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Could We Restore America if Jews and Christians Accepted a Hyphenated Jesus?

"The hyphen between Jewish and Christian values is Jesus himself. Both religions share him." - Shmuley Boteach's Kosher Jesus

by
Rhonda Robinson

Bio

September 29, 2013 - 5:17 pm
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Boteach suggests that Christianity lost its cultural influence with our preoccupation with gay marriage and abortion. While the point can be argued that those battles are right and needed, we have to acknowledge that somewhere along the line we lost a lot of territory.

What’s worse, we flat out failed to show up on other major fronts.

At a time when the world flails in search of values, strangled by materialism, divisiveness, instability, doubt, and unrest, we must return to the basic ideals we share in common. All of these are to be found in the life and lessons of Jesus of Nazareth, lover of Israel, rebel against Rome, Jewish hero, and the inspiration for innumerable acts of Christian charity.

The author has gone to great lengths to point out that Jesus was in fact an observant Jew, one whose life of walking in righteousness (whether you believe him to be the son of God or not) is worth emulating. Jesus of Nazareth will forever bind us together.

We can spend a lot of time arguing about differences, using that hyphen to divide us. Or we can choose to embrace it, to forgive the hurts of the past and face the future united. As Americans we face real enemies, both cultural and physical.

Isn’t it time we stopped trying so hard to simply make a point, and give our lives as Jesus did, to make a difference?

kosherjesus

 

****************

Photo credits Shutterstock,  Carlo Toffolo

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Rhonda Robinson writes on the social, political and parenting issues currently shaping the American family. She lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Middle Tennessee. www.amotherslife.me Follow on twitter @amotherslife

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Top Rated Comments   
Spot on. Not being Christian, not being Catholic, not being American, etc. are a few of the many ways people reject affirmative beliefs. It is a logical contradiction to say: "there is no truth" since for starts at least that phrase must be true and then it fails to comply with itself.

To base one's life on a negation of something make us depend on that very something we are negating. That is the ultimate meaning of Jesus' question: "If therefore the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. ... Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God."

C. S. Lewis
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (33)
All Comments   (33)
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49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Should be clear to anybody and everybody by now that Jews arent going to defect to American Conservatism in large numbers.

The Left Democrats could nuke Israel, and American Jews might not vote for them, but they wouldnt vote for Conservatives in the Republican or other parties either.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hate to be the one to burst everyones bubble but as an Orthodox Jew who has been studying our holy Torah for over 12 years now I must protest this rubbish.

First of all Jews who accept the Torah as being given to us at Sinai we reject any idea that our G-d, the One G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is a man, has manifested himself in corporeal form, and is capable of being killed. G-d is infinite, omniscient, and will never exist in the manner which mankind can detect. Our G-d, Hashem, has clearly said 'No man can see me and live' and 'God is not a man, nor the son of a man'. All manner of physicality in the Torah is anthropomorphous.

Second we reject that the man called jesus was the promised Moshiach which our G-d, through the prophets, has promised. A man must accomplish all the goals of the Moshiach before he can even be called Moshiach, and the J-man did not accomplish any of the messianic goals. These include the ingathering of the exiles, rebuilding the Holy Temple, and establishing an era of peace and Torah learning on the earth.

So aside from the crazy Jews for jesus freaks and the occasional heretical messianic temples (which are actually fronts for the church) Jewish people will continue to not accept the false messiah which the cristians accepted.

Rome invented christianity as a means of destroying the Jewish people. At the time of the destruction of the Jewish temple many great sages of Israel were brutally tortured and killed. We read about the Ten Martyrs including Rabbi Akiva on Yom Kippur. By getting the Jews to cease from doing the 613 commandments (mitzvot) they caused the Jewish nation to fall. But this too is discussed by the prophets, that Israel will fall and eventually we will be redeemed.

I think Boteach has flipped his mind.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was convinced of the divinity of Jesus reading Matthew 16. I read it almost with Jewish eyes. I saw a Jew, Jesus, calling his 12 disciples to Cesarea (the Roman sector) and then, using the words of Isaiah 22 he named a steward for his house calling him Kepha. The Romans had deposed the High Priest, Annas replacing him with his son-in-law Kaiphas. Notice the counterpoint in the meanings of both names (Kepha=rocky promontory vs. Kaiphas=dell). Kephas, Peter went to conquer Rome, in time Rome became Christian... there is more to this but you should find it yourself. In any case, Israel has a mission and a covenant with the Almighty. Read the second psalm and meditate on the times we are living and the Son mentioned there. Ask that your eyes be opened. I do not mean any offense. I am just trying to show why I believe.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
You do realize that Roman law documents confirmed the existence of a man named Jesus that was executed, right? Besides, even ASSUMING Jesus was made up specifically as a way to kill you guys, why would the Romans try to massacre us under Nero especially, but also under any other Emperor prior to Constantine, if we were actually their weapons to kill you guys? No sense in trying to wipe out your own secret weapon to eliminating your enemies. That would just be stupid, no, not stupid, completely insane. That would be like FDR/Harry Truman ordering for the US military to blow up Los Alamos as well as virtually all the United States fleet despite both the fleet and the Little Boy/Fat Man bombs being our best shot at ending World War II on the Pacific Front. There is absolutely no sense in doing that.

And I thought our God (God the Father as well as the Jewish God) was called "Yahweh," not "Hashem."
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Hashem"= "The NAME" in Hebrew is a circumlocution to avoid speaking God's Name in vain. So Hashem equals YHWH.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am, I said!
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I heard enough of this Boteach years ago to know him no friend of Christianity. But that insignificant to my real concern what I see developing in Christian Churches across this nation.

I have grown tired of the social justice Jesus, the take care of the poor God, the gospel of blessing, etc...I don't care whether you call yourself Christian or observant Jew, we cannot separate the love of God from the authority of God.

I would for once love to read of God's authority, or as in my case the authority of Jesus, and the recognition of the awesome and Holy nature of our Creator. My "preoccupation" of abortion and/or gay marriage is the realization God does not approve of either - hence, neither should I.

If that costs me "respect" or friendships or anything else of that matter, so be it. The older I get, the less concerned I become of what people think of me and the more concerned I become about what does God think of me.

Instead, virtually all articles I read anymore of Judaism or Christianity are focused on the 'us' and the 'me.' How about something that first focuses all of us on God?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Majority of Jews I know today are not “anti-Jesus” for any particular theological reason, they are rather, (and unfortunately) basically anti AMERICAN in that they are predominantly Loyal, Liberal Democrats.

They are Jews by “ethnicity and food”, far more so than for any “religious” observances. Exactly NONE of the Jewish people I know attend to any Jewish religious services, ever… or adhere to any “traditions” beyond those of your typically Useless Liberal New Yorker, regardless of any “faith” one may attribute to them..

They possess the same basic discomfort discussing “Jesus” as they do with “The Constitution” in general, and “The Second Amendment” in particular. They hold much the same sentiment as any Public School Teacher, Entertainment Figure, or Newspaper editor today does.

They are polite, educated, Left Leaning Political Sheep, reflexively uncomfortable with any “controversial” topic. They will never be supportive of any position outside the mainstream of the current Politically Correct Narrative.

Zimmerman was a Murderer. Home Schooling takes money from Public Education. Fracking is Poisonous. Concealed Carry is dangerous. Assault weapons must be banned. All Tax Breaks and/or budget cuts hurt the poor. Boarder security is racist, voter ID is racist, truth in crime statistics is racist, and everyone on death row should get “life”.

Sarah Palin? Seriously?
MY kid?… enlisting the Armed Forces!? My God, you cant be serious?!

Any positions to the contrary are “non-debatable” because they stem from simple Meanness, Cruelty and Greed. Democrats are Kind and Thoughtful. Republicans are Cruel and Ignorant. How can anyone support them? They do NOT stray the Herd of Acceptable Public Thinking, the Boiler Plate Foundations common to all Guilty White Liberal Suburbs and Professional Urban Enclaves the majority of them live in.

Whether it is their relative affluence that insulates them from the gritty realities of the world (and rightly gained I must say, for I never knew a single Jewish kid growing up who wasn’t College Bound on intellect alone…you just cant fake, Heart Surgery, Optometry or Acing The Bar Exam on your first try, with puffy essay answers and Affirmative Action!) or its simply an engrained desire to “fit in” as much as possible with the prevailing mainstream, given the horrific rejections and atrocities committed against them in the past, I do not know or much care any more.

Because, politics aside they are my older cousins, the Tribe from which My Savior Belonged. I cannot call myself a “Christian” without knowing I am also partially a Jew. The un-Godly suffering they endured within my Own Fathers Lifetime was a crime against us all, and I condemn all hatred and discrimination against them for their “faith”. I will fight and die to save Israel from the Murdering Savages of Islam just as soon as I would for these United States, because “the Jews” are part of the Light and The Promise of Western Civilization, while “the left” and “islam” bring only darkness, misery and failure.

The biggest “rift” today between American Jews and Conservative Christians, has more to do with their Suicidal Political Stupidity than any Theological, Religious Differences that have ever existed between us.

And I for one, refuse to use that as a value-indicator for what is “Jewish”.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I like Christ, and I like the Jews, but I don't like the smell of this: "The hyphen between Jewish and Christian values is Jesus himself. Both religions share him." This stinks, because there is a third religion that claims him, and that means we're just one hyphen short of a disaster. No thanks.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jesus belongs to the whole world.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've never experienced such an emphasis on hyphenated Americans.

It is underpinning of identity politics & class warfare, a mechanism of divide and conquer, the Left knowing that feelings of separateness, dissatisfaction and alienation must be constantly stirred up if its agenda is to have any sort of long term success.

My hero, a black guy at tea party rally approached by a cameraman and asked why he wasn't with "his people".

His response ?

"I'm with my people. Americans."
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"In spite of popular belief, America was founded on principles. All men are “created” equal. The God that created us in His image, the Judeo-Christian God, gave us what we call our American values."

Not to be contentious, but I'd say that 2 and 3 are NOT explicitly part of our founding principles, that the Declaration and the Constitution are largely secular documents and that the driving characteristic of many of this nation's founders was more philosophical than religious, being largely worldly men who knew what kind of government they didn't want for the new Republic.

I would also say that any potential restoration of America rests more on growing (or re-growing) a population with a brain and a spine, the kind of population that has been under serious and intentional attack from the Left for decades.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
The very center of Jewish-American identity is the rejection of Jesus. You can see that from comments below.

Michael Medved fleshes it out for you.

For most American Jews, the core of their Jewish identity isn’t solidarity with Israel; it’s rejection of Christianity.

Jewish voters don’t embrace candidates based on their support for the state of Israel as much as they passionately oppose candidates based on their identification with Christianity—especially the fervent evangelicalism of the dreaded “Christian Right.”

This political pattern reflects the fact that opposition to Christianity—not love for Judaism, Jews, or Israel—remains the sole unifying element in an increasingly fractious and secularized community. The old (and never fully realized) dream that Zionist fervor could weave together all the various ideological and cultural strands of American Jewry looks increasingly irrelevant and simplistic. In an era of budget plane flights and elegantly organized tours, more than 75 percent of American Jews have never bothered to visit Israel. The majority give nothing to Israel-related charities and shun synagogue or temple membership. The contrasting components of the American Jewish population connect only through a point of common denial, not through any acts of affirmation.

Anyone who doubts that rejection of Jesus has replaced acceptance of Torah (or commitment to Israel) as the eekur sach—the essential element—of American Jewish identity should pause to consider an uncomfortable question. What is the one political or religious position that makes a Jew utterly unwelcome in the organized community? We accept atheist Jews, Buddhist Jews, pro-Palestinian Jews, Communist Jews, homosexual Jews, and even sanction Hindu-Jewish meditation societies. “Jews for Jesus,” however, or “Messianic Jews” face resistance and exclusion everywhere. In Left-leaning congregations, many rabbis welcome stridently anti-Israel speakers and even Palestinian apologists for Islamo-Nazi terror. But if they invited a “Messianic Jewish” missionary, they’d face indignant denunciation from their boards and, very probably, condemnation by their national denominational leadership. It is far more acceptable in the Jewish community today to denounce Israel (or the United States), to deny the existence of God, or to deride the validity of Torah than it is to affirm Jesus as Lord and Savior.

For many Americans, the last remaining scrap of Jewish distinctiveness involves our denial of New Testament claims, so any support for those claims becomes a threat to the very essence of our Jewish identity. Many Jews therefore view enthusiastic Christian believers—no matter how reliably they support Israel and American Jews—as enemies by definition.

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/why-are-jews-liberals-a-symposium/
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rarely have I heard such bilge. The air is still filled with the ashes of dead Jews happily stuffed into ovens by a continent that prided itself on its christian roots and here, in a moral inversion that defines insanity, Jews are the ones being upbraided for disliking christianity.
What is there to like anyway? A past filled with the blood on innocents and a history of intolerance second to none? A creed that allows for the worst sort of behavior and with the mumbling of a few words offers exoneration? A creed that produces such exceptional arrogance that it convinces itself only it knows the way to reach G-d?
Jews who wish to worship in another fashion are free to do so. Those deluded and ignorant apostates who try to finish Hitlers jobs by endeavoring to rid the world of Jews deserve condemnation.
Expand your reading list. You have a lot to learn.

http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8820.html
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mark Levine is Jewish himself, in case you aren't aware.

Hitler, BTW, was not a Christian, certainly not a Catholic even if he was raised in the faith. He in fact renounced Christianity. Stalin was a well known Atheist, yet he advocated the destruction of the Jewish people and even had a plot set up for you guys to die. It was called the Doctor's Plot.

Where were you guys in trying to support us Christians when the French atheists under Rousseau, Voltaire, and Sade massacred us simply for even having a religion, and would have most likely massacred you guys when they had the chance?

Heck, you are also making a lot of anti-Christian stuff like that show GCB that once aired on ABC and was fortunately cancelled within season 1.

Speaking as a Christian, I am getting sick and tired of Jewish people bashing us Christians and acting as though we are misogynists and responsible for your ills. We Christians don't bash you for your foibles or your sins (and believe me, you did have your sins: we Christians had been persecuted under you guys since the day Jesus died on the Cross (remember Saul, better known as St. Paul? He actually massacred a lot of Christians, turned them over to be imprisoned/stoned. It literally took a vision from Jesus and a stopped horse for him to see the error of his ways). Keep that in mind the next time you bash us for being monsters.). I'm sorry for the rant, but I get irritated when, despite toiling for you guys, you bash us to oblivion, and I've witnessed it once in person.

I know this is going to conflict with what I said earlier, but this needs to be pointed out: Why is it that you seem to be more sympathetic to Communists (people who would kill you guys without a second thought, I should remind you) than to Christians? Heck, Pope Pius X risked his LIFE to save yours, and you return the favor by attacking him and his flock? Despite my having Jewish friends who at least respect my being a Christian, your behavior among others behavior makes me feel that its not even worth helping you guys, God's chosen people or not. When you guys keep on stabbing us in the back, despite multiple attempts to help you guys, even risking our lives and blood and sweat to save you from Nazis and Soviets and Muslims and the like, you still attack us, even insinuating we forced you into becoming bankers despite it being against Catholic doctrine for us to commit usury (and yes, I have actually heard that insinuation in person, during a panel discussion my German teacher held at GPC from one of the panelists).
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry, I meant Michael Medved, not Levine.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Haters gonna hate.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Spot on. Not being Christian, not being Catholic, not being American, etc. are a few of the many ways people reject affirmative beliefs. It is a logical contradiction to say: "there is no truth" since for starts at least that phrase must be true and then it fails to comply with itself.

To base one's life on a negation of something make us depend on that very something we are negating. That is the ultimate meaning of Jesus' question: "If therefore the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. ... Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God."

C. S. Lewis
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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