Kosher Jesus, A Book Review

In my neighborhood, we did not even mention his name. We said “Yoshke,” a Hebrew play on his name, or some children learned to say “cheese and crust” in place of “Jesus Christ.” In a synagogue sermon, rabbis might refer to Jesus – exceedingly rarely – by saying “the founder of Christianity.”

Fundamentally, we understood Jesus as a foreign deity, a man worshipped by people. The Torah instructs us never to mention the names of other gods, as no other god exists except God. We also understood Jesus to be as anti-Jewish as his followers. Was he not the Jew who had rebelled against his people? Was he not the one who instructed his followers to hate the Jews as he did, instigating countless cruelties against those with whom God had established an everlasting covenant? Was he not also the man who had abrogated the Law and said that the Torah is now mostly abolished?

So begins Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s narrative in the Preface to his latest (and perhaps most controversial) book Kosher Jesus. Rabbi Boteach paints for us, a typical picture of how an Orthodox Jewish boy growing up in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood understands the Christian Jesus.

The picture isn’t very flattering to Christians.

You might be wondering why Rabbi Boteach would choose to write a book about Jesus. After all, most Jewish people are, at best, neutral about the existence of the itinerant Jewish rabbi who wandered the through the countryside and towns of Roman occupied Judea in the First Century of the Common Era. Why would an Orthodox Jewish rabbi draw attention to Jesus in anyway? If you’ve been reading the media stories about the sort of attention this book has been receiving, you already know it’s been less than complimentary, both from Christian sources and the Orthodox Jewish community. This book seems to please no one.

So why did Rabbi Boteach write it?

Kosher Jesus sets the stage for Jews and Christians to bridge their differences and come together for the first time through the personality of Jesus himself – the hero, martyr, and teacher that they both share.

This paragraph, taken from the cover flap of the book, provides an “in a nutshell” summary of Boteach’s reasons for creating this much-talked-about work, and it provides us with his goal: to create a connection between Judaism and Christianity across the back of the Jewish Jesus.

Was he successful in achieving his goal?

Not as far as I can tell today, at least on the surface. Of course, it may take months, or even years, to determine the larger impact on the Jewish and Christians communities. One immediate effect we can see is that just about every one with a vested interest in the “reputation” of Jesus is talking about this book. A number of Orthodox Rabbis have outright forbidden their communities to even read the Boteach book (and nothing makes a book more irresistible than when it has been censored) and I can only imagine what (if anything) Christian Pastors are telling their flocks about “Kosher Jesus” from the pulpit.

If Rabbi Boteach had the goal of drawing attention to his book and himself, he has certainly succeeded. He has been known as “the media Rabbi” and has attracted criticism more than once in the past for his statements and associations (particularly with the late Michael Jackson). If his goal was to start a great deal of dialog (polite and otherwise) around the subject of his book, the Jewish Jesus Christ, he has succeeded in this as well, at least in the short term. But is he going to be able to inspire Jewish and Christian audiences to find something in common by “sharing” Jesus?

As I’ve been reading this book, I’ve shared a few of my own insights in various blog posts. I focused on how the Christian community might see the book in my prior write up, Kosher Jesus: The Undivine Savior. In order to emphasize the “Jewishness” of Jesus and make him even somewhat attractive to other Jews, Boteach had to completely deconstruct traditional Christian theology about the “Lord and Savior,” transforming him from the Son of God and prophesied Messiah, to a man born of two Jewish parents, a carpenter turned Rabbi, who fancied himself a would-be Messiah (in Judaism, the Messiah is not expected to be supernatural and particularly not expected to be divine), and ultimately, a man who died as a noble but failed political dissident.

Not exactly the typical Christian view of Jesus.

Scholars who have reviewed this book (and I’m no scholar) have criticized Boteach for his heavy usage of material created by Hyam Maccoby regarding Jesus. In fact, Maccoby’s own views on Jesus have been characterized: Maccoby’s thesis as “perverse misreading” and concluded “Thus I must conclude that Maccoby’s book is not good history, not even history at all.” (Steven T. Katz The Holocaust in Historical Context: The holocaust and mass death before the modern age 1994 “Maccoby’s last work has been devastatingly reviewed, and quite properly so, by John Gager, “Maccoby’s The Mythmaker,” JQR 79.2-3 [October–January 1989], 248-250; to which Maccoby replied, “Paul and Circumcision: A Rejoinder,” JQR). So to use the vernacular, Boteach may have “shot himself in the foot” when he decided to base his depiction of Jesus almost completely on Maccoby’s work.

Since I can’t speak from a Jewish point of view, I must wonder from a Christian perspective, how Rabbi Boteach expects to unite Jews and Christians around their “commonality” in a Jesus Christ who is so unlike the Jesus most Christians find in church? Also, in answering the Christian question, “Why the Jews Cannot Accept Jesus” (Part IV of the book), Boteach creates a Jesus who absolutely must be rejected by Judaism as Messiah, and he describes any person or group who worships a man as if he is a god as idolatrous. Christianity’s insistence on a “three-in-one” God adds polytheism to the mix, and both idolatry and polytheism are anathema to the staunchly monotheistic Jewish people. Rabbi Boteach depicts a church that has to be hopelessly confused to believe Jesus is God, yet Boteach also says this:

I say this not to offend Christian believers, nor to dissuade adherents from living a Christian life. (pg 149)

But if, by definition, Christians are deluded by a terrible misunderstanding of the New Testament text, heavily biased editing of the original teachings of Jesus, and the traitorous actions of the Apostle Paul, to believe that a young Jewish rabbi and revolutionary is actually God incarnate, how can Rabbi Boteach not dissuade believers “from living a Christian life?” He’s just spent the first two-thirds of his book explaining why Christianity has everything completely wrong about who Jesus was, what he saw as his purpose in life, and especially the fact that he has no power to forgive sins and save souls. If anything, Boteach seems to have pounded home the final wedge that will forever separate Christians and Jews.

God is the one great truth. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are paths that bring us to Him. One finds God through personal discovery usually directed by the faith in which one is reared, practiced by one’s ancestors. The merit of any religion is established not by a test of its theological claims but by the goodness of its followers. Therefore, any religion that leads to a good and Godly life has authenticity and truth, even if we cannot embrace all of its theological claims. (pp 149-50)

That probably seems like an insane statement to most Christians. We are taught that no one comes to the Father except through Jesus (John 14:6), so either you’re in or out. We are taught that the only way to God is to “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31). There are no other options, according to traditional Christianity. There is only one doorway to salvation and it’s not through anything we can do. Our only participation in our own salvation is belief and faith in Jesus Christ.

But in Judaism, it isn’t what you believe, it’s what you do that matters. If, in the name of your religion, you feed the hungry, visit the sick, build an orphanage for homeless and abandoned children, or act as a peacemaker between a feuding husband and wife, then that is how you will be judged. You could be a Jew or a Christian or a Muslim and it’s all the same. That seems to be what Rabbi Boteach is saying, and that is the basis on which he expects his readers to build the bridge between Judaism and Christianity, using the Jesus we see in his book.

In real life, it doesn’t work out that way. Judaism, unlike Christianity, doesn’t believe there is a single path to God, but it does believe there are specific paths. If you’re a Jew, your path is the Torah, living a life of righteous acts, prayer, and ritual worship. If you are any other people group or religion, your path is in obedience to the Seven Noahide Laws. If you are compliant to these seven basic requirements, (these laws are deceptively simple, since they can be subdivided into almost a hundred “sub-laws”) you merit a place in the world to come and are considered by the Jews as a righteous Gentile.

But by definition, a typical Christian cannot be considered a righteous Gentile because, in believing Jesus is God, the believer violates the prohibition against Idolatry. There have been exceptions, such as those Christians who, during the Holocaust, made great efforts to protect the Jews from the Nazis and who rescued Jewish people from being sent to the death camps, but those exceptions are few and far between. It is also true that the Talmud has much to say about Jews maintaining good relations with everyone, including idol worshipers, for the ways of peace:

“They said of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai that no man ever greeted him first, even idol worshippers in the market” [i.e., Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai was the first to greet every person, even idol worshippers] (Berachot 17). At the same location the sage Abaye advocated soft speech and words of peace to everyone, especially including idol worshippers.

“[it is proper to] support the idol worshippers during the sabbatical year… and to inquire after their welfare [commentators: even on the days of the holidays of their idols, even if they do not keep the seven Noahide commandments] because of the ways of peace.” (Shevi’it 4,3)

The rabbis taught: ‘We support poor Gentiles with the poor people of Israel, and we visit sick Gentiles as well as the sick of Israel and we bury the dead of the Gentiles as well as the dead of Israel, because of the ways of peace.” (Gitin 61a)

Nevertheless, the Tanya, an early work of Hasidic philosophy used heavily in Kabbalah, has less complementary things to say about all non-Jews:

The souls of the nations of the world, however, emanate from the other, unclean kelipot which contain no good whatever, as is written in Etz Chayim, Portal 49, ch. 3, that all the good that the nations do, is done out of selfish motives. So the Gemara comments on the verse, “The kindness of the nations is sin” — that all the charity and kindness done by the nations of the world is only for their self-glorification…

as quoted from
“Lessons in Tanya”
Chabad.org

I know I’m throwing a huge monkey wrench into the machine, but it’s important to define the barriers to Rabbi Boteach’s stated goals, both from the Christian and Jewish perspectives. All I’m saying is that nearly 2,000 years of strife between Christians and Jews will not be repaired for the sake of a single book which depicts the historical Jesus in a manner that most Christians and Jews will not be able to accept.

So what’s good about this book? More than you might think, given everything I’ve just written. Actually, I think Christians can benefit from quite a few things Boteach has to say about Jesus, not in terms of historical accuracy, but in introducing the believer to the Jewish Jesus. There is no doubt that Jesus was (and is) a Jewish man and rabbi who taught lessons that were completely consistent with the Law of Moses, who did not break the Shabbat or any of the other mitzvot as Christianity imagines, and who did not expect even the tiniest portions of the Torah to be extinguished until Heaven and Earth themselves were extinguished (Matthew 5:18).

Christian supersessionism is responsible for the legacy of crimes against the Jewish people which the church suffers from even today. It is also the source of a terrible misconception about who Christ was and is, both in relation to the descendents of Jacob and to the non-Jewish disciples of Jesus. If we can absorb some sort of understanding of the Jewish identity of Jesus into the theology and doctrine of the modern church, perhaps we can be instrumental in building a better bridge between us and the Jewish people. We might also (and this is probably an unintended effect by Rabbi Boteach, but it fits so well) find a way, as Christians, to understand those Jews who have faith in Jesus as the Jewish Messiah and who also continue to live a completely Jewish ethnic, cultural, and religious life.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s book Kosher Jesus is both deeply flawed and irresistibly compelling. For many, it will be “the book you love to hate” but it is also a window, albeit a shaded and distorted one, into the Jewish perspective on the Jewish Jesus. If you are a Christian who cannot tolerate any portrait of your Savior besides the one you encounter in the pew of your church on Sunday morning, then this book will seem horrifying. However, if you are a little adventurous and want to seek out the portions of wheat this book offers among the chaff, then Kosher Jesus may be worth your while. I don’t agree with a great deal that Rabbi Boteach had to say about Jesus, but I also learned a few things. I don’t regret reading his book.

19 thoughts on “Kosher Jesus, A Book Review”

  1. B”H. Thanks for the article. But since you posted that quotation from “Lessons in Tanya”, you should have included the explanation from a few lines down in that book, which cites another teaching from the author, the Rebbi Shneur Zalman: “It should be noted that among the nations of the world there are also to be found those whose souls are derived from kelipat nogah. Called ‘the pious ones of the nations of the world’ [hassidei umot ha’olom], these righteous individuals are benevolent not out of selfish motives but out of a genuine concern for their fellow.”
    You also neglected to mention that Boteach’s book “K.J.” is serving to buttress the movement of “Messianic Jews”, almost all of whom are Non-Jews who want to observe the Jewish ritual commandments that really do not apply at all to Non-Jews, while at the same time believing that J. was a messiah.
    The straightforward answer is that J. did not qualify to be an authentic messiah because he rejected fundamental parts of the Oral Torah, and that rejection was not “kosher”. All of the Rishonim Sages agreed on that point.

  2. Thanks for commenting and correcting my errors. I appreciate it and I apologize for my mistakes and omissions. They were not intentional and were the result of ignorance on my part.

    It’s impossible to include everything Rabbi Boteach wrote in his book, but he was very clear that, from his understanding, Jesus could not possibly have been the Messiah. Boteach provided various proofs of this, not the least of which were the genealogies presented in the NT which apparently establish that Jesus could not have been descended from David. I never got the sense that Boteach was in any way trying to promote Messianic Judaism, although I could see how presenting the Jewishness of Jesus could be of particular interest in those Jews and non-Jews who participate in that movement.

    While Boteach does not support any of the traditional Christian claims about Jesus, he does state that Jesus was a Jewish man whose teachings were consistent with the written and and oral Torah. I understand this is a point of strong disagreement between Boteach and the Jewish world, but the only way to prove or refute what he purports in this area is to read his book, since space doesn’t allow me to reproduce all the relevant text in my blog.

    Thanks again for your interest.

  3. “Christian supersessionism is responsible for the legacy of crimes against the Jewish people which the church suffers from even today.”

    That’s an opinion and I disagree, I think another ideology was responsible. After all, was it “supersessionism” that was responsible for killing the others as well? I think “hatred” and “greed” more likely culprits and if you look closely at any issue involving “hatred” and “Jews” others will be found. Hatred and greed have no boundaries and comes through more than supersessionism. WW11 documentary I saw last night, Jews were a side issue used strategically to finance the war and to support racism that went far beyond “the Jew”.

    I found this answer online at wiki.answers.com: for “what groups did the Nazis kill?”

    “During the era of the Holocaust, German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived “racial inferiority”: Roma (Gypsies), the disabled, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Homosexuals.”

    Finally and a different subject: Are there those who are considered righteous Gentile for saving a “homosexual” from the death camps? Or a Gypsy?

  4. Hi Steven,

    I figured someone would come along and disagree with this statement, which is fine. I know we’ve discussed the concept of supersessionism in the past and we will probably continue to “agree to disagree.”

    I only brought up the Holocaust to illustrate how Christians, who Judaism considers idolatrous and polytheistic for worshiping a man as god and worshiping three gods, could be considered “righteous Gentiles.” The answer has to do with something I mentioned in the review about Rabbi Boteach’s (and Judaism’s) perspective on righteousness (this is really different than a Christian viewpoint). Righteousness is not considered to be a matter of belief, according to Boteach, it’s a matter of action. If a Christian (or for that matter, a Muslim, a Hare Krisha, or an atheist) were to have performed actions that saved Jews from the Nazis, they would be considered righteous by Judaism (you can go to YadVashem.org for more detailed information).

    I am quite aware of the fact that the Nazis victimized many different people groups besides the Jews, all considered “undesirables.” They also separated American soldiers who were not Caucasian, from the P.O.W camps and relocated them in camps next to the death camps (which isn’t common knowledge, even today) where they received extremely harsh treatment in direct violation of the Geneva convention, and which was little better than the Jews, Poles, and other undesirables received.

    Returning to your questions, would Judaism consider a Gentile who had rescued gypsies, homosexuals, Poles, or disabled people from the Nazis as “righteous?” Probably, in terms of the general “principle” of what makes one righteous. As far as having their names counted among the “righteous among the nations” in Israel, I doubt it, since that honor is reserved for those non-Jews who risked everything including death to help Jewish people.

    As far as the larger topic of supersessionism (and while certain aspects of supersessionism in church history contributed to the historical conditions which eventually resulted in the Holocaust, church supersessionist theology didn’t directly cause it, obviously), I mainly brought up the topic for two reasons. The first is that Boteach himself devotes most of a chapter to the subject (though I didn’t bring this up in my review) and it’s his belief that a greater Christian understanding of the Jewishness of Jesus might help the church to more closely connect the humanity of Christ with the Jewish people (remember, this is Boteach’s perspective). The second reason is because the terrific disconnect that was created in the first several centuries of common era between the Jewishness of Christianity and the non-Jewish disciples did result in the subsequent historical schism between Christians and Jews that has gone on for centuries. I believe if Christians can see Jesus in his original Jewish context and understand how closely his teachings are based on Torah and even early Oral tradition, (I know you’re going to disagree with this) the church might actually be able to see just a little bit if the Savior in some of Judaism today. Accomplishing that, maybe the church would be a little more likely to see some good in their Jewish neighbors.

    I realize that’s probably a vain hope on my part, but I’m trying to be a living example of how it is possible to view the life and lessons of Christ through a lens that allows us to view him as having a Jewish life and teaching Jewish lessons.

    In any event, the supersessionism theme is really fairly minor in my overall review of the Boteach book.

    Given how the book is written, I don’t think you’d enjoy or benefit from how Boteach presents Jesus. But I do think that learning a little more about how Jesus was actually Jewish would be helpful for just about any believer who wants to dig a little deeper in understanding the Savior. I noticed that Derek Leman recently reviewed a book called Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus. I’ve not read it myself (and I’m probably not going to for a long time, given my current reading list), but it looks promising and it might be more of your cup of tea.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  5. Steven:

    You made a statement that flies in the face of six million dead people and their descendants who still mourn them: Jews were a side issue used strategically to finance the war. A side issue? If Hitler used class warfare and anti-Semitic sentiment to increase his support among the people he hoped to energize for a great movement of genocide and empire, how is that a side issue. And if the Nazis killed Poles, gypsies, mentally disabled people, and homosexuals, how does this make the genocide of Jews a side issue? Your statement is offensive and all the more so because it has become part of a pattern in your commenting on my blog (to which I put a stop) and on James’s. At every step you take the “Jews are not chosen” and now “Jews were a side issue on WWII” approach. You are fond of citing scripture. Romans 11:29. Revelation 12.

  6. I can already see this turning into another “comments mess” on the blogosphere. If this brief transaction is any indication, the bridge Rabbi Boteach wants to build between Christianity and Judaism isn’t going to start construction any time soon.

  7. Derek, by saying “a side issue” what I mean has nothing to do with “Jews are not chosen” which I have never said and don’t believe. (shame on you)

    What I mean by “a side issue” is that it was not the primary reason for WW11 and not the primary goal of the Nazi Party. I did not say this to minimize or insult the murders of a particular group, but to emphasize the murders of the “other groups” who also died and are mostly forgotten today. Far more people died in WW2.

    The problem with this new word “supersessionism” which I suppose if repeated enough times will catch on, is that those who are using it want to neatly wrap up every evil done to the Jewish people and lay it at the feet of Christians. Now, anyone honest will agree, there is a whole lot more to it than just to say “all our problems are because the Christians think they have our promises”

    If the promises truly belong to the Jewish people, won’t God make sure they receive them?

    I am not a person who wants to lay the blame for my evils at any ones feet other than my own. I take responsibility when I go to the Father for my own sins, I don’t point and say “that woman you gave me” or “It’s Dereks fault.

    I don’t make up a word and toss it at another feet and say “there, you are responsible for my woes”. I don’t expect you guys to lay responsibility for what happens to me on someone else, I am the sinner. I don’t expect you guys to lay responsibility for every evil that has befallen the Jewish people on the Christians.

    1. Steven:

      Yesterday you said at 6:20 p.m. on my blog, though I deleted it: “I believe that unfruitful branches are broken off that may be restored if they repent and come back through the “new covenant” of a circumsized heart, otherwise they are destined for the fire.” It was clear the unfruitful branches are us Jews.

      And your pattern is consistent: replacement of Jews with Yeshua-believers in God’s election is your theology. Any statement that Jewish people remain the unconditionally elected people of God you argue against. You can’t even let stand a statement that WWII involved a genocide of Jewish people. Why not? Because you have a compulsive need to deny that Jewish people have any claim in history or theology to uniqueness. No one denied that homosexuals and gypsies were tragically slain by Nazis. Only you felt a corrective was needed.

  8. Steven said: “The problem with this new word “supersessionism” which I suppose if repeated enough times will catch on…”

    Just a little historical note. The term “supersessionism” as we use it generally today, has its origins in mid-16th century English. As far as I know, the word was first applied to the theology of the church as I’m using it in the latter half of the 19th century. However, the functional practice can be traced reliably back to Augustine (though I can see it developing as early as Paul’s letter to the Romans). I say all this to explain that it’s not a “new word”.

    I don’t blame Christianity for every single bad thing that has ever happened to a Jewish person anywhere, but the damage done by this theology has been significant. Because this a legacy that the church struggles to remove from itself even today, every time a Christian makes a disparaging remark about Jews or Judaism, that legacy (for right or wrong) is invoked.

    Fortunately, Erev Shabbat is coming up in the U.S. so at least one of you will be going offline fairly soon and I won’t have to micromanage this “heated exchange” for the next 24 hours or so. I know that just about anyone can go off half-cocked given a good enough reason and the “Post Comment” button just begs to be pressed, but before either of you do so again, carefully review what you’ve written and ask yourself if your comments best reflect not only what you believe, but the spirit of the Messiah as well.

    Remember, we’re all adults here, guys. Good Shabbos.

  9. Derek, that’s your problem. You like to decide what people want, they want, believe, etc. and then “accuse” rather than listen or ask for clarification, you JUMP and REACT.

    “It was clear the unfruitful branches are us Jews.” I never said this was “us Jews”. I think unfruitful branches can be any in the vine without discrimination. The Father prunes to the vine, Yeshua, can bring forth more fruit, is that a problem?

    I don’t think a holocaust survivor, a Jewish one, would find my comment offensive, especially if they shared a room and worked next to a Gypsie or a homosexual, maybe they ate together, suffered together and would not mind my mentioning them as also “the forgotten people”. (but your more “Jewish” and more able to carry the “offense” of my comment?)

    Does it make a Jewish survivor less if I mention their roommate?

    Can you mention ONE Gypsie or disabled or homosexual or any other survivor than a Jewish one? If not, why not? A reasonable question, IMO.

    “Because you have a compulsive need to deny that Jewish people have any claim in history or theology to uniqueness.” The Jewish people have theology that is part truth and part false. That’s not unique. Whatever they “know” came from above or below.

    The parable of the tree which did not bear fruit, the one where the man asked for time to dig around it (3 years), what tree is that?

  10. I’m going to try (probably in vain) to redirect this conversation back to the merits (or lack thereof) of Rabbi Boteach’s book Kosher Jesus. I know that Derek has already written his own review, but do you have any interest in reading it, Steven? If you do or don’t, please tell us why. I think you were inspired to comment here only because I brought up the issue of supersessionism (which is also an issue that Rabbi Boteach mentions in his book). Do you have any interest in this book or my book review at all independent of your original reason for commenting here?

  11. “I’m trying to be a living example of how it is possible to view the life and lessons of Christ through a lens that allows us to view him as having a Jewish life and teaching Jewish lessons.”

    And you are James, I won’t comment again on this thread today. It’s almost sundown and I have things to finish. I bless you and Derek, happy rest! Shalom

  12. “Roma (Gypsies), the disabled, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Homosexuals.””

    Steven,

    Until you and yours are on the receiving end, you are not qualified to decide who isor who is not an anti-semite. Get this in your warped mentality….

    and when you are at it, can you show us any lamp-shade that was made from the skin of a pole, Russian, and others? Can you show us one bar of soap that was made from the fat of a dead Pole or Russian? You need to stick to things you know…..

  13. Dan, I’m sorry, I will try to listen and learn more and stop commenting here. If I have offended you, please forgive me.

    Derek, you refused to converse with me on your blog and shut me down, not sure why you want to converse with me here on James blog, it does not make a whole lot of sense to me. I suspect you don’t care to, and you just want to confront and shut me down here too? OK, you have your wish.

    James, you are so gracious and loving I can’t help admire your patience. I did not want to disrupt your blog in this way. You asked me to stop and pray and do the right thing according to the Holy Spirit. So, I have and this post is what I believe was the right thing to say. I will not comment anymore here (unless I’m led by the Holy Spirit) and I know you have not kicked me off and would welcome me if I had something worthy to say, but at this time it is best I just listen.

    To all of you: In a short time and only having read each of your blogs for a month, I see great passion in each of you and HUGE hearts and in my own way, I already love you all as brothers. I will continue to read what you are teaching on your blogs and the comments. Peace

  14. Good morning, Steven.

    I can see you have done some rather soulful contemplation and prayer over Shabbat. I’m certainly not barring you from commenting here nor do I always expect everyone to agree with my opinion (Dan & I butt heads from time to time but we remain friends), but I do encourage everyone commenting here to consider how their statements will be viewed by others before clicking on the “Post Comment” button. Apparently, that’s been on your mind lately as well.

    If you have a question you feel is too “inflammatory” to post publicly, you can always email me with it and I’ll do my best to respond.

    Blessings.

  15. “God is the one great truth. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are paths that bring us to Him”
    wow.
    As a gentile trying to follow Torah and the 1st century church devotions of the N.T it is my understanding that any ‘jewishness’ i have in my spiritual and devotional life does not make me Jewish, any more that G-d’s Law for all nations make all nations Jewish. But i am at a loss as to see how a Rabbi can say followers of Islam are worshipping the G-d of Isiah, Moses and the Messiah.

    Blessings in Yeshua

  16. Although Rabbi Boteach no doubt disagrees with the specifics within Christianity and Islam, he probably is referencing the fact that we all are monotheistic religions that spring from a central source. I once read a quote of the Rambam that had been surpressed until recently, which suggests he believed that Christianity and Islam were used to spread the knowledge of the One God to the rest of the world.

    Rabbi Boteach was highly critical of Islam at several points in his book but Islam and Judaism both claim Abraham (Ibraham) as their father.

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