Monday, December 20, 2004

Ani Ma'amin

My shul hosted Rabbi Skobac as a scholar-in-residence this past Shabbos. Rabbi Skobac heads up the Toronto office of Jews For Judaism. Over the course of Shabbos, he presented topics about the 'Jews For Jesus' movement and why they are so successful as well some history of the Christian world and how Christianity evolved into the religion as we know it today.

A couple of things stuck in my mind. He began by giving background about the various Christian groups and explained how it's really only the conservative/rightist Protestant groups that give a damn about converting Jews. The rest are not as 'frum' to care and (in my opinion) too busy looking for young boys. He then made sure to explain that their missionary work is not based on any animosity towards the Jewish people. They really and honestly feel that they should help the 'people of the book' and show them the right way. In fact, and this is ever so apparent today, the conservative Christian groups can be counted on, more so than most western Jews, to support the Jewish state and Jewish causes. And this is not because they have a hidden agenda. Think about it and do your research. When time are really tough in Israel, the religious Jews and the conservative Christians are the only ones making the effort.

He also spoke about the origins of Christianity and explained (with sources from the NT) how Christianity was originally a bunch of frum yidden with the belief that Jesus was moshiach. Misguided, but not heretic. They kept Shabbos, kashrus, taharas hamishpacha, learnt torah, etc. In fact, when Paul advocated loosening the mitzvos in order to attract more converts, he was strongly denounced. While he's talking about all this, I'm thinking of the articles I read in the NYPost and DailyNews only last week. Seems like deja vu all over again. What I'm curious about is why the general Orthodox rabbinate does not come out again all these guys. I'm talking about their kashrus not being trusted, their inclusion in a minyan not being counted, their attendance in frum schools being denied. What's the difference between Joe Shmo saying he's frum but believes Jesus was mashiach and Menachem Mendel being frum and saying the Rebbe is coming back?? I see none other than one drinking more vodka than the other.


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