Today I read a mashal (parable) from Rebbe Nachman. He says like this:
Once, an important trader was traveling with a consignment of fine Hungarian wine. During the journey his assistant and the carriage driver said to him, “Here we are, traveling with all this wine. It’s a very hard journey – give us a little taste of the wine.” He agreed to let them have a small taste.
A few days later, the assistant happened to be in a small town with some people who were drinking wine and praising it extravagantly. They said it was Hungarian. “Let me have a taste,” said the assistant. They gave him some, and he said, “This isn’t fine Hungarian wine at all!” They were most offended and told him to leave, but he insisted: “I know very well that this wine isn’t Hungarian, because I was with a wine merchant who had genuine Hungarian wine and he gave me some to try. I know what it really tastes like.” But they ignored him. Read 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
Tonight over kosher Indian food I noticed my wife was a little softer and somewhat happier. I felt it was the right time to gently push her past some of her emotional connections to the New Testament by pointing out a few of its fallacies. I asked her to please think about how she should respond to the fact that the writer of the book of Matthew states that Jesus lived in Nazareth to fulfill a prophecy that doesn’t exist in the Tanakh. I then brought up a few other errors until she distracted and let it go. When we got home, our son was asleep in the backseat and she asked if we could talk there in the car. I could sense there was an opening.
Papyrus 1, Matthew
She asked me, “Why did Yeshua say things like ‘No one comes to the Father except through me’ and why would G-d allow him to say those things?” We talked about some of the questionable accounts in the New Testament, reviewed some of the inconsistencies and went over the basic requirements of the messiah based on the Torah and Prophets.
She burst into tears, squeezed my hand and after getting herself together said, “Go on.” So I finished my thoughts and she was able to talk rationally. She brought up concerns about whether we’d fit into the Jewish community, still be able to home school our children if we converted and other issues presupposing the she would eventually accept this.
This is a huge step forward for us! May Hashem continue to direct our paths and send us in the direction of Jewish men and women who will care about us and help us in our journey home to the Jewish people. But may it be soon…my neshamah is impatient!
I hope this blog will be a conversation with anyone interested as much as it is about me sharing my story. I’m finding myself now at a juncture (and here is where you come in) where I’m finally being honest with myself and those closest to me–and you are watching it all unfold.So now I’m going to write it for the first time: I don’t believe that Jesus (or Yeshua as some call him) is the Messiah.