Last week the esteemed Rabbis Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein of the Simon Wiesenthal Center launched a rebuke against Ward Simpson, the Messianic Jewish president of GOD TV, regarding our Hebrew language television channel in Israel called Shelanu. Shelanu is the first-ever cable channel that broadcasts the stories, teaching and worship of Messianic Jews in Hebrew.
Before I address the rabbis’ comments, let me say that this response article is not personally against them. As a Jew, I am grateful for the work of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. They have fought against anti-Semitism and against the anti-Israel BDS movement with courage and truth. However, when it comes to the issue of Yeshua (Jesus), they are governed more by history and emotion than Biblical truth.
For instance, they say that GOD TV’s Ward Simpson knows nothing about Judaism because he says the goal of the channel is not to convert Jews but to introduce them to Jesus as the Messiah.
But as the honored rabbis know, no one has a corner on Judaism. There are so many different sects and groups within Judaism, that there is no one definition.
For instance, there are some Jewish synagogues in the Reform movement that don’t even believe in the existence of God. For them, Judaism is merely a cultural identity. One group, whose rabbi died 26 years ago, still has signs up all over Israel proclaiming him to be the King and Messiah of the Jewish people. They expected him to rise from the dead, but he did not. Twenty-six years later, many of them are still waiting.
However, it does seem that all groups agree on one thing, there is no such thing as a Jew who believes in Jesus. That they are antithetical. When a Jewish person says they have embraced the Messiah, meaning Jesus, the rabbis say he or she is no longer part of the Jewish people. They believe that a Jew for Jesus is an oxymoron but this is an emotional argument, not a theological one.
If we’re just going to talk theology, then the group I mentioned above whose rabbi died 26 years ago are also no longer Jewish. If believing in a different Messiah disqualified you from being Jewish, then many groups would be disqualified, including the followers of the most revered rabbi in all of Judaism next to Moses, Rabbi Akiva. He proclaimed the military general Simon bar Kokhba to be the Messiah in the year 132 CE.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Ron Cantor