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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.

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Do West and Christianity represent Esau and Edom?

January 5, 2016

EsauBy Meir Levin

The rabbinic identification of Rome with the Biblical figure of Esau is basic to the traditional understanding of much of the relevant sections of Chumash Bareishis [Genesis]. Esau’s faults and shortcomings as well as his complex and tortured relationship with his brother Yakov was seen by the Rabbis through the prism of this identification, so much so that the conflict of these two brothers typifies the struggle for spiritual and moral supremacy between Rome and Jerusalem. Read more…

Apostle Paul, the great confuser-in-chief and “messianic rabbi Shaul”

December 28, 2015

saint_paulNeither consistency nor his ability to explain were Apostle Paul’s strong points. Take these few gems of his for example:

But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. (Romans 7:6)

To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law, though I myself am not under the law, so as to win those under the law. (1 Corinthians 9:20)

Numerous excuses for Paul are offered by messianics (who prefer to see Paul as “rabbi Shaul”) these days and I’ve heard them all (and even used them myself in my messianic days). “It’s not Torah that Paul meant, it’s “law of sin”. Or, “it’s not Torah, it’s the Jewish “legalism” he was against”, or “law of Christ is Torah too”, etc. Even if Paul somehow didn’t mean what he said, the way he said it is how his later disciples who came to understand him. Not just this verse, but many things he has written. Not thousands of years later, but in the very beginning of Christianity’s development. How early was the poor Paul “misunderstood”? Even the book of Acts, a whitewashing work of a Pauline apologist written at the end of first century (or even the beginning of the second, according to some scholars), records that this is how Jews in the first century understood Paul, which means that he was widely known even among Jewish Christians to be teaching against Torah from the very beginning!

Eusebius, a famous Church father, had this to report about the Jewish Christians’ view of Paul: Read more…

Missing the obvious: does Jesus qualify to be the Messiah according to either of his two genealogies?

December 24, 2015

Something timely in time for Christmas:

Daily Minyan

Mother of G-d? Is yours a Biblical faith of Israel or pagan idolatry? According to the New Testament, a virgin girl by the name of Mary was chosen to become the mother of G-d in the flesh. Her human seed was somehow merged with a pre-incarnate second person of a Tri-une G-d. Thus was born Jesus, a divine yet also fully human child, offspring of a human mother and deity.

The Hebrew Bible tells us that all of us human beings have been made in G-d’s image. What this means is that our Maker has gifted us with many special qualities that reflect His own nature, not the least of which is our ability to think, to discern and understand. Dear reader, this is exactly what I am proposing that you do – think for yourself, use your G-d-given gift to reason, to weigh facts and grasp them. I am going to lay…

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My reply to messianic leader Russ Resnik

December 22, 2015

baptist_messianic1In his article about Catholic Church’s recent change in stance regarding its missionizing of Jews, messianic leader Russ Resnik made the following statement:

Just as the Post-WWII Catholic Church renounced centuries of error about the Jewish people without losing its core identity, so we [Messianic Jews] are freeing ourselves from centuries of Jewish denial about Jesus as Messiah without losing our Jewish identity.

My reply to Russ Resnik, taking issue with his self-assessment of Jews who become Jesus-worshipers today, as opposed to prior centuries: Read more…

Apostle Paul, the greatest fantasist of all

December 20, 2015

paul-the-apostlePaul was the greatest fantasist of all. He created the Christian myth by deifying Jesus, a Jewish Messiah figure whose real aims were on the plane of Jewish political Utopianism. Paul transformed Jesus’ death into a cosmic sacrifice in which the powers of evil sought to overwhelm the power of good, but, against their will, only succeeded in bringing about a salvific event. This also transforms the Jews, as Paul’s writings indicate, into the unwitting agents of salvation, whose malice in bringing about the death of Jesus is turned to good because this death is the very thing needed for the salvation of sinful mankind. The combination of malice and blindness described here is the exact analogue of the myth of Balder, in Norse mythology, in which malice is personified by the wicked god Loki and blindness by the blind god Hother, and both together bring about the salvific death which alone guarantees a good crop and salvation from death by famine.

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How Apostle Paul distorted biblical view of Torah observance and righteousness

December 14, 2015

pauloftarsusPaul vigorously fought the Jewish belief that observing the Torah’s ritual and ethical laws made one righteous in God’s eyes. If that were true, he reasoned, people could achieve righteousness through their own efforts: It would mean that there was no purpose to the crucifixion, and “Christ would have died in vain” (Galatians 2:21 ).

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Why Christians, but not Muslims, can be taught Torah

December 10, 2015

reading-quranOver the past few months I have been corresponding via email almost daily with an Iranian Muslim man. Our conversations drift from religion to politics and back. When one talks with a Muslim about religion it quickly comes to the surface that Islam, while referring to Jews (and Christians) as “people of the Book” (the book being the Bible), considers the Jewish scriptures (including Torah and other books of the Hebrew Bible) as having been thoroughly corrupted over time and even willfully adulterated by Jews, all in an effort to supposedly to edit Muhammad and Islam out of them.

As it says in the following hadith (quoting Muhammad): Read more…

Wyschogrod: Israel’s disobedience not the whole truth

December 8, 2015

jewishprayer

Christian theology has always stressed Israel’s disobedience. And it was right to do so because it is a truth carefully recorded in the Bi­ble. But it is not the whole truth. There is also Israel’s obedience, its stubborn faith in the promises of God in spite of the apparent hopelessness of it all. “Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem,” says Jeremiah (2:2-3), “saying, Thus saith the Lord: I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in the land that was not sown. Israel is holiness unto the Lord, and the first fruits of his increase, all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the Lord.” To go after God into the wilderness, into a land that was not sown, is the very definition of Israel’s faith. (The Body of Faith: God and the People of Israel By Michael Wyschogrod)

Jesus’ Five Most Unbiblical Teachings

December 1, 2015

not-kosher-jesusIn the past 30 or so years there has been a concerted effort in Christian academia and even in some liberal Jewish circles to rehabilitate Jesus, the supposed founder of Christianity, to bring him back into the Jewish fold. This is being done, in part, to undo the effects of two millennia of Christian antisemitism and to create ecumenical bridges between Christians and Jews. On the other hand, among some Evangelicals and Messianics, the push to re-Judaize Jesus is spearheaded not only to prove that Christianity has its origins within Judaism but to prop up their belief that Jesus is indeed the Jewish “messiah”, one who taught very Jewish things but whom Jews have, nonetheless, failed to accept either because of their “blindness”, their “envy” or simply out of spite.

While the efforts to return Jesus to Judaism are certainly an improvement to the way Christianity historically treated the Jewish faith and the nation that practices it, I believe that they all miss a far bigger picture – why Jesus was rejected by the Jewish people in the first place? Why do Jews refuse to let him back in and spurn the religion founded in his name as avodah zarah (strange or foreign worship). There’s little doubt to most Jews that Jesus was once part of the Jewish world. Many of the teachings recorded in the New Testament reflect that Jesus have had great affinity with the first century Judaism’s Pharisaic branch and was well-versed in the Oral Law. He appears to have practiced the normative Judaism of his day, at least outwardly. So far so good. This makes it easy to overlook that it was some of the other things that Jesus taught to his disciples that made him downright antithetical to the Hebrew Bible, Judaism and the Jewish people.

Here are the five of these unbiblical teachings of Jesus and New Testament that exposed him as a false teacher and earned him Israel’s rejection: Read more…