June 27, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm #603907ChortkovParticipant
A Missionary for the ‘Jews for Jesus’ organization has moved to London. He is stopping teenagers all over the streets and speaking for them for up to two hours at a time. Some guys are putting together some arguments to say to them.
Do you guys have any arguments against them that one could use in a conversation with them? They bring ?????? from all over ??”?, they belive in God and in Judaism. But they also believe that Yoshke was /is the Messiah. What can we say to him?June 27, 2012 2:32 pm at 2:32 pm #883007ZeesKiteParticipant
Tell him to read up a bit on any of Rabbi Avigdor Miller’s books!June 27, 2012 2:50 pm at 2:50 pm #883009☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
Just have everyone ignore them.June 27, 2012 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm #883011Feif UnParticipant
I once pointed out to them that Jews have a lower divorce rate, lower rate of drug use, tend to be well-educated (at least the non-kollel people) and make more money (again, non-kollel people). I asked if that was why they were trying to recruit Jews – to bring their stats up! Then the guy told me that he was born an Orthodox Jew, and his parents are still Orthodox, but he was “saved”. I told him that every night when he goes to bed, he should just think for a minute about how his parents are probably crying themselves to sleep every night over him. Then I told him that he doesn’t need to recruit to improve his stats – he can just return home to his original group!June 27, 2012 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #883013
?? ??? ????? ????????June 27, 2012 5:06 pm at 5:06 pm #883014CsarMember
Feif: By definition, Kollel yungerleit are far more educated than almost everyone else.June 27, 2012 5:25 pm at 5:25 pm #883015
I agree with DY.June 27, 2012 6:04 pm at 6:04 pm #883016ToiParticipant
feif- and a kollel guy will wipe the floor with you in a ketzos. but i guess making money is more important.June 27, 2012 6:43 pm at 6:43 pm #883017
Csar: This is far from true, even regarding many Torah subjects.June 27, 2012 8:36 pm at 8:36 pm #883018optimusprimeMember
IDK if this works but JFJ but I heard a story in yeshiva about a guy who said to a missionary “So as long as I believe in him I am forgiven for all my sins and saved?” When the missionary responded in the positive, the Jewish guy said “So if Hitler declared he believed in him a second before he committed suicide, he’d be forgiven and brought to Heaven?” The missionary gave him a confusing look and the Jewish guy said “Thanks and have a nice day.”June 27, 2012 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm #883019yaff80Participant
The proof to the fact their beliefs are garbage, lies in the fact that they find the need to persuade others in their beliefs.
We are so confident in our beliefs that we dont need to missionarise others – we know that the beliefs talk for themselves.
They however know that their garbage wont attract anyone unless they use persuasive skills!June 27, 2012 9:05 pm at 9:05 pm #883020JaneDoe18Participant
Currently in Flatbush,
unfortunately, there are missionaries leaving booklets and CD’s in front of people’s doors, from a Meshumad, Tom Cantor,
about “how a Jew came to know and put his trust in Yoshka,”
and “A Message of Hope and Gladness for Jewish People.”June 27, 2012 9:06 pm at 9:06 pm #883021
optimusprime – I don’t agree with such arguments because they really are just sophistry. Look at the discussion that ensued here: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/when-a-child-eats-traif/page/2#post-387688 It’s the same idea. Obviously there are nuanced ways to express certain theological positions one has in order to make them more palatable then when they are expressed other ways. At the end of the day we are happy with our religion and they are happy with theirs and that’s that, and I don’t see the value in engaging them in these arguments.June 27, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm #883022June 27, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm #883023pcozMember
beat him up, maybe he’ll get the messageJune 27, 2012 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm #883024
If a kid actually asks questions about these Pesukim they quote, pull out a Tanach and tell them to read the Passuk in context. None of the ones they bring are anything about what they claim they’re about if taken in context. Also, show how the King James is a mistranslation.
For a better discussion of this than anyone here can give, read You take Jesus, I’ll take God.June 28, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am #883025
There are sites like Jews for Judaism and people like Rabbi Tovia Singer and his site (Outreach Judaism) that have plenty of material on this topic.
Ask your LOR what approach to take before you jump into this sewer of engaging missionaries.
As I recall from various sources, off the top of my head:
For starters, the missionary likely does not know a word of Lashon HaKodesh, and therefore anything he quotes you from whatever worthless translation bible he uses is wrong at best and perhaps even fraudulent at worst.
Their own scriptures, too, have many stiros minei ubeih in metzius and elsewhere (not to mention the various conflicting editions), which means the whole thing is certainly not factual and even more so not accurate.
So, their scriptures cannot be relied on to tell anyone that, for example, their savior was born of a virgin (which, not coincidentally, was a popular pagan belief at the time). While on that particular topic, they mis-translate “alma” as virgin.
Understand that as slick and sure of himself as the guy might be, he is more ignorant than most Amei HaAretz and it makes no sense to listen to anything from an ignoramus, even if it might sound like it could make sense.
Even for the better arguments, once you dig a little, the whole thing comes crashing down like the house of cards it (at best) is.
Rabbi Singer’s approach, from what I’ve seen, is to stick to our Tanach, because they, too, liHavdil, also believe in that and, of course, there is not even the slightest support for their faith anywhere in Tanach, of course.
You can try to twist anything to say anything and even fool some people some of the time, unfortunately. But if you’re honest and objective (and educated) then it is clear as day that the Torah does not CH”V allow for Christianity for the Jewish people and, in fact, 1000% forbids it for Jews.June 28, 2012 12:28 am at 12:28 am #883026
As for the MO haters: plenty of Kollel people have advanced degrees from secular schools, and many also go out into the secular workforce after their years in Kollel, too. The ones who become klei kodesh also BE”H make a parnassa. And plenty of people with advanced degrees and/or years of experience are unfortunately still jobless.
Are you, perhaps, jealous that, in addition to having the above, they know how to learn Torah very well and know a good amount of Torah, and that they can also conduct their families BiDerech HaTorah?June 28, 2012 1:12 am at 1:12 am #883027June 28, 2012 1:26 am at 1:26 am #883028
I am not jealous of anyone who learns Torah full time and can’t read ivra. It must be gehinnom hatachton.June 28, 2012 1:38 am at 1:38 am #883029pcozMember
which circle?June 28, 2012 2:37 am at 2:37 am #883030Derech HaMelechMember
I have some experience in answering these questions. If you or someone you know has any specific questions about points they make feel free to ask the mods for my e-mail address. Otherwise its probably better not to get involved with them.
Maybe except to laugh as you pass them by when you realize their “god” pooped his diapers as a baby.June 28, 2012 5:22 am at 5:22 am #883031sem graduateMember
listen to any of rabbi daniel mechanic’s speeches – he has some really great answers (most of his speeches that are posted online are really the same points so one is enough) it should give you answers to give them and ways to disprove their theoriesJune 28, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am #883032ToiParticipant
itch- go learn a dictionary.June 28, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm #883033TheMusicManParticipant
Read Permission to Receive by R’ Leib (Lawrence) Keleman, especially Section 2.June 28, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm #883034nishtdayngesheftParticipant
We know all about the groups who were overly focused on ivra in the past. Almost to the exception of everything else.
As it happens, the typical kollel yungerleit that I am in contact with have very decent Ivrah. I haven’t met those who can only recite kaddish to the William Tell overture. Yet when I have davened at places which tend to not include yungerleit, it sounds like the soundtrack of the lone ranger. And the Ivrah was nothing to write home about if you wanted to write a nice Letter.
Pompesness does not make you appear intelligent. You are not being successful at faking it.June 28, 2012 1:10 pm at 1:10 pm #883035ChortkovParticipant
I asked him what difference it makes to anybody who the Messiah is? I believe in G-d and that the Messiah will come, and why will i go to Hell if I don’t believe he is the one?
The guy answered me that he will atone for my sins if i believe in him. He tried to show me a ???? in ????? and ?????, which I explained to him what it really means.
Then i asked him for a source that a human’s death can atone for MY sins? He showed me ‘For the blood shall atone for you and for your sins…’ – I told him that is about ??????.
He said ‘The Messiah took the place of your lamb!’.
I replied: ‘We all know Mary had a little Lamb, but that’s taking it a little too far!!!’June 28, 2012 1:28 pm at 1:28 pm #883036on the ballParticipant
Tell them did not and we will never accept Jesus for the same reason the Christian’s didn’t accept Muhammed. One guy showing up doing a few magic tricks doesn’t change an ancient belief system.June 28, 2012 2:18 pm at 2:18 pm #883037
on the ball –
One guy showing up doing a few magic tricks doesn’t change an ancient belief system.
Do you similarly object to a great part of klal yisroel’s acceptance of kabbalah in the late Middle Ages?June 28, 2012 5:16 pm at 5:16 pm #883038JaneDoe18Participant
Kabbalah is part of the Torah.
“Magic tricks” are from the forces of Tumah.June 28, 2012 6:05 pm at 6:05 pm #883039
Wow! Fighting words from Yitay!June 28, 2012 6:26 pm at 6:26 pm #883040
Kabbalah is part of the Torah.
“Magic tricks” are from the forces of Tumah.
If you’d analyze my comment in context you’d see that your statement isn’t relevant to my point.
Sam – I’m not trying to fight, only to reinforce to position I stated above.June 28, 2012 7:10 pm at 7:10 pm #883041
Yitay: I know. It was still a very strong statement.June 28, 2012 7:20 pm at 7:20 pm #883043on the ballParticipant
Accepting Kabbalah – yes that’s ok. But not when it challenges an ancient Mesorah. Then it is just ‘magic tricks’.
That was what caught out everybody who followed Shabsai Tzvi. He was proficient in Kabbalh – but then wanted to reject the Mesorah.June 28, 2012 7:44 pm at 7:44 pm #8830442scentsParticipant
Although I believe that any average practicing Yid has enough knowledge to withstand any such encounters, please note that this is not something that anyone should engage in a debate unless you are really versed with your opponents beliefs and ‘proofs’.
One person that was an expert in this, is Harav Avigdor Miller. Harav Miller spoke about these subjects (foreign beliefs) at length.
He debated and studied Christianity.
I once heard a shiur from Harav Miller in which he reviewed a lot of Pesukim from TANACH that the Christians use as proof to their Religion. he explains the real dikduk and the real TEITCH, and exposes how they twisted just one word in order ‘prove’ their religion.June 28, 2012 8:17 pm at 8:17 pm #883045
on the ball –
You can’t just jump to mesorah to solve all your problems. The fact of the matter is that if I say kabbalah is bunk I would be thrown out of many Batei Medrash. Why? There’s no “Kuzari Principle” for it! For that matter there’s no “Kuzari Principle” for anything other than the Aseres HaDibros really. Why am I mentioning the Kuzari Principle? Because that is exactly your argument. You said that “one guy showing up doing a few magic tricks doesn’t change an ancient belief system.” Well why not? Why don’t a few magic tricks prove anything? After all, a navi is believed after he does “a few magic tricks.” What’s the answer – that the fact that our belief system is ancient means that it can’t be challenged? What kind of argument is that? Unless that argument is based in some kind of Kuzari argument it just sounds like nonsense and sophistry to me. Hence my point.
The fact is, anyone with half a Gemara kup can figure out answers to any arguments you will pose to the missionaries. So in truth why don’t we all convert? Because we have our mesorah – i.e. if our brand of Judaism was good enough for the tanaim and amoraim then it’s good enough for us as well; and because they have never proven that we should convert. We can debate with them on the defensive, i.e. when they show you a pasuk demanding that you believe in Jesus you show them that it is not at all muchrach to read the pasuk that way. But I do not think that there is any point in going on the offensive and trying to “refute” their religion. And as and aside I do not think historically we ever have done so.June 28, 2012 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm #883046
Anyone who ever learned chumash rashi — or even chumash without rashi — can debunk Christian replacement theology while standing on one foot. In fact, you don’t even need to know much chumash, even once-a-year shul attendance on yom kippur is enough. Vayikra 26:44.June 28, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm #883047
That pasuk does not refute replacement theology because it can be interpreted to be simply saying that the descendants of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov will never be obliterated. That is besides the fact that there are varying views on what replacement theology implies anyway, with some definitions not even going against our traditional pshat in the pasuk. Do I really need to do this? You have a shtickel Gemara kup Itche, you can figure these things out too if you tried hard enough.June 28, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm #883048
yitayningwut, it’s hard to figure out how Kabbalah is being compared to, lihavdil, A”Z and, even more difficult to imagine how you can intellectually question “why don’t we all convert?”.
First of all, a navi is not necessarily believed after he does some “magic tricks”. In fact, the Torah warns expressly against such belief when the navi deviates from the Torah.
As well, Kabbalah, properly learned and understood, does not negate any part of the Torah.
Second, and more important, there is no intellectually honest way you can cram Christianity into, lihavdil, our holy Torah.
There are simply no reasonable answers to the numerous and multi-pronged problems with Christian use of our Torah to support their faith. It’s simply impossible and a non-starter.
You can erroneously find support for anything if you are biased and/or pursuing an agenda, if that’s your goal. But, again, it’s a non-starter, no matter how great a gemara-kup you think you have, PROVIDED you are being intellectually honest.June 28, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm #883049musser zogerParticipant
ItcheSrulik- What does Vayikra 26:44 have to do with Yom Kippur?June 28, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm #883050
Regarding your latter point:
“But I do not think that there is any point in going on the offensive and trying to “refute” their religion. And, as an aside, I do not think historically we ever have done so. “
I agree, to a point, though I believe this is also an important point to discuss with one’s LOR.
Personally, I believe that every Jew should be quite clear that our faith is very obviously the one and only Das Emes, and that no others can, neither objectively nor even subjectively, derive support from our holy Torah.
I’m not 100% comfortable with your use of “defensively”, as it implies that there is what to defend when there really is nothing to defend since their “arguments” are based on mistakes and/or worse.
Again, dealing with these matters is a sewer; ask an LOR what, if anything, to do.
On a related note, Hashem obviously placed these other faiths in the world for a reason. So, for example, if non-Jews live more moral lives as a result of their faith, then that’s great for everyone. We do not look to proselytize. In fact, we seek to NOT proselytize.
But, lihavdil, we have the forever-enduring and absolutely permanent das emes, and we should be crystal-clear that this is the case.June 28, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm #883051YehudahTzviParticipant
I personally enjoy confronting them. They usually leave in tears.
Anyhoo, ask them these simple questions. Was Yoshke the Messiah? They will say yes. Ask if the Messiah needs to be from King David. they will say yes. Ask them who Yoshke’s dad is. They will say G-d. Ask if G-d is a descendant of King David. See, since Xtianity is a mixture of Judaism and paganism there are many contradictions. Joseph, Mary’s husband is ben David according to the NT, but also according to the NT he was NOT Yoshke’s father, G-d is. They will not be a able to reconcile this. They will declare that Mary is from David. You can show that it has to be ben David not Bat David.June 28, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm #883052
In fact, the Torah warns expressly against such belief when the navi deviates from the Torah.
Does it? Actually I don’t think you’ll find concrete proof from the Torah about such a thing unless the prophet is saying to worship other gods.
My point about kabbalah was something else. I wasn’t coming to say that kabbalah contradicted our previous conception of the Torah. My point was that I’d be thrown out of most yeshivish/chasidish places if I said I thought kabbalah is bunk. Why? How does something like that, based on the testimony of select few people throughout history and not many millions, garner so much support from the ‘mesorah’ yet when some guy walks on water and tells us new stuff our response is he must be a charlatan because we don’t listen to new things? I understand there are other problems with him, but my issue is with using this particular point – the ‘only-one-guy-so-he-could-be-a-trickster’ theory – as an argument. It is an argument with a hole.
Let me try to state my opinion very clearly. Just like we have a mesorah, so do they. OF COURSE in our minds their ‘mesorah’ has ZERO validity. That does not need to be said. What needs to be said is that IN THEIR MINDS their ‘mesorah’ is the be-all and end-all, and that because of this they will resort to any and every argument to defend it. SINCE it is impossible to conclusively prove them wrong – NOT that I think it is reasonable at all to believe they are right, but I recognize, as a person with half a head on my shoulders and a fairly decent amount of relevant knowledge, the sheer DIFFICULTY of conclusively proving a thing like this – THEREFORE I think we should recognize that they, as faithful adherents to their religion, will not be persuaded by our arguments, even if they are intellectually honest people, because it is their religion at stake, and they will not in good conscience forgo it if there is even the slightest leeway out of the argument. All that results from these confrontations, in my opinion, is strife. If they ask us how we understand a pasuk, by all means we should tell them. If they tell us to convert, we should defend ourselves in every way possible. But to throw arguments at them which can be disputed even with only the most convoluted and anti-simplicity counterarguments; that is a useless endeavor at best. ?? ???? ?????? ???????.
YehudahTzvi – One who raises a child is as if he bore him. The meforshim say this on countless occasions, even in places where the Torah uses terms like ??. See, for example, Ibn Ezra to Bereishis 46:7.June 29, 2012 12:31 am at 12:31 am #883053
yitayningwut: Lehafer brisi itam. Even they think “sinai” when they hear “covenant.” If you like it any better take IShmuel 15:29. We only read it once a year but still.
musserzoger: It’s part of selichos. We say it on Yom Kippur as well as all the other selichos days. I was just trying to express how familiar the passuk is.June 29, 2012 1:08 am at 1:08 am #883054
YehudahTzvi, while you are obviously correct and it’s even easier than that to disprove their attempts, they will usually say “well, but…” and try a different “question”.
If they CH”V succeed in planting a doubt with some other kushya they rattle off, it will not be fun to work one’s way out of that.
So it’s best to ask an LOR how to approach this, and also to know your stuff, too.
Also, as yitayningwut said earlier, I don’t know that it’s appropriate to make them leave in tears, especially if they are naive in what they are doing and sincerely believe the very mistaken notion that they are doing you a favor. I think it smacks of achzariyus, which is a particularly terrible midah.
Missionaries are people, too, of course, and I’m sure Hashem is not looking for His creations to be in tears. IF they are evil then that is a different matter, but if they’re just naive or ill-informed gentiles, I see no reason to make them feel bad, even though you have to personally reject their ideas for Jews.June 29, 2012 2:46 am at 2:46 am #883055
HaKatan: The Rambam and other rationalist Rishonim would certainly tell you that Kabbalah was a strong deviation from Mesorah. Many other Rishonim would also see the Arizal’s Kabbalah as a deviation from Mesorah.June 29, 2012 4:14 am at 4:14 am #883056
Sam – I agree with that point but it wasn’t primarily what I was trying to say, as I explained above.
Itche – Regardless, the fact that it’s an ofeneh pasuk in Vayikra should make you think for a second. They’ve certainly heard of the question. Do you think in the last two thousand years none of them has come up with a good lomdishe answer? At least one that will satisfy THEM enough not to abandon the tenets of the religion they believe in?June 29, 2012 4:18 am at 4:18 am #883057batsevenParticipant
AVOID THE GUY AT ALL COSTS. It is not our job to run around trying 2 bring these crazy and dangerous individuals back.
By engaging in conversation with them, you are putting yourself in possible danger. You might laugh this off and think its silly, saying you’re way 2 strong 4 these guys, but the truth is no one is and we dont need to hear their garbage anyways.
Just protect yourself and your kids from these guys.June 29, 2012 4:49 am at 4:49 am #883059
Then i asked him for a source that a human’s death can atone for MY sins?
???? ????? ?”? ????? ???? ???”? ???? ??? ????? ?? ?? ????? ???? ?? ???? ???? ??????? ?? ??? ??????? ?????? ??? ??? ???? ????? ????? ??? ????? ??????? ???? ?? ?????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ?? ????
????? – ?????? ??? ???? ?? ???????? ?????? ?? ????
Granted, it isn’t specifically talking about someone’s death atoning, but the general concept is clearly there. In our rush to uphold our beliefs we should never say there is NO source for a particular thing unless we’ve actually went through everything.June 29, 2012 6:53 am at 6:53 am #883060
Whether or not it is a deviation from the mesorah and, therefore, wrong, is irrelevant. Lihavdil, Christianity is a contradiction to our ikrei emunah.
yitayningwut, no, the concept is not there in the gemara Sukkah either. There is no source for a person’s anything atoning for all mankind.
(First of all, it would be ridiculous to have the many halachos of korbanos, teshuva, kapparah, etc. if there were no need for any of that. So the gemara obviously cannot mean what you imply.)
I wish to leave this to the talmidei chachamim to address.
However, from a very quick glance at the Maharsha, whatever the gemara does mean, that gemara has nothing at all to do with the Christian belief you are implying it parallels.
The Maharsha mentions, for example, that during the entire time Rav Elazar had his yissurim CH”V, that nobody died before his time. It does not say they lived free of sin nor that they bore no other punishments CH”V. And that particular immunity ended when his yissurim did.
And nowhere does it say he meant there is no more sichar viOnesh, etc. ch”V.
(While you’re at it, you can also say that since Hashem commanded Avraham Avinu to bring Yitzchak at the Akeidah that this CH”V condones human sacrifice. Of course, the truth is the oppposite that this was a mind-blowing test that they both passed with flying colors to our tremendous merit forever.)
As I said earlier, you can twist anything to mean anything, but not if you’re objective, honest and educated. Bringing this gemara as a source for their belief is none of the above.
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