My dear Joseph …
You won’t thank me for writing this, but, you must understand, it’s really important to me that you read it. For you it’ll be 5 minutes of your life, for me it’s more important than life itself. You doubt my motives, but you’re mistaken. You call me deceived, indoctrinated, even brainwashed, but you’re doubly mistaken. You say that I’ve betrayed my heritage, forfeited my right to call myself Jewish, but you’re wrong, very wrong. This is my last throw of the dice. Out of respect for what we once had together, just indulge me one last time, then I’ll go away.
So, where do I start? How do I convince you and try to break through 2,000 years of history and tradition? The simple answer is that I can’t – what I’ll say will either warm your heart (or at least give you a nudge), or it will pass you by. I’ve got to be honest and realistic, not everyone will be affected by my words, or the words of other Christian writers far more clever than me.
Jesus. JESUS. There, I’ve said it. I’m not beating around the bush, or pretending to be what I’m not, to ‘trick’ you into becoming a Christian (if that were possible!). I’m not even going to be clever by using the name Yeshua or Y’shua (his real Hebrew name – the one his mum used). Actually I use these names rather than the name ‘Jesus’ and I certainly wouldn’t use the word ‘Christ’, because I too am offended by this word. How often have we all been called ‘Christ-killers’ by so-called ‘Christians’? It hurts me too! More so, in a way.
Jesus – I’ve said it again. It’s only a name – you’ve used it as a swear word often enough so why should you be offended now? Well I don’t use the word in the same way. It’s a name that, for me, promises life and meaning. And it’s nothing at all to do with religion, or cathedrals, or dog-collars, or dodgy vicars, or the Pope (or any person you can think of).
Go to Israel as a Jew. Take up yoga, read your star charts, follow the guru of your choice, call yourself a witch, a shamen, a mystic. You’ll barely raise an eyebrow. But mention the name ‘Jesus’ and they’ll spit at you. Why? A Jew can do what he likes, Israeli society is pretty liberal. But call yourself a ‘Christian’ or a ‘Messianic Jew’ and you will raise blood pressures all around. Why?
Now just hear me out while I state the obvious. Jesus is banned in Israel because the religious authorities are scared of him. They always have been. Rightly so in the past 1500 years, what with the anti-semitism and all that. But they were even scared of him when he was alive and living in Israel 2000 years ago! So I repeat, why do we allow the name ‘Jesus’ to have such a hold on us. Why?
The easy and obvious answer can be found in the pogroms, ghettos and even in the Holocaust. These horrendous crimes were committed by ‘Christian’ Europe in the name of this ‘Jesus Christ’. But you can’t blame him for that. Instead blame the evil heart of man – you can read the history books for that. Jesus never, never spoke against the Jews, his people – you can read the New Testament for that – if you dare.
The hard answer is fear. These days it’s fear of ‘assimilation’, they call it. ‘We’ll be accomplishing what Hitler failed to do’, they’ll say. ‘If every Jew married out then our whole way of life will die out’. False. I ‘married out’ and even ‘became a Christian’ (marrying out doesn’t make you a Christian any more than ‘christening’ does) but I am STILL Jewish. Where does it ever say that you can stop being Jewish? Abraham, in the Bible, became one through circumcision (into the covenant). They can try to sew back my foreskin, if they can find it, but even then I’ll still be Jewish inside.
I ask again, Why am I an enemy to the Jewish people? Have I suddenly become anti-semitic? No. I don’t want to abuse you, hurt you, kill you. I want to do the one thing that the Church has failed to do in 2000 years (and will one day have to answer for). I want to share the truth with you. And the biggest barrier to you receiving this truth is the name that it goes by, Jesus. Jesus is the truth, he always has been and there’s no time here to explain exactly what I mean by this – but please bear with me. And the Church, through it’s actions, has not only blinded you to this truth but poisoned you against it! The Crusades, the Inquisition, none of these had anything to do with Jesus, but people, especially Jews, were killed in his name. No wonder there is such a resistance to his message today from our people. I understand the problem but I refuse to be shackled by history, otherwise those evil people have won twice; they not only succeeded in destroying the bodies of my ancestors but they also seek to destroy the souls of those of us living today.
You’re prepared to admit the possibility of aliens, curious little green things that we apparently share the universe with. Yet isn’t it more natural (and more Jewish) to believe in God, who created the whole damn universe! It may sound like the plot of a ‘B’ movie but there is a mighty fight for your soul going on. It’s an invisible fight and most are totally unaware of it. But it’s a real fight and you are in the centre of it. Don’t give up before you’ve even started. There’s more at stake than you’ll ever realise.
There’s more to life than 70 or so years of struggle. There’s more, there’s much more. Every day can be an adventure. And if I’m brainwashed, who’s benefiting? I live a moral life (inasmuch as I’m conscious of my shortcomings and try to do something about it), I live in freedom (not bound to the many ‘trappings’ of life – drugs, alcohol, gambling, extramarital sex – that do nothing else but control you) and I have the complete assurance that my life counts and has purpose and that, when it’s over, there’ll be more – and then some! What I have, anyone can have, it’s free, whatever your age and circumstances!
Be brave and buck the trend, as I did. Fight against 2000 years of conditioning, do the one thing you’re told not to do. As an infant you’re told to keep away from flames, but you still burn your fingers. As a teenager you’re warned against cigarettes, alcohol and drugs, but most still succumb to varying degrees. As an adult the rabbis told you to stay clear of ‘that’ book – the New Testament. Why can’t you follow your instincts and exercise some freedom here? It won’t harm you like fire or drugs. You’ll find something there that may be unexpected, but you won’t regret it. Start with the Book of Matthew (the first book in the New Testament).
Remember, you’re not getting any younger. Act now before it’s too late, you’ve got nothing to lose but so much to gain. You don’t have to tell anyone, not even me. At the very worst you will have wasted an hour or so of your life. But at the very best, who knows …. ?
In love, Isaac