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Unlike some religions Judaism does not seek converts. Indeed, conversion to Judaism can be quite difficult and require one, two, three, or more years of study and hands-on learning; in some cases it also costs a lot of money. There are several reasons why the rabbis have chosen to make conversion so difficult, here is one reason we seldom think about.
In this study we will consider the "Golden Rule." We will be focussing on three main points:
Everyone knows the Golden Rule of course. It is a universal principle held by most religions:
- How Jews understand the Golden Rule with regard to conversion
- How Christians understand it with regard to conversionand
- How the Golden Rule can be applied to inter-religious dialogue and mutual respect.
Do unto others
As you wish them to do unto you
If only the world followed this rule how better our lives would be!
However the rule is not always as clear as it seems. Consider:
The Golden Rule that we Jews received from Rabbi Hillel (who live about 100 years before Jesus/Yeshua and doubtless inspired his version) is a bit different:Of Rabbi Hillel we read:Jews strongly disapprove of all missionary work. Since we find attempts to convert us so onerous and offensive, we do not seek to convert others. In this way our views are consistent with the Golden Rule. We do not do to others what we find objectionable to ourselves. From the positive perspective, we allow others to determine their religious beliefs as we wish they would leave us alone to determine our Path as Jews.
Once there was a gentile (i.e. a non-Jew) who came before Rabbi Shammai, and said to him: "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Shammai pushed him aside with the measuring stick he was holding. The same fellow came before Rabbi Hillel, and Hillel converted him, saying: "That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, all the rest is commentary, go and learn it". -- Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31aJesus/Yeshua said:While Jews are born into our Covenant with God, Christians believe they must choose to enter into their religion. They believe that if their children do not "receive Jesus" they are doomed to Hell where the God of Love will give them over to the Greek god Hades (Lucifer) to torture them for all eternity. Details of how this conversion to Jesus is supposedly done vary denomination by denomination.
"What person is there among you that if his son asks for a loaf of bread will give him a stone?"
Or if he asks a fish, will he give him a snake?
If you then, being imperfect, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him?
Therefore all things that you desire that others would do to you, do you even so to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets -- Matthew 7:9-12.
Because of this belief, most religious Christians insist that if they did not already "know Jesus" they would want someone to tell them, to warn them, about this threat so they could avoid "Hellfire and damnation." Since they would want to be "missionized" they understandably offer this choice to others. They are therefore obeying the Golden Rule as they understand it when they try and missionize us.
We therefore have a fundamental conflict rooted firmly in the Golden Rule itself. Can this be resolved? Yes!.... Sort of....
Most religious Christians accept our Tanach, which they usually refer to by the insulting name "the Old Testament." Most understand from the Tanach that we Jews are the elect, the chosen people of the God, the God they seek to worship. This same Tanach is filled with verses that say our Covenant is * eternally binding. What does "eternal" mean? It means forever, unending. Therefore according to the Tanach we Jews are already "saved." If a Christian disbelieves this he/she disbelieves the Tanach (or "Old Testament")! Most Christians say the entire 66 book Bible (i.e. Genesis to Revelation) is the "inerrant Word of God: so we have our solution:
You do not need to missionize us according to the Bible!"They shall be My people, and I will be their God. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me."Go after the other nations if you wish, but leave us alone. According to the Bible seeking to convert us is stealing from God's own Treasure House (Psalm 35:4 etc.) as I demonstrate in this video:
Be Our friends, Don't Try and Convert us:
But for some Christians there remains a problem. Paul and other New Testament writers say to present the teachings of Jesus/Yeshua "First to the Jews, and also to other gentiles." While some Christians seek harmony with the Torah as the most important thing, followed by the other texts (which forbids seeking to convert us), other Christians place the New Testament ahead of even the Torah in violation of their own texts. They inaccurately claim that "the Torah was nailed to the cross" (May HaShem forbid) despite the clear words to contrary in their own religious book. Consider the following:"Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah -- not until everything that must happen has happened... Matthew 5:18; Complete Jewish Bible, by David Stern.
"Now the people here [i.e. in Berea] were of nobler character than the ones in Thessalonica; they eagerly welcomed the message [i.e. of the followers of Jesus/Yeshua], checking the Tanach every day to see if the things Sha'ul [i.e. Paul] was saying were true...." Acts 17:11; Complete Jewish Bible.
"You people don't know what you are worshipping; we worship what we do know, because salvation comes from the Jews," Jesus/Yeshua at John 4:22; Complete Jewish Bible.
"Then Yeshua addressed the crowds and his talmidim: "The Torah-teachers and the P'rushim [i.e. the rabbis]" he said, "sit in the seat [i.e. hold the authority] of Moshe..." Matthew 23:2; Complete Jewish Bible.
"In that case, I say, isn't it that God has repudiated his people?" Heaven forbid! For I myself am a son of Y'israel, from the seed of Avraham, of the tribe of Binyamin. God has not repudiated his people, whom he chose in advance; Romans 11:1,2; Complete Jewish Bible.
So, can the conversion rift be resolved between us without compromising the Christian understanding of the Golden Rule? YES! Please consider my Christian friend: If you were part of the Eternal Covenant described in the Torah would you want people trying to convert you away from it as the Baal worshipers and so many others sought to do throughout the centuries? Of course you wouldn't! Such attempts would offend you as they offend us. Therefore, please go after the other nations if you wish, but leave us alone. We hold the Covenant of HaShem! You do not need to missionize us according to the Bible!
May I suggest:
Muslims For Jesus? Pretend to be Muslims the same way "Jews for Jesus" pretends to be Jewish.
Infiltrate them, alter al Qur'an and tell them what it "really means."
Note: They are not as mellow as we are. This could be hazardous for your health!.
Your own holy book teaches that the Torah is eternal (Jeremiah 32:38-40) and will not be replaced nor revoked (Matthew 5:18). That all of your beliefs are to be harmonious with the Tanach and that anything that contradicts Torah is to be rejected (Acts 17:11) -- frankly, not much of what is being taught today "in Jesus' name" would be accepted based on this verse. That the Jews still maintain the truth and the way of salvation (John 4:22, Matthew 23:2). Paul says that we are still the Chosen People and that those who seek God seek to be grafted onto our 'Tree', and not the other way around (Romans 11). You are told to come to us to learn, we do not go to you.
As your rabbi, Jesus/Yeshua, plainly stated the rabbis (the Jewish leaders) and other Jewish Torah teachers are authorized by HaShem to manage the authority of Torah and the Way of God originally granted to Moshe (i.e. Moses), see Matthew 23:2. Gentiles are given that authority nowhere in the Bible and yet you seek to convert us?
Trying to convert Jews and encouraging us to abandon Torah is a MAJOR SIN according to the Bible. Torah forbids us from following gods unknown to our father:
They sacrificed to demons, which have no power, deities they did not know,
new things that only recently came, which your forefathers did not fear -- Deuteronomy 32:17.
Our fathers did not know a triune god. They did not know a god-man named Jesus/Yeshua. Likewise they did not know Hubal-Sin, aka the allah of Islam. They did not know Muhammad, who also demands that we leave Torah for their plagiarized religious system.
The God of Avraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moshe, the Rabbis, Jesus/Yeshua, the Rambam, Rashi, the BESHT, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, the Lubavitcher Rebbes... NONE of our fathers knew any god other than HaShem, the ONE God of Israel. We Jews are their descendants and we desire to know no God other than HaShem. In Him ALONE we place our faith.
Again, be our friends, do not seek to convert us!
As the Rabbinic Jewish reformer Jesus/Yeshua of Nazareth plainly said: We worship what we do know, because salvation comes from the Jews" -- John 4:22.
Be our friends, don't try to convert us lest you receive a negative judgement from GOD! -- Genesis 12:3
"Do unto others
as you would have them do unto you."
"That which is despicable to you,
do not do to your fellow.
This is the whole Torah, all the rest is commentary, go and learn it".
-- Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a
"I am HaShem, I do not change; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed"
-- Malachi 3:6.
Israel will be saved in HaShem with an everlasting salvation: you shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end -- Isaiah 45:17
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