I was recently sent a mailer by a Messianic Jewish group and it reminded me of the first time I had heard about Jews For Jesus. It was from a Jewish friend in High School who explained to me what they ‘really believed.’ Since then, I have been lucky enough to share in celebrations, shabbats, and even shivahs with close Jewish friends and learned a lot about Judaism in the process.
I remembered back to the few times I was street recruited (unsuccessfully) by Messianic Jews on the corner of Yonge and Eglinton (good luck to those recuiters now, that place is a mess of construction) and the times I had seen Messianic Jews portrayed in the media (a notable example being in Bill Maher’s Religulous.) What I wasn’t prepared for when I sat down with Rabbi Michael was how much of Messianic Judaism was stolen from regular Judaism, but given a uniquely Christian spin.
The co-opted language and the obfuscation of the true goal was quite honestly disturbing to me.
It came off as erasure of a culture.
It came off as a way to ‘pave over’ Judaism. I’ll let you listen and see if you agree.
I hope you find this episode illuminating on both Christianity and Judaism. If you’re looking for more information on Jews for Judaism,