Report on Last Night’s Debate (with audio highlights) and Jewish Trivia

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20 Comments
  1. This was a very good debate Dr. Brown. I have to say, I admire your courage and enthusiasm.

    Regarding your question, “Is there any group of mainstream/traditional Jews that hold to a teaching of any type of reincarnation?”

    Does not all religious Jews hold to the teaching of The Sinai connection, where Jewish souls of all times were gathered to gather in time and space and had an encounter with God?

    This teaching seem to be in line with the teaching in the Letter to the Hebrews, that Levi had an encounter with Melchizedek before he was born.

    “One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him” Heb.7:9-10

    If this is the case, will our descendants be affected by, or participate in everything we do and say?

    With blessings
    Ómar

  2. hi there sir,I got most of the questions right,I am not Jewish so that’s pretty good.Is the phone # to radio station long distance? I do pray Father God will always help you with the people and their questions and answers.I love the way you deal with it all.have a blessed day and thanks for all you do.

  3. IMPORTANT CORRECTION TO YESTERDAY’S BROADCAST

    When the caller asked about not leaving the body alone for the seven day period of mourning in Judaism (called “sitting shivah”), I was trying to figure out if there was any rite connected to a belief in the reincarnation of a Jewish soul on the 8th day (the day of circumcision), and I completely missed the question of “not leaving the body alone.”

    1) In Judaism, the body is buried within 24 hours of death, and then the period of sitting shivah at the home of the mourner begins, so there is no body to leave alone. The body is already buried! Again, I didn’t even process this part of the question when it was asked. So sorry about that! Obviously, you do your best not to leave the mourner alone, as much as possible, because of his or her grief.

    2) As for the idea that a Jewish soul is reincarnated in a new body, I have found no confirmation of that whatsoever. If anyone has a Jewish source confirming that, please do send it my way. Thanks!

  4. It seems to me that Hebrews 7:9,10 is a way of saying that God knew Abraham, that he would keep the ways of God and that he would teach them to his children and his household after him, to do these things such as tithing, a way of honoring Abraham. (See Genesis 12:3,18:19)

  5. I don’t know if most traditional Jews believe in reincarnation, but the Brestlovers do. Rabbi Nachman was a proponet of this idea, and most of his followers today do. It’s funny too. I’m part Sephardic and we tend not to very pro-Hasidic, since this is a Eastern European sect. But for some reason, the Brestlovers in Jerusalem and in the State of Israel have been doing some Chabad-type outreach to the Sephardi/Mizrahi communities and now a lot of secular Sephardim, mostly twenty or thirty years olds who are becoming integrated into the community and they look ridiculous wearing this garb that is not even the ethnic garb of their ancestors and trying to learn Ashkenazic Hebrew. But one thing that you can’t say against this sect is that they don’t love the L-rd, they love sporatic worship and spend an hour or so a day in seclusion to reach a state of consciousness with G-d. Pray that they meet G-d Incarnate- Moshiach as they pray.
    Shalom

  6. For more information, consult the works of Rabbi Nachman of Brestlov, sometimes spelled Bratslav.

    They can be seen in the popular, pro-G-d Israeli film (which was first of it’s kind) Ushpizin. This movie great for someone who is not affiliated or has never heard of the Brestlov, although in the English translation, they mistakenly refer to the family as another sect of Hasidim, but its obvious from the way they dress and they way they refer to Nachman that they are Hasidic. On a side note, it’s a great film to watch around Sukkot, as the film takes place during this time.
    Shalom

  7. Why does Dr. Brown spend so much time and effort debating people who hardly present a challenge, while ignoring two publications that do seem to present a serious challenge. The Jews for Judaism website prominently displays two articles that attack Dr. Brown’s writings – why has he not responded? Dr. Brown, are you planning to respond? If yes, do you have a time frame as to when you expect your response to be published?
    Thanks
    Chaim

  8. Dr. Brown, as a Messianic Jew, you have bridged the gap between Christianity as it was once understood (absent its Jewish roots) and Judaism, which, despite its rejection of Jesus, forms the core, or root, of our beliefs. Your ministry has been vital to my understanding of these two seemingly separate, often irreconciable, congregations. I see that the historic Christian church, tragically unmindful of Paul’s warning not to boast over the original branches, did more to alienate Jews than to minister to them.

    [Romans 11:16-21] “If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.”

    I can see that fortunately, we are entering into a new era of understanding and appreciation for our Jewish roots, in which we Gentile believers can truly fulfill the intention Paul expressed in Romans 15:25-27: “…I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the saints there. For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.” I look forward to the full expression of this new era in which Gentiles, filled with love by the Holy Spirit for our Jewish root heritage, can stand as an living and vibrant expression of our Messiah’s great love for His People, the People of His promises: Israel!

  9. Chaim,

    Thanks so much for writing.

    First, I am glad to have a public debate with any rabbi or qualified counter-missionary, so when I am invited to do so, it is my joy and privilege to present the reasons for my faith in Yeshua to a Jewish audience.

    Second, there are thousands of posts and scores of threads and many articles attacking my writings, and if I responded to all of them, I would not have time to breathe. Just check out some of the counter-missionary, online forums if you’re not aware.

    Third, Rabbi Yisroel Blumenthal, the author of the articles on the Jews for Judaism website, is a personal friend of mine. We try to talk by phone every week, and he sent me these articles before he posted them. So, I’m well aware of them, but despite Rabbi Blumenthal’s erudition, the articles have not been presenting problems for Messianic Jews, otherwise I would have been in more of a hurry to respond. To date I have yet to receive an email from a single Jewish believer in Yeshua who is struggling in his or her faith because of these articles. That being said, I am preparing refutations of Rabbi Blumenthal’s writings, the lengthier one being “Correcting Contra Brown.” God willing, once they are done — perhaps some time this year, time permitting — you will see that we have every good reason to embrace Yeshua as Messiah and no good reason to reject him.

    Third, since written debates can get bogged down over a period of many years — after all, my first two volumes in the Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus series came out in 2000, and to date, there is still not even the beginning of a comprehensive response to them, let alone the other three volumes in the series — I believe that public, open, candid, verbal debates have their place too, and I have publicly requested that once I respond to Rabbi Blumenthal in writing, he also has a public, verbal debate with me. (He has declined to do so for a number of reasons, but I am making my challenge to him public, just as he challenged me.)

    If you are on my email list, you’ll be notified when the refutations to Rabbi Blumenthal’s articles will be available, and if you are believer in Yeshua and questions have been raised by his articles (or other material you’ve read), please contact us by email and we’ll be happy to help.

  10. Sitting shiv’ah – sitting in mourning for 7 days

    The cited reference comes from the Complete Jewish Bible. The text answers the question of if mourners are watching over a physical body or not. Notice Lazarus (El’azar) was already in the tomb.

    John 11:17-20 (CJB)
    17 On arrival, Yeshua found that El‘azar had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Beit-Anyah was about two miles from Yerushalayim, 19 and many of the Judeans had come to Marta and Miryam in order to comfort them at the loss of their brother. 20 So when Marta heard that Yeshua was coming, she went out to meet him; but Miryam continued sitting shiv‘ah in the house.

    If anyone doesn’t already have a copy of the Complete Jewish Bible, I would encourage you to at least purchase the New Testament. The CJB is a great resource to understanding Hebrew terminology and Jewish culture within the Bible.

  11. Yes, Matthew, the CJB is a very useful resource, and yes, we understand that in Jewish teaching, the body is buried within 24 hours. As for how ancient the practice of sitting shivah is, that’s a point for discussion and debate. Thanks!

  12. I was always taught that the process of sitting shiva came from the first part of the book of Job, and that sitting shiva was in memory of this story. Infact many Jewish mourning practices are said to be from this narrative, including guests visiting and just sitting with the mourners in silence for periods of time and for providing for them in their state of bereavement.

    Shalom

  13. I’ve learned often that the rabbis do that, look to an ancient meaning, even if it wasn’t there in the beginning. My rabbi was always convinced of the validity of Oral Torah, I have to say I appreciate the Karaite position, although I disagree, I understand the need to just follow word for word and be a bit suspicious of tradition. My father is very suspicious of rabbinic interpretation, I’ll be honest and admit that I sometimes don’t know what to think, whether or not there is validity in most of rabbinic thought or not. That’s why I listen to Line of Fire and read Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus and What Jews Think About Jesus.

    Shalom

  14. Dr. Brown, I was the one who asked about the Psalm 22, v. 16 interpretation of the word “pierced”. I was so impressed with your quick and prepared response to that question. I think the most evident thing about the debate was not only how prepared you were but how kindly you handled your opponent. I am a Christian, but I wish Rabbi Gold would have prepared better since it felt a bit one sided.

  15. How I would have answered Dr. Brown:

    Regarding whether one who lives a righteous life can get to heaven:

    1) There is no evidence that G-d judges us according to “His standards” (i.e. by a perfect standard). In fact, traditional Judaism holds that G-d judges us instead by the standards he expects for us which are indeed not perfect.

    2) In principle, there is no difference between a blood sacrifice and repentence. Both are methods of atonement outlined in the bible. In fact, the latter depends on the former showing the primacy of the first.

    Regarding Laws needing interpretation:

    1) If we were only to rely on the written text of Torah, it indeed would be ambiguous simply because we would not know how to keep the Sabbath.

    2) I would argue that Moses’ inquiries were special cases. Someof the cases of Moses’s inquiries occurred before the giving of the Torah at Sinai (the wood gatherer put to death in the book of Numbers). In some of the cases, Moses is said to have forgotten the Law in question. In any case, you do not find any other prophet in Tanach inquiring of G-d to clarify a Law of the Torah. This is because Moses prophecy was superior to any other possible prophet, and only Moses’ prophecy could ever be considered Torah, or even an interpretation of Torah. This is stated explicitly in the Torah (that Moses’ prophecy was superior). This is why interpretation and rabbinic transmission is necessary. Any prophecy other than Moses’ is completely ineffective in interpreting Torah.

    Regarding why Jews are more or less OK with Christianity:

    1) Judaism certainly does not see Christianity as ideal but historically still a step in the right direction from earlier pagan religions. (In other words it would most certainly be ideal if Gentile Christians ascribed to Jewish beliefs). However, it would be a step in the wrong direction if members of the Jewish nation took up this faith.

    2) Jews do not have the resources to provide outreach to Christians and must pick battles as appropriate.

    3) Jews do not have an all-or-nothing view of salvation that Christians have. Christians will still be rewarded for their good works even if their theologic perspective was incorrect.

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