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The Soloveitchik Who Loved Jesus

A Yale president’s forebear was an enigmatic and pro-Christian member of the famed rabbinic dynasty

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Rabbi Elijah Zvi Soloveitchik in Yahadut Lita: Temunot ve-Tsiyunim (Jerusalem: Mosad ha-Rav Kook, 1959). (Courtesy Menachem Butler)

Peter Salovey’s recent appointment to the presidency of Yale University, founded by Congregationalist ministers, was cause for celebration for those who admire the Soloveitchik dynasty, an illustrious family of rabbis from Lithuania that includes Rabbi Hayyim Soloveitchik of Brisk (1853-1918), one of the most creative and important Jewish sages of modern times, and Rabbi Joseph Dov Ber Soloveitchik (1903-1993), known simply as “the Rav,” the leader of Modern Orthodoxy in America. In a breathless column, a writer for the Yale Daily News reported on the new president’s rabbinic lineage—under which Salovey himself commented, proudly affirming his place in the family tree as he had come to understand it.

But what went unmentioned in the celebratory genealogy is that Salovey’s forgotten forebear, R. Elijah Zvi Soloveitchik, was forgotten for a reason: his love of Jesus Christ. Indeed, Rabbi Elijah Zvi Soloveitchik (aka Elias Soloweyczyk, 1805-1881), the grandson of R. Hayyim of Volozhin, was an enigmatic traditional rabbi who in the middle decades of the 19th century wrote a commentary to parts of the New Testament (Mark and Matthew) and a book, Kol Kore, which argues for the symmetry between Judaism and Christianity and claims that there is nothing in Christianity that is alien to Judaism.

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Much of what we know about R. Elijah Zvi Soloveitchik is contained in the work R. Elijah Zvi Soloveitchik: The Man and His Work [Hebrew] (Jerusalem 1995) written by Dov Hyman, a British-born dermatologist who lived for many years in New York before emigrating to Jerusalem in the 1970s. Hyman’s father and grandfather both studied in the yeshiva in Volozhin. After finding R. Elijah Zvi’s work cited in an obscure “messianic” journal he came upon in the library of the Great Synagogue, Hechal Shlomo, in Jerusalem, Hyman collected everything he could find on the man and his work and published it in this book. Because of the delicate nature of the subject he printed only 50 copies and distributed them to scholarly friends, family, and those who helped him in his research. (I was given a copy, and provided information about the author, by my good friend Menachem Butler, through the generosity of one of Dov Hyman’s sons.)

Rabbinic writing about Jesus was very popular in the mid 19th century, especially by liberal and Reform rabbis arguing for Jewish emancipation. What is striking about R. Elijah Zvi’s work is how different it is from that of reformers such as Joseph Salvador in France, Abraham Geiger in Germany, Claude Montefiore in England, and Kaufmann Kohler, Isaac Mayer Wise, and Joseph Krauskopf in America. Many of these rabbis were quite critical of Christianity and focused largely on the historical Jesus to argue that Judaism was the religion of Jesus while Christianity was the religion about him—implying that Christianity and the teachings of Jesus need to be viewed as distinct. In fact, for most of them, their positive appraisal of Jesus was a veiled critique of Christianity.

It wasn’t until Joseph Klausner’s Hebrew Jesus of Nazareth: His Life, Times, and Teaching was published in 1923 (English translation, 1925) and Martin Buber’s famous declaration of “Jesus as my brother” in Two Types of Faith in 1945 that Jews began to take Christianity (and not just the historical Jesus) seriously in relation to Judaism. But these works too, while sympathetic, were critical of Christianity’s doctrinal commitments.

R. Elijah Zvi Soloveitchik, the traditional rabbi from Lithuania, pre-dates most of these men and is actually more sympathetic to Christian doctrine, even the doctrine of the Trinity, and much more positive about the symbiosis between Judaism and Christianity than almost all of the rabbis mentioned above. He was not primarily interested in the historical Jesus but in Christianity itself. He wrote his work on Judaism and Christianity, Kol Kore, in Hebrew and first published it in French, English, German, and Polish translations before publishing the original Hebrew version in 1879-1880. The English version appeared as The Law, The Talmud, and the Gospel (1868), and he gave it to a Protestant publishing house on the condition they publish it without his name. Obviously written for a Christian as well as a Jewish audience, his work attracted a large readership among Christians, many of whom reprinted his writings and viewed his work as vindicating Christianity from centuries of Jewish polemical critique. He writes in his introduction to his commentary on Matthew that he wrote the book “to show everyone that the New Testament only comes to show that the root of existence is in the unity of God (ahdut ha-Bore) … and also to strengthen the law of Moses (Torat Moshe).” More than that, he continues, “I publish this commentary (to Matthew) in Hebrew for Jews, to introduce them to the New Testament who, until now, have not recognized its beauty (eynam makirim ’et yofya).” It seems he wanted Christians to understand their scripture anew through sympathetic Jewish eyes and to educate his Jewish readers about their misunderstanding of Christianity.

R. Elijah Zvi Soloveitchik’s interest in Christianity seems to pre-date Kol Kore. In 1846 he published a Hebrew commentary to the philosophical sections of Moses Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah (Code of Jewish Law), including “Laws on the Foundation of the Torah.” It is well-known that Maimonides is a major figure in the Soloveitchik dynasty. The Brisker Rav uses him as the centerpiece of his analytic method and Talmudic analysis, but R. Elijah Zvi seems to use him for a different purpose entirely. Interestingly, he publishes his commentary to one section of Mishneh Torah, “Laws of Idolatry,” separately. It is here where Maimonides delineates the erosion of the natural state of monotheism to idolatry via a series of unfortunate errors whereby humans mistakenly substitute the glory of God’s creation for autonomous divinities. Could it be that R. Elijah Zvi, this traditional Lithuanian Jew from the Soloveitchik dynasty, wanted to suggest that Maimonides’ description of idolatry as a veil that conceals a true belief in God’s unity is precisely what is presented in Christianity?

Understood this way, Christianity becomes a mirror of Judaism. In fact, R. Elijah Zvi says as much in his introduction to the English translation of Kol Kore, The Law, the Talmud, and the Gospel. “But our object is not to comment. … We desire to institute an inquiry into the causes of an existing misunderstanding. For since the fire of dispute has been kindled in the camp of our Hebrew brethren, it has divided the worshippers of God into two sections, the one Jews, and the other Christians.” R. Elijah Zvi continues in Kol Kore to cite Maimonides’ Thirteen Principals of Faith, widely considered to be the doctrinal framework of Judaism, and then proceeds to explain how each one of Maimonides’ principles is upheld by Christianity, juxtaposing Torah and New Testament verses to support one another. In one footnote in the English translation he deals with the doctrine of the Trinity as follows: “As to the doctrine of the Trinity to which the modern Jew so much objects (which was a doctrine really held by many of the most learned of the Rabbis) it is a very sublime thing, more extended than the circumference of the earth, and more expanded than the sea, and has many sublime principles depending on it, and truly does the Apostle say: ‘Great is the mystery of Godliness’; for not everyone can fathom the depth of that mystery.” The ostensible division of the Holy Trinity as a compromise to true monotheism is, for R. Elijah Zvi, as well as many for Christians such as Thomas Aquinas, simply an error of interpretation.

Lest one think Kol Kore was the product of some obscure and marginal figure, in the renowned Jewish bibliographer Moritz Steinschneider’s (1816-1907) personal copy of Kol Kore there is a page with a commendation of R. Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888), the founder of neo-Orthodoxy in Germany. Yet one may still understandably question why this traditional Jew from a rabbinic dynasty would engage in this kind of scholarship. There were many like him who converted to Christianity and wrote similarly. One example would be Immanuel Frommann (d. 1735), who wrote a kabbalistic commentary to the Gospel of Luke examined in a recent essay by Elliot Wolfson. But as far as we know, R. Elijah Zvi remained a devout Jew. While in Paris in 1870 he explained that he believed that the New Testament had been misunderstood and that he had achieved the correct understanding. He thus wanted to illustrate to the church that since there are no contradictions between the Christianity and Torah, Christian anti-Semitism should cease. In addition, he hoped his work would correct the negative appraisal Jews had of New Testament, which is why he published it in the original Hebrew after various translations already appeared in print. In retrospect we can surely see the naiveté of this observation, but in its time—that is, in the decades preceding and following emancipation—it was not such an unrealistic hope.

Finally, it is also worth noting that the more well-known Soloveitchik, R. Joseph Dov Ber (the Rav), published an influential essay titled “Confrontation” in 1964 where, in response to the Second Vatican Council, he attempted to significantly limit ecumenical discourse between Jews and Christians. In his essay he argued, “[T]he confrontation should not occur at a theological, but at a mundane level,” claiming that the “great encounter between God and man is a wholly personal affair incomprehensible to the outsider—even to a brother of the same faith community.” While the underlying reason for the Rav’s counseling against serious ecumenism is matter of scholarly debate, it is interesting that his position stands in complete opposition to that of his cousin R. Elijah Zvi.

Another Soloveitchik, R. Meir Soloveichik (b. 1977), great nephew of R. Joseph Ber, just completed a dissertation at Princeton on the Orthodox theologian Michael Wyschogrod’s work on divine election that also deals extensively with Christianity and its relationship to Judaism. R. Meir Soloveichik’s position on Christianity is aptly expressed in his essay “No Friend of Jesus” that appeared in First Things in 2008, largely a review of Jacob Neusner’s A Rabbi Talks to Jesus. Very much in line with his great-uncle, perhaps even more dismissive of the possibility of substantive theological dialogue, R. Meir Soloveichik’s position exhibits a sentiment that is worlds away from R. Elijah Zvi—both in substance and in tone. Neusner argues that even as he rejects the basic premises of Jesus as divine he can still engage with Christianity “with great respect and reverence.” Soloveichik counters that since Jesus presents himself as God (an idea that is hotly contested among New Testament scholars) there is nothing more to be said, and “respect and reverence” is simply a “polite hedge” (citing C.S. Lewis) that by definition undermines Judaism’s basic foundation. The most that believing Jews and Christians can do is present a united front to battle the nasty secularists or progressive religionists because it is only the traditionalists, Soloveichik suggests, who still believe in “truth.” Given such a position it is surprising, or perhaps not so surprising, that R. Meir Soloveichik was honored with giving the benediction at the 2012 Republican National Convention.

I have no idea whether either of these modern-day members of an illustrious rabbinical dynasty knew of their lost forebear’s work on Christianity and the New Testament, but it is surely the case that Orthodoxy has not taken the path suggested by R. Elijah Zvi. But it seems that there is more than one approach to Christianity among the Soloveitchiks. This is all to say that while Peter Salovey’s rise to the presidency of Yale University may indeed be cause for celebration for those who have a connection to the Soloveitchik dynasty, the Soloveitchik who would likely be most pleased may be the forgotten cousin, R. Elijah Zvi, the Soloveitchik who loved Jesus.

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J Nolder says:

Thank you for printing this article, I found it very interesting and enlightening. ….on a side note…does anyone find a uncanny resemblance between Rabbi Elijah Zvi and Robin Williams???? :)

This validates what I have been telling people for years. That at one point, a bunch of rabbis laid out all this Judeo-christian doctrine on a chopping block and brought down the cleaver. They decreed “Everything on this side is Judaism and everything on that side is Christianity”. And since that day, never the twain shall meet.

Shalom,

Let Jesus/Yeshua speak for himself!

I would like your readers to Google this article:

The American Council for Judaism

Stephen L. (Steve) Naman

Post Office Box 862188

Marietta, GA 30062

(904) 280-3131

ACJSLN@aol.com

Tribalism vs. Universality:

The Triumph of Jonah and Ruth

Solveig Eggerz

Issues

Winter 1997

During the sixth century B.C.E. Babylon and Egypt competed with one another for control of Judah. The inhabitants of Jerusalem resisted the powerful Babylonian army for two years. When Jerusalem fell in 587 B.C.E. the Babylonians destroyed Solomon’s Temple and sent the people of Jerusalem to Babylon, which marked the
beginning of the Exile. During the Exile, the faith in Yahweh developed into Judaism. Without a state of their own, Jews retained their identity by focusing on their writings, their laws, their records of the past. For this reason scribes became important. The exiles also listened to prophets such as Jeremiah and Ezekiel. It was in Babylon that the priest Ezekiel had his vision of a resurrected Israel.

In 539 B.C.E. after the Jews had been in exile for a little over 50 years, the Persian king Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon which included the annexation of Jerusalem. He issued the Edict of Cyrus which permitted the Jewish exiles to return to
their homeland and rebuild Solomon’s Temple. But most Jews were comfortable in the Diaspora and chose not to participate in the reconstruction of a Jewish state.

According to the Bible, 42,360 exiles returned to Jerusalem in the year 520 B.C.E. under the leadership of Zerubbabel, a member of the Davidic line who became Persian Governor of Judah. A religious exclusivity, which manifested itself in an intolerance of foreigners, characterized these years after the return from Babylon. This early group of returning exiles discriminated against Samaritans as well as against other Jews regarded as heretical. Partly because of this expressed hostility, the new colony faltered. But in 458 B.C.E. Ezra the scribe and priest brought more exiles. And in 445 B.C.E. Nehemiah, a powerful Persian official, arrived and took over the governorship of Judah. He had the authority to build Judah into an independent political unit within the Persian Empire.

Returning Exiles

The returning exiles were serious about the purification of Judaism as described in Nehemiah 8:

“And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the Law of Moses which the Lord had given to Israel. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly . . . And he read from it facing the square before the Water gate from early morning until midday . . .”
What he read was the essence of the xenophobic strain in Judaism. In exile it had been the task of Ezra, as befitted a scribe, to study and copy the writings of the Jews. Creativity and inspiration are the characteristics of prophets, not scribes. When the exiles looked to a scribe to shape the new Jewish nation, they looked to one whose interest is in a dogged preservation of the letter of the law. It was this kind of inflexibility coupled with nationalism that motivated Ezra to demand the dissolution of all marriages between returning Jews and those who already dwelled in Israel. Chapter nine of Nehemiah describes the need for Jews to separate from “foreigners”
and chapter thirteen ends with the condemnation of all foreign marriages.

Ezra’s laws were a return to an isolationist tribalism of an earlier period of Judaism. The reason for the ban on intermarriage was not strictly religious, for the Samaritans had accepted the religion of Judaism. Rather the cause was rooted in a racial, ethnic, nationalistic chauvinism.
So natural was intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews in Jerusalem at this time that a grandson of the high priest had married the daughter of the governor of Samaria during a period when Nehemiah was in Babylon. Upon his return, Nehemiah insisted that this marriage be dissolved. The bridegroom refused, and was expelled from Jerusalem which led to the final split between the Samaritans and the Jews.

“Religion as we know it is obsolete”!

Hitchens, Dawkins or Jesus?

John 4:19-26. Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman.

They crucified him because he said he was finished with RELIGION.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; John ch 14 to ch 17.

But there was no money in his Message!

There was no priest caste or High Priests among his followers (Matthew 20:20-28).

He was a disaster as far as ORGANIZED RELIGION was concerned, so they had to get rid of him.

NEVER man spoke like this Man!

When one reads John ch 4 they will see that Jesus/Yeshua rejected the religion of Ezra & Nehemiah.

He reveals that God is a Spirit & those who worship Him, worship in spirit & in truth.

The 3 so-called Abrahamic faiths, Talmudic Judaism, Romanism & Islam, have NOTHING in common with the Sermon on the Mount! They are 3 Jihadic Babylonian Cults, which have their roots in Zoroasterism.

Jesus/Yeshua sided with the Prophets of Israel & its worth reading what the last Prophet of Israel had to say about Talmudic Judaism:

Matthew 3:1-12

3 Later, John the Baptizer appeared in the desert of Judea. His message was, 2 “Turn to God and change the way you think and act, because the kingdom of heaven is near.”3 Isaiah the prophet spoke about this man when he said,

“A voice cries out in the desert:
‘Prepare the way for the Lord!
Make his paths straight!’”

4 John wore clothes made from camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His diet consisted of locusts and wild honey.

5 Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole Jordan Valley went to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.

7 But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to be baptized, he said to them, “You poisonous snakes! Who showed you how to flee from God’s coming anger? 8 Do those things that prove you have turned to God and have changed the way you think and act.9 Don’t think you can say, ‘Abraham is our ancestor.’ I can guarantee that God can raise up descendants for Abraham from these stones. 10 The ax is now ready to cut the roots of the trees. Any tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into a fire. 11 I baptize you with water so that you will change the way you think and act. But the one who comes after me is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to remove his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing[a] shovel is in his hand, and he will clean up his threshing floor.[b] He will gather his wheat into a barn, but he will burn the husks in a fire that can never be put out.”

AND JOHN REPEATS THOSE SAME WORDS TO MODERN DAY TALMUDIC JEWS!

·

Thank you for this article! The most enlightening and fulfilling experience of my “christian” life has been sitting at the feet of a rabbi, who, like the one in this article, has been teaching me how to live a set-apart, redeemed lifestyle as a Torah-observant believer. I keep the feast days, a kosher home and live life to the best of my ability according to Torah. What I find wonderful is that when I prayed to Ha’Shem and asked Him to show me His heart, this is where He lead me—not away from, but back to the hearts of the fathers! Praise be to the Lord and may His blessings be poured out onto you all!

brian2907 says:

While there should always be mutual respect and tolerance between different faiths, any attempt to synthesize them is bound to end in the watering down of them both to their joint detriment. In the case of Judaism and Christianity, the plain truth is that they are mutually exclusive in that either Jesus was the Messiah (a divine being in Christianity, not so in Judaism) or he wasn’t. If he was, then Judaism has no validity if he wasn’t then ditto for Christianity. As it is scientifically impossible to provide definitive proof of his divinity it all comes down to belief. No Jew who says the Shema, the central declaration of faith in the One God, can possibly worship any other being and if he does, then he has left Judaism.

While Jews cannot view Jesus as the messiah or the son of God, we can certainly view him as a learned rabbi and a moral philosopher. Treat others the way you would like to be treated (the same philosophy as Hillel), his messages on charity, forgiveness, piety, and judgment are something that all religions or moral people in general can use. Many colleges now are offering courses that look at Jesus’ philosophy without any of the religious background, and they really are quite interesting.

Yeshua Ha’Mashiach

He is AL HAQ, John 14:6

He is AL BAETH, John11:25-26.

He is AL AWAL & AL AKHER, Isaiah 41:4; Revelation 22:13,16.

He is AL MALEK, Revelation 17:14.

He is AL NUR, John 8:12

He is the SON OF GOD.

Jesus is Allah according to the Koran

This is a very important issue and everybody should know this fact. I studied the Koran and the Hadith and I will discuss this subject according to the Koran and the Bible and we will find the truth that “Jesus is Allah according to the Koran.”

Muslims always love to ask question but sorry to say they don’t want to listen to your answer. Muslims always think they are right and you are wrong! (Which is false). Therefore if you don’t have good idea about the Koran and the Bible and any Muslim asks any question to you then I am sure it will strike like a hammer to your faith! One very minor question Muslims always asks, “Where Jesus said He is God?” I am sure so many of you heard this question.

Now I will show the Muslims in a very special way how we can prove them that Jesus said, ‘I am the God’ from their book and our book in the same time.

The God of Islam ‘Allah’ has 99 names. Each name of those are equal to other one. Which means there is no difference between the name of Allah or any of those 99 names. Allah is one of them and He is equal to all those names. No difference but equal. So if Jesus claimed any of those names it means that Jesus is saying to Muslims that ‘He is Muslims God too.’

So I will tell you how many times Jesus said, ‘I am God.’ Which means Jesus is God to Muslims as well. There are so many verses in the Bible but I picked only few verses from the Bible.

I challenge all the Muslims on this Earth NOT to run away from this truth. Now my question to them, ’How can Muslims deny this truth?’

One of the names of God in Islam is AL-HAQ. Which means in Arabic ‘The Truth.’ Did Jesus say in the Bible, “I am the Truth?’ Yes. He said on John 14;9,” I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through Me.” The most important for Christians now that Jesus said, “He is the Truth.” Always remember this truth.

Can any Muslim deny that is God’s (Allah) another name is “The Truth” (AL-HAQ)? No. No one can deny this fact. Because this Truth in Islam is ‘Allah’. AL is Arabic word and its English meaning is ‘you talking about whom.’ HAQ means Truth which in English we say ‘I am the Truth’. In Arabic I am the ‘AL-HAQ’. Can any Muslim deny that?

Another name for God of Islam is AL-BAETH. The Resurrection. Did Jesus say in the Gospel, “I am the Resurrection?” Yes. In the Gospel of John 11;25-26 Jesus says, “I am the Resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and who-ever lives and believes in Me will never die.” When Muslims God ‘Allah’ is called ‘AL-BEATH’ which means resurrection, then it is clearly proven to all of us that Jesus Himself is Allah as Jesus says, “I am the Resurrection.” In Arabic “I am the ‘AL-BEATH.’ There are not a single Muslim in this Earth can deny that. If any Muslim denies this truth then he/she denies/reject ‘Allah’ as well because they deny the 99 names of Allah.

The God of Islam has two other names. “AL-AWAL” and “AL-AKHER.”
In English we say, “I am the Alfa-I am the Omega.” (I am the First and I am the Last.) Isaiah 41;4 says, “I, the Lord-with the first of them and with the
last-I am He.” Also the book of Revelation 22: 13 says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Jesus is the AL-AWAL and Jesus is the AL-AKHER. Muslims there are no any option or excuse to refuse this truth. You have to accept Jesus as your “Allah.”

One of the names of the God of Islam ’Allah’ is the kings of King. In Arabic ‘AL-MALEK.’ The book of Revelation says on chapter 17 verse 14, “They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings-and with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers.”

One of the names of the God of Islam ‘Allah’ is the Guide-“AL-HADI.” Which’s English meaning is The Door/Gate. Did Jesus say that He is the Gate? Yes. In the Gospel of John 10:9 tells us Jesus said, “ I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.”

One of the names of the God of Islam ‘Allah’ is The Light which in Arabic is “Al-NUR.” Did Jesus say that He is the Light or He is the AL-NUR? Yes. In the Gospel of John 8;12 says, “ I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” All these verses are clearly proves that Jesus is Allah according to the Koran and no Muslims can deny this truth. (For readers references please check the Gospel of John. 10:9/15;1/6;35 and 10;11).

For these reason I suggest you my dear Muslims make your decision now. Do not leave it for tomorrow. It may be too late. The door for repentance can be shut and you will live in everlasting regret and suffer punishment. Please do not try to knock on the back door because you have to come through the front door and that door is Jesus Christ-AL-HADI.

JESUS OF NAZARETH IN THE TALMUD

Many passages in the Talmudic books treat of the birth, life, death, and teachings of Jesus Christ. He is not always referred to by the same name, however, but is diversely called “That Man,” “A Certain One,” “The Carpenter’s Son,” “The One Who Was Hanged,” etc.

Concerning the Names of Jesus Christ

1. The real name of Jesus in Hebrew is Jeschua Hanotsri – Jesus the Nazarene. He is called Notsri from the city of Nazareth in which he was brought up. Thus in the Talmud Christians also are called Notsrim – Nazarenes.

Since the word Jeschua means “Savior,” the name Jesus rarely occurs in the
Jewish books. It is almost always abbreviated to Jeschu ,which is maliciously taken as if it were composed of the initial letters of the three words Immach Schemo Vezikro – “May his name and memory be blotted out.”

2. In the Talmud Jesus is called Otho Isch – “That man,” i.e. the one who is known to all. In the tract Abhodah Zarah, 6a, we read:

“He is called a Christian who follows the false teachings of that man, who taught them to celebrate the feast on the first day of the Sabbath, that is, to worship on the first day after the Sabbath”

3. Elsewhere he is simply called Peloni – “A Certain One.” In Chagigah, 4b, we read:

“Mary…the mother of a certain one, of whom it is related in Schabbath…” (104b)

That this Mary is none other than the mother of Jesus will be shown later.

4. Out of contempt, Jesus is also called Naggar bar naggar – “the carpenter son of a carpenter”, also Ben charsch etaim – “the son of a wood worker.”

5. He is also called Talui – “The one who was hanged.” Rabbi Samuel, the son of Mair, in the Hilch. Akum of Maimonides, refers to the fact that it was forbidden to take part in the Christian feats of Christmas and Easter because they were
celebrated on account of him who was hanged. And Rabbi Aben Ezra, in a commentary on Genes. also calls him Talui, whose image the Emperor
Constantine reproduced on his banner. “…in the days of Constantine, who
made a change of religion and placed the figure of the one who was hanged on his banner.”

The Life of Jesus

The Talmud teaches that Jesus was illegitimate and was conceived during
menstruation; that he had the soul of Esau; that he was a fool, a conjurer, a
seducer; that he was crucified, buried in hell and set up as an idol ever since
by his followers.

ILLEGITIMATE AND CONCEIVED DURING MENSTRUATION

The following is narrated in the Tract Kallah, 1b:

“Once when the Elders were seated at the Gate, two young men passed
by, one of whom had his covered, the other with his head bare. Rabbi
Eliezer remarked that the one in his bare head was illegitimate, a mamzer. Rabbi Jehoschua said that he was conceived during menstruation, ben niddah. Rabbi Akibah, however, said that he was both. Whereupon the others asked Rabbi Akibah why he dared to contradict his colleagues. He answered that he could prove what he said. He went therefore to the boy’s mother whom he saw sitting in the market place selling vegetables and said to her: “My daughter, if you will answer truthfully what I am going to ask you, I promise that you will be saved in the next life.” She demanded that he would swear to keep his promise, and Rabbi Akibah did so – but with his lips only, for in his heart he invalidated his oath. Then he said: “Tell me, what kind of son is this of yours”? To which she replied: “The day I was married I was having menstruation, and because of this my husband left me. But an evil spirit came and slept with me and from this intercourse my son was born to me.” Thus it was proved that this young man was not only illegitimate but also conceived during the menstruation of his mother. And when his questioners heard this they declared: “Great indeed was
Rabbi Akibah when he corrected his Elders”! And they exclaimed:

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel who revealed his secret to Rabbi Akibah the son of Joseph”!

That the Jews understand this story to refer to Jesus and his mother, Mary, is clearly demonstrated in their book Toldath Jeschu – “The Generations of Jesus” – where the birth of our Savior is narrated in almost the same words.

Another story of this kind is narrated in Sanhedrin, 67a:

“Of all who are guilty of death by the Law, he alone is caught by a ruse. How is it done? They light a candle in an inner room and place witnesses in an adjoining room outside where they can see him and hear his voice, but where they cannot be seen by him. Then the one whom he tried to seduce says to him “Please repeat here privately what you told me before.” If the seducer repeats what he said, the others ask him “But how shall we leave our God who is in heaven and serve idols?” If the seducer repents, then all is well.But if he says “This is our duty and it is right for us to do so,” then the witnesses outside, who have heard him, bring him before the judge and stone him to death. This is what they did to the son of Stadi in Lud, and they hanged him on the eve of the Passover. For this son of Stada was the son of Pandira. For Rabbi Chasda tells us that Pandira was the husband of Stada, his mother, and he lived during the time Paphus the son of Jehuda. But his mother was stada, Mary of Magdala (a ladies’ hairdresser) who, as it is said in Pumbadita, deserted her husband.”

The meaning of this is that his Mary was called Stada, that is, a prostitute, because, according to what was taught at Pumbadita, she left her husband and commited adultery. This is also recorded in the Jerusalem Talmud and by Maimonides.

That the mention here is of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is verified in the Tract Chagigah, 4b:

“When Rabbi Bibhai was visited once by the Death Angel (the devil), the latter said to his assistant: “Go and bring to me Mary the hairdresser” (that is, kill her). He went and brought Mary the children’s hairdresser – in place of the other Mary.”

A marginal note explains this passage as follows:

“This story of Mary the Ladies’ hairdresser happened under the Second Temple. She was the mother of Peloni, “that man,” as he is called in the tract Schabbath.”

In Schabbath the passage referred to says:

“Rabbi Elizer said to the Elders: “Did not the son Stada practice Egyptian magic by cutting it into his flesh?” They replied:

“He was a fool, and we do not pay attention to what fools do. The son of Stada, Pandra’s son, etc.” as above in Sanhedrin, 67a.

This magic of the son of Stada is explained as follows in the book Beth Jacobh, fol. 127 a:

“The Magi, before they left Egypt, took special care not to put their magic in writing lest other peoples might come to learn it But he devised a new way by which he inscribed it on his skin, or made cuts in his skin and inserted it there and which, when the wounds healed up, did not show what they meant.”

Buxtorf says:

“There is little doubt who this Ben Stada was, or who the Jews understood him to be. Although the Rabbis in their additions to the Talmud try to hide their malice and say that it is not Jesus Christ, their deceit is plainly evident, and many things prove that they wrote and understood all these things about him. In the first place, they also call him the son of Pandira. Jesus the Nazarene is thus called in other passages of the Talmud where express mention is made of Jesus the son of Pandira. St. John Damascene also, in his Genealogy of Christ, mentions Panthera and the Son of Panthera.

“Secondly, this Stada is said to be Mary, and this Mary the mother of Peloni “that certain one,” by which without doubt Jesus is meant. For in this way they were accustomed to cover up his name because they were afraid to mention it. If we had copies of the original manuscripts they would certainly prove this. And this also was the name of the mother of Jesus the Nazarene.

“Thirdly, he is called the Seducer of the People. The Gospels testify that Jesus was called this by the Jews, and their writings to this day are proof that they still call him by this name.

“Fourthly, he is called “the one who was hanged,” which clearly refers to the crucifixion of Christ, especially since a reference to the time “on the eve of the Passover” is added, which coincides with the time of the crucifixion of Jesus. In Sanhedrin they wrote as follows: “On the eve of the Passover they hanged Jesus”

“Fifthly, as to what the Jerusalem Talmud says about the two disciples of the Elders who were sent as witnesses to spy on him, and who were afterwards brought forward as witnesses against him: This refers to the two “false witnesses” of whom the Evangelists Matthew and Luke make mention.

“Sixthly, concerning what they say about the son of Stada that he practiced Egyptian magical arts by cutting into his flesh: the same accusation is made against Christ in their hostile book Toldoth Jeschu.

“Lastly, the time corresponds. For it is said that this son of Stada lived in the days of Paphus the son of Jehuda, who was a contemporary of Rabbi Akibah. Akibah, however, lived at the time of the Ascension of Christ, and for some time after. Mary is also said to have lived under the Second Temple. All this clearly proves that they secretly and blasphemously understand this son of Stada to be Jesus Christ the son of Mary.

“Other circumstances may seem to contradict this. But that is nothing new in Jewish writings and is done on purpose so that Christians may not easily detect their trickery.”

2. Furthermore, “In the secret books, which are not permitted to fall easily into the hands of Christians, they say that the soul of Esau came into Christ, that he was therefore evil and that he was Esau himself.”

3. By some he is called a FOOL and INSANE

In Schabbath, 104b:

“They, [the Elders] said to him [Eliezer]: “He was a fool, and no one pays attention to fools.”

A CONJURER AND MAGICIAN

In the infamous book Toldoth Jeschu, Jesus is blasphemed as follows:

“And Jesus said: Did not Isaiah and David, my ancestors, prophesy about me? The Lord said to me, thou art my son, today I have begotten thee, etc. Likewise in another place: The Lord said to my Lord, sit thou at my right hand. Now I ascend to my father who is in heaven and will sit at his right hand, which you will see with your own eyes. But you, Judas, will never reach that high. Then Jesus pronounced the great name of God (IHVH) and continued to do so until a wind came and took him up between earth and sky. Judas also pronounced the name of God and he likewise was taken up by the wind. In this way they both floated around in the air to the amazement of the onlookers. Then Judas, again pronouncing the Divine Name, took hold of Jesus and pushed him down to earth. But Jesus tried to do the same to Judas and thus they fought together. And when Judas saw he could not win out over the works of Jesus he pissed on Jesus, and both thus being unclean they fell to earth; nor could they use the Divine name again until they had washed themselves.”

Whether those who believe such devilish lies deserve greater hatred or pity, I cannot say.

In another place in the same book it is related that in the house of the Sanctuary there was a stone which the Patriarch Jacob anointed with oil. On this stone were carved the tetragrammatic letters of the Name (IHVH), and if anyone could learn from them he could destroy the world. They therefore decreed that no one must learn them, and they placed two dogs upon two iron columns before the Sanctuary so that if anyone should learn them the dogs would bark at him coming out and he would forget the letters through fear. Then it is related:

“Jesus came and entered, learned the letters and wrote them down on parchment. Then he cut into the flesh of his thigh and inserted them there, and
having pronounced the name, the wound healed.”

5. IDOLATER

In the Tract Sanhedrin (103a) the words of Psalm XCI, 10: “No plague shall come near thy dwelling,” are explained as follows:

“That thou mayest never have a son or a disciple who will salt his food so much that he destroys his taste in public, like Jesus the Nazarene.”

To salt one’s food too much or to destroy one’s taste, is proverbially said of
one who corrupts his morals or dishonors himself, or who falls into heresy and
idolatry and openly preaches it to others.

6. SEDUCER

In the same book Sanhedrin (107b) we read:

“Mar said: Jesus seduced, corrupted and destroyed Israel.”

7. CRUCIFIED

Finally as punishment for his crimes and impiety, he suffered an ignominious
death by being hanged on a cross on the eve of the Passover (as we have seen above).

8. BURIED IN HELL

The book Zohar, III, (282), tells us that Jesus died like a beast and was buried in that “dirt heap…where they throw the dead bodies of dogs and asses, and where the sons of Esau [the Christians] and of Ismael [the Turks], also Jesus and Mahommed, uncircumcized and unclean like dead dogs, are buried.”

9. WORSHIPPED AS GOD AFTER HIS DEATH BY HIS FOLLOWERS

George El. Edzard, in his book Avoda Sara, quotes the following words of the commentator on the Hilkoth Akum (V,3) of Maimonides:

“In many passages of the Talmud mention is made of Jesus the Nazarene and
of his disciples, and that the Gentiles believe that there is no other God besides him. In the book Chizzuk Emunah, part I, ch. 36, we read: “The Christians build up an argument from this [Zachary XII, 10] and say: Behold how thew Prophet testified that in future ages the Jews would would lament and weep because they crucified and killed the Messiah who was sent to them; and to prove that he meant Jesus the Nazarene, possessing both the divine and human nature, they quote the words: And they looked upon him whom they transfixed and they wept over him as a mother over her first born child.”"

Maimonides attempts to prove how much Christians err in worshipping Jesus in his book Hilkoth Melakhim (IX, 4):

“If all the things he did had prospered, if he had rebuilt the Sanctuary in its place, and had gathered together the dispersed tribes of Israel, then he would certainly be the Messiah….But if so far hew has not done so and if he was killed, then it is clear he was not the Messiah whom the Law tells us to expect. He was similar to all the good and upright rulers of the House of David who died, and whom the Holy and Blessed Lord raised up for no other reason but to prove to many, as it is said (in Dan. XI, 35): And some of them who understand
shall fall, to try and to purge them and to make them white, even till the end
of time, because the appointed time is not yet. Daniel also prophesised about Jesus the Nazarene who thought he was the Christ, and who was put to death by the judgment of the Senate: (Dan. V.14): …and the robbers of thy people shall exalt

themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fail. What could be plainer? For all the Prophets said that the Christ would set Israel free, would bring it salvation, restore its dispersed peoples and confirm their laws. But he was the cause of the destruction of Israel and caused the rest of them to be dispersed and humiliated, so that the Law was changed and the greater part of the world was seduced to worship another God. Truly no one can understand the designs of the Creator, nor are his ways our ways. For all that has been built up by Jesus the Nazarene, and by the Turks who came after him, tend only to prepare the way for the coming of Christ the King, and to prepare the whole world equally for the service of the Lord, as it is said: For then I shall give a clean moth to all peoples that all may call upon the name of the Lord, and bow down in unison before him. How is this being accomplished? Already the whole world is filled with the praise of Christ, the Law and the Commandments, and his praises have spread to far distant lands and to peoples whose hearts and bodies are uncircumcized. These discuss with one another about the Law that was destroyed – some saying that the commandments were once true, but have ceased to exist; others that there is a great mystery about it, that the Messiah-King has come and that their doctrine has revealed it. But when the Christ truly comes and is successful, and is raised up and exalted, then everything will be changed and these things will be shown to be false and vain.”

10. AN IDOL

In the Tract Abhodah Zarah, (21a Toseph), we read:

“It is of importance to inquire the reasons why men nowadays even sell and rent their houses to Gentiles. Some say this is legal because it is said in Tosephta: No one shall rent his house to a gentile either here [in the land of Israel] or elsewhere because it is known that he will bring an idol into it. It is nevertheless allowed to rent them
stables, barns and lodging houses, even though it is known that they will bring
idols into them. The reason is because a distinction can be made between a
place into which an idol will be carried in order to leave it there permanently, and a place where it will not be left permanently, in which case it is allowed. And since the gentiles, among whom we now live, do not bring their idol into their homes to leave it there permanently, but only for a time – while someone is dead in the house or when someone is dying, nor do they even perform any religious rites there – it is therefore permitted to sell and rent them houses.”

Rabbi Ascher, in his Commentary on Abhodah Zarah (83d) speaks not less clearly on this matter: “Today it is permitted to rent houses to Gentiles because they bring their idol into them only for a time, when somebody is sick.” And in the same place he says “Today they have a practice of incensing their idol.”"

All this, and much more like it, proves beyond a doubt that when the Rabbis
speak of the idols of the Gentiles among whom they lived at that time, when no
idols were worshiped, they clearly meant the Christian “idol,” namely, the image of Christ on the crucifix.

Is there a “Delete” button around here somewhere?

brian2907 says:

To Michael Stein, you call Jesus “rabbi.” Do we know that he had s’micha? His philosophy was not new as it had been spoken previously, Rabbi Hillel is a case in point. To Larry, this is not a forum for proselytizing but for discussion. In scripture the Messiah, although not divine, will bring universal peace. As this self-evidently has not been achieved it is impossible for a Torah-observant Jew to accept Jesus. Your beliefs are respected however although they cannot be shared.

I think that Larry’s :”Christian rants” show the reason why theological discussions should not be held.

Shalom Ben,

Its either me or Fundamentalist Jihadic Mohammedans!

Make my day, you Moronic Cretin!

I read in this article about divisions in judaism and christianity, which at one time were part of the same religion, and then there is the later offshoot muslims, which have been around from ancient times but we never say jews are warring or christians…but sometimes the word muslims..people from that faith may not be warring..they may have problems from their side, which are apparent from the other, and among people from the jewish side as well..but if you examine the problems they are political in nature, so we should state Israel(which they do) Syria or identify the moslem state..someone may not like someone but really only states can be at war..and even terrorists from wherever they are need to be identified to their state..but these have always been considered state activities..to mention someone’s religion..its part of the profile, but I dont know its a s relevant as people think..its more politics?

This is a Jewish website, not a Muslim one. You may be a bit confused.

there’s a typo in here:- “he came upon in the library of the Great Synagogue”. He “came uponn it”? Maybe, simply he “found it”.

The Talmud has nothing to say about ‘Jesus’or the ‘Christians’ except for a possible reference to a ‘circle-drawer’ (occultist). I see no problem with Zvi’s love for Christians – which is not a declaration nor validation for/of Christianity but simply the goodness of the heart of this rabbi. Afer having lived and worked in India and Sri Lanka in the ’70s and ’80s, I developed a love for Buddhists and theistic Hindus but that didn’t validate these religions, and I’m still very much an observant Jew. As a scholar I must point out that Christianity DID NOT come out of 1st century Judaism, it is a syncretic religion formed by Paul / Saul that includes elements of the Judaism known in the 1st century mingled with the more pervasive and popular Mithra cults of the time. Christianity developed its own spirituality over time, a spirituality that has nothing to do with Judaism of any period and its ”holy” literatures are amongst the nastiest pieces of anti-Semitic writings ever and have led to the murder of millions of Jews. I suggest you pseudo-Jewish Christians out there read one of my books – ‘Beware the Crouching Demon’ (Amazon / Kindle) for the scholarly proofs of Christianity’s pagan / Mithra origins.

Shalom,

The problem in the Middle East involves a large group of people who follow Muhammad. This Arab hated Jews, as do most of his followers today! Those who don’t are in the closet! Unless their mindset can be changed, another terrible disaster like 70 AD is going to happen.

The “confusion” is in your mind, Michael.

rightcoaster says:

“Any attempt to synthesize…”. Not quite sure what “synthesize” means in the context of this article or your writing. I think all religions syncretize: they absorb elements of the practices and beliefs already existing in “previous” religions. Judaism has done this — and certainly Christianity has also: virginal conception — miraculous and without involvement of a human male (other meanings of “virgin” are possible that would remove the miraculous); man-god the son of a god are the two most important adoptions from non-Jewish neighbors . Even today, Haitian Catholicism has elements of voodoo, or so I am given to understand. Just returned from Japan, where in about the 8th C CE, Buddhism came ashore and was merged (synthesized?) with the existing animistic religion Shintoism. Then during the Meiji Restoration of the latter part of the 19th C, they were separated — I guess sort of. But when you go to a Buddhist temple at least sometimes there are Shinto elements — like a shrine to a local “patron saint”. Or maybe it’s vice versa, no matter. Don’t know where I’m headed with this anyway, and have no desire to emulate Larry.

Hosius11 says:

Thanks for the plug of your work, Richard, although the claim is hardly novel. It’s strange that Jews at the time didn’t notice this, it would have been an easy and effective rejoinder, if it was true.

Hosius11 says:

No wonder, Paul wrote ‘Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth’ (Tit 1:14).
Not everything Jewish is good.

Hosius11 says:

Criticise it if you will, but the NT makes very plain that even the Sadducees, as well as the Pharisees, believed that the Tenach taught that God had a unique Son – suggesting it was subsequent post-Messianic, anti-Nazarene rabbinic teaching that did away with the inheritance.

Hosius11 says:

Are those last two words compatible with the first?

Strange that in all likelihood the man considered by some to be Mashiach had a Jewish 1st century burial among other observant Jewish Torah keeping. His bones and ossuary and those of some of his immediate family received an honorable Jewish reburial a decade or so ago after being found in Talpiot. Ironic to have an honorable second Jewish burial (actually probably a total of three honorable burials) for one portrayed by too many of his brothers as an evil person.

His ossuary was labeled in 1st century Aramaic, typical of the 1st century. Nothing saying “Jze-us” in that tomb. The rest of these comments and articles argue interpretation of questionable extant and non-extant references. The archaeology however and ossuaries are still able to be viewed.

For those being objective, that would tend toward kindness in their judgments, his life is easily seen as Torah observant. Those with an axe to grind and tending toward baseless hatred will consider the man evil. Their evil reasoning on numerous accounts is a departure from halakhah.

One should also think about how world peace can possibly be achieved. One individual at a time is the idea of the living stones of the Beit HaMikdash.

http://netzarim.co.il/Museum/Sukkah03/Burning%20Issues%20Talpiot%20Tomb.htm

Shalom,

YOU ARE WRONG!

VERY WRONG!

MUHAMMAD HATED JEWS & CHRISTIANS & WANTS THEM DEAD!

THIS IS JUST A PORTION OF ISLAMIC TEACHING:

Al-Wala wal Bara’ Revealed in Al-’Imran

(Part 1of2)

Aqeedah

by admin

The legal meaning of Al-Wala’ (love, support, help, follow, etc.) is to totally agree with the sayings, deeds and beliefs which please Allah and the persons whom He likes.

In an age where truth is presented as falsehood, righteousness is translated to
rebelliance and the preserving of ones land and dignity is called terrorism,
there will naturally arise many confusions about the pillars of Iman and the
facts of Islam. Those in whose hearts there is a deviation find it expedient to
twist the meaning of many sacred texts because it does not conform with their
desires and motives. Not even the principles of Al-Aqeedah can escape their
ploys.

Al-Wala’u wa Al-Bara’ is the creed that guides all the actions and sayings of a Muslim and it is by its practice and application that the ranks of the believers vary. It is imperative that this creed be unambiguous to the Muslim’s mentality in order that it manifests and materialises correctly in his
actions.

28. Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Awliya’ (supporters, helpers, etc.) instead of the believers, and whoever does that will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself (.e. His Punishment), and to Allah is the final return.

29. Say [O Muhammad (s.a.w.)]: “Whether you hide what is in your breasts or reveal it, Allah knows it, and He knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth. And Allah is Able to do all things”.

The Occasion of Revelation

The Ayah (verse) was revealed concerning a group of believers who had Jewish friends. Those believers were giving Muwalat (support, help, etc.) to these Jews. Some of the Sahabah (r.a.a.) said to those believers:

“Keep away from those Jews and beware of their friendship for they could seduce you away from your Deen and guide you astray after you have believed”.

However this group of believers disobeyed the advice and remained loyal to their Jewish friends; and so Allah (s.w.t.) revealed

“Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Awliya’“.

Al-Qurtubi also reports in his Tafseer, narrated by Ibn Abbas (r.a.a.) that the Ayat was revealed with respect to ‘Ubadah bin us-Saamet Al-Ansari Al-Badri who had a coalition of Jews. On the day of Al-Ahzaab, ‘Ubadah said to the Prophet (s.a.w.):

“O Prophet of Allah, I have a fellow of five hundred Jews; I see that they should come with me for support against the enemy”.

In this incidence, Allah (s.w.t.) revealed the aforementioned Ayat.

THIS IS ABOUT MUHAMMAD’S HATE TOWARDS JEWS & CHRISTIANS!

OK?

Michael Tupek says:

Thank you for providing this refreshing article. As an
evangelical gentile Christian, I was pleased to learn of this Rabbi and his
love for Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah.
Another book that should be interesting is “Our Jewish Friends” by Louis
Goldberg. In the back he provides several biographies of significant Jewish
believers in the Messiah Jesus. Also, my own book emphasizes the inviolable
unity between biblical Judaism (not rabbinic Judaism) and biblical
Christianity, called “Torah of Sin and Grace.”

avalpert says:

Ha, this has got to be the funniest of the silly apologetics in these comments.

Hey, my book made it clear that everyone believes what my book said and the only reason that doesn’t seem so now is because they did away with what my book said they thought about my book…

avalpert says:

“Could it be that R. Elijah Zvi, this traditional Lithuanian Jew from the Soloveitchik dynasty, wanted to suggest that Maimonides’ description of idolatry as a veil that conceals a true belief in God’s unity is precisely what is presented in Christianity?”

If he did, he was a pretty sloppy scholar. Maimonides explicitly holds Christianity to be idolatry.

Hosius11 says:

Not when earlier pre-Messianic Rabbis agree with it…

avalpert says:

Uh huh, whatever you need to tell yourself. I mean once you are deluding yourself about ‘your book’ you might as well delude yourself about ‘history’

Hosius11 says:

What about 4Q246 cave 4, for starters?

avalpert says:

What about it? It refers to an evil ruler who called himself the son of God and would be defeated by the true people of God – the most likely reference here is to Antiochus IV Epiphanes though there are a few other plausible ones.

Mocking and critique of foreign rulers claims of divinity was certainly common in ancient Judaism – if what you meant by Rabbis agreeing that they noted many rulers though themselves descended of God, than sure they agree.

Hosius11 says:

It’s a creative and, I grant, plausible evasion for some very plain words,

‘He will be called the son of God, And the son of the Most High they will call him’

an argument drawn from the previous section.

However the same column as the description of the Son, contains what sounds much more like the Jewish Messiah,

‘His kingdom is an eternal kingdom,
And all his ways are in truth.
He/they shall judge the land in truth,
And all will make peace.
The sword will cease from the land,
And all the nations shall do homage to him.’.

avalpert says:

Um, you skipped some text in there that might help you out – I’lll even bold the part that shows why your interpretation is misguided (for reference the bolded part is line 4 in column 2 of the fragment. Note, translation may vary – mine comes from Edward Cook’s BBR paper):

He will be called the son of God, And the son of the Most High they will call him.
Like the meteors that you saw, So will be their kingdom.
(A few) years they will reign over the land, And they will crush everyone (or everything)
People will crush people, Nation (will crush) nation.
Until the people of God shall arise, And all will have rest from the sword.
His/their kingdom is an eternal kingdom, And all his/their ways are in truth.
He/they shall judge the land in truth, And all will make peace.

Hosius11 says:

Thanks, don’t forget the last 3 and 1/2 lines too,

‘And all the nations shall do homage to him.The Great God is his help
He himself will fight for him.
He will put the nations in his power,
And all of them he will place before him.
His dominion is an eternal dominion,
And all the deeps of [the earth are his].’

Who is He whom the great God shall help and to whom He shall give the dominion of the nations? Remember these were not Nazarenes but Essenes writing, probably long before Yehoshua came.

avalpert says:

The ‘them’ that the great God shall help is ‘the people of God’ (i.e., the Jews). That is clear when you read the whole text, the pronoun refers to the people, not the one ‘called son of god’ (note it never says it was the son of god). You now seem to be drifting this towards a prophecy of Jesus rather than evidence that the Rabbis believed God had a unique son but no matter, in either case it requires torturing of the text to get to either.

And yes, it was likely written before Jesus’ life, but not by that much – it is date to the first century BCE based on the style of text. As for whether it was written by the Essenes, that is just unknown – but alas irrelevant to this discussion.

herbcaen says:

yawn

Hosius11 says:

Your answer reveals an interesting but characteristically rabbinic conflation of Christian with Messianic, which I doubt its author would share. The last few lines are wholly consistent with Psalm 2, 72, 89, 110, Dan.7 or a host of other Messianic prophecies, whether or not you concede Yehoshua fulfils them. Yes the Jewish people will be heirs to great privilege and authority, but who will lead them, if not their King? In that way the he/they ambiguity of the original is honoured. The Messiah’s conquests are those of His own.
As to the specific question of whether this manuscript identifies the Messiah as the Son of God, I acknowledge there is room for doubt, not least given its damaged nature, and possibility of a break between columns 1 and 2. Although the Qumran Aramaic ‘Bar’ does nicely echo the call of Psalm 2.12, and David’s own son’s triple use of the same Aramaic expression for ‘son’ in Pr.31.2.

avalpert says:

Huh? I definitely don’t conflate Christian and Messianic – I recognize that the Christian story doesn’t fulfill the Messianic vision understood by Jews in the 1st century (not the least of reasons being he died without reestablishing the Davidic dynasty). But that wasn’t what we were discussing.

As you acknowledge, there ‘is room for doubt’ and an honest preponderance of the evidence shows that ancient Jews did not have some concept of a unique Son of God – ancient pagans certainly had a concept of Sons of God, but that is for another discussion.

I’m completely aware of the parallels between pre-Christian Judaism and Catholic theology. So rather than emphasize the differences between the two theologies, in modern times we should be looking at the similarities. Specifically, the doctrine that was peeled off of Judaism to prevent further assimilation of Jews, a section of the Jewish population and doctrine that eventually became Christian.

For example, going back to the Kohanic period, Israelite worshippers of the goddess Asherah were mercilessly persecuted by a male dominated power structure. Layers of the Israelite population defected to Hellenestic along with their vision of the Redeemer as a feminine figure mounted on a pole. Jeremiah is well known for accusing Asherah worsippers as being especially stubborn in their beliefs.

Meanwhile in the Hellenestic world of godhood, the divinity of the virgin Athena had been under attack by the Greek and Roman patriarchy for over a millennia. These two holdouts of a female goddess found solace in the form of an effeminate Jewish man all well-hung on a pole. The man-sacrifice passed the muster of the ruling hellenistic patriarchy, otherwise we may well have ended up with a masculine female salvation figure such as Joan of Arc.

So there is plenty of evidence that a female divinity was worshipped covertly for hundreds of years before Jesus and his political protest. Once that happened, oppressed people from all cultures shifted from the covert Asherah/Athena divinity to the overt Jesus divinity. Hence we have the sudden and phenomenal rise of Christianity.

The amazing thing about all this is that the angry masculine punishing symbols of divinity (Zeus, Hercules) as canonized by Jewish and Hellenistic cultures were pretty much rejected by people who yearned for a sympathetic and nurturant God. I believe the rabbi whom this article was about realized that at some level, and it gave him a spiritual insight most were left out of.

Jesus is not God in Judaism, nor is he Allah in Islam. Both of those religions would consider you statement abject heresy. In fact the Qaran specifically criticizes those who consider Jesus a god, ie the Christians.

Yes, so did Elijah Zvi’s father who said Maimonides was right in his views of Christianity. But, eh.

Wow Richard thanks for recommending one of your books. I’m so interested in reading them because of your obvious humility and grace you’re showing while inviting people to do so . . . oorrrr are you kidding me? LOL.

Why would you view him as a learned rabbi, moral philosopher and liar at the same time? That is the silliest thing I have ever heard.

Pedro antonio Berbería Calvo says:

Truely , I think that Jesus was in fact the definitive prophet announced to Moses.And as one to want be a christian y believe he was God and Son of God . But this is not in opposition to judaism on point of unity of The Lord,since my point of view.And all of us are sons Of God too.In relation with the trinity i must say that only describes the nature of the existence when we talk about the Father we can understand the male pole,The Son ,Jesus Christ is the light that arrives to the female pole The Holy Spirit. This vision is very similar to taoism conception of Reality.in another order of things the good news of Jesus are the next and natural evolution of the revelations that comes from the greatest prophets of Israel. Anyway for me there arent imcompatibilities between authentics jews and authentics crhistians. Congratulations for this articles .The mercy of God over all the nations,Freedom,Love, and Justice.

Luis Antolín says:

Excuse my not good english,I cannot in fact explain myself the way Iwould like.

Ithink that inconsciousl most of Christian hava the idea of Jesús as a kind of avatar,who could be born any place in the world,any environnement religious in the world.It is not at all my own idea,Iwould not exist without the unión between my father and mother,Jesus woul not exist without being born as jew and in judaism.

Iam a very deeply believer in and lover of Jesús and too,I am deeply intereted in judaism and in a certain way I love it.In my view there is a strange,misterious,relationship between judaism and christianism,apart,of course,the inmdiate and obvious one.In my view,even in their mutual misunderstanding(historically tragical for jews because the intolerant Christian persecution),even ,for me as a Christian,jew reject of Jesús as Christ,as Mashíaj,is present a mysterous meannig,message,from God,that I can not understand but in whom i think and meditate a lot.

Really ,I think jews and christians are “condemned”at the end booth of us to understandig and meeting,beyond the very serious doctrinal diffrences,beyond the history of intolerance and blod from whom Christianity is responsable in relationship with jews.

GOOD BLESS,ENLIGHT HIS FACE OVER BOTH OF US,CHRISTIANS AND JEWS.

Rob Selwitz says:

I am a Soloveitchik who would love to read a copy of Dov Hyman’s book. Is there any way I could do so?

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By Liel Leibovitz — The first victim of the 9/11 attacks was a veteran of an elite IDF unit, as well as an innovative Internet entrepreneur