Like aliens, Jews for Jesus descended and left leaving many wondering “Can a Jew believe in Jesus?” The answer is yes-just like a vegetarian can enjoy a bloody steak. You see, when logic and clear thought are suspended, people can convince themselves to do just about anything. Placing missionaries (yes, they are missionaries) right here in our Breezeway, the Jews for Jesus, also known as Messianic Jews, passed out a forest’s worth of literature to hundreds of UM students. So, is their message legit? Yeah, if you substitute the word “for” for “killed”; Jews Killed Jesus-that seems more like the message they are looking to convey.
Founded by Moishe Rosen in 1973-a man who in August of 2005 published on the Jews for Jesus website that he “knew he was God”-this organization has proliferated by having non-Jews pose as Jews. They say they believe in one sovereign God, existing in three forms: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I’m not going to lie-I don’t remember talking about those dudes in my bat-mitzvah speech. Rather than demand conversion and threaten Jews with persecution as they did for centuries and centuries, now they are offering Jews the option to remain Jewish, but to complete their Jewishness by accepting Jesus as their savior. No Jewish sects, from the most conservative to the most reformed, recognize Jews for Jesus as a genuine form of Judaism. Not only are their tactics misleading (to say the least), they are borderline offensive, playing on some of the most emotionally charged issues for Jews today such as the conflict in the Middle East. These people are a sham, and while all “religions” are free to express their beliefs in an open marketplace of ideas, if they have to resort to sleazy tactics, they have nothing to offer a person of intelligence. This is a fraud being perpetuated on both Christianity and Judaism. How would Christians react if I came a-knockin’ on behalf of Baptists for the Torah? Probably not so favorably. Christianity is Christianity and Judaism is Judaism.
Last week my friend received a pamphlet from a T-shirt-clad Jew for Jesus on Miami Beach that read “10 out of 10 Jewish doctors recommend Jesus.” First of all, not all Jews are doctors or lawyers. And for those that are, I am yet to meet one who is eager to invite Jesus over for Passover in place of Elijah to meet the whole mishpuchah.
Jews for Jesus are just bait on a Christian fishhook to catch unwary Jews. We’re talking about extreme Southern Baptist fundamentalists who think that if all Jews converted to Christianity, their long-missing Messiah would appear. Well, I’ve got news for them: We are the chosen people, and last time I checked, we weren’t choosing Jesus.
Nayda Verier-Taylor is a sophomore majoring in journalism, political science and rocking your world. She can (and should) be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.