Convincing another person to subscribe to your own beliefs or opinions on a particular subject has to be one of the most -if not the most effective way of validating your own reasoning. People who have confidence in their opinions or beliefs don’t necessarily need to convince anyone else of truthfulness or value of their convictions. On the other hand, people who may not be 100% sure they got it right feel a lot better when they hear those magic words, you’re right!
There are two reasons why Jews were never big on selling Judaism to Gentiles:
- We don’t believe that we have a monopoly on either truth or God. Every path to God and knowledge that inspires greater moral and ethical behavior is holy and has merits.
- We frankly just don’t need anyone to validate our faith, heritage, beliefs, culture and values.
The early followers of Jesus Christ were a small, marginal group within the Jewish community. Not only did the majority of Jews at the time reject the idea that Jesus was the foretold messiah, but in time they became leery of and tried to exclude devotees of Jesus from the community.
To keep their young faith alive and flourishing, the followers of the Jewish preacher from Galilee marketed their new religion by promoting some enticing theologies:
- Jewish scripture had suggested that the (human!) redeemer or messiah would bring everlasting peace and harmony to a troubled world. Jesus died having accomplished little by way of perfecting the human condition. Oops. How to fix that? The first Christians announced that Jesus was not simply the foretold messiah, but the human incarnate of that God that Jews had been worshipping since Abraham. And God’s don’t die, do they? Ergo, Jesus’ death was just a bit of theater with a purpose: God gave the world His son so he could experience the drama and trauma of a human execution. Why? So Jesus could bear all our sins in the process of cleansing our souls for the afterlife. “He died on the cross so you could live. Believe in him and have eternal life.” A pretty nifty way of re-packaging the death of itinerant, charismatic preacher, no?
- For those Jews and Gentiles who found studying and adhering to the 613 mitzvot/commandments of Judaism something of an inconvenience, the followers of Jesus made the Jews an offer they hoped many couldn’t refuse: Accept Jesus as your savior and you don’t have to bother with those obnoxious dietary restrictions or all those inconvenient, time-consuming rituals of Jewish life. Belief in Jesus nullifies the rest. Better yet, believe in Jesus and you will have eternal life.
- Once you’ve accepted Jesus and the deed to eternal life has your name on it, you can take possession of it by selling the said formula for eternal life to non-believers.
Nothing has frustrated Christians of every denomination more than the unwillingness of those darn Jews who have stubbornly refused to accept Jesus as the foretold messiah. What is wrong with those people?
Since becoming the majority faith in much of the world, Christians have persecuted Jews for not buying their sales pitch on Jesus. Jews have time and again been banned from one country or another, denied citizenship, been socially, culturally, politically and economically persecuted in a countless way.
One of the most creative and daring efforts to sell Jesus to the Jewish community has been the campaign in the last few decades to convince us that it’s actually possible to be a practicing Jew and believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God.
What a brilliant, clever bit of marketing!
Hey y’a know what Yid? Those goyim don’t understand how wonderful and authentic “our” religious traditions really are: So go ahead, be a Jew but cover your bases and make sure you have eternal life by accepting Jesus as your savior. Keep kosher! Keep Shabbat! Put on tefilin and read from the Torah! But realize once and for all that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob visited our world in a human form known as Jesus Christ.
There’s just one fundamental problem with this marketing scam, once a person accepts Jesus Christ as their lord and savior, they’re no longer Jewish, they’re a Christian! Claiming to be a Jew who believes in Jesus is like claiming there is such a thing as a human being without sin or that a fish that can live outside of water. I don’t think so.
Years ago when I learned years ago that the Church of Latter Day Saints was posthumously converting dead Jews to their faith to ensure those Jewish souls had eternal life, I couldn’t have been offended! How desperate, how pathetic, how cynical can you get? “I couldn’t convince you to validate my beliefs in this world so I’ll do the thinking for you after you die!” Talk about chutzpah.
And can you think of a more sensational way in the post Holocaust era of selling Jesus to the Jewish community than figuring out a way to associate Jesus to the Shoah? Now, Christians determined to obtain a heavenly reward by converting Jews have come out with a video entitled, That Jew Died For You in which a Jesus looking character is seen schlepping a cross amongst a group of Jewish Holocaust victims arriving at Auschwitz and confronting the infamous selection process. Of course, Jesus is selected to go to the gas chamber.
What an offensive way of degrading both, Christianity and the Jewish victims of the Holocaust! The 6,000,000 Jews who died in the Shoah lost their lives because THEY WERE NOT CHRISTIANS! Are there no noble values that were taught by Jesus that Christians can apply to improving this world without suggesting that their savior was, for the second time in history, totally impotent in the face of death?
Where was Jesus during the Holocaust? I don’t know but I am sure beyond any doubt that the renown Jewish preacher from Galilee who was crucified by the Romans 2,000 years ago was NOT AT AUSCHWITZ!
How dare anyone defame the memories of my people and my loved ones with such a crass and shameless act of snake-oil salesmanship!