by Reb Gutman Locks
Mikael, who lives in Sweden, asks:
I have some questions. Why is it okay for you to ask of the people of yours that are in the "graves"? I mean you preach the monotheism but you ask your rabbis for "help" when they are not here. For us Muslims supplication is an act of worship and it should only be done to ask of G-d because He is the only one who has the attributes for example to give blessing to help us.
And I find it a little confusing, are you in your orthodox community also divided in some groups? If so, why and what are the differences?
I would like to learn more of Judaism but of the right understanding if you understand what I mean. What is your view on the prophet Muhammad? (may the blessing and Peace of G-d be upon him and all the prophets.) In the Koran it is said that can find him in your Torah and that you should accept him and follow him. If so why don't you?
It is said that also that one of the high rabbis in Medina accepted Islam and Muhammad as a prophet while the other Jews do not. Do you know this story?
Although there are some Jewish sources that speak of asking the righteous deceased to intercede with G-d on our behalf, the proper way of prayer at gravesites is to pray to G-d, and to ask G-d to consider the merit of the righteous person buried there, and to answer our prayers.
We believe that G-d answers the prayers of righteous people more readily than He does to a less righteous person, so we treasure the blessings that these living righteous people give.
The Jewish people are one people. We are not a religion, but rather we are a people with a religion. Any person who has a Jewish mother is a Jew no matter what he or she believes. But not all Jews are equally religious, so some follow most closely to what the Torah says, while some have become more modern.
All of the Torah observant Jews (orthodox) follow the same Torah, and its laws, but there are also customs such as dress, and small changes in the order of prayers, and such. The customs are handed down from fathers to the sons, and are all good to follow.
But since there are so many different types of Muslims, (some 73 types) such as Sunni, Shia, Sufi, Marizai, Wahabi, why does it confuse you that there are different customs among religious Jews?
Muhammad lived some 1400 years ago. The Torah was written some 3,300 years ago. So how could he be "found" in the Torah?
I can only judge your book and your prophet by the behavior of those who call themselves Muslim. One out of five people in the world are Muslim, and four out of five wars in the world are Muslim. And most of these wars are Muslims killing Muslims. Hundreds of innocent people being murdered every day because this Muslim does not believe like that person, even if that other person is a Muslim! Why is this happening?
I have never heard of a Jew accepting your prophet without becoming a Muslim. There have been Jews who have been forced to convert or be killed. Perhaps you are speaking of one of these.
Now, I have a question for you. Since you are a Muslim, and since the Koran clearly writes, more than once, that G-d gave the Land of Israel to the Jewish people, why is the Muslim world not rejoicing that we are coming home? Why are you fighting us instead of trying to help all the Jews in the world to hurry home to fulfill the ancient prophecies of both the Torah, and the Koran? Why are you making war with us instead of following your religious book?
This is the beginning of the Jewish New Year. May it be a year of Peace, not only for the Jewish people, but for all of the people of the world.