Monday, 8 May 2017

Keeping Friends Closer and Drawn Lines Redder

This article was written jointly by Roger Froikin and Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks

Picture this, it is Passover. You invite Christian friends, guests, to you family Seder. You start to read the Haggadah, and just when you get to the part where Jews say how we are to see ourselves, not just our ancestors, as being brought out of slavery to freedom, our Christian friends say, “hey that’s not what your Seder means, it is an allegory for the coming of Christ and the resurrection.”
What do you do?

 Some Jews would sit there quietly, smile, and start to discuss what these Christians inserted in the celebration. To their children, this would appear as acceptance of the Christian interpretation.

Well, that is not what Jews should be doing.  Jews need to say, “yes, we want friends, but friends respect one another and these Christians were not acting like friends. The Jews who chose to ignore their lack of manners and aggressive should be ashamed of themselves.”

Yet, In the State of Israel today,  Medinat Yisrael, in Eretz Yisrael the Jewish Homeland, there are places where this scenario is being played out in reality. No one is responsible nor seems to want to draw the line between acceptable and not acceptable. In some places missionaries are telling Jews what Jews should believe, while some Jews look down and say nothing.

They claim to be our friends. They declare that they love us. Moreover, they claim that they are here in Eretz Yisrael to help us, serve us and to fulfill the calling of the prophecy   ו וּבְנֵי הַנֵּכָר, הַנִּלְוִים עַל-יְהוָה לְשָׁרְתוֹ, וּלְאַהֲבָה אֶת-שֵׁם יְהוָה, לִהְיוֹת לוֹ לַעֲבָדִים (And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants,) (Isaiah 56:6).

Some of us ask, and justifiably so, is that the real reason? Rather, is this the only reason?

As a people who has been deprived of love by others for so long, such an offer is, of course, very tempting. For who does not want to be loved. Who does not want to have free servants and volunteers to do the dirty work for them? 

So, they were given a place to set up their camp. They are adorned and adulated by those they help. They invite their friends to come and stay with them. They organize Shabbat events where Jews and Christians meet and mingle. They conduct Christian weddings with Jewish rituals to which they invite local observant Jews and which the latter attend thus condoning such practices.

Frankly, we have no problem inviting strangers as guests to our private home and our National Home, especially those who claim to be our friends. Our issue, however, is when these guests, these friends feel that they have a right to teach us, to expose us to that which is as foreign to us, that which is poisonous to us, spiritually, and nationally. They feel it is their duty, as our friends, to teach us that which we have never asked for, nor ever wanted.

Their upbringing and their belief pave their way toward one and one goal only, to make everyone, especially those that they consider their friends, that which is what they are, embrace and adopt that which they believe in. For them there is one way and one way only, their way.

And their way is to share with and educate Jews about “this Jesus that” they “know.” Their vision is to share with us “this passion, this soon coming jubilee [Yovel in Hebrew] in Yeshua HaMessiah.”


Interestingly, during the Crusades, when Christians, directed by their leaders, were busy murdering Jews on the way to fight the Muslims for Jerusalem, one Roman Catholic Bishop   warned that some Jews should be spared because the Second Coming of Christ would be from among the Jews.  He drew a line. And one might ask Christians, were they successful in converting all the Jews so that Judaism would disappear, how would their Jesus come back?

So, that is our question.  Where will we draw the line?   Where and when will we demand respect for us and our traditions and our Torah?  When will our people understand that friendship does not mean having to beg for it, to ingratiate oneself for it or to compromise one’s own standards for it.


And that means no missionary activity directed toward Jews.  No telling Jews what Jewish literature that was written for Jews in the Hebrew language “really” means as interpreted by outsiders.
Moreover, Jews wake up.  See things as they are, not just how you want them to be, desperate for approval and friendship. What do you imagine will happen when Christians who so desperately want us Jews to join them are thwarted?  

Look at history.  Learn from it