Christians are studying Torah —both in Israel & online — to get closer to Jesus
ed note–Now WAAAAAAAAAIT a minute, wait a minute indeed….
We are told–on a regular basis in fact and by all sorts of experts–that ‘Torah’ has nothing whatsoever to do with modern-day Judaism or with the Jewish state. We are told–on a regular basis in fact and by all sorts of experts–that within Mundus Judaicus generally and in the Jewish state specifically, that it is the TALMUD that forms the basis of all Judaic thinking and behavior and that the Torah went the way of the Do-Do bird a long, long time ago…
And yet, here is this rather EXTENSIVE (and no doubt state-funded/Mossad-managed) program to teach Christians Torah, and in ISRAEL of all places which we are told–on a regular basis in fact and by all sorts of experts–is not a ‘religious’ state but rather a ‘secular’ one and where ‘Torah-True Judaism’ plays no role.
You mean to tell us that all the experts with their varying degrees of expert-cy on this matter are, well, either liars or fools?
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s take a closer look at what is an extremely important aspect of all of this diabolical business that needs to be understood in a rational and factional manner if WWIII and Armageddon are to be mitigated–
‘Shelly Jones said she was rapt as Lipman described his decision to immigrate to Israel in 2004. Struck by what she called Lipman’s “obedience” to God, she began to cry. Then and there, she vowed to learn all she could about Israel and the Jewish people — and Torah. “It was a moment that God just laid it on my heart to study and learn,” she said.’
An extremely important paradigm to understand when wading through all of this ‘Judeo-Christianity’ business, in that it is LONG on EMOTION and very SHORT on REASON.
And not only for the ‘Shelly Jones’ of the world found hollering, quaking and crying in Baptist congregations. Virtually across the spectrum, Christians of varying species from Catholic to Protestant simply refuse to deal with the Jewish issue in the rational manner required by coming to the ugly truth of the matter that the Jews of today are in effect no different in substance from their forbearers of yester-yesteryear, even if various name changes did occur from Hebrew to Israelite to Judean to ‘Jew’, and the thread connecting this big Kosher Nostra Krime Konsortium is this thing known as the Torah.
“As Christians, we believe in Jesus and that Jesus was a Jew,” Jones said. “He celebrated all the feasts, he did everything according to the Old Testament.
Allow some poorly-constructed Latin on our part to respond–
Jesus broke all sorts of Torah-based laws, including consorting with ‘sinners’, healing on the Sabbath, refusing to pay the required Temple Tax and not engaging in the ceremonial washing before eating, something that any true Christian worth his or her salt–no pun intended–would discover in plain language if they bothered to actually read their New Testament instead of spending their days crying, hollering, speaking-in-a-tongues and high-as-a-kite on their Old Testament.
‘Christians studying Torah is a phenomenon that is growing quickly and has even entered the halls of the Israeli Knesset, where a semi-regular Bible study is attended by high-profile Christian supporters of Israel.’
Just in case there was any doubt that this is a top-of-the-pyramid agenda which involves not only Israel’s political machinery, but its intelligence services as well.
‘While rabbinic sources differ on whether non-Jewish study of the Hebrew Bible is allowed, Orthodox Judaism has traditionally frowned upon it. “The positions of Orthodox Judaism are ultimately defined by the greatest Torah scholars of each generation and to the best of my knowledge, no such authority has been endorsed to offer encouragement to organized efforts to teach Torah to non-Jews.’
‘In one sense, the Jewish teachers are part of a long lineage of Jews helping Christians to understand the Bible. It is a tradition that dates back to the Protestant Reformation, according to Samuel Goldman, an assistant professor of political science at The George Washington University who is writing a book about Christian Zionism.’
That Jews immediately seized upon the rift in Christendom as part of the paradigm of ‘vincere nemo dividat’ is a fact of history, as well as the fact that immediately upon declaring victory via this strategy of divide and conquer, the Jews immediately went to work dragging Christians BACKWARDS into their Old Testament as a means of colonizing their minds in a manner that centuries later would be more beneficial to Judea, Inc and in helping to resurrect the monster known as the Jewish state destroyed by Rome in the first century A.D. As the article makes kristol clear, this ‘protocol’ first achieved success in Great Britain with the Jews being allowed to return under the mass murderer Cromwell and utilizing as BAIT what today is understood to be the foundational belief of what is inarguably the nuttiest of all the Christian denominations–Christian Identity, which believes that white people are the DNA descendants of yesterdays Hebrews, She-Brews, Israelites, etc.
‘Another channel, billed as one of the most popular ones on the website, takes aim at Islam, promising to uncover the “five deceptions” of the faith. In the trailer video, the instructor, Avi Lipkin, an anti-Islam lecturer who says he has spoken at churches across the United States, says Muslims have a “horrible system” in Islam.’
No in-depth commentary needed here except to say that all forms of organized anti-Islamic hatred today serve the Jews’ agenda, including on the part of those idiot White Nationalists who today can be counted as the most important instrument which the Jews have in their arsenal in fueling the ‘clash of civilizations’
Allow us please to repeat that for emphasis–
‘All forms of organized anti-Islamic hatred today serve the Jews’ agenda, including on the part of those idiot White Nationalists of varying degree and species who today can be counted as the most important instrument which the Jews have in their arsenal in fueling the ‘clash of civilizations’
And, jes’ one mo’ time for good measure–
ALL FORMS OF ORGANIZED ANTI-ISLAMIC HATRED TODAY SERVE THE JEWS’ AGENDA, INCLUDING ON THE PART OF THOSE IDIOT WHITE NATIONALISTS OF VARYING DEGREE AND SPECIES WHO TODAY CAN BE COUNTED AS THE MOST IMPORTANT INSTRUMENT WHICH THE JEWS HAVE IN THEIR ARSENAL IN FUELING THE ‘CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS’.
‘Other Jewish instructors say they are motivated by the idea that their work contributes to the coming of the Messiah. Naphtali Weisz, the rabbi who founded Israel 365, the parent company of Yeshiva for the Nations, said that his inspiration for teaching Christians came from the Bible itself, specifically from the Book of Isaiah’
And no doubt, that particular passage found in the book of Isaiah which has ‘inspired’ the rebbe to cast his own spell of Judaic black magic over the minds of Christendom is that which the Jews just LOVE to quote when pondering that ‘future time’ when they will rule the world unhindered and unencumbered without any competing religions such as Christianity or Islam, to wit–
‘The Gentiles shall come to your light, And their kings to the brightness of your ascension… You shall drink their milk and draw milk from the breasts of their kings… Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, And the sons of the foreigner shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers… You shall be named the priests of the Lord and the Gentiles shall call you the servants of God as you eat their riches while they boast of your greatness and surrender unto you all their gold and incense… The children of those who afflicted you shall come bowing down to you, And all those who despised you shall fall prostrate at the soles of your feet, The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls, And their kings shall minister to you, as your gates remain open, day and night, So that men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles, while their kings are led in humble procession before you, For the nation which will not bow down and serve you shall perish, it shall be utterly destroyed… –Book of Isaiah
The Jewish Daily Forward
Shelly Jones, a 41-year-old occupational therapy assistant from Dallas, was sitting in church when she found herself moved to tears.
There was a special guest at Jones’s Baptist congregation that Sunday, about two years ago: Dov Lipman, an American-born Orthodox Israeli Jew and a former member of the Knesset. Jones said she was rapt as Lipman described his decision to immigrate to Israel in 2004. Struck by what she called Lipman’s “obedience” to God, she began to cry. Then and there, she vowed to learn all she could about Israel and the Jewish people — and Torah.
“It was a moment that God just laid it on my heart to study and learn,” she said.
Part of Jones’s study has involved learning the Bible — what Christians call the Old Testament — from Jews. Last April she traveled to Israel with her pastor, her first time abroad. Around that time, she started doing Bible study at Root Source, an online portal offering “world-class Jewish biblical teaching” to Christians.
Curious though she is about Judaism, Jones says she has no desire to convert. Studying the Jewish Bible, with Jews as teachers, is her way of enriching her Christian faith.
“As Christians, we believe in Jesus and that Jesus was a Jew,” Jones said. “He celebrated all the feasts, he did everything according to the Old Testament. When I grasped that and I read the Old Testament from more of a Jewish perspective, it came to life in a whole new way.”
Jones isn’t alone. According to Israeli Jews involved in efforts to teach Christians the Bible, there are thousands seeking such instruction, both from online portals like Root Source and Yeshiva for the Nations and in person in Jerusalem, where the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation offers classes to roughly 7,500 Christians each year. Participants are usually people visiting or working in Israel. It’s a phenomenon, those involved say, that is growing quickly. It has even entered the halls of the Israeli Knesset, where a semi-regular Bible study is attended by high-profile Christian supporters of Israel.
It’s also controversial.
At first glance, these programs look like a bold example of interfaith bridge-building: After centuries of Christian persecution of Jews, Christians are now looking to Jews as authority figures who can guide their understanding of one of their holy books. But scratch the surface, and there’s more at play.
Both the Christian students and their Jewish teachers are typically reading the Bible with a focus on the Jewish connection with the Land of Israel. In this shared reading, the foundation of the modern State of Israel in 1948 and Israel’s victory in 1967 are cast as realizations of biblical prophecy. Broadly speaking, for the Christian students these events portend the second coming of Jesus Christ; for their Jewish teachers, the arrival of the Messiah.
Critics say these eschatological visions play into the settler project of permanent Israeli control over the occupied West Bank, undermining the possibility of Palestinian independence.
Jill Jacobs, a rabbi and the director of T’ruah, the rabbinic human rights and anti-occupation group, is skeptical of what she calls efforts to “collapse” the distinction between the biblical Land of Israel and the modern State of Israel. This approach leaves Israel off the hook when it comes to international law, which prohibits settlement building in occupied territory.
“We need to separate between the Land of Israel, which is not necessarily co-terminous with the State of Israel,” she said. “It is a modern nation-state, not a biblical kingdom, and it needs to fulfill the laws of a modern nation-state, not a biblical kingdom.”
Beyond the political realm, others have raised theological concerns about the Bible study programs. While rabbinic sources differ on whether and in what form non-Jewish study of the Hebrew Bible is allowed, Orthodox Judaism has traditionally frowned upon it.
“The positions of Orthodox Judaism are ultimately defined by the greatest Torah scholars of each generation,” Avi Shafran, a rabbi and director of public relations at the Orthodox Agudath Israel of America, said in an email to the Forward. “To the best of my knowledge, no such authority has been endorsed to offer encouragement to organized efforts to teach Torah to non-Jews.” This, in his view, makes the Bible study programs “less than legitimate.”
While Jewish teachers insist that they aren’t breaking any religious rules, some of them keep a low profile to avoid controversy. Gidon Ariel, co-founder of Root Source, is one of the biggest names when it comes to teaching Christians the Hebrew Bible. But his neighbors in Ma’ale Hever, a West Bank settlement, don’t know about his work. “In the community I live in, it is a gentleman’s secret what I do,” he said.
The number of Israeli Jews teaching the Bible to Christians is small — around just two dozen to three dozen, according to those involved. Many are American born — an asset when connecting with English-speaking Christians — and several live in West Bank settlements.
Looking Toward The End Of Days
In one sense, the Jewish teachers are part of a long lineage of Jews helping Christians to understand the Bible. It is a tradition that dates back to the Protestant Reformation, according to Samuel Goldman, an assistant professor of political science at The George Washington University who is writing a book about Christian Zionism.
A central project ofthe Reformation was to make the Bible available to everyday Christians through translation. As Christians accessed the Bible in their own languages, some also sought to read it in the original Hebrew as an “aid in interpretation,” Goldman said. That often led them to seek the help of Jews.
The Jewish teachers of yore may have seen potential allies in the Christians they assisted. According to Goldman, such contact between Jews and Christians is connected to the readmission of Jews to England in the 1650s under Oliver Cromwell, after they were expelled by King Edward I in 1290.
And now centuries later, Jewish teachers also see potential allies in the Christians they instruct in the Bible. Yet, today’s teachers have a very different mission. Rather than trying to curry Christian favor to protect Jews in the Diaspora, some want to enlist Christians in their pursuit of a maximalist vision of the State of Israel.
Sondra Oster Baras is the Israel director of Christian Friends of Israeli Communities, a group building Christian support of the settlements. Baras, who lives in the West Bank settlement Karnei Shomron, began teaching the Hebrew Bible 20 years ago as part of her outreach to Christians. Christians have a “faith-based approach to Israel, and that enables them to be extremely committed and extremely pro-Israel and extremely pro-Judea and Samaria,” she said, using the biblical terms for the West Bank.
Ariel also sees Bible programming as a way to garner Christian backing of Israel. “I think that a good Christian learns the Bible and a Christian who knows the Bible supports Israel,” he said.
Root Source’s material frames settlers as living out a biblical mandate. On the website’s Land of Israel channel, classes are taught by David Ha’ivri, an American-born Israeli activist who advocates full Israeli control over the West Bank. In an introductory video, Ha’ivri shows off his farm in Kfar Tapuach, outside Nablus. It includes olive trees and a vineyard. “Jewish farmers like ourselves who are planting vineyards here in these mountains are fulfilling the word of the prophets,” he said.
In some cases, Root Source veers beyond the Bible, into bigoted territory. Another channel, billed as one of the most popular ones on the website, takes aim at Islam, promising to uncover the “five deceptions” of the faith. In the trailer video, the instructor, Avi Lipkin, an anti-Islam lecturer who says he has spoken at churches across the United States, says Muslims have a “horrible system” in Islam.
Other Jewish instructors say they are motivated by the idea that their work contributes to the coming of the Messiah. Naphtali Weisz, the rabbi who founded Israel 365, the parent company of Yeshiva for the Nations, said that his inspiration for teaching Christians came from the Bible itself, specifically from the Book of Isaiah, which in his reading predicts an international appetite for the Jewish holy texts.
“Yeshiva for the Nations comes from this idea, at the end of days, in order to prepare for the next stage in the journey of Zionism, and the next stage in the redemption that the Torah describes. And to turn the page from the physical return to the spiritual return, we need to start teaching the Torah to non-Jews,” he said.
Israel 365’s popular online newsletter — it counts some 300,000 subscribers — advances this narrative of the coming end times in its coverage of major news events in Israel. After a recent flare-up between Hamas and Israel that almost tipped the region back into war, one article hinted that this was evidence of Israel’s army preparing for “Gog and Magog,” a biblical war that signals the coming end times.
To be sure, not all the material offered by Jewish teachers is so politically or apocalyptically charged. At a recent Bible study in Jerusalem, hosted by the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation, the subject was comparatively benign: the biblical perspective of marriage. David Nekrutman, CJCUC’s executive director, gave an entertaining hour-long lecture, during which he pushed the students — a portion of whom were in Israel working with Christian Zionist groups — to think more deeply about relationships between men and women and the divine.
After one Christian student asked a particularly probing question, Nekrutman joked: “Now you sound Jewish. Very good!”
Bible study as a point of connection is a way to foster bonds “not based upon guilt of the past,” he said.
Seeking ‘That Authentic Jesus’
Christians interviewed by the Forward said they sought Jewish Israeli instruction as a way to enhance their faith. The Bible was “written from a Hebrew worldview and I want to learn it from a Hebrew worldview,” said Pama Tavernier, a Michigan native who was at the CJCUC class. Tavernier, 65, is in Israel as an employee at Christian Friends of Israel, a Jerusalem-based evangelical organization.
According to Dan Hummel, who is a scholar of Christian Zionism and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Christian students are looking for insight into three areas when they read the Bible with Jews — the covenant between the Jewish people and God, the Land of Israel and Jesus Christ’s Jewish roots. For many Christians, Hummel said, the third area is a significant driver of their engagement with Israel and Jews.
“Evangelicals are always looking for that authentic Jesus, and if that Jesus is increasingly seen as the Jewish Jesus, then they are going to want to know from Jews what was that background,” Hummel said.
But Jacobs said that this emphasis on Jesus’ first-century Judaism comes at the expense of much of Jewish history. “This casts us as pawns in their story as opposed to being agents in and of ourselves,” she said.
Christian Zionists and their Jewish teachers typically agree that the modern State of Israel is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy, a critical step in the timeline leading to the end of days. But they part ways over what the redemption will entail. For Jews, it’s the arrival of the Messiah; for Christian Zionists, it’s the second coming of Jesus Christ, who will establish a millennial kingdom in Jerusalem. According to Hummel, Christian Zionists entertain a wide range of beliefs about what happens to Jews in the end of days. In one scenario, Jews will have to “convert or die,” along with all other non-Christians.
This, of course, is deeply offensive to many Jews. Danya Ruttenberg, a rabbi, and author and a vocal critic of Christian Zionism, said that this belief alone should make Israeli Jews wary of teaching Christians the Bible: “The people who are going to learn Torah because they think it will bring the rapture and then the people who have not accepted Christ are going to hell — those people are not going to support and protect us.”
Not all Christian Zionists believe that the end of days will bring destruction onto Jews and other nonbelievers. Some hold to “dual covenant theology,” in which “Jews have their own covenant with God that is totally separate from Jesus in all shapes and forms,” Hummel said. “If they are good Jews in this life, they will somehow exist as good Jews in the next life.” But these Christians have a narrow definition of a “good Jew,” meaning people who believe in God and follow the Bible.
Jones said that learning about Israel and Judaism has changed her personal theology on the end times question. “I did before believe what I was taught, and what I read was that you have to believe in Jesus,” she said. Through study she came to realize that God “is a covenant-keeping God and it shows over and over and over again, even in the New Testament.” He said, ‘Those Jews are my people.’” Now, she says, she doesn’t know what will happen to Jews in the end of days.
Jews and Christians who find common cause around Israel tend to dance around the topic of the end times, Hummel said. “They don’t want to talk about this,” he said. “They would rather talk about covenant and land; this is something they can agree on.”
When the issue does come up, it is often smoothed over with a joke, one that Hummel said was even used by the former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin when he met with the famed Baptist televangelist Jerry Falwell: “When the Messiah comes, we’ll ask: ‘Have you been here before?’ That is a way of getting past the issue and moving on to something else.”
There are other potential pitfalls in the teacher-student relationship, namely the Christian drive toward conversion. Baras said it is crucial for Jews to lay “ground rules” when teaching Christians. They boil down to a single tenet: “You respect each other’s faith and you don’t try to change each other.”
For Jewish teachers, whose faith demands they don’t proselytize, the ground rules usually pose no challenge. But for Christian students — many of them coming from an evangelical background, spreading the word of Jesus, can be a central part of their identity. This is where Baras draws the line.
And yet, she has no problem with the idea that some of her students reject her as a Jew, or that some believe she is going to hell for not accepting Jesus. Belief is one thing, acting upon it is another.
“I don’t expect them to be open to my suggestion that Jesus isn’t divine,” she said, so she can’t expect her students to think she’s going to heaven.
Other Jewish teachers say that proselytizing is extremely rare. Rivkah Lambert Adler, who teaches on Root Source and also independently, said that not once in her three years as an instructor has she encountered a student who sought to convert her. If anything, many of her students are so intrigued by what they’ve learned, and so reverent of the Jewish people, that they begin dabbling in Jewish practice, like keeping the Sabbath. Jones, one of Lambert Adler’s students, is now studying Hebrew.
Christians, Lambert Adler said, “are hungering and they are thirsting for something that the Jewish people have.”
In the near future, Lambert Adler predicts a “tsunami” of Christians looking to study the Bible under Israeli Jews. If and when the storm hits, she and other teachers will be waiting with open arms.
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