“Was Jesus Christian or Jewish? what about after being baptized by John (Yochanan, in Hebrew)?”
“Of course, in Judaism, baptism is an act of repentance. It’s like being reborn. It’s what you call a ‘mikvah.’ It’s a good thing to do and it’s one of the things we do to clean ourselves and repent. Yochanan called the people to repent, to come back to G-D.
Now, I used to have a friend that I used to work with as a musician. He was a Russian guy. He was my driver. He was not Jewish. He told me when we were talking many times about things that if you say to a Russian Christian that Jesus was Jewish, they will kill you by punching or hit you very badly.
Of course, Jesus was Jewish, he never stopped to be Jewish, and he is still Jewish.
He used to live part of his life in a city that is called, ‘Nazareth,’ which is related to ‘Notzri’ in Hebrew. So we call Jesus the ‘Nazarene’ (‘Christian’), because he came from the city of Nazareth. Today in the Galilee we have two cities called Nazareth. This is where Jesus used to be. Of course, Jesus is Jewish and we call them Nazarenes (Christians) because they follow Jesus who was from Nazareth. Christianity is something separate from Judaism. They don’t have to follow the 613 commandments (of the Torah), but only the Seven Commandments of Noah. By following these, they follow what they have to follow, according to Paul. They are not ordered to follow more than this. This is what makes them what we call, ‘Christian.’
Nobody that is Jewish stops to be Jewish – ever. It’s not something that you can lose, according to Halacha. What happens in spiritual existence, we don’t know. Maybe someone did so many sins that in another reincarnation he will be reborn as non-Jewish. This is something that doesn’t have to do with halacha. Halacha means the Law, the revealed part of the Torah, which is the Law. According to the Law, if your mother was Jewish, you are Jewish all of your life, end of the story. You cannot lose it and even if you are baptized to Christianity, you are still a Jew; you did nothing.
Jesus ordered his apostles to do missions with all of the Nations, but not with the Jews. This means it’s a good thing to do missions with all of the Nations. How to do this mission? “You baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit and you teach them how I taught you to be a good person, in my way.” This is what makes someone who was non-Christian a Christian, and it’s a good thing.
To try to make a Jew a Christian is a very bad thing, of course. They don’t do anything, like I said. A Jew will always stay a Jew. He makes a wall between Judaism and Christianity. He makes people hate Jesus more. Every time they try to steal souls from Judaism, this makes people curse Jesus, curse Christianity, and curse Christians, because of this. It’s the worst thing in the world. It’s like trying to kill the soul of somebody, which is worse than killing his body. You killed his body, you didn’t damage his soul, but by doing this, in one way you killed his soul, so it’s even worse.
Jesus was raised a Nazarene (Christian) because it means ‘Notzri’ (from the city of Nazareth). There were many Nazarenes besides him. Anyone from Nazareth is a Nazarene. I talk about the Jewish meaning. In Hebrew, Nazareth is the name of a town and we call him ‘Yeshua HaNotzri’ because he comes from Nazareth (Natzeret). That’s all. Nazarenes (Christians) became a religious group. You can say that he was given away to there (Christianity).
It’s a secret in Kabbalah that the part of the soul that Jesus represents put himself at the bottom of all of existence. It’s a secret why he put himself over there and it has to do with the soul of Mashiach (Messiah). He gave himself away to raise all of the nations back to Torah, but it doesn’t mean that he stopped being a Jew. He just put himself there and nobody can stop to be Jewish.
Still, because he was sold to the Priests, there has to be an act to buy him back from the Priests. If you sell someone to the Priests, he belongs to G-D and no longer belongs to the Jewish people. He belongs to G-D, so we have to do an act like Pidyon HaBen (‘Redemption of the Firstborn’) to take him away from the authority of the Priests. All of the firstborn were supposed to be priests from the beginning. Someone who is firstborn belongs to the Priesthood, so if a father wants his firstborn to belong to him, he has to pay the amount of money of five shekalim to the priests in order to take back his son.
Similar to this, we have to do an act of bringing back Jesus to Am Yisrael. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t belong to Am Yisrael (the People of Israel), but we have to bring him back in a way that Am Yisrael can use him, in order for Am Yisrael to use Jesus, to belong to them and not just to G-D…
What you give to the Priesthood belongs to G-D, not to the people anymore. We cannot use it. If I give a fruit to the Priest, I’m not allowed to eat it. It’s very bad and a big punishment if I eat the fruit that I gave to the Priest. It’s a big sin, because I’m not allowed to eat it anymore. If I give a present to the Priest, it’s holy and I cannot eat it, because it doesn’t belong to me anymore.
It’s the same thing with Jesus. He was given away to the Priesthood and doesn’t belong to Am Yisrael. It doesn’t mean he’s not Jewish or part of Judaism, but he’s not for our use. We cannot use him. We have to do an act similar to Pidyon HaBen to bring him back legally (according to the Torah) to Am Yisrael. This will be done with the biggest rabbi, and afterwards with each individual personally, with the saying of “Baruch haba bashem Hashem” (“blessed is he who comes in the name of the L-rd”), paying an amount of money which symbolizes the buying of Jesus.
Only after this will be done, Jesus again will be part of and belong to Am Yisrael, which can be used by Am Yisrael. If not, it’s like he’s out of Am Yisrael and not for their use. Like the Priesthood is not outside of Am Yisrael, but it’s something that is in a more high holiness state that is not for everyone. It’s too holy, like how a regular Jew cannot go to the Holy of Holies in the Temple. He’s not allowed. This is the rule of the Torah that only the Priest can do the work and go into the Temple. Only a Priest can do it because the Torah gave him the order to do it, but a regular Jew cannot do it.
Uzziyahu the king wanted to be a priest and he received leprosy. He was a king, so he thought that if he’s a king, he can be a priest too, but no, he could not. Even if he’s a king, he cannot go there. There are different levels of holiness. In the moment Jesus was given to the Priests, his holiness became more high in the way that he’s not anymore to be used by the Jewish people. This is the way that it goes in Jewish law.