We received this letter from Ayal:
I would like to go over some things on your site.
“And behold, a certain disciple named Timothy was there, the son of a certain believing Jewish woman – but his father was a Greek (a Hellenized Jew).
1.) There is nothing in this passage to indicate that Timothy’s father was a Hellenzied Jew. It states clearly that he was a Greek. A Jew is a Jew, period, if it wanted you to know that Timothy’s father was a Hellenized Jew the NT would have said so.
2.) In NT times, a Jew was recognised as such by patrileneal descent. In modern times traditional Jews recognise a person as Jewish if the mother is Jewish. The Reform and Reconstructionist movements of Judaism recognise patrilineal descent. If Paul wished to take Timothy with him and be among Jews, he would have wanted Timothy to be a Jew. And since his father was a Gentile, Paul had to circumcise him in order that he be under the law. In effect, this was Timothy’s conversion to Judaism. In Biblical times, all a foreigner (Gentile) did to join Israel, (i.e. convert) was take the God of Israel as their God, take the people of Israel as their people and if they were male, they had to be circumcised. This holds true even today as converts to Judaism are required circumcision to join Israel and the Jewish people. At least if they are male. There are other institutions involving conversion now, but those are later inventions but nevertheless important.
3.) “Shaul desired this one to go forth with him, and taking him he circumcised him, because of the Jews being in those places – for they all knew his father, that he was a Greek (meaning a Hellenized Jew, much like the Reform Jews of today)”
This isn’t so much a theological arguement as it is about political correctness. Comparing Hellenized Jews of the era of the Bible to modern Reform Jews is judgemental, ignorant and offensive. Hellenized Jews were Jews who renounced their Jewish faith and took on pagan practices and Greek culture. Reform Jews tend to be a bit liberal, but they still identify as Jews. They go to synagogues, observe their understanding of shabbat, holidays, some kosher. The bottom line is Reform Jews are still practicing Jews.
Just adding my two cents from a Jewish perspective 🙂
You are right! Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and for explaining in such a thorough, understandable way. That was good. After reading your letter we changed the translation with commentary right away. Would you mind taking a look and seeing if you find anything amiss now?
Any other thoughts on our site? Are you a “practicing Jew,” and how do you practice, if so? Do you believe in Yehoshua HaMashiach? Have you red my testimony, about my Jewish perspective? 🙂
Mr. Paul Cohen,
Thanks for the quick response. I took a look at your correction and it seems to be correct.
I have many thoughts on your site, but that was the only thing that stood out that I felt I should mention. Yes, I am a practicing Jew. Please do not put it in quotations. Doing so is not so much offensive as it is superficial and presumptuous.
I practice what you would call Orthodox Judaism. No, I do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah fortold in the Bible. I understand that you are Jewish, but I have not heard your testimony, but I would certainly be interested in hearing/reading it!
Yes, Ayal, to read about what happened to me at the beginning of my walk with God, go to Paul Cohen. This is a brief introduction to my life before and after God called me by name to follow Him.
You mention pagan lifestyles. Even though I was raised Conservative, I recall celebrating Halloween, which, as you likely know, is completely pagan. Most Jews in the US in my age group (born in ‘56) that I knew growing up lived very secular lives, though they went to synagogue.
There was one Orthodox boy in our neighborhood, an anomaly. I remember he would go to Korvette’s, the local department store, on Saturday because the TV would be turned on in the window. He wasn’t allowed to turn it on at home. That seemed very cunning and sad at the same time. I did not think that was what God was looking for or was all about.
I am very thankful now to know Him, and it was through Jesus Christ, His Personification, that I came into this precious knowledge.
Thanks for checking our correction and letting me know it looks good.
I don’t recall ever mentioning pagan lifestyles, but yes I understand what you mean about Jews celebrating Halloween. This is the reason I am here in the U.S., to bring knowledge to the Jewish community about such practices and why they should be avoided along with other things.
I read your testimony, may I ask what Kibbutz you were on? I am originally from Beersheva. I am sure you have heard of it. I find it very interesting that there would have been Gentiles in a Kibbutz Ulpan. It is very hard for Gentiles to immigrate, even harder if they are known missionaries.
I will agree with you about marriage. Marriage out of fornication is not a good marriage and not legitimate in the eyes of G-d. Marriage can only come out of honest love and conviction for a person in the eyes of G-d and the two must also desire to serve G-d and not only themselves for their own wants. Marriages outside of such a context are bound to fail and they do! You can read statistics anywhere that prove this point. Very few marriages are honest marriages.
You mentioned Hellenized Jews living as pagans. Jews have never been able to forget that they are Jews for very long in this world. God has not allowed it.
I was on Revivim. Beersheva was not that far, of course. I did not spend much time there, however.
Victor and Marilyn were not missionaries. God sent them to Israel, no different than He sent Abraham. It was by personal commandment, and not through an organization. They did not know why they were in Israel until they met me. I knew God had sent them to me, and told them so. As you can see, it was a very good thing. Coming out of fornication was just the beginning of the good that came of that.
I would like to hear more about you, Ayal. What can you tell me?
Yes I suppose I did, my apologies. Yes, that is true, G-d does not allow us to forget our origins for long.
OK, I obviously misunderstood about your friends from the Kibbutz. Again, my apologies.
G-d blessed you with coming out of fornication. G-d would have all of us do it and G-d does try to reach all of us. Unfortunately, not all of us listen. Prophets of old told of many things and what did we do? Ignored them. Man does not listen very well. If G-d had intended us to go our own way then he would have no plan. Obviously your beliefs and mine are different to an extant, but I think we can both agree that G-d does indeed have a plan for us.
I suppose that would depend on what you want to know. I would be happy to answer any questions.
Ayal, no offense taken, and no apology needed.
You are right that children of men do not listen. Isn’t that what Moses said to the children of Israel?
“For I know that after my death you will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will happen to you in the latter days; because you will do that which is evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 31:29 HNV).
I know that unless the Lord exercised patience and lovingkindness with me, there was no hope for me. He had to make a change of nature in me, because when I agreed with His Law I discovered I could not keep it. So I know without a doubt that He truly saved me, now that I walk with Him. This all happened by the revelation and work of His Messiah.
With God it is not a matter of Him trying. He does. Who can stop Him from doing what He wants?
So, yes, He has a plan for me and for you. We have our respective responsibilities as given by God. He is over all things. He even planned Israel’s apostasy. He has mercy on whom He wills, and hardens whom He wills. In the end, He said He would bring Israel back to Himself, and would be known to all the nations:
“And My holy Name will I make known in the midst of My people Israel; neither will I suffer My holy Name to be profaned any more; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel” (Ezekiel 39:7 JPS).
My questions for you:
What group do you belong to and work with in the United States, where you are presently teaching about pagan customs that are contrary to Judaism? Have you written anything that I may read?
Were you born into this way? If not, how did you come to your present beliefs?
Are you married? Children? Is teaching your sole occupation? What else do you do?
I look forward to your answers.
Yes, it is truth. The wording in my Bible is a little different, however the underlying meaning is still very much the same. We don’t listen. G-d’s faithfulness is majestic in it’s holiness. Men break promises because we are men. We are all made in his image, but we are not perfect. In the image is not the same as being G-d and therefore we are flawed. We break his law and breaking the law is sin. G-d does not break promises because G-d is an absolute! G-d is truth, love, everything that ever was or will be is from him and of him. G-d forgives those who would seek him out and confess their sins.
Yes, G-d has said he would redeem us and I pray for the day, but until that day, I must strive to do my best in his eyes.
I work as a teacher and outreach coordinator for Aish HaTorah as well as for the Israeli Rabbinate. I live and work in Diaspora communities teaching Jewish youth about their roots and about their faith.
America is a largely secular nation and that plays a huge part in culture and unfortunately the youth get corrupted. Drugs, alcohol, pornography, premarital sex, ect. There are a lot of things that are just waiting to snatch people away from G-dly things.
Teenage girls are told “Take the pill, it will be fine,” and the “professionals and Doctors” sleep at night while young girls sold on this idea of “safe sex” defile themselves. This is not right. We teach a lot of abstinence and drug resistance classes integrated with Torah study and try to integrate G-d into their lives instead of the Halloween, sex and drugs that the media put up as a banner for them.
Yes, I was born Jewish, but I have not always been religious. I have not always believed in G-d and his Torah.
My parents raised me to be G-dfearing, but I was G-d denying. I did not mend my ways until after I did my Sherut Zahal, or military service. I am not sure if you did this as part of your Aliyah or not, but I am sure you are aware that it is a big part of Israeli society.
Anyway, G-d showed me that he does in fact exist and that he does play a huge role in our lives. You can only survive so many near death encounters, surviving by some unnamed miracle or coincidence before you realize that G-d is that miracle, that “coincidence.”
Yes, I am very happily married. I have two very young, very wonderful children.
I primarily teach for Aish HaTorah, but when I am in Israel I also teach for the Israeli Rabbinate. Specifically I teach potential converts.
Hope this was what you wanted to know!
If God is perfect, then the one made in His image is also perfect, otherwise it is not His image but another’s. This explains why God told Abraham to walk before Him and be perfect (Genesis 17:1).
God did not make us flawed, but Adam chose to follow his wife in disobedience, and thereby mankind entered the realm of sin and death. Adam was cut off from the Tree of Life at that time.
But the promise of God through the prophets was that He would perfect what was lacking in His people:
“Thus says the Lord GOD: I will even gather you from the peoples, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh; that they may walk in My statutes, and keep Mine ordinances, and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God” (Ezekiel 11:17-20 JPS).
While we have seen the first part take place in this world (God’s gathering of the Jews into Israel), we have not seen the second, since the people of Israel are not walking in God’s ways. If He did the first part, as He promised, He will do the second part also, but it will be His doing and not man’s. No man can change his own heart and give himself a new one.
Another witness of God’s intention to perfect us comes from Jeremiah:
“Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; forasmuch as they broke My covenant, although I was a lord over them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD, I will put My law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people; and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying: ‘Know the LORD’; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more. Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, Who stirs up the sea, that the waves thereof roar, the LORD of hosts is His Name: If these ordinances depart from before Me, says the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me for ever. Thus says the LORD: If Heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, then will I also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says the LORD” (Jeremiah 31:31- 37 JPS).
Clearly God promises to perfect us, according to His Spirit and power, in order for us to walk in incorruption. Why would He make a new covenant if the old one could accomplish this?
This is the mission of Messiah, Whose blood is capable of washing away our sins, and then reforms our hearts to know the Lord, having intimate fellowship by His Nature, which causes us to walk in His ways.
What were you expecting the Messiah to do?
I agree you must strive to do your best, but you will always need the yearly sacrifice of Yom Kippur, besides others, to wash away your sins, even though there is no longer a Levitical priesthood or tabernacle to make atonement for you. Why is that? It is clear God runs the show and has taken them away. Why?
He took them away because He came in His own Person and made atonement once and for all for all men’s sins. He fulfilled the prophecy of Abraham that He would provide the sacrifice:
“And Abraham said: ‘God will provide Himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.’ So they went both of them together” (Genesis 22:8 JPS).
I speak from personal experience of having received His forgiveness and cleansing by His sacrifice.
Other questions I have for you are how you found our site, and why do you wish to converse with me, seeing I have taken the Name that is anathema to Orthodox Jews? Also, have you red our correspondence with Ken Spiro and letters to the religious Israeli authors of a recent petition to President Bush?
I was only in Israel for three months in 1979, so I did not complete ulpan or enter military service. I had to leave my wife in obedience to God, then He brought me back to the United States.
I do not doubt that God has kept you, Ayal, for His purposes. He does not only play a huge role in our lives, but He is our life:
“If He set His heart on Himself, if He gathered to Himself His spirit and His breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would turn again to dust” (Job 34:14-15 HNV).
You cannot give Him anything, but He gives you everything.
My children are made in my image. They are not me and I am not them. To be made in the image of G-d is not to be a carbon copy, not to be another G-d, so to speak. It is that we are made like him, but not him. If we were made perfect then we would not sin.
Yes, Adam and his wife did sin, however, I cannot find it anywhere where it says they were cut off from the Tree of Life. The only reference I find is that G-d banished them from the Garden of Eden so that they would not eat of it forever PHYSICALLY. It is not a reference to spiritual death. There is also no reference of this being carried on to all men in all generations. The only reference to anything similar is that men “Tend to evil from their youth.” NOT from birth, indicating that with proper upbringing in the law, a man may not grow sinful.
Jews do not accept the idea of Original Sin for a number of reasons. The first person to teach the doctrine of Original sin was St. Augustine. The only real substantiation for this belief comes not from the Jewish Bible, but from the Christian Bible, which we do not accept. In Romans 5:12 Paul makes a remark about the issue. Man is born neither inherently good or inherently evil. The Bible makes a number of references to this point.
Deut: 24:16 “The father’s shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for their fathers; every man shall be put to death for his own sin” This point is reiterated in Jeremiah 31: 29-30 and Ezekiel 18:2-3
Yes, we believe the prophet Ezekiel is speaking in prophecy to the Messianic Age which is not yet upon us because not all of the prophecies pertaining to it have passed. We believe also the same of the teachings of the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 31 verses 31-37.
We do not believe that the new covenant has come into existence yet. The first verse of the prophecy “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah” This indicates that G-d will do this with a fully ingathered people of Israel. In the time of Jesus, many Jews had already been scattered into exile and many more were scattered after him. “I will put my LAW in their inward parts,” this is clearly a reference to the Torah/Moasaic law, which most, if not all Christians do not even attempt to keep. Furthermore, if this is the new covenant that Christians speak of, then it must have failed! This speaks of spiritual perfection. If your spirit is perfected by G-d then by such logic you can sin no more. Christians, like all men, do in fact sin and do, like men, walk in corruption.
This vision of the Messianic Era is not referring to any change in the contents of the Torah, for it does not say, “I will make a new Law with the House of Israel.” It is rather speaking about the covenant G-d made with the Jews at Mount Sinai. A Biblical covenant always denotes an agreement between two or more parties…
In the Messianic Era, the covenant will be “new” and different in that it will be unbreakable, owing to the tremendous G-dly revelations the Jewish people will experience:
A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will place within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will place My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes and be careful to observe My ordinances.
And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My spirit on all flesh; your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. Even upon the manservants and maidservants in those days, I will pour out My spirit.
Through these revelations, the Jews will attain unsurpassed knowledge of G-d and His Torah, making it impossible for them to disobey either one. As the passage under discussion states: “I will place My Torah within them and write it upon their hearts….” It will be so ingrained in the Jew that, “no longer shall each man [need to] teach his neighbor and each his brother…” Similarly:
Thus says the L-rd of hosts: “On those days ten men out of all the languages of the nations shall take hold and seize the robe of a Jew, saying: ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that G-d is with you.’”
They shall never hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the L-rd as the waters cover the sea.
Hence, the Torah itself is eternal, as are each of its precepts [Ask Noah notes: i.e., its 613 Mosaic precepts for the Jews, and its 7 Noahide precepts for the Gentiles]:
And G-d said to Abraham: “And you shall keep My covenant, you and your seed after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your seed after you: every male among you shall be circumcised.”
And you shall observe the [commandment of] unleavened bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore, you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an ordinance forever.
Therefore, the children of Israel keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.
The Jewish concept of a Messiah is much different than the Christian concept. While there are many messianic prophecies in the prophets. The most significant are the ones listed in Ezekiel 37: 24-28.
And David my servant shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. they shall also follow My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Yaakov my servant, in which your fathers have dwelt and they shall dwell there, they and their children, and their children’s children forever; and my servant David shall be their prince forever. Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them, it shall be an everlasting covenant with them, which I will give them; and I will multiply them and I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore. And my tabernacle shall be with them: and I will be their G-d and they will be my people. Then the nations shall know that I am the L-rd who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary will be in the midst of them forevermore.
From this reading we can see that no one has yet fulfilled these. Many people claim that Jesus will fulfill them in the second coming, but nowhere in the entire Tanach is there a reference to the Messiah comming twice.
Also, the Levitical priesthood does in fact exist to this day! The priestly covenant was formed with Pinchas in Numbers: 25:13 for “all time”. There are many Kohanim (priests) today. Your surname is a common one among Kohanim. Levites and Kohanim probably have kept the best records of their lineage of all the Jewish people. Many Kohanim have in their possession a Sefer Yuchsin which records their lineage back to Aharon, the first priest. This has also been confirmed with Genetic testing. 80% of the Kohanim have a specific gene linking them to one male ancestor more than 3,000 years ago.
As far as the Genesis 22:8 reference, it is refering to the ram that would be sacraficed instead of Isaac AFTER Abraham demonstrated his faithfullness in nearly sacraficing his son.
As far as the Temple and the Sacrafices, I will give you that information that I will copy from my former webpage where I address those issues.
How do Jews obtain forgiveness without sacrifices?
Forgiveness is obtained through repentance, prayer and good deeds. In Jewish practice, prayer has taken the place of sacrifices. In accordance with the words of Hosea, we render instead of bullocks the offering of our lips (Hosea 14:2) (please note: the KJV translates this somewhat differently). While dedicating the Temple, King Solomon also indicated that prayer can be used to obtain forgiveness (I Kings 8:46-50). Our prayer services are in many ways designed to parallel the sacrificial practices. For example, we have an extra service on Shabbat, to parallel the extra Shabbat offering. As we shall see, the purposes for bringing sacrifice are very similar to the purposes for prayer.
It is important to note that in Judaism, sacrifice was never the exclusive means of obtaining forgiveness, was not in and of itself sufficient to obtain forgiveness, and in certain circumstances was not even effective to obtain forgiveness. This will be discussed further below.
But isn’t a blood sacrifice required in order to obtain forgiveness?
No. Although animal sacrifice is one means of obtaining forgiveness, there are non-animal offerings as well, and there are other means for obtaining forgiveness that do not involve sacrifices at all. The Biblical book of Jonah tells of an entire community condemned to destruction that was forgiven when they simply repented and fasted, without ever offering any sacrifice, blood or otherwise. (Jonah 3) The passage that people ordinarily cite for the notion that blood is required is Leviticus 17:11: “For the soul of the flesh is in the blood and I have assigned it for you upon the altar to provide atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that atones for the soul.” But the passage that this verse comes from is not about atonement; it is about dietery laws, and the passage says only that blood is used to obtain atonement; not that blood is the only means for obtaining atonement. Leviticus 17:10-12 could be paraphrased as “Don’t eat blood, because blood is used in atonement rituals; therefore, don’t eat blood.”
Another point I must make is that the sacrafice on Yom Kippur and the other sacrafices were meant only for the nation of Israel. Gentiles did not celebrate them unless they were circumcised and became “citizens of the land” i.e. Israelites through conversion and circumcision. The reason Gentiles did were not required a sacrafice is because they were not under the Sinai covenant. Gentiles are under the covenant of Noach that ALL people must keep.
As per your questions; I don’t remember how exactly I stumbled on to the site, I glanced over it a bit and found the article about circumcision and Paul and Timothy and felt the need to correct what I saw as an error.
As far as “Why do you wish to converse with me?”, you were the one who answered the email that contained my corrections and we went from there. You asked questions and my answers seemed to have sparked more questions and your name has nothing to do with that.
No, I have not read your correspondence with Ken Spire.
Yes, G-d is our life and our existence and without him there is nothing and I do not presume to give him anything. All I do is adhere to his laws and appointed times as he laid out as an eternal covenant for us.
P.S. I am sorry for the lack of organization in my email message. I wrote it in a hurry before the Sabbath.
A religious and pious Jew named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, came to Jesus at night and said that his people knew He had to be from God because no man could do the miracles He did unless God was with him. Jesus replied that knowing God did not come by seeing or acknowledging miracles. He told Nicodemus that unless a person was born again, he could not see the Kingdom of God.
Nicodemus, marveling at this thought, asked how a person could be born from his mother’s womb a second time. Jesus told him that to enter the Kingdom of God, the Messianic Age, one must be born of the Spirit of God. We are all born of flesh, but to see God and to know Him as He is, one must be born of the Spirit.
In other words, it is by this spiritual birth that we are completed in God’s image, the wall of separation and our uncooperativeness replaced by the Spiritual Essence of Him Who begets us, namely, God. He, as Messiah, has come to dwell (tabernacle – Succoth) within us. Now we have His power and righteousness that enables us to walk as He does, according to His ways and laws.
The Law is the reflection of God’s Nature. Only if we have this Nature can we fulfill the Law. Keeping external commandments does not make us like God, or we would have already become perfect in keeping them. Our natures cannot be changed or improved by the keeping of rituals and moral observances, as good and necessary as those have been or are. Neither has any man kept the Law perfectly, or even remotely so, as Moses prophesied would happen with the children of Israel. It has been the opposite, just as he said it would be.
Moses, who knew the ways of God, knew that the Law was not given to make us perfect, but was given to reflect our imperfection and the perfection of God that would lead us to Him. Moses knew that faith, the ability to perceive and follow God, was a gift from God, Who has mercy on whom He wills, and Who hardens whom He wills. The origin of our perfection is God, not the Law. When perfected by Him, we will keep His Law. How could it be otherwise?
It is not those who think they keep the Law perfectly that receive God, but those who recognize that, despite their efforts, they cannot keep the Law of God or come to Him on this basis. Many have a form of godliness, but deny the power of God. It was such who crucified the Messiah, God come in the flesh, and they still do persecute Him when He appears in the flesh of men. I speak of all religious, and not just Jews.
The Spirit of God is not received by giving men marvelous revelations. If that were so, the nation of Israel would have entered the Messianic Age at Sinai. But what did they say?
“‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.’ And the LORD said unto me: ‘They have well said that which they have spoken’” (Deuteronomy 18:16-17 JPS).
It was not time to see God’s face and to know Him intimately. The Messiah had not yet come. God is doing a perfect work, which, according to His wisdom, has included apostasy and failure of Law-keeping without His grace, in order to bring Israel to the place of knowing and seeing Him.
The new birth comes after the heavenly gift of repentance and turning from one’s own understanding to God, acknowledging Him in all of one’s ways. This happens by receiving the Messiah, Jesus Christ, Who is risen from the dead, as God, alive and sitting on the throne of God. He is given to bridge the gap between God and man. He is the One of Whom it is written:
“And I will pour on the house of David, and on the people of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of prayers. And they shall look on Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be bitter over Him, as the bitterness over the first-born” (Zechariah 12:10 MKJV).
We were cut off from Him, Who is represented also by the Tree of Life, when Adam and his wife were sent from Eden:
“And the LORD God said: ‘Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the Tree of Life, and eat, and live for ever.’ Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way to the Tree of Life” (Genesis 3:22-24 JPS).
So, you see, God did cut man off from the Tree of Life. He would not permit Adam and Eve to eat of it and live forever in their condition. They were not fit or able to receive eternal life. They had entered the realm of death and the consequences of sin, the breaking of the Law, were attendant upon them and all that have since been born on earth, except One. All except One have been born with a nature alienated from God. What person has been born in this world with free access to the Tree of Life, other than our Messiah?
But now, by our partaking of Messiah, the Lamb of God Who came and fulfilled the Passover for us, we have eternal life and are returned to the Garden with free access to that Tree through Him. Now we can and do walk according to God’s Nature, fulfilling His Law. Yes, Ayal, those born anew in Christ do keep the Law, according to, and acceptably with, the Spirit of God. You are talking about the religious of men, not the godly of God, when you say that Christians do not keep the Law. There is the real that produces Godly fruits, in contrast to the fake that does not.
We are not of the Catholic Church and do not teach the doctrine they call “Original Sin.” However, we do understand the Scriptures and preach the Word of God:
“If they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin), and if You are angry with them, and have delivered them up before the enemy, and they have been led away captive to the land of the enemy, far or near…” (1 Kings 8:46 MKJV).
Is it just men, and not children or newborns that are in this condition? No, of the man after God’s own heart it was written:
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalms 51:5 JPS).
The record is there, Ayal, if your eyes are opened to see it:
“But man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7 JPS).
You are depending on your own understanding and power to draw near to God. You are depending on your own righteousness, but the problem is that you do not have any. In fact, your righteousness is as filthy rags:
“And we are all become as one that is unclean, and all our righteousnesses are as a polluted garment; and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away” (Isaiah 64:6 JPS).
In your present condition you can come no closer to God than those at Sinai, who asked not to hear His voice anymore or to see the fire. They were unable to enter into the fire where God dwells, without which no man can be purged of his sin nature in order to emerge anew as a son of God.
Being held responsible for our actions does not mean that man is born without sin. Neither is God being unfair. In fact, He gave us the Law through Moses because we are born in sin. Otherwise, we would not need to be told these things. Of what need is the Law for the one that is lawful in all his ways? The Law is for the lawless. Who are the lawless except those predisposed to lawlessness because they are lawless? The nature may be subdued and hidden for a time, but, “Who can say: ‘I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin’?” (Proverbs 20:9 JPS)
Man sins because he is sinful. You are telling me that man can overcome his sinfulness by religious training from his youth, but this is not the experience of anyone in Scripture or the testimony given by God. Show me one person, other than Christ, who did not sin, ever, because trained in the Law or otherwise. Also, much of what the orthodox religious keep are man-made laws anyway, and are not the Law of God. There is much mixture and confusion, because the Word of God is violated:
“You shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:2 JPS).
For an example of the imperfection of man’s ability to reach God by keeping the Law, look at Job. Even according to God, Job was perfect in his generation, an upright man that feared Him and kept away from evil. Job had been diligent in keeping himself from his sin, which is what being lawful is all about. Yet when Job was finished his trials, and got his “report card” from God, he was rebuked for presuming to be pure, as you say he should have because he had learned to keep himself in perfect lawful behavior:
“I am clean, without transgression, I am innocent, neither is there iniquity in me” (Job 33:9 JPS).
After Elihu and God showed Job the truth of the matter, Job no longer claimed to be innocent. He said that he abhorred himself and repented in dust and ashes. He confessed that until this time he had never seen God, though he had heard of Him. So we see that Job was not made right by the keeping of the Law but by confessing the sovereignty of God, Who does all things and alone is righteous. The same change needs to happen to you, by the grace of God.
Your ideas about man’s nature and the ability of the Law to keep him from becoming a sinner are not proven in the experience of Israel. Many generations after God gave the Law to Moses, these words were recorded:
“The LORD looked forth from Heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any man of understanding, that did seek after God. They are all corrupt, they are together become impure; there is none that does good, no, not one” (Psalms 14:2-3 JPS).
If the Law was given to make men perfect, how great a failure it has been, even by God’s own admission! But He was never depending on you to perfect yourself by the Law. He is not a fool, and neither is He a tormentor, giving you the Law without also providing you with what is needful to keep it according to His satisfaction. You, in your sinful flesh, have put the Torah and the Law, as you perceive it in your corruption, in the place of God, serving that rather than Him. What a poor god that has been for you, as all idols are!
Yes, there is some value in following any true precepts of God, keeping one out of many troubles. You allude to some of these, which are readily apparent. But even with your very best efforts, according to God, you still end up corrupt, impure, and not able to do good. Even if this is satisfactory to you or your peers, it is not to God and to those who know better. Truly it is very poor fare.
Saul of Tarsus, after being transformed by Messiah, writes about this:
“Brothers, truly my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is for it to be saved. For I bear record to them that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness for everyone who believes” (Romans 10:1-4 MKJV).
Those born of Messiah (not necessarily those who claim to be, and certainly not nominal Christians) do have the Law of God written in their hearts, and are kept without sin by the power of His anointing, which is what having the Law written in the heart means. Our spirits are raised up to live by Him, and you are absolutely correct that, by such logic, we can no longer sin. The apostle John writes about this marvelous and glorious fact:
“Everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9 MKJV).
This is the actual reality of what you refer to in these terms:
“Through these revelations, the Jews will attain unsurpassed knowledge of G-d and His Torah, making it impossible for them to disobey either one.”
More than a revelation, it is the Revelator Who has come to live in us Who has given us unsurpassed knowledge of God and His Law:
“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying: ‘Know the LORD’; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:34 JPS).
This Scripture is fulfilled; believe it, Ayal. I am a Jew, and the God of the Jews, the LORD, has forgiven me. I know Him. I am not talking about a concept or something taught by men.
It is likely you have not met any Christians until now, not that you will see or receive that we are in Him Who is perfect unless God gives that to you. The Pharisees accused Jesus of sin, but He was without sin. Only God can be without sin, which is why Jesus was called the Son of God. Only God could overcome death and raise Himself from the grave for our sakes. He alone could atone for our sins, doing away once and for all with the necessity of yearly sacrifices. Only perfection can beget perfection, which is why we are rightly called the children of God. Our perfection is not our work, but His by our new birth in Him.
Therefore you are correct when you say that the prophecies regarding the Messiah and His reign have not been fulfilled for you. Your time has not come and you have yet to receive Him. You are incorrect to say that He has not come at all, however, because many have received God’s Spirit since Christ rose from the dead and returned at Shavuot to dwell within those who believed, and we are among them. God has manifested Himself to us in Christ and has come to make His abode with us. We walk with Him and He sends us to preach the Age to come that is already here, in us.
Jeremiah’s prophecy does not say that every Jew needs to be in the land of Israel for God to enact His covenant that bestows His New Nature to men. It is not right of you to add to God’s words and disannul His work in Messiah. It is especially wrong if you do this to defy His coming as Jesus. God says, in the same promise of the new covenant through Jeremiah, that Israel is already established before Him:
“If these ordinances depart from before Me, says the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me for ever” (Jeremiah 31:36 JPS).
To say that every Jew in the world must be physically gathered in the land of Israel for Messiah to come is to say He will never come, which is the same unbelieving way your fathers behaved:
“And still again they tried God, and set bounds to the Holy One of Israel” (Psalms 78:41 JPS).
You mention Ezekiel 37 as a prominent Scripture that speaks to the Jews of the Messiah:
“And My servant David shall be king over them, and they all shall have one Shepherd; they shall also walk in My ordinances, and observe My statutes, and do them” (Ezekiel 37:24 JPS).
The Shepherd from the tribe of Judah is Jesus Christ. He lives forever at the right hand of God, and is, therefore, a worthy Messiah because He can fulfill the role of Shepherd of all God’s sheep and not just one generation. Of what use would that be? Is not the Lord Redeemer of all Israel, and the world?
“And now says the LORD that formed Me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, and that Israel be gathered unto Him – for I am honorable in the eyes of the LORD, and My God is become My strength – Yea, He says: ‘It is too light a thing that You should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the offspring of Israel; I will also give You for a light of the nations, that My salvation may be unto the end of the earth.’ Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, His Holy One, to Him Who is despised of men, to Him Who is abhorred of nations, to a servant of rulers: Kings shall see and arise, princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the LORD that is faithful, even the Holy One of Israel, Who has chosen You” (Isaiah 49:5-7 JPS).
The Shepherd is the eternal Spirit Who came in the flesh as Messiah and returned in the Spirit to live within us, who are flesh too, to enable us to walk in God’s ways. Certainly Jesus Christ has fulfilled this promise. We are living proof! We do not need a concept taught by men of Messiah to prove what we now experience, because He is living within us! Why look for Christ to come again when He is already here?!
You are wrong that we do not need the blood of Christ to seal this new covenant God promised our fathers; it required blood to seal the foreshadowing covenant:
“And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said: ‘Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you in agreement with all these words’” (Exodus 24:8 JPS).
And while one may be forgiven certain things without sacrifices, without the shedding of blood there can be no ultimate atonement for our souls:
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar, to atone for your souls; for it is the blood which makes atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11 LITV).
Without blood, there is no atonement. That is what our God has taught us through the sacrifices He gave us to perform until He came and took away the physical Temple, replacing it with the Temple of His Body, in Which we now worship Him.
That was also when God fulfilled what Abraham foreshadowed by his obedience in offering his son, Isaac, as commanded by Him. By this act, God said Abraham became the father of many nations, which Christ has now fulfilled, as prophesied by Isaiah:
“I will also give You for a light of the nations, that My salvation may be unto the end of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6).
You have preferred your sacrifices to His, rejecting your God, just as Isaiah prophesied:
“He was despised and rejected by people. He was a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering. He was despised like one from whom people turn their faces, and we didn’t consider Him to be worth anything. He certainly has taken upon Himself our suffering and carried our sorrows, but we thought that God had wounded Him, beat Him, and punished Him. He was wounded for our rebellious acts. He was crushed for our sins. He was punished so that we could have peace, and we received healing from His wounds. We have all strayed like sheep. Each one of us has turned to go his own way, and the LORD has laid all our sins on Him” (Isaiah 53:3-6 GW).
Read the writings at Israel and the Jew, particularly Israel, Is Your God Unjust? There is also a correspondence with Ken Spiro (Misrepresenting the God of Israel), your colleague at Aish, in which he did not admit to, or take responsibility for, putting words in God’s Mouth. That is not good. Our remarks about Messiah have also been banned on Aish, which is not good. How can you expect good to result when you reject the sound and proven words of your God, yet claim to love and follow Him? He does not hold guiltless those who take His Name in vain.
I have answered the questions you have asked me. Most of the verses you have quoted are grossly out of context in every way. My refusal to accept what you claim to be G-dly truth has nothing to do with my desire to not see truth or to ignore or take out of context the word of G-d. It is simply because it isn’t there to be seen except by those who choose to interpret it a certain way.
I also don’t appreciate being accused or judged by you. You are not G-d. My sins are between me and G-d and how forgiveness is attained or properly atoned for that sin is also between me and G-d according to G-d’s ways, not your ways.
“You, in your sinful flesh, have put the Torah and the Law, as you perceive it in your corruption, in the place of God, serving that rather than Him. What a poor god that has been for you, as all idols are!”
I am no more a man and a sinner than you are Mr. Cohen and I have not corrupted the Torah or the Laws of it. My G-d is the G-d of Israel, not Jesus of Nazareth. Anyone with a strong background in Torah and the Prophets according to the plain meaning of the text would understand that they are not the same. Christianity claims to be the fulfillment of Judaism, just as Islam claims to replace Christianity, just as Bahaism replaces Islam and in the same way Buddhism is a replacement of Hinduism according to each of their doctrines. The idea of one belief superseding an older and unneeded way of doing things is not unique to Christianity and is hardly new to the world.
Yes, Paul of Tarsus did say that, even in direct contradiction to Jesus in Matthew 17-20
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish, but to fullfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and Earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.”
Jesus seems to be very fond of the idea of his followers keeping the law which would cause me to wonder, Why do Christians claim to be followers of Christ when most of their doctrine comes from the teachings of Paul? This is especially confusing considering Paul never knew Jesus, never met him. Jesus never appointed him as an Apostle of the Church outside of Paul’s “supernatural” experience on the road to Damascus. At what point does Paul supersede Jesus as the ultimate authority?
You also claim to have the authority to judge who is a “real Christian.” This is not uncommon among Christians. They all claim themselves as the one true Church and are constantly infighting with other Christians and their supposed superiority over each other. There are thousands of sects, organizations and denominations within Christianity which undermines any of them being credible.
The truth is, the only things we know about the historical Jesus of Nazareth come from the New Testament. There is no archeological or written manuscript evidence for the man outside of the Christian Bible. I am not saying he didn’t exist. Anyone with a following of almost 2 billion people had to have existed. All I am saying is that we don’t know much about his life.
The New Testament in and of itself is a very debatable text. We have none of the original manuscripts of the books of the NT. We have copies of copies at best and at most. We have no idea who wrote the Gospels. The only one believed to actually have been written by one of the historic apostles is the book of John. The other three are believed by most scholars to be written by people other than the claimed authors. We know even less of the origins of the epistles.
The New Testament was not the basis of the Christian faith until about 300 years after the life of Jesus. The Pagan emperor of Rome, Constantine, wished to unify his empire under a single faith and convened the Council of Nicea which is the council that voted on everything that Christians believe. They debated on the books of the New Testament canon. The rejected dozens of gospels in favor of four. Rejected dozens of epistles and books of acts. Rejected all the apocalypses except for Revelation, which made it into the canon by only one vote.
Paul, if men had to convene and debate on the divinity of Jesus and in the end they couldn’t agree in their creed whether or not he was G-d, son of G-d, the Messiah or a prophet, then why do you believe it? The beliefs you subscribe to do not originate from 33 C.E.(A.D.) in the life and death of Jesus, but in Nicea, a city in modern Turkey centuries later.
There existed many sects of Christianity before the Council of Nicea and many of them disagreed on the position of Jesus and his status. Many groups were wiped out or forbidden to teach after the Council of Nicea. After the council, the only existing branch of Christianity was Catholicism until the Orthodox schism and later the Protestant Reformation and so on and so forth. If you consider Catholic, Orthodox and Protestants not true believers, then where were people who believed like you in this 2,000 year period? New ideas, doctrines and sects and even cults are spawned from the NT all the time, that can hardly be said of the TaNaK.
The fact is that no modern church can trace it’s history and end up anywhere else than the Catholic Church. If Christians do no wrong, then how come it is Christians who have committed so much of the evil in this world? The Crusades, the Inquisition, the Hundred Year war, the burning of people who disagreed with doctrines, ect. I could go on and on. The Holocaust was perpetrated by baptized men in good standing with their respective Churches. Hitler himself professed belief in Jesus Mr. Cohen. Whether you like it or not or accept it or not, a man who believes in Jesus and depends on him for atonement and salvation is a Christian. Christians like Martin Luther, John Calvin, King Henry the 8th, the medieval Popes and Adolph Hitler all either advocated the persecution of Jews or committed persecution of Jews in the name of their deity who was born, lived and died as a Jew. Many modern Christians advocate the persecution of minorities both in the U.S. and other nations.
The idea that being a “true” Christian makes you sinless is the epitome of ludicrous. If you swear, steal something (even accidentally), take G-d’s name in blasphemy, have impure thoughts, lie, gossip. fornicate, covet another man’s wife or dozens of other things, it means you have sinned. What you are doing with this belief is relieving the responsibility you have for your own actions and leaving it up to G-d as if he were responsible for it.
“It is likely you have not met any Christians until now”
I have met many Mr. Cohen. I have exchanged emails, faxes, phonecalls and office visits with at least a dozen others who believe just like you and also just like you, have made vigorous attempts at evangelizing me using the same scriptures and concepts you have. Also, just like you, they all assumed they were the first Christian that I have met. Most of them also assume that I have not read the New Testament and I have. I have read it many times. Wrote papers, articles and learning materials from it and at the request of certain individuals and Churches, have taught classes on it from the Jewish perspective. Almost every Christian that has every tried to preach his to me assumed that if I had never heard “the truth” and that if I read the NT that I would know “the truth.” Apparently not.
Yes, I have read those sections on your website. As far as Rabbi Ken Spiro’s message, many Aish Ha-Torah employees have their e-mails changed many times and that may or may not be the explanation behind his not replying to your e-mail. Another possible explanation is that he no longer works for Aish Ha-Torah as there are many temporary positions within the organization.
Aish Ha-Torah does not allow missionizing groups to post on their website. Many people’s comments and remarks are restricted from the Aish website for many different reasons. The quotation Rabbi Ken Spiro gave you isn’t from the Torah. It’s from the source he cited just above it and there are other manuscript sources from the time, both Israelite and Canaanite that record this dialogue as a historical happening which is not recorded in the Torah. The mentioning of another tribe complying with the request and leaving is also historical. There is nothing inaccurate about what is written there, but it is not in the Torah and Rabbi Spiro admitted to that and his not replying to your contacting him doesn’t mean much of anything. It hardly means he has misrepresented the word of G-d as he admitted it wasn’t in the Torah. Many Aish Rabbis and employees will cease contact with someone if they believe that attempts to evangelize them are being pushed by the person contacting them. Your asking for a Bible verse after Rabbi Spiro explained that is wasn’t a Torah quote would be indicative of that.
I have tried very painstakingly to avoid being offensive, but regrettably, given the subject, it is almost impossible. I do not hate you or wish ill upon you Paul. I respect you very much and I can sense in all manner of the word that you are a true and passionate man of faith and surely G-d does use you for his purposes.
I will ask now that if you contact me from now on, please do not attempt to evangelize me. I am quite tired of it. Not only from you, but from many. Any email message that appears to be trying to convince me of the merit of what you believe will be ignored.
If, however, you have a question about Judaism or Jewish practice, I would be more than glad to help. That is my job, afterall.
At this point I will also ask that you do not post any of the substance of this conversation on your website as you have with Rabbi Spiro and other’s. If I do in fact find it on your website, appropriate legal action will be taken.
Ayal, you are not being honest or reasonable. You evade any truthful discussion by claiming I am trying to “evangelize” you. You say, “Any email message that appears to be trying to convince me of the merit of what you believe will be ignored.” Since the Law of God, His commandments, and His ways revealed to man are the basis of our conversation and judgment in the matters at hand regarding you, you are a hypocrite for saying you refuse to hear any more about it. You allow yourself to speak on these things without satisfactorily answering anything, and then stop your ears from hearing any further evidence proving your errors.
Do you truly prefer to die in your ignorance and stubborn stupidity?
I will clear things up; if not for you, then for others who will listen. I did not say you had corrupted the Torah, but that you have made it into a god. I am not accusing you of changing the texts. I am saying, however, that you do not understand them, which is to be expected of the natural man:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9 JPS).
The problem for you is that you presume to understand when you do not. I am not mistaken, am I, when I say that you do not declare to hear from God? Unless you do hear from Him, having intimate fellowship, how can you know His mind? Unless you know His mind, how can you understand His thoughts and ways, which is what the Scriptures are all about?
You deny, for example, that Paul heard from God, which he candidly declared that he had, and that he taught by the revelation of the One Who communed with and personally guided him. You act as if this is illegitimate because Paul had not known Christ in the flesh, but those who did know Christ in this manner, such as Peter, received Paul and readily acknowledged that his revelation was from the risen Lord, Who is God.
“And think of the long-suffering of our Lord as salvation (as our beloved brother Paul also has written to you according to the wisdom given to him as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable pervert, as also they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction)” (2 Peter 3:15-16 MKJV)
Peter accounted Paul’s epistles to be no different than the rest of the Scriptural writings, which is how they are treated to this day. And, as Peter said, you, as among those unlearned in the ways of God (having never heard from Him), are unstable and twist Paul’s words into something he never said. You destroy yourself by doing so. Why should I not tell you this? God would rather you repent and live.
Paul, contrary to your objection, did not say that the Law was finished. He said that righteousness by the Law was over for those submitted to the righteousness of God, because thereafter it is by His faith and righteousness that they fulfill It:
“Therefore do we nullify the Law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the Law” (Romans 3:31 EMTV).
By discounting Paul’s ministry from God, you also negate all others whom God has sent, as though only those alive in the days of Christ could have any validity as servants of the Most High. You are no different from your fathers, whom Stephen upbraided before they murdered him:
“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit! As your fathers did, so you do. Which of the prophets didn’t your fathers persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, of Whom you have now become betrayers and murderers. You received the Torah as it was ordained by angels, and didn’t keep it!” (Acts 7:51-53 HNV)
By your own standards you are a hypocrite, because you teach the Law of Moses, but you have not met Moses in the flesh. You also quote the words of Christ about fulfilling the Law, crediting His validity, but you deny what He says about you:
“Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you, Moses, in whom you trust. For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed Me, for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My Words?” (John 5:45-47 MKJV)
Nowhere did I say anything about expecting you to believe the Lord, whether by reading the Bible or by my letters. With our brother Stephen we have your number and know exactly what you are all about. Nevertheless, I will testify on behalf of God, by His grace, as Stephen did. The difference is that today, rather than shutting our mouths, the Lord God has determined to keep them open in order to destroy wicked men and liars like you.
Ken Spiro never denied his paraphrasing came from the Bible (though nothing of the sort of what he claimed is found there), as you now tell us. On the contrary, Ken declared that he did paraphrase from the Bible:
Shalom-You didn’t find it [IN THE BIBLE] because it’s not a direct quote. Here the quotation marks are used to imply dialogue rather than a actual quote from a text. i.e. it gives a different perspective to the narrative rather than just 3rd party description-something like a script in a play. I hope I’m making sense. In any case it’s just a literary way of summarizing what the Torah text has implied over and over again in Chumash (The Five Books of Moses) and Navi (The Books of the Prophets). If this isn’t clear let me know and I will try and explain it better. All the Best, Ken S.”
If you cannot see and perceive the very basic things people say, how can you presume to teach people the ways of God found in the TaNaK? You are a phony, just like Ken. Go ahead, slink away like he did, while adding threats of legal action, as if you have some kind of case. Why are you ashamed of your words? You are not, though you should be. You are ashamed of our words, which expose you.
Victor was thinking of contributing to the campaigns of which we received notification from Aish, targeted at hungry children in Israel and those with other needs. Now we see that you would use that money to sue us for speaking the truth to you. So Victor says, “Let the Jews show due diligence for their resources to their own people first.”
We are here to help you and the Jews by telling you that the root problem is that you are not right with your God. You crucified Him when He came in the flesh, and then persecuted His brethren that followed Him, who were your brothers in the flesh too. That has put you in your present predicament. You have conveniently forgotten about all your sowing, seeing it is so far in the past, so all you can do now is bitch about your reaping, which is here in the present.
We say to you, to Israel and the Jew: You are the ones who have sown for what you are getting. When you repent and turn to Him Whom you have rejected, things will begin to turn for you.
Ayal Yacobi, Victor Hafichuk here,
If there was an honest heart with you, there are so many things you simply would not and could not say in this, your April 6th 2008 letter to Paul Cohen, not to mention the former correspondence. Of course we know there cannot be genuine honesty with you because you do not have the new heart of flesh (available to those who believe, and by which they believe), of which Jeremiah and Ezekiel spoke by the Spirit of God, replacing the heart of stone and lawlessness.
We speak of no physical affiliation with God, Who is Spirit, and, therefore, we have nothing whatsoever to do with the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant organizations, who cause His Name to be blasphemed throughout the world. If you were to set aside your pride and arrogance (which has not been granted you) and read what God has done with us in Victor Hafichuk and Paul Cohen, along with so many writings we publish, you would truly find you are not justified to speak as you do to us. But surely you would find fault there too.
Why do you lump us in with Hitler and nominal Christians who use the Name of Jesus Christ for their ends? Does that not condemn you as a hypocrite, seeing you lump us in with hypocrites for advantage? Jesus Christ was not for persecution and never taught or encouraged others to persecute. His true disciples never did and do not persecute.
And, Ayal, if they have anything going for them of true heavenly spiritual substance, they do not sue in matters such as these and many others. Do you threaten us, as did the Jews in the past, using secular authorities to do your dirty work because you cannot stand in light of Truth? Are you so meager in spiritual substance that you can only use force to counter what we say to you? Of course, you are! Do you not prove to be the miserable spiritual wretch you are and as we say you are? Proud, threatening, mean-spirited man, posing as a man of God! Would Moses and the prophets of God sue someone? We know they would not, at least not with God’s sanction or blessing. No doubt your notion of Moses would.
Because we know God, we are not for persecution or evil toward any man. God (Jesus Christ) is not to blame for those who do evil in His Name. However, from the beginning, it was the Jews that were the persecutors of Christians and not Christians of Jews. You have forgotten or conveniently avoided to mention that fact. It was the Jews who crucified the Christ. It was the Jews who had Stephen, the first martyr of Christ, stoned, James beheaded and Saul of Tarsus, known as the apostle Paul, beheaded by Roman authorities. It was the Jews who rabidly, murderously pursued believers in the Messiah to the death, the Messiah you to this day say is not the Messiah (and surely, to you He is not). Since that time, the Jews have reaped many times what they sowed, as a kernel of wheat can produce 60 kernels or more, not from the hands of those they persecuted (true Christians) but from false Christians, as well as other peoples, such as Muslims.
You should have noticed that we are in support of Israel, and we deem the Jews to be the chosen of God in this world though they are in unbelief, even as prophesied they would be when brought back to their land. However, we harbor no illusions about their nature and expect no appreciation from them, if you could see.
It is no wonder that the Jews still face harm and evil throughout the world, particularly from Christian religions, Islam and Arabs, and those confederate with them. Though we stand with Israel, we see that the evils mounted against them are necessary, from the hand of God for their good. Jews need the suffering and they will receive all they need until their judgment is perfected.
What are you afraid of, Ayal? If you speak the truth, will the world not benefit to hear it? Obviously, you are afraid to be exposed and reticent to see published what you have to say to us in order for others to judge. Ask yourself why. Better still, ask God, seeing you presume to represent Him and teach others of Him and His will and ways.
We are not afraid or ashamed to have our words published, and if you should have a website or blog or whatever, you are more than welcome to post anything we say to you and to others, in entirety, with due credit, in context, and so forth. How is that for a demonstrations of the difference between your preference to darkness and covert activity and our willingness to be open and public? Does that not say it all? As Jesus said:
“And this is the condemnation, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who practices truth comes to the Light so that his works may be revealed, that they exist, having been worked in God” (John 3:19-21 MKJV).
Is this how you read Psalm 56:11?
“In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid of what man can do to me. I will sic my lawyers on him and they shall bring him down forthwith. I will not permit man to repeat what I say to him before others!”
Sue us, Ayal, as you threaten; persecute if you will, as your fathers did in all their insecurity and murderous hatred. It will not change our minds. We know whereof we speak and will speak. We intend to post all our correspondence with you and let the world know how wretched your existence and stance can be that you can only threaten. Wow! Is that your idea of “truth on the march”? Your friendly words to us are hypocritical, are they not? Here is something applicable Solomon had to say:
“The wicked flee when no man pursues; but the righteous are secure as a young lion” (Proverbs 28:1 JPS).
So here is the difference: You in your righteousness threaten to sue me, but I, in Christ’s righteousness, determine to stand with you as a Jew. And isn’t it interesting that while the Messiah laid down His life for your fathers, they, in their contradiction, took His from Him. So it was meant to be and so it remains to this day; like father, like son.
My correspondence with Paul Cohen is between me and Paul Cohen. It is not your business or concern. If Paul and I have an argument, I will deal with Paul. I do not need another e-mail detailing the exact same arguments that Paul presents from you.
I first contacted Paul about an error on the site. Nothing more and nothing less. He proceeded to ask questions and I proceeded to answer them. He was obviously displeased with what it is I happen to believe and proceeded to judge me as if it were his place.
When we were in Jerusalem and wanted to get a closer look at the Golden Gate, we naively approached it, not realizing we were disallowed from doing so. Some Arab Muslim boys came running up, quite agitated, if not indignant, and warned that we were trespassing. We withdrew.
Your reaction to my letter reminded me of that event in more than one way. They were immediately threatened, though we were not threatening. They were defensive about what? The dead? They were so consumed with their religious, cultural, and personal interests that they were oblivious to possible, valuable opportunities. They were not mindful of Truth.
There is, of course, a difference between these two circumstances. This time you approached our terrain, and we were not guarding the dead but presenting the Living. Instead of reacting as did those Muslim children, we greeted you and determined to share the goodness of God with you, which He has directed and ordained us to share. You have stumbled on the Stone of Israel.
Therefore, it is my business to talk to you, Ayal, and who are you to tell God where, when, how and why He should send His servants to speak? Indeed, the Scriptures are full of examples wherein He and His servants approached the ungodly and wayward (though they thought themselves to be quite pious – as do you) when they neither desired nor expected God to confront them, as with you.
Your response demonstrates abject poverty of spirit, a spiritual misery that resents all good. You fret against God while pretending to worship and serve Him. Where will that get you? Where does it get anyone to conduct himself as you do, bitter fellow?
Paul is not upset, but your darkened perception, your “evil eye” deceives you into thinking so. He brings you wholesome food and you judge him to be bringing poison. “He’s trying to kill me,” you surmise. Ayal, you are a religious fool. If Paul is displeased with you (and, nonpersonally, he is), it is because you are in darkness and sin, and, with God’s heart, he wants to see you out of there.
Of course, you don’t agree; we know that; we knew it from the very beginning. I say “we” because Paul and I are one in the Lord and share everything spiritual in Christ. And as you writhe at the approach of truth, so did the Jews of old. They were ready to stone Moses, whom you presume to honor, and you do the same as they. Isaiah they slew, Jeremiah they abused, along with so many other prophets before Christ, including “the voice of him that cries in the wilderness,” of whom they said, “He has a devil.” The Messiah they slew, and all His servants thereafter.
And we are here, sent of Him to tell you so, so don’t tell me it is none of my business. Let Paul say so, if it is so, but you are nobody to speak, Ayal. You have no authority, either with men or with God, and if you did have any with men, we would answer even as Peter and John answered the wicked Jewish authorities of their day:
“But Peter and John answered and said to them, Whether it is right before God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20 MKJV).
You criticize me for presenting the “exact same arguments” as Paul. As it is written, “Let everything be established by two or three witnesses.” But you don’t believe, and that is why you resist God and find fault.
You say Paul has proceeded to judge you “as if it were his place.” Announcement: It is his place, and you are being judged, righteously, with the full authority of God, by the speaking of Truth, which is what judges you.
Too bad for you if you resist, but very good for you if you don’t.
Ayal’s reply to Victor:
I have received both of your emails and have glanced them over. An email from me should appear in your inbox. It is a blank email that was sent on mistake and I apologize.
I am leaving for Israel with my family tomorrow. I will return on the 4th of May and will resume checking my email at that date or shortly after. I WILL reply to your messages then. If the 4th comes and goes and I have not responded to them, please, by all means send me a reminder and we will talk then.
No problem, Ayal. I look forward to it, and I hope your trip is good.
Ayal’s reply to Paul:
If I was being “Honest and Reasonable” in your eyes, I would have accepted Christ years ago. Unfortunately, in your eyes, I do not see things your way. Only Christians are going to see things your way.
“Since the Law of God, His commandments and ways revealed to man, are the basis of our conversation and judgment in the matters at hand regarding you, you are a hypocrite for saying you refuse to hear any more about it. You allow yourself to speak on these things without satisfactorily answering anything, and then stop your ears from hearing any further evidence proving your errors.”
Paul, I have heard the law from G-d in the books of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus and Deuteronomy. The only reason you wish to discuss the law is to put yourself in a position to witness to me as you believe you are called to do. I refuse to hear it for two reasons. One of which is because I already know it. The second, I know where this discussion will lead, Paul. I have seen it a number of times.
Hypocrisy is claiming to be a follower of Jesus and saying the hateful things and proclaiming these judgments which Jesus warned his followers about in the NT. I have heard all of the “evidence” I need to hear. Jesus told his followers not to judge and to love their neighbors and to pray for those that persecute them and to cast the first stone if you were without sin. Apparently you think you are without sin, because your casting a lot of stones my way buddy.
“I am saying, however, that you do not understand them, which is to be expected of the natural man:”
Are you not a natural man? Are you a higher being? Do you not sleep, breathe, walk, eat? The reference to Isaiah is irrelevant. It makes a distinction between man and G-d. G-d is not man and man is not G-d. This is evident in the following Biblical passages not including the one you have referenced.
God is not a man that He should lie, nor a mortal that He should change His mind. (Numbers 23:19)
And also the Eternal One of Israel will not lie nor change His mind; for he is not a man, that He should change His mind. (I Samuel 15:29)
Do not put your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no salvation! (Psalm 146:3)
“The problem for you is that you presume to understand when you do not. I am not mistaken, am I, when I say that you do not declare to hear from God”?
I presume to understand what I do, in fact, understand Paul. And I understand it because I have studied it with fervor my entire life. I never declared that I never hear from G-d. I have a wonderful relationship with G-d and I have no reason to be ashamed of that relationship.
“By your own standards you are a hypocrite, because you teach the Law of Moses, but you have not met Moses in the flesh. You also quote the words of Christ about fulfilling the Law, crediting His validity, but you deny what He says about you:”
No Paul, I am a hypocrite by YOUR standards, not the laws and certainly not G-d’s. You use the NT, which I do not accept, to validate your claims to me. I quoted it to you with the understanding that my point might get through because you accept it as binding. I quoted Jesus, I did not credit his validity. To quote someone is not to give their claims validity. I could quote Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kampf in the context of a dialouge, however, that would hardly be me crediting it’s validity, would it?
“The difference is that today, rather than shutting our mouths, the Lord God has determined to keep them open in order to destroy wicked men and liars like you.”
Paul, you know nothing about me other than what I have corresponded to you via e-mail. You deny your own faith and the teachings of Jesus by stating the above in quotations. “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Sound familiar? I have done nothing outside the teachings of my own faith which is based in the word of G-d. Yet you have constantly stepped outside of the boundaries of your own faith by judging me, Ken Spiro and others and slandering us, but you certainly have not “destroyed us.”
“We are here to help you and the Jews by telling you that the root problem is that you are not right with your God. You crucified Him when He came in the flesh, and then persecuted His brethren that followed Him, who were your brothers in the flesh too. That has put you in your present predicament. You have conveniently forgotten about all your sowing, seeing it is so far in the past, so all you can do now is bitch about your reaping, which is here in the present.”
I didn’t crucify anyone, Paul, this is really a ridiculous argument. I obviously was not there when the ROMANS, not Jews, crucified Jesus. Yet I doubt you have anything against modern Italians. The high priest Caiphas is the one who controlled the crowd who set Barrabas free. He was Rome’s stooge, nothing more. Jesus was a threat to Rome and their puppets, Caiaphas and Herod. Consider again that Caiphas and the few priests and elders that conspired with him had to do so in secret because the majority of the Jews in Jerusalem supported Jesus and held him as prophet.
Matthew 26: 3-4
“Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and THEY PLOTTED to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him.”
“And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy him, for they feared him, because ALL THE PEOPLE were astonished at his teaching.”
“And the Chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill him, for THEY FEARED THE PEOPLE.”
Matthew 26: 4-5
“And they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him. “But not during the feast [Passover].” they said, “or there may be a RIOT AMONG THE PEOPLE.”
“And they sought to lay hands on him, but FEARED THE MULTITUDE.”
“But they said “Not during the feast, lest there be an UPROAR OF THE PEOPLE.”
“They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were AFRAID OF THE CROWD because the people held that he was a prophet.”
Matthew 27: 20
“But the chief priests and the elders PERSUADED THE CROWD to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.”
Interesting is the fact that Jesus identified his killers.
“Then he took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. For he will be DELIVERED TO THE GENTILES [The Romans] and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. They will scourge him and kill him. And the third day he shall rise again.”
You claim that the Jewish people as a whole are guilty for the death of Christ. Your Bible doesn’t seem to agree with you. Funny that 9 out of 10 Jews living in what the Romans called Palestine at the time lived outside of Jerusalem and that 9 out of 10 Jews in the world lived outside of Palestine! So enlighten me, which Jews are guilty?
Interesting is the fact that Jesus also pleads with G-d to forgive the priests who lead the plot.
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
If G-d, which you believe was Jesus, has forgiven them, why can’t Christians? Why can’t his followers? Why can’t you?
I didn’t persecute any of the early Christians either Paul, I wasn’t around. Did it happen? In some instances, yes. Was I apart of it? Nope.
“You are no different than your fathers, whom Stephen upbraided before they murdered him”
Paul, your Jewish. They are your fathers too. This is a meaningless argument.
“so all you can do now is bitch about your reaping, which is here in the present.”
I’m not going to “bitch” to you and I haven’t. I also have not used obscene language with you, which is not appreciated. If we are going to debate then I would ask that you correspond to me as an adult with self control. If you can’t do that, then end your correspondence with me.
“Shalom-You didn’t find it because it’s not a direct quote. Here the quotation marks are used to imply dialogue RATHER THAN AN ACTUAL QUOTE FROM A TEXT. i.e. it gives a different perspective to the narrative rather than just 3rd party description-something like a script in a play. I hope I’m making sense. In any case again in Chumash (The Five Books of Moses) and Navi (The Books of the Prophit’s just a literary way of summarizing what the Torah text has implied over and over ets). If this isn’t clear let me know and I will try and explain it better. All the Best, Ken S.”
The quote in Rabbi Spiro’s article is from the Talmud which is a Jewish law compendium. It is confirmed by other historical sources. This leads to two conclusions. One, he didn’t lie. Two, He didn’t misrepresent Bible as he even admits it isn’t a Bible quote. So the word of G-d cannot possibly be claimed to be misrepresented here.
Again, by YOUR standards I am a phony. I am only a phony to you as long as I do not to see things the way you do, not the way they actually are. I could agree with you on every point of every letter of what you say and the only scrap of difference between us would be the identity of the messiah and you still would call me a phony because my mind, heart, soul, convictions and most importantly G-d are telling me things they obviously haven’t told you.
I haven’t slinked away, have I? The only real reason Rabbi Spiro won’t contact you is because he realizes it won’t go anywhere. You are set in your ways just as much as he is in his ways. If I find my words on your website without my permission I will have a case as that is illegal. I am not at all ashamed of my words. I have answered diligently all of your questions. If you have any, please, by all means, ask.
Why would I be ashamed of your words? They have absolutely no meaning to me and they haven’t exposed anything except flaws with your name on them. Hypocrisy, slander, ignorance and arrogance. All your flaws. None of them my doing, sir.
“Victor was thinking of contributing to the campaigns we received notification of from Aish, targeted at hungry children in Israel and those with other needs. Now we see that you would use that money to sue us for speaking the truth to you. So Victor says, ‘Let the Jews show due diligence for their resources to their own people first.’”
This goes clearly against the scriptures, both Jewish and Christian, you claim to understand to such an extant you draw the right to judge me and you have slandered the Jewish people many times in this email.
G-d said to Abraham “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you” Abraham’s descendants are us Paul! You and me. You have cursed the Jews and yourself many times in your message.
Let’s see what Jesus says…
Matthew 25: 40
“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”
Who were his bretheren Paul? The pagan Romans? They were and are Jews. Jesus was born to a Jewish mother. He lived practicing traditional Judaism. He died with a sign above his head reading “King of the Jews.”
Yet you decline to help them, using the argument I would use funds which are allocated for charity causes to sue you for posting this conversation, not for “speaking the truth.” I would have to use my own funds to lawsuit you, not Aish’s. You, a Jew, descent from Jews, who worships a Jew, suing the Jewish scriptures have so many horrible and vile things to say about us and our supposed “guilt.” Our offenses which we didn’t commit, the fact which is presented by the NT.
“We say to you, to Israel and the Jew: You are the ones who have sown for what you are getting. When you repent and turn to Him, Whom you have rejected, things will begin to turn for you.”
We make up 22% of Nobel prize winners. We are natives in our homeland for the first time in 2,000 years. All things written about us by the prophets are coming true, good and bad. We are free in most countries in the world to be who we are and to practice our faith. In lands that used to hate and slaughter us, we are free. Israel is responsible for 30% of new technologies. Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population of any country. We have a disproportionally powerful army, which was also foretold by scripture. Jews occupy high places in world governments. Whatever it was we sewed, it hasn’t lead us to anything bad, which is what you seem to be implying. Truly, Jews are better off now than we have ever been. Thanks to the grace of G-d.
Paul, we will never agree on these issues unless one of us comes to know G-d. Obviously you think that person has to be me as I contend that it must be you. Niether one of us will budge. In the end of days, the messiah will appear in Jerusalem, when the world lays eyes on him, one of us will have some adjustments to make. Until that time, there isn’t any sense in arguing over it now.
Obviously I have upset you and for that I am sincerely sorry, but just because I will not accept your views does not give you the right to be harsh with me and cast judgements and criticisms at me. I will be criticised by G-d and myself. Again, I apologize.
As I mentioned in my previous email, you are more than welcome to ask any questions you like that are not geared towards my believing in Jesus.
Regards and best wishes,
Ayal, once again you are way off base. Nobody here hates you. We are simply telling you the truth that God has shown us. You, on the other hand, have not told us anything from God; all we hear are your opinions. It is also you who hate us, though you are feigning friendliness. If you did not hate us you would not be feeling hate and projecting it on to us, accusing us of it.
You say you have worked hard at your religion studying the TaNaK. Fine, so have Catholic monks and Luther. So have other Jews that disagree with you. Does that make any of you right? Obviously not. Indeed, you are all found to be fighting against God Himself. Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters” (Matthew 12:30 EMTV).
According to your description of Jesus, you must count Him a great hypocrite for judging the Pharisees, Sadducees, lawyers and scribes. You are familiar with the Bible and must know about Matthew 23, for example. Your appeal, therefore, to a non-judgmental Christ does not correspond to the reality of His appearing and how He would come, foretold by your prophets:
“But who can endure the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap” (Malachi 3:2 MKJV).
What Jesus commanded was righteous judgment, the kind that He exercised. He came to make the way for us to do the same once we have been judged. We had no part in His choosing us for this privilege; He simply did it for us. He would not be our Savior otherwise:
“You are My witnesses, says the LORD, and My servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He; before Me there was no God formed, neither shall any be after Me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside Me there is no Savior” (Isaiah 43:10-11 JPS).
Obviously you are caught in a dilemma. If the servants will be as their Master, then the servants of Christ will also address the religious haters of God with rebuke and direct words. Furthermore, Jesus not only addressed them, but on one occasion He even physically “escorted” them out of the Temple.
“And having made a scourge out of cords, He drove them all out of the Temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and He poured out the coins of the moneychangers, and He overturned the tables. And He said to those selling the doves, ‘Take these things away from here! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!’ Then His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘The zeal for Your house will consume Me’” (John 2:15-17 EMTV).
Your interpretation of Jesus’ definition of “not judging” is obviously wrong, Ayal. Of course there needs to be judgment, and the Lord raises up His servants, just as He was sent, to accomplish it. The zeal of His house has also consumed us, because we are His flesh and bone. You await the Messiah in Jerusalem, but we tell you He is here, now; you are hearing from Him.
You are being stupidly stubborn regarding Ken Spiro’s erroneous teaching. If you are going to argue his case, then why don’t you simply answer the many Scriptures I gave both of you that contradict his paraphrasing and what you characterize (Ken never said this) as coming from the Talmud? I have shown that, without a doubt, the Scriptures say the very opposite of what Ken reports, so his source, whether it is the Talmud or whatever other historical sources you refer to, speaks lies. I know the Scriptures are true, but apparently you and Ken do not. The problem is that you say you believe them. Therefore you are both liars.
Contrary to what you say, Ken does insist that what he reported is “implied” in the Torah. He is plainly wrong as are you, and, rather than admit it, both of you avoid answering the texts I provided you with from the posting on Ken Spiro. You have agendas other than the Truth.
We are willing to consider your request not to publish our correspondence with you. First, a question for you: If you believe you have fully justified your stance in your answers (which we would publish in full), exposing us as the ones in error and wrong, why are you against everyone being able to see it? Do you not wish for people to hear the truth? We want to hear your answer before we decide.
You say, in response to what I told you about things turning for the Jews when they turn to God:
“Truly, Jews are better off now than we have ever been. Thanks to the grace of G-d.”
I understand that things are presently better than during the Holocaust or pogroms in Eastern Europe, but are not your sights set very low when you are comparing to such? And is not your mode of measurement worldly? Is Israel to be measured by men, with their Nobel Prizes, or by God, according to what He finds valuable and worthwhile? Surely you are using this wicked world and the things in it for approval and verification without thought for the greater things of God. That is Israel’s main problem today. You, as one professing the God of Israel, should know and practice better.
In looking to this world, what do we see, and what further rewards can be expected for Israel and the Jew? We see Israel, after many years of wars and threatenings from without, in greater danger than ever from the Islamic militancy of its neighbors, who are flush with cash and burning with desire for their caliphate and the removal of Israel. We see the world siding with the Arabs and Muslims against Israel, with even the United States in its “war on terror” decidedly unabashed in restraining Israel in favor of its relationship with the oil-rich who seek your destruction.
With Israel at the center of attention, and increasingly seen as the culprit and the cause of the world’s problems, we also see anti-Semitism on the rise in all those places you say the Jews are doing so well, including the United States.
And that which threatens without is not nearly the worst thing. The worst enemy is within. The Jews are divided, without the singleness of mind or purpose that is the natural and blessed state of those whose God is the Lord (happy are they, David writes in Psalm 144). In Israel you have the haredi sucking up the resources of the state while not pitching in and doing their fair share, like serving in the military. What a wretched testimony of the God of Israel, Whom they claim to worship!
Despite all these things, God has raised up Israel, a testimony of His faithfulness and work, not man’s. He has chosen the Jews from the beginning to testify of His faithfulness and work, not yours. He will yet fulfill His promise, bringing Israel back to Himself, which is His work, not yours. Because He lives in us, it is our work, too. We are His Message to Israel. You can deride and dismiss us, but to do so is entirely foolish of you. We are your saviors (Obadiah 1:21; Nehemiah 9:27).
Ayal, contrary to your wishes and judgment (yes, you are judging us) I, Victor, will reply for Paul, and follow the format of your letter, primarily to correct your false notions and erroneous assumptions. Can you handle it? We’ll see.
“Accepting Christ” is not what it is all about. Who do you think you are that you are in any position to accept Him, as though He needs you? He gives to whom He will and you obviously are not one to whom He chooses to give, yet we speak for His sake, as His chosen vessels of honor to His chosen vessel of dishonor.
Neither does “accepting Christ” have anything to do with being honest and reasonable. It has nothing to do with man’s righteousness or virtue or reasoning. Man, outside of God, is quite bereft of any of these, but, if having any, God’s alone counts anyway. We did not believe because we were honest or reasonable. We believed because He chose to reveal Himself to us; it is that simple. Contrary to your accusations, we cannot make you believe; we know that and we are not trying to do otherwise, believe it or not. Yet we shine the light, as sons of Light, like it or not.
It is not only in our eyes that you do not see things our way. It is in God’s eyes. As for Christians, you have no idea what a Christian is because you are not one yourself, which is the only way one can know. Almost all Christians disagree with us even as do you Jews and Muslims.
You have red the Law (presumably), but you have not heard It from the Lawmaker’s lips, Ayal. We have, and while you claim to be familiar with It, you despise It. How do we know? We know the Lawmaker, against Whom you are contrary in all your ways.
Quitting on me yet (if you even started after seeing my name)?
You say you have seen this approach and direction of conversation before? You have seen falsehood and proselytization in the Name of Jesus Christ, but you have not heard us or the Truth that we know. We cannot take your word for it that you have for two reasons: 1) to hear the Truth is a rare occasion indeed and 2) you are in no place to judge.
Paul casts no stones and says nothing hateful whatsoever to you. As I said in my response, your evil heart interprets it that way, and the prophet says:
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those wise in their own eyes, and bright in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21 MKJV)
Isaiah was speaking of you, Ayal. And now you falsely accuse us of evil. The apostle Paul said this to some, and we repeat his words to you:
“So then did I become your enemy speaking to you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16 MKJV)
Foolish man that you should make enemies of friends and arrogantly dismiss them as though they were garbage. Could it be that is why Jews have been thus treated all over the world, Ayal? Think about it. In so many words, the prophets say so. When will you learn?
Jesus did not say to not judge. That is a common fallacy (not that you know anything of the meaning of anything He said). He did say:
“Do not judge according to sight, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24 MKJV).
He has given us to do so, and who are you to judge whether He has or has not? Are you judging after the appearance? Listen to His words and stop distorting and using them against us in false judgment, contradicting yourself.
The prophets were not without sin, yet they came “casting stones.” To Isaiah, for instance, God said:
“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a horn, and declare unto My people their transgression, and to the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1 JPS).
Jesus was condemning living with and in sin while preaching to others. He spoke of motive. We are not living in sin. He has delivered us from it. The prophets were not living in sin. They were not living in hypocrisy, as do you. What Isaiah was commissioned to do is exactly what we are doing with you, by God’s authority, and you have no way of judging whether we do so by Him or not. It does not matter. Your judgment is here, nonetheless, because He has sent us.
Isaiah goes on to describe you and your presumption to have heard from Him:
“Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways; as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God, they ask of Me righteous ordinances, they delight to draw near unto God. ‘Wherefore have we fasted, and You see not? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and You take no knowledge?’ – Behold, in the day of your fast you pursue your business, and exact all your labors. Behold, you fast for strife and contention, and to smite with the fist of wickedness; you fast not this day so as to make your voice to be heard on high” (Isaiah 58:2-4 JPS).
Well, Ayal, you have heard and are hearing from Him, and we are in His stead for your sake. How is that? Unsatisfactory? Too bad. And we speak because He loves you; in Him, we love you too. Therefore, we do not build relationships at the cost of speaking the Truth. We speak at the cost of friends, that people might know the Truth and be reconciled to God. Now that is true love, and not the bullshit you talk about, “stone-casting buddy.” (Excuse the “obscene” language for religiously pious, sensitive ears – call it uncastrated adult male bovine excrement, okay, hypocrite?)
You ask Paul, “Are you not a natural man?” While we live in our earthly bodies, we have nevertheless received that new heart of flesh of which Jeremiah, Ezekiel and others spoke, and which Paul the apostle experienced and spoke of others having as well:
“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:14-16 MKJV).
We have an intimate relationship with God, of which you know nothing yet oppose with words of pride, presumption and gross ignorance you call knowledge. Fight all you want, Ayal; you can’t and won’t win. As it is written:
“For as the rain comes down and the snow from heaven, and returns not thither, except it water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, and give seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, except it accomplish that which I please, and make the thing whereto I sent it prosper” (Isaiah 55:10-11 JPS).
What pride, self-righteousness, and foolish, false claim you make here (and you know it too):
“And I understand it because I have studied it with fervor my entire life. I never declared that I never hear from G-d. I have a wonderful relationship with G-d and I have no reason to be ashamed of that relationship.”
We know you have not heard from God; neither have you ever had a relationship with Him. Rejecting His Messiah, how can you? But regardless of whether you agree as to the Messiah or not, you still know your declarations are bald-faced lies. Isn’t that so, Ayal?
When Paul called you a hypocrite in your use of Jesus’ words for believers (fully understanding that quoting Him is not giving Him or His words validity), Paul was primarily pointing out that while you call on us to believe and obey Jesus (we do, and you have no way of knowing), you do not believe and obey Moses, whom you claim to believe. This we know because Moses testified of Jesus and we know them both. Moses is our brother, of like spirit, and we together honor the Anointed One. While you have affinity with the historical Moses in the penis (is that obscene for Ayal?) and the blood, we have (present tense) affinity with him in the heart and spirit. As Jesus said:
“Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you, Moses, in whom you trust. For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed Me, for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My Words?” (John 5:45-47 MKJV)
You deny that the Jews were responsible for the crucifixion of the Messiah, saying:
“Interesting is the fact that Jesus identified his killers.
‘Then he took the twelve aside and said to them, Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. For he will be DELIVERED TO THE GENTILES [The Romans] and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. They will scourge him and kill him. And the third day he shall rise again.’”
Yours is a foolish, defensive and ignorant argument, and a perversion of the Scriptures. Just who do you think DELIVERED Him, anyway? As it is written:
“But Pilate answered them, saying, Do you desire that I release to you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered Him because of envy” (Mark 15:9-10 MKJV).
Pilate publicly declared, “I find no fault in this man” (Luke 23:4), trying to release Jesus. The response? Was it the Romans? Let’s see:
“And they [the chief priests and those with them – Jews] were the more fierce, saying, He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place” (Luke 23:5 MKJV).
Finally, the Roman governor capitulated, washing his hands of the execution:
“Pilate said to them, What then shall I do with Jesus, Who is called Christ? They all said to him, Let Him be crucified. And the governor said, Why? What evil has He done? But they cried out the more, saying, let Him be crucified! But when Pilate saw that it gained nothing, but rather that a tumult was made, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person. You see to it. Then all the people answered and said, Let His blood be on us and on our children” (Matthew 27:22-25 MKJV).
With their own mouths, they declared it. Little did the Jews know the price of that blood on them and on their children!
Peter stood up on the Feast of Shavuot, when Jesus returned in Spirit and said this to the Jews:
“Men, Israelites, hear these words. Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by powerful works, and wonders and miracles, which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know, this One given to you by the before-determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken and by lawless hands, crucifying Him, you put Him to death; Whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it” (Acts 2:22-24 MKJV).
Another record (of many):
“And at that time Herod the king threw on his hands to oppress some of those of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he went further to seize Peter also. (And they were days of Unleavened Bread.)” (Acts 12:1-3 MKJV).
“After these things Jesus walked in Galilee, for He did not desire to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him” (John 7:1 MKJV).
John 11:43-48 MKJV
(43) And saying these things, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, Here! Outside!
(44) And he who had died came out, bound hand and foot with sheets, and his face was bound with a cloth. Jesus said to them, Untie him and let him go!
(45) Then many of the Jews who came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him.
(46) But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
(47) Then the chief priests and Pharisees gathered a sanhedrin, and said, What can we do? For this man does many miracles.
(48) If we let him alone this way, all will believe on him. And the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.
You are full of lies, Ayal, denying the precious blood of the Lamb slain for your sins. It does not and will not go well for you until you acknowledge that you have killed Him. Yes, you were there and Jesus says so:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets, and decorate the tombs of the righteous, and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Therefore you are witnesses to yourselves, that you are the sons of those who killed the prophets; and you fill up the measure of your fathers. Serpents! Offspring of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:29-33 MKJV)
“O stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so you do. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you have now been the betrayers and murderers; who received the Law through disposition of angels, and did not keep it” (Acts 7:51-53 MKJV).
You write: “Interesting is the fact that Jesus also pleads with G-d to forgive the priests who lead the plot.”
Ayal, I thought you said the Romans were responsible? “Oh, what a tangled web we weave….”
‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’
If G-d, which you believe was Jesus, has forgiven them, why can’t Christians? Why can’t his followers? Why can’t you?”
“Christians,” as you know them, have forgiven nobody. We can say that because you lump us in with your broad definition of them, to which we do not belong. True Christians forgive not only Jews but all men. We harbor no evil toward any man. When Paul spoke of destroying liars, he spoke as did Ezekiel:
“And the appearance of the vision which I saw was like the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city; and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face” (Ezekiel 43:3 JPS).
Was Paul angry when he spoke? I have little doubt he was, and you are stubborn, stupid, ignorant, and provocative. This does not mean we condemn you, but the Word spoken, which we have been given, is destroying and will destroy you, and your refuge of lies will be swept away:
Isaiah 28:15-19 JPS
(15) Because you have said: ‘We have made a covenant with death, and with the nether-world are we at agreement; when the scouring scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us; for we have made lies our refuge, and in falsehood have we hid ourselves’;
(16) Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a costly corner-stone of sure foundation; he that believes shall not make haste. [Victor’s note: The Messiah is that Stone.] (17) And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding-place.
(18) And your covenant with death shall be disannulled and your agreement with the nether-world shall not stand; when the scouring scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it,
(19) As often as it passeth through, it shall take you; for morning by morning shall it pass through, by day and by night; and it shall be sheer terror to understand the message.
In that way are you destroyed, even as manure is changed to wholesome compost – out of the anus and into the mouth. Right now, there is nothing good from your mouth, but there will be. As it is written:
“And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the basilisk’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:8-9 JPS).
“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD, I will put My law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people; and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying: ‘Know the LORD’; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:33-34 JPS).
Ayal, we smite you, but hear Solomon out:
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are importunate” (Proverbs 27:6 JPS).
You are our enemy, and any words of friendship coming forth from you are feigned and we know it; you don’t fool us. As it is written:
Psalms 14:1-7 JPS
(1) For the Leader. A Psalm of David. The fool has said in his heart: ‘There is no God’; they have dealt corruptly, they have done abominably; there is none that does good.
(2) The LORD looked forth from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any men of understanding, that did seek after God.
(3) They are all corrupt, they are together become impure; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
(4) ‘Shall not all the workers of iniquity know it, who eat up My people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD?’
(5) There are they in great fear; for God is with the righteous generation.
(6) You would put to shame the counsel of the poor, but the LORD is his refuge.
(7) Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When the LORD turns the captivity of His people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.
On the other hand, these, our words which you consider to be stones thrown for evil, are words of friends, true and faithful friends. We have been granted that salvation come out of Zion; our captivity is turned within and we speak sure knowledge from Him.
Yes, you are right – Paul too was there in his fathers, handing over the Messiah to the Romans. It was, as Peter said, the will of God, and but for that death, we would be without hope. The Lamb sacrifice was for the sins of the Jews, otherwise they would retain their sins, to their destruction.
Paul Cohen has been granted mercy and forgiveness. God has met and delivered him. Now, God would have us together bear witness to Him and His salvation.
The Scriptures also testify that, in essence, not only did the Jews slay the Messiah, all men did so, because all have sinned, and the Messiah came as a propitiation for sins not only for the Jews’ sake, but for all:
“Yea, He says: ‘It is too light a thing that You should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the offspring of Israel; I will also give You for a Light of the nations, that My salvation may be unto the end of the earth’” (Isaiah 49:6 JPS).
Therefore, all men are responsible for His death and I too was there, driving the spikes into His hands. The Jews fulfilled their role as proxy for all mankind. In the great scheme of things, His scheme, it is all good. We bear no ill will toward anyone, Ayal, contrary to appearance or your perceptions.
Don’t call us liars in this, as you are inclined to do. We tell you the truth.
“I’m not going to ‘bitch’ to you and I haven’t. I also have not used obscene language with you, which is not appreciated. If we are going to debate then I would ask that you correspond to me as an adult with self control. If you can’t do that, then end your correspondence with me.”
Obscene? Dictionaries we have don’t categorize the word, “bitch,” as we use it – as obscene. The question is why you take issue. I can think of two reasons: 1) to display your righteousness, which is not righteousness; 2) you seek an excuse to escape exposure of your false righteousness, laying the onus on us. Have snot all over your face, track manure into the house, and condemn us for a speck of lint on our lapel? We’re onto you.
As for the lawsuit, given the arguments you present, implying, if not declaring, you have little problem with our or your words, why threaten us with a suit? Pride? Truth? Dreams of publishing? Publish away, Ayal, our words included, provided it is the correspondence between us. I don’t even care if you make money on it. Give it to the poor in Israel, and give the poor in Israel your lawsuit funds too. What do you mean it is out of your pocket and not theirs? Are you telling me that if you pay a lawyer to do something vain instead of helping them that it doesn’t come out of their pockets? What a self-righteous fool you are! Your speech is identical to Cain’s: “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
As to our speech on Jews, we bless them and do not slander them, and you know it. How you choose to interpret our words is for the purpose of serving yourself at the cost of Jews everywhere. You are the one that slanders them by falsely accusing us.
Don’t see yourself as a brother of Jesus Christ. We are His brethren; you are not. Here is what Jesus had to say to such as you, and we speak with Him:
John 8:42-47 MKJV
(42) Jesus said to them, If God were your father, you would love Me, for I went forth and came from God; for I did not come of Myself, but He sent Me.
(43) Why do you not know My speech? Because you cannot hear My Word.
(44) You are of the Devil as father, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and did not abide in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it.
(45) And because I tell you the truth, you do not believe Me.
(46) Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do you not believe Me?
(47) He who is of God hears God’s Words. Therefore you do not hear them because you are not of God.
You say we go against Scripture in this matter of judging your spending? My insistence that you, as a people, use your resources for good before receiving or expecting more from man or God is no different from expecting my child to finish what is on his plate before giving him more, or a government giving grants provided people are responsible. There is wisdom to that, something you have little use for.
“Obviously I have upset you and for that I am sincerely sorry, but just because I will not accept your views does not give you the right to be harsh with me and cast judgements and criticisms at me. I will be criticised by G-d and myself. Again, I apologize.”
You have not upset Paul, or surprised him; neither has he cursed or condemned you, or unduly criticized you; nor have I.
You presume to teach others? Don’t you have much to learn first?
I certainly feel hated. Regardless of whether I am or not, the thought and feeling of it has not eluded me. “You Jews are reaping what you have sewn,” is a classic staple of hateful sayings about us. Put yourself in my shoes, what would you think?
You are telling the “truth” that you claim G-d has shown you and you attempt to convey this truth to me and I just can’t see it! I have tried, I really have. You make it sound so simple and it just isn’t. I can’t see any evidence for what you believe or for this “truth” that G-d has shown you. Regardless of whether it is the testimony of how your life has been changed by your faith or scriptural references, I just can’t see it. I do, however, see plenty of evidence for what I believe and that is why I continue to believe what it is I believe. I can feel the truth of G-d in my heart and for that I need no other evidence.
I never claimed to hate you or your friend, Victor. How you would draw that conclusion is beyond me. I am curious as to your beliefs and I disagree with you and yes, I have been offended by you, but I certainly don’t hate you. If I hated you, why would I continue to answer your emails? If you hate someone, you want nothing to do with them.
Yes, I have worked very hard at studying my faith and where it comes from. Yes, of course other people have studied the TaNaK and disagree with me and I am not saying it makes me right. It doesn’t mean they or you are right either.
My description of Jesus comes right from the Christian scriptures. I did not count him as a hypocrite, I did, however, accuse you of hypocrisy. Whether Jesus is someone who is fit to judge according to your theology is one thing, however, Jesus consistently gives his followers the commands not to judge.
The reference of the prophet Malachi is to the Messiah and if you read further into the passage and into Malachi 3: 3-4 we find the prophet speaking of this coming messenger who will play a significant part in the Temple service in the end times. I’ll quote below.
“He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver, until they present offerings to the L-rd in righteousness. Then shall the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the L-rd as in the days of old and as in the ancient days.”
Yes, I agree that this is a messianic prophecy passage, but I can’t find anywhere in the New Testament when Jesus did any of the above highlighted things. These are obviously references to the Temple worship which, as I understand, you and most Christians believe ended with Jesus! Yet in this passage, we find that the Messiah will restore Temple worship, not end it.
The passage you cite from earlier in chapter 3 of Malachi is speaking to G-d’s righteousness that will come with his anointed, his messiah. People will realize their wicked ways and repent and worship the one G-d of Israel and will be refined and purified. This has clearly not happened as there are still many pagan and idolatrous faiths in existence.
The passages of Malachi 3:5-6 are interesting as well.
5.) “And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers; and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, saith the G-d of hosts.”
According to the Gospels, Jesus did in fact do some, but not all of the mentioned things above. A logical question crosses my mind in wondering why these judgments have not stood and have not lasted? Yes, Jesus condemned adulterers and false swearers, but he died and did not continue in any type of Earthly judgment. Yes, people of this category will be judged in the next life, but why did the Messiah not carry these things on?
On to Malachi 3:6
“For I G-d change not; and ye, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.”
This is the shortest of the passages that I have cited, yet it clearly says the most. G-d does not change, yet G-d appears to have changed quite a bit according to the Christian scriptures. G-d never refers to himself as Jesus in the TaNaK and never refers to the Messiah as being a “son of G-d.” If anyone is the “son” of G-d is a physical sense, it is Israel!
Exodus 4:22 “Thus says the L-rd: Israel is my first-born son.”
The second part of the passage which reads “and ye; Oh sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” This is verse 6 of chapter 3 following verse 5, implying that the sons of Jacob [Israelites or Jews] will not be consumed by the wrath of G-d as what is being refereed to is a judgment against the Gentiles. This is not to say that G-d withholds judgment from Israel, but that is not what is being refereed to here.
There are two problems wrong with the citation of Isaiah 43:10-11. Firstly, The servant being refereed to here are the Jews. Israel is constantly identified as the servant of G-d in the book of Isaiah. The second problem revolves around the fact that judgment is not mentioned here at all, much less the command or “privilege” to judge righteously. To witness, as Isaiah puts it, is not in any way to judge, although it can mean to warn of G-d’s judgment, but it hardly gives men the right to judge other men as only G-d is qualified to judge the souls of men. Throughout Isaiah, Israel is told to witness to the nations the concept of one creating and redeeming G-d. The prophet Jonah is a prime example of this and he carried G-d’s message of repentance and holiness to Assyrians in Nineveh.
My interpretation has nothing to do with the actions of Jesus as it does the actions of his followers especially in light of his teachings.
If the zeal of his house has consumed you, why do Christians bear no affinity for the holy Temple? Even though I mean this in no offense, I must ask, why should I recognize Christians as G-d’s messengers as servants? Why should I recognize people who have and do persecute me? How can you recognize as servants of G-d, men who persecute? This is not a reference to you, Paul, but throughout history, men who look to Jesus Christ for salvation have slaughtered us, have slaughtered the very people of G-d and the people to which their savior was born and to which all of his first followers and disciples were born. I understand you see a major difference between yourself and the men who committed the Crusades, Inquisition and Pogroms and so on, but it is a distinction that is harder to see for me.
“Because we are his flesh and bone.” Is this to say that you are a part of G-d or vice versa? Again, I mean no offense, I am simply asking a question.
“You are being stupidly stubborn regarding Ken Spiro’s erroneous teaching. If you are going to argue his case, then why don’t you simply answer the many Scriptures I gave both of you…”
I have addressed those later in this message and I have yet to see any answers in regards to the dozen or so New Testament scriptures I gave you in contradiction to some of the things you said in your last email regarding Jesus and the Jews. Do not hold me to a standard you yourself will not follow.
“Contrary to what you say, Ken does insist that what he reported is ‘implied’ in the Torah. He is plainly wrong, as are you, and, rather than admit it, both of you avoid answering the texts I provided you with. You have agendas other than the Truth.”
Even after he said that it was paraphrase and not a direct quote, you still proceeded to ask him for a specific verse! Did you do so knowing he wasn’t going to give you one, especially in light of the fact that he TOLD YOU that it wasn’t from a Bible verse. And what he said is implied in the Torah towards the treatment of strangers. Are Caananites not strangers to the Israelites? Again, you presume that we “have agendas other than the truth.”
Rabbi Spiro says in his message that it is a paraphrase of Torah text. Let me provide an example:
“When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens. You shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:33-34)
Jews have a Torah and ethical mandate to think about strangers and to insure that each is treated as would any one else in the land. Thirty-six times the Torah references the Exodus from Egypt as an ethical basis for insuring the proper treatment of the stranger. The Torah does not detail an evaluation of how the person may have gotten in the land, who the person might be, or where they might settle. Quite the opposite in fact, the Torah teaches that strangers are equal in God’s eyes to citizens and that every citizen of the land must be mindful of their own behavior to make sure they are not contributing to any wrongdoing against the ‘stranger.’ This is the paraphrasing Rabbi Spiro was talking about.
You are absolutely right! Rabbi Spiro never did mention the Talmudic reference and I never claimed that he did. It is mentioned in the Talmud and that is the only reason I made mention of it, not because I was trying to claim that Rabbi Spiro mentions it in his article.
“I have shown that, without a doubt, the Scriptures say the very opposite of what Ken reports, so his source, whether it is the Talmud or whatever other historical sources you refer to, speaks lies.”
Yes, but Leviticus 19 would obviously disagree with your thesis that the people of Israel would not have asked them to leave in peace. The other 35 references to the treatment of Gerim [Strangers] would also disagree with you especially when most of these references are in regard to strangers IN THE LAND. Yes, G-d did command the Israelites to destroy the inhabitants IN THE LAND, but we have absolutely now reason to believe that BEFORE G-d gave these commands that the people of Israel would not have attempted to send an envoy to them and ask them to leave. We have no reason to believe this didn’t happen. Historical documents and Scripture don’t necessarily deny each other. I believe with the wholeness of my heart in the scriptures Paul. The Torah, the Prophets, the Psalms and Proverbs, it is all the direct word of a living and breathing G-d. I cannot speak for Rabbi Spiro, and neither can you, but I have no doubt of the validity of the scriptures.
Don’t be so presumptuous as to tell me what I believe or don’t believe. G-d gives strict warnings about acting presumptuously in his Torah. Do not also be so presumptuous as to claim me a “liar” because of my belief in the Torah. If you could tell me what I believe we wouldn’t have any disagreement with regard to the messiah, would we?
The answer to your question is simple. It is a personal correspondence between you and me. It is a simple matter of privacy (not to mention courtesy). Even when I correspond with Jews whom I have no theological differences with, I would still ask that they not post it. I was very unhappy when I began receiving messages from your friend, Victor. It has nothing to do with truth, which I don’t believe is being espoused on your website anyhow. Am I to believe that you would post our correspondence if I were able to prove you wrong? I doubt you would. The truth of G-d is taught, it isn’t learned via looking at peoples emails and infringing upon their privacy.
The whole basis of everything Israel has been able to do is from G-d, Paul. Israel’s rebirth was not a doing of the Zionist movement. It was foretold by prophets CENTURIES ago. The recapture of Jerusalem in 1967 was also foretold as was the massive influx of the sons of Israel from around the globe. All things that Israel and Jews are doing and are able to do is G-d’s doing. That was exactly my point Paul.
Jews are united only in their observance of Torah and the law only and lack of this observance of law is what causes our suffering. Throughout our history, G-d has always commanded us to be united in observance of his laws. When we are not united in his ways, he usually sends us hints. This proves true in today just as much as it did thousands of years ago. Israel has suffered under wicked men and prospered under better men. Jews must learn and live by the Torah and only in that, will we be unified. Israel’s redemption is all about this process.
“You can deride and dismiss us, but to do so is entirely foolish of you. We are your saviors.”
G-d is our savior, Paul. Only G-d can save Jews or Gentiles. Only G-d can bring redemption. Only G-d can give atonement. Only G-d can judge man. Only G-d rules the heavens and the earth.
“You are My witnesses, says the LORD, and My servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He; before Me there was no God formed, neither shall any be after Me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside Me there is no Savior” (Isaiah 43:10-11 JPS).
I will be in Israel for the next few weeks for Passover so don’t be suprised if it seems to take a long time for me to reply to any subsequent email you send. I will be home on Sunday, May 4th and then or shortly after I will be answering email again.
You say you feel hated by us, but we have told you we do not hate you. God, through His holy prophets, says that you cannot trust your feelings. Unless you have been given the new heart from above (which you have not), this is His description of your heart and of how accurate it is:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceeding weak – who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 JPS)
Victor and I have had our hearts circumcised by God through Christ, and therefore we cannot hate you. It does not change things one bit for us that you disagree with us. Remember, the One Who lives in us laid down His life for you and your fathers while you were taking it from Him. Therefore how can we hate you when He clearly does not? What love is greater than His, which is not as man’s love and is unconquerable?
What is happening is that we are telling you the Truth, which feels like hatred because of what is inside you. You hate the Truth. Put the north pole of a magnet to the north pole of another magnet and they are repulsed. Put a person who will decide for himself what God says and means next to one that tells him what God actually says and means, and there is the same repulsion. It is not a personal matter. You are being confronted by God through us, Who loves you and would have you know the truth about yourself and Him. You are not in His favor or cleansed of your sins as you might like to think.
I am not saying that what you feel is not real, but that you have not correctly identified it. Indeed, you are unable to do so. This is what Jeremiah is saying to you about the deceitfulness of your uncircumcised heart.
The sin nature, which no amount of animal sacrifices, Torah study, or good works can erase, has made you dead to what is right and alive to what is wrong. It is not God that you feel in your heart, but yourself that you feel. And your conscience is not God. He is much greater than that, so do not tell us that you know right from wrong. If you will recall, Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge precisely so they could know that. You are no different in what you do, because you are a son of Adam.
We tell you the truth, but you have deceived yourself because you are trusting in your heart. You are religiously observant and may show yourself friendly, but it is by your power, not the power of God, that you do so. You are walking in your own righteousness. God, however, says you have none.
We are walking in the power of God towards you, which is not our own natural ability or righteousness. You are dealing with your God when you deal with us, and not with man. You will not come to your God except you come to Him through us. This answers your question:
“‘Because we are his flesh and bone.‘ Is this to say that you are a part of G-d or vice versa?”
And it answers your protest:
“G-d is our savior, Paul. Only G-d can save Jews or Gentiles. Only G-d can bring redemption. Only G-d can give atonement. Only G-d can judge man. Only G-d rules the heavens and the earth.”
Yes, and He is speaking to you through us. Did you forget that He comes by His servants? You rejected Moses and all the prophets, so why should anyone be surprised that you reject Messiah and those in Him? But He Who hardened you will also show mercy, that you might know it is of Him and not yourself.
Your description of Jesus’ commandments to His disciples is incomplete. I have given you the missing pieces, which you refuse to acknowledge, such as:
“Do not judge according to sight, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24 MKJV).
And here is a new one:
“And He has given Him authority to be judge because He is the Son of man” (John 5:27 BBE).
That is why we have this authority from God in His anointed to judge you, because we are men like you. This is how God has always done things – through men. What Jesus brought is nothing new in this sense, according to the Hebrew Scriptures:
“The Spirit of God made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. If you can, answer me; set yourself in order before me, stand up. Behold, I am toward God even as you are; I also am formed out of the clay. Behold, my terror shall not make you afraid, and my burden shall not be heavy on you” (Job 33:5-7 MKJV).
“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a horn, and declare unto My people their transgression, and to the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1 JPS).
What about the prophecy of Malachi regarding the Messiah? You agree it is about Messiah, but that it was not fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Let’s take a look at your objections. You quote 3:3-4 as follows, with added emphases:
“He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver, until they present offerings to the L-rd in righteousness. Then shall the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasing to the L-rd as in the days of old and as in the ancient days.”
“Yes, I agree that this is a messianic prophecy passage, but I can’t find anywhere in the New Testament when Jesus did any of the above highlighted things. These are obviously references to the Temple worship which, as I understand, you and most Christians believe ended with Jesus! Yet in this passage, we find that the Messiah will restore Temple worship, not end it.”
Who says this is speaking of the Temple sacrifices? It does not say that. And is that what pleases God, anyway, or is it to do His will, having a heart after His own?
“Sacrifice and meal-offering You have no delight in; My ears have You opened; burnt-offering and sin-offering have You not required. Then said I: Lo, I am come with the roll of a book which is prescribed for Me; I delight to do Your will, O My God; yes, Your Law is in My inmost parts” (Psalms 40:6-8 JPS).
Those words spoke of Christ. When He came, He fulfilled them in the laying down of His life as the fulfillment of the Passover and all other sacrifices that pointed to Him. After this the Temple was no longer needed. Jesus had prophesied that it would be totally thrown down. He also prophesied that the temple of His body would be put away and He would raise it up in three days:
“Then the Jews answered and said to Him, What sign do you show us, since you do these things? Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up. Then the Jews said, This temple was forty-six years building, and will you rear it up in three days? But He spoke of the temple of His body” (John 2:18-21 MKJV).
Of what need is there for a physical temple of stone when we have the Temple made without hands, of which we are part, now having our sins forgiven and having inherited eternal life? We are in the place, and are the place that Malachi is talking about. That is where we have met our Maker and where He has purged us of our sins and sin nature, giving us His New Nature by which we make pleasing offerings to Him by faith.
“God is a Spirit, and those that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth” (John 4:24).
The Jews that delivered Christ to the Gentiles also testified truly of how He would remove and replace the Temple:
“We heard Him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands” (Mark 14:58 MKJV).
So He has, praise God!
This explains our zeal for His house, of which you inquire:
“If the zeal of his house has consumed you, why do Christians bear no affinity for the holy Temple?”
Shall we have zeal for a phantom that no longer exists? Of what use is that? But we have zeal for Him, the Lord Who is the chief cornerstone of the House made in Heaven without hands:
“Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a costly corner-stone of sure foundation; he that believes shall not make haste” (Isaiah 28:16 JPS).
Just because many people have not repented is no cause to doubt that the Messiah has come. We do not make haste. The fact that some have repented, their lives transformed by the power of God, is sure evidence that He has come. Many since Christ rose from the dead have been transformed and have entered His peace. How can this happen except by the miracle of God’s Messiah?
Even atheist historians do not question that Jesus Christ has changed the world. It is because of Jesus Christ that the world has the Hebrew Scriptures and acknowledges the God of Abraham as God. How can this be, except Jesus Christ is Who He says He is? Have you not red Israel, Is Your God Unjust?
As for numbers of people believing, God has always spoken of saving a remnant. Yet He also says that all will know Him, from the least to the greatest. Both are true, with no contradiction. In time, you will see Him reconcile all things through Christ, after you have been reconciled yourself. This will happen; we are not talking to you in vain.
“A logical question crosses my mind in wondering why these judgments have not stood and have not lasted? Yes, Jesus condemned adulterers and false swearers, but he died and did not continue in any type of Earthly judgment. Yes, people of this category will be judged in the next life, but why did the Messiah not carry these things on?”
Jesus said of the things coming on the world:
“For nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will hand you over to tribulation and they will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations, on account of My Name. And then many will fall away, and they will betray one another, and they will hate one another. Then many false prophets will be raised up, and they will deceive many. And because lawlessness will increase, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved”
(Matthew 24:7-13 EMTV).
While the love of many has grown cold, Messiah has carried on His work of judgment in the hearts of those whom He has chosen, such as us, so that we might endure to the end and be saved. You simply have not known or seen these things, but now you do see it, having met us, even if you cannot comprehend what you see (and you cannot).
You say this about Malachi 3:6 (“For I G-d change not; and ye, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed”):
“This is the shortest of the passages that I have cited, yet it clearly says the most. G-d does not change, yet G-d appears to have changed quite a bit according to the Christian scriptures. G-d never refers to himself as Jesus in the TaNaK and never refers to the Messiah as being a ‘son of G-d.’ If anyone is the ‘son’ of G-d is a physical sense, it is Israel!”
Show us where God has changed in the New Testament, if you have something new to show us that we have not already answered. As for God never referring to Himself as Jesus, He said this to Manoah, father of Samson:
“And the angel of the LORD said unto him: Wherefore ask you after My Name, seeing it is hidden?” (Judges 13:18 JPS)
To Moses God said:
“I let Myself be seen by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God, the Ruler of all; but they had no knowledge of My Name Yahweh” (Exodus 6:3 BBE).
Has God not kept some things secret and hidden? Even today the Jews and others do not know the true Name that was given to Moses. Your objection is not realistic or valid.
But Jesus said this of His coming:
“Your father Abraham leaped for joy that he should see My day, and he saw, and rejoiced. Then the Jews said to Him, You do not yet have fifty years, and have You seen Abraham? Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham came to be, I AM!” (John 8:56-58 LITV)
“Paul, but throughout history, men who look to Jesus Christ for salvation have slaughtered us, have slaughtered the very people of G-d and the people to which their savior was born and to which all of his first followers and disciples were born.”
You are not paying attention to the things we have written you in our letters or sent you in our writings. I will not continue to repeat these things, but I do remind you that, in the beginning, those who looked to and knew Jesus Christ were persecuted and killed by the Jews, as was Christ Himself. Why should you, as a people, not expect to reap what you have sown? Furthermore, true Christians have never persecuted Jews or anyone else, as demonstrated by the apostle Paul, who went from persecutor to being persecuted after meeting and receiving the risen Lord as his Savior. We are not preaching or committing persecution. Will you finally read, carefully, what we have written (Israel and the Jew)?
Of course not every Jew persecuted the Christ or those who believed on Him, especially because some of the Jews were the ones being persecuted! But the bottom line is that the Messiah has come and there is no neutrality. We are either gathering with Him or scattering abroad. Did not Elijah rebuke the Israelites for halting between two opinions? Isn’t that the way it is with God; you are either for or against Him?
Is it worth one more try with the false report of Spiro? You certainly are not getting the point. I cannot see that it is for any lack of our having presented the facts, but your pride and ignorance prevent you from understanding. However, something very important is coming out of this, so please listen closely this time to what I am telling you.
“Even after he said that it was paraphrase and not a direct quote, you still proceeded to ask him for a specific verse! Did you do so knowing he wasn’t going to give you one, especially in light of the fact that he TOLD YOU that it wasn’t from a Bible verse.”
Ayal, a paraphrase is rewording some specific words for the purpose of clarification. If Ken said he was paraphrasing the TaNaK, which he did, why is it wrong for me to ask for the verses he was clarifying? Ken wrote:
“Shalom-You didn’t find it [in the Bible] because it’s not a direct quote. Here the quotation marks are used to imply dialogue rather than a actual quote from a text. i.e. it gives a different perspective to the narrative rather than just 3rd party description-something like a script in a play. I hope I’m making sense. In any case it’s just a literary way of summarizing what the Torah text has implied over and over again in Chumash (The Five Books of Moses) and Navi (The Books of the Prophets).”
Implying dialogue means there is something invented. To refresh your memory, here is the dialogue Ken invented in his column, putting these words in the mouths of the children of Israel:
“Before they enter the land, the Jewish people send an envoy to the Canaanites with the message, ‘God, the Creator of the Universe has promised this land to our forefathers. We are now here to claim our inheritance, and we ask you to leave peacefully.’”
You tell me that the following is the Scripture that Ken was “paraphrasing”:
“When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens. You shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:33-34).
Firstly, that is the Lord speaking, not the children of Israel. Secondly, God gave the children of Israel a specific command to destroy the inhabitants of the land, so obviously He was not talking about the stranger that would come to peaceably reside in Israel when He said to destroy man, woman, and child. The fact that He talks about a “stranger” (singular) here also tells us He is not talking about the peoples (plural) of the land that Israel was to displace. Yours and Ken’s interpretation makes no sense at all, and, as I have said, it is quite evil of both of you to misrepresent the Scriptures.
The Hebrew scribes were very diligent to copy each letter and word as it appeared in the ancient manuscripts, but here you and Ken rearrange and change things without any apparent concern or respect for the Holy Word of God.
Furthermore, this argument has no validity:
“…we have absolutely no reason to believe that BEFORE G-d gave these commands [to destroy the inhabitants of the land] that the people of Israel would not have attempted to send an envoy to them and ask them to leave. We have no reason to believe this didn’t happen.”
There is no reason to believe they did and there is certainly no point in conjecturing about what they did. If it was important to know, it would have been recorded for our sakes. However, has it not been recorded, with you and Ken blind to what is there? How could the Israelites have thought their entry into the land would be a peaceable venture, when the Lord had Moses send spies into the land instead of a peace delegation? And why were ten of the spies afraid? And what about this?
“And Caleb stilled the people toward Moses, and said: ‘We should go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.’” (Numbers 13:30 JPS)
This was their first contact, one of stealth whose aim was conquest, and not of naïve requests for cooperation.
And are you not conceding, by admitting your scenario is a hypothesis, that the Israelites did not say those words after all, that Ken put them in their mouths as though quoting Scripture? How long will you remain in your stubborn defiance of truth while insisting on defending error and lies?
I also wish to address your argument that the children of Israel would have been doing as you and Ken suggest because they were following Leviticus 19:33-34 (quoted above). The fact of the matter is that they had God guiding them, speaking to them through His servants Moses and Aaron, so they were not left to interpret the Law by themselves, as you and Ken are. They were led by God, while you are led by your own minds and the teachings of other men who do not know God. You do not have the mind of God or the faith to receive from His servants who do. He does not hold you responsible for not knowing, but He does hold you responsible for presuming to put words in His mouth and to change His Record when you do not know. Do you understand this?
Regarding publishing our correspondence, you say:
“Am I to believe that you would post our correspondence if I were able to prove you wrong? I doubt you would.”
You first contacted us with a correction of something on our site, and we thankfully corrected it. Should you prove us wrong about weightier matters about God, we would not only publish your letters, we would publicly recant any harmful error we had been propagating. I am not boasting as if there is virtue in this; why should we not gladly admit to being wrong if we can have the Truth instead of our error, especially knowing that the truth of God will make us free?
“The truth of G-d is taught, it isn’t learned via looking at peoples emails and infringing upon their privacy.”
We disagree. The truth of God is everywhere, especially in such a conversation about the issues of life wherein the wisdom of God is applied. And God has a very different idea of privacy than you do, or He would not have given us the Holy Scriptures that report many intimate details of the lives of the saints of old and those with whom they had to do. You really are unfamiliar with His ways, Ayal, though you study the Torah every day. The Torah is not causing you to know God and never will. You need a new heart that can receive the knowledge of God, which is why we are here speaking to you. We are His witnesses, as in the quote from Isaiah that you echoed from my letter. We testify to you of the One You study but do not know, the Lord Jesus Christ, the One and only Savior of mankind, and even of His people Israel. “The first shall be last.”
Here is that quote again:
“You are My witnesses, says the LORD, and My servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He; before Me there was no God formed, neither shall any be after Me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside Me there is no Savior” (Isaiah 43:10-11 JPS).
Upon sending this last letter, Paul received this error message back:
—– Transcript of session follows —–
> … while talking to air-dd09.mail.aol.com.:
>>>> RCPT To:<email@example.com>
> <<< 550 starofis IS NOT ACCEPTING MAIL FROM THIS SENDER
> 550 5.1.1 <firstname.lastname@example.org>… User unknown
He tried again from another address, which was rejected by Ayal:
message 099845321 bounced by admin website
message not recieved due to block on recieving address
Readers response: You certainly know that I think that the claims of Christianity are no more true then those of Buddhism.
Stuart Federow publishes “What Jews Believe,” which consists of a list of ten postulates that prohibit Jews from believing in Jesus Christ. Who made Stuart a spokesman for all Jews? The only One Whose Word matters here is God. What does He have to say about Stuart’s personal objections? Just what do true Jews believe?
Pictures of Rachel Corrie posed by the Associated Press