1. Messianic Judaism Disregards The Authority Of The Sages.
Rabbi Mordechai Rhine published an article last week on parashas Shemini focusing on Nadav and Avihu. About their death he asked, “How could it be that these two great sons of Ahron would err in such a significant way as to deserve the divine punishment of death on this auspicious day?” He answers by citing a story from the Talmud:
Moshe and Ahron were going in the lead, Nadav and Avihu were behind them, and the rest of the Jewish people followed. Nadav and Avihu said, ‘When will these elders die so that we can be the leaders.
Rabbi Rhine reminds us that these two sons of Aharon were holy men who had difficulty controlling their own drives and submitting to a mentor. They wanted to take a shortcut to spirituality in spite of the commands of G-d and the ways of their fathers. Moshe and Aharon were “in the way” of their aspirations to greatness.
Jesus was said to have been found teaching his elders in the Temple as a boy. Whether it really happened or not, it demonstrates his arrogance that many of his followers persist in today. They feel that they have heard from G-d and that He helps them interpret the Bible. If you disagree with them, you are disagreeing with G-d Himself, so they will say. Like the recent arrogant slander from Pat Robertson, Messianics feel that Jews don’t understand spiritual matters because they don’t believe in Jesus.
2. Messianic Judaism Prefers Shortcuts To Methodical Growth
Their leaders usurp the title “Rabbi” even though they have had no formal training in rabbinics nor have they ever stepped foot inside of an Orthodox Yeshiva. At best they attended a Christian seminary but most simply are “internet educated.” They don’t actually study the Talmud but haphazardly misquote it in their apologetics.
This attitude is also reflected in their leader, Jesus of Nazareth. He chose uneducated men to teach them his view of Judaism. Then he sent these men out, without formal training, to teach other uneducated people–the am haaretz “the common people of the land.” This was the Jesus movement of 2,000 years ago. Jesus despised the learned class and those with authority. He rejected the traditions of the Fathers for his own ideas. His ultimate shortcut to great spiritual heights was his failed messianic aspirations that, in the end, accomplished nothing but led many astray. And so it remains, all those who continue to follow him suffer with an artificial spirituality and an empty religion–and they can’t even detect it until they get out of it.
3. Messianic Judaism Is Based On Intoxication
Rabbi Rhine wrote in his article:
The true spiritualist has a mentor and family, even if it requires him to deal with their views and not ignoring them. Day by day, he strives to serve Hashem in a way that embodies the richness of the old and the innovation of the new…The true spiritualist doesn’t go for the artificial high of intoxication. Instead he follows the methodology of true growth in a life long journey to become all that he was meant to be.
Messianics (who are mostly Gentiles) connect to the outer layers of Jewish observance because of the way it makes them feel. They fool themselves into thinking that because they wrap themselves in a tallis they are pleasing Hashem and this makes them feel good. They hold a siddur and shake their bodies back and forth and “feel Jewish” but are unable to realize that their prayers are in vain because they are saying words that do not belong to them.
They are idolators and true Torah cannot sink in and change them, except for the few who wake up and leave the religion for true Judaism or pursuit of the Noachide path. Jesus too was viewed as a drunkard and a glutton. He connected with people over food and wine and got them caught up in a false spiritual high. Today, Messianics draw Jews in by offering them a false salvation and a “Torah Lite” diet, if you will, “All the cool with half the rules.”
It is a mitzvah to protect Jews from falling into this dangerous pit from the start and it is our responsibility to rescue those Jews who are lost in this messyantic mess. Some simple things you can do to prepare for an encounter with a Messianic is to study resources like Rabbi Tovia Singer, Rabbi Michael Skobac or Rabbi Yisroel Blumenthal.
Rabbi Mordechai Rhine, originally of Monsey, New York, is the Rav of Young Israel of Cherry Hill and the Director of TEACH613™, an organization which promotes Jewish Law and Ethics in the Cherry Hill/ Philadelphia area. Rabbi Rhine holds semicha from Rabbi Berel Wein, and a specialty addendum in marriage law from Rabbi S. M. Katz of Lakewood. He has also received a Masters in Rabbinic and Talmudic Studies, and has been teaching Torah for over 20 years. Rabbi Rhine is the author of a popular book, “The Magic of Shabbos: A Journey Through the Shabbos Experience,” (Judaica Press, 1998) and the producer and presenter of an audio series entitled The Perek Shira Collection, available in stores or atwww.teach613.org.
- Messianics = Christians Wrapped In Torah Scrolls (lehitgayer.com)
- I Am “Standing My Ground” Against Juan Marcos Gutierrez and His Messianics (lehitgayer.com)
- Warning To Messianics: Living Torah Could Make You Leave Jesus! (lehitgayer.com)
- Pat Robertson: Without Jesus, Jews Lack Understanding of the Cosmos (lehitgayernews.wordpress.com)