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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Carter apologizes now it's Keilor's turn

While Googling for other things, somehow a link to this article shows up:

This was a surprise. I had often laughed listening to A Prairie Home Companion while driving my car. I doubt I’ll ever listen again. Consider me xenophobic if you want, but when someone like this rants at Jews in a bizarre diatribe, it is simply yet another bit of evidence to me that it’s become socially acceptable to scapegoat Jews under the guise of being a good Christian once again.

I would have expected something like this in 1939, but looks like we close 2009 with the same sorts of potshots coming round again.

Please read the article and then click on the page that says “readers respond to Keilor’s Christmas rant” comments from readers. I really like the response from David J Ansel below.


I also found this blogger's page interesting

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Where does this sense of Entitlement to negate the right of Jews to Jewish law lead next?

After reading a few recent answers on a popular online q and a forum this week, I’ve a few questions of my own. I will write about them here because these are the kind of questions that I know from experience would have Jew haters swarming them with reports to hide them and would see all correct Jewish answers from all over the world with massive numbers of thumbs downs for that same purpose. It has been so disturbing to see that Answers forum being rendered ineffective for people to obtain accurate information about Judaism and to see it being used daily (with apparently the q and a forum condoning much of it) used as a platform to propagandize hatred to Jews by some willful misinformation (blatant lies)

The following things run through my mind, and especially after reading answers from a few who claimed to be actual Christian clergy. I hope very much that they also lied about that. I know they lied egregiously about Judaism and history.

I often wonder how many Christians believe that they have entitlement to use their New Testament to redefine the laws of all other people? Is it considered ethical in Christianity to disrespect the laws of another religion and claim that the other people do not have a right to their own laws?
Do Christians believe that the world's Jewish people do not have a right to Jewish law that Jews have always and still believe is eternal? Do Christians believe that if Jews state that worship of anything other than God violates it we are "persecuting" those who hold to those other beliefs?

Then tell me why statements such as the following remain unchallenged or uncorrected by so MANY other Christians?

"So to answer your question, yes, of course Messianic Jews believe in Christ, and are therefore part of Christendom---but that in no way negates nor abrogates the fact that those who were a part of the house of Israel (I.E. were Jews) continue to be a part of the house of Israel after coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Today, Messianic Jews (as well as other Jews who believe in Jesus) are simply standing their ground and refusing to allow their detractors to define who they are FOR them---they are refusing to allow themselves to be disenfranchised and run out of the Jewish community---and more power to them for doing so!"

It isn’t up to Jews to determine who or what defines a Christian. It isn’t up to Jews to define the laws of other religions or other peoples. However, I often see Christians claiming with authoritative speech that they support people who wish to negate or redefine Jewish law in opposition to it.
First of all, what determines identity as the "house of Israel" the Jewish people, is Jewish law.
If or when a Jew adopts a belief in another entity other than the incorporeal, indivisible singular God/Creator of the Torah, according to unalterable Jewish law recognized by every movement of Judaism across the world and for more than 3500 years, that renders that Jew as apostate and estranged from membership in the covenant nation people Israel (the Jewish people) unless they repent and return.

That paragraph up there I quoted reflects what Jews the world over are experiencing from some evangelical Christians who demand and insist that Jews accept as Judaism, aspects of dogma that God directly prohibits FOR the Jewish people. When Jews say this we aren’t running anyone out of the community. A Jew who has chosen to worship Jesus left Judaism of their own free will. Judaism has never permitted worship of anything other than God and never will. People can freely join or leave Klal Yisrael (the community of Israel)To add insult, as that paragraph indicates, they're telling others that Jews are hateful to apostates because we refuse to permit forms of worship that are forbidden by unalterable, eternal law from the Holy Scriptures of Judaism, the Torah. Not to mention that the apostates among them worldwide number about fifty thousand out of the approximately 400,000 to 500,000 Gentiles call themselves “messianic Jews”. It is only because of massive media and evangelical campaigns that such a small group has so much attention and because of their outspoken antisemitic claims while claiming to be the “real” Israel and “real” Jews.

Why is this unchallenged by Christians when statements like this are said daily and now taught with evangelical campaigns on television and at churches? Don't Christians also follow the commandment,"You shall not bear false witness"?
Why are Christians falling for this new form of antisemitism from people who claim to love Jews while they simultaneously demonize Jews for simply speaking to the truth of what Judaism has always been about?

I quoted a small portion of a much longer answer that was really so over the top with lies about Judaism I think I’ll share it here to show just how desperate and how intense the hatred in this individual must be. If someone spends a great amount of time and effort to fabricate some really absurd lies about another, you know they’re not doing it out of love.

NOTE: I will comment at the < mark from time to time below: * Now, read on to show some real “Christian love” for Jews from that same individual: “This issue gets confounded by a few false premises that are vocally promoted by some Jews today. The first is the silly notion that being Jewish is merely a matter of religious belief. This idea is a ludocrous farce because the original Jews were the physical descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. While the scriptures plainly teach that God's covenant was established with Abraham and "in Isaac shall thy seed be called", and while it used to be universally recognized that Jacob (Israel) had twelve sons, whose descendents were the ancestors of the Jewish people, we're being told today that any reference to Jewish peoplehood constitutes adhering to "Nazi propaganda" and saying that Jews are a "race".” < What a way to try to pervert what Torah says and Jews have explained. NO, Jews say we are a *people*, and those of Abraham’s “seed” who passed along the covenant were only those who accepted the covenant. Not all his descendents according to the Torah were the Jewish people. Only his descendents through Sarah. It is a non-Jewish and Nazi propaganda notion of Jewish identity being based on "blood" or "race" rather than determined by law. This particular person has had this explained in detail previously, too. Not all Jews follow Judaism or are all Jews “good Jews” but if they follow another religion or god they’re definitely no longer being Jewish, and more importantly, they have estranged themselves by their own free will according to God's commandments in the Torah.

“Obviously, there is no Jewish race, but there IS such a thing as Jewish peoplehood. Others can JOIN them (I.E. convert and become Jews), but in doing so, they are becoming an entire part of the Jewish people, not just adopting a new religion.” < They key word there where he self-contradicts is *not just adopting a new religion* he actually admits despite himself they must adopt the religion to convert. To JOIN they MUST adopt the “new religion” and that’s been a part of the process of BECOMING a member of the Jewish people since the time of Abraham. You can't convert to Judaism if you believe in other deities. You can't convert to Judaism if you don't make affirmation of faith in God to the exclusion of anything else and the convert affirms to uphold Torah.

“Besides, the entire line of thinking that being a Jew is merely a matter of religious belief is a nonsensical yarn from git-go. Even FULL-BLOWN ATHEISTS can be considered Jews (so much for it just being a matter of religious belief)! “ < Jewish identity is based on Jewish law. Jews don’t say that it is “merely a matter of religious belief” to be considered a member of the Jewish people. We say Jewish identity is based on Jewish law that God gave us. JUDAISM..the religion, IS a belief and the laws DEFINE that belief and the membership criteria of who and what is permissible for the Jewish people. An Atheist can’t CONVERT to BECOME a Jew since affirmation in the faith of Judaism is required to convert *just* as this preacher even admitted a couple of sentences earlier. His lack of consistency rears its head again.

 “There is even one major, recognzied, so-called branch of Judaism that won't even affirm for sure that there is a God in Heaven--and they focus almost ENTIRELY on Jewish peoplehood! There are totally secular Jews, and Jews whose defiance of the Torah is absolutlely shocking." <  He is histrionic in overstating the numbers and significance and calls a controversial small group of "Humanistic" Jews a "major branch" of Judaism. Why such deception?  Their focus is upon living the ethical precepts of Torah.  That is not nearly as defiant of Torah as worshipping a man as God incarnate in violation of the affirmation of faith , or the abomination of human sacrifice forbidden and condemned many times in Tanakh in the harshest of terms. Again, if they were born members and are simply following ethical precepts of Torah, they are sinning in not worshipping God, but they are still fulfilling many Torah obligations to strive to righteousness, justice and mercy. A secular Jew has not committed idolatry. Many non Jews fail to grasp the significance of the strict obligation placed upon a Jew to NEVER worship anything other than God.

"There are Jews who practice witchcraft ("Jewitches"), homosexuality, even Buddism (Jew-Bu's), yet their Jewish status isn't even questioned.” < He knows this is a lie.  The Torah says no other gods, it doesn't name every false god out there. This preacher knows that Jews have told him this claim was a lie every time he'd said it formore than a year.  I note he also slips the sin of homosexuality in there among belief systems as if it is the same thing as the idolatry of  worshipping a Buddist goddess or Jesus or a Wiccan goddess.  Homosexuality is a sin in the Torah but it isn't one that separates the Jew from his people as God commands foreign worship does.

“Some Jews pick and choose which commandments from God they find personally "meaningful"--and flatly reject the rest--yet they are considered Jews.” < Isn’t this interesting, someone who wants Jews to IGNORE the core commandments from God in the Torah for Jews  complaining about cherry picking Jews! He's clearly not consistent especially when he insists upon ignoring direct commandments from God  for Jews nor does he observe concern over ",Do not bear false withess!

“But you let a God-fearing, Torah-observant son of Israel--circumcised on the eighth day, Bar Mitzvah'ed, and reared on synagogue life study the evidence and reach the conclusion that Jesus is the Messiah, and Presto-Chango, merely for this belief alone, he has supposedly lost his Jewish status and has morphed into a gentile. Could a bigger bunch of hogwash possibly exist? “<  First of all, I’ve never met or seen such a person who knew Judaism and followed it as a "God fearing, Torah observant" Jew who would decide that everything about it was wrong and then leave it for another religion. On the remote possibility that such a person did exist who would leave worship of God to worship Jesus, if they were an honest person they would certainly know that worship of Jesus is not Judaism.  His notion of a God fearing Torah observant person is someone who believes God lied to every man, woman and child at Sinai who affirmed God is ONE.  God told all Israel that God does not become a man.  The prophets all echoed that and said that no man becomes a god, either.  Yet, the core of Christian dogma, the New Testament, is that God either created a demigod through impregnating a human, OR became incarnate "in the flesh". There is no more egregious way to violate Torah POSSIBLE than to worship a man as a god or believe God became a man.

That is a sin that separates a Jew from God and from the purpose of the covenant of Israel.
Honest converts to Christianity from Judaism would not claim he’s still following Judaism. IF a previously Torah observant Jew were to decide to follow Jesus and rely on his sacrifice for atonement of sin rather than follow the Torah's and Judaism's precepts regarding these things that person would certainly know enough to realize he can’t follow contradictory belief systems. God calls human sacrifice an abomination and since we know that if someone "believes Torah" they would not believe in a human as a deity. Therefore, Jesus sacrifice was a human sacrifice, an abomination. Deicide is not possible since God does not die, God is not incarnate TO die.
Anyone actually raised to know a whit about Judaism who would reject it for Christianity would hopefully be a person  HONEST to remember that God declared human sacririce is an abomination for Jews, and know that worship of a Jew or through a Jew is an egregious violation of Torah to do based on even a rudimentary knowledge of Torah.

“And what's even more laughable (and so ridiculous that it leaves one reeling) is when you realize that JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF was a JEW! He never lost HIS Jewish status."  < Who knows? Nothing was written about him until more than a generation after his death. If Jesus was not a Jew he couldn’t have even been a messiah potential. That he finds his extreme perversions of what he's read from other Jewish posters,(Rabbis included) and his misrepresentations of Jewish law and history enough to make him “reel” in laughter, is revealing of the glee he takes in trying to create hatred and animosity to Jews by bearing false witness. I don’t want to sidetrack here so I’ll get back to addressing his absurd perversions of Judaism and history..

“In fact, the entire early Christian movement was simply an outgrowth of Judaism. The historical reality is that Jesus, the original apostles, and the entire original church were all Jewish. There were literally THOUSANDS of Jews who believed in Jesus, they were a part of the Jewish community, and they didn't somehow "stop being Jews" when they recognized Jesus as the Messiah."  < Hmm..how is it that somehow these “thousands” of Jews never wrote down anything during Jesus’ lifetime about him? We’ve got librarires full of Jewish writings contemporary to Jesus lifetime. Historical record indicates that rather than an outgrowth of Judaism it was an attempt of the colonizers and conquerors to assimilate Judaism into their Empire.

“This is the reason why the Jews lost the Second Jewish Revolt---Rabbi Akivah tried to acclaim Simon Bar Kokhba as the Messiah--which caused all of the Jews who believed in Jesus to have to step down rather than march under the banner of a false messiah. Rather than placing the blame on Rabbi Akivah for proclaiming a false messiah or on Bar Kokhba for BEING a false messiah, they blamed the Jews who believe in Jesus!!!! It was only after this point that this foolishness of trying to somehow renounce the Jewish status of believers in Jesus got started. It continues to this day“. <  This is an extremely absurd and bizarre attempt to pervert history. Christians had refused to ally themselves with the Jews against Roman persecution long before the Bar Kochba Revolt and were already considered a separate religion group by both Jews and Romans before this time.

BEFORE the Bar Kochba revolt and before Rabbi Akivah ..Rome had already considered Christians a separate group because the early Christians petitioned the Emperor to do just that, recognize that they were not Jews.  The objective historical evidence for this fact is that  the emperor Nerva (96-98 C.E.) freed the Christians from paying the Fiscus Judaicus, the Jewish capitation tax decreed as a punishment for the revolt of 66-73 C.E.   The tax was placed upon anyone who was said to be "living a Jewish life".

Clearly, the Romans already regarded the Christians as a separate religion group prior to this time. The Temple treasury was raided in 66CE by the Roman governor of Judea, Florius and a massacre of Jews in Jerusalem by the Romans took place.

The early Christians did not take part in the FIRST revolt triggered by this massacre. THEY separated from the customs, beliefs and from the Jewish people themselves by this time and the Romans recognized and rewarded this!

Christianity has never been a unified belief, from the earliest days of the Didache (instructions to the apostles on how to conduct church affairs) there were conflicts on how much Judaic influence should remain (was Jesus a god or not?) and it was often a very nasty affair. The Gnostics were largely killed off by their fellow Christians, but some Gnostic aspects do remain. A study of the Nag Hammadi library (translations from the Coptic are online) can help you discern this. Christianity really has little to do with Judaism. It's a mixture of Roman and Greek mystery religions and focuses on death with Hebrew names and mistranslated texts.
Things that I once thought must have been fabricated outright I later discovered were beliefs of the ancient Greeks and Romans. This was the longstanding battle for souls going on..the Hellenized Jews, those who had become apostate to Judaism, desired to entice other Jews to worship as the Greeks that they believed superior in philosophy and knowledge, so they created texts that tried to say..see this is what it was supposed to have been all along. However, reality was that those beliefs were identical to the beliefs and practices that the Torah demonized and prohibited for Jews.
Once one begins an in-depth study of the religious practices and beliefs of all the peoples surrounding the Jews in the centuries just preceding the beginning of Christianity, one can see these developments take place. It was a concerted effort to do away with Israel and Judaism.

A large percentage of the early church fathers who became martyrs did so at the hands of their co-religionists of competing sects of Christianity when Christianity was not so clearly defined as a tool of the Roman empire.

Any entity that would threaten Roman authority would be persecuted by the Romans. Perhaps the earliest Christians (a band of followers of a messiah hopeful would threaten Roman rule, since the prophetic vision of Judaism of "the messiah" is of a RULER, a king, who breaks the yolk of political oppression and persecution for all and brings about universal brotherhood, peace and knowledge of God) would most certainly have been a threat. But once the doctrine of the New Testament gelled, that changed the Tanakh concept of messiah meaning an anointed king, to mean a sacrifice for sin and a "kingdom" not of this world, this had effectively changed the Christians from being enemies of Rome to tools of Rome.

Thus began the conversion of the Romans!

Emperor Hadrian later attempted to wipe out Judaism after Jews revolted against the previous Emperor, Trajan. He built a Roman temple to Jupiter on top of the ruins of the old Jewish temple in Jerusalem, which had been destroyed in 70 CE, and is said to have burnt the Torah on top of the Temple Mount in 135 CE .
He then renamed Judea, Palestina, a Latinized version of the name of the Philistines, to insult the Jews and eliminate the history of Jewish presence.

The early followers of Jesus who had been awaiting his reincarnation separated themselves publicly from the Jews once again in the time of the 2nd revolt, and once again refused to ally themselves with the Jews and allied themselves to the Romans. This time instead of simply passively ignoring the plight of the Jewish people, early Christians took up arms with Romans against the Jews. This led to another messiah hopeful, Simeon Bar Kochba to view them as the enemies of Israel, thus, after the defeat of the Jews and the murder of Bar Kochba, the Chistians were not expelled along with the Jews. Rome rewarded them a SECOND time for their refusal to be allied to the Jews.
Simeon Bar Kochba's revolt that saw to the Christians allying themselves in arms to murder Jews, was a generation AFTER they had successfully petitioned Rome to be recognized as NOT being Jews, because they did not live a Jewish life.

After Constantine - First Christian Emperor of Rome (285-337 CE) the Roman empire was Christian.

That poster knew all of this *before* he concocted his revision of the history. I know he knew this because he’d read these things in answers I’d written before and I'd previously pointed out to him when he tried to claim that both the Roman expulsion and the Holocaust were punishment from God for “rejecting” Jesus.

How’s that for love, eh?

If these perversions are the kinds of things that are becoming commonplace in churches is another Holocaust soon to follow?

I did not alter any portion of the other person's words.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Those who hate Jews don't want you to read this

The question asked Why are Jews being accused of hate

and the additional details said:
when we state that "Messianic Jews" are not practicing Judaism?

My answer:

Two things that would become glaringly apparent to anyone who peruses the Y/A R&S section for questions asking about Judaism.

1) It is a rare thing when a question is asked about Jewish belief that there are not answers that appear from people who hold to beliefs that are utterly contradictory to Judaism (New Testament doctrine) and that violate the most basic core precepts of Torah, yet claim they are Torah observant.

2) These accusations of Jews hating people for belief in Jesus are antisemitic attacks on Jews. That is a fact. Antisemitism is hatred of the Jewish people. One does not lie about Jews, Judaism and falsely accuse Jews unless they hate them. It makes no difference if they're calling themselves the "real" Jews, that's a common ploy. The people at "Elohim City" in Arkansas also considered themselves the real covenant people of Israel. So do the Covenant Sword and Arm of the Lord groups. All have in common their desire to take on the identity of the Jews, incite hatred to the Jews and do away with us. Unfortunately the "Messianic Jews" have somehow fooled many good hearted people that they have a right to do this, whereas the other groups who engage in this behavior are rightly identified as hate groups. When Jews declare in all honesty that Christian doctrine is not Judaism, those are not attacks to the right of people to believe in the New Testament that tells them they must worship to or through Jesus or consider his crucifixion a sacrifice to atone for their sins.

The *first* time I asked for an example of the hate Jews are supposed to be displaying in Y/A to Christians, I was accused of speaking in hate for stating that belief in Jesus was not Torah observant! If that is the logic of that accusation, then there is no way to avoid that accusation as believing Jews will ALWAYS have to speak to the truth of the fact that the eternal covenant forbids worship of or through a human and that God does not become a man. Believing Jews do not believe God lied to us in the Torah. If speaking to the truth of Judaism is hateful to you, then don’t believe in Judaism.
 Find another path. Just don’t project hatreds onto a path that teaches us that all humans are worthy of God’s love and all able to directly connect to God and our fellow man in honesty and then expect anyone honest to have a whit of respect for you. 

It is not hate to say that Christian doctrine ( the New Testament ) is not Judaism.

If a Christian were to declare in all honesty that worship of the Devil is not Christianity, is it not the same logic ( actually LACK of logic ) to say that the Christian is displaying "hate" to the Devil worshipper who insists he is an observant Christian?
 The Devil worshipper may well have written or read a document of his particular religion that tells him that he is the real Christian because Jesus is really the Devil and therefore, anything that the Christian religion says is irrelevant and they no longer have a right to define themselves. Or at least that's what they claim, since the former Christian religion was "done away with".

So, who would be the one displaying hatred in that situation. The Christian who spoke out in truth that worship of the Devil can never be considered following their New Testament, and who says it is utterly offensive to call Jesus a devil? Or in this hypothetical nonsense, the Devil worshipper who is perverting every aspect of Christian faith and hijacking the identity of the Christians while lying about them?

Christianity isn't Judaism. The New Testament doctrine is not and shall never be a form of Judaism.

Now look at this convoluted "logic":

"We are told that Christians don't get to define what Judaism is and who is or is not a Jew but when you tell us that Messianics are Christians or that belief in Jesus makes you a Christian you are doing the same thing in reverse."
 Jews have  repeatedly said on questions that poster appeared on that it isn’t up to Jews to give them a name but they cannot hijack the name of Judaism, and we have no other name by which to refer to one whose spirituality, religious tenets and doctrine are from the books of the Christian Bible, their Old and New Testaments. Those texts have never been a part of Judaism. We repeat these truths until the cows come home and they’re ignored and then the attack to sidetrack soon follows..yup, there it is:

"You want us to treat you with respect but you are unwilling to reciprocate."  (user name removed here)
 Excuse me? And when or where have any Jewish users been disrespectful to anyone who was behaving with a modicum of respect to us?  Identity theft and utter falsification of the doctrine, tenets and beliefs of Judaism in a question and answer forum, false personal accusations, and other antisemitic attacks are not something that should be respected by ANY decent human being, Jew or Gentile.

The *last* time I asked for an example of the hate you accuse, the only response was for one known for antisemitic postings of their own to take an out of context quote from another Jewish user here about how Christian doctrine does not apply to Judaism and then claim it was hate against Christians! Jews teaching what is and is not Judaism does not define hate to another for their choice to believe in whomever or what ever they choose. 
By *that* logic, if a Christian were to say that worship of Vishnu is not a part of Christianity, they are displaying hate against the Hindu.  it wouldn't be accepted if that were presented, yet there are several on this forum who try to use that bizarro pretzel logic to claim Jews display hatred to Christians when we honestly say that Christianity is incompatible with Judaism and Jesus worship is a severe violation of Torah.

What I do see is that every time Jews speak out to correct someone who has said in utter falsehood that any form of worship to or through another human being could be compatible with Torah observant Judaism is that the Torah reasons given for this obvious statement are ignored and false ad hominem and strawman fallacy, and every other form of fallacious debate technique imaginable are given with these horrible accusations that Jews in Y/A are speaking out in hate to Christians. This is done for no other purpose than to create antisemitism. They continue it because it's working as the answers that appear alongside them to agree and further demonize illustrate.

It is a Torah obligation to Jews to speak out against anyone bearing false witness against Jews, Judaism and hijacking our very identity. Jews simply have no other name to give to a group whose tenets of faith are found in the New Testament, utterly contradict Torah in their assigning of the ability of a human to pardon sin, to be a sacrifice for sin and other violations of direct commandments. If they do not wish to be called Christian, that's not a Jewish issue. It IS a Jewish issue when they insist on hijacking Jewish identity.

Every branch of Judaism on every continent speaks in unison on this issue.
 This isn't a schism within Judaism.
 The only good thing to have come about this attack on Judaism in the 40 years since it first began is that it has actually brought the various movements together in understanding that we are much closer alike in our beliefs and understanding and that it is more a difference of how we choose to observe and honor what the Torah teaches us than what we read in the Torah.

This is why it has confused and often angered the Messianics so much and why they sometimes try to divide Jews here in pitting Orthodox vs Reform or Conservative...but you will note that Jews from Europe, Africa, North America, South America and the Middle East, from Orthodox, Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative appear regularly in full agreement over this issue.

 I'm connected to nearly a 100 Jews from all over the world and not once have I seen any of them do what has been accused here.

Yes, we do reach out to our fellow Jews across the world. We have all said that teshuvah, repentance and return as taught in Torah are always open and available to any apostate who wish to return. King Solomon even displayed his change of heart in the last chapters of Ecclesiastes upon his return from his apostacy of following false gods and witchcraft.

And I also connect to and respect Christians of integrity who live as shining examples of their faith in treating their fellow Yahoo users with respect.

I shall also continue to speak out against bigotry and misrepresentation when I see it. I am here in Y/A to learn and to help others learn what I know, and that includes to speak out against willful misrepresentation of my religion and other Jews when I see it.

My answer ended above that line..now I add these comments regarding that incident.
The question was asked and deleted in January, 2009. I recall that at that time I had 12 thumbs ups and no thumbs downs for several hours, then within a half hour, the most *amazing* thing happened, 53 thumbs downs appeared to "hidden due to low rating" the answer. Before the q closed, the asker chose it as Best Answer, so that rendered that hiding ineffective. I guess that there were a few users who were desperate to hide that answer because within hours of that BA, I had a VN in my mailbox for "not a question or an answer". Appeal was denied with a form letter.

The escalation of accusations to Jews that we display "hate" to Christians for simply declaring the doctrine of the Jewish religion has been astonishing in it's display in Y/A.

I see it as illogical to consider every university Comparative Religion course as hate to Christians. If it is hate to say Judaism isn't Christianity as any Comparative religion course would of course note,wouldn't it be hate to say any other religion that also is contradictory to Christianity is hate to Christianity?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Real Pharisees

Unless you’re well versed in Jewish history and Judaism, most people who hear the term Pharisee have the knee-jerk reaction to associate that label with “ hypocrite”. If that is the case for you, dear reader, I'll bet your notion of a Pharisee is from the New Testament. That definition is not compatible with the Jewish history version of their lives and legacy. New Testament doctrine demonized them because they refused to abandon the eternal covenant (testament) of Torah to worship a Hellenized man/god and assimilate into the Roman empire.

 Their depiction in the New Testament is hardly flattering to say the least. I doubt that my information regarding the Pharisees will be taken seriously by Christians for whom their New Testament is believed to be infallible. The Christian Bible presents Jesus as having a great conflict with the Pharisees. I cannot assume that Jesus had such a problem with the Pharisees, especially since so many of this most popular "quotes" are the precise teachings of the Pharisees who came before him!

 I think that it was the writers of the New Testament who had the problems with the Pharisees and their strict adherence to Torah’s commands to not add new deities and their refusal to assimilate into the Roman Empire.  The Pharisees were also a political threat to the Romans because they promoted equality and literacy for all classes.

 The Pharisees were the members of the sect of Judaism that promoted education and literacy for all classes, not just the wealthy or elite that were literate across the Roman Empire.  They believed that Torah should be able to be read and understood by all people. The Pharisees also accepted converts as fully Jewish and some other sects did not.  Ironically,  the one sect so often mentioned as being one that Jesus perhaps had received training from, the Essenes, did not accept converts.  The Pharisees were self-named because they wanted to keep Torah *separate* from pagan, foreign influence (Hellenized and Roman man/gods).  

The name Pharisee comes from the Hebrew word perushim, the plural of  פָּרוּשׁ  the Hebrew word parush, meaning set apart or separate.  They arose as a separate group of Jews during the Greek occupation; a time when the Greek rulers were working to assimilate the Jewish people by mixing their deities with Judaism. For some, their efforts worked. There were quite a few Hellenized Jews, so impressed with Greek philosophy and literature that they believed it superior to the ways of the conquered Israel.  Greek philosophy still even managed to influence Judaism despite the Pharisees.

 The legacy of the Pharisees writings and the Jewish history of their lives do not indicate they were hypocritical elitists the New Testament depicts, but Jews dedicated to keeping the covenant of Israel intact without corruption from idolatry. The Pharisees of the New Testament are depicted as people for whom observance of rote custom and ritual were all important.  They were viewed as going through the physical motions and outward observances without emphasizing the ethics and justice underlying the reason for the customs or conveying the deep spiritual meanings or connection. The New Testament depicts them as being spiritually devoid.

 It is in fact that Judaism the Pharisees sought to protect centers on the Torah's precepts that teach that each individual rich or poor, Jew or Gentile, connects to God directly without intermediary in a very real, living relationship.  It is the Pharisees that taught that how we live toward one another and care for the world around us is a reflection of our connection to our faith. The Pharisees did not demonize other nations because they did not believe the same as they do, but they would speak out just as the Jews of today are obligated to do, the modern day actual Pharisees speak out when we are told that we must accept AS JEWISH, beliefs and practices that are directly forbidden by the eternal covenant of Israel.

 Some Christian missionaries preach the libelous fallacy that the Pharisees and later the Rabbis who came from them corrupted Torah by adding to it.

It was not Pharisees who sought to either add to or take away from law. They rejected any and all attempts from any who would try to do such a thing. It is because they REFUSED to add and take away from the law of Torah  that they were hated by first the Hellenists and Romans, and then the Christians whose concepts of Jesus as an incarnate manifestation of the Divine and of human sacrifice to atone for sin are also forbidden by the Torah to separate the Jew from the eternal covenant.

 The Sadducees were the elitists and among whom were the greatest number of collaborators with Rome and whose followers included many of the most Hellenized Jews. The Pharisees were the group that included the common people and the convert. The Pharisees did not have the attitude of being separate from other Jews adherent to the covenant, or from the common people, but to be separate from FOREIGN (Hellenizing) influences.

The most egregiously mistaken notion promoted about the Pharisees and their purpose for SEPARATION is that they were elitist who held themselves above others, including other Jews!.  The Pharisees taught that Torah put forth that God was not a distant deity that only spoke to emperors and kings or became one Himself ..but taught that our Creator is a personal deity that ALL can connect with directly. The very identity of the covenant nation was established when every man woman and child who left Egypt had a personal divine revelation at Sinai.  “You have been shown in order to know that God, He is the Supreme Being. There is none besides Him. From heaven he let you hear His voice in order to teach you, and on earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words amid the fire.” (Deut. 4:32-36) That is just one of several passages in Torah that refer to this collective and personal Divine revelatory experience.

 The Pharisees were demonized in the New Testament by the new religious sect that was created to try to replace Judaism.  What do groups that try to justify replacement of another tend to do to the group they're trying to replace? They blame every ill of the world on the other and assign to them (projections) undesirable attributes that they themselves possess or that they know can evoke fear and loathing so that the demonized group will be viewed with disdain and their words not taken seriously.

 Hellenized Jews and Romans believed the philosophy and wisdom of the Greeks could and should be combined with Torah. The Pharisees ..then and today.. reject this as it is forbidden to alter the covenant and its purpose.

 "The conflict between the high priesthood and the people led to the split between the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The elitist Sadducees (who generally controlled the high priesthood) were supported by the Hasmonean royal family and later by the Romans." 

 "The Pharisees. These were mainstream Jews who wanted nothing to do with the Romans, but they were pragmatic. They wanted Judaism to survive and short of giving up their religious principles were willing to make the best of the Roman domination. They disapproved of the other Jewish factions - those that tried to curry favor with the Romans and those that advocated open rebellion. " < this from http://www.aish.com/jl/h/cc/48943421.html

Here are just a few words of some Pharisees:
"They said of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai that no man ever greeted him first, even idol worshippers in the market" [i.e., Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai was the first to greet every person, even idol worshippers](Berachot 17). ( This is the FIRST Pharisee to be given the title Rabbi)

"[it is proper to] support the idol worshippers during the sabbatical year …. and to inquire after their welfare [commentators: even on the days of the holidays of their idols, even if they do not keep the seven Noahide commandments] because of the ways of peace." (Shevi'it4,3)

'We support poor Gentiles with the poor people of Israel, and we visit sick Gentiles as well as the sick of Israel and we bury the dead of the Gentiles as well as the dead of Israel, because of the ways of peace." (Gitin 61a)

Paul is often brought up as an example of a Pharisee. Let's just see how that holds up to scrutiny.
**No Jewish writings of the 1st or 2nd century so much as mention a renegade student of Gamaliel who had a faith altering vision. No mention of a star pupil of Gamaliel who became a heretic and urged his followers to disregard Torah's laws of diet and Sabbath observance. No mention of a former student who pronounced the Law and circumcision obsolete. Surely such a renegade could not have completely escaped the attention of the scribes? No writings attributed to Gamaliel or his later students refer to such a man.**(paraphrasing from an article I read by Kenneth Humphries)

A claim that such a thing was removed or hidden is unlikely since from the Torah onward, no Jewish writings have evaded the wrongdoers or those who stray or violate Torah as the Tanakh so clearly reveals.

An more unbiased view based on the evidence would more likely indicate that NT claim was a latter insertion to support Paul’s self proclaimed status.

The writings of Paul don't support that he was a master pupil of Gamaliel. Paul clearly had difficulty with the Hebrew language: all his scriptural references are taken from the Greek translation of Jewish scripture, the Septuagint. The only portion of what is now commonly called the Septuagint translated by “the 70” Jewish scribes was the Torah, the Prophets and Writing were translated over the course of several hundred years by unknown translators. The evidence of Paul's own writings reveal he was a Hellenized, apostate Jew.

"Nothing in his letters suggests that Paul had any official standing in his treatment of Christians ... Hence, in opposition to what Luke says, he could not have used arrest, torture or imprisonment as a means of forcing Christians to recognize that they had been misled." – Murphy O'Connor, Paul, His History, p19

The writings of the Pharisees that were handed down over the generations to us today reveal lives that are collectively the opposite of the nefarious depictions of them in the NT replacement theology.
 The history of the Pharisees is the living legacy of the eternal Torah that they preserved by refusing to assimilate idolatrous concepts into Jewish practices. 

 Unfortunately, for millions of people who believe their New Testament to be inerrant, its fallacious demonization and depiction is also believed to be inerrant, no matter what evidence may exist to the contrary. The authors of the New Testament libeled the Pharisees in to discredit their rejection of introduction of Hellenized and Romanized god/man concepts that God forbids in the Torah.

 I thank God that not all Christians have focused on the hundreds of demonizing passages in the New Testament and actually focus on the more Jewish (and Pharisee taught Hillel school of thought) teachings regarding teshuva. An example of that would be the Sermon on the Mount including the portion they call the Lord's prayer.

 Are there people who fit the false New Testament depiction of the Pharisees today?

 Examine the Hebrew Christian evangelicals that claim Jewish identity and who give all outward physical appearance of strict adherence to Torah. They’ll wear kippot and tallit and keep kashrut and other observances and claim to be "Torah observant" Messianic Jews, while forcing foreign and forbidden beliefs and contradictory meanings to the rituals and laws of Torah to violate core precepts of faith of Judaism. That fits the New Testament definition of Pharisee precisely to give lip service to observance while living in complete contradiction to the ethical precepts and faith of Judaism.
Those are people who claim to be righteous and claim to honor the customs and holidays of Judaism, yet in reality have only outward and superficial posturing appearance as Jews and go through altered forms of Jewish rituals without any spiritual connection to the Creator who commanded them when they do them in the name of a false incarnate god and rely upon human sacrifice instead of the Torah’s path for repentance.

  It is utmost hypocrisy to claim Torah observance if your *observance* or acting out of a rituals is done to honor a contradictory belief to the precepts and ethics that the rituals and customs were commanded in Torah to honor for eternity, or even those that later arose through practice in Diaspora lands to honor Torah and God exclusively.
 Imposing Jesus into any Jewish custom or Torah commanded holy observance is the antithesis of Torah observance, thus they are complete hypocrites and fit that common vernacular definition of "Pharisee" in their own religions usage.

 A good place to get background on Pharisees and Sadducees.

 http://www.jewfaq.org/movement.htm < another EXCELLENT page to help you

 Judaism survived and Jews exist today primarily because the Pharisees refused to abandon Torah and dishonor God’s commands for the eternal covenant people.

 A quote from the jewfaq site above:
 "The Pharisaic school of thought is the only one that survived the destruction of the Temple. The Zealots were killed off during the war with Rome. The Sadducees could not survive without the Temple, which was the center of their religion. The Essenes, who were never very numerous, were apparently killed off by the Romans (they were easily recognizable in their isolated communities).

 For many centuries after the destruction of the Temple, there was no large-scale, organized difference of opinion within Judaism. Judaism was Judaism, and it was basically the same as what we now know as Orthodox Judaism. There were some differences in practices and customs between the Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern Europe and the Sephardic Jews of Spain and the Middle East, but these differences were not significant. See Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews"

 Even though Christianity demonizes the Pharisees for its rejection of the replacement of the eternal covenant, Christianity is also *dependent* on a concept that was taught by the Pharisees. Belief in the eventual resurrection of the dead is a fundamental belief of traditional Judaism. It was a belief that distinguished the Pharisees from the Sadducees.

 There is no mention of the Pharisees in the Tanakh and the reason being that the sect of the Pharisees, or separatists, did not yet exist. They originated in the third century BCE long after the last of the texts of Tanakh appeared. They were trying to keep the Torah "separate" from outside influence being imposed upon it by the Greek and later Roman conquerors who wanted the Jews to add their Emperor mangods and other deities into Jewish belief, after all, that‘s what other nations conquered by the Greeks and Romans did! Religion and rule were inseparable.

 Modern day Pharisees continue to be a thorn in the side of those who want us to assimilate out of existence by abandoning our eternal covenant to take upon ourselves, beliefs and forms of worship forbidden by God's commandments in the Torah for the Jewish people.

 I am proud to be of the legacy of the real Pharisees.

Am Yisrael Chai!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Some of the Values and Ethical Precepts of Judaism

The tenets of Judaism teach one to live ethically.

"If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am for myself alone, what am I? If not now, when?" And "What is distasteful to you, do not do unto another." both ethics from Torah as expounded by the sage Hillel

Also the prophet, Micah sums up Torah pretty well when he says," What does God require of you? To do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with thy God."

Judaism is more deed than creed. How we live and treat one another and how we care for the world and all life around us are a direct reflection of what we believe. The Jewish faith is all about the relationship of the covenant nation working side by side with God as partners in restoring the world to justice and in helping better the world for the generations to come in the ongoing creation.

The concept of tikkun olam or repairing the world through social action, is one of the traditional categories of tzedakah (righteousness and justice). The word "tikkun" first appears in the book of Ecclesiastes (1:5; 7:13; 12:9), where it means "setting straight" or "setting in order." The most notable early rabbinic source for the phrase tikkun olam is the Aleinu prayer, where the phrase expresses the hope of repairing the world through the establishment of the kingdom of God.

While the sage Hillel and the prophet Micah summed up Torah to essentiallly declare that treating our fellow human in justice and mercy are the ultimate observance of Torah..here is a list of Jewish values and ethical behaviors taught from Torah and explained in greater detail and how they are applied in various situations in Talmud.

Dina D’Malchuta Dina – The law of the land is the law – Jewish law
asserts that, so long as they do not require us to violate Jewish law, local civil laws must be followed
(T.B. Gitten 10a; Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 369:8).

Adam Yachid– a single human being – The rabbinic concept that one human being was created originally so that no one can say, „my father was greater than your father.‟ In other words, every human being is unique and inherently precious (M ishna Sanhedrin 4:5).

Ahavat Ger – love of “the stranger in your midst” – A series of laws insisting on compassionate behaviour towards strangers, empathy with foreigners, and their inclusion in every aspect of society
(Exodus 22:20,;23:9; Deuteronomy 16:14; Tractate on Strangers, Minor Tractates of Talmud).

Ahavat Ha-Beriot – love of all of God’s creations – A principle that encourages appreciation for the world and all of its inhabitants
(Leviticus 19.18; Avot of Rabbi Nathan 16).

Anei Ircha Kodmin = “the local poor are the priority”/ The concept that your primary tzedakah responsibility is to those closest to you (your family, then the poor of your city, then the poor of other cities).
(Bava Metzia 71a)

Arevut – the concept that Jews have a special obligation to other Jews – A series of ideas and laws encouraging commitments of mutual aid and devotion among Jews
(Sanhedrin 27b; Shevuot 39a).

Bakesh Shalom V’Rodfehu – seek peace and pursue it – The obligation to actively reduce conflicts. A series of laws and ethical teachings advocating peace, conflict resolution methodologies, and prohibiting violence against the innocent (Psalms 34:15; Chapter on Peace, Minor
Tractates of the Talmud).

Bechirah Chafshit – freedom of choice – The Jewish philosophical assumption that all human beings have the ability to freely choose actions, and are responsible for those choices (Deuteronomy 30.19; M. Avot 3.19; Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Repentance 5:4).

Chesed, Rachamim – compassion, especially for those who are disadvantaged or vulnerable (Zechariah 7:9; Hosea 2:21; Sabbath 151b; Bezah 32b; Sotah 14a).

Chillul Ha-Shem – the desecration of the Divine Name – Discouragement of actions that may bring shame to the reputation of the Jewish people (M. Avot 4:4,6; Yoma 86a; Moed Katan 17a;
Berachot 19b; Yevamot 79a).

Dan L’Kaf Zechut – the presumption of innocence – We should never initially believe someone has acted wrongly, even if it may be difficult to find merit in their actions (M. Avot 1:6).

Darchei Shalom - ways of peace – Talmudic rulings intent on preserving societal peace and maintaining positive inter-ethnic relations; includes directives to feed the poor of the gentiles and
care for their vital needs (M. Shevi’it 4:3; Gittin 61a).

Derech Eretz – proper behaviour – We must behave in a respectful, socially acceptable manner when interacting with others, including family members (Shabbat 114a; Yoma 4b; T.B. Hullin 84a).

G’zelah – the prohibition against unlawfully seizing other people’s property, particularly the poor and vulnerable (Exodus 20:13, Leviticus 19:13, Jeremiah 20:12; Proverbs 22:22; Job 24:9; T.B. Sanhedrin 108a).

Hakarat HaTov – [recognition of good]; gratitude – Much of Judaism is based upon the principle of gratitude and thanksgiving )Comments of Rashi on Exodus 7:19 and 10:12).

Hakaim Takim Imo – you shall surely lift up with him – A law designed to encourage aid to one in distress, even one‟s enemy
(Exodus 23:4; T.B. Baba Metzia 32a).

Halbanat Panim – avoidance of humiliating someone in public – The loss of personal dignity at the hands of others is considered one of the gravest wrongs in Judaism, akin to murder
(T.B. Moed Katan 9b; T.B. Baba Mezia 58bff.; Tractate Kallah, Minor Tractates of the Talmud).

Halva’at Chen – loan of grace – basis for the establishment of an interest-free loan society of the medieval Jewish community
(Leviticus 25:35-36; Exodus Rabbah 31).

Hochai’ach Tochee’ach – you shall rebuke – The obligation to be a social critic when you see that society or individuals are making terrible mistakes.Such criticism is viewed as an expression of care for others (Leviticus 19:17; Genesis Rabbah 54).

K’doshim Tihiyu – you shall live a holy life – Specifically, you should remove yourself from sexually provocative situations, but this principle is extended to include avoidance of inappropriate, albeit permissible, actions (Leviticus 19:2; Leviticus Rabbah 24:6; Commentary of Nachmanides (Ramban) and Rashi on Leviticus 19:2).

K’vod Ha-B’riot – honor for all human beings – A set of values and laws designed to encourage dignity and respect for all human beings
(M. Avot 2:10; 4:1; 4:3).

K’vod Nashim – the honor of women – A rabbinic value and law designed to encourage the dignity and honor of women
(T.B. Baba Metzia 59a; T.B. Yevamot 62b).

Kashrut – The specific dietary restrictions for Jews which apply to the eating of meat, fowl, fish and insects; the prohibition against mixing milk and meat together; the commandment to eat meat and
fowl properly slaughtered and deveined. The stated purpose of these laws is to make the Jewish people a holy nation (Leviticus, ch. 11; Exodus 23:19; Exodus 34; 26; Deuteronomy 14:21; T.B. Hullin, chapters 1,7 & 8; Shulchan Aruch - Yoreh Deah, Section 1).

Kibbud Av va’Em – honor your father and mother – The Biblical obligation to honor, revere, respect, and heed your parents. Only under specific conditions, when violation of other Jewish laws is at issue, may this value be overridden (Exodus 20:12; Kiddushin 30b; Maimonides, Mishne Torah, Laws of Mamrim; chapter 6).

Kupah – community fund for the needy – It is the obligation of every
Jewish community to establish a communal agency to collect resources and distribute them to the needy (M. Avot 2:7).

Lashon Harah, Rechilut - tale bearing – Rechilut prohibits statements
which are not true, whereas lashon harah expands this prohibition to include even factually truthful speech if it might possibly malign an individual or ruin a reputation. The gravity of the offence results from the fact that it is nearly impossible to retract these types of statements (T.B. Erchin 15b; Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Laws of De’ot, chapter 7).

Leket, Shichechah, Pe’ah -agricultural provisions for the poor – A series of ancient agricultural laws designed to guarantee that a portion of agriculturally produced products were left untouched in the fields for the poor to gather (Leviticus 19:9; 23:22).

Lifnei Iver Lo Titen Michshol - do not place a stumbling block
before a blind man – Applied to the sin of keeping someone in ignorance from information that will protect him/her, or to the sin of making it easier for someone else to commit crimes (Leviticus 19:14; Maimonides, Book of Commandments, neg. 299).

Lo Ta’amod Al Dam Rei’echa - do not stand by the blood of your
neighbor – The prohibition against passivity in the face of violence to others (Leviticus 19:16; T.B. Sanhedrin 73a).

M’sirah - [the prohibition] against delivering fellow Jews into the hands of unlawful non-Jewish authorities (Gitten 7a; Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Batterers and Damagers {Chovel u’Mazik} 8:9).

Ma’akeha L’Gagechah -erect a railing for your roof – The obligation to ensure that your own home does not prove dangerous and, more generally, to provide safe living conditions for other(Deuteronomy22:8).

Ma’aser -tithes – A series of taxes levied to support the Levite priests, who were originally designated as a landless tribe, and the poor, underscoring the community‟s obligation to provide the basic
necessities of life (Deuteronomy 26:12).

Milchemet Chovah -obligatory war – Laws that insist on war as a last resort in order to defend oneself (T.B. Sotah 44b).
Mishpat, Din – justice, law – A foundational set of rabbinic assumptions about the need for good government and a just legal system (Zechariah 8:26; M. Avot 1:18; 3:2; Deuteronomy Rabbah 5;
Sanhedrin 7a, 8a).

Mitzvah Haba’ah B’aveirah – a good deed made possible from a
wrongful act – The Talmudic version of stealing from the rich to feed the poor; the resulting mitzvah is voided (T.B. Sukah 30a).

Ona’at D’varim – verbal humiliation – Laws aimed at preventing people from verbally abusing one another ( Leviticus 25:14; Leviticus 25:20; T.B. Baba Metzia 58b).

Pidyon Sh’vuyim – the redemption of captives – The obligation to do everything in one‟s power to help release people who are trapped and suffering in some way (Isaiah 58:6; 61:1; Baba Bathra 8a; Talmud Yerushalmi Gittin 4:4; Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Gifts to the Poor 8:10).

Pikuach Nefesh – the saving of life – The highest Jewish obligation that overrides almost every other law
(Yoma 85b; Sanhedrin 4:5; Baba Mezia 62b).

R’tsichah – the prohibition against murder
(Exodus 20:13; M. Avot 5:9).

Rodef – pursuer – The obligation to actively intervene to prevent the murder or injury of innocent victims, even to the point of killing the aggressor (Leviticus 19:16; T.B. Sanhedrin 73a).

Sameach B’Chelko - one is rich if satisfied with what he/she has in life– Underscoring that happiness stems primarily from one‟s attitude rather than from material and spiritual possessions
(M. Avot 4:1).

Shalom Bayit -for the sake of peace in the house – The need to ensure that there are peaceful relations in one‟s home and family. This can also be extended to one‟s synagogue, workplace, or community
(Sanhedrin 76b; Yevamot 62b).

Sheker - falsehood – A set of laws and values designed to discourage falsehood, duplicity or hypocrisy (Exodus 23:7; Leviticus 19:11).

Shoftim = Judges – The only positive mitzvah of the seven Noachide laws; the universal obligation to set up a system of justice. This requires any human society to guarantee equal treatment
before the law for all people
(T.B. Sanhedrin 56-60).

T’shuvah -repentance – The obligation to provide individuals with the opportunity to repent for wrongful behavior. Jewish tradition provides means for a person to “cleanse his/her soul” of illicit
behavior towards both God and man (Maimonides, Laws of T’shuvah, chapters 1-10).

Tza’ar Ba’alei Chayyim - the pain of living creatures – A set of laws
prohibiting cruelty to animals and obligating acts of compassion and proper treatment of animals used to perform labor
(Shabbat 117b; Deuteronomy 22:9).

Tzedakah – righteousness; charity – One of the best known aspects of Jewish communal and religious life, encompassing a wide range of Biblical, Rabbinic and medieval institutions of Judaism
(T.B. Bava Batra 8b).

Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof - justice, justice, you must pursue – The obligation to actively promote justice (Leviticus 19.36; Deuteronomy 16.20; Zechariah 8.16-17; M. Avot1.18).

Tzelem Elohim -image of God – The foundational principle of Jewish ethics that every human being is created in the image of God and must be treated accordingly (Genesis 1:27; Genesis Rabbah 24).

Tzniut - modesty – Laws requiring people to conduct themselves, in dress and attitude, in a
non-ostentatious manner, designed to limit the power of the ego
(Micah 6:8; Numbers 24:5 - see commentary of Rashi).

Umot ha-Olam - other nations of the world – A set of principles recommending care and respect for gentiles, especially those who are vulnerable or in need (Kiddushin 33a; Pesachim 113b; Berachot 17a).

Ush’martem Et Nafshotaichem - and you shall protect your health
– The obligation to protect the general health of oneself and one‟s society (Deuteronomy 4.15; Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Book of Knowledge, Laws of De’ot, chapter 4).

V’Shinantam L’Vanecha - and you shall teach your children – The mandate to teach and transmit the Torah to one‟s own children, one of the most important tasks of any Jewish parent (Deuteronomy 6:7; Maimonides - Laws of Talmud Torah).

Yatom, Almanah - orphan, widow – Series of laws obligating special care for orphans and widows (Deuteronomy 24:17; Isaiah 1:17; T.B. Ketubot 50a; Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Book of Knowledge, Laws of De’ot, 6:10).


Shanah Tovah!

The Jewish New Year 5770 begins at sunset September 18, 2009. The following message isn’t new. I had this on a blog that has now disappeared..for last year’s New Year message. I liked it so much I’m repeating it again THIS year.

The following is from a year old copy of The Arkansas Jewish Times published by Lubavitch of Arkansas. I do not have their permission to borrow from it, but since Chabad wants to reach out to everyone (and they managed to get me on their mailing list), I figure they would not mind if I share with you. Obviously, I do not always agree with them on everything or I would be a Chabadnik or Orthodox. I loved the following article so I‘m going to share it with you, too.
The portion I will share does not list the author on that page; I will assume and give credit to the editor Dassie Ciment. I am also going to edit it a bit for emphasis.

Our List vs. His List
“May you and yours be blessed with health and happiness throughout the coming year.” “May the blessings of health, peace and contentment be yours.” “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good, sweet year.”

At this time of year, wishes to friends and family for the upcoming year ahead abound. And our wishes usually contain what we hope we will have in our own lives, health, happiness, prosperity. We are, in essence, blessing our friends and hoping that God will hear our blessings and fulfill them.

That’s what we want from God. But what does God want from us?
Midrash records:
God tells the Jewish people, “My children, what do I ask from you? Only that you should love one another and respect one another.”

We ask God for health. All He asks is that we love each other.
We ask God for good jobs. All He asks is that we respect each other.
We ask God for emotional strength to get through hard times. All He asks is that we honor each other. We ask God for children whom we can be proud of. All he asks is that we be kind to each other.

Day after day, year after year, we present our lists of requests of what we want from God and what we want God to give to our loved ones.

Like a child let loose in Toys “R Us, we want this and that, and can’t we get one of these and two of those?

And like the ever patient parent, God says to us, “You are all my children. I would be happy to fulfill all of your requests. All I really need to see is that you treat each other with love and respect. That you are sensitive to each other’s needs and that you care for one another.”
Is this not what our parents wanted from us? Isn’t it what all parents want from their children? “Don’t give me the cards, the presents, the box of chocolates. Just be nice to each other. Just behave yourselves, “ our memory tapes replay, “ Don’t fight. Look, you made him cry! You don’t have to like her, but you do have to be nice to her because she’s your sister, she always was and she always will be!”

“My children, what do I ask from you? Only that you love one another and respect one another. “

For my brothers and sisters all over the world no matter if theist or atheist, Jew or non-Jew:

L'Shanah Tovah Tikatevu - May you be inscribed for a good year!

Shalom y'all!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

On A Lighter Note

An elderly couple had been dating for some time and decided it was finally time to marry. Before the wedding, they had a long conversation regarding how their marriage might work.

They discussed finances, living arrangements and so on.
Finally the old man decided it was time to broach the subject of their physical relationship.

"How do you feel about sex?" he asked, rather hopefully.

"Well, I'd have to say I like it infrequently," she responded.

The old guy paused .... then he asked, "Was that one word or two?

1. The sport of choice for the urban poor is BASKETBALL.

2. The sport of choice for maintenance level employees is BOWLING.

3. The sport of choice for front-line workers is FOOTBALL.

4. The sport of choice for supervisors is BASEBALL.

5. The sport of choice for middle management is TENNIS.

6. The sport of choice for corporate officers is GOLF.


The higher you are in the corporate structure, the smaller your balls become.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Kirk Douglas Smoking Cessation Method

(EDIT: I return here to note that of all the blog entries I've ever posted, this one is the second most popular. The #1 goes to "Some of the Values and Ethical Precepts of Judaism" by only 4 hits as of this date, OCT. 20, 2011. Every day there are still multiple *hits* from all over the world that view this page according to the "Stats". While it has been here only a couple of years, I first had it posted on a previous blog page where it was also one of the most popular. I hope it continues to be helpful!)

Kirk Douglas doesn't have some kind of school or program he sells for this purpose, that's just the name I created for the method he described that he used to quit smoking. I share his method here in desire to continue to help others. Over the past 18 years my sharing has helped many people to successfully rid them of the nicotine addiction. I have had many people tell me that the advice helped them even if they did not use the exact steps I describe to quit. Many others have said they used the exact method with success.

The physical withdrawal from cigarettes can be severe and very unpleasant. However, I believe that is only one part of why so many fail. I think that much of the failure lies in the thinking that takes place *before* the attempt to quit.

I would like to explain a few things to keep in mind before I begin explaining the exact steps I used to quit smoking. I am not offering medical advice here; see your physician for that. I am not claiming to be an expert on smoking cessation or in substance abuse. I want it to be clear I am relating personal experience and what I believe may help motivate you to overcome cigarette smoking.

While the physical withdrawal can be severe, it does not last beyond 10 days once you have stopped smoking. After that, it is the emotional habit and pattern of behavior that must be overcome and is still a very strong draw to smoking. I am not going to get too deeply into behavior modification techniques for overcoming habits, but will relate a few that I used. I am primarily addressing the physical symptoms of withdrawal and suggestions how to cope during that time. Some people feel no physical symptom after 7 days and that is generally when most at least begin to start to feel like a sane human again.

Even if you want to give yourself more time, by the end of two weeks, your body will be completely free of the physical addiction. It is out of your blood stream entirely. If you want to see how it stays in the pores, and perhaps a disgusting sight to help inspire you to quit, go wrap yourself in a white sheet and spend some time in a steam cabinet. If you are a heavy smoker, when you come out the sheet will be yellow wherever it was closely touching your body. It does not matter how clean you are before you enter that steam cabinet, if you are a smoker you will stain that sheet. The yellow stain is from the tars and nicotine that have oozed out of your pores, residue from smoking.

Here is where I begin telling how I quit:
I discovered the following simple method by reading Kirk Douglas' autobiography called "The Ragman's Son". In his book, he describes what I now call the Kirk Douglas Smoking Cessation Method. He said that he took all of the cigarettes and ashtrays out of the house except for one cigarette and one book of matches that he kept in his shirt pocket. Every time he would get the urge to light up, he'd pull out that cigarette from his pocket and say to it determinedly "Who is stronger, YOU or ME?" He would hold up the cigarette and tell it, "I stronger."

Yes, it is a form of “cold turkey” and the only thing unique about the Kirk Douglas method is how you relate to that cigarette and tell it who is boss. In my instance, it took me to day 10, and by that time I had shaken that cigarette in front of my face so often it was about to fall into pieces. That self-pep talk and thinking of that cigarette as an *entity* that was controlling me helped me to muster willpower I was not sure I had. I just knew I did not want to have a substance to have that kind of mastery over my will.

I have a few more suggestions to add. First, you cannot allow yourself to have an out. If you have not yet reached the point where you are disgusted that a substance is controlling you, then perhaps you will not be able to master the addiction. Once you make up your mind, and have just a bit of planning you can and will succeed. If you say, "I'll TRY to quit" you are leaving yourself the option to fail. If you say, I am quitting on such and such a date, and plan ahead for that date you help to ensure your success. I believe it is crucial to set a definite date and time, then when that day arrives, it is your quit date. Never call it the date you TRY. It is the date you become stronger than the cigarette.

Also, I strongly suggest to plan this to take place at a time when you can more easily avoid people you might wish to do bodily harm if they look at you crossways. Don’t laugh. Nicotine withdrawal is not nice and you may not be nice either…for a time.

You are not going to be pleasant to be around for at least a week. And you're not going to like yourself much that week, but you'll really be proud of yourself when it's over.

So, mark off 10 days on your calendar you can set aside to be an ogre. Then each day of the horrible withdrawal you can say, “ OK another day down and I have just THAT many more until it is OVER!”

If the end is in sight and you KNOW ahead when it ends, you can stick it out easier than if you are slowly weaning yourself with no end in sight. People who spend months slowly weaning themselves down over a long period DRAGGING the withdrawal out for weeks make themselves more miserable than if they did it all at once. A slow reduction in cigarettes leaves you wanting more and maintains enough of the nicotine in your blood to prolong the addiction and keep your body craving. You can put yourself through months of anxiety and craving rather than just a couple of weeks at most.

Of course I want to reinforce all the old standard helpful suggestions. Anything that works for you, go for it. Do all the usual suggested oral fixation things: chew gum, suck on sugarless candy. Those well known suggestions will help a little. However, the best help is simply to say repeatedly to yourself, this awful withdrawal is only going to last a week.

Quitting smoking was one of the toughest things I have done and one I am proud that I overcame an addiction I was not proud of having. Everything that lives dies, however, cigarettes are a major cause of some miserable ways to go. I know I smell a whole lot better than I did when I was a smoker, too.

The method I describe here may not be one that will work for you. If there were one sure-fire method for everyone, there would not be so many different places to go for help with smoking cessation. My hope is that whether or not my method here helps, if you smoke, you will find the way you can quit, too.
I am smoke free now since 1991.

While I read about this in his autobiography, Kirk Douglas’ story of “My First Cigarette, and my Last” appeared in the New York Times in 2003. This is a slightly amended and shorter version than what appears in his book.
Below is the link to the online telling.

I stronger.

Are you?

Shalom y'all

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mother In Law's Tongue five stalks of blooms!

This is the third year in a row it has bloomed, but it is the first time I've seen five stalks of blooms on one plant. The sweet smell attracted hummingbirds away from the feeder a few times and the scent wafted into the house every time someone walked in the back door.

I've had really good luck with all my flowers this year, an especially wet summer.
I couldn't get all the stalks to show in one photo, the fifth stalk is hidden behind the long leaves on the right. If I turned the plant to show it, only one other stalk shows in that view so I turned it where the most were visible.

This was taken a few weeks ago. I posted it today because a friend said she had never seen one bloom before.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Some Thoughts on Facing Antisemitism

To my fellow Jews

Some things to think about when facing antisemitism. This includes things I say to myself with increasing frequency related to the escalation of antisemitism I see daily online.

No one is beyond getting riled to anger. Remember that the bigots who want to do away with us *want* us to take on and display their inner turmoil and irrational hatreds. Work hard to control your emotions so you can recognize when you're being manipulated.

Antisemitism is growing at an alarming rate in the world once again. We cannot stand by silently, but if we speak only from emotional reaction our voice isn't likely to be heard by even rational people, many of whom can be fooled and swayed to do evil in the guise of good as history repeatedly shows. Your neighbors and mine are not unlike the neighbors of Jews in past generations who permitted the Holocaust. Too many people do not realize that simple truth. It took a great many“good people” to do nothing and turn a blind eye to allow hate to escalate to such a point. Is that happening again?

I would suggest to you that you learn as much as you can about Judaism and Jewish history...the older I grow, the more truth I see in the adage that those who "forget" the past are doomed to repeat it. We have new methods of spreading the same forms of hate being directed to us now (fundamentalist evangelicals hating us because we declare Christian dogma isn't Judaism!) and we've got seeming intellectuals buying into the history revisionism of the oil-rich Arab countries and extremist Islamo-facists regarding Middle East history inciting Jew hate to obliterate Israel. If enough rational people aren't involved in trying to stop hate, violence and bloodshed, in another generation if not sooner, the Holocaust may only look like a prelude. Others who claim to love Israel work for the day to bring about their Armageddon to punish the Jews who “reject” Jesus. I pray I AM wrong about that dread, but I cannot help but see parallels to previous waves of violent persecution that were preceded by several decades of precisely the same escalation of antisemitism, the same forms of propagandist accusations and stereotypes. I never thought I would see Jew hate existing in my life to the level I now see on a daily basis on the internet and in my own community and across the world.

Another adage can be applied here by replacing the word woman with Jews and man with gentiles. It may not be fair, but the fact remains that for a woman to be considered half as good as a man at a job she must perform twice as well. In the business world this double standard still applies in so many places. For Jews to be considered half as legitimate with rights to exist as Jews, the Jews must excel and show twice the level of ethical values as the Gentiles surrounding them. Jews understand this, non Jews do not. In the larger world view, Israel is held to standards that no other country on earth is expected or demanded to adhere to, and the countries that want Israel destroyed are ignored and aided in their duplicitous double standard. Jews across the world are held to the same double standard.

We are supposed to be a light unto the nations. That is the task that every Jew is obligated to do when we affirm our place as members of the eternal covenant of Israel, and Jews the world over are held to that role even if we did not choose it for ourselves individually. Do not forget that. We are also teachers whether or not we want to be. A majority of non-Jews in the world know very little about Judaism. Their ideas of modern Jews are formed by what they read in the news (biased against us despite the antisemitic canard of Jews controlling the media) the stereotypes of TV, what the New Testament says in error about Judaism with it’s demonization of Pharisees, and an important factor we must always keep in mind, the behavior of people around them they identify as Jews. Every Jew is a role model whether you want that role or not.

That's why Jews may sometimes be the hardest on one another when a Jew acts badly. We are a tribal family and we also expect more of our own while we work together for the benefit of all our extended human family in Tikkun Olam

How Intolerant of Me?

I've said this many times in a few different ways. Once in a while I think it bears repeating:
I raise my child as my parents raised me, to be respectful and tolerant of the right of individuals and groups to have their own unadulterated culture, customs and beliefs. My tolerance extends to the point where the expression of those beliefs violate certain standards of behaviors: If they attempt to violate another’s civil rights, seek to incite harm to anyone, willfully deceive another or misrepresent the beliefs of others then my tolerance ceases.

Since coming to Y/A and answering questions addressed to Jews about Judaism, I have been repeatedly called:
of my "father" the Devil (that I do not believe exists btw, since I'm Jewish and that concept is outside my religion)
and chastised for "persecuting with jealousy and spite"
and far worse..
All of the above accusations were hurled at me for simply saying that the New Testament doctrine of scriptures is outside of Judaism and that the Christian religion is not Judaism!

The New Testament is incompatible with Judaism because of unchangeable Jewish law from the Torah. That is a plainspoken fact regarding the laws of the religion and not personal opinion. I don't demand or ask that anyone take on that aspect of faith. I do not demonize people who wish to follow New Testament doctrine as their spiritual path in life.

Would Christians be subject to similar insults if they answer questions that worship of Odin or Vishnu are outside of Christianity?

Then why should Jews be repeatedly subject to sometimes rabid insults if we note that the worship of Jesus is forbidden to Jews by our laws of Torah?

Torah teaches that God does not become a man. That is a core part of Judaism and what differentiated it from most of the religions of the ancient Levant. That won’t ever change about Judaism.

Christian Bible's concept of messiah fits Jesus. The beliefs of those who call themselves “Messianic Jews” fit the New Testament doctrine of the nature of God, sin, and their concept of messiah is at odds with that of the Jewish religion. When Jews are explaining the differences, not once has any Jew told the Christian that they're damned or evil for choosing to believe their doctrine of the New Testament.

This is all about being told that we do not have the right to explain Jewish law that has existed for more than 4000 years prohibiting worship of men as deities and human sacrifice and demanding that we worship God alone and rely on God alone for atonement.
When Jews declare that any other form of worship is OUTSIDE of Judaism and IRRELEVANT to it, we are accused of hate.

Jews are told to be “tolerant” of people who have no legal ties to the Jewish people who demand that they be considered the “real” and “fulfilled” Jews as Jewish and following Judaism. We are told to be "tolerant" of people who take every aspect of Jewish practice and impose concepts into them that are forbidden to Jews and call it “practicing Jewish custom”. We are told to be "tolerant" of people who have never been Jews claiming to be “Torah observant Jews” who turn that phrase meaningless by violating every aspect of Torah! We are told to be "tolerant" and call their preachers of the New Testament *Rabbi*! I refuse to call someone who has fraudulently appropriated the title of Jewish clergy by a title that was created by the Great Assembly after the destruction of the Second Temple, to refer to one great in knowledge and honor of Torah. They can call themselves "Messianic Jews", call their Christian seminaries "yeshivas", and call their evangelical clergy "rabbis" if they want, but anyone who knows Jewish law will know they're dishonest to do so. A real Rabbi is devoted to Torah, does not preach the New Testament, and takes years of study before this title is conferred by other Rabbis with an ordination (semicha). An evangelical "Messianic" title can be purchased online for $250. If you can prove you have "Jewish blood" you're a superstar and get a special gold seal title on your certificate where they'll trace your "tribe" by your name at different site. sheesh.

It does not change the fact that Jews know and God knows that as long as they worship to or through a man or assign to a dead Jew the power of God to atone, they are lying that their dogma is Judaism or Torah observant and committing sins against every other Jew, living and dead. Whenever they teach lies about Jewish belief and then claim to love Israel, they are committing acts that are no different from any other group of the past who has tried to eliminate the faith and covenant people Israel. When they claim that they are the "real" Israel and that the world's believing Jews are "cut off" and "hate then for their faith" they repeat centuries old antisemitic libel with new labeling. Should they die without teshuvah,they will be held accountable for this egregious sin, as were all apostates in Tanakh who tried to get Israel to worship false man/gods.

Judaism is more about deed than creed. The deed of deception about Jewish belief speaks far louder than any self-professed love for Torah and Israel. I see them as no different from any other group who is out to destroy Judaism.

Yet Jews do not even need to address that point or refer to it to be demonized and verbally attacked with the label hate monger.

We are told that if we say that human sacrifice and deicide are considered abhorrent in Judaism we are hate mongers when we are simply and straightforwardly describing what the Holy Scriptures of Judaism say directly. How is it bigotry to say that human sacrifice is abhorrent to our religion? How is it bigotry to anyone else to say that Judaism declares that God does not become a man?

Go figure

The divinity of Jesus, virgin birth, original sin, the Devil/Lucifer, vicarious atonement and an eternal hell for those outside the sphere of faith and membership in the covenant nation Israel are all contradictory to Torah and Judaism. To define the boundaries and beliefs of a religion according to it’s doctrine/law is NOT bigotry.

If questions or answers that simply explain core differences between religions and doctrines can be defined as "hate", then that would mean that every comparative religion class must be defined as hate. There is no hate involved in recognizing and understanding DIFFERENCES as well as looking to find common ground with our fellow humans.

The above includes an adaptation of an answer I gave recently IN Yahoo answers to a very good question by a contact there, The angels have the Arc Light. She asked, Is it intolerant to point out that certain beliefs fall outside the criteria for inclusion in your religion?

And the Best Answer chosen by her was succinct, “Providing factual corrections isn't intolerant. And when one is factually correct, it is more than annoying to have someone inform you that you're wrong. It's the Humpty-Dumpty syndrome - "words means whatever I want them to mean" - I suspect. When you're pointing out that the name of one's religion does have a definite meaning and that some beliefs fall outside what is included in that perfectly clear and well-understood (by the rest of the world) term, you are not being intolerant. Someone else is being crazy, tediously obstinate and totally narcissistic.” This answer was from another Jewish user and contact, Ambivalent LAUghter.

It is obvious that these accusations are upsetting and it is also obvious they are escalating and increasing in antisemitic tone.

I could fill pages of examples of this form of topsy turvy accusation of bigotry, but I’ll only show one here.
So I won’t be considering assaulting individuals, I’m not going to give their Yahoo names. The question was later deleted anyway, but I had saved portions of it at the time as it was simply astounding to me the level of hate directed to Jews that answers addressing Jewish belief inspired when all the Jews there agreed in simple straightforward language that the New Testament was not Judaism.

A few months back a question had appeared that asked about Judaism’s view of sin and repentance. One of the answers that appeared had absolutely nothing to do with Judaism, but gave New Testament doctrine in lieu of Jewish belief. The person claimed to be a “Torah observant Messianic Jew”. There was nothing at all mentioned about the Jewish religion’s concept of sin and repentance in the answer at all. The rest of the answers gave straightforward answer to Jewish doctrine. One quoted passages of Tanakh and the other three gave detailed references.

Each of the Jewish respondents had also noted that the answer that gave New Testament belief or referred to Yeshua or Jesus , did not give an answer coming from Judaism. No personal insult was made, no one said anything demonizing or hateful, but my answer did express dismay that “once again, a question asking about Judaism has had a response giving the doctrine of a religion that is incompatible with Judaism as an answer.” I said that, “Jesus is insignificant to Judaism. The New Testament concepts of messiah, atonement and the nature of God are incompatible with Judaism and thus irrelevant to this question.” The asker then gave an additional detail that went off on an absolute diatribe demonizing Jews for saying that and accused me personally of violating Yahoo‘s rules.

I then added an edit to my answer, and oddly enough I have had more than one occasion to use a variant of this edit after giving a correct answer about Judaism since this first time posting it:
“I am at a complete LOSS as to why the asker is making the accusation of a "flood of hate" in responses here and claiming I am breaking the rules. Giving honest information about Jewish belief, reputable references to support this information and doing so in a polite and straightforward manner are hardly hate. I see five answers here, four of them giving detailed and accurate information about Judaism and supporting the right of the Jewish people to maintain Jewish law for the purposes of self-determination and identity.
Three movements of Judaism are represented in the four answers, as well. All four answers are stated without hatred, without rudeness and three of them (my own included ) give many reputable Jewish references to support the facts of our answers. So, unless it is the case that I simply missed answers that were posted earlier and now do not show up here at all..the respondents who have so far posted are owed an apology for this additional detail from the asker>>>"That no one can apparently even mention Messianic Judaism without a flood of hate and insults from anti-messiah people. Even a top contributor here couldn't resist breaking the rules to persecute their own who embrace their Jewish messiah." (I was the only one with a TC badge that appeared so that had to have been directed to me)

Lastly, believing Jews are definitely not anti-messiah people, so I must also assume that comment was made to someone whose answer does not now appear. I am glad that apparently I missed that hate as there is far too much of it in Y/A.. Remember, Judaism is a messianic faith, the original messianic religion.


Then today a QUESTION appears that has this whole premise as the basis of the question..that Jews are bigoted to Jews who believe in Jesus. After receiving several polite and detailed answers that he proceeded to insult and call the users names, the asker removed his own question..that is the message that was posted when I went to edit a typo in my response that I’ll show here. I did not save all the other answers but I did save my own and had used my “back’ screen to save the question as I’d answered it.

OK I have a question on Messianic Jews *braces self* and LDS etc?
Apparently I am being dismissive and uncaring about how passionately these people are hated by the Jewish community. Help me understand (in a simple and brief way please)

Truly I can't get my head around it or like the way they are demonized by some. Not just that they are saying they can't be Jews, but that they are pretending to be jews in order to bring them all down from the inside. Perhaps they are idk... but how is that different from any religious sect.

I also don't get how Christians claim different sects aren't Christian, like Protestants, Catholics, LDS... all of them.

So really I want to know what makes them different, and why we can't all just get along.

I don't need it explained to me how Jesus wasn't the messiah or anything btw. I just want to know how people can be considered Jews and be practicaly secular, if anything just "bad Jews", but people who observe Jewish practices and just think Jesus DID fulfill the prophecies are excluded (even if YOU think he didn't)
Before I post what I answered, I want you the reader here to now think carefully about how that question is phrased.

Do you see that accusation of hate and demonization hurled at Jews in the question?
He declares they observe Jewish practices..that’s a misnomer. Jewish practices are performed to honor Jewish belief. Performing behaviors of certain Jewish rituals but imposing dogma of the New Testament that contradicts the beliefs those rituals were created to honor does not entail Jewish practices.
He considers them a ‘sect” of Judaism. This is not a schism from within the religion or the Jewish people and all movements of Judaism are in complete agreement over this.
This isn’t about “bringing them down from the inside” at all, but an attempt to hijack and replace and have the world believe that the “real” Jews are New Testament believers and the rest of the world’s Jews are impostors..it is an attempt at identity theft and an assault TO Judaism. Period. This is the topsy turvy nature of all of this.

The saddest part of this is that this evangelical movement has now existed long enough and grown fast enough in the Christian populace that there are now a few thousand children who have grown up with a false sense of identity and understanding of Judaism. They believe themselves to be Jews, but have no idea that their concept of Judaism, Jewish law and identity is utterly contradictory to Judaism. They were raised to believe they were being persecuted for their faith in their Jewish messiah and actually fear the people that they claim to love and be a part of.
They claim love of Israel and the Jewish people while spending millions of dollars a year to remove our identity and faith in evangelizing efforts. That’s a very misguided love at best.
Now here is the answer that I gave there. It’s long, but thorough and if you read nothing further, at least scroll down to the bottom and read the ISRAEL INSIDER article.

HERE is what I answered. The questioner removed the question less than 10 minutes after this posted there:

I will also not be responding to any question of a schism within Christianity. It is sad this question includes a false accusation against Jews as well.

There is no branch of Judaism known as "Messianic Judaism" because ALL of Judaism *is* messianic. The principles of faith contain promises by God of a Davidic messianic age. Judaism is the original messianic religion. The concept and job description of the term messiah in the Tanakh is simply VERY different from that of the New Testament

ALL movements of Judaism are in complete agreement that this is an assault to Jewish identity by people who profess faith in the doctrine of the New Testament. Jews are not telling these people what to believe, but just trying to inform the world that these people are not being honest when they hijack the identity of the Jewish people. Not only do they try to hijack our identity, but their teaching attempts to remove from the Jewish people aspects of our faith as they often use the insulting term, "non messianic" to Judaism, the original and still existing messianic religion.
Their religion is not Judaism and this was not a schism within Judaism.
We currently have no other honest name to call them than what they were FORMERLY identified themselves to be before they decided that appropriating the name of Judaism to eliminate authentic Jewish identity was an accepted method of evangelizing., Hebrew Christians. The Messianic Jewish Alliance of America was known by the name Hebrew Christian Alliance from it's beginning in 1915 until 1975. Jews consider them Christian since their statements of beliefs are Christian New Testament doctrine and not Judaism. It is not the function or job of Judaism to give other religions their own names.

The term "Messianic Judaism" began around 1967 according to "Christianity Today" magazine. Their statements of faith are in contradiction to the statements of belief of every form of Judaism on planet earth. Every Chief Rabbi and Jewish organization of every branch on every continent you find Jews and every Jewish user from five continents here in Yahoo that I've seen posting on this issue are in full agreement. This isn't a schism within Judaism, It isn't Judaism.

If they called themselves something else you wouldn't see Jews showing up on questions such as this. BUT because Jews are obligated by the commandments of God in Torah to speak up to the truth of the covenant of Israel and because the Jewish people should also have the same rights as all other nation peoples according to the Declaration of Human Rights. It is the basic human right of the Jewish people and obligation to speak up for the right of Jews to continue to use Jewish law for self-determination!

Y/A is supposed to be a place where people seek knowledge and factual information. If Jews did NOT speak out when Judaism and Jewish identity is being misrepresented and Jewish people were being maligned as bigoted toward the rights of others to believe in whomever they want, that would mean that false information is condoned as fact. That should not be acceptable to ANY honest person using Yahoo as it is intended, Jew or Gentile. In fact, because Jews are so few in number, we hope that more people will stop turning a blind eye to this and also speak out for honesty.

Jews and Christians can and do get along wonderfully when there is honesty and integrity in communication. As a believing Jew of course I respect the right of others to their own beliefs and understand as Torah teaches that the righteous of all nations merit blessing. Misrepresenting the beliefs of others is deception and that is a behavior condemned by both religions, no matter how different our religions may be to one another on many levels.

These groups are considered antisemitic and are harming Jewish-Christian relations. A recent Jewish Herald Voice I received in the mail had a headline article about how “Messianics pervert Passover at some Houston-area churches” with a subtitle, “Deceptive tactics harm healthy Jewish-Christian relations, experts say.” I have personally been involved in interfaith groups and dialog for 30 years and it is my strong belief that the different deceptively named "Messianic Jewish" groups have done just as much to increase antisemitism as the propaganda of the Middle East. Daily insults and false accusations of bigotry to *them* and false accusation that Jews are persecuting them because they believe in Jesus in Y/A is clear evidence of this.

The New Testament is replacement theology and no more relevant to the Jewish people than the Quran is to the Christian.

This is NOT OPINION but Jewish LAW of the eternal covenant. They are not of the Jewish religion so they may not speak to DEFINE Judaism.

Torah does not teach Jews that one must be a member of the covenant nation, Israel, the Jewish people, to know or connect to God.

All humans are equal before God. God is not exclusive to the Jew. God commands the Jew to be exclusive to God. Isaiah and Jeremiah both echo that the righteous of all nations have a place in the world to come. Micah sums it up well, "What Does the Lord Require of You? to Act Justly and to Love Mercy and to Walk Humbly With Your God"

They are most definitely free to believe whatever they want to believe. Mazel Tov on their choice of following the New Testament doctrine.

They simply will never ever be able to call it Jewish belief without Jews being forced to speak out to declare that is not true if they wish to call worship of or through a human a form of Judaism.

If a worshipper of Odin were to call themselves a "completed Christian" I think it would be expected that if a Christian said that Odin worship is outside of and irrelevant to Christianity, there would be no outrage displayed to the Christian for bigotry. Jews do not like to see Judaism misrepresented and Jewish identity attempted to be hijacked. If genuine respect and tolerance were being honored and there is someone who insists on misrepresenting Jewish belief and Jewish law and claims false identity, when Jews point that out with clear evidence that isn't something that should be declared hostile .

The assault to the rights of Jewish people to maintain Jewish identity through Jewish law is hostile to Jews and is creating antisemitism because they falsely claim that Jews persecute them for their faith in Jesus. That essentially says Jews hate Christians for their belief and fuels centuries of antisemitism. We just want them to stop calling themselves as following Judaism so that we don't have to keep coming along behind them to say..no, you're not. God defined in the Torah what is and isn't of the eternal covenant and the New Testament doctrine is contradictory to it. It is not Judaism.

it is not bigotry to declare that Judaism is not Christianity. It is fact.

Judaism IS a messianic faith but there is NO separate branch or sect of Judaism called "Messianic Judaism". The people who identify themselves as such follow the New Testament doctrine/scriptures and are thus, not of the Jewish faith by ANY stretch. More than 90% of the people who call themselves "messianic Jews" have no Jewish ancestry and are thus, not even apostate Jews. A group of people comprised of less than 10% apostate Jews who do not follow any form of Judaism, but only take Hebrew language, customs and holidays and impose replacement theology into then, does not get to redefine or hijack the identity of the Jewish people without the whole world's Jewish population of EVERY branch on every continent speaking in unison that they are not following Judaism. If they do not want to call adherence to the New Testament Christian, that's not a Jewish concern. Jews simply do not want them to hijack Jewish identity.

I am a Jewish believer. I am a real "messianic" Jew since my concept of the Davidic messiah is from the Tanakh. It has nothing to do with Jesus or the New Testament.

I am a monotheistic Jew. There is no trinity or tripartite deity in Judaism. There is absolutely no need to designate any particular branch of Judaism as monotheistic. It is every bit as illogical and redundant to have a phrase naming a separate branch of the Jewish religion as "Messianic Judaism"

I pray for the day when these explanations are no longer needed and such disrespect is no longer displayed to the Jewish people.

Under source I listed these links:

http://israelinsider.ning.com/forum/topics/messianic-synagogues-target < a very enlightening and informative article
http://mamaspajamaparty.blogspot.com/2009/04/jewish-position-has-been-clear-for-two.html Position statements from the world's Jews on this issue.
http://mamaspajamaparty.blogspot.com/2009/04/because-there-are-groups-and.html < Regarding Jewish law to determine identity.