Thursday, January 7, 2010

They are NOT our friends!

melanie blog
Please note: I have used “Xtian” for the Notzrim like “X” is used to write Xmas in shorthand.
The characters in Melanie’s Talkbacks
I am a regular reader of Melanie Phillips' Blog in The Spectator. Her articles are always excellent and (with the one exception of a simply uninformed piece criticising the Orthodox settlers in Judea and Shomrom last year), she pretty much gets everything right, whether it's about British politics, the Global Warming scam or anti-Israel bias in the British press. It's also fascinating to read the talkback comments of which there are many.
Melanie's blog attracts a number of different characters. There's the old school British Jewish Zionists (I would guess all over 40 by the style of their writing, that is, no shorthand Internet slang). There's the young left wing brain-washed Pro-Palestinian English university student who gets his/her information from the trendy English broadcasts of Al-Jazira. I can just imagine him/her, sitting in the University Library writing furiously to Melanie, the tassels of his/her fashionable kefiah getting in the way as he/she types for the battle to save the poor Arab freedom fighters (sic) from the Nazi Zionists (sic and very sick).
Then there is the standard anti-Semite racist who rants on about the Global "Jew" conspiracy. There are however more subtle characters. These are the pompous English Xtian cleric types who waffle on as if they've swallowed a dictionary and explain that they are not anti-Semitic at all but are simply sick and tired of the Jews whining all the time. They are anti-Israel they say because Judaism is in fact an old defunct religion and not a national identity and therefore, in their not so humble opinion, the sooner the Jews accept the British C of E view of "who is a Jew" the better. They explain with the patience of a school master talking to a bunch of 12 year olds that the Jews have no right to the land of Israel and should accept the superiority of the British cultural system in which they live and stop being so outwardly Jewish. They consider it so distasteful. They are so concerned with correcting the mentality of the lost Jew that they totally ignore the threat of Islam which is sweeping "England's Green and Pleasant land" (to borrow from the words of William Blake). I read somewhere that there are now more Muslims who go to Mosque than there are Xtians who go to church in the UK. Of course, always true to their scriptures, "To the Jew first" (Romans 1:16) they march on valiantly in pursuit of their cause - in the wrong direction, reminiscent of a scene from Dad's Army!
In the talkbacks to one of Melanie's recent posts, a number of  Jews were wondering what Jewish law had to say about a certain issue so being your friendly local Orthodox Jew I wrote in (under a pseudo name) explaining the halacha on this topic. First I quoted Gemara, then siifim from Shulchan Aruch, followed by pesukim from Torah, particularly from sefer BaMidbar and sefer Devarim. My post was directed specifically at the Jews who had asked a specific question on halacha. This however prompted one of the Xtian cleric types to blow a gasket and write to me fuming that what the "Rabbis" had to say was irrelevant and that in all future posts I should endeavour to use the correct English terms like "Old Testament", "exegesis", "Numbers" and "Deuteronomy" if I wanted to continue to contribute to the discussion.
Despite what one might think from this blog, I do actually have to do a full days work and simply had no time to respond to his post that day. However it did get me thinking of the nonsensicality and incongruity of his position.
He rejected the words of the Rabbis out of hand yet had no idea that the names for the books of the Bible that he was using actually come directly from Chazal! We Jews generally tend to use the names Bereishis, Shemos, Varikrah, BaMidbar and Devarim which are the Hebrew words appearing at the beginning or near the beginning of each of the seferim. However Chazal use thematic names for the sefarim as well, as found in Gemara. For instance "Shemos" is called "Sefer Yetziah" or "The book of Going out". The early Xtians took Chazal's name and translated it into Greek, hence "Exodus". Chazal called BaMidbar "Sefer Bikurim" or "the Book of Countings" because Hashem counted Israel. The Xtians used the name that Chazal gave it and translated this into the Greek as "Numbers". Likewise, sefer Devarim is called by Chazal "Mishna Torah" which means a repetition or revision of Torah. The early Xtians translated this directly into Greek as "Deuteronomy".

In fact the Xtians wouldn't have any "Bible" at all if it had not been for those Rabbis! First of all they forced the Rabbanim under threat of death to translate the Torah into Greek. (Incidentally despite what Missionaries claim, it was only Chumash that was translated. The rest of Tanach was carried out by Xtians themselves, intentionally corrupting the text in order to retroactively corroborate Xtian theology). The only reason why they could read the Hebrew in the first place to understand it sufficiently in order to translate it into Greek 2,000 years ago was because Chazal added vowels to the words based on mesora (oral tradition passed down from Rebbi to Rebbi). A Sefer Torah contains no such vowels. Without these little dots (or nikudot), the Torah can be understood in many different wrong ways because obviously the vowels entirely change the meaning of the word. So, without the Rabbis interpretation of each and every word, the Xtians would have no Bible at all.
Missionaries in the Jewish chat rooms
When the virtual chat rooms were popular around 5 years ago, Xtian Missionaries often frequented the so called Jewish chat rooms looking for easy prey amongst the secular Jews who chatted there. (I believe Yahoo chat is still running). When I had time I used to enter the chat rooms in order to confront these missionaries to show the Jewish members that there were answers to their lies and trickery. These missionaries were almost always Evangelical Xtians, a very different kind to your regular C of E Xtian. These Xtians would tell us that in order to be a completed Jew you had to believe that Yoski Poski was the Jewish Messiah. They would then proceed to (mis)quote from the Bible and challenging anyone to respond. They would often say that they had once challenged a Rabbi with these “proofs” and the poor man could not respond. I would then respond with a Monty Python style sketch about a Quiz Show.

The Messiah Quiz Show

(Transcript of broadcast)

Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the 2000 year old family quiz show "Is he the real Messiah?"

Yer Yer Yer, (rounds of applause) Thank you thank you thank you.

And tonight's contestant is Jeeesus of Nazareth. Please give him a round of applause. Thank you thank you.

Now Jeesus, you realize that getting even one of these requirements wrong for candidate for the Jewish Messiah means INSTANCE KNOCK OUT! Ok, here we go...

Requirement No. 1.

The Messiah must come from the line of King Solomon. (I Chron 22:10, II Chron 7:18).

What? Your "New" Bible admits Jeeesus did not!

AHHHH What a shame what a shame, you lose on the first requirement. Never mind, for the fun of it lets carry on shall we for the entertainment value...(crowd gives a round of applause)

Ok. Requirement No.2

The Messiah must gather the Jewish people from exile. (Isaiah 27:12)

What's that? Soon After Jeeeesus, the Jews were exiled! No no no!

(Crowd begins to hiss.).

Alright, let's see if you do any better with this one?

The Messiah must rebuild the Temple. (Micah 4:1)

What's that? Soon after Jeeesus, the Romans DESTROYED the Temple!

(Crowd shouts "get him off...boooooo")

OK, How about this one?

The Messiah must bring World Peace (Isaiah 2:4)

HAS Jeeesus brought World Peace? I THINK NOT!

(The crowd is tearing the seats out now...)

OK, the last requirement before we go for a commercial break...

The Messiah must influence the whole world to acknowledge and serve G-d! (ISAIAH 11:9, Zeph 3:9)

Has Jeeeesus done that? DONT THINK SO!

OFF YOU GO JEESUS and thanks for being the WORST EVER candidate we have ever had on the show...(The crowd cheers with sounds of laughter....)
(End of transcript)
Of course the missionaries would respond to this by talking about "The Second coming". This is a piece of nonsense specifically designed to get around the problem that Yoski Poski died before fulfilling any of the prophesies. The Xtian will tell you that yes it's true but when he returns he will.
I would answer them by telling them that I know that Yoski Poski wasn't the messiah because actually my grandfather was! I'll further explain to them that he didn't actually fulfil any of the prophesies but he promised before he died that he'd be coming back and would fulfil them then. I would explain to them that there is as much proof that my grandfather was the Jewish Messiah as their candidate.

After 2,000 years of persecution, the Evangelical Xtians decide to change their tactics towards Jews
Rabbi Tovia Singer from "Outreach Judaism" (an anti-missionary organisation) explains the obsession of Xtians for Jews.
“Jews should have been the first to embrace "J", if in fact "J" was the prophesied Messiah.

This has always been a troubling reality to the Church since its inception. It is for this reason that only the conversion of a Jew to Xtianity can lend credibility to the church -- never the conversion of the gentile."

At the end of the book of Matthew (23:39), "J" is quoted making a very important statement. He says, "I will not return until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'" Because "J" was speaking to a Jewish audience at the time he made this statement, Xstians have always understood this statement to have one meaning: "J" will not make his second coming until the Jews are converted.

So in the eyes of the Evangelicals, The Jews, therefore, are holding up the show!”
In actual fact, all of this was an extremely long introduction to a comment I wanted to make about an article that appeared in the Jerusalem Post today entitled "Good friends... but are they true friends?" by Nathan Burstein.

The Xtians for the past 2,000 years have traditionally used violence, economic boycotts and threats of expulsion and executions to encourage Jews to convert. Jews however are like hard boiled eggs. Most other foods get softer the more you cook them. The egg however gets harder the more you boil it.
Rabbi Tovia Singer explains that the Evangelical church had a series of conferences to discuss the reasons why they were not more successful and decided that the problem was one of public relations. 2,000 years of Xtian anti-Semitism did not exactly put the church in a positive light with Jews. Consequently he explains, they decided to change tactics. Missionaries started smothering Jews with love. They would come up to a Jew and ask:
"Are you Jewish? G-d loves the Jews. We love the Jews. You are the apple of G-d's eye. We just love Jews. Hmm Hmm Hmm yummy yummy we lovvvvvvve the Jews. No, we hate anti-Semitism. Those who persecuted the Jews in the name of the Church weren't real Xtians! We condemn them!"
They have effectively denied the existence of Xtianity for the past 2,000 years and pretend that they are part of an entirely new religion. Then the next stage comes:
"Have you heard the good new? The Jewish Messiah Yeshuah has come.."
Despite putting a spin on it by making the message sound more Jewish, this technique was not as successful as they had hoped. The approach was right but it needed more deceptive techniques to catch their prey.
Today the church uses two additional strategies:

1. Massive Funding of Messianic “synagogues”. These are Evangelical churches dressed up to look like synagogues. They meet on Friday night and Saturday mornings. You'll see no crosses or statues anywhere. They have an ark and a reading table. The pastor dresses in a tallit and kippa and sprinkles his sermons with sweet Hebrew words to make his message more palatable.

Obviously no one would mistake these Messianic churches for Orthodox shuls. However they do look remarkably similar in appearance to Reform temples. This is not surprising when you consider that there has been major Xtian influences to the interior of the Reform temple since their foundation over 150 years ago.

2. The second technique they have began to use is the enthusiastic support for the state of Israel. Evangelical Xtians see the State of Israel as the rounding up of Jews in the Holy land so that they can more easily be converted. They see the general Anti-Israel position of the world as an opportunity to gain influence in Israel and Israel's trust and even reliance with their support and funding for such things as Aliyah and public services. It's the "We love you and have you heard the good news" technique but just done on a much larger scale.

They are NOT our friends!

We can already see the effects of this Evangelical influence on the Israeli government by their reluctance to enforce existing anti-missionary laws for fear of upsetting "our friends".

Moreover, it is particularly worrying that at the same time that missionaries are becoming more sophisticated in their methods as they fine tune their message to the secular Israeli public, we are also seeing a gradual decrease in real Jewish education in secular Israeli schools, making the non-religious Israeli more vulnerable to attack.

This is actually not the first article I've seen in the Israeli press that warns of the dangers from these organisations. I'm glad that the subject is being more widely discussed now and hopefully Israelis will begin to question the motives of our new "friends". Hopefully this will be the real "good news".

One last point. I was discussing this subject with colleagues at work and many brought up the point Israel needs all the friends we can get and we shouldn't be too choosy considering our Arab "cousins" are out to kill us. My response to this is to ask them what the difference between Purim and Chanuka is? The answer is that on Purim we thank Hashem for saving us from physical annihilation. On Chanuka however, we thank Hashem for saving us from spiritual annihilation. Both pose a danger to Israel and should be taken seriously.


Bouncer said...

I've always wondered why Christians call their god Harold, as in the Lord's Prayer : "Our Father who art in heaven, Harold be thy name...."

Reb Mordechai said...

Bouncer, I've a better one. The tradition of turkey at Xmas comes from the Jewish daily prayers "A turkey for G-d becsause it's really good".
(Hodu LaHashem ki tov")