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Orthodox Rabbi Condemns Boteach's 'Kosher Jesus'
forward.com ^ | 2 Feb 2012 | JTA

Posted on 02/05/2012 12:26:56 AM PST by Cronos

A prominent Orthodox rabbi in Toronto has condemned the latest book by celebrity Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and pronounced it is “forbidden” for anyone to buy or read it.

In an open letter published on the Jewish news website The Algemeiner, Rabbi Immanuel Schochet denounced Boteach’s newest book, “Kosher Jesus,” as “heretical.”

The book “poses a tremendous risk to the Jewish community,” wrote Schochet, an emeritus professor of philosophy and religion at Toronto’s Humber College and spiritual leader of the city’s Congregation Beth Joseph.

“I have never read a book, let alone one authored by a purported frum (religious) Jew, that does more to enhance the evangelical missionary message and agenda than the aforementioned book,” Schochet said. “It is forbidden for anyone to buy or read this book, or give its author a platform in any way, shape or form to discuss this topic.”

The volume “must be rejected for being heretical,” he said.

The latest offering from Boteach, who had come under fire from fellow rabbis years ago for offering spiritual advice to the late singer Michael Jackson and for authoring the 1999 book “Kosher Sex,” explores the Jewish roots of Jesus and whether the exploration should lead modern Jews to “rediscover” and celebrate the extent to which the Hebrew Bible shaped his thinking.

In a lengthy response that has been widely disseminated online, Boteach shot back, saying he “must retain the right to defend myself against the appalling and libelous charge of heresy.”

Boteach said his book paints Jesus as “a Torah-observant Jew whose mission it was to restore Jewish observance fully among his Jewish brethren and fight Roman persecution.”

“It’s time these universal Jewish ideas that have so influenced the world be traced back to their original source,” Boteach wrote in defense of his book. “It’s time that the Jewishness of Jesus be rediscovered by Christians.”

As for Schochet’s charge that the book will embolden Christians to convert Jews, Boteach said it “is the ultimate argument against Christian missionaries” [because it offers] significant information to argue convincingly against any Christian attempt to evangelize Jews.”


TOPICS: Judaism; Theology
KEYWORDS: christian

1 posted on 02/05/2012 12:27:04 AM PST by Cronos
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To: Cronos

Boteach is wrong.


2 posted on 02/05/2012 12:40:51 AM PST by MestaMachine (obama kills)
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To: Cronos

Unless, of course, Jesus was really the Messiah. Then the Jewish Rabbis are only guilty of rejecting their Saviour.


3 posted on 02/05/2012 12:44:50 AM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: MestaMachine
“I have never read a book, let alone one authored by a purported frum (religious) Jew, that does more to enhance the evangelical missionary message and agenda than the aforementioned book,” Schochet said. “It is forbidden for anyone to buy or read this book, or give its author a platform in any way, shape or form to discuss this topic.”

Diversity is our strength except, evidently, when it is forbidden.

It is been a hallmark of the Jewish American experience to invite inquiry and debate. In fact one could safely make the assertion that Jews have traditionally been in the forefront of many progressive intellectual and social movements, always on the cutting edge of that which is upsetting to the establishment especially the Christian establishment. In this role, Jews to their credit have invariably called for open discussion. They formed and staffed with people like Ruth Ginsburg the American Civil Liberties Union to advance their arguments under the banner of free speech and free inquiry.

I have long thought that it is perfectly proper for a religious leader to declare variants of religious belief to be heretical. I bitterly opposed Danny Deutsch in his contrives criticism of Ann Coulter in which he affected to be offended by her religious principles calling for the "perfection" of Jews. I pointed out that rejection of Coulter's proposition is in itself a rejection of Christianity and could be viewed as equally offensive.

Here we see a Jewish religious leader calling for the exclusion of a new view of Jesus because it is heretical. I fully endorse his right to do so within the lights of his theology. However, the next time a Christian is rebuked we ought to consider that the principle can be applied selectively.

Boteach and Ann Coulter have the moral and legal right to their assertions without being called anti-Semitic and Danny Deutsch and the Rabbi have and equally moral and legal right to call them heretical but no moral right under the circumstances to call them,"offensive".


4 posted on 02/05/2012 1:12:05 AM PST by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: Cronos

One logical result is that Christians will convert to Judaism, a religion that Jesus never left.


5 posted on 02/05/2012 1:37:45 AM PST by Seeing More Clearly Now
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To: Seeing More Clearly Now; Cronos
One logical result is that Christians will convert to Judaism, a religion that Jesus never left.

The statement above plus your name equals irony writ large.
6 posted on 02/05/2012 1:41:45 AM PST by aruanan
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To: nathanbedford

I was not responding to anything the Algemeiner Rabbi said. I think it is anti-Judaism to forbid learning whatever you can above and beyond what sages and experts and/or religious leaders tell us we must believe. THAT is why I have my own G-d given mind. I also believe that is what G-d EXPECTS from us.
No. I was responding purely to Boteach’s assertions. Without getting hip deep into a religious war, I simply think he is wrong. That is my opinion and I don’t expect anyone else to agree. Freedom exists for this reason, so a person can think and not be afraid to think. I think Boteach is a hustler who panders for money. Pure simple.


7 posted on 02/05/2012 1:41:55 AM PST by MestaMachine (obama kills)
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To: Cronos
As for Schochet’s charge that the book will embolden Christians to convert Jews, Boteach said it “is the ultimate argument against Christian missionaries” [because it offers] significant information to argue convincingly against any Christian attempt to evangelize Jews.”

Poor guy. I suggest he study Saul of Tarsus.
8 posted on 02/05/2012 1:45:01 AM PST by aruanan
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To: Seeing More Clearly Now

I don’t think Christians who are not of Jewish origin can convert to Judaism, at least not to Orthodox Judaism, imho


9 posted on 02/05/2012 1:50:57 AM PST by Cronos (Party like it's 12 20, 2012)
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To: Cronos

Why are Jews so afraid that they might be converted?? Especially by a book? One CANNOT be converted truly UNLESS they WANT TO?????


10 posted on 02/05/2012 1:54:41 AM PST by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Cronos

Why are Jews so afraid that they might be converted?? Especially by a book? One CANNOT be converted truly UNLESS they WANT TO????? I should say, UNLESS the Holy Spirit calls them to Jesus.


11 posted on 02/05/2012 1:55:55 AM PST by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Cronos

“I don’t think Christians who are not of Jewish origin can convert to Judaism, at least not to Orthodox Judaism, imho”

You are incorrect. I personally know scores of people who were observant Christians who have formally converted to Orthodox Judaism, having studied for several years with an orthodox rabbi to do so. In fact, those who do the most deep thinking about why they want to leave Christianity and convert to Judaism choose Orthodox Judaism. Some actually converted first to Conservative or Reform Judaism and realized once in those movements that there was so much missing there that they underwent another conversion in an orthodox setting.


12 posted on 02/05/2012 2:51:28 AM PST by Seeing More Clearly Now
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To: Ann Archy
I should say, UNLESS the Holy Spirit calls them to Jesus.

And that would be everyone in the world:
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
Titus 2:11-14

13 posted on 02/05/2012 3:09:32 AM PST by aruanan
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To: Seeing More Clearly Now

It is my understanding that your mother must be Jewish for you to be considered Jewish.

If you’re not Jewish upon birth, you cannot become a Jew. You are considered a Jewish convert. Provided that you marry a Jewish woman, you’re children would become Jewish.


14 posted on 02/05/2012 3:24:33 AM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: Jonty30

That is incorrect. If you convert to Judaism, you are considered just as Jewish as anyone, and your conversion is not to be mentioned by anyone. If a woman converts to Judaism and marries a Jewish man, their children are still deemed Jewish.


15 posted on 02/05/2012 3:39:00 AM PST by PVT4evr ((Operation Iraqi Freedom 2007-2008, 2009-2010 3rd Infantry, 2010 2nd Infantry))
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To: PVT4evr

Ok.

I don’t being wrong.


16 posted on 02/05/2012 3:43:56 AM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: Jonty30

Jews give a listen:

http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/media_cdo/aid/302730/jewish/Missionary-Impossible.htm

Rabbi Schochet is not a diversity peddler. Jews and Christians are fundamentally different and there is no overlap. He works to strengthen not-yet-religious Jews against missionaries and charlatains (”messianic” Christians.) So give a listen and agree to disagree...strongly!


17 posted on 02/05/2012 4:49:28 AM PST by Phinneous
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To: Seeing More Clearly Now

“One logical result is that Christians will convert to Judaism, a religion that Jesus never left.”

And give up their bacon cheeseburgers? What’s the likelihood of that?


18 posted on 02/05/2012 5:10:25 AM PST by Daveinyork
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To: Cronos

It seems narrow minded religious prejudice is not restricted to any one faith.


19 posted on 02/05/2012 5:15:06 AM PST by VietVet (I am old enough to know who I am and what I believe, and I 'm not inclined to apologize for any of)
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To: aruanan

Yes, but the majority choose not to listen.


20 posted on 02/05/2012 5:49:28 AM PST by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Seeing More Clearly Now
“It’s time that the Jewishness of Jesus be rediscovered by Christians.”

Some of us never have had to "rediscover" this. We know as it's as clear as day from Scripture.

I hesitate to jump into these religion threads since they tend to become quite vicious, but my explanation to my Jewish friends about my thinking on the subject is that Jesus and later Paul opened the way for we barbarian gentiles to become Junior Auxiliary Jews. We are obliged to love, honor, and protect our elder brothers and sisters and pray for the day they see and understand what we see and understand about Yeshua Moshiach.

It's actually stunning to find out what most Jews think the New Testament says vs. what they find when they actually read it. And forbidding anyone to read it will only get you so far, Rabbi Schochet.

21 posted on 02/05/2012 5:57:09 AM PST by katana (Just my opinions)
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To: aruanan

Is Titus only in the King James Bible?


22 posted on 02/05/2012 6:04:18 AM PST by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: katana

“...but my explanation to my Jewish friends about my thinking on the subject is that Jesus and later Paul opened the way for we barbarian gentiles to become Junior Auxiliary Jews. We are obliged to love, honor, and protect our elder brothers and sisters and pray for the day they see and understand what we see and understand about...”

There are no ‘junior auxiliary Jews.’ There are non-Jews who also acknowledge G-d and fulfil His commandments (613 for Jews [oy what a challenge] and 7 for non-Jews.) By the way, a commandment in Hebrew (the language with which G-d ‘spoke’ and created the world) is ‘mitzvah’ [mits-va.] The root of this word hs a synonym, ‘to connect.’ So by fulfilling what is commanded of us, we connect to G-d.

Non-Jews...go ahead and keep ‘praying for the day...’ (and take a bit of time please to learn what G-d expects of you: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1313/jewish/Discovery-of-Planet-Earth.htm)

Jews, see the link I posted above and for questions, go ask you local orthodox rabbi or Chabad house.


23 posted on 02/05/2012 7:17:05 AM PST by Phinneous
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To: Cronos
Boteach's Kosher Jesus sounds like a variation of Hugh Schonfield’s The Passover Plot published some forty years ago. An interesting read, even if you don’t agree with the thesis.
24 posted on 02/05/2012 7:25:10 AM PST by Hiddigeigei ("Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish," said Dionysus - Euripides)
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To: Ann Archy
Is Titus only in the King James Bible?

No, it's even in the dreaded Westcott-Hort Greek New Testament.
25 posted on 02/05/2012 7:37:51 AM PST by aruanan
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To: Cronos

Boteach (who is far more popular among Christians than Jews) defends his book this way:

http://www.gefenpublishinginisrael.com/2012/01/19/what-is-motivating-the-global-ban-on-kosher-jesus/

...Kosher Jesus goes back to the original gospel source materials to uncover the real story of Jesus and portray him for whom he was prior to later Christian editors significantly modifying the story to accommodate the Romans.

Jesus was, as many have argued before me, a Torah-observant Jew whose mission it was to restore Jewish observance fully among his Jewish brethren and fight Roman persecution. For doing so he was turned over by the Roman collaborator, High Priest Caiaphas, who owed his office to the Romans, and was murdered by the Roman prefect Pontias Pilate – the Saddam Hussein of the ancient world – for doing so.

Jesus was a martyr for his people who never claimed to be divine, who never changed the Torah, and who would be scandalized to see his teachings – nearly all of which I trace back to their earlier Jewish sources – misused to persecute his people.

It was Paul, who never met Jesus, who later deified him and said he came to get rid of Torah practice. But Jesus himself said the opposite, in Matthew 5:18, that anyone who does not keep the whole Torah would be cast out of heaven...


26 posted on 02/05/2012 7:44:38 AM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Cronos

Heebow: Jewish Football Star
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNV7o9wONHg


27 posted on 02/05/2012 7:56:27 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Crank That Kosher Boy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oYDBtCN-hk


28 posted on 02/05/2012 8:00:39 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: jjotto

Who are the many who have argued before you? JC seemingly tries to nullify (G-d forbid) the Torah. And that is from Christian sources....the Jewish ones are quite sharp in their descriptions of him.


29 posted on 02/05/2012 8:06:20 AM PST by Phinneous
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To: Phinneous
Who are the many who have argued before you?

The ones I know are all Christians, though some call themselves 'Messianic Jews'. Therein lies the problem...

30 posted on 02/05/2012 8:11:37 AM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Hiddigeigei

A more likely version of the Jewish Jesus is a .pdf file at

http://koshertorah.com/PDF/Yeshu-HaNotzri.pdf


31 posted on 02/05/2012 8:15:37 AM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Phinneous

all of the speculation is unfortunately moot, unless someone discovers the original Hebrew /aramaic Matthew- which may never be found.


32 posted on 02/05/2012 8:48:32 AM PST by hecht (Murray use your coaster)
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To: aruanan
Is Titus only in the King James Bible?

No, it's even in the dreaded Westcott-Hort Greek New Testament


It's in Luther's bible as well:
DER BRIEF DES PAULUS AN TITUS
33 posted on 02/05/2012 8:54:36 AM PST by Hiddigeigei ("Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish," said Dionysus - Euripides)
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To: hecht

Sorry but this is the challenge with ‘revelation’ to one man versus revelation to an entire nation. This is what we crazy Jews point out all the time. It’s easier to find sacred texts when the entire nation heard the words of the text (in part, for example, the first two of the 10 commandments) directly from G-d.


34 posted on 02/05/2012 11:33:48 AM PST by Phinneous
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To: aruanan

It’s not in my Oxford Study Bible.


35 posted on 02/05/2012 11:39:21 AM PST by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Ann Archy
It’s not in my Oxford Study Bible.

Sure it is. It's between II Timothy and Philemon. Here's the OSB translation of the portion I posted earlier:
11For the grace of God has dawned upon the world with healing for all mankind; 12and by it we are disciplined to renounce godless ways and worldly desires, and to live a life of temperance, honesty, and godliness in the present age, 13looking forward to the happy fulfilment of our hope when the splendour of our great God and Saviour a Christ Jesus will appear. 14He it is who sacrificed himself for us, to set us free from all wickedness and to make us his own people, pure and eager to do good.
Though verse 13 appears to be defective with an indefinite article inserted before Christ. It should read, "Our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." The language is a bit clunky overall.
36 posted on 02/05/2012 1:51:57 PM PST by aruanan
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To: aruanan

Thanks....it’s only a couple of pages and I missed it.


37 posted on 02/05/2012 5:01:33 PM PST by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Ann Archy

Yeah, it’s a little bitty thing. Not as short as Philemon, though, but a lot of interesting verses.


38 posted on 02/05/2012 5:39:07 PM PST by aruanan
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To: Jonty30

The following two statements that you’ve made are erroneous: “It is my understanding that your mother must be Jewish for you to be considered Jewish.

If you’re not Jewish upon birth, you cannot become a Jew. You are considered a Jewish convert. Provided that you marry a Jewish woman, you’re children would become Jewish.”

Here are the facts Once anyone concerts to Judaism through an orthodox Jewish conversion, the person is a full-fledged Jew, considered to have received a new soul. The person’s father is called “Abraham,” and his mother “Sarah.” The person is as legally and spiritually Jewish as any Jew on the planet. Judaism does not let anyone remind the person that he/she is a convert. A common description of a convert to Judaism is the phrase “holy convert.’ The phrase even appears in our daily prayers. Converts are full Jews. Perhaps you are confusing a full orthodox conversion with some kind of lesser conversion, as through the Reform or Conservative Movements. Anyone would call a convert to Judaism a “convert” is not behaving according to Jewish law. The children of a female convert are as Jewish as any other Jew in the world and marry freely with offspring of even the most orthodox of Jews.


39 posted on 02/05/2012 10:52:52 PM PST by Seeing More Clearly Now
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