December 20, 2017: Readers weigh in on the matter of Messianic Jews

Our readers weigh in.

By
December 19, 2017 22:08
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Regarding the letter by reader Terri Morey (“An absurdity to be challenged,” December 18), the absurdity is that any Jew could possibly believe that Yeshua ben Yosef was the Messiah.

Yes, he was born a Jew and died a Jew, and he would be horrified to learn that Paul started a breakaway religion making him a god, a religion that went against everything in which he believed.

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What were his last words on the cross? Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani? (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me). These words imply he realized that his mission was a failure because as a Jew, he himself could not believe in a crucified messiah.

Where is the peace? Does the lion lie down with the lamb? Have swords been turned into plowshares? Have the good come out of their graves to share in the new world order? None of this has come to pass, so neither he nor Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson nor even Bar-Kochba nor Yehuda the Galilean can be accepted by any Jew as the Messiah.

The fact that Ms. Morey’s letter was published in The Jerusalem Post ratifies the claim that Israel is a democratic country. But since the word “christ” is the Greek rendition of the word messiah (anointed one), all believers in Jesus are Christians (messianists), not Jews, and so Israel has the right to refuse them entry.

EDMUND JONAH
Rishon Lezion.

The writer is author of Yeshua!. He also lectures on “Yeshua ben Yosef, the Jew who became the God of the Christians: How did it happen?”

Terri Morey claims it is absurd for the Judaism of Messianic Jews to be challenged because they love Israel, serve in the IDF and claim to be connected to the Jewish God. These are exactly the lies that Messianic Jews want ignorant Jews to believe. While it is true that she can do all these things, she is a Christian.

While a person can be born a Jew, once a Jew or non-Jew believes in Jesus, he or she is a Christian. That is the definition of a Christian. The person can still technically be a Jew, but the belief in Jesus as messiah makes one a Christian.

Messianic Jews, Jews for Jesus and similar groups of Jews who believe in Jesus want to confuse and obfuscate the issues because they want to suck ignorant Jews into their love – many of them have an agenda to “complete” the Jew by making him or her believe in Jesus.

I don’t say they are bad people; they really believe in their mission. And of course, not all Christians have this agenda. But these groups do.

It is not appropriate to publish such letters in The Jerusalem Post because they give these groups credibility. The Jewish state is supposed to keep these preachers out of our environment.

YEHUDA LAVE
Jerusalem
The writer is a rabbi.

There are several problems with Jews believing in Jesus.

Such believers do not wish to admit or are unwilling to give a proper interpretation of what the Prophet Isaiah, who lived 700 years before Jesus was born, intended to convey with the verse mentioned by reader Terri Morey, who asserts that it refers to Jesus. The most likely meaning of the prophet’s words are that the servant he referred to was not any specific individual, but the collective nation of Israel, which unfortunately throughout the ages has been a people “despised and rejected of men.”

What Jewish Jesus-believers also do not like to talk about is whether they also believe that the New Testament is a holy book with laws and views both different and allegedly superior to Torah laws. In addition, many pride themselves on the “fact” that many of the sayings of Jesus are more moral and ethical than what is written in the Torah.

In my arguments with such believers, I usually quote some of the teachings of Jesus that are quoted in the New Testament, such as Luke 14:26: “If any person comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, he cannot be my disciple.” Or the following statement from Luke 19:27: “Those of my enemies which would not have me rule over them, bring them to me and slay them before me.” Or Mathew 10:34: “Think not that I [Jesus] am come to send peace on earth; I rather came not to send peace but a sword.”

Can a committed and loyal Jew be a Jesus-believer and accept the teachings of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament?

JOSHUA J. ADLER
Jerusalem

Reader Terri Morey appears to be under the impression that Jesus’s original Hebrew name was Yeshua. In actuality, this is a name invented by Messianic Jews.

Jesus is mentioned in ancient Jewish texts only in the Talmud. There he appears six times, always called Yeshu, which the Church adopted as Jesu.

AVRAHAM BERKOVITS
Haifa

Your reporter states in “Will Israel ever accept Messianic Jews?” (Frontlines, December 15) that “there is an almost blanket rejection of Messianic Jews” in Israel and around the world. I would challenge this.

I think that in general, fellow Jews are not accepting of our beliefs. However, I am quick to distinguish between personal and religious rejection. In my family, I have only one person who agrees with my belief that Yeshua is the Messiah, although no one has rejected me per se.

In a Barna Group survey, whose findings were published in late October, it was found that one in five millennials believes that Jesus is the son of God. Do you honestly believe that these young people, who also view themselves as “religious,” are rejected by their peers? In regard to aliya, it should be based on ethnicity and not influenced by one’s religious views.

Many Jewish people do not subscribe to the Orthodox tenets of Judaism. There are amongst our people Hindus, Buddhists, Confucianists, secular humanists and atheists, yet they are still Jews! One can believe in Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius,or Zoroaster and remain Jewish, but as soon as we embrace the person of the Jew – Yeshua – we cease, according to the Israeli rabbinate, to be Jews.

This is pure rubbish. We were born Jews and we will die Jews. Yeshua was not a Christian but an observant Jew who followed in the footsteps of Hillel and all the great sages. He simply claimed to be one with Adonai.

What constitutes being “Jewish” is an ageold question that no two Jews can agree on.

It is biological, ethnic, racial, cultural and religious.

Look at the Ethiopian Jews. Many are rejected and discriminated against due to their skin color, but are they any less Jewish than their eastern European co-religionists? Most emphatically no! Still, they are treated like second-class citizens.

Messianic Jews are no less Jews than Reform, Conservative or secular humanist Jews. Jesus was one of us. He did not come to abolish, but to fulfill Torah, according to Matthew 5:17.

We need to rethink who he is today. Certainly, he is part of our history. Even the Encyclopedia Judaica says of him that he spoke with an authority unprecedented in Jewish history. We must reclaim, not reject, the greatest Jew who ever lived!

MICHAEL KAPLAN
Fresno, California


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