in trying to deal with him turned out to be just as mistaken and gutless (in glorious hindsight) as Neville Chamberlain’s attempts at Munich.



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Scott

posted September 2, 2006 at 5:33 am


In the interest of good relations between Christians and Jews those who–when debating interreligious issues–keep angrily blaming sincere Christians for the crimes of a secular, Christian and Jew hating, murderer in pursuit of keeping a bogus Master Race There will be no interfaith relationship if there is no truth. Outside every concentration camp there was a chapel (sometimes two, to accommodate German protestants) to minister to the SS/Gestapo s spiritual needs. And there were priests and ministers in every chapel, consecrating the communion, bringing JC, in essence, right into the stench of burning bodies. There is no room for a Jew in Xtianity.



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Scott

posted September 2, 2006 at 5:37 am


Deacon John, Adolf Hitler (Y”S) was a member of the Roman Catholic Church who was worshipped as a messiah by the most Xtian nation in Europe. He quoted from the “new” testaments in his speeches, and he cozied to Pius XII (Y”S). Get your head out of the sand, man. The church collaberated in one of the biggest genocides in human history. Even more disgusting because the child tried to kill of the parent. The church died in the Holocaust. That is why Europe is the spiritual wasteland it is – because the people saw what their church did/didn’t do and they turned their backs. Xtianity is a dead end for a Jew.



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elizabeth

posted September 2, 2006 at 5:48 am


Dios le bendiga, Scott. God Bless you, Scott (in Spanish) You are certainly entitled to your opinion about me; but I reiterate: you can call me crazy, but for me, my faith is a direct result of personal interaction with God. I have not many any personal choice except to say YEs to my God. I cannot say NO to God. He is more real to me that this computer I am typing into. No matter what the personal cost to me is, I cannot say no to God. That doesn’t mean you have to believe I had a personal interaction with God. I wouldn’t expect anyone else to believe that. But as Chuang Tzu said, “How do you know the fish are NOT happy?” I also have a PhD, and other advanced degrees from nice Ivy League schools, fancy internationally recognized academic and intellectual awards. But faith is faith. It is non-sense, and I cheerfully admit that.By the way, I was speaking about my literal Jewish orthodox cousins, not any one else’s, and not in a global sense about orthodox Jews. I was talking about a handful of specific individuals. I am NOT saying anything here global other than my own personal experience.What I don’t understand is why anyone would express hatred or anger toward me as an individual? By the way, I personally agree with Scott’s description of history in the above post: anyone who even dabbles in real scholarship knows the depth of atrocities committed against Jews by self-professing Christians, in the name of Jesus. God Bless You all; I am not trying to convince anyone else of anything. I am simply sharing my own personal experience. I do not believe anyone can ‘reason’ or ‘persuade’ faith – that rightly comes from some other arena than human interaction, in my humble opinion.



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted September 2, 2006 at 5:54 am


Scott–if you know so much I hope you have read: “The Myth of Hitler’s Pope.” by Rabbi David G. Dalin -a professor of history and political science and “Hitler, The War, and The Pope” by Ronald J. Rychlak, a professor of law or “Pius XII and the Second World War” by Pierre Blet a professor of modern history who received his doctorate from the Sorbonne–Scholars all. I hope you haven’t just read the sensationalist anti-papal garbage mostly by journalists who are grinding axes and being promoted by unscrupulous book publishers. And to be called an anti-Semite, or Jew-hater because you put slanders against Christianity on a posting and I gave cited historic responses is ludicrous. In fact I have been spending the last month defending Israel from attacks by academics around here in the Boston area who would just as soon see Israel become another Auschwitz –or are too stupid to see that that is what an Arab-Moslem conquest of Israel would mean. And the way you debate–by every time putting in a posting some name-calling doesn’t strike me as being very scholarly –if your background is what you say it is.



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elizabeth

posted September 2, 2006 at 5:56 am


Oh, by the way, I was as repulsed by the Jews for Jesus organization as many jews are, all through my life, for no clearly identifiable reason to me. I NEVER had any contact with them, ever, but I absolutely HATED them… that is, until suddenly I was faced with the difficult fact that if I said YES to God (my personal interaction with God, that noone else need believe happened, but that I can never denied did happen), many Jews would suddenly hate me… interesting, isin’t it…there-after, my experience with Jews for Jesus is simply that they let me be me. They do not condemn me. Noone could ever talk me INTo, or OUT OF my faith. Whatever the cost. And don’t kid yourself, it DOES cost, and the Bible tells us to expect that it will cost a lot, if we truly submit and follow… we won’t FIT into this world anymore…God Bless Us all and God have mercy on us all. By the measure we use to judge other people, so shall we be judged.



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Bracha

posted September 2, 2006 at 6:09 am


After reading some of the comments, I am in agreement with a lot of folks on here…I am Jewish and believe in Yeshua as the Messiah. I still celebrate all of the “High Holy Days” as well as Ressurection Day and the birth of Yeshua (which we do not celebrate on December 25th) and also keep Shabbot…Friday evening until Saturday evening. My religion is Messianic and my heritage is Jewish. I have had folks tell me that Jews do not belive in Jesus (Yeshua) and I have told them they do…they believe Jesus was a good man or a great prophet and as for me and a lot of other Jews, we believe Jesus (Yeshua) is the son of G-d. I wanted to send my son to a Jewish community center day care where he could eat kosher and learn about the High Holy Days. I asked if it was okay that we were Messianic Jews and she said it didn’t matter what religion we were but that they did not consider us Jewish. I responded that she could not change my bloodline because of my religion. Sounds so much like what these two are argueing about…isn’t that one of the neat things about being of the Jewish culture, that we are to try to keep peace and harmony? Shalom means what? My great grandmother was disowned by her family when she married a “christian” man…how Jewish is that and I repeat “how Jewish is that” By the way, I did not become Messianic until after my “near death experience” Thank you for allowing me to write a comment…Y’vawrekhekhah Adonai v’yeesh merekhah, Yah’air Adonai p’nahv alekhah v’yeekhoonekhah Yeesah Adonai p’nahv alekhah v’yesahm lekhah shalom.-Bemidbar 6:24-26 The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.-Numbers 6:24-26 b’Shem Yeshua ha Sar Shalom, in the Name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace



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Scott

posted September 2, 2006 at 6:19 am


Deacon John, I have read Daviel Goldhagen and William Nicholls, among others. There are some Orthodox Jewish writers who will bend over backwards to appease their Xtian overlords. I lost 50 members of my family. I will not here that they deserved to die because the fiction book of Acts says we persecuted a few Xtians.



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Michael

posted September 2, 2006 at 6:22 am


Jesus of Nazareth, a Jew, said some profound, revolutionary things in his life, according to consensus. Loving one’s enemy comes to mind. Would Jews for Siddhartha be met with such vitriol? I live in a country based primarily on freedom, including the freedom to worship whomever and however one feels (or thinks, for that matter)…or not at all! String theory posits that we’re all made of light, anyhow. Perhaps the light of the Christ (if that’s even what Jesus was) shines in all of us, including him, and the Buddha, and Catholics and Protestants and Jews and Muslims, et al., regardless of whom we CHOOSE to attribute the source of that light to. I call it God, because it makes communication easier, but I’m also to understand that this essence (love, perhaps) is within us all. And we can choose to engage it, or we can continue, within the dynamic of human nature, which of course contains free will, to deny the power of love, and instead live in fear. All we ever truly have is the moment, the here and Now, and when I have chosen the way of Love, and turned away from fear, my moments have gone MUCH better. That all being said, everyone, myself included, has their own path, their own journey, their own trials and tribulations and their own lessons to learn. It’s a process, and we’re all in it, whether we like it or not. And if not, that’s okay, too. Live and let live, live and let die. In the immortal words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?” Shalom/Salaam/Pax/Peace be with you all. It’s a beautiful thing!



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Annonymous

posted September 2, 2006 at 6:34 am


to windbender: — Transliterated, Unaccented 1 John 4:12 Theon oudeis popote tetheatai. Ean agapomen allelous, ho Theos en hemin menei kai heagape autou en hemin teteleiomene estin. Translation: No one has ever closely examined God. If we love each other, God remains in us and His love is perfected is in us. (some versions say have ever seen God but the actual meaning of the prolonged verb is to look closely at or by implication to perceive.) I would say that closely follows the answer in Exodus 3:20 to Moshe s request to see God. Stone s commentary says: This simile refers to a complete and unadulterated perception of God. To achieve such a perception was impossible, but God would allow Moses to see His back (v23) i.e. a vague degree of knowledge.



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Wanda Lauzon

posted September 2, 2006 at 7:20 am


Scott, Words can not express the sorrow for the horrendous suffering and loss of life meted out to your family during the holocaust. That is a hideous loss. I am so sorry for your loss. Even though all of my known family came to America during the 1890 s, I still can t look at photos without tearing up or watch reenactments without sobbing. I m over 50 and I just can t get over it and I didn t experience a loss like you and your family did. Shalom.



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anon

posted September 2, 2006 at 7:56 am


might be of interest to someone, g’nite everybody. Peace be with you:)This week’s promise: God will help you understand his Word Is the Bible really God’s Word? All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.2 Timothy 3:16 NLT The Word Transforms Dr. E. V. Rieu was a classical scholar and translator for many years. He rendered Homer into very modern English for the Penguin Classics. Rieu was 60 years old and a lifelong agnostic when the same firm invited him to translate the Gospels. His son remarked: “It will be interesting to see what Father makes of the four Gospels. It will be even more interesting to see what the four Gospels make of Father.”The answer was soon forthcoming. A year later, Rieu, convinced and converted, joined the Church of England.In an interview with J. B. Phillips, Rieu confessed that he had undertaken the task of translation because of an “intense desire to satisfy himself as to the authenticity and spiritual content of the Gospels.” He was determined to approach the documents as if they were newly discovered Greek manuscripts. “Did you not get the feeling,” asked Canon Phillips, “that the whole material was extraordinarily alive?” The classical scholar agreed. “I got the deepest feeling,” he replied. “My work changed me. I came to the conclusion that these words bear the seal of the Son of Man and God.” From J. B. Phillips, The Ring of Truth. quoted by R. Kent Hughes in 1001Great Stories and Quotes (Tyndale House) pp 28-29 Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House



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Efraim

posted September 2, 2006 at 9:35 am


Being ignorant about the nature of Judaism is not an example of free thinking for Jews or non-Jews. If I were confronted with a Jew for Jesus I would explain why I, as a Jew, cannot accept today’s version of Jesus’s teachings. Jesus posits the idea that belief in him will absolve one of one’s sins. He also said that one is born in a state of sin so there is no escaping the condition without belief in Jesus. This is absolutely contrary to Jewish thinking. One sins by deeds. One avoids sinning by not doing evil deeds. Being a sinner is not a natural state of being but a consequence of actions over which a person has a choice and is responsible. Judaism allows one to repent but not through belief, rather through prayer (when the sin is against God) repentence and charity (good deeds) when the sin is against another human being. One final point, Judaism, especially in its early formative period did not concern itself with rewards in the afterlife. You act well in this life for the sake of acting well and not in expectation of some reward. You are created in the immage of God because unlike the lower forms of life you are given free will. If it was all a question of reward and punishment you would not have free will.



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windbender

posted September 2, 2006 at 12:01 pm


Efraim – Clearly, as Jews, we recognize that Jesus worship flies in the face of the central tenent of accepting personal responsibility which Christianity side-steps by twisting that basic human obligation into one wherein the acceptance of a personal responsiblity to believe in Jesus as some sort of immortal, thrice appearing, super-messiah wins you the opportunity to roll your own culpability off on him and earn wonderful prizes in the hereafter to boot while the wretched who stand accountable for their own transgressions roast like cheap charcoal. It’s a wonder they can sell this at all, frankly. Annonymous – It seems that the Modern American English rendition of of the King James version of the Latin translation from original selected works is just as prone to misinterpretation, as oft re-ginned versions of Torah,eh?



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windbender

posted September 2, 2006 at 12:38 pm


Further to annonymous; when Torah teaches us that G-d wrote upon the tablets of stone for Moses with His “finger”, no rabbi, and no Jew educated by one, reads that as meant to portray one of the ten digits He has on His hand. Similarly, when it is said that G-d allowed Moses to see his backside, it doesn’t mean the Moshie got mooned by the Lord on Sinai.



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windbender

posted September 2, 2006 at 3:38 pm


Please don’t get me wrong, Jews for Jesus is a catchy name and, as a Christian group, they are, on the whole, a good deal more tolerant than some. Still, the name, while rolling off the tongue with ease, makes about as much sense, when you think about it as Christians for Buddhism. Maybe Krishna Christians would work – you could insist that Jesus was working out the world’s karmah and the International Sociecty of Krishna Consciousness already pitches Jesus as an empowred representative of the godhead, so they wouldn’t object, surely.



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Bev

posted September 2, 2006 at 4:06 pm


Rabbi Waxman, Thank you for your article. I am a gentile who is very thankful to God for my salvation through the Messiah Jesus Christ. He paid the debt that I could not pay for my sinfulness. God in Heaven is perfect, there is no sin in Him. I believe that He revealed Himself through the Jewish race and that Jesus, Himself, came as a Jewish man to this earth (and He came as very much God also) and was the perfect sacrificial lamb for my sin. Rabbi Waxman, I love the Jewish people. I have Jewish friends, believers in Jesus and those who chose not to believe. I can tell you, there are many people from other faiths that do not love the Jewish people. 9/11 was a painful reminder of that. I cannot understand your criticism for Jews for Jesus. The people who are part of that organization love the Jewish people. They would never bomb a synagogue, but they would help clean-up and put back together one that was bombed by an anti-semite. So why the unkind words about those that love Jewish people and just want to share with them the scriptures from the Old Testament that point to the truth of the Messiah being Jesus Christ. They are not forcing them to belive but just asking them to consider what is in the Holy Scriptures. My husband is a Hebrew- Christian and works for a Jews for Jesus type organization. I just wanted you to know that we love the Jewish people. Maybe when you are elderly and come to the point of death (although we never know when God will stop giving us our very breath) you too will consider the prophecies of Messiah in the Old Testament and how they are fulfilled in one Holy, Righteous Man who is also God in the New Testament. I will be praying for you Rabbi Waxman, may The God of Heaven and Earth open your eyes to His truth. The Lord Bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give You His Peace, the Peace that is found in the Messiah, only in Him is there peace with God and peace within our soul. He died for your sins too, Rabbi Waxman. He loves you! Repent from your sins and believe that Yeshua paid the penalty for your sins when He died on the cross. I apologize for all the “Christians” that have hurt and killed Jewish people in the name of Jesus Christ. Actually, they are from the devil and do not really know the Messiah or they would never have done those evils. Shalom



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted September 2, 2006 at 6:13 pm


Scott–I Googled the two authors you suggested and could find only one book review of Nicolls’ work-it was from a publication put out by a group promoting Christian-Jewish friendship. The review was negative calling the book “pessimistic.” There were more reviews of Goldhagen’s book on the German people being Hitler’s “Willing Executioners.” Most of the reviews were by Jewish writers and scholars and were VERY negative. One said his book was “worthless as scholarship” another said: “Full of factual errors.”



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anon

posted September 2, 2006 at 6:27 pm


The Book of Genesis says that God created man in his own image. I would think it would be worth considering that God so loved a humanity that continued to worship idols because thy had trouble believing in a God they could not see and laws that no man could follow without folly, that He chose to personally come to Earth to show us who He is and show us how to live. This did not give us license to sin but did give us a hope and forgiveness. No mortal man can follow the law flawlessly. he knew this from the beginning. He also knew the hearts of men, the ones that live trying to obey God. He didn’t want to condemn us because we fall short. He knew also that his sacrifice would forever offer redemption from sin, that the law in itself could not and cannot do. The free will is, we can choose to believe or not to believe. Yes, I believe that Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah and that the Second coming will be when tHe Jewish Messiah comes to reign in Peace and Justice will be served to all those who persecuted his beloved people the Jews, and the rest of his beloved people, the church. The Psalms speak of God as plural. How can we as mere humans say that it is not possible for God to be able to share himself with us bodily and spiritually. We even as humans have body spirit mind. If we were created in God’s image, then it makes sense that God is even more that we are. So the Godhead makes sense even though on a human level it may not be logical.



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Connie

posted September 2, 2006 at 6:44 pm


I am not Jewish but Jesus was and he was born a Jew raised a Jew and followed the Jewish path and he died a Jew. At first those who followed Jesus who were not Jewish joined the Jewish faith. It was some 40 years after his death that Christain came along. I feel Jesus was not out to make a new religon but to help his own religon to grow and get right. It was Paul who tried to make it a new religon not Jesus. I can not find any were that Jesus said he was God on earth. We are all Sons and Daughters of God we all have the spark of God in us. It would be so much better here on earth if each of us would except that and stop this with you do not believe you are going to hell. This sounds like kids on the play groud my Daddy and beat your Daddy up. We need to grow up. Connie



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Gregory

posted September 2, 2006 at 6:44 pm


It all boils down to theology, not to Jewish-Christian relations and killings in the last 2000 years. Because no matter how many Jews killed Christians, and how many Christians have killed Jews….. this does not affect any Eternal Truth that would be of God’s. And so theologically, we see that Judaism and Christianity are simply INCOMPATIBLE… it’s really quite that simple: INCOMPATIBLE THEOLOGY. Christians would agree, that a group calling themsleves “Christians for One non-Trinitarian God” or “Christians for Brahma” are not real Christians… same should apply to Jews for Jesus… they aren’t pracitioners of Judaism’s theological tenets because they believe in a Trinity and a man-god concept of the Creator.So it doesn’t matter who killed how many of each……. theologically, there is no right to use tactics such as JforJ’s to convert Jews, just like it is intellectually dishonest for Jews to create a gathering called “Christians for the One Alone.”



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shelly

posted September 2, 2006 at 6:56 pm


To the person that brought up Josephus, He betrayed his command by killing the other members of his group or unit and surrendering to the enemy. His history is fine as long as you’re working with the original translation – my antique copy is translated by the Catholic church and very suspect. Even if you are working with an original you need to remember he was writing for his oppressor audience and not worrying about total truth! Wanda, the question I was asking was who killed Bar Kochba and his followers. Thousands were killed so much so that the Rabbis wrote they had been killed by plague, so that others would not be tempted to follow in their footsteps. Th first followers of JC were Jews and could be called Messianic. However, as people like Paul spread the gospel the word was spread to the gentile or pagan and there the split began. Paul’s epistles to Timothy show that beautifully. I don’t think that Jews hate Messianic Jews – I certainly don’t. However, I would just as soon not have my children and grandchildren exposed to ideas that are not compatible with the beliefs my family has followed for over 5,000 years. I would like them to remain in the mainstream of Jewish belief and not go with this offshoot. There are others like the Kairites, Samaitans, and the Jews in Arab Countries who followed another Messiah and then were all converted to Islam. I am happy with the status quo. I think you should be happy for me and respect my beliefs instead of all this – please be happy and accept JC our Lord stuff. If you want to be Messianic, or a Jew for Jesus, that’s fine – but don’t shove down my throat. I’ve had Christians doing that all my life and can do without it from people who profess to be Jews.



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Scotto

posted September 2, 2006 at 7:31 pm


Hi, I am not Jewish, but a believer in the Jewish Messiah Yeshua. I want to tell you that after becoming more Torah observant in my faith and walk with God, I got persecuted for that fact by non-Jewish Christians, only because they have been taught incorrectly as to their identity to the Jewish people and to Israel – something that’s been going on for a couple thousand years now. I have also been persecuted by Jews who think that I want to “convert” them, when I have made no such effort. A person can’t be “converted”, but has to choose to believe one way or another. I think that if you are following God, you are going to get messed with, simply because following Him means going against the world system of thought that is opposed to the ways of God. There are a lot of people that aren’t Jewish in the Scriptures (Noah and Abraham to name a couple) but are still considered worthy of heaven by God’s standards for one simple thing – their faith and belief in Him. As a believer in the Jewish Messiah, I am counting on this fact. I am counting on the reality of God, His truth and His justice.



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Scott

posted September 2, 2006 at 8:54 pm


Deacon John, Perhaps you should Google Father Nicholls better. And check Amazon.com and BN.com.



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Scott

posted September 2, 2006 at 8:56 pm


I want my son to grow up with a Jewish community, in the Jewish religion, with a Jewish culture, and (G-D willing) marry a nice Jewish girl. Jews for J threaten all of that. They prey on the young. I can guarantee you my son will grow up knowing the frauds they are.



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YEHOSHUA COHEN

posted September 2, 2006 at 10:09 pm


RABBI WAXMAN IS ON THE RIGHT PATH WHEN HE TALKS ABOUT THAT A MARGINALLY RELIGIOUS JEW’S REACTION TO JEWS FOR JESUS IS PREDICATED UPON 20 CENTURIES OF PERSECUTION AT THE HANDS OF CHRISTIANS. I TEACH ALL WHO WILL LISTEN THAT THE GUYS WHO WROTE THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES WERE JEWS. AND THEY WROTE TO JEWS ABOUT A JEWISH EXPERIENCE CONCERNING A JEWISH RABBINIC FIGURE THAT THEY SAW AS THE MESSIAH. IT IS ALL JEWISH LITERATURE BY A SECT OF 1ST CENTURY JUDAISM. SO HOW DID IT BECOME THIS STRANGE GENTILE RELIGION THAT PITS JEW AGAINST JEW AND JEW AGAINST CHRISTIAN AND CHRISTIAN AGAINST JEW? AT THIS POINT IT MIGHT BE MOOT SAVE FOR OUR MUTUALLY SHARED ISLAMIC ADVERSARY THAT WANTS TO KILL ALL US INFIDELS JEWS AND CHRISTIANS ALIKE. THIS MAKES THE POINT NO LONGER MOOT. THERE ARE MANY REASONS WHY JEWS ACCEPT CHRISTIANS BUT NOT JEWS FOR JESUS TYPES. AT THE ROOT WE FILL THAT ONE OF OUR OWN HAS BETRAYED US SOME HOW. WHILE CHRISTIANS DO HAVE SOME AGENDA TOWARDS JEWS GENERALLY THERE IS A NON CONVERSION TRUCE THAT HAS BEEN CALLED. HOWEVER JEWS FOR JESUS’ MISSION IS TO CONVERT JEWS TO THEIR WAY. AND HERE I THINK WE FILL THE DANGER. CHRISTIANS DON’T HAVE A CLUE HOW TO TALK TO US ABOUT RELIGIOUS IDEAS. BUT ONE OF OUR OWN DOES. SO WHY FEAR CONVERSION. A TWO FOLD MENTALITY THAT IS REAL. CONVERSION MEANS ONE STOPS BEING JEWISH AND WE HAVE BEEN ASSIMILATED [SEE STAR TREK THE BORG] AND SECONDLY THE JEWISH COMMUNITY REINFORCES THIS IDEA BY DISOWNING A CONVERT TO CHRISTIANITY. THESE REALITIES HAVE LEGITIMATE ROOTS IN OUR HISTORY THE KAPOS WHO COOPERATED WITH THE NAZI CHRISTIANS WERE OUR OWN AND HISTORICALLY CHRISTIANITY HAS USED SIMILAR DEVICES TO DIVIDE US AS A PEOPLE. SO NOW WE JEALOUSLY GUARD OUR JEWISH IDENTITIES FROM THE CHRISTIAN INVASION. NOT A BAD THING. I THINK IT STRANGE THAT A RELIGION THAT BEGAN WITH ALL JEWS, LEAD MY JEWISH RABBIS AND SCHOLARS HAS BECOME SOMETHING THAT JESUS HIMSELF WOULD NOT RECOGNIZE. THIS NON JEWISH FORM OF CHRISTIANITY NO LONGER ALARMS US. IT DOESN’T LOOK JEWISH ANYMORE JEWS FOR JESUS IS TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT FOR THE JEWISH PSYCHE. THERE WE PERCEIVE A THREAT. WHY? IT LOOKS VERY JEWISH IN MANY WAYS AND WE HAVE TO GRAPPLE WITH THE CONCEPT THAT JESUS AND ALL HIS FIRST CENTURY FOLLOWERS WERE JEWISH THEY BELIEVED HIM TO BE THE MESSIAH OF ISRAEL AND INSTEAD OF DELIVERANCE FROM PERSECUTION THAT WE SOUGHT VIA THE MESSIAH WE HAVE SUFFERED TWO THOUSAND YEARS OF PERSECUTION BY THOSE THAT CLAIM JESUS IS THE MESSIAH. THE QUESTION BEGS. HOW CAN THOSE THAT FOLLOW ONE THEY CLAIM TO BE THE MESSIAH OF ISRAEL CUT THE BREASTS OFF OF NURSING JEWISH MOTHERS SO THAT THEIR CHILDREN WILL STARVE TO DEATH. HOW CAN THOSE BELIEVERS IN JESUS MARCH JEWS OFF TO THE OVENS. WHILE THE JURY IS CLEARLY OUT ON THE IDENTITY OF THE MESSIAH IT ISN’T OUT ON THE VERDICT CONCERNING CHRISTIAN’S PERSECUTION OF B’NAI ISRAEL IN THE NAME OF JESUS WHO IS CLAIMED TO BE THE MESSIAH OF ISRAEL. ONE WOULD THINK THAT IF JESUS IS THE MESSIAH HE WOULD FIND BETTER VOICES FOR HIS MESSAGE TO ISRAEL THAN THOSE OF MURDERERS OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. IF JESUS IS THE MESSIAH CHRISTIANS HAVE DONE EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER TO DISPROVE THAT FACT TO THE JEWISH COMMUNITY IN THEIR ACTIONS AND HATRED TO US OVER THE LAST TWO THOUSAND YEARS. WE AS JEWS HAVE BECOME COMFORTABLE WITH THE WALL THAT SEPARATES JEWS AND CHRISTIANS FOR IT HAS HELPED US REMAIN SAFE FROM CHRISTIAN ZEAL AND WRATH. JEWS FOR JESUS TEARS THAT WALL OF PROTECTION DOWN IN OUR JEWISH PSYCHE AND WE ARE STRUCK WITH SOME RAW REALITIES. ONE WE WE’RE NEVER SAFER JUST DOING WHAT WE WANT, WE’RE ONLY SAFE WHEN WRAPPED IN THE TORAH SHABBAT SHALOM



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T.C. McCloud

posted September 2, 2006 at 11:22 pm


John said the above and as a Jew, I have to agree with Rabbi Waxman. or rather One can be an Athiest and be a jew, but not any of the others. Why? Because if you look at HOW jews have framed their Concept of the nature of god, there have been ALL kinds of frames, from Rational, to Existential, to Pantheist. But what unites these dsifferent philosophical points is the concept that jews are jews from birth to death. As a Friend of mine one time said to me:”An Italian Catholic can convert and become a Lutheran, but he never loses his being an Italian; If a jew Converts to become a Lutheran, he loses his jewishness”, he doesn’t have an identity, like the Above mentioned Italian.



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MJAA is just as bad as J4J's

posted September 3, 2006 at 1:11 am


The Messianic Jewish Alliance is just as bad as the Jews for Jesus organization.{Yes run by Christains too} They will flat out lie to your face. Thank goodness so many are leaving that organization as in a weird way people start comparing the Hebrew scriptures with that of Messi/j4j Christian theological teachings and their scriptures and find out they just don t add up and leave and start embracing TRUE Judaism. Well? At least we can thank them for that LOL



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Ron Silverman

posted September 3, 2006 at 1:46 am


Slice your Challah however you may want, but in my Book, a “Jew for Jesus” is a CHRISTIAN, period!!!



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JOHN DOE

posted September 3, 2006 at 1:47 am


THANK YOU for your comments, Rabbi. I participated in a local so-called ‘community Bible study that was purported to be ‘interdenominational.’ That is, Christian Evangelical/fundamentalist ‘interdenominational.’ They tried to ‘evangelize’ me at nearly every meeting! They finally quit when I began giving them long lectures about the Christian Antisemitism that led to the Holocaust and, also, how Christians HAVE, IN FACT, MURDERED MILLIONS OF NATIVE AMERICANS IN THE NAME OF SO-CALLED ‘EVANGELISM.’ THERE IS A NAME FOR SO-CALLED ‘JEWS FOR JESUS’–THAT NAME IS CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY/BIGOT!



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Wanda Lauzon

posted September 3, 2006 at 3:29 am


Shelly, WHO is shoving? I have not pushed anything except live and let live. There is absolutely NO THING in history that justifies or rationalizes what has happened to us for thousands of years. However painful, it is a tradition for Jews to tell the down side as well as the upside: Jews do not force or proselytize, except for one misguided moment with Edomites and look where that got us. We got Jews that weren’t really Jews, the Herodeans who hooked right up to the Romans.Bar Kochba was a tough defender of Jewish observance and history reports that included removing groups that would not recognize him as messiah. If you don’t like that, rewrite history any way you want to if it makes you feel better. I can accept this about our history and I will agree to disagree. This topic is pure poison to normally level headed people and the Rabbi’s should be ashamed. We don’t need to have outsiders denigrate, we can do that all by ourselves??? Good night!



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shelly

posted September 3, 2006 at 4:21 am


Wanda, I’m sorry if you misunderstood my post. I was just referring to Bar Kochba in that part of the post to you. I heard all kinds of things growing up about Bar Kochba and have read some about him as well. I found myself not following your comments about him and was trying to get you to clarify your post. I should have sent two posts and that way there would have been no confusion. Who killed Bar Kochba? Who was the enemy he was fighting? Sorry if I was not clear. I was very aware that some thought Bar Kochba was the Messiah.



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senlin

posted September 3, 2006 at 5:30 am


Damn, this board is long and out-of-hand compared with all the other, equally interesting topics these rabbis have written on… :PWhat I find interesting is the fact that I know several people who were Christian, became involved in Messianic Judaism, and eventually converted to real Judaism. I wonder to what extent MJism, and J4J, are actually leading Christians into Judaism instead of vice versa. Oh, the irony!



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daisy

posted September 3, 2006 at 8:25 am


The number counting and deciding that a few dead are nothing compared to many dead is disturbing. Both dead are equally important. As a Black and Native american I would not want to hear anyone tell me that because only 6 blacks and 3 Indians were lynched in this county and 500 whites were killed in an Indian massacre that the whites suffering is more important. Those 9 dead count to me if no one else and the 100 had loved ones they were important to also. All are equally important to God. At the same time, Christians must understand that to say what’s the matter with Jews worshipping Jesus is to not understand how most Jews see the world and think. From the studying I’ve done of Jewish faith and culture I came out with the conclusion that it is a faith, yes, but also a way of seeing that world that influences all aspects of life. Stop trying to pretend to understand it. We can’t without a lot of effort to see as jews do not see jews as Christians do. But this goes for jews to. The surprisingly venomous insults about Christianity on this board come in part from seeing Christianity from jewish eyes and not as Christians do or understanding as Christians do. If you’re not able or willing to see from the other point of view then you can’t possibly understand why the other reacts as they do. It would seem that instead of Jews who believe in Jesus trying to force their views on other Jews,would it not be better to respect their feelings and leave it alone? Bum rushing your way in and forcing the issue does not seem to be winning any friends and further alienates you. At the same time at some point it would seem that majority Jews would do well to try and understand how Jews who believe in Jesus see the world and how they got to that point. They don’t have to accept it, but understanding wouldn’t hurt.Even if they aren’t considered to be Jews religiously are they not Jewish culturally, and therefore part of the family?Eventually, there has to be forgiveness.The bitterness and anger on these posts is so strong. Seems like it can’t be healthy to be so angry, but as an Black/Native American I understand. Though I am Christian,I harbor an equally deep anger towards the founding fathers and slave owners, etc,who were racist and allowed slavery to exist and massacred Native Americans.I don’t care if so and so had slaves but treated them well. I have little patience for those who try to placate my anger and say get over it.I don’t want to do the same thing here. I know my anger,no, fury isn’t healthy either, and at some point I’ll have to forgive but right now I’m not there. So, though I speak of the need for forgiveness, I know that anger ,bitterness and,yes, fear run very deep and are justified. Daisy



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windbender

posted September 3, 2006 at 2:03 pm


“The surprisingly venomous insults about Christianity on this board come in part from seeing Christianity from jewish eyes and not as Christians.” Exactly so, Daisy.Jews see Christianity as a religion based, in part, on the belief that Jews themselves don’t understand their own Torah, have been incapable (though some prefer “unwilling”) of understanding it for the last two thousand years and are hell bent (literally) on continuing to do so. That, Daisy my friend, goes beyond insulting and is, in point of fact, an image of Jews that has been the root cause of much suffering by the Jewish People.Less than a half-century ago one, out of every two Jews in the world was murdered. However poorly other Christians regard those who guarded the camps, manned the firing squads and both bought and sold the Zyklon-B, to pretend they weren’t largely Christian is simply wishful thinking. Not that I believe you to be holding forth that idea.



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Jethro

posted September 3, 2006 at 2:51 pm


Wanda My understanding is that Bar Kochba did have a number of Jewish Christians killed during his revolt against Rome, but the killings were not religiously motivated; those Jewish Christians refused to take up arms against Rome and thus he viewed them as traitors. I think Scott’s previous points were that some Christians try to absolve Christian hostility against Jews by pointing out that we started it, so to speak. But there is really no historical evidence that Jews killed Jewish Christians for their beliefs.



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windbender

posted September 3, 2006 at 3:38 pm


The perpetrator of violence always blames the target – always.



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Kathy

posted September 3, 2006 at 4:09 pm


I disagree with the Jews for Jesus being a bad thing for Jews. A Jew is simply one with the bloodline of the ones that broke off from the Tribe of Judah, thats it. Nothing less, nothing more,and they can believe anything they want, and should believe in Jesus, why wouldnt they ? He was THEE Jewish MESSIAH.



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shelly

posted September 3, 2006 at 5:05 pm


Kathy, Are you trying to be inflammatory? Or have you not read anything that has gone before? If you like Jesus then you Worship him and enjoy? Don’t tell others what they should do or think. For the record, I’m from the tribe of Levi not Judah. Maybe you should just to some reading!!



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Steve

posted September 3, 2006 at 5:47 pm


Jews for Jesus can be buried with Christians when they die. Jews cannot and must not be buried with Christians. Jews for Jesus cannot be buried in a Jewish Cemetery because a real Jewish rabbi would never conduct the ceremony. A real Chevra Kadisha would never accept the purchase of a grave for a Jew for Jesus. A real Chevra Kadisha would never allow a Jew for Jesus to be buried in a Jewish Cemetery. A real Chevra Kadisha would not carry out the final arrangements either. We can accept these folks as Christians, or as Noahide. Have a great day.



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windbender

posted September 3, 2006 at 6:22 pm


Being a Jew and beliving that Jesus was (or is) G-d is akin to being an atheist and accepting the same idea. It is not possible to reject the idea that G-d exists and believe in Jesus as the very thing in which one does not believe in the first place any more than it is possible to believe, as a Jew, that the messiah will be an ordinary man selected by G-d to lead the world in peace and at the same time accept the notion that Jesus was that person. That so much confusion can exist within the Christian community about the nature and character of fellow Christians speaks volumes about their unfamiliarity with the roots they profess to honor my making this absurd attempt at fellowship.I have good neighbors. They don’t pretend to be part of my family. That respect for me is part of what I love and value in their friendship. It’s not a difficult lesson.



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TJ

posted September 3, 2006 at 7:29 pm


“THERE IS A NAME FOR SO-CALLED ‘JEWS FOR JESUS’–THAT NAME IS CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY/BIGOT! JOHN DOE | 09.02.06 – 7:52 pm | #” John Doe? Is that your real name? TJ



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Wanda Lauzon

posted September 3, 2006 at 7:39 pm


Whether Bar Kochba was motivated by religious reasons or not is something that could be debated for all time. Would definitive evidence put the question to rest 1,865 years later? The point is that it was historically reported and has been widely accepted as factual. Anyone can deny that it happened or attempt to justify it, but to what avail? Does that alter the historical report? The other point is that the Bar Kochba revolt was quashed by Pagan Rome and if we insinuate that it was Christian Rome, we are about 150 years to early. Christians don’t know any better and they think they are doing us a service by telling us their beliefs. No one is forcing anyone to change and doesn’t one good turn deserve another? Why wouldn’t you just want to encourage them to keep studying Torah? They believe they’re already inclined to it. That couldn’t hurt anyone, but this, all this hurts people and I think it hurts us the most. That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor.Besides, in the whole scheme of things, an anti-Semite does not care about the finer distinctions of and within Judaism. To an anti-Semite we d all be in the same boxcar (as someone mentioned before) and that s enough for me to feel inclined toward kindness instead of hostility.



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windbender

posted September 3, 2006 at 8:31 pm


Bigot, John Doe? Some of my best friends are bigots. Truth be told, I see prejudice in myself, don’t you? Shucks, if someone wants to call themselves a member of Agnostics for a Loving Savior, it’s ok by me. I’d find it foolish and vain, but I don’t think I’d stroke out over it.



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daisy

posted September 3, 2006 at 11:22 pm


Windbender, I don’t think most Christians have any idea of the depth of anger many Jews have towards Christians. It is difficult to deal with and there’s no idea of where or how to start to make amends. This is a problem many Blacks and Nat. Americans have also. There is still a deep anger and most whites are so uncomfortable they either go into severe denial,hyper PC mode,or develop a strange puppy dog like guilt complex that ends up being just as insulting. It’s difficult for everybody.I’ve been reading about South Africans and Tibetans who were actually able to forgive their torturers through one of their own cultural teachings. I’d like to get to that point but it is difficult for me to relate to it at this point. But it is beginnig to dawn on me (still a vague glint)that, in part these people forgive because anger and hatred will eat them up and drive them insane.I’m still curious as to what they do with the fear of extinction or the fear of a repeat of the former crimes, as well as how do they deal with the pain,grief and loss. Daisy



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windbender

posted September 4, 2006 at 12:10 am


I’m not sure, for Jews, that the issue isn’t more one of a hard-earned and long-taught fear of what other faiths seem to be capable of when it comes to our particular faith, rather than anger. I might kill your neighbor and make you angry, but if I murder your entire family and every single person related to you on which I can lay my hands and don’t stop until forced to and, even then, having slain half the population of the entire planet bearing your name, you are apt to be a great deal more fearful OF me than angry AT me. The history of the Jews, if nothing else, has taught them two things; to value learning because it holds the key to a better life and to fear gentiles because they will resent your success and use any means to strip what you have from you – even your faith, if allowed to do so.Nelson Mandella and the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission have shown the world that forgiveness is never a mistake and, by doing so, been a blessing to us all. You make an excellent point in bringing it up, Daisy.



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted September 4, 2006 at 2:29 am


I wonder–I am Irish Catholic and have read many books of the Great Hunger caused by the British wherein 3 million or so Irish may have been brutally starved to death for being Catholic (Soup was offered by many Protestant churches contingent on conversion and was mentioned in a book by Leon Uris -not a Catholic). Also the Diaspora it caused may have been one of the biggest in the history of the world. This came after 400 years of horrendous persecution of Irish Catholics. To this day the British still hold a corner of Ireland causing a great deal of modern friction. Yet growing up in a very strongly Irish-Catholic oriented family -passing on stories of all the sufferings and savagery directed against us and the previous generation or two–I am sometimes dumbfounded by the sheer open hatred some carry in their souls–almost like a badge of honor- against other religions, races, or ethnic groups which have wronged them. For all the grisly stories I’ve heard passed down and all the literature, past and present, I’ve read from the Irish-Catholic point- of view, I’ve never run across hatred directed against the British people the way some today carry on hatred against people who have wronged them currently or in the past. Is this determination to never forgive anything, to use historical memories or current events to stir up fresh hatred between groups (instead of using those stories to take pride in the survival strength of one’s own group or as poignant, tragic nostalgia or as examples of how not to behave yourself) something modern??Is the victim culture in America people talk about a breeder of a hatred culture?? Are there too many groups whose financial well-being and continued existence are based on keeping hatreds and grievances alive?? Are there too many such groups who have a vested interest in seeing the failure of better relations across group lines??



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Kaleb

posted September 4, 2006 at 2:40 am


What? “You can believe what you want, BUT NOT IN JESUS”?!?!?! Why? Because you have a problem with Jesus being a man and God? Why do you still follow what Rabbis did back then? They persicuted him. And so he turned to the Gentiles and they said “Yes you are Lord”! And after God and Jesus turned away from you bad things ahve started happening to the Jews. I wonder why? Make the connection. By the way I am still in High School and I have it figured out and you don’t!



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HASH(0x213f6d1c)

posted September 4, 2006 at 3:44 am


Actually, Jesus didn’t turn to the gentiles. His other followers were Jews…



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Adam J. Bernay

posted September 4, 2006 at 3:47 am


It never ceases to amaze me. Self-righteous members of mainstream Judaism say, “For the most part, you can believe (or not believe) and do (or not do) whatever you want and still be Jewish.” And then you suggest you think Yeshua is the Messiah — not that you’ve abandoned Torah, go to a church, worship on Sunday, etc. … and simply because you believe Yeshua is the Messiah, suddenly you’re not a Jew anymore. That’s incredibly arrogant. Your essential comment in saying it’s something you’re born into and you can believe whatever you want is to say God makes you Jewish. Who are YOU to say, then, that a believer in Yeshua is no longer Jewish? Yes, Christians have done terrible things, based on theology that has NOT A THING to do with anything Yeshua or His actual followers said or wrote. Just saying you believe in Yeshua as Messiah does not mean you believe that disgusting theology, or that you support those things done in the name of it. This is why Messianics — true Messianics, not the Jews for Jesus types — use “Yeshua” instead of “Jesus,” because that is a line of demarcation — the real Messiah Yeshua didn’t teach those things. The mythical “Jesus Christ” is said to endorse them. One is real. The other is the lying myth a paganized institution created. You cannot deny my Jewishness because I believe in Yeshua as Messiah. It’s not yours to deny, it is God’s.



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Gregory

posted September 4, 2006 at 3:54 am


It all boils down to theology, not to Jewish-Christian relations and killings in the last 2000 years. Because no matter how many Jews killed Christians, and how many Christians have killed Jews….. this does not affect any Eternal Truth that would be of God’s. And so theologically, we see that Judaism and Christianity are simply INCOMPATIBLE… it’s really quite that simple: INCOMPATIBLE THEOLOGY. Christians would agree, that a group calling themsleves “Christians for One non-Trinitarian God” or “Christians for Brahma” are not real Christians… same should apply to Jews for Jesus… they aren’t pracitioners of Judaism’s theological tenets because they believe in a Trinity and a man-god concept of the Creator.So it doesn’t matter who killed how many of each……. theologically, there is no right to use tactics such as JforJ’s to convert Jews, just like it is intellectually dishonest for Jews to create a gathering called “Christians for the One Alone.” Gregory | 09.02.06 – 12:49 pm | #



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Karin

posted September 4, 2006 at 4:34 am


Excuse me, if I briefly go back to the original subject on Jews for Jesus. When I first saw their sign, all I could think was “huh?” A Jew believes in one G-d and is still waiting for the Messiah to come; a Christian believes in JC and the two views mix about as much as oil and water! A group of us from the shul “invaded” their premises and found a pamphlet titled “How to Convert a Jew.” One of lines I remember in particular said something to the effect of “do not be put off by your new friend’s eating habits”. The list went on, roughly 25 points in all. The focus was on converting us! Not two years later, a J4J came to the all night study group after Shavuot and began his “stuff”; after 2 hours, he was asked to leave … not because he was a J4J who came to study, but because it become obvious his mission and purpose was to disrupt study and to preach about JC. I can relate to Scott’s pain in losing family; my Father, of blessed memory, was in the 3rd infantry division and helped liberate some of the camps; he found family members, so painful for him that he would not speak of it some 58 years later. Consequently, I am the last surviving member of my family (both daughters have preceded me in death, no grandchildren). The other thing I would add is the importance of the Amidah, said in silence and in community; one of the lines is we pray “the Chosen People, converts and all righteous men should know G-d … there are many paths to heaven.” I don’t care what your path is; I do care that you let me follow my path. Living here in Bible Belt America, leads to many attempts at conversion. I have learned to say “I am not going to say my way is right and your way is wrong, but I will say your way is wrong for me, the same as my way is wrong for you.” Shalom and good night.



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windbender

posted September 4, 2006 at 5:57 am


Were that simple courtesy returned, Karin, this thread would never have had a starting place. That’d have been nice, eh?



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windbender

posted September 4, 2006 at 6:07 am


Confucious taught that by understanding the hear of words, the heart of the men who speak them can be learned. I think that when you read here remarks like those suggesting a “vested interest in failure” and the less obscurely stating accusation that “bad things” happen to Jews because the mangod Jesus has turned away from them, one can begin to clearly see the kind of heart from which these assertions spring.



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Thomas Stein

posted September 4, 2006 at 8:27 am


Have faith in your blessed and fleeting existance here on Earth,and do not allow your beliefs to be swayed by any detractor before your birth or during the course of your life. In this life try to be more of an observer and a listener, rather than a fruitless participating(VERY) LOUD speaker(s)of false notions. To sum it all up, a human being at the age of six(6) was told by other children of a similar age.. You do not believe in G-D! This was pondered for some time thereafter, because the child was not aware of the word. However, this child had a sense that it had a very profound meaning. Several years later, this child began attending a sactuary of peace and security – a sort of refuge from the mundane. Within, its walls were embracing the Ten(10) Commandments and the Twenty-Third(23) Song OF David. Every Friday Night and /or Saturday morning this child would quietly recite the words and estab- lish a self imposed life-long relat- ionship with the meaning of their texts. This is the essence and back- bone of a true conviction and a last- ing commitment to an unwavering faith to be holy unto one’s self.Most of the above, does not follow the precept(s)of “Life,Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” – Instead, most rely on stories based on the past,and not having “been there” or “done that” themselves re- sort to primitive emotions based upon incitement,rather than the intellect.Therefore, given human nature (for all its worth),given all the would be transgrations without being excused,and “man’s inhumanity to man” without being excused – the only nec- essary course of action is to avoid evil forces by being individually free,intellectually free,and ultimat- ely bound to the supranatural creator There is nothing wrong with being inheriently connected to the almighty. After all is said and done, most of us realize that even the natural wonders of nature are dangerous – so we seek protection with reason. Here to, we must be ever careful not to arouse destructive emotions bent on dividing and con- quering individualism sacred to any way,shape,or form of religion as we think,and know it today. Without further adu,let us all herein remain in the present – searching with minds wide open – which is our future – while looking back with profound soul searching for the purest of good in the darkest momentshours,days,months, years,decades,centuries,and generations of human history. Surely, the good spirits will out- weigh the miserable conditions and circumstances gone bye. Understandably, the past is not completely buried – if it were – we may not be here at all – and if it were – we may not be here as we are today. Let us leave a lasting legacy of surrender,creativity,construction and preservation to the generation(s) that will exist two thousand years from now. For a change, let us be selfless.



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Thomas Stein

posted September 4, 2006 at 8:27 am


Have faith in your blessed and fleeting existance here on Earth,and do not allow your beliefs to be swayed by any detractor before your birth or during the course of your life. In this life try to be more of an observer and a listener, rather than a fruitless participating(VERY) LOUD speaker(s)of false notions. To sum it all up, a human being at the age of six(6) was told by other children of a similar age.. You do not believe in G-D! This was pondered for some time thereafter, because the child was not aware of the word. However, this child had a sense that it had a very profound meaning. Several years later, this child began attending a sactuary of peace and security – a sort of refuge from the mundane. Within, its walls were embracing the Ten(10) Commandments and the Twenty-Third(23) Song OF David. Every Friday Night and /or Saturday morning this child would quietly recite the words and estab- lish a self imposed life-long relat- ionship with the meaning of their texts. This is the essence and back- bone of a true conviction and a last- ing commitment to an unwavering faith to be holy unto one’s self.Most of the above, does not follow the precept(s)of “Life,Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” – Instead, most rely on stories based on the past,and not having “been there” or “done that” themselves re- sort to primitive emotions based upon incitement,rather than the intellect.Therefore, given human nature (for all its worth),given all the would be transgrations without being excused,and “man’s inhumanity to man” without being excused – the only nec- essary course of action is to avoid evil forces by being individually free,intellectually free,and ultimat- ely bound to the supranatural creator There is nothing wrong with being inheriently connected to the almighty. After all is said and done, most of us realize that even the natural wonders of nature are dangerous – so we seek protection with reason. Here to, we must be ever careful not to arouse destructive emotions bent on dividing and con- quering individualism sacred to any way,shape,or form of religion as we think,and know it today. Without further adu,let us all herein remain in the present – searching with minds wide open – which is our future – while looking back with profound soul searching for the purest of good in the darkest momentshours,days,months, years,decades,centuries,and generations of human history. Surely, the good spirits will out- weigh the miserable conditions and circumstances gone bye. Understandably, the past is not completely buried – if it were – we may not be here at all – and if it were – we may not be here as we are today. Let us leave a lasting legacy of surrender,creativity,construction and preservation to the generation(s) that will exist two thousand years from now. For a change, let us be selfless.



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Thomas Stein

posted September 4, 2006 at 8:44 am


To One and All, The above is addressed to one and all. Have a good night, and when the new sun rises in the heavens…Have a safe and wonderful day.



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Thomas Stein

posted September 4, 2006 at 8:44 am


To One and All, The above is addressed to one and all. Have a good night, and when the new sun rises in the heavens…Have a safe and wonderful day.



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Zero-Equals-Infinity

posted September 4, 2006 at 1:53 pm


Evangelism is always a problem. It is terribly regrettable that it is a core belief of so many Christians. If instead of trying to convert a Jew to a Christian, the Christian simply lived his life according to the Beatitudes, loving his neighbour, tending to the sick, and destitute and in other ways manifesting God’s love, how in the world could there be an objection? But that is not what happens is it? And so what we have is a history pogroms, diaspora and the holocaust. “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. ” – Mahatma Gandhi



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windbender

posted September 4, 2006 at 3:34 pm


“Surely, the good spirits will out- weigh the miserable conditions and circumstances gone bye.” Indeed so, Thomas Stein. Every step, however flawed, is a step forward.



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TJ

posted September 4, 2006 at 5:48 pm


Adam J. Bernay? I don’t think I could have said it better myself. Shalom in Yeshua,TJ



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Karin

posted September 4, 2006 at 6:03 pm


Were that simple courtesy returned, Karin, this thread would never have had a starting place. That’d have been nice, eh? Yes, it would have been, Windbender! I love it when evangicals come to my front door; I simply point to my mezzuzah. A lot leave immediately. Unfortunately, some, want to argue, and to force feed me their truth. I lost my temper, G-d forbid, one shabbes afternoon, and ordered him off my property in language I learned in the Army. (Sigh)



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Big Poppa

posted September 4, 2006 at 6:15 pm


Jews for Jesus is an oxymoron, for guess who?



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windbender

posted September 4, 2006 at 8:38 pm


Uh… Jews? No, that can’t be it. Must be the other guys.



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windbender

posted September 4, 2006 at 8:47 pm


Karin – I try to be patient. Everybody from Witnesses passing out the Watchtower to the local Baptist Church throwing a “community cookout” at the local fire hall to troll for members is common in my end of the woods. Have to admit though, it gets a bit tiresome explaining for the thousandth time that I haven’t spent the last fifty-six years in a cave and really really HAVE heard of Jesus and don’t care to have the Protestant verson of the Tanakh explained to me through the lense of the New Testament, thank you very much.



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Scott

posted September 4, 2006 at 10:01 pm


For Adam and TJ and simply because you believe Yeshua is the Messiah, suddenly you’re not a Jew anymore. That’s incredibly arrogant. Your essential comment in saying it’s something you’re born into and you can believe whatever you want is to say God makes you Jewish. Who are YOU to say, then, that a believer in Yeshua is no longer Jewish? Because you choose to believe a man is god, and that makes you an idol worshipper and cut off from the Jewish people. Don t like it? Tough. Don t associate with us. You cannot deny my Jewishness because I believe in Yeshua as Messiah. It’s not yours to deny, it is God’s. Yes we can and we will. G-D entrusted this to us and you are out. You want back in? Stop worshipping idols. Gentiles don t have Torah so they aren t sinning by believing in him. But you are.



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Leigh Anne

posted September 4, 2006 at 10:33 pm


Sadly, I can see exactly why the Rabbi feels this way. “Christians” will not be appealing to MANY groups due to their history unloving activities. Being a “believer” is obivously VERY different from being a disciple. Also, the creed many “Christians” recite does often has no effect on their day to day activities, and how they treat people they disagree with, or who are different from them.



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Heavyn

posted September 5, 2006 at 2:11 am


One evening a Caribbean daughter was on her way to visit her mother who lived near Kingston Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. As she alighted the subway train at Kingston Ave and made her way towardws the exist, she noticed a single-mother with a stroller and baby in tow. She watched the single-mother contemplate the assent she was about to make, alone. Now this happened on a Friday, early evening, about twenty-seven-minutes before the Queen and Holy Sabbath was due to arrive. The subway station was Kingston Avenue where droves of Jewish men, sincere in their faith, where feverishly pacing towards to exist to reach the synagogue before sundown. The woman watched, in the shadows, as the single-mother, contemplated her next move, while simultaneously wondering if any would come to her assistance. The Caribbean daughter watched as the Jewish men first filed past her,then filed past the single-mom; not one offering to help her, with her carraige, up the stairs. The woman could bare it no longer, and approached the single-mom and offered to help her on her way. Now, the women, being a non-Jew, chose not to judge any of those men, because maybe, just maybe, in their heart, they may have wished to help the single-mom, but could not because of the fear of offending G-d on the Sabbath, through their action. But the woman did remember a King of Blessed Memory, named David, who she believed, if he walked among those men that day, would not have left the single-mom to her own devices, even if it was just prior to the Sabbath. How does she know this? Because it is written in the Tanakh, by the hand of G-d, his Father, of him, he is a man after, ‘G-d’s own heart’. She knew this G-d of David, would not leave, that single-mother, any single-mother, any mother or woman for that matter, in distress; for He is the G-d of Justice and Kindness. And all those who love Him and serve Him, though imperfect, strive to exhibit His behaviour, not just in thought, but in deed. As the Caribbean daughter parted company with the single-mom and her child,and headed towards the home of her mother, she couldn’t help but think to herself, if she were a man, and if she practiced Judaism they way she saw it exhibited just moments before, could she, would she, be living a life that was pleasing before her Father and Creator G-d?Would she be living a life worthy of Eternal communion with a Holy, Loving and Just G-d?”With men, it is impossible, but with G-d, all things are possible.””For G-d sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world, through Him might be saved.” AH:London



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windbender

posted September 5, 2006 at 2:50 am


Lovely, just lovely – a story about uncaring religious Jews and the baby Jesus who would turn them from their stiff-necked observance of tradition. Gotta love those special stories.Let me lay one on you: When I was a kid of no more than eleven, I watched a black woman struggling with two grocery bags climb onto a city bus in Chattanooga as I rode toward my Hebrew School class that day. Blacks had only recently won the right to sit in seats other than those in the back. The bus was packed. A Jewish kid I know got up to give her his seat while every adult white male watched her fight to keep from falling on her face. How many of them do you suppose were Christians? Doesn’t have the flair of “Caribbean daughter”, I’ll admit, but it is factual.



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Heavyn

posted September 5, 2006 at 3:11 am


Dear Windbender,If both our factual accounts have served to cause the reader to consider a change in their behaviour towards kindness towards his fellow man, irrespective of his/her religious affiliation or practices, then our exhortations would have served as a means towards an end, and not an end within itself. “As Iron sharpeneth iron: so a aman sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Mishlei 27:17



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shelly

posted September 5, 2006 at 4:59 am


Have any of the Jews for Jesus or even the messianic jews considered that if Jesus came back today he may be horrified at what happened religiously and politically because he tried to reform some practices within his own faith. He never tried to establish a new religion. CAn you imagine his reaction to people “hawking” religion is his name door to door, when he was so against money lenders in front of the temple gates? On top of that there would be the Crystal Palace in LA, and all the others huge Cathederals. Maybe he had better not come back!!



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Karin

posted September 5, 2006 at 5:38 am


Windbender – I should have explained I had asked the watchtower person to leave, very politely, 4 times prior to losing my temper. His friend saw on the 4th request that I was about to lose it and tried to get him away from me. My atonement has been to try to maintain courtesy in spite of rudeness.If I remember correctly from the other board, we are “neighbors”, about 200 miles apart. I read the subway story, too. Funny, I have been disabled for 20 years and have learned to ask for help. My first thought was the gentlemen assumed she was waiting for her husband. The Orthodox men I know would have gladly helped, if asked; they would not have otherwise, simply not kosher. I am amost fifty-eight and remember well 1964 … after all the first civil rights workers killed in the deep south were young Jewish men.My experience was on a plane (1970), flying into DFW on my way home. I was carrying two babies because their parents had been in an accident and each had a broken arm … I took long looks of disdain from white folks, guess they I assumed I was the babies’ mother. It would be so easy to say they were all Christians (a logical assumption in the US), but I will try to maintain courtesy, eh?



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Thomas Stein

posted September 5, 2006 at 9:43 am


To Windbender,My hope is that you did not miss the points I made above You say…”Every step,however flawed is a step foward.” On the surface of ordinary affairs,this statement only sounds good. However,within a profound sense of both reason and logic – Not every flawed step taken is a step foward.Therefore,it stands to reason always – a step backwards in time,place,and space is not nece- ssarily destructive to the path of rightousness. And this path of rightousness, leads one and all (who choose to find meaning in this life) to find whomever’s footsteps of near- perfection enroute to the inevitable The Alter of the Most Holly – The Almighty Lord. That in order to find this path, one or all who choose to find meaning in this life – must walk with the Almighty, while embracing the Ten(10) Commandments, and in the very last breath- recite the Twenty-third(23) song of David as one or others truly believe in their final resting place. And just for final effect,one or others might want to take along with them – a copy of the Declaration of Independence, a copy of the Constit- ution, and a copy of the Gettysburg Adress. Just a lasting gesture of gratitude from the Free, the home of the Founding Fathers of Liberty,and the land of Lincoln. Is (has) there (been) anything better to cite sameness? In essence then, Any one who walks peacefully and rightously with G-D in all the days of their lives will discover their place in eternity – clearly defined as infinite serenity. Can it get any better than this? G-D Blesses Everyone on this Topic, but what the Almighty has yet to comprehend is this… Most of us are still lost! So,the question is…How do we find our way out of the dark tunnel? For surely there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the murdered,maimed,persecuted,tortured, oppressed,surpressed,and ostracized.. If a blind person can envision G-D in their hearts,minds,and souls… Then…Why can’t a person who is a seeing eye witness to all around them can’t find G-D in all the right places in time? When the sun sets benieth the horizon causing darkness…this does not necessarily mean that the sun no longer exists – In the same way… When the sun rises again above the horizon does it necessarily bring light and warmth to those who would ignor a good aspect in their lives. It seems apparent to all who cherish such a natural event…it is much better for us that they remain sleep- in the dark forever. Have No Regrets Have No Shame – Know Where We Came From – Know Who We Are – And For Heavens Sake! Know Where We Are Going Just choose a path and”WALK THE WALK”



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Thomas Stein

posted September 5, 2006 at 9:43 am


To Windbender,My hope is that you did not miss the points I made above You say…”Every step,however flawed is a step foward.” On the surface of ordinary affairs,this statement only sounds good. However,within a profound sense of both reason and logic – Not every flawed step taken is a step foward.Therefore,it stands to reason always – a step backwards in time,place,and space is not nece- ssarily destructive to the path of rightousness. And this path of rightousness, leads one and all (who choose to find meaning in this life) to find whomever’s footsteps of near- perfection enroute to the inevitable The Alter of the Most Holly – The Almighty Lord. That in order to find this path, one or all who choose to find meaning in this life – must walk with the Almighty, while embracing the Ten(10) Commandments, and in the very last breath- recite the Twenty-third(23) song of David as one or others truly believe in their final resting place. And just for final effect,one or others might want to take along with them – a copy of the Declaration of Independence, a copy of the Constit- ution, and a copy of the Gettysburg Adress. Just a lasting gesture of gratitude from the Free, the home of the Founding Fathers of Liberty,and the land of Lincoln. Is (has) there (been) anything better to cite sameness? In essence then, Any one who walks peacefully and rightously with G-D in all the days of their lives will discover their place in eternity – clearly defined as infinite serenity. Can it get any better than this? G-D Blesses Everyone on this Topic, but what the Almighty has yet to comprehend is this… Most of us are still lost! So,the question is…How do we find our way out of the dark tunnel? For surely there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the murdered,maimed,persecuted,tortured, oppressed,surpressed,and ostracized.. If a blind person can envision G-D in their hearts,minds,and souls… Then…Why can’t a person who is a seeing eye witness to all around them can’t find G-D in all the right places in time? When the sun sets benieth the horizon causing darkness…this does not necessarily mean that the sun no longer exists – In the same way… When the sun rises again above the horizon does it necessarily bring light and warmth to those who would ignor a good aspect in their lives. It seems apparent to all who cherish such a natural event…it is much better for us that they remain sleep- in the dark forever. Have No Regrets Have No Shame – Know Where We Came From – Know Who We Are – And For Heavens Sake! Know Where We Are Going Just choose a path and”WALK THE WALK”



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windbender

posted September 5, 2006 at 1:31 pm


Thomas Stein – The struggle of humanity as a whole is not one of unerring pefection. As you fail, you may yet benefit by having learned what does not work. Edison may not have been maimed and murdered, but he still failed many times along his path. That effort, and his eventual success had, more to do with his own commitment to the task at hand than his religious bent, I suspect. He added to the world making it a better place. That he may, or may not, have believed in your Jesus does not bear on that fact.



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Karen

posted September 5, 2006 at 6:18 pm


Dear Rabbi Waxman, I have been reading a lot of your articles lately and I am very upset, I have been thinking about converting, as all of my friends are Jewish, my boss is Jewish and my mother and sister are Jewish. I personally do not celebrate any high holidays accept with friends. I agree with your comment that “As you said Judaism is a heritage–not a religion.” And may I remind you that Christians were crucified and slaughter by the thousands for their beliefs as well as African-Americans, the Irish and every other non-American race out there. I understand all of the oppression and killing of Jews since my mother s best friend s were there and servived the holocaust, however, I find your outlook very discouraging and I hope that the majority of the Jewish population does not agree with you. I have been a follower of Zola Levit s ministry for many years, he is a “messianic Jew” which I suppose even though he was born to Jewish parents raised in Israel and traveled back more than a thousand times to the holy land, I guess in your outlook he doesn’t qualify to be Jewish. Rabbi Levitt died recently and I wish he were here to read this article. It is sad that religion forces us to be so separate from one another, that is if we believe Rabbi’s, priests, and all of the other clergy that share your anti-Semitic views. how can there ever be peace when Rabbi’s are ex-communicating their own, and Catholics are setting new rules everyday on who is and isn’t saved, it really makes me want to cry, we have gotten so lost in stupid opinions of regular men, that we have forgotten that the only opinion that counts is the one that is divinely inspired, and I can venture a guess that Mr. Waxman’s is not. Sincerely, Karen Rockwell



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jethro

posted September 5, 2006 at 8:21 pm


Karen Actually, the majority of Jews do agree with Rabbi Waxman–belief in Jesus is incompatible with Jewish belief, regardless of stream. As many of the previous 200 or so posts have stated, converting to Christianity does not change your heritage, but it will forever change your relationship to our tribe. Many Jews will remain friendly with family members who are converts to other religions; but should you convert and then missionize other Jews to leave Judaism for Christianity, you will undoubtedly feel very, very negative vibes. You can certainly believe that the only opinion that matters in the end is God’s. But if that is true, then we as Jews have His opinion in the Torah, and no matter how Christians spin the Trinity, it is incompatible with the Torah’s call to strict monotheism. Best of luck in your spiritual quest. But you certainly can’t expect the dwindling Jewish community to smile and pat you on the back and tell you that conversion to Christianity is kosher. b’shalom



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shelly

posted September 5, 2006 at 8:49 pm


Karen, Are you Jewish now? To what have yuu been thinking of converting? and if it’s not too personal – why??? No recriminations, or judgements – I’m just trying to understand where you’re coming from.



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By BELIFE J4J's/Messis ARE CHR

posted September 5, 2006 at 9:49 pm


Too bad they couldent just be honest,as by birth some involved in j4j/ The messianic Alliance of America are born Jews while the majority are not, because they follow christian theology AND teachings by BELIFE they are then in fact CHRISTIANS. nuff said.



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Scott

posted September 5, 2006 at 11:22 pm


Karen, Calling the rabbi anti-Semitic is perverse. Most Jews feel as he does. So I guess all of us Jews are anti-Semites, huh? And if your mother is Jewish, you are Jewish. You didn’t need to convert to anything. All you could do is leave – which you did.



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Wanda Lauzon

posted September 6, 2006 at 12:15 am


Should the entire Jewish population of the world be judged by the actions of the likes of Benjamin Bugsy Segal and Meyer Lansky, to name just two of many ruthless Jewish-American mobsters? How about judging JUST the American Jew by these wise-guys? Ridiculous!! To condemn all Christians to the same mindset as Hitler or the KKK, just because they went into a church, is ridiculous. Many people attend shul, synagogue and, yes, churches for show, to climb the social ladder or to add legitimacy to their actions, without devotion to ANY tenets taught therein. And yes, atrocities have been perpetrated by individuals or entire rulings classes but until the Messianic Age comes, it won t stop. What are you doing to manifest this change? People are part of the solution or by default, part of the problem. Evil is evil and a choice posed to one and all. Lashon hara is evil and it is the root object lesson of more parashas than not. WE teach that it is the same as attempted murder. So, anyone raking all Christians and J4J s into an anti-Semite pile with pogroms and the holocaust-spewing hatred while they rake, is guilty too. It s not just rude or a pain driven indiscretion and it certainly is not defending Judaism, it s a murderous plot.



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windbender

posted September 6, 2006 at 1:09 am


While certainly there is a marked difference in ridding the world of Jews by conversion, as opposed to execution, the end result would be a Jewless world. Muslim fundamentalists and Christian fudamentalists share this goal, of course. Don’t expect me to cheer your selection of method.



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Scott

posted September 6, 2006 at 1:31 am


Wanda, I absolutely reject what you just said. We are comparing the history of Christianity and who associated with it. No one said “all” Christians. However, Jews for J entice other Jews to convert to idolatry, and that is spiritual murder. The penalty for such action was the death penalty. Since this isn’t the messianic era, this cannot occur.



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Karin

posted September 6, 2006 at 2:57 am


Karen, Forgive me, but you sound terribly young, like “converting to Judaism” is akin to changing churches. As Scott said so well, if your Mother is Jewish, so are you … unless your Mother converted to Judaism after you turned 13; then, of course, you would have to complete the conversion process. Judaism is so much more than going to services for an hour or so once a week. It is 24 hours a day, seven days and 354 days a year. It is also a whole lot more than celebrating some holidays throughout the year. Just a suggestion, but you might consider finding a shul you like and attend services for a year. You also might consider asking a rebbe if you can study with him … either to gain knowledge and education or studying to convert, as applicable.



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windbender

posted September 6, 2006 at 3:22 am


Outstanding suggestion. Torah study at the knee of someone trained in Torah is the backbone of Jewish tradition. Begin for whatever reason, but begin. In time – perhaps sooner than you may expect – the reason will become clear.



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TJ

posted September 6, 2006 at 4:17 am


To Scott……..You STILL have not been able to reduce the fact of Jewish nationality. Born Jewish does NOT change what we are…….what I am. Accepting Jesus years later cannot change my nationality and its the same for ALL other nationalities as well. Yes our beliefs are different but not our bloodline. And maybe you should step back and ask yourself why you have SO MUCH hate for those not of your beliefs. Does your belief encourage such hate? Mine doesnt. There are many, many people in this world with different beliefs than yours………..so sad you carry that much hate inside you for so many people. All that hate is going to eat you up inside. Shalom in Yeshua,TJ



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Scott

posted September 6, 2006 at 5:01 am


TJ, Hate? No. Ever-vigilent to every threat to our community. See, I got dunked and I played Christian for a couple of years – and I had people sit shiva for me. So I know how deadly serious this is. I might have been a Jew because I had a Jewish mother. But I was not a part of the people. I fixed that. Maybe we can’t define exactly what a Jew is, but we sure as hell can tell you what a Jew is not – and idol worshipper is right up there for not making the cut.



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Brenda

posted September 6, 2006 at 3:34 pm


Shame , shame on all of you judging, lest we forget that we are all on our way back home to God,and he is not so small minded to care which road we take. Love your neighbor as thyself. Plain, and simple.



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jethro

posted September 6, 2006 at 6:07 pm


Brenda Based on all revealed religions, God actually does care which road we take. He was pretty clear when giving the ten commandments that the Jews were not to worship any other Gods, and that would include worshipping a man as part of a triune Godhead. Jews don’t judge Christians for believing in the trinity. We do judge members of our tribe who adopt a new religion and then try to convert our children away from our ancestral ways. And if Jews for Jesus loved their (Jewish) neighbors as themselves, they would cease their efforts at missionary activity.



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eastcoastlady

posted September 6, 2006 at 6:58 pm


Does your belief encourage such hate? Mine doesnt. Who on earth are you trying to kid? Of course your religion encourages such hate! Or has ancient as well as very recent history escaped you?



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TomC

posted September 6, 2006 at 7:48 pm


The “New Testament” accounts sound to me they describe Jesus as being a Jew. I am not Jewish so I may be wrong, but they make it sound like he was an observant Jew. I would like to hear from any Jewish posters here that have read the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John if there is anything in what Jesus is recorded as actually having said or done that would position him outside of being included as a fellow Jew. I am not talking about things that are based on the later teaching of apostles or church council etc., but just on what Jesus is purported to actually have said and done in the “gospels”. I know there is some debate even on that, as to what actually is historical. From my reading it seems there are some things that would be questionable, such as “I and the father are one”, but then later Jesus uses the same terminology in praying to God about his disciples, when he says something like ‘may they be one with me (Jesus) as I am one with you (God). Jesus said more than once that the Father was greater than him, and that the father knew more than him, and that he did ‘not his own will but the Father’s will’. He even said that he was going to “your God and my God”. So I am wondering if the Christ that the majority if Christians believe in is not to a great extent very different from the actual man Jesus. I have always felt that Jesus WAS a Jew. This is not to say that Jews should convert to Christianity so much as to say maybe we could all, especially Christians, read the scriptures with less preconception and really think about who this Jesus was and what he had to say. I read the gospel of John just last week, and I tried to do so just focusing on what Jesus is recorded as doing and saying, as opposed to trying to read it to support dogmas, and it was like reading a book I had never seen before. The Jesus I saw was different than the one I have been taught about through traditional means. Thanks, Tom



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TJ

posted September 6, 2006 at 8:04 pm


Does your belief encourage such hate? Mine doesnt.Who on earth are you trying to kid?Of course your religion encourages such hate! Or has ancient as well as very recent history escaped you? eastcoastlady | Homepage | 09.06.06 – 1:03 pm | # Ok eastcoastlady. How does my beliefs promote hate. Im not talking the humans……Im talking strictly the belief part. And no. History hasnt escaped me. Shalom in Yeshua,TJ



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted September 6, 2006 at 8:23 pm


“And if Jews for Jesus loved their (Jewish) neighbors as themselves, they would cease their missionary activity.”-jethro Because of a few factors this statement is wrong. If one loves his religion (any religion) wholeheartedly, he usually considers this faith as a great gift providing wonderful and illuminating experiences and knowledge of The Truth and of God. Thus to want to share this gift is an act of love and charity. Unfortunately, some who want to share their faith do it in ways many rightly find objectionable. The phrase “Jews for Jesus” has unique problems. Many people–especially in America–consider Judaism only a religion–in which case there can be no such thing as “Jews for Jesus” unless you are actually saying: “Jewish converts to Christianity for Jesus.” On the other hand, if you consider Jewish people being of a certain ethnic-cultural group with roots originating in the Middle East, but having lost all religious moorings, then “Jews (Middle Eastern Semites) for Jesus” has to be regarded as acceptable as “Irish for Jesus.” However, it is easy to see how those Jews who consider Judaism only a religion or both religious and cultural-ethnic would be particularly upset at the slogan as being flagrantly erroneous. There are two real ironies at work also–those not of Jewish background who support the “Jews for Jesus” movement seem to be among the strongest supporters of Israel and vigorously opposed to anti-Semitism in our society. On the other hand SOME of those of Jewish background most upset at the phrase “Jews for Jesus” seem to no longer have a belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and are only “cultural remnant” Jews who are really not fighting to protect a particular undertanding of or revelation from God, but to protect merely a man-made (from their atheist or agnostic view) a man-made artifact. All of these ins and outs is what makes this issue so fascinating and also why–as a bottom line–it should not become an uncivil debate and make us glad that, as Americans, our heritage is to debate such issues with mutual respect and with freedom to go one’s own way and follow one’s own lights.



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Scott

posted September 6, 2006 at 8:28 pm


If one loves his religion (any religion) wholeheartedly, he usually considers this faith as a great gift providing wonderful and illuminating experiences and knowledge of The Truth and of God. Thus to want to share this gift That is your great error. Ours, of all the Abrahamic religions (and, believe me, we do consider it far superior to the other two, given their history), believe that the rigteous of all the nations have a place in the world to come. Hece, we do proseltyze. There is no need. Other faith proseltyze with the point of a sword – accept or die or (more recently) accept or be ostracized from society.



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postxian

posted September 6, 2006 at 8:49 pm


Christians always try to “own” Jesus. It is as if only they can interpret his teachinng and ministry. But the fact is that Jesus was the consummate Jew of his time. Jews should embrace Jesus as one of their own, which he was. But they should not embrace him in the way that ‘Jews for Jesus’ does, which is a deliberate deception. It isn’t Jews for Jesus per se, it is actually Jews for Christ. Their interpretation of Jesus is Christian and not Jewish. The core of Jesus’ ethical teaching, and his political and social message, are rooted in the Judaism of his time. Jesus didn’t set about “reforming” Judasim. His life and ministry were an expression of it. All the abstract Christology etc., came much later after Jesus had died. (Not that there’s anything wrong with it–I’m not demeaning it at all.) Basically Christianity is only one interpretation of the meaning of Jesus’ life. And there are a lot of variations on that interpretation, even among Christians. But truly, Jesus is Judaism’s gift to the world. And that gift can be appreciated by all, not just Christians.



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jethro

posted September 6, 2006 at 9:20 pm


postxian How was Jesus the consummate Jew of his time? He believed the world was going to end, counseled his followers to not make any provisions for their material well-being, was shocked that the gentiles he met had any faith, and openly rebuked his mother. Jesus was not any better a Jew than Hillel, Akiva, the other rabbis who developed the Talmud and the Zohar, the first hasidim, etc. While we can certainly appreciate many Jewish religious figures, we don’t worship ours as God. I’ll take the Ethics of the Fathers over the Sermon on the Mount anyday.



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jethro

posted September 6, 2006 at 9:28 pm


Deacon While I understand that some Christians proselytize out of a sincere desire to share their faith, it is a slippery slope that also depends on a particular religious chauvanism–ie, “my religion is the only true one, so to save you from hell you should believe like me.” And the secular, atheist Jews who are upset about Jews for Jesus–they are not upset for religious reasons, as you correctly point out, but they are protecting the tribal/cultural identity of the Jews. From a Christian world view it makes no sense ( afer all, “there is neither Jew nor Greek….”) as Christianity explicitly developed the idea of a religious person seperate from ethnic identity. But for us, the two are intertwined. The Jews who don’t believe in God–their ancestors still stood next to mine at Sinai, and that explains why so many of them flip out at conversion attempts.



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shelly

posted September 6, 2006 at 9:28 pm


Brenda, I honestly don’t think there is any judging going on. If you are born Jewish you are born Jewish, but if you accept Jesus you no longer fit in with mainstream Judaism.I think a lot of this very strong feeling is that in Europe for centuries there have been forced conversions and pogroms or massacres usually at Easter. The Jews in Spain were forced to leave everything they owned, or convert. If they were caught practicing Judaism after that they were tortured and killed by the inquisition. In Portugal, the King made all the jewish children wards of the state, and your choice was leave and leave everything including your little wards of the state, or convert. There is even a special prayer in the Kol Nidre service re them coming and praying with the rest of the jews. Many of these secret Jews – converted but still trying to be jews- went to Brazil and Mexico to escape the Inquisition, which followed them!! The catholic Church still has prayers that are said concerning the conversion of the jews. In todays world we have the evangelicals who constantly tell their followers that Jesus cannot return until the last jew has converted or accepted Christ. We are imposed on constantly by one group or other trying to correct our beliefs, and I’m sure most of us have felt attacked, even if only verbally, on more than one occasion. Despite all the remarks on this site to the contrary,even today not every Christian accepts that Jesus was Jewish, but there are still many who consider that each and everyone of us Jews is responsible for his death! Does this help a little in understanding that most of us cannot be very happy about those who abandon our faith or who seek “completion” by accepting Jesus, regardless of what they call themselves.



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted September 6, 2006 at 10:19 pm


Shelly–In one evangelical school of thought when the last Jew is converted (through love and persuasion-not force) the Second Coming of Christ will occur. And they look forward to it.However, some of the Church Fathers claim that it will be a terrible time for mankind and to pray that you won’t be around when it occurs. I’m one of those Catholics who believes that sharing your faith (through persuasive argument and love) is bestowing a gift and that that gift must be offered to all peoples including Jews.. However, from the descriptions of the Second Coming in the Gospels, I hope plenty of Jews are always around to keep the universe in existence. Isn’t there a Jewish legend that there are 10 “Just Men” -all Jews, I think- who keep God’s wrath at bay? I think there was a novel years ago called “The Last of the Just” though I can’t remember if it was on this religious topic.



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Scott

posted September 6, 2006 at 10:20 pm


Once we embrace him, what should we do? Squeeze?



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Scott

posted September 6, 2006 at 10:21 pm


I believe the American Council / College of Catholic Bishops has said it was inappropriate to evangelize Jews. And I believe the Vatican approved that statement.



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shelly

posted September 6, 2006 at 11:15 pm


Deacon John, I have no problem with sharing of information and comparing customs. I have friends who are every denomination. They have joined us for Chanukah and lit candles with us, and we have had them for Passover Seder. We have lived in many different areas and many of them whom I am still in touch with refer to those times with much affection. That’s because we were sharing not trying to convert each other. There is a major difference.



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shelly

posted September 6, 2006 at 11:25 pm


TJ, you keep saying nationality and that is not appropriate. The word you want is ethnicity. There are plenty of Jews who are Jewish in ethnicity – meaning they like chicken soup and bagels, – and nothing else. That is also true of other people all around the world. The difference is that you can be born Jewish and be Spanish, Greek, Chinese, American, British, German, etc and that means you will have mixed ethnicity. You are Jewish with an overlay of your National culture.However, that does not make you a Jew religiously. For the record, I don’t hate anyone who chooses another religion. I feel sorry for them. I feel they lose so much, when they “could have stayed home” and learned more about what they already had. I also feel sorry for us as a people, because for each one of you that leave, we number one less, and I find that and our reduced number very sad.



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted September 6, 2006 at 11:55 pm


Scott–I think they were saying not to set up programs–like “Jews for Jesus” that SPECIFICALLY target Jews:: That Jews are part of the overall “Great Commission” from Jesus Christ to go out and “make disciples of all nations.” In the Gospel he did not say either: :”Target the Jews” or “Except the Jews.” However, all the first Christians were Semitic (would Hebrew be a proper word to also use?) who had became followers of who they believed to be the Messiah. And historians say Christianity spread primarily by way of the Jewish communities throughout the Roman Empire.



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windbender

posted September 7, 2006 at 12:02 am


Exactly so, Shelly. For someone to try to lay claim to “the fact of Jewish nationality” speaks volumes concerning their familiarity (or lack thereof) with what it means to be a Jew. I became a Jew because my mother is a Jew. I remain a Jew because, in the face of countless enticements, persistent encouragement and outright threats, I have not accepted Christianity. You can’t walk on both sides of the street at the same time.



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shelly

posted September 7, 2006 at 4:19 am


Deacon John, Corintians,Galatians,Ephesians, Phillipians,Colossians, and Timothy were not written to Jews or Jewish communities. They were written to Gentiles and pagans and with missionary intent. The passage in which Paul denigrates Peter in Chapter 2, for the purpose of dropping Jewish law and customs, does not speak well for Paul at all. The first followers may have been his fellow Jews who were fervently waiting for something wonderful to happen to improve their lives. There were many “Messiahs” at that time, including one who was a wonderful magician. BUT, Paul targeted the Gentile and pagan masses not the Jews. His apostle Timothy was far from home not in Israel. Jesus was a Jew, lived a Jewish life and did try to correct some of the ills of his time – money lenders in front of the temple, lepers being ostracized, etc – and died a Jew!! His brother James, who was probably murdered by the Romans, did the same. However, Paul was another story. He was happy to accept anyone, and the only thing they had to accept was Jesus. That is when the schism occured and the gap has only widened over the years. Poor Jesus would probably roll in the dust if he knew what has been done in his name, and what has been said in his name!!



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Karin

posted September 7, 2006 at 5:08 am


Well said Windbender … straight and to the point (your post of 9/06/06 @6:07 p.m.) ### Tom C. I cannot tell you I have read “New Testament”, but I will share that I asked the rebbe one time if I should since I live in an are that is 99% Christian. His reply to me was “when you know Torah so well that you can read it it sideways, upside down, backwards and forwards and can learn nothing new, well, then you might take time to ‘read’ it”. I will be 58 tomorrow and am still learning … I pray right before I die that I will still be learning! ### But truly, Jesus is Judaism’s gift to the world. And that gift can be appreciated by all, not just Christians. postxianAt the risk of sounding uncourteous and rude, you are kidding? Your opinion, which is fine for you, but it is certainly not mine! I know several Muslims who would totally disagree with your statement “appreciated by all.” (They might list Abraham, since he is also the father of their nation.) Have you not read all the posts in which we state we are monotheistic? You have already seen dozens of other names listed by other posters. Scott, Jethro or Windbender could list those far better than me, be it from history, religion, medicine, legal or whatever. Maimonides asks in the 13 tenets of faith, “do you believe the Messiah will come?” I studied on this one simple question for almost two years before I found my answer which is ‘not in my lifetime’.Hard sells just don’t work with me.



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shelly

posted September 7, 2006 at 5:27 am


Tom C, I have read the New Testament. I was “lucky” enough to study it as a book of English Literature for 4 years of high school with a baptist missionary teacher. I can’t say I enjoyed it. However, in college I took a course in the Old Teatament with a fabulous professor. I then took his class in the New Testament. That I did enjoy, although the Christians in the class did not. The reason for this is that he went from the original documents, and as he knew at least 10 languages, most of them dead, he showed us exactly where phrases were added or information deleted; in each case the original meaning was totally altered. If you noticed a difference in the meaning just by reading with open eyes, imagine what you would have noticed if you could read it in aramaic.



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Scott

posted September 7, 2006 at 5:27 am


Deacon John, But what of the American Council of Catholic Bishops?



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windbender

posted September 7, 2006 at 1:16 pm


“(Jesus)…can be appreciated by all, not just Christians.” Certainly this is true, just as anyone can appreciate the life of Ghandi without being Hindu. But accepting the notion of Jesus as the messiah is the very definition of Christian. Conversely, it is not the definition of Jew.



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eastcoastlady

posted September 7, 2006 at 7:28 pm


Shelly, Very interesting post. I can only begin to imagine what a shock to the system it was for those previously comfortable in their beliefs in the NT and then being shown that it’s largely a farce. (My opinion.)



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shelly

posted September 8, 2006 at 12:49 am


East Coast Lady, It was the best class I ever took in college. I enjoyed every minute, and I must admit, after having the trinity crammed down my throat for 4 years I enjoyed the general discomfiture. The Professor was incredible and that was an outsanding plus as well.



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Linda

posted September 8, 2006 at 9:03 pm


Rabbi Waxman, You stated that there are lines that a Jewish person can not cross, and still be considered Jewish. Would you please elaborate on the ‘other lines’, that do not connect with the ability to be Jewish in spite of one’s actions, or no.



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Pete

posted September 9, 2006 at 4:22 am


I have carefully read most of the foregoing blogs, and remain fixed in my own mind of the falseness of the Christian claims regarding Yeshua.Although I am not a practicing Jew, and being of a much mixed ancestry, I find my reading leads me to an understanding of Judaism and its teachings. And I find my inclinations leaning towards the Jewish part of my heritage. I would welcolm some pointers towards a consolidation of my religious feelings, and a fulfilment of religious desires. Any contacts out there?. Pete.



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Thomas

posted September 9, 2006 at 12:08 pm


To Windbender, Why does humanity as a whole or in part have to “struggle” and/or suffer without justification? Why do human beings have to “fail” in order to achieve – For no apparant reason? Whom or What determines that a certain Amt.of failure leads one or others to a certain degree of perfec- tion? Do you think that it is pre- determined and/or premeditated by or through others? Why did you use Thomas Edison’s greatness of invention,and then reduce his efforts to mere task? When you said…”That effort,and his eventual success had more to do with his own commitment to the task at hand than his religious bent, I suspect.” The question is…Do you have any doubt(s) that such a gifted individual could be any less inspired and/or enlightened by the light of another source (Although Invisible) then let us say…The average hard working “shlep” of less distinction? You said…”Edison may not have been maimed or murdered,but he still fail- ed many times along his path.” Are you in fact reducing the maimed and murdered thoughout the course of evolution and human history to mere failure? In a word to the wise and/or the wisest of all of us on this site… The only failures to have ever existed in the presence of The Most Holy of Holy – The Almighty – Here on Earth – Are those who have maimed and murderd in the name of “Evil” – Of course excluding in the name of “Liberty,Freedom,And Justice For All.” Whatsmore and furthermore…Are you in fact stating in an indirect way that the maimed and the murdered have/had no “Heritage” and/or “Faith” path to base their lives upon? And therefore met their obsecure destiny by not walking upon the path to some- where? “I suspect”, according to you, the maimed and the murdered are/were useless,worthless,and force marched into oblivion without notice of appreciation,recognition,and acknow- ledgement – Is what you are really saying?…They don’t deserve to be recognized because, they do not count no matter their “Heritage” and/or “Faith.” And especially,if one or they do not travel upon Windbender’s path to the Alter of The Most Holy – Then they do not count at all! You said…”That he (Edison) may, or may not have believed in your Jesus does not bare on the fact.” WHAT FACT? Please REREAD my two(2) previous texts…Exactly where is Religion, “Edison”,and “Jesus” mentioned? WHERE? Or did you in fact abuse the meaning of religion, the genius of Edison,and the fact that Jesus (like Moses before him) walked the face of the Earth without having maimed or murdered anyone? You say… “YOUR JESUS” – Question… How do you know Jesus belongs to Thomas Stein? Windbender, your smart- please answer all questions specifically without insult. And the path of rightousness leads one and all (who choose to find meaning in this life) to find (Discover) whomever’s (Whatever’s) footsteps of near perfection enroute to the inevitable ( But only reserved to those who adhere to an across the board policy inclusive of not kidnap- ing,raping,maiming or murder.For these degenerates there is No “Citizenship”, No “Relig- ion,” No “Faith,” No “Heritage,” and No “Forgiveness.” – Because when they committed these crimes there was No Consideration, No Compassion, and No Tollerance humanely expressed..Like.. Wait a minute…I’m doing the wrong thing -I’m about to do an evil thing. Yes, there was none of that going on in the hearts,minds,and souls of these criminals) This is why they will never be allowed to enter the root path leading to The Alter of The Most Holy.They are forever forbidden! In essence then, anyone who walks peacefully(ably)and rightously with G-d in ALL THE DAYS OF THEIR LIVES will discover their place somewhere in Eternity – clearly defined as serenity. Can it get any better than this Windbender? In conclusion, which is a new begin- ning for me…One or others may never be immortalized within the history of man, but it is possible through faith,religion,wisdom,and heritage to be immortalized at he footsteps,to the right,or to the left (But never behind) the Alter of the Most Holy. If this is the only recognizable achievement in one’s meaningful but fleeting life – so be it.



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shelly

posted September 9, 2006 at 6:12 pm


Pete, If you really want to know more and see if the Judaic community is where you belong, find a synagogue that gives classes and try one – Basic Judaism, or History would be good, and see where that takes you. Good luck with finding the right shul and the right class.



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Wanda Lauzon

posted September 9, 2006 at 6:50 pm


The real reason why anyone is afraid of Messianic Jews, J4J s and Christians is that they are totally against assimilation and dilution of Judaism, even to the extent of denying our job description in Exodus 19:6, to be a kingdom of ministers and a holy nation. We answered in verse 8, Everything that HASHEM has spoken, we shall do. Exodus 19:6 is what we were chosen to do and as a holy nation of ministers, it distinguishes us as a chosen people. We have decided not to evangelize or proselytize. That’s fine, but we should never deny our destiny out of fear. If you don t think we ever looked at ourselves as priesthood for the nations as well, then why the 70 bulls at Sukkot? Instead of seeing God as omnipotent, perhaps steadfastly stuck in our of fear we see God as impotent?? I don t see Judaism disappearing from the face of the earth, not unless it is possible for God to somehow be moved or changed.There are well founded and good reasons to guard against assimilating pagan worship. But if fear of dying either by the sword or assimilation is what still keeps us from some of our original duties (to the nations), then we do not see God as Almighty. One of the worst things that could happen to ALL people of God is to assimilate into the world’s fashion: to think like the world thinks and to follow the world’s lead. Our purpose is to be an example to the world to demonstrate how to worship and how to obey the Almighty. With such a task before us we must be assimilation proof. We must reflect the ancient ways He gave us, because how else can we show that we have something different and better? Since when does any mention of what and how a person views their existence become shoving their beliefs down someone else s throat? It is time to find the courage to set aside our differences and find the places where we can agree, stand together with them and celebrate those places. The sum of the matter, when all has been considered: Fear God and keep His commandments, for that is man s whole duty. For God will judge every deed even everything hidden whether good or evil.



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Karin

posted September 10, 2006 at 4:52 am


Pete, Read Herman Wouk’s “This is My God.”



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Freddie Fish

posted September 14, 2006 at 8:58 pm


Hmmmm… Jenny Moyers seems to be a pretty average American- all beliefs are good and acceptable, but when Jesus crosses the radar suddenly the eyes go red and we start frothing at the mouth. Isn’t that interesting. Seems the Biblical prediction of him being “a stumbling block to the Jews” was pretty darn accurate.



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shelly

posted September 18, 2006 at 6:05 am


Dear Freddie, Perhaps it is not Jesus himself that causes the reaction, but the way his name has been used all these may generations, and all the death and suffering that has been caused in his name.



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Karin

posted September 19, 2006 at 6:26 am


Freddie, Interesting you should say “the eyes go red and we start frothing at the mouth. Are you including yourself as “we” with that image? Messianic?



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Annonymous

posted September 20, 2006 at 6:51 pm


Of course he’s not… it’s like saying, “Aren’t WE cranky today?” or “Aren’t WE touchy today?” when all the time “we” has nothing to do with it. That would be called a euphemism and not necessarily “dishonest or misleading.” Of course, you may call it what you want, depending on how much negativity you want to hang on to.



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T.G.

posted August 4, 2007 at 6:57 am


What does it mean to attach oneself so intrinsically to a cultural, historical, and spiritual background that any suggestion you’re something other than what you believe yourself to be is like an act of destruction? And perhaps something you’re willing to die for as well?



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