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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Jews for Jesus: Coming to a Metro-Area Town Near You

From today's NY Times:
Jews for Jesus Hit Town and Find a Tough Crowd
It's all about a group of 200 missionaries for the group who are taking the summer off to attempt to spread their "gospel" throughout New York. Seemed, from the article, like the Orthodox Jews they encountered did not take well to their campaign:
Later in the day, the volunteers ventured onto the streets for the first time. Avi Snyder, the group's European director, demonstrated how it was done, briskly proffering blue pamphlets to the crowds plowing past on 34th Street and Broadway.

A man in a skullcap talking on his cellphone took one and tore it in half, tossing it over his shoulder while walking away. "Do you want another one?" Mr. Snyder asked.

A tall Orthodox Jew in a black hat, black coat and flowing beard stalked up to Ms. Katz as she was handing out tracts and said, "Ignorance is bliss."

At one point, Mr. Cohen was surrounded by a group of Jewish men who engaged him in an angry debate. "This ministry is not for the shy or timid," he said later.

The missionaries' campaign, however, is not limited to Manhattan:
During previous summers in New York, a small group of Jews for Jesus missionaries concentrated on Manhattan. This year the group plans to make its presence known in all five boroughs, as well in Westchester and Rockland Counties, in northern New Jersey and on Long Island. There are also campaigns aimed at Russian-speaking Jews, Israelis and Hasidic Jews.
So watch out for the folks in the blue t-shirts, because they're coming to a neighborhood near you.

26 Comments:

Blogger thekvetcher said...

are the J 4 J charadei or modern J 4 J ?

11:33 AM  
Blogger Somewhat Anonymous said...

Darn laws against assault...

11:55 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

its fun to play with missionaries! :-)

there are such wonderfull things you can say to them if your smart

11:56 AM  
Anonymous J said...

the video is great!

12:27 PM  
Blogger Avrom said...

According to a friend of mine, pampleting at a street corner is a very inefficient method of missionizing and does not produce much results.
So why do they do it?
Well, the J4Js go and have speakers go into evangelical churches and talk about the work they are doing, and in doing so, raise money. They need to let them know about things such as "We handed out 100,000 pamplets this week!" so it will seem like they are doing something.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They were all over Yankee stadium sunday night

4:17 PM  
Blogger projgen said...

My husband is brilliant at dealing with them, but I get so angry I could spit. All the Jews they have taken advantage of because of a lack of Jewish education, Jewish knowledge, and more importantly, active Jewishness in the home.

So many have been "saved" (ironic use of that word) by Jews for Judaism (jewsforjudaism.com), a countermissionary effort.

If these people want to be christians, fine. Just don't couch it in "Judaism" and misdirect and mislead innocent people. It's just evil.

4:19 PM  
Blogger DAG said...

Avrom...thats why you should NOT take their literature even to rip it up. And these guys have terribel Suffering Servant syndromes. Yelling or confronting them emboldens them even more. Please dont tease the monkeys

4:38 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

i heard about an incident regarding you-know-who's witnesses.

they had visited this guy almost daily to drop off liturature over many years. Day by day this man saved the littrature in a bag, and one day when he had enough, he went out to his driveway, drew an outline of a personwith chalk on the asphalt, and scattered the pamphlets all over the driveway.

the witnesses never, ever came back.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i heard about an incident regarding you-know-who's witnesses.

Yo' mama's witnesses?

5:36 PM  
Blogger NetureiKartanik said...

are they any different from chabad?

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

J4J loves me. I look Jewish and they sniff me out from 1000 yards. What I'd like to see is some good offense from the Jews: Invite these people to shul or your home if you're brave. They are looking for acceptance from other Jews, often something they never got...

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually received a mailer from them a week ago, here in the 5 towns.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Avrom. I once read an article written by a former missionary who has since converted (I forget his name now) on how to best deal with missionaries. He strongly recommended that "regular folks" do not engage these people in theological debate as they are highly trained to "handle" this type of arguement and you will not sway them.
He DID mention what Avrom said earlier, which is that they have a target number of pamphlets that they are supposed to give out and once they are done they are off the street for the day. He suggested that you take a pamphlet and ask for 10 more for your friends. A block or two later, discreetly discard them. That's the best you can do.
As PROJGEN said above, what gets me with these guys is the deception aspect. You're NOT jews, so don't call yourself jews. The ONLY reason they call themselves jews is to deceive uneducated jews who don't know any better. And then, after they suck them into to some Jewishesque activity, like a Passover Seder, that's when they hit them with the real punchline. Disgusting. If you want their souls, you should have to be up front about it and not trick them into something they weren't on board for!

12:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently wrote an anti-missionary book called, "26 Reasons Why Jews Don't Believe In Jesus." I would like to offer some specific advice and strategy for those Jews who wish to debate Jewish Christians. Christian missionaries are often highly experienced debaters and their minds are rarely changed by rational argument. They are expert at quoting verses in the Christian translation of the “Old Testament” (Jewish Bible) that superficially appear to refer to Jesus. It is crucial for Jews to understand that most of these passages have been strategically mistranslated and/or manipulated and/or taken out of context, and a proper Jewish translation (such as the Stone Edition of the Jewish Bible), must therefore be consulted. According to Jewish theology, Gentiles do not need to become Jews to have a place in the World to Come. Therefore, debating Gentile Christian missionaries has no meaningful purpose and may expose an inexperienced Jew to specious arguments and mistranslations that they are not equipped to answer. However, it is important to bring Jews back to Torah and Judaism for the sake of their Jewish souls. To maximize the chance of success, it is important that such a debate be framed appropriately:

First: Begin by describing the unique nature and the profound significance of God’s national revelation to the Jewish People. (See the Introduction). This creates unique credibility for Judaism and its theology, which is qualitatively superior to Christian claims.

Second: Level the theological playing field by explaining that if Jesus is not literally “god” then worshiping Jesus (a man) is idolatry for a Jew, (but not a Gentile). The penalty for such idolatry is “koras,” which means separation from God in the World to Come. (See Reason 2)

Third: Describe the six specific messianic criteria delineated by the Jewish prophets to identify the Messiah Ben David. Explain that since Jesus did not fulfill any of these six criteria, he is eliminated from messianic consideration. (See Reason 8)

Fourth: Emphasize that Jesus’ supernatural history appears to have been plagiarized from the history of the pagan woman-god Isis and the man-gods Mithras and Dionysus. This demonstrates a devastating lack of originality in the Jesus story. (See Reason 24)

CONCLUSION: These important issues frame the discussion and enable a Jewish Christian to understand what is truly at stake, which levels the theological playing field. It is very important to explain that belief in Jesus separates a Jew from God both in this world and in the World To Come, while embracing Torah and mitzvot (commandments) brings a Jew into the proper relationship with God. When a Jew worships Jesus, (a man) he commits idolatry, (a cardinal sin) which is punishable by kores (separation from God in the World To Come). If you would like to read my book, go to www.26reasons.com. Asher Norman

12:15 AM  
Anonymous onionsoupmix said...

it would really be very amusing to see a chabad elokist debating with a Jews for Jesus guy. I would pay for that spectacle.

1:00 AM  
Blogger MDmom said...

when i was in college and still living in my parents' home on long island, a j's witness came to the door. when i opened it, she offered me all kinds of books and pamphlets and untrue to their usual form became quite pushy when i told her "no thank you." so i asked her to wait a minute and went inside the house. i returned with an open mikraot g'dolot and held it out saying,"i'll take one of yours if you take one of mine!" she looked at me like i was nuts, said "have a nice day" and made a beeline for the sidewalk.

4:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They were all over Rye Playland on July 4th.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mdmom, that really was a breslever who offered you the literature.

10:02 AM  
Blogger deitybox said...

Hi, my name is DeDe, I work for Jews for Judaism (www.jewsforjudaism.org), and I'm a longtime reader of Orthomom. Just a quick PSA to give you all some info on the current Jews for Jesus campaign in NY/NJ: It's the grand finale of their "Behold Your God" campaign which has been going on since 2001 and has hit every global city with over 25,000 Jews. They'll be in NY/NJ through the end of July. Their basic goal is to use their deceptive and
aggressive tactics of masking fundamentalist Christianity as
"completed" Judaism to proselytize to as many Jews as possible through a variety of means. Here's a link to the Jews for Judaism infosite on the NY campaign:

http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/web/byg/NewYork2006.html

And here's more info on the mail you got:

http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/web/byg/NYBYG2006/NYBYGMediaCampaignMemo.pdf

Plus, look for a cross-denominational response from the Jewish community in the form of ads in over 60 papers in the area and various events.

For background on this issue, visit our website or email
nybyg@jewsforjudaism.org.

11:04 AM  
Blogger deitybox said...

Hi, my name is DeDe, I work for Jews for Judaism (www.jewsforjudaism.org), and I'm a longtime reader of Orthomom. Just a quick PSA to give you all some info on the current Jews for Jesus campaign in NY/NJ: It's the grand finale of their "Behold Your God" campaign which has been going on since 2001 and has hit every global city with over 25,000 Jews. They'll be in NY/NJ through the end of July. Their basic goal is to use their deceptive and
aggressive tactics of masking fundamentalist Christianity as
"completed" Judaism to proselytize to as many Jews as possible through a variety of means. Here's a link to the Jews for Judaism infosite on the NY campaign:

http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/web/byg/NewYork2006.html

And here's more info on the mail you got:

http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/web/byg/NYBYG2006/NYBYGMediaCampaignMemo.pdf

Plus, look for a cross-denominational response from the Jewish community in the form of ads in over 60 papers in the area and various events.

For background on this issue, visit our website or email
nybyg@jewsforjudaism.org.

11:04 AM  
Blogger deitybox said...

Hi, my name is DeDe, I work for Jews for Judaism (www.jewsforjudaism.org), and I'm a longtime reader of Orthomom. I thought I'd leave a quick PSA on
the current Jews for Jesus campaign. The grand finale of their "Behold Your God" campaign, which has been hitting every city with over 25,000 Jews since 2001, will be in the NY/NJ area through the end of July. Their basic goal is to use their deceptive and
aggressive tactics of masking fundamentalist Christianity as
"completed" Judaism to proselytize to as many Jews as possible through a variety of means. More on the Jews for Judaism infosite on the campaign here:

http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/web/byg/NewYork2006.html

And here's more info on what people have been getting in the mail:

http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/web/byg/NYBYG2006/NYBYGMediaCampaignMemo.pdf

Look for the Jewish community's cross-denominational response in the forms of ads in over 60 papers and various events around the area this month.

For background on this issue, just visit our website or email
nybyg@jewsforjudaism.org.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I SAW THEM HANDING OUT PAMPHLETS AT THE MET GAME ON MONDAY

12:36 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Hey, at least Los Testigos de Jehová are equal opportunity missionaries. Like Mormons. They go around preaching to *everyone*, as opposed to the "Jews" for "Jesus", who specificly target Jews.

4:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: debating the missionaries:

If you are not familiar with the reasons why the J4J, so-called "Hebrew Christian" and/or so-called "Messianic Judiasm" theology is nonsense from a religiously Jewish point of view (as well as from the standpoint of just plain logic -- how can someone be both himself and his own father at the same time, as the Christian doctrine of the Trinity demands?), I suggest you educate yourself.

You could read the "26 Reasons" book mentioned above, or "You Take Jesus, I'll Take G-d", by Samuel Levine, which takes the 40 Tanach verses most commonly misused by the missionaries and explains one-by-one how they are all mis-translated, lifted out of proper context, or require a forced, illogical explanation to fit Jesus into them, etc. Isaac Troki's "Faith Strengthened" (Chizuk Emunah) is also useful, although you will have to wade through the 16th Century verbiage in most English translations.

Once you know what these people are about, I would say engaging them in debate is useful, NOT because you will convince them that they are wrong (many have been brainwashed, memorizing their little Biblical supposed "proofs" of Jesus' alleged divinity the way the jihadis hypontize themselves with the Koran or the Moonies memorize their so-called "messiah's" baloney), but because it distracts them from their job of proseletyzing as many people as possible and monopolizes (i.e., wastes) their time. If a missionary who thinks he can convert you is wasting his time talking to you and trying to defend his intellectually and theologically indefensible position, and 20 people walk by whom he does not get to hand literature to and engage in conversation with, you may have saved at least one or more of these people from possibly later being misled. THAT is a mitzvah.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Avrom said...

Just as a followup to what I wrote earlier:

My friend got this information from someone involved with Jews for Judaism. That doesn't mean though that Jews for Judaism should not counter-leaflet where the missionaries are. Just that people should know that it is not an effective method.

Generally speaking, most people who convert to their brand of Christianity do so because of either a) a friend or b) a co-worker or c) they were seeking them out.

At the same time as the leafleting is going on in their campaign, they are sending some of their people as guest speakers at local churches which ends in the solicitation of funds.

1:17 PM  

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