Monday, March 1, 2010

Understanding Jews

Christians are no different than any other group in society. Some of us are not nice people. There are bad eggs in just about every church. It is rare that any church has perfect people. In fact, maybe someone will show me such a church some day.

The same can be said of all people around the world: every nation, every race, every culture, every religion. There is not a single people on the face of our planet that at some points in history has not served as either the unjust aggressor or the innocent victim of another people.

Today in the Middle East, this unpleasant side of human nature is thrust upon us as never before. We have had images of the atrocities burned into our consciousness for the last half century. But does that mean that everyone in those countries are bad people? Of course not! This reality is obvious to all.

But there are other realities that we have great difficulty acknowledging. Being confronted with truth that violates a personal sense of reality can cause anyone to recoil in shock and indignation. But true reality is a fact of existence whether one accepts it or not.

History records many tragedies that have resulted from people's false senses of realities. Occasionally there have been those who became our heroes because they dared to contest false realities. Because Columbus was willing to do that, we now know that the world isn't flat after all. Failing to seek true reality can have equally ugly consequences. One of those can be national destruction. Let us now return to our discussion of evildoers that exist in every society.

Most folks have no problem accepting the reality that "evil-doers exist in every society." We freely discuss the Muslim problem. We openly discuss Christian problems. But there is one huge and totally irrational exception. Most of us consider it some form of moral turpitude to speak critically of a "Jew" and react indignantly if we suspect that this is the speaker's intent. This is because most of us are extremely afraid to be labeled with the stigma that sticks from that awful tag called "anti-Semitism." But can you even define that word? Maybe not. Let's see.

There are 240 million Semites in the world. But only 14 million are Jews. The other 226 million are Arabs. So what is "anti-Semitism? Why do we shrink in absolute fear at the mere thought of speaking critically about evil-doers from the tiniest minority of Semites? I will refrain from discussing the possible origins of this strange social neurosis. It is enough for you to see and hopefully recognize that it exists as some form of unjustifiable social taboo.

This truth is axiomatic: if every people on our planet has its fair share of dangerous extremists, then there are no exceptions. Even the Jews have a fair share of bad eggs in their carton. Some of those bad eggs are worse than others. None are any worse than those in other cartons around the world. We've just been unreasonably afraid to open the Jewish carton and check on its condition. Maybe it is time to open that carton and take a look at the eggs in it.

Several years after beginning my decade of research, I became shocked by the realization that there were so many "Jewish" personalities involved. This fact challenged my own private sense of reality. I was raised by a Fundamental Baptist preacher who taught me to have the utmost respect for Jews. This is because God loves them, too, and He has a special purpose for them being on this planet.
Nevertheless, I was beset by the very obvious fact that I needed to strain to find any significant non-Jewish communist philosophers who have written major dialectics in the last 100 years. Furthermore, when I studied Freud and Reich, two notable jews, I was stunned by the absolute hatred and contempt that both of those men had toward Christians. "What did we ever do to them?" I asked myself.

I was aware that there had been pogroms in Europe and that Hitler had killed six million Jews. But Hitler wasn't a Christian and he also sent eight million Christians to the gas chambers. Max Dimont, a Jewish historian, pointed out emphatically that 1.4 Christians got gassed for every Jew.

Furthermore, so much of what was written by men like Freud and Reich was aimed directly at America and at Christians here. America rescued the Jews in World War II. Christians in Europe were sent to death camps after being caught helping Jews escape to America. "What did Americans ever do to deserve what these jewish revolutionaries have done to us?" I had to ask myself. So, I began searching for the reasons.

That was when I happened to discover a new book just released by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, entitled, "AMERICA'S REAL WAR." I quickly ordered a copy of the book and read it. That prompted me to telephone the Rabbi from my office. I didn't drop my big question right away. I didn't need to. I simply told the Rabbi how I had appreciated his book and that I was reading the Frankfurt School. His remarks were quick.

"You know that those men were connected with the Illuminati, don't you?" he asked.
I told him that I never had seen any such thing and asked if he could document it. He replied that it was well documented in a book by Rabbi Marvin Antelman, entitled, "TO ELIMINATE THE OPIATE," a rare out-of-print book.

I soon found several copies of Rabbi Antelman's book online and bought two, one for me and the other for my research partner. It turned out to be highly detailed with extensive footnotes. I followed down all of those footnotes and the reasons "why" soon came into sharp focus.

But to my grief, the gravity of the knowledge gained became terribly burdensome to bear. The more I learned, the heavier that load got. The truth was obvious. But I knew that most Christians would recoil in shock and indignation if told the truth. They would tend to get mad at the messenger, go into denial and never bother to read any of the authorities for themselves. Yes, I had acquired tremendous knowledge about latter-day Jews, but what could I do with such volatile knowledge and not have it blow up in my face?

Eventually, the day came when I visited Rabbi Lapin's home and talked with him at great length. To my surprise, the Rabbi declared, "I can't understand why Christians aren't concerned about their situation. If they don't wake up, they are going to wind up fighting from trenches to save their own lives!"

I explained to the Rabbi that the average Christian pastor knows little to nothing about the history of his people after the first century A.D. I told the Rabbi that when it came to the history of Jews over the last 600 years, Christian pastors where blind men leading the blind. I told him that in my opinion Christian pastors had absolutely NO knowledge that the Sabbatian movement ever existed, or that the sect still is active today. The Rabbi stared at me in utter silence, although not in disbelief. Then he spoke.

"Tell me," the Rabbi asked. "What do you think those people are?"

"I think that they are renegades from the Jewish community," I answered with some discomfort, knowing that Orthodox Jews do not want to regard Sabbatians as Jews at all, even though Sabbatians regard themselves as such and reside in the Jewish community. To my great relief, the Rabbi responded politely.

"I like that," he said. "Renegades. That is what they are and I think I may use that word on my radio show."

I left the Rabbi's house that day convinced of his friendship. The Rabbi was a God-fearing Jew and he had touched my heart. In my own way, as we parted, I even asked the Rabbi to pray that God would protect me from any of Satan's efforts to harm me. I could find no guile in the man, and I was sure that God would listen to this God-fearing Rabbi. God had led me to him and given me some knowledge that other Christians could benefit from.

Now, after some of my essays have been slowly presented for public digestion, I am sure that many of you have questions of your own. Surely some are asking the same question, "Why?" Others may be concerned that my critical essays even mention the Jews.

But please take note. God-fearing Jews are not our problem. Our problem is the same as the problem faced by those Jews: the renegades who have forsaken God to seek their kingdom on terms of their own by spreading falsehoods that have adversely affected us as Christians. The Sabbatians have not supported Israel and even have sent funds to support the terrorists who attack Israel. Sabbatians regard Israel merely as a doomsday "raft nation" to be used as a last resort. Sabbatians support a One-World government to replace all nations. They believe that this would better solve the so-called "Jewish problem." Everyone would have the same "citizenship" and no one would be in exile.

Obviously, Jews are not the only ones supporting One-World government. So are a lot of gentiles. So let's not paint with any broad brush.

The much bigger problem that we face is Christian ignorance. That was the real problem bemoaned by Rabbi Lapin during my visit when he said that he couldn't understand why Christians weren't concerned.

Christians aren't concerned because they cannot tell the difference between "jews" and "Jews."

The Rabbi's greatest fear seems to be that if Christians ever do realize their predicament, and then associate it with the general Jewish community, they "might
decide that Jews are no longer good for America."

Personally, I believe that even the Rabbi seems to be underestimating the kindness of American Christians. But after what happened to Jews at the hands of Nazi Germany, can we blame him for worrying about it?

Accordingly, I have observed that Rabbi Lapin seems to be encouraging his people to be "more Jewish" so as to distinguish themselves from the renegades. Rabbi Lapin also is reaching out to form bonds with American Christians in order to help us restore traditional Christian America. His organization is called, "Toward Tradition." It supports cooperation between Jews and Christians to restore traditional moral values that we all have inherited from the same God. What a wonderful idea! Even a fundamental Baptist ought to be able to support that.
But I believe that Rabbi Lapin also understands that most American Christians will continue drifting aimlessly into national defeat unless they become better informed about their actual situation. This is why he has been speaking to Christians now for at least a decade. Rabbi Lapin wants intelligent, educated Christians making intelligent, educated decisions.

Hopefully many of you now will better understand why my material has been presented as it has. You men of God certainly know your Bible, but I hope you will see at least some value in my material, too. I believe that the full scope of all that I have discovered could even start a new search of the prophetic books.

To conclude, I wish to give Rabbi Lapin a word at the end of this message. Please keep in mind what I have told you in this letter as you read his communication below.
See Below:
----- Original Message ----- From: Toward Tradition/Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Sent: Tuesday, November 08, 2005 3:05 PM

"NEW YORK - Institutionalized Christianity in the U.S. has grown so extremist that it poses a tangible danger to the principle of separation of church and state and threatens to undermine the religious tolerance that characterizes the country, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, warned in his address to the League's national commission, meeting in New York City over the weekend." (Haaretz Newspaper, Israel.)

We Jews aren't chic any longer. Not too many people care for Jews these days. Europe, including England, makes little secret of how it feels towards Jews. If possible, they care even less for Israel. All Moslem countries, more than a billion angry people frequently at one another's necks, are magically unified over hatred for Jews and resentment over that little patch of sand in the Middle East which Jews turned into a country. Much of Africa and most of Russia feels the same way. Hate the Jews.

It is very challenging for a small group of people to survive with no friends.
But wait! There is one group of people who unconditionally love Jews and the Land of Israel. These people are called Christian conservatives. They are made up of Catholics, and Protestants, Baptists and Lutherans and many others. Although theologies differ widely, they all share a deep conviction that God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai. They all fervently believe that in so doing, God presented humanity with a blueprint for life. Needless to say, these views should be shared by every Jew committed to his faith.

Yes, I know that some may have their own reasons for their friendship. However I ask you to remember that Jewish morality dictates we judge others by their actions not by what we believe lies in their hearts. Sometimes I am not too sure of what lies in my own heart, let alone in the hearts of others. We leave God to peer into other's motivations and we are called to judge other people by how they act. And the overwhelming majority of Christian conservatives in America act with astounding goodness, generosity, and friendship.

A common understanding of the Bible, its promises and its directions, lies at the foundation of the special friendship the Christian Right has for Jews. Most Jews are profoundly grateful to have such faithful friends during a period when events are echoing frightening times of the past.

It is a remarkable thing, this friendship. Very different theologies, very different histories and backgrounds, and even different visions of the future, yet a shared recollection of our Biblical past assures the present in an atmosphere of trust and amity.

Into this delicate relationship strides an extremist demagogue whose intemperate denunciations this past weekend threaten to destroy friendships between Jews and Christians.

The director of the ADL, one of the large Jewish organizations in America, attacked Christianity as an intolerable threat to religious tolerance. He denounced several famous Evangelical organizations by name accusing them of wishing to implement their Christian worldview. He demonized Christians and assured his audience that "they intend to Christianize all aspects of American life and their vision of America is far different from ours." (Just imagine what would happen to a Christian leader talking thus about Jews!)

Mr. Foxman has yet to apologize for how wrong were his dire predictions of what Mel Gibson's Passion would bring in its wake. Yet off he goes again defaming the only people left on the face of the planet who actually love Jews.

There is one reliable rule that most people learn in grade school: If you consistently bully your friends and treat them disrespectfully, pretty soon you won't have any friends left.

Leaving aside the fascinating analysis of the pathology that makes a Jew alienate our best and only friends, maybe the attack itself needs to be refuted.
The ADL has been attacking Christianity now for over ten years. It began with an embarrassing book the ADL published in 1994—The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance & Pluralism in America. It has never let up. Given the ADL's obsessive preoccupation with Christians, anyone would think that on their way home from church every Sunday, most Christians engage in robbing and raping, mugging and murdering any Jews reckless enough to be out on the streets. Is it possible that this organization, originally founded to protect Jews, cannot find any greater threat to Judaism than America's conservative Christians. Or is it possibly the threat they legitimately pose to secular liberalism that really bothers the ADL? If so, why pose as a Jewish organization? It would be more honest to identify as an activist arm of the Democratic Party.

This may be a good time for me to expose the five slanderous lies surrounding America's most misunderstood movement:

1) The Christian Right wishes to impose a theocracy on America.
A hint for those of you out there planning on imposing a theocracy: In order to succeed, you would first need to subvert the entire United States Constitution. A word to the rest of you worried about a theocracy, if the Constitution goes, you have far bigger problems than a theocracy.

Who really does have a record of forcing their values down the throats of everyone else? Over the past forty years life in America has been made indescribably more squalid, expensive, and dangerous. Mocking moral standards and vulgarizing the culture has brought to any teenager's ears the throbbing rhythms and hideously violent lyrics that would have brought a blush to the face of a convict in 1960. Back then, a family lived an enviable middle-class lifestyle on one salary. Today, high taxes, regulatory costs, and feminist propaganda have forced mothers into the workplace. Abolishing the Biblical idea of people being capable of evil, crime is now understood in terms of social problems. The result is a sharply diminished sense of safety and security. Forget city parks at night; we worry about children surviving a day at the local public school with its metal detectors and ludicrously unarmed guards. So who has more successfully forced its values down our throats? I think the record speaks for itself.

For Christian leaders to encourage conservative Americans of faith to vote for like-minded candidates is of course no different from Jewish leaders ardently having encouraged all Jews to vote for the Gore-Lieberman ticket in 2000 because "Joe is a Jew." Secularism is as much a belief system as is Christianity and secularists who work to elect secularists shouldn't complain when Christians try to elect Christians to public office. There is a good old-fashioned word for this activity and it is not theocracy. It is democracy. Every group in America practices it. Christians should be able to do so too without being demonized by a Jewish organization.

2) The Christian right believes all who disagree with them are going to hell.
Even if some believe this, so what? Does our Constitution guarantee freedom of belief only to secularists? I am always amused by those who are most indignant that some Christians have this belief but are themselves secularists who firmly announce their disbelief in heaven or hell in the first place. Why should they care if someone else believes they are going somewhere they don't believe exists? Go figure.

For me personally, it bothers me not at all that many of my Christian friends believe I am headed to hell. Frankly I am deeply grateful to be living among such wonderful Christian neighbors who do absolutely nothing to accelerate my arrival there. Does the phrase "Spanish Inquisition" mean anything to you?

For most Christians I know, it is not so much a belief as it is a genuine concern for my spiritual future. I appreciate that concern amidst ongoing friendship and generosity to me though I remain a firmly committed Orthodox Jew. It was not always so for Jews in other countries during the past two thousand years.

Israel's safety belt is undoubtedly America's Bible belt and I am sure that America has provided history's safest and longest lasting haven for Jews, not in spite of, but precisely because of her deep Christian conviction.

Christian belief, no matter how difficult for non-Christians to accept, poses no threat to anyone. On the contrary, it has turned out to be the source of blessing for all who cherish the freedom and tranquility of the United States of America. The same George Washington who wrote "May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the goodwill of the other inhabitants" was a George Washington who was a deeply religious and very conservative Christian.

One way for the descendants of Abraham to merit the goodwill of our Christian neighbors would be to stop Jewish organizations from endlessly insulting and attacking our friends.

3) Christian conservatives are anti-Semitic and racist.

This might be a good opportunity for me to point out the sheer evil of accusing someone of an undefined crime. You see, with no definition of the crime, it is impossible for the accused to defend himself. Think about it for a moment. Do you know the definition of anti-Semitism? See, it isn't so simple. Is it hurting Jews or their property? That doesn't need the term anti-Semitism; it is already a crime called assault or vandalism. And in any event, is that really what they are accusing Christian conservatives of doing? I think not.
Does ant-Semitism mean harboring a dislike for Jews in one's heart? Do we really want to criminalize thought? What about the old liberal disdain for "thought police?"

I do believe it might be time already for some Jewish leaders to abandon their Sharpton-tactics and graciously shelve the term anti-Semitism. It has become nothing but a bludgeon to silence dissent and cause resentment. When Jewish leaders accuse good and decent Christians of anti-Semitism because they oppose wholesale abortion and homosexual marriage, it is more of an indictment of the Jews hurling the epithet than it is of the victims.

The problem is that many Jews, having abandoned the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, have embraced the alternative faith of secular liberalism. In do doing, they adopt the misleading equation that Judaism=Liberalism. Believing that the values of Judaism have nothing to do with the clearly expressed wishes of God in the Torah, they mistakenly assume that the values of Judaism are congruent with those of secular liberalism. Thus anyone who loathes the values of secular liberalism surely must hate the values of Judaism since they are the same. Therefore, any conservative is, by definition, an anti-Semite.

It thus becomes the holy duty of organizations like the ADL, originally formed to fight bigotry and anti-Semitism, to fight religious conservatives. This is tiresome, anachronistic, and just plain wrong. This is an error with potentially tragic consequences and it should stop.

I can only tell you that I regularly deliver speeches to audiences, often of thousands, for the very organizations listed by the ADL in its latest anti-Christian diatribe. I do so as an Orthodox Jewish rabbi and on the dais I wear the same black yarmulke I wore during my Torah studies in yeshiva. I talk of the same Biblical values I was taught in that yeshiva. After the speech I frequently enjoy a dinner brought by the organizers with considerable trouble and expense from a kosher restaurant, often from another city. I am received with enthusiasm and genuine warmth. If this be anti-Semitism, my grandfather in Europe would surely have welcomed it.

Oh, did I mention that many of the pastors making up the Christian Right are themselves black Americans? Of course, to many of the racial demagogues on the Secular Left, any black who becomes a conservative has renounced his blackness. I am accustomed to this because a representative of the Jewish Federation of a large west coast city recently told a friend of mine that "Rabbi Lapin isn't a real Jew because he is friends with those Christians." I estimate that at least ten percent of most every audience I address is African American. The charge that the Christian Right is racist is made exclusively by people whose antagonism is exceeded only by their ignorance.

4) Christian conservatives are poor, uneducated, and easy to command.

This allegation was first made by Washington Post journalist Michael Weisskopf in a front page story on February 1st, 1993. In reality, average annual income for Christian conservatives is well above the national average. Furthermore, the average net worth of conservative Christian families rockets ahead of the national average especially when corrected for age and income. This shouldn't surprise anyone because the values of thrift and industry that build net worth are among the values encouraged by Biblical faith. Finally, the bountiful generosity in the form of charitable donations made by America's religious conservatives in any year exceeds the gross domestic product of many nation members of the United Nations.
Most of the nation's hundreds of Christian colleges, with their rigorous academic standards, routinely outperform state universities. Christian home schoolers win the national spelling bees year after year. In a 2003 article entitled God on the Quad, the Boston Globe described how well Christian Evangelical students are doing on New England's liberal elite university campuses.

As for easy to command, well Evangelical judicial nominee Harriet Miers was forced to withdraw her nomination precisely because America's religious conservatives are not easy to command.

5) The Christian right is anti-Scientific.

This charge emerges from secular America's docile homage to the doctrines of Darwin. Wise and educated people today realize that the borderline between cutting-edge science and religious belief is fuzzy. One need only examine the work of cosmologist Stephen Hawking, British scientific philosopher Antony Flew, or Israeli physicist Gerald Schroeder to hear the language of theology. Only propagandists and ideologues think that Darwin ended the discussion.

The truth is that two incompatible beliefs can account for mankind's presence on the planet. The first is that God created us in His image and placed us here. The second is that through a lengthy process of unaided materialistic evolution, primitive protoplasm became Bach, Beethoven, and the Beatles.

Many scientists, including the 40% who are religious according to a University of Georgia study cited by the New York Times in February of this year, accept the first view. Many scientists accept the second view and some scientists await further evidence. The issue is hardly cut and dried because a great deal of modern science flows as much from scientific philosophy as it does from laboratory experiment. This is particularly true of non-replicable science such as that dealing with cosmology and origin of the universe questions.

This leaves only one question: Are secular liberals or Christian conservatives more dogmatic and closed-minded? To any fair-minded person, the answer is startlingly simple. It would be tough to find a single Christian high school, college, or university in the nation that does not treat Darwinian evolution seriously. However, it would be even tougher to find a single public high school or secular university that grants a respectful hearing to intelligent design, let alone a religious view of creation.

It is also only on secular campuses that truth is frequently suppressed in the interests of political correctness.

If science means being open to all ideas, judging those ideas on the basis of evidence rather than belief, and withholding judgment in the absence of evidence, there can be no doubt at all. Christian conservatives are far less anti-Scientific than others.

In conclusion, I am sure that the ADL's Mr. Foxman cares for the Jewish people as much as I do. It is just that he has a radically different way of expressing it. To me, his frequent anti-Christian outbursts are incomprehensible and I am sure they jeopardize the future of Jews in America and ultimately, Jews everywhere. He, no doubt thinks much the same about my views.

In a spirit of respect for both him and for the traditional Jewish commitment to the truth and to open discussion that I am sure we share, I invite Mr. Foxman to a public debate on this topic. Let us debate one another in order to determine the direction for the future. Does Jewish survival lie with a fervent secularism that ceaselessly snaps at the heels of Christian America or does it lie within political alliance with those people who stand firm for the values God imparted to the Jews at the foot of Mount Sinai just over three thousand years ago. One way is right and the other is wrong. Which is it? A debate could help expose the true answer. C'mon Mr. Foxman, let's do it.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, an Orthodox Rabbi in Seattle, Washington, is author of Thou Shall Prosper, America's Real War and Buried Treasure ,is President of Toward Tradition and hosts his own television and radio shows.

Toward Tradition is America's leading bridge-builder between Jewish and Christian communities; spanning the divide between Christians and Jews by sculpting ancient solutions to modern problems in areas of family, faith, and fortune. Visit us on the web at:

To schedule an interview with Rabbi Daniel Lapin, contact Rachael Whaley at (800) 591-7579 For Free and Unrestricted Use with Attribution