2016 minus 22: not for me

Posted: 10 December 2015 in 2016minus, religion
Tags: ,

I was reading this week’s Jewish Chronicle and came across a reference to this: “The bishops of England and Wales have appealed to Rome to change the Good Friday prayer for Jews as it is said in the Extraordinary Form”. Basically, for a long time the Catholics were encouraged (let’s be kind, budgie) to pray for the conversion of Jews. Vatican Two got rid of that bit, but Benedict (the one who retired/resigned?) put it back in. So the bishops are asking the current Pope to take it out again. No bishops have suggested yet that after in, out, in, out, they then shake it all about. But we can hope.

Now everyone has their ‘hot button’ issues, and this is kind of one of mine. I wrote yesterday that I don’t tend to get involved in religious discussions online, despite me following a number of both atheists and religious people (people of religion?). Religion itself isn’t a hot button issue for me, not in general; there are, however, a couple of topics in the field that do somewhat bug me. And one of them is those… people… who think that I should, how can I put it, not be Jewish but be another religion, and what a surprise, they’ve got one for me that’ll suit me just fine.

Mitch Benn in his current tour (“Don’t Believe A Word”) makes the good point – well, he makes lots of good points – that many of the proselytisers don’t engage in Arguments Of Fact but instead Statements Of Truth, one of the most insulting of which is “you know the Truth; you just don’t to want to admit it.” And this is where my ire starts to rise. Because what I’m told again and again – have been told again and again throughout my adult life by this bastards – is that the reference to messiah in the Jewish holy books is a reference to Jesus, that I know this – all Jews know this apparently – and as a result, I should accept Jesus into my heart.

I don’t like people sitting at the coffee table I’m using, so you can just imagine… OK, a bit of levity. But no, at times I just wish I had something clear precise and easy to use to slap them down. You know, a bit like when I did years back when faced with one of them on a tube train. So I wrote one.

Reasons why Jesus isn’t the Jewish Messiah

Here are the requirements, according to Judaism, for the messiah. Jesus did not fulfil them. Sorry:

  • World Peace (Isaiah 2:4; Ezekiel 39:9)
  • Universal Knowledge of God (Isaiah 11:9; Jeremiah 31:33)
  • Construction of the Third and Final Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28)
  • End to Disease and Death (Isaiah 25:8, 35:5 & 6)
  • The Dead will Awake to Everlasting Life* (Isaiah 26:19; Daniel 22)
  • Ingathering in Israel (Isaiah 11:12, 43:5-6; Jeremiah 16:15, 23:3)
  • Material Help for Jews (Isaiah 60:5, 60:10-12, 61:6)
  • Eternal Joy for the Jewish People (Isaiah 51:11)
  • Jews Sought for Spiritual Guidance (Zechariah 8:23)
  • Burial for the Enemy Dead (Ezekiel 39:12)
  • Drought of the Egyptian River (Isaiah 11:15)
  • Yieldings of Fruit Monthly in Israel (Ezekiel 47:12)
  • Inheritance for the Tribes of Israel (Ezekiel 47:13-14)
  • End of Evil and Sin (Eze. 37, Zeph. 3, Zech. 13,Mal. 3, Isa. 60, Jer. 50)
  • Prophecy will return (Joel 2:28)
  • Life of ease (Isa. 49:23, 60:10-12, 61:05)
  • Extraordinary vegetation (Isa. 51:03, Eze. 36:29-30, Amos 9:13)

Additionally and specifically the ones we think of the most when speaking of Moshiach:

Maimonides wrote extensively on Moshiach and what is to be expected of him. The Rambam said following:

Moshiach is to be born of human parents. He is a man like all are. He will have to accomplish the following:

  1. He, Moshiach, will renew the Davidic dynasty
  2. He will build the 3rd Beis Hamikdash (Holy Temple)
  3. In his days all statutes will return to their previous state (sacrifices, jubilee and sabbatical a.s.o)
  4. Three more cities are to be added to the cities of refuge
  5. He will gather the dispersed of Israel

So if a King will arise from the House of David who is learned in Torah and observant of the mitzvot (as in the oral and written law) and if he compels all of Israel to walk in the way of Torah and fight the wars of God, we may, with assurance, consider him to be Moshiach.

If he succeeds in above and builds the Temple in its place and gathers the dispersed of Israel, he is definitely Moshiach. Jesus is 0 for 5. Jesus ain’t that person.

(* No, the proliferation of Zombie and Vampire movies doesn’t count.) 

Now, I’m not suggesting that the above will shut them up; nothing ever shuts them up. I’m not suggesting either that their minds can be changed; once again, quoting the philosopher Benn, “it’s impossible to reason someone out of a position they weren’t reasoned into.”

And now you know why I rarely write on religion.

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