Below are actual letters. emails or i.m.'s that I've received from real people questioning their belief in Jesus & the messianic movement, as well as mainstream Evangelical Christianity.
Since this page is always being updated & adjusted, please excuse any typos.
I've changed names, cities & all other details to respect & protect their privacy.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________12/19 10:42:04 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, j----@--.com writes:
I read your entire story and spiritual journey/odyssey and want to know if you are familiar with Dr. Michael Brown's 5-volume series "Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus." He seems to have excellent rebuttals to all of the anti-missionary Tovia Singer's "Lets Get Biblical" series. Dr. Brown deals with all of the objections Chabad seems to have.
I listened to Tovia's audio series and read his commentary on Isaiah 53 which is not very good biblical exegesis in my opinion.
Dr. Brown even successfully debated Tovia on the radio.
A messianic Jew
In a message dated 12/19 10:49:14 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, Canarsie66@aol.com writes:
Thanks for the email.
I am very familiar with Dr. Michael Brown and his book series. I own it.
In my opinion, Brown doesn't know what he is talking about. He uses emotion to manipulate the reader.
And that debate you are speaking of sounds like he was successful because he completely edited the audio to make Tovia sound like an idiot.
Not for anything, but Jesus is a fraud and it is my holy mission to rescue Jews from the clutches of the church (and so-called messianic synagogues).
Check out www.jewishisaiah53.com
I pray that the scales fall from your eyes as they have for me.
By the way, if you are so sure your genius Dr. Michael Brown is correct, get him to debate Tovia one more time!
Tovia has been trying to get him to debate for a while now. Brown is scared as he knows he cannot win.
What's up with that, my friend?
In a message dated 12/19 1:48:21 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, j----@--.com writes:
Dr. Brown has gone way beyond someone like Tovia, a lightweight in debating, and has an ongoing dialogue-debate with Shmuley Boteach. You obviously have a right to your subjective opinions, but I wouldn't say Michael Brown is scared of anyone.
The issue still comes down to what the biblical text in the Tanach means, not what our opinions are of the person.
Dr. Brown's latest volume on the Oral Law seems to drive the final nail in the coffin of the Oral Law's supposed authority over the Hebrew text of Tanach.
Dr. Brown uses extremely subjective manipulative emotional arguments in his quest to convert Jews to believing in a false messiah as well as avodah zara, as God is not a man.
I KNOW what the Biblical text in the Tenach means as I have studied it profusely in the beginning of the decade. I do not claim to be a scholar, and in fact have a horrible short-term memory, so don't ask me to quote verbatim what I read. I read the evidence, looked everything up in the Tenach and came to the logical conclusion that Jesus is a fraud.
I know meshugena Christians who think by memorizing entire chapters of Scripture, that they can impress me enough reconsider coming back to a belief in Jesus.
The only nail Dr. Brown is hammering in is that of his own soul, as Hashem will severely punish him for leading so many Jews astray.
In a message dated 12/19 10:30:14 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, j----@--.com writes:
Again, Jeff, your responses are very "subjective."
I'll let Isaiah 9:6 and Proverbs 30:4 (and other texts) speak for the divinity of Yeshua and the resurrection appearances vindicating his triumph over the grave (according to Psalm 16).
As an intelligent person, which I believe you are since you are a seeker (based on your story), I would caution you not to rely on paranoid feelings to guide you, but instead still use your mind to reasonably evaluate the biblical texts again.
I don't rely on "feelings" to guide me in my interpretation of texts. If one does then he/she is surely to be deceived.
Moshe directs us to his writings to obey and not our feelings.
Re: Hashem judging someone -- we'll leave that decision to Him.
The plain interpretation of Isaiah 53 tells me that it is God's grace, not race or ethnicity, that decides our fate, and that the Lord laid our iniquity upon him (Moshiach) and offers us eternal life apart from keeping 613 Mitzvot.
Even the ancient rabbis (before Rashi) in Isaiah 53 point to a person - not Israel. It makes no sense that Israel can suffer for Israel's sin.
Re: reading the New Testament, I would hope all people, Jews and Gentiles would at least read the whole Bible and decide for themselves. Jeremiah 31:31 does talk about a Brit Chadeshah.
I have done my best over the last 39 years to look at all the texts and have read hundreds of books and still believe that apart from faith in Yeshua's sacrificial atonement there is no salvation for anyone, Jew or Gentile.
I'm 62 years old now and have been devoted as a businessman and messianic Jew to living my life and using my resources to share the good news with our people -- the good news about our Messiah (which Messiah doesn't/didn't live in Crown Heights).
Hopefully, Jeff, you will consider again the many prophecies about Messiah. Our eternity depends on it.
You can pray for me and I'll pray for you. If there are any texts you would like to study, let me know.
How are my responses subjective? They are completely based on Tenach.
One thing I find completely humorous, almost to the point of being ridiculous, is the vast spectrum of belief that so-called Christians have in regards to the NT, Jesus, tongues, salvation, once saved always saved, consubstantiation vs transubstantiation, etc. etc ad nauseum.
I had some crazy Jewish Christian woman contact me just last week telling me that she's a "Prophetess" and that God spoke to her directly about me. She was all about emotions, speaking in tongues, etc.
So who's right, you or her?
Supposedly you are all saved by the blood of Jesus, and yet every single "denomination" as well as the sub-denomination split offs based on ridiculous minutia (which puts even the most stringent of Talmudic scholars to shame) will all argue to the death that their way is the only way to salvation through Jesus and that everyone else is wrong. And that doesn't include Mormons and J Witnesses, whom I'm sure you don't even consider real Christians. Who's right and who's wrong? What about Armeninian versus Calvinistic theology. Are you predestined to salvation or do you have free will? If Calvinism is correct, then their god is quite a sadistic madman, wouldn't you say? And what about all the Catholics? They are using works via their sacraments as opposed to sola scriptura and faith only as a route to salvation in Jesus. Why are you so sure that YOU got it right. Why are they so sure that they got it right. I hate to say it, but can't you see how stupid it all is?
And yet, every single Jew who died in the Holocaust as well as all others in "disbelief" are burning in hell cause they rejected your mangod. Those poor pygmies in the jungles of wherever are damned to hell cause some Christian missionary never made it down to their villages. How ridiculously silly and simple-minded.
I spent years studying Christian theology, after spending years studying the NT. Regarding a Christian maturing in one's faith, in 1 Corinthians 3:2, the founder of Christianity, Paul, said that one should graduate to eating meat after maturing past the milk stage (like a baby being weaned off of nursing). I hate to admit it, but for once, he was correct, and for me, it resulted in my faith maturing enough to understand intellectually based on the proofs in Tenach that Jesus and the entire Christian belief system is a fraud.
And why do you insult me by bringing up Crown Heights? I never ever ever said anywhere that I believe or think that it's possible that the Rebbe Menachem Schneerson, of blessed memory, is or was the messiah. Please stop trying to create a straw man.
I have no desire or need to return to Christianity. In 2 Peter 2:20-22, your New Testament warns the reader not to return to one's vomit, like a dog. I am gladly taking that one tidbit of wise advice given by an otherwise completely flawed supposed religious book.
As I was searching and reading some websites I had bookmarked just a while ago, I came across your story (www.jewsforhashem.com). I have just finished reading it, what an amazing journey you have undertaken!
I am, I guess at a cross-roads myself.... I was "saved" at 15, backslid for 12 years. Having met my previous boyfriend at 16 and a half (he was twice my age at the time) and being with him for 10 years, I knew my life was not what God had intended for me. I still had the bible that was given to me in the closet, and for the last couple of years of the relationship felt it practically calling to me. I finally broke down one night when I was on my own and cried out to God, pouring out the desires of my heart that I daren't ever speak of, that I wanted to get married, and to the man he made for me (not the man I mistakenly trusted with my heart, who perhaps even without realising, verbally and mentally abused me every day). I didn't know which way to turn or what I should do next, but knew I couldn't do it on my own. I promised that I would live for Him, and trust that whatever happened He would be with me. Long story short, I broke off with my boyfriend at the beginning of 2007. I started reading my bible and going back to church. I met my husband in June 2007 around 6 months later. I arrived in North Carolina in October 2007 and we were married in December of that year. Amazingly, we agree that we are each perfect for each other, and I believe only God could have arranged our meeting and answered both our prayers in respect of each other.
I have been going to a large church from day 1 of arriving here in the US with my husband (work permitting) and my mum- and brother-in-law. Neither my husband or I have been baptised and decided even when I was in England that this was something we wanted to do together. In the last year or so I guess, my hubby has been ever more searching for the truth, resulting many a time in disputes with his mum regarding the differences in the way they believe (she would be proud to wear the title of "die hard jesus freak"). I guess I was somewhere in the middle. I prayed and continue to pray for my eyes to be opened to God's truth, and for my heart to be as God's is. I noticed whenever I saw a Christian post against Muslims that it had a deep effect on me, bringing me to tears seeing one that my mum (also die-hard born again) had put on facebook, also a great sadness that I felt seeing the Jews for Jesus mail that my mum-in-law received. I had a growing feeling in me, one which I felt would separate me from the Christian viewpoint, but that was correct - albeit needing much research.
It suddenly hit me at church this weekend watching some baptisms, that I could not be baptised... It doesn't feel right to pray 'in Jesus name' any more... Songs singing to and of God, of His greatness, His love, His mercy, I could sing with all my heart... But those regarding Jesus make me feel almost like I'm betraying God. It just doesn't feel right anymore. It also hit me what my husband meant when he said to me that he couldn't really be considered a Christian any more, that he still believed in God, just not like a regular Christian. He has been telling me (and his mum, which usually leads to heated debate then argument) just research for yourself and don't just believe what you are told. And after much praying, I have done only a little research so far, and find myself right next to him, looking for God's truth, not man's.
I have found some sites regarding B'nei Noach which I believe on first glance is where I'm supposed to be. Apparently my grandmother on my dad's side of the family had some Jewish blood in her and so I guess I have a miniscule amount in me, although I'm not sure that counts! I know I have a lot to learn, and to be honest, it all seems rather overwhelming. But I know God is with me, and He knows where I am going even when I don't, so my trust remains in Him. I have started a new leg of my journey growing closer to God, and I know it won't be easy, especially with my mum and mum-in-law, and even living here in the South, but on I go.
I want to thank you Jeff, for sharing your story. Looking for truth amongst so many lies, especially ones so heartfelt and sincerely put is both difficult and lonely, even when you know you are not the only one searching. You are an inspiration for many on the path to God's truth. If you have any information or suggestions for me I would greatly appreciate them, although I know you must be super busy.
Many thanks, kind regards, and may God bless you always
I wanted to thank you for sharing your personal journey. Sometimes I feel like I’m all alone in my spiritual confusion and seeking for answers, so it is nice to read your story. I am not a Jew; I am a gentile, and an Anglican deacon at that. I am in the military and deployed to ______ right now. Before I left for deployment a week ago, my dear wife, who was raised in a strict Baptist home, agreed to visit an Orthodox Synagogue in Nashville. The Rabbi and his wife were really nice and we visited two Sabbaths and went to Shul during Passover. The Rabbi agreed to work with my wife and I toward conversion. My wife is so fired up about it I couldn’t believe it. The Scriptures were plain to her that the Sabbath was to be kept for ALL TIME, the Sabbath was never to be moved to Sunday, the devil of Christianity is completely fabricated and found nowhere in the Jewish Bible, the Jewish Bible never says that the Messiah was to be worshipped or to be killed as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, and Psalm 119 continually praises the Law, statutes and judgments of G-d, and many, many other things. I know it is a huge jump to go from Christianity to Judaism; actually much bigger than I had thought, but I have a peace in my soul when I pray only to HaShem and keep the Laws of G-d. I just feel it is the right thing to do. Thanks again for your story.
Awesome story. You made my day!
Tonight is Shavuot, when Hashem gave the Torah to the world.
Did you know that He offered it to every other nation first and they all rejected it.
However, within each of those nations, there was a small minority that wanted to accept it.
That small minority is where your soul's origins are from, my friend. Every convert and convert-to-be are one of those from the nations that rejected Torah, but who truly wanted it for themselves but were "out voted" by the overwhelming majority.
Welcome back on your journey home!
In a message, ________@_____ writes:
I have heard about that, how Hashem offered the Torah to the other nations but none would accept it. I have heard about the pre-existence of all Jewish souls, and how, every now and then, a gentile may be one of those souls that were present at the giving of the Torah. I don’t have the whole story down perfectly, but I have read about it. I can’t tell you how strange it is to be on the verge of ditching my Christianity and taking on Judaism and the Torah. But Judaism makes sense to me. Christians are always wondering what G-d’s will is for their life, always praying for guidance. Well, I know what G-d’s will is; it is contained in the Torah: eat this, don’t eat that; do this, don’t do that, etc. I began to realize that it is ridiculous for a Christian to read Psalm 19 or 119 and try to apply it to their religion and life. I realized that those Psalms, and many other places that continually refer to G-d’s Commandments, Statutes and Judgments, that it is speaking about the Torah. I have asked many other Christians about this, and have gotten the run around or have been completely dodged. There is no Christian answer, except that they can pick and choose which Laws to follow, and which ones don’t apply. Doesn’t make sense. I am currently in _____. There is not one Synagogue here, not one Rabbi, nothing. I have had contact with the Rabbi I was working with in Nashville. Maybe you can pray for me, my wife, two sons and unborn baby, or ask your Rabbi to pray for us too. This is hard, as you know.
That is extremely cool that you are familiar with this concept.
I definitely empathize with you in regards to how you feel about ditching your Christianity. I did the same. Like moving into a new home, it takes a little while to get used to it:-)
I also got the runaround from well-meaning Christians and messianics when I was deeply involved. It seemed way too flakey to be from God.
When do you leave _______? For now, just take it slow and accept that Hashem has you where you are now for a reason. Once you return home, you can seriously take the next step in your conversion.
I suggest you read, read and read everything you can about "becoming a Jew". Make sure all sources are Orthodox. Otherwise, it's tantamount to learning to be an evangelical missionary by studying from Reverend Al Sharpton. It won't work.
How does your wife feel about this? Is she on board? If not, it's a HUGE road block. Does she believe in Jesus? What are her feelings in regards to rejecting him and the New Testament?
Please email me all your names and we will pray for you.
I just finished reading your story, which I found through a link from Beyond BT. What an amazing path you've trod! While I never ventured into any Hebrew-Christian congregations, I did have a similarly spiritless Jewish upbringing. I do remember one point in my life when I seriously considered going to the church down the street from me because I just wanted to "be with G-d" and join a friendly community of people who were committed to living a religious life. Amazingly, my then completely secular husband refused and said "we're Jewish, we are not going to a Church and we are NOT raising our children as Christians." He is not normally a bossy person, but he made it very clear that this was not a debatable issue. I am very proud of his strong pintele Yid!
I'm so glad that you've highlighted a way for intermarried couples to be Torah-true while still remaining married. My father is not Jewish, and it really pains me that some in the Jewish community have suggested that I tell my mother to divorce my father. My marginally Christian father has been nothing but supportive and encouraging as I grow in my observance of Torah, while my technically Jewish aunts and uncles have often been very critical and judgmental. Of course I would love it if my mom became more observant and my dad had a kosher conversion, but I feel that it's not my place to tell my parents what to do, and I certainly do not want my parents to divorce.
Anyway, I mostly wanted to say that I enjoyed reading about your journey and wish you all the best as you continue to walk the Jewish derech.
As I read your story your background is somewhat similar, I grew up in ___________, and had typical hebrew school where I could not wait to get out had no idea what I was doing, was not really learning, had my bar mitzvah in a conservtive shul I think at age of 13 and last time I ever went to a shul. Majority of my family is secular except for getting together for passover and eating matzah, basically as you summed up so well the typical american jewish family.
12 years ago I met my wife who is non-Jewish, got married, and have a child since at the time she was religious and I never even believed in Hashem I figured lets get married in her church and bring the child up her religion.
Over they years my wife has tried to get me to go to her church but i told her religion is just not for me especially to pray to man named Jesus it made no sense to me.
Fast forward up until 2 years ago, I started to do some soul searching, and for some reason I really wanted to know why are we here? is there life after death? is there really a G-d? I started to explore almost every religion out there, from eastern religions like buddhism to all sorts of new age paranormal. Long story short I decided to see what Judaism is all about since that is my roots, but i never understood it like you described so perfectly well.
I found Chabad two years ago, and I have grown and now putting on tefilin and taking it step by step. I do lots of Torah study I am really enjoying Judaism once again.
But I have some major hurdles to overcome, and you seem to have similar issues I have and overcame them. I feel horribly guilty that I married outside and had a child who is not Jewish. I know I did that when I did not know better. But the question is how do I fix it? My wife and child definitively will not convert. There are many mitzvahs that I break by living with non-Jew and having many relatives who are not Jews (most of my family is intermarried) who do not understand, it is a constant battle. Especially around holidays, for example most of my family rather celebrate xmas
There are times where the depression gets to me where I feel like I am failing, and feel like giving up Judaism all together since I do not feel I will ever get to the point of really becoming a total frum Jew I guess you can say.
Was there a point that you thought your wife would not convert and if so what would you have done?
In a message dated 1/21 12:01:40 AM Eastern Standard Time, ****@*****.com writes:
I was doing some research about messianic Judaism and came across your website. I just finished reading your story and liked what I read. Today I attended my first messianic prayer service at **** messianic congregation in *** because I wanted to find out more about Jesus myself.
It was okay, until I had this one man say to me that the first 40,000 people were Jews on steroids and it was the biggest con job performed in the history of the world. From this I had never experience so much anti semitism in my entire life. It was at this point I wanted to leave which I did for a few minutes. I went to my car and thought about whether I should return or go. I decided to go back in and attend the service.
I kept my distance from this man whose name was **** if you can believe it. Also he was wearing a yarmulka and tallis which irratated me more. I thought to myself how could this man be wearing all these garments when I could clearly tell he wasn't Jewish, but pretended to be one?
I was excited to go because I wanted to learn more about Jesus because he was a Jew and that intrigued me. Just like you were, I am lost and confused as well because I don't want to be anything other then a Jew. I don't want to be a Christian because I am Jew first. The "rabbi" told me that since I accepted Yeshua I am even more Jewish then my fellow Jews. For me I want to do nothing else except serve G-d. After today I don't think I will be going back either. Also when I was there, I told everyone what my Hebrew name was and I could tell I was the only Jew there.
I guess what I'm trying to tell you Jeff is I want to get closer to G-d. My mother accepted Christ when she was in her mid twenties and was baptized in a Lutherian church on the east side of Manhattan. She never converted, but I know I was born a Jew and was bar mitzvah too. We both had our receptions at the Colonial Mansion which I know all too well. The reason she got turned off by Judaism was because my great grandma told her at a young age women had no souls.
I have a confession to make to you my Jewish brother. I became a member of the 700 club. You must be saying to yourself how could I? I am currently not satisfied with my life and because I am only making $9.00/hr and still live at home with my parents. By the way I am 32 years old. The reason for this was because I want to start tithing and plant seeds for myself. I want my life to get better so badly because it stinks. I know, I sound like a loser to you. I just want G-d to bless me and provide for me. I don't want to live at home with my parents anymore. I infact want to have my own place. I guess maybe I was brainwashed by Pat Robertson group. I will try it for a while and see what happens. I just know I trust in G-d and he made me a Jew too like you.
My Brother, please offer me some advice about what I should do. I don't want to renouce Judaism because I want to be more Jewish. I want to keep Torah and keep to the word of G-d.
Thanks so much for taking the time to reach out and write me that email.
Being contacted by people in situation like yours is what gives me the will & fire to keep on doing what I do.
Regarding the messianic place you went to, they are all the same. Some may have more of a Jewish facade than others, but they all preach & teach evangelical Christianity. The reason why that person was able to say whatever he wanted is because anything & everything goes within that theology, as long as "one accepts Jesus into their heart". Nothing else matters. As you now see, that is pure bs.
The gentiles love to pretend to be Jewish, as then the Old Testament is now speaking to them as well. It's a farce, and reeks of replacement theology, where the church claims it has replaced the Jews as God's chosen people.
When I first attended, I also was excited & intrigued that Jesus was a Jew like me, and that somehow I could be a part of a movement that brings reconciliation to the world, especially between Jews & Christians. As time went on, I saw that through Jesus, that is impossible, as it all comes down to the fact that Jesus wasn't a messiah. He died for nobody's sins. And the entire theology is a farce.
What the "messianic rabbi" told you is part of what he is trained to tell you. I was told the same, and I found it very important to make sure all my fellow Jews had to become "complete" as well. But like everything else about the belief system, it's false!
Irregardless of what your mother did back in the day, she & you are still 100% Jewish. Regarding the statement that women have no souls, that is ridiculous. As a matter of fact, they are closer to God than men.
Good old Colonial Mansion. Did you enjoy the spare ribs as much as I did? :-)
Regarding the 700 Club, it doesn't matter what you are a member of. And it doesn't bother me one bit. No need to confess. No need to feel ashamed. I used to love watching Pat Robertson. I used to talk back to the TV, like a retard, thinking Pat was praying for me directly. The entire belief system is a joke. He does that to make you think he's praying for you personally.
To this day, I still get mail from Focus on the Family and many other Christian organizations. Sometimes I read them, Sometimes I don't. But I will never return to that belief system as it has been proven to me without a shadow of a doubt that Torah Judaism is Truth, and Christianity is a lie.
So enjoy being a member of the 700 Club for now. You will find him more entertaining the more you realize how ridiculous his beliefs are. But if you are sending money every month, quit.
Dovid, let me tell you a secret. NOBODY is satisfied with their life! I know millionaires who are miserable cause another millionaire down the block has a nicer home or car. Part of our mission here on earth is to grow. Some of that is to realize that we are never satisfied and to make do with what we have, while striving to better ourselves without feeling inferior, or by stealing or lying. Evangelicals & born agains delude themselves into believing they are satisfied. But without exception, a few years after accepting jesus, they are back to the same old nonsense, or even worse.
Do you know how many 30 - 35 year old guys I know who live at home with their parents? Tons! So what. It's more the norm than the exception. You are NOT a loser. You are one of God's chosen people, His child, and He wants what's best for you. So look at yourself as a prince who has been trapped in a foreign land, after being kidnapped 25 years ago. God is waiting for you to come running back into His loving arms! You are not responsible for your lack of Jewish knowledge.
Stop tithing to all Christian/messianic organizations. The only seeds you are planting there are those that are trying to spiritually exterminate the Jews.
God loves you and will bless you. You must renounce Jesus and Christianity in order to come back home, Dovid.
I am here to help faciliate that.
I can most likely get you hooked up for free at a Yeshiva here in NY or in California. I have lots of connections in NY, not so many on the west coast.
You can start by studying one on one via the phone for an hour or so a week. We need to get the Christian garbage out of your head.
Vegas doesn't have such a strong Jewish community, so I suggest you seriously contemplate relocating. Since you deeply want to be independent, this may be the answer you have been looking for.
Dovid, you have a Jewish soul, and that is what's nagging you about wanting to know God. But you can't do it via Jesus, and that's the confusion you are feeling & experiencing now.
Let.s do this!
You're not a loser. You are a winner. And Hashem is waiting for you to make the right decision.
Ever been to NY?
heard you on the tamar yonah show and just wanted to say "mazel tov". my wife and i after years of being down the same christian/messianic path (as you have), and additional years of study/prayer/searching, converted to judaism in 2006. it's nice to be home. B'Shalom.
I was talking to ______ last night and she thought I should share this
with you. I am also a former messianic.
I was in the church world for 7 years and in the messianic world for
another 6....I was VERY missionary-like that whole time.
Just recently, after much studying and introspection, I have accepted
the fact that one can not follow the Torah AND the new testament. I
choose the Torah.You were part of the link in the events that got me to think (finally) for myself about things,
proof texts, etc. The story goes like this:
For some reason, I remembered your DJ ads in the Messianic Times from
years ago. Several months ago, I saw your same type of half page ad in
the Five Towns Jewish Times. I was like, "Huh? How could a messianic
Jew ever advertise in the 5tjt?" Then I read the 5tjt article about
when J4J came to the Five Towns and it was written by you and I
realized that you were not messianic anymore. That intrigued me. I
thought, "How could he ever switch like that?"
Long story short,for the first time in my life, I started looking at
the spoofy proof texts and after an agonizing month or so, my husband
and I now accept the fact that jesus is not the son of G-d, messiah,
etc. I went on your web site, read your story, and especially liked
that long list of questions you put for people to investigate the
different bible verses......
So you were part of the Divine link of events that got me thinking....
Wannabejew [9:58 AM]: hello Jeff... this is ___ again
ClassicJef [9:59 AM]: Happy 4th!
Wannabejew [9:59 AM]: Happy 4th to you too! do u have a few minutes
ClassicJef [9:59 AM]: u have to hear my interview............
ClassicJef [9:59 AM]: http://www.zshare.net/audio/july-4-2006-mp3.html
ClassicJef [9:59 AM]: of course...for u
ClassicJef [9:59 AM]: copy that web page first
Wannabejew [9:59 AM]: cool, thanks
ClassicJef [9:59 AM]: and listen when we're done
ClassicJef [10:00 AM]: I think you'll like it
ClassicJef [10:00 AM]: so what can I do u for?
Wannabejew [10:00 AM]: what kind of interview is it? I will do that
ClassicJef [10:00 AM]: Interviewed by Gavriel Sanders about being in the messianic movement
Wannabejew [10:00 AM]: today is my husband's birthday .. I took your suggestion and talked to him heart to heart
ClassicJef [10:00 AM]: wow
Wannabejew [10:01 AM]: about the situation regarding conversion
ClassicJef [10:01 AM]: go on
Wannabejew [10:01 AM]: just last night we talked
Wannabejew [10:02 AM]: when I told him that conversion is something I couldn't do without him, he took it negatively.. I asked him if he could try to see it positively
Wannabejew [10:02 AM]: there is a reason-- it's so we're all on the same page as a family
ClassicJef [10:02 AM]: yes, the main reason
Wannabejew [10:02 AM]: and I patiently told him there is a reason Jews do not believe Jesus fulfilled the messianic expectations
Wannabejew [10:03 AM]: see, right now, in our personal beliefs, he and I are NOT on the same page
ClassicJef [10:03 AM]: he doesn’t believe in Jesus, right?
ClassicJef [10:03 AM]: or does he?
Wannabejew [10:03 AM]: so inevitably it creates conflict .. he does.. he has been a Christian about 20 years
ClassicJef [10:03 AM]: my wife is just now realizing that Jesus was a phony
ClassicJef [10:04 AM]: it's causing problems with her sister
ClassicJef [10:04 AM]: but she sees!
Wannabejew [10:04 AM]: has she had a difficult time
ClassicJef [10:04 AM]: a lapsed xtain, right?
ClassicJef [10:04 AM]: yes.....while not a hardcore believer, it was a big part of her childhood, as it is with most xtians
ClassicJef [10:04 AM]: it's like rejecting Santa all over again
Wannabejew [10:05 AM]: well, as I wrote to you, he and I came to the conclusion that we should no longer go to church at all several months ago.. it was mutual for us, but I came to realize I was going to appease
ClassicJef [10:05 AM]: does he believe as a lapsed xtian, or as a evangelical die-hard believer?
ClassicJef [10:05 AM]: the no church thing is a positive step
Wannabejew [10:05 AM]: I have studied Judaism since 2001, and only recently attended chabad classes
Wannabejew [10:06 AM]: I think he still strongly holds onto the belief in the "personal relationship" being of the most importance.
ClassicJef [10:07 AM]: I am honored
ClassicJef [10:07 AM]: so u have been speaking with Gavriel too?
Wannabejew [10:07 AM]: it's 3 hours east... we have a chabad in our downtown area
ClassicJef [10:07 AM]: 3 hours is too far.
Wannabejew [10:07 AM]: I wrote to him several times and explained this within the past 3 months
Wannabejew [10:08 AM]: we have a chabad 40 minutes away
Wannabejew [10:08 AM]: that is where I took JLI classes
ClassicJef [10:08 AM]: I have a great video for you to order for him..... check out this web page: http://www.thegodmovie.com/
ClassicJef [10:08 AM]: JLI rocks.. I love their classes
Wannabejew [10:08 AM]: and my husband had no problem with it ... he respects Judaism, but feels its missing certain elements
ClassicJef [10:08 AM]: like what?
ClassicJef [10:08 AM]: warmth?
Wannabejew [10:09 AM]: no, like believing in J. as messiah
ClassicJef [10:09 AM]: that's a given:-)
ClassicJef [10:10 AM]: we need to get him to see that jesus is a fake
ClassicJef [10:10 AM]: I just got the movie advertised on that site..... he needs to watch it.
Wannabejew [10:10 AM]: so in that sense, I think he holds the typical perspective... natural branches... grafted in branches
ClassicJef [10:10 AM]: My wife wants her family to watch it, but is afraid it will tick them off
ClassicJef [10:10 AM]: Romans 9-11
ClassicJef [10:10 AM]: I am very familiar with it
ClassicJef [10:11 AM]: he needs to escape from the falsehoods of believing in jesus
ClassicJef [10:11 AM]: has he heard Gavriel's story?
Wannabejew [10:11 AM]: no he hasn't yet
ClassicJef [10:11 AM]: beg him to
ClassicJef [10:11 AM]: and get that movie
Wannabejew [10:12 AM]: thanks very much
ClassicJef [10:12 AM]: if he is into the prophecies and all that, I can share with you rabbi Singer's series
Wannabejew [10:12 AM]: can I ask u
Wannabejew [10:12 AM]: Tovia Singer :)
ClassicJef [10:12 AM]: ask me anything?
Wannabejew [10:12 AM]: I know of him, and read a lot from his site
ClassicJef [10:13 AM]: if someone is serious about Bible, his tapes are awesome... if not, there are other great resources
Wannabejew [10:14 AM]: you mentioned some ppl being intolerant to the fact your wife is not Jewish.. how long has it been since you have come out of the Messianic movement and since she began to show interest in conversion.
ClassicJef [10:14 AM]: I left the messies in June of 2001
Wannabejew [10:14 AM]: You and I seem to be the members of our families that have had the change in belief
ClassicJef [10:14 AM]: Not many people are intolerant in my circles
Wannabejew [10:14 AM]: and it's not always easy for someone to change their beliefs overnight-- it's a process
ClassicJef [10:14 AM]: that's why I'm in those circles...very warm, loving & accepting jews
Wannabejew [10:15 AM]: I mean, some Orthodox ppl you had spoken to were
ClassicJef [10:15 AM]: yes, this is true, and very common.....
ClassicJef [10:15 AM]: but usually it happens to people in their 40s & 50s after some kind of crisis, like losing a parent, G-d forbid
Wannabejew [10:15 AM]: common that a ba'al t'shuva has a spouse who believes differently?
ClassicJef [10:15 AM]: totally
ClassicJef [10:15 AM]: check out this site too...... www.beyondbt.com
ClassicJef [10:15 AM]: tons of similar issues
ClassicJef [10:16 AM]: welcome to the club:-)
Wannabejew [10:16 AM]: that is actually where I found your website :) thanks
ClassicJef [10:16 AM]: cool
Wannabejew [10:16 AM]: well, I'm not ba'al t'shuva (that I know of )
ClassicJef [10:16 AM]: oh, during my early search in 94 & 95, many people were intolerant..... intermarriage was worse than Hitler
Wannabejew [10:16 AM]: but interested in conversion... I don't know enough about my mom's lineage yet. I am doing some research
ClassicJef [10:17 AM]: u have to be Jewish first:-).... but you are better.... a convert is priceless
Wannabejew [10:17 AM]: really?
Wannabejew [10:17 AM]: I didn't know that
ClassicJef [10:17 AM]: yes.... let me find some sources...hold a sec
Wannabejew [10:18 AM]: as I explained to u in the first note.. this is something that continues to burn.. for years. It's not showing any signs of going away :-D
ClassicJef [10:19 AM]: http://www.beingjewish.com/conversion/becomingjewish.html
ClassicJef [10:19 AM]: check that out
Wannabejew [10:19 AM]: I feel determined about conversion but at the same time very discouraged.. I will. (
ClassicJef [10:19 AM]: same here... I get hotter every minute
Wannabejew [10:19 AM]: I'm collecting links
Wannabejew [10:20 AM]: I get discouraged because (especially as a women.. u know the "submission" thing) every time I mention conversion.. oh.. you're married to a gentile? how can u expect to convert?
ClassicJef [10:20 AM]: u have to get him on board first..... make that priority # 1, without him thinking he's your pet project
Wannabejew [10:21 AM]: I just have to get past that initial reaction. I heard that last from a person in England who has been trying to convert since 2002
ClassicJef [10:21 AM]: everything else isn;t as important
Wannabejew [10:21 AM]: I don't want to be too pushy with him
ClassicJef [10:21 AM]: with the EJF, the conversion process can be readily moved forward
ClassicJef [10:21 AM]: nah...be very loving
ClassicJef [10:21 AM]: just be a loving nudge
Wannabejew [10:21 AM]: he has been thru burn out with Christianity.. we had to go to counseling over it :(
Wannabejew [10:22 AM]: I remember the eternal jewish family site
ClassicJef [10:22 AM]: so he has the possibility to be on fire for Torah, as he can be very spiritual
ClassicJef [10:22 AM]: no more "trying to convert" for years at a time
ClassicJef [10:22 AM]: if people are serious, it will happen sooner
Wannabejew [10:22 AM]: has your wife ever expressed a feeling of being pressured, has she ever said "ok, I need to sort this out " and u have had to let off for any length of time
ClassicJef [10:22 AM]: get that movie
ClassicJef [10:23 AM]: pressured..... like every day!
ClassicJef [10:23 AM]: I have chilled out quite a bit... since I've done so, she has moved forward
Wannabejew [10:23 AM]: so you feel you could have done things a bit differently at times
ClassicJef [10:23 AM]: I let off for months... just did my own thing, and kept getting us invited to Shabbos homes
ClassicJef [10:24 AM]: everyone told me to chill, but I wouldn;t listen...I'm too passionate
ClassicJef [10:24 AM]: Finally, I did, and it worked
Wannabejew [10:24 AM]: I can see that even in your writing, and besides you're a New Yorker :)
Wannabejew [10:24 AM]: I'm from Jersey
ClassicJef [10:25 AM]: Hashem is calling people like you & your husband to him..... since you've answered first, u need to bring your husband lovingly and with no pressure
Wannabejew [10:25 AM]: what I felt I had most in common with Gavriel, is that we both have come out of a radical brand of Christianity.. missions, outreach, etc.. totally consuming
ClassicJef [10:26 AM]: so did I... the messie movement is just like that
Wannabejew [10:26 AM]: he was once a missionary to SAUDI
ClassicJef [10:26 AM]: crazy I know
Wannabejew [10:26 AM]: and I'm telling u the truth.. I thought that was one place I would like to go..
Wannabejew [10:26 AM]: it IS and was crazy.. u can be killed there in an instant
ClassicJef [10:26 AM]: i wish u lived closer...I'd hook u up with some nice families
Wannabejew [10:26 AM]: capital punishment by beheading
ClassicJef [10:26 AM]: nice
ClassicJef [10:26 AM]: even foreigners?
Wannabejew [10:27 AM]: especially foreigners, if they tag u as a criminal of any sort, they're likely to punish you publicly
Wannabejew [10:27 AM]: almost no Saudi citizens ever get the death penalty
ClassicJef [10:28 AM]: tht's nuts
Wannabejew [10:28 AM]: and he was there teaching about Christianity!!
ClassicJef [10:28 AM]: listen, if u ever need advice, help or a shoulder to lean on, email me anytime
ClassicJef [10:28 AM]: if u even need to talk, u can call me... just not on Shabbos:-)
ClassicJef [10:28 AM]: he's a great antimissionary for it.
Wannabejew [10:28 AM]: thanks very much... I don't want to be a burden on you, but just remember me when u can
ClassicJef [10:29 AM]: not a burden.... you r the reason I do this
Wannabejew [10:29 AM]: I feel I have a bumpy road ahead
Wannabejew [10:29 AM]: but I feel I can handle it with G-d's help
ClassicJef [10:29 AM]: I am here to lay down asphalt for you over the potholes
ClassicJef [10:29 AM]: aren’t I poetic, in a Brooklyn sort of way? :-)
Wannabejew [10:29 AM]: I'm happy to know that.. esp down here in the Bible belt there are very few ppl who understand my perspective
ClassicJef [10:30 AM]: I bet
Wannabejew [10:30 AM]: :-P Definitely Brooklyn :)
Wannabejew [10:30 AM]: always road construction going on in the City ;)
ClassicJef [10:31 AM]: constantly
Wannabejew [10:31 AM]: one lane blocked off
ClassicJef [10:31 AM]: horror show when you’re running late
ClassicJef [10:31 AM]: talk about stress
Wannabejew [10:31 AM]: so here's the deal.. I'll stay in the blocked off lane until I know how to proceed with him. I'm glad I took your advice and talked to my husband
Wannabejew [10:32 AM]: I feel a weight off my shoulders
ClassicJef [10:32 AM]: excellent... now get hm to break free from the shackles of a childish belief in jesus
Wannabejew [10:32 AM]: it's his 41st birthday today
ClassicJef [10:32 AM]: great
ClassicJef [10:32 AM]: wow....Happy Bday...I just turned 40
Wannabejew [10:32 AM]: well, I'll listen to your interview and keep your links
Wannabejew [10:33 AM]: :) cook
Wannabejew [10:33 AM]: Cool*
ClassicJef [10:33 AM]: glad I could be of help
Wannabejew [10:33 AM]: the big 4-0 .. don't worry .. it's only a number
ClassicJef [10:33 AM]: After everything works out, you better invite me to the wedding.... u know u have to get remarried, right?
Wannabejew [10:33 AM]: my mom always said u are as young as u feel
ClassicJef [10:33 AM]: I aint worried
ClassicJef [10:33 AM]: the soul never ages
Wannabejew [10:33 AM]: Yes I heard :-D
ClassicJef [10:33 AM]: so do I
ClassicJef [10:34 AM]: I used to kid with her that I can get myself a girlfriiend as we're not married in G-d eyes... she didn’t find it too funny'
Wannabejew [10:34 AM]: ooooh!! u have spunk :)
ClassicJef [10:34 AM]: spunk is my middle name
Wannabejew [10:35 AM]: thanks again and have a great day there Jeff. we'll be in touch :-)
Wannabejew [10:35 AM]: I'll check those links very soon
ClassicJef [10:35 AM]: excellent... go take a nice deep breath......
ClassicJef [10:35 AM]: here's another link
ClassicJef [10:35 AM]: http://home.earthlink.net/~pgwhacker/ChristianOrigins/
ClassicJef [10:36 AM]: excellent for your hubby
Wannabejew [10:36 AM]: ::-D .. I'll email u again soon
ClassicJef [10:36 AM]: ciao
Wannabejew signed off at 10:37 AM
4/29 2:52:10 AM Eastern Standard Time
I stumbled upon your website on the evening prior to planning to attend Congregation Shuvah Yisraelon Willis Ave. for a second visit. (I also attended a Bible study class.) I cried my eyes out while reading just a fraction of your site. Tomorrow, I will study more of it. All I can say is, now that I "found" the Messianic movement and experienced a bit of it...the joy you described resonated with me...I "accidentally" found your website for a reason. I would like to speak with you. This finding of your site is no accident and my tears are not accidental either. But I do need more information and you appear to have discovered quite a bit more than I have yet had the opportunity to explore. Maybe you can help me out with my struggle. If you are willing, please email and perhaps we can talk a little on the phone. Do you have a contact #?
After we spoke and attended a Torah class together, and I advised the person to not return to the Hebrew-Christian place, the person responded with:
I believe (messianic) David Rosenberg is a very sincere man and has his viewpoint to offer. I will probably not attend Shuvah Yisrael for the rest of the summer nor visit him, but may speak on the phone if he calls, of course. If he were not sincere, you would not have been feeling so close, don't you think? I also believe his behavior is very reactive. I will take my information from anywhere I can and sift it through my thoughts and prayers and hopefully, Hashem will lead me to the truth. Even rubber bands are part of the ethos of His creation! I trust those laws of truth govern everything, even the elastic manifestations of this world....meaning me and you and others like us in this cosmic "box". Meantime, I am plenty busy with two classes, Kabbalah and Sinai to Cyberspace. Then there is your reading list. Lots to cover. Hopefully, plenty of time.
David is, and has always been, extremely sincere. He's just as sincere as my Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Catholic & mainstream Protestant friends. But not everyone can be right:-) Mormons are extremely sincere, as are J's Witnesses. David Koresh was sincere. So was Jim Jones & the Heaven's Gate cult leader. But remember that sincerity means nothing. It's all about finding the truth.
As long as you won't be visiting them, then I guess some phone calls aren't so bad. I know you're a discerning thinker, and will be able to ask David many questions based on what you'll be learning at Chabad?
I look forward to you springing lots of interesting ideas & concepts on me.
Seeker # 1:
In a message dated 4/17 2:13:39 PM Eastern Standard Time, ---@---.com writes: I found your site and it really struck a chord with me. I'm presently attenting a messianic congregation in ----- and I'm having some doubts. One thing that I love about the congregation is the beautiful music and heartfelt worship. I just don't see non messianic synagogues with people all into the prayer swaying to the music, and connecting with G-d.
Have you found people doing that at synagogues. I also think messianics and evangelicals feel the holy spirit in their lives and connectedness to G-d, while most Jews dont'.
Have you been able to feel as close to G-d and know him now that you're not messianic anymore? How did you do that?
First, let me tell you how glad I am to receive your email.
Are you attending "Congregation -----"? I believe I met him at one of the messianic conventions I attended. Nice guy!
You sound like me 6 years ago.
To answer your last question, YES! YES! YES! I feel even closer to God now that I am not messianic anymore.
When I left the movement, I thought what I'd miss most was the wonderful Paul Wilbur songs as well as the high energy singing & dancing. I actually still have all of my messianic music, and I actually have listened to some of it once in a while.
I agree with you that almost ALL non messianic synagogues do NOT have anything like what we experienced in a messianic place. That is why my search was so unique. I was looking for that special place that understaood that we can connect with God via singing and heartfelt worship instead of lame, boring rote prayer that nobody understands anyway.
I found this at Chabad. Now, I searched for over two years and went to many places. Some Chabads didn't have it either. But within Hasidic Jewery, it's all about being joyful, and worshipping God with song. The Chabad I go to sings at least half of the prayers, with clapping of hands, too. Singing the Hallel this week is a most awesome spiritual experience.
Regarding what you said about the Evangelicals & Messianics feeling the holy spirit & connectedness to God that most Jews do not.... is very, very interesting. That used to bother the heck out of me, as well. What I've learned is that since us Jews are God's chosen people (not that it makes us better), we do not have to jump up & down to get God's attention. It's like a father & son at Disney World. The father pays attention to HIS son within the park, making sure the kid stays out of trouble and doesn't get lost. Meanwhile, if some strange kid nearby does something to get that dad's attention, he well look, perhaps smile but will forget about it as him & his son go on their own way. The other son are the non-Jews. God loves them, but they need to jump up & down to get God's attention. But He will look the other way once His people, the Jews, simply sneeze or cough.
When us Jews become Christian Believers, we experience this jumping up & down feeling in the worship. Since we didnt grow up with anything so cool & warm, we think it's the truth for us, too. But it's not. Worshipping Jesus is idolatry for a Jew.
Sadly, mainstream Judaism has become a bit too intellectual for it's own good. That is why you must explore Chasidic thought.
Hope this helps. I'm just speaking straight from my heart. Feel free to ask me anything. It's my pleasure to help you out.
I can recommend books, web pages. I can send you Tovia Singer's audio files. I can hook you up with a warm Chabad Center near you.
Let me know, Jeff
Thank you for your thoughtful response. I do attend ---------'s synagogue. He is a very nice guy. I presently attend a weekly new believer class with him and another gentleman. I'm always the guy with skeptical questions that goes against what he's teaching :-). I've been that way ever since Hebrew School when I was little.
-------- is sincere, but I think he, like most evangelists, tend to allow certain explanations to circumvent logic because the pieces don't fit otherwise.
The example that comes to mind is the "prophetic year" when evangelists say Daniel 9 talks of 70 7's of 360 day years, because "That was the length of the Jewish year." I always assumed that anyone who would use a ridiculous idea like that would have to be intentionally deceptive. --------- is sincere, so I was shocked to hear him mention it at a meeting! I said "With a 360 year with no adjustment we'd be building Sukkahs in the snow!" Even if there was 360 day years, add that to the fact that it makes no sense to assume Gabriel was implying we should count years ignoring the adjustments. That would be like failing a history test because you said the temple was destroyed 1937 years ago, and the teacher said "going by 365 day years it's less than that, because leap year doesn't count." Of course, there are true scholarly evangelists like Dr. Michael Brown that renounce all silly theories and go by what can logically make sense. It was his books that really led me to take Messianic Judaism seriously. I think there needs to be a movement to make worship more fulfilling for Jews. The Talmud's prohibition of instrumental music on shabbat was a crippling blow to Jewish spirituality. To make matters worse, if a Jewish leader talks of getting close to G-d, feeling his spirit and inviting him into your life, he sounds "Christian" so people scoff at that. I do agree that the one place I felt the same spirit of worship was Chabad. I remember a few months ago having Shabbat dinner at the local Campus Chabad Rabbi's house, and I though "If these people don't have the holy spirit, I don't know who does!" No one could say -------- has the holy spirit more than that Chabad Rabbi. One really needs to be close to the center, as most college students visiting don't feel "cool" to feel the holiness on Shabbat. I haven't been there on a Saturday morning cause I'm worried it'll be a lot of mumbling hebrew insanely fast that I don't understand. I'm a little confused about your metaphor about the jumping up and down child. If it's idolatry to worship Jesus, wouldn't G-d deny us that holy feeling? Why wouldn't he have us feel that during our Jewish prayers?
Thank you for your help, and please send me any relevent files you have. Especially concerning Daniel 9 and Zech. 12:10, those seem to be the most powerful messianic prophecies. And any books you could recommend will be great!