Thursday, November 4, 2010

Quote of the Day: Parsha Toldot and Divine Election

On this week's parsha, Toldot, Rabbi Russ Resnik writes the following thought on divine election:
The Messianic Jewish community is entrusted with a message to the rest of our Jewish people, and to the world beyond, that we describe as good news—the besorah, or gospel, of the life, death and resurrection of Yeshua. But, of course, this message is not often perceived as good news, no matter how well we express it. The besorah is hard for many
to receive, and one reason for this shows up in this week’s parasha, the scandalous idea of divine election. We proclaim a God who chooses according to his own purposes, not according to human priorities and values. That truth offends many, but also gives us hope that the besorah will in the end prevail among our people.
Read the full drash on the UMJC website.

Though Rabbi Russ doesn't mention recent events, you might consider this drash in light of the recent anti-Israel statements of by the Middle East Synod.  (Be sure to click that link to get a Hebrew Catholic perspective on the synod.)

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yahnatan,

I want to let you know that, as a devotee of standard English and one who appreciates the value of language as a tool for clear communication that differentiates mankind from the rest of Creation, I cringe when I read quotes like this one.

Here we have a missionary preacher identifying himself as just the opposite of what he is: a rabbi! And instead of honestly identifying his creed as Christian, he instead calls his religion by a separate faith's name: Judaism!

It's hard to take anything else he says or writes seriously, now that he's so severely discredited himself.

But just reading that Orwellian "newspeak" and the bizarre mindset it reflects is a little bit uncomfortable because its a frontal assault on language, not just on honesty, and it sort of pours acid on at least one aspect of that which differentiates us and elevates us above, say, the apes.

Aharon (Athol Bloomer) said...

It makes me cringe to read such responses by obviously intolerant and bigoted people. A Catholic may consider that a Baptist or a Lutheran is not in the religion that has the full truth but Catholics respect that these people are sincerely following what they believe is truth. They do not see the Baptist communion service as a mockery of the Eucharist eventhough the Catholic doesn't believe it is what Jesus intended. Get a bit of religious tolerance or stop visiting groups who you don't agree with.

Aharon (Athol Bloomer) said...

Dear Yahnatan,

The link is broken. I put up a very modified version on the Middle East Synod just for you. As you can imagine there are forces that we wrestle with spiritually and it is probably best not to draw their attention to us.

Anonymous said...

Catholics, Baptists and Lutherans are all Christian, as the English language defines the term.

Jews are not.

Athol, my intention was not to touch a nerve in correcting the point of fact that the quote comes from a dishonest or deeply confused Christian missionary, not a Jewish rabbi. They say "the truth hurts", but I am not trying to hurt you with it. I want to help you.

Aharon (Athol Bloomer) said...

There have always been Jews who are christians-in fact all the first Christians were Jews who founded the Church. And those Jewish Christians were zealous for the Torah according to Acts 21.

i still don't get your point. Rus Resnik is a messianic Jewish rabbi- a very nice man who i met on a visit to America 5 years ago. As a Catholic I do not accept the validity of orders of the anglican church but neither do i get upset because they call their clergy priests. They are Anglican priests, we have Catholic priests. You have orthodox Jewish rabbis, you have conservative Rabbis, you have reform rabbis.So you have messianic rabbis. Every religous group can call their clergy whatever they like- why do you have a problem with that. So you don't think that messianic rabbis are real rabbis- well i dont think the Archbishop of Canterbury is a real priest- but so what-he thinks he is and is sincere in his belief. Rus Resnik thinks he is a rabbi and is accepted as one by his organisation- so what is that to you or i? if a Reform Rabbi who doesn't believe in the giving of torah on sinai can be called a Rabbi why not a messianic jewish Rabbi who does believe in that.

not sure how you are helping- i personally believe in respecting everyone's choice to follow what they believe is the truth even if i think it is bollocks.

Anonymous said...

Athol, you lied "i personally believe in respecting everyone's choice to follow what they believe is the truth even if i think it is bollocks." Why would you write such a blatant lie, when everyone knows that your Catholicism requires you explicitly to convert everyone into your faith?

Aharon (Athol Bloomer) said...

One can still believe that their faith is the one true faith and desire all people to embrace it in the fullness of time while respecting other peoples beliefs that they follow the true religion and they desire everyone to embrace it. Judaism also desires all to come to worship the God of Israel in the fullness of time even though they may only require the 7 laws of Noah for the other nations in order to do this.

Anonymous said...

That's another lie you've told, Athol.

Jews have no grand design to bring anyone else around to believing as they do. That Christian pathology has no analog in Judaism. It is a central tenet of Christians' beliefs that Jesus was the Jews' king, so it is understandably disconcerting to Christians that the Jews themselves profess no record or recollection of ever being subject to a monarch by that name. On the other hand, the validity of Judaism is not contingent on the Pauline "new testament". Thus, Jews have never mirrored the Christian fascination with converting the other. That is why we have skinhead nutjobs like you out on the Internet posting Christianized inaccuracies about Judaism to the plethora of "Jews for Jesus"-type Web sites, and no equivalent Jewish Web sites aimed at converting Christians to Judaism by means of pretending to actually be Christians or by any other method. Jews don't have the same urge to convert non-Jews that you have to convert Jews.

Aharon (Athol Bloomer) said...

Have you never heard of the Noachide movement in Judaism? Thanks for the insults. I may be a nutjob but I am not a skinhead and never have been. I was a punk for a brief moment in my younger years as I mentioned above which is where the photo comes from. And it would seem that you are keen to convert us to your way of thinking or why on earth would you want to be here.

Anonymous said...

Athol,

I have heard of the Noahide movement. Let me tell you what it is. It is a gentile tradition, dating back to Noah and his children, of observing seven commandments G-d gave to all of mankind even before He chose the Jews and gave them their Bible (which included hundreds of additional commandments pertaining specifically to Israel). As such, your nomenclature describing "the Noachide movement in Judaism" is equally nonsensical to your self-description as a "Hebrew Christian". You choose to call things that which they are obviously and necessarily not. Hebrews are not Catholic, and Noahides are not Jewish. In both cases, the definitions of the terms you combine are mutually exclusive. Your selection of a headshaven personal photo coupled with an angry insistence that you're no skinhead is a further example of the intellectual breakdown and inconsistency that characterizes your postings. But let's not make this into a personal dispute--look up the words for yourself in the dictionary, and see whether or not their definitions are the same, or even compatible with one another. Good luck!

Brock said...

Hi Anonymous, are you the same Anonymous who was over at the Rosh Pina site recently?

I must chime in here to support Athol's point regarding Noahidism. It is quite easy to Google up examples of Chabad-Lubavitch promotion of Noahidism for gentiles, and their statements about Noahidism in general. One of their Living Torah videos in October had a long video clip of the Rebbe lecturing on how important it is to promote Noahidism amongst the gentiles.

Personally, I have quite recently been at a shabbos meal in a Haredi household where I was told that Judaism is indeed the universal religion, it's just that Judaism binds Jews to the 613 mitzvot, but gentiles only to the 7 Noahide laws.

Anonymous said...

Brock,

I think it's great that you're becoming so worldly and knowledgeable about Judaism, and I think it's commendable that you're allowing your wife the space to experience things like a traditional Sabbath observance with a religious Jewish family. Keep up the good work!

Please let me know as soon as you encounter a Jew that tries to convert you into a Noahide.

Aharon (Athol Bloomer) said...

Had to laugh reading -lets not make this into a personal dispute- that all you do mate-make cutting personal attacks on everyone you disagree with. You are worse than the most obnoxious evangelical bible basher. You remind me of some crazy Pentecostals who think they will convert you by insulting you and your religious beliefs.

Not only have I seen religious Jews try to convince Gentiles about being Noahides- one wasn't happy to just try and get me back in the fold when i was at the beach in Tel Aviv but he tried to convert my gentile Argentinian friend to Judaism. Not that we minded- he was a sincere person- couldn't knock him for trying- we found him very amusing.

You seem to know jack-sh-t about Judaism. I suggest you attend a yeshivah in Israel and learn a bit more. i always find Aish ha torah a great place to learn.

Anonymous said...

Athol,

Thanks for your kind words, especially the "jack-sh-t" part. Mighty Christian of you!

Do you read America, the influential US Catholic magazine? Their "Two Peoples, One State" essay (http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=12557) this month argues for the eradication of the Jewish state. It's not inconsistent with that former Nazi Ratzinger's efforts to have Hitler's pope recognized as a saint and your pontiff's resurrection of the anti-Semitic Latin rite.

At Aish Hatorah, the main philosophies they teach are that G-d is not a man, that the messiah hasn't yet come, and that you alone are accountable for your sins. You haven't learned any of the most fundamental points that Aish teaches. Yet you claim to be a student of that yeshiva. Let's start with that perspective as we turn to examine your claim to have personally witnessed a religious Jew who came to a beach to proselyte a gentile, since everything you've written so far has not only been false, but patently ridiculous.

Aharon (Athol Bloomer) said...

You are starting to sound more and more like some kind of fundamentalist anti-Catholic bigot. In my experience anti-semites and anti- catholics are of the same mentality and it is pointless discussing anything with them. Your comments about the Pope and Pius XII and the latin rite are patently ludicrous. On that note i leave you to your very nasty little bitter world.

Aharon (Athol Bloomer) said...

Here is a link to an article on Pius XII by a jewish Rabbi.

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/dalin.html