Why Jews Believe In G-d But not in
JDCC invited Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz of Jews for Judaism to speak about the reasons why we as Jews believe in G-d, and not in Jesus or any other person and what Christianity is about.
Christianity as a religion started two hundred years after the death of Jesus and his disciples. The Roman Emperor who was Antioch, ruled over a large part of the known world looked around him and realized that there was nothing in his empire that united the people with one another. Antioch saw that the Jews were scattered in many different places but they had their religion that united them despite their differences of language or country that they were living in at the time. He decided to make Christianity the state religion. At that point in time, there was no separation between church and state as it is in America. You were considered to be a non-believer if you didn't follow the beliefs of the country's ruler and were persecuted for it. Therefore, Christianity spread rapidly, and by the third century, Christianity was the religion.
However, the Jewish people did not accept Christianity because of the fundamental belief of Judaism is in one G-d. Christians believe that G-d is three things in one. This concept came from Pagan beliefs that was common at the time. Antioch adopted different things from different places to make it easier for people to accept Christianity as a religion.
As far as the Jewish Messiah is concerned, there is a list of criteriae that he must follow. Among them are as follows: He will be a Jew that comes from the Tribe of Judith, the House of King David, is a holy man who is very smart. He will help bring the world to a better condition. There will be no more wars, and there will be peace. The Jew will not be in Exile. He will gather us from the four corners of the earth and bring us to the land of Israel, and rebuild the Temple where we will once again serve G-d.
The Christians, in an attempt to prove that Jesus is the Messiah, have mistranslated the Bible. They have taken sentences in the Bible and put in words that don't belong there and say that it is what happened. They try to make it look like Jesus fulfilled different prophesies. It is like shooting an arrow at a tree and then making a circle to fit it so it looks like you have hit the bull's eye every time, rather than having a circle already on the tree and making it to the center every time.
They have also taken our Rabbis teachings and changed them around so that they mean something else entirely. Like for example, one of our most holy prayers is the Shema. This prayer affirms the belief that G-d is the Lord, and that G-d is one. The Christians have taken this prayer and say that this means that G-d is three things: A father, a son, and a holy ghost because it refers to G-d three times. They believe that one has to go through Jesus in order to be forgiven for their sins. We believe that if you have done something wrong, we ask G-d directly for forgiveness.
We believe that G-d is everywhere. They believe that He has to have some kind of form, therefore they created the trinity. We know that we as humans take up matter, and space and live within time. G-d is above all of these limitations since He is everything and everywhere. Since G-d is that much greater than us, it is ridiculous for us to be able to put Him a form so that we can understand Him better.
There are many Christians who are wonderful people who believe what they want to and don't attempt to convert others. There are others, though who attempt to convert Jews and these are missionaries. They don't know their Bible very well, nor are they aware of the fact that it is false because they have not really looked into it.These are the people that we have to be aware of and know how to refute their arguments. If we are knowledgeable about the Torah, then we can show them that they are wrong. It is a problem of the entire Jewish community and we have to work together to solve it.
There is an organization called, "Jews for Jesus. " Their aim is to make Christianity look like Judaism so that they will be able to attract more Jews to it. They call their leaders "Rabbi," wear Yarmulkas, and "practice" many things that look like Judaism, but pray to Jesus instead of G-d. They do wear a Jewish star too so it looks real. Many of their literature stuff have pictures of religious people doing things in order to make it look more like Judaism than it is. It is a Christian organization.
Jews for Judaism is an organization that has offices in Los Angeles, Baltimore, New York, and Toronto. The main goal is to be able to educate Jews about Judaism and to help them resolve their confusions about Judaism. They have lectures, classes and literature that is available. There is also an open captioned videotape that is available.