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September 28, 2016 / 25 Elul, 5776
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The Messiah Ain’t JeZeus, That’s for Sure!


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“From the beginning of its foundation, and throughout its entire development, it is nothing but the counsel of lies and a masquerade of intricate evil… forgetters of God in their innards, and carrying his Name on their lips and tongues” (Orot, Ch.2:8. For a full discussion of this theme, see the book, “War and Peace in the Teachings of Rabbi Kook,” by Rabbi David Samson and Tzvi Fishman).

So beware, my friends, of all of those sweet-talking missionaries who swear that they love you and want to save your souls. The very opposite is the truth. They hate you, as Rabbi Kook states as clear as can be:

“Christianity knows very well that if its outer pagan façade and ostentatious show of holiness be abandoned, its framework could no longer command a place in the world, and it would be compelled to be spiritually reabsorbed in Judaism, its source. Therefore, Christianity strives to protect its existence and is filled with a deadly hatred toward Judaism and its faithful guardians – the Jews” (Orot, Orot HaTechiya 3).

Although Rabbi Kook was unequivocal in his writings on Christianity, it is important to note that he never encouraged open conflict against its doctrines. In the spirit of all of his teachings, he advocated that other religions be enlisted in the universal task of leading the world to God. He writes:

“As to alien faiths, I will tell you my opinion, that it is not the goal of Israel’s light to uproot and destroy them, just as we do not aim for the general destruction of the world and all of its nations, but rather for their correction and elevation, the removal of their dross, and that they themselves will join the source of Israel, where dew drops of light will flow over them, as it states, ‘And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his detestable things from between his teeth, and he too shall remain for our God’ (Zechariah, 9:7). This applies to idolatry, and therefore even more so to religions whose foundations are partly based on the light of Israel’s Torah” (Letters of Rabbi Kook, 112).

But all this is nothing new. After all, this is what we affirm several times a day in the concluding “Aleynu” prayer. The following verse is deleted in many prayer books used in the Diaspora, but here in Israel, we say it concerning all those who have erected false gods, instead of serving the One and Only true God of Israel: “They bow down to vanity and emptiness, and pray to a god that cannot save.”

The “Aleynu” prayer expresses our heartfelt wish that idol worship be uprooted from the earth, and that the world come to understand that God alone is the One and Only King, “We hope, therefore, Lord our God, soon to behold Your majestic glory, when the abominations will be removed from the earth, and the false gods exterminated; when the world will be perfected under the reign of the Almighty, and all mankind will call upon Your Name, and the wicked of the earth will be turned to You. My all the inhabitants of the world realize and know that to You every knee must bend and every tongue vow allegiance….”

Amen. May it be soon.

Tzvi Fishman

About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. His recent movie "Stories of Rebbe Nachman" The DVD of the movie is available online.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
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