"O L-RD, Who are my power and my strength and my refuge in the day of trouble, to You nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, 'Only lies have our fathers handed down to us, emptiness in which there is nothing of any avail! Can a man make gods for himself, and they are no gods? 'Therefore, behold I let them know; at this time I will let them know My power and My might, and they shall know that My Name is the L-RD".
Jeremiah 16:19-21

Christians Deceptively Convert Via Orthodox Beth Din! Part 1&2 …

October 11, 2012

in (Counter Missionary Articles and Lessons),Judaism vs. Christianity,Judaism:,Messianics

 Christians Deceptively Convert Via Orthodox Beth Din! – Part 1

September 20, 2012 by Yehudah Meir Finkel’s Blog

By Yehudah Meir Finkel

What a shocking title to a blog article. It is well known, talked about or not, that there are in the Orthodox world ‘secret believers’ in Yeshua. Don’t get me wrong they aren’t in their thousands or even hundreds but dotted here and there they are a threat to the Jewish people. Yet the point of this article is concerned with Christians who are successfully converting via Orthodox Beth Dins! “Impossible, the Batei Din are rigorous in the questioning when dealing with ex-Christians. They only ever convert once totally sure the ex-Christian has left their previous paganistic beliefs. Surely the premise of the title can’t be true?”

Oh yes it can.

I have liased, debated and discussed many issues and topics with all types of Christians over the years. Some of these Christians would be offended at being defined as a Christian and would prefer being referred to as a Jew. No, the reason is not due to some ridiculous Pentecostal theological premise that the ‘real’ Jews are all the Jews and Goyim who are made one in the heavenly realm in Jesus. Rather their claim to Jewishness is because they have gone through a ‘legitimate’ conversion whether that is by an Orthodox or Liberal Beth Din. I have met numerous Christians who have successfully completed legitimate Liberal conversions while maintaining their Christian beliefs throughout the process. I have read articles in newspapers like the HaModia that claim there are ‘Jews’ who have converted via an Orthodox Beth Din who maintain their beliefs in Yeshua as the Messiah after their conversion!

If this is true how on earth are people getting through the process of conversion without being found out if the process is truly so rigorous?

In these blogs I will deal with what I have found out personally.

A few implications of the above are:

  1. The converts themselves are not halachically Jewish.
  2. The Batei Din are behind the times and therefore the process is not adequate enough.
  3. The ‘Jewish’Goyim are infiltrating the Jewish community and gaining Israeli status by the claim to Aliyah rights.
  4. They are marrying into the Jewish community producing future generations of ‘Jewish’ goyisher children!

If that isn’t frightening enough I can only see this increasing at a rapid rate in the immediate future if the Batei Din do not do something fast to correct the issue.

However, I have one BIG warning before we get into this subject. 99.9% of ex-Christian converts to Judaism are GENUINE. This article should not bring into question the validity of the conversions of geirim. I know, personally, people that have suffered greatly for being WRONGLY accused of being secret missionaries or believers in Yeshua. I will deal with such issues in the latter parts of these blogs. There are easy ways to know whether someone is still a believer in Yeshua and once realised they must be held accountable. However, on the other hand people who wrongly accuse a convert of continuing to be a believer in Yeshua should be taken to a Din Torah and punished in full. Sadly for the people who have wrongly suffered there is rarely any true justice done for them. To wrongly accuse someone can develop into Motzei Shem Rah. Such is a great Aveirah that can develop from an individual Averiah to a group Aveirah, as the Lashon HaRah spreads and Chas V’Chalilah, to an Aveirah by a whole kehillah.

One last point before I finish Part 1. Everything I am about to write is as applicable to the born Jew as it is to the geir. There are Messianic Jews who ‘return’ to Judaism rejecting their Christian faith and yet maintaining their Christian beliefs in a divine Messiah! How can that be…you’ll see!

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By Yehudah Meir Finkel.

For those that don’t speak Hebrew the above says, ‘What will happen to you when you die?

It was a question sent to me by a messianic and is a subject I have dealt with before on this blog. It is a question that arises with messianics when Jews reject Yeshua. Due to the teachings within their New Testament that don’t see a positive future in the afterlife for anyone that does not believe in Yeshua. This article will deal with just a few of the reasons why Jews reject the message of the New Testament and briefly what we believe about eternal life.

However as I have mentioned on this blog already the New Testament is a doctored text. When one contrasts, for example, the message of Yeshua concerning salvation in the gospels and that of the writings that are credited to Paul the contradictions sometimes are very blatant.

Whenever approaching an analysis of the Gospel stories one has to take into consideration the fact that they are multi-layered. That means there is the original document underlying various edits that have been done at later times by various Christian writers. The reason the Christian writers did this was to support their developing doctrines on things like the nature of Yeshua and his salvic death. For these types of reasons, as well as others, the New Testament has to be rejected because it is untrustworthy, redacted and to a great extent, although not at all completely, a non-historical document.

If you think about it the Gospels were written down about 50-60 years after the death of Yeshua. The earliest epistle of Paul is dated about 20 years after the death of Yeshua. That means that Pauline theology had a further 30-40 years to develop until the Gospels were actually written down. That means that the Gospels themselves were written by people greatly influenced by Pauline theology. The implications of this is that what you read when you read the Gospel’s are not an exact representation of the historical Yeshua or the events surrounding his life. Rather what you get is historical fact peering through almost a keyhole sometimes along with the doctored aspects of the life of Yeshua that were later redacted to harmonise with an evolving Christian theology.

So if your approaching the Gospel’s as a critic or simply as someone who just wants to know the real truth despite the consequences you have to be able to try to separate what might be historically authentic from what was an oral tradition about Yeshua that wasn’t historically accurate but accepted as fact by later generations due to the acceptance of Pauline theology. You have to also separate what had been ‘edited’ by the compilers of the Gospels themselves in the light of the fact that they would have tried to make Yeshua’s life harmonise with their evolving theology as much as possible. Then there is the later redactions and interpolations by Christian scholars.

When you do that you can begin to get a better historical picture of Yeshua. These days I see him more as a typical Pharisaic Jew of his day. He may have been off the mark believing that he was the literal Messiah of Israel. And yes he was somewhat disrespectful at times to the rabbinate, but all in all, according to the Gospels, he was quite a good guy who sincerely wanted Jews to return to the Torah and serve HaShem. At least, this is one picture that we could paint of him.

In the light of the above I arrive to my main point. Yeshua did not believe that people are ‘saved by grace through faith’ (that’s later Christian theology) but like any other Jew he believed:

VeAhavata et HaShem Elokaykha, BeKhol Levavekha, U’VeKhol Nafshakha, U’VeKhol Modecha’ and ‘VeAhavata LeRe’eykha Kamokha.’ (You shall love HaShem your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength’ and ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’).

These two laws are of course a summary of all laws in the Torah and so he believed that a Jew should keep the Torah if they wanted to have a share in the world to come.

A good example of Yeshua’s view on salvation is given in all the synoptic Gospels. In Matthew 19:16-30, Mark 10:17-31 and Luke 18:18-30 is related the well known story of a certain ruler who asked Yeshua the all important question:

Good Rabbi, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’

Now if there ever was a moment for Yeshua to introduce Pauline theology of ‘we are saved by grace through faith’ in me, it was right here and now. Yet, how does Yeshua answer this man:

You know the mitzvoth, You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not defraud, Honour your father and your mother.’

That sounds almost weird to Christians because Yeshua here answers like a Pharisee of his time and not at all like how they would broach the question. The young ruler replies by saying that he keeps all these mitzvot. Yeshua, in love says, ‘You lack one thing, give all your possessions away and you will be perfect.’

Yeshua here answered in a typical Jewish manner as would have done many other Pharisees of his day. And of course, in effect, he was also saying to the young man you already have eternal life if you keep the mitzvot, but you are still not perfect. I think most Orthodox Jews would agree with that today, we know we have a share in the Olam HaBa but we know we are not perfect.

When Orthodox Jews are called up to the Torah in the synagogue we make a Brachah just before the Torah is read. After the reading the person says another brachah:

Baruch Atah HaShem Eloykeinu Melech HaOlam Asher Natan Lanu Torat Emet, VeKhayey Olam Nata Betokhaynu, Baruch Atah HaShem Noten HaTorah.’ (Blessed are You HaShem our God King of the universe, which has given us the true Torah and has placed eternal life inside us, blessed are You HaShem our God Giver of the Torah).

Not only do Jews know that Pauline theology is false but we thank God that we already have an assurance of eternal life given to us by the Creator of heaven and earth. Hence, the beliefs of the messianics are based on Pauline theology and doctored gospel writings that we Jews reject it 100%.

Just one last point.

I remember listening to a prominent evangelical ‘messianic’ preacher by the name of Jacob Prasch who was teaching on the corruption within Christianity (That religion is one big mess). One of his major issues was that many of the Christian teachers, he believed to be heretics, were taking their texts out of context as well as pocketing millions of dollars via their multi-million dollar ministries. Quoting out of context was one of the reasons why they were leading people astray, he proposed.

I heard him talking about his version of the salvation message which of course is based on Paul’s epistles. Jacob quoted a story in the Talmud, as these messianic preachers like to do so that they can sound more authentic, or show us ‘blinded’ Jews how we have got it all wrong. After all, they teach, ‘blindness in part has happened to Israel’ meaning us who reject their claims of Yeshua’s Messiahship. Anyway, this particular one was from Mesechat Brachot 28b. It speaks about the account of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai on his death bed. Jacob basically quoted it from the point where Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai was crying on his death bed. His talmidim asked him why and he said that two roads were laid before him one leading to life and the other to death. Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai, Jacob said, was crying because he did not have any assurance of salvation. This set Jacob up for his punch line: But when his (Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai’s) classmate, ‘Rabbi’ Shaul of Tarsus, was on his deathbed he said:

‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished this race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness’ (2 Timothy 4v7-8)

Meaning, via Paul’s ‘saved by grace through faith’ message ‘in’ the deified ‘Christ Jesus’ or ‘messiah Yeshua’ (whichever way you want to spell it) you get an instant ticket into those pearly gates.

However, Jacob Prasch was either ignorant of the rest of the gemara and it’s commentaries on the section or he was trying to quote something, ironically, out of context, leading his people astray. He hasn’t had any training in the Talmud in a Yeshiva context so he will, among other things, miss out on the viewpoints of many rabbanim concerning certain texts in a particular gemara. Whatever the case, because he did not teach it in fullness of context he was teaching his people error or at best not giving the true picture. Let us take a look at that passage – in another context.

Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai purposely started weeping when his students entered the room (The Lashon HaKodesh there being Kivan SheRaah Otam Hitchil Livchot. Because he saw them he started to cry) Note that point. So, when they did enter he, suddenly, began to weep. They asked him why he weeped. He answered:

‘If they were leading me to a king of flesh and blood who is here today and in the grave tomorrow, who, if he becomes angry with me, his anger is not an everlasting anger. And if he imprisons me his imprisonment is not an everlasting imprisonment. If he puts me to death his death is not an everlasting death. And I am able to appease him with words, and bribe him with money. Even so I would weep now that they are leading me before the King who reigns over all kings, the Holy One, Blessed is He, Who lives and endures forever, Who if He becomes angry with me, His anger is not an everlasting anger. And if He imprisons me His imprisonment is not an everlasting imprisonment. If He puts me to death His death is not an everlasting death and I am unable to appease Him with words nor bribe Him with money. And not only that, there lie before me two paths, one of the garden of Eden and one of Gehinnom, and I know not on which they will lead me, and I should not weep?

Okay so everything seems straight forward so far, right? Just like Jacob Prasch says giving no option for another interpretation of the passage. Well before we move on let us first explain a small point here.

The concept of Gehinnom in Judaism and Evangelical or Messianic Christianity are two different things. Evangelical or Messianic Christianity generally teaches that Gehinnom or Hell is an all consuming fire which when someone is sent there is then tortured for the rest of eternity. The sole reason they are sent there is because they do not accept the god-man ‘Christ Jesus’ to be their Saviour. The kinds of descriptions you will hear about it in Christianity are, “Once you are sent to hell you will burn in the lake of fire. You will not die but you will want to die. The devil will be in there with you and all the fallen angels. The pain will be extreme and it will never cease.” Many of their visionaries tell stories how they have had visions of this hell-fire. They get more fantastic by the day. Is it any wonder poor innocent and gullible souls fall to their knees terrified half to death!

Of course, this picture of ‘hell-fire’ is built up on misinterpreting terminology and basing beliefs on a document, the New Testament, that has been redacted and doctored by Christian editors throughout the centuries. Their visions are a figment of their imagination. A very powerful thing at times.

Judaism believes that the wicked will punished eternally. Those who are not quite perfect may pass through gehinnom for a short time. They go there to purify their souls before they enter Gan Eden (The Garden of Eden). It would be much better to go straight to Gan Eden but a little purifying may be needed beforehand. See Mesechat Rosh HaShanah 17a and the Maharsha (Rav Shmuel Eidels שמואלאליעזר הלוי איידלס‎) on that text.

Besides the above let us move on and quote more of the Talmud that the Christians and Messianics normally do not.

‘…At the moment of his passing he (Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai) said, remove the utensils because of the tumah, and prepare a seat for Hezekiah king of Judah who has come to escort me.’

Here the rabbanim (see the Ritva) ask, why King Hezekiah comes to meet Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai. They teach it is because in reality he knew that he was going to the Garden of Eden and King Hezekiah, who was a messianic figure, came to meet him upon his death and escort him to heaven. I was once learning this Gemarah from a Rabbi in Gur and he said that Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai knew he was going to heaven so why did he start crying?You will note he only started crying when his talmidim entered the room and the term is Kivan SheRaah Otam Hitchil Livchot. Because he saw them, he started to cry. He was about to teach them something. What? Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai was in actual fact teaching his talmidim a lesson and dramatised the event by starting to cry? He explained that he wanted to ‘pull the socks up,’ as it were, of his talmidim because he knew he was about to die. So yes, he was even teaching them upon his death bed. He wanted to impart to them the necessity to always have a close account with God and always guard our lives. That is if one sins or worse steers away from the path of Torah, Chas VeShalom, we should not wait until tomorrow to repent but to do it today.

It is also interesting that the passage immediately before the Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai story it indicates to the surety Jewish people have in their share in the world to come. It says that when we leave a Beit HaMidrash (House of Learning) we should pray, “…I Thank You HaShem my God…I toil and receive my reward…I run to the life of the world to come.” We Jews have an assurance of salvation and are reminded of this as we pray each time we are called up to the Torah, Baruch Atah HaShem…Asher Natan Lanu Torat Emet VeChayei Olam Nata Betokhaynu (Blessed is God…Who has given us the Torah of truth and placed eternal life inside us).

However it is the message of the New Testament that is dangerous for the Jew. How? By putting one’s trust in a deified human being and a spurious message that is classified as idolatry under Torah law. For us Jews the Messianic or Evangelical Christian message of salvation leads to one path only – that of divine punishment.

 by Yehudah Meir Finkel

Imagine the following scenario. It is admittedly one scenario out of a plethora of possibilities. I could write about a few but I think many converts both genuine and not so genuine will relate to it.

We will use an imaginary Mr Jones, a single man. We could have used a single woman, a married couple, or even a married couple with any number of children.

Mr Jones was originally a Christian Baptist minister who, over the years, went through various changes in his Christian beliefs. After many years he left the Baptist church and after that he joined and left various other churches. He went through a range of groups like the Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, some messianic groups and hebraic groups. This was due to his constant change of theological position. Finally he ‘semi-settled’ in one of the many messianic groups he had attended. After a few more years and some more study Mr Jones disappeared from this messianic group and turned up at the local Beth Din!

Enters Mr Jones into the local Beth Din office to meet Dayan Cohen:

(I am going to cut this conversation brief and miss out many obvious details to the conversation so that you get the main points. Even though in reality Dayan Cohen would have sent Mr Jones away a few times before even considering his application properly. I will not get into those details due to space. Dayan Cohen knows nothing about Mr Jones except what Mr Jones tells to him. This is the reality when a prospective convert approaches the Beth Din for conversion. Over time the Dayan had people research Mr Jones on the internet and a few volunteered themselves to do the research. All he or his helpers found was that Mr Jones used to be a Baptist minister. However because I have filled you in with more of Mr Jones’ story you and I know a little more of his history. Mr Jones doesn’t reveal some of this history to the Beth Din because he needs to keep some of it quiet to evade questions that will reveal his true beliefs).

Dayan Cohen: Hello Mr Jones how can I help you?

Mr Jones: Hello Dayan Cohen, I was a baptist minister and have realised my previous beliefs were wrong. I believe that HaShem gave the Torah on Mount Sinai and want to convert and become Jewish.

Dayan Cohen: What do you believe about Jesus now?

Mr Jones (with full conviction): Jesus is a myth and Christianity is a false religion. No such person died on a cross and resurrected from the dead!

Dayan Cohen: Do you fully reject your Christian beliefs?

Mr Jones: Yes I do 100%. Christianity is a false religion. Jesus is a myth. He is a product of Christian theology not an historical person.

Dayan Cohen: How did you arrive at such a position?

Mr Jones: Through a lot of in-depth study. The New Testament has been redacted. It has errors in it. It cannot be the Word of God.

Dayan Cohen and Mr Jones continue in a similar vain until Dayan Cohen is happy Mr Jones no longer holds his Christian beliefs. After some further talks Dayan Cohen decides Mr Jones is a suitable candidate for conversion.

Dayan Cohen bids Mr Jones a good day, shakes his hand with a warm accepting smile on his face. Mr Jones does the same.

Mr Jones walks out of the office 100% believing in Jesus, believes Jesus is G-d incarnate, knowing he has not denied his Messiah before men, he believes Jesus died on a cross and resurrected from the dead and will one day soon come back for him.

“What!” You may think. “Is this man a bare faced liar?” No he isn’t. Well not in his mind at least.

A couple of weeks later Mr Jones receives a letter from the Beth Din saying he has been accepted for conversion and a Rabbi is to be appointed him to help him through the process. 3 years later Mr Jones undergoes an Orthodox conversion via an Orthodox Beth Din. He receives his new Jewish name and is now called Mr Cohen. He still believes in Jesus and holds all fundamental Christian beliefs but openly tells people he was a Christian and found out it was all false so rejected it all. He explains that over time he was led to Rabbinic Judaism as the true faith.

So, how can Mr Jones AKA Mr Cohen do it without feeling he is lying or denying his god-man Messiah? To find that out you’ll have to wait for Part 3.

NOTE: Another word of warning (Please see the other on in Part 1). Genuine converts will have exactly the same conversation as Mr Jones above but they are telling the truth! 99.9% of people who walk through those doors are genuine. However due to the nature of the messianic movement and the thought processes of those involved the above scenario is going to happen more and more in the future.

Now you readers just let that sink in before we get to Part 3 and infact Part 4, 5 and probably 6.

 

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