This Pesach was the first one I’ve observed not being an idolator. What does this mean? I was able to fully participate in the Seder on its own terms. Jesus/Yeshua had nothing to do with it or Pesach at all. Christianity was not there to reinterpret the Seder elements or to usurp the power of G-d’s gift of freedom to worship Him then and now. For once the matzoh was full of meaning without it having anything to do with a false messiah. The cups of wine were not the “bris chadashah” that the New Testament lies about. The enormity of the miracles of yetzias Mitzrayim were not overshadowed by the bogus Christian narrative of a man-god system of atonement and redemption. Read More
“…Messianics are left with nothing but their own self-assertions for the authenticity of their religious identity. While Christians hope for the realization of Jesus as the messiah on the part of the Jewish world so that Jews will become Christians, Messianics hope for the realization of Jesus as an Orthodox Jew by religious Jews so that they themselves will be accepted in the Jewish world.” An excerpt from Yehudah Illan’s blog http://chizzukemunah.com. Click below for more!
For the last couple days, I’ve been curious to understand who Jesus was since I know now that he is not the messiah. The picture isn’t pretty, but it was one that I needed to see. Why? Perhaps I wanted some sense of closure to the past eight years of my life.
As I was researching, I remembered the initial charisma that I attributed to Jesus and the compassion with which it seemed he had toward me; the feeling that I mattered to him; that he cared about me and that he could save me from my lost and sinful nature. Today I see that Jesus was just a man who had some good ideas about righteousness and holy living. He was a teacher who maybe thought that he was the Messiah or maybe he imagined that he was just a prophet, or perhaps he thought he was just being a good Jew, like his cousin John the Baptist–we can’t really know because of the overlay the Church put on him over the years. But what I do know is the man Jesus did not think of himself as the god-man and redeemer that the church elevated him to after he died. Read More
It feels like many events are coming together. We’re beginning to talk about the future rather Jewishly. We’ve made contact with some people who are helping us. Those who are shunning us seem to be quieting down and moving on. And surprisingly we’re hearing about a number of individuals and couples who have been involved with Messianic Judaism who are beginning to question Jesus’ validity as the messiah. We have spoken to some who have left that religion and are in the process of conversion. Others are researching and struggling. But for us, the high emotional drama of rejecting Jesus/Yeshua and Messianic Judaism (which is an insidious form of Christianity and just as idolatrous) seems to be channeling into intellectual energy, personal growth, and unity.
I was listening to Rabbi Dr. Dovid Gottlieb speak on the topic of “How to Live With Questions You Can’t Answer” and he mentioned the phenomenon of swarming behavior in locusts. Apparently when the density of locusts reaches a certain value, the locusts, who prefer to live independently, begin to act as a swarm. Scientists say this behavior gets switched on by increased stimulation of the hind legs from being jostled by other locusts and through prolonged exposure (via sight and smell) to other locusts. But what gets activated? The neurotransmitter serotonin. In humans, low serotonin can lead to depression. Maybe one could suggest a correlation between living in isolation and depression. Research certainly bears that out. But does swarming just make locusts feel “happy?”
This Shabbat was a weird one. After meeting with the Chabad rabbi last week and not being able to get an answer about how much we should continue in our observance of Torah until we convert, it seemed wrong to make Kiddush on Erev Shabbat. This pained me a great deal and it was heartbreaking to explain this to my wife and even harder to have to enforce it. There was no Challah, no Kiddush, no Netilat Yadayim, only dvar Torah.
Why is this necessary? Well, what right do we have to do Jewish things? How can we claim for ourselves what was meant only for the Jewish people? Surely that is what the Christians/Messianics do based on their false belief that they are a part of Israel because they “believe in” Jesus. It is a hard reality to face for former Messianics who find that their love of Torah is wrapped up in a false messiah. Once they realize he’s not the guy, what do they have left? The Noachide laws? That won’t work for me.
I want my family to take the higher ground and do Jewish things because we’re Jewish, not because we are stealing. I want to be guided by a rabbi who can make our conversion the best possible experience so that we become holy Jews who have something to offer to Israel and to be a light to the Goyim.
My wife’s question from Friday night is still ringing in my ears: “What else are you going to take away?” How can I know? We need a guide so that we do this right. I don’t want to be stripped of everything but I also don’t want to be a liar and a thief. G-d help us and may we get answers soon!
After Motzei Shabbat, my closest friend joined us for the evening as we prepared Chanukkah themed prizes for our party coming up Tuesday night. As we talked, he finally got around to saying, “I’m really ticked at you for doing this,” referring to my belief that Jesus is a false messiah. When I asked him why he said that several years ago I had promised him that I would never do this and that he was worried this was the first step in my becoming an atheist. I told him that the atheist fear was a common worry among Christians when their friends realize the truth about Jesus. I pointed out that the New Testament can not stand alone without the Tanakh but the Tanakh stands alone just fine without the New Testament. I explained that identifying Jesus as a false messiah was in no wise taking a step back from G-d. Rather, I was deepening my faith in Hashem and distancing myself from idolatry.
As for the alleged promise I made him, what can I say? I refuse to be held responsible for a belief based on information that I didn’t know back then that I do have now which causes me to see Jesus in a true light which is making me renege on an impossible promise to keep. If I did promise him that I would never stop believing in Jesus I regret doing so and will be more careful in the future about making promises.
But really…I was disappointed he didn’t have a little more force to his discussion with me. He didn’t try to debate. He didn’t dig. No threats to shun me. He was the easiest to tell this news to. The hardest will be coming up in a few weeks. Please stay tuned.