Reader: Dear R' Moshe Ben-Chaim,
An acquaintance and myself were discussing Judaism and Christianity and other related topics. This "friend" belongs to the Messianic religion (Jews for Jesus). He sent me an email with his beliefs and ideas as well as all the other members of his cult. I would like to know how one would/should respond to these ideas specifically. I know that you have dealt with these issues before, but how what is the proper method for one to approach this specific case?
“Following the catastrophe of the destruction of our Temple (70 ACE), many Jewish writings were lost, but the Pharisee’s writings remained (Mishna, and then Gemara, and thus, Talmud), and so have made themselves to be authentic “true Judaism”, and the standard by which all other “Judaisms” are to be measured. I disagree. I hold to Tenach as authoritative, inspired, divinely revealed truth; and the Talmud as very insightful commentary, at times. I mean no disrespect, but I do not accept that the Oral Law was passed down with the written Torah from “Moses, ...to Joshua... and ...to the men of the Great Synagogue” (Aboth 1:1).
Rather, because I hold to the eternal authority of Tenach, I therefore accept that Moses and the Prophets looked both to Messiah and Brit Chadashah (New Covenant, Yirmeyahu 31:31). I believe that Jesus is the Messiah of our people; that Moshiach has made final atonement for our people (and all who will trust in Jesus), and that HaShem has not rejected Israel as His people, and that Brit Chadasha, along with the Tenach, stands as testimony to those facts.”
Thank you, Heshy
Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim: Heshy, we first realize this Jew for Jesus is simply suggesting his own opinion, and not even attempting to support it with proof. This lack of proof itself tells the reader there is no reason to accept this writer’s words.
Number two; the writer arrogantly disagrees with all Torah authorities, offering no explanation for his disagreement. It is laughable that he claims authority over accepted Torah giants who unanimously agree on the chain of Torah transmitters. Where are this writer’s volumes of genius insights, as provided by Maimonides, Nachmanides, Rashi et al…that he disagrees with them? Perhaps he wishes to teach Einstein science too. Where is his historical basis disproving known Jewish history?
This writer comes after the fact, as if to tell Henry Ford that “I know better what a Ford is”. Those who codified the Torah are the exclusive authorities and definers of Torah…not this foolish writer.
Furthermore, these authorities unanimously reject Jesus as a charlatan, a blasphemer, and a destroyer of Torah and Judaism. The writer ignores the facts
All true thinkers provide rational argumentation for their positions…completely absent in this writer’s subjective whims. There is nothing credible in his words that require a respectable response from you. If man does not operate with wisdom, be righteous to yourself, and spend that time in study which you would have used wasted on deaf ears, “Do not rebuke a scorner, lest he hate you.” (Proverbs, 9:8)