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The Truth About Moshiach



"Whoever saves a Jewish soul, it is considered as if he has saved the world entire" - Talmud Sanhedrin 37A



Updated: 2017-09-14T10:45:04.300-04:00

 



The Missionary Vaccine

2009-08-13T18:23:55.962-04:00

In Israel and the United States, missionary attempts on Jews are reaching a fever-pitch. Evangelical Christians are using every technique they possess, including converting the elderly in nursing homes, in order to lure Jews to the Cross. Scandalously, missionaries are preparing to inaugurate a new Christian Russian-language TV network will be inaugurated next month in Israel. This station is aimed at the Russian Jewish public, many of whom are painfully ignorant of their Jewish heritage following decades of Soviet oppression, as well as content aimed at children.Incredibly, many young Jews are tragically falling for this Messianic deception, trading their heritage for a pot of lentils. Why is it that unprecedented numbers of Jews are crossing a line that their grandparents would have never dared to cross, whereas in previous generations, despite oppression and force, few Jews accepted the Christian faith? Even under the harshest conditions, which could almost complete disappear upon baptism, most Jews clung tightly to their faith. Forced conversionist sermons, decreed by the Church to be held in synagogues on shabbat, had little effect on Jews. What went wrong?The answer is simple: today's generation of Jews prefers a strong, passionate Christianity to a watered-down, diluted Judaism. Most Jews have no exposure to authentic Jewish practice and belief, and have at best memories of bubbeh and zaideh, or resentment at being forced to attend afternoon school or "temple". An entire generation of Jews has grown up simply having no idea what Judaism is- and they have no idea what Judaism is not. To understand why the "Judaism" of the "temple rabbis" has no appeal to young people, one need only read this interview. The empty, vapid cultural Judaism has nothing to offer, complete with all its trappings of "bar mitzvah", trying to be accepted, and "Christmukkah".It is essential to comprehend what Judaism is not before learning what it is. Judaism is not a culture, and eating gefilte fish or watching Fiddler on the Roof will not keep Jews Jewish. Cultural Judaism is a dead-end which leads to the travesties of trying to incorporate Jewish rituals at mixed-marriages, or of lighting the Chanukiyah next to the Christmas tree. Judaism is not secular Israeli nationalism, and Jews unfounded in Jewish concepts and ideals will find it increasingly difficult to accept the idea of a Jewish state. Not rooted in Jewish thought, many young Jews in the Diaspora are becoming uncomfortable with the Zionist dream. The secularization of Judaism, through "culture" as well as Zionism unfounded in Torah, is a goat-path to nowhere, a nihilistic road to assimilation and intermarriage. The millions of Jews who gave up their lives throughout history screaming the Shemah did not die for kugel or knishes.Judaism is a covenant with G-d, established when G-d appeared before the entire nation of Israel at Sinai and presented them with His Torah. It has been, and continues to be, the way of life for the religious Jew. It is an all-encompassing system that pertains to all aspects of life, infusing them with G-dliness and holiness. When a Jew is committed to his G-d and his Torah, missionary arguments with fall on deaf ears. A Jew has no need for an intermediary between him and G-d because he knows that by keeping the mitzvot, he creates a personal relationship with G-d. He has no need for foreign waters from impure wells because he drink from the Torah, the source of living waters. Only by returning to the faith of our forefathers will our children be immune to conversion attempts. To any Jew who is considering converting to the Messianic religious, I ask you: say Shemah, lay tefillin, keep kosher and observe Shabbat. Learn Torah with a rabbi or a study-partner. Immerse yourselves in the healing waters of the Torah and drink deeply from it. Experience true Jewish spirituality. This is the best and most sure vaccine against missionaries.[...]



Problems with Jesus's Zionists

2009-05-01T12:09:52.330-04:00

The Jerusalem Post describes Aryeh Bar-David as what would seem like a typical religious Zionist. Like most religious Zionists, Aryeh Bar-David sees the hand of God in the establishment of the Jewish state and the Jewish people's repeated victories against its enemies. Yom Ha'atzmaut has religious meaning as a tangible sign that God is fulfilling his biblical promises to the Jewish people. "God's intervention in the course of history is so clear that, for me, it is absurd that people think we are just another secular democratic country," said Bar-David, who met me on Remembrance Day outside the Old City's Damascus Gate."This," said Bar-David, gesturing toward the outer wall of the Old City, "is the manifestation of God's prophecies as stated in Ezekiel, Jeremiah and other places in the Bible," referring to the victory in the Six Day War which gave Israel control of east Jerusalem, including the Old City.Also similar to many religious Zionists, Bar-David, a veteran of four wars, is convinced that his religious faith helped him cope with life-and-death situations in combat. Under Ariel Sharon, he took part in some of the bloodiest battles for control of the Suez Canal during the Yom Kippur War. As platoon sergeant, Bar-David was forced to take over command when the platoon commander was killed in an ambush. "No matter how dangerous things got, I never feared anything. In a way I had a longing to be in heaven, closer to God. So I was not ever scared by the prospect of dying."But, unlike most Jewish religious Zionists - who see the establishment of the state as a precursor to the yet-to be-revealed messiah - Bar-David has a radically different eschatology. That's because Bar-David is a Messianic Jew.The Jerusalem Post falls into the same fallacious logic which Messianic and missionaries use. They argue that since they use Hebrew, support Israel, practice and incorporate Jewish ritual and traditions and were born of Jewish mothers, therefore, their faith is Jewish. The article goes on to mention that there are 200-300 Messianics serving in the IDF, how they love and support Israel and how 2000 Messianics showed up in Geneva to protest the Durban II conference.It bears repeating over and over and over again that the essence of Judaism is not keeping kosher or lighting Chanukkah candles, or even love of Israel. The outward trappings are only reflections of the inner meaning. The essence of Judaism is predicated on the Absolute Oneness of G-d. On Mount Sinai, as millions of the Children of Israel stood ready to receive the Torah, HaShem said clearly to them: "I am the L-rd your G-d who took you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me." By taking us out of Egypt, G-d claimed our eternal allegiance. This is the definition of true Judaism as opposed to idolatry. Idolatry is not necessarily praying to sticks and stones or building images of the divine. Idolatry, and spiritual adultery, is worshipping anything other than the G-d who took us out of Egypt, from the house of bondage, anything other than the deity than revealed Himself to us at Sinai. G-d instructed the Jewish people with absolute clarity as to what was appropriate form of worship and what was not. Certainly, the name of Jesus was never mentioned. He was not at Sinai, and is therefore not worth worshipping. G-d warns us to remember well, and to take to heart, the mass revelation at Sinai. "And you shall watch yourselves very well, for you did not see any image on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire. Lest you become corrupt and make for yourselves a graven image, the representation of any form, the likeness of male or female..." (Devarim 4:15-16)The power and strength of this admonition stood by the Jewish people during their long centuries of exile. The clever and thoughtful arguments of Pope or bishops, neither Crusading swords or the racks of the Inquisitions, could sway the Jew. Despite any attempt to convince him otherwise, the Jew knew that only HaShe[...]



Attacking the Weak

2009-03-18T15:37:47.603-04:00

In their quest for Jewish souls, missionaries will stop at nothing. There is no limit to the deception and trickery that they will use in order to convert ignorant and alienated Jews from Judaism.(IsraelNN.com) A Jewish outreach organization has called on mainstream booksellers, including Barnes & Noble and Amazon, to remove a Christian missionary version of the traditional Passover Hagaddah from the Judaism sections of online and conventional bookstores.Rabbi Tovia Singer, director of Outreach Judaism, warned, "Despite the innocent-sounding title 'Passover Family Pack: Everything You Need to Enjoy a Passover Seder Dinner,' the guide quickly departs from the traditional holiday message once it is opened."Jewish families seeking to celebrate the ancient exodus of the Jewish People from Egyptian slavery find once they open the package that they are encouraged to express their faith in the Christian deity, "Yeshua the Messiah."Outreach Judaism has started a petition demanding that Amazon reclassify this Hagaddah accurately as Christian, rather than Jewish. Passover is one of the most fundamental celebrations of the Jewish faith, a holiday which even the most assimilated Jews still celebrate or commemorate. To use the celebration of Jewish nationhood, liberation and renewal to woo Jews away from their faith is beyond disgusting.In a similar story, Jewish religious groups turned down a sizable donation from missionary sources:(IsraelNN.com) Two Jewish religious groups turned down a missionary donation of thousands of dollars – and received the same sum from a Venezuelan philanthropist instead.The story began several months ago, when a group of families from Disengagement-destroyed Netzarim - formerly of northern Gush Katif - received a donation of 21,502 shekels, worth some $6,000 at the time. The families had reason to believe that their benefactors had ulterior motives, and upon further investigation, found that the money came from a missionary organization.They asked Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, Dean of Yeshivat Ateret Cohanim in the Old City of Jerusalem, for his opinion, and he recommended that they not use the money. He said they should send the full sum to the anti-missionary Yad L’Achim organization, where it would be used in the fight against those who try to convert Jews to any form of Christianity or belief in Jesus. However, Yad L’Achim, too, did not wish to use the money, by express instruction of organization founder and chairman Rabbi Shalom Dov Lifshitz. “This, despite the various dispensations that can be found for situations like this, and despite the dwindling contributions in recent months,” said sources in Yad L’Achim.Following the publication of this story earlier this month, at least one person, a Jew from Venezuela, was particularly moved by the groups’ self-sacrifice – and decided to donate the identical sum. The unidentified philanthropist called the central Yad L’Achim office in Bnei Brak one day last week, and asked to speak to Rabbi Lifshitz “The moment I heard about the large donation that the people of Netzarim sent you because they didn’t want to use missionary money," the caller said, "and how you also refused to use it, despite the difficult financial situation everyone is going through – I was very moved. I could not remain apathetic, and I would like to give you a donation in the same sum.”'Accepting Money From Missionaries Strengthens Them'Rabbi Lifshitz said afterwards, “This very emotional donation proves the words of our holy Torah, ‘Is G-d’s hand too short [to provide]?’ Anyone with eyes can see clearly that G-d finds the way to help whoever needs, without having to rely on non-kosher sources… The very acceptance of money from missionary organizations strengthens them, Heaven forbid.”It was not reported if the donor made a similar offer to Netzarim.Netzarim Families Continue FarmingSome 45 uprooted families of Netzarim are currently living in the Halutza Sands town of Yevul, southeast of Gaza. Many o[...]



The Right to Smash Idols

2009-02-26T09:22:40.019-05:00

Posted by Ellen W. Horowitz for JewishIsrael"Do not bow down to their gods and do not serve them. Do not follow their practices. You must tear them down and you must utterly shatter their monuments." (Parashat Mishpatim 23:24)The above was from last week’s Torah portion. G-d with His infinite sense of humor handed that one down to a people who don’t have much of a hankering for violently pulverizing pagan ideas, altars and places of worship.How does one reduce idols to mere dust in a civil society, in a modern Jewish state?Ideally, we Jews should counter idolatry by using our intellect to enable compassionate and just laws which are both considerate of human dignity and in keeping with Jewish tradition. But with Western democracies cramming the mantras of tolerance, political correctness, and freedom of religious expression down our Israeli gullets, we sometimes find ourselves preserving and protecting that which we were commanded to uproot. What’s a Jew to do?Well, there’s always humor… and it’s been a funny week.Headlines reported that the results of a survey on Israeli attitudes toward Christianity indicate a sharp division between religious and secular Jews on topics ranging from missionary activity, to accepting funds from evangelical sources, to visiting churches. Despite the sharp divide, both secular and religious Israelis did find some common ground, as only 50% of Israeli Jews agreed that Jerusalem was central to the Christian faith; and 75% believe the state should not allow Christian groups to buy land to build new churches in Jerusalem.Meanwhile secular Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit of Kadima saw fit to set up a special committee to discuss amending Israel's Law of Return. Sheetrit feels the law has been abused by non-Jews with no connection to Judaism as a way to obtain Israeli citizenship. "In a few years Israel will no longer be the state of the Jews, and I do not want that," Sheetrit said.But by far the most bizarre interfaith clash of this past week was over a skit, broadcast on Israeli Channel 10, which the Vatican claimed had "ridiculed -- with blasphemous words and images -- the Lord Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary."C’mon Mr. Pope, Lior Shlein is just a secular Jewish entertainer - it’s not like he is one of your devout and disciplined Catholic bishops. Israel should be the place where Jews can express themselves fully as Jews; and a late night Hebrew program televised on a private channel in Israel should surely be a safe haven for satirists - and out of the sights and clutches of the “Holy See”.A virgin birthing a deity who can walk on water is – for the Jew – absurd to the point of being hysterically funny. For the Jew, there is simply nothing reverent about it.Besides, satire by nature is irreverent, and it’s a given that unconventional artists and entertainers are prone to going over-the-top and dabbling in the tactless, tasteless and insulting. Monty Python, Mel Brooks and Mr. Bean have all pushed the religious humor envelope to the outer limits. Alternatively, politically conservative comedienne Jackie Mason took his rants in defense of Christmas, Christianity and Mel Gibson to the brink, too ( but drew the line in the form of a law suit when Jews for Jesus put out a broadside entitled: "Jackie Mason… A Jew for Jesus?!”)Were Shlein’s antics heresy? Were they tanamount to “denying Christianity” as Palestinian-Arab-Catholic and Israeli Arab newspaper CEO, Zohir Andreus, claims? Well, Mr. Andreus, we have a dilemma because to acknowledge Christian belief is to deny Judaism.What is sacred for the devout Christian is oft-times blasphemous for the Jew. Even the currently in-vogue fascination many Christians are having with “messianic hebraic roots” movements and Jewish rituals cannot mask, nor bridge, the very fundamental differences between faiths.If we adhere to the philosophy of the late and very great Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, then it seems the secular Mr. Shlein did us a[...]



He's in there?

2009-01-14T22:06:38.008-05:00

"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." -John 5:39When Christians read the Bible, they see Jesus in every verse and every portion. In their minds, Jesus is literally bouncing off every page. They make the claim that Jesus's messiah-hood and divinity is apparent from a cursory reading of Scripture and that if a person would only honestly examine the texts, they could not possibly deny his truth.A favorite missionary claim is that the early Christians were Jewish, proof of the compatibility of the two faiths. Yet their very own argument works against them. If the Scriptures clearly and unequivocally point to Jesus's coming, one would expect that the people who would be the first to recognize him would be the very people who spent their lives studying the Torah. It would make sense that the Sanhedrin, the great rabbis and leaders of the people would have recognized Jesus's coming, clearly foretold in the Torah. One could imagine, if the Gospel tale is to be believed, Jesus coming before the Sanhedrin and arguing that he was divine, sent by G-d to redeem the world. The rabbis, who should have known from the Torah about such a person, refuted and rejected all of Jesus's arguments and reasoning. Obviously, the idea of a human saviour-god, son of a virgin and the divine, dying for the sins of humanity was not a Jewish concept based on the Torah, but rather a pagan one. While the learned men did not accept Jesus, his disciples were tradesmen, common folk and Torah students. Peter and John were Galilean fishermen, while Paul was a Roman tax collector. Mary Magdelene was a prostitute- certainly not a paragon of Torah scholarship and learning. Far from having the Scriptures clearly testify of Jesus, those who were familiar with the Scriptures were the first to reject him!Similarly, one would expect that missionaries would have the most ease persuading Jews who have studied in yeshiva. Coming out of the synagogue and beit midrash, with a holy book tucked under their arms, they should be easy prey for the missionary sharing "the good news". It is then quite odd that missionaries rarely are sent to Crown Heights, to Monsey, Meah Shearim, Bnei Brak or Hebron. They would have little luck there as Jews well-versed in their faith and Torah are insusceptible to Christian missionizing. On the contrary, missionaries often concentrate their efforts on college students alienated from their Jewish heritage, lonely seniors, new Russian or Ethiopian olim, segments of the Jewish population that do not possess a strong Jewish heritage. A quick glance at testimonies on missionary sites such as 'Jews for Jesus' and the like show that most were raised in homes devoid of Jewish spirituality and whose only Jewish connection was gefilte fish and matzoh balls. That is why the Christian Bible places great emphasis on faith, rather than knowledge. This is because belief in Jesus cannot stand up to a true Jewish examination, based on traditional Jewish teaching and practice.The classic Christian response to this is that Jews have been blinded by Satan. If the Devil had not caused them not to see, they would quickly accept the Cross. The Pope recently restored mass prayers calling for "the veil of blindness" to be "lifted" from the "eyes of the perfidious Jews". This arrogant and condescending claim ignores the many arguments and oppositions that Jews have with Christian theology. The Jewish rejection of Jesus as the messiah is based on study of the requirements of the messiah, which Jesus did not fulfill. The Torah records that in the End of Days, it will be the gentile nations, and not the Jews, who have been mistaken."O LORD, my strength, and my stronghold, and my refuge, in the day of affliction, unto Thee shall the nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say: 'Our fathers have inherited nought but lies, vanity and things wherein there is no profit.' Shall a man make u[...]



Liar, Lunatic or Lord?

2009-01-13T17:12:59.538-05:00

A Christian polemicist once argued famously that Jesus was either "a liar, a lunatic or lord". This circular argument has been repeated endlessly by missionaries in their obsessive drive to convert Jews. As such, it is necessary to take a look at who Jesus actually was, and who he most certainly was not.1) Was Jesus a Prophet?The Christian Bible refers to Jesus as a prophet (Matt. 14:5, John 4:44). However, from a Jewish perspective, this claim is problematic. Therefore, it is necessary to compare Jesus's claims with the qualifications set down by a prophet in the Torah, contained in Deuteronomy 13 and 18.According to these sources, a prophet is a man sent by G-d to bring revelations. if a prophet predicts something that does not come to pass, or commands something contrary to the Torah, he is considered a false prophet and must be put to death. It is hard to square the idea that Jesus was a prophet with the claim that he was G-d, since that would make G-d His own prophet. We must examine whether all of Jesus' prophecies came true. Jesus prophesied that he would return during the generation and lifetime of his disciples."Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place." (Mark 13:30)"Truly, I say to you, there are some standing among you here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in the Kingdom." (Matt. 16:28, 24:38)Jesus's disciples most assuredly see the second coming in their lifetime. Therefore, Jesus was a false prophet.The final verses of the Torah testify that Moses was the greatest and most authoritative of the prophets. It is a cardinal Jewish principle that never will a prophet arise who will be greatest than Moses and be able to cancel that which he commanded in the Torah. The Torah tells us how to recognize false prophets:Deuteronomy 13:1 The entire word that I command you, that shall you observe to do; you shall not add to it and you shall not subtract from it. [2] If there should stand up in your midst a prophet or a dreamer of a dream, and he will produce to you a sign or a wonder, [3] and the sign or the wonder comes about, of which he spoke to you, saying "Let us follow gods of others that you did not know and we shall worship them!; [4] do not hearken to the words of that prophet or to that dreamer of a dream, for HASHEM, your G-d, is testing you to know whether you love HASHEM, your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul. [5] HASHEM, your G-d, shall you follow and Him shall you fear; His commandments shall you observe and to His voice shall you hearken; Him shall you serve and to Him shall you cleave. [6] And that prophet and that dreamer of a dream shall be put to death, for he had spoken perversion against HASHEM, your G-d Who takes you out of the land of Egypt, and Who redeems you from the house of slavery to make you stray from the path on which HASHEM, you G-d, has commanded you to go; and you shall destroy the evil from your midst. (Artscroll)Just about everything that Jesus and Paul preached violated this clause. Paul opposed and condemned ritual observance of the Torah. Jesus dealt with many laws with a curious ambiguity. In Mark 7:18, Jesus declared all foods to be "clean", thus violating the laws of kashrut. Jesus limited or opposed divorce and remarriage in Matt. 19:9 and Mark 10:3-4, although this is permissible by the Torah. We see that Jesus tried to change the Torah, although no one has the authority to "add or subtract" to G-d's perfect Laws.More importantly, it must be remembered that any prophet succeeding Moses must preach a message keeping in line with that of Moses.FACT: No Jew prayed to Jesus prior to two thousand years ago.FACT: Jews would have been unfamiliar with the concept of G-d in human form.FACT: Jesus was, in essence, something that the Jews had not known.FACT: Deuteronomy 13 specifically warns us that G-d will grant the power of miracles to people who w[...]



Always a Jew

2009-01-09T14:46:19.027-05:00

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Inside every Jew is a spark of G-dliness, a pintele yid, a Jewish soul that yearns to reconnect with HaShem. Even the most distant Jew longs to come back to his people. The Jewish spark cannot be erased or destroyed but is eternal. Even if a Jew, G-d forbid, gets baptized, moves to India and lives in an ashram or joins a cult, he remains a Jew.

May HaShem merit that every single lost Jew return home.



Not Afraid to be Unique

2008-12-22T19:22:40.926-05:00

Peled said that Israelis want to celebrate Christmas because they do not want to feel culturally isolated from the rest of the world."Celebrating only Hanukka set us apart, makes us different. People don't want to feel that way. They want to be part of world," she said.With these words, Tamir Peled, has signed the death warrant of the Jewish people. Explaining the increasing visibility of Christmas decorations in certain places in Israel, Peled says that many Israelis don't want to be different. They feel that Chanukkah sets them apart, something that they are uncomfortable with. This desire to fit in, to be alike the nations, is the slow end of the Jews.The Greeks were one of the most tolerant and universal-minded peoples in the ancient world. It is doubtful that they oppressed or persecuted any other people besides the Jews. How did a people known for its openness and love of philosophy come to commit so many atrocities against the Jews? It is hard to understand how the people that gave the world democracy, Plato and Aristotle, were the same ones as those who murdered Chana's 7 sons before her eyes for not bowing to an idol, or martyred the saintly Rabbi Eliezer for refusing to eat pork.Alexander the Great and his Hellenistic successors wanted to unite the world under Greek culture and philosophy. The ancient pagans were the ultimate in relativism as they syncretized gods and beliefs with great ease. The Greeks adopted the gods of the nations that they conquered and in return gave them their Pantheon. The only people who refused to do this were the Jews. The Jews insisted on circumcising themselves, alone of all the ancients, did not eat the same food as non-Jews and did not share in any of their customs. The Greeks were outraged when they discovered that the Jewish Temple contained no idol or statue. They forbade the circumcision, the mark of the covenant between the Jews and G-d. They decreed that anyone caught studying Torah, the divine laws, observing the Shabbat, the holy day, or keeping kosher was to be put to death. They outlawed the Sanhedrin's proclamation of the New Month, the obligation which gave the Jewish people mastery over time.The Greeks did not wish to eradicate the Jews physically, nor did they wish to destroy them. Rather, the Greeks wanted to put an end to the Torah, G-d's laws which set the Jewish people apart. They desecrated the Temple, and erected a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies. They built giant sports arenas and theaters in Jerusalem and the countryside to try and entice the Jews into the Greek culture. In fact, many of the rich and elite became known as Hellenizers because of their affinity for the Greek culture. The Greeks polluted all of the oil in the Temple, reserved for kindling the Golden Menorah, symbolic of their desire to stamp out the Torah and its light.Oil characterized the Jewish people because just as oil does not mix with other liquids, so too do the Jews not mix with other nations. Just as oil always rises to the top, Jews always rise above the mundaneness and triviality of the world, and above the attempts of those who wish to wipe them out. The prophet Bilaam called the Jews "a people that shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations." (Numbers 23:9) The essence of the Jewish people is to be separate, to be distinct and to be holy. The Uniqueness of the Divine is paralleled by the uniqueness of the Jewish people, G-d's chosen vessel through which to reveal His Oneness and Majesty. G-d chose the nation of Israel to bring consciousness of G-d to the entire world, and to spread the light of Torah.Many Jews unfortunately do not want to be alone. They hate their Jewishness, their choseness and distinct-ness with a passion. Deep down, they are afraid of being unique. These Jews want desperately to be accepted. Little do they realize that it is their Jewish destiny to[...]



Don't Let the Light Go Out

2008-12-17T22:15:42.491-05:00

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Don't let the light go out. This light has seen mighty empires comes and go. It saw the Greece rise up and conquer world, only to fade away. This light saw the Roman empire grown and collapse. It saw mighty rulers, fearless generals and mighty warriors disappear, without a trace. Yet the light remains.

Don't let the light go out. This light overcame the forces of Hellenism and hedonism. It shone through the darkness of immorality and vanity. It gave guidance and meaning to thousands of generations of Jews who resisted assimilation, who refused to forsake their Torah and their G-d. This light illuminated the secularism that blinded many and sought to lead the Jewish people astray. Philosophies, ideologies and 'isms' are relegated to the dustbin of history, yet the light remains.

Don't let the light go out. It was tended and nurtured lovingly by Jews throughout the ages, often at the risk of their lives. It was protected and treasured despite pain, despite poverty, despite hardship and persecution. Downtrodden, humiliated and weak, the light gave us strength. When there was no hope, the light promised us a better future.

Don't let the light go out. It shone brightly in Morocco and Poland, in Baghdad and Paris. It illuminated the streets of Minsk and Pinsk, Istanbul and Fez, Shanghai and Rome. Our enemies could not extinguish it. Withstanding the cross and the crescent, crusaders and mujahadeen, the light still burns. Under the windows of popes and kings, emperors and sultans, shas and dukes, the light proclaimed that we were still here.

Don't let the light go out. It was lit hidden in cellars, for fear of the Inquisitors racks. It was lit in ghettos and camps, in the shadow of the gas chambers and crematorium. It was lit in the freezing gulag's, the punishment for wishing to return home. It burnt long after Crusaders and Almohads, revolutionaries and fascists, Nazis and Communists, disappeared from the earth and will burn long after the suicide bomber, "holy warrior" and jihadist terrorist. For the miracles performed for us in those days, in this time.

Don't let the light go out. The light that was kindled at the rededication of the Second Temple, and will be kindled at the dedication of the Third Temple, may it be soon. The light that has returned home after two thousands years of exile, the light that blossoms in its holy land. The light that was shot out in Mumbai, massacred on the streets on Jerusalem, in pizzerias and cafes, synagogues and study halls. The light that is threatened by assimilation and ignorance. The light that has seen history, yet still shines. Don't let the light go out.

Chag Chanukkah Sameach!

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Cross-posted from For Zion's Sake



Paganism and Christmas

2008-12-15T20:20:34.789-05:00

In the West, no holiday is as beloved as Christmas. As soon as Thanksgiving in the United States is over, malls, newspapers, radio and TV are inundated with Christmas decorations. Red and green, Christmas lights, Santa surrounded with his elves. The mad holiday rush begins as the clock ticks down to the "holy night".In today's age of cultural equivalence, holidays are often shorn of their meanings. However, I feel that it is important to understand the significance of the symbols associated with the holiday. To many Christians, Christmas represents the birth of their saviour and is the most important day on the calendar for them. Church attendance is highest on Christmas (and Easter). To those seeking a way to get closer to G-d, it is necessary to learn about the pagan roots of Christmas.Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December, not due to any particular historical event, but rather because it was the day when the ancient pagans worshipped the rebirth of the sun. On the darkest day of the year, the winter solstice, the Romans would commemorate the advent of their saviour demigod, Mithras. Born to a virgin in a cave, Mithras brought eternal life to his followers. As an inscription on a Mithraic temple in Rome said: "Thou hast saved the many through the shedding of the eternal blood". The Catholic Church, in the 4th century, wanted to eclipse the pagan festivities of Mithras by establishing the day as the birth of their own saviour man-god. In order to introduce Christianity to the pagan world, Church leaders felt it necessary to celebrate Christmas on the winter solstice. The day of the sun's rebirth easily and smoothly became the day of the son's birth. (Christmas' pagan roots were well known. The early colonists opposed the celebration of Christmas in America. It was even banned by colonial law in Massachusetts.) To make pagans feel more comfortable in their new faith, many pagan elements were incorporated into early Christianity.The Christmas tree originated in ancient Germanic history. Germanic tribes lit trees (Tannenbaum) and celebrated the feast of light (Lichtfest) around the shortest day of the year, December 21. During the Roman celebration of Saturnalia, the people decorated their homes with evergreen clippings and hung metals and decorations from trees in honour of their god, Bacchus.Christians, G-d specifically commands against this pagan practice:Jeremiah 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. 3 For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. 4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. Mistletoe and holy were used by the Druids to announce the coming of winter. In Scandinavian countries, mistletoe represented peace and harmony. It was associated with the goddess of love, Frigga, which is the origin of kissing beneath the mistletoe. The early church even banned the use of mistletoe because of its pagan connotations.As a Christian site says: "December 25th was celebrated by the Pagan sun-worshippers of Mithraism as the "birthday of the invincible sun," because on that day the sun began its return to the northern skies "the winter solstice." And so, the sun and the Son, have become a deliberate Pagan mix. Tammuz, the Babylonian Pagan sun deity, was also the first counterfeit savior… December 25th was also the date of the Pagan Brumalia (winter) festival in Rome. It was preceded by the Saturnalia festival Dec. 17-24 - in honor of the Roman god Saturn, as a period of unrestrained merriment in celebration of the winter solstice. The Saturnalia and Brumalia festivals were so popular among the heathen and so deep[...]



Chutzpah and Heaven

2008-11-10T21:34:11.230-05:00

The head of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants has announced that he is called off talks with the Mormon Church over posthumous baptisms performed by the sect for Holocaust victims. Survivors are upset that names of Holocaust victims have been added to a list of baptisms- including thousands lifted from Yizkor books of Jews massacred at Berdichev in Ukraine. Over 380 000 Holocaust victims, including Ann Frank, have already been baptized by the Mormon Church.The Mormons believe that by baptizing the dead, they give them an opportunity to go to heaven. It is anti-semitic in the extreme to suppose that the murdered victims of the Holocaust need any help from a 150-year old cult in getting to heaven. However, such a belief is not unique to the Mormon Church. Many Evangelical missionary movements which target Jews threaten eternal hellfire and brimstone if Jews do not accept Jesus. Before Adolph Eichmann, may his name be accursed, was to be executed, Israel permitted him to meet with a Christian minister. After he was executed, reporters asked the minister whether or not Eichmann had accept Jesus. The minister explained that having accepted Jesus, Eichmann would surely be forgiven of all of his sins and go to heaven. And as for the poor Jewish boy gassed at Auschwitz, disbelieving in his "saviour", hell would surely be his eternal reward. According to this perverted belief system, the evil architect of the Final Solution would be welcomed at the Pearly Gates simply for accepting Jesus while the 6 million victims of the Holocaust would be condemned to hell for being Jews.This story goes to show the perverseness of exclusivity on heaven. For a cult less than two centuries old to presuppose that it has the key to the eternal salvation of the martyrs of the Holocaust is the ultimate in chutzpah. Even more than that, for anyone to claim that his is the only path to heaven and salvation invites hatred, persecution and intolerance. Such a belief only propagates the reasoning behind burning Jews at the stake, and other such atrocities, in order to "save their souls". Surely, the inquisitors and Church officials reasoned, that whatever they did to the Jews was nothing in comparison with eternal salvation. They believed that they were saving them from a far worse fate.So let's get this straight, for every single Christian or any other cultist who is concerned about my soul: Jews don't need you to be saved!. For a Jew to be saved, he must observe G-d's commandments, follow the Torah and serve HaShem with his entire heart and soul. G-d gave us 613 commandments with which to perfect and refine ourselves so that we may enjoy the World to Come. No cult or sect can offer us anything of value in terms of salvation. As for non-Jews, the sacrifice of Jesus is worthless as well. G-d demands of non-Jews that they renounced man-made idolatry, worship HaShem and lead moral lives. No man can atone for another. Only by keeping G-d's Torah, the 613 mitzvot for Jews and the 7 mitzvot for non-Jews, can we be holy in HaShem's eyes.The Mishna (Sanhedrin 90a) teaches that " all of Israel has a share in the World to Come, as it says: 'And your people are all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever. They are the branch of My planting, My Handiwork, in which to take pride.'" (Isaiah 60:21) So just a head's-up to anyone who wants to save us: we Jews don't need any help in that department.[...]



Halloween: Treif or Treat?

2008-12-15T20:20:53.339-05:00

It's that time of the year again. The Jack-o-lanterns, pumpkins, goblins and ghouls gave it away. My least favourite goyish holiday is here again. Halloween is celebrated in Anglo-Saxon countries worldwide and is considered a national holiday. Many Jews unfortunately participate in the Halloween festivities: trick-or-treating, decorating the house and dressing up. So is Halloween kosher?While many Jews today prefer to focus on the universal aspect of Judaism, tikkun olam, morality, ethics, etc., Judaism demands that Jews remain a separate people. God tells Moses to teach the people:"I am the Lord, your God. Do not follow the ways of Egypt where you once lived, nor of Canaan to where I am bringing you. Do not follow their customs (be-hukotehem lo teileichu)" (Leviticus 18:1-3, cf. also, 20:23).Deuteronomy suggests that this prohibition is intended to prevent idolatry:"Take heed to yourself lest you be trapped by following them, after they are destroyed from before you; and lest you inquire about their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods?' that I may also do likewise" (Deuteronomy 12:30).While many halakhic authorities understand these injunctions to be limited to the customs of the Canaanites and Egyptians, the Rambam understands it to be a prohibition of following any non-Jewish rite or ritual. The Torah is warning us against adopting chukat hagoy, gentile customs which will lead us to assimilate. He writes:"We do not walk after the ways of the idolaters. We do not assimilate ourselves to them; not in our clothing and not in other things like this, as it says, 'do not walk after the ways of the gentiles' (Leviticus 20:23)…Rather, a Jew should be distinct from them and recognizable through one's clothing and one's other actions, just as one is distinct from them in one's thoughts and characteristics" (Laws concerning Idolatry, 11:1).Halloween, although today it is mostly devoid of religious significance, has pagan and Christian roots. The philosophy behind the festival is idolatrous and antithetical to the Jewish worldview. According to Wikipedia:"Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (Irish pronunciation: [ˈsˠaunʲ]; from the Old Irish samain). The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture, and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year". Traditionally, the festival was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, now known as Halloween, the boundary between the alive and the deceased dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops. The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, into which bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks were also worn at the festivals in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them."The Catholic Church celebrates Halloween as All Saint's Day and special services are held in churches worldwide. Why would any Jew celebrate a holiday even remotely connected to the Roman Catholic Church? Historically, many pogroms occurred on Halloween. Jews would be kidnapped, murdered or brutalized as part of the celebration, since Jews were associated with evil, the devil and witches. The pagan worldview in which Halloween took root is completely contrary to Judaism's teachings. There are no ghosts and goblins, heavenly families, satanic adversaries or demons. There is only Him, the One and Only. Halloween, or Samhain, was a worship of nature and the spirits which rules it. Judaism, however, is insistent that all of nature is subservient to Him.In short, there is nothing kosher about Halloween. It originates in pagan[...]



Chag Sameach!

2008-10-13T16:39:48.525-04:00

(image)
Wishing all of Am Yisrael, and the entire world, a chag sameach and may our simchah be completed by the arrival of Eliyahu Hanavi and Moshiach Tzidekeneinu.



Remember who you are

2008-10-07T21:54:24.407-04:00

On the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, 'Jews for Jesus' is getting more and more aggressive in the drive to convert Jews to Christianity. According to internal memos from the proselytizing organization, missionaries are being directed to the Northern town of Qiryat Shemona. The memo goes on to boast that the missionaries "handed out 21,700 gospel tracts" and "have contact information of 995 Jewish people who told us that they want to know more about Jesus." 'Jews for Jesus' has about 2000 missionaries active in Israel. Just days ago, a radio ad by 'Jews for Jesus' in the Northern Galilee was blasted from the radio after protests. Irate listeners found that the message was far too aggressive in its call for Jews to accept Christianity.'Jews for Jesus' is but one of close to a thousand missionary groups active in Israel. In the coming weeks, tens of thousands of Christian missionaries are expected to descend on Jerusalem for the annual Feast of Tabernacles Parade. The ICEJ, organizers of this mega-missionary event, claim that "the word of G-d (read 'Jesus') is preached nightly and is central to the evening meetings." Christians are entering a fever pitch, trying to get as many Jews as possible to become Christian. Sadly, many Jews who are unaffiliated, secular or have little knowledge of Judaism are succeptible to their tactics. These Messianic groups often claim that they represent authentic Judaism, albeit one that believes in Jesus as messiah. They believe themselves to be restoring the true message of the Torah.This week's parsha of Haazinu tells us how to recognize authentic Judaism and to be able to spot out pseudo-Judaism. With many groups and individuals around the world passing off a fake, corrupted false Judaism as the real deal, this message is essential. "Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations; ask thy father, and he will declare unto thee, thine elders, and they will tell thee." (Deut. 32:7) If a Jew is confused as to what is kosher and what is treif, he need only go back to his roots, to his traditions, to his parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. He must ask himself, "did my great-grandfather worship like this?" The Torah is clear about what happens when the Jews stray from the path of their ancestors. "They roused Him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations did they provoke Him. They sacrificed unto demons, no-gods, gods that they knew not, new gods that came up of late, which your fathers dreaded not." (Deut. 32:16-17) Clearly, the Torah places emphasis on the fact that the Jews went after new gods which were recently invented. This is critical today. When confronted by missionaries who preach that Jews must believe in Jesus or be condemned to an eternity of hellfire, every Jew must take the Torah's warning to heart. Would his great-grandfather with his long beard and black hat sitting in a shtetl in the Pale of Settlement recognize his faith? His grandfather in the mellahs of Morocco? His ancestors in the judeiriahs of Spain? Would any of them recognize Jesus or feel comfortable at a Messianic service? Every Jew must answer back that Jesus and the Christian theology is 'a new god that came up of late, which our fathers dreaded not'. If a Messianic were to stand in a room with a Rambam, a Rashi, a Rabbi Akivah, a Baal Shem Tov, a Vilna Gaon, a Ramban, or even a Moshe Rabeinu, he would not fit in. They would not see any resemblance between their Judaism and the counterfeit junk hawked by the apostate.The Kol Nidrei prayer on Yom Kippur night awakens within every Jew the desire to come home to HaShem, to do teshuva and to be faithful to what they really are. It gained special significance du[...]



Onward Christian Missionaries

2008-10-05T18:06:19.344-04:00

Posted by Ellen W. HorowitzIn the mad pre-Rosh Hashanah rush, I neglected to send out a missionary update. So below is the last update on evangelical missionary activity for the year 5768 - and it's a long one.Let's hope that this New Year brings shorter and sweeter news, as we make progress in our efforts to upset the designs of those who are determined to take the Jewish people away fromtheir faith.With the U'netaneh Tokef prayer being such an integral part of the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur service, we might as well begin in Germany where more than 800 years ago the martyred Rabbi Amnon of Mainz left us a very painful and eternal lesson on an interfaith friendship gone awry.The WEA issues the 2008 BerlinDeclaration: a decree to convert European Jewry:YNET reports that the World Evangelical Alliance ended their conference in Berlin with a statement calling for the mass conversion of Jews (in the spirit of friendship, of course)The statement issued by the WEA Theological Commission entitled "The Berlin Declaration on the Uniqueness of Christ and Jewish Evangelism in Europe Today" was developed by atask force at a consultation in Berlin, Germany which took place on August 18-22, 2008.The ADL was quick to denounce the World Evangelical Alliance for targeting European Jews for conversion. It was not unlike Foxman's statement issued at the end of March which censured the very same WEA for launching a campaign targeting Jews for conversion via full page ads in the New York Times and other major papers.The WEA is no fringe group. It " is a network of churches in 128 nations that have each formed an evangelical alliance and over 100 international organizations joining together to give a worldwide identity, voice and platform to more than 420 million evangelical Christians."And it enjoys the endorsement of some heavy hitters among so-called "Christian Zionists". As you may recall CUFI regional director and publisher Stephen Strang was among the endorsers of that WEA statement, as was radio-show host Janet Parshall - who was instrumental inlaunching and establishing the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus.[It should be noted that the "prophetic" Parshall withdrew from the Caucus as she sensed atime when Israel would soon essentially say, "We'll take your aid, yoursupport and your tourist dollars, but we won't take your Jesus."]Damn straight, Janet !Ironically it was Abe Foxman of the ADL who played a role in preventing Israel from passing badly needed anti-missionary legislation back in 1998. Something about "thebill's implications on civil liberties and religious freedom in Israel"..What goes around comes around, Abe.Messianic Jews Promote Ethiopian Aliya:The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Messianic Jewish missionaries from the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA) are busy convincing 50,000-70,000 Ethiopian Christians from far-flung villages in Ethiopia that they are really Jewish believers in Jesus and entitled to aliyah.The following are excerpts from the article:"Operation Tikva is contravening the Israeli government's attempts overthe last year to wind down official aliya operations in Ethiopia, and theproject is being viewed in Jerusalem with alarm."...."These people are clearly not Jewish and they are working in areaswhere none of the people are Jews either; everything they are telling thesepeople are lies," said Rabbi Menachem Waldman, a member of the PublicCouncil for Ethiopian Jews, which has successfully persuaded the Israeligovernment to continue checking the eligibility for immigration of a further3,000 Falash Mura (Ethiopian Jews whose ancestors converted to Christianitymore than a century ago) from the [...]



Having Your Jesus and Eating it Too

2008-10-05T17:55:13.457-04:00

Tallis, tfillin, shabbos, Torah classes, sukkot, Jewish stars, Hebrew... must be Jewish. A newcomer to a Messianic congregation, upon seeing the Jewish symbols and paraphernalia, often concludes that this is the real deal, that this is authentic Judaism. When called out on the contradictions between Judaism and Christianity, Messianics will quickly point to the fact that they keep the mitzvot. Indignant at being called a Christian, they reply that they keep kosher, that they keep shabbat, light shabbos candles, etc.The Messianic movement emerged 30-40 years ago, as sort of a half-way house for Jews into Evangelical Christianity. Frustrated at the low level of Jewish conversion to Christianity, fundamentalist Christians sought a way to make Christianity more palatable to Jews. Well-aware of the bloody history of Judeo-Christian relations and the deep distrust many Jews feel towards Christians, Evangelicals tried to find a way to make their Christianity feel less "Christian". The crucifix, long associated with persecution and oppression, had to go, as did " Jesus Christ", pastor, altar, Sunday morning mass and all of the goyish accoutrement often associated with church. In its place came Jewish stars, a newly Hebrew "Yeshua HaMoshiach", rabbis, and shabbos morning services. Dressing up their church- I mean synagogue- with Jewish symbols, the Hebrew-Christian movement set out to teach Jews of the "Jewish Jesus". No longer was he a WASP or a Catholic priest, but a good yiddishe bochur, a nice Jewish boy who went to shul, kept the Torah and was 100% kosher. Certainly no Jew could refuse such a messiah.The result of this emerging Messianic movement was a Christianity that gave up none of its fundamental theology that set it apart from Judaism, but that used Jewish symbols and rituals. Messianics don't keep Christmas as they feel that it is a pagan holiday, yet they still believe in a virgin birth which they celebrate on Shavuot. The same goes for Easter; despite not celebrating what they see as pagan, they still believe that a demigod dying for their sins, and commemorate this event during Pesach. This was a win-win situation for Evangelical Christian: they didn't have to give up on any of their fundamental beliefs and were able to, at the same time, take part in Jewish rituals and observances. What resulted was a primitive form of Christianity that hid itself behind Jewish labels.The first commandment that the nation of Israel heard directly from G-d's mouth at Sinai was "You shall have no other gods before Me". Only from this fundamental basis can all other commandments proceed. The essence of Judaism is that there is One G-d, One and Indivisible, and none besides Him. Without this, there is no Judaism.A careful examination of Messianic groups reveals that they fail on this cardinal principle, making any claims of authentic Jewish expression irrelevant.Jews for Jesus, an organization aiming at converting Jews to Christianity while at the same day observing the mitzvot, states the following as its central tenets: "We believe in one sovereign God, existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, perfect in holiness, infinite in wisdom, unbounded in power and measureless in love; that God is the source of all creation and that through the immediate exercise of His power all things came into being... We believe that Jesus the Messiah was eternally pre-existent and is co-equal with God the Father; that He took on Himself the nature of man through the virgin birth so that He possesses both divine and human natures." Whether or not they keep shabbat matters little. At heart, the theology of Jews for Jesus is identical to t[...]



Teshuva

2008-09-24T21:13:50.183-04:00

This past motzaei shabbat (Saturday night), Ashkenazi Jews began reciting Selichot, special penitential prayers. Sephardic Jews have been reciting Selichot since the beginning of the month of Elul. The Selichot prayers beg G-d to have mercy on His people, to forgive us our sins, and to let us do complete teshuva. They are focused on the Thirteen Divine Attributes of Mercy which G-d revealed to Moses after the Sin of the Golden Calf. They beseech G-d's compassion that He may overlook our sins and to forgive us.From the beginning of Elul, through Rosh HaShana and the Ten Days of Teshuva, until Yom Kippur, each Jew goes through an intense period of soul-searching. This period of the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe) is devoted to doing teshuva, repentance. The Rambam writes in his Hilchot Teshuva (2:6) that "repentance and outcry [in prayer] are always proper, but between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur they are especially proper and are answered immediately, as it is written (Isaiah 55:6): 'Seek G-d when He is found, called upon Him when He is near.'"When the Temple in Jerusalem stood, various offerings were sacrificed to G-d. There were special offerings for each day and festival. An elaborate sacrificial system existed. On Yom Kippur, the Torah commands for the following offering: "Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement; it shall be a holy gathering to you; and you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. [28] And you shall do no work in that same day; for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your G-d." (Leviticus 23:27) However, the essence of the atonement was not the sacrifice itself, but the 'affliction of our souls' ie. fasting and repentance. When G-d decided to overturn His decree against the people of Ninveh, the Torah records that G-d saw their repentance and how they changed their actions. The essence is not in the physical act of fasting, crying, slaughtering an animal but rather in repenting from our sins, confessing our deeds and turning from them.For close to 2000 years, the Jewish people have been bereft of a Temple in which to offer sacrifices to HaShem. What do we do? Are we cut off from repenting for lack of a Temple? The Prophet Hosea (14:3) revealed to the People of Israel take G-d accepts our prayers in the place of animal sacrifice. "Take with you words, and return unto the LORD; say unto Him: 'Forgive all iniquity, and accept that which is good; so will we render for bullocks the offering of our lips." G-d does not desire animal sacrifice but rather sincere teshuva."Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return to God, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God. For He will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:7) "And if My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (II Chronicles 7:14). "But if the wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed and observes all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die. All his transgressions which he has committed will not be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has practiced he shall live...When a wicked man turns away from his wickedness which he has committed and practices justice and righteousness, he will save his life. Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you (Ezekiel 18:21- 22,27,30)."By lovi[...]



Callers try to convert Rabbi Singer

2008-09-18T22:07:06.723-04:00

In a powerful 2 hour radio show, Rabbi Singer refutes the claims of Christian missionaries. Click here and here to hear this amazing segment. Provocative callers try to get Rabbi Singer to exchange his Magen David for the Cross.



Rabbi Shlomo Aviner on accepting Xian money

2008-09-14T17:13:18.617-04:00

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, chief rabbi of Beit El and founder of yeshivat Ateret Kohanim, answer questions regarding accepting Christian donations.Question: I don’t understand why the Rabbis have forbidden accepting money from Christian institutions such as the Christian “Friendship Fund”. After all, that’s a Christian organization that loves Israel and I don’t feel like the money I received influences me the least bit in the direction of Christianity. Answer: First of all, I am puzzled by your great enthusiasm about living off the money of others. Have you suddenly become a beggar, what in Yiddish is called a “schnorrer”? Even to be a schnorrer from Jewish money is a shame, but to be one from non-Jewish money is already a disgrace, a profanation of G-d’s name.Observe what our sages wrote: “Those who eat ‘something else’ are disqualified as witnesses” (Sanhedrin 26b). Generally speaking, in the Talmud ‘something else’ [davar acher] connotes pork. Here, however, Tosafot proves that it should not be interpreted that way (s.v. “Ochlei”). Rather, Rashi explains that here it is referring to “People who accept charity from non-Jews, this being a profanation of G-d’s name for the same of monetary gain. Such people are classed as ‘rasha dechamas’ – avaricious evildoers.”If we were a poor country it would be one thing. I would yet understand this enthusiasm. I wouldn’t justify one’s being an “avaricious evildoer”, but I would understand it. Yet we are a wealthy country, amongst the wealthiest on earth, and all of this money is a tiny percentage of the national budget. And for the sake of this you degrade yourself? Shame on you! And the worst is that it is non-Jewish money.Let me explain. The Evangelical Protestant missionary institutions try to infiltrate anywhere they can by whatever means possible. Now they have found the golden pathway – financial support. The sums they contribute are for them nothing. They just make a big impression on us and arouse our craving for more. In the United States there are fifty million Fundamentalists. If every one of them contributes ten dollars every year, you’ve got half a billion dollars right there, which looks like an enormous sum.Financial support is their present method of slowly infiltrating us. It doesn’t happen all at once. Not everyone who accepts their money immediately becomes a Christian. Yet their influence involves a seepage process that can spread over years. Those people are very patient and gradually they make inroads.When a simple Jew hears the word “Christianity”, he is filled with abhorrence. He immediately thinks of the blood of millions of Jews tortured to death by the Christians. He recalls the Inquisition. He remembers everything. Therefore, he will never want to listen to them.Faced with that, what do we find in the internal memos of those organizations that hunt souls? “We have to break down the barriers between ourselves and the Jews. We have to rehabilitate their trust, which has been totally destroyed. We have to operate slowly and patiently. We have to show that we are friendly, and who is more friendly than He that distributes money to those who crave money?!”They use data to infiltrate every community. For example, in order to penetrate the Charedim they dress up like Charedim and keep tabs on their poor. If someone falls ill or passes away, they come to visit, help out, provide money, offer an encouraging word – without a single word about Christianity, obviously. They come again and again until a connection is formed[...]



We Let Them In

2008-09-11T22:14:27.668-04:00

US Evangelicals have a nasty habit of sticking their shtick where it just doesn't belong. They've used their influence to "persuade" Israel's lawmakers not to ban missionizing. They've descended on the Jews of Israel like vultures, ready to pounce on every Jew who will give them a moment of their time. Billions of dollars are spent every year to denigrate and mock Judaism and get Jews to convert.If a person brings a dangerous animal into their house and it bits them, who is to blame? Certainly a rabid dog or wolf cannot be held responsible for acting in a way that is dictated by their nature. The person who brought this danger in is at fault for negligence. Similarly, US Evangelicals can't really be held guilty for seeking to convert Jews. Their bible speaks of the "Great Commission" in which they are ordered to "go baptize all the nations" into their faith. Evangelicals define their religion by evangelizing and "spreading the good word". Those who must be held accountable for this grievous sin of shmad, spiritual apostasy and destruction, are those Jews who brought the Evangelicals into our homes. Churches and baptisms popping up all over Israel are simply the price of courting "a Judeo-Christian alliance". In many ways, armies of missionaries and tens of thousands of missionary pamphlets and Christian bibles are our just reward. We have courted a hornet and now it has stung us.So desperate for friends, Israeli politicians, religious and secular alike, have flirted with Evangelicals. In 2004, Minister of Tourism, Benny Ellon, gave Pat Robertson an award for "saving Israel from bankruptcy". Later that year, Robertson used his endorsement by Ellon to advocate Messianic "Judaism" (Christianity) at the ICEJ Feast of the Tabernacles. John Hagee's own CUFI (Christians United for Israel) which Israeli politicians believe to be so fundamental in providing support for Israel, is guilt of proselytization as well. Every single Christian leader whom Israel has depended on or considered a friend has supported and advanced the proliferation of missionary activity in Israel.Nobody is more guilty than the rabbis and their followers of the Religious Zionist group. They have welcomed Evangelicals with open arms. Their claim is "we are comfortable in our faith and have no reason to fear from Evangelicals. We know who we are and we don't have to worry about becoming Christian." How very now for them. And how very callous. They seem to have forgotten that despite the fact that they have a good knowledge of Torah and Jewish spirituality, many Jews tragically do not. Ironically, in Israel today, many Jews have no idea of what Judaism entails, are unfamiliar with the traditions and customs and are completely lost in Judaism. The rabbis who invited the Evangelicals are are guilty of violating the Torah prohibition of not placing a stumbling-block before the blind. They will certainly no convert but there are no such assurances for the secular and disenfranchised Jews in Israel. Missionaries have already reaped their devastating harvest of Jewish souls among the poor and less-fortunate, new Russian and Ethiopian immigrants and the elderly and troubled teens. The Torah repeatedly warns us "you shall exterminate evil from your midst." We are forbidden to tolerate idolatry among us for fear that it will lead many Jews astray. The Torah sets down guidelines for the destruction of an entire city that turns to idol worship, an ir nidachat. Such a city cannot be allowed to continue to exist in Israel. If a center of avodah zarah is allowed to[...]



Grasping at Flags and Straws

2008-09-10T21:42:27.380-04:00

Ellen does it again! Check out her latest post on the US elections and Am Yisrael again being caught between a rock and a hard place.



Our Two-Pronged War

2008-09-08T20:38:24.520-04:00

Its open season on Jews in Paris. Saturday, as they were walking home from Mincha prayers, three counselors of the Bnei Akivah youth group were brutally attacked by a gang of Muslims. The counselors were walking when they had chestnuts thrown at them. When they protested, anti-semitic slurs were hurled. 10-12 gang members then joined in and beat them with brass knuckles.This was the second attack near the Bnei Akivah branch in two months. In June, another 17 year-old Jew wearing a kippah was beaten up by a Muslim gang. And a few months ago, a neighbourhood store was caught selling shirts that read, in German and Polish, "Jews forbidden in the parks". Anti-semitic attacks are very common in France. The radical Muslim population is growing exponentially, veiled women from head-to-toe are a very common sight, and mosques are popping up all over the place. The same pattern is repeating itself in the UK, in Germany and all over Europe. This Islamic fundamentalist Jew-hatred combined with "the new-anti-semitism" of the anti-Zionist Left is lethal to Europe's remaining Jews. Many Jews no longer feel comfortable enough to wear kippot in public or to identify themselves as Jews. Entire communities are under siege as going to synagogue literally becomes an ordeal amidst intense security, guards and routine checks. Synagogues, monuments and Holocaust memorials are routinely vandalized. A few weeks ago, a video was placed on YouTube (and subsequently banned) showing a group of Greek students in Rhodes urinating on a Holocaust memorial with violent rock and anti-semitic lyrics in the background. The Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin was defaced for the tenth or so time.Europe's tragic history is repeating itself. It feels eerily like 1938 for Europe as attacks on Jews reach a fever pitch. Not only are Jews violently attacked by Muslim anti-semites but the Jewish State is regularly demonized, delegitimized and condemned. The writing is on the walls for the Jews of Europe as Muslim sonei yisrael as well as Leftist anti-semites work tirelessly to make Jewish lives miserable. The Jews of Europe face an existential threat as the radical Muslim influence is growing. In mosques all over Europe (and the world), Jews are dehumanized, compared to insects and diseases and threatened with extermination. Millions of young Muslims are indoctrinated with Jew-hatred and the terrible fruits of this preaching are being reaped in Europe, as well as against Israel. Esau soneh et Yaakov. Once again, the Jewish nation finds itself in dire straights as the world sits silently by and allows anti-semitism to take hold and grow.We Jews are in between a rock and a hard place. As Yishmael plans to destroy our bodies, Esau deceives us into giving up our souls. The World Evangelical Alliance, "Israel's best friends", have restated their goal to convert the Jewish nation to Christianity. Coming from the city in which the Final Solution of 6 million Jews was orchestrated, the Berlin Declaration calls for the evangelization of the Jews of Europe. "Everyone needs to hear this message including the Jewish people. Proclamation to Israel was Jesus’ priority. It also reflects the apostles’ practice of going to the Jew first. Nothing has occurred since Jesus came that changes the need for Israel and the nations. " It is astonishing that hundreds of years after the public disputation at the order of the Church in which Jews were threatened with expulsion, death or forced conversion, Jews a[...]



Liar Exposed

2008-09-07T17:51:40.193-04:00

Many Christian believe that whoever does not accept J*sus will "burn in hell" for all of eternity. To this extent, they are willing to do almost anything to win converts to their faith and thus "save souls". Paul, a founding father of the church and one of the most successful missionaries to have ever lived, admitted to employing deception in order to attract people to his new religion. He confessed to using lies and fraud to win converts:- Corinthians 9:20-22: To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews; to those under the law I became as one under the law -- though not being myself under the law -- that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law -- not being without law toward God but under the law of Christ -- that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak.- Romans 3:7: If through my lies God’s truth abounds to His glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner?- Philippians 1:18: In every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Jesus is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.Some of his followers have taken a page from Paul's play book. A new and frightening phenomenon which has infiltrated many Jewish institutions are "Jewish-Christians", a group which worships J*sus and accepts all of the basic tenets of Christianity but incorporates many Jewish rituals in order to mislead Jews. They claim that they are "completed Jews", insulting the millions of Jews who remain faithful to the religion of their fathers. They give J*sus Jewish garbs, dress him up as a Chassidic Rebbe and imagine him to be a Gadol. These wicked heretics call their churches "synagogues" and their leaders "rabbis". According to them, the New Testament- I mean Brit HaChadasha- is just as Jewish as gefilte fish. Messianics throw around Hebrew and Yiddish terms, copy Jewish practices and pretend to be Jews in order to persuade the ignorant to give up Judaism. They prey on the unaffiliated, often Torah-ignorant college students or the elderly, and the weak, new olim and the poor. "To the Jews, I became a Jew, in order to win Jews". While condemning the Oral Law as the work of man, they freely misappropriate rabbinic literature in support of their idolatrous creed despite the fact that none of the codifiers of the Law believed in J*sus for even a second. They know no shame in their wicked obsession with destroying through missionizing and distributing pamphlets, what could not be destroyed through auto-da-fes and death camps.Enter "Daniel". As we all recall, he was an normal Orthodox, mitzvah observant, Torah-keeping Jew married to a Jewess for Jesus (red flag). He surrounded himself with Christian friends, even accepting gifts from missionaries, under the guise of a halacha-bound Jew. He would constantly promote Judeo-Christian dialogue and friendship. Even his arguments against Christianity were half-hearted and conciliatory. He would have us believe that he suddenly had a revelation and realized the truth of J*sus. This set off a warning in my mind as Orthodox Jews who have even the tiniest knowledge of Torah do not suddenly become Christians (or "completed Jews"). What prompted this epiphany? He never let us know. Silence was our answer.Last year, I go into a debate with a Messianic missionary by the screen name of Big Daddy Jew. He claimed to have lived in Teveriah (where Daniel planned to make aliyah to). A few months ago, he suddenly disappeared. I had a feeling[...]



The King is in the Field!

2008-08-30T21:56:06.672-04:00

The shofar blast after prayers tomorrow will herald the opening of the heavenly gates of mercy. The sharp call of the shofar arouses us to put away whatever things have been distracting us from HaShem and to return to Him. We are awakened to rise from our spiritual slumber. We begin the 40 day period of soul-searching and self-improvement which culminates in Yom Kippur. During these yamim noraim we must take an honest look at our conduct in the past year, examine our failings and seek to raise ourselves up.During the yamim hanoraim, the King is in the field. During the rest of the year, the King sits in His palace and only His servants, ministers and courtiers have access to the inner sanctum. It is extremely difficult to get an audience with the King. But with the blast of the shofar on Rosh Chodesh Elul, the King will leave His palace to sit in the field. During this time, all of the King's subjects can go before Him, petition to Him, speak to Him and have their requests granted. Here's how Chassidic master Rebbe Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812), describes the month of Elul - the month that precedes the divine coronation on Rosh Hashanah:"It is like a king who, before he enters the city, the people of the city go out to greet him in the field. There, everyone who so desires is permitted to meet him; he receives them all with a cheerful countenance and shows a smiling face to them all. And when he goes to the city, they follow him there. Later, however, after he enters his royal palace, none can enter into his presence except by appointment, and only special people and select individuals. So, too, by analogy, the month of Elul is when we meet G-d in the field..." (Likkutei Torah, Re'ei 32b; see also Likkutei Sichot, vol II p. 632 ff.)The astrological sign of Elul is Virgo, the Virgin. Elul is an acronym for Ani leDodi ve'Dodi Li', I am for my Beloved as my Beloved is to me. In this month, we are reunited with our Beloved, HaShem. He is accessible to every single one of us. The gates of mercy are opened and HaShem has compassion on each one of us. Whatever sins have cut us off from Him throughout the year are forgotten and we once again become pure and sinless.We add Psalm 27 to the end of our morning and evening services.1. By David. The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life-whom shall I dread? 2. When evildoers approached me to devour my flesh, my oppressors and my foes, they stumbled and fell. 3. If an army were to beleaguer me, my heart would not fear; if war were to arise against me, in this I trust 1 4. One thing I have asked of the Lord, this I seek: that I may dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the pleasantness of the Lord, and to visit His Sanctuary. 5. For He will hide me in His tabernacle on a day of adversity; He will conceal me in the hidden places of His tent; He will lift me upon a rock. 6. And then my head will be raised above my enemies around me, and I will offer in His tabernacle sacrifices of jubilation; I will sing and chant to the Lord. 7. Lord, hear my voice as I call; be gracious to me and answer me. 8. In Your behalf my heart says, "Seek My countenance"; Your countenance, Lord, I seek. 9. Do not conceal Your countenance from me; do not cast aside Your servant in wrath. You have been my help; do not abandon me nor forsake me, God of my deliverance. 10. Though my father and mother have forsaken me,[...]



The Prince of Darkness Exposed

2008-08-27T21:23:50.522-04:00

Since the beginning of time, mankind has grappled universally with theodicy, the question of why bad things happen to good people. To solve this dilemma, the philosophers of idolatry reasoned that there must be two gods, a good god and an evil god. This dualism held that the good god was the god of light, life and kindness and was thwarted by the evil god who ruled death and darkness. This dualism, evident in the Persian Zoroastrian faith, held that the god of good was locked in a cosmic struggle against his evil adversary. When Christianity spread and many pagans came into the faith, aspects of this dualism was absorbed. Christianity holds that G-d created mankind sinful and weak, in an evil world so corrupt and full of sin that man cannot be good in G-d's sight on his own. Man is not free to choose good over evil but rather needs the sacrifice of Jesus to atone for him. This doctrine holds that G-d is the author of righteousness and perfection and never created evil. Evil is the domain of Satan, who was created by G-d as a good angel yet rebelled against Him and fights Him constantly. Satan is the embodiment of evil, the Adversary and Prince of Darkness who rules the Underworld and the souls of those who do not gain salvation.Such a theology is completely absent in Judaism. According to the Torah, a man cannot gain salvation through the sacrifice of another but rather through choosing virtue over vice, good over evil. Deuteronomy 30:15 states, "See, I [God] have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil." G-d created free will that man should be able to choose good over evil. G-d bids us to choose life, yet gave us the ability to sin and to do wrong. It is in this context that G-d created the evil inclination, or the yezter harah. Also known as HaSatan (Satan), the yetzer was created by G-d to tempt us and distract us from His service. Satan was created by G-d to serve a specific purpose, of leading people astray that they should overcome it and come closer to G-d, and is His loyal servant. Satan has no power independent of G-d and does not contradict or fight against Him.In Isaiah 45:7, the prophet describes God's creation plan when he reports that,I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I the Lord do all these things. Good and evil, harsh and cruel are in the hands of G-d and G-d alone. The translators of the Christian New International Version (NIV) Bible recognized that this verse is contradictory to the Church's teachings and translated the Hebrew word 'rah' (evil) as disaster. This is meant to make the point less easily understood. It is not just hurricanes or disease that G-d creates, but sin and immorality were created by Him so that we should reject them and gain salvation. Satan can be compared to a court prosecutor. He has an unpleasant job but rather than being wicked himself, he wants the good of the court system. Satan is one of many malachim mentionned in the Bible. The Hebrew word for angel, malach, means messenger, and that is precisely what Satan is. Never once in the entire Torah is there an example of an angel rebelling against G-d or refusing to carry out His commands, especially not Satan. That Satan is not an enemy of G-d is shown many times over in the Torah. When the snake (representing mankind's evil inclination) was punished by G-d, never once did it object to its sentence. Nowhere is this more evident[...]