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Truth or Consequences: The Risks of Spiritual Leadership
Torah Thoughts for Today ^ | 7/31/'13 | Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin

Posted on 08/01/2013 8:43:12 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator

The Torah portion of Re’eh is in the Book of Deuteronomy.

History, religion and literature have many examples of good and bad leaders but it gets very murky when trying to figure out good or bad spiritual leaders. As in all domains, one man’s bread is another man’s poison. One person’s hero is another person’s villain. And in today’s age of the relativity of truth, where everything is relative, even the worst leaders can somehow be accepted as great by some people. Extreme left wingers who are personally atheists can accept religious leaders they find appealing and likewise fanatical right-wingers can ally themselves with religious despots. So be it and such is life.

But there is something that has been on my mind for a long time and no doubt on yours as well. As people who have lived in a Christian culture we know too well that Jesus is a hero to Christianity but not to Judaism. But the reasons are varied why that is so. No doubt you have your own views on this subject. But allow me to present some of my own, make of them what you will. It hit me again when I reviewed the content of this week’s Torah reading, the parshat hashavua (“weekly Torah portion”) of Re’eh (that aptly openly opens with the notion of every person’s God-given FREEDOM OF CHOICE) as the subject of the “false prophet” comes up, see a full quote below.

Christianity maintains many things about its founder, among which was that he was a prophet. But here is just one big problem that according to Judaism prophecy ended with the destruction of the First Temple 500 to 600 years before Jesus was even born. In Judaism, prophecy and prophets ends with the period surrounding the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah – the Babylonian Exile – Return to Zion. The title and functions of a prophet or Navi ends with the Biblical greats of Malachi, Daniel, Ezra and Nechemia. After them there are no more prophets in the BIBLICAL Tanach sense among the Jewish people. The era of what is called Prophecy (“Nevuah”) ends and a new era of Wisdom “Chochmah” commences with the onset of the era of the Men of the Great Assembly (“anshei knesset hagedolah”) that launches the era of the Oral Law as the main focus, they decide what shall and shall not be part of the Tanach, and once they “seal” it, the Hebrew Bible remains fixed forever. Obviously this is totally incompatible with Christianity and its “new” additions and editions and its claims about its founder that claims to “supersede” what came before it and displace Judaism for a new religion subsequently known to the world as Christianity.

The problem gets more serious because according to what Christianity teaches, its founder suffered a terrible death for maintaining his views about himself and much else. At this juncture it is fascinating to learn that there are strong scholarly Jewish teachings that of the five books of the Chumash its fifth and last book of Devarim (Deuteronomy) is interpreted as one grand prophecy by Moses – regarded as the greatest of all prophets bar none in Judaism – about the “end” of time, meaning the days of the last millennia. The Talmud divides world history, the affairs of people, into three vast eras of 2000 years each, and we are now in the Hebrew year 5773. The times when Christianity began are at the start of the last and still ongoing final “2000 year” period. During that time Christianity and Judaism have never caved in to each other. They have remained in rival positions for 2000 years.

In this week’s parsha it states that a “false prophet” must be put to death (see full quote below) it warns that Jews must be very careful to be wary of “false missionaries” who want to entice people to worship a “new god” and to have other “spiritual experiences” and that such missionaries must be dealt with very harshly. This is a very tough view and obviously while it cannot and should not be put into actual practice because Jews live in Christian societies and do not have the old Sanhedrin to rule on capital cases in modern Israel, but to be forewarned is to be forearmed, and throughout all the generations this was common knowledge where Jews were aware of these teachings.

Thus, according to Judaism as based on the Torah and as explicitly stated in this week’s parsha, Jesus could not have been a “prophet” because the era of prophets ended over 500 years before he was born. Any person claiming to be a “prophet” or a false messiah as has happened so often, faces severe sanctions. Missionaries that seek to take Jews away from the worship of their God are in the same category of false prophets.

The Torah is so prescient and speaks to us directly as a relevant and fresh subject.

Shabbat Shalom!

Here is the full relevant passage, contemporary translation from Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, taken from Deuteronomy, Chapter 13: 2-12:

“[This is what you must do] when a prophet or a person who has visions in a dream arises among you. He may present you with a sign or miracle, and on the basis of that sign or miracle, say to you, 'Let us try out a different god. Let us serve it and have a new spiritual experience.' Do not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. God your Lord is testing you to see if you are truly able to love God your Lord with all your heart and all your soul. Follow God your Lord, remain in awe of Him, keep His commandments, obey Him and serve Him, and you will then be able to have a true spiritual experience through Him. That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for having spoken rebelliously against God your Lord, who brought you out of Egypt and liberated you from the place of slavery. He was trying to make you leave the path that God your Lord commanded you to walk, and you must destroy such evil from your midst. [This is what you must do] if your blood brother, your son, your daughter, your bosom wife, or your closest friend secretly tries to act as a missionary among you, and says, 'Let us go worship a new god. Let us have a spiritual experience previously unknown by you or your fathers.' [He may be enticing you with] the gods of the nations around you, far or near, or those that are found at one end of the world or another. Do not agree with him, and do not listen to him. Do not let your eyes pity him, do not show him any mercy, and do not try to cover up for him, since you must be the one to put him to death. Your hand must be the first against him to kill him, followed by the hands of the other people. Pelt him to death with stones, since he has tried to make you abandon God your Lord, who brought you out of the slave house that was Egypt. When all Israel hears about it, they will be afraid, and they will never again do such an evil thing among you.”


TOPICS: Apologetics; History; Judaism; Theology
KEYWORDS: christianity; judaism; prophecy; weeklyparashah
I would have made this thread a Jewish/Noachide caucus thread, but because chrstianity is mentioned and responded to, it would not qualify to be a caucus thread.

To those who may object to this article:
I did not post this to antagonize anyone or hurt anyone's feelings. There are many religions represented on Free Republic, and all of them are free to criticize their opponents and respond to their claims. Most FReepers acknowledge Judaism as a legitimate religion and are aware that it rejects the claims of chrstianity. Logically, Judaism should be as free to answer its critics and defend its beliefs as are all the other religions present here.

Protestants criticize Catholic leaders of the past and present. Catholics criticize Martin Luther and the Protestant reformation. Everyone criticizes Joseph Smith. As a universally recognized legitimate religion, it should not be regarded as a scandal when Judaism defends itself and sets forth its rationale for rejecting the attacks and claims of its critics.

An additional note for pious chrstians: merely asserting chrstian claims or quoting the new testament does not constitute any sort of refutation of this article.

1 posted on 08/01/2013 8:43:12 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator
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To: hlmencken3; rmlew; Nachum; dervish; Yehuda; Ancesthntr; TorahTrueJew; Yomin Postelnik; ...

Ping.


2 posted on 08/01/2013 8:44:57 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (The Left: speaking power to truth since Shevirat HaKelim.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

So. Classify Jesus Christ as but a prophet and then justify killing him? Is that a fair summation?


3 posted on 08/01/2013 9:00:07 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory, and He will not be mocked! Blessed be the Name of the Lord forever!)
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To: Zionist Conspirator
Included somewhere in Deuteronomy is the point that the prophet must be tested to see if what he says comes true. Only if the claims do not come true are you to kill the false prophet.
4 posted on 08/01/2013 9:16:30 AM PDT by jimfr
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To: don-o
So. Classify Jesus Christ as but a prophet and then justify killing him? Is that a fair summation?

Rabbi Rudomin said that chrstianity claims among other things that J*sus was a prophet. This is true. He points out that the Torah prescribes the death penalty for false prophets and for people who try to seduce Jews from the Torah. This is also true.

At the time of J*sus' death the Sanhedrion had exiled itself from the Chamber of Hewn Stones and could not carry out capital punishment. J*sus was actually put to death by the Romans, although (what a coincidence!) the method resulted in death by strangulation (heneq) which is precisely the penalty for this activity.

Why can't chrstians understand that the Torah came before the "new testament" and that Jews were bound to the former rather than the latter? This notion of the antecedence of J*sus to the Torah is a defect of thinking.

Had you rather J*sus not "died for your sins?" Was that a bad thing?

Some people who are really modern and up-to-date on Genesis can be awfully reactionary on other issues.

5 posted on 08/01/2013 9:20:53 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (The Left: speaking power to truth since Shevirat HaKelim.)
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To: jimfr
Included somewhere in Deuteronomy is the point that the prophet must be tested to see if what he says comes true. Only if the claims do not come true are you to kill the false prophet.

The article closes with a quote from Deuteronomy 13. If you will re-read it you will see that one who tries to turn Jews from the Torah is to be executed even if his predictions come true and even if he works miracles.

6 posted on 08/01/2013 9:23:14 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (The Left: speaking power to truth since Shevirat HaKelim.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator
Christianity maintains many things about its founder, among which was that he was a prophet.

Really ?
shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
7 posted on 08/01/2013 9:34:38 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your teaching is my delight.)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012
Christianity maintains many things about its founder, among which was that he was a prophet.

Really ?

From here:

Matthew 11:9 

But wherefore went ye out? to see a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.

Other references:

Matthew 13:57

And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house.
Luke 7:26
But what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.
Luke 13:33
Nevertheless I must go on my way to-day and to-morrow and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
Luke 24:19
And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
John 9:17
They say therefore unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, in that he opened thine eyes? And he said, He is a prophet.

8 posted on 08/01/2013 10:04:21 AM PDT by expat_panama
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To: expat_panama
Did Yah'shua claim to be a prophet ?

Or did others say he was ?

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach

9 posted on 08/01/2013 10:22:31 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your teaching is my delight.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator
The Talmud divides world history

So What of the Word of God? How does the Word of God define the divide history? And what of Deut 18? The second half of Deut 13 and the Prophet like unto Mosheh? Mosheh played a specific role and while I do agree that Deut 18 speaks of all the prophets prior to Babylon, it also speaks of the prophet to come after those days.

The prophet Yeshua was quite adamant in telling us that all that He did and said was to be found in what all the prophets before Him was given to say and write down.

Luke 24:25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Mashiach to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Mosheh and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. ... 44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Torah of Mosheh and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. 46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Mashiach to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Mashiach came to restore, He did not come to form a new religion, but because man sought the need to do so, HaShem is using what man created to suit His purpose, His desire. The harder Christianity boasts against the natural branches, the harder Judah clings to and preserves His Torah, albeit through Talmud, but at least they are still in covenant with HaShem unlike the Christian church.

10 posted on 08/01/2013 10:33:45 AM PDT by patlin ("Knowledge is a powerful source that is 2nd to none but God" ConstitutionallySpeaking 2011)
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To: Zionist Conspirator
I think the Chhristian issues with the argument are contained in what might be different interpretations, Jewish and Christian, of parts of the quote from Deuteronomy, as far as that part of Deuteronomy as explanation and justification of a Jewish position vis-a-vis Yeshua.

Here is the portion of Dueteronomy I am speaking about:

"He may present you with a sign or miracle, and on the basis of that sign or miracle, say to you, 'Let us try out a different god. Let us serve it and have a new spiritual experience.' ......."Do not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. God your Lord is testing you to see if you are truly able to love God your Lord with all your heart and all your soul....[snip]"That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for having spoken rebelliously against God your Lord, who brought you out of Egypt and liberated you from the place of slavery."

I think a strict application of what Yeshua said would say that Yeshua did NOT ask the Jews or anyone to "try out a different G-d", "serve it" and "have a different spiritual experience", nor that Yeshua ever told any Jew to depart from the Torah.

I understand that in the strictist sense my certainty in that can only come from Yeshua's own words, as best we are to believe the words ascribed to him, and that the theological interpretation of Yeshua's teaching begun by Paul and others in the 1st century might not totally argue that Yeshua never said such things to the Jews.

I restrict my argument that way because it is only what Yeshua said that the Jews heard and the Jews had to contend with, before the crucifixion, and not the extensions of Yeshua's teachings into Christian theology from Saul/Paul and others.

11 posted on 08/01/2013 12:37:56 PM PDT by Wuli (uir)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012
Did Yah'shua claim to be a prophet ?

Many people understand the quote to mean that His answer was "Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet."  I'm hard pressed to come up with any other reasonable way to look at it.  Do you have any ideas?

12 posted on 08/01/2013 1:58:16 PM PDT by expat_panama
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To: Zionist Conspirator

I consider myself an American Judeo-Christian in that I believe in the Divinity of Torah, and while I don’t think Jesus was divine, I do believe he was moshiach in that the United States could never have been founded without his example.


13 posted on 08/01/2013 3:23:06 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: expat_panama
U-2012>Did Yah'shua claim to be a prophet ?

Many people understand the quote to mean that His answer was "Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet." I'm hard pressed to come up with any other reasonable way to look at it. Do you have any ideas?

HaShem is greater than a prophet. no?
Matthew 11:9 But what did you go out to see?
A prophet?
Yes,
I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet.

Shabbat Shalom !

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach

14 posted on 08/02/2013 6:08:43 PM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your teaching is my delight.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

“But here is just one big problem that according to Judaism prophecy ended with the destruction of the First Temple 500 to 600 years before Jesus was even born. In Judaism, prophecy and prophets ends with the period surrounding the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah – the Babylonian Exile – Return to Zion. The title and functions of a prophet or Navi ends with the Biblical greats of Malachi, Daniel, Ezra and Nechemia. After them there are no more prophets in the BIBLICAL Tanach sense among the Jewish people. The era of what is called Prophecy (“Nevuah”) ends and a new era of Wisdom “Chochmah” commences with the onset of the era of the Men of the Great Assembly (“anshei knesset hagedolah”) that launches the era of the Oral Law as the main focus, they decide what shall and shall not be part of the Tanach, and once they “seal” it, the Hebrew Bible remains fixed forever. Obviously this is totally incompatible with Christianity and its “new” additions and editions and its claims about its founder that claims to “supersede” what came before it and displace Judaism for a new religion subsequently known to the world as Christianity.”


This person seems to be very ignorant about his own religion. He says that prophecy ended with the destruction of the 1st temple, yet cites Daniel who predicts the construction of the second temple as well as its destruction by the Romans in 70AD, predicted to occur after the coming of Christ (Dan 9:26-27).

If anything, he should have understood the destruction of the second temple as the fulfillment and ending of the old testament system, since the conclusion of Daniel’s 70 weeks is supposed to fulfill the “bring an end to sin, make reconciliation of iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and the prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”

So why conclude that it all ends with the destruction of the 1st temple, when it is the second which concludes the Jewish system?

As for his rubbish about a new “oral” system taking place after the alleged cessation of the prophets, this was not the view of the Jews at that time, who were still awaiting another Prophet as we see in Maccabees. It has no basis in the scripture itself. Furthermore, it directly contradicts what God said, that He would raise up another “Prophet” from among the children of Abraham.

By the way, sure is weird that a Noahide who isn’t even Jewish is posting this stuff. There is no biblical basis, either, for a separate law applying to Gentiles.

Lev 24:22 Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.

You’re either in, or you’re out. This Noahide nonsense strikes me as a Jewish method to keep people out of their exclusive club, even though the only thing special about their club is bizarre stuff like found in the Zohar. They can keep their vain and useless traditions. I’ll stick with the scripture.


15 posted on 08/03/2013 2:20:53 AM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: UriĀ’el-2012
We could begin with the understanding that 'one thing and another thing' is the same as 'another thing and one thing'.  That can lead to the idea that if Joshua is 'a prophet and much more', than we'd have to accept that He is also 'much more and a prophet'.  Please share your thoughts with me on this. 
16 posted on 08/03/2013 10:04:27 AM PDT by expat_panama
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To: expat_panama
We could begin with the understanding that 'one thing and another thing' is the same as 'another thing and one thing'. That can lead to the idea that if Joshua is 'a prophet and much more', than we'd have to accept that He is also 'much more and a prophet'. Please share your thoughts with me on this.

If one were to exegete the verse in the context of Chapter 11 of Matthew,
Yah'shua is asking the crowd if they have seen John the Immerser
Mat 11:9 " But what did you go out to see?
A prophet?
Yes, I tell you,
and one who is more than a prophet.

Mat 11:10 "This is the one about whom it is written,
'BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU,
WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.'

Mat 11:11 "Truly I say to you, among those born of women
there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist!
Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Mat 11:12 "From the days of John the Baptist until now
the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men
take it by force.

Mat 11:13 "For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John.

Again I ask: did Yah'shua claim to be a Prophet ?
shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
17 posted on 08/03/2013 8:09:08 PM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your teaching is my delight.)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012
Again I ask: did Yah'shua claim to be a Prophet ?

I'm sensing that it's your understanding that He taught He was not a Prophet, and that this is key to knowing and worshiping our Creator.  If that's your take then I can respect your view, as I've met many good people who've taken that position. 

Please share your thinking on how you see this question in terms of what we must do this morning and the rest of our lives?

18 posted on 08/04/2013 3:57:52 AM PDT by expat_panama
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To: expat_panama
U-2012>Again I ask: did Yah'shua claim to be a Prophet ?

I'm sensing that it's your understanding that He taught He was not a Prophet, and that this is key to knowing and worshiping our Creator. If that's your take then I can respect your view, as I've met many good people who've taken that position.

Please share your thinking on how you see this question in terms of what we must do this morning and the rest of our lives?

Yah'shua never taught that he was a prophet.

There are many places, especially in John,
where he identifies Himself as YHvH.

His NAME in Hebrew means "YHvH is/be my Salvation".

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
19 posted on 08/04/2013 3:30:56 PM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your teaching is my delight.)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012

That’s the position that I’d already sensed you were taking. What I was wondering was in what manner you saw the issue impacting on our daily lives.


20 posted on 08/04/2013 5:22:22 PM PDT by expat_panama
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To: expat_panama
What I was wondering was in what manner you saw the issue impacting on our daily lives.

I'm sure what you are driving at ?

I know my salvation is secure.

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
21 posted on 08/04/2013 8:02:46 PM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your teaching is my delight.)
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