Monday, November 07, 2005 I was asked the following question:
"Why do Jews not accept Jesus?"
This was asked of me by a devout Christian who knows the Hebrew bible much
better than most and who I respect greatly. A good friend for whom I have no
was my response:
The statement that Jews do not accept Jesus is inaccurate, in
that it doesn't engage a complete thought. It misses the subject of acceptance;
the "as what".
Most Jews, with even the slightest secular education, accept that Jesus both
lived and died as a follower of the Laws of Moses and of Israel and that he was
an itinerant rabbi who traveled and taught those laws exactly as they were given
on Har Sinai. We, also, accept that he was a thorn in the sides of both
more mainstream rabbis as well as in the sides of the Roman Empire.
Because of his words, the Roman government chose to crucify him, along with
thousands of others who were executed in precisely the same fashion. Jesus never
acclaimed himself as messiah, not during his life or while he was awaiting
crucifixion. He lived and died a Jew.
It wasn't until years after his crucifixion that Saul of Tarsus had a revelation
on the road to Damascus, changed his name to Paul and declared Jesus the
messiah...needless to say, it was unsubstantiated by ANY Judaic text prior to
that. In fact, the Final Book of the Bible had been completed and the "series"
closed. Jesus does not appear anywhere in Torah or Tanahk, and is, therefore,
not a part of Judaism nor can the possibility even be entertained.
you have questions about a personal matter, or jewish practices
and customs, you can submit them to me by e-mail.
I answer all queries directly, or through this column, when the
question is informative to our community.
you for your kind attention and this opportunity to share with you,
Rabbi Dan S. Wiko
to the list