Orthodox Judaism/conversion

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QUESTION: I know a Kabbalist who was also a lover of Torah.  He got down on his knees and gave his soul to Jesus as his messiah and savior.   I am stunned and it causes me to wonder what Christianity fulfills in him that Kabbalah and Torah didn't.

As a convert to Judaism (from Christianity ?) you have a unique perspective and understanding.  If your conversion was from Christianity, I would very much like to know what your belief is about who  Jesus  is and why Judaism is more fulfilling for you than Christianity (?) was.

I kept this private in case you feel more comfortable this way.  

Thanks very much for any insight you can give me.

I so much appreciate your time and knowledge.

ANSWER: Jennifer,
Thank you for your kind question. I have no idea why something like this happens, but I'm sure my Christian friends scratched their heads too when I converted. I will say it is very rare for someone who truly knows the Torah to become a Christian; usually it is the under educated in Judaism, the weak and vulnerable (just as in the case of Amalek). I'm happy to say that more and more Christians are converting to Judaism than ever before. Kabbalah is pretty deep (Jews are forbidden to study it before the age of 40) and not all that is called Kabbalah is Judaism.

In my own case, I can tell you that Judaism gives me a closeness to HaShem that I never had before as a Christian. It gives me structure (the mitzvot) and purpose (I never could buy the purpose of life being taking others to heaven with me. It is the perfect faith for me, not based upon my emotions or even empiricism but rather on a spiritual and mind connection with the Almighty.

I hope this helps, shalom!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much for your response.

I believe that what drew  him is the concept of total forgiveness
of sins regardless of what the sins were.

Is there a comparable concept in Judaism?

Also, how do you see Jesus?

Answer
Only in a very different sense: being a Jew confers upon the Jew a particular relationship with the Almighty so unless you bail to another faith or commit a terribly wicked sin you have a share in the world to come, even if you don't practice Judaism in perfection. (Even secular Jews perform a good number of the mitzvot even though they may not be consciously doing it for HaShem- ie hopefully they have not murdered or stolen or committed adultery. Now you may be in the lowest level of heaven (whatever that is), but heaven (whatever that is) none the less. I heard it once described like buying a house-you don't have to pay for the whole house at once yet it's your house and you get to live there. Hence, when one accepts the yoke of heaven upon himself (as in a convert or one who returns to Judaism or at one's bar or bat mitzvah) he or she is included "in the roll up yonder".

Judaism definitely does not believe in forgiveness of sin without forgiveness of the offended party, restitution if possible, sorrow, repentance (not doing it over again if given the opportunity), asking HaShem for forgiveness and acts of charity and kindness. Even the sacrifices did not cause forgiveness of intentional sin, a fact most believers in Jesus overlook.

When asked why Jews hate Jesus (we don't, he has the same relevance to us as Joseph Smith does to most Christians), I ask, "Why do you hate the Prime Minister of Australia?" When they say they don't even know who that is I say "exactly". But as you pointed out, I have a different perspective as a former Christian (although I was in a denomination that believed "once saved, always saved" so I may be "saved" twice-lol). I believe Jesus was a reformer and never sought to start a new religion. He may hav believed toward the end that he was the messiah- that's not prohibited btw, people may just look at you weirdly-as his cry on the cross so heartbreakingly points out. He realized at the end he had failed in messiah's mission and therefore he was not he.

I think he was a Pharisee who sided mostly with Rabbi Hillel in his rulings (save one-I'll let you research that one. Hint: Hillel was much more lenient than Shammai) and saw people who observed the letter but not the spirit of the law and some self righteousness in his brethren and who taught the reign of G-d was soon to be on earth (when the going gets tough, we tend to seek redemption and truly during those times the going was very tough). He sought to remedy the first two and to get everyone to keep the Torah which would hasten the latter (in Judaism, messiah will come when we are entirely wicked or entirely righteous).

Certainly to believe a man as G-d is completely beyond the Jewish pale.

Hope this helps. Thanks again for your questions. I enjoy your gentle, inquisitive spirit. Shalom!

Orthodox Judaism

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