To Our Much-Loved Jewish Friends
Shalom! ‚ My name is Yacov, Jacob. ‚ I would like to speak to you about the relationship between Christianity and Judaism. ‚ I direct an international ‚ Christian organization that supports Israel and opposes anti-Semitism and seeks to educate Christians about the Jewish origins of the message of Jesus and about God’s eternal love for His ancient people Israel.
I know Jewish people are revolted by Jews who believe in Jesus so you can rest assured my mother is a Gentile, Roman Catholic. ‚ She doesn’t believe what I believe but I am not chalakikly Jewish. ‚ My wife and children, however, are. ‚ Now I grew up in the New York area and I was sent to both a Roman Catholic school and a Jewish Community Centre. ‚ I had been circumcised in infancy and I was “sprinkled” as a baby, which I no longer consider valid baptism (Baptism is originally a Jewish ritual deriving from the tevilah right called Mikveh Brit by the first believers in Jesus who were all Jewish).
By the time I became a teenager I was an agnostic ” “ I didn’t know what I believed, I just knew what I didn’t. ‚ But I had an open mind. ‚ Now, I always had a sense of identity with Israel and the Jewish people but I was not chalakikly Jewish and I rejected Roman Catholicism as something idolatrous and corrupt. ‚ So I am speaking to you as a Jewish person and I would like you to understand why I as a Christian am philo-Semitic and why I support Israel and the Jewish people.
This inevitably leads to the question, “Why did I bring up my Jewish children to believe that Jesus is a Jew who had a Jewish message and taught in a Jewish way for Jewish people?” If you want to look at what is revolting about Christendom and its ugly history of idolatry and anti-Semitism, I am with you, my Jewish friend, one hundred per cent. ‚ They took a Jewish faith and they turned it into a Hellenistic, a Greek, even a pagan faith. ‚ They took a Jewish Messiah and turned Him into a goy. ‚ They took a Jewish Rabbi and made Him an icon of anti-Semitic sentiment. ‚ What they did was not rational and it was completely out of harmony with who He was and what He taught. ‚ We have to draw a distinction between the Jewish Jesus and the Jesus of Western Christendom. ‚ The Jewish Jesus was called Rabbi Yeshua bar Josef Ha Notzri. ‚ His name was not Jesus Christ, it was Rabbi Yeshua bar Josef of Nazareth.
This rabbi ‚ said He came for the lost sheep of the house of Israel. ‚ You may be surprised to know that every writer of the New Testament was a Jew. ‚ The only exception was a physician who was a Gentile convert to Judaism, all the rest were Jewish including Rabbi Shaul of Tarsus who was from the Rabbinic School of Hillel, a disciple of Rabbi Gamaliel, a classmate of Onkleos, a classmate of Yochanan Ben Zakkai. ‚ In Judaism, ‚ if you are familiar with it and have been to yeshiva, you perhaps know.
And so, I am faced with this dilemma, I was brought up with what I was told was Christianity, but on reading the New Testament I found out it was not Christianity and then there was a Judaism which I was told was the same Judaism as Moses and the Prophets. ‚ So as I read the “Brit Hadasha”, ‚ the New Testament and I discovered that [the Christianity of Western Christendom?] was not what Jesus taught, I needed to do the same thing with the Tenach, the Hebrew Scriptures. ‚ ‚ It says in Proverbs three times that an unequal balance is an abomination to Ha Shem. ‚ So the same as I discovered that Christianity had mutated into something very different from what it was originally, much the same had happened with Judaism.
I was shocked to discover that in the Tanach there was no such thing as a rabbi. ‚ He is called Moshe Rabeinu, but there was no rabbi. ‚ There were ‚ Levites and priests. ‚ ‚ In the New Testament there were no priests ” “ it was something that had been invented. ‚ There were presbyters and elders but there were no priests. ‚ Christ is the Priest, every Christian is supposed to be a priest, there is no separate priesthood. ‚ So there were no priests in the New Testament and no rabbis in the Old. ‚ I began to understand why a Jewish man, Karl Marx, said religion was a con. ‚ But I looked further and I came up with questions, questions that I asked myself and questions I would like to ask you.
There are two reasons why most Jewish people I know, neighbours, friends and family, reject any idea of Jesus being the Jewish Messiah. ‚ Those reasons are always
- If Jesus was the Messiah why did He not bring in world wide peace?
Therefore He cannot be the Messiah.
Let’s begin with that most sensitive of issues, anti-Semitism. ‚ I had an uncle who was a prisoner of war in a German camp. ‚ The Nazis were going to kill him but he was rescued by the Russians at the last moment, ‚ My wife’s father was also rescued by the Russians at the last minute when he was standing against a wall waiting to be shot when the Germans were trying to kill as many Jews as they could before they evacuated and retreated in the face of the oncoming invasion. ‚ My wife is the daughter of Holocaust survivors but most of her family were murdered. ‚ And of course, they were murdered in the Name of Jesus Christ. ‚ The Romanian Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church and much of the Lutheran Church in Germany collaborated with the Nazis. ‚ Hitler quoted Luther at length ” “ it was not just Catholics, it was Protestants.
How can I believe that the Person in whose Name there has been one inquisition after another, one pogrom after another and ultimately the Holocaust could possibly be a candidate for the Jewish Messiah – when in His Name nothing but genocide and extermination and persecution has come to Israel and the Jews? That’s the question I asked myself but this is the question I would like to ask you.
If you were to read the Tenach when Jeremiah the prophet was arrested and thrown into a cistern he pointed people to the Law, the Torah. ‚ He warned them of impending doom and judgment and told them that God was angry with them for their idolatry and immorality. ‚ Like most of the other prophets he was persecuted but he was not persecuted in the name of Baal. ‚ He was not persecuted in the name of Molech. ‚ Most of the Hebrew prophets who were persecuted or murdered by their own people were murdered in the Name of Yahweh and Moses. ‚ They were accused of speaking against the Torah and Moses when they said that God’s judgment was going to come on Jerusalem.
I recall several years ago when an Orthodox Jew wearing a kippah drew a pistol in north Tel Aviv and fired ‚ bullets directly into the back of the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin. ‚ He did this in the name of Judaism. ‚ He did this in the name of the Torah. ‚ He did this in the Name of Yahweh. ‚ He did this in the name of Moishe Rabeinu. ‚ An Orthodox Jew assassinated Yitzak Rabin, his own Prime Minister, he gunned him down in the name of Moses. ‚ Can I reject Moses and Judaism because someone assassinated Yitzak Rabin in his name? ‚ Can I reject Moses and Judaism because the prophets were persecuted and killed in their name?
Simon Bar Kochba came and was acclaimed as a hero. ‚ He was proclaimed to be the Messiah by Rabbi Akiva in the name of Moses and the prophets. The Israeli general and archaeologist, the first chief of staff of the Israeli military, Yigal Allon, said something different. ‚ He described Bar Kochba as something of a brute ‚ who once kicked a 90-year old rabbi in the head and killed him; a dastardly warlord. Someone who had been power-hungry. ‚ Some saw him that way but Rabbi Akiva said he was the Messiah. ‚ And in the name of Moses and Judaism Rabbi Akiva promised the Jewish people he was the Messiah and would bring them deliverance. ‚ Then at the Battle of Betar ‚ the worst holocaust in proportionate terms that has ever happened to Israel took place. ‚ In proportionate terms it was as bad as the Holocaust of the 1930s and 1940s only it happened in their own land. ‚ Because Rabbi Akiva proclaimed Bar Kochba to be the Messiah in the name of Moses and Judaism can I reject Moses and Judaism? ‚ No, Rabbi Akiva did not bring peace to Israel or establish world-wide peace through his Messiah, Bar Kochba, even though in the name of Moses and Judaism he said he would.
If you have studied Judaism you know about Shabbati Tzvi. ‚ Most rabbis in major areas of Europe and North Africa (and many others) said he was the Messiah, but he was not the Messiah. ‚ In the end he led the people into what can best be described as something framed in debauchery and grossly disappointing. ‚ Yet it was in the name of Moses and the Prophets that the rabbis proclaimed Shabbati Tsvi to be the Messiah. ‚ Can I reject Moses and Judaism because the rabbis misled the Jewish people about Shabbati Tsvi in the names of Moses and Judaism?
Two generations later the Rabbis did it again. They said Jacob Frank was the Messiah on a wide scale. But Jacob Frank was not the Messiah yet in the names of Moses and Judaism the rabbis said he was and some very bad things happened to the Jewish people. There have been many people who the rabbis have said is the Messiah right up to the present age and they always proclaim them to be the Messiah in the name of Moses and Judaism. Murder and atrocities were committed in the name of Moses and Judaism. Persecution of the Jews resulted as a direct consequence of Rabbi Akiva’s actions perpetrated in the name of Moses and Judaism.
On what basis can I reject Moses and Judaism because of what was done in the name of Moses? I cannot reject Moses and Judaism because of what was done in the name of Moses. I have to accept or reject Moses on the basis of what Moses said and did, not on the basis of what others said and did in his name. The issue is not what was done in the name of Moses, the issue is Moses. So then my question to you is,
On what basis can I reject Yeshua, Rabbi Yeshua of Nazareth, whom the Gentiles call Jesus of Nazareth?” On what basis can I dismiss Him and reject Him on the basis of what was done in His Name to the Jewish people and to others? The issue is not what was done and said in His Name by others ” “ the issue is what did He say and do? The issue is not what Jesus is said to have said, the issue is not what others did generations and centuries after His public ministry in Israel. The issue is not that. The issue is He Himself. I considered Moses apart from what was done in his name.
Now you don’t think about it, but the goys (Gentiles) will say much the same thing about you that you think about them. They have these myths and conspiracy theories about Jewish bankers and Jewish merchants and Jewish people trying to take over the medical profession and the academic institutions, making Jews the scapegoats for most of man’s faults and problems when in fact we all know there are good Jews and bad Jews, the same as there are good Gentiles and bad Gentiles. It’s easy to say “Oh, the Jews” and it’s just as easy to say “Oh, the Christians” . No real Jew would commit murder in the name of Judaism. No real Jew would persecute their own prophets in the name of Judaism. No real Christian would commit murder in the name of Christianity. No real Christian would murder God’s own chosen people, the Jews, in the name of a Jewish faith. ‚ Christianity is a Jewish faith.
How can you reject Jesus on the basis of what was done in His Name unless you reject Moses on the same grounds? I don’t reject Moses for those reasons ” “ it wouldn’t be fair to Moses and it wouldn’t be fair to myself. The issue is – was Moses right? ‚ I hope you won’t reject Jesus on those grounds ” “ it wouldn’t be fair to Him and it wouldn’t be fair to you. The issue is ” “ was Yeshua right? Not the Gentile Jesus, not the Catholic or the Protestant Jesus. The Jewish Jesus ” “ was He right?
By the Second Century the Jewish historian, Max Dimont tells us that up to 25% of the Jews in Jerusalem believed He was the Messiah. The only reason Gentiles believe in Him is because Jews believed in Him first. The only reason there is a New Testament is because Jews wrote it. Both those calling themselves Jews and those calling themselves Christians are the products of revisionism, a rewritten distortion of history. There is nothing Gentile about Jesus or His message except that He loves Gentiles and wants to save them and wants them to believe in the Jewish God and the Jewish way of salvation. That is all ” “ Or l’ Goyim – a light to the Gentiles. That is my first question, my dear Jewish friend. ‚ How can you reject Jesus because of what was done in His Name when the same things were done in the name of Moses and Judaism?
But there is another question I would like to ask you. ‚ That question is,
If Jesus was the Messiah, why didn’t He bring in worldwide peace? Why was there a Holocaust, why were there inquisitions and pogroms? Why is there starvation in Africa? Why is the environment being destroyed? Why is the world becoming systematically worse for everybody in it and so commonly the Jews getting the worst of the worst? How could He be the Messiah? ‚ Where is the Messianic redemption? It’s ridiculous to believe He is the Messiah, the world wouldn’t be the way it is with things getting worse for us. How can you believe in Him? That’s the question.
Let’s turn, not to any Christian source, not to any Gentile source, not to any human source ” “ to the Word of God, the Hebrew prophet, Daniel 9:26-27 – Daniel Ha Navi. The Messiah would have to come and be cut off, be killed before the destruction of the Second Temple. ‚ That’s not a Christian interpretation ” “ no, that’s what the text says and try reading Sanhedrim 96-98b. Why do the rabbis say there is a curse on reading Daniel 9? Because the time of the Messiah’s coming is foretold in it. And as we read the Sanhedrim wept “Oy v’ oy, the Messiah has come – no the temple is destroyed and He has not come, woe unto us.” God cannot break His word. ‚ The ancient sages understood this was about the Messiah. ‚ He had to come and die. ‚ Wars and desolations are determined to the end.
In Judaism rabbis go to the greatest lengths to try and reconcile two irreconcilable pictures of the Messiah. Ha Moschiach Ben Yosef and Ha Moschiach Ben David ” “ Messiah the Son of Joseph and Messiah the Son of David. The conquering King and the suffering Servant they call Ben Ephraim. ‚ Some rabbis said one would resurrect the other. There are two Messiahs. Is it two Messiahs or one Messiah with two comings? ‚ Daniel was right ” “ it was one Messiah with two comings, he was shown the future. This is what Moses spoke of. This is how it will happen. He will come. He will be cut off. He will be killed. Wars and desolations are determined until the end. Then He will come again.
In His first coming He comes as a suffering Servant in the character of Yosef. Think of Joseph in the Book of Genesis, his own Jewish brothers rejected him but the goys accepted him. He went from a place of condemnation to a place of exaltation in a single day as did Rabbi Yeshua. ‚ osef was betrayed by his brother, Yehuda, (Judas), for 20 pieces of silver as Jesus was betrayed by Yehuda (Judas) for 30 pieces of silver. ‚ Yosef’s brothers did not recognise him at his first coming, they thought he was a goy, an Egyptian. And so Jesus’ brothers don’t recognise Him at His first coming, they think He’s a goy, He’s for the Christians. Hollywood gave Him blond hair and blue eyes but He did not have blond hair and blue eyes. My question is this:
If the Hebrew prophet who was given the clearest picture of what the future would be like, if he was given the most accurate detail of how the Messianic redemption would come to Israel and to the world, if he said the Messiah would come and be cut off and wars and desolations would be determined to the end, how can you say Jesus was not the Messiah, because there are wars and desolations? They are supposed to have happened.
Think of Moses. The first time he tried to save his people they rejected him. It was the second time they accepted him. As with Yosef, the first time they rejected him, it was the second time they accepted him. Why should the Messiah be any different? The Hebrew Scriptures do not say that He will bring in worldwide peace. It says He will come and bring in an atonement. It says He will come and be cut off. It says wars and desolations will be determined until the end. Then He will come and bring in worldwide peace. In His first coming He came to pay the price for the sin that prevents the peace from coming. In His return He will bring the peace [Shalom Israel]. I don’t understand the argument:
How can you say He is not the Messiah because He didn’t bring in worldwide peace but was killed when that is exactly what Daniel said the Messiah was supposed to do? Why don’t the rabbis tell you this? I’m afraid you’ll have to ask them ” “ I’m not a rabbi but I know what the ancient rabbis said ” “ “Don’t read Daniel 9, there is a curse if you do.” What are they afraid of? Can you really believe that God would have put something in His word that He didn’t want you to understand? Why would He put it there?
There was a rabbi who hated Christians because He had known nothing but persecution in Eastern Europe. ‚ His family had been terribly persecuted. His name was Rabbi Leopold Cohen. Only once in his life did he ever see a New Testament and he picked it up and threw it against the wall in his violent anger because of the pogroms that his people had experienced in the shtetls of Easter Europe. In desperation to flee the anti-Semitism he arrived in New York City and there he began to study and study and study. ‚ He studied the Torah and he studied the Talmud and he studied Mishnah. He read the Midrashim but he decided that instead of studying rabbinic commentaries on the Prophets he would study the Prophets and when he came to Daniel 9 he had questions he could not answer. So he went to the Talmudic literature, he went to the tractates like Sanhedrin, and he discovered what I discovered ” “ the Messiah had to come and die before the Second Temple would be destroyed ‚ before 70AD. ‚ That’s my question,
If Rabbi Yeshua (Jesus) only did what the Messiah was prophesied as going to have to do how can you reject Him on the basis of having fulfilled the prophecy? You can reject someone on the basis of their not having fulfilled the prophecy, but how can you logically, rationally, as a Jew, before God, reject Him on the basis of fulfilling what he was supposed to do?
Isaiah the prophet in Chapter 11 said “The nations will resort to the ” ˜Root of Jesse’ the “shoresh Yshi” . ‚ The rabbis have always said that the shoresh yshi is the Messiah. Jews and Christians, their scholars have always agreed, the nations, the Gentiles, the peoples will come to the Root of Jesse. I looked at an anti-Semitic world, I looked at a world where becoming a Christian in Saudi Arabia somebody is beheaded or hung, a world where in Sudan nearly 2.5 million Christians have already been killed and more are facing the prospect of death. Yet Gentile so-called Christian nations remain almost silent, no one calling for a boycott on Saudi Arabian oil or an academic boycott on the many nations that persecute Christians in Islamic countries but when the one nation in the Middle East that protects the rights of Arab Christians, Israel, defends themselves from the same militant Islam that murder Christians, everyone wants to condemn Israel.
It’s illogical, it’s not rational. ‚ Israel is treating most Christians, apart from Jewish believers in Jesus, better than Christians treated them except in the United States and, to a degree, in Britain. Most nations have never given Jews the kind of freedom that Israel gives to Christians. It’s not rational, but they hate Israel. It’s not rational to hate a people who receive three quarters of the Nobel Prizes for the advancement of science, chemistry, physics and especially biomedical sciences that have saved countless lives ” “ why would you hate these people? ‚ All over the world there’s anti-Semitism, even from people saying they are Christian. Although all four Gospels make it clear that Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor had legal responsibility for his death and although Jesus said, “I lay My life down and no one takes it from Me” and although Christians believe that God said He was going to put the Messiah to death as an atonement for sin, and although Jesus never blamed anybody for His death and although the apostles said it was the Roman Governor together with the Sanhedrin but it was not the Jewish people, although blaming the Jews for the death of Jesus is directly contrary to history and to the teaching of the New Testament, they are still saying the Jews killed Jesus. How irrational! No, this anti-Semitism is not rational.
But there is something even more irrational. “We hate you, Jew, you’re a ” ˜kike’ or a “dirty Yit” , get out of here! You’re no good, we don’t want you in our land, go to your own land, but you’ve no right to be there either, you’ve no right to exist! But we’re going to worship your God” . “We hate you but we love your Messiah. We’re going to follow your Messiah.” Why will Eskimos worship a Jewish God? Why will pygmies worship a Jewish God? Why will Scandinavians worship a Jewish God? It makes no sense if you hate these people. Why do you worship their God? Because the nations will resort to the Root of Jesse. My dear Jewish friend, you and I both hate anti-Semitism. You and I are at a loss to explain it intellectually ” “ we can come up with some explanations but the entire history keeps coming back to the same things ” “ it’s not logical.
If you hate somebody, why would you follow One of them? ‚ Why would you believe their books and worship their God? There is only One, One and One alone who could make people worship the God of a nation and race they otherwise hate. Now, I am not saying that true Christians, born-again Christians, real evangelicals, hate the Jewish people. If you look at the countries with a high evangelical population, you will find even in the Holocaust that countries like Holland and Denmark protected the Jews. It was mainly the Catholics and nominal Protestants who persecuted them. The American Congress, the American College of Rabbis knows very well that the backbone of Jewish support for Israel in America is not the Jewish community ” “ there are only 6 million in North America at most. It is the evangelical Christians who are pro-Zionist. Most of them. Not all Christians are anti-Semitic. You see, the same as there are people who will hate you because you are a Jew, claiming to be Christian, there are other Christians who will love you because you are a Jew. They will say, “How can we worship a Jewish God and believe in a Jewish Messiah and read a Jewish book and stake our eternal destiny and faith on it and hate these people who gave it to us?” They are not all irrational.
But you shouldn’t be irrational either. Many people calling themselves Christians are behaving irrationally, they are worshipping a Jewish God and believing in a Jewish Messiah while hating Jews ” “ that’s irrational. But don’t you be an irrational Jew. ‚ It’s a rational question that deserves a rational answer.
If He is not the Messiah who would make the Gentiles worship your God, who is? Why else do they worship your God if He is not the One God said would make them do it?
Well, I have another question, also the from the Hebrew prophet Isaiah, chapter 52 and 53. ‚ He said,“All we like sheep have gone astray, each has turned to his own way.”
In the Middle Ages a rabbi from France called Rashi said that this was about the Jewish people suffering for the Gentile nations. A vicarious atonement. It wasn’t about the Messiah, it was about the Jews themselves. “Who has believed our report and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, like a root out of dry ground. He had no stately form nor majesty that we should look upon Him nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken among men, a Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief, like One from whom men hide their face, He was despised and we did not esteem Him. Surely our grief He Himself bore and our sorrows He carried. We ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. He was pierced through (as in crucified) for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities. The chastening of our well-being fell upon Him and by His scourging we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, each has turned to his own way but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall upon Him.”
The rabbis say this is about the suffering Jewish people since Rashi. Why is it that the Targum Jonathan and the ancient rabbis before Rashi said that it was about the Messiah? Why did Rabbi Avraham Farazel say this looks like Jesus? Before Roshi they didn’t say that it only or primarily about the suffering of the Jewish people. Indeed, in any primary sense how could it when this suffering servant was sinless but Isaiah lamentede the sin of the Hebrew nation? This was included by Eliezer Ha Kalr in the synagogue liturgy for Yom Kippur. This One whom God would smite would become an atonement for sin – a corban ” “ a human sacrifice. Yet to this the rabbis object. ‚ Judaism says the akevah (the binding of Issac for sacrifice by Abraham) is a polemic against human sacrifice. It is an abomination. How would God have somebody sacrificed as a human when He said it was evil?
In the akevah God told Abraham “don’t sacrifice your son” and Christians would of course say that it was because He was going to sacrifice His Son. The rabbis says human sacrifice is anti-Jewish. I agree that human sacrifice to other gods is demonic. However, the same Rashi who said that this is about the Jewish people said it is a human sacrifice. He said it is the Jews suffering vicariously for the Gentile nations. We cannot have it both ways. Either Judaism does allow humans to suffer vicariously for the sins of others or it doesn’t. Rashi and those who believe Jesus to be the Messiah agree. It does. How can you say God does not allow a human sacrifice for sin on behalf of someone else when the Jewish interpretation itself says He does.
The question is who was suffering? ‚ Was it Israel, or was it the Messiah ? Well, Isaiah repeatedly castigated Israel for its sin. This Servant of the Lord was innocent. He had done no wrong, Isaiah says ” “ no wrong at all. “He was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of My people to whom the stroke was due” . The Gentiles were not God’s people at that time. He was cut off for the sake of Israel’s sin. ‚ It came to the Gentiles afterwards. How could it be Israel, for Israel had sinned? ‚ In a broad sense it resembles Israel, but this was a sinless Servant. The question is not who was right, the Christians or Rashi? ‚ The question is who was right, Rashi or the earlier rabbis who said it was the Messiah? ‚ It is the Messiah.
It’s a question of which rabbi do you believe. That is my question.
How could it be the Jewish people if primarily they had sinned? ‚ How could it be the Jewish people suffering for the sins of the Gentiles when they had sinned. This was a sinless Servant.
And how can you say that God would not let One die for the sin of another when Judaism itself says the direct contrary?
But I have a final question. I am going to read from the Hebrew prophet Zechariah chapter 12.
“We read of the burden of the word of the Lord concerning Israel. Thus declares the Lord Who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth and forms the spirit of man within him, ” ˜I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around and when the siege is against Jerusalem it will be against Judah and it will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone and all that lift it will be grievously injured and all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.'”
The issue is Jerusalem, the final status of Jerusalem. Not the West Bank, not the Gaza strip, not the Golan Heights, Jerusalem is the issue. All the nations will come against it. When the Chinese massacred between 7,000 and 8,000 students it was witnessed by over 1 billion people on television in Tienamen Square. How many UN resolutions were passed condemning China? None. ‚ When the Muslims massacred 2.3 million black Christians in Sudan by Islamic militias, how many UN resolutions, how many Security Council resolutions, how many calls to boycott Sudan? None. How many UN resolutions passed against Israel ” “ how many Security Council resolutions? 50% of all resolutions in this General Assembly and more than 50% of the resolutions in the Security Council. Go ahead ” “ kill a couple of million blacks ” “ who cares? They’re poor, they’re black and they have no oil. But go into the Gaza Strip to stop people from shooting Ketusha rockets and stop them killing your children and the world wants to condemn you. It makes no sense, but how will it end?
Zechariah tells us in this chapter in verse 9. “It will come about in that day that I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication. They will look upon Me whom they have pierced (crucified) and mourn for Him as one mourns for an only Son.”
Who said so? Jacob Prasch? No. Try Rabbi Moshe Alshek. Read what the sages about this and Who it was.
“They will look upon Him whom they pierced and mourn as one mourns for an only Son” .
The One we rejected, the One whose Name we spit at, the One we curse is the One who has come to save us. Yes, He is coming to save you! ‚ That is my question:
If He is the One who fulfilled the prophecies, if He had to come and die already, if He was the atonement for your sin, if He is the One who is coming to save Israel and He is the One who has already come to save you, do you want to be saved? How can anyone call this rejecting Judaism? That is my question. How can we reject a Jewish Messiah who taught a Jewish theme in a Jewish way to Jewish people and made non-Jews believe in a Jewish God, read a Jewish book and believe it. How can anyone call that non-Jewish, anti-Jewish or departing from Judaism? ‚ It may be a departure from what people did to Judaism. It may be a departure from the Judaism responsible for the assassination of Rabin. It may be a departure from a Judaism that proclaimed Bar Kochba to be the Messiah. But it’s not a departure from the Judaism of your fathers, of the patriarchs, of Moses and the Prophets.
My dear Jewish friend, turn from your sin, make teshuvah, (repentance)and ask the God of your fathers to forgive your sin that Yeshua paid for in His death. In His resurrection He rose to give you eternal life. Yes, He did rise. Who said so ” “ Jacob Prasch? No. Try reading The Resurrection of Jesus by Rabbi Pinchas Lapide , Orthodox Professor, Hebrew University. Try reading Rabbi David Fulsser who was an Orthodox Professor at Hebrew University. From a Jewish perspective the resurrection of Jesus is irrefutable. The idea that a Messiah would come and die and rise again ” “ that’s what the chabadniks said about ‚ Menahem Schneerson only Schneerson didn’t rise from the dead. Jesus would come and die at Pesach and after dying at Pesach He rose from the dead. The rabbis didn’t like Him but said that He did miracles as no other rabbi and his disciples did miracles in His Name, including raising others from the dead. Coming to die at Pesach, rising from the dead, doing miracles, His disciples doing miracles and then ascending to heaven from the Mount of Olives. Where do I quote from? The Gospels? No, I quote from the Avodah Zarahba that was not written by Jews who believed in Jesus. That was written by rabbis who were against Jews believing in Jesus. When your followers admit these things, that’s one thing. When your opponents say it’s true, it’s something else.
Is He the Messiah? Yes, He is. It’s your decision.
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Please contact us. ‚ Please talk to us. We want you to meet other Jewish people that have found the truth. The truth is that the Tenach was right. The prophets were right. The Messiah has come. The Messiah has died for sin. ‚ He has risen from the dead and conquered death and He is coming again!
James Jacob Prasch
I was born of Jewish parents in the Bronx, New York. There were only a few Jewish families living in the project buildings where I grew up. As a young boy I was sent to Hebrew School and believed in God. When I was 12 years old my mother died, a year before my Bar mitzvah. After that I stopped believing in God. Being part of a hated minority, I was often taunted and beaten up for no other reason than, I was a Jew.
My response as a 14 year old was to buy and carry a gun for self defence. It was not a hard thing to do in the neighborhood I came from. ‚ Doing so, ‚ helped me ‚ not to live continually in fear. When I was 17, I joined the US Army and shortly after my 18th birthday, I was sent to Vietnam in 1966. I was a Combat Engineer and my role involved clearing minefields and booby traps and helping to build base camps.
In Vietnam, like so many other soldiers I found it hard to cope with the reality of war. Drugs were readily available and before long it became an easy way ‚ to escape from the horror and hopelessness of it all. I completed my tour of duty and was honourably discharged after 2 years of service. I found it very difficult to adjust back into civilian life again.
The year was 1968 and the hippie era was in full bloom. I ‚ soon ‚ joined the hippie lifestyle with it’s drug culture and non-conformist ways.
I wasted the next 10 years of my life, being stoned out of my mind on all kinds of drugs. I was looking for inner peace but couldn’t find any. I was walking down many dead-end roads in search of answers in order ‚ to give life some meaning. I was looking in all the wrong places, Eastern Religions, the Occult, and early New Age teaching. Many of my friends who took the same journey either overdosed on drugs, committed suicide, and some even wound up in insane asylums. Those were pretty severe consequences for choosing the wrong lifestyle, don’t you think?
During this time I decided to travel around the world. I thought that I might be able to find peace somewhere. Maybe there was a Utopia or Paradise in some little known place and all I had to do, was to find it. I thought that I would start my search in Australia and work my way around the world.
I landed in Sydney, Australia nearly broke, shared a room in a broken down boarding house in a run down area, with another drug addict, and eventually got my first job working in a brewery. It wasn’t quite the paradise that I was hoping for. Eventually I met and married an Australian girl. She was also into drugs and I found out later that she was also an alcoholic. Over the years we had two children together. Eventually after 7 years of ups and downs things turned bad and we separated. When that happened it tore me apart and I tried to take my own life. We were living in a remote town in Queensland at the time.
Then a breakthrough came from an unexpected source. Even though I had no interest in Judaism or any religion at that time, my wife came from a Christian background and she wanted our children to attend a Sunday School. I didn’t object but could not understand at the time why she wanted to do that, as it was totally opposite to the lifestyle ‚ we were ‚ living.
When the children stopped attending the Sunday School without any notice, the local minister in charge visited the house to find out if everything was OK. Once I told him the story, he was genuinely saddened and concerned for ‚ my welfare, and he befriended me. Up to that point in time, my “so called” friends deserted me. I had learned that when you are really ‘down and out’, most people really don’t want to know you. I guess this ‚ happens because they feel at a loss of what to say or do when such devastation occurs and your life falls apart. I realize now that you ‚ have to have real answers and real hope yourself, in order to be of any use to someone else in such a crisis.
I am so thankful that this man was a genuine ‘man of God’, who was there at the right time for me. The last thing that I needed ‚ was some self righteous, religious type of Clergy, turning up ‚ with ‚ condemnation ‚ and pity, instead of compassion.
This man listened and shared my sorrow. He never tried to “Bible bash” me, but instead would ask if he could pray for ‚ my situation. One time when he was leaving he asked if I would like to read a little booklet that explained some very basic things about life, from the Bible. I accepted it and read it after he had gone.
The booklet explained about our relationship to God and His relationship with mankind. It talked about ‚ man’s beginning and how things went wrong, and what God did in order to restore us back to Himself. In the back of the booklet it had a simple prayer you could pray, if you wanted to get right with God.
I had a good laugh and screwed the booklet up, threw it onto the floor in the corner of my room.
It was the first time that I had laughed for weeks since I tried to end my life.
The thought that someone who was born and died two thousand years ago, could do anything for me today was more than my depressed mind could take. The thought that people would live their lives based on the instructions written in a book, ‚ was ‚ so foreign and absurd to my drug affected mind. I dismissed the whole thing outright and gave it no further thought.
A few days later, I was ‚ considering my life, and actually revisited many of the things in my life that caused me pain and anguish. It was as if my whole life was replayed and it ‚ flashed before my eyes. Somewhere deep inside of me, I cried out to God, saying “why did all this happen to me?” I also cried out to God, that if You are real then please reveal Yourself to me? At that time some of the things written in the little booklet that I threw off in the corner a few days before, started to come back into my memory. I found the little booklet, unscrewed it and read it again. I then ‚ cried and ‚ realized then and there, that these words were not just ordinary words, they were words from God ‚ and they ‚ were speaking directly to my heart. They went through me like nothing ever did before, I was hit right between the eyes with pure TRUTH.
They were personal words that had a life or death significance.
I felt convicted about the wrong things that I had said and done in my life. I felt ashamed that coming from such a rich Jewish heritage, I would lock God out of my life, I lived like He no longer existed. I cried out to Him to forgive me for my sins. I asked Him to help me to never do such things again. I did not understand the next thing that I did, but I asked Jesus Christ to come into my life and change me. I later found out that He is the Jewish Messiah, the Chosen Redeemer, the King of Israel, the One of whom the ‚ Hebrew Scriptures talked about.
I did not understand what transpired once I said that prayer, all I can say is that God gently touched me in a way that I never experienced before. He gave me peace that I never knew existed, real peace deep down on the inside.
For some time I thought that I was the only Jew in the whole world who believed in Jesus.
Later on I found out that there were ‚ tens of thousands of Jews throughout the world, who had taken this step of faith, in the Son of God. In fact all throughout history since Yeshua came, there were Jews like myself who believed in His claim to be the Messiah.
Some even being Rabbi’s, devout and learned men, even Chief Rabbi’s, it’s true.
After I made my peace with God, I started to change. God removed the desire I had for drugs, cigarettes and other destructive things that I previously craved for and ‚ I never touched them again, which is nearly 30 years ago.
As God opened my eyes, I started to hate things that I used to think were good, and things that I previously thought were a waste of time, I started to see real value in them. Just as God said in His Word, all things became new.
Eventually my wife returned with my kids and things started to get back on track. After she saw the big change in my life, she also prayed and asked Jesus into her life as well. Things at least on the surface seemed to improve. However, after a number of years, she seemed to grow cold, in the things of the Lord. She slowly began to slip back into her old ways and in the end she was worse than ever. She was actively involved again with drugs, heavy drinking, the occult, and began mixing with some very bad people. I believe that she was just going ‘through the motions’ when she prayed to receive Jesus into her life, there was no real commitment made or ‚ genuine repentance on her part, ‚ when she professed faith in God.
Things eventually came to a head after our 25th wedding anniversary. Her behaviour became ‘out of control’ and it was not only ‚ hurting me, but it also damaged our young adult children. It also affected her own elderly Christian parents, who were retired and living with us at the time. We finally, mutually decided to separate, as she became unbearable to live with.
After that happened, I repented and asked God to forgive me for compromising my own life, by allowing certain things to go on and not taking a stronger stand earlier, out of fear of it costing me my marriage. I guess all it really did in the end was to prolong the inevitable.
Soon afterward, my wife started a relationship with another man which led to our divorce, which in itself was a very painful thing to go through. Afterward I realised that God had to always be first in my life, above any one or anything. I thought that if God wanted me to remain single for the rest of my life, then that was OK ‚ by me. My fulfilment in life was not going to be found in another person, but in the One who gave me life and who redeemed me.
For the next 7 years, I remained single and tried to follow the Lord, with all my heart. I became involved in a congregation where I met a Godly woman, who I eventually married. We both try to put the Lord first in our lives and in our marriage. Life at times is challenging and we feel so blessed knowing that God is with us in every situation and circumstance. There is nothing that we ‚ can face, that we can’t get through, because He is Faithful.
I have learned that as human beings we were created to have a relationship with God.
Without that relationship we remain unfulfilled. You can try as hard as you can to get ‚ satisfaction ‚ out of ‚ life, as I have tried, without success. The answer is not in human love, being powerful, being popular, being wealthy, or being healthy. There are people alive today who have all these things and are still searching for something more. They don’t know themselves what it is, but they know that they are missing an essential component to make them whole, to make them content.
God ‚ knew that when He gave us a free will, we could choose to love Him or reject Him.
The Holy Scriptures challenges us all when it declares ” Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”
Trust or faith is only as good as the one who, you place that faith in.
Another Scripture tells us “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is (exists) and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
If you search for Him with all your heart, you will find Him.
One day we will all stand before God to give an account of our lives. That will happen whether you believe He exists or not. Everything that you ever thought, said, and have done will be exposed and laid bare. Nothing will remain hidden from Him.
God has said that all have sinned and fall short of His glory. We have all missed the mark.
All of our righteousness is as filthy rags before God, who is Holy ‚ and Just.
How will you ‚ fare on that day? What plea bargain do you think you can make?
Do you really think that all the good that you have done in your life will give you enough credit to tip the scales in the right direction? Do you really want to face that day, standing in your own self righteousness? Knowing that God says ” The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, They together have become corrupt; There is none ‚ who does good, No not one.”
You too dear reader, have the opportunity to choose life or remain dead, in your trespasses and sins. The Word of God tells us “Behold, I lay in Zion, ‚ A chief cornerstone, elect, ‚ precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” “The stone (Yeshua) which the builders rejected, Has become the chief cornerstone.” “A stone of stumbling, And a rock of offense.”
You can continue to fumble around in the dark as I did for a large part of my life, or you can make a decision to forego your own thing and ‚ accept God’s ‚ way.
Yeshua said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
‘If you have one Jewish parent and are not a believer in Jesus we would be pleased to send you a free tape ‘One Messiah, Two Comings’ if you will send your name and address to Moriel in your country of residence. Our branch addresses are on our international directory page “branches” on this web site. Simply identify yourself as Jewish and request the tape.
From Rabbi to Servant of the Great Rabbi
The story is often told of a man walking along a beach, following two sets of footprints. Eventually he notices that the two sets of footprints converge into a single set. Intrigued as to how this may be, he follows the set of prints to their owner. The owner of the footprints reveal to the curious onlooker that indeed two individuals had been walking side by side, however when one of the walkers became too weary to continue, his companion bore him on his shoulders and carried on the journey. This story very much reminds me of my own experience. My companion throughout my journey, though unseen by myself, was always present with me, beside me. Gradually I came to realise this, but little did I know (at least for many years) that he has a name: Yeshua, Jesus.
I was born in the US into a family of Jewish Holocaust survivors. My family origins was in eastern Poland, where most of my family stayed during the war except for a very few, some of whom escaped to the US and a few who escaped to the land of Israel.
My family were traditionally devout, religious Jews, however due to their extreme grief following the holocaust, they abandoned outwardly practicing Jewish religious practices, replacing this with a strong pride in their Jewish origins and strong identification with the State of Israel as an example of Jews who are prepared to fight rather than accept persecution. I grew up in this spirit of anger as a response to the holocaust and pride in my Jewish heritage. Along side this was strong identification with the State of Israel, which was from earliest age was nearly as much “home” to me as the US due to my close connections to my family there.
However, from a very early age, I was very uncomfortable. While I shared the strong sentiments of my up-bringing of pride in my heritage, and very strong linkage with my Jewish identity and the State of Israel, I still felt somehow empty and unfulfilled with my inner-self. It was not sufficient for me to simply “know” that I was Jewish, I wanted” ¦ needed to know in a deeper way what it meant spiritually. I became aware of a spiritual hunger; I desired to know not only the people and land of Israel, but indeed the Living God of Israel.
As a very young man, not having any form of spiritual teaching, I turned to the only place I knew for answers: the Scripture. I read through the Tanach (Old Testament), but “curiosity” led me to continue into the section forbidden to all “good” Jews: The New Testament.
What I found there surprised and confounded me. Instead of encountering a basically anti-Semitic diatribe (as I had expected to find), I encountered the Living God of Israel, bring peace and joy through a relationship with himself. This left me very disturbed, as I was in no way prepared to “betray my Jewish heritage” (as I saw it) and accept the Way described within the New Testament, however having had a very real encounter with the living God and tasting of his spirit, I greatly desired him in my life.
I would love to say that I gave in to the call of God in my life, but being part of the people whom scripture describes as a “stiff necked people” , I resisted his call upon my life, preferring instead to attempt to make my own route to God in what I considered to be an “acceptable Jewish manner” .
I left the US to settle permanently in Israel at the age of 18. Living with my Israeli relatives, I discovered that they were just as alienated from Judaism, and any understanding of the God of Israel as were my US family.
Shortly following my aliyah (settling in Israel) war broke out and I was recruited into the Israeli army. My experiences in the army led me to find an entire people (the Israeli people as a whole) who were a demoralised and wounded people, desperately in need of the peace and fulfilment with God which I so longed for in a personal way. Upon completion of my army service, I was very broken and wounded in my “inner man” , and had now become desperate for answers and inner peace. At the same time I had resolved to return to the US, disillusioned at the lack of answers and inner pain which I had experienced in Israel.
However, God had other plans. I had always been drawn to believers in Yeshua, even whilst in the army. This was due to the obvious peace and joy which was so evident in them, which I so desired for myself. I didn’t realise it but the Lord brought me in contact with these servants of his who were in prayer for me. Amongst these believers which the Lord drew into my life at that time was Jacob Prasch and his family!
I had a very close army friend who upon completion of his army service (prior to my own) had gone to Jerusalem to study in a Yeshiva (Rabbinical academy). He had invited me, upon completion of my Army service to visit him in the Yeshiva, were he said I would be welcome, be able to study about Judaism, and perhaps even find some of the answers which I sought.
I decided to take my friend up on his offer, as I had never before had this opportunity, and I very much desired to find what I now knew to be a relationship with God, but in an “acceptable” , “Jewish” fashion.
The Yeshiva received me as a challenge. They were very aware of my intention to return to the US, but wanted to keep me in the Yeshiva and ensure that I become a religious, Orthodox Jew. To this end, I was asked if I would be willing to spend time at a much more “intensive” and “advanced” Yeshiva in Bnei Brak (a very strictly orthodox area near Tel Aviv). Having always wanted to study Judaism “in depth” , I agreed.
In the Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, I was taken on as a challenge (to dissuade me from returning to the US, and to “convert” me to be an orthodox Jew). Intending at first to stay 2 weeks, I lengthened this to 4 weeks, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, until eventually I decided to stay, and not return to the US.
Although from the outset of my rabbinical studies, I felt deeply unfulfilled, had many unanswered questions (particularly with regard to rabbinical interpretations of Scripture), I decided to “give it a chance” , feeling that “for now, it is for me to work upon studying Torah (the Law), and one day when I am a rabbi, I will realise the peace and joy of a relationship with God which I so desire” . I proceeded in this manner, and found myself both very successful and enjoying the intellectual stimulus and challenge of study of rabbinical law.
While this brought me no closer to my goal, the feeling of community acceptance, and “ego boost” that came from my scholastic success enabled me to put aside my deep misgivings and continue along this path for approximately 3 and a half years. At the end of that period, while I was not formally “ordained” (a ceremony which does not necessarily have the same significance as a qualification for spiritual leadership as in Christianity), the Yeshiva deemed me as having completed its course of study, and in the interest of my teaching others, as well as representing the Yeshiva, conferred upon me the title of “Rav” (rabbi).
Far from bringing me joy at the “honour” conferred upon me, I realised that I would never find the peace or fulfilment that I sought within the framework of rabbinical Judaism. It struck home to me that I had known the truth all along in that there is only one way to the Father, to his Kingdom, to a living (life giving) relationship with himself. That way is through the Messiah, Yeshua, Jesus.
It was time, I realised, to stop fighting, to stop resisting God’s guiding hand over my life and accept him on his terms, on his conditions. There in the Yeshiva I surrendered myself to Him, and asked him into my life to be my Lord and Saviour. The change in me was immediate and dramatic. Where there was darkness (literally) there was now light, where sadness, joy, where there was hopelessness there was now optimism.
I also began to view Israel, in a new light ” “ not through my own disappointed, judgemental eyes, but through the heart of a God that always deeply loves and cares for his people, who is ever a loving and faithful father to his children. Although I was unable to announce my new-found life in the Yeshiva, the Lord guided me through this by allowing me to be “discovered” (by means of being spotted entering a Messianic congregation).
Given a choice of renouncing my faith in Yeshua (with much financial incentives) and leaving the Yeshiva penniless and “disgraced” , my path was clear: to follow the Lord to the new life that I knew he would lead me to. He has been faithful to me. I was privileged in working to build his small but dynamically growing Body in Israel over the years in a variety of ministerial activities.
As the Lord has been guiding me in his service, he has also been at work in sanctifying and building me into his own image, an often difficult but always rewarding task.
Some years back, I had the opportunity of studying in a bible college in this country (the UK), which I have completed. I am currently completing post graduate work on uncovering the largely hidden and forgotten history of the early Jewish ” “ Christian church, its relationships between the developing gentile church and emerging rabbinic Judaism. I have also had to privilege of sharing with the churches God’s healing and dynamic purposes for Israel and the believing church in using the church as a vehicle of blessing Israel through the gospel of the risen Moshiach of Israel and the world that brings blessing and life to both.
Moriel & Jacob Prasch are honoured to welcome Michael to Moriel to help direct our Jewish ministry in outreach and messianic bible teaching.
While at Moriel we do not call clergy either “father” or “rabbi” as a religious title because Yeshua/ Jesus told us not to in Matthew 23, Michael Gubberman, like Saul of Tarsus did indeed reach the learning status of an orthodox rabbi in a recognized ultra orthodox Yeshiva. Within Moriel we often informally call Michael ” ˜Rabbi Guberman’ only because he actually was one; it is a job and background description only, not a religious title. The pope is not our ” ˜holy father’ ” “ only God is, and our only Rabbi (exalted teacher) is “Rabbi Yeshua Bar Yosef M’ Natzeret” (Jesus). It is a blessing to be aware however,
in an age of charlatan messianic rabbis who are not real rabbis and never were, The God of Israel still has actual rabbis like St. Paul and Nicodemus who have come to faith in Yeshua the Jewish Messiah.
Please e mail Moriel to arrange a speaking engagement for our brother in Yeshua ” ˜Rabbi’ Michael Guberman.