"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

 

Shema.

(Thanks to Mike B for this article)

Christians often portray Judaism as a religion of strict legalism that contains no brotherly love. In contrast, they attempt to portray Christianity as a religion of love that far surpasses that of Judaism. The reality is that Judaism contains as many laws commanding love for both Jew and Gentile as it does for any other issue. And the few maxims in Christianity said to teach love are stolen straight from Judaism.

The Golden Rule, for example, was created by a Pharisee named Rabbi Hillel. And it’s found within the Torah too. There are prohibitions on evil speech, or lashon hara, so that people do not harm one another with words. There are even requirements for fair and humane treatment of animals and prohibitions on destroying fruit trees. For more info on this, see the article Love and Brotherhood:

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/jewfaq/brother.htm

If that isn’t enough, then further are a couple of biblical verses in what Christians refer to as the “Old Testament” that stress the love Judaism shows towards gentiles.

“Do not oppress a stranger; you know the feelings of a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Exodus 23:9

“You shall not taunt or oppress a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Exodus 20:20

“Also a gentile who is not of Your people Israel, but will come from a distant land, for Your Name’s sake – for they will hear of Your great Name and Your strong hand and Your outstretched arm – and they will come and pray toward this Temple – may You hear from Heaven, the foundation of Your abode, and act according to all that the gentile calls out to You, so that all the peoples of the world may know Your name, to fear You as does Your people Israel, and to know that Your Name is proclaimed upon this Temple that I have built.” I Kings 8:41-43

Concerning the common Christian misconception that the Messiah foretold by the prophets would only come for Israel (which is why they stress the need for Jesus to open salvation up to the rest of the world) here are some verses that show that the Christians are just plain wrong on this matter. By the way, the same Jesus who was supposed to “open up salvation to the rest of the world” is the SAME GUY who said that he came only for Israel, when turning away a gentile woman who came to ask for help. (Matt. 15:24)

“Behold My servant, whom I shall uphold; My chosen one, whom My soul desired; I have placed My spirit upon him so he can bring forth justice to the nations.” Isaiah 42:1

To the nations, which means NOT JUST FOR ISRAEL.

“I am Hashem; I have called you with righteousness; I will strengthen your hand; I will protect you; I will set for you a covenant to the people, a light to the nations.” Isaiah 42:6

Whatever blessings God gave to Israel is not just for the benefit of Israel, but also for the benefit of everyone. I.e. “the nations.”

“Let not the foreigner, who has joined himself to Hashem, speak, saying, “Hashem will utterly separate me from His people… And the foreigners who join themselves to Hashem to serve Him and to love the Name of Hashem to become servants unto him, all who guard the Sabbath against desecration, and grasp My covenant tightly – I will bring them to My holy mountain, and I will gladden them in My house of prayer; their elevation offerings and their feast offerings will find favor on My Altar, for My House will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples. The word of my Lord, Hashem/Elohim, Who gathers in the dispersed of Israel: I shall gather to him even more than those already gathered to him.” Isaiah 56:3-8

Though for the most part, this is straightforward and doesn’t require much explanation… you should know that the ‘him’ in the last verse is supposed to be the Messiah. I.e. in verse 8, Isaiah says “The word of My Lord, Who gathers: I (the Lord) shall gather to him (the messiah) even more than those already gathered to him (the Jews gathered to the Messiah as per Isaiah 11).

“Many peoples will go and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the Mountain of Hashem, to the Temple of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways and we will walk in His paths’. For from Zion will the Torah come forth, and the word of Hashem from Jerusalem. He will be a judge among the nations, and will settle the arguments of many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift sword against nation, and they will no longer study warfare.” Isaiah 2:3-4

Notice that verse 2 establishes the following as a Messianic prophecy. The “He” of verse four is NOT GOD, but the Messiah. In any event it’s clear here that the knowledge and reverence of the Lord will not be JUST for Israel but for the nations as well. Notice it’s similarity to Micah 4:1-5:

“It will be in the end of days that the mountain of the Temple of Hashem will be firmly established as the most prominent of the mountains, and it will be exalted up above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many nations will go and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the Mountain of Hashem and to the Temple of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways and we will walk in His paths.’ For from Zion shall go forth the Torah and the word of Hashem from Jerusalem. He will judge between many peoples, and will settle the arguments of mighty nations from far away. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning knives; nation will not lift sword against nation, nor will they learn war anymore. They will sit, each man under his vine and under his fig tree, and none will make them afraid, for the mouth of Hashem, Master of Legions, has spoken. For all the peoples will go forth, each man in the name of his god, but we will go forth with the Name of Hashem, our God, forever and ever.” Micah 4:1-5

The “we” of the last verse is not only the Jews, but it is the Jews along with the gentiles who acknowledge and serve God.

Similar verses express the universality of God’s blessings in addition to the universality of the Messianic age:

“I shall pour forth my spirit upon all flesh.” Joel 3:1

“For then I shall turn to the nations a pure tongue, that all shall call upon the name of G-d to serve Him as one.” Zephaniah 3:9

“I shall remove evil from the world.” Zechariah 13:2

“And G-d shall be king over the entire world; on that day, G-d will be one, and His name, one.” Zechariah 14:9

And to further the idea that the knowledge of God will not be just for the Jews, but for the nations as well, I leave you with this:
“…for the earth will be as filled with knowledge of Hashem as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:9

Isaiah 55:7 says: “Let the wicked one forsake his way and the iniquitous man his thoughts; let him return to Hashem and He will show him mercy; to our God, for He is abundantly forgiving.”

Contrary to Christian belief, God is capable of showing mercy without jesus and without animal sacrifice.

Notice the extension of love to even fruit trees. So, when jesus destroyed/cursed the fig tree:

Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. (Matthew 21:19)

What sort of love could you expect a man like this to show to his fellow, when he took it upon himself to curse a tree? But enough about that… More about Christianity’s lack of love and brotherhood in another article, coming soon!

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