Worshiper of Jesus, Christian/Messianic, what are you going to say when you stand before G-d after the false man-god Jesus whom you worship and to whom you pray doesn’t appear? What are you going to say to your Maker when you knew all along (and I am merely reminding you here now) that worshiping anyone or anything other than Him is a grave sin and betrayal? How will you justify your worship of a mortal creature to whom billions bow their knees? Will you deny that you knew that He has warned you that He was neither a man nor a son of man (Numbers 23:19), that He had no visible form and that He can’t be compared to anything He created? Will you try to defend yourself that you only followed your leaders or will you admit to G-d your sin of idolatry? Will you appeal to the polished literary character from the pages of your New Testament? Will you tell G-d that Jesus paid for your sins by his blood when He explicitly warned that He doesn’t approve of human sacrifices (Leviticus 18:21 and Deuteronomy 12:31) and that no man can punished for the sins of another (Ezekiel 18:20)? Will you point to the [Greek] Testament in your defense and claim it to be the “word of G-d”? Will you claim that you have put your faith in Jesus, Paul, apostles, the church scribes, church fathers, pastors and evangelists? Will you attempt to boldly walk into the Holy of Holies as the author of Hebrews exhorts you to do (Hebrews 10:19) and demand to be allowed in since you placed your trust in a “son of man”, despite the fact that G-d has told us in Numbers 23:19 not to do just that? What will come out of your mouth? Do you know?
Solomon ben Reuben Bonfed was a rabbi who lived in late 14th and early 15th century Spain. In his day, many conversos (Jews who converted to Christianity) actively and often quite aggressively sought to convert their former brethren to their new faith. To do this, some of these apostates from Judaism employed their knowledge of Hebrew and the Jewish scriptures in order to prove various Christian dogmas. To prove something to unbelievers, especially to Jews, to convince them to accept Jesus and associated beliefs, has always been one of the fundamental tasks of Christians and it continues to this very day. One such convert was Astruc Remoch of Fraga, who took on the name Francisco Dias-Carni upon his conversion. Francisco, in his new identity, would write feverishly to Jews of Spain in defense of the Trinity, hoping to persuade them to leave Judaism, embrace Jesus and convert to Christianity as he did. Most of the Jews who received his letters didn’t dare to answer him in a manner which may have been interpreted by the Church authorities as an attack on Christianity, an offense often punished by death. One Jew and poet, however, Continue reading this post
I am posting the following overview of what is idolatry from the point of view of Torah and Jewish law in order to demonstrate that the worship of any created being or object (i.e. Jesus, deified kings, animals, sun, moon, stars, any man-made idol or imaginary god, etc.) is a grievous sin against G-d and a gross violation of Torah prohibitions against idolatry. Even if the person who is worshipping a creature believes that he is glorifying G-d in this fashion (as Christians / Messianic Jews clearly believe about man Jesus, who was born, went through puberty, lived, ate and went to the bathroom, and died and is still considered and worshiped as “god” by them), “he is still regarded as an idolater”.
Halacha Overview, based on Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah
(Article originally appeared on Torah.org)
It is forbidden to worship any created thing. Even if the worshipper knows that Ha-Shem is G-d, and he is worshipping this created thing because he believes that G-d wants it to be honored, he is still regarded as an idolator. This is what the Torah warned against: “And lest you lift up your eyes to the heavens and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven that Ha-Shem your G-d apportioned to all the nations, and you are drawn away and bow down to them and worship them”1 — that is, lest you think that these are the leaders which G-d gave to the world and it is therefore proper to bow down to them and worship them. And on the same subject He commanded “Take care lest your hearts be deceived [and you turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them]”2 — that is, lest you err in your hearts and worship these as intermediaries between yourselves and the Creator.a The commandment against idolatry is as important as all the other commandments combined. A person who accepts idolatry denies all of the Torah and the prophets. A Jew who becomes an idolator is like a non-Jew in all respects.b Continue reading this post
Throughout the last two thousand years and even to this day Christians have claimed that the Jewish people have experienced great persecutions and immense suffering because G-d has punished them for their rejection of Jesus. Since Jews, as the Greek Testament claims, murdered the “son of god”, and since they flatly refused to worship the man-god Jesus in addition to the G-d of Israel whom they already worshiped, or even accept his messianic claims, they received their just deserts. What is overlooked by Christians in such claims is the fact that much of this suffering was meted out not by some third parties, but by their own European and later Christian forebears.
The seeds of this can already be seen in the New Testament itself. Continue reading this post
Below are 10 reasons why some Jewish Christians (Messianic Jews) find it hard to leave Christianity and Jesus behind. The list is composed based on my personal experience as well as years of observing other Messianic Jews/Jewish Christians (both current and former ones).
1. Fear of eternal damnation in hell that Jesus reserved for those who refused to believe in him.
The one who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the one who does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:16)
2. After investing so much of one’s life into Jesus and Christianity, leaving the Jewish community for the Church and alienating one’s Jewish family and friends, after trying to convert others to Christianity, a Jewish Christian often finds it very hard to acknowledge being so wrong.
3. Appeal of universalism in the Christian message (as expressed in the New Testament, especially the letters attributed to Paul) vs. Judaism’s faith that is seen as only centered on Israel’s relationship with her G-d (although Judaism always had a universal message). A Jewish Christian / Messianic Jew looks around and is impressed with the spread of Christianity and its 2.5 billion followers, while Judaism is small and universally despised. He equates (and is awed by) the influence of the Western civilization and Catholicism on the world (e.g. the Gregorian calendar starts with the year of Jesus’ supposed birth!) with the influence of Jesus. Continue reading this post
Now that the Jewish holy days are behind us, I am back to blogging with renewed focus and refreshed strength. There’s much to write about and I look forward to interacting with my readers.
The other day I have went out to lunch with an old Christian friend of mine. He already knew about my return to Judaism and wanted to talk about my life and especially what led me out of Christianity (a.k.a. “Messianic Judaism”). He told me that he’s not going to attempt to talk me out of it. As I was relaying to him all of the reasons and happenings, he listened very intently, shocked not so much at my choice, but rather from all the things he was hearing, as if for the very first time. As I quoted the Hebrew Bible for him and compared it with the New Testament, he acquired a worried look on his face. As I brought up the biblical verses, one after another, where G-d over and over said to Israelites that He was not a man, that He can’t ever die, that we are not to place our trust in other human beings for our salvation, that we are to love Him above all else, that there’s no one next to G-d, he was actually shocked about the possibility that worshiping Jesus is in fact idolatry. He had so many questions.
I met him again, a few weeks later. Continue reading this post