Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Surprisingly Pleasant Confrontation with Anti-Messianic Missionary

I don't believe in censorship.  In fact, I'm going to share with you an email I received from an anti-Messianic missionary in Israel.  He makes some great points and asks good questions at the end.  Naturally, he doesn't believe that Yeshua is the Messiah.  But we shouldn't let that stop us from dialoguing with him.  Oh, I should say that I do censor a little bit here to preserve anonymity for certain parties.  But I've not censored anything substantive.  Here's the email:

"[EDIT], you were saying that being Jewish has to do with being descended from the tribe of Judah. What about the fact that the "House of Judah" contained Lewiim/Kohanim, Binyaminim, Yehudim, and Shim`onim by default, and some descendants of all tribes decided not to rebel from the Kingship of Judah which was ordained authoritative kingship of Israel (and thus were under the "House of Judah")? That is still called "Jewish", and the term "Jewish" started being used to define those of Israel who returned/remained faithful. Because they remained more faithful, they didn't suffer permanent Assyrian exile like many (but not all!) of the northern 10 tribes, instead they came back to Israel after 70 years from Babylonian exile. That's who Israel is, and Israel still contains all 12 tribes.

And also, in Devarim 17 throughout the chapter, and in other places in the Torah, the command regarding the Sanhedrin is given. As I've explained before, aspects of Torah which are completely necessary for Torah observance, like shehhitta/slaughtering animals, milah (circumcision), melakha on Shabat (i.e. what qualifies as "work"/"action resulting in creation"), and many more issues which are [purposely] not explained in the written Torah all were understood by Moshe and his Court (the first Sanhedrin). And over the generations, a whole vast understanding of Torah (not just on halakhic issues, but much more) were handed over, and more rulings were instituted over time. This is the aspect of "living Torah", since the Torah is able to be expounded upon and adapted to the needs/new circumstances of every generation. Without the oral Torah, the Torah is a dead system, and that is what Karaites have.

That is the brief background and the Torah-source for what is called "Judaism" today, answering your question to [EDIT]. HaShem purposely made it so that a goy would not be able to just pick up a Bible, read the first 5 books and know exactly how to be an Israelite. The Torah, as it says in Psalms 147 in the last two verses: "He declares His word to Jacob, his statutes and ordinances to Israel. He has not done so for any other nation (literally "for any goy"), and his ordinances they haven't known. Hallelu-Yah"

When you have a whole people who have had the same tradition of Torah for thousands of years, and not only that, but when you have that tradition of Torah totally engrained and interwoven inside of the culture and language, other people can't come along later, totally disconnected from that, and start saying otherwise.

Getting back to the main point I made, there are 3 things that classify God's only chosen people:

1. `Ivri

2. Yisraeli

3. Yehudi

1. Hebrew is our language, and our ethnic identity. The Moavim and `Amonim also were Hebrews. The Arabs of southern Saudi Arabia and Yemen are descendants of Yoktan and Edom, both Hebrews, thus they are Hebrews.

2. Israel is our land and adds specification to our identity. A person can be a Jew but not an Israeli, if he is not from Israel. He is thus incomplete in his identity, in that he does not belong anywhere else than Israel.

3. Judah is our kingdom/religion. Every King of Israel has halakhic authority. HaShem made a covenant with David, giving him the kingship forever. There are known descendants of David today. Yeshua wasn't even one, if he had existed, because this promise is for the paternal descendants of David, clearly.
  All sorts of people can claim to be "Israel", but even if they are physically, they need to return spiritually and not go create their own religion and say that the only people who have maintained the identity of Israel and Torah throughout history are wrong."

So I guess the main question is, what has changed in your eyes about these principles of Torah. How have these core ideals become changed through Jesus? I've heard this idea of "covenental" changes, but I think that whole thing is misunderstood and is adapted too much from normative Christian replacement theology."


So what do you think of his points and questions?


  1. I am not sure I understand his argument, it seems his main argument is against Two-Theology. Am I correct in reading that?


    This link is not in support of Two House theology, instead it is written by a Rabbi, who gives an Orthodox view on the Two Kingdoms of Israel and their history, and possible future. Check it out.

    1. He's trying to articulate the role of traditional halacha in preserving the Jewish people and he's asking whether we are going to interfere with those core ideals.

      He did address the Two House doctrine but he didn't go into much detail there. I think his main concern was finding out what we think about the New Covenant and how it has affected our approach to traditional halacha and Jewish religious authority.

      Thanks for the link. I'll check it out now.

    2. Just read through the link. You know, it's funny because that Orthodox Rabbi quoted the same passage (Ezek 37) that I did when I responded to the anti-Messianic.

  2. Peter, I sent you more details on my view on Two House in the email I just sent to you now.

    1. The various approaches to Two House don't really interest me that much. They have little practical value and they generate an inordinate amount of controversy and confusion.

      The most important thing to talk about is this: what is your evidence for concluding that Yeshua is not the Messiah. This is THE most important area of discussion. Would you share with us your reasoning?

    2. Or maybe you could invite Lazer Brody to debate me.

    3. Peter,

      A. Michael is Aaron Michael Himango, my younger brother in Israel. :-)

      He's 21(ish), and yes, he converted to Orthodox Judaism and denied Yeshua.

  3. Peter, its not Rav Brody's cup of tea I don't think. I'll write here a general summation of the reasons I had for changing my mind. You'll be able to read about it more in depth in the upcoming Breslev Israel article about my 'journey' (I hate the word journey in this usage).
    I am 24, btw, Judah. :)

    1. Thank you for your willingness to engage. I look forward to hearing your rationales.

  4. 1. The J-man, or Y-man if you prefer, wasn't a paternal descendant of Dawid hamelekh even if you believe he existed as portrayed in the "NT", and believe the "NT"s lineage for him. He is said to have been spiritually born, his father isn't supposed to be human. Therefore he can be no Cohen or no Davidic King.

    2. People who believe in him have to throw out all sorts of halakhot and sections of halakhot in order to maintain their belief in him. They have to be at odds with all the Hhakhamei Yisrael. I guess its no wonder tons of Messianics throw out the entire Oral Torah anyway.

    3. He left nothing behind, besides a few random conversations and short things here and there. Nothing comprehensive on any level. It is seriously very little to work with. That is why there are myriads of different kinds of Protestants and now Messianics, with varying and conflicting views on even very basic matters of faith. Splintering and splintering into everyone's own personal group, and sometimes even their own made up title.

    Those are 3 reasons I could think of off the top of my head. There are more obvious ones like the fact that he didn't fulfill what the Mashiahh is supposed to do, based on HaShem's promise to Dawid, but I don't have time to expand on that at the moment. I'll write more later as more comes up.

    1. Response to rationale 1:

      Isaiah 7:14 (Septuagint) says "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin [parthenos] shall conceive in the womb, and shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Emmanuel." As you can see, this was to be a sign for the Messiah and it is a supernatural sign. If G-d used this as a sign to identify the Messiah then it follows that G-d did not consider such a birth to negate the Davidic covenant.

      Also, we know that the Messiah is the perfect priest. Therefore, He could not be a mere cohen. He was a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Gen 14:18-20; Psalm 110:4). This superior office is required to carry out the promise of the New Covenant. Paul describes the advantage of the Melchizedek priesthood thusly: "Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself" (Hebrews 7:27).

      Response to rationale 2:

      Your argument here is as follows:

      (1) Some Messianics don't follow Oral Torah

      (2) Therefore, Yeshua is not the Messiah

      This is a non-sequitur, a logical fallacy.

      Response to rationale 3:

      This is just a recapitulation of your rationale 2.

      Lastly, you say that Yeshua didn't do what the Messiah was supposed to do. But, again, you've failed to recognize Messianic prophecy which says that the Messiah must come twice: (1) first, humbly riding on a donkey (Zech 9:9). Also, being despised and rejected of men (Isaiah 53:3); (2) second, He will one day return in glory with "all nations and peoples of every language worship[ping] Him" (Daniel 7:13-14).


      Your argument then is based on (1) a failure to recognize Messianic prophecy and (2) logical fallacies. I recommend you invite one of your superiors to help you out. Let's have a real debate, okay?

  5. Yesha`yah 7:14 says alma, not bethula. Bethula is the ONLY word in the Hebrew language that means virgin, case closed. You quoted a translation, not the actual Hebrew. There is deep significance. You also do not speak Hebrew, so this accounts for a lot. When you understand Hebrew and Judaism much more - things like this get cleared up.

    Also, there are people named `Imanuel. `Imanu means "with us" and El means "God", meaning "God is with us". No one claims people named `Imanuel are physical incarnations of God, as in "behold this person is God who is with us now in the flesh". It is absurd to say that this means that this verse is talking about God actually becoming a human. That idea is directly contrary to Torah and has been since the beginning of the world.

    Malki-Sedeq, also called Adon-Sedeq, was Shem. As of now, Kohanim are only of the descendants of Aharon. That is a basic fact of Torah, explicit in the Written Torah.

    Your 2 points that were supposed to reiterate what I said are not entirely accurate. I said that in order to maintain a believe in Yeshu, one must throw out halakhot. That means that if someone believes Yeshu is a divinity, the son of god or whatever, they're committing idolatry, a basic Torah violation. This is not a prohibition that is only expanded on in the Oral Torah.
    If they don't believe that, but they're at odds with Hhakhamei Israel.

    Peter, point three is in that Dawid had a promise. That promise isn't fulfilled in the pansy-man pacifist you worship, who wasn't even a paternal descendant of him. No goyim ravished and conquered, no restoration of Jewish supremacy throughout the world as it once existed. Much the opposite. Failed messiah.

    You're asking for a real debate, when you quote a translation and don't even speak or understand Hebrew. Think about that for a second.

  6. Peter, I emailed you to have a private discussion between me and you. You replied to almost nothing I sent you in my initial email or two, and you posted one thing I wrote here for discussion. I thought it would be sincere, and you seemed so nice. But then you come out with this absurd game, using retarded tactics like making up "logical failures" only when you rephrase things to morph them into that. That is dishonest and nothing I will tolerate; and you pulled this first. I wasn't planning on it, I thought there could be actual conversation here, and that is what I wanted.

    You end your latest comment in a very obnoxious way. You don't speak Hebrew, and I do. I study Torah in Hebrew daily. I have much more of a grasp of it than you do. That is a fact, and don't be a fool to say "oh, you're so conceited". No way, there are lots of people around me who know Hebrew better, and understand Torah better than I do. I give to them their due respect, as you should someone who understands an important thing much better than you.

    If you were so honored to have someone in Israel commenting on your blog as you stated before - why do you pull these Greek translations and act as if I have no idea what these prophecies are saying. When I was still a Messianic and started learning some Hebrew, I kinda realized that I was guilty a bullshitting with this whole "alma" verse. It just doesn't mean virgin, and that's not what it is referring to at all. That attitude you displayed is haughty, and we both know that you know better.

  7. A. Michael;

    How do you explain the annual event of the temple sacrifices not being accepted for the 40 years before it's destruction?

    As mentioned in the Talmud, not mind you, the New Testament, so no bias of the early followers here;

    "Our rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot ['For the Lord'] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-colored strap become white; nor did the western most light shine; and the doors of the Hekel [Temple] would open by themselves" (Soncino version, Yoma 39b)."

    What did the Jewish nation do in 30 CE to merit such a change at Yom Kippur? By some accounts, on April 5, 30 CE (i.e., on the 14th of Nisan, the day of the Passover sacrifice) the Messiah, Yeshua, was cut off from Israel, himself put to death as a sacrifice for sin. To this event there is a transference of the atonement now no longer achieved through the two goats as offered at Yom Kippur.

    At this time, a small, Jewish fellowship followed a man who proclaimed His death would be an atonement for sin, and he was put to death in the same year the temple sacrifices lost their efficacy.

    Is this merely a coincidence?

    I think not.

  8. Guess what, anonymous. There are a few Yeshus in the Talmud, some are different people. One lived decades before the first century CE and one around the second century. None of them are the Yeshu of the NT. That is a made up narrative taking some Messianic figures from around the time and meshing them with the sun god narrative. You'll see the same sun god of various different civilizations in history had key points, like they walked on water, were man-gods born of virgins, got tempted in a wilderness, did all sorts of miracles, died and ascended into heaven, etc, etc, etc. Are those coincidences? I think not.

    The Roman exile occurred because not enough Babylonian Jews returned to Israel. But that is none of your business, given that you are likely a goy and if not, a shmadnik Jew.

  9. A. Michael,

    You did not address my point. The passage I referenced from the Talmud, doesn't mention Yeshua by name.

    It's the inference of the point I am trying to make. The Talmud records that 40 years before the destruction of the Temple, the sacrifices were no longer accepted.

    We know the Temple was destroyed in AD 70. 40 years before this date puts us right at AD 30; the same year Yeshua was crucified and put to death.

    Do you not see the connection here?

  10. As an aside; your resorting to characterizing Yeshua as a type-cast "god man" or mythical savior being shows you have little to no knowledge on that subject.

    It's a dead horse, stop beating it.

  11. Little or no knowledge on the subject, anonymous? I used to be a Messianic (or Messyanus, as I like to say) just like you.
    And actually, I did address your issue. You're so ignorant, you don't know why the Roman exile occurred, and you don't understand it goes hand in hand with the Beit HaMikdash being destroyed. I'm not going to sit here and enlighten to you why, you could find out on your own if you rejected the idiotic idea that its because Jews rejected idolatry.

    You shmadnik, you anti-Semite, you think its because Jews rejected and always will reject your fake messiah that we went into exile.

    Guess what? We're back! AND, we still step all over your man-god messiah. "You killed Jesus!" they say. I tell them "yeah, and I had his mom too."

  12. A. Michael,

    If you want to get into a textual authority debate and say that the Septuagint is not reliable then please provide evidence for your view. Don't just expect us to accept your word as the gospel truth so to speak. : )

  13. I'm not trying to get into an argument. I'm just a goy ignorant of Hebrew...

    So like any ignorant but honest person would do, who had a serious hypothesis/question, I wrote to the 'wise', a Biblical Hebrew scholar in Israel, probably one of the top scholars. This is what the email said:

    "Unfortunately I'm not an expert, or even partly fluent in Modern Hebrew, but I think, perhaps inspired by HaShem, that I may have stumbled on a special verse in the Holy Bible, in the Book of Isaiah, which seems to demonstrate that the word 'micronation' is in the Holy Bible.

    "Actually, it seems that Biblical Hebrew was even more accurate, even more impartial and scientific about these things than Modern Hebrew, and the modern 'Book of Books' that is the Wikipedia!

    "Could you check or study this hypothesis for me, and verify if this theory of mine is entirely plausible?"

    Well, guess what? The top Biblical Hebrew scholar never even answered my email! It was as if he was even scared of answering my question. Here is the particular verse that actually uses the word 'micronation':


    The reason why the smart aleck scholar never answered is because I actually made a 'terrifying' discovery, and the discovery pretty much boils down to this: the Bible's Book of Isaiah doesn't mention Israel at all as the 'promised land'.

    You cannot even find those two words together in the Book of Isaiah, in any English-language version of the Bible, and the Book of Isaiah is that book which contains some of the most astonishing prophecies concerning the Messiah.

    The Bible's Book of Isaiah actually mentions "least nation", that is, a micronation, which will grow into a mighty nation. It also says that the most humble man will grow into a clan (a thousand literally, or at least hundreds of people).

    Translation: Isaiah doesn't mention Israel at all in the context of the Second Coming, in the context of so-called 'Messiah ben David'!

    This is probably the reason the top scholar never even bothered to answer.

    I don't know if the land of Israel can be completely excluded from the narrative, but it is clear that most Jews today living in Israel probably believe that 'Israel the nation' is the Messiah, but that is not a correct interpretation of Isaiah 52:13-15. In reality even the suffering 'Israel the nation' is also mentioned in those verses, not just 'Messiah ben Joseph', and 'Messiah ben David', but 'Israel the nation' is clearly not the Messiah to come, he who shall be adopted by HaShem himself.

    Actually, other verses in the Bible give the impression that someone who can't even speak Hebrew, and who cannot thus speak directly, and be understood, to all Jews in Israel today, will actually humiliate 'Israel the nation' so much, that even a lot of non-Messianic Jews will begin to suspect who he might be.

    Remember: the Bible doesn't say that those who attack Yeshua, the arrogant, shall inherit the Earth. It is those who Yeshua will bring to tears who shall inherit the Earth, and he might not even come back as a Jew, never mind as a 'Son of David'!

    In fact, even Jesus himself talked about the absurdity of the 'Son of David' premise of the Messiah to come.

    Hon. Most Rev. Dr. Cesidio Tallini

  14. The Israeli scholar did not answers you, maybe because he does not answer idiots? I tend to agree with him....

    1. Dan,

      I agree that the comments by Dr. Tallini make little sense.

      And I realize that Our Master, Yeshua could be quite severe with his words toward those he knew to be hypocritical, false and/or oppressive of others...

      But our Master also states, "Anyone who says 'You fool!' is in danger of Gehenom."

      I am no one's judge. But I must ask, would The Master approve of our calling others "idiots" in the course of these dialogues?

  15. Maybe not, but I couldn't resist...LOL!

  16. Very interesting....

    Google "Hon. Most Rev. Dr. Cesidio Tallini"

    returns this: