Virtual Talmud

Virtual Talmud


Why Jews Don’t Need Jesus

My freshman year of college, I was accosted by a classmate who lived across the hall in our dorm, a born-again Christian whose fervor and certainty I found both compelling and disturbing. Learning that I was Jewish, she immediately expressed her admiration for Jews as “God’s chosen people.” She asked questions about Jewish belief and practice but the one question that she couldn’t get her mind around, the one she kept returning to was, “But you don’t believe in Jesus, right? So according to your religion, how are you saved?”
I, too, had difficulty wrapping my head around that question–it’s such a fundamentally un-Jewish question. My classmate was taking Christian categories and simply trying to find the analogous terms or concepts in Judaism. But of course it doesn’t work that way. Just as languages each have their own flavors and nuances and words that can’t be readily translated into other languages, a religious tradition is a rich system of symbol and meaning with its own integrity. There is no “Jewish” translation of the word, or, more importantly, of the concept of a “savior” like Jesus.


Of all the many reasons this might be so, I prefer one pointed out by one of my teachers. Jesus, according to Christian theology, is given to humanity as a gift from God to remove its sins. In the words of John 3:16 of sports arena fame: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” More plainly, Jesus removes the sins of all who believe in him. As the old Latin mass put it, “qui tollis peccata mundi“–”who removes the sins of the world.” In Christian thought, people need Jesus to remove their sinfulness and lead them to salvation, as my born-again Christian classmate so wholeheartedly believed.
Jews, however, have never adopted the individualistic concept of salvation that marks Christian theology, where salvation is granted on an individual basis to those who accept Jesus as their savior. Judaism, from its earliest stages, has been marked by a collective approach to redemption, rather than individual one to salvation: We pray together to witness the coming of the Messiah, to be taken up as a people to our Holy Land. We pray for God to hear our prayers. This is why Jewish liturgy is phrased almost exclusively in the plural. “Forgive us, pardon us, grant us atonement.” Judaism is a religion of the “we,” not the “I.”
In short, I tried to explain to my classmate that Jews don’t need Jesus. We don’t need someone to hold us when we fall short, we don’t need someone to “save” us because we have each other. Jews recognize that our fate is collective: we rise or fall together. This is the basis of the famous Talmudic saying, “kol Yisrael aravim zeh ba-zeh“–”all Israel is responsible for one another.” (B. Shevuot 39a) We gain strength from knowing we can lean on others when in need, and gain responsibility from knowing that others lean on us. Hand-in-hand, with God’s help, we help each other reach our collective destiny, a destiny of redemption that rests with God, not with a personal savior.



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Daijinryuu

posted July 9, 2007 at 6:33 pm


While salvation may be individualistic, the Christian faith still teaches us that we are meant to be a community. Jesus is amongst us when at least two or three come together in His name. The earliest Christians, as history and the book of Acts demonstrate, always gathered together in small congregations to worship God.



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linoscript

posted July 9, 2007 at 8:49 pm


According to Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, whose book Jewish Literacy I am currently reading, “Judaism has never taught that one has to be Jewish in order to be saved. In contrast to medieval Christianity, which held that there was no salvation outside the Church, the rabbis believed that ‘the righteous of the nations of the world have a portion in the world-to-come.’” While Jews are bound by the 613 laws of the Torah, non-Jews only have to fulfill the Seven Noahide laws in order to be considered righteous from the Jewish perspective.
My impression is, that while there is a concept of a Messiah in Judaism, the Messiah is not a savior, because from the Jewish perspective one is saved by living a moral life according to G-d’s laws.



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Scott R.

posted July 9, 2007 at 9:25 pm


In Judaism, one does not need to be saved from anything.
(except, perhaps, zealous members of other religions)



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dioscora

posted July 9, 2007 at 10:15 pm


i wanted toknow your rules of conduct and the talmud and the torah and maybe learn the aramaic alphabet if ever there was. in my childhood i was always moved when ever i learned there was someone who will teach or talk about GOD. i always disobey my elders not letting me come to that gathering or teaching as iwanted somuch toknow about GOD. why am i like this i dont know. what i know is that i wanted to learn and know about GOD. now that im 60 still very much interested, as i feel that up to now i have not found the real teaching or knowledge about the great creator and father of all. thank you



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jennifer

posted July 9, 2007 at 10:48 pm


Hi! I was raised a god fearing christian with a non religous jewish father. I have always been very drawn to jewish people and the unity they share but because my mother is christian and my father was not really very present I never told many people but have been researching what it really means to be jewish and am I really jewish if my mother isn’t? Jenn



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Michael S. Buchko Jr.

posted July 10, 2007 at 2:28 am


I know that there is a form of Judaism who believe in Jesus as a Savior and is fundamentally Christian, with the exception of still holding the Jewish traditions and laws dear to them. I don’t know much about Jews, but I would like to know more. I can’t really imagine the concept of not having Jesus in your life, but whatever works the the individual is good enough I guess.
And Jenn, yes you can be Jewish even if your mother is not. You have the right to freely express any religion you feel like, so be anything you want to be. Whatever it is that your heart desires.



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CS

posted July 10, 2007 at 9:48 am


There is no form of Judaism that accepts JC as a saviour (if they do–automatically not Judaism), merely Xtian groups that appropriate Jewish symbols.
Reform Judaism holds that you can be Jewish if your father was Jewish if you were raised Jewish. Conservative and Orthodoxy require that your mother was Jewish for you to be considered Jewish.
If you want to convert to Judaism you can, but there is a formal process, you can’t just start doing Jewish things and automatically be considered Jewish.



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Lin

posted July 10, 2007 at 11:33 am


Jen ~ What CS stated is true. Reform Jews recognizes paternal descent where Conservative and Orthodox recognize only maternal descent. The way that will affect you is if you want to get married by a Conservative or Orthodox Rabbi or make alliah to Israel. You can still go to any Temple or Synagogue, learn about the traditions, join a study group or take some classes. If at this time you are learning about your Jewish roots keep learning. You will know if and when the time is right for you and you decide you would like to have a formal conversion.
I was brought up in a Reform Congregation and knew more about why certain things were done then my ex husband who was brought up Orthodox. The answers are out there but I think you have to want to find them.



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Lin

posted July 10, 2007 at 11:38 am


This article was great. I work in an office of about 150 people and approx. 5 of us are Jewish. I get asked many questions about being Jewish and try to explain to the best of my knowledge. The question, “But, you don’t believe in Jesus?” comes up a lot and I have always given the short answer of, “Correct, I don’t believe in Jesus” It will be nice to have another response on the few ocassions that I would choose to engage in that conversation. Thanks.



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Ganapatikamesh

posted July 10, 2007 at 11:48 am


Though not Jewish myself…I’m a Hindu…I have many Jewish friends who often struggle to explain to Christian friends why they don’t need Jesus. I’ll have to tell them to read this post because I think it will help them explain things in the future to Christian friends. I’m not saying it’ll stop the attempts to convert them, but now they’ll be able to provide a better response than just ignoring the question altogether when it is raised by them. Plus I think I learned something even more about Judaism, too! Thanks.



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Tamirah

posted July 10, 2007 at 11:57 am


There are a plethora of reasons that might actually be better than in the original post as to why we don’t need Jesus.



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Tiffany

posted July 10, 2007 at 12:13 pm


Tamirah, would you mind sharing what some of those other reasons might be? I’m sure we would all be very interested in hearing alternative opinions. Thanks.



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amaranth

posted July 10, 2007 at 12:19 pm


Actually what I think is being referred to are Jews who have accepted Jesus as the Messiah, and then form congregations of Messianic Jews. The confusion here is that being Jewish is a faith but also considered an ethnicity at times. As in you are born Jewish but may not hold to the faith of Judaism and in the same way you might not be born Jewish but convert into the faith. So you can be Jewish by just having the right genes or you can be Jewish by faith i.e. converting in.
The concept of Savior does exist in Judaism as we read it in the writings of King David, but salvation is reserved for “Messiah”. Judaism is indeed very community based strengthened by the fact that many share the same roots and heritage. Christianity is however also very connected, as Christians see themselves as “the Body of Christ” so therefore something that happens to one member affects the entire Body. That’s why Christians are very prone to pray for the nations and for their Christian “brothers and sisters” wherever they may be. Christians though not of the same heritage at all feel linked in the “family of God” one reason Christians feel so akin to Jews is being adopted in as seeds of Abraham. Jews and Christians are much closer than you might think because the Christians beleive that Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecy of the Jewish Messiah outlined thoughout Scripture.



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laura t mushkat

posted July 10, 2007 at 12:46 pm


When asked such I question I say something to the affect that Jews believe in G-d as 1 Being, and that there is no Son or anything else. That being “saved” is not something we need since we believe we all go to the same sort of afterlife regardless of how we lived. We believe it is a natural process like ageing or the seasons.
That usually stops everything!
Laura



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laura t mushkat

posted July 10, 2007 at 12:56 pm


Answer for Jen-
Most Jews believe that a child is the religon of the mother since that is definite when it comes to figuring out who is a parent-previous to DNA knowledge.
Even when a child is brought up Jewish and feels Jewish, if it is known that the birthmother is not a Jew and it wants to marry or be Jewish officially for some reason like death and burial in a Jewish cemetary-there is a conversion process. The same with a baby who is of unknown religon who is being adopted by a Jewish family.
You are not a Jew officially speaking. You can become one.
Laura



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SJ

posted July 10, 2007 at 12:57 pm


I agree with Amaranth and I would like to settle this dissension once and for all: WE ARE ALL ONE. The reason why I love Yeshua HaMashiach is that He had no regard for your race, your status or your upbringing. In a world that constantly judges and assumes who you are by what you have and who you know. The free gift has been given to the entire world. I don’t try to convert but I proclaim. Some will like it others won’t. But knowing God or Yeshua or whomever is a personal experience. I don’t follow religion because is a bunch of man made rules given by one who is esteemed worthy to lead a flock. The Lord is my Shepherd not a priest or a rabbi. We put people on pedestals and worship them when we should be focusing on the true and living God. If you don’t need Yeshua, fine BUT learn to differentiate your purpose. Are you here for man’s approval or God? Remember God is not impressed with what you do as much as how you do it. It must come from the heart for He looks at and searches the heart. You can fool man but you cannot fool God.



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Mandi

posted July 10, 2007 at 1:34 pm


I do undersstand that so called “Christians” go preaching at Jewish people alot, those people are unfamiliar with the culture and heritage of Jewish people. I do, however, find it inadequate to say that Jewish people “have each other”…MANY Jewish people are nonobservant…they don’t have anyone…and the sin problem was resolved with sacrifices…and whether you believer JESUS is/was the Messiah or the Messiah is YET TO COME…the problem of sin is only resolved by a Savior…G-d called HIS CHOSEN people stiff-necked which we ALL ARE because we’re all sinners…I find this explanaition to the sin problem inadequate. Sin most be REMOVED. PERIOD.



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amaranth

posted July 10, 2007 at 1:58 pm


Sometimes when we don’t listen God lets us do and beleive what we want even though it’s not what he told us…
Nehemiah 9:29
“You warned them to return to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, by which a man will live if he obeys them. Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen.
Psalm 81:12
So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.



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Michael

posted July 10, 2007 at 2:06 pm


Aren’t Jews waiting for Moshe (Masaya)? He already came and many people did not take notice of him. So did the prophets after him …. many, many…. as Jesus, one of the best teachers on earth — ever, said; The lord that resides in me, resides in you AND everything that I can do you can, Even Greater. So lets all concentrate on the Light inside (as Kabala says) and not so much in our differences and who is right. Those are childish acts and we should have all grown up.. its 2007! As my Jewish friend says; God created the universe and said vow (as said in Torah), and then created the earth and said vow and ……
We do not need to put others down in order to feel superior. We all come from one place and we return to the same universal intelligent energy. Read more of the Kabala and get closer to the Light. All the others and what others do or believe does not matter. We are all on the road of getting there and we are all in a different path, place and time ….. no need to compare!



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linoscript

posted July 10, 2007 at 3:41 pm


This is for Jen.
The “official” position is, if you wanted to be active in a Jewish congregation, you would have to convert. My mother was Jewish – some people considered me a Jew and others didn’t, because we were not observant. Some people were openly hostile and treated me like more of a pariah than I would have been if I had been Christian or of some other faith. They were wrong, I now believe. I have come to realize that my heritage is mine, and no one can deny me the right to explore my own heritage – nor can they deny me the right to identify as a Jew in whatever secular sense I experience myself as an ethnic/cultural Jew. I take it seriously because I believe that Jewish people – and all people, really – have a responsibility to try to make the world a better place – but to identify as a Jew means taking on a shared cultural perspective and ethnic/group fate. I think it is easier for Christians to be individuals – because if a Christian acts like a jerk people say “Oh, that guy’s a jerk,” but if a Jew acts like a jerk it reflects badly on all of us and all of us are blamed for it. There is enormous cultural prejudice and hostility. As my sense of ownership increases, my desire for knowledge also increases. Read about Judaism. Learn about the rituals, customs, ethics, and laws of the Jewish faith. See what resonates for you. You can have it if you want it, but Jews don’t go around seeking converts. They seem to, for the most part, have a live and let live attitude about it – be who you want to be. You have to want it and choose it for yourself. The information is out there. One of my favorite resources is the book cited above – Rabbi Joseph Telushkin’s encyclopedic tome Jewish Literacy – it covers an enormous amount of information. Whatever you do, be kind to yourself and be at peace with yourself.



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amaranth

posted July 10, 2007 at 3:56 pm


Scott R.
Peace.



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Tzvi

posted July 10, 2007 at 6:34 pm


I will say that in all the places i’ve been, most people have some understanding of jewish belief..that is till I was working where i am now. I used to get the :”how can you not believe in jesus?” or my fav, one time I came back from Rosh HaShanah, was wishing ppl a Happy new year and one of my managers, said to me that you can’t have new years without Christmas. I looked at him and deadpan said i can, and i did, so there. Generally, though its ok, I think when Christians take a live and let live attitude real understanding takes place.



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jennifer

posted July 10, 2007 at 6:47 pm


I would like to thank everyone for their input on my faith situation. I am going to read the books that were suggested to me about judaism and follow what my heart has been telling me for a long time. thank you Jenn
if anyone has anything else they can suggest for me to do i am very appreciative of your input!



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Susan

posted July 10, 2007 at 8:00 pm


There is a saying in Judaism that the Messiah will come when he is no longer necessary. Human beings help to bring about the Messianic Age by their actions.
Christians don’t understand how you can live without Jesus, but I don’t understand why God isn’t enough for Christians. Why would you need Jesus too? I have never felt the need for an intermediary between me and God. Jeus seems like more of a distraction from God. I can feel God’s love better without Jesus.
Michael, the word in Hebrew is Mashicah. Mashicah means annointed. Mashiach translates into Greek as Christos and into English as Messaiah. The Messiah is supposed to be a descendent of King David. The ancient kings of Israel were annotied with oil. However, most Jews don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the Messiah.
Judaism tends to a religion focused on this life. When I was high school a born again Christian asked if I was going to Heaven and I wasn’t sure what to say. I had never heard my rabbi mention Heaven or Hell, ever. I had gone to Hebrew School and not one of my teachers mentioned Heaven or Hell. It’s just not something that we base our actions on or that we focus on. It’s not something that I find spiritually compelling or useful in any way.



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Dave

posted July 10, 2007 at 8:09 pm


1/ If you’re mother was Jewish then you are Jewish-no converting necessary. There are reform rabbis who have ‘conversion’ ceremonies for such people. I don’t know why they do this but I believe they do charge money for this.
2/ Like bal tshuvot (non-religious Jews who want to become religious) you can go through a ceremony in a mikvah-but this is NOT a conversion.
3/ It is G-d’s will that there are both Jews and Gentiles. If Gentiles (of any religion) want to proslytise I really don’t care and wonder why any Jew does. Are you feeling tempted? I’m not.
4/ I’m always fascinated why so many Jews who have no problem with ‘Bujus’ or ‘Jewish pagans’ are livid with ‘Jews for Jesus’. They are all equally apostates.
5/ Near where I live there’s a storefront for ‘Jews for Judaism’ next to a storefront for ‘Jews for Jesus’. They’re both usually empty.
4/ Unfortunately this is going to be one long thread.



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Scott R.

posted July 10, 2007 at 8:45 pm


Dave,
Rabbis should not charge.
If a Jew dabbles in non-theistic Buddhism, they are an apostate. If a Jew dabbles in Xianity, they are an idolator.



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Jane Kertesz

posted July 10, 2007 at 10:38 pm


Hey Jenn,
I was raised in a Christian home and taught in a Christian school for 5 years. I was not happy with my spiritual life at all. I did not agree with many of the Christian beliefs and certainly did not feel close to G-d at all. I resigned my teaching position and found another in a non-religious school. It was then that I really began to explore Judiaism. To make a long story short, I am now a Jew by Choice (for 5 years) and am very happy with my decission. Even had a Bat Mitzvah which was a very moving experience. Good Luck with your journey!!



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Terry Brandli

posted July 11, 2007 at 5:30 am


Children of God, some of us believe in our Father and some of us don’t.
Those who believe in Him, do so in many different ways. My beliefs are
that everything was created by a Supreme Being who I call God. There
are several books that attempt to describe God, our relationship to
and with Him, how we all should live, the consequences of our actions,
and in some a Messiah is included. None of these books are perfect,
the Ten Commandments where written by the hand of God, the rest was
written by man. Does a Jewish person who believes in God and practices
the Jewish religion need to believe in Jesus to go to Heaven, I hope not. Does a Gentile like myself need to believe in both God and Jesus
to have their name written in the Book of Life and at some time in the
future live again in Heaven, I believe so. There are countless editions of the Bible. To be copywritten each one has to worded a certain percentage differntly then all other editions of the Bible. The one I think is the most accurate is the King James 1611 edition.
Is one religion correct and all others wrong?, only the passage of time
will tell. Weather a person believes in God, believes in God and Jesus, or believes his God wants him to blow himself and others up,
each of us will be judged by what we believe, what we did and what we
didn’t do and not by our bank accounts and who we knew. I don’t believe there will be peace on earth, untill the Messiah comes to
earth and in my opinion it will be a return visit.



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Susan

posted July 11, 2007 at 6:56 am


Mandi, I’m not sure what you mean by non-observant. There are many ways of being Jewish. Just because you are not observant in an Orthodox way does not mean that you have nothing.
If you try to convert a Jew, you are trying to reduce the number of Jews. If you want to convert all Jews then you want a planet with no Jews on it. I call that spritual genocide.



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laura t mushkat

posted July 11, 2007 at 11:25 am


Jen
I believe there is something everyone forgot to tell you including me.
Because Jews face so much hostility at times, I believe this is the reason, a Rabbi will try to talk you out of becoming a Jew! This may be strange to you as it is to me, a born Jew, but there is a certain number of times they are supposed to do this. If you are determined to be a Jew you keep comming back and tell them. It may sound sort of like a game but there is a purpose to this. Please, find out how this works before you approach someone to actually convert, if you choose this path. I believe this is something all the types of Rabbis do including Orthodox, Conservative and Reform.
If someone else can explain this it could be useful. Also the answer for why they do this might be elsewhere on the Jewish part of Beliefnet.
Laura



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linoscript

posted July 11, 2007 at 1:08 pm


Laura,
What I have read is that Jews believe it’s better to be a gentile and keep the Big 10 commandments than it is to be a Jew and fail to keep the 613. Being Jewish is a big job, and they don’t want anyone to take it on lightly. That’s my understanding, anyway.



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Riderone

posted July 11, 2007 at 1:56 pm


There’s plenty of live-and-let-live Christians out there who think Jews are just fine the way they are and since they’re Jews, why should they worry about Jesus? And why should Christians worry about Jews NOT worrying about Jesus? 8^)



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Corey

posted July 11, 2007 at 6:45 pm


In our Torah, it states in Leviticus 17:11, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”
There must be blood shed for atonement for your soul. This is the bottom line of the Torah and the basis for sacrificing lambs and bulls.
Question: Since 70 CE, there has been no temple, no sacrifice. How is there atonement. I also know about Maimonidies substituting charity, prayer and repentance. I see the law of the Torah to be immutable, so why would this be acceptable, even though he is the great Rambam?
The big question? Could this provision of atonement have taken place before 70 CE?



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Scott R.

posted July 11, 2007 at 10:11 pm


We don’t read the “nt” (generally) because of such things as “you are of you’re father the devil” and “his blood be on us and our children” (which have been the 2 verses that have endorsed the Xian holocaust against the Jewish people.
We don’t read it because it’s been our death sentence and we have VERY long memories.



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Diane B.

posted July 11, 2007 at 10:12 pm


Actually, as a reformed Jew, I don’t think it is quite correct to say baldly that “Jews don’t believe in Jesus.” No, we do not believe that Jesus was the Mesiah, but I was taught that Jesus was a prophet, among the other prophets we believe in.
I was raised to respect ALL religions, and I consider myself fortunate to have grown up in a country with a Constitution that dictates that church and state should be separated PRECISELY IN THE NAME OF RESPECTING ALL RELIGIONS; and, I find it quite frightening that the minority of our population which cannot seem to accept that has somehow acquired enough political power to be able to threaten to destroy that mutual respect.



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Scott R.

posted July 11, 2007 at 10:50 pm


Isaiah 53 refers to Israel/the Jewish people (and it’s not innacurate to say that the Jews have essentially been crucified for the sins of the gentiles).
Perhaps it is all of us – collectively – the redeem you.



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Jeff Ross

posted July 11, 2007 at 11:09 pm


Scott,
You speak of a “Xian holocaust against the Jewish people.” To what are you referring?
Jeff



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Julie

posted July 11, 2007 at 11:54 pm


Corey now go to Jeremiah 31:31, it explains the rest of the story. I really love v.34 where it talks about forgiving their wickedness and will remember their sins no more, cause that just blows rabbi Grossmans theory away about the rightous going to heaven.



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Scott R.

posted July 12, 2007 at 12:01 am


Jeff -
Everything from the Crusades to the Pogroms to the (yes, I do mean this) Nazi Holocaust (no nt, no Hitler).



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Julie

posted July 12, 2007 at 12:08 am


Susan isn’t our whole goal in life to worship G-d, and to be with Him for all of eternity (in heaven)? How can this topic be avoided? Without worship and eternity – we can just go back to talking politics.
See it is all about G-d, and I for one am so happy to see that He is being acknowlegded!



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kris

posted July 12, 2007 at 12:15 am


i think that you can be jewish and believe in Jesus. I for one am a messianic Jew. Not only was Jesus a good teacher, but how do people who dont believe explain the miracles etc recorded by various historians so much of even the new testament can be taken out of other texts and proven as true historically.



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Julie

posted July 12, 2007 at 12:18 am


Has anyone thought of letting the anger go about the holocaust? My family fled Hitler and we came to USA. It was 4 or 5 generations ago (depending on if you count my kids generation-one child is an adult). But I can’t say- except for the thoughts of the monies, land lost, and relatives I will never meet- that it as affected me directly in any way.



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Scott R.

posted July 12, 2007 at 8:47 am


You can’t be Jewish and worship J. Jews decide who is Jewish, not Xians. Case closed. Unless, of course, we get to decide who real Xians are. Then I would have to go with the Catholics.



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Julie

posted July 12, 2007 at 10:55 am


Scott I am your people, I am your “us”, not the “you people” and our families are not coming back.
When I found these boards I was shocked to see the lack of discussion about G-d. It was all politics, and I thought where is G-d here? We are G-d’s choosen people and where is He in our lives? I feel we all need to agree on the only thing that matters here, that the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is Yahweh, He is the great I AM.



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Scott R.

posted July 12, 2007 at 3:23 pm


Julie,
If we ever forget the Holocaust, they will do it again. There are people, even on this blog, I’m sure, that would do it if we didn’t embrace JC.
This I was taught as a child and this I teach to my son. Xian missionaries will prey on him soon enough, and he needs to realize who his enemies are.



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Gustavo Caliz

posted July 12, 2007 at 5:06 pm


This article is not a fact, it’s an oppinion, period. Otherwise, why the jewish people stop waiting for the messiah and they don’t kill animals in the offerings. There is not command in the torah to stop the burn offerings. The kingdom of god used to belong to jewish people but since then rejected Christ, it was taken away from them. That is the main reason Israel is at war with their cousins. This conflict will end with the second coming of Christ,Amen.



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Scott R.

posted July 12, 2007 at 7:44 pm


So because we rejected “xist”, we’re at war with the Muslims.
What did the Muslims do?
And what exactly did Xians do since, apparently, Muslims have declared war on the Xian West?
Do you really want to know why we can’t sacrifice anymore? Because the Temple was destroyed. There can be no sacrifices without the Temple. Many of us believe that when the messiah comes (for the FIRST time), sacrifices will begin again.
If the real messiah had come, we would not see the need to reject him. We only reject false prophets.



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Julie

posted July 12, 2007 at 10:10 pm


Scott you don’t need a temple to perform a sacrifice. When Abraham took Isaac up the mountain to sacrifice him because God told him to, they were not on their way to a temple. And Moses running around for 40 years didn’t have access to a temple either.



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Corey

posted July 12, 2007 at 10:24 pm


It is interesting that Abraham brought Isaac to Mt. Moriah [Zion] the very place of the future temple. This took place BEFORE the giving of the Torah. After Moses received the commandments, the Israelites lived in the wilderness, with the Ark of the Covenant [the portable Temple]. The Sacrificial system was in place.
Even in the Garden of Eden, it was as stated in Genesis 3:21, “The Lord G-d made garments of skin for adam and his wife, and clothed them.” After sin came into the world, it was necessary for an animal sacrifice to take place….and also, to clothe them.



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Julie

posted July 12, 2007 at 11:40 pm


it is also interesting that the sacrifice Jehovah jireh provided, was caught by its horns in the thicket. A representation of things to come. I believe that exact spot overlooks calvery also.



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Gwendolyn Fraticelli

posted July 12, 2007 at 11:47 pm


Why did the Jews in general not accept Jesus? The encyclopedia Judaica says: “The Jews of the Roman period believed (the messiah)would be raised up by God to break the yoke of the heathen and to reign over a restored kingdom of Israel” 1971, Vol.11 col. 1407) They wanted liberation from the yoke of Rome. Jewish history testifies that on the basis of the Messianic prophecy recorded at Daniel (:24-27 there were Jews who expected the Messiah during the first century C.E. (Luke 3:15) But that prophecy also connecte his coming with “making anan end of sin,” and Isaiah chapter 53 indicated that Messiah himself would die in order to make this possible. However, the Jews in general felt no need for anyone to die for their sins. They beieved that they had a righteous standing with God on the basis of their descent from Abraham. Says A Rabbinic Anthology, “So great is the (merit) of Abrahan that he can atone for all the vanitiew cmmitted and lies uttered by Israel in this world.” (London, 1938, C. Montefiore and H. Loewe, p. 676) By thier rejection of Jesus as Messiah , the Jews fulfilled the prophecy that had foretold regading him: “He was despised, and we esteemed him not.” –Isaiah 53:3, JP
Before his death, Moses foretold that the nation would turn aside from true worship and that, as a result, calamity would befall them. (Read Deuteronomy 31:27-29) The book of Judges testifies that this occurred repeatedly. In the days of the prophet Jeremiah, national unfithfulness led to the nation’s being taken into exile in Babylon. Why did God also allow the Romans to destroy Jerusalem and its temple in 70 C.E.? Of what unfaithfulness had the nation been guilty so that God did not protect them as he had done when they had put their trust in him? It was shortly before this that they had rejected Jesus as the Messiah.



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MacLeod

posted July 13, 2007 at 2:12 am


Scott R. I totally agree with you. I’m not Christian. I’m a gentile with a conscience and I know my history



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Susan

posted July 14, 2007 at 9:14 am


Anyone who calls themselves a “Messianic Jew” is deluding themselves. First of all Jews have never believed that the Messiah was a personal savior. Jews have never believed that the Messiah could be God’s son or that God would have a son. This is against the monotheistic nature of God.
Corey, Jews have never taken the Bible literally. They have always seen the Bible through centuries of interpretation, commentaries, Midrash and Talmud.
“Susan isn’t our whole goal in life to worship G-d, and to be with Him for all of eternity (in heaven)? How can this topic be avoided? Without worship and eternity – we can just go back to talking politics.
See it is all about G-d, and I for one am so happy to see that He is being acknowlegded…’
I do worship and pray to God. Well, no I don’t really think much or care about whether I’m going to with God for all of eternity or whether I’m going to Heaven. It’s not my goal to go to Heaven. My goal is to experience God in this life. I completely disagree that without the eternity part that we are just going back to politics. I think that the two can be separated. I only claim to be speaking for myself, but my concept of God is closer to the mystical and Kabbalistic concept of God as Ayin, nothingness, and Ein Sof, without end.
Gwendolyn, in 70 C.E. there was a major rebellion against Rome by the Jews. Rome crushed it ruthlessly and completely. Not everything that happened in the world during and after Jesus’s lifetime has something to do with Jesus.
I’ve had Bible verses quoted to me that are supposed to prove that Jesus is the Messiah. None of them work. They are all reading something into the text that would not be there if you didn’t already believe in Jesus. Anyone here who thinks that they are going to change someone’s mind by quoting “Old Testament” passages at them is mistaken.



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Julie

posted July 14, 2007 at 5:32 pm


Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me. 4 You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, etc.” its in Exodus if you wish to read the rest.



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Elonna

posted July 14, 2007 at 5:48 pm


The Jews did not accept Jesus as the messiah because Jesus did not fulfill ANY of the messiah prophecy. Jesus did not rebuild the temple. Jesus did not bring world peace. The messiah is born from a man and woman, not a woman and G-d. Jews know this. The Jews recognized a pagan fairy tale when they heard one. G-d putting a baby into a woman is unacceptable. Just like Zeus fathering Hercules with a woman is not believable. But that’s the kind of thing pagans loved to hear, so no wonder the cult exploded into the millions. Combined with somebody else paying for their sins? Too perfect. Quote whatever you want from the bible, it’s not “proof” that Jesus was the messiah. When someone rebuilds the temple and brings world peace, that will be front page news, extensive t.v. coverage, and all the world will see it. So far, it hasn’t happened! A few people telling a story, and everyone else is supposed to believe it and have faith, then quote something from the bible, that’s not proof of anything. Basically, the messiah is expected to deliver all the goods, and not die before he delivers. If he dies AFTER delivering the goods, ok. But before? No way. I’m not waiting around for the messiah either, but I know what the Jews expect.



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israel

posted July 14, 2007 at 10:56 pm


Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?”
Jesus says that he is the “son of man”.
Numbers 23:19 G-d is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: when He hath said, will He not do it? or when He hath spoken, will He not make it good?
G-d says very clearly the He is NOT the “son of man” nor “a man” at all. So if Jesus is the “son of man” as he claims, then he can’t be G-d. Unless xtians believe G-d lied? I believe G-d over Jesus any day, when the Torah states so clearly that “G-d is not a man that He should lie”.



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Susan

posted July 15, 2007 at 9:15 am


The rabbi is right that Jews don’t use the word savior. The word that is used is translated as redeemer. God showed his love for the Jewish people by redeeming them from Egypt. He showed us his love by giving us the commandments. In the Jewish tradition that is the way God shows his love.



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gizmolove

posted July 15, 2007 at 4:49 pm


I, as a Christian, find this thread very interesting. Now, before you stop reading because I said that “I am a Christian”, please note that this statement above, is the only thing that I have in common with so-called Christianity (as practiced in the world today). You will find my views very different from (most) Christians that you come in contact with. Maybe, what makes me a little different is that I recognize the inevitable and important fact that Jesus was a (practicing) Jew!
First, may I say that the premise of this thread is very correct. Jews do not need Jesus. The whole concept of modern day “Conversion Theology” is contrary to what the bible (as a whole) teaches. Even Jesus Himself said, “Go and speak unto the people, and if they hear you not, leave that place and wipe the dust from your feet”. He never meant for us “Christians”, to use His cross to beat others over the head with. And, He never came to give us a “new” religion. Nor, throw away thousands of years of history between man and G-d, by changing G-d’s Laws, (in any way). Our mission (if we even have one), is similar to the Jewish mission. Live your life as an example to others (do the right thing, be fair in your dealings, love G-D with all your heart, and obey G-d’s Laws), and love your neighbor as yourself. I would like to apologize here, for those ignorant Christians out there, that do not fully understand Christ’s message nor legacy to the world.
And also, I would like to correct those Christians that say that the Jew’s are no longer G-d’s “chosen people” because of anything that they have done. As: Israel | July 14, 2007 10:56 PM, so graciously said, “Would G-d lie?” Heaven forbid!!! This concept in Christian circles is known as “Replacement Theology”. And, to say that now it’s not the Jew’s that are the “chosen people” but we Christians? This is an abomination and a lie before G-d. Once your “chosen”, YOUR CHOSEN! G-d is NEITHER a liar, nor does He go back on His word/promise!
Second, may I say (without offense), that I think that I understand the “Jewish Condition”. I find it rather un-Christ-like, (for confessed Christians, not to understand what G-d’s “chosen people” have gone through, in order to stay faithful to their community, their nation and to their G-d. For those who have been touched by the Holocaust, you are right to say, “Never Forget”! For those that look at the Holocaust and say, “get over it”? I say, “If we “get over it”, it will happen again”!. (And, it’s happening right now, in the Mid East and here in the U.S., and all over the world)!
In conclusion, if you know G-d, (believe in Him, love Him, and keep His Commandments) then truly, you have Jesus already!



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Michael Makar

posted July 17, 2007 at 2:23 am


In response to: “We don’t need someone to hold us when we fall short, we don’t need someone to “save” us because we have each other,” what is the point of waiting for a messiah, then?



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Michael Makar

posted July 17, 2007 at 2:40 am


Also how can any Jew argue with the God-man concept when Isaiah clearly says: “Isa 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. ” Emphasis is on: “Might God, Everlasting Father”



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israel

posted July 17, 2007 at 5:39 pm


michael maker,
Isaiah 9:7, this wondrous salvation took place in the days of the child of Ahaz, the righteous King Hezekiah, whom G-d (the Woundrous Adviser, Mighty God, Eternal Father) called “prince of Peace.”
this is how it reads in the Torah
Isaiah 9:5-6 “For a child has been born to us, a son has been givin to us, and the dominion will rest on his shoulder; the Wondrous Adviser, Mighty God, Eternal Father, called his name Sar-shalom [Price of Peace]; upon the one with the greatness in dominion and the bouldless peace that will prevail on the throne of David and his kingdom, to establish it and sustain it through justice and righteousness, from now to eternity. The zealousness of Hashem, Master of Legions, will accomplish this!”
It is clear that this verse has nothing to do with the “man/god” concept that pagans, christians and hindus love so much. G-d is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of man.



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Steven R. Edelman

posted July 17, 2007 at 6:06 pm


I have said this before, and I’ll say it again. Back in the 16th Century (CE) a Jew who accompanied Sir Walter Raleigh to America returned to England and said the he could not imagine why an omnipotent, all-knowing G-D would have need of a son.
I was rather taken last night as a I watched a TV show in which a murderer said that he was forgiven because Jesus died for his sins. That is another reason why I, as a Jew, decry acceptance of Jesus. I take responsibility for my own actions, thank you. I don’t need a pretend savior to do that for me.



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Mike

posted July 17, 2007 at 6:10 pm


The author above has quite aptly contrasted/compared “fundamentalist/evangelical” Christianity with Judaism. This perspective is not common to all Christians, in fact Orthodox and Catholic Christians also approach God primarily as a collective, not individually (although individual private worship is not discouraged).



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Danny

posted July 17, 2007 at 6:21 pm


first of all think it is sad to think we need to push our view on other. i think fair to say Jesus is view by most jews as heretic and false god. Some jewish people even refuse to even say word christian or even just Jesus name. If i were born a jew i would not believe in Jesus either. I think both christians and jews need to learn more about their cultures. we need to respect each different aqnd learn to reazlized we all do not have think a like. I think there will always be big spit with these two relgion sadly.



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Big J

posted July 17, 2007 at 7:31 pm


I was raised Christian but it’s pretty clear to me that Jesus was a human being, not some demi-god. What most Christians believe is simplistic fluff from the Roman Empire. As for Jewish beliefs, they’ve replaced God with Zionism.



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Bill Kilpatrick

posted July 17, 2007 at 7:47 pm


I found this essay refreshing. It suggests that the difference between Christians and Jews is more fundamental than the “Jesus issue.”
Christian salvation is based on the idea of individual salvation. Both the problem and the solution occur within the context of an individual’s standing before the Almighty.
Jewish “salvation,” to borrow the Christian term (for the sake of continuity, isn’t about saving a soul – in jeopardy of damnation – but of saving a community – in jeopardy of obliteration. Not surprisingly, the mikvote of Jewish obligations focus on preserving a uniquely Jewish way of life, to preserve the “soul” of the Jewish community.
It’s not hard to see reasons for these differences. Jewish nationalism put it in the crosshairs of the Roman empire, whose solution to the “Jewish problem” was the crushing diaspora. The Romans tried to “kill” the Jewish nation, just as they’d salted the ground in rival Carthage (so that nothing would grow there again).
But instead of killing the Jewish nation, the Romans simply sent the Jews on a two-millenia journey of survival, as a people in search of a homeland. During that journey, the only hope of “saving” the Jewish people from assimilation was to lay hold upon the law and tradition that give life to the Jewish community.
Christianity, on the other hand, developed around a pair of ideas, one of which may have been the literal belief that Jesus was the Messiah, or political leader, capable of freeing Jesus from Roman occupation. History tells us that there were many such figures, all of them unsuccessful. If such a man as Jesus of Nazareth did exist, he was crucified along with a lot of other unsuccessful aspiring messiahs. Crucifixion was the nasty, brutal, act of state-sponsored terror designed to demoralize the resistance movement.
That idea, which may have initiated Jesus’s following among first-century Jews, died with him when Jesus was executed by the Romans. But a second idea, that Jesus came to save humanity from their sins – so that all, Jew or Gentile, could stand before the Almighty – survived the crucifixion. With it came the belief that Jesus had miraculously risen from the grave and returned to Heaven, promising to someday return.
Unlike Judaism, which focuses on the preservation of the Jewish community, Christianity had no community to save, except a small group of Jews and Gentiles who identified with each other, as Christians, by their belief in Jesus. Not surprisingly, while the Jewish community focused on certain activities as vital to the preservation of a Jewish way of life, the Christian community’s first issue was about how much of this Jewish way of life could be shed, ignored or never acquired by members of the Christian community, so that Jesus could be the Christ of Jews and Gentiles alike.
The Christian answer was amazingly un-Jewish. More concerned with spreading belief in Christ – particularly among people with little or no background in Judaism – Christianity’s first major figures (like Peter and Paul) sculpted a message that focused on the individual’s relationship to God through Christ. It was a message that tipped the hat to the stories, values and culture of the Hebrew Bible but one that made Christianity adaptable to a variety of cultures and host nations.
Where Judaism focused on preserving a Jewish community, wherever it might be found, Christianity became an ethical Microsoft, taking over the religious establishment of the Roman Empire – and, by extension, the religious establishment of nations all over Europe, Asia Minor, North Africa and (during the age of European colonization), South Africa, the Americas and European colonies throughout Australia and East Asia.
It’s ironic and tragic that Christianity would later be used as a basis for persecuting Jewish communities in Europe, Asia and the Americas. It’s logically inconsistent to mak an idol out of a first-century Jewish figure while hating Jews for attempting to preserve the way of life that defined Jesus’s walk and talk. It’s a little like celebrating Santa Claus while holding the belief that all Russians are shifty-eyed vermin who’d be “better off dead than red.”
To me, the Christian identification of Jesus with the Almighty is less reflective of Jewish culture than with the veneration of Roman emperors that started with Augustus Caesars and reached an all-out height with Diocletian. Ironically, the reason for “emperor worship” was the desire to unite a culturally and ethnically diverse “Roman” empire by promoting its top figure, someone who could come from any nation or ethnic group, someone whose job it was to defend the empire from defeat or collapse.
Because Rome had no system for imperial succession (because the Romans did not want to be ruled by a royal family), the death of the emperor typically led to period of chaos and civil war, one where the true successor would fight his way to the top, through alliances, betrayals, battles, assassinations and endorsements. To rule over the Roman empire, one had to conquer it at the appropriate time.
While Jews were initially unpopular for their resistancee to Roman ways – especially the veneration of the emperor (a kind of Pledge of Allegiance) – Rome eventually worked out its differences with Jewish communities. But for a longer period of time, Christians were persecuted as enemies of the state. While Christians blamed Jews for defaming them, the bulk of this was based on the Christian belief that their emperor (Jesus) was coming back – and when he did, he was going to level the empire.
The Christian story isn’t one of eventual accommodation – allowing the co-existence of culturally distinct Christian communities – but of a shotgun wedding between Church and State. What would Jesus do if he knew that the Church, formed in his honor – to spread his message to Jews and Gentiles alike – had moved its headquarters to Rome, the capital of the very empire that put him to death? What would he say to the idea that his commentaries had become a worldwide franchise, or that the leaders of his Church would work out an arrangement where they would coronate civil authorities which would, in turn, promote and endorse the Church?



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Danny

posted July 17, 2007 at 9:05 pm


Steven you not realized it but this was a inslut and this possb le why some christians over the years hate jews. This of course is not right, but to call Jesus pretend is mean. What if were to say your jewish law are stupid and really have no meaning ? This is of course not how I feel, but you deeply hurt my feeling. I always try to be respectful of jewish people and do what I can for all human being. many human being believe Jesus is God in the flesh and even if disagree. do you have disrespect our belife by call our God pretend ? I personaly believe Jesus die for my sins. Thank you for your time and have lovely night.



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Danny

posted July 17, 2007 at 9:07 pm


I want say I am sorry for my crapy grammer and please forgive me. I have learning problem where i know what to say, but when I wrote i leave words out.



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tiara

posted July 17, 2007 at 9:19 pm


i love God because he is special



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Usonido

posted July 17, 2007 at 10:19 pm


This was a very good article. However, I think it should be made clear that not only are Jews part of the Jewish community, we are part of the world community. Our responsibilities have always extended to the whole of humanity.
Hillel said: If I am not for myself, who will be for me. If I am only for myself, what am I. And if not now, when?



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nnmns

posted July 17, 2007 at 11:30 pm


Now my main point: Nobody needs “saving”. Needing saved is one of the first examples of a disease invented to sell the purported cure, in this case Christianity.
The inanity of the standard Christian idea of sin is revealed by its excessive punishment. Can you imagine any parent who would prescribe even a minute of torture by fire for his child no matter what he or she did. Well, I can but such a parent would be insane. And any god that created people only to cast some or most of them into fiery torture forever would be insane. And to worship an insane god would be an act of great cowardice. Think about it.
Then realize you are free of needing a “savior” or “salvation” or any of that nonsense. But don’t count on spending eternity singing a god’s praises or licking its feet or even chatting with it, either. Enjoy this life because it’s what we’ve all got. That’s it, no more. What you see is what you get.



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nnmns

posted July 17, 2007 at 11:48 pm


Now, why bring this old chestnut up again? How many million times have Christians and maybe Jews debated this beside-the-point issue?



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David

posted July 17, 2007 at 11:56 pm


They have been debating about it for a looonnnnngg time and people still cannot come to the real truth about it.



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Matt

posted July 18, 2007 at 12:54 am


One has to remember: the word “saved” comes from, i believe the greek “to be made whole” Christians wand to think they’re being saved as in rescued…that’s not it at all…



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Sheila Bosire

posted July 18, 2007 at 2:35 am


I tend to disagree with the rabbi on some points.While it is indeed wonderful that Jews believe in a collective destiny,the old testament is full of examples of Jews who chose righteousness and those who chose to do evil and the consequences thereof.It is therefore also true that just as much as Jews have a collective destiny,each also has an individual destiny.When it comes to each day’s choices and consequences,we make individual choices,just as one can choose Jesus Christ;really no one can choose him for another person.
The rest of humanity,including born-again Christians have a collective responsibility and redemption too,because as much as the choice to salvation is made by an individual;once one has gained salvation,they have a duty to make sure that their fellow human sisters and brothers are aware of this wonderful redemption inorder to receive it and are commanded to love one another irrespective of whether,Jew,Islamic,Hindu or whatever other race,religion or tribe.



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Wisdum

posted July 18, 2007 at 8:11 am


The biggest problem with all religions, is semantics, mis-translation, metaphor and perspective (and perspective is everything) First off the Ju(dah)’s started Monotheism. That is the belief that there is only one God. They perceive God like a multi-faceted Diamond (and “diamonds are forever !”). As you turn it, you continuously reveal many facets of God, but there is still only one God. What that comes down to is “If there is only one God, then everybody’s God is the same God” We don’t have different Gods, we have different perceptions of God and how we should pray and relate to God … and that’s what we should be fighting and killing each other over ? … Every time someone gets a new revelation of God (and that’s infinite !) they are conflicted by their peers, and then a new religion is started. We are all branches of the same tree and rooted in Love. Does a branch of a tree fight another branch, or do they all grow together as one tree, supported by their roots ? God has defined Him/Her self as Love…Uncompromising, Unconditional Love, unfortunately there is no hard definition of Love, it is an individual learning process, and is also formed and evolved by perception, and freewill moves and motivates it all. If God is real, and the Alpha and Omega, God already knows the entire story,” His-Story”. We have nothing to prove to God, only to ourselves ! God never demanded adherence to all there man made rules for salvation. There was only one rule “Do not eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” (or in other words “Ignorance is Bliss”) Yeshuah/Joshuah/Jesus left a new perception of the commandment (speaking as The Word of God made Man) “Love thy neighbor as thy self” . . . How does that play out if you do not love or even hate yourself ? The Christian Messiah stated “My command to you is this, Love one another as I have Loved you” If that statement originated from God, then that again is Uncompromising, Unconditional Love ! Does it get any simpler than that ? As far as the Ju’s accepting Yeshuah as the Christ or Messiah, they have a contract with God, Yeshuah, only fulfilled 85% of the prophesies of the Old Testament. If you have a Covenant with God, and are the Chosen People, it is 100% or nothing ! They have no choice. That is also why the Christians are expecting a “Second Coming” All the things revealed in Revelation are prophesies still unfulfilled from the Old Testament, and unfortunately must be fulfilled before the coming of the Messiah…all of it !
LUV 2 ALL
Wisdum



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Anonymous

posted July 18, 2007 at 10:42 am


Just as those who follow other religions (e.g. Buddhists, Jains, etc) have no need of being hit over the head ad nauseum with Jesus and punished in Jesus’ name to sate the overt & unjust personal prejudices of some of his followers. You believe in the Jesus mythos? Fine – tend your own life, and act with compassion towards others, but stop tryig to punish those who don’t.



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Christopher

posted July 18, 2007 at 11:14 am


I believe in Y’shua. I am unashamed to say this fact. However, I believe that Christians should quit trying to talk to Jewish people about Judaism if they only can do so using Christian terms. Christians need to realize that their Christian language does not always (in fact it does not usually) translate into other religion’s languages. Being part Jewish myself, or having some Jewish heritage (depending on how you want it worded), I want all of my people to love one another and treat each other with respect. Christians need to learn what Jewish people believe and quit trying to make them put their beliefs into Christian terms. There are soooo many books on the subject. There are even books by Christians which try to explain Judaism in Christain terms. Therefore, I think that there is no excuse for Christians to continue being so ignornat of Judaism.
Shalom and Peace.



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Wisdum

posted July 18, 2007 at 12:04 pm


By the Way, Yeshuah was a Ju (of the Tribe of Judah) (Hellow !) The term Jew was a snide racist anti-semetic remark from Adolph Hitler (and we all know how he felt about them !)Brings to mind the statement from Tevia of Fiddler On The Roof fame … “I know we are the “Chosen People”, but do we have to be chosen so often ?”
LUV 2ALL
Wisdum



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Wisdum

posted July 18, 2007 at 12:09 pm


Sorry I forgot this, if you don’t know anything about the history Judaism, you know absolutely nothing about Christianity or Islam either! It’s all about the God of Abraham
LUV 2 ALL
Wisdum



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Saadaya

posted July 18, 2007 at 12:10 pm


There are many problems with the savific mythology: first of all, the myth of Adam and Eve, besides being written out of hatred for women and in order to legitimize their oppression, is really based on the Sumerian myth re: the halappu tree. The theology of salvation is based on false premises from the get-go. Jews did not believe in original sin, it was Christians who did all sorts of mental gymnastics and came up with all kinds of improbable doctrines to legitimize the need for a Savior. Second, Instead of asking Gods to save me from sin, I personally prefer to just stop sinning. It’s not that hard. I say this respectfully, but frankly and honestly. This is what I feel.
Thirdly, there is a problem with the salvific premise of the need for eternal life in the scriptures: Genesis 15:15 states that the Jews beleived that Abraham was going to go back to ‘his ancestors’ after he left his body, in other words, Abraham was promised an afterlife in the scriptures next to his ancestors.
But, wait: the ancestors of Abraham was PAGANS! And polytheists! In fact, tradition says Terah (Avram’s father) was the owner of a store where he sold pagan idols, yet he was waiting for Abraham in heaven. So then, how is it that one needs a savior to get to heaven, when even our Pagans ancestors are already there waiting for us?
And fourthly, there’s common sense and reason, which dictate that God would be arbitraty, preferential, a God of elitists, a God of privilege if he (or she) were to choose people for entry into heaven merely using as criteria their belief in improbable dogmas and doctrines, and not character, or good deeds. Like a Hindu brother said in an entry in the belief discussions re: Krishna and Christ, ‘God would have failed billions of human beings’ who have taken sincere refuge in Him, if he had only chosen one Guru or Teacher as ‘true’ mediator and neglected all his other children that came to him through another Guru.
But then fifthly, the most solid reason imho, to reject all forms of salvific theology is this notion that God needs to see blood (AND innocent blood) and be satiated with this sacrifice in order to ‘forgive our sins’. That is not forgiveness, I’m sorry to be so blunt, that just sounds like a sick bargain. It depicts God no different from the deity Moloc, to whom babies were sacrificed, no different from Aztec Gods in the movie ‘Apocalypto’.
And this is supposed to be the same God that Jeremiah has repeatedly denying that he asked for human sacrifice saying “I never said that, nor did it enter my mind”, and the same God that in the first chapter of Isaiah says that he abhors bloody sacrifices. That does not sound like Abba the God of Jesus, a God of non-violence who daily even feeds the birds out of love for all his creation.
It seems more rational to imagine that Jesus was a righteous Jewish rabbi who died, not for our sins, but due to religious intolerance and fanaticism, in the same double-standards society where women were stoned to death on the streets. These people took the Bible literally. Torah says that one must murder ‘false prophets’, and they believed Jesus was a false prophet so they killed him. These things still happen today in the Middle East.
The followers of Jesus, naturally, were in shock and decided to preserve his memory, and after several decades they produced a salvific doctrine around him, a la orpheic, dionysian, adonis, attis, tammuz, osiris and other dying and resurrecting God-Men. Of note is the fact that Matthew seems to be the earliest and most historical account of Jesus’ life, whereas John seems to be the latest, and the most mythical account, even from the beginning it starts from a mythological, improbable premise ‘in the beginning was the word’, which shows that he had already been mythified by then.



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Melissa

posted July 18, 2007 at 12:11 pm


A destiny of redemption that rests with God, not with a personal savior.
What you said there really scares me and this is why. So God’s son, whom he sent for our redemption, died for nothing? Christ didn’t need to die because we have each other to lean on and receive strength from. So who needs God then? We have each other!
If God thought that was enough for us he wouldn’t have sent Christ. We constantly as a human race fail each other. Look at society as a whole. Abortion, murder, children being abused physically and sexually etc.
Sheila hit the nail on the head with her comment:
It is therefore also true that just as much as Jews have a collective destiny,each also has an individual destiny.When it comes to each day’s choices and consequences,we make individual choices,just as one can choose Jesus Christ;really no one can choose him for another person.



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Saadaya

posted July 18, 2007 at 12:27 pm


Oh, and finally, having said all of that, I still think Jesus was a good man, a holy man, one who taught non violence, and although I criticize salvific theology, I think those who revere Jesus are loved and affirmed by God, by Lord Krishna, just as well. In the Bhagavad Gita 7:20-23, Lord Krishna says that if their faith is sincere, Krishna will affirm their faith (whether they worship him as Jesus, Allah, Divine Mother or whatever) out of love for them, God just wants to have a loving, intimate, personal relationship with his devotees, regardless of by what name they know him. All names belong to him.
“Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures. I am in everyone’s heart as the Supersoul. As soon as one desires to worship some demigod, I make his faith steady so that he can devote himself to that particular deity. Endowed with such a faith, he endeavors to worship a particular demigod and obtains his desires. But in actuality these benefits are bestowed by Me alone.” – Bhagavad Gita 7:20-23
http://www.bhagavad-gita.us/
To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. (Qur’an 20:8)



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jd70

posted July 18, 2007 at 12:44 pm


Melissa,
“If God thought that was enough for us he wouldn’t have sent Christ. We constantly as a human race fail each other. Look at society as a whole. Abortion, murder, children being abused physically and sexually etc.”
I would ask how does Christ coming fix those problems? Christ can come and die and rise again and we can believe in such if we so choose, but how does believing in such give us the ability to make better choices as human beings? In the end regardless of what we believe it is up to us to make “good” choices and take responsibility for our actions. Maybe instead of believing in things, being mindful of the golden rule might be a better place to start.



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laura t mushkat

posted July 18, 2007 at 12:51 pm


oy vey-such a simple answer-Jews, Muslims, etc do not need Christian beliefs because we are not Christian!
What more really needs to be said.
Laura-yeah I am back.



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Steven R. Edelman

posted July 18, 2007 at 12:54 pm


Danny I am sorry that you felt insulted. I feel insulted every time someone tells me to believe that G-D has a son. It violates my own religious sensitivity. No one apologizes for that. I have also been insulted every time a believer in the human called Jesus tells me that I will go to hell because I don’t believe in him. A life time of insults to my religious practices is surely nothing compared to calling a human being a pretender, a demigod, or just plain crazy. I think that I deserve the opportunity to say what I feel. You have not been insulted. Perhaps your belief has been insulted. Be grateful that you have not lived in my shoes.



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Alicia

posted July 18, 2007 at 2:57 pm


As a Christian, I am particularly drawn to Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement for the sins of the previous year. I had a friend (actually a board member of an organization I worked for) who used to apologize to me for any sins, unwitting or not, that he had committed against me in the previous year. My best friend in high school was Jewish (though, because her mother was Catholic, would not be accepted as such by the Orthodox, I gather).
Judaism has so much going for it, in terms of the high standards it appears to hold its adherents to, both educational and moral. Perhaps if Christians were more concerned with what we do here on Earth, and less concerned with salvation, we might be better people and better Christians.



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Anonymous

posted July 18, 2007 at 3:27 pm


I have a nephew through marraige whose late mother and father were Jewish. He is now a Jew in some manner I guess but he does nothing to honor his Jewish indentity. Is he a Je? Does he find redemption along with 1000′s of other similar Jews in their collective manner of saving one another. I f so that seems like a pretty good deal. And if he doesn’t, how much of a Jew does he have to be?
NIN



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Jen R

posted July 18, 2007 at 4:29 pm


I appreciate the article. I am Christian and don’t understand Judaism well. I want to though. Because it baffles me how both religions believe so deeply about the same “first half” of the book, and then there is such a decisive line.
I’d love to hear about how Jew’s communicate with God. Do you ever feel God’s presence or get the feeling like he’s trying to lead you somewhere? When you pray, can you hear God’s reply in your heart? Do you believe God has a plan for your life?
Thanks All,
Jen



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nnmns

posted July 18, 2007 at 4:34 pm


“If God thought that was enough for us he wouldn’t have sent Christ.”
Melissa, there is zero evidence that ever happened. The miracles, which are the only reasons anyone takes it seriously, are not documented by anyone back then other than those who wrote the NT decades later, and they had their own agendas. And then of course the books available for a Bible were picked over and chosen for their value to the priests and emperor and some were left out.
But those miracles as described would have been amazing enough that someone would certainly have recorded them at the time they happened, and no one did (or at least no one whose writing survived, and if there were a powerful god who wanted to announce itself couldn’t it have made sure those writings were widely known?).
The only reasonable conclusion is that those miracles never happened and Jesus, if he existed, was a normal guy. Maybe thoughtful and a good speaker but nothing special as people go.
So don’t worry about why “God” sent Jesus. It didn’t.



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Ginger

posted July 18, 2007 at 4:50 pm


Michael,
I really liked your post and believe it summarized very well what we should all consider very deeply. I couldn’t have said it better myself.



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Marlene Emmett

posted July 18, 2007 at 5:26 pm


To my Boardmates:
I was raised up in a Jewish household~ but there’s a twist to my story.
My Biologicial parents were Jewish and one of my grandparents was Russian~I was given up at birth and adopted by a lovely couple.
Now here is the twist~ My adopted father before he married my adopted
mother was Italian,German & Protestant.My adoptive mother was Jewish,
Austrian & Irish. My father knew that there was no way my mom could
get married~ so he converted with his parents blessings. He was one
of three sons & he had a sister.So as I grew up I knew that I had
cousins & grandparents who were Protestant/Lutheran/Catholic~for some
reason I have always gone to the Catholic side of the family.
Even though I was BasMitazvah’d I’ve always felt closer to Christ.
I chose to remember Christ’s Jewish Side~Mary and Joseph were from the
*house of David~and it was prophesided to Namoi by an angel, jerome
that there would be not only a king but the Messiah from the House of
David* Do I beleive in Christ~yes.
Many years ago I married into a family~ mother in law’s the daughter of
a Protestant Minister and my father in law is Jewish. Their oldest son’s a Unitarian Minister! Our family celebrates Passover,Christmas
and Easter~ and I have dinner each year with my cousins who are
Orthodox Jews for Jewish New Year!



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Barbara

posted July 18, 2007 at 7:08 pm


What do you make of the Jews for Jesus movement?



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Mike Reid

posted July 18, 2007 at 9:06 pm


As I read the postings before mine I was struck by several things…one was the number of Christians and Jews who felt qualified to explain the other group’s beliefs, unfortunately their explanations were altogether wrong.
Another was that so many took the attitude that “all Jews” or “all Christians” believe a particular doctrine. Folks, I dare say that the various Jewish groups (Orthodox, Conservative, Liberal, Reconstructionist, Messianic, etc.) disagree with each other as much as the various Christian groups (Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Reformed, Protestant, Restored, etc.). There are barely any universal Jewish teachings and hardly any universal Christian teachings.
Lastly, after some 2000 years it’s a shame we can’t just trust G-D to take care of each of us (as well as our Islamic brothers and sisters).



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David

posted July 18, 2007 at 9:45 pm


The 12 Apostles and early believers were Jews so I don’t see how some people can say that you can’t be a Jew or Jewish if you believe in Jesus. Jesus himself was a Jew and guess what, he was a practicing Jew. So you can be Jewish and believe in Jesus at the same time (period).



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Steven R. Edelman

posted July 18, 2007 at 10:34 pm


You can’t be a Jew and believe in Jesus because doing so is idolatry. That has been explained many times by many different Jews. You cannot believe that a man was a god. There is only one G-D with no other parts. That much is simple. I believe that Jesus was a man. In that this was true, he was a child of G-D, as we all are. He was no different. Now he is dead, and has been for nearly 2000 years.



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David

posted July 18, 2007 at 10:55 pm


How is it idolatry? The main focus of Christianity (as far as how I understood and read about it) is to worship God the Father and Jesus was the door way to him. So although Jesus was the “key” it is God the father that is Yaweh and Jesus and the Holy Spirit were different personifications of him. Hence God the father, God the Son,(Jesus) and the Holy Spirit were all personifications or personalities of him. But it is still one God just three different aspects of him.



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~Sage~

posted July 19, 2007 at 12:59 am


David, the phrase, “believe in Jesus” generally means “as God”, right?
In Judaism, it’s idolatry when a “man” is referred to as “God”. (Personification doesn’t really mean to be human)
Also, without a belief in the concept of “original sin”, being saved is not necessary. The concept of OS was created long after the death of Jesus.



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Bmanfitzroy

posted July 19, 2007 at 1:19 am


Jesus was called Rabbi by the 12 Apostles. If memory serves correct, Rabbi means teacher. Perhaps this ties in with the theory that Jesus was Jewish as was His followers and 12 Apostles, until Jesus proclaimed Himself as the Savior. Hmm…then that leads to other questions, I don’t know the full depth of it. Just to broaden the argument I guess…



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Ollie

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:08 am


Jesus was a figure in diffucult times in the right place for people who where oppressed by a powerfull en strong rule of the romans. remember that those words spoken in those days are so open for intrepetation that we can easily misunderstand the meaning of what jesus meant. And even then they were altered and misunderstood by other people who also had there own believes about right and wrong. Although i don’t question jesus’ words, they are so full of wisdom and thruth, i see them as a guide to how i want to live my life and how he is so close to all what we seek. I think that, like all other “thruthseekers” he was the closest to what we all seem to call god, as well i see god as my innerpartner and with whom i had conversations from as long as my childhood. I think that jesus gives us a message that god is one of love, understanding and forgiveness that we need to see in ourselves and thru that reaching out to our others. Muhammed Ali (you know the boxer) said it very plainly: Me, We.
I think jesus would turn in his grave if he would have heard for which purpose his words sometimes are used and abused for all in his name for over 2000 years.History teaches us, but we seem to lose sight of all the good there is and how to make it work for ALL of us.
Personally i don’t care if i need a saviour. I’m responsible for my own actions, may they be “sins” or not.
Jews are not “guilty” in not seeing jesus as there saviour,aswell that all religions should not judge but rather join to search in that they in fact all want: make a connection with what we call god or allah or buddah or rimpilstilstkin or oprah winfrey (lol).
We should know that god is not a religion, but god is US, as jesus says so. If there is a way, do you dare to look inside yourself like jesus did? Do you dare to look to others with that same spirit and courage and love as jesus did? I’m doing my best, inspite of all my diffuculties. But i’m proud to say that i do understand just a littlebit of what is meant of jesus’s his words and to the words af others.
Even in the tiniest there is a sign of god.Do you know where to look?
olaf nicolai, the netherlands
magicollie@gmail.com



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Connor

posted July 19, 2007 at 5:02 am


Why has GOD not appeared to the Jews or helped them since the veil of the temple was rent in two?



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Steven R. Edelman

posted July 19, 2007 at 5:36 am


It does not matter how it phrased. An omnipotent, omnipresent divine entity does not need “three aspects.” Hence, no need of a son or holy spirit. Just need of the divine. The creation of aspects is the best part of Creationism that I know. It certainly is not Evolution. I believe in G-D from the one aspect that is the original.



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Paul H

posted July 19, 2007 at 7:55 am


Are we all not “like God” We create, destroy, desire and produce. The sad fact is that while so many folks are wise and contribute to human understanding NONE of us actually KNOW what is just the other side of the grave. NONE of us.I spent years in study as so many of you have I’m sure and I do not understand all of the Bible but I understand that ALL MUST come to repentance. I understand that so very many years ago a guy I never met died for me so after I go I do not have to experience the Second Death. I understand that my creator wants more for me and that he will be disappointed if I do not accept his most generous way out of my human and therefore sinful situation. I don’t know about Adam and Eve I wasn’t there. I do understand that all of us have the chance to come to terms with our creator and I guess that has to be enough for me.I myself don’t understand how so many deny Christ but I can’t worry about that I MUST live in such a manner that others want what I have and be an example that others can strive to live up to. I fail so often but I MUST be more than the sum of my parts. If I cannot do that then ALL my creators efforts to show me that I can be forgiven are naught and that would be the greatest insult don’t you think? I know a lot of folks do not “see the need” I understand that I really do but I wonder, One minute after I die, after any of us do, and by the way that is inevitable will we understand the need then? I’ve been as close to death as ANY OTHER MAN and I can tell you that well there are some chances I do not have to take. I don’t think we should “get saved” just to “stay out of the flames” but it’s not a bad reason either! I was shot, in the head, I know that there are “no Atheist in foxholes” But why wait to be in one? Are we all not in one all the time?



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jd70

posted July 19, 2007 at 10:02 am


Paul H:
I am a little perplexed with your post. You say that none of us knows what happens after death which I agree with, but then you say that a guy died many years ago so you don’t have to die a “second death” If we don’t know what happens when we die how can we make reference to a “second death” You said you don’t know about Adam and Eve because you weren’t there, but you seem to know that a guy died many years ago so you don’t have to die a “second death”. Where you there for that?
I for one just do not understand why we fret over things we can’t know. Personally I don’t know what is going to happen to me tomorrow, let alone after I die. We live each day within the confines of the unknown, not just at the time of death and we each struggle with that fact in our own way.



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jd70

posted July 19, 2007 at 10:41 am


What is it about Jesus that makes one believe that he was the unique “incarnation of G-d” any different from any of the rest of us? While he had some good ethical teachings, he also withered fig trees and taught his desciples to do the same if they just have “faith and believe”, killed thousands of pigs when he didn’t have to, showed disrespect for is mother(John 2:1-4), and at times was vindictive when folks disagreed with him. I am not trying to offend anyone, just trying to understand.



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Aaron Brennan

posted July 19, 2007 at 12:25 pm


I believe the comment that Israel does not need a savior is not exactly true. I believe there are many references to O God our Savior, and my Savior and my God. Many may think that he saves only from their troubles and not from themselves, but I think history would speak differently.



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Kuriakose Varkey

posted July 19, 2007 at 1:55 pm


The Jewish concept of collective responsibility is very admirable. However I would argue that Jesus was for collective responsibility and not for individual salvation. While the feeling of ‘collectiveness’ for Jews is limited to the Jewish community, Jesus taught ‘collectiveness’ feeling that includes the entire mankind.
It is impossible to concentrate on one’s own salvation if Jesus’ command “Love thy neighbor as thyself” is followed. Because this command makes one to FULLY identify with his/her neighbor. Neighbor, as Jesus demonstrated in the parable of Good Samaritan, can be ANY other human being regardless of color, caste, creed, nationality etc.
If my neighbor is not saved, it is as bad as I myself am not saved. “Saving” is not getting baptized and adopting a ‘Christian’ name. [Saving is accomplished by spiritual growth by living a life of sacrifice and love for one's brothering following the life of Jesus as an example and becoming 'Jesus like' by witnessing TRUTH.]
The feeling of ‘ONENESS’ with one’s neighbor and their collective feeling of ONENESS with God Almighty just as Christ is in “ONENESS” with the Father Almighty is the message and teaching of Christ. Because man failed to live a life God wanted him to live, Jesus lived a life filled with love and compassion, demonstrating how man should live his life on earth.
The question “are you saved”, if addressed to just an individual, can come only from a distorted understanding of Christ’s teaching. Unfortunately the present day ‘Christians’ are emphasizing on the individual salvation. They are misrepresenting Jesus who is yet to be discovered
Kuriakose



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jd70

posted July 19, 2007 at 3:40 pm


Very well said Kuriakose Varkey. I also recall Jesus saying “What you do for the least of these you do for me.”



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Kat

posted July 19, 2007 at 5:26 pm


I have a new appreciation and understanding of this aspect of Judism. It is a mindset that would well-benefit many Chrisitian denominations and practices.



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Wisdum

posted July 19, 2007 at 8:33 pm


Re – Kuriakose Varkey
“The Jewish concept of collective responsibility is very admirable. However I would argue that Jesus was for collective responsibility and not for individual salvation. While the feeling of ‘collectiveness’ for Jews is limited to the Jewish community, Jesus taught ‘collectiveness’ feeling that includes the entire mankind.”
** That is true, but can be easily misread. Very early on in the Bible, God states “It is My will that not one shall perish (whose will do you think will prevail?) It was Yeshuah’s “collective” vision to accomplish that end, even if it was His own sacrifice that was to accomplish it. His crucifixion and suffering was not what He had in mind, but he was willing to spend eternity in hell to pay for whatever punishment was assigned to everybody else. (That’s some kind of sacrifice, wouldn’t you agree? And that’s a definite confrontation with the Father, and what the Father’s decision would ultimately be.) We Christians like to believe that the Father accepted that sacrifice as total payment, as arrogant as that may be. By the Way “God sent His only begotten Son” is also a misconception. We are ALL sons and daughters of God the Creator. The words everybody seems to skip over is, “only begotten” that Word means “caused to have Life”. Everybody else was born with freewill (in the usual manner), Yeshuah was born with a specific goal in mind. That is not to say He didn’t have freewill, it is no sacrifice to be ordered or forced to die, only if you volunteer!
LUV 2 ALL
Wisdum



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jessica doe

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:44 am


I have a friend..his father is a Jew but his mother is a Christian…Like ur classmate I wanted to gain a better understanding of what Jews believe..and i too was stuck on the not believing in Jesus as the savior..and he tried to explain..but..usually bcause of interruptions we never got into depth or were usually cut off in our discussions so i couldnt quite make sense of it..but reading ur article allowed me to better understand and appreciate judaism..while i still firmly believe that after adam sinned..the privilage of communing directly with God was taken away from humans which is why God..with unconditional grace and mercy..decided to give us another chance at communication with HIm..through His son Jesus..(we lost the chance to commune directly with Him again..atleast in this life)..But thank u once again..i like being able to understand other traditions and religions rather than judge..



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Anonymous

posted July 20, 2007 at 9:58 am


I wonder if Christians ever ask themselves the question “Who was it that Jesus prayed to, pleaded to , confided in ?” After all my years of searching, it all came down to Father/Abba/Allah. I take it straight to the Top, CEO over it ALL … Our Father.
LUV 2 ALL
Wisdum



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Steven R. Edelman

posted July 20, 2007 at 7:45 pm


Let’s not forget for those who like to cite bits and pieces that there is always Hosea 13:4, which makes thing quite clear about the nature of the Savior.
It is also quite difficult to believe that a divine being who would not allow the sacrifice described in the Akeda, would allow the sacrifice of any man for the sins of others.
I’ll continue to believe in THE Bible (Tanakh), y’all can believe in Sefer Aher.



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Wisdum

posted July 21, 2007 at 9:26 am


Re -Steven R. Edelman
“Let’s not forget for those who like to cite bits and pieces that there is always Hosea 13:4, which makes thing quite clear about the nature of the Savior.”
** Hosea is a very long book, spanning a lot of God vs.Man interaction, including a lot of perspective (and perspective is everything !) This vid sums it all up for me http://youtube.com/watch?v=dac-v_cfc2Q
LUV 2ALL
Wisdum



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Steven R. Edelman

posted July 21, 2007 at 2:30 pm


Nice music. The words mean T’shuva to Hashem and not anyone else. I was also thinking how attempts to convert Jews never make mention of the FACT that the Tanakh does not make way for either a continuation or another book. Hence, you can keep Sefer Aher while I will read the Tanakh according my belief (within the modern context).



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Wisdum

posted July 21, 2007 at 10:57 pm


Re -Steven R. Edelman
I’ve alWays had a problem with the Bible about that. How is it that there is an end to Testaments. From what I gather it is a His-story of Man’s interaction with God, and should be continuing even today … although it’s a poor Testament at best. Seems to me, we are ALL part of the fulfillment of all those prophesies yet to come (although some say they have already come to pass)… Not in my Book !
LUv 2 ALL
Wisdum



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Steven R. Edelman

posted July 22, 2007 at 8:27 am


Actions speak louder than words. Try to find, online, the article in my hometown newspaper, The Fayetteville Observer (North Carolina) that is about the most important aspect of religion. It is on the Faith Page on July 20, 2007. You can find it at http://www.fayobserver.com Go back in the archive to that date. On the left side of the page find Features, click on Faith, go 2/3 of the way down the page to read the article. If you all walk the walk rather than just talk the talk, you will convince your church’s to pay for signs like those, print them in foreign languages, and distribute them worldwide. If you don’t do it, you’ll just prove that I am correct. Actions make the faith, words don’t. You don’t need Jesus to do that. You need yourselves.



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Marlene Emmett

posted July 22, 2007 at 1:06 pm


JessicaDoe: My husband’s mother is Protestant,the daughter of a
Reverand~Her husband is Jewish,they have three grown sons.
Two of the sons married woman who are Catholic. And then there’s me~
as I stated before my father converted to Judism to marry my mother.
My oldest brother in law’s a Unitarian Minister!
Now my husband says “I think of myself as Jewish~ to which I tell him,
you’re not! If you want to become Jewish then do what your late
father in law did~ convert!” I have a cousin who was brought up Jewish,
and fell in love~ her husband converted, he had been Protestant.
Now when I was growing up my parents were involved in helping to find
a new Temple~my father even did the High Holiday Services,he planned
the whole thing! As far as I know my husband never really went to
Temple or had any real religious training,I was BasMitzvahed and did
go to Temple on Friday & High Holidays.We were married by a Cantor,
who was a family friend~ but I asked my brother in law to say the
blessing as a *nod to my mother in law/her parents*
We have been married almost 30 years and my husband still has not converted~ I think he feels that he’ll be disrespecting his mother.
The family is a *Multi Ethnic/Multi Religious mix~but we’re happy,
and come together on many holidays ~ and before dinner we always say
grace and thank him for what we have*



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Steven R. Edelman

posted July 24, 2007 at 7:08 am


We have to answer to a higher authority. We don’t have to deal with a middle man. Such a bargain!



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Wisdum

posted July 24, 2007 at 8:03 am


Re -0 Steven R. Edelman
“We have to answer to a higher authority. We don’t have to deal with a middle man. Such a bargain!”
** Right on Steven ! I think this song by the Beatles iind of sums it up for the Jud(ah) http://youtube.com/watch?v=rdlaZ9URTq8
LUV 2 ALL
Wisdum



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Anonymous

posted July 24, 2007 at 10:33 am


So I guess according to this article … Everything that Jesus went through was unnecessary!! :(



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Carol

posted July 24, 2007 at 1:32 pm


Saved from what? From eternal damnation? The G-d I believe in would never create His children to either believe in Him or suffer eternal damnation. He is a loving G-d who wants us to behave in a loving way towards each other. That is what His desire is. Our belief system is secondary. Behave well and you will be rewarded with eternal life, in whatever form G-d fashioned it. Take responsibility for your own actions, don’t expect someone else to pay for your sins. G-d punished Adam only after he refused to take responsibility for his own actions. He blamed the snake, Eve and eventually G-d Himself for creating Eve. Adam wasn’t punished when he ate the fruit, only after he tried to put the sin on someone (anyone) else.



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Ann Island

posted July 24, 2007 at 1:53 pm


At the time that any of the major religions became widespread people were illiterate. But like us they wondered “why are we here” (on earth) and “what are we supposed to do?” Some of the tribal elders, wise people, explained this incredible adventure that we’re still part of as follows:
There was God, which is the Whole Universe as far as you can see. This phenomenon God sent “Life”, which is “Jesus”, Eternal Life through reproduction of all species (that why you eat Jesus’ body through the wheat and the wine grapes). That’s why “He” must necessarily have come from a virgin! Every Sunday in church we sing odes to Life!
Our brains personified both phenomena! God and Jesus. Now Jesus must have been a very deep thinker to realize what was necessary for people to be happy: Everyone wants to be important to somebody and personal attention is the most desired commodity!
Every culture has a slightly different flavor, minor differences in the exact personifications of the phenomenon Life and Universe!
The tribal elders of the Jews were very shrewd in that they called themselves God’s Chosen People! What more of a self-confidence builder than knowing that you’re a member of God’s chosen people! Of course they weren’t the only ones to hit upon this confidence builder. Every religion claims that God loves them best!



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Scheherazade

posted July 24, 2007 at 2:54 pm


I love and accept this way of thinking. I don’t believe in a religion. My faith tells me to seek discernment within anything that man has capabilities of authority. I have lived my 54 years trying to be an example so that we can unify and to unify, is the most difficult task that I have seen man attempting.



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PQ

posted July 24, 2007 at 6:01 pm


Oy Vey!



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jd70

posted July 24, 2007 at 6:44 pm


Scott R:
“If a Jew dabbles in non-theistic Buddhism, they are an apostate.”
As a non-theistic Buddhist myself I am not sure I understand this. One can easily practice both Buddhism and Judaism. As a matter of fact they have much in common.



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Wisdum

posted July 24, 2007 at 8:06 pm


I’ve never read so much nonsense in my life ! If you know nothing about Judahism, you know nothing about Christianity. Christianity got 100% corrupted when it was taken over by the Romans (with a Greek influence) Yeshuah is the Word of God made man (flesh/incarnate. Just because John said the Word was God, does not necessarily make it so, any more that anything you say is you (in the physical sense). Yeshuah did not come to save us, but to set us free from bondage and set an example for all of us (Christians) to live… “You will do greater than even I.” (Anybody out there think they can do greater than God ?) If you buy into that, it means that you must be willing to sacrifice your Life in the name of Love/God. That pretty much means you need to be prepared to suffer and die for what you believe, not make any one else suffer and die (like the Roman version of Christianity !)… and that is the Word in a physical sense ! TheMessiah the Ju’s are waiting for is to set them free from all the tyrants. As Teviah from Fiddler On The Roof said “I know we are the Chosen, but do we have to be chosen so often ?” Why in God’s name (literally) do all the other religions of the world feel it’s their duty to persecute Ju’s ? Another thing, all the prophesies in Revelation came right out of the Old Testament. Yeshuah only fulfilled 85% of the prophesies. If you are a Ju(dah), it is 100% or nothing; they have no choice as per their Covenant with God. If the rest of you so called Christians are willing to accept 85%, that’s up to you… But then why are you waiting for the second coming ? It is amusing to me that you worship a Mesiah but don’t even know His real name. Jesus is a Greek name, what do you figure the odds are that this Judah boy had a Greek name (or was that an attempt to separate Jesus from His heritage) By the Way the name does not mean “salvation” it means “God saves”. Many of the names in the Bible are actually titles for the story. The question is, did the story come from the name or the name came from the story… as in God saves Jesus… or in the Hebrew, Yeshuah
LUV 2 ALL
Wisdun



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Tony P.

posted July 24, 2007 at 10:02 pm


As I read your blog, I’m not totally certain that you understand Christianity. Corporate solidarity is a key theme in the writings of Paul and the rest of the New Testament writers. Paul writes to the early Christian congregations as a covenant people who have been redeemed out of bondage to slavery and sin by Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah. The promise of a new exodus, which is contained in the prophets and prevalent in the theology of second temple Judaism, has been realized in Jesus Christ. All the promises find their “Yes, and Amen” in Jesus. The people of God are now defined through faith in Jesus Christ as God’s Messiah…the ruler of the world, a people chosen to be a holy nation out of every tribe and tongue and nation.
If you would like to read more on this train of thought, I recommend CONTOURS OF PAULINE THEOLOGY by Tom Holland or ACCORDING TO PLAN by Graem Goldsworthy. I’ve not read the Goldsworthy book, but I am familiar with the synopsis. I am currently reading the Holland book, and he is arguing for an understanding of Paul’s gospel that is essentially Jewish. You may not agree with their conclusions, but it is a far different picture of the Christian message than the one you are painting.



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Wisdum

posted July 25, 2007 at 5:31 am


By the Way, the original Catholics/Christians were called “Followers of the Way” from Yeshuah’s statement “I AM the Truth, the Light and the Way” The problem with the Truth is nobody really wants to know the Truth, they only want truth that agrees with their truth! The problem with the Light, is most people would rather remain in the darkness, concealing what their truth is, and the problem with the Way is it goes against all authority as in “The Truth will set you free” That kind of thinking can get you persecuted and crucified (hello!) Catholic means “Universal” or in other Words “If there is only one God (monotheism) then everybody’s God is the same God. We don’t have different gods, only different perception of the one God (and perception is everything!)
And all you Paulist Theology fans, that is not Christianity but a corruption of it. Paul was a Roman not a Ju(dah. He earned a good living dragging Ju’s off to Rome to feed to the lions. It didn’t take him to long to see a gold mine in the new fledgling religion, and very quickly dragged that off to Rome also (at the dismay of the Apostles). Hey, it’s far more practical and economical to convince everybody to give you everything in the name of God than having to send thousands of soldiers to conquer you and take away everything you own and make slaves out of you. You in effect become a slave for God and Rome pockets the money…brilliant!
The Bible, by the Way is not in chronological order, it has been shuffled to protect secrets that the Ju’s have kept and died for, for centuries, to prevent those who would take advantage for personal gain (as far as I can tell the Romans have been pretty successful so far at finding them out)… “I will put scales on their eyes, and they will not know the Truth, until the proper time” Let me point out also that there is a lot lost in translation from Aramaic to Roman and Greek. Here’s a hint, the name Barabbas is really Bar Abbas, that means Son of the Father, if you had to choose would you pick Jesus or the Son of the Father ? hmmmmm ! That Bar Abbas was a Zealot, and later died at Masada, the fortress and site of a mass suicide to prevent enslavement by the Romans. Judas is the Greek form of Judah. Armageddon is a corruption of Har Meggido
It looks to me that Shakespeare, was the only one that understood what God’s game is here “The world is a stage, and we are all but actors playing a part …” Let me throw this in too “What fools these mortals be !”
There is only one commandment in Christianity “My commandment to you is this, Love one another, as I have Loved you” That is Uncompromising, Unconditional Love (how are all you so called Christians making out with that so far?)All the other rules and regulations are there to excuse that fact that we don’t comply to God’s will… and that’s called “Freewill” without it there is no Love, without Love there is no God, since God defined Himself as Love with a simple I AM !
LUV 2 ALL
Wisdum



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Debra

posted July 25, 2007 at 10:22 pm


What always surprises me is why does it matter how someone else believes? If they decided that Christ is a prophet or a teacher why is that so horrible? People talk about being saved and if that is what you believe who is to say otherwise. If you don’t believe in being saved it shouldn’t matter either. I think the true religion is that which lives and beats within each of our hearts. It is not what someone else might say or the path they walk. But the one path we do walk each day of our lives. The words and things we hold dear to us and have much hope and faith in. Perhaps in the original blog the person was trying to understand by asking the questions in the first place not have the other person defend their belief system. Just a thought take care all.
Deb



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Steven R. Edelman

posted July 26, 2007 at 5:43 am


I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. Accepting Jesus is the acceptance of idol worship. This is a real Jewish perspective. If you accept Jesus you are a Christian. The acceptance of Jesus is not idol worship according to Christianity. That is okay with real Jews (those who have studied and continue to study their religion). Jews who don’t study are very much subject to not following their faith. That is the beginning and end of why Jews really cannot accept Jesus. It goes all the way back to Abraham.



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Anonymous

posted July 26, 2007 at 5:59 am


An intercessor is not needed. Jews speak directly to God any time we want to. Human sacrifice has been off the table since the angel stilled Abraham’s hand when he thought he was doing God’s work sacrificing Isaac. No Jew could accept (a) that Jesus was God’s son, (b) that God would accept the sacrifice of a human being (c) that God could be subdivided or that acceptance of Jesus is the one way to God. All of these ideas are profoundly un-Jewish. God is not some tyranical Incan idol who refuses to make crops grow if a virgin is not sacrificed to his outrage.
Karen



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Karen

posted July 26, 2007 at 6:13 am


We didn’t “reject” Jesus. We rejected the claims that he was the Son of God and the Messiah, neither of which has any room within Jewish thought.
Those who say that the Holocaust and the fall of Jerusalem were just punishments for the “rejection” of Jesus are of the same mind that the Nazis were, that Mel Gibson’s father is, that the President of Iran is. They are hateful and they need to be taught if they are educable and ignored if they are not.
The evil that has been done by people professing to believe in Jesus is so profound that Jesus, who was Jewish, would weep were he aware of it. There are people who believe that the Jews should all return to Israel so that Jesus can slaughter them if they are not converted when he returns. This is the sickness of belief without thought and Christianity without love.



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Wisdum

posted July 26, 2007 at 8:07 am


Does nobody get it, but me? The Ju’s are Jesus/Yeshuah/ Joshuah! God promised to deliver a Messiah unto you (ALL)The Messiah is not a person, but an agenda(or Word, or perspective)and the agenda is Love…Uncompromising, Unconditional Love, and that Love is God and that Love conquers ALL!
There are many religions, with many Bibles all of which have been written with a particular agenda in mind. The Old Testament and the New Testament represents the evolution of mankind, from the beginning of Time ‘till the end of Time, both good and evil (make no mistake about that !) The problem with Bibles, is they are a compilation of twisted semantics, mis-interpretation and slanted agenda, designed to lead you in a certain direction, other than where your heart leads you. “God dwells within the inner recesses of you heart “ We are the only creatures on this planet that live by our intellects instead of our instincts, consequently the only creatures that can commit sin… “Do not eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” (hello !) Original sin is disobedience and we are ALL born with the gift of “freewill” and the ability to disobey! (Ya think God is playing a game with everybody here ? hmmmm)
“Everybody knows something, nobody knows everything” (except God)
We would be Way further down this “Road Called Love” if we could all get together and sift out the BS and focus on the Love. There will never be peace on this earth until we can accomplish that simple, but neigh on to impossible feat. How many times in church do you hear a sermon about Love in the course of a year, two, maybe three ?… How many times do you hear Yeshuah quoted in the course of a year, instead of Paul … 85% percent of Christianity is based upon what Paul taught, 10% is based upon what the Apostles taught… and 5% is based upon what Yeshuah/Jesus taught (What’s wrong with this picture ?) We need to get back to Judah Theology instead of Roman Theology ! (hello !)
“Life is 90% bull and ten percent Love” The 10% Love makes the 90% BS bearable, Even at 9% Life becomes unbearable…Don’t let anybody cheat you out of your 10% !
Yeshuah is the Son of God (but then, aren’t we ALL sons and daughters of God !) He is what we are ALL supposed to be, Love, (as in ,Created in the image and likeness of !) …to Love and be Loved …Uncompromising, Unconditional Lovers. That kind of Love is a standard that God has set through Yeshuah, and the standard is “How much are you willing to sacrifice in the name of Love … I think this song sums it all up
http://youtube.com/watch?v=knMG8D0LMhA
You can start all the religions you want (After all God gave everybody freewill, don’t you think everybody should have freewill? Or do you believe you should go against God’s will ?) but the standard has been set through the Judah and Yeshuah… The ball’s in your court !
LUV 2 ALL
Wisdum



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Erin

posted August 11, 2007 at 3:27 pm


I am Christian, for years my best friend was an orthodox Jew. I have to say that most of the Christian responses here seem quite smug. Telling Jews the ball in theri court and failing to aknowledge that Christians make Jesus look very unattractive is a gross oversisht.



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Peter Russell

posted September 21, 2007 at 8:24 am


God is way smarter than any Jew wants to give Him credit for. God said He would come riding on a colt of a donkey. When He came They rejected Him. Why, because they couldnt believe in what God said. There were over 300 prophecies fullfilled by Jesus. 50% at least would be IMPOSSIBLE to impersonate. And if it were possible God would have writen Prophesies that were impossible to impersonate “which he did” which proves that God is way smart, because He wrote them and Jesus fullfilled them. He even wrote that they would reject Him. Sorry Jews, but you followed the word to a T.



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Your Name

posted July 15, 2011 at 11:50 am


I believe Jesus is the Son of God, and it is my own beliefs. I do not force anyone to believe what I believe. The jews have the right not to believe in Jesus. It is much better. Let them go and leave them alone. In so far, I believe that Jesus may have not been what the Nazis and Jews says. I do not agree with both of them. I think Jesus was white, blue eyes, curly hair and blond and handsome and tall and was like a prince. The fact is this, that the Jews do not believe Jesus is the Son of God, because I asked some of my friends who are Jews who told me that Jesus has never married. In Ancient Israel, they kill those who refuse to marry with a woman. Of course, I do believe so. Jesus was never married. As far so long, I do not condone such ideas and issues that Jesus was married. It is an heresy. Jesus was never married. In the Bible does not say Jesus was married. When the people say Jesus was married, may be counted as blasphemy. The Jews are fair and good and honest. Oh, they are fanatic to say the truth. Sorry. The Jews are right and I have had many Jews friends that were very delight-some.



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Pingback: Why Jews Needed Jesus - Virtual Talmud

Ted

posted December 12, 2011 at 10:15 pm


The whole world needs Jesus. He came as the prophesied Old Testament/Torah Messiah for the sins of the whole world. To the Jews, He came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. He became the final Passover/Pesach Lamb, both as the lamb for Israel and the scapegoat for Azazel. His resurrection occurred at the Feast of First Fruits. He sent the Ruach HaKodesh to his followers on the Feast of Pentecost. He was probably born during the Feast of Booths. Please note these are all what the King James Old Testament calls Holy Convocations – appointment dates for Israel when they would practice for YHWH’s fulfillment in the future. If you look at Genesis 20, Abraham is visited by the LORD (English for YHWH) in the form of a man who has 2 companions (the angels that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah). This man allowed Abraham to wash his feet and give him food. Since no one has seen HaShem, who could this YHWH be except Yeshua. His perfect blood sacrifice took care of everyone’s sin problem, not just the sin of the nation of Israel. As the whole of the children of Israel said Amen to the 10 Commandments, so too they will have to say Blessed is he who comes in the name of YHWH.

To the rest of us, believing in his sacrfice grafts us into the family of Jews (the wild grapes grafted in with YHWH’s – Israel). Also remember that His disciples were all Torah observant Jews who continued to visit the Temple until its destruction in 70 AD. In fact, the Talmud records the Yom Kippur sacrifices were no longer acceptable beginning 40 years before the Temple destruction (the scarlet thread did not turn white indicating the blood on the scapegoat would not cover the sins of the nation). As the Apostles/disciples were instructed by the Holy Spirit to go to the Gentiles, the term Christian (little Christ or Messiah) began as a taunt. Many of the miracles of Jesus were duplicated by His followers, even to this day. I personally have seen deaf ears opened, Hepatitis C healed, bloody wounds close up. I also know 5 men who died and were “awakened” through prayer and laying on of hands. I know people who have been involved with multiplication of items similar to Jesus feeding 3000, 5000 people with only meager food portions.

Every one needs Yeshua Ha Mashiach. The Jew first, then the Gentile.
Shalom!



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