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Monday, 15 September 2014

Questions a child might ask a rabbi


  1. Why did your people kill Jesus and what did he ever do to you?
  2. Is it true that the Torah says stone to death anyone who breaks the Sabbath?
  3. Is it true that the Torah says stone to death your disobedient son?
  4. Are you "cherry-picking" if you no longer stone to death Jews who break the Sabbath and stone to death your disobedient sons?
  5. What is "cherry-picking"?
  6. Is "cherry-picking" a bad thing?
  7. Would you say that the Koran requires less "cherry-picking" than the Torah?
  8. Would you say Jews have a habit of killing anyone who claims to be their Messiah?
  9. Why wasn't Jesus considered the Messiah?
  10. Why wasn't Muhammad considered the Messiah?
  11. Can a woman be a prophet of the Jews?
  12. Can a gentile be a prophet of the Jews?
  13. Can a gentile female be a prophet of the Jews?
  14. Are you still waiting for your Messiah?
  15. Tell me honestly, do you expect him to arrive any time soon?
  16. How will you recognise your Messiah when s/he arrives?
  17. How do you know you won't kill him or her again?

18 comments:

Rabbi Zvi Solomons said...

Huh? It was Romans wot killed Jesus.
1 Jews never used crucifixion as a method of execution. It was a Roman method. But of course the Church Fathers could never accept that it was Romans because that would be against the people whom they wished to convert to their new religion, so following the Jewish Wars of 70 and 135 CE they decided to make Jews the Deicides. Nice.

2 Witnesses are required, and the law is very strict on capital offences. You, for example, Cliar, couldn't be a witness. And you would have to have warned the transgressor and seen it happen despite the warning. Not really going to happen.

3 No, it says you must tell him off, and then if he persists the parents must both agree to drag him before the elders, and once he's there they have to explain themselves and him and then he is to be stoned. It's almost impossible to do - I can't imagine any Jewish parent wanting to kill their child.

4 No more than a Muslim who fails to stone an adulterous woman in the UK is "cherry picking" - we are under civil law not the religious courts.

5 Cherry Picking is not upholding everything equally or consistently.

6 We all "cherry-pick". that's what you're doing with your questions Cliar.

7 No it is just a different system.The Torah is not intended to be universal. The Koran is supposed to be universal.

8 I wouldn't. We have had many Messiahs (annointed ones) and we have never killed one as far as I know.

9 Jesus did not usher in a world of peace and harmony. Jesus did not fulfil the criteria (male line descendant of King David etc) There was no prophecy of a "second coming". Jesus, by the Jewish measure failed. He was killed. He never rose from the tomb. In fact according to Jewish tradition he tried to lead Jews astray. So for all those reasons he was a failure and couldn't be Messiah.

10 Muhammad wasn't even an Jew. The Mashiach has to be King of the Jews - a Jew himself. So that was a non-starter.

11 A woman might be on the prophetic level - Devorah and Miriam are two good candidates, as were the Matriarchs.

12 No, the Torah says in Deuteronomy that you shall choose a prophet from amongst you (i.e. a Jew) "like me" (Moses). So no Gentiles. And most say this rules women out.

13 See 12

14 Yes.

15 Today.

16 There will be no doubt because every Jew will accept him.

17 see 8

Cliar I know you have a fixation that you want to be the Prophet of the Jews. But you aren't even Jewish and know little in fact of the Jewish religion. Moreover some of your views are so repugnant that no sane person would associate with you religiously. So in all you haven't a snowball's chance in hell.

Claire Khaw said...

http://thevoiceofreason-ann.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/messianic-talent-show-britains-got.html

A Messianic Talent Show - BRITAIN'S GOT MESSIAH?

Claire Khaw said...

http://thevoiceofreason-ann.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/my-messianic-plan-for-self-enrichment.html

My Messianic Plan for Self-Enrichment, Self-Aggrandisement and, last but not least, World Peace

Claire Khaw said...

http://thevoiceofreason-ann.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/claire-khaw-chinese-prophet-for-british.html

Claire Khaw - a Chinese prophet for the British in the Greek and Jewish sense

Claire Khaw said...

http://thevoiceofreason-ann.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/how-to-solve-problem-of-israel.html

How to solve the problem of Israel

Claire Khaw said...

http://thevoiceofreason-ann.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/my-nakba-dayisrael-independence-day.html

My Nakba Day/Israel Independence Day Idea for WORLD PEACE

Joseph Symons-Smyth said...

Regarding 9: to be fair, these 'criteria' for Moshiach were written by Maimonides over a thousand years after Jesus. And they were only universally accepted (almost - they're still not quite) a fair bit later. Also, Jesus could well have been a direct descendant of David, who's to say he wasn't? The only reason we know that he wasn't the messiah is that he failed. He died, and we clearly weren't in the messianic era. Maybe he could've been - but he wasn't.

And you can't really expect "Jewish tradition" regarding Jesus to be all that accurate, can you? It's 100% anti-Christian polemic.

Arthur Weiss said...

I'd love to meet the child that asked almost all these questions. I can imagine certain Nick Griffin fans from Malaysia who have a child level intellect when it comes to understanding Judaism asking these questions - but no NORMAL (or even highly intelligent) child would ask them.

However for those with a child-level intellect when it comes to Judaism, here are some answers:
1) The Romans killed Jesus - not the Jews. By the time of Jesus, Jews no longer practiced the death penalty - and had essentially banned it.
2) Yes - if you read only the literal wording and ignore the oral tradition that is an essential part of Judaism and without which you cannot understand anything in the Torah or about Judaism.
3) As with question 2. This law was NEVER applied. It is in the Torah to show the severity such behaviour is viewed. Maybe the Koran should take on such laws - as the behaviour of many followers of Islam who take a literal interpretation of the Koran and Hadith seems to glory in killing people. The Jewish view was that such penalties were to show how seriously such issues were taken - not to be applied.
4) No - the Torah is not a stand-alone code. (See 2).
5) What is "cherry-picking"? Aha - the first question a child might ask. Do you have nephews or nieces that asked this for you?
6) See question 5
7) Definitely. That's why it is so much crueler and more restrictive than the Torah - as there is less room for understanding and interpretation.
8) Lots of false Jewish Messiahs weren't killed. Jews don't go around killing anybody. The Romans killed Jesus. Nobody killed Sabbatai Zevi or many other false Messiahs.
9) He didn't fulfil the necessary conditions to be a Messiah. Also he died which is a prima facie reason why he could not be the Messiah.
10) See question 9.
11) The Bible tells of a number of women prophets - Huldah, Miriam and a number of others. Can a woman be a Muslim prophet. I suspect the answer there is no - and if not, name some.
12) A gentile can be a prophet. He can't be a prophet to Jews. He will be a prophet to gentiles. There have been non-Jewish prophets also. Read the Torah to find them. The Rabbis even say that one non-Jewish prophet was of a similar stature to Moses.
13) Can't see why not. Just don't know of any examples. Reason is that the focus of the Torah is on Jews, not gentiles so why report on a female gentile prophet unless she had a connection to Jews. However I can think of one individual who I think would have been viewed as a female gentile prophet. However she was not (and could not be) a prophet to Jews. (As previous question)
14) Yes
15) Yes (Within the next 225 years 2 weeks).
16) Prophecies that talk about and describe the characteristics of the Messiah and what he will do.
17) If he is killed then he won't be the Messiah. Also we've not killed other people who claimed to the Messiah so not a relevant question.

Rabbi Zvi Solomons said...

According to the Gospel account, Jesus was no descendant of David. Joseph was. So his dad might have been Mashiach, according to that version.

The criteria of an annointed King or Priest were already set, Joseph, by the Tanakh. Rambam tightened them up but they are there in the text. Aaron's descendants can become Priests, and the criteria for a King are in the Torah. Male, Jewish etc.

Dan Lieberman said...

Joseph. With respect, the criteria for the Moshiach comes directly form Tanach. Isaiah 11:1 " a shoot shall emanate from the house of Jesse" talking about the lineage of the Moshiach.

The genealogy of Jesus is in dispute between the gospels of Matthew and Luke. The genealogy in gospel of Matthew is invalid because it contains Jechonias who was disqualified along with his children from being king Jeremiah 22:30 "no man of his seed shall prosper sitting upon the throne of David and ruling any more in Judah." The genealogy in the gospel of Luke is also flawed because it does not run through the line of Solomon rather that of Nathan. I Chronicles 17:12 states "he shall build me a house and I will establish his throne forever." Every king of Judah therefore has to be descended from Solomon.

So the Christian Bible doesn't agree on the line of descent but neither of them are valid in any case.

That's leaving out the whole idea of immaculate conception and the fact that Numbers 2:2 clearly states that the tribal descent is patrilineal.

Joseph Symons-Smyth said...

"A shoot shall go out from the stump of Jesse" could mean anything (and it does not say "house of Jesse", Dan). My point is that it was Maimonides who crystalised it as necessarily meaning direct descent. Now, for some reason, (nearly) everyone takes the Rambam as being the last word on Moshiach, to the extent even of talking about "halachos of Moshiach". This isn't halacha. It really can be interpreted many different ways.

As for the lineage of Jesus, and the whole virgin birth thing, I am no Christian theologian, but I'm sure that over the past millennium and a half, those issues have been addressed, to the extent that those arguments against Jesus are probably seen as being quite weak.

Rabbi Zvi Solomons said...

Joseph you are speaking from which perspective? I find your assertions bewildering since we know that theologically these verses cited by Dan above are those on which Christianity relies for much of its legitimacy. They are embedded not in Rambam but in the Christian New Testament, which when we read it looks like a justification of Jesus. But when we dissect the argument put in the Gospels it falls to pieces. It just does not stand up Jewishly.

Now you can agree that Cliar (who started this) is potentially the Messiah. Or you may argue that it could be the rebbe (although the Torah doesn't talk about dead messiahs or them coming back to life, so it could have been - but wasn't). But the question we are dealing with is Cliar's agenda to get herself made Messiah of the Jews. It's like making a banana King of the Pixies - it just couldn't happen because it's ridiculous.

Joseph Symons-Smyth said...

I wasn't trying to argue for or against any of those positions you mentioned - Jesus, Claire or the Lubavitcher Rebbe. For the record (just so you know!), I don't believe that any of them are/were the messiah. But not because of any technical thing like lineage or sex - but because we're still not in the messianic era. Once we are, then I'll know who it was!

All I was arguing against was the idea that there is a fixed definition of Moshiach, and that there is a singular "right" interpretation of the verses that talk of it.

Claire Khaw said...

005.070
YUSUFALI: We took the covenant of the Children of Israel and sent them messengers, every time, there came to them a messenger with what they themselves desired not - some (of these) they called impostors, and some they (go so far as to) slay.
PICKTHAL: We made a covenant of old with the Children of Israel and We sent unto them messengers. As often as a messenger came unto them with that which their souls desired not (they became rebellious). Some (of them) they denied and some they slew.
SHAKIR: Certainly We made a covenant with the children of Israel and We sent to them messengers; whenever there came to them an messenger with what that their souls did not desire, some (of them) did they call liars and some they slew.

The Koran makes clear that Jews have a tendency to kill God's prophets.

The Koran acknowledges Jesus as one of the prophets of God, by the way.

Jews have have been known to have attempted to kill Mohammad.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Khaybar

Claire Khaw said...

002.087
YUSUFALI: We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of messengers; We gave Jesus the son of Mary Clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the holy spirit. Is it that whenever there comes to you a messenger with what ye yourselves desire not, ye are puffed up with pride?- Some ye called impostors, and others ye slay!
PICKTHAL: And verily We gave unto Moses the Scripture and We caused a train of messengers to follow after him, and We gave unto Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah's sovereignty), and We supported him with the Holy spirit. Is it ever so, that, when there cometh unto you a messenger (from Allah) with that which ye yourselves desire not, ye grow arrogant, and some ye disbelieve and some ye slay?
SHAKIR: And most certainly We gave Musa the Book and We sent messengers after him one after another; and We gave Isa, the son of Marium, clear arguments and strengthened him with the holy spirit, What! whenever then a messenger came to you with that which your souls did not desire, you were insolent so you called some liars and some you slew.

Claire Khaw said...

003.181
YUSUFALI: Allah hath heard the taunt of those who say: "Truly, Allah is indigent and we are rich!"- We shall certainly record their word and (their act) of slaying the prophets in defiance of right, and We shall say: "Taste ye the penalty of the Scorching Fire!
PICKTHAL: Verily Allah heard the saying of those who said, (when asked for contributions to the war): "Allah, forsooth, is poor, and we are rich!" We shall record their saying with their slaying of the prophets wrongfully and We shall say: Taste ye the punishment of burning!
SHAKIR: Allah has certainly heard the saying of those who said: Surely Allah is poor and we are rich. I will record what they say, and their killing the prophets unjustly, and I will say: Taste the chastisement of burning.

003.182
YUSUFALI: "This is because of the (unrighteous deeds) which your hands sent on before ye: For Allah never harms those who serve Him."
PICKTHAL: This is on account of that which your own hands have sent before (you to the judgment). Allah is no oppressor of (His) bondmen.
SHAKIR: This is for what your own hands have sent before and because Allah is not in the least unjust to the servants.

003.183
YUSUFALI: They (also) said: "Allah took our promise not to believe in an messenger unless He showed us a sacrifice consumed by Fire (From heaven)." Say: "There came to you messengers before me, with clear Signs and even with what ye ask for: why then did ye slay them, if ye speak the truth?"
PICKTHAL: (The same are) those who say: Lo! Allah hath charged us that we believe not in any messenger until he bring us an offering which fire (from heaven) shall devour. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Messengers came unto you before me with miracles, and with that (very miracle) which ye describe. Why then did ye slay them? (Answer that) if ye are truthful!
SHAKIR: (Those are they) who said: Surely Allah has enjoined us that we should not believe in any messenger until he brings us an offering which the fire consumes. Say: Indeed, there came to you messengers before me with clear arguments and with that which you demand; why then did you kill them if you are truthful?

003.184
YUSUFALI: Then if they reject thee, so were rejected messengers before thee, who came with Clear Signs, Books of dark prophecies, and the Book of Enlightenment.
PICKTHAL: And if they deny thee, even so did they deny messengers who were before thee, who came with miracles and with the Psalms and with the Scripture giving light.
SHAKIR: But if they reject you, so indeed were rejected before you messengers who came with clear arguments and scriptures and the illuminating book.

Claire Khaw said...

003.181
YUSUFALI: Allah hath heard the taunt of those who say: "Truly, Allah is indigent and we are rich!"- We shall certainly record their word and (their act) of slaying the prophets in defiance of right, and We shall say: "Taste ye the penalty of the Scorching Fire!
PICKTHAL: Verily Allah heard the saying of those who said, (when asked for contributions to the war): "Allah, forsooth, is poor, and we are rich!" We shall record their saying with their slaying of the prophets wrongfully and We shall say: Taste ye the punishment of burning!
SHAKIR: Allah has certainly heard the saying of those who said: Surely Allah is poor and we are rich. I will record what they say, and their killing the prophets unjustly, and I will say: Taste the chastisement of burning.

003.182
YUSUFALI: "This is because of the (unrighteous deeds) which your hands sent on before ye: For Allah never harms those who serve Him."
PICKTHAL: This is on account of that which your own hands have sent before (you to the judgment). Allah is no oppressor of (His) bondmen.
SHAKIR: This is for what your own hands have sent before and because Allah is not in the least unjust to the servants.

003.183
YUSUFALI: They (also) said: "Allah took our promise not to believe in an messenger unless He showed us a sacrifice consumed by Fire (From heaven)." Say: "There came to you messengers before me, with clear Signs and even with what ye ask for: why then did ye slay them, if ye speak the truth?"
PICKTHAL: (The same are) those who say: Lo! Allah hath charged us that we believe not in any messenger until he bring us an offering which fire (from heaven) shall devour. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Messengers came unto you before me with miracles, and with that (very miracle) which ye describe. Why then did ye slay them? (Answer that) if ye are truthful!
SHAKIR: (Those are they) who said: Surely Allah has enjoined us that we should not believe in any messenger until he brings us an offering which the fire consumes. Say: Indeed, there came to you messengers before me with clear arguments and with that which you demand; why then did you kill them if you are truthful?

003.184
YUSUFALI: Then if they reject thee, so were rejected messengers before thee, who came with Clear Signs, Books of dark prophecies, and the Book of Enlightenment.
PICKTHAL: And if they deny thee, even so did they deny messengers who were before thee, who came with miracles and with the Psalms and with the Scripture giving light.
SHAKIR: But if they reject you, so indeed were rejected before you messengers who came with clear arguments and scriptures and the illuminating book.

AD said...

i'm not jewish (i was raised catholic, though, which is close) but i have been married to a jewish woman, and lived in israel for some time, and i'm reasonably au fait with jewish culture. so!

1. Why did your people kill Jesus and what did he ever do to you?
- if you read the story, he was teaching unorthodox things, and as he was gaining a lot of followers the sanhedrin decided to use the roman occupiers to get rid of him and his influence.

2. Is it true that the Torah says stone to death anyone who breaks the Sabbath?
- It's important to put ''holy'' books in their social context. find out what the people who wrote that law were like, and you may understand why they wrote it. in any case, some fundamentalists still believe it, but reasonable people see such things in their proper cultural context and treat them accordingly. relics, so to speak.

3. Is it true that the Torah says stone to death your disobedient son?
- See #2

4. Are you "cherry-picking" if you no longer stone to death Jews who break the Sabbath and stone to death your disobedient sons?
- ''cherry picking'' is the kind of phrase fundamentalists use when dealing with people who try to put ancient rulebooks in their proper context, viz#2

5. What is "cherry-picking"?
- viz#4

6. Is "cherry-picking" a bad thing?
- viz #4

7. Would you say that the Koran requires less "cherry-picking" than the Torah?
- No. All ancient ''holy texts'' require analysis and context before they can be applied in a radically different setting, and at a time in the future after there have been significant developments in ethics, morals and scientific understanding of the world and of human nature.

8. Would you say Jews have a habit of killing anyone who claims to be their Messiah?
- Probably, but it's only actually happened that one time. And the Romans helped a lot.

9. Why wasn't Jesus considered the Messiah?
- He was, by some people. Even some jews consider him to have been Messiah. It's an unorthodox view, but it exists.

10. Why wasn't Muhammad considered the Messiah?
- Messiah is a Hebrew word and a jewish concept. Muhammad was always considered a messenger of God, not God Become Man. I guess the arabs of that time and place weren't looking for a messiah in the way the oppressed jews of 1st century Judea were.