by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
Three American men and a young boy walked up to the tefillin stand a couple of days ago. Something didn’t seem right to me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Their razor cut hairstyles and blue jeans didn’t fit any Jewish community that I could recall. For sure the boy and two of the men did not look Jewish.
I asked the apparent leader of the group if he was Jewish. He said that he was. “Is your mother Jewish?” I wanted to make sure since no one with him seemed Jewish.
He said that she was.
When I started to put tefillin on him, the boy came closer. I asked if he was his son. He said that he was, and that the boy was thirteen years old and would be coming to the Kotel next year for his bar mitzvah.
“Something’s not straight here,” I thought. (Bar Mitzvahs are at thirteen not fourteen) But I did not want to start up with him and risk having him walk away without putting on tefillin.
“Are you sure your mother is Jewish?” He assured me that she was.
“I was last here thirteen years ago when I came to pray for his health.” He pointed to his son.
After he read the prayers in English he cited the chapter and line where they are found in the Torah.
“Uh Oh!” I thought, “The only ones who don’t know how to put on tefillin but can cite the location of the prayers in the Bible are Xians.
“It seems like maybe you have been studying something new,” I said.
“I’ve been studying the Bible,” he answered.
“And maybe something new added to it too?” I asked.
I have been studying the Old Testament and the New Testament too,” he said proudly.
“But that book is not right.”
“It talks of the messiah,” he said.
“When the messiah comes there will be peace. Do you see peace in the world?” I asked.
He said that he didn’t.
“Then the messiah hasn’t come yet,” I said. “The messiah has to be a Jewish man from the tribe of Yehudah. And the tribes are fixed according to the father of the child. Who is your messiah’s father?” I asked.
He said, “god.”
“Then he can’t be the messiah because he is not from the tribe of Yehudah.” I asked him if G-d was in the heart of the devil.” He tried to avoid answering. I pressed him. “Is G-d everywhere?”
He said, “Yes.”
I said, “Then only worship G-d Who is everywhere.”
I asked if the man he called the messiah was everywhere. He tried to change the subject. I asked again, “Where is G-d?” He tried to avoid the question. I asked again.
He finally had to say that yes, G-d is everywhere.
“Then don’t worship that man you call the messiah because he is not everywhere,” I said.
“He is the son of god,” he said.
“So are you,” I said. He was thrown back. I said it again. “You are the son of G-d.”
“We are the children of god,“ he argued.
I told him, “It’s the same word in Hebrew.” And again I said, “You are the son of G-d.”
He had to agree.
I made him repeat it so his son and the other men with him were sure to hear him say it. “So if you are the son of G-d, why are you telling me about that guy being the son of god? We are all the sons of G-d.” And again I said, “Don’t worship him because he is not everywhere.”
“When the messiah comes don’t you think that he will be divine?” he asked.
“He will be a man of flesh and blood just like we are,” I told him.
His head jerked backwards. He was shocked by my answer.
“Don’t you go to the High Priest for atonement?” he asked.
“No. No way,” I answered.
“Then what do you do for atonement?” he wanted to know.
“I go home and eat with my friends at my table,” I answered. “There’s no Temple today. Our tables are our altars now.”
Again I pressed him, “Only worship the G-d Who is everywhere and that man is not everywhere.”
“G-d the Father,” he offered.
“G-d the Only,” I countered.
He repeated himself. I repeated myself. Again I said, “Only worship the One Who is everywhere and that man is not everywhere.”
“The holy spirit,” he said.
“The Holy Spirit (Ruach Hakodesh) is not everywhere,” I said. “Don’t worship it, either. Worship only the one G-d Who is everywhere.”
I took the tefillin off him and gave him my website address. I told him to write me his questions.
“If I write to you, will you answer me?” he asked.
I said that I would, but I doubted he would write. I told his son to remember my address because his father was going to forget it on purpose.
They walked away, shaken, but probably unchanged. Xians are taught that all they need to do to be saved is to believe in their “son of god.” And if they do not believe in the divinity of their “messiah/god” they will not be forgiven for their sins and they will burn in hell forever. This is a real fear for them that rules their spiritual and even their physical lives.
But this guy was unusual. Always, when I try to give Xians even one or two thoughts that threaten their belief they immediately back away. He didn’t. Maybe he will write after all. We’ll see.
Monday, January 19, 2009
// 1/19/2009 //