I’m a big fan of Jews for Jesus.
Sometimes, when the music isn’t keeping me awake, I like to listen to a little Jews for Jesus while I work. Usually, it’s followed up by Jews for Judaism and their response. I don’t have to listen too deeply, and at the same time, it keeps me awake.
I always thought that Jews for Jesus was basing themselves off of misinterpretations, misunderstandings, and a simple lack of Jewish education. But, there are some very intelligent leaders out there, with all sorts of degrees that fit the field of religion. However, the more I hear, the more I understand that it’s based off of complete falsehood.
For example, one of the big J for J guys in Israel claims that he comes from a “very Orthodox family in Bnei Brak” and his father was so big, that he was a “member of the Sanhedrin”. He was raised in California (around 45 years ago), when his father took a position there. And there in California (around 45 years ago), he learned in a “very Orthodox” school, as a child, for 12 hours a day, learning “the Talmud and Zohar”…. As a child… in a “very Orthodox” school…in California… around 45 years ago…
Now, anybody with a half a Jewish brain, will already be able to pick holes in his “testimony”, but the Evangelical Christians lap it up and send him more money.
I’m simply in the wrong field.
How are they so successful in what they do? They prey on the uneducated and they use falsehood to do it. Complete and udder falsehood. All one needs to do, is take a few of their claims, RESEARCH IT, and then realize that they made up half of the story. Not misunderstood, but literally, made it up.
Did you know, for example, that the rabbis forbid certain chapters for us to learn, such as Psalm 2 or Isaiah 53? They are known as the “Forbidden chapters”. The rabbis forbade us from learning them, because they prove that J is the real Messiach. I didn’t know they were forbidden. Did you?
There are plenty of other examples that with only a few minutes of research one can see how things are made up and peddled to the uneducated. Such as their list of “Orthodox Rabbis” that believed in J. Some are not Orthodox, some are not Rabbis. Some have stories that are made up. Some don’t even have last names, lest you come to identify them. But what does truth matter?
In this week’s parsha, Yehoshua Ben Nun complains to Moshe about Eldad and Medad, who were having prophesy. He wanted them to stop, and Moshe replied, “I only wish that all of G-d’s people would have the gift of prophecy!”
Judaism’s belief is that truth wins out in the end. We want all our children to receive the best Jewish education possible. We believe in asking questions and heavy research. J for J runs off of falsehood, because they simply have no truth. That’s why this “Messianic Rabbi”, had to make up a whole story about his father, the “Member of the Sanhedrin”, and how he learned Talmud and the Zohar as a young child being trained in the arts of a Sanhedrin Rabbi (his story reminded me of the Stonecutters… two points for those who understand that)
In Israel, there is a lot of outreach going on. The evil Ultra-Orthodox are working overtime! But what is the goal of the outreach professionals? Simple. Get people to come to the shul or the kollel to sit and learn. That’s it. When a person sits and learns Torah, he begins to ask questions and receive answers. I know of many people here who grew up non-religious and became religious simply by learning. Not by attractive outings and retreats, but by simple sitting down and learning.
The more educated a person is, the less likely he is to fall into the traps of these groups, whether they be Messianic Judaism, Open-Orthodoxy, Reform or whatever. The problem is when people are “half-baked” (they know some, but not a lot, but think that they know enough) or not even “baked”. Those a prime targets for these groups. If a person can make himself “fully-baked”, he can easily withstand these groups and properly teach his children as well.
Have a great Shabbos!