Skip to content

So, my Jewish daughter found out about Jesus on play date

January 14, 2016

like_childrenMy 2nd-grader daughter came from her play date just the other day and let us know that her playmate friend told her that “G-d has a son”. This sent me and my wife scrambling. You see, my oldest kid has exactly one non-Jewish playmate (and many Jewish ones). The two, one could say, became friends even before they were born. My then expecting wife met that girl’s mother in the vestibule of the doctor they shared. The two kids were born days apart. Since then, they had many uneventful play dates. But the last one made us rethink that relationship.

That day, when I came home from work, my wife took me aside and whispered with a concerned look on her face, “Do you know what your daughter learned today from her friend?” I asked my daughter to tell me herself. She told me what her playmate, who recently started attending a Catholic day school, shared with her earlier what the nuns taught her there – G-d has a “son”. I was a bit taken aback. That’s the last thing I wanted my impressionable daughter to be exposed to. I also really didn’t feel like teaching comparative religions to my children just yet. But I had to say something, without making a huge deal out of it.

“G-d doesn’t have a son, my dear. The Jewish people are his children, we are “his son”. There’s only one G-d and there’s no other person besides Him up in Heaven, no other gods exist. Do you remember what you say when you recite Shema every day at school and at home – G-d is One. There’s only one G-d. Your friend is not Jewish and she just doesn’t know Torah like you do (my daughter studies Torah every day, in Hebrew and English). Your friend believes in getchkas [Yiddish word for idols, a word all Orthodox  Jewish kids know] and you shouldn’t talk to her about them. If she ever brings it up again, tell her that there’s only one G-d and no one else and that you don’t want to talk about this.

My wife then said that she’ll have a talk with the girl’s mother. This might mean the end of those play dates with my daughter’s only non-Jewish playmate. We know that my daughter’s friend was innocently sharing what she learned in her Catholic school. It’s not her fault. But I will do everything I can to protect my children, who still know virtually nothing about Christianity, Jesus and the rest, from being exposed to spiritually destructive ideas at such an early age, to safeguard their current and future relationship with the G-d of Israel.  I will continue to teach my children to divide right from wrong, so that they grow up to be strong, committed Jews.

 

Advertisements
36 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2016 1:26 pm

    Just my thought… I might be a good occasion to start talking about Christianity. and why Jesus cannot be the messiah. A lot of messianic I know said that they have been forbidden to hear or talk about Jesus when they were young and that it was all a “conspiracy” for them not to know the “truth”. I am not saying it’s a bad idea to stop seeing them, especially if the child is too young to understand theology.

  2. January 14, 2016 1:34 pm

    “I might be a good occasion to start talking about Christianity. and why Jesus cannot be the messiah. ”

    I am waiting for the time she matures a bit more. She’s the kind that will start talking to all her friends at school. But I will definitely teach my children about this. Also, very few children raised as Orthodox Jews ever fall for Christianity – it’s mostly the assimilated ones for whom the extent of Judaism was “we don’t believe in Jesus” who succumb. But I am not taking anything for granted and will educate my children.

  3. remi4321 permalink
    January 14, 2016 1:50 pm

    I have no doubt about that. It’s always a hard situation to stop talking to friends because of difference of opinions. I had to stop talking to one of my son’s friend and her mother because she thought things that were not right according to the Bible (she was a liberal Jew). Children can be influenced easily. Anyway, it might be best to talk to the parents first and see what happens, they might agree not to go in the religion argument and let your daughter believes what you want. Anyway, Catholic are usually more respecting with other religions, at least in the last decade.

  4. January 14, 2016 1:56 pm

    “Anyway, Catholic are usually more respecting with other religions, at least in the last decade.”

    Her friend wasn’t really proselytizing my daughter and her parents are not at all religious – they just sent their daughter to a private Catholic school because the father was raised as one. But I just don’t want my kids to be getting into that stuff just yet.

    Anyway…. still, I don’t want my daughter to not have any Gentile friends. May be I can locate a nice Noahide (and non-Christian) family with similarly aged kids:) Anyone out there in the South Florida area?

  5. January 14, 2016 2:07 pm

    I would not over-react either. Maybe it was just a one-time thing. If the parents are not religious, then I don’t think the little girl will talk about Jesus in a long time. I my opinion, cutting ties should be a last result…

    May be I can locate a nice Noahide family with similarly aged kids…

    Maybe a craigslist add?

  6. January 14, 2016 2:11 pm

    “Maybe a craigslist ad”

    Not sure if it’s a good idea to look for children’s play dates on Craigslist – sounds creepy:) But may be just for a Noahide family – might be worth a try, thanks:)

  7. January 14, 2016 2:14 pm

    Creepy, indeed… I was just kidding. lol

  8. January 14, 2016 2:48 pm

    Thanks for posting this as it was a warning for what my kids will face. Keep it up!

  9. January 14, 2016 2:50 pm

    On a related note – we have a Christian lady neighbor living next door. She’s very nice. She always talks to my kids about how she loves Jewish things and has a Shalom sign on her door. A few month ago she gave to my daughter a DVD from a “Jewish rabbi” and she really recommend it that we all watch it. She said that she didn’t know what kind of a Jew or synagogue that rabbi was from (I guess we were supposed to find out from the video). It was obvious from the jacket of the video that it was a Hebrew roots non-Jewish pastor teaching about Hebrew roots of Christianity and “end times” (a lunar eclipse was around that time, so talk about Jesus coming back was big among many Christians). Needless to say that we didn’t watch it (much less let our kids watch it) and simply dropped it off on her doorstep a few days later.

    (My wife says, if she persists with her attempts at sharing the gospel, may be I should one day sit down with my neighbor and tell her how things “really are”:) G-d knows I have plenty of experience in this sort of stuff…

  10. January 14, 2016 3:08 pm

    “G-d knows I have plenty of experience in this sort of stuff…”

    Go for it Gene, I would just approach her and let her explain why she think Jesus is the messiah. Then I would say in an innocent voice,… “but look here madam, it does not really say that, it actually say this and that, thus I don’t see it referring to Jesus at all.” And at the end of the meeting, should would see that she has actually no reasons to see Jesus as the messiah… Maybe she could be your future Noahide Friend!

  11. January 14, 2016 3:23 pm

    “Go for it Gene, I would just approach her and let her explain why she think Jesus is the messiah.”

    If they truly wish to know, they will approach me. I wear my kippa, so they know who I am and where I stand.

  12. January 14, 2016 3:37 pm

    I don’t think you should start the conversation, but you can make a conversation happen if you want,… for the challenge of it :) Don’t you wish you would meet a JW or a mormon once in a while?

  13. January 14, 2016 3:44 pm

    “for the challenge of it :)”

    I have enough challenges in my life to look for new ones, especially the responsibility of completely turning upside down the life of the nice (and still) happy Christian lady next door:) However, I do already get similar opportunities not infrequently, both online and offline.

    “Don’t you wish you would meet a JW or a mormon once in a while?”

    I do, but my wife always chases them away before I have a chance at them:)

  14. January 14, 2016 3:46 pm

    “Thanks for posting this as it was a warning for what my kids will face. Keep it up!”

    Thanks, prosistency. And good luck with the kids!

  15. remi4321 permalink
    January 14, 2016 3:52 pm

    “warning for what my kids will face”

    And I leave my son in the mouth of the lion :(

    What a shame, I wish I could do something about it… but every time I talk with my wife, it finishes in an argument and she won’t let me speak with my son to drive him away from the “truth”. Anyway, in a positive note, she has a lot of doubts about Jesus… Be patient Remi!

  16. January 14, 2016 5:35 pm

    There is always hope. I’ve seen kids dropping JC as soon as their formerly devout parents did, even as teens.

  17. Concerned Reader permalink
    January 15, 2016 11:38 am

    I had Jewish friends growing up and all it took was a frank explanation of Jewish belief for me to say, “ok no big deal.” Granted, I had unique circumstances, but I think exposure to other cultures later on is a good thing because it takes the fear/tempting factor away, and will make one’s Judaism stronger. Being informed about other views in proper setting and context is not giving truck to other ideologies. I take it your daughter was not born during your messianic days Gene?

  18. January 15, 2016 12:01 pm

    CR, we do talk about idolatry with our kids, that there are idols in other religions etc., but without going into details of any specific dogmas. My kids don’t even look at Christmas trees (for example), so as not to derive pleasure from idolatry (this they probably picked up at their school). As they mature, I will definitely explain in more detail.

    “I take it your daughter was not born during your messianic days Gene?”

    My oldest was born in my “messianic days”, but she was very young, a toddler, when I left, and she remembers nothing about that time.

  19. January 15, 2016 12:13 pm

    “My kids don’t even look at Christmas trees”

    I don’t think it’s necessary wrong to look at a Christmas tree. My son knows that Santa is not real and that we don’t celebrate Christmas, but we would not go as far as not looking at Christmas tree or house decorations.

  20. January 15, 2016 12:24 pm

    “I don’t think it’s necessary wrong to look at a Christmas tree.”

    In Halacha, one is forbidden to derive any benefit from idolatry or even decorations used in idolatry. If one is just looking at a Christmas tree because it is “there”, that alone is nothing. However, if one enjoys looking at Christmas trees and Christmas decorations (as kids definitely do), that may fall under the designation of “deriving benefit from idolatry”.

  21. remi4321 permalink
    January 15, 2016 12:27 pm

    Thanks for the explanation Gene… Careful when you drive on Christmas times thought!

  22. January 15, 2016 12:34 pm

    Interestingly, growing up in Russia, the X-mas tree was called “New Year’s tree”, had zero association with X-mas or any religious holiday, was put up in time for New Year’s (not around the X-mas day), and all Jews (including us) had a “New Year’s tree” in their homes. For the first few years in the States, my father would put one up for my younger brother (who was a small kid at the time)…. until my Dad’s Orthodox Jewish friend dropped up and was in shock when he saw the tree standing in the corner of our living room and asked my father, “What are you doing with an X-mas tree in your house???!”. My father had no idea it was a problem! Since that day, my father had no trees in his house:)

  23. Concerned Reader permalink
    January 15, 2016 12:50 pm

    In Halacha, one is forbidden to derive any benefit from idolatry or even decorations used in idolatry.

    Gene i’m pretty sure you are allowed to educate for the purpose of de-fanging idolatry, ie when Elijah broke a commandment by sacrificing on one of the high places in order to disprove the prophets of baal.)

    The problem is Gene, its this unilateral ban on all things remotely related to Christianity that leads Jews into Christianity in the first place. If more religious Jews were taught from youth that Jesus was just a normal nobody second temple Jew who the gentile Christians deified, it would remove the danger and the temptation. Watch the video below, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

    The young man in this video who speaks to Dr. Brown has a cultural dislike of Christianity and a religiously ingrained mistrust of Christian idolatry, but he doesn’t know anything about the history, Christian connections to second temple Jewish history, etc. I knew the kid was in trouble the minute he said that Christians got their idea of Satan from Zoroastrians! That claim has zero basis in fact, (just ask real zoroastrians who still exist,)

    Dr. Brown knows it, so he seizes on that. The kid says “conservative in practice reform in thought.” Dr. Brown is able to legitimately say that what the guy knows is fully spoon fed by rabbis, and he’s not even thinking for himself. Being insular is not going to keep people away from Christianity, but drive them to it.

  24. January 15, 2016 12:57 pm

    CR, Jewishly-ignorant but spiritually hungry secularly-raised Jews are ripe for the picking. It’s has nothing whatsoever to do with “unilateral ban on all things remotely related to Christianity”. In fact, far more Jews turn to Bhuddism than Christianity, which should tell you something about your theory.

  25. January 15, 2016 1:13 pm

    I think it’s more important to teach what G-d wants than forbidding your children to talk to Christians or Buddhist. I think that if you forbid your child to do something, like seeing a friend of a different faith, there is more chance that she will be more drawn to that forbidden thing.

  26. January 15, 2016 1:15 pm

    Also, I fully agree that Jews should be educated about Christianity. However, the Jews who need this sort of education the most are not even attending the places where they can receive any such possible education. Jews for Judaism, for example, does countless presentations at synagogues and Jewish community centers all around the U.S. and Canada. However, if the most vulnerable among Jews are not there to hear the lectures, such efforts will not have much positive effect. On the other hand, Christian efforts to evangelize Jews come from many directions: TV, friends, co-workers, neighbors, family members who already converted, door-to-door missionaries and free literature. The sheer scope and budgets is hard for Western assimilated Jews to counter.

  27. January 15, 2016 1:22 pm

    “I think that if you forbid your child to do something, like seeing a friend of a different faith, there is more chance that she will be more drawn to that forbidden thing.”

    Remi, it seems that Torah is VERY strict about cautioning Jews about idolatry among other nations around them. It doesn’t shy away from “forbidding” all sorts of things to do with idolatry or having too close a relationship with those who practice it. Didn’t G-d see the danger of strictly prohibiting things, since, as you say, it makes them more desirable. Jews are not even allowed by Torah to mention the gods of other nations by name! Talk about prohibition!

    The whole “holiness” thing, the kashrut, etc. is part of the G-d’s effort to create a separation to prevent Israel from succumbing to the temptation of idolatry of nations.

  28. Concerned Reader permalink
    January 15, 2016 1:22 pm

    In fact, far more Jews turn to Bhuddism than Christianity, which should tell you something about your theory.

    It does tell me something about my theory Gene. It tells me that legitimate forms of old world idolatry like Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism etc. aren’t on the rabbinic radar and don’t receive as much polemical attention. The most secular Jewish person certifiably knows one thing about his/her Jewishness, namely “I’m Jewish and that means I can’t accept Jesus.”

    So, Many Jews convert to Buddhism and Hinduism because the rabbis haven’t spoken ill of these religions, (because they don’t have a mission to the Jews.) Christianity by contrast is given much negative polemical attention because of its proselytism.

    “Jewishly-ignorant but spiritually hungry secularly-raised Jews are ripe”

    If you believe that all the Jews who have become Christians are “spiritually ignorant” you are just not paying attention. Do you get the sense that I don’t know Jewish history, philosophy, or ideology?

    Most of the Jews that the Christians target these days come from a former messianic strain within Judaism itself. Many former chabadniks, breslovers, and Satmar hasidim are targeted specifically because of superficial similarities to many ideas. If you read any of Dr. Browns books, he seizes on mystical literature, intertestimental literature, moshiach ben yosef, etc. precisely because of the resonances. The missionaries can easily nab the secular, because they point out the fact that the rabbis wont engage them on these issues very often.

  29. January 15, 2016 2:05 pm

    “Most of the Jews that the Christians target these days come from a former messianic strain within Judaism itself. ”

    I don’t think so that they target those Jews. They know it’s a lost cause. You’re confusing Christians purposely misusing materials from Hasidism in their missionary efforts as they target assimilated Jews who have nothing to do with any strain of Orthodox Judaism, Chasidic or otherwise.

  30. January 15, 2016 2:33 pm

    “If you believe that all the Jews who have become Christians are “spiritually ignorant” you are just not paying attention.”

    Not only do I believe that, I KNOW that from my experience of interacting with many Jewish converts. Most of them are indeed spiritually ignorant about Jewish spirituality and Judaism in general. Once they embrace Christianity, they become literate in Christian spirituality. Later on, as some of those within the “messianic movement” have done, they may learn about Judaism and Jewish spirituality, but always from an outsider’s perspective and always through Jesus-tinted lenses.

  31. January 15, 2016 6:50 pm

    Yes, as a proof, my “messianic” pastor lit the Hanukkiah candles the wrong side. And two years ago one of the elder say that the lulav is move in the four directions as a sign of cross…

  32. Concerned Reader permalink
    January 15, 2016 7:08 pm

    The keyword there being “most” Gene.

  33. January 16, 2016 7:19 pm

    As the expression goes, exceptions prove the rule, CR.

  34. January 19, 2016 8:29 am

    I’m impressed. I think you said the perfect thing to her, and I think you’re right on in not using this as an opportunity to talk all about xtianity with her just yet.

  35. January 19, 2016 8:58 am

    Thanks, Aaron. And since we didn’t make a huge deal out of it, she has not brought up the issue since.

  36. January 20, 2016 5:29 am

    B”H!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: