Letters Nov. 12, 2021

Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim

Rejecting Jesus

Reader: Having read the last Jewishtimes, the question that came forth is this: Is Judaism an anti-Christ religion? There are a lot of religions in the world, but Mesora never tries to demolish them; it is only Jesus and the resurrection [that you address]. Is Christianity a threat to Mesora and Rabbinic Judaism? 

I have been studying Judaism with Mesora independently for the past 10 years and I really enjoy the various articles each week from the organization. I respect Rabbinic Judaism and the rational explanation of the Torah. But what bothers me is while Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and other major religions and various cult like the new age religions have damaging doctrines, Mesora never singles them out to point to the errors of their ways. While not defending Jesus and Christianity, Rabbi David Gottlieb in his book Living up to the truth says that while Judaism had the greatest probability of truth as regard mass witness, Christianity also had the nearest evidence to this, as most of Jesus miracles were performed before thousands of witnesses.  The central point of the Paul analysis is that if Jesus was not resurrected, then the Christian faith is in vein, but the account of resurrection in Mathew testify that the resurrection is not a private affair: Jewish guards were aware of it, some dead people came back to life, he appears to several of his disciples. The Catholic Church for many years keep a Turin cloth. Jesus over the past 2000 years had been appearing to different people, Muslim, saints and others, all these were well documented.  

–Nora Esom

Rabbi:  Mesora has addressed the fallacies of Islam, Christianity and even Jews spreading falsehood in the name of Judaism. The reason Christianity has been recently addressed is due to conversations and emails to Mesora that focus on Christianity.  Jesus and the resurrection pose no threat as the claims lack validation. None of Christianity’s claims are validated as historical fact, which requires mass witnesses, not simply stories about events. History is validated only when there exists unanimous transmission, like Caesar’s rule, Alexander the great, and other universally transmitted events by masses.

You quote Rabbi David Gottlieb, “Christianity also had the nearest evidence to this, as most of Jesus miracles were performed before thousands of witnesses.” Not so. You must distinguish between “stories of claims” of witnesses (Christianity), and between “transmission” by eye witnesses (Judaism), i.e., verbal communication originating at the event, not later. Christianity’s stories were written later, but were not transmitted en masse from the purported event, as was Revelation at Sinai, explaining the delay from Christianity’s record of purported events. For Christianity could not escape condemnation, had it stated an event occurred to some people at present. No one would accept or transmit a lie about where they were that day. Therefore, Christianity scripted false events that “took place decades earlier.” 

Furthermore, Judaism does not rely on a text, as that is circular reasoning, to prove a text from the text. No, Judaism relies on an unbroken chain of transmission where all Jews—and even Christians and Muslims—affirm an identical historical event of 2.5 million Jews witnessing Revelation at Sinai. For 3333 years, Jews and others have reiterated Moses’ words that we must not forget what our eyes saw. In contrast, Paul found a previously written creed of resurrection, which he did not witness. There are no mass witnesses for Jesus’ rise from the dead. There are no mass witnesses for any other religion’s claims of divine origin. Additionally, the claim of witnesses at Jesus resurrection are vague, whereas Torah records Jewish tribal names, family names, princes, census, dates, and locations of the Jews who left Egypt and witnessed Revelation. 

The matters you cite regarding 1000s who saw Jesus’ resurrection or Jesus appearing to them have never stood the test of validation, as I just wrote. It is similar to someone showing you a story about some culture 50 years ago, which had a leader who was resurrected, or like people claiming UFO citings. One must be quite doubtful about UFOs and claims of Jesus’ resurrection. They are all sketchy claims. Why don’t these claims meet the level of credibility we find for Caesar or Alexander the Great? Those histories are not doubted. But stories of Jesus and UFOs are. This should enlighten the intelligent person. Mere stories do not validate history. And the shroud of Turin has been discredited. Finally, your claim that “Jewish guards were aware of it, some dead people came back to life, Jesus appears to several of his disciples, Jesus over the past 2000 years had been appearing to different people, Muslim, saints and others”  are not validated by witnesses. 

Are We All Jewish?

Reader: Hashem created Mankind in his image. Man and woman did he create them. But then He took the man and put him in the garden. From the man's rib he created a woman. Is this man the man he first created? What happened to the women that was initially created “In our image?” Also, if Adam and Eve were the original DNA of the later Hebrews who due to Abraham became the first Jews, this line of evolution must have passed through Noah. Was Noah a DNA Jew, or a Jew “in advance?” If so, then if all the earth’s people were destroyed by the flood, the human race that came after had Noah's DNA making all the gentiles biological Jews, or pre-Hebrews. Can you explain? 

–Label Goodman

Rabbi:  Genesis offers a few accounts of the same Adam and Eve to draw out various lessons. Adam was “made from the earth” but the process is not known: Did he evolve (from prehistoric man), or was he created anew? Human remains date back 300,000 years…longer than Adam who is only 5782 years old. 

Regarding DNA, all mankind descends from Adam and Eve, through Noah and his family. Jews did not exist yet. The “Jew” is a group of descendants of the 12 Tribes obligated in Torah. But the “Jew” is not a different DNA type. The Jew is a human who has Torah obligations. God created a single human race, and from them, He selected a group of monotheists to receive His Torah to teach mankind.