Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Been a While and Kashrut

Sorry it has been some time since we posted anything. Things have been real busy lately. Recently, there was a missionary that had to be disproven on FaceBook so that took up some of the time that was to be used for this site.

In any case, we want to deal with a number of other topics before we get back to some of our previous topics. The following videos deal with Kosher or Kashrut.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Torath Mosheh vs. Missionaries and Messianics (Part 2)

Messianic Repackaging

Due to the fact that Messianic movement is low on actual Jews, and especially devoid of Jews with a sound Torah base they have recently tried to repackage their messages to appear to be more “Jewish.” This repacking is not only for the purpose of trying to convince more Jews that their form of Christianity is somehow valid according to the Torah, but also because some Messianics have themselves felt that Christianity as a whole is lacking the actual elements that makes them Jewish. Thus, the reasoning is that if they themselves are so called Messianic “Jews” then how can they live as Jews with a text, the New Testament, that carries so many non-Jewish interpretations with it.

A perfect example of this repacking effort are Messianic commentaries on the New Testament claiming, that it can understood using Jewish texts such as the Talmud and various Midrashim. Another angle comes from a shadowy group called the Netzarim, claiming to live in Raanana, Israel, that claims to have reworked and revamped the book of Matthew to paint early Christianity a quasi-halakhic battle between Yeshu, who they claim was a rabbi of Beith Hillel, vs. a rouge sect of Beith Shammai Pharisees.

 Several problems exist within the New Testament framework that makes forcing it into a Jewish, in the above mentioned ways, VERY problematic.
  1.  Is there any real evidence that Jesus existed?
  2. If Jesus did exist are there any 1st hand accounts of him? Accounts written between (7 BCE to 33 CE).
  3. Why were the 4 existing gospels of the New Testament written so late?
  4. Do modern day Messianic groups serve as reliable sources commentaries to the New Testament?
  5. Why is most of the New Testament written by people who didn’t know Jesus personally?
The above questions are very crucial in determining if such conclusions are able to be marketed as a "Jewish" methods of understanding the New Testament. Further, these questions are important if one wants to try and use Jewish texts, such as the Talmud and Midrashim, to try and make sense of Christian texts. If the baseline facts about Christian texts cannot be backed up by Judaic requirements for information, said Christian texts cannot be analyzed in this Judaic manner.

Answering the above questions reveal the following answers.
  1. There is no real evidence of the existence of Jesus. There were about 40 historians who wrote during the first two centuries. None state anything about the existence of Jesus in the 1st century. None of the historians from his supposed time period mention him or the events of the 1st gospels as well as the history given in the book of Acts.
  2. There are no first-hand accounts of Jesus, and he himself wrote nothing. The consensus of many biblical historians put the dating of the earliest Gospel, that of Mark, at sometime after 70 C.E., and the last gospel, John after 90 C.E.
  3. There is no explanation of why the Gospel texts were written so late and they can not be considered reliable sources.
  4. Modern day Messianics do not have any historical connection to the first Christians. The Messianic movement began in the late 1800's. They are separated from any connection to the original Christians by almost 2,000 years.
All of this is important because of the fact that ALL of Judaism is based on concept called Mesorah. (You can read our article HERE to understand what we mean by this.) This means a tested, trust worthy and unbroken chain of understanding and tradition. Further, this means is that modern Rabbis, from all ancient Jewish communities, received their ordinations as rabbis and learned from ordained Rabbis before them who learned from Jewish sages before them going all the way back to Mount Sinai. After some time these ordinations were from within two Judaic schools of thought, one in Israel and one in Babylon, with the Judaic school in Israel having the highest authority originally. After the disbandment of the Judaic school of thought in Israel, the Judaic school in Babylon become the head school of thought.

The following videos, which has several parts on YouTube will explain further the issues.

Making a Messiah, Pt. 1 (What do we know about the NT authors?)

Making a Messiah, Pt. 3 (Messiah who missed the mark)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Torath Mosheh vs. Missionaries and Messianics (Part 1)

The new few posts will be dealing with a problem that exists in some segments of Jewish society and that is dealing with missionaries and messianics. In the next month we will be posting informaiton that we hope will help Jews return to Torath Mosheh and leave behind various forms of Avodah Zara that is found amongst the missionaries and messianics. We also hope to provide information to strengthen Jews who have to face the various missionaries and messianics.

The Issues

Understanding how to deal with missionaries requires an understanding on several fronts, some of which are historical and some of which are psychological. The historical elements help in strengthening Jews who must face off against missionaries in all of the elements that make missionaries and the modern messianic movements heretics. The psychological is in part understanding how and why some Jews get sucked into such movements and developing the approach based on these people as individuals and not as entire groups.

In all cases the basic starting point is to understand that any person of Jewish background who assigns themselves to any aspect of Christianity is a heretic not only to Judiasism, but also the fundamentals of Torath Mosheh. Yet, in order for this to be understand one must first understand what Torath Mosheh is.

The reason why this is important is based on the following Judaic principles:

תלמוד בבלי - מסכת אבות פרק א-ב,יז יד
רבי אלעזר אומר, הוי שקד ללמוד מה שתשיב את אפיקורוס; ודע לפני מי אתה עמל, ומי הוא בעל מלאכתך

Talmud Bavli – Tractate Avoth 1b,17[15]
(Translation) Ribbi Elazar says: to learn what to answer the heretic; and know before whom you toil, and whom is your master.

Further to this point is Rashi’s comment on Devarim 18.9:

לא תלמד לעשות: אבל אתה למד להבין ולהורות, כלומר להבין מעשיהם כמה הם מקולקלים, ולהורות לבניך לא תעשה כך וכך, שזה הוא חוק הגוים

(Translation) Do not learn to do: But you learn to understand and to explain, like to say to understand their actions and how they error and to expound this to your children to not do this or that, because this is a law of the nations/i.e. idoloters.

Understanding Modern Messianic Heresy

Much has been written about the history of Christianity and its inception. I will not cover much of this, but instead focus on the modern movement which claims to be both Jewish and Christian.

Modern “so called” Messianic Judaism claims to follow on a history of emergence of Jewish believers in Jesus seeking to reclaim their identity as Jews and as followers of Jesus at the same time. A simple summary of that history should note that in the 18th and 19th centuries, Christians of Jewish descent increased in numbers due to social issues in Europe and America. In Europe and America the growing number of Jewish Christians were represented by missionary organizations to the Jews with quaint names.

The Christian missions to the Jews movement made an advance when Hebrew Christians, as they were known, began to associate and come together for conferences. The idea of maintaining Jewish identity as followers of Jesus began to grow. At first this had little to do with Judaism.

In the 1970’s, some of these Hebrew Christians, especially under the influence of Martin Chernoff and Manny Brotman, developed Messianic Judaism in its incipient form. The advancement here was the idea of Jews actually practicing faith in Jesus in a Jewish way.

Increasingly, however, in the 1980’s and 1990’s, so called Messianic Judaism became a haven for non-Jews looking to find a restoration of a perceived early church or some alternative to a church that had grown soft on Biblical practice and strong on revivalist tradition.

In the next post we will explain how missionaries and messianics do not match the requirements of Torath Mosheh. So stay tuned.