Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I've often found that because New Testament followers have a perspective of Judaism that is foreign to and contradicts what Jews believe and entirely from their doctrine rather than from the laws of Judaism, I often see misrepresentations of Judaism in telling others *about* Judaism. The often made claim that a “blood“ sacrifice for sin was the "only means of atonement for Jews"/the covenant of Torah, is something that is not found IN the Torah and in fact violates and negates what God shows from Genesis throughout the entire Hebrew Bible.
To dispel this false statement about Judaism to such a person who was raised to believe that "blood" had to be shed for "atonement" in Judaism, I find that contrasting of the concepts found in each religion best helps them understand. I’ll use a modern example of how Jews are presented with their concept of atonement and forgiveness and then show the Jewish religion’s laws from the eternal covenant of Torah.
The following scenario was long ago given to me on a Hebrew Christian missionary pamphlet (dishonestly calling itself Messianic “Judaism“) with the tag-line "This is you.” or something like that. I can’t seem to find it now to quote it verbatim, but I’m hopeful some reader out there may also have a copy to forward to me so I can post a copy of it online and illustrate with objective evidence how completely opposite to Jewish belief it‘s statements about Judaism really are. I know I can't be the only person who had that flyer handed out to them.
First of all, the Jewish people are forbidden to worship anything on earth or in heaven before or in lieu of God. The Torah declares that God is not and does not become a man (this was to separate Jews from this common and widespread belief in the ancient Levant in godmen and men/rulers becoming Divine) Believing Jews have always trusted that God did not lie to us in these statements.
The gist of the missionary pamphlet was to try to show that one is following Torah to consider a Jew as a sacrifice to atone for sins! It was supposed to show the enormous capacity of mercy from Jesus (Yahsuah) that is available to all humans who have the “blot” of “original sin” and all the accumulated sins that humans have engaged in action, past, present and *future* if one simply relies on the sacrifice of Jesus to “pay” the “price” for them. I recall that it had a story line to it:
It instructed you to pretend that you are an inmate on death row for being a murderer and a rapist. You were tried and are guilty, that is not in dispute. The day before you are to be executed, a stranger offers to take your place and receive the lethal injection and die in your place instead. The court accepts this and the sentence is carried out on the stranger who dies in your place. You are now a free man.
It went on …but I’m going to stop here
What struck me right at that point was how strongly this differs from the focus of mercy through justice and accountability taught throughout the entire Tanakh and especially in the eternal Torah (law/teaching) of Judaism. How does that pamphlet's scenario in any way resemble justice?
Torah demands that “Justice, justice, shall you pursue”.
Letting someone else die in place of the guilty does not change the guilt of the guilty, nor serve justice in any sense of the definition of the word. There is no mention of any attempt on the part of the guilty to try to make amends or ameliorate any resulting damage or pain caused by their sin, no mention of regret or repentance on the part of the sinner or a desire to refrain from the same sin again. Not one mention of individual accountability or outward demonstration of an effort toward atonement by the sinner is shown, only abdication of personal responsibility...However, later, the pamphlet referred to an obligation to be eternally grateful for the death of that innocent person and their suffering for what you did.
Moses once offered himself to do that for the covenant nation, Israel, and God declared outright that was not permissible, that every person is directly accountable to God for his/her own sins. Jews believe God didn’t lie to Moses about this, or to the covenant nation, Israel with regards to the precepts of mercy and justice.
Repentance and acts of restitution are prerequisites to the act of any sacrifice, either animal or non animal sacrifice in the Torah.
So how is it so widely accepted that Jesus’ supposed sacrifice *paid* for anything at all? There is no justice in an innocent person being punished and dying in place of a guilty one, so why would God accept this gesture and agree to redeem all souls who recognize the sacrifice, unless God is unjust?
Living in a society/civilization that believes in justice, I'm sure all of you would have a problem letting a death row inmate go just because a stranger was executed for him. Again, I ask how does this fit with God's commandment to pursue justice?
So the New Testament concept of god in that scenario doesn't appear to care about justice or demonstration of acts of sincere repentance or individual and personal accountability and instead focuses on blood sacrifice as mere *appeasement* versus the Tanakh's Scriptural contextual concept of ATONEMENT..meaning to be at one with the Creator in striving to honor the gift of life. Atonement is more compelling to me than appeasement.
Animal sacrifice (zevachim) was never the exclusive means to atonement. A sin sacrifice, called a Korban Chatas, was only required for accidental transgressions of severe sins. If someone was unsure if they had transgressed a sin for which they would be required to bring a sin sacrifice they brought a sacrifice called a Korban Asham Taluy. The Chatas ( sin ) offering was not for intentional or malicious sins. Some sin offerings could not be eaten, but for the most part, for the average person's personal sin, the chatat was eaten by the Kohenim, the Temple priests.
The animal offerings differed as to who was giving them, for a king or the High Priest, the Kohen Gadol the requirement is the sacrifice of unblemished bull. A normal person had to bring a female lamb, but if they were too poor to provide that, they were asked to bring two birds (the exact species is subject to debate) and a really poor person brought flour, oil and frankincense.
There is no blood in flour, oil and frankincense. Thus, animal sacrifice was shown as NOT mandatory for atonement. In addition, No sacrifice for sin was considered acceptable unless you had done the necessary steps of teshuvah beforehand. Teshuvah refers to repentance of the wrongful deed, amends for anything you could rectify and a return to righteousness, eschewing the wrongful deed. The important thing was the repentance you did prior to this offering and the *acts* of showing you had done what was necessary before you asked God to forgive you. The fact that even amid the instructions on the specifics of animal sacrifice it shows that flour, oil and frankincense could be brought INSTEAD..reveals that what was important was that you were offering something meaningful as a sign you had done your part before you sought God to accept your offering.
According to Torah, there is a three-step formula for "repentance" (teshuva = returning to G-d by returning to the proper path). Quoting from Mishneh Torah by the Rambam (Maimonides):
"And what is repentance? It is when the sinner abandons his sin, removing it from his thoughts [i.e. he will from now on push out from his mind any idea to do or to imagine doing this sin], and is completely resolved not to do it again.
Consequently, he [verbally] regrets what has happened in the past [i.e. what he thought, said or did] and [verbally] accepts G-d, the Knower of secrets, as his witness that he will never return to such a sin again.
And he needs to confess verbally and state the resolutions that he made in his heart."
***The centrality of the animal sacrifices ceased, not with the second destruction of the Temple by the Romans, but rather with the first destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians. Please remember that the vast majority of Jews never returned to the Promised Land under Cyrus of Persia. They remained in Babylonia. By the time Jesus was born, eighty percent of the world's Jewish community lived outside of the Promised Land, and could not have cared less about the cessation of the animal sacrifices. When the Temple was reestablished, the Jews of Babylonia made an annual financial gift for the maintenance of the Temple, and the land, but never worried that God was not going to forgive them their sins without a blood sacrifice, just as Diaspora Jews do today. And the reason why they had no such fear, was that the Bible makes it explicitly clear that no blood sacrifice is necessary for the forgiveness of sins, or that the exclusive means for the God-man relationship was through the animal sacrifices.***
The important thing was and remains “teshuvah” This is represented using two concepts, nicham (to feel regret or sorrow) and shuv (to return)
`When a man or woman wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to the Eternal, that person is guilty and must confess the sin he has committed. He must make full restitution for his wrong, add one fifth to it and give it all to the person he has wronged. [Numbers 5:6-7]
30:8 You will repent and obey God, keeping all His commandments, as I prescribe them to you today.
Ve'atah tashuv veshamata bekol Adonay ve'asita et-kol-mitsvotav asher anochi metsavecha hayom.
note the Hebrew word tashuv there
For the person who has sinned to acknowledge the wrongdoing is the first step, then one must regret the wrongdoing and do your best to make amends, lastly, is to turn away from doing the wrong and not do it again.
***For intentional sins to be atoned for, there had to be repentance and restitution and often punishment because the sins were committed on purpose!
A thief must certainly make restitution, but if he has nothing, he must be sold to pay for his theft... If a man grazes his livestock in a field or vineyard and lets them stray and they graze in another man's field, he must make restitution from the best of his own field or vineyard... If a fire breaks out and spreads into thorn bushes so that it burns shocks of grain or standing grain or the whole field, the one who started the fire must make restitution... But if the animal was stolen from the neighbor, he must make restitution to the owner... If a man borrows an animal from his neighbor and it is injured or dies while the owner is not present, he must make restitution. [Exodus 22:3, 5, 6, 12, and 14]
Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a man must be put to death. [Leviticus 24:21] ***
It is hard not to go and refer to the many places throughout the Torah and the rest of the Tanakh that show that the commandments of Torah obligate those who follow it to be accountable to both our fellow humans and to God for our behaviors to all living beings.
The religion of Judaism through the precepts of the Torah is a path that guides humans to individual and collective accountability for our behaviors and to promote justice and mercy and restoring the world to a righteous state. “Justice, justice shall you pursue”.
Torah outlined the steps of repentance and return whether or not the sin ( violation of God's commandment) was unintentional, or intentional. So, in order to fully understand the Jewish Bible’s ( Tanakh’s ) concepts of sacrifice in relation to atonement, you need to study much more than the laws regarding just the *rituals* surrounding the sacrifice. An out of context passage that refers to the prohibition of *consuming* blood, to claim that blood must be shed and justify a human sacrifice for appeasement..remains antithetical to the Torah’s commandments, nor does it fit with what Jews have ever believed or practiced.
There can be no real justice without mercy and no real mercy without justice..but then that leads us into a whole new discussion :)
The Tanakh shows that Jews and Gentiles came to both First and Second Temples to pray and seek atonement. Blessing, repentance and atonement have and shall forever remain equally available to all human beings and does not limit this to membership in one particular group of people. God is not exclusive to the Jewish people, but demands that Jews remain exclusive to God. There is a difference.
***http://whatjewsbelieve.org/ portions asterisked with this copied from that site. Permission from my friend Rabbi Stuart Federow to use his site to help educate as long as I always credit him with his words.
Lastly.. a reminder even though I omitted the many narratives that clearly show that human sacrifice is condemned in the harshest terms throughout the Tanakh and it has no place within Judaism, I only referred to the scenario and the NT doctrine to contrast their concept of sacrifice for sin with that of the Torah's and of Judaism.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
If you see me in Y/A and wonder why the recent (temporary) name change to: ✡mama pajama✡ Jew-kissing bunny
And why do I have a muscle bound Blonde, Mogen David chested, blue bunny-slipper wearing femme fatale super hero image here?
First, I’ll tell you what it isn’t about. I don’t spend my days in either bustier or bunny slippers, nor do I parade around with a massive Star of David on my chest, though I do often wish to return to the days when my figure was closer to the shape of that Super Hero than that of the bunny slippers.
It's all about trying to overcome the desire to cry in astonishment at the hatred of others, to overcome feeling helpless and trying to keep from feeling hopeless for a new generation of children whose minds are being utterly abused into the mental illness of extreme bigotry to incite them to want to murder. Yes, murder.
After I saw this link on a question in Y/A, I thought, what better commentary to a child abusing sick person dressed up as Jew-killing Jihad bunny teaching hate to children could there be than a real bunny actually kissing the hand of a Jewish child that was already there on my avatar!
So, I answered:
While fantasy Jew-eating bunnies are being used to teach children to hate and want to kill Jews and Danes, take a peek at a real bunny, (an Eastern Cottontail Rabbit), *kissing* the hand of a Jew!
my avatar is a photo of just that event!
Then my son, the owner of the bunny-kissed hand said, that's you Mom, “Defender of Bunnies and Jews“
And that’s what inspired me to go create my "alter ego" in Super Hero style
Mama Pajama, Defender of Bunnies and Jews
edit: I post this edit after I notice that today, 1 day after I received the "Best Answer", the *question* was removed. I am sorry I do not recall the exact question, but the gist of it was to ask what passages in the Quran support the teaching of a "Jew-eating Jihad bunny" teaching Muslim children to kill Jews and Danes. I know that I am still genuinely curious what passages or teachings of Islam they could possibly use to support that. I guess I'll never know...
Monday, February 22, 2010
What is the difference between “Messianic Judaism”, Judaism and Christianity?
This question has been asked a half dozen times in the past week with variant wording. I will do a little side by side comparison to contrast what some New Testament doctrine adherents call “Messianic Judaism” with the religion of Judaism from the Tanakh and with Christianity based directly on the statements of one who claims to represent "Messianic Jews" on an online forum.
I begin each one with a direct quotation of what a self-proclaimed “Messianic Jew” has explained as their belief in contrast with what he thinks of Christianity. Then, I will preface my own writing with double asterisks ** to give my understanding of the beliefs and practice of Judaism from the eternal Torah (law/teaching) of the covenant of Israel/the Jewish people. I will also often explain how either are similar or differs/contradicts what New Testament adherents believe.
“Messianics observe traditional Jewish holidays such as Purim, Chanukah, etc. Christians do not.”
**The New Testament adherents insert Jesus into holy Jewish observances, thus violating the commanded meanings in the Torah and Tanakh, such as replacing the reason Exodus explicitly states for the Paschal lamb to represent the Hebrews slaughtering and eating the representative of one of the Egyptians false gods(i.e., either lamb of sheep or goat) in their presence without recourse as an act of defiance and allegiance to the God of Israel, to claim Jesus was the Paschal lamb and that it was a sin sacrifice. (the Paschal lamb was never and shall never be a sin sacrifice for the covenant of Israel)
Hanukah is an observance of a victory over forced assimilation by the Syrian/Greeks that sought to impose worship of man gods and adopt Hellenist beliefs such as being born with a sinful nature and a notion of a fiery underworld hell. For the few apostate Jews who have assimilated into the religion of the New Testament replacement theology among their numbers, imposing those beliefs into Chanukah observance negates the very purpose of Hanukah.
Those who call themselves “Messianics” worship Jesus/Yeshuah as a manifestation of their god. The eternal Torah forbids such a notion and the Prophets in the Tanakh condemn a notion of any man as God outright.
“Messianics observe the biblical feasts of Vayikra (Leviticus) 23 such as Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), Rosh HaShanah (Feast of Trumpets), Sukkot (Feast of Booths) and Passover. Christians do not.”
**see above re: Passover and
The ways in which New Testament adherents redefine and negate Biblical precept for each of those holy observances for Israel would take up an individual essay, space won’t permit it here.
Each of those observances in the Tanakh are done to honor the role and purpose of the covenant of Israel as a nation people exclusive to God and obligated to a life that honors this life and rejects obsession with the afterlife and maintains personal accountability to both God , our fellow humans and all living.
Imposing foreign god belief/avodah zarah into the observances commanded in the Torah to honor faith in God exclusively is an egregious violation of those commandments and cannot be called “observant” of the Torah. The adherents of the “New” covenant of the Gospels are not a part of the eternal covenant of Israel so they are not bound by this covenant in the first place. The few apostates of their numbers will be judged by these laws, but for the majority this does not apply.
“Messianics do not observe Christian holidays that were borrowed from paganism, such as Christmas and Lent or were simply concocted.”
**but they do have the pagan concept of being born with a burden of sin and having a sinful nature that must be reconciled by the death of their savior mangod such as found directly in the widespread ancient religions of the Levant of Mithras, Tammuz and Adonis
They also adhere to the pagan Roman/Greek concept derived from Tartarus of hell ..ruled by a demon deity of the underworld they call Lucifer, also not found in the Torah.
“Messianics do not use Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, Christmas trees, etc., (which are part of Christian tradition in many parts of the world although they are not part of official Christian theology)”
*** But Easter is still a very important time for them. It is the basis of the doctrine of the NT that his death and resurrection are reliant upon for salvation to its adherents. They do reject many of the ancient pagan fertility symbolic remnants, but because the New Testament doctrine itself reveals Hellenist influence, they're still an influence to New Testament dogma.
täˈməz, ancient nature deity worshiped in Babylonia. A god of agriculture and flocks, he personified the creative powers of spring. He was loved by the fertility goddess Ishtar, who, according to one legend, was so grief-stricken at his death that she contrived to enter the underworld to get him back. According to another legend, she killed him and later restored him to life. These legends and his festival, commemorating the yearly death and rebirth of vegetation, corresponded to the festivals of the Phoenician and Greek Adonis and of the Phrygian Attis. The Sumerian name of Tammuz was Dumuzi. In the Bible his disappearance is mourned by the women of Jerusalem (Ezek. 8.14).
Hmm Man/god born of virgin dies and Ishtar resurrects him in the spring...Ishtar ( Easter) spring resurrection...striking isn't it?
Sunrise services in honor of Tammuz and praying for his resurrection is an ancient heathen custom. It is actually described and condemned in the book of Ezekiel.
12. And He said to me, "Have you seen, son of man, what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each one in his paved chambers? For they say, 'The Lord does not see us; the Lord has left the earth.' "
13. And He said to me, "You will yet see again greater abominations that they are doing."
14. And He brought me to the entrance of the gate of the house of the Lord that is to the north, and behold there the women were sitting, weeping for Tammuz.
15. And He said to me, "Have you seen, son of man? You will yet see again greater abominations than these."
16. And He brought me to the inner court of the house of the Lord, and behold, at the entrance of the Temple of the Lord between the porch and the altar, about twenty- five men, their backs to the Temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, and they were prostrating themselves eastward to the sun.
17. And He said to me, "Have you seen, son of man? Was it [too] trivial to the house of Judah to prevent them from performing the abominations that they have done here? For they have [already] filled the land with violence, and repeatedly provoked Me, and behold they send disgrace into their nose.
18. I too, shall act with fury; My eyes will not spare, neither will I have pity, and they will call into My ears with a loud voice, but I shall not listen to them."
This was a warning prior to the destruction of the FIRST Temple. The Second Temple was destroyed just after another man/god was being worshipped in Jerusalem. Coincidence?
Tammuz and Mithras, both sacrificed savior deities, had followers of apostate Jews in the North (Galilee) and areas of Paul's travels. Tammuz and the Romanized version of the Zoroastrian deity Mithras, were both born of virgins (a concept having nothing to do with the Davidic Messiah or Tanakh) and their death was said to have brought their people reconciliation to their sinful natures. Tammuz was said to die and be reborn each spring. Tammuz worship was so widespread and it was condemned in Tanakh. There is still even a Hebrew month named for this pagan man/god despite such Jewish condemnation of his worship. Sir James Frazier's work The Golden Bough is useful to learning about the concept of Savior Kings that was not only widespread in the Middle east but in Europe and helped to aid the rapid spread of Christianity. Noted Oxford scholar and award winning Historian Richard Fletcher's The Barbarian Conversion: From Paganism to Christianity also helps one to understand the development of many beliefs and rituals found in modern Christianity.
Belief in a savior man/god whose blood and death atoned for the sinful nature of his people was common to many in the ancient Levant. Original sin (born with a burden of sin) is foreign to Torah and Judaism.
The name Easter is believed to derive from the name Ishtar, the goddess responsible for the resurrection of Tammuz. The offerings given to Ishtar in gratitude for resurrecting Tammuz who would ensure a good spring for their crops and to Ishtar herself for the fecundity of women, are the source of the Easter Basket and the eggs and bunnies, both ancient symbols of fertility. So there IS a difference between the "messianics" and mainstream Christianity in their rejection of those symbols.
“Messianics worship on the biblical Sabbath, i.e., Friday evening till Saturday evening, not Sunday. HaShem says the Sabbath is an eternal covenant between Him and the descendants of Israel. (Sh'mot/Exodus 31:16). “
**The house of Israel refers to members of the covenant people of Israel. The covenant of Israel is indeed eternal. The reliance on Jesus as a medium of atonement and salvation for a sinful nature and sins is the doctrine of the “New covenant” or New Testament and contradicts the eternal covenant of Torah.
There is no "Old Testament" meaning old covenant, for the people of the eternal covenant. There is no "New Testament" or replacement covenant. The Jewish people are the people of the eternal covenant
The prophetic vision of the Davidic messiah in the Tanakh speaks of the age when the eternal covenant will no longer be taught to one another when the universal knowledge and understanding of God will encompass the earth. The early church father Tertullian, early in the third century CE named the Christian amended version of the Tanakh the "Old Testament" specifically to designate it as having been superseded and done away with in contrast to the "New", despite the assertion within it's texts dozens of times from Genesis forward that it is an eternal testament (covenant).
Adherents of the religion of their New Covenant (Testament) are not a part of the covenant nation for whom the Torah’s commandments for Israel apply.
God isn’t exclusive to Israel, but there are many commandments that are so in the Torah
“Messianics cant the Shema, and traditional Jewish blessings that most Christians have never heard of, e.g., the kiddush and the Aaronic benediction“.
** Of course they mimic every portion of Jewish custom and observance in outward appearance, but when you reassign every act to a contradictory meaning and even redefine the holy language of Torah itself, you’re not honoring the Torah and you’re violating that Affirmation of Faith that is made to affirm yourself as a member of the covenant who worship God and God alone to the exclusion of all other entities.
Messianics redefine the word Echad to claim it means “unity” to impose their trinity concept of the nature of God in direct contradiction to this affirmation of faith, rendering it utter blasphemy and one of the most egregious violations and sins that a Jew could commit. Such a behavior actually separates their soul from the Jewish people according to the Torah.
I once saw Perry Stone spend more than half an hour trying to convolute Hebrew grammar to explain that the Hebrew word echad, meaning one, could only *ever* refer to a "compound unity". He ended this by saying that within the Shema is the "proof" that "Yeshua" (Jesus) and his Holy Spirit (Ruach Kodesh) is their "echad" or " tri-unity" of God. The Hebrew in the Torah and how the word echad is used does not support this at all. It is as absurd as saying to an English speaker that the word "one" can only refer to one of a group or cluster and that unless you use a qualifier it does not mean a sole, single unit. One means one. period.
Tell a Hebrew speaking boy who learns to count, "echad, shnayim, shlosha, arba,etc that he's really saying, unity, two, three, and look at the reaction you'll get.
Sometimes they’ll try to justify it by saying they worship Yeshuah as their “Elohim” and claim that the suffix IM denotes the plurality of his nature.
Elohim as a title for God..the "Supreme Deity" over all their idolatrous neighbor's false gods, no more refers to a plurality of their own or a trinity than saying "Supreme Deity" in English refers to many deities.
The word El derives from the Canaanite El or Al that at one time referred to their primary deity's NAME perhaps thousands of years prior to Abraham. By the time of the writing of the Torah, the word EL became the word for deity rather like the English word god means that same thing.. Our English word God has a very similar path to meaning of deity. The ancient Visgoth's, a Germanic people worshipped Gott as their primary deity. Gott became God. In German, the word Gott still means God. When a German today prays to Gott or an English speaking person prays to God we are no more praying to that Visgoth deity than the ancient Hebrews were praying to the Sumerian deity or pantheon of Canaanite deities.
In Hebrew grammar the suffix IM denotes EITHER plurality OR Importance. If one is to determine if a NOUN is a singular or plural with the suffix IM, the use in the Torah shows us whether or not it is a singular noun or a plural noun..meaning if it refers to more than one thing or just one thing. There are other Hebrew words that end in IM when it does not refer to a plurality..chayim ..life, for instance.
Hebrew grammar is odd in that a suffix denoting plurality may also be used to impart great importance to the noun it is placed upon.
“Messianics cant the Torah portion in Hebrew at worship services.”
***I’d be curious to see how their evangelical Hebrew Christian clergy translate it for their overwhelmingly Christian audience who knows little Hebrew since the Torah contradicts their New Testament.
“Messianic preaching is mainly from the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), although references to the B'rit Chadasha are common.’
**This would be surprising if it’s “mainly” from the Tanakh as their Statements of Faith below are primarily found in the New Testament they’ve renamed in Hebrew to make it sound Jewish. It is also extremely rare that they refer to the Tanakh to explain their doctrine in Y/A either, except to note how Jesus/Yeshua changed things.
By the logic of one who claims that there is a “New” covenant ( their renamed in Hebrew New Testament of B’rit Chadasha) why are they not following the Quran? And then in turn..why are they not following the Book of Mormon? If Israel's *eternal* covenant with God can be "superceded" why can't yours?
The people of the eternal covenant of Israel have no Holy Scriptures named “Old Testament or New Testament” . Using the Hebrew translation for New Testament doesn’t make that Bible a Jewish Bible, just as Israeli Christians praying to Jesus in Hebrew doesn’t morph them into Israeli Jews.
“Messianic Judaism emphasizes the special relationship between G-d and the Jewish people, whereas Protestantism and Catholicism hardly ever mention it.”
This is as deceptive as everything else they've said. They claim that the world's believing Jews deserve hell and eternal torture because we REFUSE to give up our special relationship with G-d to deny what God told all Israel at Sinai! They are forever telling us that unless we come to rely on Jesus for atonement that we will go to their hell. That is clearly not honoring the relationship that believing Jews have with God. IF they emphasized the relationship between God and Israel they would not be missionizing to us to LEAVE it. They claim that they have exclusive blessing from "Yeshua" whom they worship as a god and call the god of Israel in utter blasphemy rather than even respect the fact that God has a relationship with the Jewish people. But then, they also call themselves the "real" Jewish people, too. Just like other of their NT groups that claim Jewish identity while having no relation..like the Black Hebrew Israelites, the Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord white supremacisst group, the "Elohim City" group and the Branch Davidian's , the Seventh Day Adventist offshoot that considers ITSELF the "real Messsianic" Jews, so they even have competition among other New Testament adherent/Christian groups.
Judaism emphasizes the direct relationship between God and humanity and the role of Israel as a covenant nation dedicated to God exclusively to demonstrate living this path as a light unto the nations. Torah teaches that we are always directly accountable to one another and directly to God.
The New Testament focuses on teaching that one must accept on faith belief that Jesus death and blood "reconcile" a sinful nature (being born with a burden of sin is also foreign to Torah) and then awareness of God will change their behavior. Judaism teaches us that it is how we live and interact with one another that opens us up to the awareness and direct connection to the Divine. For many people, it appears to be a slow process of growth into an awareness of our connection to God, rather than some kind of overwhelming divine revelatory moment.
Judaism is a path of LIVING and honoring this life God gave us and the lives that come after us while we build on the wisdom of those who came before us. I think that was part of the hard lesson of coming out of slavery from Egypt. The bonds of idolatry and superstition that enslaved the mind were broken when Israel came to the recognition that all those man/gods and animal gods were powerless over this life. It wasn't only deliverance from physical bondage that is told about at Passover, but the deliverance for each generation when we remember of the kind of enslavement that focusing on concern for another world than this one is made priority.
Judaism is a world-affirming, not world-denying faith. We use the gifts and blessings we have in this world to make it better for ourselves, for our families and for the rest of the world.
The Christian concept that before Jesus, God was exclusively for the Jews,, has ALWAYS been foreign to Jewish belief. The book of Kings records Gentiles worshipping at the Temple , Torah teaches that every human can directly connect to God and the righteous of all nations are blessed. It is Christianity that has introduced dogma that one must be Christian to connect to God, not vice versa.
“Messianic Judaism emphasizes Jewish traditions that do not conflict with the Bible, whereas Protestantism and Catholicism totally ignore those traditions.”
**This is simply so wrong in light of all the evidence I’ve presented thus far. I can’t find one practice of so called “Messianic Judaism” that does not utterly corrupt the very core of the covenant of faith of Klal Yisrael. Worship of or through a Jew is the most egregious violation of Torah to do! If you can find a Statement of Belief of a “Messianic Judaism” web site that does not present Jesus as an aspect of the Divine, please show me.
Actually, they don't emphasize Jewish tradition, they pervert Jewish traditions that are from the Jewish Bible. Every custom and observance Torah commands to honor Israel as a covenant nation that worships only our incorporeal Creator, they impose idolatrous Jesus worship upon, in complete blasphemy. Thus when they entice any actual Jew to do such a thing, they are leading that Jew to commit an act that God says in the Torah separates that Jew from their people, their purpose, and from God unless they repent and return. A very serious sin.
“Messianic Judaism asserts that the Torah (literally, "teaching") is still in effect (as modified by Yeshua). Christianity claims that once Jesus "fulfilled the Law" it no longer applies.”
** Ah HA! This is a smoking gun to show it isn’t “Judaism” at ALL! the "as modified by Yeshua) shows how they dishonor Torah that God commands cannot be changed. The Jewish people and believers in the religion of Judaism follow what we believe God said about the Torah. NO one can alter even the tiniest portion of Torah..There you have it ADMISSION that they believe that “Yeshua” had the authority to usurp God’s eternal commandment. ( oh wait..that user has said more than once they believe Yeshua to be their god, showing it is idolatry..that’s how they justify this and their Statements of Faith show they believe he‘s God so apparently they believe God changed his mind those more than dozen times He said ETERNAL before that)
The Jewish people, those who belong to and adhere to the covenant of Torah know that God is the same incorporeal ONE who states does NOT become a man in the Torah and whose Torah does not change.
While the Christian is free to believe God lied to all Israel, the Jew is not.
Jews may argue and debate over how to apply the eternal Torah in our lives throughout the world and changing times..but we ALL agree the Torah does not and cannot change or be MODIFIED.
“Messianic Jews bar-mitzvah their sons and bat-mitzvah their daughters. Christians don't.”
**THIS reflects that the writer has no clue what bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah means and since they are not of the eternal covenant..enacting a meaningless ceremony does NOT make their children sons and daughters of the covenant.
That sentence reads as if it is something that they must do to a Jewish child for them to become a bar or bat mitzvah.
A Jew becomes a bar or bat mitzvah upon attaining the age they become responsible for this…whether or not they ever have any ceremony.
The parent can't make the son or daughter a bar or bat mitzvah, but if the child was born to an apostate Jew, the child isn't held as guilty as the parent...for the act of the parent making the child sin in idolatry and enact a meaningless ceremony to claim identity in a covenant they disrespect. Few are actual Jews, most are gentile parents whose gentile childen enact mock ceremonies and impose forbidden Jesus worship upon one claiming to dedicate the child to the covenant of Israel, a very different covenant of faith than the New Testament one.
The act of becoming a Bar Mitzvah – or Bat Mitzvah (translated as “son or daughter of the commandment(s)” – raises a Jewish child to the status of adult in the religious community. It marks the beginning of many obligations and privileges.
For a Jewish boy this is age 13, for a Jewish girl this is age 12. One cannot be dedicated to two CONFLICTING covenants of faith.
Does the evangelical Hebrew Christian realize what harsh feelings of conflicted fear and loathing they are stirring up within their very own children in teaching them a false identity and teaching that believing Jews who adhere to the nearly 4000 year old eternal covenant who do not and will never “accept Yeshuah” "hate them for their beliefs"? The claim that Jews hate others for their beliefs fuels centuries of antisemitism. To be raised this way is not to become a bar or bat mitzvah. This teaches those children to mistrust Jews and believe that the very people they identify with in name, reject them as their own out of hate! These young people then go on to ally themselves with evangelical Christians (because their beliefs are identical) while cloaking their dogma in Jewish custom and practice that is often more outwardly Jewish “looking” than that of modern Orthodox Jews! They also assign meaning to deeply reverent Jewish customs such as the calling to Torah of the Bar and Bat Mitzvah, which were never intended and usually offensive or contradictory to the aspect of faith the custom is intended to honor.
The customs and rituals of Jewish people around the world developed to honor the laws of Torah and teach each generation about honoring our eternal covenant and faith of Judaism. To see these customs and rituals used to honor a replacement theology is extremely disturbing to the believing Jew for whom these things have deep spiritual significance.
“A Jewish person who converts to Protestantism is referred to as a Hebrew Christian, not a Messianic Jew. “
**This statement appears to be to willfully confuse. Compare and contrast the statements of beliefs of all the largest “Messianic Jewish” organizations you can find with Protestant Christianity. The only difference I see is Hebraicised terminology.
The whole movement called itself Hebrew Christian until 1967.
Yes, honest Jews who find that their faith calling is to follow the doctrine of the New Testament, if they convert to a belief fitting the statements of faith of Protestant Christianity will honestly call themselves Christians.
Hebrew Christians is a more honest terminology than “Messianic Jew” because ALL of Judaism remains messianic in nature. The concepts are simply contradictory.
“Messianic Judaism and Protestantism teach the biblical doctrine that salvation is a free gift from G-d, by faith in Yeshua.”
**And they teach that God is exclusive to those who worship Jesus.
Torah, on the other hand shows from Genesis forward that God has always been and shall forever remain directly accessible and that repentance, and a path of righteousness is honored by God for all people, Jew and Gentile.
The Christian concept that before Jesus, God was exclusively for the Jews,, has ALWAYS been foreign to Jewish belief. The book of Kings records Gentiles worshipping at the Temple , Torah teaches that every human can directly connect to God and the righteous of all nations are blessed. It is Christianity that has introduced dogma that one must be Christian to connect to God, not vice versa.
Note this person is actually admitting the shared core faith of Protestant Christianity and their "Messianic Judaism" that is Hebraicised New Testament dogma. They know very well that the doctrine of Torah and Judaism is contradictory to it.
“Messianics do not need to be proselytized into Christianity. We already know who Messiah is and what he did to provide salvation for his people.”
**Huh?? The whole movement is evangelical. MILLIONS of dollars a year are spent evangelizing to Jews. TV programs, books, tapes, lectures. It is now big business, too. More than a billion dollars in the past decade has been spent in efforts to convince people they can claim Jewish identity while adhering to a faith dogma whose beliefs and practices are prohibited by the laws of Judaism from the Torah and would render any Jew who professes them to be apostate to the Jewish people.
However, they’re attracting primarily other Christians to join them over Jews, because after all, for a great many who already adhere to their doctrines of belief that match the Baptist and other Protestant denominations, they don't have to change anything at ALL about WHAT they believe, just change how they practice it. Just change the terms they're already familiar with to Hebrew terms, impose those beliefs into Jewish holy observances and disregard the purpose and reasons the Torah demands that Jews observe those holidays and customs and call it "Torah observant". Christians don’t have to give up their beliefs in any way to join, they just add some nifty new holidays, words, songs, dances and get to play dress up and call themselves “completed Jews” while completely disrespecting the laws of Judaism, often in utter ignorance of this fact.
Torah has never taught that salvation was exclusive to the Jewish people. God is not exclusive to the Jews. God commands the Jews to be exclusive to God. Restating Torah precept, both Isaiah and Jeremiah affirm that the righteous of all nations have a place in the world to come. Micah sums up Torah very well, "What Does the Lord Require of You? To act Justly and to Love Mercy and to Walk Humbly With Your God"
There are several Christian TV networks and many televangelists who would disagree that Christians don't "need" proselytizing..their paychecks depend on it.
They depend upon people being ignorant of Jewish law and upon people relying on the doctrine of another religion to Reinterpret and impose views upon it in contradiction TO Judaism. The New Testament has been since it's introduction..a replacement theology. It isn't ever going to be Judaism.
EDIT: I wish to make it clear that the quotations I gave that represent the "Messianic", are a copy-paste from a writing that has been repeatedly posted by one claiming to represent Messianic Judaism. I did *not* fabricate those quotes to "make Messianic Jews look bad" as one claiming to be from Israel commented to me. I did not omit one word, nor did I alter the order or add a thing to the quotes. Because I am *not* out to try to embarrass people, I did not put their user name.
When I say that the "Messianic" Hebrew Christian evangelist appeals primarily to their own co-religionists (Christians) who are ignorant of Judaism and Tanakh, that doesn't imply I think they're stupid people at all. It is apparent that they must appeal to people whose knowledge of Torah and Judaism is either ABSENT or from their New Testament exclusively. I believe that people can educate themselves and no longer be ignorant. If I didn't believe that ignorance was able to be remedied, I wouldn't be wasting my time with any of these things I share.
In fact, something that many of them did NOT account for is that by appealing to the sensibilities of Judaism and claiming to be Torah observant, many of their numbers DO begin to actually study Torah and the rest of Tanakh in context and discover these things on their own. They speak of Jews "persecuting" them for their belief in Jesus when Jews don't care if they believe in Jesus..we care they call it Judaism in falsehood.
I also believe that it took a great amount of intelligence to devise convincing deceptions that have created dissention between Jews and Christians and eroded more than a generation of good-faith efforts of genuine dialog between religions and peoples. They're not stupid people who promote this. Make no mistake..I've never thought that for a moment.