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Question about Judaism...TIA - Page 3

post #41 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelovedBird View Post
Do you mind telling us where one can find a congregatuion of these supposed jews who follow regular halachik judaism yet believe Jesus is the messsiah? As Ruth mentioned I have never heard of or met anyone like that, what I have heard of and known is along the lines of this:

From here.
Why are you being so snotty? If you're getting offended, feel free to stop replying. I'm interested in Judaism and curious about its little nuances. I'm not trying to force anything on you- I actually haven't posted a single thing about my own beliefs- but simply to get information and ask questions about what I've heard of going on. I am an outsider and therefore not as knowledgeable about these little things. There is not need to be rude.

The vast majority of Messianics are gentiles and are therefore less likely to grasp how to live a Jewish lifestyle. However, there are a handful of synagogues that are led by Messianic Jews who have been living a Torah-observant, Jewish life forever. I am sure that if you strolled into the first Messianic congregation on the block you would be repulsed by the patently Christian feel of the place. However, with some searching more respectable places exist.

I'm not here to push any views on anyone, but simply to get answers. However, since you apparently believe I am just making up hypothetical groups of people for the sake of argument, I'll post one link. http://www.omjra.org/ This is the Observant Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Association. They not only uphold written but rabbinical Law. They also do not advocate the worshipping of Yeshua, but simply the upholding of his teachings. There are many other sites, but again, that's not why I'm posting.

Kristi
post #42 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post
I don't think I agree with this as historical analysis. It ignores the very existence of Rabbinic Judaism and other post-Temple sects. All Jews did not join the early Christians.

I don't think you can accurately say that Jews "continued on in Judaism" if there were part of early Christianity, since Christianity did separate itself into another religion AND, since Rabbinic Judaism did become the dominant, canonical Judaism.

i know, it's kind of reading backwards, isn't it? In the immediate post-Temple period, no one knew which Judaism was going to be officially Jewish and which Christianity was going to be the religion we know today. So it seems weird to talk about the early Jews in Christianity as either Jews or Christians, but we have to take the current canonical religions into account. (Especially on this board, in a dialogue between present-day Jews and Christians.)

When I taught students about this period at the state university (and it's like six years ago now! whoa!) i developed a way of thinking about the competition between early X-tianity and Rabbinic Judaism. Rabbinic Jews and Christians were two parties who were competing both to define post-Temple Judaism, and to gain converts from outside of Judaism. Rabbinic Judaism won the right to define Judaism, and Christianity got the Roman Empire and the universalist drive for non-Jewish converts.

The way your narrative has it is kind of like the question that my students sometimes asked "Well why don't Jews believe in Jesus?" Which is kind of a silly question, because belief in Jesus (as messiah, or divine, or what have you) is what defines Christianity, now. The split between the two groups was a two-way split, but it's still a split.

it puts Jewish converts to Christianity, or Jews who practice any sort of syncretistic Jewish-Christianity, in an uncomfortable position.
One thing I was reading is that the earlier followers of Yeshua remained a part of Judaism for nearly a century. According to the accounts of the New Testament (which I won't guarantee is neccessarily accurate IMO) Yeshua and his disciples never taught against Torah or rabbinical law nor did they try to start a new religion. It wasn't until much later that the gentiles within the movement began to butt heads with the mre rabbinical-type Jews and really broke off into their own weird little blend of paganism and distorted Judaism (aka early Christianity).

It's difficult to keep it all straight. Very interesting stuff though.. Thanks for your civility and your response.

Kristi
post #43 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I suppose if somebody beleived in his/her heart that Jesus was the messiah but didn't do anything about that beleif or advertise that fact, and continued to practice Judaism, nobody would know the difference. Anybody who's vocal about that belief would probably find themselves uncomfortable in a Jewish synagogue and would likely gravitate towards a Messianic Church/Temple/whatever they want to call themselves.
There is a difference between Israeli law and Jewish Law. According to Jewish Law, anybody born to a Jewish mother, or who underwent a Halachic conversion, is a Jew. Period. Israeli law is more complicated.

If you want to immigrate to Israel, and you're not Jewish, there are immigration procedures that are similar to the immigration laws in other countries, such as the USA. Jews who want to immigrate to Israel have a much simplified and expidited process. Israeli law has specific guidelines about who qualifies for this simplified process, which is completely separate from the Halachic definitions of who is a Jew. Jews who practice Christianity, for example, forfeit the right to be considered "Jewish" for the purpose of Israeli immigration, but they're still eligable to apply for Israeli citizenship the "normal" way. What is considered "practicing Christianity" for the purpose of Israeli immigration is determined by the secular Israeli government.
AH... That makes sense. Thanks.

Kristi
post #44 of 90
Unless you are born Jewish or converted (halachically) into Judaism, you are not Jewish no matter what you practice.

This is a hard concept to get. Judaism is a nation (not Israel) as much as it is a religion.

It's sort of like, no matter how much French you speak, and where you live in France, if you don't file papers and become officially a French citizen, you aren't French. (And to some French people, you may never be French.)

So substitute American: You are not an American citizen until you file the appropriate papers, and get the appopriate court documents, etc.
post #45 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~~Mama2B~~ View Post
One thing I was reading is that the earlier followers of Yeshua remained a part of Judaism for nearly a century. According to the accounts of the New Testament (which I won't guarantee is neccessarily accurate IMO) Yeshua and his disciples never taught against Torah or rabbinical law nor did they try to start a new religion. It wasn't until much later that the gentiles within the movement began to butt heads with the mre rabbinical-type Jews and really broke off into their own weird little blend of paganism and distorted Judaism (aka early Christianity).

It's difficult to keep it all straight. Very interesting stuff though.. Thanks for your civility and your response.

Kristi
Yes, it seems clear that the historical Jesus was a Jewish leader of a Jewish radical spiritual movement.

A looooong time ago I read Daniel Boyarin's book, Paul: A Radical Jew, which is (sort of?) an analysis of this split. Paul's vision, Boyarin thinks, was not a separate Christianity and Judaism, but a universalist Judaism. Boyarin advocates a diasporist (!) and particularist Judaism, not something universalistic and proselytizing.

As a Jew, I sometimes get testy and annoyed when people define Judaism purely in relation to Christianity. Of course in this case it's necessary, because the OP's question is about the relationship between the development of historical Christianity and Jewish self-definition.

I think for me (and I'm only speaking for me, because I'm no fool!) there is a problem with the vision of the pure status-quo-ante Judaism before the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 CE. To me, it denies the continued development and vitality of Judaism. I'd rather see Rabbinic Judaism (which is, you know, normative Judaism!) and Christianity as two cultural inheritors of Second Temple Judaism--with a whole bunch of other cultural influences and historical experiences that make them different.

Which is to say that when a Jew takes on major items of Christian belief, he are converting to another religion and taking on a new status in the Jewish community--that of apostate.

Anyway this is probably something that belongs in the subforum Religious Studies.
post #46 of 90
I think maybe the confusion here comes from the original post about messianism within normative Judaism, ie those from Chabad who believe or advocate that R. Shneerson was/is Moshiach. While these people have not officially been cut off from the rest of the Jewish community, their actions place them well outside what is considered normative Judaism. It has causes tremendous tension and discord within the Chabad community and has really isolated many within that community. Why there isn't more of a push to really officially cut them off, I'm not sure and am not knowledgable enough to say, but their belief that he is Moshiach is not considered acceptable to normative Judaism as it is practiced today.

With that as a foundation, Messianic Judaism is even further off from normative Judaism since it sees as messiah a man who is the key figure head of another religion. No matter how observant your lifestyle, how strict you are with kashrut and shabbat, no normative Jewish community is going to recognize a messianic community as part of the larger Jewish community. Belief in Jesus as anything more than someone who lived during a certain time places you outside of normative Judaism.

As many posters have stated, Judaism is not necessarily about observance. There are plenty of Jews who don't keep kosher or shabbat, that doesn't make then not Jewish, and on the flip side, keeping those laws doesn't make you a Jew. It might make you someone who has taken on certain aspects of Jewish observance, but if Jesus is part of the package, it is not normative Judaism.

I'm hesitant to write this stuff, because I really don't want to offend anyone, but I think from the standpoint of many of the Jewish mamas on this thread we sort of feel like we're beating our heads against a wall. Each and every person is welcome to practice spirituality however they wish, but from the viewpoint of normative Judaism (which I think is what the OP was asking about) belief in a messiah having already come places you outside the belief system of normative Judaism. While you (the generic you) might be technically Jewish (if your mom was or you converted) you are not practicing normative Judaism.

Abby
post #47 of 90
Mama2B, this part of BB''s link is worth repeating:


Quote:
Originally Posted by BB's link
...We observe a Jewish lifestyle while at the same time maintaining that the only way to be saved and inherit eternal life is by placing our faith in the atoning work of the Messiah (Romans 11:24-25).



That right there is antithetical to Judaism. That right there is practicing Christian belief, or at the very least a belief that is not acceptable Jewishly.

It is impossible to profess to be within normative Judaic thought and to "maintain that the only way to be saved and inherit eternal life is" yaddayaddayadda. IYKWIM.
post #48 of 90
Also, the bringing up Chabad's meshikhist wing (those advocating the idea that the Rebbe z'l was the messiah) is not helping your argument, Mama2B, because the meshikhist Chabadniks (and there's a contingent where I live that's quite noisy) are considered outside of normative Jewish thought. There are nonChabad folks who won't accept Chabad kashrut certifications because of it, as the least of examples. They cause great embarassment and consternation among nonmeshikhist Chabadniks, who far outnumber the meshikhist ones.

It doesn't help your argument at all.
post #49 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk View Post

That right there is antithetical to Judaism. That right there is practicing Christian belief, or at the very least a belief that is not acceptable Jewishly.

It is impossible to profess to be within normative Judaic thought and to "maintain that the only way to be saved and inherit eternal life is" yaddayaddayadda. IYKWIM.
This is understandable. I would not consider this Messianic Judaism, but Christianity dressed up to look like it.

Kristi
post #50 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~~Mama2B~~ View Post
This is understandable. I would not consider this Messianic Judaism, but Christianity dressed up to look like it.

Kristi
But the fact is that just as the majority of decide what judaism is (in addition of course to the writings on the subject) what "messianic Judaism" is should be defined by the majority. The [vast] majority of messianics are along the lines of that congregation. We all have met messianics IRL and OL and so far only you have ever heard of/ met the ones you describe. And yes, we agree that Messianic Judaism is Christianity, dressed up a bit, to appear like Judaism.
post #51 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk View Post
Also, the bringing up Chabad's meshikhist wing (those advocating the idea that the Rebbe z'l was the messiah) is not helping your argument, Mama2B, because the meshikhist Chabadniks (and there's a contingent where I live that's quite noisy) are considered outside of normative Jewish thought. There are nonChabad folks who won't accept Chabad kashrut certifications because of it, as the least of examples. They cause great embarassment and consternation among nonmeshikhist Chabadniks, who far outnumber the meshikhist ones.

It doesn't help your argument at all.
I wasn't really trying to argue anything. I was just trying to figure things out. I'm not a Jew and therefore its not going to affect me one way or the other- I was just curious.

From what I've heard (and I think it was stated here too) while this group you mentioned is considered "outside normative Judaism" they are still considered part of Judaism. And I am hearing that some people here would consider Messianic Judaism in the same light, but I'm also seeing many people seem to say any belief in Jesus places you in the apostate category and NOT a part of Judaism.

And just to clarify for some other pps- this discussion is only pertaining to ethnic Jews. I'm not talking about a person who just starts practicing it or even converts formally to it. I'm talking about an ethnic Jew who believes Yeshua is the messiah in a completely Jewish context and is not a member of CHristianity.

Also to clarify, as another pp pointed out Jesus was a Jewish leader of a Jewish sect. To say that simply because Christianity has made him their idol of choice doesn't change the fact of who he was. If another religion sprang up claiming Hillel as their founder and yet lived in such a way that was totally outside the realm of Hillel's thought and practice, would that somehow change the rabbi that Hillel was or the Jewish lifestyle that he taught? No. It would mean his "followers" are too ignorant to know what Hillel was teaching or to view his works within their cultural context. I feel that this explains Christianity.

From my (albeit limited) studies, I can't actually find any teachings or practices of Jesus that step outside the bounds of Judaism. He (from what I've read) lived a Jewish life up until his death. It seems more like it was Christians who really twisted things. That's kind of why I was wondering if there were ethnic Jews who believed Jesus was messiah (in a Jewish context- not an idolatrous Christian context) and followed him teachings within the realm of Judaism and continued practicing Judaism if he could still be a part of Judaism. I've kind of had the question answered (sorta kinda) with varying responses. I know its kind of a weird question to begin with...

Kristi
post #52 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~~Mama2B~~ View Post
I wasn't really trying to argue anything. I was just trying to figure things out. I'm not a Jew and therefore its not going to affect me one way or the other- I was just curious.

From what I've heard (and I think it was stated here too) while this group you mentioned is considered "outside normative Judaism" they are still considered part of Judaism. And I am hearing that some people here would consider Messianic Judaism in the same light, but I'm also seeing many people seem to say any belief in Jesus places you in the apostate category and NOT a part of Judaism.

And just to clarify for some other pps- this discussion is only pertaining to ethnic Jews. I'm not talking about a person who just starts practicing it or even converts formally to it. I'm talking about an ethnic Jew who believes Yeshua is the messiah in a completely Jewish context and is not a member of CHristianity.

Also to clarify, as another pp pointed out Jesus was a Jewish leader of a Jewish sect. To say that simply because Christianity has made him their idol of choice doesn't change the fact of who he was. If another religion sprang up claiming Hillel as their founder and yet lived in such a way that was totally outside the realm of Hillel's thought and practice, would that somehow change the rabbi that Hillel was or the Jewish lifestyle that he taught? No. It would mean his "followers" are too ignorant to know what Hillel was teaching or to view his works within their cultural context. I feel that this explains Christianity.

From my (albeit limited) studies, I can't actually find any teachings or practices of Jesus that step outside the bounds of Judaism. He (from what I've read) lived a Jewish life up until his death. It seems more like it was Christians who really twisted things. That's kind of why I was wondering if there were ethnic Jews who believed Jesus was messiah (in a Jewish context- not an idolatrous Christian context) and followed him teachings within the realm of Judaism and continued practicing Judaism if he could still be a part of Judaism. I've kind of had the question answered (sorta kinda) with varying responses. I know its kind of a weird question to begin with...

Kristi
I think I can say with some certainty that Lubavitch Mishichists who would change the shalosh esrei ikarim to be worded "menachem Mendel Shneerson" would be even more far out of normative Judaism then most normative Torah jews consider the standard, vocal mishichists, which is as Amy pointed out, ocassionally significant. And if you are trying to learn, that is the fact.
Just a tip- if one is trying to learn, they usually ask questions first, not make statements.
post #53 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelovedBird View Post
But the fact is that just as the majority of decide what judaism is (in addition of course to the writings on the subject) what "messianic Judaism" is should be defined by the majority. The [vast] majority of messianics are along the lines of that congregation. We all have met messianics IRL and OL and so far only you have ever heard of/ met the ones you describe. And yes, we agree that Messianic Judaism is Christianity, dressed up a bit, to appear like Judaism.
While all these things may fall under the "Messianic" umbrella, there is not consencius as to what it means to be Messianic. There are many different branches of the movement and many of them are completely dissimilar from the next.

You can think I'm just making things up all you want by saying I'm the only one who's seen this- that's fine. I'm not trying to challenge anyone or change anyone- I'm simply discussing the ins and outs of Jewishness with Jews who can give me some perspective on the issue.

According to the JCPA Reform Judaism is the most widespread form of Judaism. So should Reform Judaism be able to define what Judaism is and isn't for the rest of Jews? I don't think so. Even though they are the majority, they differ from the other branches significantly in areas. Each branch should have their own say.

Like I've stated before, the majority of Messianic congregations are probably Christian knock-offs with no real Jewish offerings to speak of. However, for the small percentage of those who do in fact practice true Messianic JUDAISM this is not the case. There are so many types of beliefs that fall uder the Messianic heading that it really should have broken off into seperate movements by now. Noneltheless, it isn't really fair to judge every individual an apostate without examining the role of Judaism in his life andthe things he actually believes about Jesus.

Kristi
post #54 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelovedBird View Post
I think I can say with some certainty that Lubavitch Mishichists who would change the shalosh esrei ikarim to be worded "menachem Mendel Shneerson" would be even more far out of normative Judaism then most normative Torah jews consider the standard, vocal mishichists, which is as Amy pointed out, ocassionally significant. And if you are trying to learn, that is the fact.
Just a tip- if one is trying to learn, they usually ask questions first, not make statements.
I don't know why you are being snippy with me. I posted a response to the OP and then I immediately began to ask questions about what I've seen. If you don't like the questions I'm asking or how I'm asking them, please don't respond. I'm not insulting you are trying to make you look stupid. I read these forums because I have a great respect for Judaism and am interested in it. I don't know how many times I have to explain myself so that you will stop being nasty to me and take my questions for what they are.

Kristi
post #55 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~~Mama2B~~ View Post

According to the JCPA Reform Judaism is the most widespread form of Judaism. So should Reform Judaism be able to define what Judaism is and isn't for the rest of Jews? I don't think so. Even though they are the majority, they differ from the other branches significantly in areas. Each branch should have their own say.
They get to define what "Reform Judaism" is, yes. Breakoff forms of Judaism are nothing new, but the breakoffs usually have the respect for tradition to leave the original with the name. (Chassidism is a good example of this). The majority of a group with a certain lable get to define what that group is. Noone else here knows Messianics to be what you are describing. But, if that is what they are, and they change 13 ikkarim to fit their (non mainstream) beliefs, yes, they will not be accepted as a regular form of Judaism.
post #56 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~~Mama2B~~ View Post
I don't know why you are being snippy with me. I posted a response to the OP and then I immediately began to ask questions about what I've seen. If you don't like the questions I'm asking or how I'm asking them, please don't respond. I'm not insulting you are trying to make you look stupid. I read these forums because I have a great respect for Judaism and am interested in it. I don't know how many times I have to explain myself so that you will stop being nasty to me and take my questions for what they are.

Kristi
I am not being nasty, I am answering you and making points to explain things. I don't think the way you went about asking your questions was apporiate, but, whatever. If you don't like the way I post you don't have to respond.
post #57 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post
Yes, it seems clear that the historical Jesus was a Jewish leader of a Jewish radical spiritual movement.

A looooong time ago I read Daniel Boyarin's book, Paul: A Radical Jew, which is (sort of?) an analysis of this split. Paul's vision, Boyarin thinks, was not a separate Christianity and Judaism, but a universalist Judaism. Boyarin advocates a diasporist (!) and particularist Judaism, not something universalistic and proselytizing.

As a Jew, I sometimes get testy and annoyed when people define Judaism purely in relation to Christianity. Of course in this case it's necessary, because the OP's question is about the relationship between the development of historical Christianity and Jewish self-definition.

I think for me (and I'm only speaking for me, because I'm no fool!) there is a problem with the vision of the pure status-quo-ante Judaism before the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 CE. To me, it denies the continued development and vitality of Judaism. I'd rather see Rabbinic Judaism (which is, you know, normative Judaism!) and Christianity as two cultural inheritors of Second Temple Judaism--with a whole bunch of other cultural influences and historical experiences that make them different.

Which is to say that when a Jew takes on major items of Christian belief, he are converting to another religion and taking on a new status in the Jewish community--that of apostate.

Anyway this is probably something that belongs in the subforum Religious Studies.
Really interesting. Thanks!

Kristi
post #58 of 90
Quote:
And just to clarify for some other pps- this discussion is only pertaining to ethnic Jews. I'm not talking about a person who just starts practicing it or even converts formally to it. I'm talking about an ethnic Jew who believes Yeshua is the messiah in a completely Jewish context and is not a member of CHristianity

I think that these are the main issues.

1. You are defining a Jew out of context. A Jew who converts is just as Jewish as one who is born to a Jewish mother. According to Judaism, there is no distinction between the 2 (and in fact you can get into 'trouble' treating a convert differently).

2. believing that Jesus is the messiah takes you out of Jewish context. There is no way to believe that Jesus is the messiah and be within the Jewish context. No matter what you have seen in terms of people living an observant Jewish lifestyle and proclaiming to believe that Jesus is the messiah. Jesus was a Jewish man whose teachings and actions were the basis of another religion that while in the beginning might have had some relation to the Judaism of the time, is now totally a different bird. There is no way to reconcile a belief in Jesus as messiah with defining yourself as a Jew. There is no one on this tread claiming that messianic Judaism is the same as those in Chabad who are Moshiachist

Quote:
while this group you mentioned is considered "outside normative Judaism" they are still considered part of Judaism. And I am hearing that some people here would consider Messianic Judaism in the same light
we have all clearly stated that this faction within Chabad is not considered part of normative Judaism

Quote:
meshikhist Chabadniks (and there's a contingent where I live that's quite noisy) are considered outside of normative Jewish thought
the part that is considered Judaism is traditional Chabad, those who believe that Moshiach has not yet arrived. Period.

It seems to me that you have had some expereinces IRL that you are trying to reconcile with what the Jewish mamas on this thread are saying. I feel like a lot of this is gettting lost in semantics and the ineffectivness of online chatting. I strongly urge you to contact a local normative Jewish Rabbi to continue this conversation so that your questions can be answered.

Abby
post #59 of 90
subbing
post #60 of 90
Back to the OP:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jokerama View Post
Ok bare with me here. I'm Jewish and Ive always been told 2 things:

If you're mother is Jewish, you are Jewish
and
Once a Jew, always a Jew

ok here comes my question. During Jesus's time and after, weren't his followers Jews who became Christians? So wouldn't their descendents till this day be Jewish?

Im very confused!:
But OTOH, most contemporary Christians are descended not from Jewish folks living in Nazereth in 1 CE, but from Vikings, Celts, Teutons, and all manner of other "heathens" who converted or were forcibly converted at some point. But maybe that's not where you were going with this.
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