I'ts Nobody's Business...Or Is It?
Posted by: penina
Recently, it has come to light that there is a Messianic couple living in my community. Nowadays, that statement comes as no shock to anyone. The fact that they have been here for 6 years, undiscovered, equally un-shocking. However, the fact that this happened in a religious Yishuv in Yesha (the “West Bank”), wherein all potential residents must first go through an interview and be accepted, is shocking. Even more shocking to the people here is that we live in a relatively small community – only 450 or so families, of which about 10% are English speakers. “How could we not have known?” everyone asked.
Many people who became very close with this pleasant, young, committed and apparently religious couple have expressed the most shock of all. “We had no idea” is the refrain heard over and over again.
As the resident professional counter-missionary, I entertained many discussions with my English speaking neighbors on the issue, several expressing a desire for more information. Not being one to engage in speculation, I decided that before addressing the issue with the community, I would speak to the couple themselves, first. I wanted first-hand information to communicate, not assumptions.
After pursuing the family for weeks, and being avoided, I had a chance meeting with the wife on the way home from the store. She was pleasant enough, until we actually started to speak about the situation. She clearly, didn’t want to talk about it – certainly not with me. When I expressed that I might even be able to be of some assistance concerning her status as a Jew in Israel, she resolutely told me that it was nobody’s business.
Ruminating on the discussion on my way home, I realized that this attitude was completely in-line with one of the several problems with Hebrew Christianity (“Messianic Judaism”). Is it really nobody’s business when you lie in order to convert to Judaism? Is it really nobody’s business when you use that falsely obtained conversion to make Aliyah to Israel – something which costs the State of Israel roughly $70,000 per person?
Is it nobody’s business when you pretend you are an Orthodox Jew in order to move into a small, closed, religious community with limited resources, especially when there are thousands of open, mixed and religious communities all over the country? Is it really nobody’s business when you cook for your neighbors and they didn’t realize the food they are eating was made by a non-Jew? No, I am afraid you are wrong – it is everybody’s business. That’s what it means to live in a community – and that is just one example where Hebrew Christian arrogance is brought to light.
According to Hebrew Christianity, Hebrew Christians are Jews, and what they are practicing is Judaism. In fact, Hebrew Christians believe that they are practicing the True Judaism. We, the “Rabbinic” Jews, have gotten several things wrong, especially where the Messiah (that guy) is concerned. Therefore, anywhere that “Rabbinic” Judaism differs from Hebrew Christianity, or even the opinion of an individual Hebrew Christian, (since, according to Christianity, the Holy Spirit residing within the “believer” is the final authority on what is right) it is Hebrew Christian’s opinion which prevails.
It is this precisely this attitude – that the Holy Spirit residing in each individual gives that person complete authority and ability to determine the “Truth” that gives them both a feeling of superiority as well as a lack of community. The only thing that matters is that the individual is doing what they believe to be right, and the rest of us can, quite frankly, just go to hell.
By Penina Taylor