Jews for Jesus has for years used an ad campaign around the world which features a bunch of Chasidic men walking in front of the Kotel, and one of them is wearing a Jews for Jesus t-shirt. The phrase emblazoned across the billboard? “Think for yourselves.” The implication? That Jews, and Orthodox Jews in particular, can’t, don’t or won’t think for themselves. The leadership of Jews for Jesus has over the years whined like a young child claiming “unfair” in a game that he/she can’t win. Anytime that the Jewish community comes together to protest or defend themselves against a Jews for Jesus campaign, Jews for Jesus cries, “foul”. The reality is that they don’t want us to think for ourselves, either. What they want is for the Jewish community to just play dead while they convince us that they have the “true” Judaism. Any concerted effort by the Jewish community at large to reach out and educate Jews who do not understand is met with what amounts to name calling. They claim that we launch counter-campaigns because we are afraid they will brain wash us, or play mind tricks, rather than simply recognizing that we not only have the right to define ourselves as a religious entity, but to educate our populace and warn them when we feel they are being sold a bill of goods.
The Jewish community has maintained all along that we are not telling Christians that they can’t share their faith, that would be illegal, and in the minds of most, unethical. What we are saying is that Hebrew Christian organizations need to stop pretending they are peddling a truer, more accurate and more authentic form of Judaism. Hebrew Christianity in any form is Christianity, and these groups need to own up to the substance of their product. What they are proffering is not Judaism – who has the right to say what Judaism is? The Jewish community, of course. And don’t give us that line that all of the original believers in Jesus were Jewish. While the accuracy of that statement may be challengeable, the truth is that even if all of the original believers were Jewish, not all Jews were believers. Not even a reasonable percentage were believers. And I am sorry, but it had nothing to do with the Rabbinical leaders being afraid of losing their political power. To put it quite simply, Jesus didn’t qualify to be the Messiah. Think of him what you may – a prophet, a teacher, a Rabbi, the potential Messiah – none of that makes him the messiah, and the learned people of the time knew that. The funny thing is that even the New Testament points out that the majority of the disciples were unlearned men.
So, do they really want us to think for ourselves? If they did, they wouldn’t go to such great efforts to whine and cry when we do, they would just accept the challenge and move on. No, they don’t want us to think for ourselves, they want us to let them think for us. Sorry, Jews for Jesus, I think not!