“Is there any connection between your initiative and Messianic Judaism or any missionary trends and denominations?”
I am an Orthodox Jew, not a Messianic Jew. Like I said many times, there’s no such thing as a Messianic Jew, according to the New Testament, because Jesus (Yeshua) ordered us to follow our teachers, our Sages. Even the Oral Torah, we have to follow, according to Jesus. He said it very clearly. He said not to do like them, meaning, with their mentality, don’t act like them (Matthew 23:2-3). If you do something good, don’t do it in a way that everyone watches how good you are. Don’t do it in this way.
“Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’s seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it, but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach.”-Matthew 23:1-3
Let’s say that I have long tzitzit (tassels), so everyone sees that I have long tzitzit, I don’t do it so people see how much of a righteous person I am (Matthew 23:5). My right hand doesn’t know what my left hand is doing and my left hand won’t know what my right hand is doing. I am very generous and give charity. Nobody has to know about this, even my left hand doesn’t have to know that my right hand is giving charity. This is what Jesus said (Matthew 6:3).
Don’t do it like them, he (Yeshua) talked about rabbis in his time. It doesn’t mean that our Sages who wrote the Talmud are like this. They had lots of criticism against different kinds of Pharisees (Perushim) too. They called it, ‘makkat Perushim,’ (‘wounds of Perushim’), they mentioned different kinds of Perushim that did funny things so everyone would watch how righteous they are. This is written in the Talmud (Avot D’Rabbi Natan 37:4). It is a critique of different Perushim that are bad, what they did, and they give them different funny names based on the funny things they did for everyone to see that they are great.
Jesus has a criticism against general acts of people in his time, that they tried to show to everyone how much they are great and righteous, so they did all kinds of things that are not part of the good deeds that they did. It’s a morality critique that he had, so don’t be like them, but “everything they tell you to do, you have to do, because they are sitting on the throne of Moses.” So if they tell you to curse Jesus, you have to curse Jesus. They don’t tell us to curse Jesus, nobody does, but it’s just a custom. I’m just giving an extreme example of doing everything they tell us, which is what Jesus said.
If they tell us that Jesus is not Mashiach (Messiah), then for us as Jews, Jesus is not Mashiach. Now if I think they made a mistake, I will do everything to fix it from inside and it has to be accepted by the establishment, by the rabbis and Perushim of today. I will do everything so that it will be like a negotiation. Let’s say that there is the biggest rabbi in the world, and I talk good about Jesus with him and we are in negotiation. If he doesn’t agree with me, then it’s not time for the Redemption yet. We must get to an agreement, but he’s in negotiation, which means we talk and we can get to an agreement. It’s been an open dialogue for many years.
Before this dialogue is finished and all the process happens in Am Yisrael (the People of Israel) to bring back Jesus to Am Yisrael, Jesus is not legal, not for me, not for my children, not for any Jew. I don’t try now to convince Jews that Jesus is Mashiach. I talk only to the Goyim (Gentiles). All my lessons are in English, not in Hebrew.
I don’t try to teach Christianity to the Jews, but I give a few lessons in Hebrew because there are Messianic Jews, unfortunately. They think that Jesus left a place for a new Judaism, which they call, ‘Messianic.’ We don’t have books from Messianic people from a few hundred years ago. It didn’t exist and not one book did they write. The Messianic movement is a new movement mainly of 50-60 years. Before, all the Jews that believed that Jesus was Mashiach just became Christian.
Only today there is a movement that stays Jewish and believes Jesus is Mashiach, but it’s against the words of Jesus, because most of these people don’t follow the commandments the way that the Jews follow them. They don’t follow our Sages, so they are against the words of Jesus. The main part of them marry with Christian women so their children will not be Jewish anymore, which is really bad and they try to do missions which are terribly bad.
There is no real such thing as a Messianic Jew. It didn’t exist. Jesus made in the New Testament a complete separation between Jews and Christians. The missionizing is very good for all of the Nations, but not for the Jews. When he was alive, he said don’t go to the Goyim, or the way of the Shomronim (Samaritans, Matthew 10:5). He called them, ‘dogs’ (Matthew 15:26). “Don’t go to the Nations. Don’t give your pearls to the pigs” (Matthew 7:6), but after he came back from the dead, it’s like a new situation. “Go to all of the nations and teach them what I taught you” (Matthew 28:19).
He didn’t want there to become two Judaisms, one that follows our Sages and another one which does whatever they like to. He made a complete separation when he asked Shimon Kefa (Simon Peter), to eat even non-kosher foods if you have to because you now have guests which are not Jewish and you have to sit with them at the table. You can even eat non-kosher food, if you have to, because there will not be a special table for the Jews that must keep kosher. He said that the Jews must follow the Torah, even the Oral Torah, but you are something that is special, like a prophet.
Sometimes prophets receive an order to do something that is against the Torah, an exception (Ezekiel 4:14). There are many stories like this in the Bible. Eliyahu (Elijah) made sacrifices on Mount Carmel. How come? We can only do sacrifices at the Temple in Jerusalem. There are all kinds of exceptions. As an exception, he received a vision that if he has to eat non-kosher food, he will eat it, because soon there will come guests which are not Jewish and you will sit with them at the table, because in this community there will not be a separate table for Jews and non-Jews (Acts 10:14). There’s no special place for the Jews here, because it’s only for the Nations. “Shimon Kefa, you are a sacrifice of Judaism for the Christians, so you are allowed to eat non-kosher food.”
There is not a Messianic Jew who truly follows the Torah and also believes in Jesus. There’s no such thing. We can think that Jesus is the Mashiach. I think so, so I do what I can to fix it. Before it is fixed, he doesn’t belong to me or my son. I will not teach my son to believe in Jesus, because he’s not legal yet for any Jew.
We have to understand that I am not a Messianic Jew. I am an Orthodox Jew trying to do something legally to bring Mashiach ben Yosef (Messiah son of Joseph) that fell down to the ‘Other Side,’ like big tzaddikim said that Jesus is Mashciach ben Yosef in the ‘Other Side’ (e.g. Rabbi Shimshon of Ostropoli, Rabbi Moshe David Valle). He’s in the ‘Other Side,’ so let’s bring him back and there’s a process to bring him back, but before he’s formally back in Am Yisrael, he doesn’t belong to Am Yisrael in formal Judaism. It doesn’t matter what I know. This is the way it has to be. If not, I’m just a Christian missionary, like people might think, but I am not.