Skip to comments.When Orthodox Jews oppose followers of Jesus
Posted on 06/11/2019 8:45:31 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
For several decades, I have drawn attention to the Churchs historic persecution of the Jews in Jesus name. It is one of the ugliest and longest chapters in Church history, and it cannot be downplayed, forgotten, or ignored. With Gods help, I will continue to call out Christian antisemitism wherever I see it today. But I will not ignore Jewish persecution of Christians. It too must be called out.
In the Gospels, Jesus and His followers, all of them Jews, were persecuted by hypocritical Jewish leaders, ultimately leading to the Lords death on the cross. And that pattern continued in the Book of Acts, where the Jewish leadership stood in opposition to the message of Jesus the Messiah, sometimes persecuting His Jewish followers to the death (see Acts 7).
Some even stirred up trouble wherever these Messianic Jewish emissaries went to share the good news (see Acts 17), and this continued in the centuries that followed, with some documented cases of Jewish leaders siding with local efforts to persecute Christians.
Of course, no amount of Jewish persecution of Christians can justify the horrors inflicted on the Jewish people by professing Christians, including torture, exile, being forced into ghettos, being burned at the stake, being offered baptism or death, and much more.
And it is an open secret that the Nazis drew on Martin Luthers antisemitic writings to help enflame German hatred against the Jews.
None of this can be denied, nor should it be denied. To the contrary, we must be ever mindful of this tragic history lest we repeat it in our day.
But, to say it again, when there is Jewish persecution of followers of Jesus, that must be called out as well, especially when it takes place in Israel.
It was a radical Jew who delivered a bomb, disguised as a holiday gift, to the house of Ami Ortiz, the son of Jewish Christian parents. He miraculously survived the bomb blast, which took place in 2008.
But this act, extreme as it was, was not in isolation.
As reported by Time Magazine in 2008, Messianic Jews, as these Jews who believe in Jesus are called, number just a few in Israel anywhere between 6,000 and 15,000 but they provoke hatred all out of proportion to their meager numbers. Many orthodox Jews view them as traitors for joining the Christian faith, which for centuries has persecuted Jews. One Messianic Jew, Tzvi Sadan, a teacher and editor, recalls telling his father, a Holocaust survivor, that he had accepted Jesus as his savior. My dad flipped out. He said that the SS guards in the camp had 'God Is With Us' written on their belts. He told me, You've joined the enemy. But he calmed down a bit when he saw my prayer shawl. (What Sadan means is that he didnt stop being a Jew by following Jesus.)
Over the years, Messianic Jews have suffered different levels of persecution within Israel, although none so violent as the bomb attack on Ami Ortiz.
But there have been protests and even vandalism at Messianic Jewish meeting places, attempts to get some believers deported, and various threats and harassments.
Virtually all these acts are carried out by ultra-Orthodox Jews, who view missionary activity as diabolical, destructive, and dishonest. As some of these protestors once chanted outside of a large Messianic Jewish gathering I was attending in Israel, Hitler wanted our bodies. You want our souls!
Today, as the number of Messianic Jews in Israel has risen to about 30,000 and as the society at large is much more open to these Jewish believers in Jesus, opposition from ultra-Orthodox Jews continues to rise. (For my little run-in with some ultra-Orthodox protesters last year, see here and here.)
As my friend and colleague Ron Cantor reports from Israel (with a video link worth watching), Believers attending a Messianic concert last week in Jerusalem were accosted by dozens of Orthodox Jewish protestors, who held a violent and chaotic riot for hours, calling the people missionaries and Nazis, and telling them to get out of Israel. They held up several signs saying, Beware, Missionaries! in Hebrew. In Hebrew the world Missionary is a slur. Of course, we are not missionaries, but citizens of Israel.
Again, I understand how these protesters view us. As a rabbi said to me decades ago, Our ancestors died rather than believe what you believe. Yet, without coercion or pressure, you not only believe in Jesus, but you try to proselytize as well.
But, to say this yet again, none of this justifies the actions of these protesters, who were held back by police.
Ron writes that, Jenya Lempert and his teenage daughter were accosted by swarms of young men blowing whistles at excruciating pitches and linking arms to block the entrance into the concert hall.
As Lampert told KNI News, It was a pure act of hatred. They hate us, they were standing against us, they brought their minors as human shields.
Indeed, Ron explains, Orthodox protesters have been known to bring teens, who have more liberties than adults to break the law.
But his response to all this is right on: It is important to not get angry but pray. At the same time, understand that this is pure fanaticism and brainwashing of children. However, it only represents a tiny minority of Israelis.
And how should Christians around the world respond to these harassing acts?
First, they should pray for the believers being persecuted, sending them a message that they are not alone.
Second, they should pray for the repentance of the persecutors, believing that there are many Sauls of Tarsus among them.
Third, as friends of Israel who appreciate the liberties that the nation affords its citizens, they should encourage the government to stand with those who are being persecuted to send a message the government will not tolerate this kind of behavior.
All that being said, my personal expectation is that the final generation whenever that will be will look a lot like the Gospels and Acts, except that in the end, there will be mass acceptance of Jesus by His own people, rather than mass rejection.
May the Lord turn the hearts of His people Israel!
Yes. Conflating “Ashkenazi” and “Jewish” is a recipe for confusion.
A person who holds a belief in direct contradiction with the Torah is not a Jew, though they may be Ashkenazi.
Failure to make the distinction leads to actual Jews like myself being blamed for anti-Judaic Communists who happen to be of Ashkenazi ethnicity also.
I’m not their human shield and refuse to let Judaism be misappropriated by them to impose that risk on me and other innocent and genuine Jews.
Have there not been heretical sects through the ages, who accepted a man as Messiah or Moshiach? Were these met with violence?
Seems to me that there is far too much focus upon bad behavior directed toward Jews by religionists well after Jesus was on this earth in the flesh, and not enough upon what the man himself said and did. He was a Jew, as were his contemporary followers.
If Messianic Jews, so called, are actually being deceptive then that is not godly behavior. But, I fail to see based upon my admittedly outsider point of view, how they cannot possibly be Jewish.
Too much fixation upon “religion” and not enough upon scripture, a fair amount of which we share, that’s what it sounds like to me.
So why mention it, assuming any of it is even true?
(Do any non-Christian sources report any of this?)
If they dont follow Judaism, messianic Jews are not Jewish. (Of course they might be born Jewish, thats different). But they do follow Christianity, so they are by default Christian.
The most famous one who proclaimed himself the messiah was excommunicated from Judaism. He might be the only guy who ever was?
While this is true for most who call themselves Messianic Jews, it is not true for all. I sometimes have a good time asking proselytizing Messianic Jews what they have to say about this week's Torah portion. Most give me a look that indicates they aren't even aware there is such a thing. (And lets face it. Many JINOs would have the same reaction.)
But some years ago one of them answered me quite precisely. This was a woman I met at the Ein Gedi Resort near the Dead Sea. She talked about Shabbat and other things much the way I might, but she also believed that Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John were fundamentally accurate. Very interesting girl.
Excellent post. Way better than mine written at a gas station. Thats my excuse. Lol.
The first believers who believed Jesus was a man remained Jewish—albeit with the wrong choice of messiah. I don’t believe you’ll find any of them around today. Heretical Jewish movements, like the Sadducees (who were very sad, you see) have mostly died out, though there are some self-described Karites in Israel today.
As soon as Christianity adopted the trinity, you cannot say it was Jewish in any respect at all— and the bulk of converts were formerly pagan, weren’t they?
“To the Jew first...” is a natural desire of a break-away group that wants to find validation and comfort in its choice to disregard the Torah. Nothing more or less. It irks Christendom that stubborn Jews won’t believe them and have a tradition a thousand years older than theirs.
We just celebrated the 3,331st anniversary of receiving the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, from G-d’s own mouth (so to speak.) He did not say to believe in a man-god some time in the future.
(this thread will be pulled.... )
Oh, so Judaism, according to you, is a "false" religion? And who appointed you arbiter of which religions are "true" and which religions are "false"? You're really on a roll today, buddy. Wack and roll.
Yeshua IS the truth.
Only for messyonics like you. Duh.
“...The first belivers remained Jewish...”
I’ve been around a long time and this is the first I’ve heard of this sect. I’ve known Jews who converted to Christianity and vice versa, but not an ancient tribe of Jews who worship Jesus.
“Jews regard Messianic Jews (who are not Jews in any sense of the word)”
That doesn’t make sense.
If your mother is Jewish, you’re Jewish. If you’re a Messianic Jew with a Jewish mother, you’re JEWISH. That’s - at least - one sense of the “word” JEWISH.
Yours is the mindset that crucified Christ and has persecuted Christians for 2000 years!! Jews like you reject and hate both Jewish and Gentile Christians.
You put your trust and faith in Moses Law, Torah, Talmud, Rabbis and Jewish culture. Good luck with that!!
Jesus (Yeshua) said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father (God), except through me!"
Unless you're willing to put yourself, your family, your culture, your religion - under the preeminence of Christ (Yeshua/Jesus) in your life - you will die in your sins.
The best thing you could do for yourself is to find a Christian Rabbi and have an OPEN conversation with him. I assume you live in/near NYC, which has many Messianic congregations. Although not in NYC, I would recommend Rabbi David Chernoff of Philadelphia, re: http://www.cby.org/
These "scum" that you hate are my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Frankly, I am waiting for and look forward to Israel coming to Christ. It's time!! Rabbi Saul (Paul the apostle) prophesied that when Israel comes to Christ, it will be like a resurrection from the dead. Gentiles have been grafted into the tree of life through Christ. Israel is the natural branch but has been blinded. It's way overdue that Jews take their place in the body of Christ. Go find a Messianic Rabbi and have an OPEN conversation with him. Are you willing to seek and find God and truth - regardless of what it costs?
“Christian” came after, Jesus and followers were Jews. Not very popular with other Jews, true.
I’ve been through many of these arguments. The bottom line is that many Christians think that it is perfectly appropriate for them to dictate what Judaism is and who is Jewish. Not only that, but they have no compunction about telling you your religion is wrong and you are only OK if you accept the Christian messiah. So, if some Christians calling themselves Jews want to engage deceptively in Christian Missionary activities, there’s nothing wrong with that.
It is a given that each person of faith thinks they have the right one and everyone else is wrong. Fine. But here on FR, I have always expected that we will do each other the mutual courtesy of not invalidating each other’s beliefs. As this thread shows, things quickly descend into pretty ugly places when that happens.
So, to all my friends, I won’t insult your religion and I hope you will not insult mine.
If a Jew were to convert to a mainstream Christian denomination, such as Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy because they decided they believed in its tenets, would you object?
Jesus was of Hebrew or Jewish descent, His mother tongue was likely Aramaic, so his given name was probably Yeshua. People who call Jesus “Yeshua” probably do so because that was His actual name.
Mainstream Christian born and bred.
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