OK, I'm awake & I've just polished off mug #2 of Turkish coffee. So...
One thing that I don't get is why Jews who accept Christ are ostrisized from their community.
Because a Jew who "accepts Christ" has crossed the boundaries into heresy/apostasy. Belief in, or acceptance of, Jesus as the Messiah/Son of God/person in a triune God/Incarnation of God/ is completely, totally & utterly incompatible with the beliefs of traditional, normative Judaism, and always has been. This circle can never
be squared; "Jews for Jesus" and the various "Messianic Jewish" groups, et. al. will always be unnatural jerry-rigged hybrids. One can believe in Judaism or Christianity but not both at the same time, it's one or the other. I certainly believe in honest & friendly (always!) dialogue between Jews and Christians, I also believe that such dialogue must be based on a recognition that ours are two separate faiths.
God made a promise and as a Jew, one feels compelled to expect the fulfillment of that promise.
We believe that God made us many promises & we await their fulfillment.
I don't think that any Orthodox in the west would throw a Jewish person out who believed in Jesus as God the Son...
A Jew who (God forbid!) adopts another faith, is still a Jew. However, until he/she repents & renounces the other faith that they have adopted, a number of disabilities are heaped on them. Such a person is to be shunned. If a man, he cannot be counted as part of the necessary quorom for group prayer; he may not be given any synagogue or community honor; he may not teach Judaism; act as a rabbi, mohel (ritual circumciser), or shokhet (kosher butcher). Under Jewish law, he is disinherited. If such a person dies unrepentant, I believe that he/she either may not be buried in a properly-consecrated Jewish cemetery or must be buried in a special section.
I just don't understand why someone would be forsaken by his own people for accepting the promised Messiah of their religion.
As Hamet says, "Ay, there's the rub." It is a principle of Judaism that Jesus is not
"the promised Messiah of our religion."
That's like getting punched in the face at McDonalds for ordering a Big Mac.
Except for seven of the over 80 McDonald's restaurants here in Israel (http://www.mcdonalds.com/countries/israel.html
), McDonald's isn't kosher & no Jew should eat there.
So, perhaps when a Jewish fellow comes to believe in Jesus as Messiah, this is viewed as going over to the enemy, to the goyim, to the people who persecuted and (even at best) generally ill treated Jews for centuries. I'm just guessing here, what some might think.
You're pretty close. I hope this doesn't offend anyone (God forbid!), because I know it's going to sound harsh, but...Not for nothing did Dante place not murderers, not rapists, but traitors in the lowest circle of Hell. A Jew who (God forbid!) knowingly, willingly, and under no compulsion whatsoever, abjures Judaism for another faith is a rogue & a traitor who betrays his people and his God. I would pray that they repent but barring that I wish them ill. Why am I reacting with such vitriol? Well, I quote our Sages who say that, "All Israel is responsible one for the other." We Jews are a small people; we constitute one organic whole. Whenever a Jew abjures his faith, it is like having a limb ripped off or an organ torn out. It is a raw wound that never heals & which hurts more than you can possibly imagine. We all suffer, we are all diminished thereby. Thus, to those who knowingly inflict this on us,I react as I have. We shun such heretics/apostates in order to quarrantine the spiritual infection they represent. (Do you all hate me now?)
A Jew is anyone whose birthmother was a Jew or who underwent an orthodox conversion. Thus, while many/most/some(?) so-called "Messianic Jews" may certainly be Jews, what they believe and practice is certainly not Judaism.
SouthSerb99's remarks about Lubavitch Hassidim & the late Rabbi Schneersohn are accurate. However, any Jew who believes that a dead man is/can be/ the Messiah is treading on veeeery
thin spiritual ice and is liable to fall into heresy.
Rabbi Schneerson passed away 12 years ago. He was quite the scholar & charismatic leader. This January 2002 Canadian Jewish News
) & this Jewish Telegraphic Agency
(JTA) article (http://www.jta.org/page_view_story.asp?intarticleid=14191&intcategoryid=5
) from June 2004 are a pretty good place to start. They touch on both the controversy surrounding the Messianic claims of some Lubavitch Hasidim & the Rebbe's work in Jewish outreach. This New York Jewish Week
op-ed piece (http://www.thejewishweek.com/top/editletcontent.php3?artid=3518
from June 2004 is by the same Rabbi Berger referred to in the aforementioned Canadian Jewish News article. This (http://www.icjs.org/info/rebbe.html
) is a review by a rabbi affiliated with the Institute of Christian and Jewish Studies of Rabbi Berger's book (referred to in the Canadian Jewish News article) The Rebbe, The Messiah, and the Scandal of Orthodox Indifference
Why aren't Hasidic Jews ostracized for considering the Rabbe to be the Messiah?
Not all Hasidic Jews consider him to be the Messiah; in fact, most do not. Many of those Lubavitch Hasidim who do so accept him are very subtle about it; many of those who are not are shunned. I once had an orthodox Jew tell me to my face that such Lubavitch Hasidim are idolators.
Well, actually those few Hasidim who thought Rabbi Schneerson was the Messiah are kind of viewed as a bit crazy.
I know I once had this discussion with MBZ (poster here) who is Orthodox Jewish and thought the followers of Schneerson who thought he was the Messiah are a bit over the top (to say the least).
To say the least!
Some of the foregoing is from the discussion we had.
Rabbi Akiva, who picked Bar Kochba as a messiah, remains a respected figure in history.
Correct. But Rabbi Akiva suffered a horrendous fate/punishment (Romans tortured him to death by scraping his skin off with iron combs) for his terrible, and terribly erroneous, decision. Our Sages are quite forthright in strongly criticizing his acclamation of Bar Kochba (as were many of his rabbinical colleagues at the time). We accept & acknowledge his (sound & 100% orthodox) brilliance while rejecting his decision to acclaim Bar Kochba as the Messiah (his life- and career-ending mistake).
But any Jews who trust in Y'shua or Jesus are outcasts, no matter how much they may love the Jewish people and support the nation of Israel.
I think those who thought of Rabbi Schneerson as Moshiach are certainly considered to be wrong and on the fringes of Judaism.
It's simple. Buddha does not threaten the very underpinnings of Judaism the way Jesus does.
While I (obviously) disagree with Jews on this point, belief in Jesus, undermines the last 2000 years of Judaism. To an extent, belief in Him also is a concession as to the the perversion of the Old Testament by Jews and straying from the laws as given to Moses.
While someone who believes in Buddha can simply be dismissed as wacko without their belief infringing upon the underpinnings of Judaism.
As usual, my Serbian Orthodox friend is correct.
A Jew accepting Jesus dredges up very bad, bitter & painful historical memories of such items as (the following list is representative, not exhaustive) discriminatory anti-Jewish legislation, blood libels, pogroms, the Inquisition, being accused of causing the Black Death by poisoning wells, seeing our holy books burned, forcible baptism of Jewish children (such as Edgar Mortara), repeated expulsions, the Crusader massacres, the Chimelnicki massacres, being forced to listen to conversionary sermons in our own synagogues, etc. While, and I here I must correct my SO friend, accepting Buddhist polytheism also undermines the theological underpinnings of Judaism, Buddha/Buddhism don't conjure up the same communal historical memories. We've had no contact with Buddhists. We don't know them. We've not felt the business end of Buddhist wrath up-close-and-personal the way we have with Christianity.
Looking over the centuries at how Jews have been treated in Christian countries there is a long history of evil treatment that has left it's mark, as it were. A Jewish person becoming a Christian can be percieved as joining the group that killed and oppressed ones ancestors. Try to imagine *their* feelings, not ones own as a Christian with the convert joining 'your group'...Maybe for many they look on Christianity as the background source of centuries of terrible treatment so that for someone to become Christian is to then become part of the system that was oppressive, a kind of 'sell-out' or betrayal maybe.
has it right.
But it's acceptable within the Jewish community to consider the Rabbe the Messiah even though he's not accepted as such by most Jews.
No; outside of certain very narrow Lubavitch circles, it is not acceptable, absolutely not.
I have a hard time appreciating those Haredi Jews who firebombed a Messianic Jewish bookstore and chess club in August or who stormed a Messianic Jewish Congregation in Beer Sheva on Dec. 24 in order to disrupt the service, destroy furniture, rough up members, and throw the congregation leader, Howard Bass, into the mikvah ( baptistry ).
As an orthodox Jew, the thuggish actions of these criminals & louts shame me; I condemn them unreservedly. This is not the way to counteract missionaries, not at all.