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Why Jews CAN NEVER Believe in Jesus/Yeshua

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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2009 4:29:03 AM PST
Sarah says:
H: I don't know the motivations of Jesus in disallowing divorce....assuming he ever existed.

Sarah: Probably it makes better sense to look at the internal politics of the Christian community at the time the gospels are written and redacted. First and Second Century Christians are Gentiles living in Gentile countries. Whatever Gentile writers make Jesus say may reflect their disputes at the time. Paul had already established that divorce was to be avoided. Maybe the other factions want to look just as anti-divorce. (And Paul presupposes, without question, that women can divorce men: 1 Cor 7:12 To the rest I say (not the Lord): if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she is willing to go on living with him, he should not divorce her; 1 Cor 7:13 and if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he is willing to go on living with her, she should not divorce her husband.)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2009 4:32:58 AM PST
Sarah says:
David says Sarah, I am getting tired of your bitter tones and hatred...

Hanalah says I see no bitterness. On the contrary, I see glee as she shreds your arguments successfully. As far as I can tell, this is a game and she is winning. What fun!

Sarah: Ah, Hanalah! You understand me perfectly! Glee'R'Us!

H: And I am rooting for her. She's on my team. Sometimes her remarks are so good that I laugh so hard my whole body bounces in my chair. Or I only laugh so hard that I can't stop laughing. But sometimes I only chuckle or smile. You are unworthy of any emotion so strong as hatred, so I doubt that she is feeling hatred for anyone who puts out such pathetic arguments.

You, David, are projecting. And you have picked the wrong target. And I say, better her than me. She does it well.

Sarah: Thank you so much, Hanalah. You are right on target! And I do like making you laugh.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2009 4:49:15 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2009 2:38:38 PM PST
Sarah says:
H And here is a long string of my posts and none by David. I hope that means he is really gone.

Sarah: Usually when they announce they're gone and they don't include insults it means they're really gone. If they leave in a flurry of vituperation it means they're not all played out yet and they'll be back almost immediately to fire off a few more rounds. David's good-bye post was short and, well, not sweet, but nothing vitriolic, either. Just an attempt to salvage his dignity with a lower case lol and he was gone.

H: Now we can get on with our own discussion of the impossibility of believing in that man. I just gave a good one. The entirety of the Christian Greek scripture is tainted by Rome. No wonder it makes Jesus out to say "love your enemies....resist not evil...." It's a good sermon to preach to would-be rebels!!! The opiate of the people, indeed. Tailor made for Rome to use on those whom it had conquered.

Sarah: That's a pretty good point! And part of it is MM's argument, based on Joseph Atwill's book, Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus. I just recently got a copy and haven't looked in it yet, but it's hard to imagine Romans troubling to invent a religion to control judeans and then getting it so obviously wrong for jews that jews inevitably reject it en masse. the Romans knew very well Jews were not going to worship a man-become-god or Jews would have accepted the Caesar cult, which had been around for a hundred years, given their liking for Julius Caesar, and the romans wouldn't have needed a whole new cult in the first place.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2009 10:07:33 PM PST
Phlogiston says:
You know, I remember back in my days as a student being made to translate chunks of the Christian scriptures for a class that focused on Koine Greek. I think that I remember Jesus saying that divorce was permissible in cases of infidelity in Matthew and saying that it was not permissible at all in Mark. Granted, Mark is PROBABLY more authentic because it was almost certainly the first of the synoptic gospels.

Then again, the view in Matthew is certainly closer to the Jewish view, so, perhaps, this was his view. However, I can so no reason for anybody in the Roman world to have changed the opinion to the more stringent view. The only possibility I could imagine, and it is remote, is that an early Church deaconess (like the kind described in the epistles) might have believed that she was helping Christian women, since divorce usually didn't work well for women in the ancient world.

The one womens' issue that always struck me as being so different in the ancient world from the modern was that Christians were viewed as being champions for womens' rights in the ancient world because they didn't allow abortion. Keep in mind that this stance was not made explicit until many generations after the apostles. Of course, back then, abortion could frequently kill women. Christianity also managed to maintain the Jewish view that exposure of weak-looking children (a.k.a. infanticide) was also wrong, which encouraged further membership among women.

It is really amazing how much of the early movement was built on the shoulders of women. Then again, I suppose that the same could be said for Mormonism, Wicca, etc. For whatever reason, it seems that city dwellers, people who are highly educated and women are more open to new religions than others.

Just one last note on Koine Greek. I never liked Nietzsche, but he did have one quote that I used to relate to missionaries who approached me, "I never expected that G-D would write in Greek, and certainly not such bad Greek." I don't mean that to slam anyone's religion, just that Koine Greek really isn't as nice as Classical or Homeric.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2009 3:43:59 AM PST
jaime says:
No, David says that if it forced the people down onto the ground then it must have form, and if it has form, then it could be Jesus.

Very convincing, right?

First, it doesn't need form. Water has no form, but if it fills the building it will force everyone down on the floor too.

second, if it does have form, it doesn't have to be the form of Jesus. He's not the only form in the universe.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2009 3:55:13 AM PST
jaime says:
I don't think it was to control Judeans.
I think it was about the other places. If we had succeeded in our revolt, everyone else would have felt safe to reveolt too.
So the sponsoring of this new religion served several purposes: it punished us for our revolt, and at the same time made us serve as a warning to other nations of the consequences of revolt (which the church later said was "the consequences of sin") and at the same time preached nonresistance and love of enemies to these other nations, with us as a prime example of what happens to those who resist.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2009 3:57:57 AM PST
jaime says:
Phlogiston wonders whether Mark or matthew represented Jesus' actual preachiing regarading divorce.

Hanalah
Some say that Mark was what jesus actually said, and that Matthew could not stomach that and so changed it to a more Jewish view.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2009 3:07:13 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2009 3:08:52 PM PST
Sarah says:
Phlogiston,

Divorce can be hard on women, but so is marriage. Abortion can be dangerous, but so is childbearing. In fact, there's a whole (small) scholarly genre exploring the fact that asceticism and celibacy seem to have been very important to Roman pagan women, then to early Christian women. Perpetua (name?) apparently had a whole mass movement centered on her determination to avoid marriage. Roman women saw celibacy as and childlessness as emancipation. The Roman govt actually had to enact measures to pressure married women into having children they obviously did not want.

Women (and the poor) respond to new religious and political movements partly because new movements tend to offer windows of opportunity for the disenfranchised to become active, express themselves, and have authority and power, at least in one setting. There they can exercise freedoms otherwise reserved for men (or the rich), at least for a while, until the institutional structures harden and freeze them out again. Women were active in early Christianity, but they were also active in Nazism, the Klan, and the Darfur genocide. Now some enterprising young Muslim women are finding fulfillment in the recently burgeoning jihadi/homicide movement by blowing themselves up in order to murder innocent people. (The powerless are not necessarily more virtuous than their oppressors; and the oppressed can in turn be oppressors. The feminist movement today has important anti-Semitic strands in its thinking. The reason women need freedom and power and, for some, the ability to escape family life, is not that we are better than men (a proposition for which I see no evidence), but just that we are people.)

I never ran across any information about Christians being "viewed as being champions for womens' rights in the ancient world because they didn't allow abortion." I would think that forbidding abortion would make them unpopular, given the widespread desire by pagan and Christian women to avoid have children. I rather suspect Christianity attracted women because Christians taught that you are not required to get married and because they respected and even idealized celibacy, as did many middle and upper class pagan women. Do you recall what ancient source supports that view of Christians as champions etc?

Sarah

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2009 6:51:14 PM PST
jaime says:
By the way, the ancient sages of the oral torah did not forbid abortion outright. And they also allowed birth control, such as it was. They used a word whose meaning is unclear but it was evidently some sort of barrier to prevent the sperm from reaching their destination. Nobody knows whether it was effective, but it was what they had, and it was allowed. And under conditions where the mother's health or sanity was in jeopardy, abortion was also allowed. If it was thought she might commit suicide it was definitely allowed and nowadays it is generally allowed if it is known that the child will be, say, TaySachs or Mongoloid, although some frum women have chosen nonetheless to bear such childen anyway. (Rivki, the one who was murdered, had borne two Tay Sachs children before finally producing a healthy child. Her first Tay Sachs had died while she was still living, and the second Tay Sachs child died a week or two ago. Her healthy child is evidently OK.)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 12:21:26 PM PST
Phlogiston says:
Phlogiston wonders whether Mark or matthew represented Jesus' actual preachiing regarading divorce.

Hanalah
Some say that Mark was what jesus actually said, and that Matthew could not stomach that and so changed it to a more Jewish view.

Phlogiston:

I'm aware of that. However, I doubt that the actual author of Matthew, the person who penned it, was actually Jewish. When I read it, the terminology smacks of a Koine Greek original. I do not see the Hebraisms or Aramaisms that I would have expected had it been a translation. There are certain dead giveaways that I first started to realize as an undergraduate.

A group of us wanted to start a club for those of us who studied classical languages, history, poetry, philosophy, civilization, etc. We were required to write a constitution for our organization that described how we would choose our faculty adviser. I set about adapting a passage from Aristotle's "Constitution of Athens" in which he talks about one of Pisistratus's rises to power (I believe the one in which he swept into town with a gray-eyed woman dressed as Athena on a chariot). We substituted the name of our adviser for Pisistratus. When I showed the document to other Helenists (as we called the people who preferred the Greek language to Latin) they immediately began laughing, even though they hadn't read that particular book of Aristotle's. The reason was that there are certain verbal cues and patterns that immediately tell somebody that a particular paragraph was originally written in Greek. the same holds true for Latin, Hebrew or Aramaic or even English, for that matter. These folks thought that I had mimicked a Greek translation marvelously. I then told them that I had simple translated a few paragraphs of Aristotle. That group was a lot of fun. We decided to give it a name consisting of three Greek letters, like a fraternity. We picked omicron, upsilon and kappa, or OUK, one of the Greek words for "not". It was scattered throughout our constitution and, in Greek, double negatives can be ambiguous if the first one and the second one are of the same length.

In any case, returning to the topic at hand,there is a case to be made on both sides of the issue. Divorce was legal in Egypt since long before the Exodus. Divorce was also possible in the Greek and Roman worlds. Matthew might have been catering to them as well. I know that Matthew is regarded as the "most Jewish" of the gospels, but this hardly convinces me that a Jew wrote it. It clearly drew from the Q document, from Mark and also cobbled in a bit from the Septuagint in order to apologeticize the clear lack of messianic prophecies that were truly fulfilled. Some might argue that the last point indicates that the author cared about whether Hebraic phophecies were fulfilled. However, this does not strike me as being something that only Jews would care about, and that a Jew who REALLY cared would at least TRY to make use of the Mesorah. A Jewish author would have known the disdain in which the Septuagint was held by the Jewish literati.

I also want to reassert that nobody has yet been able to show me any sort of compelling list of names of Jewish-born Church leaders from the period in which this document was written (late first century to early second century). I really believe that this movement became largely gentile in nature by the time that the apostles died. I know that some people disagree, but why, then, are all the leaders gentiles?!?

So, if the author of Matthew wasn't Jewish and the author of Mark wasn't Jewish we are at a bit of an impasse. One can understand why a later author would like to make life more lenient, but can't one also understand, given the way in which divorce was executed in the Roman world, why an author might want to nix this practice and then a later author might want to undo that nix?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 12:33:12 PM PST
Phlogiston says:
Sarah, you were wondering about source documents regarding anti-abortion positions of the early Church being taken as positive for women. I must confess, I do not have a source document. Rather, what I have read are contemporary books that analyze what the maternal-mortality rate was for abortion as opposed to live-birth (it was not good) and I have a couple articles in scholarly journals lying around somewhere. I have not read either in almost ten years, but I will search my library. They made a compelling case to me. You are right that celibacy (a la Perpetua) also made Christianity popular (although there were options for women who wanted to remain celibate in Pagan Rome, but if one decided to change one's mind later, the woman in question would be buried alive).

You are right that celibacy was probably more compelling than the anti-abortion position. After all Jesus actively supported celibacy in Matthew, while he says nothing about abortion anywhere in the gospels. Christianity did manage to borrow enough from Judaism to be anti-infanticide, however, which was certainly popular among women, except, perhaps, in Sparta (but I think it would have done OK there too).

In any case, I will try to hunt down the books regarding why the early Church was so popular among women. Although, I am certain that your ideas have something to do with the phenomenon as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 12:45:20 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 18, 2009 1:58:16 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 3:05:45 PM PST
Sarah says:
Phlogiston: A Jewish author would have known the disdain in which the Septuagint was held by the Jewish literati.

Sarah: do you have citations for this Jewish disdain? I'd love to have them.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 3:20:01 PM PST
Sarah says:
Phlogiston: Sarah, you were wondering about source documents regarding anti-abortion positions of the early Church being taken as positive for women. I must confess, I do not have a source document. Rather, what I have read are contemporary books that analyze what the maternal-mortality rate was for abortion as opposed to live-birth (it was not good) and I have a couple articles in scholarly journals lying around somewhere. I have not read either in almost ten years, but I will search my library. They made a compelling case to me. You are right that celibacy (a la Perpetua) also made Christianity popular (although there were options for women who wanted to remain celibate in Pagan Rome, but if one decided to change one's mind later, the woman in question would be buried alive).

Sarah: As I recall, it is David Noble who points out (A world without women : the Christian clerical culture of Western science / David F. Noble) that Rome had to coerce middle class women into having babies by withholding certain civic freedoms from them until they had had at least three children. The implication is that after that, they could and did just say no (presumably leaving their husbands to seek the attentions of more available, probably lower class, women). So there was, it seems, female celibacy within marriage, as a way for women to put a limit on the amount of responsibility that could be forced on them. I do not think infanticide was the woman's option, but the husband's. I think it is Noble who quotes a Roman husband's letter home: If it is a boy, let it live, but if it is a girl, kill it.

Jewish women possibly wanted the freedom to have families (we'll never know, since women's words on the subject are not preserved and we only see the matter through the Jewish men's guesses about women's feelings and wishes and the resources needed for their well-being). But it is pretty clear that a lot of pagan Roman women wanted the freedom to avoid having children, as far as possible. (Obviously, any woman with intellectual or artistic interests would need to protect her time and energy and avoiding children is one way to do that.) We need to remember, too, that childbirth killed a lot of women in those days (and until quite recently). Childbearing has, historically, been very risky business.

I would be interested to know whether anti-abortion teachings really influenced pagan women toward Christianity, if you happen to find the material.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 9:11:05 PM PST
Phlogiston says:
Sarah: do you have citations for this Jewish disdain? I'd love to have them.

In Masechta Ta'anis of the Babylonian Talmud it cites that Jews would fast on the anniversary of the completion of the Septuagint because it was such a tragedy for our people.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 9:26:49 PM PST
Phlogiston says:
Sarah, in response to what Jewish women might have thought about remaining celibate, Jewish women were never barred from being celibate. The Talmud is very clear that a woman is not obliged to marry, cannot be forced to marry, if she does marry is not obliged to have relations and if she so decides can force her husband to have relations with her. By the way, there are quite a few rulings and sayings preserved from Jewish women throughout the Talmud and other ancient sources (including some pretty famous letters, of which we still have the originals!).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2009 12:47:40 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 14, 2009 1:49:00 PM PST
jaime says:
A Jewish author would have known the disdain in which the Septuagint was held by the Jewish literati?

I've seen this disdain in the Oral Torah.

But how do we know it was held in disdain by the Jewish literati of the time of the apostles?

* *

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2009 9:02:03 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2009 9:07:10 AM PST
Sarah says:
Phlogiston says: Sarah, in response to what Jewish women might have thought about remaining celibate, Jewish women were never barred from being celibate. The Talmud is very clear that a woman is not obliged to marry, cannot be forced to marry, if she does marry is not obliged to have relations and if she so decides can force her husband to have relations with her.

Sarah: So I understand, but these are not women's thoughts but men's rulings. Also, some of these men thought a woman would rather have a bad husband than no husband. That indicates to me that, if such reports are to any extent accurate, such women were economically stressed to the point where they did not feel free to choose the single life but felt they had to put up with bad husbands in order to survive. It also indicates to me that men were reporting their own personal impression of an entire population (all women or all Jewish women), thinking stereotypically, since they do not specify which women have this preference for a bad husband under which circumstances.

P: By the way, there are quite a few rulings and sayings preserved from Jewish women throughout the Talmud and other ancient sources (including some pretty famous letters, of which we still have the originals!).

Sarah: Now this is very interesting! What are these rulings, sayings, and letters? In what books or articles (or websites) do you find them? Are any of them instances of women explaining their thinking on celibacy?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2009 9:10:55 AM PST
Sarah says:
Sarah: do you have citations for this Jewish disdain? I'd love to have them.

Phlogiston: In Masechta Ta'anis of the Babylonian Talmud it cites that Jews would fast on the anniversary of the completion of the Septuagint because it was such a tragedy for our people.

Sarah: that is even more interesting than disdain. It is mourning. Does the passage explain the rationale?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 20, 2009 7:32:59 PM PST
Warrior Poet says:
Pasquet
Christianity is Jewish at its very core.

Hanalah
Christianity is pagan at its very core.
It has a dying/rising god.
It has human sacrifice.
It has people drinking his "blood" and eating his "flesh". Yuk.

AND it is NOT JEWISH. It has its chief adherents badmouthing Gd's Sacred Torah, the greatest gift Gd gave the Jews dishonored and dismissed.

Other than those little details, it is Jewish. At least it tries to retain the Ten Commandments. That counts for a little something.

ME (New): Hanalah,

Sorry for my extended absence. A water pipe broke while I was at work, and the cleanup has not been fun.

Anyway, thanks again for your response. I wish to explain a few things.

First of all, I have read a great many stories of Jews who have felt the same way that you do about Jesus and Christianity, but who, once they looked into the matter, whether it was to disprove the Messiahship of Yeshua or what, each of them came to the personal realization that Jesus was, in fact, the Jewish Messiah. Stan Telchin, Jay Sekulow... I could go on for quite awhile.

I say this for this purpose. In their stories, they talk about the persecution they experienced from "Christians", and to tell you the truth, I was horrified, enraged, and down right ticked off. How anyone who calls himself or herself a Christian could do that is beyond me. Admittedly, growing up in small town Missouri, I only recall knowing of one girl who was Jewish, but I never even knew that persecution or racism existed against Jews outside of Nazi Germany and Communist Russia. It made no sense to me that any Christian could have anything against the Jewish people. All of our greatest heroes are Jews, from Abraham, the man of faith, Joseph, the man of purity, Daniel, the man of conviction, Esther, the brave queen, Hannah, the one who devoted a son yet to be born to God, to Moses, the man who walked with God like no other man has ever done, to Caleb and Joshua, the men who served the Lord wholeheartedly and refused to turn back, David the shepherd king. Of course, then there's Jesus who was Jewish along with John, Paul, Peter, Stephen, and Barnabus. I'm partial to Daniel myself. He was such a man of conviction, humility, wisdom, and honor. My favorite books of the Bible are Genesis, Daniel, and the Gospel of John.

I also have the honor of having a Jewish friend (not a believer in Yeshua) with whom I work. I know that God told Abraham, "I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you." I take this literally sometimes and quote it when asking Todd (my Jewish friend) if I can pick up the tab at lunch occasionally. He doesn't complain and actually laughs about it. :) The Jews are definitely God's chosen people, and through Abraham's offspring, the whole world would be blessed.

All that to say, I still would disagree that Christianity is a pagan religioin. Perhaps at worst, it is misguided in believing that Yeshua was the Jewish Messiah, foretold by the prophets, foreshadowed by the offering up of Isaac by Abraham, the Passover Lamb, the sin offerings, the snake that was lifted up in the desert, the thorns that resulted from the first sin and were placed as a crown upon Jesus, and so on. It seems that Christianity is at least one plausible expanation for all the prophecies. Yes, I know that for instance some people say Isaiah 53 refers to Israel in the past, but at least another possible interpretation is that it is speaking prophetically, because if you take it that way, it sure sounds a whole lot like Jesus. And also, it seems that through Jesus, the offspring of Abraham, the whole world has been blessed.

The drinking his blood and eating his flesh is certainly not literal. I agree with you... "Yuk" to that. True the Catholic church teaches that by some incredible power that a Priest in his prayer turns bread and wine into the literal body and blood of Jesus, but that's ridiculous.

Now, this isn't to say that there aren't bad apples in every bunch. No, the Jews didn't kill Jesus, but the Jewish New Testament writers indicate that there were some bad apples among the Jews who got the Romans to do it for them. Also, there are a whole lot of bad apples in Christendom. As I mentioned, I have been horrified to read about this. I believe that someone can only be considered a true Christian who loves the Jewish people and stands with them. And certainly no true Christian could ever badmouth the Torah. My FREAKING goodness. What IDIOT would do such a thing!

One thing I found really intriguing recently. There is a phrase that comes up quite often in the New Testament. It is the phrase "to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile." That hasn't always been the case. The book of Acts records how the Jewish followers of Jesus began to rapidly increase in number. It was all Jewish people though until chapter 10. At that point, the Jewish believers are shocked to find that Jesus wasn't just for Jews but that God had granted that it was even for the "uncircumcised Gentiles". That idea is repeated throughout. The writers of the New Testament believed that Jesus was for the Jews first, and then the Gentiles. That seems to fit what might be expected from God's promise to Abraham to bless him (a Jew), but also to be a blessing to all nations (the Gentiles).

Anyway, it seems we disagree, and that's fine. I respect you and your opinion.

You know, there is one thing that seems to be a common thread among nearly every story I've read from a Jewish believer in Yeshua and that is this: they typically come to believe in Yeshua despite an intense desire not to do so. That's very intriguing.

One last thing... Can I just say that I am deeply sorry for any racism or prejudice that you have experienced for being a Jew? God has decreed that you are very special to Him, and that's good enough for me, so I stand with the Jewish people and consider it an honor whenever I can call one friend.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2009 8:14:43 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 21, 2009 8:15:38 AM PST
Sarah says:
John Pasquet: First of all, I have read a great many stories of Jews who have felt the same way that you do about Jesus and Christianity, but who, once they looked into the matter, whether it was to disprove the Messiahship of Yeshua or what, each of them came to the personal realization that Jesus was, in fact, the Jewish Messiah. Stan Telchin, Jay Sekulow... I could go on for quite awhile.

Sarah: There are naive, credulous Jews, just as there are naive, credulous people in every group. It's a shame these Jews went astray, but there is always time to repent of apostasy, so long as there is breath in one's body, and some Jews would say afterward, too.

John: You know, there is one thing that seems to be a common thread among nearly every story I've read from a Jewish believer in Yeshua and that is this: they typically come to believe in Yeshua despite an intense desire not to do so. That's very intriguing.

Sarah: That has been a familiar rhetorical technique in conversion stories for thousands of years. I didn't want to see the truth, but now I do. I once was lost, but now I'm found, so my new religion must be the one right religion for everyone. It's part of the conversion genre, that's all, and to be expected.

By contrast, many people who come to Judaism say, "I always knew I was really Jewish at heart" or "I always knew I had a Jewish soul." I find these people a lot more convincing.

John Pasquet to Hanalah: One last thing... Can I just say that I am deeply sorry for any racism or prejudice that you have experienced for being a Jew? God has decreed that you are very special to Him, and that's good enough for me, so I stand with the Jewish people and consider it an honor whenever I can call one friend.

Sarah: You don't need to apologize for what others have done. An apology from someone who didn't perpetrate the crime doesn't do much, you know.

You can be a treasured friend, so long as you can accept that we can be your friends but we cannot be you. We cannot be Christians. And you cannot be Jewish, either, BTW, without a proper conversion ceremony and the permission of a board of three rabbis.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2009 1:04:47 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 21, 2009 1:32:26 PM PST
jaime says:
John says
I would like to explain a few things.

Hanalah says,
You have failed to explain anything. I've heard all that many times before. It rings false.
You fail to challenge the truth in the least.
However, I have a challenge for YOU.
Would you like to test the strength of your convictions?
Would you like to take a chance?
Would you like to risk the possibility that you may find that the best way to serve Gd is as the Jews serve Gd?

Then write to Tovia Singer. Come up with one simple challenge (or the most difficult challenge you know of) and notice his response. He can answer every challenge Christians can offer.

As for me, in reading your post I see all the same old same old errors that Christians always say.
The same sorry statements, the same clicheed confusion.
It is amazing how you all sound alike, as if you were robots.
Brainwashed from infancy, or, perhaps, lost souls in adulthood,
or, brainwashed out of desperation to find something meaningful.

Let me tell you one thing. [I'll bet you have not heard this before, either. We Jews do not all think alike. We are alike only in our willingness to serve Gd through the WAY which Gd personally directed us, i.e., through Gd's Torah and Shabbat. We all DO as Gd told us, but we all think independently. And whatever we believe is fine with Gd, as long as we believe in serving Gd in the way Gd told us to do.]

OK here it is.
The difference between body and soul is an illusion. Analogy: You might as well say that ice is different from water, or water from water vapor. But ice and water are just as watery as water vapor. They are all various states of water in the physical universe. In the spiritual universe, water may take another form.
Similarly, everything n the physical universe is merely a physical manifestation of spirituality. There is no separate physicality. Everything physical is also spiritual, just as, within the physical world, all ice is also water or water vapor.

THERE IS NO NEED TO ATTAIN SPIRITUALITY; the physical universe is merely a part of spirituality.

What this means is that we need not, indeed must not, strive after spirituality while living in the physical world. To do so is vanity.

Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, and a striving after wind.

We serve Gd best when we serve Gd physically.

Not by mental effort or belief systems. Not by prayers or thoughts or words. Those are all fine where Gd has ordained them, in the Torah or in the Oral Torah. But they are secondary. The primary service of Gd that we can achieve in the physical world is physical service, such as keeping kosher.

You may think I am saying that "higher" service is not possible to mere physical beings. But I am saying the opposite. We are quite capable, through meditation, of rising into a spiritual totality. But this spiritual totality is WRONG.

It is WRONG to seek after greater and greater spirituality. It is dangerous.

Spirituality leads us astray. It gives us a sense of righteousness. A person with too much spirituality imagines it is OK to do as he pleases--to commit adultery, to steal, to murder. What does it matter what I do, since I am already so spiritual? That is one danger.

The other danger arises when the person continues to avoid serious sin, but he loves his spiritual experience so much that he floats away.
Maybe he dies and goes to heaven prematurely, without having fulfilled his earthly task.
Maybe he dies and goes to hell for having, in effect, committed suicide.
Maybe he lives and simply goes mad and again is incapacitated and fails to fulfill his earthly task.
Maybe he invents his own ideas about Gd and commits idolatry, Gd forbid.
Floating away is a very real danger.

Is meditation wrong? No.
How do we meditate and yet avoid the danger of floating away?
By being grounded.

IN PHYSICALITY, as GD COMMANDED ISRAEL.

How can we be grounded? By keeping the mitzvoth.
The mitzvoth are not, after all, merely our service to Gd; they are a gift from Gd to protect us from floating away.
For example:
In this physical universe, food is life.
The best way to serve the Gd of Life, and at the same way to anchor ourselves in this world, than to eat in accord with Gd's commandments. Hence, kashrut is essential.
We can philosophize till the cows come home, but our keeping kosher is Gd's way of keeping us both alive AND close to Gd.

That is but one example of the wisdom of Torah.
You can invent something to pretend that what I have said is other than the simple truth.
You will be mistaken, wrong, and guilty of attempting to lead a Jew astray from Gd.
Before you make any such attempt, re-read Deuteronomy 13.
And, choose a difficult question and send it to Rabbi Tovia Singer.
You may phone him at 800 315 JEWS or you may question him at his website, www.outreachjudaism.org, where you may read the questions asked by others, or ask your own questions. It will take several weeks before he can get back to you, as he receives many many questions every day, but he WILL get back to you.

Your great interest in contacting Jews suggests that the Jewish path to Gd attracts you.
You evidently harbor the delusion that bringing us into your church will satisfy this yearning.
Instead, what your soul probably needs is to obey the seven laws of the Children of Noah (every human is a child of Noah):

No murder, no sexsins, no thieving, no blasphemy, no idolatry, no cruelty to animals, and one positive commandment: The requirement to have courts of law to enforce laws against thieving and murder.

That is ALL.

Notice that Exodus 31:16-17 says that Shabbat (true Sabbath) is given to Israel alone. Only by actually becoming a Jew would you be entitled to keep a true Shabbos. Notice also that the children of Noah are free of any command to honor their parents, or to avoid coveting, or even to avoid bearing false witness. And certainly you are free of regarding Gd as the one who brought you out of Egypt, since you were not IN Egypt to start with.

Here are the 10 commandments.......................compared with..the covenant of the Children of Noah:

1. I am HaShem, who brought you out of Egypt......................None of this for children of Noah
2. No other gods, no idolatry..........................................i. No idolatry
3. No taking name in vain..............................................ii. No blasphemy
4. The Sabbath (keep/remember).........................................None of this for children of Noah
5. Honor father and mother.................................................None of this for children of Noah
6. No murdering...........................................................iii. No murdering
7. No adultery.............................................................iv. No sexsin of any kind
8. No stealing.............................................................v. No stealing
9. No false witness............................................................None of this for children of Noah
10. No coveting.................................................................None of this for children of Noah
.................................................................................vi. No cruelty to animals
.................................................................................vii. DO establish law courts

You can continue to serve Gd as a child of Noah. You need not convert. But it often happens that a person who obeys the Laws of Noah is not satisfied with that and goes on to actually join the people of Israel.

At the website you can read what Rabbi Tuvia thinks of that. He thinks the same as what all orthodox rabbis think. Namely, if you do the laws of Noah, it's easier, and you're saved. Just communicate with others who are obeying the laws of the children of Noah and you are fine. And you can continue to eat pork or other nonkosher foods, since there are no commandments against them for Children of Noah. And you need not get circumcised. Most important of all, if you change your mind you are free to do so.

But if you convert, you are stuck. You cannot return to Christianity. Since you can be saved merely by being Bnai Noah (a Child of Noah), it's best to go that route, UNLESS and until you are really sure you want to stick with us through thick and thin.
It may get really difficult and dangerous to identify as a Jew in the coming years of conflict between Islam and the West. You will be tempted to identify as ANYTHING but a Jew. So do so. Remain a gentile, and obey the laws of the Children of Noah. That will get you into the World to Come. If you later decide you want to take the physical risks associated with being a Jew, there is plenty of time for that. Meanwhile, as a Child of Noah, you are serving Gd as Gd says Gd wants to be served.

Oh, one more thing. The sacrifices ordained in the Torah are another gift from Gd to Israel. They satisfy OUR desire to serve, rather than any need or requirement on Gd's part. Just in case you imagine that Hebrews 9:22 is anything other than an illusion and a fantasy, see what Isaiah 4:27 says we need to do in order to be forgiven. We are free of any need of blood, you may be sure.

Good luck in your pursuit of Gd's truth!

* *

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2009 3:21:57 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 21, 2009 3:23:00 PM PST
Warrior Poet says:
John Pasquet: First of all, I have read a great many stories of Jews who have felt the same way that you do about Jesus and Christianity, but who, once they looked into the matter, whether it was to disprove the Messiahship of Yeshua or what, each of them came to the personal realization that Jesus was, in fact, the Jewish Messiah. Stan Telchin, Jay Sekulow... I could go on for quite awhile.

Sarah: There are naive, credulous Jews, just as there are naive, credulous people in every group. It's a shame these Jews went astray, but there is always time to repent of apostasy, so long as there is breath in one's body, and some Jews would say afterward, too.

Response: I don't think it is honorable to condemn so many people one does not know. Isn't that racism or prejudice? We would agree that people who hate all Jewish people are wrong to do so. By the same token, it doesn't seem reasonable or fair to group all Jewish believers in Yeshua as naive, credulous, stupid or anything like that. In fact, it seems to border on the same prejudice that both you and I would denounce. It seems that the better question would perhaps be, "Why did those people make that decision, knowing full well that some of their families could very well disown them as a result?" Perhaps we can understand people rather than ridicule them without reason.

Whether or not it is a rhetorical tactic or not to claim that one came to a belief despite his best efforts to refrain is an interesting question. However, it's at least plausibe that these people are telling the truth and relating their experiences as they actually happened. To assume that all of them are employe a strategy that uses deception to defend a decision they made that was very difficult to make is, again, just not fair, in my opinion.

By saying I'm sorry, I did not think that I could apologize for the crimes of others. Empathy one person feels emotional pain over the sufferings of another. All I was saying is that I am very troubled by the things I've read regarding how Jewish people are mistreated.

I hope I can be a treasured friend to many Jewish people. And I also hope that we can all come together and discuss truth. If Christianity is false, then I should be made aware of that. If Jesus is not the Jewish Messiah, the implications are that I am worshipping a false God. That's not too good. On the other hand, If Jesus is the Messiah, then it should be permissible for me to share why I have become convinced of that. Of course, all of this should be down with great respect for each other. Many Jewish people believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and many do not. Many Gentiles believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and many do not. A respectful exchange of ideas should always be encouraged.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2009 4:00:46 PM PST
Warrior Poet says:
John says
I would like to explain a few things.

Hanalah says,
You have failed to explain anything. I've heard all that many times before. It rings false. You fail to challenge the truth in the least.
However, I have a challenge for YOU. Would you like to test the strength of your convictions? Would you like to take a chance?
Would you like to risk the possibility that you may find that the best way to serve Gd is as the Jews serve Gd?

Response....

Hanalah,

I must admit, I'm a little confused by your response. I don't recall mentioning spirituality or seeking that above serving or anything like that. Nonetheless, I am more than willing to read things from Rabbi Tovia. I googled his name and got www.outreachjudaism.org. I have already read the Koran (very boring) and am halfway through the Book of Mormon (redundant and not credible, but not as boring), so I'm certainly not opposed to reading things with which I disagree. I figure that will only help me to know more. I also imagine that Rabbi Tovia is a very brilliant man. Still, the fact that many brilliant people believe that Jesus is not the Messiah doesn't take away from the fact that many other brilliant people do believe that Jesus is the Messiah. I will definitely read through what he has to say, probably tonight after my meeting. Would you also like to read some things from Jewish believers in Yeshua that I could recommend to you?

As for me "failing to challenge the truth in the least", I am certainly interested in hearing a specific objection. I hadn't intended my post to be a comprehensive defense of Yeshua as the Messiah, so that's fine.

You know, one of the other things I've noticed in my reading is this. A Jewish person could basically be atheistic, agnostic, reformed, conservative, or orthodox, and any of those appears to be fine. The one thing that is forbidden is to acknowledge Yeshua as the Messiah. I don't know. It just seems ironic to me that when a Jewish person examines the evidence and comes to the conclusion that a Jewish man named Yeshua is the fulfillment of the Jewish prophecies of a Jewish Messiah, that somehow that's unacceptable.

Still, the important thing is not what any person believes, but what is actually true. Let us both be diligent to seek the truth all the days of our lives.

May Gd bless you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2009 5:03:11 PM PST
Sarah says:
John: Whether or not it is a rhetorical tactic or not to claim that one came to a belief despite his best efforts to refrain is an interesting question. However, it's at least plausibe that these people are telling the truth and relating their experiences as they actually happened. To assume that all of them are employe a strategy that uses deception to defend a decision they made that was very difficult to make is, again, just not fair, in my opinion.

Sarah: i did not say they were attempting to deceive. I do not pretend i can divine others' intentions. But I can identify familiar old narrative patterns.

I did not use the term "rhetorical tactic," which you say I did and which you apparently take to be accusatory. I used the morally neutral term "rhetorical technique." You have put words in my mouth and therefore misinterpreted my meaning and unjustly and unkindly accused me of behaving unfairly and later, of being dishonorable, based on your own misquote of my words.

I had written, There are naive, credulous Jews, just as there are naive, credulous people in every group. It's a shame these Jews went astray, but there is always time to repent of apostasy, so long as there is breath in one's body, and some Jews would say afterward, too.

Response: I don't think it is honorable to condemn so many people one does not know. Isn't that racism or prejudice?

Sarah: No, it is not racism or prejudice to identify people's actions as inconsistent with their covenantal commitments. But it if were, then your attempt to call my words dishonorable would be racism or prejudice as well. I do not condemn these poor people. I defend them by drawing attention to their regrettable naivete and I hope they will repent of their apostasy while there is time.

John: If Jesus is not the Jewish Messiah, the implications are that I am worshipping a false God.

Sarah: No, whether or not Jesus is messiah, anybody worshipping him is worshipping a false god, according to Jewish standards (I know your religion is different, but you raised this issue, not I). Anybody worshipping a messiah is worshipping a false god, by Jewish standards, since a messiah can only be a human being and we are not allowed to worship any human being. Your religion is different from ours, though, and if you want to worship a human being, I guess that's okay in your religion.

John: On the other hand, If Jesus is the Messiah, then it should be permissible for me to share why I have become convinced of that.

Sarah: If it is permissible for you intrude missionary messages into a Judaism discussion forum, then it is certainly permissible for me to offer some counter-missionary messages and to tell you that Jews buying into your version of events are naively embracing apostasy and are in need of repentance.

John: Many Gentiles believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and many do not. A respectful exchange of ideas should always be encouraged.

Sarah: Why? Do you imagine Jews are as fascinated by the idea of a messiah as you are? What makes you think messianism is central to our thinking or even necessary to it?

What are you doing here, anyway, with these missionary messages? Do you really imagine you are going to convert the Jews who frequent this forum? What makes you think that is a real possibility? Would you have as much interest in "exchanging ideas" if you understood that none of us here is ever going to worship any man, messiah or otherwise?
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