Book Review: Kosher Jesus

December 26, 2011 11:43 am 28 comments

Kosher Jesus by Shmuley Boteach.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Gefen Publishing House.

Once again Shmuley Boteach has ventured bravely into an area that most Jews prefer to avoid. He argues that “Jesus a wise learned rabbi who despised the Romans…worked to rekindle Jewish observance of every aspect of the Torah…was willing to die to end Roman dominion and renew Jewish sovereignty in ancient Israel.”

He rightly points out how much the Christian world has changed for the better in its attitude towards Judaism in recent years. The Catholic Church in Europe, beginning with the saintly John the 23rd and accelerated by the last two popes has completely revised its old theology of ‘Displacement’ and teaching of ‘Contempt’ for the Jews. The Pope sat a rabbi next to him this year at Assisi. While the old Protestant Churches have adopted the Palestinian narrative lock stock and barrel and are now the coldest towards Israel and the Jews (even though some heads such as the Archbishop of Canterbury have very good personal relationships with Jews).

The most dramatic change is the emergence of the Southern Baptist Church in the USA, the huge charismatic church that contains the strongest most passionate, unquestioning supporters of Israel. At the same time they pray for everyone of us to see things their way and be saved or destroyed in the battle of Armageddon which they reckon will take place around Megiddo in Israel and those who don’t believe will be eliminated. Only then will the Messiah return (be funny if he turned out to be the Lubavitcher Rebbe).

Out of his genuine friendship and affection for his Christian admirers Shmuley is trying to remove the 600 Pound Gorilla in the Room, the fundamentally different way Jews and Christians see Jesus of Nazareth. He wants Christians to understand Jesus was not God but a nice loyal Jewish boy ( forgive me, I can’t stop myself recalling the line from ‘The Life of Brian,’ the Monty Python movie , “he’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy”). And he wants Jews to stop thinking of him as a heretic and the founder of a religion that persecuted them for two thousand years. I know his heart’s in the right place but I’m afraid he’s not going to please many people with this book.

He leans heavily on the work of Hyam Maccoby who was an English academic (grandson of the Kamenitzer Maggid). He masterfully showed how little in the Gospels made any historical sense and how contradictory and improbable their narratives were. Judea at the time was choc a bloc full of radicals, rebels, saints, charismatic healers and Teachers of Righteousness to use Dead Sea Sect terminology. Any one of whom or even a combination, could have served as a model.

There is nothing in the Gospel narrative about the words put into his mouth that would have been offensive to the Pharisee, Rabbinic school of Judaism. Politically they were divided as today between the peace party and those refusing to compromise. But neither would have objected to anyone claiming to be the Messiah which to them was simply the term used for an anointed leader who would throw off the occupation and restore Jewish sovereignty. After all many of them supported Bar Cochba who tried to do just that in 132. And the proof of the pudding was in the eating. If you won, you’d be the Messiah and of you failed, a corpse. Neither was being the ‘Son of God’ a problem because the bible calls us all sons and daughters of the one God. And for any human to have claimed he actually was God would in the eyes of his contemporaries in Judea, simply have consigned him to the ranks of the delusionary. The teachings ascribed to Jesus in the Gospels are all to be found in Jewish sources and those that seem to challenge Jewish authority can equally be interpreted, as Shmuley does, to support them as against the Sadducee ideology. Anyway the Gospels simply don’t seem to know the difference between Sadducees and Pharisees.

Since Geza Vermes the Regius Professor at Oxford wrote “Jesus the Jew” in 1973, academics have been trying to recast Jesus as a Jew. But it is all rather fanciful because we have absolutely no direct, first hand evidence whatsoever that Jesus actually existed. The Gospels were written several generations afterwards and in Greek for a Gentile audience. Josephus who might have been a contemporary and refers to him, never met him and his record is not to be relied on. St Paul who Maccoby cast as the founder of Christianity only met Jesus in a vision on the road to Damascus. We have no more facts about the actual man said to be Jesus than we do about Noah. The Gospels are important documents but not proofs of existence. I am not talking about the legacy or about the significance of the myth, simply the facts. Orthodox Jews often refer to uncensored scurrilous Talmudic references, usually in code, but we don’t know when they were written and whether they reflected later tensions.

A lot of people were trying to make the world a better place as the Roman Empire began to unravel. If you read Daniel Boyarin, particularly ‘The Radical Jew: Paul and the politics of identity’ you will know that it was almost impossible to tell many Jews from many Christians or Nazarenes in the sectarian turmoil, splits and persecutions of those days. It wasn’t really until Constantine’s Council of Nicaea in 325 that the dividing lines were finally drawn between Jews and Christians and between those who believed Jesus was a man and those who believed him to be God.

I felt, reading this book, the way I did after reading Freud’s ‘Moses and Monotheism.’  You can make out a case for almost anything but since the objective facts are so few if any at all, it’s all theory. I do not believe there is any point in trying to recast a religions ‘myth’ or narrative. What Judaism has that Christianity does not is the tradition of Midrash which does internally, re-examine and recast bible stories.

Whoever we are, we believe what we are taught, conditioned, persuaded and we act on the basis of those convictions. Variety in itself is healthy. What we religious folk, must do is stop persecuting people for thinking differently, not try to persuade then to change their ideas. That is why Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik ‎ (1903–1993) laid his ground rules for inter-faith dialogue that still define the dominant orthodox position. We should engage in mutually beneficial interaction over causes and matters of joint concern. But to try to engage in Theological Disputation is pointless. I would only want to qualify this by saying it is always beneficial to study other points of view, “Know what to reply even to the Epicurian” Avot.2.14.

I respect and value all religions that try to make this world a better place and increase love between humans. I despise any religion that tries to impose its world view on others. It doesn’t matter who that religion has as a founding figure, or what tales it tells. What counts are actions. For all Shmuley’s valiant efforts of reconciliation, no committed Jew is going to follow Jesus as a role model over Hillel who said virtually the same things. Just as no believing Christian is going to take Hillel over Jesus. Interestingly Shmuley put Maimonides on a higher level than Hillel, so we contentious Jews can’t even agree amongst ourselves.

Shmuley is not a professional historian. His potted history has the odd slip and debatable judgments. For example, it was not Pompey who started using the term ‘Palestinia’ instead of ‘Judea.’ It was Hadrian. Pharisees and Sadducees did indeed co-operate despite their differences as the Mishna Yoma shows. But still, like all his books, it’s a fun romp and it makes you think and examine your own ideas. And that, after all, is what any good teacher really wants.

28 Comments

  • See my ebook, The Book of Emet: The TRUE Story of Jesus. It tells the story of Jesus, in biblical form, from the perspective of his Jewish best friend from childhood, Emet.

  • Eliyahu
    If you think 98% of Jews are alienated you are sadly either ignorant or misinformed. The Charedi/Orthodox sector of Judaism is growing exponentially all over the world. Genuine knowledgable and committed Judaism based on Torah and the Oral tradition is doing extremely well. We have always gone for quality rather than quantity.Indeed I believe it was a Thomas Aquinas saying originally “The Almighty weighs His followers rather than counts them.”
    Jeremy

    • Alienated from Torah. I cite Pistah Keihah, The Flickering Out Wick, by Yirmeyahu ben David, an orthodox Jew in Raanana, Israel, for my data of 98% alienated from Torah. Perhaps you could cite your exponential growth data. Charedim may be multiplying but certainly not exponentially and they are failing to retain their offspring because of their adherence to medieval and superstitious teachings that are not Torah. Halakhically one is a Jew being born of a Jewish mother, or converted under orthodox auspices. Jewish mother would have originally referred only to Torah observant women. If they married outside Torah Judaism they were considered dead. The dead don’t propagate.

      However, that does not make one automatically a part of Israel in the sense of the covenant of Har Sinai. Jewish apart from Torah is merely a genetic family. No different in standing with HaSheim then the rest of the nations.

      Thomas Aquinas was not in the covenant of Har Sinai. He was a stranger and thought he could be weighed by a measure other than Torah. We Jews ignore such men who appropriate themselves a part in Torah and the brit except to point out their error and hope they will also turn to the Singularity and His Torah.

  • Rabbi Happyman

    For those who value the commentary of the man called Jesus; his Divinity or existence itself is not nec.

    For such people, only his commentary is important. If Shakespeare the man were a fiction; it would not devalue the writings credited to him.

  • For another perspective, see, “A Jewish View of Jesus” by Barry Leff (http://www.neshamah.net/2011/12/a-jewish-view-of-jesus.html).

  • You and Moshe Kaduri are of course entitled to your views as am I to mine. Nothing, I suggest better illustrates the futility of religious disputation.J.

    • Would anyone search for the historical H*orus, R*a, Her*cules, Z*eus? If one wants to find the historical “J-esus,” he won’t ever find him. It is that way by design for any myth. Sure you have witnesses, but they are always uncorroborated, at least by the scientific method. That is, observable and repeatable.

      But if you want to find a man with bones, an ossuary, a tomb, a plausible historical setting, that is possible according to archeological evidence.

      A 1st century tomb in Yrushalayim, Jewish, Hebrew/Aramaic inscriptions, Y’shua (diminutive of Yehoshua), bones in that ossuary, (what science expects of a real man), other family members ossuaries and bones – this is where one must go to prove existence.

      For Christians to ever accept archeological evidence of a Torah observant Jew that never left the Torah and taught his students absolute adherence to halakha dissolves the specter and their religion.

      Sadly to say for Jews to also understand that Ribi Yehoshua was shomer Torah opens up the possibility that the man was/is the only historical qualifier of Mashiach, (valid genealogy, birthplace, halakhic posek, fighting the battles of HaSheim, i.e. the Roman Hellenism/ists, and btw as ben Yoseph dying in that battle.)

      But when you are taught from a child if you are Jewish that Mashiach could not have come, it is a daunting task to come to any other conclusion even if the Torah, history, and science, argues against what you were taught. Look at how some Chabad are maligned for thinking M. Schneerson could have been the Mashiach.

      Ribi Yehoshua is not J*esus

      netzarim.co.il

      • The concept of Mashiach throughout Jewish history ( once it applied to a leader rather than just a priest as in the Torah)meant someone who would remove oppression and restore freedom from anything or one preventing humans from achieving their potential. That was the understanding two thousand years ago and remains the definition effective today. That is why neither the mythical Jesus, nor Bar Cochba nor indeed the Lubavitcher Rebbe qualify as the Mashiach. There is no source in Judaism that talks about a Second Coming.

        As for archaeological excavations that purport to identify Jesus, they dont. To believe those bones prove anything other than that there was a body there once is pure conjecture.

        But I do agree that even in the face of no ‘objective historical or other evidence’ people believe what they want to and I also agree that it is the teaching that counts and matters regardless of the historicity.

        J

        • It is statements like, “it is the teaching that counts and matters regardless of the historicity,” that have alienated 98% of Jews from Torah.

          Mikhâh ha-Nâvi clearly speaks of the Mâshiakh when he prophesies, “And you, Beit-Lëkhëm Ëphrâtâh, though you are to be junior among the thousands of Yәhudâh, from out of you shall come forth to Me he who shall be the ruler of Yisrâ·eil, and his goings forth are from antiquity, from past eternity.”

          “Mikhâh ha-Nâvi wrote ומוצאתיו (u-motzâ·otâv; “and his goings forth” or “issuings forth”) – in the plural!!! – of the Mâshiakh. Thus, the Mâshiakh would go forth shәtei-pә·âmim – two times. Here we have the concept of the Mâshiakh Bën-Yoseiph and the Mâshiakh Bën-Dâwid in one person – “his [singular] goings-forth” [plural]!!!”
          Quoted from the Mashiach section of the History Museum at netzarim.co.il
          Yirmeyahu Ben David

          It’s not physical. Those bones are just the beginning. He’s baaaaack!

        • There is no source in Judaism that talks about a Second Coming.

          You are completely right. But In Judaism we believe that is two Mashiach, Mashiach ben Yosef and Mashiach ben David.

      • Dear Eliyahu Konn
        I very much enjoy reading your comments. You sound like an empty scientific barrel rolling down the road and making some very disturbing noises.
        Apparently, you believe ‘if you want to find a man with bones, an ossuary, a tomb, a plausible historical setting, that is possible according to archeological evidence’. Well, I have news for you, Eli.
        Jesus is the greatest man who ever lived! Check out History. The Roman Empire era. First century of our era. Oh! by the way why is it said, B.C.E. and C.E.? Ccheck it out, dear Eli.

    • well this is the basics of Judaism, we dispute and we disagree. “There are seventy faces to the Torah: Turn it around and around, for everything is in it” (Bamidbar Rabba 13:15).

      If you read my comments below you will understand the deeply meaning of the connection with Judaism and if you have questions you can always email me to ask me directly.
      sepharadflorida@gmail.com

  • Rabbi Yehoshua (Jesus) taught Hillel Pharisaic Halakha and was against the Sadducees, because the Sadducee Halakha was to much, it put a weight in peoples lifes instead of making it simple.

    The name Halakha is derived from the Hebrew halakh, which means “to walk” or “to go”; thus a literal translation does not yield “law”, but rather “the way to go”. The term Halakha may refer to a single law, to the literary corpus of rabbinic legal texts, or to the overall system of religious law.

    The Halakha is a comprehensive guide to all aspects of human life, both corporeal and spiritual. Its laws, guidelines, and opinions cover a vast range of situations and principles, in the attempt to realize what is implied by the central Biblical commandment to “be holy as I your G-d am holy”. They cover what are better ways for a Jew to live, when commandments conflict how one may choose correctly, what is implicit and understood but not stated explicitly in the Bible, and what has been deduced by implication though not visible on the surface.

    Halakha has been developed throughout the generations 500 years before Jesus, in a constantly expanding collection of religious literature consolidated in the Talmud. First and foremost it forms a body of intricate judicial opinions, legislation, customs, and recommendations, many of them passed down over the centuries, and an assortment of ingrained behaviors, relayed to successive generations from the moment a child begins to speak.

    Rabbi Yehoshua (Jesus) was very clear about the obligation to practice and teach Torah and Halakha. We can recall passages of Matthew when Rabbi Yehoshua said:

    Matthew 5:18-19, Jesus said:

    “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

    “Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

    The House of Hillel (School of Hillel) vs. the House of Shammai (School of Shammai)

    Among the Pharisees group there were two leading rabbis of the early 1st century Hillel and Shammai who founded opposing schools of Jewish thought, known as the House of Hillel and House of Shammai. The debates between these schools were halakhic, primarily on matters of ritual practice, ethics, and theology. This was critical for the shaping of the Oral Law and Judaism as it is today.

    Despite the many disputes that later developed between their respective Houses, only five differences are recorded between Hillel and Shammai themselves. In the record of the Talmud alone, there are 316 issues on which they debated; the large number of their disputations led to the saying the one law has become two. The matters they debated included:

    - Admission to Torah study. The House of Shammai believed only worthy students should be admitted to study Torah. The House of Hillel believed that Torah may be taught to anyone, in the expectation that they will repent and become worthy.

    - White lies. Whether one should tell an ugly bride that she is beautiful. Shammai said it was wrong to lie, and Hillel said that all brides are beautiful on their wedding day.

    - Divorce. The House of Shammai held that a man may only divorce his wife for a serious transgression, but the House of Hillel allowed divorce for even trivial offenses, such as burning a meal.

    - Hanukkah. The House of Shammai held that on the first night eight lights should be lit, and then they should decrease on each successive night, ending with one on the last night; while the House of Hillel held that one should start with one light and increase the number on each night, ending with eight.

    In general, the House of Shammai’s positions were stricter than those of the House of Hillel. In the Babylonian Talmud tell us that in one occasion a Gentile approached Shammai and then approached Hillel, each one followed their Halakha when their answered. Let’s see the Halakhic views between Shammai and Hillel in this circumstance:

    Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a

    Once there was a gentile who came before 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 Hillel, and Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it.”

    In the above commentary from both, Shammai and Hillel we can see their halakhic view about the conversion, obviously Hillel had an easier Halakha. In one hand Shammai was against conversions and in the other Hillel offer a much easier way for a gentile to became part of the Jewish people and enjoys eternal life. This was in the case if a Gentile wanted to convert to Judaism.

    In the Gospel of Luke chapter 6 we can see that Rabbi Yehoshua was approached by the Pharisees from the school of Shammai, let’s see what happen so we can understand better.

    Luke 6:1-9

    1 One Shabbat Yehoshua (Jesus) was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. 2 Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Shabbat?”

    3 Yehoshua (Jesus) answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of G-d, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” 5 Then Yehoshua (Jesus) said to them, “The Ben Adam is L-rd of the Shabbat.”

    6 On another Shabbat he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. 7 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Yehoshua (Jesus), so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. 8 But Yehoshua (Jesus) knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there.

    9 Then Rabbi Yehoshua (Jesus) said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?”

    Now that we know the difference between the Pharisees, one group was from the House of Hillel and the other group was from the House of Shammai, we can actually understand their Halakha and see that the Pharisees’ who approached Jesus were from the House of Shammai. Also, is important to keep in mind that Jesus answered to the Pharisees from the House of Shammai with Hillel’s Halakha, as Jesus replied: “I ask you, which is lawful on the Shabbat: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?”

    A quick Note before we continue:
    When Yehoshua (Jesus) said to them: “The Ben Adam is L-rd of the Shabbat.”

    The term Ben Adam is purely Hebraism which in most cases is impossible to translate. The term “Ben Adam” correct and proper translation will be: “Human Being”. If you literally translated this without knowing Hebraism than you will be translating this as: “Son of Adam” or “Son of Man”.

    Therefore the proper translation is:
    Then Yehoshua (Jesus) said to them, “The Ben Adam is L-rd of the Shabbat.”

    Judaism today follows the school of Hillel, in the event that a human life is in danger (pikuach nefesh); a Jew is not only allowed, but required, to violate any Shabbat Halakhic law that stands in the way of saving that person’s life. Therefore it was taught by our sages that human life is above Shabbat, because Shabbat was created for human beings (Ben Adam) and not the contrary. So from that point of view Rabbi Yehoshua (Jesus) was referring to the same Halakha when he said, “The Ben Adam is L-rd of the Shabbat.” Because Shabbat was created for us to receive spiritual enjoyment and not the contrary as the Pharisees from the School of Shammai were teaching. So that is why Mashiach was against Shammai’s Halakha and replied with Hillel’s Halakha. To show the people of Jerusalem that he was against the Halakha of Shammai that was taught prominently in the temple; since the house of Shammai was seating in Moses chair, meaning they were in control of the temple because of their connection with the Romans, their connection with the zealots, and their connection with the powerful ones in those days. This was why Mashiach was against the school of Shammai and their teachings.

    Let’s continue,

    The teachings of Rabbi Yehoshua had more things in common with the teachings of the Pharisees, and particularly with the school of Hillel than any other group of his time. In fact, there are many similarities between Mashiach Yehoshua and Hillel himself, who was thirty years older than Yehoshua.
    Let’s compare both, Rabbi Yehoshua and Rabbi Hillel:

    Rabbi Hillel said: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn it” (Shab. 31a).

    Rabbi Yehoshua said: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this is the whole Torah and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

    On one occasion an aristocrat and a leader from another group of the Pharisees from the house of Shammai asked Rabbi Yehoshua a Halakhic question, because he wanted to test Rabbi Yehoshua’s answer in regards to this Halakha:

    18 And a certain aristocrat leader asked him, saying, Rabbi Hatov, what Mitzvah shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19 And Yehoshua said to him, Why do you call me Rabbi Hatov? No one is good but One, that is, G-d. 20 You know the Mitzvoth (commandments): ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’
    21 And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”
    22 So when Yehoshua heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
    23 But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.
    24 And when Yehoshua saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the Malhut Hashem! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Malhut Hashem.”

    We can see that this aristocrat leader from another branch of the Pharisees did not want to follow Mashiach Halakha because it required him to give away everything to follow Mashiach. The heart of this Pharisee was in the riches, in the wealth and that was not Mashiach Halakah. As he said:

    Luke 12:34
    For where your treasure is, there will be also your heart.

    In the nest chapter we will compare the teachings of Yehoshua the Mashiach and the teachings of our elder rabbis from the Talmudic era. We will compare the similarity between both perspectives in viewing the Torah as well as their Halakhic angle.

    Mashiach Halakha was in the same path as Hillel’s Halakha as he often used in different occasions, but what it was better about Mashiach Halakha is the level of righteousness. Mashiach’s Halakha and mashal (parables) surpassed all our Jewish sages, including Moses. His words were humble and strong at the same time, but yet deeply profound like a sword traversing your heart. As an orthodox Jew when I read Rabbi Yehoshua’s words I find myself in an elevated zone, so deep that for a second I am navigating in another dimension. His words surpass time and matter. Albert Einstein described these feelings in different words.

    “No man can deny the fact that Jesus existed, nor that his sayings are beautiful. Even if some of them have been said before, no one has expressed them so divinely as he.”

    As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.

    “Unquestionably” No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.

    • Moshe Kaduri,
      Yes, the historical Y’hoshua was a Torah-observant Pharisaic Jew.

      However, please notice the difference between the historical Rabbi called Y’hoshua and the counterfeit-image ‘Jesus’ created by Christians based on some teachings of the historical Y’hoshua, described in the Christian ‘gospels. The gospels contains a multitude of teachings which contradict the Torah and that the historical Y’hoshua never taught.

      As the website http://www.netzarim.co.il proves they are diametrical opposites. Ribi [a first century title of a Pharisaic leader] Y’hoshua was a Torah-observant teacher and his followers called the Netzarim were in good standing in the Jewish community.

      Anyone whom wants to comment on it and research about it in a scholarly and logical way will come to the conclusion that Christians have heavily redacted what the historical Y’hoshua said; and that Pauls message is inherently anti-Torah.

      However, based on the fact that the historical Y’hoshua was a Pharisee it is possible to restore his autentic teachings – as they were before the Christian redactions.

      It was done by a Jew called Yirmeyahu Ben Dawid in good standing in a Yemenite beit ha-kneset and was done in a Scholarly way. [This research helped me to abandon Christianity and to start doing my utmost to keep the mitzwot of Torah non-selectively, as the Creator requires of all of mankind -i.e. Many more than the Noachide laws. Proof: http://www.sevenlawsofnoah.com/seven-
      laws-of-a-noah-a-consistent-creator-requires-mankind-to-keep-all-of-his-revealed-laws/

      More about the Scholarly reconstruction:
      ”The Netzarim Reconstruction of Hebrew Matityahu (NHM) reconstructs in English the readings of all of the earliest extant source documents of Hebrew Matityahu through the 4th century, and the Hebrew source documents through the Even Bokhan (1380 CE); with translations from Hebrew and Greek plus explanations and extensive commentary and several concordances for in-depth studies. The only uncompromisingly historical and Judaic restoration of the life and teachings of Ribi Yehoshua — for neophytes and seminarians.
      Volume 1, ISBN #0-9676202-1-X, 160 pages of English translation of reconstructed Hebrew Matityahu, including cross-references to notes in volume two, headings showing the events and the dates in which they took place, documentation of all of the earliest extant sources for every word and six helpful concordances.

      Volume 2, ISBN #0-9676202-2-8, 665 pages documenting the readings in volume one from all earliest extant Greek sources through the 4th century and all earliest extant Hebrew sources through the 15th century Even Bokhan, plus Hebrew and Greek definitions, explanations and commentary
      ” [www.netzarim.co.il ; Glossaries; Netzarim Reconstruction of Hebrew Matityahu ]

      • I agree. I believe that Jesus is the antithesis of Rabbi Yehoshua, an impostor. is like Rabbi Yehoshua was a victim of identity theft and this Greko-Roman demi-god aka Jesus, is been using his identity. Of course manipulated by the political powers of all western civilization, talking about the powers that controlled Europe for 2 millennium. I will not say by the people because the poor is always poor and the people always suffers the consequences of the powers in control. They people end to be the Puppets and the political powers are the puppeteers. Therefore the people follow the anti-Semitic agenda. A mean, why would you wont follow if they keep teaching you that Jews kill their messiah Jesus and that Jews are bad and all that anti-Semitic propaganda. I bet back them was like the first page cosmopolitan magazine, the poor and the people and the uneducated always likes the gossip and that kind of things, and anti-antisemitism runs fast if everyone talks about it and is enforced by the government itself.

        So there we have a Torah observant Jew who spoke Pharisaic Judaism and thought the people to be good Jews, kind a similar to what Chabad does this days, and there we have Jesus, the demi-god that has nothing to do with Judaism.

        the question is:

        What difference makes if you believe that Rabbi Yehoshua is the messiah or not. in the end you will have to keep the Torah, observe the mitzvots and do what you are suppose to do as a Jew. and as a Gentile you keep the Noahide laws and be light to the nations. Simple, Inst that what Paul was teaching back them? He was teaching the pagan gentiles to have rules and to follow noahide laws. And in the end if a Jew believes today that Rabbi Menachen Scheerson is the Messiah or any other Rabbi is the Messiah it makes no difference because they have to keep the Torah and do shabbat and keep all the mitzvoth no matter what.

        When the real messiah comes, regardless, We are going to continue doing what we are doing anyway. Eternal Shabbat and Eternal prayer and studying.

        So the question rises,

        How good is your connection with the creator today?

        And for the Gentiles

        Stop worshiping a man, because it is idolatry and come back to the tree and the roots of your religion which is Judaism. Gentiles do not need to convert but to learn the Noahide laws which are seven and simple:

        The Seven Laws of Noah that the apostle Paul taught the Gentiles.

        1- I will not worship anyone or anything other than the One Creator, who cares for the creatures of our world, renewing the Act of Creation at every moment in infinite wisdom, being life for each thing.

        In this include prayer, study and meditation.

        2- I will not show disrespect for the Creator in any way.

        This may be seen to include respect for the beauty and life of the whole Creation.

        3- I will not murder.

        Each human being, just as Adam and Eve, comprises an entire world. To save a life is to save that entire world. To destroy a life is to destroy an entire world. To help others live is a corollary of this principle. Every human being that G-d has created is obliged to provide for others in need.

        4- I will respect the institution of marriage.

        Marriage is a most divine act. The marriage of a man and a woman is a reflection of the Oneness of G-d and His creation. Dishonesty in marriage is an assault on that Oneness.

        5- I will not take that which does not rightfully belong to me.

        Deal honestly in all your business. By relying on G-d, rather than on our own conniving, we express our trust in Him as the Provider of Life.

        6- I will not cause needless harm to any living thing.

        At the outset of his creation, Man was the gardener in the Garden of Eden to “take care of it and protect it.” At first, Man was forbidden to take the life of any animal. After the Great Flood, he was permitted to consume meat–but with a warning: Do not cause unnecessary suffering to any creature.

        7- I will uphold courts of truth and justice in my land.

        Justice is G-d’s business, but we are given the charge to lay down necessary laws and enforce them whenever we can. When we right the wrongs of society, we are acting as partners in the act of sustaining the creation.

        • Paul was teaching gentiles the laws of Noah
          Acts 21:25
          25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality or fornication.”

    • The historical person Ribi Yehoshua ben Yoseiph is not J*esus. If you were serious about keeping Torah you would not equate the two. It is forbidden to malign the reputation of a Torah observant Jew or even non-Jew.

  • Where the Jewish people are merely being tolerated, these churches are off track and should be avoided. Where the Jews are being loved, these churches are in line with the heart of God. Jesus wanted to wrap his arms around Jerusalem like a hen guarding her chicks. That is love, not tolerance.

    The two most inductive measures to test a church as to their love toward Israel: 1. Evidence of the supernatural in their midsts 2. Belief in the Bible as being true and literal.

    Yeshua will judge believers on how they treated his brethren – now who would they be? Many believers will fall away because of their hardness toward Israel.

    Mashiach, not “missionarys”, will come for Jacob. It will be the story that most brings glory to God before all creation.

    No Jesus could not have been just a good little Jewish boy. There is no better documented ancient figure, with over 500 (Jewish) witnesses to his resurrection. He fulfilled more than 100 distinct messianic prophecies in the tanach. The book which shows that he had to have come before the destruction of the second temple and the records of the lineage of david, and indeed was to be “cut off” around AD33.

    But he did not come to remove one kotz or tag from the tanach, and indeed is revealed in every one of its books, in bible code, as well as by Rabbi Kaduri.

  • Ben
    I think you misunderstand my point. I am all for interaction between different religions, mutual respect and understanding. I just dont think we Jews should be telling Christians how to interpret their traditions any more than I’d like someone else to try to persuade me that my understanding of my narratives are wrong or inadequate. Jeremy

    • Mr Rosen,
      I don’t agree with Ben’s line of reasoning at all. Believing something against the facts doesn’t foster “little friends getting along.”

      If your traditions are historically inaccurate or scientifically impossible then they are open for reproof from the objective facts, whether you are a Jew or a Christian. It is not personal at all.

  • I have been brought up as a Christian practically my whole life. Been at long stays in Lutheran and Baptist and nondenominational churches, went to a Baptist HS, and visited at many more denominations. I have never heard Jews attacked or put down disparagingly except to say if they think Jesus isn’t God and a part of a Holy Trinity then they are factually wrong.

    In any case, what I really think we need are books like this one and others, versus the viewpoint seemingly put forth here, wherein there is no real dialogue between religious believers/nonbelievers and only focus on mutual self interests. It’s almost as if this view mocks the religions themselves; why did they bother to write any of this stuff down??? Just get along little friends.

  • frania kryszpel block

    That the best of us thank them for sticking up for us. So, it truly Is not as optimistic a picture as you portray concerning replacement theology,etc. We just do not have to fight it. We have them doing it for us. And trust it is not just a walk in the Park for them.

    • Frania
      Thank you for your comments. Yes it is true, every religion has its extremists, those who give moderates within as much grief as enemies outside. I remember the late Cardinal Koenig of Vienna complaining that he tried to educate his country priesthood about anti Semitism but they did not want to know! Still its the leadership from the top that is crucial in bringing about change however slowly. Jeremy

      • frania kryszpel block

        Hi. I was born in Austria. Cardinal Koenig had the position right after the displaced persons camps were dismantled. The Austrians did not like having these homeless poor displaced camps on their midst. The only reason my parents could dress and go out with me to the best bakeries and nightclubs was that mu father spoke perfect German,even though he was polish. We could pass. The others were not welcome and stayed in the dp camp. It was Pope John XXIII that was the force behind changing the claim of the Jews killing the Savior. The Nostra Aerate did not concern just Jews. The Pope had a difficult time getting anyone yo agree with him in a needed vote. Cardinal Koenig was good in Catholic dialogue with other religions. He voted with the Pope to erase the slur that caused centuries of persecution of Jews. BUT BARELY!! there was heavy opposition on many fronts. That vote is almost no vote.
        That is how close a margin it was.

      • frania kryszpel block

        The entire religions were extremists. That is why there was a holocaust. The aberrations were the good priests and people who laid down their lived fighting back. They were the extremists. The vileness was the regular religion. And you are so right about going from the top down. ZThe problem is that the top was blinded by riches, stolen or not. As is very visible just on the outside of the Vatican the stolen goods. Thongs have not changed much. Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac(Kissinger quote). That is why I admire and honor CUFI leadership. They could go live the good life. They don’t need to be working day and night for us and be treated ad coreligionists and also mamy jews. But they do.

  • frania kryszpel block

    Sorry..this device…..” the way it is told keep you hoping to hear the next thing.” I must differ with you on your upbeat take on the Pope and displacement theology . Ad hoof ad it is not all churches have changed. Good Christian leaders have very hard roads with these other churches who are stronger than ever holding on to the old ways. The Jews killed their Savior. Groups like CUFI,with the wonderful Pastor John Hagee who have helped in educating, teaching, promoting people all over the world that the Jews are their older sisters and brothers, not people with horns coming out of their head,like the devil…have to deal with forceful,agressive,churches that have not changed, but in fact, have dug their heels
    In deeper. These churches are not sitting quietly on the sidelines. That is what makes CUFI, I believe, one of the most special groups of this century. Nowhere in history has there been a group to fight high and low for us. And I know that the Bray of us

  • frania kryszpel block

    This is SO very enlightening. Interesting history with an easy,very studious bent. All the ins and outs. Information that opens your mind,eyes and keeps you hopinh yo hear the next thimg. And the way it is expressed in such easy language and manner makes one want to learn. Thank you.

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